It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Fighting COVID-19 Anxiety With Yoga as Society Reopens

Many people are chomping at the bit for society to reopen. However, if you are among those with an autoimmune condition or another disorder and run a high risk of complications from infection, you might have valid fears.

The stress doesn’t benefit your overall health and may put you at risk of a painful flare. What can you do to tame your tension? Here’s how to fight COVID-19 anxiety with yoga as society reopens.

1. Tune Out Instead of Turning Into the News

Often, people exacerbate their anxiety by spending too much time on social media or watching the news. While you want to be informed, the chances are that you won’t miss any breaking developments if you silence your phone alerts and turn off CNN.

Yoga offers you the ideal alternative. You can find tons of free videos on YouTube, and you can watch and follow along on the big screen if you have a smart TV or a streaming device. Make a brief workout — you can find those as short as five minutes — an alternative way to unwind from your workday instead of flipping to the latest broadcast.

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Are You Saying “Yes” to Celebrating Life?

Celebration is our natural state, yet sometimes we forget or that knowingness gets buried in the day-to-day of what we call “life.”

Perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way, because when you show up on a yoga mat (or in a chair), you are showing up for life in a celebratory way.

Humor me a moment before you run away at the mention of the word yoga. Whether you’ve never set foot on a yoga mat, have limited mobility, or have been doing yoga for decades, almost everyone, including you, can practice BodyAwake® Yoga.

Yes, it is a yoga practice, but it’s not simply moving the body into positions (asana or poses). It’s about the invisible. It’s about…

  • Intention and where you focus it 
  • Breath and sensing the invisible energy that is You  
  • Expanding by consciously meeting the contracted places 
  • Training the mind to serve the heart 
  • Anchoring the Soulful Self in the core of the body 

Which is what “life” here on Earth is about. It’s about finding and fully revealing the True Self, here.

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How to Start an At-Home Yoga Practice

What a bright day it is for several postures!

Many people perceived fitness to be all physical as that was the only way it was understood to be. On the contrary, being fit involves lifting weights or doing cardio, but your diet plays a massive role in the overall results. The introduction of meditation and mindfulness through yoga has made it possible for many people to practice fitness with a different approach. So before we get the details on how you can begin home yoga practice, let’s get the basics.

  • Yoga Practice

Yoga is a combination of spiritual, physical, and mental disciplines and practices that trace their origin to ancient India. It’s among the six orthodox philosophical schools of Hinduism. Yoga is broad, and the patterns are shared within Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. However, the schools, goals, and practices differ in all three beliefs. In these modern times, and precisely in the Western world, people practice modern hatha yoga and yoga exercises done in the form of asanas or postures.

  • Benefits and Importance of Yoga Practice

The practice of yoga is packed with a lot of benefits. This is probably why many people out there prefer it to the regular gym sessions of lifting weights. Some of the general benefits of yoga that you should know about include;

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Stretching for Enlightenment: Benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi

The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga and tai chi are limitless. Each discipline requires some time, but each is incredibly rewarding.

Capable of helping you feel more relaxed, centered, and in touch with your life’s most natural state, stretching is much more than a de-stressing technique.

That’s why today, I want to give you a few tips to help you learn about some of the benefits of yoga and tai chi.

Personal Goals

One of the goals I have for this year is to be more flexible. There is a picture on my vision board of a man in a yoga posture.

Yoga

I started doing yoga in my late twenties, and it has been something I attempt to do on a daily basis.

As I have gotten older, I have sustained several injuries – a ruptured disc in my lower back, and a major shoulder injury to my right shoulder – which caused a lot of tightness in my lower back, neck, and shoulders.

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Path to Recovery: How Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Can Aid in Addiction

Are you working toward overcoming an addiction? If so, congratulations on taking charge of your health and working toward improvement.

You probably know that you need every weapon in your arsenal to defeat the negative thoughts and beliefs that drive your negative behaviors. Have you tried yoga, meditation and mindfulness? All three techniques can aid in addiction recovery. Here’s how.


