Weight Loss Yoga for Beginners

February 25, 2012 by  
Filed under My Journey, Yoga, Yoga For Beginners, Yoga Weight Loss

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Healing Power Of Yoga

June 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Yoga, Yoga Health and Fitness

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Yoga is one of the best exercises for physical and emotional healing. Its benefits are numerous, and it can be practiced by anyone who is interested in it. It can be used to de-stress. Stress has been known to cause chronic diseases such as reproductive problems, heart problems, immune system problems, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. Because yoga also helps in healing the mind, the healthy mind can influence a much healthier body.

Yoga’s effects on the body are tremendous as well. Your muscles are exercised by gentle stretching and relaxing. Your breathing and blood circulation improves as well. You will develop stronger muscles, thus, a stronger body, which is an effective tool against illnesses whether viral or stress-related in nature.

Relaxation is brought about by yoga through breathing techniques and strong but gentle poses. The poses target the parasympathetic nervous system, a useful component of the autonomic nervous system that deals with the rest-and-repose mechanism of the body. Thus, optimal function of this component would ensure that the damage sustained from too much stress is contained. Stress can manifest through sudden heart rate increase, shallow breathing, excessive sweating, and muscle tension. While these are normal reactions of the body, sometimes, stress can be too much. So much so that the normal coping mechanisms of the body through the parasympathetic nervous system are arrested, and we succumb to illnesses. Yoga is an effective guard against this overload. It restores our body to its natural balance.

Stress is also the reason behind increased cortisol levels throughout the body. This leads to immune system suppression, which in turn will lead chronic diseases such as those mentioned above as well as sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and loss of sex drive. In addition, wear and tear on our organs can be attributed to stress.

Yoga’s relaxation techniques can counteract against the physical manifestation of stress. In addition, it can improve the performance of the circulatory, digestive, reproductive, immune, and glandular systems, to name a few.

The asanas, or physical poses, in yoga enhances the circulation of blood and fluids to different parts of the body. Its breathing exercises improve the function of the lungs, as well as restore our peace of mind. Many people who have tried practicing yoga regularly become less dependent on medication and other forms of treatment. While this may be appealing, remember that the positive effects of yoga do not happen overnight. The therapeutic effects of yoga are felt in the long run, but if you are patient and continue practicing yoga, you will begin to feel healthier than you have ever felt before.

Yoga Paths

June 16, 2008 by  
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Yoga originated from India more than 5,000 years ago. From there, it spread to various parts of Asia, and later on, during the latter parts of the 20th century, Europe and America had adopted yoga as well. The word “yoga” encompasses almost all types of meditations and exercises related to the improvement of the physical and psychological state. In western countries, meditation focuses on exercises built around the asanas, physical positions that are also referred to as lotus. The meditation and breathing exercises that yoga incorporates is crucial in this practice because it is used to restore the balance of the mind. Some people derive therapeutic effects from merely observing it, while others incorporate it into their practice of pranayama, a school of yoga that concentrates on breathing exercises.

Yoga nowadays seem to have borrowed some of its meaning from the English word ‘yoke.’ In essence, the western countries’ practice of yoga is usually associated with union, whether with an absolute being or God or union with an inner being – the self. Meditation can be active or passive. Passive meditation is often considered more spiritual because it involves quiet contemplation and eventual understanding of life. Active meditation, on the other hand, serves a more tangible purpose: better physique, stress control, mental clarity, and overall health.

Traditional yoga is concerned with enlightenment. Many schools or types of yoga, called paths, have evolved from this principle.

Bhakti yoga. This type has love and devotion at its core. It involves many rituals and ceremonies such as chanting mantras or lighting incense. Bhakti yoga is often practiced with a guru, essentially a sponsor or a mentor. It is popular because its core responds to the desire of all creatures to experience love and give love.

Hatha yoga. The physical aspect of the person is the main focus of Hatha yoga. The body’s physical strength is developed so much that eventually, the body cannot feel pleasure or pain or even heat and cold. Hatha yoga is concerned primarily with the cleaning of the nervous system and strengthening it.

Jnana yoga. In complete opposition with Hatha yoga, it is primarily concerned with the development of knowledge, wisdom, and insight. The body is perceived to be an impediment towards the knowledge that life is merely a vessel towards the eternal. Practitioners are also taught to develop disdain for and discomfort in the physical aspect.

Karma yoga. At the core of this path is service. This path aims to teach people how to be of service to fellow living creatures and to God. People who are fond of helping other people and building bonds with the community are likely to be comfortable with this path.