YogaVibes

  • Take a Yoga Break!

    meditation

    Want to boost your productivity? Fortify your focus?

    Impose a yoga break on yourself.

    If this is the part where you rattle off a long list of excuses - schedules, guilt, time constraints, blah, blah, blah - hold the phone…

    Because evidence shows that to stay on schedule, regular break sessions are essential! A growing body of research reveals that brief diversions from mental tasks can strongly enhance your ability to focus on the task at hand for extended periods while also improving productivity and creativity and curbing stress and exhaustion.

    Contrary to popular thought and practice, constant stimulation - the go-go-go mentality - is not effective. In fact, the daily grind has a numbing effect on the brain. Constant devotion to a task is registered by the brain as insignificant, so much so that the brain starts removing it from your awareness. And so begins drifting and daydreaming…

    The brain is wired to detect and react to change; thus, forced, extended attention to a single mental task (taxes, studying for exams, etc.) actually limits your effectiveness. So, deactivating your attention to that task, whether through yoga, meditation or pranayama, allows you to reactivate your focus.

    If you’re in the zone, by all means stay there. But if you’re drifting and daydreaming, take a hint. Take a break from your work and workspace to refresh your internal resources and tap into your energy reserves.

    Start here. Join Sean Gray for the perfect online yoga diversion: Recharge! This online yoga class is designed for those that desire a well-rounded yoga break that will hit the entire body, pump some freshly oxygenated blood through the system, and clear the brain to allow it to have a fresh start afterwards. This online yoga video is an excellent midday practice to get you back on track and reactivate your focus. (41 mins.)

    recharge

    For more yoga diversions, visit our ever-growing collection of online yoga videos.

    Image courtesy of www.taramackey.wordpress.com

  • Yoga for Stress and Anxiety by Sigrid Matthews

    balasana

    Remember that when you are in the grips of anxiety that your mind is racing, you are usually dwelling on “what ifs?” and how to control your outer environment. Living with a pattern (both real or imagined) of stress stimulates the nervous system to operate continuously in fight or flight mode, sending messages to the body to produce more adrenaline, increase the heart rate, and decrease the breathing rate, all of which keeps you in the vicious cycle of anxiety you are hoping to break.

    When we learn to relax we turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes the rest and digest response. The more we can operate out of this state of being, the physically easier it is for us to move towards a state of equanimity. It can even be helpful to rehearse scenarios that make us anxious, unsettled, and stressed-out while in deeper states of relaxation to re-wire the body’s response to those things that make us feel out of control. True empowerment comes from mastering techniques which help us to turn our stress state into something we can work with and ultimately grow from.

    Below are some yoga tips to help you fine-tune your ability to move into a deeper connection to your source of well-being and live more freely in the moment - healthy and emotionally-balanced.

    • Practice daily “checking in" and 1:2 breathing ratio. Find a comfortable place (sitting, lying down, or even legs elevated (multi-tasking with an inversion)) and begin to turn your attention on how you’re feeling at this moment. Be as impartial as possible. Witness, make notes without a lot of judgment about whether it’s good or bad. After you’ve got a sense of the state of your emotions, where your thoughts are, energy level, etc., begin to observe your breath. Count the number of beats it takes for your inhale. Gradually increase your exhalation by a few beats.  Work yourself towards an exhalation that is double the length of your inhalation. If it is leaving you breathless or anxious to double the exhale, simply stick with breathing out a few extra beats more than you inhale. Do this breathing for 3 to 5 minutes, or count out a full 10 rounds if that’s easier. When you’ve come to a completion of the breathing exercise check in again and notice changes (if any). If there has been a shift, acknowledge it and note that states of mind and emotion are temporary and that you’ve managed (at least during the breathing exercise) to shift yourself.
    • If you are having a particularly stressful event or find yourself anxiously turning something over and over in your mind, take some time out to practice the 1:2 breathing exercise. Once you’ve established a nice rhythm, bring your mind back to your current situation and see if you can witness it while keeping the 1:2 breathing ratio. What happens?
    • Spend 5 minutes a day in a restorative inversion. Try legs up the wall or legs on a chair with a slightly rolled blanket or towel supporting the neck. This is a nice time to practice the breath and check in.
    • Spend 5 to 10 minutes in a restorative yoga posture (more if you have time). This is great to do daily or anytime you feel you need a break - especially if you feel you don’t have time for a break! See if you can break the cycle of feeling that you can’t relax until everything is done. A forward fold like supported childs pose is great. If you have time, pair this with a gentle backbend like supported bridge pose, legs elevated, and another forward folding pose like supported badha konasana (bound angle/butterfly) pose, upavistha konasana (wide-legged forward fold), or paschimottanasana (seated forward fold). End with an 8 breath savasana.
    • Take a bath with 8 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil.*
    • Drink a cup of herbal tea (like chamomile, or rose).
    • Take a brisk 10 to 15 minute walk.
    • Call or visit someone who could use a friend to listen to them (especially when you feel no one is listening to you!)
    • Sitali (shee-ahh-lee) Breath (10 rounds*).

