Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Year of Bikram Yoga Ends in June, But...

I am going to admit, though Bikram Yoga is my favorite, signing up for a year of classes has kind of paid a toll on my practice. Since signing up for a year's worth of classes last June, I have devoted MUCH of my time to practicing only Bikram Yoga.

I tried to get to class at least 3 times a week, mostly to justify the fact that a large sum of money was debiting from my bank account every month to pay for my practice. While I do love the class, I found myself getting bored. Though the routine was something I originally embraced when I signed up for the year's worth of classes, I feel as though I have neglected the millions of other postures I could have been practicing all year round that don't involve Bikram Yoga.

For instance, my good friend Amy, is now killer at headstands. She gets to practice inverted postures whenever she goes to class. I would like to learn some awesome inverted postures as well, but because my money has been tied into the Bikram studio, I haven't been able to take any other classes. I am pretty good at doing the same, sweaty 26 postures. But is that enough? Not for me.

My last class isn't until May, but I am looking forward to being FREE to take whatever classes I want :) Though I did learn lots of discipline and structure through practicing the same 26 postures over and over again, I don't recommend anyone signing up for just a year of Bikram Yoga. Taking it month by month, or even class by class is probably your best bet. Not every day is a Bikram Yoga day, you know? :)

Anyways, BIG changed have been going on at We just completed an entire redesign of the site, and have focused more on wholesale Yoga props. Hurray for Yoga Studios! :) Regular Yogis can still purchase the same great Yoga equipment on our site, but we now require a $50.00 minimum for each purchase...which still isn't bad, considering our prices are still the lowest around!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pole Dancing for Fitness

At, sometimes we have to dive in face first into new trends to continue offering you guys the most innovative yoga, pilates, & fitness equipment possible.

Recently I have been taking Pole Fitness Classes, the latest new trend in fitness, to see what it was all about. I have to say that after taking 2 classes, I am VERY impressed! Achieving the amount of strength, beauty, and technique required in the class is very challenging. I found it to be not only a way to get your entire body conditioned, but it is also a class that gets your out of your "safe" zone...more about that later :)

Since Pole Classes are fairly new to the fitness world, it is very important that you find an instructor that is properly certified. The first class I went to was taught by a random pole dancer, and I feel that she didn't stretch us out properly and condition the class enough to prepare us for the class, and my arms were painfully sore for about a week after!

I took my second Pole Fitness Class last night at the Fuller Movement Center, and the teacher this time was a Certified Pole Dancing Instructor. It was an intro class, so it was packed with about 15 of us newbies.

If you think Pole Fitness is just a bunch of twirls and flips on a pole, you will be quite surprised at the intense warm-up we were given. Not only did we stretch and strengthen for about a half hour to warm up our arms, abdominal muscles, and booties (haha), but we were led to do the exercises in a sensual manner. Cue the embarrassing giggles! Luckily the instructor was there to remind us, "Hey, no one else is allowed to touch your body except do it."

The last part of the class had us paired up at each pole where we learned just how much strength is needed to hold your own body weight up when you are on the pole. Looks like I need to do more handstands in Yoga to get my arm strength up! The class ended with the instructor & her assistant showing us a demo of what you would learn if you signed up for the class. These were some STRONG women!

When I got back home, I looked on YouTube to see some more Pole Dancing tricks and found this amazing video of Miss Pole Dance Australia.

Anyone ready to teach a Yoga on the Pole Class? I'm there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yoga in the Olympics?

As you guys know, I am a big Bikram Yoga fan...but I recently read an article on about how Bikram Choudry (the fine lad who "created" Bikram Yoga), is pushing to get make Yoga to be a part of the Olympics!

Now, I am not too sure how I feel about this. I know that if Yoga was in the Olympics, I would be glued to the TV - I like watching incredible bendiness as much as the next person. But as far as the competitiveness goes, I don't agree with it. Perhaps instead of calling it Yoga, they should call it "Competitive Contortion" or "Extreme Gymnastics" or something like that. Just the postures without anything else, to me, is not Yoga.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Should You Practice Yoga When You are Sick?

