It’s out and hopefully landing in a dvd player near me… hear that hubby- I mean, Santy Clause!?!
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It’s out and hopefully landing in a dvd player near me… hear that hubby- I mean, Santy Clause!?!
In time for Christmas, I turn to the the OM-nipresent, the OM-nicient, the OM-nipotent and the ever OM-nificent… to guide me through the minefield that is holiday shopping. And, in case there’s some confusion to whom I might be referring, let me be clear… I’m talking about Google, of course… the arbiter of all things… all things.
Where I, in my Mommy-OM-ness would trend towards the yogic in my gift-giving preferences, it seems that Google is telling me otherwise. According to an article in Canada’s National Post, when it comes to most searched items this year, “yoga” is lucky to squeak into the top ten as Google Zeitgeist, the empire’s trend-tracker tells us that “hula hoop exercise” emerged at number two… second only to P90X exercise program (been there, done that… not for wimps… and sure, feel free to call me a wimp!)
Despite some growth, such as Lululemon, the Vancouver-based clothing giant, with its annual revenue increase by roughly 30% from 2008 to 2009, these recessionary times are sending us looking for less expensive means to our physical fitness and fat-burning ends. And, if you can resist the attempts to cash in on this trend, with companies offering all flavours of hula induced spending from hoops encrusted with fat burning marbles to full service hula fitness kits, you still only pay about $5 bucks for this not-so-modern marvel. And, hey, anyone can do it!
You’ll also do your part to support what might appear as something of a yoga backlash:
Is yoga now on a downward trend? Or has the uber-trendy exercise suffered some sort of backlash due to expensive studio classes or, as Antonia Richmond says in a 2006 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, a growing sense of insecurity from the non-yoga inclined masses:
“These are the yoga people. And they’re better than you…They don’t have the haggard appearance or sensitivity to bright sunlight that I do as I stumble down the street in search of coffee. They appear to … glow.”
Yoga-hater and creator of New York clothing company “It’s a Sickness”, Barnaby Harris went so far as to create an entire f— yoga clothing line.
Harris elegantly summed up the history of the ubiquitous trend, saying:
“Yoga has survived for thousands of years and will survive for thousands more. It’s just that it has gone unopposed for too damn long.”
Back from Thanksgiving and, Idon’t know about you, but I’m finding the need for balance, in diet- navigating my way from abundant meat and cheese (until Christmas, creamy fondue and Calabrese salami!) and back to hot rice cereal, greens and lean protien… and practice! Whew! Moving on in the series we find ourselves moving from grasping our toe as though for dear life long, extended and upright, into Dekasana, or Airplane Pose… I’m guessing (cuz I don’t really know) a modern, 20th century evolution of Virabhadrasana III, or Warrior III. Regardless, a welcome relief from the intensity of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, or Extended Hand-to-Toe! From the extended leg, hand-to- toe, the leg is brought forward briefly yet again where the toe is released, controlled of course, not dropped… the hands grasp the hips and that extended leg is lightly, strongly extended forward from the hip. Alternatively, that leg can be supported by the hands, fingers intertwined below the hamstring- my preference, in fact. more »
Just when you thought all was well with the world… you’ve successfully unwound yourself out of Eagle and with a long, delightful exhale are ready to take it down a notch.
The series continues, long and extended, as we head into a remarkably high energy posture, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, or Extended Hand-to-Toe, requiring strength along with steadiness and focus. The good news is that for beginners, or if the day- and the joints- say, “let’s just not” there is a lovely modification that still fosters knowledge and understanding on one leg, but offers a little break in the intensity.
To modify, rather than grasping the big toe and extending the leg, merely keep the knee bent. Keep the hands on the hips and hold the knee forward for five breaths, foot flexed and supporting foot grounded into the floor to maintain the stable foundation.
After five breaths, keeping the knee bent, move the knee to the side of the body and hold. If you’d like to intensify this a little, challenging the balance, turn the head to settle the gaze on the opposite wall to the bent leg. After five breaths bring the bent leg back to the front, with hands still on hips, hips square, extend the leg forward and hold at whichever height your leg and hip allow for a breath or two before releasing to the floor to switch sides.
If you’d like a little more challenge, actually working towards extending the leg and maintaining that extension, consider using a chair on which to support that leg for the five breaths. Props are always strongly encouraged!
As with all of the balancing postures, this provides wonderful strengthening and lengthening in the supporting leg, and certainly that which is extended should you take it in that direction. As always, here’s a little more info…
Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.
Maybe it’s autumn, maybe it’s my current serene state of mind, fair & balanced, but I’m all about incorporating the Balancing Series into my practice these days.
