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The Bo Yoga Story

The Bo Yoga Story 1224 918 Nate Guadagni

Bo Yoga began while I was teaching in a park in Chicago back in 2013.

I was teaching a Qi Gong class (pronounced Chee Gong) and brought along soft, flexible Bo Staffs to share some new moves with my students.

I was getting bored with the traditional 18 Joint Warm-up, and so we used the Bo Staffs as a stretching prop.

We lay it over our shoulders and twisted and rotated. We placed one end on the ground and stretched and balanced. We spun it in the air and through our hands and fingers.

We loved it!

We could use it for balance, alignment, and mobility. It allowed students with injuries, surgeries, or disabilities access to poses they couldn’t do before.

Our first class: Chicago 2013

The rave reviews started pouring in. People were recovering from old chronic pains. They were getting benefits far beyond what they were getting before.

I began to include the bo staff into my yoga classes to see if it would help our yogis too.

They loved it!

The Yoga Boga classes (as they were called then ? ) were soon the most popular in our studio.

I looked around for more videos or teachers who were combining yoga and the bo staff… and couldn’t find anything!

A sense of purpose and mission filled me with inspiration.

If I didn’t share this amazing discovery with the yoga world, who would?

I soon realized that none of the Bo Staffs I found were ideal for a yoga class.

Wood and metal were too rigid and unforgiving. Plastics were too soft and weak.

I tried using bamboo, metal, fiberglass, plastic, and wood.

After months of tinkering, I created the perfect hybrid of materials; a strong and durable core, soft foam padding, and sticky rubber tips.  It was flexible, strong, comfortable, and safe.

The was born!

For 2 years I tested and applied this fantastic new prop in my yoga classes, and found that it could assist and support many dozens of yoga poses and even inspired several new poses.

In 2015, I made the biggest decision of my life.

I knew that I was onto something important yet it would require all of my dedication to bring it into the world.

I quit the yoga company I was with for 10 years, packed all of my belongings in my hatchback, and asked my fiancé Roya if she would come with me to Oregon to start over.

I had no money, no home, no formal education.

Nothing but a pure, burning desire to share this amazing discovery.

We lived with my parents for a year while she went to school and I poured my heart and soul into my new company, .

In the years since I’ve traveled the world sharing this tool and philosophy to thousands of students and teachers.

My dream is that the Bo Yoga Staff becomes a staple prop among the bolster, the block, and the strap, helping make yoga more accessible to all.

Today, we have dozens of Bo Yoga Teachers from around the world and a rapidly growing online community on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

We’re so glad that you’re along for the journey!

Nate Guadagni,

Bo Yoga Founder

Group Triangle Bo Yoga

Buy Balance Bars in Bulk

Buy Balance Bars in Bulk 2522 1416 Nate Guadagni

Thrill your students by equipping your classes with Bo Yoga Balance Bars.

Balance Bars provide assistance, resistance, alignment, and balance to make your classes safer and more accessible.

Don’t just take our word for it – listen to these happy teachers, owners and studio managers.

Donna Triangle Bo Yoga
Donna O’Neil Teacher at Eugene Yoga, Eugene, OR

“I’ve been teaching yoga for 22 years, and am aging along with my students.
What I’m loving is that the Balance Bar can help people who may not be able to balance well, or to hold a pose very long, to be able to maximize the benefit.
Learning to lighten up the touch on the bar as confidence builds in the student gives them the opportunity to work their core and build strength and stability.”

Mariana Krstevski, Owner of Essential Evolution in Highland Park, IL

“My students love Bo Yoga and the Balance Bar!

 It gives them an opportunity to experience the full benefits of the poses that they may not be able to feel on their own due to lack of flexibility, balance or range of motion. 

They feel great afterwards and tell me how much it helped them release tension and feel more relaxed. 

It is a treat to see their reaction and faces light up when they find their balance in an Asana that they normally couldn’t do!

Personally I love the versatility of the Bar and enjoy crafting fun and unique classes for students of all levels.”

Balance Bars can also be sold in the lobby to students who want to practice at home or have their own personal prop.

