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Posted on May 20th, 2009

Healthy Nutrition-Smarter Salad Greens

My Yoga Online has posted a great new nutrition article by Karla Heintz, BSc Nutrition, Smarter Salad Greens.

Learn about the better choices for making your salad more interesting, nutritious and packed full of healthy dietary benefits.

 

 

With summer soon approaching,  it is a perfect time to become green leaf savvy for any patio meal. But often we get stuck in a rut of buying the same old salad greens, and our body gets bored. A good rule of thumb when out shopping is to find ones richer in color as this means it is packed with more nutrition punch.

In my ten years of being in the nutrition field, it still surprises me how often families continue to buy iceberg lettuce, or the salads in a bag with the main component being iceberg lettuce.

There are better options out there.

Dark green leafy vegetables hold valuable fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Being fat soluble means they need fat to be present to obtain ideal absorption so be sure to accompany your salad with a healthy fat such as nuts or olive oil. This greenery is also packed with folate, iron, potassium, fiber and the greatly needed calcium, which is lacking in both young and old.  

Read more about the BETTER SALAD PICKINGS offering more nutritional bang!

Learn more about Karla Heintz.


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Posted on May 17th, 2009

Truth about Factory Farming

My Yoga Online has posted a new Green Living article by Farm Sanctuary: Factory Farming, Cultivating Destruction.

Learn how your vegetarian diet supports not just a healthy body, but also a healthy planet. Little is known or said about the great harm animal production and consumption has on the environment

Your mother was right. You should eat your vegetables.

But she may not have told you why. She may not have told you the consequences of maintaining a diet based on animal products would lead to widespread environmental destruction, resource depletion and a global health crisis unparalleled in human history.  That kind of reasoning you would have been sure to remember.

To her credit, dietary advice on the subject of global warming and environmental health was never as definitive as it is today. But with the recent release of several international reports on global warming, the most pressing issue of our time has become impossible to ignore.

The United Nations has called on governments and individuals to open their eyes to climate change, calling it "the most serious challenge facing the human race."

More than any other factor, how we meet that challenge will depend on what we eat.  

 

Read the full article including the research and details on how factory farming is harming the environment: Factory Farming, Cultivating Destruction


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Posted on May 14th, 2009

Get Your Studio Involved in National Yoga Month

Calling All Yoga Teachers and Studios! Prepare For Yoga Month 09.2009

My Yoga Online encourages all Yoga studios and Yoga teachers to take part in this great event.

Yoga Month invites all styles of yoga to participate in an awareness campaign designed to draw attention to the many benefits of yoga and inspire our fellow citizens to live healthier, happier lives. It is incredibly simple for studios and teachers to get on board with Yoga Month.

Their website www.yogamonth.org, has all the necessary information in addition to access for registration.

There are essentially three ways that we are encouraging studios to get involved, at whatever capacity you are currently capable of.  

Participate in the Yoga Month Card New Student Program: Accept the Yoga Month Card and utilize the national awareness Yoga Month will produce to drive new students into your studio.  

Host your own Yoga Month Event: Choose to utilize our materials as a premium partner to run your own Yoga Health Festival and/or Global Mala or let your imagination run wild and host a personalized event.  

Designate Yoga Month Donation class/es at your studio: Your support is appreciated!

Please visit http://www.yogamonth.org/fwfiles/login.php to signup or login.

Yoga Month 2009 is all about local involvement to generate a truly influential National Awareness Campaign. So get on board and let's make this year's Yoga Month truly unforgettable!

 

National Yoga Month


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Posted on May 13th, 2009

Yoga for Nourishing Balance

 

My Yoga Online has added a new online Yoga Video by Kreg Weiss to its streaming video library.
Yoga Class for Nourishing Balance
combines the essence of motion with awareness in classic yoga postures to enhance your ability to balance with mindfulness and purpose. The use of flow will strengthen and tone while also warming your body for expansion. Embracing the element of mental conditioning, also enjoy moments of inner reflection with Breathing Tree flow and Savasana.

Watch a free video of Yoga Class for Nourishing Balance.  

Kreg Weiss is the co-founder of My Yoga Online and is a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Kreg enjoys applying his knowledge and experience in Kinesiology and exercise science in his teachings while also offering a personalized perspective of how the physicality of Yoga can be joyfully grounded and combined with a holistic, internalization to the Inner Teacher and Self.


