Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Benefits Of PADANGUSTHASANA

Padangusthasana!
Photo  by amyjirsa_yogini 
This is one of the basic yoga asanas which we learn initially while learning yoga. All the yoga poses help in improving your flexibility which becomes very useful in our daily life. The asana is also known as head to foot pose. Your desire to regulate your blood pressure can be done by this asana. The pressure on your head and the stretching of the muscles relax your brain, making you work out things more easily and calmly. The stretching and pulling tones your body and relaxes you by making you feel at ease. The bending helps your abdominal organs as it massages the liver and spleen making it useful to the optimum level.

If done properly this asana would benefit not only body but would teach you to be calm and patient. It has to be done slowly and not in a haste if you want to receive its full benefits. The tiring muscles would be elevated and rejuvenated by this pose. The stretching of the muscles helps your hips, thighs, hamstrings, groin, and calves. When these muscles are stretched they make your body agiler and fit. It helps to strengthen the other muscles which would help in recuperating your tired body. The less stress you give to your important organs it would work in a better fashion and help your health.



With the improper diet, many of us suffer from gastric and indigestion problems. As we do not take care of our health and does not even look at the warning signs our body sends to us. This exercise helps in removing the bloating feeling caused by indigestion and gastric troubles. It stretches most parts of your body like back, spine, and legs which also plays a major role at the time of conception.

Your knees are strengthened; the pressure helps in reduction of flat foot. Some other benefits are in strengthening your prostate gland, reduction in blood pressure helps in removing your backache, less menstrual discomfort is also provided by this asana.




Saturday, January 27, 2018

Benefits And Usefulness Of TRIKANASANA

Denise Weiner from Darmstadt in Yoga Pose (Utt...
Yoga Pose (Utthita-) Trikonasana/Trikanasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trikanasana is also known as the Triangle Pose. As and when you look at the asana you can easily notice why this name has been given to this asana. It works out every muscle in your body from the arms to the legs. It is a great way to shed some of the excess weight you have been carrying all along. 

This asana helps all those have been struggling with a weight problem. If you are looking for a good figure and a curved waistline, this is the pose to do. It helps in curing rheumatism and lumbago, a problem with your lower spine region. It is a good asana to make your shoulders and arms more flexible. A stiff body can achieve a state of flexibility by doing this asana. It has a direct impact on your muscles as you start doing it.

Your neck and arms get stretched. The stretching of the neck and shoulder muscles helps you recover from spondylitis problems. Spondylitis can be termed as one of the commonest problems faced by many, due to the long hours of sitting in front of the computer.

The monthly cycle comes at the right time as well as with lesser pain. Any other problem with the menstrual cycle is corrected, benefiting you thoroughly. The upper body is very well toned too. Due to the continuous stretching, it helps your body to become a reservoir of good health. Problems with your heart are rectified helping it to function in a better manner.

It massages and strengthens the thyroid glands, kidneys and the adrenal glands to function in a better manner. It reduces the production of the cortisol, a stress hormone, helping you to be less stressed. The hormone level is very well regulated preventing many of the problems.

While doing this exercise, your legs and buttocks are strengthened as well as toned. Blood pressure problems are also rectified. If you are suffering from digestion or constipation problem this is the best thing to help you out. The condition of the appendicitis is also corrected by doing this exercise regularly.



The muscles of your abdomen and the hip joints become more flexible. The reproductive system functions better with the intensity of this pose. It helps in creating a proper immune balance to help you fight diseases.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the asanas from this article and the site. To avoid any problems while doing the asanas, it is advised that you consult a doctor and a yoga instructor. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

YOGA is your GUIDED RELAXATION

See: www.falundafa.org/eng/exercises.html
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Relaxation is something everyone needs in his or her lives and sometimes we have to be guided to reach it. Learning and practicing relaxation is an everyday thing to help relieve unneeded daily stress that is a part of our life. It will take awhile to see and feel better in mind and body but once you get there, don’t give it up.

Everyone says yoga: 
Yoga is not an exercise it is a way to teach you how to relax and become a healthier you. Yoga will help teach you to relax and relieve some of that stress you don’t really need.  You have many different types of yoga practices to enjoy, starting with beginners to advance.

Beginners of yoga: 
It is smart to start with, beginner programs if you have spent too much time inactive. In addition, you should consult with your doctor before starting practices of yoga. The three most important things yoga will teach you are how to breathe, meditate, and exercise. The body has to be strong and in shape to feel healthy and dispose of some of the stress by teaching you to relax.

Learning to breathe with yoga: 
Learning breathing techniques before you can learn to meditate is helpful. Breathing properly will train your mind to relax. Once you are relaxed, meditation is easy. You then can move to control the body and mind. The movements of yoga are the exercises that strengthen the body, helping you to relax the mind. The focus of yoga includes inhale and exhale breathe while focusing on your inner powers.

In order to learn guided relaxation, you need to practice each day to rid some of your stress that could take over your mind and body. Yoga can help you learn and teach you to breathe into relaxation and moving your body to relieve the tension respectively.

Yoga means to practice and learning to put it into your everyday life. Yoga will help a person find the guided relaxation we all need every day to be a healthier and a better person. Yoga teaches us self-control and self-respect. You will learn how to think before you speak, clean your inner thoughts and attitude towards yourself and other. Clean our your outer self by keeping it in a clean environment.

