Connect with us


A Modern Guide to Yoga Philosophy: Yamas & Niyamas

Wise Life Lessons



Guide to Yoga

I suspect your answer may be similar to mine at first: “She/he was a great person and lived a meaningful life.” For me, that means that I was honest, kind, and humble through my mistakes. Yoga Guide.

Yoga Guide

Take a moment, perhaps closing your eyes and sitting tall, to consider what it means to you to be remembered as a great (yes, great, not good) person by the people that matter in your life.

What words, values, and feelings arise?

Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a handbook. Patanjali, an ancient Indian thinker, proposed the yamas and niyamas in “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.”

These 10 ethical principles could be considered the yogi’s handbook to a life well lived.

A Brief Intro to the Yoga Sutras

Throughout the ages, throughout the world, humans have developed basic guidelines and rules that we pretty much all can agree upon—like not murdering each other and not taking what is not ours. The yamas and niyamas are the version of these guidelines developed in India in the framework of yoga.

Most people nowadays start of yoga by going to a class filled with poses. However, traditionally, if you were in India during the early days of yoga, you would seek a guru. They would refuse to teach you any yoga poses (asanas), breathing practices (pranayama) or meditation techniques until you have demonstrated that you live your life in accordance with the yamas and niyamas, which are (loosely translated):


1. Ahimsa – Nonviolence (not harming)

2. Satya –  Truthfulness

3. Asteya –  Non-stealing

4. Brahmacharya – Moderation (conservation of energy)

5. Aparigraha –  Non-possessiveness


6. Saucha –  Cleanliness

7. Santosha – Contentment

8. Tapas – Passionate self-discipline

9. Svadhyaya – Self-study

10. Ishvara Pranidhana – Surrendering

Let’s explore each one individually and discuss how to apply them to life practically in the modern day.

Worth reading! Empowering Yoga For Women

The Yamas

1. Ahimsa: Non-violence (not harming)

Ahimsa is often interpreted as nonviolence towards all living things. Of course, this means that we don’t murder or physically harm other humans, and it also means that we try not to emotionally hurt others, avoiding activities like gossip.

Ahimsa can also be translated as compassion and kindness towards yourself and all others. Sometimes, it is easier to be kind to others than ourselves. Perhaps you have had a thought like this “I am so stupid for falling for that again” or “I shouldn’t have said that.”

Consider this: Would I say this to a loved one?! Is that being kind to myself? We can shift our minds by simply by catching those sort of thoughts as they happen and asking yourself, “is this true?”

We can also choose to not hurt ourselves by being mindful of what we eat and how we treat our bodies. Many yogis are also vegetarian, environmental advocates, and social equality advocates as a part of non-harming. In what ways do you personally choose to promote nonviolence?

The physical yoga practice is another great opportunity to practice not harming yourself. Have you ever forced your body into shapes that just didn’t feel right to you?  Do you take breaks when you need? I believe—despite whatever a teacher is telling you to do—that you are the world’s leading expert in your own body and must adapt or stop when something doesn’t feel right.

Yoga Guide

Yoga class is not monkey seemonkey do; a good yoga class is full of mindful options and choices.

Living in nonviolence is the foundation for the rest of these principles. It is the most important, and can be challenging in its subtleties. For example, it is harmful to judge ourselves and others when not measuring up to an ethical standard. Although a yogi opposes harmful acts and wrongdoing, a yogi tries not to waste energy judging or hating the wrongdoer. Guide to Yoga.

Recently, while reading the news, I have caught myself thinking (and judging): ”I could never do that.” Then, I reminded myself that we are all imperfect humans and have the capacity to do anything, even the most horrific acts.

Maya Angelou explains this quote as a path to compassion: “The brute, the bigot, and the batterer are all children of God…and I’m supposed to treat them accordingly. It’s hard and I blow it all the time.”

Consider this: How can I be more humble and compassionate when I am tempted to judge myself and others?

The Hidden Mystery Behind A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

2. Satya: Truthfulness

This is the practice of trying to be truthful (and congruent) in our speech, thoughts, and actions. Both being true to others and ourselves is vital in satya. This is simple to explain, but not easy to do.

Consider this: How can I be more truthful in my everyday life?

3. Asteya: Non-Stealing

Naturally, we know that we should not take things that are not ours. But, what else can you steal that is a bit less concrete? Time and energy. Yoga Guide.

One big way we steal is by being late, which can be considered stealing people’s time. Of course, we can’t always control this, but when it is a pattern in our life, we know we need to make changes. For example, if you are often late to yoga class, interrupting the class to come in, then you know that you can leave 10 minutes earlier next time.

Another way we can steal is by taking energy from others. This often shows up by talking way more than listening, or complaining more than giving thanks. Asteya can also be translated as avoiding a mindset of greediness and hoarding. I’m not saying we all need to be minimalists, but consumerism adds up when we’re buying clothes to only wear them once or twice.

Consider this: How can I cut down the amount of resources I use in the world? Am I giving as much as I am getting?

4. Brahmacharya: Moderation (Conservation of Energy)

Traditionally, yoga was taught as a monastic practice to young boys who have devoted their lives to spirituality. As yogis that live in the modern world, as householders with jobs, kids, and the stresses of busy lives, we must adapt these ethical principles to be practical for us. Yoga Guide.

This means, we don’t have to be celibate monks or nuns to live this principle. We can, however, live in moderation—conserving our energy (including, but not limited to, our sexual energy).

Let’s consider for a moment the sexual energy interpretation of brahmacharya. Imagine gathering up all the energy (time, money, and thoughts) that you have ever exerted on the pursuit, maintenance, and breaking up of romantic relationships from—let’s say—7th grade to today. That includes your 7th grade crush, high school heartbreak, online dating swiping, texting, analyzing with friends, and maybe some therapy. Yoga Guide.

Imagine you could have all that energy back. What books would you have read—heck, written—with that energy?! Surely, we all can redirect our energy better in this department. Yoga Guide.

Recently, conserving my energy has meant turning off all screens at 9 p.m. to wind down to sleep well. When I Netflix or scroll at night, I am not redirecting or conserving my energy properly. (Well, I do this as many nights as possible. Remember what Oscar Wilde said: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.)

I propose that neither Netflix nor sex are bad ways to spend your energy. Perhaps, being a yogi in the modern day just means that we do these things mindfully and in moderation.

Consider this: In what ways could I conserve my energy?

5. Aparigraha: Non-Possessiveness

Aparigraha is often translated as being non-possessive. It can also be viewed as not being jealous of what others have or do. Living the principle of aparigraha means you are self-reliant and have an attitude of gratitude for who you are and what you have. Yoga Guide.

We are neurologically programed for survival as humans to strive for more. However, in our modern world of excess, we can override some of that consciously. We can do that simply by noticing our thoughts and natural propensity for attachments without judgement.

Consider this: How can I be more grateful instead of jealous?

The Niyamas

6. Santosha: Contentment

Contentment, to me, also involves a sense of gratitude for the moment and the way things are. A feeling of contentment is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened and stretched through repetitions like journaling, prayer, or affirmations.

Building your contentment muscle doesn’t mean you are also complacent—not striving for ambitious goals. The challenge is finding a balance of being content with where you are in your journey while passionately working towards your vision.

If you are in school or in a job that is not ideal, although it is hard, can you enjoy the learning journey while working passionately (see #8: Tapas) toward your next destination?

Consider this: How can I create a habit and mindset of contentment, even when life gets busy and challenging?

7. Saucha: Cleanliness

They say that cleanliness is next to godliness. At a basic level, this means showering, wearing clean clothes, and keeping a clean and organized house (and a clean car— that’s my downfall). Yoga Guide: We could also interpret this as cleanliness of thoughts. (Oh my, do we all have some housekeeping to do!)

Consider this: Do I have a cleanliness downfall that I could work on?

Ways To Master Yin Yoga Sequence To Calm You Down

8. Tapas: Passionate Self-Discipline

The word “tapas” in Sanskrit implies fire. It is often interpreted as having self-discipline, but I like the interpretation of having a “burning passion.” This is that burning desire to express our creativity, help others, and to meaningfully contribute in the world.

Following your path (or dharma) is not always easy; a lot of times it takes tireless work. Tapas is the fuel to keep doing the work. Often, this means resilience amidst failure.

When considering tapas, I often think back to santosha (contentment). A grandparent figure once told me, “be content but never satisfied.” Most rewarding things in life require hard work.

Yoga Guide

Consider this: How can I find more balance between contentment and a burning passion to improve?

9. Svadhyaya: Self-Study

Traditionally, svadhyaya is studying spiritual texts. I extend this broader to activities like reading any self-improvement or yoga book, listening to podcasts that make you reflect, journaling, and really, anything that helps you reflect on life.

Just by reading this article and reflecting on how to best integrate these ethical principles, you are practicing svadhyaya. Yoga Guide.

Consider this: What type of self-study is most fulfilling to me?

10. Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrendering

This can be translated as surrendering to a higher power or, even, simply to that which you cannot control in life. I think the Serenity prayer best sums up the feeling of this yogic principle:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” -Reinhold Niebuhr

Perhaps, you simply have to be humble and realize that you cannot control everything. This seems to be the hardest and the most important for a happy, fulfilling life. To me, ishvara pranadhana is an attitude of being in flow—accepting the challenges that arise in our lives with strength and resilience.

Consider this: How can I let go and be in flow more in my daily life?

I hope this article has helped you reflect on how these values play a real role in your everyday life: nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, non-possessiveness, contentment, and cleanliness, self-discipline, self-study, and surrendering.

Originally Published:

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 7 Yoga Poses For Back And Neck Pain | Wise Life Lessons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Yoga Standing Poses To Improve Your Practice

Kyran Doyle




Standing yoga poses are a great way to improve your balance, posture and mobility. Doing these poses regularly will allow you to build strength and lay a foundation for a safe yoga practice.

Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and strength in your body, it also helps to strengthen the mind. Yoga improves your balance, posture, endurance, co-ordination, concentration, circulation, breathing and energy. In this article we will go over some standing yoga poses to use in your practice.



Beginner’s Level Standing Yoga Poses

If you’re new to yoga these beginner level standing yoga poses will give you a strong foundation to build upon in your practice.


Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

yoga standing mountain pose

The mountain pose is the foundation of all standing poses. It might not look like much but the mountain pose is an important starting position, resting pose and tool to improve posture which leads to many other standing poses in yoga. The mountain pose also helps to provide a sense of groundedness, stability and confidence in your practice.

Performing your Mountain Pose:

  • Start with your feet together or hip width apart and balance your weight evenly across the balls and the heels of your feet, (make sure you do not lean forward or backwards).
  • Keep your arms out to the side.
  • Breathe in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Let go of any negative thoughts and just focus on the present moment.
  • Next up, pull your knee caps up, tuck your tailbone under and squeeze the thighs (keep your legs straight but not locking the knees).
  • Make sure your hips are aligned and over your ankles.
  • Lift and spread your toes.
  • Slightly tuck your chin towards your sternum but keeping your neck in a natural position as it is an extension of the spine.
  • The crown of the head should be pressing up towards the ceiling.
  • Keep your shoulders back and down in a relaxed position, with your chest lifted and reaching your fingertips towards the ground.
  • Now you can either stay at this level or if your body feels ok and you want a little bit more then you can bring your hands to your heart in the prayer position and keep your gaze forward.
  • Or if your want even more you can, inhale taking your arms up into a H position, keeping your palms facing inwards.
  • Reach up with your fingers, keep the crown of your head up and take upto 8 breathes here.
  • To finish the pose, if you are not already at the prayer position, then as you exhale come into the prayer then release.


Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

yoga standing forward bend pose

Standing forward bend is a smooth transition from mountain pose and you will find a deep stretch in the entire back body.

Beginner’s Level

Performing your Standing Forward Bend:

  • Start with your feet together and a slight bend in the knees.
  • Inhale deeply and as your exhale fold your upper body over your legs from your hips (not from your lower back).
  • Bring your hands to the mat, either to the sides of your feet or in front of you, (keep a slight bend to the elbows or even use a block).
  • Hang the crown of your head down.
  • Ground the heels of your feet to the mat and lift your sit bones up to the ceiling, rotate your thighs slightly inward (do not lock your knees).
  • Engage and draw up your inner thighs towards the ceiling, keep your hips inlined over the ankles and the weight in the balls of your feet.
  • On each inhalation, gently lift your torso and lengthen, then as you exhale reach a little deeper into the pose.
  • Keep the pose going for up to 10 breathes, the to release bring your hands to your hips, keeping your back flat and pulling down through the sit bones, gently rise up in to Mountain Pose.


Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

yoga standing warrior 1 pose

There are three variations of the warrior pose. The Warrior I pose stretches the shoulders, chest, lungs, abdomen and groin. It strengthens the back muscles, shoulders and arms. It stretches and strengthens the ankles, calves and thighs.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing Warrior I Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Step your right foot to the back of the mat, placing it on a 45 degree angle and grounding the heel down (aligning your right heel with your left heel).
  • Bend your left knee on to a 90 degree angle, keeping both hips facing forward.
  • As you inhale, reach both arms up above your head with the palms facing inwards (keeping your shoulders back and down).
  • As you exhale, turn your torso to the right and try to align your pelvis with the front of the mat.
  • Press your left foot into the ground and arch your upper back slightly.
  • As you exhale, bend your right knee over your right ankle, so the shin is facing the floor.
  • Keep your ribcage lifted and reach out through your arms, keep your gaze forward.
  • If you want a little more out of the pose you can, bring the palms together above the head and reach further and tilt your gaze towards your thumbs.
  • Stay in this position for up to 10 breathes.
  • To release the pose inhale deeply, press the back heel into the ground, straightening your back whilst reaching through your arms.
  • Turn the feet forward and either keep reaching your arms up or release them when you exhale. (Take a few breaths here before alternating to the other side).
  • Finally return to Mountain Pose.


Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

yoga standing pose warrior 2

Warrior II stretches and strengthens the body in the one movement, allowing you to feel like a strong warrior. This pose will build strength your ankles, legs, glutes, core, back and shoulders.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Warrior II Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain pose.
  • Step your right foot to the back of the mat, placing it on a 45 degree angle and grounding the heel down (aligning your right heel with your left heel).
  • Keep your legs straight and firm, whilst pressing the four corners of your feet into the ground.
  • As you inhale keep your arms parallel to the floor and make sure your shoulders are back and down.
  • As you exhale bend your left knee (keep it over the ankle) and the left thigh should be parallel with the floor, (feet should be aligned heel to heel).
  • Press the big left toe into the ground to stay balanced and push the right thigh back.
  • Engage your abdomen, tuck your tailbone under and your shoulders should be aligned with the hips.
  • Lengthen through the neck and reach into the finger tips, bring your gaze to over the left hand (should be at the front).
  • Hold the pose for 8 breaths here.
  • To release the pose press into your feet and as you exhale straighten your legs.(Take a few breaths here before alternating to the other side).
  • Finally return to Mountain Pose.


Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

yoga standing pose reverse warrior

Reverse Warrior is a variation of the warrior II pose that provide a great stretch in the side body.

Intermediate Level.


Performing the Reverse Warrior Pose:

  • Begin in the Warrior II Pose.
  • Tuck your tail bone under and engage your abdomen.
  • Your back hand should be placed on the thigh of your back leg.
  • As you inhale, the front arm now reaches straight up past the head and if you can, turn your gaze to up towards the raised arm.
  • The front knee should be kept bent and press into the feet keeping the legs strong.
  • The shoulders should be relaxed and sink your hips down.
  • Hold this pose for up to six breathes.
  • To release this pose, as you inhale bring your arms parallel to the floor and come back onto Warrior II.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

yoga chair pose

The Chair Pose mainly strengthens your arms and thighs but it is also toning your buttocks, hips, abdomen, back and shoulders.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Chair Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • On inhalation reach your arms up so they are perpendicular with the floor, bring your hands either to face each other or if you can you could bring them together.
  • As you exhale, bend your knees and press your buttocks out as if you were about to sit on a chair (keep the tailbone tucked towards the floor and keeping the back straight and long.
  • Press and engage the legs towards each other and spread the weight evenly.
  • Bring the torso on an right angle to hug in towards the tops of the thighs.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back towards each other.
  • Hold the pose for up to 8 breaths.
  • To release the pose, on exhalation firmly press into the feet and straighten your legs, bring your arms down to your sides and end in Mountain Pose.


Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

Upward Salute

The Upward Salute strengthens the arms and shoulders, aswell as lengthens the side waist.

Beginner’ Level.

Performing the Upward Salute:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Inhale and raise your arms out and above your head, bringing the fingertips together reaching up. (Keep the crown of your head upright).
  • Shoulders should be back and down.
  • Press the feet firmly into the floor.
  • Bring the thumbs towards the back of your crown and gaze up slightly.
  • You can stay here or if it feels comfortable on exhalation you can,  press the left hip out to the side and arch into the right side.
  • Engage your legs and buttocks.
  • Stay in the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose on inhalation press into the feet into the ground and and reach the arms back up towards the sky, then dropping them back down in prayer position and finally into Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Extended side angle

The Extended Side Angle Pose strengthens the legs whilst opening the side of the body and stimulates the abdominal organs.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Extended Side Angle:

  • Begin in Warrior I or Warrior II Pose.
  • Bend the front knee and bend the same elbow and place it down to the knee.
  • Inhale the opposite arm up towards the sky, reaching through the finger tips.
  • On exhalation, bring the arm to the ear making a straight line through the side of the body.
  • Press the hips down to the floor, keeping the front knee bent over the ankle. (If you want to go a bit further bring the hand from your knee down to the floor next to the outside of your foot and press the knee into the side of your arm).
  • The tail bone should be tucked under.
  • Hold the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose, push the feet into the floor and inhaling reaching up through the arm and back into an upright position.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Then finally come back into Mountain Pose.


High Lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalansana)

High Lunge

The High Lunge stretches the groin and legs whilst strengthening the lower body. It also opens the chest and hips and lengthens the spine.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the High Lunge Pose:

  • Begin in Downward Facing Dog.
  • As you inhale lift the right leg up behind you and as you exhale bring it through to the front placing the foot flat to the ground between your hands, (the knee should be aligned above the ankle).
  • The left leg should be strong.
  • Engage the abdominal muscles up and in, lifting your torso upright and arms should come up at the same time bringing them out to the side and above your head, palms should be facing towards each other.
  • Shoulders should be back and down and open the chest.
  • Keep the tail bone tucked under and reach through your back heel.
  • Bring your gaze up to your fingertips.
  • Hold the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose, exhale and bring your hands back down to the floor.
  • On the next exhalation, bring your right foot back into Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Pyramid (Parsvottanasana)


The Pyramid Pose invigorates the brain, heart and thyroid. It strengthens the hamstrings and the lower back.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Pyramid Pose:

  • Begin from High Lunge Pose.
  • Keep the left foot forward and step the right foot back (heels down and facing forward) enough to straighten both legs.
  • Interlace your fingers behind your back and gently round the spine bringing your forehead towards the left knee. (You may be able to lift your arms away from your back to deepen the stretch).
  • Keep the legs strong and firmly press your feet into the ground.
  • Hold this pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose unlock your fingers and as you inhale, lift your torso, step the right foot back and bend the left knee into the High Lunge Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Goddess Squat (Utkata Konasana)

Goddess Squat

The Goddess Squat stimulates the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It opens the chest and hips whilst toning and strengthening the lower body.

Beginner’s level.

Performing the Goddess Squat:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Bring your feet so they are about 3 feet apart on a 45 degree angle.
  • Bring your arms to shoulder height and bend your elbows up onto a 90 degree angle with your palms facing each other.
  • On exhalation bend your knees in to a squatting position, (make sure your knees are above the ankles and pressing back).
  • The hips should be forward.
  • Drop the shoulders back and down whilst drawing your shoulder blades back.
  • Keep the chest lifted.
  • Feel strong in your arms with your fingers spread but imagine you are holding a block .
  • Keep the gaze forward.
  • Hold the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose as you inhale straighten the legs and extend your arms up to the sky and then back down to your sides ending in Mountain Pose.


