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Ancient History Of Yoga

Ancient History of Yoga

Although yoga has only recently become more popular in the west, the practice of yoga has been used in the east for thousands of years. The history of yoga begins in the times of ancient Indian asceticism, which was found in the Indus Valley civilization which existed in 3300 to 1700 BC. When examining historical sites where there are ruins with figures in artwork and on walls, the history of yoga can be seen since there are often figures that are in positions that are distinctly yoga poses that are still used today. There are other picture histories that show many different yoga activities that confirm the history of yoga in this, very ancient, civilization.

The Next Civilizations

There are some other practices of yoga mentioned in the Vedas, which are found in 800 to 100 BC and are still used in different meditations. The history of yoga continues into the recent times as the practice of the different forms of yoga has been refined and reconfigured throughout the ages.

There are many different types of yoga that have been passed down through the years in the history of yoga. There is the Hatha yoga style which is usually slow paced and gentle in comparison to other styles and is a good introductory style for users to practice when beginning. There is also the Vinyasa style of yoga in the history of yoga. This type of yoga provides a combination of the yoga poses and the breathing techniques that are practiced in this form of yoga. This style is a little more vigorous than the Hatha style, and there are some combined poses that follow one after another in a series. One common series is called the Sun Salutation, which is often used in repetition to warm up or warm down in a yoga class.

Another style of yoga in the history of yoga is called the Iyengar style, which emphasizes not just the poses, but also the alignment of the body in the poses to make sure that the person is doing them correctly. The Kundalini style is one that uses the breathing method of rapid breaths in conjunction with the physical poses to create a freeing of the energy in the body, thus making it healthier. Finally, there is the style of yoga that is called Bikram yoga, which is practiced in very hot conditions and is very vigorous. The room should be about 95 to 100 degrees so that the participants sweat a lot to let out toxins.

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Yoga Props, A Purchasing Guide

There are many benefits to using yoga props. Yoga props enhance your routine by allowing deeper stretches, proper alignment and better balance. You should always work at your own comfort level to avoid injuries and to achieve the optimal benefits from your yoga practice. Yoga props help both the beginning and experienced yoga practitioner. In this article I will list some of the more common props that you can purchase along with a few others that are not as common but would be good to purchase.

Yoga Mats

A mat is an essential purchase. Some yoga classes will rent mats; there are many that require you to bring your own mat. If you practice yoga at home you definitely need your own mat. Yoga mats are also called sticky mats because they provide traction and stability. Yoga mats come in a variety of thicknesses and lengths. Be sure, when purchasing your mat, to choose one that corresponds with your needs.

Yoga Brick or Block

Blocks or Bricks help students achieve proper alignment. Blocks or Bricks are generally nine inches long, six inches wide, and three inches high. You can purchase foam, wood or Eco-friendly cork bricks. Yoga bolsters are a must-have purchase for prenatal yoga but it can be of benefit to everyone. Bolsters are cylindrical, rectangular or square shaped pillows. It is used to support the back, legs and stomach. Bolsters can help people with injuries or are suffering from back pain. Bolsters can also be used as you relax around the house.

Yoga Straps

Straps can help to increase flexibility and allows you to hold your positions longer. They are available in a variety of sizes.

OTHER ITEMS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER PURCHASING

Eye Pillows

Eye Pillows are small, weighted pillows that cover the eyes. They help to relax the eyes. Eye pillows can be purchased in a variety of fabrics along with different fillings. The covering of the pillows can either be made from synthetic or natural materials. They can be filled with aromatherapy herbs or flaxseed.

Neck Pillow

Yoga neck pillows are cylindrical in shape and are usually filled with buckwheat hulls. They are covered in cotton or silk. Some neck pillows come with and without scents. Neck pillows conform to the shape of the neck to give support.

