mindfulness

Shalom Bikram Yoga: Finding Home Away from Home

A couple of weeks ago, I bid a temporary farewell to my regular Vinyasa practice. It was a bittersweet departure as I reminisced over the growth, sweat, ups, downs, and upside-downs of my practice in the last six years. For the first time I thought about the actual time I clocked in various studios. I figured I practiced an average of five classes a week for six years… That’s 1,560 hours spent on my mat, the equivalent of 65 days spent doing yoga around the clock.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

When we practice at a studio, we form innocent attachments without realizing it: to teachers, the space, the energy, the rituals. Without knowing it, we begin to long for a particular fragrance of incense; we find comfort in the sounds of the heater kicking on; we take delight in the quiet serenity of a studio away from the chaos of home.

When I taught my Vinyasa classes, I often closed class reminding students that their practice is something they create; it’s something that is always inside of them, waiting for them, always there with unconditional support. They say you teach what you most need to learn.

I moved to Tel Aviv, Israel with no specific direction or plan and I was okay with that. But in the absence of a studio or a yoga community, I was feeling a little naked. The practice that once kept me planted and warm felt lost and rootless. Of course I had done the research and I knew where the studios were in Tel Aviv, but there were not any studios offering the type of Vinyasa I was habituated to.

But when people are uncomfortable they find quick ways to adapt, and my discomfort slowly evolved into excitement at the brand new direction my yoga would take; I felt at once the exhilaration of untapped potential. I was a curious and anxious beginner again.

Which is exactly how I found myself in the oven of a Bikram studio one evening, melting on my mat, trying to decipher cues spoken in Hebrew (which I do not speak), watching my face grower pinker with every asana, and absolutely loving it.

I had done Bikram-style classes before, but they were few and far in between and I was typically seeking them out just to detoxify in the heat. The discipline of the sequence was alien to me, and the lengthy time holding the asanas was genuinely challenging in its novelty. Yet, it still felt like yoga – it was still the same breath. It was beautifully exotic and innate at the same time.

At the end of my first Bikram class in Tel Aviv, I closed my practice the way I always do: thumbs at third-eye, bowed forward, eyes closed. And I couldn’t help but smile at the sensations whirling through my body and mind, as they were identical to those I felt closing my practice at home.

It didn’t matter that the studio smelled different or that the teaching style felt foreign in multiple ways. It was unimportant that I didn’t know anyone in the studio and that they didn’t know me back. I had everything I needed: body, breath, and mat.

As humans we will face the urge to attach to our environments time and time again in the search for grounding, but yoga teaches us that the real stability resides in the Self. Wherever we go, the Self will follow. That is dependable and unchanging.

Now my practice is trekking an unpaved road, constantly reminding me that yoga is an inward journey. But so long as I do my practice, I know that all is coming.

 

Feature image via: Robert Brauneis

4 Surprising Reasons Why Drinking Tea is Great for Your Health

Some people drink tea on a regular basis and others claim they are not "tea people." There is a huge selection of types, flavors, and strengths of tea with a large selection of health benefits. Once you learn some of the proven health benefits and hear the claims of health, happiness, and wisdom touted by avid tea drinkers, you may decide it is in your best interest to venture into the world of tea. Black, white, and green tea are the most pure and natural forms, but there are countless types of herbal teas touting all sorts of health benefits.

Increased Mental Clarity and Focus

Extensive research has proven that tea increases mental clarity, memory, and focus. A combination of caffeine and theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, black tea, and white tea, help increase overall mental awareness. Some even claim that the mental benefits of tea are so far reaching they can help reduce the risk of heart disease in regular tea drinkers. Try to sip a cup for your mental wellbeing before your next big meeting or study session.

Decreased Cancer Risk

Different types of teas contain a variety of antioxidants containing polyphenols. Antioxidants are responsible for helping eliminate cancer-causing free radicals from your body. To receive the highest cancer prevention benefits, choose whole leaf, non-processed tea. Even processed tea still contains some polyphenols, but many are damaged and eliminated during processing. Many suggest that white tea, uncured and unfermented, is most beneficial in preventing cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory

Tea has many anti-inflammatory benefits to the body that lead to reduced swelling, decreased pain with arthritis, increased cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, weight loss, and lessened water retention. Decreased inflammation due to the flavonol quercetin helps allergy sufferers by limiting allergic response and diminishing swelling. Add some locally sourced honey to your tea bought with Discountrue coupons for an added anti-allergen response.

