Category Archives: health and fitness

Improve your Personal Life with Yoga

Yoga is not an exercise it is a practice. Yoga is intended to redirect your entire body to make it all come together. Yoga works the mind combined with the body to make it fall into place, which helps one to improve personal overall life.

Everyone needs a little help one time or another to get their health and thinking on track. Practicing yoga brings the perfect out of all of us, teaching us to meditate and at the same time, helps relieve that awful stress. Along with helping to relieve stress, yoga strengthens our limbs, mind, refreshes us and even helps us lose weight. Our energy level will increase because we feel better.

When starting to practice Yoga take it slow and easy. Don’t force your body into the different postures all at once. If you do more than your body says it can do, you could hurt yourself. Like any exercise program, you need to go slow and stick with it. You might not notice a difference right away but hang in there and it will come in time.

Don’t go out and buy all new exercising cloths just to practice yoga. All you need is sweats and a comfortable loose fitting top. Maybe after awhile you might want to buy a yoga mat but most gyms will furnish them. Wherever you are you can practice using a towel for the floor mat they work just as good.

If you’re a person that can’t stand and if you are not flexible, this can be done in a chair. So, stand or sit. You can become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Make those muscles stronger and get that mind into shape along with feeling better and you’ll get to your goal.

Do you have allergies; the noise runs and your eyes water, you are congested, and just don’t feel good especially in the cold weather. Practicing Yoga can help strengthen and balance the immune system with its slow breathing and posture. The nervous system will relax and it calms down the virus.

Is it hard for you to fall to asleep or stay asleep? Try laying on the bed or floor before crawling into bed. This is a good time to practice meditating to relax. Lay on your back with the palms up and start at your head. Start with the head and relax it then the neck and on down slowly until you reach your feet. Practice as often as possible and this one will help you sleep once you’ve relaxed the whole body.

You can practice Yoga at the office sitting at your desk, in the park anywhere you can meditate. When sitting in a chair twist from side to side, rotate your head side to side and to the front and back, put you arms above your head and stretch. While doing these movements in your chair as you relax shut your eyes and let all thoughts come in and go out.

Stressed and need to learn how to breath slow and then sleep will come, Yoga can be useful for all ages from children to Grandma and Grandpa. The children can practice to strengthen the mind and body by standing beside you and Grandma and Grandpa can sit in the chair. Strengthening and relaxing along with the meditating is good for everyone. It all gets easier to you.

Yoga can also be good for your heart. The heart will become stronger, Someone who suffers from epilepsy can benefit from practicing Yoga because it stimulates the brain; some people in a study that was taken says it decreased the amount of seizure’s they were experiencing. Yoga is known to help the mentally handicapped by relaxing their minds, letting them think well.

The Journey Of Yoga Through Mind

Yoga is a transformative art, and deceptively simple. At least, although the advanced yoga postures are in fact difficult to the unpracticed, and look it, the changes that yoga can bring into one’s life belie the apparent simplicity of stretching muscles.

After all, we stretch muscles at the gym during a warm up. So what is the basic difference between yoga and regular workouts, including pilates. Pilates, after all, took some of its inspiration from yoga. Or at least the aspect of yoga that is made of the physical exercises, the asanas.

Yoga integrates the breath and consciousness with physical stretches in a way that I haven’t even felt in pilates, although pilates is great as a way of strengthening the internal muscles of the body as well, particularly the pelvic floor.

But in yoga, through the breath, and focusing on it within our body, we come to a greater understanding of both our body and ourselves. We begin a more conscious relationship with our individuality. We meet that unique expression of ourselves expressing physically in that moment. And we are able to begin a process of changing that which is blocking the vital flow of our energy.

That is why it doesn’t matter what state we are in when we begin practising a yoga posture. We might be more or less stiff, or in pain, or distracted, than usual. It is a journey of discovery, not of trying to fit ourselves into an external idea, even if that idea is represented in that moment by the yoga posture we are trying to do. Desikachar writes that the body can “only gradually accept an asana”. We should not strain ourselves, or judge ourselves, if we cannot fit into that posture. That posture is a possible outcome, yes, but what we do in our practice of yoga is to take the journey.

Desikachar makes another important point: “We should remain flexible so that we are still able to react to changes in our expectations and old ideas. The more distanced we are from the fruits of our labors, the better we are able to do this… Paying more attention to the spirit in which we act and looking less to the results our actions may bring us – this is the meaning of isvarapranidhana in kriya yoga”

The asanas are a way of preparing ourselves to more fully meet the challenges of life in a way that does not throw us off balance, and increases our capacity to adapt to those changes that are inherent in life. They allow us to be more sensitive and aware to what is really going on inside us, and in life itself. This growing self knowledge then provides us with a more complete picture in which our responses to whatever situations confront us more accurately reflects what is truly present. There is a deeper engagement that goes beyond the vagrancies of the mind, the self doubt, the domination of our preconceptions and expectations, or our need for something to be a certain way.

