Perhaps you’ve noticed essential oils making cameo appearances in your yoga classes. Yoga teachers are acknowledging the benefits of and sharing oils in class more frequently than ever. The question is, what oils should you use and why? Essential oils have the ability, much like yoga poses, to uplift, to balance, and to calm. Here are a few essential oils that are widely available and could prove beneficial to your practice.
That heat, that heart-filled, soul-catching, delicious, sparkly fire begins with breath. The ujjayi Darth Vader whisper ocean breath. This breath is your beginning, your foundation. This breath is where your vinyasa will flow and change and build. If there is no breath, there is no place for the vinyasa to grow. Vinyasa without breath is just exercise. Breath gives you purpose, focus, and power.
Over the holidays, I found myself stealing away to take child’s pose. I excused myself to my bedroom, rolled out my yoga mat, and came into child’s pose. In a house filled with of friends and family, I was able to find balance and stability from this one pose.
It’s challenging enough being in a yoga class and wondering what the teacher is doing, let alone understanding what they’re saying in Sanskrit...Adhomukha-huh? Chata-what? I present, The Beginners Guide to Sanskrit. Once you know a few key Sanskrit words, you just might know what’s coming out of your teacher’s mouth.
I define gratitude as honor, thanks, and deep appreciation. Having the opportunity to practice yoga, a 3,000 year old tradition, brings forth tremendous gratitude as I give thanks for every generation, every person before me, who has passed this tradition on.
Winter is coming. Different seasons usually signify a change in our recreation habits. As you pack up your mountain bike and get out your skis, it’s important to practice mindfulness and bring your focus to different muscles that you may use in various sports. Skiing, both downhill and cross country, utilize the large muscle groups that need both stretching and strengthening.
Everyone wants to get a new perspective on things once in a while, and there is nothing like standing on one’s head to provide a fresh new outlook on life. Yoga practitioners have long understood the importance of balance for both the mind and the body, and they have created a number of inverted postures designed to soothe the mind and heal the body.
Years ago, I swore to myself I would never say, “find your drishti” in any of the classes I taught. I found it to be a tiresome, overused phrase that teachers said over and over again without providing explanation or relevance of the term. I truly had no idea what I was looking for; therefore, how was I going to find it?
Breath, or pranayama, is one of the most important pillars of a yoga practice. In fact, I would argue to say it’s the most important. Breath moves us through postures and stokes and soothes us. Breath can work to slow down the heart rate, warm up the body, and soothe the mind.
Being in the flow—you know the feeling. Life feels like a yes, everything (or most things) are running smoothly, you’re catching all the green lights, receiving hugs and support from loved ones, you feel an inherent sense of ease. This is “being in the flow.”
The Yamas and the Niyamas, the first steps on Patanjali's Eight Fold Path of Yoga, are guidelines to living a meaningful and purposeful life. When combined with the steps of recovery, these ethical practices can enhance emotional and spiritual healing to create a greater sense of wellbeing.
Let’s be honest. The world of yoga is quite vinyasa-centric. Chaturanga after chaturanga, downward dog after downward dog. However, the practice of yin yoga is slowly getting the time in the spotlight that it deserves. Yin yoga is the moon to vinyasa’s sun, the stillness to vinyasa’s movement, the ease to vinyasa’s effort, and literally the yin to vinyasa’s yang.