    For an online yoga practice focused on stress and anxiety relief, tune into this restorative practice. Experience a deeper sense of peace, comfort, and relaxation by tapping into your parasympathetic nervous system. This online yoga class promotes well-being, overall health, healing, and boosts immunity. With regular practice of this online yoga video, you'll find it's easier to create "calm" off the mat.

    how to deal with stress

    *Essential oils have very small molecules that can pass through your skin and through the nose via the olfactory bulb to the limbic system where they stimulate the Hypothalamus. This area of the brain is where the fight/flight response lives and the soothing/calming nature of plant oils like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, rose, and clary sage (stress/irritation from hormonal changes) can be profound. Essential oils are really nice to add to a warm bath just before going to bed to help ease insomnia and calm “monkey” (restless) mind.

    *Sitali or “cooling breath” = inhaling either through puckered lips or a rolled tongue and exhaling through the nostrils with a slight pause at the end of the exhale. This breath is thought to remove fever, still hunger, quench thirst, and alleviate diseases of the spleen. At the least, it is thought to be one of the more langhana (restful, stress-reducing) pranayamas (breathing exercises).

    Image courtesy of www.cecilleblog.blogspot.com

  • Fresh Vibes: Core Workouts!

    chaturanga

    Yes, core exercises develop strong, sculpted, and swimsuit-catalogue-ready abs.

    We all know this. Some of us want the look. Some of us could freakin’ care less.

    Superficialities aside, all of us should care about cultivating deep core strength. Because it’s not only about appearances.

    Core strength is the key to a happy, stable, and secure body.

    Developing deep core strength allows you to live, breathe, and move more freely and confidently.

    Why?

    Core work is balancing to the third chakra (manipura chakra). Located near the navel, the third chakra is your energetic center for power and self-esteem. Balancing your third chakra will help you stand tall and move through life with greater grace and confidence.

    So, core work isn’t solely focused on the enhancement of the physical body. It’s much, much more. But if enhancement follows...hey, so be it.

    To start the journey to core strength, check out our newly added core-centric online yoga videos:

