4 Essential Yoga Tips For Glowing, Healthy Skin

Check out these great tips from our local partners, Abadir Associates (Coupon at the bottom!)

Despite your daily skincare routine, often, we all struggle with some skin issue from dryness to acne! Many factors can contribute to our skin misbehaving, and some of the most common issues include our diets, pollution in the environment and stress. Yoga, however, can be used as a tool in achieving beautiful skin!

1.     Hydrating your body before and after your practice

You’ve heard the advice for years, but one of the most important aspects to good skin is staying hydrated always! Although you may feel relaxed during a yoga class, you are pushing your body’s limits and it is working hard to support you. Ensuring that you enter your class feeling hydrated will leave you more prepared to have a more satisfying class.

2.     Increasing blood circulation with asanas

Make the most of your yoga class by focusing on certain poses that increase blood circulation to your face and head. Some poses that are extremely effective in doing so are the cobra pose, triangle pose and child pose. Next time you find yourself in one of these poses, take an extra second to breathe deeply and enjoy it.

3.     Cleansing after your practice

The first thing you should do after your session is to immediately cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser. During your session, your body is releasing toxins and you want to ensure that your skin is feeling just as refreshed as your body may be feeling. However, be weary not to strip your skin of natural oils. Stick to a gentle, light-weight cleanser followed by a gentle moisturizer with SPF if you will be out in the sun.

4.     Meditate

Possibly one of the greatest benefits of yoga is the feeling it evokes within ourselves. Yoga has the potential to make us feel relaxed and centered, and this is great for your skincare. Whether you are in the studio, or at home, taking just 10 minutes a day to mediate and destress can have a great benefit on how your skin looks.

In addition to making the most of your yoga practice, a visit to an experienced aesthetician, of Abadir Associates, will ensure that your skin is looking and feeling great year-round! Contact us today to schedule your first step in achieving the glowing, healthy skin! 

The Eight Limbs

Yoga is everywhere these days. If you spend five minutes on social media you are likely to see a picture of someone doing a yoga pose. Even the latest AFLAC commercial has the duck doing yoga. But yoga isn’t about striking poses.         

The “goal” of yoga is to prepare the body and mind so that a person can sit in meditation for extended periods of time with minimal distractions. When the body and mind are quiet and still, the process of self-discovery begins.  

As such, yoga is much more than just a set of physical postures or asanas--and the asana practice alone, does not promise spiritual awakening.  In fact, the asanas are just one of Eight Limbs of Yoga which offer guidelines for living a good and meaningful life.                                  

Let’s think of a tree: If you wanted to climb to the top of the tree, you would have to climb up many branches to get there. Asanas represent just one of those branches and each branch of the tree represents different steps for living a moral, ethical, self-disciplined and ultimately, a fully authentic life. Unfortunately, for many, “asana” has become synonymous with yoga. Isolating the asanas from these other components makes it just another ordinary exercise program.

Let’s take a look at these Eight Limbs:

The first four limbs work to transform us from the outside in.

The Yamas are the first limb and they reflect how we interact with the world around us. They provide a set of moral and ethical practices to help us conduct ourselves in an honest, peaceful, and socially responsible way. Think: The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The second limb, the Niyamas, offer guidelines for treating ourselves well by living a healthy life through self-care, self-discipline and spiritual practices. This means being content with who you are, remaining open to new ideas and letting go of preconceived notions.

The third limb is the one we are most familiar with, Asanas or poses. Through our asana practice we release physical tension and stress in the body.

The fourth limb is Pranayama, which refers to breathing techniques that help quiet the mind and shift our attention inward. When we learn to regulate and control our breath we trigger the part of our nervous system that helps us move away from “fight or flight”  and move towards “rest and digest.” Breath is the heart of the whole entire practice; without breath, there is no yoga.

The next four stages help us attain a higher state of consciousness.

The fifth limb, Pratyahara, means withdrawal of the senses. We can experience pratyahara when we become so immersed in our meditation practice or pranayama or asana that we become unaware of what’s happening around us.  This allows us to experience our “inner world.”

Dharana, the sixth limb, refers to concentration and helps prepare us for meditation. The point of Dharana is to further steady the mind by picking something (breath, mantra, whatever!) to focus on and stay connected to it.

Dhyana, the seventh limb is the practice of meditation. When we meditate, we still the mind and become fully present in the moment.  This heightened sense of awareness allows us to connect to ourselves at the deepest level.

During the final stage, Samadhi, you and the divine merge to become one, indicating that there is no separation or difference between you and the divine.  It is also the union of all eight limbs.  

A well rounded yoga practice incorporates these Eight Limbs. This eightfold path offers physical, mental, and emotional tools to develop a deeper sense of self, a deeper connection to the world around us, and ultimately union with the Divine.

Written by - Laurie Jordan, Yogi & Instructor at Tovami Yoga







 

                    

                

            

        

 

5 FABULOUS POSES TO WELCOME AUTUMN

Yoga during the change in seasons is essential. As we are still basking in the sunshine and prepping for the new roots of fall to come our way it is important to begin to connect on a deeper level with grounded postures. These types of postures are connected to our Muladhara Chakra (Sacral).

