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The Popular styles of yoga

 

Yoga is everywhere today. While everyone thinks that they know what yoga is, it’s reality can be a bit elusive. So, Below, I’ve listed the very basic forms of the most popular styles of yoga and what to expect.

Hatha Yoga– Yoga, an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates as “union,” is a multifaceted system that has eight “limbs” which help the yoga practitioner lead a balanced and happy life. Some of the “limbs” relate to philosophy and ethics. When we think of Yoga today, it’s the limb of the Yoga tree named “Hatha”. Hatha describes the physical aspect of Yoga. So under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga there are particular innovations or ways to practice…the most popular are known as “Iyengar” and “Ashtanga.” When you see a Hatha yoga class on a studio schedule it usually means that it will be a yoga basics class at a beginner level.

Vinyasa– Vinyasa coordinates a series of movements (poses) with intentional breathing. Vinyasa style classes will use sun salutations and can often include a lot of movement. This is the style most popular in Los Angeles because it not only gives all of the benefits of yoga, it is also a great workout.

Ashtanga– Ashtanga yoga is a style of Vinyasa, but it is a set series of poses that don’t vary. There are six different Ashtanga yoga series. You move through the series at your own pace. The first series is 75 poses and takes about an hour and a half to complete. The second series is similar but is only available once you have mastered the first series.

Mysore– Mysore is a city in India, but is also a term used for the self-led practice of Ashtanga yoga done in the company of other students but without a teacher leading the class. You move at your own pace under the guidance of an instructor.

Power Yoga– Power yoga is one of the more popular styles of vinyasa yoga. It is essentially Ashtanga yoga except it is not a set sequence of poses.

Iyengar– Iyengar yoga is a very “alignment focused” practice. In this practice you hold poses for a longer period of time, around 5 minutes compared to the typical 30 second holds that you find in a vinyasa class. It is also very prop focused. This style of yoga encourages the use of blocks straps and blankets to assist in finding better alignment.

Bikram– Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is more generally referred to as Hot Yoga. It is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which allows for a loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses, but not all hot classes make use of this series.

Restorative– Restorative yoga is very passive. You will not get a workout in a restorative class but you will bring balance to fatigued parts of your body through this practice. It is very prop heavy, taught often with the lights low. It is a wonderful practice if you have aches, injuries and need to unwind.

Kundalini– Kundalini yoga is focused on releasing lower chakra energy through breath work and repetitive, intense movements. It often uses “breath of fire” which is a short quick belly breath to add cardio gain to the practice. Kundalini yoga kriyas are designed to purify using the breath and often last 5-10 minutes per kriya.

 

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Pause and Pose, Warrior 2

 

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Benefits:

Warrior two builds stamina and concentration. It stretches your hips, groins, and shoulders while strengthening your legs and abdominals.

Honest Tip:

Make sure that your right knee is still deeply bent over the right ankle. There is a tendency for the right knee to creep toward the left, so check that you can still see your right toes on the inside of your right knee.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace.

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Pause and Pose, Horse Stance

 

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[subheading]Level 1[/subheading]

Benefits: This pose is a common martial arts stance but you will find it often in yoga classes. Horse stance strengthens your legs and tones your glutes, while stretching your groin and inner thighs.

Honest Tip: This pose is really great for sculpting and toning your legs. Be sure to protect your knees by keeping them directly over your ankles! Make sure your feet aren’t turned out too far. Both femurs should be externally rotating and your feet should be turned out so that when you look down they are in line with the angle of your femurs.

Now go pause, pose, and find peace!