Balance Bars come in 3 sizes: 4ft / 5ft / 6ft

In an average class:

75% of students use a 5ft Balance Bar

20% of students use a 6ft Balance Bar

5% of students use a 4ft Balance Bar

The 5ft BB is the most popular size and fits most people.

The 6ft BB is ideal for students who are close to or over 6ft tall or who are very stiff and need the extra length and flexibility that it provides.

The 4ft BB is perfect for kids or for those in a chair or wheelchair. It is too short to use for some stances and not recommended as the only option.

Balance Bars are made with a durable PVC core, soft foam skin and rubber traction tips. This provides the stability needed to bear weight yet the flexibility to conform to excess pressure. The traction tips keep students safe on wooden or vinyl floors to prevent slipping. They are easy to clean and store in small spaces, corners, closets or in a large basket.

Questions? Request a custom quote for wholesale prices of Balance Bars by emailing Nate@boyoga.com

Fire – 5 Elements Qi Gong

Fire – 5 Elements Qi Gong 1280 800 Nate Guadagni

Fire Element – 5 Elements Qi Gong

To buy the full instructional video, visit our Shop page here.

Fire Element Presentation – 5 Elements

Fire Element Presentation – 5 Elements 1280 800 Nate Guadagni

Preview of the 5 Elements Presentation

To get the whole 5 Elements Qi Gong video and program, visit our Shop page here.

Questions? E-Mail: info@boyoga.com

5 Minute Balance Assessment

5 Minute Balance Assessment 150 150 Nate Guadagni

Download your BALANCE ASSESSMENT WORKSHEET

CLICK HERE 

How did your balance assessment go?

When you are young, balance is an automatic reflex
and you can quickly recover from a trip or stand up after a fall.

However, studies show that balance naturally begins to decline after age 40 and one in three people aged 65 will suffer a fall.

Your balance is regulated by 5 Factors:
1. Vision
2. Reflexes
3. Muscle Mass and Strength
4. Proprioception (The ability to feel the body in space)
5. Inner Ear

Changes linked to growing older or sedentary lifestyles affect all of these areas:

1. Weaker eyesight
2. Slower reflexes
3. Weak and stiff muscles and joints
4. Poor circulation (leads to lack of physical sensation)
5. Vertigo / Dizziness (due to deposits or crystals in inner ear)

As you get older you may exercise less, gain weight, and start to feel less confident in your body and your balance.

However, the good news is that with a proper exercise and mindfulness program, almost anyone can improve their balance.

Woman’s Head Explodes! Doctors Say Stress a Major Factor.

Woman’s Head Explodes! Doctors Say Stress a Major Factor. 1430 575 Charlize Lawrence

