Tag Archives: yoga every day

10 Tips For Anyone New To Yoga!

The best advice I could give anyone new to yoga is to just show up. Don’t overthink it, just do it. Check your ego at the door and get ready to have fun. Allow your mind and body to be open to new experiences both physically and mentally. Yoga studios are not spaces for competition; they’re a starting point for an inward journey. So get ready to start yours!!

Your first few classes might be a little confusing until you become familiar with the poses and breath. Know that it’s ok, we all have to start somewhere. Do the best you can to follow along and remember to avoid placing any type of judgement on yourself.

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind for your next yoga class:

Arrive early to your first class.

That way you can register, get set up, acclimate to the space, and introduce yourself to the teacher.

Don’t eat right before class and remember to drink plenty of water.

Refrain from eating at least two hours prior your practice. Eating before can cause you to become nauseous during your practice and cause painful digestive problems.  Also, drink plenty of water before, during, and after class (especially after a hot yoga class). Replenishing after class is important to help avoid soreness, cramping and dehydration.

Bring a friend or family member along with you.

Spread the joy and love of yoga… it might even help ease your nerves the first time around.

Wear comfortable clothes.

Try to avoid clothing that is too baggy or loose fitting. It’s best to wear clothing that is fitted, moisture wicking, and breathable. And remember to take off your socks!

Put your mat in the back of the room.

When I was new to yoga, I liked having a view of all the other yogis in the room. That way, if I needed a little guidance during a pose, or wanted someone to model the pose for me, I could look around at what my neighbors were doing.

Bring a towel.

Bring either a small hand towel with you or a larger towel to place over your mat, especially during a hot class. This will help you from slipping and sliding during class and allow you to wipe the sweat from your eyes.

Invest in a good yoga mat:

Many studios allow you to rent or borrow public mats. However, it’s nicer, cleaner, and more sanitary to have your own. A good yoga mat is essential to helping with your grip and can provide a little extra cushion for your hips and knees during floor poses. My favorite mat is the 5mm Reversible Mat from lululemon.

Accept your feelings.

If you become emotional during or after a yoga session, it’s normal. Sometimes releasing tension in the body (especially in the hips) or when opening our heart (during backbends) you begin to release a ton of emotions too. It’s important to remember that anytime you work with the body, you are also working with the mind and the energy system, which is the bridge between body and mind. Therefore, emotional breakthroughs can be seen as markers of progress on the road to personal and spiritual growth.

Remember, it’s your practice!

As you move, breathe and flow, remember to listen to your body. If something hurts, don’t do it, if you need a break, take a child’s pose. Remember, don’t take yourself so seriously, be sure to smile and have fun!

Try several teachers and classes.

Don’t be afraid to test out a variety of different teachers and classes until you find what’s right for you! You will figure out exactly where you need to be and what works for you!

NAMASTE!
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Keep the Past in the Past!

It’s time to let go of your past.  

I’ve had many sleepless nights. Nights when I was so worried about something that had happened and that I let it dictate my future. We’ve all been there at some point. You’re not alone.

Whether it’s something small (i.e saying something you wish you hadn’t) or something big (i.e a divorce, death, job loss), harping on negative experiences is painful and can cause so much unneeded stress and anxiety.   

We need to not dwell on the past and think about something more positive.  Here are some ways to help:

1. Learn from the past and move on.

Not all experiences we have will be good. However there is something to be learned from them all.  Take time to reflect on your experiences and use them as a tool for self reflection so that you can learn and grow but don’t dwell on them.  dwelling to much on things keeps the negativity around.  

2. Express yourself.

It’s good to talk about your feelings. Don’t keep them bottled up inside.  Whether it’s talking to the individual who has harmed you (or who you harmed), venting to a friend or writing it down, expressing your feelings can assist you in sorting out what, if anything, needs to be done to move on.

3. Accept Responsibility for your actions.

Sometimes when things happen, we don’t always accept responsibility for our actions. We get defensive, and we want to play the victim.  The problem is, blaming others harbors anger and prevents you from moving forward. Accept responsibility for what happened and move on.

4. Focus on the present.

One of the best ways to let go of your past is to embrace the present. Instead of reliving the past, keep yourself active and enjoy the current moment.

Be mindful- enjoy time with people you love and doing the things you love (i.e. going to dinner, running, taking a yoga class, having coffee with friends, etc.).  Accept that negative feelings are a part of life, but you can choose to look at the positive and make your own happiness.

5. Disconnect for a while.

Allow yourself to take some time away so that you can clear your head. Maybe meditate, find a quiet spot to read, head to the beach (my favorite place to disconnect). When you return, you’ll have a better perspective on the past and look more positive towards the future..

6. Let go of negative people in your life.

Are there people in your life who are bringing you down? Are they preventing you from moving forward?  Move away from these people to find more positive people who will empower you. Meet people at your gym, yoga studio, running group, etc.

7. Practice forgiveness of both yourself and others.

We’re all human and we make mistakes. Forgiveness is essential to spiritual growth.  If you’ve been hurt by someone, harboring feelings of anger or animosity just perpetuates the problem and continues to make you angry, forgive and move on.  While you’re at it, forgive yourself too.  Its ok to make mistakes, as long as you’re learning from them, cut yourself some slack.

8. Make new memories.

Start making new, positive memories to replace those negative memories from your past. Spend your time with the people you love, and doing the things that bring you happiness and peace.  

Here’s to living in the NOW!!

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Mastering the Uncomfortable

Yoga is about finding a balance between the comfortable and the uncomfortable.

Do you struggle with a specific pose/posture in your yoga practice? When I first started practicing yoga in 2008, I was terribly afraid of inversions, particularly handstands. Every time I tried to get into a handstand, the fear of falling overwhelmed me so much so that I refused to even try.

