online pranayama

  • 10 Things to Keep in Mind While Doing Yoga

    No two yoga classes are alike; however, there are things to keep in mind during most yoga sessions. We hear these things mentioned all the time at the yoga studio or in an online yoga class, but sometimes they go right over our heads. There’s so much to keep in mind throughout the practice, it can be hard to fully digest everything we should be doing to enhance our yoga experience.

    So, we are gonna break it down. Here’s a little review for you all with some free online yoga videos I encourage you to explore.

    1. Breathe. Cultivate Ujjayi breathing.
    2. Keep a soft gaze.
    3. Find a focus point in each pose i.e. gaze at the tip of your nose in Tree Pose, the middle finger in Warrior II(just don’t give someone the middle finger), the front of your mat in Plank, etc.

      Warrior II focus point. Gaze over the middle finger.
    4. Turn that frown upside down. Sustain a subtle smile to relax the jaw and muscles of the face.

      Smile in your yoga practice!!
    5. Relax your toes. No gripping the mat.
    6. Activate the three body locks: the root lock (ineloquently, the bathroom muscles), the belly lock (drawing the navel back to the spine), and the chin lock (chin to chest).
    7. Spread ‘em…the toes I mean. Keep the toes and feet active. The feet are between a point and a flex – a floint.

      Spread them toesies.
    8. Let go. Forget about what happened before the practice and what will happen after. Once you step on the mat, be in the moment.
    9. Listen to your body’s signals. Modify a pose if it feels painful. Never, ever push through pain.
    10. Rest. No one expects you to be a yoga beast day in and day out. Be where you are. If that's in Child’s Pose from time to time, so be it. Take breathers. Then, reboot.

    Get super familiar with these things. It’s a lot to consider, I know, so just do what you can. Use each practice to experiment with one of the above. Set an intention to explore one piece of the yoga puzzle. Eventually, you will naturally integrate all the pieces together in a beautiful, seamless way. Until then, practice, practice, practice until it all becomes instinctive. Because, eventually, it will.

    ~TJ

  • Why You Should Cheat on Your Yoga Practice (and Feel Good About It)

    I catch wind of a voluminous amount of yoga blunders. Here’s a sampling.

    Don’t drink coffee. Don’t eat meat. Don’t watch TV. Don’t have a potty mouth. Don’t listen to indecent tunes. Don’t eat ice cream. Don’t eat cheese. Actually, just don’t eat dairy. Don’t eat fried foods. Don’t eat anything processed. Don’t go to bed late. Don’t oversleep. Don’t get caught up in material stuff. Don’t seek pleasure. Don’t strut your stuff in heels. Don’t use make-up, lotion, soap, and any product that is not naturally and/or organically produced. Don’t ever show your teacher the bottoms of your feet (unless you want to make an ass of yourself). Don’t run. Don’t lift weights. Just don’t.

    Don't do that!

    Look, a part of me gets it. A part of me even abides by some of the above. For some, yoga is all about liberating oneself from unwanted baggage, destruction, noise, and routines that bring us down. Some desire a deep cleanse in mind, body, and spirit. And that’s great. For others, yoga is a way to de-stress and relax. For some, it’s just about getting in better shape. For athletes, it’s about complementing their workout. We all have different intentions for our yoga practice. Maybe a part of the process of meeting your personal goals means that you decide that running, meat, or coffee isn’t serving you. Or maybe you realize these things aren’t even issues for you. Maybe they’re even serving you.

    When I first caught wind of the yoga “rules”, I decided to rule out all the "no-nos." Coffee was out. Green, ghastly drinks were in. Meat was out. Raw foods were in (along with digestive malfunctions). Lady Gaga was out. Krishna Das was in. Ice cream was out. Raw milkshakes were in. Cheese was out. Imitation, barely edible cheese was in. Running was out. Just yoga was in. And so forth.

    Honestly, I didn’t feel any better. Quite frankly, I missed my morning cup of joe, the running highs, and Lady Gaga. Clearly, altering my whole lifestyle and giving up things that made me feel good and alive did not serve me. I did, however, learn that I really do love Krishna Das and raw milkshakes.