Reduced Risk of Neurological Disorders

Studies suggest that regular tea consumption helps reduce the effects various neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Green tea contains very high amounts of EGCG, a powerful polyphenol. This phyto-chemical aids in keeping the neurological synapses of the brain healthy and functioning properly. Many people enjoy the soothing aroma and taste of tea, but are unaware of the numerous health benefits. Next time you cozy up with a hot (or relax with a cold) cup of tea, do so not only for your enjoyment, but for your health as well!

7 Tips to Create a Peaceful Meditation Space

  If meditation is a part of your life or if you want it to be, you need to create a special space for your meditation. Having a space designated to meditation will remind you each day to make time for it, eliminate distractions that might interfere with your practice and create a space where you can recharge and renew your body and mind.

So, if you’re ready to make a special space for your meditation practice, find out how to get started with these tips.

Choose an Area

If space allows, an entire meditation room would be a great getaway, but is not necessary. Dedicating a corner or area of a room to be your meditation space will work just as well.

Consider the amount of foot traffic going through the area to ensure that when you are meditating, you will not be interrupted. Use a bamboo screen or curtain to separate the area from the rest of the room to create a unique space solely for your relaxation.  

If there is no space inside, try creating a space in your garden or backyard. An outside space creates a great connection to nature and is usually a distraction-free zone. Weather may interfere with this space though, so be cautious.

The most important thing is that your space is separate from the rest of your home but remains inviting and comfortable.

Eliminate Distraction

Make your meditation space a strictly no-technology zone — No phones, TV or tablets. Items like to-do lists, magazines, laundry baskets and other work should not be in your sight while in this area. It’s also a good idea to tell anyone else in the house that when you are in the meditation area, they should avoid interrupting you if possible.

You want to be able to focus on your meditation and relaxation. Distractions will take away from the feeling of peacefulness that you are trying to achieve. Do all you can to give yourself an uninterrupted meditation session.

Simplify

When it comes to a meditation space, less is more. A few basic and simple items in your area will create a serene and relaxing space. Consider a meditation pillow, a yoga mat or blanket, a small table for an altar and a throw rug.

You can also add a few other items that are personal to you — things that make you smile and feel relaxed. Just try to keep the space cluttered to set the tone for decluttering your own mind.

Activate All of Your Senses

Add an item that will stimulate each of your senses. For smell, add incense or a candle. For sight, bring in a painting or statue that means something to you. For touch, some mala beads or a stone to hold during your meditation will calm your hands. For sound, you can add quiet and calming music or use wind chimes for a more natural sound. For taste, keep a small glass of water nearby to replenish yourself after or during your meditation.

Having something for each of your senses will allow you to focus on your mind and body during your practice.

Invite in Mother Nature

Meditation is about connecting to nature and the Earth. Adding a small item will give you the healing that nature provides. Try a small plant, bamboo shoot, sand, shells or a small water fountain.

The touch of nature will connect you to the world around you and bring your meditation practice full circle.

Choose Lighting and Colors to Achieve the Mood

You may choose to make your meditation space bright and vibrant or you may choose to go serene and calm. Whichever you decide, make sure your lighting and color choices help foster the feeling you want.

If you want a brighter and cheerful area, you can let in natural light, use bright lights and choose vibrant or pastel colors. If your style is muted, use dim lighting and darker colors. If natural light still comes in, use a sheer fabric to diffuse the light and make a darker room.

The color of the area affects your mood and the lighting will set a certain tone, so make sure both are helping you achieve the meditation mood that fits you.

Meditate

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 7.21.09 PMNow that your area is created and decorated, don’t forget the most important step: Use it. Set aside a time each day or week to use your meditation space. Also, make sure to keep your space clean and dedicated only to meditation.

The best thing you can do when creating your meditation space is to make it unique. However you want your space set up, be sure that it invites you in, makes you feel at home and creates a feeling of relaxation for you. The space is for you, so do whatever you want to make it your own.


