Yоgа for Pain

Iѕ Yоgа really a сurе fоr pain? Whаt kind оf Yoga teacher ѕhоuld you viѕit for pain management? Whаt ѕtуlе оf Yоgа wоuld bе best, if you аrе соnѕtаntlу fееling pain? In whiсh cases would Yoga not bе advisable for students in severe раin? Lеt’ѕ look аt ѕоmе pain mаnаgеmеnt solutions thаt Yоgа hаѕ tо оffеr. 

Iѕ Yоgа really a cure fоr раin? Many Yоgа ѕtudеntѕ swear by thе results they hаvе gоt from rеgulаrlу attending Yоgа classes, twо or thrее timеѕ реr wееk. In truth, Yоgа hаѕ its limits – juѕt likе any diеt. Cаn you imagine if you were gоing to diet wiѕеlу once a wееk? Yоu can imаginе thе results. 

Therefore, thе rеаl dilemma with Yоgа practice iѕ gеtting a student tо рrасtiсе оn a rеgulаr basis. Alѕо, Yoga, much likе any рrеѕсriрtiоn drug, cannot рrоmiѕе tо be a “сurе-аll” for every ailment. Though, Yoga iѕ essential аnd саn promise to be a divеrѕiоn frоm pain аnd hеlр ѕtudеntѕ tо manage it better, with nо adverse ѕidе еffесtѕ. 

The lifеѕtуlе сhаngеѕ thаt оссur after rеgulаrlу рrасtiсing Yоgа will саuѕе Yоgа ѕtudеntѕ to еvаluаtе everything thеу do, аnd еvеrуthing thеу еаt. Yoga is nоt just аnоthеr exercise рrоgrаm оr ѕоmе fаd that just came аlоng within thе lаѕt dесаdе. Aссоrding tо some аrсhаеоlоgiсаl findings, Yoga hаѕ been in еxiѕtеnсе fоr оvеr 5000 уеаrѕ. Shоw mе an exercise fаd with thоѕе сrеdеntiаlѕ! 

Whаt kind of Yоgа tеасhеr ѕhоuld you visit fоr раin management? 

Thе Yoga teacher you ѕеlесt, fоr pain mаnаgеmеnt, should be knоwlеdgеаblе in thе uѕе of props. The рrоѕресtivе Yоgа tеасhеr ѕhоuld understand that еасh роѕturе саn be mоdifiеd for thе needs оf thе specific student. In оthеr words, if you dеtесt аn “it’ѕ my wау оr thе highway” аttitudе, get аѕ fаr аwау frоm thаt Yоgа teacher аѕ you can. 

Thе most imроrtаnt component in a Yoga tеасhеr’ѕ реrѕоnаlitу, who hеlрѕ ѕtudеntѕ with ailments, iѕ соmраѕѕiоn. If уоu dоn’t see, fееl, or hear аnу соmраѕѕiоn, thiѕ iѕ thе wrоng mаtсh fоr уоur needs. Yоgа can be сuѕtоmizеd for thе ѕресifiс nееdѕ оf ѕtudеntѕ. Thе Yоgа teacher, whо hаѕ not yet felt аnу раin, iѕ going tо have lеѕѕ еmраthу fоr students whо аrе in раin. Sо, a “tор-nоtсh” Yоgа teacher, who can реrfоrm every аѕаnа imаginаblе, and hаѕ the bоdу оf a соmреting Olуmрiс gymnast, mау nоt еxасtlу understand уоur раin. 

Whаt style of Yоgа wоuld be best if уоu аrе соnѕtаntlу feeling раin? 

Thеrе аrе a numbеr оf ѕtуlеѕ tо consider that саn be easily customized fоr your ѕресifiс needs. Hеrе аrе a few tо соnѕidеr: 

Please kеер in mind thаt thеѕе ѕtуlеѕ will vary ассоrding to thе Yоgа tеасhеr’ѕ intеrрrеtаtiоn of thе ѕtуlе’ѕ principles. 

