Monday, 29 November 2010

Yoga - Different Strokes for Different Folks

Yoga is for everyone! However, there is a big difference between what your yoga practice should be when you are 20, 30, 50 or 70 and more. The practice should change as the body changes and provide what we need in order to enhance our life's experiences.

In Yoga Rahasy of Nathamuni, we are urged to consider the individual's stage in life while practicing yoga. When one is young, the body is in the growth stage. More rigorous forms of yoga are appropriate - like vinyasa, ashtanga, power yoga, etc. With proper breathing rigorous practice helps the young body grow and develop with good physical health and mental stability. Building strength and challenging one's limits are an essential part of yoga for the young. As hormones are changing emotions and behavior, confusion become part of everyday life for a young person. Anxiety, self-confidence, authenticity are all issues that a balanced, challenging and grounding yoga practice can address at this stage of life.

In addition, young individuals are involved in varieties of sports, often competitively. Athletes can benefit from yoga as a cross training tool, as a practice to develop focus and concentration, and as a practice to prevent and take care of existing injuries.

During midlife, when the body is neither growing, nor decaying, the yoga practice takes more of a therapeutic, stress reduction and relaxation approach. More precision, good yogic breathing, meditations, chanting, etc become necessary. In midlife, the main requirement is to stay healthy so one can meet the demands of daily living and the responsibilities of having a job and a family. This is the stage when one has to achieve results - personally, and professionally. The pressure builds mentally and physically. Stress is constantly present as people multitask, juggling family and friends with work deadlines, financial stability and providing security. Headaches, chronic tightness in the shoulders, neck, and back, injuries from caring children or lifting heavy objects improperly, sitting for prolong periods of time in front of a computer or an office desk, occupational hazards, overuse of the body...etc become a fact of life. One must remain fit enough to ward off stagnation, weight gain, heart disease, arthritis, etc, and yet have enough time for everything else that demands attention. Therefore, one's yoga practice should be less "achievement" oriented, and more of an opportunity to reconnect with one's self, realign the body, correct the posture, deepen the breath to relax the nervous system, take care of injuries, and restore calm. The practice should cultivate more mindfulness as life's demands are met easier with more positive attitude, less judgment and tons of compassion towards one's self and others.

As one ages, the body begins to decay - metabolism changes, bone density changes, disease, discomfort and pain seem to visit more often. In this stage yoga practice should be directed toward maintaining mobility and balance more than anything else. Also, as death approaches, one must begin to prepare for the event, so the yoga practice should include more meditation, along with study and reflection on one's life and spiritual teachings. Some specific benefits yoga provides for the elderly body include: reduced blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart function; maintaining good range of motion, maintaining strength and balance enabling the body to prevent falls and injuries; keeping the spine in proper alignment reducing the need for chiropractic adjustments and considerably lessening chronic back aches and pains; improved circulation to the feet and hands; improved digestion and metabolism; improved breathing which helps with conditions like asthma; improved sleep at night, and much more.

Ultimately, in any stage of life we can benefit from peace of mind, alertness, equanimity, compassion and positive attitude. Yoga is an excellent practice to undertake at any stage of life and by people enjoying any kind of life style. Whatever our life's circumstances, when doing yoga, we do better, have more fun and appreciate what we have a lot more. Finding a class that meets your needs and requirements, with a teacher that you resonate with, will help you appreciate yoga, your body and being, and be more consistent in you practice. The practice is only helpful if it is a regular part of one's life.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Using Yoga for Stress Relief

Done for thousands of years, yoga has proven to be one of the oldest practices for self-development. It combines meditation, ethical disciplines, breathing control, and physical postures.

Even though it originated from the East, yoga is now gaining popularity in the West as well. In fact, many companies are beginning to recognize the benefits yoga has. Many will now sponsor yoga programs for their workers because they see that it improves their workers' health and output.

People have begun to use yoga for stress relief as well. The power of yoga comes from the combination of meditation, stretching, physical movement, controlled breathing, and mental imagery. The definition of yoga is "to bring together". It is known to combine and unite a person's mind, body, and spirit.

Whether you do yoga for spiritual transformation or for physical improvement, the benefits of doing it are numerous. These benefits would include increased strength and flexibility, sounder sleep, reduced anxiety and tension, slower aging process, lower blood pressure, improvement in medical conditions, and much more.

Because of the numerous benefits of yoga, it has a great payoff considering the amount of work you put into it. Yoga is done by performing different poses and stretching the body while accompanying it with slow and controlled breathing.

