bookmark_borderBeauty and Youthfulness

Body is just like a burning flame. A flame exists and gives light so long as oil or wax burns. Fresh oil is drawn up into the flame and burnt out oil leaves the flame into the atmosphere. Similarly food, water and air enters into the body and used up and toxic materials leaves the body in the form of sweating, urine and stool. The body remains as burning flame giving beauty and youthfulness.

However the difference is that oil in the body is inexhaustible. It is the life-force(prana) pervading all parts and all cells in the body. The source of this life-force is the soul(atman) within each living being. Soul and its life-force is eternal, unending and uncontaminated. Hence so long as this life-force exists in the body, the body should be beautiful, youthful and uncontaminated with disease and death.

Again if we view the body scientifically, the cells in the body are being regenerated continuously. After every seven years all old cells are replaced by newly created cells. So after every seven years we get a new body and never remain the same. Hence the body should always remain beautiful and youthful.

So long as we don’t realise our life-force(prana) and source of this life-force i.e. soul(atman) or true self, we cannot remain youthful. In order to realise true self one has to practice Yoga. Yoga is a method to control body and mind and finally the mind. We are nothing but a mind. What our mind thinks up it materialises. When we practice Yoga to remain youthful and beautiful it really happens. We rule over the body and mind and overcome disease and death. This is liberation and this may come right in this birth.

Contrary to this, religious leaders would declare that disease and death is truth. So pray for the mercy of God and after death one may enter into heaven. Hell, heaven and God are imaginary things which have remained as ignorance and prejudice for thousands of years. They have no real existence; they exists in the mind only. These things have been created by a few in order to rule over the majority. The real truth, the real divinity and the real bliss lies in soul, life and consciousness only.

bookmark_borderStanding Yoga Poses

The mountain pose (known as the Tadasana) got its name from a number of defining properties that share the symbols of the mountain. The pose benefits from a high level of relaxed strength and a sense of invulnerability. Very like a mountain, the person practicing this pose will be surrounded by tranquillity and will feel a heightened impression of balance. The clarity and profound vision offered by this pose permit you to go deeper in your inner emotions and unite with your inner self on a very deep level.

The mountain pose is achieved by placing the heels slightly apart, so that toes are parallel. Carry out a back and forth rocking movement on your toes and slowly come to a complete stop. Raise the ankles in order to consolidate the pose while also tightening the leg muscles. Thrust your tailbone towards the floor while lifting your pelvic area towards the navel. Your arms should be resting near your body while you are pushing your shoulder blades backwards.

The clear-cut positive effects of the mountain pose made it the basis of many other poses. Tadasana implies that the practicing yogi has to discover the meaning of balance and stillness before progressing further. For this reason, the mountain pose is one of the best ways to connect with your inner emotions while uncovering the subtle ways of yoga. The energy channels of the mountain pose traverse your whole body, following the spine, from the back of the neck and on towards the legs.

The next significant standing pose is the Triangle pose, or the Trikonasana. This comparatively easy pose has a satisfactory stretching effect on the spine, giving it a good lateral motion that complements the stretching of alternate forward poses. The straightness of the knees is essential while performing this pose, as this will allow your movements to be fluent and to stretch all the targeted muscles and organs. Bending to the left and right needs to be done gradually and fluently. This is one of the yoga poses that is good for providing the foundation for the next levels of postures, which are more advanced and harder to perform. The stimulation of the spinal nerves is also useful and it improves complete body flexibility.

In order to enjoy the full advantage of the triangle pose you have to position your body properly. Your feet have to be spread apart while you are pointing to your toes. Try to alternate the pointing motion from your left foot to your right one while keeping a constant rhythm and perfect balance. After you extend your arms parallel to the floor you should breathe in deeply, allowing the energy to reinforce your movements. While exhaling aim to execute a slight bend to either left or right while sliding your hand down your foot. This motion requires a lot of flexibility in the lower back muscles area, so a good warm up session is completely essential before attempting the triangle. Yogis who try this pose often notice the sensation of a lighter body, joined with a feeling of mild warmth in the stretched muscles.

bookmark_borderTenets of Yoga Philosophy

It shares the following common beliefs with the other orthodox systems:

  • Belief in the permanent soul, which forms the basis of life.
  • Soul is supposed to discard one body at the time of death and enter a new one at the time of new birth.
  • A strong belief in the karma, which states that the events happening in a person’s life are a direct results of the events in his previous life or lives (if the person has been born many times).
  • A belief that the life of an individual is primarily of misery and sorrow.
  • A belief in the state of complete freedom from misery and sorrow called mukti or moksha.

Yoga adopts the dualistic doctrine of explaining the universe of objects and living beings. It assumes that the universe was originally created by the uniting or samyoga of two eternal realities called purusha and prakriti. Purusha forms the basis of all the spiritual objects while prakriti deals with the material objects. Prakriti and everything that comes from it has three gunas viz.: sattva, rajo and tamas in various proportions and combinations.

Sattvaguna deals with all that is pure and holy while rajasguna deals with all the rich and royal qualities and tamasguna deals with all the baser qualities like greed, lust, anger, fear etc. The samyoga of the purusha and the prakriti is virtual. It does not exist but only the ignorant mind thinks it is real. This is due to the illusion called avidya and binds the purusha and causes him to transmigrate from one body to another in the various births. Once the avidya is dispelled completely, one can break free from the cycle of bith and death and can achieve moksha. This is easily achieved by following the eightfold path given by Patanjali in his Yogasutras.

bookmark_borderExercise Stress Relief

When the word exercise is mentioned, most people immediately start thinking of visits to the gym, pressing weights and other strenuous exercise activities. Whilst you can start your very own exercise stress relief regime in this way, there are other methods of exercise that will help relieve your stress. This is especially important if your health isn’t as perfect as it could be.

Aerobic exercise is a simple way to relieve your stress. For instance, you could visit a swimming pool on a regular basis. Your swimming aerobic exercise can be a fun activity and is often also a way to meet new people. Alternatively, you could engage in a regular game of tennis with a friend – singles tennis is generally reckoned to be aerobic. Again, this form of exercise stress relief is simple to start and you get the added benefit of your friend asking when the next game will be. This prompting should be valued. It’s much easier to get into a new, healthy, habit with the aid of friends.

If aerobic exercise strikes you as too much like hard work, then think about yoga. The relaxation element of yoga will help your exercise stress relief and can you should be able to start relieving your stress and helping your mind become calmer on a regular basis. Yoga classes are held regularly in most towns and cities. If there isn’t a yoga exercise class near to you, think about investing in an instructional book or yoga DVD.

bookmark_borderYoga Versus Pilates

Yoga – It came way earlier

Yoga has been around for over 5000 years. It is something much more than just a way of exercising. In fact, it is a lifestyle change that many people need to take seriously. This type of program is centered on the spiritual healing of the body as well as the physical aspects. It uses a wide combination of breathing and movements to get the body back into its targeted range. Yoga is something that encompasses the entire lifestyle in ethical, spiritual and physical form.

It is important to note that yoga is centered on meditation and that the poses that are done are done to allow for better concentration and better meditation abilities.

Pilates – It’s a whole different animal

Pilates, on the other hand, is a physical healing process that uses movements and breathing to work. In Pilates, the body is taken from one movement to the next in a fluid change. This allows for continuous improvement in the body in a normal way. Pilates uses Contrology in its dance form. In this, the poses that are done are more fluid and provide for a more natural movement from one to the next.

Both of these types of programs allow for individuals to improve in their health and well being through breathing techniques. Controlled, regulated breathing is very important to the success of yoga or Pilates.

Which Should I Choose?

In order to know which of these you should choose, the best way to know which the better choice is for you is to actually give them a try. Sign up for a couple of classes and give them a try each. Which methods and processes do you feel more comfortable with? Which works the best for your lifestyle? The choice between yoga and Pilates is something that you need to make on your own.

bookmark_borderYoga Blankets

It is the best thing which can be used for comfort and does not allow the cold floor make any difference to you. It is comfortable in doing all your poses while sitting, sleeping, kneeling as the blanket provides the shield against the cold and a warm feeling.

