The Yamas and Niyamas

Hi everyone! I really want to take the opportunity this week to just chat a little bit about a book that was recommended from my own yoga instructor. It has genuinely helped me through practicing yoga, and improving my mindset as a whole. The book is titled, “The Yamas and Niyamas”, written by Deborah Adele.

The overall book discusses ways to explore the ethical practice of yoga. Why is this important you may ask? Well correct me if I’m wrong, but we all want to live a well led life. It is important to look back and really reflect on how well we are participating in our own lives. It’s no secret that being a human being is really hard sometimes (a lot of the times even). Life is messy and confusing, and through all of this we really need to remember to try and focus on our own personal needs.

It is important to know that yoga is not just postures; but literally a way of living and learning to be self aware with your thoughts and your mind. This is where the Yamas and Niyamas come in. They are defined by Adele as, “A detailed map, telling you where you where you are and how to look for the next landmark. They facilitate taking ownership of your life and directing it towards the fulfillment you seek”.

The Yamas, are the first five and include:

  • Nonviolence
  • Truthfulness
  • Nonstealing
  • Nonexcess
  • Nonpossessiveness

Niyamas, the last five, include:

  • Purity
  • Contentment
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-Study
  • Surrender

Deborah Adele really does a great job at mapping these out throughout her book, and shows us how we can develop more of a commitment to bettering ourselves. Personally I rely on this book for so many things. I have read and highlighted it so many times because I feel like I take away something new and reflect differently every time. What I have taken away from this book is that these are huge components that give us power as our own individual to live a confident and joyful life.

I hope this encourages you to look into the Yamas and Niyamas, or at least is a start for you to practice being kinder to yourself! Don’t forget you are wonderful as you are!

Yoga Practice For Energy

Hi everyone and happy Friday! This week we are going to talk about getting back that energy the work week seems to take out of us. Being a college student, I find myself always up late doing homework or working, followed by an early morning which makes it difficult to get through my really busy days. It got to the point where I felt like I could barely pay attention in class, and found myself napping every chance I could get, and would then be up late all over again. It was a vicious cycle, and not only did my grades begin to suffer, but so did my body, which is why I did some research.

I found a yoga practice on Youtube called “Movement Medicine – Energy Practice – Yoga With Adriene” and it honestly worked wonders for me. I try to watch this video every morning to jump start my day and wake me up. You do not need to rush through the poses, and can go as slow as you’d like. It is all about relaxation and preparing yourself for the day. Not only does it open you up physically, but mentally as well. It helped me create a more positive mindset.

My favorite component from this video was the way Adriene coaches you through the practice not only physically, but with your mind as well. It is so important to be in a peaceful and open mental state, especially when you are first starting out your day. Something that she says during the practice is to “be present with what is”. The way that I think about this is to be present in the current moment, and to not worry about outside issues or worries, but to just let go and let a new day begin.

I highly encourage you to take 17 minutes out of your morning and check out this video to conquer your day, you definitely won’t regret it!

Yoga practice for stress relief

Happy Friday everybody! Congratulations on making it to the end of another successful week. For some, this week may have been a breeze, but for others, I’m sure it has been a bit of a struggle, and that’s okay! We are all trying to adjust to a new normal which can cause us to feel a little unbalanced or overwhelmed. I’m in that boat of uncertainty and emotions this week, which is why I have decided to share with you a few yoga poses I have taught myself in order to manage my anxiety and destress.

The first pose that I really enjoy practicing is Bitilasana, also known as the cow pose, mixed with Marjaryasana, the cat pose. I personally have a really bad back, so by being able to warm up my back with this pose, it really opens me up for the rest of the practice. In order to complete this pose, follow these instructions:

  • Begin on all fours, and inhale slowly, allowing your stomach to fall towards the mat.
  • Gaze upwards by slightly lifting your chin.
  • Broaden your shoulders towards your ears, and then draw them away from your ears to create an opposite back arch, pulling your stomach into you, rounding your back.

Another pose that really helps me is one you probably have heard of, and is known as the Child’s Pose. This is my probably one of my favorite resting poses, and really helps me visualize what I want my day to look like, and to reflect towards the end of my practice. In order to complete this pose, follow these instructions:

  • Kneel with your legs together, and sit back onto your heels.
  • Move your body forward until your chest is resting on your thighs and forehead is resting on your mat or yoga block.
  • Let your hands rest upward and really focusing on your breathing here.

The final pose that I am going to break down for you is the Supported Bridge pose. This pose is my absolute FAVORITE and has down wonders in regards to relieving my stress. Before practicing this, I really didn’t realize how much tension is stored in my back. To complete this pose, follow these instructions below:

  • Begin on your back with arms extended and palms facing the mat.
  • Plant your feet about a hips distant apart and bend those knees!
  • Press your hands into the mat and lift your hips up towards the ceiling.
  • Take a yoga block and place it under your lower back at whatever level you choose, then rest your weight on it.

These are just a couple basic and quick beginner poses that are super easy to learn and have really worked wonders to helping me relax, and I hope they are able to do the same for all of you. For more poses on stress relief, visit

Have an amazing week!

Balancing your chakras

For those of you who are new to practicing yoga, you may not be totally familiar with what the 7 chakras are, and hey, that is totally OKAY! But before you learn how to properly balance them, it is important to have a general understanding of what they actually are…so here goes!

Chakras refer to certain centralized locations where subtle energy occurs. There are 7 of these that run down the entire length of your spine, from the top of your head to your pelvic floor. Learning how to balance these energies are an extremely important part of not only practicing yoga, but staying in touch with yourself on a more personal level.

Each chakra also has it’s own positive affirmation, which is important to keep noted during your yoga practice. Noted below are these affirmations:

  1. Muladhara: “I am connected to the earth. I am strong and stable”.
  2. Svadhisthana: “I am a creative being with unlimited potential”.
  3. Manipura: “I am confident, powerful, and I can handle anything”.
  4. Anahata: “Give love to receive love, and be love”.
  5. Vishudda: “I speak my truth, I live my truth”.
  6. Ajna: “I am open, intuitive, and self-assured”.
  7. Sahasrara: “I surrender to the wisdom of pure consciousness”.

When it comes to balancing your chakras, there are a few important things to remember. It can be hard to do on your own as a beginner, and is a little different than what some may be used to. When I was a beginner I really relied on the help of videos from Earth Mama Medicine. With that being said, these are the 8 balancing tools she gives us to try and use:

  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Surroundings
  4. Affirmations
  5. Meditation
  6. Visualization
  7. Crystals
  8. Essential Oils

My personal advice when it comes to balancing your chakras is to focus on each one independently, and not all at once. Each one reflects a different part of you and is to be treated differently in order to bring yourself to a more balanced state. It is also so important to learn those 8 affirmations and say them to yourself regularly. A positive mindset really does work wonders! Check out this video below by Earth Mama Medicine for more on balancing chakras for beginners!