Yin on Fridays & new mellow music

Wrap up your work week (or kick-off your weekend!) with yin yoga. Join me at Bound Lotus (161 East 1st St., North Vancouver) on Fridays, starting January 6, for a yummy yin yoga class from 6:30-7:35pm.

Yin yoga is a great way to de-stress and refuel. It lets you settle into postures, relax your muscles, and target often neglected connective tissue. Yin brings to life the yogic idea of a quiet body leading to a quiet mind.

And all my yin classes end with a guided rest in savasana – the ultimate in delicious relaxation!

Speaking of relaxation, I’ve updated the Listen page with a few new tracks. A couple are winter-themed, including my new favourite holiday song: Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson. I’ve been loving waking up to Winter Song and having it in my head through the morning… hopefully it keeps me going through what looks like it will be a rainy January in Vancouver!

Laura & Sofie in dolphin pose

Yin class Jan. 2 & Meditation Challenge

Twisting at Bound LotusI’ll be teaching a yin yoga class at Bound Lotus (161 East 1st Street in North Van) on Monday, January 2 from 1:00pm to 2:15pm.

Come join me for a relaxing an invigorating class to start-off 2012! Yin yoga is a wonderful way to centre your mind and access the connective tissue in your body for a really deep stretch.

I’m also starting a 40-Day Meditation Challenge at Bound Lotus on Tuesday, January 3 – that’s 40 straight days of doing the same 11 minute meditation. Meditating in a group is a powerful experience and Bound Lotus makes it easy by offering three times a day on weekdays (7:30am, 8:00am, and 5:30pm) and two sessions a day on weekends (8:00am on Saturdays, 9:00am on Sundays, and 5:00pm both days) to come together to meditate.

Learn more about the 40-Day Meditation Challenge on the Bound Lotus website.

Winter songs

Music that captures the seasonal spirit and works as a soundtrack to a yoga practice. Take a look at the Listen page for a full list of songs that are great for a yoga practice and at the Meditate page for meditation music I recommend. Click on the iTunes button to purchase a specific song.

  • In the Morning by Jack Johnson In the Morning - In the Morning - Single
  • Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) by Meiko Maybe Next Year (X-Mas Song) - Winter Songs
  • Misteltoe by Colbie Callait Mistletoe - Winter Songs
  • River by Joni Mitchell River - Blue
  • Song for a Winter’s Night by Sarah McLachlan Song for a Winter's Night - Wintersong
  • Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson Winter Song - Winter Songs

Yoga as recovery

Laura laughing while sitting on her mat at the 2011 SOYA retreatIntense physical activity, such as running or training for endurance sports like triathlons, can be very hard on your body. Yoga can help you recover. Read other posts about recovering.

Taking a meditative approach to yoga and flowing through postures, rather than quickly jumping from pose to pose, helps shift your nervous system from fight or flight reactions (sympathetic state) to a restorative, healing modality (parasympathetic state). You’re capable of making better decisions when your nervous system is more relaxed and you’ll generally feel happier!

The controlled movements of a yoga practice encourage circulation in your endocrine and lymphatic systems. Gently stretching your muscles re-distributes lactic acid and reduces oxidative stress generated by free radicals.

Perhaps most importantly, the relaxation portion of a yoga class helps your body recover from activity. Taking time out of your busy schedule to focus on your body helps you connect with your physical being and pay attention to what it’s telling you.

Yoga can also help undo the damage of a late night and flush out toxins. Backward and forward bends squeeze and release your internal organs, which brings fresh blood into your liver and kidneys and encourages toxins to clear more quickly. Specific yoga poses can also help relieve headaches and soothe sore muscles. Additionally, a long version of guided relaxation called yoga nidra slows your brainwaves, which can help heal your body more quickly and may feel more restful than napping for four times as long.

Mellow tunes for practicing yoga

Take a look at the Listen page for a full list of songs that are great for a yoga practice and at the Meditate page for meditation music I recommend. Click on the iTunes button to purchase a specific song.

  • Aad Guray by Deva Premal Aad Guray - Dakshina
  • Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons Awake My Soul - Sigh No More
  • Costa Rica (Acoustic Version) by Vince Vaccaro Costa Rica (Acoustic Version) - Costa Rica (Acoustic Version)
  • Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan Full of Grace - Surfacing
  • Hide & Seek 2 by Imogen Heap Hide & Seek 2 - Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace
  • Homeless by Paul Simon (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo) Homeless (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo) - Graceland
  • Into the West by Howard Shore & Annie Lennox Into the West - The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
  • Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson Keep Breathing - Be OK
  • Lonely by The Boom Booms Lonely - Hot Rum!
  • Lost by Anouk Lost - Hotel New York
  • She’s Only Happy In the Sun by Ben Harper She's Only Happy In the Sun - Diamonds On the Inside
  • Song for Leaving by Brett Dennen Song for Leaving - Loverboy
  • Till Kingdom Come by Coldplay Till Kingdom Come - X & Y
  • Tu Es Belle by Toby Tu Es Belle - Love Underground
  • You’ll Go Far by Jenn Grant You'll Go Far - Echoes