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.

Wouldn’t be Caught Dead Doing Yoga? DDP Yoga Was Made for You

I admit to shrugging my shoulders when I first heard of the DDP Yoga program, referred to as “Ain’t Your Mama’s Yoga.” Originally titled Yoga for Regular Guys, I thought it was just some egotistical attempt at yoga by some inflexible macho man. I was wrong.

Developed by former pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, DDP Yoga is not your average yoga. Just minutes into a high-spirited interview I had with Dallas, it was clear that he is not your average yoga teacher.

Muscle-clad, tatted, and standing at a lofty 6 foot 4 inches, you definitely wouldn’t want to be Dallas’ opponent in the wrestling ring, or meet him in a dark alley. But watching Dallas in action on his DDP Yoga DVDs, and speaking with him over the phone, left me inspired. (more…)

Commuter Yoga: 3 Poses That Make the Drive to Work More Bearable

Getting stuck in traffic is enough to turn your hair grey. Blood pressure rises, muscles tense, and a positive attitude plummets when your car is at a standstill. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the experience more pleasurable, and gain some health benefits while in the process.

The following are three easy yoga inspired exercises you can do the next time you find yourself wedged bumper to bumper.

Axial Extensions

Scoot your hips back so that your spine is upright against the seat of your car. Lift the crown of your head toward the sky as you inhale deeply, and press your hips down into the seat as you exhale fully. By doing this, you are creating space and decompression between each vertebra. As a result, you will gain energy, not to mention have to readjust your rear view mirror to take on your new height. (more…)

3 Ways Yoga Supports a Healthy Lifestyle

Nearly everyone has aspirations to be healthy. Following diets and new and improved workout plans are popular behaviors at the beginning of each New Year, as many will vow to eat better and get more exercise.

A few months of eating fresh, high quality cuisine and hitting the gym makes a big difference in the way we feel. A slimmer waistline, clearer skin, and an overall feeling of health is worth it, so why is it so hard to stay the course?

Your lifestyle plays a huge role in whether or not your good intentions are going to stick. If you think your lifestyle might not be supporting your desire to be healthy, keep reading. (more…)

Practice Yoga From Your Bed When the Flu Has You Beat

Anyone who has been sick with the flu knows that the best thing to do is stay in bed and rest. When your muscles are aching and your fever is high, a lot of downtime is always the best medicine.

The following are a few extremely gentle yogic practices you can do from the comfort of your own bed when you are not feeling well. Each technique will help ease the pain and agony of having the flu this winter, and help you get some much needed, high-quality rest.


Yoga Nidra

Nidra, in Sanskrit, means sleep. Especially when you are bedbound, practicing a little yoga nidra will help your body relax and get your mind off of how horrible you feel. (more…)

Saturday Morning Drill: Combine Pilates and Yoga in Two Moves

Eventually, no matter how many times you extend into upward dog and stretch back into downward dog, your body will start to adapt and you will hit a plateau in strength and endurance. While we know the goal of practicing yoga is not always about muscular development, when you do want to get stronger, adding Pilates to your yoga sequence is a great way to make that happen.

The following two Pilates-inspired exercises will help you wake up your core and take your yoga practice to an entirely new level. For best results, practice each exercise back-to-back, and in the middle of your yoga sequence, when your body is warm and limber.

Criss Cross Exercise

From a supine position, bring both hands behind your head. Bend both knees and stack them directly over your hips. Lift your head and chest and twist your upper body to the right while extending your left leg at a 45-degree angle. (more…)

myInsens Raises the Bar on Incense and Ignites the Senses for Peace of Mind

A boost of positive energy, an experience of total pleasure, and a jolt of pure ecstasy are what we all seek. A tranquil mind, a balanced life, and a calm spirit are what we all need. To realize these wants and needs, we must be open to let love quench our senses and assuage our desires. I found my love wrapped up in a pretty little velvet black box.

Derived from the most exotic, aromatic, and luscious blends of herbs, resins, and oils from around the world, myInsens incense sticks have just raised the bar in the incense industry.

