It’s never too early or too late to start yoga! From Prenatal Yoga, to Yoga for Teens, we’ve got yoga for everyone in your family at NiMaSte Yoga!
Prenatal Flow Yoga is a yoga practice uniquely designed for pregnancy that can help support moms-to-be emotionally and physically. No prior yoga experience required. Please consult your physician or midwife prior to class participation.
Baby and Me Yoga/Postnatal Yoga combines baby yoga and massage with yoga for you! Please check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program; usually waiting 6-8 weeks postpartum.
Tot and Me Yoga is yoga for ages 17 months to 3 years with rhymes, songs, games, and yoga poses geared toward their development. An adult must participate with the child but no yoga experience is required.
Playtime Flow Yoga (All Levels) is a yoga class for you and your children are welcome to play, read, sleep, watch something, or maybe even join in the yoga!
Family Yoga is a workshop for families and children ages 3-10 to play yoga games, explore yoga breathing, and do fun yoga poses. No yoga experience necessary.
Tween (ages 7-11) Yoga and Teen (ages 12-16) Yoga will combine creative and playful functional movement with mind-body practices that reduce stress. Learn traditional poses, yoga games, and breathing exercises to calm the mind.
Move, Be Create is a summer camp (July 10-14 from 1-4pm) for children ages 6-10. Have a fun, creative, educational, and enriching experience doing yoga movement, mindfulness activities, relaxation, yoga games, and arts & crafts.
Zen for Men is a welcoming yoga class for men of all fitness levels designed to strengthen, stretch, and balance the entire body.
If you have ever taken Claire’s Candlelight Flow class, you have been treated to an experience that simply melts your stress away. Light some candles and play this playlist to guide your home practice after a long day.
Claire’s Candlelight Flow Playlist
Do you ever wish you could recreate the feeling of being in a yoga class when you are doing your home practice? In addition to incorporating some sequences you learned in class into your practice, you can also try a yoga playlist from some of your favorite teachers.
If you took Nicole’s class the week of Spring Break, you likely were transported to the Caribbean, North Africa, South America and even the Jersey Shore for a uniquely NiMaSte “staycation”. Travel the world with her playlist:
As instructors and students who roll out the mat quite regularly, we know what features we prefer to support our practices. However, considering the many styles of yoga and workout routines that involve mats, we 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, the top choices were pretty easy to spot. 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 many instructor’s top pick because its durability and versatility are unmatched. However, if you’re always taking hot yoga classes and you want to stick to your mat with no towel needed, Lululemon The Mat is likely your best option. With over 50 hours of research on dozens of yoga mats, the process 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, we’ve also recommended top picks for specific needs.
The 9 Overall Best Yoga Mats
The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat
Jade Harmony Professional Mat: The Jade Harmony Professional is a favorite among yoga professionals everywhere because of its great balance of traction and support. It's made from all-natural rubber, making it environmentally friendly. As a bonus, JadeYoga also plants a tree for every mat that's purchased.
The Best Budget-Friendly Yoga Mat
Gaiam Print Premium: It's important to invest in a reliable mat, but if you are unsure of making that investment just yet, try the Gaiam Print Premium. It retails for under $30 and is backed with a lifetime warranty. It comes in an array of fun colors and prints, too.
The Best Non-Slip, Sticky Yoga Mat
Lululemon – The Mat: “The Mat" has an innovative moisture absorbing design for unparalleled grip under sweaty conditions. In fact, the sweatier you get (and in turn, the more moisture there is on the mat), the more the mat grips. Top yoga professionals say they will never use another mat other than “The Mat."
Partnership in yoga is communion. We learn about how to be there for another person, how to support and offer oneself as grounding, strength, and stability. We are here to offer support so our partner can experience a deeper range of movement than one can gain on their own. We are also here in partnership to learn how to receive. We learn to surrender to the other, to give and bend, to let someone else take our full weight. Trust is the guiding factor in partner yoga. If you do not trust your partner to support you, you cannot possibly let go. If you cannot let go, you will not experience the absolute joy and freedom of feeling supported.
“Partner Yoga” is typically done with both partners on the ground, or having at least one body part on the ground. Your main purpose is to let your partner find that deeper dimension of stretching as you assist them. This is a good place to start before you advance to “Acro Yoga”.
There are three primary roles in an Acro Yoga practice: base, flyer, and spotter.
Some guidelines for “Partner/Acro yoga”:
In a Restorative Yoga class, we deeply explore the interdependence between mind and body. That connection is there in all other yoga classes, but the emphasis is often on movement, not stillness. Restorative yoga embraces the power of passiveness. Tune out everything else so you can tune into your body, your breath.
Prop usage comes down to 3 basic elements: structure, space, and shape. First, the student’s body should be fully supported by props. Like a firm foundation for a house, the props should anchor the body so its full weight is supported. Often times, we can use 10 -11 props for one person! Second, fill any spaces with props so the student is fully connected to the earth. Look for gaps under the legs, or use props to elevate the dangling arms. Third, notice if the student’s body is exhibiting soft lines, or whether they look tense or uncomfortable. By experimenting with different props, you will find the right combination when the student lets out that familiar “AHHHHH” sound.
