Monday, August 3, 2009

Simple Tips To Keep Up A Good Yoga Posture

Keeping up a good yoga posture is all it takes for you to be able to keep up with a good yoga practice. Yoga's not only fine for achieving balance, developing calm, and making you elastic enough to make your body move to its utmost. A yoga posture can also build the inner strength.

Fighting the Cobra

This relieves slight pain in your back and tones abs

First step: Stretch out on your stomach with legs and feet joined in together. Plant palms on the floor below shoulders with fingers facing onward.

Second step: Next is to lift the upper body by gradually lifting the head and chest, just make sure that you keep your shoulders down. Pelvis and thighs shouldn't leave the yoga mat.

The last step: Hold your pose for about twenty to thirty seconds as you breathe in even breaths all the way through your nose. Go back to your preliminary location and do it all over again.

Strengthens your abs

First: In the first yoga posture, you should situate yourself in a standing position with legs hip width separately, holding arms directly ahead with palms facing down.

Second: Twist your knees and squat if you want as if you're about to sit in a chair in your classroom. Make sure to center weight in your heels, lock it and don't bring hips lower than the level of your knees.

Third: Allow yourself to reach forward, and center your eyes in a straight line ahead while breathing in and breathing out all the way through the nose. Hold this yoga posture for about 20 seconds. Gradually go back to standing position, and then you can release your arms.

The Wind-Relieving Posture

This yoga posture stretches your spine and helps in the digestion of your stomach. It’s a good thing to have a good running stomach so that you will always feel fresh.

First: Recline on your rear or back. As you breathe in, drag your right knee near to your chest. Keep your left leg in a straight line and on the ground.

Second: push your shoulders and the rear side of your neck into the ground at the same time as firmly holding your knee. You can breathe for ten seconds only. This might be quick but seems longer when you execute it.

Third: Change the sides, while holding the left knee to your chest for about ten seconds. Complete this set by hugging both of your knees to your chest and holding it for another ten seconds. Do the set again.

The Upward Boat Posture

This strengthens your abs, improves your balancing ability, and also helps in digestion.

First: Sit down on the floor. Bend your knees and place feet flat on the floor.

Second: breathe in, bend back and raise heels off the ground, straightening your legs as possible as you can. Expand your arms with palms facing downward. If you find it difficult to perform, you can rest your hands beneath your knees for support. This may be a difficult yoga posture to perform but after a few practices, you will never have that difficulty again.

Third: while you hold the pose for thirty seconds, you should keep your back in a straight line, and make sure your abs are doing the work.

Practice this yoga posture all over again when you have time and you will find it easy to execute after you have continuously repeated it. A yoga posture can save your health, your digestion and your backbone so better keep it up.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Must Have Basic Yoga Equipment

One good thing about yoga is that it can be practiced almost anywhere, without all those yoga equipments, and by all people of all ages.

When doing yoga it is best to wear loose and comfortable clothing. Yoga is traditionally done and practiced barefoot, but if this does not suit you, you can just wear socks or soft-shoes.

It is also best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Empty your stomach, clean your nostril and throat, and consume a glass of warm water 15 minutes before you start.

You may drill on energy bars, fruits or drink a glass of water an hour before class to avoid getting hungry or dehydrated during yoga sessions.

It is said earlier that you basically don’t need anything in order to practice yoga. All you need is the desire and the attitude to really be into yoga and expand your self awareness.

But this does not completely eliminate the need for different yoga equipment. This yoga equipment helps you do your postures properly.

It helps you achieve the proper alignment, balance and makes the pose a little bit easier to do. The use of Yoga equipments also lessen out the stress and strain from doing your yoga positions.

Yoga equipments help you support your muscles and refrains you from any muscle injuries. Yoga equipment also helps to save energy by exerting less effort on a pose.

After a thousand of years in existence, Yoga has already been part of everybody’s lifestyle from any part of the world. From India, yoga has evolved through the years and reaches the United States and other countries extending a different yet proven effective form of achieving self balance that results to utmost health be it physical, mental or spiritual.

Now millions of people around the world practice Yoga to cope with stress, feel renewed and energized, release tension, achieve a healthier and fitter body and gain a deep sense of self-knowledge.

Doing yoga is not just about postures, there is also one vital part of yoga that we can never live without, and these are yoga equipments.

