Friday, December 30, 2011

Free January Desktop Calender

We are starting off the new year right . . . a day early on the monthly desktop calenders. Hopefully this is a good indication of what the year ahead will be like - organized! If you would like to make this winter scene your desktop background, you can click on this link to download the bigger version of the graphic. A new window will appear with a much larger graphic. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yoga for Yankees

A friend of mine sent this video to me and I just couldn't resist sharing it. If you live in New England it will be especially funny . . .

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Win a Free Copy of Downward Dog Upward Fog

Back in September I read and reviewed this delightful book. Now I’m looking at the book sitting on my desk and I’m thinking that I should share it with another yogi that would surely enjoy it. If you would like that lucky yogi to be you, just leave me a comment here on the blog, or on our Facebook page. We will pick one winner on Friday, December 23 and the book will be mailed the following week.

Here’s the description of the book (borrowed from Amazon).
Lorna Crawford has a great boyfriend, longtime friends, and a well-paying job as special-events coordinator at a premium ice-cream manufacturer. But, out of sorts and filled with self-doubt, the 33 year old soon realizes that what she really wants is to stay on the spiritual path she keeps diving off of. Lorna jump-starts her efforts at a silent yoga retreat. But after returning from the mountain, she quickly loses her connection in the face of scheming coworkers, judgmental girlfriends, and, especially, her overly critical mother. Lorna also wrestles over her future with her boyfriend, a hot guy who takes her to the hottest places, but who can’t discern a meditation cushion from a toad stool. Reading spiritual books and visiting a channeler and energy healer move Lorna forward, but her confusion remains. Lorna’s seeking is put to the ultimate test when personal tragedy strikes. Will she come to truly understand that living spiritually has little to do with how you pretzel yourself on the yoga mat (although she gets plenty good at that), and everything to do with embracing the twists in everyday life? "An inspirational gem that will appeal to introspective, evolving women"--ForeWord Reviews "A lighthearted novel about a woman who just can't seem to stay on the spiritual path, something most of us can relate to"--Yoga Journal Buzz Blog “How delicious to find a novel for women who find spirituality every bit as enticing as fashion. The characters in Meryl Davids Landau’s page-turner aren’t the only ones uplifted here—the reader gets a dose of inspiration along with a mesmerizing story."--Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life

Monday, December 19, 2011

Great Shoulder Stretching Tip

I can't believe that in all my years of fitness, and especially the last several months of neck and shoulder pain, I never learned this stretching tip. I'm not quite sure which of the Brazilian Butt Lift videos it appeared in, but I think it was at the end of the Sculpt work-out and it went something like this . . .

Everybody knows the stretch where you take one arm (let's say your right arm) and you stretch it across your chest. You normally take your left arm and bend it up so that your right elbow rests at the 90 degree bend in your left arm. Then you use this left arm to slightly pull back to increase the stretch in your right shoulder. But, did you ever hear the tip to lower your right shoulder before pulling with your left arm. It makes all the difference. I'm still stunned at the fact that I never knew about this subtle, but so important addition to the stretch. Try it yourself and see the difference between just pulling your arm without making a note of the shoulder you are trying to stretch, and then do it again, this time making sure that you lower that shoulder as much as you can before the stretch.

And the Winner Is . . .

Congratulations to Brad from Illinois. He is the lucky winner of 3 months of streaming yoga and fitness classes at Gaiam TV. Brad we will be contacting you shortly with your login information. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Please stay tuned for another give-away later this week . . .

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are You a Yoga Girl?

Remember the 'Yoga Girl' video that went viral a few weeks ago? Well, some real world yoga girls from LA are out with their own take. I found it very inspiring, not only the cool yoga routine moves, but also the video itself. One of these days I'll make my own yoga video . . .

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Brazilian Butt Lift Review 

I just completed my first week of the Brazilian Butt Lift. The week went by really fast and although I found some of the routines challenging, I haven't been all that sore. I should probably note that I've been soaking in a hot tub just about every night and I think that makes a big difference.

First I'm going to state the things that I don't like about the series.

  • My biggest issue with it is that I bought it under the impression that the workouts were only 35 minutes each. And technically most of them are. What they didn't make very clear in the infomercial is that you are required to do two per day - except on the day that you do the Sculpt video, which is 50 minutes. My biggest problem with P90X was the time commitment. It was a minimum of an hour a day and that is just hard to squeeze in every day for 90 straight days. This seemed much more manageable, but when it comes right down to it, it's really not.
  • I can't seem to get over the fact that the (slightly annoying) guy that leads the video constantly refers to your butt as your "boom boom." I don't know why, but it's driving me crazy. He also is stuck on one little phrase that, after only one week, is starting to grate on me. He says, "Don't settle for less" constantly. Uuuugh
  • The audio in general is a bit challenging. The music is a little too loud for the voice over and the guy is hard to understand. When doing the floor work I'm not always looking at the screen and it almost feels like he's mumbling. I can't quite understand what he's saying in many areas.
  •  So far I had two technical issues with one of the DVDs. I'm not sure if it's my player or not, but since all the issues are occurring with one disc I'm thinking it's the disc. Yesterday I couldn't get to one of the two exercises on the menu, and today I had to watch the one video that worked in Spanish. The good point on this is that I was able to follow the cardio routine without hearing the words. OK, I do know a few Spanish numbers and the word "rapido," but overall I was relying solely on the visuals. After doing the routine only once or twice before it was no problem so none of the steps are very complicated which is a big plus.

Now for the good points

  • The customer service at Beach Body was superb. I chatted with them last night about my technical issue and they put a brand new disc in the mail right away.
  • As stated above the moves are not complicated and after doing the routines once you catch right on. I should note that it's not totally easy (or even possible) to move like the Spanish girls on the video. You really need to have some Latin in your blood to get your hips and shoulders to move like that. Mine don't seem to be wired right and I can't even imagine how ridiculous I look. But it's fun. Period.
  •  I thought all the videos would focus solely on the rear end, but they include a good mix of total body conditioning. Your arms, legs, and abs are working too. In fact there's a complete separate 20 minute ab workout, just like P90X.

Some other things worth mentioning

  • Unlike P90X, the cardio routines are totally dependent on the amount of effort you exert. It's quite possible to get through them without doing all that much. That is not the case with P90X. Even if you only give it 50% of your all, just performing the required tasks is a big undertaking. These moves are all pretty easy and without really giving it some ummph, you're not going to get much out of them.
  • The sculpting work that requires the bands or the weights, however, are very good. When I read the instructions that told me during the first week I was supposed to perform these work-outs "without equipment" I thought, "Why bother? What a waste of time." Well, I was wrong. Without the bands or the weights my muscles were burning and tears were welling up. I can honestly say I'm not looking forward to adding that 'equipment.' Yikes
  • The hardest part of this series (for me) is that you are working muscles that you simply don't normally work. With P90X you work the typical muscles that get used in most athletics and every day activities. I've been training for the past decade with my husband . . . in a gym, on a bike, in a kayak . . . my major muscles are well equip to take on the challenges of the P90X exercises. But these exercises are a whole different story. I'm using butt muscles that I never knew existed and certainly never work out. No matter if I started in fairly good shape or not I don't think I would have had a prayer at breezing through this series of videos.

