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Yoga

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What is Yoga?

Yoga, which means discipline, was developed in the year 300 by an Indian Hindu
named Patanjali. Its purpose is to stretch the muscles, strengthen the body and
increase concentration. It can also help you relax, if you have trouble doing
that.

No wonder this ancient discipline has become popular among modern entertainers
and athletes. Depending on who practices it, yoga can be simply a set of
exercises or a total way of life.

Some who practice yoga, called yogis, try to use the discipline to reach a high
level of consciousness. They respect certain abstentions (things not to do),
such as not lying, stealing, being greedy or harming other people. They also
practice certain observances (things to do), such as being clean, content,
self-controlled, studious and devoted.

Physical control is also important in yoga. Yogis train themselves to take
full, deep breaths. They consider breathing a life force, counting a lifespan
not in years but in the number of breaths taken.

Unlike exercises that work only on strength, yoga also helps the body become
flexible. As a result, some yoga exercises (called asanas) look a little
strange, and you may think you need to be a human pretzel to do them. Not so.
You just have to relax.

In yoga, you ease into stretches, never forcing yourself. The saying no
pain--no gain simply does not apply. You do only the best you can at the
moment, and at some later moment you will do more.

All yoga poses demand balance. And since you can't balance if you're thinking
about last night's TV show, yoga also demands concentration. Learn to
concentrate in yoga, and you will be better able to concentrate in baseball,
tennis or even school.

Yoga exercises copy nature. Many yoga poses can be traced to the shapes of
creatures, such as the cobra, cat, dog, tortoise, crab and eagle.

In the cobra pose, for example, you ask yourself, What would it feel like to be
a cobra. You lie on your stomach with your forehead to the floor. As you inhale,
you slowly roll your head back, supporting yourself with your hands. You hold
that pose, then come down slowly, trying to move as a snake would move.

All yoga exercises promote strength and calmness. Each move's effects on a
muscle, a gland or a nerve center are carefully thought out.

You can choose certain exercises to rid yourself of particular pains, such as
back pain from back-packing or leg pain from jogging. Yoga can help condition
you for skiing or help you control feelings of depression or fear.

Any good book on yoga will describe various asanas and tell how each works. You
may even have done yoga exercises already. Ever done a handstand, or the wheel.
Many exercise programs borrow from yoga.

All about yoga

There are a lot of people who are crazy about yoga. The reason why most people
do yoga is that it makes them feel better and in shape. The different poses and
postures make their body healthy. Yoga for most is the best way to relax and
unwind. If you want to keep your body in shape, this might be the best exercise
for you.

Did you know that yoga is good to fight certain illness that may come? There
had been researches which proved that yoga helps you to control anxiety,
reduces asthma, arthritis, blood pressure, back pain, multiple sclerosis,
chronic fatigue, epilepsy, diabetes, headaches, stress and many more.

Yoga has a lot of benefits and advantages. All in a day's work, it can reduce
tension and stress. Of course after a heavy day, you will feel that your
muscles have been stuck up and you will feel wasted.

If you do yoga, your self esteem will be higher. It is important to gain more
confidence inside and out so that you can face people with no worries.

Yoga is good for the body in increasing your muscle tone, strength, stamina and
flexibility. If you are too fat and conscious about your body figure, yoga can
help you lower your fat and keep your body in shape. Yoga exercises can burn
excess fat and give you the desired figure that you want.

If you need time to relax and forget your responsibilities, yoga will be good
to improve your concentration and enhance your creativity. Yoga helps you to
think more positively away from all anxieties. If you have a fresh mind, you
can think of good things and apply it easily.

Your body needs to relax once in a while. Sometimes, work can leave us wasted
and exhausted. During the heavy days, we may not find time to unwind because
work is still on our tail. Yoga can help you create a sense of calmness and
well being.

Yoga exercise helps you improve a good circulation. Your organs and veins need
to be exercised for it to function properly. Yoga can help stimulate your
immune system and keep you away from diseases. If you have a good immune
system, you can be sure that you are free from sickness.

Some people do yoga to be enlightened. They believe that yoga will help them
bring up their spirit and keep them relieved. Yoga works differently for people
be it spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental and physical.

People think that yoga is only for spiritual people. But that belief is wrong.
Even if you are not that religious, you can do yoga. You will see and feel the
difference at the same time find out how it works for you.

Due to the pressure and demands of life, we become stressed out and we forget
the essence of life. We tend to lose touch with the ones we used to spend time
with, even ourselves.

We find ourselves rushing most of the time with the deadlines and hassles we
need to keep up with. This leaves us a small time to wander and have that
physical awareness.

These are the few things that yoga can provide. Once in a while, find time to
dedicate a part of it to yourself to relax and unwind which only yoga can give.

The Universal Appeal of Yoga

Yoga has been practiced for 400 years and is a system of exercises which are
very easy and effective at increasing a persons overall health ad well-being.
Yoga instructors and students alike will often talk about phrases like "being
in harmony with oneself and surroundings" and indeed this is a primary goal of
Yoga, to achieve a unity of body, mind and spirit in a oneness with the world
around us. Yoga will teach a person to stimulate internal organs including the
likes of the prostate, which is practically never exercised by any other
discipline. It will teach you to apply pressure upon glandular areas of the
body and it will combine this with meditation and breathing techniques that
will grant you the ability to turn your concentration inward to examine your
feelings and thoughts.

There are a number of different aspects in Yoga, but one of the most appealing
is that this is a set of exercises that anyone can enjoy and benefit from. It
does not require any expensive equipment or a special setting, it can be
practiced by anyone, man or women, rich or poor, young or old, healthy or ill.
Perhaps it's greatest appeal has always been that it is a set of beneficial
exercises that anyone can do at any time and in any place. Yoga is even a safe
form of exercise for pregnant women and prenatal Yoga classes are often
recommended to expectant mothers. A specially tailored prenatal yoga class will
help prepare a women, physically and mentally to become a mother. It gives her a
number of useful tools for coping with labour and the strengthening of the body
means that the recovery period after giving birth will be much shorter.

There is a preconception amongst many men that Yoga is a female pastime, but
this couldn't be further from the truth. Yoga provides numerous benefits to
men: decreasing stress, assisting in relaxation and increasing power, stamina
and flexibility across the board.

Senior citizens can get a number of benefits from a yoga course and are often
the first to praise the mental advantages such as an increased attention span
and a better memory both long and short term.

Even young children will benefit from a Yoga regime by stronger bones,
increased circulation and a better disposition resulting from breathing
exercises and the relaxation of the exercise.

Regardless of the person Yoga has a number of lasting benefits and will aid in
a wide variety of different health issues. Regular practitioners of yoga will
live an overall enhanced lifestyle, are more likely to have a strong memory and
better stamina combined with a stronger sense of balance. Even late starters can
use Yoga to combat a range of health disorders from Blood pressure to arthritis
to breathing orders.

It's no wonder when you consider all the different benefits of Yoga how very
popular it is, and the fact that it is a regime of exercise that is open to
everyone is one more big advantage of it. It means that families can stay fit
and healthy together and include everyone from the youngest child through to
the oldest family members. The exercises can be performed at varying levels of
difficulty and intensity, which means that two people at completely different
levels of strength and flexibility can go through the same motions and both
benefit.

Is Yoga The Perfect Exercise?

Is Yoga the perfect form of exercise and relaxation? Let's make a list of what
our ideal type of exercise would do. Firstly it would be simple enough that
anyone could do it, but have enough variations and different methods that it
would maintain the interest of someone who had been practicing it for years. It
would need to be easy to learn so that people could pick up the basics quickly
and stat seeing the benefits as soon as possible. To be a perfect form of
exercise it would need to be capable of keep our body in good shape all by
itself. It would help with weight loss, circulation and increasing the strength
of the muscles. It would stimulate the lymphatic system as well as the blood
flow and help the body dispose of waste products, improving the overall immune
response system. It would also have benefits that went beyond health -- the
sharpening of the mind and an increased sense of well being and contentment.
Ideally it would be an exercise form that required no expensive equipment and
that could be practiced practically anywhere, alone or in a group.

This is quite a demanding set of prerequisites for a perfect form of exercise.
Let's see if Yoga measures up to these standards.

Yoga is a discipline that has it's routes in India. The documents that modern
Yoga is based on are hundreds of years old, and the principles behind these
documents were practiced long before that. It is a low impact form of exercise
that has been tweaked and customized by literally thousands of different
teachers and enthusiasts. The are numerous resulting 'styles' of Yoga, but they
all have the same core background and beliefs. What we refer to as Yoga in the
West is usually the physical component of an entire life philosophy that has
it's own beliefs and code of ethics built in.

The physical focus of Yoga is on poses and slow movements that are low impact
and usually use nothing more than our own body. Sometimes props and supports
are used to assist the body in achieving and holding a particular pose. The
poses can vary greatly in their degree of difficulty and even the same pose can
have many different stages or levels. The perfect example is a simple forward
stretch. One person may be able to stretch out past their knees, another may be
able to reach their ankles and somebody else may be able to touch the floor.
This level of progression allows us to see a physical difference in our
flexibility level as we practice Yoga more regularly. And because Yoga does not
require any special equipment we are not refined to set class times and can
practice Yoga anywhere and any time the fancy takes us. We can even do
breathing exercises to clear the mind while sitting at a work desk.

Yoga has some incredible health benefits which stem from controlled breathing
and increased blood flow. Our bodies organs simply do not operate at peak
efficiency unless they are receiving the oxygen and nutrients that they need.
The waste products from our muscles and organs are carried away by the
lymphatic system. Both systems can develop chokepoints and blockages that
different Yoga poses will address and correct. The result is a better more
regular blood pressure, a more efficient immunity system and a optimal
digestive process.

Because Yoga movements are slow and simple, the focus on correct breathing has
a pronounced mental affect on the body. It provides us with an enhanced ability
to focus, and to un-clutter our thoughts. This is a valuable edge in modern life
and its importance should not be under estimated.

Finally many regular Yoga enthusiasts will tell you that there is a spiritual
side to Yoga, how far this affects an individual will probably depend on their
beliefs before they begin practicing Yoga, but it can perhaps be thought of
most accurately with a greater comfort and connection with your own body. The
increased acceptance of yourself, and comfort with your own being results
directly in more happy people.

So, it looks like Yoga does indeed check all the boxes and can be thought of as
a perfect exercise form.

The Three Chief Benefits Of Yoga

Four thousand years ago Yoga was practiced in India, today it is popular all
over the world and in numerous different styles and forms. Not only is the
popularity of this form of exercises remarkable, but so is the results and
benefits that people are getting from Yoga every day. The benefits can be
broadly split into three different groups -- physical benefits, mental benefits
and spiritual benefits. Which benefits are most important to an individual will
vary based on their preconceptions and motivations, but anyone can experience
beneficial results in all three areas from a prolonged use of Yoga.

* Physical Benefits

The first types of benefits are those purely on a physical level. Yoga is at
it's core a group of exercises. Some disciplines will use these exercises to
prepare the body for a deeper meditative process, but they will still
experience physical benefits from performing them as exercises. The deep
breathing exercise has immediate health benefits due to increasing the intake
of oxygen into the system. This oxygen is transported by the blood to our
organs and tissues, which will become sick without sufficient oxygen and
nutrients. Frequently these tissues and organs are starved of nutrients due to
a number of reasons including poor air intake or quality, bad circulation or
disease within the body. Yoga increases the oxygen intake, removes blockages in
the circulation to ensure it's safe delivery and also stimulates the lymphatic
system to aid in the removal of toxins from our system, leaving our bodies auto
immune system more free to deal with invading disease or viruses.

Beyond this internal health which many people take for granted, Yoga will also
greatly increase a persons balance, flexibility and muscle strength.

* Mental Benefits

Many people see this as the most import benefit that we can gain from Yoga. It
will of course depend on what your priorities are but the mental benefits of
Yoga are certainly impressive. The ability to focus on ones breathing has a
natural consequence of allowing extraneous thoughts to melt away and a state of
calmness to be introduced. This is not a feat to be taken lightly as it provides
a valuable skill in the ability to remain calm amidst turmoil. A mother can use
this when everything happens at once in the home, a businessperson can use it
to focus on a single task despite everyone around him being panicked or a
soldier can use it to block out the bullets and noise and focus on an important
task.

Yoga also requires a high level of discipline from those practicing it -- both
the discipline required to perform the exercises themselves and the discipline
needed to stick to a regular exercise regime. Again this is something that
comes surprisingly easy to people once they have mastered the basis of the Yoga
breathing exercises.

* Spiritual Benefits

Generally newcomers to yoga will not understand these benefits for some time.
There are a number of benefits that can fall into the 'spiritual' category.
Yoga itself is built around a philosophy that includes it's own set of ethics,
but these are seldom taught as part of
Western Yoga practise. Instead the spiritual benefits we talk about tend to be
a persona acceptance of yourself and contentment with your place in life. For
some people it goes beyond that but discussing spiritual feelings is always
difficult to do so broadly. Overall the level of spiritual satisfaction you get
is likely to depend on your own personal beliefs.

