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Archive for July, 2015

A Guide to Tripsichore Yoga

Posted on July 29th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Tripsichore Yoga DVD

Yoga as art: that is the concept with which Tripsichore Yoga Theatre has been captivating audiences around the world. Tripsichore skillfully creates narratives by choreographing routines using beautiful poses and movements influenced by various styles of yoga, especially vinyasa. The use of yoga techniques on stage by the groundbreaking group has resulted in beautiful, unique performances.

After experimenting with a variety of dance styles like ballet, conventional, and modern, the group decided to incorporate their yoga training into their actual performances; the potential was immediately evident. The fluid movements of the different yoga postures easily conveyed and expressed important themes to the group such as harmony, spirituality, and bliss.  

Vinyasa Yoga Background

Vinyasa Yoga in itself is very fluid and sometimes called “flow yoga” because of how easily the movements segue into each other. Because Tripsichore Yoga employs many vinyasa yoga movements, it makes sense that these dance-like sequences of poses could be turned into art narratives that convey stories.

Tripsichore YogaThe Sanskrit meaning for vinyasa is “connection,” which is appropriate since the movements are often aligned with one’s breathing, moving from one pose to another on an inhale or exhale. The transition between poses is very graceful, which is why it is compared often to dance. Using these fluid movements as a form of art, Tripsichore is also able to connect to audiences and those who seek to learn the routines.

Edward Clark and Tripsichore

Tripsichore Yoga Theatre is a London-based group founded by Edward Clark. Clark has been studying yoga since 1978. His background in dance and experience with Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar is clearly reflected in the group’s live performances and other routines.

According to Clark, theatre and dance are alike in that the job of the performers is to fill the stage, however large that area might be. Tripsichore does this by applying the basic techniques of yoga and turning them into beautiful works of performance art that reach out to every member of the audience.  

Yoga on the beachThe group experiments with movements and techniques, which is how Tripsichore Yoga has been able to come up with such compelling routines. Basic techniques and movements are the core of the performances, but fresh ideas and the openness to experiment make this interpretation of yoga so unique and fun to watch.

Perform Along with Tripsichore

If you haven’t seen Tripsichore yet, or you have but you would love to relive the experience, you don’t have to travel far. In fact, you don’t have to leave your house at all, because Edward Clark hascaptured the power of some of these performances and brings them to you, along with training techniques and workshops, on the acclaimed 2-disc DVD set, Tripsichore Yoga.  Pranamaya is pleased to bring you a less traditional form of yoga that is a great complement to your current yoga routine or an excellent entryway into a modern interpretation of the practice.

 

 

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The Best Quick Yoga Routine to Start Your Day

Posted on July 20th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Not all of us have time for a leisurely 90 minute yoga practice in the morning. Between sleeping, home and work life, it can be difficult to squeeze in time for ourselves. With this quick yoga morning routine, however, all you need is less than 10 minutes and a yoga mat to center your mind and energize your body.  

 
Child’s Pose (Balasana) Child's Pose
 

An excellent start to your quick yoga morning routine, Child’s Pose wakes up your body by gently stretching out your hips, thighs, lower back, ankles and knees. This pose also increases circulation to your head and calms the central nervous system, which can reduce headaches and help you manage stress and tension.

 

Take a deep breath in and from a kneeling position fold your chest onto your thighs and your forehead onto your mat. Lengthen your spine and neck by extending your ribs away from your tailbone and your head away from your shoulders. Your arms can lay palm up by your side or gently protracted in front of you. Remain here for ten deep breaths.

 
Cat/Cow Pose (Bidalasana)
This second pose will warm up your spine and help release tension in your upper body, particularly if you have a stiff neck from sleeping.

 

From tabletop position, with your wrists beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips, press your palms into the mat and keep a neutral spine. As you exhale, engage your abs as you round your spine up to the ceiling with your chin tucked towards your chest in a cat-like position. On your inhale, arch your back, letting your stomach relax and lifting your head and tailbone upwards for the cow position. Switch back and forth from Cat to Cow for 10 rounds.

 
Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) 

Downward Dog

The third pose in your quick yoga morning routine will stimulate your muscles and relieve stress in your neck and legs.

