Yoga – Cure for Modern Day Stresses

Yoga is a 3,000-year-old, Hindu discipline of mind and body that became known in Western society with the hippie generation of the Sixties and early Seventies. Its image as a mystic practice is disappearing as fast as the stressful aspects of the Eighties are appearing.

As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age homes, and is used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centers are getting stiff competition from adult education classes of community colleges, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.

The meaning of yoga is union of the body, mind and spirit with truth. There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practice for the willing student.

Hatha Yoga is among the most popular forms in the west. It emphasizes the practice of postures, which stretch and strengthen the body, help develop a sense of balance and flexibility, as well as body awareness and mental concentration. All forms of yoga incorporate the practice of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energize and purify the body.

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As stress levels in society reach new heights, Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation, is growing in popularity in Western society, while others, such as Krya Yoga, the yoga of cleansing, and Mantra Yoga, the yoga of chanting, not surprisingly, have little appeal for newcomers.

Stretching and toning, though beneficial, aren’t the primary reasons people turn to yoga. Newcomers are hoping that yoga will provide them with a means for handling stress and diffusing tension. The difference between exercise and yoga is that yoga has a meditative quality.

A lot of people are exercising for the psychological benefits and trying many of the Eastern activities, like yoga and tai chi. Yoga seems to have a calming effect on people.

And the techniques work on children as well as adults. When your children are quarreling, ask them to stop what they’re doing, raise their arms over their heads, lean forward and breathe deeply to help diffuse their anger. It definitely helps them to cool it.

Spine Twisting Pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana asana is also known as the Spine Twisting Asana. It is one of the essential poses which make the body healthy and fine. It is a basic pose which should be done by everyone, if their body is capable to do it. If done correctly it becomes a value addition in your day-to-day life. It may seem hard at the first attempt but you can do it in stages. By doing it in stages the asana proves to be very easy and simple.

The twist in the asana is a blessing for the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver and spleen. It is also very beneficial for people who suffer from asthma, indigestion, constipation and obesity. If you are a person with good height but stooping shoulders, this asana can correct it. It also improves the back and corrects a faulty posture. The twist stretches every muscle and ligament of your back.

Ardha Matsyendrasana is the only asana which twists the spine to achieve a healthy and toned body. Every movement of the asana assists in strengthening the spine and its muscles. It strengthens the spine which gives you a healthy back. The body becomes flexible with the twisting pose. A flexible body also helps in creating an agile and fit body.

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Your back, hips, neck and shoulders get stretched very well. The digestive process of your body is rejuvenated by performing the asana. The asana can be a boon for many women as it alleviates the menstrual trouble many go through month after month.

People having problems like sciatica can also be provided help. It is very therapeutic for problems with infertility. It is known to cure many diseases and improve your appetite. This asana gets rid of all the toxins from your body to have a fresh and clear body. It is a great help for the bronchial muscles and rib cage. Abdominal muscles are also toned by this asana. Chances of slip disc can be erased. The pancreas are also massaged which helps the diabetes patient.

Hernia problems can also be treated by regularly doing this asana. Arthritis patient can find a relief due to the asana. The circulation towards the spinal nerves, veins and other tissues improves drastically. It also cures the lumbago and rheumatism of the spine due to the twists of the asana. By regularly performing this asana your abs are improved. You can use props or modify the asana to make it easier. A wall can be used as a prop while doing this asana.

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.

Let The Kids Join In Your Yoga Routine!

A shocking statistic was given on the news yesterday. The report says 50 percent of our children will grow up to be obese adults. Inactivity and junk food are making our kids unhealthy. Children sit in front of the television set, or watch movies or play video games instead of getting outside and playing like the adults of today did. The result is children who are couch potatoes and are in real danger of health related problems. The study also went on to say that children could benefit from Yoga. Sure, you say, how do you get a 2 year old to sit in one position for more than 30 seconds?

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Yoga classes for children are offered and if you have ever watched one, you would be amazed at what they can do. No, it’s not your traditional quiet, meditative Yoga routine for a small child, but Yoga can be fun as well as healthy for a toddler or child. Classes designed for children offer the fun of barking like a dog while doing the Downward Facing Dog pose. Jumping around like Kangaroos is another fun part of a child’s Yoga class. The idea is to get them used to moving around, make it a part of their routine and we can only hope they will continue that habit for life.

One Yoga instructor practices with his small son and when he is doing the Bridge Pose, the toddler crawls under him and makes noises like a boat. So how is that helping the adult? It’s keeping them in the present, which is one of the goals of Yoga. Showing his son that Yoga and proper breathing will help him to become an active productive adult.

When introducing your toddler or child to Yoga, don’t make them be little grown-ups. Remember to get down on their level. Have fun with them; make it a fun activity time. You can’t really expect a child to be as serious as an adult. The short attention span of a young child makes it impossible for them to sit in one pose as an adult would. Explore the poses with your child, let them flow naturally and center your attention on them and what you are doing now. Again, that’s one of the reasons to practice Yoga, to keep you in the moment and help you enjoy the time you have right now.

A child is just that, a child, if we think on their level and allow them to go at their own pace they will reap the benefits later in life. With you as an example, they will look forward to your time together two or three times a week, and encourage them to keep active. Avoiding obesity as a young adult, and stiffness and soreness when they’re older is a benefit to start Yoga with them when they are small. You can make Yoga and quiet times an intricate part of their lives.

So, help your child grow into a healthy adult while helping yourself at the same time.
Show and teach them by practicing with them and oh; have fun doing it!

Perfect Truths About Yoga

Turbaned gurus, sing-song mantras and bodily contortions . . . the promise of true enlightenment and omphaloskepsis (contemplation of the naval) completes the cliche. But don’t knock yoga till you’ve tried it, and then only with respect.

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Yoga means to bind together — variously joining sun and moon, left and right, male and female, and any number of yins and yangs — through ascetic techniques of meditation and exercise. The goal is physical and mental balance.

Indian Hatha’ yoga is best known to Westerners. Double-jointedness isn’t a prerequisite, but the classic lotus position, cross-legged on the floor, soles-up on the inner thigh, either comes naturally or doesn’t.

Then there are more magical/mystical varieties of yoga for which people quit jobs and polite society and retreat to the Himalayas. But not everyone follows a spiritual guide beyond the Beltway; they’d rather take up the discipline at a local ashram or the Y.

Committed practitioners claim yoga leads to intuitive awareness, spiritual harmony, perfect concentration. Others use it to lose weight or quit smoking. Some just like the lift they get from yoga asanas (positions) better than breaking into a sweat with pushups. In any case, it can’t hurt, if done in moderation and with proper guidance.