Standing Back Bend (Anuvittasana)

 The Standing Pose

The Standing Back Bend opens the front of the body whilst strengthening the respiratory and cardiovascular system.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Standing Back Bend:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Bring the palms of your hands to your lower back (fingertips facing down and elbows tucked in).
  • Press the feet firmly into the ground and pull up the knee caps up.
  • Engage your thighs and buttocks.
  • Pushing your hips forward and start to arch the torso back, either keep the head looking forward or gently drop it backwards if it feels safe to do so.
  • Your arms should be supporting the weight.
  • Hold the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release the pose keep the arms and legs strong and as you inhale slowly bring your torso back up (letting your neck and head be the last to come up). Finally come back into Mountain Pose.


Wide Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

wide legged forward bend

The Wide Legged Forward Bend stretches and strengthens the ankles, inner and outer legs. It stretches the spine and it can help relieve headaches and fatigue as it stimulates the circulation to the brain.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose:

  • Begin from Mountain Pose.
  • Step your legs wide apart (as wide as feels comfortable), make sure your feet are parallel to each other.
  • Press into the outer edges of the feet and ground down the big toes.
  • Engage your thighs and bring your hands to your hips.
  • As you inhale lengthen through the upper body and as you exhale, from the hips your are folding forward (keeping the hips over the heels).
  • The back should be straight and the chest open.
  • Press your hands in to floor directly under the shoulders (keeping the arms straight).
  • Bring your gaze to the front.
  • If you want to go a little further then you can bend your elbows above the hands (the elbows should be angled back) and bend from the hips further. The neck should be long and the head down, maybe even resting the crown on the floor.
  • Stay in the pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release from the pose, inhale and walk the hands forward (under the shoulders again)keep the legs straight and pressing into the ground. As you exhale bring the hand to the hips, keeping the back straight. The next inhalation press in to the feet and gently bring your back up right.
  • Finally come back into Mountain Pose.


Tiptoe Pose (Prapadasana)

tiptoe yoga

The Tiptoe Pose strengthens the core stability, improves balance and keeps the reproductive system healthy.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Tiptoe Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Bend you knees and lift your heels off the floor as you lower your hips towards the heels.
  • Place your fingertips to the floor.
  • Bring the knees towards each other and down.
  • Keep your gaze focused on the same spot to help you balance .
  • As you inhale bring your hand to your heart in prayer position.
  • The chest should be pressed forwards and the shoulders back and down.
  • You can stay here or if you want a little bit more on inhalation you can gently twist to one side (remember to alternate side once your have finished the first side) or you can raise your arms above the head.
  • Hold the position for upto eight breaths.
  • To release the pose slowly lower the hands to the floor and bring your feet back into Downward facing Dog pose.


Shiva Twist (Parivrtta Natarajasana)

shiva twist

The Shiva Twist stretches and strengthens the chest, shoulders, core muscles, groin, thighs, knees and ankles. It improves your mood and concentration.

Beginner’ s Level.

Performing the Shiva Twist Pose:

  • Begin in Mountains Pose.
  • Place your hands on your hips and slightly bend your right knee, (bring all the weight to the left leg).
  • As you inhale lift your right knee up as high as feels right.
  • Focus your eyes on one spot to help with balancing.
  • Bring your arms up with your elbows bent and palms should be facing towards the front.
  • Engage your legs and on exhalation twist your torso to the right and focus your gaze on a new spot.
  • Keep the left leg strong and bring your left elbow to your right knee.
  • Hold this pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release from the pose slowly exhale rotate your torso back to the front, bringing your arms down and hands to the hips. Dropping the Right leg back to the ground and coming into Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.



Tree (Vrikshasana)

yoga standing tree pose

The Tree Pose strengthens the ankles, knees and thigh muscles. It helps to improve posture and balance.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Tree Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Keeping the spine long, reach for your left ankle and place the sole of the foot either above the inner right ankle, above the inner knee or nice and high up the thigh.
  • Tuck the tailbone towards the floor, standing nice and tall, find a focus point to help maintain your balance.
  • Press the sole of the left foot into your right leg engaging where they have contact.
  • Make sure both hips are aligned and facing forwards, keeping the left knee pushing out to the left.
  • If it feels comfortable you can raise your hands above your head keeping the palms pushed together, the shoulders should be back and down.
  • Engage the abdominal muscles and lift the chest.
  • Hold the pose for up to eight breaths, on each breath grounding the right foot into the ground and reaching up through the fingers.
  • To release the pose as you exhale, release the left leg back down and come into mountain pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

yoga standing half moon pose

The Half  Moon Pose stretches the thighs and ankles whilst improving balance.

Beginners Level.

Performing the Half Moon Pose:

  • Begin in Warrior II Pose, with the right foot at the front of the mat.
  • Keeping the right arm parallel to floor, bring your left hand to the hip.
  • Bring you weight into your right leg.
  • As you exhale reach out with your right arm and the torso will follow as the left foot begins to feel light.
  • Keeping  a bend in the front knee, bring your right hand to the floor on the outer side of the right foot (right hand should be directly under the shoulder).
  • Engaging the abdominal muscles and find a focal point on the ground to maintain your balance.
  • As you inhale straighten the right leg and simultaneously raise the left leg parallel to the floor.
  • Pressing into the ground through your right foot (knee cap should be facing forward and not locked) and push out through the left heel.
  • Roll the right buttock under by externally rotating the top of the right thigh, keeping the legs engaged.
  • Feel the length through both sides of the waist.
  • As you inhale lift the left arm and reach out through the fingertips.
  • Keep the left hip slightly forward.
  • Keep your gaze focused on the floor or if it feels comfortable you can turn it to look up towards the raised left hand.
  • Hold this pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release from this pose, on exhalation bring your gaze back to the floor (if its not already), lower the left leg back down to the floor and return to Warrior II.
  • Repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Standing Spinal Twist Pose (Katichakrasana)

yoga standing spinal twist pose

The Standing Spinal Twist Pose helps to lose weight and burns waist fat. It strengthens the spine and relieves constipation.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Standing Spinal Twist:

  • Begin with your feet together and standing straight.
  • As you inhale reach your arms out in front out you with your palms at shoulder width and facing each other (arms should be parallel with the floor).
  • As you exhale, slowly twist your torso to the right from the waist and look over your right shoulder.
  • Keeping your feet pressing firmly into the ground (make sure they are staying forward).
  • Keep your arms strong and apart (imagine you have a block between them).
  • As you inhale, gently bring your arms and torso back to the centre.
  • As you exhale, take the twist gently to the left side.
  • Repeat this up to eight times on each side.
  • To release from the pose, inhale come back to the centre and as you exhale, release your arms back down to your sides and come into Mountain Pose.


Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)

yoga standing half forward bend

The Standing Half Forward Bend improves and strengthens the posture and ankles. It also improves the digestive system.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Standing Half Forward Bend:

  • Begin in Mountains Pose.
  • As you exhale, bring the hands to the hips and hinge forward  to half way, keeping your back flat, the crown of your head should be towards the front.
  • As you inhale, draw your abdominal muscles in and ground down through your feet, keeping the legs strong.
  • Reach your finger tips forward, and draw your shoulders blades away from your ears.
  • If it feels comfortable lift your head slightly to look forward but keeping the neck long. You can even reach your arms forward to the front of the room.
  • Opening the chest and hold this pose for up to eight breaths.
  • To release from the pose, as you inhale slowly come back up into Mountains Pose, restacking one vertebrae at a time and the head should come up last.

Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

yoga standing downward dog pose

The Downward Facing Dog Pose deeply strengthens and stretches the whole body. It can relieve headaches and depression. It improves the memory and stimulates the digestive system.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Downward Facing Dog Pose:

  • Begin on the floor on your hands and knees, hands should be slightly forward of the shoulders and knees should be aligned directly under the hips.
  • Spread your fingers wide and the middle fingers should be pointing towards the front.
  • Rotate your forearms in and the upper arms and shoulders rotate outwards.
  • As you exhale engage your stomach muscles, pressing the hands firmly into the ground and tuck your toes under and lift your knees away from the floor (the feet should be hip width apart, heels lifted and a bend in the knees).
  • On exhalation, lengthen the Tailbone, lifting your hips back and away from you, pressing the body back into an upside down v.
  • If you can, straighten your legs (keeping the back straight), pushing the thighs and knees back, stretching your heels back down towards the floor.
  • Lift the Sitting bones towards the ceiling. Draw your inner legs up from the ankles.
  • Pushing your hands into the ground, the upper arms should be pressing towards each other. Keeping the shoulder blades down the spine and the head is an extension of the body (do not let it hang).
  • Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes.
  • To release from the pose, on exhalation bend your knees and come down to the floor into Childs Pose.


Plank (Kumbhakasana)

yoga standing plank pose

The Plank Pose strengthens the arms and spine while toning the abdominal muscles. Its improves stability.

Beginners Level.

Performing the Plank Pose:

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your hands directly underneath your shoulders (spreading your fingers). The Torso should be parallel to the floor.
  • Pressing down into the ground through your forearms and hands, keeping the outer arms inwards.
  • Gaze down to lengthen the neck, draw the shoulder blades back and keep the chest lifted, engage the abdominal muscles.
  • Tuck your toes under, and bring your feet back to bring the body into a straight line. (make sure your hips are lifted and the Tailbone down, lengthening down towards the heels).
  •  Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release from the pose, slowly bring your knees back to the ground and come into Child Pose.


Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

yoga standing dolphin pose

The Dolphin Pose builds upper body strength and strengthens the core. It opens the shoulders, upper back and lengthens the spine whilst stretching the hamstrings. It also stimulates the nervous system.

Beginners Level.

Performing the Dolphin Pose:

  • Begin on the floor on your hands and knees with your knees directly under your hips and your forearms flat on the floor directly under your shoulders. (spread your fingers widely and point the middle finger to the front of the room).
  • Tuck your toes under (keep the feet hip width apart and pointing forwards with heels lifted) and as you exhale lift the knees away from the floor (keeping a slight bend) lengthen your Tailbone bringing your sitting bones up towards the ceiling.
  • Reaching through the Tailbone, keeping the spine straight, stretching through the inner legs from the ankles up.
  • Grounding down through the forearms and drawing the shoulder blades down. Keep the head lifted straight in a line with your neck and spine or if you can you can rest your forehead gently on the ground.
  • If it feels comfortable to do so then your can straighten your knees but keeping the spine straight.
  • Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release from the pose, as you exhale slowly lower the knees to the floor and come into Child Pose.


Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

standing extended triangle pose

The Extended Triangle Pose stimulates the abdominal muscles and stretches the chest, shoulders, spine and legs whilst opening the hips. It is good for stress and the digestive system.

Beginner’s Level.

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Step your feet so they are about 3-4 feet width apart. Turn the right foot onto a 90 degree and the left foot slightly in to the right, align the heels.
  • Engage the thighs and turn the right thigh outwards, keeping the legs straight and the knee cap in line with the first two toes.
  • Spread the weight evenly across the four corners of the feet.
  • As you inhale engage your stomach muscles up, feel long through the sides of the waist and lift your arms so the are parallel to the floor, then as you exhale reach through the fingertips.
  • On inhalation reach the right side of the body over the right leg, press the hips backwards and as you exhale bring the right hand down to the ground so it is on the outside of the foot (if you can’t reach the ground you can place the hand on a block or the thigh)
  • Reach the left arm straight up towards the ceiling with the palm facing forwards and in line with the shoulder.
  • Rotate the ribcage up towards the ceiling and lengthening evenly through both sides of the waist.
  • Your neck should be in line with the spine and your head facing straight unless it feels comfortable then you can tuck the chin slightly and turn your gaze up towards the left hand.
  • Keep pressing through the feet and reaching through the fingertips, feeling the stretch through the sides of the waist.
  • Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose, inhale push the feet into the ground and stretch through the left arm to come into an upright position. Rotate the feet into the opposite direction and repeat the pose on the other side.

Intermediate Level Yoga Poses

Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)

yoga standing Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose

The Extended Hand-To-Big Toe Pose challenges your sense of balance and improves concentration. It is a deep stretch for the hamstrings and also strengthens the ankles.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose:

  • To begin the pose start in Mountain pose.
  • Bring your weight into your right foot, grounding it down and lift your left knee up towards the armpit. Interlace your hands around the shin.
  • Keep the right thigh back, keep the leg strong and straight.
  • Keep the shoulders back and down with the chest lifted.
  • Find a focus point on the ground to bring your gaze to for balance.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and the spine should be straight and long.
  • Loop grab the big toe of the left foot with the index and middle fingers of the left hand, bring the right hand to meet the right hip.
  • On exhalations stretch the left leg out in front as much as you can and keep the hips forward and square. Drop the left hip slightly to be inline with the right hip.
  • The neck and shoulders should be relaxed.
  • If it feels comfortable you can also open your left leg out to the side for an externally rotated variation and even reach the right arm out to the side (palm facing the front).
  • Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose, on inhalation bring the knee back into the chest then as you exhale release the foot back down to the floor.
  • Repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

yoga standing eagle pose

The Eagle Pose improves concentration and balance, as well as strengthening and stretching the ankles,calves, thighs, hips, upper back and shoulders.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the Eagle Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Slightly bend your knees and bring your weight into the four corners of the right foot as you bring your left thigh to cross over your right.
  • Wrap the top of your left foot behind your right calve whilst you bring your gaze onto a focus point for balance (if this is too much them just gently rest the toes on the floor).
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor, then cross your arms in front of the torso (so your left arm under the right with the backs of the hands facing each other) and bend your elbows.
  • Lift your arms and fingertips towards the ceiling (shoulder should be kept back and down). You may be able to make your palms meet.
  • Engage your stomach muscles and keep the hips and chest aligned.
  • If it is comfortable take your gaze to the tip of your thumbs.
  • Hold the pose for up to 30 seconds.
  • To release the pose unwind your arms and legs and come in Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


Garland Pose (Malasana)

yoga standing garland pose


The Garland Pose is increases circulation and balance. It stretches the torso, hips, thighs, groin and ankles. It also tones the abdominal muscles.

Beginner’s Level.

Performing the Garland Pose:

  • To begin the pose, standing in Mountain Pose at the top of your mat.
  • Step your feet so they are mat width apart.
  • Bend the knees coming into a squat, keeping the feet where they are seperate the thighs out wide.
  • Press the elbows into the inner sides of your thighs with your hands in a prayer position at your hearts centre.
  • As you exhale, bend the torso so it should be slightly forward and lengthened, keeping the spine straight and the shoulders kept down.
  • Bring your weight into the heels of your feet.
  • Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release from the pose, bring your fingertips to the ground and as you inhale, gently straighten the legs and stack each vertebrae of the back one by one and the head should be the last part of you to come up. Finally coming back into Mountain Pose.


Gate Pose (Parighasana)

yoga standing gate pose


The Gate Pose stretches the sides of the torso and spine improving flexibility and core strength. It improves circulation and digestion.

Beginners Level.

Performing the Gate Pose:

  • Begin in a kneeling position with the knees hip width apart.
  • Stretch the right leg out to the side with the foot flat on the floor and the left knee directly under the left hip. (The right foot should be aligned with the left knee).
  • The pelvis should be turned slightly towards the left and the upper torso should be back and left.
  • As you inhale raise your arms out to the sides with the palm facing down, as you exhale bend to the right and reach the arm toward the shin and placing the hand on the shin or the ground.
  • Pressing your pelvis towards the floor, on inhalation bring your left arm up over to the back of the ear. (Turn the upper torso away from the floor but do not push the left hip back).
  • Keep the shoulders back down and the chest open. (If it feels comfortable turn your gaze up to the left).
  • Reach out through the fingers and the crown of your head.
  • Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose as you inhale  reach through the left arm bringing your torso back upright and bend the right knee back to the mat to meet the left knee.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


High Lunge Prayer Twist (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

High Lunge Prayer Twist

The High Lunge Prayer Twist improves lung capacity as well as improving balance and awareness. It stretches all the leg muscles and the chest and shoulders. It Tones the body and improves digestion.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the High Lunge Prayer Twist Pose:

  • Begin in High Lunge with the right foot forward.
  • Bring your hand into prayer position in front of the chest.
  • On inhalations press your thumbs into the heart and raise the chest.
  • As you exhale engage the abdominal muscles and twist the torso to the right.
  • Press your left elbow into the outside of your right thigh.
  • Turn your gaze up to the right if it feels comfortable. (Find a focus point for balance).
  • Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose, untwist the body coming back to the front and bring your hands to the floor. Release from the lunge into a squat.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Dancer (Natarajasana)

yoga standing pose dancer

Dancers pose builds full body strength, improves flexibility and balance. It stretches the front of the body, thighs and ankles. It improves posture.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the Dancers Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • As you inhale, shift your weight evenly onto your right foot and bend your left knee so your heel comes to your left buttock.
  • Draw your right thigh back and pull the knee cap up and pointing forward with your toes.
  • Reach your left hand back and grab hold of the outside of the left foot of ankle.
  • Keep the torso up right, press the tailbone towards the floor and knees together.
  • Reach your right arm up, with the fingertips towards the ceiling and the palm facing towards the left.
  • Bring your gaze to a focus spot to help with your balance.
  • Start to press the left foot away from the body, bringing the thigh parallel to the floor, lifting the leg as high as you can
  • Keep the chest lifted and lean the torso forwards, stretch the right arm forward in front of the torso so it is parallel to the floor.
  • You can either stay here or if you want to go further then you can sweep the right arm behind your back grabbing the inner left foot and raise the thigh.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  • To release the pose, gently release the left foot and slowly bringing the foot back down to the ground an come into Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Head to Knee (Dandayamana Janushirasana)

yoga standing head to knee pose

The Standing head to knee pose stretches and improves flexibility to the hamstrings. It strengthens the upper arms, hamstrings and the abdominal muscles. It improves digestion and the reproductive organs.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the Standing Head to Knee Pose:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose.
  • Shift your weight evenly in to your left foot.
  • Bend forward from your waist and lift the right knee in towards your chest.
  • Interlace you fingers and bringing them under the arch of the right foot (placing the right foot onto the interlaced hands as a platform).
  • Now straighten the right leg so it becomes parallel with the floor (don’t worry if you can’t fully straighten it just go as far as feels comfortable).
  • You may want to stay here or if you can go further you can lower your elbows towards the calfs and the front of your torso comes closer to the leg bringing the forehead even closer to the leg.
  • Grounding down through the left leg and the weight shifted slightly forwards but not locking the knee. Engage the thigh muscles and making sure the pelvis is level.
  • Hold the pose for for 30 seconds.
  • To release the pose bring the torso back up, break away the hands and gently bring the foot back to the ground coming into Mountains Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Chair Twist (Parivritta Utkatasana)

yoga standing pose chair twist

The Chair Twist Pose strengthens the back and improves flexibility through the spine. It tones your hips, buttocks and thighs. It improves balance and posture.

Intermediate Level.

Performing the Chair Twist Pose:

  • Begin in Mountains pose.
  • As you inhale, lift your arms up above the head with the palms facing inwards and the shoulders back and down.
  • On exhalation bend your knees so they are as parallel to the floor as can be. The knees will come slightly over your feet.
  • Keeping the chest lifted and the torso angled over the thighs (you should now be in chair pose).
  • Lower your arms and come into prayer position at your chest.
  • As you exhale twist your torso to the right and place your left elbow on the outer edge of the right thigh.
  • Align your hips and press the knees together, also keeping them aligned.
  • Pressing the upper left arm into the top of the right thigh and drawing the right shoulder blade into the back to enable the chest to turn more to the right.
  • You can stay here or if you want more them you can extend your arms so the left fingertips are reaching down on the mat and the right finger tips are reaching up towards the sky.
  • Bring your gaze up to the sky, (if you have your arm extended then gaze up towards the thumb).
  • Stack the top shoulder on top of the bottom one and sink your hips lower, keeping the spine lengthened.
  • Pressing the thumbs into the heart.
  • Grounding the feet firmly with the weight spread evenly, hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose, as you inhale return to the centre in to Chair Pose, lifting through the arms and straighten the legs. As your exhale release back down in to Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.



