Is There Yoga Help for BiPolar Disorder?

Bi-Polar disorder, also known as manic depression is common and is found in even young teenagers. The statistics say that 20 out of every 1000 people suffer from this disorder. Better ways of diagnosing the disorder and an increased awareness of the symptoms have increased the percentage of those that suffer from this. It’s often lumped with other major mental illness but unlike schizophrenia, there are no changes in the brain tissue. Yoga can help program the brain and direct the energy swings to avenues that are more productive.

Bi-Polar is as the name implies, swinging moods from happy, giddy, and increased energy. Rapidly the mood can fall and deep depression will follow. Some other signs of this disorder are sleeplessness, weight loss, and if it progress far enough can cause visual and auditory hallucinations. If this energy is allowed to continue to build, it makes the brain cells disorganized and can cause cell damage. This disorder can be treated, and the patient can lead a productive and satisfying life.

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Yoga will help get in touch with your own body, make you more aware of your mood swings, and help you to stay calm. By concentrating on Yoga poses, breathing and being in the moment will all help to control this disorder. You can’t overlook the importance of professional health and the right medications. Medical help is important to lessen the risk of cellular damage if it’s allowed to continue unchecked. Once the patient has been diagnosed and medication is started, they can then concentrate on raising the level of awareness to what their body needs.

Yoga is a great tool for mentally challenging your body to slow down, and reduce the mood swings. Concentrating on poses, meditating, practicing breathing techniques are all tools for helping you reduce the anxiety and level out the moods in your body. It is important that medication be taken to help stabilize the energy in the brain cells. Clearing out the old negative way of thinking and letting go of the traumas that they have gone through and exercise are all-important to treating Bi-Polar disorder. It’s important for the patient to be medically diagnosed because this disorder is sometimes just treated as depression. The medication and treatment for depression is different from what a patient needs for Bi-Polar.

By listening to your body, practicing concentration and breathing techniques, and follow healthy eating patterns can help your body and lessen the need for large amounts of medications which can damage otherwise healthy organs. One patient after being treated for depression for over 20 years was correctly diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. After receiving therapy, changed to a different medicine, and increasing his exercise has turned him around. He is now able to live a normal and productive life and is for the first time able to relate emotionally to his wife and children.

The importance of meditation and breathing can’t be stressed enough in helping to treat patients with Bi-Polar disorder. Yoga helps you to achieve the balance of emotions the body needs to produce a healthy and happier person.

Instant 10-Minute Yoga: New Form of Yoga

Do you drag yourself out of bed on Monday mornings, exhausted before you’ve even begun the week. Or maybe you can’t enjoy your evenings, because work drains you of every ounce of energy.

Don’t worry, you can boost your energy levels and balance your body with a new form of yoga – dynamic yoga.

Its simplicity and almost instantaneous benefits have made it one of the most fashionable alternative exercises of the new Millennium. Normally known for its relaxation benefits, dynamic yoga can boost your energy levels in just 10 minutes.

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It includes some of the most basic yoga postures. You can try each of them individually, or in succession, but none of them should be rushed. However, you should feel the benefits after just ten minutes.

The deep stretches and graceful movements help to unblock energy, improve muscle tone and increase your general stamina. When practised regularly, say enthusiasts, you will experience improved energy levels, greater sexual vitality and better self-discipline. In the long-term, the breathing and body exercises will help detoxify your mind of tension and strain, creating calm and an inner peace.

Indian Gurus And Unsafe Yoga Camp

Yoga – the oldest system of personal development needs no introduction nowadays. Its popularity can be estimated by the fact that more than 15 million people practice yoga in USA alone. Almost every health club in a country like UK has yoga classes. In India where the yoga system was originated it was not practiced on mass level until couple of years ago. Of course, yoga was taught as a free service for years by organization like Bhartiya Yog Sansthan in public park but never before as an unquestionable and unsafe mass hysteria.

Recently with the help of TV channels the whole concept of Yoga has rejuvenated in India. Baba Ramdev Ji, the Indian ‘yoga guru’ has started teaching yoga to the masses to the extent of millions of people.

It is really good that now people in India are developing healthy habits by waking up early in the morning followed by energizing yoga practice, thanks to TV channels and Baba Ramdev. As Yoga exercises have tremendous physical and medical benefits which help people to get rid of various diseases, it is good that those TV channels and Baba Ramdev and others are doing marvelous work to help the nation to get rid of diseases.

However, like every other science, yoga is also a precise science. The question is: ‘Are all yoga exercises safe to teach through the TV media and can the same exercise be taught to all people with various health conditions?’
“This is the question which requires deeper digging into the subject of yoga itself otherwise the consequences of doing yoga practice could be more dangerous than beneficial” said Subodh Gupta, Yoga expert from India.

Let us understand how:
There are some breathing exercises like simple alternate nostril breathing (without holding the breath), which can be taught easily without much complications and have various benefits. However, at the same time some of the exercises, for example: kapalabhati breathing technique which is taught to the masses is quite questionable. “This exercise even though having tremendous benefits, can be equally dangerous if somebody has heart disease or problem related to hernia” said Subodh. ‘Will it help or rather make the hernia and heart problem worse?’ considering the fact that many Indians suffer from hernia and heart problem. For example, according to the ‘National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse’ (NDDIC), potential causes for hernia include anything that creates increased pressure in the abdomen. This includes: coughing, vomiting, straining/constipation, etc. Now considering this information what about the forceful exhalation which people do while practicing kapalabhati or other pranayama exercises and how far these can be dangerous for people having hernia? Perhaps medical expert can better answer this question in more details.

Similarly there are number of other yoga postures which require great precautions. As we all have different body structures and different fitness level, conducting same exercises (apart from very few which are comparatively safe) for 30000 people in a camp without checking their medical conditions is quite questionable.

Also ‘Are the instructions about kapalabhati and other yoga exercises safely delivered by Gurus?’ ‘Are they ensuring that people are following their practices safely?’ ‘Is it really safe for the beginner to learn yoga only through the TV channels?’
“Well, it is a serious question for the swami Ramdev Ji and others who are teaching yoga to masses to answer” said Subodh Gupta.

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If seems that in India there is no governing body which understands the fragility of adverse impact of yoga exercises if done in improper way. No doubt yoga is effective for treating various diseases and a noble effort has been taken by Swami Ramdev and organizations like Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana but unless these exercises are not done in a proper system and with supervision, the whole concept of yoga teaching will become more of mockery or maybe it has already become. Perhaps in near future when the ill effect of unsafe yoga practice will come to the limelight, the media will come up with great news stating that 50 or 100 million Indians are making fun with yoga everyday in front of TV and playing with their health.

Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta, for all those who are beginners and are learning yoga through TV, video cassette, DVD or in camps with hundreds of other people.

Improve Your Life With Yoga Instruction

Yoga instruction can be the first step in changing and improving your life and creating a whole new you. When one comes to the decision that they are in need of a real life change, there are many ways to accomplish this, but few will be as beneficial as Yoga.

Yoga is a means in which you can improve yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually as well as improving your physical body. The benefits of Yoga are immense; you will become stronger, healthier and feel better about yourself when you commit yourself to Yoga instruction.

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The health benefits alone are enough to get many people started with yoga instruction, but there are many reasons why yoga can help you to change your life for the better. Yoga is a type of all in one approach to life change, though alone it cannot work miracles to help better your life, it can be a great foundation for a start.

