6 Best Yoga Podcasts For Yogis

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular these days. They’re so easy. You can listen to them when doing the dishes, when driving, or when exercising. They load onto your tiny device, and you can take them with you wherever you go. Through them, you can access information or ideas on almost any subject, and it’s no wonder that so many people and companies are entering the genre. Yoga is no exception. There are a lot of yoga podcasts available, and to help you sift through them, here are eight that will help you improve your yoga practices. 

1. Yogaland With Andrea Ferretti

This podcast has it all, from great guests to conversations about taking yoga principles outside of your official practice, to in-depth discussions about yoga and life. The host is cheerful and welcoming, and the sheer number and breadth of episodes mean you’re sure to find one relevant to your life no matter what’s going on. 

2. Awake In The World With Michael Stone

If you like your yoga gentle but philosophical, then this entry might be the one for you. This host addresses not only some serious issues, such as the use of yoga in trauma therapy but also delves into the history of Buddhism and texts about the topic. It is interesting on an intellectual and spiritual level. 

3. Yoga Today With Simon Park 

For busy mornings and times when you just want to get your workout done and go on with your day, this podcast is short and sweet and has everything you need. Allow these short video podcast sessions to guide you through poses or suggest changes you can make with your lifestyle to improve your all-around health. 

4. J. Brown Yoga Talks

This podcast discusses many of the same philosophical and spiritual issues as some of the others on this list, but with a unique twist. His candor and sharing of his personal life create a real sense of community and connection, which keeps people coming back to this informative and inspirational entry. Yoga is about connection, and this podcast really celebrates that aspect. 

5. Corepower Yoga

This slightly unusual podcast has both videos and audio-only. In the videos, you get introduced to new poses while the audio-only answers common beginner questions. An interesting format is designed for the listeners’ needs and is very useful if you like to upgrade your practice constantly. 

6. Yoga Download

No frills and no messing about this podcast. If you want a yoga session for winter, or one designed to lift your mood, then this is the video podcast to come to. With twenty minute sessions, the Yoga Download podcast means you can always have access to a new workout that is designed for your needs of the day. A great idea and a tremendous final entry to this list. 

These eight yoga podcasts will inspire, motivate, and challenge you on every level. If you’re looking to add an extra dimension to your practice, or just for something interesting to listen to while you’re vacuuming the floor, try one and see how much it adds to your life. 

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Yoga For Happiness: The Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

 

 

What is happiness for the regular person who goes to work in the hustle-bustle of life? What is happiness for the soldier who just came back from the battlefield with scars in his heart and soul after seeing his comrades getting hurt in the dusty streets of the war?

A constant feel of ecstasy? Psychologists say that our bodies and minds would not sustain such a continuous state. Also, our bodies or minds would break down because of the intensity of that feeling. Realistically speaking, a constant state of ecstasy is not attainable in this life.

 

Happiness In Yoga

The answer is simple, just like most things which bring us joy:

 

  • Peace of mind
  • Calmness
  • Tranquility
  • And a life with a purpose, a meaning.

 

The Warrior II Pose Virabhadrasana II can be practiced by both warriors of life and the armies. It is, frankly, my favorite yoga stance.

This pose is named after a brave warrior called Virabhadra, and it symbolizes the battle we all have to fight: the mat is the battlefield, and the enemy is our mind. As our minds and bodies strengthen, we can defeat all the challenges from our lives rapidly with grace.

 

Warrior II Pose 

To the Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II), please follow these :

 

 

  • Come into the Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
  • While you exhale, jump or step the feet around 1.2 meters (approximately 4 feet) apart.
  • Lift the arms parallel to the mat and tighten them as much as possible, maintaining the shoulder blades wide and the palms downward;
  • Turn the right toe to the right a little and the left one out to the left in a 90-degree angle.
  • Bring into line the left heel with the right one.
  • Tighten the thighs and turn your left one outward, aligning the left knee cap with the center of your left ankle;
  • While you exhale, bend the left knee with the shin perpendicular to the floor, the knee not going beyond the ankle. Strengthen the right leg and the buttock of the right leg while pushing the outer right heel firmly on the mat;
  • Do not lean the upper body over the left thigh. Instead, maintain the sides of the upper body equally long, with the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Turn your head over the left and look over the fingers;
  • Maintain this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To come out of the stance, inhale and come up, reverse your feet;
  • Repeat the same movements to the left for the same amount of time.

