Confessions Of A Yoga Teacher

The following are questions that Yoga teachers still need to answer, despite overwhelming evidence that Yoga is “the mother of all health maintenance systems.” Mainstream thought is finally catching up, with the progress Yoga is making, but it has taken 5,000 years for us to get this far.

Seriously, How Can Yoga Make You Lose Weight?

Finally, some of the “Yoga and Weight Loss” studies have come in, and even, a little bit of Yoga is much better, than none, for weight control, but there are a number of reasons why. Yoga is a lifestyle change that includes a safe diet; exercise, adjusting posture, breathing, and a whole lot more. Most of the
Yoga practitioners, I know, consume more water, eat more moderately, and take more care of their bodies, in comparison to the many who don’t want to leave the couch.

Aren’t you supposed to jump up and down for at least a half-hour per day to exercise enough to lose weight?

Maybe the masses have been “brain washed” into thinking that you have to feel the pain, suffer, starve, and have a near death experience, to lose weight. Depending upon your size, the average person, in a moderate Hatha yoga class, is burning in the neighborhood of 200 calories per hour. There are Vinyasa Yoga classes, that will burn more calories, with much more flowing and active movement. Just remember, that your safety is top priority, and you will be fine.

There are also Yoga classes where you can feel the pain, heat, and suffer.
This is great for those who feel the need to “pay for their sins.” Maybe this is considered “penance,” for years of consuming excessive pizza, burgers, and buffets. If you feel you must suffer, you may even find a Yoga teacher who missed his or her calling as an interrogator.

If you search hard enough, you will find a Yoga class for every niche. More moderate Yoga classes look easy on the outside of the class, but I have seen many people find them to be a challenge, on the inside of the class. The real benefit of steady Yoga practice is training for longevity. Long-term practice will yield optimum health benefits in mind, body, and spirit.

Couldn’t you just invent a Yoga pill?

This has been the ultimate dream of “couch potatoes,” but every time a weight loss pill comes out, there is a down side. Just look at the health problems that resulted from fen phen and ephedra. This should wake people up, but someone will always put their life at risk, no matter how many warning labels are printed.

In summary, the benefits of Yoga practice have always existed, through steady and safe practice. Seek out a safe teacher and go from there. Never push yourself to the point of strain. Moderation is key, so it is wise to avoid extremes.

Common Types Of Yoga What Is The Difference

What is the difference between common yoga and the not so common yoga, nothing only one is practiced on a wider scale than the other. It is up to each individual and their preferences to what form of exercise they choose to practise. Some common types of yoga are performed by people for health reasons.

If starting out to practice yoga for the first time then be sure to find out what is best suited to your requiremnts. Important factors that have to be addressed before any exercise is executed are your fitness levels.

Some of the most common types of yoga are Iyenga. This yoga is solely based on alignment and accurate movements.

When working out the Iyengar way props are used such as straps and blocks for beginners who are not as flexible as the experts in this field. By using these yoga props it helps the beginner to relax and give comfort therfore encouraging beneficial results.

Commonly known power yoga – The Ashtanga. The reason for this alias is because of the powerful movements that are involved
The moves exercised include push ups and lunges which helps deal with strength and stamina. What type of person practices this form of yoga?

People involved with Ashtanga are looking for challenging moves.
You will find athletes – gymnasts and cyclists all from the fitness world have turned to this type of yoga to add more balance to their concentration to help them in thier quest when going for gold.

Bikram Yoga: known as hot yoga is where routines are carried out in a very warm room. This is an excellent way for increasing flexibility, heat can stretch body tissue.

Health matters like cardio vascular disease makes this type of common yoga off limits for a patient. The reasons are because of the vigorous routines practiced in heat thus causing strain on the body.

A content mind denotes a content body and soul. Type of Yoga that meets with these needs of contentment is the Raja Yoga: which implements liberation through meditation. Concentration is the key factor in this exercise

Bhakti commonly acknowledged as devotional yoga is where all participants focus on self surrender.

Some yoga types may sound a little shocking in what is expected of you but never judge the book by the cover.