Props in a Restorative Yoga class can be many different things: mat, blanket, bolster, block, strap, wall, chair, eye pillow, towel, sandbag, or another person. It is an integral part of a Restorative class to allow a teacher to help the student get into a comfortable position. It may be to help place props for the student, it may be a gentle touch on the shoulder to help remind the student to relax, or it may be to temporarily provide needed support to someone’s back while in a side-lying position. Other aids for a restorative class can be soft music, low lights, essential oils, chants, poetic readings, or saying a few words about the chakras. With that being said, as a student you always have the right to refuse physical adjustments, just let the teacher know ahead of time.
If you are interested in learning more about Restorative Yoga, “Relax and Renew” by Judith Lasater is a great place to start. She was a student of B.K.S. Iyengar who was known for his use of yoga poses (asanas) and breath (pratyahara) to inhibit the stress-response, thus activating the healing and repairing systems of the body for optimal health. Lasater experienced firsthand the healing that comes with practicing these soothing and quieting poses, and now passes on her knowledge to others worldwide. Another option is to try Nimaste’s Yin/Restorative class on Sunday nights at 7:00pm. Hope to see you there!
Yoga class can be an intimidating place, and not only because you're surrounded by experienced yoga enthusiasts who have spent years perfecting headstands and other complicated poses. Even if you ignore other participants, you'll find it impossible to avoid Sanskrit terms, which are an integral element of yoga. The following ten terms are especially important:
Typically used to refer to yoga instructors, a yogi is, in fact, anybody who regularly practices yoga while adhering to its overarching philosophies. With regular practice and the right mindset‚ anybody can become a yogi.
Literally, the term chakra refers to a wheel. In yoga, this concept is expanded to involve spinning wheels of light and energy within the body. There are seven main chakras, and each is connected to major organs and nerve centers. In yoga, the goal is to keep these chakras open so that energy can flow.
Derived from the term "mantrana," a mantra is a sacred word that can prompt great physical and spiritual transformation when repeated in a focused manner. In many yoga classes, instructors offer a simple mantra on which students can focus as they perform various asanas and vinyasas. This mantra is designed to keep students' minds focused, even through the most difficult elements of the class.
Deemed by many the most sacred mantra of all, om may be chanted together at the beginning or end of class. Often repeated three times, the mantra also incorporates the power of three in its three distinct sounds: "ah," "oh," and "mm."
Breath is arguably the most important element of yoga, even above the poses and other movements that most people associate with the practice. Pranayama involves breath control in the interest of awakening the "prana," or life energy. If practiced correctly pranayama can improve focus, while also stilling the mind and easing anxiety.
A common breathing technique, ujjayi, is typically conducted during difficult vinyasas or asanas. It is marked by an ocean sound, formed through the narrowing of the throat passage. This breath style makes it easier for yoga students to maintain the rhythm or flow desired in movement-based vinyasa classes.
Outside of yoga classes, the various positions you hold with your body are referred to as "poses." During class, however, your instructor may label these moves "asanas." An asana is a specific posture designed to help individuals improve their mental acuity and physical strength, flexibility, or balance. Common asanas include child's pose, half moon, warrior one, and downward-facing dog.
An asana is a single pose. A series of asanas completed in a fluid manner is known as a vinyasa. Breathing is an integral component of the vinyasa, with each breath specifically linked with each movement. Vinyasa yoga is a type of class that focuses largely on moving between poses, as opposed to holding a single pose for a long period of time.
Sometimes referred to as the corpse pose, savasana may seem like nothing more than lying down. To the uninitiated, the pose resembles a nap at the end of yoga class. But savasana is far from a nap -- it's arguably the most difficult pose in yoga. The pose involves stilling the mind and letting go of mental chatter, all while focusing on the breath.
In some Himalayan regions, Namaste‚ is a common greeting used in everyday life. In yoga class, the greeting is offered while the palms of the hands are pressed together and the person is bowing slightly forward. The intent of the greeting is to acknowledge the divine within each person.
Once you master the above terms, you will feel more comfortable in yoga class -- and you'll have a better idea of how to follow your teacher's instructions. The more you expand your yoga vocabulary, the more you'll take away from each class. Namaste from NiMaSte!!
While yoga has benefits at all stages of our lives, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a yoga practice when we become parents. At the very least, there are more challenges to getting to our mats than there were before. In order to attend a class without your baby or toddler, you’ll need to find and maybe pay for childcare. If you want to practice at home in peace, you may need to find a time when your child is sleeping. More often than not, when we need yoga most urgently, that is precisely the time when our children need us the most.
How can we give these little ones all they need from us, but continue to nurture ourselves? NiMaSte has two options for you: Playtime Yoga Flow and Baby and Me/Postnatal Yoga.
