Friday, 27 February 2009

Yoga Essentials - A Checklist

Yoga has been booming in popularity for years now. Offering a way to connect with yourself through exercise and relaxation. However, if you are new to the world of yoga it can get confusing. While many instructors will give you a list of what you will need, and what to expect. Some might not, which will still leave you with the question; what exactly do you need to practice yoga?

Well, with this yoga essentials checklist you no longer have to worry. Simply print it out, and bring it along on your yoga shopping spree. If you'd like to make it an even easier shopping trip, look around the store. There is everything that is a must-have with yoga, and many more accessories that will help to make it much easier.

* First and foremost you need to get at least a couple yoga outfits. While it is a common misconception, that normal workout wear is fine. They can often times be too cumbersome and loose to practice yoga, without having to worry about adjusting your clothes. Most yoga workout wear is snug-fitting, and meant to help you achieve inner peace without worrying about your clothes.

There are shorts, tops, pants, and even capris that are produced for yoga. Giving you a wide variety of clothing to choose from. The one key to selecting the perfect yoga outfit, is by keeping the weather in mind. Chances are, if it is snowing outside you don't want to be caught wearing shorts. However, yoga pants will last throughout the year.

* Second, you have your yoga mat. Whether it is a tai inspired mat or your standard issued yoga mat. They can be found almost anywhere these days, and are affordable for any budget. Some yoga mats have even been made to be somewhat sticky, which will keep the risk of slipping at a minimum. Try going organic! One of the major players in yoga, is living with the world. Giving you more reason to go green.

* The third essential item you must have for yoga, is a few props. Depending on what your instructor plans for the day. It wouldn't be wise to be caught unprepared. From bolsters to meditation stands, there are a lot of props and accessories that are essential for yoga classes. They can be found almost anywhere, from online yoga specialty shops like this one to local shops. However, be mindful of quality. Chances are, if it is too cheaply priced you aren't going to get the amount of use out of them that you'd want.

* The fourth essential yoga item is the yoga bag. Giving you the ability to keep all of your yoga essentials in check. There is nothing worse, than your yoga mat falling into a pile of mud before your lesson. Keep them all in one snug place, all with a little additional style.

* Meditation cushions, while an accessory can help with your yoga practices. Giving you the ability to attune yourself from within. There is nothing worse than a sore bottom on the floor, when you are trying to reach inner peace.

* Yoga dvds to keep your lessons going. Can't make your appointment this week for yoga class? No problem! You've got a couple yoga dvds meant to keep you in the yoga mind set. They are essential for any yoga practitioner, especially those who are short on time.

* Foam blocks, while they would be considered props. Are by far one of the highest priority props for yoga. Thus giving them a spot on the essentials checklist. They can be found separately, or in yoga essential kits.

* A yoga strap is your friend! They are utilized frequently throughout a yoga class, or at home on your own. Much like the foam blocks, they can be found both in a kit or stand alone.

* The yoga ball and hand pump. While they can be found separately, they usually come as a pair. It will give you a leg-up at your class, when you come prepared with these two fantastic yoga essentials.

There are countless amounts of yoga items available. Which means that we have only begun to touch the basics on the yoga essentials checklist. There will always be something that you need or want with yoga lessons. Whether it be on the list or not, it is always a good idea to ask your instructor if you aren't sure what you will need. Chances are, they will have an in-depth list of anything they require. Which will give you the ability to purchase your own, rather than utilizing their hand-outs.

Remember with all yoga items, you should try to go green. Many companies such as this one, will offer both an organic and non-organic version of all of these must-haves. Which will help you to keep our earth clean of chemicals, without having to skip a beat in your yoga lessons. Last but not least, the most essential yoga item is yourself. Keeping your body clean and free of chemicals and in tip-top shape, is by far the most important thing for yoga.

The three popular types of yoga you may have heard of are hatha yoga, power yoga and bikram yoga. Hatha yoga is the style of yoga most practiced today. It is what you will think of when you think of yoga in general. Power yoga is a more aerobic-style yoga, with an emphasis on cardio. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room to accelerate detoxification. Universal Yoga sells everything you need to practice these and other forms of yoga, pilates and meditation including yoga pants, yoga mats, athletic apparel, yoga blankets, yoga music, meditation accessories, uplifting apparel and yoga gear.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Yoga and yoga massag

Although back pain is often caused by an injury to one or more of the structures of the back, it may have another cause. Factors that increase your risk for back pain and injury include getting older, having a family history of back pain, sitting for long periods, lifting or pulling heavy objects, or having a degenerative disease such as osteoporosis. Chronic pain syndrome caused by a previous injury or degenerative disease with aging can cause back pain. Many problems in the neck resulting from injury, recurring work strain, stress, and possibly joint degeneration can lead to head pain. Sudden back pain is characterized by: pain which lasts less than a month and half swelling and/or bruising in the area of injury.


