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Health & Fitness
Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal July/August 2019

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.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
feeling whole

I learned about “release valves” in a teacher training a couple of years ago. We were working in groups, observing other students’ mobility and looking for dysfunctional movement patterns. For example, when one of my classmates shifted into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), you could see that her hips were excessively rotating while her spine seemed awkwardly rigid. She was able to reach her toes because, instead of sharing the load, her flexible hips were doing the work for her stiff back. I quickly started to notice how my own body was compensating for areas that were too tight, too lax, or uncomfortable. The teacher of that particular training, Gary Kraftsow—a yoga therapist and founder of the American Viniyoga Institute—calls these compensatory release valves “avoidance mechanisms.” They help us understand which parts…

2 min.
the yoga teacher supplement guide

SPIRULINA Rich in iron, protein, and B-12, spirulina has earned a glittering reputation among yoga teachers for boosting immune systems and aiding in detoxification. RECOMMENDED BY: TIAS LITTLE Founder, Prana Yoga “I take it in powder-form first thing in the morning, an hour prior to my yoga practice. Not only is it hydrating, but I feel light and clear. Spirulina brings a buoyant quality to my tissues.” YJ RECOMMENDS: Now Foods Spirulina Powder, $15, nowfoods.com ASHWAGANDHA This herb’s inflammatory-reducing super power is attributed to its high concentration of withanolides—naturally occurring steroids that combat stress and boost strength. RECOMMENDED BY: SARAH PLATT-FINGER Co-Founder, ISHTA Yoga “I’ve found that by taking Ashwaganda daily, my focus is better and I feel positive effects in my yoga and meditation practice. I’m more able to slow down my breath and sit for extended periods without…

5 min.
ayurvedic bliss

I dipped a teaspoon into an oversized jar of grass-fed, organic ghee and filled it to the brim, just as I was instructed. Yet as I held it to my mouth and caught a whiff of the pungent, good-for-me fat, I had a strong urge to abandon this Ayurvedic cleanse, stat. Why was I about to toss this ghee down my hatch? I’d turned to an Ayurvedic doctor for help with my digestive woes, hormonal acne, and weeks-long exhaustion. But now, downing a teaspoon of clarified butter every morning seemed extreme. Would it really help me feel better? There was only one way to find out: I squeezed my eyes shut, held my nose, and swallowed the congealed fat, shivering a little as it liquified in my mouth. I consider myself a…

2 min.
vegan comfort food

Soul Tavern’s Hemp-Crusted Edamame Cakes SERVES 3 AS AN APPETIZER OR 1 AS A MEAL “I eat a plant-based diet and I like to let the natural flavor of the plants shine through. I love that the edamame cakes at Soul Tavern are a fresh update to standard breadcrumb-coated fried foods. Plus, before tasting these, I’d never had edamame in a patty format, so this dish helps me think outside the box for how soybeans can be used!” -Kino MacGregor 1 cup shelled edamame (also called mukimame)½ cup fennel, shaved3 tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice, divided⅔ tsp garlic (about ½ clove), roughly chopped¼ tsp salt plus a pinch (about ⅛ tsp), divided⅛ tsp black pepper¼ cup plus 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided¼ cup tahini⅓ cup green apple, julienned1 tbsp…

3 min.
tools for change

In 2009, Mike Huggins pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for the off-label promotion of a medical device at a division of the company he worked for. As he awaited sentencing, he turned to his yoga practice—which he’d started years earlier—to mentally prepare for prison. He attended a workshop held by the nonprofit Street Yoga, which teaches trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices to youth. “The idea of yoga for trauma was a game-changer for me,” he says. By the end of 2011, when a judge sentenced him to nine months, he was a certified yoga teacher with a new mindset. “I was committed to using prison as an opportunity to explore yoga off the mat,” he says. At the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia where Huggins was first incarcerated, inmates were periodically…

15 min.
hard healings

Four years into dating, Robert and I were walking to the movies to see Inglourious Basterds when he nudged me to the other side of the sidewalk. He always insists (still) on walking on the side closer to the street. I wasn’t expecting it, so when he pushed me, I almost lost my footing. “So, um, would you ever want to be Mrs. Taleghany?” he asked, and he shoved me, which I equated to pulling the hair of a girl you like on the playground. “Are you asking me to marry you?” I said. “Well, would you want to?” “Wait. Is this how you are asking me to marry you?” It sure was. The next morning, I woke up to a velvet jewelry box on my pillow from a local jeweler. Inside was a small…