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Yoga

How a Yoga Practice can Benefit You

Yoga Final Relaxation

Theresa & Zoe in Savasana

I love being a woman, but there are definitely challenging seasons. I have survived challenges in my life by consistently taking time for myself on my yoga mat.  My favorite pose Savasana, final rest, is even sweeter with Zoe. Our retreats are for ALL women – no yoga experience is needed. Discover the power of yoga, when you join us for a retreat.

As women, there are many ways to approach living a healthier lifestyle. Developing a consistent yoga practice is one of them. For those of us who have already begun our yoga journey, we rolled out our mats for the first time for various, and often very personal, reasons. For some women, the practice begins as physical: we need to add movement and activity to our lives or have a tangible, physiological goal in mind. For others, we’d been advised that yoga can help alleviate stress, promote better sleep, or reduce anxiety.

Whether you’re in the early stages of your yoga journey or have been practicing daily for 10 years, the practice has the power to positively impact your health and well-being in many ways.

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10 Reasons to Start a Yoga Practice Today

nina yoga colorado 2014

Who knew I’d be able to balance on a rock and do “dancer” pose? Not me.

Yoga is intimidating. Even after the first couple of classes it can be intimidating. You may not think yoga is for you, I certainly didn’t think it was for me. But that’s where I was wrong.

I’m thrilled we offer a safe place for beginners at our yoga retreats. If you’re like me, uncomfortable in a room of strangers who you think are judging you (they’re not!), a Yoga Nurture Retreat is perfect for you.

Five years ago if you would have invited me to a yoga class, I would have laughed and replied, “You’re kidding, right? I can’t even touch my toes.” I thought I knew what it took to do yoga, and I was certain I had none of it. I was wrong.

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How to Relax the Tightness in Your Neck

Does your neck feel tense and tight? Maybe these stretches will help. I was recently asked to submit information for an article about stretches that yoga instructors use for themselves and teach to their students. I frequently get neck discomfort and tension from working on my laptop. These neck stretches work beautifully.

Yoga Retreat at Retreat in the Pines

Neck & Shoulder Stretching at a Yoga Retreat

I plan to incorporate these stretches into upcoming yoga retreats. These feel especially good if you’ve been driving for awhile, with your neck and shoulders hunched and tight. It’s a perfect complement to our Friday evening hip opener class. Learn these soothing neck stretch when you join us for a retreat.

Read the whole article here.

Today Matters

This post is written by Kay, who recently found relief from a chronic headache at a Yoga Nurture Retreat. She’s since been back several times.

“Inside that lit stillness
we drank in the swelling breath that would
unfold on its own for months.”
from “Quiet of the Mind” by Naomi Shihab Nye

An acquaintance of mine recently returned from a two-week overseas trip that most of us would consider a dream vacation. When I asked her about it, she said, “Well, it was really nice, but I’m just so tired. We all got pretty cranky because we just had so much to do, and we had so many friends to buy things for, and it just was so stressful.”

Finding Peace

Preparing for Meditation at Yoga Retreat

Wow.

But isn’t that the way many of us—and by “us” I mean Americans—live our lives?  We tend to plan events so that we can “check in” on Facebook, take pictures, and say we were there. Sometimes we’re so focused on taking the picture that we forget to actually experience the thing we’re photographing. Once our event is thoroughly photographed and Facebooked, we move on to plan the next one.

The lines quoted above come from a beautiful poem about enjoying a moment and letting it carry you through months of everyday life and stress. It’s easier said than done.

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Resolve to Take Care of You

Tonya - Taking Care of Myself Does Matter

Tonya – Taking Care of Myself Does Matter

This morning, as I lay in quiet Savasana, I thought about how well I treated myself during 2011. What I was really thinking was that I could treat myself better.

Sure, I went on a few yoga retreats to the beautiful piney woods of East Texas. I’d also trained all year for triathlons, pushing my body to new limits. I’ve stopped to enjoy some stillness but I’ll also admit that December flew by in a rush, leaving my head spinning and illness looming.

I used to be that person who did yoga 3 – 5 times a week. I used to be that person who ate more vegetables, meditated often, got massages and dry brushed my skin to make sure my lymph nodes kept my body toxin free. As I struggled through my yoga practice this morning, I recognized the effects of pushing myself too hard and neglecting the healthy practices I used to do diligently. I’ve been fighting illness for the second time in two months. I’m weak, achy and sore. My mind has been so scattered that I’ve had trouble concentrating.

On my mat, I slowed down to start 2012… or at least the 2nd day of the year. I let go of thoughts of a lingering To-Do list. I breathed in the peace and breathed out the stress of 2011.

Resolutions, I find, are usually broken. I’d rather commit instead of comply to something I feel I have to do. So, instead of resolving that I HAVE to take better care of myself, I will commit to myself and my family that I will get back to what makes me feel good. When I take care of me, I am better at taking care of my children, my house, and my business. It’s all connected.

Bring on 2012. And bring on the warmth of a healthy body, glowing skin and many more mini-retreats in the day-to-day busy-ness of life.

Thank you for the stillness of my yoga mat to remind me that quiet moments are when the good stuff happens.

Just Breathe

I tell my students all the time, “Just breathe through the discomfort…let your breath keep you anchored in the present moment…only breath…letting the sound of your breath calm your mind.” Oh the list goes on.

Now as my life takes another crazy turn…teenagers and their issues (it’s true what they say about small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems…those of you with young children…Enjoy!)…now I’m faced with problems that I used to believe wouldn’t happen to my kids and now the act of staying calm…seems completely impossible.

Seated cat/cow streatch

My yoga teacher,  readily tells our class that yoga is… “Learning to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.” That of course applies off the mat, as well as on the mat.

Comfortable?!! How about not freaking out?

Give me one of those hip stretches, where I feel like I’m a wishbone and my only wish is to come out of it…not this mess that I have to figure out. Give me two hours of dripping wet yoga, where I collapse at the end into a beautiful savasana, feeling like a sopping wet dishrag…not this feeling that these problems are bigger than me.

When things get hard for me, the only place I can find solace is on my mat. It’s my time…. away from the train wreck that it seems like I’m facing.

My mat…a place to find comfort, calm, peace amidst the storm of my reality.

My practice…a place to just breathe.

My breath…my anchor when I feel overwhelmed.

How does your yoga practice help you get through the ups and downs of your life?

Need help catching your breath? Physically or figuratively? Join us for a retreat and take time for you. You’ll find your breath and so much more. Book here.