Your Instant Chill-Out Practice: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Your Instant Chill-Out Practice: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate Nostril Breathing, Nadhi Shodhana Pranayama, is a calming and grounding breathing exercise.

This simple yet powerful practice is a wonderful way to chill out the nervous system. Alternate Nostril Breathing is a holistic way to wind down after a stressful day or event.

Just a few minutes of this practice will leave you feeling balanced and restored.

See below for the step-by-step video guide, list of benefits, and written instructions. Give this balancing practice a try to replenish energy and find instant stress-relief.

Alternate Nostril Breathing offers a variety of benefits. Give this calming pranayama a try to relieve stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana:

  • Reduces stress & anxiety

  • Balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain

  • Rejuvenates the nervous system

  • Improves respiratory function

  • Replenishes energy

Let’s Try it:

  1. Find a comfortable seat

  2. We will use the right hand to guide the breath: Curl your index and middle finger into the palm of your hand.

  3. Lightly place your ring and middle finger on your left nostril and you thumb on your right nostril.

  4. Close off the right nostril. Breathe in through the left nostril.

  5. Close off the left nostril. Breathe out through the right nostril, then breathe in through the right nostril.

  6. Close off the right nostril. Breath out through the left nostril.

  7. Repeat Steps 4-6 for 5-10 reps. *

  8. Sit in meditation and bring your breath back to a natural cadence. Take note of how you feel post-pranayama practice.

  • Discontinue the exercise if you become dizzy or light headed. Avoid this practice if your nasal passages are congested.

Alternate Nostril Breathing offers a variety of benefits. Take a few minutes to connect your mind, body, and breath with this powerful pranayama.

Oh Hey Self-Care! This Simple DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub Recipe Will Melt Away Your Woes

Self-care is a wonderful way to honor your body and tap into your reserves of inner calm.

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A mindful time-out (such as the DIY lavender sugar scrub practice described below) nurtures your mind, body, and spirit, and offers a sense of renewal.

A homemade sugar scrub can transform your day by brightening your mood and relieving tension. This quick and easy-to-make DIY scrub is an excellent self-care practice to incorporate into your weekly routine.


Self-massage is a wonderful way to tune into your body and show yourself some love. And a homemade sugar scrub is perfect for just that.

This DIY lavender sugar scrub is a gentle exfoliator that can be used on your face and body. The calming scrub leaves your skin soft and smooth and the lavender scent will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.

A simple practice like this proves that self-care does not need to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.

Check out the recipe and the full article on YogiApproved

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Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses for Immediate Stress Relief

When we are at ease in body and mind, we feel open, expansive, and grounded. We are able to show up for ourselves, others, and our work fully, and we are our best selves.

However, when we experience stress, we tend to feel scattered, uncomfortable, and unsettled. The physical manifestation of stress might express as inconsistent and short breaths, tightness in the body, and tension in the face.

Stress is a mindset that we adopt (either consciously or unconsciously) in response to a given situation. More often than not, stress is an unsupportive addition to our daily lives.

Restorative Yoga is an antidote to the harm caused by stress, offering an opportunity to step back and reset the mind and body. A restorative practice offers a reprieve from stress that allows us to reframe our approach toward external stressors.

 
It can feel counterintuitive to take a time-out from our day when we feel pressed for time or burdened by an approaching event or deadline. Perhaps the very reason we feel stressed is because we feel short on time.

However, there can be value in taking a few minutes to change the channel in our minds and slow the pace of our inner dialogue. By taking the time to reassess, we might recognize the stress we carry to be unnecessary, and we can address the role of stress as an obstacle to our end goals.
 

Use These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses as Your Go-To Yoga for Stress Relief:

The Restorative Yoga poses below offer a holistic approach to stress relief. Restorative Yoga can imbue our lives with a fresh perspective, introspection, and a broader understanding of our response – a stark contrast to the narrow-minded thought pattern imprinted by stress.

Taking a moment to pause and break the cycle of tension can do wonders for your day, offering ease in the body, mind, and breath. The next time you need to recenter, give one or all of the poses below a try.
 
Props You Will Need: 4 blocks, 2 blankets, 1 bolster, optional eye pillow.
 
If you do not have the yoga props listed, please feel free to supplement with items found around your home. Firm pillows and/or a couch cushion can be a great substitute for the yoga props used in the poses listed below.

1. Restorative Twist

This Restorative Twist is a wonderful way to quiet the mind and gather grounding energy. Support under your belly offers a soothing effect, which alleviates feelings of worry and strain.

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Let’s try it:

  • Place two blocks on your mat, the first block on its lowest height and the second block on the second height

  • Lay your bolster over the two blocks so you create a slope with the bottom edge of the bolster touching the floor

  • Snuggle your right hip at the base of the bolster with your knees bent to the left and your hands framing your props

  • Keep your navel as close to center as possible and lie down so the front of your body is supported by the bolster

  • Tuck your arms underneath the bolster and between the blocks

  • Your head can turn toward or away from your knees. Choose whichever option feels best for you neck

  • Enjoy each side for up to five minutes

Check out the other poses and the full article on YogiApproved

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Stop the Negative Self Talk! Thank Your Body With This Gratitude Meditation

full article published on YogiApproved

A body scan meditation mixed with a gratitude meditation is an excellent way to promote a harmonious mind-body connection. In this simple meditation, you have the unique opportunity to thank your body for all it does for you on a daily basis to radically improve your body image in a new way.

Your body is an incredible system, one which offers you the ability to live and enjoy your life. However, it can be all too easy to forget this and take your body for granted.