Thai or yoga massage, physiotherapy or spinal therapy treatment for this type of back injury usually give good results and can reduce recovery time and prevent ongoing problems. Injuries such as sprains and fractures, mechanical problems including muscle spasms and imbalance and herniated discs, various acquired conditions of the spine including osteoporosis and rarely, infections and tumours may all give rise to back pain.

Still other studies have found that problems in the cervical spine can cause pain similar to headache. Walking and other cardiovascular exercises have been found to reduce and/or alleviate chronic pain problems, including a tension headache. Whether resulting from a severe or minor injury or daily wear and tear, most people will suffer from back problems at some point in their lives.

Work comfort and design will help most back problems that occur in the workplace which are caused by physical stress, such as being in an awkward position for a long time, making the same motions over and over, and simply using your back too much. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, which will affect about eight out of 10 people at some point during their lives.


Medical reports on yoga. Many doctors are now verifying that yoga is beneficial in treating a number of health problems, including back pain. Until recently headaches were largely considered a nuisance by the medical community and many other health care providers. Headaches are one of the most common reasons that people seek both medical and body work or chiropractic treatment. Because of their greater flexibility and lack of age related degeneration, children and teenagers are much less prone than adults to develop medically significant back pain.

In spite of the magnitude of the problem, a simple, effective cure for backache has proved elusive to modern medical science other than yoga. With a burning sensation of shoulder pain, desk bound and computer users may suffer from back pain on different sides of the body.

Glen Wood - The Yoga Teacher. Glen is a yoga expert who loves to teach you how to lose your neck, shoulder or back pain with yoga. He is dedicated to unlocking the Real Secrets of Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain.

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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Yoga Exercises - Self Mastery Through Understanding the Mind and Practicing Yoga Exercise

Do you know you have more than one mind? We know the mind can drive us nuts, and yet in spite of the spinning, you can act with self mastery with the help of yoga exercises.

You actually have 3 minds: a Negative, Positive and Neutral mind. They are all there to work with you and for you. They work together and just like muscles, can be strengthened with yoga exercises, like poses, meditation and relaxation. And by the way the mind is not you.

Negative Mind

"Negative" doesn't mean that there is something wrong or pessimistic with this mind. The Negative mind is there to warn you, to protect you.

Yoga Exercises: Appreciate the disciplines

Positive Mind

The Positive mind is creative, expansive. It gives inspiration, shows the benefits of the situation, the pros.

Yoga Exercises: Strong poses and positive affirmations

Neutral Mind

The Neutral mind assesses both negative and positive input received. Then can bring clarity and wisdom.

Yoga Exercises: Meditation


Recall a day when there was what is called active weather: a snow, or rain storm, and you had to make a decision whether to leave the house or not. Here's how the minds could work.

The Negative mind would be careful: let's stay in and just wait and see. The Positive would say, yes, the weather is active, so take an umbrella, or wear a warm coat. Let's go.

The Neutral mind could say: the reason for going is important, and it can wait for tomorrow; or it could say today is still a go because....

Here's an example of the minds in overdrive. The Negative mind goes spinning: "And remember the storm 8 years ago, you were caught and had to spend hours trying to get home." Then the Positive mind picks up this spin and confirms "yes, it did happen and to people in some other part of the world." Malfunction.

To develop self mastery and the neutral mind practice being an observer. Get to the neutral mind before you act on the thoughts given by the other two minds. Sometimes we say it this way, I have to clear my head. You can practice being an observer while in deep relaxation.

The point is, the more relaxed and aware of the present moment you are, the more you will experience self mastery and your neutral mind will be ready, willing and able to serve you, its master.

And now, I'd like to invite you to continue to explore this topic of Self Mastery through our free e-course. You can indicate your interest by joining our newsletter/blog list at

From Heather Greaves - the Self Care Expert and Body Therapies Yoga Training

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Baptiste Power Yoga Learning Methods

Power yoga is taught by two American yoga instructors by the name of Baptiste-Baron Baptiste and Sherrie Baptiste Freeman, who are brother and sister and are highly successful in teaching power yoga and each has an individual style of teaching yoga. Both grew up in San Francisco with their household fully dedicated to yoga, healthy living and physical fitness.

