The Modern Purpose of Yoga

When one mentions “yoga”, many images may be conjured up. Perhaps you get an image of flower children from the 60's sitting in a circle with their legs in impossible positions chanting “Ohm” around a huge candle in a small lit room. Yoga is an ancient art that has been practiced for centuries. Over the years, it has risen in popularity as a way to stay fit, get in touch with one's inner self, and keep a balance of sanity in a sometimes insane world. Yoga is the most diverse spiritual practice in the world. Crossing over many cultures (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and the West), Yoga also extends over multiple languages ​​such as Hindi, Tibetan, Bengali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakit, Marathi and Pali. The Yogic tradition continues to proliferate and spread its message of peace to this very day.

Many scholars believe that yoga dates back over 5,000 years to the beginning of human civilization. Scholars believe that yoga grew out of Stone Age Shamanism Initially, the sole purpose of practicing yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment. In Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), yoga translates as “yoke” or “union”, describing the integration of mind and body to create a greater connection with one's own pure, essential nature. Classes that have gained popularity in the United States usually teach one of the many types of hatha yoga, a physical discipline which focuses primarily on asanas (postures) and breath work in order to prepare the body for spiritual pursuits.

No longer is yoga a mysterious phenomenon. It is now simply a way to keep you healthy and aligned. Now relax and read on as we explore yoga and meditation.

WHAT IS YOGA?

As we have said, yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that enhances personal growth and well being. Although it is a systemic philosophical approach, yoga is not a religion, but complementary with most spiritual paths. The physical aspect of Yoga (Hatha Yoga) use poses and focused breathing, requiring concentration and discipline. The result is a greater union of mind, body and spirit. Anyone, regardless or body type, age, experience, or physical abilities, can practice yoga.

Yoga is a tool for gaining body-mind awareness to enhance whatever spiritual / religious beliefs you have. A yoga session will leave you felling energized and relaxed. You will work your muscles and will properly align your bones; you will breathe deeply, oxygenating the lungs and blood; you will experience true deep relaxation.

By bringing awareness to the body, and working the muscles, you are able to more deeply relax them then from any other form of exercise. You will gain a deficit appreciation of your body and mind through yoga in a way that no other exercise program will.

Yoga increases flexibility as it offers positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are not always in the forefront of noticeability. These joints are rarely exercised, however, with yoga, they are!

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Six Traditional Types Of Yoga

There are in fact six types of yoga traditionally practiced, plus a new type, bikram yoga, that has been rapidly gaining in popularity recently.

The six traditional types of yoga are:

1. Hatha
2. Raja
3. Karma
4. Bhakti
5. Jnana
6. Tantra

Now we're going to take a closer look at each individual types of yoga and their differences.

Hatha Yoga

The teachings of hatha yoga are the type most commonly practiced in the Western hemisphere. The word hatha comes from the Sanskrit term ha (meaning sun).

There are two important principals that hatha yoga is based on:

1. Meditation – You will find at least one posture that is especially comfortable to you and that you can sustain for long period of time while you meditate. As you advance, you'll ideally learn several postures that you are comfortable with. Many people find the lotus position especially helpful for meditation.

2. Improving Energy Within The Body – This is all about improving the flow of energy through your body so improve your overall health.

Raja Yoga

Raja yoga is very similar to hatha yoga. Raja is considered a bit more difficult than other forms of yoga, because it requires more discipline and control than other forms.

Raja yoga focuses on concentration, meditation, and discipline of the mind and body.

There are eight limbs of raja yoga:

1. Moral discipline
2. Self restraint
3. Concentration
4. Meditation
5. Breath control
6. Posture
7. Sensory inhibition
8. Ecstasy (not the drug!)

Karma Yoga

The word karma means “action”. Karma is generally thought of as the unseen force in the world that causes good things to happen to good people and bad things to pay back those who have done wrong.

Karma yoga means selfless action. To perform karma yoga, you are invited to surrender yourself completely to serve the greater good – the good of man and humanity.

The founder of karma yoga is Bhagavad Vita. This version is heavily rooted in Hinduism. Although you do not have to practice Hinduism to practice karma yoga, you should potentially familiarize yourself with the teachings of Hinduism in order to fully understand and appreciate karma yoga.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhatki yoga is a sensual, erotic form of yoga. It's all about love, divine love, specifically.

Love operates on three levels according to the principles of bhatki yoga:

1. Material love
2. Human love
3. Spiritual love

Jnana Yoga

Jnana yoga is all about wisdom and enlightenment. It's about clearing the mind and the soul and releasing negativity. It's about transformation and taking the path to true enlightenment.

Tantra Yoga

Tantra yoga is perhaps the type of yoga people are most curious about. It's not about sex exclusively, but that's a part of it. It is about reaching enlightenment and moving the self through several rituals.

Sex is indeed one of those rituals, but it is not the only one by any means. Some tantric practitioners even recommend a life of celibacy.

Tantra means “expansion”. The aim of tantra yoga is to expand your mind so that you can reach all levels of consciousness. It uses rituals to bring out the male and female aspects within an individual in order to wake the true spirit within.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is a relatively new form of yoga. It is not included in the six traditional forms of yoga, but it is becoming so popular it describes a very special mention.

Bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. It takes place in a room that is at 105ï, ° F with a humidity of about 40%. There are 26 postures and two types of breathing exercises.

Bikram yoga is more about detoxifying the body rather than reaching some sort of spiritual enlightenment. By forcing the body to sweat profusely, toxins are eliminated through the skin.

Additionally, the extra warmth makes the body more flexible, which helps prevent injury, relieves stress, and helps aid in deeper stretching.

Some people oppose Bikram yoga because it defeats the very principles of yoga. It has been heavily commercialized, and its creators protect it by copyright.

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What Is the Purpose Of Yoga?

Yoga is an important part of many lives today. Although it is considered a type of exercise, it has the potential to affect the emotional and psychological health of the individual, not just the physical state.

Some people resist trying yoga. This may be because they believe it's some kind of weird religious thing or that they must change their lifestyle completely.

While yoga was indeed used in years past mostly by hippies, the practice has evolved into a more mainstream system. All types of people use yoga for its ability to help the physical and mental states.

Meditation is also looked at in a similar way. There are many types of meditation. Not all meditation is about reaching “spiritual enlightenment” or using drugs and chanting.

Meditation can also be an extremely useful tool in controlling many physical and mental ailments. It can reduce stress and anxiety, help control panic attacks, ease depression, and much more. Its effects on the mental state can be remarkable, and it is recommended by many doctors as a great way to avoid taking medications.

We hope to enlighten you through this article so that you may learn how to practice yoga and meditation on your own. The physical and mental benefits you'll receive will probably be shocking to you!

There is some very interesting psychology behind this that students of western thinkers (eg Freud, Jung, Fromm, etc.) will find familiar and, indeed, quite rational.

When an individual decides to be happy, something within that person activates; a kind of will or awareness emerges. This awareness begins to observe the jungle of negative thoughts that are swimming constantly through the mind.

Rather than attacking each of these thoughts – because that would be an unending struggle! – yoga simply advises the individual to watch that struggle; and through that watching, the stress will diminish (because it becomes exposed and thus unfed by the unconscious, unobserving mind!).

At the same time, as an individual begin to reduce their level of internal negativity, consequent external negative behaviors begin to fall of their own accord; practices such as excessive drinking, emotional overeating, and engaging in behaviors that, extremely, lead to unhappiness and suffering.

With this being said, it would be an overstatement to implying that practicing yoga is the easy way to say, quit smoking, or to start exercising regularly. If that were the case, yoga would be ideal! Yoga simply says that, based on rational and scientific cause and effect relationships that have been observed for centuries, that when a person begins to feel good inside, they naturally tend to have in ways that enhance and promote this feeling of inner wellness.

As such, while smoking (for example) is an addiction and the body will react to the lessening of addictive ingredients such as tar and tobacco (just to name two of many!), Yoga will help the process. It will help provide the individual with the strength and logic that they need in order to discover that smoking actually does not make them feel good.

In fact, once they start observing how they feel, they'll notice without doubt that instead of feeling good, smoking actually makes one feel quite bad inside; it's harder to breathe, for one.

Now, this book is not an anti-smoking book, and if you've struggled with quitting smoking then please do not be offended by any of this; there is no attempt here at all to implying that quitting smoking is easy, or just a matter of willpower.

Scientists have proven that there is a true physical addiction that is in place, along an emotional addiction that can be just as strong; perhaps even stronger.

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Is Yoga for Life?

In a recent Globe newspaper interview an instructor says, “tai chi is the only thing you can do for the rest of your life.” Not true!

Yoga that respects your current health and fitness levels is a practice that spans a lifetime: An intelligent yoga practice adjusts with you and with the challenges that life throws your way. Yoga can work powerfully when done according to your body and breath: it does not require great strength or flexibility … but it can build those for you.

Traditionally, a yoga practice is developed for each individual – for their specific health and fitness levels and taking into account any other circumstances. However, we are much more familiar with group classes and indeed a group could provide more spirit and encouragement. Yet having a small number per yoga class is important … and to some extent, the make-up of that group should dictate the yoga content.

Pain, and any aggravation at all in a yoga practice means that it's actually not yoga. A yoga practice works within the boundaries of limitations and by respecting the body's messages, it can very gradually move our boundaries.

Also, we learn to leave our demanding / ambitious / competitive spirit at the door and we bring to the practice as much of our mind's focus that we can. Then, a good yoga session helps the mind to focus on the movement so that the seemingly unceasing thoughts abate … and we can find equanimity for a little while. Over time, that equanimity builds in the practice and outside of the practice.

We do not always know if and when we will need more strength or balance, yet if we practice appropriate yoga for our circumstances, we are building those potentials well. And since yoga can be adapted for any stage of life, we can always be empowered to make a difference for ourselves.

When searching for the ideal yoga teacher or yoga class for you, the following criteria will help to discover the yoga that will support you through life: one that is adaptable for all of your circumstances.

