Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose


Here are helpful cues to practice Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose correctly and safely

  1. The restorative version is best practiced with the non-aerial foot at the wall so that the non-aerial leg can be stabilized without too much effort
  2. Begin in a Supine Tadasana with the feet at the wall and a bolster to the outside fo the right hip
  3. Press the big toe mounds into the wall to encourage the neutrality of the legs
  4. Take a strap with a small loop and place the loop around the ball of the right foot
  5. Press the right foot to the ceiling while using the wall to gently resist the movement with the left leg
  6. Manually descend the right hip down and in towards the left foot in order to bring symmetry back to the torso
  7. Hold for anywhere from a few breaths to a couple of minutes, then thread the long part of the strap behind the neck from right to left
  8. Hold the end of the strap with the left hand and straighten the left arm out to the left, palm up, to make the strap taut
  9. Take an inhale then open the right leg out to the side for Supta Padangustasana 2
  10. Use the bolster beneath the right outer thigh and left hand on the strap to control the opening so that the stretch of the inner thigh is neither sudden nor intense
  11. Keep using the left foot at the wall to gently maintain the resistance of the left thigh
  12. Hold for anywhere from a few breaths to a couple of minutes, then, use an exhale to recommit to the rootedness of the left thigh and on an inhale bring the right leg back to center
  13. Release and repeat on the other side

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Are Your Actions Aligned with Your True Nature? This Writing Practice May Offer a Clue


Are you living your truth—or what everyone else wants you to be?

In the ancient philosophy Vedanta, there’s a word called svadharma (own nature) that defines your true Self. On the other hand, paradharma (alien nature) refers to the person you become when you get swept away in the expectations of family, friends, partners, or even colleagues. At some point, the lines between the two get blurred. 

That’s where yoga wisdom can come into play. Here, Rina Jakubowicz—yoga teacher, author of The Yoga Mind: 52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen Your Practice, and creator of YJ’s new class series, Empowered Vinyasa—offers a stream-of-conscious writing practice to help hone what’s truly you, and what’s not.

Feel like you’ve lost your sense of Self in the noise of social media or societal expectations? It’s time to get on the mat and reclaim who you are. Join author and yoga teacher Rina Jakubowicz for Empowered Vinyasa: Journey to Your Highest Self, a series of 10 yoga classes and companion dharma talks that zero in on principles of yoga philosophy—from The Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu spiritual tradition Vedanta—that are essential to self-exploration. Sign up today!

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Tune In & Sleep Better

Transition into winter feeling calm, grounded, and centered with these self-care tips from the holistic wellness experts at Still Soul Studio in Charleston, South Carolina.

Still Soul Studio in Charleston, South Carolina

Sun Meditation

“If your nervous system is already overstimulated and depleted, seasonal changes can trigger anxiety, depression, and increased stress,” says holistic life coach and co-owner Elli Richter. Meditation can be an integral part of calming down, re-centering, and finding more joy and clarity. Try this visualization meditation for a few minutes at any time of the day: Find a comfortable resting position, close your eyes, and take three deep breaths. Next, inhale to the count of four, and exhale to the count of six. Visualize a bright sun far above your head, and sense its warm light washing down on you like a gentle shower. Continue for at least three breaths. On each exhalation, feel any tension you are carrying begin to release and dissolve into the earth beneath you.

See also First-Timer’s Guide to Yoga Retreats

Lavender-Sesame
 Foot Rub 

Raw sesame oil is known in the Ayurvedic tradition for its calming and grounding effects. Rubbing it on your feet before bed can help relax your body and calm your mind, allowing for a deep and restful night’s sleep, Richter says. “I love warming the oil slightly and adding lavender before massaging it in,” she says. Try it: In a saucepan, warm one-quarter cup organic sesame oil over medium-low heat for three minutes. Add three drops of organic lavender essential oil—a scent that research suggests can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Slowly and mindfully massage the oil into the bottoms of your feet. Richter recommends sleeping with socks on after applying the oil to help maximize absorption and keep it from staining your sheets. …

Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Leek and Fennel Croutons

This vegan stuffed mushroom recipe is brought to you in partnership with my friends Little Northern Bakehouse. As always opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!

Every year on Thanksgiving, I feel a little sorry for my dad.

He is the lone plant-based dude in the family. And when your family’s holiday table includes 50 people, being the one anything can make you feel a little left out.

As the lone gluten-free person who can’t eat the normal stuffing or gravy, I should know.

Over the years, I’ve amended my own situation by being the volunteer who brings her own stuffing to the potluck meal. Every year is something different. You can see past contributions here, here, and here.Seeds & Grains Bread from Little Northern BakehouseStuffing in a cast iron panstuffed mushrooms on a sheet pan

But since my dad’s only homemade delicacies are oatmeal and smoothies, he’s been remiss to contribute anything, let alone a vegetarian main event for himself.

So to save him from side city, I thought this year instead of a new stuffing combination, I’d figure out something to stuff that he can actually eat. Enter: these vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms with leek and fennel croutons.

