Yoga Revival – Week 7: Empty Warehouse Yoga

 

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When Friday of week 7 of my “Yoga Revival” came around, I knew I had some free time after work, so planned to do my yoga then. It was another beautiful Seattle summer day, and the great outdoors beckoned me to do it outside. But, in the name of saving time (for a little kayaking), I decided to do my yoga in the warehouse here at Barefoot Yoga HQ after everyone left for the weekend.

I blasted some random yoga music from my computer, and rolled out my Barefoot Performance Grip mat – which has been getting grippier with age (mats really do take some time to break in). I rolled around on a tennis ball for a while, and did some hamstring stretches lying on my back – using a strap. This has become my standard warm-up.

Before getting too comfortable, I jumped up and began my sun salutations. I do these pretty similarly each time, extending the traditional salutations in ways I’ve learned over the years from various teachers, and my own experimentation – that help me to get deeper in each pose.

I am sometimes surprised when my 30 minute watch alarm goes off, and I am only just finishing my sun salutations. It’s a good sign when this happens, and an even better sign when I don’t hear the alarm, because I am so deeply immersed in the practice and the sound of my breathing. I love this about asana practice. It is easy to get so involved in the movement and breathing, that you lose yourself – which is to say you find yourself – completely immersed in the moment. These ancient yoga poses draw us into this kind of meditation, where the body and mind merge as one. There is effort, but there is also an effortless quality to this convergence. Sometimes it just happens…naturally.

Sitting meditation, on the other hand, does not provide movement to assist the mind into such a zone. Over the past 7 weeks since committing to a virtually daily practice, I have done many 30 minute sitting meditations – primarily because I had come to the end of the day without getting my yoga in, and was too full of food to do an asana practice.

There have been moments during these sitting meditations when I was in “the zone” – thinking of nothing, deeply immersed in the sound of my own breathing, very still. But I hazard to guess there have been more moments when I was squirming, my mind wandering, and wondering how long until my alarm would go off, and how was I going to make it.

On this particular afternoon, my alarm went off sooner than expected. So I reset it, and kept going. And I ended with a 10 minute sitting meditation. The random yoga music from my computer happened to have become a buoyantly sung version of the Tibetan incantation – Om Mani Padme Hum – one I had learned many years earlier when hiking the Annapurna trail in Nepal, and reading The Snow Leopard.  

Alone in the warehouse, I sang that chant with the kind of abandon I don’t believe I could have done in a class full of strangers. I was thoroughly immersed in it, “Om Mani Padme Hum” echoing through the warehouse. Those 10 minutes of sitting meditation went by in a flash. I sealed the deal with sivasana, and floated onwards from my warehouse refuge into the sunny Seattle evening – humming peacefully.

 

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

This post was written by David on August 20, 2015

5 Yoga Poses to Aide in Releasing Anger, the Healthy Way

Anger: we all experience it, and it’s a valid emotion for each and every one of us (no matter the sometimes silly or unimportant seeming reason). One thing to always remember is that your feelings are legitimate, and while there may be an underlying cause for anger that you’re not quite aware of, it doesn’t make your emotions any less important. However, when we do not honor these emotions in a healthy way, whether or not the true cause is an underlying emotion we’re not yet aware of (such as frustration, disappointment, or confusion), anger can result in not only an overall negative feeling, but also in sometimes regrettable overreactions – particularly to those closest to us.

The poses below can help any yogi express and acknowledge their anger in a healthy and fulfilling way, hopefully resulting in an understanding of the true reason of the anger, an acknowledgment of who or what the anger is related to, and how to remedy the situation in a constructive and respectful way – to yourself and to others.

1. Child’s Pose

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This is an especially beneficial pose for grief related anger. The calming, protective, and relaxed position of the body can help to offer a soothing way to let out whatever you need to – whether it is a few tears or just a much-needed moment for quiet contemplation and reflection.

While in this pose, allow yourself to feel nurtured and protected while you acknowledge the cause for this grief and anger, allowing it to be released.

 

2. Half Twist Posealso know as Half Lord of the Fishes pose

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Feeling grouchy? Just wring out the anger, man.

This pose is a wonderful way to get a satisfying stretch in and relieve tension that can often rest in the areas of the hips and back.

 

3. Vigorous Sun Salutations

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You know that feeling of punching the bag in a kickboxing class? You may not know it, but that feeling can be translated to yoga as well! Try a few sets of vigorous sun salutations on your favorite mat – enough to work up a good sweat and allow yourself to work out any frustrations of the day, leaving yourself relaxed, rejuvenated, and with a renewed lightness.

 

4. Woodchopper Pose

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This is a great way to release tension, especially when used with a loud and energetic “AH!” as you bring your “woodchopper” arms down.

 

5. Lion’s Breath

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Okay, so this one isn’t technically a pose, but it’s an awesome and empowering Pranayama breathing technique! Set your hands on top of your legs as you breath in through your nose, releasing a loud and breathy exhale from the your belly all the way out as you open your expression as wide as you can while sticking your tongue out. This is a fun and rejuvenating way to release stress and negativity in a way that may or may not have you giggling by the end of it.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed the post above.

For all of  your yoga needs, come visit us today at BarefootYoga.com!

 

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Mats, Yoga News, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by Carolina on August 13, 2015

Yoga Trends: Office Yoga

Yoga continues to grow in popularity throughout the world, and many workplaces are getting on board! As part of corporate wellness initiatives, companies including Apple, Google, Nike and General Motors have begun to offer yoga classes for their employees.

Benefits of yoga in the office include overall health improvements, stress reduction and promoting a community atmosphere among coworkers. Regular practice can increase productivity, concentration and energy levels throughout the work week. Office yoga is designed to be entry-level and low impact, so it’s easier for beginners and those with limited flexibility to participate and see the benefits of regular practice. It also helps to lessen the effects of sitting at a desk all day, where issues like neck strain and carpal tunnel can begin to take a toll.

Want to get a yoga program started at your office? First, you’ll need a quiet and comfortable room that’s large enough to accommodate your employees. You can set aside a lunch room, conference room, or other space that will be free during the class period. And of course you’ll need an instructor! Yoga Alliance is an excellent resource to find instructors in your area. Finally, each participant will need comfy clothing, as well as their own yoga mat, towel  and water bottle.

For all the supplies you’ll need for your office yoga program, visit www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Clothing, Yoga Mats, Yoga News, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by Lauren on August 10, 2015