Monthly Archives: November 2017

Getting Healthy With Yoga

People have always believed that yoga can do more for your body than just keeping it fit and flexible. Research now shows it can help weight control, lower back pain, insomnia and even heart disease. Studies indicate yoga helps with weight loss and maintenance. In a study of 15,000 adults, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those who did not practice yoga gained approximately 18.5 pounds more over a 10-year period than those who practiced for at least four years. There was also a study done at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. This study found people who regularly practiced yoga and meditation, exercised and watched their diet lost more weight than those who exercised, and ate a balanced diet, but did not practice yoga.

Additionally Yoga can improve your range of motion in your hips, reducing lower back pain. A study done at The American College of Sport’s Medicine, suggest that yoga increases lower back flexibility and decreases pain. It was a small study conducted on older women age 44-62. Persistent back pain however should always be professional diagnosed before embracing on any exercise program including yoga. Yoga’s backbends and forward bends may exacerbate some back conditions.

Yoga can also calm your body and your mind, which can help people who suffer from insomnia. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD., an instructor of medicine, division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School recently published a study. He found a half hour to 45 minutes of daily yoga practice with a focus on meditation and breathing, helped chronic insomniacs sleep through the night. The subjects increased their overall sleep by 12%.

Yoga breathing can help lower your heart rate and calm your nervous system. The breathing techniques can help alleviate serious anxiety and depression and reduce stress. Practicing yoga for an hour and a half three times a week can make your heart healthier in just six weeks. A recent study out of Yale University School of Medicine had 33 men and women who practiced yoga at that rate. This lowered their blood pressure and improved their blood vessels’ ability to expand and contract by 17%. Researchers believe the improvements are based on the stress-reducing benefits of yoga.

Finding Balance And Health With Yoga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facts About Chakra Awakening

Chakra awakening is highly a debatable topic, with two distinctly different schools of thought. The answer could be, “Yes” or “No”, depending upon which school of thought you are trained in.

Firstly, let’s cover the side that would say, “Yes” to helping you share the experience of Chakra awakening. There is no shortage of detailed information, made available by enlightened Yoga enthusiasts like Anodea Judith.

Anodea Judith has made a Chakra balancing kit available, which gives a tour of the seven main Chakra system, detailed exercises, meditations, a workbook, and the path to Chakra awakening. She also has more books available, confers with other enlightened Yoga enthusiasts, and teaches workshops on this very subject.

There are many other books and CD’s on this subject by a variety of knowledgeable authors and enlightened Yoga practitioners. All of this information is easy for the public to “get their hands on.” So, here is a school of thought that believes this information should be shared and has gone out of its way to mass produce this information.

On the other hand, some Yoga teachers do not want the negative and positive qualities, within each Chakra, to be casually explored by students, without a competent Yoga teacher present. This is with the student’s safety in mind.

Furthermore, the amount of previous Yoga experience a student has is a factor in being able to control emotions, such as fear, lust, anger, and depression that can come boiling to the surface as a result of a Chakra awakening.

When, or if, a student is ready for Chakra awakening, should be determined by the teacher; this is not for every student. Some students put pressure on themselves, which may lead to anxiety, causing negative qualities of the Chakras to surface, during an awakening.

In summary: One of the results of steady Yoga training is that we can get a better handle on our emotions than most. We also realize that we are not enlightened or perfect all the time. If you want to experience Chakra awakening with an enlightened Yoga enthusiast, you should seek out a competent Yoga teacher, who is willing to help you.

You could also get similar guidance from a Reiki teacher or Reiki master. Reiki teachers are very familiar with the Chakra system and very helpful. If it is not possible to work with a Reiki master, and you have been regularly practicing Yoga for at least two years, the Chakra balancing kit, I mentioned above, gives you step-by-step guidance toward awakening the Chakras.

Lastly, this is not a race, and please don’t put pressure on yourself toward self-perfection.

Go ahead and Relax-Yoga’s way

If you go to the zoo or tune your TV to the Discovery channel, an observance of nature will show us that animals love relaxation and sleep. They often relax and get as much sleep as they want.

Rest and sleep are essential to recharge our nervous energy as our physical, emotional and mental balance depends on the quantity and quality of these vital necessities.

With the stress of our daily jobs, traffic while commuting to and from these jobs, schools, studies, parenting etc having a relaxation technique to fall back on will be indispensable for any and everyone.

Thanks to Yoga, such a technique is well within reach. It is known friends as the Corpse or Relaxation Pose.

It mostly involves lying motionless while applying a combination of deep square breathing and mental suggestions.

This following pose/exercise will show you how.

Technique:

-Lay motionless on your back with the arms and legs slightly extended.
-Start off by breathing deeply in counts of 5 that being in a ratio of 5:5:5
(inhalation-retention-exhalation)
-After a few minutes of this, begin to make what is defined as auto suggestions
to the limbs starting from the toes by mentally affirming that “My toes are hereby relaxed, My feet are hereby relaxed” etc…working upwards to the head and internally through the internal organs.
-After several minutes of this, resume the deep square breathing for about 2-3 minutes.
-Next, begin to mentally chant this Yogic quote: “I am that pure consciousness or self” (You may substitute this with a verse from the books of your religious faith for example: “Those who wait upon God shall renew their strength” or any energizing quote for that matter like a simple “I am being relaxed and energized at this moment…”
-Continue mentally affirming this phrase for several minutes, then roll over to your right side and remain motionless while all the while maintaining the 5:5:5 breathing schedule for an additional minute.
-Finally, arise from the position.

