February 15

Ten Top Yoga Blogs

Ten Top Yoga Blogs

1.YogaMint.com – YogaMint helps you transform your life with a mix of yoga moves, delicious vegan and organic recipes, and uplifting meditation that will defeat stress and let your spirit soar to new heights.

2. DailyCupofYoga.com – For Brian, it all began with Rodney Yee. From there, what was a personal record of his own transformation become a collaborative adventure, complete with guests writers, tips, tools, wisdom, books and tech, including a great Sansrkit glossary of terms.

3. Spirit Voyage – SpiritVoyage.com provides advice on integrating yoga into your lifestyle (ranging from herbalism to aromatherapy and even humor), material for meditation, music, and a guide to interesting yoga events.

4. Yoga Journal – A wide-ranging yoga blog that tackles topics like combining motherhood and yoga, where beginners should start, and practical tips on working yoga into your daily routine.

5. My Yoga Blog – Intriguing musings from a dedicated yoga practitioner. Also includes photo shoots, book reviews, and a diary of day to day attempts to follow a yoga lifestyle that may provide more insight on your own yoga.

6. AnacostiaYogi – The blog of Sariane Leigh, a yoga instructor who specializes in yoga practice and spirituality from an African-American perspective. Includes several different yoga programs.

7. Starr Struck – A yoga lifestyle blog with detailed examination of how to carry out some special yoga exercises. Also includes spectacular pictures and interviews of interest to yoga enthusiasts.

8. THAISG.COM – Long blog posts with inspirational musings and practical advice. Features a newsletter that you can sign up for, details on how to avoid making yoga a selfish quest rather than an open, giving one, and so on.

9. Yoga Lisa DC – Lisa’s blog is about the integration of yoga and knitting (two contemplative pursuits). She uses yoga to help her reduce daily stress and stay fit.

10. Ripple of One Stone – RippleOfOneStone provides advice on avoiding injury while carrying out your yoga exercises. A very unique feature is their inclusion of professional, anatomical analyses of the proper and improper ways to perform yoga poses.
- See more at: http://www.yoga-tribe.com/blog/ten-top-yoga-blogs#sthash.zyMeGn6o.dpuf

February 15

Yoga Poses - Forte Yoga

A complete catalog of yoga poses including step-by [...]
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Yoga Poses

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February 15

Sacral Chakra Yoga Poses

Learn Sacral Chakra Yoga Poses to open the flow of [...]

Home>Sacral Chakra>Sacral Chakra Yoga Poses

Sacral Chakra Yoga Poses

to Align and Balance Your 2nd Chakra

The best sacral chakra yoga poses are those that work with movement in the hips and lower abdomen. Some poses are aimed at opening and some are aimed at moving energy through this area.

Before you begin to practice yoga, check with your doctor. Some poses can be challenging for the body and it is best to practice with a qualified yoga teacher.

Your second chakra is associated with the element of water and therefore sacral chakra yoga poses are fluid like water. Water is the source of abundance, it holds creative energy and vitality.

The sacral chakra holds our most potent creative powers, our dreams and fantasies.

Dancer's Pose, Natarajasana

Nataraj means King of Dancers and is the dancing form of Lord Shiva. This yoga pose stretches thighs, groin, and abdoment and improves balance.

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana. Inhale and firmly root your right foot into the ground. Move your weight into the right foot.
  2. Exhale and lift your left heel toward your buttock as you bend your knee.
  3. Reach back with your left hand and grasp your left ankle or your foot.
  4. Raise your right arm up towards the ceiling and hold it there.
  5. Begin to lift your left leg upwards away from the ground and your body. Keep lifting.
  6. As you lift your left leg, tilt your upper body forward.
  7. Hold the posture and feel the energy flowing through your pelvic area.

This is an excellent yoga pose for balance. It requires a great deal of concentration.

Child's Pose, Balasana

This is the most powerful pose to become in touch with your own breathing and with the movement of the air in your abdomen. In this posture, you can let the prana of water to flow and awaken yourself to your inner life as you observe your breath.

  1. Kneel on your mat. Separate your legs about hip with appart and sit on your heels.
  2. Exhale and slowly fold the top half of your body over the lower half.
  3. Lenghten your tailbone as you let your forehead rest on the mat.
  4. Let your arms go back, so that the backs of your hands are resting on the mat. alternatively, you can stretch your arms in front of your body, palms resting on the mat.
  5. Once in Child's Pose, observe your breath. Do not force it, just observe it as it fills your abdomen and your chest. Pay attention to your pelvic area. What do you feel with each inbreath? And what do you feel with each outbreath?

Twisting Triangle, Trikonasana

The twisting movement in this sacral chakra yoga pose helps to move energy in the sacral chakra area, while being firmly rooted through the feet and balanced throught the root chakra.

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana.
  2. Exhale and move your left leg behind you. Your feet should be about 3 ft apart.
  3. Your right foot is facing straight forward while your left foot is turned outside at about 45 degree angle.
  4. Raise your arms sideways to shoulder level. Your left arm is reaching forward and your right hand is reaching to the back. Palms are facing the floor.
  5. Bend at your waist and lean forward. Rotate your body toward the right leg, reaching down to the ankle or to the floor.
  6. Stretch your right arm straight up, so it is in line with the left arm.
  7. Hold the position and feel the energy flowing through your sacral chakra.
  8. Repeat on the other side.

continue to Sacral Chakra Sun Salutation

 

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ALL content on www.chakra-anatomy.com is for informational purposes only. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or other medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any concerns or issues, please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional.

February 15

Top 20 Yoga Bloggers You Must Follow

We made a special list of top yoga bloggers you mu [...]

Top 20 Yoga Bloggers You Must Follow

We made a special list of top yoga bloggers you must follow if you are really devoted to fitness and finding your inner peace. Check them out and let them pull you into the fabulous world of yoga.

Have you ever wondered how to achieve balance, harmony and peace in your life or just how to improve flexibility of your muscles and physical condition? Maybe YOGA is the right choice for you.

Here is YouQueen’s selection of top 20 yoga bloggers that really deserve your attention. We listed them in no particular order, as each one of them is unique in their own way and definitely worth your time.

We tried to introduce various styles and techniques so there is something for everyone. As usual, you will find some great tips exclusively written for YouQueen’s readers from the best yoga bloggers online. Namaste!

1. Ali Kamenova – Ali Kamenova Interval Yoga

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Creative, spiritual, direct, intuitive, innovative, childlike, chaotic, disorganized, insightful, passionate, deep.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I have created a unique style of yoga that is both very athletic and spiritual at the same time. I combine traditional yoga with cutting edge high intensity training discoveries in order to create the most optimal way to move our bodies, stay in shape, deepen our breath, access our spiritual essence, increase calmness, initiate inner healing and, of course, get the benefits of both yoga and training, such as increased cardiovascular capacity, strength, speed, flexibility and overall health.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Hmm this could be any tip? I would say do my yoga 4-5 times a week, focus on a plant based diet, extend gratitude daily and trust the process of living. All this leads to appreciating out inner beauty.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: If we came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would we find?

Coconut milk, Kale or Baby Greens, Broccoli, Carrots. All my fruit will be on my counter- outside of my fridge.

You can visit Ali’s blog at www.alikamenova.com

2. Elad Itzkin – Elad Itzkin Yoga Photography

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Passionate, thinker, seeker, adventurer, positive, believer, dreamer, beautiful, caring, easy, kind.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

What makes my blog unique is that, as a yoga photographer, I’m not focusing on finding the most flexible yogi, or a yoga Barbie. I’m looking for real yogis, people who have the same story as you and me, people who live, work, have a day to day, which helps readers see that being a yogi is not out of their reach and that yoga is for everyone regardless of age, race, sex, religion or how flexible they are.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Accept the moment with no self judgement. As a devoted yogi, I sometimes find it hard to get on my yoga mat, and I remind myself that it is also OK. I have periods that I practice every day, and periods that I do not practice at all. When it’s right and my body feels ready I will go back to the mat and practice my yoga.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: Favorite quote?

“Everything happens for a reason, and all reasons are for the best”, which is more than a quote, it’s a personal mantra which I constantly remind myself in different situations. I always tell people who missed the bus or missed a flight: “It’s OK, maybe it would have been even worse situation for you if you were there.”

It really put things in prospective, out of the self-pity and back into the flow of our existence.

Note: We highly suggest to check Elad’s great work and fantastic yoga photos on his Instagram @elad_itzkin_yoga_photography and his blog yoga.itzkin.com

3. Ursula Preiss – My Yoga Blog

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Flexible, strong, creative, disciplined, passionate, experienced, joyful, optimistic, experimental, reflective, serious.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

My blog is about my Ashtanga yoga journey during the last 10 years and the journey goes on. Practicing yoga is not only about asana practice, it’s a life style. I’m the living proof that Ashtanga yoga is not only for the wild and young ones, but also for those still wild at heart, but a bit older.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Yoga can influence your entire life. It’s important to practice daily or minimum 3 times a week. Look around, experiment and then choose a yoga style that you like to do on a daily basis.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: One place in the world you would like to stay for a year?

I’d like to stay in the South of France for a year.

You can visit Ursula’s  blog at my-yoga-blog.blogspot.com

4. Sadie Nardini

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Fierce, fabulous, authentic, oenophile, transformative, conscious, human, lover, artist, witchy woman.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

By living from bad*ss example, I give women permission to dance with their shadow side as well as the light power they contain, in order to be able to make the transition from Drama Queens to straight up conscious Queens.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Next time you feel like grieving the past, or during any time of disappointment or loss, learn the Art of the Tantrum. Children express emotions, cry and scream whenever they want, and then they move on with their day.

As adults, we don’t want to just lose it anywhere we feel strong emotion, or there would be a lot more knock-downs at the office. Instead, give yourself permission to spend emotional moments in a room alone, and allow the crying and screaming (beds and pillows are great non-destructive things to hit) that will actually clear out those old, stuck energies.

After the storm comes, you will likely find peace and clarity that were underneath them, waiting to be revealed by a true and dedicated Warrior Venting session.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: Best way to relax after hard day?

Almost every day, I take (make) an hour to do my Pinot Grigio Meditation, where I have a date-with-self, and a glass of great vino. I’m French and Italian so I have a great reverence for well-crafted wine.

I sit with my Moleskine journal and write creatively–poems, song ideas, thoughts about my life and next steps toward my best expressions. I recommend spending real quality time with oneself, because that’s your soulmate, and the longest relationship you’ll ever have.

