yoga for the seasons

  • Bring in the Spring: 10 Tips to Shift into the Season

    Today marks the official dawn of spring! Sure, it may not feel very spring-like. It snowed in North Carolina last week, and I know it's still cold in a lot of places. Winter is sometimes slow to release her chilly grip. Even still, I know spring is upon us. The sun feels a bit warmer when it touches my skin. The days are brighter. The energy is up! Yes, yogis, spring is here. Even if it hasn’t made itself totally obvious yet.

    Since we are seasonally shifting, it’s important to make some minor lifestyle changes. It’s time to let go of your wintery ways and change in accordance with the season to stay balanced and happy!

    Spring is a season of warmth, moisture, and softness. The heat from the sun is now awakening the vibrancy and beauty of all life that was lying dormant during winter (including yourself, perhaps). Even so, this season can be problematic for some. Spring is also a season of colds, sinus congestion, and allergies. To avoid these typical spring occurrences, it’s important to emphasize internal spring cleaning.

    Spring Guidelines:

    1. Eat a lighter diet.
    2. Take on some sort of cleansing program. Kitchari cleanses are a really nourishing way to cleanse while still getting plenty of food.
    3. Start to wake up earlier. Rise with the sun!
    4. Declutter and rearrange your space to best support yourself in this season. What do you use, what do you need each day? What can be donated, sold, or put away until it gets cold out again?
    5. Say goodbye to all napping unless you're sick or pregnant. I'm serious. Napping causes stagnation.
    6. As it really begins to heat up, take measures to keep cool. Practice cooling forms of yoga, such as yin yoga. (Sort by style and find all of our online yin yoga classes). Practice cooling forward folds. Take a refreshing dip.
    7. Take time to appreciate the reawakening of nature. Take nature walks. Go on a long hike. Take your laptop or tablet outside and practice yoga outdoors. Observe all the new life emerging. New sprouts. New blooms and blossoms. New, vibrant energy. Embrace it all!
    8. Since there will be a lot of action going on outside, set aside time for introspective activities, such as meditation or writing. We offer an awesome collection of online meditation classes. Please check them out! Reserve time for stillness.
    9. Do some emotional housekeeping and cleaning. How are you feeling? Are you holding on to anything you should be releasing? Are you happy? Self-reflect.
    10. Practice detoxifying, renewing yoga classes. Think twists, twists, and more twists. To find all of our twisting online yoga flows, sort by Focus.

    Spring these balancing tips into action. Be full of the joys of spring.

  • 3 Simple, Fall Balancing Tips

    We are in the thick of the Vata dosha deranged season.autumn shift

    Um...Vata dosha whaaa?

    Vata: It’s simply the yoga-y way to describe the windy, wispy winter-warning vibes that this season gives off.

    The Vata breakdown...

    Qualities: Cold, dry, rough, light, changeable, irregular and moving.

    Natural Elements: Air and space.

    Speaking of space...

    Are you feeling spacey? Off your game? All over the place with your thoughts and emotions? Overwhelmed? Just outta whack?

    If so, know that these symptoms are typical during this Vata crazed season. What’s manifesting in nature can totally end up manifesting in our mental bodies. So, if you’re feeling unsettled, ungrounded and unstable, know that Vata may be to blame here. But no worries. That’s why the Universe invented yoga. Yoga gets us spacey, temperamental humans back on track.

    Yoga teaches that when we are in the throws of Vata excess, we gotta go against the grain of Vata to subdue its whacky ways. This means choosing more grounding, warming foods, setting up a solid, structured lifestyle, and fine-tuning our practices to cultivate more calmness amidst the brewing chaos.

    Here are some easy-to-implement tips to keep Vata in check this Fall:

    1. Commit to a regular meditation practice to quiet unsettling thoughts, center, and ground. Don’t know where to start with a meditation practice? Does this suggestion, in itself, overwhelm you? Keep it simple. Ashley Turner’s free online yoga video - Meditation 101 - offers an incredibly accessible meditation technique you can learn in less than 4 minutes. ashley turner yoga online
    2. Start your day off with some Sun Salutations to warm the body. If you need to brush up on your Sun Salutations, search our free Strike-A-Pose yoga videos. We have many videos demoing this fiery sequence and its many forms.
    3. Practice heating postures, including backbends, the warrior poses, and arm balances – all postures you can explore in our collection of free online yoga videos. The warrior poses are especially recommended, as they have a grounding quality.

    Put these ideas into action so you can fall into this season with some grace. No one likes a Vata space cadet.

    Photo Credit: Maria Sardari Photography

     

  • Keep Yourself in Check: 10 Summer-Balancing Pointers

    Oh sweet, sweet summer. Beaches. Sun-kissed skin. Warmth. Leisure. Bliss.

    side plank Gigi Yogini in Vasisthasana (Side Plank) with Vrksasana (Tree Pose) variation...

    The sweetness of the summer season is intoxicating. The abundance of sunshine inspires lots of activity and time spent outdoors to soak it all in. By all means, soak it all in, but do so sensibly. Take special caution to remain harmonious in the heat with these summer-stabilizing tips:

    1. Practice yoga at home in the early morning when temperatures are cooler. If you can’t work in a morning practice, the next best option is an evening flow.
    2. Choose loose fitting clothes (linen or cotton) to allow your skin to breathe.
    3. Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption. I know an ice-cold beer and iced coffee are perceived to be very refreshing during this time. In reality, they are very dehydrating! Yes, summer is the opportunity to sip and enjoy these pleasures. So sip and enjoy, but do so in moderation.
    4. Reduce hot, spicy, fermented, salty, oily, and fried foods. All of these foods are heating and don’t jive too well with the soaring temperatures.
    5. Select cooling, hydrating foods, including peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, and other juicy fruits.
    6. Use cooling oils for self-massage, such as coconut oil. Not only is this awesome for skin hydration, but it is also super purifying!
    7. Before you retreat into savasana, treat yourself to a cooling herbal mist to hydrate and protect your skin. Organic rose water is a wonderful selection!
    8. This is an obvious one: Drink LOTS of water. LOTS. In fact, go down a glass right now.
    9. Meditate. Summer is a very stimulating season. Establish a regular meditation practice to renew and find calm amidst the intensity and excitement.
    10. Reserve time to relax and restore – to pacify the go-go-go. Ease up on all of the activity and try some restorative or yin yoga at home.

    To celebrate summer, jump into this one hour online yoga class with Sarah Starr filmed on the beach! Take time to explore what makes you feel alive as you focus on detoxifying twists, core strength, and the joy of hip openers.

    yoga at home

    May your summer be abundant with happy, harmonious vibes!

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: www.gigiyogini.com

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