yoga

  • Kick-Start Yoga Giveaway Winners Announced

    yoga prayer

    All good things must end.

    On that note, our yoga giveaway is finito.

    So here comes our virtual closing, congratulatory ceremony.

    We are happy to announce that 5 randomly selected yogis are about to be on the receiving end of some hands down AWESOME yoga-inspired swag including:

    • an eco-conscious yoga mat from Kharma Khare with life-time guarantee
    • a fashion-forward Rise & Shine jacket from Ellie.com
    • a no-muss-no-fuss yoga mat strap from prAna
    • beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry from Satya
    • and one year of unlimited YogaVibes yoga online!

    Nice, right?

    So without further ado, the 5 fortunate winners are...

    Wait for it.

    OK.

    Here goes!

    • Susannah Wilkins

    • Sarah Fields

    • Christina Bandy

    • Kimberly Grommes

    • Laura Kelley

    Congrats, giveaway winners!

    Revel in your ultimate yoga goody bags.

    Also, we’d like to take this time to extend a BIG thank you to all of the awesome yoga-inspired brands that offered up these fabulous freebies.

    And if you weren’t in the lucky lineup this round, no worries. Many more online yoga challenges and giveaways to come! Just you wait.

    Image Courtesy of www.prairieyogimagazine.com

  • Self-Care for the Holidays | 10 Quick + Easy Ideas

    Weary Snowman via Community Playthings

    Has seasonal fatigue set in? Rekindle your joy with these great self-care tips from YogaVibes friend and Happiness Coach, Julie Santiago. Thanks, Julie!

    10 Quick & Easy Ways to Take Care of Yourself During the Holidays

    The holidays are such a hard time to prioritize ourselves and our wellness. December is usually filled with holiday parties, gift-shopping, organizing, planning, cookie baking, family gathering, etc. It's such a special time of year and you don't want to say "no" to anything. The more holiday merriment, the better - right?

    Often times this means we fall out of habit with the things we KNOW make us feel good. Getting in a workout, eating healthfully, taking time for ourselves can be really challenging when you're trying to juggle so many things at once. Our own self-care is usually the first thing to go and when we stop taking care of ourselves...

    We get cranky, snappy, impatient...

    We get tired, spacey, foggy headed, scatterbrained...

    We stop exercising which means we keep all the stress stored in our bodies and don't release through movement which usually means we release onto someone else... (Remember: Stored energy must eventually come out!)

    We make poor food choices so we feel even more depleted, less energized, and down on ourselves.

    But it doesn't have to be this way. Whether you have 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes, here are ways to refill your tank so you can FULLY enjoy the holidays without having to sacrifice anything.

    Got 1 minute?

    1) Take a quick break from whatever you're doing and step outside. Even in the cold, breathing in fresh air will immediately replenish your body, mind and soul. For extra credit, take your shoes off and allow your feet to touch the earth. Maybe even touch a tree to really get grounded and connected to nature.

    2) Turn on your favorite, cheesy song and dance like a crazy person just for one minute.

    3) Sit with your eyes closed. Inhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Do this 4 times and you'll immediately feel calmer.

    4) Place one hand on your heart and take a deep breath in. Notice the beating of your heart. Imagine that through your hand, you're sending your heart love and gratitude for always taking such good care of you.

    Got 5 minutes?

    1) Make yourself a warm cup of peppermint tea. Drink it with no distractions staring out the window.

    2) Grab a pen and a journal and allow yourself to write everything you're grateful for in this moment.

    3) Google "Most Inspirational YouTube Videos" and pick one to watch.

    4) Stand up, fold forward and just let your head hang. As you breath into your lower back for a minute feel the tension releasing. Roll your spin all the way up and begin to circle your hips in one direction for one minute and then switch for another minute. Just allow your hips and your spine to move however they want. For the final minute, jump up and down shaking out of your fingers and hands releasing anything you've been holding onto. Imagine that it's all pouring out of your hands as you shake.

    Got 30 minutes?

    1) Do a 30 minute YogaVibes class. I have to admit…I'm one of those people who can talk myself out of yoga if I don't have 2 hours to dedicate to a class. But the awesome thing about doing yoga online is that you only need 30 minutes. It doesn't have to be this all or nothing experience. I recently did a 31 minute class by Rolf Gates called Wake Up Well and a 23 minute class called Core Hell taught by Annie Carpenter. Both days I was feeling frazzled and knew I wasn't going to have to actually go to a yoga class. So I found a quick and easy class and 30 minutes later my entire body and mind were reset.

