yoga for healing

  • 5 Practices to Get Movin' & Groovin'

    warrior II

    Moving sloth-like? Stuck in a slump? Rebounding from sickness? Sounds like you could use a heavy dose of energizing yoga.

    Find liberation from stagnation and lethargy by taking yourself to the mat. And when you get there, bring it on. And by it, I mean an invigorating flow. I know your mental body is tricking you into a slower-paced, restorative-esque yoga at home experience. Don’t be persuaded by these slippery, sneaky thoughts. Sometimes what you need is the opposite of what you want. If your desire is to get pumped and overcome a state of “blah,” you need a yoga booster...not a yoga sedative.

    Battle and beat the blah-ness in the following online yoga videos.

    1. 30 Minute Pick Me Up! with Joan Hyman

    This fun moving online yoga flow will start off with breath of fire to get the Shakti surging. Stretch out your hip flexors and move into Ustrasana (camel pose) to boost your energy and receptivity!

    2. Invigorating Morning Flow with Ashley Turner

    This is the ideal online yoga class for energizing, detoxing, and building mental focus. Begin with a luxurious opening sequence of two invigorating kriyas to wake up the physical and pranic bodies and flush out any stagnation or lethargy. Then, dive into a strong, comprehensive standing sequence of twisting and balancing poses to wring out every corner of the body. End feeling energized, clear, and awake. (92 mins.)

    3. Ten-Minute Tune Up with Taj Paxton

    I know you’re busy, but I’m sure you can manage to set aside 10 minutes. In this short online yoga class, use powerful breath work, core exercises, and long, deep stretches to awaken and energize.

    Pre-practice, join Pete Guinosso for a brief pranayama practice:

    4. Using Your Breath to Energize Your Practice

    The breath connects the mind, body and spirit. Pranayama (breath/energy movement) is a powerful tool for working the nervous system in your yoga and in your life. Learn how to use breath in this online yoga practice to energize your nervous system and, therefore, you. Explore the advanced practice of getting the breath to reach different parts of your body. Energy flows to where your awareness and breath goes. (7 mins.)

    5. Kundalini Practice to Fortify the Body's Stress Defenses with Maya Fiennes

    In this online Kundalini yoga class, musician and yoga teacher Maya Fiennes combines her talents to create a stunningly beautiful Kundalini practice focused on fortifying the body's stress defenses. Maya uses movement, breath, mantra, and chants all set to her own exhilarating music to awaken the spirit, energize the body, and relax the mind. These sequences are designed to detoxify and strengthen kidneys and adrenals, the body's first line of defense against stress-induced illness. Among the easiest styles of yoga to learn, Kundalini can produce dramatic results quickly. You will feel more awake and aware, healthier, and better able to face everyday challenges. Enjoy live music from Matthew Moon (www.matthewmoon.com). (88 mins.)

    Get moving, yogis.

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Warrior II via www.aliveinthefire.com

  • Mantra + Meditation with Jeanne Heileman

    sukhasana

    If unfamiliar, mantra and meditation may seem mysterious, even overwhelming. Allow Jeanne Heileman to dissolve any mystery and anxiety. Learn about the power of mantra and experience it first-hand in the following online yoga offerings.

    “The biggest thing is to experience it.” ~Jeanne Heileman

    The Use of Mantra

    Listen to Jeanne as she discusses the importance and uses of mantra, as well as the many different kinds and options for mantra in this free online yoga video. To practice mantra, follow up this discussion up with the following online yoga videos.

    free online yoga video

    Finding Your Voice: Mantra and the Fifth Chakra in Yoga

    This online yoga practice will explore the use of Mantra throughout the whole class. The practice focuses on aspects of the Fifth Chakra, which are connected to sound and vibration. You will join the students in the class vocalizing the mantra "So Hum" as you move through Sun Salutations and poses. At times, things will get quiet as you silently repeat the mantra, feeling the vibrational quality that the mantra provides. This well-rounded class leads to Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and Matseyasana (Fish Pose). It seems pretty simple on the outside, but the students reported that the experience was very powerful on the inside. Give it a try! Follow up this transformative experience with try Jeanne's Mantra for Meditation. (55 mins.)

