Celebrate International Yoga Day with a Free Online Class

Celebrate #InternationalYogaDay with EkhartYoga by tuning in to their Facebook Live Stream Class with World renowned teachers Esther Ekhart and David Lee Lurey!

The class starts in about 1.5 hours! You can virtually practice with fellow yogis from all over the world by joining in a 45-minute Yin-Yang flow. Esther and David will do a short Q&A right after the class. You can leave any questions in their comments on their FaceBook event page.

Join me and grab your mat, wherever you are in the world, for non-edited fun!

 

 

 

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Free yoga challenge – mini detox

My favorite yoga site EkhartYoga is hosting a FREE mini detox challenge.

3 days of online yoga and healthy eating to promote a healthier you!

Starting today, May 13th, you are cordially invited to join for 3 days of yoga and healthy eating! All you need to do is sign up and you’ll receive an email with links to 4 free yoga and meditation classes….. That’s it!

Alongside these classes, you’ll also be provided with some advice and suggested recipes to help you get the best out of this mini challenge.

Join in to receive Free access for 7 days. You can access these classes from May 13th until the 20th!

What to expect?

This mini challenge consists of 3 full-length yoga classes by Esther Ekhart AND a meditation by Esther Teule, all on the theme of ‘detoxing’ the body and mind.

 

So who’s with me?

 

 

Never Force a Pose

Today’s wisdom is that wherever you end up in a pose [Asana] is exactly right for you. No forcing, just being. Never force your body into a position that causes pain. Our bodies all move differently because of how our bones are connected. One person may be able to do full Virasana aka Hero Pose [sitting between the feet] while others may need a variation [sitting on their feet, a cushion or blocks] because of ankle or knee pain. I know it can be hard to be content, and you’ll want to do some of those amazing poses full on, but your body’s wellness is more important.

You will still be able to experience tremendous shifts in your body, mind, and heart while focusing on your safety and wellbeing. Never force a pose, or else you can cause yourself an unnecessary injury. Be humble, explore the boundaries, and see what your body can do. Move with care, have gratitude, and maintain and appreciation of all it can do for you. You can thank your body by taking care of it in return.

 

Urdhva Dhanurasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana by AndysArtworks.etsy.com 

 

 

Your breath is your companion

One of the most valuable bits of yoga advice for any level of yogi is that your breath is your companion. It’s the one thing that is always with you, and can guide you both on and off the mat. If your breathing is strained or shallow on the mat, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard and need to back off and soften the pose a little. Listen to your body’s natural queues so you don’t injure or strain a muscle. Off the mat, perhaps you’re feeling stressed. Take a few moments to breathe deeply to focus and ground yourself.

If you’re anything like me and keep a daily yoga practice because you love how you feel after a practice and or suffer from mental illness, then you can understand the need to ensure that you move safely and don’t injure yourself. If I personally miss more than a day or two I start feeling manic and depressed, hence the near daily yoga to keep me off any sort of anti-depressants. I listen to my breath and remind myself to move with “Sukha” [ease], fluidity, grace, and pay attention to what my body and my breath are telling me. Not to say anyone is perfect, I know I am not, and sometimes we end up with an injury on or off the mat…but do what you can to prevent it and your body will thank you in kind.

Deep Breath By Melanie Weidner

Deep Breath
By Melanie Weidner

Free yoga for International Yoga Day

June 21st is the International Day of Yoga! In honor of this day Ekhart Yoga is celebrating by offering everyone a day of free yoga, meditations, and relaxation classes, which includes the highlight of the day: a 108 Sun Salutations class. There will be a class for beginner levels. More details and info at their site. You can sign up for alerts from Ekhart yoga directly and or follow them on Facebook.

Who else will join me in this fun endeavor?

 

June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.

international-yoga-day-logo-300x429

 

Are You New to Yoga?

This post is dedicated to those new to yoga, or who have stepped off the mat for an extended amount of time and looking for that push to get back on the mat.

  • Like the title says, Are you new to yoga?
  • Has it been a while since you practiced yoga?
  • Do you consider your self a beginner?
  • Are you looking for a beginner program?
  • Are you looking to expand your yoga knowledge?
  • Do you just want to check out Ekhart yoga?

Esther Ekhart of Ekhart Yoga has a great incentive program promotion currently running. Only 99 cents for your first month of membership. More details can be found here  it’s a really great deal and if I wasn’t already a member myself I would jump on this. You’ll be taught all the basics right from the comfort of your own home! So no excuses.

You can register now to receive the email alerts / newsletters for the program. Try a free class with Esther before you sign up, so you can see if her teaching style will work for you. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Let me just say I am in no way affiliated with the site. I am not getting paid or compensated for this post by any means. I am just a regular person who enjoys the many offerings on EkhartYoga.com and believe in sharing the love.

 

#ekhartyoga

 

Navel to the Spine

More yoga jargon explained. “Navel to the Spine” is another a verbal que used in yoga, as well as Pilates and strength training. When presented with this instruction we want to engage our core, by pulling in our abdominal’s.

Remember just the abdominal’s only! I say that because you want to ensure you don’t create a “C” like shape with your body. You don’t want to slump forward, nor would you slouch your upper torso or tuck your pelvis. You just want to engage the abs by pulling them in with your muscles, not pulling them in by sucking or holding in your breath. Think of how you would pull in your abs if you’re trying to pull on a pair a slacks or jeans that could be a bit tight or ill-fitting, or perhaps you don’t want your tummy to stick out in a tight dress or skirt.

