Author Archives: Kelly

The Journey Of Yoga Through Mind

Yoga is a transformative art, and deceptively simple. At least, although the advanced yoga postures are in fact difficult to the unpracticed, and look it, the changes that yoga can bring into one’s life belie the apparent simplicity of stretching muscles.

After all, we stretch muscles at the gym during a warm up. So what is the basic difference between yoga and regular workouts, including pilates. Pilates, after all, took some of its inspiration from yoga. Or at least the aspect of yoga that is made of the physical exercises, the asanas.

Yoga integrates the breath and consciousness with physical stretches in a way that I haven’t even felt in pilates, although pilates is great as a way of strengthening the internal muscles of the body as well, particularly the pelvic floor.

But in yoga, through the breath, and focusing on it within our body, we come to a greater understanding of both our body and ourselves. We begin a more conscious relationship with our individuality. We meet that unique expression of ourselves expressing physically in that moment. And we are able to begin a process of changing that which is blocking the vital flow of our energy.

That is why it doesn’t matter what state we are in when we begin practising a yoga posture. We might be more or less stiff, or in pain, or distracted, than usual. It is a journey of discovery, not of trying to fit ourselves into an external idea, even if that idea is represented in that moment by the yoga posture we are trying to do. Desikachar writes that the body can “only gradually accept an asana”. We should not strain ourselves, or judge ourselves, if we cannot fit into that posture. That posture is a possible outcome, yes, but what we do in our practice of yoga is to take the journey.

Desikachar makes another important point: “We should remain flexible so that we are still able to react to changes in our expectations and old ideas. The more distanced we are from the fruits of our labors, the better we are able to do this… Paying more attention to the spirit in which we act and looking less to the results our actions may bring us – this is the meaning of isvarapranidhana in kriya yoga”

The asanas are a way of preparing ourselves to more fully meet the challenges of life in a way that does not throw us off balance, and increases our capacity to adapt to those changes that are inherent in life. They allow us to be more sensitive and aware to what is really going on inside us, and in life itself. This growing self knowledge then provides us with a more complete picture in which our responses to whatever situations confront us more accurately reflects what is truly present. There is a deeper engagement that goes beyond the vagrancies of the mind, the self doubt, the domination of our preconceptions and expectations, or our need for something to be a certain way.

When we are distracted or preoccupied with doubts, worries, and fears, and even hope that is attached to an outcome (need), the vital energy of our whole being is leaking, diffused. Through yoga practice, we are able to clear the detritus, to redirect our diffused energy within, to sit within the body, our being, again. This is an energetic aspect of self-mastery. Integral to this is the knowledge of oneself as whole, and simultaneously a part of the wholeness that is within everything

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.

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.

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.

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.

Six Branches Of Yoga

Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is the path of Physical Yoga or Yoga of Postures is the most popular branch of Yoga. Hatha Yoga considered the body as the vehicle for the soul. It uses Physical Poses or Asana, Breathing Techniques or Pranayama, Meditation in order to bring the body in perfect health and for the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind to emerge freely. The practice of Hatha Yoga will result to the union of the body and the soul, it aims to make the body perfect and fill it with life force.

Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga is the path of heart and devotion or the Yoga of devotion. Yogis who practice Bhakti Yoga sees the Divine in everyone and everything he encounters. This lead him to develop love, acceptance and tolerance for all. Bhaki Yoga teaches a person to have a devotion to God and all things through devotion to life and love.

Raja Yoga
Raja means “royal”. Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. This Yoga path teaches deep self respect through self mastery. The self here is honored. Raja Yoga believes that the universe exists for the self, giving the self an illusion of centrality which results to self respect and respect for all creatures. Raja Yoga is also referred to as the King of Yogas, majority of its practitioners live in spiritual or religious orders.

Jnana Yoga
Jnana Yoga is the path of Yoga that deals with wisdom and knowledge or the Yoga of the mind. Jnana Yogis pays tribute on man’s intelligence. They try to surpass limitations by unifying intellect and wisdom. Jnana Yoga tries to obtain existence beyond doctrine and ideological controversies by accepting all other philosophies and religion. It also uses an open, rational and curious mind in studying the spirit.

Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga believes that your present situation is based on your past actions. Karma Yoga is the path of service; it refers to the energy of action. This path requires you to be selfless. Performing a selfless service is the essence of Karma Yoga or consciously choosing a future that is free from negativity and selfishness knowing that your life is a consequence of your past actions. Karma Yoga practices try to change your action towards the good – good words, good thoughts, good deeds, in order to change your soul. By being selfless, you change your consciousness which leads to a change in your destiny.

Tantra Yoga
Tantra Yoga is the path of ritual and perhaps the most misunderstood path. Some may think of Tantra Yoga as sorcery, witchcraft, magic spell or some mysterious formula. Most people perceive Tantra Yoga as sexual. All of these perceptions are far from truth. Tantra is the knowledge concerning Tattva (Truth or Brahman) and Mantra (mystic syllables). It utilizes rituals to respectfully experience the sacred in everything we do, not just sex though sex is a part of it. It aims to expand our awareness in all states – whether awake or asleep. Tantra Yoga practitioners must have purity, humility, devotion, courage, dedication to his Guru, cosmic love, faithfulness, contentment, dispassion, non-covetousness, and truthfulness.

Physical Activity and Meditation for a Overall Health

Health is the real wealth of an individual. Good health does not mean the absence of physical illness but also the lack of mental and social illness. A healthy person can properly survive and easily cope with the difficulties and stress of daily living. Incorporating regular physical activities, nutritious diet, and refraining from alcohol and cigarettes are necessary in maintaining a fit and healthy body. Yoga is a physical activity that has been used in the ancient times to alleviate health problems associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, shallow breathing, backaches, chronic illness, and many other forms of discomfort. Nowadays, Yoga has gone from a spiritual discipline practiced by many in the Far East, into a mainstream exercise routine that has been taught in many gyms around the world. Other researches suggest that yoga may promote relaxation and reduce distress.

A new form of yoga that focuses on a more fitness-based approached has been developed. It is called Power Yoga, a method closely modeled after the Ashtanga style of practice. The term Power Yoga became widely used in the mid-’90s when many yoga teachers tried new ways to make Ashtanga Yoga more accessible to the western audience. Both Power and Ashtanga Yoga focuses on strength and flexibility. The only difference between the traditional method and Power Yoga is that the latter does not require the performance of a series of poses. It took the basics of yoga and and gave it a dose of aerobics to tone the muscles, sharpen focus, and strengthen the heart.

Other known benefits of practicing Power Yoga include:

Improved strength, endurance, and stamina
Tighter abs, legs, and arms
Helps release physical tension
Helps maintain good and proper posture
Serves as a good warm up for athletes
Improves an athlete’s overall performance

Power Yoga is a very accessible exercise. To practice this new yoga method, all that is needed is a flat floor surface, a mat or towel, and enough overhead space to extend the arms. It can be performed by individuals of different ages and level of physical condition. However, not all poses should be attempted by everyone. Proper posture and alignment should always be maintained during stretch or posture to avoid injuries. These activities should be stopped when there is fatigue, pain, or dizziness. In addition, the mental component of yoga is as important as its physical activities. Concentration and meditation should not be taken for granted. Yoga should be done with an open and gentle mind when one performs yoga positions and posture. Impatience, self-criticism, and comparing oneself with others may hamper the improvement of one’s physical and mental health.

Individuals who want to engage in physical activities like yoga should consult doctors and other health professionals before taking yoga classes. Certain injuries to the wrist, back, and ankles may prevent some individuals from practicing yoga postures and positions. Furthermore, yoga should be practiced with care and precaution. Some people have reported injuries that were acquired by executing yoga postures without focus, or by attempting difficult positions without working them gradually or by not having proper supervision. Oftentimes, beginners complain of muscle soreness and fatigue after engaging in yoga. These effects may disappear with continuous practice. Yoga is a great way to strengthen the and body and improve overall health.