Once you practice and learn to meditate and relax along with the movements, you’ll see yourself become a new you. As the new you come out in the open, you’ll feel it because you won’t be stressed.

The stress in your life will take over, which depression can set in. Try relieving some of the stress and learn to relax. You’ll find self, sleeping better and waking up looking forward to the new day ahead.
Because everyone has stress Yoga can be a practice for everyone from children to your grandparents. Classes are offered for many different age groups and capabilities.



Before taking a class, check it out and if need be to ask your doctor about whether or not it would be harmful to you. The library has a wide variety of books and video along with some CD’s that can guide you to the class and type of Yoga that would fit your needs.

When practicing at home you need to find an area where you can be alone and it is quiet to avoid distractions. It usually takes around 20 minutes to set aside each day for you to learn, meditate, and practice. Remember to stay with it; don’t give up, since you need this time for you to stay happy and healthy. Get your guided relaxation today.



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

High BLOOD PRESSURE (Hypertension)


For controlling your hypertension, there are two effective yoga exercises that help lower the blood pressure:


Inverted yoga reverses the action of gravity on the body. The most profound changes brought about by Inverted Yoga is in circulation. In inverted poses, legs and abdomen are placed higher than the heart.

Lengthening up through the legs and keep them very active so your spine opens and the entire body actively involved in the pose.

One of the reasons for this is simply because the force of gravity is reversed and venous return becomes significantly greater.

Normally, the muscles of the calf and other skeletal muscles in the lower extremities must contract in order to pump unoxygenated blood and waste back to the heart through the veins.

In inverted poses, gravity causes the blood to flow easily back through the veins and this brings the blood pressure in the feet to a minimum. This in effect gives skeletal muscles a chance to rest.

In Inverted poses, drainage of blood and waste from the lower body back to the heart is increased and disorders such as varicose veins and swollen ankles are relieved.


It's time to learn about breathing because inhaling and exhaling have the power to nourish the body and calm the mind.

Not just any old breathing will do. If you're like most people, you take shallow breaths, pull in your stomach when you inhale and never empty your lungs of carbon dioxide when you exhale.


Here's the physiological explanation: Long, slow breaths are more efficient than short, fast ones.

To take in a good breath, your lungs must first be basically empty. Thus the key to efficient breathing lies in exhaling completely. A full exhalation begins with the upper chest, proceeds to the middle chest and finishes with tightening the abdominal muscles.

Only after a good exhalation can you draw in a good lungful of the oxygen-rich air your blood needs for nourishing cells.




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

YOGA Pilates Basics

Photo: Pixabay
Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Yoga Pilates can prove to be of great help if all the necessary rules related to Pilates exercises are followed properly. Yoga Pilates is a regimen of exercise that can be equally beneficial and enjoyable. Very simply, Pilates is the contemporary part of the older Yoga movements. The number of Pilates exercises can be as many as five hundred exercises that can be performed by using only five chief instruments. Each pose of yoga has great significance similar to its Pilates equivalent. The important yoga Pilates basics that one must master are a movement to and from the center and revolving around the center.

Maintaining good health and proper well being is the chief point of the proper and regular practice of yoga Pilates. Regular action will definitely leave a deep, positive impact on your physical as well as mental life. After some days of practice, you will find that your body’s flexibility is enhanced. The stretching that is involved in Pilate yoga helps in lessening the threat of injuries.

One of the biggest benefits of Pilates exercises is that your body’s balance is improved. With the passage of time, your body aches will reduce to a great extent as well. With regular exercise, the muscles are strengthened, resulting in the stimulation of your endurance, stamina and your energy level.

One great thing that you will experience as a result of Pilates yoga is that you will find that your body and mind is much more relaxed compared to how you felt before. Pilates yoga involves certain breathing patterns that help a person to calm down and relax, resulting in sounder sleep.

Nowadays Pilates are often prescribed by specialists like osteopaths, physical therapists, chiropractors and many holistic practitioners as a principal, practical taming process. Pilates indeed rank first in the western chart of fitness. The viewpoints of Pilates teachers and Yoga instructors are somewhat the same on the workings of the exercise. Many consider Pilates to be yoga on the machines while others see it as neuromuscular education or strength conditioning.

Basically, Yoga and Pilates are reciprocally supportive: Yoga gives Pilates litheness and mobility while Pilates offers constancy and mobility in the movement. When united with Yoga, Pilates doctrine augments the practice by bringing central stabilization into light as well as training and substance for yoga postures (particularly in the strength to seize). Since Pilates is more about length and potency, Yoga helps to amplify the litheness capability.



Many people whose job demands sitting at a desk or driving almost 8 hours a day, gain a lot of Pilates Yoga. With easy ideas of the figure and postural doctrines, it will support the backbone and unlock the oomph channels. It edifies consciousness and centering, suppleness and mobility. It is a coordination of associated exercises that are also helpful separately.

Dancers and professional athletes practice the Pilate form of exercise. This helps them to achieve flexibility of body and gain strength. Recently this form of exercise has become very popular among celebrities and models for keeping fit. There is no harm in practicing yoga Pilates. In fact, it is considered to be safe even when practiced during special conditions like pregnancy.




Monday, November 13, 2017

Benefits Of MATSYASANA

English: Matsyásana - Yôga position Português:...
Matsyásana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The name given to every asana derives its inspiration from nature. As this pose happens to look like a fish it is known as matsyasna - fish pose. The popular feeling is that Matsyasana is known as the destroyer of many diseases. 

