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Yoga: Poses And Postures

Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, however, some styles focus primarily on physically working the back, for instance: the most important Yoga poses in this case will differ from others, remaining the most important Yoga poses for another kind of Yoga. There are also very difficult one might focus on in other styles of Yoga designed to stretch and strengthen other specific parts of the body, and many that work the entire body, treating the body as left and right equals yin and yang.

There are specific Yoga poses for the floor parts of Yoga exercise, as well as the more familiar standing Yoga poses.

One of the most basic kinds of standing Yoga poses one will learn in Yoga is what is called the tree balance. In this balance you will:

1) Prepare as always by checking the posture and lifting through the torso, pushing your shoulders down.

2) Hold your eyes on one object diagonally or straight forward for the entire pose.

3) Stand with your feet together.

4) Lift up onto the balls of your feet.

5) Rock your weight back, onto your heels.

6) Strengthen the right leg shifting all of your weight and lift your left leg slowly up so that your foot lays flat, toes down, resting on your right inner thigh.

7) Your arms slowly lift up to what is called the prayer position: both palms meeting directly above the top of the head–the full body in perfect alignment. Meeting above the crown chakra and lengthening all the way through the body.

The benefits of practicing this posture are many. It will result in remarkably noticeable balance and grace.

The posture requires balance, focus and concentration–all the basic guidelines of Yoga–both spiritual and physical are involved in Yoga poses. The tree balance is one of the many Yoga poses where the key is to relax and clear your mind. Not thinking about the difficulty of the pose itself–releasing tension–that is the mental aspect of several complex positions–without which many Yoga poses would be virtually impossible to hold.

This is one of the most well known Yoga postures. However, there are many. Including, as I mentioned before, many floor Yoga poses. Focus and breath–this is how you remain in any of the Yoga poses.

One example of the floor Yoga poses is the snake:

1) Lay flat on your stomach with your hands on your shoulders.

2) Lift up by straightening the arms and focus up–as though your eyes were also a part of the arch.

3) Focus on pushing the pelvis down towards the floor–arching your back.

4) And keep your shoulders down, as with virtually all Yoga poses.

Remember, all Yoga poses are meant to be held. You do not just reach the posture. Instead you reach it and remain there–thirty seconds, a minute etc. Holding, breathing, the asana, and the pranayama, this is how the balance is earned. In all Yoga poses you will find that you can stretch further and further each time. There are many other yoga poses and techniques out there–go find the perfect kind of yoga for you!

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Yoga Benefits For the Mind, Body and Spirit

One of the most popular forms of exercise and fitness, yoga benefits almost everybody cutting across age groups due to its unique philosophy. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the word ‘yug’ that means to ‘unite’ and yoga serves to do just that. It serves to unite the body; mind and spirit into a single powerful consciousness that helps you achieve an active lifestyle among many other benefits.

Yoga Benefits

There are six different kinds of Yoga each with its unique set of benefits:

Hatha Yoga: Ideal for beginners, Hatha Yoga is also called the Yoga of postures. It includes pranayam or breathing techniques, meditation as well as different levels of Asanas as they are referred to. It includes various sub styles which include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jiva Mukti and Kripalu, each being the same with different interpretations. This is also the best yoga for health.

Bhakti Yoga: This form of yoga is meant for people who are looking for a path to god. Also called the Yoga of devotion, it is commonly practiced amongst ‘yogis’ in India and its goals are spiritual and not fitness.

Raja Yoga: Also called the yoga of self control, Raja Yoga is the yoga that is based on the teachings of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and is ideal for building discipline of the mind.

Jnana Yoga: This form of yoga is centered on a man’s intelligence and is also called yoga of the mind. It gives utmost importance to learning and wisdom and not so much to physical aspects.

Karma Yoga: Karma means service and Karma Yogis work towards a better tomorrow by doing good actions. This form of yoga teaches you to perform selfless service during your lifetime.

Tantra Yoga: This form of yoga is often misinterpreted as a form of sex and is much in demand. Unfortunately sex is only a small part of this yoga of rituals which is really about sacred experiences.

Each form of yoga’s benefits depends on what you are looking to achieve. It is important to find a guru well versed in the kind of yoga that you want to learn. There are many commercial courses available for Hatha Yoga but for the rest, yogis are more difficult to find. Yoga has become a lifestyle statement amongst celebrities who swear by its benefits. The truth is that yoga has a very special place in today’s stressful existence. In the modern day pressures, it is easy to lose oneself and succumb to depression. Yoga is a form of holistic healing that helps you become stronger in mind and body from within. Yoga benefits also include a fitter and more flexible body which helps you lead a more active and enriched life.

