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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Yoga

You can’t find a hair tie, your yoga mat is packed away in a box somewhere, and dinner has to be on the table in 45 minutes. Don’t have time for yoga? Yeah, me neither. Thankfully, though, our resident yoga expert Jill Lawson has provided a few tips and tricks for those of us “lazy girls” who want to practice yoga more regularly but sometimes lack the time, resources and know-how to do so.

What would an at-home routine look like for someone who can’t afford to join a yoga studio?
Just as it is in a yoga studio, the environment is an important part of the at-home yoga experience. Light up some incense or candles, play some soothing music, and turn up the thermostat just a bit. Setting the mood and creating an environment as peaceful as the yoga studio can be just as profound when practicing yoga at home. Always begin with a warm-up of some sort. For more vigorous practices, 5-10 rounds of sun salutations will get the blood flowing. For more gentle practices, a few rounds of cat-cow pose will suffice. The bulk of the practice can take many forms, but each session should still end with a few minutes of final relaxation, otherwise known as savasana, or corpse pose.
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At-Home Yoga Practice is Beneficial When You Can’t Make it to the Studio

You might come home from work with the intention of grabbing your yoga mat and heading to the yoga studio for an evening flow class, but sometimes life gets in the way.

Perhaps you learn right before you pick up your car keys or hop on your bike that there is a traffic jam clogging your route, or an impending storm that persuades you to stay inside. Maybe you think you will be just a little too late to make it before the start of class, so you opt out.

Whatever the circumstances, there is always a way to stay loyal to your yoga routine. The following is a simple guide that will give you some tips on how to practice yoga for 20-30 minutes at home when you can’t make it to the studio.

Start

Getting started is the biggest challenge. There are a million distractions that can keep us from taking care of our bodies, but usually once we get started, those deterrents fall away and leave us with the wherewithal to forge ahead. One suggestion is to find something that gets you excited about practicing. If putting on some soft music or lighting a stick of incense sparks your motivation to roll out your mat, do it.
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Yoga Hip Openers for Winter Athletes

After a full day of snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing the muscles of the hips can shorten and tighten. Flexible, open hips are a must for winter athletes. Without them performance may decrease while the risk of injury increases.

The following hip opening yoga poses are a must for keeping the lower body healthy and limber.

Warrior I and Crescent Lunge for the Hip Flexors

The psoas muscles, located along the front crease of the hips, are the powerful muscles that give winter athletes control, stability and strength. When they are tight, the low back suffers and as a result, injury can occur.

Yoga poses that stretch the psoas muscles are warrior one and crescent lunge. Similar to a runner’s lunge, these poses extend the front of the hip, giving those mighty hip flexors a dose of elasticity. For best results, be sure to tuck your tailbone under slightly.


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How to Get a Yoga Butt

A yoga butt as defined by the Urban Dictionary is “the ultimate external sign of a strong and powerful body.” Sounds great, but I am not convinced of the rest of the definition that a yoga butt is a status symbol, a result of years and years of practice and discipline, and only available to those who can afford extensive personal training and healthy eating.

I have seen the transformation in my students. A yoga butt is attainable for anyone. The following routine includes yoga poses that are responsible for this welcomed and celebrated phenomenon, so you too can display a strong and powerful body.

Warm Up

This can include anything from walking, running or simple calisthenics. Spend at least five minutes getting your blood flowing and your joints moving at ease.


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Yoga for Traveling

If going on a vacation or traveling for work has one major drawback, it’s getting out of the healthy fitness habits we have worked so hard to maintain while at home. Nothing beats taking a trip to the beach or visiting a new city, but by the third day our bodies begin to feel like they have been left behind, neglected, and ultimately not part of the fun.

Being in a different environment, sitting or standing more than usual, wearing brand new work shoes or cheap vacation flip flops can all increase muscular stress on our bodies, especially if we’ve ditched the exercise routine. It is no wonder we often feel as if we need a vacation after a vacation; our bodies are stiff, tired and worn out from skipping our workouts.

Whether you practice yoga regularly or have yet to try it, these pose suggestions will help you at least save your lower back, hips and attitude from going south while you are away from the comforts of a healthy routine at home.


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