So, if you’re looking to cultivate strength, balance and open-ness… look no further! The Balancing Series provides you with a well-rounded and challenging set of postures to help you achieve all three!
It’s a personal favourite of mine, and one that I look forward to as I’m sweating through the warrior series in anticipation of the sweet serenity and focused stillness of standing on one foot.
I know it may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Balancing postures, while providing a beautiful payoff, require a heck of a lot in return. Passive it ain’t. You will work… your. butt. off! Heh heh.
But, truly, the balancing postures embody the foundations of yoga and are so worth getting to know better despite the degree of physical endurance. The rewards extend, literally, from head to toe and I encourage you to incorporate it, in part or in full, regularly into any practice.
Combined with some form of cardio, yoga is without a doubt and effective choice if you are interested in an alternative to conventional strength training. I, for one, have never been very good at sticking with a routine of dumbbells and free weights.
If you are looking for a great routine to target the ‘guns’, toning and developing strength in one sha-bang, check out the video below. Sure, I know that the lovely Miyuki Fox is a model. Yes, I’m aware that for whatever reason she has about 7 percent body fat, tops. And OK, so in all likelihood the girl is eight feet tall. So… I guess I have to admit, those facts alone set her apart from the rest of us in her ability to show off miles of bicep-ial sinew with little to no effort… but please, keep an open mind. Take a gander… even better, give it a go.
I’m willing to bet, that model or no model, you’ll feel it… and maybe, with a little consistency, you too might be boasting model worthy ‘guns’… OK, perhaps not model worthy, but perhaps a little less chicken wing worthy. How ’bout that?!
Folksy, rockin’, funky and fun, Come Play Yoga! features an eclectic mix of musical styles, including rock, reggae, disco, country, new age, and rhythmic chanting.
Kids can practice yoga along with popular songs from the popular classes at Karma Kids Yoga, or they can just chill out and enjoy the yoga groove. Each track playfully aims to inspire confidence, strength, imagination, and inner-peace, as well as bring a smile to your child’s yoga practice.
The beautiful woman, often balancing precariously on a rock overlooking the sea. Known as much for her long, black hair and flowers strewn about her head, as for her peaceful, picturesque locales.
Who better to inspire our little ones?
In Wai Lana’s Little Yogis™
Fun Exercise Book, how far can a grasshopper jump? Where does oxygen come from?
With the Fun Exercise book, your kids will learn, laugh, and experience the wonderful benefits of yoga’s most playful poses. The whole family will love the hilarious characters, charming illustrations, and fun-filled activities.
Filled with secret waterfalls, pink elephants, silly monkeys, and rainbow butterflies, Wai Lana’s Fun Exercise captures the imagination while helping your kids grow strong, flexible, and focused.
It’s the perfect companion to her Little Yogis™ DVDs and CDs.
If you’d like it all-in-one, check out the full Fun Exercise Kit: Wai Lana’s Little Yogis.
• All kinds of fun exercises for strong bodies and sound minds
• Educational and entertaining
• Stimulates physical, mental, and emotional development
• 64 colorful pages, 11”x8”, hardbound
It was a lovely practice today. Short but lovely. Only half an hour as girl-child was left on the computer… please don’t judge. Ahem.
Anyways, this posture is near heaven for me. It’s a posture in which I can remain for days… or at least, many, many moments. I love looking down my abdomen, torso straight and strong not to mention the power in my thighs. Oh, my thighs. I just love the delicious tension in this pose… feeling the work in my core… and my dear bottom!
It’s a beautiful, strong posture and is known to offer many benefits, not the least of which is rejuvenating tired legs (the thighs, remember?!), as well as stretching the chest, neck, and spine and stimulating abdominal organs. Additionally it’s said to improve digestion and aid in the discomfort of menstruation.
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to happen alone in a room, in full lotus, body silent and still.
No, in fact sometimes the most satisfying meditations happen on your feet, outdoors and covering ground. Certainly, by now, we are all aware of the benefits of walking. It has been the foundation to many a weight loss program as it’s inexpensive, outside of a good pair of shoes, it can be done anywhere and anyone can do it. But can we truly achieve a meditative state by doing it?
Many of us already enjoy walking for some meditative benefits already. Communing with nature, enjoying fresh air and clearing one’s head, all wonderful aspects to a low-intensity, heart pumping activity that can be done right outside your door.
Up until about two years ago, I walked as I run, not to the beat of my heart or to the sounds of the surrounding outdoors, but to the ear-splitting tunes filling my head. I will likely always need music to help move and motivate me through a run, but it only took one walk without my earbuds to convert me to the centring, perspective gathering benefits of a brisk walk in peace and quiet rather than a brisk walk, thoughts and mind overwhelmed by the intense beat of drums and base.