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Goji berries are also known as Wolfberries. Some people even mis-spell it as "gogi berries". It is a sweet-taste, dark-red coloured dried fruit, and mainly comes from north-western area of China. It has been grown and consumed in China for a few thousand years. Many published studies discussed medicinal benefits of goji berries, including its antioxidant properties, its potential roles against cardiovascular, inflammatory, and vision-related diseases, its neuro-protective properties, its roles as anticancer and immunomodulatory agent. Research have found that goji contains many nutrients including 11 essential elements, 22 trace dietary minerals, 18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 8 polysaccharides, and 6 monosaccharidesm.
The roasted cacao nibs are made from the process whereby the cacao seeds are roasted in large, rotating ovens, at temperatures of about 210-290F. Roasting lasts from half an hour up to two hours. The heat brings out more flavor and aroma, and it dries and darkens the seeds. Then the seeds are cracked and winnowed, that is, their outer shells are cracked and blown away, leaving the crushed and broken pieces of cacao seeds - "cacao nibs". At this point, we have something edible and really chocolatey. Cacao nibs contains Magnesium, Sulphur, and Anti-oxidant, Monoamine Oxidase Enzyme Inhibitors, Phenylethylamine, and Anandamide. These substances can help us having healthy heart, relieving us from stressful mood, and much more. So recent years cacao nibs are becoming a popular healthy food.
Maca root can be used as vegetable or medicinal herb. Biologically maca root is rich in sugar and protein. It contains 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Additionally it has uridine, malic acid, benzoyl derivative, and glucosinolates etc. Dried maca powder is rich in alkaloidal, minerals, and nutrients such as essential minerals (selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron), fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids, as well as polysaccharides.
Spirulina is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. It contains Lysine, Cysteine, Methionine, Phenylalanine and Threonine, whic are important amino acids that can only be acquired by human beings through food. Spirulina is also a very rich source of Vitamin B-12. It has much higher iron content than Spinach. It contains much higher amounts of Beta-Carotene than carrots.
Wheatgrass also contains 20 amino acids, several hundred different enzymes not found in other foods, as many as 90 out of 102 possible minerals, vitamins and other important nutrients. It is a great supplement for people on diet, for sports people, and for people who want to maintain a healthy immune system. It should mention that nowadays many people like to buy wheatgrass powderto make juice by themselves.
On the other hand any people like to buy flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is a great source for Omega 3. Omega 3 has super polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acid, which has many benefits in our daily lives. It is known as an Essential Fatty Acid because these oils are vital for normal body functions such as renewal of cells balancing hormones, repairing muscles and tissue as well as many other essential processes in the body. Omega 3 is referred to as essential as it must be ingested in food directly as the body cannot synthesise it from other foods not containing Omega 3. If our bodies are short of Omega 3 and EFA, we could have dry flaky skin, weight increase, poor concentration or attention deficiency, lack of energy, continually getting colds or infections, Arthritic type pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increase in allergies. Flax oil can be added to low fat yoghurt or taken with you favourite fruit juice.
Chlorella is a single-cell green algae which is part of Chlorophyta family. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 ?m in diameter. Chlorella contains a fibrous and indigestible outer shell and inner nutrients. The dried Chlorella contains about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Therefore many people believe it is an attractive food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients. More importantly many of its health benefits have been discovered by researchers around the world.
Yoga is probably not an obvious choice of activity when it comes to weight loss but despite the speed of the movements it is deceptively effective and here's why.
1. Yoga strengthens and streamlines your muscles
During yoga practise you work your whole body, stretching and toning your muscles, streamlining and firming them. This gives you a lean firm body shape as opposed to the bulkier, short muscles you might get from weight training. With yoga you build strong lean muscle tissue which burn calories even while you are at rest.
2. Yoga calms you and clears your mind
If you are someone who eats due to stress and tension, then yoga will help you reduce comfort eating. The slow stretching movements and deep breathing in every yoga movement calm and relax you. The balance postures in particular necessitate that you clear your mind of all your every day cares and worries and use all your powers of concentration and focus. With regular yoga practise you will find that you become naturally more relaxed and able to cope with everyday problems.
3. Yoga normalises sluggish glands
The toning movements in yoga work not only on the muscles but also on the internal organs of the body stimulating them and normalising their function. Twisting poses, forward and backward bends and inversions are used to stimulate the endocrine system and postures like the shoulder stand and the fish help regulate the mechanism of the thyroid gland in the neck, all of which help boost your metabolism.
4. Yoga gives you energy and increases flexibility
By calming you and gently working on your muscles and increasing the levels of oxygen in your blood and to your brain, you finish a yoga practise (once you are used to the movements) feeling more energetic than when you began. This means that you tend to put more energy and movement into your day rather than sitting around feeling exhausted. And you build flexibility in your muscles and joints so that you enjoy a full range of movement your whole life. Witness the difference between the movements of a young girl and a stiff 80 year old woman. The young girl is bound to move so much more because muscles and joints are less restricted.
5. Yoga uses calories
This is where people believe that yoga is not helpful when it comes to weight loss and it's true that aerobic exercise may very well burn more calories. However you will still use about 240 calories in an average 1 hour classic hatha yoga class and burn many more (about 400) with some highly physical forms such as astanga yoga. And you can practise yoga every day without over-exercising your muscles which is not the case for many forms of aerobic exercise.
6. Yoga offers psychological benefits
Through yoga practise you tend to retune into your body and increase your self-acceptance and self-esteem. You build positive body confidence and help quiet any negative messages that may arise in your mind. Yoga teaches us to respect our bodies and this helps us when choosing our food and avoiding junk food and alcohol.
7. Yoga is for everyone
Most people can take up yoga even if they have been inactive for a while although you should always get your doctor's approval before beginning an exercise program if there is any doubt about your health. While jogging and working out at the gym might seem too much to contemplate you can start wherever you are with a yoga class and make steady progress.
Is Yoga the answer - Why are so many people choosing to ignore the warning signs that is causing major concerns towards their health - environmental hazards which are out of our control but very much a part of our lives is becoming a worry to us all. Then we have another health issue - stress, which is destroying people`s lives with energies of destruction affecting how they live.
Is Yoga the answer. Stress/anxiety affects people in different ways so it is important - before buying over the counter any pills or remedy powders is to consult a doctor. Depression can cause so much pain and suffering to a patient in the way of taking over - how they think - what they do or how they act. For a person not to be in control of their own actions is a serious situation therefore you need to talk to someone if you feel that you are experiencing anxious moments.
Is Yoga the answer? Stress and anxiety symptoms can be sedated and calmed with the right treatment and medication - but any advice on what should be administered for easing these discomforts should be from a doctor or herbalist if you choose the natural way for help.
If your health or that of your family is giving you reason for concern then consider going along to keep fit classes like yoga. Is Yoga the answer, Yoga is proving to be a great antidote for stress related ailments. They say do not knock it till you try it and this goes for yoga also. Stress is a troubling mind meddler where in some unfortunate cases - patients have been hospitalized. Depending on the seriousness of the illness - mild yoga techniques can help.
Body awareness is the main issue when joining a yoga class. By knowing the mechanics on body parts like muscles - joints and organs can help you nip in the bud many uncontrollable body function outbursts before they start.
Is Yoga the answer in helping combat stress? Stress problems are addressed with a type of yoga that helps control the mind in the form of meditation exercises. Meditation is a common Yoga type exercised by millions worldwide. Even the medical world believes that Yoga is proving to be very beneficial to suffering patients.
It is now a common practice by doctors all over the world to refer patients on a regular basis to perform these exercises in the way of a medicinal fix - naturally.
Is Yoga the answer - Yes (depending on the patient and the illness).
Does it matter what clothing is to be worn when practising Yoga, well of course it does - yoga exercises are about comforting the mind so why not go the whole hog and have the lot - comfort on the body also. There are no certain identities as to what Yoga Clothing to wear - but common sense will prevail and point you in the right direction if you want comfort while working out.
Your Yoga clothing should give you room to manoeuvre because of all the different types of yoga moves performed which may entail twists, turns and stretching. By dressing in slack or baggy clothing you will be more content doing your yoga - stretchable elastic materials is also practical clothing for these exercises. Perspiration and how heavy you sweat needs taking into consideration when selecting your yoga clothing. Certain materials can make matters worse.
Think vacation when choosing garments - holiday clothes are ideally suited for yoga. We all relax on vacation and pack the right clothes for the trip so why not for the trip down to the local yoga club. Shorts and light tops are apt but if you prefer leotards or a swimming costume then that is fine along with tights or leggings.
