5 Poses to Survive Your Family This Holiday

Does your family of origin know exactly how to push your buttons? This sequence will help you react and communicate from your true self, not your childhood self.

It’s okay to take a little time for yourself in the midst of family “togetherness.”

It’s often called “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but the Holidays are often the most challenging. Even those of us with dedicated practices can experience frustration and anger with our families. 

Renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass famously said, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” I personally cannot count the amount of holidays I was wrapping my legs behind my head doing Ashtanga in the hallway to stay sane, while my family members wrapped gifts in the other room.

Why do we get so triggered? 

Often, our mind is hijacked by old relationship dynamics and familiar scripts. We lose the clarity of the present moment and connection to our true Self. We start responding as if we were 10 years old again, instead of the more evolved adult we have become. 

See also 4-Step Meditation to Beat Holiday Stress

Luckily, we can call on yoga to help. Our practice is truly the gift that keeps on giving. As children and teens, managing our feelings and making sense of emotions might have been challenging. Now as adults, we have skills we can employ when frustrated or sad, such as language, self-compassion, and even specific poses. This can be incredibly healing!

Beneath even the most meaningful layers, like our identity and familial connection, there is a place inside of us that is eternal and invincible. This is a place of love, patience, connection, and generosity. This is our true nature. We glimpse this place every time we get on the mat, …

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Yoga Mat

Wondering how often you should clean your mat—and the best way to remove germs, dirt, and stink? Read on.

Just how important is it to clean your mat? 

There’s nothing worse than rolling out your sticky mat before you practice and noticing a layer of grime or sniffing a subtle hint of days-old sweat. Yet it happens to the best of us, because keeping a yoga mat clean is often an afterthought.

However, think about this for a moment: Yoga mats absorb all the sweat, oil, and grime that they’re exposed to, which means they can become dirty, smelly, and even contaminated with germs quickly. To keep all that gunk off your mat, establishing a consistent cleaning routine is crucial. Craig Stiff, the director of hardgoods at Manduka, recommends “cleaning your mat after every practice or use.”

“You’re entering a sacred space when you practice, so the way you keep that space has an effect on what you get out of your practice” says Heather Lilleston, one of the founders of Yoga For Bad People. She continues, “the whole idea of the dirty hippie yogi should be thrown out the window. A huge part of practice is cleanliness.” If you can’t remember the last time you thoroughly scrubbed down your mat, it’s probably time to give it a wash.

So, Just How Dirty Is Your Yoga Mat?

In an article for ABC-13, Melanie Rech, the Laboratory Director at EMSL Analytical, examined swabs taken from personal and communal yoga mats. Mats from the local yoga studio “came back the cleanest with 3 million counts of normal environmental bacteria”, writes KTRK Houston. This isn’t the most surprising, since yoga studios are supposed to regularly wash their communal mats (whether they do or not is a different story). The results …

5 Natural Mat Cleaners You'll Love

Is your sticky mat getting too sticky? Give it a good cleaning with one of these sprays. Plus, find out how to make your own.

If you’re not cleaning your mat, you run the risk of getting exposure to harmful bacteria that can cause a variety of infections – from staph to Athlete’s Foot. Toss one of these sprays in your bag, and wipe down your mat after every class. We also recommend you wash your mat with soap and water monthly.

See also The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Yoga Mat


The Best Home Foot Massagers

The benefits of a foot massage are abundant: improved circulation, relief from aches, and reduced stress, to name a few.

Best Overall Electric Massager

RENPHO Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine

RENPHO Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine

Reliable and Customizable. Boasting adjustable air intensity and kneading intensity alongside an optional heating function, the RENPHO massager offers the most comprehensively customizable electric foot massage experience on our list.

What We Liked

If you’re eager to experiment with both air and kneading intensity and willing to invest, this massager is your best bet. Reliable and highly customizable, this massager reaches more of your foot surface than any other device here while also offering highly customizable functions—perfect for those who want to experiment.  Buy Now on Amazon.

Best Value Electric Massager

Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager

Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager

Remote-Controlled Massage. Featuring five air pressure settings and two wireless remotes, the Miko massager offers an easily-controlled electric massage at a reasonable price.

What We Liked

This Miko foot massager boasts the functionality you need from an electric massager at a more reasonable price than many other electric options out there. With two independent foot chambers that massage the bottom and sides of feet, the Miko massager brings remote-controlled relaxation and relief. Get Yours Today on Amazon.

Best Manual Foot Massager

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller

TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller

Solid Wooden Roller. As the only manual massager here, the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller is a great choice for those looking for simplicity, durability, and affordability.

