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Yoga

4 Physical and Psychological Health Benefits of Yoga

By Yoga, Yoga PracticeNo Comments

Ever notice how you feel after practicing yoga? You are probably feeling pretty emotionally centered and energized. Yoga helps us work with how emotions live in our bodies, how they affect our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors. Most of us are not fully aware of how our emotions are living in our bodies. We know we feel anxious, sad, frustrated, but we sometimes fail to understand where the feelings are coming from. Yoga and its practices – the asanas (postures), breathing, deep relaxation, and meditation all help to connect the link between body and mind. Yoga has been shown to enhance overall well-being through a sense of belonging and connection to self and others, as well as, to improve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Yoga has also been shown to have physical effects on the body, on a biological level, helping to increase the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate and calm the nervous system.

There’s a ton of research and articles on the internet for you to find on Yoga and its therapeutic benefits, which overwhelmingly conclude that Yoga and its practice yield beneficial effects on four key physical and psychological areas. These four key areas are supported and detailed by ongoing research conducted at Harvard University and Boston Medical school by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa and his colleagues. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa is a researcher in the field of body-mind medicine, specializing in yoga therapy.

1. Fitness

Yoga as a physical exercise can improve overall fitness, strengthening muscles, improve posture, breathing, flexibility, and coordination. When practiced regularly there’s an improved sense of self-efficacy in body movement and physical activity.

2. Self-Regulation

Yoga helps in teaching how to regulate emotions, regulate stress, and over time, and consistent practice helps to build resilience leading to equanimity in the face of strong emotions. This leads to an overall sense of psychological self-efficacy, mental stability and mood stability.

3. Awareness

Yoga teaches us how to focus our attention through its mediation and breathing components. This practice helps us to gain awareness of our body and our feelings as they live within our body. This leads to an understanding of mindfulness, being present and connected to the here and now, which increases concentration and productivity. With dedicated practice, there’s the development of meta-cognition, the ability to separate from oneself and step back from your thoughts. To see that you are not your thoughts, and that you have control over your thoughts, and that you can control your reactions to your thoughts.

4. Spirituality

Yoga has been shown to lead to transcendence, life-changing transformations over long-term practice due to arriving at unitive states of flow. Flow is being one with the Self, engaging with the world in a way that is aligned with who we are so that we experience positive emotions most of the time. This results in psychological change that includes new perspective and perception of life, meaning, and one’s purpose, for the better. This is what is meant by “Living my best life.”

One of my favorite mantras to meditate on, especially when dealing with anxious thoughts: “Thoughts are just visitors, let them come and go.”

These four areas are essential to one’s physical and psychological well-being; ideally, we want to be content in these areas. The more content and fufilled we are in these areas the happier we’ll feel with ourselves and in our lives. Yoga is a multi-component practice that includes – asanas (postures), breath work, deep relaxation, and meditation making it an ideal practice for improving overall well-being. Yoga practice works on both cognitive (mental) and somatic (body) components, making it beneficial to all four areas. Next time you are on the mat take notice, how do you feel?

 

 

Maribel Allaria is a psychotherapist who currently has her own private practice as a life coach, where she also offers restorative private yoga sessions. “I help people overcome challenges, improve their mindset and create a thriving winning psychology. My approach to healing is behavioral and I like to incorporate positive psychology techniques. I truly belief that mediation, mindfulness and yoga are fundamental in learning how to heal while living in today’s ever changing fast paced world. I started my own yoga journey 9 years ago, after the birth of my son left me with anxiety. After seeing a therapist I chose to use meditation, mindfulness and yoga as a path to heal myself. That path I chose has healed my anxiety, but most importantly it has become a way of life for me, one that keeps me living in the here and now, present to my current experiences and in touch with my authentic self. Mindfulness is about learning how to live in the space between the stimuli and the reaction, realizing that you can pause, observe and choose how to react, so that it is with intent and authentic of self. Yoga practice and teachings has been the mother of it all, incorporating meditation, mindfulness and the body and mind connection.”

