Yoga to the Rescue: Winter Warmth is Just a Pose Away

Snowed in and stir crazy? Or is it just me?

I am so restless in fact that I've moved furniture in the coldest room of my house so that I could have some space to get busy and heat things up yoga-style. I've even busted out the camera (and leg warmers and yoga socks ).

Here is a short yoga practice, about 20 minutes total, that I put together with the intention of heating up my body and soothing my nerves. The sequence includes a fire starting breathing technique, sun and moon salutations, strength building poses, deep hip stretches and backbends. And don't forget about final relaxation to help spread that fire to your whole body.

The audio and video quality is not the best but the information is there. This sequence (and my legwarmers) has been so helpful to me while I've been snowbound. I hope it helps you, too.

So, turn up the heat and move your body. Let's melt the snow together y'all.

Yoga for Winter Warmth Part 1 – The Warm Up

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Yoga for Winter Warmth Part 2 – Deeper Stretches and Heat Building Poses

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Post your questions or share your Yoga for Winter Warmth experience below.

Namaste,

Lindsay

Yoga for Clarity YouTube Video

Yoga to the Rescue: The Other Side of Confusion

Have you made your resolutions for 2011?

I can't say that I've ever been in the habit of listing my New Year's Resolutions at the years end. For one, I am constantly striving to be a better me. My goals and inspirations come to me throughout the year. However, this awareness of my un-involvement in, and in fact apathy for this very popular tradition has me indulging in introspection.

Is it because in the past I haven't seen myself as the deliberate creator that I am? Am I prone to a victim mindset (you know, faulting the economy, the job market, my upbringing, and other endless excuses)? I am simply too lazy to take responsibility for my life?

The question often contains the answer

Ouch. The truth sure stings sometimes. Still, I prefer it to living a life of illusion (not the Joe Walsh song – actually, I really like that song). With all of this in mind, I have begun a new practice, a "resolution" if you will. When I have a tendency to question, I turn it into a statement. The result is that I find clarity where there was previously floundering. With clarity I am more likely to take action. It is like this: When I state that I haven't recognized my power for intentional living and that I use excuses to let myself off the hook and that I can claim my power and my responsibility at any moment, a pretty wonderful thing happens. I know what my next step is.

Practice is the key word here. I am not always as present for myself as I intend to be. Fortunately, my default response to feeling knocked off my center is internalization and questioning. And as I mentioned earlier, the question and the answer are usually very close indeed.

Bonus: I always have my yoga practice which continues to reveal me to me.

Yoga Sequence for Clarity and Inspiration

I have designed this short asana sequence to relax and sooth stressed nerves and reveal a clear headed, confident state of mind. Practice when you feel confused or unclear about what you want, your life purpose or simply what you should do next.

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So there it is, my gift to you as we enter this new year (and new decade!). Please return to it whenever you need. I plan on posting more videos soon. Please let me know if you have any requests.

Also, I would love to hear your thoughts about this video or about your New Year's resolutions. How do you find clarity amidst the chaos? Please share!

Happy New Year!

Lindsay

 

 

 

 

 

 

dolly

My Nomination for Best Line in A Christmas Song … Ever.

Happy Holy Days!

Mysteriously missing from George Orwell's portrayal of the era, this 1984 video with Dolly and Kenny has me longing for a sparkly, fur-trimmed vest and nostalgically smiling from the inside out. And in the words of Buddy the Elf, "I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite."

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So, what is the best line? Unfortunately, when I tell you, it is going to reveal me as the immature, giggling freak that I am.

Are you ready? Okay, here it is:

"I have fantasized about a Christmas in this way

Curled up by a fireplace in a Tahoe ski chalet

With a fast talking lover and some slow burning wood."

Get it? Ugh. I can hear your eyes rolling from here. Seriously.

So, I know I haven't been posting very often lately, but come January 2011, I will be back at it with Mindful Mondays, Strike a Yoga Pose Saturdays and more …. oh, and plenty of yoga goodies and giveaways, too! I can hardly wait.

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays and a Brilliant 2011.

Love,

Lindsay

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Friday Favorites: Cats Playing Patty-Cake

It is amazing what goes viral on YouTube.

And I am pretty sure that funny cat videos are at the top of list of the most viewed viral videos … ever.

That said, I watched a lot of non-cat videos this week including one I found in a wonderful post by Young Yoga Masters that explained how human beings are wired to experience empathy and posed questions as to the evolutionary implications of this phenomenon.

Also, I viewed the follow up TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson in which he continues the discussion about the nature of our educational system. If you haven't seen the original video, watch it. It's brilliant and funny and despite the title, Do Schools Kill Creativity? it is actually quite a positive perspective.