  1. Do you feel welcome and valued
  2. Does the teacher understand how to modify all of the postures in the class
  3. Do you feel good doing the yoga, especially once you are familiar with it
  4. For the most part, is your breath steady and smooth during and after the class
  5. Do you feel refreshed or depleted … no beneficial class will leave you depleted
  6. Is there attention to the function of the posture as well as the form
  7. Is there a way to develop a personal practice from what is learned in the class and from the teacher

If you can breathe, you can do yoga. If you want to do the yoga, it will benefit you.

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Benefits of Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

Yoga has all around benefits on the human body and mind. Yoga has different meanings, one of which is balance and here it means the balance between body and mind to bring about a calming influence and endow you with quiet energy. There are dozens of different asanas in yoga.

Some will stretch muscles; others will address the vital organs and glands; some will take care of the skeletal structure; some will improve the functioning of central nervous systems while others will improve circulation. When it comes to yoga poses for weight loss this gentle form of exercise can actually help burn calories. This is because yoga actually brings about internal balance and improvements metabolism that in turn helps burn fat as well as improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Some of the recommended asanas are setu bandhasana, naukasana, vakrasana, bhujangasana, shirshasana, sarvangasana, halasana and utthita hasta padangustasana. If you look closely, there are a certain sequences to performing each asana. Some are difficult such as sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and dhanurasana or bow pose.

You have to start in a particular way and go step by step. Once you achieve the final position, you have to hold it for a certain duration or for as long as you are comfortable. Then one must reverse the sequence. This is not all. Breath control is also of importance.

This is why yoga gurus always recommend that you do not try asanas by reading books or going online. It is much more beneficial to join any of the top yoga schools to get maximum benefit from yoga for weight loss. If you do it wrong, you could actually sustain damage. This is why it is essential to go for yoga training, the home of Yoga.

When you join a yoga training course in the top yoga schools you will receive personalized training. You are first assessed for your physical condition and for the medical condition because certain asanas are forbidden for those with health or medical issues and the yoga teacher who decides the over dozen asanas will give maximum benefit for weight loss.

There are various institutions for yoga training. Yoga is not just physical exercise; it is also a state of mind as you will find when you go yoga training from top yoga gurus.

Mind controls body and body pose helps mind gain balance and calmness. More, breath control is included in the yoga program along with yoga mudras and practices such as nauli, which only an experienced yoga instructor can impart.

All of these revitalize body's functions and help in weight loss far better than strenuous exercises and crash diets. Such programs do not have far-reaching benefits whereas yoga does. It not only helps you shed weight but also sets you up for an empowered, calm and energized life.

For More Details: http://aksharayogaschool.com/product/ttc-course/

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4 Essential Subjects to Have in Your Yoga Teacher Training Course

Are you well-versed in yoga basics but meaning to go into the heart of this age-old meditation and wellness discipline?

A teacher training course in yoga will be perfect even if you are not entirely sure of taking teaching it professionally. But when choosing such a course, remember to check whether some key subjects are being included.

The primary difference between yoga classes held on a daily basis and an approximately one-month yoga teacher training is the degree of immersion.

While the former demands a few hours of your daily time and basically asks you to imitate and remember the postures done by your teacher, a teacher training course guides you on a journey inward with classes on a wide range of yoga subjects. While asana practice remains a big part of the curriculum, a standard 200 hour yoga teacher training offers the most important yoga subjects-

Meditation : The word “yoga” refers to union.

Feeling the divine in and around you and becoming one with it is the primary goal. Perfecting your asana skills will mean nothing if you can not achieve a unity between conflicting forces in your mind. To achieve this, meditation is important.

To improve your personal yoga practice, choose a 200 hour yoga teacher training that offers meditation classes. Acquire the skills to attain mindfulness while doing your asanas and with continued intensive meditational practice, there will be mindfulness in whatever you do.

Pranayama : Pranayama refers to breath control- an important part of yogic discipline. Pranayama teachings are all about channelizing the “prana” or life force in the right direction. Pranayama is also believed to rid the body of toxin or “disturbing energies” which block the “light of consciousness”.

Select a 200 hour yoga teacher training course which devotes sufficient time to breathing exercises and also lectures the yogic aspirant to synchronize breathing with physical movements of the yogasanas. Continued practice of “watching the breath” will clear your mind and greatly sharpen your consciousness, thus increasing your mental capacity.

Mantra : The spiritual aspect of yogic practice is accompanied with pronouncements known as “mantra”. A mantra is a sacred verse or an impactful sound. Mantras are chanted to create auspicious energy and center the mind around it as a meditational exercise. The thought behind the power of mantra refers to the concept of “dhwani” or energy from sound.

A mantra needs to be pronounced correctly to produce the activated sound vibrations. Therefore, check for mantra classes conducted by experienced teachers knowing Sanskrit when selecting your 200 hour yoga teacher training course.

Relaxation Techniques : Yoga can ensure more than physical fitness, it prepares the body for a relaxed state with an alert, thinking mind. Sessions of rigorous physical exercises must be followed by relaxation techniques to de-stress the body by indicating a sleep-like condition for some time.

This particular relaxation technique is called yoga-nidra or yogic sleep. During this phase, the body goes into rest while the mind stays fully conscious and is able to think with clarity. Pick a 200 hour yoga teacher training curriculum including “yoga-nidra” asanas.