One of my friends on Facebook asked me a very good question the other day: Should you exercise when you are sick?

I posted the question on my account to see if anyone else had any ideas & got some good responses:

"No cardio if its upper respiratory crud and no heavy lifting if you've got a fever, but, regardless of what you've got, a slow restorative yoga practice may feel relaxing, healing, and calming. :)"
-Joanne C.

"Doesn't it depend? A good sweat can help release what is in your body and especially help with congestion. Not a good idea if symptoms include fever or weakness. Also depends on exercise. Swimming, yoga, tai chai I think would all be ok if just a little under the weather. Curious to see what other and the experts say."
-Alicia M. A.

I know that in Bikram class if I have a runny or stuffed nose, I cannot breathe in certain postures, but I think that if i was REALLY sick, not only would I want to stay home to rest, but I wouldn't want to pass on my germs to others in class.

What are your thoughts about practicing Yoga when you are sick?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dreams About Being Scared...

I usually can't remember my dreams, but this morning I remembered every detail of the dream I had last night, and I am wondering if it was one of those dreams I am supposed to ponder about.

I was at this place where you and your friends would ride in this flume-type water ride, but it was more complex than a regular flume ride because it had all sorts of buttons & knobs as if it was some sort of aircraft carrier. And the flume was on top of this HUGE hill.

I had gone down the flume a few times with friends, as some of them sat up to 3 people at a time, but I had never taken on the controls and let the other people in my craft decide the speed, settings, etc. of the ride.

However, this last time, the conductor chose me to go in a single rider. I looked at him and said, "No, I don't think I am ready to go alone. I need one more time down with friends. There are too many controls and I feel overwhelmed."

The conductor looked at me and said, "No, there's no time," and scooped me up to fasten me in the one seated ride. I looked down the hill at the trail I was about to face...and woke up.

While I will never know how I made it down that hill, I do remember feeling extreme anxiety in my dream! I wonder if it's a metaphor for something going on in my life right now. Perhaps I am letting other take over my I living on co-pilot? What a crazy way to start the week!

Have any of you had any prophetic dreams like that? Or can you shed some light on my dream if you know what it could mean? Thanks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Am Pretending National Yoga Day is Every Day!

National Yoga Day was this past Saturday (January 23rd), and Nathan and I spent it outdoors at Bantam Lake in Connecticut. It was such a beautiful day out and the ice was over a foot deep, so we did some Yoga (and some crazy jumps) right on the lake!

Dancer on the ice
Here's My Ice Dancer Pose

Nathan attempting a handstand on ice
Nathan attempting a handstand on the ice

Ice Jumping!
Don't worry, we had spikes on our boots!

Nate jumping on ice
Nate's jump!

We had so much fun in the sunshine that we ended up with sunburns on our faces! We ended up going back out on the ice at Highland Lake in Winsted the next day, but it wasn't as beautiful as the day before. In fact, it started drizzling a little, but we stayed out anyways because we were equipped with some heavy duty snow/rain gear :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Huge Blowout Sale at

If you are looking to by a new Yoga Mat, Yoga Ball, Yoga Straps, etc. for your either your home practice or Yoga Studio, now is the time! has slashed the prices on a bunch of their great high-quality Yoga and Pilates equipment to make more room for new stuff!

Here's a list of the items on sale - make sure you grab them while they last!

