Friday, August 31, 2012

Tis the (Ah-Choo!) Season

Practicing in the Ohio Valley means seasonal allergies are less a matter of "which season?" and more a matter of "when is it the worst?" As the first tastes of fall are upon us, now is an excellent time to preempt the effects of molds and weeds and enjoy the beauty of season with all of your sense intact!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kundalini All Around

Some call it "Kunda-looney" yoga and I will admit, it is a bit hippy-dippy woo-woo for those used to gym workouts or other styles of hatha or hot yoga. However if you want a practice that is fun, uplifting, and integrates breath-and-body work without throwing your leg behind your head or holding a stretch for 5 minutes, this is a great style to experiment with.

 While there are a number of DVDs on the market, I find Ana Brett the most approachable and dynamic. Though most of the practice requires keeping your eyes closed, her attire is minimal, allowing you to see exactly how the body should look. The poses are not acts of contortion, but the difficulty lies in having the breath coordinate as you move in and out of the postures. There are a fair amount of "oh-no" posts on the web about the so-called dangers of Kundalini Yoga, most of which are bunk. As with any physical program, get cleared before getting started.

The DVDs have matrix and mix options, so if you only have 10 minutes, you can get the most out of it. Each session starts with an opening chant that you can bypass if it is not your thing (give it a try!) and ends with a few minutes of relaxation followed by different meditation practices. Some of the most frequently recommended are Quick Fixes and House Call to address specific "brain and pain" conditions, and Fat Free which is a low-impact, yoga-inspired cardio workout that focuses on lymphatic and hormone regulation. There are over 20 to choose from, but these are our personal favorites: