top five yoga surfing poses

Here are our top five yoga surfing poses: The common thread between yoga and surfing? It is not to be pursued on the weekends, or just in the summer. It is not a sport we play like basketball or lacrosse. It is a lifelong commitment. A lifelong commitment that requires practice, patience, and more practice. And the amazing thing is, that each experience is diverse, creating a one of a kind adventure for each of us.

We pay attention. To the waves. To our bodies. To our breath.

We show up raw, we are not in control, and let something much larger take over.  We experience joy. Joy that, at times, cannot be contained. We  laugh. Smile. Laugh some more.  Euphoria swells, yet we feel a sense of overall calm.

We mess up. We fall down. We fail.  And this keeps us humble.

But, we continue to paddle out. We continue to step back onto our mats. We practice.

The benefits that a yoga practice can have on surfing are remarkable.  Whether it’s through strength, flexibility, and balance. Or simply just breathing better!  Breathing is the first practice in yoga and can contribute positively to overall health and better surfing. It is important to keep the mouth closed, breathe deeply and slowly, through the nose.  It’s a sounding breath, one that mimics the rhythm of the ocean waves. 

Surfing puts pressure on the lower back, closes the chest, and stiffens the hips.  We asked friend, and pro-surfer, Randy Townsend for a few of his favorite poses. 

Pose 1: Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog

Lengthens hamstrings and calves.

Stretches shoulders, hands, arches of feet.

Strengthens arms, upper body, legs.

Energizes body.

Relieves back pain, fatigue.

Calms brain and nervous system.

Pose 2: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward facing dog

Stretches chest, shoulders, abdominal muscles.

Strengthens spine, arms, wrists.

Opens lungs.

Helps relieve fatigue.

Pose 3: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – One Legged Pigeon 

Opens hips.

Stretches thighs, groin, psoas muscles.

Stretches chest, shoulders.

Pose 4: Balasana – Child’s Pose

Stretches hips, thighs, ankles.

Gently relaxes core muscles while passively stretching the muscles of the back, torso.

Reduces stress, fatigue.

Pose 5: Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby

Releases lower back, sacrum.

Opens hips, inner thighs, groin.

Stretches the hamstrings.

Relieves lower back pain.

Calms the brain.

Helps relieve stress and fatigue.

 

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Avocado Toast Recipe

If avocado toast recipe isn’t in your weekly routine, you are missing out! It’s delicious, healthy and takes only seconds to make. Perfect any time of day, as a meal, or even just a snack.  And if we are being honest, in a perfect (and quite simple) world, we would eat this three times daily with chocolate and peanut butter in between.  

The avocado is a unique fruit that is loaded with heart-healthy fats, fiber and has more potassium than a banana. Don’t believe us? Health Ambition shares the 6 hidden benefits of avacados.  And although nothing beats the classic avocado toast (sprinkle of salt and pepper), our friends at Huffington Post have inspired us to try a few creative combinations to take our avocado toast up a notch!

 

Enjoy!

For more sexy snacks like this avocado toast recipe please sign-up for our Blissful newsletter below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdZsAtDuPfQ

It is not hard to be drawn to the allure of yoga. Promises of instant zen, toned body, lengthy limbs – it is enough to get you to sign up for a class pass instantly.

But before you buy, make sure you shop around for the best studio that fits your needs. We suggest trying a few classes at different studios before you commit. Because let’s be honest, you want to feel nothing but love in the studio you select.

Ask yourself these questions before you commit:
Is it convenient?
Do you connect with the teacher?
Do you like the style?

Is it convenient?
Let’s face it, convenience is key to consistency. If you have to drive more than 15 minutes to attend a class, you might just opt out. Choose a studio that is close to home or work, to lessen the effort of getting to class.

Do you connect with the teacher?
You must connect with the teacher! If not, you might find their every word leads you closer towards angry than ahhhh! Connecting with a teacher may be as simple as loving their playlist or as technical as knowing specific ques for proper body alignment.

Do you like the style?
With so many different styles of yoga to practice, explore them all and often. Vinyasa, yin, restorative, hot – the list goes on and on. Don’t just stop at one!

Now that you have a path to select your perfect yoga studio, let’s clarify a few myths that still might be holding you back from starting your yoga practice.

