Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yoga Poses - Four Simple Poses For Fast Stress Relief

Are you looking for stress relief? Yoga is a great help. You can get great results from even 10 to 15 minutes of yoga per day. Here are several simple poses which will calm and relax you, instantly.

1. Mountain Pose Helps You to Center Yourself

The basic yoga pose is mountain pose, but because this pose is so simple many yoga enthusiasts tend to overlook its power. Mountain pose is an essential pose for stress relief.

Try it. Stand in mountain pose, making sure that your body is correctly aligned. Your weight should be balanced on both feet with the weight distributed between the balls of your feet and the heels. Breathe evenly, without straining, and remain in this pose with your eyes shoulders and neck relaxed for five full breaths.

How do you feel now? You feel better don't you? Mountain pose has an amazing effect, and the biggest benefit is that you can use this pose wherever you are.

2. Forward Bends Give You a New Perspective

Forward bends are relaxing. They have an even more relaxing effect than mountain pose. Get up from your desk, and find some space.

Begin in mountain pose, then bend forward at your hips and let your head hang freely. Stay in your forward bend for five full breaths. Now come back up into mountain pose. No matter how stressed you are, you'll find that the forward bend has relaxed you. This is a great pose if you're nervous. It will calm you down before you give a presentation, or just before an interview with your boss.

3 and 4. Upward and Downward Facing Dog Revitalize Your Spine and Build Your Courage

Upward and downward facing dog are basic yoga poses which you'll learn in any beginners' yoga class. These are two essential poses which you should do every single day. They have a wonderful effect in revitalizing your mind and body, and in eliminating stress. This is because these two poses manipulate your spine in beneficial ways.

Your entire nervous system relies on the health of your spine. All nerves originate from the spinal cord, therefore a healthy spine means that you will handle stress well and that your whole system will be in harmony.

Practice these two poses every day, either in the morning or in the evening; just spend five breaths in each pose. Whenever you're under stress, consider yoga first. You can count on yoga to be your primary stress management tool; just ten minutes a day of yoga can make a big difference in your life.

Discover yourself with yoga, a gentle form of stretching. Yoga strengthens both your body and mind, and is suitable for anyone, from children to seniors. Visit Easy Fab Yoga Blog at http://www.easyfabyoga.com/blog/ for daily yoga information, tips, and inspiration.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Yoga in Practice - Manifest the Law of Attraction

Yoga has been called, or explained as, many things. There are many forms of Yoga, but all of them lead to clarity in our senses of judgment. Granted, there are some of us who do not listen to logical advice, but with age, comes the wisdom to absorb ideas, which become clearly apparent.

Yoga allows each of us to see the hidden truths in life. When something is clearly revealed to the mind, it seems as if we should have been able to see an obvious truth all along. Yet, some will say that life is a matter of lucky coincidences. Is life just a matter of being in the right place and time, or do we miss opportunities on a daily basis?

There is no luck involved, when our minds are trained to focus on the power of attraction. If we truly want to make a change, we must take the first step toward realization of a new path, which was not seen before. It's time to look at life with an open mind. Opportunities are always around us; especially if we program our minds to look for them.

This is why the mental, emotional, and spiritual growth, attained during Yoga practice, is so valuable. Many people practice Yoga on the physical level, for years, without self-awareness. Then one day, they realize they have gone through a massive transformation since the beginning of practicing Yoga.

The benefits such as stress management, anger management, empowerment, and self discipline, have slowly transformed one's personality and character with long- term Yoga practice. So what does transformation and self-realization have to do with the Law of Attraction?

For most of us, we may attain a finite state of awareness, but it is enough to realize that we must act on opportunities when they present themselves. It is not enough to for us practice wishful thinking. Focused thinking is more powerful, but it must be followed up with action.

Therefore, the Law of Attraction may attract situations where precise action is needed. This leads us to action and the Law of Karma, which is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. A trained mind can recognize an opportunity that may not be apparent to one who sees the dark side of everything.

A trained mind realizes that there is a "window of opportunity" for action to take place; for any action we take, will be answered by an equivalent reaction.

© Copyright 2009 - Paul Jerard / Aura PublicationsPaul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html

Yoga to Lose Weight Over 40 - Tone Your Body With Yoga Exercises

Are you over 40? Would you like to have an attractive, toned body? How would you like to lose weight while doing relaxing exercises? Then yoga is for you.

