How to manage stress with meditation

Stress. All of us have it. That's why we created How To Manage Stress With Meditation, with instructor Charlie Knoles. In this course, Charlie helps you identify the sources of stress in your life and develop a new, healthy way to deal with stresses of all kinds. He'll also offer you a guided meditation to train your mind to react to stress in the most healthy of ways. This course is on sale for $29 but act fast! This special offer lasts until Monday, June 30th at 11:59pm EST. View the Course and Video >

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Hey Yogis! Wanna Hang Out?

In this lifetime so far, I’ve studied varied movement practices, dance, therapies, anatomy, and bodywork modalities. I can say with joy that Acro (Partner) Yoga has been one of the most challenging, surprising, and informative. It has made me lighter in my Hot Yoga practice, turned on much more profound muscles in my Pilates work, made me fiercely playful in my dancing, more connected and clear in my Vinyasa practice, more compassionate and receptive when giving Thai Massage, and as it relates to anatomy, profoundly humbled by the reality that each of us holds a body that is impeccably unique. Through the Acro Yoga practice, we cultivate self confidence, stimulate cellular rejuvenation, build community, decompress the spine, fire up deep core muscles, and all in an environment of safety and fun! Let’s literally hang out with each other on July 26th in Beverly Hills from 2-4pm. If you normally take the noon Hot Yoga, you’ll already be warm, so stick around and play! And if you normally take the 4.30pm Power 1, you’ll witness how seamlessly the discoveries in Acro Yoga translate into your individual practice. Looking forward, yogis! Contact me with any questions: jtroiani@gm.slc.edu. Wooo hooo!

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Seven Reasons to do Acro Yoga

  1. You get taller. One of my favorite Acro asanas is also the one that adds inches to my spine! By hanging upside-down with the help of another yogi, you passively decompress your vertebrae and create space where you’re feeling a bit stuck. Goodbye chiropractors, surgery, disc herniation, and back pain--Hello Inversion Therapy
  2. You get smarter. Because many of the Acro asanas are inversions, we reverse the blood flow in the body and improve circulation. This is particularly powerful when we think about the benefits to the brain. Using gravity, we can safely provide this special organ with more oxygen and blood, thus increasing mental functioning, improving concentration, memory and processing abilities. In other words, skip the coffee and go upside-down instead!
  3. You lose weight. I mean this both literally and metaphorically. By practicing with a partner, we learn to let go enough that we actually feel our own lightness of being. The first time I was held in Acro Yoga was the first time I felt a profound sense of ease in my joints, length in my spine, and a playfulness that jump-started my literal loss of weight off the mat.
  4. Your MOM will look like WOW! As we come accustomed to reacting to our world in a predictable way, Acro Yoga teaches us that there is always another perspective to try on. By spending time upside-down in the hands (or feet!) of another yogi, we learn how to trust, how to relax, and how to see things in a different way.
  5. You strengthen your core. Especially as women, it’s more challenging for us to find our shoulder and arm strength, let alone use it to fire up our core. With the help of a partner, I was able to finally connect the power of my limbs (legs and arms) to my CENTER! Acro Yoga asanas compassionately force your deep abdominal muscles to wake up and turn on...and this newfound strength translates seamlessly onto your individual mat.
  6. You build confidence and community. Remember that first time you kicked up into handstand? Or the first time you walked into a yoga class alone? With practice, surely everything gets easier. But the true gem of Acro Yoga is that the work is done WITH another person. And since every body is different, our awareness and presence increases in real time. While many of us know what it feels like to get stuck or bored with Warrior II, the newness of partnering reminds us that each new moment is, in fact, just that. By spending time with each other in this way, not only do we grow community locally in an organic way, but we support one another in becoming more confident and sustainable individuals.
  7. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to bring a partner! If you’re anything like me, the mushy-Valentine’s-gimmicky-couple stuff can make you a little anxious (or downright nauseous). This practice does not replace going on a date. The space is an environment in which you come as you are, bodies are bodies, we play and explore Yoga in a safe and fun way.
Come join me in the upcoming Acro Yoga Workshop in Beverly Hills on July 26th from 2-4pm! Contact me with any questions: jtroiani@gm.slc.edu Looking forward, yogis!

