Hyperextension: Are You Overstretching in your Practice?

The range of mobility in yoga can be a wide spectrum. From those who have yet to touch their toes to those who innately slip into the splits with great ease. Those who are on the inflexible side of the spectrum tend to be acutely aware of their physical boundaries when engaging in asana: their bodies are constantly speaking to them on a louder volume than most.

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Implementing the Yamas During the Holiday Season

It’s often during the busiest times of years that we place ourselves last and routines of self-care fall by the wayside. During the holiday season, the best way to navigate the murky territory of identity, emotion, and stress is to maintain a regular practice, both on and off the mat. And a great place to start is to study the Yamas —the social restraints that ask yogis to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness. (The five Niyamas, known as the guidelines for self-discipline, ask us to embrace cleanliness and contentment, purify ourselves through heat, continually study and observe our habits, and surrender to something greater than ourselves.

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Embodying the Elements of Earth and Water

Many people have similar transformative experiences in nature after bringing yoga into their lives. One reason for this profound feeling of connection is that we are all made up of the same elements: earth, wind, fire, water, and space. If we pay close enough attention during our yoga practice, we feel these elements in our own body. We feel the moisture in our mouth and eyes; the earthy weight of our skeleton; the wind of our breath moving in, out, and through us; the warm fire of our digestive organs. And finally, when we get quiet enough, we feel the vastness of space within and around us.

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Finding Fluidity in your Spine with Bridge Pose

Great for beginners, Bridge Pose preps you for bigger backbends and brings you into the present moment. Some days seem to race by without us ever being truly here for them. We dash breathlessly though our jam-packed schedules, and then at night collapse into our beds and wonder where we've been for the past 24 hours. Sure, we may have accomplished a lot, but have we taken even a moment to feel the pleasures of the passing day? 

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Writing to Cultivate Contentment

Many of the yamas and niyamas, or ethical guidelines of yoga, seem like no-brainers. We all know we shouldn't try to harm others, lie, or steal. But when it comes to contentment or santosha, I really struggle. I think it's because I was brought up to believe anything is possible if I just work harder, set goals, and never give up. It's an inspirational idea to shoot for the stars, but always striving to accomplish more, have more, and be more can be pretty exhausting and I've noticed it stands in the way of truly appreciating the many blessings I have right now.

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