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By switching up the dialogue and offering your body this gratitude meditation, a different perspective emerges. This newfound perspective focuses on the amazing capacity of the human body rather than on shape or size.

Here’s How to Practice Your Body Scan Meditation:

Find a quiet place. Either sit in a comfortable cross-legged posture or lie down on your back. Begin by taking a few deep breaths.

As you go through the body scan meditation, start at the top of your head and move down through your body. First, create awareness in the body part you are focusing on. Tune into how it feels and all sensations that arise there.

Then, offer it thanks as you bring in the gratitude meditation . . .
 
 Continue reading this article on YogiApproved

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30 Minute Vinyasa Practice

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30 Minute Vinyasa Practice

Hi yogis!

Join me for this 30 minute Vinyasa Yoga Flow. This practice is catered towards yogis with a regular practice. However, those working on building strength can enjoy this video by taking breaks when needed. Enjoy and please reach out if you have any questions!

xoJenny

Have you Subscribed to the Urban Om Yoga YouTube channel yet? Stay up to date with free yoga and meditation videos when you subscribe. Check it out 

Photo: Kristin Wolford

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Yoga Corner

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The best part of yoga practice is when you are truly tuned into your time on the mat. Having the best yoga mat and props makes it all that much easier to drop into that place where typical distractions disappear.

For this reason I have created a list of my favorite yoga props on Amazon.com. I have been using these products for years and I highly recommend all the products on my list.

You will also find a reading list for your yoga library with some of my favorite books, should you be interested in deepening your yoga practice off the mat.

Check out the link below and please let me know if you have any questions!

xoJenny

 

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Feeling the heat? Keep it Cool with this Pranayama

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Sitali Pranayama is a breathing exercise, perfect for finding balance during summer. This cooling breath is a quick and easy to way to both beat the heat and calm the mind.

This pranayama is said to not only remove excess heat from the body, but it also keeps the mind and emotions cool, calm and in check during fiery Pitta season. 

Sitali Pranayama is practiced with a rolled tongue. If you are not able to roll your tongue, instead gently place the tip of your tongue to the top two teeth.

Let’s try it:

1. Find a comfortable seat. A great option is to sit cross legged on a pillow, blanket or bolster. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

2. Start with a body scan, checking in from the top of the head and moving down the body. Notice how you are feeling physically, mentally, & emotionally. Take note of any areas which show signs of excess heat.

3. Once you feel ready to begin the breathing technique, roll your tongue. Breath in through the mouth with your tongue rolled. When you are ready to exhale, close the mouth and breath out through the nose.

4. Continue this for about 8-10 rounds, doing your best to keep the in and out breaths equal in length.

5. Allow the breath to resume a natural rhythm, breathing in and out through the nose. Take a few minutes to sit in meditation and take note of any cooling sensations.

*As with all pranayamas, if at any point you feel lightheaded, come back to a normal breath rhythm and continue again as you feel ready.

Sitali Pranayama is a wonderful way to stay balanced and cool all summer long. Give this breathing exercise a try the next time you need to keep your cool.

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Beat the Heat with this Easy Smoothie Pop Recipe

Berry Good Smoothie & Smoothie Pops

Berry Good Smoothie & Smoothie Pops

It has been hot, hot, hot in NYC making it officially smoothie season. I'm a big fan of my morning smoothie and I am always trying new combinations. Smoothies are a great, quick breakfast, packed with nutrients and protein. Sometimes I make more than I can drink and have found the perfect way to make good use of the extras- Smoothie Pops!

Super easy, healthy, and refreshing these popsicles are a wonderful all natural, cooling treat. 

Below are two of my go-to recipes. Give one or both a try but feel free to try your own combinations and get creative!

If you have a smoothie recipe you love, please share in the comments below :)

 

Berry Good Smoothie:

1 1/2 cup frozen berries

2 frozen bananas

2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder

2 cups almond milk

 

Oh My Greenness

Oh My Greenness Smoothie Pops

Oh My Greenness Smoothie Pops

1 cup frozen mango

1 frozen banana

2 cups almond milk

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 tsp. spirulina (this gives the smoothie it's beautiful green color. I promise you can't taste it!)

Combine ingredients of the smoothie of your choice. Blend until smooth. Fill a glass with your smoothie. 

Pour the remainder into popsicle molds and freeze. Freeze for 2-3 hours.

Bon appetit and stay cool, yogis! 

xoJenny
 

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Cold Zoodles with Peanut Sauce

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Super healthy and satisfying, this is the perfect summer dish. It is a great way to take advantage of the abundance of fresh, local vegetables at the farmer’s market. It is especially great for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and are craving a cool, delicious dinner.

I used the OXOX Good Grips Spiralizer. However, if you do not own a spiralizer you can often find spiralized veggies at grocery stores, such as Trader Joe’s.

Give the recipe a try and let me know how it goes! 

xoJenny

 

Ingredients: 

2 Tbs dark sesame oil

1/2 cup organic peanut butter (can also use tahini)

1 Tbs agave

3 Tbs soy sauce

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 Tbs rice or white wine vinegar

Hot sesame oil or hot sauce to taste

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

3 medium zucchini, spiralized

1 medium English cucumber, spiralized

1 medium carrot, peeled & spiralized

1/2 cup chopped scallion

1/4 tsp sesame seeds

Optional Protein: Add edamame and or grilled chicken for extra protein

 

1. Whisk together the sesame oil, peanut butter, agave, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, hot oil and pepper in a large bowl. Thin the sauce with hot water until it is the consistency of heavy cream (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

2. Combine the spiralized zucchini & cucumber with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with carrot, scallions and sesame seeds and serve :)

Makes 2-3 Servings

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