Browsing: Yoga

Classical Yoga Studies – Why One Should Learn

Yoga is of Indian Origin. Its history dates back to the Pre-Vedic Era. The four Vedas are the most ancient texts of India. Yoga was found mentioned in the Vedas claiming that its history is older than Vedas. In those days, it was an aid for spiritual upliftment. On scrutiny of the earlier yogic treatises, yogic kriyas (techniques) were used for Self-improvement and not for health improvement.

Yoga is practiced world-wide now. It is being used as a system of physical exercise. To address psychosomatic diseases like stress, depression, hypertension and other health-related diseases, yogic kriyas are being used. While categorizing the websites, we find yoga being a sub-category under the category of Health and Fitness. It is clear that it became a health-related topic. But it is not a health-related subject. Its dimension is more. To understand that dimension and to get the maximum benefits of yogic kriyas, one should learn it from the perspective of ancient yoga treats. For this very purpose, one should learn classical yoga treats.

Yoga was taught by Gurus of ancient India without accepting any consideration or with a meagre consideration which was affordable to students of those times. An amount affordable to the student was accepted by Gurus. The amount or Guru Thatchana (the amount given by the student) was determined by the student and not by Gurus. Money was not the motive in those days.

The system of Guru-Sysya (Teacher-disciple) has been tampered with now. It has become a lucrative business nowdays. Yoga has been institutionalized which was not the case earlier. The leader of the institute is the Guru and he will not ever pass down the knowledge that he has. He will employ some teachers who have the partial mastery of the subject. So the students will not get the full knowledge. Here the real knowledge has been stuck up with someone who will not transfer it down for some reason or other.

The origin of any yoga is yoga treats. The modern Guru select one or some of the techniques from the ancient yogic treats and modify slowly and give a new name. He will use that name for a patent. This is how there are so many yoga brands available and so many establishments are marketing those brands. The knowledge belongs to the sages of the yore and the yoga institutes are selling it as their product.

If you are ready to put some efforts to gain that knowledge through learning of those treats of ancient time, you can well avoid these middlemen. No contemporary Guru get his knowledge from his own research. If at all he does any research, that findings are related to the benefits doing a kriya of the earlier time. There are thousands and thousands of yoga techniques available in the scripts. One's lifetime is not enough to learn and practice them all. By learning them through scripts, we could understand them, identify them with the yoga brands available and practice a few of them which are suitable for us. The study of the scriptures is required for anyone who is planning for yoga practice.

Now we clearly know that the study of yogic scriptures will give us two major benefits.

  1. We can understand yoga in a wider dimension to get comprehensive benefits.
  2. We learn yoga directly from scripts without middlemen.

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Is Yoga Good For Your Spine?

Yoga is a mind and body exercise with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Different styles of yoga unit bodily postures, breathing methods, and relaxation or meditation.

In 5,000 years of yoga background, the term “yoga” has gone through a renaissance in present society, replacing the loincloth to get a leotard and leggings.

Yoga is now popular as a kind of physical exercise predicated upon asanas (physical evaluations) to encourage enhanced control of body and mind and to enhance well-being, helping avoid a lot of spine problems and back pain.

Here are a few facts relating to yoga:

  • The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” meaning “to yoke or join.” Some folks take this to implicate a union of mind and body.
  • According to a market study in 2008, there are about 16 million people in the United States that practice yoga and spend at least $ 5.7 billion on yoga equipment per year.
  • Hatha yoga is the sort of yoga most often practiced in Western culture. “Ha” means “sun” and “tha” means “moon.”
  • There are lots of styles of yoga. An individual's fitness level and desirable practice outcome determines the sort of yoga class on which they're best suited.
  • There have been over 7,369 yoga-related accidents treated in doctors' offices, clinics, and emergency areas in 2010 according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Overstretching the spinal, neck, legs, shoulders, and knee, as well as repetitive strain, are just some of the frequent yoga injuries.
  • Even the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) believes the rewards of yoga outweigh the potential physical dangers.
  • Yoga is described as having eight limbs or branches: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyhara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
  • Practicing yoga has many possible health benefits including relieving low back pain, assisting with anxiety management and increasing flexibility and balance.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that pregnant women taking yoga courses are far less likely to experience problems in subsequent pregnancy and labor.

The Background of Yoga

There is not any written document of the inventor of yoga. Yogis (yoga practitioners) practiced yoga long before any written account of this came into existence. Yogis within the millennia handed down the discrimination for their students and several distinct schools of yoga developed due to practice widened in international reach and fame.

Sanskrit, the Indo-European terminology of the Vedas, India's early spiritual texts, also provided birth to the literature and the method of yoga. The “Yoga Sutra,” a 2,000-year-old treat on yogic doctrine from the Indian sage Patanjali is a type of guidebook that gives guidance about the best way best to gain control over the mind and emotions and advice on spiritual development, providing the framework upon which yoga practiced today is based.

The Yoga Sutra is the earliest recorded record of yoga and also one of the oldest texts in life.

The Sanskrit word “yoga” has many translations and can be translated in a variety of ways. Many translations purpose towards translations of “to yoke,” “join,” or “focus” – essentially a way to unite or a process of discipline. A male who practices this subject is referred to as yogi or yogin plus a female professional is known as a yogini.

The positions that are now an integral component of health and fitness in many facilities around the world were not initially a dominant part of yoga traditions in India. Fitness was not a chief aim of training; the focus has been placed on other practices such as pranayama (expansion of the very important energy by means of breath), Dharana (concentration, or placement of the emotional faculty), also nada (sound).

Yoga began to gain recognition in the West at the end of the 19th century, with an explosion of interest in Pilates at the 1920s and 1930s, first in India and later in the West.

Different Types of Yoga

Modern forms of yoga have significantly evolved to exercise focusing on strength, flexibility, and breathing to boost physical and mental well-being. There are many types of yoga, and no style is more authentic or superior to another; the secret is to decide on a class suitable for your fitness level.

