John M. Thornton

John M. Thornton

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Stuff to make Yoga Even Better!

Over the past year I have had the privilege of being asked to review a a number of products from Yoga Addict and Mandukka. I wanted to share some of them with you.  I don;t spend a lot of money on yoga stuff.  My first teachers were all about the work, not the stuff.  My early mats were crap that peeled and flaked after a few weeks.  I used blocks cut from industrial foam, wood and old books.  We were hard core and we loved it!

Now I have a beautiful mat, great equipment and blocks in pastel colors.


Now is better.


As you become more dedicated to your yoga practice you realize that there are products that make it easier and more enjoyable. Comfortable clothing, a great mat and a few props cam make it easier to focus on the practice and not be distracted by the accessories.  These are a few of my favorites.


 The Best Mat I've ever Owned: Manduka Pro

When I first started taking yoga 25 years ago I used these thin, green mats my teacher cut off a giant roll and sold for $10. They had no padding and started to peel and flake after a few months. I remember washing particles of it out of my contacts after class and the salty rubbery taste in the back of my throat. I didn't know any better and I loved yoga. At 40 I'm not sure I would have it in me to practice yoga in a school cafeteria on that mat anymore. Thanks be to any God who is listening that I don't have to anymore.

Two years ago my boyfriend bought this for me at Christmas and I still love it. It still looks great, it provides fantastic support and cushion and I love it. No other mat has held up like this, cleaned as easily and been so cushy yet supportive. Even on carpet, the slight stiffness of the mat makes it easier to balance. I've used this mat in beautiful yoga studios, in old school rooms, outside, on pavement and gravel. If you do yoga where you are, where ever you are, this is the mat for you.

My only complaints are how slippery it gets when I sweat and how stiff it gets in winter.


 Two Great Yoga Bags:

For years I just tied my yoga strap around my mat to grab and go, but especially during the summer when I don't have a coat with pockets to stash mt stuff in, these bags are great!

Yoga[Addict] Yoga Mat Bag "Supreme"

First of all, this is a beautiful yoga bag, I get compliments about it every time I take it to class. It is plenty big enough for my Manduka mat, well balanced and easy to carry with lots of pockets and places to stash valuables. This is my go to bag as a student especially if I am going to a studio class. As a teacher and someone who frequently does yoga outside and in "non-studio" locations (community centers, churches and parks) this falls a bit short, the pockets are just a bit to small for yoga blocks and I still have to bring a separate bag for props and blankets. I love it and wish I could use this bag more than I do.

I you are a yoga student, this is a perfect bag for you.


YogaAddict Yoga Mat Bag With Pocket:
This is the simpler option.

I have a big, heavy mat. My Manduka is the best mat I've ever used, but it weighs more than my mixed breed Rottweiler, finding a bag that has room and doesn't cut into my shoulder is hard to find - this bag fits the bill. It is good looking, sturdy and easy to carry. It doesn't have all the extras that some bags have, but I don't need 20 pockets and a built in lawn chair. This is a great, simple bag.


When I first started I wore my gym clothes. While I don't think you have to spend lots of money on yoga clothes, these are nice.


Yoga[Addict]™ Men Yoga Shorts:
The first thing I noticed about these shorts is how soft and thick the material is; the last few pairs of yoga pants and shorts I've purchased were thin and flimsy feeling. The material breathes well, soaks up sweat and does not feel constricting. They are extremely comfortable, move well and stay on even through multiple Sun Salutations, inversions and pigeons.

These are my favorite exercise shorts, I use them for yoga, cardio and strength training.  WHen I started taking aerial yoga this year, these were my go to pants for ease of movement without getting in the way.  Sadly, the waistband is starting to seperate and curl making them less flattering and comfortable.  Great shorts, but could last longer.

Be aware, they are designed to be form fitting and will show off you booty, if that's not what you are after, you may want to go a size up.


Yoga[Addict]™ Yoga Socks and Gloves Set

I've had these for a few weeks now and the more I use them the more I like them. I rarely have trouble with my mat getting to sweaty and slippery, my biggest problem is cold mornings when I cannot get traction in certain poses, like Downdog. These have been great for morning yoga and my more quiet practices. The gloves can get uncomfortable between the fingers in certain poses but the socks are wonderful. They make standing balances easier, help my ankles warm up and provide great traction - I want to wear them all the time.

Non Slip Skid Socks:
I love an intense yoga session, but these are prefect for a few quick warmup poses before other workouts. When I can't get outside for my workout I like MMX style cardio workouts and will often do a few yoga poses to warm up, wearing these I can quickly transition from yoga to cardio without taking the time to put the mat away and let my heart rate slow.
They fit snugly without feeling constricting, don't leave my feet feeling sweaty and let me run through the house without slipping on the wood floors. My only complaint is I wish they had dots on the toes as well. Great product!


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Purifying Breath

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Keep Your Cool

It was a hot summer and when the heat rises tempers can rise as well. Yoga teaches us to maintain tranquility even is challenging positions and temperatures, but sometimes we need a little help.  This meditation combines breath, visualization and mindfulness to soothe your temper and lower your temperature.


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Personal Training

I offer Private Lessons at my home studio or the location of your choice in the Youngstown Area.  If you are looking for special help, personal training or the luxury of one on one yoga training, Private Lessons are for you.  Each session is dedicated to your personal fitness and growth. I bring props, music and twenty years of experience to each session, all you need is a mat!

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Yin Yoga and Pranayama

Yin Yoga is a complement to the more dynamic styles of yoga and exercise focusing on a deep release of the joints through long, statically held poses, often supported with bolsters and props. Poses are held for 5 or more minutes, long enough for the muscles to relax and deeper tissues to be engaged. This class combines breathing exercises and deep, Yin poses to explore the edges of your practice and find deep release on tension. This is not a restorative class and may not be suitable for injured students. Suitable for most levels.

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Calm the body, gentle the mind and restore the soul with Serenity Yoga. Designed around the special needs or injured or aging students this slow and gentle class opens the hips and lengthens the back wile increasing balance and flexibility. Props are available for stability and to deepen your stretch. If you are unsure if you can do yoga, need special care, or need to restore your body, this is the class for you. Suitable for beginners and special needs students.

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John’s Special Blend

Explore your body with this ever changing class. Each week John Thornton crafts a class for the mix of students in the room to focus on individual needs, injuries and the mood of the class. Every week brings new core exercises, balance postures, core openers and yoga sequences you won’t find anywhere else. With 20 years of yoga experience John is bringing his special blend of Yoga to you.

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Yoga Flow

Wring the stress from your body and clear your mind with this vigorous Yoga Flow. This power sequence with raise your heart rate and your spirits with invigorating music, deep stretching and flowing movement. Suitable for beginners and athletes alike

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Yoga Basics

Yoga Basics – Explore and deepen your knowledge of Asana (yoga poses) in this all levels class focusing on opening and elongating the body. This class combines movement, breath, and meditation in a steady flow to increase flexibility, relaxation and self-awareness. Each week we will incorporate new yoga poses into our flow and deepen our yoga practice. Suitable for all levels.

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Brahmari or Humming Bee Breath

Lindsey of Golden Scarab Yoga is back with annother fantastic yoga breath video!  Humming Bee Breath has always been a chalenge for me and Lindsey does an amazing job of explaining and teaching this technique.

Sometimes we get really caught up in thoughts, or something we experience a very emotional event. Humming bee breath is a wonderful breathing technique to release and relax a busy mind. - Lindsey, Golden Scarab Yoga


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