free yoga videos

  • Bring in the Spring: 10 Tips to Shift into the Season

    Today marks the official dawn of spring! Sure, it may not feel very spring-like. It snowed in North Carolina last week, and I know it's still cold in a lot of places. Winter is sometimes slow to release her chilly grip. Even still, I know spring is upon us. The sun feels a bit warmer when it touches my skin. The days are brighter. The energy is up! Yes, yogis, spring is here. Even if it hasn’t made itself totally obvious yet.

    Since we are seasonally shifting, it’s important to make some minor lifestyle changes. It’s time to let go of your wintery ways and change in accordance with the season to stay balanced and happy!

    Spring is a season of warmth, moisture, and softness. The heat from the sun is now awakening the vibrancy and beauty of all life that was lying dormant during winter (including yourself, perhaps). Even so, this season can be problematic for some. Spring is also a season of colds, sinus congestion, and allergies. To avoid these typical spring occurrences, it’s important to emphasize internal spring cleaning.

    Spring Guidelines:

    1. Eat a lighter diet.
    2. Take on some sort of cleansing program. Kitchari cleanses are a really nourishing way to cleanse while still getting plenty of food.
    3. Start to wake up earlier. Rise with the sun!
    4. Declutter and rearrange your space to best support yourself in this season. What do you use, what do you need each day? What can be donated, sold, or put away until it gets cold out again?
    5. Say goodbye to all napping unless you're sick or pregnant. I'm serious. Napping causes stagnation.
    6. As it really begins to heat up, take measures to keep cool. Practice cooling forms of yoga, such as yin yoga. (Sort by style and find all of our online yin yoga classes). Practice cooling forward folds. Take a refreshing dip.
    7. Take time to appreciate the reawakening of nature. Take nature walks. Go on a long hike. Take your laptop or tablet outside and practice yoga outdoors. Observe all the new life emerging. New sprouts. New blooms and blossoms. New, vibrant energy. Embrace it all!
    8. Since there will be a lot of action going on outside, set aside time for introspective activities, such as meditation or writing. We offer an awesome collection of online meditation classes. Please check them out! Reserve time for stillness.
    9. Do some emotional housekeeping and cleaning. How are you feeling? Are you holding on to anything you should be releasing? Are you happy? Self-reflect.
    10. Practice detoxifying, renewing yoga classes. Think twists, twists, and more twists. To find all of our twisting online yoga flows, sort by Focus.

    Spring these balancing tips into action. Be full of the joys of spring.

  • 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

  • Saddle Pose with Jennifer Beyt Coffin

    This week’s Strike a Pose yoga video is brought to you by Jennifer Beyt Coffin of The Glowing Body yoga studio in Knoxville, TN. In this free online yoga video, Jennifer will walk you through Saddle Pose – a yin yoga posture resembling Supta Virasana (Relining Hero Pose).

    Saddle Pose

    Saddle Pose can be a tricky yin posture because it is a fairly deep backbend. In this pose, you will deliberately apply pressure to the lumbar spine, which, for some, may feel like murder. For folks suffering from lower back pain, SI joint pain, and/or flattening or degeneration of the lumbar spine, the full expression of Saddle Pose may be problematic.

    Fortunately, there are many pose alternatives and options you can explore in Saddle to reap the long-term benefits. In this online yoga video, Jennifer will run-through these variations, which rely on the usage and support of bolsters, blankets, and blocks. So, make sure you have these handy before you begin your exploration.

    When you determine your edge and settle in, this pose can feel oh-so-delicious. As a total front body stretch, this pose is super beneficial to athletes and people who do lots of standing or walking. Connective tissue stimulation is felt in front body. The quads and hip flexors will be stretched. Pressure stimulation around the SI joints will create a deep opening in the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine. Sweet, sweet expansion!