Types and styles of yoga:

  1. Ashtanga yoga: There are ancient yoga teachings found in the 1970s where it indicates that each of the six sequences of postures links every motion of the body rapidly.
  2. Bikram yoga: kept in heated rooms at temperatures of near 105 degrees and 40% humidity, so Bikram is a collection of 26 poses and chain of two breathing exercises.
  3. Hatha yoga: a generic term for any type of yoga which teachers physical postures. When a class is tagged as “hatha,” it is generally a gentle introduction to the fundamental yoga postures.
  4. Iyengar yoga: concentrated on locating the appropriate alignment in every pose and utilizing props such as blocks, blankets, straps, chairs and bolsters to achieve that
  5. Jivamukti yoga: significance, “liberation when alive,” Jivamukti yoga emerged in 1984, integrating religious teachings and vinyasa design exercise. Each class has a subject, which is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and songs, and could be physically extreme.
  6. Kripalu yoga: teachers practitioners to get know, accept and learn from your system. In a Kripalu class, each student chooses to find their own level of training on a particular evening by day looking inward. The courses usually begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches, accompanied by a collection of patient poses and last relaxation.
  7. Kundalini Yoga: the Sanskrit word kundalini means coiled, like a snake. Kundalini Yoga is a system of meditation aimed toward the discharge of kundalini energy. A class generally begins with rebounds and ends with singing, also in between attributes asana, pranayama, and meditation intended to make a specific exit.
  8. Power yoga: an energetic and athletic type of yoga accommodated in the traditional Ashtanga method in the late 1980s.
  9. Sivananda: a system predicated on a five-point philosophy that holds that appropriate breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking function with each other to produce a healthy yogic way of life. Commonly uses the same 12 basic asanas, booked by sun salutations and savasana presents.
  10. Viniyoga: mean to be adaptive to any person, irrespective of physical skill, viniyoga educators are needed to be trained and have a tendency to be experts on anatomy and treatment.
  11. Yin: a quiet, meditative yoga exercise, also known as Taoist yoga. Yin yoga enables the discharge of tension in joints: ankles, knee, buttocks, the entire back, neck, and shoulders. Yin presents are passive, meaning the muscles must be relaxed while gravity does the job.
  12. Prenatal yoga: yoga postures carefully adapted for people that are pregnant. Prenatal yoga is made to help individuals in all phases of pregnancy and can support people in getting back to shape after pregnancy.
  13. Restorative yoga: a relaxing way of yoga, investing a course in four or five simple poses using props like blankets and strengntens to sink into deep relaxation without exerting some effort in carrying the pose.

Benefits of Doing Yoga

1. Improves your flexibility

Increased flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. Through your first class, you probably will not have the ability to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stay with it, you will notice a gradual loosing, and ever, seemingly impossible poses will become potential. You will also probably notice that pains and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight shoulders can bring the knee joint as a result of the improper alignment of the thigh and shin bones. Tight hamstrings can result in a portion of the lumbar spine, which may lead to back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissues, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.

2. Builds muscle strength

Strong muscles do more than look great. They also protect us in conditions like arthritis and back pain and help prevent falls in older men and women. When you build strength through yoga, then you balance it with flexibility. If you just moved into the gym and lifted weights, you could build strength at the cost of flexibility.

3. Perfects your posture

Your head is like a bowling ball – big, circular, and hefty. When your head is balanced perfectly over a vertical spine, there's less work for your back and neck muscles to help support it. Move it several inches ahead, however, and you also begin to strain those muscles. Imagine holding a bowling ball while leaving forward for eight or 12 hours each day, no wonder you're tired! And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause neck, back, and other joint and muscle problems. As you slump, your body can compensate for flattening the standard inward curves in your neck and lower back. This may result in pain and degenerative arthritis of the strain.

4. Prevents joint and cartilage breakdown

Each time you practice yoga, you simply take your muscles through their own selection of movement. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate handicap by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage which normally are not utilized. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives new nutrients only if its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without appropriate sustenance, failed regions of cartilage may finally wear out, exposing the underlining bone-like weary brake pads.

5. Protect your backbone

Spinal discs – the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that may herniate and compress nerves – crave movement. That's the only way they receive their nourishment. Once you practice doing a well-balanced asana posture with a lot of forwarding bends, backbends, and twists, you'll be able to keep your spinal disks flexible.

6. Helps you focus

An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. Those who practice Transcedental Meditation demonstrate and gain the ability to remember information better and solve problems because their concentration is better. They're less distracted by their thoughts which can sometimes play over and over again like an endless loop.

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How to Choose the Best Yoga Mats

What are the characteristics of the best yoga mats? Why does a good quality one matter?

Yoga mats are special to the yogis that use them. Ask any experienced yogi – their mat is super special to them.

After all it is the only thing you need to practice yoga right? A decent mat and you can do yoga virtually anywhere. That makes yoga one of the cheapest and most accessible pastimes / exercises available.

Millions of people practice yoga daily. It has been attributed to so many health and wellbeing benefits. Not just physical, but most important mental too. The vast majority of people will have a reliably inexpensive mat. But your yoga experience can be enhanced significantly by investing a little extra in a really good quality mat.

When you are practicing yoga your body is only in contact with one thing. The mat. By having a really good quality mat not only will you get the benefit of having a non-slip surface on which to work, but you also get the feel of a superior material benefit you hands and feet.

You can be that much more confident and happy on a decent quality mat. Times that extra feeling over and over for every time you use your mat and you can see why having yoga mats can enhance your pleasure immeasurably.

So what is it that you should look for in the best yoga mats?

Your mat's surface is really important as it needs to be able to help you hold your poses without slipping. That means the upper-side and under-side need to be non-slip. It also needs to be large enough for you and not too heavy to carry around.

We also think what it is made of is really important. You're going to need to make sure it is eco-friendly. We think the appearance of your mat also is important. You want to be proud of what you lay out to practice on. Some of the best yoga mats have exquisite designs on them.