This asana has to be done in padmasana which may not be that easy for a beginner. To make it easy you can do this by stretching your legs and then lie on your back. Knees bent and hands by your side. It is one of the backbend poses which done in a correct manner would be very fruitful and useful for you.

For many who are doing this for the first time can use support for your neck to avoid any strain. The use of a thick blanket may just be the thing you may need. Do this asana on a blanket to avoid any damage to your back. It can be made difficult with many variations depending on the person who is doing it. While doing this asana hold it for 15 to 30 seconds to get the full benefit.

The intense pull of the asana helps to flex your hips flexors and muscles between the ribs to make it more functional. This asana helps to stretch most parts of your body. By the increasing stretch, it stimulates the muscles and the abdominal organs including the neck and throat. This is the only asana which bends the spine and your neck backward.



Pressure and stretch on the neck also help the thyroid glands including the pineal and adrenal glands. The nervous system, kidneys, stomach, intestines, the pelvic organs are strengthened and toned due to this asana. Asthma patient’s health will improve by this asana. It also helps in improving your posture. It is very useful for constipation, mild headache, fatigue and menstrual pain.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

BHAKTI YOGA – The Science Of Devotion

Mariko Bhakti Hirakawa
Photo : Ramnath Bhat
Bhakti means devotion to the Almighty. Bhakti yoga deals with devotion to God and achieving the union with Him. This is the easiest of all yoga types. This branch of yoga teaches the relation between the devotee and the divine. It does not involve any technical or complicated procedures. There is no need of any intellectual capacity to master this yoga. It has appealed to the common man because it gives him a feeling security and develops a kind of reliance and dependence on the object of his devotion.

Bhakti yoga assumes that there is a higher power that has created the universe and is all-powerful. This power has the capacity to confer grace and mercy on him and thus protecting him from all the harms and evils. The devotee or bhakta is expected to make himself fit for receiving this divine grace. For this, he has to practice devotion and virtue. His ultimate goal should be to unite with this divine power and rest eternally in happiness and peace. The devotee surrenders all his motives and acts to the Divine Power. He renounces all responsibilities towards the good or bad consequences of all his actions and ascribes it to the will of the Supreme.



Devotion and faith play a vital role in this branch of yoga. The devotee or bhakta is supposed to be highly religious, should adopt a friendly stance towards all the other living beings including animals, read religious texts, concentrate on the symbol of the Divine, think and wish well for others etc. The beauty of this yoga lies in its simplicity. This has made it one of the most appealing of all the yoga types. Following this yoga develops the peace of mind in an individual. A peaceful individual will always think happy and prosperous thoughts and will thus lead a happy life.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Benefits And Importance Of BHUJANGASANA - Yoga Asanas

Bhujangasana is known as the snake or Cobras pose because it reflects the look of a raised hood. As you raise your head along with your chest it represents a snake hood. The rest of the body lies down representing the body of the snake. This asana can be one of the best asanas for your back as well as your spine. 

Yoga postures Bhujangasana
Yoga postures Bhujangasana
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Inhaling and exhaling play a very important part in this or any other asanas. Bending and stretching of your back may differ between individuals. As some have their youth to help whereas some manage even without that. It all depends on how flexible your body is and how much can you bend, make the utmost use from your asana.

It has been said that as long as your back is flexible you still have a long way to go. Every muscle of your body is pulled and stretched which gives the elasticity and suppleness to your backbone. With the passing of the age, our back starts throwing tantrums and becomes very stiff against our wishes. Before any such thing happens tone your body and other parts of your body by doing this asana. 

By stretching, it tones the spinal column which reflects your back and with the extra pull, entire abdominal muscles get toned too. Torpid muscles like uterine muscles and ovaries get toned too while doing this asana. It is one of the best asanas which serves as a medicine for wet-dreams and leucorrhoea. It also helps in developing your chest as well as firming the bust due to the raising hood position. 



This position helps in creating the necessary pressure to the adrenal glands which provide rich supply of blood for the entire body. Liver and other organs next to it also benefits from this asana. Problems of irregular menstrual cycles can be solved with this asana. The pressure applied on your stomach and muscles helps in relieving you from constipation problems. Acute gas troubles are also resolved if the asana is done on a regular basis. People suffering from slip disc problem again due to the stretching of spinal column giving it a proper toning. Your backache problems may just leave you forever if you do this continuously.





Saturday, September 2, 2017

5 Benefits of YOGA Deep Breathing

How often do you think about the way that you breathe? If you’re like most people you probably aren’t aware of how you breathe.  But how you breathe can have a huge impact on your life and your health.  Medical studies have shown that the simple act of deep breathing can have significant health benefits.  Here are the top 5 ways that simply taking a few moments to breathe deeply can really improve your health:



1. Deep breathing reduces stress – When you’re very stressed out stop and take 10 very deep breaths. You will instantly feel more relaxed.  Try it, you’ll see.  Deep breathing supplies the oxygen that your body needs to function well and that extra influx of oxygen can revitalize your body and your mind which will reduce stress and help keep you calm.

2. Deep breathing reduces pain – Have you ever noticed that doctors and medical personnel tell mothers that are giving birth to breathe deeply? Or maybe you’ve noticed that coaches tell athletes that are injured on the field to take deep breaths? That’s because when you take deep breaths your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s way of fighting pain.