When you can sit and enjoy your own company, you will notice neediness and anxiety about others decreasing, and an amplification of self-confidence and independence will arise. Cheers!

You can visit Sadie’s blog at sadienardini.com

5. Erica Rodefer Winters – Spoiled Yogi

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Yoga mama motivator, storyteller, self-care advocate, caring, teacher, silly, creative, connected.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I think what makes my blog different from most yoga blogs is how specific I am about my mission to help mamas see what a huge impact just a few minutes of self-care (through yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or whatever makes them feel revived) can make to the overall quality of life both for them and their families.

Everyone needs yoga, but my readers  NEED YOGA!!!! It’s just too easy to forget about yourself when everyone else is making demands of you every second of every day and all night, too.

I’m here to remind them and offer support through free yoga sequences, meditations, encouraging stories, and relatable advice from a mama who’s been there. I’m also building a community of moms who lift each other up, lend an ear (because sometimes that’s what mamas need more than anything else!).

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Commit to do your yoga practice every single day—even if that means asking for help from a spouse, babysitter, or (gasp!) an iPad app or cartoon to keep your little one occupied. Those few minutes you focus on yourself will help you be a significantly better mama (or worker or spouse or whatever else you do) for the rest of the day. Your self-care HAS to be a top priority—for everyone’s sake. It’s the least selfish thing you can do.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: Greatest adventure in your life?

The greatest adventure of my life by far has been the wild ride that is motherhood (no surprises there!). It has been filled with thrills like first steps and first words, daunting anxieties, frustrations, tense shoulders, profound lessons, and countless joys—sometimes all at the same time.

Each day I can count on a new and exciting turn of events that keeps me on my toes. It’s the ultimate adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can visit Erica’s blog at www.spoiledyogi.com

6. Anna Guest-Jelley – Curvy Yoga

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

I’m a yoga teacher, body acceptance advocate and lover of kindness.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

Curvy Yoga is body affirming yoga for people of all shapes and sizes. We’re all about how yoga can be a tool for getting to know yourself and your body better and, through that process, finding acceptance and love for both. We offer tools and strategies for finding what unique things make these practices work for you — your body, your time, your energy, etc.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

If you’re interested in starting a yoga practice, or you have a practice but would like it to be more regular, my favorite thing to do is consider what your practice could be today. We so easily bog ourselves down in shoulds, which more often than not causes us to quit what we’d hoped to get going.

But when you shift to could, there’s always something you could do each day — even five deep breaths or a few simple stretches when you wake up in the morning.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: If you can send a 30 sec message to the world, what would you say?

If you accepted yourself and your body, imagine what you could do with all the time and money you’d otherwise spend trying to “fix” yourself.

You can visit Anna’s blog at www.curvyyoga.com

7. Gwen Lawrence

1 .You in 11 descriptive words?

I transform lives from good to great the way only a seasoned mom can!

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I am helping my clients reach their highest potential, using my 6 power yoga for sports philosophy’s to Attain fitness, find Balance, Create goals, and Define personal happiness in work, school, family and life.

My special touch is the ability to understand and communicate with my clients and the athletes, by injecting myself into their world not making them become a yogi. As well as having a unique ability to read bodies, therefore making me able to be proactive to injuries rather than reactive. Finally having the ability to make my students laugh and lighten up.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

I would have to insist that this is to be serious and studios with whatever you do, however you need to approach life in a lighter less stressed, judgmental and sensitive way. Basically lighten up people… Let go of the stuff that drugs you down, don’t take everything so seriously, laugh more, and be choosy with the people you let into your life!

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: If you could read minds, whose would you like to read?

If I could read minds I would love to go back in time and read the mind of Dr Seuss. His ability to be so far ahead of his time and to write books on topic that seemingly are light and easy yet are the deepest most profound ways of thinking before people even began to think of. The “Horton Hears a Who” book is mind-blowing to me as well “Star Belly Sneetches” is so so so timely right now!

You can visit Gwen’s blog at www.gwenlawrence.com

8. Candace Cabrera Moore – Yoga By Candace

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Determined, hard-working, passionate, silly, independent, love to sing and dance.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I started YogaByCandace because I loved reading blogs but there wasn’t one out there about a modern, forward-thinking yoga lifestyle. The blog has now evolved to include a discovery box program (our YBC Mantra Box), international yoga retreats (Join us in May!) and we recently landed a book deal. Our book will be out in the fall of 2016.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

To improve flexibility, you don’t have to do an hour and a half of yoga every single day – just a few minutes per day is enough to see an impact. If you’re the type of person who simply doesn’t have time, look for times within your day when you have a free minute, like when the water is warming up for the shower, or when you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. In those few minutes, take a second to do rag-doll pose. It’ll help open up the hamstrings and may alleviate low back pain.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: Your perfect day?

Sleep in, big breakfast with friends followed by a great workout, and a day at the beach.

Note: Candace Cabrera Moore is the founder of YogaByCandace, a yoga lifestyle company with a popular blog that welcomes 2.2 million readers and 147,000 social media followers. The company offers a yoga app, a discovery box program featuring small businesses in the health and wellness industries with their YBC Mantra Box, international yoga retreats, a popular YouTube channel with free weekly videos and they just landed a book deal. The book will be published in the fall of 2016.

You can visit Candace’s blog at yogabycandace.com

9. Kassandra Reinhardt – Yoga With Kassandra

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Ambitious, confident, optimistic, fun loving, dreamer, charismatic, animal obsessed, feminist, talkative, exuberant and indecisive.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

What makes Yoga with Kassandra (and my YouTube channel) unique is the balance the classes strike between being informative yet still allowing space for introspection. It’s important that people have clear and concise verbal cues to be able to follow along, but if the teacher talks too much it can be really hard to get into your body and really feel what’s going on.

Especially in my Yin Yoga classes, I like to offer long periods of silence. I believe we have the potential to be our own best teachers.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

When it comes yoga yoga, especially if you’re new to the practice, variety is key! Try as many different styles and teachers as you need to until you find the one that works for you. Once you’ve found what works, the most important thing is to be consistent.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall into a rut and stop practicing for a while. Practice loving compassion and gently get back on your mat, judgement free.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: One dream you’ve achieved?

In January I got the opportunity to travel to California to work with Grokker as one of their new Yoga Experts. I had admired them from afar for a long time, so to be able to join their family as an instructor was a dream come true and my biggest accomplishment so far.

I started my YouTube channel a year and a half ago, not knowing where it would take me or if anyone would watch it. Taking that first step and publishing my first video is the best thing I’ve ever done and is the reason why I got to work with Grokker and so many other amazing companies. This is an exciting time for me and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

You can visit Kassandra’s blog at www.yogawithkassandra.com

10. Ashley Josephine – Ashley Josephine Wellness

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Intense, playful, wise, empowered, leader, writer, yogini, human, learner, feminist, thoughtful.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I think I’m different because I offer a “bigger picture” perspective of yoga in my writing and teaching at the same time I make the learning relevant and practical to our modern daily lives.

For example, I have certifications in Power Vinyasa Yoga and iRest yoga nidra – two practices on the complete opposite ends of the effort spectrum. I like to balance that all out somewhere in the middle.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Before you begin anything, take a moment to check in with your breath and let go of any and all expectations. Approach every moment as brand new and be open to possibilities you could never even imagine.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What is your favorite breakfast?

Oatmeal. I have this almost every morning fall-spring. I add almond milk, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, and hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, or pecans. If I had to, I could eat only this all day long and be completely satisfied.

You can visit Ashley’s blog at ashleyjosephine.com

11. Rachel Koontz – Alive in the Fire

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

I am… thoughtful, creative, willing, grounded, compassionate, and bad*ss. I am a teacher and a student of yoga.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

Alive in the Fire offers an authentic glimpse at yoga, and how this practice continues to bring peace into my life. Not only do I write about my experiences on the mat– sweating, laughing, trying challenging poses, and learning about myself in the process– but I also share my reflections on meditation and mindfulness, relationships, building community, letting go, and loving myself.

One of my favorite parts of the blog is my Sponsored Yogis program, a seva project aimed at sharing yoga and supporting several incredible yogis around the country throughout a year, so that their practice deepens.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

New to yoga? Here’s my advice: Try out a few local studios and talk to the teachers. Be willing to open up and share what has brought you to your mat, and what you’re hoping to gain from your practice. Ask questions. Drink lots of water before and after class. And always be kind to yourself!

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: Where would you go in a time machine?

I’d travel back to the 1940’s so I could meet my grandparents and hang out with them. :)

You can visit Rachel’s blog at www.aliveinthefire.com

12. Rachel Scott – Rachel Yoga

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Creative, intellectual, ridiculous, striving, vulnerable, goofy, soft-hearted, passionate, flawed, geeky, expressive.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

Through our romantic and intimate relationships, we engage in a messy, beautiful, real-life exploration of how we can become our best selves. In my blog, I throw myself squarely in the fire and share with my readers from my heart. Together, we find our light in the dark.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

You marvelous, gorgeous YouQueen readers! Best tip for any relationship: remember that you are already whole and good. Resist the (oh-so-human) temptation to make your partner your fix-it glue, ego soother, or missing puzzle piece.

While we are all flawed and human, we must never lose sight of our own precious magnificence. Practice loving your human, imperfect, wonderful self.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What is your biggest motivation in life?

Personal growth.

You can visit Rachel’s blog at www.rachelyoga.com

13. J. Brown – J. Brown Yoga

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, podcaster and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere.

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Yoga teacher, writer, podcaster, and pioneer of the Slow Yoga Revolution.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

J. Brown’s Yoga Blog has been at the forefront of writing on yoga since 2007. It contains “insider” information and heartfelt accounts of what is happening in the grassroots yoga world. Based in healing, J. Brown seeks to change the dialog around yoga practice in the west.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Learn ocean-breathing and do ten arm-lifts every day. You will be amazed at how just that little thing can make your shoulders and back feel better. Here is an instructional video:

The 7 Minute Practice with Extra Teaching Commentary from J. Brown on Vimeo.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: If you could instantly learn one random skill, what would you learn?

Saxophone. Always wanted to be able to play the saxophone.

You can visit J.Brown’s blog at www.jbrownyoga.com

14. Lida Padro – Lexi Yoga

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Calm, relaxed, creative, kind, peaceful, compassionate, giving, loving, independent, friendly and flexible.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

The special touch of my blog is how authentic it really is… The reason I practice yoga is coming from within, it’s pure passion & pure enjoyment. I was just doing it for personal pleasure, then decided to share it to the world.

