Category: Featured

May 24, 2018

Yoga For Arthritis In Hips

Yoga For Arthritis In Hips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Apr 20, 2018
Apr 20, 2018

Ardha Kurmasana – Half Tortoise Pose

Ardha Kurmasana – Half Tortoise Pose

Ardha Kurmasana is also known as Half Tortoise Yoga Asana. Due to its resemblance to a tortoise it is known as the tortoise pose. This yoga asana can prove to be very beneficial to your body in every possible way. By performing this asana regularly and properly our bodies can be rejuvenated. The organs get stretched to its maximum with every movement of this asana.

The shoulder movement gets improved and so does the muscles in the corresponding areas. The abdominal muscles gets toned and become more flexible. The asana stretches the lower part of the lungs which is good for your breathing. It also increases the lung capacity which proves to be crucial if you have breathing problems like asthma. The pressure put on your neck and head improves migraine problems. It can be stated as a stress buster due to its stress relieving capacity.

Stomach related problems are solved too. If you suffer from indigestion or constipation this asana helps to improve it greatly. The digestive system is up and running with the help of the asana. Fresh supply of blood is provided to each and every organ for a smooth flowing bodily system. It relaxes the brain by the fresh supply of blood. Many of your sleeping problems are addressed by performing this asana. It is a good cure for insomnia.

Backache problems can termed as a thing of past. Ardha Kurmasana stretches the spine which relieves you from any backache or spine problems. Due to the level of blood circulation, your heart remains fit and fine. The bending and stretching increases the level of flexibility of your arms and hips. Toning gives great shape to your body which keeps you positive and healthy.

The internal organs are massaged very well to bring the extra zest needed for your body. It serves as a great remedy for anemic as well as diabetic patients. The pressure on the thigh and legs makes it strong and sturdy. It also tones the thigh muscles due to the position in which the asana is done. The spine is elongated by the stretch provided during the asana. It is a benefit in disguise, as it cures many ailments.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the asanas from this article and the site. To avoid any problems while doing the asanas, it is advised that you consult a doctor and a yoga instructor. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

Feb 5, 2018

What is Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga, What is It?

Hatha yoga is an ancient hindu system of working with the human nerve system. Due to the fact that it launches strain as well as endows one with renewed power, far way too many 20th century individuals, yoga teachers consisted of, have come to look upon the venerable Indian physical scientific research as solely an exercise for health and wellness as well as vigor of body and mind. It is that, yet it is also far more. Hatha yoga practices are much more spiritual than physical, more subtle compared to gross, more a method of understanding than an exotic way to alleviate stress or limber up the body.

Hatha Yoga: The Body’s Path to Balance, Focus, and Strength

For the 16.5 million yoga practitioners in America, Swedish yoga instructor Ulrica Norberg’s fresh look at Hatha yoga (“the way of the body”) will be a perfect entrée to the art of exercising to produce a strong mind and a harmonious soul. Focusing on pacing, not perfection, Norberg explains proper breathing and asanas, poses developed to increase consciousness, relaxation, strength, and concentration. Throughout, she maintains a thoughtful balance between philosophy and instruction, and offers step-by-step directions and wisdom for personal and communal well-being. Lavishly illustrated with gorgeous full-color photographs, Hatha Yoga is sure to inspire beginning and advanced yoga practitioners alike.

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Hatha Yoga on the Forgotten Coast: Uniting Body, Mind & Spirit

Find rest, relaxation and healing through the ancient art of Hatha Yoga on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. This instructional DVD is for beginner, intermediate and advanced students, and is designed as a companion to home practice. It also includes self-help methods and meditation tools. The DVD is narrated by Kathy Jansen, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and filmed on St. George Island.

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Hatha Yoga Asanas: Pocket Guide for Personal Practice

Finally, an easy-to-use quick-reference guide that captures the beauty and essence of hatha yoga itself. Hatha Yoga Asanas: Pocket Guide for Personal Practice features full-color photos, basic movement cues, the English and Sanskrit names, and difficulty ratings for over 150 poses, including these Bound angle Bow Bridge Chair Child’s Cobra Crescent lunge Crow Dancer I Downward-facing dog Forward bend Garland Half moon Headstand Intense side stretch Lord of the fishes Lotus Pigeon Shoulder stand Side angle Staff Tree Triangle Upward-facing dog Warrior Wheel Simple, attractive, and convenient, Hatha Yoga Asanas: Pocket Guide for Personal Practice is the one reference every practitioner and instructor should own.