 

Megan Wild is a ½ home designer and ½ writer. She loves finding inspiration from the outdoors and the places she travels to. When she’s not DIY-ing a project, you can find her chronicling her adventures on her blog, Your Wild Home.

 

How Spending Time with Nature Can Boost Your Awareness

  Sometimes answers we are looking for are right in front of us, but in a busy daily life, absorbed in routines and habits; it is easy to become blind.

When is the last time you have really listened to yourself?

When was the last time you allowed yourself to do nothing but observe?

To cultivate a deep awareness of your surroundings?

To surrender yourself to the present moment?

 

If you now tell yourself that you do not have time to sit still and cultivate awareness, you are among those who need to do so the most!

Taking time to meditate, will give you that time.

A useful meditation exercise is to find a quiet place in nature.

 

Look around you.

What do you see?

What are you drawn to?

When you have found that thing that attracts you, ask it, “What is your secret?”

Then listen with your heart.

What are the sounds, what are the shapes, what are the feelings that reach you?

Observing nature can grant you more than just a pretty view for the eye. Nature is full of wisdom.

 

Take for example the ocean.

Let’s ask the sea together, “Dear ocean what is your secret?”

The answer of the ocean:

“I have so much to give from. There is enough of me to be of service to all: plants, animals, and human beings. I invite everybody in, and surround them with my presence. I am a source of life, a source of food, a source of joy. I cool you down when you are warm, I let you ride me, and I let you explore my endlessness. You can float on top of me and use me for transportation, or you can dive into me and feel me more closely. You can stare at me as long as you like. I share my beauty with you, and keep nothing for myself.

I am the glue that holds the world together. I touch all continents, and without judgement, I offer everybody what I have to give. I reach up and fade into the infinity of the sky.

My waves will sing you a lullaby to keep you calm, but sometimes they play heavy metal. Opposites must be balanced.

Though I can be caring, and carry you far, I forge respect.

I show my essence in various disguises. I take on many forms. I can be still as a mirror. I can be powerful. My strong waves can carve out the sand of beaches with my force. I can turn into playful rings. I can sway softly, or wave brutally. I can even go through the body of a whale, be blown into the sky with force, fall back home and return to the shape I had. I can be dark, blue, turquoise, green, brown, white, and red. Sometimes I mirror the colors that surround me. Sometimes I put on my silver dress and dance in the moonlight. Yet, it is always me. I am the same, no matter how I look and what I act like.

You can likewise take on different shapes, and still be you. Your outer can change, whilst your inner essence stays intact. As I can, you can embrace and be valued for all the forms you take on. Each form of you has a specific quality, you just need to figure out which.

And like me, you can make yourself available to the world. You can without judgement give what you have to offer. Make yourself useful, appreciated and limitless.”

 

Thus, dedicating a bit of time in nature with nature can be very rewarding.

If you're lucky, you become aesthetically recharged, learn about yourself, and find guidance to live rather than just moving along through life. Natures greatest gift is awareness.


 

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 9.46.52 AMMaria is a RYT200 and Reiki II practitioner from Yandara Yoga Institute. She has practiced since she was a teenager, but as she moved to a bigger town in 2011 she discovered that yoga is much more than asana practice. In 2014 she began to practice daily, which transformed her life. To Maria yoga is philosophy, mantras, meditation, and ethics. Yoga is a life style. It is a choice to be a happy and loving person. Last but not least, yoga is an art form. It is a way to find elegance and to connect with the inner self.

Besides from being a yogini, Maria is a master student of social anthropology, a travel enthusiast, and an amateur cook and blogger. Connect with Maria on Facebook!

Featured Image via: Clare Jim

The Ultimate Guide to Staying Motivated into the New Year

Even though we're already a couple weeks into 2016, there's no reason why you can't choose a resolution now. The holiday season has its share of wonderful moments; it's always great to see family and celebrate, while taking some time off work. However, there's no doubting that the season is also full of hectic situations. From planning events to buying gifts, it's easy to feel exhausted going into the holidays; there’s just so much that has to be done.

