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  • 10 Things to Let Go of in 2018 (& Always)

    New Years Intentions, Resolutions, Goals are well and good, but they can get to be a bit overwhelming. Right?

    This year, I reviewed my list of New Years Resolutions from the past few years and found a lot of...

    I'll do more of this…

    And more of that...

    More. More. More. More. More.

    While I’m cool with the idea of more, I’m also cool with the idea of less, because less is more. AND I am enough.

    As a striving Yogini I'm one of my prevailing practices is in non-attachment and creating a fairly simple life. I don’t really want a lot of stuff lurking around - physically and mentally. After perusing my list, I felt quite overwhelmed with all of the additional stuff. So, to counter that overwhelm-tion I asked myself:

    What can I do without this year? Both in my yoga practice and life?

    What can I do to lighten my load - to create space for all of this new?

    I listed the following.

    1. Fear

    “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” - John Lennon

    Face fear head on in 2018. Don’t pull back.

    Home Practice Recommendation: Join Laura Amazzone & Christi Christensen  for "Kali: Let Go of Fear and Own Your Power" , a vinyasa flow, mantra and meditation practice  that can be used to transform difficult emotions, such as fear, and tap into your power.  (67 mins.)

    2. Coulda, Woulda, Shouldas

    “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been.” - Kurt Vonnegut

    What’s done is done. You can’t go back. The present is now, be here.

    3. Toxic Relationships

    “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain

    Enough with people that make you feel blah. Choose people that elevate you - people that make you better.

    Home Practice Recommendation: Turn to Ashley Turner’s online yoga video - a Cord Cutting Meditation - to help you release relationships or people in your life that have been toxic or unhealthy.

    4. Expectation

    “To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn

    Do not expect things to pan out just so. They rarely do. Hey, sometimes they pan out even better!

    Home Practice Recommendation: Check out Rolf Gates’ Vinyasa yoga video "Letting Go of Wanting and Not Wanting. Practice coming into the moment, letting go of wanting and not wanting, and being with the rise and fall of your breath in this challenging online yoga class. (93 mins.)

    5. Regrets

    "Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future." - Sivananda

    Do not burden your soul with things you cannot change. Resolve, instead, to be better next time. That’s all you can do.

    6. Excuses

    “I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.” - Florence Nightingale

    If you want to see things get done in 2018, stop making/accepting lame excuses. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    7. Yester-years

    “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” - Henry David Thoreau

    It’s tempting to meander down memory lane. Sure, it can be fun - even beneficial - to reflect, but don’t stay back there too long. Be present. Don’t miss out on all the beauty and opportunity right in front of you!

    Home Practice Recommendation: Love your past, create your future and find contentment in the present moment with  "Santosha: Heart Opening Yoga" with Dana Damara. (51 mins)

    9. Fantasies of Perfection

    “I think what makes people fascinating is conflict, it's drama, it's the human condition. Nobody wants to watch perfection.” - Nicolas Cage

    Strive for progress; not perfection. Perfect is an illusion anyways. And if it were real, it’d be boring as hell.

    10. Negative Thoughts

    “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone

    Happiness comes from shifting your perception of world. When things get messy in 2018, will you give up and catastrophize the situation? Or, will you take the happy road, and realize that all things - bad and good - happen for a reason?

    Home Practice Recommendation: Join Jeanne Heileman for "Lift up out of Your Bootstraps"  an online yoga class for those days when you are feeling thick, heavy and stuck seeing things from a negative point of view. This class is sequenced to helped you access more lightness and energy in your body. Be warned, you may end up smiling by the end of this practice! (64 mins).

    ***

    Dismiss the stuff that’s been holding you back.

    Lessen your load and lighten your spirit.

    Create space for your new intentions to manifest in 2018.

    What will you do less of in 2018? Please share!

     

    Edited post, original post written by Tessa Johnson

  • Not sure what to buy? Sage Rountree has a great gift guide!

    Sage Rountree is an expert in yoga for athletes and author of seven books. Whether your friends are yoga teachers, yoga newbies, or resistant to yoga, Sage’s books will help them find better balance in sports and in life. Here’s a handy gift guide and a special offer:

    For your CrossFit bros: The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga, an overview of how yoga complements training. (Hint: yoga for athletes is not athletic yoga!)

    For your friends who run: The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, whose second edition was just released. Also available as an e-book!

    For your Type-A friends who never sit still: The Athlete’s Guide to Recovery. Also available in Spanish, German, and Japanese. Teach your friends the importance of downtime!

    For your relatives interested in taking up yoga in midlife and beyond (or who are fans of Carolina men’s basketball—Coach Roy Williams wrote the foreword): Lifelong Yoga. Learn how to use yoga for balance, core strength, hip flexibility, and recovery at any age.

    For your endurance-addict friends who won’t consider yoga: Racing Wisely. No poses are detailed in this book, but Sage draws on yoga philosophy and her experience as a coach and athlete to give readers tools to perform at their personal best every time.

    For your friends who teach yoga or want to, or who love a home practice: Everyday Yoga and The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga. Both are spiral bound to lie flat on your mat, and both can help you plan a class or hit your own personal needs. Everyday Yoga is also available in Spanish and German, as well as e-book format.

    All of these books are available on Amazon, at your favorite local bookseller, or direct from Sage. When you order from Sage, she’ll personally address and sign your copy. Use code VIBES for $5 off your order through December 18, 2017! Shop here

    Complement the book with a gift card to YogaVibes, where you’ll find dozens of classes with Sage, and new classes streaming every Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

  • 15 Yoga Practice Tips & Strategies for the Holidays

    Maintaining a yoga practice during the holidays can get tricky. We tend to eat heavy, drink heavy, and play heavy. Mix in kids and travel and it becomes that much more difficult to hit the mat. Yes, difficult...but not impossible.