    vinyasa yoga online

    Mantra for Meditation

    Everything vibrates, either on a slow, dull level or a faster, lighter frequency. The vibration of our speech comes from the vibrations of our respiratory system, which are a result of the vibrations from our thoughts. If we can begin to control the vibrations in our mind, it can eventually ripple outward past our speech and into our actions and our destiny. Mantra can be that powerful! In this online meditation class, the mantra "So Hum" is offered, after some Pranayama to help establish a focused environment. "So Hum" is a simple, safe, and extremely powerful mantra that works in alignment with any spiritual/religious perspective you might already follow. It can also help fill the void if no perspective exists at this time in your life. This meditation is a really wonderful option for when your mind is racing around a lot and concentration is difficult. It is also wonderful for those times when you feel lower in self-esteem, lacking any outer support. The effects of the mantra are truly powerful, and come in time, after many, many repetitions. It's worth doing! (24 mins.)

    online meditation video

    Mantra is an amazing tool to get your conscious out of the way – to re-pattern and re-wire negative thoughts and habits in a very subtle, yet effective way. Tap into your graciousness, goodness, and divinity, transform, and raise your vibration.

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Seated Meditation via www.naturealmom.com

  • To Yoga or Not to Yoga?

    I awoke yesterday feeling not so groovy. Sniffles. Sneezes. Soreness. The works. You know you’re a yogi when the first thing you ask yourself in the face of sickness is, “To yoga or not to yoga?”

    Kapotasana

    Yesterday, I was too hung up on feeling sorry for myself to practice. I was turning a minor sickness into a life-debilitating ailment.

    Today, I had places to be and things to do. No longer did I have the option of whimpering in bed absorbed in some mind-numbing series on Netflix. Today, I really could not let this microscopic monster own me. Being that I’m at a yoga studio all day, it only made sense to practice. In fact, I couldn’t resist the temptation.

    So, here I am directly following a 1.5-hour crazy, sweaty Vinyasa practice. And you know what? I feel relieved.

    I’m not saying practicing during sickness is a smart move all the time. There are legit reasons why you shouldn’t practice, including difficulty breathing, build up of pressure in the sinuses and head, etc. However, don’t let yourself cop out when you don't have those legit reasons. Mindfully assess your situation. See how you feel. Maybe try it out. Post class, you could end up feeling revived. In my case, I do.

    Now, I’m pretty much a nut so a crazy, sweaty Vinyasa flow did me well. However, I would caution you to verge on the more restorative end of things, at least at the onset of your illness. Here are some therapeutic, calming flows to attempt while battling a bug.

    If you’re dealing with a cold, Ashley Turner’s Yoga to Relieve Cold Symptoms is what you want. In fact, I’m going to give this a go later this evening.

    As I'm well aware of currently, it is sometimes difficult to practice yoga at your normal pace or intensity when you have a cold. This online yoga class will help you increase the flow of oxygen through your body and get your prana moving in order to help your body heal itself. Practice a series of poses that can be held for longer if you are able. Listen to your body and take extra breaths if necessary. Finish feeling more energetic and less congested and foggy. Have a bolster (or bed pillow), blanket and eye pillow available to make yourself comfortable. (21 mins.)

    These bugs always seem to get worse as the day continues. To end your day on a high note, do Annie Carpenter’s Chill Sequence: End of Day Practice filmed at Exhale Spa's Venice location.

    This online yoga practice will help you calm your mind and body. You will run through simple prone releases and a guided deep relaxation to a blissful savasana. (24 mins.)

    To deeply relax in mind and body, do Yoga Nidra - a Psychic Sleep Relaxation Method - guided by 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. 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 class are cumulative - the more you do it, the greater the benefit. No previous experience needed! (45 mins.)

    Lastly, if you have the strength and stamina, try Hala Khouri’s Therapeutic Flow filmed at Exhale Spa.

    This online yoga class starts with hamstring and hip releases and lower back stabilization exercises. Move into a grounding flow to create support in the lower back, which is followed by a series of shoulder openers. This therapeutic class is nurturing as well as challenging. (83 mins.)

    Even if you’re battling a bug, you can still find methods of practice. The first step is letting go of all the excuses and the feeling sorry for yourself nonsense. Getting sick sucks, but it happens. It is only temporary (as is everything). This too shall pass, yogis.

    ~Tess

  • No Pain, No Gain? Wrong.

