Learn Basic Yoga

Yoga has been a spiritual practice in India. There are four main kinds of yoga, which are Raja Yoga, Jhana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Karma Yoga. However, in this article, you should be able to learn the basics of yoga.

Let us focus the fundamentals of yoga. The four steps are breathing, meditation, posture and relaxation. The basic objective of yoga is to free your mind from problems and worries. When doing this, you are actually releasing any intensions such as stressed at work or even your worries from the past.

The popular yoga meditation is done when sitting cross-legged with your straight back. Relax your hands, place your palm face up above your legs. It is important to breathe deeply while closing your eyes. Relax your muscles, particularly your jaw. Then unconsciously, you will be feeling better and relax.

Expert says that is better if you would attend yoga class at least twice a week to properly learn basic yoga. However, this may not work for you because of your busy schedule. Therefore, it will be very helpful if you would know the basics of yoga.

Now, start practicing to learn basic yoga meditation because this will help you bring closer to a stress free life. Now take a deep breathe and get started on your journey to stress free city.

Yoga on the Road

One solution is to drop in on classes wherever you happen to be. Yoga is so widespread that it should be fairly easy to find a class where your travels take you. This can also be an enriching experience as you get to attend classes with varied instructors in different environments.

Dropping in on out-of-town classes can actually be a catalyst for personal growth in your practice. It will get you out of the comfort zone of your own studio and instructors and open you up to new experiences that can “push the envelope” and provide you with the opportunity to learn and expand your knowledge.

As it may not be practical to always be able to attend a class while traveling, you can create a space in your hotel room that will make it more appropriate for yoga. Bring a few personal items such as photographs, candles, little statues, incense, books, or other objects that you find “homey” and/or inspiring. This will personalize the space.

Get some extra towels form the hotel to spread on the floor to eliminate worries about cleanliness. Use the pillows or cushions from sofas as bolsters. Turn the heat up in the room to make it more comfortable. Bring an eye bag to help induce relaxation in Savasana. Her are four asanas that are easy to do and can calm the mind while your traveling. This routine takes between 20-40 minutes if you spend about 3-10 minutes in each pose. Best done first thing in the morning or right before bedtime, this routine will definitely help you relax, release and enjoy your trip more.

First off, sit in a chair and with your knees wide apart align your heels and point your toes slightly inward. Place your elbows on your knees, move your buttocks back into the chair and have your head hanging forward. Feel your neck lengthen as you breathe deeply and relax into the pose. If you wish to go further you can place your hands close to or on the floor. Gently come up by pressing on your hands or elbows and let your head come up last. This will relax the shoulders and neck and relieve tension in the tailbone.

Next up is the crooked knee pose. This time bring your legs together and in front of you while sitting in a chair. Move your feet slightly forward and place your left ankle on your right thigh with the groove of the left ankle on the right thighbone. Gently slide the left ankle towards your hip. As you do this, tilt your head forward to soften the back of your neck.

If at this stage you feel any discomfort, remain here. If not then as you inhale raise your front ribs upwards and lean your upper body forward as you breathe out. Let your arms hang loosely alongside your legs or put your hands or forearms on your right knee. Again use your hands to slowly rise out of the pose, raising the head last. Lower the left leg to the floor, take a few deep, relaxing breaths and repeat with the other leg.

This pose will quiet your mind and release tension in the neck and back. It will be comforting for those who suffer from sciatica and relieve pressure in the abdominal and pelvic organs which will aid digestion.

Next up is a lunge. With your hands and knees on the floor and your back level, move your right foot into the space between your hands. Breathe easily in this pose for 30 seconds to three minutes, longer if you have the time. Then push on the floor with your hands, slowly backing out of the pose to prevent gripping in the back muscles. Do the other side.

This asana will also help those with sciatica. It will help to ease neck and back pain and relieve tension and anxiety, allowing you to experience more mental clarity.

The final asana is a rotated stomach pose. Lie on your back with your hands or forearms around your shins. Hug your knees to your chest then extend your arms down to the floor and out to your sides so that they form a 45 degree angle to your body. Roll your bent legs and your hips to the left, laying your legs on the floor.

Slowly rotate your head to the left, pausing to breathe 1 to 2 minutes and then turn your head to the right. Breathe for another 1 to 2 minutes, then bring your knees to center and do the other side.

This pose is very soothing for the central nervous system. It will relieve tension in the spine and neck and help to relieve headaches, insomnia, lower back pain and sciatica. Further, it gently massages the internal organs, stimulating the metabolism and improving digestion. This asana is an excellent preparation for meditation.

Healing Hearts with Yoga

Lie down or sit in a comfortable position making sure that all parts of your body are supported.

Close your eyes and scan your body with your mind. Do you feel a tightness or tension anywhere? Is one shoulder tighter than the other? Is your neck tense? Do you feel pain anywhere?

Adjust your body to be even more comfortable.

Bring your attention to your right leg. Stretch it out from your hip, hugging the muscles toward the bones. Raise your leg a little off the floor, and relax it back down again. Roll it from side to side and relax. Then do the other leg.

