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Boost Your Energy With Yoga

Boost Your Energy With Yoga

We all have those mornings when it’s tough to get out of bed. When you’ve finally rolled out of from under the sheets you might feel like you need caffeine. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea, but when you start to crave it just for the caffeine buzz you have to wonder how your energy levels are doing. Here are some great tips for boosting your energy to keep you alert throughout the day. 1.) Try Breath of Fire Kundalini yogis know what’s up when it comes to breath of fire. This powerful breath technique has many physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health benefits including boosting energy. It’s the kundalini solution to a cup of coffee! It will help you feel energized and alert throughout the day. Avoid if: pregnant menstruating hernia digestive issues heart conditions eye, ear, or sinus problems high blood pressure (Try long deep breathing instead if you’re experiencing any of the above!)   2.) Practice Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) Sun Salutations are practiced for many reasons; one of the intentions is to honor the sun which gives us life so it’s no surprise that it also gives you energy. They can also help build internal heat and warm up the body to experience more freedom in static poses. So how do you practice a sun salutation? There’s no one, easy answer since most traditions have different ways to practice them. Although there’s no perfect blueprint, that can work to your advantage. Be creative, be bold, and do what feels right for you! Here are a few tips from yoga...
What Is Pranayama?

What Is Pranayama?

One of the most important parts of a yoga practice is the connection to breath. There are lots of other elements that “make” a yoga class, but breath is high on that list. If it weren’t for this conscious awareness then it would be a program for stretching and strengthening, not quite yoga. Some of us may know that pranayama has something to do with breath, but what does it really mean? There are a few different translations for pranayama, one is “breath control,” a variation on that definition is “extension of prana, or breath.” Prana refers to one’s life force energy. The entire universe shares this connection as one, larger organism: plants, animals, water, food, even the sun and moon contain prana. So why is pranayama so important? Consciousness while breathing creates a stronger connection with the rest of the universe – it can take us from being one person, to a sense of “oneness.” There are many other benefits to a pranayama practice. Common Benefits: Guiding the nervous system into the parasympathetic response a.k.a. the rest-and-digest or relaxation response; giving the body an opportunity to restore and heal Increases oxygenation of blood Eliminates excess carbon dioxide in the body Can increase lung capacity Encourages full range of motion in the diaphragm Promotes a steady stream of concentration or consciousness There are many other specific benefits that come from practicing specific breath techniques. A recent 2014 study (Pal et al.) showed that slow yogic breathing improved heart rate variability and cardiovascular risks in young adults. However, certain pranayama should be avoided if you have specific concerns such as...
Yogic Breathing For Well-Being

Yogic Breathing For Well-Being

Yogic breathing is the act of breathing consciously in-and-out through the nose. Nothing out of the ordinary, only the use of proper breath mechanics to soothe body, mind and spirit. For many people, everyday life induces the sympathetic nervous system, or stress response, which can affect ones breath rate causing rapid, shallow breathing. Proper yogic breathing is essential for well-being to relieve stress and maintain good health. One of the simplest ways to ensure proper breathing is to practice “three part breathing” or what’s known as dirgha pranayama.  This yogic breathing technique can be used sitting up or lying down. How to practice three part breathing: – Start with one hand on your low belly, and one hand on your upper chest – Feel your inhale expand into your low belly, mid belly, then into your upper chest – On your exhale, allow your breath to relax towards your spine – Repeat Once you feel confident that your low belly initiates the inhalation, you are welcome to rest your palms or take a mudra (hand gesture) and continue yogic breathing. Practicing this breath not only promotes proper yogic breathing, but it will help calm your nervous system. Although this technique is great to add to your yoga practice, it can be practiced anytime to cultivate well-being and...
Why Invest In Private Yoga Classes

