Posted on May 11th, 2009
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
Posted on May 9th, 2009
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.
Posted on May 8th, 2009
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.
Posted on May 7th, 2009
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.
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.
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.
Posted on May 5th, 2009
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.
Posted on May 3rd, 2009
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
Posted on May 1st, 2009
Enjoy this new Yoga post on My Yoga Online by Kino MacGregor, Developing Devotion.
Kino looks at the application of Yoga and acquiring the benefits of your practice when done through consistency and mindful devotion.
A yoga posture demonstrated by a master level practitioner is often the epitome of grace and ease. Yet when the novice student attempts to mirror these same movements the degree of difficulty is immediately evident. The real test of a yoga practitioner comes when the path ahead is laid out clearly and the student choose whether to commits to each step of the journey regardless of difficulty. While the inner path is sometimes arduous, long and painful, it is also immensely rewarding, filled with timeless joy and one of the only sources of real, lasting peace. Each practitioner of yoga goes through periods of injury, pain and discomfort but not every practitioner has the dedication, heart and courage to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Those who maintain a relationship with their practice over a number of years begin to understand just how much it takes to make yoga a lifelong practice. There are moments of doubt, intense suffering and emotional turmoil as well as moments of bliss, ecstasy and realization. What commitment to yoga over a lifetime really demands is total devotion.
It is through the practice of dedicating yourself to your yoga practice everyday regardless of pain or pleasure that you learn the meaning of devotion. By traversing the murky jungle of the body and mind through yoga you develop the strength and fortitude of spirit needed to face life with dignity. By devoted yourself totally to the path of yoga you learn what it really means to surrender yourself to something. Before that moment of complete dedication there is always the chance to pull out, draw back or quit. But when you devoted yourself wholly your intention, energy and spirit moves mountains to create the real possibility of transformation. It is through the power of devotion that yoga changes your life. When I started practicing yoga I was not a naturally strong person but I was deeply inspired by the masterful articulation of handstands and arm balances.
For nearly five years I devoted myself entirely to the study of yoga with a special emphasis on the development of strength and steadiness in the body and mind. It is because I lived for strength in my yoga practice for a number of years that I now consider myself much stronger. It is because I followed the path of yoga through injury, pain, doubt, discomfort and disillusion all the way through into peace, joy, acceptance and love that I now share what I have learned through teaching. It is yoga that lead me to discover my own inner strength, a quiet voice that was always there though I did not know how to awaken it. When you begin your practice you will learn how ready you are to be truly devoted to yourself and to yoga. When you commit yourself fully to your chosen goal, be it in your yoga practice or in the world, there is nothing that can stop you.
A lifetime commitment to yoga teaches you the power of the deepest level of devotion. Whether you practice six days a week or only two times a week as long as yoga remains in your life over time you will delve deeper into the inner world and know what it means to fully surrender yourself to the path of yoga. When you are able to maintain your attention on your deepest dreams with the type of unwavering focus and heartfelt dedication that yoga teaches you, then you will also know the exhilarating feeling of actualizing your dreams in the world.
Learn more about Kino Macgregor
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.
Here is another article by Kino MacGregor: The Unhappy Monk: How to Use Yoga
Posted on April 26th, 2009
Bring enhanced mobility into the core and spine with this warming yoga practice. With emphasis on the hips and pelvis, enjoy releasing energy and tension out of the lower back. Slow transitions and extended holds in asanas encourage a calming of the mind and nervous system as the body expands.
View a free online video sample of Core Fluidity Hatha Yoga Class
Kreg offers variations for those practicing at more gentle or beginner level in their yoga practice. An extended relaxation completes this yoga class allowing for a full settling of energy and intention.
About Kreg Weiss:
Kreg 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.
Posted on April 22nd, 2009
Enjoy this latest My Yoga Online article by Ranka Burzan who offers great tips in helping your children stay organized and tidy. An organized space encourages positive energy flow and establishes a foundation of groundness. What occurs internally is greatly influenced by the external environment.
Clean your room!
Your child might tune you out because you're nagging him or her again. Or they know if you get frustrated enough, you're going to clean the room yourself. Nobody wins this one. Your child needs your help and guidance. More likely your child doesn't have the skills, enough space, shelves or containers to organize his room. Talk to your child and choose a date to organize and clean his or her room. In order to commit, persuade your child to mark it on the calendar.
This is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your child, teach him or her a skill and accomplish something:
*Pull everything out of his or her closet. Sort the items that belong together: clothes, shoes, books and toys.
*Ask him or her to try on the clothes to make sure they fit. Get two big boxes and mark them: Donate or Keep. Go through every piece of clothing keeping only what fits and what your child likes. Keep in mind that 25 T-shirts is a barrier to the things they really need.
*To reward your child for donating his or her clothes and toys to a less fortunate child, take him to a movie, offer to do some of his or her chores or have his or her friend over for a sleepover.
*Use open shelves and containers instead of a toy box to store his or her toys. They will have a better view of their belongings and easy access.
*Help your child choose a color for their personal containers, baskets or shelves. Let your child decorate his or her containers with stickers, stenciling or pictures of animals, flowers or their favorite sports stars. Label everything! Buy a laminated chores poster and help him or her write down weekly chores, then erase the board when the chores are finished.
*Lower the rods in your child's closet to make it easier for him or her to hang clothes.
*To make it easier for your child to hang his or her clothes, buy child-size hangers.
*For older children, buy a portable filing system to store their documents, awards and pictures. *Buy attractive big pegs to hang robes or pajamas.
*Buy a laundry hamper and garbage can for your child's room. Write down the laundry and garbage day. Help your child to maintain his or her room by having him or her make the bed every morning and putting the dirty laundry in the hamper. Once the room is organized and cleaned, it will take him or her three to five minutes to keep it clean and tidy.
Ranka Burzan is the owner of Solutions Organizing & Staging and the author of Helpful Hints to Organize and Clean Your Home, Your Junk or Your Life, 10 Tips to Organize Your Child, and Praise Helps to Get Children Organized and her first book "Kick the Clutter, Get Organized" Her latest articles were published in West Coast Families and Shared Vision. She offers a free monthly newsletter filled with tips and tools to get you organized.
Visit her web site for informative workshops, articles and systems to help you kick the clutter. www.solutionsorganizing.com
Posted on April 20th, 2009
Earth Day is around the corner and we would like to honor this important day with our favorite ways to celebrate this day of awareness.
1) Eat vegetarian - producing meat generates huge amounts of green house gases and ground pollution.
2) Turn down brightness level on display by at least 20% and preset energy saving settings on computer to cut down power usage more.
3) Throw on a sweater and turn the thermostat down a couple degrees.
4) Dry some or all of your laundry on a line/hanger.
5) Wash you clothes with cold water-the majority of energy in washing clothes is related to heating the water.
6) Take a recyclable shopping bag with you-kill the plastic bag addiction!
7) Turn off the TV and go for a walk!
8.) Switch one or all of your bill statements to online billing notifications-cut out the unnecessary envelopes and paper waste.
9) Put an end to disposable coffee/tea cups and water bottles-take a stainless steel beverage container to your favorite java huts and make your own filtered water at home.
10) Do you really need all those lights on? New habit: leave a room, turn off the light! Green thinking, saving large, living better.
Shampoo and the Planet