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."


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-week Happiness

Sorry for the lapse in Happiness. I have a million reasons, but we won't get into that. This week's lesson is to "Choose a positive thought, renew, relax, and reflect."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yoga for Stress DVD Review

Yoga for Stress with Dr. Baxter Bell had my name written all over it. I sometimes feel like such a hypocrite, teaching people how to do yoga while severely struggling with stress myself. Sometimes the irony of me leading a relaxation meditation is so great that it's hard for me to keep a straight face during my class. My stress is sometimes so severe that I get a pinched nerve in my back and I'm almost always dealing with shoulder pain. Luckily I'm not in such a severe state at the moment, and because of that I can't totally say whether or not this DVD had any direct impact on my stress level. But I can say this, it is a wonderful video to practice routinely. Unlike any other yoga video that I practice with, this one really sets a different tone. It is not all about the 'burn' the 'work out.' This one is about the 'stretch' and it, of course, is targeting the muscles where stress builds up the most. I found it funny how many of the poses were what I consider my favorites (i.e., Eagle.) I guess without even knowing it, I favor the poses that stretch my constantly sore shoulder.

Not only does this DVD include two great yoga routines: one for stress relief and one for stress prevention, but it also includes a guided breathing exercise and two guided meditations. The first routine I tried was the stress relief one. It was a very new experience for me and unfortunately I didn't have all the proper bolsters and cushions. I didn't successfully get through the entire routine - mostly because I was so relaxed I couldn't move out of certain poses. Literally, I just didn't want to move. It felt do good that I just laid there as the video continued. I would say if it made me feel that good, it was a success - whether I completed the routine or not.

The stress prevention routine was more like a traditional practice with moving asanas and things that I was more familiar with. It was still much slower than anything I've ever done before and left me with a feeling of peace and relaxation. I really enjoyed it.

And I gotta say, having the guided meditations as selectable choices right from the menu is brilliant. Many times in the past I tried recording the audio for the last part of my yoga DVDs just so that I can have the ending relaxation part. What a pain that has been, but now I don't need to fool around with that task. This video makes it a snap to just pop it into my player and do nothing but the relaxation. Kudos Yoga Journal for addressing this need. I love it.

You can grab this DVD right now on sale for just $9.99 at the Yoga Journal Shop. Such a small investment for something that can be so beneficial.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yoga Journal Magazine Deal

For one day only, (Saturday, April 16th) you can grab yourself a one year subscription to Yoga Journal Magazine for just $4.39. What a bargain for this great magazine! This deal if 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. Don't forget, this is only good for one day. Don't miss it.

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

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ayurveda Training Part 3

My class just keeps getting better and better. The only problem is that the more I learn about this fascinating science, the more convinced I am that I'm a mess, in serious need of help. It's amazing how something that started off so incredibly confusing and difficult to understand has turned into something that seems so simple and so completely logical. It really is a whole different way to view medicine and health. It sometimes amazes me how Western medicine has changed the game and gone away from the goal of keeping us healthy to focusing solely on fixing us once we are sick. Imagine if all the effort and insurance money was spent on preventing illness rather than treating disease. What a concept that would be!

And speaking of disease, this week we learned about how disease is caused in the body. You might be surprised to learn that 80% of all diseases start in the digestive system. Or maybe that doesn't surprise you, since you are probably a yogi. Digestion is everything and, of course, it gets right back to the saying, "You are what you eat." Maintaining a healthy digestive tract is truly the key to sustained health.

Another interesting statistic that I learned was that 80% of illness happens in the constitution that I happen to be - Vatta. That certainly doesn't make me feel good, but the instructor said that Vattas are the most likely to get out of balance, but they are also the easiest to fix. Maybe there's hope for me yet!

I wish I could share with you all the amazing things I learned, but I would be typing for hours. If I could just share one thing with you it would be to pay very close attention to your digestion because it is the clue to your health. Seek out information on how to improve your digestion. In Ayurveda it can be as simple as eating the correct foods for your constitution. You can find lists of these foods in any Ayurveda book. Or better yet, schedule an appointment with a practitioner. And that leads me to the interesting question of whether or not most health insurances would cover any such visit. I will have to investigate that and report back. My gut says it won't, which will irritate me beyond words and is the exemplification of what is wrong with our health care system . . . but this isn't meant to be a political blog. Maybe I will be surprised to learn that these services are indeed covered. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

More to come soon.

Save 30% on Classes at Yoga Download

I just discovered that is offering a 30% discount on all their classes. Until midnight tonight, you can receive 30% off your entire order at Just use the coupon code SpringYoga when checking out. Enjoy!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Neti Pot Enlightenment

I had a very strange neti pot experience yesterday and I really wanted to tell somebody, or at least ask somebody if it was a highly unusual occurrence that I should worry about. It was a bit embarrassing . . . most of the water that I poured through (at least I thought it was just going through) my nose ended up pouring out during my yoga session (thank goodness this session was at home and not in a studio). And I'm not kidding -- the water was literally pouring out of my nose after several downdogs and standing forward bends, as if a faucet got turned on. So how many people can you share this sort of information with? Well a yoga teacher and an Ayurveda practitioner, of course.

Last night I was in my third Ayurveda class and the subject of headaches and neti pots came up. This was the perfect prelude to asking my question. Here I was embarrassed to ask the instructor and I ended up telling the entire class. Nobody seemed too disgusted by my story so that was good. And the yoga teacher told me not to be concerned. I still don't understand what would have happened to all that water had I not done my yoga routine and that bothers me, but so be it.

The good thing that came from this was me buying a new neti pot salt and let me tell you, this stuff is amazing. What a difference compared to the stuff I had been using. Here's what I bought and tried:

It has a hint of whatever is in Vicks nasal inhalers and it gave me an instant feeling of relief, of opening, of clean. Boy, it sure is hard to put it into words. It was just amazing and I love this stuff. I also learned about some oil that includes some sort of calming herb that I'm going to use to rub into my nostrils after the neti pot flushing. Supposedly breathing this in is the quickest way to calm my brain. Sounds too good to be true and I will be counting down the days until it arrives in the mail. I feel like my Ayurveda practitioner is going to become like a drug dealer. I think I'm already addicted to something that I haven't even tried.

Weekly Inspiration - Live Outrageously

And the lesson for this week is . . . Savor chocolate, live outrageously, and get fit.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Free April 2011 Calendar

Since I'm a long way from seeing any beautiful flowers in my backyard I thought it would be nice to adorn the computer with some clear signs of Spring. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before the weather breaks here in New England. To make this your desktop calendar just click on the image above to open it in a new window. Once the larger graphic appears, right-click on it and select "Save as Desktop." Enjoy