Why not try out an exercise for your self. The Mantra yoga: more known as yoga of potent – targets liberation through mental or verbal repetition of noises and sounds.

Mental/physical anguish suffered by patient`s with stress related disorders are looking to the world of yoga, why? Because it is one of natures natural remedies for pain.

Bhakti Yoga The Science Of Devotion

Bhakti means devotion to the Almighty. Bhakti yoga deals with devotion to God and achieving the union with Him. This is the easiest of all yoga types. This branch of yoga teaches the relation between the devotee and the divine. It does not involve any technical or complicated procedures.

There is no need of any intellectual capacity to master this yoga. It has appealed to the common man because it gives him a feeling security and develops a kind of reliance and dependence on the object of his devotion.

Bhakti yoga assumes that there is a higher power that has created the universe and is all-powerful. This power has the capacity to confer grace and mercy on him and thus protecting him from all the harms and evils. The devotee or bhakta is expected to make himself fit for receiving this divine grace. For this, he has to practice devotion and virtue.

His ultimate goal should be to unite with this divine power and rest eternally in happiness and peace. The devotee surrenders all his motives and acts to the Divine Power. He renounces all responsibilities towards the good or bad consequences of all his actions and ascribes it to the will of the Supreme.

Devotion and faith play a vital role in this branch of yoga. The devotee or bhakta is supposed to be highly religious, should adopt a friendly stance towards all the other living beings including animals, read religious texts, concentrate on the symbol of the Divine, think and wish well for others etc.

The beauty of this yoga lies in its simplicity. This has made it one of the most appealing of all the yoga types. Following this yoga develops the peace of mind in an individual. A peaceful individual will always think happy and prosperous thoughts and will thus lead a happy life.

Best Yoga Position

Yoga has simple and effective body movements that strengthen one’s back, firm the stomach, and redistribute body weight. Yoga exercises stretch and tone the body muscles. They increase endurance and improve flexibility.

Yoga Asanas or positions are the best among all exercises for toning muscles, lubricating joints and massaging the body.

Yoga postures bring physical as well as mental stability, health and vigor. These Asanas were developed thousands of years ago and have evolved over centuries. They work wonders in keeping the body healthy and the mind peaceful. Asanas exercise the nerves, glands, ligaments, and muscles. In other words, yoga exercises are the most comprehensive method of self care

Although asanas are very powerful, the effect becomes dramatic when they are done the right way. The mind must be in harmony with the body movements. For this it is essential to equip yourself with the other tools of Integral Yoga.

The aspect of Yoga that most people are aware of is “Hatha Yoga” or the Yoga of Postures. Developing a strong, healthy and flexible body is but one aspect of this ancient science.

Yogis revere the body. However, they do this because they realize that a weak and tired body is a hindrance towards spiritual progress. By being mindful of their breathing while they practice the various postures, they train themselves to discipline their minds. By disciplining their minds, they are able to abide by the principles which Yoga stands for. First amongst these principles is “Ahimsa”, or peacefulness in thought, deed, and action not only to other human beings, but also to all living creatures, and most importantly to our own selves.

Remember this when you tend to push yourself into a forward bend! You will be able to do it over a period of time, just be easy on yourself.

Anyone can practice Yoga. You don’t need any special equipment, clothing, or lessons; all you need is the will to pursue a healthier and happier lifestyle. The Yoga Postures and Asanas exercise every part of your body. The stretching involved helps in toning your muscles and joints, including your spine and your entire Skeletal System. Yoga not only facilitates in improving your body but also aids in keeping your Glands, Nerves and your other internal organs in radiant health.

Benefits Of Matsyasana

The name given to every asana derives its inspiration from nature. As this pose happens to look like a fish it is known as matsyasna – fish pose. The popular feeling is that Matsyasana is known as the destroyer of many diseases. This asana has to be done in padmasana which may not be that easy for beginner. To make it easy you can do this by stretching your legs and then lie on your back. Knees bent and hands by your side. It is one of the back bend poses which done in correct manner would be very fruitful and useful for you.

For many who are doing this for the first time can use support for your neck to avoid any strain. The use of a thick blanket may just be the thing you may need.