Staying motivated throughout the New Year instead can be extremely beneficial to your focus, efficiency and overall health. The six tips below will help you use the chaos of the holiday season as a surprising way to stay focused and motivated into the New Year:

 

Maintain Your Exercise Routine

It’s easier to stay motivated if you strive to maintain your exercise routine to a reasonable degree into the New Year. Doing so will shake off the holiday grogginess that many people feel come after New Year’s, mostly due to sitting around and eating/drinking. Those things are fine; it’s the holidays after all. Just be sure to start back up with your usual exercise ASAP to burn it off and stay motivated.

 

Give Time, Money, or Gifts to Others

Charity is mutually beneficial; it helps others while boosting your own sense of self-worth (and rightfully so). A lack of motivation can be due to fear of failure or lack of faith in one’s abilities, both areas that can be aided by the work and resulting feeling of helping out in a soup kitchen, donating your bonus to charity, or going gift shopping for others. Being charitable not only during the holiday season, but all year long is the right thing to do and helps you stay motivated as well.

 

Set Realistic Goals

There's a lot of stress injected into our lives during the holiday season, largely because we're deliberating about changes to our lives in the near future. With this in mind, it's always important to set realistic goals, as opposed to over-encumbering yourself with unrealistic expectations. Making short term goals as opposed to long term goals can help provide a likelier positive mental payoff that rewards your psyche and maintains focus.

 

Visualize Tasks

Getting back into a routine after the holidays can be tough. It's a useful habit to use visuals to aid in organizational skills. This can be done as simply as placing yellow post-its on your fridge, or using a small section of your home for work with a small board displaying tasks that need to be accomplished.

There are also a wide assortment of mobile apps that aid in task management. Many of them feature notification options that will notify you via a text message or pop-up when a certain task needs to be done, or simply a friendly reminder. This is particularly useful for those who are wary of losing track of time and responsibilities during the holidays, which is certainly the most vulnerable time of the year for such to occur.

 

Do the Mundane Tasks Right Away

Specifically by attending to any pending mundane tasks, like paying off your credit card, addressing any bills, making any repairs you’ve been putting off, etc. This will make the transition from holiday break to work a lot easier when the time comes, keeping you motivated, focused and confident as opposed to unprepared and overwhelmed.

 

Show Interest in the Careers of Others

Not only is showing interest in this admirable conversationally, but it can also keep you motivated; hearing of others’ business successes will motivate you to do the same, while more bleak tales of business can serve as a lesson of things to avoid.

 

These six tips should keep you alert and motivated throughout the holiday season, enough to make the transition seamless when it passes, resulting in a very ideal way to start the New Year.


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 8.48.46 AMKacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for "The Drifter Collective."  Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.  Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Twitter. Pinterest.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.

 

10 Great Reads for Yoga Teachers

I love to learn and am addicted to books which is lucky for me since there is so much to learn as a teacher and student of yoga. Piled up on my desk, book shelves and even on my floor is my large collection of yoga, Ayurveda and healing books. Each book has taught me something invaluable and has shaped my yoga teaching and my practice on and off of the mat.
I know there are countless numbers of inspiring, informative and life-changing books out there that yoga teachers would benefit from reading. This list is not meant to be comprehensive by any means but is a list of my most well-loved books with the most dog-eared pages. Enjoy!

The Yoga Sutra’s by Patanjali translated by Sri Swami Satchitananda

If your a yoga teacher or serious student of yoga there is a really good chance that you have already read this book. Reading the Sutras is required by nearly every yoga teacher training program and for good reason it is the foundational text on the eight-limbed path of yoga most of us practice and teach.
I have four different Sutra translations on my self but this is the one I use most often.

Path of the Yoga Sutras by Nicolai Bachman

This book is a perfect companion to any Yoga Sutras book you choose. It is easily digestible and mindfully explains the key concepts presented in the Sutras in a way that is practical and engaging. After reading this book I felt connected to the Sutras on a much deeper level and begin living them with purpose on a daily basis.

The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele

This is without a doubt my most favorite and heavily dog-eared yoga book. If you're looking for a great guide to help take yours and your students practice beyond the mat, look no further. I use this book in my daily life and teach from it often.

