Many people are first drawn to Yoga as a way to keep their bodies fit and supple. Others come seeking relief or help for a specific ailment like tension or Backache. Whatever your reason is, Yoga can be a tool in giving you both what you came for, and more.Though the practice of Yoga is closely associated to ancient texts, beliefs, and values, it also yields benefits useful for people's practical daily lives. Here are some reasons why more and more people are practicing Yoga:1. Yoga relaxes the body and the mind. Even in the midst of stressful environments, Yoga helps control breathing and clears the mind of cluttered thoughts, leaving only deep physical and mental refreshment.2. Yoga can help normalize body weight. For people who are either overweight or underweight, Yoga Exercises can help achieve the desired weight. The principles of balance and moderation in physical activity and diet under Yoga can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.3. Yoga improves your resistance to disease. The postures and movements in Yoga massage the internal organs, enhancing blood circulation and functionality, thus, lessening the risk of illness.4. Yoga increases your energy level and productivity. For as quick as 20 minutes, Yoga can replenish the mind and body with precious energy needed to respond to daily tasks and challenges.5. Yoga leads to genuine inner contentment and self-actualization. Meditation -one of the aspects of Yoga- focuses the mind, taking it away from the distractions of the highly-materialistic world and leading it to genuine happiness.Yoga is a method of learning that aims to attain the unity of mind, body, and spirit through these three main Yoga structures: Exercise, Breathing, and Meditation. The exercises of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the Glandular Systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. The body is looked upon as the primary instrument that enables us to work and evolve in the world, a Yoga student; therefore, treats it with great care and respect. The Breathing Techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. Yoga students gently increase their breath control to improve the health and the function of both body and mind. These two systems prepare the body and mind for Meditation, making it easier for students to achieve a quiet mind and be free from everyday stress. Regular daily practice of all three parts of this structure of Yoga produce a clear, bright mind and a strong, capable body.
There is an interesting article in the September 5th issue of Time magazine. This particular article covers a spectrum of opinions about mixing Christianity with Yoga. Even, if you dont agree with a single opinion, its a good read, as long as you remain objective.Over the course of time, I have been lucky enough to teach, or practice, with someone from every known religious denomination; so the statement by a Professor Tiwari at the Hindu University of America, where he states that, Yoga is Hinduism, is surprising, coming from a scholar. Possibly, this statement was taken out of context, but fundamentalism exists, to a degree, in every form of religion.If some Christians want to practice Yoga to make a closer connection to God, who are any of us to criticize it? Isnt one of Yogas purposes, the union of self with a Supreme Being? So what is the big deal?Truthfully, many fundamentalists are all about division - keeping the masses divided, at war with each other, and preferably, in a holy war. They fear the unity of mankind, letting go of power, and world peace. They dont want to loosen their grip on their followers, so they squeeze a little more.So if a Christian group wants to practice Son Salutations, or PraiseMoves, give them a break. Yoga is practiced in sectarian atmospheres by a variety of different religions. Nobody has a monopoly on Yoga. Yoga is a complete health maintenance system for mind, body, and spirit.There is a type of Yoga for everyone, and some people want a little more spiritual flavor than others. Since Yoga has been around for at least 5,000 years, there is a very big variety to choose from.As for skeptics who point the finger at each other - He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone It might be best if we all practice a little more mindfulness, and loving kindness, before we decide to criticize things we dont understand.Yoga is out of the bag. It is no longer practiced by a particular group. Therefore, Yoga is a public treasure, and not a genie that we will confine to a bottle. No matter how many people try to patent, or copyright, Yoga, it will be practiced within every corner of the earth.So, please read the article in Time magazine and enjoy it, but take the time to remain objective. Recognize motives and words for their hidden agenda. Most of all, remain in good relations with your fellow man.
While on the way to spot a friend of mine at the local YMCA, he asked why I didnt just join the gym and I explained to him that I practice Yoga and occasional calisthenics at home for my exercises and really didnt feel the need for a gym membership. His response was predictable: Yogaisnt that just stretching?I smirked at the familiarity of the question and proceeded to explain to him the theme of this article. As I told him and for those who may not know otherwise: No, Yoga is way more than just stretching or getting into supposedly awkward looking poses and positions.It is a combination of stretching, breathing exercises, meditation and perhaps the most overlooked limb, adherence to a proper diet.The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as a "union" or a method of discipline. Its ultimate goal is the union of man with God or the universe in one breath. Furthermore, it aims to liberate the spirit as the mind and spirit are equally involved in its practice. Yoga is indeed the oldest existing physical-culture system in the world. Besides being a systematic and scientifically proven path to attaining physical fitness, it delays aging, rejuvenates and improves ones appearance, maintains suppleness and increases vitality and the creative part of life.With its core warm-up exercises known as the Sun Salutations (which are somewhat similar to the calisthenics exercise known as burpees), the inversion poses, forward and backward bending poses, balancing exercises for the arms and building focus, the average practitioner will attest to the fact that for attaining fitness, Yoga can stand its own.Think Yoga cant help with building strength? Think again. Heck, I challenge the most adept body-builder to hold the simple yet powerful peacock-pose for 90 seconds straight. Bet you theyd crash half-way in its execution-if they make it that far.Yoga also offers unique breathing exercises which are wonderful for patients with respiratory disorders and even singers and public speakers, moreover with its unique relaxation pose, oft times practiced during and after its execution, Yoga offers a systematic means of deeply relaxing the entire body perhaps the way no other exercise can. (Keep in mind of course that several of the poses give a deep body massage not unlike the ones received in salonsjust thought I should throw that in.)With countless books, DVDs, videos and classes being offered for all ages, levels of fitness and experience (some of them being actually free for the first couple of lessons to try Yoga out), I suggest you give it a trial and see for yourself what it can do.One thing I promise you is this; you will walk out of your class and nod in agreement that indeed: yoga is way more than just stretching. It is THE exercise.
