Showing posts with label power yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label power yoga. 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.

Who Should Become a Yoga Teacher?

Who Should Become a Yoga Teacher?
Lately, there has been a fuss over who has a right to become a Yoga teacher; but let's look at some of the variables to consider if you desire to teach Yoga. Consider the following questions, "from both sides of the Yoga certification debate."
Do you have the correct Yoga lineage? This is interesting because - what exactly is the correct Yoga lineage? There are so many styles of Yoga and many sub-styles of those Yoga styles. In general, you should know who your Yoga teachers were and possibly, who their teachers were.
However, Yoga traveled outside of India in a variety of ways. Although there have been many famous Indian Gurus, who helped Yoga flourish worldwide, the British carried Yoga abroad, as well. There are competent Yoga teachers, who trace their Yoga lineage back to Englishmen, who served in India.
Some of the first non-Indian Yoga teachers did not have extensive Yoga training under the guidance of a Guru, but a few did. Consider this idea: If you know nothing about Yoga, but I know a little something - I can show you what little I know. This happens with any form of shared knowledge, and the person who knows a little more about Yoga, becomes a Yoga teacher.
Granted, we are considering the beginning of Yoga's worldwide proliferation, but now we have 21st century Yoga teacher certification in a fast-changing world - with a variety of styles and approaches to overall health.
There are many new forms of Hatha Yoga being created and evolving at this moment. If you have a traditional Yoga lineage, that's wonderful, but times change, and so does Yoga.
I can remember when some traditional Yoga teachers did not believe in the Yoga teacher certification process. For example: The master Yoga teacher did not have a Yoga teacher's diploma, and would not fill one out for their long-time students, who worked as "substitute Yoga teachers," in the ashram.
Some of these substitutes had over twenty years of experience in Yoga practice, and taught classes when the master teacher was on vacation, but the master Yoga teacher would still not certify them.
Meanwhile some Yoga certifications were obtained, over a weekend Yoga teacher training intensive, by people who just needed a quick Yoga certification for a health club.
So, who has a right to become a Yoga teacher? Anybody, I guess, but Yoga certification bodies should stick to the 200 study hour minimum standard for graduates of their Yoga teacher training programs.

Positive Practice - Support Yourself With Quality Yoga Accessories

Positive Practice - Support Yourself With Quality Yoga Accessories
Whether you're an experienced yoga practitioner or a beginner, there are many accessories available to enhance your yoga. Here are some of the most popular and helpful:
Yoga Bags & Totes
If you're going to a yoga class or yoga studio for your yoga, you'll probably want a yoga bag to carry your yoga mat. A yoga bag will carry and protect your yoga bag as well as provide you with a stylish accessory. Many yoga bags or yoga totes also come with inner or outer pockets for carrying a water bottle, yoga props, clothing or other yoga accessories.
Yoga Mats
A yoga mat is one of the most essential accessories you should have for your yoga. A quality yoga mat will have some stickiness to it so that it grips the floor and does not slide. A yoga mat protects you from the harshness, hardness and coldness of the floor while doing your yoga. A yoga mat is essential for any yoga practitioner.
Yoga Attire
Many designers now have lines of clothing specifically made for doing yoga. Yoga clothing tends to be lightweight, soft, comfortable but form fitting so that the clothing does not get in the way of your postures. Typical yoga clothing includes tank tops, long sleeve tops, shorts, leggings and sweat pant and sweatshirt type apparel. Special yoga clothing is available for men and women and often comes with colors or symbols that represent meanings in yoga practice.
Yoga Props
There are many yoga props available to help or enhance your yoga practices. These include yoga blocks, yoga straps, yoga bolsters, yoga pillows and yoga blankets. In the case of yoga blocks, these are used to prop yourself up to reduce the risk of over-extension and a resulting injury. 
Yoga straps are great for beginners and people who can't stretch very far, a yoga strap enables them to stretch farther or hold limbs when they wouldn't have been able to without a strap. Yoga straps are useful for many poses. In addition to yoga straps, yoga bolsters or pillows can also be used to anchor yourself during certain poses or provide comfort during awkward poses or allow you to deepen or extend certain poses.
Yoga Blankets & Rugs
Yoga blankets are one of the most versatile yoga accessories you can buy. A yoga blanket can be a mat for shoulder stands, stand in for yoga pillows, blocks or bolsters and can even provide added warmth under your body while you're doing your poses, for added relaxation.
More Yoga Accessories
Additional yoga accessories are also available, including yoga sandbags, benches, balls, aromatherapy accessories and much more.
Yoga Kits
There are also all-in-one yoga kits available to buy, where a mat, bag, blocks, pillows, straps and other accessories are included in one package. These yoga kits may also include a book or video about yoga.

