Have a health Problem? Yoga can solve it. Part 1


What was once ridiculed as a bizarre fad in health has been widely accepted as a way of life for many people. This ‘fad’ however has been in practice for over 5, 000 years and is known as Yoga. Though it is recognized as a form of exercise, some specific poses unique to this method of physical culture have been highly recognized and recommended in the drugless healing cycles for centuries.

With a sensible and proper diet with emphasis on Fruits and Vegetables (the Mucus-less diet), these specific ailments listed below can each be alleviated with a consistent and wise execution of the poses recommended.

1. Acne: Sun Salutations, the shoulder-stand and its counter-poses, head to knee poses, Peacock poses and Abdominal Isolation.

2. Arms (Sagging): Sun Salutations, Incline plane pose, Bow Pose, Wheel pose and the Balancing Poses (peacock and Crow)

3. Asthma: Deep abdominal breathing, Shoulder-stand, bridge and fish Pose, Bow Pose and Corpse pose (Abstinence from animal products and ALL processed foods strongly required! Fruits and Veggies Only!)

4. Back-Ache: Sun Salutations, Fish pose, bow pose

5. Bad Breath: Sun Salutations, Inverted Poses, Bow and Balancing Poses, Cleansing fire Pose, and Breathing exercises. (Short fasts and Restricted Occasional juicy organic fruit diets are recommended)

6. Body Odor: Sun Salutations, the Shoulder-stand (15-20 Minutes after the poses are practiced, use a warm damp rag to wipe the pubic regions)

7. Bust and Chest (firming): Sun Salutations, Bow, Crow Pose

8. Chin-(prevention of double chin): Fish, Wheel, Sun Salutations

9. Common Cold: Sun Salutations, shoulder-stand, and her counter- poses, Breathing Exercises, Nasal Irrigation (Avoid Dairy, Grain, and Animal Products and of course Processed Foods, this is a good time to do a short fast!)

10. Constipation: Inverted Poses, Sun Salutations, head to knee Poses, Bow Pose, the balancing poses (Peacock and crow variations) (Fiber Rich Foods- Dates, celery, melons etc)

This concludes the first part of the 3-part series on how to use Yoga and a Proper diet to alleviate health symptoms.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that was introduced by Yogi Seatmarama. This was a yogic sage that lived in India in the 15th century. This is the most popular form of yoga.

Several other styles of yoga originated from this type including Bikram Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Power Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. The word “hatha” comes from two
Sanskrit terms: “ha” which means “sun” and “tha” which means “moon“. Thus, the Hatha branch of yoga unites pairs of opposites.

Hatha Yoga strives to achieve a balance between the body as well as the mind. It tries to free the spiritual elements of one’s mind through Asanas or physical poses, meditation, and breathing techniques or Pranayama.

Asanas are different body positions that are designed to improve one’s health and remove diseases in the body. These positions were originally meant for meditation because these postures tend to make you feel relaxed for long time periods.

By regularly practicing Asanas, you will gain muscle flexibility, bone strength, the development of concentration, willpower, and self-withdrawal.

Pranayama is the science of breath control. This is an integral part of Hatha Yoga. The yogis of ancient times believe that in order to control one’s mind you had to control the breathing. This practice can also help unleash any dormant energies that are lying deep within your body.

When you practice Hatha Yoga, you are able to recognize your hidden mental and physical potentials. As you continue your performance of Asanas, you will gain more strength and flexibility and learn to stay relaxed during stressful situations.

Bhakti Yoga – The Science Of Devotion

Bhakti means devotion to the Almighty. Bhakti yoga deals with devotion to God and achieving the union with Him. The Sanskrit word bhakti comes from the root bhaj, which means “to adore or worship God. This is the easiest of all yoga types. This branch of yoga teaches the relation between the devotee and the divine. It does not involve any technical or complicated procedures. There is no need of any intellectual capacity to master this yoga. It has appealed to the common man because it gives him a feeling security and develops a kind of reliance and dependence on the object of his devotion.

Bhakti yoga assumes that there is a higher power that has created the universe and is all-powerful. This power has the capacity to confer grace and mercy on him and thus protecting him from all the harms and evils. The devotee or bhakta is expected to make himself fit for receiving this divine grace. For this, he has to practice devotion and virtue. His ultimate goal should be to unite with this divine power and rest eternally in happiness and peace. The devotee surrenders all his motives and acts to the Divine Power. He renounces all responsibilities towards the good or bad consequences of all his actions and ascribes it to the will of the Supreme.