I wanted others to experience the joys of yoga, by teaching the benefits and showing instruction for beginners. I felt that the world needs yoga for inner peace.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Anyone can practice yoga, it’s not just for fit and flexible women. It’s quite the opposite actually. Those who would benefit the most are the least flexible and unfit, as they lack what yoga can provide. It’s all about balancing strength and flexibility.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What are you grateful for?

I’m grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I’ve been blessed with a passionate job that I love and enjoy, a loving family and all the comforts one could ask for.

You can visit Lida’s blog at www.lexiyoga.com

15. Lauren Walker – Energy Medicine Yoga

1 .You in 11 descriptive words?

Out of the Box, Result Oriented, Gratitude Soaked, Lover of Life!

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

Energy Medicine Yoga creates an intimacy with the body that most people have never had before. This intimacy allows you to learn and understand your body/mind and potential in an entirely new way. You can learn to balance and heal your body’s physical challenges, and then learn how to work with the magical energy of the universe… It’s all the same…

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

If your energy isn’t moving forward and crossing over, you are at a 50% deficit in everything you do! Thump your chest like Tarzan, then squeeze your right shoulder and cross your body to your opposite hip, and squeeze your left shoulder and cross to your opposite hip. Do this several times a day. Just this, will change your life!

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What’s the first thing you notice about people?

The first thing I notice about a person is their posture. How someone stands tells so much about a person. Are they happy, depressed, confident, uncertain, in love with the world, frightened, open? I can get a sense of the kind of yoga practice that would help someone to transform into their best selves, based simply on how they stand.

You can visit Lauren’s blog at www.emyoga.net

16. Ekhart Yoga

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Passionate, authentic online yoga community offering real yoga for real people.

2. What is that ‘special touch’ that makes your blog / work different / unique / authentic?

With over thirty leading international teachers providing quality yoga and meditation videos in a vast array of different yoga styles, inspiring articles and more, EkhartYoga aims to bring authentic yoga to as many people as possible. We speak from the heart and try to ensure that what we share is credible, informative and inclusive.

3. Exclusive tip or recommendation for YouQueen readers

Yoga is about bringing harmony between the body, mind and breath. The physical part of yoga is there to serve any body – to become stronger, more flexible, release tension, relieve pain and bring about balance.

The spiritual practice helps to unpeel the layers so you can truly connect with yourself, the world and the present moment. Do you want to feel stronger, happier and have a quieter mind? Try out one of our video classes or one of our many yoga programs. We feel sure there is something here for you!

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What is the most important life lesson someone can learn by practicing yoga?

It depends on the individual and their interests. You can gain a lot of valuable physical benefits from practicing yoga, including strength, flexibility, healing, relaxation etc, which in turn positively influence the emotional, mental and spiritual parts of you.

When that interest is awakened you can delve as deep as you like into the more spiritual elements of the practice, so that you can eventually connect with your own essence, as well as the more existential questions such as “who am I”? Yoga is a life-long lesson!

You can visit Ekhart Yoga’s blog at www.ekhartyoga.com

17. Julia White – BEAUTIFUL MIND BEAUTIFUL BODY

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

I am passionate about living a happy, healthy and peaceful life.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I am a Wellness expert and holistic adviser who uses a unique combination of Yoga, Aromatherapy and Ayurveda for a completely holistic approach to living.

I find that working holistically works on a much deeper level than conventional treatment and use my own range of aromatherapy products to enhance this approach.

I write and photograph about my daily life in the field of wellbeing and love sharing my gluten free baking and healthy living with others.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

For a wonderful night’s sleep; place 1 drop of lavender oil on your pillow, as you sleep, you will breathe in the calming aroma of the lavender. Alternatively, you could place a couple of drops in an oil burner and fill the room before you go to sleep, so that the whole room is filled with lavender and ensuring you a good nights sleep.

To help with dark circles under the eyes; place some Rose water on some cotton wool pads and then place a pad on each eye. Lie back and relax and let the Rose water reduce those tired and puffy eyes.

To warm yourself up, have a cup of chai, spicy tea; the spices will not only warm you up, but they also benefit from anti-inflammatory properties and mood enhancing properties.
If you find yourself under stress; find somewhere to lie down and place your hands on your stomach.

Focus on your breathing; begin taking some nice deep breaths. As you inhale, your stomach should rise up like a balloon and on the exhale, your stomach should come back down flat. This is full, deep breathing and will calm you and relax you. You can also do it in bed if you are struggling to get to sleep.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What you do when not blogging?

In those rare moments of free time; I love to bake. Amongst my friends I am known as the Yogi Baker as I love to whip up some Gluten Free Biscuits or cakes for all to enjoy.

On my Yoga Retreats, we always have a break for tea time and sit down with a cup of tea and a slice of gluten free cake and talk and share, a little moment of the day that always brings a smile to everyone’s faces.

You can visit Julia’s blog at www.beautifulmindbeautifulbody.co.uk and her Instagram page @beautifulmindbeautifulbodyyoga

18. Brigitte Kouba – Gigi Yogini

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Fun, playful, supportive, honest, curvy, courageous, positive, active, amazonian, adventurous, pregnant.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I focus on supporting women during each stage of their lives and strongly believe in the power of positive affirmations as one of the many ways to overcome challenges.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

If you’re ever feeling anxious or upset, take the problem or fear and flip it into a positive affirmation that you can use to change your attitude about the issue. For instance, if you are nervous about money, you could flip your fear and make a statement: “I trust the abundance of the Universe.” By choosing your thoughts you can actually change your feelings.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What cheers you up?

Sunshine and nature always cheers me up. A walk on the beach, observing butterflies in the park, or feeling sunshine on my skin makes me remember how precious life is.

You can visit Brigitte’s blog at gigiyogini.com

19. Roseanne Harvey – It’s All Yoga Baby

1. You in 11 descriptive words?

Dancer, doer, thinker, collaborator, creator, seeker, investigator, walker, rabble-rouser, lover, laugher.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I try to offer a real, down-to-earth and gritty perspective on being a yoga practitioner in North America. I also love to feature socially progressive and innovative yoga projects that may not get press in yoga or mainstream media

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

Of course it’s going to be yoga related… One of the common misperceptions about yoga is that it needs to happen in a studio or with a teacher. But a home practice is the best thing you can do for yourself.

It doesn’t need to be long or complicated, and it doesn’t need to cover dozens of postures or hours of meditation. A home practice can be as simple as a few sun salutations in the morning or laying on your back for 15 minutes in the evening. Even a short period of practice on a regular basis can have a powerful impact on your life.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What do you like about yourself?

On the blog, I write a lot about body image and body positivity, so I’m going to give you something that I like about my physical body (this is a practice that has strengthened my relationship with my body and improved my self-image) – my legs and hips. The lower half of my body is sturdy and strong, and gets me where I need to go.

You can visit Roseanne’s blog at www.itsallyogababy.com

20. Silvia Mordini

1 .You in 11 descriptive words?

Writer. Yogi. Adventure Junkie. Spiritual Traveler. Happiness Coach. Teacher. Healer. Activator.

2. What is that “special touch” what makes your blog/work different/unique/authentic?

I’ve been inspiring happiness, global awareness, and joyful living in students for 20 years. I keep it real. My Message comes across in every article: We don’t get to do today over again. This is not a rehearsal. Live your Happiness Fully!

My Dharma is achieved through writing: I change people’s lives. With laser like focus I serve as a catalyst for readers to figure out their purpose/dharma.. I wake people up to the power of change – their ability to choose to be happy, in order to love themselves, love their day, love their lives.

3. Exclusive tip, how to or recommendation for YouQueen readers?

• Remain a student of life. Practice being teachable.

• Give gratitude to your teachers. To all whom you learn from, the barista, the taxi driver, your yoga/meditation teacher, your Mom or Dad, the sun and the moon.

• Keep it real – Be a positive example of authenticity. Don’t just pretend to be yourself actually demonstrate what it means to live your life with integrity.

• Show up and be present. Be kind.

• Get healthy, stay healthy – practice radical self-care, build a therapeutic support system.

4. YouQueen’s Random Question: What makes you smile?

Travel makes me smile. One could say being a citizen of the world is in my blood. My Father Enrico was an adventurer, my Mother’s parents were serious spiritual seekers. I grew up traveling all over the world with my brother and parents from the time I was an infant.

I guess the fact that I love to show other people the beauty of the world shouldn’t surprise anyone since I was born in Ecuador, South America; my Father is from Northern Italy near Modena, and English was my third language.

And I learned from my Father, this spirit of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, to dream the impossible. I saw with my own eyes, touched and tasted new flavors, experienced new landscapes and as a result I learned about myself.

Every time I traveled somewhere I came back different, I was changed and knew that anything was possible. Tapping into my potential to see through the eyes of my heart makes me smile.

You can visit Silvia’s blogs at silviamordini.com and alchemyofyoga.com

February 15

Yoga poses - Ekhart Yoga

Step-by-step yoga pose instructions. Learn about t [...]

Yoga poses

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February 15

Yoga Poses | Yoga Asanas for Beginners | Advanced Yoga Positions | Postures | The Art Of Living Global

Collection of Yoga Poses: Largest collection of st [...]

Yoga Asanas and Their Poses for Beginners

 "Yoga is not just physical exercises, It's emotional integration, spiritual elevation, with the touch of a mystic element, which gives you a glimpse of something which is beyond all imagination."

~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yoga is a complete science; it unites body, mind and spirit and also the universe. It brings peace and bliss to every individual. It also creates a significant difference in one’s behavior, thoughts and attitude. Daily practice of yoga increases our tranquility, sensitivity, intuition and awareness.

What is yoga asanas?

Our mind is like a pendulum; swinging from past to future, regret and anger to anxiety and fear, happiness to sorrow. It is ‘Yoga asana’ that enables us to maintain equanimity. Yoga asana is not a mere workout or exercise!
As described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra -“sthira sukham asanam”–it means Yoga asana is a balance of effort and ease. We give effort to get into the posture and then we relax. Yoga asana brings that balance in every aspect of our life. It teaches us to put effort and then let go, get detached from the result. Yoga asana increases our physical flexibility and expands our mind.
Yoga has to be done with the breath, and with awareness.  When we lift our hands for yoga, first we become aware of the arm and then we slowly lift it, synchronized with the breath.  It is as graceful as a dance, gliding into one posture from another.  The key is to stretch a little more, in each asana, than what we are comfortable and then relax and let go. This little effort to take the body beyond its agreeable limit expands our mind.
Another Yoga Sutra by Patanjali says  “prayatna shaithilyaananta samapattibhyam”–Again it reiterates the same philosophy. Give effort and then let go and by doing so Infinity dawns in our awareness, our awareness expands!

