Eight amazing benefits of teaching yoga

Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

Job Satisfaction

In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that "My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment." Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.

There's always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.

Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers

Your self esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path, is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without the headache or backache they came in with.

Your Own Health

As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

There is no Shortage of Work

When the working world is in the "9 to 5" mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a

Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don't have a personal referral.

Continuing Education

Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It's not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

Time

You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

Independence

Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

Success

No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year.

Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key – If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it.

Yoga how to develop a home practice

Many people ask how to start a home yoga practice so here is some information to get you going. First I will review the basics and then discuss how often to practice and what to practice. Remember though, the only right practice is regular practice! Don’t let your desire for perfectionism get in your way. Just show up at your mat and practice. Yoga is a life-long journey – perhaps many lives!

Environment

The space should be quiet, and ideally used only for yoga. (Can be a section of any room)

Place a mat, blanket or towel on the floor.

The temperature should be moderate - not too cold and not too hot.

The room should have fresh air but not windy or cold.

Sunrise and sundown are desirable times for yoga (although any time works!)

Preparation

Wear light comfortable clothing.

A bath or shower before is good for limberness - wait at least 20 minutes after

practicing before bathing)

In the morning wash, urinate and move the bowels before practice.

Practice before eating or wait two hours after a meal.

Physical Practice (asanas)

Do not practice if there is a fever or deep wounds. Consult a teacher if there is an illness.

Spend five to ten minutes warming up/stretching before beginning practice.

Do not force your limbs into a difficult position. In time your body will open. We are after sensation not pain!

Beginners should hold each asana for 3-5 breaths. After about three months of regular practice this can be increased to 5 to 10 breaths.

Always inhale and exhale through the nostrils unless specified otherwise. Focus on making the breath slow and smooth.

At any time you need a rest come into child pose or shavasana (corpse pose)

Finish asanas with shavasana for five to ten minutes.

How often to practice.

The rule of thumb for how often to practice is simple: It is better to practice for short durations regularly than to practice once a week for a long time. In other words it is better to practice 4 times a week for forty-five minutes then to practice one day for two hours.

With that being said some people get what they need from practicing just a couple of times each week while other practice five or six times a week. It varies from person to person. On average though you will get the most benefit from your practice with average of four sessions per week. The length of time of each session depends on your experience with yoga, time constraints, level of fitness, and motivation. A good idea is to have a journal to keep track of your practice with information such as date, how long you practiced, what you practiced, how you felt during and after your practice, what thoughts came to mind during practice, how you felt later in the day as well as the next day, which postures were challenging and which were felt good.

General framework for your session

Always begin your practice with easy movements and build towards the more difficult postures ending with a cool down. Imagine a bell curve: at the beginning of the bell curve is a moment of centering. As you move up the curve there are warm-ups, then opening postures which help to build heat/ flexibility/strength and at the top of the curve are the most challenging postures. Moving down the other side of the bell curve are cool down postures followed by Shavasana.

Here is a template that you can use to create your own practice session:

Theme or focus (more on this below):

Centering:

Warm-ups:

Opening postures

Challenging postures:

Cool down postures:

Shavasana:

Which postures to practice.

Sometimes it is fun to have a practice without any preconceived notion of what to do and just see what comes out. Sometime it is desirable to tune into your body and see what your body is asking for. Other times you’ll want to plan your session as indicated above. It is during these session that having theme will be helpful. Some classical themes include: backbends, forward bends, twists, balance postures, standing postures, seated postures, inversions, restorative postures, hip openers, shoulder openers, strength building postures, groin openers, hamstring openers, and postures that build energy. Linking postures together (vinyasa) is yet another way to create a practice. In the Iyengar system we focus on linking alignment cues from posture to posture. Of course you may have specific health reasons that you are working with for which it would be best to consult a qualified yoga teacher to help create a practice. I encourage you to be creative – come up with your own themes and see how it is. It has been said that in yoga you are both the scientist and the experiment!

In my book “Beginning Yoga: A Practice Manual” I offer 20 different practice sequences to guide your home practice as well as a chapter on how to set up a home practice.

Benefits of chair yoga part 4

Chair Yoga can easily work in harmony with most physical rehabilitation prescriptions. Many physical therapists have knowledge of Yoga or are teachers of Yoga. Many doctors, physical therapists, and medical professionals recommend Yoga to patients who are making a “come back.”

Yoga gives these patients the strength to move ahead, when many would be discouraged. The comebacks that I have personally witnessed are inspiring to me as a Yoga teacher. Over time, I have seen come backs from strokes, heart attacks, and car accidents.

It touches me that they thanked me for teaching them Yoga or Chair Yoga.

The courage to go on came from within their minds, but Yoga became a significant part of their lives. As a Yoga teacher the inspiration was mutual and made me feel helpful. After all, being of help, and being appreciated, are prime motivations for teachers of any subject.

Muscle tone is a result of stretching and flexing any muscle group. Active muscles display themselves on anybody that chooses to use them. This is also a good way to relieve oneself of anxiety, stress, tension, and prevent depression. Like the other benefits, previously mentioned, this results in whole body health. A healthy body does, indeed, compliment a healthy mind.

For those clients who are confined to a chair, it is wise to include some form of a weight bearing, or weight resistance, exercise program. For those who can stand, Chair Yoga is another weight bearing exercise that will stimulate bone building.

With progressive weight resistance, you use free weights or machines, but with Yoga you bear your own body weight. The end result of these exercise programs would be increased bone density and prevention of Osteoporosis.

Seniors spend more time alone, than any other age group. Sometimes, we all need a little solitude, but too much solitude can lead to depression, in some of us. Living life like a monk is not for everyone.

Chair Yoga classes offer a social activity that helps to stimulate the mind and body in a positive way. This becomes an uplifting activity that participants look forward to. Regular attendance, and socializing in Chair Yoga classes, is a healthy activity that leads to building strong relationships.

It also exposes seniors to the many activities that are going on within the community center. Participants of chair Yoga classes are exposed to whole health and gain a nutritional education as a member of a senior, community, or wellness center.

Lastly, all participants in Chair Yoga classes learn to relax and quiet the mind, through breath awareness, meditation, stage-by-stage relaxation, a combination, or another method. The end result being that these Yoga students can control their minds, focus on the good things in life, and prevent depression.

Yoga exercises

Staying Fit with Yoga Exercises

Yoga exercises are the best way to free your mind and concentrate deeply. After you have experienced a stressful situation, your mind, body and spirit is stressed and fatigued.

The cause of these things might have been from the interaction with other people or something that have caused a frustration, anger, depression and disappointment. The feelings formed out of these circumstances should be released so that you will live a happier life with no worries.

One effective way and method to express your outpoured feelings and emotions is by doing yoga exercises.

When you feel like shouting out loud or cracking the television, you can instead release your tension through yoga exercises that are effective and helpful.

This type of strategy has worked in many ways for different people. Those who don’t find enough time for themselves can do yoga exercises in order to relieve themselves.

Sometimes, work has caught us up so tightly that we don’t find time to relax and express ourselves. Yoga exercises are the best remedy to this problem.

Yoga exercises can be applied and learned in school. There are some sessions that offer yoga practices. The yoga exercises you will learn in school can be performed at home.

In fact, you can learn some yoga exercises at home all by yourself. You will just have to need a television and a video tape. The video tape shows the steps and procedures for each yoga exercise.

The Hatha Yoga exercises are very appropriate for you. During a tired and heavy day, you can set a little time and devotion in doing yoga exercises. Remember that in doing yoga, you need to be consistent in practicing the yoga exercises so that it will soon take effect and you will notice little by little your body’s improvement.

After doing the yoga exercises like the Hatha Yoga posture session, you need to relax in order for the effect of the postures take place. In this manner, the body will accumulate the effects.

Before doing the yoga exercises, you should first lay in a relaxed posture so you can focus well and not be distracted by outside forces. You will not feel pain or discomfort too.

Yoga exercises can be done at any time of the day as long as you are free. Although it chooses no time, still, the best time to practice it is in the morning. Before eating your breakfast, the mind is on its state of calmness and free from distractions. This is the perfect time to do the yoga exercises.

Before doing the yoga exercises, make sure that your heart is ready. It should not feel any pain or ego. It is important to keep a good heart so that your mind can work well.

The perfect place to do your yoga exercises is a quiet place. It should be well ventilated and free from all unpleasant things and smell. You should be free from all possible distractions.

Keeping a good stomach is also important so that you will feel good and your digestive system responses accurately. What you should do first is to empty your bowels and clear your noses from mucus. You should stay clean and fit.

Now that you have clearly understood the important reminders, you can start your yoga exercises and work your way out.

Basic sitting postures with benefits

Basic Sitting Postures with Benefits

JANU SIRSASANA: Correct foot placement

Sit up straight with legs evenly extended in front. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the foot so that the heel is in the right groin and the front of the foot touches the left thigh. Turn the foot so that the bottom of the foot is facing upward and press the knee back to form an obtuse angle with the body. This position will be difficult at first; don't force it. Put a folded blanket under the knee and also under the hips. Gradually the knee will move farther back. Just keep the foot correctly positioned.

JANU SIRSASANA: Correct, perfect posture

Having positioned the foot and knee correctly, stretch the left leg out, keeping the leg firmly on the mat. Settle the heel firmly and stretch the toes up. (The heel should pull gently away from the ankle.) Now inhale and bend forward over the straight leg, catching the foot with both hands if possible. Beginners should bend only as far as they can without rounding the back. When this posture is done correctly and completely, the body will roll forward over the extended leg, absolutely flat from the tail bone to the head. Stay there breathing normally for as long as you can. Inhale, release the handhold, come up smoothly, straighten the bent leg and relax. Repeat on other side.

JANU SIRSASANA: Wrong posture

The heel is not positioned against its own thigh. The knee has not been pushed back as far as possible to form an obtuse angle. The back is humped and curved because the pelvis is jammed and unable to lift properly. Instead of a smooth, complete stretching of the spine, the lumbar is over-stretched and the rest of the spine constricted. The left leg is not flat on the floor.