    2) Give yourself an oil massage. Before you take a bath or shower, rub oil all of your body. Start from your feet and work your way, really massaging your muscles with love and care. Allow it to sink in for 10-15 minutes and then hop in the shower or bath. Your skin will feel amazing and your mind will be still.

    Happiness Coach Julie Santiago Happiness Coach Julie Santiago

    Julie Santiago is a former Wall Street trader turned Spiritual Mentor & Happiness Coach. Having spent most of her 20s living someone else’s version of her life, she found herself with money in the bank but a hole in her heart. Since escaping the golden handcuffs and diving into the unknown, Julie now helps other women get unstuck…in life, in business, and in love.

    She is a warrior for other women to fall madly in love with their lives as she guides them to break through their fears and experience happiness and freedom like they've never known. Learn more about Julie at www.juliesantiago.com

     

  • 3 Reasons to Strengthen Your Core

    One of the newest additions to the YogaVibes roster is the fantastic Justin Michael Williams. Meet Justin:

    Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.25.31 PM

    Isn't he awesome?!? Yeah, we think so, too.

    In addition to his classes, we'll be periodically sharing blogs from Justin. Here's his first, on core strength:

    Three Reasons to Strengthen Your Core!

    There are so many benefits to strengthening your core that I’ve lost track of them all! Many students ask why we spend so much time building core strength in my yoga classes. This is what I tell them…

    Working your core builds self-confidence. Did you know that core exercises balance your third Chakra? The third Chakra (also known as the “Manipura” chakra) is located near the navel and is your energetic center for power and self-esteem. An imbalance in this area can cause fear of rejection, oversensitivity to criticism, and a depletion of self-image. Balancing your third Chakra will help you stand tall and move through life with grace and confidence.

    Building core strength deepens your practice. A vinyasa flow yoga practice requires a significant level of core awareness. I often witness students who are mentally and energetically ready to attempt advanced asana variations, but their core isn’t prepared to support the challenge. For example, inversions like headstand and handstand require an incredible amount of core strength. Taking a few minutes each day to build core stability will help take your practice to new heights.

    A strong core is anti-aging. Really! Building core-strength supports your spine. When your spine is supported, your entire body is aligned and functioning properly, which delays the aging process. One of my favorite teachers always said, “You’re only as old as your spine is healthy.” Working your core will keep you standing tall, vibrant, and ageless.

    Thanks, Justin!

    Enjoy Justin's core focus in action with his short and sweet 20 minute Ab Kickin' Quick Flow class:

    Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.32.35 PM

     

  • Discover Your Inner Wisdom

    “Each man's life represents a road toward himself, an attempt at such a road, the intimation of a path...But each of us - experiments of the depths - strives toward his own destiny. We can understand one another; but each of us is able to interpret himself to himself alone.”

    ~Hermann Hesse~

    corpse pose Savasana by Robert Sturman Photography

    Yoga is all about aligning with your inner wisdom and revealing your true self. The revelation of your true self is a process unique to you. As Hesse imparts, the road to your self is uniquely yours. Sure, you travel on your own road, but it’s only natural to imitate other paths, experimenting with new depths. One such path is the yoga path – a unifying path that integrates breath and movement to help you, ultimately, reach your true self.

    Experiment with the path now. Shift your focus within and travel to new depths in Cristi Christensen’s new online yoga class filmed at Exhale Spa: Live Music Slow Flow for Inner Wisdom. 

    In this online yoga video, you will gently wake up the spine before moving into a beautiful Sun Salutation flow following your own breath, aligning with your own internal rhythm, and flowing to the hypnotic, live musical vibes provided by Christopher Hawley. Practice a core activation sequence followed by a standing sequence that ends with hamstring openers, including hanumanasana and the arm balance, eka pada koundinyasana II. End this online yoga experience with seated forward folds and an opportunity to practice alternate nostril breathing before settling into a deep savasana. (83 mins.)

    exhale spa yoga online

    Enjoy the ride to inner bliss.