3. Deep breathing helps you relax – Have you ever been told to breathe deeply and count to 10 when you’re angry or upset? Breathing deeply will help your relax and calm down which is why people are encouraged to breathe deeply when they are angry or upset.  Taking deep breaths will increase the oxygen flow to your brain which will help you calm down.

4. Deep breathing can reduce your risk of high blood pressure – There are some medical studies that show a connection between high blood pressure and a shallow, fast breathing rate.  So the faster your breathing rate is the more likely you are to suffer from high blood pressure.  Taking time each day to be more aware of your breath and to breathe slowly and deeply can help you lower your risk of high blood pressure.

5. Deep breathing can increase your energy level – Do you have trouble staying awake after lunch? Do you always feel your energy dip in the mid-afternoon? Millions of people have problems keeping their energy levels up during the day and turn to caffeine or other stimulants when you can get the same energy boost by taking some time to breathe deeply.  The extra oxygen that you get from those deep breaths can give you all the boost that you need to get through your day.

    Jay Franco has been a Yoga enthusiast since an early age. He is constantly trying to find practical ways of implementing this ancient knowledge into his Western lifestyle.

     Article Directory: Article Dashboard


Monday, August 28, 2017

Raja YOGA

Raja means kingly or royal. This form of meditation is based on bringing the mind and emotions into balance or harmony so that your attention may be easily directed to the object of your meditation or on the Lord directly.

Nine yoga-meditation points in human body - Photo: Wikimedia

Life force is generally a movement up and down the spine so that it becomes balanced and the emotions, as well as the mind, are serenely content.

Awareness is then directed to move forward to a point that is located in the center of one’s lower
forehead. This meditation point, which is also called the Ajna, or third eye, is located about 1 half inches above where the eyebrows meet.

When the energy becomes balanced throughout your body and brain and moves effortlessly into the area of the ajna, calmness seems to overtake your mind.

Certainly, your mind is not passive but it frees itself from the meaningless worries, thoughts, and clutter of the subconscious mind.

You derive a pleasant sense of well being in this state and your mind seems to be filled with a velvety
darkness.

As your consciousness courses toward your third eye, different pastel colors appear your forehead. There are sumptuous, glorious pinks, whites, indigos, purples, yellows, blues and green that take their turn in your forehead.

As your life force becomes stronger and more concentrated you may think you see lightning, fireflies or moonlight. This whole process is getting you ready to experience your true nature.

The person who practices raja yoga in its purest form lives in bless with the will completely be surrendered to God.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Water YOGA

When you hear the words "wet yoga" chances are you're thinking about sitting in a room, contorting your body into all manner of positions and doing this all while the heat is at the center of the sun setting. If that isn't exactly what you hoped for don't worry, you have options.

Ocean Yoga
Ocean Yoga - Photo by Rhys A.

Water yoga is a new way to keep fit that is allowing those formerly kept on the side lines to jump into the pool. Water has long been used to enhance applications such as orthopedic therapy and aquatic strength training. Combining the long known benefits of yoga with the cushioning ability of aquatic therapy has opened the fitness arena to many people for whom it was previously closed. The movements that are fundamental to yoga- known as asanas- can be preformed within the privacy and support of water with either freestanding movement in a shallow body temperature pool, equipment assisted poses or wall assisted poses. This partnership of water and yoga help to both strengthen and lengthen muscles and in many cases, help to alleviate chronic pain, muscle injury and protect weakened or fragile joints.
The positive benefits of yoga are seen over the long term with a gradual increase in strength, flexibility and endurance and when preformed in water this increase tends to happen far more quickly and with far less chance of injury or strain which is why this new form of fitness is quickly become so popular with all types of people. Aquatic therapy, including water yoga, have proven themselves extremely useful in pain management. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, and varicose veins where pain can be a constant the soothing cushion of water and the muscle benefits of yoga can allow those people to attain a higher fitness level without the pain of traditional exercise. It is the perfect marriage of function and comfort.
Crystal is an account coordinator with Location3 Media. Her personal blog discusses travel, health, fitness, and finance.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

DHYANA

Almost everyone has experienced the fact that when one starts concentrating his mind on any immediate object or an idea, the mind starts wandering. It is very difficult to keep the mind busy with a single thought. The ancient sages too encountered the same problems. Arjuna, in Gita had mentioned that controlling the mind is an impossible thing on earth. Hence, he was advised by Krishna that though mind control is difficult, it can be made silent and steady by regular practice of vairagya and abhyasa. However, he has warned that yoga is very difficult for people whose minds are not steady and controlled. Pantanjali, in Yoga Sutra has emphasized these two qualities to achieve mind control. Hence ,these are the very qualities that make the essence of yoga.

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to ...
Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in Kurukshetra.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Mind is like a disturbed pond with many impurities. First you need to stop the inflow of fresh impurities and then remove the existing impurities to clean the mind. Abhyasa is one of the practices for purifying the mind. Dhyana is one of the sub practices of abhyasa. This is a stage that a person reaches after practicing concentration for some time. At the start of dhyana, the mind is steadier and only a single thought about an object arises in the mind. Now it is safe to say that the state of dhyana is reached. Here, the mind becomes very stable like the flame of a lamp in a calm atmosphere and its contact with the object of experience becomes intense and complete.

