How to Change Your Daily Routine and Become a Morning Person

Article by Yoga.com

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What can be more natural than waking up with the sun and going to bed when the whole nature is falling asleep? Nothing, really. And yet, at some point with all the nightlife activities, hard-to-put-aside gadgets, flexible working hours and jam-packed schedules, it all got out of control.

These tips from Yoga and Ayurveda will persuade you to switch to a new morning routine and make the shift easier.

Watch the sunrise. Every day

Ayurveda and Yoga Theory have an explanation for why it makes sense to wake up before sunrise. Apparently, about an hour and a half period before the sunrise called Brahma Muhurta is the time when nature is in its stillest phase. And so is your mind. It is the most appropriate time for yoga, meditation and welcoming a new day in a calm and harmonious way. Wake up during this quiet and secluded time before the sun is up, and you’ll feel balanced and happy for the rest of the day.

Go to bed at reasonable hours

And by reasonable Ayurveda means between 10 and 11 p.m. Why is that? The thing is everything around us is influenced by doshas: Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. These doshas are combinations of energies and each dosha has particular qualities. The day is divided into 6 four-hour intervals during which a particular dosha dominates influencing our mood and energy levels.  At 10 p.m. the sluggish Kapha is changed by fiery and intense Pitta which will be dominant until 2 a.m. Pitta will make you feel more energetic but at the same time, it will make it hard for you to fall asleep and to have a quality rest. You can read more on how doshas influence our energy during the day in one of our previous articles. Going to bed before midnight means you’ll get a more restorative sleep and feel refreshed even if you wake up very early the next morning.

Wake up on the proper side of the bed

Of all the recommendations this is the easiest one to adopt!

In some languages, the expression “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” literally translates as “getting up on the wrong foot”. According to Ayurveda, this totally makes sense. So, we all have a dominant nostril. As a rule, this may change during the day. And when you wake up you need to check which nostril is breathing better and get out of bed by first putting the corresponding leg on the floor. This way you’ll feel less sluggish during your morning and the whole day.

Create a morning ritual

It’s important to think of a morning ritual that will allow you to wake up gently and motivate you to get out of bed. You may come up with your own morning routine or borrow some ideas from Dinacharya — a daily routine suggested by Ayurveda and followed by Indian yogis for hundreds of years.

This daily routine sure requires a lot of discipline to adopt. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t manage to go to bed before midnight tonight or don’t see every sunrise during the week. Believe in yourself and try again and again!

Yes, you may have been a night owl most of your life. But have you ever given a waking up before sunrise routine a really good chance? Who knows, maybe it will become your second nature.
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Yin Yoga: A Yoga Practice Every Athlete Should Adopt

By Daily Cup Of Yoga

Saddle-1024x643Sore muscles, injuries, over-extension of the body…if you’re an athlete then you’re no stranger to these. From running track to weight lifting, chances are you’ve experienced some type of injury or strain throughout your life. Injuries may be inevitable at one point or another, but what if I told you there is a practice even the most trained of athletes could adopt to prolong and minimize injury?

Enter Yin Yoga. A gentle, yet challenging, yoga practice that allows you to drop into your own body, listen, and be present with anything and everything that comes up, both physically and mentally. Yin is a seated, grounding practice, within which poses are held for 3-5 minutes in order to bring mobility to the joints and ligaments. By practicing this style of yoga, athletes are able to work deeper into the muscles to transform the way the body moves.

In most classes you see in Western yoga, students are working with their yang muscles, or power muscles, which can be similar to an athlete’s normal routine. When practicing yin yoga, students are asked to relax into postures, taking on a more passive approach to working through deep connective tissue and fascia in the body. Fascia, oh, juicy fascia, connects every part of our body together and by caring for your fascia, you are maximizing athletic performance and muscle flexibility.

Yin Yoga offers athletes a chance to find stillness in the mind and body. Given that poses are being held much longer than a yang-style yoga class, a student will notice everything under the sun come up in their mind and body. From sensation in the hips to thoughts about past experiences, yin allows these physical and mental emotions to rise and be released through the power of passive movement. When intimately working with the body by breaking through connective tissue, students will find themselves breaking through old emotional patterns and coming out of class stronger. Not only in the body, but in the mind as well.