Do this asana on a blanket to avoid any damage to your back. It can be made difficult with many variations depending upon the person who is doing it. While doing this asana hold it for 15 to 30 seconds to get the full benefit.

The intense pull of the asana helps flexing your hips flexors and muscles between the ribs to make it more functional. This asana helps to stretch most parts of your body. By the increasing stretch it stimulates the muscles and the abdominal organs including the neck and throat. This is the only asana which bends the spine and your neck backwards.

Pressure and stretch on the neck also helps the thyroid glands including the pineal and adrenal glands. The nervous system, kidneys, stomach, intestines, the pelvic organs are strengthened and toned due to this asana. Asthma patient’s health will improve by this asana.

It also helps in improving your posture. It is very useful for constipation, mild headache, fatigue and menstrual pain.

Benefiting From Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is not only an extremely popular form of exercise, but depending on the form you practice, can be exciting or calming, social or meditative, energizing or relaxing.

No matter which of these best describes your yoga class, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of every class you attend.

* Go to yoga class with an empty stomach. Yoga is full bending, twisting, lengthening, stretching, and strength moves. Eating a big dinner before that kind of movement could result in you cramping up or feeling nauseous and having to leave the class or not participate as fully as you’d like.

* Communicate with your yoga instructor. If you have a bad back or a sprained ankle, let your instructor know before class. She or he will offer you adjusted versions of poses or give you a nod when you should skip a pose that could make your condition worse.

* Leave your cell phones and pagers outside. Don’t just put them on silent mode, but literally keep them in the car. This is not only a favor to your classmates and their focus, but your mind should be focused only on yoga and not concerned with whether not someone is trying to contact you about work or spilled juice on the living room carpet.

* Don’t be late and don’t leave early. This disrupts the instructor’s train of thought and the concentration of others in the class. Also, you certainly won’t get everything you can out of your hour if your hour is cut to 50 minutes before you’ve even begun.

* Be respectful of others in the class. This means keeping your voice down when you talk to others and in general, keeping conversation to a minimum. Bring your own towel or yoga mat if you need to and make sure that you are clean and not wearing any perfumes or strong scents. If props are used, make sure that you put yours away when you’re finished and by all means, leave them there for the next class.

Ashtanga Yoga Is It Right For You

Ashtanga Yoga is the type of yoga which was urbanized and founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. This kind of yoga is known as the Eight Limb Yoga which has revolved in Pattanjali’s massive idea. It presented that the path of purification is made up of the eight spiritual practices.

The first four limbs that represent Ashtanga Yoga are – yama, niyama, Asana and the Pranayama. These are considered cleansing practices which are externally correctable. The other set of limbs which are the – pratyahara, dhyana, dharana are the internal practices.

These limbs can only be corrected by the appropriate application of the Ashtanga Yoga method. This type of yoga method is quite dangerous to the mind.

K. Pattabhi Jois said that practicing these Eight Limbs and also its sub-limbs of the external practices which include the niyama and yama is not possible. In doing so, the body should be strong enough so that it can perform the practices. If the body is weak, and the sense organs are not functioning well, practicing will never be useful to the person at all.

The philosophy which K. Pattabhi Jois has applied is that you must keep in mind that after doing this Ashtanga Yoga the body will improve and it will be stronger and healthier.

Vinsaya and Tristhana are practiced in Ashtanga Yoga.

The Vinsaya is a style that makes Ashtanga and its principles discrete from the others. Vinsaya means the movement and breathing which is used for the internal cleansing process. Each movement done is accompanied by only one breath. Sweat is the most important product of Vinsaya. When you produce sweat, it only means that you are successfully applying the practice. When you perform the Asanas, the body creates heat which causes your blood to boil and excrete the toxins outside of your body. The toxins are found in your sweat. So the more sweat you create, the more toxins are released.

These yoga poses are used to fully develop the strength and health of the body. The series of practices make this possible. There are three postures used in Ashtanga Yoga.

The three are classified on different levels.

The first is the Primary Series which aims on aligning the body and also detoxifying it.

