Category Archive Yoga

ByAnxious Minds

Benefiting From Your Yoga Practice

* Go to yoga class with an empty stomach. Yoga is full bending, twisting, lengthening, stretching, and strength moves. Eating a big dinner before that kind of movement could result in you cramping up or feeling nauseous and having to leave the class or not participate as fully as you’d like.

* Communicate with your yoga instructor. If you have a bad back or a sprained ankle, let your instructor know before class. She or he will offer you adjusted versions of poses or give you a nod when you should skip a pose that could make your condition worse.

* Leave your cell phones and pagers outside. Don’t just put them on silent mode, but literally keep them in the car. This is not only a favor to your classmates and their focus, but your mind should be focused only on yoga and not concerned with whether not someone is trying to contact you about work or spilled juice on the living room carpet.

* Don’t be late and don’t leave early. This disrupts the instructors train of thought and the concentration of others in the class. Also, you certainly won’t get everything you can out of your hour if your hour is cut to 50 minutes before you’ve  even begun.

* Be respectful of others in the class. This means keeping your voice down when you talk to others and in general, keeping conversation to a minimum. Bring your own towel or yoga mat if you need to and make sure that you are clean and not wearing any perfumes or strong scents.

If props are used, make sure that you put yours away when your finished and by all means, leave them there for the next class.

ByAnxious Minds

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is intended to scientifically warm up and stretch tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the proper order that they should be performed, with twenty six series of challenging asanas. Designed by Bikram Choudhury, these twenty six series of Bikram Yoga posture exercises methodically move oxygenated, fresh blood to the entire body, to every fiber and organ, repairing every single system to a healthy working condition, as nature has designed it to be; the result, toned muscles, proper weight, great sense of well-being, and an energetic good health.

There are numerous benefits of Bikram Yoga and its twenty six asanas; however, here are some of the most asked about areas on benefits of Bikram Yoga postures:

Pranayama Breathing
This gives mental relaxation, and works on the respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems of the body, as well as detoxification of the body.

Half Moon Pose
This posture helps ease constipation, lower back pain, bronchi stress, stomach obesity, frozen shoulders, and scoliotic deformities. Other benefits of Bikram Yoga half moon pose include working out the pancreas, colon, and kidneys, as well as working on the trapezius, hamstrings, deltoid, and pectoralis major.

Eagle Pose
The benefits of Bikram Yoga eagle pose includes helping the pelvic area to open, alleviating knee arthritis and joint pain, strengthening the lower limbs, relieving sciatica, and improving flexibility of the ankles and toes. It also works on the deltoids and quadriceps.

Standing Bow Pose
This Bikram Yoga posture boosts circulation to the lungs and heart, perks up spine elasticity through spine compressing, assists with lower back pain, and opens lungs and diaphragm.

Triangle Pose
This Bikram Yoga pose is good for the kidneys, and it helps in chemical imbalances of the system, as well as helping in alleviate constipation, colitis, spondylitis, menstrual disorders, hip and back pain. It also gives cardiovascular benefits, as well as working on the circulatory, immune, muscular, digestive, and reproductive systems.

Tree Pose
The tree pose creates knee and hip mobility, helps alleviate inflammation of the lower back, and releases tension of the abdominals.

Toe Stand
This Bikram Yoga posture creates balance in mind and body, strengthens weak joints and stomach muscles, as well as helps with knee problems, arthritis, or gout problems.

These are just some of the benefits of Bikram Yoga postures which deliver total health through strengthening and balancing every system of the body to prevent injury, illness, and limit the effects of ageing.

ByAnxious Minds

Basic Yoga Postures and their Variations

1. THE COBRA Do this in easy stages. Lie down, face prone, legs tightly together and stretched back, forehead on the floor. Put your hands, palm down, just under your shoulders. Inhale and raise your head, pressing your neck back, now use your hands to push your trunk up until you are bending in a beautiful arc from your lower spine to the back of your neck. You need go no further than this. However, if you are supple enough, you can now straighten your arms completely, bend the legs at the knees and drop your head back to touch your feet. Even if your head goes nowhere near your feet, drop it back as far as possible and hold the posture with deep breathing. Come out of the posture very slowly, returning to the face prone posture. Relax with your head to one side. Repeat.

2. THE BOW This is also an extreme version of the simple bow. It is surprising how many children can do it immediately. Take it, once again, in easy stages. Lie face prone on your mat. If you are very slim have a nice thick, padded mat for this one. Inhale and bend your knees up. Stretch back with your arms and catch hold of your ankles, keeping fingers and thumbs all together on the outside. Inhale and at the same time raise your head and chest, pulling at your ankles and lifting knees and thighs off the floor. Breathe normally, trying to kick up your legs higher and lifting your head up. You are now bent like a bow, balancing the weight of your body on your abdomen. You can stop right here but if you can still stretch further, then slide your hands down your legs, lift them higher, keep the knees together and pull back as much as you can. Hold for a few normal deep breaths, then relax back to the face-prone position, head to one side.

3. THE SHOOTING BOW In Sanskrit this is known as Akarna Dhanurasana and one leg is drawn up like a shooting bow. Sit with both legs stretched out in front and back straight. Reach forward with both hands and clasp your feet, catching the right foot with the left hand and the left foot with the right hand. Inhale, bend the left knee and pull the foot across the body, close to your chest, pointing the elbow up and twisting the body slightly to the right. The left hand stays firm and tight, holding the right foot. Hold posture with normal breathing, release slowly, and relax. Repeat on other side. In the beginning it is enough to hold the bent left leg with the right hand. When this is easy, stretch down and hold the left foot with the right hand. Continue to pull on the left foot, lifting it higher on each exhalation.

ByAnxious Minds

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 even 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 with 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 spirits. 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!

ByAnxious Minds

Breathing and Relaxing

Breathing and Relaxing

You don’t need to fall into the stress mode of life. You can use breath to relax, rather than stress, your mind and body. Yoga helps you to relearn that natural state that your body and mind want to be in: relaxation.

Deep breathing is both calming and energizing. The energy you feel from a few minutes of careful breathe is not nervous or hyper, but that calm, steady energy we all need. Slow, steady, and quiet breathing gives a message to your nervous system: Be calm.

Whole books have been written on yoga breathing. Here is one 5-minute Breath Break. (Read through the instructions several times before you try the practice.)

1. Sit with your spine as straight as possible. Use a chair if necessary but don’t slump into it. Feet flat on the floor with knees directly over the center of your feet. Use a book or cushion under your feet if they do not rest comfortably on the floor. Hands are on the tops of your legs.

2. Close your eyes gently and let them rest behind closed lids.

3. Think about your ribs, at the front, back, and at the sides of your body. Your lungs are behind those ribs.

4. Feel your lungs filling up, your ribs expanding out and up. Feel your lungs emptying, your ribs coming back down and in. Don’t push the breath.

5. The first few times you do this, do it for 2 to 3 minutes, then do it for up to 5 to 10 minutes. At first, set aside a time at least once a day to do this. When you learn how good it makes you feel, you’ll want to do it at other times as well.

Just as one stressful situation goes into your next challenge, relaxing for a few minutes every day gradually carries over into the rest of your daily life and activities.

ByAnxious Minds

Benefits of 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 ís 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 health 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 ìntolerance 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. Most of the original advocates of this theory are now ìnursing 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.