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Yoga for Weight Loss: When Yoga Outruns the Treadmill

Yoga for weight loss is not an uncommon term now. As it earns worldwide acceptance and recognition, people have been ditching the treadmill and opting for yoga routines in order to maintain the healthy weight.

The best aspect of Yoga is that even the simplest of poses and practices are capable of making your weight loss journey smoother. There are people who have been practicing yoga for a number of years and have never had to worry about weight related issues.

Yoga enables you to melt fat without sweating it out in the gym. Instead of lifting heavy weights and running continuously on the treadmill, you are expected to be at peace with yourself, calm your mind and practice simple postures. Such is the mystery of Yoga.

Moreover, Yoga helps one in maintaining their desired levels of weight and body type. There are no sudden ups and downs to be seen on the weighing scale.

There have been comparative studies where two groups of people started with their weight loss journey simultaneously but the group that practiced Yoga fared better than their non-Yoga practicing counterparts.

The theory behind this is that Yoga enables positive changes in the mind which trickle down to changes in one's behavior. When both these things happen, the body automatically becomes more in sync with the mind and soul. It works in a loop until the body's shape and size is altered.

It's a well-known fact that stress results in unhealthy diet and “emotional eating”. When you practice Yoga daily, your brain curbs your reaction to stress and you make healthy eating choices. And even when you do eat something unhealthy once in a while, you no longer feel guilty or become upset.

The prime goal of practicing Yoga for weight loss is to exercise control on the mind and body and quit obsessing about meaningless and worrisome aspects of life.

When you become happy and calm on the inside, it starts showing on your body. In fact, a Yoga routine not only helps you consume less calories but also ensures that those calories are consumed and stocked up at just the right places, preventing fat accumulation at places where it is not desired. By reducing cortisol levels, Yoga also makes reducing belly fat much easier than regular methods.

Restorative Yoga where a particular Yoga pose is held constant for a longer time (usually on a yoga mat on the floor), has shown to render even more positive results.

They key lies in Yoga's focus on breath and body, while increasing mindfulness. Thus, through the day your mind is in tune with your body and you eat only when you are truly hungry.

If you have just started with your weight loss journey or are thinking to start with it, you must definitely try Yoga as a tool to achieve your desired body shape and size.

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How to Avoid Injuries When Practicing Yoga

When practicing yoga, the quality of your pose matters and the way you do it, more than the amount of poses you do. By learning how to do the poses properly, we can prevent injuries. Let's list down some of the basic do's and don'ts.

· Everybody is different and so are the bodies unique, so while practicing any pose we need to understand our body types and proceed accordingly.

· It's very important to find a qualified and experienced teacher, one that recognizes body types and helps understand what is good for an individual.

· Discuss any known illness or injury with your yoga instructor before joining any class so he or she can recommend any modification so that there is no damage or injury while doing the yoga poses.

· Always pay attention to how your body feels each day and do not stretch beyond your limits.

· If you feel out of breath, or in any kind of pain or muscle strain, that means you are pushing way too hard, so then take some time out and rest.

· If new to yoga then you should start slow and take it easy and be wise to skip some of the difficult yoga asanas until you build your stamina for it.

· If you have any injuries or problems, then it is very necessary to understand which poses you have to avoid, like headstand, shoulder stand or any other poses that target your sensitive body parts.

Breath is the most important part of yoga practice. So make sure you breathe deeply and correctly while doing the yoga asana.

Everyone has different flexibility levels, so to avoid injury do not attempt postures that you are not skilled to attempt.

Always place a mat on the floor while performing different poses, as this would protect you from direct contact with the floor.

· Always keep your eyes on your mat and avoid trying to keep up with others around you. Get comfortable with your own pace.

· Warm up is always necessary before any form of exercise or routine. Simple stretches help ease our tense muscles.

· Never lock your joints that are hyper-extension of them will only wear them out.

Do not ever absorb anyone knows your body better than you do. Yoga should never hurt.

The safe way to do yoga is to learn how to practice the poses correctly and understand your body limit and avoid overdoing it. Too much of anything is not good. Be sure to make use of these simple ways to avoid injuries when practicing yoga.

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5 Powerful Symbols to Enhance a Yogic Lifestyle

Yoga lifestyle revolves around some very empowering ideas – the possibility of unity and harmony between the elements of the universe, reaching the divine through a heightened meditative consciousness, a consistent state of joyfulness and equivalence to the ups and downs in life.

Imbibe yoga life mottos in your everyday existence in the form of powerful symbols. Conventional expressions often fall short to depict these bafflingly profound concepts and that which when symbolism comes in tender. Wear them on your tees, dangle as lockets or adorn your walls. Keep them glowing in your forethought and in the space around yourself to ward off evil and invoke positive energies. Use these symbols around your home to bring harmony to your practice.

Here is a list of important symbols embodying yoga life philosophy-

Om, to become One with Creation

The Om, pronounced as Aum is the primal sound. It is believed to be the origin of creation. The ringing vibrato of the Aum remains long after the sound dies out. Meditational peace and journeying inward is favored by the deep resonance of this sound. Aum is chanted at the beginning and end of a yoga practice.

The symbol is believed to be sacred, connecting the bearer to creation and eternal existence. Pair this symbol with the a mala or sacred beads for the throat to instill propitious energy within your being.

