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YogaPaws Blog for Beginner Poses and Postures

Yoga Buffet: Develop a Taste for Different Approaches

Posted on Fri, Mar 22, 2013

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Everyone gets stuck in a rut from time to time, whether in your job, your life, your style of dressing or even your yoga practice. Routine isn’t a bad thing when it’s helping you to be organized so that your days are more peaceful. It’s also nice to know that you can count on a good experience in a class or that Thursday night out with family and/or friends as something to look forward to.

yoga paws, hot yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa yogaHere’s where discernment comes into play. There’s a difference between the thought patterns that hold you back and the comfortable life patterns that help your days feel anchored and settled. Maybe, you can’t remember the last time you missed your favorite Thursday yoga class. Or, you consider yourself “addicted” to your preferred style. Your home practice never varies. Sound familiar? First of all, good on you for finding a practice that inspires you. Consistency on your mat is a great thing and is a wonderful tool for advancing your mental and physical practice. There’s no need to leave that routine, but sometimes trying a different style can be a fun complement to your weekly practice. Because yoga is so complex, it’s easy to forget how much variety there is beyond the classes you regularly take.

yoga food, yogi, yoga for change, yoga for depressionJust like with food, experimenting with your yoga can add flavor to your regular practice. Sometimes seeing poses through the lens of a different style or teach can help you toward that “aha!” moment. Sometimes, a different class can teach you something about yourself as a yoga student—you tend to respond to visual cues more than verbal corrections to adjust your alignment, for example—that helps you learn. Often, it takes a blend of styles to help you open all of the opportunities for expanding your physical capabilities on the mat as well as your mental and spiritual muscles.

yoga class, yoga paws, hatha yoga, vinyasa yogaIf you are looking to try a different kind of class, the first thing to consider is how far you feel like going outside the box. Maybe you are just looking for a different shade of the same color. If you’re a regular hatha yoga student, giving yin a go might offer you the chance to slow down further and explore each pose more deeply. Learning to stay in a position for five minutes, feeling your body warm and soften and passing the point of reactivity as you release enables you find new meaning to the idea of being in the moment.

If you usually seek out vinyasa or power yoga, you might want to find a hot class to intensify the experience. The challenge of creating heat inside the body as you move through a slow but steady series of asanas while accepting the 105-plus-degree heat in the room can bring a sort of laser focus to your movements and your breath. Working in the heat can help you get in touch with the idea of softening and lengthening your muscles and tendons—a perfect complement to the muscular expansion/compress that typifies flow classes.

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Maybe, you’d like to take a leap outside of your comfort zone. If that’s the case, think about what kind of different class you want. If you are a Bikram devotee, just trying a class without the heat will offer a new experience of yoga. If you’ve done Ashtanga for most of your time as a student, you might want to try a hatha or vinyasa class to see what it’s like when you can’t predict the next asana. 

And, sometimes experimenting is just plain fun. Walking into class with no expectations is a great tool to give yourself a clean slate. The poses that send up red flags in your regular class may not even be part of the sequence in a different style. And, the class is bound to be unfamiliar, so you walk in with a fresh attitude and enjoy a new way of moving and thinking.

 

Dig Deeper

Guide to yoga styles

Deepening your yoga practice

Yoga pose library

Tags: yoga for beginners, advanced yoga, Beginning Yoga Poses, Mindful eating, vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga

Five Tips for Beginning Yoga Lovers

Posted on Tue, Nov 01, 2011

Practicing yoga offers countless benefits, but for some people, beginning a practice can be intimidating. One of the first things to keep in mind is that the practice of yoga has nonjudgement built right in. If you choose to start by taking a class (which is a good idea!) your teacher may remind the class – particularly if there are beginners – that this is not a competition, and that everyone should focus on their own practice, not that of anyone else in the class. In addition, the instructor will help you modify poses to make them appropriate for your fitness level.

 

Here are five tips to help you get your practice off to a great start:

 

yoga class, yoga paws1. Choose a class that is right for you.

There are lots of types of yoga, and after you’ve practiced a bit you’ll probably want to explore different classes.  Many studios offer classes for beginners, and might indicate those classes on their schedule. Here’s a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga that can help you decode the schedule at your gym and figure out which class is right for you.

 

Hatha

Hatha is a very general term that can encompass many of the physical types of yoga. If a class is described as Hatha style, it is probably going to be slow-paced and gentle and provide a good introduction to the basic yoga poses.

 

Vinyasa

Like Hatha, Vinyasa is a general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses… [read more]

 

2. Know what you need to get started.

This is simple, as you don’t need much more than a mat and some comfortable clothes in order to start practicing yoga.