If your choice of yoga clothing is stiff and tight fitting then this can hamper some of your yoga moves and poses. This can also have an affect on your concentration levels due to the stress of discomfort.
The ideal yoga clothing most suitable to wear when working on a routine in an air conditioned room is to wear long sleeves or elbow length. Air conditioned rooms can be a lot colder than you imagine so wrap up if your yoga exercise at the time is not a strenuous one. In the cooler months Yoga clothing that is most popular is the track or jogging suit.
Clothes will differ for different types of exercise. Take the Bikram Yoga which is widely known as hot yoga. It is an exercise that you would expect to wear shorts and light tops. Your own personal taste and style is acceptable at all times - the only reason for this guidance checklist on yoga clothing is in your best interest. The main objective to directing you in dressing wisely is for comfort thus leaving you to enjoy your yoga routines.
Take time to enhance the dish so as to speak with added dressy bits and bobs. Colour can be added by wearing multi coloured wrist or headbands, even a bandana if preferred can spruce up any yoga clothing. How good is this Yoga lark where you dress down to dress up?
Have you never questioned yourself why you are not one of the millions of people worldwide practising Yoga. People in that many numbers don`t get it wrong in choice of exercise on how to keep fit and healthy. Research behind Yoga exercise has proven to many disbelievers that it is very affective on infected body departments like the mind - joints and muscles.
Yoga exercises practised under the guidance of an expert is the best route to take on your first introduction. Instructors can show you the best techniques on how to combat stress and stiffness of the joints.
Yoga moves and poses encourage the muscles to become fully toned up while at the same time going to work relaxing the nervous system. The power of Yoga should never be underestimated. Body organs are not ignored. Yoga exercises see to the body organs in the way of a rub down similar to that of a massage where it acts as a detoxifier to help rid waste toxin build up in the body.
What does yoga involve is a common question asked by newcomers, well the answer to that is yoga gives you control over two things - one is your breathing and the other is the physical exercise which helps improve strength and flexibility.
Music to be played in the background of a yoga class will be picked accordingly to create an atmosphere for what ever exercise is taking place.
Orchestral tunes set the scene for a serene and mellow feel. Meditation music will relate to comforting sounds - sounds such as the call of the forest, whistling birds and wind chimes. Concentration is very important when in the sedate calm world of meditation - so therefore the music has to be suitable. For Example the famous ballet swan lake would never of had the same affect if those graceful moves were performed to the tune of I`m a Yankee Doodle dandy.
Invigorating noises that please the mind can help improve yoga exercise. The word Yoga is like music to some people`s ears due to the fact that they get to keep in shape while increasing lubrication of the ligaments, tendons and joints.
Health matters are behind many a person`s involvement with yoga because of its amazing results, helping to ease pain and pressure. Why not make the most healthiest decision in your life and let others ask themselves why they are not part of the now million and ONE people doing yoga.
No debate can arise from Yoga Exercises or is questionable on just how powerful yoga can be. Yoga has proven to give beneficial rewards to millions of people in helping them to keep in shape while at the same time assisting them to lead a healthy lifestyle. Your health and yoga is a match made in heaven. Yoga Exercises and the people who practice regular routines are finding it easier to cope with stress on top of easing body aches and pains.
Times have changed dramatically from the days of yesterday - in the days gone by life was a struggle for families - but some how they coped with the illnesses that plagued and terrorised their well being. In those days you never seen a jogger a treadmill or come to think of it any form of exercise like yoga. The only thing that the modern world has in common from the days of the notorious Jack the ripper is the plague. Citizens today are plagued by stress brought on by pressure from work commitments to running the home and much more. Why do we put up with the torment of coping like the people of yesterday who were a lot less fortunate than ourselves - where their options to help reduce any health risks were zilch?
Yes changes have dramatically altered but in our best interest where health matters is a major concern.
Yoga Exercises do go back to ancient times but why did so many poor unfortunate urchins die from cholera etc while trying to pick a pocket or two. The answer to that is there was no awareness programme administered on how to stay healthy and fit. (Which may have helped save lives?) Could this be the reason why so many children have been introduced to Yoga Exercises by their parents in the 21st century?
Yoga exercises for children start with simple and easy moves - yoga moves and poses for kids are normally named after animals to make it more fun as well as interesting. For example the butterfly pose is very popular among the children - this exercise includes where the child will sit with their knees bent leaning down towards the floor and the soles of the feet slightly touching. Parents are becoming more involved with health maintenance procedures in keeping their children fit and healthy.
By enlisting your kiddies to join local yoga classes you have just thrown them a lifeline where they will learn more on body awareness. One of the main reasons for introducing a child to the world of yoga is - obesity. Some children take to yoga exercises like a duck to water and pick up quickly on the understanding as to why they are performing such exercises. But then you have those who struggle to come to terms with their exercise and have no idea to what rewards can be gained. What really matters is - as long as the kiddies are enjoying themselves then that is one rewarding result in itself.
Later in life when the child is fit and healthy - it is then that you will find the child`s perception of the whole yoga experience will answer their question as to why mummy and daddy did what they did and that was to send them to practice yoga exercises.
Yoga is helping people the natural way to ease stress/pain. Beneficial results from practising yoga is peace of mind.
Yoga has used nature and wildlife as it reference point due to which there are so many asanas related to it. Simhasana is one of those asanas which adds glory to your face and you can easily see the difference. Yoga is an age-old process which has been quite a favorite amount all the age-old-yogis. Even though Simhasana mean lion pose if taken the literal meaning, in Sanskrit 'simha' means 'the powerful one'. It emits lot of force when you perform this asana. Similar to the roar of the lion this asana is performed in the exact fashion to draw as much usefulness as possible. The asana depicts the fierceness of the lion which benefits those parts of the body where it is stretched and pulled.
This asana is very different to other asanas as it benefits your face which many of the asanas are not able to do it. It benefits your face, jaw, mouth, throat and tongue. If you have sore throat problems this asana proves to be very useful. Problems like tightness of the jaw like teeth grinding, clenched jaws can get some relief by performing this asana regularly. This asana involves the stretching of the tongue as you are required to mimic the roaring lion. It can be treated as a very good asana which can remove your wrinkles and can be stated as an anti-ageing yoga asana. We pay lot of attention to the other parts of our body and hardly take care of our face while performing the yoga asana. This asana shows that we are in right direction and this asana could prove to be very much essential of our lives.
The muscles and tissues of your face have restored their lost charm to make your face more radiant than ever. It makes your face a beaming glory by performing this asana. The stretching and pulling stimulates the nerves to give you a refreshed look. The gaze which is used in the asana helps your eyes by keeping it shiny and bright. It removes the tension from the eyes and also clears burning sensation which you keep feeling in your eyes. It helps your hands and fingers as it stretches them while performing this asana. Many of the diseases related to face, tongue, vocal cords back and anus can be treated by this asana. It adds confidence in your posture and your character. Your voice also improves by performing this asana. Suffering from neck or backache this asana can relieve you from this problem.
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.
Supta Vajrasana in Sanskrit means thunderbolt, it was Lord Indra's weapon. It is known as the king of all asanas, related with mind. These asanas are mainly related to the digestive system and also boosts the sensual energy of the person. It keeps your body strong and healthy by doing this asana regularly. It looks like a very simple exercise but doing it properly is the key for any exercise. Vajra is an important pulse which is directly related with genital-urinary system which modulates the sensual energy of the person. Supta Vajrasana is known to have fourteen asanas in its series which proves to be very beneficial for providing the needed energy for your body.
With the increasing age we tend to get aggravated by many illnesses and pains which bound our life. Waist, shoulders and spinal chord pain can be facilitated by doing this asana. This asana is very good for women as it helps in minimizing menstrual pains as well as avoids any complication during pregnancy. Supta Vajrasna can be performed during times of menstruation. It also relieves you from pelvic strain, burning sensation and waist pain. The core essence of this asana is to boost your moral by spiritual upliftment. It is also known to clear problems like sciatica and slip disc. The meditational poses are an excellent way to bring unison of the mind, body and soul.
If you have blood pressure this asana would benefit you immensely. It gives your spine the needed boost and helps in creating a supple and flexible back. It tones your abdominal muscles which in turn tones the abdominal wall. If you are suffering from problems like hernia this is the asana to provide relief. Supta Vajransana stretches most parts of your body including your hips and diaphragm. The continuous practice of this asana helps in maintaining your thighs which is a problem area for many. It gives a slim look to your thighs. Problems like gout, diabetes and varicose veins can also be treated by this asana. This asana is totally subjected to strengthening your lower spine, knee and ankles. It is also helpful in firming your thighs, calf muscles and making your abdomen stronger and toned. It helps in lubricating every joint of your body which helps in future.
