Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Importance of Connecting With Nature

We cannot deny that British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. However, in our busy lives finding time to appreciate the great outdoors can sometimes be challenging.  But did you know that exposure to nature can help reduce stress, increase inner peace and compassion, as well as provide relaxation? Researchers have also proven that contact with Mother Nature is also important for child development.

Connecting with our natural environment doesn’t require going far distances.  If you live in an urban area, such as Vancouver, spend time outside in your backyard or at your local community park.  Instead of watching that hour of TV with your family every night, change it up and spend that time playing outdoors with your kids.  By getting fresh air and enjoying nature, your mental health and overall outlook on life will change dramatically.  

Another option for connecting with nature, is taking your yoga practice outdoors. This is a great option for combining your already scheduled yoga time with an opportunity to appreciate your natural surroundings. Outdoor yoga is an excellent way to reduce distractions you would normally find indoors or at the studio.  It is also a creative yoga class option for studios in the city.

If you are interested in improving your yoga practice or running your own yoga program, speak to your Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training studio. We are running a new teacher training program starting this week. If you are interested, there is still time to register. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Benefits of Yoga Meditation

“I crave the sweet surrender of sleep and my dreams' uncensored communication: no tiresome small talk, sucking up to impress, or tip toeing around changing topics. Dreams are the naked truth, get ready for it”—Judith Orloff

The meditative state is a natural outcome of yoga practice. By concentrating on the body and mind, individuals are able to enhance both their ability to concentrate and relax. As a result, yoga meditation provides many health benefits for people including reducing anxiety and insomnia, and improving mental health.

There are many ways to incorporate meditation into your everyday routine. The first stage of meditation is focusing on a specific object and establishing a point of focus. For many individuals this is often breathing. By paying close attention to the nuances of your breath, and observing the movement of your abdomen and torso, as well as the air movement through your nose, all distractions disappear and you will move into a deeper state of consciousness.

It is important to pay close attention to posture when practicing yoga meditation. Sitting on the ground with your hands placed in your lap or on your thighs is the most common posture, however, sitting in a chair, reclining, standing or walking also works. Whatever position to choose to meditate with, it is important to relax your muscles. Begin by rolling your shoulders and gently lifting your chest. If you prefer to sit you may choose to keep your eyes open or closed, but keep your neck long and chin tilted slightly downward. If walking is your choice for meditation, pay close attention to each step you take. Relax your arms by your side, walk freely, and coordinate your breathing with each stride.

By incorporating yoga and meditation into your daily schedule, you will begin see dramatic results. Not only will meditation make you more appreciative of the little things, you will begin to feel healthier both mentally and physically. Studies have shown that yoga meditation increases serotonin production (a chemical in your body that influences mood and behavior). Meditation has also proven to decrease high blood pressure as well as reduce depression, obesity, insomnia and head aches.

If you are interested in taking yoga as a way to incorporate meditation into your life, contact your local Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training studio. We offer a variety of yoga classes as well as a teacher-training program starting February 26, 2013. Contact us for more information!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Things to Consider When Buying Yoga Clothing

Proper yoga clothing is a wise investment if you plan on practicing yoga. Not only will you feel better, yoga clothing provides greater breathability and ease of movement when doing poses.

There are many styles of yoga clothing ranging from loose fitting outfits to tight spandex to tailor-made garments. There is no one better option, it really depends on what feels most comfortable and works best with your body shape.

One important thing to consider, however, is the clothing material. Unlike traditional heavy cotton fabrics, yoga clothing is often made of lightweight, breathable material. These fabrics allow for greater flexibility and comfort.

Another thing to consider when buying yoga clothing is the washing requirements of the fabric. It is important to choose clothing that can be easily washed. You don't want to be bothered with the expense of dry-cleaning. Invest in a good quality outfit; this will allow the garment to last longer and maintain its form and stretch.

Here is a list of a few yoga retail stores in the Lower Mainland. These stores offer a great selection of good quality yoga clothing that is sure to fit all shapes and sizes.

1. Lululemon
2. Lotusvive
3. Tonic
4. One Tooth Yoga
5. Lara Catherine Designs

If you are interested in practicing yoga, visit Vancouver Yoga Teacher Training. We offer a variety of yoga classes, including a teacher training workshop starting this February 26. Don't miss out, book your spot today!

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Perfect Valentine's Day

For many couples Valentine’s Day often comes with a lot of added stress. Finding that perfect gift for your partner while staying within budget can often contribute to unnecessary anxiety.  But fear no more! Here are a few suggestions to make this Hallmark holiday romantic and stress-free for both you and your sweetheart.

1     Plan Ahead.
Speak with your partner about both of your expectations for Valentine’s Day. If money is an issue, set a budget. Discuss what you both would like the day to look like, this way you will avoid unnecessary stress and let go of any huge expectations.

2        Be Creative.
Everyone loves chocolate and flowers, but it is also fun to mix things up. Surprise your partner this year and give an unexpected homemade gift. This could be a mixed CD, an artisan craft from a local art market, a framed photo, or maybe some tasty homemade baking.  Not only are homemade gifts budget friendly, it is a great way to add a personal touch and show how much you care.

3     Go for an Experience!
Another option for Valentine’s Day is to give an experience rather than a gift.  This might include going out for dinner, or to a concert, or maybe a movie.  Another option may be arranging a unique day for the two of you such as a romantic getaway or a day at the spa.

Another creative idea would be to join Naked Truth’s Valentine’s Day couples yoga workshop. This is a perfect opportunity to get a little closer in a safe, playful and inviting atmosphere. This hour-and-a-half session will incorporate paired yoga postures, and the teachings of Thai message.  For more information on Naked Truth’s Couple Valentine’s Day Workshop visit Vancouver Teacher Training