Pink 10' Yoga Straps with Plastic Buckles
Original Price $5.62
ON SALE: $1.64

Pink 10ft Yoga Strap - On Sale for $1.64

Black 10' Yoga Straps with D-Rings
Original Price $7.45
ON SALE: $2.33

Black 10ft Yoga Strap - On Sale for $2.33

Blue Round Foam Yoga Block
Original Price $10.88
ON SALE: $2.79

Round Foam Yoga Block - On Sale for $2.79

Light Pink 1/4" Thick Yoga Mat
Original Price $16.36
ON SALE: $4.22

Light Pink 1/4in Thick Yoga Mat - On Sale for $4.22

Orange 1/4" Thick Yoga Mat w/Rounded Corners
Original Price $17.36
ON SALE: $4.84

Orange 1/4in Thick Yoga Mat w/Rounded Corners - On Sale for $4.22

Purple 1/4" Thick Extra Wide Yoga Mat
Original Price $18.89
ON SALE: $10.00

Purple 1/4in Thick Extra Wide Yoga Mat - On Sale for $10.00

Light Blue Air Yoga Mat
Original Price $49.99
ON SALE: $20.00

Light Blue Air Yoga Mat - On Sale for $20.00

Light Green Arama Cotton Yoga Mat
Original Price $69.99
ON SALE: $20.00

Light Green Arama Cotton Yoga Mat - On Sale for $20.00

Arama Micro-Fiber Yoga Mats in Blue and Purple
Original Price $69.99
ON SALE: $20.00

Arama Micro-Fiber Yoga Mats in Blue and Purple - On Sale for $20.00

Pink, Red, & Yellow 75cm Yoga Balls
Original Price $15.72
ON SALE: $5.27

Pink, Red, & Yellow 75cm Yoga Balls - On Sale for $5.27

Pink 85cm Yoga Balls
Original Price $17.16
ON SALE: $5.95

Pink 85cm Yoga Balls - On Sale for $5.95

Green Anti-Burst Slow Leak 75cm Yoga Ball
Original Price $16.88
ON SALE: $6.61

Green Anti-Burst Slow Leak 75cm Yoga Ball - On Sale for $6.61

Dome Yoga Balls with or without Straps
Original Price $59.99
ON SALE: $20.00

Dome Yoga Balls with or without Straps - On Sale for $20.00

Large Pilates Toning Ring
Original Price $18.13
ON SALE: $5.66

Large Pilates Toning Ring - On Sale for $5.66

Handmade 100% Silk 4' x 6' Yoga Rugs
Original Price $49.88
ON SALE: $10.00

Handmade 100% Silk 4' x 6' Yoga Rugs - On Sale for $10.00

Black 100% Cotton Handmade Yoga Blankets
Original Price $24.98
ON SALE: $10.00

Black 100% Cotton Handmade Yoga Blankets - On Sale for $10.00

Red 1/8" Thick Yoga Mat Rolls
Original Price $129.88
ON SALE: $65.46

Red 1/8in Thick Yoga Mat Rolls - On Sale for $65.46

Red and Coral 1/4" Thick Yoga Mat Rolls
Original Price $139.88
ON SALE: $71.98

Red and Coral 1/4in Thick Yoga Mat Rolls - On Sale for $71.98

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"I've Never Been to a Class Where You Couldn't Make Noise."

In the beginning of the year there's always a lot of newbies in yoga class - which is awesome! The past 3 days I have gone to Bikram Yoga Farmington there's been so many new faces in class. And with that being said there's been a LOT of new noises in class!

Yesterday's noises were more tolerable. The newbies were all respectful of the class and enthusiastically attempted every posture. No one left the room, and when they felt dizzy, they sat down or rested in Savasana. Sure, there was a snorer and a squeaker during the breathing exercise, but that was fine :)

Today, however, was a different story. There were many new students scattered amongst the classroom, and a crew that were buddies were situated behind me. I know I am supposed to just focus on my own practice during class, but when people start cracking up constantly behind me, it is a little harder to stay focused.

I am not sure why they were giggling, but it happened many times, and one woman even left the room because she couldn't contain herself anymore. I felt bad for the instructor who tried over and over to remind people to be quiet in class. While humor is something I enjoy in class, these new students were just being disrespectful.

