People practice yoga for a variety of reasons. Many yoga practitioners are interested in the health benefits that come from regularly performing the routines. Others want a state of harmony between inner and outer self. Still others practice yoga primarily to relax. A State of HarmonyThe profound relaxation available through yoga includes a state of clarity of mind, and of harmony with and understanding of the world. If such a state of relaxation is your goal, you will need to use most of the yoga techniques available. Pay special attention to breathing, diet, correctly performing the exercises, and meditating. The deep, prolonged breath one learns through yoga helps the brain stay oxygenated, which contributes to mental clarity. Diet influences the structure of our body as well as our brain. The exercises (called asanas and pranayamas) were developed thousands of years ago to produce beneficial results. To have the desired effects, yoga routines must be carried out correctly. Poor yoga practices will likely produce disappointing results. The KeysYour attitude and your focus are the keys to making your yoga experience deeply satisfying. Entering the profound stage of relaxation and synchronization between your inner and your outer self can occur only with appropriate action. Relaxation is actually a necessary part of every yoga routine. The body needs to relax after practicing the exercises, especially the more demanding ones. Certain asanas require an unusual positioning of the body, which can result in discomfort if the relaxation stage is omitted. Bridging WorldsYoga connects the spiritual and material worlds, and relaxation is the bridge that brings the practitioner back fully to the present reality.As a general rule, during relaxation exercises, you will lie down comfortably and meditate. Your yoga trainer will suggest ways for you to gradually move and position your feet and arms. Yoga routines may have different relaxation exercises, but they all have the purpose of cushioning the shock of contact with the surrounding reality. Relaxation also helps to maintain a certain degree of peacefulness created by the routine. But talk is never enough. The only way to be sure of the relaxation benefits of yoga is to try it yourself. The only thing you have to lose is your tension.
People have always believed that yoga can do more for your body than just keeping it fit and flexible. Research now shows it can help weight control, lower back pain, insomnia and even heart disease. Studies indicate yoga helps with weight loss and maintenance. In a study of 15,000 adults, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those who did not practice yoga gained approximately 18.5 pounds more over a 10-year period than those who practiced for at least four years. There was also a study done at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. This study found people who regularly practiced yoga and meditation, exercised and watched their diet lost more weight than those who exercised, and ate a balanced diet, but did not practice yoga.Additionally Yoga can improve your range of motion in your hips, reducing lower back pain. A study done at The American College of Sports Medicine, suggest that yoga increases lower back flexibility and decreases pain. It was a small study conducted on older women age 44-62. Persistent back pain however should always be professional diagnosed before embracing on any exercise program including yoga. Yogas backbends and forward bends may exacerbate some back conditions.Yoga can also calm your body and your mind, which can help people who suffer from insomnia. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD., an instructor of medicine, division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School recently published a study. He found a half hour to 45 minutes of daily yoga practice with a focus on meditation and breathing, helped chronic insomniacs sleep through the night. The subjects increased their overall sleep by 12%.Yoga breathing can help lower your heart rate and calm your nervous system. The breathing techniques can help alleviate serious anxiety and depression and reduce stress. Practicing yoga for an hour and a half three times a week can make your heart healthier in just six weeks. A recent study out of Yale University School of Medicine had 33 men and women who practiced yoga at that rate. This lowered their blood pressure and improved their blood vessels ability to expand and contract by 17%. Researchers believe the improvements are based on the stress-reducing benefits of yoga. Copyright Diet-Newsroom.com, All Rights Reserved.
Increasingly, you may hear about your companions enrolling in Hatha classes at the local gym. In terms of pure popularity, Hatha yoga is number one in the yoga world. As a result, the poses are known well by both beginners and experts. Hatha yoga poses are called Asanas. The Asanas are used in combination with meditation and the breathing techniques known as Pranayama. Together they work the body to improve strength and flexibility as well as overall health, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Hatha is a hybrid of the Sanskrit words ha which means sun and the word tha which means the moon. Together, they refer to the way that Hathas yoga poses often bring together opposites currents in the system.Of the eight limbs of yoga, Hatha focuses mostly on the third, which is Asana, and the fourth, which is Pranayama. These pose and posture techniques coupled with the breathing patterns are used to clear out your bodys energy channels, known as the Nadis. This, in turn, removes obstacles that could hamper other limbs helping to improve your well being.Hatha HistoryHatha has been around since 15th century India when a yogic sage, Swami Swatamarama, detailed Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one of the most important yoga texts. The original intent of this form of yoga was to help support relaxation of the body and to support the contemplation of one reality. Many of the classic Hatha yoga poses that were used at its inception, in fact, are still in use with it today. According to those first practitioners of Hatha, the postures can lead to the best in not only physical well being, but also the best state of mind you can possibly attain.Your Hatha PathBefore beginning your journey into Hatha yoga, you need to be prepared just like with any other form of yoga. There are some basic tips that can help you have an easier, more effective, and safer experience as you begin this original yoga style.First, remember to breathe normally while you are in and move between each of the poses. Your breaths should be deep and smooth. Try to feel your diaphragm opening and expanding as you switch from one posture to another. Hatha rarely, if ever, uses the shorter and harder yoga breathing, so stay smooth and deep.Second, do not force any of the stretch positions in Hatha. Start with the easier ones and make sure you are moving easily and naturally into each pose and that you are holding it for 15 to 30 seconds. This will ensure that you get the most out of your yoga and minimize your risk of injury. Be patient with your body and do not attempt the more difficult poses until you are sure you are ready.Finally, concentrate on your breathing. One of the big focuses in this particular yoga is the breathing which leads to much of the mental health benefits. Use the exercise to relax and become at peace with yourself in the moment. That is what Hatha yoga poses are intended to do for you. Hatha has been in practice for over 600 years. Longevity like that is rare even in yoga, and can be a sign of success and true belief. If you are considering this form of yoga as for yourself, then remember: never strain, take the time to make sure you are ready for a given pose, and to concentrate heavily on your breathing. Following these tips will help you to attain the superior mental and physical well being that Hatha is said to provide.