    • Core Fusion® Barre with Nicole Uribarri Hit the barre for Exhale's signature full body workout designed to give you chiseled abs, toned legs, cut arms, and a high, lifted booty. This ballet inspired, core-centric online yoga video features isolated exercises with focus on alignment, flexibility and posture as you work through targeted mindful muscle movements. Push yourself to the limit - and then find balance - as every hard worked muscle is followed by a deep, relaxing stretch. Open to all levels. (59 mins.)
    • All Abs with Justin Michael Williams Here it is...an online yoga class that's focused entirely on strengthening your core! If this class seems overwhelmingly challenging at first, don’t fret. Commit to practicing it 3x/week and your strength will build! (18 mins.)
    • Core Stability for the Lower Back with Sigrid Matthews Strengthen all the core muscles and the legs to support the lumbar spine. When there is low back discomfort, it often feels as though it needs to be "stretched out." This practice teaches you how to create harmonious strengthened muscles so your low back feels stable, open, and capable. The poses featured in this yoga video are taught progressively to give you options. Do as little or as much as feels right for your body and back. (28 mins.)
    • Core Fusion® Barre with Anna Gagie Here’s Exhale Spa's signature full body, core-centric workout again! All levels are welcome to get in on this core-strengthening, sweat-inducing challenge. (57 mins.)
    • Core Workout with Ted McDonald This is a short, sweet, and hardCORE online yoga sequence. As always, do the best you can. Remember your form is more important than repetitions. You can always add more repetitions, but if your form is incorrect you may injure yourself or strain your back. Have fun, don't take it too seriously, keep a positive state of mind, and eventually the strength will come! (13 mins.)

     

    Enjoy the journey to core strength!

    Image courtesy of www.chiorganicgirls.com

  • Giveaway Time!!!

    Areté Complete, YogaVibes & Tiny Devotions are hooking you up!

    Starting March 1st, we want to see you (and your yoga compadres) striking crazy nice yoga poses* in crazy nice settings. Whoever shares the MOST UNIQUE YOGA POSE will be crowned the yoga challenge winner.

    Yes, that’s an open-ended request, we know. But consider this your opportunity to think outside the box, get outside your comfort zone, and get it on with your creative self.

    And now for the important stuff...the yoga giveaway goodie bag.

    One of you lucky participants will score a trifecta of yoga delights:

    1. Areté Complete Yoga Towel Confidently practice without sweat getting in the way! Areté Complete leads the yoga towel world in function and design. Luxuriously soft, slip resistant, beautifully, uniquely, and intelligently designed...Needless to say, we're hooked. And Areté Complete is hooking one of you up with your FAVORITE yoga towel!
    2. YogaVibes 1 Year Subscription Yoga might be healing for the body and soul, but it's often hard on the wallet and hard to fit into a busy schedule. YogaVibes, the premium source for streaming online yoga classes and free yoga videos, frees you to take yoga wherever you are, whenever you want so you can get whatever you need. No more worries about making it to class on time and breaking your wallet. Stream online yoga at your desk, in your car, at home, in the airport...sky’s the limit! One of you will enjoy unlimited, year-long opportunities to sweat, stretch, explore, unwind or bliss out!
    3. Tiny Devotions Intention Bracelet The Laughing Buddha Intention Bracelet is your reminder to not take yourself too seriously; yes, life can get very serious at times but remembering to laugh daily and smile through your challenges will bring you greater satisfaction in your accomplishments. Wear this bracelet for power and courage to conquer. It stimulates your energies to provide motivation and ambition on and off the mat!

    yoga giveaway

    Are you in?

    *If you want asana inspiration for the contest, we suggest you check out our STRIKE A POSE collection complete with lots of free online yoga videos explore!

  • Strike A Pose: Headstand with Justin Michael Williams

    Join Justin Michael Williams as he takes you through one of his all-time favorite yoga poses: Headstand!

    Headstand is a very powerful, yet restorative yoga pose, holding many benefits.

    As Justin will mention, Headstand provides a lovely opportunity to shift your perspective. While traveling and seeing unique and beautiful places, it’s nice to strike a Headstand to see things from a different, yet equally beautiful perspective.

    Justin headstand-ing...

    Headstand

    Justin headstand-ing some more...

    headstand

    In this short and free online yoga video, Justin will discuss, de-construct, and demo the first version of headstand (as seen above), Salamba Sirsasana I. He will guide you through three of the most important components to getting into a Headstand in the center of the room. Try it out!

    how to headstand

    For a more in-depth tutorial on the basics of getting into Headstand, make sure you check out Justin's full-length online yoga class!

    We want to see you strike a Headstand!

    Use #StrikeAPose + tag @YogaVibes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

     

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