 

Place your hands a little wider than your shoulders, tuck your toes and lift your hips into the air, into an upside down V-shape. Your chest moves towards the thighs and your head remains relaxed. Roll your shoulders down away from your ears and keep your hips high and heels on the ground. Hold for 10 breaths.

 
Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana) Standing Forward Bend Pose
For an intense stretch in your upper back and hamstrings, exhale, activate your abs, and fold forward keeping your back straight. Your chin should be tucked towards your chest, your shoulders relaxed, and the top of your head extended towards the floor. Try shifting your weight forward onto your toes so that your legs remain as straight as possible and you release your back. With your hands on the ground, hold for 10 breaths before slowly rolling up, one vertebra at a time.

 

Triangle Pose

Your final pose in this quick yoga morning routine creates balance and stability while stretching out your legs. Widen your leg stance to about a leg-length from the standing position and turn your right foot out to the side. Your heel should align with the arch of your left foot. Move your arms parallel to the ground and stretch to the right, keeping both legs straight. Pivot the arms so they are in one line, moving in opposite directions, keeping your chest and torso long. Take 5 breaths and switch sides.

 

With just these five simple poses, you can start your day feeling energized and renewed.

 

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Our Top 5 Favorite Ways to Unwind and Destress

Posted on July 15th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Yoga for anxiety DVD

You would be hard pressed to find someone who actually enjoys being stressed out. Sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, headaches, and labored breathing are some of the familiar signs that you are physically or mentally strained. When you feel the tension rising, partake in an activity that helps to relieve the symptoms, like popping in a yoga for anxiety DVD, enjoying a hot cup of tea, or taking a break from your phone and tablet.

Why Do We Stress?

The symptoms related to being stressed out were originally meant to protect us from predators and other dangers. However, certain daily activities can evoke this same response, like sitting in traffic, running late to drop off the kids at school, or having a busy day at work. You know the routine: you begin to feel overwhelmed, and suddenly you notice that your heat rate has increased, it is a little harder to breath, and your blood vessels have started to constrict. What’s even worse, is that stress can be harmful to your overall health.

For your own health, and peace of mind, it is important to find an outlet to de-stress, like moving along with a yoga for anxiety DVD. Constantly living under the weight of continuous stress can lead to more serious health conditions, such as asthma, insomnia, heart disease, depression, and more. Below are five of our favorite ways to destress.

Take a Sip

relaxing cup of teaEven the thought of sitting back with a steaming cup of tea is relaxing! There are many people who swear by the power of a good cup of tea for de-stressing and even studies that back up these relaxation claims. When choosing a flavor of tea, you will want to make sure that it is caffeine-free, as caffeine can lead to irritability, anxiety, and other stress-related side effects when consumed in excess.

A common tool to reduce stress, also mentioned in any yoga for anxiety DVD, is deep, controlled breathing. While you wait for your tea to cool a bit, take in a few breaths of the aromatic steam. An herbal tea is a great option for calming the nerves, and it smells great, which is perfect for those deep breaths. Try a chamomile or mint tea, and drink it before bed for added rest and relaxation.

Meditate

Instead of turning on the television or seeking out a friend for drinks, embrace quality alone time. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing, taking deep breaths in and out. You can also silently repeat a mantra in your mind. Repeating a word or phrase will help to keep other thoughts at bay. Practice meditating for at least 10 minutes to help reduce stress.

woman practicing yogaHold That Pose

Yoga offers many benefits, such as improving flexibility, strength, and balance; it also helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Breathing exercises help to realign the body, reminding it of how it should function. Many poses featured in a yoga for anxiety DVD target areas most afflicted by stress, such as the shoulders, back, and neck. Pranamaya Yoga Media’s Viniyoga Therapy for Anxiety DVD features both gentle healing yoga practices and educational lectures to help you deeply relax and find much needed relief from anxiety.

Unplug and Unwind

In this day and age, it can be hard to get away from technology; finding a way to do this can be the ticket to reducing stress. Constant access to email and messaging can bring the burden of work into the home space, which is an undesirable mix. You don’t have to respond to all messages right away. Make it a goal not to check your work email at home and designate specific phone or tablet free times.

Tune In and Tune Out

While a yoga for anxiety DVD might help you tune in, you can also go the other route; make a playlist, plug in some headphones, and tune out the world. You can include nature sounds like wind, waves, and animals, as well as calming melodies or songs. Sneak in some upbeat tunes and get prepared to sing along. Find a comfortable, relaxing place to enjoy the music, or get active and listen to your playlist while you go on a walk and get the best of both worlds.

