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How Yoga Helps You Survive Your 20s

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Between your early 20s and around 35, PMS peaks and complex life issues add pressure and emotional twists that can be hard to navigate. Here’s how yoga can help.

Learn how yoga can help you navigate your 20s.

Between your early 20s and around 35, PMS peaks and complex life issues (settling on a career, finding a life partner, creating a home) add pressures and emotional twists and turns. On a daily basis, you have to adapt to a new mix of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The upside is that you’re more flexible and accommodating, says Sara Gottfried, MD, a physician who specializes in integrative women’s medicine, a yoga teacher, and the author of The Hormone Cure. The downside is increased emotional sensitivity, anxiety, and moodiness. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol peak around this time, too. Women who have children experience other dramatic changes. “Pregnancy and postpartum are the largest fluctuations of hormones in a woman’s entire life, which can bring about changes in the body, breast and fat tissues, and muscles,” Brizendine says. Then there’s the emotional result of hormonal changes that happen during this time regardless of whether you have kids: Revved-up oxytocin (the bonding love hormone) can elicit your inner nurturer, but increased testosterone can make you feel aggressive or upset.

See also 5 Poses to Inspire More Self-Love, Less Self Smack-Talk

Adapting Your Practice for Your 20s

Gottfried finds that ovulation—when estrogen and luteinizing hormone levels surge—is a time of great creativity and power. She recommends Sun Salutations, energizing backbends, and inversions during ovulation. Around menses, restorative poses can ease cramps and stabilize mood swings. Self-care throughout this time is vital, she says. San Francisco yoga teacher Jane Austin says her practice helps her manage the stress of this busy phase of life. “It’s not just about poses; it makes me a better mother,” says Austin, who finds yoga so vital to her well-being that she’ll unroll her mat at 9 p.m. if she hasn’t had a chance to practice earlier in the day. “Sure, I can put both feet behind my head, but does that really matter if I yell at my kids?” And now’s the time to take up meditation. “Studies show that 20 minutes of meditation twice a day lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety, improves sleep and memory—things you need in your 30s because you tend to be climbing up the ladder, building a home, and often taking care of others,” says Northrup.

See also How to Step Into Your Feminine Power with the Wisdom of the Dakinis

Real Experience

Ute Kirchgaessner (shown here when she was 32) says she loved yoga when she first started practicing at age 26. But before long, she found her body was tired and her back aching. “I was doing too much,” she says, not just in her practice, but in her life. Kirchegaessner cut back a bit on her yoga and all her rushing around. “I kept practicing but went slower, with more attention to my breath, thoughts, and sensations. My back pain disappeared and I felt grounded.” When she found herself four months pregnant at the start of an Ashtanga teacher training she had signed up for months earlier, she had to opt for a gentler practice than she’d originally envisioned. It was a great preparation for the demands of motherhood: “I step back even more now, choosing a home practice to stretch and relax. But it’s yoga!”

3 Yoga Poses to Help You Survive Your 20s

About the Author

Nora Isaacs, a former editor at Yoga Journal, is the author of Women in Overdrive: Find Balance and Overcome Burnout at Any Age. Learn more about her writing and editing work at noraisaacs.com.



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Ayurveda

8 Ways Yogis Can Support Their Foot Health

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Support the foundation of your yoga practice.

Vivobarefoot is offering Yoga Journal readers an exclusive 15% discount through June 30, 2019. Get the discount code here.

Vivobarefoot is on a mission to change the footwear industry based on one simple insight – shoes should let your feet do their natural thing. By wearing Vivobarefoot wide, thin and flexible shoes, you can continue to strengthen your feet off the mat and throughout your everyday life, as well as reconnecting your feet with your brain and, ultimately, with the world, allowing you to reach your full natural potential. Check out vivobarefoot.com to learn more.​



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6 Yogi Dads Inspiring Us This Fathers Day

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Here are six yogi dads who inspire us to continue to cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships with the children in our lives through their sacred fatherhood. Thank you, dads!