When starting out yoga you should know the basic yoga equipments that you will need.

Yoga Mats: these yoga equipment provides cushioning on a hard floor, this specially needed if your yoga studio floor is made up of cement or hard wood floor.

This yoga equipment is also provide traction for your hand and feet thus prevents you from slipping or sliding on a wrong position when your doing your yoga postures

Yoga Bolsters: This yoga equipment provides support for your spine, abdomen and legs in a number of different poses.

Yoga bolsters helps you achieve the utmost result of your practice.

Yoga Blankets: this yoga equipment helps you feel relaxed and comfortable which is essential in the practice of yoga.

Yoga blankets also provides added warmth and softness to your yoga mat, making you feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Yoga Straps: this yoga equipment is either made out of cotton or nylon. This allows you to grasp your body part which you cannot.

Yoga straps give you added flexibility and holds your pose a little bit much longer. Yoga equipment may not be a requirement for doing yoga but through times they have been proven to be helpful in their own simple ways.

They have been useful to yoga practitioners especially to those who are suffering from ailments and the elderly. Most yoga equipments are made to provide support to help you feel relaxed and feel deeper into the pose or do the pose better.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finding Right Yoga Bolsters is Easy

Yoga Bolsters picYoga has been part of our lives when it comes to tension and stress relief. Through yoga we gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of oneself. It also serves as a great tool to stay healthy and prevent certain diseases.

Yoga through the years of repeatedly usage has become a popular alternative medicine. Today it is now used to cure chronic diseases and ailments in the different body systems. It includes the nervous, circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, digestive, reproductive and the musculoskeletal system.

Yoga can be practiced by anyone, including the elderly and those that have or suffers from certain injuries. The use of specific yoga equipments can help people who are not perfectly capable of doing yoga. The use of yoga Equipment can help you achieve the maximum physical and mental results of your practice.

One of the best examples of yoga equipments is the Yoga bolsters.

Yoga bolsters are being used in various styles of yoga like the Bikram, Ananda and Kripalu yoga.

These are yoga form that needs much of your yoga bolsters for they instill more use of extensive yoga poses.

Yoga bolsters provide support for the back, abdomen and legs. Yoga bolsters also aids in the proper alignment of the body and the stack of spinal vertebrae.

It is also and effective way to cushion and relieve tension in your lower body and upper body, the neck and the abdomen when doing your poses.

It aids yoga master in doing supine and passive yoga positions. Putting your yoga bolsters on top of your mat provides added cushioning and support to your lower body and makes your yoga session more comfortable.

Yoga bolsters are light and can be easily carried and stored at the corner of your room. It can easily fit in to your drawer or a closet without taking much space.

Yoga bolsters also comes in a variety of size, shapes, colors and materials which is designed to fit your need and preference.

Different sellers offer cylindrical, rectangular, Zafu, and a lot of other types of Yoga Bolsters.

Sometime people buying yoga bolsters are quite confused on whether to buy cylindrical or rectangular yoga bolsters.

So here are some brief discussions on the difference between this two. But if you are into yoga class and like the yoga bolsters that you are using then you can buy the type you use.

Cylindrical bolsters are a larger and much more firm that the rectangular yoga bolsters.

Cylindrical yoga bolsters are heavier than the rectangular ones, owing the fact that they have different respective filling materials with different weights.

You can do most things equally well with either kind of Bolster, but the different shapes do have marginal advantages for certain poses.

Yoga Bolsters are used for comfort in different positions, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to provide that extra level of comfort and support. Placed under knees, ankles, or neck, these Bolsters help to relieve muscle strain during difficult poses.

The round bolsters and Rectangle Bolster props, supports and encourages your body to stretch, relax and open the areas that need it most.

What ever kind of bolsters that you need, I am sure that you will be able to find one that will suit your needs. If ever nothing would fit you in yoga store, make one of your own or find somebody who can make them, giving you a much more flexibility and customization in getting the yoga bolsters that you like.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Physiology Of Breathing

The purpose of breathing, as everyone knows, is to supply the body with oxygen and cleanse it of carbon dioxide. Cut off the oxygen, retain the poisonous waste gas, and death will follow in a matter of minutes. This is elementary. What is not so clear is that an inadequate supply of oxygen that is, improper waste disposal--results in half living. The body functions are slowed; the tissues fail to renew themselves. Yet this unsatisfactory state of affairs is so common that we actually take it for granted. In fact, leading chest specialists say that the average person today utilizes only about one-eighth of his lung capacity, a capacity which was right for him back in the days when he lived in caves and spent all his waking hours actively engaged in the business of surviving.

