The sound of "om" is arguably one of the most well-known aspects of yoga ... but how many of us have stopped to think about what the sound really means?
I spoke to Sadie, who leads a donation-based meditation session at the studio on Sundays about how she began practicing meditation, her tips for meditation beginners, and what one can expect from attending her meditation sessions.
t's no secret that the holidays, while a joyous time, can be stressful. Luckily for us, yoga can help protect us from and deal with this stress!Here are five stress-busting poses to incorporate into your practice.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to gratitude and thankfulness. Incorporating gratitude into your yoga practice can help bring a feeling of thankfulness to your daily life. Here are three ways to bring gratitude to your practice.
Is anyone else feeling under the weather? I've been battling a cold for what feels like forever right now (in actuality, it's been about a week), and the only thing that's giving me life right now is treating myself with homemade golden milk.
What is golden milk, exactly? It's a warming, healthful beverage made from turmeric that feels both indulgent and comforting.
Turmeric is a healthful spice that reportedly has anti-inflammatory properties ... and it is, quite frankly, a mood-booster when you're sick because of its vibrant color! So when I'm sick—like I have been this past week—I like to mix up a cup of golden milk.
There are dozens of recipes for golden milk available online, but you really don't need a recipe for this simple drink. Simply heat a cup of milk (I prefer almond, but you can do that or dairy, soy, rice, coconut, whatever is your jam) on the stove and stir in some ground turmeric (bonus points if it's freshly ground!). I think that 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon turmeric is a good amount, but experiment to see what you like best. Add in approximately 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and a pinch of ginger or cinnamon or whatever else you might like for flavor. Consider also stirring in 1 teaspoon or so of coconut oil (more on that in a minute). Stir in a little bit of your favorite sweetener, if desired, and enjoy! Simple, isn't it?
Two things to keep in mind when preparing your golden milk: First, to get the greatest health benefits from turmeric, you should combine it with black pepper. One of the compounds in black pepper increases the absorption of the curcumin in turmeric by up to two hundred percent.
Second, turmeric is fat-soluble, so make sure that there's some healthy fat involved in your drink somewhere ... which is where the addition of coconut oil comes in!
Golden milk is not some magical illness-curing beverage, but it's definitely warming and delicious and always comforting when I am under the weather! Do you enjoy drinking golden milk? Any delicious add-ins I should try?
Photo credit: Osha Key on Unsplash
Our daylight hours have been steadily decreasing—and, with the winter solstice still two months away, the days will get a lot shorter before things improve. The lessening daylight can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels, which may in turn affect your yoga practice. Here are three of my tips for conquering the short daylight hours and getting yourself to class.
Understanding some of the more basic building blocks of Sanskrit of common yoga poses can help improve your confidence in class and in your practice.
Fall is officially here! There are so many things to love about fall—the cooling temperatures, the crisp feel of the air, the explosion of color as the leaves change—but it is a season of change, and change can leave us feeling unsettled.
Moreover, according to the Ayurvedic tradition, our Vata doshas become more prominent in the fall season. Vata governs the movement in the body as well as our nervous systems, and so an abundance of Vata—such as we might feel in fall—can leave us feeling unbalanced.
To combat these sensations of restlessness and unease, it's a good idea to evaluate our habits—including our yoga practices—and make adjustments to take us into the coming season. Here are five tips for transitioning your practice for fall:
Begin your day with sun salutations
Fall brings cooler weather, and so heat-building activities like sun salutations are more than welcome. By starting your day with sun salutations, you're also setting the tone for your day.
It's a good idea to practice pranayama all the time, but it's especially important during fall because focusing on our breath can help us feel more steady in our bodies. Consider adding pranayama, such as alternate nostril breathing, to your daily routine this fall.
Practice grounding asanas
Seek out asanas that are grounding yet energizing to help you transition physically into the fall season. Consider incorporating some or all of the following poses into your fall practice: Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose), Malasana (Garland Pose), Vrksasana (Tree Pose). As always, be sure that you have adequately warmed up your body with some sun salutations or jumping jacks before beginning to practice, and, as always, remember to honor your body and its limitations while practicing asanas.