    I have battled injury my whole life. (None incredibly serious thank my lucky stars). Injury tends to be the way of the game, especially when you are intense and drawn to the more extreme of sports and activities. Between rock climbing (my big injury culprit), years of competitive running, cheerleading (I was the designated tossed chick), dance, and rowing (probably with lousy form), my body began breaking down. Ankles fractured. Ribs fractured. Mysterious aches and pains. I was miserable and a slave to my heating pad and icy hot.

    And what did I do? I continued to push through the pain. I thought that pain was a given on the path of progress and, ultimately, mastery. Yeah, I was deranged. I was wrong.

    After all that physical havoc, I hit a breaking point. That breaking point came during an attempt at medical school. During this incredibly stressful, emotionally dark stage, I gave up on all of it. Actually, it was surrender. I surrendered. I softened. I listened. I gave my body and brain exactly what it need: a freaking break.

    Surrender...via www.jaccicollinsyoga.com

    In between attempts at studying and questioning my life’s meaning, I hit the mat. Yoga was something I had practiced for awhile, albeit sporadically. I usually practiced it on my off days of body bashing. Of course, I was initially drawn to the extreme forms such as Bikram and Hot Yoga. My body, however, was done with extremes. I was, at this point, drawn to more mindful, alignment based flows. I sought out flows with a healing, spiritual component in an attempt to heal and fill the void I was experiencing.

    I worked on yoga. And yoga began working on me. It became my only savior during physical and emotional struggle. I realized its transformational properties. So, I made a decision that most of my friends and family will never understand. I dropped out of medical school. Shortly thereafter, I started a yoga teacher training. The rest is history. Blissful history.

    It’s been over a year since all that went down. Of course, there have been and will continue to be moments of struggle. Yoga, however, has lessened my struggle. Yoga has lessened my pain. It can do the same for you. It can work on you. Its healing properties cannot be denied.

    If you find yourself in a similar state of physical or emotional distress, it’s time to make a choice. Will you continue to push through the pain without gain? Or will you surrender, soften, and give your body and mind what it needs.

    Below, find a selection of online yoga videos featuring themes of healing.

    Heart Chakra Healing & Balancing Kundalini Yoga Set with Kiyomi Takahashi

    This powerful Kundalini set is perfect for your morning or mid-day practice to uplift your energy. The short online meditation at the end of the class will induce the sense of calmness in your heart. This class is designed to remove energetic blockage from your heart Chakra, so you can connect to yourself with true compassion, and allow yourself to receive the healing, love, and compassion that you deserve. The ending meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others. May the increased healing energy from your heart penetrate and dissolve your pain, and the pain of others around you. (49 mins.)

    Core Yoga for Healing with Jeanne Heileman

    Our center, known as the "kunda" or oven in Sanskrit, is where our internal fire is contained. We need this fire for healthy digestion of food, mental activity, and emotional experiences. We also need this fire to experience the vitality of life. This online yoga class will help you access, light, build and maintain your flame so that it shines through the spark in your eyes, the glow of your skin and expands your whole aura. You will practice a unique way of doing yoga poses and movements that focus on strengthening and stretching the entire torso, not just your belly. You will learn about the third chakra, the Manipura Chakra, that dwells in this centered space. Jeanne developed this style of practicing when she had surgery on an ankle and could not use her legs in asana for three months. Rather than get depressed, she got on her mat and played. The result was an amazing feeling and a desire to share with others. Those with knee, ankle, and general lower back pain may find relief in this practice. (67 mins.)

    Yoga to Relieve Back Pain with Gigi Yogini

    You don't have to be an expert to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Some of the most effective exercises are the simplest. Practice these simple moves with conscious breath to relieve back pain and strengthen your spine in this online yoga class. (27 mins.)

    Forrest Yoga Workshop: Heal Your Back with Ana Forrest (Part 1 & Part 2)

    In this online yoga class, you will learn pranayama and asana to heal back pain. Learn how to bring fresh oxygen, blood, and nerve energy into your painful areas while you release toxins and tensions that may have accumulated. Discover how to access and relax hardened muscles that have been used to stabilize any injury. You'll learn how to use Forrest Yoga to strengthen the muscles of the back and its supporting areas, including the abdomen and legs. Work, sweat, and attain freedom from back pain. This workshop has been divided into Part 1 and Part 2 due to the length. (156 mins. total)

    You have the potential to heal in mind, body, and spirit. Work on yoga. Allow yoga to work on you.

    ~TJ

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