Use Guided Meditation to Combat "Stinking Thinking"

What makes you behave the way you do? What makes some people reach for the bottle at the first setback while others sail through life sober? While many factors play a role, in large part, your beliefs stem from self-defeating thought patterns — and guided meditation can help you defeat these and rewire your conditioned responses.

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What Is the Best Self-Care during the COVID-19 Crisis?

Self-care should be uppermost in our minds during the COVID-19 crisis, for several urgent reasons. Self-care returns a sense of control over your own life. It gives you an integrative approach to mind and body. It aligns you with the best knowledge currently available about who is more at risk for developing acute symptoms after being infected.

Your immune status is complex, and in mainstream medicine the chief determining factor is traditionally considered to be genetic. However, there are strong links to underlying low-level chronic inflammation connected to lifestyle that is found in most if not all common disorders including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and even obesity. COVID-19 has a mortality rate that increases with age and pre-existing conditions, as we all know by now.

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7 Ways to Reinvent Yourself When You're Feeling Lost

Gabrielle Williams says, “And hard times are good in their own ways too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well, it's all about light and shade. Balance.” 

Feeling lost is an evitable part of life. It comes with the territory of being human. Being human is an adventure of a lifetime and comes with its fair shares of ups and downs. Like Gabrielle, Williams says without the bad, how would have we learned to appreciate the good.

The hard times in our lives make us stronger. They teach us that we can withstand anything that comes our way. When we feel lost, we feel as though we don’t know who we are. In psychology, it is called positive disintegration. 

Positive disintegration means when our personality starts to disintegrate, and we feel like we cannot relate to the person we used to be. We feel lost, and we don’t like the same things we used to before. The movies, the songs, the friends, and the food we used to like before – now we don’t. 

It’s as if the old us is falling away, and we have not yet met the new us, and so we are left in between feeling lost and confused. And as great masters teach us, such a time is a blessing. Such a time, even though it feels hard, is a time when we can reinvent ourselves so a new ‘us’ can emerge. 

Here are 7 ways you can reinvent yourself when you are feeling lost and shine through like the sun.


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Why Morning with Yoga is better than other Mornings

This blog aims to edify its readers about the benefits of doing yoga in the morning. So, start your day on a fresh and healthy note with morning yoga.

There is something magical about misty mornings. And that’s the cool breeze, the fresh environs, and the sunny sun, right? However, we often miss the glorious mornings. The laziness is to be blamed for it.

Would you dare to jump out of your bed early in the morning if you get to know that practicing yoga in the morning is the best? Well, we guess you would. Why wouldn’t you? After all, yoga is the ancient discipline that heals the body, mind, and soul.

The yoga teacher training in India curriculum emphasizes on morning yoga routine. Thereby, all the practitioners or those wishing to walk the yogic journey should aim for morning yoga for reaping these benefits.

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Techniques to know which Poses of Yoga suits you effectively

Yoga is a disciplinary practice that helps us reshape our unconscious patterns. It disciplines us by reducing the fluctuations of our mind and keeping it in harmony with body. Practicing yoga helps build a framework to make conscious choices with clarity, mental peace and happiness. This unparalleled form of wisdom is the ingredient we need for a spiritual aware and enlightening our souls.

Yoga practice mainly consists of Asanas, Meditation Pranayama, making it an efficient way to uplift our physical and mental health. Yoga asanas can improve our physiology by increasing: flexibility, strength, mobility and balance. Yoga is a great tool to fix one’s physical stature and posture. The physical postures in Yoga allow our body to go through a full range of motion, reducing pain and tension in the muscles. 200 Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is the perfect opportunity to correct physical posture and alignment using different styles of Yoga.

