Be a Yoga Warrior

<p style=”text-align: center; “><img src=”” alt=””><br></p><br><p>The Warrior II posture, ‘Virabhadrasana ’ in the <a href=””>vinyasa yoga</a> warrior series, helps you cultivate the strength needed to be a spiritual warrior. A spiritual warrior knows how to maintain a calm and equanimous mind and move towards liberation against all obstacles. How you enter into the pose physically and mentally is almost as important as the pose itself. Below is how to incorporate Warrior II into your yoga practice and the fundamentals of warrior II pose: <br><p><strong>Directions</strong></p><p><strong>Preparation</strong><ul><li>First, settle in. Come to the front of the body and bring the hands to prayer position. Inhale chant one OM out loud. </li><li>Drop your hands by your side in Samasthiti or equal standing pose. Here draw the belly in, release the shoulders. Close the eyes and drop the mind inward for a moment. Feel your body and feel a sense of peace or interconnection. Feel the ground and the sky above meeting at the heart center. Begin to sense the energy field of the body. Slowly open the eyes. </li><li>Come to the front of the mat and begin with <a href=””>Surya Namaskar A</a> (Sun Salutation A). Repeat the full series 3 times. </li><li>After Surya Namaskar A, you should begin to feel a fire in the body, a light of knowledge. We are going to take that knowledge and move it into the practice of warrior I and II. </li></ul><strong><p><strong><br></strong></p>Warrior I Transition Into Warrior II</strong><br><br></p><p><ol><li><strong>Warrior I</strong>: From <a href=””>downward-facing dog</a>, inhale as you step the right foot between the hands as you turn the left foot out.</li></ol><br><p style=”text-align: center; “><img src=”” alt=””><br></p><br><ul><li>Come onto your fingertips. Send the right knee over the ankle. Press down through the left heel. </li><li>Inhale, bring the torso upright. Lift the torso and draw the belly in. Bring the hands in prayer. Bring the hands up straight overhead, palms stay touching, gaze at the thumbs. Count to 5</li><li>Pivot over to the left side. </li><li>Press back with the right leg, left leg bends and inhale as you raise hands up again. Count to 5.<br><br></li></ul>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 2. <strong>Warrior II:</strong> From Warrior I, open the arms, check your alignment by:<br><br></p><p style=”text-align: center; “><img src=”×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/Verywell-03-3567198-Warrior2-598a10d4d963ac0011fc9d72.gif” alt=””><br></p><br><p><ul><li>Holding the hips, dropping the hips, square them towards the side of the room. </li><li>It might feel better to lessen the bend. As you feel more comfortable you can deepen that bend in the front leg.</li><li>Reach the arms as far you can go. </li><li>Gaze at the left fingers.</li><li>Never push the knee past the ankle as this can cause injury.</li><li>Lift the ribs away from the hips</li><li>Count to 5 in Warrior II. </li><li>Inhale and straighten the front leg. </li><li>Pivot to the other side. The front foot points toward the front wall while the back foot is parallel and faces the front leg. Hips stay facing the side of the room. </li><li>Bend the knee, making sure it doesn’t pass the ankle, and count to 5 again. </li><li>Swing the hands down to the mat. Take a vinyasa and end in a downward dog pose. Come to sitting and then release and rest in <a href=”″>corpse pose</a> for a few minutes. </li><li>Roll up to sitting slowly and chant OM hands in prayer pose. </li></ul></p></p>

Transition Pieces For Fall

I’m not going to lie; the transition from Summer into Fall is an exciting one. They call August the dog days of Summer because of how humid and sticky it can get. However, in between those horribly hot days, a few cooler ones sneak in and remind me of the coming Fall, and I get a little thrill at the prospect of trees changing colors and breaking out some warmer clothes. The temperature can change throughout the day, and mornings can often look different than afternoons. It begs the question of what to wear throughout the day. Layers are essential for cooler weather but not really needed for warmer afternoons. Here are some exceptional items that are easy to transition from cold mornings to warmer afternoons.

