7 Popular Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

1. Forward Fold


You probably already feel the stretch in the hamstrings and spine when you practice Forward Folds, but what you don’t feel happening is the flushing of the liver, spleen and kidneys. This is further proof that you don’t have to pretzel your way into the perfect twist to get some detoxifying benefits.

2. Downward Facing Dog


Down Dog is technically an inversion, since the heart is above the head. In addition to being a great hamstring stretch, this pose also decompresses the spine and sends fresh oxygen and blood to the brain. This pose also helps relieve back pain, headaches, and fatigue.

3. Warrior II


Besides causing you to feel the burn in your glutes and legs, holding yourself up in this pose contracts your abdominal organs. This contraction creates a cleansing effect and tones muscles in your abdomen, too. Warrior II, despite being a challenging and strengthening pose, can also be therapeutic for sciatica and backaches.

4. Child’s Pose


This restorative yoga pose relieves tension in the neck, back and hips. It also helps calm the mind and relieve stress. Child’s Pose is symbolic of surrender in the ancient yogic tradition, so this is a great place to come and surrender to the present moment and all things in life we can’t control.

5. Triangle Pose


This asana is known for improving concentration and balance, as well as opening the body, which allows blood and oxygen to flow freely to all the organs. Next time you practice Triangle, focus on keeping your side-body long and your chest open rather than collapsing downward. This keeps the energy flowing freely.

6. Happy Baby


This is one of the last poses you do in your practice, because it is a great stretch for the hips. There are pressure points just above your tailbone, so when you rock side to side, you are massaging this area which helps release the low back. Also, it’s called “happy baby” and not “sad baby,” so remember to smile while you practice. It can change your entire day!

7. Savasana


This is often described as the most challenging pose in yoga because it requires you to simply be still – a challenge in our modern society of constant movement. What we might not realize is that during Savasana, we are also significantly reducing our stress and anxiety levels in addition to combatting insomnia. Savasana, like other kinds of meditation, has been known to increase grey matter in the brain, which is responsible for everything from muscle control to memory, emotions, speech and decision making.


(The original article link: http://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/7-popular-yoga-poses-and-their-unexpected-benefits/)

A Guide to Handstand for Beginners


To learn handstand, you can start by practicing L stand at the wall. L stand is often harder than handstand itself, because it forces us to use the right muscles and get our legs and core involved as we support ourselves with our shoulders directly over our wrists.

The common mistake I see here is people tend to walk their hands too far forward becoming more of a wheel barrow instead of an upside down L.


Come on to all fours with your heels at the wall, make sure you keep your shoulders directly over your wrists and lift up in to a shortened dog pose. Then bring one leg up at a time so your foot is in line with your hips keeping your knees bent.

When you feel comfortable in position straighten both legs (think strong warrior 3 legs) to bring yourself in to the pose. Press through your feet, lengthen through your sides, engage your abdominals and lift your shoulders up away from your ears.


When you feel comfortable in L stand, you can play around with taking one leg off the wall directly straight up to the ceiling. Work on holding L and L with one leg at a time at least 5 to 8 breaths 2 to 3 times until you really have the strength for full handstand.

Next, turn around to face the wall. Place your hands about 5 to 8 inches from the wall and lift up in to a downward facing dog pose. Practice your kicks (see forearm balance post) by hopping one foot up to the butt with the opposite leg extended long and straight.


Try 5 hops on each leg. Donkey kicks get the core working and helps us feel light on our feet and bring the weight over our hands. I love these kicks as well because they are super energizing and fire up our metabolism and boost our cardio.

When you feel ready to come in to full handstand, make sure you get your hips forward enough to the wall so you don’t stay hanging back and have no momentum to get your legs above your hands. You really have to imagine you are going to smash your back in to the wall to get the power and lift your legs up. Don’t be afraid to use some energy!


Lift your leg up long and hop with the other foot as if to kick your heel to you butt and your heel should hit the mirror or wall. Once here you can then extend it up to meet the other straight leg that also hit the wall.

Find your balance by slowly taking one foot off the wall and see if the other can meet it. You may be playing around with this balance for a long time and stay at the wall until you really feel ready to take it to the middle of the room. If and when you’re up for the challenge, ask a friend or yoga teacher to spot you and catch your legs so you can feel more at ease to begin.