There are lots of things to consider when searching for the best mat for you. One thing not to skimp on though is the price. We recommend spending at least £ 30 and indeed some of the very best yoga mats are nearer £ 100. However, they will last a long time and the benefits will be seen over and over again.

Yoga is a low-cost exercise / pastime, but by spending a little more on the one and only thing you need is well worth it.

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Alternative Therapy: Yoga In Anti Aging Progression

Yoga may have a substantial and positive effect in anti aging progress, some issued institute studies suggested.

Aging is a natural process of growing old.

Yoga, the ancient technique for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture … has been well known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutions 'research and supported by health advocates.

According to the study to explore the impact of yoga and meditation based lifestyle intervention (YMLI) on cellular aging in 96 healthy individuals randomly assigned to a 12-weeks of YMLI, at the end of 12 weeks of lesson, YMLI group expressed significant improvements in both the cardinal biomarkers of cellular aging and the metabotrophic biomarkers influencing cellular aging in comparison to baseline values.

The efficiency of the program in reduced cellular aging process was attributed to the activities in reduced production of ROS and pro inflammatory cytokins and hormone cortisol, and increased mean values ​​of telomerase activity in regulated aging progression and hormone β-endorphin in reduced stress and maintain homeostasis .

Dr. Madhuri Tolahunase, the led author, after taking into account of other co founders, said, “Lifestyle is an integrated entity, and an intervention, like YMLI, that has overall positive impact on our health affects most useful versus changing only one aspect at a time, as is seen by action of certain drugs. “Yoga is holistic and a mind-body medicine and is more beneficial and advantageous than individual interventions like physical exercise, caloric restriction, and antioxidants.”

Other researchers, in the study of yoga breathing in protected skin against aging, filed the following results

1. Yoga breathing reduced psychological aspects of stress and anxiety which have been found to associate to promoted aging

2. Yoga also expressed an impact in regulated advanced glycation end products (AGE) which has recently been shown to play a role in tissue aging

3. Comprehensive yoga program including breathing and meditative exercises may have a comprehensive effect in enhanced gene expression involving oxidative stress, DNA damage, cell cycle control, aging and apoptosis and

4. Detoxification

In further analysis, Dr, Beri K the led author said, “(Contract to general belief) The interesting correlation of insulin regulation and glucose control can be translated to improvement and possibly reversal of the effects on AGE protein accumulation in the body tissue”.

In support of the above difference, Dr. Brown RP at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, launched an investigation of yoga breathing in anti aging progress, suggested that

1. Yoga breathing (pranayama) can have a significant and positive effect in bringing the mind to the present moment and reduce stress

2. Yoga breathing delayed the aging process through reduced expression of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and for victims of mass disasters.

3. The practices also relieved many forms of suffering.

Finally, after taking account of other risk factors, researchers concluded that yoga breathing can affect longevity mechanisms.

Taking altogether, Yoga used alone or combined with meditation may have a therapeutic effect in aging progress through regulating cellular and psychological expressions

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Alternative Therapy: Yoga Intervention in Enhanced Smoking Cessation

Good news for people who want to quit smoking, epidemiological studies suggested strongly that yoga intervention may have a substantial impact in smoking cessation.

Yoga, the ancient practice for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture … has been best known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutions 'research and supported by health advocates.

According to the joint study led by the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in examine the smoking-relevant characteristics of individuals enrolling in an 8-week randomized controlled trial, for testing yoga as a complementary treatment to standard smoking cessation, on the sample of 55 % female, 86% non-Hispanic white, with a mean age of 46 years,

1. Males smoked more cigarettes / day than females and had lower motivation to quit smoking

2. Females were more likely to smoke for weight control, social and mood-related reasons, and had higher expectations for the efficiency of yoga

3. Age was negatively associated with the presence of other smokers in the household, and smoking in response to negative moods

4. And Age was associated to more willing in quitting

After taking into account for other con-founders, researchers said, “both males and females were interested in a program offering yoga as a complementary therapy for smoking cessation”.

The results indicated that yoga may be considered as an integrated form of exercise to assist smoking cessation.

Further discussion of smoking quitting, in a study to examine the rates of cessation among women randomized to either a novel, 8-week Yoga plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) smoking cessation intervention versus a Wellness program plus the same CBT intervention, scientists shown that after 8 weeks period.

1. Innovative treatments are needed to address barriers as stated in the above study for a successful smoking cessation among men and women.

2. Yoga may be effective complementary treatment for smoking cessation

3. Yoga can offer an alternative to traditional exercise for reducing negative symptoms that often accompanies to smoking cessation and predict relapse to smoking among recent quitters.

The results of finding suggested that Yoga plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are the better choice to improve smoking quitting out, in comparison to yoga alone or standard treatments.

Additional analysis of the effect of yoga intervention in smoking cessation, researchers at the University of Cincinnati, conducted a review of literature published of database from MEDLINE (PubMed), EBSCOHOST, PROQUEST, MEDINDIA, CINAHL, Alt HealthWatch, and AMED between 2004 and 2013 , suggested that 10 studies satisfied the criteria and guidelines selected have produced the following results:

1. Yoga participation expressed a significant effect in improved quitting smoking rates in majority of studies

2. Yoga-based interventions hold a promise for stop smoking

Unfortunately, all these studies also expressed some limitations including short follow-up measurements and short duration of intervention, Dr. Dai CL, the led author concerned

The finding evidences suggested that yoga adapted to smoker age, gender … and used in conjuction with standard treatment may have a comprehensive effect in enhanced smoking cessation in a short-term period.

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Alternative Therapy: Yoga, An Ancient Technique in Treatment of Panic and Anxiety Disorder

Yoga as an integrated form of exercise may be used for treatment of panic and anxiety disorder in combination with standard treatment.

Panic and anxiety disorder is a mental condition characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks. of sudden periods of intense fear inducing palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something really bad is going to happen.

Yoga, the ancient technique practice for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture … has been best known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutions' research and supported by health advocates.

