24 Sep

There are so many ways to practice yoga for free. 

iStock.com/MaximFesenko

Free Classes in Your Community

It might take some sleuthing, but there could be a variety of free yoga classes offered in your town. If you’re enrolled in an academic institution, go online or visit the fitness center to find out what’s being offered. But, no need to stop there! Local libraries and churches often offer free or donation-based classes. Many yoga clothing stores like Lululemon and Prana offer free weekly in-store classes. If you’re into Kundalini Yoga, sadhana (daily morning practice) is always offered free of charge.

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Work Trade Programs

Many studios offer exchange programs where you can exchange time working in the studio at the desk or cleaning after class for a free or discounted membership. Many studios have this opportunity listed on their site, but for those that don’t, reaching out to studios and inquiring is definitely worth it.

YouTube

There are many skilled yoga instructors that have their own YouTube channels offering high quality and free video classes with a wide variety of styles and lengths. Some great channels to check out are (links) Yoga With Adriene, Body Positive Yoga, and DOYOUYOGA.


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23 Sep

The Well—a new wellness club in New York City that integrates Eastern and Western healing practices

Courtesy of The Well

Website: the-well.com | Instagram: @thewell | Monthly membership: Rates start at $375

Build a Foundation

Start your mornings in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to feel grounded and steady during fall’s unpredictability. “Mountain Pose is solid and enduring and represents the potential for dealing with anything,” says Joyce Englander Levy, director of Mindful Movement. “It’s a reminder that you can cultivate a broader vision for your life.” Build the pose from the ground up: Anchor your feet, stand tall, and hold your gaze at the horizon or into your own eyes in the mirror. Breathe mindfully for 5–10 breaths, or until you feel a sense of confidence. If at any point of the day you feel overwhelmed, revert to Mountain Pose for 5 more breaths.

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Watch + Learn: Mountain Pose

Savor the Sunlight

Tempting as it may be to hunker down indoors when it gets chilly, sunlight helps sync your body with the natural rhythm of the changing weather. “Natural light lets your brain and your hormones know when it is time to wake or go to sleep,” says Amanda Carney, director of Health Coaching. “Exposure first thing in the morning supports this cycle and can positively affect your mood, energy levels, and mental clarity throughout the day.” When natural light hits your retina, it sends a direct message to your brain that triggers alertness. A few minutes outside, even on a cloudy day, provides tangible benefits.


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22 Sep

Live Be Yoga ambassador, Brandon Spratt, practicing Aura Kriya. 

Lauren Cohen

Live Be Yoga ambassadors Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today.

Our hearts experience so much in this lifetime. Keeping them open, clear, and stable can be challenging as there are so many forces in this existence that make us want to collapse, close and shut down our heart center. However, there are just as many forces that are loving, inspiration and encouraging.

This Kundalini Yoga set called Aura Kriya works to reset your electromagnetic field so you can attract positive energy and repel negativity. If you have been feeling a little “off” lately, this set will give you that jumpstart you may need or crave.

See also A Beginner’s Guide to Kundalini Yoga. 

Each exercise can be practiced anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. But whatever amount of time you choose to practice each exercise, make sure you practice the same amount of time for each one.

As with all Kundalini sets, we start by tuning in. Here’s how:

  • Take a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and place your hands in prayer pose at your heart center
  • Chant the Adi Mantra three times: Ong namo guru dev namo (I bow to the divine teacher within)
  • Inhale deeply, suspend the breath, and release. 


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20 Sep

Jumpsuits are a trendy and flattering alternative to yoga pants. They keep everything in one place so you don’t need to worry about accidentally flashing someone. Even better, they’re super cute and sexy. Most jumpsuits are a blend of spandex and other fabrics, which impacts their breathability and flexibility. If you’re trying to find the perfect jumpsuit for your next class, check out our guide to our favorite one-pieces below.

Contents

  1. Most Comfortable: URBAN K Women’s Active Yoga Wear Jumpsuit
  2. Best for Hot Yoga: LOVESOFT Women’s Sexy Sport Yoga Jumpsuit
  3. Most Colorful: Amilia Women’s Spaghetti Strap Tank Jumpsuit
  4. Best for Easy Movement: Sumtory Women Crisscross Bandage Jumpsuit

Most Comfortable: URBAN K Women’s Active Yoga Wear Jumpsuit

If you’re looking for a jumpsuit that is simple and flexible, look no further than URBAN K’s spaghetti strap or scoop neck option. It looks great in class and when you throw a sweater over it on your way home, and the stretchy cotton material is made for comfort. The scoop neck and tight waistline add style to make this utilitarian jumpsuit flattering. Better yet, it’s available in plus sizes! Ding: This jumpsuit may not be as stretchy as others and it’s only available in four colors. Double ding: White and beige may not be the best colors for hot yoga. $8-$27.99; Buy Now


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20 Sep

As climate change activism heats up this month (the Global Climate Strike is taking place from September 20-27), yoga studios, teachers, and organizations are joining the call for a healthier environment and sustainable future. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and the EcoKarma foundation, encourages yogis to recognize their connection with nature and make preserving the planet a lifestyle. 

“We are one with the environment” says Finn. “Take breathing for example. Breathing brings the outer world inside of you. We take air into our bodies and it passes through us via our blood – it’s hard to separate where physiology ends and the environment begins. Our job as yogis is to create experiences and rituals in our practice where we feel this interconnection.” 

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Amy Ippoliti, another renowned yoga teacher and environmental activist, pushes for action above all else. “We are deeply interconnected with all life on earth and the practice of yoga only heightens that awareness. Our actions need to be consistent and relentless. Let’s be clear.”