There are two varieties of dhyana called sagunadhyana and nirgunadhyana. In the first dhyana, the stillness of mind is associated with an object of experience which can be experienced through the sense organs. The second one is completely mental. It implies complete absorption of mind into itself. Here, the mind is not associated with any external object. It becomes completely still in this state. This mind is supposed to remain still, silent and sensitive such that it can understand any past, present and future event that might have happened anywhere in the universe.



Friday, June 9, 2017

Benefits of YOGA - New Mixed MARTIAL ARTS Training Program Wins

Many "Mixed Martial Arts" (MMA) fighters have the strength and endurance to be formidable opponents, but they struggle with breathing, balance, and flexibility. An excellent training method to solve this problem is yoga. Yoga is not just for a bunch of new age peace lovers it is a proven discipline for anyone with a desire to strengthen the body and mind.

Many MMA facilities across the country have started to incorporate yoga into their training programs. The correlation between yoga and grappling techniques used in Brazilian Jujitsu are remarkably similar. The obvious benefits of yoga are increases in balance and flexibility which enhances speed while it decreases the risk of injury.

There are many other beneficial properties of yoga training. One major quality is enhanced dexterity to formulate submissions in a more fluid and coordinated matter. Through yoga, a fighter can amplify balance and core strength in stabilizer muscles often ignored in standard "Mixed Martial Arts" training programs.

Balance improvement will greatly decrease the chances of slipping. How often have you seen a fight end in minutes due to an unfortunate slip? A perfect example of this is the Kimbo Slice vs. Seth Petruzelli fight. Kimbo's lack of balance gave the fight advantage to his opponent he then lost the fight in eleven seconds.

Another important factor in "Mixed Martial Arts" is breathing control. You can easily observe the best fighters have mastered proper breathing. This enables them to outlast opponents and even persevere through a near submission.

Yoga added to a weekly workout routine provides a change rotation for muscles normally used in strength and condition training. This will rejuvenate any muscles used primarily during the week while still being able to make progress with scheduled training.

There are at least fifty other direct fighting benefits yoga can offer with unique training routines for any fighter. If you are really serious about winning, use this brand new fight training technique for a new yoga edge in the ring.

    Satori is a Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor, Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher,and personal life coach.

    Article Directory: EzineArticles

Sunday, June 4, 2017

3 Common Mistakes by YOGA Newcomers

 Whenever we start something new we have a certain feeling of trepidation and uncertainty of the unknown and in most cases it is completely unfounded and we get on with things very quickly and easily.  Sometimes it isn't and a simple little thing can cause us to have an entirely negative first impression and perhaps even never want to try that activity or passtime again.  Yoga has so many health benefits, on both a physical and spiritual level, that it would be a tragedy for anyone to miss out on them because they made a silly avoidable mistake on their first day.  With that in mind this article addresses the 3 most common mistakes of new Yogi, and how to make sure they don't happen to you.
English: This is, in fact, why I quit my yoga ...
This is, in fact, why I quit my yoga class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mistake One:  Not knowing what you want from Yoga.

  The reality is that there are numerous different styles and forms of Yoga and each has it's different attractions.  Ask yourself what it was about Yoga in general that attracted you and then you can investigate a style that caters more specifically to that.  You may like to set goals, be they physical, mental or spiritual.  If you do then it's a good idea to discuss them with the instructor of your class before you begin.  Yoga instructors are usually very approachable and happy to talk about their passion.  They will be able to talk to you about your goals for the class and let you know if you are being realistic, aiming too high or too low.  Make sure you goal includes a timeframe so it becomes something that is measurable.

Mistake Two:  Jumping in Feet First.

  Having decided that they will give this Yoga thing a try many people take a running leap and jump in to a 12 month stage by stage class.  These classes are usually an upfront payment arrangement and progress from one level to the next as the weeks progress.  They are a fantastic way of learning Yoga and becoming very good at it, but it's quite possibly you will choose a class that is not ideal for you.
  
  The best way around this is to join a Yoga beginner class, also known as a drop in class.  If you do these classes for a few weeks you will notice a high turnover of students as new people join and old people move on.  These classes are designed to give you a very broad feel for the different types of Yoga.  The level of the students in the class usually varies greatly so you can expect the instructor to keep the classes quite tame.  The other key benefit of doing this is that the classes are pay as you go so there is no big financial outlay for you while you decide the type and style of yoga that best suits you.  You are also not obliged to attend every class.  With the longer courses you can fall behind quickly if you miss a week or two in a row.  With the pay as you go classes you will find that while each class is different the level stays quite low to cater for the newer people joining in.

Mistake Three:  Choosing the wrong teacher.

  Traditionally a Yogi had to be an apprentice to a skilled Guru for many years before he could teach even the simplest of Yoga technique.  Nowadays a 3-day course over a long weekend is considered enough by some people.  There is a big difference in what you will achieve depending on the skills and abilities of the person teaching you.  Yoga is starting to make a regular appearance on the sports injury list and a large reason for this is instructors who have been taught just enough to be dangerous.  A qualified teacher won't necessarily be fantastic and an unqualified teacher won't necessarily be terrible - but the odds are certainly cast in that direction, so it's a good idea to check your instructors background and qualifications before you begin studying with them.




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Benefits of CHAIR YOGA – Part 4

Chair Yoga can easily work in harmony with most physical rehabilitation prescriptions. Many physical therapists have knowledge of Yoga or are teachers of Yoga. Many doctors, physical therapists, and medical professionals recommend Yoga to patients who are making a “come back.”