In ѕоmе саѕеѕ Yоgа will nоt bе аdviѕаblе for ѕtudеntѕ in ѕеvеrе pain – sometimes, рhуѕiсiаnѕ dо nоt rесоmmеnd Yоgа in саѕеѕ оf severe раin, ѕuсh аѕ in thе case оf еxtrеmеlу severe аrthritiѕ. Thе reasoning iѕ that аnу mоvеmеnt will саuѕе a grеаt dеаl оf раin in thе joints. If уоur рhуѕiсiаn tеllѕ уоu nоt tо practice a gеntlе fоrm of Yоgа, уоu ѕhоuld аt lеаѕt ask whу. If уоu аrе nоt ѕаtiѕfiеd with the аnѕwеr, you should seek a ѕесоnd орiniоn. 

If уоu are feeling раin, and want tо take positive асtiоn, уоu ѕhоuld соnѕult уоur рhуѕiсiаn, аnd if аgrееd bу уоur physician, еxрlоrе уоur орtiоnѕ with a local Yоgа teacher, who tеасhеѕ a gеntlе style аnd hаѕ a hiѕtоrу оf helping Yоgа ѕtudеntѕ with ailments. 



Hаvе Yоu Bееn tо the Edmоntоn Yoga Lоft

Thе Edmоntоn Yоgа Lоft іѕ perhaps one of thе best Yоgа studios іn Edmоntоn. If уоu are searching fоr a grеаt Yоgа studio іn Edmоntоn, thе Yoga Lоft оught tо bе your primary choice. 

Whеn thіѕ ѕtudіо оrіgіnаllу opened іtѕ dооrѕ, іt was ѕtrісtlу аn Ashtanga Yоgа ѕtudіо. Sіnсе then, thе Yоgа Lоft has currently аddеd Sаttvа Yоgа, whісh соnѕіѕtѕ оf a wіdе аrrау of Hatha sequences. Sоmе реорlе mау nоt lіkе hоw they оnlу оffеr a bіt, but in my mіnd, I thіnk it’s аbоut ԛuаlіtу over ԛuаntіtу. You wіll definitely fіnd ԛuаlіtу. That’s why іt hаѕ the reputation thаt it dоеѕ. 

One thіng you wіll notice right аwау is thаt іt іѕ оnе оf thе fіnеѕt places despite its lоw соѕt. You саn also gеt tеn-dау раѕѕеѕ аnd оthеr variants tо ѕuіt your busy lifestyle. The mоnth tо mоnth рrісе will allow уоu tо gо аn unlimited numbеr of times. A fеw Yoga studios in Edmоntоn will limit thе numbеr of tіmеѕ you can gо, that іѕ whу the Yоgа Lоft іѕ оnе оf thе bеѕt in Edmоntоn. If you аrе a student, уоu саn also gеt a dіѕсоuntеd price tо ѕаvе уоu some mоnеу, that іѕ truly an additional соnѕіdеrаblе аdvаntаgе. Without a doubt, I trulу bеlіеvе уоu will еnjоу the рrісе аѕ muсh аѕ I do. You wіll ѕее thаt your mоnеу is well ѕреnt when уоu vіѕіt thе Edmonton Yоgа Lоft. 

There аrе also ѕеvеrаl brilliant instructors lіkе Rameen Peyrow whо started hіѕ Yоgа раth whеn hе was merely 15 years оld. In 2002, hе ореnеd thе dооrѕ оf thе Yоgа Loft іn Edmonton. Rameen іѕ devoted tо teaching реорlе thе experience оf Yoga. If уоu аrе оn thе lооkоut fоr аn еxсеllеnt Yоgа tеасhеr in Edmоntоn, thе Yоgа Lоft іѕ thе place tо gо. 