It is important to read up on the kind of yoga that you want to learn before embarking on this journey. For many, yoga is about weight loss while for many others, it’s just the latest trend. Unless your reasons for learning or following the path of yoga are honest, it will be difficult to reap the complete yoga benefits.

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Three Yoga Tips For Self Motivation

In Yoga, we often talk about making changes from within. These small changes affect the world around us. To make a change from within is a difficult task. No matter how much you change, it might seem as if the world around you lacks motivation.

The truth is – Yoga is not for everyone because it requires commitment. These days, making a commitment, in any phase of life, is a rarity. Yet, everyone you know has dreams of achievement at something. Even a low achiever dreams about something better. Let’s look at three ways to raise your motivation with Yoga.

Surround yourself with self-motivated people. The most obvious place, to find motivated people, is in groups. If you visit a Yoga class, health club, or support group, you will find people who strongly desire to make a positive change. There is no guess work here.

On the other hand, pessimists can easily be found. It is easy to spot them. They will tell you, the weather is always bad and nothing ever works right. Whenever it is possible, find your way back to a group of optimists. This will change your attitude and life dramatically.

Permanently adjust your perspective. Look at the happy side of everything. Stop looking at life with a cynical viewpoint. Enjoy your life by living a Yogic lifestyle. Proper eating, breathing, exercising, praying, and sleeping, can be altered much like a prescription.

After awhile, you may feel like you need a vacation from living a healthy life. You do not have to give up everything you enjoy. For example: If you enjoy chocolate ice cream, you can still enjoy it in moderation. “Sauca” is sometimes referred to as cleanliness and moderation in diet. One of the keys to a happy life is in walking the middle path of moderation in our deeds, thoughts, and words.

Set realistic goals. Anyone, who thinks goals are bad, needs some professional guidance. Humankind would have achieved nothing without goals. Without goals, we would still be drawing on cave walls. Then again, our species might have become extinct because primal humans had to have goals to survive.

With that said, do you remember your first Yoga class? There had to be a number of techniques you considered to be almost impossible. Yet, you found the fortitude to move forward. This same principle applies to Yoga, in every form, and to life itself – do your personal best and keep trying.

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Yoga Tips and Tricks – Swami Ramdev Baba Yoga Tips and Tricks

Yoga is very beneficial for your whole body if it is done properly and regularly. Every one has the busy schedule in this fast life. No one has the time to go for medicine, doctor and body care centers. Therefore yoga now a day is taking popularity to keep the body feet and away from disease.

It is very important to have the proper and right information before going for yoga. Yoga is natural and has no side effects on body. Yoga is ancient art of keeping body fit and healthy. You will find no need to go to the doctor if you promise for regular practice of yoga. It will develop your mental, physical and spiritual power.

You would have definitely heard the name and news of Swami Ramdev Baba. Swami Ramdev Baba is in the news since last two years. Swami Ramdev Baba believes on natural cure and natural medicines. Swami Ramdev Baba is an Indian and now he is become so very famous personality in India as well and aboard. Recently they have visited many countries and share his view about yoga. Swami Ramdev Baba always insists peoples to bring yoga in their regular practice.

There are some important tips and tricks how to keep yourself fit with yoga. But it is also recommended to take expert advices in case you have some physical problems as it can be problem in some types of yoga exercise. Ramdev Baba has several offers their advice for free in their regular camps. You can also watch his TV program in the morning and in the evening. Read more about Ramdev Baba Yoga.

Yoga Tips Tricks

Yoga offer many benefits to your body, mind and spirit. If you have just developed your mind to practice yoga then first you should take some advice from yoga experts or join yoga classes. You can also join Ramdev Baba Yoga Shivirs which are many times organized in India and sometimes in aboard. You can call personally and ask about their program schedules.

Start doing yoga with little practice. Give some time each day for yoga. Don’t to try to do over. Check your yoga positions whether it is correct. If you practice yoga in wrong poses then you will not get any benefits out of it.

Don’t go for single yoga exercise. Always try to adopt different types of yoga as they will offer extra benefits to you. Extend your Yoga timings as per expert advice and tips or you can increase it slowly-slowly.

Practice with different kinds of yoga exercises will boost your self confidence and gradually you will find no need for yoga classes and teachers.

Make sure about the perfect attention for yoga. Don’t try to do hard work. Learn about inner attentions as it will benefit you after some time. Try to get more benefits from yoga with your yoga teacher.

