online pranayama

  • 3 Flows for Headache, Stress & Tension Relief

    We hold on to a lot of stress and tension in the head, neck, and shoulder regions of our bodies. Chronic tension and tightness in these areas, especially the neck region, can cause headaches. Overtime, tightness of the neck and shoulder muscles can shorten the ligaments of these muscles, restricting your range of motion (ROM). No bueno.

    Neck stretch What a pain in the neck...

    To ward off headaches and stress caused by tension and tightness of the head, neck, and shoulders and to maintain (even expand) your range of motion, it is important to regularly stretch and move.

    Get a move on and practice this new online yoga class with Gigi Yogini – a Shoulders, Neck and Head Practice to Relieve Tension. Practice the simple exercises instructed in this online yoga flow to open up and relax your shoulders, neck, and head. Experience stress relief. Combat potential headaches.

    Gigi Yogini

    Another sure way to outsmart headaches, stress and tension is to take on a detox practice. Toxins are all around you – in your food, in the air, in the water, etc. While your body is equipped with its own detox system, it can become rundown after repeated exposure to toxins and chronic stress. When shut down occurs, the toxins stay put in your body. Rather than release, they find refuge in adipose tissue (fat cells). Once they reside in your fat cells, they become a nuisance, running down your body’s natural defense system. Headaches (among other unfortunate conditions) may result.

    The solution? Practice cleansing and detoxifying flows to cleanse out all the crap, reset your body’s defense system, and ease any mental stress caused by the physical pangs. Upon the release of all this toxic waste, you will feel revitalized, vigorous, and wholesome. Ahhhh...

    To sweat out and let loose all of the toxic junk, try this detox class with Ashley Turner – an Invigorating Morning Flow. In this online yoga practice, you will wring out every corner of your body. Leave the practice feeling energized, cleansed, clear, and awake for your day ahead.

    Ashley Turner

    A final way to ease headaches, tension, and stress is through deep relaxation and calming breathing exercises. Try this amazingly rejuvenating online yoga class with yoga master, Sri Dharma Mittra: Yoga Nidra - Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method. Dharma Mittra teaches that stress is the number one cause of injury and illness, and that we must explore methods to keep balanced and joyful in the thick of everyday life. Guided Relaxation removes tension and fatigue in the physical body, relieves depression and anxiety, relieves headaches, reduces cravings and desires, rejuvenates and energizes the entire system, bolsters the body's natural healing capacities, and normalizes the circulatory system's functioning. You will be guided into a state of deep relaxation where the breathing and the thoughts are slowed almost to the point of stopping, which can be as restorative as a full night's sleep.

    Sri Dharma Mittra

    Move about. Stretch. Sweat. Chill. Breathe in, breathe out. Seems like the perfect curative cocktail for headaches, stress, and tension to me!


    Photo Credit:

  • Weekend Challenge: Use the Breath

    The breath gives way to power, presence, and peace. The breath can be used to access the life you want to create and the reactions you want to create. During experiences of stress, anxiety, discomfort, anger, and intensity, you can turn to your breath to achieve calm and escape undesirable external circumstances.

    You learn to breathe on the mat to create an asana experience of fluidity and ease. In the practice, the breath is your greatest teacher. Yet, its significance extends beyond the realm of your mat. The breath can be used anytime and anywhere to create that same experience of fluidity and ease.

    Easy Seat

    Ujjayi pranayama and other forms of pranayama may be used at any point to bring calm and help you control your responses to stress triggers. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, the breath comes into play constantly. As you become more conscious of it, you become better able to change your experiences and emotional responses. As you become more connected to your breath, you can allow this innate teacher to actually teach you.

    Take time this weekend to honor the breath, the prana, by practicing some online pranayama exercises. Prana, the life-force, is responsible for keeping us alive. The root ‘yama’ means breath expansion and 'ayama' means breath restraint. Pranayama, then, is the practice of breath restraint and breath expansion. In this practice, you use your breath as a concentration tool - an internal mantra. In time, and with regular pranayama practice, your mind will develop supreme concentration. In this place of pure concentration, all turnings or thoughts of the mind will temporary stop. Ahhhh...sweet liberation!

