Ashtanga Yoga. Is that right for you?


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Ashtanga Yoga is the type of yoga which was developed and founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. This type of yoga is known as the Eight Limb Yoga which has revolved in Pattanjali’s enormous idea. It presented that the path of purification is made up of the eight spiritual practices.

The first four limbs that represent Ashtanga Yoga are – yama, niyama, Asana and the Pranayama. These are considered cleansing practices which are externally correctable. The other set of limbs which are the – pratyahara, dhyana, dharana are the internal practies.

These limbs can only be corrected by the proper application of the Ashtanga Yoga method.

Vinsaya and Tristhana is practiced in Ashtanga Yoga.

The Vinsaya is a style that makes Ashtanga and its principles distinct from the others. Vinsaya means the movement and breathing which is used for the internal cleansing process. Each movement done is accompanied by only one breath. Sweat is the most important product of Vinsaya. When you produce sweat, it only means that you are successfully applying the practice. When you perform the Asanas, the body creates heat which causes your blood to boil and excrete the toxins outside of your body. The toxins are found in your sweat. So the more sweat you create, the more toxins are released.

The poses are used to fully develop the strength and health of the body. The series of practices make this possible. There are three postures used in Ashtaga Yoga.

The three are classified on different levels.

The first is the Primary Series which aims on aligning the body and also detoxifying it.

The second is the Intermediate Series opening and cleaning the energy channels which comes to the process of purifying the Nervous System.

The last series would be the Advanced Series from A to D. in this series, the grace and strength is measured.

The Tristhana is another yoga principle which represents the union of the three places of action and attention. First is the posture, second is the breathing technique ad last is the Dristhi of the Looking Place. All these three should work altogether to perform a function.

Breathing techniques are simultaneous and synchronized. It is important to make a single breath for one movement. Ujjayi Breathing is the Yoga Breathing Technique used in the application of Ashtanga Yoga. Applying this technique must be prolonged after every practice. What you need to master is holding your pose longer at the same time hold your breath. This is an amazing breathing exercise that will increase your internal fire and will strengthen the Nervous System.

Both Ashtanga and Tristhana deal with the series of Dristhi. The Dristhi is described as the point on which you gain your focus or attention while doing the Asana. This enables your mind to be purified and stabilized clearly.

Setting the mind clear and cleansing it can only be done in the Eight-Limb Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga.

3 Ways Yoga Can Benefit In Hectic Lifestyle

We owe ourselves these simple pleasures.

A lot of modern people facing a stressful life and there is always so many things to do in a day. Sometimes, really wish to have more hours in a day. It would take a pretty compelling set of reasons to convince a person to add something else to an already packed schedule, so why would we even think about regular Yoga classes. In this article, we examine the three main benefits of Yoga and how they apply to our busy lives.

Physical Health

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

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

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

Mental Health

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

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

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

Happiness

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

Namaste.

Does Yoga Normalize Body Weight?

Many people are first drawn to Yoga as a way to keep their bodies fit and supple. Others come seeking relief or help for a specific ailment like tension or a Backache. Whatever your reason is, Yoga can be a tool in giving you both what you came for and more.

Though the practice of Yoga is closely associated with ancient texts, beliefs, and values, it also yields benefits useful for people’s practical daily lives. Here are some reasons why more and more people are practicing Yoga:

1. Yoga relaxes the body and the mind. Even in the midst of stressful environments, Yoga helps control breathing and clears the mind of cluttered thoughts, leaving only deep physical and mental refreshment.

2. Yoga can help normalize body weight. For people who are either overweight or underweight, Yoga Exercises can help achieve the desired weight. The principles of balance and moderation in physical activity and diet under Yoga can also lead to a healthier lifestyle.

3. Yoga improves your resistance to disease. The postures and movements in Yoga massage the internal organs, enhancing blood circulation and functionality, thus, lessening the risk of illness.

4. Yoga increases your energy level and productivity. For as quick as 20 minutes, Yoga can replenish the mind and body with the precious energy needed to respond to daily tasks and challenges.

5. Yoga leads to genuine inner contentment and self-actualization. Meditation -one of the aspects of Yoga- focuses the mind, taking it away from the distractions of the highly-materialistic world and leading it to genuine happiness.

Yoga is a method of learning that aims to attain the unity of mind, body, and spirit through these three main Yoga structures: Exercise, Breathing, and Meditation. The exercises of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the Glandular Systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. The body is looked upon as the primary instrument that enables us to work and evolve in the world, a Yoga student; therefore, treats it with great care and respect. The Breathing Techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. Yoga students gently increase their breath control to improve the health and the function of both body and mind. These two systems prepare the body and mind for Meditation, making it easier for students to achieve a quiet mind and be free from everyday stress. The regular daily practice of all three parts of this structure of Yoga produces a clear, bright mind and a strong, capable body.

