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Energy Medicine Yoga: This Variation on Eye-of-the-Needle Pose Boosts Vitality

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

Keep your health in check by modifying your Sucirandhrasana (Eye-of-the-Needle Pose) with a powerful Energy Medicine Yoga technique. Here, teachers Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who both lead our online course, Energy Medicine Yoga—share how a slight
'Strengthen your immune system with this modified version that activates a powerful underlying energy system called Celtic Weave. Keep your health in check by modifying your Sucirandhrasana (Eye-of-the-Needle Pose) with a powerful Energy Medicine Yoga technique. Here, teachers Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who both lead our online course,  Energy Medicine Yoga —share how a slight tweak activates a powerful energy system called Celtic Weave. Watch also Why Do Certain People Trigger You? Five Element Theory Explains In YJ’s online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body , renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy. Find out more and sign up today!'

The Sandal That Makes You Feel Like You're Walking on a Yoga Mat

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

At Wanderlust Hollywood in Los Angeles, Brandon and Lauren meet Sanuk ambassador Jaysea Devoe, hear her story, and join her class to celebrate the launch the new Yoga Sling 3. Sanuk is an unconventional footwear brand on a mission to outfit the
'The Live Be Yoga ambassadors celebrate Sanuk's new launch at Wanderlust Hollywood. At Wanderlust Hollywood in Los Angeles, Brandon and Lauren meet  Sanuk  ambassador Jaysea Devoe, hear her story, and join her class to celebrate the launch the new Yoga Sling 3 . Sanuk is an unconventional footwear brand on a mission to outfit the journey to your happy place. Find your favorite style at  sanuk.com . Live Be Yoga ambassadors Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today. Follow the tour and get the latest stories @livebeyoga on Instagram and Facebook .'

Try This Viniyoga Sequence to Manage Addictive Behavior

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

We use the term Viniyoga—an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application—to refer to an approach that adapts yoga practice to the unique conditions, needs, and interests of each individual. This
'The founder of the American Viniyoga Institute shares insight on Viniyoga practices and a sequence for helping to manage addictive behavior. Gary Kraftsow We use the term Viniyoga—an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application—to refer to an approach that adapts yoga practice to the unique conditions, needs, and interests of each individual. This traditional yoga lineage gives each practitioner the tools they need to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. In Viniyoga, we believe that yoga can effect positive change in each practitioner. This requires an understanding of a person’s present condition, personal potential, and goals. Using the teachings and practices of yoga—including asana , pranayama , bandha , sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual, and the study of texts—we create an integrated practice to help practitioners move through pain, grief, depression, addiction, and more. See also Meet Gary Kraftsow: A Leading Teacher of Viniyoga Yoga Therapy There are four main differences between the Viniyoga approach to asana and most other forms of asana practice: Function over form . We emphasize the function rather than the form of asana and use the science of adapting the forms of the postures to achieve different results and benefits.  Breath and adaptation. We focus on breath as the medium for movement in asana, and the science of adapting the pattern of breathing in postures to produce different effects, depending upon the goal.  Repetition and stay. The use of repetition into and out of the postures, as well as holding the postures, enhances the structural and energetic effects of practice.  The art and science of sequencing. Viniyoga teachers create practices of different orientation, length, and intensity to suit the intention and context of each practice and practitioner.  According to Krishnamacharya, the grandfather of most Western forms of the practice, a yoga teacher must strive to understand the true needs of the student and to adapt a practice to serve those needs. He reminded teachers emphatically that teaching is for the student, not the teacher. It is through the choices that we make in sequencing that we are able to create usable and relevant yoga practices for specific students. Patanjali and other great yoga masters recognized the diversity among people and within the same person at different stages of life. They proposed a range of tools, leaving it up to the teacher to decide which were appropriate. Those tools include asana, pranayama, meditation, ritual, chanting or mantra, and prayer. See also YJ Interview: Gary Kraftsow A Viniyoga sequence is a logically ordered, context specific strategy that uses the tools of yoga to actualize an intention. It is effective, efficient, and elegant. In the following sequence for working with addiction, you will notice the integrated use of all of these tools. Addiction impacts us in a multidimensional way, affecting our anatomy and physiology, emotions and cognition, and behavior. As such, an integrated practice that works on all of these levels is the ideal way to create a positive direction of change in our lives. Find a comfortable, quiet space and be mindful of your breath—a primary focus of Viniyoga—as you work through the following sequence. As Krishnamacharya once said: “If you’re not regulating your breathing, you’re just doing calisthenics.” Try This Viniyoga Sequence Below: About our author Yoga therapist Gary Kraftsow evolved this approach to yoga from the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Madras, India. Gary is the director and senior teacher of the American Viniyoga Institute; the author of two books: Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation , four DVDs, and several online workshops, including Pranayama Unlocked, Meditation Unlocked, Yoga Therapy for Depression, Yoga Therapy for Better Sleep, Yoga Therapy for Anxiety, and Asana Unlocked. Learn more at viniyoga.com . About our Model Model Evan Soroka is a Viniyoga therapist in Aspen, Colorado. Learn more at evansoroka.com .'