Eventually you can try doing handstands on your own in the room, outdoors or wherever you want to kick up your legs and get some energy and excitement in your life and yoga practice.

(The original article link: http://www.doyouyoga.com/a-beginners-guide-to-handstand-98587/)

Meditation & Letting Go

We all are attached to things. Maybe it is past relationships, feelings of hurt, or regret for having done or not done some things. Yet, holding on to these things cause suffering, and stifle our growth.

Now my question to you? What do you need to let go of?

Meditation helps you let go by giving you:

· Clarity of mind, which allows you to see when you are holding on to things

· Inner strength to let go of habitual thought patterns, and focus on something else

· Ability to accept and enjoy the present moment, whatever it is.

There are many things you can do to help you let go. Here are some steps I recommend.


(1) Recognize.

What exactly do you need to let go of?

Be specific. Instead of saying “my previous relationship”, try to find exactly what it is about your previous relationship that you are clinging to. Maybe it was the dream of it working out; or the company and attention of your partner.

Find exactly what it is. And learn to recognize whenever that attachment is present for you.

(2) See the suffering.

See how much this attachment is causing you suffering, in one form or another. It is making you waste your precious time and energy in the past, rather than living in the present moment. It is dragging you, preventing you to make changes in your life. And it is creating more emotional drama.

The more you understand the trouble that clinging brings you, the easier it is for you to let go of it.

(3) What is possible?

Think about what is possible for you once you let go. All the good things that can happen for you once you free that energy.

This increases your motivation to let go.

(4) Decide right now.

Make a firm decision to let go, and accept things as they are.

Even if old thoughts and emotions come up again, it’s ok, because now you can reaffirm your decision to let go.

(5) Get busy.

Get busy with positive things, things you can control. Like doing your yoga practice, moving forward in your career/studies

This will then take more of your time and energy, helping you switch old of the old attachment.


Nostrils Breathing

We also did a breathing exercise that is a very powerful way to balance your emotions and nervous system.

This is one of the several techniques of Pranayama (Yogic Breathing).

- Close your right nostril with your right thumb, and breathe in through the left nostril, counting 3

- Then close your left nostril with your right index finger, open the right nostril, and breathe out counting 6

You can go for 4-8, or 5-10, 6-12, etc. The important thing is that we are aiming for the  exhalation to be longer than the inhalation (ideally double). That may be hard in the beginning, so you grow into it as you go.

Breathing should be soft, even, and as soundless as possible. Do not force yourself, it should be comfortable. So adjust your count according to your capacity.

In the beginning it may be a bit hard to get the exhalation twice as long as inhalation, but by time and patience we get there.

You can practice this for 5~10min. It is very relaxing. After that you can just breath normally, and follow with your meditation practice of focusing the attention on the breath, on a mantra, or on the space between the eyebrows.


Meditation Not Progressing

Finally, on the third part of the class we talked about common reasons why your meditation maybe is not progressing so well.

They are

1. You don’t practice every day

2.  You expect results too quickly

3.  You don’t relax the body (asanas) and breath (pranayama) before meditation

4.  You keep changing your technique

5.  You keep your mind too busy or too distracted during day (media, thoughts, restlessness, etc.)

Downward Dog Practice Tips

Based on the survey we did last time, a lot of you’re asking for pose tips to help with asana practice. From this week on, I’ll be posting those tips that might be helpful weekly. Let’s get started with Downward Dog, and leave your pose request below   ;-)

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), probably is the most well know yoga pose, used in most yoga practices and it truly is the best pose to strengthen and stretch the entire body. As they said ”a down dog a day keeps the doctor away.” I can always tell if you’re a beginner or advanced from your downward pose.

Some of you may heard the teacher ask you to “rest in Downward for 5 breathes” meanwhile you’re feeling it only creates a whole lot of discomfort with tense shoulders and arched wrists, probably shaking arms. Try the following tips and it will help you with a light and happy dog pose practice:

1. Preparation


* Hands should be shoulder distance apart. Fingers wide open and finger pads and thumb pads pressing into the mat.

* Feet are sit-bone or hip distance apart.

