Archive for category Yoga for Beginners
For a large number of people, whenever they think about the Yoga the image that comes into their minds is that of an old man seated on a pillar of stone wearing a loin cloth with crossed legs and arms placed on the knees. He maybe chanting, humming or with a relaxed and serene look on this face. I am a person who dislikes sitting about and hate to see even a minute go and having associated this with Yoga it never interested. However, my perceptions have since changed and through this article I want to share with you my personal journey with Yoga and the benefits I have experienced as non-spiritual individual.
On my first Yoga class, I spent a good amount of time seated in silence and looking bored. As the instructor went on and on talking about harmony, internal peace as well the stability and energy moving within, I had almost reached a point of never going there again but I got fortunate.
The people in the class included a professor from a local. This made me wonder what a professor was doing in this Yoga class. I was able to briefly interact with him. The professor actually noticed me due to my bored look. He informed me how he also went through a similar phase when he started the class but he later began to translate the talk from the instructor and replaced them with biological terms and it began to make sense. It served as an eye opener to me as I began to understand the entire process.
I became aware of the fact that blood takes nutrients as well as oxygen all over the body. I am aware that in the event that our cells fail to receive all the necessary nutrients as well as supplements they weaken thereby leading to ill health. Maintain a constant flow of new blood within the body is critical when it comes to maintaining healthy bodies. This can be achieved through Yoga.
Through Yoga, certain areas within a muscle are effectively stretched out thereby allowing the blood to flow within the body in a free manner as it takes nutrients to different parts of the body. As you learn how to focus on your breathing and maintaining an inner peace, the blood within your boy will begin to flow freely and bring about a significant improvement to your health.
About 40% of the factors linked to various medical issues have stress as their source. Generally stress comes about as a result of too much thinking. Yoga teaches a person who to case all their worries aside leaving their brains free to focus on functions that will help to better their health. In my time of practicing Yoga, i have also been able to develop a spiritual side that I did not have before. This spirituality will help you come to a realization on the importance of your personal wellbeing and good health. Whether or not the same happens to you, remains to be realized. However, in case you have putting Yoga aside, it is necessary for you to know its link with science and by finally giving it a chance yu will be surprised by its results.
Yoga first came into existence about 4000 years ago and was put into use as a spiritual practice in the Far East. It was used as a way to help individuals come to a realization on their personal divine nature. In this day and age, Yoga is perceived as a workout. This is mostly in the western world. However, it is still founded on three customary techniques used on Eastern Yoga. These three basic Yoga techniques include the Asanas (Sanskrit for Poses), the Pranayama (Sanskrit for controlled breathing) as well as meditation. Yoga is beneficial as it aids in muscle strengthening, flexibility, relaxation as well as calming oneself.
Varieties of Yoga
Raja Yoga: It focuses on attaining unification also referred to as Samadhi. Any individual with the ability to achieve Samahdi through Yoga is referred to as a Raja (King). One of the most famous king of Yoga is Swami Vivekananda.
Bhakthi Yoga: This type of yoga helps an individual to attain a state of attunement. This is made possible through devotion and faith. The traditional Bhakthi procedures which include pranayama, yogasnas or mudra are not required in Bhakthi. Instead it focuses on a caring god, whole-hearteddedication to god’s will and the sharing of god’s love to all humanity.
Jivamukti Yoga: This was developed in 1986by Sharon Gannon and David Life. The reason for this is because they came to the conclusion that the practices of old-fashioned western Yoga only pay attention to the physical aspects linked to Eastern Yoga and leaves out the spiritual aspects.
Ananda Yoga: This discipline is a preparation stage for getting into a meditation state. Correct posture and controlled breathing are quite necessary as one comes to the end of the preparation process before getting into a state of meditation.
Yoga and its effects
Different paths can be taken by a person to attain a Moksha or higher state. This state is attained gradually until they get to a point of full acceptance and their position in the world. In order to get our universal position, the ego which is seen as a hindrance needs to be slowly toned down.
Yoga and its benefits
Yoga offers various benefits. The most common one is increased flexibility. Yoga helps to increase mobility by focusing revitalizing the crucial muscle groups which are usually ignored by other workout programs. Yoga also systematically works on internal glands and other vital organs within the body. A good example of such an organ is the prostate which gets minimal external stimulus.
Toning of the muscles is another benefit linked to yoga. It is also helps to shed out extra looseness from muscles that have degenerated and become limp and frail. Blood circulation is also significantly enhanced by the Yoga poses. This is quite beneficial to the body as it helps to clear out knots as well as blockages. The previously mentioned benefit, combined with the significant skill of controlled breathing will lead to an improvedblood flow directed to the various organs and across the body.