Even when we are not living at par, the heart does a prodigious job. Every hour it pumps some 800 quarts of blood through the lungs which, in turn, eliminate some 30 quarts of carbon acid during that time. The heart beats 100,000 times a day, which means it generates enough energy to lift a weight of 130 tons a foot high. It pumps enough blood in a lifetime to float the largest ocean liner. Imagine what power our heart might have, what energy it could generate, if only its supply of oxygen were increased eight times!

As the freshly-oxygenated blood travels from the lungs to the heart and is pumped on, via arteries and blood vessels, via tiny capillaries, it reaches every cell in our organism. It makes possible the utilization of our food intake for the body's various needs, rebuilding tissues, supplying energy. It stimulates the functioning of the endocrine glands so that their secretions may be better absorbed. It feeds the nerves. It feeds the brain. Then, through a second set of capillaries, dark red now instead of bright, for it is loaded with waste, it travels back through the veins to be cleansed once more. All of the blood in the body makes this trip to the heart every three minutes.

Now what of the lungs? Why is it that most of us do not use our respiratory system properly? Partly the answer is, again, that we have grown effete with civilization. The physiology of the human body remains geared to that primitive state when man hunted, climbed trees, split rocks, and there is little we can do to change this. In a sense we now have too much equipment for our needs, and we are letting it grow weak and flabby with disuse. This imbalance, by the way, has been largely responsible for the prevalence of tuberculosis and our susceptibility to it until the development of wonder drugs changed the picture.

But the anachronistic way we are built is not the only reason for our being oxygen-starved, nor for the various respiratory ailments and infection from which so many of us surfer. The fact is, few of us breathe properly.

Look around you. You will be astonished to notice how many people breathe through the mouth instead of through the nose. This means they inhale directly through the pharynx and the larynx (roughly, together, the throat) allowing air to reach the bronchial tubes without being properly filtered and warmed. In order to be cleansed of dust and bacteria air should be drawn in through the nasal passages where the mucus membranes with their secretions filter it. Moreover, as that air then travels a considerably longer road it is warmed to body temperature instead of being allowed to hit vital organs with chilly shock. Breathing through the mouth, then, is an invitation to colds and infections of all sorts.

One final aspect, too often disregarded, of proper breathing is that it must be done from the diaphragm. Women especially, because of tight clothing and girdles, tend to breathe by lifting the chest, consciously drawing the air in. This is less than half-effective, both because the upper lobes of the lungs are the smallest and because the upper part of the rib cage is relatively rigid. The correct way to breathe is to expand the muscles of the diaphragm down and out, then push in and up. In this way the lungs expand to full capacity, air rushes into them, then is vigorously expelled. If you try it, you will quickly see how even a minute or two of such breathing can be enormously exhilarating. But very few of us breathe this way naturally. It is something which must be learned by practice.

Yoga deep-breathing exercises, as you will see shortly, give the body this exhilaration. Some you will find extremely simple--so simple you will wonder why they should be dignified by such formal attention. The answer is that because of this very simplicity they can, if done regularly, soon become automatic, a fine new habit. Moreover, like the more complicated ones, they are a most important adjunct of the practice of relaxation and concentration. Bear in mind always that one cannot be achieved without the other, and neither can be reached without an understanding of the purpose of both.

Try this first experiment in Dynamic Breathing: Stand straight but relaxed. Breathing as smoothly and rhythmically as possible, with the mouth closed, inhale slowly and deeply while expanding the diaphragm, then exhale by pushing the diaphragm in and up. Take as long to inhale as to exhale, although normally inhalation involves a shorter movement than exhalation. While striving to equalize and slow down your normal tempo, visualize your limbs as hollow tubes through which the life-giving prana is being drawn into your body. Picture this energy flowing into your organs, bathing your entire body and cleansing it.

