October 2013

The 5 best flexibility workouts online


Looking for ways to work on your flexibility when you can’t get on the yoga mat? Blisstree picked their five best flexibility workouts online. Give these a try and see if you can become a more limber lad or lady. 

How to do Cow Face Pose and the yoga mythology behind Gomukhasana

General by Alanna Kaivalya

Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose, is named in honor of Krishna. In the video below, yoga teacher Alanna Kaivalya shares how Gomukhasana got its name and also provides tips on how to do Cow Face Pose.

Yoga for runners: Try this 15-minute post-run yoga sequence

Yoga Lifestyle by Breathe Repeat

Whether you love the feel of a brisk fall run or you’ve moved your cardio efforts indoors to the treadmill, this yoga for runners sequence from our friends at Breathe Repeat will help keep you flexible and injury-free. This post-run yoga sequence is approved by Rodney Yee (he directed the photo shoot, which took place at his house in Sag Harbor) and only takes about 15 minutes, so make time to do this after your next run. 

As an avid yogi and runner, people often ask me if it’s better to do yoga before or after a run.

Cool vintage yoga pictures


Can you imagine what it was like to be a pioneer of yoga in the western world back in the day? We applaud those passionate yogis and health advocates who wanted to share this “new” and “weird” form of exercise with the world. Check out these cool vintage yoga pictures we spotted on Vintage Everyday.

New study shows restorative yoga burns fat


Here’s another reason to love restorative yoga: A new study published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that a regular restorative yoga practice can lead to a significant amount of reduced subcutaneous fat.

From Shape:

Seductive Sweet Potato Bites

Recipes by Aimee Christine Hughes

Sweet, savory and just a little spicy, these Seductive Sweet Potato Bites from the Sexy Vegan Chef Aimee Hughes are a great cold-weather side dish.

Aimee says these spicy sweet potato bites are the perfect prelude to the main dish – or the main event!

Julianne Moore does yoga to stay fit

What’s Hot

Julianne Moore does yoga to help her stay healthy and fit. She’s been quoted in the past about her love of yoga, but in the latest issue of Health magazine, she opens up about her diet and fitness regime.

12 healthy and cheap Halloween costume ideas


We think our yoga-inspired Halloween costume ideas are amazing, but if you’re still looking for the perfect dress up idea, check out these 12 healthy Halloween costume ideas from Blisstree. Our favorite: The Zombie Yoga Teacher!

Sure, you can always be a slutty firefighter or a slutty French maid or a slutty whatever-the-hell, but here are a few ideas for easy, cheap, health-and-fitness inspired Halloween costumes. Sluttiness optional, as always!

Halloween yoga: 5 "scary" yoga poses


We at alignyo believe that every great celebration calls for a little yoga, and Halloween is no exception. Get in the Halloween spirit with these 5 "scary" yoga poses inspired from the season's spookiest characters. If your little yogi had a little too much sugar, break out the mat and make this a Halloween yoga sequence for kids. They’ll burn off some extra energy and you’ll get in a quick yoga session. 

Mirin Brussels Sprouts

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

With all the sugar sweets and treats of Halloween taking over, we thought we’d do a 180 and share a simple, healthy and easy dish you can make on those days when you might’ve been a little too friendly with the candy bowl at work. Vegan chef Jenné Claiborne’s Mirin Brussels Sprouts are a great way to get in a serving of greens and reset your body.

Don't miss Yoga Shelter's Halloween disco party

Local Events - LA

Halloween inferno. A what, you ask? Emily Belgard is teaching a disco-themed Yoga Rocks class on Thursday, October 31 from 7:30-8:45pm at Yoga Shelter in Studio City. Make sure to rise to the occasion – in other words, “Bring your boogie shoes and your Stayin’ Alive moves.” 

New York Halloween yoga events

Local Events - NYC

Have a frightfully good time on Halloween and stay healthy to boot. Earlier this week, we shared unique (and totally fun) yoga Halloween costume ideas. Now we’re letting you know where you can show off your costume, get on your mat and howl at the moon. Okay, maybe not that last one, teen wolf, but you know what we mean. Keep reading for info about an aerial yoga spooktacular for adults and a free spooky storytime yoga kiddos will love. It’s Halloween, yoga style.

