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Category Archives: Yoga

Reccommended Reading

I recently was inspired to read more in my life. I read a decent amount usually between books, online articles, etc but my reading list has increased dramatically just in the past few weeks. I have read many books of various types. I always love to learn and gain more knowledge. My biggest surprise in reading so far was, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was a beautiful story but also carried tremendous amounts of wisdom. I have to say it was the best book I’ve read in my life thus far. It’s a pretty easy read and I recommend it to everyone!

The other book I read that I enjoyed was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I didn’t realize until I started reading it, that this novel was made into a movie just recently. I thought it was an intriguing read and really liked the authors ability to be so witty and conversational. I will probably more of this author as well.

falt

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Stinky Lululemon Mat?

It’s true! If you purchase a Lululemon mat you will notice the odor of the natural rubber material when you unroll it.

When I first unrolled mine, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I didn’t even think it could be the mat, I thought something was just smelling so badly in my house and I racked my brain until I realized maybe it’s this mat. Then I thought, I must have gotten a bad mat. I asked around to others and found that it’s actually quite normal. Who knew! The great news is that the smell goes away after some time.

My advice is that you go ahead and unroll it and leave it unrolled as much as possible. I know this might deter someone from buying a Lulu mat and perhaps buy a Manduka but truth is, this is the best mat money can buy. It’s non skid so you do not slide around at all and it’s thick and supportive. I would still recommend a Lulu mat despite the odor.

In addition to the non skid, thickness and support the lululemon mat is ultra absorbent and absorbs all sweat and moisture.  Also, the top layer of The Mat is made with Polyurethane mixed with Ultra Fresh brand antibacterial treatment, which means that it prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi. Pretty great right?

Do any of you own a Lululemon mat?

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Handstands look fun and all but how do they benefit us?

 

Handstands in yoga are just one of many inversion poses. What’s an inversion? An inversion is any time your head is below your heart. There are many poses this happens in yoga such as a wide leg forward fold, shoulder stand, downward facing dog, headstand and so forth..

We teach inversions for a number of reasons both physical and mental/emotional. In yoga we are always offered the opportunity to shake things up and break up all the habitual patterns of life. Inversions are great for getting out of our ruts because being upside down contradicts our physical nature. You can imagine the emotions this can elicit before we invert, during and inversion and afterward. When a teacher suggests going upside down we might feel fearful, anxious, excited, rejection, you name it. Then once we get into an inversion whether it be wheel pose or headstand we not only feel the amazing physical benefits but then we are rushed with new emotions… perhaps like you overcame a fear, maybe bravery, energized, powerful, confident, or maybe other feelings like humble because there is so much to appreciate and learn etc.

Not to mention the physical benefits, here’s a general list:

Inversions reverse the blood flow in the body and improve circulation:
Use gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood thus increasing mental functioning, and improving concentration, memory, and processing abilities.

Increase immunity and prevent illness:
The lymphatic system is a key player in keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body it picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Because lymph moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, getting upside down allows lymph to more easily travel into the respiratory system where much of the toxins enter the body.

Energize:
Inversions such as handstand, headstand, and forearm balance get more blood moving to the brain, which results not only in physical invigoration but mental revitalization as well.

Relax:
While the heating inversions (handstand & headstand) energize, inversions of the cooling type (shoulder stand & legs up the wall) work to calm the nervous system, thereby activating the parasympathetic nervous system and producing feelings of balance and calm.

Improves balance

Improves core, shoulders and arm strength

And one of the BEST reasons… Because they are FUN! It keeps us youthful, playful and light hearted!

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Yoga for the Office Body

Do you work in an office? Or at a desk most of your day? If you do, often you may be suffering from those slumped turned in shoulders, achy joints, cramped muscles and even burning eyes! Working in this modern age has got us staring at computers, sitting and rushing around. As a result we are left with tight muscles and a tense body that is all cramped up. We need to counteract and nurture these areas daily to feel better and prevent long term problems. If you have an office body, the main areas you need to release tension are neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, hamstrings and the spine.

Start in a low lunge on both sides, focus on releasing the hips down while keeping the front knee over the ankle and stay for a few moments. From the low lunge, if it’s accessible drop to the forearms and try to settle into lizard for a few minutes on each side. Then move into lizard pose while reaching for the back ankle just like in the picture above.

Only move into this if it feels safe, listen to your body. I can take time to move into this so be patient.

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Yoga at the Beach

This has been a great trip to Destin, Florida. I have been able to practice yoga at the beach or on the balcony every day for two weeks! It’s so fun to be outside with fresh air and the beautiful view of the ocean herself! I’ve mostly been doing the YogaGlo videos and right now I am really enjoying Kathryn Budig. I’ve tried to switch it up and work on different things each time. Overall it’s been a really great experience and I’ve learned some about myself being able to dedicate my practice to nothing but the ocean waves and my growing awareness. It’s impossible to not stay in the moment when you are surrounded by such beauty.

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Practice at the Beach

“The only journey is the one within.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

This was the first time I tried any sort of yoga practice at the beach and on the sand. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. My hands sunk into the sand slightly but I was able to hold this pose. Although its not a perfect crow it’s where I am now on my journey. Eventually I will arrive where I can bring my knees up to the under arms and keep the hips high and someday go into a handstand.

I am grateful for having this opportunity to practice at the beautiful ocean. It certainly enriched my personal journey. And your own is the one that truly matters.

-Namaste

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Completion!

Yay! What a journey! 9 months and 200 hours later! I am finally certified!

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Inspiring Video

This is amazing. I am so touched by this. I’m really glad so many people are watching this mans story. If you haven’t seen this yet, please take a few minutes to watch. The human body is amazing and sometimes you really just need one person to believe in you. Yoga is so transformational and should be seen for everything if can offer us. Namaste! 🙂

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HeadStand

I am so excited to share this! This was my first headstand without using the wall! I really am balancing on my forearms and head and what’s crazier is I balanced my way up there. This was such a big accomplishment for me. I have only been doing headstands for a little while and I always kick up to the wall. I guess the wall really is a crutch and I could have been doing this earlier if I just tried! It is such a high when you can do something like this. I would watch other people on you tube videos and think this looked so hard and expected it would take years of practice for me to be able to do. But I just thought, why not try it? I surprised myself, and not only once I did it twice. While this happened I was back home visiting my mom and dad and they were both able to see it. For about 20-30 seconds I remained balanced and calm. It made such a difference in my mood for the rest of the day as well. I am so proud of myself. This is such a good reminder for life, if there’s something that seems so out of reach for you, just give it a try! You may surprise yourself.

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Meatless Monday International Movement

Find out why I am pledging to the Meatless Monday Movement! And why you should too!

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