Frequently Asked Questions On Yoga

Yoga has been around for an incredibly long time and over that period different
practitioners have added their own refinements and styles into the basic Yoga
discipline. There are so many different styles now it is nearly impossible to
count, but they all stem from the same core philosophy and methodology.
Unfortunately the multiple different styles often lead newcomers to the
exercise discipline to become very confused as to what they are doing and what
they can hope to achieve with Yoga. In this article we answer some of the
common questions.

What is Yoga?

This question is the most common from newcomers. Most people have a general
idea but they are not sure where Yoga fits into the world. Is it an exercise?
Is it a philosophy? Is it a form of physical therapy? Is it a spiritual
process? The answer is that to different people Yoga is all of these things. At
it's core it is a group of exercises and poses which are very low impact and
work by strengthening the body and increasing it's flexibility through static
exercise. This means that each pose will 'stretch' a certain area and the body
benefits from this stretch by increased blood flow and energy release. Many of
the exercises release tension from areas of the body that regular activities do
not cater to. Because Yoga is performed slowly and with a strong emphasis on
correct breathing patterns there is also a strong mental and spiritual element
to the exercise. It is seen as a way of cleansing mind, body and spirit.

Do I Need To Be Religious To Get The Most Out Of Yoga?

As mentioned above Yoga is different things to different people. There are many
people in the world who perform Yoga purely for it's spiritual benefits. There
are many others who perform Yoga purely for the physical benefits associated
with it. What you get out of Yoga will depend largely on your mindset, your
openness to new ideas and your ability to let yourself fall fully into a
meditative state. For some people this is very difficult at first, but that is
still not going to prevent them from getting the physical benefits associated
with Yoga classes. You will find that even if you do not have any strong
spiritual base you will still benefit from an increase in your self-confidence
and personal contentment.

Where Can I Do Yoga?

Practically anywhere. Many people practice Yoga in their homes every day.
Others will go to the local park and practice Yoga with a group of friends. To
begin with it's a good idea to inquire at your local gym about Yoga classes,
many of them will be holding Yoga every day. Even if they aren't they will be
able to tell you where the best place to learn Yoga is. Some local councils
sponsor Yoga classes in their area in recognition of the benefits to people who
exercise regularly. One of the big advantages of a Yoga based exercise regime is
that there is no expensive equipment to buy and then store around your house.
Some poses are assisted by cushions to support the body, but in general the
only thing you need is your body.

I'm Not Very Fit -- Is Yoga For Me?

Yes. Very much so. One of the fantastic things about Yoga is that the exercises
and poses you will learn can be adjusted to your level. Fitness isn't usually a
problem because the exercises are slow and often static, but your body will
become better at performing them over time as your strength and flexibility
improves. Knowing your limit and ensuring that you don't 'ease up' out of habit
gain the best benefit.

Hopefully you will now have a good understanding of what yoga is and why you
should be doing it. Remember that Yoga is something that once learned can be
practiced anywhere you like and as often as you like. Indeed, this is one of
the key components of Yoga's popularity.

An Introduction To Bikram Yoga

Most people have a passing knowledge with what Yoga is, or think they know
about what it sets out to achieve. But until you have tried Yoga it is
impossible to know whether you have the type of personality that can truly
excel under it's influence. Yoga, quite simply can be a life changing
experience and the discipline and mental strength that result from it can
completely change your perspective and world view.

One method of Yoga which is currently very popular is know as Bikram Yoga.
Bikram Yoga, often referred to as 'hot yoga' follows the Bikram Yoga Method. As
with all Yoga it has multiple goals -- to build your inner strength as well as
your outer physical strength. A vital component of Bikram Yoga is the
flexibility and balance required to perform the exercises and it is believed
that this comes from mental strength as much as physical practice. The roots of
Bikram are in Hatha Yoga, which is a healing form of Yoga that strengthens both
body and mind.

The founder of Bikram Yoga was Bikram Choudhury, a yoga practitioner and
innovator. After a weightlifting accident Bikram Choudhury was determined to
recover and set about investigating the healing ability of practicing certain
types of exercise. The result was Bikram Yoga, which so many people found to be
an effective method of healing that it's tenants were recorded and passed on as
a new form of Yoga. Those who practise Bikram Yoga purely for it's healing
benefits are plentiful, but there is also a strong holistic component, which is
a key reason behind using Bikram Yoga for many of those who are regular users.

They key to success with Bikram Yoga is to develop the mental strength required
to discipline yourself in it's use. If you can master this side of the Yoga then
the physical benefits will be forthcoming. They have been proven by scientists
including a group from the Tokyo University Hospital. The medical benefits are
beyond question and have been shown to improve chronic ailments as well as
greatly assist in the treatment and recovery of tissue injuries.

At the 1972 International Medical Conference the findings were presented and it
was concluded that Bikram Yoga had the ability to assist in the recovery of
internal tissue. The explanation given was that the positions practised by
Bikram Yoga replenish cells and assist in the lymphatic system flushing toxins
from the body. In addition to the toxin drain the cells are assisted by higher
oxygen flows during and after exercise.

Bikram showed that to get the best benefits from the exercise a healthy and
well balanced body was important. Where the body is weak Bikram Yoga will have
less affect in the healing process, which relies on correct balance and
circulation.

Bikram demonstrated 26 exercises and recommended a regime, which was to be
practised every single day in order to best treat the body. Each posture
exercise was developed based on a background of both Eastern and Western Yoga
disciplines. They all focus on the movement and pressure on muscles, nerves,
ligaments glands and organs. The exercises are meant to be performed together
and in sequence, because they are all inter-related to each other.

Bikram Yoga is low impact and can be performed by people of all different ages.
The important component is the discipline required to perform the posture
exercises every day for maximum benefit.

Getting familiar with Yoga equipment

For those who are into learning yoga, you will find that there are a few things
that you might want to purchase to help you learn yoga and get the proper
training. When it comes to the yoga equipment you will want to make sure that
you are safe and performing the moves or poses correctly. This means that you
will want to go shopping for some yoga equipment. There are a few things that
you will need to pick up.

First a foremost, it is important for anyone practicing yoga to have a good
mat. Mats come in all shapes and sizes, so you have many choices when making a
purchase. Look for a mat that is large enough for you when you are sitting. The
mat should be dense, but not to the point where you sink in or wobble while
doing your poses. Mats that are lined with non-slide material are your safest
bet, as they will protect you even when you are doing more complicated poses.
However, make sure that it is washable and many can be cleaned in the machine
washer. Remember, yoga is exercise, so wash your mat every few sessions to
prevent the spread of bacteria and other germs.

You will also find that there are a number of things that you can buy and use
in your daily sessions. Many things can be used to correct your posture. Blocks
made especially for yoga students are available in most stores. Made of dense
foam, they can be used to help learn specific positions. These are light and
strong so that you can easily take them to and from your class. Bolsters can
also be used for the same purpose, and although they are heavier, they more
easily conform to the shape you need.

Next, you may consider purchasing a bag to carry your equipment. You will find
that mats are large and difficult to carry, but there are easily able to be
carried when you get some special yoga bags. Again, remember to find a material
that is not only durable, but also washable, so that you can prevent the spread
of germs.

More advanced yoga students may wish to consider other props to help with
stretching and correcting postures. You can also get a yoga sling and hang it
from the ceiling. This will help you to do some of the inverted positions. Yoga
ropes also come in handy here, and sets of ropes can be mounted to your walls
and ceilings to help your posture and flexibility. If you think that they sound
overwhelming like your moving too fast, you can also get some sandbags will
handles. These can be used to create a bigger stretch when you are doing
certain poses.

You will want to purchase some books and videos on yoga so that you can
continue to learn the art of yoga when you aren't in class or if you just want
to learn more about yoga in general. When it comes to learning new poses you
will find that it is easier if you have an coach or instructor to help and show
you the correct way. You will watch videos and books to help with your
performance, but they also make great gifts for most yoga students.

Dress Attire for yoga class.

If you are thinking about starting a yoga class you will want to consider what
you wear to the class before you go. You will find that yoga involves many
different moves or positions while in a single routine. You will need to dress
so that you will be comfortable and it won't create problems for you if were to
stretch or move a certain way. You will find that if you don't wear the correct
type of clothing you may not get everything that you would hope to get from a
yoga class. You will find that there are many clothing companies that have a
variety of clothing for those who are practicing or learning yoga. As you know
yoga is increasing in popularity in the past few years and it is considerate
for these companies to offer you the clothing.

Choose yoga clothing that is comfortable for your body when you are moving.
Clothing that is too tight may "ride up" and shift in uncomfortable ways as
your limbs rub against one another, for example. You will want to wear clothing
that you feel good in and that you feel good about your body. You will want to
feel comfortable no matter what size you are so that you can feel less self
conscious if you think that your pants are too tight or such. In all honesty,
everyone is probably too engrossed in class to notice what you are wearing, but
poor clothing can be a mental block and prevent you from learning.

You will also find that poor clothing choices can be quite embarrassing.
Remember that yoga involves inverting your body in many cases. Don't go with
too loose of clothing because the sag or fall of the clothing may show off more
than you want to. Not only is this embarrassing for you, but you will also
notice that everyone else will feel uncomfortable. Clothing that is too tight
can be stretched too far and rip during class. Tight clothing can also be too
revealing if there are members of the opposite sex enrolled in your yoga class.
Always be respect towards those who are around you and always wear things that
are comfortable.

Yoga is an exercise, and like all exercises, you will sweat. Take this into
consideration when choosing the fabric that you want to wear. Also, think about
the fact that some fabrics will absorb the sweat so that you can remain dry
during the workout, but still burn those calories. If your clothing is wet, it
could be dangerous to attempt some positions, and the same is true if your
clothing is too loose.

If you aren't sure what clothing you will want to wear to your classes, you
will want to do some of the basic moves and see how you feel or look in the
clothing. You will want to choose outfits that are comfortable and that you
feel good in. You will want to also ask your teacher for any suggestions. You
will find that your clothing is very important when it comes to beginning a
yoga class.

Learn Yoga -- Step by Step

The benefits of Yoga are well know to everyone who has ever tried the
discipline but if you are new to Yoga let me recap. Yoga is a fantastically
popular and effective way of strengthening you physically as well as mentally
and spiritually. This last 'spiritual' aspect may turn some people off, but
it's not something that needs to be associated with religion. Really the best
alternate word for the spiritual strength of Yoga is contentment or happiness.
It allows you to be a calmer person and more happy with yourself. Put like that
it sounds pretty great doesn't it?

So you've probably heard a little about Yoga and wondered what it's all about.
you probably have a few preconceptions and maybe an image of an old man with a
long beard sitting in the lotus position springs into your head in automatic
association with the word. Let's go through step by step what you can expect in
a typical Yoga session.

Step One: The Introduction and Preparation.

Most Yoga classes begin in a standing position. There are both mental and
physical reasons for this and they are closely connected. The standing position
is the most natural Human position there is. Leonardo Da Vinci produced a famous
scientific picture of the symmetry of the human body when it is in it's natural
standing position. The outstretched arms and legs can have a perfect circle
drawn around them and this is true of everyone regardless of their height or
weight. What this means is that a standing pose comes naturally to us -- we are
not worried about getting it wrong and we can concentrate of the state of the
body. Breathing exercises will be a key part of the warm up stage for your
routine. This is the only time in your life you will be 'taught' to breath and
it's a skill which allows people to restore calm to their bodies and thoughts.

Step Two: The Main Routine

This is the art of your Yoga session which will vary the greatest depending on
what forms of Yoga you are learning. While the individual exercises you will be
doing are going to be quite different, the nature of them will be very similar.
This will mean moving into certain poses and positions and holding those poses
to allow the body to stretch out muscles and muscle groups that in many cases
haven't been given much attention during the week. Some Yoga teachers will talk
to you about energy points of chakra's. These are important junctions in your
body where congestion occurs and stretching them out allows energy to flow
freely around your body.

Step Three: Ending the Session

While the main session is about releasing pent up energies, this stage of your
Yoga workout is all about allowing that energy to flow around your body. Many
people have trouble with thinking about some strange mystic force that is
flowing through you and driving it to certain parts of your body. If you are
one of them just mentally substitute the word 'energy' with the word 'blood'.
We know that the job of blood is to carry nutrients and oxygen around our body,
and we know that if any part of our body is lacking in this supply that we will
become ill, so it's not a huge stretch to think of blood as the mystic energy
force that brings health around our body, and exercises such as Yoga as being
the method of ensuring the smooth and successful flow of that blood.