Select right yoga teacher. Always try to select a teacher with whom you find your self comfortable. He should be perfect in yoga teaching. He should have the some experience of yoga. Learn yoga exercise in right and perfect positions and poses. Read about Ramdev Yoga

These are some tips and tricks of yoga exercise. Make yourself perfect in yoga exercises and the time will come when you will see a huge change in your mental and physical strength. Yoga will develop and improve your mental skills, power and increase your concentrating power.

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Basic Yoga Positions For Beginners

Some basic yoga positions for beginners can give you benefits that you might not think about. You might think you don’t need the basics once you feel you are at an intermediate level, or you might think the basics won’t help you because you are not flexible enough to “do yoga.” All levels of practitioners can benefit from basic yoga positions.

If you are new to yoga or interested in starting a yoga practice, the basics are your starting point. You can always modify a more difficult pose by practicing a basic pose. You can even modify a basic pose. The object is to find the benefit that each pose has for you – inside your own body.

If you are an intermediate yogi, practicing the basics can re-root you to your poses. Sometimes we move through the poses like we’ve been there before and it is easy. Try re-connecting with the basic poses. Be mindful of the four corners of your feet pressing into the ground – making your feet the root of your pose. Stand a little straighter and be aware of how small changes affect how you feel in the pose.

Basic poses can seem like they have no benefit at all, such as mountain pose. It looks like you are simply standing. By actively pushing your feet into the ground and consciously lifting your spine, you are straightening your posture, and strengthening your ankles. By opening your shoulders you are relieving stress in your shoulders and neck and opening your chest to promote full utilization of the lungs. When focusing on your breath you are increasing your cardio respiratory function and endurance. Add in tightening your quadriceps in an upward motion and tucking the tailbone under slightly and you add the benefits of strengthening the upper leg muscles and abdominals. This is all accomplished by simply standing up straight and breathing with awareness.

Other basic poses can have just as many benefits, some physical, some stress relieving, some just feel good. Basic positions for beginners include child pose, forward bend, warrior 1, 2 and 3, triangle pose, cat/cow pose, downward dog, spinal twist and cobra.

You usually want to practice an inversion such as a forward bend which gives your brain a fresh dose of oxygenated blood. A side stretch, a twist, and a back bend will keep your spine lubricated and supple. By moving the spine in different directions with awareness you are improving flexibility and decreasing risk of injury. Back bends stretch the front side of your body, forward bends stretch the back. Twists give your organs a gentle massage.

Overall moving through the poses and breathing with awareness while tuning in to how your body feels builds your mind-body connection. This connection can help you with many things from stress relief to pain relief.

Basic yoga positions can be practiced as often as you like; daily is best to keep the benefits coming. You can practice for 15 minutes or up to an hour (or even more). Fifteen minutes of yoga daily can provide you with a feeling of general well-being. You will be relieving stress while promoting healthy breathing and gentle flexibility.

Practice some basic yoga positions. Pay attention to your body, your breath … yourself.

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Yoga Benefits – Are There Yoga Benefits For Beginners Starting Out?

There are many yoga benefits for people who have been practicing for a long time and are very proficient in their practice, obviously. When you think about yoga, you must naturally picture a room full of people with perfect bodies, holding impossible looking yoga poses flawlessly and seemingly effortlessly, and wearing the most serene expressions on their faces. They are obviously reaping the benefits of a long and successful yoga practice. Sure, there are yoga benefits for people like that, but what about beginners? Are there any inherent benefits in starting a yoga practice if you have no experience?

Yes, there are a myriad of benefits that begin on the very first day you begin a yoga practice!

Just as in a cardio or weight training regimen, you don’t have to wait until you are fully proficient to enjoy some of the happy side effects – and many of them begin on day one.

For instance, since you are starting to use your muscles, you are going to start to feel more warm, flexible, and energetic starting right away. This is particularly true if you have previously been sedentary prior to starting your practice. Your body instinctively knows that muscles are supposed to be in motion and in use, and if your muscles that haven’t been in use for a long time, your body is going to be happy that you are changing your habits.

Of course, if you try to get too advanced too quickly, your muscles will obviously protest and you could experience pain and soreness. But if you start out gently and build up gradually, that shouldn’t happen.

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Yoga Tips – How Long Should You Hold Yoga Poses?

