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Yoga Mats

Yoga MatsThe Best Yoga Mats?

Get the right amount of traction for your downward dog

We did the work to find the best

We put in over 50 hours of research, surveyed over 100 yoga professionals, and consulted with “Boston’s 2014 Best Yoga Instructor” to bring you the best.

As an instructor and student who rolls out the mat quite regularly, I know what features I prefer to support my practice. However, considering the many styles of yoga and workout routines that involve mats, I wanted to see what other yoga professionals thought, including those that have been at it practically since the time mats debuted (despite the practice of yoga dating back over 5,000 years, the yoga mat hasn’t been around all that long).

In the end, my top choices were pretty easy to grip. There is no perfect yoga mat, and no single mat fits everyone. If you’re looking for the best yoga mat that will support your asanas and be your new place to call OM for a lifetime, the Manduka PROlite is the way to go. It gets my top pick because its durability and versatility are unmatched. However, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, the Jade Harmony Professional Mat is made of 100 percent rubber, and offers great traction and support.

With over 50 hours of research on dozens of yoga mats, I focused on the properties and composition of the mat and how this applies to the various styles of yoga. I surveyed the masses, consulted with over 10 yoga professionals with years of experience on mats, and personally put many mats through hours of testing.

The process was sweaty, and reconfirmed that choosing a yoga mat is akin to choosing your wine — some get better with age, and it all comes down to personal taste. To help find the best yoga mat for you, I’ve also recommended top picks for specific formats, some of which include my top choices and others which do not. Read More

 

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Yoga Exercise with Brooks Holland

Yoga Exercise with Brooks Holland

Beginning yoga exercise with several poses demonstrated and narrated by Brooks. Beginning in Table Pose, exhale back to Downward Facing Dog Pose… Arms spread for Warrior Two Pose. Feel pulse of breath through body. Clasp hands behind back, bend down, release neck. Lie down, clasp leg, foot up to sky, stretch toes. Sivasana – final resting pose – lying down, release into floor for full relaxation.

 

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Animals Who Love Yoga

Yoga5 Animals Who Love Yoga As Much As You Do

Readers share proof that animals love yoga, too.

“Any time I practice yoga, my dog, Nahla, tries to join in. She loves to jump on the mat to stretch.” —Jeremy Huckins Portland, Oregon
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Yoga

5ElementsNew Study Finds Yoga Significantly Reduces Depression in Male Veterans

A new study presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association found that male veterans who had elevated depression scores before a twice weekly hatha yoga program had a significant reduction in depression symptoms after the eight-week program.
How Yoga Benefits Veterans with Depression.

“Yoga is unique in that it combines several things that empirical research has shown to be very helpful for improving depression and other mental health concerns: exercise, mindfulness, and breathing practices, to name a few,” says study information co-investigator Lindsey B. Hopkins, Ph.D., a research fellow at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care Center. “All of these things likely played a role in the benefits that these veterans experienced.”.

The study, which featured 21 male veterans, also found that improvements in depression were significantly correlated with increases in mindfulness and decreases in experiential avoidance—defined as engaging in a particular behavior in order to change or avoid unwanted negative thoughts, emotions, or sensations, even when doing so produces harm. This is consistent with other research, Hopkins says. The social aspect of yoga may also play a role: in interviews, many of the veterans said they derived a great deal of benefit (in terms of mental health and well-being) from having the opportunity to connect with other veterans, she adds.
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Yoga & Mental Health

Yoga5 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

Yoga teacher and licensed psychotherapist Ashley Turner says yoga is the key to psychological and emotional healing as well as resolving issues with self-confidence, relationships, and more.

Ever notice how good you feel — mentally — when you’re practicing yoga regularly?

Yoga teacher and licensed psychotherapist Ashley Turner, who is launching a groundbreaking new Yoga Psychology 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training next month, says yoga is the key to psychological and emotional healing as well as resolving issues with self-confidence, relationships, family of origin issues, and more.

“Yoga is a psychology — the whole practice helps us work with the nature of the mind, the nature of being a human, how emotions live in our bodies, how they affect our behavior and our minds,” says Turner, who reveals that yoga helped her recognize and cope with her own low self-esteem. “This course is reclaiming the deeper roots of the practice, not just asana — the mental and emotional benefits.” Read More

 

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