online pranayama

  • The Pranic Body: What It Is & How to Keep It Strong

    If you’ve taken a yoga class, you may have heard of the Pranic Body. When I first heard of this Pranic Body, I honestly had no idea what the teacher was talking about. I figured it was related to prana or pranayama. That much I did have right. The Pranic Body does in fact hold and circulate prana – the life-force or the breath. Kundalini yoga teaches that each human being has 10 bodies and not just one. The Pranic Body is your 8th body.

    When you have a strongly developed Pranic Body, you enjoy an abundance of vitality, energy, and health. This is because there is a deep connection between the Pranic Body and the Physical Body. The Physical Body acts as a vehicle that receives and circulates the prana. Thus, when the Pranic Body is strong, the Physical Body is strong. When the Pranic Body is compromised, the Physical Body is compromised.

    When you have a strong Pranic Body you are fearless, fully alive, and at one with all. Nothing can shake you. You are self-motivated and have the energy necessary to fully realize your goals. When you have a weak Pranic Body, you experience persistent anxiety and chronic fatigue. You may seek food or other stimulants for energy. You may experience fear and always be on the defense. Based on this, how do you think your Pranic Body is holding up? Does it need some work?

    To strengthen and balance the Pranic Body, it helps to adopt a regular pranayama practice. In other words, devote some time to just breathe. I think we all can manage to set aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to breathe. Any breathing technique will do: Alternate Nostril Breathing, Breath of Fire, Ujjayi Pranayama, Viloma Breathing, etc. Begin studying and practicing different forms of pranayama online to discover which one works best for you.

    Another way to fortify the Pranic Body is to face and overcome your fears. Breath and fear are strongly related. For example, in a state of panic or upset do you find yourself holding your breath? Does your breathing become irregular and frantic? This surge of fear and anxiety may also arise when practicing a challenging form of pranayama. Some forms ask you to hold your breath for a set period of time, which may induce fear and panic.

    Fear, however, does not serve us. It clouds the human experience. It prevents us from realizing our fullest potential. Therefore, we must kick fear to the curb. One effective way to do so is to learn how to breathe through fear, discomfort, and anxiety. If we can learn the art of pranayama we can begin to train our brains to breathe and remain calm in the face of a storm.

    Chanting mantra is another way to strengthen the Pranic Body. Choose a mantra that honors the breath – the universal life-force of prana. Use Om Pranaya Namaha.

    If you think your Pranic Body could use a little extra work, check out these online yoga videos featuring flows that strengthen and balance the Pranic Body.

    Kripalu Yoga: Pranic Flow with Taj Paxton

    This online yoga class is designed to open your chakras and free your energy. Have a block available, if possible. (25 mins.)

    Breathing for More Energy with Gigi Yogini

    If you are feeling low on energy, sad or (gasp) angry, here's an empowering and transformational breathing technique that will open your heart, help you find your voice and connect you to your core strength. Warning: This online yoga practice might not be suitable if you are pregnant or on your cycle. (17 mins.)

    Power Hour: Build Charisma & Inhabit Your Full Potential with Ashley Turner

    Build charisma and intuition. This creative, expansive flow stretches your awareness and interior spaces to realize your fullest potential. Focus on widening the physical and pranic bodies in every direction to take up more space and strengthen your aura. Using the mantra "I AMPLIFY IN STILLNESS." In this online yoga class, generate the x-factor of charisma and extend your sphere of influence. (64 mins.)

    Honor the breath. Honor your breath. Through it, you can start to heal, transform, and realize your fullest potential.

    ~TJ

  • 3 Self-Supporting Flows to Keep You Grounded

    I’ll say it once, and I’ll undoubtedly say it again: This glorious time of holiday cheer can be completely nuts! Though it may be, we don’t want you driving yourself completely nuts in all the madness. We’d like to see you keep your calm amidst the holly jolly folly. Happily, there’s a pretty awesome resource at your service.

    Getting Grounded with Yoga via Atha Yoga

    Enter yoga online.