 

 

Benefits Of The Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

The Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II) brings many benefits:

 

  • Increases stamina;
  • Strengthens the leg muscles;
  • Stretches the inner thighs, chest, lungs, groins, and shoulders;
  • Increases the flexibility of the hips;
  • Eases certain conditions around the sacrum.

 

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A Step By Step Guide For Seniors Who Wish To Start Yoga

 

 

Yoga is a practice with an ancient history that can be practiced by people of all ages. It means that seniors, aged above 60 years, can also reap the benefits of yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise that entails a combination of body movements and postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. We practice yoga to improve our physical and mental health and create a healthy balance in our life.

As we age, our body stiffens, and we lose mobility. Age-related illnesses start to kick in, and we find ourselves in a position where we are not able to do the basic tasks that we used to do. Our day-to-day lives become a challenge, and this coupled with the fact that we do not have any physically-engaging task can lead to our health further deteriorating. However, as seniors, there is a solution. We can practice yoga, which will ensure that our bodies are actively engaged in physical exercise, our mental health is okay and also ensure that our bodies are flexible and we are regularly building strength through low-impact moves. The fact that we lose half a pound of muscle each year because we are not actively exercising should be a wakeup call to all seniors to start the practice of yoga.

Yoga is a great option, considering that it does not require specialized equipment to start. It can also be tailored to meet the personal needs of an individual. A good example is, if a person has back problems, some asanas can be modified to ensure that the practitioner does not strain while doing yoga. For flexible seniors, complex asana can be practiced under the watchful eyes of a tutor. This individually centered aspect of yoga makes it very efficient for seniors who would like to begin practicing yoga.

Besides the obvious physical benefits of yoga, there are other benefits associated with yoga for seniors that, if practiced right, can lead to an improved quality life. Some of these benefits are:

 

  • Improved balance and stability
  • Improved memory
  • Reduction in the swelling of joints
  • Improved digestion
  • Burns extra calories and reduces cholesterol in the body
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood flow
  • Aids in depression and stress prevention/recovery

 

In conclusion, to start yoga as a senior, we should ensure that we do not hurt ourselves in the process. We should also ensure that we have a qualified yoga practitioner to act as our tutor. It ensures that we do not take risky poses that may cause everlasting effects on our health. Besides that, we should also remember to take balanced diet. It is an essential aspect of any exercise discipline. It ensures that our bodies have enough energy.

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Benefits Of Evening Exercise

Although morning exercise is often seen as the best choice, since it boosts our metabolism and energy, it is not possible or comfortable for everybody. Some people prefer evening practice, which is less talked about but still provides many rewards. Exercising after work or before sleep is an easier routine to follow for a lot of people since they are more motivated and awake. So, if you are definitely not a morning person, you can still catch up on the benefits of evening practice, which could even be more suitable for the goals you are trying to achieve. 

Exercise does boost our organism the same way as caffeine and exercising too late would most likely result in insomnia. For this reason, be sure to finish your exercise at least one hour before sleep. On the other hand, exercising in the evening exhausts us, and if done at the correct time, will actually make us sleep better. The restorative part of the day is key for a successful workout routine; being able to sleep better and longer will help in our muscle recovery and growth.

Your body’s metabolism adapts more readily to an evening routine and allows a more strenuous workout; as we can work about 20 percent longer. A 2013 study focused on differences in morning and evening exercise has found that our anaerobic capacities, as well as muscle strength, are higher during the evening, which makes the practitioner able to work at a higher intensity for a longer time. 