Ganesha Symbolizing Balance

The many handed, elephant headed death 'Ganesha' is a symbol of balance and wholeness that yogic discipline perpetuates. The symbol of Ganesha is characterized by four hands. One hand is in the gesture of protection, one holding a sweet representing rewards of the spiritual path, an “anushka” or tool for taming elephants representing Ganesha's dynamic role in disciplining a mind gone astray and a no signifying curbing of the ego. The large head suggesting wisdom and the pot belly representing fulfillment are in consonance with yogic aims.

Bring auspiciousness to your homes by placing the Ganesha idol on a centerpiece.

The 7 Chakra Symbols

The human body is believed to house seven centers of spiritual powers. These are the chakras. Exquisite symbols signifying different values ​​represent these chakras. To propagate particular values ​​in your personality, fill your space with chakra symbols.

• Root Chakra will intensify stability by grounding you. Perform your daily yoga routine in presence of this symbol for improving body balance which in turn will stabilize and strengthen your mind.

• Sacral Chakra can be donned to ignite sexual creativity. Primal instincts are boosted in the presence of this chakra bringing sensual flavors to relationships.

• Solar Plexus Chakra is centered on personal peace. Sensitivity and love are the qualities intensified in the presence of it.

• Heart Chakra gains love and dispels rejection. Harmony and connection can be built by the value of the Heart Chakra symbol.

• Throat Chakra is concerned with communication and self expression. Bring this chakra symbol in your surroundings to augment assertiveness. Wavering resolutions could also be cemented properly with this chakra.

• Third Eye Chakra relates to spiritual connectedness. Incorporate this symbol around you to reinforce personal insight, capability to heal and faculties of imagination.

• Crown Chakra signifies a lofty sense of connection with the divine. Add this symbol in your surroundings to strike a union with the universal beyond the limits of space and time.

The Divine Lotus

The lotus is a common symbol for the unfolding divinity within all earthly animals in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The lotus posture or padmasana in yoga culture is a seated position to feel the divinity blooming inside you through unfolding of thousands lotus petals.

Blend this symbolism of divinity in and around you to foster your daily yoga practice with more meaning. The flower grows out of mud to the water surface and water drops slide off petals-signaling clearance, an important yogic principle.

Mandala Representing Universe

Mandala is used in meditational practices. “Mandala meditation” requires the participant to focus on a circular mandala placed before him or her, representing the universe in a harmonized pattern. On a defect stage of meditation, the practitioner can visualize such a form with all its concentric and geometric details.

Decorate your room with multiple mandalas or place a single wall hanging depicting the pattern in the meditational room. Focusing your gaze and mind on the mandala will channelize your attention inward and heightened consciousness, helping you feel one with the universe.

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What You Need To Know About Starting A Yoga Class

Exercising has a lot of benefits. This includes mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Attending a yoga class offers a more holistic approach to exercise than other traditional approaches. Here is what you can expect when you start attending sessions.

What to bring to a yoga class

You will need to bring a mat, which you will use during the session. If you are just starting your yoga class and you have not yet bought a mat, the best thing would be to call ahead and ask the instructor or studio if they have some extra mats that you can borrow before you can get around to buying your own . Before making a purchase, you can do some research or ask your instructor what the most suitable type of mat is. This is so that you can buy the right kind, considering that the mats come in different sizes, materials, lengths, colors and thickness.

You can also carry some drinking water when going for a yoga class and a towel to use if you get extra sweaty. Most studios will provide you with props that you may use during sessions, such as belts, blocks and blankets.

What to wear to a yoga class

The type of clothes you wear strongly depends on the type of sessions that you are going for. Different classes have different environments and different exercises to be carried out. For instance, if you are going for a Bikram session or a Power Yoga class, you will typically sweat a lot due to the hot environment, so it would be appropriate to put on clothes that will wick away the sweat.

Your outfit also depends on the gender. For men, it is quite alright to wear baggy fitting t-shirts, while on the other hand, tight fitting tops will be more suitable for women. This is because when carrying out some of the poses while in session, your top may come over your head if it is too loose, leaving your torso exposed. Some women may find this uncomfortable and will spend the rest of the session trying to pose while pulling down their clothes all the time. This can be quite distracting.

When to arrive for your yoga class

Try and arrive a few minutes before the session is meant to start. This will give you ample time to get ready for the session. It will also give you the advantage of choosing a spot that you are comfortable with. This can be quite important if you are attending a popular or large session, where there will be many participants.

What to do when you arrive for your yoga class

Once you arrive for the yoga class, make sure to sign in. Also, you will most likely be expected to take off your socks and shoes before you walk into the room where the session will be held. Either ask or just check to see where other participants are leaving their shoes and follow suit. This might be in a cubicle or somewhere inside the room. It's also a good idea to switch off your phone.

You can then find a suitable spot, preferably where you have a good view of the instructor, and unroll your mat. The mat should face towards your instructor. If you have any injuries or special conditions, e. G. If you are pregnant, it is best to let the instructor know, so that they can modify some of the poses for you. This will prevent you from further aggravating your situation or injuring yourself.

If it is your first time to attend a session, it would be advisable to introduce yourself to your instructor and the rest of the attendees.