In the study of total of 20 subjects diagnosed with panic disorder, randomly assigned to both experimental groups: Group 1 (G1-Yoga: 10 subjects) attended yoga classes and Group 2 (G2-CBT + Yoga: 10 subjects) participated in a combined intervention of yoga practice followed by a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) session, researchers filed the following results:

1. Both group displayed a statistical analysis in reduction of anxiety levels associated with panic disorder, panic-related beliefs and panic-related body sensations

2. The combination of yoga and CBT (G2) showed a better reduction in all observed parameters in comparison to only yoga group.

Dr. Vorkapic CF, the lead author, after taking into account of other con-founders said, “… improvements in different mental health parameters after the practice of contemplative techniques alone or combined to psychotherapy” and “(Understanding) joining psychological and physiological variables could help better elucidate the mechanisms through which mind-body practices work to improve mental health. ”

Other, in the review of literature published on quality of life in panic disorder from 1980 to 2010 on database of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed, indicated that yoga intervention in combination of standard treatment may ameliorate basic quality of life impairments in panic disorder, improve mental and physical health … and be used as post-treatment in enhanced quality of life (QOL) in these group of patients.

Dr. Davidoff J, the lead author went even further to suggest, “understanding the nature of comorbidities in panic disorder (PD) as well as to determine whether additional interventions that have been studied in other psychiatric disorders, such as exercise, meditation, yoga, humor , massage, and nutritional supplements, can be utilized to improve QOL in PD to normal community levels.

Interestingly, in the review of literature published on PubMed in English up to December 2012 to evaluate the effect of complementary and alternative therapies in panic and anxiety disorder, researchers also found that

1. Data based illustrated that depression evidence base is significantly larger than anxiety disorder

2. Yoga was considered as levels 3 line of treatment of patients with panic and anxiety disorder due to the quality of available evidence.

Taking altogether, there is no doubt that yoga may be considered as an adjunct exercise in combination with standard therapy for treatment of panic and anxiety disorder.

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Alternative Therapy, Yoga, the Best Therapeutic Treatment of Weight Controlling in Obesity

Yoga, one of the technique used in Ayurvedic Medicine for encouraging self healings through expression of internal and external well beings, may process a potential efficiency for obesity controlling, the study filed in PubMed suggested.

Yoga, the ancient technique practice for harmonized external and internal body well beings, through breath control, meditation, bodily movement and gesture … has been best known for people in Western world and some parts in Asia due to health benefits reported by various respectable institutions' research and supported by health advocates.

Obesity is a medical condition of excess body fat accumulated overtime, overweight is a condition of excess body weight relatively to the height, a BMI of over 30 is an indication of obesity.

According to the Patanjali Yogpeeth, obese patients participated in a 6 days toga lesson showed a significant reduction in BMI, the fat-free mass and total cholesterol.

In a total of 47 persons assessed on the first and last day of a yoga and diet change program, with 6 days of the intervention between assessments, yoga combination with diet shown a decrease in BMI (1.6 percent), waist and hip circumferences, fat -free mass, total cholesterol (7.7 percent decrease), high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (8.7 percent decrease), fasting serum leptin levels (44.2 percent decrease) and an increase in postural stability and hand grip strength (p <0.05, all comparisons).

The study also indicated that intensive yoga program with a change in diet may pose certain risks but benefits are found substantially outweigh the concerns through better postural stability, grip strength, reduced waist and hip circumferences and a decrease in serum leptin levels as well as enhancing obese's determination to yoga learning and participation.

In deed, the nonrandomized, single-arm interim study conducted from August 2012 to March 2015 at Integral Health Clinic, Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India insured that patients who engaged in yoga exercise of all kinds not only improved quality of life and health after short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention but also exhibited physical, psychological well being in both male and female subgroups.

These benefits are also extended to significantly reduced body weight, BMI, total body fat, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and fasting glucose in obese participants.

Furthermore, in a randomized controlled trial with parallel groups (Yoga and Control groups) on 80 male obese with Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 to 35 kg / cm2 divided into two equal groups in which 72 subjects (yoga n = 37 and control n = 35) completed the trial, yoga group showed an impressive improvement in anthropometric and psychological parameters such as waist, percentage body fat, PSS in the final exit in comparable control after 14 weeks of yoga training with additional yoga practice for the next 3 months .

Taking altogether, obese patients participating in yoga lessons showed a significant change in obese control through physical and mental well being expression of that may lead to weight loss and reduced complications of obesity.

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Yoga As A Way of Life

Yoga is an art form which is vast, elaborate and could easily roundup as a comprehensive workout for an individual. Notwithstanding elaborate positive effects yoga has on the emotional, psychological and spiritual well being of an individual.

For someone who has a passion for yoga, getting an in depth know how about the art form could have life transforming effects for one's psyche! You'll simply come to understand and recognize yoga in its true essence.

Yoga definitely goes beyond being a set of poses which boost the individual's flexibility while improving posture. It's something which helps create a link between individual consciousness and divine consciousness.

There are some formats of yoga which one might not be aware about.

Let's consider Ashtanga Yoga for an instance. Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient practice which is focused on body cleansing and purification. This is achieved by synchronized body breath and movement.

Ashtanga yoga tones the nervous system and over time even induces one into spiritual enlightenment.

In the same way, Iyengar yoga is has been bought into practice by the living master, BKS Iyengar. This is deeply focused on the art and science of asana and pranayama.

Strength, coordination, an improved flexibility and an enhanced sense of well being are some key benefits of Iyengar Yoga.

Pranayama: A Way To Attain Higher States Of Awareness

A very interesting term associated with yoga is Pranayama. Let's know more about the same.

Prana reflects to the vital energy within our bodies. It is the life force within us. Ayama returns to control. So Pranayama is the control of breath.

By the means of Pranayama, one can control the pranic energy within the body. This ensures that one has a healthy body and mind. The great Yoga master, Patanjali mentioned Pranayama as a way to attain higher states of awareness.