Instagram: @maribelvallaria

http://maribelvallaria.com

 

A Beginner’s Guide To Yoga Props: 4 Essential Yoga Props

By Yoga, Yoga PracticeNo Comments

When I first started yoga, I viewed props as “crutches” to help me as a beginner and then leave behind as I developed my yoga skills. This idea was wrong in at least two ways. First, props aren’t crutches, but rather tools to help you deepen the pose and achieve proper alignment. Second, props can be used by any yogi, no matter the level of experience. This blog will outline four basic props and how to easily incorporate them into your practice. The good news is, these props can often be exchanged for common household items, allowing you to try them out in poses before spending money on the real deal.

1. Blocks

Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks can be used for balance and support in many poses. You can use books instead of blocks if you don’t have blocks at home. Make sure to play around with different heights to find the best one for you, it may vary depending on the pose.

When To Use Blocks

Any pose that makes you wish the floor would come to meet you halfway is a good pose to use a block. For example, in Triangle pose, place a block on the outside of your front leg and rest your bottom hand on the block. Try starting with the block at its tallest, then in time work on getting it to the middle, or lowest height before being able to reach the floor with your bottom hand. You can also use blocks to help with balance, such as placing a block under one or both hands for support in Warrior III if you are unable to balance with your arms outstretched in front of you.

Finally, you can use blocks as support under the back or legs. For example, under the sacrum in Bridge Pose, or under each leg in Cobbler’s Pose. Adding extra support allows the muscles to relax into the pose more easily. A few more of the many options for using blocks include: place under both hands in Camel Pose or Wide-Angle Forward Fold, use the lowest height under both hands in Upward Facing Dog to take strain off the wrists, use as a foot stand for balance in Eagle Pose, or place under your seat in Pigeon Pose. In my opinion, the block is the most versatile prop and is a great one to try for your first prop.

2. Pillows and Bolsters 

Yoga Props Essentials Beginners Blanket Bolster

Pillows And Bolsters

From small pillows to large bolsters, the extra cushioning is great for restorative poses, which are typically held for several minutes. As with blocks, you may need to try different sizes to find the best support in each pose.

When To Use Pillows and Bolsters

Pillows can provide extra cushion or space that can make many poses more accessible or more comfortable. In some poses, you may find you need more support from a bolster if your pillows are too flat or small. Place pillows or bolsters under each leg in Reclined Goddess Pose or Cobbler’s Pose. Place under your seat in Hero Pose or Pigeon Pose. Rest your legs on pillows in Reclined Supine Twist. Finally, using a pillow for its main purpose, as a pillow under your head in Legs up the Wall or Savasana.

3. Straps

Yoga Essentials Props Strap

Straps

Straps come in a wide variety of lengths and styles for purchase. At-home solutions include ties, scarves, or belts. Straps will help you deepen stretches without compromising the position of your back and can be used in many poses.

When To Use Straps

I love using straps for my tight hamstrings. In Seated Forward Fold, wrap a strap around the balls of your feet and hold one side of the strap in each hand; gently pull yourself toward your feet with the straps, keeping a straight back rather than hunching over to force the pose.

In Cow Face Pose, if you are unable to bind your arms behind your back, hold one end of the strap in each hand and slowly wrap the strap around your wrist to bring the hands closer together with time. Use a strap to modify King Pigeon or Dancer Pose by looping it around the front of your foot, just below the toes and holding the other end with your hands to slowly bring your bent leg closer.

4. Blankets

Yoga Props Essentials Beginners Guide Blanket

Blanket

A folded blanket is an easy prop to have on hand and can be used in more ways than you might think.

When To Use A Blanket

Use a folded blanket as support under the knees in any pose with the knee on the mat such as Low Lunge, Cat/Cow, or Gate Pose. A folded blanket under the wrists, with the wrists being higher than the fingertips, can reduce wrist pain. Use a folded blanket under the wrists in Upward Facing Dog, Downward Dog, Cat/Cow, or any pose where you put weight into the hands with your wrists at a 90-degree angle. A folded towel under your seat in Hero Pose or Child’s Pose will work if a pillow is unavailable or too large. Finally, use a blanket to be warm and cozy during savasana.

Find Other Props To Expand Your Practice

These are only four types of the many yoga props available. A quick search of the web will reveal that there are lots of other options you can use as needed. For example, sand bags, eye pillows, wheels, wedges, gripping gloves or socks, the list goes on. Whatever props you use, use them with confidence, and know that they are great tools to further your yoga practice rather than a sign of weakness.