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So, What is Hatha Yoga?

The sages who established the hatha yoga practise created it as a method to acquire aware control of our life energies, a means to go within, to harmonize the exterior so the innermost Self could be experienced. To them, it had to do with states of consciousness, concerning living a magnificent life, as well as it was a prep work for reflection.

As you execute the asanas, focus on really feeling the energies within the nerve currents. Sensitize yourself to recognizing when the physical body has actually remained in each location long enough to tune the nerve currents entailed. Then change smoothly right into the following asana. It’s like a dance, a calculated, fluid dancing. Throughout all postures, inhale making use of the diaphragm, not the upper body muscle mass. Do not extend unduly or require the physical body. Unwind right into the positions. Do not fret if you cannot execute them all completely. In time, you will discover the physical body coming to be more flexible as well as supple. Free the mind of ideas as well as strains. You will be more mindful, a lot more alive, more calm.

While there are much more intricate hatha yoga programs, these twenty-four asanas supply a well balanced system for day-to-day use. For the basic purpose of silencing the mind in preparation for meditation, this is all you will ever before need. For best outcomes, classical hatha yoga should be instructed directly by a certified instructor. These instructions as well as illustrations are implied only as a basic aid. For even more sophisticated programs, inquire at an identified institution specializing in hatha yoga.

The scene of hatha yoga has a spiritual objective – to stabilize physical and also physic energies in preparation for reflection. It is not only indicated to create us young, lovely or innovative, yet to help us in quieting the mind, body and also emotions that we may stir up informed awareness & know the Self within.

Nov 3, 2017

Can Yoga Really Transform Your Body

Can Yoga Really Transform Your Body

anusara yoga posesYoga has become extremely popular these days as more and more people find out about the peaceful and serene feeling you achieve when practicing along with the overall well-being you experience.

Yoga has become so popular that it has now become a $10 billion a year niche with participants spending more and more on yoga-related products and classes. See our Yoga Shop

And why wouldn’t they?   Yoga has been known to heal the mind-body by its ability to not only reduce stress in your life but it is also practiced for the wide-ranging amount of physical health benefits it provides.  While the jury is still out on the scientific research, we do know some of the potential effects it can have on your body.

One form of yoga, Hatha – which places emphasis on physical postures, is said to help improve your cognitive functions such as improving not only your focus but your memory as well.  This form of yoga can provide strength and endurance benefits and is a less vigorous style of yoga.

Another form of yoga, Bikram which is performed in a heated room temperature of approximately 100 degrees, has been found to be effective in increasing hamstring and back flexibility along with shoulder flexibility improvement.

Since yoga is a low-impact form of getting you to move and stretch, it has also been found to reduce stress and anxiety along with heightening the brain chemicals that reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related disorders.

Some forms of yoga are more physical than other such as Ashtanga and Power yoga.  These two forms will help you to improve overall muscle tone.

There are certain poses for different parts of your body.  Use poses such as the upward facing dog, the plank pose or the downward facing dog if you want to build upper-body strength.

If you want to up the strength in your abs, hamstrings and quadriceps, practice the standing poses while holding them for several long breaths.  If you want to strengthen your lower back, use poses such as the upward facing dog and the chair pose.  If you practice all of the above poses correctly, you should see improvement in your core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

Not only will you feel an improvement in your core strength, as you become stronger and more flexible you will see a noticeable improvement in your posture.

By practicing yoga, you will become more aware of your body and if you are slouching or slumping allowing you to adjust your posture to stand and sit “tall.”  Your core will be much stronger because you are practicing standing and sitting poses to develop that core strength.    You need your core muscles to support and maintain each pose.

Yoga can improve your breathing.  By participating in yoga classes, you will be forced to pay attention to your breathing which in turn will help you to relax.  Some yoga classes require specific breathing techniques.  Yoga is not the same as running, cycling or aerobics unless you are participating in one of the more intense forms of yoga, some of which use a heated room.

If you have way too much stress in your life, yoga can help you to feel more relaxed and less stressed.  Some forms of yoga also incorporate meditation techniques into the classes.

One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is how good it is for your heart.  Not only can yoga help to slow your heart rate but it can also lower your blood pressure.  This is really good news for those with heart disease, high blood pressure or those who have experienced a stroke.

