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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: http://www.YogaEducationInstitute.com.

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The Basic Yoga Positions For Beginners

Yoga positions for beginners are so easy to learn. If you have not experienced any yoga session or have not seen one, that is not a problem.

Practitioners have talked about the unification of the mind, body and spirit. They claimed that this will be acquired through the practice of yoga exercises and techniques.

If it is your first time to hear of yoga, you will of course wonder how these exercises are done and how it looks like. Since you are a beginner, you will also definitely ask what kind of positions will be best for you.

Yogis have believed that the mind and the body are bonded into a unified structure. This belief has never failed and changed through time. Yoga has extensively performed an amazing procedure of healing oneself through harmony. This can be successfully done if you are in a proper environment.

With the great effects of yoga, the doctors have been convinced that yoga has some therapeutic results and can be recommended for people who have illnesses that is hard to cure.

If you have some illness that has been with you for a long time, you can practice the yoga positions for beginners and apply it to yourself.

If you want to practice the yoga positions for beginners, you must believe that yoga is effective and will help you to be cured or be refreshed.

Yoga is not just a recent application. It has been practiced and applied a long time ago and up to the present, the people are benefiting a lot from it.

Investigations and researches have been implemented to prove that yoga can be helpful in the healing process.

Therefore, it has been proved that the yoga positions for beginners are extremely effective and useful when it comes to maintaining a high level of joint flexibility. Although the yoga positions for beginners are just simple and basic, it can slowly bring up a healthy lifestyle and bring more when it is practiced over and over again.

The yoga positions for beginners are very interesting and exciting to perform. Beginners will never find it hard to keep up with the exercises because it is just simple. The technique of yoga gives a very big contributing factor to our internal glands and organs. It also includes the parts of the human body which is barely stimulated.

If you want to learn the yoga positions for beginners, you can learn it easily at home or at school where yoga is taught.

Some basic yoga positions for beginners include standing poses, seated poses, forward and backward bends, balance and twisting. These yoga positions for beginners are not that far from those who are used to practicing yoga. Only that the extreme poses and positions are handled at the latter part of the exercise.

The time duration in executing the positions are also lessened because a beginner cannot fully cope up with a longer time exposure in practice. Rest is required of the beginner so that he will not be drained easily to prepare the body for further positions.

Since you are a beginner, the most important thing you should understand is self discipline. Yoga is not just doing yoga and executing the poses. If you haven’t mastered the basics yet, do not jump into the complex stages and positions because you will not feel the essence of executing the yoga positions for beginners.

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Yoga Benefits

People these days are more sedentary than any other people in history. Man used to have to labor all day to be able to eat. Now you can sit in front of a computer screen all day and never move a muscle other than your fingers and you will be able to afford all the food you can eat. Sitting all day without any form of exercise will cause your muscles to atrophy and become less flexible. What happens when your muscles don’t move as much as they should? You end up pulling muscles.

A great benefit of yoga is that it can help your body have a full range of motion and there is no better form of exercise combined with stretching than what you will find in a yoga class. I strongly encourage you to attend yoga classes. Don’t worry if you have never exercised a day in your life. It’s like having a personal trainer because they are telling you exactly what to do every step of the way. And you will have other people around that makes it more encouraging to try harder.

Telling yourself that you will attend a yoga class every day or every week will help you stick to your goal of getting into shape. Why do people with trainers get into better shape than people without them? Because they feel obligated to go everyday and don’t miss there appointments while people without them will simply skip a day or two here or there until they don’t go to the gym anymore. You need a schedule so that you don’t stop exercising.

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Easy Yoga Tips For Beginners

If you are thinking about taking up yoga, there are a few things you should know first. This article will review some of the most important information that you should be aware of before getting started. Many people who teach themselves make the all too common mistake of not doing enough research before they start. Failing to incorporate some of these key elements can really leave you hurting, literally and figuratively.

One of the most important things for you to consider is what kind of poses you are going to use when you are first starting out. In order to avoid injury or discomfort, you are going to have to find one that isn’t too demanding for a beginner, and there are plenty of those out there. You can go on the internet to do research to find these positions, purchase a book on yoga, or even buy a tape that will show you how to do some of these positions for beginners.

Always remember that you should over exert yourself, because that can always lead to injury. A lot of people who take up yoga try to do more than they should at first, ending up hurting themselves. To avoid this all together, you should work within your comfort zone, pushing yourself forward when you feel like you are ready.

One of the best times to do yoga is in the morning. This is a time in the day where it is important that you loosen up the muscles in your body and focus your mind. If you have a job that requires that move around a lot, it can be especially helpful to limber up a little bit before you go in to work. It’s also always a good idea to get focused and in the zone before you do anything with your day. Yoga is something that required attention both mentally and physically, so it will prepare you for whatever challenges you encounter.

