Category: Yoga for Beginners

May 31, 2018

Yoga for Arms and Shoulders

Yoga for Arms and Shoulders

yoga for arms and shoulder strengthI 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 one of them, nothing could be further from the truth.

Yoga is fantastic for building strength in the arms and shoulders 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 you are 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 is safe to say that this 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.

In addition to the Sun Salutations (24+ rounds) the other poses you 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 them 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 in no time.

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.

 

May 23, 2018

Why Yoga is Important For An Office Worker

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

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

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

So how does this all help our office worker?

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

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

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

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

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

May 1, 2018

Teeki Designer Active Wear Awakening Yoga Hot Pants Review

Teeki is a clothing line made from recycled and sustainable materials. It’s passion for providing an Eco-friendly fashion to the world makes this company as one of the leading Eco-conscious, active wear lines today; giving clothing a new face of a trend with their own unique designs. One of which is the Teeki – Designer Active Wear – Awakening Hot Pant that gives a long lasting impression of bold and strong sense of an active lifestyle. Below is its comprehensive review:

The Pros of Teeki- Awakening Hot Pant

– Great clothing line for your active lifestyle
This product is perfect for your active lifestyle. Be it gym, yoga, sports, dance, and workout, this pant can maintain a comfortable feeling with its breathable and elastic free waistband fabric.

– You will love its overall look
Awakening Hot Pant comes in a low and sexy waistband that has a four-way stretch design for the leg’s movement. No muffin top and no cutting in, this pant can be worn as high rise or just folded over at the waist for a strong sense of low rise style. This product also gives a moisture movement, enabling the fabric to move the sweat produced by your body to the surface of the fabric to keep yourself dry all the time.

-Safe and antibacterial
This product does not only provide comfort, but also gives an antibacterial property that is very beneficial for your skin and health as it helps kill bacteria as well as any odors.

-Buy and help save the environment
The fabric is produced in the United States using solar-powered facilities and constructed using the company’s Eco process technology. Thus, it is made from 71% recycled plastic and 21% spandex material, which means purchasing one product helps you save the environment as you recycle a total of 26-30 water bottles all in all.

The Cons of Teeki- Awakening Hot Pant

-The product seems tiny.
Awakening Hot Pant seems tiny if you try it for the very first time, but after another use, you will notice that the fabric is stretchy and comfortable in your skin.

– The price complements the product  granted that this fabric provides the best comfort for your active lifestyle and helps save the environment, the price of this fashionable pant hike a little higher compared to other clothing brands. Thus, great quality tights like this fabric is just worth of its price in the local markets.

With the developing sense of high fads and trends in fashion, Teeki- Awakening Hot Pants gives you a chance to meet your demands and needs. With the company’s goal for happiness and health of the earth and its people, you can be assured that you are using authentic, safe and tested, Eco-friendly materials.

Concluding, this product aims in providing new innovative ways to health, comfort, and fashion to the world. You can be both fashionable and sporty at the same time. With its unique clothing design, you can use this product anytime and everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 22, 2018
Apr 21, 2018

7 Benefits of Online Yoga

sourced from: http://dailycupofyoga.com/2018/03/30/7-benefits-of-online-yoga/

With the world shifting more and more into the digital realm, it was only a matter of time before yoga took the plunge also. Transporting an age-old practice into an online space may leave you wondering whether the authenticity and spirit is lost.  Yet yoga practitioners are eagerly swapping their yoga studio memberships for the digital version with glee. So, what’s so terrific about practicing online yoga at home? Well, plenty actually!

1. Your Time, Your Space

Without the need to arrive at a studio at any certain time, online yoga allows you to select the time of the day that suits you to practice. Whether you’re a morning bird or a night owl, the ability to roll out your mat at any given time offers a great amount of freedom and allows you to commit to your … Read More

 

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.

Apr 19, 2018

12-Step Salute to the Sun

One of the all-around yoga exercises is the 12-step salute to the sun. Do it once or twice when you get up in the morning to help relieve stiffness and invigorate the body. Multiple repetitions at night will help you to relax; insomniacs often find that six to 12 rounds help them fall asleep.

1. Stand with your feet slightly apart, palms together, thumbs against your chest.

2. Inhale deeply while slowly raising your hands over your head, and bend back as far as possible, while tightening your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.

3. Slowly exhale and bend forward, keeping your knees straight, until your fingers touch the floor outside your feet. (If you can’t touch the floor, go as close as you can.) Bring your head in toward your knees.

4. Slowly inhale, bend your knees, and if your fingertips aren’t outside your feet on the floor, place them there. Slide your right foot back as far as you can go, with the right knee an inch or so off the floor, (a lunge position). Now look up as high as possible, arching your back.

5. Before exhaling again, slide your left foot back until it is beside the right one, and with your weight supported on your palms and toes, straighten both legs so that your body forms a flat plane. Make sure your stomach is pulled in.

