Written By: Dan Mandell
I am very excited that Keri asked me to share my love for food with all the readers of Yoga Swole. Those of you that know me, know that food is a very important part of my life. When Keri and I moved to New Jersey from Massachusetts, I did some soul searching and knew that I needed to make my obsession with food more healthy; that is how I got into cooking.
Continue reading Fun Fall Food!
I can’t emphasize enough the amazing benefits of yoga. Yoga can complement any sport or other form of exercise. Plus, it’s easily accessible and it’s great for all ages, abilities, and levels.
Yoga postures (asanas) are the physical positions that coordinate breath with movement. These asanas strengthen your muscles, release physical tension and improve your concentration. Yoga systematically works all the muscle groups (i.e. the back, neck, and shoulders, abdominals, hips, and glutes, as well as ankles, feet, wrists and hands) so you can build strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. Continue reading Yoga for Athletes
Recently, I have been working on how I can better quiet my mind. Those of you, who know me well, know that I am always busy, continuously moving and racing from one activity to the next. So I have begun to think about ways to slow myself down, stop more often, and truly live in the moment.
As I reflect on my daily life, I realized that the time I feel most at peace, grounded, and connected is on my mat. While there is no way to truly “turn off” our minds, a yoga class is a great way to reconnect and help the mind come back to the present, restoring clarity and alertness.
So in this week’s blog, I decided to write about how yoga can help you become more grounded and focused. As I continue to practice yoga, I hope to apply what I learn on my mat into your everyday life and you can too! Continue reading Quieting the Mind
Lara Heimann, my yoga mama, is an incredibly smart, compassionate, and talented woman. She has taught me so much over the last several years; and without her knowledge and support I would not be the yoga teacher I am today. Taking her 200 hr. yoga teacher training changed my life for the better, and for that I will be forever grateful. Lara fostered my desire to teach yoga. Her inspired teacher training and strong belief in me, has allowed me to begin to follow my true path, to live my best life, and to be the best version of myself.
I met Lara about 3 years ago when I moved to NJ from Boston, MA. I was in the market for a new yoga studio so I popped into lululemon to learn more about what studios were nearby. That’s when I first heard about Lara and YogaStream. After one class, I was hooked and knew that this strong practice was what was missing from my life. After only three short weeks of taking classes with Lara, I signed up for her teacher training and have never regretted a moment since. Yoga has given me a lot throughout the years and now I feel blessed to have the privilege and opportunity to give back, sharing my knowledge and passion so I can help inspire, support, and teach others.
Being a yoga teacher is an incredible gift. While I love practicing, yoga is an amazing form of therapy for the teacher too. When I’m fully present and in the teaching zone, I find myself losing track of time and my own mental preoccupations. It’s just my students, their mats, and me, as one cohesive unit
“Yoga was my workout, then it became my lifestyle!”
Lessons from Lara:
- Movement is medicine- Lara’s fantastic approach to teaching yoga focused on alignment and body mechanics has brought my practice to a new level. It feels so good to build internal heat and move in a systematic and sequential way. I leave class feeling energized and rejuvenated.
- Getting on your hands- Inversions are fun and playful. After two years of practicing with Lara and never thinking I could actually do a handstand, I have!! It’s a lot of core strength, control, good body alignment and awareness. With a little practice and patience you can handstand too!
- Inspired sequencing- This practice is amazing. In each class we have a theme that helps focus the practice and push our students to the next level, both physically and emotionally, challenging them to be and do their best.
- Teaching with Integrity- Integrity is doing the right thing. As a yoga teacher, if I am not teaching from a place of integrity and authenticity, how am I benefiting others, much less myself?
- Finding balance- Yoga is a great addition to any workout routine. It’s fun and functional. What you learn on your mat can be transferred into the world around you.
- Loving yourself- You are beautiful! If you believe it and love yourself you can share that belief with the world and help others love themselves too; watch as amazing things begin to happen.
- Believing in yourself- Know that you are stronger than you think and stronger than what you give yourself credit for. Lara sees me in ways that I don’t always see myself and has helped me realize my true potential.
- Be stronger, braver, and more badass- You create your own rules. If you don’t like how the story is going, you have the opportunity to change it.
- Live with intention and purpose- Be the person you are destined to be! Believe in you and all that you are. You have one life, so live it up!
- Living a plant based life- Without preaching or imposing her will, Lara educated me about the negative effects of eating and using animal products; i.e. what it does to the animals, the environment, and how it impacts our health. Plant based life for me!!
If you have ever thought about taking a yoga class, what is stopping you? You will not regret it. Yoga has helped change my life and I believe it can do the same for you.
When I run, there are no phones, no texts, and no emails. On the road, I am in the zone and unreachable. When I run, all I think about is putting one foot in front of the other, tackling the mile ahead and not worrying about the entire distance to be run. I welcome the joy I feel as I train and the sense of accomplishment from the weekly totals of 30, 40, and 50 miles because it means that I am accomplishing more than I ever thought was possible. I never allow myself to stop, knocking down one workout at a time, crossing them out on my printed excel spreadsheet. It’s become a part of me and who I am. The days I don’t run (i.e. Friday mornings) I feel lost and out of step. I have begun to get addicted to the endorphin’s and the “runners high,” but more importantly, the love I have discovered for myself and my body as it has shown and taught me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Running keeps me moving forward and allows me to live a healthy and exciting life! Running is my therapy!
Continue reading Running is My Therapy!