I think a simple jacket like the fleece outdoor jacket from H&M is a great option. It’s great to throw on over a tank top for that morning yoga session and easy to wrap around your waist once it gets warmer later in the day when you’re running errands. It comes in a faded black color that would go with almost anything you’re wearing.

Ankle-length yoga tights are another great item that transfers well into Fall. I personally like wearing ankle-length tights all year round; I don’t mind suffering through the heat because I think they are a little more flattering on me. If you wear a more breathable pair like the stealth mesh 7/8 tight from Athleta helps with the summer heat or hot yoga class, and will also keep your legs warm enough during the colder Fall months. They are a little pricey, but the gray pair is on sale! I also saw a really great pair of mesh leggings from Old Navy for a budget-friendly option.

An open cardigan is also a great layering piece. I saw my aunt wearing one on vacation one morning this summer and thought it was so cute and practical. She said it was from Eddie Bauer which I don’t initially think of for Athletic clothing but, after a quick perusal of their website, they have some great stuff! I couldn’t find her exact one, but the Summit Wrap would be great to throw on and layer over your workout clothes for breakfast with friends!

Fall can be an awkward time for clothes because of how cool it can be in the mornings while warmer in the afternoon. It makes it hard to know what to wear but also hard to know what to buy because eventually, Fall will just be cold. You don’t want to buy something that won’t take you through the end of Summer and end of Fall. The above pieces will do just that. You could even throw on some knee-length boots for some added warmth over the yoga leggings. The key is just to make sure you feel competent and confident in what you’re wearing. I love the end of Summer shopping deals because I think you can sometimes get some of the best deals on those layering pieces. What do you wear that takes you from Summer into the colder months of the year?

Ubud, Bali: The Ultimate Yoga Destination

Ubud, Bali, is more than just a place that you see on your favorite yoga or travel Instagram. The beauty and the energy of Bali cannot be captured by a phone or camera alone, and it is a destination that needs to be traveled to be truly experienced. It is the ultimate yoga destination and a perfect vacation for those who want to be able to be enveloped in religious culture with easy access to beautiful yoga studios and yoga teachers from all over the world. The other appeal to Ubud is the amazing restaurants and cafes on every street, and the access to the incredible food to fuel you after long days of practicing and exploring the area. 

The most well-known and biggest yoga studio in Ubud is Yoga Barn, which was founded in the spirit of sharing yoga and healing modalities to people from all over the world who are drawn to Bali for its beauty and culture. The center has six different studios, a guesthouse on site, a restaurant, juice bar, and a healing center. They offer massage, colonics, ayurvedic treatments, and other modalities of healing to those coming to the island for these services. The Yoga Barn is really a one-stop shop when in Bali. In this beautiful place, you can find: 

  • Yoga
  • Workshops for a variety of things you might be interested in 
  • Healing sessions
  • Meditations
  • Nourishing food
  • And good vibes all around

It can be easy to only come to the Yoga Barn and spend all your days learning from the experienced teachers, trying everything on Kafe’s menu, and striking up conversations with interesting people from all over the world. While I definitely recommend going to the Yoga Barn and taking some classes there, also explore the other studios in Ubud such as Radiantly Alive and Intuitive Flow. Both studios have beautiful jungle settings and a variety of classes to suit every type of yoga practitioner. 

In between yoga classes when you need refueling, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to cater to everyone’s needs. There are wonderful vegetarian and vegan places all over, but meat-eaters alike will find places to satisfy their taste buds. One of my favorite places in Ubud is Clear Cafe, a beautiful two-story building that is half indoor and half outdoor and has an extensive menu with many different types of cuisine. They try to source as much as they can off the island, and take delicate care in making sure you have the full Bali experience while dining in their restaurant. They have a whole page devoted to drinks and vegan milkshakes, and they make their own Kombucha in the house which you can buy in a wine bottle to take to your homestay. If you are searching for more local cuisine, search out a warung such as Warung Sopa, where you can try Indonesian delicacies such as Gado Gado, a dish made up of sauteed tempeh and tofu and steamed veggies, searched with a delicious peanut sauce. While Bali can be a bit touristy in some areas, and there are definitely lots of amazing photo opportunities, you really have to travel to the island to experience all that it has to offer. It’s the ultimate destination if you love yoga, travel, culture, and good food. 