Personally, I employ the use of a timed metronome or the steady tick of a nearby wall clock to keep time and sequence. Moreover, I often practice spurts of this technique during my yoga session and a full 15 minutes afterwards. At the office, I sometimes just sit back in the chair and apply the deep breathing and autosuggestions mostly with my eyes closed.

However, one truth remains, whenever one needs to relax, this simple Yogic technique does offer a safe and effective means of attaining this.

I always tell people: “Hey if it is said God took a break on the 7th day after making the world, who are we as humans not to take time out to rest?”
That said, empower yourself with the knowledge of this technique offered by Yoga whenever you need time to just relax.

Enjoying Yoga to Live Healthy Aging

Yoga is a sort of exercise. Yoga assists one with controlling various aspects of the body and mind. Yoga helps you to take control of your Central Nervous System (CNS) and more. Enjoying yoga on a daily scale will build you up, which you will notice changes (Good changes), such as a boosted self-esteem. Your body will feel stronger also. For more than 5000 years, people have enjoyed yoga. Yoga derived from the India nations, which many believed that the act has helped millions of American citizens take control of their body and mind. Yoga has proven to reduce stress, which promotes the nervous system helping it to stay strong. Yoga when enjoyed on a regularly scale is a great method to help you with many pressures. Yoga combines spirituality, exercise, positive thinking, breathing and so on to help you enjoy healthy aging.

The Pros and Cons in Yoga:
Yoga is a valued practice for many people worldwide. Yoga incorporates fitness, health, gymnastics, and training in a set of rules. Yoga helps you to maintain or loose weight. Yoga is a stress reducing machine. Yoga will train your mind, since it teaches you to control your thoughts through meditation and breathing. Breathing right is essential to yoga’s creators. When you practice yoga, it keeps you in contact with your inner self. You learn to balance your mind and body, which leads to good health. Your emotions are controlled as well, which means fears, doubts, and other negative influences will not take control of your life. Rather you will have control. As you practice yoga, you will feel comfortable with you and the people around you. The world will become yours, since you learn to communicate effectively and stop sweating the small stuff. The cons in yoga, includes that some types of yoga training is not right for everyone. Another con inside yoga is that you sometimes have to modify the workouts to benefit your body type and to withhold the workout suited for your strengths. This is not a con necessarily, but it can be if you have to figure out where beginners start.

How to get started:
The first thing you should do is see your family doctor. Make sure you are able to enjoy the type of yoga you choose. When your doctor approves of your choice of yoga steps start out slowly. Guide your way into mediate exercising. Yoga will put you in connection with your spiritual side, so prepare to find a new you. When you first start yoga, perhaps you would benefit from joining groups that practice yoga. The group sessions may inspire you to continue your journey to healthy aging. Having support is essential for all of us, which yoga groups can become your support team. If you cannot find a group in your area, visit your local library. You can also purchase books that train you how to enjoy yoga. Videos are available as well.

Where do I go after I’ve trained in yoga?
After you have taking the steps to get started, you will need to find a quiet area that makes you feel comfortable. You want to avoid interruptions while practicing yoga.

When will I notice the change in me?
Like everything in life, you will not notice a change in you right away. It takes time to notice or feel the changes. If you do this like your suppose to do on a regular basis you will see some changes gradually. Keep in mind that yoga is teaching you how to control your mind, body and emotions. Work with yoga and yoga will work with you.

Find Your Way To Lose Pounds With Yoga

We all know that overweight along with obesity are for centuries no longer a fashion trend, instead it has even attracted many illnesses and problems to health. Yoga as a concept is simply “The art of living” that always provides us with solutions for mental concentration. A way to stay active and is also an opportunity to keep a positive force for the body and the mind. It provides us ways to lose weight.

Overweight issues have increased dramatically as our lives become faster, problematic and hard to handle, even considered by many an unavoidable state. Thanks to the increment of food our scrap paunch had increased and we spend a lot of energy to sustain it.

To adopt Yoga like atool to lose weight is a good option that considers all the aspects of obesity (mental, physical and emotional). It is agility and efficiency in the person and it can be for people of any age. It helps to obtain the control of our minds and behaviors including the feeding habits.

It is always advisable to study the reasons and the symptoms of obesity before beginning with the treatment. It provides us an advantage to have a better understanding of our body and to correct the frequent errors that we fight day by day.

The most common symptoms are clearly the increment of weight and feeding, frustration, emotional deficiencies and mental stress.

All those conditions mentioned before are the main causes people tend to quit their journey to lose weight, so try to keep in mind that Yoga can help you go through this conditions. Yoga has a very important role play in the treatment against the obesity and the technical effects of the internal glands as much as the mental conditions of a person.