Finding the best yoga videos is not as easy to walking down to your local video store and wandering over to the exercise aisle. Not all such videos on the market are ideal for effective home practice. In order to make sure you get the best "yoga videos" for your home, consider a few things you should really look for.Easy To UnderstandFirst of all, a quality yoga video will be easy for you to follow. You should be able to understand what is being done, how the positions are achieved, how long you should hold each one, and how often you should do it. It should also be easy to follow into each subsequent move. If you cannot understand the video, then it has failed on its most basic level.Secondly, videos should provide not only easy to follow instructions, but also easy to understand demonstrations. You should be able to, by watching, understand the basics of achieving each pose and each transition. You should also understand, from watching, the breathing patterns and focus. If you can understand the verbal instructions, but the demonstrations are unclear then your video is no better than a book on yoga.Next, there should be easy modifications offered in the best yoga videos. Yoga can be difficult, so beginners to it may frequently need modifications to their practice so that they can understand even that which they cannot complete. No matter what your ability level may be, you want your video to be able to apply to you. Once you buy a video, it should be of use to you at every stage as you progress further into yoga. Choose a video that will grow with you.Teaching QualiltyIn a quality video, the yoga should be taught in a student centered manner. Though that seems like it should go without saying, you will see a number of yoga videos that are just a fancy way of showing off the instructors ability in yoga. Such videos do little if any good and in many cases may even be counterproductive for you. The idea of having the yoga video is to help your development, not to put you in awe of someone elses level of flexibility or fitness.Finally, high quality yoga videos should feature prominent and well qualified instructors. They should not only be practicing instructors, but should probably have achieved great success in their yoga education. You always want to learn from someone at as high a level as possible. By simply reading the back of the box, you will often get an overview of the teachers qualifications so that you can make an intelligent decision as to whether or not you want this person to help you practice yoga in your home.Finding the best yoga videos really isnt easy. However, when armed with the tools above, you can more accurately assess a videos value. Look for something you understand visually and orally, that you can use at any level, and that features a successful teacher while staying student centered. When you find that you will have found the best of the best yoga videos for use at home and between private sessions or classes.
Lets face it, at its first mention; Yoga might not come off as the most masculine exercise. But thats just it-at its first mention. When you delve deeper into it, you will realize nothing could be further from the truth.More males are discovering this and consequently more American men are now flocking to the yoga mats where once, it seemed, only women dared to tread. However the irony is in India where it originated, it wasnt until recently that women were even allowed to practice yoga-that with restrictions still applied at times.Men now make up 25 percent of America's 17 million enthusiasts and this figure is increasing steadily. Perhaps it may be because several successful men in various walks of life attest to Yogas efficiency and openly advocate its practice.Take Hip-Hop entrepreneur, Russell Simmons for example, when I read he practiced Yoga (just like Sting, Quincy Jones and Woody Harrelson), it further increased my belief that in no time perhaps NOT practicing Yoga will be seen as strange. Okay, maybe I overstated that, however, for Simmons (someone viewed as a pioneer in such a masculine and testosterone driven lifestyle known as Hip-Hop) to openly show off his Yoga Skills in a recent issue of the popular Yoga Journal Magazine, dont be surprised if more cats start following suit. This may happen a lot faster as I once read in an article online that the successful coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson, often uses Yoga Philosophies in the training of both teams.It had to have been effective if it led to the Bulls being 3-time Champions and the Lakers winning their first championship in 12 years back in 2000, both under his guidance.Now most men who practice yoga tend to favor the more athletic, fast-moving styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga. Personally, I bow to the simple yet powerful Sun Salutations common to the Sivananda style of Yoga. I showed this routine and some other balancing poses to a couple of friends once and these tough workout animals were shocked at how strenuous yoga can be. They discovered that holding the asanas (or poses) such as the peacock pose, builds strength-not the brute strength of a power lifter but the tensile strength of a martial-arts master.Several pro-athletes such as the Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George,Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, Oakland A's pitcher ace Barry Zito, NBA superstar Kevin Garnett and PGA standouts Ty Tyron and David Duval have all at some point attested to this fact.Either way it goes, Yoga is being rediscovered on an almost daily basis by men as indeed being the way to go as far as exercise; sometimes exclusively, oft-times in combination with more common forms of fitness regimens.So fellas, if you are you stilled not convinced this isnt just a girls exercise, do this, go to your favorite search engine, type up one of the following: The Peacock, 4-limbed or wheel pose.Try either one for a full minute and you will be shocked-like my hard as nails friend once said-to discover that Yoga aint no joke!Gentlemen, real dudes indeed do practice Yoga.