Whole Life Magazine

December 2013/January 2014

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/217566

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Page 15 of 43

yoga & spirit PRACTICE YOGA WITH INTENTION Your Right Style for the New Year W e're in the thick of the holiday season, heading into the darkest days of winter with the promise of a new year on the not-so-distant horizon. As we make the transition, we have the opportunity to reflect over the closing year and set intentions for the upcoming one. Whether you want to become lithe and toned, address specific health issues, gain more clarity, develop a sense of peace, discover your life's purpose or whatever it is—choosing a yoga style that supports your intention for the new year will help you to stay on course. Here's a guide to get you started: Get svelte with ashtanga-vinyasa yoga Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic, physically demanding practice that synchronizes breath and movement to produce a strong internal heat designed to purify the body. With its many vinyasas (meaning "breathing-moving system"), this style is particularly great for building upper body and core strength while toning the whole body. Prepare to sweat as you briskly move through a set sequence of postures while remaining focused on your breath. Gain stability with Iyengar yoga To gain stability and increase mobility try Iyengar yoga. Iyengar is the practice of precision, paying close attention to the anatomical details and alignment of each posture. Rather than moving quickly from one pose to the next, postures are built methodically with steadfast concentration and held for longer periods of time, and props are often used to modify the poses. The method is designed to safely and systematically cultivate strength, flexibility and stability along with mind-body awareness, and is particularly therapeutic for individuals with specific limitations and conditions. Detox with Bikram yoga Bikram yoga is a set series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises done in 105-degree heat with 40 percent humidity for ninety minutes—you're going to sweat. The specific sequence of poses systematically works every part of the body from "bones to skin," bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to every internal organ, vein, gland and fiber, while the heat and postures serve to speed up the natural detoxifying process. Center yourself with Integral yoga Integral yoga is a combination of yoga 16 By Meagan McCrary disciplines designed to systematically address all layers of the body, from the physical down to the more subtle aspects of being, the emotional, energetic and mental bodies. Classes tend to be gentle, slow, and accessible, placing equal emphasis on pranayama, deep relaxation, and meditation as well as asana practice. Transforming the whole person, Integral yoga aims to help each student access the place of peace and happiness that resides within each of us. Ignite your passion and creativity with kundalini yoga Kundalini yoga is a spiritual practice aimed at expanding consciousness, igniting passion and increasing physical vitality by accessing kundalini-shakti and integrating prana throughout the body. The method is multidimensional, using rhythm, movement, breath and sound to effectively stimulate and shift your energy. Alternating between active exercises (kriyas) and mini-periods of relaxation, you'll be guided to pay close attention to any internal sensations you're experiencing— releasing stored emotional and psychological blocks and allowing creative energy to flow. Develop more self-acceptance with Kripalu yoga Kripalu yoga is a comprehensive and compassionate approach to self-study that uses asana, pranayama, deep relaxation and meditation as its primary tools for promoting physical health, calming the mind, opening the heart and developing deeper levels of self-awareness. The method is inquiry-based. Prompted by such questions as What are you feeling right now? What is your body asking for? students are encouraged to move and modify the postures, discovering what works best for them. Above all else, Kripalu emphasizes practicing with compassionate self-awareness and acceptance. To explore spirituality try Jivamukti yoga Jivamukti yoga is a physically dynamic, intellectually stimulating and spiritually inspiring method that incorporates chanting, meditation, deep relaxation and pranayama into a vigorous vinyasas practice with a heavy injection of philosophy, poetry, music and affirmations. The system emphasizes the living spiritual tradition of yoga, bringing ancient teachings alive in a contemporary setting and applying the wisdom to daily life. continued on page 17 wholelifetimesmagazine.com WLT-DEC-JAN-11-24-10pm.indd 16 11/24/13 10:34 PM

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