Need Power? Try Core Power Yoga

Core power yoga is an energetic yoga exercise that physically and mentally challenges to help connect to inner power without stopping and accompanied by a heated, climate controlled Vinyasa. It heals, detoxifies and stimulates the body and mind through balance and intention.

Power yoga has created a dynamic, challenging program that combines strength, sweat and spirituality. It recognizes power in diverse levels; first is the physical power which develops the body’s strength and improve health; second is the mental power or the will to contemplate on the practice; and last the spiritual power which is the power behind the physical and mental power.

Core power yoga is the Western version of the Indian Ashtanga Yoga. The term was given by Beryl Bender Birch, an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. It has been brought to the west by followers of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a renowned Sanskrit scholar who inspired Western Yogis with his Ashtanga Yoga Style and philosophies.

There are three programs in power yoga. “Core Power” is designed to strengthen abdominals and back and includes both abs-focused Vinyasa power yoga poses and variations of muscle-toning moves. “Unlocking Athletic Power” will expand flexible strength with an emphasis on abs, back, hips and pelvis. “Soul of Strength” on the other hand is a fast-moving power yoga program with a distinct “mid-body” emphasis and some very challenging moves.

Yoga sessions are done in a heated room and composed of different cardiovascular exercises intended to develop strength and flexibility, increase stamina, improves the ability to focus, release tensions and remove toxins through sweating.

Core power yoga practice also requires the implementation of yoga poses. Poses are done in a fast pace, some poses are even held longer than the required five breaths. This practice can augment physical endurance and ability to focus on any task for a long time without breaking the concentration.

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What is the difference between core power yoga and other exercises?

Core power yoga is a vinyasa style that has a unique program offering and focuses on core strength, balance and flow to build a solid practice based on strength and spirit. It offers diverse classes like Hot Yoga, Yoga Sculpt, Bootcamps, Yoga Teacher Trainings and Mat Pilates. Moreover, it provides better instructors that are personally involved in students’ progress, strong and forceful leaders who pays more attention to the students needs. Also the teachers of this exercise work with the students to personalize their programs and creating a sense of belonging and community. And lastly, it provides quality amenities equipped with a unique top tier amenities and a balance aura.

This exercise also offers great health benefits; this lengthens and stretches the muscles and at the same time it builds stamina, strength and lean muscle and mass. It also increases body heat that kills some bacteria and creates a finely tuned state of consciousness of the workings of the body. The focus of core power yoga is on the coordination of the breath movement, connecting the body, mind and spirit to the warmest level.

Core power yoga is finest to those who want to improve their performance in their chosen sports like cycling, football, swimming, skiing, surfing, running/athlete, martial arts and other team sports. Some training grounds in sports practice this exercise in transition for aerobics.

Core power yoga can reshape your body and mind!

Cure for Asthma Through Yoga

Yoga breathing exercises could help sufferers of mild asthma and may help reduce their use of low-dose drug inhalers in wheezing attacks.

Researchers from the Respiratory Medicine Unit, City University, Nottingham, call for more studies of ways of improving breathing control which they say have been largely ignored by Western medicine.

While yoga practitioners have long believed in the benefits of pranayama breathing exercises for asthmatics, this has been hard to study formally. But, using a Pink City lung – a device that imposes slow breathing on the user and can mimic pranayama breathing exercises – it was possible to measure the effects of controlled breathing in a hospital trial.

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Two simulated pranayama exercises were tested: slow deep breathing and breathing out for twice as long as breathing in.

In asthma, the airways become restricted making breathing difficult. It is increasing in the UK, with more than three million children and adults affected, and are responsible for 2,000 deaths annually.

The doctors used standard clinical tests to measure the volume of air patients were able to blow out in a second and to test the irritability of their airways. After yoga, their airways were two times less irritable,

Though asthma patients should not stop their medication, they should experiment with breathing exercises.

Kriya Yoga And The Nature Of The Journey

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.

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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.

Kriya Preparation

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.

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

The following are questions that Yoga teachers still need to answer, despite overwhelming evidence that Yoga is “the mother of all health maintenance systems.” Mainstream thought is finally catching up, with the progress Yoga is making, but it has taken 5,000 years for us to get this far.

Seriously, How Can Yoga Make You Lose Weight?

Finally, some of the “Yoga and Weight Loss” studies have come in, and even, a little bit of Yoga is much better, than none, for weight control, but there are a number of reasons why. Yoga is a lifestyle change that includes a safe diet; exercise, adjusting posture, breathing, and a whole lot more. Most of the
Yoga practitioners, I know, consume more water, eat more moderately, and take more care of their bodies, in comparison to the many who don’t want to leave the couch.

Aren’t you supposed to jump up and down for at least a half-hour per day to exercise enough to lose weight?

Maybe the masses have been “brain washed” into thinking that you have to feel the pain, suffer, starve, and have a near death experience, to lose weight. Depending upon your size, the average person, in a moderate Hatha yoga class, is burning in the neighborhood of 200 calories per hour. There are Vinyasa Yoga classes, that will burn more calories, with much more flowing and active movement. Just remember, that your safety is top priority, and you will be fine.

There are also Yoga classes where you can feel the pain, heat, and suffer.
This is great for those who feel the need to “pay for their sins.” Maybe this is considered “penance,” for years of consuming excessive pizza, burgers, and buffets. If you feel you must suffer, you may even find a Yoga teacher who missed his or her calling as an interrogator.

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If you search hard enough, you will find a Yoga class for every niche. More moderate Yoga classes look easy on the outside of the class, but I have seen many people find them to be a challenge, on the inside of the class. The real benefit of steady Yoga practice is training for longevity. Long-term practice will yield optimum health benefits in mind, body, and spirit.

Couldn’t you just invent a Yoga pill?

This has been the ultimate dream of “couch potatoes,” but every time a weight loss pill comes out, there is a down side. Just look at the health problems that resulted from fen phen and ephedra. This should wake people up, but someone will always put their life at risk, no matter how many warning labels are printed.

In summary, the benefits of Yoga practice have always existed, through steady and safe practice. Seek out a safe teacher and go from there. Never push yourself to the point of strain. Moderation is key, so it is wise to avoid extremes.

Common Mistakes and Misunderstandings About Yoga?

