How to Take a Photo of Your Practice

In the time of social media, taking photos of one’s practice is getting more popular than ever. Yoga photos are interesting because they showcase both talent and the learning phase, and are very inspiring to look at. It is also the best way to record your progress or to check your alignment.

Whether you are taking a selfie or someone else is taking the photo for you, be sure to warm up prior. This is something very easy to forget, but it’s essential to be warmed up and prepared before doing any pose, especially when doing advanced postures. Warming up will not only lessen the chance of injury but will also make your pose deeper and more correct. Do a few sun salutations and lighter stretches that prepare the muscles you are going to use in the asana. 

( Don’t be afraid to dress your best for your photo. You can find great yoga leggings here.)

There are a few ways to take a picture of yourself on your own. For easier poses you can set up a timer – this is good only if you are able to go into the correct posture in the 10 seconds your timer allows you. Another, more efficient, way is that you use the remote control, but this is possible only in poses where one of your arms is free. The best way, however, is taking a video and making a screenshot of it later. It might have been of lesser quality and isn’t as artistic as an actual photo but if you film your practice you can focus on doing the postures correctly and you’re able to document more postures at once.

If someone else is taking the photo you should instruct them to take the minimum of five photos per pose and to try out a few different angles so later on you’ll have more to work with. This person doesn’t have to be a professional but be sure that he/she knows the basics of operating a camera, for example, to set up a good light and to focus correctly. 

The best photos are taken outside, at sunrise or sunset, when the light is strong enough but also smooth and enhances the beauty of your body in the pose. Asanas look especially good when you are surrounded by nature, but don’t take this as a rule. Urban setting can also add something interesting to the pose; by combining traditional and modern you create something unique. If you want to take a picture in your home, use the brightest room in the house because the sun always looks better than unnatural lighting. Try to find a part of the room with fewer distractions since the overcrowded room could take a lot from your shot. This doesn’t mean you have to do it in front of an empty wall with just your mat on the floor, feel free to include something else, like a candle or a bookshelf, but make sure it is calculated. 

It is normal that when you are having your picture taken you to want to look your best, but remember to stay natural. Try to keep your spirituality and breath under control even during the shot.

How Practicing Yoga Can Help You Alleviate Anxiety

Anxiety can have a significant effect on our daily lives, making us feel like we aren’t in control, bringing on fear, panic, and anger. Stress and fear can also present as anxiety, leading us down the same road to uneasiness and worry. But the good news is you don’t have to let your anxiety or stress control you anymore, because yoga can help set you free.

Yoga isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to curing stress or anxiety, but it can help alleviate your symptoms to help you feel calm and relaxed. A daily yoga practice combined with good nutrition provides a regular, daily health routine for long term anxiety relief.

So How Does Yoga Help Alleviate Anxiety?

By focusing on deep breathing and proper alignment throughout the asanas, yoga helps to still the mind. During yoga, we turn inward and drown out outside noise, eliminating the feeling that we are competing with our peers or feeling overwhelmed by the outside world. An anxiety alleviating yoga practice should include movements that calm you, keep you in the moment, and don’t pose an extreme challenge.

Here are six yoga poses for anxiety relief:

Legs Up the Wall

This pose is exactly what it sounds like.

  1. Begin by placing your mat or a pillow against a wall.
  2. Then lay down and scoot your buttocks up to the wall.
  3. Put your legs straight up the wall in front of you.
  4. Relax your arms, close your eyes, and clear your mind.
  5. Take a few deep breaths and relax in this pose as long as you want.

Child’s Pose

  1. Place a mat or blanket underneath you to support the knees, then sit on your knees with legs together or spread in a V-shape and stretch your arms as far forward as you can, bending into child’s pose.
  2. In this pose, focus on releasing your muscles and letting your worries go.
  3. Stretch deeper into the pose with each breath, and find peacefulness as you let your thoughts drift away.

Seated Forward Bend

  1. Sit up on your yoga mat with legs stretched in front of you, and reach your arms up before stretching your upper body toward your toes.
  2. Try to maintain a flat back and stretch a little further into the pose with each deep breath.

Cat/Cow Pose

  1. Beginning on all fours with hands aligned below shoulders and knees below hips, inhale as you lower your belly, draw the shoulder blades together, and lift your gaze.
  2. This is the Cat part of the pose.
  3. After a deep breath, begin to arch the back, stretching the shoulders and back up toward your ears while you drop your head into Cow Pose.
  4. Alternate between cat and cow for several breaths, enjoying the stretch you get in your whole back then release the stress out through the shoulders.

Standing Forward Bend

This anxiety-relieving pose will give you energy and let go of any tension you’re holding.

  1. Start in a standing position with feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Then raise the arms overhead and hinge forward at the hips, folding the upper body down while reaching toward your toes.
  3. Let everything go, hanging in this position or grasping the ankles to give you balance.
  4. Take a few deep breaths and hold this pose as long as you like.


