Showing posts with label Yoga Poses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga Poses. Show all posts

The Need for Office Yoga

The Need for Office Yoga
The typical office setting often includes quiet cubicles, where people spend most of the day sitting in a chair, facing a computer keyboard. Perhaps, they roll over to a fax machine once in a while, pick up the phone, or turn and bend to pull open a file drawer. Sitting for up to eight hours a day, while performing very little physical activity, can affect the overall health of a person. Studies even show an increase in heart disease, diabetes, body weight, cholesterol and more, in people who sit all day long.
It is time for offices around the world to wake up and encourage employees to get up and move throughout the day. Many large corporations provide on-site exercise facilities, as well as time during the work day, for employees to use them. However, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Many small offices do not have the resources to provide such luxuries for employees. For those types of companies, Hatha Yoga might be the answer. Yoga can be practiced anywhere, anytime, with little or no equipment needed.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga include stronger, leaner, more flexible muscles. Physical forms of Yoga increase blood flow throughout the body, giving a renewed sense of energy throughout the body and the mind. As the blood flow to the brain increases, so does creativity and critical thinking. Employers who encourage employees to practice Yoga, throughout the workday, will most likely see an increase in productivity as well. Yoga helps employees release built-up stress and anxiety, which will affect overall health. Employers might also see a drop in employee illnesses upon starting a Yoga program.
Yoga can easily be incorporated into an office setting. Employers need to find a certified Yoga teacher to educate employees about the proper alignment and practice of Yoga poses, teaching them how to perform them, and the benefits they can offer. Yogic breathing and relaxation techniques will also reduce stress levels within the office. Then, all employers need to do is encourage employees to take Yoga breaks throughout the day. Employees might choose to spend five minutes every hour practicing one or two poses, or perhaps, they would rather take a half-hour chunk at lunch to re-energize the body and mind. It is important for employers to give their employees the flexibility to make office Yoga work for them. Fatigue lowers productivity and Yoga reduces fatigue.
It is time for office Yoga to enter the work place to keep employees healthy. Since office work is generally sedentary, it makes sense to bring some movement to the day. Offices can designate a room for Yoga, or allow employees to practice in their own space. The nice thing is that Hatha Yoga requires only a small mat that rolls out anywhere. However, a Chair Yoga teacher could easily teach employees to practice techniques with office furniture. The more educated people become about the benefits of Yoga, the more likely it will be seen popping up in offices everywhere.

Yoga Lovers - Are You Stuck In A Rut? - Shake Up Your Yoga Practice Today

Yoga Lovers - Are You Stuck In A Rut? - Shake Up Your Yoga Practice Today
As someone who has loved and practiced yoga since 1998, I have a huge beef* with today's mainstream yoga 'industry'. (*with apologies to the vegetarians and vegans out there)
My beef is this: these days, far too many yoga studios pander to what's in vogue and trendy, jumping on the bandwagon du jour to give their customers what they think they want.
Sadly, this seems to be at the expense of giving their customers something 'different', while educating, informing and inspiring the ever-growing population of yogis and yoginis that there is a whole world of yoga out there beyond Hot Yoga, Ashtanga or Power Yoga.
I'm on a mission. And my mission is to help you identify if in fact you're in a yoga rut; to help you break out of that rut; and shake things up by introducing you to a bright shiny world of yoga, beyond what you're probably currently doing.
My personal experience/history with yoga started with my first Hatha class in 1998, in a non-descript little studio in a suburban strip mall. Back then, yoga was still quite fringe and not that 'trendy'. The owner and teacher, a middle-aged Englishman who had clearly spent a large part of his younger years hanging out with yogis and gurus in India, gave me what I know now to be my solid foundation and profound love for yoga that continues to serve me today.
And over the past 15 years, I have tried several other types of practice - Ashtanga, Kripalu, Iyengar, Restorative, Bikram, Jivamukti, Anusara, Kundalini, Moksha, Power, and Yin - feeling a natural affinity for some... and a complete aversion to others (just because it's yoga, doesn't mean that it's all great!)
I share this fact not to impress or dazzle you, but because I feel that most yoginis (and yogis) today are doing themselves a huge disservice.
Yes, I'm thrilled that you're practicing yoga, but are you stuck in a yoga rut?
Here are 5 easy questions to ask yourself to spot if you are.
Do you only ever go to Hot Yoga classes, or high-intensity Ashtanga, Power or Vinyasa classes?
Did you jump straight into the world of yoga through Hot Yoga without trying any other type of yoga beforehand?
Can you name 5 other different types of yoga? Have you tried one or more types?
Do you know how and when different types of yoga can benefit you (your mind, body and soul) and why?
Do you know where to find these classes in your city?
Not only is variety the spice of life even in yoga, but shaking up your regular routine and practice is a wonderful way to get in sync with what your mind/body/spirit needs on any given day, which is never going to be the same from one day to the next.
For instance, if you're feeling sluggish, a vigorous Ashtanga or Vinyasa class is exactly what you need to get your energy going.
In the Fall when it's cold, windy and wet and you're chilled to the bone, there's nothing better than the warmth of a Moksha or Hot Yoga classeAnd if you're a driven, intense Type A personality and have just done an intense 60-minute spin class, the best thing for your body would be a gentle yet highly effective Restorative class, or even a Hatha class, to gently stretch out your muscles... and not a 75-minute Hot Yoga class!!
Don't get me wrong. I love my Moksha (Hot Yoga) practice, but there are many days that, and in spite of living in a major urban center, I wish I had easier access to a Kripalu, Restorative or wonderful 'old school' Hatha class when I felt like it, and within walking distance. Unfortunately, it all boils down to demand and supply. Fewer people today are clamoring for Kripalu, Hatha, Kundalini or Restorative classes than they are for Hot Yoga or Ashtanga/Vinyasa/Power yoga classes.
In an effort to help you break out of your yoga rut, here's my personal 'playlist' of 5 different types of yoga for you to explore and shake up your routine.The key here is to try a different type of yoga class and see how it resonates with you, and then moving forward, remember to tune in to what your mind/body/soul needs on any given day, by opting for one of these instead of doing the same-old-same-old type of class week after week, which not only puts repetitive action stress and strain on your muscles and joints, but also limits the magic and postiive impact of your yoga practice in your life, on and beyond the mat.

