7 Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress this Holiday Season

Ahhh….the holidays are here. It’s a time for joy, getting together with family and friends and celebration. By Denise McGill SO MUCH TO DO AND SO LITTLE TIME However, the flip side of holiday merriment is stress. There are parties to plan, holiday meals to prepare, gifts to purchase, holiday crowds to contend with and travel plans to make. And if that isn’t enough, with all the irresistible foods and…

An Insider’s Guide To The Yamas Of Yoga

An Insider’s Guide To The Yamas Of Yoga

An Insider’s Guide To The Yamas Of Yoga By Julie Schoen The first time I was exposed to the idea of yamas was in one of my first yoga teacher trainings.  I was there for the yoga – the real yoga – the “let’s-move-and-bend-and-twist-and-fly” yoga.  Each day our morning sessions were filled with my idea of “real yoga”, but the afternoons were a different story.  Gathered on the floor in…

About Saucha, Yoga Towels, And Keeping Your Practice Clean

About Saucha, Yoga Towels, And Keeping Your Practice Clean

About Saucha, Yoga Towels, And Keeping Your Practice Clean SAUCHA Definition: refers to cleanliness/purity Let’s get something straight – this is not going to be a philosophical talk about the principles of Saucha.  We’re not going to talk about the impurities of the mind and the multitude of metaphors that come with it.  We could talk about how the practice of yoga is meant to act as a tool for…

What Is An “Advanced” Yoga Practice?

What Is An “Advanced” Yoga Practice? And Why We Need To Start Dropping Labels By Julie Schoen Recently I have come across numerous yoga classes and events with the label “advanced” – “advanced yoga”, “advanced practitioners only”, etc.  My first encounter, an invitation to teach an advanced yoga class at a local studio, was met with enthusiasm.  But my initial excitement, which was brought on by the fact that I…

Because Sometimes You Just Need To Laugh

Because Sometimes You Just Need To Laugh

Because Sometimes You Just Need To Laugh Whether you are a parent or not, you can enjoy the pure joy in this little boy’s laugh, reminding us all to take time to stop and really enjoy the small things in life.  Share with someone who needs to laugh today! We promise that ‘Buzz and the Dandelions’ is sure to provoke at least a smile!

3 Types Of Bakasana And Embracing Change

3 Types Of Bakasana And Embracing Change

3 Types Of Bakasana And Embracing Change It seems like everyone and their mom (literally) is doing Bakasana, Crane (sometimes Crow) Pose in yoga class. In Vinyasa yoga classes it tends to be THE arm balance that is taught, often being explained as “beginner” or “easy” or “the introduction into advanced balances”. And, depending on how it’s done, those lovely yoga instructors are exactly right. For a lot of people,…

7 Reasons Why Men Should Stretch

7 Reasons Why Men Should Stretch

7 Reasons Why Men Should Do Yoga Stretch By Julie Schoen On any given day when I look out at the students before me in yoga class I see an overwhelming majority of women.  In a class of twenty, the ratio is usually 1:20.  In a group of fifty yogis, you’re looking at 3:50, and so on. That’s not unusual in the United States either.  And while there are definitely…

Yoga How-To: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Yoga How-To: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Yoga How-To: Alternate Nostril Breathing Pranayama, or breath control (prana = life force or breath, yama = control), is one of the eight limbs of yoga.  Although much emphasis has currently been placed on asanas (body postures), this is only another one of the eight limbs of yoga.  In fact, the asanas were often traditionally taught only to prepare the body for the five limbs of yoga that follow: pranayama,…

Yoga Spring Cleaning: 8 Twists

Yoga Spring Cleaning: 8 Twists

Yoga Spring Cleaning: 8 Twists To Clean, Detoxify, And Jumpstart Your Body Written By Julie SchoenAs the spring season makes herself known in the world, tempting us outside with warm sun and new growth, it’s easy to get distracted away from spring-cleaning tasks on hand.  Yes, you should clean your garage.  Yes, now is a good time to take down your holiday lights.  Yes, it would be nice to donate…

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow)

Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow)