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Posted on May 11th, 2009

Baby Bibs and Burpies By Scaboozie

My kid drools. Drools like a waterfall. He smiles, he drools, he cries, he drools, he sees a favourite toy and boy does he drool.

We bought a ten pack of bibs for ten dollars thinking we would just switch them up every couple of minutes. They were cotton on one side and plastic on the other. The first time we washed them the plastic peeled off the back and the neck shrunk enough to choke the kid. And the ones that we did not wash created a rash around his neck from the plastic. Not good.

We tried others, but they either stretched to the point that his shirt became the bib, or soaked right through within seconds. Useless and frustrating. Then we came across a great new independently owned company called Scaboozie.

They design and create and sell colorful and versatile bibs and burpies for little boys and girls. What makes these bibs and burpies great are the hand-made quality fabric that holds up to all sorts of baby projectiles while holding snug without stretching or choking around the baby's neck. They have an amazingly soft and textured (to prevent slipping off the shoulder for the burpies) material on the back, almost as soft as a baby's bottom that prevent any form of rashing from happening. And they never shrink.

The kid loves them. I can tell because he drools like crazy when it is around his neck. Plus, babies become mesmerized by the designs and colors.

Scaboozie bibs are a must for any baby that soaks through his/her clothes on a regular basis. The thing is, you may need to order more than one at a time because when one is in the wash or hidden behind the sofa cushions and that projectile erupts and you are reaching around frantically for that spare cloth, you do not want to be without your Scaboozie to absorb the storm.

Check out bibs and burpies at Scaboozie…


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Posted on May 9th, 2009

New Yoga Video Sun Salutation A

My Yoga Online has posted a new Yoga Video with Jesse Enright titled Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar).

Jesse talks about Softness, Intention, Relaxation, and the Breath. All important aspects in our approach to Hatha Yoga.

He thoroughly breaks down Surya Namaskar A examining alignment and major joint structures in the body while cycling through.

Watch a sample yoga video of Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar) with Jesse Enright.

About Jesse Enright:
Jesse Enright has been a student of Yoga for eleven years and an instructor for the past nine. He began his studies with Sivananda Yoga before exploring the more dynamic Ashtanga Vinyasa, the detailed alignment of Iyengar and the comprehensive intelligence of Vijnana Yoga.


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Posted on May 8th, 2009

Feature Yoga Posture-Upward Facing Dog Pose

My Yoga Online is featuring Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)  as the Yoga Pose of the Month.

This advanced yoga back bend is wonderfully broken down set by set by Dr. Robin Armstrong.

Learn the fundamental instructions in performing Upward Facing Dog along with modifications and safety cues in order to sustain integrity and holistic vitality within your practice.  

The benefits of Upward Facing Dog Pose:
*Expands chest and shoulders
*Strengthen muscles that control the shoulder blades
*Stretch hip flexors and core musculature
*Strengthen low back musculature
*Relieves some forms of low back pain
*Therapeutic for asthma sufferers to open the accessory muscles of breathing

Read the full instructions and safety cues for Upward Facing Dog Pose.


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Posted on May 7th, 2009

Yoga Pose Exploration-Bending Over Backwards

My Yoga Online  has posted a new yoga article by guest yoga author, Kino Macgregor.

Bending Over Backwards Into A Stormy Emotional Sea gracefully explores the physical, emotional, and energetic practice of yoga back bends.

There is something magical about seeing the body literally bent over backwards. It is the source of great inspiration, fear, dedication, awe, anger and sadness. Attempt to bend over backwards and you will see that one of the first major tests is an emotional one. Often seen as on of the great gates of the yoga practice whereby the ego's attachment to perfection is immediately tested, backbending can be as emotionally painful as physically challenging.

 

yoga back bend postures

 

When I first started a daily Ashtanga Yoga practice I was absolutely inspired by deep backbends and my emotions took me for a rollercoaster ride. Not only did I become more aware of my spine and my own emotional sensitivity, but the yoga practice also unearthed a new heightened awareness of the power and scope of my feelings. In fact during or directly after an attempt at a particularly intense backbend, I often became explicitly conscious of the repercussions of my actions and gained clarity on a direct course of action. I was also often very sore afterwards. It is no surprise that one of the stated purposes of the deep twisting and bending motions of the yoga practice is to literally stir up sleeping areas of the body and the emotions.