Modern form of Yoga has been divided into different forms, each with a distinctive style and health benefit. It might be a difficult task to choose the one that resonates with us, but we can make an informed decision after evaluating all the styles available:

Hatha Yoga

This ancient style of Yoga is very common and focuses on asanas and pranayama. The asanas include twisting, reclining, standing and balancing of the body. This form of Yoga is highly practiced in Yoga teacher training in India

What to expect: The Yoga asanas can be physically challenging and are usually slow and calm.

Who should opt: If you need a grounded and pure form of Yoga with standing and sitting poses. Also for those who wish to develop awareness through pranayamas.

Benefits: Reduces muscular pain and de-stresses the body.

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How yoga refreshes your mind while traveling

Traveling can be for leisure or work related but in both cases it may create havoc in your daily routine. Frequent traveling is often associated with negative health and mental effects which includes aches and pain in the body, stress, anxiety, exhaustion and sleepless nights. It can be caused due to the change in time zone and daily routine. It takes a toll on your body and you feel less energetic. It takes quite a while to shrug off the jet lag and come into your normal self to enjoy the travel. 

Stopping yourself to indulge in binge eating or eating the unhealthy street food becomes a task. This results in disruption of our healthy habits too, which might lead to weight gain. 

Traveling helps you push your boundaries and break free from the bubble of your comfort zone, therefore, creating many opportunities to evolve as a person and widen your worldview. As it is unlikely that you can hit the gym while traveling, this is where yoga can be of utmost importance as it does not require any equipment. Even if you are not carrying a yoga mat, you can perform some yoga asanas. Yoga helps you to find peace and calm in the chaos. By integrating yoga with your traveling you can have an experience of both worlds and emerge as a transformed person. 

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How Yoga and Meditation Help to Concentrate Your Mind while Working

The 21st century is the era of development and advancements, with innovations taking place at every corner. The miraculous mind is working hard day and night to build a better future. With the increasing updates every day, our mind often sets back and becomes a victim of stress. Just like every other machine needs rest, our mind functions in a similar way, but to cope up with the competition and the dynamic life we often ignore this factor pushing down our efficiency and inviting stress.

Office today has become more stressful than ever, barely giving an employee any time for his personal work. The huge workload and decreasing deadline pressure add to the stress and anxiety. The lives won’t become any easy until we fix our minds and restore them to their natural patterns.


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How To Stay Happy This Summer

Summer is amongst us and in full bloom. It usually signifies a happy season for most of us. As children Summer meant no school, longer daylight hours and more time to just enjoy youth. As an adult, it usually means vacations, barbeques, and delicious seasonal foods. I remember as a child looking forward to the last day of school because it meant that boating with my family on the Long Island Sound was coming-up. 

Unfortunately, sometimes the warmer seasons don’t bring joy to everyone. There have been many studies that suggest that suicide increases in warm weather. Annie Hauser, writing in Weather.com, talked with Professor Grady Dixon in 2014 and writes,

“ Spring is when severely depressed people can be motivated enough to take action and do something. In most people, depression creates overwhelming feelings of listlessness and disinterest, so the idea of putting together a plan to commit suicide is too difficult during the winter, when depression symptoms may be worse in some people, he (Dixon) said. "Another hypothesis: [Patients] know how they're affected by seasonal winter depression. They anticipate they'll feel better when spring and summer roll around," Dixon said. "When they don't, that's a catalyst for suicide." One of the oldest theories holds that people who are depressed and withdrawn during the winter don't bounce back in spring, as other people do.” 

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Two Ways To Experience Bliss: Keep Things Simple and Give Things Away.

I am a minimalist, but like many of you – I struggle to keep it simple. Both mentally and in the physical worlds.

National Simplicity Day was founded to honor Henry David Thoreau, on the day of his birth, 12 July , 1817, and his insistence that a simple life, lived without busy clutter and in nature, was the way to glimpse the “universal truths” that inherently lie deep within each of us. He suggests that these truths get buried by our attachment to the material and the status quo.  Celebrating the mundane, the simple acts of daily life, the arrival of the first spring flower or bird, as miraculous and soul sustaining. 

