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Making Time for Meditation

Posted by Guest Blogger

Nov 17, 2014 10:19:29 AM

By: Jenniferlyn Chiemingo

As Americans, it’s commonplace to hear someone say, ‘I don’t have time for that.’ And it’s true. Our lives are non-stop, it can feel like we are on a hamster wheel rushing from thing to thing.  But what if you could make a simple, easy change to your life that requires no more than 15 minutes and will change your perspective on most everything and make you feel better?

Meditation can ground you in the here and now. Meditation can give you ‘just a moment’ in the morning before your day begins to pause. Pause and give space.  There are some super simple, easy ways to squeeze meditation into your life too. And it isn’t as scary as it sounds.

1) Most every smart phone has access to a ‘Meditation App.’ These apps often include a timer, or even guided meditation options.  You can program any amount of time too – even 5 minutes makes a difference.

2) Try getting someplace (a work meeting or a yoga class) a few minutes early and sit, breathe and allow your mind to be in the same place as your body.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

10 Things That Happen In a Year of Yoga

Posted by Guest Blogger

Nov 13, 2014 10:40:59 AM

By Joanna McCracken

“This practice of yoga is built, with devotion and commitment, over a lengthy time period.” - Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

In today’s fast-paced world where instant results have come to be expected, it’s rare for a person to commit to anything for longer than a week. But when it comes to yoga, it takes time to reap the plethora of mental and physical benefits. Sure, you might feel revitalized and calm after one class, but what about after 10, 20, 50 or even hundreds of classes?

Here are 10 things that can happen in a year of yoga:

  1. Increase your flexibility. Everyone always says they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible enough, and every yoga teacher always says “that’s why you do yoga”! It’s true – yoga will help you gain flexibility over time, and it’s important to stay agile and limber to avoid injury and muscle pain.
  2. Build your strength. No matter what your current strength level, a regular yoga practice will leave you feeling stronger. Shaky in chaturanga? Can’t hold virabhadrasana 3? See how you feel after one year of regular practice.
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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

10 Most Challenging Yoga Postures

Posted by Guest Blogger

Nov 6, 2014 11:37:18 AM

By Kristin McGee

It’s hard to name the most challenging yoga poses, since every body is so unique. Some students would say inversions are toughest, others might have trouble with arm balances, and for the inflexible crowd, hanuman asana (splits) could be considered most difficult. In reality, some of the fancy looking postures aren’t even as difficult as the more subtle poses such as mountain pose or even final relaxation.

I’ve narrowed it down to a few poses ranging from standing balances to arm balances to hip openers and inversions, that are quite challenging for even the most advanced yogi. Again, keep in mind challenging is relative for each person; but, each one of these postures takes time, practice, focus, concentration, inner and outer strength and proper alignment and flexibility. I would love to hear your thoughts on which poses you find the most complicated and challenging.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

For People Who Swallow Their Pain

Posted by Guest Blogger

Nov 5, 2014 10:00:00 AM

By Jennifer Pastiloff

Why do we let ourselves create expectations of people based on how we think we’d act? I understand that people have short memories and that it’s easier to be with people who are “doing great and everything’s fine,” but let me tell you about my current, and eye-opening experience.

I broke my foot back in May.

Due to the break, I haven’t been able to put any weight on it, and because I have a nasty case of carpal tunnel, the crutches have slayed me. Movement has been minimal and usually goes like this: Chair, bed, sofa. Chair, bed, sofa. Repeat. I have laid off doing exercise on my other, “good” leg and hip due to a previous injury. Basically I am left with only one leg to hop on…Wah! I know it could be worse but this injury has brought about new lows. My friend who experienced a similar situation as mine texted me that the inner torture of a break cannot be comprehended by many.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

Yoga Retreats: How to Choose and What to Expect

Posted by Guest Blogger

Oct 30, 2014 8:50:00 AM

By: Jenniferlyn Chiemingo

Nowadays you can travel almost anywhere on a yoga retreat; BaliCosta RicaMexico and so on. Each one is so unique but there are qualities that exist in all of them.  With so many options of where to go and who is teaching – how do you know what to expect or what is right for you? Here are some tips:

On most yoga retreats you will experience:

1)     Connection. By traveling with like-minded people and experiencing yoga (union), there is a natural energy that brings you together on a deep level. Each retreat I have led has brought me life-long friends. And more importantly – the students connect to each other and become soul-friends.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

Yoga Moves that Help with Anxiety

Posted by Guest Blogger

Oct 23, 2014 10:00:00 AM

By Kristin McGee

As a new mom let’s just say I have a lot on my mind. I am trying to run my business, teach classes, take care of myself and look after my adorable baby boy. I never thought I would have so many anxious thoughts all day long. I am constantly worried about my little guy having enough sleep, food, playtime, love, etc. “Am I being a good mom?” “How can I get work done and still spend precious time with him?” “Should I teach less hours?” I have a laundry list of questions running through my brain. And on top of it all, I’m barely getting any sleep each night!

