restorative yoga online

  • 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

  • 10 Tips to Keep Yoga-ing While Traveling

    I’m enjoying a sweet European sojourn as we speak! In preparation for my travels, I scoped out all the best eats, bars, coffee shops, and local hot spots. That’s to be expected. What’s a vacation without a bit of material splurging? To counteract all the abundance coming my way, I packed light, carrying only what I absolutely needed. Yes, that included a travel yoga mat. Yes, that included yoga clothes. Yes, that included a not-so-light laptop to access all of the yoga online awesomeness that YogaVibes has to offer. Yes, yoga is clearly a big priority.

    I’m not one to fly by the seat of my pants. I like travel plans. A schedule is comforting and, also, a sure way of seeing much and doing much. Yet, in traveling, you must be willing to go with the flow to some extent. Nothing runs exactly to plan. All you can do is plan for the best and have faith that things will unfold as the universe deems fit.

    As a student of yoga, you should plan to incorporate a bit of yoga into your travel experience. The practice is especially beneficial to you now, helping you to remain grounded, balanced, and calm amidst your foreign surroundings and external stimulants.

    Here are some tips to keep your yoga practice in motion while you’re seeing and experiencing more of this big and beautiful world!

    1. Let go of expectations. Something is bound to throw you for a loop at some point in your travels, such as missing a connecting flight, getting lost, language/communication confusions, and even illness. You can complain all you want. You can let it get to you. Or you can just sit back, surrender, and go with the flow. During moments of madness, practice some mantra meditation. Inhale and silently say to yourself “let.” Exhale and silently say to yourself “go.” Repeat until the craziness begins to dissolve.
    2. Bring yoga with you. Trying to locate a temporary yoga studio may present too much of a hassle, especially if your travel time is short. The solution? Practice yoga online. What better way to do so than with YogaVibes?!
    3. Travel with a light mat. Invest in a manageable travel companion.
    4. Read a yoga-inspired book. What’s a book you’ve always wanted to read, but haven’t had time to explore? Bring it!!
    5. Breathe. When you stop breathing, you stop acting with awareness. Keep breathing to keep your cool. Do a calming pranayama session.
    6. Create a simple practice schedule. It can be as simple as doing 10 Sun Salutation A’s per day, holding Down Dog for 5 minutes, holding a Yin posture for 5 minutes, or practicing a 5 minute meditation or pranayama exercise. Just mix some yoga into each day in a way that works for you.
    7. Move. When we travel, we tend to sit (and slouch) a lot. Don't let chair confinement stop you from moving around and circulating energy throughout the body. Explore these free online yoga videos featuring chair yoga sequences.
    8. Meditate. Grab your laptop or mobile tablet, plug in your headphones, close your eyes, and enjoy a short online mediation. Momentarily escape from all the hustle and bustle surrounding you. Discover peace in the chaos.
    9. Photo shoot. Snap some sweet photos of you and your travel buddies practicing some asana.
    10. Think & create positive vibes. Repeat affirmations or mantra to yourself while flying, train traveling, site seeing, walking around, etc. - especially when anxiety arrives. Some good ones:
      • I am safe.
      • Breathe.
      • I enjoy the freedom of traveling.
      • I am calm.
      • I have confidence in all transportation modes that carry me. 
      • I release all fear of flying and embrace the freedom of travel.
      • I feel secure.

    Once you've reached your final destination (or return home), get grounded in one of two awesome online yoga videos:

    Get Grounded with Joan Hyman (51 mins.)

    This standing pose sequence is great for travelers who need to stretch out their legs and get grounded in their feet. A block is needed for this online yoga class and open to all levels to wring out the body and mind, leading to a restorative sequence at the end to replenish and restore.

    Meditation: Getting Grounded with Jeanne Heileman (26 mins.)

    This online meditation gets you grounded in body and mind. It draws out negativity from areas of your body, mind, and emotions, and releases it in a safe manner. You are left feeling stable and solid. This is a great online yoga class to do in troubling times. Enjoy as a stand-alone practice or as a follow-up to Jeanne's "Hip Openers for Everyone" class.

    How do you keep your practice in motion during your travels? 

    ~TJ

  • 20 Ways to Balance in the Midst of Fall

    Summer is long gone. It’s but a distant, fond memory. Now, fall is here in full force, bringing forth its cold, dry, and windy ways. Amidst the cold, dry, and airy environment, it’s easy to lose your cool.