How to Improve your Alignment in Yoga

Proper alignment is a common subject in yoga. Every posture has its own specific alignment rules to focus on, but having a general knowledge of the alignment can help to understand these particular postures. Correct alignment is important to keep our body healthy and in its most natural position in both yoga practice and daily life. There are a few things you should mostly focus on.

The first goal to set up is to find your foundation or connection with the ground below you. While practicing or doing your daily tasks, make sure that you feel the ground. An easy way to feel this connection is to imagine roots are growing out of your feet, unifying you with the earth. A great way to start this practice is to put more focus on Tadasana or Mountain pose in yoga and to go with the same intention through the other postures as well. You will learn to ground and equally distribute your weight in your feet while practicing. You will consequently feel more grounded in your daily life, too. 

Another part of our body which can be seen as the foundation is our spine. It is the most important part to be aligned correctly, but because of our daily use of computers and cell phones, it often rounds forward. This misalignment then transfers to our daily lives and yoga practice. It can, as a result, be challenging to have the correct posture at first but all you need is a little bit of time and practice. There are two main things to focus on to achieve this thing. 

1. The first is to follow the natural curve of the spine. Our spine naturally has the S shape and is consisted of three natural curves. These are: 

  • The cervical spine, or the neck
  • The thoracic spine, or the upper back 
  • And the lumbar spine, or lower back

Bring your awareness to this natural curve and correct yourself if feeling misaligned. 

2. The second focus is on the length of the spine. It doesn’t work only in backbends or specific postures where you are instructed to round your back. Otherwise, keep your spine as long as possible. Useful tricks to help you with this are to move your chest upward and to roll your shoulders backward. Moving the shoulders away from our ears is another important alignment cue. Having tight and rounded shoulders make many poses difficult and create too much tension in this area. Therefore, during your day and while in asanas move the shoulders downwards whenever you think of it.

After you got your foundation, it is time to focus on your muscles. Your core should be engaged at all times during yoga. Even in static postures, activate the core, on every exhalation. Having a strong core is key for correct yoga practice, and it also stabilizes and gives more support to your spine. Engage all of the other muscles specific for the posture you are in as well. It will move the weight of your body away from your joints. Relax the muscles which are unnecessary for this posture to keep the energy for that time when you really need it.

Last but not least is to be aware that each body is different. It can mean that the correct textbook pose alignment might not be good for you at all. You can detect this if you feel pain or discomfort while in the pose. Make mini adjustments to modify the posture for your specific anatomy. 

Yoga Therapeutics: Neck Pain Relief

Woke up with a stiff neck?

Does your neck feel painful after a tiring day at the office?

Are your neck’s movements restricted?

Our neck carries a lot of strain throughout a day of sitting, intensified by poor posture or painful, unwanted injuries. The consistent stress and tension that our neck experience creates tightening and shortening on its ligaments and muscles, which causes pain and a restricted range of motion.

Striking Out Tensions

Giving our neck the pampering it needs to release muscle tensions isn’t that hard. Yoga is an efficient way of providing not just our neck, but our whole body, the relaxation it deserves. The best part about this method is, it’s not only easy to follow, but it is also free. Just properly flow with the poses and allow your neck to decompress and release all the stress it bears. Breathe along towards calmness and strike that neck pain out of your system with these Yoga poses!

Cat/Cow Movement: This movement is the best way to begin your flow. It is also an excellent countermovement to our head’s poor habit of putting a lot of stress in the neck from looking down at our phones, reading, and watching. The muscles at the back of our neck are extending and flexing as we do these activities, will cause muscle tightness. Cat/Cow movement gently stretches out neck and eases out theses muscle tensions.

