Whole Living Daily

Yoga On & Off the Mat

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First, I would like to express how thrilled I am to contribute to Whole Living Daily.  This new blog will explore aspects of yoga both on and off the mat.

What exactly does that mean?

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1 A recent photo of me practicing Bird of Paradise. Image courtesy of Erica Montgomery.

2 One of my teachers, Mr. G.S. Jayadev, with some of the smaller boys at the Deenabandhu Children’s Home in Karnataka, South India. Mr. Jayadev is the founder of this home for orphaned and destitute children.

3 7th standard class at Deenabandhu Children’s Home.

4 Practicing Side Crow with yoga student Siddu at Deenabandhu.

5 Bring yoga anywhere! Me practicing Natarajasana in Baravoy, Kazakhstan.

On the mat:
We will investigate how to properly practice accessible techniques that help strengthen and calm both body and mind.

These processes include yogasana (yoga postures), breathing exercises, and various cleansing techniques.   Their physical benefits are manifold!  All help increase muscular flexibility and strength, encourage weight loss, increase our lung capacity, and can contribute to healthy blood pressure.  They also have tremendous emotional benefits.  If performed safely and consistently, they can help alleviate stress, increase confidence, boost concentration, overcome fear, and even nurture emotional flexibility.

And what about yoga off the mat?
We will learn more about yoga as a philosophy, as a lifestyle that helps us generate a greater sense of presence and purpose, and as an accessible system of ethics and awareness.  There will be engaging mental challenges, inspiring success stories about individuals who have willfully overcome obstacles, and a focus on karma yoga, or the yoga of selfless service.  I’ll also blog about my upcoming trip to India and highlight the good-willed work of some of my friends and yoga teachers.

Additionally, I hope that this blog can be a forum for you to share experiences and other tips for wellbeing!

Stay-tuned for the next post about a soothing, calming, and strengthening breathing technique!

Sophie Herbert is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student), a singer-songwriter, and a visual artist. She has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India; teaches yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan; and recently released her first full-length album, "Take a Clear Look." Please visit her website at SophieHerbert.com.

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