Living with Harmony ~ A Blog for your Mind & Body

Happy New Year!

Posted in Company News by Harmony on December 31, 2009
Happy New Year to All!

Happy New Year to All!


Practicing Trikonasana (or Triangle Pose)

Posted in How-To,Yoga,Yoga Block,Yoga Pose by Harmony on December 29, 2009

The following video from Yoga Journal teaches you how to properly practice Trikonasana, or Triangle Pose.  When first learning how to do this pose, you may need to use a Yoga Block to maintain proper alignment.  The goal is not to just touch the floor, but to maintain proper form while doing so.  Placing a Yoga Block next to your shin and using that as your support helps.  You may need to start with the block on it’s smaller edge first (at it’s tallest height), and then as you progress you can turn it onto it’s long edge or flat side to get closer to the ground.  Eventually you’ll use your shin and then the floor.  At each stage focus on the proper alignment of you knees, hips and spine.  The strength, balance, and flexibility will come with practice.

Learn to Breathe Deep

Posted in How-To,Meditate by Harmony on December 28, 2009

Deep breathing for stress relief

(click on the link above to learn other techniques for stress relief)

With its focus on full, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere, and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check. Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices, too, and can be combined with other relaxing elements such as aromatherapy and music. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.

How to practice deep breathing

The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel. So the next time you feel stressed, take a minute to slow down and breathe deeply:

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
  • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.

If you have a hard time breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying on the floor.  Put a small book on your stomach, and try to breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale.

Merry Christmas

Posted in Company News by Harmony on December 24, 2009
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

The Health Benefits of Yoga

Posted in Yoga by Harmony on December 22, 2009

This is a great article reminding us as to The Health Benefits of Yoga – Research Shows How Yoga Affects the Mind, Body and Soul.  If you’re new to Yoga, you might be a skeptic.  But if you’ve been practicing Yoga, I’m sure you’ll be nodding your head and saying “yep, yep, yep” to yourself.  Especially in this hectic world of ours where days are jam-packed with activities, it is rejuvenating and re-energizing to take an hour for yourself and quietly focus inward.

Learn to Conserve YOUR Energy Over the Holidays

Posted in How-To,Meditate,Meditation by Harmony on December 21, 2009

Strength Exercises with Toning Balls – for the Chest

Posted in Core/Fitness,How-To,Stability Ball / Yoga Ball,Toning Balls by Harmony on December 18, 2009

Following are just two chest strength training exercises that you can do with Soft-Weighted Toning Balls.  For an added challenge you can do this on a Stability Ball (as shown).

Chest Press and Chest Fly with Toning Balls

Chest Press and Chest Fly with Toning Balls

Chest Press on Burst-Resistant Exercise Ball:

Start in the seated position on the Stability Ball while holding one soft-weighted ball in each hand.  Walk feet out until the stability ball is positioned at the shoulder blades and supporting your head.  Press the soft-weighted balls straight up over your chest by straightening arms.  Slowly lower arms back to shoulder position.  Repeat.

Chest Fly on Burst-Resistant Exercise Ball:

Start in the seated position on the Stability Ball while holding one soft-weighted ball in each hand.  Walk feet out until the exercise ball is positioned at the shoulder blades and supporting your head.  Raise soft-weighted balls above your head with arms straight.  Keep arms slightly bent and slowly lower the toning balls to your side until arms are parallel to the floor.  Raise soft-weighted balls back to top.  Repeat.

These exercises are showing a model using Natural Fitness Products that we carry.  Natural Fitness makes environmentally friendly yoga and fitness products, such as hemp yoga straps or phthalate-free vinyl fitness/Pilates products.

Criss Cross with Toning Balls

Posted in How-To,Pilates,Toning Balls,Yoga Pose by Harmony on December 17, 2009

When performing a Pilates Criss Cross, hold a light pair of toning balls in the hands near the side of the head instead of clasping the hands behind the head. Lie down on the floor, legs bent and lifted above your hips. Tuck in the abdominal muscles and lift the head and shoulders off the floor. Extend one leg out while the other pulls in toward your chest. Switch legs, pushing the opposite leg outward while bringing the other knee toward your chest.

For more ideas on how to incorporate Toning Balls into your Pilates routine or Yoga Poses, visit Toning Ball Workouts at

Three Heights of a Yoga Block

Posted in How-To,Yoga,Yoga Block by Harmony on December 15, 2009

A yoga block can be used at three different heights to accommodate you in different poses, to use as you progress in flexibility, or to use at varying heights to increase the intensity of a pose.  This is why blocks are a helpful and versatile prop.

Three Heights

Three Heights

These blocks are 4″ x 6″ x 9″.  So as the picture shows you can use the blocks on each side:  on the wide flat side, on it’s long edge, or on it’s short edge.  When using a block on it’s tallest side, you may find that the 4″ block will feel more stable (than a 3″x6″x9″ block) because of it’s wider base.  But if you have been practicing for awhile and feel confident in your balance, a 3″ block works just fine.

Finding the Right Mantra

Posted in For Fun,How-To,Meditate,Meditation by Harmony on December 14, 2009

Being able to focus the mind is one of the hardest things when learning to meditate.  Having a mantra helps.  Finding a mantra is one thing, but how about finding The Right Mantra for Your Type?  Click on the link to read a short article about finding the right mantra based on your Dosha.  You’ll need to take a short, fun quiz to find out what your Dosha is.  Take a few minutes to learn more about yourself, and then find the right mantra for you.

Now that your curiousity has been peaked and you want to learn more about Mantras, read this article on The Value of a Mantra by Deepak Chopra.

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