How To Get The Most From Yoga

Yoga is an ancient art that has been refined and modified by many great
teachers across the ages. It now comes in so many different styles and
techniques and different people may find different versions of Yoga more
suitable for them. This is because Yoga is a very personal exercise routine
with strong emphasis on looking within oneself in order to achieve personal
balance and wellbeing. Regardless of which individual version of Yoga you
practice there are a number of things that apply to Yoga universally rather
than to individual branches of the discipline. If you want to get the most from
your Yoga session you will learn to understand these things and develop them
into your Yoga routine.

You will find that much of your time performing Yoga is spent in a sitting or
lying position, however the beginning of a Yoga session is usually a standard
standing pose. The standing pose is the most natural position for a human to
find themselves in, yet we spend remarkably little time practising standing
correctly. If you begin your Yoga session with a standing pose you are free
from the stress of having to take on an unaccustomed position and this allows
you to focus on other fundamentals of the Yoga Discipline. For instance you can
concentrate on regulating your breathing and feeling the full healing benefits
of each breath. The standing pose is so natural to us that we don't need to pay
it any conscious thought and can focus on our breath entering the body and
flowing through us. The standing pose is also beneficial to bringing the body
into alignment and centring ourselves both physically and spiritually. Leonardo
Da Vinci produced a famous diagram showing the perfect symmetry of the human
body when it is in it's natural standing pose and this position has always been
the most natural for us to find our centre and balance.

The bulk of a Yoga session is spent in placing our body in positions or poses
that stretch and activate the body. These poses are entered into gently and
gradually so there is no risk of injury. Many poses have a number of different
levels so we can get more and more benefits from them as our body becomes more
used to them. This is perhaps best demonstrated by a simple forward stretch.
When a gym teacher tells a pupil to touch their toes the pupil is performing
the same exercise whether they can reach forward and touch the floor or whether
the stretch only goes as far as their knees. The only difference is the level of
incline.

The forward stretch is also a perfect example of how the natural movements of
Yoga are used outside of a Yoga class or session -- in this case in stretching
and warming up before sports or other physical activities. Most children who's
coaches take them through a stretching routine before a game of football have
no idea that many of the poses are borrowed directly from a Yoga session.

The key to enjoying and benefiting from this main phase of the Yoga session is
to pace it to your level. As with the child who can only forward stretch to
knee level you do not need to perform the exercise at the highest level from
the first time you experience it. Find your comfort zone and then move a
fraction beyond it. Then each new session try and maintain that level and push
a little further if possible.

The end of a Yoga session is also an important stage. This stage usually
consists of a group of restoration and restorative poses and positions that are
designed to allow the energy to flow back through your body. A good Yoga session
releases pent up energy in your body and allowing this energy to flow freely to
all parts of the body is a critical part of gaining the maximum benefits from
Yoga.

How Yoga benefits the Circulatory System And Why This Is Important

The circulatory system is an essential part of what keeps us going. It is also
referred to as the cardio-vascular system and consists of the heart and the
blood vessels. The hearts job is to pump blood to different parts of the body
and this blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen to the different organs. It
travels via the blood vessels. The heart is divided into four compartments that
each have a different role. The compartment on the upper right is responsible
for collecting the incoming impure blood from all over the body and moving it
on to the lower right compartment. The lower right compartment sends the blood
on to the lungs for purification. The purified blood is then returned to the
heart -- this time in the upper left ventricle from where it is moved into the
lower left compartment and then back out as fresh, pure blood to the remainder
of the body.

The blood is primarily carries through main arteries that are thick tube like
structures leading from the heart around the body. The arteries branch into
many sub arteries which in turn will divide into thin-walled capillaries. The
capillaries interact with the organs directly and due to their thin walls they
pass oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues that need them the most.
The used resources are ejected from the tissue and back into the capillaries to
be fed on through specialized veins to return the impure blood back to the heart
to start the entire process once more. This is a difficult job as the pressure
has decreased this far from the heart so the veins are assisted by valves to
regulate the flow.

The important thing to understand about the way the circulatory system is set
up is that it has two main parts, the blood system and the lymphatic system. It
is the job of the lymphatic system to remove waste from the circulatory system.
The two different systems run almost side by side but while the blood system
has a pump -- the heart -- the lymphatic system does not have a single organ
designed to power it's operations. This job falls to the muscles, which pump
the lymphatic system by contracting and expanding. This is of course where Yoga
comes in.

Yoga is a discipline unique in it's combination of focus on body, mind and
spirit. The body component is taken care of with a series of poses and
postures, which are designed to clear blockages in the circulatory system and
ensure that everything is flowing as it should at an even regular rate. It also
flexes the muscles and strengthens them very efficiently over time with a
minimal amount of 'grunt'. This strengthening and constant working of these
muscles pumps the lymphatic system and makes out body many times more efficient
at the removal of waste matter. As a result people who practice Yoga regularly
can expect that they will have a greatly enhanced immune response system and be
able to deal with infection and disease better than their non-Yogi counterparts.

Furthermore the benefits start before this. Yoga sessions will usually being
with a series of standing exercises emphasizing long slow breathing exercises.
These breathing exercises are common to all forms of yoga and force us to
concentrate on our breath and it's pathway trough the body each time we take a
fresh breath. The exercises are designed especially so that people are not
restricted in where and when they can practice them and ideally would use them
instead of our slower shallower normal breathing pattern.

Because the breaths are longer and deeper the oxygen intake is increased.
Combined with the enhancing effects that the exercises have on the regularity
of circulation in the blood system the oxygen is much more efficiently
transported to the muscles of the body. If these muscles, along with our other
organs and tissues are not receiving the oxygen and nutrients we need then we
starve them and become ill as a result.

As you can see Yoga is of great assistance to the complex and interlocking
system of circulation. It recognizes the basis and importance of the system and
helps to being it back into balance.

3 Common Mistakes by Yoga Newcomers

Whenever we start something new we have a certain feeling of trepidation and
uncertainty of the unknown and in most cases it is completely unfounded and we
get on with things very quickly and easily. Sometimes it isn't and a simple
little thing can cause us to have an entirely negative first impression and
perhaps even never want to try that activity or passtime again. Yoga has so
many health benefits, on both a physical and spiritual level, that it would be
a tragedy for anyone to miss out on them because they made a silly avoidable
mistake on their first day. With that in mind this article addresses the 3 most
common mistakes of new Yogi, and how to make sure they don't happen to you.

* Mistake One: Not knowing what you want from Yoga.

The reality is that there are numerous different styles and forms of Yoga and
each has it's different attractions. Ask yourself what it was about Yoga in
general that attracted you and then you can investigate a style that caters
more specifically to that. You may like to set goals, be they physical, mental
or spiritual. If you do then it's a good idea to discuss them with the
instructor of your class before you begin. Yoga instructors are usually very
approachable and happy to talk about their passion. They will be able to talk
to you about your goals for the class and let you know if you are being
realistic, aiming too high or too low. Make sure you goal includes a timeframe
so it becomes something that is measurable.

* Mistake Two: Jumping in Feet First.

Having decided that they will give this Yoga thing a try many people take a
running leap and jump in to a 12 month stage by stage class. These classes are
usually an upfront payment arrangement and progress from one level to the next
as the weeks progress. They are a fantastic way of learning Yoga and becoming
very good at it, but it's quite possibly you will choose a class that is not
ideal for you.

The best way around this is to join a Yoga beginner class, also known as a drop
in class. If you do these classes for a few weeks you will notice a high
turnover of students as new people join and old people move on. These classes
are designed to give you a very broad feel for the different types of Yoga. The
level of the students in the class usually varies greatly so you can expect the
instructor to keep the classes quite tame. The other key benefit of doing this
is that the classes are pay as you go so there is no big financial outlay for
you while you decide the type and style of yoga that best suits you. You are
also not obliged to attend every class. With the longer courses you can fall
behind quickly if you miss a week or two in a row. With the pay as you go
classes you will find that while each class is different the level stays quite
low to cater for the newer people joining in.

* Mistake Three: Choosing the wrong teacher.

Traditionally a Yogi had to be an apprentice to a skilled Guru for many years
before he could teach even the simplest of Yoga technique. Nowadays a 3-day
course over a long weekend is considered enough by some people. There is a big
difference in what you will achieve depending on the skills and abilities of
the person teaching you. Yoga is starting to make a regular appearance on the
sports injury list and a large reason for this is instructors who have been
taught just enough to be dangerous. A qualified teacher won't necessarily be
fantastic and an unqualified teacher won't necessarily be terrible -- but the
odds are certainly cast in that direction, so it's a good idea to check your
instructors background and qualifications before you begin studying with them.

4 Secrets To Finding The Right Beginner Yoga Class For You

When you are new to Yoga you are probably going to be uncertain as to what to
expect when you first enter a beginner Yoga Class on your first day. Most
people are uncertain about what they should even be looking for in a beginner
Yoga class, so this article will let you in on the four secrets to finding the
right class for you.

* Secret Number One: Decide on what you want to achieve before choosing a 
  style.

The number of different reasons for taking up Yoga is usually at least as high
as the number of new people in a Yoga class. Broadly people will be looking for
one of three things -- physical health, mental health or spiritual health. All
three are important and all three are realistic goals in a Yoga class. Whatever
it is you are trying to achieve through Yoga there will be a class and style
that is suitable for you. You can research in a library, online or even by
asking various Yogi and this will hep you find the Yoga that will get the best
result for you.

It's worth actually setting some solid goals and many newcomers are surprised
at how willing a Yoga instructor is to talk over these goals with them and
discuss whether they are realistic or an alternative may be better suited.

* Secret Number Two: Join a class-by-class program

These are sometimes referred to as drop in classes, or pay as you go. These are
a good way of getting a feel for Yoga. There will be a regular turnover of other
students in the classes and the contrasting level will mean the instructor will
keep the classes at a relatively mild level and give everyone a taste of many
different aspects of Yoga.

The advantage of this method is of course that you are not committed to an
expensive series of classes and you can get a taster for Yoga and see what
types of Yoga interest you. You will also quickly learn whether the goals you
set earlier are realistic for you, or even too low and need expanding upon.

Your next step will be to choose a series of classes in the areas that you
found most suitable from the drop in classes. These classes will build on each
other from week to week and you may find yourself behind if you miss a week.

* Secret Number Three: Ensure that you are being taught by someone who knows 
  what they are doing.

Surprisingly enough considering the relatively low intensity and the many
physical benefits, Yoga has begun to regularly show up on the statistics for
sports injuries. Two key causes are identified. Firstly students pushing
themselves too fast too soon, and secondly instructors with inadequate training
or appreciation of the individual level of their students(large classes are
sometimes to blame for this).

When you are considering a new class don't be embarrassed to ask your Yoga
instructor what their qualifications and background are. Many 'instructors have
nothing more than a three day training course in 'gym yoga' and many people put
this in the 'enough knowledge to be dangerous category'. Traditionally a
student would train for many years under a guru before they would be considered
fit to pass on even the simplest of Yoga techniques to another novice.

The Yoga Alliance is a United States organisation that features a register of
teaches who have completed 'appropriate' training. This means having completed
courses that meet a certain standard. A nice rule to work by is that less than
200 hours of instruction would mean a part time Yoga education.

* Secret Number Four: Be aware of hidden costs.

An unpleasant surprise that can put people right off Yoga is turning up to the
first class and finding that there are expenses that they haven't allowed for.
Some studio's require each student to have their own mat, a special strap or
other props. Some classes will work through a book which you are obliged to buy
and some classes will have a dress code ranging from specific colours to
specific articles of clothing. Being unaware of any of these things and being
refused your first class because of them can be very off-putting.

Using Yoga for Weight Loss

In today's society carrying excess weight is becoming the norm rather than the
exception. Lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, peoples diet is becoming
increasingly processed and fatty and food contains more and more calories,
additives and preservatives. Children prefer television over playing with their
friends, which is perhaps a direct reflection on parents who prefer television
over socializing or even making time for their children. This only scratches
the surface of the social move towards a sedentary and unhealthy society which
is making more and more people fat.

Yoga is a discipline designed to make the body strong and flexible and enhance
the overall health of the digestive system as well as the hormonal and
circulatory systems. It also assists us in controlling mental stress and
achieving peace and clarity of mind. Yoga also has strong spiritual benefits
which will see you becoming more content with yourself and more comfortable
with who you are, all aspects which will lead to emotional stability. This
mental component is often neglected in a physical approach to weight loss, but
it is critical and should not be overlooked. So called "Comfort food" is a
frequent problem for people who yo-yo diet(rapidly lose and gain weight) and
the ability to be happy with your health and who you are reduces the need for
this.

Yoga is based on deep and controlled breathing which is a method for enhancing
our oxygen intake. This allows oxygen to travel to the fat cells in our body
and assist in their processing. One has to ask given the benefits why more
people don't practice Yoga?

