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Meet Your Kula: Krystal Prout

Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. Meet our Prajñā Yogi, Krystal […]

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Use An Oil Cleansing Method to Put Your Best Face Forward

I swear to you, washing your face with oil makes a whole lotta sense. If you’ve never tried an oil cleansing method, I’m really excited for you right now I was skeptical too. Very. But those who recommended using oil cleansing versus soap and water sure as hell had really nice skin. Trust the people who have the skin you want. Like attracts like It was only about ten years ago that this concept introduced itself to me. The law of attraction is that like attracts like. I had grown up with the opposites attract ideology. When we question what we know to be true, we can consider doing things differently and with gusto. Reasons using an oil cleansing method will improve your skin It’s a fact that oil dissolves oil. If you have oily skin, that means there is an overproduction of oil. To mitigate this, using the right oils depending on your skin’s needs can effectively clear up an abundance of oil, blackheads, acne, dry skin, you name it. Balance. By using natural oils to clean your face combats the oils your body produces that have become stuck. Dissolving these oils will create a healthy balance in your skin. […]

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How Often Should You Do Yoga? The Most Common Questions Asked and Answered

How often should you do yoga? Which yoga mat should I buy? How long will it take for my hamstrings to become more open? Should I do handstands if I’ve had a rotator cuff injury? The inquiry never stops, nor should it. Ask and question everything. There’s only circumstantial evidence that curiosity killed the cat. Curiosity is what it’s all about. If you have a question about yoga, chances are that many others have the same inquiry I’ve been teaching yoga for coming up on 13 years now. Primarily, I teach Vinyasa Yoga. But I’ve also spent time teaching Hatha, Yin, and Restorative. Below are the most common questions I’ve received over the years. The answers are based in both fact and opinion, so take it all with a big bag of salt. And keep that curiosity muscle flexed. How often should you do yoga? Daily. Keep in mind that your practice should reflect your goals, health, injury accommodation, and any other needs. Many swear by daily meditation. This can certainly be viewed as a yoga practice. If you believe the concept that your practice is your life, then practicing with every action you take, every word you speak and choice […]

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Practicing Yoga for Hip Pain and the Power of Backing Off

Some of us just are not all that talented at resting. If you’re an active sort and have trouble keeping still, then being told to rest might feel like a punishment. Since the joints of the hips are so large, sometimes they require more rest than we want to give them. But they will keep asking. And often, it will show up in the form of a demand. Practicing yoga for hip pain can help depending on what’s actually going on And just because I really love stating the obvious (and I’m so damn good at it), yoga instructors are not doctors. They can’t tell you why your hip hurts. Only an x-ray and qualified medical professional can help you out with that. However, if you’re not ready to go that route, trying rest may be your best bet. See where that takes you. Not interested? Then go see a professional so you know what you’re dealing with. Less is often more I promise. It feels like those words are spilling out of my mouth on the regular as of late. The very deepest place you can go is not necessarily the most optimal for you. If you’re always reaching […]

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The Yoga Friendship: How Many of Us Have Met Our Closest Friends Via Yoga?

I’m so inspired by the idea of yoga friendship I actually wrote a novel based on that concept. Yoga studios are a unique place and they practically beg us to connect with others. In the novel, Yoga Train, the main characters, Devon and Ruby, meet at the yoga studio. Devon has been wanting to approach Ruby and she finally does. As she puts her mat down next to Ruby’s, she looks up at Devon and says, “Hi. I like your purple eye-liner.” And that was that. The yoga friendship begins with common ground and a shared experience Seems like a damn good place to start building a relationship. Yoga becomes the way we live our lives. We all want to connect with other like-minded folks who care about their minds, bodies, and how they affect and influence the world around them. Self-awareness is a key component in the development of a yoga practice. Automatically, we want to form relationships with others who value that too. We yogis get extremely passionate. A fire starts and it doesn’t burn out. We form a much more honest relationship with ourselves and we take that with us out of the studio and into every aspect of […]

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Yoga Arm Balances: The Benefits and Reasons We Want to Do Them So Badly

