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Book Review: ‘Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less’

Monday, April 7th, 2014

YogaSparksCF.indd

Raise your hand if you participated in the 108 Sun Salutations during the Spring Equinox this past weekend.

If you didn’t feel like you were up to it (or, opted not to for physical health reasons such as hip-related problems) or just didn’t have time (don’t get me started on that, though!), fret not: author and registered yoga teacher Carol Krucoff has put together 108 yoga practices anyone with a minute — literally, one minute — can do.

Learn more about Carol below, but for now, let’s talk about her awesome little guidebook, Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less.


My First 108 Sun Salutations Experience: Spring Equinox Version

Monday, March 24th, 2014

The 2014 Spring Equinox fell on Thursday, March 20 this year, but my yoga studio held the traditional 108 Sun Salutations celebration on Friday 21.

We’re flexible like that.

Anyway, this was my first 108 Sun Salutations event. I attended the Winter Solstice event, but my instructor had a different Surya Namaskar event planned for that one.

Like I said, we can get flexible.

So, I was extremely excited — and anxious — to participate in the 108 Spring Equinox Sun Salutations.

Excited because as a yogi who’d yet to participate, this was a big deal for me.

Anxious because, well, as a yogi who’d yet to participate, this was a big deal for me!


Yoga Lessons: Don’t Sacrifice the Breath for the Pose

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Remember when I talked about ahimsa, my first and favorite yoga lesson, and how I’ve chosen it for my mantra this year?

Well, this week I’d like to tell you about my second yoga lesson — which, coincidentally, was my mantra last year and continues to be something I remind myself of time and time again:

“Don’t sacrifice the breath for the pose.”

For many folks — especially those who’ve never practiced yoga — yoga is about a ton of awkward, nearly (or entirely) impossible poses that — if you ever manage to halfway master — give you a nice little yoga butt.

Yoga is not about getting a nice ass.


Top 10 Healthy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Active Couples

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Original Photo: epSos.de | CC

Original Photo: epSos.de | CC

AH! Valentine’s Day is just a few days away!

For those of you into Valentine’s Day with no idea what to do, I know that strikes panic in your hearts (pun intended).

(Not mine, though; the beau and I already ROCKED OUT to Kings of Leon last weekend. Seriously, who wants roses when you can dance around to “Sex On Fire”? Not this chick.)

Don’t worry, though, I’ve come up with 10 healthy and active Valentine’s Day ideas perfect for all you couples, almost-couples, and we’re-just-friends-right-now-leave-us-alone folks.


Food and Exercise as Antidepressants

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

bill-phillips-quote.jpg

How many of you eat when you’re stressed, anxious, panicky, or depressed?

Now, how many of you exercise when you’re experiencing those same feelings?

I didn’t conduct any formal poll, but I’m willing to bet more of you raised your hands for the first question than the second.

(After all, according to the CDC as of 2010, the percent of Americans 20 years old and older who are overweight, including obese, is 69.2%.)

Basically, more than half of American adults are overweight or outright obese.

Geesus Ayche.


So, You Fell Off the Wagon. Now What?

Friday, January 24th, 2014

wagon-wheel.jpg

Earlier this week, Psych Central asked Facebook readers about their favorite workouts, and whether they felt working out benefited their mental health.

(Well, I mean, of course it does.)

The response was extremely positive (you guys are AWESOME!). People talked about yoga, aerobics, running — even just getting in a walk around the track when times got busy.

I was like a proud momma.

One theme I noticed, though, was that some of you talked about feeling “guilty” when you “fell off the wagon.”

Listen, I’m here to tell you, sometimes you’re going to fall off the wagon.


Family, Friends, Mentors: The Props That Support Your Life

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

What the…

If you’ve never seen anything like the woman to the left (or, been in her position), chances are you’re not familiar with restorative yoga.

Simply put, restorative yoga is a type of relaxing yoga that focuses on passive stretching and relies heavily on yoga props.

Yoga props, you say?

Remember when we talked about yoga pose modifications and how they apply to making life modifications?

Well, yoga props (like the bolsters you see under the lady’s knees) are great for making modifications to yoga poses, but they’re especially helpful for certain types of yoga, like restorative yoga.

Restorative yoga just loves props.


15 Ways to Nourish Your Mind and Body On Bad Weather Days

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
Alicia Sparks | All Rights Reserved

Alicia Sparks | All Rights Reserved

For some of us, it’s hard to get out of bed on these cold, dreary winter days…

…much less get out of the house!

Still, we have to take time to nourish our bodies and minds, weather (pun intended — I’m here all night!) the sun’s shining, the clouds are bursting, or — in most of the east coast’s case lately — snow is swirling all around us.

Because so many of us are used to nourishing our minds and bodies outdoors (walking our dogs, heading to the yoga studio, meditation walks in the park), taking care of our minds and bodies indoors might seem challenging.


Ahimsa: My First and Favorite Yoga Lesson

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

What if we lived in a world where no one thought, spoke, or caused hurt toward others?

At least, not intentionally?

What if no one thought “Good God! Move it along, Grandma!” when behind a slow driver? What if no one yelled curse words at the barking dog down the street? What if no one made plans to trick, deceive, or physically injure other living beings?

Well…are you familiar with ahimsa?


Last Minute Shopping? 5 Mind and Body Holiday Gift Ideas

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Greetings last minute holiday shoppers!

Well, I can only assume you’re shopping last minute, if you’re reading this post today :)

Don’t worry, I’ve put a few things off ’til the last minute, too.

(It’s been a rough season, to say the least.)

Fortunately, I’ve had time to come up with this list of mind and body gift ideas for your loved ones…

…or maybe for yourself!

(After all, who says you can’t treat yourself this season, too?)


 

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