 

 


Carly Williams, YogaRenew 200 HR Graduate

I am a full-time working mother and wife. I have been practicing yoga at home for many years. I started yoga because it can be done at home on my own schedule. I stuck with yoga because it benefits the mind as well as the body. I recently finished the 200-hr YTT program offered by YogaRenew. I am enrolled in a kids certification program as well, because my favorite person to practice yoga with is my four-year-old daughter. I’m eager to share yoga with anyone and everyone because it has had such a positive impact on my life, which is why I started my website. Visit muddywater.yoga if you’re interested in more articles.

 

 

 

5 Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain

By Yoga, Yoga PosesNo Comments

Yoga enthusiasts swear by their poses to maintain feeling open, strong, and stable in their bodies. But utilizing yoga to feel good in your body and relieve pain doesn’t necessarily require a regular practice. Once you learn what areas of your body need be to refreshed and renewed, you just have to find the right postures.

In this article we will dive into a few poses that are great to help relieve lower back pain. If you experience lower back pain you’re not alone – an estimated 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages, from adolescents to the elderly. The below yoga poses can be done at home with limited props and don’t require any previous yoga experience.

Its important to understand that back pain is not a universal experience and that those experiencing severe pain should seek insight from a professional physician, or physical therapist before attempting any poses that could potentially create further damage. As always, its important to focus on how a posture feels, and not on how it looks.

1. Child Pose

Child Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child pose is a relaxing way to elongate your spine and relieve stress. Even though your mind might be resting, this pose offers an active stretch that helps elongate your entire back. To try it, start in a table top position (on all fours) and then begin to push your hips back so that your seat ends up on, or close to, your feet. Reach your hands forward to add length to the sides of your torso and let your forehead rest on the floor or a blanket. If your seat doesn’t reach your feet, you can fold another blanket over your heels for some extra support.

Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths, allowing yourself to become heavier and softening towards the floor with each breath out. This is a great pose to practice before bed or even first thing in the morning to help center yourself for the day and stretch out your back after sleeping.

2. Cat and Cow Pose

Cat Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cow Pose Yoga Poses Lower Back Pain Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat and Cow are poses that provide both a rounding and an arch of your back, and they flow nicely from one to the other. This set of poses is perfect for an achy or sore back and will loosen your spine while also warming up the trunk of your body for any additional movement or workout.

Starting in all-fours position, move into Cow by letting your belly drop down, your tailbone lift, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your chest and head forward. Stay for the inhale. When ready to exhale, slowly round your spine up by pressing into your hands and release your neck so your gaze drops to your navel. Pause for a few seconds and then move back and forth from Cat to Cow. This helps position your spine into a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

Repeat 7-10 times, flowing smoothly from Cat into Cow, and Cow back into Cat.

3. Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Fold Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Standing Forward Bend, its important to note that in some instances of back injury this can hurt the back further. You should have flexibility in the hamstrings while attempting this pose – if there isn’t a good stretch coming from the hamstrings, or if the hamstrings are tight – you could create further injury to the lower back. You should also do your best to keep the spine lengthened and more straightened than rounded.

A standing forward bend stretches the hamstrings and lower back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders as well.

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft, not locked. On your exhale, fold at your hips – not the waist – and bend forward toward the floor. Don’t worry if your hands can’t reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. The neck should be relaxed with the top of the head facing the mat, and both neck and head in line with the spine to prevent injury. You can keep a soft bend in your knees to prevent any strain in the low back – bending forward with straightened legs together can compress the spine. If you have yoga blocks, place them under your hands for additional support. Stay for 3-5 cycles of breath and repeat as needed.

To exit the pose, bring your hands to your hips, bend the knees a bit and press yourself up to stand, but move slowly. Stand tall for 30 seconds and breathe fully into your belly and chest.

4. Supine Twist

Supine Twist Yoga Poses For Lower Back Pain Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinal twists can be the most dangerous for those with back injuries – however the easiest on the spine would be a supine twist. A gentle twist offers tension relief for the entire back, as well as the neck. Allowing gravity to help release the back also makes this pose ultra relaxing for the rest of your muscles and your mind.

