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About Melanie

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  1. Chai, early grey and green are my favorites!
  2. Happy belated birthday--hope it was an amazing day!!!
  3. Thanks for linking to these posts, Candace. So interesting to read about HOW they work! You also reminded me how much I like patchouli and sandalwood, too--will have to add them to my essential oil arsenal. And you use essential oils while teaching, too! I love when I can smell something fantastic while in savasana!
  4. Great topic, Jake! Lavender is my favorite, and I use it almost daily. Whenever I have a headache, it is my go-to scent. I will rub it on my temples or use a mist on my pillow. But even when I am feeling good, it just makes me happy. Some other ways I have used essential oils: I put a pot of water on the stove (or I use an oil diffuser that plugs in) and add a few drops and let simmer (love to do this in winter with scents like cinnamon and cloves--makes the house smell warm and cozy!); I made a spray to clean my yoga mat (I looked for diy recipes online); I add a few drops to my towel for hot yoga; I add a few drops to a cup of baking soda then sprinkle it on carpeting, let it sit for a few minutes then vacuum the floor. Another scent that goes well with peppermint is eucalyptus. I was in a restorative yoga class where the teacher put a couple drops of each on our hands. We then rubbed them together to create some heat then rubbed our temples, our foreheads, the backs of our necks, anywhere we felt tension. It was AHHmazing!! An interesting use I recently experienced: In the yoga studio I go to, one of the teachers puts a few drops on the insoles of her feet before class. As she walks around the room, we can smell the subtle scent. Have fun experimenting
  5. Love this idea! I am thinking either Extended Side Angle pose with a bind -or- Revolving Half Moon.
  6. Way to go, Jasmine! That is awesome!!
  7. You know what they say--the poses we avoid (or hate) are the ones we need the most. With that being said, I must really need Side Plank and Camel.
  8. My favorite all-time pose is half pigeon. Oh, sweet surrender
  9. My pet peeves are people slapping down their mats before class, people snoring (loudly!) in savasana, and extremely loud ujjayi breathing. Not that I feel we should all practice in silence or anything, but I guess I must be sensitive to excessive noise during yoga. I haven't experienced anyone blowing hair onto my mat but that would definitely freak me out!!
  10. 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 ( 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!
  11. Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the quest for the best yoga mat. The selection of mats available is crazy! I have not tried a Jade mat, but I have heard very good things about them. I suggest checking the weight if you plan on taking your mat to studio classes. I once bought a mat online not realizing that it was seven+ pounds and a bit awkward to haul to classes. Other things to consider are the type of yoga you will be practicing (hot? vinyasa? restorative? this may determine how important the stickiness and thickness of your mat is) and your budget (although I don't feel more $$$ is necessarily better, but I would definitely invest in something of a better quality than what you might find at a big box store). I currently use the Tapas Ultra mat. I have used it for ten(!) years, and I am amazed it is just now starting to show small tears in certain spots. While certainly still usable, I am currently on the lookout for a new mat since my days on this mat look to be numbered. I am undecided on whether to buy another Tapas Ultra (the reviews aren't that good and makes me wonder if they changed it over the last decade?) or to go for a Jade mat (great reviews and I can get a discount on one through my yoga studio). If you go with the Jade, please check back and let us know how you like it!
  12. Hello, Candace and fellow yogis! I am writing this on a beautiful autumn day near the shores of Lake Erie. Loving the diversity on this forum thus far!