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.
Yoga - which means 'to unite' in Sanskrit - is an ancient Indian system of health and fitness. Widely considered as one of the best methods to achieving holistic health, fitness and battling stress. The regular practice of yoga ensures a healthy and active life well into a ripe old age, claim experts. Ustraasana, i.e. camel pose - can simply be described as kneeling backbend. Camel Pose is a progression from the simpler prone backbend like Dhanuranasa (Bow Pose).
Step by step procedure for attaining the posture: Kneel on the floor with your knees at hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Keep your thighs pressed together. Move your hands to the back, just above the buttocks. Now lean back and slide your hands over your legs till they reach the ankles. To begin with you might not find this easy to do, and if you feel a strain in the back, don't push yourself beyond that point.
Press your palms firmly against your soles (or heels), with the bases of the palms on the heels and the fingers pointing toward the toes. Turn your arms outwardly so the elbow creases face forward, without squeezing the shoulder blades together. You can keep your neck in a relatively neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, or drop your head back. But be careful not to strain your neck and harden your throat.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. To exit, bring your hands onto the front of your pelvis, at the hip points. Inhale and lift the head and torso up by pushing the hip points down, toward the floor. If your head is back, lead with your chest to come up, not by jutting the chin upwards. You may use a pad/mat/hard cushion/blanket under your knees and shins.
Beginners very often may not be able to touch their hands to their feet without straining their back or neck. First, try to turn your toes under and elevate your heels. If this doesn't work, the next thing to do is to rest each hand on a block. Position the blocks just outside each heel, and stand them at their highest height (usually about 9 inches). If you're still having difficulty, get a chair. Kneel for the pose with your back to the chair, with your calves and feet below the seat and the front edge of the seat touching your buttocks. Then lean back and bring your hands to the sides of the seat or high up on the front chair legs.
Benefits: It is a good workout for the ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen, chest, and throat. Strengthens back muscles and improves posture. Helps tone the back, calf, neck and abdominal muscles. It stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck.
-High or low blood pressure.
-Serious low back or neck injury.
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.
Yoga today is all the rage. It is a subject that excites people's curiosity and enjoys much popularity. This is especially so since the asanas (exercises) and pranayamas (breathing techniques) that owe their origins to ancient Indian wisdom have proved beneficial in promoting holistic health and mental peace as also in developing personality. In this article we will discuss Marjaraasana - the cat pose.
Process: Sit on your haunches with the knees and toes on the ground. Keep the palms on the floor in such a way that the distance between them is about the same as that between the shoulders, i.e. equal to the width of the back. Keep the distance between the palms and the knees about the same as that between the shoulders and the hips, i.e. equal to the length of the torso. The distance between the knees should be the same as the width of the waist. Turn the toes back so that the soles face upward. The distance between the soles should be the same as that between the knees. Relax the muscles in the trunk region and let the trunk descend under gravity. At the same time, let the neck and head curve backward as far as possible. Relax the stomach and close the eyes. Direct your attention to the entire body and practise conscious differential relaxation. Keep the mind engaged in pranadharana (consciousness of breath). This is the final posture of marjaraasana -maintain it according to capacity.
An extension of the above posture can be attained in the following manner: staying in the final posture obtained above, open your eyes. Move the palms about 10-15 cms towards the knees. Curve the back upwards so that it shapes like an arch. Relax the neck and hang the head down. Draw the chin towards the chest and relax the abdomen, practice differential relaxation and then do prandharana. This is the final extension posture of marjaraasana- maintain it according to capacity.
Releasing the asana: Start by lowering the right leg by bending it at the knee, then rest the knee on the floor. Lower the head and make the back parallel to the ground, loosen it up and relax.
Benefits: The spine becomes flexible and supple; it helps to correct the functional defects of the back and spine. The health of the organs in the torso improves. You are relieved of backache and pain in the neck resulting from exertion. It also soothes the neck muscles and the lumbar region of the spine and invigorates the spinal nerves, improves blood circulation in the abdominal region thereby making digestive, respiratory and excretory processes. This asana is also useful in treating respiratory disorders.
As it is generally admitted by yoga practitioners and yoga trainers, yoga sessions are very much about self equilibrium, peacefulness and meditation. By practicing meditation we can all reach the sublime state of learning the purpose of our existence and maximizing our will to reach it.
Studies have proven that meditation highly contributes to both physical and psychological well-being, which is why yoga routines consider the practice of meditation as one of its main principles.
Reducing physical pain, stress and blood pressure, meditation promotes a state of mind, by which we can achieve self-healing. Due to all these uncontestable benefits that this practice involves, there is a great variety of information available in different formats, regarding the most efficient meditation techniques, postures, courses, products and forums.
Religion and psychology promote meditation as well, as a way of assessing our actions and seeking self improvements. As many theories and ancient believes demonstrate, our present life is determined by our previous actions, which is why it is vital to analyze and meditate on the things we do, in order to find ways of improving ourselves and thus, creating a brighter future.
Meditation is definitely one of the main principles of yoga, as it has been verified that it is a trustworthy tool to use for achieving mental clarity and health. A very important thing to know is the fact that there are various types of meditation exercises, designed for advanced or beginner yoga students. Thus, you have to carefully analyze all details and information provided on each and every one of these techniques and exercises, so that you obtain the maximum results, from your meditation routines.
Despite the fact that many people believe that, just like breathing, meditation is something that comes naturally and cannot be taught, there are a few aspects of this process, which can increase your efficiency and your results, in no time. One of the aspects you have to bear in mind is the time of the day when you carry out your yoga meditation; hence, it would be perfect if you could do it either in the morning or late in the evening, as during those particular moments of the day, the atmosphere is charged with a high level of spiritual energy.
Here is some advice regarding meditation:
* Before starting the meditation session free your mind of all worries.
* Try to locate a quiet place, where you are not likely to be disturbed.
* It is recommended to choose the same moment of the day, as well as the same place, for your meditation routine.
* Focus on meditation; do not let your mind get lost in other thoughts.
* Try to follow a pattern when breathing.
* Your head, back and neck have to be placed in a perfect straight line.
Remember that it is crucial both to perform the meditation session and to observe the results, in order to get close to experiencing the supreme synchronization between the body and the spirit.
One of the essential things about yoga, together with the positive attitude, is the diet. It is highly recommended to perform your yoga session after about 2 hours from a main meal. Many specialists agree that what we eat is reflected both in our appearance, as well as in our health state. In other words, it is important to mind the things we consume, in order to prevent illnesses and discomforts.
However, the question related to what does healthy food mean, remains a constant reason of inquiry for many people. According to reliable studies, a very diversified diet represents the ideal food for any human organism. However, fruits and vegetables, containing fibers and vitamins should be a permanent component of your daily meals. Furthermore, everything that can be defined as natural food is recommended, when it comes to preserving your state of well being.
Despite the fact that many people try to eat as little as possible, as they believe food can produce them harm, you have to keep in mind that your body needs nutrients, in order to properly function. Nevertheless, do not exaggerate when eating, even if you are consuming healthy food, because it will not have the same beneficial effect on you. Try to stop eating once you are not hungry anymore, or, even better, stop before reaching the full saturation state. By doing this, you will discover that the state of fatigue, which we sometimes experience after eating, is considerably diminished, while your energy level goes up substantially.
Another issue related to eating is how often should a healthy person eat? Should we have three meals a day? Should we avoid having dinner, in order to prevent becoming overweight, because we do not move sufficiently during the night? Or is it better not to have lunch, so that you do not have to deal, in the middle of the day, with the unpleasant sensation of fatigue, which we experience after serving a consistent meal? Well, the right answer to all these questions would be to eat whenever you are hungry, as your body needs to be fed in order to function at the standards you desire, but, nevertheless, pay attention to what and how much you are eating.
More than a simple energy source, food can be a way of purifying one's body and soul, which is why, together with the variety of exercises, yoga trainers encourage the practitioners to keep a wise diet, based mainly on natural food. This way, their body is protected from the danger of contracting toxins and it is prepared, at the same time, to find the synchronization with the soul and mind, which is actually one of the main goals of yoga practices.
As a final remark, when carrying out constant yoga practices it is important, in order to reach your goals, to meditate both on what you are doing to your own body, as a direct consequence of the food you are eating, and to what level you respond to your soul's and mind's needs.
Emotional pressure and stress have a pronounced effect on every woman's health. It has been proven that emotional distress often translates into physical weakness and different illnesses. There are many other factors that affect women's health such as hormonal changes, which are far more pronounced than in the case of men. Yoga offers an excellent solution to most of these issues that are unavoidable.