Prevention of Heart Attacks

Strict changes in diet and lifestyle can not only prevent heart attacks, but can reverse the clogging of the arteries, according to a small but pioneering study.

The study showed that a vegetarian diet, moderate exercise and an hour a day of yoga and meditation could produce a reversal of atherosclerosis, a blockage of the arteries that can lead to a heart attack, in men and women who were strict in following the daily regimen.

Experts say this is the first study to report that such blockage can be reversed without using cholesterol-lowering drugs or surgery.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish, director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., was presented at the meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

This is a tremendously important study in the control of heart disease. It’s the very first study indicating regression of coronary heart disease without pharmaceutical intervention. The results also suggest that the current medical guidelines for changes in the habits of people with severe heart disease do not go far enough.

Previous studies have shown that exercise and diet changes can slow the progression of heart disease, but not reverse it.

While the study did not determine what percentage of improvement could be attributed to the lifestyle changes alone, the researchers noted that stress-control methods have been shown to ease recovery from a variety of disorders, including hypertension.

But some experts are skeptical of the need for stress-management methods, which are not currently among standard recommendations for those with severe heart disease.

Some experts on cardiac rehabilitation question whether most people with heart disease could follow such strict changes in their habits.

Relaxation Exercises For Expectant Mothers

Prenatal yoga is an exercise that is designed to promote breathing exercises, posture and emotional relaxation. This approach is often sought by pregnant women who are preparing for a natural childbirth or who wish to stay physically and emotionally healthy during their pregnancy. One of the many benefits of prenatal yoga is the lack of physical exertion that is required, which makes it a safe practice for many moms-to-be.

During the pain that is associated with a natural childbirth, prenatal yoga will attempt to promote proper breathing that will help to make the process an easier one. In addition, relaxation is essential during the childbirth process and although it can be difficult, prenatal yoga can help to teach women how to relax themselves as much as possible.

For some, prenatal yoga may be sought as part of a spiritual process that helps them to connect with their unborn child and/or prepare for the new arrival. In some cases, prenatal yoga may even be beneficial after the birth as it instills techniques that are associated with relaxation. As every new mom knows, there is a definite need for relaxation after having a child.

For some, prenatal yoga may help women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly than others. For most, this is a struggle that takes a lot of patience and determination. In general, yoga is an exercise that promotes physical fitness, relaxation, breathing, spiritual and emotional connections, etc.

If you are searching for a prenatal yoga class or instructor, the best place to start is through your physician. During your next visit, ask the doctor if prenatal yoga would be safe for you and, if so, who you could contact for instruction. Most physicians are aware of any local classes or instruction being given and will often be able to refer patients to a class that is most convenient for them. Most women prefer that the father of their child or a friend or family member attend prenatal yoga classes for support and guidance. Having someone familiar will also make the classes more enjoyable and relaxing for the mom-to-be. Before enrolling in prenatal yoga, it’s best to make sure that the instructor is licensed, certified or highly trained and experienced in teaching this type of relaxation method.

The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding prenatal yoga must consult their physician for further information.

Importance Of Controlling Your Mind

Since ancient times, the human philosophers have realized the importance of the mind in governing the human affairs. They knew that a person’s external circumstances were the result of his internal thoughts. They were aware that if the person thinks of riches, he would have riches, while if the thoughts are of poverty, success and failure would produce the corresponding effects in the person’s circumstances. Today, modern science has acknowledged the truth of these findings. Hence, it becomes crucial for a person to control his mind.

Yoga has specific techniques which deal with the science of mind control. We will study the nature of the mind as is recognized by yoga in this chapter. Shankaracharya has defined the mind in four different ways as per its functions: manas for the job of resolving and doubting; buddhi for the decision and judgment; asmita for the consciousness of its individual existence and chita for remembering the previous experiences. The Mind is a vast collection of thoughts and traces of past experiences. When you are born, your mind is the collection of samskaras collected over the previous births. Those samskaras, whose fruits have already been enjoyed have been wiped out. But as you grow up, new samskaras are being added continuously due to various acts performed by you from birth to death. This translates into the law of karma which states that the events one faces in his life are the results of the activities done by him in the past and his mind at birth contains the samskaras from his previous births.