Benefits Of Savasana

Written by: Chearly Long

For many, it is considered to be one of the easiest asanas, but that is not the case. Even though it may look very simple and non-beneficial but it is the other way round. After doing all your yoga poses this is one of the most essential and important poses to complete your yoga practice with. It is the asana which gives the opportunity to relax. Savasana means Corpse pose due to the look of the asana. As you lie down it makes you aware of your body and how each part of your body plays a very important role in your life.

As you go along meditating it relaxes each nerve of your body and improves your respiration which creates the areas for energy and vitality. It benefits mentally as well as physically, which helps in focusing your positive energy for a greater good. Mind and body should not waiver while doing this asana. Full concentration is required and it may prove to be very handy in times when you need the most. A motionless mind and body help you reach the level of optimum relaxation. Listening to soothing voice or some chants may just help you reach that meditated level.

The respiratory and circulatory system is cleared and opens to a more refreshing life. The overworked muscles tend to relax when you are in this asana. Every system in the body relaxes which gives them the breathing space to conserve energy and be more useful later on. It is very beneficial for people who are heart patient as well as suffering from blood pressure. It helps in improving your stress level and may also relieve you from slight depression. Minor problems like a headache, fatigue, and insomnia may also be reduced. People with a back injury or any other back problems should take extra care.

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

 

Another style of a primordial religious practice from India, ashtanga yoga was taught by  Pattabhi Jois who was a former student of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a teacher was known to lived more than a hundred years old. The sequences of this yoga classification are primarily based on the book entitled Makaranda. This ancient spiritual approach is an energetic exercise originally intended for the teenage boys. However, things have changed and are now been performed by individuals of all ages.

The term ashtanga yoga actually means eight limbs namely yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

Yama has five parts such as aparigraha (non- covetousness), brahmacharya (celibacy), asteya (not robbing), satya (honesty) and ahimsa (non- violenece).
Asana is a posture that focuses on breaking free from the tensions.
Pratyahara provides internal strength by getting rid of a different manner of interruptions that will lead to the development of willpower.
Dharana begins with concentration which is integrated with meditation finishing off in samadhi.
Samadhi has four impediments namely abhinivesha (fondness of the world), asmita (egoism), avidya (ignorance) and raga- dvesha (all likes and dislikes).
Dhyana proposes that material attachment, gluttony, slothfulness and subtle yearnings are considered as obstacles.
Pranayama is an examination of the outgoing inclinations of the human brain.
Niyama has five canons such as ishvarapranidhana (self- surrender), svadhyaya (devotion), tapas (austerity), santosha (contentment) and saucha (purity).

Literally defined as the wise combination of things, vinyasa sets apart ashtanga yoga from the rest of the primordial religious practices. This method is done whereby the student budges in and out of the routine through suryanamaaskara, a group of movements that are well- defined. The very purpose of this is to generate high temperature in the body for purification to occur which can be realized through sweating and circulation. Aside from that, flexibility is also improved that reduces the threat of injuries.

Origins of ashtanga yoga are said to have come from the antique account of Korunta authored by Vamana Rishi. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was able to obtain a copy which was given to him by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari at the mountain of Kailash. Later on, Pattabhi Jois was able to have one in his hands. Until this time, this yoga classification has remained to be very faithful to the principles introduced by Krishnamacharya. Aside from Jois, he was also able to educate other great instructors in the 20th century such as Indra Devi and B.K.S. Iyengar.

Yoga As A Life Philosophy

 

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

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

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

Furthermore, the discipline of Ashtanga Vinyasa deals with a profound and deep way of relating to others. The closest word to describe this aspect of the Yoga discipline is manners, but it really does go beyond that. Yoga is a discipline of balance, and the physical balance required to complete many of the exercises should be mirrored by an internal balance or harmony of the soul. It is said that a hyperactive person can’t be successful with Yoga and this is true on several levels. Firstly they lack the discipline to sit calmly through the exercises, but they also lack the mental calm to focus wholly and completely on a single task. Yoga requires deep concentrating on the simple act of breathing and feeling the breath bring life to different areas of your body.

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

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

 

Best Yoga Position?

Yoga has simple and effective body movements that strengthen one’s back, firm the stomach, and redistribute body weight. Yoga exercises stretch and tone the body muscles. They increase endurance and improve flexibility.

