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Why Yoga is Awesome
On July 3, 2012 in
Yoga teaches us how to stand.
One of the very first poses you learn in yoga, Tadasana, or mountain pose, literally and symbolically teaches you how to stand on your own two feet. When you take mountain pose, you do more than just stand with your arms stretched above your head. You embody the magnificence of a mountain. You feel and become grand, rooted, and strong, with the earth as your foundation. In your physical practice of postures, you learn to stand in an engaged and balanced way. Symbolically, you learn to stand firm in your beliefs, so that you cannot be easily shaken by external forces. This practice of cultivating balance in our physical bodies teaches us how to sustain balance in our daily lives.
Yoga makes us more aware.
Often we see things, but don't notice them. Through the practice of asana (posture), and pranayama (breath control), you begin to notice things about yourself that you might not normally be aware of. The more you practice yoga the more you know yourself. We not only learn how to place our feet and hands, but we learn how to place our minds and hearts in alignment with our true nature. One of my students recently told me that she was always comparing herself to others in yoga, and on this particular day she realized that she had the same tendency in her everyday life. Once she became aware of her pattern, she was able to change and live more authentically. In a similar way, as we practice postures and deep breathing regularly, we may notice our tendencies to rush, force, judge, or become impatient. Our yoga mats become a place to practice overcoming patterns, relinquishing useless thoughts, and slaying inner dragons. Little by little, we begin to notice more, and so begins the journey of becoming fully conscious.
Yoga helps us spread our light to others.
It is hard to resist the light and wisdom that arises from tuning inward. You come to back to yoga again and again to align with the light within and around you, and to know yourself in a greater way. As we nurture our relationship with ourselves, we nurture our relationships with others. The more conscious we become, the less we ignore. We stop using the excuse that that's just the way things are, and begin to realize that we hold the power to change more than ourselves. We create a ripple, and then a wave. The more we tune inward, the more we can expand outward and create positive change. We stretch our bodies and become more limber through yoga practice, but more so we stretch our awareness, minds, and hearts.
By Jackie Casal Mahrou
Jackie Casal Mahrou is a yoga instructor on yogadownload.com, and teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga. Through her teaching and writing, she hopes to inspire as many as she can to live with grace, joy and gratitude. Read more about Jackie at
Start practicing with Jackie's YogaDownload Classes today:
Gentle Hatha #4
Combining Yoga & Different Styles of Music to Create a Flow State
When we are considering different things to pair together, it is always a subjective matter. For instance, there might be people who love salted chocolate, while others want salt nowhere near their chocolate! The same can be said about adding music to your yoga practice. Some people love vibration support and melodic inspirations when they are flowing from one pose to another and find it improves their practice. Others revel in the silent internal waves of just their breath and prefer yoga without any music. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s simply a matter of preference. Regardless, music has become increasingly popular to complement a yoga practice and seems here to stay for those who like this combination. Because of this, there are people who are always looking for new excellent music choices for their yoga sessions. If you’ve been moved by music during a yoga class, you can appreciate the beauty of this combination. Music can add another layer to a deep, rigorous flow and can support you in the challenging moments of a class, or keep your mind from wandering. Many have opened to new music artists and styles of music from tracks they discovered that moved them during yoga. What Is Yoga?
3 Common Myths about Ganja Yoga
Cannabis-enhanced yoga is a thing. Whether popping up in classes across the country, being mentioned alongside other forms of athleticism in articles about CBD-fuelled fitness, or made into fashion with weed-themed yoga leggings, the pairing of the ancient practice and healing plant has become quite the conversation topic in yoga studios across the country. Many people are enjoying the anti-inflammatory, relaxation, and creative benefits of cannabis on yoga. As the first moderner to offer public enhanced-yoga practice, I am so happy to see the marriage of humanity’s oldest methods for relaxation and spiritual insight gain momentum and increased acceptance. Ten years ago, when I started offering a yogic setting for people to get high and do yoga, I googled and found no other mention of the two, other than Chris Bennett’s insightful writing on the history of yoga and cannabis in ancient spiritual practice in India. We’ve come a long way baby! (five thousand years or more, to be exact...).
The YogaDownload.com Top 10: Your Fave Online Yoga Classes
We have thousands of classes, whether you’re looking for a specific teacher or anatomical focus or just want to see what’s out there. These are the classes you gravitate to the most – your top downloads this year. Try them all to see what your fellow YogaDownloaders are loving!
5 Reasons Online Yoga Classes Enrich Your Yoga Practice
Online classes are not always given the respect they deserve. While they have plenty of differences than in-person classes, they nonetheless offer room for growth. My first experience with yoga did not happen in a studio or group setting. It happened with a Power Yoga DVD that I picked up from the store. Eventually I started going to a studio, but practicing yoga by myself with a DVD was my first step. Since then, I have enjoyed the wide variety of online classes available to explore other yoga styles and teachers. In every yoga class, online or in person, you learn something new. It ranges from the external, such as a pose cued by the instructor, to the internal, such as building self-awareness. I have been practicing yoga for nine years, and continue to learn new things from every teacher and class I attend. Online platforms bring the teachers, classes and learning experiences to you- you just need to be ready for them. Here are 5 of the ways online classes enrich you’re your yoga practice (in ways in-person classes do not).
7 Qualities of the Best Yoga Teachers
While there are many ways to be a powerful yoga teacher, here are some common traits of the truly excellent yoga teachers. A teacher loses their power when they become self-absorbed and the solid teachers know this. As teachers we must get over our selves and show up to serve others. We must truly embody and practice yoga to teach yoga authentically. Here are 7 key traits of the best yoga teachers: 1. Presence To be a powerful yoga teacher, we must be focused and present while teaching. How can we inspire our students to show up to the moment if we are distracted? As teachers of yoga we must breathe for and with our students, we must set the rhythm, the energetic tone, and hold strong in presence. 2. Adaptability
Yoga for Crossfit: Why it Improves Performance & 3 Poses
Yoga is not only a good way to relax your mind and body, it is also being praised for improving Crossfit performance. Yoga creates more flexibility and creates more mobility, which are beneficial for the rigors of Crossfit as well as reducing the risk of injury. While the practices are different in many ways, Crossfit and yoga actually have a lot in common, so if you practice yoga, it’s can be easier to learn to practice Crossfit, and vice versa. Benefits of Yoga for Crossfit: Here are a few reasons why you should consider using yoga as a part of your crossfit training regime. Yoga has many gentle poses that develop your core which is an important part to Crossfit. Being capable of balancing and holding the body with the core is essential. When you regularly practice yoga, you promote strength, endurance, and flexibility and have a greater awareness of how to use your core effectively. You also find your inner strength which is important in Crossfit training. You practice cultivating calm, in challenging moments in yoga, and that can really help during Crossfit. Yoga can help us have more fun in Crossfit. Studies have found that yoga allows you to become more self-aware and improves your energy levels, helping you to enjoy life more fully. Sometimes in Crossfit, training and progress becomes such a focus point that we forget to be light and have fun. Yoga can help here.
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