Why Invest In Private Yoga Classes

Going to yoga classes in your community is a great way to practice what you love and connect with others, so why would it make sense to do private yoga classes? There are many reasons why private yoga classes can be a great investment. We give you seven reasons to consider trying private yoga classes in the future. 1.) Personal Attention You really can’t get a better ratio than 1-to-1 with your teacher. This allows the teacher to plan a lesson to your personal needs, whether that’s tailoring to a specific injury, or working towards that tricky pose you’ve had a tough time with. 2.) Communication There’s more of an opportunity to create dialogue with your teacher when it’s appropriate. If there’s confusion with a pose, or there’s something that’s not working then you’re able to communicate your concerns. 3.) Working with an injury This could be one of the most important of all. If you’re working with an injury, it is much better to go to private yoga classes initially after your injury to ease back into your practice. Your teacher can show you modifications to adapt your practice as you recover and prevent any further damage. 3.) Less distractions Do you find yourself glancing over at your extremely flexible neighbor wondering how you’ll ever get there? Private yoga classes may help if you tend to be self-conscious. This way, you’ll truly be “in the moment” rather than focusing on where you are at vs. that other person. 4.) A ridiculous amount of space Ever wanted to stretch out and make yourself as big as possible in a...
The Kundalini Yoga Experience | Yogacara Studios

The Kundalini Yoga Experience | Yogacara Studios

by Janet Ward, E-RYT Lead Teacher 200 Yoga Teacher Training Welcome to the Kundalini Yoga Experience.  It is the year of the Snake, a perfect time to dive deeper into the mystery, magic, meaning and music of Kundalini energy. This bio-electric elemental creative life force energy is in everything. In every person it has its own intelligence, its own unique fingerprint frequency. Kundalini yoga and meditation can connect us deeply to our inner guru.  Yogi Bhajan who brought this technology westward from India in the late sixites was a Sikh and in the Sikh religion there are no more gurus.  The only guru is the Guru Granth Sahib – the holy book of the Sikh religion which contains wisdom from many traditions and is a beautiful testament to peace, love and greatness. When Kundalini is awakened there is an experience of self- knowledge revealing an inner light.  Paradoxically, this experience of light can include a surrender to what Christians call the dark night of the soul. In surrender to this spiritual trial we ultimately find the union, the oneness of Yoga and we become more sensitive, refined and intuitive. There are myriad ways to activate Kundalini energy; Yoga, pranayam, meditation, visualization, chanting, dancing, Shaktipat (the touch of a master) , fasting and other austerities, koans, self-inquiry, sex.  We are fortunate to have techniques to ground the radical experience of Kundalini awakening. As Shakti awakens and enters each chakra she sets it spinning.  Its elements dissolve and she rises up. Chi, Ki, Ruach, Manna, Ache, Elan Vitale, Fuerza Vitale, Holy Spirit, Kung, Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl – these are all names for the...
Yoga Yin and Yang | Yogacara Studios

Yoga Yin and Yang | Yogacara Studios

Most of us are familiar with the Yin and Yang symbol that originated in Chinese philosophy, but did you know that this philsophy, literally meaning “shadow and light”, can be used to describe the varying styles of yoga? Yoga Yin and Yang is used to describe how polar opposites or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in relation to each other. In this philosophy, Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, cold, and passive;  associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime. In contrast, Yang, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. Yin and yang are not opposing forces, but rather complementary forces, that interact to form a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects as light could not be understood if darkness didn’t exist, and shadow cannot exist without light. This concept shows up in yoga as well, we wouldn’t have Yin yoga without Vinyasa yoga and vice versa. Many of us live our lives in “Yang”, rushing, constantly moving, focused and aggressive and struggle with the moments in our lives that are more “Yin” like, slow and passive. We understand that in our lives we need balance, work and play, company and solitude. We know that we need to have an equal balance in order to be truly happy. Some of us need less play and enjoy more work, but doesn’t mean that it is not enjoyed when we have it. Planning vacations and taking time away from technology and “work” are things we find we need to...
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