1. Standing yoga asana:

2. Sitting yoga asanas:

3. Lying down on stomach yoga asanas:

4. Lying down on back yoga asanas:

Learn yoga asanas and experience yoga: Find a yoga center near you.

February 15

10 Insane Yoga Poses You Wish You Could Strike

Need a good dose of inspiration for your asana pra [...]

10 Insane Yoga Poses You Wish You Could Strike



Yoga is not about folding yourself into a pretzel, but let’s be honest, we all love to see the advanced yoga practitioners and teachers tying themselves into unbelievable knots! Careful though, most of the poses are not for the faint hearted (let alone yoga beginners). Needless to say, these are advanced yoga postures and should only be practiced under the guidance of a suitably qualified yoga teacher.
 
Except Shavasana, go nuts with that one.
 
This collection of insane yoga poses features the incredibly inspiring yogis Kino MacGregor, Dylan Werner, and Hannah Franco. Check out their websites for more yoga inspiration.

Eka Hasta Vrksasana – One Handed Tree Pose

As if balancing upside down on two hands isn’t tricky enough, some yogis do it on one! This pose is part of the 5th and 6th series in Ashtanga, and would obviously only be suitable for anyone who can nail the regular handstand. If you can do this one, you have super impressive core strength, mental focus, and strong wrists given your whole body is balancing on one of them! (Yogi: Dylan Werner)

Sirsa Padasana – Head To Foot Pose

This pose is one of the most intense backbends out there. There is a lot going on: balance, intense mental focus, and the obvious—a combination of muscular strength in the back and deep flexibility of the spine.

Pungu Mayurasana – Wounded Peacock

This pose is essentially Peacock – but using only one arm. Peacock strengthens the wrists, shoulders and arms and helps to improve digestion due to the pressure applied by the arms. The one armed version truly tests mental focus, and in the name of digestive balance should be practiced on both sides! (Yogi: Hannah Franco)

Gandha Bherundasana – Formidable Face Pose

One the most pretzel-esque of all the asanas, and at first glance it looks more contortionist than yoga! The final expression is an intense stretch across the front of the body and as well as a full on flexion of the spine. End result—you can now scratch your nose with your toes. (Yogi: Kino MacGregor)

Sayanasana – Scorpion Pose Variation

Care to stand on your elbows and pull your feet up or towards your head? Boom! Sayanasana (pronounced “Shyanasana”). Not just for shy yoga dudes. (Yogi: Dylan Werner)

Kala Bhairavasana – Destroyer Of The Universe Pose

While this pose looks impressive, it is apparently not as difficult as some of the others on this list. Still, placing one leg behind the head requires very open and flexible hips, and doing it with the body off the floor whilst balancing on one side requires tenacity, mental focus and athleticism (though the translation is a little unsettling, can we please change the name to Protector of the Universe?!). (Yogi: Kino MacGregor)

Taraksvasana – Handstand Scorpion

Taraka = a demon who was slain by Kartikeya, the god of war, Sva = internal power. Handstand Scorpion has two variations, both feet resting the top of the head or one leg raised straight up. While regular Scorpion is practiced on the forearms, this pose cranks up the challenge by coming up on to the hands.

It helps strengthen the abdominals, shoulders, and back muscles, improve balance, and going by the name, helps to increase internal power. (Yogi: Kino MacGregor)

Yoganidrasana – Yoga Sleep Pose

In this deep forward fold you are quite literally folding yourself in to a knot. It is essentially Sleeping Turtle (Supta Kurmasana) flipped on to the back, and it is said to promote a deep feeling of calm. As the name suggests, some yogis reportedly sleep in this position—though for the masses, I’m thinking Shavasana is a better option for a good snooze. (Yogi: Kino MacGregor)

Double Buddhasana – Di Mario’s Knot

Named after a contortionist called Di Mario, this pose is almost impossible to get into by yourself. But wait, perhaps we’ll let Kino MacGregor explain… just watch the video. (Yogi: Kino MacGregor)

Shavasana – Corpse Pose

This is considered amongst many traditions to be the most important posture; yet how many of us do it right? In Shavasana, the body is completely still and the mind is relaxed, the latter being a challenge for those of us who are eager to move to something more physically difficult.

Do yourself a massive favor and practice this posture over and over until you get it right, aiming for total stillness inside and out, so you can relax and rejuvenate on every level. (Yogi: Carol F. on YogaTrail)


Anna Coventry

Anna Coventry is a NZ born writer, globe trotter, 500 RYT yoga teacher and an imperfectionist. She has a playful, down-to-earth approach and in random order she loves NZ, cookies, exploring the world, a glass of good quality Pinot Noir and of course all things yoga. Follow her imperfect world on Instagram, Facebook, or sign up for her Youtube channel.
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February 15

Top Ten Yoga Blogs You Need To Follow

These days it can be hard to find yoga blogs that [...]

Our Top Ten Yoga Blogs You Need To Follow

By Lara

As I got ready to immerse myself in one month of yoga teacher training at the Blue Osa in Costa Rica, I found myself seeking out “all things yoga.” I picked up yoga magazines. Tried out new online yoga videos. Attended different classes around town. And started reading various yoga blogs online.

As the date drew nearer, I realized that the personal testimonials I found on the yoga blogs paralleled my own journey. I noticed that reading the words of fellow yoga enthusiasts fueled my inspiration and kept me motivated to continue deepening my practice. I loved hearing about their success stories. I empathized with their frustrations.

The online community of yoga blogs is vast. These days it can be hard to find blogs that share honest and interesting articles. However, there are a few gems that stand out.

The Top 6 Yoga Blogs That You Need to Follow

 

1. Thais Guimaraes:

O.K. seriously, I am in love with this blog. As a first-time reader of her blog I felt a soft and welcoming invitation to keep reading her inspirational words. Thais delivers uplifting and supportive messages of hope in a poetic tone that leaves her readers feeling like they’ve just received a hug from an old friend. Her voice is therapeutic and calming. Her words remind us to reconnect with what truly matters. This is a must read for all women within the yoga community and a call to make the changes we wish to see in our lives. Her blog is one of personal empowerment.

2. Yoga Gypsy:

For anyone who is looking for the step-by-step visual breakdown of specific yoga poses, this is a great site for you. Yoga Gypsy’s blog offers individual postures and sequences designed to strengthen your yoga practice, and shows visual instructions on how to get the poses right. This blog is extremely informative and helpful for both beginners and advanced yogis alike.

3. Curvy Yoga:

This beautiful blog celebrates the diversity of body types within the yoga community. Author and CEO, Anna Guest-Jelley, writes about building positive body image, cultivating gratitude, and embracing our individual bodies. This site reinforces the importance of self-love and honoring our bodies for their unique capabilities. This blog is a reflection of the true essence of yoga and should be read by anyone who is afraid that their body holds them back from being or becoming a yogi.

4. Daily Cup of Yoga:

This is the perfect little treat to enjoy each morning alongside your cup of coffee. From yoga inspiration to meditation, various guest bloggers share their words of wisdom in simple, digestible, and motivational posts that give a kick-start to your day and inspire you to hit your mat.

5. The Yoga Mint:


 

This super short, sweet 1-2 paragraphs posts blog delivers simple shots of information on health, body, beauty, and yoga. This is great for people who only have a few moments at a time to connect with their online “zen community.” It’s perfect to check the morning Mint while you wait in line for your coffee, ride the elevator to work, or wait at a red light.

6. Daily Downward Dog:

This site offers frequent updates and personal testimonials about a life infused with yoga. Stocked with cool yoga music playlists, beautiful destination yoga retreats, and basic information, this site offers something for anyone interested in yoga.

7. Yoga Dork:

This site writes about the up-to-date current events in yoga culture. It throws in a flare of humor along with its humility and is a great place to find posts ranging from, “Yoga Poses That Look Like Staple Thanksgiving Foods (… and the Coma),” to articles about gratitude, fashion, and meditation and more.

8. My Yoga Blog:

On this blog, author Ursula Preiss, invites us to read her personal yoga journal. Her blog is a place where she shares her experience with her evolving Ashtanga Yoga practice. She opens up about her daily routine, talks about what is happening in the Ashtanga community, and reveals things that are going on in her personal life.

9. Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog:

This blog offers yoga product reviews, demonstration videos, news, and random musings from it’s author, Eugene. His no-nonsense and opinionated posts will have you informed and entertained with articles like, “Lululemon’s Man Problem” and “Bikram Scandal.” His voice is passionate and his posts range from one paragraph poignant updates to longer educational pieces. My personal favorite is the “Lululemon Sheer Pants Fiasco.”

10. The Yoga Trail Blog:

This blog let’s you know what’s happening in the yoga community at large. You’ll find yoga tips and tricks that will help yoga teachers as well as students. Their blog follows teachers throughout the world and connects people with their fellow yogis who are out on the “yoga trail.”

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do and that they help to inspire you along your personal yoga path.

 

Have a favorite yoga blog you think we missed? Share it in the comments below!

 

 

About Blue Osa

Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa is the perfect place to rejuvenate through the practice of yoga. Yoga is at the foundation of Blue Osa. From the friendly smiles of the staff who know your name, to the way the bread is baked from scratch daily, everything is done mindfully with love. With 12 rooms and a capacity for 32 guests, this intimate beachfront eco-resort offers the ultimate sanctuary if you’re seeking solace from the hectic world.
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February 15

Common Yoga Poses: The Only 30 You Really Need to Know | Greatist

Consider this your cheat sheet to mastering the co [...]

The Only 30 Yoga Poses You Really Need to Know

Although it's an ancient practice, yoga has become the exercise du jour in recent years. Everyone from A-list celebs to your co-workers are getting their om on these days—and for good reason. Practicing yoga has serious health benefits, from boosting your immunity​, helping you sleep better, fighting stress, and even improving your sex life Rapid gene expression changes in peripheral blood lymphocytes upon practice of a comprehensive yoga program. Qu S., Olafsrud S.M., Meza-Zepeda L.A., et al. PloS One. 2013 Apr 17;8(4):e61910. Treatment of chronic insomnia with yoga: a preliminary study with sleep-wake diaries. Khalsa S.B. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2 2004 Dec;29(4):269-78. Yoga breathing, meditation, and longevity. Brown, R.P., Gerbarg, P.L. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2009 Aug; 1172:54-62. Eastern approaches for enhancing women's sexuality: mindfulness, acupuncture, and yoga (CME). Brotto L.A. Krychman M. Jacobson P. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008 Dec;5(12):2741-8..

