Category Archives: Yoga

Fall Equinox

Even though we know the seasons change, autumn still has a way of surprising us. It seems like one day it’s hot and humid, summers in full swing, and the next there’s a shift- the airs cooler and it feels crisp.

Then before you know it, it’s pumpkin-spice-everything, everywhere and we are wearing boots, long sleeves and sweaters.

The fall equinox is what is responsible for this shift and the seasons changing from summer to fall.

This year, the fall equinox arrives on Friday, September 22. The fall equinox happens the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, which is an imaginary line in the sky that corresponds to Earth’s equator. Every year this occurs on September 22, 23, or 24 in the northern hemisphere.

From here, the days start to get shorter until the winter solstice in December, then they’ll begin their slow climb back to the long summer days.

The word “Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.” So during the fall equinox, there are equal amounts of daylight and darkness. The equinox is a point of union and balance between the light and the dark, between fire and water, & between the yin & yang.  

This time is a great reminder for us to turn inward and check in with ourselves, slow down, and become more grounded.

Often as the end of the year approaches, we want to work harder to get things done. Instead, take the opportunity to reduce your work and only complete what’s necessary. As you check in with yourself, ask yourself: what do I need/want? Get more rest, eat earlier, develop a fall routine, get into a rhythm and stick with it. To feel more grounded, listen to slow rhythmic music with heavy drum beats and deep melodic chanting, these vibrations will resonate in the lower chakras, drawing energy closer to the earth. To also honor yourself during this time, meditate, take a yoga class, stay warm, and love and honor yourself and your body.

In honor of the fall equinox we will be holding a special grounding yoga class with Sam Benson on Saturday, 9/23 from 9:00-10:15am.  To register, please visit: http://empoweryoganj.com/schedule/

Namaste!

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Exploring Mantras

In this week’s blog, I’ll be exploring mantras and the benefit of mantras both on and off the mat.

With spiritual practices like yoga and meditation becoming more popular, it seems like everyone is talking about mantras. But what’s a mantra??

WHAT ARE MANTRAS?

A mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration. They are a living force that are believed to have high spiritual and creative power.

Mantras can also be used as an affirmation and to help keep you connected to a particular state of mind. When using a mantra, it’s believed that only the positive intentions and actions will fill your mind and negativity will be eliminated.

WHY ARE MANTRAS IMPORTANT?

Mantras can be a great way to help keep you focused and connected to a particular state of mind. You can choose a mantra based on how you’re feeling or what you are needing in life. Whether you’re looking for positivity, health, happiness, self love, or if you simply want to find balance, finding a mantra and sticking with it can help you cultivate that in your life.

HOW DO THEY HELP?

In a vinyasa flow yoga class, mantras can be used as a silent repetition to help keep the mind focused and present.

Off the mat, when you have difficulty focusing, your mind keeps wandering, or you’re in a stressful or uncomfortable position, a mantra can help you feel grounded and at ease.

Studies have shown that mantras can reduce stress levels and change your brain’s chemistry.  They interrupt your negative thoughts and experiences and give you something more positive to focus on instead.

Mantras help you maintain a connection to the state you wish to cultivate. Choosing a mantra in the morning can help set the tone for the rest of your day.

At the beginning of most yoga classes, the teacher will share a theme or invite you to create an intention or pick a mantra to use and help support you throughout your practice.

SOME POPULAR MANTRAS:

Endurance/Strength- “This too shall pass.”

Love- “I am love.”

Manifesting Love- “I am attracting all the love I dream and desire.”

Calmer mind- “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

Being present- “Be here, now.”

Allowing the universe to guide you- “I am open to receiving universal gifts.”

Creating happiness- “Today I choose joy.”

Release- “Close your eyes, clear your heart, let it go.”

Empowerment- “I am capable of wonderful things.”

Building Self-Confidence- “Today you are perfect.”

Strength and Willpower- “Forward progress, just keep moving.”

Enduring Tough Times- “you are the sky, everything else is the weather.”

Neutralizing Body Image- “I am strong. I am beautiful. I am enough.”