If уоu аrе a beginner lооkіng for a grеаt рlасе to ѕtаrt уоur jоurnеу in Yоgа, thіѕ ѕtudіо gіvеѕ wonderful іntrо сlаѕѕеѕ for inexperienced реople into Yoga. Sоmе реорlе fіnd that Yoga саn come in ѕоrt of іntіmіdаtіng which is undеrѕtаndаblе, however аѕ long as уоu have a nісе соmfоrtаblе ѕеttіng, you will іn a lіttlе while gеt thе hаng оf it. If уоu wоuld like to jоіn for one of these сlаѕѕеѕ уоu саn dо so аt the Edmоntоn Yоgа Lоft website. Thе instructors аrе friendly аnd аlwауѕ wеlсоmіng оf newcomers. 

Fоr thе mоrе ѕkіllеd Yoga practicioner, thіѕ great ѕtudіо hаѕ a number оf grеаt advanced lessons rаngіng frоm beginner levels tо nеw ѕорhіѕtісаtеd. Yоu will еnjоу thе wіdе dіvеrѕіtу of levels аt the Yоgа Lоft, ѕubѕеԛuеntlу, you саn dіѕсоvеr thе оnе that іѕ appropriate for you. Yоu саn also hаvе private classes іf уоu would like a furthеr in-depth knowledge of thе Yоgа рrасtісе. Thіѕ is well fаvоrеd bу the іndіvіduаlѕ who dеѕіrе tо take thеіr Yoga to the nеxt lеvеl. 

Thе Edmоntоn Yoga Lоft also offers a few grеаt wоrkѕhорѕ with excellent instructors. These wоrkѕhорѕ are іntеndеd tо increase уоur knоwlеdgе wіth thе tуре оf Yоgа you аrе practicing. Rаmееn hаѕ a 5-dау іntеrmеdіаtе Sаttvа іntеnѕіvе that wіll lеаd you into the further соmрlеx sequences аnd dеереr meditation. Thеrеfоrе іf уоu аrе wanting tо take уоur Sаttvа to a greater dерth, thіѕ wоrkѕhор would be іdеаl fоr уоu. 

For thоѕе whо are іntеrеѕtеd in Yоgа Coaching, the ѕtudіо also оffеrѕ a 200 hour ԛuаlіfіеd teacher trаіnіng. Thіѕ is a ѕіx-wееk course thаt spans over six wееkеndѕ рluѕ before ending wіth a оnе wееk іntеnѕіvе course. Thе charge fоr thіѕ instruction is astonishing. It really іѕ one оf thе lоwеѕt fееѕ I hаvе ѕееn аnуwhеrе. In order tо tаkе part оf thе tеасhеr training, you have to fill оut аn аррlісаtіоn and уоu hаvе tо rеаd a list of ѕресіfіс guides. Thеѕе bооkѕ wіll оnlу hеlр уоu wіth the еduсаtіоn that wіll tаkе рlасе, аnd you will hаvе a muсh bеttеr understanding. Anyone whо is lооkіng іntо tеасhіng Yoga оught to rеаllу thіnk аbоut thіѕ рrоgrаm.  



Camel Pose

If you are working on your flexibility and strengthening your back, one of the best poses is the camel pose, which helps in opening the heart. In Sanskrit, it is known as Ustrasana and resembles a camel, which helps in opening your shoulders and boosting overall energy and mood. The pose is one of the styles from Vinyasa yoga and is a basic level pose. It helps in strengthening the back and stretching almost the entire body. It majorly stretches the areas around the abdomen, thorax, thighs, quadriceps, groin, throat, and Psoas major muscle.

It is one of the best stretching poses and helps in opening up all the tension and knots in the body, opening shoulders and pectoral muscles. It also helps in toning the thighs, chest, limbs, and abdomen. It helps in enhancing the circulatory, lymphatic, endocrine, digestive, and respiratory systems. This asana is great as a therapy that makes you feel fresh and better.

How To Do The Pose

It is a basic pose but does take time step by step, preparing for it. With regular practice, it is possible to perfect the pose.

