The Perks of Attending Dahn Yoga Classes

Same with the other nations in Asia, Korea also has an interesting history when it comes to mind-body and holistic healing practices. The great Dahn Yoga originated from this great nation. Yoga follows the principles of Korea's Taoist philosophy. Aside from that, it also integrates the holistic principles of the tradition of Korean Oriental Medicine.

What is being emphasized in Yoga classes is the life energy or referred to as Qi. In Yoga, a healthy person is someone who has a healthy mind, body, as well as spirit. Thus, if you want to attend a Yoga class, be prepared to comprehend Qi, which is the important concept in this meditative practice.

More on Dahn Yoga

Dahn Yoga primarily focuses on enhancing the core strength of the body. It is because this is the basis of the person's physical health, mental health, as well as spiritual health. Instead of focusing on a tedious set of yoga practices, Dahn Yoga utilizes various mind and body exercises, and that include warm-up exercises.

People from different walks of life and different ages could engage in Yoga. No matter what your body type is, no matter what your age is, you can participate in Dahn Yoga classes. Same with the conventional acupressure, the exercises done in Yoga could improve the sensitivity of the body, as well as the awareness of the person.

Yoga also considers the brain as a very important aspect of the body, since it is the determiner of the person's health and well-being. Therefore, Yoga includes exercises that can challenge the brain and enhance the mind.

The Benefits of Attending Yoga Classes:

The Physical Benefits:

Could help in losing weight
Could improve the digestion
Could improve the posture
Enhanced strength and flexibility
Enhanced breathing
Decreased occurrence of headaches, as well as tension on the upper part of the body.
Reduced symptoms of injuries and old illnesses
Enhanced sleep

The Mental and Emotional Perks:

Improved capability to handle stress
Improved concentration and focus
Enhanced memory
You'll be more creative
Being able to control the emotions better
You could express yourself more
You'll attain peace of mind
Enhanced self-confidence

The Spiritual Benefits:

You'll figure out the purpose of your life
You'll be more joyful;
Your spirit will be brighter
You'll have optimism

The Founder

Thanks to the amazing works of Ilchi Lee, Yoga emerging. Ilchi Lee believes that a person, who becomes much healthier, could make a huge difference not only in the family, but also, in the community and in the entire world. Ilchi Lee found out that his wisdom came from an ancient, sacred Asian text, referred to as Chun Bu Kyung and Sun Do- a Korean practice.

Sun Do is quite the same with other kinds of yoga, like meditation, martial arts, and Tai Chi. What makes Dahn Yoga excellent is it involves majority of the mind and body practices. Book your Dahn Yoga classes now, and have difference in your life.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing a Suitable Yoga Teacher Training Program

Many Yoga practitioners may feel the urge to advance further and become teachers themselves. There are many reasons why you would want to be a teacher: maybe you want personal growth, a change in career path, or for any other reason. Regardless of the reason why you want to be a Yoga teacher, the following are some of the important factors that you should consider before enrolling in a yoga training program:

Reasons for Choosing to Train as a Yoga Teacher: One should know the reason for wanting to enroll in a yoga training program so as to find out the best program to enroll in. It could be for one's self growth, change of career or as a hobby.

Style of Yoga to Teach: One should know the style of yoga that they feel is right for them to teach so as to find the right school that offers the best training. Should one have a favorite Yoga teacher, then this is the best resource for answering one's questions. One should also find out where their favorite teacher trained and consider enrolling there.

Target Market Niche: It is important to know which groups of people one would like to teach. It could be children, expectant mothers, men, middle aged, seniors or persons suffering from a particular health condition. Selecting a niche market gives you an opportunity to offer unique classes as opposed to basic yoga classes.

Cost of the Training Program: One should find out the cost of various training programs offered in various schools so as to enroll in one that is pocket friendly and affordable.

Qualifications Required: Knowledge of qualifications required for different training programs is important so as to ensure one meets the required criteria to enroll in a particular program.

Size of Class: It is also good to know your target class size. You can have a big, medium, small sized class, or even an individual training program.

Time Taken: It is imperative that one finds out how long a particular yoga training program takes from the start to the end so as to establish if they have sufficient time to dedicate to the program. This also helps in deciding on the timings and sequencing of the sessions.