Lay on your back and bring your arms to a T-shape or cactus shape on the floor. Allow your knees to come up and in towards your chest and then slowly lower both knees to the left until they come down to the floor. Keep your head neutral or feel free to look in the opposite direction of the bent knees. Your knees might have a little space between them – if so, grab a blanket or towel and pad up the space so that your legs feel supported. Try to keep your upper chest broad and allow gravity to keep your shoulders heavy to the floor. Inhale to find some length and use your exhale to allow the twist to deepen. 7-10 cycles of breath will bring a nice physical release as well as a mental one! To switch sides, pull your knees back to your chest, and repeat on the right side. (Hint: don’t try this after a big meal.)

5. Sphinx Pose
Sphinx Yoga Poses For Lower Back Relief

 

 

 

 

 

 

This backbend is a great pose to strengthen the back and also stimulate the natural curves of the spine, which we sometimes lose from sitting for too long. When we sit a lot, the lower back tends to move into a more flattened shape, which can cause pain and discomfort over time. Sphinx pose promotes the natural curvature of the lower back which aids in overall spine health.

Lay on your stomach with feet hip-width apart, and bring your elbows to the floor and rest them under your shoulders. If there is too much pressure on your lower back, bring your elbows slightly forward. If you would like a deeper or more intense bend, place a block under each elbow. Hold this pose for several breaths, feeling yourself get longer with your inhales and allowing the hips and legs to heavy on your exhale. To exit the pose, lower yourself onto the floor, turn one cheek to the side and gently allow your hips to rock side to side.

These are just a few poses to help your back feel healthy and spacious. Always take it slow and ease into postures in a safe way for your body. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition and exit the pose.

 


Morgan Gertler received her 200HR RYT certification in 2014 from highly esteemed Kripalu teachers and then continued her learning in 2017 by completing her 300HR RYT certification with teachers from Yogamaya and the Iyengar Institute in NYC. Morgan also completed her Yin Level 1 & 2 trainings and loves being able to teach both sides, the yin & yang, of the yoga practice. Morgan views yoga as a vehicle to get back to yourself – through movement and breath-work, we learn how to live a more authentically happy & content life and meet all situations with confidence. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Morgan can be found writing, walking around town with her two dogs, Jagger and Bowie or browsing Sephora for more make up she doesn’t need.

 

50 Yoga Quotes to Inspire Your Practice

By Yoga, Yoga LifestyleNo Comments

The power of language can help to elevate us mentally, or emotionally and propel us between the gap of where we are and where we’re looking to go spiritually. There are many powerful quotes that can help build this bridge. Here, we’ve compiled a list of quotes for you to pull from – not just as a source of personal inspiration but also as a potential tool for you to utilize in the classroom as a yoga teacher.