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Yoga – Benefits

At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. Presented below is a brief overview of some of the benefits of yoga –

  1. Increasing Flexibility – Yoga makes you flexible, thus preventing bad posture and back pains.
  2. Builds muscle strength – Strong muscles help prevention of arthritis and back pain.
  3. Perfects your posture – Bad posture causes pain and spine degeneration. Yoga prevents slumping and cures bad posture.
  4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown – Yoga ensures complete motion of all types of joints, preventing any breakdown due to ill-use.
  5. Protects your spine – Yoga asanas with backbends, forward bends and twists keep the spinal disks supple, thus strengthening your spine.
  6. Betters your bone health – Many movements in Yoga asanas strengthen the bones. Yoga lowers levels of cortisol-stress hormone – which keeps the calcium intact in the bones, thus keeping them strong and healthy.
  7. Increases your blood flow – Relaxation exercises in Yoga help blood circulation. Many poses in Yoga help the flow of venous blood back to the heart. The poses help boost levels of hemoglobin, preventing anemia.
  8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity – Yoga helps in drainage of the lymph (fluid rich in immune cells). Drainage of this fluid helps fight infections, destroy cancerous cells and dispose toxic waste from the body.
  9. Ups your heart rate – Increase in heart rate lowers the risk of heart attack and relieves depression.
  10. Drops your blood pressure – Yoga, especially Savasana, reduces hypertension.
  11. Regulates your adrenal glands – Adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to stress condition. However, if cortisol levels are still high, it impairs the immune system, causes memory loss and lead to permanent brain damage. Yoga is known to reduce the levels of this hormone.
  12. Makes you happier – Consistent yoga practice decreases depression, leads to significant increase in serotonin levels, a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. All these factors contribute to elevating your feeling of being happy.
  13. Founds a healthy lifestyle – Yoga increases movement, decreases food intake leading to a healthier lifestyle.
  14. Lowers blood sugar – Yoga lowers blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol.
  15. Helps you focus – regular yoga improves coordination, memory, IQ and reaction time.
  16. Relaxes your system – Yoga helps you control your breath, helps you relax and has a calming effect on the body.
  17. Improves your balance – Yoga helps you correct your bad posture and improves your balance.
  18. Maintains your nervous system – Yoga improves blood flow to pelvis, if you are trying to get pregnant, induces relaxation if you are suffering from insomnia.
  19. Releases tension in your limbs – Yoga helps us recognize where one holds tension in the body. Continuous practice of yoga helps you release your tension.
  20. Helps you sleep deeper – Yoga helps you become less stressed, less tired and helps you sleep better.
  21. Boosts your immune system functionality – It has been seen that regular practice of yoga increases levels of antibodies in case of infections leading to improved immunity.
  22. Gives your lungs room to breathe – Yoga improves lung function, including maximum volume during intake of breath and efficient exhalation.
  23. Prevents Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems – Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation are as a result of stress. Yoga is thus responsible to cleanse the body of all waste and prevent these disorders.
  24. Gives you peace of mind – Yoga dispels stress thus helping to cure migraines, insomnia, lupus, MS, eczema, hypertension and heart attacks.
  25. Increases your self-esteem – Yoga helps you realize your true worth, thus teaching you that you are a manifestation of the Supreme Being. It inculcates better health, which indirectly increases your self esteem.
  26. Eases your pain – Yoga can reduce your pain caused due to arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or other such chronic conditions.
  27. Gives you inner strength – Yoga helps you make positive changes in life.
  28. Helps keep you drug free – Studies show that people suffering from asthma, high BP, Type II diabetes have seen a reduction in their medicine dosage due to yoga.
  29. Benefits your relationships – Yoga helps you become more humble, increases friendliness, compassion leading to better relationships.
  30. Uses sounds to soothe your sinuses – Yoga helps in better drainage of the sinuses due to regular meditation and chanting.
  31. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay – Practicing yoga helps internal cleansing of intestines, drains sinuses and prevents build up of mucus.
  32. Encourages self care – Yoga helps you take better care of yourself by regular exercises.
  33. Uses the placebo effect, to affect change – Yoga increase your belief in yourself and causes a positive attitude to develop. This is a kind of placebo effect that helps cure your ailment.

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Yoga Tips

The typical public perception of Yoga has shifted significantly in recent years. To the ancients, Yoga is a complete system, of which the postures are a small, though quite useful part. The word “Yoga” referred to the whole, not merely one part, which is the postures, or Asanas. The entire purpose of Yoga is spiritual in nature, according to the ancient sages. In modern times, the relative position of the postures has been elevated, so as to lead people to believe that the word “Yoga” refers to physical postures or Asanas, and that the goal of these is physical fitness. The whole and the part have been reversed, terribly misleading and confusing people about the true nature of authentic Yoga. Here are some tips for practising yoga.

1. The time most suitable for Yoga is in the morning before breakfast when the mind is calm and fresh and the movements can be done with ease and vitality.

2.The most important things you’ll need to get started – as they say – are a big heart and a small ego.

3.A person must seek a place of quietude, which is well ventilated, free from dust, insects, unpleasant smell, draught, and moisture. There should be no distraction whatsoever.

4.You must empty your bowels and bladder, clean your nostrils and throat of all mucus, consume a glass of lukewarm water and then begin the exercises after 15 minutes.

5.Always remember that you should begin with the easy postures and then proceed to the difficult ones. One must follow the graded steps of Yoga.

6.In the beginning, all movements should be practiced lightly and you must cease to go further if fatigue shows.

7.Yoga must pep up and not impart weariness and despondency.Periods of relaxation are advisable if a particular exercise proves to be tiring.

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