Here are six ways yogis can get involved in climate activism.

See also The Rise of Eco-Friendly Yoga Studios


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20 Sep

Live Be Yoga ambassadors, Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt share a snapshot of their time in Chicago. Each city they travel to they are constantly on the go with studio events, content creation, connecting with the yoga community and so much more. Thankfully EVOLVE® is a tour sponsor and provides them with plant based protein bars to sustain their energy from city to city. EVOLVE® protein bars are convenient on-the-go nutrition and taste delicious.

Learn more about the Evolve® Brand by visiting, drinkevolve.com.

Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today. Follow the tour and get the latest stories @livebeyoga on Instagram and Facebook.


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19 Sep

Your core is more complicated than just your muscles

Michele Graham

Contents

  1. Core Muscles
  2. Box Breath Muscles
  3. Core Viscera

When we talk about core power, abdominal muscles come to mind. But our core is much more than that. It connects us to our feelings and moods via the nerves of our gastrointestinal system and our enteric nervous system, or “belly brain.” We might feel off kilter when our gut health is out of whack or disconnected from life when our bellies are hard and tight. We can also experience upset stomachs when we feel stressed, depressed, or sleep-deprived.

Here’s a fuller view of your core, or the space between the diaphragm and pelvic floor, wrapping around the torso—also known as “the midsection” and “abdominopelvic cavity.”

See also Yoga Anatomy 201: Tension in Your Neck and Shoulders? Why You Should Focus on Your Rib Cage for Relief

Core Muscles

Your core muscles help control your posture and body position. For instance, the rectus abdominis works primarily to stabilize your rib cage in relation to your pelvis. The transversus abdominis and multifidus work with the pelvic floor and diaphragm to stabilize your lumbar spine. Your core muscles also produce and transfer force during dynamic movements such as vinyasa yoga or running, maintaining spinal stability in order to protect your nerves, disks, joints, and connective tissue. Try these asana to explore abdominal stabilization:


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19 Sep

Emily Kurc practices tree pose. 

Maddy Perez

When I was younger, I wondered why children my age were taking road trips with their families to vacation spots, when the only road trips I took with my parents were to different doctors. As time went on, I began to wonder why I couldn’t run like the other children in gym class. I wondered why nobody else around me seemed to sympathize with me when I explained that I just didn’t feel good today, even when I looked fine on the outside. It took a year of different tests, scans, and diagnoses, some false, to finally reach a conclusion at age 10: I had rheumatoid arthritis.

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I have spent half of my life feeling defeated by this disease. The summer before my diagnosis, I spent on my living room couch because I was too fatigued to even speak. The only visitor I had was the at-home nurse who administered my weekly dose of medication via the PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line that ran through my body. I picked out new knee braces more often than I went shopping for new clothes

I’ve spent a lot of time suffering from this disease, And, I’ve spent just as much time running away from it. I would avoid my parents when they told me it was time for my weekly injection of medication. I avoided telling my friends, because nobody seemed to really understand. “Isn’t arthritis for old people?” Rheumatoid arthritis socially isolated me from having the normal life I desperately desired growing up. Throughout high school, it made me feel depressed, anxious, and completely helpless.


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18 Sep

Caitlin Gottschalk’s yoga studio interior at Sacred Space, a Minneapolis wellness sanctuary

Jenna Dailey

Caitlin Gottschalk knows how to create beautiful things. The 30-year-old yoga teacher studied design at both Parsons and London College of Fashion before launching her first business, sustainable clothing and accessories brand Cait the Great. She worked with Wanderlust Festivals in 2016 to bring pop-up shops to a number of city stops and last year served as a studio partner, putting together a tour guide for mindfulness seekers in her hometown of Minneapolis. Her mantra for her career, one she still relies on heavily today, is Create the grace: “It’s my way of saying, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’” she says.

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Since February 2017, she’s been channeling her artistic vision as the founder of Sacred Space, a Minneapolis wellness sanctuary where practitioners can try a range of offerings such as energy work, sound baths, reiki, and crystal healing. Oh, and there’s plenty of yoga and meditation—about 20 classes per week—with limited sessions held in an adjacent yurt, an old storage facility that she rescued and gave new life. Gottschalk takes design cues from worldly artifacts such as Moroccan rugs and Joshua Tree’s minimalist landscape (she fell in love with the park as a kid on family vacation). Warm white walls create an easy canvas for her rotating collection of crystals, textiles, and singing bowls. “I find the most joy in integrating found objects with alive elements—like flowers, fresh incense, and handcrafted oil blends—that activate your senses and pull you into the present moment,” she says.


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17 Sep

A cooling eye mask is one of the best ways to quickly relieve pain and gently relax you whether you are struggling with swollen and itchy eyes, stress, or headaches (perfect for those long yoga teacher training days). Most designs use either gel or gel beads encased in smooth plastic or soft cotton designed to hold their cool temperature for extended periods of time. To make sure you choose the right eye mask for you, we’ve put together a guide to our favorite picks.

Best for Sleeping: IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow

IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow

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Most eye masks are encased in plastic (even latex – a potential allergen) that rests directly on your eyes. This choice is made from a soft and breathable cotton-lycra blend that will gently conform to your face. This mask’s stitching, built with migraine sufferers in mind, is designed not to put direct pressure on your eyes as well. The cute design even blocks out light to allow for undisturbed meditation or sleep. Note: When cooling this mask, be sure to put it in a plastic container to keep it from absorbing freezer smells. Ding: True cold sensation doesn’t last much longer than 15 minutes, say some testers. $13; Buy Now


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