There are many ways to reduce stress, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. While some might choose to follow along with a yoga for anxiety DVD, others might enjoy a relaxing playlist in a warm bubble bath or a phone-free hour. As long as a method works for you, and you enjoy doing it, it is a great remedy to the burden of everyday stress.

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4 Items You Need to Bring to Every Yoga Class

Posted on July 15th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

It’s never been easier to supplement your yoga practice with items to make practice easier, healthier, and less stressful. There are particular supplies for yoga that will keep you coming back to class comfortable and confident. Here we’ll give you a roundup of the most essential items you should bring to every yoga class.

 

Water

 

Water bottlesHydration is absolutely essential during yoga. You’ll need to release the toxins that can build up in your body during specific yoga poses. H2O is the best way to flush out those toxins and rehydrate your system.

 

While you won’t drink much water during class, you’ll want to make sure you are properly hydrated during the day before class and after practice. In general, you should be drinking about 64 ounces of water every day. If your practice is particularly hard, or if you’re doing a hot style of yoga, that number may increase. Most studios have a drinking fountain or water cooler, but bring your own bottle to save time and money.

 

 

Supplies for Yoga

Mat

Yes, your yoga studio most likely has supplies for yoga, including mats that you can borrow or rent during class. But to avoid any issues of hygiene, and to make your yoga practice more portable,consider investing in your own yoga mat.

 

When you’re shopping around for a yoga mat, take into consideration these three variables:

Length: You always want to make sure your mat is long enough, especially if you were blessed with the tall genes. There are extra-long yoga mats on the market, which typically run from 72–84 inches.

 

Thickness: Comfort is key in yoga, and the thickness of your mat is essential to this. If your mat is too thin your knees may get bruised, but if it’s too thick you may have trouble feeling grounded to the floor. Most yoga mats are about ⅛ thick, but they can go up to ¼.

 

Texture: Also called “stickiness,” the texture of your mat will help prevent slippage of your hands and feet during poses. Mats made of more natural material generally have a rough feel, while the manmade, vinyl PVC mats frequently have a softer feel.

 
Towel
Sweat is inevitable during an intense yoga practice. But to avoid making your mat a slippery-when-wet danger zone, bring a towel with you to class. There’s no need to get fancy—a standard washcloth or hand towel will work just fine. If you want to upgrade your supplies for yoga, consider a yoga-specific towel with extra-absorbent material that dries quickly.

 
Breathable Clothes

 

Yoga Class

The clothes you wear to yoga will, in part, depend on the type of class you’re attending. If you’re headed to a heated class, consider wick-away clothing. In general, however, women should wear fitted tops so that your top doesn’t drop over your head during inverted poses. Fitted pants are also useful for helping your teacher check your alignment during class. Just be sure you have comfortable, breathable clothes. Your focus should be on your practice, not your clothes.

 

Supplies for yoga shouldn’t stress you out or overwhelm you. Choose simple and useful items to help streamline your yoga practice.

 

 

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How Learning From the Best Yin Yoga DVD Can Help You Relax

Posted on July 7th, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Yin Yoga DVDYoga is typically thought of as a form of exercise that also focuses on relaxation. While this is true, Yin Yoga takes it a step beyond and really hones in on relaxing the body. The best Yin Yoga DVD will walk you through the basic movements of Yin Yoga, providing a variety of Yin and Yang sessions, while giving you more in-depth knowledge through workshops and lectures. With this type of DVD, you will learn how to thoroughly relax and give your body the breaks that it needs to function efficiently.

Yin Yoga vs. Yang Yoga

The style of yoga that most people are familiar with is Yang Yoga, which focuses on muscle movement and helps build strength and flexibility. This type of yoga is definitely good for the body, but everything needs a balance. Yin Yoga mainly focuses on the area of the body between the navel and the knees, which includes the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

The best Yin Yoga DVD will focus on gently stressing tissues over time through Yin movements that are held for longer periods than during Yang Yoga. Yin and Yang complement each other, which is why you are probably familiar with the symbol and the term. If you practice Yang Yoga, it would be beneficial to also practice Yin Yoga. Not only will you have a more full body workout, but you will take your relaxation skills to a higher level.