Aside from health, there are other ways in which yoga instruction can help to improve your life.
It could help you to earn more money. Yoga can provide you with the ability to manage stress, and this alone can assist you in the workplace, but it can also aid you in your concentration skills. The better you can concentrate, the more you can get accomplished.

Another advantage of learning Yoga is increased energy. Many people claim that they begin to feel more refreshed and energized after they begin practicing Yoga. This translates into more energy to devote to your interests, as well as family and friends. There is little doubt that our loved ones and those things that absorb our interest is what really make life worth living. Imagine a life in which only a small portion of your energy and thoughts are used for work, and the rest is saved for what is most important to us. This alone could help change your life for the better.

Coping with depression is another area in which Yoga can be of use. Yoga postures are designed to stretch, compress and massage your internal organs and glands. This stimulation is thought to help balance hormone levels in the body, which can help to attain a more balanced emotional condition.
Maybe you would like to stop smoking, or conquer some other habit that may be harming you. Yoga will increase your motivation, energy and focus, which will aid you in changing whatever habit you set out to change.
Yoga instruction can truly be beneficial for those who are looking to make some meaningful life changes.

Improve Your Eyesight With Trataka

Eyes are the windows of the soul and you can see what a person is up to by looking into his eyes. Hence, it is important to have clean eyesight. In yoga, trataka is a technique devised by the ancient sages to improve eyesight. It is a shuddhikriya or a purification process to cleanse the eyesight and help in the silencing of the mind in concentration.

Sit with your back straight. Keep your eyes fixed on an object without winking till tears start streaming down your face. The small object can be the flame of an oil lamp, or an image or a picture or the letter ‘AUM”. This object should be placed in the line of sight at a distance of about four to six feet. You can also do this kriya without any object in front of you. Having an object is not necessary. Just stare in front of you at the wall without moving the eyeballs or eyelids. Ensure that you stare at a certain point on the wall.

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Before starting this exercise, you can start off by moving the eyes without moving the head, where you roll your eyeballs up and down, sideways and from corner to corner diagonally. Initially, you can make this movement with open eyes and then repeat them with closed eyes. This will give the requisite exercise to the eye muscles. This is then followed by trataka. Trataka makes the eyes clear, improves eyes and silences the mind. Over a period of time, you will experience the silence of the mind. If you want to meditate, start with trataka to silence the mind and then go to the meditation. This way, you will reap the benefits of meditation. Since you are exercising the eye muscles, they become stronger. You can perform this kriya daily without any harmful effects.

Improve Your Personal Life With Yoga

Yoga is not an exercise it is a practice. Yoga is intended to redirect your entire body to make it all come together. Yoga works the mind combined with the body to make it fall into place, which helps one to improve personal overall life.

Everyone needs a little help one time or another to get their health and thinking on track. Practicing yoga brings the perfect out of all of us, teaching us to meditate and at the same time, helps relieve that awful stress. Along with helping to relieve stress, yoga strengthens our limbs, mind, refreshes us and even helps us lose weight. Our energy level will increase because we feel better.

When starting to practice Yoga take it slow and easy. Don’t force your body into the different postures all at once. If you do more than your body says it can do, you could hurt yourself. Like any exercise program, you need to go slow and stick with it. You might not notice a difference right away but hang in there and it will come in time.

Don’t go out and buy all new exercising cloths just to practice yoga. All you need is sweats and a comfortable loose fitting top. Maybe after awhile you might want to buy a yoga mat but most gyms will furnish them. Wherever you are you can practice using a towel for the floor mat they work just as good.

If you’re a person that can’t stand and if you are not flexible, this can be done in a chair. So, stand or sit. You can become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Make those muscles stronger and get that mind into shape along with feeling better and you’ll get to your goal.

Do you have allergies; the noise runs and your eyes water, you are congested, and just don’t feel good especially in the cold weather. Practicing Yoga can help strengthen and balance the immune system with its slow breathing and posture. The nervous system will relax and it calms down the virus.

Is it hard for you to fall to asleep or stay asleep? Try laying on the bed or floor before crawling into bed. This is a good time to practice meditating to relax. Lay on your back with the palms up and start at your head. Start with the head and relax it then the neck and on down slowly until you reach your feet. Practice as often as possible and this one will help you sleep once you’ve relaxed the whole body.

You can practice Yoga at the office sitting at your desk, in the park anywhere you can meditate. When sitting in a chair twist from side to side, rotate your head side to side and to the front and back, put you arms above your head and stretch. While doing these movements in your chair as you relax shut your eyes and let all thoughts come in and go out.

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Stressed and need to learn how to breath slow and then sleep will come, Yoga can be useful for all ages from children to Grandma and Grandpa. The children can practice to strengthen the mind and body by standing beside you and Grandma and Grandpa can sit in the chair. Strengthening and relaxing along with the meditating is good for everyone. It all gets easier to you.

Yoga can also be good for your heart. The heart will become stronger, Someone who suffers from epilepsy can benefit from practicing Yoga because it stimulates the brain; some people in a study that was taken says it decreased the amount of seizure’s they were experiencing. Yoga is known to help the mentally handicapped by relaxing their minds, letting them think well.

I’ve given you a few ideas on why a person might want to try practicing Yoga so go for it and enjoy.

Importance And Benefits Of Ardha Chandrasana

Life teaches us lot of things and yoga learns lot from life. It derives its inspiration from the basic nature of life which is in various forms such as human, animals, plants, tress, earth, sun and moon. For instance this asanas other name is derived from the Moon. In English this asana would mean Half Moon Pose. The Moon from which the name is derived is an important part of our life. It touches each individual it in its own manner.

Apparently Hatha yoga talks about sun and moon which are two extreme power houses of human body. So by doing this asana it makes it more important to raise those energies and use it for the benefit of your body. This energy might be in useful for our tired bodies. The solar and lunar energy force works together for benefiting your body.

Stretching is very significant in every asana and this asana is no different. While doing Ardha Chandrasana it becomes very important to keep in mind that many may not be able to do this asana with a stiff body. You can use some accessories like yoga block to give you support, which can be used between the ground and your hand. To avoid your leg from slipping you can also use the wall as a support.

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You start off this asana by performing the Utthita Trikonasana. This helps to begin your asana and provide you all the necessary benefits you can draw from this asana. By doing this asana it helps in creating a sense of a balance. Your concentration and coordination also improves greatly which is very healthy in times of urgency and emergency.

Due to this asana your fitness level increases as it stretches all the required muscles in your body to make you more agile and healthy. The joint problems which you have been suffering from ages will be cured and can be easily brought under control. By doing this asana there will be less pain and more of freedom from all the restless nights of pain. Your muscles are also strengthened as the tilt helps your asana.

Arthritis pain also improves as it helps when you keep your legs straight helping them immensely. It is also very useful for your groins and hamstring as it stretches every muscle of that part, making it more functional and more efficient. Your digestion also improves due to this pose. It helps in relieving stress and creates an easy balance in life.

Hypnosis-The Relationship between Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Hypnosis

Though no one knows the exact origin of yoga, meditation and self-hypnosis, one thing is certain, that they are more than thousands of years old. Eminent scholars are of the opinion that the origins and practice of yoga and meditation can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization. In spite of the fact that these practices give the practitioner a sense of well being and peace it was not in vogue until recently.

Though yoga and meditation are often linked together they are also different. Meditation is thought to have been practiced all over the world for a very long time. Self-hypnosis is also thought to have existed in the world for a long time.

