What is Yoga?

Yoga

Article by Chrissy MacDonald

Yoga means “union.” Yoga is a positive way of life that teaches relaxation, positive thinking, truthfulness, proper diet and healthy living.Hatha Yoga combines breathing with physical postures, or asanas, which are done slowly and mindfully. As the breath is coordinated with the postures and the body is moved and stretched in wonderful ways, you come to realize a state of mental and physical health and well-being.

Physical Benefits of Yoga

Regular practice of yoga has many wonderful physical benefits. Yoga can improve muscle tone, digestion and the immune system. It can help increase oxygen intake so the lungs operate more efficiently. Body alignment and balance can improve. Yoga gives you energy and helps you relax and stay relaxed. Yoga helps to improve all systems of the body including the glands and nerves. Yoga can even help slow down the effects of aging. Many health concerns such as arthritis, headaches and digestion problems can improve with a regular yoga practice.

Yoga is great for athletes. A regular practice of Yoga helps develop focus, concentration, strength and flexibility. Many hockey players and basketball players include Yoga into their fitness program. The Edmonton Oilers NHL Team and Ottawa Senators NHL Team have included yoga into their programs as well as tennis player Maria Sharapova.

Anyone can practice YogaThe beauty of Yoga is that you can do it at your own pace and always receive the benefits regardless of your individual level of flexibility and strength.There is a yoga pose for everyone and all poses can be modified to fit a person’s body. Sometimes props are used to help a person do a pose and after regular practice they may no longer be needed.

Yoga is invigorating

Yoga can make you feel alive and energetic. You’re moving your body the way it was meant to move – bending and stretching, increasing strength with wonderful moves that don’t wear you out. One of my Yoga students who had arthritis once told me Yoga made him feel like a kid again. Y oga will make your body feel alive and put you in touch with your true self.

Joy and Contentment

Yoga is a wonderful way to feel joy and contentment. This is one of the most wonderful benefits that I discovered many years ago. I was practicing in my living room every morning learning the poses and I experienced a sense of peace, or equilibrium that seemed to help me get through life’s challenges. It’s contentment no matter what happens.

Peace and Stillness

Regular Yoga practice can help you to slow down and discover the peace and stillness in your heart. Everything seems to fall into place when we listen to our heart, when we take time to listen to the silence.

About the Author

Chrissy MacDonald is a Yoga Teacher and author of the E-Booklet: Simply Fit – A Six Week Plan for Healthy Living and Permanent Weight Control available at http://www.calicopages.com

Hatha Yoga Poses – Turn Yourself Hot

Article by Patresia Adams

Everybody wants to look hot like Katrina Kaif, but have you ever thought how they achieved such a magnificent body. It required firmness and steadiness to practice certain exercises in order to get such a wonderful figure. Yoga has proved to one of the best techniques to maintain a healthy body. There are certain types of yoga poses which one can practice and hath yoga poses are one of them.

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is also known as Hatha Vidya. The word “Hatha” means forceful. This yoga technique is done for purification. Hatha yoga is meant to combine together sun energy with the moon energy, thus producing balance and immense power in an individual. It is the best yoga technique used worldwide and perfect for both beginners as well as experts.

Hatha yoga poses are called Asanas or postures. These asanas are used in combination with mediation and different breathing techniques known as Pranayama. This combination helps people improve overall body strength and flexibility.

Out of the eight limbs of yoga, Hatha focuses mostly on the third, which is Asansa, and the fourth, which is pranayama. These yoga poses and postures techniques combined with various breathing patterns are used to flush out body’s energy channels, known as Nadis. This, in turn, removes hindrance that could restrict other limbs helping to improve your health.

You can practice hatha yoga poses just like any other form of yoga. Just need to follow some basis steps that can help you perform this yoga technique to enjoy more relaxing, effective and easier experience. First, breathe naturally whether you are in normal position or in poses. Start with the easiest one and then gradually move to advanced poses. It will help you maintain correct posture during practice. Always remember that proper posture help you gain mental strengthness quickly and easily.

Divine Wellness is a leading name in online health portals. Divine Wellness provides a platform where users and practitioners ca n meet a nd discuss about various hatha yoga poses. To know more about their online yoga exercises and yoga postures for women visit http://www.divinewellness.com

Visit our website for more information on Yoga postures for women and Hatha yoga poses.

About the Author

Patresia Adams is a healthcare consultant working with Divine Wellness.

 

 

Basic Yoga Stretch for Flexibility | Yoga Cradle Rock

Basic Yoga Exercise for Flexibility

One of the most important basic yoga sets on this website, is the Yoga for Meditation Set.  It is part of the Silent Mind Meditation Program, which is the essence of my personal meditation practice, and details the Silent Mind Meditation Technique, which in my view is the ultimate meditation practice.

This Yoga for Meditation set is excellent for those looking to improve their flexibility, especially the flexibility of their lower body, which is essential if you are going to sit for long periods of meditation.  It consists of some great basic yoga stretches which should be a part of every yogi’s toolbox.  But, of all the great flexibility improving yoga poses that are a part of this set, there is one that is key for those who are keen on sitting more comfortably.  That is Yoga Cradle Rock.

Yoga Cradle Rock, is a basic yoga stretch which one is usually taught early in their yoga training.  It is from the school of Hatha Yoga, but is used by most other types of yoga as well.