It also helps in avoiding the neck and shoulder strain when you are doing the shoulderstand. You can use the stack of blankets to increase your height. There are different kinds of blankets to be used according to your needs and wants. These are machine washable to make your work much easy. Most of these blankets are made from natural materials. These are very durable blankets which are machine pressed. These are wide enough sheets to do all the required asanas.

These blankets can be used for the poses like Sirsansana (headstand), Sarvangasana (shoulderstand), Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga and Savasana (corpse pose). These would provide the warmth needed by your body while doing the poses. The colors can be one or a blend of two or three colors for the people who require something more. You can also get blankets which are not made of wool but some other material. Some of these blankets are also hand woven.

All the poses and exercise can be easily done with the help of these mats. These are very useful in doing the breathing exercises as well as the normal poses. These poses would help in every part of your life. The illness, disease and stress are all gone once you start off with these yoga poses.

bookmark_borderYoga Helps Lower Blood Pressure

It is very helpful in the treatment of hypertension the yoga lifestyle, which can really help you lower blood pressure. Yoga exercises, called asanas, involve stretching and moving the body into various positions. During these exercises any tightness or tension observed in the body should be consciously relaxed. Yoga practice offers stress management techniques, which are essential to lower blood pressure. There are many yoga asanas, maybe hundreds or even thousands, but only certain asanas can help you lower blood pressure.

The most efficient for lowering blood pressure are the forward bends, which have a pacifying effect on the brain, the nervous system, the blood circulation to the brain, and they also help you reduce the stress. All these lower blood pressure. Furthermore, these asanas slow down the pulse rate, so they lower blood pressure.

They are also helpful to lower blood pressure the sitting asanas, such as Upavista Konasana, which remove the tension from the ribs and the intercostals muscles, and also help you breathe easily. Many hypertensives have difficulties in breathing and these asanas help them in this matter and they also lower blood pressure.

Other helpful asanas are the supine poses, like Supta Baddhakonasana, which relax the abdominal region and have a calming effect on the nerves, facts that lower blood pressure.

There are also recommended for those who need to lower blood pressure, the inversions, such as Halasana and Setubandha Sarvangasana, which have a refreshing effect on the nerves and reduce the sympathetic tone very fast. Usual practice of these asanas regularizes blood pressure, so lower blood pressure when it’s abnormally high.

At these previous asanas you can add the pranayama and the Svanasana, which relax the mind and senses, and stabilize the blood pressure, so lower blood pressure in case of hypertension.

bookmark_borderReal Power of Yoga

The combination of both physical and mental activity in order to reach the inner soul by producing some amount of energy is the real meaning of Yoga. One should have to know the power of Yoga.

Let’s look at the benefits of Yoga.

  • To get better body image: Focusing inward while doing yoga will help you get the better structure to the body.
  • Mindful eating: You will get an advantage of feeling on what you eat.
  • Heart benefits: By doing yoga regularly can help to lower the blood pleasure and cholesterol.
  • Weight control: yoga is the best action to perform to lose weight.
  • Overall fitness: Practicing the yoga several times a week will help to maintain the overall fitness very well.

Usually, the more you perform the more you get. The yoga includes other assets.

  • … Will help to calm your mind and trains body.
  • … Yoga fits for everyone and yoga doesn’t need any special equipment.
  • … Improved sleep, digestion.
  • … Increases flexibility, muscle strength, and blood flow.
  • … Balanced metabolism, help you focus, and strengthened bones.

