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  1. 8 likes
    http://yogabycandace.com/blog/2014/9/4/confessions-of-a-yoga-teacher-im-bad I love this post! And I love your red lipstick Candace! You rock it! I'm really bad, like super super bad. I love meat hate flowery yoga talk (once I was in a class w/ a sub and there were 3 college aged guys in the class. The 60 year old teacher at one point said something like "lift your ankle towards your uterus" I immediately lost focus, looked at the guys and actually snorted out loud at the look on their faces.) I like normal music - chanting makes me nervous. My teacher has some Indian rap songs and I love them, even though in my head I make the words sound English w/ weird made up lyrics. I hate meditation - I do fall asleep and wake up startled when I start to snore. Whenever I go into a place that has a budda statue I want to dress it - put on a fun hat, sunglasses, fake mustache... I totally notice all the cute yoga outfits and have to find out where they were bought When someone falls during class - I laugh as soon as I know they are ok... What makes you a bad Yogi
  2. 8 likes
    I avoided yoga for years (to my own detriment) because I was turned off by what I perceived as the combination of materialism and spirituality-lite that the modern culture of yoga in the west seemed to represent. And I really didn’t like that it seemed to be turning into a status marker, that having the time to devote to yoga and the money to invest in a pricey yoga wardrobe was sort of a class signifier. But I realized that it doesn’t pay to throw out the baby with the bathwater and that yoga has a lot to offer, and what it has to offer is bigger and more powerful than – and will outlast – the contemporary cultural associations that I may not find so tasteful. And anyway, if some people are initially attracted to yoga because of the cute Lululemon leggings, and they find some meaningful benefit from doing yoga, then isn’t that still a good thing? Is it my place to judge anyone’s reason for doing yoga? This is a good question for me, because becoming less judgmental has been one of my major goals as I get older. In a time when ideas can spread across the farthest reaches of the globe, humans looking to tend to their mental and physical well-being can choose from any number of spiritual and religious traditions, psychotherapy, pharmaceuticals, dietary practices, exercise regimens, systems of meditation, and more. In some ways this is overwhelming, and it is bound to lead to a cafeteria approach – picking and choosing what works rather than dedicating oneself fully to a single practice or tradition. I don’t see that as good or bad, it just is. If one person wants to get more into yoga as a full “system” and someone else just wants to do the postures for 90 minutes three times a week, I think that's fine. What is clear is that most of us need something to keep from being tossed about on the waves of modern life filled with constant stressors and intrusions on our mental peace. For many people, that might be sugar, alcohol, drugs, shopping, zoning out in front of the TV, etc. Life is hard, and I myself am not giving up my red wine any time soon. But I believe that yoga helps, and it helps even if “all” you do is the asanas. I’m not in it for spiritual reasons per se, but I know that when you do good for your body, you do good for your mind, and yes my “spirit” benefits from yoga. Even just looking at it as a physical system, I am constantly amazed at how thorough, deep and effective yoga is. I’m not going to renounce such a great practice because I wasn’t born to the culture that came up with it. I count myself lucky to live in a time when I can benefit from the wisdom of people across the ages and across the globe! And as for yoga at the YMCA, etc., I would actually like to see yoga become *more* democratized, and for more men, older people, heavier people, people with unfancy workout clothes, etc., to have access to it and feel that it is for them too. Will it become "watered down" by virtue of becoming more widespread? Is that bad? Interesting questions to think about!