 

Comfortable breathable clothing is best. You may want to wear a form-fitting shirt, since in many yoga poses your head is below your hips and your shirt may slide down. Any exercise pants or shorts will do, but you may want to avoid slick lycra as it may cause you to slide on your mat.

 

When it comes to mats, there are a variety from which to choose, and if you develop a lifelong practice, you’ll want to invest a bit more in a mat. To start, you can usually rent mats at a yoga studio; just be sure to clean the mat before and after use. After a class or two, you can make a decision about how much you want to spend on a mat.  For those sweaters out there check out YogaPaws.  These nifty little gadgets can be used solo for travel or in conjunction with your yoga mat it keep you lock in place.

 

3. Know the basics of yoga etiquette.

Being familiar with yoga etiquette will help you feel more comfortable the first time you walk into a studio. Here’s a quick list of things to be aware of:

  • Take off your shoes before entering the yoga room
  • Turn off your phone, or better yet, leave it in the car
  • Arrive ten minutes before the class starts, giving yourself time to set up your mat and relax
  • Introduce yourself to the teacher, and tell her you’re new to yoga; she’ll be happy to give you some additional help and to modify poses for you throughout the class
  • Go to the bathroom before class

 

4. Make time for yoga in your schedule.

As with any type of physical activity, you need to incorporate yoga into your schedule.  If you’re going to take classes, you’ll want to find a yoga studio nearby, increasing the chances of creating a regular practice. Review the class schedule, become familiar with what each class is and what level of student it’s designed for  (ask the people who work at the studio for help!), then put the classes you want to take into your calendar right away. You’ll avoid scheduling other events when you’ve already allocated the time to yoga.

 

5. Give it some time.

We’ve all heard the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and it applies to yoga as well. When you see your instructor moving smoothly through a flow, doing a handstand with no apparent effort, or holding an awkward-looking pose, remember that she’s probably been practicing for years. Ask her… she’ll be happy to tell you that she couldn’t even THINK about doing that handstand until after she’d been practicing for a year! Be patient with yourself and don’t push. Yoga is a combination of mind, body and spirit and you’ll see the benefits of it over time – not after a few classes!

Tags: yoga for beginners, vinyasa yoga

yoga and weight loss

Posted on Tue, Mar 22, 2011

Guess What!   Sunday finally marked Spring equinox, the first day of Spring.  The days are getting longer, its getting warmer outside, and flowers are blooming everywhere. 

Time to lose the infamous fall and winter fluff, and whip that butt into summer shape. Yoga can help.

When you regularly do yoga your body benefits by becoming stronger, flexible, toned, and cleansed.  Your mind benefits from the stress reduction, healthy happy endorphins, and an overall sense of well being. 

None of you were born yesterday and know that you must eat a healthy, balanced diet in conjunction with any exercise plan that gets the heart pumping to lose weight.  Studies have shown individuals who practice yoga regularly are more inclined to have a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.  Ralph Marston
yoga, beach, wight loss, health

If you would like to see results fast, we recommend adding cardiovascular activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, surfing, cart wheels in an open field... ect.  In addition to practicing three 90 min yoga class a week.

Vinyasa or flow yoga is awesome to get the heart pumping.  This style has a series of sun salutations with different modifications throughout the class.  The more the heart pumps, the hotter the body gets, the more you sweat.  YogaPaws are the perfect solution to keep you locked in place as the body heats up.

Power Yoga has become extremely popular by leaving its practicitioners panting, drenched in sweat, and begging for more. This style offers a vigorous cardiovascular workout best suited with YogaPaws. You can push through your limits and move deeper into each pose without the worry of slipping. 

Hot Yoga is basically vinyasa yoga done in a hot room usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. Once the class is complete all the practitioner look like they just jumped out of a pool with their yoga gear on. The high heat, profuse sweating, and increased body heat allows the body to be more flexible and purge toxins from the buckets of sweat you are sure to release. YogaPaws are the perfect accessory for hot yoga.  The reason is when we sweat all the lotions, soaps, oils, dirt, ect come up and out of the pores from within your hands and feet.  This can make the yoga mat or towel a slippery place in conjunction with copious amounts of sweat.  YogaPaws keep you solid and avoid the worry of slipping all together.

"Living a healthy lifestyle will only deprive you of poor health, lethargy, and fat." -Jill Johnson

 

To the best feeling spring and summer yet.  You are capable, worthy, and supported.

 

Love and Light

YogaPaws

JG

Tags: Yoga for weight loss, vinyasa yoga, hot yoga, power yoga

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