The spiritual types of yoga:

  • Law of pure potentiality: Knowing who we give us the capacity to fulfill any dream we have. When we are in conformity with nature, we develop a bond between our ambitions and the strength realize these desires.
  • Law of giving and receiving: The law of receiving is equaled by the law of giving. In the universe, everything is operated through dynamic exchange. We don’t have a right to stop the flow of nature.
  • Law of karma: If you can joyfully involve yourself in any activity, that is karma. If you do it with great effort, only karma will come, not yoga will happen.
  • Law of least effort: You can most simply accomplish your craving when your actions are driven by love, and when you exhaust the least achievement by contributing no struggle. In this way, you strike into the limitless organizing capacity of the universe to do less and attain everything.
  • Law of intention and desire: The entire universe is the mixture of energy and information. They both exist in everywhere. The quality of importance in every intention and desire is the tool for its fulfillment.
  • Law of Dharma: Everyone in this world has a dharma to do in a lifetime. By showing your unique talents and specialties to the others, you will get unlimited love, abundance, trust and real fulfillment in your life.
  • Law of Detachment: The law of detachment states that in order to drive anything in the physical universe, you must surrender out the connection to it.

bookmark_borderYoga, Solution for Insomnia

These are some of life’s serious crisis situations, where we have to let time heal, and try not to fall apart in the process. Some of the solutions below will help insomnia, but they will not heal grief.

However, if you are continually staying awake over trivial matters, these solutions will aid you to get a good night’s rest. Remember – not every solution will work for everyone, so try the easiest ideas and make them fit into your lifestyle.

Do you have one or more problems, on your mind, that are troubling you at bedtime? If so, write it down and leave it on the kitchen table where you sit in the morning. This is a form of compartmentalization, where your subconscious mind works on a solution, and you and your conscious mind get some needed rest.

You will be surprised what happens the following morning. The problem is much less important or your subconscious found the solution. This technique is so powerful that many successful people use it, even when they don’t really have a problem. This keeps you organized, on a daily basis, and you will get more accomplished in life.

That leads into the next idea, which is establishing a daily routine. Your body has a natural cycle, and most of us ignore it. Modern humans are more out of tune with their bodies than ever before, so we have to get back to basics and design a schedule for all tasks – including sleep.

You should exercise every day, but your exercise routine should end two hours before bedtime, at the latest. This allows your body and mind “cool down” time. If you can exercise earlier in the day, feel free to do so.

Exercise will give you extra energy during the day, and help you get a good night’s sleep, when you need it. If you don’t exercise, don’t feel alone, but do take action. Gentle Yoga postures are a great way to start.

If you find the right Yoga teacher, you will learn controlled breathing (pranayama), stage-by-stage relaxation, and meditation. Each is a powerful technique for winding down before bedtime. You always practice controlled breathing with either, stage-by-stage relaxation, or meditation. Some people practice stage-by-stage relaxation in bed and fall asleep in the process. This is not a bad thing, if your ultimate goal is to fall asleep.

Now let’s look at a few other ideas, such as alcohol and hidden caffeine. Alcohol has a way of getting you to sleep, but sleep is often interrupted during the night. One suggestion, if you enjoy drinking: Have one small drink; preferably wine, with your meal.

Caffeine is in coffee, many teas, many sodas, and a variety of other drinks. Drink water later in the day, and give your body a rest from caffeine.

bookmark_borderYoga and Low Carb Diets

An appropriate yoga program should be adapted around our needs. Those on low-carb diets for weight loss or weight control can benefit tremendously by practicing yoga. A major benefit of yoga is a developed awareness. A consistent yoga practice assists us in recognizing the causes of stress in our lives. Yoga helps us observe the thoughts that cause stress. Once we are able to recognize the stress we are able to calm our carb cravings. When we develop awareness we can make conscious choices around food and feel more in control of our lives. I have taught lunch time yoga classes where students practiced forty-five minutes of yoga instead of reaching for high carb snacks. Students have reported that after class they choose healthier foods and actually eat less. Yoga can be a carb substitute, a healthy alternative.

Breath work is also an important component of yoga. Yoga trains the mind to recognize where and when we hold our breath. The less access we have to the breath the more stress is stored in the body. Yoga teaches us to fill ourselves up with breath instead of high-carb food. Yoga can inform us when we are becoming stressed so we can make the choice to sit and breathe, meditate or do physical yoga postures. With a consistent yoga practice we have less need of carbs that deplete our energy. Focus on the breath dissolves our cravings and reduces stress. We naturally reach for more nourishing foods. If we hold the breath then we become unaware of our cravings and old eating patterns take over. Cultivating awareness while we move in yoga postures is just as important as the movement, especially for those wanting to change eating patterns.