Location of Classes: The location of the classes should be such that it is convenient for you and the students. The location should provide the serenity required for effective yoga practice. The locations should be easily accessible too!

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Certification Benefits for a Yoga Instructor

Many people today are turning towards yoga as a way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle so proper training and guidance of yoga and its practice is required. This can only be achieved by a certified yoga instructor. Yoga certification allows one become a part of the people seeking a healthy way to maintain balance of their mind, body and soul and as one does this, it serves to also sharpen their own skills and gain more expertise. Other various benefits of yoga certification include:

Increased Credibility

A person with relevant credentials is more worthy than a person without. People will tend to believe in an individual who can prove that they have the skills and technical know-how to deliver.

Increased Business Opportunities

For a yoga instructor looking to instruct yoga for business purposes, certification opens up business opportunities like organizing yoga workshops in institutions such as universities, colleges, schools and community gatherings. One can also set up a consultancy firm.

Easier Student Recruitment

Students will want to learn from a certified Yoga instructor. If one wishes to start their own private training school, certification will increase enquiry and registration of students without necessarily having to engage in a lot of marketing activities.

Greater Chances of Getting Employed

Many employers like to employ competent skilled personnel, therefore being certified will increase the chances of an instructor being hired to work in places such as training centers like a gymnasium, social centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals or even at health spas.

Increased Pay

Whether an individual chooses to open a private training center or chooses to be employed, being certified will increase an instructor's chances of getting a higher pay.

Legal Protection

Even though yoga may not seem as dangerous as other exercise disciples, there is always the probability that a student may get injured while being taught on yoga techniques either by not having prepared well or from performing a move incorrectly. Being a certified instructor makes it easier for an individual to purchase liability insurance which is a must have.

Boosts Confidence

Yoga certification boosts self confidence in an instructor as one knows that they are fully qualified and competent and have the required skills to train yoga techniques. A certified instructor is competent in engaging in safe yoga classes as one has adequate tools required to solve general queries.

Broadens Skills and Specialty

In order to teach some types of yoga like the Ashtanga yoga, an instructor needs to be fully certified as it requires a lot of dedication and patience.

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What Everyone Ought To Know About Yoga For Kids

Yoga can be done by anyone, young, old, even kids. With a little help, even toddlers can do it. A simple introduction to yoga done with a little bit of game playing and poses named after animals, can do wonders to children's minds, bodies and inner spirit.

A few benefits of kids yoga are:

  • To be healthier and help obesity in children. By taking yoga class, kids are triggered to move. Nowadays, because of the computer games, kids move less than they bought to.
  • To control their stress. Yes, children can get stressed out, too. Being over scheduled, tough competition in school, peer pressure, all are the cause of your kids' strain. Yoga can help them to get relaxed. Their ability to control their breathing is applied to deal with problems that face in real life.
  • Better concentration. Controlling breathing is a way to learn how to focus. And yoga ia a very good way in learning that. Some studies have shown that kids who practice yoga, especially those with special needs, such as those with ADHD, are able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
  • Yoga also is a way for them to express themselves and develop their self-esteem. To those with special needs, it is a great way to learn how to interact in a group setting without competition.

The method of yoga is flexible. Yoga for kids is modified with game playing, singing, storytelling, drawing, simple breath meditations and rest. Poses are balanced between quiet and active ones. Poses are named after animals to make it easy for kids to imagine how their bodies look like if they were that particular animal. For example, an easy pose for kids to get right away is frog pose. As soon as a yoga teacher even mentions this word, the kids spread their legs, bend their knees and pretent they are sitting on a lily pad, some may even jump! Making yoga fun for kids is important, let them interact in class, but the teacher also has to establish boundaries.

Children follow the teacher's instructions by learning the names of different body parts, their locations and function. That way, their yoga improvements very quickly.

Yoga for kids should be enjoyable. Put your kids in a yoga class and see how they can grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may be surprised they can have lots of fun. Ask them to name their favorite yoga pose, and it is usually Lazy Lizard Pose!

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Finding a Kundalini Yoga Retreat

Searching for a retreat that moves a step beyond relaxation and rejuvenation begins with what you desire to do most. If you want to look at altering your health, gaining practical tools and connecting with cutting edge mentors during your stay away from home, then you can look at options such as a Kundalini Yoga Retreat. This allows you to connect to a place not only with the land, but also with the individuals that are offering different approaches to health, well – being and rejuvenation.