    So, I went back to my old, naughty ways (with some exceptions). Sometimes, in class, I wondered if the teacher could smell the coffee or bacon sweating out of my pores. Did she know that I was singing Paparazzi in my head? Did she smell the toxic chemicals emanating from my Versace perfumed skin? Did she grasp the image of me strutting my stuff like Carrie Bradshaw, elevated in heels and robed in my brand conscious clothing? Wait a second. Did she even care? Answer: Nope.

    Busted for a Yoga Blunder.

    Honestly, people don’t care what you do (as long as it’s not harming anyone or anything, of course!). People do, however, love to tell you what to do. Why? Well, usually, they’ve realized that what they’re practicing/preaching works brilliantly for them, so obviously, it will work for you and the next person. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. My advice (and of course, take this with a grain of salt, because I’m just sayin’ it works for me): Do what works for you. Do what serves you.

    To figure out what serves you requires experimentation. So experiment.

    If your intention for practicing is to detox, test out this new Cleansing and Heart Opening Flow with Hala Khouri. If your purpose is to de-stress and chill, check out the latest online Pranayama and Meditation class with Annie Carpenter. If you’re an athlete seeking additional training, play with Sage Rountree’s Yoga for Athletes. If your intention is to get in tiptop shape, get sweaty with YogaVibes' online Core Fusion classes. Craft your yoga at home experience to meet your intentions.

    If you realize along the way, that hey, something you are doing isn’t serving you, well, cut it out! On the flip side, if you realize you genuinely enjoy partaking in some of the “no-nos”, by all means, partake! If something makes you feel good, and if it serves you and your intentions, “cheat” away. And feel good about it.

    ~TJ

     

     

     

     

     

  • Coming Soon: YogaVibes Streams Free Yoga Videos with Roku

    Own a Roku box? If you do, we’ve got some killer news for you. If you don’t, maybe you’ll want to. Why? Because, now, you can stream YogaVibes classes on the TV! YogaVibes is partnering with Roku. Ruko connects to a television via a Wi-Fi network instantly, allowing you yoga curious students to stream YogaVibes’ material on the big screen, right at home.

    YogaVibes will release all of its instructional “Strike a Pose” yoga videos and one featured full-length yoga class per week on the YogaVibes streaming channel – all FREE.

    If you aren’t familiar already, the “Strike a Pose” yoga videos break down poses into simple, easy to follow steps, helping you to learn the nuts and bolts of a pose. If you haven’t yet, explore this collection of free online yoga videos for alignment tips, inspirational sequences, and secret yoga tricks! Also, find short meditation and breathing exercises to calm the mind and body. The “Strike a Pose” series serves beginner students desiring to learn more, and advanced yoga practitioners seeking review and more intelligence in a pose. Here’s a good one with Kathryn Budig, transporting you from Warrior II to Handstand. Strike it rich in your yoga practice.

    Warrior II to Handstand

    The first, full-length featured class will be a 23-minute all levels, easy-to-follow, and gratifyingly hellish core flow, appropriately entitled “Core Hell.” Annie Carpenter will push you to the next level in your practice, inspiring you to practice repetition to enhance strength and form more self-supporting habits. Uniting breath work, body locks, and core engagement exercises, this class is super invigorating, and if practiced regularly, will surely tone and strengthen your body.

    YogaVibes is super excited to offer you the opportunity to stream online yoga videos right from the Roku box to your TV, providing you more opportunity to explore and practice yoga in the comfort of home.

    For a limited time only, access a pre-release version to get a taste of YogaVibes on the tube. So, test it out. Flip on the telly. Unfold your mat. Strike a pose. Sweat. Unwind.

    ~TJ

     

     

  • YogaVibes’ Top 5 Trending Classes

    In case you haven’t noticed, summer has arrived. Maybe, for you, summer marks the pleasant commencement of beach bumming, sunbathing, wave riding, and cocktail sipping. Maybe summer is far from that lovely, utopian description. Let’s be real, summer can be overwhelming (not to mention, hot as hell). Its high energy can set the stage for anxiety and stress. Suddenly, bikini season snuck up on you without warning, the kids are off from school and bugging you relentlessly, family vacations launch with ensuing chaos, and your “me time” moments are few and far between. Luckily, in the midst of all the summer madness, you’ve got yoga.