TRIANG MUKHAIPADA PASCHIMOTTANASANA: Sitting, forward-bending pose over one leg

This posture generally follows the previous one. Sit with your legs stretched in front. Bend the right leg so that the right foot is near the right hip. The toes should point back. The right calf presses against the right thigh. The body will tilt in this position so put a small folded towel under the left buttock to keep the hips level and the forward stretch even and extended. Hold the left foot with both hands, inhale and bend forward, keeping both knees together as you stretch forward over the straight leg. Many students will find it difficult in this position to even take hold of the foot of the outstretched leg. Do not despair. Just hold the knee, shin or ankle, and sit, breathing deeply, in whichever position represents your best extension. If the back is tight and the spine inflexible, this will take time. Release the hold and straighten the bent leg. Repeat on the other side.

Yoga for women exercises

Yoga for Women: Exercises

WARRIOR III POSE: Start in the Mountain Pose with the heels slightly apart, big toes touching, legs straight, chest lifted, pelvis in a neutral position. Placing hands on hips, step back with your right foot so just your right toes touch the floor, all of your body weight on your left foot.

Keep your right leg extended in a straight line as you start to lean forward from your hips. Balance the length of your body, from your right heel to your fingertips, over your left leg until your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your weight evenly distributed through inner and outer heel, with hips level. Begin with 5 breath cycles and progress to 15.

Lift your torso up and return to the Mountain Pose; repeat on the other side.

PLANK POSE, SIDE-PLANK POSE

Begin on your hands and knees, hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips. Move feet back until the legs are straight and you're balancing on your toes, feet together. Keep the shoulders pulled back and down, arms straight. This is the Plank Pose.

Squeezing the ankles together, roll onto the outer edge of the left foot, keeping feet stacked, legs straight. Lift the right hand toward ceiling then look up at it. Let your abs support your body without clamping and crunching. Then lower right hand to floor, rolling down toward the right, and return to the Plank Pose. Repeat on other side. Hold each pose for 5 breath cycles.

Yoga for women - basic yoga lessons for women

Yoga for Women: Basic Yoga Lessons for Women

If a woman wants a healthy way of life devoid of any strain and stress, she should start her day with yoga.

First things first, when you roll out of your bed, sit onto a mat on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Then raise your legs in the air and stay bottoms up until your head clears. Next stand up and drop your forehead to your shins until you feel ready to tackle the toothbrush and get on with your day.

Waking up doesn't have to consist of pouring coffee down your gullet to shock yourself alive.

Many women pile up an array of small violences against themselves from the moment they wake up - caffeine, cigarettes, abrasive exercises or no exercise at all. Lots of faddish fitness programs today have this violent approach - do 50 leg raises or pound your body jogging on the pavement or jump around to a rhythm not of your own making.

Your approach to fitness and well-being and to life in general should be nonviolent one - working smoothly with concentration and determination at your own pace without competing with anyone else. Don't be ruthless with yourself and you won't be ruthless with other people.

Your routine should ideally center on 28 postures drawn from the 5,000-year-old technique whose name comes from the Sanskrit for sun, moon and join together. The exercises should range from deep breathing to pretzel-like stretches.

Yoga is strenuous, but not painful, and it gives every inch of your body a terrific workout.

Yoga proves particularly helpful in strengthening a body plagued by injury.

Yoga helps you maintain flexibility, build strength and muscle definition and even. Try spending 60 to 90 minutes on your yoga routine, before breakfast, five to six days a week.

Follow the basics mentioned here to have a healthy and balanced life:

Avoid the big seduction to only go with your strong points - like weight-lifting if you've got great muscles. It's the thing that's hardest for you that you need to work on the most

Don't space out during workouts. Use that time to have a private conversation with yourself: 'How do I feel physically, mentally.' 'How is my balance and coordination today.' 'Is there something I should pay special attention to.'

Practice yoga in the early morning or early evening at least one hour after a light meal or three to four hours after a main meal. If you are hungry before practice, try tea, milk or fruit juice.

Yoga for computer users the side-angled stretch

Yoga for Computer Users: The Side-Angled Stretch

Stand straight against the wall and stretch the feet about three to four feet apart. Inhale and raise arms up to shoulder level, palms down. Point right foot to the right and slightly turn in left foot. Bend right knee to form a right angle, with thigh parallel to the floor and the shin vertical. The knee should be directly above the ankle. Stretch the back leg and tighten the knee.

Exhale and stretch right hand down to rest on floor behind right foot. Turn head to look up and press left hip flat against wall with left hand. A strong pull should be felt all along the left side. When you feel comfortable, stretch the left arm up and press it against your ear so that from left heel to left hand the body is stretched and extended. Hold this position for a slow count of 10, making sure that upper shoulder, hip and bent knee are pressed against the wall. Inhale and return to starting position. Exhale and repeat on left.

Benefits: This posture produces overall health. It tones every muscle, tendon and joint in the body. The heart is revitalized and strengthened, and, if crooked, the spine is stretched and realigned. The hip joints, which can weaken with age, become stronger and more flexible. The neck is stretched and made more flexible, easing the pain of stiff, tense muscles and spondylosis. Thighs, hips and waist are firmed. Even digestion is improved.

Remember to lie down and relax after your yoga practice. Relaxation after exercising helps the body to recover, regulates the flow of blood, and calms and soothes the mind. That way you don't feel tired but refreshed and invigorated.

Ten minute yoga plan to pep up

Ten Minute Yoga Plan to Pep Up

Whether you might be staying home with a new baby or working too many hours at the office, anytime is a good time for yoga. You can do yoga stretches and postures in bed or even while driving to work.

Hundreds of fitness seekers use their lunch hour to squeeze in exercise and take off extra pounds.

I occasionally use my lunch hour for Yoga, said John Ray White, 35, who works at the Arkansas attorney general's office. Downward facing dog and sun salutation are two of the postures she practices every day.

Practicing yoga in the middle of day some people think is the break that they need to face the afternoon, said Ray.

Lunch-hour fitness routines become more popular in warm weather.

Kick Back Log-on Pose

Interlace your fingers behind your head. Relax your elbows and shoulders. Smile, breathe and stretch your elbows back. Let the tightness release slowly.

E-mail Meditation

While reading your e-mail, remember to breathe slowly and focus your attention on your breath. Make the out-breath two times longer than the in-breath. This will immediately calm you.

Photocopier Stretch

Place your hands on the edge of the copier. Stand back with feet apart. Drop your head and chest. Breathe and relax your shoulders.

Close-the-deal Warrior Pose

Raise your arms to the side with fingers pointed. Take a big step to the side, with your right foot out and knee bent, your left foot planted, left leg straight. Keep the upper body straight and strong, shoulders relaxed. Relax into the stretch -- don't hold your breath. Return to a standing position, switch sides and repeat.

Yoga props

Basic Yoga Props

These props help you achieve the proper alignment, balance and make the pose a bit

easier. The use of props also minimizes the strain and supports your muscles, thus

allowing you to save your energy by exerting less effort on a pose.

Yoga props help people with Medical Ailments and the Elderly to cross their

limitations. The props provide support, enabling them to do the poses that their

ailments or old age prevent them from doing.

As you might imagine, not much gear is needed for yoga. It is generally practiced in

bare feet or socks. You might want to consider a comfortable pair of shoes. Clothing

should be loose enough to allow for bending and stretching

Yoga also has its own small set of apparatus. Called "yoga props," they help make

the yoga poses more comfortable, create resistance or give the body something to l

ean on or bend over.

But to start with yoga you can just have these basic equipments:

Clothing: Comfortable, breathable clothes are recommended for yoga. You probably

want to wear a shirt that is a little bit form-fitting, since in many yoga poses your

head comes below your hips and your shirt can slide down.

Any exercise pants or shorts will do, although it’s best not to have super slick lycra-

type pants since in some poses this may cause you to slip.

Shoes: Yoga is most often done barefoot, which is great news for those of us tired of

carrying a bulky pair of athletic shoes around for after work trips to the gym.

Yoga studios will often request that you leave your shoes near the entrance.

Mats: In gyms and yoga studios, its commonplace to use a yoga mat, also called a

sticky mat. The mat helps define your personal space.

But more importantly, it creates traction for your hands and feet so you don’t slip,

especially as you get a little sweaty.

The mat also provides a bit of cushioning on a hard floor. If you are just getting

started with yoga, you may not want to buy a mat right away. Most studios have

mats for rent, usually for a dollar or two per class.

The disadvantage to these mats is that lots of people use them, and they can get

smelly between washings. Yoga mats can be purchased for as little as $20, and

many studios will allow you to store your mat with them if you become a regular.

Blankets: Yoga studios often have stacks of blankets available for students to use

during class. Grab yourself one or two blankets at the beginning of class.

The folded blankets are props to sit and lie on during class. For instance, when

sitting in a cross-legged position, it’s nice to put a blanket under your sit bones to

elevate the hips above the knees.

They come in handy for all sorts of things during class, and if it’s chilly you can use

them to cover yourself during final relaxation at the end of class.

Blocks: Like blankets, blocks are props to make yourself more comfortable and

improve your alignment. Blocks are great for standing poses in which your hand

doesn’t reach the floor.

Straps: Straps are particularly useful for bound poses if your hands do not reach

each other, and for poses where you need to hold onto your feet but cannot reach them.

Work life balance and yoga

Work – Life Balance and Yoga

After a surge of interest during the consciousness-conscious '60s, yoga began to fall out of favor. Exercisers apparently lost patience with the activity, which offers slow but steady results, and turned to the fast pace and quick shape-up of aerobics. Now yoga is back-less mystical than in the past, less reminiscent of gurus in pretzel positions, and more attractive than ever to people who are interested in working out rather than working toward some spiritual goal.

Once you step out of the metaphysical atmosphere, yoga is a great stretch and flexibility program. Yoga is increasingly being used by those who are having a trouble in balancing their work and personal life. A stressful working environment and a hectic schedule has a telling impact on the personal lives of the modern day executives and so they are turning to yoga to bring about a peace of their mind and to adopt a perfect work-life balance.

Also, many disgruntled runners, weight trainers and aerobic dancers complain that instead of reducing the stress in their lives, their exercise regimes add more.

People rush to work out every day at lunch, force themselves to keep up and then rushed back to work. Surely, it does something good for them, but it is just another pressure. Yoga is less competitive, less stressful, and above all gives a wonderful feeling of being.

