meditation

  • 10 Things to Do Without in 2018 (& Always)

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

    This year, I reviewed my list of resolutions 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 Brenna Geehan for a "Letting Go and Grounding" , a guided meditation that leads you through the practice of releasing what doesn't serve you.  (11 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!

  • THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE

    Sometimes yoga is just plain confusing. That’s why we created our “Strike a Pose” section featuring free online yoga videos designed to break down the nuts and bolts of each pose. If you haven't explored it, we highly suggest that you get on it! Because why not? It's free!

    This super useful collection of free yoga videos offers alignment tips, fiery sequences, secret yoga tricks, short meditation and breathing exercises, and even instruction for the crazy pretzel poses like these...

    crazy pretzel poses

    This section is conveniently divided into different areas of focus to help you easily find poses and sequences that you'd like to add into your growing yoga repertoire.

    Find...

    • Arm Balances + Inversions.

      Learn to strike some of the more fancy moves of the practice. Go upside down. Fly. Be crazy.

    • Meditation + Pranayama.

      Need a splash of calm? Find tips for discovering ease in meditation, short guided meditations, and breathing exercises to dive deeper into your practice.

    • Backbends + Heart Openers.

      Discover adjustments to feel more freedom in these poses. Also, find some great chest, neck, and shoulder openers.

    • Core Work.

      Sick of old school sit-ups? Check out this awesome collection of core exercises to sculpt, strengthen, and feel the burn!

    • Seated + Reclining Poses.

      Enjoy some excellent stretches and nervous system soothers to dissolve any tension you're clinging to. Explore yin yoga postures, stretching sequences for athletes, Thai Yoga instruction, and more!

    • Restoratives.

      Restoratives are deeply relaxing, hugely necessary, and often neglected. Treat your body and mind to these lovely, rejuvenating postures to complement a more intense practice.

    • Yoga Sequences.

      Find yoga warm-ups, chair yoga movements, transition demos, Exhale Spa Core Fusion exercises, advanced sequences, and more to love!

    • Yoga for Men.

      Specifically designed for men, these yoga videos cater to the unique strengths, weaknesses, and challenges you dudes face in the practice.

    • Yoga Demos.

      What is Yoga? What is Meditation? What is Mindfulness? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this set of educative online yoga videos.

    Delve into this abundance of free yoga online to give rise to a more intelligent practice!

    Photo credit: Crazy Poses via www.havaroma.com

  • 4 Yin Yoga Must-Haves for a Zensual Practice

    Yin Yoga is all about chilling out and letting gravity do the work for you. While props aren’t always required for the practice, they will certainly provide an added level of comfort and, also, offer a way to increase the powers of gravity to reach your edge (edge = that sweet place of simultaneous effort and ease in a pose). Because you are typically holding Yin poses for 3-5 minutes (or even longer!), props allow for greater muscular release and relaxation while also supporting the natural shape your body assumes in a given pose.

    shoelace pose

    The following aren't mandatory, but rather recommended luxuries, that will surely boost the Zen-factor of your Yin Yoga practice at home.

    1. Block(s). Blocks are great for bringing the floor to you. In forward folds, it’s always nice to have a block (or two) on hand to place under the forehead if you aren’t quite to the floor just yet. Recommended: 2 Wai Lana Cork Yoga Blocks.
    2. Blanket(s). Prop yourself up higher or roll them up to place under the ankles or behind the knees to make testy joints happier! Recommended: 2 Hugger Mugger Deluxe Wool Yoga Blankets.
    3. Bolster. Bolsters are also great to prop yourself up higher for seated forward folds. They come in handy for back-bending postures as well. Recommended: 1 Manduka Round Yoga Bolster AirCore.
    4. Sandbags. Sandbags in Child's Pose and Butterfly (placed on the lower back), or during reclining twists (on the top hip) can be nice to push you deeper into a pose.

    Treat yourself to these recommended indulgences at our YogaOutlet.com powered store. And after you have your props on hand, treat yourself to a lovely Yin Yoga online practice with Gigi Yogini.