Different stages in a woman's life may bring various problems. There are issues associated with menstrual cramps and the premenstrual syndrome that affect many women around the world. The noticeable hormonal changes that accompany menopause are another reason why women have to cope with increased stress levels. One of the major changes in a woman's life is associated to pregnancy. This is a stage in which every health problem may be reflected on the health of the baby, so it is vital for the mother to stay healthy throughout the whole pregnancy process. Yoga offers various solutions to all of these issues, enabling women to get passed these inherent obstacles.
Yoga is often used by women to prepare for the last months of pregnancy and labor. A fit and healthy mother has better chances of delivering the baby without any complications what so ever, so the importance of yoga practices becomes even bigger. Different yoga poses such as the fish yoga pose or the cat pose help the mother develop both the physical and mental strength and focus that will greatly help during labor. Regular yoga practice can lessen the negative effects of various pregnancy problems such as morning sickness. Stretching poses also help the mother relax and strengthen the pelvis muscles, which will function easier during birth. Breathing techniques are invaluable during birth as they allow the mother to focus on the delivery rather than having to fight off the associated birth pain.
Women in the postnatal period or those that just want to improve their vitality and energy levels can try some of the following poses. The fish yoga pose, for example, helps women increase oxygen processing and increases relaxation. This pose is also known to strengthen back and neck muscles, while also improving the responses of the nervous system. The hero yoga pose is one of the best if the woman is looking for a period of time dedicated to meditation.
The cat pose is one of the most frequent ones to be used by women, regardless of age or physical condition. It is excellent for increasing spinal column flexibility and relaxing the lower back muscles, which carry the weight of the whole upper body while standing. The specific position of the cat pose also favors an increased kidney blood irrigation. This pose can be followed by the head stand, a slightly more difficult pose, but which also produces some beneficial results. This pose allows certain parts of the body rest as they do not have to function to maximum capability due to the reverse of gravity. Women may specifically benefit from this pose as it relieves back pain and lower back muscle pressure.
Stretching and yoga aren't just for swamis who can fold themselves up like pretzels, or movie stars who have nothing better to do with their days! It can be a beneficial practice to all who use it, and one doesn't have to adopt the worldview of the swamis in order to reap benefits from it. The pace of our lives these days is crazy - some would argue destructive.
Yoga proponents say that learning the art form will not make you dull, but more magnetic, and show you the importance of slowing down. Yoga's 'inactivity' can insert a moment to breathe in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, can clear your mind, and re-energize you with just a few simple techniques.
The first lesson in any Yogic theory is how to relax. This doesn't mean you flop on the sofa and become a couch potato; instead it is defined as 'a conscious transfer of energy from one department of nature to another....' Even if you do this for 5 minutes at a time over a beverage, you're on your way to relaxing. It will increase your efficiency - try it and see!
Stretching involved in yoga can be very simple: lie on the floor without pillows. Remove your shoes and wear whatever is loose fitting and comfortable to you. Stretch your arms over your head while stretching your legs and feet. Close your eyes and let your head roll to one side.
Now release each part of your body and consciously permit each limb, each 'section' of your body, to meld in to the floor. Permit yourself to feel as if you are sinking and think of a peaceful scene. This will likely feel very odd to you the first time you do it, but the relaxation that you bring each part of your body will be refreshing!
Now we'll work on stretching! Lie on the floor as you did for your full-body relaxation, only this time, interweave your fingers above your head. If you turn your palms upward, you'll feel a bigger stretch along your ribs and spine. Stretch your arms as far above your head as possible, pointing your toes and pushing them towards the floor so you can feel every muscle between your head and feet.
Once you have stretched every part of your body, release! Now go back in to your full-body relaxation mode, remembering to start at the head and relax your way down to your toes.
Now work on the 'complete breath' that yoga teaches. Lying flat on the floor without pillows, place your hands gently on your diaphragm. Slowly exhale as much as you can. Very slowly begin to inhale through the mouth, evenly and without sudden stops. You will feel your diaphragm expand at this point - keep going. Now exhale through your mouth, using a slight force, expelling as much air as possible.
You have just completed your 'complete breath' in yogic teaching! If you build up the number of complete breaths per day, you'll notice less tension, better rest, and a more relaxed you. Release the stress of your day and become who you were designed to be!
If Yoga were like fine wine, Hatha Yoga would surely be the wine for export. It could be said that Raja Yoga and Kundalini Yoga got a fairly strong foothold outside India, as well. All of these forms of Yoga have many aspects, but the physical aspect is what lures most Yoga students - outside of India.
Bhakti Yoga, on the other hand, is a spiritual form of Yoga and is very commonly practiced within India. Bhakti Yoga is union by love and devotion to God. Therefore, this is the form of Yoga that really does have a deep spiritual aspect and a connection to Hinduism. This spiritual, and religious, aspect is possibly the reason why Bhakti Yoga has not managed to proliferate as well as Hatha Yoga, which is Union by physical mastery.
Could Bhakti Yoga be practiced by a Yoga practitioner who is not a Hindu? Let's ask, for example, could a Christian, Moslem, or Jew practice Bhakti Yoga and stay within the confines of his or her religion? Some already do.
This could be considered sectarian Yoga, when a number of Yoga practitioners, of the same religion, gather to worship, meditate, pray, sing, or chant. Attachment to God is not reserved to any one specific religion. Therefore, in principle, Bhakti Yoga can be practiced by members of any religion.
There are many more types of Bhakti classifications, but I will name two basic classifications. Nishkamya Bhakti is praise to God for all that you have. This is appreciation and acceptance of all your situations, relationships, and everything else. Instead of being a seeker, you are now a "finder" of all that is good in your life. In turn, you will easily be able to project loving kindness to others.
In contrast, there is also Sakamya Bhakti. This is devotion to God with the desire for gaining something. The objective could be material gain, to free yourself from an ailment, or to gain power of some kind. In time of need is when most people pray to God. This is a common thread in all of us, and surprisingly our prayers are answered in a positive way.
It is important to understand that Bhakti Yoga is much more complex than this simplified explanation that I have presented. However, the principles of Bhakti Yoga are there for all Yoga students of every religion.
Interestingly, I have heard strong arguments against "oneness" with God. The theory is that God will only let us so close, as we are imperfect. It is true that humans are imperfect, but there is no harm in self-improvement or Yoga.
Why are doctors referring their patients, who have chronic back pain, to Yoga classes? How many studies have been conducted on back pain and Yoga? Is Yoga a "cure all" for back pain? What kind of Yoga class is best for back pain? Let's look at all of these issues and see if we can clear up some answers.
It is conservatively estimated that more than half of the world adult population suffers from some sort of back pain. Yoga, for back pain, is the most popular subject that teacher interns write about at our Yoga teacher training center.
However, this does not explain why so many doctors, within the United States, refer their patients to Yoga studios as an additional alternative to medication and physical therapy. The truth is, that within the U.S. , there have been very few studies, and I only know of one in particular, which was the Group Health Cooperative study, which recently took place in Seattle, Washington.
Therefore, one study is not the answer; especially one study which just happened. The truth is, most of the studies on back pain and Yoga, as a form of therapy, are taking place in India. So, why does your family doctor, chiropractor, or orthopedic doctor, take a leap of faith outside the view of traditional western medicine? To put it simply, doctors read and continually educate themselves. They do not look down the narrow path of medicine that is laid down by bureaucracy.
Yoga is relatively inexpensive, in comparison to prescription medicines, so why bother to do a study? In comparison to the joint ventures, and potential profits involved in pharmaceutical studies, Yoga can't promise a "big pay day." Yet, the fact that physicians, within the United States, are willing to "look outside the box" for answers, speaks volumes in regard to their integrity. Doctors are often accused of being too quick to prescribe medicines, but the public often demands quick and effortless solutions in regard to health care.
Is Yoga really a "cure all" for back pain? In short, the answer is "no." How can I say that? Nothing is a cure all for back pain, but Yoga helps most of the students I work with. No prescription can claim 100% patient satisfaction either. Odds are that most people, with pre-existing back pain, who take up Yoga classes for relief, will reduce the number of pain killers needed. This fact has been stated by my Yoga students over the years.
If you have pre-existing back pain, which style of Yoga should you seek out? Regardless of style, you may want to observe a Yoga class before trying it. You should seek out a gentle style, and you should talk to your prospective Yoga teacher ahead of time.
Stay away from vigorous Yoga classes. I would advise against taking part in my Vinyasa Yoga class, but I would welcome you with open arms in my Restorative Yoga class. Why do I say this? Yoga styles, class formats, lesson plans, and teachers differ.