    Yoga in the Woods via www.santabarbarayogacenter.com

    There’s no doubt about it: Fall delivers a slight shock to the system. Fall is nature’s wake up call: It's a warning of the wintry wonderland that’s right around the corner. So, you better find balance before winter sneaks its way in. ‘Tis the season to set yourself straight and prepare for the ensuing wintry ways.

    There are various ways to find balance during this seasonal shift. A lot of it is intuitive. For example, the consumption of ice cream and frozen treats is so summer and heat pacifying. You don’t see people walking around in a snowstorm eating an ice cream cone, do you? Probably not. It’s for good reason. That’s just introducing more cold to an already freezing state. The goal is to pacify the excess qualities of what we are experiencing during fall.

    During the fall and winter seasons, it's time to take measures to beat the cold, windy, and dry qualities of nature. We must take extra care to remain warm, hydrated, and grounded.

    Fall Tips

    1. Choose warm foods and drinks
    2. Massage the body daily with warming oils, such as sesame or almond oil
    3. Meditate daily, practicing one of our free online meditation videos
    4. Favor grounding, gentle styles of yoga, but ALL yoga works!
    5. Listen to calming, soothing tunes
    6. Incorporate vibrant, warming colors like yellow, orange, and red into your wardrobe and external environment
    7. Enjoy warm showers, hot baths, and sauna sessions
    8. Use sweet and warm essential oils, such as basil, cinnamon, citrus, cloves, frankincense, lavender, pine, sage, and vanilla for aromatherapy
    9. Incorporate warming gems and stones into your wardrobe and environment, such as ruby, lapis, and amethyst
    10. Put on a hat! Did you know that over 60% of body heat is lost through the head? Yeah...Fun fact.
    11. Knock back tons of room-temperature or hot water (adding a wedge of lemon is a nice, digestive stimulant)
    12. Rest and relax with some Restorative yoga online or Yin yoga online
    13. Cook with warming spices, such as ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, and cinnamon
    14. Avoid cold, carbonated beverages
    15. Limit raw, cold foods, such as salads and raw vegetables
    16. Prefer more sweet, sour and salty foods
    17. Eat a grounding breakfast
    18. Practice calming Pranayama online, such as Nadi Sodhana
    19. Practice these free online yoga videos to enjoy poses that calm the nervous system: Balasana (Child's Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose), Uttanasana (Forward Fold), and Pashchimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)
    20. Practice these free online yoga videos, featuring grounding, standing poses: Virabhadrasana 1 and Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 1 and 3), Vrksasana (Tree Pose), and Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    So, there you have it: 20 ways to keep your wits about you during this shift! Don’t let yourself down. Stay strong. Do yoga. Practice radical self-care.

    ~TJ

  • Secrets to Beating Seasonal Sickness

    I've been noticing a rising of sickness – colds, flu-like symptoms, coughs, sneezes, sniffles, and allergies. You name it. What is up? Okay, well, I have an idea.

    via The Green Yogi

    Remember that seasonal shift stuff I was commenting on earlier? Yeah, you do. Well, it’s happened. It’s happening. The seasons are a-changin’ and with that comes an oftentimes disastrous immune response. During these times, we need to take a little extra care not only for ourselves, but also, for the sake/health of others. Yesterday, I set up my mat between Ms. Sniffles and Mr. Incessant Sneezer. I was happy to make it out of there alive. So far, no disastrous immune responses. Hopefully, I’m in the clear. Fingers crossed.

    That being said, if you do get sick, it’s (in my opinion) the perfect time to practice yoga at home. It’s not only out of consideration for the health of others. It’s outta convenience for you, too. You have to admit that it’s pretty uncomfortable blowing your schnozz at full force in the presence of others. Plus, getting up again and again to retrieve more tissues is interrupting to your practice and the practice of others. What’s more, holding back the throat clearings and chocking back coughs in Savasana (the time where these things always seem to inconveniently break loose) is miserable. Keep it at home if you can. That way, you can shoot your schnozz without hesitation and sniffle, cough, and hack to your heart’s content.

    Now, if you do have a case of the seasonal shift sickness, what to do? There are different camps of thought on this. Some yogis like to get down with a hot, sweaty Vinyasa practice to detox and cleanse. Others (present company included) prefer some R&R - to relax and restore.

