What better day is there to do a sun salutation than on the longest day of the year? That’s what thousands of yoga enthusiasts gathered in Times Square to do on Tuesday, June 22, 2011 for the first day of summer, including our very own Maggie Badore.
After a hot and sweaty session, she broke free from the crowd and caught up with Patrick Lynch of Bikram Yoga NYC, who lead the session, to hear his thoughts on leading yoga at one of the most chaotic intersections in the world.
Click now to watch our Solstice in Times Square interview.
Hatha yoga is one of those commonly misunderstood and misused words in yoga. Unlike Ashtanga, Bikram or Iyengar, which are specific styles of yoga, Hatha yoga is the umbrella term for what Westerners consider to be yoga. In truth, Hatha yoga is the actual physical practice of yoga, or the postures. Therefore, all yoga that involves asana or postures is hatha yoga.
What it is
Hatha comes from two Sanskrit words: ha meaning sun and tha meaning moon. Implied in its meaning is the idea of uniting opposites, like the sun and moon or yoga’s specific meaning of yoking the mind, body and spirit together. (more…)
Serena Williams is not just one of the world’s premiere female tennis stars, she is also one of the strongest women in the sport. She’s certainly not a lean, slim player, but her entire physique speaks volumes about strength and fitness. Tennis is, after all, a game of speed, strength and endurance, and Serena has mastered all three.
A knee injury from 2004 and a bad hamstring have long hampered her running, and she freely admits that she does not enjoy cardio work, both factors which probably have contributed to her less-than-lean build. Serena has said, “I hate working out more than anything, but I have to — when I’m running, I think about how much I want to win. That’s the only thing that keeps me going.”
Some common names we think of when it comes to yoga include Ashtanga, Bikram, or Vinyassa, but Raja yoga is not one that quickly comes to mind, unless you’re Deepak Chopak or a devotee of this ancient spiritual practice.
So exactly what is Raja yoga? Here is a basic overview of this transforming and meditative style of yoga.
Raja yoga, or sometimes referred to as Raj yoga, literally translates to the “royal way to union,” with union representing the melding of the mind, body and spirit.
Choosing a yoga style is like trying to find a great pair of jeans. You may have to test out a few dozen styles before you find a pair that fits your body and your personality.
Here are five of the most popular yoga classes and an introduction into the philosophy, history and style of each.
Ashtanga Yoga: One of the oldest form of yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, is Sanskrit for “eight limbs,” which represent the eight aspects of yoga as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Even though Ashtanga yoga is believed to be 5,000 years old, if not older, its modern popularity is credited to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who in 1948, under the guidance of his guru, Krishnamacharya, created The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India for teaching this specific style of yoga.
So everybody in your life, including your pregnant friend, 65-year-old mom and teen-aged niece, are all doing yoga. After listening to them extol the benefits that this ancient Indian practice has had on their stressed out minds and seeing the proof in their new lean yoga bodies, it is time that you discover firsthand what the yoga buzz is all about.
But before you lift off into a headstand in the middle of your kitchen, read our Beginner’s Guide to Yoga so that you’ll be in the know-how as you roll out your mat and join the millions of Americans practicing yoga. (more…)
Fitness classes are becoming more popular these days, and not only do they offer an intense workout, but enjoyment as well. Fitness classes are a great way to exercise with friends without getting bored and are usually offered for free at your local health club. Most fitness classes are designed to target the cardiovascular aspect (getting the heart rate up) while only a few integrate the entire body into the workout. Below is a list of the most popular fitness classes.
Spinning is an aerobic exercise that takes place on a stationary bike. The class is designed to target the heart rate as well as the lower body (quads, hamstrings, and glutes). Each class typically consists of loud motivating music combined with varying speed and resistance levels to maximize the workout. Spinning is an intense workout that burns around 600-1000 calories per hour (depending on the person). This is a great class for those with knee/ankle problems and varying fitness levels due to the fact that you can exercise at your own pace. Give it a shot! (more…)
Fall is a special time. Lots of great things occur. My kids go back to school. Football season starts again. I can finally stop wearing shorts and can (hopefully!) get back into my favorite jeans. But, even more important to an entire legion of my friends is the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. I have friends who wait all year long to be able to order this drink. It’s immensely popular and stores have a tough time keeping the syrup on the shelves. Have you ever wondered if this drink was worth it? Let’s take a look. (more…)
If you think that yoga is just about becoming more flexible and chanting a few oms, think again. Created in India over 5,000 years ago, yoga is meant to bring union to the body, mind and spirit. Today, more than 20 million Americans roll out their mats and practice postures like triangle pose, headstands and warrior sequence.
So why are Americans who are eager to gobble up a fast-paced, calorie-torching workouts like Tae-bo and spinning, embracing yoga with such vigor?
Here are five of the top reasons: (more…)
Yoga is supposed to take away from the need of material things, but when it comes to your practice, there are a few essentials that even the most bendy and accomplished practitioners can’t down-dog without.
1). A solid yoga mat: You can get a yoga mat anywhere these days from Target to Walgreens to JCrew. But all mats are not created equal. If you’re an avid practitioner, invest in a good quality yoga mat. My favorite one is “Mercedes of all yoga mats,” or the premium black mat. Barefoot yoga sells it for about $80. (They also have more affordable, environmentally friendly mats.) It’s a bit pricey for a yoga mat but I guarantee, this one will last you for a lifetime! (more…)