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1. Jah Sun

“If you’re seeing this, it means you have a father. I had one too. He’s was a brilliant chemist of a top firm in NJ. Seen him twice my entire life. I’m thankful he made me. Truly! As much I longed to see him more as a kid, The Universe knew what I needed and having him more fully in my life could’ve been more damaging. Who knows? Doesn’t matter. What I do know it that’s it’s perfect – as is – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. So, today, I’m not simply offering up some generic “Happy Father’s Day” to all fathers. Because being a “Father” takes very little skill, 3 minutes behind a school bleacher at age 15-16 (some start younger than that) – if we’re keeping it real like adults. I’m raising the bar. Elevating the standard. I’m unwilling to continue to celebrate the bare minimum. Honoring men with zero, or little connection to their children and send money like they’re paying a car note. In and out, when it suits them, like a revolving door at a hotel. Instead, I’m standing up to SALUTE ALL DADS! Men who are there, present and CONSISTENT for their children (and being with Mom is not a requirement to be available for your baby). MEN who have taken up the mantle to raise another man’s child (that they left behind), and became Dad for them. I stand up and SALUTE ALL MOMS doing double duty as BOTH parents. I was a single dad for 5 years, so I don’t empathize – I sympathize because I did it too. Real life experience. The pain of that hurts on levels many can’t comprehend. So, I see you, and I’m proud of you! For the True DADS of all genders, skin colors and geographical location – SALUTE! Keep up the amazing work. Our children deserve nothing less!”

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2. Aubert Bastiat

“3/8/2019. Today I’m celebrating Cairo’s 1 year on this earth. Today I’m celebrating beautiful @divinedavana who I love more everyday. Today I’m celebrating my mother, my sisters and the Sacred Feminine in all Her expressions. ⁣

I celebrate not by word alone but by holding the highest vision and I do so through love, intention and action. ⁣ Although it’s only been a year since Cairo was born truly this last year has been the most EPIC of my entire existence. It was after becoming a father to Cairo at 33 that my vision became grounded to this earth in such a way that the manifold expressions of my service to this world crystallized into a singular focus – anchoring the Sacred Masculine to this earth.⁣ Because there is no greater gift that I can give to my family, community and this world than embodying the Sacred and anchoring it to this earth through every aspect of my life.⁣”

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3. Alonzo Nelson Jr. M.Ed

After 9 months and 41 hours of labor, my princess has arrived. April 10th at 6:43pm, Harper Renee Nelson made her grand entrance into my life. Fatherhood is my new favorite job. Sorry math!”

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4. Brian Delmonico

I didn’t know what to expect when Mia Luna was born. Like any new parent to be I received a love blast like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before. Holding her, calming her, changing her, smelling her, and loving her is a feeling I don’t think I could ever put into words. [The first two weeks of her life] changed my world, and brought new meaning to every moment of my life.”

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5. Adam Jackson

“Listening to music with Noah makes me hear it differently. I can hear it for the first time through him. We’re doing a little dance here. I want to show him everything. I can’t wait for him to show me everything.”

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6. Peter Maldonado

My favorite girl. Being a dad to such a gentle delicate little kid like her comes with challenges. Sometimes I have no clue what I’m “supposed” to be doing with her. I just make sure she’s fed, clean, and genuinely happy. I feel like she teaches me way more about life than I teach her. Grateful that recovery has enabled me to be the best dad I can be to this kiddo. Because she’s pure love and deserves the best.”



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YJ Tried It: I Followed an Ayurvedic, Dosha-Balancing Diet for a Week

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Yoga Journal video contributor Sky Cowans tries following an Ayurvedic nutrition plan based on her dosha (mind-body type).

Yoga Journal video contributor Sky Cowans tries following an Ayurvedic nutrition plan based on her dosha (mind-body type).

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system and the sister science of yoga. Ayurveda is based on the elements in nature. According to Ayurveda, there are three mind-body types called the doshas. Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Vatta is air, Pitta is fire and Kapha is the earth. Based on your mind-body type, Ayurveda offers various nutrition, self-care, and spiritual recommendations to bring the mind, body, and spirit back into balance and harmony.

In this video, Sky interviews Sahara Rose, an Ayurvedic expert and nutritionist. Sahara discusses Sky’s Pitta imbalance and advises her how to structure a meal plan to bring her body back to balance.

See also 7 Chakra-balancing Ayurvedic Soup Recipes



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