Yoga Asanas or positions are the best among all exercises for toning muscles, lubricating joints and massaging the body. Yoga postures bring physical as well as mental stability, health, and vigor. These Asanas were developed thousands of years ago and have evolved over centuries. They work wonders in keeping the body healthy and the mind peaceful. Asanas exercise the nerves, glands, ligaments, and muscles. In other words, yoga exercises are the most comprehensive method of self-care

Although asanas are very powerful, the effect becomes dramatic when they are done the right way. The mind must be in harmony with the body movements. For this, it is essential to equip yourself with the other tools of Integral Yoga.

The aspect of Yoga that most people are aware of is “Hatha Yoga” or the Yoga of Postures. Developing a strong, healthy and flexible body is but one aspect of this ancient science. Yogis revere the body. However, they do this because they realize that a weak and tired body is a hindrance towards spiritual progress. By being mindful of their breathing while they practice the various postures, they train themselves to discipline their minds. By disciplining their minds, they are able to abide by the principles which Yoga stands for. First amongst these principles is “Ahimsa”, or peacefulness in thought, deed, and action not only to other human beings, but also to all living creatures, and most importantly to our own selves. Remember this when you tend to push yourself into a forward bend! You will be able to do it over a period of time, just be easy on yourself.

Anyone can practice Yoga. You don’t need any special equipment, fancy clothing, or lessons; all you need is the will to pursue a healthier and happier lifestyle. The Yoga Postures and Asanas exercise every part of your body. The stretching involved helps in toning your muscles and joints, including your spine and your entire Skeletal System. Yoga not only facilitates in improving your body but also aids in keeping your Glands, Nerves and your other internal organs in radiant health.

Namaste

Yo.FA

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

The following are questions that Yoga teachers still need to answer, despite overwhelming evidence that Yoga is “the mother of all health maintenance systems.” Mainstream thought is finally catching up, with the progress Yoga is making, but it has taken 5,000 years for us to get this far.

Seriously, How Can Yoga Make You Lose Weight?

Finally, some of the “Yoga and Weight Loss” studies have come in, and even, a little bit of Yoga is much better, than none, for weight control, but there are a number of reasons why. Yoga is a lifestyle change that includes a safe diet; exercise, adjusting posture, breathing, and a whole lot more. Most of the Yoga practitioners, I know, consume more water, eat more moderately, and take more care of their bodies, in comparison to the many who don’t want to leave the couch.

Aren’t you supposed to jump up and down for at least a half-hour per day to exercise enough to lose weight?

Maybe the masses have been “brainwashed” into thinking that you have to feel the pain, suffer, starve, and have a near-death experience, to lose weight. Depending upon your size, the average person, in a moderate Hatha yoga class, is burning in the neighborhood of 200 calories per hour. There are Vinyasa Yoga classes, that will burn more calories, with much more flowing and active movement. Just remember, that your safety is a top priority, and you will be fine.

There are also Yoga classes where you can feel the pain, heat, and suffer.
This is great for those who feel the need to “pay for their sins.” Maybe this is considered “penance,” for years of consuming excessive pizza, burgers, and buffets. If you feel you must suffer, you may even find a Yoga teacher who missed his or her calling as an interrogator.

If you search hard enough, you will find a Yoga class for every niche. More moderate Yoga classes look easy on the outside of the class, but I have seen many people find them to be a challenge, on the inside of the class. The real benefit of steady Yoga practice is training for longevity. Long-term practice will yield optimum health benefits in mind, body, and spirit.

Couldn’t you just invent a Yoga pill?

This has been the ultimate dream of “couch potatoes,” but every time a weight loss pill comes out, there is a downside. Just look at the health problems that resulted from fen-phen and ephedra. This should wake people up, but someone will always put their life at risk, no matter how many warning labels are printed.

In summary, the benefits of Yoga practice have always existed, through steady and safe practice. Seek out a safe teacher and go from there. Never push yourself to the point of strain. Moderation is key, so it is wise to avoid extremes.

Positive Energy


Cultivating Positive Energy

Most of us who study Yoga have been taught that an abundance of Prana (vital air or vital energy), can be found at the ocean, lakes, large open fields, and in the mountains.

Although the air is different, this same energy can be found where people assemble for a positive reason. For example: when people assemble to meditate or pray.

You can feel it in your home, at a church, mosque, temple, shrine, ashram, seminar, martial arts hall, etc. This is when people bond in a mass for the common good. The energy can be used to help humanity and our little planet for the best.
You can project this energy outward by acts of kindness every moment of your life. This is not to say, you allow yourself to be abused. You can be kind to everyone who comes into your life, without becoming a “doormat.”

You have influence over a limited number of people who you see in a day. Why not make every contact a harmonious and positive experience?

Some examples would be:

Stop making foul gestures, becoming angry, and swearing when another driver on the road has irritated you.

Don’t take advantage of respect for anyone.

Treat everyone as special – no matter what their economic status.

In regard to your next question: What is the mystery behind attracting positive energy?

