Author Archives: Jill

About Jill

Jill Lawson has been a fitness professional for 20 years, and has concentrated on yoga for more than 10 years. She has a bachelor's degree in exercise science, and a master's in physical education. This yogi lives in Southwest Colorado where she teaches yoga and Pilates.

Yoga to the Rescue Books Provide Light-Hearted Relief for the Modern Woman

I am often asked by women in need of a little stress relief if I can recommend a book that will help them incorporate yoga into their crazy and hectic lives. I realize how many yoga books on the market are not speaking to the modern woman (one who is pulled in so many different directions without a chance to catch her breath), but instead seem to be appealing to a population that is seeking to completely abandon the to-do list in favor of adopting a pure and perfect lifestyle.

Just recently, I discovered two fun, light-hearted books that explain how to enjoy the benefits of yoga without having to give up everything in hopes of someday being flawless.

yoga to rescue

Amy Luwis of RescueGirl and the author of these wonderful books explains how you can make yoga fit perfectly into your perhaps not-so-perfect lifestyle.

Clever illustrations don each page, including tips from adorable dogs, birds, cats, and other “little helpers” making this book such a wonderful joy to read. Health advice ranges from dieting to detoxing and is presented in a clear manner by Luwis, who is not only passionate about yoga, but also well informed about the proper way to do a pose and why yoga is of great benefit. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Power-Packed Yoga Poses for a Summer-Ready Body

Blooming flowers, singing birds, and warmer days are welcome reminders that summer is right around the corner. But, if you have yet to shed your winter wardrobe for fear of exposing your non summer-ready body, thoughts of tank tops and bikini bottoms might have you wishing it were still November.

The following yoga poses will help tone your arms, core, hips and thighs so you can sport a fit summertime physique.

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Plank Pose

Better than doing a bench press, practicing plank pose tops the list as one of the best yoga poses to do for overall strength and tone. Practice at least one set of plank every day, and work up to holding your plank for up to one full minute. If you need to modify, practice plank pose on your knees until you can work up to practicing it on your toes. (more…)

3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Posture at Your Desk

Rounded shoulders, neck pain, and an aching low back are just a few of the side effects of having a desk job. Sitting for hours in front of a computer not only shortens your life expectancy; it can permanently affect your posture.

The following tips will help you maintain a healthy desk posture for increased energy, better health, and a reduction in bodily aches and pains.

office

Sit on your sit bones

The ischial tuberosities, otherwise known as the “sit bones,” comprise the base of the pelvis and set the foundation for proper sitting posture. Most of us tend to rock behind our sit bones, placing the low back in a stressful C-curve position. This constant misalignment negatively affects not just the low back, but also the shoulders and neck. (more…)

YogaHands Gets a High-Five When it Comes to Pain Relief

Are you one of the millions of people who don’t spend your days on your feet, but on your computer, giving massages, or playing a musical instrument? Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or tendonitis in the hands and wrists are enough to have you wishing you had a couple spare hands to get your job done.

yoga hands

The makers of YogaToes have recently introduced YogaHands, a new product that is similar, yet provides relief for your hands and fingers. Made to wedge in between your fingers, YogaHands offers the same tension-relieving stretch to your hands as YogaToes gives to your feet. (more…)

How to Choose a Yoga Studio That Satisfies Your Needs

All across America, yoga studios are signing up hundreds of new yoga patrons every day. If you have yet to join a yoga studio, the following tips will give you some direction of how to choose the best one to satisfy your needs.

Attractive yoga woman

Decide what you want to gain from a yoga practice

Write down at least five benefits you want to gain from practicing yoga. If you wish to focus on increasing your upper body strength, put that on the list. If you want to meet new friends that share a similar interest as you, add that to your list. Highlight what is important to you and let that be your priority in choosing where to go for classes.