A life of simplicity, lived in natural surroundings is ideal, maybe a goal to try to attain, but impractical for the majority of urban dwellers. Maybe you don’t have two years to go live in the forest. Maybe, like me,  you can’t even take the whole day out of your busy schedule to idle in the wilderness. However, the neighborhood park or arboretum could be just the ticket for an afternoon of unplugging. Take a copy of Walden Pond with you for some inspirational reading, or as the case may be, re-reading. Make a point to get down to the most basic of equations, ( you plus nature equals biophilia) for at least an hour or two. Biophilia is the recently scientifically determined phenomenon that humans feel good in nature. Proven by millions of dollars and countless hours of research, and not by millennia of humans liking to watch sunsets, take picnics with loved ones or sit by waterfalls or in our gardens.  When I was in Japan recently I went “ forest bathing “

The oddly paradoxical aspect of this theory is that Nature, taken in its entirety, is really anything but simple. It is a complex interwoven net of conditional systems,constantly varying and completely dependent on the absence or presence of one another.

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How Couples Yoga Can Strengthen Your Mind, Body, And Relationship

Looking to connect with your partner in a new way? Consider a series of couples yoga poses to boost your health and happiness.

If you think finding a deeper connection with your partner, decreasing stress, enhancing your sexual relationship, and getting fit all at the same time sounds like a sweet deal, you might want to consider rolling out a yoga mat (or two).

Couples yoga is changing the way we look at the the role of exercise in relationships.

What are the benefits of couples yoga?

The benefits of couples yoga are similar to an individual yoga class and include stress reduction, increased range of motion, relief from pain, cardio and circulatory health, improved respiration and energy, better posture, and much more. Couples yoga takes these benefits one step further and also includes the element of bonding with your partner in a new way.  

By creating a shared experience, the poses in couples yoga allow you and your partner to listen to each other and work together. “Couples yoga helps bring couples closer physically, emotionally, and energetically,” explains Beth Shaw, founder and CEO of YogaFit.

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How Does Yoga Help To Feel Yourself And Your Inner Happiness?

The word “Yoga” comes with a deeper and more spiritual meaning. It denotes the union of almost all elements of life with the holistic version of this universe. Yoga stretches its boundary beyond the true essence of human existence yet remains a constitutive part of humanity. It is about the physical, emotional, and spiritual actuality of life. The idea and notion of Yoga can only be enjoyed at the deepest layers of your soul. The beauty of the ancient science enters our blood and soul to make us enlivened to the highest level of soulful rejuvenation. It is all about the happiness and prosperity of the planet, according to many ancient yogic texts.

Now is the time to discuss and analyze the ways Yoga helps one feel the real him/her.

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Dedicated Expansion

A coaching client recently shared her concern of holding space for everyone in a yoga class. She was preparing to lead a series of classes abroad. My initial response; she was not solely responsible for the energy in a collective space. This mental picture has stuck in my mind.

Most of us can relate to the desire of holding space for others. We want to help our tribe feel safe and loved. Similar to a yoga teacher, maybe the greatest gift we can offer, is showing our branch of humanity, how to create and maintain their own sacred space. We can do this for our families, friends and even strangers.

Before I hold group meditations, I fill the space with love and gratitude. I welcome in our guides and all forms of love and inspiration into the space we will collectively be sharing. My intention is that everyone will experience the presence of peace, love and gratitude during the meditation. I imagine many yoga teachers do something similar. We are really just creating a place for people to slow down, and open up to the unseen. Once the connection is made, it is always available. Peace and love can be pulled into any situation, no yoga mat required.

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How Practicing Yoga Can Help You Overcome Grief

There’s everything from chocolate yoga to cat yoga to trap yoga, but there’s also a not-so carefree counterpart: grief yoga, which has provided healing for those suffering since long before cats made their way to the mat. We spoke with Beth Shaw — founder and president of YogaFit, the largest yoga training and certification program in the world — about the merits of this often-overlooked method of healing and how to practice it.