That fear of falling made me so uncomfortable that during class, when offered to go into an inversion, I either did shoulder stand or hips on a block.  However, being someone that does in fact love a challenge, I decided that I needed to get over my fear and give it a try. I wanted to do handstands so badly! So I decided to master the uncomfortable. I practiced diligently each time I got onto my mat. After almost 4 years (yes that’s how long it’s taken me and it’s been very humbling) I started to gain the strength and confidence to do it. I’m still working on holding the pose for longer periods of time as well as attempting funky variations (i.e. tree, straddle, eagle legs etc…), but I am just so happy to be able to get off my feet and onto my hands.

For me that’s where the excitement lies. When you are able to come face to face with your fears and then overcome them, you start to feel strong and unstoppable. When we live in a place of fear, we aren’t able to grow. We are limited by the walls we’ve created around us. But, NOW is the time to break down those walls. By learning more about yourself and challenging yourself on the mat, you begin to start to see and notice changes in yourself off the mat too.

Through yoga, I’ve found my strength, my power and learned more about who I am, what I can offer the world, and how I can take action in my life.

I no longer fear handstands. Because when you set your mind to something and challenge the uncomfortable, you will eventually be able to fly. Practicing handstands gave me the courage to master the uncomfortable both on and off my mat.

Do you have the courage to master the uncomfortable in your life?

 

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Male Yoga (BROGA)

Do you consider yoga to be a little too ladylike?

Well fellas, yoga is not a women’s only club. Yoga offers plenty of benefits that appeal to men too. And for this week’s blog, I decided to dedicate it to all the men out there who have been afraid to do yoga because they can’t touch their toes, or are hesitant to walk into a class with all women.   Continue reading Male Yoga (BROGA)

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What is Yoga & Other Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re new to yoga or have been wondering the same thing for years, I’ve got some answers to some of yoga’s most frequently asked questions.

What Is Yoga?

When you think of yoga, do you think of people hopping up into handstand, doing seemingly impossible balances, and weirdly twisted poses? I bet some of you do… well yoga is much more than that. Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge and was derived from the Sankrit word “yuj” which means “to unite or integrate”. Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques, yoga postures (asanas) and meditation.

What Does Namaste Mean?

Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Namaste is a gesture/greeting that represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment and universal recognition of spiritual energy. By stating namaste, your souls is recognizing and honoring the light in someone else’s.

What Does Om Mean?

Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of a yoga class. It is said to be the sound of the universe. The entire universe is moving nothing is ever solid or still. There exists a pulsating, rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of the sound, but it’s there. You can hear it in the blowing of the leaves, the waves crashing on the shore, or inside a seashell.

Chanting Om allows us to recognize the universal movement through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy. We begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.

Do I Have to Be Vegan or Vegetarian to Practice Yoga?

The first principle of yoga philosophy is ahimsa, which means non harming to self and others. Some people interpret this to include not eating animal products. There is a debate about this in the yoga community. I believe that it is a personal decision that everyone should make for themselves. If you are considering becoming a vegan or vegetarian, be sure to take into account your personal health and perhaps consult your doctor. You do not have to be either to practice yoga.

How Many Times Per Week Should I Practice?

Yoga is strengthening, cleansing, and detoxifying. Whether you practice once a week or everyday you will still see and feel the benefits of yoga. However, when you go more frequently you will experience the shift in your body sooner. I suggest starting with two or three times a week. Go when you can. After a while, I am sure your desire to practice will increase and you will find yourself doing more and more.

How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Yes you’re body will become stronger and more flexible as it would if you just stretched, but so will your mind. Through yoga we are able to connect the movement in our bodies with our mind and to the rhythm of our breath. When we do this, we begin to direct our attention inward, allowing ourselves to become more present and aware of our experiences. Yoga is about building awareness in our bodies without judgement.

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. The father of classical ashtanga yoga (the eight-limbed path) is said to be Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra. These scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is not necessary to study those in order to practice yoga.

I’m Not Flexible. Can I Do Yoga?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s not true. Come as you are and you will find that your yoga practice will help you become more flexible as well as balanced, stronger, and more coordinated.

What Do I Need to Begin?

All you need to begin is an open mind and a desire to learn. When you begin, look around and find a studio and style that’s right for you. Consider investing in a nice pair of leggings or shorts and a t-shirt or tank.  Make sure they are not too baggy and maybe get some things that are sweat wicking. We practice barefoot, so there is no need for shoes and socks, leave them at the door! Bring a water bottle and towel, as well as a yoga mat to class if you have one.  No mat? That’s ok, most studios have mats you can borrow.

Why Are You Supposed to Refrain From Eating 2–3 Hours Before Class?

In class we will twist, turn, and bend. So if you have not fully digested your last meal, it may make you feel uncomfortable. If you’re afraid that you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.

 

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Benefits of Yoga!

Yoga is for everyone!

In my opinion, every person, including athletes have the ability to enhance their lives as well as their sport or discipline by adopting a consistent yoga practice. I have experienced yoga’s healing power in a very real way.

For me, yoga is not only about working out, it’s also about a healthy lifestyle. For starters, the practice of yoga allows us all to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. I love the feeling and effects of yoga. When stepping on your mat you begin to feel immediate changes to your physical body as well as your mental capacity. These changes in turn will lead to long term health and transformation.

Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can be beneficial and healing. Check out some of the awesome benefits of yoga.

Some physical as well as mental benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Increased energy
  • Better breathing
  • Maintaining a balanced metabolism
  • Boosts immunity
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardiovascular and circulatory health
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Injury prevention
  • Develop more awareness
  • Decreasing stress by creating mental clarity and calmness
  • Promotes positive body image and self esteem
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