When You’re “Bent Out of Shape”, Try Yoga! (And A Chance to Win A Free Year of Yoga Online!)

img_9722“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.”
~ Amit Ray

We’ve all heard of yoga and many have practiced but few know much about it. Yoga is at least 2,000 years old! An Indian sage, Patanjali, wrote the Yoga Sutra 2,000 years ago, based on the oral tradition. So it’s probably much older. It didn’t make it into the west until the mid-19th century. It didn’t become very popular until the late 20th century.

Yoga is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘yoke’ or ‘union.’ A Yoga practice is intended to unite you in many ways: movement with breath, mind with body, and your individual self with the universal. That sounds so nice! And it is…

I practiced yoga for about 6 years, long before I became a “Zen Mama”. I just loved our teacher, Suzanne, who taught “Hatha Yoga”. Hatha is most often used to describe gentle, basic classes with no flow between poses. A hatha class will likely be a slow-paced stretching class with some simple breathing exercises and perhaps seated meditation. This is a good place to learn beginners’ poses, relaxation techniques, and become comfortable with yoga. Suzanne had so many positive insights into life. She started every class with a little life lesson that stayed with you for the whole week. Some lessons I’ve written about like the positive words, Sparkle Twinkle. She talked a lot about her relationship with her teenage daughter, her husband and her yoga teacher. She made us all feel like we could do every pose and if not, the yoga police would not come to take us away. I felt relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired when I left each Thursday.

”Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
~ Eckhart Tolle

Then I started working more and couldn’t make it to the classes. Yup, it was the old time excuse!

I think you expect yoga to stretch your muscles and clear your mind. What I also grew to love about yoga are the benefits that you don’t expect.

1. You sleep better
2. Better posture
3. Stress relief
4. Weight loss
5. Muscle Tone
6. Mental sharpness
7. Balance
8. Strengthens the immune system
9. Helps your joints
10. Helps to rid of depression
11. Pain Prevention
12. Better Breathing

One thing I’ve also realized is that Yoga doesn’t have to be 60 minutes or even a 1/2 hour. I can do yoga for 5 minutes to 10 minutes and breathe and feel great! I’ll do 4-5 sun salutes, my favorite stretches and a balance pose. Then end with some deep breathing and feel almost as good as I did with an hour and 1/2.

When I was recently approached by Yoga Online to review their website, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been wanting to get back to a yoga routine which would solve my age old excuse of no time!

Here’s what they have to say about their site:
“My Yoga Online is dedicated to bringing yoga, Pilates, health, wellness, and peace of mind to people around the world. We enable anyone, anywhere, to access our growing library of video practices via downloads and state of the art streaming technology, at your own schedule and energy level. Stress reducing classes are critically important in today’s world. By making these healing arts easily accessible, people will attain greater health, balance, and harmony in their lives.”

What I loved about the Yoga Online site:
1. Easy to find videos to fit your level.
2. Articles written by other yoga professionals about life, health, recipes and more.
3. The site is easy to navigate.
4. They have great series of videos. I loved the “On the go” program for busy people and the “Sunrise Series” that are meant for the morning. I showed my husband a video for “Yoga With Carpal Tunnel”. I also enjoyed a meditation and a “Chi Gong” video. I loved a tapping one, just 10 minutes long, from the Sunrise Series. And there was one for a flexible spine that made my day. I purposely tried to find ones that were around 10-15 minutes to fit my time excuse. The next video series I’m signing up for is called: Sleep And Immunity 14-DAY PRACTICE GUIDE. That sounds great to end the day!!

Yoga Online is offering to give a year to one Zen Mama reader for free! Please comment below why a year of yoga would be good for you, and we’ll pick someone next Sunday November 24th. In the meantime all of your can try it out for two weeks for free. If you’d like to try it, click here www.myyogaonline.com/m/bloggers . Copy and paste the link if clicking doesn’t work. myo-logo-white-high-res

“For me, yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself.”
~ Mary Glover

P.S. I am not an affiliate of Yoga Online and won’t be making any money promoting it!! I just really loved the site.

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24 Responses to When You’re “Bent Out of Shape”, Try Yoga! (And A Chance to Win A Free Year of Yoga Online!)

  1. Vanita says:

    Yoga With Carpal Tunnel? It’s possible? Count me in girlfriend! Heading over to sign up for the two week trial. Please enter me to win the year membership. The On The Go series sounds like it has potential to fit into my schedule. Woohoo! Stress relief here I come!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Hi Vanita,
    Here’s the link to the Carpal Tunnel video: http://bit.ly/HUYslM. You are officially entered!!
    Thanks for stopping by today!!

    [Reply]

  2. Lucy says:

    I’m pregnant with my second daughter due in Feb. I’m also mama to my 7 year old stepson, wife to my husband, writer of novels and blogs, and owner of a small organic herbal tea business. I currently go to prenatal yoga one time per week and practice at home when I get the chance; finding random videos online and also doing my own sequences. Yoga is such a boon to my well being. It helps me to calm and focus my over active mind and relax my tense shoulders/back. After I give birth I know I won’t want to leave my tiny breastfeeding baby for at least a few months. Which means I could really use an online resource for yoga like this. I’d use it all the time!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Hi Lucy,
    You are busy! You will definitely need something like this!! I agree that Yoga is a boon to well being. I think you’d really love Yoga Online. Here’s when to check out if you got the two week trial: http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/yoga/gentle-prenatal-flow
    Thanks for stopping by!!

