Yoga Revival – Week 19: Yoga Time Management & the Strap

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When I began my yoga revival back in June, I committed to a half hour 6 days a week. With the exception of some travel weeks, and extra busy weeks, I’ve stuck to this. I’m now midway through week 19.

My summer asana practices were generally heat inducing sun salutations, with a few standing poses, and a brief sitting meditation. But my daily yoga practice has not evolved into as much time doing asana as I anticipated back in June. Frequently I do not get my practice in before the evening meal, and often wind up sitting for 30 minutes of meditation afterwards – with at least a semi-full belly. This is always challenging, and often rewarding. But I do want more asana. My head maybe tight, but my muscles are tighter.

I realize that the evolution of my yoga practice is as much (or more) about time management than anything else. I find my eating schedule is the biggest challenge, but lately I feel like I’ve overcome this to a large extent, thanks to the practice strap.

When I do a forward bend shortly after eating, I instantly feel discomfort (and indigestion if I continue for long). But if I lie on my back, and lasso my foot with a practice strap, I can get that all-important hamstring stretch without discomfort or indigestion. The strap also facilitates one of the most difficult stretches of all for me – crossed-legged knee to chest pose. My muscles over to the side of my hips (psoas?) are so tight I feel like I need a big hammer and chisel to break through them. Breathing into this stretch  ALWAYS causes me discomfort, but afterwards, when sitting cross legged (“Indian style”) I feel so much MORE comfortable. So this stretch has made its way into the daily practice. My asana practice has evolved after all.

I’m hoping my morning laziness will give way to a morning yoga practice. It’s great to get it under your belt early, and can set the tone for a great day. I think some snow this winter might help. Nothing motivates me to get out of bed like skiing, and yoga before skiing is a necessity for me.

But don’t give up on a good, needed stretch just because your belly is not empty. Grab a strap, and whatever other props you need to get comfortable, and breathe into those tight areas. There is no doubt; a little yoga goes a long way.

Posted under Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by David on October 29, 2015

Ayurvedic Practices for an Amazing Autumn

As the crisp and cool weather of autumn begins, Ayurvedic practices can help your body and mind adjust to the changing season. Eating the right foods can balance your energies while keeping you warm, healthy and focused.

Here are some Ayurvedic ideas to promote a calm and cozy feeling in the coming months:

1. Balance your energies by managing your Vata

In Ayurvedic teachings, the three doshas, or energies, are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Changes in the world around us can increase and decrease the levels of these doshas, but what we choose to eat and drink can help to keep us in balance. The properties of Vata, the dosha most prevalent in fall, include excess movement, dryness, lightness and cold. This can manifest in anxiety, insomnia and dry skin, but a Vata-balancing diet will help to counteract these issues.

2. Stay centered with warming and soothing foods

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The foods that are best for autumn include sweet, sour, salty and oily foods, and it’s best to eat more cooked food than raw. Roasted root vegetables, savory stews and hearty soups are all excellent choices. Caffeine can aggravate the anxious energies of Vata, so avoid black or green teas that may cause jitteriness. Drink warm beverages such as herbal teas or hot water with lemon and ginger. Between meals, you can snack on a sweet piece of fruit, or try nuts and seeds, which contain healthy oils.

3. Indulge in spices and oils

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Autumn is the perfect time to experiment with various ways to spice your food. All types of spices are recommended for Vata season, so try a little bit of everything, whether it’s staples like garlic, ginger, and paprika, or something you’ve never tried like asafoetida or cardamom. It’s also recommended to add extra fats and oils to your food, so drizzle on a little olive oil, sesame oil or ghee to make your meals more indulgent.

4. Extend your Ayurvedic practice into your daily routines

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Besides food and drink, there are many other ways to actively manage Vata. Morning meditation is a great way to set a calm tone for the rest of your day. To manage anxiety, try a soothing massage with warm sesame oil, followed by a warm shower. Excessive Vata can also be counteracted by fluid movement, so try a yoga routine that is grounded, moving gently and smoothly. Pranayama breathing is also helpful. Don’t neglect Sivasana, and make sure to cover up with a blanket to stay warm.

For all the yoga and meditation supplies you’ll need to manage your energies year-round, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Food and Cooking, Health and Fitness, Meditation

This post was written by Lauren on September 21, 2015

5 Tips for a Healthy Fall

The scarves are on, the air is crisp, and fall is nearly here! Below, we’ve added our favorite tips to feel your best this season – and all year round!

1. Do some Yoga!

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How could this not be at the top of our list?! Yoga is a wonderful way to stay fit, and keep your body and mind healthy. Make time for practicing regularly – whether it be once a day or a few times a week.

And, if you feel that you’re getting stuck in a rut with your routine, switch it up! Try a new class or style of yoga, a new type of exercise, or gather up your closest pals for a fun and easy way to get motivated.

As the days get shorter and darker, yoga and other forms of exercise can be especially beneficial for a healthy rush of endorphins and staying in shape over the holiday season. Try getting outdoors for a bonus kick of vitamin D!

 

2. Make time for your friends and family

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As the weather gets chillier and the sun sets earlier, it can be particularly easy to blow off plans at the last minute. Who wants to venture out into the world when you can stay cozy indoors?! While this can be an easy route to go, resist! Bundle up in a warm jacket and go see your friends and family! They are important, you love them, go and see them. No excuses.

 

3. Practice mindful eating

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Candy corn, anyone? (Or, perhaps a bit more realistically, sugar packed pumpkin spice latte, anyone?)

Sweet and salty foods are delicious any time of the year – but what’s important is practicing moderation. The colder months, particularly fall and holiday times, are not only filled with more unhealthy foods than usual, but are also a time of higher stress levels for many. Whether the cause is going back to school, organizing the office Halloween party, or cooking Thanksgiving dinner, stressful eating is never the answer.

Instead of nervously munching on some chewy candy or crunchy chips, try excusing yourself for a quick 5-minute meditation or walk outside. You’ll feel the benefits instantly.

Another tip? Try to surround yourself with healthy food that feels good in your body. This makes it easier to stay healthy and feel good.

 

4. Help out those around you

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Giving back is an important thing to do, whether in big or small ways. Make a goal to give back regularly, not just during the fall and holiday season.

A few easy ways to get started? Try donating school supplies to your child’s school, offering to help your friend move, giving away some of your old yoga supplies, or even simply acknowledging something you value in another with a compliment.

 

5. Take care of yourself

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Another thing that’s always smart to do!

Try creating a fall “first aid kit”. This can include all your essentials, such as a cozy pair of socks, some tea bags, a comfy wrap, a good book, and an eye pillow – or any of your other favorite things to create the ultimate relaxation kit!

As the weather gets cooler, also try cleaning up and revamping your home. This is a great activity for spring cleaning as well. Reorganize your house, put away the summer clothes, throw an extra blanket on the bed, and refresh your home for the new season!

For all of your fall yoga clothing and prop needs, visit us today at BarefootYoga.com!

Posted under Eco-Friendly Yoga Products, Food and Cooking, Health and Fitness, Meditation, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by Carolina on September 18, 2015