Many practitioners of Hatha Yoga often wonder how long each pose should be held. During the process of holding Yoga poses (asanas), there is actually no definitive amount of time that should be applied to each move. The asana should be held as long as it is comfortable and does not cause any pain or discomfort. In addition, it should be quite easy to breathe deeply and fully while holding each Yoga pose.

There is a misconception that pain should be felt during these poses. However, it is best for the person, who is practicing, to only hold them as long as there is no pain, and they are fully comfortable. As long as your body is comfortable, the asana can be held for minutes at a time. In fact, for restorative purposes, it is recommended to hold the poses for intervals of 60 seconds, while deep breathing is practiced. Deep breathing helps open up the ribs and helps stretch the spine.

Another way to determine how long to hold the position is to breathe in and out, up to five times during the process of holding an asana, but only if the position can be held without discomfort. Remember, the main focus is to be able to accomplish the pose while maintaining a comfortable position. Understanding safety during physical Yoga practice is vital to accomplishing these asanas, without causing any damage to the body. It is crucial to understand that Hatha Yoga is not a race, and taking the time to do the asana correctly is much more important than holding a pose for a long amount of time.

There are some asanas that are not meant to be done for minutes at a time. It is not always true that holding a pose for an extended amount of time is better. For example, the Peacock Pose (Mayurasana), the Eagle Pose (Garudasana), and the Crow Pose (Kakasana), are asanas that might not be executed for very long time, due to their ability to cause internal or external strain.

All of the meditative poses, however, can be held for longer periods of time, without any complications. For these types of postures, it is actually beneficial to retain the asana without needing to take a break. These poses include the Easy Pose (Sukhasana), the Corpse Pose (Shavasana), and the Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana). Asanas are meant to strengthen the mind and spirit, while toning the body, in a safe progressive manner.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Bikram Yoga Positions

Bikram Yoga is a form of Yoga which consists of a series of 26 poses performed in a hot room. When we say Bikram Yoga positions that is the same as calling them postures, poses, asanas or something else. Bikram is also commonly referred to as “Hot Yoga”.

Bikram Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury, a self-styled Yoga entrepreneur who moved from India to the US to teach yoga. He developed his own version of Hatha yoga that consists of a tightly scripted sequence of 26 positions and two breathing exercises. The temperature of a Bikram Yoga studio is usually at 105 degrees or even higher! The idea behind it is that the heat will help to loosen your muscles, improve flexibility, and increase your heart rate. And, although quite to state the obvious, the heat also makes you sweat – a lot!

Bikram’s 26 hatha yoga postures are, like most other styles of hatha Yoga, designed to stretch your muscles, compress your cardiopulmonary system and improve your circulation. The practise can be uncomfortable or mildly painful at first and you may get lightheaded or nauseous during the session. These sensations are often symptoms of detoxification taking place in the body, but be caution is appropriate as they may also be signs of dehydration.

The first 60 minutes of a practice session is usually spent doing standing exercises, followed by 30 minutes of floor exercises. The routine includes Bikram Yoga positions such as the Half Moon Pose that strengthens your abdominals and helps with back pain. The Awkward pose that strengthens calves, thighs, and hips. And the Wind Removing Pose that straightens the spine and increases flexibility. The last mentioned one also exerts pressure on your colon, which perhaps is the origin of the name of the position.

The only copyrighted Yoga?!

On an interesting side note, one can mention that the entrepreneur in Choudhury wants to have monopoly on who can teach this form of Yoga. He has made it clear that he thinks Bikram is “his original version of yoga”. He claimed copyright protection for this particular set of Yoga positions and even sued some yoga studios that taught Bikram Yoga without paying his franchise fee. His argument was that “just as a sequence of musical notes or dance steps can be copyrighted – so can Yoga”. Others claim that this is nothing else than pure greed, stemming from Bikram’s want to make a lot of money, and that Yoga has it’s firm roots in the public domain.

Be that as it may, if you are considering to take up Bikram Yoga for yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First of all, due to the intense heat, Bikram yoga can be tough to endure for certain people. Those who have low resistance to heat, have high blood pressure, heart problems or any other serious health condition, should check with their doctor before trying this form of exercise.

Even if you are in top shape, you need to mentally prepare yourself for the heat. The room is between 105 F and 110 F degrees Fahrenheit (although some instructors keep it high, but under 100 F) and classes usually last about 90 minutes, so you will be sweating a lot. You need to drink plenty of water throughout the day – both before and after the class. During the class you should only sip small amounts of water though, as gulping it down may cause nausea or other discomforts.

