Many people suffer from chronic back pain. This video will teach us how to do three yoga poses that will help relieve our pain. The poses are: Reclining Big Toe, Standing Twist, and Legs Up the Wall. If practiced daily, you are sure to see some results.
Curious how to get a singing bowl to sing? Then watch the following video to learn how…
Although these following exercises are intended for new mom’s trouble spots, you may find these exercises perfect for you too. Two of these exercises use small exercise balls. We carry three different sizes: 6″ Exercise/Body Rolling Ball, 7″ Exercise Therapy Ball, and a 9″ Exercise Therapy Ball. These small vinyl inflatable balls have many uses so feel free to incorporate into other exercises, such as holding the ball between your hands during crunches. The simple act of squeezing the ball between your legs or your hands activates additional muscles and brings more awareness to those areas.
The Wood Chop exercise is to be performed with a dumbbell or hand weight. Check out these options: Neoprene Dumbbell Weight Set (2, 3, 5lbs), Grip Weights (3 or 5lbs), or the Soft Weighted Toning Balls (2lbs).
Exercises to Tackle Your Trouble Spots
Exercise: Ball Squats
Exercise: Ball Squats
Do It: In a standing position, place a beach ball between your thighs (you can also use a basketball or a pillow). Holding ball firmly, bend knees into squat position, as if you’re going to sit in a chair (make sure your knees don’t extend past toes). Hold for two counts; return to start position. Repeat 20 times.
Why It Works: This targets the front of your thighs, plus your inner thighs, which have to work to hold the ball in place.
Exercise: Wood Chop with Dumbbell
Exercise: Wood Chop with Dumbbell
Do It: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight in front of you. Bend knees as if you’re sitting in a chair, so thighs are almost parallel with floor. As you bend, rotate shoulders to the left, bringing weight toward left knee. Straighten legs, twisting torso right as you raise weight diagonally over your right shoulder. Repeat 10 times; switch sides.
Why It Works: The squat incorporates your glutes and thighs, while the twisting motion targets your obliques, Pasternak explains.
Exercise: Walking Lunge with Trunk Twist
Exercise: Walking Lunge with Trunk Twist
Do It: Start with feet together, holding a ball in front of you with both hands. Step forward three to four feet with right leg, as shown, lunging forward until thigh is parallel to floor, knee over ankle. As you lunge, twist torso right, keeping head and pelvis facing forward. Bring torso back to front. Pushing off with right heel, bring left foot forward into a lunge and twist torso to left. Do 20 lunges — 10 each side.
Why It Works: Lunges target glutes, quads, and hamstrings. The torso twist works your abs, particularly the obliques.
If you’re just beginning to practice yoga it is important to start out by learning how to properly get in and out of the postures. Following is an article from the LA Times that explains this well. A second article follows that discusses common mistakes in several popular poses. Even if you have been practicing, you may wish to consider reading this entire post. If you experience any soreness or pain during your practice, it could be that your alignment is not correct. Some yoga practices – such as the faster-moving Power or Flow yogas – do not always allow the time to evaluate your alignment in a pose, but it is still very important to know how to perform these poses correctly.
By Jeannine Stein - Los Angeles Times - April 19, 2010
Yoga is more than just striking a pose. But how you strike that pose is nonetheless critical.
Maintaining correct form is essential not only for building a solid yoga practice but also because improperly doing the same yoga poses repeatedly — even the most basic ones — can lead to strains, sprains and chronic aches.
Yet it’s easy to go awry. Many popular classes are overcrowded, making it difficult for teachers to correct every swayed back and hunched shoulder. Even in smaller groups, a misaligned leg can easily go unnoticed. And then there’s the fact that less experienced students sometimes try to emulate more practiced ones, over-stretching muscles or getting joints out of alignment in the process.
As for doing yoga only at home with no supervision? That can be a recipe for disaster.
“Yoga is really about getting to know your body,” says Christine Burke, co-owner and director of Liberation Yoga in Los Angeles. “A lot of us don’t have that awareness of what something is supposed to feel like when it’s right.”
That can make going from bad form to good form sometimes feel uncomfortable, she says. Occasionally the body must get used to the new position before the resulting aches and pains go away.
We talked to three yoga teachers about the most common mistakes students make while doing basic poses. They explain the potential harm and offer easy ways to correct improper form.
By Jeannine Stein - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer - April 19, 2010
A few simple techniques can make the difference between a sore back (or other body part) and a strong, healthy one.
Co-owner and director of Liberation Yoga, Los Angeles
Downward-facing dog: The body bends at the hips in an upside-down “V,” with arms straight, hands on the floor and heels pressing toward the floor. The head is aligned with the spine.
• Don’t: Drop or hang into the shoulders. People do this in an attempt to truly stretch, but it prevents the joints from stacking properly and puts stress on the shoulders, elbows and wrists.
• Do: Lift the shoulders and slide the arms forward a little, taking some of the pressure off the shoulders. Also, open the hands and press them into the floor. (Curling the fingers up will put the pressure right back into the wrist.)