The first time I saw Crow Pose (Bakasana), I was pissed that the pose even existed. It was surprising to me that yoga arm balances were even a thing. I didn’t know much about yoga, and arm balances hit me hard because I knew it would take a lot of practice to be able to achieve them one day. I remember thinking, “Oh my stars, I will never be able to do this pose. How is it possible that in a class of twenty people, I’m the only one who can’t do it?” Everyone else lifted into it so seemingly easily. It was dumbfounding. If everyone else could do it, how hard could it actually be? Um, turns out the answer is pretty damn hard. And acknowledging that is crucial if you want to pursue these postures. Yoga arm balances are flat out cool. We desperately want to be able to pull them off. There are a lot of benefits to arm balances. But do they really deserve the amount of attention we give them? Are the benefits that valuable? The answer is complicated. It all depends on your goals and what you think is worthy of your time and […]

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Is There a Specific Yoga Diet? Yes but Mostly No

Timing is everything, they say. And I absolutely believe that cliché. It was when I was in the process of moving back to Atlanta from Columbus, Ohio that I met my life partner. And when I first moved to Columbus, I walked into a yoga studio to apply to teach there. The owner was reading Yoga Journal and was on the page of my DVD review. Timing, y’all. It really does matter so very much. Let’s talk about the yoga diet We all know the stereotype of the vegan yogi who basically lives on what they can pick from their garden. They can essentially subsist on greens, good vibes, and downward facing dog pose. This is bullshit, for the most part. There are a whole lotta yogis who eat everything and anything. I even know an avid hunter who practices five days a week and just completed his 200-hour yoga teacher training. Many people who have tried to become either vegetarians or vegans report that they became sick as a result. There are also loads of happy, healthy folks who do not eat any animal products. And there’s a ton of people, like me, who are pescatarians (they only consume fish). […]

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Is The Equation of Giving and Receiving In Balance?

I bet you’re a giver. Most yoga lovers I know really excel at the giving part. They use almost every ounce of energy they have in that direction. Why is it so much easier to give than to let ourselves to receive? Energy is currency. Giving and receiving need to balance one another out Part of self-care is knowing when we have depleted our energy. We have to replenish the well constantly. Making thoughtful choices about how much of ourselves we give to others is a crucial part of making sure we protect and nurture our ability to be of service. If we think of energy as currency, noting when our bank account is insufficient of funds is an important thing to understand. And when it’s in abundance, that’s when we can indulge being the most generous version of ourselves. How and when to set boundaries Giving and receiving will probably never be quite in perfect balance. But getting as close to an evenness as we can needs to be a priority. When your yoga teacher is quiet after teaching a class, it’s likely because s/he has extended themselves as much as they could and it’s time to conserve energy. […]

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Self-Care Via the Practice of Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra may feel strange the first time you try it, but the echoes continue long after the physical practice ceases. If you’ve never practiced yoga nidra, you’re in for a real treat. It’s believed that practicing this form of meditation for 45 minutes is equitable to 3 hours of sleep. The benefits will reverberate throughout the rest of your waking hours making stress more manageable and focus more obtainable. Once you invite yoga nidra into your life, you’ll probably wonder how you ever functioned without it. An explanation of yoga nidra and how to practice it Yoga nidra translates to “yogic sleep”. It very well may replace that nap craving you typically find yourself having. It’s a guided meditation that relaxes your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and allows your brain to go from the active beta state and transverse over to the more restful alpha sleep state. If you can relax enough, your brain may be capable of going to an even further state of restoration. And when things are really working, your brain is able to move all the way to the delta state of deep, restorative relaxation where the benefits of truly restful sleep start to kick in. Sounds […]

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Why The Practice of Jnana Yoga Is a Necessity for A Happy Life

Have you ever heard of Jnana Yoga? Me either. Or at least I hadn’t until recently. A student asked about how to best practice Jnana yoga, and I had to admit I didn’t know what it was. Once I did a little research, I got excited about exploring this practice. The yoga world is vast, and just when you think you’ve tapped into every piece of yoga philosophy there is, a whole different zip code shows up on the map. Jnana translates to ‘wisdom’ or ‘knowledge’. It’s one of the four main paths of yoga and highly regarded as the most challenging to practice. Why is self-inquiry so tough? Why are we afraid of the truth and the pursuit of liberation from our untrue thoughts? Jnana yoga throws down the gauntlet of Svadhyaya To get on the other side of our egos, we have to be willing to invest fully in Svadhyaya, or “self-study”. While it’s true that most people like to talk about themselves, it is decidedly untrue that we like to explore our inner workings and implore honesty to rise to the surface and show us who we really are. How can we embark on this daunting path? Questions. […]

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