  3. 8 likes
    I have practiced yoga for several years with varying levels of commitment. I have had months when I practiced daily, and months when I neglected my mat, and months where I practiced somewhere in between the two extremes. Between parenting, working, taking care of a household, and all of life's other busy-ness it is too easy to let go of the priority to take care of myself. About eight weeks ago, I vowed to commit to my practice once again, to explore why I so often break the commitment even though I reap amazing benefits, and to work toward a daily practice. I am currently practicing five days a week, both at home and at a local studio. Good luck to you, Wildore! I think that 3x per week is a great goal, but I know for me, I have to get to my mat every day, even if it is for just a quick meditation, a ten-minute video, or a couple rounds of sun salutations. I think it helps me keep it a priority. Here are some things I have found that help me get to my mat regularly: I leave my mat out, unrolled, ready to welcome me at any moment. It is in a room that is also used for other purposes; it is not a perfect nor beautifully decorated yoga sanctuary (although I did create a little altar near the mat to make the space seem a bit more sacred and with purpose). The point is, it can be anywhere--the kitchen, the hallway, wherever. I set my alarm for the same time each weekday, 5:30am, and go immediately to my mat (I do this even if I plan on taking a studio class later in the day.). Some mornings I eagerly go, some mornings the thoughts in my head are like a small child, throwing a tantrum. I go anyway. This is how I discovered Candace. I was looking for gentle morning yoga videos, as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Just something to get me moving on my mat. Somedays 10 minutes only, and I am off to enjoy my favorite cup of coffee. Other mornings, I stay longer, a 30+ minute practice feels good. I think Sun Salutations are a great way to build strength needed for more advanced poses. I keep a yoga journal. I think this has been the number one tool to keep my motivation high. After each yoga practice, I take a few minutes to write the date, time, where I practiced (@home or @studio/teacher), and the duration. Then I jot down something about the practice: how did I feel, what pose did I enjoy the most, what pose did I resist the most, did I feel focused/distracted, did I have any proud moments in this practice? I don't want to have to skip a day, so it has been a good incentive for me. I try to keep yoga current in my mind: I read yoga-related or yoga-inspired writing (e.g. currently reading Pema Chodron), I seek out yoga online via video (Candace!), Pinterest, blogs, this forum, et cetera. I am also working my way through the e-book Forty Days of Yoga (http://www.amazon.com/Forty-Days-Yoga-Kara-Leah-Grant/dp/0473239582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414467712&sr=1-1) which is good read as I work toward my goal of a home practice. I try to do yoga poses throughout the day: tree pose while washing the dishes; plank pose during TV commercial, downward dog while I am talking to the kids about their homework (they have gotten used to talking to me while I am upside down lol). No, it doesn't replace a full practice, but it helps build strength which I am eager to bring to the mat. I write it on my calendar, just like any other appointment or important event. I am enjoying reading what inspires others to show up at the mat regularly!
  4. 7 likes
    Yay! New year, new start. After being sick with the flu for about 2 weeks and skipping yoga classes for almost a month, I lost a lot of strength and have been slowly easing back into yoga by trying restorative classes. Today my studio had a special yin and yang class at 9 am, so I set my alarm to see if I would feel up for it, and I did. I've never tried a yin class before, but we did that shoulder stretch (Candace wrote a blog post about it within the past few months), and my shoulder feels a lot more mobile (which got cramped up from sleeping on my side about 2 nights ago). Oh! And I forgot to report last week, but I tried my first restorative class. This is my funny, embarrassing story. I arrived a little late, so I was flustered in grabbing the appropriate props and then joining everyone in the first pose. The first pose had us do a wide legged child pose with the bolster (see pic below). Except, I didn't study my fellow yogis long enough (and the teacher wasn't demonstrating), so I thought it was just like regular child's pose, and I planted my head face-down directly onto the bolster. Then after a couple minutes, the teacher cued us to breathe more deeply. And I thought, how am I supposed to do that with my face against the fabric? And then, I realized everyone was resting one cheek to the bolster, and I was smashing my nose into the bolster, face-down! Luckily, no one seemed to notice, and I wonder if the teacher just thought I preferred that position and didn't correct me.
  5. 6 likes
    I think of extended child's pose as the "nope" posture.
  6. 6 likes
    i very rarely can do yoga without music...robin thicke pandora station is usually the only way i get through sequences sometimes i fall asleep during savasana when it's suggested i do a pose for 3-7 breaths, i always do 3 sometimes halfway through a sequence, i'll grab a snack just because i lose focus easily i do yoga at home by connecting my laptop to the tv...when we've been in a pose i dislike too long, i find myself yelling at the tv "Come on!"