Plus, striking an impressive asana (yoga lingo for pose) looks ridiculously cool. The only problem? Sometimes it sounds like our yoga teacher is speaking in a different language, which makes it slightly difficult to follow along. With Sanksrit names like utkatasana and trikonasana, yoga poses may sound a lot more like spells you'd learn at Hogwarts than shapes you can actually get your body to make. 

To help everyone from yoga newbies to experienced practitioners, we went to Chrissy Carter, a YogaWorks-certified yoga instructor, to help put together a definitive guide to yoga poses. Consider it your cheat sheet to finally mastering the common poses you're likely to encounter in most open-level classes.

Basic Poses

How to do it: Stand with feet together. Ground down evenly through feet and lift up through the crown of your head. Lift your thighs. Lengthen up through all four sides of your waist, elongating spine. Breathe easy.

The benefits: It may seem like you're, well, just standing there, but bear with us—this is the blueprint for all other poses. It promotes balance and directs your attention to the present moment.

How to do it: Start in mountain pose. Raise arms and reach up through fingers. Sit back and down as if sitting into a chair. Shift weight toward heels, and lengthen up through torso.

The benefits: This heating standing pose (you'll feel the burn!) strengthens your legs, upper back, and shoulders.

How to do it: Place hands on the back of a chair with palms shoulder-distance apart. Step feet back until they align under hips, creating a right angle with your body, spine parallel with the floor. Ground through feet and lift through thighs. Reach hips away from hands to lengthen the sides of your torso. Firm your outer arms in and lengthen through the crown of your head.

The benefits: Downward facing dog is the bread and butter of yoga, but it can be challenging for beginners. This modification shares the same benefits as the classic pose—stretching the hamstrings, opening the shoulders, and creating length in the spine—without all the weight on your upper body.

How to do it: From all fours, walk hands one palm's length in front of you. Tuck toes and lift hips up and back to lengthen your spine. (If you're inflexible, keep your knees bent in order to bring your weight back into the legs.) Press into your hands, firm your outer arms, and reach your upper thighs back toward the wall behind you.

The benefits: This classic pose opens your shoulders, lengthens your spine, and stretches your hamstrings. Since your head is below your heart, the mild inversion creates a calming effect.

How to do it: Stand with feet wide, about 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Turn left foot in slightly, and turn right foot out 90 degrees to the side. Line up front heel with the arch of your back foot. Bend front knee to 90-degree angle, tracking the knee with the second toe to protect the knee joint. Stretch through your straight back leg and ground down into back foot. Reach arms out to shoulder height, shoulder blades down and palms wide, and gaze over the front fingers.

The benefits: A pose with "warrior" in its name may not sound very zen, but this standing pose can help calm and steady your mind. Tougher than it looks, it also strengthens your legs and ankles and increases stamina.

How to do it: Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left toes in slightly and rotate right thigh open until right toes point directly to the side. Keeping both legs straight, ground through your feet and pull your thighs up. Spread arms wide at shoulder height, roll your front thigh open and hinge at the front hip. Lengthen your spine toward the front foot and release bottom palm to the front ankle, a yoga block (placed outside the front ankle), or the seat of a chair.

The benefits: While this pose can be challenging for inflexible people, it will help promote balance, stretch the hamstrings and inner thighs, and create a feeling of expansion in the body.

How to do it: Start in mountain pose. Bend one knee, using hand to bring foot into upper inner thigh. (If this feels difficult, bring the foot to the shin below the knee, or use the wall for balance.) Press into your standing foot, and lengthen up through the crown of your head.

The benefits: This pose helps improve concentration and your ability to balance by strengthening the arches of the feet and the outer hips.

How to do it: Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at sides. Keep feet parallel and hip-width apart, heels stacked under knees. Roll upper arms open to expand chest. Ground through outer upper arms, root down into heels, and reach knees forward to lift the hips off the floor. Shimmy your shoulders under your chest and interlace your fingers. (Hold onto the sides of your yoga mat to create more space if your shoulders are tight.)

The benefits: This energizing backbend opens your chest and stretches your neck and spine. It can calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and help improve digestion.

How to do it: Sitting on the floor, bend knees and open them wide like a book. Join the soles of your feet together while sitting upright. Place fingertips on the floor directly behind you and lengthen up through the entire spine. You can also hold onto ankles and hinge forward at hips. (Sit up on blankets if inner thighs are tight.)

The benefits: You'll give your inner thighs and groins a nice stretch, while the forward bend creates a calming, cooling effect.

How to do it: Lie faceup, separating legs and letting feet splay apart. Place arms along sides, palms facing up. Close eyes and relax.

The benefits: Yep, it's as simple as it sounds. Every yoga class includes a savasana, which relaxes the whole body and gives you space to absorb the benefits of the practice. Namaste.

Intermediate Poses

How to do it: Start in downward facing dog. Shift forward so your shoulders are stacked over wrists. Reach heels back as you lengthen the crown of your head forward. Ground down into hands, pull up through arms, and spread collarbones away from the sternum. Lift the front of your body up to support the pose.

The benefits: Considered one of the best moves for core strength, plank pose strengthens your abdominals and promotes stability.

How to do it: From plank pose, shift forward slightly. Bend elbows to a 90-degree angle with upper arms parallel to floor. Ground through palms and spread collarbones wide. Lift shoulders away from the floor as you pull your front ribs into the spine. Lift upper thighs toward the ceiling as you reach your tailbone toward your heels. Gaze forward.

The benefits: core stability and strengthens your abdominals and triceps.

How to do it: Lie facedown on the floor. Bend elbows and place hands on the mat in line with lower ribs. Reach back through your legs, and pull yourself forward and up to straight arms. Lift thighs and knees away from the floor, spread chest wide, and lift breastbone up.

The benefits: You'll open up your chest and shoulders, and stretch the abdominals and hip flexors. This pose appears after chaturanga in a classic sun salutation.

How to do it: Start in triangle pose. Bend front knee, tracking it with second toe. Step back foot in and walk bottom hand approximately 12 inches in front of you. Line up thumb with pinky toe. Shift your weight into front foot and lift back foot off the ground. Reach back leg strongly toward the wall behind you, then raise up top arm. To challenge your balance, rotate your chest up toward the ceiling and gaze up at your top hand.

The benefits: This balancing pose strengthens your legs and outer hips, stretches your hamstrings and inner thighs, and promotes concentration.

How to do it: Start in downward facing dog. Step one foot forward between your hands. Turn back foot out approximately 45 degrees and ground into back foot. Line up heel to heel, or slightly wider. Bend front knee over front ankle while you stretch through straight back leg. On an inhale, lift torso and arms up to the ceiling.

The benefits: This energizing pose strengthens your legs, arms, and back muscles. It also gives your chest, shoulders, neck, thighs, and ankles a nice stretch.

How to do it: From warrior I, hinge forward at the hips and rest your abdomen on your front thigh, arms alongside ears. Step back foot in and shift your weight into your front foot. Lift back thigh up and reach through back heel. Spin inner back thigh up to the ceiling. Press palms together and gaze forward at hands. (To modify, take arms alongside hips, or place hands on the floor or on blocks under shoulders.)

The benefits: This heating pose strengthens your legs, outer hips, and upper back. It also helps improve balance and posture.

How to do it: Start in mountain pose. Step left foot back and place it flat on the floor at an approximately 45-degree angle. Ground down into both feet and lift up through both thighs. Lift arms up to shoulder height. Turn arms in slightly and join the palms to touch behind upper back. (To modify for tight shoulders, join fists to touch, grab opposite elbows, or place hands on the hips.) Hinge forward at your hips and lengthen spine over front leg. Lift shoulders away from the floor and spread chest wide.

The benefits: The pose helps calm the mind and stretches your spine, shoulders, wrists, hips, and hamstrings.

How to do it: Come to your forearms and interlace fingers, keeping elbows shoulder-width apart. Tuck toes, lift knees off the floor, and reach hips up and back. Allow head to hang off the floor. Ground down into forearms and lift shoulders away from the floor.

The benefits: This pose helps build strength in your upper body in preparation for headstand and forearmstand. It can also help calm your mind and relieve stress.

How to do it: Lie facedown, then lift chest, arms, and legs off the floor. Bend knees and reach back to grab outer ankles. Lift toes toward the ceiling, spin inner thighs in the same direction, and lengthen tailbone toward the backs of your knees. Spread and lift chest.

The benefits: This backbend stretches the whole front of the body, especially the chest and the fronts of your shoulders. It also gives a nice massage to your abdominal organs.

How to do it: Kneel with shins hip-distance apart. Rest hands on the back of your pelvis. Press down strongly into shins and reach up through the torso. Lift chest up as you stretch arms back to reach hands to heels. (To modify, curl toes under so you don’t have to reach as far.)

The benefits: This backbend stretches the entire front of your body, from your throat to your ankle, and even helps strengthen back muscles.

Advanced Poses

How to do it: Start in downward facing dog. Turn onto the outer edge of your right foot, making sure that your right foot and right hand are in the same line. Stack left foot on top of right, shift weight forward, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Lift left arm up to the sky. Press down into bottom hand and rebound up through top arm.

The benefits: This pose strengthens your shoulders, upper back, and abdominals. It also promotes core and scapular stability, which is helpful if you're working on inversions or arm balances.

How to do it: Start in downward facing dog, facing the wall. Place hands one palm print away from the wall. Step one foot in a few inches, lifting the other leg into the air as in warrior III. Look toward the wall, bend bottom knee, and hop off your bottom foot to bring both feet up to the wall. Join legs together and reach heels up to the ceiling.

The benefits: This energizing inversion strengthens your shoulders, arms, and wrists. It helps to promote a sense of balance, confidence, and calm.

How to do it: Start on all fours, facing the wall. Place elbows on the floor and parallel forearms to one other, shoulder-width apart. Tuck toes, lift knees, and reach hips up and back into dolphin pose. Spread chest and gaze at the floor between your forearms. Step one foot in a few inches closer, and lift the other leg as in warrior III. Bend bottom knee and hop off your bottom foot to bring both feet up to the wall. Squeeze inner thighs together, and reach heels up toward the ceiling.

The benefits: This is a deep shoulder opener, making it a great preparatory pose for backbends. As an inversion, it also helps improve circulation.

