April 2013

Ashley Turner: 3 ways to heal heartbreak

General

Ashley Turner shares tips on how to heal from heartbreak or, how to transform your inner world by slowing down your outer world. For more life-changing wisdom from Ashley (and amazing yoga), join her on a yoga retreat to the Galapagos Islands in July. More details at the end of the blog.

In September, heartache drew my life to a sublime halt.

LA didn't make Forbes top 10 cities for yoga in the U.S. list?

Local Events - LA

We came across this interesting Forbes article called Top Ten Cities for Yoga in the U.S., which was posted a few days ago. We have always considered Los Angeles the Mecca for yoga (other than India, of course), so we were shocked that LA did not make the top U.S. cities for yoga?! To determine this list, Forbes collected data from the marketing firm GfK MRI.

3 ways to get into Pigeon Pose

Style

Pigeon pose is a yoga posture you either love or hate. If your hips are rather open, you may find this pose extremely enjoyable. But if you're tight in your hips, pigeon pose can make you cringe. Here are 3 ways to get into pigeon pose comfortably. 

Don't be afraid to take supine variation. 

10 great NYC fitness deals

Local Events - NYC

Looking to expand your yoga horizons but not necessarily into spending a small fortune on yoga classes? Check out these 10 awesome deals on NYC Fitness Classes & Activities from our friends at Blisstree.

WomanCode book launch party in LA

Local Events - LA

Women's health expert Alisa Vitti is having an exclusive Los Angeles launch of her new book, WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source on Tuesday, April 30 from 5-8 pm at DKNY in Culver City.

How to make a yoga mat spray with essential oils

Yoga Lifestyle by Charlynn Avery

A stinky yoga mat can be distracting to your practice and is also a sign that your mat is carrying dirt and bacteria that might be dangerous to your health. Try making your own natural mat cleaner with essential oils to safely and effectively clean your yoga mat. Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery explains how below.

An essential oil blend is ideal for making a mat spray. When you make your own, you don’t have to worry about exposure to harsh chemicals or toxic fragrance — either for yourself or others with sensitivities to fragrances and chemicals.

5 tips for creating a sacred space

What’s Hot

You know about the amazing mental and physical benefits of a regular meditation practice, but still find it hard to sit and do nothing? While it does get easier for many people to sit and clear their minds the more they practice meditation, creating a sacred space at your home can also be very helpful. HuffPo blogger Debbie Woodbury shares 5 tips on creating a sacred space.

Donna Karan's Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program comes to Los Angeles

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

Earlier this month at YogaWorks Larchmont, Rodney Yee and his wife Colleen Saidman gave us a taste of Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program. What a treat that was. Amid a packed room, we experientially learned about the program that the Yees co-direct – complete with lavender oil and plenty of hands-on adjustments.

Teach yoga to kids this summer in NYC

Local Events - NYC

Love teaching yoga to kids? The JCC Manhattan is looking for summer yoga teachers for its kids’ day camp.

How to beat stress with yoga

Yoga News

There’s more research than ever being conducted on the healing benefits of yoga. The medical community is finally starting to see what many yogis have felt for years: Yoga is an amazing tool for your mind and body. This article on how to beat stress with yoga, written by a surgeon and registered yoga teacher, was featured on HealthBytes, the blog of New York’s Continuum Hospital network. 

Kosher yoga classes

Yoga News

Yoga classes for Hasidic and Orthodox Jews are popping up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Will they be coming to a neighborhood near you? Read the article from Blisstree to find out.

There’s a new yoga trend in Crown Heights, Brooklyn…and no, it’s not a certain kind of expensive bra top or extra-long heated classes. It’s kosher yoga: For Hasidic and Orthodox Jews!

20 creative ways to recycle a yoga mat

What’s Hot

Let's face it: yoga mats have an expiration date. After too many downward facing dogs, they wear out, tear, or acquire a funky odor (or all three). When you decide it's time to purchase a new yoga mat, don't rush to toss the old one out. Recycle it instead! 