Devotion and faith play a vital role in this branch of yoga. The devotee or bhakta is supposed to be highly religious, should adopt a friendly stance towards all the other living beings including animals, read religious texts, concentrate on the symbol of the Divine, think and wish well for others etc. The beauty of this yoga lies in its simplicity. This has made it one of the most appealing of all the yoga types. Following this yoga develops the peace of mind in an individual. A peaceful individual will always think happy and prosperous thoughts and will thus lead a happy life.

Dress Attire for yoga class.

 

If you are thinking about starting a yoga class you will want to consider what you wear to the class before you go. You will find that yoga involves many different moves or positions while in a single routine. You will need to dress so that you will be comfortable and it won’t create problems for you if were to stretch or move a certain way. You will find that if you don’t wear the correct type of clothing you may not get everything that you would hope to get from a yoga class. You will find that there are many clothing companies that have a variety of clothing for those who are practicing or learning yoga. As you know yoga is increasing in popularity in the past few years and it is considerate for these companies to offer you the clothing.

 

Choose yoga clothing that is comfortable for your body when you are moving. Clothing that is too tight may “ride up” and shift in uncomfortable ways as your limbs rub against one another, for example. You will want to wear clothing that you feel good in and that you feel good about your body. You will want to feel comfortable no matter what size you are so that you can feel less self-conscious if you think that your pants are too tight or such. In all honesty, everyone is probably too engrossed in class to notice what you are wearing, but poor clothing can be a mental block and prevent you from learning.

 

You will also find that poor clothing choices can be quite embarrassing. Remember that yoga involves inverting your body in many cases. Don’t go with too loose of clothing because the sag or fall of the clothing may show off more than you want to. Not only is this embarrassing for you, but you will also notice that everyone else will feel uncomfortable. Clothing that is too tight can be stretched too far and rip during class. Tight clothing can also be too revealing if there are members of the opposite sex enrolled in your yoga class. Always be respectful towards those who are around you and always wear things that are comfortable.

 

Yoga is an exercise, and like all exercises, you will sweat. Take this into consideration when choosing the fabric that you want to wear. Also, think about the fact that some fabrics will absorb the sweat so that you can remain dry during the workout, but still burn those calories.  If your clothing is wet, it could be dangerous to attempt some positions, and the same is true if your clothing is too loose.

 

If you aren’t sure what clothing you will want to wear to your classes, you will want to do some of the basic moves and see how you feel or look in the clothing. You will want to choose outfits that are comfortable and that you feel good about. You will want to also ask your teacher for any suggestions. You will find that your clothing is very important when it comes to beginning a yoga class.

Baddha Konasana – A Great Asana For Hip And Groin

 

 


Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) is also known as the Cobbler’s Pose because of the similarity to a cobblers sitting position. It is an excellent asana which helps your groin and hip position. It is a forward bending asana which starts off from Staff Pose or Dandasana. You have to bend your knees by bringing the soles of the feet together. This forward bending asana is very different to the other forward bending asanas. The focus area in this asana is to open the hip and help the pelvic area. This help to the pelvic area stimulates the reproductive organs which are of great help to women as well as men. The performance of this asana also helps in alleviating the menstrual pain problems. It is very useful to have a comfortable childbirth, if practiced regularly during the period of pregnancy. Also clears menopause-related problems.

Baddha Konasana stimulates the abdominal organs as well as the ovaries, prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys. It energizes your heart which improves the blood circulation and provides the all needed help to your body. This asana stretches the inner thigh, groin, and knees which gives your body an agile and toned look. If you have problems like depression or anxiety, this asana can help you overcome that problem. People with sciatica problem can also be treated by performing this asana regularly. It is a great asana because of its tremendous benefits for our aching and paining body. Known to be a therapeutic treatment for flat feet and similar other problems to be dealt by this asana.

 

The forward bending asana helps in opening the back of the Anahata chakra. It can be greatly used for back pain problems. This asana should either be done in the beginning to open up the hips or at the end to relax your body. You should avoid doing this asana if you have a groin or knee injury. It is very important to perform this asana while sitting on a blanket as it gives support to your thighs. This asana is very important if it is done properly and enough time is given on every step. This is a very hard pose to manage on your own; maybe you should take help from your yoga teacher or a partner. You can make this pose much deeper by adding variations to it. The can be done by stretching their arms out in the front with the palms on the floor and forehead placed on the ground by extending the spine.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions On Yoga

Yoga has been around for an incredibly long time and over that period different practitioners have added their own refinements and styles into the basic Yoga discipline. There are so many different styles now it is nearly impossible to count, but they all stem from the same core philosophy and methodology. Unfortunately, the multiple different styles often lead newcomers to the exercise discipline to become very confused as to what they are doing and what they can hope to achieve with Yoga. In this article, we answer some of the common questions.