Bottom line is that my legs already feel firmer and more toned after just one week. Since I really don't have to make a huge difference in my overall physical dimensions I'm not sure that I will continue to follow the program to the T, by the book, and in the super neurotic, anal retentive, Type A personality way that I followed P90X. I have no doubt that if you do indeed follow the program, you will get the desired results.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Year Without P90X

2012 should have been my fifth consecutive year completing the P90X program. It has become my Winter routine that always gets me excited about the New Year. I usually dive right in and within a month I feel great. I'm whipped into shape, I'm strong, and I'm "ready to go" as Tony Horton likes to say. But unfortunately, this will be the year without P90X and I wasn't sure how to cope. The terrible neck injury that caused me to lose an entire year of biking, lifting, and yoga is continuing to plaque me. I still can't do any real push-ups (my all-time favorite exercise) and there's simply no way I could get through a single P90X work-out in this pathetic condition.

I moped around and sulked for a good 5 months. I got weaker and weaker and more and more depressed until I thought I would lose my mind. What's a yogi to do? Even meditating over this dilemma proved difficult due to the uncomfortable sitting position. Finally my doc said that I can start doing some cardio - still no lifting or yoga, but I got the green light for cardio. Now I just needed to figure out where to start.

Enter Beach Body . . . yes, the same folks that offer P90X. This is a little bit embarrassing, but I got sucked into the infomercial advertising the "Brazilian Butt Lift." I can't believe I just admitted that. Normally I would fly by any such silly infomercial, but it was a weak moment and it looked like fun.

I was so excited to start it that I didn't wait for New Years. I'm 4 days into the program and so far I love it. As with P90X it encourages you to take Before and After photo, along with measurements, but I never bother. My before and afters are never very impressive because not much changes. I really don't know how I manage to 'look' like I'm in shape when I'm clearly not. Hey, I'm not complaining, but all my changes are in how my body feels not how it looks. I just want to get back to having nice hard muscles. The most important test they recommend you take is the "pencil test." My husband thought I needed to see if I could break the pencil with my butt cheeks, but fortunately all you need to do is place the pencil under one cheek and see if the pencil stays or falls down. If your rear end is too big there is likely a crease between the buttocks and the top of the leg in which the pencil would stay. The goal of the program is to get to the point where the pencil falls. I passed the test and my pencil did indeed fall. I'm getting off to a good start.

And for the first time in my life, I'm starting off at baseline. This is such a new experience for me. I am so accustomed to breezing through most fitness videos. I just never had a concept of how hard it can be to get into shape, when you're not already in shape. Does that make any sense? It reminds me of a personal trainer that allowed himself to go from totally ripped to 150 pounds overweight just so he could put himself into the shoes of his clients. He always heard, "You don't understand how hard it is to lose weight. You've never been fat. How could you relate?" Those are valid points and I too had no idea how challenging some simple workouts can be. When I used to teach my beginners yoga class I made the easiest classes I could dream up, but still they were too challenging for the class. How could I know what folks could or couldn't do if it all felt too easy for me? Well, now I know! My super simple yoga routines would just about kill me know. I'm weeping as I type . . .

So I'll be reviewing these Brazilian Butt Lifts videos from an entirely new perspective. I am now representing the average woman. I am sadly no longer the super fit guru that I once was. I'm not entirely giving up hope on getting back there some day and I gotta start somewhere, so let's see how my butt progresses. Please stay tuned to some reviews of this program.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Who Wants 3 Months of Free Streaming Yoga Classes?

Just a reminder that Gaiam is sponsoring a promotion and YogaDudes will be giving away a 3 month free membership to GaimTV. Imagine hundreds of awesome yoga classes right in your living room, for FREE! Who doesn't love free? And who wouldn't love the convenience of quality yoga training without fighting traffic and burning gas? So much to gain with so little effort. All you need to do is leave a comment either on this blog or on our Facebook wall. One winner will be picked on Friday, December 16th. Don't delay. Leave a comment right now (and if it's on the blog, please be sure we have a way to contact you.)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Free Streaming Yoga + Fitness Classes

I'm very excited about this new find. One of my favorite companies, Gaiam, has recently launched something called Gaiam TV and it looks amazing. In addition to classes from top yogis like, Rodney, Seane Corne, Shiva Ray, Kathryn Budig, Tommy Rosen, Kia Miller, and Suzanne Deason, they've put together an amazing collection of health, fitness and uplifting and inspirational films.  Each video… whether live, taped or acquired, is hand-selected based on the positive impact they believe it can have on mind, body or soul. If you've recently given up on Netflix, this is  a true no-brainer. And even if you do already subscribe to another streaming service, membership to this wonderful resource is just $9.95/month. That's less than the cost of one yoga class for a whole month of unlimited access to over 2,000 high quality videos. They offer a 10 day free trial so check it out here today. But wait, there's more . . .  as a special offer for YogaDudes fans, they agreed to give away a 3 month free membership to one lucky yogi. All you need to do is leave a comment either on this blog or on our Facebook wall. One winner will be picked on Friday, December 16th. Don't delay. Leave a comment right now (and if it's on the blog, please be sure we have a way to contact you.)

In the event that you don't want to chance it, here's an idea . . . put a subscription on your Holiday Wish List. Subscriptions can be bought in 3, 6, or 12 month bundles at a pre-paid price. Santa can't go wrong with a gift like that!

Do It Yourself Enlightment

This is just too cute not to share . . .

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Perfect Yogi Stocking Stuffer

Can you imagine a cuter gift to find in your Christmas stocking this year? Why not brighten a fellow yogi's holiday? And be sure to grab an extra to adorn your own tree with this adorable porcelain YogaDudes ornament. The ornament can be purchased online here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

December Desktop Calendar

If you would like to add some festive holiday cheer to your desktop, you can click on this link to download the bigger version of the graphic. A new window will appear with a much larger graphic. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Best Foods for Good Looks and Good Health

You need more than just lotions and potions (as my husband likes to call all the things I slather on my body) to keep yourself looking your best. It's not enough to fight aging from the outside. Good nutrition is the pillar of every kind of healthy lifestyle and what you put inside your body has a big impact.

With so many studies being reported it can be hard to keep track of what we should be eating. To simplify things, here's a can't-go-wrong shopping list of beneficial foods to ensure a healthy and youthful you.