  • To Do The Pose: Begin on all fours, plant your hands on the ground parallel to your shoulders and place your knees on the ground, parallel to your hips. Inhale and look upwards as you draw your shoulder blades closer to each other and arch your back. Then, exhale as you curve your back, drawing your shoulder blades away from each other. Keep your gaze at your navel and push away from the floor through the shoulders. Do this movement for five rounds.

Thread-The-Needle: This pose is an amazing twist for the cervical spine. It also stretches the sides of the neck, which is often-times the stiff neck region. 

  • To Do The Pose: Start on all fours, Table Top position. Inhale and extend your left arm up, and exhale as you thread it in the space between the right hand and right knee with your palms facing the sky. Rest the temple of your head on the mat and hold the pose for a minute. Do the same technique on the other side.

Have A look!

Flowing along Yoga practice is an enjoyable and liberating experience. But make sure that these experiences are not ruined by Yoga pants that can’t keep up with your passion. Choosing leggings that are fashionable without sacrificing durability, comfort and functionality can be very stressful. 

Ultracor Ultra High Lux Knockout Print Leggings are one of the most loved leggings for women today. Their unique soft fabric hides compression functionality in their strands which allow better blood flow and faster recovery to every muscle in the leg. These adorable Yoga pants for women also come with star prints and are available in a unique palette of colors.

In practicing Yoga, always listen to your body. If the pain remained persistent after a long time, please consult your doctor. The next time you wake up with a stiff neck or go home with neck pain, just strike these easy Yoga poses, and you’ll surely feel comfortable using minimal effort. In doing so, you also give your body the decompression and relaxation it needs to boost your energy.

Choosing Happiness

Bringing light to the fact that your happiness is a choice is both empowering and terrifying to most people. You suddenly have so much power over your life, and it can be difficult to learn how to use it. While the idea that happiness is totally dependent on yourself receives great pushback, people who embrace that ideal are the most content people that you will meet. Life does throw you some rough and tough situations, and those do impact you. It makes it a harder effort to choose happiness, but the choice to be happy is still there none the less. It is easier to make yourself happy when you are aware of the now, and when you are grateful for what you have.

Be in the Now

A great deal of unhappiness shows up in your life as stress and worry. These are both routed in the future, and deal with the unknown. There is nothing you can do about the future because it is not here yet. Focusing on the present lets you release your stress and worry. They are not based on anything happening right now and removing them from your concern is a great step towards being happy.

The ideals in mindfulness are very focused on being present in the now, and there are so many different ways to find your mindfulness. Meditation, yoga, and other practices all work on achieving a mindset grounded in the present. Find a method to focus yourself on now, and you will see how much of your unhappiness has no place in your life. Choosing happiness is a much easier choice when you realize that your unhappiness does not belong at all.


Be Grateful

While it sounds like a cliché, being aware and appreciative of your blessings leads to choosing happiness. Being grateful means acknowledging the positives in your life and finding the silver linings in hardships. Going through appreciation exercises, typically done in a daily journal type of method, lets you really see how much you have in your life. This activity helps you to focus on the goodness that is surrounding you and brings happiness to the forefront of your life. When you are faced with hardships, it can be easy to forget the things you have to be happy about. Working to highlight those positives in your life can be difficult, but it really does support you in choosing happiness.

(When you look great, you feel great. Add some happy to your wardrobe by shopping the above look here.)

You can be happy and content in your life. This is a choice that you make, and you make it every moment of everyday. Sometimes you may find that life makes it difficult to actively be happy, but the option is always there. Keeping yourself focused on the present and making sure that you acknowledge the good in your life are ways to make the choice to be happy easier to make. This can take some time to get the hang of, so do not feel discouraged if negative thoughts manage to bring you down. Keep working on the positive and current mindset that leads to a happy and fulfilling life.


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