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

For many this books is considered the bible when it comes to learning and teaching asana (poses). In this epic text BKS Iyengar, details over 200 poses, with descriptions that include how to do the pose, the benefits of the pose, contraindications and desired sensation.
I used this book a lot when I first started practicing, forgot about it for a while then re-discovered it recently. Bottom line is its a great reference that no yogi should be without.

Yoga Anatomy - by Lesile Kaminoff or Functional Anatomy of Yoga by David Keil

Every yoga teacher should have at least a few good yoga specific anatomy books. These are the two I reference the most.

Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith

This book is the perfect guide for understanding the energy body and diving deeper into the chakras. It provides detailed information for each chakra including how to optimize your chakras for better health, greater personal power and expanded awareness. My favorite bits of the book are the mediations at start of each the chapter.

Prakriti by Dr. Robert Svoboda

As a yoga teacher students often come to you with their health questions and concerns. This book is a good place to begin to build a foundation in Ayurveda. Having a basic understanding of Ayurveda not only helps you to support your students on a deeper level but can help you to better understand your students.

Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

I have a few daily meditation and affirmation type books on the floor of my meditation space. After my morning meditation I’ll pick one up, open to a random page and soak in the the wisdom for that day. This book offers simple ways to integrate mindfulness and yoga teachings into your everyday. It also provides great inspiration for teaching and class themes.

Teaching Yoga by Dona Farhi

As a yoga teachers we are called on to fill many roles - more than just facilitating a safe and affective asana class. This book covers a range of subjects other yoga texts do not including, how to create appropriate boundaries, dealing with difficult students, creating a safe environment, charging fair prices and teaching with integrity.

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

This is one of the first yoga books I ever read. Like most yogis I found it deeply inspiring and moving. It’s simply a great story. I bought the audio version and listen to on long flights, including my last trek to India. I have not seen the movie detailing Yogananda’s life but look forward to it.
As I said this list is by no means comprehensive but should give you a great place to start expanding your collection of yoga books. Please share your favorites!

The Good in Volunteering

  We’ve all been told from a young age that sharing is a good thing so it should come as no surprise that sharing our time by volunteering can benefit us in many ways. Time is a product that many of us have a limited supply of, so sharing it gives a sense of fulfillment while offering something that all organizations are begging for. While volunteering is great for our resumes, it also does a ton for our community and our psyche. Because of this, volunteer programs are on the rise and our young people are taking part in this trend to help their community as well.

For the Community

The obvious winner for those who volunteer is the community that they are volunteering for. Volunteering your time offers resources for the community free of charge, works to help the business you are volunteering for, and sets an example in your community. For many programs that have volunteer opportunities, they are providing a service that isn’t for profit. Many of these institutions help animals, children, or those in need. They keep cities clean, help to rebuild, and raise awareness. Because these organizations aren’t creating a product for profit, volunteers are the legs keeping them standing. When you volunteer for organizations like this, you are really making a difference in the community that the organization is a part of.

The latest estimated value of volunteer time is $23.07 per hour. According to the Corporation for National Service, about 62.6 million Americans gave 7.7 billion hours of volunteer service worth $173 billion in 2013. These numbers show just how much time costs to the organizations receiving volunteers and how much the price of volunteering has become more profitable for organizations since 2001 when the value of volunteering was around $16 per hour. These numbers literally mean life or death for many organizations helping people across the world.

For the Soul

Many people have issues with the idea of volunteering for any reason that may benefit them. Since volunteering is essentially very selfless and altruistic in itself, it’s difficult to look at volunteering as a way to gain anything tangible for risk of sounding selfish. Realistically, volunteering is good for the soul. It allows you the chance to make a difference even if it feels small. It increases self-confidence, provides a sense of purpose, and combats depression. According to a study done by the London School of Economics called Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A practical, easy guide for healthy, happy living, the more people volunteered, the happier they were and the higher their average income compared with those that don’t.

[bctt tweet="Volunteering is good for the soul. It allows you the chance to make a difference even if it feels small."]

Ultimately the message is that giving to others does positive things for your psyche and it is okay to seek out opportunities to help others in order to gain happiness within yourself. Volunteering time to your community is a circular thing. You volunteer time to help others and then you are profiting from others that are volunteering. Each person is giving, gaining, and living a happier life.