When we are distracted or preoccupied with doubts, worries, and fears, and even hope that is attached to an outcome (need), the vital energy of our whole being is leaking, diffused. Through yoga practice, we are able to clear the detritus, to redirect our diffused energy within, to sit within the body, our being, again. This is an energetic aspect of self-mastery. Integral to this is the knowledge of oneself as whole, and simultaneously a part of the wholeness that is within everything

Prevention of Heart Attacks

Strict changes in diet and lifestyle can not only prevent heart attacks, but can reverse the clogging of the arteries, according to a small but pioneering study.

The study showed that a vegetarian diet, moderate exercise and an hour a day of yoga and meditation could produce a reversal of atherosclerosis, a blockage of the arteries that can lead to a heart attack, in men and women who were strict in following the daily regimen.

Experts say this is the first study to report that such blockage can be reversed without using cholesterol-lowering drugs or surgery.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish, director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., was presented at the meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.

This is a tremendously important study in the control of heart disease. It’s the very first study indicating regression of coronary heart disease without pharmaceutical intervention. The results also suggest that the current medical guidelines for changes in the habits of people with severe heart disease do not go far enough.

Previous studies have shown that exercise and diet changes can slow the progression of heart disease, but not reverse it.

While the study did not determine what percentage of improvement could be attributed to the lifestyle changes alone, the researchers noted that stress-control methods have been shown to ease recovery from a variety of disorders, including hypertension.

But some experts are skeptical of the need for stress-management methods, which are not currently among standard recommendations for those with severe heart disease.

Some experts on cardiac rehabilitation question whether most people with heart disease could follow such strict changes in their habits.

Secrets of Teaching Yoga

What you are about to read applies to teaching, in general. In fact, we are all teachers, to some degree. You teach your friends, co-workers, strangers and family members on a daily basis.

The example you set teaches someone in some way. Whether you are a positive role model, or not, people, and the world, react to you. Sorry to say, you have more responsibility than you thought possible.

Do you realize that when you hurt one person, it will set a chain of events into motion? Even worse is that, most violent acts were stimulated by smaller, seemingly unimportant events.

When you talk to your students, always show mutual respect. Don’t take advantage of your position as a Yoga teacher to temporarily feed your ego.

The first thing a Yoga teacher should instill, in his or her students, is self-motivation. The serious Yoga student must be a self starter. This is a person who practices Yoga at home, as well as in class. They don’t depend on their friends to come to class, and they show up like “clockwork.”

How can you make your Yoga students become self motivators?

You must show up to class early, enthused, and energized. Encourage all of your students and sincerely praise their achievements. The truth is, Yoga is like music, you can teach a student the basics, but to be a master teacher, you want to stir the creativity from within.

When your students become creators, you can help them refine their Yoga practice and watch them become self motivators.

A truly great teacher will produce teachers, who surpass him or her; and isn’t “passing the torch” what it’s all about?

Importance Of Controlling Your Mind

Since ancient times, the human philosophers have realized the importance of the mind in governing the human affairs. They knew that a person’s external circumstances were the result of his internal thoughts. They were aware that if the person thinks of riches, he would have riches, while if the thoughts are of poverty, success and failure would produce the corresponding effects in the person’s circumstances. Today, modern science has acknowledged the truth of these findings. Hence, it becomes crucial for a person to control his mind.

Yoga has specific techniques which deal with the science of mind control. We will study the nature of the mind as is recognized by yoga in this chapter. Shankaracharya has defined the mind in four different ways as per its functions: manas for the job of resolving and doubting; buddhi for the decision and judgment; asmita for the consciousness of its individual existence and chita for remembering the previous experiences. The Mind is a vast collection of thoughts and traces of past experiences. When you are born, your mind is the collection of samskaras collected over the previous births. Those samskaras, whose fruits have already been enjoyed have been wiped out. But as you grow up, new samskaras are being added continuously due to various acts performed by you from birth to death. This translates into the law of karma which states that the events one faces in his life are the results of the activities done by him in the past and his mind at birth contains the samskaras from his previous births.

Yoga recognizes five factors, basic to the mind of every person. They are called kleshas because they are the forefathers of every human misery. They are: avidya which is the false knowledge or ignorance of one’s true self in relation to the objects; asmita or ego feeling since in yoga, body and soul are two different aspects; raga is the liking of pleasurable experience; dvesha or aversion to pain; abhinivesha or fear of death. Yoga understands the human behaviour from the perspective of these five qualities which are assumed to be present in a person since birth and are considered as the impurities of the mind. They make a person unstable and agitated. Hence yoga has given way of dhyana and pranayam to cleanse your mind.