Knee-To-Ear Pose (Karna Pindasana) For A Positive Mind


A positive mind is key to any achievement. Moreover, it will lead to life fulfillment and inner peace while we journey on our paths during good, boring, or stressed days.

The Knee-to-Ear Pose is an excellent pose for a positive mind. However, it requires quite a lot of hip, back, hamstring and shoulder flexibility in order to be effectuated correctly. It is a great posture which calms the mind because it involves an inverted body position. When done correctly, it can alleviate the negative thoughts, and it allows the practitioner to focus on inner peace.

How To Come Into The Knee-To-Ear Pose (Karna Pindasana)

To go into the Knee-to-Ear Pose (Karna Pindasana), follow these instructions:

  • First, lie down on the mat on your back, with the arms positioned by your sides and legs straightened in front;
  • Inhale and push the palms down the floor. Next, elevate the legs upwards and exhale. Maintain your legs at a 90-degree angle from the mat. Bring the legs over the head. Elevate your hips and flex the legs over the head, by bending or pushing the knees towards the mat next to the ears;
  • Maintain the hands parallel to the body. After putting down the legs, take a deep breath and elevate the hips while keeping the knees down;
  • Maintain the legs on the ground and straighten the arms, with palms open on the mat facing upwards;
  • Maintain this position for six to eight breaths. To get out of the pose, roll back into the initial position. You can repeat this movement for around three to five times.

 


Knee-to-Ear Pose (Benefits)

The Knee-to-Ear Pose (Karna Pindasana) brings benefits such as:

  • Calming the mind;
  • Decreasing fatigue and stress;
  • Cure insomnia, infertility, sinusitis, headaches and some backaches;
  • Stretching and strengthening the entire spinal column;
  • Improving lung power, therefore it is recommended for practitioners who have asthma.
  • The Knee-to-Ear Pose represents a complete expansion of the spine, allowing the therapeutic liquids to rinse each vertebra.
  • This pose is an advanced yoga stance of the Plow Pose (Halasana), with the head being the foundation of the movement while gently stretching the neck.

Contraindications

  • Please consult your physician before practicing any yoga stances, including the Knee-to-Ear Pose
  • Generally, this pose is not recommended for individuals who have low or high blood pressure.

Beginner’s Tips

  • For some yogis, it is recommendable to begin practicing the Child’s Pose before attempting the Knee-to-Ear Pose. It opens the hips, rounds the spine and brings the head crown down. For others, more seated forward folds will be necessary in order to open the hamstrings. Then, other poses such as the Bridge Pose and later on, the Shoulderstand and Plow Pose, should be exercised to that the shoulder blades are opened.
  • Make sure you attempt these more advanced poses, as well as the Knee-to-Ear Pose under the attentive guidance of a yoga teacher at the beginning.

The Art Of Mindfulness – Thinking


Our mind is continuously making new thoughts. We cannot shut it down; minute by minute, we subconsciously jump from one topic to another losing focus on some of the most important tasks that we are supposed to be concentrating on at that moment and time. Sometimes, what we are constantly thinking is of no importance to our lives; just pointless streams of thoughts that make no sense at present. Sometimes, we are planning about our future or even thinking about what the boss said at work that got us upset. It is normal for all of us, and it is okay. It is a natural process ingrained in each one of us and helps us survive as humans, but sometimes, what we are constantly thinking can be the cause of our pain. It is mostly seen in situations where we are worried about the future, a circumstance that, though deep down, we know we have no control over. We keep on worrying about it to the point that we aren’t able to focus on what is in front of us.

Mindfulness is the process of being aware of your thoughts throughout the day and being able to control your focus into what one is doing at present. Being able to focus on what you choose and filtering out unwanted feelings or even observing your thoughts without judgment is a skill that can be learned by anyone.

It has scientifically been proven that practicing mindfulness can reduce the levels of anxiety, fear, and depression. Besides these psychological benefits, it has also been proven to help those who are ill to have a better perspective of their situation, thereby reducing the suffering and the time taken to heal. Combining all these factors contribute to a healthy self, which, in turn, contribute to our productivity in whatever we are doing.

As with any set of skills, mindfulness requires putting in hours of work in order to master it. The beginning point of acquiring this skill is deciding to start. One should be able to determine the right type of clothing to wear during meditation practice, and also, the set of training to be undertaken should not compromise your health.

It is imperative for one to dress appropriately while doing this exercise. It is recommended that the clothes worn during this exercise should be flexible, comfortable, and non-sweaty. The clothes should also be appropriate. The most common outfits worn by ladies are tank tops and tees and leggings.

Having dressed appropriately, it is now time for practicing mindfulness meditation.