And the video I chose to share with you today?

Cats. Duh.

Cats Playing Patty-Cake (or is it pat-a-cake?) at that. This video is delightfully absurd and surprise, surprise has over 1 million views in less than 1 month. The Sir Ken Robinson video is over 4 years old and has just a few hundred thousand more. Hmmm …

Cats sell.

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So, while I may have roped you in with these irresistible cats. I do hope you check out the other videos I mentioned as well (links are in the red text above). They are worth your time for sure – at least as much as funny cat videos.

Love,

Lindsay

P.S. Stay tuned … this month's yoga giveaway will be posted soon!

Phillip Askew New York City Vinyasa YouTube Still

Friday Favorites: Beautiful Vinyasa Yoga Video

I love everything about this video – the music, the editing, the asana.

A friend of mine forwarded this to me a couple of days ago. It is definitely my favorite YouTube find of the week. I am even considering updating my Top 5 Yoga-Related YouTube Moments to include it. Enjoy!

Phillip Askew New York City Vinyasa

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P.S. You might recognize Phillip Askew from another breathtaking yoga video Variations on Surya Namaskara.

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Friday Favorites: Wowy Cool Meditation Video

 

Change your thoughts and you change your world. -Norman Vincent Peale

Admittedly, I am a bit of a YouTube junkie. Here is one of my favorites finds of late. This video depicts the transformation that occurs through the discipline of meditation practice.

Or, if you'd prefer you can read this elephantjournal.com post: Top 20 thoughts to think while pretending to meditate. Both are equally enjoyable.

Happy Friday!

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The Yoga of Relationships – Moving from Anger to Forgiveness [VIDEO]

The Yoga Microcosm Effect.

The more I practice yoga, the more I see my body as a symbolic representation of the non-physical me. While in a yoga pose I notice the subtle relationships in my body, for example, the relationship between the breath and the tension in my body and also the relationship between my feet and my spine. Honesty and good communication are important elements in a healthy relationship and the key to those things is awareness.

In this short video, I discuss how yoga and cultivation of awareness can be a useful tool in creating the kinds of relationships you want in your life. Specifically, I describe how I moved from anger and pain in a relationship to forgiveness and freedom.

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I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Have you noticed the lessons of a yoga pose having an effect on your life outside of the yoga mat? How has yoga helped you create healthy relationships in your life?

Post your comments below.

Lots of Love,

Lindsay

 

 

bill hicks it's just a ride on youtube

My Favorite Bill Hicks Video – It’s Just a Ride

Human. Hilarious. Honest. Hicks.

He smoked. He swore. He challenged mainstream society and consumerism and inspired people to think for themselves. He was criticized and censored when he was alive. Now, thanks to the miracle of YouTube, his message lives on.

This is my favorite Bill Hicks YouTube moment. It is titled, "It's Just a Ride" and I can't help but get all "yoga dorky" when I watch it.

 

The yoga teachings of William Melvin Hicks.

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I especially love this part:

"It's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear wants you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead see all of us as one." -Bill Hicks

 

What do you think? Did you notice the yoga?

 

I choose LOVE,

Lindsay

 

 

camel pose youtube

Strike a Pose Saturday: A Camel Pose for Everyone [VIDEO]

Thought I would do something a little different this week.

People learn in many different ways. Simple pictures and reading works great for a lot of people but for those of us who are  more "visual" learners a video is very helpful. So, here it is: Tips and modifications for Ustrasana, Camel Pose … in a VIDEO!

It is very important that you warm-up before you practice this pose. 3-5 rounds of sun salutes should do the trick. Also, a counter pose after you practice Ustrasana is important to balance the stretch and stabilize your core and your spine. A great complimentary pose for Camel is Sasangasana, Rabbit Pose. Also, Balasana, Child's Pose or simply hugging the knees into the chest will serve this purpose.

In this video I offer modifications for every level and alignment tips to get the most out of your Camel efforts. Remember, yoga is not about achieving an idealized or "final" pose (that's just a myth anyway) but more about what you learn along the way. In other words it is not the pose but how you approach the pose that matters. Patience, acceptance and an open mind are helpful. Compassion and honesty and a sense of playful curiosity are good things to bring to your practice, too.

 

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So, there you have it. Please post your questions and/or comments below. Also, if you ever have a request for a video or tips for a specific pose, just let me know!

Lots of Love,

Lindsay

By the way, please practice safely. These articles express my opinion and while I have over a decade’s experience with hatha yoga practice, intensive teacher trainings and hundreds of hours of teaching, always consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen and to find out what activities suit your uniqueness. Because you are special and doggonit … I like you.