Monday, November 19, 2012

Spotlight on Yoga and guest blogger: Paulina Underwood

So.. after two months of yoga, I fell in love. But it wasn't always love. When I did P90X Yoga way back when, I despised it--not because it was P90X but because I was close minded to the fact that yoga was not only a great workout but absolutely necessary to athletes and workout-aholics!

After going through a rough summer and a tough fall (check out my about me you nosey people), I needed a place where I could clear my head and be able to think without my brain firing off a zillion thoughts at once. I wanted to be where I was, I wanted peace, clarity and serenity... and that's exactly what I got. I also learned how to slow down, enjoy things as they are and balance my life better. I'll never forget the one class I took where the teacher was talking about hardships in life--and she said, "In order to heal from the hard things we go through, we truly have to allow ourselves to FEEL our feelings, whether it's anger, frustration, confusion or deep sadness-let yourself cry, yell, laugh, whatever it is, allow yourself to feel. Don't throw up walls or hold back, let go. and then once you let go and feel, you are able to deal with those feelings properly... and then the healing begins"

And that's where I began to heal.. one day at a time, allowing myself to feel pain, confusion, happiness, purpose.

I wanted to interview and have a guest  blogger come on that new what they were talking about when it comes to yoga, so I had a friend, Paulina answer a few questions for me!

If you are in the Staten Island area--check her out!

"1. How does yoga benefit our organs and our body?
I'm a firm believer that yoga not only benefits the body, but can be transformational. I'm a big fan. The physical postures, or the asanas, are intended to promote strong and lean muscles. People new to yoga will start to notice a quicker metabolism. Deep twists help get the intestines movings, and promote digestion and detoxification. In other words, yoga can help you poop regularly. Yeah, I said it.
2. What can yoga teach us?
So much! But, if I had to pick one, my favorite thing that yoga has taught me is how to better handle situations in my life. Before yoga, I would spend a major portion of my days caught up in complaint, drama, and regret. While I'm far from perfect, I can without a doubt say that yoga has demonstrated to me that THINGS CHANGE, nothing is static, and I can make the decision right now to not get too caught up living from a place like regret, worry and fear.
3. What is a good way for someone (newbie) to get into yoga? What do they need to take to class?
I would tell someone who is interested in starting yoga to check out local studios and to check out as many classes as they can. Yoga is like ice cream, the flavors out there are endless! My local ice cream shop sells 'sweet corn' flavored ice cream, and if i was with someone who had NEVER had ice cream before, i wouldn't recommend they only try 'sweet corn'. I would tell them to try more than one flavor. But, now I just want to eat ice cream......anyways, back to yoga.....try different styles!
Don't just try one class and say you don't like it. If you live in a place that does not have a lot of yoga options. First, I would tell you to move. Ah, but you love your town? ok, ok, then get your booty on then. It's a great website that gives you a ton of yoga classes, in all different styles, teachers, and levels. They even have a 'beginner center'. I love the site.
To get started I would recommend something you are comfortable in, and is not too loose fitting. A yoga mat, and possibly a block and a strap. If you go to a studio, all you'll need to bring is yourself wearing some comfy yoga threads. Studios will usually rent you a mat and they have blocks and straps.
4. what styles of yoga are there?
This question can have a really long answer, that can get carried away, can tend to get a bit fuzzy and complicated, and will be GUARANTEED to bore you. But, here is a sweet and condensed version that I really like and is taken from :
yoga quickguide
Antigravity: Fluid, acrobatic yoga... in a hammock.
Anusara: Playful. Expect to laugh and go upside down.
Ashtanga: Athletic and vigorous.
Bikram: Consistent poses in a very heated studio.
Hatha: Foundation for many yoga styles. Great for beginners.
Hot: Make sure to bring a towel -- or two!
Iyengar: With a focus on structure, usually uses blocks, straps for support.
Kundalini: Focused on meditation and breathing.
Power/Flow/Vinyasa: An athletic and physically challenging style.
Pre- and Post-natal: Gentle Hatha yoga is ideal for pregnant women to help lower stress.
Yin: A slow class that will take you deeper than you've ever gone.
Hope you found these questions helpful! Spreading and practicing Yoga is MY PASSION! I am lead teacher at 5 Boro Power Yoga in Staten Island, teaching Baptiste inspired Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga Classes where I lead various workshops, including the popular 'power yoga for runners'. You can connect with me through my website, or Facebook."


  1. This is my first time visiting your website, but I found a lot of interesting information. From the volume of comments on your posts, I guess I am not the only one! Keep the good work up.
    Hatha Yoga

  2. I am so sorry (read your about me) I can totally relate to the military wife role as I was one when I was married to my ex-husband. I am a Coastie and a Coastie wife so it's different. I believe that God only gives you what you can handle and puts experiences in your life to learn from them even though at times they really stink. :) Good luck to you!!!!

    1. Thank you Jeannette! that means a LOT!! <3 XO

  3. I'm doing yoga for almost 2 years, and yes It gives me some good benefits, It helps my brain to be more focused for what I'm doing, more peace of mind, and feeling more relaxed. Also yoga can make you sexy and helps you lose weight, here are some best yoga exercises for weight loss