Fundamentals of Yin Yoga

flexible yoga pose

Many poses in the traditional Yang style of yoga are held for five to eight breaths, whereas movements performed in Yin Yoga can be held as long as five minutes, which can have a transformative effect on the body and mind. The best Yin Yoga DVD will teach you the correct way to hold restorative poses for a longer length of time. Eventually you may desire to hold poses for up to twenty minutes!

Entry into Meditation

If you have been wanting to try meditation, or get more from your current meditation process, Yin Yoga is a perfect stepping stone, as it helps you to stay in a position for an extended period of time and allows you to focus your mind during the process. The movements done during a Yin Yoga session will help you release stress and learn to better concentrate, in addition to stretching important connective tissues in the lower body.

paul grilley yin yoga

The Depths of Yin Yoga

The movements done in the best Yin Yoga DVD will be passive rather than active movements that allow you to have better access to your own body. Yin Yoga is about depth; accessing deeper tissues, which will improve your flexibility in the long run; and reaching into the depths of your own mind while holding poses. Putting your body into still positions for long lengths of time allows you to relax both your body and mind for longer lasting and more impactful results.

Yin Yoga: The Foundations of a Quiet Practice, from world-renowned master teacher and scholar Paul Grilley, offers all of the features of the best Yin Yoga DVD, with five hours of teaching, including both Yin and Yang Yoga sessions, as well as lectures on Yin Yoga theory. Learn from the best in with this DVD available at Pranamaya.

 

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Deep Blue Sea Blend: One of Our Favorite All Natural Detoxifying Drinks

Posted on July 3rd, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Whether you’re a full-fledged yogi or you’re just starting out, it’s important to know that the foods and drinks you fuel your body with are just as important to your success as the vinyasas and asanas you are practicing. In other words, when acquiring a healthy lifestyle, being mindful of your eating and exercising habits are two sides of the same coin. By giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay fueled for the day, not only will you be able to say goodbye to many of your digestive problems and general sluggishness, but you’ll be able to sleep better at night and feel refreshed every morning!

Make Sure You Get Your Nutrients from a Good Source

Sure, a cheeseburger and an order of fries will fuel your body, but will it actually do any good? Your stomach may not groan at you during your yoga class, but you most likely won’t feel your best. One way to get your nutrients from a positive source is to try out a range of natural detoxifying drinks. Not only will they boost your energy, rid the body of excess waste, and build a stronger immune system, but they will help you have a sharper, clearer mind. Pairing natural detoxifying drinks with meditation practices will help you get in touch with your body and allow you to think more freely.

Deep Blue Sea BlendTry Out One of Our Favorite All Natural Detoxifying Drinks: The Deep Blue Sea Blend

Hailing from Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family, a transformative lifestyle guide that features 120 groundbreaking recipes, the Deep Blue Sea Blend was inspired by the couple’s experience in Hawaii and is a sweet, tropical elixir that is packed full of nutrients.

To make one of our all natural detoxifying drinks yourself, all you need is a Vitamix or a high-powered blender, as well as the following ingredients:

  • • 2 cups of chopped pineapple
  • • 1 frozen banana
  • • ½ cup of raw coconut
  • • 4 cups of coconut water
  • • ½ teaspoon of spirulina

 

To prepare, simply combine all of the ingredients in your blender of choice, and blend on high for one minute. From manganese, thiamin, and vitamin C from the fresh fruits, to the high level of protein and phytonutrients from the spirulina, this blend has it all, providing potent detoxifying properties and support for a healthy immune system. Plus, don’t forget, it’s quite tasty!

Contact Pranamaya Yoga Media Today!

Remember to always stay mindful of what you’re putting into your body, and whether a complete plant-based diet is in your future, or you only want to keep this little recipe in your kitchen collection, don’t forget where you first heard about this amazing blend: Pranamaya.