6. Slowly exhale, bend both knees to the floor, bend with your hips in the air, lower your chest and forehead to the floor.

7. Now inhale slowly and look up, bending your head back, then raising it, followed by your upper chest, then lower chest. Your lower body – from the navel down – should be on the floor, and your elbows should be slightly bent. Hold for three to five seconds.

8. Exhale slowly and raise your hips until your feet and palms are flat on the floor and your arms and legs are straight in an inverted V position.

9. Inhale slowly and bring your right foot forward as in position 4. The foot should be flat on the floor between your fingertips. The left leg should be almost straight behind you, with its knee slightly off the floor. Raise your head, look up, and arch your back.

10. Slowly exhale and bring your left foot forward next to your right one. Straighten your legs and stand, trying to keep your fingertips on the floor, and try to touch your head to your knees as in position 3.

11. Slowly inhale, raise your arms up and stretch back as in position 2. Don’t forget to tighten your buttocks. Hold for three seconds.

12. Slowly exhale, lowering your arms to your sides. Relax. Repeat the series.

Jan 30, 2018

Yoga Considerations for Your Body and Mind

Yoga Considerations for Your Body

ashtanga yogaMany people practice yoga after work. They schedule sessions on the weekend during the day. If you have to squeeze some yoga into a busy modern day schedule, slip it in wherever you can. The mental and physical benefits of yoga are well-known, so any time you can enjoy this ancient Far East spiritual practice is the “right time” for you.

However, if at all possible, you should try practicing yoga in the morning. This is best for your body before you have eaten your morning meal. Your body is well rested and flexible, and after a few morning sessions this will quickly become your favorite yoga time of the day.

You should also consider waiting at least 2 hours after eating before performing yoga. Your body needs time to digest your food properly. Additionally, you can drink a small glass of warm water a few minutes before your yoga practice. This has a settling experience for your stomach.

Perform yoga in your bare feet when you can. You should also wear clothing that exposes as much of your skin as possible. This allows your skin to breathe properly, and to sweat away toxins and waste.

Your body will benefit the most from any yoga practice when you pay strict attention to form. Each of the yoga asanas are very specific for a reason. When your poses are perfect, your breathing correct and your mind in the right place, you receive the complete spiritual, physical and mental benefits of yoga.

Yoga Considerations for Your Mind

yoga and meditationYour yoga instructor may tell you that your breathing is perfect. She may praise you for your form. Those 2 aspects of yoga are extremely important. However, an argument can be made that the mental approach to yoga is the most crucial for delivering physical, mental and spiritual benefits.

Did you know that one of the biggest causes of injury while performing yoga is a bloated ego? This is not a competition. You are not battling the person beside you to see who can hold a particular form the longest. Concern yourself with your experience, nobody else’s.

Try focusing your attention on breathing properly. This minimizes outside distractions, and lets you focus your mind. Adding a few meditation sessions to your weekly yoga practice is a good way to calm your mind and reach the correct state of consciousness.

The human mind craves order. This means when you practice yoga at the same time of day, on the same days each week, your mind prepares you before you even begin a yoga session.

You should also consider joining a public class if you are having a problem staying motivated at home. People love to be a part of a community. When you practice yoga with others just like yourself, it is easier to keep your mind in the game, and benefit from a group consciousness that is all working towards the same goals.

Jan 30, 2018

What to Expect From Your First Yoga Class

What to Expect From Your First Yoga Class

Are you excited about getting started with yoga, but unsure about what to expect? If so, you are definitely not alone. Most yoga beginners approach their first class with equal parts anticipation and fear over getting it right.

What clothes should I wear? Will there be chanting and incense? And I going to look like a newbie and stick out like a sore thumb? What if I do something wrong? These are all sensible questions that you may be having if you’re a beginner to this ancient spiritual practice.

Beginners should probably invest in an inexpensive 1/8″ thick yoga mat. There is no need to drop a lot of coin on expensive yoga clothes to begin with either.

Aim for form-fitting clothes that stretch and move with you. Just get started, talk to your instructor and veteran yoga lovers for tips along the way, and adjust accordingly.

Arrive at class at least 10 to 20 minutes early. This gives you some time to speak with your instructor, and let her know that this is your first class. To keep from looking like a total newbie, remove your shoes and socks before you enter your classroom.

One big beginner mistake is holding your breath during your poses. You relax better when you breathe deeply, and this also helps get the best out of each yoga asana you perform.

Before attending your first class, practice the basic poses at home. You can purchase yoga DVDs conveniently online at sites like Amazon, and video sharing sites like YouTube offer plenty of free instruction.

At the end of class you have another chance to look like a yoga veteran. Your instructor will bow her head, bring her hands together in front of her and exclaim “Namaste” (pronounced nah-mas-tay). This is a Sanskrit word meaning “I honor you”. Repeat it back to your instructor, and no one will know this is your first yoga class.