Yoga is not a religious practice or cult.

Yoga is not a superpower.

Yoga is not a competition.

Yoga is not about the poses.

You do not have to be flexible

You don’t have to chant, burn incense, or change who you are.

Not convinced? Check out Bad Yogi Official, Erin Motz, as she debunks a few more myths for Yoga Journal, about starting a yoga practice and becoming a yogi! Together, we will get you on your mat.

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Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

September 27, 2016

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Fall has arrived on the coast in the Northeast. This morning, we traded flip flops for a pair of boots, and we are leaning into all things pumpkin spice.

This Pumpkin Banana Smoothie makes a great grab and go breakfast, high in protein and fiber. Pumpkin is linked to better sleep,vision and lower blood pressure with the benefit of vitamin A. We add whole cloves and a generous amount of cinnamon to fight inflammation, improve digestion and heart health. Skip the Greek Yogurt to keep the smoothie creamy, and without tasting tart or bitter.

Recipe
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
generous amount of ground cinnamon
6 to 10 whole cloves
dash of vanilla
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more milk to thin and/or more ice to thicken. Enjoy right away with a little sprinkle of extra cinnamon if desired.

Welcoming the Fall Equinox

September 22, 2016

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It’s that time of year again. The one that has us feeling light and airy, but craving a little more dark and cozy. That time of year when we seek balance, purpose and intention.

The Fall Equinox symbolizes the transition from summer to fall. It provides a shift from a time of fruitfulness to harvest. A few facts you must know about the Fall Equinox:

It always occurs on September 22, 23 ,or 24th.
The entire world experiences a moment of balance and equanimity as the sun shines directly on the equator.
Fall Equinox is the point of balance between Summer & Winter Solstices – the longest and shortest days of the year.

With the coming days shifting from light to dark, the Fall Equinox is the time to draw inward, dive deep into yourself, and refocus on what’s important and meaningful. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the year thus far and set positive intentions for the rest of the year ahead. This is the time to celebrate new beginnings.

To celebrate, consider the following activities to help cultivate a sense of awareness, focus, and most importantly – balance.

Meditations + Intentions
Start a mantra meditation with balance as the key focus.
Take a stab at walking meditation.
Perform a letting go ritual by using what’s found in nature – release them into a body of water to be washed away.
Seek short moments of meditation.
Create a dream catcher with natural fall elements to capture your intentions.

Journaling
A guided journal session, with a set series of questions, will smooth the transition to Fall. Grab your journal, carve out quiet time and consider these questions that will draw forth emotions, thoughts and new ideas. Make sure your journal is one you come back to often to keep the fire stoked and burning.

What have you achieved this year?
Who has helped you with these achievements? How can you thank them?
What positive habits have you cultivated?
What negative habits have you cultivated?
How can you invite in more positive experiences and release the negative experiences?
Where do you need more balance?
How can you transition into a state of balance?
What do you want to accomplish as the year ends?

Practice
This pivotal moment of balance is an opportunity for you to practice and find a moment of reflection. Explore postures that allow you to bow down and find that space within yourself where you can go beneath the surface. A few to try.
Standing Forward Fold
Tree Pose
Standing Warrior Sequence
Humble Warrior
Seated Forward Fold
Reclining Bound Angle

So, go ahead yogis. Bow down to Mother nature, shift your perspective and embrace the Fall Equinox.

An acai bowl is a delicious way to start your day with clean energy and is super easy to make. This smoothie bowl is intended for those of us seeking an endless summer, and not quite ready to embrace fall. The addition of citrus makes this recipe less sweet, yet it remains tasting bright and refreshing.

The addition of more superfoods (high nutrient density foods) in this recipe, provide a sense of grounding as we move forward into fall. Superfoods give you more energy, stabilize moods and allows your immune system to function at its peak.

Ingredients to Blend:
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tabelspoon acai powder (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons chopped dates
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 juicy valencia orange, peeled and de-seeded
1 frozen banana
5 ice cubes

Toppings (sprinkle of each)
Sunflower seeds
Almonds
Raw coconut
Raw cocao nibs
Slice and squeeze of lime

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Liquid Bliss Yoga Studio in long beach island new jersey

Pure freedom comes from the ability to detach and live in the moment. To remove the distractions of technology and to listen to the sounds of nature. To disconnect. To get off the grid. To get lost with inspiration and set your heart on adventure.