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Yoga Health Benefits for Men

While women are still the majority in yoga classes, there's a strong movement of men not only trying yoga, but striving both on and off the mat. Men benefit just as much from a regular yoga routine as women. Read the full article >

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Intensive Abdominal Workshop

The Intensive Abdominal Workshop is my all time favorite workshop to teach. Most people have a hard time connecting with the muscles located below the belly button. In this workshop I like to think of myself as a tour guide introducing people to an area in their body that is much overlooked. Communication is the key element in making an abdominal connection. One needs to believe in strength that has not yet been perceived. A big deterrent to this connection is a tight back. We draw strength from our backs instead of our stomach muscles. The shoulders and neck over work and clench throughout our daily routine of life yet our stomach muscles lay dormant and our backs pay the price. I consider myself to be an Abs evangelist! Have faith in the potential of the most powerful muscle group in your body. The rectus, the internal and external obliques and the transverse abdominal muscles want to be your friends. Establish a relationship with these powerhouse muscles and your life will change. Your back will be freed up and you will walk a way from back pain and stress and walk into the wonderful world of middle body strength. Your abs will become your best friends and you will experience a new found power and feel invincible like a super hero! It is my personal quest for each and every person to develop the full potential of this inner strength. So join me in this adventure. Give me 90 minutes of your time and you will walk away with a connection to these much overlooked muscles.

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5 Easy Green Smoothie Recipes

Have you ever heard someone mention a green smoothie and wanted to gag? I did. Three years ago a friend of mine suggested I have green smoothies for breakfast, and I wanted to scream profanities at her after I made my first one. She didn't warn me that green smoothies are something you have to ease into (for most people, anyway). My first green smoothie consisted of swiss chard (I didn't even know what it was until I bought it the first time), mustard greens (too bitter for a beginner), an avocado (gave it a great texture, but SUCKED with the rest of the produce), blueberries (contributed to an "eye sore" of a color; an ugly shade of brown), a peeled lemon, a banana (which added to the thickness of the smoothie... not a good idea at the time), coconut water and raw almonds. Read the full article >

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Hot 8 Yoga Foundations

I’ve always been inspired by the first yoga sutra. ‘Yogash chittah vritti nirodahah’, when translated from Sanskrit to English, means ‘Now, The Inquiry of Yoga’… or, ‘Now, This Is Yoga.’ My intrigue was further fueled by the second yoga sutra, when translated to English reads ‘Yoga is the stilling of the movement of the mind.’ Really? I thought I was just here to exercise. I become a yoga instructor under the impression that I would be teaching people how to stretch. My own experience of transforming my body through the small amount of yoga I had practiced beforehand propelled me to share the benefits with others. Little did I know, the deeper I fell into my yoga training, I started to realize what yoga really is. There’s a reason I feel a certain way after a yoga class. It is different than any other type of workout, in that I feel strong and relaxed. My body feels light, and my mind feels peaceful. I now understand the intricate dance between alignment of the body and the mind. The importance of breath work in yoga is the key to bridging the gap between the body and the mind. Hot 8 Foundations serves as a platform to dive deeper into the roots of the yoga practice; to learn what to do and why you’re doing it. It is a unique opportunity to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, and to receive answers that will bring you to the next level in your practice. I am honored to share some of the gems and treasures that lie beneath the surface. Namaste! - Shayna Hiller

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Health Benefits of Practicing Hot Yoga

Sun salutations are hard enough on their own, so why add 100 degrees? Well, the answer is simple — it’s the benefits, of course! As a certified yoga instructor and self-proclaimed “hot yogi,” I can assure you that there are many benefits to practicing Bikram and hot yoga. But of course, those benefits don’t come without a few precautions as well. Read on for the 411 on how to practice safe hot yoga. Read the full article >

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43 Celebrities Who Swear By Yoga - And Those Who Come to Hot 8!

See the 43 big name celebrities who practice yoga - take special note of numbers 7, 22, 30, and 41 - they all love Hot 8 Yoga! See all the celebrity yoga fans >

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20 Reasons Why Mindful Meditation is Good for Your Health

For starters, let's define what mindfulness is: A Perspectives on Psychological Science study described it as "the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment." With that in mind, here are 20 reasons why you might want to consider incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily life. And for our full coverage on the topic, click over to our Mindfulness Meditation page. Read the full article >

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