Yin can be practiced at home or in a formal class setting, although it is recommended to start in a class where a teacher can hold space for your body and all that arises. If practicing at home, use these five postures to start transforming your body and athletic performance:

1)  Reclining Twist

Reclining-Twist-1024x674Also known as Supine Twist, this posture is incredibly restorative for the back muscles, spine, and abdominal muscles. It’s important to note that both shoulders should be firmly against the ground so you are twisting from your mid-spine rather than your lower back.

2) Square

Square-1024x622Square, or fire log, is a juicy seated pose targeted at deeply opening and stretching your outer hips. With shins stacked upon each other, you can deepen the stretch by folding forward. If you are unable to stack the shins, a yoga block is helpful for easing your way into this hip opener.

3) Saddle

 

Saddle-1024x643Saddle pose is an excellent stretch for getting into the hip space as well as the quadriceps. By deepening into the furthest expression of this pose, you are opening your sacrum-lumbar arch which is beneficial for athletes and those that do a lot of standing or walking.

4) Toe Squat

 

Toe-Squat-1024x655Toe squat can be an intense stretch for those that are on their feet often, but the results are outstanding. When practicing toe squat, you are opening your feet, strengthening the muscles, and stretching all six lines of the lower body meridians.

5)  Melting Heart

 

Melting-Heart-1024x586After a long day of weight training or working out, this posture will stretch and relieve tightness in the shoulders while strengthening the spine. This mild backbend also works to bring more flexibility to the upper and mid-back. Click here for more Backbend Yoga Poses.

Work these yin movements into your daily routine and enjoy the boost to your body and mind.

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Ava Pendl, a freelance writer and digital marketing guru based out of San Diego. She’s passionate about self-health, yoga, and beauty. As an avid yogi beginning the journey as a Registered Yoga Teacher, she spends her time in between downward dog blogging for her local yoga studio, designing websites and social media campaigns, and managing her own blog.

Ava currently spends the majority of her free time planning her move to South America where she’ll be traveling, blogging, and yoga-ing around the continent. Follow her journey on Facebook.

How to Do A Perfect Plank Pose

By Yoga.com

Plank pose is sort of a magical pose. You do it during a yoga class as well as during a strength training class and fitness trainers often call it “the only exercise you need to train your whole body”.

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Plank pose prepares your body for more advanced yoga poses. For example, you should attempt handstands only when you feel confident doing planks.

If you don’t like doing a plank, it might be that you are making some alignment mistakes which complicate the pose. If you do everything correct, the pose no longer seems that hard and you may actually start to enjoy it very much!

Cautions

Don’t do this is you have carpal tunnel syndrome. Practice with caution if you have problems with back and wrists.

How to do a plank pose

  1. Start with a Table Pose.
  2. Align your wrists to be right under your shoulders, palms and fingers pressed into the floor, middle fingers parallel to each other.
  3. Pay attention to your neck here. It shouldn’t be scrunched up. Don’t hunch your shoulders, instead pull them away from ears.
  4. Move your thighs backward and straighten your legs. Your heels should be right over the balls of the feet.
  5. Now your neck, spine, and legs should form one line (a mirror will help at the beginning). Don’t drop your belly, chest, or legs. Instead, draw your abdomen towards your spine, and keep the body strong.
  6. Stay in the pose for a few breaths. You may later increase the time in the pose to a minute or even more. As you are in plank pose, try to push the mat away — this will help to fully engage your arms.
  7. Rest in Child pose

Tips: don’t concentrate on counting off seconds, instead concentrate on your breath, on pushing the mat away, and on keeping your body strong. Beginners may practice this pose with the knees on the floor. In this case, the spine and hips should form one line.

Benefits of a plank pose

  • Prepares your body for advanced poses, such as Bakasana and Handstand
  • Strengthens wrists, arms, legs, core, neck, and more!
  • Trains core muscles
  • Tones glutes
  • Strengthens spine muscles and improves posture
  • Builds stamina
  • Helps you focus on the present moment
  • Gives you a sense of achievement.

Plank exercise is a perfect exercise for when you feel like having a short workout but you don’t have any particular ideas. You can practice it alone and it will bring you results. Plank is a static pose and it doesn’t require a warm-up, if you feel like you need to warm your joints a little, you can perform a few rounds of Cat and Cow. And don’t get surprised when Plank becomes one of your favorite yoga poses! Check out some plank variations.

These Hollywood Actresses Swear By Yoga

Written by Yoga.com
A lot has changed since Indra Devi, a famous yoga teacher, opened the first yoga studio in Hollywood back in 1949 and made yoga popular with famous actresses including Greta Garbo. Nowadays around 20% of the population of the Pacific states* are practicing yoga, with many other American states not lagging far behind. And more and more celebrities start frequenting yoga studios each year.

That hardly comes as a surprise. The lives of famous actresses involve a lot of stress, attention from millions of people, and worries about whether another good project will come along. Yoga is what helps them feel grounded, healthy, and balanced no matter how hectic their life can be.

Hundreds of actresses have at least once been snapped by the paparazzi on their way to or from a yoga studio. Many of them incorporate yoga in their workout plans from time to time. But some actresses have been practicing yoga for years, preferring it to all other types of workouts. Today we’ll talk about yoga journeys of Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Julianne Moore.

Julia Roberts

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Julia has a lot in common with here character in Eat, Pray, Love. Visiting India was a transformative experience for her which sparked her interest in yoga and Hinduism. Julia Roberts enjoys both physical and mental benefits of yoga. During her Lancôme interview, she said that studying yoga is what helps her find peace. And in her interview to Calzedonia, she credited her beautiful legs to regular yoga practice. Yoga helps the famous actress to enjoy life and be in harmony with herself: in an industry where plastic surgeries have become common practice, Julia prefers to age naturally and gracefully.

Gwyneth Paltrow

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Watching her father fighting cancer got her looking for ways to live a longer and healthier life. No wonder many of us know her as a healthy lifestyle ambassador. Gwyneth Paltrow started doing yoga more than 20 years ago when it hadn’t been all that hype around the yoga industry. So yoga has long become a big part of her life. She even revealed in one of the interviews that she wakes up around 4:30 a.m. to have time for her daily yoga practice.

Julianne Moore

Seeing how amazing she looks in her fifties you feel like adopting some of Julianne’s healthy habits. We can reveal you at least one: the famous actress is a fan of Ashtanga yoga and as she told Health in one of the interviews, she prefers yoga to “the agony of the gym”. Apparently, active workouts like spinning leave her overwhelmed rather than energized. And many of us can relate, right? Julianne Moore practices Ashtanga yoga about 3 times a week. By the way, just like Julia Roberts she is against plastic surgery and prefers to age in a natural way.
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Maybe, it’s because of their dedication to yoga that these women are successfully balancing careers, social life, and family. Actually, the need to balance work, family and hobbies is a reality for many women, not just famous actresses. Want to stay happy and grounded no matter how tight your schedule is? Never give up yoga!

* – according to 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance

Which Country Googles Yoga the Most?

Written By Yoga.com

yoga r usHave you ever wondered which country googles yoga the most? Maybe not, but we bet now you are at least slightly curious!

So, Google has this cool instrument called Google Trends. It shows how a particular search term performs search-volume-wise across different countries over a period of time.

We decided to see how the search term “yoga” performs around the world. We filtered out searches like “Lenovo yoga tablet” or “Kung Fu Yoga” (the film) as they have nothing to do with yoga practice. And here is what we’ve got.
yoga r us google trends

The numbers on the graphs stand for the relative popularity of the term. For example, 100 is assigned to the country where the term has the highest proportion of all search queries. 50 is assigned to the country where the term is half as popular. The number doesn’t reflect the absolute number of searches but rather how the term performs in comparison to other Google search queries in a given location.

Surprisingly enough, the country that searches yoga related topics most frequently turned out to be neither India where yoga was born nor the USA where it enjoys a growing popularity. In fact, top yoga-curious countries over the last 3 years were Canada and Australia followed by the United States, Singapore, New Zealand, and India. The European country that googles yoga the most is Ireland.

The popularity of yoga has been enjoying a steady growth over the last 5 years. Also, starting with 2015, the interest in yoga sharply increases at the end of June. Clearly, this is because International Yoga Day is celebrated on the 21st of June. You can also see the spike in interest in yoga every January when people start acting on their New Year’s resolutions.