  1. Tomatoes. Organic tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant shown to help fight illnesses of all stripes. They're also loaded with vitamins C and A, and if you believe Dr. Oz, they could be as good or better than açai and goji, those trendy, expensive antioxidants you couldn’t stop hearing about for a few years.
  2. Green tea. In a nutshell, people who drink green tea have about a dozen health advantages over people who do not—from cancer prevention to longevity to gentler skin aging—thanks to its antioxidant polyphenols.
  3. Broccoli. This is the item on the list you'd be best off learning to love if you don't already, because its nutrition profile beats out all other veggies according to a Harvard University study. It has well-documented anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with everything from eye health and arthritis to heart disease and sun damage. Eat it a couple of nights a week if you can.
  4. Salmon. You obviously want to be careful about sourcing when it comes to any fish choice, but the short version is, wild Alaskan is a good bet. Salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega 3s, healthy fats, and vitamin B12. Bonus side effect: Glowing skin.
  5. Extra virgin olive oil. It’s gotta be EV: Eat it for heart-disease prevention, cancer prevention, its cholesterol-lowering good fats, its antioxidants, and because it’s completely and utterly delicious and frankly, a good olive oil tastes better than butter.
  6. Dark leafy greens.Yes, they can be bitter and less than exciting at first, but they are loaded with vitamins and iron and can be snuck into meals easily (omelets, pasta, salads, etc.). Prepared the same way as the broccoli suggestion takes five minutes and is super tasty with eggs for breakfast.
  7. Walnuts. These are packed with good fats (the monounsaturated kind), which is great for heart health, lowering cholesterol, boosting brain function, and reducing inflammation. You don't need many of these to reap the benefits, though.
  8. Blueberries. What gives these guys a leg up on other fruit is the fact that they're super low in calories and very high in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin E, and other brain-boosting nutrients. A Tufts University study found that when they evaluated 60 other fruits and veggies for their antioxidant capability, the blues came out on top.
  9. Dark chocolate. You should eat this because it’s delicious, and because a recent study also showed its capacity to protect skin from UV damage.
  10. Avocados. It's encouraging to know that in addition to being nature's unadulterated butter, they're also loaded with cholesterol-lowering power, potassium, folate, carotenoids, vitamin E, and happiness-inducing monounsaturated fats. (guacamole counts!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Quiet Yogi

Lately I've been a very quiet yogi. I'm sorry that this blog has been neglected. The truth is that I haven't been practicing my yoga in months. I haven't been doing much of any form of exercise in months and not many things make me less happy. Way back in June I hurt my neck, which led to several months of agonizing pinched nerve pain. I am just about losing my mind trying to cope with this situation and the fact that I can't work out. There goes the great shape I was in. There goes my yoga teaching assignment this year. I haven't even been able to review the new work-out DVDs that I got over the Summer. It's all so depressing.

During this time I have been trying to focus on my meditation, but sadly even THAT hurts. Trying to clear my mind is just so difficult when my brain is registering pain. Seems the only form of exercise I can do these days is running so I've been trying to embrace it, despite the fact that I dislike it. Whenever I run it just makes me miss my bike, but I'm trying to forge on. I just received my racing bib for an upcoming 5 mile race on Thanksgiving Day. I'm going to run those miles and try to stay focused on being thankful that I can, at least, still run. I'm going to try really hard not to think about all the things I still can't do and truly appreciate those than I can do.

I know there's a purpose and reason this is happening to me and somewhere down the road I'm sure the lesson will make itself known. I'm hoping that it is going to make me a stronger and better person, but in the mean time I'm afraid I'm becoming a much weaker and much sadder one :-( Patience is a virtue and I gotta work on it.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

YogaDudes November Desktop Calendar

Here it is already November 3rd . . . five days after Connecticut's historical October snow storm, and still we have no power. November has traditionally been the month of giving thanks, but this November it will be very easy to reflect on and give thanks for the small things in life that you wouldn't normally think twice about . . . like running water, heat, and electricity. I know I will personally be doing a happy grateful dance when, not only our electricity comes back, but more importantly our internet connection!

So we are sorry that this November calendar is late. Hopefully you are warm and safe and if you are are, be thankful. If you would like to make this graphic your computer desktop, just click on this link. A new window will appear with a much larger graphic. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Saturday, October 01, 2011

YogaDudes October Desktop Calendar

Autumn is in the air and it's time for pumpkins, ghosts, and goblins. If you would like to get into the autumn spirit and make this graphic your computer desktop, just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Downward Dog Upward Fog Review

I recently read a delightful novel called Downward Dog Upward Fog, by Meryl Davids Landau. It was such a pleasant and fun read about a young woman who turns to yoga to save her from falling down the spiraling hole of discontent. It was all too easy to identify with the lead character. I think everybody has felt the same way at some point in their life. You seem to have everything going for you, but yet you find yourself unhappy for no good reason. You get easily annoyed by the slightest little things and you just seem to look at everyone and everything with an overly critical eye. Why do we do this? Why can't we just be happy and pleasant more, and unhappy and unpleasant less? Wouldn't the world be a better place? Why does it seem like such an effort for us? It reminds me of a funny t-shirt I saw not too long ago. It said, "Pretending I'm a pleasant person is exhausting." And sometimes it's really true. It seems we have to put on an act and pretend that we like the people around us, or pretend that we are happy when we really aren't. It so sad and it seems like life would be much easier if we just truly were happy.

Well, the lead character in this book turned to yoga to help improve her mood and life. It was so refreshing to read about her initial expereince. You know how it is when you first fall in love with something . . . you feel so excited about it. You look forward to it and appreciate every minute of it. But something happens along the way and you lose your passion for it. Reading the book made me long for that excited feeling just to do a yoga rountine. I tried to think about the last time I truly looked forward to it with that same beginners anticipation. When I was studying for my teaching certificate it felt like a job. Then when I started actually teaching yoga it 'really' started to feel like a job. I lost the spark. I sometimes even lost the desire. Yoga became a physical workout that I felt obligated to do. Lately even my daily meditation has become a chore. How sad. The book made me reflect at what yoga and meditation is supposed to be all about - so much more than the physical act. Shame on me for slipping down that dark hole.

If you find yourself starting to slip, finding herself irritated at people for no good reason, or dreading getting to yoga class maybe it's time for this refreshing read. Grab yourself a copy of the book and remember back to all the reasons why you started to do yoga in the first place. Read it and go back to enjoying the entire experience of it. Take it all in and remember to be thankful for everything you have and do.

Please check out the book on amazon here.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Interview with Jason Brown, Creator of Zenyasa Yoga

Jason Brown has been a student of the contemplative and movement arts for over 30 years, and a student of yoga since 1996. In 2007, he created Zenyasa Yoga as a way to synthesize interests in Zen Buddhism, vinyasa yoga, and exercise science.