Radiating Gratitude- “I am grateful for all the things unfolding in my life & all that is yet to come.”

Starting the Day- “I am fullfilled, I am fearless.”

Ending the Day- “Less is more.”

MY FAVORITE: “It’s a great day to be alive.”

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Making Friends in Yoga

Over the years, I have discovered that yogis make some of the best friends. From my studio in Boston, to my own studio now, and the ones I’ve worked in and visited along the way; I have met so many incredible people & have built many lasting friendships. Yoga is a truly great place to meet and connect with people.

Yogis of all ages and backgrounds are often united in their love of yoga and a common desire to be friendly both on and off the mat. I’ve been able to deepen friendships through the transformative experience that was my teacher training, numerous classes I’ve taught and attended, workshops, as well as community gatherings and potlucks.

With yoga as the glue, I have found that that the things we have in common are far greater than those things that set us apart. So yoga studios are a great place for meeting people and building friendships.

Yoga for the individual:

Yoga is about self discovery. It’s a wonderful way to become more in tune with your mind and body so you can find your true self.  Yoga helps eliminate suffering, stress, and negativity in our lives. During a yoga class, you’re challenged to bring your attention inward and connect with yourself on a deeper level.

With an open mind and willingness that’s cultivated in class, we can work on ourselves and begin to strip away the negativity. When we let our guard down like this, we not only begin to explore a deeper connection to ourselves, but also a deeper connection to others.

Yoga for the group:

While yoga is very individual, it is also very collaborative. Yoga helps create union with one another and a sense of togetherness. Through collective breath and movement in class, yoga helps create bonds with the people around you like none other.

Once class is over, there’s this overall feeling of oneness, connection, and collaborative energy.  There’s this beautiful window of opportunity to make introductions, mingle, and foster a deeper connection and potential friendships to those around you.

Next time you’re in class:

Spark up a conversation with your yogi neighbors in class, introduce yourself to the teacher, talk to people after class, whatever it may be, break out of your shell, be brave, allow yourself to be vulnerable and open. We are all connected and if nothing else, one thing we know we have in common, is our love for yoga and our dedication to our practice. There is always space in our lives for new positive people. Take a chance, say hi.

 

Facebookredditpinterestmail

WORKING OUT ON THE ROAD

Do you find it hard to workout when you travel? If you’re like me, you don’t do well with changes to your routine or schedule and when you don’t have the equipment you normally use to workout with.

So when I go away, I first try to be very proactive and planful, thinking about what my routine will look like while I am gone. I first try to figure out what I can bring with me and also what facilities will be available- i.e is there a gym where I’ll be staying, can I safely run outside, is there a Crossfit nearby that I can drop into, can I take a yoga class, etc…

If I think some of these aren’t available, fitting in my normal workouts may be a challenge, so I do my best to go into the trip with an open mind. I’ll do what I can & I try to look at it as a way to breathe some new life into my routine and do something different. Sometimes, being limited in the time you have and the equipment available can be a good thing because it forces you to be more creative with your workouts or spend more time on some much needed rest and relaxation.

GETTING READY TO GO:

THINK: What can I take with me?

Packing your dumbbells obviously isn’t the best idea, but if you don’t have a clue whether your hotel has a decent exercise room, there are some alternatives:

Resistance Bands:

Resistance bands can be a great traveling companion. You can use bands to target every muscle in the body and since you have tension throughout the entire movement, you’ll really feel the burn. They are also easy to stuff into your suitcase without taking up much space. Great for when you’re at home, at work, or away in your hotel room. You can find them a variety of bands and tubes on Amazon, other retailers, and even local sporting goods store. Most bands come with a list of exercises you can do with them.

For other ideas, you can visit:

https://greatist.com/fitness/resistance-band-exercises

or

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/total-body-sculpting-resistance-band-workout

Jump rope:

Jumping rope is a great exercise for your heart and body, and will really help you burn calories. Take the opportunity to practice your jump roping skills and maybe even double unders!