Hangover yoga in Brooklyn

Local Events - NYC

If you like to go out and have a few cocktails with your pals on the weekend, that’s totally cool with us. For those nights when you drink a little too much, you might want to head to Brooklyn for Hangover Yoga at the Cobra Bar.

Pecan-Crusted Sweet Potato Fries

Recipes

There's a lot to love about sweet potatoes. They’re high in fiber, manganese, iron, potassium and copper and are a good source of vitamins A, C and B6.

5 yoga poses for stress relief

General by Jessica Bellofatto

From speaking to students, friends, and family members, it seems that the overall consensus is that our lives are becoming increasingly busy. That, along with the recent events in Boston and the end of tax season has likely left many of us feeling more than a bit frazzled. I am grateful every single day for my yoga practice and have created this simple stress relief sequence as a way to help guide our bodies, minds and hearts back to an easeful, relaxed state. Enjoy!

The healthy benefits of volunteering

What’s Hot

Here’s more proof that doing good is good for you. This article from Greatist points to new research that suggests volunteering for selfless reasons can decrease your mortality rate and increase happiness. 

Is yoga better with or without music?

Yoga Lifestyle by Blair Atkins

Do you prefer yoga classes with music or do you like being guided by the sound of your breath as you practice? alignyo blogger Blair Atkins weighs the pros and cons of practicing yoga with music.

Music is like fashion – completely personal. Just like how your friend may love her new yoga leggings but you wouldn’t even wear them around the house, your favorite artist to which to practice most likely won’t be the same as the practitioner next to you. 

Getting married? Check out Namaste Nuptials

Local Events - NYC

If you’re getting married soon or know a bride-to-be, check out Namaste Nuptials. This cool company specializes in yoga for weddings. Namaste Nuptials creates customized yoga experiences and classes for the bride, groom and wedding party to help you get through your wedding with patience and grace. Because being a bridezilla is not cool. Find out more about Namaste Nuptials below.

Los Angeles yoga teacher Briohny Smyth and other "fitness muses" motivate us to hit the mat

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

We came across this slide show on Shape.com called 15 Fitness Muses to Inspire Your Workout, and just had to share it with y’all. It’s a roundup of fitness and diet tips from a slew of famous yoginis, dancers, models, actors and athletes. From yoga fanatic Jennifer Aniston to model-turned-yogini Tara Stiles – they each dish on how they stay in shape and what they eat.

More reasons to love sweet potatoes

General

Our friends over at Blisstree love sweet potatoes just as much as we do. We’re not fans of the microwave (try popping in the steamer or roasting instead), but this article on the benefits of sweet potatoes is a great reminder as to how healthy they truly are.

You may have forgotten about sweet potatoes by now, because people tend to think of them as a fall food. Well I sure haven’t! They’re basically my favorite.

How Pilates can benefit your yoga practice

Yoga Lifestyle by Blair Atkins

For some reason, many people tend to think that yoga and Pilates are similar forms of exercise. While it's true that both are styles of mind-body fitness, yoga and Pilates are very different. Many yogis we know "don't get" Pilates and our friends who love Pilates think that yoga "isn't enough of a workout." Truth be told, Pilates and yoga are complementary forms of exercise. Doing Pilates will help improve your yoga practice and doing yoga can help your Pilates workouts as well. Here are 3 ways Pilates can benefit your yoga practice.

What is reiki?

Yoga Lifestyle by Blair Atkins

If you’re looking for a new way to relax, restore and balance the body, you might want to try reiki.

Reiki – “rei” meaning spiritual wisdom and “ki” means life force – is a Japanese healing technique. The recipient lies on a treatment table or sits in a chair while the Reiki practitioner places his or her hands above the body or on the body to help break up energy blockages. All the recipient has to do is relax.