A woman practices the cobra pose in a sunny living room

Shaw first experienced the interaction of grief and yoga after a breakup in her late 20s. She says she immersed herself in yoga daily to the point where it became her new “anchor,” replacing the old one of her ex-boyfriend and their romantic connection. “You know, science has shown that a broken heart is legitimate,” shares Shaw. More than simple sadness, grief can be all-consuming. “Grief is a mind-body experience,” Shaw agrees, explaining that it can affect one’s hormone production, cortisone levels, appetite, sleep patterns, energy levels, heart rate, and more. It makes sense, then, that yoga, a bodily activity, can help mitigate the overwhelming emotion. Yoga is a “healing tool,” Shaw says. “It can lift you from the depths of despair.”

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HEART CHAKRA / Anahata

The embodiment of Love

Overview

  • Location: is located at the centre of the chest.
  • Colour: Green
  • Season: Spring
  • Sense: Touch
  • Element: Air
  • Body parts: Lungs, heart, thymus gland and breasts.

Description

The fourth chakra, also referred to as the heart chakra, is at the centre of the seven chakras with three below and three above. This is the area where physical energies from the three lower chakras meet with the spiritual energies of the three chakras above the heart. This is where the physical stability you’ve created for yourself, along with your creativity and energy collide with your goals, visualisations and authenticity of the chakras above the heart chakra – allowing you to express your true hearts desire and live a life with love, empathy, forgiveness and gratitude every day.

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How to Start Weight Loss Yoga for Beginners

Eating junk isn’t the only cause for weight gain. Other factors that are involved in the process are:

  • Insulin levels: High level of insulin causes excess energy consumption into the fat cells resulting in weight gain.
  • Leptin resistance: Leptin is responsible for reducing the appetite of an individual. Leptin resistance reverses the process and causes weight gain.
  • Genes: Eating behavior of parents affects their genes which will be carried by their children. Therefore, some people are vulnerable to weight gain and obesity.
  • Excess of fructose: Sugar is composed of glucose and fructose. Glucose is the natural sugar of the food compound whereas, fructose is the added sugar. The excess of fructose in the diet causes weight gain.
  • Incorrect information about nutrition and health: Some food companies misinterpret the results of scientific studies to promote their weight loss supplements leading to weight gain or zero results in weight loss.

If this has complicated the whole process of weight loss for you and consulting a doctor is the only option. The following blog will tell you how you can manage these factors in a modest way which will induce weight loss.

Start practicing yoga at home or at a yoga center near your place. Apart from weight loss, yoga has many physical and mental benefits such as emotional stability, improved heart health, enhanced metabolism, and fertility, etc. You can also learn more about it if you enroll for 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.

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SOLAR PLEXUS / Manipura

The Will to Power

Overview

  • Location: Located around the navel in the area of the solar plexus and up to the breastbone.
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Season: Summer
  • Sense: Sight
  • Element: Fire
  • Body parts: Adrenal glands, stomach, pancreas, liver and skin.


Description

The Solar Plexus (Manipura), which means ‘lustrous gem’ is our home of energy and power. It is a source of personal ambition and governs self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation. Simply put it is your energy chakra. Your powerhouse where drive, ambition and willpower come from. It’s where you can make your dreams come true and every step you take towards these intentions helps to strengthen your third chakra.

The Manipura chakra also controls metabolism and digestion and gives us the energy we need to go out into the world and strive for the goals and dreams we have for ourselves.

You can recognize the people with an overactive solar plexus as the kind of people who are always complaining about being too busy. They are the over-achievers who are never content with their daily productivity. They write exhaustive lists of daily tasks and beat themselves up for not achieving every item on their list. They always have a huge goals they are working towards and would feel lost if they didn’t have such a goal to strive for. They are prone to burnout and often run on caffeine or other stimulants to keep their energy high.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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