Indeed, the healing aspect of yoga is a key to its renewed popularity. The strained knees, aching backs and neck pains generated by the push for fitness and the stress of making it in a competitive world have inspired a packaged set of a book and audio cassettes. Some orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and neurologists are now referring patients to specific yogis during treatment.

Growing interest in the mind-body connection is fueling a major comeback of the ancient practice, boosted by research suggesting it can reduce stress and blood pressure, improve work performance, even slow effects of aging.

Several techniques are now being taught in mainstream hospitals and businesses; books about them are brisk sellers and discussion groups have sprung up on the Internet.

Even the Army is interested - it has asked the National Academy of Sciences to study meditation and other new age techniques that might enhance soldiers' performance.

Details differ, but a common theme is relaxing the body while keeping the mind alert and focused - on an object, sound, breath or body movement. If the mind wanders - and it always does - you gently bring it back and start again

Stress-related problems account for 60percent to 90percent of U. S. doctor visits, and mind-body approaches often are more effective, and cost-effective, than drugs or surgery. For example, 34percent of infertile patients get pregnant within six months, 70percent of insomniacs become regular sleepers and doctor visits for pain are reduced 36percent.

Yoga dvd

Yoga DVD as your yoga guide

Yoga has grown popular these days. Millions of people are into it. And millions are blessed and satisfied by the benefits and advantages it gives. Some still go to various Yoga centers to attend class. But some are more into the physical or mental fitness rather than enlightenment or for high-consciousness.

When one practices Yoga, he or she has an advantage over the average individual because of her improved control and flexibility. Moreover, one does not easily get stresses or anxious when into Yoga.

However, most of the people prefer Yoga with asanas or posture while a little fraction prefer or engage in meditation. Most of those who are into Yoga say that they have really improved in different aspects, from the physical level down to the spiritual level.

While some say that they have attained a highly-conscious well-being. Getting in better shape is also one of the advantages of practicing Yoga. Some hire a tutor while some enter a local Yoga center. While some buy dvd’s and videos that are instructional and easy to follow.

It has touched and helped the lives of people and give hope to others which suffer from physical problems. Aside from that, Yoga is for everybody, may she or he be an engineer or professor or executive.

And despite the faiths, Yoga can still be a solution. Yoga relieves one’s stress and sometimes hinders the formation of a disorder.

Moreover, you will become physically fit in body, mind, and spirit if you decide to be a Yogi. Nevertheless, one can enjoy the benefits of it once you engage in it. Some of these benefits are enormous. First and foremost, it makes you feel good about yourself. You become stress-free and you are not anxious of the things that happen in your daily life.

You suddenly realize that you have indeed changed once you start doing Yoga. So whether you want to shape up or simply have a reflection, Yoga is the perfect solution to your needs.

It controls and manages depression, blood circulation, stress, back pain, fatigue and other conditions. Aside from that, it lowers fat and helps you develop an improved system or body health and well-being. There are many different forms and kinds of Yoga. One can choose which kind he or she wants to venture.

In addition, Yoga is very dynamic and it helps you create a sense of well-being and improves your concentration as well as your creativity.

With Yoga, you can chill out and burn fat at the same time. One does not need a personal tutor on Yoga to help you get started. There are instructional DVD’s and videos available in the market.

However, there are also books that have easy-to-follow instructions to aid you in your learning. The internet is also a storeroom for the much information you might need to get it working. Some DVD’s are for beginners which focus on the basic poses and positions. Some are purely for meditation only.

Nevertheless, some are Yoga workout for seniors who want to know more of the various asanas and poses. There are also available DVD’s which contain rhythms and Yoga music to aid in your session. While some DVD’s focus on the preparation for meditation.

In addition, there are DVD’s which tackle relaxation and breathing methods for meditation and Yoga.

Facts about chakra awakening

Chakra awakening is highly a debatable topic, with two distinctly different schools of thought. The answer could be, “Yes” or “No”, depending upon which school of thought you are trained in.

Firstly, let's cover the side that would say, “Yes” to helping you share the experience of Chakra awakening. There is no shortage of detailed information, made available by enlightened Yoga enthusiasts like Anodea Judith.

Anodea Judith has made a Chakra balancing kit available, which gives a tour of the seven main Chakra system, detailed exercises, meditations, a workbook, and the path to Chakra awakening. She also has more books available, confers with other enlightened Yoga enthusiasts, and teaches workshops on this very subject.

There are many other books and CD's on this subject by a variety of knowledgeable authors and enlightened Yoga practitioners. All of this information is easy for the public to "get their hands on." So, here is a school of thought that believes this information should be shared and has gone out of its way to mass produce this information.

On the other hand, some Yoga teachers do not want the negative and positive qualities, within each Chakra, to be casually explored by students, without a competent Yoga teacher present. This is with the student's safety in mind.

Furthermore, the amount of previous Yoga experience a student has is a factor in being able to control emotions, such as fear, lust, anger, and depression that can come boiling to the surface as a result of a Chakra awakening.

When, or if, a student is ready for Chakra awakening, should be determined by the teacher; this is not for every student. Some students put pressure on themselves, which may lead to anxiety, causing negative qualities of the Chakras to surface, during an awakening.

In summary: One of the results of steady Yoga training is that we can get a better handle on our emotions than most. We also realize that we are not enlightened or perfect all the time. If you want to experience Chakra awakening with an enlightened Yoga enthusiast, you should seek out a competent Yoga teacher, who is willing to help you.

You could also get similar guidance from a Reiki teacher or Reiki master. Reiki teachers are very familiar with the Chakra system and very helpful. If it is not possible to work with a Reiki master, and you have been regularly practicing Yoga for at least two years, the Chakra balancing kit, I mentioned above, gives you step-by-step guidance toward awakening the Chakras.

Lastly, this is not a race, and please don't put pressure on yourself toward self-perfection.

Here s what yoga can do for you

You want to have a full life. You want to feel well. You want lots of energy, vitality, power, and stamina. Am I right so far?

Well, the great news is that all these can be yours. Yoga applies age-old secrets to everyday life in a modern, fast-paced world. Its practical application can restore your lost youth, put new zest into your every step, and empower you to fully enjoy a sense of health, energy and creative living. All this will do wonders for your future happiness...

Sounds good, huh? Well let me tell you a little about yoga...

Yoga is an ancient health-art developed and perfected over the centuries by wise men in ancient India. Yoga is not a religion, a metaphysical doctrine, or a philosophy. It is not magic, although the amazing improvements it can make in your health, your appearance and your youthfulness may often seem magical, even miraculous...

There are many different types of yoga. Contrary to popular belief, not all types of yoga involve difficult positions and postures, uncomfortable exercises or strenuous diets...

Yoga can take years off your face and years from your body, and add years to your life. There are certain secret methods by which the Yogis keep the flexibility and "spring" of early youth in their joints and muscles and limbs well into the declining years...

It is a common sight to see, in the crowded, colorful streets of Bombay or New Delhi, Yogis well into their seventies and even their eighties, with the straight, graceful posture of a boy, walking with the elastic, springy step of youth... with firm, healthy bodies, their hair dark and glossy and un-streaked with grey. Firm, unlined faces ... clear, un-dimmed eyes...

Not only does yoga make you look and feel years younger, and years healthier, but it lends your body superb health. It works like magic because it enables the body to realize its full potential of great health...

You know that Nature has built into your body certain certain "defense mechanisms" for self-repair, natural safeguards against disease. Well, modern yoga helps the body's machinery function smoothly, efficiently, and at peak performance...

Yoga encourages your body to derive every last possible atom of nutritive value from the food you now eat (so different from the natural diet of your ancestors) ... to get every second of refreshment and rest from your sleep ... to attain regularity, relief from little aches and pains, the ability to sleep deep and wake refreshed that can make the difference from feeling "pretty good" to feeling "terrific"!

Yoga assists all your muscles and bones and organs to operate at their maximum potential. Yoga stimulates into peak performance the hidden abilities of your body to throw off the attacks of disease that affect so many people we know and love...

Do you suffer from insomnia and stress? Have you lost your appetite? Do you find it hard to relax? Do you smoke too much, feel "worn out" by the afternoon, find as you grow older that you cannot enjoy full life and day to day vitality?

Yoga has the amazing power to relax and refresh you, soothe your nerves, calm your mind, give you the serenity and strength and inner stamina that is part of the "Magic of the East".

Yoga prevents the premature grey in your hair, the ugly wrinkles in your face....

Yoga tightens those sagging muscles that give you that "tired look." It puts new zest in your appetite, brings back the sparkle in your eyes, and gives that wonderful sensation of feeling "fit as a fiddle"...

If these benefits are important to you (and you’d be crazy if they weren’t) then its time you learnt about yoga!

Building stronger arms through yoga

I was at work the other day and a co-worker of mine who takes Yoga classes suddenly started pumping a 20 pound dumbbell he had nestled in his cubicle.

Being that he does this rather frequently, I asked why and his response was

“Oh, my yoga classes don’t do anything for my arms.”

I looked at him puzzled and luckily for me, I had a draft of a book with photos of some yoga balancing poses and asked him if he had tried or even knew of them. Surprisingly, he said no and was now eager for me to demonstrate them to him.

This made me wonder, just how many other yoga enthusiasts are of the mindset that Yoga may be inadequate for building arm strength.

If you are such a person, nothing could be further from the truth.

Yoga is fantastic for building strength in the arms and although you may never see your biceps bulge through your T-shirt sleeves, I will say you will see an increase in arm strength and endurance that may not occur in perhaps other forms of exercise.

Moreover, some basic Calisthenics like Push-ups, the Plank and the Dive-bombers do borrow heavily from Yoga.

In my opinion, if one is looking to increase strength in the arms through Yoga, the best exercises to focus on will be the one and only Sun Salutations first.

From experience, when I was having difficulty holding endurance building poses such as the Wheel, Bow, Peacock and Crow Poses-with their variations-for a good enough length of time (say an average of 90 seconds and beyond), I discovered by sheer chance that in increasing the number of rounds of the Sun-Salutations (Exercises) mentioned earlier to at least 24 straight rounds, I could hold any of the poses above for a quite a while.

It will be safe to say that is because the muscles are warmed up by this powerful

combination of systematic poses for the otherwise moderate to strenuous demands put on them.

