Category Archives: Yoga

Types of Yoga

There are SO MANY different yoga styles today! But what style or combination of styles is best for YOU? Since I am mostly an “at-home-practicer” I usually mix it up. I feel that no ONE yoga type is better than the others. While I try to live a lifestyle of the eight “Ashtanga” limbs, I like to make up my own routines from a variety of asanas, breathing exercises and meditative practices.

Here are just a few ‘types’ that I try to incorporate into my home practice…

Ashtanga Yoga – Eight limbed yoga

1. Yama – social discipline
2. Niyama – individual discipline
3. Asanas – body position
4. Pranayama – breathing
5. Pratyahara – self awareness
6. Dharana – concentration
7. Dhyana – meditation
8. Samadhi – enlightenment

Click on this link to visit Yoga Journal for the article Spotlight on Ashtanga Yoga

Bikram Yoga

Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this style of 26 postures and two breathing exercises is done in a heated studio, precisely 105 Degrees.
While this is not included in my home practice (as I would have to be crazy to heat my house to such an extreme temperate), I enjoy attending a Bikram studio every once in a while. The heat loosens the muscles and tendons, allowing for some wonderfully deep stretching!

http://www.bikramyoga.com/

Hatha Yoga – “sun/moon” or “violent/force”

More popularly known today, the word Hatha is broken into two smaller words, “Ha” (sun) and “Tha” (moon), which emulates the male and female side of a person. The postures that form Hatha Yoga balance the male and female sides.
If you read up on the history of yoga, Hatha translates to violence or force. Hatha dates back as a branch of Tantra (a more sexually explored path).
Regardless of its history, Hatha Yoga is only asanas that are held for multiple focused breaths.

Click on this link to visit About.com to learn more on today’s Hatha Yoga classes.

Iyengar Yoga

Named for yoga master, B K S Iyengar, this form of yoga follows the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. However, this practice promotes a more gentle asana sequence using props such as belts, blocks and ropes.
When I first began yoga, I never practiced without my belt and block. It was a great way to learn the poses without going too deep or causing injury because I did not have the proper strength to hold the poses.

To learn more about B K S Iyengar and his yoga style visit his website, www.bksiyengar.com.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini is the untapped energy that sits at the base of the spine that can be drawn up through the body awakening each of the seven chakras (About.com).
This form of yoga is very spiritual. It was brought to the west by Yogi Bhajan in the late 1960’s. This form of yoga is a combination of physically demanding postures, breathing exercises, meditation and chanting.

Check out the 3HO website created by Yogi Bhajan, http://www.3ho.org/.

Vinyasa Yoga

Known as a yoga ballet, Vinyasa Yoga is a continuous moving asana sequence that flows with the breath. Each pose links the body and breath (The Science of Yoga, The Risks and the Rewards, W. Broad).
Many days I warm up with Sun Salutations, which are considered a vinyasa sequence. Vinyasa is very popular in studios, as it is known to be a great work out.

Visit About.com to learn more!

What is your favorite yoga style? Share your comments below!

Namaste

Kristi ❤

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Home Practice Compilation

I have compiled a list of tips and quotes that help me whenever I am feeling unmotivated!

  1. Keep a Journal/Calendar – I love this idea because I love to write down everything! In the article Coraley states that this gives the home-practicer some “accountability” and it helps to “form a habit”
  2. Release Expectations, ALL of Them – Yoga is not about perfection, it is about PROGRESS and GROWTH!
  3. Treat Yourself with Compassion – This is my favorite! She says, “instead of beating yourself up for not doing a practice the day before, forgive yourself, let it go, and roll out your yoga mat” which is great for me, because I tend to practice irregularly. And at times if I miss a few days I get so mad or I feel like a failure.

I am only going to list my two favorites, but if you want to see all 10, just click the link above!

  1. Start slow and discover your own inner teacher. Kreg Weiss.

  2. Approach your practice with openness and curiosity, rather than self-judgment or competitiveness. Rodney Yee.


yoga quote

Namaste
Kristi ❤

Opening MY Heart

Yesterday I took Bonnie’s class…the last one of my 7-day trial. 😦

When we did Tadasana (Mountain) I felt a tightness/blockage in my shoulders. At the end of the session I asked her for advice.

She gave me mantras to practice daily in order to help with opening my heart and throat chakras (more to come on the chakras!). I once attempted to practice subconscious training, but I didn’t stick with it. In a sense, mantras do train the subconscious…so I think I am going to give it a try.

One she wrote down for me is the Sanskrit phrase “om gam ganapataye namaha”

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I’ll keep you posted 📫 on how helpful these mantras are!

Namaste

Kristi ❤

Satnam

“I am that”

On Wednesday I signed up for a 7-day pass at The Yoga Center of Medford. A full week of unlimited classes…ahhhh 🙏

This studio has no mirrors. This can be a relief for some, but it is a challenge for many. It is only natural to want to look in a mirror while practicing yoga. I used to be worried about how my poses looked compared to all the videos and pictures online.  Practicing without a mirror at home changed my perspective on progress. Unless I am taking a class at the gym, I seek out studios without mirrored walls.

There are cards available to help with focus. They are names of gods/goddesses and angels. The card I received was Zanna.

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It is kind of ironic that I should pick this card; the pains of my past are what led me to yoga. I felt a sense of peace.

I loved the class so much that I returned on Friday. The instructor was different, as was her style. There was less flow, more breathing thru postures. I enjoyed the stretching along with a bit of core awareness!

Class this morning was with Bonnie. She is a wonderful instructor! I took her class once before and by far she is the most spiritual instructor I have ever had. She takes the class from root to crown reciting mantras. I just might incorporate this style in some of my home-practice sessions. 😁

Good News… I still have two days left on my week pass! Yay!!
Namaste

Kristi ❤

An Opportunity to Learn

A longtime friend of my mom’s hubby, Kim Friedman, teaches a gentle/level 1 yoga class on Sundays at the Yoga Center of Medford. She invited me to attend her class.

She gave me a tour of the facility when I arrived, first showing me a small Pilates reform room and a smaller studio for private sessions and training. The main studio is decorated but simple; white doors open to an outdoor balcony. On nice days they open the door for fresh air!

Kim is a great instructor! She was friendly and encouraging during the practice. It was easy to let go of my “ego” and experience a restorative session. After the session, she answered all my questions and encouraged me to try other classes offered at the studio.

So this week I am going to take her advice and buy a 7-day pass! I am really looking forward to attending more classes at this studio.

Namaste

Kristi ❤