Kapalbhati: An Implement Of Pranayama

Kapalbhati is a yoga technique and a type of pranayama. It initially seems like a breathing technique, but in essence, Kapalbhati has a defect meaning.

Kapalbhati is a cleansing technique which cleans the mind of carbon dioxide. Kapalbhati also cleans the mind of restlessness.

The technique was invented by Indian yogis thousands of years ago. It is believed to be a way to attain full body fitness. Innumerable patients have benefited tremendously by making Kapalbhati a part of their everyday lives.

Surya Namaskar: The Sun Salutation

Let us discuss another important term associated with yoga, which is the Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar.

The Surya Namaskar is a kriya performed during morning hours, at the time of sunrise. It is compilation of twelve poses, wherein each pose flows into the next with ease.

Surya namaskar may be performed at a faster pace, or it may be done slowly.

A unique feature of Surya Namaskar is that it is a complete workout for the body. While it imports of only 12 sets of exercises, the Surya Namaskar translates into 288 powerful yoga poses. This occurs in a span of 12 to 15 minutes.

In a single round, the Surya Namaskar burns around 13.90 calories. Slowly and gradually, you may increase the rounds of Surya Namaskar to 108.

If performed at a slow pace, the Surya Namaskar tones the muscles and makes them stronger. Alternately, the Sun salutation brings the mind, body and the breath in harmony and facilitate a complete meditative experience.

If one does only a few rounds of Surya Namaskar, it can be extremely good for the heart. If you intend to do Surya Namaskar as a warm up workout, you may do it at a quicker pace.

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Alternate Nostril and Bhramari Breathing



1. Sit up straight and close your eyes. Breathe normally and relax the whole body.

2. Your mouth should be closed, your jaw relaxed, and your upper and lower teeth slightly separated.

3. Close your ears by pressing with your thumbs on the tragus and rest your little fingers gently at the edge of the eyelids. Your other fingers should rest lightly on your forehead.

4. Take a slow, deep breath through both nostrils.

5. Then exhale slowly through the nose, making a continuous humming sound from the throat. The sound will reverberate in the head. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for about 5 minutes. After you become proficient and if you feel no discomfort, the time can be longer.

6. The sound should be deep, steady and smooth.

7. Feel the sound vibration in the head. Concentrate on the continuous drone and the vibration that the sound produces. This drone is similar to the humming sound of a bee.

Bhramari breathing can be practiced any time, but preferably on an empty stomach, and several times a day if you wish. It is especially beneficial if you feel stressed or anxious, and it helps still the mind in meditation. You can also practice bhramari breathing while lying on your back.


• Sooths and calms the mind
• Relieves tension and anxiety
• Helps to reduce high blood pressure
• Effective for insomnia
• Improves concentration
• Builds self-confidence


This breathing technique should be practiced only if it is comfortable for you and should never be forced. If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, stop practicing it and go back to normal breathing.


Alternate nostril breathing is a form of pranayama – control of life force (life energy) by means of breathing techniques – and has many physical, mental and spiritual benefits. It is safe to do it provided you follow these instructions carefully, but if you have heart or lung problems, you should check with your doctor first. Begin by sitting upright with your eyes closed and relax. With the palm of the right hand facing you, the thumb and the ring and little fingers extended, and the other fingers bent towards the palm, press your right nostril with the thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Press the left nostril with your ring and little fingers and hold the breath. Then lift your thumb from the nose, exhale through your right nostril and pause. Next, inhale through your right nostril, press it with the thumb and hold the breath. Then lift the ring and little fingers, exhale through the left nostril, and pause before inhaling through it to begin a new round. Keep doing rounds like this for about five minutes taking a break part way through if you need to. After each exhalation, pause and then inhale through the nostril you just exhaled through. Practice two or three times a day, preferably in a quiet place and at least three hours after eating. If you wish, support your arm with a firm cushion.

The next step is to practice as above, beginning and ending each round with the left nostril and pausing after each exhalation, but timing the in-breath, retention, and out-breath. Inhale while mentally counting to 4, retain the breath to the count of 4, and exhale to the count of 4, then pause before you inhale again. Practice complete rounds for about five minutes, two or three times a day, for about a week. If this is comfortable, practice daily for another week or so inhaling to 4, holding the breath to 8, exhaling to 8, and pausing before inhaling again, provided you experience no discomfort doing this.

Gradually extend the count to 4-12-8 and later on to 4-16-8 if this is comfortable and practice every day. Do not hold the breath to the point of discomfort, or try to hasten the benefits of alternate nostril breathing by practicing for more than 5-10 minutes per session. This could be harmful. If you feel good and experience no adverse effects practicing at 4-16-8 for several weeks, increase the duration of each session if you wished provided you continue to feel good and experience no discomfort. This alternative nostril breathing technique, nadi shodhana, either practiced by itself or with bhramari breathing, may be used to draw the mind inward in meditation. It purifies the nadis (life energy channels) and

• helps one to breathe smoothly and deeply

• Calms the mind, relieves stress and improves health

• Increases the flow of life energy in the nadis and chakras

• Balances the flow of energy in the ida and pingala nadis on each side of the spine

• Relaxes the nerves and improvements digestion and other involuntary functions

• Awakens dormant, spiritual faculties in the head and spine

• Improves concentration and meditation


The following technique combats nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) with bhramari (bee) breathing. By practicing these two techniques together as one, they reinforce each other in their ability to purify the channels (nadis) and spinning vortexes (chakras) of life energy in our spiritual body. Gradually blockages and conscious and unconconscious thoughts patterns that restrict and cause imbalances in the flow of life-sustaining, healing energies within us are removed. Dormant faculties of higher awareness in our major chakras in the head and spine begin to function, we become free of many limitations and more loving, our health improvements, and we are able to go deeper when we meditate.