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Benefits Of Using A Zafu For Meditation

Zafus – Creating Proper Posture Daily
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern cultures as a means of finding truth and enlightenment. Today it has been picked up by many westerners as a means of relieving stress and strain in their daily lives. However, many westerners find the traditional lotus sitting position on the bare ground a bit too strenuous on their bottom and legs; therefore, the use of a zafu is recommended to provide greater comfort. A zafu is the name given to a special cushion you can sit on for meditating. They help you maintain the correct posture as well as provide comfort for your bottom during your session.

Filling Meditation Cushions
Zafus are manufactured out of cotton fabrics with natural fiber kapok filling. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs to suit personal taste and preference. They also come with removable covers, facilitating the laundering when the exterior becomes soiled. The traditional zafu is round; however, other shapes are coming out on the market to offer variation and levels of comfort. These cushions also vary in size and thickness to adjust to a person’s body and weight level for individualized comfort.

Thickness of the Zafu
There are advantages to using a meditation cushion as opposed to any other type cushion for your sessions. These cushions are especially designed for meditation; the kapok filling provides a firm, yet pliable surface to sit on for comfort and back posture, and the natural fibers are both hygienic and hypoallergenic, making them a perfect selection for those who are prone to allergies. In addition, the diversity in thickness and size can complement the size and weight of your body, customizing your cushion to your exact specifications. Each cushion comes with its own cover (or you can purchase separately) that can be easily removed for washing when the need arises.

Different-Shaped Zafus
New zafu styles include the crescent shape cushion designed to provide additional space for your bottom. Thickness of the cushion can be self adjusted by adding or removing kapok to the desired depth, providing extra padding for heavier set people or less for those who are thinner and smaller boned. For those who desire more height, support cushions are available to place under the zafu, raising your body to a higher level.

Meditation Chairs – The Throne of Meditation
As an alternative to these cushions, some people prefer to use a meditation chair during their sessions. You should feel free to use whatever is most comfortable for you and helps you focus on meditating itself so you can fully benefit from the experience. Meditating offers a number of wonderful mental and physical benefits to the body which can help improve your mental and physical health, regardless of the seating arrangement used.

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Seeming Infertility Can Be Solved By Yoga Poses

The second half of the preceding century showed a rising number of partners facing difficulties at conception, along with a growing number of women delaying pregnancy until their 30s or 40s. It is a biological reality that womens capacity for conception beyond the 30s diminishes. Thus, many women and couples have learned to resort to medicinal assistance to getting pregnant.

Any effort at getting pregnant can douse a woman with so many anxieties and emotional stresses, more so if that attempt to conceive calls for going through fertility treatment or IVF. Increasingly, physicians are endorsing yoga, combined with the medical treatment. This is to help relieve their stresses, and at the same time, boost their chances at conceiving.

A Harvard research shows a greater number of odds, at least three times more, favoring those whose fertility treatments are boosted by yoga done in synch with the treatments”.

What does yoga have to do with priming up the womans body to conceive and get pregnant?

It is already a generally-accepted fact that stress is one huge setback for a couple conceiving with difficulty . Stress can disrupt a womans regular cycles so as to cause a hindrance to ovulation in women and sperm production and/or motility for the men. Yoga, thus, serves as emotional release, that enables relief of anxiety and stress, presenting more chances of pregnancy.

Regular performance of yoga can 1) increase the couples development towards each other 2) reinforce and intensify their relationship, and 3) grant them the capacity to jointly deal with the pressure of attempting to conceive a baby.

Yoga courses directed at fertility enhancement assist a womans capacity to conceive in other ways. There are postures that are concentrated on enhancing the flow of energy in the second chakra, the seat of creation, the area where the reproductive organs are located. There are also re-freshening postures that guide the body in preparation for conception. These help relax the abdominal region, eliminating tension from the area of the ovaries,uterus and fallopian tubes. Prone postures extend the abdominal area, thus allowing more blood to circulate to the reproductive organs.

There are also poses specifically performed after sex that effectively work on women’s capacity to conceive. The “Vipartita Kirani,” where the legs are put up on the wall, is a common one. This is to make certain that the sperm remains in the best spot for fertilization, for as long as it is possible.