Bring your attention to your right arm, stretch it out to the side, hugging the muscles to the bones and stretching your hand as wide as possible, make a fist, and release it to your side. Then follow the same process with your left arm.

Squeeze your buttocks, feel your body lift, and then relax down.

Press your belly out as you inhale deeply, and release with a relaxing exhalation. Allow your belly to be soft.

Inhale deeply and allow your ribcage to expand as wide as possible, expanding your lungs. Exhale and let go. Relax.

Draw your shoulders up around your ears. Squeeze them tightly. Roll them back and down, releasing any tension in your neck and shoulders. Roll your head gently from side to side, letting it come to rest at center.

Squeeze your face, pucker your lips, close your jaw, squeeze your eyelids tightly shut and draw your whole face toward your nose. Then release and relax.

Focus your breath. Taking long deep breaths, and as you exhale send the breath through your mind to each of the parts of your body that you just relaxed. Send your breath as a healing balm, searching out the more subtle tensions and releasing them with your exhalation.

Inhale deeply and fill your entire body with relaxation. Bring your attention to your heart and inhale, filling it with peace, centeredness and calm. Realize that this feeling of stillness is your essential self, the place of peace within you from which you may live.

Visualization and imagery. Our minds are incredibly powerful, and our bodies hear and respond to everything we think. Worry and anxiety are the result of imagery. Most of the time we worry about things that never happen, causing physical stress, increased blood pressure and heart rate, lowered immunity, and mental anguish. If our bodies respond to worry, they’ll also respond to positive images and the physical result is healing. Concentrate your attention on an area of your body that needs healing or relaxation. Imagine or visualize it the way it will look to you, seeing it healthy. For example, visualize your heart. Pink, healthy tissue, blood flowing freely through clear, strong arteries, rich red blood flowing out of your heart, through your arteries to feed every cell in your body. Create as graphic an image as you can. Remember, your image is to create healing and your body will believe what you tell it.

Breathing. We can live without food, water, and shelter, for a time, but how long can we live without breathing? Our first inhalation meant life, and our last exhalation will mean death. The way we breathe affects our thoughts, our minds and our emotions. Chronic stress and tension cause shallow breathing, starving our bodies for oxygen and constantly pushing our nervous systems to the edge of a panic response. Control of our breath gives us control of our responses. We’ve all heard “If you’re angry, take a deep breath.” That breath gives pause. It slows us down to give us time to think a different thought, to choose again. Putting space between our thoughts creates relaxation and can be controlled by putting space between our breaths. Begin by noticing your breathing pattern. Are your breaths shallow or deep? Are you breathing only with the tops of your lungs or are you bringing your breath all the way down to your belly? Deep full breathing oxygenates the body, relaxing it, cleansing it and slowing down our emotional reactions.

You can practice controlling your breath with “alternate nostril breathing.” Close your right nostril and deeply through your left nostril. Then close off your left nostril and exhale completely through your right nostril. Take full deep breaths and exhale completely. Alternate as often as you feel comfortable, building up to about 3 minutes. Close your eyes and notice how you feel.

Meditation. When life becomes hectic and stressful its important to have a stress management tool to help us to stay calm. Meditation is a path to creating and maintaining that place of peace and stillness within. When we’re calm and our minds are clear, we’re able to respond to life’s inevitable challenges from a realistic and positive perspective; we have the space in our minds to choose to act appropriately. In a medical study at Duke University, it was shown that people who did stress management after their first heart attack were less likely to have a second.

There are probably thousands and thousands of meditation techniques. The point is to calm the mind and find a technique that you enjoy doing. When you begin to try to calm the mind, it will rebel. Thoughts will be constantly pushing their way in. Be patient, start with short sessions, even just a few minutes at a time and build up to 30 minutes gradually.

To meditate, just begin:

Set up a consistent time and place to meditate. Create the atmosphere, light a candle, use your favorite cushion, light incense; whatever “gets you in the mood.”

Sit up in a comfortable position.

Choose a meditation technique that works for you. Try a few, choose one and stick with it. Meditating on a candle, on your breath, on a word. Writing, walking, meditating on a tone, on the point between your eyebrows. There are many books and tapes on meditation techniques.

As your mind tries to distract you keep bringing it back to your point of focus. If necessary, write down the important thoughts that are coming between you and your calm mind.

Physical aerobic exercise is important. It can be gentle and should very definitely be enjoyable so you’ll do it; about a half an hour a day is effective. Exercise at a comfortable rate so that you can carry on a conversation while you’re doing it. You’ll be exercising your entire body as you walk and talk and share with a friend. Integrate your exercise into your day, climb a few flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator, get a dog to walk with or walk to work with a friend. Sunset is a great time to stroll briskly and relax from the day. The more you walk, the faster you’ll enjoy the benefits of better cardiovascular circulation, overall fitness, stronger respiration, and of course, a healthier heart.

Participate in a support group. Emotional, psychological and spiritual support is valuable for all of us, and especially critical for those who are challenged with a major lifestyle change. The value of interpersonal support systems has been demonstrated in 12 Step Programs, and that type of support is just as valuable for those changing their lifestyle for a healthier heart. Sharing with others opens our hearts, supporting each other heals them.