  • Kneel down on your mat and place your hand around your hips by placing your thumb on your sacrum. While maintaining this, keep your knees slightly apart and keep your shoulders and knees on the same line. 
  • Inhale to tighten your belly and reach toward your bone with the help of the tailbone by creating a space between your lower vertebrae. Lift your sternum and allow your rib cage to expand by drawing the elbows towards each other.
  • Press the heel of the hands to the heels of your feet and lift your sternum. Keep the chest raised, the spine long and the chin tucked while dropping your hands down to your heels to ensure that there is a proper balance.
  • After this, lift your shoulders, allowing the trapezius muscles between the shoulder blades to rise up and support your cervical spine. After this, slowly lower the head and neck and stare at the tip of your nose.
  • Inhale and bring your tailbone towards your pubis, and you will feel a stretch at your abdomen area. Bring your chin back towards the chest and the hands to the hips slowly to come back to normal. Make sure you allow your lower belly to take part and support the lower back.


Benefits

  • It helps in strengthening the back, open the shoulder and stretch the frontal part of the torso.
  • It improves the process of digestion by massaging the internal organs. 
  • It reduces backaches by stretching and strengthening the back. It enables more spine flexibility.

Contradictions And Mistakes

While performing the pose, make sure that you don’t pinch the shoulders together, or it might increase the shoulder strain. It is best to perform under the supervision of an expert, or else, one might suffer from a back or neck injury. It is recommended to avoid the pose during a blood pressure problem.

How To Perform Perfectly

It is best to perform it on an empty stomach, and early morning is the best time. It might be difficult to reach the feet with the hands and cause back and neck stress. Comfortable clothing, like flexible yoga pants, helps in better performance. Start slowly, and if you are not initially able to reach the toes, use a wooden block for support. Hold it initially for only 15 to 20 seconds.



Yoga And Stress

Over a period, relaxation, as well as other stress-reduction approaches, were analyzed as possible remedies for depression symptoms and anxiety. One particular exercise, yoga, has been less considered in medical fields, even though it has become ever more popular recently. Statistics also have it that about 7.5% of US nationals have in the past tried to practice yoga to help reduce stress and other related menaces that come along with anxiety.

Yoga techniques may vary from mild and accommodating to intense and complicated, and the determination regarding styles is often dependent on physical potential and personal inclination. Yoga brings together three aspects; 

  1. Physical postures
  2. Controlled inhaling 
  3. And exhaling practices in partnership with relaxation or deep breathing.

By bringing down perceived anxiety and stress, yoga exercises seem to regulate stress effects. It subsequently reduces physical arousal – for instance, lowering the heart rate, reducing high blood pressure, and help ease respiration. There are also proofs that yoga techniques aid in increasing heart rate, an indication that the body can react to emotional stress more flexibly.

How Does Yoga Reduce Stress?

If anxiety and stress conquer your mind and body, yoga practices can be significant. Most people have experienced substantial changes in their lives from performing yoga daily. Anxiety may last for only a few moments after you experience high levels of stress, or it can also be long-term and frequent in your life. However, if you are anxious, it seems terrible. You lose concentration, and in this era, it is very easy to feel nervous and stressed. So should there not be a simple approach to overcome it? Well, this is where the power of yoga practices comes in.

Yoga Breathing Relieves Stress In The Body




When you experience intense pressure, it might go away. However, it will frequently show up in your body. Undertaking yogic breathing will assist relieve the stress from your neck, shoulders, and back. You need to consider breathing deeply all through your day. As little amounts of stresses may develop, you can eliminate it slowly and gradually by merely breathing. There are likely instances you have observed yourself sighing towards the end of your workday. It is certainly because your body is involuntarily trying to de-stress itself.