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OM SCHOOLING: STARTING KIDS ON YOGA

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Yoga has been a gift in my life and, as a parent, it’s a gift that I want to share with my kids. Integrating yoga into their lives at a young age consciously prepares them for its benefits and challenges, making it a part of their physical, mental, and emotional development in fundamental ways. Of course, different children have different abilities and. Read more

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5 SIMPLE TRICKS & TOOLS FOR LIVING INTENTIONALLY

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Living intentionally allows you to be in the present moment and empowers you to masterfully manifest the experiences you ultimately want to create in your life. A complete lifestyle overhaul isn’t required to restore this balance to your go-go life, either — small changes can bring great rewards. Here are five simple tools that will positively impact the way you live your day-to-day life:  Read more

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How I Became a Fan of Online Yoga Classes

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The idea of following along with a yoga video from the Internet has long floated around in my head filed away next to internet dating. Probably cool for others, I thought, but not for me. I had my studio with the teachers I liked, and classes in the style I wanted.

But I often overheard students whisper the names of buzzy yoga websites while slipping on my shoes after yoga class: “Yoga vibes,” “Yoga Glo,” “Yogi’s Anonymous” seemed to be the most popular.

Like many of us, I have a busy life. I have two small children who are not on my yoga schedule, and while I’m busy being mom and partner they always demand my best. This often happens during my favorite classes. Hence my dilemma: I wanted yoga in my life, but I started feeling like authentic yoga was for the single and mobile people in Los Angeles, not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t against using technology to practice yoga.  I released a Prenatal Yoga DVD so pregnant moms can do just that — use technology to let me help them get ready for their big day. But could taking online yoga classes really be useful?

One day while browsing around the web I found my beloved Annie Carpenter on the website “Yoga Vibes,” where you can find hundreds of streaming yoga classes to take on your own time. It dawned on me — online yoga might be a way to keep my favorite teacher in my pocket so that I could take a class from her whenever I could find the time. I had always shied away from trying to practice with an online teacher, thinking I might have to go on a few “bad dates” before I got lucky. Not so! Schedule-wise, it’s great. The classes are ready when I am, and I can be late or look exhausted — it doesn’t matter! Whenever I’m ready to practice yoga, I just start a video.

I chose a 30 minute video for my first session. And I have a confession to make: I wasn’t a perfect yogi. I had my iTunes on in the background, I checked my phone, and I indulged in some bad alignments. But in spite of a less than stellar performance, I loved it. Annie would be horrified! That is not how she runs her yoga classes. In her classes, yoga is focused and what I did seemed to be precisely the opposite.

But you know what? I practiced yoga that day and I almost didn’t. I had a very good reason not to practice, two really good reasons actually. One happens to be walking for his first time, and the other spinning and singing and becoming quite the little drama queen.

So in my imperfect world I turned on my music, practiced at my pace and desired level, and found the bliss that only yoga brings me. Then, with a smile in my heart and satisfaction coursing through my body, I hopped into bed. Now I know that no matter how hectic my schedule, online yoga classes will allow me to keep yoga practice in my daily life. So, go ahead, and give online yoga classes a try!

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How to Build a Mantra

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We all know how worry and anxiety cause such great distress in our lives, yet few of us know how to use a mantra to build a different mental and spiritual awareness. The word “mantra” has an exotic ring to it. Some say the word mantra has two parts: “man,” which in Sanskrit means “mind,” and “tra,” which means “instrument.” A mantra is therefore an instrument of the mind, a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a different state of consciousness.
But with so many spiritual practices that are emerging today, a mantra doesn’t have to be a Sanskrit invocation of a Hindu God. It can be a non-religious, yet effective way to change your thoughts. As the saying goes, “Change your thoughts and you’ll change your life.” A mantra is a way to take a worry and turn it around. It takes your nervous energy and transforms it into positive action, creating a field of awareness for change to occur.

Here’s How:

Identify your worry: I am sick and tired.

Create a sentence that is what you want in your life: I am in perfect health!

I learned so much about mantras from my mentor Mielle Vietor. She taught me to end all of my mantras with, “I am safe, I am free.” If something is not flowing easily into your life, it is often because fear is standing in the way. State what you want in a way that is both positive and focused in the present then add the phrase, “I am safe, I am free.” This reinforces your affirmation with confidence and faith and gives your mantra that extra gusto.