A yoga mat:

I have found some interesting and often beautiful spaces to practice in while on vacation. I have unrolled my mat at the airport and found a comfortable seat or lying position and meditated, or some light stretches in between flights to help with stiffness and circulation.  If you’re in a hotel, can you rearrange the furniture to create a little yoga nook? You can download music to your phone to help create the right ambiance for you. Find yourself in tight quarters? Take your mat outside onto the porch, grass or the beach. Complete some sun salutations, warrior I & II sequences, allowing your body to move, flow, and stretch.

What can you do without equipment?

Swimming:

Swimming is a great cardio exercise and it targets every muscle of your body. If you’re at a hotel with a pool, swim laps or try pool running.

If you’re at the beach, the ocean offers even more opportunities for exercising while having fun – surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, riding the waves- all are great for burning calories and staying active.

Walking and/or Running:

Walking and running are great ways to explore a new location. You don’t need much more than a good pair of shoes to get a great cardio workout in for the day. Plus, if you’re at the beach, you’ll get even more out of your walks/runs by using the sand to your advantage. Walking or running in soft sand is much harder than walking on pavement. Note- if you’re going for a longer duration run/walk, wear shoes rather than being barefoot because it could cause shin or calf pain. Get up early and watch the sunrise over the horizon. I can’t think of a better way to start my day!

Want to run on pavement but aren’t comfortable in a new location? Try finding a few local running clubs you can link up with to run or who can suggest safe routes for you. I have found some local groups on FB and messaged them prior to traveling.  

Ways to workout out as your travel:

Airports:

Getting stuck in an airport with long layovers or plane delays is no fun, but you can take advantage by getting in a little exercise.

Your best bet is to walk the airport, avoid the escalators & take the stairs, and keep your arms going and your posture straight. If you have a ton of carry-on luggage, find a locker and stash it there or take it with you to add some weight to your walk. Or as I said before, unroll your yoga mat. Some airports even have quiet meditations rooms you can practice in or gyms you can take advantage of. Most charge anywhere from $10 to $20 for the day.

On the Plane:

Is there anything more uncomfortable than the seats on an airplane? You can combat a stiff neck and back by getting up every 30-60 minutes or so and walking the length of the plane. While you’re up, get the kinks out by lacing your fingers together and stretching from side to side or stretching them up over head (micro backbend) and then in front of you while gently rounding your spine (like a standing cat/cow pose). While seated, stretch your neck, arms and legs too. Anything you can do to keep the circulation going will help reduce some of the aches, pains, and bloating.

Hotels:

Many hotels have exercise rooms but, if they don’t, they might have an affiliation with a local gym for a small fee. Ask the hotel manager about local health clubs and about any parks or trails close by.

I like to google and find local gyms before I go. I’ll reach out about a drop in classes or ask about special rates, especially if I’ll be going for or a week. My favorite thing to do when I travel is find a cool new Crossfit affiliate or “Box” to go to!

Don’t want to go or pay for a gym? Google travel WOD (Workout Of the Day). You will find several full body, no equipment needed workouts you can do anywhere, any time.

For me to be most successful and able to workout when I travel, I think it helps to do a little research before you go, so you’re  prepared when you get there.

Other ways to stay healthy:

Eating:

Traveling can throw a wrench into your healthy eating. From the questionable airplane food to the quick food at the airport (pizza, burgers, fries, ice cream etc.) it’s easy to get off course. Then you have the temptation of new and exciting restaurants to try while you’re at your destination. Try to bring easy, packable snacks for the plane (fruit, granola bars, trail mix, etc.) and, when eating out, try to make at least one healthy choice each day.

Whatever your destination, a little advance planning can ensure that you stay on track with your exercise program. Be active, get out and explore, eat healthy, and most importantly have fun.

 

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Meditation

With the hectic pace and demands of life, many people feel stressed out and over-worked. We often feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that we need to. Our stress and tiredness not only make us unhappy and frustrated, but also can begin to affect our health. Meditating is a great way to help make you feel calmer, more focused, and more at peace.  In our busy day, we may feel like there is no time to stop and meditate, but a simple 10-15 min. is all you need to help calm your mind and body and allow yourself to feel less stressed.

