Good Press for Stress

Stress has gotten a lot of bad press lately, and the coverage is a little unfair. Let’s take a deep breath and give stress a break for once. Moreover, let’s thank it for doing its job.

Many of us demonize stress because we do not understand what it is: a physiological response. Nothing more, nothing less.
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6 Techniques to Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

You have probably heard how an increasingly large number of people are learning to live healthier and happier with mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is an ancient meditation technique that reduces stress, relieves anxiety and depression, and helps you live a happier life.

Whether this is your first time meditating or you have a regular practice, the following tips will help you start your mindfulness meditation practice well.

Begin

Do not tell yourself that you would start the coming weekend or a certain day. It’s easy to get excited about beginning your practice but the real thing is to make the commitment and BEGIN.

Set a Time and Space

Set aside some time (about 10-15 minutes initially) for your meditation. It is not difficult to find 10 minutes in the busiest of days.

For beginners, it is important to set aside a separate space, without many distractions, for your mindfulness meditation. For best results, begin your practice in a quiet, solitary environment. Create a setting that is comfortable so that physical discomfort doesn’t distract you.

Stay with Your Breath

Begin by closing your eyes and just becoming aware of your breath, without forcing it. Focus on how you inhale and exhale and the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen with it.

Paying attention to your breath allows your brain to become calm and your body to relax.

Simply Observe

Do not try too hard to focus on something. During the meditation, you may feel distracted or bored, even anxious. Experiencing any thoughts and feelings is part of your mindfulness meditation.

By simply observing your thoughts and emotions allows you to detach from them instead of reacting to them.

Return to Your Breath

Whenever you realize you have become distracted or you are judging something, simply bring your focus back to your breath, just as you did in the beginning on your meditation, and start again.

Regular Practice

Mindfulness is rewiring your brain that is conditioned otherwise. This may take some time. So, be patient and practice every single day. It is a good idea to practice at the start and/or the end of your day.

To learn the best meditation techniques, get in touch with the leading stress coach online in San Francisco, The Big Yogi, Nick Palladino, at nick@thebigyogi.com or call 707-293-5415. Nick inspires, teaches and leads others towards their own light and life purpose.

Yoga’s Just Not That Into You

#yogaeverydamnday #yogasjustnotthatintoyou

In the Western world, many of us have created an abusive relationship – with yoga.

In our typical aggressive form, we have taken something from another culture, molded it to fit ours and distorted it with dogma. We have belittled and brainwashed it.

We have divorced yoga from its original identity so that it succumbs to our desires for self-improvement and self-gain. We have employed money and technology to control its interactions with the outside world.

Others of us have developed a different dysfunctional relationship with yoga. We have become stalkers.

We obsess over the appearance and frequency of our practice. We strive to impress it with flawless shapes and enticing apparel. We drop in before sunrise with no makeup on and wake yoga up in the middle of the night when sleep escapes our neurotic minds.

We cling to yoga as if we have lost our own identities. It is all we think, talk and post about. We must practice it #everydamnday and count how many people “like” and “love” us for it.

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There’s No App for Happiness

You know why so many people are stressed in today’s world? Because they are too focused on themselves. Too focused on serving their own interests. Too concerned with getting theirs.

Many of us do not even mean to be selfish. But, regardless of our intention, we have gotten sucked into it. And it is stressing us out.

It is time to direct our attention outward to embrace a simple solution for dissolving our stress: human connection.

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Your Toxic Relationship to Food

You know the feeling.

You meet someone who immediately hooks your attention, who gives you that jolt that your body has been begging you for.

Deep down, you know that something is off. Your gut informs you that this person will not support – let alone enrich – your well-being in the long term. It may even warn of a crash.

But you ignore your internal wisdom.

You are craving company. Finding someone who will nourish you in all of the ways that you desire requires time and effort. And you deserve to at least have a little fun in the meantime, right?

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The Power of Patience and the Choice to Shake Stress

 As I sit here on the beach in Costa Rica, one word keeps gently crashing into my mind: patience.

What I see and feel is that patience has become a lost art. We are told, especially in the West, that we deserve and should receive everything we want – now. But this is a lie and a major source of stress.

The art of cultivating patience is multifaceted. It involves patience for one’s body, mind, spirit and, ultimately, one’s life. This same encompassing view of patience also applies to everyone and everything that we encounter in life – regardless of whether we agree with them.

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Tapas: A Recipe for Transformation

Yoga. The word and its practices carry different connotations and attachments for each of us, mainly because of its diverse portrayals in sacred texts versus social media and the countless forms and spin-offs available.

But, if you listen closely, there is a common thread: It works.

Most teachers I encounter do not know why it works, and most students are not interested in knowing how it works. Some people may see this as a tragedy. I see this as an opportunity. An opportunity for those who are asking the questions to earn the right to learn the answers.
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Fast for Your Body, Mind and Spirit

We all know that eating well is crucial to health, but we are afraid to talk honestly about our struggles with it. It is time to step outside of your comfort zone, to test your willpower and to examine what arises. Today, I am going to invite you to challenge your attachment to food by introducing how and why to fast.

The choices and amounts of food that we eat are out of control. This is partially due to physical imbalance, mental weakness and spiritual hibernation. So let’s talk about the power of not eating. Let’s master the art of being OK with the discomfort of abstaining from food.
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Squats Are For Mondays

In last week’s blog, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the feet and legs in your yoga practice. This week, we’ll learn how to do weighted squats in order to build a strong foundation for your exercise regimen.

Many yoga teachers shun weight lifting, and many weight lifters scoff at the idea of incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. I say everybody needs to relax and consider how different modalities can be beneficial regardless of their origins. If your goal is to hold Warrior II longer, then incorporate the squat to build leg strength. If you want to perform a full squat, then incorporate Warrior II to increase groin flexibility.
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How Much Does a Yoga Instructor Make? More Than You Think!

How Much Does a Yoga Instructor Make? Well, that depends. Here’s why;

So, you want to jump on the multi-million dollar bandwagon that is the yoga industry and you want to make a living doing it too?

Well, let’s get one thing straight first; yoga is a business and a competitive one for that matter. I mentioned before in Yoga Is a Lie that “Studios are unfortunately not in the business of teaching yoga, they are in the business of teaching what’s popular and driving revenue.” And what drives revenue? Teaching the masses to teach yoga.

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