The steps of a simple mindfulness technique are as follows:

  • A Good Environment- This is very important since your surroundings may affect how successful one will be in doing mindfulness meditation. One should ensure that the place or environment is distraction free, and one can concentrate. One should also ensure that external influence, such as mobile phones, are not around to avoid distraction.
  • The next thing is one need to be as comfortable as possible. Ensure that in whichever position you are in, you can focus on the task ahead without distraction.
  • Take deep breaths, and as you do that, observe your thoughts. The easiest way to do this is just to let go of everything and only concentrate on breathing. When distracting thoughts arise while meditating, do not focus on them; instead, continue with the relaxation exercise through the breath. After a while, you will notice that your body is calm, and you are aware of every thought, and although you cannot shut the thoughts, you can focus and let them disappear as new ones are formed.

In conclusion, the above is the simplest form of mindfulness meditation. By practicing the above steps at one’s own free time, the skill is developed, and one is able to practice mindfulness anywhere and at any time. I, in turn, contribute to an individuals’ productivity and overall psychological health.

Vata


The Doshas

What Are The Doshas?

The doshas are part of an ancient medical system known as Ayurveda. This entirely holistic approach has been practiced for over 5000 years and is still going strong. In this tradition there are three body types or constitutions; 

  1. Vata
  2. Pitta 
  3. Kapha – also known as the doshas 

Each dosha is composed of the five elements responsible for the chemistry of the entire universe; air, fire, water, earth, and ether (space). Each individual has their own unique combination of the doshas, known as Prakriti. It heavily influences the individuals mental, physical and emotional characteristics. 

Vata

Vata is the most powerful of the three doshas. It coordinates all movement within the body, including the body itself in motion. Walking, digestion, breathing, and even our perception, memory and reactions are all thanks to Vata. 

Due to this powerful energy of movement, those who are predominately Vata tend to always be on the go. When balanced, they are energetic, free-flowing and full of creative ideas, but when they are out of balance, they can be fearful, anxious and easily overwhelmed. 

Physical Characteristics 

  • Vata doshas are agile, light and lean. 
  • Typically, they will have dry skin and fair hair, with cold hands and feet. 
  • Their eyes are small, and their faces long and angular. 
  • High energy levels mean it is easier for Vata to lose weight, so meal planning is of high importance. Without consuming enough calories, their energy will be high one minute and the opposite the next. 
  • Vatas are extremely prone to mood swings, and if out of balance, they can be edgy, anxious and over analytical. 
  • Typical health problems include; back pain, problems in the digestive system, the tension in the body and mind, nervousness and anxiety. 

Mental Characteristics 

  • Vata usually has a creative, quick mind. 
  • They can be extremely artistic as they can easily think outside the box, and are overwhelmed with creative ideas. However, their creativity comes in waves with their irregular energy patterns. It means if they work in a creative job role they may have trouble coping with task deadlines. 
  • Out of balance they can be easily unnerved and are susceptible to bouts of overthinking. 
  • They are the most likely of the three doshas to experience anxiety, exhausting themselves physically and mentally. 
  • Routine and grounding activities, such as yoga and meditation, can help to balance a Vata’s fluid energy. 

How To Balance Vata

– Regularity, warmth, and consistency will ground and center the Vata dominated individuals.

– As your energy comes in bursts, it’s important not to push yourself too hard. Slower exercises like yoga or Pilates will help to maintain balance and increase flexibility.

– Remember to relax. Give yourself a break and calm down. Take a walk in nature to ground you and give your racing mind a rest.

– Choose foods that are rich and nourishing. Heavier meals with good fats and oils are great for grounding a Vata energy.

– Maintain a routine. Eat at the same time each day, get enough sleep, and try to establish a pattern to live by.

How Closely Does Your Yoga Outfit Resemble An 80’s Costume?


When you get dressed for your yoga class, do you ever look in the mirror and laugh at its uncanny resemblance to the workout clothing of yesteryear? The cyclical nature of top fashion trends leaves us cringing for just a short while before we adopt the same trend again decades later. Many yogis are now beginning to take note of how closely their own workout clothing resembles the forefront of fashion from the ‘80s. 

How closely does your outfit resemble the ‘80s costumes for working out? Find out which pieces of clothing you may be wearing that are a definite throwback to an earlier era.

  • Leggings

It’s no secret that one of the primary features of a workout costume from the ‘80s were the fluorescent leggings, worn by both women and men. Eye-catching shades were the primary preferences when it came to donning workout apparel, with the tightest and brightest leggings being the most popular. Many even featured bold patterns, prints, and other features that just a few years ago would have made us laugh. 

Now, we see the same leggings making a comeback on the modern-day yoga fashion scene. While the iridescent and fluorescent shades have yet to rise to fame as they did in the ‘80s, leggings are the preference for many yogis. Solid colors, especially black, are the first choice but many are becoming confident enough to make bolder fashion choices with bright colors and patterns as well. 