These alternate methods of healing and self-healing have existed for hundreds of year’s in spite of efforts to discourage them by various vested interests for example fundamentalists and dogmatists. Doesn’t it make you wonder why some people would want to discourage something as wonderful as self-hypnosis, meditation and yoga? Well the answer is simple. Most people who against these methods were people in control- control of other people. And they were under no circumstances willing to relinquish the control they had over the masses, because these methodologies thought one how to have control over one’s well being( physical, mental & spiritual).

In many societies of the world these practices were forbidden. People in countries under dictatorship, communism were forbidden to practice yoga meditation, and self-hypnosis. Why? Because communism didn’t allow people to question and receive answers about any thing other than what they wanted the people to know. They wanted people who were not in touch with their spirituality, whose consciousness was not awakened. They wanted their masses to be like robots and just obey commands. And we all know that yoga takes us to a higher plane and a higher level of consciousness. So people who practice yoga cannot be manipulated according to the whims and fancies of certain people. Because of this kind of oppression many people in the former Soviet union practiced Yoga in secret.

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As a person who has lived in a free country all his life I find this difficult to comprehend, as will all of you who live in a free society. All we can conclude is that if people were willing to risk their lives for the well being offered by yoga there must be something to it. Think of all the sages who realized self and more through yoga.

In the present day of gadgets, where we have some gadget or other to do almost any thing we want, we still have no time for ourselves-no time to take real good care of our well being, our spirituality, of self awakening. Who is holding you back from yoga? No one But you yourself. Take a few moments to yourself, put your feet up and relax. Think of all the benefits that you will gain by practicing yoga or meditation or self-hypnosis. Think of the well being that is the fruits of practicing these self- improvement methods. Don’t you want to feel good about your self, be relaxed and calm and be able to deal with the vagaries of life confidently and calmly.

Love and good wishes,

How Yoga Benefits The Circulatory System And Why This Is Important

The circulatory system is an essential part of what keeps us going. It is also referred to as the cardio-vascular system and consists of the heart and the blood vessels. The hearts job is to pump blood to different parts of the body and this blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen to the different organs. It travels via the blood vessels. The heart is divided into four compartments that each have a different role. The compartment on the upper right is responsible for collecting the incoming impure blood from all over the body and moving it on to the lower right compartment. The lower right compartment sends the blood on to the lungs for purification. The purified blood is then returned to the heart – this time in the upper left ventricle from where it is moved into the lower left compartment and then back out as fresh, pure blood to the remainder of the body.

The blood is primarily carries through main arteries that are thick tube like structures leading from the heart around the body. The arteries branch into many sub arteries which in turn will divide into thin-walled capillaries. The capillaries interact with the organs directly and due to their thin walls they pass oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues that need them the most. The used resources are ejected from the tissue and back into the capillaries to be fed on through specialized veins to return the impure blood back to the heart to start the entire process once more. This is a difficult job as the pressure has decreased this far from the heart so the veins are assisted by valves to regulate the flow.

The important thing to understand about the way the circulatory system is set up is that it has two main parts, the blood system and the lymphatic system. It is the job of the lymphatic system to remove waste from the circulatory system. The two different systems run almost side by side but while the blood system has a pump – the heart – the lymphatic system does not have a single organ designed to power it’s operations. This job falls to the muscles, which pump the lymphatic system by contracting and expanding. This is of course where Yoga comes in.

Yoga is a discipline unique in it’s combination of focus on body, mind and spirit. The body component is taken care of with a series of poses and postures, which are designed to clear blockages in the circulatory system and ensure that everything is flowing as it should at an even regular rate. It also flexes the muscles and strengthens them very efficiently over time with a minimal amount of ‘grunt’. This strengthening and constant working of these muscles pumps the lymphatic system and makes out body many times more efficient at the removal of waste matter. As a result people who practice Yoga regularly can expect that they will have a greatly enhanced immune response system and be able to deal with infection and disease better than their non-Yogi counterparts.

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Furthermore the benefits start before this. Yoga sessions will usually being with a series of standing exercises emphasizing long slow breathing exercises. These breathing exercises are common to all forms of yoga and force us to concentrate on our breath and it’s pathway trough the body each time we take a fresh breath. The exercises are designed especially so that people are not restricted in where and when they can practice them and ideally would use them instead of our slower shallower normal breathing pattern.

Because the breaths are longer and deeper the oxygen intake is increased. Combined with the enhancing effects that the exercises have on the regularity of circulation in the blood system the oxygen is much more efficiently transported to the muscles of the body. If these muscles, along with our other organs and tissues are not receiving the oxygen and nutrients we need then we starve them and become ill as a result.

As you can see Yoga is of great assistance to the complex and interlocking system of circulation. It recognizes the basis and importance of the system and helps to being it back into balance.

How To Get The Most From Yoga

Yoga is an ancient art that has been refined and modified by many great teachers across the ages. It now comes in so many different styles and techniques and different people may find different versions of Yoga more suitable for them. This is because Yoga is a very personal exercise routine with strong emphasis on looking within oneself in order to achieve personal balance and wellbeing. Regardless of which individual version of Yoga you practice there are a number of things that apply to Yoga universally rather than to individual branches of the discipline. If you want to get the most from your Yoga session you will learn to understand these things and develop them into your Yoga routine.

You will find that much of your time performing Yoga is spent in a sitting or lying position, however the beginning of a Yoga session is usually a standard standing pose. The standing pose is the most natural position for a human to find themselves in, yet we spend remarkably little time practising standing correctly. If you begin your Yoga session with a standing pose you are free from the stress of having to take on an unaccustomed position and this allows you to focus on other fundamentals of the Yoga Discipline. For instance you can concentrate on regulating your breathing and feeling the full healing benefits of each breath. The standing pose is so natural to us that we don’t need to pay it any conscious thought and can focus on our breath entering the body and flowing through us. The standing pose is also beneficial to bringing the body into alignment and centring ourselves both physically and spiritually. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous diagram showing the perfect symmetry of the human body when it is in it’s natural standing pose and this position has always been the most natural for us to find our centre and balance.

The bulk of a Yoga session is spent in placing our body in positions or poses that stretch and activate the body. These poses are entered into gently and gradually so there is no risk of injury. Many poses have a number of different levels so we can get more and more benefits from them as our body becomes more used to them. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a simple forward stretch. When a gym teacher tells a pupil to touch their toes the pupil is performing the same exercise whether they can reach forward and touch the floor or whether the stretch only goes as far as their knees. The only difference is the level of incline.

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The forward stretch is also a perfect example of how the natural movements of Yoga are used outside of a Yoga class or session – in this case in stretching and warming up before sports or other physical activities. Most children who’s coaches take them through a stretching routine before a game of football have no idea that many of the poses are borrowed directly from a Yoga session.

The key to enjoying and benefiting from this main phase of the Yoga session is to pace it to your level. As with the child who can only forward stretch to knee level you do not need to perform the exercise at the highest level from the first time you experience it. Find your comfort zone and then move a fraction beyond it. Then each new session try and maintain that level and push a little further if possible.

