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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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5 Must Do Yoga Poses to Get in Shape for Spring

More sunlight in the evening means the days are getting warmer and your pants are getting shorter. Spring is right around the corner, and soon we will reunite with our scant summer clothes whether we like it or not.

If you have been hiding your unused arms and legs under layers of bulky winter clothes, breaking out the tank tops and bikini bottoms will feel like a shock to your system. To give your muscles a much-needed wake up call, the following five yoga poses are a must for springing into action and shedding excess layers of all kinds.

Plank

An overall great pose to sculpt your shoulders and triceps and firm up your core, plank pose works wonders to whip your body into shape for spring. Build a solid foundation from your feet (or knees) to the palms of your hands by engaging all of the muscles between your hips and your ribs. Take several deep breaths in plank while imaging your spine lengthening and your entire body strengthening. Hold for up to one minute and repeat up to three times throughout the day.


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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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Trick or Treat Yoga Poses for Halloween Candy

I live right in the middle of town and October 31st is definitely a day that keeps me busy. I have skeletons on my front porch (one in lotus pose holding a yoga mat), spiders hanging from the eaves and scary music cued up for the big night.

Last week, one of my yoga students asked me if I was going to make the kids do a yoga pose before I give them some Halloween candy. To be perfectly honest, I never really thought about it, but it sounds like a good idea!

I scanned the memory bank of kids costumes that I have seen throughout the years and created a list of yoga poses that could match what the kids might be donning this year.


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Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras, Part One

Stemming from the Hindu tradition, chakras are identified as energy centers that are located throughout the human body. The word chakra is Sanskrit meaning “wheel.” Chakras can be thought of as energetic spinning wheels in the body.

There are seven main chakras. They are located along the spine from the base to the crown of the head. Each one corresponds with an area of the body, a natural element, color wavelength and sound vibration.

When our chakras are out of balance due to either excess energy or a clog in the flow, we may suffer from emotional discomfort, physical ailments or social and psychological problems. When they are in balance within themselves and their relationship to the other chakras, we feel light, full of positive energy and at ease in every aspect of our lives.

The following is a guide to the first three chakras and what you can do to keep them in balance.

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