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The Very Best Yoga Gifts: Thoughtful, Simple, and Loving

No one needs another mug. I promise you. Did you catch that, Andrea? We are yoga lovers. It’s never boring for us. There’s no cajoling or coaxing us into rolling out our mats to practice. We’re psyched to spend a Saturday night going to a sound bath class or doing yoga with a DJ in […]

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The Very Best Yoga Gifts: Thoughtful, Simple, and Loving

No one needs another mug. I promise you. Did you catch that, Andrea? We are yoga lovers. It’s never boring for us. There’s no cajoling or coaxing us into rolling out our mats to practice. We’re psyched to spend a Saturday night going to a sound bath class or doing yoga with a DJ in black light. If yoga is involved, we are in. The best yoga gifts are those that enhance our practice I’m stoked if someone gives me a tiny bottle of essential oil because they said it reminded them of me. That’s all it takes. Yoga lovers don’t want or need you to spend a lot of money. Hell, if you just come to a class with us, we’re tickled. Keep it simple. How many times in our lives have we heard that? I have Raynaud’s Syndrome. So my hands get easily cold and even numb. My partner has bought me 3, count em, THREE pairs of very expensive battery-operated gloves to remedy the sitch. And none of them worked well or even kept working poorly. He finally gave up and bought me a box of HotHands warmers that I could slip in my gloves. Perfection. The […]

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Relish the Festivities This Year by Adding a Little Yoga to Your Holiday Rituals

Can you smell it? Scent shapes our experiences in countless ways. Well, okay. maybe you can count them. But the impact is obvious. And old holiday traditions no one looks forward to have a smell. It’s stale and faint, in case you were wondering. It rebukes. We want to be enticed and seduced into the holidays, don’t we? Let the excitement begin this year with brand spanking new yoga holiday rituals So what the hell are yoga holiday rituals anyway? I’m gonna go ahead and make up a definition here. We are yoga folk. Our practice is how we go about our lives. So, how does it make any sense that our holidays don’t contain rituals and traditions that include yoga? I’ll answer that. It really doesn’t. So as we gather with our friends, families, and communities, let’s involve and revolve the festivities around our beloved practices and share them as the gifts they are with those around us. If you’ve got a few naysayers or resistant people in your inner circle, this is the ideal opportunity to show them the various and vast sides of the yoga spectrum. Surely some components of yoga will speak to them. Maybe even […]

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If You’re Totally Over the Stiff Joints Thing and Want to Feel Better

Practicing yoga poses for stiff joints is one of the wisest choices we can make. It’s right up there with wearing a hat in cold weather and washing our hands before touching food. Pain most definitely decreases anyone’s desire to move, but it’s actually likely the best thing you can do. Even though it’s tempting to take a more sedentary approach when you’re feeling joint stiffness, resist the urge. A gentle approach is the key. And, not expecting your body to perform as it once did will greatly enhance the benefits of moving your body with the goal of kindness and increased comfort. Yoga poses for stiff joints will minimize discomfort I know, we yoga lovers claim it cures everything. While yoga won’t magically give you the ability to read minds or understand calculus, it does have a touch of magic in healing lots of causes of pain and limited mobility. When we strengthen our muscles, they have an improved ability to work as shock absorbers. This enhanced strength and flexibility assist our joints in working more comfortably. It takes time and you may have to change your practice to a more restorative one. But if you’re game and willing, […]

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Thanksgiving Yoga Sequence to Help You Digest and Detox

There may be some overeating. Scratch that, it’s a certainty. Use this Thanksgiving yoga sequence to prepare and repair There’s always the possibility you won’t eat too much. You may decide to fill up on water before embarking on the tradition of expandable pants and indigestion. But in case you decide to indulge, both preparing your body beforehand and fixing what’s just a little bit broken after your meal will have you feeling totally normal (almost) by Friday. Critical information about why we practice a specific Thanksgiving yoga sequence both before and after a feast: Twists are amazing for purging and aiding in digestion. When we twist, we massage our abdominal organs and deliver a fresh supply of blood to that area of our bodies. Twists also create internal fire, Agni. This also contributes to our ability to move food throughout bodies and eliminate effectively. Forward folds are downright fabulous in our pursuit of digestion and for decreasing bloating. Bloating sucks, right? Let’s eliminate that with some gentle compression to the organs that live in our abdominal cavities. Backbends stretch our abdominal organs really well. Space is good. The action of expanding and contracting gets things moving. We’re gonna do a […]

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The Unacknowledged Presence in a Yoga Gift Box