The end of a Yoga session is also an important stage. This stage usually consists of a group of restoration and restorative poses and positions that are designed to allow the energy to flow back through your body. A good Yoga session releases pent up energy in your body and allowing this energy to flow freely to all parts of the body is a critical part of gaining the maximum benefits from Yoga.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pre Natal Yoga

When you are pregnant everyone has an opinion and an important skill to learn early on in the pregnancy is to be able to listen to these opinions, comment politely and then make up your own mind. There are as many different ways of having and raising children as there are children, and once your child is born you need to do what works for you and your family, not what worked for someone else. This doesn’t mean you should ignore advice that is given to you. Usually it will be being dished out by women who have been there and done this before, and knowing what works for others is often a good indicator of what may work for you. Ultimately however the decision is going to be up to you, and so you will learn to collate the collective advise and filter the wisdom from the opinion. One of the pieces that you will find almost universally recommended by those who have tried it is Pre Natal yoga, but a lot of women get nervous about the idea of starting an exercise program when their bodies are going through so many changes. This article deals with some of the most common questions that will be asked about Pre-natal Yoga.

Question One: Why Should I Do Yoga While I Am Pregnant?

There are numerous benefits of Yoga for pregnant women, physical, mental and also spiritual. In a nutshell Pre-Natal Yoga is designed to give you a toolbox of techniques and methods for dealing with your pregnancy, your labour and even the stressful times of the first few days, weeks and months after the birth. People who complete Prenatal Yoga are better equipped to deal with the babies delivery itself as well as the recovery period after the birth.

Question Two: Is It Safe To Learn Yoga During Pregnancy?

It is perfectly safe to start Yoga during your pregnancy provided you begin your class with a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher. Prenatal Yoga is specifically designed for pregnancy because there are exercises and techniques in a regular Yoga session that are not appropriate for a pregnant women. It’s also recommended to wait until after the first trimester is complete before you commence a Yoga class as this first trimester is a time for babies to grow and develop, whereas later they will be increasing with size in preparation for the birth and the mother needs to take advantage of the opportunity Yoga presents to ease this process. Talk to your instructor about your pregnancy before the class begins so you can be sure that they understand anything unique to your pregnancy that may require exercises to be modified(for instance women carrying twins are encouraged not to do squatting exercises).

Question Three: How Will Yoga Benefit Me Physically?

Yoga is a discipline which is designed to regulate the blood flow and breathing as well as strengthen the body in general. All of these factor in the benefits to pregnant women. Blood flow is of course critical in ensuring that your body is getting all the nutrients and oxygen to all the organs that need it. It’s possible for baby to get greedy and hog these resources, or the opposite could happen and the baby is deprived of what is needed to grow. The increased strength will help deal with the delivery by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. This can potentially shorten the duration of labour and it will definitely decrease the time it takes for the vaginal passage to recover from the birth. There is even strong evidence that the increased blood flow to the skin will assist in avoiding and/or recovering from stretch marks.

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Question Four: Should I keep doing Yoga after the Birth?

Why not? You will keep getting all the benefits discussed above and more. You will probably want to go to at least one standard yoga class, as these can be quite different than the prenatal Yoga. Of course life can be quite hectic with a new baby so the opportunities to attend formal classes are probably going to be few and far between. Luckily one of the biggest benefits of Yoga as an exercise regime is that it doesn’t require specialized equipment, so it’s possible to do in the comfort of your own home during those few precious moments when your baby is asleep.

How To Reduce Your Asthma With Yoga

Yoga has been a revelation for many people. They have found that they can improve the quality of their life with the power of yoga. Yoga combines both physical and mental activities, so it engages your whole body rather than just part of it. Some of the benefits of yoga include better breathing, easier relaxation and relief from the symptoms of asthma.

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The reason that yoga can help with your asthma is that by using yoga, you will get your body back to a more natural state. Both your body and your mind will be less stressed.

Relaxation and deep breathing were made for each other. Both of them help you to calm down, clear your mind and re-energize your body. By spending a few minutes taking slow, controlled breaths and paying attention to your breathing rather than taking it for granted, you will notice that your breathing automatically becomes calmer. Rather than it’s “normal”, hyper-active state. In turn, this will bring more energy into your body and calm you down.

Try out this simple breathing relaxation exercise. Read the instructions through a couple of times and then start.

1. Sit down, making sure that your posture is good and your spine is straight as possible.

Place your feet flat on the floor and check that your knees are directly over your feet. Place your hands on top of your legs.

2. Gently close your eyes.

3. Concentrate your thoughts on your ribs and your lungs. Inhale slowly and deeply. Notice your lungs filling up and your ribs expanding outwards and upwards. Then slowly exhale, again noticing your lungs slowly releasing the air you’ve just breathed in and your ribs gradually going back in and down.

4. Repeat this routine once a day for up to 3 minutes when you first start out. Over the coming days, gradually increase up to 5 and then 10 minutes throughout the day as necessary.

Yoga breathing exercises have been shown to help sufferers of mild asthma. You may still need your medication and any other health devices, although you should notice that you need them less and less as you practice these techniques.

How To Practice Meditation

Meditation is the most important practice for calming the mind. A calm mind can lead to a healthy, happy and successful life. It can cure diseases and speed up healing processes. We describe the simple technique below called prana-dharana. Prana in Sanskrit stands for the air that we breathe. It is the most basic act of life which starts from birth and goes on till death. But generally, we are not aware of the breath till our attention is drawn close to it. Dharana means its awareness. Prana-dharana means applying the mind to the flow of air when we breathe. The method is as described below:

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Sit in a posture suitable for meditation. The common postures are Siddhasana, Padmasana and Swastikasana. But if you cannot do this, just sit cross-legged. Your back should be straight and eyes closed. Your knees should be placed well on the ground. Do not stoop your shoulders back. The whole body should be relaxed and the whole frame steady without exerting any pull or pressure on the thighs, feet, knees, spine or neck. There should be no stretch on tension along the abdominal wall. Let the abdominal wall sway gently back and forth very smoothly and effortlessly with each respiration. Facial muscles should be relaxed and mouth closed with a small gap between the two jaws such that the upper and lower teeth do not exert pressure on each other. Your tongue should touch the palate with tip touching the back of the upper front teeth. Ensure that the lips, tongue or the lower jaws do not move. Your eyeballs and eyelids should be steady and the muscles of the forehead relaxed.

Your entire posture should be comfortable, steady and relaxed. You should not feel strain on any part of the body. Now start developing the awareness of breathing. The flow of air should be uniform, slow and smooth. Do not make any effort or exercise any control. Never hold breath. Do not utter any word or see any image. This will calm your mind and help you achieve peace.

How To Perform Yogic Exercises

When you have decided to start with your yoga practice, it is imperative for you to learn how to perform a pose properly. Thus it is advisable for you to find a right teacher who will guide you in the correct manner of performing these poses. Since yogic exercises involve the static and isometric contraction of the muscles, where the muscles are held in a state of tension without causing the corresponding body part to move; it is important to note that the stretching or contraction of the muscles should not be done abruptly or suddenly. You should endeavour to reach the final pose as slowly as you can, so that there is a steady rise in the tension of the muscles. Always reach the final posture slowly through the intermediate postures. Master all these postures slowly one by one.

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The movement of each body part should be done under complete control of the muscles exercised. This is achieved only after practicing for a certain period of time. There should be no jerks or violent movements. Each step should be executed easily, smoothly and gracefully. Initially, when you start learning the yoga, there is a tendency to use muscles not concerned with the specified movement. But over a period of time with due practice, you can eliminate the unproductive muscular activity. As you progress, you’ll learn to use only the specified muscles for contraction or stretching while the other muscles are kept relaxed.

