Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Farzaneh Noori

July 24, 2014

Farzaneh NooriOur teacher of the month for July is Farzaneh Noori, co-founder of Yoga House in Pasadena, California. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years, and has studied with a number of influential yogis in the process, including Tias Little, Paul Grilley and Jill Miller. She focuses strongly on the healing properties of yoga, and some of her most popular classes include Prenatal Yoga and Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer.

Farzaneh began her Therapeutic Yoga for Cancer classes in 2012. After her own cancer diagnosis and treatment, she attributed her recovery in a large part to the practice of yoga, and wanted to share its healing benefits with others coping with the disease. The classes are offered free of charge as a service to the community, and over time attendance has blossomed from a few participants to 20 or 30 per class. According to Yoga House’s website, “Each class offers a synthesis of several natural healing modalities: restorative yoga; gentle yoga; breath work; meditation; and hands-on healing, all of which promote a state of deep relaxation which enhances the body’s ability to heal itself.”

Yoga House was co-founded by Farzaneh Noori and Bruce Schwartz in 1997 and they’re a valued long-time customer of Barefoot Yoga, offering our yoga mats, bags, eye pillows and more. To experience Farzaneh’s inspiring and healing classes for yourself, visit Yoga House in Pasadena!


Uddiyana Bandha

July 23, 2014

Uddiyana BandhaUddiyana Bandha is the second of the inner lock in yoga. Uddiyana in Sanskrit means to ‘fly up’ or ‘rise up’. This suggests all your inner organs – the abdomen, the diaphragm and the stomach – moving up and rising toward your spine. In the abstract, it means moving your energy from your mula bandha upward.

To find Uddiyana Bandha, stand with feet hip distance apart. On an inhale, raise your arms by your ears and on exhale, through the mouth, fold and place your hands just above the knees. Without inhaling, straighten your arms and suction your stomach to your spine, concaving it up and back toward the back. Hold the pose as long as it comfortable before inhaling through your nose while straightening with arms again raised by your ears. Then exhale  through your nose to bring your arms down by your side.

Uddiyana Bandha massages the inner muscles of the lower back while it moves energy upward creating a feeling of lightness. This allows for lightness in movement and deeper twists. It aids in constipation and indigestion as it stimulates the digestive juices, increases your metabolic rate and tone those problematic abdominal muscles.

For yoga supplies to help with your practice, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Lauren’s Pick of the Week:
Sari Pattern Yoga Mat Bags

July 22, 2014

Our beautiful Sari Pattern Yoga Mat Bags come in a variety of authentic Indian sari patterns and a rainbow of beautiful colors. They are large enough to hold yoga mats of almost any size, and come with a comfortably wide strap for carrying over the shoulder or cross-body. The front pocket can easily hold your keys, phone and wallet for trips to the yoga studio. Pair a bag with one of our Hybrid Eco-Lite Mats for a perfectly color-coordinated ensemble!

Sari Pattern Yoga Mat Bag

 

For our full selection of vibrant Sari Pattern Yoga Mat Bags, as well as many other yoga necessities, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Demystifying Mula Bandha

July 21, 2014

 

Mula Bandha

Mula in Sanskrit means ‘root’, ‘base’, ‘foundation’, ‘beginning’, ‘origin.’ Bandha means ‘catching hold of’, ‘fetter’, ‘bondage.’ Mula Bandha, or root lock, is one of four bandhas mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradiprika and the Gheranda Samhita. The root refers to the pelvic floor or more precisely, the perineum. It is not the muscle that is the sphincter or those you use to hold your bladder. It is in between these two muscles.

Mula bandha allows us to lock the prana or life-giving breath in our body and move it up our central system. Mastering the locks allows us to the master of our practice in our physical body as well as our inner mind. Mula bandha aids is holding poses for long periods of time, transitioning to new asanas, steady concentration, controlled breath and a calm and clear mind.You are advised to hold mula bandha throughout your practice and that might be challenging at first but with practice, it will get easier.

To activate Mula Bandha, exhale and engage the pelvic floor. You might contract the muscles around the anus and genitals at first, but try to isolate the muscles between those 2 areas. You want to draw up the perineum and to the back of your spine. Do not hold your breath.

Engaging Mula Bandha forces your energy to flow up and not down and out. This gives you a ‘light’ feeling, making your limbs limber and thus lighter on your mat. This also helps you from fatiguing during long holds on poses. Mula Bandha stimulates the pelvic area, genitalia, the endocrine and excretory systems and relieves depression and constipation.