Mantra Formula

“Worry replaced with a positive present affirmation + I am safe, I am free!”

Tips to Build an Effective Mantra

Keep it positive! You’re subconscious mind doesn’t hear the word “no.” So, avoid mantras like “I am not sick” otherwise your sub-conscious mind is still hearing I am sick!” By way of example, the phrase “my sickness is improving” reinforces sickness not health! So if you are feeling ill using words like, “improving health,” or “abundant health,” which will work more effectively in a mantra.

Be in the now!  A life-changing mantra will have the present as its focus. “I am” or “I know how to”…is the easiest way to get used to this. The idea is that if you keep your wants in the future that is where they will stay. Can you feel the difference between “I want to be healthy,” and “I am healthy now”?

Keep it simple! A powerful mantra doesn’t need to be long; it can be expressed in a few words or a couple of sentences. Choose strong, powerful, and efficient language that means something to you personally.

Feel it! Once you have your mantra, let the energy of the positive promise you are creating fill your being. This part is the magic! If you have done your mantra well this will be easy. If it’s not, try and tweak your mantra with words that fill you up, make you smile, and bring you ease. You only need a few powerful mantras that you can use your whole life!

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Here Are Some Mantras I Love:

“I let go, I lose control, I am safe, I am free”

“I am in perfect health, I am safe, I am free.”

“I am financially abundant. I am safe, I am free”

“I am doing what I love and love what I do. I am safe, I am free”

“I know how to balance my family and my work. I am safe, I am free”

“Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is free” (This can be done to the tune of “mama’s little baby loves shortening bread.”)

 

Helpful Words to Use in Your Mantras

  • For Health: Vital, Radiant, Alive, Healthy
  • For Money: Wealth, Abundant, Effortless stability
  • For Anxiety/Stress: I know how to, Peace, Calm, Balance
  • For Love: Worthy, Complete, Fulfilled
  • For Overcoming Depression: Inspired, Enthusiastic, Confident, Motivated

Be faithful to your mantra—practice and you will see results! Mantras don’t usually bring a change overnight, they need to seep down into your mind and heart, but give it time and space and prepare to change!

 

Have any yoga-related questions? Leave a question for Jessica in the comments and she’ll get back to you!

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Desk Yoga: How to Practice It & Why It’s Totally OK to Do

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Yoga is prescribed as the cure-all to a myriad of problems today. We are told that yoga helps with stress, depression, weight loss, muscle tightness, lack of fitness, too much fitness, prenatal, postnatal, assorted injuries—the list goes on. It seems to be the answer for all things physical and emotional. But when there is already no time for anything more in our day, finding time to stretch may, well…be a stretch. Getting to a yoga studio at the time your favorite teacher is there is often logistically impossible!

Have you ever thought about bringing your mat to work and stealing 30 minutes behind your desk for a yoga break? Your desk offers you more privacy than you think. Get to work early, stay a little late, or divide your lunch into segments—break out your mat, pop in your ear buds, and get your yoga on! Even 30 minutes of desk yoga will bring energy to your mid-day slump and clarity to your thoughts.

Worried about what other people will think? Let’s put that worry to bed right now. Everyone wishes that they had the discipline to make their health a priority—sometimes we simply need someone to show us the way! Let your practice inspire your co-workers, and make a statement about how you feel about yourself and your health. Inspire them to join you!

Read More at the Honest blog –>

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Are You Doing These Common Yoga Poses Correctly?

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With so many different yoga poses out there, it’s easy to get distracted by the challenging ones and overlook the benefit simple yoga poses offer. In other words, even the most basic yoga poses provide a wealth of benefits for beginners and even Read more

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If you are anything like me, you make lots of resolutions every New Year. Some have been successful and some not so much. Usually we make resolutions about things we want to do differently — lose weight, stop smoking, or begin an exercise program. I know this season can already be a bit wild and crazy without undertaking new activities, but I … Read More at the Honest blog –>