But Baptiste power yoga actually refers to Baron Baptist’s method, which is also known by the name power vinyasa yoga. Baptiste power yoga is a strenuous and vigorous form of yoga that is taught in studio with the heat turned up, mainly to emphasize the personal power and empowerment of a person. In this way, Baptiste power yoga helps to transform a person on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Thus the practitioners are able to take full control of their lives and bring about healthy positive changes in their lives.

Vinyasa is the most important feature of Baptiste power yoga. In this type of vinyasa yoga, the poses tend to flow from one to another in a sequence. This is achieved by controlled breathing and this breathing is used in some specific manner to move from one pose to another. This is in contrast to other forms of yoga where the poses are held for some seconds or minutes before moving on to work on another pose. Thus the vinyasa sequence takes care of the particular physical or psychological goal like relaxation and energizing the body and mind.

Baptiste power yoga can be learnt and practiced from Baptiste certified teachers who have attended power vinyasa trainings. Baptiste power differs from ashtanga yoga in one major aspect. In Baptiste power yoga, the beginners are also accommodated with others and are not isolated, giving them an opportunity to develop their intuition and self power right from day one of the class.

The very essence of yoga is taught in Baptiste power yoga and it aids in the discovery of freedom, truth and individuality of a person. This drives the point that lead to a meaningful and fulfilling life, the tools and wisdom are within oneself and not anywhere else. Though this untraditional method faced some criticism and opposition initially, Baptiste power yoga has gained popularity since it purifies the body in and out as well as the mind and is a complete integration of mind, body and soul.

Also, Baptiste power yoga is suitable for people of all ages alike, young or old. Those who practice Baptiste power yoga become empowered to overcome the hurdles that stand in the way of rediscovering the inner strengths, emotions, the relationships and the ability of a person. Thus, Baptiste power yoga is a level better than any other process that taps the hidden potential of a person, to lead an extraordinary life.

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Friday, 20 February 2009

Yoga Therapy - Avoid These 3 Mistakes That Delay Self Healing, and Use 3 A's of Yoga Therapy Instead

Are you making these 3 mistakes that delay self healing? This information is especially important if you find the same situation keeps reoccurring. What type of responsibility is yours in self healing, and what is the role for your health care practitioner or yoga therapist? Let's see.

Mistake #1 - You are not aware of how your emotions create a distance between you and your source of support, your family. You are angry because your requests are not fulfilled as quickly as you would like, or you have a certain amount of resentment . You may even be lashing out at ones closest to you.

Strategy: Awareness - Notice how emotions like fear or anger influence your behaviour and relationships.

Mistake #2 - You subtly deny the problem, the situation. Yes you feel the pain and discomfort, and even dwell on the limitations it cause. Yet you barely glance at the issue itself; and do so very infrequently. You may think about all the things you cannot do when there is a particular kind of weather, or because of someone else's mistake, or perhaps your own mistake. Yet you rarely look at the problem itself.

Strategy: Acceptance - Look objectively at the facts concerning the situation without blame or shame. What is it that does exist?

Mistake #3- You resist making necessary changes to your attitude and actions. Perhaps you trivialize the situation, aggravate the discomfort, and learn to live with it. You think you are doing o.k. given the circumstances; you brace yourself and manage to weather each storm.

Strategy: Adjustment - Find out what changes you need to make for self healing and make them. Changes can be on a physical, mental emotional, and/or spiritual level.

Role of Your Health Care Practitioner or Yoga Therapy

The Yoga Therapist will bring the skills and resources and create a safer space for you to examine mistakes that delay self healing. Whether it is a life change, a transition, or a health challenge, the foundation of your work with yoga therapy will be yoga philosophy and yoga psychology.

If you are having an individual session, the yoga therapist will select and adapt the techniques from the yoga tradition according to your age, culture, religion, and specific physical challenge. Yoga therapy does not have a one size fits all approach to self healing. The holistic approach is customized and takes into consideration your Ayurvedic mind body constitution and your strengths and weaknesses.

Using yoga philosophy, the yoga therapist seeks to highlight the question: What is preventing this individual from experiencing the whole person? I encourage you to access the wisdom and answers within you through meditation and deep relaxation.

And now, I'd like to invite you to claim your free download of 10 minutes of guided "Body and Breath Awareness" relaxation when you visit

From Heather Greaves - the Self Care Expert and Body Therapies Yoga Training

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A Good Pair of Men's Yoga Pants Are Essential!

Let's be honest - a good pair of men's yoga pants really are essential for men that practise yoga. Although if you attend yoga classes you will probably find that it is predominantly women who practise yoga, there are many men who practise it also. And why not? After all yoga has many health benefits and they are for men as well as women.