In a quiet place where you can be alone, sit upright, close your eyes and relax. Your mouth should be closed, your jaw relaxed, and your upper and lower teeth slightly separated. Rest your forefingers gently at the edge of your eyelids, your middle fingers at each side of the nose, your thumbs on the tragus of each ear, the ring fingers on the face just above the upper lip, and the little fingers just below the lower lip. Close the right nostril with your middle finger and inhale through your left nostril. Press your left nostril with your left middle finger and hold the breath. Then lift your right middle finger from the nose, press the tragus of each ear with your thumbs, and exhale through your right nostril. As you exhale make a continuous humming sound from the throat and concentrate on the sound as it reverberates in the head. Try to make it steady and smooth.

Next, reverse the process. Lift your thumbs slightly so they are no longer close the ears, inhale through your right nostril, then press it with the right middle finger and hold the breath, then lift the left middle finger from the nose, press the tragus of each ear with your thumbs , and exhale through the left nostril. As you exhale make a continuous humming sound from the throat and concentrate on the sound as it reverberates in the head. For about five minutes, continue to inhale, retain the breath, and make the sound as you exhale. After exhaling, always inside through the nostril you just exhaled through. Alternate between the left and the right nostrils, take a break whenever you need to, and end with exhalation through the left nostril.

The in-breath should always be to the (mental) count of 4, and the retention to the count of 4 or 6, gradually increasing it over a period of weeks or months to 12 or 16. For the out-breath, just make the long humming sound. As you become accustomed to this technique, pause after each exhalation. When holding the breath, instead of always counting to regulate its duration, only count occasionally, and you will be able to focus more fully on the peace that can be felt when you are not inhaling or exhaling and the breath is still. Practice two or three times a day, preferably at least three hours after eating, and if you wish, support your arms with a firm cushion. While performing the technique, lift the eyes gently and concentrate on the forehead just above the midpoint between the eyebrows. If you see a beautiful light, concentrate on it, and it may grow brighter.

Practice every day and gradually increase the duration of each session to 10-15 minutes. Blockages in the energy channels should be removed slowly, and trying to rush this purification process waiting to get quick results can be harmful. Also, you should not use this technique if it causes you discomfort, but if you are comfortable with it, it can bring you many blessings.

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Yoga Teacher Training in India – Its Perspectives and Opportunities

Philosophical perspectives

The art of yoga in ancient India was being practiced since the Vedic period. This perennial wisdom of self realization is having its roots in Samkhya Philosophy of sage Kapila. This doctrine is greater contribution to the field of psychology and philosophy with an objective of having an understanding of the cause and effect. On this background of metaphysics of Samkhya, Maharshi Patanjali later systematically developed the Ashtanga Yoga. Samkhya holds that knowledge is the means of liberation. Yoga loudly pronounces the same with clear benefits of Yoga in the form reduction of impurities and the attainment of the discriminating wisdom. The training programs in India will consist of the essential philosophical principles which are helpful to develop the sustainable Yogic practice with its basic aim and objectives of achieving the health and happiness through the harmony in the life.


Indian yoga traditions are the essence of the hard work and the legacy of legendary masters of the subject who devoted their life time for the practice of Yoga and its applications. Eminent yogis like Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, T Krishnamacharaya, BKS Iyengar and many others across the country propagated the study of hatha yoga in India with the help of the suitable teaching methodologies. In order to achieve the precise understanding of the technicalities of the yogic modules, these practical methods are fundamental to Yoga teacher training programs in India. The schools are committed to the continuity of the lineage in addition to the fulfillment of the contemporary needs of the teaching skills to the students of Yoga training.

Popular destinations

Around the world India being the land of yoga is one of the most thought out famous yoga teacher training destination. Every year many aspirants of Yoga from different parts of the world come to India to study and practice. One can choose the best suitable places in India such as Rishikesh, Varkala, Dharmshala for Yoga training.

Rishikesh has earned the sobriquet title as “World Capital of Yoga” apart from being heritage city of the country, the city is surrounded by the mighty majestic Himalayans hills with an enshrining flow of the river Ganges. The spiritual vibrancy and this energizing environment is perfect place for the practice of Yoga and meditation techniques.


Yoga teacher training Schools and the teachers maintain the credentials and standards per the international teaching. Many teachers in the country will study through the academic institutions such as the Universities where in they acquire the sound knowledge o the subject with proper training, self study and practice. Various Yoga Schools and teachers are registered with Yoga Alliance USA which is one of the largest credentialing bodies for the teachers and the schools.

The western students during their yoga teacher training in India will find the exposure for the Indian culture and cuisine. These destinations provide the down to earth facilities in the most economic way ensuring the quality of the hygiene and the teacher training programs.

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Top 5 Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Review

The Gaiam exercise chair is developed under the consultation of chiropractic pioneer, Dr Randy Weinzoff; Thus, this chair immensely alleviates the aching back, legs and arms syndrome that comes from sitting at a desk for hours. It helps to strengthen core and improve alignment.

Below are the top 5 best Gaiam office ball chair:

1. Classic Balance Ball Chair

The Classic Balance Ball seat comes is designed by leading health and fitness experts to strengthen core strength and health. It features the same yoga ball employed by exercise experts.

Featuring the same yoga ball, it helps to build a healthy core, align the spine, lend back pain and stiffness, boost energy levels and increase productivity with an active body and engaged mind.

This is built for users 5 'to 5'11 “tall. It fits most standard-height desks.

It comes with a black color including a removable 52-centimetre exercise ball, an air pump, an adjustable metal support bar, desktop exercise guide to stay active and a 4 easy-glide casters – 2 back wheels lockable.

2. Backless Classic Balance Seat

This supports core strength and healthy back. It congratulates better posture throughout your sitting period. It features the same yoga ball designed to tie stiffness and back pain and align your spine. Using this chair chair boosts energy levels while helping you to remain focused.

Users who should be making use of the backless classic balance ball chair should be 5 'to 5'11 “tall. It fits most standard-height desks. sold separately from this 300-pound weight capacity.

It comes with a blue color plus a removable 52-centimetre exercise ball, an air pump, an adjustable metal support bar, 4 easy-glide casters (2 back wheels lockable), and a desktop exercise guide.