How to do it: Come to a deep squat, with feet together and knees wide apart. Shimmy side ribs down inside inner thighs and hook upper arms underneath knees. Place hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, keeping palms under shoulders. Look forward and shift weight forward into hands in order to lift feet off the floor. Ground down into hands, pull up through arms and lower abdomen, and round your upper back.

The benefits: Crow pose builds (and requires) serious strength in your arms, wrists, core, and hip flexors.

How to do it: Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Position feet parallel to one another, hip-distance apart, with heels under the knees. Bring hands to the floor, framing ears, fingers facing toes. Press down into hands and feet, lifting hips and chest off the floor. Straighten arms and lift up through your shoulders. Spin your upper inner thighs down toward the floor as you lengthen tailbone toward the backs of your knees. To come out of the pose, bend arms and look up toward ceiling, slowly lowering upper back down to the floor.

The benefits: This backbend opens the entire front of the body. It strengthens the muscles in your back, shoulders, and hamstrings.

How to do it: Sit and straighten legs out in front of you, grounding thighs into the floor. Hinge at hips to elongate torso over thighs. Grab hold of the outer edges of your feet. (If your hamstrings are tight, use a strap or sit up on blankets.) Bend elbows wide up toward the ceiling and lengthen the sides of your torso forward toward feet.

The benefits: This feel-good fold elongates the back of your body, lengthens your spine, and stretches your hamstrings.

How to do it: From mountain pose, step left foot back and place it flat on the floor, turned out 45 degrees. Line up heel to heel, or wider for more stability and space. Ground down into both feet and lift up through thighs. Hinge forward at hips and lengthen spine over front thigh. Release left hand to a block placed on the outer edge of front foot. (To modify, place block on the inside of front foot.) Rotate torso to the right. Stretch right arm up.

The benefits: This balancing posture stretches your hamstrings and outer hips. Twisting promotes the overall health of the spine and engages your abdominal obliques to facilitate the twist.

How to do it: Sit with knees bent. Place hands underneath knees. Tip back on the sitz bones and draw lower back in and up as you hug abdominals toward spine. Lift shins parallel to the floor. Then stretch arms forward. Finally, straighten knees if you can.

The benefits: You'll strengthen your abdominals and hip flexors.

How to do it: (Warning: If you have neck injuries or medical issues, check with your doctor before attempting this pose. This pose is not appropriate for all practitioners and is best practiced under the watchful eye of a trusted teacher.) Start on all fours facing the wall. Interlace fingers, knuckles facing the wall. Place elbows on the floor shoulder-width apart. Tuck toes under, lift knees off the floor, and reach hips up and back. Press down into your forearms and lift up through shoulders. Move your upper back in toward the chest. Walk feet in closer as you spread your collarbones wide. Place the crown of your head on the floor as you continue to press through forearms and lift through shoulders. (Most of the weight should be concentrated in your forearms.) Draw knees into the chest with control, place feet on the wall, and slide heels up the wall simultaneously. Reach up through legs. Come out of the pose with control, maintaining the lift of your shoulders.

The benefits: This advanced inversion strengthens your upper back, shoulders, and arms, and benefits the circulatory, lymphatic, and endocrine systems.

How to do it: (Warning: If you have neck injuries or medical issues, check with your doctor before attempting this pose. This pose is not appropriate for all practitioners and is best practiced under the watchful eye of a trusted teacher.) Neatly stack two blankets with the neat folded edges aligned with the short edge of your mat. Lay on the blankets and place the tops of your shoulders two inches from the edge of the blankets. Rest head on the floor behind the blankets. Roll upper arms open and spread chest wide. Ground down into upper arms to draw knees into the chest. Place feet on the floor behind your head. Be sure to keep your head still and neck relaxed. Interlace fingers behind you and roll inner upper arms open. Shimmy upper arms under chest and draw shoulder blades in and up. Bend elbows and place both hands flat on the upper back. Press into upper arms, lift one leg at a time into shoulderstand, and reach up through legs. To come out of the pose, lower one foot at a time to the floor, release arms, and roll down one vertebra at a time.

The benefits: Like headstand, this inversion offers numerous benefits to multiple systems in the body. It's a cooling and energetic way to end your practice.

Chrissy Carter is wearing a tank top by Lululemon and leggings by Gaiam

February 15

My Top 10 Wellbeing & Yoga Blogs! - YogaHub

There's so many blogs emerging these days, so [...]

Hello, my name is Meaghan and I am a blogaholic.

The first step to recovery is admitting it, so I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Ok, so I may have just made up the word ‘blogaholic’, and come to think of it – I don’t actually think my blog addiction has been particularly harmful to me, quite the opposite in fact!

Apart from the odd beauty and fashion blog, I spend most of my time perusing the many beautiful yoga, food and wellbeing blogs out there in the blogesphere. There seems to be an endless amount of blogs emerging these days, so I thought I’d share with you my top 10 favourite wellbeing, lifestyle and yoga blogs to get you inspired.

Elephant Journal:
As well as wonderful yoga tips and articles, Elephant Journal also provides wonderful content for wellbeing, food, relationships, family and spirituality.
My favourite part about Elephant Journal is that it’s content is created by it’s readers, so it’s always relatable and approachable. It’s a lovely place to visit if you want some refreshing advice or ideas.
www.elephantjournal.com

Deliciously Ella:
Ella Woodard is easily my favourite food blogger. I absolutely love her fresh and delicious take on plant based eating. She creates delicious gluten, dairy and meat free recipes that she shares on her Deliciously Ella blog, Smartphone app and social media. She’s also just realised her first cookbook that I cannot wait to get my hands on!
deliciouslyella.com

Rachel Brathen:
If you’re looking for a beautiful Yoga Lifestyle blog, Rachel Brathen’s blog may be just what you’re looking for. A Swedish yoga teacher now living in Aruba, Rachel’s blog offers great advice and opinions on yoga, meditation, mindfulness and overall health.
rachelbrathen.com/blog

We Need To Live More:
Ella Grace Denton has been a presence and role model for young women in the online world via her YouTube channel for a while now. She decided that YouTube was no longer where she felt most comfortable in late 2014, and launched this blog so she could keep providing content for her many subscribers. She has been providing inspiring and honest content via We Need To Live More ever since. Check it out for lovely recipes, medication tips, easy yoga routines and honest advice on making decisions in your life.

Organic Beauty Talk:
I love knowing what I am putting into and onto my body. Organic beauty talk is a great place to go if you want any information about beauty products or considerate fashion choices. Fantastic organic beauty recommendations and opinions to keep you informed!
www.organicbeautytalk.com

Oh She Glows:
Angela, founder of Oh She Glows, is nothing short of a plant based food goddess. Her blog is packed pull of hundreds of delicious recipes and lifestyle posts. She provides a fresh perspective and great advice about what we eat.
ohsheglows.com

Daily Cup Of Yoga:
This is a great source of tips and advice for yoga lovers. Reviews and discussions on yoga related books, meditation, technology and clothes/equipment. Always informative and relatable!
www.dailycupofyoga.com

Yoga With Adriene:
Adriene is the co-founder of findwhatfeelsgood.com, and also offers free online yoga classes on her YouTube channel. Her videos and advice are great for people of all different yoga levels!
yogawithadriene.com

Fuck Yeah Yoga:
Via their tumblr blog, Fuck Yeah Yoga offers daily yoga inspiration. Short posts, fantastic images and quotes to keep you feeling zen and motivated!
fuckyeahyoga.tumblr.com

YogaHub:
Ok, so this one is fairly obvious, but one of my favourite yoga blogs is this very one right here! It may be because I have some insider knowledge, because I know we’ve got some fantastic recipes, interviews, reviews, yoga and wellbeing posts coming your way, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Happy browsing!

4 Comments

  • Great articles thanks for sharing,
    My first noticeable physical effect of doing yoga was increased flexibility and range of motion in joints. When I first started with the forward bend, my hands were level with my knees – my back was very inflexible. Now, my hands are fully on the floor, my forehead is at my knee level. My goal is to touch my forehead to my knees. Yoga practice has increased my strength because the postures use my own weight to resist itself in balance poses. Yoga has toned my muscles, so I wear my clothes better.
    Yoga Teacher Training in India, 200hr yoga in India, Yoga Course, yoga teacher training in rishikesh

    Mentally, yoga practice has resulted in a more positive attitude in handling whatever life throws at me. Doing yoga then is what I need to pick me up, cheer me up mentally. My body seems to thank me for the activity.

    • Thanks for the feed back and for sharing your experiences!

  • Very interesting blog and useful information… i am currently learning about blogging so this information is very helpful
    thanks

  • Really great article. I just love the way you describe the technical and practical aspects of yoga.

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February 15

Best Yoga Poses For Men

Try these yoga moves for men

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We know you love yoga—for your girlfriend. Her weekly practice makes her bendy in bed, more chill overall and therefore more sexy even when she’s lounging around. Well, we’ve got news for you. Yoga isn’t a ladies-only thing like going to the bathroom in packs or opening store credit cards only to get 5 percent off the purchase. In fact, taking one yoga class per week or doing a couple of pre-workout poses can increase endurance, build strength, prevent injuries, and may even stave off heart disease.

How? “Men often suffer from tightness particularly in the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders that can lead to injury or weakness,” says Baron Baptiste, creator of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga and former assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. “Over-training in any one sport can cause repetitive stress and other more serious injuries. Yoga is a full-body workout that creates both strength and flexibility. You need to have both. One without the other is a recipe for disaster.” Not sure where to start? Practice these 10 poses in this order, which Baptiste says benefit men because they stretch out guys’ tightest spots (like the shoulders, hips, and groin) and strengthen muscles that get no love during workouts (like the low back and knees). In no time, you'll be ready to take your first class. Ace it with our First-Timer's Guide to Yoga.


Stretches hamstrings, calves, and hips; strengthens legs and knees

Stand with feet hip-width apart, gently hinge forward at the hips and lower the torso toward the floor. Bend your knees generously to take any pressure out of the low back and hamstrings. Grab your ankles or grasp opposite elbows with opposite hands. Breathe deeply and let gravity take the body toward the earth. Relax your head, neck, shoulders and torso. Slowly sway your torso or gently shake your head. Hold for one minute and roll back up to standing.

 

Why it’s good for you: This is a great move to use as part of a warm-up for any workout.



We often have a hard time knowing when we are holding excess tension in our head, neck and shoulders, and that buildup of tension can create headaches, insomnia, poor circulation and decreased lung capacity. If you practice slow, steady breathing along with this pose, it can lower your blood pressure over time.