The NamaSTAY Yoga Towel


A good yoga towel is a must for hot yoga. The last thing you want in a heated yoga class is to try to gracefully get into a pose then find yourself in an unintentional (and potentially dangerous) Hanumanasana. But not all towels are created equal. It’s gotta stay put and be ready to perform just as much as our beloved mat, which is why we’re into the NamaSTAY yoga towel

Eight Angle Pose: How to do Astavakrasana

General by Alanna Kaivalya

Whenever you feel self-conscious about your practice or how you look during yoga, think of the story of the great sage Astavakra. In this video below, yoga teacher and mythology expert Alanna Kaivalya shares the story of Astavakra and the yoga pose named after him, Astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose). Alanna also shows us how to safely get into Eight Angle pose.

Chakras and Essential Oils: Balancing the Crown Chakra

General by Charlynn Avery

Our series on balancing the chakras with essential oils comes to a close with a focus on the crown chakra. Read on for tips from aromatherapist Charlynn Avery on how to expand and balance this energy center.

The strong associations of the crown chakra (Sahasrara) are about spirituality, enlightenment and awareness. If you seek to live a more spiritual and purposeful life, then this is a powerful energy center to balance. This area is all about our ability to connect at the deepest level with our higher power and with the collective consciousness.

Vegan Autumn Acorn Squash & Lentil Stew

Recipes by Sarah Miller

This lentil stew is heartily packed with protein, greens, and squash, and a perfect Sunday evening, make-ahead meal for the week. The recipe is flexible enough that you can easily adjust the ingredients to whatever seasonal varieties of squash and greens you have on hand. Once it is made, it is delicious eaten alone, and can also be served over a bed of brown rice or quinoa for some added flare. This recipe will carry you through the week, and the time you would normally spend prepping meals, you put it toward some extra time on your mat!

What is ashtanga yoga?


If you love Vinyasa flow or power yoga, you’re already familiar with ashtanga. Ashtanga is the forefather of “modern” yoga styles like power yoga and vinyasa flow. Yogis love ashtanga because it’s physically challenging and fast-paced, but still seeped in yoga tradition. Because it has a set sequence (meaning you’ll do the same poses every class) it’s great for those who like to know what to expect and want to see measurable progress in their yoga poses. Find out more about ashtanga yoga below. 

Yoga for constipation video: Do this yoga move when you feel stuck


Feeling a little backed up? Try this yoga for constipation move from Kristin McGee. In this short video, Kristin shows us how to do a belly roll exercise for digestive relief. Grab a yoga blanket or a beach towel and get ready to move, if you know what we mean. 

Yoga teacher training: 4 things to know before you become a yoga teacher


It’s easier than ever to become a certified yoga teacher thanks to all the teacher training programs out there. But not all yoga teacher training programs are created equally and there are a few things you should know before you invest your time and money in a teacher training program.

How to choose the best yoga teacher training program for you:

5 ways yoga can benefit your skin

General by Rachael Pontillo

Want to achieve youthful, glowing and clear skin? Get on the mat! A regular yoga practice can help improve your complexion. While practicing yoga might not seem as glamorous or technically advanced as buying the hottest new miracle skin cream or going to a medical spa for the latest anti-aging treatments, regular practice can have significant positive effects on the skin.

Why hitting the mat can help give you beautiful skin:

Review: Philosophie's Green Dream Green Powder


Getting enough green leafy veggies in your diet is an easy way to remove toxins from your body, stay energized and lose weight. Dark leafy greens can even help improve your yoga practice

9 foods to eat to grow long hair


Taking forever to grow out a bad cut? Bored with your look? Just want longer hair? Check out these 9 best foods to eat to grow longer hair via our pals at Blisstree and get your Rapunzel on!

Fancy gluten-free pasta recipes from Goop


If you avoid gluten then you’re no stranger to gluten-free pasta. The variety of noodles, made from brown rice, quinoa, corn and millet, can be a lifesaver when the craving for pasta hits.

Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop shared a selection of delicious looking gluten-free pasta recipes, including the Quinoa Rigatoni with Artichokes and Fried Rosemary (pictured).

Vintage exercise photos that will make you glad you're working out in 2013


Yoga studios everywhere, moisture-wicking fabrics and cool leggings, we’re pretty sure the present time is the best time to be an active yoga enthusiast. Don’t believe us? Check out these fun vintage workout photos we found on Blisstree and see if you still feel the same way.