  • Leotards

The ‘80s brought with them a vast collection of high-waisted leotards to ensure that the maximum amount of legging was visible. They were often paired with the brightly colored leggings in similar shades, some of which made us cringe at their abandonment of traditional color theory. If the goal was to create the most outstanding outfit, the leotard was definitely the finishing touch. 

Today, not many yogis wear the leotards that former workout enthusiasts were known for. However, they do tend towards tighter-fitting athletic tops or crop tops. Both of these choices allow for the largest amount of legging to be shown, similar to the prominent styles of the ‘80s. 

  • Headbands

For women, the final touch was the headband to hold back voluminous waves of hair. It was also found in neon colors to tie together all of the other accessories of the outfit: wristbands, sweatbands, and sneakers. Rarely were these head ornaments considered plain pieces that were just casually thrown together with the outfit. 

Today’s athletic apparel manufacturers often create their own line of headbands, complete with patterns and different styles that weren’t so readily available in the ‘80s. In fact, in many ways, today’s styles are an improvement over the shortage of headbands that were seen in the prior decades. Yogis can choose from a colorful array of prints and patterns, all specifically designed with your movement in mind. 

As the years pass, previous styles resurface with a vengeance. If you look carefully enough, you may begin to see the styles of the ‘80s shining through your yogi’s wardrobe.

The Best Yoga Asanas for Runners


Running and jogging are great ways to be fit and stay in shape. Still, it can put a lot of pressure on your knees and lead to injuries if your body is not well-prepared. These yoga poses presented below will help you avoid such issues and they will provide the necessary body flexibility to assist you during a race. 

#1. Garland Pose –Squat

This yoga squat resembles a classic fitness squat. There are some differences that reflect the way you must maintain your body’s balance. To begin, sit in a squat position where your knees must be over your toes. This is quite different from a normal squat. The Garland Pose-Squat should create a 45-degree angle, instead of 90-degree, between your legs and the midline. Hold your palms together like in a prayer and keep your heels off the ground while supporting your body on your toes. Don’t worry if you cannot do it from the first time. Begin with your heels down and lift them up once you gain a little more experience. Hold this asana for ten breaths. 

#2. Locust Asana

This is an essential yoga asana for all runners. Lie down on your abdomen. Lift your upper body while bringing your hands straight in front of your upper body. Your palms should face the floor. You can also do this pose by stretching your arms back. Also, try to lift your legs and maintain your lower and upper body lifted simultaneously. The only parts remaining on the mat as a support should be your upper thighs and abdomen. It might look easy but it is quite challenging especially because you must hold this pose for up to ten breaths. Also, the ideal situation is for you to repeat this runners’ asana three times. 

#3. Boat Pose

If you’re familiar with crunches, then the boat pose will seem easy to do. It is true that this pose is more difficult than a simple crunch because it engages the entire body, not just the core area. Sit down on the mat and create a V shape with your body. One side is formed by the torso and the other V side will be created by your legs. First, lift your legs off the ground, and then keep them stretched out while pointing your toes towards the ceiling. Tighten up your abs and maintain your hands in front of your chest with palms facing up. Hold this pose for about 15 seconds, and do at least three repetitions. 

#4. Dancer Asana

Stand up tall and bring your right leg back while bending your knee. Grab your ankle with your right arm. The left arm should be lifted in front while you push your right leg back as far away from your torso as possible without letting go of your ankle. Hold the dancer pose for at least five breaths before releasing it. This is a great position that improves your balance, which leads to a more efficient run and fewer injuries.

Summing It Up

You should try the yoga poses mentioned above if you want to reach the next level on your running game. These asanas are practiced even by professional athletes that want to avoid knee or joint injuries. As a matter of fact, these poses will strengthen you physically and mentally.

Yoga Pants: The Trend That’s Here to Stay


Thanks to women’s desire to feel comfortable while looking chic and sporty at the same time, yoga pants are no longer reserved for the gym or running weekend errands. They are now considered “athleisure,” a new term for casual, comfortable clothing designed for both exercise and everyday wear.

Gone are the days of yoga pants and other activewear are now considered “office casual.” This means you can hit yoga class on your lunch break then head right back to work still wearing your yoga pants. Or sneak in an early Sunday morning workout before heading straight to brunch in a trendy pair of leggings and top knot to hide your sweaty hair.

Athleisure is a fairly new term so it might still seem like yoga pants aren’t appropriate, but it’s true that beloved jeans are being replaced.

Now that athleisure has been on the up-trend for a few years, it seems safe to say that comfort-forward fashion doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Traditional clothing companies are adding yoga pants and other activewear to their lines, creating new clothing options that allow you to wear them all day without compromising fashion or sophistication.