Okay, so my head didn’t literally explode but only because the steam coming out of my ears alleviated the pressure. I am an expert at reacting badly to stress so I set out on a quest to understand stress and find my inner Zen.
The first thing I learned was that I am not alone. The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Stress is a sobering health risk and one that we are only recently beginning to understand. Like all health risks, the more I know about it, the better I can cope with it.
The second thing I learned is that a stress response is controlled by dual parts of the nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic set of nerves creates the stress “fight/flight/freeze” response. The parasympathetic set of nerves causes the relaxation “rest/digest” response. The important thing to know is that only one set of nerves can be active at one time. It is not possible to be in both states at once.
I made a list of all things that stress me out in my life: work, co-workers, boss, HR, what to eat for lunch (okay I might be a little neurotic), my family, and my son. When I listed my son that was when I realized that I was putting the blame on everything around me but realistically am I ever going to be able to live a life completely free of stress? No, it’s impossible.
That led me to the question, is it really the situation causing me stress or is it my resistance to the situation? Consider the scenario of two co-workers, Tina and Zach. Tina lives for deadlines and thrives under the pressure of monthly quotas. Zach likes to take his time and go over every detail. Monthly deadlines make him feel overwhelmed and he often gets sick at the end of the month. Both Tina and Zach work under the same conditions but their resistance to the situation differs greatly. While there are countless stressors, there is basically only one stress response articulated by REI’s clever motto: “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” There is no bad stress, just inappropriate coping.
The third thing I learned is that not all stress is negative. Benefits include things such as motivation to get things done and excitement. However, striking balance between stress and relaxation in our lives is paramount. The ideal balance is called “relaxed focus” and is attainable with practice and awareness.
Here are some ways to cope with stressed, gain relaxed focus, and find that inner Zen that I love!
• Exercise that involves mind-body training, such as Yoga. At the beginning of every yoga class, I close my eyes and I concentrate on my breathing. Once I feel that calm, I allow my mind to probe my body to determine where I’m tense or in pain. I consciously relax where I am tense and send love to anywhere in pain. During the yoga practice (https://boyoga.com/bo-yoga-introduction-video/), I attempt to keep my focus inward and to listen to what my body is telling me. The results are an amazing release of any stress I was feeling.
• Meditation that involves movement. Many of us envision sitting lotus style with eyes closed and palms up. However, when we are stressed it sometimes seems impossible to not follow every thought in our head. Meditation can also be done while in motion. The movement during meditation is usually a free flowing and fluid motion without thought. Let the calmness you feel flow out to your limbs and just move.
• Surround yourself with the positive. Sometimes we spend time in an environment, such as work or school, where everything takes on a negativity. Remove yourself from the negative and surround yourself with people and ideas that contribute positively to your world. I consider facebook a very positive space for me because I am careful to only friend those that have a positive message to share. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have issues that they share with their friends but their outlook and the way they treat others and the planet is with a very positive mindset. When I am at work and stressed, I will take a brief break and check out the posts on my facebook (I do this on my phone as I’m not sure it is appropriate to use work resources for this activity). Usually the positive messages I see from my friends helps me to quickly shake off the stress and put events into perspective. Another quick way to gain positivity is through laughter!
And finally, I learned that life isn’t that serious unless we make it that way so now I’m off to find my sense of humor!

Bo Yoga Healthy Meal

The Reason Your Diet Isn’t Working and 5 Steps to Healthy Nourishment

The Reason Your Diet Isn’t Working and 5 Steps to Healthy Nourishment 1920 1280 Charlize Lawrence

There is an unending amount of advice to be found on the topic of diet. Every time I find a food on the “good” list that I can actually stand to eat it seems like there’s a new study declaring it a health risk.

In the end, you either become neurotic about your food or, if you’re like me, you just end up consuming what is convenient, cost effective, or available.

So when I recently went from a size 12 to a size 4, many of my co-workers asked what miracle diet allowed me to drop so much weight and look so healthy. The answer? Relax!

Okay, I also throw in some common sense for good measure.
Here are 5 easy steps to healthy nourishment:
Step 1: Have a healthy serving of common sense with each meal.

You can eat like a caveman or you can plan out your meals a little more effectively. What is missing from most of our diets is really just some common sense. Here are some guidelines to follow when planning a meal.
• Eat real, whole foods, not “food-like substances,” such as artificial and highly processed foods. The old adage that you are what you eat has a basis in fact.
• Don’t overeat. Keeping yourself slightly hungry after a meal is as important as what you eat.
• A mostly plant based diet is not only better for you but better for the planet since meat production incurs incredible expense and inefficient use of energy.
• Mix in a lot of color. Colorful meals are not only pleasant photo ops for foodies. Different colors represent different nutrients packed into that fruit or vegetable. A balanced diet includes all the nutrients your body craves to be strong and healthy.
Step 2: Relax like the French.

Michael Pollan, bestselling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, explained to the Center for Disease Control in an address to researchers and leaders, “The French paradox is that they have better heart health than we do, despite being a cheese-eating, wine-swilling, fois-gras-gobbling people. The American paradox is we are a people who worry unreasonably about dietary health, yet have the worst diet in the world.” If eating is causing you to stress out then you are being counter-productive.

Step 3: Make a list of foods that are “good” for you and “bad” for you (free worksheet).