The approaches used with a Kundalini Yoga Retreat focus on specific types of exercises and healing for your well – being. Kundalini Yoga has a specific approach and exercise sequences that are used to raise your energy level. This is combined with the expectations that are associated with the Kundalini practices and which are able to transfer your energies into a higher state with the practice. The practitioners that are working with you are then able to alter your energy while allowing you to move forward with the practice.

When looking for a Kundalini Yoga Retreat, you will not only want to consider the basic movements with energy. There are different mentors that are able to provide instruction and value to the movements that you learn. Each of the Yoga sequences are designed not only to help with your physical being, but also are able to provide you with a defect understanding of how Yoga and Kundalini affects your chakra system and your everyday life. By placing this into practice, you will easily be able to move forward with the practice to help with clearing and changing your energetic fields.

After looking at the practice of the Kundalini Yoga Retreat by practitioner, you will want to look at the options used for the practice. Most retreats are offered specifically with groups that are able to study together under a specific theme and at a certain time. However, there are also options for private retreats or custom retreats that are recommended by those interested in the retreat setting. Adding these into your considerations can help you to find alternatives with the practices you are involved in.

Finding a different approach to your health and well being while getting away from home begins with looking at different subjects of interest. A Kundalini Yoga Retreat is one of the ways that you can move into an alternative practice while finding options for the healing you need. Understanding what is available and tapping into what fits best for your needs in the moment can then provide you with different solutions to health, exercise and ancient techniques used for balance of body, mind and spirit.

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Becoming a Yoga Instructor

Before training to be a Yoga instructor, the following factors should be taken into consideration:

Readiness and Passion: Ensure that you have the passion and the minimum requirements required for you to be trained as an instructor.

Reasons for wanting to be an Instructor: Find out the real reasons as to why you may wish to be a yoga instructor. Is it because you want to make a career out of it or do you want to do it as a hobby. It is advisable to do some research and find out if it will give you the job satisfaction you crave.

Specialize your Education: Try and practice the various branches of yoga in order to identify the one that best suites you. Find out what the certification requirements for it and find a school that offers the best training program that best caters for your needs.

Find the right teacher: Research and find yourself an authentic instructor what you feel can align with spiritually. One can only learn effectively if he or she is taught by an instructor what you cope with.

Get support: Learning can be overwhelming and it pays to have a support system that can give you morale to go and achieve your goals. This can be your spouse, girlfriend, relative or friend. One can also make new friends from the class so as to offer each other support.

Find your own style: Originality sells and in order to be a successful instructor, you will need to be yourself. If you need to teach Yoga as a business, you need to offer a style that is offered now else.

Consider your Finances: Ensure that you have enough finances to cover the training costs and adequate capital for starting your career as an instructor. Research on the cost of rent for the location of the class and other overhead expenses to be incurred and ensure you are capable of making all the payments.

Teach by Example: Ensure that you practice what you preach. Embrace yoga holistically in your life before instructing others.

Know your Market: Find out if there is a niche market near you and ensure that the clientele will be able to sustain your business if you wish to teach yoga as a career. Also research on their needs to ensure that you get the necessary training required.

Consider you physical and emotional health: Ensure that you are in good shape health wise both physically and emotionally.

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Qualities of a Good Yoga Teacher

There are many qualities that define a good Yoga teacher. The following highlight some of these qualities:

Presence

A good yoga teacher is one that commands attention. This is felt when the teacher walks into the training room. The teacher radiates energy that makes the student want to practice yoga even when they are feeling down as he or she should make you feel at ease and welcome thereby lifting the student's spirit.

Physical Skills

The yoga teacher should possess the skills that he or she is trying to take on the students. It is easy for one to teach what one knows and practices as opposed to what one does not know.

Personalization

A good yoga teacher bought to possess a signature sequence or a trademark sequence. This should be real and original and the yoga instructor has to own it. The teacher should possess the ability to turn a complex situation into a simple situation that can be achieved by anyone and everyone.

Versatility

The teacher should be in tune with the needs of his or her students and should be flexible enough to adjust the training to address the requirements of the students, without compromising the training requirements of the class. He should have the ability to connect with the spirituality of the students without underlining the subject matter of the class and should be able go out of his or her way to meet the requirements of the students.

Keen to Details

Yoga teachers that God is in details therefore a good yoga training session flourishes in details. Observing details, even while doing your own practice is what will heighten your experience therefore a good teacher will be keen to always ensure that the students are doing the poses in the right way. This shows commitment to the job.

Language

The language used should be a common language understood by all. Every word spoken by the yoga teacher should count and should serve the purpose of the training so meeting the set goals.

Clear Instructions with Room to Breathe

The students should be able to understand the instructions given to them by their teacher. The instructions should be clear, concise and easy to follow. There should be room to breathe in between the paces to allow the student to feel and explore themselves.

Punctual

The teacher should always be on time in beginning and ending his or her classes as the students also have other schedules of their own.

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Yoga and Its Benefits on Sex

According to Yoga, sex is an extremely important and natural function, required in an affectionate relationship and also for procreation. The branch of yoga that incorporates the use of consecrated sex as a ritual to experience sanctity is known as Tantra Yoga or the Yoga of Rituals.

Specifically, the branch that concentrates on sex is known as Kundalini. Through its various breathing techniques and asanas, yoga helps to accentuate the sexuality of a person. Yoga also helps in relieving stress and relaxing the body, in preparation for a healthy sex life. The main benefits of yoga on sex life are as follows:

More Intense Orgasms

The practice of yoga helps in achieving stronger and intense orgasms. It aids in strengthening sex organs and the muscles of the pelvis. Yoga techniques also help in making better use of sexual powers. Flexibility is gained as muscles strain is discharged while practicing yoga. Some yoga techniques teach men how to draw energy inside just as they are about to ejaculate leading to a whole body orgasm and not just a toe sensational one.

Improved Fitness Level

Yoga increases fitness and activity levels and creates awareness of one's potential capacity. It gives endurance and vigor and also improves balance and post coordination. As the muscles are greatly toned while practicing yoga, they respond more positively during intercourse creating a super sexual experience.

Increased sensitivity

Yogic practices increase one's sensitivity. The breath control exercises help in overcoming anxiety thereby participating in sex with renewed physical strength. Being stress free and without tension, leads to active participation in sexual activity. Also, yoga helps in improving self awareness and natural environment raising one's awareness of their partner's needs.

Increased knowledge of Sexual Positions

Yogic practices increase knowledge of several sensual sex positions. However they can not be performed by an inflexible, flabby body but by a body reflecting of flexibility and toned muscles achieved through yogic exercises. Practicing yoga also aids in experimenting with these positions too.

Enhanced energy levels

Yoga helps in harnessing energy. A lot of yoga techniques are very beneficial for energy accumulation as well as increasing resilience and endurance. A body with fortitude engages in sexual activity for long without tiring.

Increased Libido

Yoga practices help to increase blood flow to the sexual organs and the area of ​​the pelvic thereby increasing energy and vivacity. Blood flow increases the warmth that raising the libido.

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Yoga – Still Waters Run Deep – Where Is Your Attention?

A Sanskrit definition of Yoga given in the famous ancient source book on Yoga, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali reads as: “Yoga chitta vibritti nirodh”.

The individual meaning of each word is as follows:

“Yoga” means union.

“Chitta” means 'the whole canvas of your being', 'the attention'.

“Vritti” means 'temperament – what a person is prone to', an individual's tendency ('dragging nature') acted on by the three guns of past, present, future.

“Nirodh” means inhibit, block, restrict, constrain etc.

Taken together, an English translation may be: 'Yoga is the state of being in contact with reality achieved by stopping the impact of the temperament on the attention'

A pictorial simplification of this definition using the analogy of a lake, reflected scenery and a drop of water would be: 'Yoga is when the ripples created by drops of water (' writti ') stop, and the surface of the lake (' the attention ') becomes completely still giving a perfect reflection of reality'. It is in this reflection, a connection or experience of reality is enjoyed as Yoga.

So it turns out that Yoga may not really be about wearing a bright yellow leotard and stretching in front of a mirror, nor breath breath or breathing exercises. Rather Yoga looks to be more about an outcome or actualization while the attention steels and the mind falls silent. In short, Yoga is not something you 'do', it is a state you achieve!

