Whenever you feel like you could use a burst of energy, take a few moments practicing Breathe of Fire. Here’s a short introduction explaining how to perform this pranayama technique. Click on the image to start the video.
Adding props to your yoga poses will help you to stay in poses for a longer period of time to achieve their benefits. In this example, you’ll be shown how to practice Bridge Pose supported by either a yoga block or a yoga blanket(s). When setting up the block, play with the different heights to see which is most comfortable for you. Sometimes you’ll find you can raise the height after being at a lower level for a few breaths. Same with the blankets – some days you might want two, other days one blanket may be right for you.
Yoga Sandbags can be used for a variety of reasons: to assist you in deepening your stretch; to help bring awareness to a particular part of your body or your breath; or as weights to improve your strength.
We offer Yoga Sandbags that are shipped empty to save on shipping costs and to allow you to fill to any weight desired (up to 10 pounds). They can be filled with any dry item such as sand, grains, beans, corn or rice. Our sandbags offer convenient handles and a zipper to keep those dry goods secured. Several colors to choose from. Studios may wish to buy different colors to use to fill to different weights that are then easily identified by their colors.
What can you do with a sandbag? Here are just a few ways to add a sandbag to your yoga practice:
- In seated poses, such as Easy Pose or Baddha Konasana: place a sandbag on each knee to help press the knee firmly to the ground and stretches the inner thighs
- In kneeling poses, such as Hero Pose or Half Hero Pose: lay a sandbag on the bent leg(s) to help press the thigh closer to the ground
- In supine poses, such as Savasana: lay the sandbag across your belly to become more aware of your breath
- In reclining poses, such as Supta Baddh Konasana: place a sandbag on your feet to keep them firmly on the ground
- When standing in Tall Mountain: hold the handle of the sandbag(s) and slowly bend your arms at the elbows, lowering the sandbag behind your back for a great arm & shoulder stretch and strengthener.
- In Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall): drape a sandbag across the soles of your feet. The weight grounds your legs and reduces any tension in your lower back.
- In Savasana – to deepen the pose: take a block and a 10-pound sand bag. After reclining on the floor, position the block on the floor above your head. The block should sit on one of its sides (the height of the block should be about 5 inches), with one of its ends lightly touching your crown. Then lay the sand bag half on the block and half on your forehead. Scrub the forehead skin down, toward your eyebrows. Then let the brain sink away from this weight.
- In Staff Pose: lay a sandbag at the top of each thigh near the hip crease to help ground upper legs
- In Warrior II: hold a sandbag in each hand and challenge yourself
With the increasing interest in Yoga by our younger ones, we will be adding more yoga products just for them! We’ve always carried the DVD: Yoga Kids: Ages 3-6, but we’ve just recently added Yoga Mats sized perfectly for our little friends. Check out our store for our new Harmony Mats for Kids. These mats are made from the same environmentally friendly, natural rubber that our larger sized mats are made from. They are just smaller – 48″ long – making them easy for kids to carry to the studio without any added, unnecessary weight.
Keep your eyes on our store for any future additions.
Not sure if yoga is right for your kids? Read this article for some more insight:
Interested In Yoga For Kids?
by Darvin J. Hooey
Yoga for kids? Certainly! A centuries old practice, yoga has earned the designation as an essential practice for physical and mental health. The benefits of yoga are numerous. Why shouldn’t our children experience these benefits too? Your kids can immediately adopt this practice which leads to improved flexibility, coordination, improved strength, enhanced concentration and stress relief, which would provide a lifetime of benefits for your children! Kids are NOT just small adults, contrary to what many may think. You have to use a different approach… a different environment.
Yoga – Kid Style
Your kids may have difficulty doing the normal yoga poses the way they’re supposed to, but they can still reap many of the benefits. Yoga for kids has to be fun and entertaining simultaneously! Yes, the traditional asanas are the framework, but to ensure your kids engaged the resulting postures are more improvisational in nature. There are programs starting up for kids across the nation. They deal with this entertainment requirement by building in music, storytelling, games, animal references, arts and crafts. Classes are offered for kids as young as toddlers! Just be sure the teacher has the required certification to instruct children.
