Body alignment during dancer pose

The Dancer pose is a beautiful combination of balance, strength, flexibility, and meditation. It will tone your legs and open your chest while also helping you focus better. Heck, it will even release negative emotions and stress. Since the Dancer pose is not a very simple asana, it requires proper preparation. So, make sure you warm up with these effective tips.

Top 5 Tips on How to Prepare & Align Your Body for Dancer Pose

1. Targeted Focus
Try to bring a balanced awareness on all four corners of your soles. During this pose, one must engage in an open-eye meditation. Just choose a spot to fix your gaze on while you shift your body weight on your right foot. Once you prepare this pose, it is time to lift your left leg off the mat, bend the knee, and grab your ankle with your left hand. 

2. Mild Pressure
While holding the Dancer pose, you must put a little pressure on your left palm by kicking your lifted leg into it. This way, you will extend your spine from the tailbone all the way up to your neck and head. The more you kick with your leg into your hand, the better your balance and stability will be. So, strength is the key to success in this asana. 

3. Thumb Positioning
When you grab your ankle with your hand, make sure to place your thumb outwards as far away from your body as possible. This way, you will be able to open your torso more and rotate your shoulder. To gain balance while doing this, your right arm should be extended in front and facing towards the horizon. 

4. Hips Square Position
Every time you perform the elegant Dancer pose, you should try to square your hips. This way, you will align your left knee with the rest of your body. Avoid opening your body out to your left side. 

5. Standing Knee Protection
A common mistake during this pose is the hyper-extension of your standing knee. This happens because the standing knee tends to bend way past its normal range of motion during a straight standing position. To prevent your knee from over-extension, engage your quads and try to just bend your standing knee a little bit.

Additional Tips
Relax your shoulders and bring them back as much as you can.
Open your chest and lift your upper torso, but don’t forget to lower your belly area and tighten your core.
Try not to put too much pressure on your spine. Don’t compress any area of your backbone. Even though you extend your lumbar area, you should try to keep it in a slightly neutral position.
If you want to do a more complex and advanced Dancer pose, you should try different variations such as using a strap and lifting your left arm up. 

Summing It Up

Although the Dancer asana is challenging, it is a great and fun yoga pose to do. It improves your strength, flexibility, and mental focus. For a full experience, you should consider trying different variations of this pose. It is a graceful asana that can make you feel as light as a feather while rocking those fashionable yoga leggings. If you like the legging pictured above, you can find it here.

Now You Can Hit Things as Part Of Your Spiritual Practice

American ingenuity finds its way into every industry, even yoga. It’s just so hard to leave an ancient spiritual practice alone. Oh, sure, yoga is good—even great—as it is, but just imagine how it could be if we added something to it, combined it with something else, packaged it so we could run specials about it on television? Why accept yoga as yoga, when the possibilities are endless?

We’ve seen innovations in the yoga industry for years. Some of the changes fashion new disciplines out of tweaks of traditional forms. Some changes involve more focused marketing, and approaching different consumers. Then there is Box+Flow. Box+Flow is, at the time of this writing, the only yoga studio of its kind, a New York gym that combines a boxing workout with a power yoga session afterwards. There may not be many boxing yoga studios yet, but Box+Flow appears poised to jump-start a new fitness craze, because here’s the upset: people love it!

I have to admit my first reaction to hearing about the combination of boxing and yoga is to ask if they perhaps could not think of two activities more ill-suited to each other and so—shrug—they went with boxing and yoga? Were the proprietors of Box+Flow really trying? Did anybody in on that brand identity meeting bring up curling?

The idea behind the combination of these two disparate activities is that people work out get their aggressions during the two-thirds of class, and use the yoga portion to strength train and clear their minds.

Classes at Box+Flow meet for just under an hour. The first third of the class is spent shadowboxing with small weights (three pounds or less) as a warm-up. Class participants are assigned to their mats and given instruction for shoulder and arm exercises. A brief explanation of basic punching technique rounds out the phase, at the end of which class participants are warmed up and ready to begin. The second part of class is spent working out with bags. Wearing boxing gloves, participants run through a battery of punches and power punches. They work alone and/or with a partner on the heavy bag. The remainder of class is spent “cooling down” doing a session of power yoga in which stretching and strengthening is emphasized. All of the exercises are performed in the same room, a darkly lit space with décor that echoes some of the popular hip-hop yoga studios. The quotes on the wall veer away from rap lyrics and tend toward the inspirational, Rocky theme, e.g. EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS INSIDE.