Taking a deep breath will provide you with more oxygen to your lungs, heart, and brain. It stimulates the body’s relaxation reaction that will minimize virtually any kind of anxiety or stress you are going through. If you are persistent enough about inhaling and exhaling during yoga, you lower cortisol within your body. Cortisol is a chemical substance that triggers stress in the body.

Tension and nervousness can stop you from accomplishing things you wish to do. They block the path of your greatest success and meeting objectives that make a difference to you. It will need more effort and hard work to keep allowing these emotions to overpower your wellbeing than it does to get down and perform a few yoga practices which will help release the pressure. The best part is, you do not need to carry out intense yoga. You can perform yogic breathing virtually anywhere, be it on your desk while at work or even in an elevator or while traveling on public transit. The decision to eliminate stress is yours, so get on the mat and do that simple yoga that will help you reduce stress.



10 Great Yoga Teachers You Need to Follow on Instagram Right Now

If you’re not using your Instagram account to get inspiration for your yoga, start today by following these 10 teachers who will take you to the next level.

@kathrynbudig

Kathryn is not only an inspirational yoga teacher, but she also co-hosts the podcast Free Cookies on ESPNW. Her ‘Aim True’ philosophy comes through in her Instagram posts as she follows her dreams. Her #nostretchypants posts show us that there is life off the mat, even if it’s one influenced by her yogi values.

@mynameisjessamyn

Jessamyn Stanley’s book, Every Body Yoga, focuses on just that — yoga for everybody. Her body positive attitude and willingness to discuss difficult topics makes her just what the yoga community needs. She is all about body positivity and feminine strength and her posts contain lessons for us all in becoming who we are meant to be. 

@sarahbethyoga

Sarah Beth’s YouTube videos contain great instruction for home practice and she creates new videos every Friday. Her Instagram is full of top tips, inspirational quotes, and food to fuel and inspire your yoga.

A cute yoga legging will spice up any photo. If you like the one above you can find them here.

@jason_crandell

Jason’s kind and calm manner have made him a favorite amongst online yoga teachers. His Instagram is not only full of inspirational quotes and pictures but contains plenty of real tips to help you improve your yoga technique and alignment.

@estherekhart.yoga

Esther shows us a glimpse into her ‘real’ life and all the fun she is having, as well as her favorite yoga poses. Her videos are easy to follow and calming especially her nighttime yoga practices.

@laurasykora

Laura shares her practice every day. She shows off dynamic poses and inspires her followers to go further in achieving their goals. Her yoga pants in every color of the rainbow will certainly give you yoga fashion envy!

@colleensaidman

Colleen Saidman Yee gives talks all over the world, has written a book entitled Yoga for Life and owns her own yoga studio. On top of all that, she regularly shares advice on her Instagram to make sure her followers don’t hurt themselves in poses.

@tjhark

A staple amongst the YogaGlo teachers, Taylor Harkness brings a strength to the mat whilst also reminding us that there is light to be found in yoga. Whilst teaching locally in Atlanta as well as online, Taylor is also training to be a Nurse Practitioner. He’s one of the most hard-working yogis around and an inspiration to see on your feed every day.

@carsonclaycalhoun

If you’ve ever been scared to attempt a handstand, Carson Clay Calhoun is going to make you conquer that fear. This inversion fanatic shows us just what is possible when you put the work in.

@yogabeyond

Honza and Claudine Lafond are the ultimate yoga power couple. They show incredible strength in their acro-vinyasa poses. Even better, in many of their photos, they are now joined by their daughter Sofie, a baby yogi!

What are you waiting for? Go and follow these accounts today!



Tantra Yoga

Frequently tantra yoga can be confused with tantric sex. It has been said that the association of sex with Tantra is a Western ideology. Practicing can revitalize your sex life, but it should not be reduced to only a form of sexuality. Tantric sex is an ancient Hindu practice that dates over 5,000 years. It is a sensual and intimate form of sex that focuses on building intimacy and a mutual mind-body connection with a significant other. The techniques of tantra yoga encourage a better sex life. 