Branches Or Basics of Yoga

Branches Or Basics of Yoga
Ancient practitioners have likened yoga to a living tree with six branches coming from the trunk, with each branch having its own unique function relating to a particular lifestyle. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the six darshanas of Hindu or Vedic schools and, alongside the Bhagvada Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika, is a milestone in the history of Yoga. Though brief, the Yoga Sutras are an enormously influential work, just as relevant for yoga philosophy and practice today, as when written many thousands of years ago.
The six branches of Yoga tend to have some aspects in common and familiarizing oneself with all six will certainly help in the selection of your own yoga programme that incorporates routines that appeal from any of the six branches. Asanas or postures, Pranayama or breath control, these two disciplines along with meditation and a strict moral code are the fundamentals of the practice of yoga.
Hatha Yoga
Introduced in the 15th century by an Indian sage as a preparatory stage of physical purification to enable the body to be fit for the practice of higher meditation as in Raja Yoga, Ha means sun and tha means moon, a reference to the energy channels of the body. Fully opened energy channels allow the body to become supple enough to attain the mental disciplines of Raja Yoga. In practice, both Hatha and Raja Yoga are inter-related and dependent upon each other. Western practitioners associate yoga with the hatha branch to attain mental and physical wellbeing.
Raja Yoga
Raja translates as 'royal' and meditation is central to this branch of yoga, which has eight side branches or limbs in an order that must be strictly followed. We start with Yama meaning ethical standards, Niyama - self discipline, asana - posture, pranayama - breathing control, pratyahara - sensory withdrawal, dharana - meditation, samadhi - ecstasy or final liberation. Those inclined to introspection or meditation are best suited to Raja yoga.
Though members of religious orders and spiritual communities devote themselves to this yoga branch, one does not have to embrace a monastic lifestyle to gain from the benefits of practicing Raja Yoga.
Karma Yoga
The fundamental principle of Karma Yoga is that what we experience now is created by our past actions, whether in this life or a previous one. Once we understand this principal, then we can ensure all our present actions help create a future free of negativity and selfishness. To practice Karma Yoga is to lead a life of selfless service to others.
Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti Yoga is yoga of the heart, a branch of devotion Bhakti is the Sanskrit term for selfless love of God and mankind. Bhakti principles are universal and common to many world religions. By following the path of bhakti we learn to channel our emotions, accept and have tolerance for all those that cross our path.
Jnana Yoga
This is the branch of knowledge, the yoga of the mind and is both the most difficult and the most direct of the six branches. It is yoga of the mind, of wisdom, the path of the sage or scholar. The practitioners of Jnana Yoga develop their intellects by intensive study, particularly but not confined to, the yoga tradition and other spiritual teachings. This is the path that most appeals to the intellectuals pursuing the practice of yoga. Within the context of our Western religious traditions, Kabalistic scholars, Jesuit priests, and Benedictine monks epitomise Jnana Yogis.
Tantra Yoga
Tantra, from the Sanskrit 'to weave' or 'loom', is the branch of yoga that practices ritual as a means of experiencing the divine in all our activities. Probably, the most misunderstood or misinterpreted of all the yogas, tantra, the sixth branch, is the pathway of ritual, an in tantric practice; we experience the Divine in everything we do. A reverential attitude is, therefore cultivated, encouraging a ritualistic approach to life. In essence, tantra is the most esoteric of the six major branches and appeals to those yogis who enjoy ceremony and relate to the feminine principle of the cosmos, which they call Shakti.

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.