Avoid rushing into the final position of any posture, unless you have thoroughly mastered the intermediate stages. Always proceed as far as you comfortably can and hold this pose for some time. This will train the required muscles in a few days and thus you can get smoothness and grace. Take caution not to overwork any muscles. Do not control or restrict your breathing. If you are sick or absent from your practice for a long time, start slowly and reach the previous level only after some time. At the end of the session, you should feel fresh and relaxed. You must experience the lightness and exhilaration at the end of every session.

You can adjust the duration of various techniques according to your capacity and there should be no exhaustion or tension.

Following all these practices will ensure you get a correct yoga session.

How To Meditate With A Mantra

These days whenever a politician repeats a promise over and over again commentators say that this promise has become a “mantra” for that politician. For the journalists, the word “mantra” means a meaningless phrase that is repeated endlessly. For yogis however, a mantra is a word or collection of words, which has the power of liberating a human being from all limitations.

How can the repetition of a word or a few words have the capacity to bring about such miraculous results? It is all based on a simple psychological principle, “as you think, so you become.”

If you someone tells you “You’re stupid,” that’s of course a bad insult and will hurt you. However if you start to think “I am stupid,” and keep repeating this phrase over and over, then that is far worse. When someone tells you that you are stupid, then this is a negative outer-suggestion. When you start to think about it, then you are giving yourself, a negative auto-suggestion. If you keep thinking in a negative way, then your personal development will be harmed.

Meditation mantras have a positive meaning. They remind you that your true nature is something great: pure consciousness and boundless love. If you start to think about the best part of your being, you will begin to have more confidence in yourself and this will become apparent in your actions.

However, many people have read philosophical, spiritual or self-help books explaining these ideas, and yet they never realize these great truths in their everyday reality. It is not enough to just think about a good idea once, and then close the book. You need to think in a concentrated and systematic manner over a period of time in order to get results.

Meditation mantras have a special quality that helps in the task of concentrated, positive thinking: their very vibration has the capacity to concentrate and focus your mind. Some sounds, such as power drill breaking a pavement, can upset you greatly, while other sounds, like soothing music, can transport you to another world.

The syllables and words used in meditation mantras have been chosen according their sonic capacity, and they greatly aid the task of concentration and contemplation, as well as carrying a positive meaning.

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In order to get the benefits from mantra meditation, you need to meditate regularly with a mantra that has a positive meaning and the capacity to help you concentrate. You need to do it on a regular basis, sitting silently two times a day for a period of 10 to 30 minutes.

It sounds easy, but the common experience of most people is that as you sit and try to think about one word or one phrase, your mind is quickly filled with many other thoughts; thoughts about work, financial problems, disputes with people and all kinds of other matters. When this happens, and it certainly will, then you have to bring your mind back to the mantra. Meditation is a process where you concentrate on the mantra and its meaning for as long as you can, and when you mind wanders, you bring it back.

Keep doing it, and you will attain an improved capacity to concentrate and deep inner peace.

It may still sound too good to be true, and some intellectuals scoff at the alleged power of a mantra. Once, a renowned Indian yogi came to America and delivered many lectures on this subject. In one of the lectures he was challenged by someone in the audience who said that it was not possible for a single word to deliver the results that the yogi promised. The yogi turned to the man, who was a distinguished professor and said “You fool!”

The professor turned red, and began to shout at the yogi, who calmly watched the professor unwind.

The yogi then addressed the professor and said: “Now can you understand the power of a single word? All I did was utter the word “fool” and your behavior was changed in an instant!

How to Improve Your Body, Mind and Spirit By Practicing Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a 5000 year old system that is used to improve the health of your body, mind and spirit. Hatha yoga combines the stretching exercises of the asanas. Breathing techniques and mental concentration are included in hatha yoga.

The lotus position of the asanas is used in hatha yoga. The goal of hatha yoga remains the same as that of the other types of yoga. The goal of hatha yoga is to blend the spirit of the universe with that of the human spirit. The spiritual, mental and physical health aspects are improved amazingly with the practice of the Hatha yoga. It also gives you peace of mind and improves your concentration. Concentration is the root ingredient of any yoga and its success.

In some ways all the types of yoga are related. Preparing the body to give in is the main goal of hatha yoga. If the mind is relaxed and the spirit within you is enlightened you won’t feel the pain and the stress that you are experiencing. This is achieved with the practice of hatha yoga. You need to understand the relation between your body and the spirit. If you do not understand the relation between them you might get confused. You spirit is responsible to accomplish any task.

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If your body is not fit then your spirit may not accomplish what is wants. Hatha yoga helps you to maintain your body and the hence the spirit positively. This positive attitude keeps your mind healthy with good concentration. Hatha yoga comes to the mind of the people when they hear Yoga, since it is the popular branch of yoga. The other types of yoga that gave rise from hatha yoga are the Kundalini, Ashtanga, Bikram, and power yoga.

Hatha yoga is considered and known as the vehicle of the soul. Hatha yoga is so relaxing that it drives both you body and spirit into the universe. This feeling can be compared to a person floating with no gravity at all. Many people are easily distracted by the outward forces and may not be able to focus on a particular task. Such people can get benefited with the hatha yoga. By constantly practicing hatha yoga you can find the divinity in yourself. This helps you to become stronger, relaxed and flexible apart from enlightening you.

With harmony between your mind, body and spirit the spiritual energy will flow through the open energy channels. This is achieved only with Hatha yoga. A healthy body is necessary for you mind and spirit to be strong. This is done by the practice of hatha yoga. It is easy to handle stress and get relieved of your pain and passion with the constant practice of hatha yoga. If you are exhausted with your work, hatha yoga makes you relax.

How To Find The Right Yoga Teacher?

I am often asked by beginners about how to evaluate a Yoga Teacher?

The following is the “CALM check list.” These factors are basic criteria that your Yoga Instructor should meet before you continue on to a second Yoga class.

CALM gets it name from four main factors: Communication, Assist, Listen, and Modification. For the right Yoga teacher, you should be answering with a “yes” to all questions.

• Communication: Does your Yoga teacher talk to you, and other students, in a manner of mutual respect? Can you ask a question during class time?

Does your teacher show compassion for you and other students? Does your Yoga teacher take the time to lead you through a guided meditation or relaxation? Meditation and relaxation are major aspects of Yoga practice.

There are Yoga teachers who just want to get “their workout” done. Beware of Yoga teachers, who are so important, they don’t have time for you.

Some students love this air of superiority and, unfortunately, some people love abuse. If you want to learn Yoga, you need an open line of communication with your Yoga teacher.

• Assist: Does your teacher care about your form? Will your teacher give you a verbal or physical assist during your Yoga class? Are props encouraged in your Yoga classes?

Some students never have major problems with alignment and some do, but if your teacher doesn’t give verbal cues, what does that tell you?

• Listen: Does your Yoga teacher take the time to listen to your feedback? Is your teacher “in the moment” with the class?

Once in a while, there is a Yoga instructor who runs, “The-it’s-all-about-me-show.” You are not going to learn anything from this type of teaching. Beginners will be put at risk, trying to keep up with a seasoned Yoga teacher who doesn’t explain anything.

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• Modification: Does your Yoga teacher allow modifications and props? If your teacher discourages props, you are in the wrong place.

Some students will need props for life depending upon their range of motion. Just because a teacher can do a posture without props, doesn’t mean every student can.

Summary: Stay away from abusive Yoga teachers, and if you are attracted to abuse, there is always professional help. Some students crave “the stern, but loving parent” types. They will push you harder, but how much pushing do you really need?