Half Headstand – Dimitris Papapetrou

Yoga and Meditation Om yoga

Dimitris Papapetrou leads us through Half Headstand (Ardha Kapalasana), an inversion that will help to improve your sense of balance.Benefits of Half Headstand In yoga, we can overcome our fear of inversions and this is one of the greatest benefits
'Dimitris Papapetrou leads us through Half Headstand (Ardha Kapalasana), an inversion that will help to improve your sense of balance.Benefits of Half Headstand In yoga, we can overcome our fear of inversions and this is one of the greatest benefits of half headstand.You are faced with fear and insecurity and it challenges you to get out your comfort zone.By practicing this pose you build your strength in the wrists, arms and shoulders, while it also improves your sense of balance.Moreover, it strengthens and engages your core muscles.Common Mistakes Hands or elbows might be too wide.Don’t hatch your back, keep your spine straight.Don’t hurry to lift your legs and don’t forget to engage your core.Many students also forget to do a child’s pose at the end.Tips For newbies and beginner practitioners, you may experience some discomfort, even some pain in your wrists and hands.This is completely normal.This preparation is perfect for gaining the strength neccessary in both the wrist and the shoulder girdle to practice full headstand and handstand.Awareness Get on all fours and place your hands on the floor keeping the elbows bent, breathe deeply and effortlessly, and place the top of your head on your mat.Lift your heels and walk your feet towards your elbows, keeping your back staight and place your knees on your triceps.At the end, stay in child’s pose for at least 15 seconds.Dimitris Papapetrou is director of Yoga Europe Find more Man on the Mat poses here .   . The post Half Headstand – Dimitris Papapetrou appeared first on Om Magazine .'

A Yoga Therapist Shares The Truth About Trauma

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

Yoga Journal: Can you summarize your work? Gail Parker: I'm a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, and a yoga therapist educator. I am a lifelong practitioner of yoga. 50 years. As a practicing psychotherapist of 40 years, I pioneered efforts
'Yoga therapist and psychologist Gail Parker, PhD, applies restorative practices in an innovative way to help people heal from racial wounds. Gail Parker, PhD Yoga Journal: Can you summarize your work? Gail Parker: I'm a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, and a yoga therapist educator. I am a lifelong practitioner of yoga. 50 years. As a practicing psychotherapist of 40 years, I pioneered efforts to blend psychology, yoga, and meditation as effective self-care strategies that can enhance emotional balance, and contribute to overall health and well-being. I closed my psychotherapy practice four years ago, which allowed me to focus all of my attention on the therapeutic benefits of yoga, and in particular on how Restorative Yoga and meditation can be utilized and taught as self-care practices for managing ethnic and race based stress and trauma. I also teach mind-body strategies for reducing stress and healing emotional trauma to aspiring yoga therapists in the Beaumont School of Yoga Therapy in Royal Oak Michigan, the only hospital based yoga therapy school in the nation. Yoga therapy is a type of therapy—grounded in the ancient philosophical teachings of yoga—that utilizes yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation as self-care strategies to improve mental and physical health and well-being. See also   The Healing Power of Trauma-Informed Yoga Classes YJ: How do you apply this work to racial trauma (and can you define that term)? GP: Ethnic and racial stress and trauma refer to the events related to real or perceived experiences of discrimination, threats of harm and injury, and humiliating and shaming events. The terms also apply to witnessing harm to other individuals caused by real or perceived race-related events. Stress and trauma are stored in the body. Effective interventions involve physical engagement. Restorative Yoga is a form of yoga that is not intrusive; it is receptive. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, it evokes the relaxation response. It not only lessens the inflammation of tissues, it also soothes inflamed emotions. It tones the vagus nerve, which restores homeostasis and supports resilience, aiding in recovery from stress and trauma. Ethnic- and race-informed Restorative Yoga teaches people to experience safety in their vulnerability, which is a new learning for people experiencing the ongoing, cumulative, and recurrent nature of racial stress. People who are consistently marginalized, discriminated against, and profiled already know how to stand in the fire of unbearable suffering. They need the therapeutic experience of resting in safety. They need to learn what the absence of stress feels like. Ethnic- and race-informed Restorative Yoga can offer this experience. See also   Yoga Transformed Me After Trauma and Sexual Assault YJ: What do you want our readers to think about (as students and teachers)? GP: Even if you have never had a direct experience of racial wounding, as aware members of the human family we know that when something affects one of us, it affects us all. Regardless of your ethnic, racial, or cultural identity, living in a racialized world has an impact—from the daily lived experiences of stress and trauma that people of color endure, to the experience of white fragility where even a minimum amount of racial stress evokes defensive responses. The yoga community is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and the conversation within and around yoga needs to keep pace with the shifting demographics. Maintaining a culture of silence regarding ethnicity and race make that impossible. We have to engage in conversations about race and ethnicity as relevant topics of conversation. I think yoga is ideal for having these conversations because talking about race and ethnicity is really about each of us sharing our stories with each other.'