Watch Prana's "Breath" video featuring Shiva Rea


We love Shiva Rea, so when we heard that Prana filmed a cool short video featuring the yoga goddess, we had to share it.

From Prana’s Breath series, the short 90 second video gives us a sneak peek into Shiva’s world. One thing’s for sure: it will make you want to do a round of deep, cleansing breaths…and get up and dance.

Watch the video below.

Balance & Restore Wellness Series at Vira Yoga

Local Events - NYC

There are so many reasons to love ViraYoga, one of which is its internationally renown co-owner, Elena Brower. Vira is constantly offering innovative programming, not only through their yoga classes but also via workshops. We’re excited about Balance & Restore, a three-part wellness series on how to feel good, look good and get the most out of life through holistic self-care.

New studio opening party: Golden Sol in Los Feliz

Local Events - LA

Golden Sol, a yoga and wellness center that just opened in Los Feliz,is the brainchild of Amy Golden and Marisol Rascon. Offerings include yoga classes from kundalini to vinyasa, healing arts (think: Reiki, massage, etc.), a meditation room open to the public, a gallery hosting art shows once a month, and they’re partnering with the Downtown Women's Center to teach stress-reduction and self-care workshops to these women in need. 

Yoga for the blind computer program being developed


This is super cool news. The University of Washington has developed a yoga for the blind computer program. Using Microsoft Kinect software (and here we thought it was just good for epic Dance Central battles), the program watches a user’s movement and using geometry, gives verbal feedback on how to accurately get into a yoga pose. 

What is kundalini yoga?


You may have heard of your favorite celebrity practicing kundalini yoga or perhaps seen a yogi dressed in all white, wearing a white turban and wondered what was up with that. If you’re not familiar with its ancient roots, kundalini yoga may seem odd, but it’s actually one of the most spiritually empowering forms of yoga practiced in the West. Find out more about kundalini yoga below. 

Chakras and Essential Oils: Balancing the Third Eye Chakra

General by Charlynn Avery

Get a deeper connection to your intuition. Find out how to balance your third eye chakra using essential oils with these tips from Aura Cacia aromatherapist Charlynn Avery.

What is the Yoga Alliance?


Perhaps you've noticed the letters "RYT" after your favorite yoga teacher's name. This shows that he or she is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. But what exactly is the Yoga Alliance and what does this "alliance" entail? 

Meet the Square by Clean Bottle


Hydration is important to us (duh, we’re yogis), so we consider ourselves water bottle connoisseurs here at alignyo. In fact, we never leave home without a water bottle and over the years, have tried and tested almost every water bottle known to man.

3 healthy benefits of probiotics and how to get them in your diet

General by Sabrina Taylor

Your gut is your second brain. Linked to your hormones, nervous system and immune system, it is responsible for approximately two thirds of your immunity. 

The lining of your gut contains over 100 million neurons that work hard to break down foods, assimilate nutrients and remove waste. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can disrupt the intricate functioning of this system. This is where probiotics come in handy.

3 ways to release fear in your yoga practice

General by Ally Garner

How much does your mind hold you back in yoga? Chances are you have the strength and focus to get into that intense arm balance pose that has been freaking you out or to conquer a long hold in chair. With enough practice your body can do it, but sometimes it is your mind that restrains you. If you feel held back in your yoga practice, try these few simple tips to release fear and embrace transformation on the mat. 

Top 5 Ayurveda tools for fall (Vata Season)

Yoga Lifestyle by Ali Cramer

New to Ayurveda or just looking for easy ways to stay healthy and happy this fall? alignyo asked Ayurveda expert Ali Cramer of Laughing Lotus NYC to share her top five tools for Vata season. These simple and easy Ayurvedic practices will help boost your health this fall. 

How to find your center in yoga

Yoga Lifestyle by Breathe Repeat

What does your yoga teacher mean when s/he tells you to find your center? Our friends at Breathe Repeat explain what the center is and how to engage it when you practice.

In our asana practice, we are falling in and out of postures all the time. We also incur injuries (not yoga-related, of course!). With these perceived “imbalances,” we try to find symmetry and equality in our “new” bodies, and that is where center begins.