In addition, when I started adding Hindu-push ups (a straight yoga derivative as it’s basically Downward Facing dog meets Cobra Pose repeated in sequence) for an occasional source of variety in working out, these same Sun Salutations increase my endurance to be able to perform a good amount of this Yoga-esque

exercise.

That considered, in addition to the Sun Salutations (24+ rounds) the other poses one should focus on for increasing strength in the arms would be the following:

1. The Wheel Pose

2. The Inclined Plane Pose

3. The Bow Pose

4. The several variations of the Peacock Pose

5. The several variation of Crow Pose

6. The Side and Regular Plank pose

In addition, to some degree, even the simple shoulder-stand when performed in conjunction with it counter poses-The Bridge and Fish pose, can definitely come in handy for using Yoga for increasing arm strength.

You know what else, each of these poses also come in extremely useful for toning up the abs and offering in some cases a deep tissue massage to your visceral organs. Bet you free-weights can’t do that eh?

So next time you-like my co-worker-think or run into someone who thinks Yoga can’t do much for their arms, be sure to tell whoever is applicable to try the poses above, along with the wonderful Sun Salutations.

This will be a classic case of ‘trying is believing”, so give this suggestion a shot and you will be almost guaranteed increase in the strength of your arms using Yoga that is-in no time.

Bliss sheath samadhi trance heaven and the door of salvation

The last but extremely important sheath (5 covering layers of a living being) is the Bliss Sheath. When this sheath is uncovered, not only does the living being come very close to God but that it becomes God Himself. The soul is said to be a spark of God. Its ultimate form is Satya, Shiva, Sunder and God too is called Sat (existence), Chit (wisdom), Anand (bliss). Both these states ooze with supreme bliss. The ultimate goal is to make our lives happy, contented and blissful.

When the Bliss Sheath is purified, a person awakens his soul wisdom and thus becomes God, from a good human being. Such a person’s glory is akin to that of God. This spiritual standpoint truly is nectar of immortality. On attaining it the divine glories of immortality, divine beauty, divine aura etc. gives us the nectarine taste of immortality each moment.

Ordinarily a living being experiences bondage. Its organs of knowledge give a very limited taste and via the sense organs of action, it can amass very limited material wealth. Yet in the deep recesses of the inner personality of a human being lie such infinite potentials albeit in seed form that they correspond to the powers of the entire cosmos. The gross world is its body and the subtle world is its vital force. The vital force is more powerful than the gross body. In comparison to visible material objects, the invisible energy of heat, sound, light, ether etc. is more potent. But when this invisible nature is compared to the subtle world, the latter is infinitely more powerful. When one can enter that area or establish a strong bond with it, one’s limitations / bondage is cut as under and thus manifests limitless power. We have the example of Extra Sensory Potentials. Sometimes we get rare experiences of their miracles. But if we can enter this area more deeply, if we can unearth and gain knowledge of the utility power of these divine glories, their extraordinary nature can be compared only to realized saints (Sidhas). Only then can divinity manifest in human beings and that we can perceive God in mankind. This state has to ooze with supreme bliss.

The abovementioned sentences say that both the external and the inner subtle world abound in infinite divine sensations. There is no limit to its blissful feeling. This is a fact. Of course! It is something entirely different that you did not benefit due to illusory notions. A musk deer fails to realize that the fragrance of musk is manifesting from its own body and hence in order to smell it, the deer runs about here and there. Ultimately it gets tired and keeps despairing, its “plight”. Thus one cannot blame God for one’s erroneous thinking. In fact God has filled us all with untold bliss, yet if we refrain from finding it within ourselves and run about furiously in the external illusory material world, who is to blame? The fault lies entirely with the one who aims for infinite bliss, while foolishly running after transient sense objects.

The Lord sent his eldest son i. e. princely man in this divine garden called the world, to attain supreme bliss. Over here there are means and probabilities of bliss. Yet if we face hardships, know for sure that it is the result of our distorted and tainted thinking. Over here bliss is our nature and sorrow has been superimposed on it in an illusory manner. God Almighty sent man in this world to experience bliss and not pain. If only man intensely endeavours to make this world more advanced, wealthy and cultured, he can remain blissful by conjoining to divine bliss served by the Lord. For this attainment no gigantic step has to be taken. If only we shed our vile intellect and lowly activities can we attain infinite bliss. Bliss is our rightful inheritance. As true descendents of God, we already have it albeit in a covered manner. It is most required that we know the nature of these attainments and utilize them for sacred purposes. Those who fail in this endeavor will undergo strife and pain only.

The Lord is bliss manifest. Every pore of a living being is an outlet of bliss. Mother Nature possesses the quality of beauty and giving us comforts. Everywhere there is bliss and bliss only. Thus our life is called bliss incarnate. Man owns this sheath in a natural, joyous and limitless manner. We all live in the world of bliss.

Yet our ill-fate is like the lines written by Kabir (great poet-saint of India).

“A fish swimming in water is thirsty. Hence I laugh aloud.”

Suppose a man locks up his house and leaves it. When he returns he realizes he has lost the key and hence sits out in the cold, experiencing a lot of discomfort. In the same way we have lost the key of the storehouse of bliss present in our own body. Thus we cannot even lead normal lives due to hunger, thirst etc. The Bliss Sheath is very much within ourselves, yet we undergo pain and sorrow. How amazing? What an irony! Aren’t we mocking our own selves?

Hence spiritual practices pertaining to the Bliss Sheath are meant for demolishing our ill-fate from the very roots. On its basis the lock of bliss storehouse can be opened so that we get immersed in infinite divine joy. This is possible only when the individual soul (man) merges with the cosmic soul (God). After reaching the peak of spiritual practices pertaining to the 5 Sheaths one searches this very key and thus makes arrangements for opening the lock. The one who achieved this, never again said that I live a life of abject despair. Never does such a person experience sorrow or pain.

One can only destroy all pain / sorrow by discovering the Bliss Sheath. Only when a living being enters this sheath can it satiate all its thirst for supreme divine bliss. Not only is this the true goal of a human life but that all creatures, knowingly or unknowingly are yearning for it. One can also say that a living being accepted the bondage of a body with the hope of attaining eternal bliss. It is said –

“All living beings exist with the hope of attaining eternal bliss.”

- Brihadaranyak (4/3/32)

“All creatures manifest from the ocean of divine bliss and live in the ocean of bliss. Ultimately it merges into pure bliss.”

- Taitariyopanishad (3/6/1)

“I can never describe that supreme divine bliss experienced by a Yogi.”

- Yog Rasayanam (114)

“When living beings are liberated from the bondage of sorrow they enjoy the ocean of bliss experienced by a Bodhi-Sattva (enlightened saint) in his bosom and this is sufficient. What can one gain from salvation that is devoid of divine bliss?”

-Bodhicharyavatar (7/108)

“The Lord is nectar, manifest. When man attains this nectar he experiences untold bliss. Ere he was not truly the fundamental bliss principle that pervades every atom of the cosmos (like space), who would get the experience of bliss merely by living a life full of activities related to the vital force (Pran-Apan)? In reality this very principle is the fount of bliss eternal.”

- Taitariyopanishad (2/7/1)

The Lord is called nectar too. This nectar is spiritual and not material. It can be experienced as divine enthusiasm, contentment, satiation, peace etc. Its attainment is irrevocably united with inner greatness. The more one’s soul becomes pure and magnanimous, the more this bliss blooms forth. It depends on one’s exalted standpoint and high-level activities. But this eternal bliss can never be experienced if one’s thinking is lowly and activities are vile. Each individual aspiring for eternal bliss has to first enter the deep recesses of the Bliss Sheath, so as to drink that divine bliss from its mouth source.

Our material world does have taints and man also exhibits indolence (Tamas). In order to reform and change it, there is a requirement of creative action. Non-cooperation, opposition and punishment may be required under certain circumstances yet one must be extremely cautious that the underlying intention should be reformation and never should be utilized with petty attitudes of likes and dislikes. Thus while combating the distorted aspect of the world one can also simultaneously balance one’s internal greatness. No doubt there exists a great deal of greatness in the world, because there is greater light in this world when compared to darkness. In comparison to vileness, greatness exists in greater measure. Only if we search it, imbibe it and nourish it, can pure thoughts manifest in our intellect. When our individual vision of beauty augments we shall visualize beauty pervading in every pore of the universe. One can visualize Lord Shiva (divine beauty) by contacting great qualities in material objects and all creatures of the world. It is the Almighty Lord who is the substratum of this entire cosmos. Those who understand this, attain divine truth (Satya). Those with a pious psyche visualize “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” every moment and experience heaven everywhere.

Saint Emerson said, “If you send me to hell, I will convert it to heaven.” This is a fact not worth ignoring. With the help of a sacred view point, a lot of reformation can be induced in regions close by. Further we become capable enough to induce desired results from external circumstances. Heaven is nothing but divine vision and sacred thinking. Heaven is not some particular area, planet etc. in this material cosmos but is in fact, a divine standpoint at the mental level. Heaven and hell is nothing but good or bad results of our high or lowly viewpoint. Every human being like Saint Emerson has the capacity to create heaven in his life by purifying his very thinking.

Further the Bliss Sheath can give us salvation (Moksha). Salvation means overcoming bondage of this material world. Bondage means bad psychic imprints, mental taints, sins etc. There is no other power that can bind a living being to this world. The biggest obstacle that a creature faces while walking on the path of progress is its own inner weaknesses and mental taints. A spider weaves its own net and gets entangled in it. Even silk worms create their own net (bondage). Even so man is the creator of the bondage that he experiences and has thus chained himself to this world. Like a lion cub in a herd of goats, he has taken upon himself the veil of spiritual ignorance. One faces so much sorrow when one is experiencing bondage. This can be experienced even by birds and beasts.

The human species is a prince of God. His inner capacity is limitless. By aptly utilizing available means, he can reach such an exalted state in this very life which is akin to divinity and Almighty God. Over here the main obstacle is our mental state and not external worldly circumstances. If we truly understand and imbibe all those means which glorify our lives, we can reach that state which is close to God/ divinity. This truly is salvation (Moksha).