My suggestion is that you get a private session first, and your Yoga teacher will work with you "first hand." If possible, get a referral from your doctor, or from a friend, who practices Yoga. This will help you avoid the guessing process.
Headstand (salamba shirshasana) is one of the yoga poses that are considered inversion poses. Inversion poses involve any asanas that lift the feet above the head. Other inversion poses that are well known include shoulderstand (salamba sarvangasana) and half shoulder stand (viparita karani). But even lying on the floor with your legs on a chair is an inversion pose.
The concept behind inversion poses is expressed in yoga texts as viparita karani. Viparita karani is translated as meaning 'opposite process'. This simply means facilitating a different perspective. From the purely physical point of view, this different perspective in inversion poses is literal - in terms of looking at the world from a different physical viewpoint - as well as involving the body being supported in a different way.
But as yoga is more than simply physical exercises, there are other processes that are assisted. A lot of yoga is designed to help us change mental habits as well as physical habits. Through increasing our ability to adapt to change, instead of being stuck in old habitual responses, we increase our capacity for growth and transformation. This applies in all areas of our lives.
There is a theoretical concept in yoga about why inversion postures help. Ayurveda considers that many of the body's impurities are in the lower abdomen. When we raise our feet above the head, gravity is assisting us to move these impurities towards what the Ayurvedic system calls agni, or 'fire'. Agni particularly relates to our 'digestive fire', and is thus located above our lower abdomen.
So, by being upside down, and by using the deep and slow breathing typical of yoga, we help 'burn off' the impurities that were previously stuck.
Improved circulation is a more readily apparent and less 'esoteric' benefit of inversion yoga poses.
Whilst inversion postures have many health benefits, the ability of an individual to receive those benefits depends as much on their capacity to comfortably hold these sometimes difficult postures. For example, headstand and shoulder stand should simply not be done if people are pregnant, have neck pain, high or low blood pressure, neck injuries, or are menstruating. And neither of these postures should be attempted without the appropriate preparatory postures. Otherwise the risk is there that an injury, or stiffness, particularly to the neck area, will result.
Likewise, if doing these postures is very uncomfortable and difficult, more benefit will be derived from doing either the modified versions, or simply working on other yoga poses that strengthen these areas.
There are several important prerequisites for getting the most benefit fro inversions. The first one, a strong neck, I've mentioned. The others are a strong back and abdominal muscles, and the capacity to breathe well whilst in the posture. The latter is going to get better with practice, both of yoga itself and the inversions. It is also somewhat tied into having a strong back. Our back and stomach muscles will provide the support to hold the legs straight, which inturn opens up the thoracic cavity, and increases our ability to breathe well whilst upside down!
Tips for Doing the Inverted Postures.
For Half Shoulder stand:
* Lengthen the exhale.
* Don't lock the chin.
* Keep your weight not on the head but on the wrists and elbows.
* Don't try to pull your torso (and legs) into the vertical like in full shoulder stand if you have difficulties with your neck. By doing so, you're placing more pressure on your neck.
* Make sure you do the appropriate balancing postures afterwards. These include shalabhasana and bhujangasana.
For Shoulder stand:
* Don't worry so much about keeping your elbows and arms parallel. This will create more tension in your neck if you're not proficient in this posture.
* Do the appropriate balancing postures. These are the same as for half shoulder stand.
* Don't ever make adjustments whilst in headstand. If you feel your alignment is not quite right, come down and do it again.
* Never do this posture first up, or without the prerequisite postures. It will lead to stiffness in the neck at best, and injury at worst. And the negative effects can build up over time. This posture is never done traditionally without preparation, and there is reason for this.
* Use a wall for support as a learning stage.
* Support your head with all of your fingers, including the little fingers and thumbs.
* Finding the right position for your head will make sure weight is distributed evenly, and ensure you don't have to overly press down with your elbows to compensate.
* Think of the support for the whole body as being distributed evenly across both elbows and the head.
* Don't hold your weight too much on the back of your body. It will place too much pressure on your neck.
* Don't use props that allow the neck to be free. It will lead to the neck muscles contracting.
* Use the balancing postures. Shoulder stand is the traditional, but Mohan recommends half shoulder stand instead.
* Rest your neck before doing the balancing postures, however. Lie down with your legs bent.
* Other balancing postures include chakravakasana, dvipada pitham with the arms, and shalabhasana.
There may be fears or a sense of limitation about doing inversion poses that will be confronted. Sometimes, it's best to start an asana gradually. Shoulder stand comes with a few variations that you can use to build up strength and flexibility, as well as overcome any fear based feelings about the posture and your ability to do it.
Overcoming the fear, and finally being able to do a difficult pose that you thought you couldn't, can create positive psychological effects. When we prove to ourselves that our fears don't bind us, that we can move beyond our limitations, we are more able to make changes in other areas of our lives where before we thought it just wasn't possible.
Yoga is a transformative art, and deceptively simple. At least, although the advanced yoga postures are in fact difficult to the unpracticed, and look it, the changes that yoga can bring into one's life belie the apparent simplicity of stretching muscles.
After all, we stretch muscles at the gym during a warm up. So what is the basic difference between yoga and regular workouts, including pilates. Pilates, after all, took some of its inspiration from yoga. Or at least the aspect of yoga that is made of the physical exercises, the asanas.
Yoga integrates the breath and consciousness with physical stretches in a way that I haven't even felt in pilates, although pilates is great as a way of strengthening the internal muscles of the body as well, particularly the pelvic floor.
But in yoga, through the breath, and focusing on it within our body, we come to a greater understanding of both our body and ourselves. We begin a more conscious relationship with our individuality. We meet that unique expression of ourselves expressing physically in that moment. And we are able to begin a process of changing that which is blocking the vital flow of our energy.
That is why it doesn't matter what state we are in when we begin practising a yoga posture. We might be more or less stiff, or in pain, or distracted, than usual. It is a journey of discovery, not of trying to fit ourselves into an external idea, even if that idea is represented in that moment by the yoga posture we are trying to do. Desikachar writes that the body can "only gradually accept an asana". We should not strain ourselves, or judge ourselves, if we cannot fit into that posture. That posture is a possible outcome, yes, but what we do in our practice of yoga is to take the journey.
Desikachar makes another important point: "We should remain flexible so that we are still able to react to changes in our expectations and old ideas. The more distanced we are from the fruits of our labors, the better we are able to do this... Paying more attention to the spirit in which we act and looking less to the results our actions may bring us - this is the meaning of isvarapranidhana in kriya yoga".
The asanas are a way of preparing ourselves to more fully meet the challenges of life in a way that does not throw us off balance, and increases our capacity to adapt to those changes that are inherent in life. They allow us to be more sensitive and aware to what is really going on inside us, and in life itself. This growing self knowledge then provides us with a more complete picture in which our responses to whatever situations confront us more accurately reflects what is truly present. There is a deeper engagement that goes beyond the vagrancies of the mind, the self doubt, the domination of our preconceptions and expectations, or our need for something to be a certain way.
When we are distracted or preoccupied with doubts, worries, and fears, and even hope that is attached to an outcome (need), the vital energy of our whole being is leaking, diffused. Through yoga practice, we are able to clear the detritus, to redirect our diffused energy within, to sit within the body, our being, again. This is an energetic aspect of self-mastery. Integral to this is the knowledge of oneself as whole, and simultaneously a part of the wholeness that is within everything.
Okay, I will admit it. I was one of the masses who bounced in front of my TV in the early 80s to Jane Fonda's original workout. A short stint of cardio, quite a bit of "feeling the burn," and an odd desire to wear leg warmers while "working out."
It brings a smile, doesn't it?
Now you may be wondering what the heck does this have to do with yoga, or with anatomy, or even with the year 2006 (it has been more than 20 years since Jane's inaugural video)?
Jane was the leader of many who motivated people to be their best with expressions such as "make it burn," "no pain, no gain," "come on, a little higher," and "you can do more." As time went on, those lines became part of our thought consciousness.
Enter the 90s, when people started to look for something a little gentler, whole body and mind, more fluid with a little less pounding and pushing. Yoga became mainstream, but the thought patterns remained the same.
Which is why I have been telling people to let Jane go. To let go of the effort, to not try so hard. It doesn't matter which asana they are practicing it could be Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) or Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2) or Raja Kapotasana (King Pigeon Pose) or something as simple as Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall) or even not contracting so hard in mula bandha (the root lock).