Finally, yoga can correct erratic hormonal levels which may be the reason for the infertility. There are yoga postures that improve gland functioning, which helps stabilize the hormone levels.

There is no one single report that Yoga, by itself, can promote pregnancy. But regularly doing the postures for fertility concerns can greatly diminish the stress and anxiety of attempting pregnancy.

Coordinated medical treatments and yoga-directed programs certainly prepares the body and mind towards pregnancy and increase possibilities of conception, finally making your hoped-for baby closer to reality.

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Tips For Meditation Enthusiasts

Meditation has suddenly gained prominence and popularity amongst many people in the world. It is a form of spiritual heightening with regular practice and exercise. It is a great form of focus and concentration where one can attain peace of mind and inner happiness. With the hectic and chaotic life that we lead, some inner peace, satisfaction and a genuine sense of self awareness is very crucial otherwise stress and chaos will get to us which will eventually lead to a mental breakdown. Well, meditation, especially for beginners, is a rough ride because it takes time to get it correct. But do not get disheartened and preserve! Here are some guidelines on how to go about doing it:

Breathing in the correct fashion is very crucial. Properly inhaling of oxygen and exhaling out the carbon dioxide is very important. Proper breathing will make your mind more focused, pump more blood and regulate the pressure in the body! Did you know that is you breathe deeply, it helps your mind focus more and this is the center stage of meditation!

Did you know that chanting Mantras help? Chant which ever mantra you know and see the effect it has on your breathing and focusing capabilities. It slows your heart rate, mind concentration is better and breathing becomes regulated if you chant the mantra over and over again – so think about it, especially if you find it difficult to sit still and focus.

Make sure you sit alone in your room, preferably not facing a wall (it tends to block positive thoughts and energy). Few minutes, away from the chaos of the world, will do you good and will go a long way in meditation.

Persevere and persevere! There is no shortcut to good meditation practice. You need to be at it regularly and time and again try to concentrate and focus. Your mind may wander about the first couple of times, but gradually you will realize that you are getting better at it and you will be very peaceful after a few attempts!

Music during the process of meditation has its own benefits – calms down our nerves, regulates your breathing, reduces anxiety, eliminates any negative thoughts and overall restores the faith and positivity that one requires!

Do not give up – that is the key to successful meditation! You will soon realize the benefits and you will know why it is so popular across the world!

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How Meditation Can Lead You To Spiritual Enlightenment

Have you ever found yourself struggling in meditation? You sit to meditate expecting bliss or enlightenment but instead all you really experience is frustration?

That’s because the very attempt to get something out of meditation, blocks you from actually meditating.

Meditation is a bit like gardening.

You plant some carrot seeds and then every day you water it, you pull the weeds, you nourish the carrot plant in every way you can.

You don’t expect a carrot instantly. But out of love for gardening you do the work without expecting anything in return.

And then one day to your surprise,there is the carrot, beautiful, orange and delicious.

Same with meditation.

If you commit yourself to meditation without expecting anything in return; If you give yourself to this moment out of the love of giving.

Because some days meditation will be challenging.

Some days meditation will be blissful and some days meditation will be a challenging surrender to the intensity that is here.

But simply by meditating and by nourishing your awareness in every way you can,one day, without even focusing on it, you could be reading a book or walking in the woods and suddenly there is an opening. Suddenly, bliss is radiating freely from your heart.

Enlightenment will happen without you thinking about it. Without you do anything on your part.

It arises on its own, at its own time, yet it arises also because you planted the seed and helped it grow.

And the best way to help your meditation grow into enlightenment is by sitting in the presence of an enlightened teacher, one who has mastered high states of meditation. Such a teacher naturally radiates a bliss(known as shaktipat) that can be felt by others. And so simply by sitting with them, you easily enter deep states of meditation.

But you can experience this same bliss by listening to a very unique Enlightenment CD.

Simply by listening to beautiful meditation music, you effortlessly attain deep states of meditation and bliss. You can listen to free samples of the music and experience it for yourself by checking out the “Enlightened Spirituality CD” link below.