* Neck and head continue along the same line as the spine all the time

* Place your hands a palm further forward for bigger space if you’re advanced

2. Variation I of the pose


* Bend knees a little (or a lot) to shift more weight towards the legs and help traction and elongate the spine.

* Send the sit-bones and tailbone up and back. And do not force the heel down to the mat if you have tight hamstrings.

* Walk your hands forward to give yourself more length if you need to.

* Focus on the feeling of your spine and back, feel the difference this makes in your spine.

* Practice this version of the pose for a long time until your body starts to loosen up more to work towards straightening the legs while maintaining a long spine.

3. Variation II of the pose


* Straighten legs without changing the shape in the spine or pelvis.

* Inner thighs rotate inwards as you firm the outer thighs.

You could also try to put the yoga brick under your palms to lift up the gravity and straighten your legs. Once you’ve reached this point, you can start to lengthen the heels back.

* Shift the weight off the wrists toward the legs

* Stay here and notice how much easier it becomes to lift the sit bones up and back.

4. Standard Downward Dog


*Engaging the lower belly by drawing the navel in towards the spine is the key to stay in the pose, it also helps take some weight off from the shoulders and wrists, and back into the legs.

* Draw the lower ribs in and keep this core activation going throughout the pose.

* Your shoulders, hips, and knees are in one inclined line.

* Firm the thighs to shift the weight off the arms and give you the sense of your spine growing longer.

* Hold for 5-8 breaths before dropping back to hands and knees to rest.

5. Misalignment


1. Hold yourself up with your arms only

2. Rounded or Arched Back

3. High heeled dog

4. Belly drop

5. No down dog during your moon period

Down dog is a pose that you should practice on a regular basis, it helps to open the back of your legs and the chest, strengthen your arms and elongate the Spine. It is also the best after-run stretching pose. Try this pose by following the tips, feel the difference happens to your body. Share your feeling below. Enjoy.

4 Ways to Use Yoga Blocks to Improve Flexibility


1. Forward fold – for forward fold, we’re working on our hamstring flexibility, so placing a yoga block on the legs (any which way works for you is fine – it can be vertical or horizontal) may help. Rest your head on the block and with each exhale, visualize your stomach coming down toward your thighs. Try to stay here for 5 – 7 breaths (or more, if you can).


2. Head-to-Knee Pose – This is forward fold but with one leg bent, and it’s working on the hamstrings and the inner thigh and hips as well. So, same idea. Place the yoga block on the floor this time, any way that works for you, and rest the head. With each exhale, visualize your stomach coming toward toward your thighs, visualize the shoulders and hips even. Breathe fully here for 5 – 7 breaths or more.


3. Lizard pose – Lizard pose is hip opener can be super tough for people with tight hips and a block sort of raises the floor so you can spend some time here without wanting to scream (or is that just me?!). Anyway, place the block any way that works for you, and bring the forearms down to the block. With each exhale, visualize any tension you’re feeling totally released. Breathe 5 – 7 breaths or longer.


4. Wide leg forward fold – This is a good one for the hamstrings, too. Bring your head down and rest here, breathing into the backs of the legs. Visualize the hip joints in line with the ankles and hold here for 5 – 7 breaths or more.

(The original article link: http://yogabycandace.com/blog/yoga-block-for-flexibility)

Moon Salutation Sequence


Moon salutation 1-5_副本

1. Start with mountain pose, lift your arms overhead and move to Half Moon (standing side bend) to the right and the left.

Moon salutation 6_副本

2. Step feet wide and lower into Goddess pose (Deviasana).

Moon salutation 7_副本

3. Triangle pose (Trikonasana) on the right.

Moon salutation 8_副本

4.Drop the left hand and square the hips forward for Pyramid pose (parsvottanasana) on the right.

Moon salutation 9_副本

5.Drop the left knee for a low lunge pose (anajaneyasana). Lift the arms for a back bend.

Moon salutation 10_副本

6.Drop the arms and turn the toes to your left. Side lunge with the right knee bent.

Moon salutation 11_副本

7.Unbend the right knee and walk the feet together.

Moon salutation 12_副本

8.Sink the hips back into a squat.

Moon salutation 13_副本

9.Lift out of the squat and step the feet wide.

Moon salutation 14_副本

10.Bend into a side lunge, left knee bent.