Yoga does not only give you greater flexibility and improves the mobility of your joints- particularly important for the age group over 40 when bodies become tighter and tense. It has many more benefits:

Yoga will improve your posture. You'll automatically be more attractive. Others will unconsciously see you as confident and capable because your hold your body upright and you are standing tall. The exercises work out muscles you normally not use that much so you'll get an overall toned body. All these exercises use only your own body weight, so you do not need any equipment making them perfect for a "workout at home".

Some yoga exercises will get your heart rate up quickly, so you'll burn fat and lose weight. Important: You should not put pressure on yourself doing them. It's meant to be a stress-releasing, relaxing experience. You'll learn to exercise while you relax yourself and enjoy your body.

If you need to compensate for a desk-bound job, these exercises will be of great relief. They strengthen your back muscles too, helping prevent back pain and headaches. When you have a break from work, yoga exercises relax and energize you quickly. You'll learn to breathe consciously what helps greatly in stressful situations.

A good exercise program should include 3 components: strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility training. Yoga provides all 3 of them while giving you a stress-releasing relaxing experience. Especially over 40 we tend to lose flexibility and our bodies start to get tighter. Yoga exercises assist you in balancing the effects of being over 40 while helping you to lose weight permanently.

Are you a woman over 40? I've created a free, personalized program for women over 40 who want to lose weight permanently. How would you like to get excellent, lasting weight loss results- be attractive, healthy, energetic, youthful? This program adjusts to your specific situation and keeps you motivated while you enjoy healthy eating and exercise.

Sign up for your free, personalized "Lose Weight Permanently" program at http://www.loseweightpermanently.com/Steps_To_Lose_Weight_Permanently/pages/WomenWeightLossOver40.jsf

11 Styles of Yoga & Everything Else That You Need to Know About As a Beginner

Are you looking for an activity that will allow you to steer clear of the stresses in your life, while maintaining the balance and harmony of your body? This is what yoga is all about. In layman's term, this is the discipline of stretching and toning your body through breathing techniques, exercises, posture, diet and relaxation techniques. Basically, the goal of this activity is to maintain control of your own body and mind.

Read on to find out more about it, its different types and tips for beginners.

Yoga for Beginners, Anyone?

If you see a room full of individuals undergoing advanced classes, you might be intimidated at the complicated poses that they make. This is the reason why there is a different set of poses and exercises which are meant for beginners.

Basically, a beginner's class will give you a preview of what the discipline is all about. Probably the only thing that you need is a mat and a willingness to learn about the basics.

Different Strokes for Different Folks: 11 Types of Yoga

After graduating from beginner's class, there are different paths that you can pursue. Take a look at the 9 different types that you can consider studying:

  1. Ananda - this type focuses more on meditation techniques.
  2. Anusara - the thrust of the yogic exercises involved in Anusara Yoga is oriented towards the heart.
  3. Ashtanga - also known as the power of yoga, Ashtanga follows a series of steps and poses which are vigorous and quite athletic.
  4. Bikram - this is also known as Fire Yoga or Hot Yoga, a style developed by Bikram Choudhury which practiced in a heated and humidified room.
  5. Integral Yoga - this type focuses on the healing power of relaxation.
  6. Iyngar - the center of study in this type is symmetry and alignment.
  7. Kripalu - this style of yogic exercises deals with the 'yoga of consciousness'.
  8. Kundalini - the focus of this style is to awaken one's energy.
  9. Sivanada - if you want to live a healthier lifestyle, this is the style to go for.
  10. Tantra - ideal for couples, this type deals with sensual spirituality.
  11. Viniyoga - focuses on a gentle flow of the energies within the mind, body and spirit.

No matter which type of yogic exercises it is that you will go for, they all seek to create that delicate balance between the body, the mind and the spirit.

Outarow Chuong has been involved in alternative health since 1997, and is currently writing health articles related to anti wrinkle cream, and anti aging wrinkle cream.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Teaching Hatha Yoga: Should a Yoga Teacher be a Vegetarian?

There are many beliefs and myths about what one should do to become a Yoga teacher. Some Yoga teacher organizations do make official statements in regard to Yoga teacher ethics; and diet is included, sometimes.

However, if you teach Yoga, should you be a vegan? Are dairy foods and eggs okay? What about goats, chicken, or fish? Yes, some Yoga teachers do eat goat, but not beef. Some people still claim that fish feel no pain, but I never heard that from a Yogi. Are you confused? What is right and what is wrong?