Isla Fisher credits yoga and hiking in Los Angeles for her toned body

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

In the May 2013 issue of Fitness Magazine, Isla Fisher dishes about how she got her body back after both pregnancies, as well as how she currently stays fit. As of late, the 5’ 3” actress (married to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, BTW) does yoga five days a week and hikes Runyon Canyon regularly in Los Angeles.

Easing muscle pain with essential oils

General by Charlynn Avery

The practice of yoga brings so many wonderful benefits into our lives, but sometimes we feel a little worse for the wear at the end of class. Like your teacher has probably told you – it is not good on any level to just grin, bear it, and/or push through the pain. When that happens, you quickly lose your focus and are left with a body in dire need of attention.

Awesome eco-friendly products for Earth Day

Hot off the mat

So you didn’t volunteer to pick up trash or plant trees for Earth Day. Hey, no judgement. You can show you care for the planet by supporting companies that do good. Organic ingredients, recycled fabrics, sustainable materials and socially conscious business practices – these eco companies are doing their part to protect the earth. Here are 3 awesome eco-friendly items for Earth Day. 

Shop these Earth Day eco finds:

3 yoga poses for a yoga booty

General

Celebrity yoga teacher Mandy Ingber shares 3 of the best yoga poses for getting a yoga booty with PeopleMag.com. The moves, a combination of poses and pulses to really get the butt muscles working, are some of the yoga poses she does with celebrity clients like Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Aniston.

Quick and easy cream of asparagus soup

Recipes

Now that we're old friends with our Vitamix and our new healthy morning routines are nicely established, we decided to give soup a try. We perused the Vitamix cookbook and decided to make cream of asparagus soup.

6 foods that naturally whiten teeth

Yoga Lifestyle

Stop using those chemical teeth whiteners! Instead of using strips and gels to make your smile brighter, eat these 6 foods that are good for your teeth.

Elena Brower On Meditation

What’s Hot

Below is an excerpt from a letter Elena Brower wrote to fellow parents of children at her son’s school. In it, she talks about the weekly class she teaches (lucky kids) and a project that’s dear to her heart, On Meditation.

Yoga tips for people who are overweight

Yoga News

No matter what your body type, trying yoga for the first time can be extremely intimidating. But yoga can be safe and beneficial for people of all sizes and ages if you know where to start.

A Los Angeles yoga rave you won't want to miss

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

We didn’t expect to type the words “yoga” and “rave” in the same sentence, but the UPLIFT Yoga Bash made us do it. On April 25 at 6pm, 600 yogis will gather at the historic Vibiana Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles for a "Yoga rave for a cause" event. It will feature a drug-free yoga dance flow taught by Anthony Chavez, complete with a DJ and laser lights (naturally). Proceeds benefit UP, a new middle school program whose mission is to bring yoga and inspiration to young teens.

Healthy yoga plans for the weekend

DIY Fridays

We pack in as much healthy fun into our weekends as possible and since we have a serious case of spring fever, it means spending a lot of time outside. Follow our fun and fit to-do list and you’ll get your yoga on, work on your beach body and eat delicious detox foods all while getting some fresh air. Come Monday, you’ll feel like a new yogi.

Welcome to the great outdoors:

Eat these cookies after yoga

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

Need a nourishing and sweet post-yoga snack? Whip up this vegan and gluten-free cookie recipe from Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul.

I’ve got a penchant for bringing my food with me wherever I go. I’m so much happier and healthier when I’m chowing down on my own creations when I’m away from home. So it’s no surprise that I have a dedicated after yoga snack. Instead of relying on New York City subways to get me home quickly so I can eat after a class, I bring my goodies with me.

Are packed yoga classes dangerous?

Yoga News by Blair Atkins

Tara Stiles, owner of the popular Strala Yoga in NYC and teacher to yogis around the world, recently tweeted that she was capping her classes at 70 for "safety and best experience." When does a big class go from wildly popular to mildly dangerous?  

Pass it OM. On Meditation, last day...

