YogaVibes

  • 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

  • Holiday Travel Survival Yoga

    Cancelled flights. Packing. Long, agonizing hours of sitting. Cramped quarters... 

    All of it can take its toll.

    To help you traveling yogis survive the insanity, here are four online yoga classes specifically designed to help you recover and renew post-travel.

    • Quick Flow: Finding Support with Nathan Lowry: Find support and feel grounded as we move from standing to balancing to seated. All in under an hour! (56 mins.)
    • Balancing Vata II with Joanie Flavin: Winter is vata time. Lots of air and ether, movement and space. It can make a yogi feel out of sorts! This juicy, grounding flow will help you feel like yourself again. (80 mins.)
    • Grounding Flow with Sangeeta Vallabhan: This online Vinyasa yoga class is focused on moving with the purpose of feeling more grounded. The class begins with Sun Salutations and standing poses to get you moving, and concludes on the ground with longer holds and more basic poses to let you relax and release with more ease. Blocks may be helpful for this class with Sangeeta Vallabhan. (37 mins.)

  • Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

    If you’re in the States, Thanksgiving is the designated day to express thanks. Almost all cultures have such a day – a day reserved to realize and acknowledge the positive in life, to celebrate supportive and loving families, friends, and communities, and to embrace all the abundance such as yoga, delicious food, a safe home, and, most importantly, health and happiness. We all have something for which to be grateful. In fact, each breath is a gift – a gift to be fully received and celebrated. You are alive!

    Most of us are fortunate to have our most basic and fundamental needs met. Still though, desires and wants always creep in. There is an endless yearning for more. Sometimes, however, less is really more. Sometimes more means more headaches and pulls us further away from what truly matters: happiness, love, peace, and self-realization.

    In our desire for more, we forget to be grateful. That’s why we have a special day to remind us! Really, though, every day should be a day for giving and receiving thanks. Each day, we should express gratitude for the fact that our needs are met. Each day, we should practice contentment for all that we have in life. To quote Sheryl Crow:

    "It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you got."

    Want what ya got.

    Today, take a moment to realize all there is to be grateful for in your life. Acknowledge all the blessings you have received– a loving partner, beautiful children, a true friend, supportive parents, loving siblings, and/or a loyal pet. Be grateful for your body and breath. Be grateful that you can create your world - that you have the free will to change your life as you choose.

    To celebrate this day, here are three online yoga videos featuring practices of gratitude:

    Grateful for Good Postural Awareness with Joanie Flavin (80 mins.)

    This class explores improving the health of your shoulders by strengthening the postural muscles. In the backdrop of our physical practice we will emphasize a practice of gratitude as a means to improve our perspective and perception. Please have two blocks and a strap.

    Alchemy of the Heart: A Backbending Class with Pete Guinosso (75 mins.)

    This online yoga class will guide you in exploring the powerful practice of mindful gratitude, and how such a practice can open you to a life of grace. In this class we will utilize deep hip releases to detoxify the mind and body of negative emotions, experience heart opening backbends to learn where joy and gratitude reside in our bodies, and explore inversions to tap into our spirits' sense of playfulness. Please be sure to watch the free videos entitled - Tucking your Tail and Low Cobra, Revealed - before practicing this all levels online yoga class.

    Strong Roots = Strong Tree with Gigi Yogini (67 mins.)

    This is an invigorating online yoga class with the theme of Grounding with Gratitude. This class will activate your inner power through intention setting, core strengthening, balancing, and a fun (but challenging) tree pose flow.

    Have a beautiful day practicing gratitude! Also, (how could I forget!) enjoy a boundless supply of turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and all other delicious Thanksgiving Day delights.

    ~TJ

  • Yoga classes for auto-immune conditions, inflammation, and pain

    YogaVibes.com has a selection of classes that can be helpful for auto-immune conditions, inflammation, and pain. Whether what you are experiencing is chronic or you're in the process of recovery, go slow, do what you can, and listen to your body's signals.

