Tag Archives: yoga

Tuesday Yoga Giveaway: Soffe

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Posted on October 11th, 2011

Tuesday Yoga Giveaway: Soffe

Question: Besides Yoga, what other health-boosting activities do you do?

The team behind Soffe creates comfortable, durable basics for the active lifestyle. Yoga, Pilates, dance, martial arts, jogging, biking—you name it, they’ve got the clothes for it. Tops, bottoms, tanks, hoodies, sweaters, shorts—even loungewear and sleepwear.

Win a Prima tank top or a pair of Fleece cut-off shorts from Soffe!

Soffe is giving away two prizes to two members of the My Yoga Online community. Winner 1 will receive the Prima tank top. Winner 2 will receive the fleece cut-off shorts.

How to Enter: Just add your answer to the following question to the blog comments section below: What other health-boosting activities do you do?

With apologies to our international friends, this prize giveaway is only available within North America (USA and Canada).

Share the love. Tell your friends about this great giveaway. Just click SHARE at the top of this post.

The fine print: Click here to read the official contest rules. By submitting a comment on this blog, you agree to the official contest rules.

Tags: Tuesday Giveaway, tuesday yoga giveaway, athletic performance, yoga wear, yoga gear, soffe giveaway, workout wear, athletic wear, ladies yoga wear

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Celebrating Awareness with a Giveaway

The word awareness is often used in conjunction with yoga and/or meditation. This idea of cultivating awareness seems simple, right? Becoming aware can be boiled down to slowing down and noticing what’s happening in the moment. When you look at the society we live in, you can easily understand how something simple becomes complicated…and often times downright impossible (or at least it seems to be).

I suppose this is why I initially became amused by the proliferation of monthly awareness campaigns. Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that this month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ve heard so many wonderful stories of how this campaign has saved lives by informing people, which often results in early detection. Yes, awareness is a powerful thing indeed. 

Despite the fact that I got a laugh out of this tongue in cheek awareness month listing, I’m a big fan of awareness. The question is — do we really need awareness campaigns to be aware? What if we waged our own personal campaign to cultivate awareness on a daily basis? Okay, okay, maybe I’m being a bit too ambitious here, but I speak from personal experience on this one — cultivating awareness is truly life changing.

Just the other day I noticed that I was feeling…low-key. Cranky. Out of sorts. This didn’t come as a great surprise to me, as I’ve had a very busy month that included lots of travel. Of course I wanted to rush around and catch up with things that had gotten foisted onto the sidelines while I was away but I didn’t. In fact, I did the opposite. I came down to a complete stop, got quiet, and checked in with myself. The message was loud and clear — I needed to rest and take care of myself. I needed to stop and let the past month’s experiences integrate more than I needed to do all of those things on my to-do list. After a day of me time/hibernation, I had felt rejuvenated and ready to tackle everything on my list in a single bound.

Same goes for my exercise regime. After coming back from a long weekend trip, I was looking forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled exercise programming. Four days off and eating lots of yummy food while I was away had me feeling the need to build up a sweat.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EverythingYoga/~3/kGdxRWPXSjk/celebrating-awareness-with-a-giveaway.html

Expert Q and A: Menstruation and Detached Retina in Yoga Inversions

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Posted on October 10th, 2011

Expert Q and A: Menstruation and Detached Retina in Yoga Inversions

Question: I have been practicing Yoga for years and have asked several teachers this question before and looked in books but never get an answer – I know you should not do Shoulder Stand pose when you have your period or have detached retina of the eye – but I don’t know why – Can anyone help me? 

Answer: The contraindications of inverting during menstruation can be viewed in philosophical and physiological terms. Hindu philosophy teaches that during menstruation, the natural direction of energy is down and out of the body. Inversions should be avoided to prevent obstruction or reverse of this flow of energy.

Physiologically, the vascular bed in the pelvis contains more blood during menses than at other times of the menstrual cycle. Blood is delivered to the uterus by blood vessels, which are located in broad ligaments that suspend the uterus from the pelvis. When you compare the structure of uterine arteries to veins, the uterine arteries are muscular and have thick walls where as the uterine veins have thin walls and are susceptible to collapse.

