Yoga has now gone global and is seen as an excellent way to improve your fitness and health as well as relieve your stress. Here’s more on how Yoga benefits you.
How to Make the Most Out of Yoga
There are three important things you must have before you can take the most benefit from this ancient art.
- An Open Mind
There are many myths and preconceptions about yoga. Many people think it is just a lot of chanting, smelly candles and whale music, or that you need to be a long-bearded guru from India just to take advantage of the sport – but none of this is true. Others think that you need to be extremely flexible and fit, or young and slim. Again, untrue. Yoga is a different journey for every person, meaning that the experience will be different for everyone. But approach yoga with an open mind and you will be astounded by the possibilities. No matter what your current fitness level, yoga will improve it. Your health will improve and it will help you change your life.
- A Good Teacher
You will probably find numerous yoga studios in your area. They might be part of a gym, or a studio dedicated solely to yoga classes. Ask around and try to find the studio and teacher that best suits you. Ask what styles they teach and choose a style you like the sound of. Remember, you can always change styles later, if you choose. If walking into a yoga class for the first time sounds a little daunting to you, you could always start learning yoga at home. There are an enormous amount of yoga instruction sites on the internet that offer excellent yoga teaching either for free, or for sale. YouTube is an excellent resource, with many famous teachers posting ‘how-to’ videos for many different yoga poses. You could also consider buying a series of yoga DVDs or an e-course. Believe it or not, you can also find yoga teachers offering group or private lessons via Skype. The possibilities are endless, but the most important thing is to start learning the basics, and move on from there.
- A Mat and Some Space
A good yoga mat is very important. Like any sport, having the right equipment can make things much easier. And aside from mats, yoga also makes use of things like stability balls, resistance bands and blocks. Again, check things out on the internet first. If you’re on a budget some things, like blocks, can be improvised with a book or two, or a rolled up towel. It doesn’t take much money to get started, but shop around for the best deals online. Also check with your yoga studio, as they often sell secondhand equipment, which might be easier on the wallet.
A special place to practice your yoga is also very important. If you’re doing yoga at home, pick the nicest room in the house, away from distractions and make sure it’s a place where you feel comfortable. If you have a group of friends that you want to practice with, consider meeting one morning at the park, or the beach, or some other place where you can feel peaceful and relaxed. If you practice at a studio, make sure it’s an environment where you feel at peace.
Yoga Can Help Productivity
Yoga Rebel Tara Stiles Says Yoga Practice Can Help Productivity & Enhance Career…
Tara Stiles runs a successful Yoga Business, that she started in Australia but today spans across countries. Founder of Strala Yoga, an unorthodox approach to yoga, Stiles tells us how regular practice of Yoga can help you achieve more in less time, and help enhance our career.
When teaching Yoga, Stiles focuses more on movement, instead of tradition and instruction, make the practice accessible to all practitioners.
Besides running her business, she is also the author of best-selling health and nutrition books, besides being the face and designer of Reebok’s Yoga collection.
While she may come across as a multi-talented person, Tara Stiles is first a savvy and successful business woman, who has built a wide-reaching empire all thanks to her dedication to yoga.
And she credit a steady practice of Yoga for her career advancement!
“People know that yoga can boost productivity and focus. But yoga can help you achieve more with less effort,” says Tara Stiles.
“We’re all brought up to have this ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, especially in business,” she says. “We power through and compete with each other on who’s sleeping the least, or working the longest, but it only leads to fatigue and illness.”
But Stiles says that one needs to be more efficient, and learn to be frugal (with every effort) to do a task.
“You should apply only the amount needed to complete the task and nothing more,” she says.
And that’s where Yoga plays an important part; it mirrors how you are in life.
“If you practice in a way that you struggle to achieve perfection, that’s how you’ll behave at the office or at home.”
Here’s how Yoga helps you become a more efficient person and assists your career:
- Learn to be ‘at ease’ with your Yoga practice, and you will translate the same to your workplace. This will help you achieve more without burning out.
- Yoga puts you in touch with how you feel in the moment and breaks down any rigid habits you may have.
- With regular yoga practice, you learn to let go of expectations and you become more creative in your approach to tasks, and how you shape your career. You’ll no longer be limited by the limitations you place on yourself.
For those who’re unable to spare time (an hour a day to practice yoga), Stiles recommends a few poses to practice before and after work.
- Try to pigeon pose to alleviate tension in the hips, de-stress and connect with your breath
- Seated meditation and deep breathing can get also you through a long day.
- Anything that incorporates the element of balance, such as the tree pose.
“Don’t think of balance as static or rigid. Think of trees and swaying in the breeze. If we can sway in breeze a little more in our lives we can get more done with less effort.”
Start small, even five minutes is okay to relax and work your way into it. Soon you won’t feel as if you’re wasting time, because you will be making time for yourself.
However, in order to really experience the benefits of yoga, one should be regular with Yoga practice.
Yoga Class Helps Get Over Breakups, Layoffs and Death
Lisa Kirchner’s workshop, ‘Yoga for Getting Over It,’ lends practical advice on how to use yoga as a tool to lighten the load of life and its added pressures of dealing with grief, stress and loss.
The class is a take on Ashtanga yoga that’s meant to help participants deal with breakups, divorce, job loss and death. “Ashtanga was originally designed to get rid of excess nervous energy,” said Lisa.
Each movement in the class is designed to specifically target a certain aspect of getting over emotional pain. For example:
- A forward fold helps people deal with their past because the position protects the heart.
- A back bend can help yogis move forward by opening up the heart and energizing the body, Kirchner said.
- A twist represents forgiveness.
Yoga Benefits, but Injuries on the Rise in Older Participants
There’s no doubt that Yoga offers great benefits, however yoga-related injuries have been on the increase lately, especially among older participants.