First, what is the difference?
Playtime Yoga Flow is yoga for you. You can come for a mixed level vinyasa flow yoga class and bring the kids along. No need to find childcare in order to nurture yourself. This is an adult class for parents and caregivers, but children (baby-preschooler) are welcome to play, read, sleep, or maybe even join in the yoga!
Baby and Me/Postnatal yoga is yoga for women in all stages of postpartum and babies (pre-crawling). Vinyasa yoga will help you reconnect with your body. We’ll combine baby yoga and massage with yoga for you! The community of caregivers in class will nurture you emotionally as you care for infant. This is a great opportunity to meet other parents, strengthen your core muscles and play with your baby at the same time. Classes are flexible - it is always fine to feed your baby or change your baby’s diaper during class. If you have spit up on your shirt, you’re probably not the only one!
Second, what’s so great about yoga postpartum and/or with your child?
Yoga benefits mothers by
Baby and me yoga class benefits babies, because it helps form a bond between parent and baby, which is critical to the mental and physical health of the baby.
So which is for you? If you’ve already been through this stage in your life, what suited you better? We’d love to hear from you!
Society has seen a growing interest in mindful modalities for kids, such as yoga, for many of the same benefits they provide adults. Children are struggling with how to self-regulate, manage their emotions, and get along with others. Teaching kids mindful movement, breathing techniques, and other sense-awareness exercises not only creates healthy fitness habits for life, but also strengthens their mind-body connection. Learning mindfulness tools when toddlers, and continuing the practice throughout their K-12 years, will likely lead to happier and healthier children because they will learn how to ride through difficulties with greater ease.
Growing research evidence is emerging from studies of healthy children, as well as those with issues like ADHD, learning disabilities, or conduct disorders. The following are some of the identified benefits of children doing yoga:
Yoga instructors for kids must genuinely respect, support and love teaching children, and be a good role model for mindfulness. With younger children, the focus should be on feeling the body move; reaching, balancing, and moving in all directions. Playfulness is essential - combining mindful movement, games, breath-work, and visualization to move energy through their bodies as we calm their minds. As they get older, attention should move to the quality of movement and maintaining good posture. Good instructors emphasize “feeling the pose” in the body, not “perfecting the pose”, allowing the children to hold the pose naturally and providing alignment detail over time.
Starting this Fall, Nimaste Yoga will offer many classes that embrace the child in your life:
Make an investment in your child today!
“Sound came first, and then came light.” Every ancient culture believed in the power of sound and its link to health and life itself. Sound reaches down and touches us at an emotional level. We hear music that can immediately set us at ease, or can make us anxious.
Ayurvedic medicine says that the body is held together by sound, and that the presence of disease means that the body is not in harmony. Sound healing is the therapeutic application of sound vibration with the intention of creating a state of health and harmony. “OM” is the seed, or source of all sound, and is the name given to the supreme. OM is present in all other sounds. Sounds can be made with the voice, such as chanting, or from a variety of musical instruments or tuning forks.
The practicing of chanting a mantra is called “Japa” in Sanskrit. When one chants a mantra, the power within us grows, and the power of the mantra grows and becomes one with the chanter. Chanting can be a path toward our inner light. As we chant, we increase our vibration of love and light. Mantra literally means “saving the mind”.
So how do we know what to say in our mantra? A mantra can be a single word, a short simple sentence, or a longer more complex series of sentences. Chanting in Sanskrit is important since Sanskrit is the “mother of all tongues”; all western languages can trace their roots back to Sanskrit. (There is a mantra for mispronunciation if you are worried about making mistakes!)
There are thousands of mantras from which to choose. Say some of them repeatedly and notice what kind of energy they give you, what emotions arise, or if you experience any sensations in the body. Or choose a mantra based on a material or spiritual goal you have. For example, “Eim (I’m)” can be chanted to bring artistic, scientific and educational goals to your life. Or “Om Shrim Lakshmiyei Swaha” can invoke abundance. To see a list of some mantras, see the book Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, or The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice, and Music by Mitchell Gaynor. Also, check out this webpage: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/mantrahome.aspx.
Pick a quiet place to chant your first mantra. Try to chant for at least 5 minutes, and make note of how you feel before and afterwards. Then try building up to chanting your mantra 108 times (which is considered a sacred number). You can use pencil and paper to mark the repetitions, or you can also use a mala to help keep track (it has 108 beads on the necklace). Try to chant your mantra each day, 108 times a day, for 40 straight days. Mantras can be chanted any time, any place, or even while doing other activities. But to establish a habit, try to pick the same time and place for those 40 days. Keep a spiritual diary to record the practice and the effects of the practice. Did anything significant happen to you?
Our path of yoga is a path toward the light of our true self. Said another way, when we are in resonance or vibrating in harmony with the universe, we become one with all. Yoga gives us many tools to guide our paths toward harmony and light. Sound is one of these many tools.
The Namaste From NiMaSte Blog is written by the Nimaste Yoga staff.