What is Yoga?

This question is the most common from newcomers. Most people have a general idea but they are not sure where Yoga fits into the world. Is it an exercise? Is it a philosophy? Is it a form of physical therapy? Is it a spiritual process? The answer is that to different people Yoga is all of these things. At its core, it is a group of exercises and poses which are very low impact and work by strengthening the body and increasing its flexibility through static exercise. This means that each pose will ‘stretch’ a certain area and the body benefits from this stretch by increased blood flow and energy release. Many of the exercises release tension from areas of the body that regular activities do not cater to. Because Yoga is performed slowly and with a strong emphasis on correct breathing patterns there is also a strong mental and spiritual element to the exercise. It is seen as a way of cleansing mind, body, and spirit.

Do I Need To Be Religious To Get The Most Out Of Yoga?

As mentioned above Yoga is different things to different people. There are many people in the world who perform Yoga purely for its spiritual benefits. There are many others who perform Yoga purely for the physical benefits associated with it. What you get out of Yoga will depend largely on your mindset, your openness to new ideas and your ability to let yourself fall fully into a meditative state. For some people, this is very difficult at first, but that is still not going to prevent them from getting the physical benefits associated with Yoga classes. You will find that even if you do not have any strong spiritual base you will still benefit from an increase in your self-confidence and personal contentment.

Where Can I Do Yoga?

Practically anywhere. Many people practice Yoga in their homes every day. Others will go to the local park and practice Yoga with a group of friends. To begin with, it’s a good idea to inquire at your local gym about Yoga classes, many of them will be holding Yoga every day. Even if they aren’t they will be able to tell you where the best place to learn Yoga is. Some local councils sponsor Yoga classes in their area in recognition of the benefits to people who exercise regularly. One of the big advantages of a Yoga based exercise regime is that there is no expensive equipment to buy and then store around your house. Some poses are assisted by cushions to support the body, but in general, the only thing you need is your body.

I’m Not Very Fit – Is Yoga For Me?

Yes. Very much so. One of the fantastic things about Yoga is that the exercises and poses you will learn can be adjusted to your level. Fitness isn’t usually a problem because the exercises are slow and often static, but your body will become better at performing them over time as your strength and flexibility improve. Knowing your limit and ensuring that you don’t ‘ease up’ out of habit gain the best benefit.

Hopefully, you will now have a good understanding of what yoga is and why you should be doing it. Remember that Yoga is something that once learned can be practiced anywhere you like and as often as you like. Indeed, this is one of the key components of Yoga’s popularity.

 

Ashtanga Yoga – Is it right for you?


Ashtanga Yoga is a method of yoga that is taught in India by Sri K Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga involves the synchronization of breathing with a progressive series of postures. This is a process that produces a kind of intense internal heat as well as a drenching, purifying sweat that is supposed to detoxify the muscles and organs of the body. The result is a light and strong body, improved circulation, and a calm mind.

Ashtanga Yoga Background

Ashtanga Yoga is a method of yoga that was recorded by Vamana Rishi in an ancient manuscript called the Yoga Korunta. This article was said to contain lists of a variety of groupings of asanas and highly original teachings on the subjects of vinyasa, bandhas, drishti, mudras and philosophy.

The text of this article was handed down to Sri T. Krishnamacharya by his teacher Rama Mohan Brahmachari in the early 1900’s. It later came into the possession of Pattabhi Jois when he studied with Krishnamacharya beginning in 1927. Jois has been teaching this type of yoga since 1948 from his yoga shala.

The literal meaning of Ashtanga Yoga is “eight-limbed” yoga as put forth by sage Patanjali. According to him, the path of internal cleansing in order to reveal the universal self is based on the following eight spiritual practices:

* Yama which is moral codes

* Niyama which is based on study and self-purification

* Asana or posture

* Pranayama which is controlled breathing

* Pratyahara which is sense control

* Dharana which is concentration

* Dhyana which is meditation and

* Samadhi which is contemplation

Easy Meditation Techniques

Meditation may be a challenge for most people to do a habit. But it is not as difficult as some may think. There are several easy meditation techniques that anyone can follow toward attaining a deeper sense of relaxation. Meditation is an effective weapon against banishing stress brought about by the rigors of life. You should try it out and here are the simple steps that you can follow to help you out.