Although Yoga injuries are relatively rare, injuries do occur and they tend to rise with the age of the participant. Most yoga-related injuries are injuries to the trunk, and sprains or strains.
Researchers from University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US, have found that the overall rate of yoga-related injuries climbed to 17 per 1,00,000 participants in 2014, up from 10 per 1,00,000 in 2001.
The injury rate for older participants was higher. Those 65 and older experienced an injury rate of 58 per 100,000.
Individuals ages 45-64 saw an injury rate of 18 per 100,000, while those between 18-44 years of age had an injury rate of 12 per 100,000.
“We did find that the injury rate is increasing over time, which may be a reflection of the increase in popularity of yoga, leading to an increase in inexperienced participants who do not take the necessary precautions to avoid injury.”
“The incidence of fracture was highest in the older population, some three times higher than in the younger population”.
“For all injuries, the actual risk might be higher than our numbers show, as we surveyed results only from those who sought medical attention in an emergency department”.
Experts say that Yoga is harder and more demanding than what some people believe. As with any sport or physical activity, it is important to be sure you are physically capable of the undertaking. If you’re over 65, its important to talk to your physician before taking up yoga, and to recognise your personal limitations.
“One needs a more realistic view of their own abilities, and one needs to understand that some poses might be too challenging and inappropriate. A qualified, certified yoga instructor can help you with that assessment and is essential to a safe experience”.
The study was published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine.
(This story has not been edited by FitBiz.in and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Yoga for Full Body Workout
There are many who think that Yoga is only for improving flexibility of the body, but true Yoga gurus will tell you that Yoga is perfectly capable of giving you a complete full body workout.
If you’ve been lifting weights for years (and not happy with the results, or with your flexibility, or with the muscle imbalance), you should definitely consider Yoga. Its a great way to get fit, and also gain strength and muscles, without having to hit the gym.
Watch: Total Body Yoga Workout
Kundalini Yoga is a great science to help with full body fitness and health. This is because kundalini yoga combines powerful breathing with dynamic movement, and this combination helps deliver a workout which both, builds your strength, as well as helps with flexibility and stamina. In this article, I will teach you three great yoga exercises which when combined will help you on your march to achieving total body fitness.
Also Read: Yoga For Weight Loss and Flat Abs
The three exercises which will help you in strengthening your entire body are Plank Pose, Stretch Pose and Frog Pose. Plank pose will work on the upper body, helping build your chest, shoulders and arms. Stretch pose will work on your abdominal systems, helping to tone and strengthen your abs. Frog pose is excellent for building and toning your legs, especially your thighs and buttocks. So the combination of these three exercises will give you a full body workout and done consistently, will make you fit and strong.
Here are the details of each of these three exercises:
Plank Pose for Upper Body Fitness:
a. How to Do Yoga Plank Pose:
* Most of us are familiar with doing push ups, and plank pose is essentially the up position when doing a push up.
* For plank pose be sure to keep your body in a straight line, now allowing the butt to sag and the hands should be directly underneath the shoulders.
* Breathing is normal, except if you are doing a particular Kundalini Yoga Kriya, which might require you to do Breath of Fire while holding Plank Pose.
* 15 seconds – 7 minutes.
* Strengthens the arms, shoulders, chest and back.
* Develops your core strength and abdominal muscles.
d. Practice Tips:
* Advanced variations of Plank Pose include, lifting one leg up and holding the pose, or lifting one arm up and holding the pose. This is to take your level of fitness to the next level.
Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose for Abdominal Fitness:
a. Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:
* Lie on your back.
* Place your hands under your buttocks palms facing down (to support your lower back).
* Raise your heels 6 inches, point your feet and toes away from you, raise your head slightly and stare at your toes. You will feel the abdominal muscles go to work immediately.
* Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.
15 seconds -11 minutes.
* Builds abdominal strength.
* Increases core fitness, energy and power.
* Helps develop the much coveted 6 pack abs.
* Improves your digestive system.
d. Practice Tips::
* To modify this pose you can do this posture with your legs bent at the knees, or do one leg at a time. Either way you will reduce the pressure on the abdominal muscles.
Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose for Lower Body Fitness:
Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose Practice Details:
a. How to Do Kundalini Yoga Frog Pose:
* Squat on the floor on your toes, with your feet apart and your heels either touching or very close together.
* Have your knees spread out and your arms inside your knees with your finger tips touching the floor. The elbows are straight.
* Look up, you can have your eyes opened or closed. Inhale. This is the starting position for frog pose.
* Rise up now by straightening your legs. At the same time bring your head towards your knees and keep your fingers touching the floor. Your heels should move down towards the floor. Straighten your legs as much as possible. Exhale. This is the ending position for frog pose. This completes 1 repetition.
* Come back down to the starting position and repeat the cycle as many times as indicated.
* Beginners, start with as many as you can do and work up to 26 froggies.
* Intermediates, work up to 54 froggies.
* Advanced, work up to 108 froggies or more.
* Shapes, tones and strengthens the legs and lower body. Specially the thighs muscles.
* Builds the cardiovascular system and respiratory system. Promoting better circulation and better respiration.
* Promotes flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.
* Overall, builds one level of fitness and endurance.
d. Practice Tips:
* Careful with your knees. If you have bad knees, approach this exercise with caution.
* This yoga exercise will get your heart rate up, so careful not to get dizzy. If you feel breathless, light headed or faint, stop and take a break.
* It is beneficial to stretch the hamstrings before doing frog pose.
Most youngsters (and those who’re into gymming) may not appreciate the importance of yoga, if they have never done it seriously before. However, a good yoga workout can be quite effective for full body fitness and health, besides making your body a bit more flexible. These exercises don’t just promote flexibility, but are also excellent for training your most important muscles.