As you exhale, visualize fatigue and exhaustion passing out of your system along with the poisonous wastes you breathe out. Finish with what we call the "Cleansing Breath:" Inhale deeply, then, when your lungs are fully extended, expel the breath suddenly and energetically, using a quick inward jerk of the abdomen to drain the lungs of all air. Repeat the cleansing breath two or three times, and you will be amazed at its bracing effect. After you have become expert at Dynamic Breathing, you can practice it at odd times during the day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Most Common Types Of Yoga

Types Of YogaThere are so many different types of yoga today, with this a problematic situation for beginners, it is best to choose a form of yoga that is appropriate for each individual’s level of fitness, physical and spiritual goals and health condition.

Some of the most common types of yoga are listed below and briefly explained to guide you in choosing the best type of yoga that you can start with.

Iyengar Yoga: these types of yoga are solely focused on the alignment and precise movements. Yoga props such as blocks and straps are usually used as part of this type of yoga for those beginners who are not as flexible as the experts as to compensate for injuries.

These Yoga props help assist all sorts of people to be able to do the poses comfortably.

Because of its attention to details and the flexible modification of poses, these types of yoga is often a good form of exercise for people with back pain or neck pain, as they are likely to benefit from the random alteration to the poses.

Practicing these types of yoga will give you a good knowledge on the classics in yoga poses so that whatever other style you practice, you will have the basic fundamentals on how to do each position.

In Iyengar yoga the teacher focuses more on alignment and inner awareness. This awareness starts with the body and expands to other parts of the self as one continues with the regularity of practice.

Ashtanga Yoga: These types of yoga are commonly called power yoga because it is focused on a powerful flowing movement.

Such movements include pushups and lunges, which deals with strength and stamina. These types of yoga are best for people who have successfully overcome back injuries and are looking for more challenging practice.

People who are already athletic such as runners, gymnasts and cyclists who want to add more balance and concentration to their routines are also utilizing these types of yoga.

Bikram Yoga: These types of yoga are also known as the hot yoga for this is done in a very warm room. These types of yoga are excellent tools for increasing flexibility because the heat helps tissue to stretch.

But keep in mind that these types of yoga are not applicable to those that have developed cardio vascular diseases due to the strain placed on the body when vigorously exercising in the heat.

Viniyoga: These types of yoga links breathe and movement in flowing exercises that are adapted to each individual. These are often a good form of yoga for those with back problems or neck injuries because it can be easily adapted by anyone.

Raja Yoga: These types of yoga aims for liberation through meditation. These types of yoga are only for those people who are capable of intense concentration.

Bhakti yoga: Commonly known as devotional yoga, these types of yoga focus on self surrender in the face of the divine.

Mantra yoga: Much more know as the "yoga of potent sound, these types of yoga aims at liberation through the verbal or mental repetition of empowered sounds, such as "om," "hum," or "ram."

There are so many yoga institutions to choose from. It is also a good idea that before going into a class, discuss with the teacher first regarding hi or her philosophy and beliefs in order to find the most appropriate and personally appealing form of yoga for you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tantra Yoga For The Generation X

Yoga is very popular nowadays. With its various benefits, many are influenced to engage in this form of exercise and meditation. There are so many kinds of Yoga that are known and practiced by many as of today. One if this is Tantra Yoga.

Tantra yoga is more concentrated on the spiritual healing and most of all the integration of the body, mind, and spirit. In India, it is an ancient tradition that sexuality is an important and significant phase to be able to achieve a certain degree of enlightenment.

In Western religious norms, sexual pleasures and desires are not inclined or associated with spirituality. With these differences in traditions, there exists a fine line between their feelings and attitude towards sexuality along with spirituality.

However, in Eastern philosophy, they celebrate and rejoice on the splendor and glory of creation. And later on, they have developed a study or science for understanding how to get most of this therapeutic and wonderful experience. Energy is known and considered to be the source of life in Tantra.

Furthermore, they consider the sexual energy and urge as great and sacred energy. There exists a few of the many exercises that help in the performance on the sexual aspect as well as some dietary adjustments. Some of these physical exercises include contractions, breathing and holding certain positions.

There are so many benefits that can be obtained by performing these various physical exercises. Some of these include improved prostate functioning and enhanced and improved sexual performance. Another benefit is improved sexual stamina when engaging in sexual intercourse.

There are also different kinds of exercises. Aside from the physical exercises, there are psycho- spiritual exercises. These exercises are ways to develop mediation on unconditional love and desire. As a result, this can make sexual activities less anxious and awkward, aside from that, the pressure to perform and move is minimized.