Stretches feet, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves; strengthens arms, legs, and core

Start on your hands and knees with your feet and knees hip-width apart. Position your hands about shoulder-width apart, and spread your fingers wide. Pressing firmly through your hands, lift your knees off the floor and straighten your legs. (If you have tight hamstrings, a gentle bend in the knees is fine). Walk your hands forward a few inches, and walk your feet back a few inches to lengthen the pose. Squeeze your thighs as you press them toward the back wall. Press your heels back and down toward the floor (though they might not reach the floor). Relax your head and neck and let your shoulder blades slide down your back toward your feet. Set your gaze between your feet. Suck your stomach in and engage your core muscles. Breathe deeply. Hold for three minutes, rest, and repeat one more time. 



Why it’s good for you:
We often experience back pain due to chronic tightness in the hamstrings and hips. It’s also common for us to have very tight shoulders. Down Dog releases those areas, while building upper body strength. If you can do only one pose a day, start with Downward Dog.


Stretches shoulders and chest; strengthens thighs, calves, spine, and ankles

Stand up tall with your big toes touching. Inhale and raise your arms straight up to the ceiling alongside your head and neck with palms facing each other. Drop your shoulders down your back as you lengthen up through the neck. As you exhale, bend your knees, sit down and back as if you were sitting in a chair (like doing a squat with your feet together). Do not let your knees extend past your toes. With each inhale lengthen the spine. With each exhale sit a little deeper in the chair. Eventually your thighs will be parallel to the floor. Drop your tailbone down toward the floor to take any stress out of your lower back.  Keep your core muscles engaged and keep your knees and thighs pressed tightly together. Hold for 30 seconds.



Why it’s good for you:
No gym necessary! Chair pose torches abdominal fat while strengthening the thighs and legs.



Loosens tight hips by stretching the groin; strengthens arms and legs

Start on your hands and knees. Step your right foot between your hands into a lunge, keeping your right knee directly above your heel. Inhale and slowly lift your back knee off the floor. Press your back heel toward the wall behind you as you begin to straighten the back leg. Keep your spine long as you hold and breathe. Let your hips fall forward as you continue to press the back heel behind you. Hold for one minute and then repeat on the second side. Do each side twice.



Why it’s good for you:
Tight hips can cause lower back pain, knee strain, and injury, which can keep you out of the game, out of the gym, and in pain at your desk. Add Crescent Lunge to your pre-workout routine to open the hips.


Stretches shoulders and hips; strengthens upper and lower body

Come into Crescent Lunge with your right foot forward in the lunge. Spin your left toes to face the left side of the room and press your heel down. Your back foot should be parallel with the front of the room. Inhale and reach your arms up alongside your head with your palms facing each other. Drop your shoulders down your back. Bring your torso up and off the front thigh. Don’t let your front knee extend past the toes.  Both hips should face forward. Hold for one minute. Repeat on the opposite side. 



Why it’s good for you:
Warrior increases space and mobility in areas where men need it most—shoulders, hips, and knees. It’s another pose that generates great stability in and around the knee, so increases stability for high-impact workouts.


Stretches chest, neck, spine, and hips

Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. You should be able to tickle the backs of your heels with your hands. Place your arms on the floor alongside your body, palms down, and as you inhale, lift your hips off the floor and press them to the ceiling. Keep your knees directly over your heels. For an added shoulder stretch slide your arms under your body, interlace your fingers, and press the backs of your arms into the floor as you continue to lift your hips. Hold for 45 seconds and with each breath, let your hips float a little higher. Exhale when you lower your hips. Repeat 3 times.



Why it’s good for you:
Many men are tight in the intercostal muscles and connective tissue surrounding the rib cage, which can limit lung capacity. Bridge pose opens the chest and releases those tight muscles, allowing for fuller, easier breaths. Over time, practicing this pose can improve performance in all physical activities and is helpful for relieving upper respiratory issues.


Stretches hips, shoulders, and thighs; strengthens back

Lie on your stomach and reach your left arm back toward your left foot with the palm facing up. Stretch your right arm out in front of you and your right leg out behind you. Bend your left knee so that your heel comes in toward your buttocks. Inhale and grab the outside of your left ankle. Press your ankle into your hand and your hand into your ankle as you lift your thighs off the floor. Breathe deeply and fully as you continue pressing your legs up and back. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. Repeat two or three times.


Try the Full Bow Pose by grabbing both ankles.

Why it’s good for you:
One of the best stress-busting poses, Bow opens the chest to allow you to take in more oxygen. Strong abs are great, but can lead to injury if you don’t strengthen the back, too. Bow pose takes care of this, reducing your risk of injury due to muscular imbalance.


Strengthens abs, spine, arms and hip flexors

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor in front of you. Place your hands behind your glutes and lean into the arms for support. Engage your core muscles and keep a perfectly straight spine as you lift your right leg and then the left, bringing them to a 45-degree angle with the floor. Bring your legs together and imagine squeezing a book between your thighs to keep them active. Lift through the sternum and slowly straighten your legs while keeping your torso straight (if it starts to collapse, keep a slight bend in the knees). Press through the balls of the feet and spread your toes wide. Reach your arms toward the front of the room, on either side of your legs, keeping them in line with your shoulders, palms facing down. Hold for 30 seconds, working up to a minute or longer.



Why it’s good for you:
In addition to strengthening the core and back muscles, Boat promotes healthy thyroid and prostate gland function.


Stretches knees, ankles and thighs

Begin in a kneeling position with knees touching. Bring your heels out alongside your buttocks, keeping your shins and ankles pressing down into the floor. If you can, sit your buttocks on the floor between your legs. If this is uncomfortable, place a phone book or block beneath you to lessen the tension in the knees and ankles. You will feel a strong stretching sensation, but you should not feel pain. This is a progressive pose and your body will adapt to it over time. Hold for one minute and keep your breath slow and deep. Rest, and repeat a second time.



Why it’s good for you:
Hero pose stabilizes and strengthens the vulnerable knee joints while lubricating the connective tissues in and around the knee with blood, oxygen, and fluid, making it an essential pose for runners.



Stretches hips, thighs, hamstrings, groins, and calves; strengthens the knees

Lie on your back and extend your left leg toward the ceiling at a 90-degree angle with your right leg extended along the floor. Flex both feet. Bend your left knee and bring the knee in toward your chest using your hands. Hug it tightly against your body to relax your hip. Next, loop a strap around your left foot and slowly straighten the left leg back to 90 degrees. Press your right thigh firmly down against the floor. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat twice on each side.



Why it’s good for you:
This pose stimulates the prostate gland and improves digestion. Runners may find it useful for relieving sciatica caused by a tight piriformis.



Finish in Corpse Pose, lying flat on your back with your arms alongside your body.  Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Stay here for at least two to three minutes and allow every muscle to melt into the floor beneath you.

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February 15

12 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses

Tight hips are a symptom of our desk-bound modern [...]

    • If you’re lucky, you won’t notice your hips are tight until you’re trying to do the Half Pigeon pose in your yoga class. But if you’re not so fortunate, your tight hips are making themselves known every time you so much as walk to the bathroom or sit on the couch—expressing themselves in the form of low back pain and muscle stiffness.

      It’s a common issue, says Prevention advisor Rob Danoff, director of family and emergency medicine residency programs at Aria Health in Philadelphia. "For people who sit a long time at work, the hip flexors and rotators become tight, and the gluteal muscles become weak," he says. "This combination negatively affects our ability to walk, maintain proper posture, and the stability of our spine." 

      New York City-based yoga teacher Amanda McDonald agrees that tight hips are a widespread issue: "Hip-openers are actually the most-requested moves in my yoga classes." If you never move in certain directions, she says, you’ll reduce your range of motion over time.

      The following yoga poses target each of the four primary directions of hip movement, with modifications for whatever level you’re starting at.

      Pose: Happy Baby Pose
      Level: Gentle
      Lie on your mat and pull your knees to your chest. Place hands on outsides of feet, opening your knees wider than your torso. Press your feet into hands while pulling down on feet, creating resistance. Breathe deeply; hold for at least 30 seconds.

      MORE: 10 Odd Things Your Posture Says About Your Health

      Pose: Reclined Bound Angle Pose
      Level: Moderate
      Lie on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring soles of feet together and let knees fall out to sides. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

      MORE: The 5-Second Test To See If You Have Tight Hips

      Pose: Frog Pose
      Level: Intense
      If most inner-thigh openers feel too easy (and your ankles and knees are injury-free), try Frog Pose. Get down on all fours, with palms on the floor and your knees on blankets or a mat (roll your mat lengthwise, like a tortilla, and place it under your knees for more comfort). Slowly widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, keeping the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor.  Make sure to keep your ankles in line with your knees. Lower down to your forearms. Stay here for at least 30 seconds.

      Pose: Thread The Needle
      Level: Gentle
      Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place left ankle right below right knee, creating a “four” shape with left leg. Thread left arm through the opening you created with left leg and clasp hands behind right knee. Lift right foot off floor and pull right knee toward chest, flexing left foot. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

      Pose: Half Pigeon
      Level: Moderate
      Start in a runner’s lunge with right leg forward, right knee over right ankle and back leg straight. Walk right foot over toward left hand, then drop right shin and thigh to the floor, making sure to keep right knee in line with right hip. Allow left leg to rest on the floor with top of left foot facing down. Take a moment to square your hips to the front of the room. Hold here, or hinge at hips and lower torso toward floor, allowing head to rest on forearms. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side. You want to feel a moderate stretch in the outside of the right thigh, but if this pose hurts your knees or feels too uncomfortable, stick with Thread the Needle.

