Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Most interpretations don't insist that we abstain from sex altogether, and even the ancient yoga scriptures make a distinction between the celibacy of ascetics and "forest dwellers," who retreated from society to meditate and practice yoga in solitude, and "householders" who maintained families, to which sex is paramount. In other words, defining brahmacharya plainly as abstinence is reductive and, yes, unrealistic for most people. However, we still practice brahmacharya when we abstain from wasting, diluting, or polluting our energetic life force through sexual behavior that’s irresponsible or harmful to ourselves and others.
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Translation & Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda
- The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, George Feuerstein, PH.D.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thank you so much for your votes, readership, questions, comments, insights, and inspiration. I humbly bow to you and promise to keep creating high quality yoga-inspired content.
Tonight, I'm doing another video shoot with FiVi.com. Have a pose you want me to demonstrate? Post a comment, and we'll choose one.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In summary, "Erin the Intern" is pretty flippin' awesome. I thought you might like to meet her.
I also thought you might like to scope out her killer sense of yoga-inspired style. Like many avid yogis and athletic types, she's often on the go from yoga class to dinner with friends, work to the gym, etc. I can relate and frequently ask my wardrobe to perform double duty: yoga pants as leggings, a favorite lululemon bamboo T-shirt under a blazer for work, and accessories galore to transform gear for working out, into going out.
For her unmasking on OmGal.com, Erin selected three outfits from her closet (along with a few items from mine), which easily convert from fitness to fashion and vice versa.
Work to Running . . .
Conceal slim-fitting running shorts with built-in underwear and a lightweight tank under a flowy yet modest sundress. Add a classic belt and loose cardigan for added polish at the office.
Dress (Anthropologie), cardigan (Anthropologie), Run Speed Short (lululemon), Run Swiftly Racerback (lululemon), belt (H+M).
One-of-a-kind, much like Erin the Intern!
Did you enjoy meeting Erin or any previous posts over the years on OmGal.com? If so, take one click to vote in the 2010 Intent Web Awards in the Best Yoga & Fitness Blog category. Pretty please . . . It's good karma.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Hi, everyone . . . My name is Rebecca . . . And, I’m an addict. My drug of choice is caffeine, specifically, steaming, piping hot black tea with soy milk. Tame, I know. It’s not even coffee, which- let’s face it- has more street cred. Nevertheless, I am a shell of a person without it.
Writers before me have had their vices. For Kerouac, it was Benzedrine; Hemingway had his booze. Oscar Wilde got wild on absinthe. Meanwhile, I reach for assam—preferably organic, however, in a pinch, a good old Tetley tea bag (British Blend, please) will suffice. I can’t help but wonder whether a more substantial substance might elevate my writing chops to the level of my predecessors. Maybe the hard stuff makes for a literary heavyweight? Alas, there’s something more than a bit hypocritical about a yoga writer who regularly slugs back absinthe while encouraging readers to practice a path of balance and moderation. So, I stick with tea.
When energy wanes, I admit, it's often my pick-me-up trick of choice, but I have others too, including a decaffeinated selection of asanas, ideal for the late afternoon hour of desktop slumping, catnap longing, and proper teatime drinking (traditionally around 4 p.m.).
Allow yourself to steep in one of these yoga poses for as long as needed:
Start with a Simmer
Spark a little energy spurt by warming up the body with this simple variation on utkatasana (above) or try some invigorating breath work. I learned to do a Breath of Joy from my first yoga teacher more than 14 years ago and have kept it in my bag of tricks ever since. To my own students, I describe it as the asana-equivalent of espresso (no disrespect to tea). The beauty of this movement is that it can be done anywhere (no mat needed) and by anyone (even yogi kids love the energizing effects of this powerful breathwork): begin standing. Next you will inhale three times while moving your arms like the conductor of an orchestra (inhale once arms together to the level of your navel; inhale twice arms open wide to the level of your chest; inhale three times arms together overhead). Finally, you'll exhale all the breath out with an emphatic "ha" sound as you transition into a low squat, reminiscent of a downhill skier (arms behind you, as shown in the above video).
Flip Me Over . . .
Backbending postures, too, provide an excellent source of energy, particularly if you sit at a desk or spend large amounts of time driving a car. Both of these activities can constrict the chest, with shoulders hunching and posture caving forward. To counterbalance this blocked energy, add a few repetitions of urdhva dhanurasa (wheel pose) to your yoga practice. Or, try a standing back bend (also referenced in today's video) by scooping your hips forward, lifting your chest, looking up, and possibly letting your head fall back gently, opening your chest and throat. You can do this with your arms overhead or supporting your low back with your hands. Be sure to breath in your backbends, through your mouth, if needed. Otherwise, use ujayi breath.
And Pour Me Out
Few poses have my heart like inversions, particularly sirsasana (headstand). Anatomically, the benefits are simple: tip yourself over (yes, like a tea pot) and you receive a rejuvenating supply of fresh blood to your brain. However, you need not be a seasoned yoga student to experience the benefits that headstand creates. A more accessible approach includes a standing forward bend (uttanasana), often referred to in yoga classes as “rag doll.” Spend a minute or two in either of these postures, and once you return to an upright position, your uplifted energy and clearer thinking will remain.