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Yoga Journal

Yoga Journal March/April 2021

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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

2 min.
what keeps you going?

I HAVE WHAT you might consider an unlikely celebrity crush: 94-year-old British naturalist Sir David Attenborough. I fell in love with him and his BBC documentary series The Blue Planet and Planet Earth while living in London in the early aughts. Attenborough’s programs, which chronicle the mysteries of our Earth and the creatures that live on it, allowed me to glimpse stunning locations and natural events that I will likely never see in person. But more importantly, they amplified devastating environmental threats to our world. After watching Sir David’s latest program—2020’s A Life on Our Planet—my family talked about ways to improve the health of Earth and its inhabitants, from recycling to eating a plant-based diet. I mentioned to my two young daughters that I use yoga to ground my commitment…

1 min.
dharma talk

WHEN I TOOK yoga teacher training, I realized that this is an ancient philosophy and lineage. I felt like I was not ready to teach it, because it wasn‘t my own. So I spent the next three years integrating and embodying what I learned. I went on to train for 500 more hours, learning from different mentors. I had to get past this fear: Am I culturally appropriating it? It‘s not from my lineage, but I saw an overlap of Indigenous teaching. It‘s like your poses are prayers, and you‘re dedicating yourself to something bigger than just you. Even though the terminology may be different, the intention often remains the same. Now when I teach, I weave in Indigenous and yogic philosophy. PHOTO: BRIEN HOLLOWELL; WARDROBE: LESLIE HAMPTON…

1 min.
our contributors share quick creativity boosts

MAKE A MOVE Since I’ve been working from home, it’s been hard to remove myself from the “office.” When I have moments of mindfulness, I make space for creativity. I’ll put on some music and dance around or blend essential oils to boost my mood. Sometimes I’ll just step outside for some fresh air. I make an effort to incorporate ecstatic dance (a type of free-form movement that boosts endorphins) and later ground myself with a weighted or heated massage pad. Juanita Borges E-RYT 500 @thecaramelyogi FIND A CLEAR SKY When I‘m low on energy, I practice what I call a Sky-Like Mind Reset—a reminder that there’s always a clear mind behind even the cloudiest of thoughts. Here‘s how: Stand outside or in front of a window, or look at a photograph of an expansive sky.…

2 min.
deepen your practice

TEACHER TIP SEEKING BLISS? CULTIVATE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BREATH We take about 20,000 breaths per day. How we relate to those inhalations and exhalations is key to developing self-awareness. Our breath is the vehicle for prana, the vital life force that animates our entire reality. When we develop a sensitivity to it, our practice takes on new dimensions. Said by many yogic texts to be the mantra we were all born with, So Hum meditation is a wonderful way to begin the journey of discovering the magic of your breath. Try It: Sit quietly, and become aware of the flow of your breath. Notice the moment it moves into and out of your nostrils. Allow the breath to become smooth and even for 1 minute. Let go of any effort. For…

3 min.
trusting the unknown

EVERY YEAR, BEGINNING in March and April, we go through a process of emptying our metaphorical cup in order to be filled with fresh spring energy. This year, there are two important shifts occurring simultaneously: We welcome the new astrological year as we transition to Aries on March 20—and we move forward in the new astrological era that began last year on December 21 with the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter (when the two planets had their closest encounter in nearly 400 years). So, take a deep breath and prepare for new beginnings and necessary endings. March Free yourself from attempts to shape a future that‘s beyond your control. In Buddhism, the limitation of everyday consciousness is known as maya—the illusory nature of the human experience. The new moon in Pisces,…

2 min.
the life cycle of a yoga mat

Not to ruin your Savasana (Corpse Pose), but close to 40 percent of the thousands of yoga mats bought each year are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic plastic polymer that can take more than 500 years to break down. While natural rubber is a better choice, it can still take 80 years to become one with the earth again. Here, the footprint of that natural rubber yoga mat—plus ways to green your usage. 1 Sourcing The material of your mat begins with a thick, milky-white, latex sap, harvested by making thin, diagonal incisions in the bark of rubber trees. Tip: Look for an FSC-certified designation on your mat—a sign from the Forest Stewardship Council that materials are taken from a sustainably managed forest. 2 Manufacturing Latex is processed into rubber by…