Respect is a two way street, and you deserve as much respect as your Yoga teacher does. Let common sense be your guide. You should feel good after a Yoga class, and you might even feel muscle soreness days after a vigorous class.

Make sure your Yoga teacher meets the above criteria before making a commitment.

How To Choose The Best Yoga Videos

Finding the best yoga videos is not as easy to walking down to your local video store and wandering over to the exercise aisle. Not all such videos on the market are ideal for effective home practice. In order to make sure you get the best yoga videos for your home, consider a few things you should really look for.

Easy To Understand

First of all, a quality yoga video will be easy for you to follow. You should be able to understand what is being done, how the positions are achieved, how long you should hold each one, and how often you should do it. It should also be easy to follow into each subsequent move. If you cannot understand the video, then it has failed on its most basic level.

Secondly, videos should provide not only easy to follow instructions, but also easy to understand demonstrations. You should be able to, by watching, understand the basics of achieving each pose and each transition. You should also understand, from watching, the breathing patterns and focus. If you can understand the verbal instructions, but the demonstrations are unclear then your video is no better than a book on yoga.

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Next, there should be easy modifications offered in the best yoga videos. Yoga can be difficult, so beginners to it may frequently need modifications to their practice so that they can understand even that which they cannot complete. No matter what your ability level may be, you want your video to be able to apply to you. Once you buy a video, it should be of use to you at every stage as you progress further into yoga. Choose a video that will grow with you.

Teaching Qualilty

In a quality video, the yoga should be taught in a student centered manner. Though that seems like it should go without saying, you will see a number of yoga videos that are just a fancy way of showing off the instructor’s ability in yoga. Such videos do little if any good and in many cases may even be counterproductive for you. The idea of having the yoga video is to help your development, not to put you in awe of someone else’s level of flexibility or fitness.

Finally, high quality yoga videos should feature prominent and well qualified instructors. They should not only be practicing instructors, but should probably have achieved great success in their yoga education. You always want to learn from someone at as high a level as possible. By simply reading the back of the box, you will often get an overview of the teacher’s qualifications so that you can make an intelligent decision as to whether or not you want this person to help you practice yoga in your home.

Finding the best yoga videos really isn’t easy. However, when armed with the tools above, you can more accurately assess a video’s value. Look for something you understand visually and orally, that you can use at any level, and that features a successful teacher while staying student centered. When you find that you will have found the best of the best yoga videos for use at home and between private sessions or classes.

How To Borrow From Yoga For Weight Loss

Yoga is often praised in the mass media as the new fitness-craze promising weight loss, and increased strength and flexibility. However, when one sees a yoga practitioner curled up in a seemingly impossible pose, the natural tendency is to think: “Well this person has been practicing for years, how can Yoga help me lose the weight now?”

Through the acclaimed Sun Salutations, that’s how.

What are they?

These exercises are a combination of Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, Sun Bathing and Prayer. They have been practiced for centuries by Yoga Practitioners in India, Martial Artists and African Wrestlers and as a system to rejuvenate the body and soul are beyond compare. It’s been said in the Drugless Healing circles that one round of the Sun Salutations is much better than a week of exercises at the gym!

They are very simple to learn and just about anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels can learn these simple exercises. In actuality, if you are familiar with “burpies” (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from the Sun Salutations.

Here are some of their benefits:

-They alleviate disorders of the skin and waist.

-Flexibility increases and breathing is corrected, moreover, they mildly exercise the legs and arms, thus increasing the circulation.

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-They are the best way to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for obesity and depression.

-They are an effective way of loosening up, stretching and massaging all joints and internal organs of the body.

-They stimulate and balance all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive system.

Technique:

1. Stand straight with the palms together as in a prayer position.

2. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head.

3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.

4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a big backward step and keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bending the head backward the left knee should be between the hands.

5. Inhale and hold the breath. Move the left leg from the body and, keeping both feet together and the knees of the floor, rest on the hands (arms straight) and keep the body in a straight line from head to foot.

6. Exhale and lower the body to the floor. In this position, only 8 portions of the body come in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead.

7. Inhale and bend back as much as possible bending the spine to the maximum.

8. Exhale and lift the body of the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.

9. Inhale and bring the right foot along the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the ground. Look up, bending the spine slightly (same position as #4)

10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head down to the knees as in the third position.

11. Raise the arms overhead and bend backward inhaling. As in Position 2.

12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.

You have now completed one round. Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally you want to aim for 6 rounds minimum and up to a maximum of 30. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity and is best practiced with as little clothing as possible before an open air window first thing in the morning.

You could do a search in Yahoo! Images for “Sun Salutations” to see a visual representation of these powerful exercises and be rest assured that with a sensible diet and a wise combination of these exercises-with any other fitness regimen you may choose-you are well on your way to attaining natural weight loss, increased strength and overall fitness with the help of yoga.
So don’t get intimidated when you see a seasoned practitioner in a seemingly tough pose. Yoga is for everyone and can help you lose weight.

How To Start Yoga At Home

You can get audio or video tapes that give breathing instruction and teach relaxation techniques at health food stores, bookstores, and by mail order. It’s probably fine to learn breath and relaxation from a tape or booklet, but don’t try the yoga exercises without a skilled teacher. He or she can make corrections, caution you when necessary, and help you to adapt poses, if you need to.

It will be worth it to you to spend a little time finding an instructor who is right for you. Your diabetes nurse educator or other health care professional may be able to recommend a yoga instructor. Get referrals for a yoga instructor as you would for any professional you might wish to consult.

Yoga instructors aren’t required to be certified, but many are, through many different programs. Ask prospective teachers if they are certified. A certified teacher isn’t necessarily better than someone who isn’t certified, but it’s something to consider.

Yoga is fun, healthy, and calming. It’s a wise way handed down over several thousands of years. There is little danger in yoga, and even a little progress brings with it freedom and peace of mind.

Although most people with diabetes can exercise safely, exercise involves some risks. To shift the benefit-to-risk ratio in your favor, take these precautions:

Have a medical exam before you begin your exercise program, including an exercise test with EKG monitoring, especially if you have cardiovascular disease, you are over 35, you have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels, you smoke, or you have a family history of heart disease.

Discuss with your doctor any unusual symptoms that you experience during or after exercise such as discomfort in your chest, neck, jaw, or arms; nausea, dizziness, fainting, or excessive shortness of breath; or short-term changes in vision.

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If you have diabetes-related complications, check with your healthcare team about special precautions. Consider exercising in a medically supervised program, at least initially, if you have peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, autonomic neuropathy, or kidney problems.

Learn how to prevent and treat low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). If you take oral agents or insulin, monitor your blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise.

If you have type I, and your blood glucose is above 250 milligrams per deciliter, check your urine for ketones. Don’t exercise if ketones are present, because exercise will increase your risk of ketoacidosis and coma.

Always warm up and cool down.

Don’t exercise outdoors when the weather is too hot and humid, or too cold.

Does Is Really Mean Hot Yoga?

There are a lot of yoga types and one of them is the famous hot yoga. The hot yoga is characterized by a series of yoga poses which is done in a heated room. The room where you perform the exercise is preserved at a temperature of 95-100 degrees. This kind of exercise gives off a lot of perspiration during a session because you are stuck in a heated room.

Hot yoga is advantageous because it cleanses your body and gets rid of the toxins inside your body. Since is makes your body warm, the more flexible it gets.

