Why Worry Is A Choice (And What To Do About It)

Life throws unexpected challenges all the time; that funny tingling we sometimes get in our fingers; our children who don’t seem to be making friends at school like we thought they would, or maybe having a boss that continually doublechecks all of our work. We worry all the time; we wonder if there is something wrong with our health; if your little one is being picked up at school or even if our bosses think we are not capable of doing our job. 

It’s hard to not worry; and often, it keeps us up at night. Some of us develop anxiety from all the worry we create in ourselves, causing us to suffer from physical symptoms. Yes, we create it ourselves; and in turn, we cause our bodies to fight back. They give us physical discomfort in an effort to warn us that by worrying, we are harming our bodies. 

Remember Yoga’s Teachings

The Buddha states, “Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss life.” Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, also states, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” So, why do we have such a hard time following these beliefs? 

I’m going to ask you to do something that may seem contrary to what these two ancient greats said. I would like you to think of an instance in the past where something made you so worried. It may be getting accepted into a good university or college or not knowing if your date was someone you could see a future with; now, take a look at where you are in your life at this moment.

Do you even remember worrying over those past moments? Do they not seem insignificant to you now? I am willing to bet that you feel silly spending time worrying over those things. How often do you actually remember the time spent worrying? Odds are, you don’t; you only remember the outcome. 

Yes, sometimes the outcome is bad, but it is often not as bad as we anticipate it to be. Most of the time, bad outcomes are ways of driving us forward to something better. We may feel disappointed at first, but down the road, there will be another opportunity for us — we just have to be ready for it and remind ourselves of this. We need to be open to what the world has for us, and this means not worrying about life. 

If you are naturally an anxious person, fear is the eminent, no matter the situation you face. You hate the idea of uncertainty, and this is your only way to cope with it. But guess what? It’s not. When we are afraid, we make the path for clear decision-making foggy; instead of seeing a road with multiple forks in it, we see scary dark trees, strange creatures lurking in the forest, and unnerving sounds. 

Life will always be uncertain; we are not given a roadmap with predictable destinations to follow – and you need to embrace this fact. Think of all the unexpected surprises you have had in life – those with wonderful outcomes. Would these not have been ruined for you if you knew they were coming? 

Dealing with an anxious mind and the worry that often comes with it takes time and cannot be changed overnight. As with all challenges and situations in life, small steps are a great place to start. It can be accomplished by introducing meditation into your life or adapting small changes in the way you think. Sometimes, little reminders to remain positive can work wonders. If the path of yoga follows the belief that we and the universe are all-encompassing, then the real self is beyond conflict, beyond anxiety, and beyond worry – and isn’t that a comforting thought? 

How to fit Physical Activity in on Vacation

Vacations are meant to be relaxing and a break from your normal routine of work, social engagements, and workouts. While you may want to just cut back completely and spend your vacation on a beach chair drinking margaritas, it might be nice to fit in a couple of gentle workouts to keep the balance in check. Plus, it feels good just to move sometimes. It can be hard to find time to fit in a workout while on a vacation, especially if you’re with a big group that is constantly on the go. So, here are some suggestions for how to fit in a short workout while on vacation.

Suggest an activity for the whole group 

If you’re with a large group of people try suggesting a group walk or hike. This gives everyone an opportunity to spend time together and gives you the opportunity to get your body and metabolism going. Food also becomes the center of socialization sometimes and we overindulge, a hike or walk is a healthier way to catch up.

Participate in a class 

Many resorts and hotels will offer classes and facilities to their patrons. Take advantage of an aerobic pool class since you will probably be lying next to it anyway! If there’s a gym nearby try going for a quick run or walk on the treadmill as you walk down to breakfast.

Pack small equipment  

If you do your research on where you’re going, and you discover there are no options for physical activity, you can possibly bring your own. Small items like a resistance band or jump rope fit easily amongst your items and weigh next to nothing. Packing these will make it easy to get a quick strength or cardio workout in. 

Count your steps  

Set a goal each day for the number of steps you want to take and try to stick to it. If you notice you’ve been sitting a while, try and get up and move to a different location or just take a stroll on the beach, lake, or city wherever you are. This will help keep you active and your step count up!

Choose healthy options

If you can’t find room for more physical activity in your day, try choosing some healthy options at your meals. Obviously enjoy yourself and indulge a little bit but try adding a fruit or vegetable to your plate to keep getting some nutrition in.

A vacation is meant to be enjoyed, try not to worry or focus on keeping up with your health and exercise regimen. Do what feels right for you, whether that be doing something physical every day, just once, or not at all. It is not required to work out each day these are just some suggestions to fit one in if you’re interested. Our bodies require rest as much as they require physical activity and a trip or even a “staycation” is a great opportunity to allow that. I hope you enjoy these suggestions! How do you fit some physical activity in while you’re on vacation?

What To Wear In Yoga Class

Finally, you are tired of sitting on the sidelines watching as others get fit. Day in, day out you had been indecisive on what steps you should take. You watched as your next door neighbors started taking yoga classes, silently observing how they are changing and finally deciding to join the train at long last. The next question bugging your mind is where you will start, what type of clothing is expected, and what you must have. Worry not. In the next 5 minutes, we are going to demystify what one should wear in a yoga class.

Yoga is a physical exercise that involves constant interaction with the external environment, including a series of movements meant to achieve a given tangible goal. It requires flexibility, focus, rhythmic breathing, and movements. Any yoga training session must be utilized to the maximum. It, however, cannot be achieved when one is not in the right type of clothing. We find ourselves being out of tune with others, feeling uncomfortable, rigid, and immobile in doing the most basic forms of movements.

Therefore, yoga attire must be comfortable. While this sounds easy, you may be surprised to find out how difficult it is to choose the right type of comfortable clothing that suits you. Both genders should wear clothes that enable them to have complete control of their body movement and those that they can easily stretch in. The clothes should also be light enough to ensure unnecessary sweating. The tops for both genders should also ensure free movements and only exposing parts of your body you are comfortable with.

It is also recommended that women wear leggings and capris or even Harem pants. Those in advanced classes mostly wear harem pants, but as a beginner, one can also decide to wear this type of clothing. The leggings and the capris must be comfortable and able to facilitate movements. Tank tops can also be worn. They promote cooling off and flexibility, and therefore, increases the overall feel-good experience of yoga.

Both genders may decide to wear or not to wear gloves and socks. It is solely dependent on individuals. It is, however, good to note that in some circumstances, it is recommended to wear gloves, socks, or sometimes both to ensure your safety.

To conclude, one should be able to wear what he/she feels comfortable in and conforms to the codes and ethics of the gym they are training in. In case of queries, one should consult with the trainer before deciding to get an idea of what he/she recommends.

Best Medicinal Herbs and their Uses

Since the beginning of human civilization, every culture in the world has used herbs to treat ailments. In fact, many of our knowledge of medicinal herbs today come from what these ancient civilizations learned thousands of years ago. Even with advances in medicine and health sciences, tried and true methods using the bounty given to us by nature are still alive and well. Thanks to our increasingly globalized world, plants that were confined to countries like China and India are now available for use in the far reaches of the globe. 

Below are some of the best and most multifaceted herbs still in use today: 

Lavender
Lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile oils out there. Known most prominently for its strong calming effect, it can be used for sleep and soothing anxiety in addition to bee stings and dry skin.
Try using lavender oil in a diffuser to help you fall asleep, or place a few drops in your palm and rub it on your wrists and temples.  

Aloe Vera
Though aloe vera is technically a succulent, not an herb, the gel contained inside its leaves has so many uses it would be a crime not to include it. Aloe is most commonly used to treat sunburns and rashes, but it can also serve as a hair conditioner, digestive aid, and even mouthwash!
You can either grow your own plant and harvest the gel yourself, or buy 100% pure aloe gel with no additives online or in a local store.

Chamomile
Another wonderful sleep aid and insomnia cure, chamomile is most often ingested in tea form or added as oil to a diffuser. It also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe stomach-aches. There are some claims that it even fights anxiety and depression!

Peppermint
This herb is not only delicious and reminiscent of Christmas-time; it is also great for temporary pain relief. It can be used to treat everything from a headache to an upset stomach! Known for its cooling and calming effect, peppermint has antimicrobial properties that make it perfect for nausea and digestive issues. It also works wonderfully for headaches, toothaches, and cramps.
To address stomach discomfort, try drinking peppermint tea. To soothe headaches, add a few drops of peppermint oil to coconut oil and rub it on your temple, neck, and feet. 

Echinacea
Historically, Echinacea has been used to treat colds and upper respiratory infections. It has been shown to not only reduce your chances of catching a cold but also shortening the duration of an already existing one. Echinacea can be taken in a capsule, or in liquid form.

St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort contains anti-depressant chemicals that even doctors are using to treat depression and anxiety. It does not always replace modern depression medication and shouldn’t be used as a treatment by itself without consulting a doctor. However, the science is real. The herb also has powerful hormone balancing properties that can help control mood swings, thyroid problems, hormone-induced skin conditions, and menopause. It can be taken in liquid or capsule form. 

Though much less severe than the side effects that go along with most modern-day medicines, St. John’s Wort can make you more sensitive to sunlight. Take the proper precautions when exposed to UV rays.

2 Crucial Tips for Selecting the Right Workout Clothes

With all of the options available from yoga fashion manufacturers, purchasing new clothes requires a lot more consideration that it did in the past. Styles range from traditional to more modern with every phase in between. The selection of workout clothes available is overwhelming. Imagine choosing from high waist Capri leggings, black yoga leggings, crop tops, oversized sweatshirts, and yoga pants. It’s nearly impossible to make a quick decision.

Purchasing workout clothes is a very personal decision, and there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Instead, a few general guidelines exist to help you purchase clothing that fits you well and allows you to practice safely and comfortably. 


What are the two crucial tips that every yogi needs to know before they purchase more workout clothing?

The Ease of Your Movement Should be a Priority

No matter what style of yoga you practice, you will need to be able to move through the various asanas or poses. It requires a fairly wide range of motion so all of your clothing items should be able to comfortably accommodate that movement. All workout clothing for yogis should allow you to breathe freely and stretch in almost every direction. Leggings should allow for great movement in the hips and throughout the leg, while tops should provide good coverage for bending, twisting, and stretching.

When you try on clothing in the dressing room or at home, try to move through a few poses that test the stretch of the fabric. A quick warrior II pose or even a lotus pose will allow you to see how far the pants will allow you to stretch. If you have space in the dressing room, you can test tops for flexibility by practicing wheel pose, a quick inversion, and an overhead stretch like standing crescent pose.

Safety is a Crucial Element of Your Practice

While the movement allowed by your outfit is certainly critical, safety is of the utmost importance when you step on the mat. This particularly applies to oversized clothing which can extend well past the point where it is safe. Long-sleeve workout tops, yoga pants or ankle-length yoga leggings, or oversized sweatshirts can all cause problems if they are too large for your frame.

Pants that cover any portion of your heel – even if they happen to just slip there throughout the practice – pose a serious safety concern. This prevents your foot from gripping the mat appropriately and can cause muscle strain when your stance shifts wider than you can comfortably tolerate.

Shirts pose a similar threat when the sleeves extend to cover any portion of the palm. Even in a very basic pose such as the downward-facing dog, shielding the palms from the mat without any sort of grip can cause you to slip quickly and cause injury.

There aren’t many crucial elements to selecting a workout outfit for your yoga practice apart from personal style preferences. Movement and safety are the two most important considerations because they can hinder your practice and cause concerns for your safety. Be sure to test all potential clothing items before purchase to ensure they’re the right fit for you.

Proper Care For Your Activewear

With the rise of so many workout fads and yoga activewear, you can only imagine how many new workout clothing lines have been coming up too. Designer brands branching out to “athleisure” and workout wear becoming fashion statements and street wear too. You can only imagine what percentage of people’s closets has evolved into Lululemon, Under Armour, Adidas, and Nike. These clothes aren’t exactly easy on the pocket. So, what would be the smartest thing to do to lengthen the lifespan of these investments?