So just as it is for women, it is also just as important for a man to be comfortable while he is practising yoga and this is why it is so important for them to have a good, comfortable pair of men's yoga pants.

Well, what else would they wear? Jeans? Work pants? Nope! Imagine doing yoga in your jeans - it would be uncomfortable, you wouldn't be able to bend and stretch all that well and you'd probably spend half of the class feeling uncomfortable and wishing you'd worn something else. When your mind is on your discomfort then you can enjoy the full experience.

Wearing comfortable men's yoga pants will let your mind relax and concentrate on the more important things - your yoga and your health. You will be amazed at how much difference it will actually make to your yoga lesson and the benefits you'll receive from it just by making this important wardrobe change.

So come on men - enjoy yoga, enjoy the benefits it will give you, but make sure that you get the most out of your lessons by wearing a good, comfortable pair of men's yoga pants.

Why not start your journey to better health today with yoga. To find out more about yoga visit our website at

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Monday, 16 February 2009

Yoga at Your Desk

How long have you been sitting there staring at that computer? How does your back feel? Not too good? Getting tired? Stiff from sitting?

Practicing yoga at your desk will revive and re-energize you. If you allow your brain to take a break, and allow your breath to rejuvenate your body ~ you will come back more focused and more productive.

Take a break - close your eyes and let your breath travel around your body a little. Like a virus scan, scan your body and allow your breath to erase some tension. Breathe into tight spots and then visualize those spots releasing as you exhale. You will feel even better if you break away every hour or two and stretch some muscles.

In our society stress at work is a prevalent reason for hospital visits. Back pain, headaches and other stress related ailments are popular medical visit complaints. Take some time for yourself, for your health, and breathe a little.

You can reboot your body like you reboot a stuck computer. Pause a minute~ and allow your brain to rest, let your muscles release some of the tension and stress. Try this...

Close your eyes, sit all the way back in your chair, straighten up through your spine, and let your head hang down towards your chest. Now roll your right ear up over your right shoulder and relax the muscles in the left side of your neck and the top of the left shoulder. (Avoid forcing or pushing your head to the side - just let it hang out there.) Breathe. Gently roll your head back down towards your chest and then roll the left ear up near the left shoulder. Breathe.

Repeat as needs to loosen up those neck and shoulder muscles. To complete the exercise, gently roll your head forward again and then lift it straight up and open your eyes. Feel any better? We store tons of tension in the neck and shoulder area ~ every now and then let it go.....

Sit up straight and to the front part of your chair (please use one without wheels or make sure it is secure - I don't want you to go rolling around unexpectedly). Keep your feet planted on the floor. Try rolling your spine forward and back to let the muscles stretch, massage the inner organs and let the blood flow through your spine.

As you inhale, bring your head back and arch your spine (shoulders move backward) so that your belly rounds out in front. Then as you exhale, bring your shoulders forward and exaggerate the spine curve out to the back. So when you inhale your shoulders go back and you stretch the front side of your body, and when you exhale the shoulders come forward and you stretch the back. When you exhale bring your belly button in towards your spine to help you release all the air out of your lungs. Your lower back moves too; tilt your tailbone back on the inhale and then tuck it under on the exhale. Attach your breath to the movement to get the most out of the pose.

Moving the spine around allows the vertebrae to re-lubricate, the muscles to stretch a bit, and the inner organs a gentle massage. Attaching your breath to your movement gives your brain a rest from the rat-race and promotes a mind-body connection.

The breathing helps to remove toxins from the lungs when you exhale and invigorates the muscles when you inhale. When you inhale think about filling your lungs with air. Let the ribs move out to the sides and fill your belly with air just like a balloon. When you exhale let it all out, and let the tension leave your body at the same time.

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Friday, 13 February 2009

Yoga - Weight Loss

Increasing in popularity in Western cultures, the practice of asana, or yoga, as it is more popularly known, is a series of movements that are done in sequences that maximize the flow of oxygen and blood through the body. Focusing on the mind, spirit and body in union, yoga provides numerous health benefits.

Originating over 5,000 years ago this Hindu philosophy is a great way to lose weight. Involving the body as a whole, those who practice yoga achieve multiple benefits of which include strength, flexibility, and confidence.

Based o n a sequence of poses, yoga is also the best way to lose weight because those who practice yoga have achieve better breathing, posture, and muscle tone. Building muscle tone is a necessary component for fat burning.