What was once ridiculed as a bizarre fad in health has been widely accepted as a way of life for many people. This fad however has been in practice for over 5, 000 years and is known as Yoga. Though it is recognized as a form of exercise, some specific poses unique to this method of physical culture have been highly recognized and recommended in the drugless healing cycles for centuries. With a sensible and proper diet with emphasis on Fruits and Vegetables (the Mucus-less diet), these specific ailments listed below can each be alleviated with a consistent and wise execution of the poses recommended.1. Acne: Sun Salutations, the shoulder-stand and its counter-poses, head to knee poses, Peacock poses and Abdominal Isolation. 2. Arms (Sagging): Sun Salutations, Incline plane pose, Bow Pose, Wheel pose and the Balancing Poses (peacock and Crow) 3. Asthma: Deep abdominal breathing, Shoulder-stand, bridge and fish Pose, Bow Pose and Corpse pose (Abstinence from animal products and ALL processed foods strongly required! Fruits and Veggies Only!) 4. Back-Ache: Sun Salutations, Fish pose, bow pose 5. Bad Breath: Sun Salutations, Inverted Poses, Bow and Balancing Poses, Cleansing fire Pose and Breathing exercises. (Short fasts and Restricted Occasional juicy organic fruit diets are recommended) 6. Body Odor: Sun Salutations, the Shoulder-stand (15-20 Minutes after the poses are practiced, use a warm damp rag to wipe the pubic regions)7. Bust and Chest (firming): Sun Salutations, Bow, Crow pose 8. Chin-(prevention of double chin): Fish, Wheel, Sun Salutations 9. Common Cold: Sun Salutations, shoulder-stand and her counter- poses, Breathing Exercises, Nasal Irrigation (Avoid Dairy, Grain and Animal Products and of course Processed Foods, this is a good time to do a short fast!) 10. Constipation: Inverted Poses, Sun Salutations, head to knee Poses, Bow Pose, the balancing poses (Peacock and crow variations) (Fiber Rich Foods- Dates, celery, melons etc) This concludes the first part of the 3-part series on how to use Yoga and a Proper diet to alleviate health symptoms.
A medicine ball is also commonly used by athletes who have sustained an injury, and seek rehabilitation. They are also extensively used by secondary schools as a fitness aid, by lifting the ball, or performing different exercises with the ball incorporated to increase the strain on a particular muscle.What is A Swiss Ball?A Swiss ball is a ball constructed of elastic rubber with a diameter of around 55 to 85 cm (22 to 34 inches). It is used in physical therapy and exercise.Yoga with Balance Ball?Doing yoga on a ball allows your body to open gently so you can keep your breath flowing and remain aware of signs of strain so you don't injure yourself. The balance ball supports you in certain poses and helps you modify each posture to suit your body.Sit on The Ball!Sitting on a ball instead of a chair is a great way to keep your spine healthy. Try to sit on a ball for at least part of your work day, if you have a desk job. When you sit on a ball, you're forced to sit up with good posture because you have nothing to lean back on. Also, because the ball rolls around, it keeps you on your toes and keeps your body moving, which help prevent the stiffness and back pain that you can get from being too sedentary.Bent Knee Bridge for Buttocks and hamstringsHow to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels resting on top of the ball. Spread your arms out on either side of you. Lift your butt off the floor while squeezing it, and push your hips toward the ceiling. Pause at the top of the movement, then go back to the starting position.The following are some guidelines in planning and running a medicine ball session :-1. Always ensure the athletes carry out a thorough warm up and warm down2. Before starting a session, explain the procedures for each exercise with your athletes3. Partners who feed the medicine ball on certain exercises should be well drilled on what is required4. Medicine ball exercises must precede high intensity work5. Start sessions with lighter less dynamic exercises, then progress to heavier exercises6. The program should have exercises that match the pattern of movements of the sport7. Plan the program to exercise alternate body parts (legs, upper body, torso)8. You will need to have a number of different weights of ball available - heavy, medium and lightA primary benefit of exercising with a Swiss ball as opposed to exercising directly on a hard flat surface is that the body responds to the instability of the ball to remain balanced, engaging many more muscles to do so. Those muscles become stronger over time to keep balance.