Energy Medicine Yoga: This Variation on Cobra Pose Improves Circulation in the Subtle Body

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

Get both energy and blood flowing better through your body with a modified Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). Here, Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who co-teach our upcoming course, Energy Medicine Yoga—show you how to strengthen your subtle energy systems and
'Strengthen your subtle energy systems and step up blood flow with this variation from Lauren Walker. Get both energy and blood flowing better through your body with a modified Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). Here, Lauren Walker and Donna Eden—who co-teach our upcoming course,  Energy Medicine Yoga —show you how to strengthen your subtle energy systems and step up your circulation with just a few simple additions to this yoga posture. In YJ’s new online course, Energy Medicine Yoga: Transformation Through the Subtle Body , renowned energy healer and Eden Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden and Energy Medicine Yoga creator Lauren Walker lead an eight-week training that will shift longstanding patterns in your underlying energy, which affects your mind, body, and spirit. You will learn how to activate your innate healing for greater balance, vitality, and well-being. Find out more and sign up today! Watch also  Why the Subtle Body Isn't So Subtle After All'

How to Avoid Social Media Blues

Yoga and Meditation Yoga journal

I photoshopped a picture of myself once. Okay, maybe more than once. I’m not talking about adding filters or erasing stains from my shirt. I’m talking vacuuming away parts of my stomach, arms, and even a little thigh. When I gave my husband a
'Yacht parties and bikini bodies got you down? Here's how to get out of the funk. I photoshopped a picture of myself once. Okay, maybe more than once. I’m not talking about adding filters or erasing stains from my shirt. I’m talking vacuuming away parts of my stomach, arms, and even a little thigh. When I gave my husband a virtual tummy tuck, he finally forced me to check myself. “You can’t talk about self-love and authenticity and then use photoshop!” He was horrified. And then I was, too. I whole-heartedly believe we’re each put on this earth in our own unique bodies to express our true Selves. And through platforms such as teaching yoga, writing, and using social media, part of my job is to help people realize this. I teach the self-acceptance and body positivity—but I wasn’t always practicing it. What the bleep was I doing erasing a few pounds with the swipe of my finger? For the honest answer, we must take a little trip back in time. I have been dieting since I was 9 years old. Even now, while I may no longer count calories or weigh my broccoli, I still watch every morsel I put in my mouth. I was a child of the early nineties—the era of the supermodel. Pictures of Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford lined the walls of my room. My mum modeled, too (along with her many other careers), and I coveted her air-brushed headshots, just as I did every single page of Vogue . I wish I looked like that. Wow, she’s so beautiful. Why am I so ugly? These were the lyrics that played on repeat in my head. Not exactly the anthems we want for our children. The pressure of perfection is a force so strong it can flatten us, if we let it. Literally. It will drain out our color, wash away our texture, and suck us down to some sort of washed-out, skeletal, carbon copy of a Barbie doll. Under ever photoshopped picture is a human being. A real person, who’s every pore, every wrinkle, every scar, every pound, tells a unique story. Unfortunately, these are the stories the media does not want us to hear. If we did, we might never buy another beauty product again. Instead, corporate interest spins a golden yarn of the unattainable: the “perfect” woman, the “perfect” man. And the messaging is so loud and pervasive that we absorb it without even trying. Like a top 20 hit you’ve somehow memorized without ever intentionally listening to the song. See also  5 Poses to Inspire More Self-Love, Less Self Smack-Talk One day, you find yourself looking at a picture you just took, and instead of seeing the glory in your unique story, you see all your perceived