The practice of yoga is an individual experience. Unlike other activities, which are based on competition, yoga is a personal journey that focuses on physical, mental and spiritual growth of each individual. It has been said about yoga that the physical achievements lead to spiritual discovery.

Since yoga is a personal experience, no matter what the level of fitness an individual is at, everyone can participate. Starting off slow and building up to a challenging practice is the best way to practice. Often times however, the intensity of a yoga regime is not enough to raise your heart rate to a level of aerobic exercise. In this instance it is recommended that it be practiced in conjunction with a running or walking routine.

Due to the gentle nature of yoga, many pregnant women are able to participate in yoga during pregnancy, and find it a great way to lose weight fast after birth.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Yoga Classes Benefits

Yoga, which has been practiced in India since the Vedic period, has gained immense popularity worldwide. Yoga helps synchronize body; mind and soul, making its practitioner feel better and geared to take on the challenges in the hectic and competitive world of today.
Benefits of Yoga Classes

Some of benefits of yoga classes listed few below:

Benefits of Yoga Classes 1

Yoga helps in maintaining the balance between body, mind and soul. Once the balance is achieved with the help of various exercises, the practitioner becomes more calm and starts having a positive approach towards life. With the regular practice of yoga, he attains a level where he is at ease with himself, his body and his surroundings and does not get stressed easily. As a result, he develops positive outlook towards himself, his surroundings and his life, making him happier and content.

Benefits of Yoga Classes 2

These days, people are living such hectic lives that even 24 hours seem less in a day. Yoga helps its practitioner to relax during such stressful times and remove stress with the help of relaxation exercises. In these exercises, a person is in a state of nothingness in which he has to focus on his breathing. This helps the practitioner to realize his strengths and improves his concentration level.

Benefits of Yoga Classes 3

Yoga helps in improving the flexibility of your body with the regular exercises and lubrication of various joints and ligaments of the body. Even if you are not working on a particular body part, you will find that part too has become flexible. The reason being that when different yoga positions are done together, flexibility can be achieved easily.

Benefits of Yoga Classes 4

Yoga helps in thoroughly massaging all the glands and organs of the body, fitness, keeping the diseases at bay. Yoga helps its practitioner to understand his body as a result he becomes aware about an impending disease and can prevent it by taking precautions.

Benefits of Yoga Classes 5

Yoga helps in regulating proper blood supply in the body with the help of stretching exercises of various muscles and exercises that massage various organs of the body. Proper blood supply to various organs of the body ensures that the toxins are removed from the body, leading to its proper nourishment. This in turn helps in delaying the ageing process and gives its practitioner immense energy to face life.

Benefits of Yoga Classes 6

Yoga removes the excess flab on the body, especially hips, waist, upper and lower abdomen, with the help of exercises that focus on the affected part of the body. It also helps in toning and strengthening the muscles to give a worked-out look to the body.

Types of Yoga

Yoga can be divided into various types, which have their own unique features. While some yoga types are used to enhance physical strength, there are others which help in making the practitioner mentally strong.

Bhakti Yoga - Bhakti Yoga type, practitioners focus on prayers, their love for God and humanity, and obeying God's teachings and preaching on life. Unlike other types of Yoga, asana, pranayama and meditation are not practiced in Bhakti yoga.

Hatha Yoga - One of the most popular yoga types in the US, Hatha yoga focuses on pranayam, asana (positions) and meditation. Considered to be the basis of all types of yoga, Hatha Yoga tries to achieve a balance between different types of energies - positive and negative - in the body. This type of yoga helps in relaxing the tensed muscles, tone up different organs of the body, and improve flexibility, digestive system and blood circulation within the body. It also helps in improving the functioning of the endocrine and nervous systems.

Jnana Yoga - Through this type of yoga, its practitioner focuses on gaining knowledge about himself, his body and the God. This type helps the practitioner to understand himself, his strengths and weaknesses, and his beliefs, giving him a positive outlook towards life.

Karma Yoga - Karma Yoga focuses on the practitioner leaving his egoistic desires and work for the betterment of the humanity. Karma Yoga type, the practitioner is encouraged to let go his ego and involve himself in the selfless action and service towards the poor and the needy.

Kundalini Yoga - Kundalini Yoga type, sexual experiences are used to increase self-awareness, achieve enlightenment and to gain knowledge about oneself, one's surroundings and God. Partners indulge in various rituals and meditation before getting into physical contact. The important thing is that partners maintain the spiritual link throughout the process and do not try to have orgasm which enables various chakras in the body to release their powers.