On the other end of the room, another new student, who had her hair down and played with it the whole class, was constantly making loud straining noises during every posture. I know the class is probably the hardest thing some people will ever do in their lives, but she should have listened to the instructor when he told everyone that the battle is all in your mind. You body is capable of doing everything in class - it's your mind hat makes you believe you can't.

I could tell this woman completely hated the class. Even worse was when it was all finished and we were in the lobby putting our shoes on, this woman decided she would mock us all before she made her grand exit by exclaiming loudly, "I have never been to a class where you couldn't make any noise." Then she slipped out the door, never to return.

If it is your first time going to ANY class, you should go with an open mind. If these new people had questions, that is why the instructor is there. I know for myself, I enjoy Bikram Yoga so much because of the discipline. I love when the whole class is flowing with energy and it drives me. When everyone focuses and tries as hard as they can it is amazingly energizing. It is my sanctuary!

I hope I don't sound like too much of a Bikram Yoga snob by posting this blog. It upset me that this woman had such a bad time in class. But then again, as I stated before, Bikram Yoga isn't for everyone. Hopefully she will find her niche.

With that said, I need to continue focusing on my own practice :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stop Trying to Make Pretty Shapes in the Mirror

"That's not Yoga - that's Modern Dance!"

In class last night, while instructing the class how to properly execute Garudasana (Eagle Pose), the teacher told us to stop trying to make pretty shapes in the mirror. This statement really struck me. Because of my background as a modern dancer, am I doomed to continue trying to make pretty shapes in the mirror?

I would like to think that I am more aware of my body alignment when I am in certain postures because I am a dancer, but how can I snap out dance mode and into yoga mode? Do I rely too much on the mirror and not enough on what is going on inside me? Maybe if I quit thinking of how I will look in the mirror, I will finally be able to do both sets of Triangle pose without dying.

I am going to try thinking about this in class tonight. Any other dancer yogis out there noticing something similar?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Congrats to BlackBird Yoga - Best Yoga Studio of 2009!

Happy New Year! I am pleased to announce the winner of our Best Yoga Studio of 2009 contest - Blackbird Yoga!

The contest was open to all Yoga studios in the United States and the last day for submission was December 18th, 2009. Winners received a $25.00 Gift Certificate to and a year's supply of Charter Oak Yoga Mat Cleaner from YogaDirect.

When I first started receiving nominations for Blackbird Yoga, I was surprised to discover they were in Georgetown, Connecticut! Though I had never heard of either the town or the studio, so many nominations arrived in my inbox for Blackbird Yoga, I had to take notice! The students at Blackbird Yoga were passionate enough to overwhelmingly nominate their studio to our contest, so this studio MUST be something special!

Blackbird Yoga

Read this blurb about the studio from Blackbird Yoga's website:

Blackbird Yoga is a progressive yoga studio in Georgetown, Connecticut for all people with a non-competitive and encouraging atmosphere. Our teachers are well trained professionals who love what they do and thrive on your success. Our 1500 sq. ft. sun drenched studio and impeccable decor is a sanctuary to those looking to de-stress, exercise and improve their overall well-being.

According to their website, Blackbird Yoga was founded in 2009 by Linda Colletta, a gymnast, runner, and Yogi. The studio offers TONS of daily classes including Flow, Foundation, Anusara, Yin, and even special classes for children, teens, and families. In addition to Yoga classes, the studio also has Massage Therapy, Life Coaching, and Thai Bodywork available. Every Sunday, the studio even offers a free Yoga class, intended to attract beginners.

Blackbird Yoga

The studio's website is absolutely gorgeous (check it out!). Blackbird Yoga also has a great Blog, and is very active on Facebook and Twitter. Though the studio is on the other side of Connecticut, I plan on making a trip down there to check it out! Until then, congratulations Blackbird Yoga! Here's to an even better 2010!

Honorable mention goes to Yahweh Yoga Christian Yoga Teaching Academy, who also received a substantial amount of nominations. Congratulations to all who entered!