    Gigi's online yoga practice is designed to prepare you for a deeper meditation practice. It's a short online yoga class intended to create more space in your body while connecting to your breath. After some brief yin yoga poses, you will practice a simple counting technique to enhance focus. This yoga video is great for first thing in the morning, a mid-day break, pre-shuteye, or whenever you need a dose of Zen.

    yin yoga videos

  • Class Review: Mantra for Meditation with Jeanne Heileman

    The deets.

    Style: Meditation + Pranayama Length: 24 minutes Intensity: Level 1 = All-Levels, Beginner Yoga Video Focus: Mantra Props: Meditation Cushion, Bolster or Block

    dhyana

    On the teacher.

    Jeanne Heileman's online yoga offerings are typically strong, with clear instruction, and set in a playful environment, focused on discovering a deeper meaning to your practice. Jeanne often threads the yogic practices of pranayama, mantra, and meditation through a flowing asana class.

    On the class.

    • Raise your vibe. Everything vibrates, either on a slow, dull level or a faster, lighter frequency. The vibration of your speech comes from the vibrations of your respiratory system, which are a result of the vibrations of your thoughts. If you can begin to control the vibrations in your mind via mantra or other modes, it can eventually ripple outward past your speech and into your actions and destiny. Powerful stuff!
    • Slow your thoughts. This meditation practice is incredibly calming. When your mind is all over the place and concentration is difficult, this is the solution.
    • Explore mantra. In this meditation, the mantra So Hum is offered. So Hum is a simple, safe, and extremely powerful mantra that works in alignment with any spiritual/religious perspective you might already follow. It is simply a concentration tool. Mantra means "vehicle of the mind." So Hum is simply a vehicle to take your mind to higher realms.
    • Need a boost? This online yoga class is perfect for those times when you feel lower in self esteem and/or lacking any outer support.

    online yoga class

    What people are saying.

    "Thank you Jeanne for this beautiful meditation practice! It is also a great reminder to feel and enjoy those small moments in between everything....will probably does this more often now!"

    "It's all good: practice Jeanne's Finding Your Inner Voice: Mantra and the Fifth Chakra Vinyasa Yoga class, this Mantra for Meditation class, or both together. I'm so calm and present that usually loquacious and mind-going-a-million-miles-a-minute me can't think of much to say! I will take that as an excellent testimony to the good effects of this meditation practice!"

    Dig this meditation? Find more healing online yoga classes with Jeanne Heileman on YogaVibes.

  • 3 Meditation Must-Haves

    dhyana

    The Fall is the ultimate season to get real about your meditation practice. Fall is an exciting, yet oftentimes unsettling time. Intense color shifts combined with temperamental weather can set the stage for our own intensity and moodiness to flare up. Meditation serves to keep all of that crazy in check. Reserving a set time daily to sit and be still subdues the excessive stimuli of the season and helps to quiet – or at the very least settle – spacey, spinning thoughts.

    There are infinite ways to spice up your meditation practice, but let's keep it simple. Here are 3 meditation must-haves to set yourself up for a grounding, sustainable meditation experience at home or when you're on-the-go.

    1. A Meditation Bolster.

      Set up a comfy seat with the highly recommended Hugger Mugger Zafu Meditation Yoga Cushion. Find this organic, quality cushion in our YogaOutlet.com powered online yoga store

    2. Essential Oil Aroma.

      Use of essential oils during meditation can promote grounding and enrich your calm. The following oils are especially lovely during meditation: Lavender (for calm), Sage (for spiritual cleansing), Rose (for balance), and Vetiver (for grounding and stabilizing). Put a couple, small drops into your palms (this stuff is crazy powerful!), rub your hands together, and then, take in a few deep breaths of the aroma before you settle into stillness. 

    3. Guidance.

      Fuzzy on how to proceed with your meditation practice at home? We’ve put together a free collection of online yoga videos offering various meditation methods. You'll find quick meditations to sharpen your focus, meditations for prosperity, and meditations to access your inner power. You'll find yoga videos debunking meditation myths and breaking down the meditation basics. All of this meditation abundance is right at your fingertips. Explore this free online yoga collection to expand your meditation horizons!

    Now that you've set the mood, all that’s left is your commitment to sit, be still, and let…it…all…go. 

    ** Image Credit: Meditation via www.dreadlockssite.com **

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