The Stratospheric Rise Of Yoga Brings Opportunities And Challenges

The Stratospheric Rise Of Yoga Brings Opportunities And Challenges
Over the last 20 years, the popularity of yoga has increased from nearly no interest to being one of the most popular exercise regimes around. To match the increasing demand for yoga, more and more yoga centers are opening all the time. For those of us looking for something new, or just starting out for the first time, the choices can be daunting.
There are many different schools and styles of yoga including Iyengar, Ashtanga, power yoga, Bikram (hot), Kundilini, Viniyoga to name just a few. Although all of these schools of yoga essentially teach the same Hatha yoga asanas (yoga postures), the objectives of the class and the way the postures are performed and taught are very different for each.In addition every yoga teacher has their own characteristics, emphasis and approach to teaching which affects the class and learning experience.
While so many choices can be daunting, it also means that there's so much diversity, we're bound to find a style and a teacher that we like. If we don't like a school of yoga, or a yoga teacher - we can try something else.While personal preference will guide much of our selection process both for the school of yoga and the teacher, finding an experienced and high quality teacher is the most important consideration.Yoga teachers are not all created equal With the increasing popularity of yoga the demand for teachers and peoples desire to take their practice to the next level means that thousands of people take some kind of certification or registration each year. But with so many new teachers around, it's impossible for them all to be to be of the highest standards.
In addition, the absence of formal regulation of the training and certification for yoga it's difficult to know before a class how good a teacher will be. Without formal standards, an individual can become a teacher with very little personal yoga practice and experience. Experience is important for overall understanding but the amount of and quality of teacher training is also important. The quality of yoga teacher training courses and certification varies enormously. Currently certification can take from a year or more for some specializations to merely a 1 or 2 day intensive program. A 200 hour program of learning and supervised teaching practice is quite standard. What's more the format can vary from retreats with formal examinations to correspondence courses and certification over the internet.
With the teacher being so important, and the options on teacher training so varied, the responsibility for selecting a high quality yoga teacher is passed to the students and should not be taken lightly.So what makes a good teacher? The yoga instructor is elemental in setting the tone of the class. The teacher, their style of yoga and their approach to teaching, can not only determine whether you enjoy a session, but whether you like yoga at all. But more than that the yoga teacher, the routines they teach and the quality of their teaching will control how much benefit we get from the practiceWhile there are many complexities that determine whether we enjoy a class, there are two things a yoga teacher must always do.
The teacher must guide our practice on a macro-level with a well rounded practice. It is important that we develop our bodies in a balanced and uniform manner which means in a single session we should develop strength, flexibility to all muscles and joints without over emphasis on one area that could lead to strains and injury. On top of this it's important perform balancing poses that improve body co-ordination and improve concentration. Finally every pose, particularly the flexion and compression of the back, has a counter pose. A well designed yoga routine takes this into consideration to prevent over straining muscles and reduce soreness.
The yoga teacher must guide our learning on a micro-level with correct technique and alignment to increase our abilities without injury. Firstly the teacher needs to provide demonstration and detailed instruction on how to safely enter, hold and exit the poses. The descriptions should include details about correct steps to enter the pose as well as key points to consider such as alignment and muscles to use.
In addition the teacher needs to quickly gauge each individual's abilities so they can advise on more basic or more advanced variations as appropriate. Then the teacher needs to observe how we are performing each pose helping to correct errors that may lead to injuries. Correction of poses can include verbal descriptions or by physical assistance and repositioning.How to find a teacher that works for us? The best way to choose a yoga teacher is by giving their class a try. We usually know before the end of the first class whether we're going to be able to follow this style of yoga and the teacher.