My dad passed away on July 3rd. During the last few weeks, I’ve felt sad, depressed, and overwhelmed, so I decided to start meditating. Previously, I considered my yoga practice to be a moving meditation, but since I am always moving, I decided to try to sit in stillness for a while and see how sitting and focusing on my breath could help to calm my body and mind.  

In only 10 minutes a day, I was able to help transform my mind from negative to positive, from anxious to calm, and from unhappy to happy. Learning to sit with myself and love myself, helped me to find the inner harmony I was lacking.

Overcoming negative minds and creating constructive thoughts is one of the purposes of meditating. There are many different meditations techniques (i.e. walking, concentration, mindfulness, transcendental) you can choose from.  Meditating doesn’t have to feel hard or cumbersome, so no matter what you choose or how you choose to meditate, it’s up to you. The most important thing you can do is focus on the present, try to clear your mind, and breathe.

Here is a simple meditation exercise to try:

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
  5. Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.

I started with some simple meditations on my own, but then began to explore some guided meditations. Here are a few things I found and enjoyed:

  1. Meditation Studio– I enjoy this when I don’t have much time and am looking for a shorter guided meditation. They offer meditations for stress, relaxation, and sleep, just to name a few.  
  2. For longer meditations, I enjoy listening to Deepak Chopra’s Healing Meditation on youtube. He has quite a number of them and I really haven’t found one I havent liked.

Next time you are having a hard time or are feeling stressed, find a comfortable seat or lying position and begin to meditate. This may not make the negative experience go away, but it can help you tolerate it with kindness and patience.

Namaste!

Facebookredditpinterestmail

An Ayurvedic Approach to Inner Body Balance

As the seasons shift, our bodies cycle through an organic ebb and flow of change that serves to harmonize and create balance within us. These changes are usually influenced by the seasons, i.e. hours of daylight, foods that are plentiful that time of the year, weather, and seasonal activities. Although our bodies adjust to these changes naturally, it doesn’t hurt to adjust our routine to help aid in the transition and find better balance in our bodies.

During this week’s blog, we’ll look at an Ayurvedic approach to inner body balance.

What is Ayurveda?

According to the science of Ayurveda, our universe, which includes our bodies and our thoughts, is composed of the 5 elements: water, fire, earth, air, and space. The 5 elements blend in specific ways to create the 3 doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of us has a dominant dosha that manifests in both our physical appearance and mental character.

Pitta Dosha:

According to Ayurveda, summer inspires the pitta dosha (which is a combination of fire and water). Pitta is driven by the solar force, so when the natural cycle of the seasons brings us to the sunny summer months, and the sun is closer to the Earth, we need to balance the hot, fiery external climate with our internal energy. Too much of one energetic force can flood our bodies.   When we don’t balance pitta energy, we may begin to feel changes physically and mentally. Physically, we may experience an increase in body temperature, changes in skin, and digestive issues (i.e heartburn and indigestion). Mentally, we may feel more agitated, demanding, or lose our temper more easily.  However, when pitta is in balance physically and mentally we are strong, sharp, and focused.

How do we balance that pitta energy?

During this time of year, a good counter for the sunny weather is focusing on activities and foods that are cooling. This approach will nourish your system and help increase your energy levels.

Yoga:

One of the best ways to encourage equilibrium in your body is through your yoga practice. Here are some yoga poses you can include in your daily routine that will help balance and regulate your body during the summer months:

  • Supported Bridge- place a yoga block beneath the low back.
  • Legs Up the Wall- Keep your tailbone flush against the wall and your legs straight up.
  • Forward Folds- complete these seated or standing.
  • Twists: seated or lying on your back.

Breath:

After you complete your asanas (yoga poses), weave in one or both of the following cooling pranayama (breath work):

  • Shitali Pranayama: This technique is done by curling the sides of your tongue towards one another and sticking your tongue out through your lips. Inhale through your rolled tongue and exhale out through the nose. Repeat 5-20 times.
  • Single-Nostril Breathing: This technique isolates one nostril at a time. Plug your right nostril and breathe in and out through the left nostril for 5-20 breaths, then switch sides.