The second is the Intermediate Series opening and cleaning the energy channels which comes to the process of purifying the Nervous System.

The last series would be the Advanced Series from A to D. in this series, the grace and strength is measured.

The Tristhana is another yoga principle which represents the union of the three places of action and attention. First is the posture, second is the breathing technique ad last is the Dristhi of the Looking Place. All these three should work altogether to perform a function.

Breathing techniques are simultaneous and synchronized. It is important to make a single breath for one movement. Ujjayi Breathing is the Yoga Breathing Technique used in the application of Ashtanga Yoga. Applying this technique must be prolonged after every practice. What you need to master is holding your pose longer at the same time hold your breath. This is an amazing breathing exercise that will increase your internal fire and will strengthen the Nervous System.

Both Ashtanga and Tristhana deal with the series of Dristhi. The Dristhi is described as the point on which you gain your focus or attention while doing the Asana. This enables your mind to be purified and stabilized clearly.

Setting the mind clear and cleansing it can only be done in the Eight-Limb Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga.

Alternate Your Strength Training Workout With Some Yoga

Many who think of strength training equipment think of the massive muscles that many bodybuilders get and consequently show off in competitions. This can be a plus or a drawback for many consumers. The average consumer likes to be able to say feel good about themselves when they go swimming, but many are concerned about building too much muscle and suffering from stereotypical viewpoints. This needn’t be a worry for anyone considering strength training equipment.

The average body builder works out a lot in order to get the muscles they are famous for, plus they have to be on a very strict regimen with lots of protein and little or no fat. It would take you a lot of effort to become as built as the average bodybuilder. Many consumers can use simple free weights in order to maintain the muscle mass that they have or to add a little muscle strength. Some use strength training equipment to add a little tone or shape to certain areas of the body.

If you use them properly and alternate your strength training workout with some yoga or stretching exercises there is little risk of you bulking up too much. Many find that they enjoy the challenge of working out with strength training equipment. You can gradually increase the weight as you work out over a period of time and after your workout you really will feel the ‘burn’ in your muscles.

Though you should be careful of using too much weight at once. Its easy to sprain a muscle and hurt yourself, putting you out of commission for a few days or more.

A good rule of thumb is that if you think you can start out with a certain weight begin about five or even ten pounds lighter and after a few repetitions move up to the next weight level. You can check out strength training equipment reviews online for an idea of what others are doing.

7 Important Tips for Yoga Success

Yoga has been proven to relieve stress by using exercises that unify the mind, body, and spirit.

If you are new to yoga, these seven tips will start you on the road to a more centered life.

1. Talk to your doctor and explain what type of yoga poses you intend to practice. Show your doctor pictures of the poses for illustration. Your doctor may rule out specific poses if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, a history of retinal detachment, or heart disease. Make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations.

2. Find a yoga class that best fits your abilities. Talk to prospective teachers, and decide whether of not you can handle a program before you sign up. It’s very important to take it one step at a time. Try a few beginner classes before you attempt more vigorous classes. Don’t move ahead too quickly. Allow your body to adjust to your exercises.

3. Listen to your body and be aware of your physical abilities. You don’t want to hurt yourself. Make sure the instructor understands your level of experience and any limitations you may have. Don’t allow anyone to push you ahead too quickly. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

4. If you can’t find a class that meets your needs, you can always practice yoga at home. There are many books, programs, and tapes available to help you get started. Search for the best products on the Internet and read reviews. Talk to others for recommenations.

5. Why not try private lessons? You can book some one-on-one sessions with a teacher in your area. Most yoga instructors offer private classes or can help you design your own program. This is a good way to get started. You can always take group lessons or practice at home after you’ve had private lessons and learned the basics.

6. Find a yoga buddy. It’s nice to practice with someone and it will help reduce injuries. It’s also a great way to keep up your enthusiasm and interest.

7. Eat lightly before practice. Wait at least two hours after meals before yoga class or practice. An empty stomach is best, but don’t let yourself get too hungry to think. You won’t be able to focus on the poses or enjoy yourself during the relaxation or meditation exercises.

Now it’s time to grab your mat and a towel and get the most out of your yoga exercises.