Finish your anxiety-relieving yoga routine by laying in Savasana with arms stretched out to your sides and legs straight in front of you. Lay in Savasana as long as you like, practicing deep breathing until you feel relaxed.

What do I do with Bee Pollen

It’s great how current research and trends have slowly moved away from laboratory-produced medicines and have transitioned into something more natural. Nowadays we are looking at treating and preventing illnesses through yogaessential oils, organic food, and superfoods

A superfood that we were curious to read up on was one that has been under the radar considering the enormous health benefits it has. Introducing one of the most naturally produced superfoods: bee pollen.

Here’s why we think you should add it to your daily smoothie, granola or salad. 

1. It is rich in protein and amino acids.

Considering the tiny granule it is, it has a ton of amino acids packed in them. And if you’re wondering what amino acids are, they are the building blocks of protein which are necessary in all biological processes and make up our cells and tissues. They help us function and aid in repairing and healing our bodies.
The proteins in our bodies act as carrier cells to transport nutrients throughout the body. This means that the benefits of the food we eat act faster on our bodies and increase in nutritional value.
It helps in weight loss through stabilizing your metabolism and curbing your appetite. Because your food has increased nutritional value, it leaves you full longer. It’s also because of another sneaky amino acid needed by the body but doesn’t produce, which is present in bee pollen – phenylalanine. If you are overweight, it acts as a natural suppressant, and if you are the opposite then it also works the other way around. 

2. It improves performance and endurance. 

A study done by the British Sports Council revealed an increase of 50% in terms of performance in their athletes on taking bee pollen. The regenerative power of the superfood contributes to the increased stamina of athletes, says Alex Woodly, the executive director of the Education Athletic Club in Philadelphia. 

3. It kills acne and reduces signs of aging 

Due to the capacity of bee pollen to rejuvenate and take care of cells when ingested, studies in Sweden by Dr. Lars-Erik Essen have found that it keeps cells hydrated and “brings life to dry cells.” It also gets rid of wrinkles, age spots, and any other blemishes.

An interesting tidbit on it too is that a few years back, scientists tried to synthesize their own bee pollen with the exact same components they found in one. However, they were unsuccessful because when they gave them to the bees they died. There was some secret ingredient unidentified that were exclusive only provided by the bees. So, high five to Mother Nature and the world’s capacity to heal and protect us remaining a mystery.

Yoga and Pilates: One of the Finest Ways to Tone Your Body

Life is not always easy. Maintaining a lifestyle, work, social obligations, and family issues can create pressure in the day-to-day routine of living. Stress reduction is a common desire of many people. Yoga and Pilates are two very popular ways of coping with stress. Learning effective ways of coping with stress can enable a better quality of life.

Yoga and Pilates is offered in many places and can be found in most communities. With a little effort, classes can be found to meet demanding schedules. Classes can be individual settings or in groups. The availability of classes is increasing in most communities as yoga and Pilates become more popular and mainstream. Some locations to find classes are:



Community Center

Church Locations

Fitness Center





Holistic Center

When searching for a location it is important to be objective and flexible in what you are looking for. Class times can vary and can usually be matched to any busy schedule. Sometimes schedules change monthly or each quarter, so it is good to always be looking for a class time that works for your schedule.

The difference between yoga and Pilates can be minimal and can depend on the instructor teaching the class. As a general rule, Pilates is more about gentle stretching and toning the body in a relaxed and non-invasive manner, while yoga combines gentle stretching, breathing techniques, and mediation. Both tend to be a kind to the body but still provide a good work out.

Pilates can be performed with movements using only the body or machines can be combined with the process. There is a machine called a reformer that allows pulley movements to assist with stretching and exercise and a Cadillac machine which enables the movements to be performed in conjunction with a spotter to concentrate on finite muscle training.

Mat Pilates is done on a yoga mat and concentrates on using the body as the primary focus of exercise. At times, weights or props can be used to facilitate a particular movement. Group Pilates classes are popular and are great for stress reduction.

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(Whether you do yoga or pilates, always look and feel great! Shop the above look here.)

Yoga is a combination of stretching while concentrating on specific parts of the body. Learning to direct the breath is a part of a successful practice. The mind is also trained to relax and facilitate relaxation and meditation. Yoga is extremely useful for reducing stress and gaining balance and flexibility. Individuals enjoying the practice of yoga find that their routine can be fine-tuned to meet their individual needs as opposed to being in competition with others.

Focus on Hydration


As summer heats up, it is important to be mindful of the value of proper hydration. While staying hydrated is important for everyone, people who exercise frequently tend to lose fluids at a quicker rate, putting them at increased risk of dehydration. Let’s review the importance of proper hydration and how to achieve it with ease.