Food:

Food is a great way to help balance the body. Here’s what you can do to align your eating with the summer season:

  • Eat vegetables and fruits that have a high water content: melons, cucumbers, and leafy greens.
  • Keep things light and cool. Enjoy foods that aren’t dense and heavy.
  • Stay hydrated! Drink lots or water or even try drinking electrolyte-enhanced or coconut water.
  • Incorporate herbs and spices into your cooking that reduce the pitta dosha (i.e. mint, fennel, cilantro, cumin, and coriander).

Although your body will instinctively crave balance as the seasons shift, it’s also beneficial to help aide your body throughout the seasonal shift.

If you want to learn more about Ayurveda, join Sam from Empower Yoga on Saturday, July 29th from 1:00-2:30pm. Sam will guide you through a pitta reducing asana practice followed by a discussion on how yoga, diet, and self-care can help to balance the pitta dosha. You will learn other yoga poses, foods and spices, and self-care rituals to add to your daily routine to help balance the fire in you this summer.

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Benefits of Hot Yoga in the Summertime!

The hottest months of the year are quickly upon us.  As a result, most of us want to sit inside with the A/C on while having  a cold drink.  When we think of summertime activities, we don’t always think about going to a heated yoga studio to practice. However, doing hot yoga in the summer does have many benefits and can actually help you survive the dog days of summer!

Here’s a few reasons how hot yoga helps:

You can easily acclimate to the summer’s heat!

Practicing in a heated studio allows your body to become more adapted to sweating and hot temperatures. Studies have shown that hot yoga practitioners are less sensitive to sweltering temps, often aren’t bothered by temperature changes, and don’t need to blast the A/C as high as others do.

It detoxifies your body through sweat.

If you’ve practiced hot yoga then you’ve probably left the class dripping in sweat. The sweat is incredibly cleansing and detoxifying. Sweat is a great way to cleanse your organs, muscles, and glands.  Many people feel lethargic during the summer, but those who practice hot yoga feel more energized and refreshed because they sweat out bad toxins.

It helps you stay hydrated.

Proper hydration is essential when it’s hot out.  Hot yogis know that drinking fluids is essential both on and off the mat. Whether you’re losing a lot of water from a sweaty class or from simply being outside in the heat, it’s important to stay hydrated.  Hot yoga students are often already careful about staying hydrated from their hot yoga practice,so they are able to maintain that habit throughout their daily life.

It gives you stronger coping capabilities.

A hot yoga class is a great way to learn how to cope with excessive heat. When your practice gets a little too hot for you, you learn how to listen to your body and adjust to the environment; i.e. slowing down your breathing, taking a child’s pose, or grabbing a drink of water. Hot yoga helps you become more in tune with your bodies needs, particularly in the heat.  

It helps you maintain your practice all year.

I think one of my favorite things about hot yoga is walking into a heated class after a chilly winter day. But after months of taking classes during the colder months, it’s almost impossible to take three months off. When you practice regularly, yoga becomes such a critical part of your life and daily routine that when you don’t do it, you feel different, not as open or energized. So don’t let summer put a damper on all the hard work you’ve accomplished throughout the year. Get to class!

Nothing like the feeling you get after a great class.

After a long day at work, your first down dog can feel stiff and when you try to move, you experience a few creaky joints.  Hot summer temps and high humidity can actually help loosen up muscles and joints before you hit the mat, and make warming up at the beginning of class that much easier. A heated class definitely gives your muscles a good stretch and prepares your body for other activities throughout your day. My runner friends even say that they experience the same endorphin rush they get from running during a hot yoga class. They feel on top of the world!

Helps you be more active in the summer.

There is no better time than summer to enjoy a run outside, long bike ride or a hike in the woods, even in the heat. If you’re someone who has difficulty training or completing physical activities in the heat, (Ii.e. try training for a fall marathon in August lol)  a hot sweaty yoga session will lessen the shock of being active during the summer months and prepare your body to handle activities in the heat.