During inversions, gravity pulls the uterus down towards the head, which causes these ligaments to stretch. When these ligaments stretch, an occlusion or partial collapse of the uterine veins occurs. Meanwhile, the uterine arteries remain open due to the thick walls and continue to deliver blood to the uterus. As a result, more blood moves into the uterus than can be drained away by the veins. This build up of excess blood can lead to increased menstrual bleeding.

Inverting with retinal detachment and other eye problems is very contraindicated. A retinal detachment is the separation of the retina, the thin, delicate membrane covering the rear portion of the eye, from the optic nerve. This condition usually results from a hole in the retina that allows the vitreous humor fluid to leak. A retinal detachment can be caused by high blood pressure or an air embolus. When one inverts, a large amount of blood flow is directed into the skull, which increases the blood pressure on the thin vascular walls of the eyes. Retinal detachment can be

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MyYogaOnlineNewWorldBlog/~3/KDET0CkIJm4/expert-q-and-a-menstruation-and-detached-retina-in-yoga-inversions

Expert Q and A: Avoiding Foot Cramps in Yoga Poses

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Posted on October 10th, 2011

Expert Q and A: Avoiding Foot Cramps in Yoga Poses

Question: I’m new to yoga, have only been practicing a few weeks. I’m loving it for so many reasons.  One small problem is I’ve found that often when I point my toes in a pose, I get really bad cramp in the sole of my foot, and I have to flex my foot to make it go away. This can really interrupt my yoga sessions.

Does anyone have any idea how I could help this from happening so much? I’m fairly fit, I run regularly, and I’ve never had any problems with my feet in the past.

Answer:  This is quite common especially in poses like Child’s Pose, Zen Pose and Pigeon Pose where the top of the ankle has pressure place on it.

For poses like Pigeon and low lunges (where you can easily modify), you can tuck your toes as a variation.

For poses like Child and Zen (where you technically are not supposed to tuck toes unless you are purposefully stretching the toe joints and sole of the foot in Zen pose), try rolling up a small towel and place this between your ankle and the mat so you ankle joint is less ‘pointed’. For most people, this reduces the occurrence of nerve stimulation and muscle cramps in the sole of the foot.

Expert Q A provided by My Yoga Online teacher and Co-Founder, Kreg Weiss.

Tags: Yoga Tips, Yoga, Kreg Weiss, foot, yoga props, yoga expert, pigeon pose, cramp, modifications, childs pose, zen pose

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Why do you Love Yoga?

This weekend it’s Canadian Thanksgiving. There are many things I am thankful for – my awesome boys and family, that I get the chance to pursue my interests (like  stepdancing and cognitive science),  the beautiful sunny morning and of course my yoga practice.  Yoga has kept me healthy and sane and made me see the world in different ways – really things look different when you are in a headstand

My friends over at @Carleton_U are running a Twitter campaign encouraging students to share why they think Carleton is a great university. I thought it would fun to do the same with yoga.

If you would like to share some of the reasons why  you love  yoga, tweet them using the hastag #iLuvYoga. You will be entered in a draw for a set of downloadable yoga pose drawings.  On Sunday, October 9, I will compile the tweets and randomly select the winner!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Related posts:

  1. The Heart of Bliss – Unconditional Love (Dimensions of the Heart in Yoga – Part 5)
  2. For the Love of Feet

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/YogaFlavoredLife/~3/hUdPHJwY00c/why-do-you-love-yoga.html

What Is Holistic Spirituality?

Not long ago, an acquaintance of mine asked me what my religious affiliation was. I was caught just a bit off-guard; this person and I had not yet crossed into genuine friendship territory, and the question seemed quite personal. I told her that I didn’t belong to any particular religious group, but practiced holistic spirituality. She was puzzled: it was clear she hadn’t heard the phrase before. She asked point blank, “What’s that?” The fact that I was less than 100% prepared to answer that question prompted me to give it some thought, which in turn led to my writing this post!

