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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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3:28 am

Finding my Guru at Starbucks

One of the benefits of being a yoga teacher is having a captive audience to share your stories with. When something happens in my daily life that teaches or affirms a yogic lesson, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to share that with my yogis!” And of course I like to get as much mileage as possible out of a good story, so you may have already heard this one (and it’s absolutely true – my girlfriend Ada says I should write a book entitled “You Can’t Make This Sh-t Up,” but that’s another story….).

One Sunday on the way to teach Karma class benefitting the Children’s Attention Home, I stopped into Starbucks for my standard “venti passion tea lemonade, 3 pumps classic one pump raspberry, light ice please.” The place was very busy, and as I stood in line with my yoga mat in tow I “rehearsed” in my head the things I wanted to say about Karma before class. In one context, Karma is simply the selfless giving of your energy to another. That energy can take many forms: money or material resources, service or time, prayer or mantra, for example. I planned to explain that a really nice act of Karma is dedicating your asana practice to someone who needs it – maybe to the children of the Children’s Attention Home, maybe to someone else. Just as I was thinking about this, an older gentleman came up to me. He wore a military veterans baseball cap, walked with a cane, and struggled a bit to get to me. When I smiled at him he nodded to my mat, and said “Would you do me a favor? When you go to your Pilates class today, how about doing some Pilates for me?” I said “Actually I’m practicing yoga today, but I would love to practice for you – what’s your name?” “I’m Dave,” he said. “You got it, Dave. I’m Ann, and it’s so nice to meet you. When I’m on my mat today, I’m going to be thinking about you and practicing yoga for you – it will be an honor.”

On the outside, Dave certainly didn’t look like your typical yoga guru, but in just those few moments, he taught me so much about being present, being thankful, having perspective, and about connection. A great yogi, Desikachar, said, “yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” Everything is connected. We speak a lot about connection in yoga. The very word, "yoga," means connection or union. We connect body, mind, and spirit. We connect movement with breath. And ultimately we find that inner peace, that place within where we connect with the universe, our light, our source. How often have you experienced those wonderful little coincidences? A friend calls just when you were thinking of them, or you make a new friend at Starbucks at the exact perfect time. Yoga teaches that these things we call coincidences aren’t chance happenings at all, but proof of the profound connection we all share. Judith Lasater says “Wisdom is the ability to see the connection of all things. Our connection with the universe has existed, exists now, and will always exist. When we look inside ourselves for this connection, we will always find it. We are a reflection of it. When we can live with a deep faith in our connection to all that is, we fear less, want less and need less.” When you make yoga a part of your daily life on and off your mat, you can’t help become more aware, more sensitive to this beautiful connection. We are all connected by the light and love that dwells within each of us. And we honor that connection by saying to each other…Namaste. 


1:11 pm

How to Reduce Weight Through Yoga

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]Content goes here[/author_info] [/author] Yoga is often portrayed as being passive and a form of mild stretching, but in reality yoga is an energy-exerting full-body workout. The challenging poses and vigorous sequences in a vinyasa, ashtanga, power or iyengar yoga offer a comprehensive workout, which builds strength while also helping you to increase your endurance. Additionally, yoga can help you to build lean muscle mass evenly, which in turn can help to increase your metabolism and help you burn fat and calories. Step 1 Burn calories while practicing yoga. A 90-minute dynamic yoga class can burn more than 500 calories, depending on your height and weight, according to Harvard Health Publications. 3,500 calories equals 1 lb. of body weight, so you can lose 1lb. a week with a daily yoga practice. Step 2 Increase your muscle mass with a yoga practice, according to a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise and conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Human Performance Laboratory. Researchers found that a regular yoga practice can help to build muscle in practitioners, due to the need for strength to execute standing and core poses, arm balances and inversions. Step 3 Decrease your water weight with a vigorous yoga practice. Several forms of yoga, such as hot yoga or vinyasa flow, practice in a studio that is heated to approximately 85 degrees. The hot temperatures combined with the active movements for 60 to 90 minutes will make you sweat, and the result can be a releasing of water weight. Step 4 Reduce your cortisol levels with yoga. Your body's fight-or-flight response to stress is to release the hormone cortisol. In turn, cortisol can raise your blood sugar levels, which causes your body to release insulin. The insulin sends a signal to your body and causes food to be stored as fat. A regular yoga practice helps to relieve stress and thus reduce your cortisol levels and the chain of events that follow. Step 5 Learn how to face challenges, which in turn can help you pursue your weight loss goal. Through tackling the tricky poses on your yoga mat, you can learn how to face challenges while in your everyday life. Weight loss is intimidating for many people and yoga can help you to gain the confidence to tackle a diet and fitness plan. Article by Beth Rifkin

12:46 pm

Lisa Shares her thoughts on Om Yoga.