Doing yoga helps your body be relaxed and energized at the same time. Yoga has variations of style as well. Some of them would require doing the movements quickly, similar to an aerobic workout while others focus on the relaxation poses.

What is good about yoga is that the benefits it has could be enjoyed by almost everybody. People of all ages, and walks of life can use yoga for relaxation, and practicing it will have many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.

Another good thing about yoga is that most of the poses can be done anywhere, and the time period of yoga sessions could range from minutes to hours. All of this gives the person more freedom to choose his individualized yoga session. With all the benefits of yoga, there are also some downsides as well.

To reap all the rewards and benefits, you need to have commitment in what you are doing. You need to set aside time to make things happen. Your physical limitations could also deter you from doing some of the more difficult poses.

Just remember, yoga has a lot of benefits for your body, but it requires a lot of commitment and effort, but if you persevere, the benefits you get will get will amaze you.

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Monday, 15 November 2010

Kamloops Yoga: Meditate Your Way to Inner Peace

Yoga has been in practice for over thousands of years. In its most traditional sense, it is defined as the union between the individual and the universal. As a fitness routine, it is a great way to get in shape by toning your muscles and aligning your body. It is also an emotionally and mentally fulfilling exercise, as the breathing and meditation exercises serve to pull you away from the problems that weigh you down.

Let go and live in the moment
In this day and age, it is easy to get caught up in our fears and problems. Oftentimes, our negative thoughts can become so overwhelming that it virtually cripples us. Meditation is the practice of letting things go. It is a practice of emptying the mind of all its thoughts and finding your center so you can be at peace. Many people think that it is impossible to keep their minds under control, but when they take the time out to meditate, the stress of the entire working day melts away, allowing a moment of peace to permeate your mind.

As more and more people practice yoga, they begin to find that their thoughts do not allow them to savor living for the present moment. Moving in yoga and focusing on the breath and the body allow you to think of nothing but the present, and allow you to cast away your thoughts and emotions. This constant act of letting go allows us to dive into the present moment again and again. When practiced earnestly and properly in yoga, the habit begins to find its way into our behavior.

Positive physical effects
Research suggests that meditation also has some positive physiological effects. When a person is stressed, the vein walls contract and this is the cause of high blood pressure. Meditation allows blood to flow easily by expanding the veins. Stress is also caused by lots of electric tension in the brain. Excess electric tension gives way to headaches, one of the most common stress-related ailments. Meditation has been shown to significantly reduce electric tension in the brain, allowing it to rest and heal itself, which is why you feel much more alive and refreshed after meditation.

Yoga is the union of the mind, body and spirit. When one aspect is damaged, the other two do not receive the full benefits of yoga. When your body is in good shape, your mind and spirit will follow.

The more you practice meditation, the more you are able to look deep within yourself and examine patterns and behaviors that hold you back from becoming the person you want to be. Doing this in conjunction with the physical aspect of yoga will help you train your mind to return to a peaceful state.

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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Beach Yoga for Your Home Practice

Why the beach yoga style is the best for your home practice? Because this style of yoga has several key features that are ideally match home opportunities. What is the difference between the home yoga practices and yoga studio exercises? A set of exercises and the order of execution should be organized so that you can perform them anywhere. This style of practice called beach yoga, because you do not need anything except a beach towel for doing your exercises.

1. You can do your exercises without outside assistance.

One of the main features of beach yoga is the ability to do your practice independently. You don't need a trainer help and you can not worry on this score. All beach yoga workflows are written so that you could easy handle it yourself.

2. You don't need any accessories or sports equipment.

It often happens that you miss your yoga practice, because you do not have much time to visit the studio. However, many people think that yoga will certainly need belts, box steps, blocks, cushions and mats. You don't need nothing except the desire to work on your body. The execution of classic asanas of hatha yoga requires nothing. Any beach yoga posture has modification for beginners to perform your exercises without additional devices. You may need only a beach towel.

3. Short execution time of required number of exercises.

And one more remarkable feature of beach yoga is that all workflows are no longer than 25-30 minutes. Therefore it will be quite enough to do it at home a few hours before bedtime or early in the morning immediately after waking. There are a number of short sequences to perform at work, during a break. You can get the ability to effectively use your time and do not miss your yoga even on a business trip.

All these features allows you to "bring your Yoga with you" and enjoy the practice, no matter what your level of congestion. This is the best set of exercises which performance will continually improve your Yoga practice. You can learn to devote your time to yourself and your health, without thinking about the daily problems.

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