Strange beliefs have cropped up like weeds, regarding salvation or Moksha. Some opine that it is the liberation from the repetitive cycle of birth and death. Some believe that a creature at the time of death leaves this world and enters another “world”. Some say liberation means not performing any actions and leading a very placid life. A few strange set of people imagine that God has some specific abode and that when one is liberated one becomes a door keeper of that abode. Our scriptures talk of 4 types of Moksha or salvation viz. 1) Salokhya – entering God’s abode 2) Sameepya – living in close proximity to God 3) Sarupya – attaining the Lord’s form 4) Sayujya – merging into God. Salokya means building a flat in God’s abode. Sameepya means to become a doorkeeper, staff etc. of God’s abode. Sarupya means to become a “Xerox copy” of God’s form. Many dictators keep another man similar in name and physical looks, for security purposes. When a dangerous situation arises, the dictator’s “Xerox copy” is sent to combat that peril. Sayujya means partnership. Meaning one is an equal partner as far as God’s wealth is concerned. In short these are childish dreams full of mockery. No doubt they have a symbolic meaning, but to accept them as bare facts is a serious error.

The true meaning of Moksha or salvation or liberation is to look upon our soul as divine consciousness and not inert material i. e. we are not the gross physical body or name and form but that we are the underlying divine cosmic consciousness. This has to be experienced by each individual. One must experience that joy, happiness, success etc. are not the result of usage of external material objects (they are merely mediums/ instruments) but is a result of purification of the inner soul. One must give up bad qualities of a beastly life so as to first become a good human being and then experience one’s true divine nature. Greatness is God. Close proximity to God or attaining Him means conjoining greatness to our hopes, aspirations and valid desires. A person is truly liberated from bondage when he attains that inner state wherein like a fish swimming against the ocean current, one swims against the current of common lowly trends, downfall etc. Salvation is said to be the supreme goal of human life. This is its true nature.

After death one may get the benefit of heaven or salvation. But one must strive for it while one is yet alive. In fact achieve it today itself. All this is dependent on one’s viewpoint and transformation of one’s mind. One attains liberation while yet alive. What one attains after death is merely a reaction of one’s action while yet alive. Thus one should intensely endeavour in this very life to attain soul purification and hence true salvation / Moksha. This type of salvation is called “Jeevan-Mukti” i. e. liberated while yet alive. It is the gist of salvation. He who cuts asunder the bondage of limitations, vileness of mind etc. attains the eternal bliss of salvation. Following is what scriptural scholars have to say:

“A Jeevan-Mukta (liberated while alive) is one who is devoid of likes / dislikes, sorrow / elation and whose intellect is divine.”

- Mahopanishad (2/57)

“There are 8 types of bondage viz. hatred, suspicion, fear, shame, secretive attitude, pride of lineage, ideals, power. He who is tied up by these, is an animal and if one is liberated from these, one is God.”

- Tantra Kaustubh

“The one who renounces his ego, who is liberated from arrogance, jealousy etc. , who performs actions without harboring likes/ dislikes, is called a Jeevan-Mukta (liberated while yet alive) by wise men.”

- Mahopanishad (2/50)

“A person who with equanimity shuns another person’s wealth despite living in this deadly material world is truly spiritual and because this person experiences eternal soul bliss, he is called a Jeevan-Mukta”.

- Mahopanishad (2/ 62)

“The space between bondage and liberation measures 2 feet only. Bondage says “this is mine” and liberation says “nothing is mine”.

- Mahopanishad (4/72)

In this manner when one’s viewpoint is purified, when one understands the nature, basis and area of bliss, one’s belief becomes steadfast. What does one achieve by doing what? When this becomes definite, one’s spiritual ignorance is overcome and the wisdom of this reality is called spiritual philosophy. This biggest problem of this world pertains to the soul. Thus one can truly solve worldly problems only if this problem is solved. This knowledge is also called Brahmajnana, Tattvajnana, Sadjnana etc. In order to attain eternal bliss, one must endeavour to solve inner (mental) problems and give a proper direction to one’s thinking. This is also called Samadhi (trance). This is the first step towards attainment of eternal bliss (God). No doubt Samadhi is a very elevated Yogic state yet its beginning step is as mentioned above.

When one persists with experience of Samadhi (trance), the scattered mind gets focused and thus one gets benefits of pure thinking and actions. Thus the first leg of spiritual practices pertaining to the Bliss Sheath is based on Samadhi experience. This is a Samadhi in the waking state. Over here there is no need to become unconscious and that cravings and agitations have to be calmed down totally. When the storm of desires is silenced totally, man clearly visualizes his goal. Without this it is impossible to walk in a desired direction. Spiritual seekers of the Bliss Sheath are asked to concentrate and focus their minds. But this is not a mental exercise where one thinks about one particular thought exclusively so as to concentrate the mind. In fact it means walking in a desired and definite direction. Such a mental state is called Samadhi (trance).

“Samadhi is that state wherein the mental agitations are overcome so as to get focused on divine truth.”

- Bhoj

“Samadhi is that inner state wherein after renouncing craving / aversion towards fleeting material objects one steadies the mind and thus attains soul force.”

- Dakshasmriti (7/21)

“Just as when salt mixes with water, it takes up the form of water, in the same way Samadhi (trance) means the mind merging into the cosmic soul (God)”.

- Saubhagyalakshmyupanishad (14)

“When the will power of a living being and God marches ahead in one direction, it dispels the sense of separation from one another. This state is called Samadhi.”

- Yajnavalkya

“When a living being’s material desires come to an end, and the living being and God march in one direction, that state is called Samadhi (trance). Samadhi is that balanced state of the soul wherein one’s agitations are nullified.”

-Saubhagya Upanishad (2/16-18)

The inner divine powers are destroyed if mental agitations augment. But if this mental turbulence is nullified, if the mind gets focused in one desired direction, one’s soul force augments as a result of obstruction of scattering of the mind. Thus many divine powers manifest in our soul. These divine powers have been described as follows –

“Due to continuous practice of Samadhi (meditative trance) the mind merges into the cosmic soul (i. e. God) and thus, one gets enlightenment.”

- Yog Rasayan

“Objects seen in a dream are illusory whereas experiences of Samadhi (meditative trance) are the absolute reality. Further one gets greater benefits apart from those attained during Samadhi.”

- Yog Rasayan

The nature of the spiritual practice pertaining to the Bliss Sheath is the state of union of a living being / creature and God. Generally we know God as His name only. We no doubt chant His name and perform worship rites. Yet we never endeavour to merge our individual soul into the cosmic soul (i. e. God). We can never imagine with our limited material minds, the experience of this super blissful state. Ordinarily God is thought to be that individual who is appeased by a few prayers, eulogies, rites etc. Thus we try to satisfy our desires with God’s blessings. Thus vain worship rites are carried out which is nothing but mockery. Where can one find a true devotee of God who willingly desires disciplining by God? Where is that devotee who will surrender his all (mind) to God? In fact this is true devotion (Bhakti). Under such circumstances nectar will definitely manifest. Heavenly joys can be experienced. There will be zeal and zest for life everywhere along with true contentment and peace.

God is not an individual but is a cosmic divine force. He can never be pleased with gifts, presents etc. just as we please others. In order to fully utilize electricity, its utility limits have to be studies carefully. The Lord can only be pleased by imbibing greatness of character. It is also called faith in the arena of sentiments, spirituality in the field of thinking and righteous qualities in the arena of actions.

The true nature of devotion / meditation is unification. The supreme goal of devotion is unification, oneness and surrender. Duality is replaced with non-duality (oneness). This can be called marriage of a puppet doll with the fingers of a magician. It is the bond between a husband and wife. This is establishment of discipline. By destroying one’s selfish / egocentric desires, one imbibes divine discipline and this is called surrender. This sort of self-surrender has been prescribed by the Lord on the part of a devotee in the Bhagwad Geeta. Wood and other types of fuel become fire itself when thrown in fire. When water is added to milk it becomes milk. The Lord should not be looked upon as a tool (means) of satiating our lowly desires but that we should become one with His great qualities. This state is called Brahma Nirvan, vision of God or attaining God. This is the non-dual spiritual practice of divine sciences (Brahma-Vidya). It is on this basis that a human being (Nara) can become God (Narayana), a Purusha can become Purushottama, a living being can become Brahman (all-pervading soul) and individual soul can merge into the cosmic soul (God).

Love is full of magnetic attraction. One adores the proximity of love and each individual yearns for it intensely. The very nature of divine love which is a result of devotion to God, demands that the wall between the individual soul and cosmic soul (God) be warded off. There should be eternal oneness between the two. Under such circumstances, either God acts as per the desires of an individual or that an individual acts according to the Lord’s wishes. It is very clear that a river cannot merge into a pond because a pond is not wide or deep enough to imbibe a huge river. Even so the Lord can never act according to an individual’s desire. Thus individual souls will have to give up selfish / egocentric desires and act according to divine (God) will. This is true faith and devotion. Thus one can enjoy eternal bliss of devotion.

Divine love can never be limited. The river Ganges emanating from the lofty Himalayan Mountains (in India) can never be obstructed when it is flowing. Instead it satiates everyone’s thirst and by merging itself in the ocean, it gives up its limitations. Devotion means divine love. Love is a result of sensitivity in the form of oneness of soul, compassion, generosity, science and good-will. When these sacred sensations go beyond the arenas of imagination and emotions so as to manifest in our day to day activities, it can be seen in the form of self-creation and world creation. One yearns to surrender and help others to surrender at the Lord’s feet by imbibing faith and divine energy. One continuously reflects on this aspect and then starts acting thus too.

This is that very state which can be called awakening of the Bliss Sheath. This is the supreme state of devotion to the 5-sheathed Gayatri. One continuously experiences divinity. The Lord is subtler than the subtlest and thus one realizes /experiences Him as divine sentiments. It is indeed very childish to try and visualize God as a toy in front of our eyes. When it is a fact that we cannot see air, cold, friendship, anger, joy, sorrow etc. with our eyes, how is it possible to “see” God with our material eyes when He is beyond human thought and intelligence? Those who do not visualize such images, merely give us a glimpse of the intensity of their meditative consciousness. Apart from day-dreaming, it cannot be called anything else. True vision (Darshan) of God is an experience of divinity within our consciousness. For that, one has to go on a long journey with the 2 legs of faith and devotion.