The Benefits of Doing Yoga

The Benefits of Doing Yoga
Yoga is often considered not much of a workout and a waste of time, but it is really one of the most important workouts you can do. Yoga has many benefits for your body, both physically and mentally. Men often especially hate yoga because believe it is only for women. People also dislike yoga because it's too long, boring, and However, doing yoga is very important for anyone involved in fitness.
When I first started P90X, I was not excited at all about doing an hour and a half of Yoga X from P90X. I wanted to do a hardcore cardio workout like I had been doing my whole cross country season, not some silly stretching routine. However, after doing my first yoga workout ever, I realized that it was not easy as I suspected, and it gave me a good sweat and felt refreshed and energized afterwards.
I also remember my dad doing yoga with me, and he was sweating buckets, he even had to go change his shirt half way through! Through the course of doing P90X I have come to love yoga and it has greatly improved my fitness. Yoga is also very important for me because I am a runner. Yoga greatly helps me avoiding injury and staying flexible for running. So what are all the benefits of doing yoga?
1) Increases flexibility. I have always been pretty flexible, but yoga has greatly increased it for me. When I first started I could touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, but now I can bring my head to my knees! Being flexible also reduces the chance of injury and always you to perform better in other workouts.

2) Muscle Toning. By doing yoga you are supporting own body weight in the moves. This increases strength, which helps tone your muscles.

3) Increases core strength. Yoga requires a strong core to hold a lot of the positions and stances, such as downward and upward dog, plank poses, and chair pose. You may not have a great core at first, but it will improve as you keep doing yoga. Core strength is also very important in sports.
4) Better Balance. In yoga you are often in positions on only one leg, which requires good balance. Also a lot of the lunge positions need balance because you are holding them for up to a minute. Balance is important in many sports such as gymnastics and dancing.

5) Better Posture. Yoga helps give you a strong and good posture. This helps keep you body in line and allow you to stand and sit taller. Also better posture will increase your awarness.
6) Increases internal lubrication. Yoga helps lubricate joints, ligaments, and tendons. Holding all of those positions requires certain muscles to work together. This helps cleanse your body and allow you to function better in physical activities.
7) Massaging of internal organs. By doing yoga you are massaging your internal organs and glands, which hardly ever get stimulated. The massaging of these body parts helps one to avoid diseases and helps you function better internally.
8) Refreshed. After a yoga workout, I always feel like a new person. You body has been "cleansed" and massaged. Blood has been flowing throughout your body, which helps flush out any unneeded toxins. This can delay aging and make anyone feel young and limber.

9) Breathing. Yoga requires deep, controlled, and mindful breathing. This increases your lung capacity wich improves endurance and performance. This is especially important for me while running.
I have noticed all of these benefits from doing yoga. But how often should you do yoga? I recommend doing a yoga workout at least once a week. I often try to get two in a week, but with a busy schedule it is often hard to get even a hour and a half Yoga X workout in. That is why there are also the Fountain of Youth Yoga (48 minutes) and Patience Yoga (40 minutes) from the One on One with Tony Horton workouts.

