Month: November 2012

Black Friday Yoga Style

Yes, it’s Black Friday and there simply are not enough articles on where to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  Not only are we supposed to boost the economy by buying, but it probably gives many of us a distraction from having to continue entertaining friends and relatives.

As a yogic shopper, the mantra is “less is more”.  Do you really need to buy things in order to achieve greater happiness? Probably not.  If you’re a shop-a-holic, meditating on the roots of the desire can be of great help or at least you can consult a Yoga Grump here on the topic. 

So if you can’t resist shopping today, here are some holiday gifts you may want to consider that have a “lower impact” on the environment and will make others feel good too.  How Yogic of you!!!  Here are 3 categories of shoppers reading this blog:

 

  1. Buy nontangibles. 
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A young reader loves his yoga book!

This could be a yoga, dance or music class from a favorite instructor (good for kids and adults) where you give a gift that lasts while giving a freelancer a job, a donation to a favorite cause (hello Hurricane Sandy relief), or my favorite, a massage with a certified practitioner.  If you’re reading this blog because you’re into yoga, you can even send one of our amazing teachers to a local public school to give an afterschool class—we’ll take a photo and send a thank you to the recipient.  

 

  1. Buy almost nontangible.

You need the necessary equipment in order for these to work, but purchasing music online is another way to cut down on unnecessary packaging.  Browse local bands on Bandcamp.com.  For children, we of course recommend Asana Alphabet’s Yoga Songs for Kids.

     3.   I MUST give a tangle gift.  If you’re in this category, at least consider buying from a local artist or from somewhere that will not over-package your gift.  Though it’s a “thrift store”, The Angel Thrift Store in Chelsea (NYC) often has fashionable, brand new items that anyone with fashion sense will love.  Our favorite kid items include Annika Jermyn’s beautifully designed teddy bears (great for leading a children’s savasana or incorporating into a family yoga class), the yoga book Yogi and Yogette Learn the Asana Alphabet, or cool yoga cookie cutters designed by Karen La Du.

Well, if you just don’t want to give anything material, you can spread the word of yoga, starting by hugging yourself and twisting from side to side. Inhale left, exhale right. 3 minutes.  You’ll open your spine, your heart and make yourself feel good!

Emergency Yoga

Whether you have been affected by the recent east coast Hurricane Sandy directly or not, if you have been watching the news even, your body and mind could be reeling from the effects of traumatic shock.  Of course, a regular and consistent yoga and meditation practice are the best ways to stay calm, cool and collected in times like these but there are some techniques that work at a faster pace to rebalance your system. 

Here we have the “Earthquake Meditation” which really can be used for any major catastrophe.  Anne Novack does an excellent job of calmly leading us through the “how to” here: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdxqL_JsGD0

If you need something closer to a ‘workout’ feel free to do a search for Anne’s other calm yet challenging videos of Kundalini Yoga kriyas. 

Great for kids and adults, if you are facing a situation of grief, pant like a dog and “hit” yourself on the pecs with your “paws”.  This quickly alleviates severe depression, grief and anger, basically detoxing you physically and mentally.  Try 3 minutes and work up to 11.  

The 3ho yoga community also has some words of advice as well as volunteer and coordination of help here: http://www.3ho.org/ecommunity/2012/11/hurricane-sandy-support-tools-and-help-getting-to-winter-solstice/

For longer term anxiety relief, check out Mukunda Stiles’s book, “Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy”.  The vata series of hatha poses certainly brings calm with even one repetition. 

Many blessings to those of you suffering due to Hurricane Sandy. May we all cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” and recognize the other as you as we try to help each other in this time.