Get to a hot class, what are you waiting for?  

Join Empower Yoga this summer this summer & get your sweat on!

 

 

 

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Summer Solstice 2017

What is the Summer Solstice?

Wednesday, June 21 2017 marks the longest day and the shortest night of the earth’s solar year, otherwise known as the Summer Solstice. During this time, we celebrate the completion of the cycle that began during the Winter Solstice. As we celebrate the longest day of the year, we also begin to prepare ourselves for the return of shorter and darker days.

Solstice literally means “standing of the sun” and we can connect to this great turning point in the earth’s yearly cycle by taking a moment to stop, find stillness, and reflect on our journey these last few months. From now until the Winter Solstice, what can we do to better nurture and develop ourselves? The Summer Solstice is a doorway into the second half of the year. Stand on the threshold and ask yourself what you wish to accomplish and achieve over the coming months.

The Summer Solstice is a perfect opportunity to bring these same principles to your yoga practice.  At Empower Yoga we will be holding a Summer Solstice celebration on Friday, June 23 starting at 5:30pm. We will begin our celebration with a series of 108 Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara), which is a “mandala” or circle of poses celebrating the sun.  Afterwards, we will have a potluck party. Join us, let’s celebrate the Sun and each other!

What does 108 mean?

The number 108 is a sacred number and has many interpretations:

  • 108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation.
  • 108 is the number of names for Shiva (a Hindu god).
  • 108 is the number of names for Buddha.
  • 108 is the Chinese number representing man.
  • 108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
  • 108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan “mala” (prayer beads, analogous to a rosary).
  • 108 is twice the number 54, which is the number of letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, one set of masculine (shiva) and one set of feminine (shakti).
  • 108 is the number of Sutras in the Yoga Sutras
  • 108 connects the sun, moon and earth as the average distance  of the sun and moon to earth is 108 times their respective diameters
  • 108 forms of dance in the Indian traditions.

Why do we complete Sun Salutations?

When completing Sun Salutations, we begin to move into a state of meditation. As we move and breathe, we begin to create tapas or inner heat that cleanses the body. With this inner heat we create combined with our meditative state, we can begin to release toxins in our bodies or things that no longer serve us. As we let go of these stuck energies, we become less in our head and more in our heart. On each exhale, we let go and on each inhale we create opportunities for new beginning and ways to better love and nurture our bodies so we can continue to grow.

Join the fun!

I would like to invite you to join us on June 23rd. If you are unable to attend, perhaps find a place to hold your own celebration.  Come into your body, find your breath and move through your favorite variation of Sun Salutations. Take time for you, to honor your own experiences, and begin to reflect on ways to take care of yourself over the next several months.

After you finish your practice, draw your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Feel the inner glow of your own heart. Then radiate that warmth outward with gentle words and gestures of love. Let the solar energies of the summer solstice nourish and support you.

Namaste!

Want to learn Sun A? Visit Empower Yoga’s Instgram page to see the video! (IG- empoweryoganj)

 

Facebookredditpinterestmail

Product Review: lululemon Reversible 5mm mat

Are you in the market for a new yoga mat??

As most of you know, I opened Empower Yoga in Ewing, NJ two months ago. Owning a yoga studio, I needed to decide what types of mats I wanted to offer for my clients to use.  For me, it was a no brainer, the lululemon Reversible 5mm mat was an obvious choice.  Since I am a lululemon ambassador, some may think I am biased, but I have been using a lulu mat for over 12 years and could not be happier!

When I started taking yoga classes, I was given one of those inexpensive foam mats. The kind you could get at Target or Walmart for about $10. I thought it would do the trick. Well it certainly had cushioning which was great for kneeling, but what it didn’t do was prevent me from slipping and sliding all over the place. Plus those little pieces of foam kept falling off, causing a mess all over the floor. I knew it was time to make an investment in something better. That was when I got my first lulu mat and haven’t used a different mat since.

