Monday, July 27, 2009

Yoga in a Canoe at Twin Lakes

This weekend was so rejuvenating! I had to rethink my plans because I am unfortunately wearing a giant orthopedic boot on my left foot. I went to the doctor on Friday and he told me it looks like I had partially torn a tendon in my left ankle (I hurt it while dancing...). I am having an MRI this week so they can see if anything else is going on in my ankle, but for the next two weeks, I am stuck wearing the boot. Dancing is out of the question, the doctor said, but gentle Yoga is ok. He also advised me not to put weight on my left foot, like in balancing postures, so I unfortunately have to take some time off from Bikram Yoga.

So I had to plan activities that didn't put stress on my ankle. My fiance Nathan, and I decided to spend an entire day fishing in a little motorboat yesterday. That way I could sit and relax, and I could rest my ankle and still have fun - great idea! It was my first time out in a boat all day, and I had no idea how cramped I would feel, just sitting there rocking in the boat, waiting for fish to bite.

I occasionally felt the urge to stretch, and I ended up doing several Yoga poses right in the boat! My hamstrings and back were the most sore, so I did a few back bends and wheels, using the seats in the boat as places to put my hands and feet. It was a rush to feel the boat rocking gently as I breathed into the back bend - really relaxing. I sat on a seat and did long butterfly stretches, I did child's pose, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, and Nathan tried to be funny and do a toe stand (Bikram Yoga) on the floor of the boat, but of course the rocking didn't really help :)

Maybe it was all the Yoga in the boat that helped us catch 10 fish!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Had a Yoga Photo Shoot with

I had a Yoga photo shoot with on Monday! I'd like to share some of the great photos with you!

YogaMaendy by

YogaMaendy by

YogaMaendy by

I have been taking it a little easy this week because I injured my left ankle at the Siren Festival this past weekend. I think I damaged a tendon or something because I can't point my left foot anymore. The swelling is finally starting to go down, but the loss of flexibility in my ankle is really bugging me. This is the same ankle I always have troubles with. I made an appointment to see a foot doctor this Friday, so I will keep you posted about the results.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bikram Yoga...and Clenching My Teeth

Does anyone else notice they hold a lot of tension in their jaw when they are in Bikram Yoga class? Lately in class I have been noticing that while I try to stay calm in class by breathing in and out of my nose, I am clenching my teeth like I am fighting not to even open my mouth.

I grind my teeth in my sleep, so I guess I already have a lot of tension in my jaw to begin with. How can I help myself loosen my jaw while I practice Yoga without switching to mouth breathing?

Yesterday in class I tried to tell myself to loosen up my jaw, but I couldn't find the place. Any ideas???

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hot Yoga Vs. Bikram Yoga

I usually go to Bikram Yoga Classes (at Bikram Yoga Farmington...come and say hello some time!!!), but tonight at the Fuller Movement Center, they are having a free introductory "Hot Yoga" class, and I am going to take it. I am not sure how much different it will be from Bikram Yoga, but I will surely keep you posted.

My friend Katie (who dances with me in Soma Dance Company) will be taking her first EVER Hot Yoga class (never taken Bikram either...) so I will be sure to tell you know she liked it too!



We went to the Hot Yoga Class last night! Myself, my dancer friend Katie, and 2 of my YogaDirect co-workers, Tom and Colleen went as well. None of us have been to a "Hot Yoga" class, but Colleen and I had been to Bikram Yoga before and were anxious to see what the differences were between the two styles of Yoga in a heated room. Here's the differences we noticed:

The Atmosphere:

Bikram Yoga Class is strict. As soon as you walk into class, you begin your meditation. You only use energy to move and talking is not allowed in the room.

Hot Yoga on the other hand, was a bit more lenient when it came to class etiquette. Everyone was smiling and the room felt more relaxed. There was (rock!) music playing and no one got yelled at for talking.

The Heat

Bikram Yoga- Walking into a Bikram Yoga class is like walking into a wall of heat. There is no escaping it and you just have to learn to deal with it ASAP.

Hot Yoga- The heat was less intense, and it felt more dry. It really wasn't unbearable at all, except Tom was right next to one of the heaters and remarked that at times he couldn't take the heat anymore and wanted to leave the room!

The First Pose

Bikram Yoga begins each class with the breathing exercises. They are supposed to warm you up from the inside out and set your breathing pattern for the whole class.

Hot Yoga class began in Child's Pose, and the instructor, Adrienne talked us through bringing air into our lungs like bringing gas into a car's gas tank. Then slowly, she had us pressing down into the floor using our energy, and before we knew it we were in Sun Salutation headquarters.


Bikram Yoga class makes me sweat from the moment I walk into the room until I get home and into the shower. When i leave Bikram class I am completely COVERED in sweat, and so is my towel, and my Yoga Mat.

Hot Yoga class didn't have me sweating until the 2nd set of Warriors, and from then on I sweat a lot! The only thing I didn't like about sweating in this particular class was that we did so many inverted postures that sweat kept dripping in my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. At the end, I left pretty sweaty, but not as bad as if I had been in a Bikram Yoga Class.