flaws. So, you download an app on your phone that allows you to become a sliver of that “perfect” ideal with the click of your thumb. And like magic, all of the insecurities, the negativity, erase from the screen. That was easy! But to truly love ourselves in a world that tells us we are not enough is not easy. It takes great courage. It is a rebellious act. It means ignoring the toxic messages and beauty ideals and accept ourselves as we are in this moment. It means looking yourself in the eye in the mirror saying—and really believing—“You are beautiful.” Not because we are thin or tan or have poreless skin. You are beautiful because there is no one in the entire universe that is like you! And nor will there ever be again. So, the next time you take a picture that you are going to share to the world, I dare you to not add a filter. I dare you to not adjust or alter the image in any way. To share your story in all of its glorious detail. You do not have to be afraid, for I will stand with you. Or hands held, our faces clear, and our soul’s bright. See also    5 Ways to Radically Love Yourself Today Here are some tools to help you avoid the perfection trap: 1. When you take a picture, look at the whole picture.  How often do we take a picture and immediately zoom in to inspect ourselves? Think about group pictures: What is the first thing people do when they look at one? They focus on themselves and their flaws. But it is our imperfections that make us beautifully who we are. I’m a sucker for a big nose and a crooked smile. As Leonard Cohen says in his song “Anthem,” There is a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in . When you take a photo, try to see the entire image—the complete scene. Remember where you were, who you were with, and how you felt. Pictures should capture memories not project fantasies. 2. Delete image-editing apps from of your phone. Remove the temptation!  When I am not being mindful, my desire for perfection can border on obsession. Couple that with social media addiction and it’s a recipe for disaster. At one point, I had 10 different apps on my phone for altering images. 10 different apps! In the same way it is helpful to not have alcohol in the house when you are on a cleanse, removing the apps relieves the temptation. Instead, fill your phone with apps that help you grow creatively. Try learning a new language, playing brain games, and listening to interesting podcasts. Take more pictures of your dog. 3. Unfollow people who trigger you.  I stopped buying fashion magazines a long time ago because of how bad they made me feel. Even though I knew the images were altered, I could not help comparing myself to supermodels' stick figures. Nowadays, these types of images pervade social media, and because they appear in someone’s personal feed rather than a magazine, we think they’re real. It’s much harder to deciphering what is fake. If you find yourself constantly feeling bad from looking at someone’s posts, it might be time to stop following them. Instead, find people to follow who leave you feeling empowered and inspired. 4. Get off social media and into the real world.  One of my favorite things about teaching yoga is looking around the room and seeing all of the different body types. If we all looked or practiced the same, life would be so boring! When I look up from my phone and back out into the world, I find myself in awe of how beautiful everything is, from an 85-year-old walking with their 10-year-old grandchild, to a couple smooching on a park bench. Look around to see just how varied and unique and interesting we all are. Life is beautiful! 5. The next time you take a picture, look for one thing you love.  As mentioned above, we have a tendency to home in on what we think are flaws. We zoom in, looking for something wrong. The next time you take a picture, instead of looking for what to fix, look for what you love. If you cannot find anything at first, look at the bigger picture. What did you love about that outfit? That location? Who you were with? Start to train your brain to see the beauty. This can (and should) start in the mirror. One of my favorite self-love practices is to say one thing I love about myself every day. It doesn’t have to be physical, either! The more we learn to love ourselves, the more love we have to give others.'