What We Liked

Featuring 10 independently-moving rollers and weighing just 1.5 pounds, the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller is portable, durable, and suitable for any size foot. Those who prefer a manual massager will also appreciate that the roller comes with a foot chart and e-book to remove the guesswork and provide …

Our Top Sequences of the Past Decade

You made this list possible. Here are the top 10 most-viewed sequences from the past decade.

Yoga’s popularity continued to explode this past decade, and we’re grateful that you turned to Yoga Journal for advice on developing your own practice. We compiled a list of the top 10 most popular yoga sequences on our website from 2010 to today. From hip-stabilizers to practices for processing powerful emotions, we count down a diverse list of tried-and-true sequences that can take you into 2020 – and beyond!


SIBO Made Simple | EP 28 | Environmental Toxins 101: How to Avoid Everyday Chemicals, Heavy Metals, and other Harmful Ingredients to Improve your Gut Health with Lara Adler

Environmental toxins are the giant purple elephant in the room. They are often the last thing to be addressed on someone’s journey to healing a chronic condition, and yet, the inconvenient truth is that everyday exposures–in our homes, our drinking water, our personal care products, even out mattresses–are doing more harm than we often give them credit for.

Before you start to panic: know that today’s conversation is not meant to scare you. Rather, my guest Lara Adler, aka the Environmental Toxins Nerd, is here to help you detox the areas of your life that are within your control, and try to not stress about the many things we can’t.

Lara is not only an expert in the field, she also trains health practitioners on the unaddressed link between every day toxic chemicals like heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and mold and chronic health problems so that their patients can get better without hours of researching on their own.

For everyone out there—not just SIBO patients—this episode should be required listening.

A quick taste of what we’ll cover:

  • The definition of a “toxin”
  • How toxic exposures can play a role in resistant weight loss
  • Why limiting your toxic burden is so important for hormonal health and gut health
  • Ways people can test to see what they’re up against or find their baseline toxic load?
  • How to play environmental toxins detective and everything you need to know about your food, water and home
  • Whether the Clean 15 and Dirty dozen lists actually matter
  • We also get into recommendations for air and water filters, cleaner beauty products, and food storage containers
  • And finally, we talk about how you can live in this toxic world of ours without going crazy

Resources, mentions and notes:

Yoga Teacher DJ Townsel Doesn't Want to Be a Trailblazer

The former NFL athlete opens up on reinventing stereotypes and what he *does* wish for the yoga community.

Growing up in Opa-locka neighborhood of Miami, Derrick “DJ” Townsel had never even heard of yoga until high school. But it was after several years of playing professional football—and feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained—that led him to YouTube, where he typed in “beginners yoga class” and started stretching out his tight shoulder and hips in daily 20-minute sessions. From there, nothing could stop his evolution from NFL athlete to international yoga teacher. (Read his full story here.) 

While filming his upcoming online program, Yoga for Strength & Flexibility, Townsel sat down with YJ to talk about shattering stereotypes and what he wants for the yoga community. 

Read also Why DJ Townsel Left the Football Field for a Yoga Studio

Ready to tap into your inner power? Join Derrick “DJ” Townsel—international yoga teacher, former NFL athlete, and entrepreneur—for Yoga for Strength & Flexibility, a six-week online challenge that blends yoga poses and body-resistance training. You’ll take on drills and practices that’ll focus on balance, mobility, control, endurance, and integration—and discover about how these themes show up in your life. Sign up today!


Self-Celebration Challenge

Join our 21 day challenge to inspire self-love and appreciation

The Intention

The end of the year can often bring up anxious and regretful thoughts. Many of us have developed clever strategies for avoiding these feelings, by centering this season on the practice of sharing “light and love” with those around us. But, when we ignore our own needs, we’re not setting ourselves up for success, in the moment, and in the New Year.

This challenge incorporates three daily tasks to evoke a little more love and compassion for yourself as you wrap-up 2019 and head into 2020.

Unlock the Challenge Below to a Receive Calendar Tracker and More!

The Journey

1. Gratitude Practice:

Each day our gratitude practice is focused on a specific topic so that you can reflect on different aspects of your year and how deserving you are of love.  

2. Body Love: 

Every day we challenge you to show your body tenderness and compassion!

3. “Self”-Loving Kindness Meditation: 

Take time each morning before you go out and join the world to set an intention for your day with this simple meditation challenges you to focus on showing yourself the love you readily show those around you during the holiday season.