3. Custom Fit Adjustable Balance Seat

The custom fit ball chair is easily adjustable to fit your height & size. It features the same yoga ball as the exercise guide. It helps to build a healthy core, align the spine, treat back pain and stiffness, as well as boost energy levels.

It is designed for users to 5 'to 5'11 “tall and fits most standard-height desks.

The blue color, 300-pound weight capacity ball chair comes with a 55cm exercise ball, air pump, metal base, 5 adjustable legs, 5 easy-glide lockable wheels, backrest, desktop stretching and strengthening guide plus a DVD with three 20-minute workouts and three ten-minute “express routines.”

4. Balance Ball Stool

This ball chair works as an active seat, causing micro-movements which strengthen the core. It improves your posture and boosts circulation. The balance ball stool features anti-burst, half-dome balance ball Stool adjusts from 18 “to 23” to fit most standard size desks making it perfect for an office, home, and classroom or school desks.

It features a black color, 23 “height with an easy-inflation pump. It comes with a stable 360-degree swivel base which allows for easy and free movement while the height is easily adjustable to meet the changing needs around your workspace. You could tag a lightweight and compact active sitting stool with 5 lockable, easy-glide caster wheels.

5. Kids ball chair

The Kids ball chair promotes a healthy posture & keeps the mind focused and body engaged. It is the perfect kid-sized seat for improving concentration & focus at home or in the classroom at their desk. It helps to reduce restlessness, fidgeting and prevent boredom.

It is recommended for kids ages 5-8, or children between 42 and 51 inches tall making this active sitting chair ideal for preschool, 1st and 2nd-grade students. Its weight limit ranges 175-pounds.

It comes with a child-sized 35cm balance ball, easy-inflation air pump, adjustable back support bar, secure metal ball holder, and easy-glide caster wheels (2 lockable).

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Costa Rica Yoga Retreat – Live a Pure Life

Combining a Yoga Retreat with a trip to Costa Rica, a beautiful location in nature is the perfect recipe to help you relax, recharge and renew. Costa Rica has become extremely popular as a destination for yoga retreats due to its natural beauty and biodiversity, outdoor activities and adventures, and it's positive and happy attitude and vibe, Pura Vida!

Pura Vida means 'pure life' and is used regularly in Costa Rica by locals instead of saying hello, goodbye, thank you, and more. It basically means 'everything is great and life is good'. What a great way to live life each day! This positive attitude, Pura Vida, aligns very closely with yoga philosophy, such as being happy and content with what is, and living life authentically and purposefully. One of the yoga spiritual observances that make up the eight limbs of yoga, called Saucha, literally means purity. This includes purity, cleanliness and clarity of mind, speech and body, the outer body and the inner mind. Yogis are all about living a pure life!

Named 'The happiest country in the world', Costa Rica has a passion for freedom, democracy and equality. This inspiring and progressive culture attractions many tourists and travelers to visit, and of course yogis. The ultimate goal of yoga is to reach enlightenment, which is freedom from all suffering, and finding your inner peace and joy. What better place to practice yoga and continue on your journey towards this pure place of peace and joy, than the happiest country in the world.

During a yoga retreat, there are often two yoga practices per day. First thing in the morning before breakfast as it's typically recommended to practice yoga upon rising and before eating, and early evening before or after dinner. This leaves lots of free time during the day, either for self-reflection, meditation, or to explore the beautiful country and take advantage of all the fun outdoor activities and adventures.

With many different micro-climate zones, and the greatest density of biodiversity of species in the world, Costa Rica has something for everyone. You can explore the lush rainforests and jungles with high levels of precipitation and lots of living vegetation, or take a jungle tour in the hot and dry cloud forest. Costa Rica is famous for canopy zip-lining, where you are literally amongst the vegetation and forest. As well as it being a thrilling experience, you'll appreciate the vastness and denseness of the jungles and rainforests.

Surfing and other water sports are popular on the Pacific coast, where many tourists enjoy the tropical beaches and ocean, and a R & R. You must visit Arenal, the most famous active volcano in Costa Rica. It's common to see lava pouring down the side after eruptions. Other popular day trips and activities include visiting hot springs and geysers, bird-watching, horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, working on an organic sustainable farm and lots more.

Thanks to the rich volcanic soil, Costa Rica is also well-known for gourmet coffee beans and cacao beans. Since cacao beans, an amazing superfood, are found natively in the jungles, it's no surprise that the jungle animals are happy, and that Costa Rica has some delicious and healthy chocolate. So even if yoga is not your focus, you may enjoy the high quality coffee and chocolate!

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How Yoga Asanas Induce Better Sleep

One might wonder how is yoga going to be good for sleep, well the answer is quite simple. First thing that you know about yoga is that that it focuses on deep breathing and this relaxes the body, calming it down. The combination of subt body movements and breathing cycle that yoga is helpful in the activation of the parasympathetic part of your nervous system thus eliminating stress and answering the question how yoga asana induct had better sleep.

Now, the crucial thing here is to what asanas are exactly going to be of help. There are so many yoga asana with all serving different purposes that knowing which ones are going to help you with sleep might be a problem. However, fret no more as here is a list of the most effective yoga asana for better sleep:

1. Virasana (also known as hero poses):

Just sit in a comfortable position with your hips resting on your boots, incorporating a slight stretching of your ankles and knee. Stretching your spine upside and taking deep breaths in this position will help clear your mind and slow down your heart rate.

2. Bitilasana and Marjaryasana (cow and cat pose):

Without getting up from the virasana, you just need to roll in the forward position on the support of your knees and hands. For bitilasana, you have to pull your lower back down with your tailbone and head pointing up. For the Marjaryasana, you just have to do the reverse, your tailbone and head tilt downwards while your spelling is arched upwards like the shape of letter C. Just keep alternating between these positions for as much time as you want to.

3. Balasana:

Start with sinking of your hips on your heels while your chest stays settled between your thighs. Here, your toes would be on one another while your thighs can lay apart as much as you find comfortable. Now, rest your forehead on the floor and start making walk like movement from your fingers stretching the arms as well. If you want to have a face massage like feeling, you can even roll your face from side to side.