Mantra Yoga - Mantra Yoga type of yoga, words, phrases, or syllables are chanted until the practitioner's mind is stable and is just concentrating on the meaning of these chants, helping him to relax and concentrate on the God. In this type of yoga, it is important that the practitioner pronounces the chants correctly to get the required effect.

Purna Yoga - The emphasis in this type of yoga is on doing good deeds in day today life. Purna Yoga not only helps integrate the mind with the outside surroundings but also unites the mind with the soul. This type of yoga promotes love towards one and all, wisdom and selfless action towards the needy.

Raj Yoga - Raj Yoga is a holistic therapy which brings transformation at all levels be it physical, mental, intellectual or spiritual. It not only cures the person of all his diseases but also heals him from within, bringing both the body and mind in harmony. This type of Yoga helps the practitioner in solving the emotional and mental conflicts, bringing stability and satisfaction in his/her life.

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Monday, 9 February 2009

Is Yoga Your Best Route To Total Fitness

So you've reached the point in the new year that you're thinking about your wellbeing, physical, mental and spiritual. The new year is a time when lots of people look forward and true to put right the things that they didn't the previous year. It's a time when a lot of people are thinking about taking up new challenges, and making changes. One of the many vows that people make in the new year is to engage in more physical activity and to 'get fit'. If you are one such person, then you might want to take a look at Yoga as a way of achieving this.

The term Yoga comes from the Sanskrit that means 'union' or 'merger'. The essential purpose of the practice of Yoga is to achieve a good and stable balance between the body and mind. When applied or practised, Yoga will help you to achieve self-enlightenment through a combination of breathing, pose, meditation and relief. By using the techniques that you will learn from a Yoga instructor you will achieve the means to maintain a healthy and balanced approached to life.

Yoga is not a religion, although it does have it's roots in the Hindu religion. There are no codes of belief in Yoga, one is merely given the tools and techniques you need to gain a better understanding of your bodies potential. When mind and body work in tandem, you will feel better, you will look better and you will have a very different perspective on life.

You do Yoga to because it is more than just one workout. If you're a runner or you do weights, you know that each form of exercise helps to develop your cardiovascular or muscle strength. Yoga however is one form of exercise that does both strength, and cardio and much more. It's more than stretching and relaxing. When you complete a Yoga session, you will feel totally relaxed and at the same time full of energy. You get to work on your physical shape, as well as learning how to breathe deeply, therefore providing more oxygen for your heart, brain and lungs. Awareness of your body makes it easier to experience total relaxation and as such, each Yoga session will help you to alleviate stress.

If you are wanting to learn more about how Yoga can help you change your life in this new year, you can search for Yoga instructors in your local area, or you can buy a yoga instruction book and learn it at home, whichever suits you. Whatever method you choose, you will enjoy this form of exercise and once learned, the techniques and skills will benefit you for the rest of your life.

f you want to learn Yoga there is more information available about easing your stress through learning Yoga you can find it at our website. Ashley Lawrence is a freelance writer.

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Thursday, 5 February 2009

How To Buy a Yoga Mat

So you have joined the yoga craze. Congratulations, you have joined many with the main goal of increasing their strength and flexibility. Once you start in this venture of health and physical fitness, you will need some supplies.

When you are starting out , you want to make sure you do not spend too much money. This is because while you are interested in it now, you cannot be sure that you will stay interested in it until you get into it and start on a program. So, to avoid breaking the bank before you even try this activity you want to just get the basics. Try the lower end and upgrade if necessary.

First, you will need a yoga mat. The first thing you want to think about when you are choosing a yoga mat is to first and foremost know that it is in fact a yoga mat that you are looking at. Many people confuse Pilates mats with yoga mats, however the Pilates variety is much thicker and is made for primarily floor poses. Yoga mats are thinner and are made for standing poses. When you choose one, remember that you are just starting out. Whatever you do, do not spend too much money right away. A $15-20 mat is sufficient.

Mats in this price range tend to be made from synthetic materials, but are ideal for a beginner and it is not necessary to upgrade until you decide if you like it. If you start doing yoga and find it to be everything you want it to be, then you may be ready for the next step.

The next thing to consider when buying a mat is what kind of natural materials you can choose from. These mats are of better quality and cost a bit more (around $40 or more). The ideal natural material for most people is rubber, but you can also get one made from cork. This material is significantly more because of the short supply of cork in the world.

Whatever yoga mat you choose, make sure you choose one that suits your needs and that you actually use. Even if the mat you are looking for is used by all the big celebrities, if it is not comfortable then it will probably just collect dust. Good luck on your yoga mat search!