Kristin McGee: Essentials for new yoga moms


So how does new mom Kristin McGee balance baby, her career and remembering to feed herself? Lots of planning. In this blog, Kristin shares her essentials for new moms to have on hand.

Can tapping (EFT) help calm your anxiety?


Feeling a little anxious or sad lately? You may want to consider trying Tapping, or the Emotional Freedom Technique, to help you calm down. Find out more about it below. 

I’ve had problems with anxiety and panic attacks for about six years now. So far, the only thing I’ve found to help me deal with it is tapping on my head, face, body, and hands. Yup, tapping. It sounds weird, but EFT, or emotional freedom technique, is the simple panacea I was looking for.

University offers Masters in Yoga program

Yoga News

How does two years studying yoga philosophy, Sanskrit and maybe a visit to ashrams in India sound? Well, it’s all part of what you’ll do in Loyola Marymount University’s new masters degree in yoga studies program

LMU in Los Angeles is now being credited as the first university to offer a masters in yoga program. The two-year program, which costs about $36,000, gives students the opportunity to study yoga history, anatomy, philosophy and physiology as well as learn to read Sanskrit. 

Watch NFL Films Presents: Yoga and Football

What’s Hot

Yoga is for everyone and everybody. Case in point: Former pro football player Keith Mitchell. Mitchell, who spent most of his career playing with the New Orleans Saints, turned to yoga after a spinal contusion ended his career. 

Pumpkin Curry Soba Wraps

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

This vegan pumpkin curry soba wrap recipe from Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul shows off the delicious savory side of pumpkin. 

Lara Land's Chloe the Yogi app

Local Events - NYC

We applaud Lara Land for the sangha she’s creating for NYC yogis. Lara, the owner of iconic Harlem yoga studio Land Yoga, recently launched a yoga for kids program and app, Chloe the Yogi.

Chakras and Essential Oils: Balancing the Throat Chakra

General by Charlynn Avery

Having trouble communicating? Your throat chakra may be out of balance. Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery of Aura Cacia shares the best essential oils for balancing the throat chakra below. 

Flow Play takes yoga and music to the next level


Music in yoga class can help you get in the zone, but it can also send confusing signals to your brain, which can effect how your body responds to your practice. 

The best yoga drinks for your dosha

Yoga Lifestyle by Breathe Repeat

Coconut water, Turmeric Alive, green smoothies, kombucha… We yogis love our yoga beverages, but does your favorite post-practice refreshment throw your dosha out of balance? Ayurveda expert Ali Cramer investigates for Breathe Repeat.

These days it seems there’s a new fancy beverage popping up at yoga studios every month. Some of them are really good, and perfect for dehydrated yogis after class. Some of them are not. So this week, let’s take a look at the most popular ones and break down which choice is best for you!

Tara Stiles is bringing Strala Yoga to Sports Club/LA

Yoga News

Tara Stiles opened Strala Yoga in NYC in 2008. Since then, Tara has blossomed into one of today's biggest yogalebrities, writing books on yoga, starring in yoga DVDs, and becoming the face of Reebok's first yoga line.  

5 health benefits of pumpkin


We understand if you get a little eye roll-y about pumpkin this time of year. Restaurants, cafes and markets start incorporating pumpkin into everything and even the most diehard pumpkin lover can be a little overwhelmed. It’s fall. Pumpkins are in season. We get it. But we beg you, dear yogi, to open your heart to all that pumpkin goodness, because while a pumpkin spice latte from your corner coffeshop might not make the cut, pumpkin is an incredibly healthy fruit to incorporate into your diet. 

5 reasons why you should eat more pumpkin:

Jahta Beat: Chanting with Tigers by DJ Drez


You may have seen on our Instagram account over the weekend that we attended a yoga event in Del Mar, CA where DJ Drez provided the beats. Drez, who calls himself a "sound ambassador,” has performed at Wanderlust, Coachella, and Lightning in a Bottle, among dozens of other events. If you haven't seen DJ Drez live, make it a priority. He knows how to select beats that will make you want to move on and off your mat. 