 

Oct 11, 2017

How to Find Balance and Health with Yoga

How to Find Balance and Health with Yoga

Have you heard about the Gunas? No, they are not Disney characters! According to yoga there are three basic qualities or energies that make up everything. They are, rajas, tamas and sattva.

Rajas is the energy of action, change and movement. Rajas is the fuel of passion and fire. Rajasic energy is also associated with the day light hours. We obviously need rajasic energy to create energy to move successfully throughout our world and lives. When we have too much rajasic energy we might appear to the outside world as extremely busy, go go go, do do do! Does this sound like you? Maintaining a high degree of rajasic energy leads to burn out! When rajas is out of balance the mind and body are overstimulated, the mind becomes restless and you experience a lot of uncontrollable thoughts.

Foods that are rajasic include: spicy food, fried foods, coffee / caffeinated beverages/ stimulants/ fish, eggs, chocolate, foods that are very bitter, sour, dry and salty. Eating in a hurry is also considered rajasic

Tamas can be thought of as the opposite of rajas. Tamasic energy is associated with a state of inactivity and inertia, heaviness and darkness. When tamas is out of balance your ability to reason becomes clouded and you might experience the darker emotions such as anger or greed. Just as there is more rajasic energy present in daylight hours, tamasic energy is present during nighttime. People who are very tamasic might be depressed or appear lazy. Generally speaking disease states are tamasic.

Examples of tamasic food include: meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, fermented foods – vinegar or strong cheese, stale food or over ripe food, overly processed food or chemically treated. Overeating is considered tamasic.

Sattva is energy that is in a state of harmony and balance. Positive mental and emotional states of joy and intelligence are associated with sattva. A person who was experiencing a lot of sattvic energy would appear very happy. Sattvic energy also is consistent with healing states and in Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) sattvic energy is actively cultivated. Sattvic energy is most present during the times between light and dark- in other words dusk and dawn. A person on the yogic path is focused on developing sattva and for this reason yoga asana and meditation are classically performed at these times.

Foods that are sattvic include: whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, pure fruit juice, legumes, milk, butter, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds, honey and herb teas.

It is important to realize that we all have all three gunas within us. And while this is true we tend to have a predominant guna. Based on the descriptions above can you figure out what yours is? It is good to be aware of this because once you are aware of your predominant guna then you can predict how might react to certain life circumstances as well know your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll know when you will tend to be thrown out of balance and what you will need to do to bring yourself back into balance.

You also might have times in our lives when one guna is more active then another. Perhaps you have very active time and very productive (rajasic). Or a period when you have been depressed (tamasic). Or a time when we are very balanced and in tune with your spirituality (satvic).

Another way the gunas show up in our lives and directly effect us is through the food we eat. Consider for a minute the average American diet with overly processed and chemically treated foods which are very tamasic. Modern science now confirms that these food items are directly linked to major illnesses including cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. As mentioned above too much tamasic energy leads to disease states. We also know that foods in their whole form such as grains, fresh fruits and vegetables (sattvic foods) are life sustaining and bring health and energy.

Do you practice yoga postures (asana)? How do the gunas show up here? Is your asana practice fiery and passionate? Was your practice was slow and lazy? Or was it balanced?

It is probably becoming clear to you by now that to be healthy, happy, and live a balance life it is important to cultivate sattva in your life. This can be done by:

Reducing rajas and tamas
Becoming aware of when you are out of balance- which guna seems most present?
Increase activities and environments that produce positive thoughts
Eating a healthy, sattvic oriented diet
Certain herbs (subject for another article)
The practice of yoga: pranayama (breathing practices), asana (postures), meditation

Grab our Complete Yoga Guide over on the right

 

Oct 10, 2017

Chair Yoga for Seniors – Part 1

Benefits of Chair Yoga

In comparison to many forms of exercise, the benefits of Chair Yoga far outweigh the risks. The therapeutic exercises work the body, from head to toes, to the best of any client’s ability.

Therefore, the method used, addresses the whole body in a single routine.
This is an amazing feat, for a low-impact exercise program, where the average session lasts 45 to 60 minutes. The following information will highlight some of the many benefits of regular participation in a Chair Yoga class.

Increased circulation is a result of movement and every body part that can move is used in a typical Chair Yoga class. For many of us, we think of cardiovascular heath first, and this is right fully so, but Chair Yoga helps many other forms of circulation, within the body, as well.