Backbending did and still does just that for me. The body in the world of yoga is not separate from the mind. Instead it exists in an energy field that contains your physicality, thoughts, emotions and spirit all in one. The yoga postures work by manipulating your body into pretzel like positions that defy logic and ask your body to go places it has never been before. In doing so you also stretch your mind. The freedom that you know first hand from your yoga practice translates directly to your life in a steady manner. It is not that when you finally put your legs behind your head or bend your back deeply that you become enlightened. Instead the effect is much more subtle and therefore perhaps lasting. There are small victories that give you hope and inspiration for your life. When you learn to forgive yourself for not having the perfect posture you learn to forgive yourself for not being perfect in your life. In doing so you also open the door to being truly easy going about life's ups and downs.

Similarly when you learn to release and relax into your backbend you may find you have the ability to release and relax into other tight and uncomfortable situations. Backbending is perhaps one of the greatest teachers available and it involves more than just the spine. Every muscle of your entire body including your toes, legs, spine, psoas, diaphragm, shoulders and head plays a vital role. In traditional Urdhva Danurasana the foundation comes from the strength of the legs. Openness along the front side of your hip joints (where the thigh bone inserts to the pelvis) allows the tailbone to move under. Each vertebrae lifts and extends, while the shoulder blades move down the back to support the lifting of the sternum. In other words backbending can better be understood as backwards bending of the entire body. Yet the spine remains of central focus as it is the epicenter for emotions, feelings and energy. The esoteric anatomy of the body locates the chakras or energy centers at certain key points along the spine. Go to any chiropractor and you will see the importance placed on keeping the spinal column healthy. Any obstruction in the vertebrae can yield disastrous and paralyzing effects on your life.

Yoga asks you to have consciousness within every vertebrae in such a way so that you are able to lift, extend, create space and bend deeply by using that space between the joint. This natural extension of course applies to all the joints in the body, but particularly to the vertebrae within backbending. As you move deeply into your spinal column you may begin to confront all types of issues. There is the pain of asking an area of your body that may be used to rounding forward to bend over backwards. For people who spend a good amount of time hunched over their desks learning to move the spine in an arched, extended pattern will challenge their entire notion of physicality. If done over a period of time it will not only free up new patterns of movement but will protect the health of the spine over an entire lifetime with proven methods. Yet many people experience intense muscular pain when working with backbending and even in a simple Upward Facing Dog. People with perpetual pain in backbending must look at both postural alignment inside their yoga practice and in their daily lives while working closely with a qualified teacher.

 

Yoga Back Arch Asana

 

Your hips determine the base point of your spine's ability to move backwards. The iliopsoas and the hip flexors are two of the major muscle groups whose flexibility is crucial here. If these muscles are tight and strong then the degree to which you will be able to achieve a posterior tilt of the pelvis and move your tailbone under will decrease. Moving the tailbone frees the lumbar vertebrae from compression while moving backwards. The lesson of backbending is one of release and surrender and sometimes the greatest strength comes from softness. The ability to move your hips is often connected with the ability to move forward in life with a powerful thrust and direction. It is by allowing your musculature to relax, release and lengthen that you will gain the greater range of motion necessary to literally send your hips forward while you bend your back. The shoulders form the upward support for your spine in backbending. As the shoulder blades move down the back your sternum naturally raises and the upper back releases into an elongated position. Being much more mobile than the hip joints, your shoulder girdle moves in ways that are more likely to facilitate movement and are more likely to create pain. Understood as the gateway to the heart, the shoulders protect, stabilize, release, reach, extend, get stuck, collapse, give out and break down.

Louise Hay says that "the shoulders represent our ability to carry our experiences in life joyously". Sometimes tight shoulders will prevent you from experiencing the joy of spinal mobility even if your vertebrae themselves are flexible and strong. During the process of opening your spine, hips and shoulders in backbending, some common negative emotions are fear, anxiety, sadness, claustrophobia, suffocation, and anger. Some common positive sensations are joy, happiness, trust, release, surrender, peace, heightened energy flow and true power. One of the first lessons along the spiritual path is that when you are confronted with life's greatest challenges, you must learn to stay where you are and not run away. Yoga Sutra 2.1 defines Tapas as accepting pain as help for purification. You only purify yourself when you stand directly in the fire and choose a new path over escapism, denial and running away.