Learn about the different styles of yoga

Yoga styles are like snow flakes; there are no two alike. Each style will create a unique culture around the yoga studio. For example, a Bikram yoga studio will have a drastically different vibe than a yoga studio that primarily offers restorative, pre-natal, chair yoga, and yoga therapy classes. (more…)

The iYoga Premium App Provides a High-Tech, Virtual Yoga Teacher for Anatomy Enthusiasts

Anyone who attempts an at-home yoga practice is familiar with the many distractions that can get in the way of our time on the mat. If it isn’t the telephone ringing, the neighbor’s dog barking, or the baby waking, it’s the lack of having a teacher to follow. Even the best yoga DVDs may leave us bored and uninspired after hours of viewing the same personality guiding us through the same practice.

Today, the advancement of technology enables at-home yoga enthusiasts the ability to bring a virtual yoga instructor into their living rooms. For those interested in a no-nonsense yoga teacher stripped down to the nuts and bolts of muscle and movement, a new app called iYoga Premium delivers your high-tech option.

Brought to you by 3D4 Medical in collaboration with Yoga One studio in San Diego, iYoga Premium provides more than 190 different yoga poses skillfully captured and demonstrated by a model that looks like she stepped off the page of your Grey’s Anatomy book. (more…)

Which Yoga Style is Right for You? We Match Personality with Practice

Certain people are attracted to certain styles of yoga for various reasons. Just as the color of your yoga mat can affect your practice, your favorite yoga style might say something about your personality.

The following is a fun, light-hearted list of yoga styles, and the personalities they attract.

Restorative Yoga

This style of yoga is for those in need of some serious power relaxing, and not ashamed to admit it. For restorative yoga lovers, there is no guilt in shutting out the world with a lavender eye pillow and kicking back on a fluffy pile of blankets for an hour.

Power Yoga

Active styles of yoga, such as power yoga, vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, attract the spirited sorts who are looking to improve athletically, and stretch their acrobatic skills.

Yoga in this category is seriously physical, but this is not to say there is no spiritual element to it. People who gravitate toward strength-oriented yoga classes often find spiritual inspiration through physical challenges. (more…)

No Yoga Class? No Problem. 3 Ways to Successfully Practice at Home

Life can be complicated. A disruption in our schedules (like this week’s blizzard in the Midwest) or an unintended circumstance can sometimes interfere with our ability to make it to the yoga studio.

If you can’t live without yoga, but struggle to find the discipline for a home practice, the following tips will help you get on your mat until you can get back into your favorite class.

Designate a space

There is no need to rearrange your furniture every time you roll out your mat at home. You can still set the stage in one small area of your house to create the perfect sanctuary for your practice. (more…)

Celebrity Yoga Teacher Hilaria Thomas Baldwin Sued for Negligence

The latest ripple in the yoga news involves actor Alec Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, a yoga teacher of eight years who is being sued for negligence during her yoga class at Yoga Vida in lower Manhattan.

According to witnesses, Huffington Post blogger Spencer Wolff, who is filing the lawsuit against Thomas, did not listen to Thomas’ cautionary instructions. Suffering from an injury due to crashing through a window while attempting to do an inversion at the wall, Wolff claims Thomas’ negligence is the cause of his physical and emotional injuries.

It is no surprise classes in New York City are packed to the hilt with people striking their most impressive yoga poses. Competition doesn’t take a back seat in a city that never sleeps, and no one wants to be disqualified from the rat race. That is the energy in New York, take it or leave it. However, no matter how hard people work to do their absolute best in the presence of others, there will never be an excuse good enough to deny responsibility for his or her own actions. (more…)

Beth Shaw’s YogaFit Sweat Provides a User-Friendly Version of Hot Yoga

Beth Shaw of YogaFit has done it again. Not only has she created a successful style of yoga that has infiltrated many gyms and health clubs across the country, she just recently developed a user-friendly version of hot yoga called YogaFit Sweat.

I love hot yoga. However, as an educated yoga teacher who understands the value of giving options and offering modifications, I realize there is not much room for hot yoga participants to honor their limits, until now. Too often, hot yoga is an all-or-none situation, and because of the high temperatures, the risk of a systemic emergency, such as heat stroke, is elevated. But thankfully, Shaw’s YogaFit Sweat has made safety a priority.

The hot yoga craze began with Bikram Choudhury of famed Bikram Yoga. He designed a class of 26 yoga postures, practiced in temperatures exceeding one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, in a room with a touch of added humidity. (more…)