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Prep Your Space for Deep Sleep

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Sleep soundly, faster with these 6 nighttime aids. Having trouble falling asleep? Optimizing your space and developing a before-bed ritual to calm your mind and body can help. Whether you're in need of lavender to prime your brain for sleep, tea to soothe and relax you, or epsom salts and gentle pressure to release tense muscles, these products can help. And if you’re still having trouble getting some much-needed shut-eye, try Yoga Journal’s Restore Your Sleep Summit , led by five renowned yoga teachers. Savasana Now Eye Pillow 1. Savasana Now - Eye Pillow The gentle pressure created when you place this flax seed-filled eye pillow over your eyes encourages the muscles in your face to relax, while its natural lavender scent calms your mind so you can drift off easier. Wrapped in a luxurious silk cover, the pillow is very comfortable and easy to use. Get it now Four Sigmatic Chill Reishi Elixir 2. Four Sigmatic - Chill Reishi Elixir Wind down with an adaptogenic nightcap.

Product Review: Cliganic 100% Organic Pure Lavender Oil

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Feel calm and relaxed with this must-have essential oil Health 360 - Product reviews from every angle Health 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Health 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. Price: $10.99 BUY NOW Yoga Journal Review There's a good reason that lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils out there. A few drops in a diffuser or mixed into a carrier oil and rubbed onto the temples can help you relax, relive tension, and sleep better. What's more, studies show that inhaling the scent of the pretty purple plant can calm the nervous system, which may be why it's useful for alleviating stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Some lavender essential oils have been diluted with fill

Can You Actually Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor?

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Here's the 411 on Kegels, and whether you should be practicing them. For many of us, the word “Kegel” entered our lexicon when Samantha Jones proclaimed she was “doing [them] right now” on Sex and the City. But when it comes to your pelvic floor—the three layers of muscles that lie like a hammock from your pubic bone to your tailbone, supporting the function of your bladder, bowels, and genitals—keeping it in optimal shape goes far beyond the occasional squeeze at a stoplight. “Just like you can strengthen your biceps, you can do exercises that work on your pelvic floor muscles,” says Alexandra DiGrado , DPT, a pelvic floor physical therapist in Boston. Such therapists work with clients who suffer from incontinence, constipation, pain, or muscle malfunction in the pelvic region, as well as postpartum musculoskeletal conditions. Beyond muscle strengthening, therapies include relaxation exercises, manual therapy, heat and cold therapies, diet changes, and electrical stimulation to

Combat the Effects of Excessive Sitting at the Computer with this Sequence

Feeling zapped from excessive sitting, social scrolling, and information overload? Try this sequence to activate an open heart in order to create spaciousness throughout your body and being. This Kundalini Yoga-inspired sequence will help open and expand the energy of your heart center to fight fatigue, stress, and move old, stuck energy. An invigorating pranayama called Breath of Fire is used throughout the sequence. If you have the time, end with a long, restorative Savasana to reboot your body and circulate new energy. See also   A Sequence to Create and Hold Space This year, Yoga Journal's annual ambassador road trip—the Live Be Yoga Tour—is going virtual. We are calling it The Decompression. Recently, we’ve all been asked to journey inward, to take moments of pause and stillness, and to slow down, rest, and prioritize the things we value. Follow the Live Be Yoga 2020 series here , stay connected with us at @livebeyoga on social, and join the movement to find beauty in

108-Second Interview With Amber Karnes

See how many questions about yoga, superpowers, and living in the moment the founder of Body Positive Yoga can answer in just 108 seconds. Baltimore-based yoga teacher trainer and  Body Positive Yoga  founder Amber Karnes answers Yoga Journal's rapid-fire questions about daily habits, preferred practices, and her secret superpowers. Hear more from Amber on tearing down oppressive systems on Yoga Journal's Yoga Show podcast , and r ead her Yoga Journal cover story :   How Loving Yourself Can Be a Revolutionary Act . Source: Yoga Journal

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Alleviates Chronic Pain and Depression, According to New Study

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This time-tested eight-week yoga and meditation program reduced symptoms of chronic pain, offering an alternative to opioid medication. Chronic pain and depression are common co-occurring disorders that present an elevated risk for suicide . Chronic pain affects more than 100 million adults in the United States and has been a significant contributor to the 21st-century opioid epidemic, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse . In 2012, treatment for chronic pain cost the United States upwards of $635 billion, according to the U.S. Association for the Study of Pain . But new research shows that mindfulness practices can reduce both chronic pain and depression, making the practice a viable complement to clinical treatment and a possible alternative to prescription opioids for pain management. The research, recently published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association , evaluated the effects of an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) course on 28 a

