restorative yoga online

  • Yoga for Tension Relief

    corpse pose

    Stress. What a buzz kill, right? Life can be moving along just delightfully and, suddenly, stress rears its ugly head and rains on your hunky-dory parade. It’s unfair. It’s annoying. But guess what yogis? It’s life. Stress is a part of each human experience. Maybe that’s a buzz kill, but don’t you worry. We’ll conclude this post on a high, positive note. Just stay with me.

    So, maybe you’re thinking that there are clear ways to avoid and ward off stress. I agree.

    You could definitely sit down right now and devise a plan that minimizes your current stress and potential risk for stress. In fact, I think this is a good idea. I believe that most of the stress we experience is the stress we create or choose. For example, if you have a relationship that has you in a chronically stressed out state, maybe it’s time to cut the cord on that. If your job causes you an unhealthy level of stress, maybe it’s time to reflect and redirect. It’s super important and helpful to realize all the stress in your life that you are creating/choosing. Why? Because then you have the power to choose to a different, less stressful path!

    I can only imagine all the excuses and “buts” bubbling up in your head: “But I can’t because…”, “But you don’t understand...”, “But this is all I know…” I get it. Change and letting go is messy. Here’s another buzz kill moment…that’s life! What will you choose?

    Yet, even with a solid, stress-reducing plan in the works and even if you choose all healthy, self-supporting decisions (let’s face it…we all slip up on this), stress will still show up to your party uninvited and unwarranted. Unfair! Yes. But, again, that’s life.

    There’s good news here. Again, you have a choice. You have the ability to choose how you allow that stress to effect you. Do you catastrophize the situation? Do you let that stress own you? Do you blow up in rage? Do you let it gain a strong hold on you? Do you allow it to leak into other areas of your life? Do you place blame? Do you give up? Do you tense up? Or…do you choose something different?

    If you’re like me, you want a different, less dramatic reaction to stress. You don’t want to freak out in the face of it. You don’t want to carry it around in the form of chronic tension. Instead, you want to release its strong hold, let it go, blow it off, and move on. But how?

    Yoga.

    If you so choose, you can hit the mat to release the tension you accumulate from stress. Instead of venting to your partner, putting a hole in a wall, or pouting like a baby…hit your mat.

    Here are some yoga videos with a special focus on tension relief:

    • Shoulders, Neck and Head: A Practice to Relieve Tension with Gigi Yogini - Headaches are one of the most common ailments among American adults today. They can be due to a variety of reasons, including tension in the neck and shoulders. Practice these simple exercises in this online yoga video to loosen and relax your shoulders, neck, and head, for stress relief. (18 mins.)
    • Time to Unwind with Rolf Gates - This online vinyasa yoga class is perfect for releasing stored tension from a long, intense day. (31 mins.)
    • Wring Out the Day with Shala Worsley - Move your spine in all directions, throw off stress, and wring out tension in this online vinyasa yoga class. Burn away the unwanted layers built throughout your day and emerge calm and vibrant. This online yoga class includes backbends, hip openers, shoulder openers, inversions, and pranayama, and blends the heat building properties of vinyasa with the deep tissue release found in yin yoga. (86 mins.)
    • Yoga Nidra: Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method with Sri Dharma Mittra - 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. No previous experience is needed to experience this amazing online yoga practice! (45 mins.)
    • Wrists, Shoulders and Neck with Gigi Yogini - In this free online yoga video, practice some simple, restorative exercises to release tension in your wrists, shoulders and neck. These are surprisingly fun and helpful and perfect for a mid-day yoga break.
    • Chair Yoga Break: Neck Opening with Margaux Permutt - In this free online yoga video, run through some simple chair yoga exercises to release tension in your neck.

    Choose something different. Choose yoga.

    ~Tess

  • 10 Benefits of Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra is an incredibly accessible practice. Anyone can do it. It’s highly recommended for all and can be especially beneficial for bodies that are restricted from the more physical elements of yoga such as asana.