The Bliss Sheath is the fount of faith and devotion. Over here one experiences the blissful union with God. Thus in order to fulfil the goal of meeting God, Indian Rishis laid down the path of a high leveled 5-sheathed Gayatri based spiritual practice. In the emotional area, the result of this divine union is experienced as bliss or zest. Bliss means experiencing intense joy on seeing the divine aspect of this world. Zest means the valour and daring with which we overcome the vile, demonic aspect of this world. A firm resolution of God, wherein He will incarnate in this world so as to establish righteousness after destroying unrighteousness can be seen fulfilled by a spiritual seeker in his own psyche. Such a seeker feels that the Lord has incarnated in his psyche as bliss / zest and faith/ devotion. This is the sensitive aspect of the Bliss Sheath.

Yoga and the breath

Your yoga practice and the way you breathe are intertwined. You won’t fully experience the benefits of yoga without first learning how to breathe properly.

Different types of yoga practice call for different types of breathing, so it is important to note from the beginning that there is no one right way to breathe in yoga. If, in your yoga practice, your goal is total relaxation then your breathing should reflect that. This means long deep breaths meant to slow your heart rate and allow you to fully relax into the yoga pose. Here are a few tips:

* The diaphragm is where the breath originates in yoga and in everyday life. When you breathe in, your stomach puffs slightly because your diaphragm is filling with air. When you breathe out, your stomach flattens as your diaphragm empties itself of air. When you breathe, be sure that your stomach is moving, that you aren’t restricting this movement in any way.

* It’s important to relax every muscle in your chest, your face, your neck, your shoulders – even your jaw – in order to benefit from a relaxing breath in yoga. One way to do this is to clench the body part in question and then let go entirely. You may not even realize that your muscles are locked until you try to contract them.

* Keep your breaths smooth and easy during your yoga practice. Everyone breathes at their own natural rate, but becoming conscious of your breath does not mean controlling it in any way. Notice your breath and relax into your own natural rhythm.

* Breathing faster, in and out, is a natural reaction to stress or excitement. It stands to reason then, that relaxing breath in yoga should accentuate the exhalation. Breathe in naturally and make sure that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation and fully empty your diaphragm and lungs of air.

* Pausing between breaths will allow you to relax even further in yoga. No need to rush through your relaxation.

* When you breathe, feel the oxygen in the lungs and visualize it reaching every extremity, every toe and finger. Let your whole body enjoy the relaxing breath in your yoga practice.

When you learn how to breathe, you will find that it comes naturally in your yoga practice and in time, will continue in your everyday life.

Yoga vinyasas which ones are right for you

When you think about yoga, you likely think first of poses that emphasize self awareness and flexibility. You can, though, link poses in series called yoga vinyasas. In these vinyasas, the poses are done in a free-flowing sequence that adds to your overall yoga experience. While your yoga teacher is trained to create vinyasas for you, there are also certain existing sequences that you can do on your own once you know what poses they involve. Two that are particularly popular in the West are the Sun Salutation and Warrior II.

Sun Salutation

One of the most popular sequences is known as the Sun Salutation. It is a single flow of 12 different yoga postures. With each, you should inhale to accompany your stretching and exhale as you contract or fold your body in. This particular vinyasas is designed to build your strength and increase your overall flexibility. Like with most vinyasas, you may find variations on this depending on what style of yoga you are using, but there are a few basic poses and a flow that is fairly consistent among the variations.

For the Sun Salutation, you go through the flow twice in order to complete one round. Do it one time for the right side of the body and the other time for your left. If you are crunched for time, still try to do at least one. Even that one half of a sequence will help you to feel revitalized.

The sun salutation starts with mountain. From there you go with hands up, head to knees, lunge, plank, and stick. Still flowing, you go into upward dog, downward dog, and lunge. Finally, the sequence finishes with head to knees, hands up, and mountain again. As you can see, the Sun Salutation is naturally circular just as many other yoga sequences are.

Warrior II

Another popular sequence for yogis in the West is called Triangle, or the Warrior II. This particular vinyasas emphasizes your breathing. Though it is usually recommended to try this moving between positions on the beat of your breath, you can experiment with different breathing patters to see what is best for you and how each affects you. In fact, this ability to freely experiment is what has made this such a popular vinyasas.

The sequence for Warrior II works through four poses. You will use Mountain, Triangle, Warrior II and the standing Yoga Mudra. Moving in that order, you will flow through the sequence in time with your breathing. This particular sequence will have a tendency to release stress and help with your flexibility. Be sure, as with all yoga, to pay careful attention to your breathing patterns while staying focused on yourself.

Once you begin to learn a number of yoga poses, you can begin to experiment with vinyasas on your own or with a teacher. They allow you to not only work within the poses, but also to maintain both a physical and mental flow when you perform your daily yoga. Additionally, you can find other yoga sequences that suit your skill level, need, and style of yoga. Overall, the vinyasas are a part of yoga that may help you see and feel results more quickly and more consistently.

Using yoga for weight loss

Yoga can be put to good use for taking off excess pounds through the power of creating a state of mental and physical well being. The basic tenets of Yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle and when combined with a calorie reduction can help to speed up your weight loss. It will increase your metabolism by increasing the caloric burning process. All weight loss is based on using more calories than you take in. It will also allow you to increase your ability to concentrate and focus.

Your thyroid regulates your metabolism and is responsible for the chemical processes that transform food into energy. Yoga uses a series of twisting poses that will help to stimulate the work flow of the internal organs. This will cause your metabolism to increase and burn more calories which will eventually cause you to have a lower body weight. Another side effect is that it will help to improve your circulation and increase your energy level.

The various back bends combined with the forward bends will help to stimulate the metabolism. The poses that affect the neck region can be helpful in stimulating the thyroid if the weight problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Poses that will help the most for this include the camel, rabbit, plow, bridge and head stand. Going quickly between the various poses can help to accelerate the weght loss. Beware though that those seriously overweight may find some of these poses extremely difficult and should start slowly with the easier poses and add others as they become more confident in the easier ones.

You can use standing poses to increase muscle strengthening such as the warrior. These will help to create higher endurance and increase your caloric usage.

Remember that a gradual approach is best with all Yoga practices. The long term effects on your weight loss regime will become evident and even more so the inner peace and general well feeling that Yoga will promote within you.

Yoga questions and answers

What is Yoga? Yoga is a very old way of life that came from India that encourages personal health, spirituality and wellness. It doesn’t clash with any religion but does have an influence on our spiritual path. What Yoga is not: a religion, a circus act, looking intently at a candle in roomful of smoky incense, or just for adolescents who are flexible.

To practice correctly you need discipline, concentration and attentive breathing. The effect of serious Yoga practice is an excellent union of mind, body and spirit. No matter your age, knowledge, body shape, or physical skills can implement a Yoga program.

Hatha based or alignment Yoga has been around for approximately 5000 years. More and more medical practitioners and therapists are using Yoga as a remedy for many kinds of poor health conditions. The rewards of Yoga practice are numerous and consist of increased strength and flexibility, cardiovascular vigor, healing injuries, produces mental clarity and emotional balance.

Most significantly, it’s a complete exercise. Yoga practice can replace various exercises such as:

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1. Weight lifting drills for strength.

2. Jogging or aerobics for cardiovascular workout.

3. Tai Chi for building awareness of balance and harmony.

4. Stretching exercises for flexibility.

5. Meditation for relaxation and tranquility of the mind.

Yoga is more than a stretching and relaxation system, it’s the ideal test for your mind and body.

Should you practice Yoga? All persons from couch potatoes to world class athletes can profit from the exercise of Yoga. Purna Yoga requires the perfect positioning of your body as you hold the poses you develop your physical strength and stabilize your emotional and mental condition. This does not happen overnight, if you are looking for a fast solution to a health problem you are better off looking for another type of exercise.

Yoga will be your preferred exercise if your long term goal is to reclaim your energy, health and dynamism. Yoga exercise is a perfectly balanced program that can be started by anyone above the age of eight. Your practice can be made more challenging as you progress or take it easy on days which you are fatigued.

Familiarize yourself with the various Yoga styles to have a better understanding of the classes that are offered in the Yoga schools near you. You need to be able to choose the correct Yoga style which will match your practice goals and your level of physical fitness.

No matter why you are interested in learning more about starting a Yoga practice, you will certainly profit from the self-control, breathing techniques and the physical exercise you get while practicing Yoga.

Yoga - the solution for insomnia

At one time, or another, all of us have experienced insomnia for any type of reason. There are times when lack of sleep just can’t be helped, such as: the loss a loved one, going through a divorce, and losing your job.

These are some of life’s serious crisis situations, where we have to let time heal, and try not to fall apart in the process. Some of the solutions below will help insomnia, but they will not heal grief.

However, if you are continually staying awake over trivial matters, these solutions will aid you to get a good night’s rest. Remember - not every solution will work for everyone, so try the easiest ideas and make them fit into your lifestyle.

Do you have one or more problems, on your mind, that are troubling you at bedtime? If so, write it down and leave it on the kitchen table where you sit in the morning. This is a form of compartmentalization, where your subconscious mind works on a solution, and you and your conscious mind get some needed rest.

You will be surprised what happens the following morning. The problem is much less important or your subconscious found the solution. This technique is so powerful that many successful people use it, even when they don’t really have a problem. This keeps you organized, on a daily basis, and you will get more accomplished in life.

That leads into the next idea, which is establishing a daily routine. Your body has a natural cycle, and most of us ignore it. Modern humans are more out of tune with their bodies than ever before, so we have to get back to basics and design a schedule for all tasks - including sleep.

You should exercise every day, but your exercise routine should end two hours before bedtime, at the latest. This allows your body and mind “cool down” time. If you can exercise earlier in the day, feel free to do so.

Exercise will give you extra energy during the day, and help you get a good night’s sleep, when you need it. If you don’t exercise, don’t feel alone, but do take action. Gentle Yoga postures are a great way to start.

If you find the right Yoga teacher, you will learn controlled breathing (pranayama), stage-by-stage relaxation, and meditation. Each is a powerful technique for winding down before bedtime. You always practice controlled breathing with either, stage-by-stage relaxation, or meditation. Some people practice stage-by-stage relaxation in bed and fall asleep in the process. This is not a bad thing, if your ultimate goal is to fall asleep.