The significance and importance then of any practice of Yoga is in fact achieving the state of Yoga. But how? You might be familiar with images of ancient Yogis standing on their heads. Yet what is this about?

In India it was known that a sacred energy inserted within each human being, residing at the base of the spinal in the sacrum (sacred) bone. This energy was a coiled energy, hence named as Kundalini. The understanding was that if this energy could be waked up, resurrected, and rise up the spine to the top of the head, Yoga would be achieved. Here using their ingenuity Yogis thought that by standing upside down on their heads they could employ the help of gravity to indeed encourage this energy to move and reach the top (crown) of the head, bathing the aspirant in bliss.

Of course, despite commendable, their efforts were in vain. Nowadays in the 21st Century many teachers and much research has been carried out in search of how to achieve Yoga.

It seems that what is required is to have the indwelling Kundalini energy awakened to ascend through the various chakras (wheels of energy) to eventually reach the 6th – Agnya Chakra and then entering into the limbic area of ​​the brain. This 7th chakra is known as the Sahasrara Chakra – the thousand petaled lotus. The limbic area is understood by modern medicine to have some role in the experience of bliss or joy.

The Ancient scriptures describe the Kundalini energy as a feminine, maternal energy and 'She' is the one who takes you into a state, known in the ancient literature as 'Gunateet', which means beyond the three Gunas.

In the absence of the action of the three Gunas, then Writti is absent. In the absence of Writti, the attention is still and in it's original pristine state. When the attention is still, then it is one with reality. This is Yoga.

It turns out that although seemingly mystical and beyond the reach of everyday people, Yoga is something that one can achieve spontaneously and at no cost. All one has to do is desire to achieve this state and it just works out. Much as one does not pay to be born, the achievement of Yoga can not be paid for as it is everyone's natural birthright. Across the world this mystery seems to be unwraveling. Volunteers offer free weekly classes, to guide those interested – in achieving Yoga. You can find out more here: http://www.sahajayogalondon.co.uk

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Yoga and Its Origins

Yoga is a mind and body technique practiced by people all over the world. The origin of the word means “to yoke” together the physical body and the spirit. Origins of this practice date back to before written history. Although the technique has physical benefits, its true goal is to find divinity within and develop a sense of self-awareness.

Origins of the Practice of Yoga

Classical techniques are believed to have originated more than 5,000 years ago. Indus Valley stone carvings dating to this time depict figures in positions associated with this practice. While many people believe the practice has roots in the Hindu religion, others believe that Hinduism came later. The desire for a long, healthy life, a heightened sense of self-understanding, and increased personal freedom led to the development of this mental and physical exercise.

Breathing, meditation, and exercise form the foundation of this practice. Exercises place pressure on glandular systems, increasing the efficiency and overall health of the body. The tradition is passed on from a teacher to a student through oral instruction and physical demonstration. Techniques commonly used today are base on collective experiences that developed over thousands of years.

Beliefs and Benefits of Yoga

Practitioners view the body as a primary instrument enabling humans to evolve and work. Students, therefore, treat their bodies with respect and care for them properly. Breath is considered the source of life within the body and students use breathing techniques to improve the functioning and health of the mind and body. Exercises and breathing ready the body and mind for the practice of meditation, which quiets the mind to help it heal from stressors placed upon it.

With regular practice, a strong body and clear, alert mind are believed to result. Today, more than one hundred schools of practice exist. Hatha, which involves postures, breathing techniques, and physical movements, is the most commonly known. Jhana is considered the most difficult because it is reportedly the path of wisdom. Several schools focus on a personal concept of God, remaining true to the religious origins of this practice.

The scholar Patanjali compiled one of the earliest texts concerning yoga theories and practices. The system he explained was called Ashantaga, which is still practiced in some form today. Since the arrival of this practice in the late 1800s, people in the United States have been experiencing its many benefits. Physicians sometimes recommend this system to patients with back pain, depression, arthritis, or high risk of heart disease.

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All You Need to Know About Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is one of the most popular yoga types in the world. Its popularity has been heightened by its ability to tie joint and back pains. The style was invented by Pattabhi Jois who was a practitioner and a teacher of yoga. The style aims at improving the well being of the body, mind and spirit through a series of six poses.

Ashtanga poses

Series 1: it's also known as Yoga Chikitsa. This series takes approximately one and a half to two hours to complete and 75 posts are involved. The series starts with surya namaskara A and B poses then sitting, backbends, and inversion poses follow thereafter.