One of the first things is finding a place where you can sit comfortably. It should also be someplace where you can have few distractions as possible. Distractions are not good when you are meditating since they can keep you from developing your focus and concentration and keep your mind away from everything. Once you get the hang of meditating by keeping away the distractions, you can also do your meditation while riding the train, bus or plane.

After you have a place where you can do your meditation in comfort, you now need to choose a mantra. It can be any word that you feel can help you feel relaxed and calm. Try to go with words for the mantra that really appeals to you. It can even be your own name as long as it helps you feel positive and be aware of your meditation.

Once you have yourself comfortable and have chosen a mantra, close your eyes and start repeating the mantra to yourself. Let the mantra do what it wishes. If it is something that you wish to repeat it slowly, fast, quiet or loud, then do so. Try not to let outside thoughts to disturb you while you are doing this. Just ignore them and focus on repeating your mantra.

As you repeat the mantra, try not to get distracted and just be aware of what you are saying and focus on it. Learn also to remain relaxed and calm as you do this. In time you might sometimes find yourself going off on a daydream and stop repeating your mantra. Just try to refocus and continue on with your meditation before you ward off any further.

The key to this simple meditation is trying not to let distractions come before you when you meditate. It can be a bit hard sometimes to do first, but it will develop along the way and will help you develop your focus as well as awareness better. After some time, stop repeating your mantra and remain quiet while you are still sitting comfortably. Do this for about a couple of minutes or so. Avoid getting up immediately after your meditation. It would be similar to jumping up just after having a deep sleep. It would cause a lot of stress in itself.

The other key to effectively make use of such easy meditation techniques is to do it as a habit. Try to allow some free time in your schedule for your meditation. Making it a habit would make you improve your ability to keep out distractions when you do not need them. This meditation technique can be done in as little as ten minutes or so. It is not such a long time to spend on something that can provide you with a lot of benefits especially when it comes to battling everyday stress.

Anuloma-Viloma – Yogic Breathing For Better Health

Swami Kuvalyanand once said: “Yoga has a message for the human body, for the human mind and the human spirit.”

This is a truism as a healthy body is a prime requisite for success and happiness in life. People are increasingly being convinced that yoga makes for good health, contentment, and happiness in present day stressful life and is not just an exercise regimen.

In this article, we will discuss Anuloma-Viloma (alternate breathing) pranayama. Pranayama simply means proper ‘management’ of the vital force – prana. Although the basic principle remains the same, many different types of pranayama have been devised, each with its own unique technique. Anuloma-Viloma or Nadi shuddhi pranayama (nerve purifying pranayama) is one such kind and is considered one of the basic forms.

The practice of Anuloma Viloma is somewhat like the squad that regulates traffic on roads, looks after their cleanliness, beautification, etc and keeps the traffic moving smoothly and efficiently. The method involves breathing in (pooraka) through one nostril and vice versa. Therefore this pranayama has the name anuloma viloma, i.e. alternate breathing.

To practice this, you have to sit in any of the yogic sitting postures. To begin with, carry on normal breathing applying moola bandha. Keeping a stable moola bandha (root lock), breathe in and breathe out completely. Ensure that the moola bandha is not loosened during the process. Pause for a while between breathing in and breathing out. Breathe in deeply through the left nostril and breathe out through the right; then breathe in through the right and out through the left. Continue breathing this way, i.e. alternately from left and right nostrils, for one to three minutes.

After reaching a comfort level in this way, you may move to the next stage. Close the right nostril with the right thumb keeping the other four fingers together. Now, slowly breathe in through the left nostril at a uniform speed. Repeat with the other nostril. While breathing in, raise the shoulders and expand the chest taking the ribs up. The lower abdominal region, however, must be held in.

Benefits: The respiratory passage is cleaned and this prepares one well for the practice of other pranayamas. Breathing becomes easy and regulated. The mind becomes and heartbeat rhythmic. Also aids in enhancing concentration, memory, and other mental faculties.

Contraindications: Severe pain in the abdomen, swelling on account of appendicitis, enlargement of liver, very delicate bowels or intestines, disorders of the lungs, severe throat infections, growth in the nose (polyps) or blockage of the nasal passage due to cold, etc.

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.