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Betsy!
    I’ve always wanted to do yoga but I employ the same excuse that you do, only I haven’t yet done it for 6 years :o
    This description of the benefits of yoga has me thinking about it again!
    Lori

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    I think you’d love it Lori! I did Hatha yoga which is a great place to start. There’s a starter video is you got the two week trial: http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/beginner-yoga/yoga-for-beginners
    Thanks for stopping by!!

    [Reply]

  4. Megan says:

    I am learning to take the time to do yoga, and I love it! I am currently three classes in to my yoga “career” and I have found that it helps me relax and clear my head. I also think it will help me prevent injuries with the running that I also do. Please enter me into the drawing for a yoga subscription! I would love to learn more as well as teach some yoga to my kids!
    Megan

    PS- I love reading your blog, it gives me a positive focus for my day. Thank you so much for posting.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Megan,
    I never thought about yoga as a benefit for other sports. I’ll definitely enter you into the drawing. If you got the two week trial, here’s a video for a runner’s cool down: http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/yoga/runners-cool-down. And here’s one for kids: http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/yoga/kids-yoga-i-can-do-yoga-beginners-level

    Thank you for your support! So glad to have you as part of our positive community!!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  5. I love yoga as well, Betsy! It is the one thing that makes my body feel free of the natural aches and pains. When traveling Yoga Online could be a really great resource and on those days when I can’t get to a class. I agree that 5 minutes can feel just as good as a 90 minute class. Yoga has really helped me through the years. Thanks for letting us know about Yoga Online.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Cathy,
    You’re right about traveling! I never thought about that! I’ll be gone all next week. I’ll bring along my computer and try it during our trip.
    Thanks for the suggestion!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  6. Angie says:

    Hello, yes please sign me up for the one year free trial of yoga online! I am the mother of 3 boys and a full time homemaker, so finding time to go to a yoga class has just not been an option for me (my husband travels a lot with his job). I also have been struggling with depression as well as social phobias due to being diagnosed with Gastroparesis and being told I am gluten/wheat intolerant as well as having to cut out corn, soy and dairy/casein! I am currently trying to come up with fun and exciting ways of eating what I am allowed to eat and just focusing on being positive. I truly believe thoughts become things and in the law of attraction and I know being depressed and “hiding” from people because I don’t feel normal is not the answer! I feel like a good body/mind/breath connecting exercise program would be SO GOOD for me and maybe even help my anxiety and insomnia!!! I always enjoy your blog so much, thanks for inspiring us all and sharing all your wisdom. -Angie

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Angie,
    I, too, have three boys and I know what it is to be with them 24/7. It’s what changed me into a Zen Mama. I’m glad you’re trying to move away from your negative issues and trying to become positive. The first journey of 1000 miles begins with one step! I, too have had insomnia. I find breathing to be one of the best ways to fall asleep. I do Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing. (it’s on the blog and youtube). I think you are on your way by leaving a comment here. I hope you’ve signed up for the two trial. Try this one: http://www.myyogaonline.com/videos/yoga/yoga-therapy-for-depression.
    Thanks so much for being part of our positive community and I hope to see you more often.
    xoxox
    Betsy

    [Reply]

  7. Elle says:

    Hi Betsy – I could do with just about every one of those yoga benefits. Sign me up. And let me say to Angie, having similar challenges, allergic to dairy and gluten…for the past 5 years…it does get easier and more manageable.

    What a great idea this is Betsy…so glad you decided to share it.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Elle,
    I was so thrilled to review the site. I’m a big believer in Yoga.
    Thank, too, for your advice to Angie!
    So nice to see your name here! Thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  8. karen says:

    I am trying to find something to add to my daily mediation practice to help me deal with a family illness. My mother in law has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that has spread to her liver and bones. I am trying to keep my center during this very challenging time. I have taken yoga classes in the past and stopped because I am very self conscious of my size. The idea of practicing at home sound wonderful to me. Sign me up!

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Karen,
    I am so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. I’ll be sending good thoughts her way. If you signed up for the 2 week trial, here is a centering exercise that is only 7 minutes long. I’m going to try it in the morning. Consider yourself signed up!

    [Reply]

  9. Amy says:

    I smile every time I see “Zen Mama” pop up in my inbox. Thank you for my daily dose of Zen. Would love to try yoga and will check out the site.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Amy,
    Thank you!! That really inspires me to continue writing!! Consider yourself in the drawing!!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  10. Galen Pearl says:

    Count me in! What you describe as yoga benefits, I also experience with martial arts, particularly the “internal arts” like tai chi and bagua. But I would love to have a home yoga practice.

    Also loved your last post on satori. So true.

    [Reply]

    Betsy Reply:

    Galen,
    You’re in! I would love to try Tai Chi! I actually found a video on this site with beginning Tai Chi. Glad you enjoyed the Satori post, too!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  11. Claudia Timmons says:

    A year of yoga?!?!? I could only imagine!! I have been practicing yoga for approximately 3 months and have completely fallen in love. It has transformed my mind as well as my body. I will try the link now but hope to be chosen for the prize.

    [Reply]

  12. Carrie Rock says:

    I year of yoga?? How wonderful that would be. Please help me find my inner zen, I know it’s in there!

    [Reply]

  13. parasail now says:

    Hi, I got over to your site via StumbleUpon. Not something I customarily read, but I appreciate your views none the less. A big heads up for generating something worthy of reading!

    [Reply]

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