    But remember: If the knees, ankles, SI joints, or lower spine protest, it’s very important to back off and prop up. As Jennifer says, “Don’t deny yourself the prop. Please!” Be okay with where you are at and accept your physical limitations. If you feel any sharp or burning pain, your body is signaling you to take it easy. Don’t create murder on your spine. Just don’t.

    Once you find your appropriate edge - your place of comfort - it is recommended that you hold Saddle for one to five minutes. Iyengar recommends 15 minutes. For most, this long of a hold will be too intense at this stage in the game. Consider it a goal.

    With time and practice, Saddle Pose has the potential to re-establish the natural curvature of the lumbar-sacral arch of the spine if any flattening or degeneration has occurred. It’s also a great pose to maintain the natural curvature of the spine and to simultaneously stretch and work many areas of the body: the tops of the ankles, the knee caps, the hips, quads, hip flexors, lower back, and upper chest (if you bring your arms up).

    Simply lay back, relax, and enjoy the stretch.

    Want a great bolster? Sign up for our annual subscription, and get a hand crafted bolster from Inner Space as your gift! Or you can take a look at all of Jennifer's creations at innerspaceyoga.net

    Saddle Pose

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Saddle Pose via www.therawyogini.blogspot.com

  • Strike A Pose: Warrior I with Weights

    Virabhadrasana I

    This week’s strike-a-pose yoga video is brought to you by Danielle Diamond, founder of Xen Strength Yoga with Weights. In this free online yoga video, you will first explore a traditional Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) pose to learn the general alignment. After your Warrior I is aligned and solid, you’ll approach a more innovative way to practice this asana by adding in light hand weights.

    As you practice this Warrior I exercise with weights, you’ll receive all of the benefits of your classic Warrior I pose including:

    • Stronger shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles

    • A stronger core and back

    • Greater openness in the hips, chest, and lungs

    • Enhanced focus, balance, and stability

    • Increased circulation and respiration

    • A lovely stretch in the arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groins (psoas), and ankles

    • Boosted energy throughout the entire body

    When you amp it up with weights, you’ll receive all of that goodness, plus extra benefits, including greater strength in the core and upper body. Amp up your Warrior I to mix things up, challenge yourself, and boost your strength.

    Go at it, warriors!

    yoga with weights

    Dig this online yoga video with Danielle Diamond? Check out more of her free yoga videos and full-length Xen Strength yoga classes online at YogaVibes.com.

    Photo Credit: Warrior I www.ahimsatribe.com

     

  • Strike A Pose: Warrior II with Weights

    virabhadrasana II

    This week’s strike-a-pose yoga video is brought to you by Danielle Diamond, founder of Xen Strength Yoga with Weights. In this free online yoga video, you will first explore a traditional Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) pose to learn the correct alignment. After your Warrior II is aligned and solid, you’ll approach a more innovative way to practice this asana...

    Meet Warrior II pose with weights.

    Ugh, I know...as if Warrior II weren’t hard enough, right? Well, because we never want to see you bored or slacking, we like to offer you unique ways to up the ante.

    As you practice this Warrior II exercise with weights, you’ll receive all of the benefits of your standard Warrior II including:

    • Enhanced concentration
    • Better balance and stability
    • Increased circulation
    • More openness in the hips, groins and shoulders
    • Stronger legs, ankles and feet
    • Expansion in the chest and lungs
    • Boosted energy (This pose is great to counter sluggishness!)
    • Abdominal organ stimulation (Lots of core engagement going on here!)

    When you add in weights, you’ll receive all of that goodness, plus build muscle in the upper body to get stronger and more sculpted. That’s a lot of awesomeness coming out of one pose.

    Okay, yogis. There’s your cue to bring out a pair of light hand weights and take a shot at this strengthening online yoga exercise.

    yoga with weights

    Dig this online yoga video with Danielle Diamond? Check out more of her free yoga videos and full-length Xen Strength yoga classes online at YogaVibes.com. 

    Photo Credit: Warrior II via www.beyoutifulliving.com

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