    Yoga Nidra is sometimes referred to as yogic sleep. But don’t get the wrong idea. It's not the time for some traditional shuteye. Yoga Nidra is better described as sleep with awareness. It’s a period of time ranging from 20 to 45 minutes where the body experiences no movement. The body sets up in a comfortable corpse pose and then receives direction from the teacher. Guided imagery and body scanning are techniques that the teacher will use to induce deep relaxation.

    Corpse Pose

    The Yoga Nidra experience varies. Not everyone will have the same experience and not everyone will reach the advanced stage of the practice: Nirvana, enlightenment, or total bliss. Even if you don’t reach this blissful state, you will still experience a ‘wow’ feeling post-practice and soak up all the benefits:

    1. Total body and mind relaxation
    2. Rejuvenation
    3. Stillness and silence (quieting of all the "noise")
    4. Better sleep
    5. Helpful for PTSD treatment
    6. Enhanced focus, concentration, and awareness
    7. The experience of a super nap (Some say Yoga Nidra feels better than true, traditional sleep)
    8. Stress and anxiety relief
    9. Meditation preparation
    10. Potential bliss

    To press your system’s refresh button, practice Yoga Nidra under the guidance of an experienced, master teacher: Sri Dharma Mittra.

    Sri 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. In this online yoga class, 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. When done regularly and with pure intention, one can depart the body and cross over into Psychic Sleep, briefly experiencing the Astral Plane. It is through this deep practice that one can gradually come to recognize that you are so much more than the body or the mind. The benefits of this practice are cumulative - the more you do it, the greater the benefit. No previous experience needed! (45 mins.)

    Sri Dharma Mittra

    Put stress, tension, and fatigue to sleep. Quiet the noise. Experience bliss.

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Corpse Pose via www.suburbanyogini.com

  • Yoga for Pregnancy

    I’m sure this comes as no surprise: Prenatal yoga is incredibly beneficial for expectant mothers. Prenatal yoga offers moms-to-be a way to maintain the health and well-being of their physical, mental, and emotional bodies. Prenatal yoga can enhance sleep, lessen stress and anxiety, increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles involved in childbirth, and alleviate lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and shortness of breath associated with pregnancy.

    Tree Pose

    But the benefits don’t stop there. Prenatal yoga is not only beneficial to the mother; it’s also good for the health of the little human evolving inside. Decreasing the risk of pre-term labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and intrauterine growth restriction — a condition that slows a baby's growth – prenatal yoga offers many benefits to the baby.

    A typical prenatal yoga practice usually takes an integrated approach. Gentle stretching, breathing exercises (pranayama), mental centering, asana, and deep relaxation are all incorporated and encouraged. These classes are incredibly accessible and usually verge on the more restorative side of the yoga spectrum.

    We’ve recently added two free prenatal yoga videos with the lovely Ashley Albrand, featuring a pose to relieve back pain and a beneficial form of pranayama.

    Prenatal Back Pain Relief

    Grab two blocks and a blanket for this free online yoga video. This restorative yoga pose is a wonderful way to relieve back pain associated with pregnancy. If you are in your 3rd trimester, you should not roll over on your back, but rather sit up. In this online yoga video, Ashley is about 4-1/2 months into her pregnancy.

    Back Pain Relief

    Prenatal Breathing Practice

    This form of pranayama is great to add into your prenatal yoga practice. In this free online yoga video, Ashley will teach alternate nostril breathing with mula bandha, an ancient technique for activating and toning the first energy center or chakra located at the pelvic floor.

    Alternate Nostril Breathing

    Also, learn a simple yoga pose – Legs-Up-the-Wall – with Desi Bartlett in this free online yoga video to alleviate edema or swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet during pregnancy.

    Yoga for Edema

    The 9 month journey of pregnancy is a time to be gentle with yourself. It’s also a time of preparation. Turning to yoga will help prepare the body, mind, and spirit for labor and childbirth. Yoga teaches all the essential tools – concentration, focus, breathing techniques, and strength – required to bring life into the world.