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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Seven Reasons To Choose Yoga For A Better Body And A Calmer Mind

Yoga has been around for centuries. Embraced equally by film stars, rock stars, high powered CEOs and New Age gurus, yoga’s stress-relieving, strength-building, low impact poses appeal to a wide range of individuals and body shapes. Even beginners can see and feel a difference after just a few short weeks of practice. All arguments aside, yoga works. So why haven’t you tried it? Here are seven really good reasons why you should:

7.) Symptom Relief - Several scientific studies have proven that yoga practice can greatly reduce the frequency and duration of asthma attacks, as well as the amount of medication needed to control or prevent attacks. Yogic breathing, pranayama , helps to strengthen the lungs and build breath control while back-bending poses open the chest and help increase air flow. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be alleviated with certain yoga poses. The lengthening and strengthening of the tendons offered in many yoga poses aids in relieving the pain, and in restoring the grip. The slow, low-impact nature of yoga exercise lends itself perfectly to arthritis sufferers. Joint pain and swelling can be reduced from the gentle exercise and from the stress relief granted tight, tensed muscles. The stress relieving nature of yoga has been shown to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches for migraine sufferers, as well.

6.) Disease Prevention – The stress relief offered through yoga practice can reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one killer of women in the US and Canada. Of further interest to women is yoga’s ability to strengthen and build bone density, preventing osteoporosis. It’s believed that yoga may reduce cortisol, and thereby aid in keeping calcium in your bones. The meditative nature of yoga can help raise levels of GABA in the brain, preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Lastly, yoga has been known to stimulate the pancreas in its production of insulin, lowering blood sugar levels and helping in the treatment of Type II diabetes.

5.) Good Form of Exercise – Not all forms of exercise are good for all of you. Yoga is low-impact, providing a safer way to stretch and strengthen. Yoga is non-competitive, allowing you a stress-free, introspective work-out. Yoga can be practiced indoors or out, so that it fits in with all climates and lifestyles. Beneficial yoga practice can be completed in as little as 10 minutes a day, making it the ideal exercise routine for today’s busy, on-the-go world. Yoga builds balanced muscle tone, strengthens the body’s core, and improves dexterity, hand-eye coordination and reaction time. It has also been clinically proven to increase joint range of motion and flexibility.

4.) Improved Body Chemistry – Yoga can have drastically good effects on your body’s inner workings. The increase in movement and blood flow offered in yoga practice can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood stream. It is believed that yoga actually increases the amount of red blood cells in your blood, providing better oxygenation of the body, as well as increasing energy and reducing the risks of anemia. The lymphatic and endocrine systems also get a boost from yoga. The lymphatic system boosts immunity and raises your body’s disease fighting ability, while the endocrine system regulates hormones, and through yoga, both systems help increase the overall health and balance of your body.

3.) The Inner You – Much has been made of yoga’s effects on the psychological and emotional health of its practitioners. Yoga reduces stress through its slow movements and controlled breathing. It elevates and regulates your mood with its mind-body consciousness, its ability to improve your health overall, and its introspective nature. The attention required in yoga causes one to focus inwardly, reducing stress and anxiety, building a sense of calmness, alertness and even improving your memory.

2.) The Overall Inner You – Let’s recap a bit here. Yoga reduces stress, which lowers blood pressure. It stimulates your endocrine system, balancing hormone levels and lowering blood sugar. It helps increase the overall functioning and health of your circulatory and respiratory system. It lowers your heart rate. It raises your tolerance to pain. It relives certain chronic problems. It improves brain chemistry. Your internal organs receive a “yoga massage,” improving their functioning and disease fighting abilities. Your gastrointestinal health improves. Overall, there isn’t a body system not impacted positively by regular yoga practice.

1.) The Outer You – After examining all the things that yoga can do for the inside of you, let’s see what yoga can do for you that you can actually see. Yoga can reduce the signs of aging through its detoxification of the body. Increased blood flow and oxygenation can also improve skin tone and color. Yoga helps to induce better sleep, improving overall health, awareness and skin and muscle tone. Yoga poses build strength, lengthen muscles and get the body moving, all of which cause a reduction in weight, prevent cellulite from forming and improve posture. Lastly, yoga can boost your energy, and not just your everyday, running hither and thither and yon type energy. Yoga has been proven to improve your energy and performance in the bedroom, as well. You look better, you feel better, your body is more in tune with itself and you with it - all of which leads to an increased confidence that can’t be kept all to yourself.

Yoga may not be the cure of all ills, but it certainly can improve many. It’s an overall workout – inside as well as outside – that shows in your face, your eyes, the way you stand, the way you move, the way you live. What are you waiting for? Give yoga a try today!