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Religion And Yoga

A religious rights leader in the US recently sparked off a debate with his comments on the inappropriateness of Yoga for those of the Christian faith. Arguments have since flown fast and thick on all sides over the linking of Yoga with specific religions.

As a proponent of Yoga as the ultimate challenge for the attainment of holistic wellness, I have been extremely pained to read all things related to the matter. For one, I havent been able to fathom the reasons as to why this should even be thrown on the table.

It is true that Yoga originated in India, the same country which produced great religious systems such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Indeed, India is one of the two regions of the world which has been the cradle of religious thought, the other being the Middle East which produced Christianity, Islam, Judaism et al.

However, Yoga at its best is a philosophical system which is thought to lead to self-realization. For as long as it has existed, there have been no religious incantations associated with the practice, nor does it propagate the worship of any one supreme figure. It is infact philosophical and not iconic in any way.

The Yogic systems prevalent today are a fragment of an entire pristine system, and are mostly only corporeal; they strive to keep the body healthy through various poses and breathing techniques. The only Hindu connotation I have found evidence of, is the sounding of the syllable Om while breathing, which is also equally construable as a shortening of Amen. Interestingly, Om and Amen have similar meanings and origins as well.

I personally know scores of people of various religious beliefs following Yoga, and who have found no conflict between their religion and the practice. Yoga, which is devoid of any religious connotations is even widely practiced by atheists who would have otherwise shunned it in the name of religious circumvention.

My personal experience tells me that one neednt even go deep into research, because a quick online search will point to the fact that Yoga is linked with environmentalism, healthy food habits, exercise, fitness and mostly good health, but definitely not with any strong religious associations. Even specifically searching for a link did not yield any results to indicate the gentlemans concerns that Yoga is a symptom of postmodern spiritual confusion.

I came across an interesting and relevant blog here which I understand to be a product of a mature and analytical mind.

I would be happy to understand just how practicing Yoga is a shameful act as the US Baptist has claimed. Looking forward to your thoughts, as usual.

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Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga-Follow Gurmukh to Experience It

Kundalini Yoga addresses issues, both at the corporeal and the emotional levels on the spiritual plane. As a result, one of the benefits of Kundalini Yoga, at the physical level, is weight reduction. As a matter of fact, practicing a specific set of asanas (exact movements culminating in certain precise postures) along with breathing procedures under the Kundalini Yoga realm will provide people many rewards that include continued sense of tranquility, stronger limbs, better flexibility, and reduced weight. Weight loss Kundalini Yoga is a fabulous program for people concerned with weight loss.

The particular asanas and the breathing that are part of Kundalini Yoga are meant to burn the body fat of the practitioners and increase their metabolism. Such positive changes help the body to optimize the body weight, fitness, and the state of health. Some of the details of these distinct benefits are stiffness-free joints that are more flexible, fewer arthritis flare-ups, and also reduced blood pressure as well as decreased cholesterol levels.

A highly respected teacher of Kundalini Yoga and a pioneer in the field of prenatal yoga is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. This was the spiritual name was given to Mary May Gibson of Illinois when she was baptized in to Sikhism. The term’s meaning is, “One who helps people across the world ocean.” She has ever since taken that as her responsibility and her life’s mission.

For many years she has been conducting classes in prenatal care and postnatal care, apart from, of course, meditation and Kundalini Yoga, in Los Angeles, now New York too, as well as various parts of the world. Just after the dawn of the New Millennium (2002, to be exact), she co-founded along with Gurutej Kaur, the leading yoga center named Golden Bridge in Los Angeles. She also officiates as its director. Another institution that she founded and which is very close to her heart is Khalsa Way. It is a movement that aims to create proper awareness and provide education on child birth to help mothers.

Over the years, she has authored a series of books and DVDs on Kundalini Yoga. The DVDs include, ‘Kundalini Yoga: Healthy Body Fearless Spirit,’ ‘Kundalini Yoga – Unlock Your Spiritual Energy,’ and, ‘Pre Natal Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Mothers to be.’ All these are available at the web site www.yogatech.com at Yoga Technology.