    Stay grounded and cool this holiday season with the help of these awesome yoga videos:

    • End of Day Pranayama and Restorative Flow with Joan Hyman (15 minutes) Wind down at the end of your day with a light pranayama practice to soothe your nervous system and help you relax. This new online yoga class is open to all levels, so click and come on in! Be sure to have a blanket on hand.
    • Get Grounded with Joan Hyman (50 minutes) This standing pose sequence is a great online yoga practice to offset your upcoming holiday travels. It offers a delicious stretching component to release tension stored in the legs and body. It also promotes grounding in the feet. This online Vinyasa yoga class welcomes all levels. So, yogis of all experience are invited to practice this awesome flow to drive out negative accumulations stored in the body and mind. Enjoy a restorative sequence at the end to replenish and restore.
    • Meditation: Getting Grounded with Jeanne Heileman (30 minutes) I highly recommend you catch this lovely online meditation class. Life is so uncertain during the holiday season and beyond. The instability of the present and future are related to the Root Chakra, Muladhara Chakra. When we get stressed, fearful, angry, and struggle with the constant changes, we naturally start to pull away from the ground and move the tension to higher areas. This online meditation gets you rooted into your body and mind. It draws out negativity, releasing it in a safe manner. You are left feeling grounded, stable, and solid. This is a great meditation to do in troubling or stressful times.

    Support yourself this holiday season. Make your mental, physical, and spiritual health a top priority. Practice yoga at home to guide and support you. Commit yourself to radical self-care and self-love.

    ~TJ

  • 10 Yoga Poses to Bring on Your Travels

    Having just completed 12 days of wandering around Europe, I can attest, firsthand, how difficult it can be to factor in even a short yoga practice. Yoga online is definitely a practice savior. I managed to squeeze in the Jivamukti Spiritual Warrior class a couple times with Hollie Sue Mann. This online yoga class is awesome! You get a little sampling of it all - asana, warm-up, chanting, setting of intention, surya namaskar, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, inversions, meditation, and relaxation. The works! Yet, on days where an hour long practice wasn't going to happen, I still made it my duty to get in some yoga. So, I ran through a sweet, self-created cocktail of yoga poses.

    Downward Facing Dog

    When I create a short sequence, I find that setting the timer on my phone or setting a breath count helps to establish some structure and goals for the practice. It also awards a great sense of accomplishment for having matched your goals. Don't hate on structure and strategy. In fact, you gotta have it for your practices' growth and well-being. Structure and discipline will drive you forward. You don't want to cheat yourself! We are reaching for our highest potential here...not trying to find an easy way out.

    Below, find the yoga cocktail complete with free online yoga videos for many of the poses recommended. Feel free to improvise. For example, I like to sprinkle in my favorite poses or throw into the mix some handstand practice. As always, have fun with your practice!

    1. Child's Pose. I prefer Wide-Legged Child's Pose. All that walking, running around, and stress can really tighten up the muscles, especially the psoas. Therefore, I find Wide-Legged Child's Pose to be a bit more gentle and, also, very yummy for the hips. (Hold 2-5 minutes).
    2. Downward Facing Dog. Oh, what a glorious stretch! Expand and lengthen the back body and give the backs of the legs the sweet stretch and release they have been begging for. (Hold 2-5 minutes).
    3. Plank. You don't want to lose all the strength that you've built up thanks to your regular practice. That's where plank comes into play. Do Plank to maintain your power. If you make it to 5 minutes, you get a gold star. (Hold 2-5 minutes).
    4. Sphinx, Seal, or Cobra. I'm giving you some options here. Do Sphinx (or a deeper variation, Seal) if you're seeking a more gentle, restorative option. If you want something a bit more active, Cobra is you're looking for. Go ahead and experience a sweet chest/heart opener. (Hold 2 minutes).
    5. Dangling Pose or Forward Fold (Uttanasana). Again, I'm offering options. Do Dangling Pose for a more relaxed posture. Take on Uttanasana if you desire a more active and yang approach. Forward folds are great digestive stimulants and also very calming. Keep your GI tract in tact and your stress in check with some folds during your travels. (Hold 2 minutes).
    6. Tadasana. From your forward fold of choice, come to Mountain Pose or Tadasana for a moment to neutralize the spine. Perhaps, take this moment to set an intention for your day.
    7. Wide-Legged Forward Bend with option for Tripod Headstand. I love Wide-Legged Forward Bend because it offers such a sweet stretch. Plus, there's option for Tripod play. If you're an inversion junky, this is your opportunity to turn yourself upside down. (Do 10 Ujjayi breaths in the fold and 10 Ujjayi breaths in Tripod).
    8. Bridge or Full Wheel. Nothing like a back bend to feel awake and alive! (Hold 10 breaths).
    9. Reclining Twists. (Hold for 1 minute on each side).
    10. Savasana. Take a moment to marinate in the effects of your practice! (Surrender for 2 minutes).