Special Benefits To Kids
As mentioned above, the benefits of yoga for adults are well documented, but the benefits of yoga for kids go far beyond those that adults realize. Yes, it can support weight loss, concentration, flexibility and strength, but yoga also helps with more kid specific issues. For example, research has shown that yoga can help with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in kids. Yoga satisfies the sensory and motor stimulation that kids desire. Practicing yoga at an early age helps kids to develop confidence and improved coordination. Since yoga is noncompetitive, it fosters a sense of compassion and cooperation, instead of competition. This creates a more caring and giving child.
Yoga For Kids at Home
The benefits of yoga can definitely be brought home for your kids to experience, as with adults! The main obstacle, as with most child activities, is keeping their attention. However, as previously mentioned, if you integrate animal sounds and movements, songs and games, they will stay will keep their attention! Because kids love to move and make sounds, and yoga satisfies both needs. You should not be too critical as they find their way through the series of poses. Don’t get mad, if they aren’t performing them exactly right. Instead, allow this to be an experience in self discovery with your direction.
Yoga for kids is in many ways superior to yoga for adults. Why not begin your kids walk down this lifetime road of self-discovery and self-improvement now versus later, and the benefits they gain will grow exponentially!
If you truly wish to succeed at being in the best shape of your life, then you must visit the world’s best resource. Go to Next Level Yoga immediately, to see how easily it can be done with at home workouts!
Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Interested-In-Yoga-For-Kids-/816532
Add a Balance Board to almost any exercise to up the challenge. Here’s another example showing that you can add a Balance Board in a Side Plank pose. My only tip to add on this exercise / yoga pose, is to stack your shoulder over your wrist. What other balance poses or exercises would a Balance Board work with? Last week we showed a video doing the Seated “V” / Boat Pose, so you can’t suggest that one!
Springtime. Walking in the woods. Living a healthy life. All of these were reasons why I was drawn to this article posted on elephantjournal.com. Hope you find it interesting as well. Be sure to check out the Yoga Poses to help your liver chi…
by Cora Wen on Mar 14, 2010
Spring in Chinese Seasons
Element – Wood
Colour – Green
Nature – Yang
Organs – Liver/Gall Bladder
Emotion – Anger/Determination
Taste – Sour
Condition – Windy
Direction – East
In Chinese Medicine, there are Five Elements which represent different phases and forces in the universe, nature, and our bodies. These are five forms of energy, constantly moving and changing from one into another throughout the natural world. These elements help us understand the meaning of our physical, psychological and emotional balance.
Each season in Nature relates to an element and with the changing of seasons into Spring this week, it is interesting to look at the relationship. Metal is Autumn, Water is Winter, Wood is Spring, and Fire and Earth is Summer. Wood-Spring is the first season and is about growth and beginnings and new activity.
Wood supports Fire, is supported by Water, when over active controls Earth and is in turn is controlled by Metal.
Since Spring is Wood; it is represented as a tree, sybolising growth and activity. In Chinese Astrology, Wood is divided into Yin & Yang where Yang Wood (jiǎ) is solid and sturdy like a mature tree , and Yin Wood (yǐ) is light and supple like the new shoots of a plant.
Yoga poses can invigorate Spring Liver Chi!
The essence of Wood is beginnings, birth and Spring. It is a bursting forth of new ideas, new vitality and new beginnings. Wood Chi is reflected in spontaneity, flexibility and activity. Wood is strong and flexible like bamboo, and associated with warmth, generosity and co-operation. Wood can be wide and outgoing, always seeking to grow and expand.
If you rise early and are at your most creative early in the day, Wood is healthy. Humour, flexibility, adaptability, creativity or spontaneity is healthy, happy Wood energy. If you have difficulty waking up or getting motivated in the morning, Wood is stressed and needs support. Irritability, impatience, anger, rigidity and over sensitivity to noise, touch and smell could mean Wood needs a boost.
Liver & Gall Bladder
The Liver is the most important organ after the heart, because it affects metabolism, detoxification, and blood clotting. The Liver filters, regulates, and stores blood. The Liver is our biggest internal organ (3 lbs/1.4 kg), and sits beneath the diaphragm on the right side of the body.
This amazing organ is the only one that can re-generate itself and function with 85% of its cells destroyed. In Chinese medicine, the Liver is regarded as General of the body, creating order and harmony throughout the system.
It governs muscles and tendons, which brings grace and flexibility, so muscle, knee and elbow issues can indicate weak Liver Chi.
The Gall Bladder emulsifies fats and oils with bile, and assists in digestion and absorption of minerals.