Take a long savasana
Indulging in a long savasana after practice can help stabilize the erratic Vata dosha and help you stay grounded. Consider having a blanket or sweatshirt handy to stay warm, if needed.
Recommit to your practice
Developing routines helps us adjust to change, and recommitting to your yoga practice is a perfect way to develop a healthy routine. Get started with some of the great deals the studio is currently running to help you recommit, like the membership special ($95 for an unlimited, auto-renewing membership), the two months of unlimited yoga for the price of one special, or the renewal special (once you've completed 5 classes in October, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a code to use in November that will grant you 50% off a 3-, 5-, or 10-class pack or 50% off the first month of membership! ClassPassers welcome; only one code per student).
Are you looking forward to fall? How do you plan to transition your practice for fall?
Photo credit: @tirzavandijk
What's the deal with the Virabhadrasana (Warrior) poses? Why are there three of them? Which part of them is supposed to resemble a warrior?
If you've visited us within the last few weeks, you've undoubtedly seen the gorgeous mural of Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity, now gracing the outside of the studio.
No matter where you go or what you do, time spent on vacation can be recharging to your soul ... but it can exact a physical toll on your body. Here are five poses that can help relieve pain associated with traveling in your hips, seat, low back, and shoulders.
For our first blog feature, we would like to introduce you to your studio founders, Elizabeth and Parker! Read on to learn more about how they began practicing, what they appreciate most about their practice, and how they came to found the studio that we all know and love.
It’s been a doozy of a couple weeks for Shaw Yoga. Exciting and momentous things are happening on many fronts. Parker is marrying her wonderful partner John next weekend, Ben and I are a month and a little more away from having a baby girl, and we’re very close to a step to make the Shaw Yoga experience more accessible and meaningful for all our beloved yogis (teachers and students alike). More on that excitement very soon!
Well, I have this super silly thing that annoys me. Though “getting annoyed” would be cited by my family members as high on my list of faults, this one was Big.
It was an event, really, and then after happening, it transferred into a reality, a memory, and a possible future menace. I can’t be more specific, unfortunately, but I think you’ll get the gist here without the details of *exactly what happened*.
I’m pretty sure my cat has a crush on my dog. Let me explain why this is an interesting conclusion Nunzio is around 10 years old, and epically anti-social. (There was a purple sign denoting “anti-social cats” hanging on his cage in the New Orleans animal shelter in which I found him – the sign really indicated his crate-mate, Bombadil – Nunzio didn’t even register on the social scales.
There’s a quote I’ve encountered in curious frequency, in a curious number of settings. It seems to keep coming back to me. It’s from Marianne Williamson. Maybe you’ve heard it, too.“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
“Yoga is the attempt to get back to the state that children and dogs exist in naturally.” – Paul Akema, yoga teacher and liver extraordinaire. Recently, I was blessed to spend a weekend with a dog and a child that I know: Dexter, my 10-year old black lab mix, and June, my 7-year old niece. They are symbiotic beings (as you can see from the picture).
With our thoughts we make the world. Sometimes that yoga truism sounds wonderful. Sometimes we want to sock it in right in the kisser. Sometimes, we have bad days. Yoga is full of ideas like that one: ideas super-simple, that sound great and totally right when you hear them during a blissful moment of a yoga class, yet nevertheless challenging to apply fully to life.
Do you remember the first time you did yoga and thought, what is this magic that’s happening? If you continue into a long-term, lifelong yoga journey, and especially if you undertake any kinds of trainings or workshops towards teaching yoga, you’ll likely find yourself searching for the spell behind that magic. What’s its source? How can I recreate it at will?
I re-read the first twenty or so Sutras of the Yoga Sutras this morning. The Yoga Sutras are 196 pieces of ancient yoga wisdom, collected around the year 400 by the sage Patanjali. They’re an excellent read, any and all of them; not long, not complicated, not weird – even if you haven’t bought entirely into the notion of yoga as a complete system for living.