Yoga and Fitness Streamed LIVE: CNN Gives Yogis Anonymous a Shout Out!

Anita Avalos enjoys yoga via Yogis Anonymous at home!

I was so stoked to see Yogis Anonymous get a mention on CNN for their LIVE streaming yoga classes!

What could be better than fitness and yoga brought to you in the comforts of your own home? CNN gives a shout out to streaming LIVE online classes, because let’s face it watching the  same ‘ol DVD gets pretty darn boring!

I grew up in the sticks where the nearest yoga studio or gym was a good 30min drive and the few class times they offered were either the wrong level inconvenient times for me. Forget about getting to take from a variety of instructors and styles it was very limited as far as choices go.

So there I was with my videos. Boooooorrrrring. I knew the tapes so well I would tell the jokes before the instructor…things were a bit stale to say the least!

Another place I lived I would drive an hour and fifteen minutes to my yoga classes. Needless to say my yoga practice suffered. I couldn’t always make it to class so I would do my yoga at home. Unfortunately my home practice lacked enthusiasm and soon begun to feel like a chore. Flash forward to me now living in the yoga land of plenty Los Angeles a.k.a. “Mecca” so to speak for yogis everywhere.

Interestingly enough I still find there are times where I am not able to make it to my favorite teachers/classes and feel so lucky to be able to do a fresh practice online with some truly amazing teachers!

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Five Ways To Stay Fit And Sane During The Holiday Season

Here Are A Few Simple Ways To Stay Fit, Feel Great And Maintain Your Sanity During The Holidays.

Do holidays leave you feeling drained and flabby?

Even the best intentions sometimes get laid to waste during the eggnog-fueled, candy-ridden, hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Not to mention the guilt that sometimes goes along with turning down another slice of grandma’s pie,…that oh, by the way, she baked especially for you!

Overindulgence is practically synonymous with the holiday season and sometimes a source for a great deal of anxiety for those of us who still want to slip into the same size yoga pants at the end of all the craziness.

Is that vain?

Sure, I will admit to a little vanity, but why does love have to come with love-handles?

I mean surely there is a way to stay sane, and fit and leave everyone at home feeling loved without busting your pocket-book or the seams on your favorite yoga pants. Below are some of my favorite strategies…

  1. Lend A Helping Hand In The Kitchen. Yogis don’t complain, they pitch in and help out. Roll up your sleeves and help out a  little! Is there a farmers market near mom’s? Great! Buy some fresh veggies and introduce them to some exciting new dishes! With a little effort your family will soon be having a love affair with Kale and even better mr. fatty mashed potatoes  will have to make room for some new friends on the dining room table.
  2. Make Fitness A Family Affair. So you can’t convince your mom to turn on the stove full blast and crank the heat in the house so you can make her place into your own personal hot yoga studio? Don’t despair. Baby steps  lil’ yoga tiger! If your family isn’t into yoga try taking them on a brisk morning walk, sledding, ice-skating or any other calorie-busting activity that is fun and gets everybody moving.
  3. Tricks Are For Kids…And Bored Grown-Ups! Sometimes you must have a few tricks up your sleeve to grab people’s interest. If it seems impossible to get your “too-cool-for-school” teen-age cousin to try a yoga class try teaching him how to balance on his hands in crow pose. Can’t get your mom to go with you to your morning vinyasa yoga class? Try teaching her cat-cow after a long day of shopping to loosen up tight lower back muscles. You get the idea….
  4. Redefine Your Idea Of A Workout. Stir crazy? Before the hamster in your head runs off of its wheel get up off of your tuckus and DO something! Shovel snow, rake leaves, or help your mom re-organize the garage. Focusing on how you can be of service or seva (self-less service) doesn’t have to be completely self-less to earn you some good karma points…and you will feel great doing it too!
  5. Stay Present And Practice Gratitude. Let’s face it, the holidays are a total sensory overload. I promise though that drinking yourself silly or trying to get grounded by gnawing your way through a pile of stuffing is not the answer. Wake up early to carve out some time for yourself or step away from the din once in a while to practice gratitude. Sure, your family isn’t perfect and things are chaotic. Sometimes it may feel like you are being swept up in holiday that focuses on draining your pocketbook and adding another digit to your pant size. However, at the heart of the holiday season is an opportunity to re-connect with loved ones and be grateful for the families we’ve been given. Whether they are blood relatives or just a motley bunch of characters that are dear to our hearts, the holidays are about bonding with your family. Take a moment to remember why you braved holiday traffic, long airport lines and general holiday insanity in the first place. Reconnect to the true meaning of the holiday season. Breathe, count your blessings, review the things you LOVE about each family member, and then get out there and spread the love!

