Oil pulling, the practice of “swishing” oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes, has been in use for thousands of years. For good reason, says John Doulliard, DC, founder and medical director of LifeSpa, an Ayurvedic medical center in Boulder, Colorado. In India people credit oil pulling with a range of cures, from reducing all manner of aches and pains to even reversing heart disease.
It’s well documented, for example, that ingesting certain kinds of oil has a chelating, or pulling effect on other oils and fat-soluble toxins, such as heavy metals and pesticides, drawing these substances from the fatty tissues of the body. And studies have shown oil pulling to be as effective as medical-grade anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis treatments, and to be a potent cleanser for the soft tissues and mucosa of the mouth. Take about 1 tablespoon of this oil mixture and chew it, suck it through your teeth, and swish around your mouth, for 10 and up to 20 minutes each morning after brushing and flossing your teeth (and using a tongue scrapper, if you’ve already adopted some healthy Ayurvedic morning rituals).
John Douillard offers advice for Brittany Pryor, 24, a yoga teacher diagnosed with Graves’ disease and RA. Enjoy these springtime ayurvedic dietary and lifestyle tips to help move out any lingering winter sluggishness and prepare for a vibrant, energized summer!
Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, was born Mukunda Lal Ghosh on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. The name Bobbe Norrise might not ring a bell, but to the yogis of Oakland, CA, she’s been a cornerstone of the community for four decades.
From innovative designs that promise to lend extra support and comfort to stylish cover ups that transition seamlessly from the studio to the street, it's no secret that yoga fashions are becoming increasingly more sophisticated these days. Cover model, mom, studio owner, and yoga teacher Paige Held talks about her practice, and reveals her 3 favorite poses for relaxation. Pregnancy: If you are experienced with this pose, you can continue to practice it late into pregnancy. Beginners tend to take too much weight onto the neck and head when coming into and exiting this pose, a potentially harmful situation. One of the simplest Sirsasana variations is called Eka Pada Sirsasana (pronounced ACHE-ah PAH-dah, eka = one, pada = foot or leg). The popularity of yoga has created tons of business opportunities, and expansion-minded studios have taken notice. The Yoga Journal Contributing Editor, Author, and Founder of the Bay Area's Piedmont Yoga reflects on BKS Iyengar's profound influence.
Open your visuddha chakra by creating spaciousness around the throat and neck through which profound spiritual truths can flow.
From a comfortable seated position, extend your spine long and root down into your foundation.
But a slate of publicity purporting the practice’s teeth whitening and breath-freshening benefits piqued the curiosity of Western natural-health seekers. And while these claims have yet to be proven, there is plenty of science that the mechanism behind the practice has merit, Doulliard says.

But Katie Silcox explains that when you pay attention to your cravings, they begin to change.
Take both feet up at the same time, even if it means bending your knees and hopping lightly off the floor. Continue to press the shoulder blades against the back, widen them, and draw them toward the tailbone.
Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes. Do not perform this pose without sufficient prior experience or unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher. Have your partner stand to one side and look at the major alignment "landmarks" along the side of your body: the outer ankle bone, the center of the hip, the center of the shoulder, and the ear hole. Iyengar, who used knotted ropes and anchors for improving alignment for more than 70 years. But even if the slow precision of Iyengar classes isn’t your thing, there are now a variety of studios, such as those offering mainly vinyasa-style yoga classes, that have started installing similar prop walls if you want to give the ropes a try. As you inhale, arch your spine forward and gaze up, creating a backbend shape in the spine in a seated variation of Cow Pose (Bitliasana). The right knee is bent at a right angle and the left leg is reaching long and straight behind you. She's written, modeled, and created DVDs for Yoga Journal in addition to presenting at Yoga Journal LIVE! But the latest ancient Ayurvedic health practice to find its way to the mainstream has many of us doing things we’d never thought we’d do, like rinsing our mouths with oil as part of our morning ablutions. After he graduated from Calcutta University in 1915, he took formal vows in India’s monastic Swami Order, at which time he received the name Yogananda, meaning bliss (ananda) through divine union (yoga). As the legs (or thighs, if your knees are bent) rise to perpendicular to the floor, firm the tailbone against the back of the pelvis. Then continue for 3 minutes each day for a week or two, until you feel relatively comfortable in the pose. Turn the pinkies away from the back of your head, and bring the inner wrists perpendicular to the floor. As you exhale, pull the navel back toward the spine, hollowing front body in a seated variation of Cat Pose (Marjaryasana).
In 1920, he arrived in the United States to attend a religious conference and stayed, establishing the international headquarters of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles in 1925. Turn the upper thighs in slightly, and actively press the heels toward the ceiling (straightening the knees if you bent them to come up). Again gradually add 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay every day or so until you can comfortably hold the pose for 5 minutes.
If possible, do the pose in the corner of a room, so that the right-angled walls touch your shoulders, hips, and outer heels.

Move into the wall-supported position with the head off the floor, then lower it lightly onto the floor.
Exhale and lower your right leg parallel to the floor without disturbing the position of the left. As you inhale, head and tail move back and as you exhale, head and tail curl forward and in.
The center of the arches should align over the center of the pelvis, which in turn should align over the crown of the head.
Once the backs of the legs are fully lengthened through the heels, maintain that length and press up through the balls of the big toes so the inner legs are slightly longer than the outer.
Come down with an exhalation, without losing the lift of the shoulder blades, with both feet touching the floor at the same time.
Support 90 to 95 percent of your weight on your shoulders and arms, even if it means staying for only a few seconds.
Now extend your left arm out about 6 inches above the floor and reach out and down to create some traction and a big stretch on the left side of the neck. This is a complete undulation of the spine that creates a compression and release action in the throat. If you are just beginning to practice this pose, press the bases of your palms together and snuggle the back of your head against the clasped hands. Gaze upward without jamming your neck and feel for the spacious of the rising heart energy. Today, there are nearly 500 Self-Realization meditation centers located in 54 countries, a testament to the appeal of his teachings. More experienced students can open their hands and place the back of the head into the open palms. Similarly, when you exit this pose, first lift your head off the floor, then bring your feet down. Hold the two sitting bones close and rotate (from the hip joint only) the right leg back to neutral. Spend 5 breaths here and then vinyasa through to the other side or transition through Down Dog.
Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, inhale the right leg back to perpendicular, and repeat on the left for the same length of time. Letting go of the times you have had to bite your tongue or have had a lump in your throat from the fear of speaking up.
It takes time for the blood to move through and heal tight and stiff muscle tissue, so try to hold for as long as you can without pain.

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