It is a powerful choice to stay amidst the intense fear that pain in any of your joints evokes. This is of course not to say that you must power through and push past all your feelings of pain and anguish. Instead the process of accepting your experience of pain in postures like backbending is more about learning simply not to run away and to listen. Often what created the pain in the first place is a kind of fight with reality. The path of yoga teaches you to release your inner resistance. When confronted with intense pain that makes you want to get out quickly, the best remedy is simply to take one more breath. This will give you a pause between the stimulus of pain and the automatic reaction to run away. If you try to hammer harder or grit your teeth and bear it, you are not actually accepting the pain. Instead when you resist and fight pain, you are only pushing against it to try to get it to change. If you run away from an experience, you literally move away from it in fear.

Life contains suffering and when you come face to face with it the only choice is to accept it, surrender to it and allow it to teach you one breathe at a time. You cannot change your emotions, your thoughts or your physicality like a light switch. You cannot go from a stiff spine to a flexible one overnight. Yoga teaches you to accept reality as it is first and then in that state of acceptance see what change is possible. Working with healthy alignment, qualified teachers and time-honored methods, you have the power to change your reality breath by breath, day by day and year by year with your slow, steady perseverance over a lifetime. Perhaps the greatest gift of this practice is the chance every day to know just a little more peace.  

About Kino MacGregor
Kino MacGregor is a small business owner (www.miamilifecenter.com), yoga teacher and freelance journalist who has produced two yoga DVDs.  For complete details please see www.ashtanga-awareness.com.

Other articles by Kino MacGregor:
The Unhappy Monk: How to Use Yoga
Developing Devotion in Your Yoga Practice


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Posted on May 5th, 2009

Yoga and Anterior Pelvic Tilt

My Yoga Online has posted a new Yoga Anatomy article by Dr. Carla Cupido, Yoga and Anterior Pelvic Tilt.

Dr. Cupido breaks down the anatomical components of the anterior pelvic tilt that is naturally set for the lower spine in order to sustain a healthy vertebral column.

This yoga article brings attention to the cause of musculoskeletal imbalances leading to improper anterior pelvic tilts including the development of lower cross syndrome. This an important article for yoga teachers and participants to read in order to help appreciate the subtle alignments of the pelvis in basic to advanced yoga postures.

The anterior pelvic tilt is a hot topic in yoga and in manual medicine. Some people are overly concerned about the fact that their pelvis is tilting anteriorly without even understanding what it means. Let's simplify the issues behind this increasingly common postural variation and learn how it can affect other parts of our body. A normal pelvic angle is 30°; this means that our posterior superior iliac spines (the dimples above our bottoms) are slightly higher than our anterior superior iliac spines (the bones that stick out at the front of our pelvis). This angle can vary a few degrees either anteriorly or posteriorly due to our genetic makeup and even temporarily due to tight and/or weak muscles. An anterior pelvic angle of 40° is considered excessive and will produce a lower back (lumbar spine) curve that is also extreme. Our lumbar spine should have an anterior curve which is known as a lordosis; however, when this curve is excessive it is known as a hyperlordosis, which is not ideal. Cases of increased pelvic angles and lumbar hyperlordoses are very prevalent in today's society.  

Enjoy the full article: Yoga and Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Learn more about Dr. Carla Cupido.


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Posted on May 3rd, 2009

Power of Acceptance and Gratitude

My Yoga Online has posted a great new article by Vijai Sharma, The Power of Acceptance and Gratitude.

This wellness article brings perspective into the benefits of choosing positive thoughts and actions. Vijai also offers a Yoga Heart and Breathing exercise which can bring positive emotions in focus and hopefully also help you to calm your heart and breathing.


Acceptance, appreciation and gratitude for whatever lies around us, comes our way, "falls" upon us or even thrust upon us, connects us to the divine in us. They strengthen our faith, kindle hope and augment our own ability to deal with whatever it is. Feeling bad, angry or upset shrinks us and weakens our ability to act upon what needs to be dealt with without wasting a moment. The misguided believe that anger makes them strong and invincible and prepares them to fight. For them acceptance is nothing more than surrender. Gratitude is for people who underestimate themselves or people who feel they are undeserving. They, unfortunately, do not fully tap into the resources they have and into many more powers they can generate which they are missing in their lives.

Enjoy the full article: The Power of Acceptance and Gratitude


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