Different people take up Yoga for varying reasons. Some do it to in order to revitalize their bodies when suffering from different illnesses. Others will do it in order to retain and improve their present health. Other individuals go for it due to the mental challenge and while others look at it as a physical challenge that needs to be overcome. Some people, especially pregnant women take up yoga as a form of relaxation. It is clear to see that Yoga has something to offer to every individual.
Yoga is known to offer both psychological as well as physical benefits. The latter can clearly be seen in its ability to help in recovery after experiencing a heart attack as it helps in to lower blood pressure and accompanied distressing effects. Extensive research has been carried out on Yoga and heart patients. This has also been noted by Dr Ornish who a best-sellingwriter. He strongly recommends Yoga for those recuperating from heart attacks and as a way of evadingimpending heart problems. Yoga is also beneficial for individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis as it helps with stability as well as muscle tone. This is also effective for back and spinal injuries sufferers as it is quite gentle on the muscles but still quite effective as a way to strengthen this section of the body. It also helps to improve on mobility.
Poor mobility and co-ordination that come about as a result of aging can also be reduced considerably by Yoga. This is one reason why it is popular with older people. Another benefit associated with yoga is strength building especially around the arms, legs as well as the trunk. This will help you go about your daily chores in an easier manner.
As previously stated, Yoga is also offers mental benefits. This can clearly be seen in its ability to sharpen the mind. In order to achieve this focus one is required to perform the Yoga routine as is expected. This includes the breathing and the body movements. This breathing will also come in quite handy during childbirth for the pregnant women. In order to experience maximum effect, the breathing has to be deep and much fuller as opposed to short and quick breaths. This will allow you to release the stress and maintain calm. During pregnancy, it makes the mother relate to the child and establishes a bonding.
Unlike other disciplines whereyou either know or don’t what is required of you, Yoga is a constant learning process. Yoga involves different postures with the ability to perform these postures in different variations. This helps to provide the body with constant stimulation and the mind engaged. As earlier stated, Yoga helps to relax the mind and the body and this is achieved through the pauses that allow us to get in touch feeling and reactions. Yoga is a form of workout and at the same time a reflective process, poise as well as character building all placed into one. This is the reason why the group of individuals who take part in these classes are quite different.
Office workers have never seen Yoga as being something that they can take part in, however they should. In most cases people who work in offices often spend a good amount of their time arched over their computers while seated. This kind of environment usually brings forth a lot of stress and with limited outlets to assist you in getting rid of the stress. Through this article we will be able to look at how bad these things are for your overall health and Yoga’s way of assisting you.
Even at its basic level, Yoga is a workout program that is very effective. It consists of stretching the body through static postures and maintaining them for a set duration of time. This is a good way of improving the circulation and flow of blood through certain areas of the body.
Yoga also maintains a lot of focus on correct breathing patterns which enable your body to experience maximum benefits from every air that you breathe in. As you gradually get better in performing your routine, the more at peace you will become due to your increased focus.
How will this help an office worker?
The environment within the office is usually not calm or healthy.Due to their prolonged unhealthy positions, office workers often end up developing a lot of tension especially around the shoulders and the back. The legs also end up getting affected from being denied a constant supply of new blood as a direct result of their prolonged sitting positions.
Yoga makes it possible for the body to change positions. This is something that rarely occurs especially within an office setting. This is a good way of opening up choked points and allowing of regular blood flow. A good circulation of blood is very important for the body as it brings in oxygen as well as nutrients in order to allow the organs within the body to perform effectively. Starving these organs of fresh blood will lead to sick bodies.
Are you aware that a large number of diseases are brought about by stress? That is correct, and it is a problem that a large number of people tend to overlook in regards to its seriousness. Stress in the office for any individual including pregnant women usually comes about due to timely submission of projects amongst other things.
Through Yoga you will be able to come to a standstill and not remember about everything that you are required to do in the following week. Forget everything to do about the payment of rent and your unfinished assignments and just focus one thing. All this achieved through the system breathing and other routines performed while practicing Yoga. Other than the benefits associated with health, you will also get to enjoy mental benefits which will totally help you change your life.Individuals who practice Yoga have a better ability of dealing with stress. It also helps them maintain their calm even during times with turmoil or distress. This will allow you to leave a much richer life.