How to maximize your sessions

Some of the poses you are given to do might be a bit challenging. You can take time to practice these poses at home so that you can nail the poses during your sessions. This will make you enjoy the classes more, as you will be less frustrated.

Remember to breathe in and out during yoga class. Avoid unconsciously holding your breath. You do not have to do it as well as the instructor at first. First, just learn to let go and just breathe and you will know how to do it well with time.

What to do after sessions

When the session ends, your instructor will most likely clasp their hand together, bow to the attendees and say 'Namaste' (I honor you). You will notice that the attendees do the same thing and say 'Namaste' back to the teacher. This is normal practice when a yoga class ends.

Conclusion

If there is anything that you did not understand during the yoga class or you need any clarifications about, do not hesitate to ask your instructor.

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Let The Power Of Yoga Waft You To The Clouds Of Corporate Success

The mystical power of Yoga or union with the spiritual forces is bound to touch your life at some point in time. In spite of opposition that may call yoga a form of witchcraft, science has enough evidence to vouch for it's healthy, healing powers of body, mind, and soul, the holy trinity that always propels us towards the point of no return bound to overtake us all. We could make the best use of the present moment in our transient lives and aim for success in professional and family spheres to leave that indelible mark upon the society and the family to be remembered for generations to come just like the Egyptians and their pyramids.

The initial impact of yoga would be the control over the body and limbs and a deep sense of satisfaction with the peace that descends upon the mind. The book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda may light up the substantial halo that surrounds the term yoga but Baba Ramdev our contemporary appearances live on television to demonstrate the mesmerizing range of twisted body postures that yoga primarily representations.

So, get down to yoga practice after you select a quiet corner without expensive equipment to invest in though some training through a teacher would reinforce your practice. Learning yoga online could be cumbersome and deceptive since you gain no feedback for your efforts. A yoga retreat at a peaceful location like a valley or out in the forest would provide the oasis we all need to temper our supercharged lives of endless media, job responsibilities, litigation, rivalry, and malpractice.

Dynamic Benefits Of Yoga Practice:

• A sense of freedom descends from day one as if you have finally broken free from the chains that bind you harshly to the mundane world. While you may be working with your limbs and muscles to get into multiple positions, the mind is getting liberated from the travails of existence.

• Stress is recognized as the modern killer that reaches you to psychiatric wards and robs the peaceful sleep so necessary to life. Yoga de-stresses and how! The stresses of decades would vanish within weeks of regular yoga practice. The peace that replace it is truly unique and may lead to mistaken assumptions about a suspected devilish nature.

• After muscles and nerves have rested, you are charged with a new stamina, mental alertness and decision-making power, an all-conquering creativity that can take on the most challenging tasks. Would you rather pine away with all that baggage in the mind or let go with the system of yoga? Trust in the spiritual since yoga believes in divine origins but is also scientifically proven to be efficacious for building good health.

• The modern sedentary lifestyle of endless television and car driving with minimal exercise results in little monsters that work but can not think with clarity or feel effectively. Nature is absent from the urban scenario except in paintings and photographs that decorate the living room walls. Yoga reverses all that negative impact and makes you human again. Your senses come alive with a new radiance, and you see and hear, think and feel like never before. A new consciousness is being born that will take you places you have never visited before.

• Improved health is certain, and tensions are a thing of the past. The body not only feels healthy but is regaining the health that was destroyed by pollution and stress. A new confidence is descending, and doubts vanish as we experience a dashing new positive outlook. Memory improvements as yoga breathes new life into the brain and gradually all over the physical being.

• Fatigue, insomnia, and trauma are helped by the tremendous healing power of yoga basically due to the de-stressing and deep relaxation effect.

• Work performance just got better very soon after you take to the old old wonder practice of yoga that has since since times immemorial in eastern cultures like India and has only recently done the interest of western civilization. Negative thoughts in materialistic societies may revolve around the fact that little expense is required except a chart to depict the various positions and a place to practice within the crucial willingness, though.

Are you willing to believe that exotic practices like yoga have the power to open up the third eye that sees the mysteries that lie beyond our existence? Or that yoga could push you along the path towards enlightenment? What about those fanatics who devote their own lives to the pursuit of yoga practice, teaching and practicing the mission? Do they deserve to be enlightened?

Different Manifestations Of Yoga Postures:

While you have made a simple beginning with warm-up exercises, some theoretical introductions, demonstrations by the teacher and the core postures, like Pranayama, challenging positions remain to be learned. The primary positions are quickly learned though some may experience pain in getting into them. Squatting on the ground in a cross-legged position sometimes with cushion support is the only possibility, and some aged, or sick people are unable to accomplish that. Discipline automatically happens as you get under the spell amidst a haunting silence except for the voice of the teacher relaying instructions or maybe following the screen or listening to the DVD.

Hatha yoga is one of those postures that has the power to tie back and neck pain since the pose stretches and strengnts back and neck muscles.

Rigorous yoga practices may be too awe inspiring for the novice but witnessing them may charge you with the desire to perform it for yourself. Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa yoga are some of those concentrated forms that include a variety of postures that you quickly change, always requiring fast motion between positions. The beneficial impact would be core strengthening as a result of intensive cardio-vascular exercise.