Q: Why do yoga teachers need to learn so much anatomy? How does it help their teaching?
A strong understanding of musculo-skeletal anatomy, injury awareness and kinesiology can help yoga teachers in a million different ways. We routinely ask students to take their joints to the edge of their range of motion, and sometimes toward more extreme ranges of motion. Many yoga postures can put tremendous stress on the shoulders, wrists, knees and intervertebral disc joints. So first and foremost, a strong foundation in anatomy can give teachers the knowledge required to help keep their students safe and prevent injury. But also, teachers with a strong understanding of anatomy can also “see” their students more clearly, as if with x-ray eyes, and more quickly identify the causes of misalignment within any given posture -- which muscles might be tight or weak, or just not working, or if there are skeletal issues causing the misalignment. And they can then give more meaningful verbal cues and hands-on assists, as well as potentially recommend specific postures or exercises to the student that could enable them to more effectively evolve in the posture. Understanding anatomy can also help teachers become more skillful and creative in their sequencing, especially when sequencing toward a peak posture. Or work therapeutially with clients who have specific concerns. I could go on and on.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice (about anatomy) to novice yoga teachers, what would it be?
I would tell them not to be intimidated by the study of anatomy. I think a lot of teachers get intimidated by it, perhaps because it seems like such a big subject, or because it seems too left-brained, or because in their own teacher training it came at them so fast that they just got overwhelmed. But they should give it a chance. If they take a course in anatomy that starts with the basics, gives a little bit of information each week, and builds slowly, they'll be fine. Everyone can learn anatomy, and many even come to enjoy learning it. Afterall, when you study anatomy you'll also learn a lot about your own body in the process… it's strengths and limitations, how to progress skillfully in your asana practice, and how to keep yourself healthy and safe.

Q: Based on your experience, what's the most vulnerable part of the body, during a yoga practice?
It’s super hard to pin this down to just one area, because it depends in large part on the person and what kind of practice they’re doing. The top contenders would be the wrists, shoulders, knees, lumbar spine and cervical spine. For vinyasa practitioners, the injuries that I see the most involve the wrists and shoulders.

Q: How many injuries do you think could be prevented with proper anatomy training?
I think that a lot of injuries can be prevented with mindfulness and proper anatomy training. However, it’s always possible that a student could work too aggressively within a posture, despite your advice not to. Or work unskillfully in a posture, despite your anatomically precise alignment instructions. And there is always the risk that someone could fall out of a headstand, or slip on a sweaty yoga mat. But an education in anatomy and injury prevention can go a long way toward reducing the liklihood of injury.

Q: Where can students and teachers find good anatomy training if they don't live in NYC?
Well, firstly I want to say that you don’t have to live in NYC to take the ASFYT course that I offer. The first two parts of the course can be completed via homestudy, and then if you’re able to you could fly to NYC to attend Part III during the one-week intensive that happens in June. Or if you can’t come for part III, you could just do Part I & II. I’ve had students from Sweden, Mexico, Parrot Cay, and all around the country complete the first two parts of the course, and many have come for Part III. You can learn more about the homestudy course on the website, as well as read testimonials from previous homestudy students.

Another alternative would be to see if there are other yoga or Pilates studios offering an anatomy training nearby. You could also check out your local community college, or do what I did and enroll in a massage school (which usually has a pretty strong anatomy component). There are also some great anatomy articles on Yoga Journal. My favorites are by Roger Cole, Judith Lasiter and Julie Gudemestad.


For more infö please visit:

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September 2011 Desktop Calendar

In an effort to spread a little wisdom from Sadhguru, my favorite mystic, here's an inspirational calendar. If you would like to make this graphic your computer desktop just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yoga Journal Magazine Subscription Deal

How would you like a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.39? What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal is valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. But here's the catch . . . this deal is only valid today, August 31st. Don't miss it. Just click on the link below.

Click here for the Yoga Journal Magazine Deal of the Day

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upcoming Inner Engineering Events

"With proper practice of yoga, you are creating the right kind of chemistry where you are naturally peaceful, naturally joyous, naturally loving." ~Sadhguru

If you don't know what Inner Engineering is all about, I strongly encourage you to click through for more information.

Friday, July 29, 2011

August 2011 Desktop Calendar

Thanks to YogaBliss photo for this wonderful picture. If you would like to make this beautiful graphic calendar your computer desktop just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Second Annual Yoga Challenge

This summer, Citizen Effect is launching its 2nd Annual Yoga Challenge and uniting the DC yoga community to benefit Becky’s Fund, a Washington, DC-based non-profit that focuses on domestic and dating violence education and awareness.

From yoga newbies to experienced yogis, everyone is encouraged to do #Yoga4Good. Participants will receive discounts from local yoga studios while joining together to raise $20,000 for Becky’s Fund. Those interested in doing #Yoga4Good can go to to sign up. The official Challenge and studio benefits will start on August 1st and last through the end of the month, with top fundraisers receiving prizes at the end of the challenge. There will also be four (4) Yoga in the Park events, starting July 20th and occurring every other Wednesday through August.

Currently underway is Citizen Effect’s “Show Us Your #Yoga4Good Pose” photo contest on Facebook. To participate, yoga lovers can take a picture of themselves doing a yoga pose while displaying the Yoga Challenge hashtag, #Yoga4Good, then post it to Citizen Effect’s “Show Us Your #Yoga4Good Pose” Facebook page. The person with the most “likes” on their photo will receive a 3-month supply of Vita Coco Coconut Water.

Yoga’s focus on healthy, happy living makes it the perfect fundraiser for the Becky’s Fund youth initiatives: “Becoming Your Own Heroine: Lessons in Self-Empowerment and Dating Violence” and the “Young Men’s Mentorship Program,” which educate DC/Metro area youth about dating and domestic violence.

Challenge yourself to do #Yoga4Good today at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yoga and Meditation - The Perfect Combination

In a recent Huffington Post article, Deepak Chopra writes about the benefits of yoga. According to Chopra, yoga has not only been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the risk of heart disease, but the meditation component of any yoga practice can also help to reduce instances of anxiety and depression.

From the article:
Calming the mind Since yoga involves the mind as well as the body, it’s not surprising that it may help reduce anxiety and depression, especially in people whose anxiety is related to an illness like cancer. More research is needed to learn exactly how yoga affects mood, but a 2007 study may provide a clue: It found that in experienced yoga practitioners, a 60-minute yoga session increased levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Low levels of GABA have been linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Another pilot study suggests that yoga may influence depression by increasing the alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are associated with relaxation. Yet another possibility is that yoga reduces the amount of cortisol, a hormone that the body releases in response to stress. Some scientists think chronic high levels of cortisol may be tied to depression, as well as impaired immune function.

If the potential health benefits of yoga aren’t enough to make you want to try it, consider this: Yoga can also make you look more toned and fit and help you move with greater ease, especially as you grow older. A 2007 study of the Hatha yoga style showed that it increased muscular strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s no wonder that many athletes use yoga to cross-train.