For the Youth

There are many popular volunteer organizations for small children all the way up to young adults. Young people are more likely than any other age group to have volunteered informally in the past years. Youth volunteer participation is higher now than it’s ever been. This is due to more programs being offered every year, many schools and jobs that offering preference to those that have volunteered, and many schools offering volunteer programs through their institutions. Because so many communities are offering perks for volunteering, young people are willing to take these volunteer opportunities to gain experience, more chances for scholarships, and the prospect of adding to their resumes.

For college students as well as recent graduates, volunteer programs with abroad options are becoming a popular way to gain experience, enhance their resumes, and change the world in some small way. Travel has always been a popular wish for the youthful and now there are more options than ever for those who wish to help out other communities and travel while doing it. For those that want to experience different cultures, the options for volunteering abroad have become a popular choice over the traditional ways of travel. This trend for our young people shows the example the generation previous had for us and the example we will leave for our children.

 

With so many perks associated with the act of volunteering it’s no wonder that the trend has been on the rise. Many people are sacrificing their time to organizations that make a difference in their communities. Without these volunteers, most of these non-profit organizations wouldn’t be able to exist, so for those that see the good in volunteering they are changing the lives for so many people around them including enhancing their own happiness.


 

Author bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She spends her time with her animals, exploring Idaho with her fiancé, and volunteering at Simply Cats.

 

Feature image: ResoluteSupportMedia

 

What You Don't Know about Yoga Clothes...but Should!

Yoga as a practice has soared in popularity over the last few years, and so has the demand for yoga apparel. Some surveys even point to ‘yoga wear’ outpacing the growth of the practice itself. This essentially means that there are more people who wear yoga clothes than the number of people actually doing yoga! However, awareness needs to be raised throughout the global yoga community about clothing that is increasingly made out of plastic. While the serious yoga practitioner is conscious about their food, their carbon footprint, their holistic lifestyle and their connection with the universe, many are unaware or have been kept in the dark about the presence of plastic in yoga wear. We estimate that nine out of 10 yoga pants are made from plastic or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic, and that is very alarming.

[bctt tweet="Nine out of 10 yoga pants are made from plastic or polyethylene terephthalate (PET)"]

Wearing certified organic clothing made from natural materials has huge benefits for the body, mind and spirit, as well as the environment. And that is what’s missing in the larger yoga apparel market. We made that our vision when we started Proyog, a certified organic brand focused on the serious yoga practitioner with styles inspired by 3,000-year-old ancient Indian designs.

During the two-year design process, we consulted hundreds of yogis across the globe. Ninety-eight percent of those we surveyed said they prefer to wear natural materials. This overwhelming fact motivated us to create a line that resonated with their core philosophy and was conducive to the practice of yoga. As a yoga practitioner myself, I believe yoga asanas should be done wearing naturally breathable clothes that allow the body to move freely and are gentle on the skin. Yoga clothes should not be constraining in any way.

Breathable fabrics let air in and out, keeping the body cooler and drier. Clothing made from all natural fibers and materials like cotton, bamboo, or hemp are best suited for this purpose. Another great benefit of natural fibers like cotton is that they harbor fewer bacteria types, thereby causing ‘less’ odor. In addition, cotton is naturally hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. In fact, Proyog’s trademarked HyperBreath fabrics are made from naturally breathable materials, unlike the synthetic fibers used by many global brands. Our textile engineers and production processes have been pushed to the limits to help translate core-spun technology into yoga friendly fabrics - based on our mandate that plastic should not come in contact with the skin.

Additionally, the use of organic materials also ensures that we are not polluting the earth with harmful chemicals. When the conscientious and the serious practice yoga in organic clothing, they actually feel the difference in body and mind.

So the next time you go step into your yoga class, we’d like to remind you to test the difference between synthetic and natural. Make sure to check the garment labels in your yoga wear to see if they belong to the PET category. The simple choice in selecting clothing made from natural fibers will go a long way to enhancing the joys of a wholesome yoga practice. Remember that yoga is not just about getting your body in shape; it is about being free to be absolutely one with the universe.

[bctt tweet="Yoga is not just about getting your body in shape; it is about being free to be one with the universe."]