Firstly, let’s step back a second. What you were taught about your religion and diet should be followed. This is for your spiritual health. You will feel more at ease, and you can live with it. Maybe Yoga teachers, and the world, could be a little more conscious of meat consumption and its consequences.

Due to the cultures people are raised in, they are used to the taste of a particular meat. An example of this is the global beef consumption. The Japanese had been used to eating whale meat. There are cultures that have acquired the taste of dogs and cats. Luckily, cannibalism has been outlawed worldwide.

Most of us are in agreement that our forests should be preserved. The forests serve as a filtering system for all of the fossil fuels we expel into the atmosphere.

Global warming may not be the only problem, if the last human on earth is gasping for oxygen. Removing any more forests, to make room for cattle to graze, is a slow form of global suicide. This only makes environmental sense.

Health problems, due to meat consumption, will require a book. If a person consumes any kind of meat, it should be in moderation. Obviously, there are better choices to eat than others, when considering cholesterol, cancer, and parasites.

Most of us have heard of Mad Cow, salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter. With fish consumption, mercury is always a factor. Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fats, but consumption should be limited when you consider mercury. Pregnant women should get a professional opinion about any fish consumption.

For the record, flax seed oil is also a good source of Omega-3 fats. Therefore, we do not have to eat fish for Omega-3 fats. When you eat meat, you are always gambling that nothing will happen. This is life - and life is a gamble – however, let me approach one last point.

Is eating any kind of an animal humane - when we do not have to eat them? Does any one of us really think that animals feel no pain? In the past, I have heard people state than animals have no soul. Throughout history, some people made the same claims about slaves. Will our opinions of animals evolve over time?

In summary, Yoga instructors are teaching an holistic method of health for maintenance of mind, body, and spirit. When you teach Yoga, awareness is instilled within you and your students.

At the very least, global meat consumption should be cut back. This is in the best interest of human survival, and all life on this earth. Yoga teachers should be examples of holistic health and high moral standards.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: "Yoga in Practice," and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html

Yoga: Opening the Hips with the Pigeon Pose

A common request in any yoga class is for hip openers like the Pigeon Pose. Although hip openers can be challenging, they are popular because they can also be very satisfying, both physically and emotionally.

Our hips tend to be extremely tight. Most people spend much of their day sitting which renders their hips joints immobile and reduces their agility. Also, everyday activities like walking and common sports such as cycling and running involve hip strength but not hip flexibility. Most of us lead very busy lives and this leads to stress. This stress in turn creates tension in our bodies and often results in further locking up our already tight hip sockets.

Incorporating Pigeon Pose into your daily routine will help you to unlock your hips, move with greater ease and relieve a considerable amount of tension.

This pose stretches the hip flexors and the hip rotators, providing a terrific solution to problems arising from hip tightness. Since it also requires internal rotation in the back leg and external rotation in the front leg, it will have a positive effect on your whole body, perhaps even allowing you to move more freely after consistent practice.

The Pigeon Pose isolates various muscles in the hips, reducing stiffness and increasing flexibility. It is this isolation of muscles that can make this pose so challenging. Be aware that there is definitely some physical work involved with the practice of this asana. The key is to bring your attention to and observe the sensations created in your body during your practice.

On your mat, go on all fours with your knees below your hips and your hands underneath your shoulders. Bring the right knee forward until it touches the right wrist while maintaining a straight line between the right thigh and the sides of the mat. Slowly move your right foot and shin toward the middle of your body until your foot is directly below your left hip. Straighten the left leg toward the back of the mat.

Don't lean forward but walk your hands back and lower both sides of the pelvis toward the mat. Keeps your hips straight and level as the pelvis releases. You can use a block or a folded blanket if you have trouble lowering the hips evenly.

Press the fingertips firmly into your mat and lengthen the sides of your waist as your hips continue to settle. This will help keep your lower back long and free from strain.

Inhale deeply and walk the hands forward as you lengthen in the midsection. Exhale as you fold forward and lower the elbows to the floor. The weight that is released in the hips can be adjusted by using the arms. Using the arms to support the body can ease any discomfort felt in the hips.

Pay attention to the sensations in your hips and buttock. If it feels extremely uncomfortable, a shift in alignment may be required. Remember, the idea is to relieve tension, not to create additional tension in your joints.

Keeping the hips level is vital in the practice of the Pigeon Pose. If the hips are uneven, an imbalance will result when you fold forward. To offset this, a folded blanket may be placed under the right buttock (if you are extending the right knee).