Rock Climbers, These Yoga Poses Are For You

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Say goodbye to tight hips and hamstrings with this sequence to help you warm up for and recover from climbing. Yoga is one of the simplest ways to improve your rock climbing. It not only increases your flexibility, but it also promotes balance, improves your strength, calms your mind, helps with injury prevention, and teaches you how to be mindful of your body. New Jersey-based yoga instructor, and avid rock climber Malka Abreu says, “I believe yoga and rock climbing are a symbiotic practice, supporting each other to push you out of your comfort zone while strengthening the connection between your mind and body through similar types of movement, breathing, and mindfulness. Yoga has really challenged my ability to sit with uncomfortable situations.” After all, when you’re in class holding a posture that feels unbearable, you have no choice but to tune into your body in that moment and breathe through the discomfort. Yoga trains you to concentrate on your breath and let everything els

Product Review: Vejo Blender

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YJ put this pod-based blender to the test for delicious, healthy, quick nutrition on the go. Health 360 - Product reviews from every angle Health 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Health 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. Price: $130 Buy Now Yoga Journal Review Meet the world’s first pod-based blender, the Vejo . When we first heard of this new gadget, our testers were a little wary of the “pod-based” aspect, eliciting visions of mounding landfills, but our minds were put at ease when we learned the Vejo pods are actually made of corn, making them 100 percent biodegradable, BPA-free, and soon to be water soluble. Our interest was piqued. So, how does Vejo work? This lightweight, handheld blender is all about

Product Review: Somavedic for Electromagnetic Field and 5G Radiation Mitigation

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Harmonize your environment against electromagnetic pollution while mood lighting your space Health 360 - Product reviews from every angle Health 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Health 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. Price: $865 BUY NOW Yoga Journal Review You may have heard of EMFs, aka electromagnetic fields, emitted from ubiquitous items like WiFi routers, cellular towers, and mobile phones. Scientists have not conclusively linked EMFs to health problems but the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified them as a Group 2B—possibly carcinogenic to humans— and researchers are continuing to actively research their safety, as some people worry that EMFs may damage cells, your nervous syst

Product Review: Colorfulkoala 28″ High Waisted Pattern Full Length Leggings

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Pull on these yoga pants for your next class or pair them with a baggy shirt for a casual go-anywhere outfit. Health 360 - Product reviews from every angle Health 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Health 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. Price: $29.99 BUY NOW Yoga Journal Review Colorfulkoala leggings look, feel, and function great. We put them through all usual yoga legging paces—practicing vinyasa, hoofing it on a hike, and just hanging out around town—and were impressed all around. Longer-legged wearers will appreciate the high-rise waistline, while everyone can appreciate the buttery soft, breathable material that supports without constricting. The leggings come in full-length, 7/8, and capris, and a wide

Product Review: Invigor8 Superfood Shakes

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Power up your practice with the energizing effects of this protein and multi-greens powder. Health 360 - Product reviews from every angle Health 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Health 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. When you make a purchase through our site, we may earn a commission. Price: $60 BUY NOW Yoga Journal Review We were given the opportunity to try Invigor8’s French Vanilla and Triple Chocolate Brownie Superfood Shake for a month. It was typically consumed by mixing it into a smoothie, and we used it before exercise, after exercise, and as a breakfast. We prefer it as a breakfast shake because of how filling it is, and its cognitive enhancers from the L-Theanine and Bacopa Herb Extract made us much more alert and ready to tackle the day in the mornings. Two scoop

Is There a New Yoga Alliance Competitor on the Scene?

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Yoga Unify launched this fall with the intention of up-leveling teacher qualifications and making yoga safe and inclusive. Can it succeed? Yoga Unify (YŪ), a new nonprofit organization that launched in September, aims to set new standards for yoga teachers, prioritize ethics, provide educational resources to students, and unify the community in ways that Yoga Alliance (YA) has not, says Heather Shereé Titus, co-founder of YŪ. Titus, who is also the director of the Sedona Yoga Festival and—small detail—the stepdaughter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, says that YŪ will serve both teachers and students and will have a governing body that represents the yoga community from the ground up. She says that while at a first glance it may appear YŪ is reinventing the wheel, the organization is, in fact, an entirely new vehicle. “I don’t want to replicate—I want to be a resource,” she says. Two of YŪ’s key principles are fostering pathways to becoming a yoga teacher outside of the 200-, 300-

Expert Advice and Supplements for Improving Immunity and Beating Sinus Congestion

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Stay protected during this coronavirus-laden cold and flu season with these tips and tricks. When the weather gets colder, you’re more likely to develop a case of the sniffles. But there are practices and supplements that you can take to defend your body against infection. We spoke with healthcare experts to get their opinions on what you should be doing to boost your immunity, treat sinus congestion, and maintain peace of mind this winter. Here, their top six suggestions. 1. Mindful Movement and Breath Work It's crucial to get plenty of gentle movement, says  Serena Poon , a chef, nutritionist, Reiki master, and founder of the Culinary Alchemy method. “I approach immunity from a holistic perspective that encompasses the physical body, the mind, and the energetic bodies," she says. Poon recommends moving every day, even if it’s just a walk around the block or a 10 minute yoga flow. This will help to release stagnant energy that can lead to disease. To calm your nervous sy