Many people think of Yoga as a passive or mystical discipline -- something for
hippies -- not them. This is a shame as Yoga improves the physical body as well
as our mental health. While it is practiced by a great many people in Eastern
Populations only about 2% of the population in the United States has clicked on
to the many benefits.

Yoga considers all the aspects that contribute to obesity -- not just the
physical but also the mental and spiritual reasons behind them. regular Yoga is
not only relaxing but it does bring the body back towards it's ideal weight and
at the same time enhance strength, flexibility and stamina. Yoga nuts tend to
end up slim, agile and efficient in everything they do and what's more it is
suitable for people of all ages.

A more active form of Yoga, Kundalini, was introduced to America in 1969 by
Yogi Bhajan. It is a more active form of Yoga combining different methods of
breathing, meditation and movement to compensate for the fact the American
population has been conditioned to see exercise as requiring sweating.

Yoga can also be used to resist the temptation of snacking between meals.
techniques learned from yoga can be used to suppress impulses such as that we
think of as hunger between meals(if you eat proper meals you cannot be hungry
between them -- merely bored or restless).

Yoga is not just a method of losing weight, it is actually a method which
restores a natural balance to our body and moves us towards our natural state.
This has an interesting consequence with weight. It we are overweight then yes,
regular Yoga will cause us to lose weight. However if we are at our ideal weight
we will not drop weight, and if we weight too little we will gain weight until
we are at our biologically natural size.

Different Yoga Poses and Asanas

Classical yoga has developed over time to include many different styles for a
range of situations, needs and preferences. However the majority of Yoga styles
still fall neatly into either the therapeutic or the meditative category. Both
categories have many hundreds of different Asanas,(poses or positions) and all
of these are designed to benefit both the body and the mind.

Yoga takes the five 'prayer' positions and uses a corresponding yoga position
to activate the seven chakras in the body. A Chakra is a type of energy field
or is sometimes thought as a key position in the flow of energy throughout our
body. Each different type of Yoga and each different Yoga position will have a
different chakra as it's core emphasis. All of these positions, which we tend
to think of nowadays in Western Yoga as exercises, were in fact originally the
preparation for the Yogi to enter a state of meditation.

The actual positions or poses of Yoga are known as Asanas and they may seem
complicated or difficult to a new Yoga student. It's important not to forget
that all of the basic positions of Yoga are designed to improve the bodies
strength and flexibility, and as these characteristics are improved it also
makes the positions more comfortable and easier to settle into. The deep
stretching that is the basis of most Yoga positions is beneficial for trauma
disorders, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow amongst others.

Before you begin you may find it beneficial to attain a basic knowledge of the
philosophy and theory behind Yoga, however this is not a requirement or
essential to your success. It does assist with being comfortable settling into
and performing the poses associated with Yoga, and it should be remembered that
if you cannot do this then you will probably not benefit from Yoga.

There is a common misconception about Yoga that it is only for the tremendously
flexible who can contort themselves into weird and wonderful positions. Chanting
is often also associated with a Yoga class in people's preconceptions. Neither
of these ideas is true. The Yoga positions are generally quite easy to get into
but they do have several different depths in many cases. This means that a
completely beginner can move into a position and still benefit from it at a
great level after many years of Yoga. There are some advanced positions that a
beginner should probably not bother themselves with. Just as you are not going
to compete with top marathon runners on your first day jogging, but can still
get benefits, you are also not going to be able to ease into some of the
positions that an instructor is capable of. Likewise if you are pregnant or
perhaps have an injury such as a bad back you should inform your Yoga
instructor before you begin. There are some positions that can actually be
detrimental to certain conditions. Twist exercises with a recurring back injury
is one of these.

Yoga is something that is most beneficial in a comfortable environment, as the
muscles will stretch better when they are still warm. It's important to learn
the discipline to enter and leave each new pose or position slowly. Not only
does this help avoiding injury but also the movement from one pose to another
is often part of the program. Don't hold the poses and positions longer than is
natural for you either. As you become more used to practicing the Yoga positions
each day the benefits will allow you to hold a position with more ease for
longer periods of time.

When practised correctly the benefits of Yoga are many. Lubrications of the
joints, ligaments and the tendons will result directly from performing the
exercises best suited to you. Posture will increase dramatically and you will
also experience a sense of wellbeing. There is also a deeper spiritual level to
Yoga (it actually has it's own philosophy and code of ethics) that you will move
closer towards and enhance each time you stretch and go through the breathing
exercises.

The Different Motivations And benefits Of Yoga

There are many different reasons for taking up and practising Yoga. For one
person they may be ill and looking to rejuvenate themselves. Another will want
to maintain and improve their current level of health. Some people like the
mental challenge...and for some it is a physical challenge that can be
overcome. Some people may use Yoga as a relaxing form of stress relief. The
great thing about Yoga is that all these people are going to find what they are
looking for and so much more.

Yoga has a long list of benefits, both physical and mental, associated with it.
Yoga can assist in recovery from a heart attack through it's blood lowering and
distressing effects. There has been a considerable amount of research done into
heart patients and Yoga, most notably by Dr Ornish who is now also a best
selling author. Dean Ornish has no reservations in recommending Yoga both as a
way of recovering from heart attacks and also avoiding future heart problems.
Yoga has also been reported to be very beneficial to people with diseases such
as Multiple Sclerosis due to it's ability to assist with balance and muscle
tone.

Yoga gently works muscle groups around the back and spine of spinal injury
sufferers and because it puts very little stress on the muscles while still
working them thoroughly it is a fantastic way of strengthening this part of the
body. Regular Yoga for back pain sufferers can result in complete restoration of
their range of movement.

As we age most of us become frailer and less co-ordinated in our movements, but
Yoga can help us age more gracefully by ensuring we are always in control of our
body and mind. In fact most Yoga sessions are filled with a slightly older crowd
who recognize the ongoing benefits it gives them.

Yoga is also a strength building discipline that allows even progression in the
arms, the legs and the trunk or core of the body. Many of us take strength for
granted until it fails us, but increasing your physical strength will benefit
you not just with lifting heavy objects, but also in everyday tasks like
getting groceries or mowing the lawn. It even makes it easier for us to move
ourselves!

As well as strength Yoga will greatly increase the range of motion we are able
to achieve, particularly in the spine and joint areas. Once again this is often
something we take for granted unless it is missing. The act of reaching up to
put something in a cupboard is natural to many of us, but for others it can
cause a jolt of pain down their back, they simply cannot move their arm through
the range of motion needed to reach up, or when they do their grasp is not
strong enough to grab anything from the cupboard.

It's important not to just focus on the physical benefits of Yoga because the
mental benefits are at least as impressive. Simply put Yoga will focus and
sharpen your mind. Each posture is performed with a focus and an awareness of
your body and your breathing. This is not a gym session with mind numbing reps
or chatter between exercises. Whatever you are doing during a Yoga session is
done with absolute focus on the movement, the body, the breathing and the
moment. Breathing is something that most of us do wrong most of the time. We
are accustomed to taking shorter, quicker breaths, but with Yoga the breathing
is deeper and fuller. These deeper breaths will make the mind calmer and more
focused. Yoga enthusiasts often describe this calmness as a sense of
well-being. The deep breathing also makes it easier to release the stress and
negative thinking that accumulates in us. Just as the physical blocks are
removed through increased blood circulation during the exercises, so the mental
blockages are removed by clarity of thought.

Yoga is not a discipline you simply know or do not know; it is an ongoing
learning process. There are a huge number of different postures and each
posture has a number of different variations on how it can be performed. This
never-ending sea of options keeps the body stimulated and engages the mind
constantly. Behind the postures and exercises themselves there is a complex
philosophical system based in the writings that Yoga derives from. Not many
people think of a complete code of ethics including steadfastness, truth, self
inquiry and an opposition to stealing, harming others and hoarding when they
think of yoga, but these ethical issues are a central part of the system on
which Yoga was founded.

The different postures, breathing exercises and the deep philosophy of Yoga all
lead to the same end -- a deep contemplation. Because Yoga relaxes both the body
and the mind tension and stress are greatly reduced. This is highlighted during
a Yoga class by pauses for us to get in touch with how we are feeling and
reacting. Ending the class in a point by point contemplative meditation
performed on the back is common.

Yoga is an exercise, but it is also a meditative process, a code of ethics and
a confidence and character building course all rolled into one. It's no wonder
the group of people who attend the classes are so diverse.

Yoga as a Form Of Corporate Stress management

In a corporate environment one of the things that makes a critical difference
for employees is a relaxed congenial environment. The headquarters of Google is
one of the most productive places in the world and every idea that comes out of
the Google thinking tank seems to be another winner, yet this is achieved in a
building that is filled with slides, relaxation equipment, staff libraries,
canteens and even beds. The message is clear -- we care about the results not
about how long or hard you work. Not surprisingly the results come and the
staff are happy to work long hours in a relaxing environment knowing that they
will not be harshly judged by their co-workers for taking a relaxation break.
In less ideal environments the opposite of this is often true with stress
levels high because every decision, every move, everything could have the
future of a company hanging on it. Successful businesses recognize that this
stress is not productive and that if it can be reduced the level of
accomplishment will rise proportionately. Google is the extreme of a trend that
has been developing for a long time -- providing recreation facilities inside
corporate buildings. One of the most successful and popular is a Yoga centre.

The stress of the modern corporate world is usually a counterproductive thing,
it puts people on a knife-edge and frequently leads to mistakes that a calmer
more relaxed person would not make. Yoga is known to be one of the most
effective forms of stress relief. Yoga is a special type of discipline that can
be utilised on a number of different levels, places and situations. A perfect
example is the Yoga breathing exercises such as Anulem and Vinolum. These are
used to calm the thought process and allow you to maintain focus when
overwhelmed with too much information or too many thoughts and problems at
once. And because they are merely a deep and focused way of breathing they can
be performed sitting in a chair, standing in an elevator or even while driving
a car. Cramps and bad back posture are also often treated with nothing more
than a steady breathing exercise with some quite spectacular results in some
cases.

The simplicity of being taught to breath properly may strike some corporates as
strange. Nobody teaches us to breath, or sit or even stand. These are simple
things that we spend our whole day doing, yet at no point in our lives are we
actively taught them. Incorrect posture when sitting is a very serious problem
if you are in front of a monitor all day, but simply learning the correct way
to breath can align your body properly and solve many of the problems
associated with this bad posture. If you take deep breathes and focus on them
your body is pulled in to shape by this most natural of human movements.

Where specific problems such as Obesity or joint pain are present, a Yoga class
can be specially tailored to address them. Blood pressure problems and ailments
of the kidney can be treated with Yogic Kriyas. Poor agility is a result of
poor balance and this issue is frequently confronted and quickly overcome with
a range of balance-enhancing Yoga exercises. Some people who have reported
daily occurrences of problems like anger, tension, hypertension, stress and
headaches have achieved very good results simply from using Yoga to it's full
potential. The increased flexibility that Yoga provides is a godsend for people
in sedentary job environments.

The mental advantages of Yoga are also quite clear. Yoga has an ability to
redirect our thinking to a more positive frame. The most common form of Yoga
used in corporate stress management is Hatha Yoga because it is a particularly
potent form of physiological and psychological cleansing. In any environment
stress is a normal occurrence, what differentiates a successful person from an
unsuccessful one (and by extension a successful business from an unsuccessful
one) is how we deal with that stress. Hatha Yoga, and Yoga in general provide
executives with the tools they need to deal with stress on a daily basis.

Some businesses will go as far as getting a staff medical done and passing the
results on to a Yoga instructor who will formulate a customized program for an
individual based on their health needs. Different Yoga techniques deal with
different problems and a qualified instructor will be able to find those best
suited to an individual's personal situation. Through recognizing Yoga's
ability to deal with the individual needs of employees and incorporating it
into part of the daily work schedule businesses are creating a happier work
environment and being rewarded by their employees by increased productivity and
a greater loyalty and appreciation of their employer.




The Effects And Benefits Of Different Types Of Yoga

The origins of Yoga are about 4000 years old and based in a Far Eastern
spiritual practice designed to realize ones own Divine Nature. In the western
world today it is mostly seen as a form of exercise although all forms of Yoga
are still based in the three traditional techniques of Eastern Yoga. These
three fundamentals of Yoga are the Asanas (Sanskrit for Postures), the Pranyama
(the Sanskrit for breathing or breath control) and meditation. Yoga increases
the strength of your muscles, your flexibility, helps you relax and calm
yourself and centre your thought.

Different Types Of Yoga

* Raja Yoga: This form of Yoga focusses on achieving unification or oneness
(Samadhi) through the ahstangas of Yoga (Yama, Niyama etc). Anyone competent
enough to achieve the goal of Samahdi through this method is believed to be a
Raja (King of Yoga). A most famous example is Swami Vivekananda.