The classes are popular. High energy, positive, with plenty of interaction between the instructors and the owner of the gym. It turns out that the boxing/yoga combination has attracted a new market, a mostly “not into yoga” market, people who’ve never had much interest in taking yoga classes. These people heard they could hit stuff and listen to Drake, and they decided maybe yoga was okay. Before they found Box+Flow, they didn’t know yoga was like this. They thought yoga was something different, they say.


Yoga for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding creates a strong bond between the mother and child. The benefits that go along with nursing your baby are endless. Breast milk alters itself to provide specific nutrients for your baby. It contains antibodies that help fight off harmful viruses and prevent infections. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to have health issues such as ear infections and diarrhea. However, these health benefits come at a price. Mothers who breastfeed suffer from aching necks, shoulders, and backs. Luckily, there are several yoga poses that can help combat the aches and pains of breastfeeding.

Most yoga poses that help with breastfeeding pains are heart openers. This is because heart openers relieve tension from the neck, shoulders, and back. There are several heart openers to choose from, but one great one to try is the Sphinx Pose. The Sphinx Pose is done while lying flat on your belly. It can be done on the floor, or on the bed for an added layer of comfort.

  1. Lay down on your stomach with your palms and forearms pressing firmly into the ground below.
  2. Keep your should down and away from your ears.
  3. Make sure not to overly bend the back in this pose, especially if you are still recovering from birth.

A block or bolster can be added to any heart opener for additional relief. Blocks and bolsters are traditionally added to heart openers that are taken on the back. Simply place the block or bolster under your shoulder blades and let your body release completely. This should help release tension that lies deep in the shoulder blades and upper back.

Even though heart openers are great, they aren’t the only poses that help breastfeeding mothers. Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Stretch) helps to fight that hunched-over-feeling that most breastfeeding mothers suffer from.

  1. To practice Chakravaksana, start on your hands and knees.
  2. Make sure that the spine is straight, the hands are shoulders width apart, and the knees are hips distance apart.
  3. Begin to arch your back and bring your gaze up towards the ceiling.
  4. Hold this arched position for a few seconds and then slowly begin to release.
  5. Now round your back while bringing your gaze down. Hold this rounded position for a few seconds and then release.
  6. Repeat arching and rounding your back until your spine feels mobile and loose.
  7. Make sure to exaggerate the rounding and arching of the back to get the most out of this stretch.

It is important to keep both mama and baby healthy to get the most out of breastfeeding. Newborns feed often and can cause a lot of aches and pains from constant feedings. These pains lessen as your baby grows and as they nurse less often. It’s important for mothers to take care of their own health so that they can provide the proper nourishment for their baby. A happy mama is a happy baby!

Interesting Facts About Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga and Interesting Facts about It

Restorative Yoga is the form of yoga where the main goal is to obtain mental, emotional and physical relaxation through the help of props. Their usage eases up your body and helps you achieve balance within yourself through stimulation and relaxation. Whether the postures target the entire body or only specific parts of it, all of them are beneficial.

Origins of the Restorative Yoga

This branch of yoga was first found by one of the most influential yoga teachers in the world named B.K.S. Iyengar. However, as time evolved, the style deviated somewhat from its original methods. First known as Iyengar Yoga, the style taught methods to strive for perfection of posture. Those teachings are the foundation of the modern day restorative yoga.

Poses in the Restorative Yoga

While most of the poses and postures are similar to other types of yoga, the difference here is that they are done through the support and usage of props. A typical class would begin with a warm up of vinyasa and then proceed with restorative yoga’s poses, each of which is usually held for a few minutes up to 15 minutes. Some instructors recommend the practitioners cover their bodies, to raise the levels of comfort while practicing this style of yoga.

Types of Props Used

There are a wide variety and mixture of different props. The most common ones that are used are blankets, chairs, straps, bolsters, blankets, pillows and others. Their goal is to help you achieve and hold a perfect pose. They provide support while relaxing or stretching. The selection of the props when buying them is important as they must be of proper range and size of the different type of specific poses. Otherwise, the props may cause discomfort instead of serving their actual purpose.

Benefits of the Restorative Yoga

If you feel under a lot of pressure, stress, or your body is just stiff and aches, then restorative yoga is the perfect match for you. It’s known to heal not only the body but also bring relief to the mind. It comes in handy to people that have active lifestyles to help them defuse their gathered fatigue and stress over time. Some cases have shown to help people recover from injuries and illnesses both physical and emotional such as anxiety and depression.

Advanced practitioners are known to have activated and unlocked the parasympathetic nervous system. Simply explained, this is the system that regulates all of your automatic bodily functions that you are not actively controlling when you are at rest. Examples of what is controlled by this system are salivation, lacrimation (tearing) & sexual arousal. The normal nervous system is put at rest which has its hidden, passive benefits. Regular practice of this yoga style would lead to a generally less stressful life, improved overall health and less of a vulnerability to develop mental illnesses.