Beginners Yoga - Top 8 Tips

Beginners Yoga - Top 8 Tips
Those who are new to yoga practice can often find it quite difficult to settle in. It feels like you have to learn a whole new language as well as learning to control and manipulate your body into the various poses, called "asanas". Yoga is not just difficult for beginners, it's also challenging for long-term practitioners. As one advances in yoga, the challenges change in their nature, but they are there nonetheless. Remember, the reality is that yoga is a "practice", and you will get better in time. The following tips will allow you to begin to practice and understand more about yoga at home. So where do you practice?
You Need Your Space
It is vital to find a proper space to practice yoga. If you are starting at home you will have a small disadvantage in that you need to create a space for your practicing, where in a yoga studio, it is already done and the space is maintained for that only. A reasonable space should be set aside so that you are not going to have to keep adjusting the area around you all the time when you are trying to focus on your moves. There is some equipment that is also very useful to help you practice.
Yoga Mat
One piece of equipment that is very important to your successful practice of yoga is a yoga mat. This is to help support your efforts by preventing injuries from hard or rough surfaces, and will also give a comfortable and gripping surface for doing the poses. You don't need much equipment for your yoga practice so don't skimp out on the mat, get a high quality sticky one. Remember, you will probably be using it for years to come. It will make all your practice more successful.
Practice Relaxation
For the modern versions of yoga that most people practice, relaxation techniques are very important and need proper attention to get right. Daily practice will help you to get used to performing these correctly. You can get guidance from some of the many good yoga books available today.
Reading Feeds Your Mind
Reading is important in yoga to be successful, just as it is in any endeavour. Experts say that rising early and doing just one half hour of reading in your field of activity will at least double your level of achievement in your attempts. You will be getting some solid up to date ideas and inspiration when the progress seems slow, as is inevitable in any endeavour that requires discipline. Traditional yoga texts called Sutras and Shastras were written in the Sanskrit language.
Sanskrit - The Mother Of All Languages
You could study Sanskrit if you like, but be warned, it takes on average 12 years to get the grammar down, so don't expect to be an expert in short order or you may be disappointed. There are many texts that you could study with a focus on Hatha yoga for the external movements, but they are limited in their understanding of the real higher purpose of yoga. According to the most learned and dedicated practitioners, to understand the topmost goals of yoga you will need to study the text called "Bhagavad Gita - As It Is" by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. This text was written 5000 years ago in India in Sanskrit, and has the real detailed understanding of the yoga process from the highest level of understanding.
Don't Forget To Breath
When doing Hatha yoga, it is important to take breaks to get your breathing to allow you to move on. The breathing process of yoga is technically called "Pranayama", and is in fact a separate rung of the yoga ladder that comes after Hatha, although most schools and authors today teach them together.
Sleep Well
Remember to get a good nights rest each night when practicing yoga. As the old saying goes; "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise". The reason that good rest is important is that it allows the intelligence to become stronger and clearer, and this is vital to good yoga. In the Bhagavad Gita it is explained that "one cannot be a yogi if he eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough".
Be Positive
Negative thoughts will cloud your mind and spoil your progress. One needs to continue with an attitude of expecting success, to make progress. As all advancement in purifying our consciousness through yoga is based on divine inspiration, we need to positively expect to get this mercy, and wait patiently for it.

The Incredible Benefits of Yoga

The Incredible Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is not just a trend, it's a way of living and has profited millions of people around the globe. Yoga which is originated from India five thousand years ago is a miraculous boon for humankind. People from all over the world are practicing, in the past yogis in India used to do yoga for the numerous good reasons, but in today's world yoga is not restricted in India only, people come from all over the world to get the wisdom and power of yoga. 
Yoga is a complete path for itself. It's not just an exercise, the word yoga essentially means, and "that which brings you to reality". 
Don't ever mistake the word yoga with just a mere form of exercising! It's a beautiful energizing practice which will increase your mental health, stabilize your physical health and give a spiritual growth, it's a discipline to give a complete stability and satisfaction.
Yoga tops the game for being a master in providing the physical and mental health but it makes you spiritually efficient too. Literally it's an amalgamation which ultimately introduce you to the manifestation of life. 
The benefits of yoga are not like a short term effect, the practice of yoga can give an instant gratification and long term lasting transformation. And for leading a fit or healthy life both things are very pivotal to live a good natural life, which can not only give you physical fitness but mental peace too. The plus factor with yoga is that you will never feel monotonous, it's refreshing and you will feel rejuvenated every single time! You will be benefited with a long term health.
The most amazing factor about yoga is that there is no age barrier for it. Anyone from a five-year-old child to fifty-year-old person anyone can do yoga and enjoy its incredible benefits. Yoga will help everyone unlike other fitness forms like gym etc., yoga accepts anyone with its open arms no matter which age or gender you belong, and you are welcome wholeheartedly at a yoga class. You can witness all age groups doing yoga together in yoga classes in most of the centers.
One of the major thing about yoga is that it supports a healthy lifestyle, it's not just about a mere physical workout which is just for the body, yoga instead is about your all over growth. Yoga practice is a gemstone, especially in a student's life. It helps in improving concentration and tranquility. With a better concentration level and focus, students will be able to emphasis more on their studies and improve their score, and even if it's not about the score, the practice of yoga will eventually help them to improve in the learning process. And it's not only about students, it applies to all, with a calm mind and higher concentration level you will be able to improve and maintain the peace in your relationships.
Yoga is so flexible that you can choose your kind of yoga in accordance with your lifestyle, for example, there are different kinds of yoga like power yoga, relaxation, meditation, hot yoga and much more... no matter what kind or form of exercise you do, you will not find as many options anywhere except in yoga. If you are a beginner in yoga than there are several easy steps available for you, Hatha yoga which solely focus on the basic postures on the comfortable pace. And if you want to increase your strength do power yoga for maximum increase in the physical and mental strength. If you are ready for a deeper practice than advance yoga will be best for you.