    There you have it: A little bit of structure, space for improvisation, yoga videos to guide you, and some sweet asana to carry with you on your upcoming travels.

    What poses do you pack into your yoga and travel routine?

    ~TJ

  • Turkey Day Damage Control

    Did you stuff yourself silly with an abundance of Turkey Day goodness? I mean...How could you not? All of those traditional dishes and treats are so deliciously inviting. So, it makes sense to go to town for the occasion.
    Today, however, is a new day. The all-you-can-eat party is over. Today, it's time to get back on schedule and balance out some of that splurging with some delicious, self-supporting yoga at home. It's time to get it on with a Full on Flow led by the lovely Ashley Turner.

    Thanksgiving Day Cleanse Wringing it out with some twists...
    In this 95-minute online yoga class, you will get a little taste of everything! This comprehensive flow will wring out every nook and cranny. Nothing will go left untouched.
    First, you'll begin with a balancing Pranayama technique, Nadi Sodhana. Then, you'll journey through Sun Salutations A and B, a strong power yoga sequence, handstands, arm balances, backbends with a block, and a juicy hip opening sequence. Finally, you'll end with a calming 3-minute meditation. For this online yoga practice, be sure to have a block available, if possible. Get ready to cleanse and detox in this crazy, sweaty online Vinyasa flow.
    Ashley Turner

    Detach from the splurging of yesterday. Now, it's time to splurge on some yoga at home!

    Yummy.

    ~TJ
  • Moms: 6 Tips for Creating and Maintaining Your Yoga Practice

    Sometimes your yoga practice has to change. During pregnancy, for example, your practice obviously changes. Not all asana is made available to you. Post pregnancy, it's a similar story. I think lots of women, however, expect their practice to return to the way it was. Sure, perhaps it will get there. Also, recognize, that maybe it won’t (especially not right away!). This is not a bad thing! Your life has changed – it has evolved into something new and beautiful. So, too, will your practice experience a shift. The shift could be beautiful, too. So, don’t immediately get down on yourself for your perceived limitations. Instead, consider this time an opportunity to explore and find strength in your practice in new ways.

    Online Yoga

    As a new Mom (or even a seasoned Mom) getting to the mat can be a challenge. How do you carve out time for yourself when you have the huge role of nurturer to play? It’s not easy. Unforeseen challenges and frustrations arise constantly. You never know what the day will throw at you. So, it’s important to set reasonable practice goals. No one expects you to be a kick-ass mom and an asana super-hero. Sure, maybe that’s you or your future you. If not, however, I suggest you keep it simple for the time being. Be gentle with yourself.

    Here are some tips to help you create and maintain your yoga practice:

    1. Take baby steps. During your day, get in a bit of yoga at home. Do a Down Dog here, a Down Dog there. Practice some Sun Salutations in the morning (or whenever you can them in). Get in some grounding Restorative Yoga or Yin Yoga online. Keep your practices short, sweet, and simple.
    2. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing amazing! I mean look at what you have created – a human life (or more)! It’s a miracle, really. Don’t let some silly shapes (asanas) get you down. Yoga is way more than asana. There are many other ways to practice and experience yoga. Practice breathing exercises (pranayama). Practice contentment. Practice living in the moment. Practice letting go. That’s all yoga, too, ya know?
    3. Remain at peace. Practice a daily meditation of 3 to 5 minutes (or longer if time allows). When the kids are sound asleep or convincingly occupied, enjoy a moment of stillness and silence all to yourself. Check out our selection of free online yoga videos, featuring many awesome online meditations to guide you.
    4. Allow your practice to evolve.
    5. Don’t force yourself into your old practice, which will potentially lead to injury and a self-defeating attitude. This is why Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are such amazing, accessible practices. They allow you to be exactly where you are at. There is no forcing or striving in these practices.
    6. Take this time to explore new ways to move. Maybe this means slowing down or taking on a different style of yoga. Who knows...only you! Try to give your body what it needs and not what it desires.

    Moms, how do you manage to keep up your yoga practice?

    ~TJ

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