    Explore the following free online pranayama videos this weekend. These breathing techniques are highly accessible and only require a few minutes of your time:

    Use the breath to overcome fear, nervousness, and stress. Use the breath to open the door to poise, peace, and power. Use the breath drop in and let go.


  • A Meditation That Could Change Your Life

    “Whatever great thing is known to men is known through meditation…the whole earth, middle space, the heaven, waters and even mountains are engaged in Dhyana.” ~Chandogya Upanishad

    Meditation (Dhyana) is the 7th limb on the 8-limbed path that is Ashtanga Yoga.

    Easy Seat + Mudra

    When you enter a truly meditative state, your mind is perfectly concentrated. In this state of pure concentration, the mind is free from all distractions. Nothing fills your mental space but that of supreme focus. Have you ever reached this state?

    If you don’t have a consistent meditation practice, you will (probably) never reach this elated and profound place. Meditation requires discipline and dedication.

    To help attain Dhyana, you must practice all limbs of yoga: Asana (physical postures), Yama and Niyama (pure lifestyle, morals, and values), Pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses), Pranayama (breath control), and Dharana (concentration). Practice and perfection of these 6 limbs will enrich and enhance your meditation practice. Once mastered, you will be able to attain Dhyana or “perfect concentration.”

    It's also, of course, just as important to practice meditation regularly. But where do you start?

    Start with the following online meditation class - an integration of Pranayama and Tantric techniques. It is recommended that you practice this meditation everyday for 30 day to really experience its powerful, transforming benefits. I challenge you to reserve a space for this potentially life-changing online meditation.

    Anahata: Finding the Lightness of the Heart with Jeanne Heileman - The quality of the Heart Chakra is Air, yet most of us do not feel as though our hearts could be as light as air. This online yoga class will help transform your perspective to the positive energy and region within the heart. You will be guided through a specific Pranayama exercise called Viloma that moves the breath against the grain of what is comfortable, to create expansion and strength in the lungs and heart. Jeanne will then guide you on a journey deep within the heart, using Tantric techniques she has learned from her master teacher, that can help you find a beauty and deep love that dwells at the darkest cave of the heart. This online meditation can be a life-changer if done for 30 days in a row. Have a blanket available if you like to sit on one during meditation. (24 mins.)

    Jeanne Heileman Yoga

    May you discover great things and beautiful change through this awesome online yoga offering.


  • Shift Into Happiness



    What is it? Where does it come from? How is it sustained?

    In our modern, media obsessed world, the idea of happiness is pretty warped. We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities portraying their version of happiness in the form of things and lavishness. We see our friends obsessively documenting their happiness through Facebook and other social media channels. In light of all this “happiness”, it’s easy to think that “Hey, my life sucks.” It’s easy to think that you’ve been cheated - that the universe is depriving you of the happiness that others are experiencing in abundance. It’s easy to get down on yourself and feel like you are lacking in the happiness department.

    I'm Happy

    It’s important to avoid getting sucked into this trap of negative, destructive thinking. How do you resist spiraling into a fictional tale of woe is me? It’s pretty simple. Think happy thoughts. Recall happy memories. Grace your face with a smile. Finally, hit your mat to create happiness in the body. Happiness in the body creates happiness in the mind.

    Super simple solutions, right? Yes, simple, but not easy.

    When we feel unhappy, we naturally turn to dark thoughts. We ruminate over reasons why our lives suck, which only enhance this unhappiness. In order to be happy, you gotta resist the temptation into darkness and shift your perception. Instead of sinking and feeling low, pull from your past pool of happiness. Laugh. Hit your mat. Crack a smile. The brain will respond in such a way that inspires happiness.