If you attend a class to get some first hand experience with this series of poses, and notice that you start to feel ill – sit down cross legged on your towel (remember to bring one, you will need it anyhow). If that doesn’t help you may lie down for a bit until you feel strong enough to continue. You may then take a sip of water and continue doing your Bikram Yoga positions.

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Yoga Benefits

So you have heard of the many benefits of a yoga workout. You have finally given in to purchasing a ten-dollar mat, the hot yoga pants, and even a short DVD to help you along. However, when you finally find the time to try it out, you are disappointed in discovering it is not the yoga routine you have been hearing about. What happened?

Don’t give up. There might be a few things you are not considering simply because you haven’t heard about them yet.

First things first, the meaning behind yoga is critical to understanding the mentality of beginning a yoga routine. It was originally developed as a spiritual practice. Today it has been morphed into this stereotype of an excruciating circus of flexibility, but it is important to recognize that while some people favor this extreme of yoga that has branched off from the tree, it is not an accurate representation of yoga itself. Yoga is about being present in the moment. It is about having no distractions and aligning your mind, body, and spirit. The word itself literally means “union,” and it is all about getting your mind and body in union and feeling balance within yourself.

Before you go back and try that DVD or yoga class, try winding down and thinking about the purpose of yoga and what it is you are trying to accomplish. When you begin your breathing, remember to stay within the moment and put all of your thoughts and concentration on your breathing and nothing else. When you get that equilibrium established, move the breath deep within your belly, and from there move it throughout your entire body. It may sound abstract now, but once you get into this mindset it will become easier and easier to establish this yoga way of thinking.

Of course it isn’t going to be natural at first, because you are not used to giving undivided time solely to yourself. It is so easy to get lost in the noise of the world and feel our internal solace drowned out in the constant daily hassles we all face. The important thing is recognizing that to battle those hassles we need to find some balance within ourselves by acknowledging that there is an importance in the mind body relationship. This is why you wanted to start yoga to begin with. Just remember as you go back to that video that it is not about looking exactly like the model being pictured or bending your body in ways you didn’t think imaginable. Maybe that day will come, but for now focus on the true spirit of yoga and the joy that comes with your new mind and body relationship. Only after that will the many health benefits and new thinking processes begin.

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Tips for Yoga Teachers

Developing Your Skills as a Yoga Teacher

No matter what style of yoga you teach or intend to teach, there are many things you can do to ensure a wonderful class for both you and your students.

The following tips are just a few techniques that will help bring out the best in your class:

1) Orient your students to the class. Tell your students what to expect before the class begins.

2) Explain the benefits of specific yoga postures and breathing exercises. Studies have shown that educating students about their bodies and the effects of what they are doing, increases motivation.

3) Practice effective communication skills. Teaching yoga is different than speaking with a friend or teaching an individual. It’s important to be clear and concise – using too many words can break the flow of the class and cause more confusion than help. Also, make eye contact with individual students throughout the class to show your openness and confidence.

4) Know your material. The only way to feel confident teaching yoga is to know your material – which means to understand the alignment details of each yoga posture, as well as the effects and benefits of each posture.

5) Take it step by step. Talk your students through a pose step by step, emphasizing that they can stop at any step along the way. Encourage students to only go to their edge – that point where they feel challenged, yet not overdoing it.

6) Mirror the postures. When facing your class, mirror the movements you demonstrate and do with the class. For example, when you say “reach your right arm overhead,” actually raise your left arm, so it mirror the arm used by your class.

7) Repeat postures. Repeat postures once or twice. This gives students a chance to most watch the first time, but still have enough opportunity to practice the posture on their own.

8) Walk the room. Move around rather than stay in front. This allows you to be with your students and become more aware of what they need.

9) Remind everyone to breathe. Proper breathing is essential in yoga and helps keep the mind focused on the body, while making movement mind mindful and efficient. Often when students try a new pose, they tend to hold their breath, so remind students often to breathe. Explain when to inhale and when to exhale. Encourage students to breathe through their nose. This helps keep their bodies warm, helps filter the air they inhale and helps keep breathing more smooth and breath rate slower.

10) Help students develop their inner awareness. Remind students to focus on the feel of a movement, rather than how it looks or how they compare to other students. Focusing on their breath and on inner feel of a pose helps students stay present in the moment and connect movement to breath.

11) Use positive reinforcement. When you see someone doing something correctly, mention it to them and let them know that you’ve noticed their progress.

To learn more useful tips for yoga teaching or to receive our free newsletter, which includes our expert interview series, bringing you teaching insights from legendary yoga teachers, visit our website at:

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