When people "let go of Jane" something happens both physically and mentally:
How to do this in your practice, or if you are a teacher, with your students:
Now there is one downside to this kind of practice especially for the type-A personalities, the driven and motivated individuals in the crowd:
The downside to this practice is you will "feel." And that may be experienced as a waste of time (particularly if you have a sun salutation to get through, or headstand to accomplish). However, if you can stick it out for 2 minutes, or 20 minutes, you will experience something amazing.
Pranayama, also known as yogic breathing is the method of silencing the breath. Prana has been defined as the air which flows through the body. Pranayama is made up of three parts: controlled inhalations, controlled exhalations and holding of the breath. When you do all three parts, it is called sahita, while doing only the holding breath without the other two is called kevala. You should start with sahita till kevala comes into being. This is a technique that controls all that is associated with prana.
Our breathing is made of two acts of inhalations and exhalations. These acts are followed in cycles where inhalations and exhalations succeed each other, where you take in air into the lungs and then release some of it back from the lungs. In between the inhalation and exhalation, there is a short gap which usually escapes our attention. This act is called respiration and is usually completed in four seconds in the resting phase. We usually respire nearly fifteen times a minute. You can take in about 400 cubic centimeters or 0.4 liters in a minute. When you do deep inhalations, you take in additional 1.6 liters of air and 2 liters in all. At the time of deep exhalations, you throw out all these 2 liters of air but still your lungs contain another 1.5 to 2 liters of air.
Thus, the total lung capacity of the human body for a normal individual is about 5 liters. The amount of air that you can exhale through deep exhalation after a deep inhalation is called as Vital Capacity. Dividing this number by the weight of the body gives you the Vital Index, which shows the capacity to breathe as well as the vitality of the body and its efficiency in the body’s functions. Regular practice of yogic breathing has been shown to increase yogic breathing. This raises the vitality of the body and efficiency of the bodily functions.
Jnana means the knowledge. This yoga is the yoga for the intelligent and selected people. This yoga is the ultimate goal of all the other varieties of yoga. This yoga teaches you to look at the world as it is without any ignorance and bias. You can achieve this state by practicing rigorous mental discipline and virtue. This yoga is also called Raja Yoga or the king of all the yogas, since it is of the highest variety and rules over all the other varieties. This is the Yoga that Patanjali has described in his Yoga Sutras.
This yoga is made up of eight parts of which five are external and the other three are internal. Two of its parts, viz yama and niyama deal with types of behaviour that the student of yoga should avoid like lying, cheating, stealing etc. and those behaviours that he should cultivate like cleanliness, non-collection etc. Asanas and Pranayama are the next two parts of this yoga. Asanas are the physical movements that help in developing the suppleness of the body and thus cure any diseases. You can control your breath by using pranayama which increases the capacity of the lungs to take in air and thus increases the vitality of the body. The next part Pratyahara denotes the withdrawal of the sense organs from objects of enjoyment. The remaining three parts deal with intense mental concentration.
Patanjali maintained that practicing these eight parts of yoga faithfully and intensely will, over a period of time, erase all the impurities of the body and mind and thus attain knowledge that will liberate the person from bondage and ignorance. This yoga is called Ashtanga Yoga since it is made of eight parts. It is also called as Dhyana yoga due to its stress on mental concentration. Hence, whenever there is any mention of yoga, it is usually implied that the person is talking about Jnana Yoga .
Nauli is a purificatory process of eliminating the impurities that have gathered in the body. You can practice this process only if you have impurities collected in the body, otherwise there is no need to practice it everyday. This process should be performed in the standing position. Stoop forward slightly and turn the belly swiftly from left to right. Rotate the belly swiftly from left to right and vice versa.
When the abdominal wall becomes concave, the front abdominal walls are contracted and the other muscles of the abdominal walls are relaxed. The abdominal wall consists of three sets of abdominal muscles called abdominal recti which are vertical and run from below the navel till the chest bone, the transverse abdominal muscles running across the abdominal wall and the internal and external oblique muscles. Of these, only the central vertical muscles are to be contracted. This contraction isolates them from the other muscles of the abdominal wall. They stand out like the column in the midst of the concavity of the abdomen. This is caused by making a thrust from behind at the lower end, located at about two inches from the navel. Regular practice makes this task easier.
When you contract the front abdominal muscles in the same way; as you contract the muscles of the anus while defecating at the time of constipation; is called Madhya-nauli or nauli-madhyana. Hold this isolation for a few seconds while the breath is held out. Nauli-chalana involves the isolation of only one of the two abdominal recti at a time, moving it to an end and then to the center, while repeating the same process with the other recti. Nauli is the foremost amongst all the shuddhikriyas or cleansing processes. It affects practically all the functions of the body. Periodic repletion of this activity will ensure that your internals will remain clean and free of any impurities.
Scoliosis is a condition in which a person has side-to-side spinal curves in addition to the normal curves through which the lower portion of the human back curves inwards. The most effective remedy for such a condition is Scoliosis exercises. Although many exercises help in reducing the Scoliosis-related problems, yoga is considered the best Scoliosis exercise. Yoga postures are helpful since they enable us to stretch our body and you get relief from back pain.
The most effective yoga exercises for the treatment of scoliosis-related problems include the Crocodile twist, the Supine knee chest twist, the passive back arch and the one leg up-one leg out posture. These exercises are very helpful in raising one's lowered shoulder and reducing the back pain.
The Passive back arch scoliosis exercise has been found to be helpful in not only reducing scoliosis-related pain, but also the problems related to condition called pectus excavatum (sunken chest). Pectus excavatum is generally caused due to tight muscles across one's chest and back and soft bones in the rib cage and spine.
The One leg up and one leg out scoliosis exercise have been found to be very effective in reducing muscular tension in legs. The Seated twist is a good remedy for the treatment of thoracic twist. This exercise also helps to rectify the alignment of the body and is simple to perform.
The Joint freeing series of scoliosis exercises are particularly helpful for people suffering from scoliosis with tight shoulder muscles. The Head to Knee pose helps in maintaining the alignment of the body and straightening of the spine. The spinal and the abdominal twists result in the stretching of muscles in the shoulder.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) is also known as the Cobbler's Pose because of the similarity to a cobblers sitting position. It is an excellent asana which helps your groin and hip position. It is a forward bending asana which starts off from Staff Pose or Dandasana. You have to bend your knees by bringing the soles of the feet together. This forward bending asana is very different to the other forward bending asanas. The focus area in this asana is to open the hip and help the pelvic area. This help to the pelvic area stimulates the reproductive organs which are of great help to women as well as men. The performance of this asana also helps in alleviating the menstrual pain problems. It is very useful to have a comfortable child birth, if practiced regularly during the period of pregnancy. Also clears menopause related problems.
Baddha Konasana stimulates the abdominal organs as well as the ovaries, prostate gland, bladder and kidneys. It energizes your heart which improves the blood circulation and provides the all needed help to your body. This asana stretches the inner thigh, groin and knees which gives your body an agile and toned look. If you have problems like depression or anxiety this asana can help you overcome that problem. People with sciatica problem can also be treated by performing this asana regularly. It is a great asana because of its tremendous benefits for our aching and paining body. Known to be a therapeutic treatment for flat feet and similar other problems to be dealt by this asana. The practice of Baddha Konasana prevents the attack of many other diseases.
The forward bending asana helps in opening the back of the Anahata chakra. It can be greatly used for back pain problems. This asana should either be done in the beginning to open up the hips or at the end to relax your body. You should avoid doing this asana if you have a groin or knee injury. It is very important to perform this asana while sitting on a blanket as it gives support to your thighs. This asana is very important if it is done properly and enough time is given on every step. This is a very hard pose to manage on your own; maybe you should take help from your yoga teacher or a partner. You can make this pose much deeper by adding variations to it. The can be done by stretching their arms out in the front with the palms on the floor and forehead placed on the ground by extending the spine.
This asana is also known as the Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose. This asana similar to its name stretching your legs and arms. It is one of those enduring asanas that helps your heart and other parts of your body. Stretching is always good for your body. It helps in creating the right balance for your body. Doing this asana is a step forward towards better health. It helps in creating unison between the mind and soul. By doing this pose your heart rate becomes normal. This asana is very useful for most parts of your body. It may be difficult at first. This hitch can be defeated by doing this asana regularly.
A stiff body becomes very flexible by doing this asana. It helps in improving your basic movements. There is fresh supply of blood to the brain which helps it to stimulate the brain for better functioning. The posture helps in toning your abdominal organs which helps to create a flexible body. A flexible body helps you do this posture in a much better manner. If done properly the benefits you reap will remain with you life long.
