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  • 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

  • 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

     

  • Presenting Focused Flow Yoga® with Sigrid Matthews!

    We are super excited to feature a fresh series of online yoga videos with Sigrid Matthews.

    black dog yogaOn the teacher...

    Sigrid is both the director of Black Dog Yoga’s Teacher Training Program in Sherman Oaks, CA and the creator of Focused Flow Yoga®. She holds several certifications in yoga anatomy, LMU's yoga Rx program, massage, personal training, and aromatherapy. Compassionate, funny, and down-to-earth, Sigrid creates an online yoga experience that is highly accessible while encouraging mindful movement and personal transformation.

    Focused Flow Yoga® deets... 

    Focused Flow Yoga® combines a therapeutic approach to traditional asana, creating a strong foundation of core support and joint stability. Its methods allow advanced practitioners to challenge themselves by fine-tuning difficult poses and allow newer students to learn the poses safely. With regular practice, all students can expect to cultivate a stronger, more toned, and balanced body.

    Why YogaVibes? 

    “I am thrilled to be partnering with YogaVibes.com,” says Sigrid. “I love the idea of bringing yoga to people that may not have the time to go to a yoga studio where the options are usually for 90 minutes and can cost a pretty penny. YogaVibes’ online yoga classes are great for my regular students while traveling and I get to teach specifically tailored classes addressing a wide range of issues and aspects of yoga alignment for every body.”

    We've already launched four of Sigrid’s Focused Flow Yoga® videos, including Focused Flow yoga videos addressing weight loss, building a safe L pose (in preparation for handstand), stress and anxiety, and cardio. So, go check them out to revel in their therapeutic, healing benefits!

    And teaser alert! Five additional Focused Flow Yoga® classes are on their way and will be added over the next six weeks, including Focused Flow classes addressing lower back issues, digestion, grounding, stress and anxiety, and energizing. So, stay tuned as more Focused Flow yoga classes online are on the horizon!

  • Strike A Pose: Warrior I with Weights

    Virabhadrasana I

    This week’s strike-a-pose yoga video is brought to you by Danielle Diamond, founder of Xen Strength Yoga with Weights. In this free online yoga video, you will first explore a traditional Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) pose to learn the general alignment. After your Warrior I is aligned and solid, you’ll approach a more innovative way to practice this asana by adding in light hand weights.

    As you practice this Warrior I exercise with weights, you’ll receive all of the benefits of your classic Warrior I pose including:

    • Stronger shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles

    • A stronger core and back

    • Greater openness in the hips, chest, and lungs

    • Enhanced focus, balance, and stability

    • Increased circulation and respiration

    • A lovely stretch in the arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groins (psoas), and ankles

    • Boosted energy throughout the entire body

    When you amp it up with weights, you’ll receive all of that goodness, plus extra benefits, including greater strength in the core and upper body. Amp up your Warrior I to mix things up, challenge yourself, and boost your strength.

    Go at it, warriors!

    yoga with weights

    Dig this online yoga video with Danielle Diamond? Check out more of her free yoga videos and full-length Xen Strength yoga classes online at YogaVibes.com.

    Photo Credit: Warrior I www.ahimsatribe.com

     

  • Presenting SmartFLOW Yoga Online with Tiffany Russo

    We are incredibly excited to offer SmartFLOW yoga classes online with Tiffany Russo, a senior SmartFLOW teacher at Exhale Spa in Venice, California.

    exhale spa yoga online

    Born and bred in Southern California, Tiffany Russo credits yoga for supplying the yin in her life to counter Los Angeles' yang-like energy. Tiffany completed her 500-hour SmartFLOW teacher training certification under the guidance of her teacher and mentor, Annie Carpenter (another one of our awesome yoga teachers!), and is now honored to share SmartFLOW teachings around the country and on YogaVibes!

    Why YogaVibes?

    “I’m excited to work with YogaVibes, a great online company that has made it possible for anyone and everyone to take a yoga class, right in their own home, or office - whenever," says Tiffany. "It is different from a home practice, in that you are actually following along with your desired teacher as if you were in the real class and, if you don't have a full 90 minutes, there are some great shorter classes for those with a busy day.”

    Follow along with Tiffany in her Warrior SmartFLOW, a well-rounded, evenly-paced Vinyasa practice with detailed alignment instructions. In this online yoga class, Tiffany will instruct a slow, mindful warm up complete with core work, a cat and cow series to lubricate the spine, and Sun Salutations. A standing warrior series will be followed by some plank work and opportunities to practice handstand and crow pose (bakasana). End this online yoga experience with bow pose variations, seated twists, and forward folds. (78 mins.)

    exhale spa yoga online

    To find more SmartFLOW offerings with Tiffany, check out her ever-expanding collection of online yoga videos on YogaVibes.

    To learn more about Tiffany Russo, visit her website www.tiffanyrussoyoga.com.

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