And if you want to try your hand at a simple meditation that you can do right at home, please follow this link.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yoga Woman

Never underestimate the power of inner peace! Check out this amazing movie trailer about how yoga is changing the lives of women all over the world.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Power of Aum

Lately I have really been struggling with my morning meditation. I have a neck injury that has me in such severe pain that I simply can not sit with my hands in my lap. I normally sit for 20 minutes, the first 5 require my right hand near my forehead, with my left hand in my lap. The pain is isolated to the left part of my neck and my left shoulder. Within 2 seconds of my meditation the pain is so bad I simply can not concentrate, I have to move and fidget, and I sometimes end up in tears. But yet I still sit there. Come Hell or high water I will sit for 20 minutes every morning.

It was a couple of days ago that I realized something amazing. After my 5 minutes of torture from having my left arm in my lap, I move my arms slightly so that my palms are up and resting on my knees (as I sit in cross-legged position). Now this position is still terribly uncomfortable for me, but (and here's the interesting part) when I start to chant my Aums I can actually feel the pain reducing. With every single Aum I feel the muscles relaxing, which must relieve some pressure on the nerve causing all the pain. This just proved the power of the Aum. Now the trick to chanting these Aums is actually feeling the vibration. As Sadhguru taught, you must first feel the vibration in your belly. This is when you are making the Aaaaaaa sound (like when the doctor tells you to stick out your tongue). Then as you begin to close your mouth the sound naturally turns from Aaaaaaa to Uuuuuuuuuu and when you do this right you can literally feel the vibration move from your belly to your chest. This is the point of the chant that I can literally feel this vibration in my shoulder. When you finally close your month the sound starts to make the Mmmmmmmmmm sound and now you can feel the vibration right to the tip of your nose.

I chant these Aums for at minimum of 5 minutes and during those 5 minutes I am pain free. It is the most amazing thing. Unfortunately, I don't move a muscle as I transition into the next segment of meditation. My seating position is the exact same, only when the chanting stops the pain returns. I will continue to work on my muscle therapy and treatment to fix my neck and shoulder, but the lesson I learned about the power of Aums will stay with me forever. For more information on learning this powerful meditation, please visit

Friday, July 15, 2011

Amazing New Yoga Mat

I was recently contacted by Vernice Vita to review a brand new yoga mat. My first thought was, "How much could I say about a yoga mat?" Upon further investigation I discovered two more interesting facts about this new mat: first it is made of memory foam, and second it cost over $100. These two things left me a bit leery. I never really was a big fan of memory foam. I feared that the mat would be too squishy, making it difficult to move my feet positions. My other concern was the price. I wondered who would spend so much on a mat. I was doubtful that I would.

But I had an open mind and I agreed to take a mat on loan. I have to admit I was growing more and more curious to experience what my routine would feel like on this strange new environment. When I unrolled the mat I could see that it was going to take a little while for it to lay flat all by itself. It also had a funny "new" smell so I rolled it out on my porch and let it both settle down and air out. I normally do my yoga routine in a spare bedroom that happens to be carpeted. I wanted to give this new mat a fair shot and figured that I shouldn't lay a memory foam mat on top of carpet and padding, so trying it out on the wood decking of my porch was the perfect plan . . . in so many ways . . .

In one word, the mat was AMAZING. I just couldn't get over the complete transformation in my routine. In the craze of an overly booked and rushed day, I had planned to only "try it out" with a 10 minute routine. 40 minutes later I was still going strong. I found that I lingered in every pose far longer than I normally do. I found the mat so comfortable and I swear it improved my balance. I felt like I was grounded to the mat in ways that I never experienced and everything just felt so right. I felt strong. I felt like my form was better than it ever has been. All of my previous yoga experiences were on my squishy carpeted bedroom floor or at studios on wood floors with very skinny mats. This was just unreal.

My fear of having my feet stuck was unfounded. I moved in and out of the positions no differently than on any other mat. But when it came to one arm side balances that normally hurt my wrists, I was more comfortable. When it came to balance poses I felt like a rock. And when it came to Savasana . . . on my God, I never wanted to get up!

Later in the evening I packaged up some new yoga pants that my husband recently bought me for my birthday in preparation for exchanging them. It was then that I realized those pants cost $95. Then I flipped through a sport magazine where I researched some new running shoes, which, of course, cost over $100. Suddenly it seemed much more justifiable to spend the money on an amazing yoga mat. After all, it is your one tool of the trade that can make or break or practice. Needless to say, the loaner is NOT going back.

And the most interesting part of this experiment (for me) was the fact that I found my absolute favorite new place to practice yoga (in addition to my new favorite mat). Practicing outside in my screened in, always shaded, porch was outstanding. I could feel the breeze and hear the little waterfall that feeds into my gold fish pond. I am now planning to decorate this new-found space with all things yoga!

For more information on the new yoga mat, please visit They have an online store where you can buy your own amazing new mat.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Isha Kriya Meditation

Isha Kriya is a modified form of the meditation that I learned through Inner Engineering back in May, and for the first time it's available to everybody online. Here's is what Sadhguru has to say about it:

“For different levels of thought and emotion that you go through, your breath takes on different types of patterns. If you are angry you breathe one way, you are peaceful you breathe another way. You are happy, you breathe in another way. You are sad, you will breathe in a completely different way. Have you noticed this? Based on this conversely is the science of Isha Yoga: there are conscious patterns of breath which can leave you in a constant state of bliss and healthfulness.”

To learn more about it, please watch this video.

And if that peaked your interest, please visit this web page which will offer you a chance to try the Isha Kriya on your own.

Friday, July 01, 2011

July Desktop Calendar

Ahhh, finally the sweetness of Summer has arrived. If you would like to make this whimsical graphic calendar your computer desktop just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Speak No Evil, Tweet No Evil

I recently read an interesting story about Michael Stusser, who is a humor columnist from Seattle. He makes his living ranting about just about everything. When he realized that his sarcastic columnist personality was creeping into his personal life and turning him ugly he decided to do something about it. At first he simply tried to 'speak no evil.' He attempted to remove all trash talk, mud-slinging, rude riffing, and taunting Tweets from his everyday life for one month. This approach of simply "being more positive" just wasn't going to cut it for him. He was too far gone and needed some professional help. Enter his yoga instructor . . .

To read Michael's fascinating story of self transformation, please click here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One Minute Meditation

I can't believe it's taken me this long into my life to discover the benefits of meditation. I feel as though I'm on a crusade now to spread the word about the amazing benefits of it. Being a yogi that has tried meditation in the past, I know all the common hurdles that many people face. Sitting in crossed-legged position can be uncomfortable or even painful, finding the time to set aside is always a challenge, and most of all, clearing the mind for more than a nano-second may seem impossible. The best thing I can suggest is to start small. Try sitting on a chair rather than on the floor, with your feet flat on the ground, your spine erect, and your hands placed comfortably on your thighs (either palms up or down). At the very beginning start off with a goal of sitting for just one minute. Maybe this video will help:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clarity and Energy From Meditation

It has been just about one month since I began my Isha yoga routine every day. This is a 20 minute meditation practice called Shambavi Mahamudra and I learned it at an Inner Engineering retreat in Atlanta in May. My experience at the live event wasn't particularly good. It involved an awful lot of hours of sitting on the floor and, although I was prepared with a meditation cushion, I was still not ready for that many agonizing hours of fidgeting on the floor. My entire body hurt and getting through the meditation practice was nearly impossible for me. Not only was I in all sorts of various pain, but there was so much distraction. Many of the meditation veterans seemed to be having out of body experiences and although that is great for them, it was very hard for the rookies to try to keep their minds focused. It was just a lot to take in and experience in a short amount of time. I have to say, my outlook wasn't all that positive and I might have even felt a little hopeless. I even had fearful thoughts that I simple wouldn't be able to find an extra 20 minutes during the day to devote to this. But I was committed to at least trying.