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Strawberry Cheesecake: A Recipe for LOVE

Posted on July 1st, 2015 by Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Sabrina Samedi

Everyday is a reason to celebrate love and rejoice in the magic of soulful and good intentions, but for some of us we loose sight in showcasing gratitude for LOVE on a daily basis and guess what? That’s fine…we are all human perfectly flawed and constantly gravitating from confusion to clarity while transforming and growing more aligned with our inner self on a daily basis. The true measure of our compassion, accomplishments and self-love should be in our efforts. Hence, let’s celebrate the beauty of love for those whom we care for- our family, our friends, strangers with a kind smile, for the universe- the ether world around us, the trees and flowers that glorify our days, the night skies that illuminate our dreams, and for our selves- our bodies that keep us moving, our minds that seem to juggle a million things at once and our hearts and souls that transcend logic and keep us feeling more than thinking.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here is a scrumptious recipe for a Strawberry Cheesecake that will satisfy your sweet tooth and good conscious.

If you’re in the mood for a delicious dessert that is a cinch to make and packed full of real fruit, powerful herbs, and a touch of chocolatey goodness, you’re in luck! Rich Rolland his wife Julie Piatt, who is a plant-based chef, whipped up the best strawberry cheesecake recipe you can get your hands on, and not only is it featured in their ground-breaking family lifestyle guide on the importance of plant-based eating, titled The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family, but it is revered as the best strawberry cheesecake recipe right here at Pranamaya!

For all of the yogis out there, it’s reassuring to know that all of the recipes featured in The Plantpower Way are coming from one yogi to another—that’s right, Julie isn’t just an amazing chef, she’s also a spiritual guide and a yoga enthusiast. Not only will this recipe make your mouth water, but it will also help you on the path toward creating your own pure and balanced lifestyle.

Let’s Get On With the Recipe!

Strawberry Mint CacaoTo set the stage for the best strawberry cheesecake recipe, you will need a 9” springform pan, a food processor, a freezer (that’s right, no baking!) and the following ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups of raw walnuts
  • 1 cup of cacao nibs
  • 8 dates, pitted and soaked in water (preferably filtered) for 30 minutes
  • ½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt

Filling:

  • A single 15oz. can of whole coconut milk
  • 8 dates
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of raw coconut meat
  • ½ cup of cacao powder
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon of soy or sunflower lecithin
  • ¼ cup of agave, raw honey, or maple syrup (based on your own preference)

Garnish:

  • 2 pints of fresh strawberries
  • Fresh mint leaves or edible flowers

Once you have all of the ingredients intact, you still have one more step before you can begin preparing the best strawberry cheesecake recipe for your get together: you want to make sure that you chill your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least two hours.

Preparing the Crust

Coat the sides and bottom of your springform pan with the coconut oil and set aside before pulsing the walnuts in your food processor. Once they reach a mealy texture, add in the cacao nibs and pulse again until they are thoroughly incorporated. Next, drop one date at a time into the processor until all 8 are incorporated and the mixture forms a ball (you may have to pause and use a spatula to redistribute the mixture if it isn’t mixing right away). Take the mixture out of the processor and place it in the previously coated pan, and use your hands to create an even layer of crust. Sprinkle the “dough” with the Celtic sea salt and place in the freezer.

Preparing the Filling

To start the filling, open the chilled can of coconut milk and spoon out the hardened cream at the top, leaving the liquid in the bottom of the can. Combine the hardened coconut milk, strawberries, coconut meat, mint, cacao, and dates in a high-powered blender—and if you think there will be leftovers, add the soy or sunflower lecithin as well as it will help the filling stay firm even after you’ve cut slices. Keep on high until blended smoothly. Once combined, taste the mixture, and adjust for your preferred level of sweetness. You can add in the agave, raw honey, maple syrup, or a few more dates if you have them on hand! Take the crust from the freezer and pour the filling mixture on top, and then freeze again for at least two hours, or until the filling is very firm.

Adding the Garnish

To finish the best strawberry cheesecake recipe off with a bang, slice up those extra strawberries lengthwise and take the pan out of the freezer. Make sure to run a knife along the edges before releasing the buckle, and carefully remove the rim—it’s okay to go slow. Once free, start at the outer edge and place the berries on top of the cheesecake with the tips pointing out from the center. As you finish one layer, make sure to overlap a little bit with the next so that the entire dessert gets covered. For an added touch, you can add an edible flower or mint leaf at the center of the strawberry swirl.

Make sure to thaw your new favorite Strawberry Mint Cacao Cheesecake for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, and don’t forget to tell your guests where you first learned about the best strawberry cheesecake recipe: Pranamaya!

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