    YogaVibes’ top 5 trending online yoga classes are summertime conditioning. Prep your body with core exercises, toning movements, and cardio. Prep your mind with relaxation methods, breath awareness techniques, and guided meditation. Dive into summer with these revitalizing yoga classes. Create your “me time” moments at home, on the beach, at the pool, on vacation – whenever and wherever!

    1. Nemeses with Sage Rountree Obliterate obstacles. This 73-minute class, geared toward athletes and appropriate for everyone, explores common yogic nemeses: poses that frustrate. In this all levels Vinyasa flow, find more freedom in Warrior I, fly into crow, open effortlessly into camel, and experiment with totally letting go in corpse pose. Along the way, build strength, increase flexibility, enhance focus, and develop the equanimity to approach all poses, feared and loved.

    2. Core Hell with Annie Carpenter Set your core on fire! This 23-minute all levels, easy-to-follow core flow is gratifyingly hellish. Annie Carpenter will push you to the next level in your practice, inspiring you to practice repetition to enhance strength and form more self-supporting habits. Uniting breath work, body locks, and core engagement exercises, this class is super invigorating, and if practiced regularly, will surely tone and strengthen the body, especially the midsection.

    3. Core Fusion Barre (1) with Julie Wiesman Tighten up. Fusing the disciplines of core conditioning, Pilates, the Lotte Berk Method, and yoga, this highly acclaimed transformational fitness experience incorporates 50 years of collective teacher expertise. This 58-minute core routine allows you to work from the inside out, consistently delivering results, including washboard abs, a tighter and higher backside, and a perfectly toned body. This class is open to all levels and no experience is required. Note: Socks are required.

    4. Pranayama and Meditation with Annie Carpenter Feeling frazzled? Try this out. Guided relaxation, breath awareness, and timed ujjayi give way to a peaceful meditation using the transitory nature of the breath as an anchor. Enjoy 57 minutes of stillness and serenity.

    5. Core Fusion Cardio (2) with Nicole Uribarri Need a good ass kicking? Core Fusion® Cardio is a calorie burning, sweat inducing, body sculpting, power-packed fitness experience, masterminded by the co-creators of Core Fusion®, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito. Merging cardio with intense strength and flexibility exercises, this 54-minute online class generates maximum calorie burn, resulting in defined abs, sculpted legs, and high, rounded glutes. In this practice, it’s a good idea to have a set of light dumbbells and a strap on hand.

    Don’t let the summertime blues get you down. Just get down with yoga.

    - TJ

  • The Cell Phone Police Won't Bother You at Home

    I had a new experience today. New is not always good. This experience reminded me of one of the benefits of practicing yoga at home.

    Curious?

    I was trying out a new studio, and arrived early. I signed in, set up my mat, and waited for the class to start, chatting with other students. The teacher was deep in conversation with a friend. She began class without introduction, mentioned not leaving the room for any reason (which I found odd - what if I have to pee?), and, just as we eased into our first downward facing dog, came over to my mat.

    And picked up my cell phone.

    Now, I know that there are widely varying policies about phones in class. Some studios have a strict no-phone policy. Some just ask you to silence them. Some are pretty breezy and, if a phone sounds in class, the teacher jokes and helps the student feel at ease about their oversight. However, I have never practiced in a studio in which nothing was posted or mentioned about a policy if there was one, and I've never had a teacher break into my practice.

    I was shocked.

    She said, "I need to take this. You can't have this in here." I said, "I need it because of my daughter..." She insisted, "You can't have this in here." I said, "Then I'll have to leave." And I did.

    These sorts of things don't happen if you're practicing at home with YogaVibes!

    To be clear, had we had any interaction prior to class about the phone policy, I would have made other arrangements for the reason I needed to keep my phone available. But we hadn't. So, when she picked up my phone, I had to either choose to stay and be unavailable, or leave.

    When I got home, I emailed her to tell her how that had felt. Her reply was condescending, defensive, dismissive, and lengthy. Evidently, my attachments are holding me ransom. Oh my!

    After an experience like that, it's nice to check in with a calm, respected teacher. A teacher like Annie Carpenter.

    Maybe your day didn't include a scolding, but I'm sure we could all use a few minutes to relax, breathe, and sit. So, my friends, I suggest for you today this lovely practice with Annie in your home, and feel free to have your cell close by. Or not. It's your choice.

    ~MA

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