  7. 6 likes
    Whoo!!!! I made it to my mat 2 out of three days so far this year. Worked on my grasshopper yesterday and was able to hold it for 1 breath longer each time I got into it, by the end of the night I was at 3 long breaths, tonight, we shoot for 6. I'm super excited to get to work on it again once my little yogi goes to bed, it's a fun pose and makes me feel powerful. I made an instagram so I can participate more, I don't know how I'm going to get shots of me in my babygrasshopper yet but where there is a will there is a way. Follow me @the_lavender_yogi & I'll follow you back **My first attempt at getting in a good practice today was interrupted by my giggly little yogi who actually did a few down dogs & cobras with me before deciding I was her personal jungle gym To make up for it I just got done with an hour and 5 minute long practice. I didn't intend for it to be so long but I'm glad I kept going because all the stress from the day is now gone & I may actually be in bed before 10 tonight. My baby grasshopper is improving but I still need to work on my form.
  8. 6 likes
    I have serious trouble with concentration and focus. Really bad, actually. I'm hoping that one day I'll have a 'lightbulb' moment in yoga and be able to use yoga as a moving meditation. But for now what goes through my head during yoga and even savasana (savasana probably moreso!) - did I feed the dog? This place is a mess, I need to clean it up. Man this is uncomfortable, I can't WAIT until this posture is over.
  9. 6 likes
    I did the new strength video and practiced side crow for a little while. It took alot of pics to get that one that I call "falling through it". #ybcstrength
  10. 6 likes
    Thanks for this challenge! Due to being sick at the last day of the old year and the first one of the new one, I'm one day behind, but that's hardly what matters. One of my aims for 2015 was to manage a forearm headstand, and thanks to your challenge I see that happening in January!
  11. 5 likes
    since the days for this project run a little longer than my normal 20-30 min of yoga, i've decided to use the warm up sequences as means to get in a little cardio so warm ups may be a little jumping rope or short runs, ive got to get it in somehow and i generally cant split everything up throughout the day anyone else trying to find balance with non yoga workouts?
  12. 5 likes
    Hey! Just saw this challenge. I am brand new to yoga, only done it a couple of times. So I'm going to work on the 3 legged dog one. Looking forward to learning!
  13. 5 likes
    Hello everyone! Day one. I've decided to do forearm headstand. I watched your video Candace, for the 10th time... I just completed the suggested workout sequence. I REALLY need to work on my core strength/balance.....sheesh! But I'm feeling pretty good about it. My lift off was quite smooth, I just have to work on my core to keep my legs upright. My feet continuously bounced off the wall. haha My initial picture will be posted soon. I wish everyone well with their project.
  14. 4 likes
    I think it's a 'normal' thing for sure, and I'll give more details when I answer in this week's AAYQ post I know exactly what you're saying. I've experienced this (and sometimes still do when I'm not warmed up). I'll offer some detailed tips when I answer in this week's AAYQ. Not silly questions!! Promise! Always work within a pain-free range just means to make sure you never experience pain. There is a difference between discomfort from being tight or stiff and actual pain because the alignment is off, do you know what I mean? We want to find that "edge", but never into a realm of pain. Does that make sense? I think if you first language is Portuguese (or another language that's not English), it might be best to "fast forward" through the video first (like just drag the curser) so you know what is going on before trying it out. But if your English understanding is good (and yours seems to be perfect!), maybe just try it without having to "fast forward" first? I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug. It is definitely not wrong to not want to be challenged. Sometimes just getting through the day is a challenge enough and the yoga can be a refuge where we get dedicated time to just BE, without any adding to it. I will answer your last questions in detail in this week's AAYQ, but I do want to say here that what I love about yoga is that I find it to be reflective of whatever's going on inside. If I'm feeling angry, my practice will be jerky. If I'm feeling distracted, I won't be able to balance in even the most simple pose. If I'm feeling sad or extremely tired, my practice will feel "heavy", and just moving from child's pose to all fours will make me feel like I've just moved a mountain. So that's just an interesting little thing to me. Sometimes we get so caught up in this very physical practice that the emphasis is all on the end result - the headstand, the backbend, whatever. But did you know that some of the most gifted yoga students and teachers I know - the ones who can twist themselves in every pretzel pose imaginable have the hardest time staying still in savasana? I think it's great to have a balance of challenge, sure, but to me the most important thing - what I personally understand to be the highest form of yoga, is acknowledging our bodies and souls and learning to honor what they need. If you feel you might benefit from a more physical practice once in a while, then by all means, if you have the energy, challenge yourself to give it a go without judgement or fear. But if you know in your heart of hearts that right now, and maybe for the next few days, weeks or months, you need a more meditative practice, a little more yin and zero yang, then that is what you should do. Sending love.xo
  15. 4 likes
    I'm a newbie here but have practiced at home for about 3 years. Always add a pose to Vinyasa routine (my routine takes about 50 minutes) that I can't do in hopes that one day I will do. At almost 60 years, some poses are just plain out of reach. Still. Latest attempt is Baby Grasshopper to hopefully lead to Big Kid Grasshopper. No joy yet, my core is still weak and gormless but I live in hope.
