Yoga // Tag

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12 Dec

Shoulders and hips. If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked how to open these two areas I would have a summer home. Shoulders and hips are the most mobile joints in the body and, therefore, are easily injured if not properly balanced with both strength and flexibility.

 

You will need a strap to follow this segment. You can actually use anything else that will hold the tension on the line, like a towel or rope. The idea of using a strap is to create heat and allow for isometric stretching during a yoga flow. Isometric strength and stretch work is great because it keeps the joint at one angle and the muscle contracted. This combo will really help with alignment.

 

 

These isometric stretches are great warm-up before overhead squats and snatch work. The most important part is to challenge yourself to pull both ends of the strap so that the muscles get the full opening effect while staying in a contracted state.

 


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24 Sep

There are so many ways to practice yoga for free. 

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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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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

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

Buy Rachel Brathen’s book here.

One day John [Brathen’s boss at the time in Costa Rica – Ed.] told me the commune was hosting a cacao shaman at the farm and that there would be a chocolate ceremony later in the day. I had heard of chocolate ceremonies for emotional healing and I was intrigued. A cacao shaman works with special types of beans from sacred parts of South America. An ancient ritual to prepare the cacao involves roasting and grounding the beans, then mixing the hot chocolate with brown sugar or agave syrup and cayenne pepper in a large pot. Cacao increases the blood flow to the heart and frees the heart chakra. Emotionally it translates to releasing pent-up feelings, and the ritual can be both intense and therapeutic.

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John and I arrived at the farm in the early afternoon and joined the group on the patio. The circle of twenty or so people, some of them new faces, sat around the big pot of bubbling cacao. I’d never met a shaman before and was intrigued to see what he would look like. I envisioned an indigenous man, dressed in beads and robes. Instead, I arrived to find that the shaman was an American man in his sixties, with white hair and a long white beard. I sat down in the circle feeling a little wary—what had I signed up for? Of all places, the shaman sat down right next to me and we locked eyes. Looking into his clear, blue eyes, I felt a jolt of electricity zap through my body. It felt as if he were looking into the depths of my soul.


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16 Sep

Want to up-level your flow? In Focused Vinyasa: 11 Fresh Sequences and Drills to Advance Your Practice, Irene Pappas, cofounder of Bodhi Yoga Boulder, hits pause at key teaching moments in your vinyasa to break challenging poses down into moves you can practice and master. Learn more and sign up today!

Within the past decade, many different styles of yoga and movement have influenced Irene Pappas’s practice and teaching. “I started with weightlifting, then found Rocket and Ashtanga yoga, and eventually added in gymnastics-style strength training and calisthenics,” she says. Her teaching incorporates concepts from each of these movement styles into a yogasana-based flow designed to build strength and improve mobility.

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This creative sequence from Pappas includes her favorite squats and leg lifts within a vinyasa flow, but each move can also be practiced on its own. She likes to warm up with a few minutes of light cardio and a wrist routine, but she says you can also start with some Sun Salutations or even just a Downward-Facing Dog.

Watch also A Glute and Hamstring Strength Drill Yogis Really Need.

This practice is meant to be a challenge, so don’t get discouraged if you find it difficult. “You might not be able to do all of these exercises the first time you try them— I definitely couldn’t,” Pappas says. “The first step is committing your mind to doing the hard work, and the physical strength will follow!”


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