When we think of the summer, we think of beach days, vacations and summer romance but as the Fall makes its way into our lives we have to re-establish a sense of schedule and connection to what is around us, as well as within ourselves. This is the time most of us will re-establish our memberships at yoga studios or gyms. Not only does this act as a motivating factor but it also allows for us to find that communal connection that often gets lost during the summer months.

Here are five great postures to practice to get grounded and rooted into the new season and bring with you to your yoga studio!

For standing poses: 

  • Tadasana/Mountain pose is our most grounded pose and establishes the foundational alignment for all standing postures.
  • Vrkasana/Tree for really establishing those roots and even growing your branches! Besure to keep your foot above or below your knee joint.
  • Malasana/Seated squat really begins to open the hips as well as the heart if you let it and gives us an opportunity to practice vulnerability in a strong way!

For Seated poses:

  • It’s hard to beat the mother of all poses the padmasana/lotus pose (half lotus, or sukhasana/easy pose to modify)
  • Another goodie is baddha konasana/bound angle where the base of our body is our course of connection with all things grounded, including our minds!

Where ever you are physically or mentally coming back from, be sure to get rooted early and watch your practice bloom as the leaves fall and enjoy the beauty around you and within you!

Happy Autumn!

Why Do People Take a Teacher Training

Why Taking a Teacher Training Course is a good idea even if you don’t plan to teach!

There seems to have been a craze and then somewhat of a fad where tons of people suddenly wanted to quit their corporate jobs and become yoga teachers. In doing this they felt that the 200 hour would be everything they thought they needed to become an expert in the field. The truth is that the 200-hour is really more of an introduction to teaching and an exploration of a particular style. So here are some reasons you might consider taking a 200-hour even if you never plan to teach a yoga class in your life!

  1. Learn proper alignment in all foundational poses. No more wondering where your feet and arms go and why. This creates a safer and more knowledgeable practice for you deepening your physical understanding of the practice.
  2. Understand a variety of breaths, including when to use them, what the benefits are and how they change your practice. Chances are you know to breath in and out with your nose, why? And why are these other strange breaths brought into a class, certainly it isn’t just to make us feel silly. What are the benefits and should you be practicing them?
  3. Understand, in-depth, the backing of history and philosophy and how it is so ingrained in the practice. What are the 8-limbs? What are the Yamas and Niyamas and are you practicing them? Know why you should.
  4. Ever felt like you have no balance or maybe like you have 2-left feet? In teacher training you learn the anatomy of muscles bones and joints and how proper movement and mobility of them have everything to do with safety in each and every one of your postures. Learn how to move through your hip openers without tweaking the knee as you gain greater understanding of inner and outer rotation, extension and flexion as well as which should happen in each pose and why.
  5. Deepen your understanding of those sanskrit words, why they are said and the significance of their vibrations. Is chanting essential and what doe it truly mean to engage in “Om” in a class setting. 
  6. Understand the art of assisting and how it should feel to be touched in a class in a way that is with purpose and meant to affect physical connection to adjust alignment. 
  7. Undergo a journey of self exploration and get to know a tribe of people just like you. You may be surprised to see what you find out about yourself.
  8. Take on a bigger role with a studio you already love. Get the ins and outs of the business of yoga and why people have left their careers in corporate to do more soul seeking.
  9. Taking the training is a great way to get yourself to create more of a consistent practice without excuses like “ I don’t have time”. When you commit to it you are committing that time as “me time” back to yourself.  Essentially you have given yourself permission to be present and devoted to a deeper physical and spiritual journey.
  10. Gain greater confidence in your practice and the way you want to continue on your journey. Have a voice about the styles you like best and why. Learn how to clarify those point that confused you all this time to others so they can understand the benefits of the practice too. 

There are truly so many more reasons to move forward on exploring a 200-hr teacher training program even if you initial intention is that you don’t plan to teach.

Maybe it’s something you keep in your pocket for the future (your certification never runs out). Maybe it is something that creates a stronger backbone for you and deepens your commitment to a practice of your own.

Take advantage of the always present workshops which will allow you to sink your teeth and mind deeper into the knowledge of why you are doing what you are doing and how it will benefit you. Most of us come to the practice to a physical place and find eventually it’s no longer

5 OUTSTANDING BENEFITS OF TAKING YOUR PRACTICE OUTDOORS

Yoga is a practice of self-discipline (Tapas) and consistency. This sounds much easier when the weather isn’t so great and you can’t wait to throw your mat down in a warm studio. But what happens when the seasons change? 

The weather becomes warmer and the desire to take your time outdoors starts to push past the desire to walk into a studio. Often this leads to students finding themselves not maintaining their practice and consistency. There may even be a summer lull where the practice is lost entirely and it becomes that much harder to grab your mat in the fall and get back to the studio. We begin to fall into a state of fear. Fear that we won’t be as strong as we were, as flexible, as connected. 