When performed correctly this not only strengthens our abdominal’s, but also creates an integrated core of strength that supports our body. We can become a pillar of strength using our core to support our spines. We create stability with strong abs. We add to our freedom and range of movement, and create fluidity of our muscles throughout our body.

I hope this helps to demystify some of the common jargon we hear out there.

 

 

The Spirit of Mantra, a 21 Day Mantra Meditation

If you enjoyed the first 21 day mantra meditation journey with Deval Premal and Miten, then you are in for a treat.

The world-renowned chant artists are offering “The Spirit of Mantra” – a 21 day exploration into the transformative power of a daily mantra meditation practice that began on May 14. It’s free to sign up and enjoy. The previous days are still up to listen.

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This new program offers another opportunity to explore the deep inner peace found in chanting these ancient sound formulas. Like the first mantra meditation journey, Deva & Miten will share a new mantra every day, with an explanation of the meaning, and a guided meditation into the chanting. This year’s program includes seven brand new chants from their album Mantras for Life. The

This free streaming 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey has begun! Join me &  register here

A few words from Deva & Miten:
Mantras make a difference, not only for the benefits they bring us on a personal level, but also as a healing balm for our troubled world. With this in mind, we have chosen mantras that help us meet life’s daily challenges, including blessing and protecting our children; healing body, mind and spirit; caring for the animals; and celebrating Mother Earth.

 

Note:
I am not affiliated with this site and or Deva and Mitten.

Image Source:
Mentors Channel

5 Things Yoga Has Taught Me On My Journey

Yoga continually teaches me new things, about myself, about life, and the world around me. This is just one of the many reasons I like it so much. I like to reflect on how far I’ve come, see what I have learned over time from these experiences, and observe what new knowledge I have gained along the way.

Buddha

Byodo-In Temple , located in Valley of the Temples. Oahu Hawaii.

A few things Yoga has taught me.

1. Honor your body
Don’t push your self too far past that edge. Its okay to push your self a little, but if you go to far past that boundary you can injure yourself. Your body will subtly let you know how far is too far. Its all about being mindful and listening to what your body has to tell you.

2. Let go of things that no longer serve you
This can be anything. It doesn’t have to be a physical object, although cleaning out that closet stuffed to the gills can feel cathartic. It can even something invisible such as anger. Every minute you spend angry, you give up 60 seconds of peace. Get rid of what you don’t need, physically and metaphysically.

3. Breathe
We often forget all the benefits of breath. Aside from the fact that we need it to live, there are other benefits to the breath. It grounds us, and forces us to be in the present when we focus on it. It can help us overcome obstacles, think of  lamaze breathing when a woman is in labor. I’ve even been able to get through what could otherwise have been a painful experience at doctor appointments, dental appointments, or even those few body piercings or tattoos just by focusing on my breath.

The breath is more powerful than you think, and there are even many types of “breaths” out there. To name a few in case you are curious, look up bhastrika, pranayama, Ujjayi, Shitali, Agni-Prasana, 3-breath practice, and 2-breath practice. I’m sure there’s others out there, in the vast yogic system. I’m always curious to learn and discover more. Feel free to comment if there’s any you want to share with me. 🙂 Our breath balances us and additionally helps us balance. I find this latter especially true when I focus on my breath and or a fixed point in those difficult poses where sometimes only one limb is touching the ground. Our breath fosters healing and allows us to extend our vital life force. Everything always comes back to the breath.

4. Be present and okay with it
Be present. Live in the here and now. Stop worrying about the future and the what-if’s. Don’t live in the past, and don’t dwell on the I should of’s. If you have trouble focusing on the present, your breath can guide you. Live in the present moment,  and be content with it. Live like there is no tomorrow, be at peace, and be happy in that state. When you try to control everything, or worry about the future or the past, you won’t be able enjoy what’s right in front of you. Relax, breathe, let go and enjoy the present moment. Even life can subtly remind us to be present. For me the winter weather reminds me to turn inward, slow down, and make time for myself. Be like the Buddha on his lotus leaf  under the bodhi tree living in the present moment.

5. You can achieve more than you think
Believe in your self. Sometimes we have to take risks in order to achieve our goals. Sure its scary, and may not be easy but no one ever said life was. We all have dreams, goals, hopes, wishes, and aspirations. Stop making excuses on why you can’t do them, and take baby steps to get there. We can all do more than we think, if we test our limits.

I wasn’t sure I could ever do crow pose, but knew I wanted to be able to “fly”. I was a little apprehensive but I didn’t let my fear stop me. Sure I fell on my head a few times in the learning phases, but as I discovered even someone who is a very seasoned yogi can have an off day and fall in an asana [pose] they have been practicing for years. We don’t always see everyone’s mistakes but we all make them. Eventually we end up where we are supposed to be and can achieve things we never thought possible.

Yoga ruins your life. Oh yesss. It does.

Richard Freeman who explains in 2:28 minutes how yoga will “ruin” your life. Yoga enthusiasts have a difficult time sitting on airplanes for example. it’s amazing what some of the people in this video can do.

Yoga & Joyful Living

Listen to the respected (and oh so wise!) Richard Freeman who explains in 2:28 minutes how yoga will ruin your life.

But anyway, maybe for you – yes, for you, reading this – it’s already too late! 😉

yoga_ruins-life

What has yoga done to your life?

Namaste,

~ Andrea

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