General

Wanna be in pictures? You first have to answer this tough trivia question: What do three-time national book award winner and author of THE SNOW LEOPARD Peter Matthiessen, six term Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, Giancarlo Esposito of the hit TV series BREAKING BAD and internationally renown yoga teach and author Elena Brower have in common? They are all a part of this transformation film, On Meditation that explores the powerful tool of meditation as the ultimate ‘reset’ button. 

Yogavidala closing its doors

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

We got a newsletter from Robyn Bennett last week announcing that Yogavidala in Los Feliz will be closing its doors on June 30, 2013. The reason? It stated: 

“This has not been an easy decision. The popularity of our neighborhood has created an increased demand and we were asked for a substantial increase to the already high rent. These escalating costs necessitate the closure of the studio.”

lululemon launches free yoga app

Yoga News

At the Yoga Journal New York Conference, we got a sneak peek of lululemon’s new yoga app, Om Finder. This free app, which launched on April 11, locates nearby yoga classes and includes reviews and tips from local yogis to give you the inside scoop.

we *heart* Buddha Groove

Yoga Lifestyle

You like, share, pin and tweet every inspirational quote you come across, so why not take those powerful words of encouragement offline and into your everyday life? Buddha Groove has a large selection of spiritual and inspirational home décor and jewelry that makes it easy to live your intentions everyday. Use code 'alignyo' for 10% off your first order (expires 4/25/13). Shop now.

Get into the groove:

Top toxic chemicals in skin care

Yoga Lifestyle

If you ever needed another reason to make the switch to natural beauty products, here it is: Blisstree shared this list of toxic ingredients (courtesy of Pangea Organics) and we ran to the medicine cabinet to make sure our products were free of these dangerous chemicals. 

Symbolism of Hindu & Buddhist deities and their relevance today workshop

Local Events - NYC

This Friday, April 19 at 8:15pm, Abhaya Yoga in Brooklyn hosts the Symbolism of Hindu and Buddhist Dieties and their Relevance Today workshop with Manoj Chalam. Using statues to illustrate, Manoj will relate the symbolism of Hindu and Buddhist deities to the archetypes within us. Discover how these ancient teachings have practical relevance to your life, bringing peace of mind and uncovering our underlying common spirit.

Cameron Diaz rocks yoga pants to workout in Los Angeles

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Cameron Diaz was caught leaving Tracy Anderson’s Los Angeles gym last week. As you can see, the 40-year-old actress rocks yoga pants and a white hoodie as she dashes past paparazzi. Anderson’s Method (a unique style of fitness that targets the accessory muscles, or small muscle groups) has also helped sculpt the body of A-listers like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow – although Gwen has been digging antigravity yoga as of late.

3 yoga exercises for a stressful day at work

General by Jessica Bellofatto

On a tight deadline? A big meeting with the boss? Yoga teacher Jessica Bellofatto shares three simple yoga exercises you can do to relieve stress at the office.

Just a few minutes of yoga and meditation can have a dramatic effect on your stress level. Take some down time for yourself to try out these poses from yoga teacher Jessica Bellofatto, which can be practiced in your kitchen, or at your desk. 

How to make your own anointing oil

Yoga Lifestyle by Charlynn Avery

Anointing oils were traditionally used in blessing. In more modern times, they serve as a spiritual perfume of sorts. Their aromas bring sanctity and mindfulness into focus and provide a gentle, aromatic tug to our spirit each time we take a deep breath.

Shakti Fest is back

General

Get ready for three days of yoga, music and wisdom workshops - Shakti Fest is back. Taking place May 17-19 in beautiful Joshua Tree, California, Shakti Fest is a celebration of yoga, love and the Divine Feminine. With a big focus on Bhakti (love and devotion), Shakti Fest is sure to be a soul-shaking experience. Shakti Fest is showing us some love! Use code 'alignyo' for $50 off your ticket. Here are a few highlights you won’t want to miss.