Compared to other yoga styles, this one is much more demanding in terms of equipment; however, it has proven to be worthy and effective. For the latest yoga fashion trends, visit Namaste. 

How To Find The Right Yoga Outfit

Yoga is powerful. It is a way of life for some. There are many benefits that doing yoga has. An hour or half of yoga every day will give you a body that has more strength and fit. Yoga results in a flexible body that helps one move through each day easily. One has more energy to accomplish the day%u2019s tasks and this energy can be utilized constructively.
Yoga studios have sprung up throughout the country. The ideology has come from India. In India it was practiced several thousands of years ago. Some continue to practice this form of mind-body coordinating. This way of bringing about more flexibility in the body has caught the attention of people around the world. Last year, the world celebrated a yoga day when everyone was encouraged to practice it for an hour.
Make yoga your way of life and realize the benefits. A healthy body is a prized possession. It results in a healthy mind.
When it comes to practicing the form of exercise, it is to be noted that wearing clothes that match is important. Yoga mats and clothes are essential. At home or in a studio, the student is asked to wear clothing that is required to perform the poses comfortably.
When you make yoga a part of your lifestyle, these fashionable and yet comfortable clothes will also become a part of your wardrobe. Pants and capris are part of the yoga clothes that women should purchase. There are also leggings that may appeal to some women.
90 Degrees by Reflex is one brand that understands the needs of women who practice yoga. They manufacture clothes that are perfect for wearing to studios and then later to grocery stores or coffee shops if required.
Women who are on the go will find these attractive. They are available in variety of colors. The material absorbs sweat and allows stretching of limbs without any resulting stretch in the material. Before purchasing it may be suggested that women read reviews and testimonials by other women who have already used the product earlier.
These yoga pants and capris are the right choice if you perform yoga regularly. Select a few colors of your choice and you can even order a mix of capris, leggings and pants. Wear what you think is best suitable depending on your mood, weather and even your schedule. A pant may be your choice if you have plans of dropping off the kid to school after the class. Leggings are casual wear that may not be suitable for a formal occasion or setting.
Brands like 90 Degrees by Reflex understand the needs of modern women. They have designed clothes that are made of material that is best for wearing when working out and they also take care of the design so women can feel stylish wearing them.
Go online and search for what you need. They are available through Amazon too.

Understanding The Origins Of Yoga

Most people would interpret yoga as unification or union. This method has originated from ‘yuj,’ a Sanskrit word which means to bind or yoke. Ever since, Yoga has been a discipline which has lived on. More and more individuals are practicing it. It is not surprising as many would want to strive for holistic growth and development. A male practitioner is often called a yogi, while the counterpart is yogini. There are still many facts that have to be learned about Yoga. If you are planning to practice this, it would help a lot to know its various facets.

Understanding The Aims Of Yoga

For Sure, You Have An Impression About Yoga. However, These Are Some That Have To Be Held True:

  1. Yoga is not based on any kind of religion or belief. However, it has obtained all its roots from Brahmanism and Hinduism. This is true most especially to its contemporary western approach.
  2. The seers and ascetics of Yoga developed this kind of discipline. These are for individuals who live in the southern parts of India. These seers normally observe and live as close as they could to earth. They are also responsible in studying the various of animals, nature and themselves too.
  3. Through the emulation and observing of different habits and postures, you will be able to develop wisdom, strength and grace eventually. These are the aims that are meant to be attained through this endeavor at the end.
  4. This discipline has developed the lives of many people. The posture is also one of its targets too. It is claimed that a series of postures need to be developed in the body so that it remains lithe. As this occurs, it will also be able to endure long periods of stillness most especially in the midst of meditation. This may happen that is for sure.

Indeed, the philosophy of yoga has developed throughout the years. For instance, the Yoga Sutra is said to be one of its beginnings. This is a compilation of 195 statements which are meant to give off an ethical guide to the living of a person’s moral life. This incorporates the science of yoga to it as well. This would then go back to the Indian sage, the Patanji, which has been collated for over 2000 years ago. This is its cornerstone as far as classical philosophy is talked about.

Sutra means a thread. This denotes to a certain kind of form which is normally in written and oral communication. The mentioned is considered to be of a brusque style. Most sutras which are written in the students would rely on a particular guru so that the philosophy contained may be interpreted within each one. Please know that there is no singe description when it comes to the posture of the person. This is true even if breath control and posture are still the most integral practices of yoga. These are described too. Learn more about Yoga and stay healthy!