Yoga is a very popular form of exercising and spiritual balancing, but it is also very often understood by a lot of people. This is almost inevitable when you consider the incredible popularity of Yoga as a discipline and the many different strands that Yoga has. Quite often people have experience with one type of Yoga but not another, and as such they will base their overall impression of Yoga on what they have seen. It is like people basing their impression on Germans on the most famous German they know – Adolf Hitler, or more recently the portrayal of George Bush internationally as the only example of an American anyone knows. The truth is that Yoga can be very different depending on who you learn it from and how they perceive Yoga. This article looks at some of the common misconceptions.

Misconception Number One: Yoga is a form of exercise.

Well yes it is, but so is walking. I can walk from my couch to my table and I can hardly claim to have done my exercise for the day. The truth is that exercise is just the beginning of what yoga is. It’s closer to a combination of exercise, physiotherapy, psychology and spirituality all rolled into one. As you come to master Yoga you will need to become more and more mentally strong, and most importantly disciplined. If you can discipline yourself to do regular Yoga sessions, and maintain your discipline to do each pose for the prescribed time, and do it properly, then you will naturally become a very disciplined and organised person. For some people this transcends to a spiritual level because they are so efficient and clearing their thoughts while meditating.

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Misconception Number Two: Yoga is for Hippies.

As previously mentioned Yoga can be a very spiritual experience if you become good enough at clearing your thoughts and concentrating whilst performing the exercises. But you certainly do not have to begin with any spiritual belief. Yoga believes in aligning the body and the mind and the spirit through achieving inner balance. What that means to you is probably going to depend entirely on what your beliefs already are. For some people it will be a spiritually freeing experience, for others it will be an effective way of distressing and achieving a level of calmness of thought. Still others will claim that these things are one and the same.

Misconception Number Three: Yoga is a fad.

Recently there have been some very hyped up Yoga courses making big claims about what Yoga can achieve. These are easy to associate with other ‘fad’ exercise crazes. However Yoga is not something new and is based in documents that are hundreds of years old which describe exercises and poses that were probably being performed for generations before that. An individual style of Yoga may come and go, but as long as people are still stretching before a game of football then Yoga will still be being used.

Misconception Number Four: Yoga is too slow to help me lose weight/gain tone etc.

This one is way off the mark, but we have been somewhat trained by the weight loss industry that weight loss, and toning our body is all about hours in the gym and fast high impact exercise. That’s simply not true. Yoga can help with weight loss and in particularly toning for a number of reasons. Firstly the exercises, while low impact and performed either statically or slowly – are still exercises. While you use them you are using your muscles, and in many cases you are using muscles and muscle groups that regular exercise programs ignore. The second way that Yoga can be of benefit in a weight loss program is that it will increase your mental strength and allow you to be more disciplined with your food consumption. When it comes down to it excess weight is a result of excess eating and not enough physical exercise to burn off those calories. Have you ever noticed how some people can eat donut after donut and not put on any weight at all? It seems unfair, but it’s a natural result of the state of their body. Usually these people will be quite ‘sinewy’ and this muscle allows them the metabolise food faster. That’s the third benefit of Yoga in weight loss, as your muscles develop your body will actually become more efficient at consuming foods and processing them into nutrients and waste.

Hopefully we have now gone some way to explaining away the various myths associated with Yoga. It is such a broad topic that it is very much a case of Yoga being what you make of it.

Common Types of Yoga – What Is The Difference

What is the difference between common yoga and the not so common yoga, nothing only one is practiced on a wider scale than the other. It is up to each individual and their preferences to what form of exercise they choose to practise. Some common types of yoga are performed by people for health reasons.

If starting out to practice yoga for the first time then be sure to find out what is best suited to your requiremnts. Important factors that have to be addressed before any exercise is executed are your fitness levels.

Some of the most common types of yoga are Iyenga. This yoga is solely based on alignment and accurate movements.When working out the Iyengar way props are used such as straps and blocks for beginners who are not as flexible as the experts in this field. By using these yoga props it helps the beginner to relax and give comfort therfore encouraging beneficial results.

Commonly known power yoga – The Ashtanga. The reason for this alias is because of the powerful movements that are involved
The moves exercised include push ups and lunges which helps deal with strength and stamina. What type of person practices this form of yoga? People involved with Ashtanga are looking for challenging moves.
You will find athletes – gymnasts and cyclists all from the fitness world have turned to this type of yoga to add more balance to their concentration to help them in thier quest when going for gold.

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Bikram Yoga: known as hot yoga is where routines are carried out in a very warm room. This is an excellent way for increasing flexibility, heat can stretch body tissue.
Health matters like cardio vascular disease makes this type of common yoga off limits for a patient. The reasons are because of the vigorous routines practiced in heat thus causing strain on the body.

A content mind denotes a content body and soul. Type of Yoga that meets with these needs of contentment is the Raja Yoga: which implements liberation through meditation. Concentration is the key factor in this exercise

Bhakti commonly acknowledged as devotional yoga is where all participants focus on self surrender.
Some yoga types may sound a little shocking in what is expected of you but never judge the book by the cover. Why not try out an exercise for your self. The Mantra yoga: more known as yoga of potent – targets liberation through mental or verbal repetition of noises and sounds.

Mental/physical anguish suffered by patient`s with stress related disorders are looking to the world of yoga, why? Because it is one of natures natural remedies for pain.

The Principle behind Christian Yoga

Christian yoga is a spiritual practice of Christians most common in Eastern and Western Countries. It is a discipline that one practices to be much closer to God. Taking the path of Christian yoga can lead to healing of the mind and body. But perhaps even more important than that, it can lead to the discovery of what at the moment is only a potential within you.

Many of classes in the U.S teach the practice of yoga, the physical discipline that focuses on postures or asana, and employ no religious teaching at all. Other yoga teachers have training in yoga schools.

Practitioners say that Christian yoga fills a need for believers who want the health benefits of yoga but are put off by the practice’s ancient Hindu roots. With this, it brings together the wonderful physical benefits of yoga within their spiritual beliefs.

The doctrines and practices of yoga date from the period of the Upanishads. The word yoga originated from Hindus, it is a religious practice of Hinduism that through the practice of certain disciplines one may achieve liberation from the limitations of flesh, the delusions of sense, and the pitfalls of thought and thus attain union with the object of knowledge.

Though developed in the ancient Hindu tradition, the movements of Christian yoga are so universal that they can adapt to or be adopted by any culture or spiritual path.

The yoga has been known for many years, and was practiced by some of the Early Christian during the persecution. The spirit and love that touched the Early Christian has been inherent from the men and women today. Christian yoga is about unfolding some of these wonderful possibilities each hold latent. It is about possibilities so amazing that many early Christians were willing to die in support of keeping a doorway open for other people to claim them. Go into it and are transformed by following the Christian pathway, the Christian yoga.