Moon salutation 15_副本

11.Turn the toes to the left and lower the right knee for low lunge pose (anjaneyasana) on the left. Lift the arms for a back-bend.

Moon salutation 16_副本

12.Plant your hand and straighten both legs for Intense Side Stretch pose (parsvottanasana).

Moon salutation 17 _副本

13.Lift the right arm and turn the heart to the ceiling for triangle.

Moon salutation 18 _副本

14.Lift the torso, bring the feet parallel, and sink into goddess.

Moon salutation 19_副本

15.Stand and step the feet together. Lift the arms overhead for Half Moon (standing side bend) to the right and the left.

The Significance of Moon Salutation

The magical energy of the moon has long been studied and pondered in ancient yogic philosophy. But perhaps you’ve never realized just how much the moon can affect your day-to-day life!

As the moon cycles affect the ocean’s tides, we too experience shifts in the water that makes up 75% of our bodies as the moon shifts in its phases. This can even cause women’s menstrual cycles to synchronize with the full moon.

While the sun is considered to have masculine-yang energy, the moon has feminine-yin energy. Therefore, the moon is connected to our emotions, our feminine qualities, and our receptive nature.


Depending on where the moon is in its phases, you will feel different energies within you. During the new moon (or dark moon), it is a wonderful time to set new intentions and plant the seeds for what you’d like to create in life.  For example, you could start a new exercise program on Daily Yoga App during the new moon.  As the light of the moon waxes (or increases), the energy of your intention will slowly build and grow.  At the time of the full moon, we then feel the energy of letting go and shedding layers.

This is a wonderful time to quit old behaviors or patterns, let go of worries, and release whatever is no longer serving you. This would be a great time to quit eating sugar, leave a relationship or job, or end anything else that is holding you back from being your absolute best self. As the light of the moon wanes (or decreases), these things you have let go of during the full moon will slowly dissolve away, creating space to set new intentions during the next new moon.


For a full moon meditation, you can imagine that you are lying on a cloud in the night sky, gazing up at the full moon. You feel light as a feather, calm, and relaxed. The stars are glittering across the sky and the atmosphere is so quiet and peaceful. As you relax your body onto the cloud, you can imagine the glow of the full moon illuminating your body with its beautiful energy. This full moon light helps you release anything that no longer serves you- any worries, any fears, any obstacles, any limiting beliefs. Breathe and allow the full moon to fill your body with its healing energy.

You may have heard of a sun salutation, which is a very common yoga warm-up where we build heat in the body and “salute the sun.”  This warm up is nice to do in the morning as the sun rises (but can be done any time you want to feel active and energized). Sun salutations are performed in a forward-backward motion.


A moon salutation is less common, but is a wonderful practice to try during the full moon or new moon. It is more cooling, calming, and yin than the sun salutation. You can practice it in the evening or whenever you want to feel more relaxed and peaceful. Instead of moving forward and backward, the moon salutation is performed side to side, just like the circular phases of the moon.

15 Programs Guide Tour – Part One

Many of you guys have a problem choosing the right program after 12 Beginner Tour, and step out of your yoga practice routines once you failed to find the proper program to stick on. Today I’m gonna take you on a tour guide of our 15 programs and help to figure out a 1 to 15 schedule for your practice.

1. 12 Day Beginner Tour – Beginner


This is a well-arranged 12 day beginner plan. It serves as the best guide to take one step closer to yoga, including the most fundamental elements. Through this boot camp you will get to know: basic yoga breath method, basic yoga postures and coordination breath between your motion. Try this out if you’re fresh new to yoga, and wanna work on the basic postures. And remember to go easy with yourself.

2. Fatigue Eraser – Beginner


Fatigue Eraser plan is also a beginner plan, specially designed to relieve fatigue and refresh energy in a health way. This plan will grant you total relief within only 15 to 20 minutes of yoga practice, aimed at relaxing the whole body and relieving the nervous joints. This might be your best choice after a long day’s work.