Warrior I: The body is in a modified lunge position, with the front leg bent and the back leg straight. Arms are straight and parallel, reaching upward, palms together.
Enjoy the sounds and vibrations of Tibetan Singing Bowls and bells in this video with Alan Lem…
The following half-round foam roller exercises were provided by J/Fit – the manufacturer of our 12″ Half Round Roller and our 36″ Half Round Roller. The half-round rollers are made of a dense “open cell” foam and are available in either red or white (depending on availability). Our round foam rollers are a high-density closed cell foam.
When performing the following, place the half round roller lengthwise with your foot or hand and place the curved side of the roller to the floor. The rocking action, that you will counteract muscularly, will be side to side.
Exercise #1 : Standing Balance
Start by balancing one foot on a half-round foam roller. Lift opposite leg so that your toes barely touch the floor. As balance progresses, lift one leg higher taking the toes off the floor. Further progress into squats with one leg.
Exercise #2 : Reverse Lunges
Start in a standing position with left foot on half-round roller. Bend both knees at a 90-degree angle, keeping your hips towards the floor. Take a step backward and lower the knee towards the floor. Return to start. Do 8-12 reps and switch to right leg.
Exercise #3 : Push Ups
Get into a push-up position, placing one or both hands lengthwise on the half-round foam roller. (One hand at a time for beginners). With your head remaining neutral, slowly lower elbows out to 90-degrees and slowly lower yourself down to the floor.
Beginners: Keep knees touching the floor.
Advanced: Keep knees off the floor.
The following video shows us how to do two Pilates exercises using soft-weighted Toning Balls. The first is an arm extension and the second is a variation of the Hug a Tree exercise. Adding weights to your Pilates routine is a sure way to increase strength quickly.
The model in this video is using Toning Balls, but you could also use light-weight dumbbells or grip weights as well. The Toning Balls have a soft vinyl texture making them easy to grasp and hold throughout the exercises.
Here’s a quick fix to get that kink out of your neck. All you’ll need is a yoga blanket. We offer several for you to choose from:
- Mat size Mexican blanket
- Our Classic Mexican blanket
- The Premium Mexican blanket
- Premium Thunderbird Mexican blanket
Crick Fixes Asana Sequence – Yoga Journal
By Barbara Benagh
Neck Blanket Stretch
Roll a blanket into a firm, even cylinder large enough to wedge between the base of your skull and the tops of your shoulder blades. Lie back over the roll so it gently stretches your neck; the roll should wedge just under the occipital ridge at the back of your skull and support your neck and your first few upper back vertebrae. Keeping your knees bent, place both palms on your forehead, fingers pointing toward the crown of your head, and bring your elbows close to each other. Close your eyes and tune in to your breath, feeling how its rhythm creates subtle movement. Notice areas in your neck, shoulders, and upper back that seem dense, dull, and resistant to the breath’s wavelike action, and invite them to relax against the blanket roll. As your muscles begin to release, slide your shoulder blades away from your skull; you may want to repeat this movement several times as your muscles continue to relax. Remain on the roll for up to five minutes, then remove it and continue to lie on your back for a few breaths, tuning in to the sensations in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
We currently carry a large selection of Zafus by Bean Products. Each Zafu is customizable as to what type of shape, cover, and stuffing you would like. These Zafus are then made upon your order and shipped directly to you. Because they are customized for you, they can take a little longer to receive then pre-made meditation cushions.
First, consider the shape you would like. Zafus are available in Round or Crescent shapes. The choice is a personal decision, but some may find that the short crescent shape offers some extra support to the upper thighs. I consider Bean’s Crescent Zafus a “short Crescent”, because there are other zafus on the market that are more of a longer V-shape design. We will be adding some of these in the near future, so please check back again soon.
Second, you can choose which stuffing you’d like. Bean offers Buckwheat Hulls or Kapok. Both will shape to your body. Since Kapok is a very light fibrous material the Zafu stuffed with Kapok is noticeably lighter than the Zafu stuffed with the Buckwheat hulls. This could be important to those who will be carrying their Zafu to different locations.
All of the Zafus offer a convenient hidden zipper. The zipper offers two benefits:
- You can adjust the height and density by removing/adding more stuffing to suit your liking. Our recommendation is to store any stuffing removed in case you wish to add it back in at a future time.
- You can remove the stuffing in order to wash the outer cover. There is no inner liner, so the stuffing will need to be poured into a bucket or container (as in the Buckwheat), or you’ll need to pull out the Kapok (which is a very fine and light fiber, so it’ll need to be carefully bagged). After washing the cover, just pour or stuff the contents back into the Zafu.
And finally, you can choose your cover. You can choose from regular cotton, organic cotton, or hemp. Color selections vary, too.
So no more need to shop around looking for that “perfect” zafu – customize your own! Visit our Meditation Section to start creating your personal Zafu.