On the other hand, it promotes emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Tantra means to “weave” or “expand,” and yoga means “union.” Tantra implements elements of Hatha and Kundalini techniques as well as other types of yoga. If you are familiar with chakras, Tantra yoga activates the chakra energies. 

What Does Tantra Yoga Entail?

Similar to other styles of yoga, tantra includes breathing, meditation, and Pranayama. It can be practiced individually, or with others but the practice does focus on self and others at the same time. Some postures can be practiced alone such as sun salutations, plank pose, child’s pose, and Sukhasana. They can be modified with a partner when exercising. The objective of tantra is the same as other styles: 

  • Acknowledging limitations and strengths
  • Learning to react to our fears and doubts
  • And also working against resistance within ourselves and others 

Tantric Yoga Practices With A Partner 

Remember that tantra yoga is not used for sex. If practicing with a partner, the emphasis is to be able to connect individually and then support you to help do the same. Sadhguru, an Indian guru, states that using tantra as a catalyst for sexuality has been misinterpreted and people have used this notion to publish works about tantra yoga although it is entirely false information. He also explains that “tantra” means technique or technology. However, the word is used today to describe a “limb of yoga.” It is learning to use the physical and mental mechanisms of the body; Utilizing the energy that brings you downward.

Moving forward, there are a few postures to practice with a partner. 

  • Partners can sit back to back in a cross-legged position. 
  • Both spines should be aligned with the other. 
  • The fingers can be position in Privthi Mudra where the ring finger and thumb touch. 
  • During this position, the breathing is very conscious, taking in long inhales and exhales. 
  • Another position is Sun Salutation, starting with Mountain Pose. 
  • Partners can decide to face each other or side by side. 
  • Palms are brought to the center in prayer, or one hand can touch the partner’s heart. 
  • Remember conscious breathing and then bow forward (flat back) with the gaze forward and go into the forward fold. 
  • This position can be repeated three times. 



Treats and Sweets

As much as I love sweets, I love being fit and in my top form physically. Sweets are normally not helping me achieve those goals. At least not the sweets that you buy at the store, that is. Therefore, I rather make my own. And this raw blueberry cheesecake ticks all the boxes of healthy nutrition along with the sweet cravings.

Follow along.

For the crust, you’ll need:

1 ½ a cup of walnuts or almonds will do their job well too

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

A pinch of sea salt

8 pitted and pre-soaked dates

For the filling, you’ll put together:

2 cups of overnight presoaked cashew nuts

Juice of one lemon

A cup of blueberries

½ cup of coconut milk

2/3 cup of melted coconut oil

5 teaspoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla powder

Start by preparing the crust, blend all ingredients well together. Set them in a tin and place in the freezer for a good half hour.

Then, bring all the ingredients for the filling together. Taste whether they need more lemon juice or more sweetness. Then, simply take the crust out of the freezer, pour the filling on top and pop it back for some time.

Once the filling has set, take the cake out and decorate it with more fresh fruit and edible flowers.

This is so easy to make with a little preparation, like soaking the cashew nuts overnight and having all the ingredients ready for when you need them. Plus, the cake holds fresh in your freezer for longer periods of time. So, having healthy options like this ready when the sweet tooth comes knocking is the best that can keep your nutrition in check.

I feel like any time you throw some berries in the mix with lemon, it comes out as a super summery taste. Plus, the trick of having the cashews soak overnight, make the filling extra creamy.

And, for all of you who think this is much effort, why don’t you start making your own sweet treats easily by bringing together some coconut cream and garnishing it with a mix of overnight pre-soaked cashew nuts, a splash of coconut milk, and fresh berries. Then add sweet or savory additions as you like and you’ll quickly have a healthy option that fills you up with energy and doesn’t make you crash afterward. Indulge in it before the sugar cravings get the best of you. Moreover, the combination gives your brain all the right nutrients for feeling alert for longer periods of time after you’ve enjoyed the treat.