What it Means to be a Compassionate Leader

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Yoga and mindfulness can teach us how to be benevolent leaders who foster deep listening, tactful truth-telling, clear communication, and inclusivity. Our yoga and mindfulness practices occupy a cherished part of our lives. They make us more aware, allow us to feel a greater sense of connection, and, ideally, inspire us to act kinder toward ourselves and one another. The goal, of course, is to take these benefits off the mat and out into the world. But it’s not always easy, especially on the job. Work-related stress is rampant. Through public health crises and economic uncertainty, many of us are looking for new ways to make a living in jobs that require us to be on the frontlines or constantly navigating Zoom-meeting schedules, all while keeping our spirits up and our children up to date with schoolwork. In this always-on, always-connected world, the lines between work and the rest of our lives have blurred, especially for those who have transitioned to working from home. This lac

How To Spiritually Cleanse

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In our advice column, called Wolf Wisdom, Wolf Terry, a Bhakti Yoga teacher and writer in Denver, Colorado, answers your pressing questions about practicing asana, meditation, mantra, and more. In this post, she gives advise on cleansing our energy. In our advice column, called Wolf Wisdom, Wolf Terry, a Bhakti Yoga teacher and writer in Denver, Colorado, answers your pressing questions about practicing asana, meditation, mantra, and more. In this post, she gives advise on cleansing our energy. Good day, Wolf. What is a good weekly spiritual cleansing to practice? Blessed Be :: Pure Spirit Dear Pure Spirit, When I am feeling spiritually stale, unmotivated, or depleted, I turn to nature. Sometimes I stand barefoot in my yard in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and connect to every leaf, rock, blade of grass, dirt pile, flower, tree, and cloud. I imagine that I’m drawing healing energy from Mother Earth through my left foot. I envision it traveling in an arc through my body, collecting al

Holiday Wellness Gift Guide

Relax and restore this holiday season with these 10 salubrious gift ideas Source: Yoga Journal

Earth Salutations to Soothe Stress and Calm an Overactive Mind

A sequence to help you ground your energy and focus on the present moment. Sometimes multi-tasking can make you feel less like a human being and more like a human doing. An overactive mind can lead to scattered focus, feelings of overwhelm, and to negative emotions creeping in. Yoga can aid us in breaking this cycle by grounding us, helping us center, and bringing us into the present moment. Presence helps stabilize us, and allows us to experience more love, peace, joy and harmony in our lives. To get more grounded, try this Prithvi Namaskar (earth salutation) yoga sequence by yoga teacher Melissa Gall. Anchoring warrior poses offer a steady path to quieting a jittery mind. These shapes also encourage focus because the movements build strength, endurance, and stability. Warrior poses were named for Virabhadra. The legend of Virabhadra says this great warrior was created from the earth and his mission was to destroy the ego mind with his great sword, eliminating suffering. Each pose

3 Facial Exercises to Combat Stress and Fatigue

Muscles in our face can hold tension like muscles anywhere else in your body. Relax and rejuvenate your face with these three exercises that release strain and calm the mind. When I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I have a tendency to wear my feelings on my face. I scrunch up my face when I’m upset, and often clench my jaw due to stress, which can lead to cystic acne breakouts. If you have a tendency to hold tension in your face, try these three facial exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.  See also   Create a Practice to Uplift Your Spirit, Inspire Creativity, and Calm Your Nervous System BONUS TIPS: Meditate! Go out in nature. Paint! Find things that bring you joy and prioritize creating peace in your life. Strive to be present, not perfect. If you’re in search of a relaxing evening skin care routine and meditative practice, check out my 20-minute meditation and skin care routine here.  This year, Yoga Journal's annual ambassador road trip—the Live Be Yoga Tour—is

Let’s Create Safe Spaces for Transgender and Nonbinary Yogis

Jordan Smiley, founder of Courageous Yoga, talks about the mission to create a safe and inclusive environment for the transgender and nonbinary community to practice yoga. For years, I stood behind the desk of a well-known yoga chain, watching as students hurried through the doors. They’d drop their canvas bags and jangling keys on the counter and exhale their names to me, eager as kids at a pool party to hop into class. It was my job to tell new arrivals where the water fountain and studios were and direct them to the locker rooms—“men’s” or “women’s.” As a trans person and longtime yoga student and teacher, my stomach lurched each time someone was gendered. I asked one of my nonbinary (an umbrella term for genders other than male and female) students, Mel, to reflect on this experience: “I felt misunderstood and embarrassed,” they told me. “As an adult, I know how to find the correct locker room.” The gender binary’s presence in contemporary yoga is based in the white, patriarcha

30 Minute Flow to Soothe Joints

Try this gentle asana practice to relieve tension and soothe aching muscles and joints with Nicole Calhoun. Show your hard-working joints some love with this gentle flow from yoga teacher Nicole Calhoun that will soothe frazzled nerves as well.  About Nicole Calhoun: Nicole Calhoun, ERYT, PhD is the owner and creator of ELXR Yoga Lounge . She is a lululemon ambassador, a Garmin wellness ambassador and a passionate advocate for representation within yoga. Nicole specializes in power yoga and believes the physical challenge of the practice is a means to meet one's spiritual self. Source: Yoga Journal

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