The series ends with meditation and relaxation. All the poses in this series aim at proper realignment of the spine and body detoxification. Also, stamina, strength, and flexibility are attained in this series.

Series 2: also known as Nadi Shodana. In addition to the poses in series one, this series incorporates additional posts that are aimed at purifying the nervous system.

Series 3 to series 6: most of the posts at this series are related. The poses are usually more advanced than those in the first and second series. The poses aim at enhancing your connection with your divinity that is within you. In the series, tough arm balancing exercises are executed. Also, high level of concentration is required.

Advantages of Ashtanga yoga

There are a number of benefits that come with this type of yoga. The most common include:

Elimination of emotional slavery-since high level of concentration is required in order to efficiently execute the poses, you need to forget all emotions that might be going on in your head and concentrate in the poses. This makes you feel free and ready to take on the world.

Detoxification-this yoga engages you in rigorous exercises that make your body produce plenty of heat. Sweat produced aids in detoxifying muscles and organs in the body.

Ashtanga yoga also aids in improving the condition of the core body systems such as cardiovascular, circulatory, digestion, respiratory and immune system. When the condition of these systems is enhanced, you become healthier and your productivity increases.

Although not permanent, this type of yoga aids in weight loss. This is due to water lost when sweating.

Disadvantages of Ashtanga Yoga

The main setback is that this yoga involves complex poses that are usually hard for a beginner to execute. Due to this, many people are locked out of this yoga.

The other disadvantage is that you can not proceed to another series without first completing the current one. This provokes many people to quit.

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3 Basic Yoga Poses Every Beginner Should Know

You do not have to be able to twist your body into impossible shapes or touch your hands to your toes. When you join yoga, you should aim for one thing: becoming flexible in mind, body and spirit. Although, yoga may be overwhelming for a beginner due to the many poses that you need to learn, you should not be scared. You need to be patient and learn one pose after another. When you are a beginner, here 3 posts that you should know.

Mountain pose (Tadasana)

This is probably the most basic pose of them all. All you need to do is to stand tall with your feet together. You should keep your arms on your sides and ensure that your shoulders are relaxed and your weight is even distributed through your soles. At this position, take a deep breath and raise your arms over your head. With your palms facing each other, try to reach up to the sky with your fingertips.

This pose helps you to improve on your posture and strengthen your thighs. The pose also aids in relieving back pain.

Downward facing dog

This is another basic pose that you need to learn as a beginner. The pose places your head at a lower level than your heart. To get into position, you need to start in all fours with your hands under your shoulders, hips and knees. At this position, walk forward a few inches using your hands and spread your fingers wide while pressing your palms into a mat. When you are comfortable, curl your toes and slowly push your hips towards the ceiling and press your shoulders away from your ears. You should also ensure that your feet are hip-width apart and your knees are slightly bent. To ensure that you are in the right position, your body should assume an inverted V shape.

This pose improves your flexibility and increases muscle tone in the arms and legs.

Triangle pose

A number of elements are put together in this pose. To absorb the pose, you need to extend your arms onto your sides and bend over your right leg. Your feet should be at least three feet apart and toes on your right foot should be turned out to 90 degrees while those on the left leg should be turned out to 45 degrees. At this position, allow your right hand to rest on your right leg either below or above your knee. You can also rest the right hand on the floor. While the right hand is resting on the floor or on your right leg, extend your fingertips of your left hand towards the ceiling. Once in position, turn your gaze towards the ceiling and hold the pose for at least five breaths.

This pose expands your torso in four directions, enhancements balance, builds muscle strength in your legs, releases your shoulders and chest and provides a mild twist that makes you more flexible.

These are three of the most basic poses that you should know. Can you do them?

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5 Yoga Myths Debunked

There are many preconceived notions about yoga that have been flying around and it's time to get them out.

1. Yoga is a religion

Due to the deep meditation and chanting practiced during yoga sessions, the exercise is usually confused to be a religion. Although, yoga is linked to Hinduism and Buddhism, the exercise in itself is not a religion. Instead, the exercise is a spiritual science that is aimed at calming down the thought waves in your mind. When your thought waves are calm, you think more clearly and more rationally.