Now let’s look at a few other ideas, such as alcohol and hidden caffeine. Alcohol has a way of getting you to sleep, but sleep is often interrupted during the night. One suggestion, if you enjoy drinking: Have one small drink; preferably wine, with your meal.

Caffeine is in coffee, many teas, many sodas, and a variety of other drinks. Drink water later in the day, and give your body a rest from caffeine.

Here are a few actions to take before bedtime: Eat very light, read a book about something peaceful, and take a shower or a bath. You don’t have to do everything, but one of the above-mentioned ideas will work for you.

Sweet Dreams.

Prenatal yoga teaches breathing relaxation exercises for expectant mothers

Prenatal yoga is an exercise that is designed to promote breathing exercises, posture and emotional relaxation. This approach is often sought by pregnant women who are preparing for a natural childbirth or who wish to stay physically and emotionally healthy during their pregnancy. One of the many benefits of prenatal yoga is the lack of physical exertion that is required, which makes it a safe practice for many moms-to-be.

During the pain that is associated with a natural childbirth, prenatal yoga will attempt to promote proper breathing that will help to make the process an easier one. In addition, relaxation is essential during the childbirth process and although it can be difficult, prenatal yoga can help to teach women how to relax themselves as much as possible.

For some, prenatal yoga may be sought as part of a spiritual process that helps them to connect with their unborn child and/or prepare for the new arrival. In some cases, prenatal yoga may even be beneficial after the birth as it instills techniques that are associated with relaxation. As every new mom knows, there is a definite need for relaxation after having a child.

For some, prenatal yoga may help women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly than others. For most, this is a struggle that takes a lot of patience and determination. In general, yoga is an exercise that promotes physical fitness, relaxation, breathing, spiritual and emotional connections, etc.

If you are searching for a prenatal yoga class or instructor, the best place to start is through your physician. During your next visit, ask the doctor if prenatal yoga would be safe for you and, if so, who you could contact for instruction. Most physicians are aware of any local classes or instruction being given and will often be able to refer patients to a class that is most convenient for them. Most women prefer that the father of their child or a friend or family member attend prenatal yoga classes for support and guidance. Having someone familiar will also make the classes more enjoyable and relaxing for the mom-to-be. Before enrolling in prenatal yoga, it’s best to make sure that the instructor is licensed, certified or highly trained and experienced in teaching this type of relaxation method.

The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding prenatal yoga must consult their physician for further information.

The most important yoga pose when you are on the go

With over 84, 000 poses in yoga to choose from for practice, yoga enthusiasts and practitioners might be left confused on just which ones are the most important.

With our daily demands and commitments, most of us might not have the time to perform so many poses therefore we should focus on the one that is of the most benefit for daily practice and that is the Shoulder-Stand (known in Sanskrit as Savangasana).

It is my recommended favorite of the inverted poses. Its ease and reminder that as a kid, you tried it before, makes it one that I emphasize even more so than the Headstand you might be familiar with as they share almost if not all the same benefits without the fear of standing on your head.

Inverted poses reverse the action of gravity on the body. Instead of everything being pulled towards the feet, the orientation shifts towards the head. On emotional levels the Shoulder Stand turns everything upside down throwing a new light on old patterns of behavior.

It improves health, reduces stress and anxiety and increases mental power and also increases self confidence. In addition, the abdominal organs, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and pancreas receive a powerful massage helping them work better.

In Sanskrit, Sarvanga means all parts so as the name suggests, it affects all the bodily organs. It stimulates the thyroid gland, balancing the circulatory, digestive, nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems. It is indeed a panacea, a cure all. Obesity and corpulence are alleviated by this pose as well as constipation and enlargement of the liver and the spleen.

It is best practiced with its counter poses in specific durations for maximal efficiency and when planned correctly, the whole sequence could take less than 6 minutes to carry out, depending on your schedule.

Personally, I make the point as a practitioner to incorporate the sequence into my daily regimen with other forms of exercise, but I always place the most emphasis on this one pose for all the benefits above.

So next time when you are unsure of which pose you have to include in your session when you are on the go, make it a point to go for the Shoulder-Stand. Your body will thank you for it.

Yoga bolsters

How to find the Right Yoga Bolsters

Yoga has been part of our lives when it comes to tension and stress relief. Through

yoga we gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of oneself. It also serves as a

great tool to stay healthy and prevent certain diseases.

Yoga through the years of repeatedly usage has become a popular alternative

medicine. Today it is now used to cure chronic diseases and ailments in the different

body systems. It includes the nervous, circulatory, endocrine, respiratory, digestive,

reproductive and the musculoskeletal system.

Yoga can be practiced by anyone, including the elderly and those that have or suffers

from certain injuries. The use of specific yoga equipments can help people who are

not perfectly capable of doing yoga. The use of yoga Equipment can help you achieve

the maximum physical and mental results of your practice.

One of the best examples of yoga equipments is the Yoga bolsters.

Yoga bolsters are being used in various styles of yoga like the Bikram, Ananda and

Kripalu yoga. These are yoga form that needs much of your yoga bolsters for they

instill more use of extensive yoga poses.

Yoga bolsters provide support for the back, abdomen and legs. Yoga bolsters also

aids in the proper alignment of the body and the stack of spinal vertebrae.

It is also and effective way to cushion and relieve tension in your lower body and

upper body, the neck and the abdomen when doing your poses.

It aids yoga master in doing supine and passive yoga positions. Putting your yoga

bolsters on top of your mat provides added cushioning and support to your lower

body and makes your yoga session more comfortable.

Yoga bolsters are light and can be easily carried and stored at the corner of your

room. It can easily fit in to your drawer or a closet without taking much space.

Yoga bolsters also comes in a variety of size, shapes, colors and materials which is

designed to fit your need and preference.

Different sellers offer cylindrical, rectangular, Zafu, and a lot of other types of Yoga

Bolsters.

Sometime people buying yoga bolsters are quite confused on whether to buy

cylindrical or rectangular yoga bolsters.

So here are some brief discussions on the difference between this two. But if you are

into yoga class and like the yoga bolsters that you are using then you can buy the type you use.

Cylindrical bolsters are a larger and much more firm that the rectangular yoga bolsters.

Cylindrical yoga bolsters are heavier than the rectangular ones, owing the fact that

they have different respective filling materials with different weights.

You can do most things equally well with either kind of Bolster, but the different

shapes do have marginal advantages for certain poses.

Yoga Bolsters are used for comfort in different positions, and come in a variety of

shapes and sizes to provide that extra level of comfort and support. Placed under

knees, ankles, or neck, these Bolsters help to relieve muscle strain during difficult poses.

The round bolsters and Rectangle Bolster props, supports and encourages your body

to stretch, relax and open the areas that need it most.

What ever kind of bolsters that you need, I am sure that you will be able to find one

that will suit your needs.

If ever nothing would fit you in yoga store, make one of your own or find somebody

who can make them, giving you a much more flexibility and customization in getting

the yoga bolsters that you like.

Yoga for business people workplace implications

Yoga for Business People: Workplace Implications

Mind-body fitness, which derives from Eastern philosophies and religions, improves physical and emotional well-being, and has implications for workplace performance.

The overall benefits of mind-body exercise are documented in an increasing number of scientific studies. They include everything from reducing cardiac risk factors to enhancing mood.

'You're under stress, but you have to be in control all day, and after so many years, what happens is that leads to eating misbehaviors, stress hormone production and cardiac risk factors,. The good news is you can reverse these risk factors non-pharmacologically and develop some habits for a lifetime' that complement conventional diet and exercise.

The kinder, gentler movements typical of yoga improve flexibility, strength and muscle tone and can be more youth-promoting than the wear-and-tear of daily aerobics, weights and running alone.

Especially with the baby boomer generation getting older, they're realizing the need for flexibility, the need for good posture, and the desire for the things that are going to help them look and feel young.

Yoga postures

Keeping up with good Yoga Postures

Yoga helps generate good bearing by increasing, elongating, and keeping the alignment of your spine and the muscles in the region of it. Yoga also strengthens your body including your abdominal muscles, which guards you back from injuries and damages.

These yoga postures teach every part of your body to bear its own weight as an alternative of relying on other muscles to bring the load. The recompense for good yoga postures is enlarged with power and self-assurance.

Put into practice these yoga postures daily. Make a custom of doing Mountain Pose all over the place: when you are in line at the bank, or even preparing dinner, or at whatever time you think of it. You should stick to this program because the longer you do it, the stronger your back and abdominal muscles will become.

Yoga postures are too easy to practice you only need a little dedication and you can set off to practicing it anytime.

The mountain pose is one of the most practiced yoga postures one could ever practice. In fact, many practitioners have recommended this for use because it is easy to learn and just reading the steps will give you the idea that it can be very handy.

1. This is one of the yoga postures that look easy, but each part of your body ought to be concerned. Stand with your feet in a straight line beneath your hipbones. Make your feet equivalent, with your second toes pointing in a straight line onward. Push the balls and heels of your feet into the floor and increase your toes.

2. with no movement of your feet and toes, turn around the insides of your thighs frontward. Make sure that you do not lock your knees. This is important to consider.

3. Shift your hipbones back one inch and draw your navel on the way to your spine. Lower your tailbone in the direction of the floor and raise your torso up and about away from your hips.

4. Picture a light glowing from your heart and your spine moving in the direction of the front of your body. Point your fingers in the direction of the floor as you roll your shoulders toward the back and glide them down into your back. Raise the crown of your head in the direction of the ceiling and carry your chin in slightly on the way to your neck.

5. You can pretend and think that your body is a tree, and sense your roots--your pelvis, legs, and feet--growing profound into the soil. Imagine of your torso as twigs reaching up toward the sun. Grasp this position for 10 to 30 breaths. Picture yourself that you are drawing force up from the earth as you breathe in, and then transport it back downward into the earth as you breathe out.

Following these simple yoga postures are the best strategy to learn yoga easily. This will be a good remedy to self-healing and relaxation. Yoga postures are very relaxing when you feel it. You just need dedication so that you will truly feel the magic it does to chance your life. Every step in doing yoga postures is essential in enlightening the soul, mind, body and spirit. So take these yoga postures and start learning it.