Yoga to the rescue…every time I start to get really overwhelmed, I stop and take a deep, full breath. Whether Timothy is with me (I can do yoga poses while he’s playing in his activity gym) or I’m on my own, I will do these three yoga poses to help calm my nervous mind and quell the anxiety.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

Yoga, Nature & Connection

Posted by Guest Blogger

Oct 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

meditation-on-the-beachby Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemingo

I love the summertime. I was born in July and to me – summer means being barefoot, walking on beaches and swimming in the water.  All these elements connect me to ME. They ground me and make me feel alive too! I remember, growing up in New England, summers where I never wore shoes at all.  I didn’t know it then, but maybe as a child I felt connected, safe, and in my body.  I spent fall in running shoes, winters in boots, spring in rain boots. But summertime, ahhh, meant freedom.

In my late 20s, I discovered yoga thanks to my mom and best friend.  I’d always thought it was just stretching.  As a person who loved moving my body in exercise, I worried it would not be enough for me.  But just the idea of returning to movement and without shoes, somehow felt like coming home.

Yoga is like coming home, to yourself.  In the yoga sutras the fourth Niyama (part of the 2nd –of 8- limbs of yoga) is svadhyaya or self-study. Svadhyaya comes from the root sva or “self.” Adhyaya means study or education. And what better way to understand yourself then to move and meditate.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

How Meditation Works

Posted by Guest Blogger

Oct 14, 2014 9:15:00 AM

By Ashley Turner

Meditation is one of the most crucial aspects to cultivate more peace and happiness in life. It is literally the first thing I recommend to all my students and clients to build self-esteem and intuition, hear your truth, make wise, skillful choices, improve communication, increase creativity and productivity and let go.

We can be in one of two states - either the mind is running us or we are running our mind.

My mentor, Dr. Ron Alexander, speaks of MIND STRENGTH and the changes that can occur as we begin the process of training the mind. Mind strength is one of the most empowering tools we can employ to impact and improve all aspects of life.

Here's the breakdown of how meditation works.

There are five major categories of brain waves, each corresponding to different activities we do. Meditation enables us to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency and calm the mind.

Slower wavelengths = more time between thoughts = more opportunity to skillfully choose which thoughts you invest in.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

7 Ways a Yoga Retreat Can Change Your Life

Posted by Guest Blogger

Oct 7, 2014 10:00:00 AM

By Jennifer Pastiloff

I lead yoga retreats all around the world. What I have found through my experience with this is that they are life changing. You may ask, "Why would I want to go on a retreat rather than just simply a vacation?"

Here's why:

1. You will fall in love.

I fell in love at my last retreat.

I was surrounded by palm trees and magnificent ocean views and hammocks. Part jungle, part fantasy, my heart burst open and cracked in half with wild love. I was giddy with it.

Yes, I have been married for two years and no, it was not with my husband.

And yes, I love my husband deeply. Although it may not be him I am speaking of directly, he is, in fact, directly affected by this falling in love of mine, as it were.

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

11 Fascinating Facts About Breathing

Posted by Guest Blogger

Sep 30, 2014 8:30:00 AM

By Amy Landry

Throughout our yoga, meditation, and pranayama practices, there is a huge emphasis on the breath. But not so often do we focus on how we breathe day by day, moment to moment – and, in turn, how this affects our lifestyle.

Recently I completed an incredible course titled “Applied Anatomy and Physiology” with the inspiring yogi and physiotherapist Simon Borg-Olivier, through Yoga Synergy. Simon talked (and demonstrated) a lot about the breath, and invited along “Respiratory Physiologist, Behavior Modification & Breathing Therapist” Roger Price. Between the two, I learned many amazing facts about the breath, and how these facts can completely transform your life! Here are 11 of them:

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Topics: Ambassador Spotlight

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Welcome to the Juil community blog. These are the stories of our lives, our growths, our passions, and the connections we hope to give you. We hope that what you read makes you laugh, stimulates your mind, cultivates your thought, and inspires you. Inspires you to become stronger, healthier, and more connected to that which makes you feel whole.