    Relaxation and gentle movement are widely touted as help for healing, and ways to ease pain. In my experience they offer something even deeper. With regular practice these techniques have settled my mind. Where at other points in my life I may have had a stronger mental reaction to pain, now I'm more accepting of it. Am I immune to pain? Absolutely not. It just doesn't engender the same panic that it may have once. That decrease in stress response helps avoid both physical and mental downward spiral. I can find a more peaceful place from which to pursue recovery, which really helps.

    Yoga Nidra and Meditation

    Yoga Nidra with Kat Schamens

    Yoga Nidra with Jen Carter

    Yoga Nidra 1 with Dale Turner

    Yoga Nidra 2 with Dale Turner

    Yoga Nidra ~ Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method with Sri Dharma Mittra

    Body Scan and Breath Awareness with Joan Hyman

    Savasana with Heather Lilleston

    Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Therapeutic Yoga

    "Happy Joints" Yoga for Arthritis - Lower Body with Kim McNeil

    "Happy Joints" Yoga for Arthritis - Upper Body with Kim McNeil

    Yoga Therapy for Healthy Joints with Margaux Permutt

    Therapeutic Flow with Hala Khouri

    Flow and Restore with Nicole Rosemeyer

    Yoga to Relieve Back Pain with Gigi Yogini

    Unwinding Into Ease with Cristi Christensen

    Restorative Sequence: Karuna with Darcy Lyon

    Evening Cooling Flow with Heather Lilleston

    Restore & Balance: Slow Flow with Cristi Christensen

    Author: Kaitlin Lacey, E-RYT 200, RYT-500, YACEP

    Kaitlin has been teaching yoga since 2008, and recently completed her advanced yoga teacher training with Mara Healy. She has been studying ayurveda since 2012 with Cate Stillman. Kaitlin embraces the path of the modern mystic, blending ancient wisdom with 21st century life.

  • Grow a (Yoga) Spine!

    Is your spinal health something you give much thought? Most often, spinal health takes a back seat. We mind our spines only in the aftermath of something gone wrong. Let’s not, however, allow it to reach that point. Let’s, instead, take our spines to yoga.

    Yoga is a blessing to the spine. Supporting strength, flexibility, mobility, and proper alignment, yoga helps to prevent spinal degeneration and potential injury. Maintaining a diligent, mindful yoga practice will render your spine strong and healthy, and also, enhance your total state of health.

    Spinal health is a solid indicator of overall well-being and vigor. In yoga, the spinal column is referred to as Brahma-danda, which literally translates as “the walking stick of God.” This implies that the spine is pretty darn important. According to master teachers, "A Yogi is one whose spine is full of energy."

    Spine

    Yogis consider the spine to be a channel through which the power of the universe may manifest. It is through Sushumna Nadi, the central channel within the spinal column, that the potent Kundalini energy rises from its dormant state at the base of the spine to the crown of the head.

    The Sushumna, the most essential Nadi (channel), plays the most important role in the expansion of our intellectual, moral, and spiritual journey. It is the path through which our vital energies travel upward, resulting in self-realization, union with the divine, and enlightenment or nirvana. When your chakras are balanced and aligned, a current of Kundalini energy is free to flow and flourish through this channel.

    Because of this upward movement of energy, it is important to maintain a "yoga spine" during a meditation practice. Remaining vertical and erect is paramount to facilitate this vertical surge of energy. Asanas are intended to support the development of a yoga spine. By strengthening and realigning the spine, an asana practice will help prepare you for a deeper, sustained meditation experience.

    To set up a strong yoga spine, practice this new online meditation with Jeanne Heileman. Grow tall and strong. Realign. Awaken your energy.

    Sushumna: Centering the Energy Along the Spine - This online yoga video is great to practice after the Twisting: Balancing the Nadis class and can also be used after most yoga classes or on its own. Start laying down to transition from mental and physical activity, using a Tantric Technique called 61 Points to shift the mind's focus. Sitting in a straight and aligned position, the pranayama technique of Nadi Sodhana is practiced into a Tantric Technique of Prana Shuddhi, a method of developing concentration that allows for meditation. Play with the energy in the spine. Bring awareness to that energy in a calm, enjoyable process. (34 mins.)

    Jeanne Heileman

    ~TJ

     

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