Irrespective of whether you are looking specifically for weight loss or other benefits of Kundalini Yoga you may bring home her books & DVDs and start learning Kundalini Yoga right in the comfort of your own home!

About Author :-

Maya Fiennes is an avid yoga enthusiast and a yoga practitioner. She follows weight loss kundalini yoga, which brings the spirit and body together as one and she has been researching on it for many years. Gurmukh assist practitioners in maintaining good body condition and help them practice yoga in proper way.

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Things You Need To Know Before Your First Yoga Class

Thinking of starting yoga? Bet your body has been yearning for this for some time now. Everyone has their reasons for doing yoga; losing weight, release stress, maintaining good health both mind and body. Whatever your reason is for starting yoga, have fun with it. It is also important to know a few things before undertaking this new activity that will improve your health and here are some:

It is all about you: Even if you are in a class of ten people, this is your time to discover your body and mind. It involves making somewhat awkward body movements, such as being upside down or curving your back! Let yourself go and just explore your inner strength.

Notify your instructor if you need special attention: This is basically if you are pregnant, have terminal illnesses, injury or a condition that may be affected by the type of exercises that yoga involves. Yoga does not have a particular way of how it is done; there are different techniques and poses for different bodies. Therefore, your instructor will know what suits you best.

Follow instructions: Some of the postures you will be required to do might be challenging, actually they are quite tough. You may find it easier to twist or modify the posture to be more comfortable, but this should be avoided because you are risking getting injury that could take a sometime to heel.

Beware, it is addictive: Compared to other exercises, yoga is special. From the technique it uses to the several health benefits it has to your body, your body is left feeling incredible. This makes you want it even more and cannot afford to miss any session!

Go on an empty stomach: It will almost be impossible for you to do yoga on a full tummy. Remember most of the time you will be stretching into postures, which can be very uncomfortable for you if your stomach is full. If you think you cannot make it till the end of the session, take a snack at least half an hour before the class; a light snack.

Do not compete, enjoy! Have fun during yoga class, even if it may take some time to grasp those postures. Take one posture at a time and you can even practice it when you are idle, during your lunch break and before you sleep. You will be a pro in no time!

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Different Ways Yoga Can Help With Your Back Pain

Certainly, back pain is among the most common complaints in America. The pain may range from moderate to severe. If you are among those suffering from this pain, you will definitely want to try anything possible to make it go away. An excellent idea you may not have thought of before is yoga retreats. Medical experts agree that certain yoga poses do ease back pain. Here are some of the top yoga poses that you will find relieving the next time you are in a yoga center:

Child’s pose – This is the most basic pose in any form of yoga, yet goes a long way in easing your back pain. To get to this pose, get into plank position then slowly go back until your chest is on top of your lap. Stay there for a few minutes. To feel even better, try the pose with the knees open but bring them together at the end. Breathe slowly as you go into these pose.

Fists forward bend – To get into this position, you need to stand on your yoga mat with your feet hip distance apart. Release the torso over your head as you bend the knees until your thighs are touching with your belly. Make two fists then place them on each elbow. Keep your head, neck and back relaxed. Take 10 breathes before releasing.

Back traction pose – For this move, you will require a yoga block. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the feet under them. Lift your hips from the ground and place your yoga block at the center of the hips. Once your hips are on the block, walk the feet wide and then knock the knees inwards for a minute.

Wall plank – This is among the easiest moves to do. Just stand near your wall and from your shoulders reach forward then plant your palms on the wall. Your fingers should be wide and the middle one should be pointing direct to the ceiling. Slowly walk the legs back until you come to an L position.

Pigeon pose – This is a little complicated but you can do it. Bring your knee behind your right twist from down. Stretch your left leg out behind you while your knee is on top of your foot facing your floor.

Downward-facing dog – If you learn to do this pose correctly, it can be a miracle to your back pain. Start in plank position then lift your arms and hips up until you can do an inverted V-shape position. Stay here for a few minutes.

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