  16. 4 likes
    Hi Candace and everyone, I did the flexibility challenge over the last couple of months and I am going to stick with nailing the splits. I am determined to own the pose in it's full glory! Started today (better late than never) ... after a little festive break, feels so great to get my body yogic again. Here's to nailing our goals! xo xo
  17. 4 likes
    I love the album Sea Changes by Beck. His new one called Morning Phase is good too. Shepherd Moons by Enya also has a lot of good flowy tracks for yoga. Then there's good old Krishna Das for some authentic Cali vibes. Sometimes it's surprising where you find music for yoga. Even the Beastie Boys have some mellow tracks for the mat. My favourite is Namaste. I have 3 different yoga playlists on my iPod that I rotate when I'm in the mood for music in my practice.
  18. 3 likes
    I have a question for Candace or anyone else who has experience teaching private sessions. I have been teaching for three years. Currently I am teaching at a local gym, which has a really strong yoga program. Compared to a lot of gyms I think I am pretty lucky in that they offer a lot of yoga classes, have props available, and I have a lot of regular students. I have been thinking about speaking with the director about offering private yoga classes. The gym obviously has personal trainers and I was thinking about discussing them having a parallel type of program where you can buy a package of private yoga classes. I was thinking along the lines of advertising it as for beginners to get ready for the group classes, for more experienced students who want to start doing arm balances etc, or for people with injuries who may need too many modifications for a regular class. What I'm looking for is advice about how to best market private classes, what the average rate is to charge, and any general advice about teaching in this way (I feel like it would be very different than teaching the 12-18 people I usually teach). Thanks for any help you can give me!
  19. 3 likes
    Meeee. I am always trying to find a good balance. Jump rope cardio has been my thing lately tho, and I am la-la-loving it. Still getting to the gym quite often to lift weights, and then I always save about 30 mins or so at the end for some yoga for strength and try to dedicate an extra 10 minutes or so for what I'm working on (handstands and tick tocks). Today was an active rest day for me. Filmed an hour long custom yoga dvd for a hockey goalie - gahhh, so much groin/hip stuff going on. #holyuncomfortable #ouchthesplits
  20. 3 likes
    I powered through 3 YBC videos this morning to make up for not being able to make it to the mat yesterday. Morning wake up yoga, yoga for strength & flexibility & 20 min flow for core strengthening) When my little yogi wakes up I plan on doing a fun little flow with her since she loves to get on the mat with me.
  21. 3 likes
    Thank you all for the humour! Me? Bad yogi? Have to be self-motivated as I don't usually attend classes but sometimes I just go through the motions. Like Jasmine and femmefatalekris I lose focus easily. I do the poses but I'm not really there. I also get antsy if I don't have music playing.