Im fairly new to the practice of Yoga but not so new to life and recognizing a business that has the gift of ensuring everyone has a place to feel 100% proud of who they are in their mind and their body. Everything abut OM Yoga is practiced with the highest regard to the highest good of all. The respect and care for the students and each other as staff is outstanding. A large humble classroom providing enough charm to look lovely but not so much that it takes from the master artist...the person practicing. There is not even a mirror.....I love it! Its the mirror inside our mind that truly reflect who we are.....and the staff at Om Yoga must be proud of the positive impact their environment is having on their students. Ann is pure Bliss! Inside and outside of her class. Her genuine loving nature shines through and through....and saying this is NOT a "DEEP STRETCH" ....but her class Deep Stretch is amazing. and there is nothing BASIC about her Basic Class either! She has this special magic about her and just being in her presence a few moments..ahhhh..relaxation sets in! Maria has truly created a haven in Baxter Village to be proud of. Selecting the finest instructors for the finest experience! And for the more experienced practitioner her Power classes are just that...Powerful! She has a special way of gently yet effectively guiding one to their own mastery! Thanks so much for what you give to pay it forward and give a little space for peace in a hectic world! See ya again and again and again Lisa Balseca

4:13 pm

Lessons from the Mat

Today I had a wonderful conversation with my new friend, boss, and fellow yoga instructor Maria about some things we are learning as we practice yoga and live life. One of the things I came away with is how important it is as a teacher, student, and person to be vulnerable. Often that word in our culture is looked down on and as a quality it really isn’t something many people are going after. However, there is something so powerful and beautiful about vulnerability. As a yoga teacher I can only teach my students what I know. To try and teach beyond my understanding and knowledge would not be wise. For this reason one of my main goals is to be as transparent and vulnerable about my own experience and practice as possible. One of the things I am learning a lot about right now is how to be patient and relinquish my ideas about how things should be. For the last three months I have been battling a hamstring injury and a shoulder injury. Both of these things have been very frustrating and will take time and rest to heal. I’m pretty sure these injuries probably would have healed by now if I had just put aside my ego and practiced the principle of non harm by resting, but instead I kept pushing through it. This is a big problem. You see, the thing is… I am a yoga teacher. Yoga is supposed to heal not hurt and I’m supposed to know everything and have this crazy amazing practice and never do anything incorrectly. Reality check… I am such a baby when it comes to what I know about teaching, practicing yoga and living life. My teacher once told me to “never despise your injures for they will teach you more than anything else in your practice.” I can honestly say this is the truth and I feel that as a result of these injuries I am becoming a better student and a more effective teacher. It may take a lifetime to perfect some yoga poses and you may have some setbacks along the way, but the benefits of practicing far outweigh any setback. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk once wrote, “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners.” Although he was referring to one’s prayer and meditation life, I think there is such a truth within this quote that translates into any area of life. You can’t learn anything new if you think you know it all. Continuing to think of yourself as a beginner or novice requires both humility and vulnerability. If you live your life in this manner you truly will be amazed at how the simplicity of this disposition can bring joy and a lightness to whatever it is that you do. This comes as a direct result of not being preoccupied or overly concerned with standards and/or expectations. So next time you roll out your mat, keep it simple and make it your intention to just be a beginner. Leave the ego, don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy the process of growing. What’s the worst that could happen? You might learn something new and actually have a really good time doing it! Dar Short

6:07 pm

Yoga and Emotional Stability

When we are anxious, depressed or angry and carrying distressful emotions for a long period of time it can begin to effect our health adversely. Yoga has been known to calm the body and mind, to raise awareness to yourself and diminish all the troubles that are taking place around you. Your practice can be described as balancing, strengthening, calming or energizing but most of all you must realize that any of these should be rewarding to you. To have a rewarding practice you must know what you wish to get out of it. If you are practicing simply for health then that is what you should receive, feeling energized, calm and strengthened is nothing less than healthy; healthy for the mind and body. If you are practicing to relieve stress, anxiety or pain then that will be the outcome of your practice; breathing, concentrating, almost going into a different state; yoga can be compared to hypnosis but is more similar than different because you are simply letting go during your practice to cleanse your mind. Your yoga practice can lead up to equanimity; maintaining mental calmness or composure especially during difficult times or while under tension. Yoga will help you maintain emotional stability if you allow it to. By Amalia Lages