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Yoga Benefits

There are reasons to practice Yoga. This category describes the benefits that you can derive from Yoga. Stress relief, flexibility, strength, endurance, peace of mind are all intended benefits from Yoga.
  • Moving Abroad: How Yoga Can Help

    Stop and Breathe Staying Calm While Moving Abroad If you are among the millions of people who reside abroad then you know that everything can get chaotic really fast. We must adjust to differing cultures, customs, language, food and lifestyles. How does one maintain balance in the midst of such disorder? By releasing all of the built-up anxiety on your mat, keeping up the one thing that can always remain the same: your yoga practice. As an American residing in one of the largest cities in the world, Shanghai, China, I’ve come to learn the importance of a regular...

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  • How Yoga Can Change your Habits

    Junk Food Might Taste Good Going Down, But How Does You Feel After? How Yoga Can Change Your Habits When I first began practicing asana back in 1982, my intention was to regain my natural flexibility. Years of hiking, biking and not stretching had tightened me up, and I felt a need to balance my strength. I’d always been curious about the mental dimension of yoga, even though I had no idea what it was. So I found a hatha yoga class and from my first class, I knew I’d found a home. Back then I was 26 years...

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  • Perfect Rest: Yoga for Insomnia

    No Insomnia Here It’s after 3:00 am. You’re wide awake, mind racing. You might be worried about paying your mortgage. You might be puzzling over something someone said to you and rehearsing your response. Maybe an upcoming project has you feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you are excited, on the cusp of an event you’ve long anticipated. Each minute that ticks by brings you closer to rising time. This knowledge gives you something else to worry about. I began experiencing insomnia when I was five years old. My earliest instance of sleeplessness left a bold imprint in my memory. For the...

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  • What are the Real Benefits of Yoga?

    Benefits of Yoga: Strength, Flexibility and Smile Over the years, countless people have asked me what benefits my students feel when they practice asana. A quick Google search on the benefits of yoga (i.e., asana) yields an astounding 42,200,000 listings. While I confess that I did not get much past the first page of the list, the sampling I read largely listed physical and physiological benefits—flexibility, increased muscle tone, weight loss, stress relief, and of course, the much-touted “yoga butt.” It is quite true that these benefits—and many more—can be experienced through asana practice. However pleasant these benefits might...

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  • Slowing Down — The Power of Pausing

    Slowing Down - The Power of Pausing Years ago I took a vacation to Baja, where some friends had relocated. One morning when the beach was completely deserted, I decided to take a solitary walk. As my pace slowed due to the mushy sand and my desire to shake off the usual brisk pace of my life, I began to notice things along the way that I might not have seen if I’d been speeding along at my usual pace: a perfectly shaped conch, sparkling pebbles, multicolored sand crystals. One particular pile of tide debris caught my eye. I stopped...

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  • Yoga, a Respite for Children with Emotional Disturbance

    Yoga for Children with Emotional Disturbance The greatest reward of teaching yoga for the past 26 years has been getting to know my students. Maybe this is true of everyone’s yoga classes, but I am continually in awe of the wisdom, kindness, generosity and the diversity of gifts my students bring to this world. I am grateful beyond measure that this sangha of wise and spirited people has chosen to meet and share their gifts in my classes. Each one has a story to tell, and wisdom to share. A few weeks ago I got to take a peek...

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  • Beef Up Your Skeleton: Yoga for Osteoporosis

    Vrksasana Teaches Balance, Strengthens Bones Images of witches, ghosts, black cats, zombies and skeletons abound today. These iconic images are meant to be scary, and some of them are—although I have to say that having lived with a few black cats in my life, they’re not at all scary. Halloween images are nonetheless meant to evoke a bit of fear and apprehension. When you see an image of a skeleton, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not osteoporosis. Nonetheless, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million of us are currently living with osteoporosis, and 34...

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  • Yoga for Insomnia: Relax Your Body, Relax Your Breath

    Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall) Here’s the third part in a series about yoga for insomnia. Here are Parts One and Two. Yoga for Insomnia Roger Cole, Ph.D. in sleep physiology and longtime Iyengar Yoga teacher, lists four things that must occur for relaxation to happen (not necessarily in this order): 1. relax the breath 2. relax the body 3. relax the nervous system 4. relax the brain All these processes are interdependent; when you relax one component all the others follow suit. Before beginning any of the following practices it can be helpful to sit quietly in...

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  • Perfect Rest: Yoga for Insomnia, Part Two

    Try Different Sleeping Positions! Perfect Rest:  Yoga for Insomnia, Part Two Last week I posted the first of a three-part series on dealing with insomnia. Part One talks about some of the reasons why we can’t sleep, especially the infamous monkey mind. Today’s installment talks about strategies for helping you wind down, some of the daily life culprits that can interfere with sleep, and what to avoid as you prepare for sleep. According to the University of Michigan Health System’s website one in three American adults has trouble sleeping. Because insomnia is so widespread there is a wealth of...

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  • Solstice Yoga: Restorative Supta Baddha Konasana

    Solstice Yoga Last night was the longest night of the year. When I drove to my yoga class yesterday morning, there was not even a hint of morning light in the sky. The dark days beckon us to hibernate, and yet, the holidays are some of our most socially scheduled days of the year. I love practicing Restorative Yoga in the winter. It’s a time when conscious rest is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Supta Baddhakonasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) is a great pose for this season of over-stimulation and over-consumption. As Solstice yoga goes, this is...

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