Avoid escapist thinking in the mistaken belief that simpler procedures exist by way of exercise . Yoga is something beyond use and representations a vibrant philosophy of life proved down the ages for the ultimate realization of God. Even science has sweet things to say for yoga practiced by many followers the world over.

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Open Air Summer Yoga Classes on the Island of Guernsey

The Bailiwick of Guernsey, located 90 miles south of the UK and 30 miles west of France, is an island with a lot going for it, beautiful beaches, warmer temperatures then the UK, and now, open air Yoga classes in locations that would be hard to beat for view and beauty.

Our first venture into this idyllic way of spending a few hours was located on the headland over-looking the stunning Port Soif bay on Guernsey's west coast, with the promise of a magnificent sunset to top it off, I was really looking forward to discovering Yoga in the island.

When we decided to participate in this class, we were asked to bring a Yoga Mat, but as I did to have one of our Yoga leader who had plenty to spare just incase the class was going to contain any Yoga newbies such as me.

Before the Yoga class was to start, we were asked if we had any ailments or sporting injuries, this was so our Yoga leader could have adapted the flow of the class to suit everyone's needs.

There are not many words that can describe the view at Port Soif where the first of our Yoga classes was to take place. Looking out onto the beautiful beach with its white sand, red glowing granite sides and the perfect blue ocean right in front of us, you have to see it to believe it!

We started as our leader guided us through a slow flow series of asanas (postures), and then we lay back (in Savasana) for a guided relaxation with the sun on our faces, and the rich grass of Port Soif Common beneath us.

The Yoga class was fantastic and very well organized, and after we had finished stretching and moving into positions I could never imagine, we were feeling a little hungry. Luckily, to make our beach Yoga even more special, a local kiosk on the beach stayed open late especially for our class, and offered a great selection of food and drink to watch the sun go down with.

We were so stuck by this evening on the headland that we decided to see if we could attend any other outside events, we were rushed to find out that their were two more Yoga classes to be held in the great Guernsey open air over the next couple of weeks. Of course, we booked, and the second event was even more beautiful.

Castle Cornet, a large medieval castle built on Guernsey's famous sea front was the next location for one of these magical evenings.

We arrived at the castle on a beautiful clear evening and made our way to the top lawn for a very special Yoga pop up class. The stunning panoramic views surrounding the castle are not to be missed if you ever visit here. It was great to hear that our Yoga leader had a backup plan should the Guernsey weather fail us, but as it happened, the night was as calm and peaceful as I felt after the class had finished. After, we sat back and sipped on a nice cup of herbal tea that we had purchased from another one of Guernsey's famous kiosks, and watched the Bailiwick of Guernsey slowly fall to sleep.

One week later we attended another Yoga Class at a location called the Vale Castle. Practicing Yoga over-looking the spectacular scenery towards Herm and Sark (the smallest islands of the Bailiwick) was the end to a perfect couple of weeks on the Island of Guernsey.

Since returning home, we have already booked a return to the island next month for a weekend long Yoga Camp on Guernsey's beautiful east coast.

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Bhujangasana & Dhanurasana

Bhujangasana

Our back muscles usually do not get much exercise in our daily activities and there before the tendency of getting back aches and posture defect increases. In order to avoid this, we must practice Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose, which is one of the best yoga asanas for strengthening the back muscles. This asana resembles a hood raised serpent or a cobra, hence the name bhujanga (cobra) -asana.

Way to execute:

Lie down with your belly on the ground, your toes touching together and your hands lying on the side and Place your face on the ground looking straight in such a manner that your chin touches the ground.

Bring your hands to the shoulder level with your palms touching the ground.

Place your toes and palms firmly on the ground.

Slowly raise your trunk and head, by pressing your palms on the floor. Make sure the arms are bent at the elbows.

Take normal breaths while in this position, you can also arch your neck slightly backwards only if you can do it comfortably.

You should hold this asana for a few seconds in the beginning. You can go up to two minutes as you progress.

Release the asana by resting your trunk back on the ground, hands on the side and forehead resting on the ground. You can repeat the asana again.

Benefits of Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana strengthens the lower back and shoulders, increasing the flexibility of the spine and the spinal muscles.

This asana tones the digestive organisms, the lower abdomen and the reproductive organs as well.

It improves blood circulation. This asana is very beneficial for people suffering with asthama.

Note: avoid doing this asana in cases of pregnancy or if you had undergone an abdominal surgery or you suffer with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

Dhanurasana or the bow pose:

Dhanurasana

Another yogasana mean to exercise the back muscles is the Dhanurasana. Because this asana takes the shape of a bow, it is therefore called dhanurasana or the bow pose, (Dhanur aka bow).

Way to execute:

Lie down flat on your belly with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body. Relax and breathe normally.

Exhale and bend your knees backwards, bringing your heels as close as you can to your buttocks.

Arch your head and neck upwards and backwards. Reach back with your hands and hold your ankles to complete the asana.

Then inhale deeply and pull up your legs with your hands. Expand your chest, arching your head and trunk back and upwards. While in this position, your body shape will look like a bow.

Hold the asana for as long as possible.