Have you heard the joke about the only thing the yoga teacher wanted for their birthday? “Just your presence.” Both presents and presence exist in each adoringly cultivated yoga gift box. There’s a whole lot more than the contents inside. A yoga gift box means all of your shopping is done I mean, if you dig shopping more than breathing, that might not be great news. But if you’re a pretty typical holiday shopper who feels a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, then we’ve got you. The lucky yoga lover in your life knows when they open your gift that you know them well and you want to remind them every month that they are loved. Sharing a yoga gift box with others is a delightful part of the joy Last month, when I opened my gift box and saw the cute purple yoga sox with tread on the bottoms, I knew exactly who would be getting them. Amy, I know you’ll be wearing them every practice and it makes me smile to think about how much you appreciate them. There’s something for everyone in each yoga gift box. We all know a crystals lover. And each of us has that […]

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How to Practice Saucha and Why You Absolutely Have to Clean Your Yoga Mat

I’ve definitely been guilty of letting my yoga mat get a little funky. You figure, “Hey, it’s my stench. What’s the big?” Saucha (cleanliness or purity) is the first niyama (positive and ethical observances). It guides us down the path of being mindful about excess and stabilizing our relationship with what purity means to us. If you’re curious about how to practice saucha, let’s begin with your yoga mat. How to practice saucha when it comes to our yoga mats Why am I making such a big deal over this? It’s just a mat. If it’s dirty, I’m only rolling around in my own filth. That’s totally fine. Except that it isn’t. If our yoga mat is a metaphor for our lives, we can’t continue to dive head first into negative thoughts, impure intentions, and unclear actions. We must have enough self-worth to provide ourselves a clean yoga mat to practice on so we can establish the importance of pure feelings that translate into how we behave and what we value. It’s important to be considerate of others If we treat our yoga mat as if it doesn’t matter, does that translate into how we treat our bodies? Maybe. Probably. Just […]

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This Sequence Is Brought to You by The Pretty Yoga Poses

Pretty yoga poses look and feel glorious. Sure, some are fancy and extremely difficult. But there are also many lovely and not at all overly complicated postures that allow you to feel your most beautiful self. Pretty poses help us to find and feel grace You know that one friend, the one who’s never awkward? Even if she falls out of Half Moon Pose, she does it with an elegant flair as if it was on purpose. She never bumps into a wall while looking for a chapstick in her oversized bag. And not once has she ever knocked her water bottle over in yoga class. Ever. There is undeniable beauty in thoughtful movement and subtle actions. And graceful executions require thoughtfulness, patience, and proprioception (knowing where your body lives in space). The awareness that comes from plotting out how to best go about any posture from High Crescent Lunge to Crow Pose is where the pretty yoga poses show up. Now, no doubt, some shapes are simply more adorable than others. Just take a quick peek at your IG feed. Certain postures such as Natarajasana(Dancer’s Pose) and Urdvah Danurasana(Upward-Facing Bow) variations get a little more love than Mountain Pose. […]

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This Election Day Is Also “Take Yourself On” Day

Did you know there is a national fried scallops day? Umhmm, it was October 2nd. Put it on your calendar for next year if you’re upset you missed it. There’s also a national hermit day, name your car day, and get funky day. What does that even look like? I haven’t filed the paperwork or anything yet, but if there can be a national fluffernutter day, then there most certainly should be a day for us to unilaterally proclaim our desire to improve how we live, love, think, and behave. Join me in celebrating “take yourself on” today Election day seems like a damn good choice to celebrate this both nationally and internationally. We are constantly influencing everyone around us in both tiny and giant ways. When you show up for a packed yoga class at the last minute, and someone is thoughtful enough to move their mat to make room for you, it changes your entire outlook on your practice. No improvement or effort is too small. Yesterday, a man opened a door for me. He was walking in the same direction and hurried ahead so he could open the next one too. “I guess today is ‘I open […]

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The Hot Yoga Debate: Is It Actually Good for You?

Hot Yoga is the practice of yoga in a heated room. It’s typically practiced in heat that is 100 degrees or higher. If you just said, “Yikes, no f’ing way could I do that,” I’m with you. I’ve tried many times and finally landed smack dab on not for me. But there are many who absolutely live for it and there are legit reasons why. Let’s discuss. Facts about Hot Yoga Hot Yoga, aside from happening in an extremely heated room, is often thought of interchangeably with Bikram Yoga. This is a common mistake. The high temperature is the defining component, not the sequence. Many styles of yoga utilize high heat to accompany the style. These include Baptist Yoga, Barkan Method, and Modo Yoga. Reasons for practicing in a very heated room Advocates of Hot Yoga feel very strongly about the remarkable benefits they’ve personally derived from practicing in the extreme heat and sweating profusely while doing yoga. They describe it as life-changing. Here are the main hard-core benefits if this practice is something you’re either currently enjoying or interested in trying: It’s mentally challenging. If you’ve never tried it, the only way to find out for sure if it’s right […]

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