Continue Reading


Tips for Moms to Stay Fit

Sheila J. Highland



yoga poses

Stay Fit

Motherhood involves a lot of care: care for babies, care for toddlers, care for scheduling–but it not always self-care. Juggling to-do lists, maintaining work-life balance and caring for tiny humans keeps you on your toes but not always on your fitness game. The tips below can help you stay fit and active. Moms have enough pressure in their lives, so take these tips and make them work for your life, schedule, and family.

1. Find a Tribe.

yoga poses women

Finding a community that supports you and helps you grow can be key to stay fit. Whether you are a new mom or an experienced mom with multiple toddlers, the support of friends is great for your physical and mental health. Plan on getting active outside with friends and the kids, or work with one another to watch each other’s children while you take time to work out. Getting social means getting active!

2. Join a Gym with Childcare Services.

yoga poses women

If finding a tribe seems too daunting or adds stress, try joining a pre-made one: the gym! Many gyms now offer childcare services, which allow you get your workout in while a professional watches your child, often in a cool room with toys. This not only allows you to get your workout in but also provides an opportunity for your child to socialize.

3. Set Goals and Make Moving a Habit.

Setting goals can help guide you on the path to success. Make short-term goals that are accessible and allow you to see results. This will keep you motivated to keep going, and before you know it, you may be exercising without even thinking.

Once you lose the mindset of “having” to workout, and rather work out by staying active in life, your workouts will morph from something on your to-do list to something you are already doing. For example, start walking instead of driving. Make moving a priority, and don’t guilt yourself for missing a workout.

4. Value Your Time.

Time management can be the key to getting a workout in. Be mindful of your schedule, and remember that your time is extremely valuable. Find workouts you can do from your home (many exist on YouTube) that are effective yet only 30 minutes long. Try to stay fit this time in every day, and remember that the work you put in will add up over time.

5. Send the Kids to One Class and Yourself to Another.

yoga poses

Getting the kids out to try new things is great for their social and mental development. Sign your children up for a fun class, like arts and crafts or gymnastics, and use the time they are away having fun to get your own class in!

Related Articles:

6. Create a Space at Home for You, and Only You.

Children can quickly take over the space in a home, so find a room or even a corner that you can dedicate just to yourself. No toys, and no entry without permission. Let that space be your area, where you decompress and find your fitness or wellness routine.

7. Get Outside.

Getting outside is great for everyone, and can be a simple and fun way to get active. Walk the kids to a local park, explore the neighborhood, or head out to a family-friendly attraction like the zoo.

8. Split It into Mini Workouts.

We often think of workouts as occurring all at once, in solid blocks of time. However, small workouts throughout the day can add up to a full workout by evening. While your child is occupied by a toy or television show, stay nearby and slip in a few sun salutations, sit-ups or squats. A few movements scattered throughout the day can add up to big results.

9. Get the Kids Involved.

Exercising does not have to mean getting away from the kids. Love a workout video? Invite the kids to join in! This keeps them occupied while teaching them the value of exercise.  You may be able to find “Mommy and me” classes, where you bring your child into the class with you.

A busy family schedule can often throw self-care out the window. Do your best and practice one or more of the tips above to find what works best for you. Always keep self-care on your radar–your time is valuable and you are worth it.


Continue Reading


Unexpected Benefits of Yoga For Athletes

Polly Stevens



yoga poses

Yoga For Athletes

Most people who’ve been practicing yoga for athletes for a while have a yoga origin story. Mine began when I was only eight years old. At the time, I was a competitive swimmer, training several days a week, and competing in regular races.

Our coach was an intense man with the goal of getting his swimmers into the Olympics. As such, we didn’t just swim. We studied the mechanics of our strokes. We lifted weights and cross-trained. We did team cheers before each race for motivation. And yes, he introduced us to yoga and meditation, not to attain enlightenment, but to help us become stronger swimmers, both physically and mentally.

I often tell this story as an example of how people enter the practice of yoga with different goals. For many, it’s a spiritual practice. For others, it’s a tool to achieve exceptional physical conditioning. Yoga for athletes has been found to improve athletic performance in adults. In fact, many professional sports programs now incorporate yoga into their training programs.

If you are an athlete looking to integrate yoga into your regimen with the primary goal of increased physical prowess, you might discover some other, unexpected benefits. Read on to learn how yoga might surprise you.

Improved Breathing


yoga poses

Yoga for athletes includes the practice of pranayama, also known as breath regulation. Most yoga classes begin with a focus on breath and will typically include cues throughout to help students deepen their breath. A recent study found that yoga increases what is known as the vital capacity of the lungs, which is the amount of air a person can take into their lungs on their inhale breath.

One simple type of pranayama is known as belly breathing. To try it, close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. Inhale through your nose and draw your breath down, feeling your belly expand like a balloon. Exhale through your nose and feel your belly contract.

Try practicing this for a few minutes each day, alone or as part of your mat-based asana (yoga postures) routine. When you return to your sport of choice, begin to notice how your breathing has changed.

2. Body Awareness



yoga poses

I was an avid runner when I first started practicing yoga daily. Only a few weeks into this daily practice, I started to become deeply attuned to the needs of my body. What before had just been a collection of parts became a finely calibrated system.

Yoga helped me to realize that everything is connected. If my gait was off, for example, that wasn’t just an issue for my feet, because my feet are the base of support for my knees and hips, which in turn affect my spine, leading all the way up to my neck and brain. Taking care of one part of my body was good for the entire system.

As I continue to age and my body changes, my yoga practice has helped me to have a firm foundation of body awareness, and a deep, powerful, and positive relationship with my body. Lately, I’ve been doing more strength training and I credit my progress there to first understanding my body through yoga.

Read about 10 Free Amazing Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do At Home

3. Acceptance of Injuries


yoga for injuries

A few weeks ago, I overdid it with squats and began to notice some pain in my outer left hip that I attributed to a mild bursitis. Having just hit my groove in my strength training, I was a little frustrated at first. However, yoga has taught me how to ride the waves of life. In the past, I might’ve let that frustration derail my progress. Instead, I accepted this injury as just a part of life.

Yoga teaches me that change is inevitable. That means that injuries, pain, and illness might come, but that also means they’ll leave as well. I accepted my injury, looked at it objectively, continued to train the parts of my body that were feeling well, and soon felt much better. I returned to the exercises that targeted my hip flexor with a more moderate approach.

As an athlete, you probably have experience with injuries since you are training at the upper limits of your body. Incorporating yoga into your routine can help you to keep a positive and flexible mindset when you are in the stages of recovery.

4. Nutritional Balance


yoga balanced diet

True story: I used to be really addicted to Diet Coke. I’d started drinking it as a teenager and up until a few years ago, I would drink about three or four sodas each day. Every time I’d read news articles about research showing how bad diet soda is for our bodies, I would decide that I’m done drinking it. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t quit.

Then came yoga. After a decade of trying to quit, with many unsuccessful attempts under my belt, my craving for soda faded away with seemingly no effort on my part. I stopped buying it and drinking it. It was the strangest thing.

I attribute this to my yoga practice which taught me how to develop stronger self-regulation of my behaviors and habits. As an athlete, you probably understand the importance of healthy eating to your athletic success. You might be surprised to find that yoga helps you to eat healthier and to drop any remaining bad health habits.

5. Mental Clarity

yoga for clarity


Read about 100 Positive Thinking Exercises

Another aspect of yoga for athletes is the practice of meditation. Remember how pranayama is about breath awareness? Meditation is about thought awareness. It trains people to become more aware of their thoughts and to develop a greater control over the content and flow of their mental energy.

I can remember, as a young swimmer, I performed worse in the races where I allowed doubts to enter my mind. So I trained myself to replace those thoughts with positive affirmations and saw an immediate improvement in my speed and capacity. No matter your sport of choice, learning how to notice your thought processes can be a powerful tool to help improve performance, motivation, and endurance.

A person’s yoga for athletes practice is a bit like a snowflake: each one is unique. While improved physical performance in your sport is a very likely outcome of integrating yoga into your routine, you’ll also experience other mental, physical, or spiritual benefits. Start slowly, listen to your body, and enjoy whatever comes.



Continue Reading


7 Yoga Poses For Back And Neck Pain

Tara Christie



yoga poses

We all know that yoga is great for flexibility, but did you know that certain yoga poses can help with neck and back pain? If you have back and neck pain, practice the yoga poses below to get some relief.

(Of course, as with any new exercise regimen, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to practice these poses, especially if you’re recovering from an accident or injury.)


These yoga poses helps loosen your entire back and the neck. And the best part is that anyone can perform it, no matter how stiff you are.

How to perform:

  • Get in all-fours position on a yoga mat. Make sure your palms are directly below your shoulders and your knees are directly below the hips.
  • Look forward and slowly arch your back as much as possible.
  • Hold this pose for 2 seconds Inhale and then slowly extend your back as high as possible while you simultaneously bring your chin close to the chest.
  • Go back into the arched-back position and repeat this movement 10 times.

yoga poses


The seated spinal twist is great for improving spine flexibility. It will also improve the neck’s side-to-side flexibility.

Be healthy. Be loving.

Read these articles:

How to perform:

  • Sit on the floor and keep both feet straight.
  • Bend the left knee and then place the left foot beside the outer thigh of the right foot.
  • Keep your back straight and place the right elbow on the bent knee. Keep your left hand on the floor.
  • Tilt your torso to the left side as far as your spinal flexibility allows.
  • Hold the pose for 20 seconds and remember to breathe deeply. Switch sides and hold the pose for the same duration.

yoga poses


Sometimes you suffer neck pain due to tight shoulders. These yoga poses will loosen your shoulder and upper back muscles.

How to perform:

  • Kneel on a yoga mat, then rest your buttox your heels.
  • Bend the right arm and bring it behind your head. Bend the right arm and bring it behind your back.
  • Stretch both hands until they touch each other.
  • Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds. If your hands can’t touch each other, use a towel to do this stretch.

yoga poses


Do this stretch regularly if you are struggling with lower back pain. It will loosen your hamstrings and glute muscles.