As simple as this yoga exercise is, it is really a difficult one to describe in words and an illustration demonstrating how to do this pose correctly is long long overdue.  So first, many apologies for those who have been waiting patiently for an illustration, but I am happy to announce that you wait is now over as I have gotten Trupti to do this demonstration for us and you will find those illustrations below.

More Basic Yoga Exercises and Stretches:

You will find plenty more basic and advanced yoga stretches and exercises in the following 2 free online collections – Free Hatha Yoga Galleries and Free Kundalini Yoga Exercises.

For Yoga and Meditation Certification Program Students:

For students enrolled in the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program or Online Meditation Certification Program, this is a great exercise to do early in your class, as it will help your students sit comfortably for any meditation or sitting poses you plan to do.  Also, as this is a relatively easy exercise to do, almost all students can practice it.

Basic Yoga Stretch – Yoga Cradle Rock

Below please find details of how to practice Yoga Cradle Rock, along with illustrations, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips.  Please note the cautions regarding your knees when doing this exerise.

Yoga Cradle Rock Illustrations

 

Cradle Rock Front – Illustration #1
Cradle Rock Side View – Arm Position – Illustration #2
Cradle Rock Side Full – Illustration #3

  

A. How to Yoga Cradle Rock:

  • Sit with your legs extended.
  • Next bend your left leg at the knee and cradle it with left art as shown in Illustration #2.  To cradle the leg hold onto the left leg with your left arm from underneath (your left elbow will be on the inside of the knee joint and you will be holding your left foot from the outside).  Now with your right hand hold the left foot as shown in Illustration #3.  This is the basic position you take and you can now begin to do the movement.
  • Now rock your leg back and forth bringing the ankle towards your chin.  Make sure you rock gently and not put too much pressure on the knee joint or the hip joint.  You will be able to accentuate the movement as your hips start to open up and you start to warm up.
  • Once you are done with the left leg, repeat with the right leg.
  • You can do this exercise with normal breathing or if you are ready you can do it which practicing the Breath of Fire.

B. How Much To Do:

  • As with any stretching exercises, it is important to do it for a few minutes to really reap the benefits.  So with cradle rock I would suggest 1-3 minutes per leg.

C. Basic Yoga Cradle Rock Benefits:

  • Helps open up your hips and increases the flexibility and health of this region.
  • Helps improve the flexibility and health of the knee joints.
  • Overall is excellent for those who wish to meditate as it helps you sit in the traditional cross legged postures.  For those who aspire to sit in half-lotus or full-lotus, this exercise is a must do.

D. Practice Tips for Yoga Cradle Rock:

  • Be sure not to overstrain your joints, especially your hips and knees when doing this exercise.
  • You can also do 3 rounds of this exercise, switching legs in between each round.  It is a good way to extract maximum benefit from this key pose.
  • Do this pose prior to sitting for your daily meditation (which I am sure all of you are doing :-), to help you sit more comfortably.
  • I suggest doing this exercise regularly, if you are keen on sitting for long periods of time.

PS: If you enjoy this exercise or any other exercise on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please do share them with your friends.  I appreciate your support.

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Fitness Show – Yoga to Cure Respiratory Problems — Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana — This aasana helps people suffering from respiratory problems. It also helps in stretching your limbs.

Video Rating: 5 / 5

What are the different Disciplines of Yoga which exist?

Article by Peter Neng

The discipline of Yoga uses Asanas in order to integrate the mind and body to achieve a divine union. Asanas are basically body positions or postures. There are literally thousands of Asanas in existence. If you wish to begin practicing Yoga, the Asanas that you practice will very much depend on the particular discipline of Yoga which you choose to practice.

As well as using Asanas, Yoga is also about the Breath, and Yoga incorporates breathing techniques with the aim of bringing mind, body and spirit into unity. Yoga is also about the flow of Prana, which is energy through the body.

A great majority of those who practice Yoga in the United States and Europe practice Hatha Yoga. Those who are beginners in the discipline of Yoga, often practice Hatha Yoga as it is a relatively gentle form of Yoga. This form of Yoga was introduced by Yogi Swatmarama in India in the fifteenth century. He defined Hatha Yoga as a preparatory stage of physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation.

Ashtanga Yoga is based on the teachings of Vama Rishi and it is said to lead to the purification of the nervous system, as well as clarity of mind, and steadiness of the body. Ashtanga Yoga focuses more on balance and bodily alignment than Hatha Yoga does.

Kundalini Yoga is in a nutshell about the release of the Kundalini in the body and incorporates chanting, breathing and mediation in order to achieve the unity of mind, body and spirit.Karma Yoga translates as the Yoga of Action and focuses on union through action, without consideration for personal wishes and desires. This is considered by some to be a more spiritual and higher form of Yoga than some others. This is the same for Kriya Yoga which is thought to be suitable for more serious students of Yoga and focuses on the breath.

A number of experts urge caution with more ‘modern’ forms of Yoga, such as the Bikram Yoga, which is practiced in a heated room often without ventilation, and can be dangerous for those with ce rtain me dical problems.

About the Author

For more on yoga, check out Yoga Poses Videos where you’ll find over 100 yoga videos. And for art lovers, check out Kohler’s Pig.