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    My New Travel Companion

    By Lydia Zamorano

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    I've found my favorite yoga and bodywork prop. Not only is it made of wood, but it's perfectly portable, fits into the side of any backpack or duffel bag, and takes up next to no space in a van.

    It works kind of like other massage canes would (but it's not plastic, is way cheaper, and you can make it yourself), and a bit like a foam roller (but it's not foam and I lie on it instead of roll on it). I use it to apply deep pressure to sticky, stuck and tight places in my body. It's also great for supporting the spine or joints in different yoga positions, like a mini yoga block. Once the hips are quite open, it also gives just enough height to become a support for sitting meditation—placed just behind the sitting bones.

    [Above: Mid-back (rhomboid) release. All photos Lydia Zamorano Collection]

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    Van Yoga

    By Lydia Zamorano

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    13 tips for on-the-road yoga when it's too cold to practice outdoors:

    1. Have at least a 6 by 3 foot level floor, and a nice traveling companion who doesn't mind making space for your swinging limbs.

    2. The more height the better. A fiberglass raised roof works well. Being 5 feet tall works very well.

    3. A little buddy.

    4. A pee bottle if it's cold and your partner doesn't mind you getting too comfortable with them.

    5. A small broom to keep it free from last nights food crumbs and hair. Where does all the hair come from!?

    [Above: Morning meditation in Bishop, California. Photo: Andrew Burr]

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    On Yoga

    Meditating

    By Lydia Zamorano

    I don’t know when it started for me, but somehow, over the last ten years, yoga as a practice has melted into everything I do, as a continuous flow. My favorite translation of the Sanskrit word Yoga implies that everything is already united. The practice part is learning how to pay attention to this wholeness in every waking moment.

    [Editor's note: Today's post comes from Lydia Zamorano. Lydia is the co-owner and director of The Yoga Studio in Squamish, British Columbia. She has traveled to India twice to study and practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, meditation and yoga philosophy. She loves rock climbing, hanging out with her boyfriend Sonnie, and is inspired by people who have a strong pull toward community building and sustainability.]

    Yoga usually starts with the most perceptible and tangible aspects of life: breathing and the body. The way people experience yoga in our culture today is usually in a studio setting where one is led through a sequence of postures to promote health and wellbeing. However, the practice of yoga does not have to be confined to a formal room or an hour-and-a-half time slot. It can be as simple as the act of listening. When playing outside, it’s amazing to me how this mindset can unmask a dull experience and expose a brilliant one. It has been a way for me to realize that boredom doesn’t exist.

    [Meditating. Lydia in Baddha Padmasana on a granite boulder by the Stawamus River. Photo: Sonnie Trotter]

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