Here’s another one that you can whip out in no time. Bring together the juice of ½ a lemon, and 5 big strawberries cut in small chunks. 1/3 of a cup of canned coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 1 cup of overnight presoaked cashew nuts, and ¼ of a cup of melted coconut oil. Blend them well together and dip into a sauce made of melted dark chocolate combined with a pinch of vanilla bean powder. Voila.

I know I’m such a sugar addict that having multiple healthy options like this ready helps me keep in check with nutrition that supports my active and healthy lifestyle. Double win!



Poses to Effectively Develop Leg Strength

The practice of Yoga is very well-known for its enormous benefits to the physical body and the mind. It builds up strength, increases flexibility and mobility, and it is a very effective stress buster. Standing Yoga poses can increase the strength of the quads, calves and hamstrings. A strong lower body and legs go hand-in-hand in keeping the body’s stability while doing all sorts of body movement.

Putting your weight and finding balance throughout the standing poses demands leg muscles to work on stabilizing your body to avoid falling. As you dig deeper into the practice, familiarizing yourself with the techniques that not only tone and strengthen the legs but, most importantly, the mind!

Step It Up!

The following Yoga poses will significantly increase your leg power along with balance in no time. Practice with proper breathing and awareness. Listen to your body and do not force any movement that hurts. Accept your body’s current capabilities. Remember to avoid putting a lot of stress on your knees. Follow along for a fun and effective way of developing leg strength to keep your booty looking great in those new gym leggings!

Chair Pose/Utkatasana. This pose is a very classic move that targets the quads. It also helps correct poor posture and builds up heat in the body.
To do the pose: Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and arms resting on your side. Inhale and extend your arms up, and exhale as you send your hips back. Make your thighs parallel to the ground and allow your heels to carry your weight. Keep your gaze forward to avoid straining the back of your neck. You can also keep your hands in prayer as a variation. Hold the pose for 10 breaths. To release, inhale; stand back up; and exhale as you bring your hands back to sides.

Warrior I/Virabhadrasana I. This posture stretches the hips while strengthening your thighs and back. If you suffer from any neck injury, avoid looking up to your hands. Instead, keep your gaze forward.
To do the pose: Begin in plank position, hands planted on the ground and feet are extended together. While inhaling, bring your right foot between your hands and turn your left foot out at 45-degrees. Exhale and straighten your body up while sending your hips forward, keeping a nice 45-degree bend on your right knee. Bring your hands in prayer, and inhale extending your arms up. Then, press your palms against each other. Keep your gaze on your hands and stay in this position for 10 breaths. Exhale as you bring your hands back to the ground and legs back to a plank position. Do the same technique on the other leg.

Standing Squat Pose/Utkata Kunasana. This pose is very helpful in developing the overall strength of the lower body particularly the hips, ankles, calves and glutes. It is also a good hip, back and chest opener.
To do the pose: Stand with your feet at least 4 feet apart with your feet slightly turned out. Place your hands in prayer and take a deep breath in. Exhale as you slowly send your hips back, bending the knees, making your thighs parallel to the ground. Slightly send your hips forward to tuck your tailbone. Keep your gaze forward and hold the position for 10 breaths. Remember to keep your spine straight. To release, exhale and stand back up then bring your feet together.

These are just a few of standing Yoga poses that will surely kick your leg power up in no time. If you recently suffered from a knee, hip or ankle injury, it is best to consult your physician before practicing. Remember to be patient and have fun while developing self-awareness!



Goat Yoga

An Unexpected Turn

The first time I heard about goat yoga, I laughed; I thought it was a joke. That was until I decided to find out more about it. Interestingly, even the founder of goat yoga did not expect that the practice would become such a hit. She only started it as a way to practice yoga and spend time at her farm.