  22. 3 likes
    I'm currently reading The Healing by Saeeda Hafiz. It was in Candace's yoga book recommendations. It took me a while to get into it, but I'm really enjoying it now and the author is really inspirational. Someone earlier mentioned breast cancer and preventative / healing methods, I'd have to say that "Your Life in Your Hands" by Professor Jane Plant is one of my all-time most inspiring books. I actually read it as a teenager, so many years ago, and I still think of her often. She is still cancer-free since I read the book
  23. 3 likes
    I love coconut oil as well! I have not tried oil pulling, but it is something I keep coming around to, so I may give it a try soon. My favorite way to use coconut oil is as an eye makeup remover. I love that even if I get some on the rim of my eye it doesn't burn or hurt, and it removes even the toughest waterproof mascara! I rinse it all off and my eyes feel so supple and soft. Love, love it!
  24. 3 likes
    How does everybody get their yoga pose 'selfies'? I'd like to take photos of my baby grasshopper to track my progress but have no clue how I will do it I don't have a front camera or a timer on my phone
  25. 3 likes
    Day 3 completed.. This was tough on my wrists today but it felt easier getting into baby grasshopper than it did crow pose..
  26. 3 likes
    I'm really liking the stuff I've gotten from Fabletics! I know some people have given bad reviews based on the subscription plan, not the outfits. Just remember to check back each month from the 1st-5th to either decline or order or you will get charged anyway. You still get the credit you can use any time. I think the quality is really great! So far I haven't skipped any month. I always want something!!!
  27. 3 likes
    I don't how big this company is but I have used Beyond Yoga recently and love the feel of their leggings and shirts. A bit pricey but it is good quality.
  28. 2 likes
    I began my yoga journey when I was a freshman in high school and my local rec center offered a gentle yoga flow. At the time, this was the only class in my small town so I've been supplementing my practice with videos online and lurking yoga communities a bit like this one. Because of the lack of structure (I basically get on the mat whenever I have time) I've had a few commitment issues with my practice and sometimes I take up to week-long breaks. I'm at the weird beginner stage where I feel like I could progress to more advanced stages if I could keep up on my practice but I'm a full-time student with a stressful job in the healthcare field. I think I could really benefit from some advice on how to progress on to the next stage! Advice on everything from committing to a routine to how to loosen tight hips and get my arms and shoulders up to par to go from crow to crane. I won't get anywhere without practice though, so, where do other newbies get their motivation to get on the mat?
  29. 2 likes
    I have unexpected journey to my native land, and there's so many meetings and events here (and practically no internet connections), so it's really hard to get to the mat (and no mat here too). So I try to do what I can, some warm ups, or sun salutation (it's what I'm sure about how to do right), and some attempts to do baby grasshopper. Think it's much better than nothing, till I come back home this Sunday :-).
  30. 2 likes
    Have you tried using a foam roller? What about rolling it out with a tennis ball? The tennis ball can be painful, but it does work! The only other solution I can think of is spending more time at the beginning of your practice doing easier poses (for you) that focus on your hamstrings.
  31. 2 likes
    I did a post during our November project with some tips for taking yoga photos. What I usually do is set up the video function, then record myself getting into the pose and then I take a screenshot and put that on instagram. If the photo is too big for instagram you can use an app like 'square ready' which condenses the photo to fit in the little instagram square
  32. 2 likes
    I tried so hard to make it to my mat yesterday, but between the baby waking up SUPER early & our roommate staying up in the living room till past 3am, it just didn't happen. I did get the chance to meditate before bed though & this morning I worked on my baby grasshopper for 10 min after I powered through 3 YBC videos. Since I didn't get to work on my baby grass hopper yesterday, I am making it my intention to get back on my mat at least once more today to work on it some more.
  33. 2 likes
    Is it wrong to not want to be challenged by my yoga practice? I have severe depression and there are days when everything is a challenge to me. Yoga has helped me greatly in the past, but the experience of not being able to keep up or feeling pain in an asana that's supposed to feel good will bring on a flood of negative thoughts that I can't just shut off or will away or smile through. This has happened more than once when I've tried to challenge myself with more difficult practices, and it's discouraging enough to keep me off the mat for months at a time (which I realize is a "me" problem and not the fault of the instructor). Could you maybe talk a little about what "finding your edge" means to you, and how someone might go about finding their own edge in a healthy way? Thanks for doing what you do, Candace.