1. A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves. -Terri Guillemets
2. Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame. -B.K.S. Iyengar
3. Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you. -Amit Ray
4. That’s why it’s called a practice. We have to practice a practice if it is to be of value. -Allan Lokos
5. Silence is not silent. Silence speaks. It speaks most eloquently. Silence is not still. Silence leads. It leads most perfectly. -Sri Chinmoy
6. Yoga does not always cure stress. It neutralizes it through increasing awareness and by changing self-perception. -Debasish Mridha
7. It isn’t arrogant or egotistical to feel good inside. You had nothing to do with it. It’s simply the honest response to clearly perceived reality. -Erich Schiffman
8. The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body. -Jason Crandell
9. Yoga begins right where I am – not where I was yesterday or where I long to be. -Linda Sparrow
10. Yoga is not a work-out, its a work-in – and this is the point of spiritual practice, to make us teachable; to open up our hearts and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are. -Rolf Gates
11. What yoga philosophy and all the great Buddhist teachings tells us is that solidity is a creation of the ordinary mind and that there never was anything permanent to begin with that we could hold on to. Life would be much easier and substantially less painful if we lived with the knowledge of impermanence as the only constant. -Donna Farhi
12. The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness. -Sakyong Mipham
13. The mind is everything. What you think, you become. -Buddha
14. There will always be people who can do it better than you, but thats a good thing! Start to see competition as inspiration – without envy. -Kathryn Budig
15. Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. -The Bhagavad Gita
16. Go from a human being doing yoga to a human being yoga. -Baron Baptiste
17. Yoga is not about touching your toes, its about what you learn on the way down. -Jigar Gor
18. True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. -Aadil Palkhivala
19. Yoga begins with listening. When we listen, we are giving space to what is. -Richard Freeman
20. Remember, it doesn’t matter how deep into a posture you go – what does matter is who you are when you get there. -Max Strom
21. When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. -Patanjali (Yoga Sutras)
22. Body is not stiff, mind is stiff. -Sri K. Jois
23. We have never arrived. We are in a constant state of becoming. -Bob Dylan
24. The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough. -Amy Weintraub
25. In truth, yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time. -Ganga White
26. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible. -Bob Harper
27. Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself. -T.K.V. Desikachar
28. Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements – Amit Ray
29. By our stumbling the world is perfected. -Sri Aurobindo
30. Yoga is about remembering that we are already one with the divinity and we’ve never left it. -Sri K. Jois
31. If you have time to breathe, you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down. -Ajahn Amaro
32. Yoga is the bringing together of that which was never separate. -Richard Miller
33. When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. -Hatha Yoga Pradipik
34. If its weren’t for my mind, my meditate would be excellent -Ani Pema Chodron
35. Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny. -Upanishads
36. Before you’ve practiced, the theory is useless. After you’ve practiced, the theory is obvious. -David Williams
37. Peace comes from with-in, do not seek it without. -Anonymous
38. Remember that sometimes, not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. -Dalai Lama
39. The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind. -Rodney Yee
40. What I’m looking for is not out there; it is in me. -Helen Keller
41. You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. -Sharon Gannon
42. What we want out of yoga is ourselves, not something better than ourselves. -Douglas Brooks
43. The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind. -Rodney Yee
44. Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. -B.K.S. Iyengar
45. What yoga philosophy and all the great Buddhist teachings tells us is that solidity is a creation of the ordinary mind and that there never was anything permanent to begin with that we could hold on to. Life would be much easier and substantially less painful if we lived with the knowledge of impermanence as the only constant. -Donna Farhi
46. You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside –Wayne Dyer
47. When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world -B.K.S. Iyengar
48. If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished? –Rumi
49. Yoga is the art work of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul. –Amit Ray
50. Beyond meditation there is the experience of now. -Ryan Parenti

9 Great Health Benefits of Yoga

By Yoga, Yoga PracticeNo Comments

As yoga’s popularity rises, the health benefits of yoga have become widely understood and accepted throughout medical communities on a global scale. Doctors and scientists have found that yoga is a great cure all for everything from heart health to mind health and even sinus relief.

The more you understand about how yoga can help your students in different ways, the better you can create value for yourself as a yoga instructor. Understanding the health benefits of yoga is an important part of providing a fulfilling and rewarding service to your students. Below we help to break down 9 different health benefits of yoga.

1. Heart

The American Heart Association actually has a fairly thorough recommendation surrounding yoga and its health benefits on the heart. On their site, here they say that “yoga can help lower blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve respiratory function & heart rate, and boost circulation and muscle tone.” Yoga is a unique exercise because it combines deep breathing, physical exercise, and meditation. All of the these combined, help to reduce our stress levels ultimately helping our heart health to improve. The physical aspect of yoga helps also helps to strengthen our hearts.

2. Sleep

There’s a few different ways that yoga can have a positive impact on sleep. Physical exertion from a healthy yoga practice can help your body seek out rest. When we practice yoga and meditation, it lowers cortisol levels from stress in the body. This in turn, helps our sleep improve. Yoga and meditation helps to quiet the mind’s chatter, also helping us to sleep better. Another way yoga can help you get to sleep better is through breath practice. Breath is an important part of yoga, and as many experts have noted; slow breathing patterns can help to relax the body and help you get to sleep faster.

3. Relieve Back Pain

The “Annals of Internal Medicine” published results from a 3 year study that found a weekly yoga class helped to increase mobility more than traditional treatment for chronic or recurring back pain. There are many other studies with similar results published online – its fair to say that yoga can certainly be an effective method of relief for people suffering from back pain. Yoga helps to strengthen key muscle groups in the back and also stretch them at the same time. It also helps us to maintain proper posture to protect and strengthen our spines.

4. Muscle Tone

As you are putting yourself into different yoga poses, you are using your muscles to support the weight of your body. This is essentially doing body weight training to help tone and tighten our muscles. Power yoga or cardio type yoga classes that focus on high energy yoga poses really help to strengthen and target key muscle groups for toning up.