It is very important that you keep your legs straight while doing this asana. The inhaling and exhaling at the right time also creates a favorable impact on your body. It is very good for clearing your mind to get you out of depression. Many of the ailments related to stomach can be bid adieu. It helps in relieving constipation, indigestion and acidity. It compresses the pancreas which helps in maintaining your diabetes level. The asana helps in reverting your age as your face glows by doing this asana.
Sciatica is also prevented as it helps in building and strengthening of the nerves. The sciatic nerves are stretched helping you to recover faster. Your legs are stretched which helps them to get into the proper shape. The legs become much stronger after doing this asana. If you are having weight problems it can help in creating a proper waist line. A good massage is provided to your kidneys, digestive and reproductive system. It is very good for avoiding brain problems such as aneurysms and tumors. It is very good for your back too.
Increasingly, you may hear about your companions enrolling in Hatha classes at the local gym. In terms of pure popularity, Hatha yoga is number one in the yoga world. As a result, the poses are known well by both beginners and experts.
Hatha yoga poses are called Asanas. The Asanas are used in combination with meditation and the breathing techniques known as Pranayama. Together they work the body to improve strength and flexibility as well as overall health, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Hatha is a hybrid of the Sanskrit words "ha" which means "sun" and the word "tha" which means the "moon." Together, they refer to the way that Hatha's yoga poses often bring together opposites currents in the system.
Of the eight limbs of yoga, Hatha focuses mostly on the third, which is Asana, and the fourth, which is Pranayama. These pose and posture techniques coupled with the breathing patterns are used to clear out your body's energy channels, known as the Nadis. This, in turn, removes obstacles that could hamper other limbs helping to improve your well being.
Hatha has been around since 15th century India when a yogic sage, Swami Swatamarama, detailed Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one of the most important yoga texts. The original intent of this form of yoga was to help support relaxation of the body and to support the "contemplation of one reality." Many of the classic Hatha yoga poses that were used at its inception, in fact, are still in use with it today. According to those first practitioners of Hatha, the postures can lead to the best in not only physical well being, but also the best state of mind you can possibly attain.
Your Hatha Path
Before beginning your journey into Hatha yoga, you need to be prepared just like with any other form of yoga. There are some basic tips that can help you have an easier, more effective, and safer experience as you begin this original yoga style.
First, remember to breathe normally while you are in and move between each of the poses. Your breaths should be deep and smooth. Try to feel your diaphragm opening and expanding as you switch from one posture to another. Hatha rarely, if ever, uses the shorter and harder yoga breathing, so stay smooth and deep.
Second, do not force any of the stretch positions in Hatha. Start with the easier ones and make sure you are moving easily and naturally into each pose and that you are holding it for 15 to 30 seconds. This will ensure that you get the most out of your yoga and minimize your risk of injury. Be patient with your body and do not attempt the more difficult poses until you are sure you are ready.
Finally, concentrate on your breathing. One of the big focuses in this particular yoga is the breathing which leads to much of the mental health benefits. Use the exercise to relax and become at peace with yourself in the moment. That is what Hatha yoga poses are intended to do for you.
Hatha has been in practice for over 600 years. Longevity like that is rare even in yoga, and can be a sign of success and true belief. If you are considering this form of yoga as for yourself, then remember: never strain, take the time to make sure you are ready for a given pose, and to concentrate heavily on your breathing. Following these tips will help you to attain the superior mental and physical well being that Hatha is said to provide.
Intertwining the mind, body, and energy is the primary goal of Kripalu yoga. Those who practice it believe that the body contains energy pulsations in a flow that are called prana, which is sometimes referred to as life force. The idea is that the smallest thought or worry can cause problems with the prana in your physical body. That is why Kripalu is important; it is a way of being aware of the prana and using breathing with thought to prevent blockage or disturbance of the life force in your body. In turn, you will feel an increased level of mental clarity and emotional control.
Boiled down to its essence, Kripalu yoga is about looking at yourself in order to free you. Kripallu yoga followers believe that by simply examining and experiencing physical, emotional, and mental processes, you begin to erase blockages in the prana. In turn, this creates a better flow of life force inside you and invokes a feeling of physical and mental well-being.
Yoga, in all its forms, has been shown to be highly effective in honing the physical human body. This is much of the reason for yoga's immense popularity. What Kripalu does, though, is use the physical body and yoga's benefits to it as a vehicle for pursuing the greater good of mental and emotional stability and clarity. Hence, many believe it to be the most complete and beneficial form of yoga. The idea is that as you release your emotional and mental impurity, you increase the amount of prana in your system which in turn also helps with physical healing and performance. Of course, when all yoga practices and meditation are prefaced with techniques, such as the Maharic Seal (Azurite Press), that seal the body's energy fields from external influences, the experience of self knowledge is both clearer and authentic. Kripalu yoga does not teach this, however.
Many use this popular form of yoga to combine physical fitness with self growth and the empowerment of the self. In Kripalu, you will learn to lead yourself through self-examination rather than through a leader or instructor. In this form of yoga, leadership is there only to help you turn yourself into your own leader. Your sensitivity to self, others, and your own body will increase from the focus you will receive when you look inside. To take it deeper, many believe that you are using your body to as a temple to attract the presence of those powers greater than yourself. Though some may be skeptical, many more feel such presences when led there through their own self-examination.
When you learn Kripalu from an instructor, you will find that it usually does not matter what your level is in yoga. The classes are generally conducted in the same way for new yoga practitioners and veterans alike. The emphasis, remember, is on looking inside yourself and seeing what is there. Though there are postures and a "right" way to do them, you will likely be encouraged to concentrate on your mental state and on increasing the flow of your prana.
Moreover, Kripalu is truly about life change. You will learn to focus on your spiritual well being outside of the classroom as well as while you're on the yoga mat, contributing to your overall well being and helping you on your way to being the best person you can be.
Kripalu is a unique form of yoga. With emphasis on looking at the self and ridding it of all that has gone awry, this form of yoga is about more than just fitness of the body. It is about fitness of emotions, spirit, and even a little bit of the soul.
Kriya yoga has found a place in some people who are looking for a deeper, more spiritual relationship with their lives. It is a kundalini oriented yoga and meditation technique, that also teaches certain spiritual and esoteric principles. Unfortunately, like many similar "spiritual" power structures, it teaches you that essentially your power lies outside of yourself - that is, that you need a 'guru', or 'master' to access your own innate spirituality.
Kriya yoga has some aims which sound both appealing and promising. They aim to eliminate "obstructions" and "obstacles" from the mind and body. Point of view is a very interesting thing here, however. Because what is an obstacle or obstruction to one person, may not be to another. This assumes a very interesting light in reference to power structures and belief systems, and highlights why it is important to maintain your own self sovereignty in mind and action.
Kriya yoga was brought to the West by Yogananda in the 1920's. He established the Self-Realization Fellowship as a 'total yoga' system that tried to address spiritual as well as physical aspects of self.
Kriya yoga is derived mainly from three other yoga techniques - karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and Jnana yoga. Karma yoga focuses on the movement of the soul both inside and outside of the mind. Jnana yoga focuses on wisdom, allowing the mind freedom. Bhakti yoga focuses on love, as it allows you to come to terms with everything around you. The aim in combining them was to "purify" the mind and soul, and proponents of kriya yoga believe they can achieve self realization more quickly this way than following the other disciplines.
The first step in Kriya is to 'prepare' your body, and that is done in one of a couple of ways. For many, Hatha yoga is the perfect preparation exercise. For others, though, who may not be as flexible, alternatives are provided.
Next in Kriya, the mind is prepared. General conduct is studied as part of the mental process in this discipline, so ensuring your mind is correctly focused is essential. Additionally, the Kriya yoga technique pushes you to study overall wellness, cleanliness, purity, and even metaphysical principles. Together, though, they help to 'prepare' the mind for later techniques, which use the body's life force currents ostensibly to "refine" the brain and nervous system.
Mantras are taught in kriya yoga techniques. They are believed to deepen the meditative experience. This sound technology undoubtably tunes the body, like a tuning fork, as will any sound that is repeated and focused on. The question is, of course, to what frequency is the body being tuned?
If self realization is a journey, whose journey are we undertaking? Ours, or someone else's? Kriya yoga undoubtably resonates with some people. For myself, I prefer more transparency.
Ashtanga yoga, also known as power yoga, is quickly gaining popularity among practitioners. So what is Ashtanga yoga? It is the form of yoga most used by athletes and those interested in quickly increasing strength and stamina. Because of that, Ashtanga yoga postures have a higher degree of difficulty than those in other styles. Additionally, they are done as part of series.