  • 25 Ways to Be a B.A. Yogi

    peacock pose
    1. Brave the Fall…Actually Brave Many Falls. Push through challenges knowing that you may very well take a fall. These falls are lessons and opportunities for growth. No challenge equates to no change. No change equates to stagnation and boredom. You don’t want that. You want to be learning and growing as much as possible.
    2. Keep Your Drishti (Gaze) On Your Mat. It’s so easy to get caught up in what the person next to you or across from you is doing. Yes, it is impressive that so-and-so is practicing more upside down than right side up. But really, what do you care? This is your practice. This is your experience. Cultivate presence. Be really there to marinate in all the amazing effects. Kill the comparison game.
    3. Eliminate Fear. I’m not urging you to be reckless. What I mean is to stop irrational fear from clouding your potential. Some forms are fear are legit. For example, if you recently sprained your neck it probably is not reasonable to try tripod headstand for the first time for fear of re-spraining it. That’s rational. If you refuse to try headstand because you are afraid you will die, that's a different story - a story that you need to re-write, taking fear out of it.
    4. Always Be Evolving. Expand your consciousness. Read. Do. Experience.
    5. Do YOU. Live your truth. Speak your truth. You are more than enough. In fact, you are a freakin’ miracle. Why would you waste your time trying to be anything but you?
    6. Accept That You Can’t Do It All. There’s always another pose, another mantra, another book, another style of yoga, etc. You won’t be able to get it all in. Surrender to that reality, but keep getting in as much as humanly possible!
    7. Never Give Up. Don’t throw in the towel prematurely. There will always be struggles and setbacks on this path. There will always be challenges. Always keep forging ahead, one breath at a time.
    8. Adapt. Be like water. Go with the flow. When you truly let go of expectations, you realize greater freedom and happiness in the practice and in life.
    9. Take Action, Yet Practice Non-attachment. This is the paradox of the yoga practice: The intent to NEVER give up and to ALWAYS let go.
    10. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. My sister once told me, “Less is more, Tessa.” I have to constantly remind myself of this as I obsessively create better and more ways of doing this and that to the point of being totally overwhelmed. Less is usually more manageable. Less is usually more.
    11. Contribute. Ask yourself, “How can I help? How can I be of service? How can I contribute?”
    12. Accept Your Samskaras. We all come from a past – a past that, if you’re human, has parts of darkness and destruction. We all have scars. Yes, some have more and some scars run deeper, but nevertheless we are all flawed. The only way to get over it is to accept it - even embrace it. Those flaws are what make you unique, even beautiful.
    13. Leave Your Ego Out of It. Anytime I start thinking I’m an asana badass, I ultimately do something incredibly humbling. Maybe it’s taking a fall. Maybe it’s a minor injury. Whatever it is, it’s a reminder to get over myself and remain humble.
    14. Learn From Your Mistakes and Move On. You will screw up. Consider these screw ups as opportunities for growth. Then, let them go and move on. It’s a waste of your energy to cling to your past perceived wrongdoings.
    15. Listen to Your Intuitive Body. Any decision I’ve made with my gut has been the right one. Never resist your intuition. It’s so powerful.
    16. Know Who You Really Are. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Meditate on this question. You will realize that you are many things. A parent, a sibling, a yogi, a daughter, a son, etc. But also realize that you are something destined and designed for greatness. Only you can unveil this greatness.
    17. Forgive. Forgive yourself, forgive your friends, forgive your former loves, forgive your family, forgive that stranger that cut you in line or flipped you off on the freeway, etc. Forgiveness brings peace to your experience.
    18. Express Gratitude. When it’s time to set an intention for the practice and you are blanking, this is a great go-to.
    19. Laugh. It’s just yoga, people! Don’t take it so seriously. Smile. Giggle. Crack up. This is a practice inherent with joy.
    20. Remain Receptive. Yes, we all have emotional walls and blockages. That’s why yoga is so awesome. It enhances expansion and receptivity. It creates more space to receive. Remain open to its potential. When you are fully receptive, awesome things will transpire.
    21. Put Out Positive Vibes. What you put out, you will ultimately receive in some shape or form. So, put out good energy.
    22. Really Live It Up. Don’t half-ass your human experience. It’s so transient, so fill up your precious time fulfilling your dharma (purpose) and doing all those things that bring you joy.
    23. Practice. There’s really no excuse. You’ve got yoga at your fingertips with YogaVibes, so when you’re traveling and on the go-go-go you have a resource to continue with your practice.
    24. Know That You Don’t Have All of the Answers. There is mystery to life. That’s what makes it interesting. It’s impossible to be a know-it-all so let go of any desire or urge to be one. All we can do is get things less wrong. We will never have ultimate understanding.
    25. Accept That Everything Happens for a Reason. If you can embrace this as true, life will flow with greater ease. No doubt it’s difficult – difficult, yet liberating.

    ~Tess

    Photo Credit: Peacock Pose via www.lifeismyantidrug.tumblr.com

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