Seniors practicing chair yoga
Seniors practicing chair yoga (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yoga gives these patients the strength to move ahead, when many would be discouraged. The comebacks that I have personally witnessed are inspiring to me as a Yoga teacher. Over time, I have seen come backs from strokes, heart attacks, and car accidents.

It touches me that they thanked me for teaching them Yoga or Chair Yoga. 
The courage to go on came from within their minds, but Yoga became a significant part of their lives. As a Yoga teacher the inspiration was mutual and made me feel helpful. After all, being of help, and being appreciated, are prime motivations for teachers of any subject.

Muscle tone is a result of stretching and flexing any muscle group. Active muscles display themselves on anybody that chooses to use them. This is also a good way to relieve oneself of anxiety, stress, tension, and prevent depression. Like the other benefits, previously mentioned, this results in whole body health. A healthy body does, indeed, compliment a healthy mind.


For those clients who are confined to a chair, it is wise to include some form of a weight bearing, or weight resistance, exercise program. For those who can stand, Chair Yoga is another weight bearing exercise that will stimulate bone building.

With progressive weight resistance, you use free weights or machines, but with Yoga you bear your own body weight. The end result of these exercise programs would be increased bone density and prevention of Osteoporosis.
Seniors spend more time alone, than any other age group. Sometimes, we all need a little solitude, but too much solitude can lead to depression, in some of us. Living life like a monk is not for everyone.

Chair Yoga classes offer a social activity that helps to stimulate the mind and body in a positive way. This becomes an uplifting activity that participants look forward to. Regular attendance, and socializing in Chair Yoga classes, is a healthy activity that leads to building strong relationships.

It also exposes seniors to the many activities that are going on within the community center. Participants of chair Yoga classes are exposed to whole health and gain a nutritional education as a member of a senior, community, or wellness center.

Lastly, all participants in Chair Yoga classes learn to relax and quiet the mind, through breath awareness, meditation, stage-by-stage relaxation, a combination, or another method. The end result being that these Yoga students can control their minds, focus on the good things in life, and prevent depression.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Chase away the Blahs with YOGA

Yoga is a great disposition enhancer and it does it naturally.  Any kind of exercise releases hormones that help ease the stress that often leads to the blahs, blues, or outright depression.  Activity keeps your mind far from negative thoughts and allows you to gain insight on dilemmas in your life.  People who are depressed or “down” often lack the stimulus to exercise.  It doesn’t take near as much effort to do a Yoga routine as it does to work out to a video or drive to the gym.  A word of warning; if you experience more than just the occasional bout of the blahs and feel down for more than two weeks at a time, you should seek professional help.  They may feel that you need treatment or therapy, and proper exercise.  

A yoga class.
A yoga class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very often people who are depressed frequently lack the concentration to stop and try to disconnect themselves from their thoughts.  Yoga is meditation in movement so it is easier to move your mind away from depressing thoughts.  Yoga’s focus on balance can also help you bring back your mental strength.

Yoga has a clear-cut connection between mind, body, and spirit that no other form of exercise or meditation can attain on its own.  Negative thoughts can keep us from experiencing our vital inner nature.  Doubt, hopelessness, despair, apathy and either sleeping too much or not enough are all signs of depression.  Yoga is designed to bring you closer to your inner self; it then is only natural that it can help with some of the symptoms of depression.  

Certain postures can influence your mood and allow depression to end.  One special Asana can’t cure depression or the blahs.  The Asanas assist in increasing your lung capacity allowing more oxygen to reach all the affected parts of your body including your mood.  Asana postures can help depleted energy levels, and sluggishness.  You should ask your Yoga instructor to help you and suggest postures that would best assist you balance your moods.

The practice of yoga calms the nervous system, and allows you to comprehend the link between your mind and emotions. They can both be used to help each other.  As breathing is an important part of Yoga, it can also help you to limit anxiety, calm your thoughts, and help you concentrate on positive energy rather than negative.

Any style of Yoga can help you exile the blahs.   It may not be physically demanding but you will feel so much better at the end of your session.  Remember, if you have a severe depressive episode; seek advice from with a professional.  Consult with your Doctor before starting to practice yoga to be sure there is no conflict with any treatment you may be undergoing.  If you want to try a Yoga routine specifically for depression, find a teacher who can create a personal routine for you.  Yoga teachers have been extensively trained for this purpose and know which positions that are the most suitable for remedial purposes.




Monday, April 17, 2017

The Seven CHAKRAS

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning spinning wheel.  These are a system of seven energy centers located along the spine.  Each chakra corresponds to an area of the body, a set of behavioral characteristics and stages of spiritual growth.  Practicing yoga and focusing your energies during different postures can help you to align your chakras and get all the wheels spinning in the same direction and speed.  Understanding how to fine tune and control your chakras through yoga and meditation can help bring balance and peace to your mind, body and spirit.

English: Chakra picture produced by AuraStar20...
Chakra picture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are seven chakras, each associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the perineum to the crown of your head.  Each chakra is associated with a particular body location, a color, a central emotional/behavioral issue, as well as many other personal aspects including identity, goals, rights, etc.

The seven chakras are:

  • Muladhara- base of the spine; 
  • Svadhisthana- abdomen, genitals, lower back/hip; 
  • Manipura- solar plexus; 
  • Anahata- heart area; 
  • Visshudha- throat; 
  • Ajna- brow; 
  • Sahasrara- top of head, cerebral cortex.