It is said that the most fascinating sexual experience is giving in completely to your partner or lover what he or she really wants. Expectations may be high so one must perform and must do something about it.

Through mediation and proper exercises, one can think of the various ways which he can satisfy his lover. When one is focused and concentrated on giving what your lover really wants is an experience which can strengthen your relationship with each other, moreover, you will receive the satisfaction you had always wanted. There are few exercises which can help you a lot I focusing on your sexual performance.

By repeating some mantras and chants together with breathing exercises and proper meditation, one can achieve these benefits.

There are also numerous ways to take your foreplay to the highest level. With healing massages and gentle stroking, one can receive a rewarding experience that can stimulate both physical and spiritual and healing in different ways.

Reiki or energy channeling healing is practiced before engaging in a sexual activity. This is known to heighten the sexual pleasure in an intercourse. It is an Eastern healing art where-by one partner channels his energy to the other.

Through tactile stimulation, healing is achieved and both the physical and spiritual aspect is enhanced. In this manner, both of you can achieve a deeper state of relaxation and meditation which is very helpful to couples and partnerships.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Doing Deep Breathing Exercise Correctly

a lady Doing Deep Breathing ExerciseThe following deep-breathing exercises are most effective if done upon arising. They are best performed before an open window but may also be practiced before going to bed or even sometime during the day.

Stand erect and at ease. Place the hands on the hips, elbows well out and never forced backward. Draw the chest straight upward, then press the hip bones with the hands in a downward direction. By this means a vacuum will be formed and air will rush into the lungs of its own accord. Remember to keep the nostrils wide open so that the nose may serve as a passive channel for inhaling and exhaling. The breathing should be noiseless. Remember to stretch the upper part of the trunk. The chest must never be cramped, the abdomen should be naturally relaxed, the spine and neck straight. Remember not to draw the abdomen inward; lift the shoulders up, never force them back.

To exhale, allow the ribs of the upper part of the trunk to sink down gradually. Then lift the lower ribs and abdomen slowly. Again, care must be taken not to bend the body or arch the chest. Exhale silently through the mouth. At first do not retain the breath after inhalation. Start with three or four rounds a day; increase by one each week.

An excellent way to practice pranayama is lying down. Lie flat on a hard surface preferably on the floor, using a mat or rug. Let your arms rest by your sides, parallel to the body. Keep the legs straight but not stiff. Relax muscles and mind, step by step, as in Savasana, the exercise for complete relaxation . Breathe deeply and noiselessly from the diaphragm. Start with three or four rounds a day, increasing by one round each week. This exercise may be done in conjunction with complete relaxation, but do not substitute one for the other. Also, do not try to use a bed unless it is an exceptionally hard one, since relaxing on a hard surface is by far the most effective method.

Persons engaged in sedentary occupations will derive great benefit from practicing pranayama while sitting comfortably upright in an easy chair. For this exercise, inhale through both nostrils, then hold the breath for a short time before exhaling effortlessly. No strict ratio need be established between inhalation, retention and exhalation so long as the process is deep and natural. The important thing is that rhythm be established in the entire being, so that the nerves are toned and the mind calmed.

You will be astonished how much easier your next task of studying or working will become, how unrest and disturbing elements will vanish from your consciousness. Fatigue will disappear and you will feel deeply refreshed. However, in order to get the full benefit of this exercise you must remember to keep not only your body but your mind passive. Try to blank out all conscious thought, concentrating as you breathe on some bland, pleasing object directly before your eyes.

Controlling mental images during the practice of pranayama is a conscious discipline which must be learned. The average person's mind, left to itself, dances like a flame in the wind. It flits from image to image, free-associating, as the psychiatrists call it, allowing full play to the imagination, to day-dreaming, to wishful thinking. With the mind racing this way, no true relaxation or meditation is possible. The Yogis devised the following exercise to counteract this tendency to wool-gather:

Stare steadily and without blinking at some small object directly in your line of vision. Continue until tears begin to form in your eyes. You need not be alarmed at the slight stinging sensation you will have there is nothing harmful to the sight here; on the contrary, your eyes will be strengthened. At the same time you will be developing will power. If your sight is poor or your eyes tire easily, try the following routine after the concentration routine: While breathing slowly inward, roll the eyes with a circular motion outward; then exhale, rolling the eyes inward. Repeat three times, then reverse, and rest.