Why skipping breakfast may not be bad for you


Do you tend to rush out of the house in the morning without having breakfast? Turns out, that might not be as bad for you as previously suspected. Our friends at Blisstree explain:

Screw what you heard! We have been lied to this whole time. They told us that breakfast prevents weight gain and aids weight loss. They told us not to skip breakfast, but we could have been sleeping an extra half hour this whole time without gaining any weight.

What are the koshas?

Yoga Lifestyle by Breathe Repeat

We learn something new every time we check out Breathe Repeat. Did you know that ancient yogis believed that the human body was made up of five layers or sheaths, called the Koshas? We didn’t either. Read on for more.

Are these foods ruining your skin?


Can’t seem to get clear skin no matter what you do? It might be your diet. This post from Blisstree calls out foods that can give you acne. 

According to scientific speculation, here are the worst foods for your complexion:

Refined Carbs

Shocking. Just kidding, not shocking even a little bit. According to Dr. Francesca Fusco:

“A diet with a high glycemic index – basically, processed foods like bread and refined grains that are quickly broken down into sugar – can have a terrible effect on skin,”

4 yoga poses for long, lean legs


Maybe you've already packed away your shorts for the winter, but who doesn't still want toned legs, even when rocking yoga leggings? We've been designing our flows with plenty of postures that sculpt long, lean legs. Give these yoga poses a try and feel the burn. Remember to breathe deeply and don’t be scared if you begin to shake while holding these poses, that’s just your body changing for the better! 

Let's get leggy. Do these yoga poses for long and lean legs: 

Glow in the dark yoga comes to West Hollywood

Local Events - LA

AuraYoga opened its doors in WeHo’s Sunset Plaza last weekend. This sleek and modern indoor cycling and yoga studio boasts a multi-sensory experience for practitioners: “The walls surrounding the studio glow soothing colors during the class.” From Hot Aura Flow to Aura Restorative, teachers such as Claudia Townley curate the ambiance to go along with their class. Get two weeks of FREE classes using this secret code: TryHotBliss.

Vegan sweet potato pudding recipe

Recipes by Jenne Claiborne

Looking for a sweet, creamy and healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth? This dairy-free and gluten-free vegan Sweet Potato Pudding recipe from Jenné Claiborne will do the trick.

There's something so comforting about eating pudding. Sweet and creamy foods have the power to make me feel like everything is going to be all right. 

Chakras and Essential Oils: Balancing the Heart Chakra

General by Charlynn Avery

Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery is back with another installment of our series on balancing the chakras using essential oils. This week, she talks about the Heart Chakra and the best essential oils for this energy center.

How to have a great Savasana in every yoga class


In our eyes, savasana is the dessert of yoga practice: something we look forward to and totally enjoy. 

Yoga for the Government Shut Down


The government is shut down and while the fight around healthcare continues, there’s only one thing we know for sure: Now is not the time to get stressed out and sick in America. Thankfully, you dear yogi, are already familiar with one of the best tools for dealing with stress and calming anxiety: yoga. Put your practice to use. Get on your mat, move and breathe. Here’s how to get started.

Use your yoga to shut down stress:

3 healthy snacks that are perfect for the office


Picture this: You’re at work and hunger is starting to set in. You had lunch a few hours ago, but at this rate, if you don’t eat something soon, you won’t have the energy for that that 6pm yoga class. You could hit up the break room or a co-workers candy bowl to hold you over, but chances are that will make you feel worse. So what do you do?  

Watch the Fat Jew lead a Bikram yoga class for the homeless in NYC Subway

What’s Hot

The Fat Jew (yes, that’s what he calls himself) has been serving laughs on Twitter for years and recently made headlines for teaching a “SoulCycle” class to the homeless on docked Citibikes (NYC’s bike sharing program). Now he’s helping the homeless stay fit with free Bikram yoga classes on subway platforms. 

Yoga wedded bliss: AcroYoga wedding photos

What’s Hot

We spotted these AcroYoga Wedding photos from the Kiera Eve Photography website on Facebook. Whether you plan on tying the knot soon, have been married for years or have no plans to get married at all, we think you’ll love the simple, elegant and gorgeous photos of this AcroYoga couple.

The 5 best online yoga videos


When we saw this post on Blisstree highlighting what they call the five best online yoga workouts, we just had to share. We could definitely add to this list, but think they’re off to a good start. Do you agree with their picks?

The best online yoga videos according to Blisstree: