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yoga blogs

19 February 2020

yoga blogs
  • The Science-Backed Reason You Should Be More Spontaneous
    19 February 2020
    Shake things up!
  • 10 Money Saving Tips While on Vacation
    19 February 2020

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means YBC® may earn a small commission if you happen to make a purchase through our links. Thanks for the support!

    I know "vacation" and "money saving" aren't normally words you find in the same sentence, but I've never been one to follow the norm. I do believe in taking strides in becoming financially secure and enjoying life's pleasures, so this past year, my boyfriend and I aimed to do just that. Let's rewind real quick. Last February, we took a vacation to the Cayman Islands. It was a gift to my boyfriend for Christmas, and I didn't think much of it except that it was a quick flight, and I'd found a good deal. We ended up falling in love with the place due to its gorgeous beaches, safety, proximity to New York, and excellent food. We felt like, of all the places we've traveled together, this might be the one place we'd love to come back to year after year to escape the freezing New York winters. So a week after we got back last year, we booked again for this year. 

    The difference between last year and this year, however, is money. If you've been following along on the YBC® App, where I've been sharing a weekly blog series called Money Diaries, you know that I paid off my student loans (he's on track to pay his off in May). The student loan payment did a number on my savings, so I started to pad my savings immediately after. Throughout the year, we have been taking a portion of our paychecks and putting them into our own respective savings. Then, we take another small portion and put it in a safe for our trip. The rest goes into our own respective accounts to pay for bills, entertainment, etc. 

    By the time this trip came around, we had a nice stack of cash to bring, and our goal was not to charge anything on our credit cards. While we are both good with our credit cards and pay them off every month, we just wanted to go into this trip knowing that everything could be paid for with cash. 

    While we wanted to enjoy a couple nice dinners out, we also wanted to be cognizant of our money, and spend wisely while saving where we could. It's a fine line to walk because we really didn't want to be pinching pennies but we also wanted to be smart with our money - make sense? Here are the 10 things we did to save here and there while still enjoying a fantastic vacation: 

    1. Bring what you can. A few years ago I received a Breville Barista Express as a gift, and the upside was that I suddenly had incredible gourmet coffee made right at home. The downside is that I turned into a total coffee snob. I'm particular about the beans, and want to be sure the coffee beans are organic, as pesticides can contribute to hormone disruption and beyond. So, we brought a bag of our own beans down since we were staying in an airbnb. We also aren't huge drinkers, but on vacation, we will have a glass or two. Since we'd received wine as a gift at Christmas, we ended up bringing a bottle down. My boyfriend loved having a glass after dinner outside on the patio every other night or so. Other things we brought that saved us money: sunscreen , snacks, resistance bands and sliders (we are also into fitness and bringing these items meant we could get a decent workout on the patio at our AirBnB rather than paying for a drop in session at a gym).

    2. Eat at home for a few meals. Food is really expensive in the Cayman Islands. You are looking at around $75 for a lunch of two entrees (no apps or drinks), and at least $100 for a dinner. We knew that going into it, and were okay with it, but wanted to save where we could, so we did breakfast at our AirBnB every day except for one, when we went out to brunch. We spent about $20 on a quart of yogurt and fresh berries, and that got us through for breakfasts. We did one dinner at home as well. 

    3. Plan meal times strategically. We often did a late breakfast at home and then a late lunch out. Because we'd eat later on in the day, more often than not, we weren't super hungry for dinne,r so we'd have a light, inexpensive meal. 

    4. Look for free water. In the Cayman Islands, if you're on the main Seven Mile Beach, there are a bunch of hotels all along that you can walk up to if you need to use the bathroom or if you want to order food. In the lobbies, on the beach, or near the pool area, there were always little water stations or water fountains, so I'd use those to fill up my water bottle. Less plastic waste and free water - score! 

    5. Drink at home. As I mentioned, we brought a bottle of wine down because everything is expensive in the Cayman Islands since everything is imported - but if you're somewhere where you can stop at a liquor store and buy a bottle of your favorite stuff, it'll be less than what you'd spend on a bottle at a restaurant. You can have your dinner out, but then come home and have your drink at home. Often, the scenery will be better, and it'll be easier on your wallet. Plus, you won't be driving! 

    6. Bring a luggage scale. Luggage scales are inexpensive, and I've had mine for over a decade. It's saved me so many times. Know the weight limit for luggage, and weigh your luggage before you go to the airport. If you're over the limit, you have to pay insane fees, so it's better to be safe than sorry. And, to curb weight issues, I try to only bring what I need. So, for example, even though I have a big bottle of shampoo and conditioner at home, I also have a bunch of travel size and trial sizes from my travels and being a Beauty Insider at Sephora (it's their rewards program - free to participate and the points earn you small items you can use for travel). I brought a travel size shampoo and conditioner, a single hair mask because the beach crushes my hair, and a travel size body lotion. Bringing the smaller sizes I already own means I'm bringing less weight in my bag, which leaves more room for the other unconventional things we brought down like the coffee and wine.

    7. Pamper wisely. Ok this doesn't apply to this trip because I didn't get a massage, but while I was in Austin once - again at an AirBnB, I wanted to get a massage but was on a tight schedule, so I couldn't drive to a spa. Instead, we used an app called Soothe and booked a massage therapist to come to me. It was honestly such a great experience. She was so good, I had her come back the next day. It was nice being in my own space, too - I felt so comfortable, and it was less than what I'd pay at a spa. 

    8. Use miles. If you're not signed up for an airline miles program, you're doing yourself a disservice! I'm signed up for all of them - it's free to sign up - and down the line you can use points to fly. We paid for the first leg of this trip with United points, so we only had to pay for our flights home ($379). Speaking of flights - I use the app SkyScanner, and you can set an alert on your phone when prices drop for the dates you want to go. 

    9. When you run low, be smart. Despite bringing a whole bag of coffee down, we ran out in a few days. At the grocery store, we almost bought an entire pound of coffee even though we only had one more morning left, and then we saw the bulk section, where you could fill up a bag with just what you needed. Instead of spending $12 Cayman Dollars (around $17 USD) on a bag of coffee, we ended up spending $2.79 - about $5 USD. Similarly, I didn't want to buy milk when we came down because I knew we wouldn't go through an entire gallon, and I couldn't find anything smaller at the grocery store. Like I mentioned, everything is pretty expensive on the island, so while I didn't want to spend the equivalent of $10 on milk, I also didn't want to waste food, either - it wasn't just the money, you know? I really hate being wasteful. So - and I say this as I'm laughing because my boyfriend was so embarrassed - we went to a pizza place (it was Sunday, nothing was open), and I ordered two cups of milk to go. It was ridiculous - they didn't even have it in the system as something they could sell me, so they just gave it to me, haha. Anyway, I wound up with exactly the amount of milk I needed, and it was free. (To be fair, we also ordered a pizza and a salad from the restaurant - it wasn't like I stiffed them on two cups of milk!)

    10. Stay at an AirBnB. I love AirBnB's so much. Aside from having more space than a hotel room at a far cheaper price, you also get so many perks. At this particular AirBnB, we had beach chairs, beach towels, and a cooler. This meant that there was no need to rent chairs on the beach, and we didn't have to bring our own beach towels. If you haven’t stayed in an AirBnB before, you can get $55 off your first trip here.

    And those are my tips for saving a few bucks while on vacation. Like I said, these tips are just meant to help us continue to save here and there - not get into the habit of pinching pennies to the point that we can't enjoy ourselves. If you have any tips I missed, I'd love to hear them in the comments section below! 

  • 6 Ways To Hone Your Healing Gifts This Pisces Season
    19 February 2020
    The zodiac's deep-diving fish directs attention to what lies beneath.
  • The Doctrine of Three Bodies
    19 February 2020
    The Doctrine of Three Bodies

    Yoga is a completely holistic approach to well-being and happiness. Instead of simply addressing the physical body, yoga determines that three bodies need to be addressed for the overall healing to take place.

    According to The Doctrine of three bodies in Vedanta, every human being has three vital bodies namely the Physical(Gross) body, Astral(Subtle) body, and Causal body.

    This doctrine of the trinity is an essential concept of Ancient Hindu philosophy that one needs to master to deeply understand the teachings of yoga.

    The Three Bodies

    Let us first understand what are the three bodies and what each one of them consists of.

    The Physical body, Gross or Sthula Sarira

    This is the one that we all are familiar with, the human body that breathes, eats and moves. Birth i.e Sambhava, old age i.e Jara and Death i.e Maranam are the three main phases that a physical body goes through in its span of life. 

    A physical body is made up of five elements; earth (Prithvi), air (Vayu), water (apas), fire (Agni), and ether (akasha). 

    We can increase or restore these elements through yoga postures and breathing exercises. Upon death, the physical body dies and these 5 essential elements get separated.

    The Astral/Subtle Body or Suksma Sarira

    The astral body is not a physical or material thing but it is made up of subtle elements that the eyes cannot see. 

    The astral body is composed of prana, i.e the vital force of life that keeps the physical body alive and directs its activities. The mind is full of emotions and thoughts that affect the movement of prana in our bodies. 

    The astral body relates to the senses and the way we feel or act. This body consists of five perceptive organs, five organs of action, five vital breaths, the mind, and the intellect.

    It is responsible for functions like breathing, digestion, metabolism, circulation, muscular, neural, skeletal, etc.

    The Causal body or Karana Sarira

    The causal body is one of the most subtle bodies and is a combination of the physical and astral bodies. It records our past thoughts, habits and actions in all its state of existence and carries the spirit of the person from one life to another upon reincarnation. 

    Thus it is the foundation of the physical and astral body and connects you to your true self.

    How to Cleanse the Three Bodies

    To grow spiritually, you must remove all the impurities from all the three bodies. You need to purify these bodies to discover your true self, attain good health and peace of mind. 

    Below are some of the practices one needs to follow for purification and proper functioning of the three bodies:

    • Yoga Asanas
    • Proper Nutrition
    • Pranayama Breathing Exercises
    • Meditation
    • Positive Thinking
    • Self-realization
    • Truthfulness
    • Contentment

    The three-body doctrine is considered to be very important in Indian philosophy and religion. Each of these bodies has a different span of life.

    The physical body depends on food thus it has a shorter life span as compared to the Astral body that depends on thoughts, emotions, and feelings, thus lives longer. 

    Causal body has the longest span of life as it only requires self-discovery and peace. Whereas the soul is eternal as it is distinct from these three bodies and does not need any means of survival. 

    The post The Doctrine of Three Bodies appeared first on Yoga Teacher Training in India at Shree Hari School | Certified YTT course.

  • Understanding Aparigraha: What It Really Means to "Let Go"
    19 February 2020

    Feel like you're holding onto things a little too tightly?

    At one time or another, well-meaning friends (or inspirational social media posts) may have instructed you to "let go." But what, exactly, does that mean? And how can you start to understand how to release your grasp in a way that is meaningful? Here, teacher Rina Deshpande—who leads our new online course, The Culture & Practice of the Yama—examines the deep wisdom of the yama aparigraha, or non-gripping and non-greed, and how it can help you naturally shed your attachments.

    Read also What Is Ahimsa?

    Want more? Join Rina Deshpande, Ed.M., MS.T., RYT-500—teacher, writer, artist, and poet—for her new six-week online course, The Culture & Practice of the Yama. Through lectures, holistic practices, reflections, and discussions on yoga’s roots and evolution, Rina will bring depth and nuance to your understanding of this rich philosophy, infusing your daily life, practice, and teaching with meaning. Learn more and sign up today!

  • Feeling The Need To Clean? Pick Up These 5 Trader Joe's Products
    19 February 2020
    A Trader Joe's run shouldn't just be for cauliflower gnocchi.
  • Long Day? This 15-Minute Meditation Will Help You Unwind & Sleep Better
    19 February 2020
    Can't sleep? You've come to the right place.
  • Embrace the Imperfect
    19 February 2020

    I teach Yoga For Men classes in Bristol., and am often contacted by prospective male yogis enquiring about my classes. Almost apologetically, they consider themselves to be the most inflexible men in the world, with grand ambitions of being able to touch their toes. In my replies, I always put a virtual arm around their shoulder and reassure them that they are not alone in thinking this way.

    As YogaDad, I symbolize what yoga means to every man, not just the lucky few. My philosophy is to break stereotypes on what yoga is, how it should be practiced, by whom and what they should be wearing. I love to reach out to new audiences, typically the kind of people that would have never considered practicing yoga before, encouraging them onto the mat and tasting the benefits.

    My classes are growing in popularity and I love to see new faces starting their yoga journey with me. I attract a mix of young professionals, middle-aged men, grandparents, Not only that, but, many of my students keep coming back. I offer a loyalty card, which when completed provides my students with a free 10th class. As much as the free class is welcome, I know that my students are coming back for so much more. The richness of a regular practice and the positive impact yoga has on their physical and mental health & wellbeing is more than money can buy.

    “I have found a vast improvement to my posture and all round flexibility since starting yoga. Any back pain has now disappeared!“

    Simon – Yoga For Men student

    The sense of community has also organically grown and is incredibly important to my practice. Many of my students told me that they found it uncomfortable to attend classes with a predominantly female group. Instances of being singled out for not doing a pose ‘perfectly’ understandably discouraged some students from returning to class. More importantly, they became disengaged, turning their back on yoga. So, they were very thankful for a yoga class designed with them in mind – a safe space for them to practice yoga amongst like-minded men.

    “ What I particularly enjoy about the Yoga for Men classes is the sense of “we’re all chaps of a similar age, and we’re all in this together”. There’s no peer-pressure regarding our respective abilities, and there’s not a ‘Bendy Wendy’ in sight! “

    Andy – Yoga For Men student

    Last year, I organised a Yoga For Men day retreat  in a beautiful local village in the rolling Somerset countryside. The small group benefitted from a personalised day including energising and restorative yoga classes, a meditation practice, a ‘silent’ country walk to connect with nature and delicious locally sourced food.  The sense of togetherness made for a very special day.

    I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved together, and we are only just getting started. My male students in Bristol are well and truly bitten by the yoga bug, keen for me to provide them with ‘homework’ between classes. I have exciting plans for my classes this year., reaching out to male yogis in other parts of Bristol. I also have a retreat in the most breath-taking location in the pipeline and am organising a new wellbeing village at Keynsham Music Festival this July. Yoga For Men will be front and centre of its programming.

    The men’s yoga movement is growing. Embrace the imperfect and become a part of it.

    Rob is a yoga practitioner from Bristol, England with over 10 years’ experience. He is also known as YogaDad which resonates as a Dad of twin boys. Rob’s philosophy is to inspire those that may not have considered yoga before to give it a try. He seeks to break down stereotypes of typical yoga practitioners – this includes through his popular Yoga for Men classes. Rob has a number of media appearances under his belt – this includes television and radio interviews with major media corporations – BBC, ITV and Sky TV.



    The post Embrace the Imperfect appeared first on Wanderlust.

  • Best Toe Separators
    18 February 2020

    Even if you don’t suffer foot pain from bunions, corns, hammer toes, or plantar fasciitis, you can benefit from regular use of toe separators.

    Best for Active Lifestyles  Zentoes Pack of 4 Toe Separators and Spreaders Zentoes Pack of 4 Toe Separators and Spreaders

    Relieve Pain and Strengthen. Made from soft silicone, you get a set of 4 rings sized for second toes to relieve pain from bunions, hallux valgus, and overlapping toes, while stretching and strengthening the big toe.

    What We Liked: 

    The soft silicone is snug enough to fit inside of shoes, so you can wear these during strenuous activity. Because they’re washable and wipe dry, you can reuse a single ring, even when you wear them during workouts. Get it now. 

    Best to Increase Flexibility YogaToes GEMS: Gel Toe Stretcher & Toe Separator  YogaToes GEMS: Gel Toe Stretcher & Toe Separator

    Get a Customized Stretch. Featuring an open-top design and made with 100% hypoallergenic medical grade gel, these toe separators stretch and realign toes to relieve pain from bunions, plantar fasciitis, and general foot pain.

    What We Liked: 

    The diamonds on the toe separators make treating foot issues feel a little more glamorous. You can increase flexibility and strengthen your feet while just hanging out, since these stretchers won’t fit inside shoes. Buy it here. 

    Best to Restore Foot Shape  Mind Bodhi Health & Wellness Toe Separators  Mind Bodhi Health & Wellness Toe Separators

    Gently Reverse Toe Damage. An active design allows you to walk while wearing these slide-on separators, they’re made from BPA-free medical grade gel.

    What We Liked: 

    They stretch the ligaments in your feet even while you’re walking, so you can get chores done while relieving foot pain. They work gently so you experience foot pain relief fast and can wear them for extended periods of time. Buy it here.

     Best to Realign Toes  NatraCure Gel Toe Separators NatraCure Gel Toe Separators

    Comfortable, Instant Relief. This pack includes 12 individual toe separators to place between individual toes to relieve pain from corns and bunions with a proprietary gel that doesn’t lose its shape over time.

    What We Liked: 

    These separators moisturize dry feet while relieving foot pain by releasing mineral oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E as you wear them. They provide instant relief, just separating the toes you need. Get it here.