To be honest, there isn’t one, but I will give you the formula.

Firstly, you have to realize that you have infinite potential, and it comes from within. You also have unlimited potential from the outside, when you engage in prayer, and meditation, on a daily basis. Prayer and meditation will positively charge you, and you will contribute to the benefit of others as a result of it.

In turn, all of this helping others will result in finding people around you who are more than willing to give you a helping hand.

The following ideas will cultivate positive energy around you.

Make it a point to wake up in the morning with excitement and say hello to everyone you come into contact with. This goes for the security guard, janitor, maid, garage attendant, a cashier at the store, and anyone you may overlook in the course of your day.

Stop criticizing your family members, co-workers, friends, and associates.

Be diplomatic first, before giving any advice.

Let your family know that you love them every day.

Be sincere and treat everyone as important.

Take time to give to people. This doesn’t have to be expensive. You could give a sincere compliment, a card, a letter, or flowers.
Become a trustworthy partner with family, friends, co-workers, and associates.

Set goals – whether they are tangible or not. It is a healthy practice to have goals at any age. The final results will be that your positive energy will attract positively charged personalities and successful people will seek you out. If this is a major change for you, it will not happen overnight.

Let me share a related Zulu saying: “Patience is an egg that hatches great birds.”

Why should you become an eternal optimist?

Every one of us has a choice. When you fall down, you must pick yourself up. You can’t blame life’s hurdles or obstacles – you have to find solutions to get over, around, under, or through them.

Focus on your past achievements and learn to be happy with yourself. Everyone has failed, at some point, but we must constructively learn from our past experience.

Your individual approach, to life’s daily obstacles, is the gateway to success or failure. Therefore, success is a matter of choice.

Building Positive Energy

In relation to what most of us see as possible – success is unlimited. When primal man first discovered fire, could he imagine the concept of a forge? When modern man discovered the forge, could he imagine sky scrappers?

To build positive energy for the pursuit of common goals and success, you need a support group. Find and seek out like-minded people.

Beat The Blues With Yoga


The kids are out of control, your job is a hassle and to top it all off, you have no time for yourself. If anyone told you that you could reach a state of physical and emotional bliss, you’d say they were nuts. But believe it or not, you can beat the blues with yoga!

Yoga is a great mood enhancer that requires no drugs or medications. Like all forms of exercise, yoga releases hormones that help ease feelings of stress that often lead to the blahs, blues, or outright depression. Being active keeps your mind away from negative thoughts, and allows you to gain a greater and clearer perspective on the problems you are facing. People who are depressed, or simply feeling “down”, often lack the motivation to exercise. That’s why yoga can be such a great option. It takes far less effort to complete yoga routine as it takes to out to a video or drive to the gym.

A word of warning; if you suffer from more than just the occasional bout of the blues, and feel down for more than two weeks at a time, you should seek professional advice. A doctor or therapist may feel that you need a combination of medication or therapy with exercise.

When you’re feeling down, it’s hard to think positively. People who are depressed often lack the concentration to detach themselves from their thoughts. Yoga is a “moving meditation”, so it is easier to take your mind away from negative thoughts. Our essential inner nature can be blocked by negative thoughts. Apathy, despair, doubt, hopelessness, and sleeping too much or too little are all signs of depression that must be addressed. Yoga is designed to bring you closer to your inner truth, naturally helping with some of the symptoms of depression. With a focus on balance, yoga can help to restore mental stability.

There is a definite connection between mind, body, and spirit that indicates people can beat the blues with yoga. No other form of exercise alone can achieve these same benefits. Certain Asana yoga postures can influence your mood and help to relieve depression, although Asana can cure depression altogether. Asana postures can help increase low energy levels and relieve lethargy. They are also helpful in opening lung capacity to allow more oxygen to reach all parts of your body and neutralize your mood. Ask your yoga instructor to help you learn the postures that will balance your moods.

It’s also possible to beat the blues with yoga because of the calming effects yoga has on the nervous system. Proper breathing techniques are important elements to practicing yoga, as these can help curb your anxiety and quiet your thoughts, allowing you to concentrate on positive rather than negative energies. As you learn more about yoga, you’ll come to understand the connection between your mind and your emotions, and you’ll find that they can help each other.

If you think you may be suffering from severe depression, seek professional advice. Yoga is a drug-free alternative that can be safely practiced in conjunction with any medication or therapy your doctor orders. Some yoga routines are specifically designed to alleviate depression and taught by instructors who have been extensively trained to understand the most therapeutic positions.

Even performing the most basic yoga routines can help lift your mood. While not physically demanding like other forms of exercise, yoga will make you feel much better at the end of a session. Try it and you’ll find that you can beat the blues with yoga!