2. You need to be a vegetarian to practice yoga

This is very untrue. There are no rules in yoga that say that you need to be a vegetarian for you to practice it. Although, there are many benefits that come with avoiding meat, vegetarianism is not a prerequisite in the exercise. Therefore, if you love meat, you are most welcome to join the exercise.

3. You need to be flexible to join yoga

This is another big lie. Although, you will improve your flexibility overtime when you engage in yoga, you do not need to be flexible to join. In fact, I joined yoga because I wanted to improve on my flexibility.

Yoga trainers understand that we are all different and we have different bodies that have different flexibilities. When you join yoga, you will be required to do postures that are ideal for your flexibility. For postures that require great flexibility, you do not need to do them. There are plenty of post configurations that you can comprise and still reap the same benefits as the person who did the high flexibility poses.

4. Yoga is for the ladies

This is probably the main reason why there are very few men undertaking the exercise. The misconception started in the west where yoga was viewed as a hobby for housewives. Due to this, most men associate yoga with women. This is wrong. Most men in India practice yoga and in fact most of the Indian yoga gurus are men.

5. Yoga promotes weight loss

This notification is held due to the Bikram yoga that is practiced at high temperature. Due to the high temperatures, you sweat and in the process you lose water which culminates to weight loss. Although, you will lose weight, you need to realize that the lost weight is water weight which will eventually come back within a short time. To attain real weight loss, you need to engage in physical exercises and eat a healthy diet, but not practice yoga.

These are the major myths about Yoga. If you did not, know now you know. Do not you?

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Yoga Breathing Exercise – How To Do the Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise

As a Sivananda Yoga Teacher, I enjoy teaching students Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise, also known by its Sanskrit name, Anuloma Viloma.

Breathing exercises, known as pranayama form the core of yoga. There is a saying in yoga that it is not the number of years lived which determines the length of your life, but the number of breaths taken! Therefore it is a good idea that you breathe correctly to reduce your stress levels and to use your breath to calm down, relax and calm and quieted your mind, body and spirit. Out of all the yoga breathing exercises I use, the one I found which brings me the most relief is Alternate Nostril Breathing because it helps me to feel peaceful and balanced.

What Is Alternate Nostril Breathing?

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma) is a classic yogic breathing exercise and often practiced at the beginning of a Sivananda yoga lesson.

When Do You Practice It?

Whenever you feel feel out of alignment and start getting ratty and tense or feel anxious than that's a sign your energy needs to be re-aligned and rebalance.

Alternate Nostril Breathing helps with this process because it alternates the flow of breath / prana through one nostril and then the other.

In the classic yoga book Opening to Spirit by Caroline Shola Arewa, she describes seven main benefits of this practice which are:

· Balancing the autonomous nervous system.

· Balancing the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

· Improving concentration on any practical object or subject.

· Stimulating Anja (third eye) chakra.

· Increasing awareness of the chakras.

· Purifying each of the 72,000 nadis

· Aligning the individual force-field with the universal force-field.

Powerful stuff. And if you are interested in finding out more about the relationship between yoga, breathing exercises and the chakras, I urge you to buy Shola's book, Opening to Spirit. It's an excellent guide in helping you along your spiritual path.

How Do You Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing?

Word of Warming: As with all yoga exercises, please listen and respect your body. Any sign of discomfort or pain in the body, please stop, rest and if needed see your Doctor. If you are pregnant or new to yoga, I'll suggest you familiarize yourself with more basic yoga breathing exercises before trying this more advanced practice. Thank you.

Simple Guidelines For The Practice Of Alternate Nostril Breathing

Traditionally Alternate Nostril Breathing is practiced in the ratio of 1: 4: 2 -for every second / count of breath you inhale, you retain your breath for four times as long and exhale for twice as long – for example, if you inhale for a count of 2, then you hold your breath for a count of 8 and exhale for account of 4. Depending on your level of experience, you can, for example inhale for account of 4, retain for 16 and breathe out for a count of 8 .

There are six steps to complete one round of Alternate Nostril Breathing.

Before you start, make sure you are sitting comfortably either on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Sit upright with a straight spine. Rest your back of your left hand on your left knee, with your thumb and index finger touching; With your right hand, bend your index and middle fingers into your palm, which leaves your right thumb to close your right nostril and your ring and little fingers to close your left nostril.