5. Flexibility

As your body becomes more flexible through yoga practice, that flexibility is actually leads to a list of other health benefits. More flexible muscles can help to prevent injuries and leads to better back health. As our muscles stretch, also help to provide better blood flow and more effective delivery of different nutrients to our tissues.

6. Respiratory

Before famous middle distance runner, Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes, it was thought humanly impossible to accomplish it. After Roger Bannister did it, several other people shortly after were able to accomplish this incredible feat. How did Roger pave the way? With his breathing. Breath is an important part of exercise, and even more important part of yoga practice. Yoga promotes a heavy focus on breathing as a way to control the body and body. By enhancing our respiratory system, we begin to improve the the overall health of our bodies, including the brain, heart, and digestive systems.

7. Mind

More than ever we are learning how mental health and physical health are inseparably linked to one another. There is a compelling article here on newsweek that discusses how yoga can help several different mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, and psychiatric disorders. Ultimately, yoga provides a multi prong approach to quieting the mind through meditation and breathing.

8. Sinus Relief

There’s a great breakdown in the Huffington Post that addresses how yoga can cure sinus pain. In the article, the author breaks down the many different contributing factors to their sinus pain relief such as how inverted poses can help to clear sinus blockage, deep breathing contributes to an increased flow of oxygen. It also explains how our sweat can help to reduce different toxins within the body and how the endorphins from exercise can help to alleviate pressure in our sinuses.

9. Immune System

One of the best health benefits of yoga is an over all boost to your immune system. As we discussed earlier, yoga can help to strengthen your respiratory system. Our white blood cells are critical in helping to fight off colds and other infections. When we work to improve our respiratory function, our blood flow also improves. The improved blood flow becomes a delivery mechanism for this important internal defense. Also, yoga can reduce mental stress which is widely known to reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems.

6 Creative Places To Teach Yoga

By Yoga, Yoga TeachersNo Comments

As yoga has become more mainstream, cities across the world have been flooded with yoga studios of all sorts. However there are certainly still people today who have limited access to yoga studios and still have a desire to continue expanding on their existing practice. Maybe you’re looking to start teaching, but don’t have the resources to open your own studio? Or perhaps you live in a rural area without a nearby yoga studio? Or you might live in a smaller town without any openings at your local studio for new teachers. Today we’ll look at some alternative creative ways you can build a classroom outside of a yoga studio.

1. Clubs or Community Centers

Humans are social by nature, and it’s no surprise that every city has tons of clubs and community centers to choose from. Schools, churches, social clubs, sports clubs, event based groups – all of these are potential resources for you to offer your yoga classes to. You could reach out to the person who manages the club or organization and pitch them the idea of setting up weekly yoga classes with their members.

2. Outdoor Yoga

Outdoors is a great place to practice! People love being outside, especially when the weather is nice so this is another great way to attract people to yoga. You could find a local park, beach, or any other open outdoor area to use as your outdoor yoga classroom. Invite friends or advertise online through social media, blogs, or outdoor flyers to attract students to your outdoor yoga session! This is a great opportunity to spend some time outdoors in nature.

3. Fitness Centers

If there isn’t a yoga studio nearby, or you can’t find open teaching opportunities – another option is a fitness center or gym. There are lots of fitness centers that build classes around specific time frames including early morning, afternoon, late afternoon, and evening. Fitness studios and gyms are great opportunities to teach to a bigger audience because you’ll often get people who are completely brand new to yoga. This is another great way for you to help spread your knowledge about yoga and expand your student base.

4. School Gymnasiums

One consistent you’ll be able to find within any community is a school! Contact your local schools to see if they would be interested in having a yoga instructor come teach during gym sessions or even during class. You can market it as something great for the community and to also help improve their students’ overall well-being.

5. Online

It is a different dynamic dealing with people online than it is in person of course, but the internet has provided a great tool for people all over the world to connect with one another! It can be a great place for you to teach and connect with new students. By providing an outlet to reach a bigger audience, you could even expand your teachings to students around the globe.

6. Corporate

You can help people relieve work stress through workplace yoga! Workplace yoga is a growing trend around the world as companies are becoming more mindful about corporate wellness for their employees. You could offer lunchtime or afternoon classes or even a workshop about yoga and meditation at the workplace. The office can be a fantastic place for you to share your gift of yoga knowledge to others.