Two pieces of news concerning Bikram Yoga this week.
- A study done at Colorado State University calculated the calories burned during a Bikram session, as well the participants core body temperatures and heart rates. Though the study group was quite small, the results are still very interesting.
- Vanity Fair's January 2014 issue includes an article detailing the rape, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits currently plaguing Bikram Choudhury.
Before I started yoga, I remember having this feeling that I wanted to do it, I just didn't know how. (Which, incidentally, is why I wrote How to Start Doing Yoga.) I think a lot of people have the same feeling about meditation, so I put together a step-by-step guide on meditation at home for beginners.
When I took a class with Shiva Rea at Wanderlust Austin recently, she taught her flowing version of cobra pose, which she calls sahaja bhujangasana. There's no exact methodology here, since the idea is to move in your own way. Starting in a low cobra (pictured), begin to roll your shoulders back one at a time as you slowing straighten your arms. You can move up and down, side to side, try making figure eights with your shoulders. Do whatever feels good to you. It's a really nice way to get some movement into your shoulders and spine.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend my first big yoga festival when Wanderlust brought its gig to Austin, Texas. If you're curious about what happened when a grouchy yogi (that'd be me) joined the yoga circus, read my Wanderlust Recap.
I've explored a lot of different ways to learn yoga over the years: classes, videos, podcasts, books. And here's a new one: instructional yoga mats. I took a look at three mats that provide alignment guidelines to see if they might enhance your practice. Here's the result: Can Your Learn Yoga From Your Mat?
Remember those PSAs showing your brain on drugs as two eggs in a frying pan? I often think of eagle pose as illustrating your body on stress. Everything is twisted up and about to topple over at any moment. But if you can breath through it and get your balance, you can gain control over the situation. And when you come out of the pose, you feel a great release.
Aren't the holidays great? Traveling, seeing family and old friends, eating lots of food. Wait, these things might be enjoyable for some, but for others they are big triggers of stress. If you find yourself in that position this holiday, take a moment, maybe find a quiet place you can be by yourself and try out of these five techniques to reduce stress. Hope they help you have a happier holiday.
Any runners out there doing a Turkey Trot race this week? Here are ten poses to incorporate into your after-run stretch routine.
I'm not usually one to jump the gun on the holiday season, but with Thanksgiving so late this year and Hanukkah so early, we're already right up in it. So I'm excited to present my†2013 yoga gift guide with lots of new items on it. Like this necklace, a few out of the ordinary yoga mats, and great books for yoga lovers.†From the six dollar banana guard (you know you want one) to the $360 mega mat from Manduka, my gift picks run the gamut.
If you enjoyed Downward-Facing Death, you're going to want to get your hands on author Neal Pollacks's second yoga mystery, Open Your Heart, to see what happens when detective Matt Bolster delves back in to the seamy underside of L.A. yoga culture. It's now available as an e-book or paperback. Chrismukkah is coming, people.