    Gracing your face with a smile is a powerful tool to create happiness. The act of a smile automatically triggers your brain to produce happy chemicals. Plus, smiles are contagious. Put one on your face and you’re bound to brighten someone’s day.

    So, I’m basically suggesting that you fake it until you can make it. I’m urging you to trick your brain into happiness. Overtime, this trickery will transform your brain set point. Your brain will learn how to create its own happiness.

    Real happiness, then, takes constant practice to master. It’s not enough to have an abundance of material things and the experience of lavishness and adventure. It’s not enough to litter your Facebook wall with all these awesome places you’ve been and awesome things you’ve done. That’s all fleeting. It’s not sustainable happiness.

    To practice some happiness, turn to this lovely online yoga video - a throat chakra opening class - with Gigi Yogini. This playful yoga offering explores mantra and affirmative singing to bring smiles and maybe even laughter. It’s a great online yoga practice to enjoy first thing in the morning to energize and set a happy tone for your day.

    Throat Chakra Opener with Gigi Yogini

    Set an intention to shift into sustainable happiness.

    And...Keep smiling!


    Photo Credit: I'm Happy via

  • Burn Away Negative Mental Impressions

    We all come from a unique past. From the moment we were born (even before that), we began accumulating mental impressions of our worlds. In yoga, the negative mental impressions we accumulate are called samskaras. A teacher once described samskaras to me as being scars of the soul. They are the painful past experiences that we have all struggled through that leave scars or negative mental impressions behind. These scars or impressions lead to patterns of behavior or thought that dictate our present and future actions – actions that may or may not serve us.


    For example: My sister hated (still hates) purple fruit loops. She must have consumed one stale purple fruit loop and deemed the rest of the purple fruit loop population as tainted. For the remainder of her childhood, she handpicked out the purple fruit loops. Repeatedly, I reminded her that they all tasted exactly the same – that the only changed variable was the color. She didn’t buy it. Convinced, she continued to pick out the purples. She allowed just one purple fruit loop experience gone wrong to scar her for life. That scarred experience was enough to steer her completely away from all future purple fruit loop contact.

    Weird, right? Amusing, too. The thing is, we all struggle with negative impressions, sometimes in more severe ways. We allow "bad" past experiences to taint our present and future experiences. We allow our scars to haunt and guide us. Yes, we are just trying to protect our well-being. At the same, however, we may be closing ourselves off to things that might actually bring us joy. Who knows…maybe my sister would have really enjoyed purple fruit loops.

    The path of yoga is beautiful because, gradually, yoga delivers us from the pain and struggle of the past. In time, yoga burns away those negative impressions, smooths over those scars, and teaches us to expand our awareness so we aren’t so consumed and crushed by experiences of the past. Yoga constantly teaches and reminds us to see what is, and not what was.

    Sure, you can never fully leave the past behind. Those scars are there. Those scars make up a part of who you are in this moment. Those scars take lots of time and lots of work to get over. You gotta do the work. You gotta put in the time. With a consistent and diligent yoga practice, you can burn away those negative impressions. Of course, it’s hard work. It’s painful work. It’s everything you want to avoid. Yet, it’s so liberating. To do the work means uncovering a world of new experiences and a more joyful, content, and receptive you.

    To start the work, practice an amazing online meditation video with Jeanne Heileman: The Radiance of Your Inner Fire - According to Tantra, we have two fires in our belly. One, Jathara Agni, is needed to help us digest our food and process emotion. The other, Bhuta Agni, is a spiritual fire that burns our negative karmas, samskaras, and helps us access the Divine energy that dwells within us. This is why some spiritual souls are so bright: their inner fire is shining. This online meditation begins with Nadi Sodhana and Pranna Shuddhi, to access the Third Eye, the eye that sees what we are meant to see. This Inner Light moves down to the Manipura Chakra where you are invited to feel the power of your inner flame and perhaps, become that flame. When we do this, we can be the light for others. (21 mins.)

    Meditation Video

    Don’t miss out on the purple fruit loop stuff of life.


    Photo Credit: Scars via

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