How to perform:

  • Stand upright and keep your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your butt and then inhale.
  • Slowly bend forward as you slowly slide your hands down your legs. Bring your head as close to the floor as possible without bending your knees.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

yoga poses


Beginners may find this pose a bit challenging. However, if you can perform it*, you will be able to stretch your chest, neck, shoulders, back, legs, and arms.

How to perform:

  • Lie face down on a yoga mat. Stretch your arms backward toward your legs.
  • Raise your legs backward, bend your knees, and grab your ankles with your hands.
  • Hold this stretch for 20 seconds.

*Avoid the bow pose if you have severe back pain.

Bow Pose


These yoga poses loosens the front neck muscles, which are usually tight and weak in people who sit for long hours.

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back and keep your palms on the floor. Keep your feet straight and bend your elbows.
  • Press through your elbows to lift your back off the floor without lifting your head and butt.
  • Try to extend your upper back as high as possible.
  • Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds. Rest and repeat 3 times.

yoga poses

7. Thread the Needle

This twist is a great yoga pose for loosening your neck and spine.

How to perform:

  • Kneel on a yoga mat, and keep your knees and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend forward and rest your head on the floor while keeping your back flat.
  • Tilt your torso to the left side and stretch your right arm underneath your body to the left as far as possible.
  • Extend the left hand over your head and rest its palm on the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 20 seconds for each side.


Continue Reading


43 Inspiring Yoga Facebook pages for you to check out

Polly Stevens



43 Inspiring Yoga Facebook pages for you to check out

Yoga has become an extremely popular form of exercise and meditation around the world. It is an essential key to healthy living and one’s well-being.

Here are 43 Yoga Facebook Pages that will help you improve your yoga flexibility, help you get involved in the world of yoga, and keep you up with that world as well. Check out the pages below.  We would also like to hear about any great yoga Facebook pages that you know about as well.

    1. Yoga Journal

      Yoga JournalYoga Journal is the #1 authority on yoga and the yoga lifestyle. It’s the brand for all practitioners—from beginners to masters—who want to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life both on and off the mat.

      Every day, Yoga Journal engages its print, online and live audience with top teacher insights and in-depth reporting on poses, breathing, meditation, nutrition, health, trends and more. Always informative and inspiring, the magazine’s welcoming, inclusive point of view puts every reader in front of the world’s best teachers. With 11 international editions and 4 national live events annually, Yoga Journal is the world’s largest and most influential yoga brand.

    2. Yoga on Gaia 

      Yoga on GaiaGaia, originally known as GaiamTV, is a streaming video subscription service that offers exclusive streaming of over 7,000 films, documentaries and original programs dedicated to conscious media, personal growth and spirituality, featuring renowned luminaries like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, the Dalai Lama and more. Along with its inspirational content, Gaia also features the world’s largest online library of yoga, fitness and wellness videos. In addition, Gaia offers original interviews with shows like Cosmic Disclosure with David Wilcock, Beyond Belief with George Noory, and Open Minds with Regina Meredith. Gaia is currently available on the new Apple TV, iPad, iPhone and Roku and can be streamed using Chromecast and Apple Airplay. Learn more at

    3.  Yoga

      yogaFind the top Costa Rica Yoga Retreats, Yoga Surf Vacations, Yoga Spa resorts and Hotels at Costa Rica Yoga. Each year, thousands of tourists flock to this beautiful, natural area, and one of the activities they most frequently engage in is yoga classes. Some are led at beautiful, nature retreats, held outdoors in the most beautiful, exotic, and peaceful of surroundings, while others are held for free on the sand of the beaches. Many yoga instructors also go to Costa Rica to attend certification courses or to learn advanced skills in the art of yoga. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and are interested in learning more about yoga, then this article will cover some of the most popular yoga options there.

    4. Yoga Inspiration

      Yoga InspirationA daily dose of inspiration for yogis around the world. The best yoga community on Facebook. Their mission is to spread the awareness on the benefits of yoga and to help people connect with themselves. They want studios to offer free yoga classes to encourage people to try yoga and ultimately fall in love with the practice.

      Looking for motivational Yoga Quotes we have 180 of them right here.

    5.  Yoga Burn

      Yoga BurnZoe Bray-Cotton is a 200hr registered Yoga Teacher with over 15,000 practical hours teaching Yoga, and even more hours spent practicing as a Yoga student for 15 years.

      She has also taken workshops with Eoin Finn, Shiva Rae & Seane Corn and many health experts around the world in Canada, Florida & Hawaii.

      Additionally, she is certified in Ballet Bar fitness, Anti-Gravity Flying Fitness, Spin, TRX fitness, as well as many other body weight focused methods of fitness.

      Zoe strives to teach Women how to look and feel their best with the Yoga Burn System for Women, a follow-along-from-home Yoga program, as well as the Ultimate Yoga Kick Start Kit and Yoga Burn Monthly 6 month transformation series.

      Building a community on Facebook & Instagram is of utmost importance to Zoe. Providing her followers with inspiration, motivation, new Yoga Burn sequences, and love is Zoe’s ultimate goal.

    6. DDP YOGA

      DDP YOGADDP YOGA is a brand new program that will get you in the best shape of your life. No weights, no treadmills, no gadgets, DDP YOGA is an all-in-one cardio, strength and flexibility program that puts ZERO impact on your body. This program not only will help you get in amazing shape, it will help you hold back the hands of time!

      Try these Yin Yoga techniques to Calm Down

    7. Kino Yoga

      Kino YogaKino MacGregor is one of a select group of people to receive the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga by its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. The youngest woman to hold this title, she has completed the challenging Third Series and is now learning the Fourth Series. Without any background in movement training Kino MacGregor tried her first yoga class when she was nineteen. Three years later, she joined Govinda Kai’s Mysore-style classes in New York City and became a dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner. After seven months of traditional Ashtanga practice Kino traveled to Mysore, India to meet her true teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (“Guruji”). Upon her return she began real self-practice by practicing alone and devoting herself entirely to the study and teaching of Ashtanga yoga. After seven years of consistent trips to Mysore, at the age of 29, she received from Guruji the Certification to teach Ashtanga yoga and has since worked to pass on the inspiration to practice to countless others.

    8. Yoga Girl

      Yoga GirlSwedish native Rachel Brathen is a New York Times best-selling author, serial entrepreneur and international yoga teacher residing in Aruba. After graduating school in Stockholm she traveled to Costa Rica and it was here that she found the joy of incorporating yoga into her everyday life. Deepening her yoga practice and also taking her first steps towards teaching, she ended up moving to Central America where she spent years exploring the intricate studies of yoga and spirituality. After moving to Aruba early 2010 she started teaching yoga full time on this Caribbean island. Her classes are a dynamic Vinyasa Flow integrating alignment, core work, and breathing techniques with basic poses and creative sequencing. With over two million followers in social media, Brathen shares pieces of her life with the world every day and constantly travels the globe to connect with her community.

    9. Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga

      Bharat Thakur Artistic YogaArtistic yoga is known to give tremendous results in a short span of time. The classes are taught in an informal manner making it more approachable for a beginner. This form of yoga transforms your body effectively so that you can move into the higher practices of yoga. Every class is unique and non-repetitive surprising the student to change faster. The classes are fun and enjoyable for all age groups making it something to look forward to on a daily basis.

    10. EkhartYoga

      EkhartYogaWelcome to – Real Yoga for Real People. We provide yoga & meditation classes online so that you can practice wherever and whenever you want. With over 2000 yoga videos by 36 different teachers, there is something for everyone.
      We update our blog and video library every day. Our teachers from all over the world will help guide you in everything yoga. We have many special programs that you can follow if you prefer a guided practice including Beginner programs, Yoga for core, Yoga for Runners, Yoga tutorials, Month-week long programs etc. 

    11. Yoga

      YogaStarted in 2011. Yoga is oneness for your For your body, mind and soul! Top Yoga Poses For Instant Weight Loss Everyone certainly desires the good things of life, to eat what they want how they like it but the bitter part of eating whatever you want is watching your favorite clothes on the hanger with bitterness because they can no longer fit.

    12. Yoga

      YogaYoga Magazine is published monthly and available nationwide. Each issue is filled with yoga poses for all levels, with exclusive interviews, features and lifestyle editorial to keep you healthy, balanced and fulfilled

    13. I Love Yoga

      I Love YogaFounded on March 5, 2013. I love Yoga facebook page will bring you at peace, live free and breathe deep.

      Yin Yoga techniques to help you to Calm Down

    14. Yoga with Briohny

      Yoga with BriohnyBriohny is an artist, a jetsetter, a teacher, a healer, a mother, and a student at heart, my life is a testament to the fact that life truly is a beautiful adventure. Everywhere I’ve been has led me to exactly where I am today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a child pop star in Asia with a platinum album by the age of 13, an enormous amount of pressure bore down on me at a young age. I developed a severe battle with anorexia and bulimia as a result. After years of suffering, I found yoga in Thailand in 1999, and it launched me on a path toward healing, health, and purpose. After the birth of my daughter in 2004, I decided to share my passion for yoga with others and set foot on a life long journey of teaching. Mentored by Annie Carpenter and Lisa Walford at YogaWorks, I became a certified 500 E-RYT and after almost a decade of teaching experience, decided to expand my passion for sharing yoga into teacher trainings through my FitFlowFly Yoga School. I have continued to share my story as a contributing writer for MindBodyGreen, ElephantJournal, The Huffington Post, and QBlog. I have also graced the cover of Women’s Health Thailand, Yoga Journal Thailand, and LA Yoga.

    15. Noah Mazé Yoga

      Noah Mazé YogaNoah offers classes, workshops, intensives and trainings around the world. Noah’s fierce compassionate dedication to the yoga practice inspires and holds the space for you to journey deeper into the body/mind/spirit than you ever could have imagined. He took his first hatha yoga class when he was 14 years old, and felt instantly at home in the mix of physical and contemplative practices. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado, where his parents practiced a tradition of meditation, and he was raised with the philosophy and practice of yoga tradition. Initially, he studied and practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa with Richard Freeman. Noah completed his first Anusara Yoga teacher training in 1999 and became a Certified Anusara Yoga teacher in 2002. Philosophically, Noah studies extensively with Tantric scholar Douglas R. Brooks, in the Srividya lineage of Rajanaka Yoga. Always a student, Noah continues his yoga education with teachers of all yoga styles and traditions. He also serves as a faculty member at, where you can take online classes with him, and download special workshops.

