Happy National Yoga Month!

September is my favorite month of the year. (And no, it’s not because it’s my birthday month…although that’s a pretty big deal too : ) ) It’s my favorite month because it’s national yoga month! As a self-proclaimed yoga addict, it’s like heaven. Discounts at yoga stores + free classes at the top studios? SIGN ME UP PLEASE!

I haven’t been posting lately because of a TON of life changes, like graduating college, moving back home, and starting my first grown-up job. But I’m back, as vegan and yoga-obsessed as ever. Or at least I’m trying. And that should count for something right? : ) This week, I’ll be featuring a lot of yoga poses, especially arm balances that I’ve finally¬†been able to master recently. This girl is in love with ashtanga yoga now! I can’t believe how much of a positive change it’s had on my body and my life. More on that later in the week, though. Right now, I’m settling in with a cozy blanket and some sea salt popcorn to enjoy the first night of NFL football!

How are you all lovely vegans celebrating national yoga month? Do studios in your area have any fun events or free class deals?

Love & happy yoga thoughts!

Andie

yoga

Mirror talk: how yoga can make you feel beautiful

Like most women, I have struggled often with body image. I’ve been through self-hate, eating disorders, obsessive exercise, emotional eating, you name it. It’s been a rough journey back to loving myself and my body. To be honest, I’m definitely not 100% there yet. I have more “fat” days than I care to admit and sometimes, I just can’t stand the girl in the mirror.

But there was one main thing (besides the love of my family) that helped me get to where I am. That helped me realize my body is beautiful and capable.

That thing is YOGA.

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It’s hard to explain the effects of yoga- you just have to experience it for yourself. When you get really into your practice, your mind is completely focused on the movements, the gracefulness, the flow. You stop looking at your body in terms of fat, cellulite, and saddlebags. Instead, you see your body as an amazing thing that has the ability to mold and stretch. You no longer stress about the lack of a gap between your thighs. Instead, you learn to appreciate the muscles in your legs that allow you to hold warrior pose for 10 long breaths. Your body becomes something so incredible.

So for every woman out there who wants to cry when she looks in the mirror, who uses the words “fat” and “ugly” when talking about herself, who thinks life would be so much better 10 pounds lighter… I really encourage you to try yoga. It won’t make you feel like a supermodel over night and it sure isn’t the perfect solution. But, as a girl who has hated her body with a passion for awhile, I can honestly say yoga works. Whenever I’m having a bad day in terms of body image, I always do a short yoga practice and it brings me out of it. Yoga is such a beautiful thing, just like your body. Embrace it : )

 

Lots of love!

Yoga pose of the week: hero pose

This week’s yoga pose is hero pose, or virasana. It’s absolutely perfect for meditation, especially at Hebron Falls in western NC where I am in the picture below : )

What does it work?

knees, hips, upper back

Benefits:

– Improves posture & circulation

– Loosens hips, knees, and thighs

– Strengthens arches of the feet

– Helps with digestion

– Great position for extended meditation

Variations:

– Place a towel under your ankles if it is too painful to sit on them.

– Feel free to put your hands in prayer position at heart’s center or above your head.

 

Do you all like hero pose? Do you use it for meditation?

 

Source: Yoga Journal

 

 

Yoga pose of the week: tree pose

This week’s featured yoga pose is one of my all-time favorites – tree pose (vrksasana).

Me doing tree pose on Pilot Mountain, NC. Check out that view!

With tree pose, your goal is to become as rooted and sturdy as a tree so have that vision in your mind as you enter the pose.

What does it work?

Thighs & hips

Benefits:

– Improves posture & balance

– Develops concentration

– Reduces sciatica and flat feet

– Stretches ankles, groin, and hips

– Strengthens calves and thighs

Variations:

– You can hold your hands together at heart center or extend them over your head.

– To test your balance even more, try to do tree pose with your eyes closed.

– If you are an absolute beginner or just not good at balancing yet, feel free to hold onto a rail or chair until you can do the pose without assistance. You’ll get there : )

Source: Yoga Journal