It’s going down in the desert: 

Finds of a Festival: Yoga Journal Conference New York

Local Events - NYC

There are certain things that you find when shopping at a yoga show marketplace: cosmic jewelry, footwear made out of rope and of course tea, lots and lots of tea. But one thing that surprised us was that smack dab in the center of the Yoga Journal New York Conference, was a very LA vibe. From cool companies to a rockstar yogi who brought his unique style of yoga to New York, here are our favorite finds of the YJNYC festival.

3 ways to get your significant other to try yoga

General by Blair Atkins

Your significant other's idea of fun may not include sun salutations and pranayama, but that doesn't mean that he or she can't begin to enjoy tagging along with you to yoga class every once and awhile. Even if your loved one doesn't have an interest in becoming a full-throttle yogi, yoga benefits the mind, body and spirit. It is only natural to want to share your passion for yoga with your sweetheart so that he or she can feel as amazing as you do when you leave the studio after an inspiring class. 

Golden Bridge Santa Monica welcomes new teachers Brittny McCarthy and Adam Schomer

Teachers by Molly Nourmand

Over the weekend, Golden Bridge Yoga announced that it is welcoming Brittny McCarthy and Adam Schomer to their teaching schedule at their Santa Monica location. (We couldn’t help but notice that they’re both redheads.) Brittny and Adam will be teaching Sattva (pronounced satt - wa) Yoga. What’s that, you ask?

Work for work's sake

General by Eric Paskel

Yoga Shelter founder Eric Paskel lets us in on why we need to take action and do work without attachment or craving. Love Eric's witty and insightful knowledge? Sign up now for Yoga Shelter's retreat to Mar de Jade in Mexico and save $750 plus get $250 towards travel costs.

Yoga with weights - totally dangerous or awesome workout?

What’s Hot by Blair Atkins

Yoga is the workout of choice for many of us. Just by using our body weight, we are able to build strength, tone the body, and increase our flexibility. Practicing yoga with weights can give us even better physical results, as it requires greater strength to hold poses with extra weight in hand. But some yogis worry about the safety of practicing yoga with weights. Is yoga meant to be practiced this way? 

Tax tips for Los Angeles yoga teachers

General by Molly Nourmand

In a recent HuffPo article on things people ask yoga teachers, LA yogini Clio Manuelian admitted: "I'm a full-time instructor, and I make close-ish to minimum wage." The U.S.

Chicago: Don't miss Ashley Turner at Moksha Yoga

Local Workshops by Maya Henderson

I had the pleasure of taking Ashley Turner's Urban Priestess workshop when she stopped into Chicago's Moksha Yoga last year and let me tell you, it’s something special.

Sore from yoga? Try Arnicare Gel

General

You were in the zone in yoga class. There was no inversion, backbend or forward fold you couldn’t breathe your way a little deeper in to…and now, your poor muscles are really feeling it today. Meet your new favorite yoga tool: Arnicare Gel. This natural pain reliever works fast to relieve pain so you can hit the mat again and again. Get to know Arnicare Gel and save $1 off your first tube. 

Say goodbye to sore muscles:

Russell Brand and Demi Moore bond over Los Angeles yoga

What’s Hot by Molly Nourmand

Earlier this year we reported that Demi Moore did yoga at Russell Brand’s Los Angeles home. They have become friends, well, maybe more than friends, since then. Last Friday they were spotted leaving a yoga class in Hollywood together looking sweaty and blissed out. Brand credits yoga and meditation to helping him after his marriage ended with Katy Perry, so he feels it will help Moore too. To boot, Brand recently told radio DJ Howard Stern, “I really like her [Moore]. She's a beautiful person.

Nutrition made simple - Vitamix

What’s Hot

We like to take the guesswork out of the equation for our alignyo community by providing you with a first-hand account of what's new and exciting in the yoga world. This week, it's all about the Vitamix. While, we know every yogi out there knows their way around a smoothie – a little chia, greens, juice and blend - we wanted to go deep with the Vitamix to understand why it's so different from everything else out there.