Before you start, spend a few moments in quiet focusing on your every day breath as you allow your mind and body to settle into the practice.

Step 1. Exhale fully, close your right nostril with your right thumb, slowly exhale through your left nostril for a count of 4.

Step 2. Gently hold your breath, by “pinching” both nostrils between your thumb and ring and little finger, for a count of 16.

Step 3. Release your thumb from your right nostril (keep your left nostril closed) and exhale through your right nostril for a count of 8.

Step 4. Still keeping your left nostril closed, breathe in through your right nostril for a count of four.

Step 5. Close both nostrils and hold your breath for a count of 16 (as in # 2).

Step 6. Release your left fingers from your left nostril, keep your right nostril closed with your right thumb and breathe out through the left nostril for a count of 8

This completes one round.

To Sum Up

Today's post, focused on one of my favorite yoga breathing exercises, Alternate Nostril Breathing, which is ideal to help calm and balance your energy and quiet an over active mind. Ideal tools to support you keep up your inner balance and focus in daily life.

Take Away Points

If you feel comfortable with Alumoa Viloma, over the next three days, schedule 3 dates in your diary, when you will specifically use the time to sit down and practice this yoga breathing exercise. Aim to do 3-10 rounds daily or set your timer and practice for 2-10 minutes. When you do, please share your thoughts, or send me an email because I'd love you know how you got on and how you feel afterwards.

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An Overview on Yoga Bolsters

Yoga, an ancient practice that reportedly originated from India and practiced more than 5000 years ago, is gaining prominence today as it promises a host of benefits from calming the mind to physically healing the body. More and more people are trying to adopt this practice that combines breathing exercises, movement of the body and positioning them in specific postures.

One of the big challenges for most beginners however, lies in the difficulty to rotate or position their bodies into the yoga poses required. For example, the bridge pose, which requires that the back be bent like a bridge over a stream or river, can be quite hard to achieve for the uninitiated. And the main reason for this is that the body is not accustomed to bending or being stressed in such a way and that that creates a lot of discomfort for the new initiate.

This is where yoga props (or cushions, tools, equipment) come in. Yoga props provide the support for practitioners to perform the necessary posts without the discomfort (or with a lot less discomfort). Yoga bolsters is one of the props that has been gaining a lot of attention and is on the “must-have” list for many yoga enthusiasts today.

Yoga bolsters come in multiple shapes and sizes these days and sometimes are intermixed with yoga cushions, but the yoga bolsters that I am referring to in this article are primarily the larger cushions that can support the whole body – and not just the head or arms.

Primarily, yoga bolsters like these come in 2 forms – either rectangular or rounded. Each one of these variants has their own uses and it is not uncommon for yoga enthusiasts to have both in their “arsenal” of yoga props.

Rectangular yoga bolsters have flat tops and bottoms and are more stable. They act as good back support for lying down positions, providing comfort to the backbone and hips while the yoga practitioner perform poses that stresses the back. They could also be used in poses where the body is required to be folded forwards (ie chest to knee). In these instances, they act as a cushion for the chest, and for beginners who can not fold as “deep” as they would like to, they provide support for the chest.

Rounded bolsters are similar to the normal bolsters that we use when we sleep but are larger and firmer. They are especially good as back support for poses that open the chest such as the Supported Back Bend (or Heart Opener) pose. Due to their round shape, the back can bend around the bolster and be supported all the way from the bottom to the top of the back.

In addition to providing support for difficult positions, the yoga bolster is also great for providing comfort in certain positions. For example, one of my favorite posts is the Child's Pose. A typical Child's Pose position without a bolster will just have the practitioner put herself in a kneeling position and props the chest forward to the ground with arms outstretched over the head. With a rounded yoga bolster, the bolster can be the centerpiece in this pose. Placed in between the knees, the practitioner can prop her chest forward onto the bolster. This is much more comfortable and more important than that, it provides a feeling of security, like a child is embracing her parent. This is best for calming the mind and resting the soul.

There is no doubt that the yoga bolster is a great addition to the practice and I believe strongly that its prominence will continue to increase and be adopted by many more yoga enthusiasts in time to come. I would be keeping my eye out for more shapes and sizes that could further enhance the practice but right now, its time for me to go back to my lovely lavender colored bolster.

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