If you are expecting your bundle of joy then practicing yoga positions for pregnant women can be really beneficial for you. Not only will this habit relieve you of the accumulating stress in your body, but you will also be able to experience an increase in flexibility. It does not stop there because pregnancy yoga positions also help expecting mothers to prepare for labor by strengthening and stretching the muscles which would be involved during the crucial time of childbirth.
Yoga does not specifically call for carrying out the postures or positions but entails focusing on breathing techniques. When you follow a yoga routine regularly you will be able to master the right way of breathing, and in the process, relax your body which in turn can definitely help in alleviating anxieties. Moreover, practicing yoga positions for pregnant women is the best way of staying in shape.
A lot of people have second thoughts about yoga positions for pregnant women because they are worried about harming their unborn baby. However, the good news is that it does not harm the fetus in any way if the recommended postures are practiced in the right manner. It is necessary to keep the body fit at all times, and more so during the pregnancy phase which is why it is imperative to practice yoga.
One of the plus points of yoga is that it is safe and can be practiced by people of any age group. However, one should not take this holistic practice for granted. If you are pregnant then you should practice only those positions which do not put a lot of stress on the body because contrary to making things easier it can further complicate matters. Breathing exercises are good during this phase as they enable the expecting mom to reach a stage of deep relaxation if practiced properly.
Standing poses are also advisable for women who are on family way. Practicing standing yoga poses is great for relieving leg and back pain. There are many advantages of practicing such standing poses and one of them is that it improves the circulation of blood in the lower half of the body.
To determine which yoga posture is right for you and which isn’t is not something that you may be qualified to do, and so relying on a skilled instructor is strongly recommended. Alternatively one can purchase DVDs pertaining to yoga for pregnant women and follow the instructions exactly as they are given. A huge no-no here would be practicing inversion poses without the supervision of an expert because this can turn out to be quite harmful for you and your baby.
Practicing yoga would be beneficial for your body not only before and during pregnancy but even after you have given birth. Having brought your bundle of joy into the world you can rely on yoga to restore your pelvic floor, uterus and abdomen. Any discomfort in the breast or upper back tension can also be removed if one practices yoga religiously. So yoga should definitely be a priority on your ‘things to do’ list when you are pregnant.
Breathing is an activity which is essential to every living being because it is the only indication that the being is alive. Explained in simple terms, breathing involves inhalation of oxygen which is referred to as breathing in and exhalation of carbon dioxide which is referred to as breathing out. Being an activity which is basic to life, breathing forms the basis of many asanas in beginner’s yoga for pregnant women in the sense that much of the benefits derived from the particular asana depends on the efficiency with which the breathing technique is performed.
Breathing in beginner’s yoga for pregnant women is referred to as pranayama, a Sanskrit word comprising of two parts, prana meaning life and ayama meaning control. It is the pranayama on which many of the yogic asanas and chakras are based and there are seven such breathing techniques which should be regularly followed by beginners as well as expecting mothers so as to benefit the most. Yogic breathing is characterized by three phases namely inhalation or puraka, exhalation or rechaka and retention of breath or kumbhaka. While the actual ratio of the three aspects is 1:4:2, it need not be adhered to strictly by the beginners as well as the expecting mothers, the latter being advised to completely avoid holding of breath.
For performing these breathing techniques, one must either sit erect on a mat or alternatively sit in a comfortable chair which cushions and props all around. The seven breathing techniques are named as sukha pranayama, bhramari or bee breathing, sitkari or teeth pressing, bhastrika or vigorous breathing, kapalabhati or cleansing breathing, sitali or tongue breathing and anuloma-viloma or alternate nostril breathing. The practitioner might well keep the fact in mind that none of these breathing techniques will come naturally and that the only way of mastering them is to practice regularly with dedication.
The practice of sukha pranayama in the beginner’s yoga for pregnant women requires the practitioner to concentrate on his breathing for a few minutes at a stretch, give a gap and then concentrate again due to which this exercise causes a significant improvement in the concentration of the practitioner and also relieves hypertension. Bhramari pranayama entails emission of the bee sound and is practiced with the intention of strengthening one’s heart, lungs as well as vocal cords. Regular practice of this pranayama along with the anuloma-viloma pranayama is particularly recommended to pregnant women since they have a number of health benefits. Some asanas like sitali pranayama for tongue breathing and sitkari pranayama or teeth pressing should be performed by the expecting mother only after consultation of the doctor and under expert guidance.