* Bhakthi Yoga: In Bhakthi yoga a person seeks to reach the ultimate state of
oneness or attunement through the sheer power of devotion and faith. Bhakthi
does not concentrate on the traditional methods of pranyama, yogasnas or mudra,
and instead preaches attention to a loving god, unquestioning devotion to god's
will and a sharing of gods love towards humanity.

* Jivamukti Yoga: In 1986 Sharon Gannon and David Life developed the Jivamukti
Yoga method because they believed that traditional western Yoga practices
focussed only on the physical aspects of Eastern Yoga and not the spiritual.

* Ananda Yoga: This discipline is a preparatory one for entering a state of
meditation. Gentle postures, correct body alignment and focus on breathing are
all used towards the end of preparing the Yogi for a meditative state.

The Effects Of yoga

There are a number of different paths that are intended to lead a person to a
higher state or realization of Moksha(the oneness with ultimate reality). It
refers to a gradual 'yoking of the self' through strong spiritual discipline so
that each subsequent session of Yoga brings one a little closer to a full state
of acceptance of themselves and their place in the universe. The ego is seen as
an aspect which limits our ability to accept our place in the universe and
something which is gradually toned down. The traditional yoga Margas, or path
to salvation, would involve a long and dedicated apprenticeship to a Yoga Guru.

The Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga has a number of specific benefits. One of the most well known and
commented on is an increased level of flexibility. Yoga will work through all
the muscle groups and grant increased range of motion through the attention it
plays to some muscle groups which are often overlooked by other exercise
programs. Yoga also works the internal glands and body organs in a thorough
manner. This is a very impressive ability when we consider that Yoga can act on
glands and organs such as the prostate which are unlikely to receive any regular
external stimulation.

Another advantage of yoga is a toning of the muscles. Excess flabbiness is shed
from muscles which have become flaccid and weak. The circulation is greatly
improved by the poses of Yoga which will assist the body by clearing knots and
blockages. This, combined with the valuable skill of learning to breath
properly result in an increased flow of blood to the vital organs and about the
body.

Yoga For The Non-Spiritual

For a lot of people the first image that will pop into their head when they
think of Yoga is a little old man in a loincloth sitting on top of a stone
pillar with his legs crossed and his arms on his knees. He's probably chanting,
humming or got a look of relaxation and serenity on his face. I'm not a person
who likes to sit still and I hate any minute that I feel is wasted so this idea
of sitting around doing nothing all day was not something that appealed to me.
I've changed that initial perception quite a lot and in this article I want to
tell you about the personal journey that taught me about the benefits of yoga
for a very non-spiritual person.

The first yoga class I ever went to I spend a lot of time sitting in silence
with a bored expression on my face and thinking, "This is so dumb". I listened
to the instructor drone on about inner peace and harmony and balance and energy
flowing through my body and I was pretty close to never going back again. Then I
got lucky.

One of the guys in the class was a professor at the local university and it
struck me as a little strange that a professor of biology would be doing this
spiritual Yoga thing. I got an opportunity and speak to him briefly. Actually
he singled me out and observed I looked bored. He explained he had felt the
same way when he began and then he translated the instructors talk into biology
terms and it was all very sound.

That hit me like a ton of bricks. As I thought on it more and more I could see
this from a purely scientific point of view. For instance take the 'energy'
that flows through our body. A lot of people are turned off when they start to
hear talk like that, but it's a very core component of Yoga. I substituted
'blood' for energy and looked at this thought process again.

I know that blood carries nutrients and oxygen around our body. I know that if
our cells don't receive these nutrients and supplements they become weak and we
can become ill. I know that people can become sick if they have high or low
blood pressure. The regular healthy flow of blood is clearly a very important
factor in us staying healthy. Of course, Yoga was first used many hundreds of
years ago and while it would be arrogant to assume that we know everything
about circulation and blood flow, we certainly know more than the average
Chinese peasant from that time. "Energy" is just a nice word that anyone can
understand for blood flow.

Yoga stretches out certain muscle areas and allows our blood to flow more
freely and bring the nutrients to all parts of the body which need them. That
is a nice scientific explanation I am quite happy to accept. You can do the
same with the other 'alternative' terminology you don't relate to when you hear
the instructor talking about it. Inner peace, oneness, emotional calm -- it's
all just a very dressed up way of saying concentrate on one thing -- your blood
flow and the health it is bringing you, or your breathing and the supply of life
giving oxygen it brings you. Concentrate on that just for this one small part of
the day and make being alive and healthy your only goal. Forget about what's
happening at the office because you cannot do it from here. Forget about what
your husband or wife is doing or whether the kids are being bullied at school
and just concentrate on being you, being alive and being healthy.

Now stress has been attributed as a major factor in over 40% of all medical
issues. Stress, in a nutshell is caused by thinking too much. This practice
shows us how to let all those worries be something we can think about later and
leaves the brain free to concentrate on doing all it's vital health giving
functions.

It's strange that as I've done more and more Yoga I have developed a spiritual
side that I never had before. It's not a religious thing but more a case of
recognizing that my own health and wellbeing are important and worthy of being
made a priority. Whether the same happens for you is yet to be seen, but if
you've been putting off learning Yoga or giving it a try because of all the
spiritual talk I can assure you there are scientific reasons behind it and that
if you give it a chance you may just be surprised.

Common Mistakes and Misunderstandings About Yoga?

Yoga is a very popular form of exercising and spiritual balancing, but it is
also very often understood by a lot of people. This is almost inevitable when
you consider the incredible popularity of Yoga as a discipline and the many
different strands that Yoga has. Quite often people have experience with one
type of Yoga but not another, and as such they will base their overall
impression of Yoga on what they have seen. It is like people basing their
impression on Germans on the most famous German they know -- Adolf Hitler, or
more recently the portrayal of George Bush internationally as the only example
of an American anyone knows. The truth is that Yoga can be very different
depending on who you learn it from and how they perceive Yoga. This article
looks at some of the common misconceptions.

* Misconception Number One: Yoga is a form of exercise.

Well yes it is, but so is walking. I can walk from my couch to my table and I
can hardly claim to have done my exercise for the day. The truth is that
exercise is just the beginning of what yoga is. It's closer to a combination of
exercise, physiotherapy, psychology and spirituality all rolled into one. As you
come to master Yoga you will need to become more and more mentally strong, and
most importantly disciplined. If you can discipline yourself to do regular Yoga
sessions, and maintain your discipline to do each pose for the prescribed time,
and do it properly, then you will naturally become a very disciplined and
organised person. For some people this transcends to a spiritual level because
they are so efficient and clearing their thoughts while meditating.

* Misconception Number Two: Yoga is for Hippies.

As previously mentioned Yoga can be a very spiritual experience if you become
good enough at clearing your thoughts and concentrating whilst performing the
exercises. But you certainly do not have to begin with any spiritual belief.
Yoga believes in aligning the body and the mind and the spirit through
achieving inner balance. What that means to you is probably going to depend
entirely on what your beliefs already are. For some people it will be a
spiritually freeing experience, for others it will be an effective way of
distressing and achieving a level of calmness of thought. Still others will
claim that these things are one and the same.

* Misconception Number Three: Yoga is a fad.

Recently there have been some very hyped up Yoga courses making big claims
about what Yoga can achieve. These are easy to associate with other 'fad'
exercise crazes. However Yoga is not something new and is based in documents
that are hundreds of years old which describe exercises and poses that were
probably being performed for generations before that. An individual style of
Yoga may come and go, but as long as people are still stretching before a game
of football then Yoga will still be being used.

* Misconception Number Four: Yoga is too slow to help me lose weight/gain tone
etc.

This one is way off the mark, but we have been somewhat trained by the weight
loss industry that weight loss, and toning our body is all about hours in the
gym and fast high impact exercise. That's simply not true. Yoga can help with
weight loss and in particularly toning for a number of reasons. Firstly the
exercises, while low impact and performed either statically or slowly -- are
still exercises. While you use them you are using your muscles, and in many
cases you are using muscles and muscle groups that regular exercise programs
ignore. The second way that Yoga can be of benefit in a weight loss program is
that it will increase your mental strength and allow you to be more disciplined
with your food consumption.

When it comes down to it excess weight is a result of excess eating and not
enough physical exercise to burn off those calories. Have you ever noticed how
some people can eat donut after donut and not put on any weight at all? It
seems unfair, but it's a natural result of the state of their body. Usually
these people will be quite 'sinewy' and this muscle allows them the metabolise
food faster. That's the third benefit of Yoga in weight loss, as your muscles
develop your body will actually become more efficient at consuming foods and
processing them into nutrients and waste.

Hopefully we have now gone some way to explaining away the various myths
associated with Yoga. It is such a broad topic that it is very much a case of
Yoga being what you make of it.

Why Yoga is Important For An Office Worker

Yoga and office workers don't usually mix, but they should. When you work in an
office you will usually be spending a lot of time hunched over a keyboard and
sitting in a seat. It can also be an environment that is prone to produce a
whole heap of stress and very few outlets to release it. In this article we
examine how these things are bad for your general health and how Yoga can help.

Let's start with a little bit about what Yoga is. At it's simplest level it is
a very effective form of exercise. It involves flexing the body into static
poses and holding them which is a fantastic method of increasing blood flow and
circulation through various choke points in the body.

Yoga also puts a lot of emphasis on the correct patterns of breathing which
allows you body to get the most benefit from each breath of air we take.
Expanding from this we take care to un-clutter our thoughts when we are
performing Yoga and the more advancement someone makes with the discipline the
more focussed and calm they will become. Have you ever told someone to take a 
breath to calm him or her down? With Yoga it is the same principle.

So how does this all help our office worker?

An office environment is usually neither a calm nor a healthy place. Most
office workers will spend the majority of their day stuck in a chair and often
staring at a computer screen or hunched over paperwork or a keyboard. This
causes a lot of tension to well up, particularly in the back and shoulders. The
legs are also often denied a supply of fresh blood by the long hours spend
sitting down.

Yoga forces the body to move in ways it would not usually do in an office
environment. This can be a very effective way of clearing choke points and
allowing circulation to resume it's normal flow. The blood takes valuable
supplies of oxygen and nutrients with it wherever it goes and without these
supplies the organs cannot operate properly. The more starved the organs become
the sicker we will become, so clearly restoring blood flow to the areas that are
being deprived of it is an important health priority.

Did you know that most diseases are directly caused or antagonized by stress?
It's true, and it's a much more serious problem than most people ever know. In
an office environment this is even more so. The pressure of deadlines, the
constant activity and the need to constantly be on the move are all primary
factors in escalating stress levels.

imagine for a moment -- stopping. Forget about all the things that you need to
get done in the next week. Forget about the rent payment and the assignment you
have to finish. Forget about your boss and your family and concentrate on one
thing. Breathing. Yoga is as much a mental discipline as it is a physical one
and it will teach you to clear your thoughts and focus on the activity at hand.
While you will certainly benefit from the health benefits of Yoga, the mental
benefits can be truly life changing. People who learn Yoga usually deal with
stress better and are able to calm and centre themselves when there is turmoil
all around them.

If you think these benefits would make your life easier then you owe it to
yourself to start learning Yoga as soon as possible.

Can Yoga Provide A Solution To Soaring Crime Rates?

Crime and Yoga are not often two words that are used together in the same
sentence, and that is part of the reason that they are combined in this
article. When you think of a stereotypical criminal, someone who does Yoga just
doesn't spring to mind. We think of criminals as being angry, or at least very
active, while Yogi are seen as calm and sedentary. Really the two are so far
apart that it's hard to consider that someone who regularly undertakes Yoga
classes could ever become a criminal. Perhaps Yoga should become compulsory to
fight the crime rate? Here's why:

Yoga classes begin with a simple standing exercise -- the exercise is this:
Breathe. You can spend a significant part of a Yoga class concentrating on the
simple action of taking a deep breath, breathing it in and feeling it's life
giving force extend to all the far reaches of the body, and then exhaling it
just as deeply and completely. This simple act of concentrating of breathing
has an unparalleled ability to focus our mental concentration. It allows us to
clear away unwanted or disturbing thoughts and restore ourselves to a central
balance.

The calming and focussing benefits of a Yoga breathing exercise can, quickly
and easily clear away the types of distractions and temptations that can lead
to a criminal act, at least an impulsive one. Imagine the potential of that on
habitual criminals -- the ability to take a moment before committing a crime,
focus their thoughts and realize that it is not the best course of action and
should be avoided.

Most domestic violence is a direct result of too much stress and strain in a
relationship. Statistics show that the arguments that lead to an incident of
domestic violence are almost always of the 'little things'. The final straw
being a little thing rather than a big important issue. Let's insert the
ability to calm ourselves, sharpen our mind and rationalize into that
situation. Domestic Violence is a result of people 'snapping'. Uncluttering the
mind and calming oneself would mean that people never got to that point.