    16. Yoga for Men

      Yoga for Men

      Helping men lead better lives through Yoga.

      Yoga for Men firmly believes that with consistent application, men will find that yoga not only enhances their physical wellbeing, but will also enable them to obtain new levels of mental clarity, focus, and potency.

      With some practice, dedication and an open mind, men will find that yoga can directly benefit them in ways in which they may not have previously considered or been exposed to before.

      “Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” ~ BKS Iyengar

    17. Yoga with Srishti

      Yoga with Srishti

      Medicine can cure the body but yoga and holistic wellness can heal the body from inside. Yoga with Srishti is about Yoga, fitness, wellness, nutrition, traditional Indian Therapy.

    18. Dylan Werner Yoga

      Dylan Werner YogaHe was born and raised in the mountains of Southern California. He started teaching yoga in 2011 after 10 years of advanced movement training. Inspired by movement with a background in anatomy and kinesiology, He weave together hatha yoga, yoga philosophy, and pranayama with creative sequencing and intelligent anatomy based alignment to create a space to deepen the inner connection. He is currently traveling the world, teaching workshops, trainings, festivals and retreats. He is passionate about spreading my love for yoga and helping others in their journey by sharing my own.

    19. Shiva Yoga Peeth – Yoga Teacher Training in India

      Shiva Yoga Peeth - Yoga Teacher Training in IndiaShiva Yoga Peeth  Yoga Ashram – a registered Yoga School offers Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour, 300 hour & 500 hour Hatha & Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training  at Rishikesh, India  without losing its factual spirit. Having the roots in India, their program intended for all those people who have a great interest for physical appropriateness, mental health, intellectual development but are unable to find the way to explore it. it is always good for any yoga student to learn this sacred knowledge from its masters having a base in spirituality.

    20. Pure Yoga Official Page

      Pure Yoga Official PagePure Yoga is Asia’s leading lifestyle group with prime locations in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei, with plans to continue expansion throughout the region.

      We offer a wide variety of traditional and contemporary practices including Hatha, Hot, Power, Yin, Pranayama / Meditation, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Pre-& Post-Natal, and Yoga Dance, plus the personal touch of Private Yoga.

      Pure Yoga currently employs over 140 yoga teachers from around the world. All are certified and hail from India, North America, Europe, Australia and Hong Kong.

    21. YOGA


      This page is here to support and connect Yogis and Meditators from all over the world. This is a page for everyone interested in Yoga. Page and website founded by Inner Splendor, producers of quality audio and video content for yoga, meditation, relaxation and sleep aid.

      Looking for motivational Yoga Quotes we have 180 of them right here.

    22. YogaWorks

      YogaWorksFounded in Santa Monica, California in 1987, YogaWorks has become the nation’s authority in yoga instruction offering world-class teachers at yoga studios, a premier teacher training program, workshops, and best-in-class online yoga at YogaWorks’ trademark approach is a mix of safe, compassionate and skillful teaching featuring a diverse array of yoga styles and teachers. In addition to yoga, YogaWorks also offers a variety of fitness classes, including Pilates, BarWorks®, SculptWorks®, and TRX®. Moreover, it features specialty programing, including private yoga, restoratives, pre-natal, Urban Zen® and meditation, along with a wide variety of workshops and yoga retreats. It is YogaWorks’ unwavering commitment to excellence – in teaching and practice – that has honed its reputation as the most respected name in teaching excellence. Dedicated to giving back and to inspiring change in others, it is of utmost importance to YogaWorks’ teachers, employees and students to be involved in the local communities where studios operate.

    23. Yoga India Meditation

      Yoga India MeditationWelcome to Yoga Vidya Peetham- Yoga Teacher Training courses in India

      Here at Yoga Vidya Peetham we will introduce you to proper and mindful regular yoga practice, which will lead you to your true Self. If you want to have a peaceful and successful life untouched by stresses and strains, pain and sorrow, anger and jealousy; you have found the right place.

      Yoga Vidya Peetham was established in 2003 and has been running the yoga teacher training course since 2008. We have been sharing this ancient yogic wisdom, the science of all sciences to every sincere seeker. Our school has transformed students into inspired teachers through the realization of previously hidden talents and the encouragement to develop their own unique style of teaching. By encouraging our students to teach with grace, wisdom, clarity and above all from the heart, we will inspire you to discover the energy that resonates within you to cultivate a teaching style that reflects your experience and your passion for life and yoga.

    24. Buti Yoga

      Buti YogaButi is an Indian Marathi word that means “the cure to something hidden within.” This movement practice transforms the body from the inside out and offers its customers a soulful journey to transformation. Emphasis is placed on the Spiral Structure Technique (SST) created by Founder and Celebrity Trainer Bizzie Gold. SST transforms the way the body looks and performs within days – some students say they notice a change in their abdominal structure even during their first class.

    25. Yoga Vidya (English)

      Yoga Vidya (English)

      YogaVidyaEnglish is run by Yoga Vidya, a non-profit community association based in Germany. Yoga Vidya aims at spreading the teachings, the knowledge („vidya“), the practice, exercise and techniques of classical, integral Yoga. Founded in 1992 in Frankfurt, Yoga Vidya has trained nearly 10.000 Yoga Teachers, is running 70 Yoga Centers and 3 Yoga Ashrams, including Yoga Vidya Ashram Meinberg with 150 full-time Ashramites and upto 1000 guests.

    26. The Yoga Life

      The Yoga Life

      The Yoga Life offers tips, inspiration, ideas, recipes and various aspects of yogic living to keep you living your best life.

    27. YallaYoga

      Yalla YogaYallaYoga is an innovative social enterprise serving as both a yoga educational institute, and a healthy lifestyle community Center. Our vision is to represent the essence of yoga throughout the Middle East and to create a community of humans who strive to make a better version of themselves in their everyday life. With these dimensions, YallaYoga is considered a first of its kind in the Heliopolis area, offering a variety of services including:

      Yoga Classes
      Yoga Workshops
      Customized Yoga Programs
      Yoga Holiday Retreats
      Health & Lifestyle Awareness/Wellness Days
      One on One Coaching in Yoga

    28. Talia Sutra Yoga

      Talia Sutra Yoga

      Born in Israel, Talia, along with her family relocated to New York early in her life.

      Growing up in a structured, religious, Jewish environment pushed Talia to explore spirituality for herself from a young age. She was first introduced to yoga and meditation at age 6, when her mom integrated these practices into her lifestyle to beat lymphoma.

      Talia sees nothing as external to her studies: She has learned impeccable skill and technique from masters of ballet, yoga and art. Equally, she finds sensitivity, intuition and insight are to be found through connection with the seemingly ordinary world of animals and trees and that no teacher is greater than the one within.

      Talia has recently relocated to Israel where she lives with her husband Ezra and their newborn son Akiva.

      She is excited, humbled and honored at the opportunity to spread her love of yoga worldwide and is grateful for all her teachers and students.

    29. Wahderful Yoga

      Wahderful Yoga

      Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self ~ The Bhagavad Gita. Wah live in Netherlands. RYT200 Certified Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance) Practitioner since 07/2013. The yoga gallery is to inspire & be inspired.

    30. Siddhi Yoga Teacher Training

      Siddhi Yoga Teacher TrainingSiddhi Yoga is the culmination of great knowledge, noble purpose, and like minded people. It brings to fore the lost art of creating balance in one’s life.

    31. Dianne Bondy Yoga

      Dianne Bondy Yoga

      Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

      She applies over 1000 hours of training to help her students find freedom, self-expression and radical self-love in their yoga practice. She shares her message and provides millions of followers with affordable access to online yoga classes, workshops and tutorials at her virtual studio: Dianne contributes to Yoga International, Yoga Journal, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal. She is featured and profiled in International media outlets: The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, and more. She is a spokesperson for diversity in yoga and yoga for larger bodies, as seen in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition. Her work is published in the books: Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves.

    32. LexiYoga

      Lexi Yoga

      LexiYoga is a fun informative site that focuses on balancing the mind, body and spirit through the practice of yoga and natural living.

    33. Odaka Yoga

      Odaka Yoga

      Odaka Yoga moves with the rhythm of the ocean waves creating synergy worldwide. Their motto: Liquify your limits and flow with me.

      The Odaka Yoga Training School has been recognized and as the nationally accredited yoga training school in Italy by the CSEN, YOGA ALLIANCE ITALIY. In the world as been accredited by Yoga Alliance, Yoga Alliance Australia and Yoga Alliance International

      L’Odaka Scuola di Formazione è stato riconosciuto come scuola di formazione di yoga accredito a livello nazionale in Italia da CSEN E YOGA ALLIANCE ITALIA. a livello internazionale da Yoga Alliance, yoga Alliance Austraila e Yoga Alliance intrantional

    34. Michael James Wong – Global Yogi and Wellness Warrior

      Michael James Wong – Global Yogi and Wellness Warrior

      is an inspirational speaker, meditator, writer, photographer, international teacher & Global Yogi who is recognised around the world as a leading voice in the modern wellness movement for health, fitness, yoga & mindfulness.

      Michael’s passion is the promote & educate the masses about the benefits of a mindful way of living & the a daily yoga practice.

      A Los Angeles native who now travels the world speaking, teaching and sharing the practice, Michael’s relationship with yoga and wellness spans over the past 15 years practicing with some of the most inspiring teachers & spiritual leaders around the world. Always a student first, Michael continues to teach with a powerful body, open mind and a fearless heart.

      As his craft, Michael is meditation guide & yogi who shares a strong and dynamic practice that unites the physical asana and the breath in yang-to-yin style. Michael’s approach to the practice brings a strong anatomical focus and mindful approach to the movement, while aiming to teach traditional yoga concepts with a modern day attitude.

      Yoga, like life, is all about the experience.
      We must all take time to experience everything.