When people hear the term “holistic spirituality,” a host of images usually come to mind: candles and incense, people doing yoga to Ambient New Age music; meditating in the Lotus Pose, and chanting mantras. All these (and more) are indeed potential elements of holistic spirituality, but I view it first and foremost as a particular way of seeing the world.

For me, holistic spirituality is very much about overcoming the dualistic mentality that has been enshrined in Western thought for millennia: the notion of opposing forces at war. Centuries of thought have conditioned us to conceive of the Universe in terms of various clashing elements, such as flesh vs. spirit,; good vs. evil; dark vs. light; and so on. In contemporary holistic spiritual practice, devotees work instead toward cultivating a sense of the oneness of all things. We do not conceive of our bodies and spirits as being opposed to one another, but embrace the view that mind, body and spirit comprise a unified whole (putting the “holistic” in holistic spirituality). According to this view, human beings are neither heroically good nor abysmally evil in their totality; rather, they are infinitely varying mixtures of light and shadow sides. (Of course, most practitioners of holistic spirituality would concede that there are individuals who—for whatever reason–so fully embrace their shadow sides that the light is fully extinguished. I doubt we would find many practitioners who would contest the idea that these people cause a great deal of harm.)

In this approach to spirituality, divinity is not perceived as a transcendent being standing outside creation, but an immanent spirit suffusing it. I know both non-theists who are intensely spiritual, and devout faith practitioners in whom the divine spark has been all but entirely snuffed out. And

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/YogaFlavoredLife/~3/D4VMbbnF4s0/what-is-holistic-spirituality.html

YogaDay LA: LA’s First Annual Outdoor Yoga Event

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Posted on October 7th, 2011

YogaDay LA: LA’s First Annual Outdoor Yoga Event

The goal: slow down, take your time, and practice yoga under the California sun.

The event: LA’s first annual outdoor yoga event, Yoga Day LA http://www.yogadayla.com/

The mission: To bring the largest, most diverse Yoga community together for a day, in one of LA’s most tranquil settings.

Who could resist?

Yoga Day LA features:

• An all day, outdoor yoga event taking place in beautiful Topanga.

• Outdoor yoga under the California sun between the Santa Monica Mountains with the Pacific breeze pushing up through the canyons.

• Great food, great yoga wear, great atmosphere

• 6 yoga classes to choose from each lead by the best teachers LA has to offer including:

Jörgen Christiansson

Kia Miller

Annmarie Solo

Steve Ross

Andrea Brook

Bryan Kest

p.s. Check out Kia’s video on MyYogaOnline, also featuring Ashleigh Altman and Dina Amsterdam http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/yoga/authentic-power-enlivening-the-3rd-chakra

Give to Yourself, Give to the World

A donation of 5% net sales will go to NEXTAID, a Hope for Africa charity. NextAid is an LA based nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of music to support sustainable development projects that serve vulnerable children, youth and women in Africa. Through music events and public education initiatives, NextAid provides empowering opportunities for concerned individuals.

Find out more, and register today at www.yogadayLA.com.

MyYogaOnline.com is proud to be supporting this exciting event.

Tags: yoga community, yoga charity, kia miller, YogaDay LA, yoga event, nextaid, annmarie solo, steve ross, andrea brook, bryan kest

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7 Days of Ways to Prop Up Your Yoga Practice: Pigeon

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Posted on October 6th, 2011

7 Days of Ways to Prop Up Your Yoga Practice: Pigeon

Pigeon pose brings direct benefits to the joint structures of the pelvis.  When the rear thigh is rotated internally, this pose opens your hip flexor muscles (psoas, rectus femoris) and your groin muscles.   Pigeon pose also opens your lateral hip rotator muscles (gluteus medius minimus) on the forward leg.  This hip rotator stretch may relieve sciatic nerve tension and ease chronic low back pain.

But with the all the glorious hip benefits you can acquire in pigeon pose, the angle of the forward foot and knee can present issues especially due the common occurrence for knee torsion. Knee torsion occurs when the thigh rotates in the opposite direction of the shin/leg bone.  For those with limited range of motion in the hip rotators, you can benefit greatly by supporting the hips, which will help maintain the same rotation of the thigh and shin bone.