Google Trends also gives you an insight into the yoga-related queries that have been popular lately. One of the top rising queries is “Yoga with Adriene”. Her Youtube channel is what got many people into regular home practice. Another trending search for yoga poses come’s from Mr. Yoga’s 2100 Asanas Book – World’s Biggest Yoga Pose Collection. Another popular search term lately has been “DDP Yoga”. Developed by professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, DDP yoga is a workout program that combines the elements of traditional fitness, yoga, and sports therapy. Both men and women can benefit from these workouts. However, DDP Yoga is especially popular with men. In fact, the program was initially called “Yoga for Regular guys”. The huge popularity of DDP Yoga doesn’t come as a surprise since more and more men become interested in yoga. Apparently, the number of men practicing yoga in the USA more than doubled since 2012 (from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016) according to Yoga in America study by Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance.
Other top terms include “yoga challenge poses” and “yoga near me”. People don’t simply read about yoga, they take action and actually start their yoga journey. And as you may see from the graph, this year the interest in yoga haven’t considerably lowered since the spike in January. People around the world continued reading about yoga and searching for new yoga sequences throughout winter and spring. After all, yoga is quite addictive!

Meditation To Feel Happier at Work

meditation-woman

Written by Henry Veno

Many of us correlate work with stress and anxiety. Find out how meditation can bring in oodles of physical and mental health benefits that can boost your mood at your workplace. See Meditation To Feel Happier at Work.

Seeking for some happiness in your bustling lifestyle? There’s nothing better than meditation. It is one of the best ways to strike down stress and solicitousness.

Let’s be frank. Many of us correlate work with stress, anxiety, and grief. But, holding all these negative points in mind won’t work in any case. Be it achieving a productive outcome or to maintain health, it becomes indispensable to do meditation for keeping yourself happy and motivated at the workplace.

Meditation brings in oodles of physical and mental health benefits. It immensely soothes the mind and releases several happy hormones that help you in boosting mood. If you feel happy, then results at the workplace would be definitely positive.

Wondering how? Here are 5 ways to feel happier at your workplace:

Brings in more Positivity

When you kick off your day with deep, focused meditation, all the negative chunks flowing in the head would be evacuated. As a result, only positive vibes are left in the mind. These vibes help to calm the mind and improve the better functioning of it. Due to this elimination of skepticism, the entire day would be positive enough and that would greatly affect your work.

Sharpens Memory

Meditation is a practice to relax mind which includes deep breathes. When the mind gets relaxed and full attention is devoted to inhaling and exhaling, there is no space for any kind of worries. This reduction of worries sharpens the mind that improves memory. This improvement makes you more efficient to remember all the work affairs clearly, positively affecting the productivity of the work.

Alleviates Stress

Stress leads you towards inviting many health issues such as depression, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia and much more. So it becomes essential to make a control on the stress for maintaining sound health. For this purpose, nothing is more effective than meditation. This is because it is considered to be one of the fastest ways to wipe out stress and anxiety.

When you are less worried about the work, there are more chances that aging hits you slowly. As a result, it won’t only help you in alleviating stress and focusing on the work, but also it slows down the aging process.

Increases Clarity

While working, there arise many phases when definite decisions are to be taken. But, sometimes people fail in it as loads of stress in their mind obstructs the procedure. Due to this reason, perplexity is what flows around.

Clarity of mind can be increased through meditation, as it reduces stress which eventually results in placidity of mind. Eventually, it allows you to perform well in the works.

Stabilize Emotions

When there is peace of mind and it is calmed, all the emotions wavering inside your head gets relaxed. For this purpose, meditation is used to maintain a balance between all the emotions. Therefore, it becomes easy to cope up with an overflow of any particular emotions such as anger which would adversely affect the quality of work.

Closure

Changing the world or changing mindset of others is not in our control. But, self-improvement is definitely possible to enhance the way we think, the way we interpret other things and the way we concentrate on the work.

Meditation is one of the best medications to maintain mental health. Simply sparing 10-20 minutes a day for meditation would work wonders in revamping your personality, resulting in productive outcome at work.

Take an inspiration from these points and ensure you practice meditation regularly without any breaks in between.


Henry Veno is a fitness and a healthy diet addict. A Failed Chef turned adventurer and writer. He’s a tech geek and loves to explore latest happenings and works as an editor at TheDietSuggestions.