Being able to work with more volume and intensity will naturally end with better results, and it has been shown many times that people who exercise in the evening grow strength and muscle more quickly.

If you are a fitness enthusiast and decide to exercise during late-night hours, you will find that it’s easier to maintain the program you follow, since the gym will most likely be empty. Being able to work how and as much as you want on the chosen machines, without worrying you are in someone’s way, or someone else is in yours, consequently results in a better, more satisfying practice. On the other hand, if you love exercising outside, the streets are lonely in the later hours and a night run might just make you feel like you own the road. It can be a great motivator, and an awesome way to release all of the stress that added up in your day.

As mentioned above, along with physical, there are also many psychological benefits of an evening workout, primarily, the release of tensions built up during the day. Weight gain and stress increases our cortisol levels, which are proven to be lowered during the workout. Exercise also exhausts our energy and releases endorphins which make us feel better and more at peace with our lives. It is a perfect state to reach in the evening since it allows us a more peaceful sleep and can make us more prepared for the next day.

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Tips For Dressing For Outdoor Yoga

Nothing compares to the brilliant beauty of a sunset off in the distance. In yoga, we often attempt to surround ourselves with things of beauty and joy, which is why many yogis opt for an outdoor yoga class. This type of class or practice allows them to reconnect with nature, feeling the breeze and drinking in the beauty that surrounds them daily. It can give you a greater awareness and a sense of gratitude for the world you live in. 

However, many are uncertain of exactly how they should dress for an outdoor yoga session. What should you pull out of the closet if you’re heading to a local park or the beach for your yoga session? 

  • Wear Plenty Of Layers

You never know exactly what the weather will bring if you’re practicing outdoors. Be sure to wear an outfit that comes with plenty of layers so you can strip down or bundle up accordingly. It is even trickier during the season change when temperatures can drop or rise rapidly in the morning and evening. 

Consider wearing a thin pair of yoga Capri leggings with leg warmers over top of them, a tank top, and a light sweater. It allows you some flexibility in how warm you will be once the practice intensifies. The options provided with this solution also allow you to bundle up comfortably if it’s a gentler practice in the cool of the day. 

  • Consider The Bugs

Are there going to be gnats or mosquitos in the area where you will be practicing? If you think that this will bother you, make sure that you either bring your insect repellant or cover sensitive areas. If you frequently find bites on your feet after an outdoor practice, invest in a pair of yoga socks to wear with your yoga leggings. These allow you to grip the mat and prevent some of the more common insect bites. 

  • Wear Some Sleeves

It may seem like an uncommon trick, but be sure to bring something with sleeves that you may not even wear during your practice. Particularly for reclined poses, such as the bridge pose or savasana, you may want something to help protect your eyes from direct sunlight. If you aren’t fortunate enough to unroll your mat in the shade, this can help you to relax and experience each of your yoga poses more fully. 

Alternatively, if you feel that it may be too much for you to bring a jacket or you plan to wear it by the end of your practice, you may want to invest in an eye mask specifically for your practice. 

Outdoor yoga can be a terrific way to ground yourself and experience the beauty of nature throughout your practice. Preparation is key when it comes to making the most of your potential yoga class, and it can start with what you choose to wear to class. Be sure to keep these tips in mind before you go to your next outdoor yoga class.

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The Wheel Pose and its Benefits

The wheel pose is a backbend asana that straightens your legs, arms, and back. You probably know this pose after its other name: the upward bow. This is how some yoga lovers and enthusiasts call this asana. No matter how you name it, you must learn how to do it correctly to achieve all the benefits it has to offer. Here are some effective tips on how to perfect the wheel pose as well as its main benefits.

