All posts tagged: yoga practice

Review: Best Yoga Books (for yoga addicts like you)

I collect two things in life: books and music. And according to my bank account, I apparently go a little overboard with my obsession for both. I am unrepentant. I am without question a book fanatic/literarazzi/reader-of-all-the-things. I don’t know about you, but any location that houses books in a happy place: libraries, used bookstores, Barnes and Noble, that random pop up store down the street, etc etc etc. I’m not kidding when I say I read at least a book or two a week. I will happily turn down social engagements to snuggle up with a my fat cat and a book. HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH—called my sofaaaaaaaa. Anyway, now that we all know the real reason I’m sometimes a terrible friend (those books aren’t gonna read themselves, people), I wanted to share with you several that I’ve found really beneficial to my yoga practice. Inspirational and philosophical books are pretty easy to come across, but books with a technical focus are often difficult to find. I’ve curated several gems along the way, and they’ve made …

Review of the Dharma Wheel

Yoga falls into that rare exercise category of “no equipment needed.” Other than a mat, all that’s needed is you, yourself, and your open heart. Maybe it’s our complex day to day lives that push us towards making everything more complicated than it needs to be, but sometimes yoga just seems…too simple. Surely I need more gadgets, gizmos a plenty, and at bare minimum some whozits and whatzits galore. (AND YES. I so just referenced The Little Mermaid, thank you fellow nerds and red haired children alike for knowing that.) Back to the point at hand: yoga. I find myself looking for ways to “add on” to my yoga practice. Aren’t there props that I need? Shouldn’t I be investing in more training apps that I may or may not use? I really will do a handstand better if I buy super expensive pants…right? Part of me still feels disbelief at how simple yoga is, and yet how transfiguring it’s proven to be for millions of people, including myself. Now, when I see the random belles …

Beating the Yoga Blues

Yoga is a journey that has it’s peaks and valleys, to be sure. Sometimes, we leave a practice feeling on top of the world. In fact, yoga is famous for the euphoric high that comes after a ridiculously grueling session. Maybe science hasn’t nailed down exactly why yoga is so magically healing and emotionally satisfying, but any regular to yoga will swear by its powers. Speaking of science, we do know that yoga, which incorporates tons of back bends and twists, causes the body to release a high level of neurotransmitters like serotonin (which is directly responsible for happy feelings). The spine of course is connected to the brain, and both are big control centers for neuro activity and hormonal releases. While yoga usually leaves us feeling oh so blissful, sometimes it also stirs up deep emotions and can leave us feeling like we’ve been hit by a Mack truck. It’s not uncommon to feel emotionally drained after a big influx of neurotransmitters, hormones, twists and bends…but it seems hard to shake at times. From a …

Alis volat propriis: She Flies with Her Own Wings

Alis volat propriis is a gorgeous and inspiring Latin phrase that translates “she flies with her own wings.” I truly believe we as individuals are meant to see, be, and do great things…but we are often prevented from realizing our potential because there are people who devote endless amounts of time and energy to breaking the wings of others or stifling their flight. I don’t understand this. I truly can’t comprehend why people would want to hurt others or even wish ill will on them. The simple truth is, there are people out there who either simply don’t know how to be happy for others, perhaps because they themselves have experienced great hurt in their own lives and merely continue the cycle. Some lovely, beautiful spirits get completely crushed and broken under the weight of hurtful words and actions of these kinds of people. What a true tragedy, because the body heals faster then the heart ever will. On the flip side, sometimes we rely far too greatly on others, and we never reach a …

An Asana of Freedom: Wild Thing Pose

I absolutely love the yoga community on Instagram. I am constantly inspired and encouraged by the mutual journey I get to take with other yogini’s, and I am deeply moved when people take time to comment. It’s so uplifting! I try to do the same for others, because it honestly is such a lovely encouragement to me and I want to be that for others. I was recently tagged by a friend to do a stop, drop and yoga pose, and I thought over which one to do. I felt like so many people chose mind blowing poses that demonstrated such strength and inspiring skill. I was tempted to pull something similar out of my bag of tricks, but I felt moved to do one of my favorite poses: wild thing. To see tips on the pose, jump to the bottom of the page. I love the pose wild thing because it’s accessible at many skill levels, and it reminds us we’re all wild at heart and should never let life break us or totally …

How to Do: Side Crow into Eka Pada Koundinyasana

Bakasana (or Crow pose) is usually the first pose that most people learn, but I actually like side crow even better. It flows so perfectly with a typical vinyasa practice, and not only do you get the benefits of core strengthening, but you also get the detoxing, cleansing effects of a side twist. What?! #winning! Another added perk is you get to start adding more transitioning poses and start building up your yoga practice. The Koundinyasana pose is optional, and you can add it on just as easily as leave it out. Tips: 1) Warm up with your sun salutations (review here) and crow (review here)  to get in your flow. 2) Have good contact points! Firmly connect those chatarunga arms to your legs. The key points are close to the hip and the side of the knee. 3) Use chatarunga arms as a platform to get into the pose. 4) Make a triangle of your two hands and gaze focused in front of hands. 5) Spread fingers wide! This will really help with balancing. …

How to Do: Sun Salutation A

It’s easy to get mesmerized by fancy pants poses like eka pada Koundinyasana or some such other challenging pose. I really ignored the importance of the sun salutations for years, because quite honestly I’m a razzle-dazzle kind of girl. I like mind-blowing anything. The salutations were a bit of a yawn…or so I thought. But they’re actually a gorgeous incorporation of essential yoga principles. Ashtanga teaches the importance—scratch that, the necessity of having strong foundation poses and sequences. Most yoga classes regardless of style will often incorporate the sun salutation sequence, and when you can really nail this sequence and get great alignment, you’ll find it spills over to the more advanced poses as well. Here in your sun salutation, you can truly work on strength, breathing, and focus. And yes, a strong foundation gives you a solid foundation to build razzle-dazzle poses on, thank the inner light in you and me and just about anything else cuz I need some pizzazz in my poses! While I often did the sun salutations in classes, I …