My Favorite Bit of Information From The Week:
As promised, this week I want to talk about Yoga. This was by far one of the hardest topics for me to condense, yoga has saved me emotionally and physically and I practice every day- it has changed my life for the better, and it’s hard for me not to overshare.So, feel free to take what is interesting to you and leave the rest.
The Focus: There is a lot of information out there on yoga (and if you are curious in having more please E-mail me back and I will gladly send more your way) however, for this E-mail, I decided to focus on why yoga ( or other mind body activities) are so good for stress, anxiety, depression, and brain/body strengthening for longevity.
Very important note: Yoga is for everyone, you do not need to be flexible, strong, or a zen master to get the full benefits of yoga. You can be any race, come from any back round, and be any age to practice. There are no specifications. The act of the practice is what is good for you,not the perfection of certain poses. That may look like a “traditional” yoga class” but i may look like a free online yoga video- or taking a towel to the lake and simply doing a few deep breathing activities. There are no rules or limitations.
What if yoga is not your jam?– no worries! There are many things out there that make us find a body and mind connection, for my partner it is jujitsu, for one of my best friends it is running, there is no pressure to try yoga. I recommend it and share it because it has changed my life and I love it, but that does not mean you have to, please view this week’s information as a recommendation and endorsement for activities that connect your mind and your body. The connection (and intention for the connection) is truly what I believe is important, and yoga is fantastic at achieving this, but so are many other forms.
Speaking of connection: Here is a fabulous article on the benefits of yoga. The video links in the article are EXCELLENT, and only a few minutes each:
Yoga from the perspective of a Yogi: “Yoga As Self Transformation” by Joel Kramer. An accomplished Hatha Yoga teacher, I believe this article touches on some of the deep physical and psychological aspects of yoga that I love in a concise and understandable way- It really changed my practice and I hope you enjoy as much as I did:
Lastly: would love to share with you a bit of information I acknowledge in most of my yoga classes,I usually phrase it like the following:
The word Yoga derives from the Sanskrit word that means to “Yoke” or “connect”, you may ask “to yoke what exactly”? To yoke your breath and your movement. When you do this, ( e.g. breathing in as you straighten your legs and arms and breathing out as you sit back into a chair position and take your arms behind you), you bring heat and awareness to the muscles- strengthening them in a really beautiful way, but you also calm the nervous system- which is what gives you that lovely peaceful feeling you can sometimes walk away with after a yoga class.
So, whatever mind body connection you choose- play with connecting the breath and the movement. The mind and the body are connected, and too often we treat them individually without a thought to the other.
Please see the resources at the bottom of this E-mail for free practices online and other recommendations.
Update on my Show:
Half of the Soliloquies down, the other half to go this week! Almost ready to publish my website, so keep an eye out for that! And lastly, I am attending this incredible table top puppet show that was recommended to me on Friday- tickets are selling fast- but if you are interested here is a link: http://www.chopintheatre.com/event.php?id=2704&pageId=now
Thank you VERY much to all who have donated thus far, making this project possible. If you would like to donate to my show, share this project with a friend, or find out more about it please check out my gofundme here: https://www.gofundme.com/one-woman-hamlet
New From Last Week:
Yoga Links: My favorite online yoga teacher is called Yoga with Adriene- here are some of my favorites yoga classes of hers (Note: no mat is needed, simply us a towel for your knees if you don’t have a mat at home. That’s what I did when I first started:
1. For total beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE&t=283s
2. My favorite go to practice- it’s short, sweet, and energizing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F47hdaNXwT4
3. My favorite practice when I am stressed:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsOqcwcy2mI
4. Yoga with Adriene has several iterations of 30 day yoga programs. They are all excellent, and free, but here is one I recommend to start (simply because I have done it all the way through- but I hear her most recent iteration is excellent as well)- the intro video gives you the details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY
5. If you already practice yoga, and want more of a studio practice but can’t swing a membership right now I really love Yogaglo- it’s some of the best teachers in the world for 18 dollars a month and you can do them at home. You can try your first 15 days for free with no commitment: https://www.glo.com/
6. Yoga with Kate:I am also a certified yoga teacher, and I lead classes each week at a climbing gym and also in Cook County Jail for the female inmates. If you would like to try one of my classes at the gym for free please reach out and I will send you my schedule.
7. Styles of Yoga: If you have felt bored or overwhelmed with yoga before- you might not have been trying the right style.There are hundreds of variations of yoga. Some are more spiritual, some more focused on calming nerves, some more focused on repetitions of certain poses so you can get into a flow state, some more focused on strength. If you would like a recommendation for a style that might suit you, please E-mail me back and I will do my best to guide you to a free first class in my recommended style.
8. Breath: Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, here are some of my favorite breath videos for yoga- also with Adriene. Whether you are new or have been practicing a log time, these are amazing for the nervous system and will take you deeper into your practice. Feel free to use them on their own, or incorporate them into a larger practice.
1. Ujjayi breath (Victorious breath):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQrsJ-yZWV8
2. Alternate nostril breath (excellent if you are stressed): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwufJrUhic
Thanks so much for your time and support, May you all have a beautiful week,