One of the biggest hurdles to doing this meditation was the fact that it must be done on an empty stomach. For me this was a problem because I am constantly snacking on something. I may not eat large quantities of food, but I do eat often. This meant that my only real time to devote to this meditation practice was first thing in the morning, which also posed a problem because of my early work day schedule. As it is, I could barely drag myself out of the house by 6:30 am. My heart was sinking, but I was committed to at least giving this a try. I had already invested a good chunk of time and money into this Inner Engineering and I just HAD to give it a go.

And so I did. Sadhguru said that the first 30 days would be the hardest and those would take the biggest commitment. I figured all 30 days would be torture, but I was pleasantly surprised. The first week was rough. Getting up at 5:30 was a struggle and my knees and hips were screaming after just 10 of the 20 minutes. But I persisted.

It was some time during my second week that my hips started to loosen up. I found that I could sit for the whole 20 minutes without focusing so much attention on the discomfort. Pretty soon I didn't feel a thing and could sit there effortlessly. The bad part is that once I cleared my mind of the pain, it left room for various other thoughts to pop up. But I didn't give up.

By the third week I noticed longer stretches of a thoughtless mind. Not only that, but I noticed it was getting easier and easier to get out of bed in the morning. I would awake before my alarm consistently and almost anxiously await the time to run into my new 'meditation room.' What started as a chore was quickly turning into something that I looked forward to. I was stunned.

Here I am 4 weeks into my new routine and I am consistently waking up hours before my alarm. I wake up every single morning wide awake and ready to spring out of bed. It seems that my body only requires 5 hours of sleep these days. Prior to starting this meditation I was almost always tired. I blamed it on everything from the lack of sunshine, to allergy problems, to post Lyme disease issues. There was always some reason for me to be exhausted. But today I am full of energy almost always. I can't remember the last time I complained that I was tired. I'm pretty sure I can throw away my alarm clock. And the best and most exciting development is the clearing of my mind. It used to be that I couldn't go 20 seconds without 100 thoughts flooding into my mind. Now I can sit for 20 whole minutes and think about nothing. If I had the chance to place a bet on whether or not I would EVER be able to achieve that through meditation I would have certainly bet against myself. I still can't believe this has happened to me. It's a miracle. I have never felt better! Meditation works. If you are a doubter, you have to do yourself a favor and just give it a try.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Did you know your nostrils play a key role in balancing your brain? According to yogic science (and recent medical studies), your nostrils switch dominance every 2 ½ hours so that your brain and body stay balanced during a 24-hour cycle. At any time, one nostril is dominant. The energy channels (nadis) in your right nostril stimulate your sympathetic nervous system, while the nadis in your left nostril stimulate the para-sympathetic nervous system.

Creating balance in your sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems can help you avoid high blood pressure and anxiety, as well as depression and hypothyroidism (not to mention brain fog!). The wisdom of the body keeps your nostrils switching and you can do yoga to reset your breathing. Do 3 minutes of alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana) to feel blissfully balanced in your body and brain. By breathing through your left nostril (to calm yourself) or your right nostril (to energize) you will experience the power of your nose!

I do 4 minutes of this alternate nostril breathing every day. It's the start of my 20 minute meditation and it's wonderful. Without this start to my meditation I could never clear my mind, but this really helps. When I first started this I found it to be challenging to slow down my breath. I felt like I just couldn't get enough air through one nostril, but it only took one week of practice before my breathe naturally settled down so that I can effortlessly breath nice and slow, while feeling completely satisfied by the amount of air entering and exiting my body. Give it a try today!

Recommended Read: The Little Book of Yoga Breathing: Pranayama Made Easy. . . by Scott Shaw

Monday, June 06, 2011

Great Deal on Oxygen Magazine

Would you like a one year subscription to Oxygen Magazine for just $5.39? What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal is valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. But here's the catch . . . this deal is only valid today, June 6th. Don't miss it. Just click on the link below.

Click here for the Oxygen Magazine Deal of the Day

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Desktop Calendar

I'm not quite sure where May went, but welcome June. If you would like to make this colorful graphic calendar your computer desktop just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Path to Enlightenment Through Inner Engineering

A couple of months ago we gave away a free copy of a book called Midnights With a Mystic by Cheryl Simone. Up until the book promotion company contacted me, I never heard of the book, but I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to offer a give-away, and I was thrilled to be given a free book myself. Who doesn't like free? What I didn't realize was how much that book would change my life.

My free book arrived in my mailbox the day before leaving for vacation. The timing could not have been any better as I normally don't make much time for casual reading. Within a couple of hours of cracking the book open at the airport my hair was sticking up on my arms. I just felt this erie feeling that I was MEANT to have this book in my hand. I completely related to everything the author said, and felt like I shared her every feeling and thought. The real kicker came when she explained how early in her life she unexpectedly received a book in the mail. She never did find out who sent the book, but she read it. The book was "Autobiography of a Yogi," a very deep and hard-to-read book that had an influence on the rest of her life. I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that the book that I was holding in my hands was also sent to me (by a stranger) as if it was destined to find me.

So I read and read and by the time I got to my destination I already felt like a changed person, like several light bulbs of awareness went off in my head. I had to share my new-found enlightenment with my husband, who was surprisingly open to hearing all about it.

The reason why I related to the author of that book so much was because she described most of her life as 'perfect.' She was happily married, had a successful business, lived in a beautiful home, had plenty of money, etc. There were literally no real problems in her life, but yet she was constantly searching for more, more, more. She never truly felt happy and just had this aching feeling that there had to be more in life. Boy did that touch a nerve with me. Sometimes I stop and think, "Can my life get any better? What the hell is wrong with me that I'm not 250% grateful every single day for the life I have? What is it that I'm looking for?" I have everything I could possibly want, but it seems like I'm always looking for more. Well, what I was looking for was Sadhguru and I finally found him!

The book led me to a quest to research Isha Yoga and the Mystic himself, Sadhguru. I surfed around online and found something called Inner Engineering. If I thought the book opened my eyes . . . it only scratched the surface. There was a whole new world out there to explore and to my delight, I could do most of it right at home. It all started with this 30 minute video (Caution: the link will take you away from this blog. Please finish reading then come back and click on the links.) Every single thing this man said made so much sense. I had a feeling that I may have found the answer to all my life's problems. This man could teach me how to find my inner peace. How to finally enjoy my life. How to let go of all the external influences that have such a effect on my every emotion. Wow, just the thought of it was overwhelming.