In the Eastern belief, Christian yoga is not an Eastern postures or breathing techniques, rather the aim is to open to an influence that can transform and heal. Eastern yoga attempts to drop the ego, the Christian path aims at transforming the personality. Christian yoga is described absolutely in the New Testament in the story of Jesus’ life as an allegory. It is a step-by-step way of transformation and the finding of a new life. As Jesus promised, this ‘heaven’, this new awareness of your life, is not far away. It is already yours if you know how to find it.

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In Western, Christian yoga from its very beginning women played an important role in its practice and teachings. It is about universal processes of life, of mind and heart.

Christian yoga has garnered criticism, despite of its prevalence.

Many Christians says that Christian yoga is incompatible with Christianity, and emphasizing that it is not a religion in itself. Other says that there is no such as Christian yoga because it blends two different belief structure. Catholic priests in Mexico City instructed their parishioners not to attend Yoga classes because this practice would lead to other god’s and Eastern religion beliefs.

Though critics have charged that yoga’s ancient Hindu origins are incompatible with Christian faith, practitioners say the exercise is an ideal vehicle for spiritual reflection.

Chase away the Blahs with Yoga

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tenets Of Yoga Philosophy

In the ancient India, philosophy has been traditionally divided into two main groups. These groups are called as the orthodox group and heretic group. The orthodox group believes in the authority of Vedas in all the philosophical matters. These orthodox systems are six in all. One of the most popular systems of philosophy is yoga.

It shares the following common beliefs with the other orthodox systems:

• Belief in the permanent soul, which forms the basis of life.

• Soul is supposed to discard one body at the time of death and enter a new one at the time of new birth.

• A strong belief in the karma, which states that the events happening in a person’s life are a direct results of the events in his previous life or lives (if the person has been born many times).

• A belief that the life of an individual is primarily of misery and sorrow.

• A belief in the state of complete freedom from misery and sorrow called mukti or moksha.

Yoga adopts the dualistic doctrine of explaining the universe of objects and living beings. It assumes that the universe was originally created by the uniting or samyoga of two eternal realities called purusha and prakriti. Purusha forms the basis of all the spiritual objects while prakriti deals with the material objects. Prakriti and everything that comes from it has three gunas viz.: sattva, rajo and tamas in various proportions and combinations.

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Sattvaguna deals with all that is pure and holy while rajasguna deals with all the rich and royal qualities and tamasguna deals with all the baser qualities like greed, lust, anger, fear etc. The samyoga of the purusha and the prakriti is virtual. It does not exist but only the ignorant mind thinks it is real. This is due to the illusion called avidya and binds the purusha and causes him to transmigrate from one body to another in the various births. Once the avidya is dispelled completely, one can break free from the cycle of bith and death and can achieve moksha. This is easily achieved by following the eightfold path given by Patanjali in his Yogasutras.

Some Simple Yoga Exercises to Improve General Health and Sexual Abilities

A healthy anal and genital area is of great importance both for the general well-being and for the sexual abilities. The same is thrue about a healthy respiratory tract and breathing apparatus. Here are presented three poses and three breathing exercises that have the following effects when done together in a series:

-They stimulate the physiological functions of the genital and anal area.
-They correct muscle weakness and anatomical problems of the anal and genital region. -They increase the sexual drive and abilities.
-They produce a stimulating response that spreads upwords along the spine and revitalizes the whole body.
-They stimulate the physiological functions of the respiratory tract and help against infections in the airways.
-The exercises are very good to start each day with, or to do before going to bed in the night.

POSE 1

Stand on your hands and knees upon the floor. Kneel backword so that your buttocks go backword and down towords your feet and stretch your arms foreword. Breath out and then take a deep breath in, filling your lungs totally with air. Hold your breath with the air inside.

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Squeeze your anal muscles and pull your anal opening as deeply inword as you can. However do not strain when squeezing. This exercise shall not be exhausting.Relax your anal muscles compleetely again. Repeat the sqeesing and relaxing 3-5 times, but not so long that you go out of oxygen in your body.

Empty your lungs. Rize up on your hands and knees again. Relax a while in this position and then you can repeat the exercise if you wish.

POSE 2

Lie on your back upon a carpet on the floor with your arms along your sides and relax. Breath out. Then breath inn deeply while relaxing all the muscles you do not need for the breathing.

Then breath out. When breathing out, squeeze your anal muscles and pull your anal opening as deeply inword as you can. However do not strain when squeezing. This exercise shall not be exhausting. After having breathed out, relax your anal muscles again.

Repeat the breathing in and breathing out whiile squeezing 3-8 times, but not som much that you get exhausted. Then relax again.

POSE 3

Lie on your back upon a carpet on the floor. Breath out completely.
Swing your armes in an arch over your head and down to the floor over your head so that your whole body is stretched from top to toe. When swinging your arms, take a deep breath filling your lungs totally with air. Hold your breath with the air inside.

Squeeze your anal muscles and pull your anal opening as deeply inword as you can. However do not strain when squeezing. This exercise shall not be exhausting. Relax your anal muscles compleetely again.
Repeat the sqeezing and relaxing 3-5 times.

Swing your arms back at the same time as you empty your lungs. Relax some while and then you can repeat the exercise if you wish.

BREATHING EXERCISE 1

Sit upon a pillow on the floor with your legs crossed and the back streight.
Empty your lungs completely. Breath in counting to 4. When breathing in, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other:

Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves out.Then fill further by using your chest muscles. And then complete the filling by using the muscles around your shoulders.

Hold your breath counting to 16. Then breath out counting to 8. When breathing out, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other:Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves in. Then empty further by using your chest muscles.And then complete emptying by using the muscles around your shoulders.

BREATHING EXERCISE 2

Sit upon a pillow on the floor with your legs crossed and your back streight. Take 10 rapid deep breathes in and out after another, but not so rapid that you get strained or breath uncompleetely.

When breathing in, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other: Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves out. Then fill further by using your chest muscles.And then complete the filling by using the muscles around your shoulders.

When breathing out, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other: Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves in.Then empty further by using your chest muscles. And then complete emptying by using the muscles around your shoulders. After the last in-breath , hold your breath with your lungs filled counting to 10. Then breath out.

BREATHING EXERCISE 3

Sit upon a pillow on the floor with your legs crossed and your back streight.
Empty your lungs completely. Close your left nostril with the fingers of one of your hands. Breath in through your right nostril counting to 4.