Other forms of violent crime are similar to domestic violence -- they occur
when tension rises up over time until one person snaps and throws a punch or
pulls a knife. With the right self-calming tools at their disposal these
criminals would be far less likely to offend.

Of course, all that assumes that the criminal does not want to commit a crime
and only does so due to a failure to see an alternative when a certain set of
circumstances present themselves. They are hungry and can take a loaf of bread
so they do, or they feel threatened, unappreciated or disrespected and see
striking out as the only options. Yoga would not benefit the kind of
calculating mind that makes a career of criminal activities because each crime
is carefully pre-meditated.

Or would it?

Most people know of the physical side and have at least heard of the mental and
spiritual benefits of yoga, but few know that the exercises that form the basis
of Yoga are only the Western Worlds interpretation of Yoga. Traditionally
Indian Yoga includes an entire philosophy on how to treat each other and live
our lives. If criminals also followed this component of Yoga it would be
possible to see crime disappear. One can only dream...

Frequently Asked Questions about Pre Natal Yoga.

When you are pregnant everyone has an opinion and an important skill to learn
early on in the pregnancy is to be able to listen to these opinions, comment
politely and then make up your own mind. There are as many different ways of
having and raising children as there are children, and once your child is born
you need to do what works for you and your family, not what worked for someone
else. This doesn't mean you should ignore advice that is given to you. Usually
it will be being dished out by women who have been there and done this before,
and knowing what works for others is often a good indicator of what may work
for you. Ultimately however the decision is going to be up to you, and so you
will learn to collate the collective advise and filter the wisdom from the
opinion. One of the pieces that you will find almost universally recommended by
those who have tried it is Pre Natal yoga, but a lot of women get nervous about
the idea of starting an exercise program when their bodies are going through so
many changes. This article deals with some of the most common questions that
will be asked about Pre-natal Yoga.

* Question One: Why Should I Do Yoga While I Am Pregnant?

There are numerous benefits of Yoga for pregnant women, physical, mental and
also spiritual. In a nutshell Pre-Natal Yoga is designed to give you a toolbox
of techniques and methods for dealing with your pregnancy, your labour and even
the stressful times of the first few days, weeks and months after the birth.
People who complete Prenatal Yoga are better equipped to deal with the babies
delivery itself as well as the recovery period after the birth.

* Question Two: Is It Safe To Learn Yoga During Pregnancy?

It is perfectly safe to start Yoga during your pregnancy provided you begin
your class with a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher. Prenatal Yoga is
specifically designed for pregnancy because there are exercises and techniques
in a regular Yoga session that are not appropriate for a pregnant women. It's
also recommended to wait until after the first trimester is complete before you
commence a Yoga class as this first trimester is a time for babies to grow and
develop, whereas later they will be increasing with size in preparation for the
birth and the mother needs to take advantage of the opportunity Yoga presents to
ease this process. Talk to your instructor about your pregnancy before the class
begins so you can be sure that they understand anything unique to your pregnancy
that may require exercises to be modified(for instance women carrying twins are
encouraged not to do squatting exercises).

* Question Three: How Will Yoga Benefit Me Physically?

Yoga is a discipline which is designed to regulate the blood flow and breathing
as well as strengthen the body in general. All of these factor in the benefits
to pregnant women. Blood flow is of course critical in ensuring that your body
is getting all the nutrients and oxygen to all the organs that need it. It's
possible for baby to get greedy and hog these resources, or the opposite could
happen and the baby is deprived of what is needed to grow. The increased
strength will help deal with the delivery by strengthening the pelvic floor
muscles. This can potentially shorten the duration of labour and it will
definitely decrease the time it takes for the vaginal passage to recover from
the birth. There is even strong evidence that the increased blood flow to the
skin will assist in avoiding and/or recovering from stretch marks.

* Question Four: Should I keep doing Yoga after the Birth?

Why not? You will keep getting all the benefits discussed above and more. You
will probably want to go to at least one standard yoga class, as these can be
quite different than the prenatal Yoga. Of course life can be quite hectic with
a new baby so the opportunities to attend formal classes are probably going to
be few and far between. Luckily one of the biggest benefits of Yoga as an
exercise regime is that it doesn't require specialized equipment, so it's
possible to do in the comfort of your own home during those few precious
moments when your baby is asleep.

Yoga Poses And What They Achieve

Yoga has been described as a science which seeks to achieve the harmonious and
balanced development of the body, mind and soul. It is a system which allows us
to bring culture, balance and happiness to ourselves. It works via a need for
strong mental discipline and the ancient theories, which it is based on
regarding the interconnection between the mind and body, are now being
regularly supported by modern scientific theory. Yoga consists of a number of
different exercises or poses.

Examples of these poses are the cat and cow poses. Both are connected and begin
with you on all fours on the floor. Arching the back upwards like a cornered cat
places you in the cat pose and the reverse, lowering the back puts you into the
cow pose.

Another common form of exercise is a forward bend that will help in the
stretching of the lower back and hamstring muscles. There are a number of other
advantages to forward bends: They release tension in the back neck and shoulder
as well as increasing the flexibility of the spine. Forward bends can be
uncomfortable if you have any injuries in the next or back area, but regularly
performing will help assists in the recovery of these injuries and even
strengthen the area for the future.

The counterpart of a forward bend is a back bend. These open up the chest, hips
and rib cage area. As well as strengthening the arms, they also provide
increased strength and flexibility to the shoulders. This type of exercise is
fantastic at increasing the stability of the spine, but is also useful for
relieving built up tension along the front of the body and the hips. The
relationship between back and forward bends is a perfect example of the
importance of the bodies balance in Yoga.

Hatha Yoga poses were developed in India during the fifteenth century. They are
designed as an aid to relaxation and healing and usually introduced with a
concept of "the contemplation of one reality". The result of using these
exercises properly and in conjunction with suitable breathing exercises and
meditation is an increase in vitality, physical health and a stronger mental
health. Hatha Yoga exercises have become a part of numerous different Yoga
disciplines over the years and it's quite common to see exercises such as the
half moon posture, the bow posture of the salutation posture even if it is not
Hatha Yoga you are practising. This is because the principles of Yoga and the
movements and balances required are fairly consistent from one discipline to
another.

Another simple Yoga exercise is doing the twist. Twists will strengthen and
stretch your back or abdominal muscles and help to increase the flexibility of
your spine. They also aid in increasing your bodies circulation that brings
oxygen supplies to your cells. This fresh blood and oxygen supply that is
released as you twist will improve the functioning of your bodies internal
organs.

A yoga session will often begin with a standing pose. These are a very good low
impact, low stress starting point for a Yoga session. Standing poses benefit the
legs and hips and help provide a sense of centring, balance and of course
strength to the legs themselves. The end of a Yoga session is usually marked by
a group of poses known as Relation and Restorative Poses. This group of
exercises is designed to give the positive energies and forces released by the
Yoga session to move throughout your body and benefit you completely.

"Do You Know Your Yoga?" The Quiz

This is a short quiz to see if the ideas you have about Yoga are correct. Yoga
is a very broad description that takes in a number of different types and
styles so the questions and the explanations given for the answers are equally
broad.

Question One: What is Yoga?

a) An Exercise Program.
b) A Meditation Program.
c) A Healing Program.
d) All of the above.

If you answered (D) then you get a tick. Well done. Yoga can be any of these
things and often is all of them at once. At it's simplest level it is an
exercise program which, when practised regularly will increase strength and
flexibility in the body. Because of the speed that positions are changed and
the emphasis on static exercise many Yoga classes put an emphasis on breathing
and directing energy and thought to different parts of the body. This aspect of
Yoga is where it most closely resembles a Meditation program, though exactly
what meditation means in each person's individual case is going to be different
depending on him or her. Finally, Yoga is most definitely a form of healing. It
allows the increased flow of blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients to all
parts of the body, greatly accelerating the healing rate. The stretching
actions are also good for healing tissue injuries providing they are done to
the right depth. Overextending can lead to re-damaging an injury, so it's
important to know your limits. Yoga can also be a fantastic pre-emptive healing
strategy and this is why Prenatal yoga classes are so popular. They prepare a
women's body for childbirth and because of the strengthening of the specific
muscles women who undergo prenatal Yoga find it much easier to recover and get
back into shape after a birth.

Questions Two: Yoga Exercises are________?

a) Fast.
b) Slow.
c) Static.
d) All of the above.

Yoga is usually a static exercise regime so (C) is your answer here. However an
argument can be made for (B) because the movements between exercises are also
part of the Yoga equation. Often an exercise will involve a long slow stretch,
gradually pushing a little further, but ultimately the stretch needs to be held
for a certain amount of time to gain it's full benefit. Fast exercise programs
are all about getting the heart and blood pumping, whereas Yoga is about
releasing blockages and getting the blood flowing to all parts of the body.
This difference is quite important and a key element in the success and
popularity of Yoga.

Question Three: Do You Have to Do Yoga In Classes?

a) Yes.
b) No.

The answer is no (b) -- of course you don't. Yoga is something that can be a
fantastic group activity, but it doesn't need to be. You are quite capable of
doing Yoga sitting in your bedroom and no-one will ever know. Other people go
to the part to do Yoga in the sun with some friends. Others will do Yoga in an
airport between stopovers. How and where you do Yoga is up to you. What's
fantastic is you don't need much room, and all it takes is a little time to
work through your routine. Also, if no-one sees you doing it, nobody is going
to know, unlike going for a run you won't be panting like a dog or sweating
like a big at the end of a session.

3 Ways Yoga Can Benefit The Businessperson

The lot of a modern businessman is a stressful one and there is always so much
to do. It would take a pretty compelling set of reasons to convince a
successful businessman (or even an unsuccessful one) to add something else to
an already packed schedule, so why would he even think about regular Yoga
classes. In this article we examine the three main benefits of Yoga and how
they apply to the busy businessperson.

* Benefit Number One: Physical Health

All business-mans ultimate goal is to become wealthy isn't it? Have you ever
heard the saying that your health is your wealth? Believe me it is true. No
matter how much money you have you cannot benefit from it if you are dead and
personal health is often neglected in today's busy corporate world. But the
question is not whether one can afford the time for exercise to become healthy;
it is whether they can afford not to. Health is a shifting scale -- you are not
either healthy or dead. It's important to think about how much your level of
health affects your work. A healthy body will allow you to concentrate more,
work harder and increase the time you spend productively.

Yoga is the perfect way for a businessman to look after their physical
wellbeing. Because the exercises are so incredibly low impact they can be
performed even by the most out of shape person, and the more regularly they are
performed the better that person's health will become. Yoga is a very efficient
method of releasing tension and stress. During a workday certain blockages
develop around the body and many of our vital organs do not get the full amount
of oxygen and nutrients that they need to function at peak efficiency. Yoga
stretches different muscles groups in certain ways that will lead to these
blockages being released and the blood flow bringing the bodies organs all the
oxygen and nutrients they need.

Yoga's health benefits are both immediate and long term. In the short term
blood flow is increased and the body functions better because it is achieving
the nutrients it requires. Tension is also released from muscles and the bodies
lymphatic system is able to more effectively deal with waste products. In the
longer term these will be ongoing benefits and the digestive system will also
function more efficiently, which has innumerable health benefits. The general
balance, co-ordination and flexibility will also be greatly enhanced.

* Benefit Number Two: Mental Health

Have you ever considered the importance of a breath? We know that when someone
stops breathing they die, and even this simplistic understanding should tell us
how important it is to breath. But breathing properly is often ignored. It is
vital not only for the numerous health benefits, but also for the strong mental
advantages it allows us.

Yoga sessions will usually begin with a standing, breathing exercise. The
simple process of taking in a deep breath and releasing it slowly is incredibly
calming and the basis of the breathing exercises that are a vital backbone to
the Yoga discipline. The key to this breathing is that it draws our attention
to the one simple action of breathing. We become very aware of the life giving
benefit of a deep and controlled breathing cycle and are able to achieve a
level of calmness that we often don't seek out in our everyday lives. That
calmness itself is a stepping-stone to achieving focus.

The ability to focus is probably the single most important primary skill in a
work environment. There is always so much going on around us and so much that
needs to be done that it is difficult to focus on the single task we are doing
because of the multitude of things 'in the back of our mind'. Regular Yoga
teaches techniques to quickly clear the mind of all these other distractions
and then focus our mental efforts on a single task. It is also a great provider
of personal discipline. The self-discipline that is learned from focusing on the
body and becoming master of oneself is a key benefit of Yoga.

* Benefit Number Three: Happiness

Happiness is a goal that is often sacrificed in the short term in exchange for
some mystical point in the future when everything will come together and be
okay. Yoga doesn't move you any closer to that mystical time, but because you
develop such a strong sense of self and connection with yourself, it is common
to become more content with your current situation. You will find that the more
you practise Yoga the more you will be comfortable spending time alone as well
as amongst other people. Your sense of self worth will increase and you will
perform better in social situations. This is perhaps the most important gift
that Yoga will give to you.