Born and raised on the shores of coastal New Jersey, I feel blessed to have a strong connection to the ocean. Like the embrace of a lover, the ocean holds me tightly in its arms. I feel protected, secure and warm. And with every kiss of the salt water, I am renewed, cleansed, and free. I am in the moment.

I am not mother. I am not wife. I am not daughter. I am me. Purely, simply, and with total abandon.

Peeling back layers of relationship, responsibility, of life – the ocean reveals me. I am connected with each subtle breath, submerged in silence beneath a crashing wave. My heart pounds with anticipation in this silence and I listen to it’s rhythm, it’s desires, it’s darkest secrets. In this silence, my thoughts settle and sink, released to the bottom of the ocean. And when I float back to the surface, my soul is set free.

The surface of the ocean is in a constant state of change. Waves of energy rising and falling with fluidity, grace and power. Each wave, traveling millions of miles to finally find rest upon the sandy shores. A revitalizing energy that is transferable, settling into our bodies, carrying it forward as we move into our days.

As a surfer, I understand this energy is much larger than myself. I am not in control. I am vulnerable. I must learn to let go and be in the moment. Each moment of energy, shaping and shifting who I am, and who I will become. With this energy I disconnect, yet reconnect. I am in the moment. I am free.

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What’s in Your Daily Cup?

September 9, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdZsAtDuPfQ

As we move into fall, I have a secret to share. I did something this summer that shocked my husband to his core. It made my sister question her relationship status with me. As for my friends, they nearly disowned me.

I quit drinking coffee.

It was not an addiction to caffeine or that I was drinking too much. Rather, my daily cup of morning coffee became a habit. I didn’t enjoy every sip of the hot beverage that passed by my lips. I didn’t even enjoy the actual taste of coffee, quite honestly. In fact, most mornings I found I drank only half a cup, leaving behind a cold, milky mess.

It supposedly takes 21 days to break a habit, right? But not if you replace an old habit with something more nurturing for the body, mind and soul. This is what I found when I replaced my daily cup of joe, with a daily cup of fruits, vegetables and spices.

This recipe is simple. But the addition of cinnamon, tumeric and ginger provide added health benefits including: reduced inflammation, increased antioxidant capacity of the body, lower blood sugar and even lower cholesterol levels.

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Try replacing your daily cup with this simple and delicious recipe. And let us know what you think!

Berry Banana Spice
Ingredients
– handful blueberries
– handful raspberries
– 4 large strawberries
– half, frozen banana
– pinch cinnamon
– pinch turmeric
– pinch ginger
– ZICO Coconut Water
– Unsweetened Almond Milk
– 5 ice cubes

Directions
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately.

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“What makes you come to your mat?”

A friend recently asked me this question while walking along the ocean’s edge.  A question I had been asked so many times before. And one I had frequently asked myself. But a question that was poised in a very turbulent time in my life as uncertainty and fear rolled easily like the waves on the surface of the sea. 

To let go. To let in. To find power. To find strength.  To be still. To breathe.

These are the reasons I come to my mat. I practice yoga to let go of fear, doubt and uncertainty. I practice yoga to let go of what hurts – in my heart, my soul, my mind and body. I allow the practice to seep into my core, like warm rays of sunlight, to find space for what matters most. I move freely in my body as my breath washes over me like a crashing ocean wave. I allow the wave to crash again and again. Each time this wave crashes, I gain power and strength.  Power to stand up for myself, strength to stand up for others.  

I come to my mat to get better at living life, not get better at yoga.  

It’s not about the inversion, arm balance or crazy bind.   It’s about learning how to find light in my darkest moments. It’s showing gratitude and appreciating failure for the lessons learned. It’s understanding how to consciously breathe to bring ease into my heart, my soul, my mind. It’s moving my body with my breath to find flexibility and space.  

I come to my mat to help me know myself better, to be the best version of ME I can be, and to get better at living life.

Elena Brower’s Shakti Expansion meditation provides the subtle tools to honor, express, and choose consciously how we spend and place our attention, our love and our light.  This meditation brings me to my mat. This meditation makes me better at living life.

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