    When your immune system is compromised and operating on overload, I think your body is urging you to slow down. Here are some relaxing, restorative online yoga videos to get intimate with during a temporary spell of sickness.

    Slow down in this 62-minute restorative flow with Gigi Yogini. Deeply relax and restore with long, supported postures. Activate the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the rest and digest work of the internal organs. Use props, including bolsters, blocks and blankets. You can also use household items like pillows, beach towels and phone books. Get prepared for total Zen.

    Don't have much time? Feel stressed out and tired? Try this short and sweet 20-minute online yoga restorative practice. Rest easy with Joan Hyman’s soothing voice and thorough instruction on how to set up for restoratives. Bring an eye pillow and dim the lights down low to enjoy this online yoga video. Time to go in!

    Practice a more active restorative session with Hala Khouri as she teaches a well-rounded, level 2 online yoga class. You will start with a floor warm-up, work the abdominals, and, then, move into standing poses. The focus in this 67-minute yoga video is on opening up the hips and shoulders, as well as strengthening the core and legs. Get ready to unwind.

    Other words of advice: Be sure to eat warming foods, drink lots of green tea, utilize your neti pot (yeah...I know it’s not sexy), stay warm and comfy, give yourself warm oil massages, gets lots of rest, and do the things that make you feel good. Watch Sex & the City (guilty confession #1) or Grey’s Anatomy (guilty confession #2), take a bath with sea salts and candles lit, read your favorite book(s), and listen to calming music. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself with love. As my Mom always says: This too shall pass.

    ~TJ

  • 5 Simple Ways to Practice Yoga at Home

    Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. In an overly enthusiastic state, some of us try to go all out when it comes to our practice: yoga 6 days/week, 1.5 hour long classes, daily 60-minute meditations, daily pranayama sessions, etc. At some point in the evolution of my practice, I definitely held myself to these rigorous standards. You know what happened? Burn out. So, now, when I feel like taking it easy, I take it easy. Does that mean I forgo on my yoga practice? Heck no. I still hit the mat, I just don’t run it (and myself) into the ground.

    via spiritvoyage.com
    1. Meditate 20 Minutes Practice 20 minutes of meditation first thing in the morning or right before bed (or both!); whenever you can get it in. I prefer using a mantra or concentration tool when I meditate. Recently, I’ve been using “Let go.” Without controlling the breath, on the inhale silently say to yourself “let” and on the exhale silently say, “go.” If you have a mantra you would rather work with, be my guest. Find a spot in your home that you love – in front of the fireplace, on the roof deck, the bedroom, or the garden – and make it a tradition to meditate in that spot.
    2. Practice a Shorter Flow We offer plenty of online yoga videos that fall into the under-30-minute category. When you are choosing a class, just check the box designating your preferred time range, then click "Show Classes." Boom. Check that out. Abundance.
    3. Do 10 Minutes of Pranayama Pranayama is awesome because you can practice it anywhere – at home, waiting in traffic, at the office, at the airport, etc. Here are some free online yoga videos featuring different pranayama techniques: Ujjayi, Breath of Fire, Nadi Sodhana, and Agni Sara. Take your pick, set the timer, and breathe.
    4. Practice Yin/Restorative Yoga Poses Sometimes you don’t have time to work in a full practice, but why not enjoy your favorite Yin/Restorative pose/poses (or your nemesis/nemeses) and invite a short, calming yoga session into your life. Last night, I didn’t feel like a full Yin practice, so I picked a few spine stimulating poses, weaved them together, and voila! Also, when I sequence my own flows I like to pair them with some music of my choice. Last night, I enjoyed some Yin yoga aside some classical music and essential oils. It was lovely. I highly recommend it!
    5. Core Work Whenever I feel a surge of energy and don’t have the time to get in full Vinyasa practice, I hold plank pose until I tremble. Plank is 1) energizing and 2) core empowering. Plus, there are many modifications on plank to play with. It’s an incredibly simple way to intersperse some yoga into the mix. Bored with plank? Don’t fuss. We’ve got a killer selection of free core yoga videos to practice.

    Now, you have 5 simple solutions at your disposal. Practicing yoga at home should be easy as pie. Mmmm, pie. ‘Tis the season! Go practice a short flow, then down a piece of pumpkin pie. I know I’m thinking it.

    ~TJ

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