When breathing in, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other:Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves out. Then fill further by using your chest musclesAnd then compleete the filling by using the muscles around your shoulders. Hold your breath counting to 16. Then close your right nostril with your fingers. Then breath out through your left nostril counting to 8.

When breathing out, try to do it in three stages that proceed smoothely into each other: Use first your diafragm so that your stomack moves in. Then empty further by using your chest muscles. And then complete emptying by using the muscles around your shoulders When you have breathed out, repeat the exercise, but this time begin by closing your right nostril first.

RELAXING AT THE END OF THE SERIES:

When the series is done, then lie down upon a carpet on the floor andrelax for 2-5 minutes. This relaxation will increase the effects of the exercises and make you recover if the exercises have made you tired.

Concetrate upon relaxing your legs first, then your lover body, then your upper body, then your arms and shoulders, and at last your head and face. When the whole body is relaxed, try not to think about anything, and relax your whole body even furter. Then lie some time in this relaxed state without thinking about anything.

The Seven Chakras

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

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

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

Through the movements and postures of yoga, you can learn to focus your concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in your body. This can allow you to compensate for areas that may be out of synch with the rest of your body or not active at all. By balancing the energy among all seven of the chakras, balance can be achieved. This spiritual energy is known as Kundalini energy. In its dormant state, it can be visualized as a coiled up snake resting at the base of your spine, the Muladhara chakra. Since the chakras act as valves or pumps regulating the flow of energy through your system, controlled and purposeful movements such as yoga can be extremely beneficial in realigning your chakras in a way that can cause great benefits to you in your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Yoga – Salute To The Sun

In yoga the salute to the sun is performed several times a day and is used as a warm up or body toning exercise. It helps to energise the body and is also an excellent method of breathing control.

All movements should be rhythmic and controlled.

1. Stand erect feet together and palms together in front of the chest. keep your feet grounded and push steadily into the floor as your necks stretches upwards, exhale.

2. Breathe in deeply as you raise your arms high. with hands still together bend backwards from the waist.

3. Breathe out slowly as you bend forwards from the hips, place your hands flat on the floor at the side of the feet if possible with your face close to your legs. (You may have to bend your knees).

4. Whilst breathing in, stretch your left leg backwards so it rests on the knee and toes. Whilst doing this bend the right knee and raise your head so you are looking up.

5. Holding your breath, bring your right foot backwards besides your left foot. Your body should now make a straight line supported on your hands and toes.

6. Whilst exhaling, lower your knees, chest and your forehead to the floor. Remember to keep your stomach and pelvis up.

7. Breathe in as you raise your upper body by extending your arms. Look up.

8. Keep your hands flat on the floor, exhale and curl your toes under and then push your buttocks upwards and back. Press your heels and head down towards the floor.

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9. Whilst inhaling, bring your left foot forward beneath your chest. Your right leg should be extended backwards with the knee resting on the floor.

10. Breathe out as you bring your right leg alongside the left. Raise your right leg alongside the left. Raise your buttocks placing your face close to your legs.

11. Breathe in as you straighten upward, extend your arms up, hands together then arch yourself backwards.

12. Return to your standing position and exhale. Repeat the sequence leading with your right leg so the stretching action is balanced on both sides of the body.

Learn Yoga – Step by Step

The benefits of Yoga are well know to everyone who has ever tried the discipline but if you are new to Yoga let me recap. Yoga is a fantastically popular and effective way of strengthening you physically as well as mentally and spiritually. This last ‘spiritual’ aspect may turn some people off, but it’s not something that needs to be associated with religion. Really the best alternate word for the spiritual strength of Yoga is contentment or happiness. It allows you to be a calmer person and more happy with yourself. Put like that it sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

So you’ve probably heard a little about Yoga and wondered what it’s all about. you probably have a few preconceptions and maybe an image of an old man with a long beard sitting in the lotus position springs into your head in automatic association with the word. Let’s go through step by step what you can expect in a typical Yoga session.

Step One: The Introduction and Preparation.

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. There are both mental and physical reasons for this and they are closely connected. The standing position is the most natural Human position there is. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in it’s natural standing position. The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or weight. What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us – we are not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate of the state of the body. Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm up stage for your routine. This is the only time in your life you will be ‘taught’ to breath and it’s a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

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Step Two: The Main Routine

This is the art of your Yoga session which will vary the greatest depending on what forms of Yoga you are learning. While the individual exercises you will be doing are going to be quite different, the nature of them will be very similar. This will mean moving into certain poses and positions and holding those poses to allow the body to stretch out muscles and muscle groups that in many cases haven’t been given much attention during the week. Some Yoga teachers will talk to you about energy points of chakra’s. These are important junctions in your body where congestion occurs and stretching them out allows energy to flow freely around your body.

Ste Three: Ending the Session

While the main session is about releasing pent up energies, this stage of your Yoga workout is all about allowing that energy to flow around your body. Many people have trouble with thinking about some strange mystic force that is flowing through you and driving it to certain parts of your body. If you are one of them just mentally substitute the word ‘energy’ with the word ‘blood’. We know that the job of blood is to carry nutrients and oxygen around our body, and we know that if any part of our body is lacking in this supply that we will become ill, so it’s not a huge stretch to think of blood as the mystic energy force that brings health around our body, and exercises such as Yoga as being the method of ensuring the smooth and successful flow of that blood.

Pavanamuktasana – Wind Removing Pose

Pavan means wind, mukta means relieve or free and asana means pose. This asana is similar to many other yoga poses based on nature. It is being used to foretell the strength and power of the wind from within. It helps in removing the toxic gas present in your body. It creates space for fresh air in the body to create maximum utilization of the bodily resources.

This yoga pose would improve the digestive system very well. It would do real wonders to your stomach as the excess gas is being removed from the abdomen. The intestines also function better due to the removal of the gas. You can get rid of constipation by initiating this exercise in your life. The use of legs, hands and hips strengthens the hip muscles.

It is termed to be very useful for patients who suffer from sciatica and joint pains. It releases the muscles of the lower back creating an environment of relaxation for your body. The way this asana is performed it helps in massaging the colon. Any irritation with the bowel movement is also cleared while doing the asana properly.

This exercise stimulates your liver, small and large intestine as well as the spleen. The abdominal area is very well strengthened by the performing pavanamuktasana. Your sagging body attains a level of firmness to perk you up. The abdomen, thigh and hip area are toned while performing the asana. Our body is well equipped to produce acids; pavanamuktasana normalizes that level. It brings hydrochloric acid to a normal level.

