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Yoga survey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YQMQXMD

Hey readers,
As you have noticed, I’ve been working with data lately (graphs, maps, timelines, etc.). 
So, it’s now time to ask you all to participate!
It’s a short ten-question survey about you and yoga, if you have the time please please fill it out, eventually there will be sweet data illustrations to match it!

Thanks everyone, namaste.

Yoga: a youngin in the USofA.

http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/a-history-of-yoga-in-the-united-states

Click the link above to see a timeline of yoga history in the United States!

We are so young, it’s true. Some cultures started literally thousands of years ago; histories date back to biblical times and before that, with ancient legends of mystic gardens and brutal wars, but the United States? We date back a whole 250 years.

God, we are like, sooooo behind.

Similarly, we got a bit of a late start to the yoga culture as well. Yoga is one of the ancient arts, dating back 3000 years to its traditional roots. The United States didn’t even have a Swami in its midst until 1893, when Swami Vivekenanda came to Chicago. It wasn’t until 1947 until Indra Devi brought hatha yoga to the United States, opening the first hatha studio in the west. Consequently (and ironically), I thought yoga in the United States was actually younger than that. That means that my grandma could’ve been a yogi as early as her her late teens and early twenties, being the first generation of yogis in the United States.

So how did it take so long to catch on, and then over quadruple in size in just ten years?

Media, my friends.

It’s really amazing (and quite funny) to think that there was a TV show in the 70s about yoga. Did a lot of people watch it? Was everyone wearing brightly colored spandex and headbands with their big hair? I hope so.

But with the advent of social media and the Internet in general (and, you know, the US catching up with the times), yoga has spread across the continental United States as it gains attention for its various health benefits, both physical and mental. I know I don’t have to list this all for you, since you all already know, but seriously, how did it take us this long to figure out how great it is?

Better late than never though, right?

Namaste. Have a great week, y’all.

Where’s your next destination?

View A condensed list of yoga studios in Pittsburgh, PA in a full screen map

Click the link above to see a map of Pittsburgh, PA studios sorted by zip code and class type.

The best thing about technology is that it gives us power at our fingertips. With the touch of a few keys, we can find places to adventure to, places to eat, things to buy, ideas for inspiration and chronicle our entire lives. Okay, maybe it’s the worst thing too. But technology is great, and it’s powerful, and helpful!

I think that maps are the coolest piece of technological advancement yet. For instance, the map above has 23 yoga studios pinpointed in Pittsburgh (that I could find). What astonishes me is how popular yoga has become, and how versatile it is, as a hobby, a lifestyle and destresser. There is a class for just about everyone, ranging from cheap to expensive, early morning to late night, beginners to advanced practitioners, meditation classes, private sessions, corporate sessions and even skype sessions for long-distance practicing.

The studios above don’t even encompass every place to practice yoga in the Pittsburgh area. I mapped studios only with a “Pittsburgh, Pa” address. The surrounding areas have even more studios, and the compilation doesn’t include places like the YMCA or Gold’s Gym that offer yoga classes in addition to their fitness classes.

Even in my little hometown off the beaten track, population 9,000, there are yoga classes offered at the YMCA, gym and even a studio in town. Yoga has gotten so popular in the past year that it’s spreading to even the smallest of towns.

Maps. They tell us all the possibilities of places to go. They also tell us about these places, how to get there, and how to get back home again.
Check out your area and see what new places you can try!

Technology. Isn’t it really amazing?

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A scientific approach to our yoga practice

I know I post a lot of articles on this blog, but being a resource for yoga stuff is one of the things this blog is all about! 

That being said, this article is AWESOME. Have you ever wondered what it is about yoga that makes us so connected to our bodies, revives our minds and really helps so many aspects of our physical health and mental health? 

Please read, and thanks to author Nina Mel for sharing this article on Elephant Journal!

Today, I’m thankful for my feet.

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My favorite shoes: Vibram Five Fingers, the alternative to bare feet.

My niece will be one-year-old this month, and she’s on the cusp of walking. It’s adorable. She can pull herself up and stand and walk around holding on to something, but when she’s up without anything to hold on to, plop! she’s down on her butt, looking pouty and, to be honest, completely heart-meltingly cute. But when she stands, she’s got this look in her eye like “look at me, I’m up on my own two feet!”

Sometimes, we forget about our feet; after all, they’re all the way down there. We shove our feet into sneakers, boots, and if you’re like me, five-inch heels. We keep our feet cooked up in socks and shoes for hours a day. We let our feet get calluses, we forget to cut our toenails, we let the pretty polish on our toes get chipped. But our feet… They’re really kind of everything, aren’t they?

They carry us through life. Literally.

Currently, my laptop is resting on the insides of my feet (I’m sitting in a loose butterfly pose). To get out of bed in the morning and start our day, the first thing that touches the ground is our feet. When we jump, hop, skip or run, we land feet first. Even the ever-popular saying for someone motivated and starting something successfully is “hitting the ground running.”

Often times when I’m practicing I connect my mind to my feet by simply thinking “strong feet.” They’re the basis of balancing poses, where we find our mountain, and the other half of our down dogs. Our feet are where we root into the earth.

So have gratitude for your feet; without them, we’d have no independence. They carry us through life. And every once in a while, give ‘em a pampering. They deserve it. You deserve it too.

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Five Spring Cleaning Yoga Poses

If you’re in the Northeast like me, you’re probably joining in to everyone shouting “Death to Puxatony Phil!” and “Go home winter, you’re drunk!”

But, if you’re like me personally, you’re relishing in the little moments that don’t totally suck right now, and you’re looking forward to next week when the lowest temperature will be 40 degrees!!
So check out this short and sweet article and start spring-cleaning your body and gearing up for warm weather.

Namaste.

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Yoginis and their tattoos

“Yoga and tattoos are both ancient forms of spiritual expression.” – Sara Lovelace

This article is a long one, but totally worth the read. Sara Lovelace writes this article with the purpose of looking at the revolutionary culture of yoga, and who is practicing nowadays (which includes a huge influx of women into the practice). Women today are empowered, and we now dominate the yoga culture as one united body of femininity. It’s quite beautiful, no?