Here’s To Happy Holidays, Family, Sanity and Staying Fit!

Yoga Video: Tips For Doing Handstand Away From The Wall

How to do Handstand Away From the Wall by Engaging Your Core!

Hi Yogis, Are you having a tough time doing handstand away from the security of the wall?

Do you have a tough time engaging your core upside down?

Don’t worry, you are not alone!

A lot of us bendy folk have über flexible lower backs and it can slow us down in our endeavors to balance in handstand away from the wall.

Never fear!

Here is a Handstand trick for engaging your core!

In this two-minute video I will explain how pulling one knee to your chest after your lift off helps to immediately engage your core muscles and help you balance.

Enjoy this quick video on how to move away from the security of the wall while handstanding and out into the center of the room.

I promise if you continue to practice what you learn in this video it will have you floating and flying with confidence!

Happy Handstanding Yogis!

Heart and Core Via K.O. Yoga Blog

Angela Kukhahn in Handstand. Photo by Leelu Morris

Props to handstanding yogini Kristin Olson of the K.O. Yoga Blog for writing this amazing post on handstand….

While working on handstands in Brock Cahill‘s Flight Club class at Yogis Anonymous, I was chatting with other students about handstand tips. We were talking about how hard it is to manage simultaneously two of the tricks to finding balance in a handstand: engaging your core while opening your heart. Thinking about it after class, I was pondering about how these two principles apply in life. Read More…

3 Hormones That Make You Skinny and How To Make Them Work For You!

toned female abs3 Hormones That Make You Skinny! (drum roll please!)

So what are these super hormones? How do they make you skinny? Most importantly though, how can you make them work for you?

The good news is that these hormones are already  being produced by your body, all you need to do is to give them a little boost!

With a little help your hormones you will turn your body into an amazing, efficient, fat burning machine!

These 3 fat-melting hormones are, Testosterone, HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and Prostegene.

Testosterone Fat Burning Hormone #1:

Testosterone is responsible for making it possible for men to lose fat and retain muscle more easily than women. The good news is that women’s bodies produce it too, and there are many ways in which we can increase its production. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to have a hairy chest and a deep voice”. Never fear, that is only a problem if you take synthetic hormones like steroids.

Testosterone Benefits:

  • Builds muscle
  • Burns fat
  • Boosts energy
  • Increases sex drive
  • Strengthens bones
  • Lifts depression
  • Increases optimism.

Testosterone Boosters:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Must eat some fat (even saturated fat) Testosterone relies on the right balance of fat in the diet.
  • Watch consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone) Fat Burning Hormone #2:

Human Growth hormone is a fat burner. Your body usually uses glucose before burning fat, but HGH forces your body to use its fat reserves first! Yippee! This turns you into a fat burning machine even when you are sleeping! It also helps your body make new muscle cells. Usually your body stops growing new muscle cells after your teen years due to inadequate HGH in your body.

HGH Benefits:

  • More energy
  • Higher sex drive
  • Silky Hair
  • Youthful glowing skin
  • Fat Loss
  • Muscle Gains
  • Better sleep
  • Body repairs itself more quickly
HGH Boosters:
  • Cut back on carbs at night. Your body pumps out more HGH when your blood sugar is low. This way you will boost your metabolism while you sleep!
  • Eat foods high in B vitamins (Avocados, Beef, Bananas, Tuna, Potatoes, Oats, Brazil Nuts, Legumes, Kefir. ect.)
  • Zinc (Chocolate, Peanuts, Oysters, Pumpkins seeds, Sesame seeds, Tahini ect.)
  • Proteins
  • Go organic
  • High intensity exercise triggers HGH release
  • Get a good nights sleep (deep sleep is when your body produces HGH)
Progesterone Fat Burning Hormone #3:
Progesterone is useful in shedding fat stores as it facilitates the utilization of stored body fat as energy. When your body produces enough Progesterone  it helps you burn an extra 100-300 calories a day! (That’s two of my favorite organic chocolate truffles,…but who’s counting…) When your body does not produce enough of it you overeat. Poor liver function suppresses Progesterone production. Progesterone also helps you to correct estrogen dominance as it does the following:
  • Helps use fat for energy
  • Natural diuretic
  • Normalizes blood sugar levels, thus reducing food cravings
  • Is a natural anti-depressant
  • Essential for proper thyroid function and thus fat burning
  • Delivers more oxygen to the cells
  • Restores sex drive
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Stimulates bone building
Progesterone Boosters:
  • Reduce stress. Stress greatly reduces Progesterone production in the body. (slow down, do yoga, meditate, breath deeply ect. all are beneficial when it comes to stress reduction.)
  • Avoid products like soy, tofu and soy milk. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these foods contain natural plant estrogen. More estrogen in your bloodstream enhances estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance causes fat storage and a slow metabolism.
  • Foods containing B vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium boost the body’s ability to produce Progesterone. Eat Yams, Walnuts, Whole Grains, Red Meat, Chicken, Shellfish, Turkey, Turmeric, Thyme and Oregano.
  • Drink warm water with the juice of one organic lemon upon rising to boost liver function. Do this before consuming anything else.
  • Watch processed foods, high refined carb intake, alcohol, medications (Tylenol, Aspirin ect.) and environmental pollutants (household cleaners, perfumes, air fresheners ect.) as they suppress the liver.
Happy Fat Burning!
Watch for my next article on the hormones that make you fat….

Music Playlist: Yoga Music Playlist For Vinyasa Flow Yoga: “Free Your Hips” No. 15 (with Link to itunes PING Playlist)

Briohny Smyth and ice lida-Klein doing yogaMusic Playlist For Vinyasa Yoga!

Here is an eclectic mix of upbeat tunes for your “yogaing” pleasure! Click here to view the full PING playlist on itunes!

Prepare to free your hips in the spirit of the July 4th holiday! This is intense, sweaty flow will deeply open the hips and hamstrings in preparation for Visvamitrasana prep with the option to take the full pose and transition through Astravakrasana, Eka Pada Koundinyasana and Ghanda Bherundasana. Plenty of opportunities to take inversions throughout and ending with creative backbends. Watch full class via Yogis Anonymous website HERE.
Music Playlist:
Om Namah Shivaya (Bhakti Brothers MahaDread Omstrumental) MC Yogi
Wavin’  Flag K’naan
Freedom Akon
Freedom Jimi Hendrix
Set You Free The Black Keys
Freedom Jurassic 5
Culture of Fear Thievery Corporation
Lokah Samastah (Sean Dinsmore’s Happy Free Mix) Sharon Gannon
Bullet and A Target Citizen Cope
Hey NaNa Katie Herzig
She’s Long Gone The Black Keys
Let The Drummer Kick Citizen Cope
Dropping Out of School Brad Sucks
Vaporize Broken Bells
Morning Mr. Magpie Radiohead
Fire In the Hole euphoria
Pure Shores All Saints
Keep Your Heart TV On the Radio
Nude Radiohead
Black Balloon The Kills
Free Fallin’ (Live) John Mayer
The Devil’s Tears Angus & Julia Stone
Gopala’s Dream Jai Uttal

“Happy Hanuman!” New Full Length Online Yoga Class on Yogis Anonymous Website

Angela Kukhahn in Fallen Angel yoga arm balance. Photo by Jim Knowles
Hi Yogis,
As most of you already know I am now streaming LIVE every Sunday from the Yogis Anonymous website from 8-9:30am (Pacific Time).
Here is a LINK to the newest full length online Yoga Class via the Yogis Anonymous website!
This class is all about hamstrings, sweat and flow! You will start out in a forward fold, progress through some creative, hip opening B Sun Salutes and finish the flow with a supported Hanumanasana (splits). We then top it all off with inversion playtime, backbend variations and sweet savasana!
I used my new vinyasa yoga Playlist No. 9 for this class. (Click ing the link will take you to my previous post with the names of the songs)  Or click on this link to go directly to my  PING playlist on itunes!
Photo by Jim Knowles

Yoga Quiz: What Do You Like To Listen To During Yoga?

“Heavenly Hips and Core” Full Length Online Yoga Class Via Yogis Anonymous Website

Yogis Anonymous online videos get mention in magazine
Here is a link to my online yoga class Class is ALL LEVELS Vinyasa Flow emphasis on plenty of core, hip-opening and sprinkled with some tasty inversions! Enjoy!
Check out SHAPE magazine, they ran an article about great online yoga sources and Yogis Anonymous was right at the top!