Ways to Prop Up Eka Pada Rajakapotasana for Knee Safety and Hip Comfort

Halfmoon Yoga Prop: Mini Bolster

  • Place the Mini Bolster underneath the front hip in pigeon pose.
  • The added height of the bolster helps to keep the hips square.  The elevation of the hip also reduces the rotation occurring in the thigh bone, which reduces the torsion in the knee.
  • You can also reduce the affects of knee torsion by bringing the forward foot inwards.
  • Additional support to the knee can be applied by flexing the forward foot.  This will bring added integrity to the shin bone and knee.
  • Alternatives to the Mini Bolster include a rolled up India Cotton Blanket, a Chip Foam Block or a 3’’ or 4’’ Foam Block, depending on how much support is needed in the pose
  • Always listen to your body and remain in this pose only for as long as it feels comfortable.  If you experience any knee, hip, or lower

    Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MyYogaOnlineNewWorldBlog/~3/JBE1ajjJH1M/7-days-of-ways-to-prop-up-your-yoga-practice-pigeon

Fill ‘er Up

This morning I stayed in Child’s Pose for a few minutes simply because I was enjoying the feeling of the breath expanding the back of my body. The feeling reminded me of the ease of breathing after I had 10 Rolfing sessions some years back. I had a history of shoulder/chest tension when I was under stress, so getting in there and freeing all of those muscles up gave me real before and after feeling. Needless to say, I never wanted to go back to the before stage.

I suppose it’s no surprise then that I tend to focus a bit more on breathing than asana in my personal practice. And on the mat isn’t the only place I use the breath. Rather than reach for coffee for a pick me up, I do simple breathing techniques. It’s quite common for me to do a lot of sighing breaths throughout the day. Breathing is such a simple — and powerful — thing and yet so many of my clients have trouble using their breath constructively. Muscle constriction and tension and shallow breathing are two of the most common things that I see.

Here are some helpful exercises to free your breath and help you get your fill of oxygen:

Improving your breathing is a process, so merely doing an exercise here or there won’t help to create lasting change. But if you stick with it, you just

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EverythingYoga/~3/g3ycdnOPKHA/fill-er-up.html

Vegan Eating 101: Fat Facts

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Posted on October 5th, 2011

Vegan Eating 101: Fat Facts

Within three days of my last post, former President Bill Clinton announced to the press that he’d walked away from animal protein, largely for health reasons.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Or it could be that the former leader of our great country is yet another faithful My Yoga Online reader. If that’s the case, Bill, buddy, I’m a little troubled that when sharing your nutritional strategy with CNN, you mentioned the fact that you eat “almost no oil.”

With all due respect, Mr. President, I think you might want to rethink that. It’s common in Western society to vilify fat. Admittedly, there are good fats and bad fats, but new vegans often tend to throw the unsaturated baby out with the saturated bath water, allowing their fat intake to drop to unhealthy levels.

Fat is a vital nutrient, just like carbohydrates and protein. It helps with the digestion of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and it promotes a feeling of fullness after eating. It also plays an important part in the production of prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds that regulate blood pressure, heart rate, blood vessel constriction, blood clotting and the nervous system.

How much fat you should consume really depends on your own chemistry, but most people should shoot for a diet where 20% to 35% of their total calories come from fat.

For vegans, great sources of fat include avocados, olives, and raw nuts. Oils are also a good source – but don’t cook with them. Frying, especially at high heat, tends to damage the nutrients in oil. You’re better off baking, steaming, broiling, or grilling instead. Save the extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, or grapeseed oil for drizzling, dipping, and salad dressing.

I’m not going to get too deep into the saturated fat versus unsaturated fat debate because it’s a nearly moot point with vegans. Saturated fat and cholesterol intake plummets when you stop eating animals. That said, there are produce-based sources of saturated fat, such as coconuts, so it’s worth a small mention. My take is that while recent research indicting that certain saturated fats aren’t bad for you is compelling, it’s overwhelmed by established research espousing the benefits of various unsaturated

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