  • Don’t keep wet workout clothes on and hang them to air dry if you’re not doing the laundry just yet. Keeping them on traps moisture and bacteria and could result in a number of skin infections. Leaving them in a pile on your floor doesn’t do it any good either. Soak in 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water for 15-20 minutes ONLY. The vinegar mixture helps eliminate any bad odors and stains. Be sure not to leave it longer, or else, it could damage the fabric.
  • Separate workout clothes into colors and textures.
  • Wash clothes and towels separately. Towel fibers can stick to workout wear and could be damaging to the fabric if the fibers are too stiff. A couple more items to watch out for before including them in the wash are items with fleece, zippers or Velcro.
  • Sports bras should be hand washed or washed in a lingerie bag. If they come with removable pads, take out the pads and wash separately. Be gentle to avoid creating creases and folds on the pads. Turn them inside out before washing. This is to avoid colors from fading, and since most bacteria accumulate on the inside of clothing, then, it would be best to expose that side more.
  • Read and follow washing instructions and use the delicate cycle. Although workout wear was made to be very durable, it’s still good to be gentle with washing them.
  • Use baking soda and lemon juice. A couple of helpful things you can find in your kitchen. Add a cup of baking soda with your really wet and dirty workout clothes when you toss them in the wash. It helps get rid of bad odors. You may also add the juice of one large lemon to kill bad bacteria and smells that are difficult to get rid of.
  • NEVER use more than the recommended amount of detergent. Better to use a little less than the recommended amount because the detergent may end up doing more harm than good. If possible, use detergents specific for active wear.
  • NEVER use fabric softener. This locks in smells including the bad ones you want to get rid of and severely damages the special fabrics specific to athletic wear.
  • Do not iron or put through a dryer. These could affect the fabric as well and best to leave your yoga pants and Lululemon tops hanging outside to dry. Maintain that they’re inside out so the colors won’t fade easily, and drying them in the sun helps get rid of other harmful bacteria too.

This is it. Thanks for reading!

When Does One Become A Yoga Teacher?

When you teach a friend, co-worker, or family member one Yoga technique, you have taken the first step toward becoming a Yoga teacher. This is the traditional way Yoga was initially taught before Hatha Yoga classes became such a “magnet” to the public. Large Yoga classes are not a bad thing, but it is easy to forget the way Yoga was taught for centuries.

Now, let’s fast-forward into the 21st century. Today, we have access to instant information. You can learn Yoga from television, the Internet, books, DVD’s, MP3’s, CD’s, and e-Books. It would seem anyone who wants to become a Yoga teacher has all the tools at hand, to pursue his or her dream of teaching Yoga. Should you read Yoga books to become a Yoga teacher? Yes, you will have to read and much more. Yoga books, DVD’s, and CD’s set a foundation of Yoga teaching knowledge, but there is much more to this in order to become a Yoga teacher. It is daily experience, gained through teaching Yoga students, which causes a Yoga teacher to further evolve beyond the initial teacher certification process. Practical knowledge and experience becomes a “treasure chest” for any Yoga teacher.

Teaching Yoga is a journey. If Yoga teachers sit still, without expanding their knowledge, they will become stagnant. Yoga books are great references, but Yoga teachers are works in progress. In fact, Yoga is a work in progress. Yoga changes as teachers make new and innovative discoveries along the way. Hopefully, innovative Yoga teachers will record their discoveries for future generations. None of us have a life long enough to learn all that has been written over 5,000 years, but we learn everything that will help our students live a better-quality life and more. Every student ailment is researched again and again.

Yoga teachers may eventually run into a situation where the right Yoga book is not available, or perhaps it was never written. Always remember that Yoga books are very valuable, but they are learning tools for the beginning of the journey, and good references, to come back to, when you put Yogic principles into practice. So, when do you know if you are ready to become a Yoga teacher? If you have been practicing Yoga for years, reading Yoga information, and showing your friends Yoga techniques, you have already taken the first step.

There is no promise that the journey to become a Yoga teacher will be easy, but it is rewarding. Yoga has much history behind it, but many new chapters are being written at this moment, and many more will be written in the future. The public is always in need of competent and innovative Yoga teachers.

Yoga at Home: 6 Ways to Get Started

Doing yoga at home is a great way to continue or enhance your practice beyond studio classes. Pragmatically, a home yoga practice could help you save money, time and effort – especially if you want to practice more frequently than your funds allow, free yourself from a class schedule and have more space to yourself. Do not forget the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga – staying healthy, feeling serene and nourished all in the comfort of your own home! To begin establishing your own home-practice, here are some tips to consider:


Create a Comfortable Space

Dedicate a suitable spot in the house for practice – a space that is quiet, well-ventilated, large enough to roll out your mat and not be hampered by clutter or sharp corners. Ideally, a room or a private corner where you could be alone for some time. Make it a point to leave distractions such as your phone and computer outside this ‘sanctuary’. Details like art on the wall, a niche for candles and incense, or simply having your yoga props in place could further sanctify your space and get you into the zone for practice.