Essential oils for meditation

Yoga Lifestyle by Charlynn Avery

Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery shares some of the best essential oils for meditation.

$39 for 3 weeks of classes at The Yoga Room

Local Events - NYC

Ready to try out The Yoga Room? New students get a steal of a deal: $39 for 3 weeks of classes. With locations in both Astoria and Long Island City, The Yoga Room has over 100 classes a week for you to choose from, so you’ll surely find something that fits your yoga style.

6 restorative yoga poses to help you relax

General by Greatist.com

Stressed out? Our pals over at Greatist created this infographic featuring 6 restorative yoga poses that will help you calm down and relax. These stress reducing yoga poses are great for beginners and experienced yogis. All you need is a firm pillow or a bolster to quiet your mind and release tension in your body.

Miso mango red cabbage salad recipe + 4 ways to eat more salads

General by Jenne Claiborne

Jenné Claiborne shares a delicious healthy salad recipe plus four easy ways to incorporate more salad into your diet. Ready to recharge and renew? Join Jenné’s 30-day Spring Vegan Challenge

5 surprising causes of hormone imbalance (and how to fix them)

General

Do you think you have a hormone imbalance? You might be surprised at the potential culprit. Read this news from Blisstree for more info.

If your food cravings are out of control, your memory forgettable, your skinny jeans unwearable and sleep unattainable, you could be suffering from a hormone imbalance. There are six things that can throw your hormones out of balance, and they may just surprise you.

Learn how to make your own beauty products

Local Events - NYC

Amy Galper, creator of Buddha Nose, hosts a special Essential Oils, Beauty and Wellness workshop on Sunday, April 7 from 2-4:30pm at Sanctuary Pilates.

InYoga's 3rd anniversary freebies

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

One of our favorite studios, InYoga, is celebrating their 3rd birthday this month. Here are their upcoming anniversary freebies:

Saturday, April 6: FREE classes all day with live music and surprises + an anniversary potluck party from 7-10pm. All are invited – bring your fave dish/bevy.

Saturday, April 13: FREE screening of “Yoga Unveiled” from 5-8pm  –  introduced by filmmaker Gita Desai.

Ayurveda 101: Prakriti

Yoga Lifestyle by Insiya Rasiwala-Finn

Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, is an ancient holistic health method of balancing the body for optimal mental and physical wellness. Blissology Yoga teacher and Ayurveda practitioner Insiya Rasiwala-Finn is here to help us get a better understanding of Ayurveda to improve our health and yoga practice.

5 ways to slow down from Chrissy Carter

Yoga Lifestyle by Chrissy Carter

If you're constantly checking email, easily aggravated by others or just running through life full speed ahead, try following these 5 tips on how to slow down and enjoy life from yoga teacher Chrissy Carter. Don't miss Chrissy's upcoming the Art of Hands-on Adjustments workshop at YogaWorks Union Square on April 6. 

New CorePower Yoga studio opens up in Encino

Local Events - LA by Molly Nourmand

CorePower Yoga opened its fourth studio in Los Angeles on Friday, March 29th in downtown Encino. This new location will offer a variety of yoga class styles for all levels, including CorePower Yoga's dynamic heated Power Yoga, as well as Yoga Sculpt and Hot Power Fusion. This studio has two yoga rooms and is thankfully complete with showers. Housewarming gift?

Easter yoga fun at the White House

Hot off the mat

In 2010, alignyo publisher Liz Eustace had the privilege to participate in the Yoga Garden during the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. This year, the White House showed yoga a little more love by including it in today's 'Be healthy, Be active, Be you!' events as well as the Presidential Active Lifestyle Achievement challenge. Encouraging Americans to get healthy by trying yoga? We love it almost as much as Michelle's white jeans.

Update on San Diego lawsuit against yoga in schools

What’s Hot

A few months ago, a San Diego school district made headlines when it was reported that parents opposed an ashtanga yoga program because they believed that yoga promoted Hinduism as a religion.