3. A Week’s Good Night – Beginner


Trouble sleeping can be a big issue nowadays. A Week’s Good Night Sleep Plan is designed to end your sleep struggles. This plan emphasizes particularly on your sleeping time and quality with calming poses to help you drift off to dreamland with ease. One session a night keeps your sleep pills away ;)

4. Yoga During Menstruation – Beginner


Many yogis find themselves lack of motivation or discomfort during moon cycle. The most important thing we learned from yoga is to listen to your body, if you’re not feeling comfortable, try out our meditation programs seated or lied down. This plan is for those who keeps practicing during their moon days with moderate, relaxing and healing and full of calmness. Inversion and everything that puts excessive pressure on the abs region should be avoided.

5. Slim Chance with Hatha – Beginner


If you’ve finished the 4 plans above, and get a general idea of how yoga breath and poses work, then you could make one step further to this Hatha plan. Hatha would be the best place to start since it contains most asana performing for yoga types like Vinyasa, Power iyengar, ashtanga, etc. We can say that any asana practice is a hatha practice. Slow moves gives you a chance to really get into the poses and lays the foundation for your further practice.

6. 5-Day Detox Plan – Beginner 


As we all know, our skin and body renew and regenerate itself naturally every few weeks, replacing older cells with vital fresh new ones. Thus detoxes, cleanses become very important. The purpose of this detox plan is to take the load off the organ that detoxify the body meanwhile supporting and improving its performance. If you want to fast track your health, give your body a break, follow this healthy and do-able 5-day program and then move to the next, becoming your healthiest, most authentic self.

7. 5-Day Arms Toning Plan – Beginner


From the name you can tell this plan focuses on toning your arms, accompanied with the emphasis on your shoulders and upper back. Aiming to give you an elegant shoulder line and a gorgeous back shape. I myself love this plan very much and it is my secret for braces skirt. You can keep a twice routine with this plan to see the outcome.

8. Body Building in Yogalates – Beginner


Now you’ve finished 19 Day Hatha plan and built some strength with your arms, it’s time move to the first level of flexibility. Yogalates combines the focus on flexibility and balance from yoga with an emphasis on deeper muscle work and core power training from pilates. This program introduces yogalates into its smart session arrangement , absorbs the most beneficial features from yoga and pilates to help build a better figure and improve your health status. Get ready to sweat joyfully. And buckle up, the following plans can be really intense and fun. ;)

Mindset On Losing Weight by Gia George


We all know that diet and exercise are very important to weight loss and health, but I want to remind you that mindset actually comes first. The mindset you need to develop in order to lose weight is that of completely loving and accepting yourself. I know this seems a little counter-intuitive because most of us who are trying to lose weight are in the habit of feeling bad about our bodies and punishing them with strict diets, excessive exercise, and negative thoughts.

But it’s time to stop that pattern once and for all. No longer should you hate your body, starve yourself, push yourself too hard, and ultimately collapse back into unhealthy eating and self-loathing. The time is NOW to start loving and listening to your body.

All healthy behaviors start from a place a self-love, and once we commit to completely loving ourselves, we create weight loss that lasts!  No more swinging back and forth between gaining and losing weight. Loving your body creates life long change and stability.


So how do we develop a self-loving mindset?

First of all, we need to become aware of our thoughts and silence the voice of the inner critic (the voice in your head that says you are too fat, not good enough, not beautiful enough). Start to listen to your thoughts and cut out any negative thinking patterns.

Secondly, replace those self-critical thoughts with words of kindness and love toward yourself. Be proud of yourself for trying your best to lose weight; celebrate those things that you love about your body; appreciate your health and your life.

*If you want to get really good at replacing a negative mindset with a loving, happy one, check out the Journey to a Loving Heart meditation program on Daily Yoga App! You’ll learn all the skills you need in order to shift your mindset and feel love within you.*


Finally, we must develop a deep self-awareness by getting in touch with our bodies and listening in. The path to true health and wellness is through the guidance of the body. The body always knows what it really needs in order to be well- what foods to eat, what exercise to do, when and how much to rest. We just aren’t used to listening to this wisdom from the body!  We typically use our minds to choose behaviors that we think are what we need, but they often go against what the body needs. (Example:  you push yourself to exercise when your body really needs rest, and so you get sick with a cold. Or your body is craving meat because you need more protein in your diet, but you force yourself to eat salad instead).

The wisdom of the body is vast and extensive… we just need to learn how to trust it. Listening deeply to the body’s needs will help us develop a loving, trusting relationship between mind and body. The body trusts that the mind will nurture it and care for it, and the mind trusts that the body will lose weight and stay healthy. This positive relationship between mind and body is the sweet spot for wellness & happiness!