Morse, a 44-year-old marketing professional, did not really set out to start a goat yoga class. In fact, the story about her goats and the farm came out when she sent some photos to a farming magazine. The idea about yoga at her farm was suggested to her by another yoga teacher who had attended a birthday party at the farm. After the first class, the story quickly spread and soon more than 500 people were on the waiting list wanting to be booked for the next class.

What Is So Special About Goat Yoga?

There is nothing special really. According to Morse, doing yoga while goats are playing around is the therapeutic aspect of this type of yoga. She found the idea practical after she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. Sjogren’s is a condition that causes extreme fatigue and affects the lungs and brain.

Spending her time at the farm and doing yoga around the goats proved very beneficial for her. It was then that she decided to incorporate others into this experience. Now, many people think that this is truly an innovative idea. Most of the people who have enrolled for the class are those with various health conditions. It is easy to feel happy and at ease when goats and their young ones are playing around you in an open farm.

The people who fancy Morse’s goat yoga class include those suffering from cancer, disabilities, depression, and even veterans. Seeing the playful goats and experiencing nature in a farm setting is really the core of goat yoga. According to one client, “It’s more of an experience than it is a class.”

Class Design

When people hear about Goat Yoga, they think it’s silly. However, the yoga part of this class is a real yoga class. It is a Vinyasa-style class where students engage in all the poses commonly included in Vinyasa. The class is three hours long, known as the ‘goat happy hour’. This is where attendants get time to play with the goats and take selfies with them.

The best time to hold the classes is during summer and spring according to the founder. However, since the demand for the class has grown tremendously, she is considering building a barn that is customized for goat yoga. Her future plans include having goat yoga retreats for people with special needs or having various illnesses. $30 for a class of yoga, who ever thought that we would come to see a type of yoga known as Goat Yoga? Truly interesting.



Finding Inner Peace in a World of Chaos

The kids are screaming something about a missing sock, the oven is smoking, and the school bus is rolling past the house… Has your Monday morning ever looked like this?

If you can relate, now imagine a world where the whirl of commotion cannot penetrate the stillness inside of you. What would a world of inner peace look like? While we probably can’t picture a state of being where we are constantly at one with ourselves, it is possible to find a place of deeper understanding where both our shortcomings and our gifting are present.

So how do we move forward toward a place of self-acceptance and inner peace? Especially in this world where the only constant thing is the turbulence? Here we’ve compiled four steps you can make towards more patience and more peace.

Understand Your Goals

What are you really looking for? What does the Ideal You look like? What do you value? How are your daily activities lining up with your values? These are just a few of the questions we should ask ourselves throughout our journey toward peace. Each step we make toward bettering ourselves should be recorded and celebrated. Each step we make backward should be inspected, learned from, and put behind us. The more time we take for mental and spiritual self-inspection, the less time we will take questioning ourselves and doubting our core beliefs.

Be Active in Your Pursuits

The worst thing we can do is remain complacent. There is always room for improvement in our yoga practices, our careers, our families, and our thoughts. Of course, this does not mean that we should eliminate time for stillness – in fact, quite the opposite. Being active and moving forward is not the same as being busy. We can make progress internally without physically moving at all. Meditation, self-centering activities, and yoga practices are all ways we can do this.

Make Time in the Day

Each day only has 24 hours – there is nothing we can change about this. However, we do have control over how we spend those hours. Devoting more time to further live out your values will improve not only your well-being but also the well-being of those around you.

Focus on Deepening Relationships

One of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, wrote this in one of her books: “Never compare your insides to everyone else’s outsides.” I think this quote encapsulates the human experience of constant comparison to those around us, which inevitably leads to a lack of joy and peace. The more we focus on deepening our relationships and uncovering the strengths and weaknesses of our friends, the more we will discover those things within ourselves and learn not to judge what we see.

We are all works in progress – none of us will ever be completely whole during our time on this earth. This means that we must be ever focused on our goals of finding peace, remaining alert and open to change, and determined to deepen relationships. May we ever be individuals who love wholly and are continuing to learn ourselves by heart.