Yoga's Holistic Treatment For Arthritis

There are a great many people who are in the unfortunate position of having to
live with painful aches and pains caused by severely damaged or inflamed
joints. For some people it is a discomfort, and that is bad enough, but for
others arthritis can turn them into a virtual cripples. Arthritis has been
something that has affected people throughout history since prehistoric times,
but it is only recently that we have begun to understand it.

Arthritis is a join disease that can cause problems in any area of the body
where two or more bones intersect. The arthritis itself can affect the join in
a number of different ways, targeting different areas such as the synovium, the
muscles or tendons or the cartilage. Cartilage is the soft protective material
that protects the ends of the joints from rubbing against each other and the
entire join is encased in a type of capsule that is lined with the tissue
synovium.

Arthritis is a broad term which we use to describe a group of over 100 disease
that effect these area of the body. Wherever there is a problem involving
inflammation around the joints and associated discomfit in movement we refer to
it as arthritis despite the multiple different causes that can lead to this. The
other common name that is used in the same broad fashion is rheumatism.

Because it affects so many people arthritis is a very public problem and is
discussed openly and frequently. Roughly one in every seven Americans is
thought to have arthritis in some form and relieving the pain of Arthritis is a
primary concern for all people suffering from it. Some people take medication,
but others have found relief from the pain in exercises performed at a gentle
pace and intensity. Yoga is the perfect example of this type of exercise.

Yoga is a very old art originating in India up to 4000 years ago. It uses poses
or postures along with deeply controlled breathing exercises that lead to
benefits to the body mind and spirit. Yoga is a very versatile form of exercise
and meditation and it is used, in different forms, to treat a very wide range of
medical conditions and injuries including such diverse areas as fibromyalgia,
arthritic, migraine headaches, chronic pain, and sports injuries.

The common misconception with using Yoga for arthritis pain is that it will
mean contorting and bending the body in unnatural ways in an effort to force
the body to accept the pain and develop some level of comfort. The core
attributes of a Yoga for Arthritis Program are still going to be breathing and
meditation but the exercises are specially catered to the individuals level of
movement and comfort. Stretching will still be involved but they are a part of
Yoga's core statement of developing balance and harmony between the body and
mind and enhancing the bodies strength and flexibility. Each pose or position
assumed during a Yoga workout has a specific purpose and a specific physical
benefit. Sometimes the poses will be done in rapid succession to create heat in
the body, a style known as Vinyasa Yoga, and sometimes they are performed more
slowly to increase the level of stamina, perfection in the pose and core
strength through holding the pose. The poses themselves remain the same but how
they are entered and approached will vary greatly from discipline to discipline
and teacher to teacher.

The Yoga poses can be tailored specially for specific joints or combinations of
joints. For instance a common area for arthritis to strike is the hands and
knuckles and in this instance there would be a series of poses that straighten
and lengthen the fingers, although the level of comfort in the arthritis
sufferer always dictates the extent of this. Stretching the hands also feed
energy to that area of the body and over time will assist the arthritis in the
fingers. The heat generated by these movements is proven to be very beneficial
for sufferers of arthritis.

Yoga As A Life Philosophy

Yoga is different things to different people, so what it means to you will
depend greatly on how you were introduced to it and how you enjoyed your
initial experiences with it. For some people Yoga is simply a method of
exercising that ensures they have a healthy supple body. For other people Yoga
transcends a method of exercise and is a spiritual experience that allows them
to find the balance and centring their lives need. This type of Yoga comes
closer to a life philosophy than any other.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is often placed in this final type when assessing it's
place as a Yoga discipline. It descends from a document known as Korunta Yoga
which deals with the 8 spiritual movements which are described by Patanjali in
Sutra Yoga. Today most Yoga disciplines are directly descended from the
descriptions of Yoga exercises in these documents, and so most forms of Yoga
are variations of Ashtanga Vinyasi.

Getting a complete understanding of Ashtanga Yoga is important as it's
proponents treat it as more that a form of exercise. While it's base is in
physical movement it is suggested that it's power in fact comes from the
strength of spirit that is developed from regular and disciplined practice of
the 8 stages of Yoga. Through the eight stages of Yoga the body and mind become
pure, and so they are seen as a purifying discipline.

Furthermore the discipline of Ashtanga Vinyasa deals with a profound and deep
way of relating to others. The closest word to describe this aspect of the Yoga
discipline is manners, but it really does go beyond that. Yoga is a discipline
of balance, and the physical balance required to complete many of the exercises
should be mirrored by an internal balance or harmony of the soul. It is said
that a hyperactive person canot be successful with Yoga and this is true on
several levels. Firstly they lack the discipline to sit calmly through the
exercises, but they also lack the mental calm to focus wholly and completely on
a single task. Yoga requires deep concentrating on the simple act of breathing
and feeling the breath bring life to different areas of your body.

The power of Yoga is found in it's combination of the physical strength and
flexibility needed to complete movements and the mental discipline that is
required to maintain them. Yoga is not just a form of exercise but most often
it is thought of as a form of meditation. Meditating successfully with Yoga
requires a pureness of thought and singularity of focus that is not found in
most modern exercise programs. It seeks to bring the body back into balance and
focus on maintaining that balance.

This aspect of Yoga is often misunderstood, but balance plays a huge role in
Eastern Medicine and the purpose of Yoga and similar meditative techniques is
often no more than to achieve and maintain the level of balance that keeps our
bodies healthy. Yoga teachers will often talk about one-ness and inner harmony,
and this can be mis-interpreted by people who lack a holistic understanding of
what Yoga seeks to achieve. Simple the harmony that is achieved through
Meditation and Yoga is a self-contentment or acceptance of oneself. This shows
that the first step to becoming completely happy and healthy is to be content
with yourself and your life.

Drishti Yoga

Yoga happens to be a form of exercise that came from some eastern religions,
but it is also based on mediation. You will find that the yoga origins are
translated in English from Sanskrit. When you are beginning with your yoga, you
will find that it can be a difficult time for you. You will learn the power of
drishti once you have become an advanced student. Most teachers will stress
that the drishti will help you to improve the way that you carry yourself and
your posture. You will also be able to get a better understanding of how yoga
works on the mind and body.

With the ancient yoga teachers you might have heard things like wherever the
gaze lies, your attention follow. Have you ever heard the expression, "Keep
your eye on the ball"? This is the same principle. In yoga as a religious
practice, as well as to benefit our health, the ultimate goal is to calm the
mind. Yoga will help you to relieve stress and you're your body and mind focus
and see things more clearly. You will find that it will help you on many
levels. By fixing your gaze on a single point (a drishti), you can hone the
skills you need to bring your mind to a single point as well. Drishti seeks to
block out external distractions so that the mind is wholly focused on itself.

When it comes to drishti, you will want to learn how to focus on your
breathing. If you keep your eyes open as you meditate, you can also use an
outside source, like the tip of you nose or the flame of a candle. When
practicing yoga, simply choose a point in the room on which to fix your gaze
and your mind. You will want to make sure that you choose something that you
can find natural. This can be very helpful when holding poses for an extended
period of time. For beginning students, the drishti will be the instructor.
Remember that as you advance, your understanding of the use of drishti will
advance as well.

You should not feel like your eyes are strained or that it interferes without
yoga routine. For those who are religious, they will see the activitiy as a way
to work on the mind and the body. You willl find that some types fo yoga have
some drishti used poses. You will try things like the downward facing dog and
you'll fix your gaze upon your navel. Your teachers will explain the use of
drishti and how to blend it in with your routine. They will tell you some
recommend on how you can use your poses to help you improve yourself overall.

Yoga as exercise

Yoga is a meditation exercise that has been around for centuries and came about
from the traditions of Buddha and Hindu. There are many people who have let go
of the religious aspect of the yoga exercise program, but has used it because
the techniques include a lot of benefits. You will find that there are ways
that you can use the stretches and strength building exercises for you to work
on your self image. You will be able to burn the fat, increase your
flexibility, and also build muscles. There are lot of other exercises that you
can also go in joint with yoga. When you combine yoga with some other
cardiovascular exercise, you will be able to make your body healthier than ever.

Yoga is traditionally seen as a routine of exercises that will rejuvenate the
body. That is, although yoga is a difficult workout, it should make you
energized as opposed to draining your body and making your feel tired.
Therefore, when pairing yoga with other forms of exercise, do yoga first. You
may be able to use yoga as a warm up. You will want to do this before you start
any cardiovascular or any strength training exercises. You will find that
warming up is very important to any work out.

Yoga will teach your breathing techniques that will prepare you for some other
exercise. Yoga can also teach breathing to prepare you for other exercises. In
yoga classes, students must often learn breathing techniques that help calm the
spirit and focus the mind. With these techniques you will be able to breathe
fully and there will be more oxygen going to your brain and throughout the
other parts of the body. By practicing yoga, you will be able to do
cardiovascular exercises for a longer period of time, since you will not be so
quickly out of breath.

Since yoga will help you to increase flexibility, you will be able to prevent
some injures when you are doing other sports or exercises. Yoga can be viewed
as an entire exercise regimen focused on stretching muscles. It also helps
minimize and prevent injuries because yoga allows you to find your limits. This
is important when practicing any sort of physical activity.

You should always speak with your doctor when you are starting any exercise
routine. You will find that yoga is the safest way to practice yoga in the
comfort of a class and with a certified instructor. You should ask your teacher
for some tips on how you can improve on your yoga skills and use it to help you
become better at other sports and exercises. You will be able to benefit from
the yoga workout session.

Eight Limbs: Ashtanga Yoga

Did you know that Ashtanga means literally "eight limbs? It is a reference to
the eight elements that will help define your lifestyle. You will find that
your limbs will cover all the attitudes that you have towards that world. Make
sure that your attitude towards yourself and the art of yoga considers the
eight limbs.

This is better known as power yoga, but you will find that if you do some
specialized form of Hatha yoga you will be able to use the third and forth
limbs when it comes to poses and breathing exercises. You will find that it
will provide an intense workout. Six series of poses within Ashtanga yoga allow
for steps of progression in skill, strength, and flexibility. After learning the
order of poses from an instructor (the first series includes 75 poses and can
take two hours to complete), students often practice Ashtanga independently.
This will allow you to progress at your own pace, but also master each series
one at a time.

With 75 poses in the first series alone, Ashtanga yoga can be difficult to
learn, especially with the Sanskrit names.

There are many famous athletes will prefer Astango yoga since it is a full body
workout. With meditation downplayed and the poses emphasized, "power yoga"
focuses on building flexibility, stamina, and strength, tied into breathing
control, with breathing synchronized with the poses. With each breath you will
do one pose. The focal point of the eyes is also controlled, to create a
unified control of the looking point, the breathing, and the bodily position.

"Intense" describes Ashtanga yoga as a whole. Ashtanga yoga stresses breathing
and poses to produce some heat from the inside so that you can detoxify the
body. You will be able to cleanse the body including the organs and muscles.
Make sure you have time for a shower after the Ashtanga yoga lesson! The
results include improved circulation and a body that's both strong and lithe.

With a warm environment you will find that Ashtanga yoga will help you to get
comfortable and learn to be flexible. You will want to do a proper warm-up and
relaxing session so that you can go this form of yoga without harming yourself.
You will find that the demands of this exercise yoga means that you will have to
become cautious. You don't want to overwork or strain your muscles. You might do
some physical damage. There are people who just should not and can not do this
form of yoga.

During Yoga with the family

Yoga happens to be a type of exercise that many people find to easily fit into
their schedule. There are lots of benefits to doing yoga and you'll feel a lot
better about yourself. You will be less stressed, sleep better, and lose some
weight. You'll also become stronger and more flexible. This is a great way for
you to bond with your children as well. You will find that it is it just as fun
and beneficial for children too. Your child may not be able to do all of the
poses; however, you will be able to get the children away from the TV and
active.

Your child may not have what it takes to pay attention through a whole session,
but you should allow the child to join you and bond and have fun. Children love
the different skills they learn, such as balancing, and being upside down is
always fun. You may also want to think about allowing the child to put their
own spin on yoga. They are young and it is just important that you get them
interested in trying new things.

The local yoga class will offer you some tips on how to get your children
involved and may also allow you to bring your child with you. In these classes,
they will learn much of the same things you learn in a beginner's class. You may
even want to consider brining them to an adult class of yoga if they are of age.
However, remember that it may not be appropriate if the class has members of
both sexes. It's a judgment call here, but if your child is yearning to start
learning yoga, try your best to include him or her in a class.

Your child will be able to benefit from yoga at home as well. There are books
and videos specially made for children and young adults to learn yoga as well
as meditation. Always monitor your child to be sure he or she is being safe,
and talk to your child's doctor to be sure the yoga routine is appropriate for
your child's physical well-being. Speak with some of the parents that are in
your class and ask them if their child is interested so that you can get a
group of children together and show them how to properly get into yoga.