In order to practice this deep self-awareness, you can try a meditation where you listen closely to what the body is telling you. Start by sitting or lying down comfortably. Close your eyes and feel the room around you. Feel the ground beneath you and the air touching your skin.

Then feel your whole body: your feet and legs, your hips and back, your belly and chest, your neck and head, your face and your breath.

Listen closely to what your belly is saying:  are you hungry right now?  Are you already full? Are you satisfied?  If you are feeling hungry, what are you hungry for?  Quiet your judgements and assumptions, and listen closely to the guidance of the body.

7 (1)_副本

Then listen to your heart:  what does the heart need? Does it need more self-love and acceptance? More compassion and patience?

Finally, listen to your mind and the quality of your thoughts. Does your mind know the truth of your body and your heart? Could you come into more alignment with your mind, body, and heart?  Start to really trust the wisdom of your body and silence the voice of your inner critic.

To practice this mind-body connection and start working on your fitness and health, check out Journey to a Loving Heart meditation program and Let It Melt yoga program on Daily Yoga App!  They will kickstart your journey to weight loss and wellness.

10 Reasons You Should Date A Yoga Girl


1. She is bendy.

Let’s face it, girls who get their stretch on every day are incredibly flexible. This quality comes in handy for things like oh, I don’t know, picking something up when it drops? Reaching an itch in the middle of her back? And maybe a few other things too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

2. She isn’t afraid to be different.

She is used to saying no to “drunching” (drunk lunch) on a Sunday afternoon or hitting the bars until 4 a.m. on Saturday because that might mean missing out on her favorite yoga class or being too hung over to enjoy it. She doesn’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) problems and is fully OK with a night in with her pajamas, a good book and a bowl of (vegan) ice cream.

3. She won’t become obsessed with you.

She knows the importance of balance, and she has too many passions and interests to spend all of her time texting you asking what you’ve been up to every few hours. She cares about you, and she is excited to hear about your day, but she isn’t thinking about you all the time. Girl’s got her own thoughts to worry about!


4. She is spontaneous.

She’s the kind of girl who sneaks out of work early to do something that makes her happy if the thought pops into her mind. She will drop her plans to go on a yoga retreat or fly to Costa Rica for the weekend if she gets excited about it. She understands that happiness comes first, and she will never let stress, work, or social obligations get in the way of that.

5. She loves food.

A yogi understands the true meaning of “strong not skinny” and isn’t afraid to dig into some grub in front of her man. Yes, she may be the green juice-lovin’, raw veggie-eatin’ type (or maybe she’s not!) but Lord knows she will be ravenously hungry after that power vinyasa sesh.

6. She knows she isn’t perfect, and she doesn’t care.

The girl who is addicted to yoga knows that nothing is perfect, and she has learned to hold people, and herself, to a realistic standard. She values her life and what she has rather than worrying about things she does not have. She doesn’t deal with people who don’t make her happy, and if there is something she is unhappy about with herself she works on it. Yoga girls are confident in their bodies and their relationships.

7. It isn’t hard to make her smile.

All you need to say is, “Sure, I’ll try that yoga class with you,” or “I tried that pose you showed me to stretch out my shoulders,” and she will basically leap with joy. That’s not to say that her wants are simple, because they’re certainly not (remember #5? She will never settle!), but putting an effort into her interests will mean the world to her. Plus, if you catch her while she’s still floating on her yoga high, pretty much anything sweet you say or do will make her smile.

8. She is independent.

She has learned that in order to be at peace, she must have a loving relationship with herself first. She knows that happiness comes from within, and she’s cool with being her own best friend. She enjoys spending time by herself, and won’t give you shit for trying to have some bro time.

9. She is one with her emotions.

She deals with her emotions on a daily basis in a healthy way. She has experienced the emotional shit that comes up in pigeon pose, or any extended hip opener for that matter, and she has let her emotions flow through her so they won’t come out and bite you in the ass later on.

10. She lives in the moment.

“Yoga teaches us to live in the present moment. The only place where life exists.”


(The original article link: http://www.theyogablog.com/24-reasons-date-yoga-girl/)