    ~TJ

    Note: To find YogaVibes' selection of full-length prenatal yoga videos please use our Class Search feature. Just check “Prenatal” under focus to choose a class.

    Photo Credit: Tree Pose via www.tuckertiayra.tumblr.com

  • Weekend Intention: Shift Into Stillness

    If you’ve had a wildly busy week, take an opportunity this weekend to settle down and shift into complete stillness.

    Shoelace Pose

    First, experience some deep, passive stretching to open up your body and help set you up for a comfortable, seated meditation.

    Yin Yoga for Athletes with Ted McDonald

    As an athlete, this is Ted's favorite sequence. Whether you're on the slopes, on the golf course, on the bike, on a run, or on the court, it doesn't matter. Even if you are not an athlete this sequence will benefit you by relieving tension, lengthening connective tissues, and cleansing your energetic system for a healthier body and calmer mind. It is best done in the evening before bed. You won't regret making it a regular part of your routine! Life is really grand, and now you'll feel why! Have blocks and towels or a blanket available to modify the poses. (19 mins.)

    Ted McDonald Yoga Online

    Yin Yoga to Begin Meditation with Gigi Yogini

    Sometimes one of the biggest distractions for our meditation practice is how uncomfortable it is to sit. Even if you're a beginner and want to start with 5 minutes of conscious breathing, it is often a good idea to prepare yourself with some yin yoga to deeply stretch the hips. In this online yoga video, open your body and concentrate on your breath. After some yin yoga poses, you will practice a simple counting technique to stay focused during meditation. Have a blanket available to prop up your hips. (21 mins.)

    Gigi Yogini Yoga Online

    Follow up your yummy yin session with one of two simple online meditation videos with Ashley Turner:

    Meditation to Access Inner Power

    Ashley Turner will talk you through a short pranayama practice and guide you through a short meditation to access your inner power, located at your third (manipura) chakra, in this free online yoga video. 

    Ashley Turner Yoga Online

    Meditation 101

    This free online meditation video is designed to introduce you to the practice of meditation. Ashley Turner talks you through setting up for, and practicing, a short, seated meditation.

    Ashley Turner Yoga Online

    Give your body and brain a period of stillness and silence this weekend to recharge and renew.

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Shoelace Pose via www.yogaaddict.ie/blog

  • Yoga for Edema

    Ever stepped off a plane only to find your ankles swollen to twice their normal size? Yeah…that’s edema.

    Edema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissue spaces beneath the skin. Clinically, edema presents as swelling. This uncomfortable swelling most commonly occurs in the hands, feet, ankles, and legs, but it can occur anywhere in the body. Mild cases of edema often occur during the later stages of pregnancy, after standing or walking for prolonged periods of time, or after sitting or remaining in one position for too long. A high sodium diet is further cause for edema, as is premenstrual syndrome.

    For these more mild cases of edema, yoga may offer some relief.

    How so?

    Enter Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose.

    Viparita Karani

    Learn this simple, accessible yoga posture, Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani), in this free online yoga video with Desi Bartlett to alleviate edema or swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet. This mild and supported inversion is a fantastic pose to practice during pregnancy, during menstruation, while traveling, or after remaining in a fixed position for a long period of time. Desi suggests practicing this calming, restorative posture right before you go to bed because it also promotes solid sleep.

    What’s more, Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose is thought to abolish old age. Anti-aging properties? Calming, restorative benefits? Sleep-inducing effects? Edema relief? Wow! Sign me up. I’d say this pose is a great one to sprinkle into your regular, home practice and bring with you on your travels.

    To get going, simply grab a bolster, some pillows, or two thickly folded blankets. Find a wall (shouldn’t be too hard). Then, tune into Desi’s video for tips on how to safely set up the pose. Feel free to enjoy this pose for 5 to 15 minutes. Then, consider following it up with Savasana or a seated meditation.

    Yoga for Edema

    Restore your extremities back to their normal state. Unruffle your mind. Preserve your youth. Sleep soundly.

    ~TJ

    Photo Credit: Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose via www.sunroseyoga.com

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