  34. 2 likes
    Went to the Sunday morning class at my fave studio. It was the first time I've ever been to a class where every single inch of the room was covered in mats. It was an interesting experience, to have to keep yourself completely on your mat. I was just happy that I didn't kick anyone in head during Warrior III or smack someone during a swan dive!
  35. 2 likes
    I love downward dog. During a challenging vinyasa class it feels great to return to downward dog and to have the chance to catch my breathe and refocus.
  36. 2 likes
    My first attempt at getting in a good practice today was interrupted by my giggly little yogi who actually did a few down dogs & cobras with me before deciding I was her personal jungle gym To make up for it I just got done with an hour and 5 minute long practice. I didn't intend for it to be so long but I'm glad I kept going all the stress from the day is gone & I may actually be in bed before 10 tonight.
  37. 2 likes
    Oh noooo, sorry to hear that! Take a well-deserved break for a day or two (maybe three?!) and just let yourself recover. xo
  38. 1 like
    This is really helpful Yogagrammy, thanks. I've been eyeing up Fabletics for awhile but had read bad reviews based on the subs, exactly as you say, and this put me off. Plus I thought you had to pay every month regardless. Whilst I love Teeki or Sweaty Betty leggings I'm stuck for tops that fit me (SB seem to be too big or the style unflattering for a very flat chest!) so I wear cheap Primark vests but these ride up exposing my tummy. Good to know F21 tops do the same as I was going to try those next time! I'll give Fabletics a go. I feel we're short on yoga clothing brands in the UK...
  39. 1 like
    Hey Candace, how are you doing? Firstly, I want to thank you for answering my question on Facebook. I am not confused anymore. But I have got a couple more questions: 1. I know that it will sound silly and obvious, but what does "always work within a free-pain range" mean? 2. Another silly question: how can I follow your videos? Is it recommended to watch the video first and then do the sequence? What do you think? Greetings from Brazil, Ana Paula
  40. 1 like
    This sounds like Intense Side Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana). The front knee can bend a little to focus the lengthening of the hamstrings either to the butt or the back of the knee. The back foot is angled slightly out to the side. If the hamstrings are pulled too hard they automatically pull back which makes lengthening very difficult. Contract the muscles on the front of the leg to relax the back side. It is a very good pose and we can do it anywhere.
  41. 1 like
    Hi Candace and everyone! I suffer from tight hips, a result of my desk job :/. So I love pigeon pose, except for one small problem: it almost feels like the skin on my inner thigh of my forward/bent leg is stretching. It definitely isn't the feeling of the muscles stretching--this is located on the surface and can be very uncomfortable. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a way to adjust the pose so I still get that great stretch through my hips and glutes, without placing strain on this area of skin?
  42. 1 like
    One knee to the chest and the other is straight. Then pull that knee to the side. The release that creates for my back is.....surreal.
  43. 1 like
    Dharma Bums have sales from time to time, I got a pair recently for about $30 cheaper than their standard prices
  44. 1 like
    I love the idea of practicing outside, but if I was in public I think I'd feel a bit self conscious. The most I've done outside is playing around with handstands!
  45. 1 like
    Hi Candace! I have been practicing yoga for about 2 years on/off and I my focus is currently on hip openers and low back stretches. I have been incorporating supta gomukhasana into my routine and have noticed that whenever I am in the pose my legs go numb. As soon as I release the pose it starts to subside. It's not always uncomfortable, but sometimes it can be. I was wondering if that is a "normal" thing that could happen (since the legs are essentially being squeezed together) and if not, is there a way to prevent it? Thanks so much!
  46. 1 like
    Thanks yogagrammy! I got too excited and had 4 outfits picked out, but then my husband vetoed them all. So I have to pass for now. But others should know that after signing up and waiting for 2 days, they send a $10 credit offer on top of the 50% off, so you can get your first outfit as low as $14.95.
  47. 1 like
    A book a recently read and I'd loved it, it's The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin ! This is her story and she shares all her discoveries about how to be more happy even if you are already grateful for the life you have !