4. Viparita Karni:

This position can also shed light on the question how yoga asanas induce better sleep. Lie down on the floor with your hips touching the wall so that you can stretch your leg vertically up on the wall. This asana give a nice stretch to your hamstring. It loosens and relaxes the muscle in the lower section of your body, helping you get a better sleep.

5. Ananda Balasana:

Bringing your knees closer to the chest, hold your toes with your fingers. Now you have to push your heads towards the ceiling while your hips should be on the floor. This asana is very good for relaxing your abdomen as well as your spine.

6. Supta Baddha Konasana:

From the last asana, release your leg and stretch them so that your soles are in contact while your knees are as far as possible. This asana is a gentle stretching exercise for your abdomen, pelvis and thighs.

7. Savasana:

Just lie down stretching your legs little apart while your toes point in the opposite direction. Relax your arms and body and try to make your mind, free of any thoughts. This asana is great for not just physical relaxation but also mental.

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The Advantages Of Adding Yoga To Your Exercise Program

The Physical Advantages of Yoga

Performing yoga postures regularly offers lots of physical benefits, including:

Increased flexibility

Increased lubrication of joint parts, ligaments and tendons

Massaging your body's internal organs

Detoxifying your body

Toning the muscles

Yoga postures and exercises give attention to all the joints of your body, including joints you most certainly avoid regularly. Yoga exercises can strength problem joint parts including the knee, hips and ankles. Yoga training also brings about increased spinal flexibility and core power, both which can reduce persistent problems such as lower backside pain and boost your overall physical durability. Because yoga also exercises ligaments and tendons, your joint parts will lubricate better, minimizing joint pain.

Yoga training could be the only form of exercise that stimulates your internal organs.This can help prevent disease by preserving organ health. Additionally, it may help to make you more alert to potential health issues.

The Emotional and Psychological

Yoga lengthens and stimulates the muscles and organs of your body uniformly. This enables increased blood flow to all parts of your body, which helps to flush out the contaminants that can build up in your body's tissues. Increased cleansing can boost your energy levels, causing you more likely to check out an exercise program for weight loss.

Yoga for Weight Loss

Some types of yoga may help you lose weight. There are numerous types of yoga, and most of them do not increase your heart rate enough to donate to weight reduction. However, some types of yoga can boost your heart rate and help get rid of fat.

Vinyasa, or movement yoga, is dependent on some postures known as the Sun Salutations. If you want to use yoga training to help lose weight, try one of the types of vinyasa yoga:

Ashtanga is an extremely strenuous kind of yoga practice. Professionals should join series lessons, which can boost your motivation giving a financial motivation to keep coming back to classes. The postures are also easy to learn, so once you're done with your course, you can continue doing them at home.

Power yoga can be an intestinal yoga work out that delivers cardiovascular training.

Hot yoga is performed in rooms heated up to around 101 degrees Fahrenheit, if you join one of these classes, be prepared to sweat. These are popular among people that have joint problems.

If you're overweight or have problems with any physical disabilities or ailments, inform your yoga trainer at the start of the class; she / he can assist you practice safely.

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Does Yoga Burn for Women Actually Work?

Strong muscles define a strong body, and what better way to strengthen one's muscles than to perform Yoga- which is centuries old routine transported out to keep the body in perfect physical as well as mental health. Yoga has been hailed as one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy weight and muscles. The “Asans” of Yoga stretches your muscles, in order to strengthen them. Strong muscles not only look good, but they prevent the risk of various problems such as arthritis and muscle pain, back and joint pain etc.

With the advantages of Yoga becoming known to people all over the globe, more and more fitness experts are adapting it as a part of their routine. While there are so many videos, tutorials and help related to the matter, nothing provides you with your own self help guide centered specifically on your comfort as Yoga Burn. Yoga Burn for women, is your one stop guide to all the essential Yoga Asins and postures so that you can easily do Yoga at your own pace and pleasure.

Yoga burn- founded by the fitness Guru Zoe Bray-Cotton is a revolutionary Yoga system which is transforming the lives of many around the globe. Based on almost all the essential styles and postures of Yoga, Yoga Burn focuses on transforming your life with simple yet very powerful and effective styles, so that you can incorporate Yoga into your daily life with ease.

Yoga Burn is made specifically for women, from all fields and professions, who find it difficult to run down to a gym in busy traffic, on sweaty mats and other things, as Yoga Burn gives you a do-it-yourself kind of program , where you get all the instructions and how-to's from the fitness Guru herself, who will be delightfully guiding you towards the proper way of doing different postures and styles. Yoga Burn is designed to promote healthy weight loss, without using medication of any kind and treatments. It is for the women who dislike spending long hours at the gym and for those who have a busy schedule and can not leave the workplace for long hours or can not find the time to go to the gym, as this self-help program will assist you in getting your ideal body and gain confidence in your body and yourself.

Yoga Burn is a unique program which is designed around the concept of Dynamic sequencing, which is a way through which it is explained how a posture is to be done in the right way and how to adjust your body according to it. It focuses around the concept of maximum fat burning and muscle strengthening for lifelong effects, unlike other yoga classes where you have to go each day. Signing up for the program, you get package on Yoga Burn, which reveals step by step Sequence of the Yoga Practice, and also contains DVD's of trainings, programs and all other stuff including special goodies from the Fitness Guru Zoe.

The best thing about Yoga Burn is not only that you master the art of Yoga, but also get to know your own style and decide for yourself which postures “Asins” suit best for you, so that you can practice them only once you have completed the training. The training could be done anywhere, anytime. In addition to all, there are also bonuses training on Yoga absolutely FREE, Once you sign up for the Yoga Burn Program with shipping and handling. You will definitely get blown away by the amazing program routine.

As the program is designed for novice to expert users, you can assure yourself that you will find it absolutely amazing and realize how simple Yoga could be and how practicing it daily would not only give you great shape, but also increase your spiritual and mental health as well.

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