Points to be followed before learning yoga

Once you have decided to practice yoga for better living and spiritual health, you need to take care of the following points so as to prevent injuries to your physical self:

• Physical condition of the individual: usually, it is recommended that people with normal health do yoga practice. But if you are suffering from some physical problems and are using yoga to cure it, you need to follow certain precautions since performing yoga practices without proper precautions may lead to harmful effects on the body. This is because the internal organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys etc. are involved and may get harmed if you do not practice yoga properly. Hence it is recommended that you follow the yoga techniques under expert guidance.

• Right advice: it is important for you to get the proper instructor to teach you the yoga techniques. Usually, people who choose the profession of a yoga teacher do not understand the scientific basis behind the yoga practice and just impose their opinions and likes and dislikes on the students. They bring an element of mystery, charge exorbitant fees and introduce rites and rituals which are not a part of yoga.

• Age and sex: yoga can be practiced by anybody irrespective of age and sex. However it is important to note that certain yoga techniques should not be followed under certain circumstances. Women, who are pregnant or menstruating, should avoid the poses which lay a great stress on the abdomen. Children below eight years should not practice any yogic technique but yogic breathing should be introduced only after twelve years. Very young and old should avoid the poses with the intense twists. After a certain age, avoid strenuous practice but you can practice pranayam, dhyana and simple postures.

• Place and surroundings: The place for yoga should be well protected from, animals, rodents and insects. If you choose the indoor room, keep it well lit and it should be airy. If you choose the outdoors, the surroundings should be quiet. But avoid the outdoors if it is cold, rainy or very hot.

The ground chosen should be plain and flat.

• Time: Morning is the ideal time for practice since it incorporates regularity, but evening time can also be chosen since the body is already warmed up. Your stomach should not be completely full. So if you have had a meal, you can perform yoga after five hours.

• Diet: Take simple and nutritious diet. Do not overeat. Keep chillies and spices to the minimum. It is not important to be vegetarians but do not eat more than your body’s requirements.

• Interval: it is advisable to be regular but if for some reason like a lot of work in office or sickness or any other reason you need to skip a day or two, it is fine. But once the reason is over, go back to your original routine. Avoid taking long and frequent gaps.

• Clothing: Choose light and loose fitting clothes. If you live in a hot climate, you can opt for the sleeveless shirt or a vest. However, in temperate climate, your clothing should offer protection against the cold weather but at the same time, they should not hinder your movements.

• The seat: Always perform the yoga practice on a mat or a carpet but never on an uncovered floor.

• The order of different techniques: When you are combining different techniques like surya namaskar, weight training etc. with yoga, keep a rest period of fifteen minutes between the two. Within the yoga practice, start off by postural techniques, followed by breathing techniques and the techniques of mental concentration in the mentioned order.

The best benefit of yoga- efficiency in work is yoga

Sometimes, what a voluminous book cannot explain can be explained in a single sentence! It is true about yoga. Yoga is not a mere word; it is a vast subject with many dimensions.

The wise saying goes, “Yoga karmasu kaushalam!‘-which means, ‘Efficiency in work is yoga!”

What you do is not important. How you do what you do, is important!

Yoga also means union. What union? Whether union between the body and the mind? Or the mind with the spirit? The traditionally accepted belief (or truth, depending upon the level of your spiritual progression) is the union between the Jeevatman and the Paramatman – between one’s individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.

Yoga is a very vast subject. Attempting even an introduction in a small articles is an impossibility. Nevertheless, some important observations need to be understood when you speak of yoga.

Yoga has got something to do with the health of your physical body.

Yoga has got something to do with your mental health.

Yoga has something to do with your intellectual health.

Yoga has got everything to do with your spiritual being.

The ultimate stage can only be realized. No amount of assertions, explanations, and arguments and counter arguments can take you up there. The domain of silence can only be achieved through silence!

Yoga is intensely linked to breathing. It is about channeling the energy through breath. Another intimate alley of yoga is meditation. You can not think of yoga without understanding at least some of the basic techniques of meditation! Spiritual appreciation as to the nature of the human body, who controls it all of the time, is absolutely essential for proper understanding of various practices that make the science of yoga.

A word about Karma Yoga. The fundamental principle Karma Yoga is, “Do your duty and do not ask for the reward.” What youngster of the modern generation would accept this principle? If I do my duty, I must get the reward! Aren’t there people who don’t do any work and still get the reward.

The word yoga makes its entry at this level of thinking of an individual. The correct interpretation of this principle of yoga is that ‘do your duty but don’t ask for the reward’ You will get the right reward, at the right moment!’

‘Every action has a reaction and the intensity of the reaction is in proportion to the intensity of the action.’ Over this the scientists and the spiritualists agree! One of the rare agreements between the two contending forces. Normally opposing forces! If you agree on this, don’t you think that it is necessary for you to agree that your every action, good or bad, will be rewarded as per the proportion it deserves?

Yoga posture

Tips and Steps to Beat up a Good Yoga Posture

Keeping up a good yoga posture is all it takes for you to be able to keep up with a good yoga practice.

Yoga's not only fine for achieving balance, developing calm, and making you elastic enough to make your body move to its utmost. A yoga posture can also build the inner strength.

Fighting the Cobra

This relieves slight pain in your back and tones abs

First step: Stretch out on your stomach with legs and feet joined in together. Plant palms on the floor below shoulders with fingers facing onward.

Second step: Next is to lift the upper body by gradually lifting the head and chest, just make sure that you keep your shoulders down. (Pelvis and thighs shouldn't leave the yoga mat.)

The last step: Hold your pose for about twenty to thirty seconds as you breathe in even breaths all the way through your nose. Go back to your preliminary location and do it all over again.

Strengthens your abs

First: In the first yoga posture, you should situate yourself in a standing position with legs hip width separately, holding arms directly ahead with palms facing down.

Second: Twist your knees and squat if you want as if you're about to sit in a chair in your classroom. Make sure to center weight in your heels, lock it and don't bring hips lower than the level of your knees.

Third: Allow yourself to reach forward, and center your eyes in a straight line ahead while breathing in and breathing out all the way through the nose. Hold this yoga posture for about 20 seconds. Gradually go back to standing position, and then you can release your arms.

The Wind-Relieving Posture

This yoga posture stretches your spine and helps in the digestion of your stomach. It’s a good thing to have a good running stomach so that you will always feel fresh.

First: Recline on your rear or back. As you breathe in, drag your right knee near to your chest. Keep your left leg in a straight line and on the ground.

Second: push your shoulders and the rear side of your neck into the ground at the same time as firmly holding your knee. You can breathe for ten seconds only. This might be quick but seems longer when you execute it.

Third: Change the sides, while holding the left knee to your chest for about ten seconds. Complete this set by hugging both of your knees to your chest and holding it for another ten seconds. Do the set again.

The Upward Boat Posture

This strengthens your abs, improves your balancing ability, and also helps in digestion.

First: Sit down on the floor. Bend your knees and place feet flat on the floor.

Second: breathe in, bend back and raise heels off the ground, straightening your legs as possible as you can. Expand your arms with palms facing downward. If you find it difficult to perform, you can rest your hands beneath your knees for support. This may be a difficult yoga posture to perform but after a few practices, you will never have that difficulty again.

Third: while you hold the pose for thirty seconds, you should keep your back in a straight line, and make sure your abs are doing the work.

Practice this yoga posture all over again when you have time and you will find it easy to execute after you have continuously repeated it. A yoga posture can save your health, your digestion and your backbone so better keep it up.

How to meditate with a mantra

These days whenever a politician repeats a promise over and over again commentators say that this promise has become a “mantra” for that politician. For the journalists, the word “mantra” means a meaningless phrase that is repeated endlessly. For yogis however, a mantra is a word or collection of words, which has the power of liberating a human being from all limitations.

How can the repetition of a word or a few words have the capacity to bring about such miraculous results? It is all based on a simple psychological principle, “as you think, so you become.”

If you someone tells you “You’re stupid,” that’s of course a bad insult and will hurt you. However if you start to think “I am stupid,” and keep repeating this phrase over and over, then that is far worse. When someone tells you that you are stupid, then this is a negative outer-suggestion. When you start to think about it, then you are giving yourself, a negative auto-suggestion. If you keep thinking in a negative way, then your personal development will be harmed.

Meditation mantras have a positive meaning. They remind you that your true nature is something great: pure consciousness and boundless love. If you start to think about the best part of your being, you will begin to have more confidence in yourself and this will become apparent in your actions.

However, many people have read philosophical, spiritual or self-help books explaining these ideas, and yet they never realize these great truths in their everyday reality. It is not enough to just think about a good idea once, and then close the book. You need to think in a concentrated and systematic manner over a period of time in order to get results.

Meditation mantras have a special quality that helps in the task of concentrated, positive thinking: their very vibration has the capacity to concentrate and focus your mind. Some sounds, such as power drill breaking a pavement, can upset you greatly, while other sounds, like soothing music, can transport you to another world.

The syllables and words used in meditation mantras have been chosen according their sonic capacity, and they greatly aid the task of concentration and contemplation, as well as carrying a positive meaning.

In order to get the benefits from mantra meditation, you need to meditate regularly with a mantra that has a positive meaning and the capacity to help you concentrate. You need to do it on a regular basis, sitting silently two times a day for a period of 10 to 30 minutes.

It sounds easy, but the common experience of most people is that as you sit and try to think about one word or one phrase, your mind is quickly filled with many other thoughts; thoughts about work, financial problems, disputes with people and all kinds of other matters. When this happens, and it certainly will, then you have to bring your mind back to the mantra. Meditation is a process where you concentrate on the mantra and its meaning for as long as you can, and when you mind wanders, you bring it back.

Keep doing it, and you will attain an improved capacity to concentrate and deep inner peace.

It may still sound too good to be true, and some intellectuals scoff at the alleged power of a mantra. Once, a renowned Indian yogi came to America and delivered many lectures on this subject. In one of the lectures he was challenged by someone in the audience who said that it was not possible for a single word to deliver the results that the yogi promised. The yogi turned to the man, who was a distinguished professor and said “You fool!”

The professor turned red, and began to shout at the yogi, who calmly watched the professor unwind.

The yogi then addressed the professor and said: “Now can you understand the power of a single word? All I did was utter the word “fool” and your behavior was changed in an instant!

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