Keep the thigh of your front leg lined up parallel to the sides of the mat. Your front foot should be directly beneath your back hip. Bring your breath into your hips and observe the sensations running through them. Relax the muscles in your face and let go of thoughts appearing in your mind. Allow your body to melt to the floor as you continue to breathe into your hips.

Stay in the forward fold for 5 - 10 breaths. Then inhale and come back up. Lift your hips away from the floor as you press into your fingertips. Transition to downward dog and take 5 deep breaths, observing how you feel in your hips. Then switch to the other side.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Yoga

Yoga: Side Poses for Balance

Muscular imbalances that can create a rounded posture are often the result of overdeveloping the chest and abdominal areas. People tend to focus on these areas because they are in the front of the body and that is what you see in the mirror. As a result, the side of the body is often neglected.

Even the back of the body tends to get more attention that the side. Most of us experience back pain from time to time so we have that awareness. We can feel the back stretching when we do forward bends, just as we can feel the front of the body stretching in a back bend.

However, in Parighasana (Gate Pose), the side of the body is the focus. This intense lateral stretch is named for its shape, which resembles a bar used for shutting a gate. Since this pose allows a full expansion of the lungs because it opens the side ribs, it is a gateway to improved breathing. It helps to tone the waist due to the stretch of the abdominal obliques and can help provide stability for the lower back by stretching muscles deep in the back of the waist. This can be extremely beneficial if you have a stiff back and can help prevent and/or ease lower back pain.

Parighasana is excellent preparation for Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose) and Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) due to the fact that it opens the hips and creates length in the sides. It also can transform your breathing because you can now become aware of and feel the breath in the side of your body.

This pose also provides a great stretch for the intercoastal muscles which are located between the ribs. These muscles are often neglected and tight, leading to postural problems. The rib cage expands when the intercoastals are stretched, leading to enhanced respiration. Hence, relief from asthma, allergies and colds can be realized through the practice of this pose.

A simple awareness exercise is an excellent preparation for Parighanasana. Place your hands on your rib cage as tight to the sides of your body as you can while lying on the floor with your knees bent. Become aware of the flow of breath under your hands. Close your eyes. Feel your ribcage expand outwards when you inhale. Feel your ribs fall inwards when you exhale. Stay here for several breaths, focusing on the expansion and release of the side ribs.

With a blanket nearby, place your mat near a wall. Perform a few rounds of Cat and Cow to warm up your spine. Inhale into Cow and then exhale and arch your back up into the Cat position. Next, limber up your body by moving from Child's Pose to Downward Facing Dog, synchronizing your breath with the movements. After a few rounds of this, rest in Child's Pose.

Kneel on the folded blanket with your knees hip-width apart. Thighs are parallel and perpendicular to the floor and hips are directly over your knees. The lower abdomen is brought in and up as the tailbone is released down. With toes spread, press the tops of your feet, toes and shins into the blanket. Lengthen up along the spine through the top of your head upon inhaling. Upon exhaling, establish a firm foundation through the lower legs and knees.

Keep your right knee and the top of your right thigh facing upward as you extend your right leg out to the right, keeping it in line with your upper body. Try to flatten your right foot to the floor and press it down as you bring your right leg back toward your body. Keep your left thigh straight up and down and keep pressing your left foot, toes, knee and shin into the blanket.

Breathe in and extend your arms out to the sides, palms down. Keep the length in your spine as you stretch your hands away from each other. Bring the right hand to your right hip. Press the fleshy area of your right hand between the thumb and index finger into the crease where your leg joins your upper body. Lengthen the lower back by drawing the navel in towards the spine. Keep your gaze soft and forward.

Breathe out as you hinge at the hip and bend your upper body over your right leg. Reach your right hand out over the right leg and rest it wherever it lands comfortably (the thigh, shin, knee, or foot). Reach the left arm up alongside the ear with palm in. As you breathe in slowly and deeply, feel the ribcage expand in all directions. Take several slow, deep breaths. Lengthen your spine with each inhalation and let yourself go deeper with each exhalation.

Press the right hand into the right leg when you have gone as for as you can into the side stretch. Keeping your pelvis in place, rotate from the base of your spine. Keep your gaze in front of your left arm to the sky. Twist your abdomen first and then extend evenly up the spine to the crown. Feel your intercoastal muscles expand as you breathe into your left ribcage.

Rest in Child's Pose before repeating on the other side. Parighasana may feel very different on each side. Remember to challenge yourself without straining. Incorporating this asana into a vinyasa on a regular basis will promote balance.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Yoga.tips-and-gear.com