With any physical exertion, the risk of dehydration increases, and the outcomes can be uncomfortable and unsafe. Dehydration can pose just as much, if not more, of a threat to your physical well-being than a minor joint or muscle injury. Some of the physical effects of dehydration include headaches, nausea, muscle pains, and dizziness. Untreated, these symptoms can progress into heat exhaustion, which means significant harm to your body.

The effects of dehydration surpass posing an inconvenient distraction and can limit your body’s ability to perform. Inside the studio, this means restricted flexibility and reduced strength, but outside of the studio, this means limiting your ability to complete normal tasks at work, school, or home. The strain placed on muscles performing at dehydrated levels is an unnecessary burden for your body to bear.

In addition to messing with your physical capabilities, dehydration puts an unwarranted amount of stress on you mentally. On top of becoming an active distraction, dehydration can blur your cognitive abilities and take away from the mental sharpness you need to complete your goals throughout the day.

Fortunately, you have the power to fight off dehydration by managing your intake of fluids. Below are few things to remember when trying to stay properly hydrated.


Prepare in Advance

A common misconception is that dehydration can be quickly reversed by drinking water as soon as you notice the side effects. However, a better strategy is to think about steps you can take in advance that have long lasting effects on your hydration. If you expect to be engaged in a strenuous activity that requires physical exertion, be sure to drink plenty of fluids well before the activity begins. This means taking extra preparations to hydrate yourself the night before an event and 2-3 hours before beginning physical activity. Also, help your recovery by drinking fluids after you have completed any physically demanding activity.


Quality Over Quantity

Be smart about how you fuel your body. Yogis should steer away from sugary, processed drinks or those high in dairy, such as soda, beer, and dessert shakes. Opt for more natural drinks, such as water, light juices, or sports drinks that are infused with electrolytes.


Diversify Your Intake

Fruits that are high in water can also help keep you hydrated. Watermelon, grapes, celery, and cucumbers can be wonderful additions to your meal that also contribute to your hydration. Remember not to rely on one source of nourishment alone—fruit should be an addition to your repertoire, not a replacement for your beverage.


Check Yourself

If you are unsure of your hydration, check your urine—the closer to clear, the more hydrated you are.

Stay hydrated and enjoy your summer!


Ganja Yoga – The Latest Buzz In The Yoga Community

 Yes, weed combined with yoga is a thing. Now before you jump to any conclusions, this new craze is perfectly safe and can offer some zen benefits if you’re open to them. You might be thinking how a drug could be linked to a healthy practice like yoga. Ganja yoga has been causing somewhat of a buzz in the wellness community as more and more people are lighting up before class, in hopes of gaining a different type of spiritual experience. This whole idea of lighting up before a yoga practice isn’t anything new. Yogis have been using herbal supplements with their yoga practice for centuries, as it has been thought to bring a shift in consciousness that allows one to be more open to different emotional states that are out of the realm in daily life.    

Yoga alone offers a spiritual experience without the use of any mind-altering drug. However, if you find yourself bringing more anxiety to the mat than you would like, this might be something that could help you ease into your practice. Medically, marijuana helps open up the airways and can help you breathe better. Many alternative medicine physicians say some strains can give you a high like no other that can give you more body awareness than ever before.   
There are many options to try; you can smoke it the traditional way or if you prefer, you can use a vaporizer. If you’re curious, here are some things you may experience.

 Heightened Senses

You’re going to notice every little noise and smell around you. Things like candles or incense burning will be magnified and even if you put light background music on, you will still hear other sounds around you. Just like with any ordinary yoga practice, acknowledge the sounds and smells and bring your attention back to your breath.

Getting in the Zen

 Many people report being able to get into a more relaxed state with more ease after smoking. If it takes you great efforts to let the stresses of the day slip away, this might be something that could benefit your practice.  

 Body Awareness

Being in tune with your body is an amazing thing. Every pose you get into and stretch you do, you will probably feel 100 times more. You might even find you’re able to relax into more difficult poses relatively easier. Yoga is about being present in the moment and this could be a way to help you experience that. You also will feel more connected to your inner body. Things that you typically don’t think twice about such as your heart beat, the way certain muscles and ligaments are feeling and your breath will be at the forefront of your mind. This could possibly replace racing thoughts and bring you to a whole new spiritual level.

Stress, what stress? 

Questioning why you can’t get centered right this second or trying to remember to stop at the store on the way home from class, these things will seem so minuscule. You might find yourself a little more peaceful than usual and not so caught up on the negative emotions that usually plague your mind.

We can see there are many benefits to stoned yoga but what about the negatives?

First off, your reaction time is bound to be effected as well as you hand-eye coordination. If you’re planning on doing anything that involves total concentration that probably isn’t the best idea.
Paranoia could also be an issue. Everyone will react differently and you there is a chance you could experience a bout of paranoia. Luckily this feeling will wear off in a matter of hours.  
Lastly, you might get a case of the giggles. Again, everyone’s reaction will differ and there’s no way to tell what yours will be until you try it out.