The Reversible 5mm is the perfect mat for me and here’s why…

  • It’s super durable. With a lulu mat you don’t have to worry about rips, holes, or little bits of yoga mat peeling off.
  • It provides good cushioning. I have no problem kneeling, jumping, or lying on the floor.
  • It’s firm. Even though it has good cushioning, it’s still firm, making it easy to balance.
  • It’s very grippy. No big towels needed.
  • It doesn’t puddle. When I workout, I sweat a TON. I’ve always found yoga towels to be a pain to use so I wanted a mat that would absorb the moisture, and this one does. You are able to sweat safely!
  • It stays in one place and does not slide around the floor.
  • Even though it traps moisture, it doesn’t smell. The mat is very breathable.
  • It’s perfect for regular or hot yoga as well as any other fitness class.
  • The mat costs $68 which is less than the Manduka ($82) and Jade (Fusion- $149) mats.

The only cons I have found are:

  • It can get scratched up rather easily, but I think the marks add charm and show what a strong bad ass yogi you are.
  • It’s heavy (5lbs), so it is not great to travel with. I wouldn’t want to pack it in my suitcase.

In all, if you are looking for a quality mat that will likely last you a lifetime regardless of what punishment you put it through, then this is the mat for you. I’ll happily stick with mine!

Namaste!

Facebookredditpinterestmail

5 Yoga Poses for Runners

Having tight hips and legs can be very painful for a runner, but yoga can help and be a game-changer. Runners, like myself, often suffer from chronically tight hip flexors, hamstrings and calves. This tightness/immobility can lead to pain up the body and along the spine. So being able to lengthen, open, and stretch these areas is important. Yoga will not only help a runner’s performance, but it will also help them prevent injuries and keep them healthy & safe so they can continue to enjoy being able to run!

I recommend that all runners attend a yoga class a few times a week, but if you can’t, try to carve out 10 minutes out of your day day, and practice a few of the poses below to help your running. Begin today and start to see and feel the effects that yoga has on your body.

Strengthen and lengthen your leg muscles, improve flexibility and prevent injury with these 5 yoga poses for runners.

Downward Dog- (Adho Mukha Svanasana):DD  The most common issues for runners are shin splints, knee and foot problems, hamstring, as well as IT-band discomfort. So completing poses that are going to lengthen, and  strengthen the hips, quads, calves and hamstrings are important. Downward Dog does a lot of that, in addition to opening the arms and upper back, down dog stretches the legs too. Lift your hip bones straight toward the ceiling and push your heels into the ground for the best overall stretch.

Low Lunge- (Anjaneyasana)ll hands:  Running can be tough on the hips. Low lunges can help strengthen the core while also stretching the thighs, groin, and opening tightened hips. Reach your arms to the ceiling and breathe.

Tree- (Vrksasana):  Balancing on one leg is great for athletes. The treemore you can strengthen your legs andimprove your balance, the less likely you are to twist an ankle or fall down when you’re on a trail or any type of uneven surface. Balancing on one leg, bring your other foot into your standing leg, try to be above or below the knee; avoiding pressing into the knee joint. Focus your gaze on an object in the distance and stand tall for 30 seconds to a minute.

bridgeBridge- (Setu Bandhasana):  Backbends help open the shoulders and the front of the body.  They also strengthens the core and activate the glutes. Bridge pose is a good counter pose to running, because the longer we run the more we tend to hunch forward. Lift your hips up toward the sky and try to keep your body in a straight line with your core engaged. To open your chest even further, clasp your hands together underneath your pelvis and try to roll your shoulder blades toward each other. Squeeze your glutes and breathe.

Reclined Pigeon- (Supta Kapotasana)reclined pigeon: Traditional Pigeon can put a lot of pressure on the knees if not done correctly, so reclined pigeon can be a nice alternative.  Lie on your back with your knees bent, and cross your left ankle over your right quad. Gently pull your legs toward you for a stretch in your left hip, glute, and hamstring, then repeat on the other side

Running + Yoga = LOVE

Happy Running!

Facebookredditpinterestmail