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Problems relating to acidity are averted. If you are facing any back problems that is also cleared. It is a good exercise for the abdominal muscles as it tones the abdominal wall making much stronger and useful. This wind removing technique helps the entire body. It purifies the impure air creating a fresh supply of blood to the entire body. Level of diabetes improves so does your blood pressure.

It may look simple and easy to perform this asana but do not get fooled by it. If need be you can take help of any of your friends or your yoga instructor while doing this asana. The key element about performing this asana is the inhaling and exhaling part. You should do this at least for three to five minutes.

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.

Mudras For Good Health

We present some brilliant, very effective and simple mudras, which you can practice anytime and anywhere:

• GYAN MUDRA – This is one of the most important mudras. It is widely used in all yogic meditation practices. Join the tip of forefinger to the tip of the thumb. Hold together gently for at least 15-30 minutes.

Advantages

• Increases intelligence and wisdom
• Purifies the mind of the practitioner
• Cures many mental problems
• Makes one joyful
• Cures intoxication and addictive habits

• PURN GYAN MUDRA – This mudra is known as the mudra of Lord Buddha, since it was propagated by him. Sit cross-legged. Keep both hands in ‘Gyan Mudra’ Posture. Now keep right hand near chest region. Keep left hand near knee region.

Advantages

• Clears the aura in the subtle astral body
• Causes electrical changes in the electromagnetic activity of the brain leading to increased clarity and understanding
• Improves memory to a great extent
• Soothes irritable temperaments
• Improves intelligence and wisdom

• ABHAYA MUDRA – This is normally practiced after Gayatri Mantra recitation. Raise both your hands to the sides of your head. Touch the forefinger to tip of thumb (just as you do in Gyan Mudra). Hold the hand vertically straight by the sides.

Advantages

• Makes your mind fearless
• Gives you a feeling of courage and strength

• DHYAAN MUDRA – Sit cross-legged. Place hands in Gyan Mudra, on your lap. Right palm should rest above left palm in Gyan mudra

Advantages

• Makes you tremendously peaceful and tranquil
• Helps in increasing concentration powers
• Cures depression and other mental ailments
• Practitioner can experience the final state of eternal yogic bliss

• PRITHVI MUDRA – Touch the fore part of third finger (ring finger) to the tip of thumb.

Advantages

• Helps balance the earth element in the body
• Normalizes body equilibrium
• Makes you physically stronger
• Increases tolerance and patience
• Helps practitioners of spiritual meditation

• VARUN MUDRA – Touch the fore part of the smallest finger to the fore part of thumb.

Advantages

• Regular practice balances water element in body
• Improves physical appearance
• Decreases dryness in skin and body

• VAYU MUDRA – Fold the index finger (fore finger) on the base of thumb. Press the forefinger gently on the pad. Keep the other fingers away.

Advantages

• Helps in all nervous ailments
• Improves balance of air element in body
• Helpful in pains and aches
• Recommended for patients of Cerebral Palsy and Parkinson’s ailments.

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• PRAN MUDRA – Touch fore part of third (ring) finger and tip of fourth (little) finger to fore part of thumb.

Advantages

• Reduces body fatigue and thus energizing the whole body
• Improves eyesight
• Optimizes the circulation of the life current throughout the body

• MRITSANJIVINI MUDRA – Fold the index finger (fore finger) on the base of thumb. Press the forefinger gently on the pad. Touch the fore part of third (biggest) finger and fore part of fourth (ring) finger to the fore part of thumb.

Advantages

• Makes the heart stronger
• Very useful for people with heart ailments
• Helps normalize blood pressure
• Increases self-confidence

• SURYA MUDRA – Touch the third (ring) finger to the base of thumb. Press the thumb gently over this third (ring) finger. Keep the other fingers away.

Advantages

• Decreases Earth element in body
• Cures mental heaviness
• Reduces body fat
• Enhances weight loss

Can Yoga Provide A Solution To Soaring Crime Rates?

Crime and Yoga are not often two words that are used together in the same sentence, and that is part of the reason that they are combined in this article. When you think of a stereotypical criminal, someone who does Yoga just doesn’t spring to mind. We think of criminals as being angry, or at least very active, while Yogi are seen as calm and sedentary. Really the two are so far apart that it’s hard to consider that someone who regularly undertakes Yoga classes could ever become a criminal. Perhaps Yoga should become compulsory to fight the crime rate? Here’s why:

Yoga classes begin with a simple standing exercise – the exercise is this: Breathe. You can spend a significant part of a Yoga class concentrating on the simple action of taking a deep breath, breathing it in and feeling it’s life giving force extend to all the far reaches of the body, and then exhaling it just as deeply and completely. This simple act of concentrating of breathing has an unparalleled ability to focus our mental concentration. It allows us to clear away unwanted or disturbing thoughts and restore ourselves to a central balance.

The calming and focussing benefits of a Yoga breathing exercise can, quickly and easily clear away the types of distractions and temptations that can lead to a criminal act, at least an impulsive one. Imagine the potential of that on habitual criminals – the ability to take a moment before committing a crime, focus their thoughts and realize that it is not the best course of action and should be avoided.

Most domestic violence is a direct result of too much stress and strain in a relationship. Statistics show that the arguments that lead to an incident of domestic violence are almost always of the ‘little things’. The final straw being a little thing rather than a big important issue. Let’s insert the ability to calm ourselves, sharpen our mind and rationalize into that situation. Domestic Violence is a result of people ‘snapping’. Uncluttering the mind and calming oneself would mean that people never got to that point.

Other forms of violent crime are similar to domestic violence – they occur when tension rises up over time until one person snaps and throws a punch or pulls a knife. With the right self-calming tools at their disposal these criminals would be far less likely to offend.

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Of course, all that assumes that the criminal does not want to commit a crime and only does so due to a failure to see an alternative when a certain set of circumstances present themselves. They are hungry and can take a loaf of bread so they do, or they feel threatened, unappreciated or disrespected and see striking out as the only options. Yoga would not benefit the kind of calculating mind that makes a career of criminal activities because each crime is carefully pre-meditated.

Or would it?

Most people know of the physical side and have at least heard of the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga, but few know that the exercises that form the basis of Yoga are only the Western Worlds interpretation of Yoga. Traditionally Indian Yoga includes an entire philosophy on how to treat each other and live our lives. If criminals also followed this component of Yoga it would be possible to see crime disappear. One can only dream…

Kriya Yoga – Learn The Secrets To Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is a process of mental purification that teaches meditation through techniques.

The fundamental belief of Kriya Yoga is that all of us are miniature version of the whole cosmos, a microcosm or an evolution of a new world within the microcosmic world.