There are plenty of critics of the yoga pant and athleisure trends, but the fitness community continues to prevail. Yoga pants have officially become a staple wardrobe piece that also makes a statement when dressed up appropriately. When you have the option of going to work or brunch in tight, structured clothing or pairing yoga pants with a lightweight, breathable blazer and a statement necklace for a mix of comfort and fashion, who wouldn’t choose the latter? Studio to street fashion has arrived and it’s here to stay.

The bottom line is: comfort has become our first priority, and that’s ok. Check out this video by ELLE to learn how to style your yoga pants for work.

A Short Meditation Guide



 

Today I want to build a meditation guide to accompany your yoga practice. This is nothing spiritual and it doesn’t have to be practiced any specific way. Just do what feels most natural and comfortable for you. Find a safe space, and embrace the security of this moment. This practice is designed to assist you as you seek inner calm and self-discovery.

First, I want you to focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale.With each inhalation, imagine positive sparks entering your body, rejuvenating your lungs so that they can breathe more fully. With each exhalation, discard any remnants of self-doubt from within, cleansing the body of its insecurities.

Next, repeat this phrase in your head, or even out loud: I AM ENOUGH.

You are just the way you are supposed to be. No matter how today goes or how yesterday went or how tomorrow will go, things will happen as they are meant to. Many things are out of your control, but you control your reactions to what happens around you. You belong to yourself. Whenever you feel like others are looking down on you, remember this phrase. When life comes crashing down around you, repeat this to yourself. You can endure because it is what you were made to do.

Now, repeat the phrase: I AM STRONG.

Picture a waterfall, a stream careening off of a cliff and falling toward the pool below. In that current, there is a force that cannot be stopped. That same force from within the earth is within you, a human of the earth. Your strength comes from a root of self-knowledge that is enhanced the more time you spend with yourself. From a depth many overlook or choose to ignore, we tap into that current of strength which we can use to fuel our determination and willpower to succeed.

Lastly, repeat this phrase: I AM HERE.

This phrase is potentially the most powerful of all. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Embrace the energy pulsing through the earth. Solid ground is reassuring, comforting. Listen to the silence around you, or the noise. The air is holding you up. Here in this moment, stay present. Focus back on the inhalations and exhalations, the breath. In and out, in and out. Here you are. You are on this earth. You are in this body. You are a human being and you have a purpose. You are here.

Here’s a meditation music video that might help you relax even more.

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Workout Clothing


Cleaning workout clothing after a long session of yoga is a chore that not many want to do. However, you should be cleaning your workout clothing because doing this can keep them in great shape. Workout clothing can be very expensive, so taking care of your workout clothes is important. For great quality, inexpensive & fashionable workout leggings, click here.

Taking care of your workout clothing is no different from caring for your other clothing, but there are special ways that you can take care of your workout clothing. Here are five important tips to help you make your workout clothing cleaning easier.

1. Stop Using Fabric Softener on Workout Clothing

Most workout clothing uses wicking technology to remove sweat from your skin when you are working out. Fabric softener could prevent the wicking technology from working, and it can also lock in the smells. Workout clothing is made from delicate materials, so you should make sure that you are following the care labels when you are washing your clothing.

2. Avoid Extra Detergent to Clean Your Clothing

This seems like the best option to get your clothing clean. However, you should avoid adding extra detergent to your load. Using too much detergent in your washing machine can stop the machine from working. These machines are designed to process a specific amount of detergent. So, too little detergent will not work, and too much can ruin your clothing. Too much detergent can also lead to mildew growth on your clothing.

3. You Should Never Let Your Workout Clothing Sit in Your Bag

When you get home, you should take your workout clothing out of your bag. This will help the clothes air dry. Once you have time to air dry some clothes, you should turn them inside out and put them in your washing machine. Workout clothing should be washed in cold water with a bit of vinegar. Vinegar can help get rid of most unwanted smells.

4. Removing Odors and Bacteria

After using your workout clothing and bag for some time, there will be bacteria embedded within the fabric, and the bacteria will create a bad smell. Most of the time, throwing the clothes and the bag in the wash may not get rid of the bacteria or the smell from the fabric. However, there are washing products that are designed to remove the bacteria and smell from your clothing. So, these treatments will sanitize the items.

However, you should only be using these products once in a while because they can be very harsh and could damage these fabrics. So, you should make sure that you are following instructions to help you avoid ruining your clothes.

5. Air Dry

After washing your workout clothing, you should hang them and let them air dry. Drying workout clothing in the dryer can cause heat damage and shrinkage. Some workout clothing will need to be laid flat to dry. The best option will depend on the piece of clothing, and the recommended method of cleaning will be on the care tag.

Your clothing is important, so taking care of workout clothing is key to making them last a long time. Cleaning your clothing does not need to be a huge chore, but you need to do it for hygienic reasons.