To sit still for days on end, we invite diseases of many kinds. Diabetics need movement to keep sugar levels in “tolerance zones.” Chair Yoga also has routines for the feet, toes, hands, and fingers, so there is no part of the body left out. Due to this whole body approach, the immune system is also stimulated by regularly attending Chair Yoga classes.

The many movements, bending, and twisting, in a regular Chair Yoga session, stimulate the elimination of toxins, within the body. Every time you bend the waist in one direction or another, the stomach aids in digestion and the lower back is gently stimulated.

Now, back to cardiovascular benefits – There seems to be a lot of confusion about what is classified as aerobic exercise. One of the definitions for aerobic exercise is: Any exercise that would increase circulatory and respiratory ability. When the heart and lungs have to work harder to keep up with the body’s need for oxygen that is aerobic.

In fact, gardening and housework are also aerobic exercise that most seniors routinely do. This is not to say that gardening and housework are complete health maintenance systems, but they do burn over 200 calories per hour, for the average person, and meet the aerobic definition.

Much of this mentality stems from the “No pain – No gain” era. Most of the original advocates of this theory are now “nursing their own wounds” and practicing gentler forms of exercise. After all, none of us are immortal, and the body can only take so much abuse over time.

May I remind anyone, who is left standing, from the No pain – No gain era, that walking is also classified as aerobic exercise. So, whether you walk or run a mile, aerobic benefits are gained and significant calories are burned.

We have all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Those words are extremely profound, when thinking about correcting poor posture and alignment. It takes years to create poor alignment.

Therefore, poor posture cannot be corrected in a single day. A more appropriate saying, when thinking about posture and alignment might be, “The leaning tower of Pisa cannot become straight in a week.”

However, improvements to posture can be made through Chair Yoga exercises and through daily “posture awareness.” In my classes, I refer to posture awareness as “homework.” It usually draws a chuckle from students, but they also know that class time is the time to learn and practice Chair Yoga together.

Time away from the Yoga class is when you put the principles you have learned, in motion, and adapt them into your lifestyle. I cannot promise Chair Yoga is a “cure all,” but you will see improvements in every aspect of your life. However, practicing your homework separates the fantastic success stories from those who see some modest improvement.

So, what is posture awareness? This is taking the time to be aware of your posture, on a daily basis. The first thing you want to do in order to open your awareness is look at your side profile in a mirror and any photographs of yourself. At this point, look at your spine from top to bottom.

Do you see slumping, forward tilting of the neck, or extra large curves? Your spine should be aligned so that it is fairly straight at all times. During a number of daily activities such as: Standing, walking, reading, eating, sitting, lying, typing, and more, you should make a conscious effort, to keep your head and back straight.

Now, we can all remember a schoolteacher who preached, “Keep your back straight,” but now we know that he or she was absolutely correct. Take the time to adjust your spinal alignment, from this moment on, and every time you can remember to do so.

If possible, you should also attend any workshops about Chiropractic and Orthopedic medicine. Educate yourself about your body, your spine, and your choices. You can usually find these workshops and many more valuable meetings at your local senior center. These workshops are usually free, you are under no obligation, and it makes for a good “Fact finding mission.”

The alignment and posture principles, you learn in a Chair Yoga class, can be as simple as, “Pain or no pain.”

Continue reading this article >> HERE

Sep 26, 2017

What Kind of Yoga is Best?

What Kind of Yoga is Best?

There are different forms of yoga. This type of
exercise can leave you toned and supple or you may
even be spiritually enlightened according to some
teachers. Yoga is the latest thing. It has reshaped
some of the greatest stars all the way from Madonna to
Sting.

Some forms of yoga are more physical and some are
highly spiritual. Yoga is extremely good for fatigue,
depression, arthritis, aging, stress-related illness,
migraine, PMS, back pain and mobility problems.

You must first decide why you wish to start yoga and
then go about choosing the appropriate form for you.
The principles of yoga are quite simple – relax, tune
out everything and stretch and you will feel better.

If you are looking to get fit these types of yoga are
for you:

” Hatha yoga ”

This type of yoga is based on controlled stretching.
An emphasis is placed on developing a flexible spine.
This type of yoga is excellent for all levels of
fitness.

