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What is your favorite yoga pose these days?
With the busy holiday season here, it's so helpful to make time for yoga. Today on Alive in the Fire, sponsored yogini Yani shares about one of her favorite postures,
A favorite pose of mine is corpse pose, also known as Savasana. Not only is it a nice way to cool down from a flow, but it is a good way to ground yourself and let go.
To get into Savasana, find a quiet and comfortable space, a place where you can go undisturbed for some time. Lie down on your back.
Place your feet at hip-width apart, arms resting beside your body, palms facing up towards the skies. Feel your body on the mat, grounding yourself to the Earth below you, allowing your ankles to relax down toward the mat.
Mentally scan the entirety of your body, from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Bring awareness to the natural rhythm of your breath. Inhale, and exhale. With each exhale, allow a little more of your weight to fall onto the mat. Allow your jaw to relax. Give yourself permission to sink deeper into your mat, deeper into rest.
If thoughts arise, allow them to float away—like a cloud passing through the sky—and draw your focus back into your breath.
If your thoughts continue to run wild, focus on syncing a mantra with your breath. For example, use the mantra
, which means,
the essence of me is truth; I am true.
As you inhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself,
. As you exhale, vibrate within, or think to yourself,
You are safe to let go.
Its a book you don't want to lose. Its passion, its love, its life and most of its words are written by some of the greatest yoga masters of the past.
Hari, Hari Rickman, (whom you'll later be introduced to, well, sooner than later actually) devoted his life to the study of yoga. He once said, "I'm obsessed with yoga and Ill never get enough." Even as Hari was living in a displaced persons camp during the Second World War, he was studying and practicing yoga.
One of my favorite scripts is on page 129 where he describes when he learned about Yoni or Shanmukhi Mudra. I really needed a good insight on concentration. The hand written letters that are exampled are engrossing and very intriguing. You have to see them for yourself!
How fortunate that the yogic knowledge Dr. Dickman gained from many revered teachers has been preserved so carefully and faithfully that it can enrich the lives of many spiritual seekers who otherwise would never have known of him. Right?!
Last snippet; page. 87 discusses Sitali and Sitkari which I think its great to learn, especially during the warm season because it quickly cools down the body. The breathe is so amazing. Literally.
I encourage you to try a little movement, despite the discomfort.
Five minutes. Maybe ten. Set yourself a small enough goal that it's really hard to make an excuse not to move.
Take a walk around the block. Do ten pushups and ten situps in your living room. Three sun salutations.
Do only the yoga poses that feel good, the ones your body is calling out for, and for now, skip the rest. Release any feeling of guilt, any notion of, 'I could do better,' or, 'I'm not good enough.'
It may not feel fun to get started, but I'd guess that afterwards you feel grateful you made time for keeping your vital energy moving.
Find a little movement that works for you in your day. See how you feel.
Photos in this post by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com (1), Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography (2) and Justin Kral of Kral Studios (3).
PS, as a side note, this post is as much for me as it is for you... so please remember, you're not alone on the days when you might struggle to make time for movement. And if you happen to be having a sh*tty day, this is another great post to check out.
Do you sweat a lot in yoga? Do you practice in a heated studio?
Well, this post is for you :)
(And by the way, I do both of those things, too!)
Here are some ideas about how to refresh before and after a sweaty practice.
Use a yoga mat spray like Mat Mist. This amazing, aromatherapeutic spray comes in scents such as Sandalwood lavender geranium, Thyme Douglas fir, Lemon myrtle peppermint vetiver and Colloidal silver water.
What's especially rad about Mat Mist is that all you have to do is spray down your mat after class, roll it up, and go. The essential oils will disinfect your mat without requiring you to wipe it down, plus, next time you practice, there's a little scent there to awaken your senses and encourage deep pranayama breathing.
Sponsored yogini Kelsie recently tried the product... she took it to class and not only did she love it, but she said all the yogis around her loved it and were asking where they could find some :) She also sprays it around her house because it's that good (!!) and she loves that it is all organic and natural.
“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
My favorites are the GoMaco Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and the Apple Walnut. Trust me on this one.
Happy Monday, yogis! Hope you had a beautiful weekend.
I wanted to take a moment to invite you to join my email newsletter! :) Exciting times... it only took me 5+ years to get my act together as a blogger and get an email list going. Ha!
In all honesty, I would love if you join the list... you guys are the reason I write and you make this community what it is. :) I'll be sharing updates with recent blog posts, ideas for kicking your yoga practice into gear, info about my upcoming coastal yoga retreat (!!!), and other fun updates. There's a signup form below, and a spot in the sidebar at the right where you can always sign up.
Thanks, as always for being a part of Alive in the Fire! Namaste.
Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant and Tom Huynh.
Do you find it challenging to manage your expectations? How do you react when things don't turn out the way you hoped they would?
In her book Expectation Hangover, author and life coach Christine Hassler explores these questions and other ideas related to accepting disappointment, going through life transitions, and finding emotional healing. The book is filled with useful exercises, guided meditations and personal stories.
Today on the blog sponsored yogi Yani shares her review of the book :) Enjoy!
