What is the core?

The core is the term we use when we’re describing the muscles in the body that stabilize and support all of the body’s movements. By mistake many people think that the core is only the abdominal muscles, but actually the core is described as just about everything on your body that isn’t your legs and arms. The core is our body’s midsection, the body’s corset or belt. It is here your inner power or your center is generated in order to carry out any movement. The inner and outer abdominal muscles play a large role in core stability, but the muscles on the front, back, sides, pelvic floor, and also the scapula, glutes and hips are all needed to maintain body balance.

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A muscular imbalance occurs when you use one side of your body more than the other. Over time, the overused muscles on that side become tight and sore, while the underused muscles on the other side grow weak and atrophied. This can cause one-sided pain and stiffness, and increase your risk for injuries. Some habits that cause muscular imbalances are easy to identify. For example, tennis players and bowlers often overwork their dominant hand. However, even the most innocuous movements can lead to imbalances. Here are some things to watch out for.

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Yin Is In

Yin is in

As the world seems to move faster and faster, fueled by a never-ending stream of information that is constantly available through our mobile devices, there is a need to slow down. Even in people's yoga practice - that is intended to relax the body and calm the mind - there is often a striving to look and be a certain way, fed by social media and other external factors. Many people are exhausted and are looking for different ways to enhance their well-being, or so it seems. The quiet practice of Yin Yoga is one of the answers; no matter where I teach (whether in New Jersey, Amsterdam or Norway) my classes are packed.

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Relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques

Relax. Just do it. Easier said than done for the majority of the world population that is living in a stress-based society. Stress is one of the biggest modern epidemics and its damaging effects on people’s health and immune system are widespread all around the world. With the immensely increasing number of burn out cases, stress related physical complaints and mental disorders there’s an inevitable need to ‘just relax’.

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An introduction to Bhramari Pranayama By Manuel Molina de la Torre

Unlike the way our ancestors lived for so many generations, today’s pace of life is extremely fast. Although we are aware of the negative impact this hurried way of living has on the planet, increasing global warming, and we know the effect high levels of stress has on our health, it seems that we usually cannot stop this behavior. As a society, we are somehow forced to run towards the dead end of self-destruction. As individuals, society is constantly pushing us to quickly adapt to a faster world, without having much time to pause, reflect or to look back on our lives. Who hasn’t at one time or another felt like they are living in a “rat race”? I was having a good conversation with a close friend of mine and he taught me for the first time about the term “VUCA” -- have you ever hear about it?

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How to Detox

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of eliminating the toxins from your body. In the modern world, food additives, stress, exhaustion, environmental pollution, and more work together to leave our bodies and minds sluggish and unhealthy. Detoxing returns your body to the basics, giving it the opportunity to naturally cleanse itself. Yet figuring out exactly how to detox can be confusing for beginners. Although there are many different methods, yogic thought focuses on gentle methods that can last, rather than harsh cleanses.

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A Guide to Yoga on Koh Samui, Thailand

If you are interested in deepening your connection to your yoga practice, and learning some valuable new techniques, one of the best ways to go about it is to study on the island of Koh Samui, in Thailand. Although it is true that yoga originated in India, Thailand has long been an epicenter of yoga training. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Koh Samui, you will find yourself more spiritually connected to the art of yoga.

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How to diet during stressful periods in life

One very important aspect of recovering from and defending against stress is diet. How and what we eat are vital. When you have been stressed and burned out, your body easily suffers from loss of nutrients, as the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol steals vitamins, minerals and good fatty substance from your body. The body needs these nutrients for the production of the vital melatonin, serotonin, oestrogen, testosterone and D-vitamin, which keep the body healthy, balanced and stress free. And often, due to stress, digestion is reduced and, therefore, vitamins and minerals aren’t being optimally absorbed in the body. For this reason, when suffering from long periods of stress, it’s advised to eat the proper quantity of different kinds of foods. To de-stress, the proportion of food on your plate should consist of the following:

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Three tips to start your day off right

When you first open your eyes in the morning, what is your first thought? Is it, “Ugh, oh my god, I don't want to get up…Not another day…I don't want to go to work” Or is it, “Today is going to be a beautiful day. I have a good feeling about today.”

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“Where the Eyes Go…”

Just as in Yoga, Indian Classical Dance too has the concept of outer and inner. In dance the orchestration, the movements and the costuming are part of the outer life, just as asanas, kriyas and breathing techniques are in Yoga. However, more importantly, or perhaps more interestingly, is the hidden depth of consciousness that may present itself through the long term nurturing and devotion to the practice.

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Excerpt from “Unbound”

Much of what appears to you to be personal tragedy upon your plane of earth is, in reality, nothing more than an unwillingness on the part of the personality to listen to the wishes of the deep self. In this way does it set up the drama for movement.

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Yogis united

Over the past 7 years I have been returning to Samahita Retreat regularly to continue my studies with my teacher Paul Dallaghan - continuing on my path of diving deeper into the practices of Yoga. And whenever I return back home to my own community of students, I bring along new insights and inspiration to share with them.

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Yoga for self-transformation by Monika Makitalo

With practice, yoga can give us a strong and stable mind and also an open and loving heart. These are qualities that are important for the wellbeing for all of us, yoga teachers included.

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10 Tips for Making it to Yoga Class When You Are Too Busy

Even if you are busy, yoga still makes sense. Okay, we get it; you’re absolutely rushed off your feet – who isn’t? With that in mind, then, wouldn’t you like to take the weight off those tired old feet for an hour or so and just…well…relax? Of course you would! And guess what? Yoga is the best thing for you right now. Getting you back to ‘you’, it’ll relax your body and your mind and give you the boost you need when everything else seems like one big stress. To help you, here are our top ten reasons you should make it to yoga class when you’re just too busy to do much else:

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The breath is the most important part of the practice. Focus on the breath, even if you forget the posture or the sequence. Breathe through the nose with sound, constricting the glottis, and creating an aspirated sound in the throat. Breath should be soft, smooth and audible. Breathing with sound creates an object for the mind to focus on, creates heat within the body, building an internal fire, and helps to circulate the blood. Coordinate one breath with one movement and let the breath initiate the movement. Breathing properly ensures that you receive the subtle benefits of the practice.

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Why should we incorporate yoga into a fitness routine?

Yoga asanas are the physical postures that we all know well and see in local fitness studios, healthy lifestyle magazines and on wellness retreats. Indian sages spent lots of time contemplating the human body and nervous system and developing asanas over generations to mobilize the body and create a sense of psychosomatic balance. When combined with breath, this idea of balance is experienced and extends to the mind, helping it move towards silencing the ongoing dictation of deadlines, worries and troubles that knock us 'out of sync’ with the present moment.

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