Yes, it is possible to integrate yoga into your must-watch queue. Who says sinking into your couch isn’t self-care?
Scandal fans know actor Tony Goldwyn as the charming leader of the free world. But with the April release of Netflix’s Chambers, the formerly buttoned-up bossman has entered full-on crystal-toting territory. As mourning father Ben Lefevre, Goldwyn leans on Kundalini breathing practices and shirtless meditations to cope with the loss of his teenage daughter, Becky. The supernatural thriller unravels the mysterious circumstances behind Becky’s death and the paranormal visions that result when another girl receives her heart in an emergency transplant. Even if bone-chilling television isn’t your thing, you may still appreciate Lefevre’s commitment to sage burning.
On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace
If you haven’t yet seen this 2017 documentary based on photographer Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name, it’s time. O’Neill’s decade-long photographic exploration into the practice styles of world-renowned yoga masters resulted in the 2015 tome, which contains 200 photographs of famed yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar and designer Donna Karan. The film depicts O’Neill’s behind-the-lens efforts to capture a diverse array of practitioners and features appearances from commentators Deepak Chopra and Elena Brower.
Few stories of struggling with mental health prove to be as uplifting as I am Maris: Portrait of a Young Yogi, a documentary that follows 17-year-old Maris Degener as she’s gripped by chronic anxiety and a near-fatal eating disorder. By the time she’d reached middle school, what had begun as generalized dread escalated to full-blown panic attacks, later mani-festing as cutting, purging, and other forms of self-harm. Rather than focus on the …
Marsha Danzig lost her lower leg to cancer when she was 13. Here’s how she found strength and courage through yoga.
I was five when I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare, cancerous tumor that occurs in bones or soft tissue. It was 1967, and the survival rate was below 20 percent. Laying in my hospital bed with my entire family surrounding me, a priest came to perform last rites (my grandmother told me I was receiving my first communion). As soon as the priest placed the holy wafer on my tongue, a profound spiritual experience took place. I felt a deep sensation of trust settle into my bones—and I knew that I would be OK. Against the odds, I survived, and after about a year of chemotherapy and radiation, I found remission.
Asana came a few years later. I recall thumbing through a Guinness Book of World Records, which contained pictures of yogis in various postures or suspending their breath for long periods of time. As a young gymnast and ballerina, I was curious. I began constantly “playing yoga” anywhere I could—on the couch, in the backyard, during recess.
When I turned 13, I noticed a lump on my lower left tibia. I thought I’d sprained my ankle, but the cancer had actually come back—and it was advanced. I was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital, and within 10 days, doctors amputated my left leg below the knee and started chemotherapy. I was terrified and traumatized. Throughout high school, I was in and out of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I was hairless, missing half a leg, and, like so many teenage girls, wondering if I would ever get a boyfriend.
We’ve sussed out the most durable, comfortable, and convenient yoga bags on Amazon to make getting to class a breeze.
Few things bomb your calm like juggling a yoga mat, blocks, towel, water bottle, and other paraphernalia into the yoga studio. There’s a certain calm that comes from having your yoga gear organized, with everything easy to transport and to find. Enter yoga bags, designed to accommodate yoga accessories, including mats, which typically don’t fit in ordinary gym bags. We’ve sussed out the most durable, comfortable, and convenient bags on Amazon to make getting to class a breeze.
The YogiiiTotePRO is a roomier version of the original YogiiiTote, fitting two mats instead of one. (Caveat: With thicker mats, you might still get only one to fit.) And while many yoga bags are limited to mats 24 inches wide or less, the YogiiiTotePRO stows mats up to 28 inches wide. You’ll even have space left over for a towel, change of clothes, and water bottle. A large outside pocket stores wallet, phone, and keys, and the durable, lightweight canvas tote is easy to wash (make sure to hang dry!). Another plus: There are no buckles or zippers, so you can just toss in your things and go. On the flipside, things can (and will) fall out if you overfill or capsize the bag. BUY NOW
This stylish bag from Ewedoos hangs off one shoulder and stays comfortably tucked away by your side with the mat held vertically—no more worrying about whacking someone every time you turn around, as with a horizontal-hanging tote. The open top allows any width mat to fit, though extra-wide ones protrude a fair bit. This bag shines best with …
The 20-year yoga student chatted with us about Gloria Steinem, pranayama, and finally perfecting her Scorpion Pose.
At 5’2”, Danica Patrick is a force to be reckoned with. The only woman to have led laps in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, Patrick is no stranger to staring down her fears. The 37-year-old author and longtime yoga practitioner retired from race car driving last year, and today she’s channeling her take-no-prisoners attitude into an inspirational podcast, aptly titled Pretty Intense, in which she interviews famed guests such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alex Rodriguez about tough topics like what it takes to win, spirituality, and what makes us human. We caught up with her to talk about her new career goals, her yoga practice, and what she dreams about at night.
Yoga Journal: Why a podcast?
Danica Patrick: I just spend a lot of my time listening to inspirational podcasts and watching these types of videos, and I thought that it would be really fun to go deep with people and find out more about the parts of their lives that were difficult or transitioned into something good and find out how they did it. When I watch something or listen to someone speak, I want some action points. What did it take to get where they are? What techniques did they use? How are you going grow—not just as an idea but how are you going to do it. So now I talk to people to find out how they did it.
YJ: What guests are you most excited about so far?
DP: I loved the conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson. We talked about religion a lot it was int bc he’s an astrophysicist. What a cool and smart guy. I feel like it’s going to …
Weightlifting was wreaking havoc on my body and spirit—until I found yoga.
I couldn’t see much in the darkness, but I could smell the tanning oil that covered the toned bodies of women who were nervously clustered together in lines waiting to take the stage. As I stood there in my group, my number pinned to my bikini, I looked down at my body, which I had beat into peak physical condition, and I still didn’t like what I saw. I’m sure I looked confident in my own skin, but what I really wanted to do was to crawl out of it.
I know there are countless women who feel self-conscious about a little squish on their belly or thighs—wondering what new workout or crash diet to try—constantly worrying about making “healthy” decisions around food and exercise. For a long time, I was no different. I was insecure and constantly pursuing the “perfect” body. It was a race that I was never going to win. I was inundated by negative messages in a culture where validation, praise, and value relied on placing in competition. I couldn’t get out of the get-up-and-grind mentality. This chiseled body that kept garnering praise became an addiction.
That is exactly why—despite the three first-place fitness titles I had earned that year—I was left waging a secret war against myself and my body. In that moment in the darkness backstage, my soul was sending out an SOS. I knew something was wrong.
I left that competition and tried to go back to my life as the head strength and conditioning coach at a Denver public high school. I vowed to let go of superficial goals, obsessive negative self-talk, counting calories, incessant workouts, and all-consuming anxiety …