So what do we do?

We take our practice outdoors and allow the added benefits of an outdoor practice to reinforce our current practice and maintain our self-discipline and consistency. Here are 5 cool benefits of taking your practice to the beach or park during the summer months!

1)   Balance on uneven terrain gives provides greater strength and stability.

2)  Breath work which embrace the scents of nature be it flowers, ocean, plants, etc allow the lungs to expand and our senses to become heightened.

3)  Connection with nature: its sounds, vibrations and deeper understanding that we are a part of a much larger collective universe. Practicing in nature also helps us to renew and replenish depleted energy.

4)  Sunshine increases serotonin in the body which improves mood and increases energy which is due to the nerve impulses which travel to the pineal gland. It decreases depression and helps the body increase its’ production of vitamin D.

5)  Greater body awareness when we are practicing by feel with no mirrors to look to for reassurance that out bodies “look right”. This enables us to practice with more awareness and less ego.

So now that you know how cool it is to take your practice outdoors; what are you waiting for? Find out more about Tovami Yoga’s Beach Yoga schedule for the Summer by clicking here: www.tovamiyoga.com and rest easy knowing you will be able to have the best of both worlds: the beauty and connection to nature and retaining the self discipline and consistency of your yoga practice! See you there and don’t forget your SPF!

Grand Opening January 9, 2016

Tovami Yoga is a community. Here we foster a safe and nurturing environment to explore the art of yoga, emotional growth, intellectual refinement, spiritual awakening and physical unfolding. 

Join us on our opening weekend January 9 & 10 for free classes. More info here.

We want to celebrate life and uplift others through growth and learning. Our practice is built on the ancient foundations of yoga - we're more than just pretzel poses, but offer an opportunity to discover through practice. We celebrate diversity while honoring our unity. As Patthabi Jois teaches "Do your practice and all is coming."  Learn more.

The instructors at Tovami Yoga maintain the highest level of personal practice, study and integrity on the mat and have taught for over 30 years.  Meet the team.

Our classes range from Beginners Series to get you started to Dharma and Ashtanga Yoga for those interested in deepening their practice. Classes are designed to playfully uplift and encourage all who enter our studio. View our classes.

 "Yoga is the art of getting good at being yourself."

Become a Tovami Yoga ambassador and help us build an incredible community, share this email with other yogis, Like us on Facebook and most of all stop by the studio to say hi! 

A note from Ellen Patrick-

"It is with amazement and pride with which I have watched and supported Tobi's vision of owning and directing a yoga studio come to fruition.  Over a year ago, we worked very hard together to transition The Yoga Sanctuary to her ownership.  We cried on each other's shoulders as our hard work was suddenly and surprisingly thwarted.  But, Tobi, never lost her focus and through her tenacity is now giving birth to her own studio, Tovami Yoga, in Mamaroneck.  Having witnessed, first-hand, Tobi's intellect, drive, generous spirit and heartfelt compassion I can say with full confidence that Tovami Yoga will be a yoga studio that not only teaches students what to do on the mat, but also how to live a more balanced, passionate and fulfilling life off the mat."

I am so happy for you Tobi and our yoga community.  

Namaste, Ellen

Become a Tovami Yoga ambassador and help us build an incredible community, share this post with other yogis, Like us on Facebook and most of all stop by the studio to say hi! 

Many blessings for a wonderful New Year. 

Tobi Kundid, Owner/Director

Skidding to a STOP!

Mornings can be a time of great stress when you are trying to get two small people out of the door.  It's like herding cats. If there is a timeline, there are also pirouettes to be mastered, toys to be managed or some other seemingly irrelevant movement away from the goal...getting out of the house on time!  Most days, I've got it! I can say, "no honey, that is for later," or "brush your teeth now" a hundred times without too much exhaustion.  However, there is the occasion when I totally lose my [expletive] and yell! These moments are always regretful and yet they happen to my (and my children's) dismay.

In the car, on the way to our destination with Mommy in a tirade, my oldest daughter's sweet voice softly calls out, "Mommy, just breathe."  There was nowhere for me to go except to a  complete and screeching halt. This was my moment to practice what I preach!  How could I not follow the advice and guidance I give to these little people when they are melting down. All I said was, "okay honey, I will breathe." Soon, the entire car was taking long deep inhales and exhales as we rode along effortlessly. The energy had shifted and we were back on track.

We all lose our way. We forget to practice mindfulness, We get angry, frustrated, mad, tired and burnt out. The most priceless gift we have is the gift to listen, not just to hear, but to understand what is being said. It takes practice, but soon we can hear ourselves on a deeper level. As we hear ourselves we can hear others. When we listen we find compassion, then we return to mindfulness.  

The Journey

I hear myself repeat it all the time: “Don’t look to the destination, but notice what is on the path as you go,” and as the words spill over my tongue, I often feel hypocritical and even fraudulent! Habitually people will roll their eyes and give me that 'are you living in an alternate reality' look, but the truth is, that although the journey can feel greater than the strength of the two feet that we are standing on, we always learn something along the way.