For yoga supplies to help with your practice, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Top 5 Tips for Your First Yoga Class

July 17, 2014

Excited for that first class but don’t know quite what to expect when it comes to etiquette? Check out our list of do’s and don’ts below to get in the know!

Yoga Class

1. Try to get there about 10-15 minutes early (and don’t be late if you can help it!), and once you’re there, stay for the whole time. It’s disruptive to others to get up and go before you’ve gotten your Savasana in.

Cake

2. Don’t eat for 2-3 hours before class! This is an important one, even more so than the old “wait an hour after eating to go swimming”. If you eat too soon or too much before class, it’s possible you’ll experience nausea, cramps, or even vomiting (especially in a pose like prayer twist!)

Intention

3. Create an intention. Creating an intention before class and holding it during can help keep you centered and focused. Your intention can be anything from aiming to be more compassionate or kind to simply intending to be in the moment and not let your mind wander to what the next days holds. After class, reflect on both what you learned and how you feel. Awareness and reflection is key, in both expanding your practice and your mind.

Class Props

4. Treat studio props with care and respect. After class, pick up and neatly put them away for the next yogi to use.

Savasana Cat

5. Be kind and gentle to yourself; don’t push it. Listen to what your body tells you and don’t strive for that perfect warrior pose if you’re body says no. It’s also helpful to let your teacher know about any injuries so they can help you find what works for you.

Need to stock up on some props before that first class? Come visit us at BarefootYoga.com to find everything you need!


Grace’s Pick of the Week:
Surf Nomad Pants by OMgirl

July 9, 2014

OMgirl’s beloved Surf Nomad is back for the summer! Made with a lightweight skirt, its wide leg pants are a breezy fit for those chilly nights. This customer favorite offers great mobility for yoga, walks on the beach or lounging at home.

Surf Nomad - Fin Surf Nomad - Tropical Teal

For more easy, breezy yoga clothing for summer, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


5 Yoga Questions You Never Knew the Answer to – Until Now!

July 8, 2014

Thought you knew it all about yoga? Think again! Take a look at the list below to find out five things that may surprise you!

1. What is the ultimate “goal” of yoga?

Chitta Vritti Nirodhah

The ultimate goal of yoga is simple but powerful: Chitta Vritti Nirodhah – Cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. This Sutra conveys the essence of the science of yoga, which is: “if you can control the fluctuations of the mind you will experience yoga”.

2. Wait one minute! What’s a Sutra?

Sanskrit verse from Bhagavad Gita

The word sutra is the Sanskrit term for a rule or saying in Sanskrit literature, and translates literally to what sews or threads things together. A comparable way to relate it to our own modern day American culture is thinking of commonly used, sensible sayings such as “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Granted, the Citta Vritti Nirodhah sutra is a bit more refined than that.

3. Who is Patajnali? I’ve heard that name mentioned a few times since beginning my practice, but I don’t know who they are!

Patanjali

Patanjali is an Indian sage known by many as ‘the father of Yoga’. He is the creator of The Yoga Sutras, a collection of 196 sutras created around 400 CE from original and ancient texts that make up the foundation of Ashtanga Yoga that we know today.

4. As a yogi, I’ve heard the phrase “eight limbs” referred to many a time, in everything from studio names to casual conversation. What does “eight limbs” refer to?

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Eight limbs refers to the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, referenced in Patajnali’s Yoga Sutras. The word “Ashtanga” translates literally to mean “eight limbs”, their names being: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.

5. One last thing: a couple people have told me they choose to not practice yoga on New or Full moons. Why is that?

Phases of the Moon

Good question! Some yogis prefer not to practice during a new or full moon because of the change in the tides. This change can directly affect the water in your body (as it does with the tides), and changes in the Moon can affect your emotional body. Because of the various effects of both Full (bringing things to their full state) and New (renewing, revision of thought) moons, some prefer to refrain from their practice on these days.

Thanks for reading!  We hope you enjoyed and learned from the facts above. For all your yoga needs, come visit us today at BarefootYoga.com!


Lauren’s Pick of the Week:
Mexican Yoga Blankets

July 2, 2014

Our Deluxe Mexican Yoga Blankets are made from a blend of recycled cotton and acrylic yarns, for a thick blanket that’s luxuriously soft. The blankets are available in a rainbow of beautiful colors, in three different styles: Solid, Thunderbird and Striped.

Mexican Blanket - Solid

A Mexican Blanket may be one of the most versatile yoga props – you can fold them to use in place of a bolster, roll them up for a bit of extra support in restorative practice, or drape one across yourself for warmth during Savasana. To learn more about our Mexican Yoga Blankets and other essential props, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Barefoot Yoga Mexican Blanket