In Chinese medicine, humour, patience and ability to be in the moment are signs of healthy Gall Bladder Chi. Impatience, irritability and rushing ahead of yourself show weakness. A balanced diet and chewing slowly help build Gall Bladder Chi
Read more on Yoga poses for Spring Liver Chi!
Tips for Boosting Wood Liver Chi
Green is the colour of Wood. As spring erupts, it is a symphony of green everywhere you look. As this colour abounds in Nature to remind us of growth and borth, add more greens and sprouts to your diet.
Leafy green veggies are extremely good for balancing Liver and Wood Chi. Eat lots of greens: collard, kale, spinach, mustard, dandelion and other leafy greens. The more greens the better!
Our blood, Chi and essence are ever changing and shifting, and almost half of our blood plasma rebuilds itself every 10 days to maintain good health. Here are some tips to strengthen Wood Chi this Spring!
Walk in nature, breathe the fresh air and connect with Wood Chi by seeing the trees outside
Do Yoga, Chi Gung, Tai Chi and more outdoor activities
Add leafy greens and sprouted food into your diet to help detoxify
Chew slowly and very well
Sour tastes balance Liver energy, so add lemon to your water. Use lemon and olive oil on salad.
In the morning, eat when hungry. Eat light, easy to digest foods like cereal, plain toast or fruit.
Don’t eat when you are distracted: watching TV, standing, walking, talking or reading
Avoid alcohol or eating 2 hours before sleep
When it is warm enough, spend 5 – 10 minutes walking barefoot. Liver Chi enters through the feet and reconnection with Earth is vital
To release stress, anger or impatience from Liver or Gall Bladder, turn up the music, sing, dance and have FUN! Socialise with friends and get a full belly laugh!
Get Acupuncture to move Chi and restore balance. Acupuncture can treat stress, anger and migraines.
Seasonal acupuncture helps strengthen the system and maintain body harmony, before problems occur.
Yoga Poses for Wood Liver
Each Element in Chinese Medicine is linked to organs they support. Wood Chi supports function of the Liver and Gall Bladder. The Liver controls muscles and tendons. In Chinese Medicine, Liver stores blood during rest and releases it to tendons in activity. If you have tight or recurring joint problems this could be signs of an over-stressed liver.
These poses express a full range of motion in the abdominal area which will stretch, strengthen, enervate, and bring circulation into the entire torso. You will also massage both sides of body, energising Liver and Gall Bladder Chi.
Read more on Yoga poses for Spring Liver Chi!
Cora Wen is a self admitted Yoga Crone. A traditionalist who has studied and practiced yoga for two decades and remains curious and uplifted by the endless teachings of Yoga. Cora is certified at the highest levels of ERYT500 and CYT. She specialises in alignment based Yoga, and works with students suffering from chronic injuries and long term illnesses. She travels across the globe sharing an infectious love of Yoga, and would love to to share Energy and Yoga with You! Connect on www.corawen.com or follow Cora on Twitter and Facebook
Are you a desk jockey? Need to learn some quick yoga stretches that you can do in your chair while at work? Watch this short video when a yoga teacher tries to show a news anchor some poses we could all do sitting in our office chairs.
Do you need any yoga props? Nope, just your office chair…
These small balance pods are a very versatile tool to add to your exercises, and even your yoga practice. By adding a balancing challenge to your routine, you’ll strengthen your core and get an all-over body workout. Jess goes over a number of exercises and provides some nice cues to doing them well. But don’t just limit yourself to the exercises she teaches…I’m sure this video will give you ideas on what other yoga poses or ab exercises in which you could incorporate these balance pods.
Peggy warns us that she moves fast through these poses, and she does. In just under 5 minutes, she’ll give you lots of ways to use a foam roller with yoga poses. This is not a video to follow along with, but to watch and learn from. She does not explain how to get into the yoga poses themselves, so I would not recommend this to someone who is not already familiar with yoga. Other than that, have fun!
In this video she is using a 36″ foam roller. We offer two different 36″ long high-density foam rollers at our store. A Hi-Density Foam Roller and a Textured Hi-Density Foam Roller. High density foam rollers will hold their shape for a longer time. They’ll also offer more support and resistance during use versus the single-construction white foam rollers. The textured surface of the Textured Roller will grip hard flooring better so the roller won’t slide out from underneath you (versus “roll”), making it great for those working out on wood floors.