    Here are some tips and strategies to ensure you maintain a little mat action amidst all the holiday madness:

    1. Get family members, friends, and visitors on board. Commit to a class or practice yoga at home together. You can even include the kids with this practice by Lindsey Valdez!
    2. Keep your mat unrolled on the floor at home as a reminder and invitation to practice a short asana sequence, meditation, pranayama technique, or a brief, yet blissful savasana.
    3. Read a book on Ayurveda and food. I highly recommend The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook. This book will inspire clean eating, a health-conscious lifestyle, and maybe some creativity in the kitchen.
    4. Drink warm water and lemon every morning to keep the system alkalized and promote digestion.
    5. Stay hydrated!
    6. Eat in moderation.
    7. Enjoy plenty of rest so food can digest properly.
    8. Cleanse and detox the body with some sweet, long twisting poses. Enjoy these online yoga classes, focusing on twisting postures:
    9. Inhale deeply, exhale fully. This mantra becomes especially effective if you are dealing with confrontational family members or traveling with rambunctious kids. Repeat as much as needed to remind yourself to breathe. Infuse your experience with some deep Ujjayi breathing, as well.
    10. Take extra long walks.
    11. Leave the holiday parties before things get too wild.
    12. Practice a short meditation every day to soak up the moment and facilitate stillness and calm. Enjoy our abundance of online meditation videos.
    13. Infuse some grounding restorative postures into your home sequence. Check out these short practices (under 15 minutes) for inspiration.
    14. Cut yourself some slack and have a good time with friends and family. Adjust your practice accordingly. It is just a few days out of the year, so no harm done if you break your normal patterns of practice.
    15. Lighten up, enjoy the festivities, have a restful and merry Christmas Day, and live fully in each moment.

    What practice tips and strategies do you suggest for the most wonderful time of the year?

    ~TJ

  • Holiday Travel Survival Yoga

    Cancelled flights. Packing. Long, agonizing hours of sitting. Cramped quarters... 

    All of it can take its toll.

    To help you traveling yogis survive the insanity, here are four online yoga classes specifically designed to help you recover and renew post-travel.

    • Quick Flow: Finding Support with Nathan Lowry: Find support and feel grounded as we move from standing to balancing to seated. All in under an hour! (56 mins.)
    • Balancing Vata II with Joanie Flavin: Winter is vata time. Lots of air and ether, movement and space. It can make a yogi feel out of sorts! This juicy, grounding flow will help you feel like yourself again. (80 mins.)
    • Grounding Flow with Sangeeta Vallabhan: This online Vinyasa yoga class is focused on moving with the purpose of feeling more grounded. The class begins with Sun Salutations and standing poses to get you moving, and concludes on the ground with longer holds and more basic poses to let you relax and release with more ease. Blocks may be helpful for this class with Sangeeta Vallabhan. (37 mins.)

  • Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

    If you’re in the States, Thanksgiving is the designated day to express thanks. Almost all cultures have such a day – a day reserved to realize and acknowledge the positive in life, to celebrate supportive and loving families, friends, and communities, and to embrace all the abundance such as yoga, delicious food, a safe home, and, most importantly, health and happiness. We all have something for which to be grateful. In fact, each breath is a gift – a gift to be fully received and celebrated. You are alive!

    Most of us are fortunate to have our most basic and fundamental needs met. Still though, desires and wants always creep in. There is an endless yearning for more. Sometimes, however, less is really more. Sometimes more means more headaches and pulls us further away from what truly matters: happiness, love, peace, and self-realization.

    In our desire for more, we forget to be grateful. That’s why we have a special day to remind us! Really, though, every day should be a day for giving and receiving thanks. Each day, we should express gratitude for the fact that our needs are met. Each day, we should practice contentment for all that we have in life. To quote Sheryl Crow:

    "It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you got."

    Want what ya got.

    Today, take a moment to realize all there is to be grateful for in your life. Acknowledge all the blessings you have received– a loving partner, beautiful children, a true friend, supportive parents, loving siblings, and/or a loyal pet. Be grateful for your body and breath. Be grateful that you can create your world - that you have the free will to change your life as you choose.

    To celebrate this day, here are three online yoga videos featuring practices of gratitude:

    Grateful for Good Postural Awareness with Joanie Flavin (80 mins.)

    This class explores improving the health of your shoulders by strengthening the postural muscles. In the backdrop of our physical practice we will emphasize a practice of gratitude as a means to improve our perspective and perception. Please have two blocks and a strap.

    Alchemy of the Heart: A Backbending Class with Pete Guinosso (75 mins.)

    This online yoga class will guide you in exploring the powerful practice of mindful gratitude, and how such a practice can open you to a life of grace. In this class we will utilize deep hip releases to detoxify the mind and body of negative emotions, experience heart opening backbends to learn where joy and gratitude reside in our bodies, and explore inversions to tap into our spirits' sense of playfulness. Please be sure to watch the free videos entitled - Tucking your Tail and Low Cobra, Revealed - before practicing this all levels online yoga class.

    Strong Roots = Strong Tree with Gigi Yogini (67 mins.)

    This is an invigorating online yoga class with the theme of Grounding with Gratitude. This class will activate your inner power through intention setting, core strengthening, balancing, and a fun (but challenging) tree pose flow.

    Have a beautiful day practicing gratitude! Also, (how could I forget!) enjoy a boundless supply of turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and all other delicious Thanksgiving Day delights.

    ~TJ

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