Since low-carb dieters need to be careful not to hit a sugar low during the day yoga is an excellent movement program. Yoga conserves energy while many exercise programs such as aerobics, weight training, bicycling etc. expend energy. Yoga assists the practitioner to tap into reserves of energy in the body. If the low carb dieter feels energy depleted the craving will increase. For anyone with the goal of life style or dietary change it is important that the exercise program be accessible and stress-free. Yoga postures teach us to expand into our own energy without judgment or criticism. A practice of relaxation and meditation (either seated cross-legged or lying on your back) when you have completed your postures is key in a yoga program. The relaxation assists us in integrating the movement and regenerating our energy.

How do we choose a class that is appropriate for us? How do we get started on a yoga practice? Try several styles and notice how you feel after each. An appropriate class is one where at the end of class you feel internally rejuvenated. When you leave class you should feel lightness in your step and a desire to return. Other positive signs are: more access to your breath, a feeling of well being (combination of calm and high energy). Here are eight postures that will get you started. I suggest you do them every three to four days and familiarize yourself with the movements. Again, your yoga postures should express who you are so you won’t look like someone else performing the same pose. Simply follow the directions and while you’re in the pose try to become as aware of your body and thoughts as you can. Breathe a simple breath based on the rhythm of your inhale and exhale. Take four or five breaths for each movement. Notice where and when you might hold your breath. I would recommend purchasing a yoga mat. You can buy them in most health food and sports stores.

  • Mountain Pose. Stand with feet together or hip distance. Imagine roots growing out of your feet into the earth. Feel your spine lengthening as the crown of your head lifts toward the sky. Inhale and exhale and feel the oppositional movement of feet planted firmly on the ground while the crown reaches upward. Keep your gaze focused at the horizon line. This posture prepares the body for a yoga practice.
  • Forward facing warrior. Stand in mountain pose and lift your arms by your ears, a few breaths and center yourself. Take a step forward on your right foot and bend your knee over your ankle. Focus your gaze at the horizon. Lengthen the torso and drop your shoulders. Repeat on the other side. This pose strengthens the thighs and brings in warrior energy.
  • Forward facing warrior with a forward bend. Repeat the above posture. Slowly straighten the front leg and extend the spine over the front leg. Relax the arms beside the leg. Repeat on the other side. This pose opens the spine and stretches both legs. This movement also soothes the mind.
  • Tree balance. Stand in mountain pose and become centered. Slowly transition your weight onto the left leg. Bring your hands into a prayer position over your chest. And position your left foot on your calf. Balance on your right leg while you breathe and focus your gaze at the horizon. Allow your body to move with the flow of your breath. Balances are never static. This pose develops balance and confidence.
  • Downward facing dog. Come on your hands and knees. Legs hip width apart and arms shoulder distance apart. Tuck your toes and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling into an upsidedown V position. Fan out your fingers and press them into the floor. Keep moving your tailbone and elongate your spine. Bring your ears between your arms. Return to your hands and knees slowly and rest. This pose cleanses the mind and strengthens the upper body.
  • Bridge. Lay on your back and bend your knees, legs hip width apart. Lift your hips and spine toward the ceiling as you move through the front of the knees. Bring your arms underneath your body on the floor and interlace your fingers. Keep your gaze at the chest. This posture increases energy and increases flexibility in the spine.
  • Seated twist. Sit with both legs extended in front of you. Bend your right leg keeping the left in front with the foot flexed. Place your left hand below the right knee and bring the right hand around the back of the body close to the spine. Lift and rise through the crown of your head on the inhale, on the exhale twist the spine to the right, moving around the axis of the spine. Move from the lower to the upper spine, the head is the last to twist around. Slowly release from the base of the spine and come back to center. Repeat on the other side. Twists flush and balance the nervous system.
  • Reclining bound pose. Now it’s time for relaxation. Lie on your back and bring your feet together. Allow your knees to splay apart. You can also extend your legs and come into corpse pose if bound pose is too much for your hips. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Let go of any stress and allow your body to release into the floor. Stay as long as you like.