The followers of Kriya yoga also believes that the most holy supreme creator is a part of us hiding beneath our body, and activating every action through the breath.

The name Kriya is meant as any work “kri” is being done by the power of the indwelling soul “ya”.

The different cosmic forces controlling, air, fire, water and earth also controls the different activities that we do, namely, religious activities, relationship with everyone and everything, food, pregnancy, and everything performed by the human body.

Yoga on the other hand is the conjoining of these correspondences between microcosms and macrocosms. It is the full acceptance and belief behind the union and interaction of the individual self and the supreme self.

The study and science of Kriya yoga has a divine origin and was not created by human means and intellect.

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The modernization for this ancient yoga meditation method has begun in the 1860’s with Babaji and has been handed down to the present Kriya yoga lineage of masters directly through the Master to disciple method of teaching.

The disciplined path of Kriya Yoga consists of many different kinds of teaching with different angles to it. One looks at it as a process of beginning with self introspection through breathing controls.

It is also believed in Kriya yoga that that by enlightening the three qualities of light, vibration and sound simultaneously with proper concentration, posture and breathing through application of a series of techniques, a Kriya yoga disciple is able to penetrate the deepest levels of the unconscious mind.

Through this they can communicate with their inner gods and obtain a fulfilling calmness within them.

Building stronger arms through Yoga

I was at work the other day and a co-worker of mine who takes Yoga classes suddenly started pumping a 20 pound dumbbell he had nestled in his cubicle.
Being that he does this rather frequently, I asked why and his response was
“Oh, my yoga classes don’t do anything for my arms.”

I looked at him puzzled and luckily for me, I had a draft of a book with photos of some yoga balancing poses and asked him if he had tried or even knew of them. Surprisingly, he said no and was now eager for me to demonstrate them to him.

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This made me wonder, just how many other yoga enthusiasts are of the mindset that Yoga may be inadequate for building arm strength.

If you are such a person, nothing could be further from the truth.

Yoga is fantastic for building strength in the arms and although you may never see your biceps bulge through your T-shirt sleeves, I will say you will see an increase in arm strength and endurance that may not occur in perhaps other forms of exercise.

Moreover, some basic Calisthenics like Push-ups, the Plank and the Dive-bombers do borrow heavily from Yoga.

In my opinion, if one is looking to increase strength in the arms through Yoga, the best exercises to focus on will be the one and only Sun Salutations first.

From experience, when I was having difficulty holding endurance building poses such as the Wheel, Bow, Peacock and Crow Poses-with their variations-for a good enough length of time (say an average of 90 seconds and beyond), I discovered by sheer chance that in increasing the number of rounds of the Sun-Salutations (Exercises) mentioned earlier to at least 24 straight rounds, I could hold any of the poses above for a quite a while.

It will be safe to say that is because the muscles are warmed up by this powerful
combination of systematic poses for the otherwise moderate to strenuous demands put on them.

In addition, when I started adding Hindu-push ups (a straight yoga derivative as it’s basically Downward Facing dog meets Cobra Pose repeated in sequence) for an occasional source of variety in working out, these same Sun Salutations increase my endurance to be able to perform a good amount of this Yoga-esque
exercise.

That considered, in addition to the Sun Salutations (24+ rounds) the other poses one should focus on for increasing strength in the arms would be the following:

1. The Wheel Pose
2. The Inclined Plane Pose
3. The Bow Pose
4. The several variations of the Peacock Pose
5. The several variation of Crow Pose
6. The Side and Regular Plank pose

In addition, to some degree, even the simple shoulder-stand when performed in conjunction with it counter poses-The Bridge and Fish pose, can definitely come in handy for using Yoga for increasing arm strength.

You know what else, each of these poses also come in extremely useful for toning up the abs and offering in some cases a deep tissue massage to your visceral organs. Bet you free-weights can’t do that eh?

So next time you-like my co-worker-think or run into someone who thinks Yoga can’t do much for their arms, be sure to tell whoever is applicable to try the poses above, along with the wonderful Sun Salutations.

This will be a classic case of ‘trying is believing”, so give this suggestion a shot and you will be almost guaranteed increase in the strength of your arms using Yoga that is-in no time.

Breathing and Relaxing In Yoga

You don’t need to fall into the stress mode of life. You can use breath to relax, rather than stress, your mind and body. Yoga helps you to relearn that natural state that your body and mind want to be in: relaxation.

Deep breathing is both calming and energizing. The energy you feel from a few minutes of careful breathe is not nervous or hyper, but that calm, steady energy we all need. Slow, steady, and quiet breathing gives a message to your nervous system: Be calm.

Whole books have been written on yoga breathing. Here is one 5-minute Breath Break. (Read through the instructions several times before you try the practice.)

1. Sit with your spine as straight as possible. Use a chair if necessary but don’t slump into it. Feet flat on the floor with knees directly over the center of your feet. Use a book or cushion under your feet if they do not rest comfortably on the floor. Hands are on the tops of your legs.

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2. Close your eyes gently and let them rest behind closed lids.

3. Think about your ribs, at the front, back, and at the sides of your body. Your lungs are behind those ribs.

4. Feel your lungs filling up, your ribs expanding out and up. Feel your lungs emptying, your ribs coming back down and in. Don’t push the breath.

5. The first few times you do this, do it for 2 to 3 minutes, then do it for up to 5 to 10 minutes. At first, set aside a time at least once a day to do this. When you learn how good it makes you feel, you’ll want to do it at other times as well.

Just as one stressful situation goes into your next challenge, relaxing for a few minutes every day gradually carries over into the rest of your daily life and activities.

The Three-Part Yoga Breath

One yoga exercise that is beneficial in a number of settings – not least for insomniacs and sufferers of stress – is known as the “Three Part Breath”. You will see in a moment how it got its name, but you can probably already guess. As you will see, this exercise works very well when lying in bed.

You begin by lying flat on your back with your eyes closed. Allow your face and then your body to relax. Simply lie there paying attention to your breath, Do not modify it at all, at this point, just let it in and out. If your mind keeps chiming in with unwelcome thoughts, let them go and keep thinking about your breath.

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Slowly, inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to fill up with breath until it feels totally full. Once you come to exhale, breathe back out through your nose, ensuring that you empty your belly properly. Repeat this process for a total of five breaths.

The next time you inhale, allow the belly to fill with air and then take in a little bit more. This will cause your ribs to widen. When you exhale, repeat the previous process of breathing out through your nose until your belly is clear. You will repeat this process again for five breaths.

