5 Yoga Poses to Relax Your Aches & Pains

Feeling a bit achy in the knees, perhaps paired with a twitch in the lower back? Not to worry! We’ve compiled five of our favorite yoga poses below that can help to relax and rejuvenate those areas that tend to be a little touchier than others.

 

1. Cat/Cow Pose

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This is a great pose for strengthening and stretching the back and spine – it helps to relieve tension in a noticeable, yet gentle, way while also helping to calm the mind. This is an ideal pose to do at home after a long day to help work out the kinks (and we mean for both body and mind). And, if you find that your knees feel a bit too much pressure during this pose, try it out using our ¼” Hybrid Eco Mat. This thick and supportive mat will provide a great surface to keep your joints at ease during any pose.

 

2. Butterfly Pose

ButterflyPose

This pose works wonderfully for opening up the hips to give them, as well as your inner thighs, a satisfying stretch. However, if you’re finding that this pose is a bit harsh on the knees or you have limited hip flexibility, try out a couple of blankets or foam blocks underneath the outside of your knee/leg area for added support. For a bonus neck stretch, try gently lowering your chin to your chest (but don’t strain or force anything!)

 

3. Marichi’s Pose

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This is an awesome pose for relieving not only shoulder pain, but back and hip pain, too! Sit on a comfortable surface (such as a mat or blanket) and gently cross one leg over the other as shown above. Then, try twisting the opposite side of your body towards your upright knee to bring your arm over your knee for a lovely stretch that’s great for opening up multiple areas at once!

 

 4. Salutation Seal

SalutationSeal

A supremely relaxing pose, salutation seal helps not only to calm and free stress from the mind, but it’s also a great pose to aid with hand and wrist flexibility – the areas affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. Whether you’re at the office or relaxing at home, if you notice that your hands and/or wrists are feeling a little stiff or numb, try taking a few moments to sit in this meditative pose with your hands together for a calming wrist and hand stretch.

 

5. Bound Angle Pose

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Feeling the need to stretch your knees? Try out Bound Angle pose! Sitting comfortably on a mat, or Zafu for added support, bring your legs straight out in front of you. Then, while holding your feet together, gently bring both feet (soles together) towards yourself while bringing your knees outward. Don’t feel the need to strain by bringing your feet as far in as possible – wherever they feel comfortable is a good place to stop. Then, bring your chin slightly down to stretch it out (again, don’t strain). For added support, try adding blocks or blankets under your outer knees if needed.

Come visit us at Barefoot Yoga today to stock up on any and all props you need to begin, or continue, your healing journey of yoga.

 

Posted under Eco-Friendly Yoga Products, Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Mats

This post was written by Carolina on July 10, 2015

Yoga Trends: Sound Healing and Nada Yoga

 

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Sound Healing is a practice that has been gaining popularity in the yoga community for some time. This type of therapy is based on Nada Yoga, an ancient metaphysical system that incorporates philosophy, medicine and yoga. Nada Yoga means “union through sound,” and practitioners believe that the entire cosmos – including humans – is made up of sound energy. Everything in the universe has its own unique vibration, or sonic footprint.

 

In a Sound Healing session, there is often a healing attunement performed with specially pitched tuning forks. The tuning forks are struck and then held near the body, to heal and promote relaxation. You can also enjoy therapeutic concerts played on a variety of instruments, especially singing bowls, bells, gongs and shakers.

 

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This type of therapy is said to have many benefits, including stress reduction, improved sleep and pain management. The use of sound can also deepen meditation practice – many yogis would be most familiar with chanting the mantra “OM,” which focuses our intention and connects us with the universe.

 

Sound Healing treatments are available at yoga centers and alternative medicine clinics around the world, and there are many resources for exploring its benefits on your own, as well! For meditation supplies to aid your Sound Healing practice, visit barefootyoga.com!

 

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

This post was written by Lauren on July 6, 2015

Summer Yoga Festivals

It’s festival season, and if you’re a community-minded yogi, you have a wealth of options for great yoga festivals to attend! Grab your yoga mat, and let’s take a look at some of the most popular and interesting yoga-oriented events coming up in July:

 

1. Wanderlust

 

Wanderlust

 

One of the biggest festival series in the United States, Wanderlust comes to both Colorado and British Columbia in July. Each of their retreats takes place at a beautiful and natural resort, and you can experience yoga, meditation, workshops and a number of other activities geared towards the festivals’ active and mindful participants. You’ll also enjoy performances by notable musical guests – in the past, Wanderlust has hosted artists like Moby, Girl Talk, Michael Franti and Ziggy Marley!

 
2. Telluride Yoga Festival

 

Telluride

 

Also in Colorado, there’s the Telluride Yoga Festival. Nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains, you can enjoy yoga practice in a huge variety of styles, along with Ayurvedic workshops, group hikes and Reiki instruction.

 

3. Yoga Festival Berlin

For European yogis, Berlin’s Yoga Festival is coming soon! There will be dozens of inspiring guests and speakers, focusing on a number of topics and disciplines including Buddhism, meditation, detoxification and Kundalini.

 

4. cOMmon Grounds Yoga and Music Festival

Yoga and music go hand in hand! The annual cOMmon Grounds Yoga and Music Festival takes place at a picturesque campground outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota. There are daily yoga classes and concerts of course, but the festival also offers evening movies, drumming circles, hiking, biking and more!

 

5. International Tantra Festival

 

Tantra Festival

 

This festival, dedicated to the ancient practice of Tantra, will be held at a beautiful resort in Estonia, with lakeside camping available to all attendees. This program focuses on both the spiritual and physical aspects of Tantra, inspiring its participants to fully embrace life and love with a broad range of workshops.

 

6. Northwest Yoga Feast

 

NW Yoga Feast

 

And back in our neck of the woods, we have the Northwest Yoga Feast in northern Idaho – that’s right, it’s now Yoga Feast, not just Yoga Fest! Featuring Seattle-based chef Karrian Neal, this event will feed both mind and body. The chef’s menus focus on “conscious consumption” and are all vegetarian and vegan. But the yoga doesn’t take a back seat to the food – there are tons of classes, ranging from Acro Yoga to Vinyasa.

And for yoga on the go, check out Barefoot Yoga’s convenient yoga mat bags, which are perfect to tote all your festival necessities this summer!

 

Posted under Food and Cooking, Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Conferences, Yoga Events, Yoga Mats, Yoga News

This post was written by Lauren on June 29, 2015