Similarly, in camel pose (below), you push forward with your legs, hips and glutes so that your low back doesn't feel the full pressure of the upper half of the body bending over.
Keep in mind, too, that your low back should feel long throughout the posture.
Begin to approach each backbend with curiosity and patience. Apply your yogic skill of observation and watch your energy as it moves during the pose. How do you feel after a backbend? Are you more awake and alert?
Can you encourage yourself to try holding a pose for 10-15 seconds instead of 5? Remind yourself that you are opening your heart to greater compassion and deeper love by the simple act of bending back.
Gradually work your way in using the breath, and try to allow yourself to enjoy the backbend. Before you know it, you'll be craving them on a daily basis.
- 1 zucchini, cut in thin slices
- 1 eggplant , cut in thin slices
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon
- 2 bunches mint leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro/coriander
- 3 tbsp raisins
- 2 avocados, cut into 1 inch squares
- 4 small spring onions, chopped
- 1 cup almonds, divided in half, roasted and salted
Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves, half of the cilantro and all the raisins, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed. Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the roasted almonds.
Coconut Berry Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- 1 frozen banana
- a big chunk fresh ginger, minced
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes
- a handful of walnuts
Yoga is extremely beneficial to cancer patients because it can offset many of the negative symptoms related to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer patients often must undergo these extremely debilitating treatments, causing them to suffer fatigue and nausea. A mild yoga program, however, helps to relieve nausea, which many patients’ find unbearable, and as well as helping to maintain patients’ energy. While many report still feeling fatigued, it is often to a much lesser degree if they are practicing yoga.
Yoga also has been proven to increase the number of red blood cells in the body. This is particularly important for cancer patients and regular yoga practice also increases the circulation of oxygen carrying blood cells throughout the body. Adequate oxygen supplies are of paramount in working to heal a cancerous body. The improved circulation and increased red blood cells from yoga help the body heal and keep the immune system in good working shape.
For more reading about how yoga helps cancer patients, check out this post or read more by Trevor here.
Or you can learn from a Bikram teacher who says yoga saved her life.
You can also check out reflections on practicing with pain or learning to cultivate compassion with your yoga.
To enter, leave a comment below with which video from Gaiam TV you'd try first. Click any of the covers above for ideas on what to watch.
For an extra entry, "like" Gaiam TV on Facebook and leave another comment here saying that you've added them. Open til Friday 12/23.
Their website is easy to navigate and they offer the chance to download videos to various devices so you can bring your yoga with you.
Not to mention you can try their subscription totally free for 10 days before you sign up! And stay tuned: next week on Alive in the Fire, I'll be offering a giveaway for a 3-month trial of Gaiam TV.
Gaiam TV is the perfect solution: you've got lots of options, but they all fall within the health and wellness category you know you love.
I recently tried out Gaiam TV and I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. I opted to try a few yoga videos in new styles to mix up my routine (Rodney Yee and Seane Corne, you rock), and then I got even more daring: I opted for the Jillian Michaels "Ripped in 30" workout.
Now there's a woman after my Bikram-loving heart :)
Throughout the video, I sweated, strengthened new muscles, and was inspired to push harder even when the exercises were challenging. I was also able to convince my sister to try the video, and share her thoughts. Here's what Laura of Fighting Spirit Fitness has to say about the workout:
Jillian Michaels does a wonderful job in her video "Ripped in 30," to give the average couch potato like you and me a good workout and place to start. I did her workout yesterday and was sweating myself even though I'm a personal trainer. Even if you can't do all the advanced moves, she gives you alternative modifications, which is very important when training clients.
She has a very effective way of combining cardio movements with weight training using light dumbbells. I also use similar methods in my clients workouts because it produces the most fat burn. By combining more intensity in a shorter period of time, along with shunting blood to the upper and lower body (by a lot of getting up and down), a person can get a great cardio workout along with strength training at the same time; this allows for maximum fat burn!
Jillian also allows people room to improve in the 30 days, which is great because as you get stronger, you can increase the difficulty of the exercises. Most people don't have an hour to spend working out a day, but this is a great time efficient way to get strong and lean. Thanks for sharing, Jillian. You continue to inspire me to new heights and give it my all!
Pretty awesome, right? I may have to continue with the program and see what the results are like after a month of getting ripped!
At the end of the video, Jillian says something that rang true with my yogi self:
So whether you're completely new to yoga or establishing a workout routine for yourself, or you're an advanced student who wants to expand into new territory, a resource like Gaiam TV can give you the chance to change yourself for the better. Here and now, in the moment.
Be good to yourself. Work out. Do yoga. And hey, while you're at it... try some Gaiam TV!
Regulators have announced that "yoga poses such as head-to-knee stretches and the sequences of the moves are 'exercises' rather than 'choreography' and can’t be copyrighted in the United States."
I guess this means NYC yogis will be able to take their $8 hot yoga class after all.
For further reading, check out:
- More about the lawsuit case results
- Reactions on Facebook got heated last week!
- NY Mag's reaction to the lawsuit
- An article by The Economist on Bikram's litigious behavior
What do you guys think?
It all begins with the conditioning of your mind that you are ready to thread the way of clean living, of life that is pointing to your holistic development as an individual capable of doing anything. Synergize your body with the various poses and the breathing techniques and you will find inner peace to focus on things. Learn the discipline that will free you from the vices that you have grown accustomed with and be enlightened to the path of holistic growth.
The journey will progress to your body’s needs for exercise. As you are getting accustomed to the different poses and the breathing techniques required, you will get the conditioning you need to fully merge your mind and body. Let this experience take you to the next stage, which is the tapping of your spirit. As you are able to gain control over your body and mind, you will be able to connect with your spiritual well being. This will then open your path to the way of ultimate freedom; freedom from any distractions, from stress, vices and other bodily sufferings.
Yoga doesn’t just stop with these three phases as it is a continuous journey of development. Just like the insatiable needs of us humans, yoga also goes on and on and you can still feed your body, mind and spirit by turning the negative things around you into something positive.
Find your inner self by merging your body, mind and spirit. In this continuous action, you will see happiness and contentment even in the smallest things. With this newly found happiness you will learn how to accept others for what and who they are thus in the process you will not just cultivate inner peace but also peace within the confine of others. Yoga seeks the truth while developing you as a complete person.