My next step was to sign up for the Inner Engineering program which is an online course consisting of 7 one and half hour lectures by Sadhguru. After every single class I could feel the changes happening. I felt calmer, more patient, kinder . . . the list goes on. It was impossible to not think about Sadhguru and his teachings in every aspect of life. It was just a completely refreshing feeling. At the end of this online course you are invited to go to the SHAMBHAVI Maha Mudra Induction Program which is a live event to learn a very sacred meditation ritual that is completely life changing. This advanced meditation program promises amazing health benefits and all of them are just icing on the cake. The real treasure is the ability to be joyful no matter what is going on around you. If there is one lesson to be learned in this lifetime it's that you can never control your environment. If your happiness is based on external things you will never be happy. Happiness is an inside job and should not be contingent upon a single thing going on outside of your self.

I couldn't possibly endorse anything as passionately as I can endorse getting yourself a copy of the book and taking the online Inner Engineering program. It's the best companion to your yoga practice and may just make a profound difference in your life

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Win a Free Workshop at Kripalu

How would you like to win a free workshop and yoga retreat at Kripalu with Dr. Sinatra? The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health is a world-famous nonprofit, mission-driven, and donor-supported educational organization that for 30 years, has been offering experiential learning for body, mind, and spirit. Dr. Sinatra is a leading board certified cardiologist, nutritionist, educator, and author who has practiced integrative medicine for over 30 years. He can be found at, and

All you have to do to enter is "Like" on Dr. Sinatra's Facebook Page. There is no cost, and you may "unfriend" Dr. Sinatra at any time. The contest runs through June 15, 2011. The workshop is at Kripalu July 29-31, 2011. The grand prize winner receives airfare, tuition, and private accommodations. What a deal. Head over to Facebook now and keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New YogaDudes Racerback Tank Tops Now Available

After taking a poll and discovering that most woman prefer the racer-back style tank tops, we switched our YogaDudes tanks over. These ribbed 100% cotton tanks are stretchy and super comfy and are now available in our shop. And we are even offering free shipping this month. Just enter the promo code MINTY at checkout. Free shipping offer good until the end of May.

View the new tanks here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Using Yoga to Alleviate Symptoms of Terminal Illness

Yoga has recently become one of the more popular ways to exercise, and that popularity has been increasing exponentially throughout the last ten years. The ability of yoga to mix both physical workouts and meditation has made it a more popular option than traditional exercise at a gym. The practice of yoga techniques on a daily basis generally leads to a better sense of wellness, and more recently has even shown to be a viable option in the treatment of individuals suffering from terminal illnesses.

While there is a wealth of information available on the use of yoga being beneficial for breast cancer patients, many other patients are applying yoga practice and benefitting as well. Patients find yoga appealing due to the bind of mind and body, as well as the diversity of the exercise in its application to a wide variety of schedules. Patients can choose to exercise in small ten minute session both morning and night, and if they are looking to participate in longer exercises, they also are able to engage in an hour long session once a week.

Where yoga is seen to have the largest value is in its mental advantages. For patients with terminal illnesses, yoga is able to increase the bond between the body and spirit with the mind. This can give those suffering a feeling of more self control and often set them back onto the path of feeling as though they are hopeful for recovery. These positive emotions are vital to the success of treatment and can give patients a lot of clarity in some of the most difficult times they will face. A good example would be sufferers of mesothelioma, a rare cancer cause by asbestos exposure. The symptoms of mesothelioma are unbelievably taxing, and yoga can help to relieve some of the stress at times.

Many recent studies have shown yoga as a viable alternative to medication relief. The relaxation techniques used in yoga can help relieve many of these symptoms that terminal illness patients will face.

Today's blog post comes to us courtesy of a guest blogger Krista Peterson. Krista is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer. As a health and safety advocate, she shares a strong passion for the wellness of others in her community. Krista has been practicing yoga for 3 years and loves to encourage others to do so as well. Through her writings, she helps to spread awareness of such issues as cancer and chronic illness. Thanks for the article Krista.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Ayurveda Cleanse Complete - A Major Bust

I am thrilled to say, my four days of misery are over. And I'm not thrilled to say it was a major bust!

These past four days have been terrible for me. I really struggled with every single aspect of the cleanse. I found it all a chore and I felt pretty miserable for at least 3 of the 4 days. I had a constant headache, was much more light-headed than usual, and every time I ate I got terrible stomach cramps. Add to that, the fact that the supplement pills made me completely constipated. Seems very counter productive for something called a 'cleanse.'

I got through the last day doing just about everything I was supposed to (minus the bath and oil) and the only thing I ate that I wasn't supposed to was a raw piece of fruit. My appetite had been dwindling for two days due to the stomach cramps so the fasting wasn't that big of a deal. It was the cravings for sweets that were killing me. I positively could not wait for this ordeal to end and, believe it or not, I was looking forward to downing that prune juice.

I waited until 9 PM to drink the ever-so disgusting prune juice and then I went to bed, anxious for it to kick in. My stomach was doing major flip flops all night. I couldn't wait to wake up and have it all be over with. I was dreaming about chocolate,, and ice cream, and any other darn thing that I might want to munch on.

Well, I woke up and the very first thing I did was drink some warm water. I figured that would help get things started, but no, it didn't. My stomach was bloated and hard and big. How is this possible after starving myself for 4 days? I went to the bathroom and positively NOTHING happened . . . nada, zilch, zipppo. I am quite curious to know if I'm the only person on Earth that went through a 4 day cleanse only to be completely constipated and have absolutely no effect. What an enormous waste of my effort and my money. I paid nearly $90 to be uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and worse yet, have my digestion track completely flipped out of whack. I would say by this point I have moved from disappointment to anger. Never again!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Day Three of my Ayurveda Cleanse

Just as I suspected, I'm getting worse with my discipline. I have completely bagged the water boiling chore. I found it way too much of a hassle and quite frankly, I think it made the water taste funny. I noticed that I may have drank less water yesterday than I normally would have during the course of any given day. That's not good so I must make it easier and less unpleasant to drink water. I keep hearing my practitioner's voice in my head telling me to, "do what you can." I'm also not exactly executing the drinking of the ghee to spec. According to the directions I'm supposed to drink 2 teaspoons the first morning and then increase the dosage by 2 more teaspoons every day until the last day you're sucking down 8 teaspoons of melted butter. Uh uh, no way, not me. If I can gag down 2 teaspoons a day, that is a huge bonus and good enough for me. I find that ghee is like taking fish oil in the morning. I burp butter for an hour afterward and for somebody who can't stand the taste of butter, it's about as bad as burping fish. YUCK. And the worst part is that it completely kills my appetite for breakfast. I really can't wait for this to be over!

