Gesundheit & Fitness
Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal SIP 2 2017

Yoga Journal offers all practitioners—from beginners to masters—expert information on how to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life both on and off the mat.

United States
Active Interest Media
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2 Min.
you, even stronger!

There are so many good reasons to get stronger and more fit. Sure, it’s beach season, and who doesn’t want to feel more confident in a bathing suit? But that’s just the tip of the benefits iceberg. For yogis, building physical strength translates to more balance, stability, and stamina on the mat. It also helps protect muscle mass and bone health and plays a role in disease prevention, plus it boosts mood and energy levels. And all of this adds up to more years you get to spend doing the practice you love! That was the inspiration for creating this special edition of Yoga Journal, a six-week yoga plan for improving head-to-toe strength. There’s something magical about the idea of making a six-week commitment. It’s not overlong, yet it’s serious enough…

4 Min.
yoga journal’s 6 week yoga guide

Sure, we all wish change would happen overnight, but the truth is it takes awhile to form a new habit—and to get results. But stick with it, and results you shall have. The Yoga Sutra, an ancient Indian text, is clear about this: Practice regularly over time with sincerity and intention, and you will see the fruits of your labor. We agree— we’ve seen it work. Yoga yields a specific kind of fitness, tending toward leaner and more flexible limbs. It boosts cardiovascular health and leads to improvement on many physicalhealth measures, from brain function to blood sugar. (See “Feel Your Best,” page 12.) We think six weeks is a sweet spot for digging yourself a new groove—not for just making yoga an ingrained way of life, but for putting in the…

9 Min.
feel your best

Yoga creates fitness, there’s no doubt about it—even if yogis themselves sometimes quibble over the semantics. One yogi argues that a fitness-oriented approach undermines yoga’s spiritual foundations. Another counters that physical practice is a must for excavating yoga’s deeper treasures. So who’s right? They both are, says Sage Rountree, a yoga teacher and endurance-sports coach in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga. “In truth, yoga practitioners need to forge the middle path between spiritual practice and exercise,” she says. “Otherwise you’ll miss out on getting everything yoga has to offer.” Cyndi Lee, founder of the now-closed OM Yoga Center in New York, and a fit yogi herself, agrees. “A purist might say that you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on the body, but ignoring it…

3 Min.
gear essentials

PROPS BLOCK A block (or two) lets you “raise the floor” to meet your hand in a pose like Half Moon, or it can be a place to rest your head in Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Sustainably harvested wood, bamboo, cork, and eco-friendly foam are all good options. Cork and foam are the most comfortable for propping your back or shoulders in restorative poses, but wood and bamboo can be pleasing to the hands when you need a place to rest them in Standing Forward Bend. MAT Most studios have mats for students to use at no charge or for a nominal fee. But if you’re going to class with any regularity, you’ll want a mat of your own, both for hygienic reasons and for practicing at home between classes. BAG A pretty bag is hardly necessary,…

2 Min.
mixed media

study guides Moving Toward Balance by Rodney Yee with Nina Zolotow. A masterful eight-week homepractice course for beginners and intermediate yogis. Yoga: Mastering the Basics by Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik. A beautiful book that introduces asana, as well as many other yogic concepts. The Language of Yoga: Complete A to Y Guide to Asana Names, Sanskrit Terms, and Chants by Nicolai Bachman. A beginner-friendly dictionary to decode the Sanskrit names your teacher may use in class. The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by T. K. V. Desikachar. A beautiful guide to yoga’s deeper dimensions. The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein. The ultimate reference guide for any curious yogi—and a valuable companion for a lifetime of practice. Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar. The bible of asana. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie…

1 Min.
arms & shoulders

EAGLE POSE (GARUDASANA) Wrap your right leg over your left and hook your toes around your lower leg. Place the left arm over the right and touch your palms together. Stay upright and bend the supporting knee. Lift the elbows up and move the hands away from the face. Gaze gently out at a fixed point. Stay for 10 breaths on each side. IN THIS SECTION While the arms and shoulders can generate tremendous power, they are also high maintenance; they need conscious upkeep in order to avoid injury. Poses that require flexibility and power yet also draw on balance and dexterity help build that power, while supporting tendons and ligaments. Practice the following sequences and poses to strengthen and protect the arms and shoulder girdles.…