Mind Your Feet’s Position

During the entire pose, you must maintain your balance by keeping your feet parallel as well as at a hip-width distance. When you start this pose, your hips will move into an extension which increases the angle formed between your belly and thighs. The muscle that works the most will be the gluteus which will not only help extend your hip but will also rotate your thighs outwards. Some people might complain about the fact that this pose puts quite some pressure on their lower spine around their sacroiliac joint. Therefore, you must adjust your legs and align your body until you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Focus More on the Legs Rather than the Hands

It is true that the wheel pose engages all your limbs, both hands, and both legs. Still, most of the focus and effort should come from your legs. In other words, when you bend your back to form the wheel, you must push or press your feet into the ground to lift your body and arch your back a little more.

Lift Your Heels

Some of you might benefit from lifting the heels. This might provide a bit more bend through your spine. However, be careful not to lift your toes along with your heels. Also, if you don’t have enough experience in doing the wheel pose, you should wait until you perfect it to lift the heels.

Push Your Back from Your Thoracic Area

Work the back bend from your mid-back area. Our thoracic part of the spine is a bit stiff because of the way the ribs are attached in that area. Therefore, you should first extend your arms up high facing the ceiling. Then, you must wrap both elbows in as much as you can and open your chest. Lift your sternum while arching your back. From there, you can push with your feet into the floor to lift up your torso and create a beautiful arch.

Benefits of the Wheel Pose

This pose will stretch almost all major muscles in your body.

It is a great heart opener; it will strengthen your heart muscle.

It improves the pituitary gland and thyroid functions.

It boosts energy and lowers depression, stress, and anxiety.

It increases balance and flexibility.

Summing It Up

The wheel pose is a great asana with plenty of benefits for your body, spirit, and mind. It develops your sense of space while improving your nervous system function. One of its secrets lies in your legs’ strength. Another one, equally important, is the way you start bending your spine: it must be done from your thoracic area. Apply the above tips, and let us know how well you can perform this pose.

 

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The Case for Loose Yoga Apparel

The popularity of yoga in Western countries such as the United States and Canada is relatively new. However, it is important to recognize that while yoga is new to the West, it originated in the East and has been practiced there for centuries. One of the biggest draws of yoga is that it has hundreds of years of widespread cultural use to prove its benefits. As modern yogis, we must acknowledge, be grateful for, and get in touch with the culture that has taught us so much about mindfulness and physicality. Here is one lesson about yoga apparel we can learn from the place where yoga originated.

In the United States, yoga fashion often focuses on clothing that hugs the body. So Western yogis may be surprised to learn that in India, the birthplace of yoga, yogis typically wear loose, breathable apparel. This difference between worlds has a lot to do with other cultural factors, but there are a few reasons why looser clothing may be the way to go. First, yoga is all about the breath. It’s about loosening the muscles, relaxing, and deepening our breathing patterns. Loose yoga clothing, such as wide legged, cotton pants and wraps allow our bodies to move in all sorts of ways without tension or restriction. Leggings or tops that are too tight may be constricting you in ways you aren’t even aware of.

There is also a beautiful aesthetic that comes along with looser yoga apparel. Watching a class of yogis glide into half-moon pose is truly an artistic sight, especially when the practitioners are draped in colorful fabrics. Practicing outside, these looser fabrics move with the wind, offering sensations that serve to focus the mind. Finally, it makes perfect sense that the culture and people who introduced the gift of yoga into the world have the deepest understanding of it. In the West, we often get sidetracked by ideas that yoga is primarily for weight loss or for obtaining a perfect body.

In reality, yoga goes much deeper. It is the path to mindfulness and spiritual connection between the mind and the body as much as it is a physical exercise. We would do well to get in touch with this rich history and culture, as it can deepen our practices in untold ways. Ultimately, your practice can serve you whether you wear loose or tight-fitting clothing. But learning about where yoga came from and the culture that still practices it today (in very different ways than we do) is both necessary and beneficial for serious practitioners.

If you take the time to learn about where this form of exercise comes from, you may be surprised at the ways your practice takes flight. More than tightening your belly or improving digestion, yoga can be a lifestyle that teaches you about yourself in the most spiritual way.

 

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