Usually, students doing Ashtanga yoga postures will move quickly from one to the other to maintain that focus on strength. That is in opposition to many other forms of yoga where the emphasis is on breathing, relaxation, and flexibility.
Who Should Practice Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga poses are for most anyone who is in decent shape. If you are new to exercise, this is probably not the form of yoga with which you should start. Even the very easiest of Ashtanga poses are very demanding on the body, especially since you will even start with a body warming routine that is designed to activate your muscles. Overall, Ashtanga yoga can provide you with a build up of strength, stamina, and even some flexibility which explains its popularity with those involved in athletics.
If you decide to give Ashtanga a try, you should expect things to progress quickly. You will likely start right off with a sequence of yoga poses. Those will be practiced until the teacher feels you have mastered it fairly well and have complete understanding of its fundamentals. Then, you will move on to another series and a higher level of difficulty. Overall, it is a very fast moving form of yoga.
As for the Ashtanga yoga poses, they range widely in terms of positioning. You will find yourself moving from standing, backbent, inverted, balancing, seated, and even twisting poses. In power yoga, the sun salutation sequence of poses is very popular as well, so you will often use standing forward bend, upward dog, downward dog, and many other poses sprinkled in as well.
Though much of the focus in Ashtanga yoga poses is on the development of stamina and strength, you will also, as with any yoga, be focusing. You will be asked to focus your eyes on a point as you move through the poses given out by your instructor. In order to get the full effect and benefit of Ashtanga, you should make sure that your muscles and perhaps even the rooms are very warm. This ensures maximum flexibility and minimal injury as you work through the demanding postures.
If you are into athletics, exercise, or just want a new physical challenge, perhaps you should consider giving Ashtanga yoga a try. The clear choice of athletes and an increasingly popular form in general, it is perfect for those that are in decent shape and want to increase their strength, stamina, and flexibility. Power yoga is a series of poses taken in a quick and free flowing sequence. Even the classes move quickly with teachers adding more difficult sequences every time one is fairly well mastered. So if you learn fast, like to work hard, and think you are up to the challenge of power yoga, then you may benefit greatly from Ashtanga yoga poses.
Yoga positions and the practice of yoga can be beneficial to your mind, your muscles, and even internal functions like your digestive system. With so many benefits, it is no wonder that yoga's popularity is on the rise. Before you take it up, though, it is a good idea to have in mind the right information to help you succeed and get the most out of the experience. Take these yoga tips into account as you begin your physical, mental, and spiritual journey.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice your positions often. Yoga offers many benefits to your mind, body, and spirit, and these benefits may be maximized with regular practice on your own in addition to your classes and with your teacher. As a beginner, it is especially important that you practice so that you may see and feel the benefits early on. With yoga, the frequency with which you work on your positions is as important if not more so than the length of the practice sessions. Try to find a few minutes each day to do a little bit of yoga.
Make sure that you practice your poses correctly. Most anything you read, watch, or listen to about yoga will tell you to practice often, but one of the yoga tips that sometimes get skipped is that you must practice right. Make sure that each practice session extends you. Do not practice only your best poses, but also work on poses you struggle with as well. Such a practice will be more productive and give you the feeling of self-assurance that you seek with yoga.
Maximizing Your Potential
One of the more important tips for beginners is to let go of your ego. In order to fully maximize your yoga experience, you must forget about such things as impressing your teacher and classmates. One of the central ideas of yoga is self-study. To fully study yourself, you must try not to compare yourself to the teacher or other students, but instead, you should strive to maximize your own learning and improvement during each class and practice session.
During practice, remember what is important. The depths of your poses are not nearly as important as how deep you delve into yourself. In yoga, you learn about your inner attention. Be sure to use that attention when practicing and when with your instructor to get the most out of your poses even if you cannot get deeply into them physically.
Finding the Right Teacher
No number of yoga positioning tips can compete with having the right teacher. When selecting a yoga teacher, make sure you find someone with whom you feel comfortable. Your instructor should have good knowledge and work through compassion and respect for you as a person. No matter how many books you read or tapes you watch, you will never get the feedback and encouragement that you will with the right teacher.
As a beginner in yoga, there are undoubtedly times that you feel a bit lost. That is okay. Hopefully, though, with these tips you will have an idea of what you need to do to feel more successful in your yoga experience. Yoga is not a religion, but in some ways it does become a way of life, and by following these tip you can start your journey toward that way of life on the right foot.
Yoga schools hold a special place in yoga education because many of the top locations are in the cradle of yoga's birth: India. These schools offer some of the most complete and intense training for yoga in the world. Though you could attend a school anywhere, learning in India might be compared to learning culinary skills in France, or literature in London. Whether attending short term classes to train or long term classes to learn the art of teaching yoga, these institutions are places with many yoga education options to choose from. Here are a few you might find in your average yoga school.
Yoga Sopan is considered one of the easiest types of yoga to master. The course is often a week long or less. For those who are new to yoga, even in India, this is the place to start. You will learn the movements of yoga as well as the breathing techniques, chanting and meditation. All of these are the foundation of yoga and thus will virtually always be available in a high level yoga school. Mastering Sopan is like learning the fundamentals of any sport or activity: it builds a base and foundation upon which greater things may be built.
In somewhere between 25 and 35 days, most schools will help you to learn Yoga Pravesh. For about an hour per day you work on the movements of your limbs while adding in the movement of neck, waist and hips for a more complete yoga foundation. As yoga schools move along, there will often be lectures or talks added during lessons so that you may gain a better overview of not just the physical side of yoga but also the mental and spiritual sides.
If you wish to pursue an actual degree in Yoga from a yoga school, they can take anywhere form 3-5 months. In them, once you have built a proper base, you will be introduced to the idea of asanas as well as the more advanced methods for self cleansing and mental focus. You will likely, in addition to yoga session, be involved with research and lecture too as gaining a yoga degree is a complete merger of mind, body, and spirit. This merger will allow you to practice yoga at the highest level and maybe even pursue teaching since you will have truly learned to combine your mind, body, and spirit.
In addition to the degrees and levels listed, you can work up to advanced teaching degrees at many yoga schools. Whether you are becoming a teacher or just wish to master the ins and outs of yoga as a practitioner, you will find that these schools offer you the best in what yoga has to offer you at every level of your being. Remember, as with any yoga instruction, though, always make sure you are comfortable with the school you enter. Yoga is about trust and balance, and with the plethora of high level schools in India and around the world, you will surely find what you need.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a book of 195 separate phrases that are designed to be easy to memorize. Because it is a work that is every bit as much a part of modern yoga as it was a part of the birth of yoga, this particular book is held in very high esteem in the yoga world.
The origin of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the topic of some debate among both historians and practitioners. For instance, there are some people out there who credit the writing of this set of sutras to a grammarian named Patanjali. Later, though, a timeline was constructed that showed that to be unlikely. Within the yoga community, though, many say that Patanjali was actually just a compiler and that before the work was written, the Sutras were simply memorized and passed down between teacher and student. Timelines do, though, suggest this text was constructed in about the second century B. C.
The name of this text is named using Sanskrit words: yoga, you probably know, is a mindset wherein you are able to gain mastery of feelings and thoughts alike. Sutra literally means "thread." This thread is basically the connection between the sutras in the work. In fact, some people call the Patanjali Sutras the Yoga Aphorisms in English. It is not an altogether incorrect loose translation.
Understanding the Text
The sutras in the text are divided into four books. Fifty one of the sutras are contained in the book called Samadhi Pada, fifty five of them are in Sadhana Pada, fifty five are also in Vibhuti Pada, and thirty four of the sutras can be found in Kaivalya Pada.
The book Samadhi Pada contains sutras that are most considered fundamental to yoga. It emphasizes that yoga is about discipline and that it is the ability to master your feelings and thoughts. Many of the most famous yoga sutras come from this particular book.
In the Sadhana Pada, there is much about practice since the Sanskrit word "sadhana" actually does mean practice. This chapter is where Kriya Yoga and the eight limbs of yoga first appear. These aspects reflect the idea that yoga is both selfless and spiritual.
The Vibhuti Pada can be translated "power." The roles of the sutras in this particular book are to describe and help the yogi to achieve full awareness through yoga. It is essentially about attaining higher levels of awareness of one's self.
Finally, the Kaivalya Pada means, again in Sanskrit, "isolation." What this book is really about, though, is achieving liberation, according to the principles set within it. Yoga teaches to concentrate on self and attaining higher levels of consciousness, and this book uses 34 sutras to pursue this idea.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a staple for many, and describe the ideas upon which the yoga tradition has passed through more recent (from the 2nd century BC), history.Source: http://www.healthguidance.org/authors/144/Rebecca-Prescott