Kaivan Dave, creator of myInsens, founded the company in the latter part of 2011. After spending six months developing more than 120 fragrances, he and a team of researchers decided to narrow it down and only select six of the absolute best, most pleasing aromas.

They made excellent choices. Unlike certain brands of incense products, which can have a strong chemical odor, myInsens smells natural and clean. (more…)

Yoga Hurts: 4 Ways to Avoid Yoga-Induced Injuries

By now, many yoga enthusiasts are well aware of the informative article “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,” written by author William J. Broad, published early last year in the New York Times. While the article stated that yoga may not be appropriate for certain populations, it also carved out a few well-appointed reasons how yoga can actually do more harm, than good.

The “Wounded Warrior Pose,” which is Broad’s latest cautionary piece, highlights not just the inherent dangers of yoga, but of yoga for men specifically. Listing injury statistics and several educated comments from a handful of related experts, Broad paints another hazardous picture of yoga.

Injuries are apparent in any physical endeavor from walking to race car driving. The majority of people might have a hard time believing that an activity as gentle as yoga could be hurtful, but the reality is, yoga is not appropriate for everyone.

The following are a few bits of sound advice that may help men (and women) avoid injuries in a yoga class. (more…)

3 Thoughtful Reasons For Taking Up Yoga in the New Year

The popularity of yoga has been on the rise for quite some time. From Bikram’s hot yoga to Anne Anderson’s snow yoga (Snowga), there are styles sure to assuage all types of desires.

Although there are an estimated 22 million people practicing yoga today, a large number of American’s have yet to give it a whirl. If you are in need of a little coaxing to join a yoga class, check out the following reasons why making it your New Year’s resolution might be of benefit to your health and happiness.

You will learn more about yourself

You might be 60 years old and seemingly privy to all of your nuances and inner workings, but there will always be just a little bit more about yourself you can learn.

The word yoga means ‘to yok’ or ‘to join.’ The true purpose of yoga is to unite mind, body and spirit. In the process of this yoking, we discover parts of ourselves that we had no idea existed. This awakening is worth the effort, and it is what makes yoga so much more than just exercise and stretching. (more…)

Mind Over Matter Needed to Achieve Health Goals in the New Year

As we approach the beginning of another new year, many will be setting the intention to get back into a healthy exercise routine. Whether it is jogging, stationary bicycle riding, or attending yoga classes with regularity, the motivation to get with the program takes some determination.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” Once your mind is set, the rest is easy. The challenging part is getting over the hump of doubt, impatience, and discouragement.

The following are a few tips that will help you set your mind to your goals so you may find success in making your healthy intentions a reality.

Create a mantra

A mantra is a word or group of words used to sharpen your focus during meditation. Although you might not actually be meditating when you repeat your mantra, it will still have an effect on your mind.

When you create a personal mantra, choose words that support your intention, such as “I have energy,” or “I love yoga.” Your mind will soon start believing whatever it is you are telling yourself, so choose your words wisely. (more…)

Colleen Saidman Debuts Her First Solo Yoga DVD

Just in time for the new year, Gaiam, leading distributor of healthy lifestyle products and media, introduced a new weight loss DVD featuring Colleen Saidman. As the wife of acclaimed yoga teacher Rodney Yee, Saidman is not just a yoga celebrity’s sidekick, she is in her own right a successful yogini, businesswoman, and co-director of Donna Karan’s highly honorable Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program.

Stepping out on her own, “Yoga for Weight Loss” is Saidman’s first solo DVD. Combining muscle toning, core work, flexibility and relaxation techniques, Saidman provides a holistic approach to weight loss and health maintenance.

Understanding that successful weight management is not about deprivation, Saidman states, “Weight loss does not simply occur from eating less and burning more calories; it involves other factors such as proper relaxation.” She believes that a relaxed mind and body contribute to making healthy choices, resulting in better health and weight loss.

Saidman’s choices are certainly not about deprivation. Claiming that the purpose of yoga is to prolong and enjoy life, Saidman also endorses the health benefits of drinking wine and having sex. “There is nothing wrong with having sex and enjoying a glass of wine, particularly Estancia.” Saidman has partnered with Estancia winery to help boost their wine sales. (more…)