When doing the hot yoga, you should have some accessories like your yoga mat and towel. Since you will be sweating severely, you should have something to wipe up your sweat every other time.

Some people who practice hot yoga do not wear very thick clothes because it causes them to sweat more.

If you are going to practice hot yoga, you should be ready with your clothing. The clothes you should wear should be appropriate. You can wear shorts during the session.

Wearing of shorts allows your skin to breathe and give off heat. Students are the ones who usually wear shorts. They tend to wear small clothes because they are still vigorous and they sweat too much. If you are taking hot yoga sessions, make sure that you drink a lot of water. If you are in the class, you can also bring along your own bottle of water so that you can drink anytime you want. It is important to bring along a bottle of water so that you will not get dehydrated and so that the skin will produce more sweat. Before having a hot yoga session, you should take note that it is not advisable to eat two hours before the class starts. This is because your body is opt for a heavy exercise.

Bikram’s method is such a good yoga style. People who want to be slim can practice this type of yoga because their fats and cholesterol will be burned through sweat.

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Although it burns your fats, you should not be burning all of it because you still need some. Yoga started about 2500 years ago which was founded by Patanjali. After it’s discovery, it was then practiced and spread around the world. Picture yourself doing Yoga when you are suffering from illness like Fever where your body temperature is at 105 deg. Fahrenheit! I bet you couldn’t stand this kind of heat. If ever you will, you have over fatigued yourself.

At the compassion of the disagreement is Choudhury’s wish to put off anybody teaching yoga in a heated room from calling their class “Bikram Yoga.” He would like to put to one side this title only for those teachers who are qualified by his Yoga College of India and who stick to his arranged process precisely. This has been handled upon because there are a lot of people who imitate his teachings.

Now that you have learned the difference of hot yoga among all other styles, think again if it satisfies your desired to release your sweat and excess toxins. Remember that in doing hot yoga, all your energy is taken away. If your body has not a single energy to waste, then hot yoga is not the perfect yoga style for you.

How Hot Is Hot Yoga

The beginning of yoga goes back 2,500 years and was introduced by Patanjali of who we owe a debt of gratitude for helping us all in our quest to maintain stability in mind spirit and soul. Most importantly it is the healthy outlook on life. (mentally/physically) it gives. Hot of the press, word has it this form of exercise has taken the world by storm and still continues to do so and will for a long time to come.

Believe it or not hot yoga is a type of exercise people are practicing on such a high scale that it is becoming a craze. Hot yoga is a combination of different poses carried out in a special heated room of which the temperature is normally between 95-100 degrees.
Think sauna – think perspiration when this routine is performed. Having a towel handy is a good idea to wipe your brow or other parts of the body that needs attention in absorbing sweat loss.

Light clothing like shorts to practice hot yoga will make your experience a more comfortable one, no winter wollies please they are not needed.
Involving your self in hot yoga is a fabulous way of cleansing the body and ridding any waste toxins on the inside.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluid (water) during lessons. Bring your own thermos or bottled mineral water, by doing this you can quench your thirst thus stemming off dehydration. Before taking part in hot yoga remember that it is not advisable to consume food at least two hours before. The reason being is you have nominated your body to take part in a strenuous workout.

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Cholesterol and fat levels are lowered through sweat loss, so if slimming is on the agenda then it is certainly worth checking out the Bikram yoga method.

Moves and bodily posture movements differ greatly so choosing which class is for you could prove to be a problem. Do a little research or talk to a guru in the field of yoga who can advise you on what is best for your needs, whether it is a health matter, slim down or just to claim peace of mind.

Before enrolling in a hot yoga class make sure to delve more intimately into what it entails as it may not be your cup of tea unlike it is for others. Hot yoga can be exhausting but it does have its perks giving results. Your health is so very important thus making yoga a number one priority to be taken seriously to take claim of a fit mind body and soul.
Feeling good about your self is a step forward in leading a better life. Consult your doctor on any health concerns you may have before he points you in the right direction of easing your symptoms with a dose of yoga.

History of Yoga

Yoga is a union of body, mind, and spirit. The history of yoga is long and steeped in tradition. Yoga is an ancient system of health and fitness which originated in India. The word yoga has its first mention in the Rig Veda, the oldest of the sacred texts. Those that study Yoga estimate it’s age to be four thousand year.

The history of Yoga can be divided into four main periods which are the pre-classical period, classical period, post-classical period and modern period. In the history of yoga, the book is called the yoga sutras. The history of yoga would not have been completed in the classical stage of yoga.

The word Yoga literally meant the Yolk that joins something together, such as an ox to a cart. The idea is that yoga unites all aspects of being into one.

What most people envision to be Yoga, those contortionist postures, is really only one small aspect of a much larger field of practices. The methods of yoga includes ethical disciplines, physical postures, breathing control and as well as meditation.

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The 20th century witnessed a renaissance of yoga that caused a globalization of this ancient tradition. Modern approaches to yoga have created a clear delineation between the Hindu religion and the practice of yoga. Through the practice of yoga, an individual can gain information about physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Over the long history of yoga, different schools have emerged, and there are numerous examples branches and philosophies that have spawned. Ultimately, all agree on one common element the fundamental purpose of yoga is to foster harmony in the body, mind, and environment.

Today yoga is accepted as a comprehensive exercise to promote control of the body and mind. More than just a means of being fit and trim, yoga can help you live a healthy, whole, and empowered life. In recent decades, yoga has greatly and swiftly evolved. Yoga is the most diversified spiritual practice in the world. The living tradition of yoga now recognizes no borders as it continues to spread globally.

Here’s What Yoga Can Do For You

You want to have a full life. You want to feel well. You want lots of energy, vitality, power, and stamina. Am I right so far?

Well, the great news is that all these can be yours. Yoga applies age-old secrets to everyday life in a modern, fast-paced world. Its practical application can restore your lost youth, put new zest into your every step, and empower you to fully enjoy a sense of health, energy and creative living. All this will do wonders for your future happiness…

Sounds good, huh? Well let me tell you a little about yoga…

Yoga is an ancient health-art developed and perfected over the centuries by wise men in ancient India. Yoga is not a religion, a metaphysical doctrine, or a philosophy. It is not magic, although the amazing improvements it can make in your health, your appearance and your youthfulness may often seem magical, even miraculous…

There are many different types of yoga. Contrary to popular belief, not all types of yoga involve difficult positions and postures, uncomfortable exercises or strenuous diets…

Yoga can take years off your face and years from your body, and add years to your life. There are certain secret methods by which the Yogis keep the flexibility and “spring” of early youth in their joints and muscles and limbs well into the declining years…

It is a common sight to see, in the crowded, colorful streets of Bombay or New Delhi, Yogis well into their seventies and even their eighties, with the straight, graceful posture of a boy, walking with the elastic, springy step of youth… with firm, healthy bodies, their hair dark and glossy and un-streaked with grey. Firm, unlined faces … clear, un-dimmed eyes…

Not only does yoga make you look and feel years younger, and years healthier, but it lends your body superb health. It works like magic because it enables the body to realize its full potential of great health…

You know that Nature has built into your body certain certain “defense mechanisms” for self-repair, natural safeguards against disease. Well, modern yoga helps the body’s machinery function smoothly, efficiently, and at peak performance…

Yoga encourages your body to derive every last possible atom of nutritive value from the food you now eat (so different from the natural diet of your ancestors) … to get every second of refreshment and rest from your sleep … to attain regularity, relief from little aches and pains, the ability to sleep deep and wake refreshed that can make the difference from feeling “pretty good” to feeling “terrific”!

