Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Restful Slumber

You missed yoga class today (WHAT...omg!) and are feeling like you can (should) fit in a yoga practice before bed? My suggestions: wait until the next morning.
Instead, try this easy relaxation exercise before bed to ensure you drift off into a restful slumber.

1. Lie on your back, close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. Empty your mind completely of thoughts and concerns.
2. Establish your energy centre just below your naval. Begin to breathe into this area.
3. Focus on gentle, full and deep breathing.
4. Begin to feel your entire body relaxing.
5. Count down from 10 to 1. As you count nears 1 your body becomes more and more relaxed.
6. Repeat, "I will have a restful sleep and wake up feeling energized."
7. Continue your gentle, unforced breath until you fall asleep.

Sweet Dreams,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yoga for Athletes

Eddie Goege, American Football Running Back

Many athletes are amazed at how difficult yoga is. In other words: yoga kicks your butt! While attending a yoga class, you find your body shaking and sweating in what appear to be even the simplest posture. This is because years of intense training in competitive sports has traumatized your body. Sports are one-dimensional. Their movements stress the same muscle groups, tendons, ligaments and bones in the same linear fashion over and over and over again.

The reason yoga is such an effective tool for improved athletic conditioning, is because it is multi-dimensional. Both mind and body are utilized. Yoga steers the physical body through every possible dimension and range of motion, while the mind remains present, absolute and composed.

With yoga, our thoughts come to a standstill while we listen to what our bodies say. We develop an open and wholehearted awareness to what our bodies tell us, creating a grounded, uniformed and balanced approach to health and fitness.

Yoga and sports carry similarities and differences. Sports decimate and bulldoze your body, yoga exhilarate and bring new life to it. Sports arouse and propel the sympathetic nervous system, yoga animates the parasympathetic nervous system. Sports stiffen, contract and strain the muscles and tissues in your body, yoga unlocks and liberates your body's muscular system, developing expansion, elasticity and openness. Athletic breath is accelerated and external whereas, breath work in yoga is unhurried, bottomless and relaxed. The mentality of an athlete is overexcited and unsound, but the mentality of a yogi is quiet, tranquil, and at peace. Ultimately, sports deteriorate, while yoga invigorates.

Some tips for athletes before beginning yoga. First, expect results to come slowly. Progress in yoga takes time with many ups and downs. Second, seek the advice and training of a yoga teacher you trust and feel connected to. Lastly, relax, smile and enjoy the ride....
Ref. "Impact Magazine".05/09.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"To yoga or not to yoga,...."

That is the question. For me, someone who has practiced yoga religiously for 9 years, the answer is quite simple......YES! For others, however, the decision to try yoga may not come so easily. Let me guide you through some benefits of yoga, and perhaps your "Maybe I will try yoga," will change to, "YES! I would LOVE to try YOGA!"


*Increased Flexibility – Yoga uses postures to aid in the lengthening of various joints of the body including joints that are rally exercised on a day to day basis.

*Increased lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons.

*Massaging of internal organs in the body – Yoga is one of the only activities which wholesomely stimulates and massages all internal glands and organs in the body including the liver, kidneys and spleen.

*Complete Detoxification – By stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures optimum blood supply to various parts of the body. This internal action flushes out toxins from our system while providing nourishment and bliss. Yoga detoxification leads to: delayed aging, increased energy and a remarkable zest for life!

*Excellent toning of the muscles – Muscles that have become flaccid, weak or slow are stimulated repeatedly through yoga to shed excess flab and flaccidity.

Is that enough??? Say YES to YOGA today!
Have a beautiful day

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Types of Yoga

I have compriesed a list of 6 different types of yoga that have gained popularity and praise in the West over the past 30 years.

Bikram Yoga
A series of 26 postures conducted over 90 minutes in a heated room, beginning with one warming up breathing exercise, progressing through 24 asanas and finishing with one toxin eliminating breathing posture.

Ashtanga Yoga
Vigorous and fast-paced. Builds flexibility, strength, concentration and stamina. Move quickly through each series focusing o deep ujiya breathing.

Kundalini Yoga
Use of poses, deep breathing, various breathing techniques, chanting and meditation.

Iyengar Yoga
Precise poses using benches, ropes, mats, blocks, and chairs. Emphasis on holding the postures.

Power Yoga
Very fast form of yoga that improves flexibility and stamina by completing poses. Vigorous workout to purify and strengthen the body.

Yin Yoga
Holding poses (12-15 min) to open deep connective tissues and super ficial yang tissues of muscle and skin. Deep, dense and rarely touched areas are opened.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How do they DO that?

Many people have heard of yoga through word of mouth, the media and advertising. They see beautiful beings gracefully holding their bodies in what seem like strange or sometimes awkward postures.

You may find yourself asking questions:

How do they do that?
Can my body do that?
How is this beneficial for me?

Questioning yoga is good. It means your mind is actively accessing the situation and associating your body to an image of a better you.

Investigation is a good start. Participating is better. Try yoga out. Drop in on a class. Enroll with a studio. Experiment with your body and experience yoga.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yoga at Home

If you feel your time is limited but desire to try yoga, why not buy a yoga dvd and check it out for yourself at home. You would be surprised at how many wonderful yoga dvds/cd are around. You can even take them out at your local library. Some of my favorites include:

"Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class," audio CD with Bikram Choudhury.*
"Yoga Journal's YOGA for Strength and Energy," with Rodney Yee.
"Vinyasa Flow Yoga. The Body and Beyond," with Seane Corn.
"Fluid Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga," with Shiva Rea.

These dvds/cd are intermediate, so I recommend finding a yoga teacher to help in your process of opening up and exploring your body's true potential through yoga.

Have a great day!

*Important to practise in a heated room.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3 books on the go...

I am reading 3 books at the moment, fascinating and instrumental for personal growth, reflection and awareness.

"Warrior of The Light' A Manual", by Paulo Coelho.
"A New Earth. Awakening to Your Life's Purpose", by Eckhart Tolle.
"Emmanuuel's Book", Compiled by Pat Rodgegast and Judith Stanton.

Contemplation and examination of our world. How and where each of us fit in and create "aliveness" in our hearts and souls.

What are you reading?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Welcome to Yoga Valley!

The time has arrived for all boys and girls of the world, young and old, rich and poor, big and small to explore what yoga can do for you!

Delicious surprises and sensations are at the door step of your life.

All you have to do is try and ENJOY!

Yoga Valley welcomes you.