When you do yoga together, you will be able to get to know one another and
bond. You will be able to see each other as friends. Yoga is a way for you to
add healthy activity to your child's life. Even if you two don't stay with the
yoga classes or routine at home, you can at least come together and find other
ways to include health awareness in your child's daily life.

Yoga and meditation

Yoga is developing as a part of life. It is a way that you can integrate body
poses and breathing exercises with added meditation to give a peace of mind to
have peace with the world.

Meditation comes from intense concentration, where the individual focuses so
thoroughly on a single object that he or she thinks of nothing besides his or
her awareness of that object (Some religions may find that their idea of prayer
could fall under this definition). Yoga will take things a little bit further by
making meditation the highest point of the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

These "eight limbs" define Yoga as a lifestyle: your attitude to the world
around you is followed by your attitudes towards yourself, physical posturing,
breathing exercises, withdrawing the senses, concentrating, contemplating, and
finally enlightenment. You will go into an state of bliss that will result in
the use and development of the other seven. Meditation combines withdrawing the
senses, concentrating, and contemplating to be the final state that can be
accomplished before bliss.

At any rate, meditation calms the mind and offers a number of health benefits
even before enlightenment. With regular mediation will help reduce all the
stress and anxiety. It will also lower your blood pressure and it will decrease
your risk of a heart attack. It can improve concentration, clarity of thought,
and release your creative side.

With some research, mediation with yoga will increase the matter of the brain's
cortex, and it will help with cognitive, emotional, and sensory date of the
brain. Meditation may also slow natural shrinkage of the frontal cortex due to
aging. The 20 participants on average meditated for 40 minutes a day. Actually,
most change happens in the brain's right half.

Meditation really isn't easy though. Clearing the mind of extraneous thought is
difficult, and all thought even more so. Learning how to do meditation will take
some time and hard work.

You will want to sit somewhere with your back and head straight, to start out.
You will find that you will want to learn some basic breathing exercises first
to help you. You will then want to close your eyes, breathe in through your
noses and exhale through your mouth. You will want to focus on your breath. You
will be able to get cool air to enter through and the warm air leaves. You will
want to make sure that you focus on the way that you breath. You will want to
redirect all of your wondering thoughts and then just focus on the warm air
leaving. You should start off with some short meditations that last a few
minutes. Most beginners will start off counting their breaths so that they can
focus on the breathing, but you will only want to count to four and then start
over again.

Practicing Yoga safely While Pregnant

If you are a yoga student and just recently found out that you are pregnant you
may till be able to do these exercises. Contrary to what many people think, Yoga
is good for both you and your unborn child. You will not hurt the baby, but you
will be able to create a healthy environment for the baby if you learn to do
the yoga poses correctly. You can also begin to do yoga when you are pregnant.
There are some poses that you will want to avoid, but if you learn to avoid the
harmful poses and master the poses that are suggested as prenatal yoga. You will
want to learn about these poses before you begin to do yoga. You will want to
ask your pediatrician about whom you will be able to contact. Be sure that you
know what you are doing, because you don't want to hurt yourself or the baby.

Yoga is beneficial because it is a mental exercise as well as a physical one.
Those who try to learn and use yoga as a meditation tool, they are able to
relax and control their breathing. This will help you during labor, especially
if you are opting to give birth without the use of drugs. You will learn how to
stay calm in your later stages of your pregnancy, since many new mothers can
easily frustrated.

You will want to learn the rules that you will need to follow when practicing
yoga when you are pregnant. First, stay hydrated, stopping often for water
breaks. If you get too overheated, your core body temperature rises even more,
which can harm the baby. For this reason, "hot" yoga is dangerous and should be
avoided while you are pregnant. You will also want to eat some extra calories
since you are eating for two, however, you will want to exercise to burn the
extra calories from yourself and the baby.

You will want to make sure that you avoid certain poses because they can be
harmful towards the baby. Lying flat on your back, for example, can cut of
blood flow to your brain and to the uterus, making you dizzy and causing
developmental problems for your baby. After your first trimester you will not
want to because it's just not safe. Also skip positions that are inverted, or
those that require great amounts of balance. Remember that your stomach is
growing every day, so you will never be able to fully get used to your new
shape and stay balanced. Keep in mind that you don't fall because it can hurt
yourself or the baby. If the position includes major twisting or stretching in
the abdominal region, they may also not be best for you and your baby. Finally,
avoid transitions in which you must stand quickly from a laying or sitting
position, since this can be uncomfortable and cause you to be dizzy, as well as
restrict blood flow to your uterus.

There are a lot of positions that you will find to be helpful, however, most
pregnant women will either practice yoga or they will do things to stretch
their body. You will want to talk to your yoga instructor on what they
recommend for your and your unborn child. You should also speak with your
medical doctor and ask them if yoga will help you and your baby to stay healthy.

Vinyasa Yoga

There are a number of class types of yoga, including Vinyasa yoga. You will
find that this specific type of yoga you will be able to do poses that flow
into one another and it is a consistent breathing meditation. The type of
breathing-oriented posed yoga is rapid and dynamic. It is another way of saying
that you are into Power Yoga.

In reference to poses, Vinyasa can describe the poses performed between repeats
of "Downward Facing Dog" in a Sun Salutation: Plank, "Four Limbed Staff", and
"Upward Facing Dog".

To get into the Plank pose from a downward-facing dog, you will have to bring
your torso up until your body is straight and your shoulders are directly
handling over your wrists. It's like the push up position. Press down firmly
through your forearms and hands, widen your shoulder blades, and press back
through the heels, regardless of whether your heels touch the floor or not. You
will want to make sure that your neck stays inline with your spine, but once you
have mastered it, you can perform the pose with one leg lifted at a time.

From Plank, enter the Four Limbed Staff by bending your arms straight back,
hugging your upper arms to your sides. Then you will want to lower yourself to
the floor with your forearms and upper arms at a ninety-degree angle, while
keeping your body level throughout the pose. Push back on your heels while
pressing into your palms. (Beginners can leave their knees on the floor until
they build the strength to hold up their bodies.) Then you can try shifting the
pose while leaving one leg up from the advanced plank pose, but that is only
once you've mastered the pose

To progress into Upward Facing Dog, tuck in your toes to roll over your feet as
you come forward. Don't let your thighs touch the floor. Make sure that you keep
your legs tense and off the floor, but you will also pres into the floor with
the tops of your feet and with your palms. Make sure your shoulders remain over
the wrists, and drop your hips. Beginners might find it easier to transition by
dropping their thighs to the floor, flipping their feet over one at a time,
then raising their legs again to move into Upward Facing Dog.

These are just beginning yoga poses will require you to concentration if you
would like to master it. You will also find that these are difficult for a
person to master. You will want to get it a good go at learning how to do yoga.
You will find that there are many difficulties that you will have with Vinyasa
yoga.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. You will find that you will go
and do yoga in a room that this 95-105 degrees hot. You will find that the room
is also high in humidity. This will increase your body flexibility and it will
lower the risk of muscular injury. The sweat from the heat of the room you will
be able to get rid of all the toxins of the body. When you subject yourself to
hot temperatures will help you to get toned and loss the weight. You will also
find that it is strengthen the immune system.

This type of hot yoga will include about 26 poses and it will also including
two breathing exercises. You will find that each breath exercise is performed
twice within an hour an half. The room is carpeted and has mirrors. You will
find that it is a very intense workout. You will find that the benefits of
bikram yoga will help you to relieve chronic pain and even certain symptoms
from some diseases.

Since this yoga master, born in 1946, is still living, he can file lawsuits.
And he does. He refuses to allow his name to be attached to generic yoga
practiced in a hot room, demanding that instructors of Bikram yoga follow his
proscribed yoga methods and be properly certified from his institute, the Yoga
College of India, founded in 1974. He has tried to copyright his series of 26
poses and tries to claim rights over all sequences that have substantial
similarity. There are some people who are bothered by his methods of
self-expansion (such as opening franchises of yoga studios). You will notice
that he is an instructor at a yoga college in Mumbai, India, but he also
teaches at other worldwide locations.

Many people will use the term "hot" yoga so that they are able to avoid a
lawsuit. Any yoga that takes place in a hot room might be called Hot Yoga; it
may or may not precisely follow Bikram Choudhury's precise proscribed methods.
If you want to take a hot yoga class you will want to make sure that you go to
a certified studio to teach you're the method correctly. If you want to take a
Bikram yoga class, make sure the studio you choose for your class is certified
to teach the method.

When taking a Hot Yoga class, you must have your own mat and towel to handle
the profuse sweat. Most students also choose to wear little clothing, to avoid
overheating. You want to drink plenty of water and water only. You will find
that it can make you dehydrated if you don't drink water. Also, you will want
to avoid eating within two hours prior to class. You should drink well over
eight glasses of water on days you have Hot Yoga classes.

If you are an expecting mommy, you will not want to practice hot yoga. It will
raise your body temp and it is not good for the baby. You will also find that
you are going to have to have a high tolerance to heart and become accustomed
to exercise and doing yoga. You don't want to start off with this type of yoga,
because you may find that it is difficult for you to learn and focus when in the
hot environment.

The History of Yoga

Yoga began in India 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The word yoga comes from the
Sanskrit language and means, to join or integrate, or simply union. Yoga
started, as far as we know, as part of India's philosophical system, but not
everyone practiced yoga, and it has never been a religion.

About 5 million people in the United States do some yoga. Dance and stretching
exercise classes usually have parts and pieces that come directly from yoga. If
you ever go to a physical therapist, he or she may give you therapeutic
exercises that are yoga postures.

There are several types of yoga. The yoga you may have seen on TV or taught at
your local Y or an adult education class is called hatha yoga, or physical
yoga. Sometimes it's known as the yoga for health. You may also find yoga being
taught in a hospital or medical setting. Many health professionals today feel
yoga can be part of a treatment plan.

Hatha yoga has three parts: a series of exercises or movements called asana
(poses or postures in English), breathing techniques of all kinds, and
relaxation.

Tracing the History of Yoga

The History of Yoga has a lot to do with the present times. The earliest Yoga
started some 5000 years ago since human civilization has begun. The scholars
have believed that Yoga was originated out of Stone Age Shamanism.

This is because there were some cultural similarities between Mehrgarh which
was a Neolithic settlement and the Modern Hinduism. The shamanistic culture of
Mergarh was in fact influenced by Hindu ideals, symbols and rituals of the
present. The ancient shamanism and early Yoga had so much similarity for the
reason both wanted to go beyond the human condition.

Shamanism's primary goal was to heal the members who were in their community
and at the same time act as the religious mediators.

Archaic Yoga also had the same objectives as they were community oriented and
they aimed to determine the enormous order through senses and inner vision
which then can be applied to our daily lives.

As time went on, Yoga has progressed and has regarded the inmost experience.
Yogis then have focused on how to improve the individual enlightenment,
recovery and salvation.

Yoga's evidences were first tracked in the archeological evidence which was
found in stone seals exhumed from the Indus valley. Yoga postures were traced
and seen fro the figures which were illustrated in the stone seals. the
artifacts were placed on History books circa 3000 B.C., which was linked to the
great Indus-Sarasvati Civilization which was known to be the largest
civilization that exist in the ancient world. The Indus-Sarasvati, being a
maritime society, exported goods all over Africa and the Middle East. They
build up sewage systems and put up geometrical brick roads and constructed
multistory buildings.

The Vedas are known as the oldest scripture in the world which were the ancient
texts, was brought by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization. It was a compilation of
hymns that commends a high power which included the oldest recorded teachings
in Yoga. They have considered this the divine revelation. The intelligence of
the Vedas was known as the Pre-classical Yoga or the Vedic. This was described
by the ritualistic ceremonies that the Yoga practitioners have been required in
order to go beyond the limitations of the mind.

The history of yoga would not have been completed in the classical stage of
yoga. After the time and turn of the millennium, yoga and its spread in
different forms have come up with the need for standardization. This is
important so that the people will be aware with it and it can be applied by
them. Due to this, during the second century, C.E., Patanjali has composed and
collected seminal text which was the Yoga-Sutra which had defined the Classical
Yoga.

At the age of Postclassical Yoga in the enormous history of Yoga, it gave rise
to some productive literature which has included the Tantra and the Hatha which
is famously known nowadays. These were taught in schools for Yoga and practiced
by many. Therefore, post classical Yoga is described to the adaptation of our
present state. It is the time when yoga has evolved greatly and introduced to
people. It has then been applied in the United States in the 1800's.

Now in the recent decades, yoga has greatly and swiftly evolved. Swami
Sivananda was one of the prominent gurus ever to master yoga. He has served as
a doctor and he has generously opened up schools in Europe and America.

Now as we move on with the yoga practices that we have today, it is much
helpful and easier to understand if we looked back on the history of yoga.






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