Yoga is sought by many pregnant women as an option for ensuring a safe and comfortable delivery and the popularity of this concept can be adjudged by the fact that nowadays there are many programs which specifically advertise as teaching yoga for pregnant women. There was a time in the past when pregnancy and exercise were considered as being ideal partners which went hand in hand for a hassle free delivery but this was soon replaced by the concept of yoga and pregnancy during the later years when people started having more faith in the healing power of yoga.
The superiority of yoga as compared to exercise during pregnancy was also established due to the fact that there were times when the performance of strenuous exercise caused severe complications during pregnancy while women who practiced yoga always had a more peaceful tenure. But a noteworthy point which must be kept in mind in this regard is that yoga for pregnant women is a specialized stream which would prove to be beneficial only when learnt and performed under the able guidance of an expert. Since pregnancy entails the gradual swelling of abdomen as it advances, it is only an expert of this branch who would be aware of the modified poses constituting yoga for pregnant women in which the growing abdomen is well accommodated.
The mantra of yoga and pregnancy is a gentle way in which the body can be kept active as well as supple without bearing too much strain which might have a disastrous consequence on one’s pregnancy. Apart from enabling the practitioner to stretch gently and indulge in self exploration, yoga for pregnant women has the following benefits:
- Yogic breathing and pranayam helps to overcome nausea as well as morning and evening sickness to a considerable extent which in turn prevents frequent mood swings from taking place.
- Having performed yoga throughout the three trimesters under the guidance of an expert, the woman can feel the benefit in form of muscular relaxation in the cervix and birth canal thus causing the pelvis to dilate and making the process of labor easier.
- Yoga for pregnant women greatly enhances the level of energy in women which in turn enables them to remain calm and focus on the daily activities.
- Yoga during the third trimester plays an instrumental role in relieving fluid retention and reducing the occurrence of cramps thus making this crucial phase much more comfortable than it otherwise would have been.
Women not only accrue benefits from yoga during their pregnancy but after delivery as well as practicing yoga during the post natal phase helps to restore the original shape of the body and reduces breast discomfort as well.
Having its roots firmly established in the ancient mystical Indian culture, yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise which teaches its practitioner to make optimum use of a combination of movement, breath, posture, relaxation and meditation as a recipe for leading a healthy, balanced and stable life. It is owing to these reasons that even pregnant women are recommended to practice yoga so that they are able to make good use of the yogic principles during what may turn out to be one of the most decisive phases of their lives.
The decision to learn yoga leads an individual to enroll for classes which teach beginner’s yoga for pregnant women since many of the fresh students belong to a category who are going to attempt yoga for the first time in their lives. In such a situation, it is imperative for the individual to be cognizant of certain guidelines which are applicable to beginner’s yoga for pregnant women and hence should be adhered to with sincerity. Some of these guidelines are listed as follows:
- Morning is the most appropriate time for practicing yoga because it is the time of the day when the practitioner is fresh, calm and composed and hence is able to perform the various body movements with ease and vigor. This is the reason as to why most of the yoga classes are held in the morning and the practitioners told to attend without having consumed a heavy meal.
- Beginner’s yoga for pregnant women may be usually learnt in classes or at home but irrespective of the medium of learning the practitioner must ensure that the chosen venue must fulfill the requisites of being calm, quite, well ventilated and free of dust and distractions.
- While attending regular classes with the intention of learning beginner’s yoga for pregnant women, one must clear one’s bowels, nostrils and throat and consume a glass of lukewarm water every time prior to attending a yoga class.
- The progress curve of learning should be methodical and systematic wherein one commences the learning process with easy and relaxed stretches and then gradually proceed to more complicated asanas.
- An important point which needs to be kept in mind is that beginner’s yoga for pregnant women is undertaken with the intention of feeling energized and calm and hence the slightest sign of fatigue, weariness and depression should be taken as an indication for discontinuing the course immediately.
- The breathing accompanying the yoga should be long and deep and most of the inhalation and exhalation should be carried out through the nose and not through the mouth unless specifically mentioned.
- Every class of beginner’s yoga for pregnant women should be interspersed with a number of breaks particularly after a strenuous exercise schedule so that then entire session is relaxed and comfortable.
- Beginner’s yoga for pregnant women should always be accompanied by a balanced diet but over eating and eating stale food during this phase should be steadfastly avoided.
- Every yoga session must be commenced with a proper warming up session for a few minutes subsequently followed by yogic asanas.
- Any such program must be undertaken with confidence only if the practitioner nurses an urge and willingness to undertake it and not by being forced into it by someone.