  • Best Women’s Earrings
    18 February 2020

    Earrings are a simple and fun way to showcase your style. Whether you like hoops, studs, or even wearing mismatched or multiple earrings in each ear, anything goes.

    Best Hoop for Sensitive Ears  2” Fashion Earrings Hoops 2” Fashion Earrings Hoops

    Hypoallergenic, Plated Hoop Earrings. These large modern-styled, plated hoop earrings are hypoallergenic, which makes them perfect for people with sensitive ears.

    What We Liked: 

    These two-inch hoop earrings have a sleek, modern appeal with a flattened design that can fit any occasion. These hypoallergenic earrings are comfortable even for people with sensitive ears. Additionally, these durable earrings are lead-free. The plated hoop earrings are bright and shiny and easily attract attention. They come in various colors, including rose gold, silver, black, and gold, so you can easily find a pair that fits your style. The earrings arrive in a gift box. We particularly liked that these modern-designed hoop earrings are hypoallergenic. Buy it now.

    Best Geometric-Shaped Hoop Wowshow Acrylic Resin Hoop Earrings for Women Statement Fashion Geometric Octagon Earrings Wowshow Acrylic Resin Hoop Earrings for Women Statement Fashion Geometric Octagon Earrings

    Acrylic Geometric-Shaped Hoops. These stylish geometric hoop earrings come in a variety of fashionable colors and patterns.

    What We Liked: 

    These affordable, geometric earrings are a fun fashion statement piece that will go well with most looks and occasions. The earrings are available in a variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find the best pair that suits your style. The high-quality acrylic material keeps these hoops lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods. The earrings come in a simple leather bag that you can use to keep the earrings safe when traveling. The earring post is stainless steel and comes with a butterfly backing to keep them securely in place when wearing. We liked that these geometric hoop earrings come in a variety of colors and patterns. Get it here.

    Best Classic Look Amazon Essentials Plated Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings Amazon Essentials Plated Sterling Silver Cubic Zirconia Stud Earrings

    Classic Style, Platinum-Plated Stud Earrings with a Cubic Zirconia Stone Center. This pair of platinum-plated stud earrings provides a stylish and classic look with a sparkling cubic zirconia center.

    What We Liked: 

    This pair of stud earrings is designed to have a shiny, lustrous appearance. The cubic zirconia stones sparkle in the light and work well for casual and special occasion looks. The stone is held securely in place thanks to the four-prong basket setting. The earrings come with a butterfly backing. To keep the platinum-plated earrings looking their best, store them in a dry place and avoid rubbing the plated items together. We liked that these earrings offer a classic style that’s perfect for any occasion. Buy it here.

    Best Glitter Accent Guess Large Oval Glitter Hoop Earrings Guess Large Oval Glitter Hoop Earrings

    Large, Silver-Plated, Glittery Hoop Earrings. These eye-catching, large silver hoop earrings have an unexpected accent of glitter inside that adds a touch of glamour.

    What We Liked: 

    These hoop earrings add a sparkling accent to any outfit with the touch of glitter inside the hoop. The glitter accent is perfect for any occasion and can add a bit of glamour to your look. The earring drop is about two inches. The earrings stay on securely with a clutchless closure. The exterior of the earrings has a beautiful shine. We liked that these hoop earrings have an unexpected touch of glamour and sparkle, thanks to the glitter lining the hoops. Get it now.

    Best Earrings Set Jstyle Stud Earrings for Women 18K White Gold Rose Plated CZ Halo Earrings Jstyle Stud Earrings for Women 18K White Gold Rose Plated CZ Halo Earrings

    18K White Gold, Rose Plated Stud Earrings Set. This stylish stud earrings set comes with three pairs of earrings to give you a variety of looks for one price.

    What We Liked: 

    This stud earrings set provides you with three different looks that work well with any outfit or occasion. One pair contains a seven-millimeter opal center, another contains an 8.5-millimeter crystal, and the other has a seven-millimeter cubic zirconia center. The four-prong basket set holds each earring’s center securely in place. Each pair of earrings is made from 18K white gold, rose plated and brass. The surgical stainless steel posts are hypoallergenic and perfect for people with sensitive ears. The butterfly clasp keeps the earrings firmly in place. The earrings set comes in a decorative black jewelry gift box, which makes it easy to give this set as a gift. We liked that this set comes with three pairs of stud earrings that can work for any occasion. Get it now.

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