Doesn't it sound nice to have your own yoga room? Well, with a little creativity you can make an inviting place for your practice in your very own home without taking out a second mortgage. Designing a yoga room on a budget is all about making the best use of the space you already have. If you're one step ahead and want to show us your yoga room, we'd love to see it.
Whenever I get on my mat, whether at home or while I'm waiting for a class to start, I like to do this little warm-up sequence, which begins with pelvic tilts. Often, I haven't even realized that my back was hurting until I begin to work it out with these subtle spinal movements. It usually just takes a few minutes of these to alleviate minor back pain and stiffness. Here's a little animation showing the movements.
Sorry Britney fans, but your girl's yoga poses from Shape Magazine (check the The Daily Mail for the pics) are making me cringe. Her warrior II looks super awkward. Her stance is too short, her torso is too far forward, and her front knee needs a deeper bend. In her camel, her hips are way out of alignment. I'd expect Shape to do a better job making sure her poses were looking as good as her bod.
From the department of tropical paradise yoga with supermodels, we bring you this twisted lunge with Gisele Bundchen. Can't fault her form at all, so might as well enjoy the view. Here's how to do this pose if you want to try it at home. Bring your own island retreat.
Have you heard about the seven minute workout yet? In it, you do 12 different exercises for 30 seconds each as intensely as possible. After seeing it featured in the New York Times last week, I decided to give it a try. You see, I love to do yoga and will happily do it for hours at a time, but I hate to workout. Seven minutes sounds perfect to me. I've only been at it for a few days, so I can't really speak to its efficacy yet, but I will say that it's hard and left me sore in unexpected places. As a yoga student, the pit stops in plank and side plank felt almost like rest, especially when compared to triceps dips.
Hot on the heels of a lawsuit against the founder of Bikram yoga alleging sexual harrassment comes the news of two new suits in which women claim to have been raped by Bikram. (Thanks to Yogadork for bringing this story to light after it appeared on courthouse news.com.) The reactions from the citizens of the internet have been very interesting. Many have said that they are not surprised by this development, given Bikram's reputation. I have to agree, but just because we are not surprised doesn't mean that we should not be not horrified. Many others have said that the fall of Bikram the man does nothing to diminish their admiration for his yoga method. I find it harder to separate the two, especially since they are enmeshed financially. Maybe it's time to look into another style of hot yoga.
An email from a new yogi this week reminded me that not everyone is familiar with the ritual exchange of namastes at the end of a yoga class. Fortunately, advice columnist Aunt Yoga has addressed the issue of namaste etiquette and I am happy to share it again since this is just the kind of information that makes people more comfortable with yoga.
I've been enjoying the heck out of some ardha chandrasana recently. When I'm doing my short daily stretch sequence, I like to throw it in right after the lunge for an extra hamstring stretch. In a longer practice session, it's nice to return to ardha chandrasana later to play with your balance by starting to take the weight out of your fingertips and, eventually, lift your hand off the floor.
When it comes to yoga, The New York Times has a somewhat checkered past. Sometimes they provide the serious, useful journalism we'd expect from such a venerable news institution, but just as often they have gotten it wrong, covering non-existent trends or stirring things up with tabloid-worthy headlines. I'm happy to report that this article on Yoga After 50 falls firmly in the first category. It's a real issue affecting the yoga population as we get older, not to mention the many people who want to try yoga for the first time in middle age. In addition to the article, The Times is offering you the opportunity to ask questions about yoga in your middle years, which will be answered by Dr. Loren Fishman. I'm looking forward to reading his answers on May 8th.
Do you need a reason to try yoga? How about ten? Here's why yoga.