      Pose: Double Pigeon
      Level: Intense
      Sit on floor with knees bent and shins stacked with right leg on top. Use your hand to position right ankle on left knee. Ideally, the right knee will rest on the left thigh, but if your hips are tight, your right knee may point up toward the ceiling (overtime, as your hips become more open, your knee will lower). Keeping your hips squared to the front of the room, hinge at the hips and slowly walk hands slightly forward. If this is enough of a stretch, hold here, or fold your torso over your thighs to go deeper. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

      MORE: 8 Simple Ways To Recharge Your Energy And Your Spirit

      Pose: Low Lunge
      Level: Gentle
      Start in a runner’s lunge, right leg forward with knee over ankle and left knee on ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Slowly lift torso and rest hands lightly on right thigh. Lean hips forward slightly, keeping right knee behind toes, and feel the stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, raise arms overhead, biceps by ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

      Pose: Crescent Lunge
      Level: Moderate
      Start in a low lunge, then straighten back leg, coming onto the ball of your back foot. Hold here for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

      Pose: Camel Pose
      Level: Intense
      Start kneeling on your mat with knees hip-width apart and hips directly over knees. Press your shins and the tops of your feet into the mat. Bring your hands to your low back, fingers pointing down, and rest palms above glutes. Inhale and lift your chest, and then slowly start to lean your torso back. From here, bring your right hand to rest on your right heel and then your left hand to your left heel. (If you can't reach your heels, turn your toes under; it will be easier to reach your heels in this modification.) Press your thighs forward so they are perpendicular to the floor. Keep your head in a relatively neutral position or, if it doesn't strain your neck, drop it back. Hold for 30 seconds. To come out of the pose, bring your hands to your hips and slowly, leading with your chest, lift your torso as you press the thighs down toward the floor.

      Pose: Hero Pose With Block
      Level: Gentle
      Kneel on your mat with thighs perpendicular to the floor and tops of of your feet facing down. Place a yoga block between your feet. Bring your inner knees together. Slide your feet apart so they are slightly wider than your hips, and press the tops of your feet evenly into the mat. Slowly sit down on the yoga block. Use your hands to turn the top of your thighs inward. Allow the backs of your hands to rest on your thighs. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

      For a moderate variation, simply remove the block.

      Pose: Reclining Hero Pose
      Level: Intense
      Kneel on your mat with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and tops of your feet facing down. Bring your inner knees together. Slide your feet apart so they are slightly wider than your hips and press the tops of your feet evenly into the mat. Slowly sit down between your feet. Use your hands to turn the top of your thighs inward. Then, lean back onto your forearms and slowly lower torso to floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

      MORE: The Surprising Way Gentle Yoga Leads To Serious Weight Loss

      See Next

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February 15

Yoga Poses For Beginners: How-to, Tips, Benefits, Images, Videos - mindbodygreen

This yoga pose library serves as a comprehensive i [...]
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Yoga Poses for Beginners: How-to, Tips, Benefits, Images, Videos

The Yoga Poses for Beginners library serves as a comprehensive intro guide to the most popular yoga poses and sequences.

Becoming familiar with and learning these poses should get you through a class in any of the types of yoga styles.

Please keep in mind, these are just some of the most common poses to look at (and not necessarily practice). If you'd like to get started with yoga, you should take a look at The Complete Guide To Yoga Video Course here at MindBodyGreen.

Seated Poses

Grounding and calming, these seated poses provide some of our deepest muscle opening and twisting.

Standing Poses

Good for strength, balance, and focus. These energetic standing yoga poses provide a straight line to shaping our best body.

Backbends

Opening up in the spine and chest with these backbend yoga poses feels great and strengthens our connection to intuition.

Inversions

These inversion yoga poses are good for balance and concentration, as well as circulation.

Core Poses

These poses will strengthen your core and get your abs beach ready.

Poses for Weight Loss

These yoga poses for weight loss help you shed unwanted pounds.

Restorative Poses

These restorative yoga poses are great for winding down and connecting to our breath.

Poses for Back Pain

Whether the origins are some acute injury or long-term stress, there are a few simple poses that can help with back pain.

Yoga Sequences & Moving (Videos)

How we move and breathe is much more important than the exact shape of our poses, for clearing our bodies and minds and creating our own best health. Check out these yoga sequences and moving poses videos.

Videos

Watch Michael Taylor take you through a number of yoga poses step-by-step.

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February 15

The Best Yoga Blogs and Online Publications of 2016

To honor the growing popularity of yoga and health [...]
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The Best Yoga Blogs and Online Publications of 2016

Yoga is not a fad or a passing trend. It is deeply engrained in our society, from spotlights on TV (including the awesome granny doing Tittibhasana – or Firefly pose – in the Advil commercial during the 2016 Super Bowl, and yoga lessons to convicts on the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black”) among countless other inclusions throughout popular culture.
 
Because you are reading this article, yoga has touched your life in some way… or, you at least want it to. Yoga is not just a practice of asanas or purchasing cute yoga clothing and mats. It is a rich, spiritual and enlightening practice that unites people from around the world through a collective yoga community.
 
To honor the growing popularity of yoga and healthy living, we at YogiApproved.com have compiled a list of our favorite yoga blogs and publications of 2016. These websites are a reflection of the collective yoga spirit within us all, and their growth and popularity is an indication of the expansive reach of this profound practice.
 
In no particular order, here are our picks for the best yoga blogs and online publications of 2016:
 

The Journey Junkie


The main author and owner of this yoga blog, Allie Flavio, is so stinking adorable! You can get lost in all of her fantastic tutorials, content and advice for your yoga practice. A definite must to check out if you haven’t already! We promise you’ll be hooked! TheJourneyJunkie.com
 
Side note: Allie has a column here on YogiApproved.com that you can follow for even more inspiration. Check out Flow and Grow with Allie Flavio
 
You’ll love it if: You’re a wanderlust looking for inspiration or wanting to deepen your yoga practice in a fresh, down-to-earth way.
 

 

DoYouYoga


Considered the largest yoga community online, DoYouYoga brings a light, fun, and energetic vibe to the web. They offer thousands of articles and videos related to yoga and healthy living, along with full yoga programs that you can purchase and practice any time. DoYouYoga has also created a social community aspect that allows you to create a profile and follow your fellow yogis. DoYouYoga.com
 
You’ll love it if: You are interested in all things yoga and want to build an online social community of fellow yogis.
 

 

Yogi Times


An empowering blog, Yogi Times provides yoga news and inspirational content to support your conscious, mindful and healthy lifestyle. This is a great site to learn about yoga, take yoga classes online and learn what’s trending in the yoga world or your local yoga community. YogiTimes.com
 
You’ll love it if: You want yoga news/information from specific geographic areas, or if you live in LA, New York, Bali or San Francisco.
 

 

YogaByCandace


This yoga blog is beautiful, well written and super stylish. It’s a great place to go to find new outfit ideas and get motivated to get your butt into shape. Candace puts out a new fitness or yoga video each week. You can also check out her YouTube channel that is full of yoga videos. YogaByCandace.com
 
You’ll love it if: You are into yoga and are also looking for fitness and style inspiration.
 

 

Yoga:Time


From the creators of Yoga Time, an online yoga video subscription, the Yoga Time blog spreads awareness about the benefits of yoga and meditation. The site offers helpful tutorials and heaping doses of inspiration for your yoga lifestyle on and off the mat. Yoga:Time.tv
 
You’ll love it if: You are interested in learning about meditation, yoga, and the basics of the practice.
 

 

Mantra Yoga + Health


Mantra Mag is a print and digital magazine and online resource for yoga, mindfulness, health, beauty, conscious living, and adventure. This platform is a true online community that joins together people from around the world who want to live a meaningful, transformative life. MantraMag.com
 
You’ll love it if: You like to read thought-provoking content that doesn’t ‘play it safe.’
 

 

Yoganonymous


Yoganonymous is synonymous with all things yoga. This online yoga community covers everything from tips for your yoga lifestyle, health and wellness, and even a little metaphysical and astrology thrown in the mix. It also contains a yoga directory of events, studios and teachers to support and enhance your practice. Yoganonymous.com
 
You’ll love it if: You want the pulse of the yoga industry and/or have an interest in astrology.
 

 

Elephant Journal


This online yoga powerhouse is one of the longest standing resources for yoga online. Millions of readers turn to this edgy blog each day for it’s compelling content on yoga, mindfulness, love, well-being, politics, family, spirituality and other topics of interest to the modern-day yogi. With content created by its readers, Elephant Journal is down to earth and relatable. ElephantJournal.com
 
You’ll love it if: You want a mindful guide and enjoy sharp-witted, edgy content on yoga and mindful living.
 

 

MindBodyGreen


Known as a valuable health and wellness resource, MindBodyGreen covers more yoga than you would expect. The site offers valuable information for your alternative-living lifestyle, from your physical yoga practice to the spiritual side of your practice. MindBodyGreen.com
 
You’ll love it if: You are seeking diversified content on trending topics in the health and wellness.
 

 

YogaJournal


If you are into yoga and don’t know Yoga Journal, you quite literally have been living under a rock. A mainstay in the yoga community for more than 40 years, YogaJournal.com is the online version of the popular print magazine that is circulated worldwide. It is a trusted source for quality content, resources and practical tips on yoga products, poses and living a healthy lifestyle. YogaJournal.com
 
You’ll love it if: You’re a 30+ year old who loves yoga and wants high-quality content from the mother of all yoga websites.
 

 

Yoga.com


Yoga.com is a site about you guessed it – yoga! Turn to Yoga.com for motivation, inspiration and to learn about the physical asanas and customized pose tutorials that meet your personal level and goals. Yoga.com
 
You’ll love it if: You enjoy customized content for your specific needs and goals.
 

 

YogaDork


If a yoga site and a pop culture site had a baby, it would be YogaDork! A fun and witty take on yoga, YD finds the intersection between yoga and pop culture, covering the more obscure, unique and sometimes dorky side of the yoga world, including yoga in TV commercials and movies. YogaDork.com
 
You’ll love it if: You love yoga and have no shame in letting your yoga geek flag fly.
 

 

Yoga Basics


Yoga Basics is an online resource that offers yoga poses, sequences and editorial content to deepen your yoga practice. The site aims to make the world a better place through sharing positive stories and content with the yoga community. YogaBasics.com
 
You’ll love it if: You are seeking comprehensive and accessible information on yoga and the compassionate side of the practice.
 

 

YogiApproved.com


If you’re reading this article, you are already here! YogiApproved.com is all about providing you with the information you need to live a happier and healthier lifestyle, with a focus on yoga. We think a yogic lifestyle is the best kind, and we are here to help you live one. From product reviews to free weekly yoga classes, articles, tutorials, recipes and personal stories, we’ve got what you need for your yoga, health and wellness interests. YogiApproved.com
 
You’ll love it if: Whether you’re an avid yogi or new to the yoga world, we’ll empower you through knowledge about yoga and healthy living, inspire you through positivity and entertain you with beautiful videos and free yoga classes.
 
 
There you have it – our favorite yoga blogs and publications of 2016. There are hundreds of yoga blogs on the net, so don’t be offended if your favorite blog didn’t make the cut – Maybe we missed it! If you have a favorite site that we didn’t feature, please share it in the comments below. Who knows? They just might make it to our list next year!
 

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