      In his most recent adventures, Michael has lead the masses at JUST BREATHE London’s monthly meditation events, Australia & New Zealand on the Wanderlust108 2016 Tour, Prana Festival in Sweden, Cophehagen Yoga Festival, Udaya Live, Yogafest Amsterdam, GoodRoots, YogaGames Sweden and will continue on throughout 2017 teaching & traveling both in London and across the world.

      Michael works closely with wellness, lifestyle & yoga brands to help bring more mindfulness into the modern world & inspire more guys into practice including Liforme, Adidas, Spiritual Gangster, Lulemon, Nike, Vita Coco and many more and has been featured consistently in GQ, Well+Good, Huffington Post, Yoga Journal,, Men’s Health UK, Women’s Health UK, Yoga World and many more as a leading voice in wellness & yoga.

    35. Natalie Rousseau Yoga

      Natalie Rousseau Yoga

      Her classes reflect the knowledge she have received in my many years as a student of the Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Anusara traditions, all spoken through the lens of her own personal life experience. Her offerings are infused with the things that inspire me most, and so you can expect the asana practices that she teach to be woven around themes related to the power of practice, the wisdom of nature, and the wonder of living an ordinary life lit up through mindful presence.

    36. Nico Luce Yoga

      Nico Luce Yoga

      Nico Luce is an international renowned vinyasa yoga teacher with over fifteen years of experience who leads workshops, retreats and Teacher Trainings world-wide.

      Nico Luce has been teaching yoga since 2003 and has trained in various lineages such as Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Anusara, Yin and Pilates. He is also a devoted student of eastern philosophy and spirituality. Nico’s classes combine inspiring themes with a dynamic physical practice focused on refinement while cultivating presence in the moment.
      Nico lives in Lausanne, Switzerland with his wife Chloe and their two children and travels internationally offering workshops, retreats and teacher trainings. He also produces instructional yoga videos for

    37. Stephen Ewashkiw Yoga

      Stephen Ewashkiw Yoga“Stephen is likeable, powerful, funny, and full of knowledge. For those who are serious about learning, you should go to him. At the end of his workshops, your head is full of knowledge and your body feels the work in every muscle and bone!” – Det Kempke, Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Hamburg

      Stephen’s yoga workshops are for students and teachers who are dedicated to improving their technique and expanding their education. If you really want to deepen your understanding of your body and your self, this practice is for you.

      Adventure Yoga is all about exploring and expanding the possibilities within yourself and in your life. Stephen’s goal is to give you the knowledge and tools to make your own informed choices – both in your yoga practice and in your life. If you want to learn more about yourself, if you want change, If you’re willing to work hard and ask the hard questions, Adventure Yoga can help.

      Stephen has achieved the highest possible certificate from Yoga Alliance, E-RYT 500, and is also one of a handful of students Certified in YOGAMAZÉ, Noah Mazé’s elite yoga school. Stephen founded Adventure Yoga in 2014, has been teaching yoga for ten years, and has inspired thousands of students in more than 25 countries around the world.

      Adventure Yoga is an alignment-infused Hatha Vinyasa practice.

    38. Love Yoga Anatomy

      Love Yoga AnatomyCreated by my friend Stu Girling this page is an awesome resource for interviews and articles on all things to do with the physical components of yoga. safe alignment, adjusting, interviews with senior teachers and so much more.

      Looking for motivational Yoga Quotes we have 180 of them right here.

    39. Mind Body Green

      Mind Body GreenAs far as I’m concerned most articles from these guys rock. Short clear and honest messages from people working on their health and wellbeing. A great resource when you need to go deeper into any subject related to health

    40. Eat Live Life

      Eat Live LifeAnother special spot to find out more about Yoga, Heath and Wellbeing. Merwyn Davies adds his personal touch sharing his own experiences with yoga and explores relevant topics for todays modern Yogi

    41. The Global Yogi

      The Global YogiWant to travel the world and share Yoga? Looking for a great Teacher’s Training, Retreat, or more info on your passion for Yoga? You’ll love this page.

    42. Inhale life by Romina

      Inhale life by RominaRomina is such a lovely teacher and really gives back to the community. She’s spearheaded several projects and somehow manages to teach, parent and update her page with positive messages  each and every day.

    43. Dr. Lauren Tober

      Dr. Lauren ToberFounder of Capturing Gratitude, Lauren is always offering and sharing more ways for us to relax, commune and enjoy the little things in life.


We hope that you have enjoyed our list of some of the best Yoga Facebook Pages,  I am looking forward to hearing from you in the comments about other pages that I should check out as well.

yoga, facebook pages, facebook, wellness

Continue Reading


A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

Austin Mackenzie



A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

You know those days when everything feels difficult. Days when your sluggishness can’t be remedied with yerba matè, when the ad for baby diapers makes you well up, when the thought of checking off even the tiniest item on your miles-long to-do list makes your skin crawl and your head ache and your brow furrow … you get the idea. You’re overwhelmed. Burnt out. OVER IT.

Whether it’s spring fever, a case of the Mondays, a seasonal fog, a life shift, or intense grief, feeling overwhelmed is exhausting. Energetically you may be experiencing an excess of kapha energy. That increased apana vayu, or downward force, can manifest as lethargy, apathy, and disinterest in regular tasks. The couch becomes your best friend.

On the other hand, perhaps you are more of a jump-into-action kind of person. You may feel overwhelmed by anxiety, a racing heart, or as though you can’t catch your breath. This could indicate an excess of fire energy, or pitta, coursing through you.

Or is it that you’re increasingly forgetting what you were just doing? You’re usually on top of things but lately you’ve been scatter-brained, running late, and sipping shallow, short breaths. All those balls in the air, not being juggled well, all destined to fall/drop/hit you right on the head may indicate an excess of vata, or wind, energy.

Either way, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, moving toward balance and a recalibration of your Prana, or life-force energy, is key. Next time your life feels unmanageable, try this sequence to move back into balance emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Set an Intention
How would you like to feel? You can align yourself with what you’d like to feel by setting an intention.

Try it:

Choose a word or phrase you’d like to align yourself with or a characteristic you’d like to cultivate more of in your life.
Allow the intention to become a mantra that you repeat silently in your mind with each inhale and exhale.

*Creates a sense of purpose
*Makes space for new desires
*Redirects attention from the sense of overwhelm

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try
Sometimes curling into yourself is just the ticket.

Try it:

*Come to your hands and knees. Pad under your knees with a blanket for extra comfort.
*Bring your big toes together behind you.
*Separate your knees a comfortable distance apart.
*Shift your hips back toward your heels and bow forward.
*Extend your arms in front of you and allow your head to rest on the earth or a block.
*Feel your ribs expand and relax as you breathe deeply.
*Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.


*Relaxes the low back
*Allows for inner reflection
*Brings the body close to the earth for physical grounding

Passive Neck Stretch

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try
Is someone in your life a literal pain in the neck? Give this pose a try to stretch the neck and open the throat.

Try it:

*From Child’s Pose, slide to your belly.
*Extend your legs long behind you.
*Stretch your arms down by your sides along your torso and hips.
*Turn your thumbs in and let the back of your palms touch the ground.
*Allow your shoulders to slump forward.
*Turn one cheek to the side and rest your head.
*Stay for 5 to 10 breaths and then turn your head the other way.


*Connects the chest, torso, and legs to the earth for physical grounding
*Brings the chest in contact with the earth for time to tune into the heartbeat and slower breath rhythm
*Stretches the neck without effort
*Opens the throat chakra energy center

Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

Sometimes puffing out your chest can create a sense of “I got this!” at just the right time.

Try it:

*From your belly, prop yourself up onto your elbows.
*Align your elbows under your shoulders and spread your fingers out.
*Roll your shoulders back and lift the crown of your head up.
*Hold for three to five breaths.
Option: tip your chin down toward your chest to stretch the back of the neck.


*Stretches the front plane of the body
*Stretches the back of the neck
*Opens the heart chakra and the throat chakra

Ankle Circles
Often a seeing a situation from a different point of view can change everything.

Try it:

*Lift both legs to the sky and circle your ankles around and around.
*Repeat for 5 to 10 breaths.


*Releases stuck energy in the joints
*Drains blood out of the feet and legs for relaxation
*Turns part of the world upside down for a change of perspective

Chest Opener

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed, the chest caves in and the shoulders slump forward. Although you may well be protecting yourself from further harm, in order to come out of the fog you may need to muster the courage to open your heart.

Try it:

*From your belly, extend your right arm directly to the side form your shoulder.
*Roll over toward that arm until you feel a stretch in your chest.
*Stack your legs one on top of the other.
*Rest your head on the ground or on a blanket.
*Use your left hand for stability on the earth.
*Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths and then roll back to your belly.
*Repeat on the opposite side.


*Stimulates the brain like giving a hug would
*Stretches chest, pectoral muscles, and shoulders
*Opens the heart chakra energy center

Knees-to-Chest Pose (Apanasana)

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

Although receiving a hug from someone supportive during a challenging time is awesome, giving yourself a hug is second best.

Try it:

*Roll over onto your back and hug your knees into your chest.
*Hold for 5 to 10 breaths with the option to be still or bend and extend your arms a few times.


*Stimulates digestion
*Releases apana energy and vata energy
*Stimulates the brain like giving a hug to someone else would

Supine Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana)

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

Recalibrate all the energy in your spine, change your point of view, and turn a new leaf with a supine spinal twist.

Try it:

*Hug both knees into your chest.
*Allow both knees to drop over to the right side.
*Reach your arms out to the sides and rest them on the ground.
*Turn your head any direction that feels good.
*Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and switch sides.


*Stretches spine and abdomen
*Wrings out undesired thoughts, feelings, and residual physical toxins
*Opens solar plexus chakra energy center

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

A 20-Minute Yoga That You Should Try

When you’re overwhelmed, there may be something in your life that needs to be released or allowed to die. Is it an old idea you have? A story you’ve been telling yourself? Check in to see if what was once serving you is still working.

Try it:

*Extend your legs a little wider than your hips and flop your feet out.
*Relax your arms alongside your body.
*Receive one final deep breath in and as you exhale, return to your natural breath.
*Stay as long as you’d like.


*Close to the earth for grounding
*Allows for rest and reset
*It’s during this period of rest and stillness that the body absorbs the benefits of the poses and breath work

Continue Reading

Check These Out as Well