By: Craig Perkins

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Sunday, 1 February 2009

Yoga Ayurveda - An Introduction to Understanding the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection With Yoga Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system that allows you to gain insight into your body mind. It explains how to keep the body mind balanced with the internal and external environment, and functioning optimally.

When you have insight into your unique body mind nature, you understand:

  • What your potential is
  • Your likes and dislikes
  • Why you do the things you do
  • How you are likely to respond to stress
  • What diseases you are more likely to succumb to
  • What your dominant tendencies are, both negative and positive

The ancient seers realized that the 5 universal elements exist within all of creation. That the qualities or metaphors of earth, water, fire, air and ether is present within nature in various combinations. For example: observe the proportion of solidness - earth - that's within a palm tree and an oak; the quality of lightness - fire - within garlic and pepper; and the quality of movement - air - within a tortoise and a hare.

A unique combination of the elements, called doshas, form the body, and each body must be cared for it its own distinctive way to achieve and maintain balance with the environment. This is essential for health as an excess or deficiency of an element can ultimately result in disease.

Body Mind Spirit and Yoga Therapy

In the Yoga Ayurveda connection, Ayurveda emphasizes cleansing and building the physical body through herbs, massage, diet and lifestyle, and recommends yoga, meditation and breathing techniques for healing body mind spirit. With an understanding of your body mind nature, you'll be alert to override the natural tendency to select those yoga exercises, meditation and breathing techniques that create imbalance.

Yoga therapy with Ayurveda would be guided by the principles of Ayurveda. Ayurveda recognizes the cycles of time and season, and their affect on the body. The six different times of each day has an affect on the doshas, and therefore each body. Each season of the year will increase one or two doshas within the body. And this ancient Indian healing system acknowledges three different times of our lives that also affect body and mind.

In the body mind spirit connection, the mind changes constantly. Cool and calm one moment, then agitated another, and feeling dull and lethargic yet another time. And when we understand our predisposition to a specific emotion like fear, anger or greed, these enemies of the spirit can be tackled.

Yoga therapy and Ayurveda can rejuvenate your body and bring compassion and understanding to relationships. Get to know your body mind nature and understand why you do the things you do.

And now I invite you to take the test to gain insight into your Ayurvedic body mind nature, when you visit

From Heather Greaves - the Self Care Expert and Body Therapies Yoga Training

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Yoga Exercise - Soften a Life Lesson by Changing Your Language of Letting Go and With Yoga Exercise

Is there an event in your life that you are still blaming someone for? Here's how to gain a deeper understanding of the event so you can end the blame game; and a yoga exercise to open your heart.

The old wound

Recall an event in your life that created a lot of pain and now you have mastered both letting go and the life lesson. Your life changed significantly and now you are at about a 90% mark of letting go. Look closely now, and check to see if you still hold blame or anger, believing it was all that person's fault.

How to keep the anger - 3 ways

1. Every time you remember the event, in your mind's eye you see the other individual and the significant part they played.

2. You totally forget or avoid thinking of the individual you hold some anger towards, and only recount your success in coping with the situation.

3. You speak only of the life lesson, and what you have resolved never to do again.

How to get the whole lesson

In a quiet moment, notice how you feel about the event. You clearly see it as a life lesson you learned. Notice the resolve not to repeat, and what you must and will do instead.

Then take relaxed deep breaths. As you exhale let your body settle down. Place your hand, or both hands on your heart and continue relaxed deep breathing. Embrace a feeling of surrender.

Now notice the language you use around this event. You may be using words like life lesson; and notice any unkind labels you give yourself. Can you now remind yourself that the whole universe is involved in this event, and that this occasion gave you the opportunity for greater learning.
How does this word learning resonate with you? How about the word wisdom? The whole universe dished up a few actors, some props and well placed lines, so that you could increase your wisdom and understanding of Life.
Yoga Exercise

When there is such a shift in awareness, it is likely the body wants to move, to stretch or to relax deeper with the new consciousness. Try this yoga exercise:

Mudra (hand position) - Interlace your fingers, palms touch, with right thumb over left. Rest the hands wherever is comfortable.

Yoga Breathing - Notice how much longer the inhalation is. Be aware of the space just created in the chest as you breathe. The whole heart center will now be open and free. Breathe in appreciation for the learning.

And now, I'd like to invite you to claim your free download of guided relaxation and information on other wellness strategies when you visit and please sign up for our newsletter for more tips for your healing journey.

From Heather Greaves - the Self Care Expert and Body Therapies Yoga Training

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