This morning I added a little sugar to my oatmeal again and I also broke down and ate a banana. Uncooked, because I have no idea how to cook a banana. I ate my Kitchari for both lunch and dinner and by now just the smell of it makes me lose my appetite. I also noticed that my stomach cramped after both lunch and dinner. This must be the special Digestion pills that I take before every meal. I wasn't really hungry at dinner time, but I almost always have a headache and I'm light-headed (more than usual) so I figured I HAD to eat. I forced a little more rice down and then had some veggie soup. Major cramping after that and it made me want to quit right then and there. I'm mentally losing it and I think I regret this whole thing. It doesn't help that my husband is constantly saying, "Tell me again why you're doing this?" I don't know that I really have the answer to that question. I guess I'm doing it in the name of good health - despite the fact that I feel like crap.

No Epsom salt bath tonight and a very quick oiling job. I have to say, there is nothing about the night time ritual that I enjoy and I especially don't like going to bed smelling like Asian food left-overs. One more day . . .

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Ayurveda Cleanse - Two Days Down

I can see where this is going. I completed my first day flawlessly. I did everything (well, almost everything - I did miss a dose of Blood Cleanse pills by accident) exactly according to the directions. I boiled all my water to specs, I didn't eat a singe snack, and I only ate oatmeal and rice. I even completed my entire nighttime ritual to spec. But then Day 2 came and by 8 am I decided that I was going to cheat a little. I just couldn't bare the thought of eating plain, unsweetened oatmeal again and I decided that a couple little teaspoons or raw sugar wasn't going to be terribly harmful. After all, my directions specifically said, "no white sugar or honey." Technically I didn't really break the rules, right? I think I deemed sugar one of my basic human needs, like water and air. I just need it.

The rest of the day went pretty good. I didn't snack and barely had any appetite all day anyway. That certainly made things easier for me. Only half of the water that I drank was boiled this day, as that chore is getting old really fast. I ate the rice that tastes like dirt for lunch, but couldn't bare it at dinner time. Instead I opted for a plain salad with fat-free dressing and an organic yam. Now I'm not supposed to use the microwave at all during these 4 days, but that's not gonna happen either. I can only go so far with this routine, but I'm doing the best I can.

I took my bath, but it was much shorter than the previous day and did my oiling. No meditation tonight and unfortunately, no sleep for most of the night either. Let's hope I do better on Day 3.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My 4 Day Ayurveda Cleanse

I'm just about through Day 1 of my first-ever Ayurveda cleanse . . . and so far, it's been torture. I have to say, I'm not cut out for this sort of thing. I'm a hungry Vatta that snacks constantly. When I get hungry I mean business and need to eat immediately. I always carry candy in my purse (for emergencies). You would think I'm a diabetic with my urgent need for food - mostly candy. So why did I agree to four days of torture? That's a good question to which I'm not sure I have an answer.

Part of my 6 week Ayurveda class included taking part in this 4 day cleanse. I guess I got all wrapped up in the spirit of the class. Besides, I would have been the only one not doing it. Maybe it was like peer pressure. I didn't want to look like the only loser chickening out due to my fright of butter and prune juice. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself a little . . .

So the day began with me (trying) to get up early so that I can boil the Hell out of water. Did you know that water changes its molecular structure if it gets boiled to death? Yeah well, this was news to me. It isn't bad enough that I had to drink hot plain water all day, but first I had to boil it for 30 minutes. Not terribly convenient and you should have seen the rushed production of trying to figure out how to move said boiling water from pot to stainless steel water bottles (no plastic of course). Nightmare and 4 burnt fingers later I'm ready for the part of the cleanse that scared me more than the "laxative effect." I had to drink something that disgusts me so much I almost gag at the thought of it. And I learned another new thing. I learned about a product called ghee. I wish I could describe exactly what it is, but I couldn't even listen to the description in class. Click on the link if you're curious. Basically it's butter. I despise butter and I had to DRINK 2 teaspoons of melted butter. I scrubbed my lips, fingers, teaspoon, and cup for 10 minutes desperately trying to get the ick off. Being late for work this morning was a given.

I had to take some sort of digestion pill 30 minutes before breakfast. I have to say I easily put breakfast off due to my complete lack of appetite after that ghee. Maybe this fasting thing won't be so bad. Then came breakfast. I had oatmeal (which I love. Wait a minute - USED to love). Never in my life have I experienced plain oatmeal with no sugar or honey. Holy smokes, it's terrible plain. I couldn't even choke it down and half of it ended up down the drain. Now how will I get to lunch????

Not sure how I managed it, but I sipped my plain hot water until noon. That's when I had to make my special Indian rice called Kitchari. Aside from having to actually find a pan and turn on the stove at work to cook the stuff, I was looking forward to it. Too bad it tasted like dirt. But I was hungry enough to eat it anyway. Lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of the day, but I definitely didn't have enough. I should have planned better and brought some veggies or salad to add to it. Tomorrow for sure.

A couple more special and awful pills before and after the meal. For God's sakes can't they coat these things? Choking them down (with the hot water) is simply dreadful. I made it all through the afternoon, staring down my box of Thin Mints and staying away from my secret cabinet full of Dove chocolates. Very proud of myself indeed.

Dinner time came and I was starving. I had the second half of the Kitchari that I made for lunch. This time I sprinkled some fat-free Balsamic dressing on it and strangely it still tasted like dirt. I treated myself to a yam after the dirt. Hopefully that will hold me over till bed time.

Before bed I have to go through a special nighttime routine. First I have to dry brush myself - just brush my skin with a special brush. Next, I have to take a bath in Epsom salt. You should have seen me in the grocery store looking for that stuff. Now I'm trying to figure out how much a 'quart' is. Thank God for google. I can't believe how challenging this has been so far and I'm not even done with the first day. Anyway, after the bath (and then shower because how am I going to wash my hair in the bathtub?) I have to oil myself from head to toe . . . with oil that will turn me, my towel, my pajamas, and my sheets orange. Great! Next its meditation and breathing exercises and finally sleep. But wait, I can't go straight to sleep. I think tonight I deserve to watch Glee, just to get the thought of ghee out of my head.

Stay tuned to see if I survive this very long 4 day ordeal.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Great Deal on Yoga Journal Magazine

Here's another chance to grab yourself a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.39. What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal is valid for brand new subscriptions, as well as renewals. All you need to do is click on the link below to be taken to the place where you can purchase the subscription. But here's the catch . . . this deal is only valid today, May 2nd. Don't miss it. Just click on the link below.

Click here for the Yoga Journal Magazine Deal of the Day.

Practice Happiness

Stretch into Spring and learn to love your yoga . . .

Friday, April 29, 2011

May Desktop Calendar

Spring has finally sprung. Here's a pretty and inspiring desktop calendar to adorn your computer. To make it your wallpaper just click on the image above to bring up a bigger graphic in a new window. Once the bigger graphic appears, just right-click on it and "save as desktop."