Slowly release by letting go of the lower legs and bringing the legs, trunk and head to the original supine position, while exhaling.

Repeat the pose if comfortable.

Benefits of Dhanurasana:

This asana not only strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, but also makes them flexible.

Dhanurasana stimulates the reproductive organisms and the digestive organs too.

It opens up the chest, neck and shoulders and tones the leg and arm muscles.

This is one of the best asanas for those suffering with renal disorders as well as for those with diabetes .

Dhanurasana is also recommended for correcting the stooping of the back.

Note: avoid practicing this asana in case you have a high or low blood pressure, neck injury, headache or migraine.

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4 Stretching Exercises You Can Do With a Yoga Wheel

One of the newest trends in yoga is the yoga wheel. But what is it, and how do you use it?

From assisting you as you learn new yoga poses, to deepening stretches, to creating new balance challenges, the yoga wheel has something to offer everyone. It's versatility makes it great for general stretching and exercise as well, so you do not even have to be a yogi to reap the benefits.

The yoga wheel is a great tool for stretching to heal pain and improve flexibility.

Most people experience tightness and in their chest, shoulders, and back. The size and shape of the yoga wheel is perfect for helping to open up these tight areas for a more relaxed body. You can use these stretches to prepare for your yoga routine, or to improve recovery time and keep muscles limber after any strenuous workout.

Here are 4 simple stretches you can do to tie tight muscles:

Shoulder & Upper Back

  • Kneel on the floor with the wheel in front of you, and place hands on wheel with palms facing each other.
  • Keeping back, hips, spine and neck aligned in line, extend arms until you feel a stretch in upper back and shoulders.
  • Relax and breathe deeply, extending further on the exhale further when ready to deepen the stretch. Hold for at least 20 seconds.

Chest Opener

  • Sit on the floor with the yoga wheel behind your back.
  • Lightly place hands on yoga wheel to stabilize yourself as you press up through your boots, pressing your back against the wheel.
  • Rest hands lightly on the ground at your sides to support your balance as let your neck and head rest back comfortably against the wheel.
  • Once balanced, slowly extend legs out straight in front of you and arms out to sides, so body is in a “T” position, and hold for 20-30 seconds.

Back Extension & Massage

  • Sit on the floor with the yoga wheel behind your back.
  • Lightly place hands on yoga wheel to stabilize yourself as you press your lower back against the wheel, lifting hips up off the floor
  • Extend arms behind you, then roll back slowly, relaxing your head and neck. Roll until hands touch the floor, bending at the elbows. Continue rolling as far back as is comfortable for you.
  • Then, bend knees and drop hips to roll forward, keeping arms extended behind you.
  • Continue to roll back and forth slowly, stretching your back through a full range of motion.

Legs & Hips

  • Kneel on the floor with yoga wheel 2-3 feet in front of you.
  • Carefully set one heel on the wheel, then extend leg forward until straight.
  • Place hands on the ground for support. Breathe and sink deeper into the stretch on each exhale.
  • To advance, lift hands up off the ground and onto hips or into the air, or straighten your back leg so that the front of your thigh is closer to the ground.

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A Guide to Picking the Finest Yoga Retreat for a Yoga Vacation

A large number of people who plan to have a vacation also wish to capitalize the most from it. They wish having a fun time while also doing things that would do their body as well as their mind a world of good like registering for traditional exercise retreats.

Yoga is a kind of holistic activity that does not just involve your body but also involves your mind. And a great many people have found that yogic exercises are effective in relieving stress as well as anxieties while making them emotionally as well as bodily fit. Joining any of the retreats require much thinking not just when this session is not also while picking the sort of meditation retreat you wish joining in. There're really no less than three options that you have.

Forms of Meditation Vacations

Foremost, there is this form of meditation retreat that happens to be typically held in quite a few of the interesting locations like in any island, on mountain top / in woodland. These retreats are done purposefully. The key idea behind these retreats is to let people do a number of additional activities for them for enjoying the trip fully. People happen to be engaged in a number of fun activities like jogging, swimming, surfing, hiking, as well as biking for optimizing their required degree of health as well as fitness.

One more form of the retreat is held at an assortment of resorts. The use of this retreat variety is so that people feel pampered, stress-free as well as rejuvenated. There 'a a number of diverse forms of spa cures that they could try before or following these sessions. They are also able to get a therapeutic massage done anytime they wish for and the majority of people wish leaving and avoiding all form of stresses at work and they prefer this form of retreat to rejuvenate their mind before they leave back home.

And the very last form of this retreat is more direct and intense. You are going to be put on a pure vegetarian diet that does not have any alcohol, any cigarette and any unhealthy food. You're going to be engrossed in the genuine yogic life where considerations are spiritual in nature. There are also going to be teachings that the tutors & yoga practitioners provide. This form of Yoga Vacation is finest for those seeking absolute mind setting and peace.

All of the yoga retreats are the finest and best possible ways of leaving all the stresses that a professional life brings from workplace and from your life existence and to concentrate on your physical condition with wellbeing. It is basically nothing but a fitness activity that's going to invigorate you and also add to your effectiveness at work and also at home. It is only natural that you opt for the finest form of retreat that you find the most interesting.

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