The third and final part of the three-part breath is as follows: You repeat the steps above for breathing in and once you have got to the point where the ribs expand, take in a little more again, allowing it to expand your upper chest. When you breathe out, similarly let it all go. Once you are doing this, repeat it for about ten breaths and then relax. By now, you should feel very chilled and ready to sleep.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN BIKRAM YOGA

There are many reasons why you should use Bikram Yoga. The advantages of Bikram Yoga can totally change your life. It’s amazing how Yoga can trigger your life and change your perspectives.

Bikram Yoga is widely known as the “hot yoga”. It was also called the Bikram Method Yoga. This aims to build your mental and physical strength. Improving your flexibility and balance is important and covered by Bikram Yoga.

Bikram yoga has roots in Hatha yoga which was designed to heal the mind and the body.

Bikram Choudhury was the founder of Bikram Yoga. He was a founder and a yoga practitioner. He developed Bikram Yoga after he met an injury in a weightlifting accident. He was so determined that he had discovered some healing benefits in practicing some exercises. A lot of people have proven the benefits of Bikram Yoga so the practice was passed on and many people continued to practice it.

Some people practice Bikram Yoga for healing purposes and physical therapy. This type of Yoga was proven helpful in bringing holistic benefits to those who believed and practiced it.

In fact, there was a patient who suffered from a knee injury. He tried to practice Bikram Yoga and just six weeks after continuous practice, his knees started to feel better. Some difficulties and pains that he suffered from were all disappearing.

In order to be successful with the healing process of Bikram Yoga, you need devotion in practicing it.

There are some people who do not believe in the benefits of Bikram Yoga. Bikram Choudhury developed Bikram Yoga with the help of some scientists. The scientists from the University of Tokyo University Hospital proved that Bikram Yoga has medical benefits. Some of its benefits include the repairing of tissues and helps in curing chronic ailments.

The findings and benefits were presented at the International Medical Conference in the year 1972. It was stated that Bikram Yoga has the ability to affect the body internally.

The poses and pressure replenishes the cells and the flushing toxins in our body. It also oxygenates blood throughout our body keeping it clean and healthy.

While Bikram was on his research at Tokyo University, he discovered that the healing process takes place when all the body systems are functioning well, conditioned and strengthened. If the body is weak, applying the practice and healing method will be difficult to obtain.

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Bikram has come up with twenty-six posture exercises which are to be practiced every day. In doing so, treatment in the body can be easily obtained. Some poses are accumulated with the combination of the western and eastern disciplines in Yoga which focuses on the stretching of the muscles, tendons, organs, nerves, glands and ligaments.

The different postures have connections and each of it precedes a posture that is helpful in treating the body effectively.

Anyone who wants to do yoga can use Biktam Yoga. It chooses no age at all. This type of yoga works with a tourniquet effect which includes balancing, stretching and creating pressure which is all done at a same time to keep a good blood flow to all the parts of the body.

Thanks to Bikram Choudhury, we can now have solutions to some of our medical problems. Always remember that dedication and devotion to Bikram Yoga is the main ingredient to staying healthy.

Bhakti Yoga – The Science Of Devotion

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

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

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

Ten Minute Yoga Plan to Pep Up

Whether you might be staying home with a new baby or working too many hours at the office, anytime is a good time for yoga. You can do yoga stretches and postures in bed or even while driving to work.

Hundreds of fitness seekers use their lunch hour to squeeze in exercise and take off extra pounds.

I occasionally use my lunch hour for Yoga, said John Ray White, 35, who works at the Arkansas attorney general’s office. Downward facing dog and sun salutation are two of the postures she practices every day.

Practicing yoga in the middle of day some people think is the break that they need to face the afternoon, said Ray.

Lunch-hour fitness routines become more popular in warm weather.

Kick Back Log-on Pose

Interlace your fingers behind your head. Relax your elbows and shoulders. Smile, breathe and stretch your elbows back. Let the tightness release slowly.

E-mail Meditation

While reading your e-mail, remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you.

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Photocopier Stretch

Place your hands on the edge of the copier. Stand back with feet apart. Drop your head and chest. Breathe and relax your shoulders.

Close-the-deal Warrior Pose

Raise your arms to the side with fingers pointed. Take a big step to the side, with your right foot out and knee bent, your left foot planted, left leg straight. Keep the upper body straight and strong, shoulders relaxed. Relax into the stretch — don’t hold your breath. Return to a standing position, switch sides and repeat.

Some Of The Lesser Known Yoga Videos

With more than 100 yoga videos on the market, you can imagine the diversity among them – everything from nude yoga to postnatal yoga.

Healing Yoga for Common Conditions
This video promises to improve circulation, promote weight loss and manage the symptoms of diabetes and high cholesterol. Without a medical study it’s hard to say if it can really deliver, but the hosts, Lisa and Charles Matkin, come with good credentials.

They have taught therapeutic yoga programs at Beth Israel Hospital in New York and New York Presbyterian Medical Center, working with physicians in using yoga to help people with chronic injuries and illnesses.

The 35-minute video is designed to help you increase your metabolism, according to the Matkins. The couple begin the workout with Lisa demonstrating the moves next to a pool with an ocean in the background while Charles does the voice-over, then they switch, then switch again. Both have soothing voices and good form.

The workout is divided into three sections. The first deals with learning to control your breath. It’s a pretty basic segment, teaching you breathing techniques and stretching out the body.

The second is for strength, and involves poses that are a bit more difficult, such as the warrior and downward-facing dog poses.

In the third section, you work on releasing tension and relaxation.

This is a good video for all fitness levels. The moves are explained well, as are the benefits and purposes of yoga. None of the poses is very difficult, and the instructors give you modifications to make the moves easier.

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Power Strength Yoga for Beginners
Though the title says for beginners, don’t believe a word of it. This video takes you through a vigorous set of poses collectively called the Sun Salutation (which you learn in another video, Power Yoga Stamina for Beginners).

Then, with the mountains of Maui as a backdrop, instructor Rodney Yee takes you through a series of very difficult poses including the pendulum, where you balance your entire body off the floor with the strength of your arms, and others that require a good deal of upper-body strength.

The workout takes only 20 minutes, but you work hard in those 20 minutes. It’s the only yoga video of those reviewed here in which your heart rate gets close to an aerobic rate.

Yee has a great, soothing voice and perfect form, but he never really offers an explanation of the poses or an easier way to do them. Nor does he offer any help in how to build up to them. That said, if you have the upper-body strength, this is an amazing – and fast – way to get in a strength workout without having to go to the gym.