Now that I can eat alliums again, I must say that leeks are my favorite addition to Thanksgiving stuffing. But even more so, it comes down to the bread. Especially when you’re the lone GF weirdo making a side for fifty, whatever you choose has to taste legit.

stuffed mushrooms on a sheet pan

Enter, again: Little Northern Bakehouse’s seeds & grains loaf. If you’re new around here and didn’t get the memo, I am absolutely obsessed with this gluten-free bread. Not only is it rich in fiber that boosts nutrition (especially important when mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are on the menu), but it’s made from 100 percent

Conquer Midday Slump with this Afternoon Sequence


Even if you’d rather take a nap than get on the mat, this short practice can reenergize and refocus you – without caffeine.

If you’ve been sitting all day, this afternoon practice will feel wonderful! Featuring standing poses to open your hips, twists to help open your thoracic spine, some core work to strengthen your center, a thigh stretch to combat the effects of sitting, a pose to work all your joints, and, finally, an inversion to get your blood flowing and energize you for the rest of the day. This short practice will bring you some internal juice so you can skip the afternoon coffee break. 

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Get to Know the Paths of Yoga, According to Vedanta


Get to know the other ways to find your true Self, according to the ancient scriptures of Vedanta, the philosophical foundation of Hinduism.

You’re probably familiar with Hatha Yoga (asana) and Raja Yoga (meditation, mantras, and other techniques), but did you know that there are other major paths of yoga that lead you to reconnect you with your divine nature? According to the ancient scriptures of Vedanta–the philosophical foundations of Hinduism–there are three more to pay attention to:

  • Karma Yoga (Path of action)
  • Bhakti Yoga (Path of devotion)
  • Jnana Yoga (Path of knowledge)

Here, Rina Jakubowicz—yoga teacher, author of The Yoga Mind: 52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen Your Practice, and creator of a new class series, Empowered Vinyasa—explains more about what they are and how they help liberate you from stress and suffering. 

Watch also Try This Meditation to Learn How to Witness (not React to) Your Thoughts

Feel like you’ve lost your sense of Self in the noise of social media or societal expectations? It’s time to get on the mat and reclaim who you are. Join author and yoga teacher Rina Jakubowicz for Empowered Vinyasa: Journey to Your Highest Self, a series of 10 yoga classes and companion dharma talks that zero in on principles of yoga philosophy—from The Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu spiritual tradition Vedanta—that are essential to self-exploration. Sign up today!

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Yoga Books to Expand Your Mind

These yoga books will help you relax and unwind this season.

Best for Breathing Exercises

One Simple Thing by Eddie Stern

One Simple Thing by Eddie Stern

If you practice yoga you know it often makes us feel more productive, more caring, happier, and healthier. Longtime yogi Eddie Stern asks the question: How, exactly, does yoga do that? The first half of the book is a succinct summation of the various limbs of yoga. It’s in the second half that things really get interesting: Stern looks to neuroscience and other research to explain yoga’s myriad effects. For example, he describes how certain breathing practices, such as Ujjayi, arouses the body’s relaxing parasympathetic responses via the vagus nerve, and how chanting has been shown to stimulate both the left and right sides of the brain. The end of One Simple Thing includes a few suggested practices, such as resonant (even) breathwork, a body scan, and a loving-kindness mediation, which Stern reveals has been scientifically proven to boost positive emotions and social connections. And you just thought it felt good. Get it here.

Most Personal

Life in the Flow by Kate Kendall

Life in the Flow by Kate Kendall

This Australian yoga superstar’s new book is part memoir, part advice for taking your yoga out into all parts of your life. Kendall is all about slowing down and savoring experiences, something that helped her when she first discovered yoga while suffering from depression. For each of the book’s four sections—Grounding, Joy Riding, Connection, and Devotion—Kendall offers tips for your own life. In Connection, for example, she riffs on lessening our over-reliance on our cell phones (“Guilty as charged,” she admits), which not only helps us boost our real-time relationships with others, it’s better for our posture and nervous system, too. She …

The Best Essential Oil Products and Diffusers

To get the most out of your essential oils, you need to choose both high-quality products and the diffuser that’s right for you.

Best Rosemary Oil

Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oil

Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oil

Pure and Organic.  Certified organic, Aura Cacia essential oils are produced with the highest of quality ingredients and sustainably sourced. Buy this on Amazon today!

What We Liked

Aura Cacia Pure Essential Oil is a great way for you to get introduced to essential oils. A few drops will go a long way so you can experience the benefits without having to spend a lot of money. The versatility of this oil is a plus and can be used to enhance a room, on your body or even hair.

Best Starter Diffuser

Nature’s Truth Essential Oil Diffuser

Nature’s Truth Essential Oil Diffuser

Fill A Room. Plug this compact diffuser into an outlet and use 5 drops of oil to fill a room with a subtle scent.  Ready for delivery on Amazon!

What We Liked

This compact and elegant diffuser is an economical way to get introduced to the benefits of essential oils. Made by Nature’s truth, a few drops of your favorite essential oil will fill your room with a unique aroma and tap into the relationship between your sense of smell and your emotions.

Best Portable Diffuser

Aura Cacia USB Essential Oil Diffuser

Aura Cacia USB Essential Oil Diffuser

Anytime. Anywhere. A unique solution for scenting your personal space, even when power outlets are scarce. This portable diffuser draws its power from any USB outlet.  Buy this now on Amazon!

What We Liked

Traveling? Camping? Hanging out on the porch? Aura’s Cacia USB essential oil diffuser is a perfect way to take all the benefits of essential oils with you. Charged by a USB power …