Through the movements and postures of yoga, you can learn to focus your concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in your body.  This can allow you to compensate for areas that may be out of synch with the rest of your body or not active at all.  By balancing the energy among all seven of the chakras, balance can be achieved.  This spiritual energy is known as Kundalini energy.  In its dormant state, it can be visualized as a coiled up snake resting at the base of your spine, the Muladhara chakra.

Since the chakras act as valves or pumps regulating the flow of energy through your system, controlled and purposeful movements such as yoga can be extremely beneficial in realigning your chakras in a way that can cause great benefits to you in your physical and emotional wellbeing.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

DHYANA YOGA (meditation) for soul awakening.

Meditation
Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A human life is a priceless gift of God. The Lord does not have a greater gift than this to give his beloved creatures. Its specialties and potentials are so extraordinary that its results can only amaze us. This gift has been given to us to fulfill divine goals.  But it is our ill-fate that we have forgotten our divine nature, God’s gift and the goal/ importance of a human life. Neither do we know our divine potential, nor the Lord’s goal, wisdom or meditation. We are straying far away in this dark, gloomy world.  This forgetfulness is strange.  People generally forget objects and also what they have read, heard etc. A person whom we had known in the past is now a stranger for us, since we have forgotten him. But it is rare to find a person who forgets himself.  We think ourselves to be a body with name and form. We desire what our mind desires, we look upon the body’s needs as our own need.


The body and mind are the 2 wheels of the chariot of our life. But we have totally forgotten that we are the soul and not the body.  No doubt we hear time and again that the body is different from the soul.  But it is very rare that someone actually experiences this fact. And even if we experience it, it is in a very hazy manner.  If we understand true reality and the difference between the life-force and peripherals that manifests in our consciousness, we will give prime importance to soul well-being.  We would give only that much importance to material objects as is required.  Today we are walking with feet devoid of shoes and decorate our cars with frills of gold. We are dying of hunger and give clarified butter to vehicles. “We” means the soul and vehicle means body or mind.  The Lord is serving his servants. It is indeed strange that he has forgotten his responsibility.

                                                                                                                                               ATTAINING THE SOUL’S GOAL

The goal of life is to attain self-fulfillment. This self-fulfilled state can only be at the level of divinity. In order to attain God, the mind should get concentrated on him.  Before constructing important buildings, their maps, plans and models are designed.  An engineer, architect etc. will build buildings based on these models.  An image of God with his qualities, activities and nature is carried out for the purpose of meditation. As a result one experiences nearness, oneness and a sense of merging of God.  This is the true nature of meditation.

The goal of true meditation is to regain our lost memory regarding our real nature.  If someone happens to regain it, it is definitely akin to a man coming out of a very scary dream. It is only then that one experiences a condition akin to a child being lost in a massive crowd or like that of a man who has lost the memory of his identity.  Those undergoing such anguish, experience a great loss and they hurt their near and dear ones. Since we have lost our memory (that we are the mighty soul and not the body), our condition is as demeaning as a baby lion being brought up in a family of goats.  As a result we are giving pain to our true nature, which is divinity.

The goal of Yoga of meditation is to overcome loss of memory i.e. to awaken to the fact that we are the soul and not the body. In that one remembers God and one experiences one’s soul nature.  The memory of the union of a living being (Jiva) and God (Brahman) is re-activated and one experiences, that this very Divine Power contact was broken by us, is in reality our Divine Mother and Benefactor.  Not only this but like the proverbial wish-fulfilling cow (Kamadhenu), it is so powerful that by drinking its nectarine milk, we attain divinity. By sitting in the shade of a wish-fulfilling  tree (Kalpavriksha) one can attain anything. After contacting, coming close to that Divine Centre, one does not lack anything and thus we can overcome all types of poverty.  Thus Yoga of Meditation helps us attain this goal.


CONCENTRATION

It is not something great to attain Divine Powers. It should be protected from any type of wastage and should never be misused. The benefits of attaining Divine Powers are encountered when they are gathered in a safe place and that they are utilized only for sacred tasks.

As a result of heat, a lot of water of the oceans gets converted to steam.  So much steams rises into the atmosphere from cooking gas, fire etc. All this goes in waste.  But in an engine, a little bit of water is converted to steam. This steam is not allowed to stray in the atmosphere and is in fact collected in a tank. Later its energy flow passes out of a small hole and reaches the piston. As a result of this small process, the engine of a train starts functioning. Not only does it move but it runs at a great speed. Its movement is so powerful that it tugs alongwith it many other compartments  at a high speed.

If tons of gun powder are spread out on the ground and lit with a match-stick, it will show a little light for a flash of a moment and then get burnt to ashes.  This is a total wastage and is of no use to us. But if it is enclosed in a small area of a gun and by pressing the trigger a little, sparks of fire touch the gunpowder, this infinitesimal gunpowder gives amazing results. The bullet runs at a mammoth speed to its target.  Wherever it lands, it topples that object. One can thus clearly note the difference between just lighting up tons of gunpowder with a matchstick and on the other hand, lighting up a minute amount of gun powder in a gun.

The rays of sun light are scattered all over the earth.  Daily the sun rises and then sets in the evening.  This sunlight can give only a little heat and light to us. But if a few sunrays are concentrated on paper using a special lens, the paper starts burning. If it is thrown in a huge jungle, a forest fire ensues which destroys that entire area to ashes.