5 Steps For Getting Into Urdhva Dhanurasana Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow) is a beautiful but challenging pose for many people.  It requires the student to bring several things to the table: open hips, open shoulders, strength, flexibility, confidence, and a general knowledge of integrating several moving pieces in the body at once. And while the challenges are real, so are the benefits.  Urdhva Dhanurasana helps to create space in…

Learning To Do Basic Yoga Inversion: Crow Pose

Learning To Do Basic Yoga Inversion: Crow Pose

Learning To Do Basic Yoga Inversion: Crow Pose There are a lot of benefits to learning how to do inversions in yoga – more flexibility, greater strength, increased confidence, and, on an energetic level, a better connection to pranic flow.  Unfortunately, most people find inversions very intimidating, either because of the physical aspects required to get into them or because of mental and emotional blocks that keep us from trusting…

Samskaras, Suffering, And Almonds

Samskaras, Suffering, And Almonds

Samskaras, Suffering, And Almonds Kino MacGregor is known for her incredible physical yoga practice, much of which can be easily found all over YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.  While her incredible asana practice is inspiring to witness, most of us haven’t had the chance to meet Kino or even hear her speak.  This is a shame.  Kino is an amazing yogi for so many reasons, and her ability to quickly yet…

30 Best Yoga Moves To Tone Your Core

30 Best Yoga Moves To Tone Your Core

The 30 Best Yoga Moves To Tone Your Core Photo and Video Archive Spring is here! And while a toned core is always in season, warmer weather (and less clothing) seems to inspire all of us to get to work on shaping and flattening our midsection. Luckily for you, yoga is one of the best ways to not only strengthen your core, but to also flatten and sculpt.  Along with…

Step-By-Step Instructions For Yoga Sun Salutation

Step-By-Step Instructions For Yoga Sun Salutation

Step-By-Step Instructions: Yoga Sun Salutation By Julie Schoen The Sun Salutation (aka Surya Namaskar) is performed frequently in yoga classes to help heat the body while strengthening the muscles, improving flexibility, and also connecting one’s movements to the breath.  Sometimes simply referred to as a “vinyasa”, there are many variations of the sun salutation depending on style of yoga being practiced and personal preference. In the most traditional form of…

Why You Should Meditate: 5 Types Of Meditation To Try This Week

Why You Should Meditate: 5 Types Of Meditation To Try This Week By Julie Schoen I have realized, as of late, how misunderstood meditation is.  Of course I have only come to this realization after being one of “those” people who not only did not understand meditation, but who truly disliked the practice.  The first time I meditated was in a college yoga class at the University of New Mexico. …

To Be Or Not To Be: A Look At Yoga’s Relationship With Vegetarianism

To Be Or Not To Be: A Look At Yoga’s Relationship With Vegetarianism

To Be Or Not To Be: A Look At Yoga’s Relationship With Vegetarianism Written By Julie Schoen It’s a common assumption that all yogis are vegetarians.  For years I have been greeted with vegetarian meals by friends, hotels, and restaurants simply because they have received the knowledge that I’m a yoga instructor.  Nearly every yoga function I have ever attended, at least in the United States, serves all vegetarian dishes. …

Motivational Quotes To Get You Out Of Bed

Motivational Quotes To Get You Out Of Bed

30 Motivational Quotes To Get You Out Of Bed (And Ready To Seize The Day!)  Some days it takes a little more than the smell of coffee to lure me out of bed.  I like to consider myself a morning person, but now with the addition of two little ones who don’t seem to get the concept of “Mommy needs eight hours of sleep” in order to pop out of…

How To Avoid Pain In Yoga: 5 Simple Tips Everyone Should Know

How To Avoid Pain In Yoga: 5 Simple Tips Everyone Should Know

How To Avoid Pain In Yoga: 5 Simple Tips Everyone Should Know As a yoga instructor, one of my least favorite things to hear is that students have to stop practicing yoga due to pain, injury, or a combination of the two.  Even worse is when the source of the pain is yoga.  Unfortunately, I hear this all too often.  Students are forced to quit practicing something they love, something…