” Vini yoga ”

This type of yoga is gentle and safe and is very good
for older people. It is taught by a teacher called a
Desikachar and is usually taught on an individual
basis.

If you really want to get physical then you should
choose these types of yoga:

” Lyenger yoga ”

This type of yoga focuses on correct postures. It
often makes use of ropes and blocks to maintain these
postures.

” Sivananda yoga ”

This type of yoga is suitable for every age and covers
a wide range of poses which range from simple to
complex. ” Ashtanga yoga ” This type of yoga is known
as power yoga. It is very demanding and is only
suitable for those people who are very fit.

For those of you who want to get spiritual, then you
would want to choose from these types of yoga:

” Raja yoga ”

This is often referred to as royal yoga. It is
concerned with the mind.

” Dru yoga ”

This is group yoga which concentrates very heavily on
breath work.

” Jnana yoga ”

This concentrates on the philosophical aspects of
yoga and is very spiritual and meditative.

Jul 11, 2017

The 4 Paths of Yoga

The whole of yoga is comprised of 4 paths of yoga. Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Raja Yoga are the 4 traditional paths or schools of yoga. Some yogis, especially in Western civilizations, may work exclusively on one particular path.

However, most teachers will focus on all 4 of these important yoga areas. This allows you to fully experience the mental, spiritual and physical rewards yoga offers.

Jnana Yoga is concerned with your path to wisdom, knowledge and contemplation. Bhakti Yoga helps you attain true love, compassion, devotion and the whole human emotional experience. Karma Yoga is associated with mindfulness and service to others. Raja Yoga emphasizes meditation, transcending mental thinking, and is more of a “whole yoga” approach.

Each person will have an inclination toward one particular yoga path. This is because your experiences, heredity and surroundings have created a particular way of viewing the world in your mind. You are strongly urged to spend time on each yoga path.

This helps you understand yoga as a state of being and consciousness, rather than an exercise class where you mindlessly go from one physical pose to the next. After all, yoga is composed of meditation, breath control and physical postures. Journey down all 4 yoga paths, and this spiritual Hindu discipline can deliver a true consciousness that simple exercise never will.

May 30, 2017

Health Benefits of Doing Yoga Everyday

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of physical fitness, but it goes deeper than that. It’s also a great path to create mental and emotional wellbeing. It is believed to be about five thousand years old. Being around that long, and still going strong today, it is definitely not going out of style anytime soon.

Daily yoga practice offers a tremendous amount of benefits to your overall health. Below, we will discuss a few of them.

Benefits of Yoga:

Increase or maintain flexibility. Yoga is great for increasing, regaining or maintaining your flexibility. When your muscles are flexible you feel better overall, have less aches and pains and much of your joint problems and pain are more easily managed.

Increases muscle strength and tone. As you age, your muscles deteriorate if they aren’t kept in good shape. Yoga is good for older people to help them regain the loss of muscle strength and tone they may have lost or may be losing. It’s gentle enough to be done for the rest of a person’s life.

Increases cardio and circulation. Although yoga is a gentle exercise program it is still very active. It will help you improve your cardio function and keep your circulatory system in good working order.

Mental health and wellbeing. The practice of yoga helps slow your mind from the daily grind. It’s a chance for you to spend quiet time with yourself, clearing your mind and focusing on your breath and how your body feels.

Over time, you will feel more relaxed and in control of your everyday life just from maintaining a yoga routine. Simply keeping up with a basic routine on a daily basis can give you tremendous benefits, so no need to worry that you need to become an expert or learn to do extremely difficult poses. This is one exercise programs that gives you great benefits even if it seems to easy.

These are just a few of the main benefits of keeping up with a daily yoga practice. But, it’s also something you can practice for the rest of your life.

Yoga isn’t some trendy fad that’s here today and gone tomorrow. It’s always in style. No matter how old or young you are, yoga is something you should add into your workout routine for overall health and wellness.

It’s a fitness regimen you can carry well into your old age. No matter how old you get, you will always be able to find a yoga class and be able to work out in a group environment and meet new people. But, it’s also a great solo workout if you enjoy the quietness of practicing alone. And one of the best things is, you don’t need any equipment. You can purchase a yoga mat, if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.

If you’re tired of fitness trends that come and go, take a chance on yoga. It’s a lot of fun, it promotes a healthy body and mind. After five thousand years, it’s safe to say that it will be around for a very long time, at least another five thousand years, I’m sure.