During Draupadi’s Swayamvar (choosing you own groom), the condition for getting married to her was that the prospective bridegroom should pierce the eye of a bird placed at a distance with an arrow. Dronacharya was helping his students to master this art. Before his students aimed an arrow, Dronacharya would ask them as to what they were seeing.  On an average the students would say that are seeing a bird on the tree. As a result Dronacharya would declare that such students would never succeed.  When it was Arjun’s turn, he answered that I can only see the bird’s eye and nothing else. Thus Dronacharya declared that Arjun would definitely succeed.  Truly at the Swayamvara ceremony of Draupadi, Arjun pierced the eye of the bird with one single arrow and thus got married to Draupadi.

It is said that a flying creature called a buzzing bee catches hold of a caterpillar and continues to buzz in front of it. As a result of continuously hearing the buzz of the bee and visualizing the bee’s form, the mental state of the caterpillar becomes that of a bee.  The caterpillar starts thinking itself to be a buzzing bee.  As a result the body of the caterpillar takes the shape of a buzzing bee instead of a grown up butterfly.  Zoologists may doubt this but it is a definite fact that whenever man concentrates/ focuses his mind on a particular name and form, his mind too takes up the name, form and characteristics of that object. As a result of focusing her mind on beauty and youth, a prostitute regains her beauty to a great extent at an advanced age too.  On the other hand, many young men and women look aged because their minds are all the time thinking of hardships and dire circumstances. All this   is a result of focusing one’s mind on a particular good/ bad thought.  This could be intentional or unintentional.

Spiritual concentration means to stop the mind from straying away from its center and that after focusing one’s Divine Powers at one central focal point, one should utilize the same for sacred endeavors only.  This is called control of mind or focusing of the psyche in spiritual texts. A lot of discussion takes place regarding Yoga of Meditation.  It should be surmised as an art of concentrating one’s mind.  When we hear about it, its success seems mediocre but in reality, it is a great achievement.  When one masters this art, man by focusing his scattered conscious energy in one place, utilizes it for some sacred purpose and thus attains amazing success.

Water is filled in dams. But when it is ejected from a small opening, a stream of it flows at break neck speed because of water pressure generated by the dam. This flow has extraordinary energy. Its influence aids the movement of wheels of many machines and as a result these machines start moving.  The construction of huge electric powerhouses takes place near gigantic dams.  It is very expensive to generate electricity using engines and machines but hydroelectricity is cheaply operated near dams.  Near smaller waterfalls, you have water mills.  The resultant energy is not due to the stream of water but it is due to its concentration. By focusing a widespread area in a smaller area, you generate power.

The aim of Yoga of Meditation is to concentrate mental thought scattering in one small area of thought.  The more an individual succeeds in concentrating his mind, the more his psyche will radiate with power.  Like an arrow of word, it is easy for him to attain his goal.  If spirituality is his aim, he will advance spiritually and his psyche will radiate with Ridhi-Sidhi or what are called Divine Powers.  If the aim is material progress, we will attain this goal too.  In whichever appropriate direction this energy is used, it will reap good dividends.



Concentration/ focusing means overcoming the wasteful scattering of the thought waves of our mind.  By obstructing the water flow of a small stream, a dam is created and thus a small pond, lake is created.  Then artificial streams are created from this lake which give water to far off arid regions.  If this stream were not converted into a dam, it would have lashed at the shores and caused wasteful flooding in surrounding regions.  This would lead to material destruction in that region. One should not look upon the thought flow in our mind as less important when compared to a hydroelectricity generator. The power of an electricity powerhouse is limited and can transmit electricity to a very limited region in its vicinity.  But this cannot be said about the mind.  Its potential of today can be augmented infinite fold in the future.  Its area of influence which is today limited to the family and friends will in future encompass the entire world.

Generally people of great authority like scientists, philosophers, artists, scholars, sculptors, authors, managers, leaders etc are like ordinary laymen. Their body is very ordinary and their minds lack a magical wand. Whatever difference one perceives in them alongwith the miracle of their greatness, is a result of their inner special qualities which in turn are related to the focusing capacity of their mind and their steadfastness in reaching the desired goal. Everybody possesses infinite amount of intellectual energy.  To the extent that weak brained individuals too have a lot of radiance.  The difference only is this that some have activated this radiance and the rest have not done so.  Even a very wise person is like a dead corpse when he is in deep sleep.  But on waking up, he manifests his intellectual brilliance.  This holds true for the brain too.  Due to certain circumstances, the intellectual powers of some people remains latent and thus look weak intellectually. But if their intellect is activated with effort, not only will they be as brilliant as other wise people but sometimes they will march ahead of them too.

Everyone knows that many threads unite together to form a strong rope and many broomsticks join together to form a broom.  Many drops of water constitute a jugful of water.  This example is given to accept the fact that by obstructing the wayward scattering of the intellect, one can focus/ concentrate one’s thought waves at a focal point.  One can easily understand that wayward scattering of thoughts in various directions diminishes our mental prowess and that if these thoughts are concentrated at one single point, it will give us miraculous mental strength.

By advancing mental concentration, great scientists, Yogis, philosophers etc. enter the deep ocean called the mind and thus collect priceless jewels.  Those who just float on the surface of the sea, attain nothing but those who dive deep into it, attain priceless materials. Superficial thinking is like a wayward blade of grass moving aimlessly here and there.  On the other hand focusing one’s thought waves at a single point in the psyche via meditation gives miraculous results.