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Yoga assists all your muscles and bones and organs to operate at their maximum potential. Yoga stimulates into peak performance the hidden abilities of your body to throw off the attacks of disease that affect so many people we know and love…

Do you suffer from insomnia and stress? Have you lost your appetite? Do you find it hard to relax? Do you smoke too much, feel “worn out” by the afternoon, find as you grow older that you cannot enjoy full life and day to day vitality?

Yoga has the amazing power to relax and refresh you, soothe your nerves, calm your mind, give you the serenity and strength and inner stamina that is part of the “Magic of the East”.
Yoga prevents the premature grey in your hair, the ugly wrinkles in your face….

Yoga tightens those sagging muscles that give you that “tired look.” It puts new zest in your appetite, brings back the sparkle in your eyes, and gives that wonderful sensation of feeling “fit as a fiddle”…

If these benefits are important to you (and you’d be crazy if they weren’t) then its time you learnt about yoga!

Hatha Yoga – A Crowd Favorite

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 History

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.

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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.

Have Some Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is known as the 5000 year old system which was used to increase the healthy body, mind and spirit. People who do Hatha Yoga combine the stretching exercises of asanas into their practice. It includes the mental concentration and breathing techniques.

The Lotus position from Asanas is being used in practicing Hatha Yoga.

The goal of applying Hatha Yoga is just the same as using other kinds of Yoga. It aims to blend the human spirit with the peaceful spirit of the Universe. With this practice, the person doing the Yoga exercise increases their spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health and aspect.

Doing Hatha Yoga gives you peace and keeps your environment and the world as one. In doing yoga, including all types of yoga, concentration is the root or main ingredient for a successful yoga

All other types of Yoga have some similarities in one way or the other. The main focus of Hatha Yoga is to prepare the body to give in so that the spirit will be able to absorb and accomplish its mission. The spirit is responsible in lifting and enlightening. When the spirit is enlightened, the mind is relaxed and it throws away all stress and pain. The body does too.

Too many people get confused because they do not understand that if your body is not healthy and unfit; your spirit cannot successfully accomplish the task. So the goal of Hatha Yoga is perfect to apply if your spirit is weak.

Hatha Yoga will help encourage your body to move and advance positively to a level in which the spirit will be able to work properly. Your spirit and body needs to respond positively so that the mind will be able to keep up with a good concentration.

When people hear of the word Yoga, Hatha Yoga will come to their minds first. Hatha Yoga is popular and it is the popular branch of Yoga. In fact, the other style of yoga such as the Kundalini, Ashtanga, Bikram and Power Yoga has originated from Hatha Yoga.

Hatha Yoga is known as the vehicle for the soul. It is responsible for driving the body and the spirit into the universe. Just imagine soaring to the universe and feel no gravity at all. That is just so relaxing and tempting.

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Concentration is something that is hard to maintain and recover. If you find yourself easily distracted by outside forces, Hatha Yoga might work to fight it.

The best thing about practicing Hatha Yoga is that it helps you find out for your self that there is a divine light that shines in you. Not only does it enlighten you but it can help you become stronger, relaxed and flexible.

The exercise involved in doing Hatha Yoga allows the spiritual energy to flow through the open energy channels. This will be possible if the mind, body and spirit is working good and has harmony. Of course maintaining a healthy body is the most important of all. If your body is weak, your mind and spirit is affected too

When you practice Hatha Yoga, you can easily cope up with stress and relieve some pain and tension. Sometimes, work leaves you wasted and exhausted so you need to relax once in a while. Hatha Yoga is the best remedy to release that pain and tension.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is an ancient hindu system of working with the human nervous system. Because it releases tension and endows one with renewed energy, far too many 20th century people, yoga teachers included, have come to look upon the venerable Indian physical science as solely an exercise for health and vitality of mind and body. It is that, but it is also much more. Hatha yoga practices are more spiritual than physical, more subtle than gross, more a means of understanding than an exotic way to relieve stress or limber up the body.

The sages who developed hatha yoga designed it as a way to gain conscious control of our life energies, a way to go within, to harmonize the external so the innermost Self could be encountered. To them, it was about states of consciousness, about living a divine life, and it was a preparation for meditation.

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As you perform the asanas, concentrate on feeling the energies within the nerve currents. Sensitize yourself to knowing when the body has been in each position long enough to tune the nerve currents involved. Then shift smoothly into the next asana. It’s like a dance, a deliberate, fluid dance. During all postures, inhale using the diaphragm, not the chest muscles. Do not stretch unduly or force the body. Relax into the poses. Don’t worry if you can’t perform them all perfectly. In time, you will find the body becoming more flexible and supple. Free the mind of thoughts and tensions. You will be more aware, more alive, more serene.

While there are many more complex hatha yoga routines, these twenty-four asanas provide a balanced system for daily use. For the simple purpose of quieting the mind in preparation for meditation, this is all you will ever need. For best results, hatha yoga should be taught personally by a qualified teacher. These instructions and drawings are meant only as a rudimentary aid. For more elaborate regimens, inquire at a recognized school specializing in hatha yoga.

The scene of hatha yoga has a spiritual purpose – to balance physical and physic energies in preparation for meditation. It is not only meant to make us young, beautiful or creative, but to aid us in quieting the mind, body and emotions that we may awaken enlightened consciousness & know the Self within.

Got Only 15 Minutes To Exercise? Then Try This From Yoga

We live in a sound-byte age where our daily demands leave us with little time for exercise, at least in the mornings when it may perhaps be most efficient.

However, Yoga offers a systematic combination of poses, deep breathing and meditation that you could practice in 5-10 minutes-or less depending on your choice-and will also leave you invigorated and eager to step into the day feeling more energized.

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So what is this quick routine I am talking about? It is known as the Sun Salutations.

They are very simple to learn and just about anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels can learn these simple exercises. In actuality, if you are familiar with “burpies” (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from them.

Besides being an exercise routine, they are quite indispensable as they do the following.

-They alleviate disorders of the skin and waist.
-They mildly exercise the legs and arms at the same time increasing the circulation and restoring flexibility to the limbs.
-They are one of the best ways to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for obesity and depression.
-They are an effective way of loosening up, stretching and massaging all joints and internal organs of the body.
-They stimulate and balance all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive system.

For directions on how to perform them, study, memorize and practice the following:

1. Stand straight with the palms together as in a prayer position.

2. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head.

3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.

4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a big backward step and keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bending the head backward the left knee should be between the hands.

5. Inhale and hold the breath. Move the left leg from the body and, keeping both feet together and the knees of the floor, rest on the hands (arms straight) and keep the body in a straight line from head to foot.

6. Exhale and lower the body to the floor. In this position, only 8 portions of the body come in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead.

7. Inhale and bend back as much as possible bending the spine to the maximum.

8. Exhale and lift the body of the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.

9. Inhale and bring the right foot along the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the ground. Look up, bending the spine slightly (same position as #4)

10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head down to the knees as in the third position.

11. Raise the arms overhead and bend backward inhaling. As in Position 2.

12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.

You have now completed one round.

Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally you want to aim for 6 rounds minimum and up to a maximum of 30. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity and is best practiced with as little clothing as possible before an open air window first thing in the morning.

So when you’ve got little time to spare but need to be energized the way perhaps only physical exercise can, why not try the Sun Salutations. Your body will be glad you did and so will your mind.