The Postures

Bikram Yoga has the same 26 postures in the same order every single class. There's no surprises and I know exactly what pose is coming next and how to prepare myself for it.

Hot Yoga class was much different. The teacher's style had a flow to it, and she took us through Sun Salutations, Warriors, and even inverted postures at a fast speed. Tom and Colleen agreed they thought the class was a little fast paced. Katie and I struggled a bit with the fast paced class as well, but I think it was Adrienne's dialogue through the postures kept me going. I think also because Katie and I are dancers we understood the flow of the postures and caught on faster. I did like that we did all sorts of postures that were different from the ones I am used to in Bikram because it is good to change it up!

The Dialogue

Bikram Yoga has a set "script" the instructors recite. I have been going to class so long I can even sometimes recite it in my head with them. Every so often the instructor may break free of their script and give the class a some little tidbits about life, stretching, or the benefits of the posture, but usually the dialogue in class stays basically the same.

Hot Yoga class conversation was more open. Adrienne explained postures, talked about chakras, said some funny jokes, remarked about the music that was playing, and more while we went through the asanas. It was more relaxed, which led my mind to wander a bit more than if I were just to be left to focus on silence and breathing. While the talking surely helped me stay in many of the hard postures without realizing it, it sometimes it made me chuckle and lose my concentration. I'm not saying that it is bad to have fun in Yoga class, but I just wasn't used to it.

The End of Class

Bikram Yoga Class end the way it begins - with a breathing exercise. After, you are instructed to lay down in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for at least 3 minutes to let all the Yoga you just did just kind of settle in your body. I usually struggle to relax myself after such a tough class, and am not sure if I have ever had enough discipline to remain in Savasana for more than the 3 minutes.

Hot Yoga Class ended with Savasana as well, but I found my body wanting to relax more after this class. I am not sure if it was the difference in heat or the postures we did, but I do believe I could have laid in Savasana after that class forever!

So here's the lowdown:
If you are looking for an intense yoga class where you can practice in heat, meditate inwardly with minimum help from the instructor, you'd be best taking a Bikram Yoga Class. However, if you are into practicing Hatha yoga postures that flow in a heated room filled with music and an instructor that interacts with the class, you should take a Hot Yoga class.

All in all, I think I enjoy both. It is nice to go regularly to Bikram Yoga class, and then to every so often go to a Hot Yoga class. If you want to go to a really great Hot Yoga Class, take Adrienne's class at the Fuller Movement Center! I know I will be back :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Choosing the Right Yoga Mat for Class and Home

You may have noticed that we have a HUGE selection of different kinds of Yoga Mats at With so many choices, it may be hard to choose a Yoga Mat that fits all of your criteria, including price range, what classes you are going to use the mat for, and much more! Here's a few helpful tips that will assist in your Yoga Mat buying decision-making:

On our Yoga Mats page, you'll see 4 different categories of Yoga Mats. In this blog, I will break down the sections for you to help you choose the best mat!

If you are looking for a basic Yoga Mat, check out our Classic Yoga Mat section. This section contains our lowest-priced Yoga Mats in many different styles, colors, and thicknesses.

If you're new to yoga and unsure how devoted you'll be to downward dog a month from now, consider the Classic Yoga Mats. They are a popular and affordable choice among yogis at every level - a great value for the budget-conscious novice. If you're an instructor, these discount yoga mats are a low-cost way to stock your studio.

Advanced yogis or those with sensitive elbows and knees will appreciate the added comfort of our quarter-inch yoga mats, which are twice as thick as average yoga mats.

Classic Yoga Mats

For frequent travelers who prefer to practice in their hotel rooms, pick something that's thin and light. Our Travel and Air Yoga Mats will free you of a heavy, bulky load. (Don't forget a bag to tote your mat around.)

If you'd prefer a more "high tech" Yoga Mat, then check out our Premium Yoga Mat section. The Yoga Mats here are cost a bit more, but it is because the mats are made out of special materials like Micro-Fiber or cotton.

Bikram and other hot yoga followers may prefer the Microban Yoga Mats that repel bacteria and fungus, or the Arama Microfiber Yoga Mats, which are four times more absorbent than cotton. We also offer Microfiber Towels that you can place over standard mats.

Premium Yoga Mats

If you are looking for a Yoga Mat that is a different size, shape, or appearance than a regular Yoga Mat, take a look at our Specialized Yoga Mat section. This section contains round mats, square mats, long mats, short mats, and more!

Specialized Yoga Mats

Finally, the last section on our Yoga Mats page is for Kids! Our fun Children's Yoga Mats come in a variety of different colors and designs and are the perfect size for kids, so they can feel special when they practice Yoga!

Children's Yoga Mats

We guarantee you'll find the perfect fit at an excellent price! If you ever need any assistance in purchasing a Yoga Mat from or any of our other high quality products, do not hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-331-8233. Namaste!