Autor Bio

Malika Baruah

Product Head and Co-founder, Proyog

From her early days of pattern-making under Pierre Cardin, to heading design at Levi Strauss India, Malika Baruah has been in the fashion retail business for over 20 years. As a design head, Malika has conceptualized and successfully launched nine brands in the India. Her experience is nothing if not remarkably diverse. Drawn toward natural and sustainable design, her Indian roots seem to find a quiet expression in everything she does. She believes that design in the fashion realm unites beauty with form and comfort, eventually reflecting one’s personality. Over the last few years, Malika has had her sights set on the online world. She runs Binary Bulb, her own a digital design agency in Bangalore. She is also a partner at Fisheye Creative Solutions, a specialized marketing communications company. Her love for yoga began in 2001, and she has been practicing ever since. Proyog is the inevitable realization of her personal and professional passions.

The Long-Lasting Mental and Physical Benefits of Doing Yoga

  It should come as no surprise that any kind of exercise is beneficial to you. However, there are different kinds of exercises, and some of them can produce different results. Yoga is one of the few exercises that can help you not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Part of finding the wonder of the poses is to find the stillness in them — to hold them with a minimum amount of movement and be able to mentally move away from the difficulty of the pose. Some of the effects of a regular yoga practice last long beyond the actual practice.

[bctt tweet="The effects of a regular #yoga practice last long beyond the actual practice."]

Long Life

While yoga can’t stop the aging process, it can help slow it down. There are a wide variety of benefits from yoga that can affect the aging process. Everything from lower cholesterol, better sleep, superior muscle tone, caloric restriction, increased bone density and improved balance can contribute to a longer lifespan. Yoga helps with all of these! These, however, are only the physical aspects. Yoga can also help with mental problems like stress, which lowers the risk of obesity and heart disease and helps lead to a longer lifespan.

Overcoming Addictions

When struggling with an addiction, it almost always helps to find something to do. Finding something to keep your mind occupied and your fingers busy can help fight the inevitable urges. Yoga is not only a form of physical exercise, although it can be that if you choose. Many types of yoga focus on a mind-body connection, promoting physical, mental and spiritual health. Because addiction also impacts all of these areas, it only makes sense to use a method that can also address those aspects. There are even some specific poses that can be helpful in addiction recovery such as camel pose, dancer’s pose and corpse pose.  

Working With Mental Disorders

Mental disorders have become increasingly common in the U.S. You or someone you know might suffer from anxiety or depression. While yoga cannot provide a cure for these disorders, it can help regulate them. Studies on depression and anxiety have shown that yoga does provide emotional relief from these devastating symptoms. However, for severe cases, it has not been found to be more helpful than medications and traditional therapy. It can be a wonderful tool for those who suffer from mild anxiety or depression, but speaking with your doctor is always recommended.

Reduction of Fight or Flight

Our sympathetic nervous system is a powerful tool, responsible for sparking the “fight or flight response” when a person encounters a stressor. Our bodies assume those stressors are life and death situations, but it’s often a yearly performance review, missed deadlines or a traffic jam. Yoga, on the other hand, taps into our parasympathetic nervous system, which is basically the opposite. This stimulates what’s referred to as the “rest and digest response,” which is where your body feels relaxed and safe enough to perform normal functions. By activating the restful side of your nervous system, you can give your body a real chance to reboot. That’s why yoga can be so refreshing — you’ve literally reset the wiring.

Better Sleep

Since you’re working to reduce your stress and your body’s responses to stress, you’ll find that you’re more able to relax. In addition, the physical exercise you can get will also help tire your body out and help you forget about the problems you faced throughout the day. Even short term yoga practice and gentle yoga routines can have a beneficial impact and improve both the length of time you sleep and the quality of sleep.

The end result is the same no matter how many items are listed — yoga is good for you. A regular practice is likely to impact your life in ways you never imagined. Make some time to get on your mat a few times a week. You’ll be glad you did!

[bctt tweet="Make some time to get on your #YogaMat a few times a week. You’ll be glad you did!"]


 

Kacey Mya is a lifestyle blogger for "The Drifter Collective."  Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her.  Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, continuously building her strong love for style while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.