I'm a person that fills her time with the many things she obsesses about and is passionate about. I'm also a person that is really bad at slowing down to read, drink warm lemon water, and kind of just slowing the fuck down (though sometimes I do love to relax, be a homebody, and kick it). Another note about me, I have a hard time finishing an entire book through- unless I have absolutely nothing to do, and can get lost in a new world. I read it part by part, slowly. I tend to read when it's calling me; I don't like to force a good read.
Un-put-down-able. Adjective informal
1. (of a book) so engrossing that one cannot stop reading it.
This book channels the inner nature of the self, and is a stunning body of work. Many of the poems are excerpts from the work of practitioners all over the world and their words embody my inner most emotions, most strongly, love. Its much easier to express my profound love to others with the help of Mala Of Love.
So true, so inspiring, so deep.
Here are a few excerpts from the book, to give you a sense of how it reads.
An excerpt from page 42:
An excerpt from the book's introduction:
The diverse voices form a mala, or a garland of 108 prayer beads. Although identified with Eastern traditions, the mala has been increasingly accepted as a sacred tool in other parts of the world. All the beads of a mala are equal, complete in themselves, and yet related to one another. Each turning of the beads steadies and deepens a connection to the Supreme. On a practical level, this collection — like the mala — is an interactive tool allowing the reader to commune with love. We can read the poems aloud in the same way we might recite a mantra or a prayer with a mala. Consistent use helps foster a shift in our neural pathways, so that eventually we become that which we meditate on. We become love.
I'm grateful when I receive emails about new books that are coming out, or I have the chance to read them or share them with the Sponsored Yogis team.
We'll be sharing some book reviews soon, but first I just wanted to share this sweet quote from Yani. I emailed her to let her know to expect books in the mail, and this was her response...
My initial response, knowing that these books are on their way... instant gratitude.
I love personal growth books. I geek out. I often feel that they arrive in my life at the right time, and I will be reading them at the right moment.
I cannot wait to dig deep and allow this new information into my mind.
What a beautiful thought, right? Instant gratitude. And, an openness to receiving new information at the exact right time.
Just had to share that with you guys :)
I find my muscles are sore often, from teaching and practicing yoga.
Here are my top 3 remedies for relieving soreness after a big workout.
In asanas that tend to be slightly harder on the knees, like Ustrasana (camel pose) and Anjaneyasana (low lunge), this mat provides just the right amount of support and cushion to feel ease and comfort throughout the pose, even when held for long periods of time. The mat also provides stabilization and joint protection during asanas that require more stability, balance, and impact. At the same time, it won’t compromise the ability to feel stable and connected to the ground. Don’t just take my word for it, though.
I have recently furthered my meditation by practicing with my Manduka.
Today I'm excited to bring you a new Sponsored Yogis series all about inspired intentions.
We've found it can be quite powerful to bring in an intention or mantra early in the day, either during meditation or even just driving in the car.
Here are some lovely inspired intentions from our Sponsored Yogi team:
Trust the moment. Be patient with the moment. Everything shall unfold. I'm learning to take things easy and be patient, even while I have a full and busy schedule.
My intention is to stay positive: today I'm feeling a little in the dark and blue. I'm looking for inspiration and trusting that I'll find it.
My intention is to rest. To be gentle on myself. If there are moments where I find myself having unreasonable expectations or hearing the thought creep in that says, 'I'm not good enough,' I will shift my perspective and let that BS go! (PS My favorite-ever response when I told Yani and Kels about this intention was Yani's reply: "Sometimes warriors need to become little angels and slow down for a bit." So true!!)
What are your inspired intentions this week, yogis?
- She loves practicing Vinyasa and restorative yoga, especially outdoors in nature, as well as PiYo, to build strength and flexibility.
- She is currently in her second year of service with BHC AmeriCorps and often practices meditation and yoga with her mentees.
- Yani recently traveled to the Philippines and one of her goals is to complete a yoga teacher training in Thailand.
- She isn't afraid to be real and raw, and she believes that being vulnerable will help set us free.
- She practices Vinyasa, Hatha and Iyengar yoga in the Pacific Northwest.
- Her mission is to share knowledge, skills and tools to help others find their inward journey through yoga.
- Her yoga goals are to stay sharp and strong, to find clear focus, discipline and unwavering concentration.
- She's currently reading Light on Life by Iyengar :)
How has yoga changed your life?
Aside from a diet revise, friends, friends, friends and confidence, I'm optimistic now. In the past, I walked on the dark side...always assuming or expecting the worse. Yoga taught me the opposite, which is to trust. Visions of success and happiness are much more likely to manifest when we focus on positive possibilities instead of worse case scenarios.
Thank you, Kels, and welcome to Sponsored Yogis!
I could not be more proud of both of these lovely yoginis for their courage, confidence and the joyfulness they bring to the Alive in the Fire community. Already Yani and Kelsie have shown their dedication and enthusiasm, and we can't wait for all the awesome content that will be coming your way soon as part of the Sponsored Yogis program.
PS Please follow Yani (@yanivaldes_) and Kelsie (@yoga_by_kels) on their Instagram pages as well, and stay tuned for our upcoming Instagram challenge!