Choose a Convenient Time

Yoga in the morning is recommended as it starts your day off with an elevated level of energy. A tip is to go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier so your session does not reduce your sleep time. If morning will not suit, choose any other time slot which is most convenient – the key is fitting it to your schedule, a big reason why you are practicing at home! Yoga during lunch break or after work is still a great way to refresh your senses or de-stress from the day’s activities.

Start with Stillness

Include time for stillness – to just breathe and be mindful of yourself. Even a few minutes could calm your mind, center your awareness and get you ready for practice. Meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) are great for it. Since classes often do not focus on these aspects of yoga, at home is a fantastic place to add stillness to your practice. Stillness also trains your powers of concentration, which is beneficial for a more focused asana (physical practice of yoga).

Set Your Purpose and Prepare

Setting a purpose and preparing beforehand could help you use your session more effectively. Decide ahead of time what you want to do – it could be a style of yoga, a body area of focus or a particular posture to improve on. If you are just starting out, an online video instruction is an easy, straightforward option. When you become more attuned to your body’s preferences, you could begin to design your own sequence (more in Yoga at Home: Creating your Home Sequence).

Be Gentle and Listen to Your Body

Always perform poses in a gentle manner and respect your body’s limits. Over-assertion and force is not the way to garner quick results and may cause harm to your body. Learning to differentiate between discomfort (dull aching) and pain (acute and hot sensation) can help you identify how far to go. Begin practice with an open-mind and warm up properly before trying more challenging poses. Explore your body with patience and acceptance.

Be Consistent

Set up a phone reminder! It is vital to be consistent with your practice. Yoga teachers advise that a short (10-15 minute) practice daily produces results more effectively than a long session every now and then. Some ways to help you develop the habit is to make it part of your morning ritual, sticking to the same yoga sequence so you don’t have to think about what poses to perform and have a reference for improvement, or practice it with a friend or family member!

From Zen to Street – 5 Favorite Leggings You Can Wear Outside the Studio

With the ever-so-popular athleisure movement in full effect, leggings are becoming more and more fashionably acceptable and the clothing of choice for many. And understandably so! They are universally flattering, offer support and are versatile. We were them to yoga class and if you’re crunched for time (which many of us are), leggings that can take you from the studio and beyond are ideal. Whether you are running to the grocery store or meeting the girls for brunch, these 5 must-have leggings will get you there in comfort and style.

Lululemon Hot Like Agni Pant- $118
You can’t go wrong with these awesomely flattering leggings. Lululemon is no stranger to the yoga community and there’s a pretty good reason for that. These leggings hold in all the right places and for those of us not genetically blessed with a voluptuous backside, this is our saving grace! From downward dog to a shopping date with the gals, these leggings are versatile and are sure to be your new favorite “pants.”

Alo Yoga High-Waist Moto Legging- $118
Mix in an urban-chic vibe to your legging arsenal. These are perfect for date night with your guy or when plain black pants seem boring. Pair with a slouchy sweater or tee for a relaxed look. Studded motorcycle boots not included, but are strongly recommended.

Koral Lustrous Legging- $88
Supple enough to get through a Hatha class and fashionable enough to turn heads while you’re out on the town. These shiny pants come in black, gray and navy and it’s easy to see why you would want one in each color. You can dress these up or down, pairing them with a loose fitting t-shirt in a solid color or a statement blouse for a dressier appeal.

Lucy Studio Hatha Legging- $29.98
These are all about the comfort factor. Bend and twist in every position imaginable with ease. At under $30, these tights are a steal. Available in a variety of gorgeous colors and patterns, you can afford to splurge.

Athleta Tropical Excursion Tight- $89.00
This fun print is a great addition to your legging arsenal! Designed with wicking and breathable material, these tights lightweight but will withstand your next Bikram class. Side leg pockets are handy for keeping your phone and other essentials in place when you’re grabbing a juice or smoothie after class.