Yoga recognizes five factors, basic to the mind of every person. They are called kleshas because they are the forefathers of every human misery. They are: avidya which is the false knowledge or ignorance of one’s true self in relation to the objects; asmita or ego feeling since in yoga, body and soul are two different aspects; raga is the liking of pleasurable experience; dvesha or aversion to pain; abhinivesha or fear of death. Yoga understands the human behaviour from the perspective of these five qualities which are assumed to be present in a person since birth and are considered as the impurities of the mind. They make a person unstable and agitated. Hence yoga has given way of dhyana and pranayam to cleanse your mind.

Yoga The Medicinal Fix

Is Yoga the answer – Why are so many people choosing to ignore the warning signs that is causing major concerns towards their health – environmental hazards which are out of our control but very much a part of our lives is becoming a worry to us all. Then we have another health issue – stress, which is destroying people`s lives with energies of destruction affecting how they live.

Is Yoga is the answer. Stress/anxiety affects people in different ways so it is important – before buying over the counter any pills or remedy powders is to consult a doctor. Depression can cause so much pain and suffering to a patient in the way of taking over – how they think – what they do or how they act. For a person not to be in control of their own actions is a serious situation therefore you need to talk to someone if you feel that you are experiencing anxious moments.

Is Yoga the answer? Stress and anxiety symptoms can be sedated and calmed with the right treatment and medication – but any advice on what should be administered for easing these discomforts should be from a doctor or herbalist if you choose the natural way for help.

If your health or that of your family is giving you reason for concern then consider going along to keep fit classes like yoga. Is Yoga the answer, Yoga is proving to be a great antidote for stress related ailments. They say do not knock it till you try it and this goes for yoga also. Stress is a troubling mind meddler where in some unfortunate cases – patients have been hospitalized. Depending on the seriousness of the illness – mild yoga techniques can help.

Body awareness is the main issue when joining a yoga class. By knowing the mechanics on body parts like muscles – joints and organs can help you nip in the bud many uncontrollable body function outbursts before they start

Is Yoga the answer in helping combat stress? Stress problems are addressed with a type of yoga that helps control the mind in the form of meditation exercises. Meditation is a common Yoga type exercised by millions worldwide. Even the medical world believes that Yoga is proving to be very beneficial to suffering patients.

It is now a common practice by doctors all over the world to refer patients on a regular basis to perform these exercises in the way of a medicinal fix

The Most Important Yoga

With over 84, 000 poses in yoga to choose from for practice, yoga enthusiasts and practitioners might be left confused on just which ones are the most important.

With our daily demands and commitments, most of us might not have the time to perform so many poses therefore we should focus on the one that is of the most benefit for daily practice and that is the Shoulder-Stand (known in Sanskrit as Savangasana).

It is my recommended favorite of the inverted poses. Its ease and reminder that as a kid, you tried it before, makes it one that I emphasize even more so than the Headstand you might be familiar with as they share almost if not all the same benefits without the fear of standing on your head.

Inverted poses reverse the action of gravity on the body. Instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. On emotional levels the Shoulder Stand turns everything upside down throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior.

It improves health, reduces stress and anxiety and increases mental power and also increases self confidence. In addition, the abdominal organs, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas receive a powerful massage helping them work better.

In Sanskrit, Sarvanga means all parts so as the name suggests, it affects all the bodily organs. It stimulates the thyroid gland, balancing the circulatory, digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems. It is indeed a panacea, a cure all. Obesity and corpulence are alleviated by this pose as well as constipation and enlargement of the liver and the spleen.

It is best practiced with its counter poses in specific durations for maximal efficiency and when planned correctly, the whole sequence could take less than 6 minutes to carry out, depending on your schedule.

Personally, I make the point as a practitioner to incorporate the sequence into my daily regimen with other forms of exercise, but I always place the most emphasis on this one pose for all the benefits above.

So next time when you are unsure of which pose you have to include in your session when you are on the go, make it a point to go for the Shoulder-Stand. Your body will thank you for it.