This is a highly personalized list and you have to consider only what fits for you, not anyone else. For example, I might put alcohol (a glass or two a week) on my “good” list while an alcoholic may list it high on his “bad” list. There is no real right or wrong, just what works for you. What foods make you feel sluggish? Put those on the “bad” list. What foods fill you with energy? Putting more thought into what we eat will help start us on our way to a healthier diet.
Step 4: “I can’t promise I’ll try, but I’ll try to try.” – Bart Simpson.

Don’t try to stop eating those “bad” foods. When we try to stop eating something, especially if it’s something we like eating, we put a lot of thought and energy into that food. That makes it even harder to stop because now it is always on our mind. Instead, focus on eating things on your “good” list. I’m not much of a dessert eater but I often crave sugar in the morning (mmmm, donuts…). However, there are a lot of other options. For example, I replaced that donut with a fruit smoothie that I actually enjoy more. Blend ice, yogurt, mango, 4 dates, and a pinch of cardamom for an excellent source of energy in the morning.
Step 5: Allow yourself some slack.

Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), promotes and personally follows the 90/10 Diet. The 90/10 Diet simply means that you should eat what is good and healthy for you 90 percent of the time, and 10 percent of the time, eat whatever you feel like eating! We often set diet goals that seem to have no end and we beat ourselves up when we break those impossible commitments. The 90/10 Diet is realistic. I have a weakness for cheese. Cheese isn’t necessarily bad for you unless you’re eating it three times a day, every day like I was doing. But giving up cheese 100% of the time isn’t going to happen. Not only does the 90/10 diet allow me to have cheese, but it helps me to appreciate it more.
We Americans are excellent at stressing ourselves out about everything. But when it comes to food, just relax and bon apetit!

The 4 Reasons You Don’t Exercise and the 5 Simple Solutions

The 4 Reasons You Don’t Exercise and the 5 Simple Solutions 799 355 Charlize Lawrence

Look down. Are you happy with what you see? Let me guess, you’re sitting down. Maybe, like me, you sit down a majority of every day. You sit down so much that it has become a habit – a bad habit. We all know exercising has benefits – weight control, combats health issues, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, and can even improve your sex life! If exercising is so healthy for you, why don’t you do it more often? I have lots of excuses. I’m too tired. I don’t have time. I don’t get a break from the kids. Exercise is boring. Do I need to list more? How about this one: I’m lazy and “it’s healthy” is just not enough to get me off my butt!
Our distant ancestors didn’t need to read a health blog to motivate them to move. They often walked or ran a dozen or more miles a day just to be able to eat and feed their families. (I complain just having to go to the grocery store! Wow, I really am lazy!) We were designed to move. In fact, our organs and brains thrive when we stay in motion most of the time. Being healthy is not a mystery. Exercise circulates and delivers oxygen and hydrogen throughout the body, enabling all the organs to perform their vital functions. Are you slouching while reading this? I’m slouching writing it. Exercise also helps build and maintain the muscular-skeletal structures and regulates the nervous system, both of which are critical for maintaining good health.
So the real question isn’t why we aren’t exercising. The real question is do we want to look and feel like a superhero? I think we can all say yes to that. Exercise can help (superpowers not included). The great thing is that exercise doesn’t feel like exercise when you’re having fun. You know what I mean. How many of us have gone to a concert and danced all night long? Exercise snuck up on you, didn’t it? Here are five simple solutions to getting more exercise:
Solution 1: Don’t have time to go down to the gym? There are numerous exercise videos on cable or on the internet. Select a style that works for you and get moving!
Solution 2: Too tired to exercise? That’s like saying you’re too hungry to eat. Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says, “Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn’t make you tired – it literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger.” Were you too tired to dance all night at that concert? Change your clothes, find a fun workout near you and boost that energy!
Solution 3: “Won’t somebody please think of the children?” – Helen Lovejoy – The Simpsons. Alone adult time away from the kids is refreshing. All parents dream of those wonderful Zen moments when you don’t hear the kids breaking your favorite set of dishes because they just finished watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding and thought it looked fun. But we live in the real world and it isn’t always possible to get away. So, how about exercising with your kids? Interactive video games get us up off the couch and moving. Are you a soccer parent? During their games or sports practices walk briskly around the field. Not only will you benefit but you will set a good example for your kids as you spend quality time with them.
Solution 4: I get bored exercising too. So stop doing those exercises at that place. I’ve learned that the feeling of boredom comes from disengagement of the mind from the body. Many exercise practices are designed to engage the mind as much as the body, and when you learn to bring the mind to the body while you exercise, you will no longer feel bored. Instead you will find a deep fascination with exercise. It may even provide that much needed Zen.
Solution 5: Did I mention exercise can improve your sex life? Unconventional exercise, like having a sex life or dancing all night at a concert, counts too! But if you really want to increase your flexibility, mix in some yoga (free Bo Yoga exercise guide: https://boyoga.leadpages.co/exercise-guide/). You won’t be the only one thankful.

10 Ways to Drink 3 More Glasses of Water Per Day

10 Ways to Drink 3 More Glasses of Water Per Day 1152 864 Vivien Chao

You know that you should drink more water today. How much more is up for debate, whether it’s the old 8 glass rule, the half-of-your-body-weight-in-ounces rule or Michelle Obama’s more recent plea to “just drink one more glass of water per day”. Even Bruce Lee is a fan, as he wisely said, “be formless, shapeless… be water, my friend.” Apparently we mostly are, as water makes up nearly 85 percent of your brain, about 80 percent of your blood, and about 70 percent of lean muscle. Hydration is so important that it’s number 3 of Bo Yoga’s S.E.V.E.N (Seven Essential Values for an Energetic Nature) (hyperlink) and so we challenge you to drink three more glasses of water per day. (The First Lady would approve)

Where to start? Well, since three out of four people around you are chronically dehydrated you won’t be able to follow the crowd on this one. Follow these ten easy tips to join the 25%er club of well-hydrated humans.

1. Make your plan.

When you wake up in the morning, figure out your 3 more glass plan. Will you catch an extra cup on the way to work, swap for coffee at your meeting or let the waiter give you a full refill instead of just topping off your glass?

At night, check if you completed your extra three, if not, chug the missing amount before bed. Your 2am appointment with your bathroom will be your incentive to not miss the next day.

2. Keep a bottle by the bed.

Why not a glass? First, because no one wants to drink a glass of water with a layer of dust on top of it, and second because with a bottle you can drink lying down.

3. Bottle in the car.

During red lights or traffic jams instead of unsafe texting or road raging, reach for the aqua. Your fellow drivers will thank you.

4. Bottle at work.

There’s a theme here, more bottles = more water drinking. The investment that you are making in your health will far outweigh the money spent on strategic bottle placement.

5. Drink that restaurant water.

Not only will you trim some fat off the check by not ordering expensive drinks, you may trim some off of your waistline. A 2010 study in the journal Obesity says drinking (water) before meals can help you lose weight.

6. Water your juice.

Is your cup of juice half empty or half full? Either way, fill the other half with water.  You’ll cut your sugar down as you hydrate and that’s enough to make anyone optimistic.

7. Juice your water.

Just a squeeze of lemon or lime or an infusion can really make water more interesting. Try fresh fruit in the summer and a frozen berry or two in the winter. You’ll find that a strawberry really helps the medicine go down.

8. Use a straw.

Leverage simple physics to speed up the water to body transfer. As you are contemplating suction physics consider the fact that water is 90% oxygen, the most important element for your brain function, which should help your contemplation.

9. Hold other drinks hostage.

When you sit down to a meal, join a party or bar, only allow yourself to drink something else (wine, soda, tea, beer) after drinking a full glass of water. Not only will you not gulp that next expensive drink so fast, you will enjoy it more after cleansing your palate. Delayed gratification is a skill that you may find useful in other situations like work, relationships and experiments involving marshmallows.

10. Exercise more.

Sweating, breathing faster and increased blood circulation will all require you to replace the lost H2O with fresh water. Not only will you look super cool while you drink in slow motion with sweat pouring off of your face, your body will stay cooler, be more flexible and energized with proper hydration.

For more ways to look cool while you exercise check out Boyoga, which uses a bo staff for leverage, balance and spins to make yoga safer, easier and more effective.

Bo Yoga®