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.

Basic Chakra Meditation Grounding & Centering

Whether you are new to meditation or well experienced with yoga or tai chi, anyone can learn basic chakra meditation. Each has its own rewards and benefits. Unlike yoga or tai chi, anyone can practice chakra meditation since there is not the same physical aspect to it. Also, chakra meditation can be practiced almost anywhere. All you need is a quiet place where you will be undisturbed and about 15-20 minutes. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing is recommended but not required.

Before beginning, it is important to ground yourself in order to get the full effect from the chakra meditation. Some people do this by walking through a lawn barefoot, reconnecting with nature. This can also be done by sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting with your legs folded under you and concentrating on your breathing.

To help clear your mind in preparation for chakra meditation, first choose a focal point. If you are more comfortable with your eyes open, focus on a point on the floor 5-10 feet in front of you, but instead of looking directly at it, look through it. If closing your eyes is more comfortable, mentally focus on the spot between your anus and genitals. This spot is the location of the root chakra, the foundation of the chakra system. Allow your mind to clear. If you notice your mind starting to wander, gently guide it back to your focal point.

Breathe in and out slowly, making each breath deliberate. As you do this, you should feel your body and mind start to relax and center. Once completely relaxed, you will be ready to begin the chakra meditation. As a rule of thumb, it is not recommended to skip this step when practicing chakra meditation because a quiet mind and body is more open to the benefits and healing it provides.

If you only have a short amount of time in which to practice chakra meditation, it is recommended to set an alarm rather than trying to keep an eye on the time yourself. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the meditation without distractions. 20-30 minutes a day is the recommended time for meditation.

Proper grounding and centering before chakra meditation is so important it deserves its own article. A follow-up article will go into detail on various techniques and chants often used in general chakra meditation as well as how to open the different chakras.

Yoga – Contraindications For Inversions

As we practice yoga poses we want to do also inversions. Most common inversions are the Headstand and the Shoulderstand. But there are not only those two poses which are the inverted asanas.

Any posture in which the head is below the heart is called an inversion. Whether you stand on your head, bend forward or bend back, if your head is below your heart, you are performing an inversion.

This also means that Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Fish pose are also inversions; although those poses are mild in comparison to a Headstand. The Camel pose can also be an inversion if you bend back far enough.

Remember – inversions are not for everyone!

Your intentions should be clear when you perform any yoga posture. If the risks may outweigh the benefits there is no logical reason why you should practice any pose which can harm you.

Contraindications for practicing inversions:

If you have any of the following conditions, please omit inversions or work with a qualified and experienced teacher who will never put you at risk and tried to modify your practice.

Anyone who has high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues, neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems should never practice Headstand or Shoulderstand, and omit other mild inversions or be adjusted by the yoga teacher.

During any stage of pregnancy yoga should be practiced in a prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for that purpose or privately with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher.

During menstruation Headstand and Shoulderstand preferably should be omitted and other milder inversions should not be hold for long, but because of the controversy about the inversions during menstruation it is your personal choice. Let your body guide you.

If you are a yoga teacher explain to your students why the inversions can be dangerous for them if they have any of the condition mentioned earlier.

Why not stand on your head when you have pain in your neck or neck injury? What first thing will come to your mind as you there? Ouch … my neck! Can my small neck carry my whole weight as I am inverted?

Most students put lots of weight on their head and neck instead of shoulders. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Intuition will never let you down.

Why omit headstand if I have high blood pressure? Because the danger is when your blood pressure increase from 100/60 mm Hg while standing on your feet to 150/110 mm Hg or even higher when you go for headstand.

How to Lose Weight Permanently With Yoga

Yoga, that will be an old type of therapy for all ills and problems of the body, can also be an efficient exercise in weight reduction therapy. With all of your program toned-up with yoga, you’ll have higher energy, and mental clarity, and will perhaps not want to over-eat. ??There are lots of good reasons for over having like exhaustion, tension, melancholy, and actual issues. A weight loss program, coupled with yoga, could keep you in shape and ideal health. ??A few of the advantages of yoga ????Slowing the procedure of ageing ??More power and versatility of human anatomy ????Respite from allergies and allergies ??Bringing diabetes and thyroid problems in check ??Spiritual development ??Paid off tension amounts ??An over-all feeling of wellness ??Helpful in quitting cigarettes and other such addicting routines ??Keeps you searching and sensation newer both bodily and psychologically ??A weight loss program, meaning wholesome food habits, is only going to increase the advantages of yoga therapy. ??Yoga for weight-reduction ??Yoga will need to be done intensely, for at least 90 moments for the goal of weight reduction, and this would be repeated at least 3 times per week. That type of yoga is called the circulation yoga, or Vinyasa. ??This can help in making muscle and enhancing ones posture. Nevertheless, this isn’t a cardio-vascular work-out. ??Yoga entails developing various positions, with extending of your body, and managing the respiration by which makes it slow. That calms and stimulates your body simultaneously. Sluggish types, which flake out and refresh each area of the human anatomy. For psychological and tension wellbeing, you will find religious types of yogic positions. ??A few of the types of this type of yoga are: ??Ashtanga ??????These are completed in a warm space, making one perspire abundantly. You’ll be amazed at how fast you may shed weight, if you perform yoga plus a weight reduction diet, that is not really a near-starvation one. ??Yoga must be done regularly, and you must exercise in the home, if you don’t have occasion to visit your courses regularly. The only real disadvantage of yoga is the fact that it requires lots of commitment to exhibit results. If this really is some thing you’ve, then you can alter all of your program about and not just slim down, but additionally become healthy and eliminate several conditions.

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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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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!

Meditation Pillow For Inner Peace

Every human being desire peace more than anything in this world. Many people go into meditation process to relax their mind and body in order to create for a state of calmness. During this phase, the mind is quieted and the person becomes aware of his inner power to manage anxiety and overcome fear. Even as you need a quiet place to do your sessions, certain enhancing tools can support your quest for peace by making your body comfortable and well rested. Proper posture is necessary when practicing meditations. To maintain this position, one should have the perfect support needed for an effective spiritual process. A meditation pillow is the key element that provides every practitioner with comfort and the right spine alignment when sitting erect.

Meditation pillows make up a large part in the accomplishment of your therapy. Some people may try to get into the state of relaxation without using these pillows for support. For this reason, their concentration will lead them to focus on discomforts and pain that are usually felt in certain bony parts of the body that touches directly to hard surfaces. With this indispensable cushion, the practitioner can enjoy a deeper reflection.

Always plan for the place where you will hold your meditations before choosing the pillows you will use. You may wish to do your sessions outdoor on soft grasses, or you may want an indoor therapy on wooden floors. Others may like to have them on concrete grounds for more stability. When meditating in grassy areas, use lightweight pillows with soft nylon fills. For hard surfaces, you need a double sided pillow with solid foam base at the bottom, and soft synthetic fills on the top. This cushion allows you to easily rise from a seated position and makes you feel comfortable unlike ordinary pillows.

To achieve for a successful sitting, you have to settle comfortably on the cushion, in proper posture, without feeling any pressure or pain that can distract your focus. Sustaining this form for certain durations can be difficult without this pillow aids. There are different floor pillows to use when contemplating on what type to purchase. The most popular is the Zafu cushion which comes in either buckwheat hull or kapok fillers. This round or crescent shaped cushion gives elevated support for your upper legs. Ideally, you have to get seated at the front edge in order to position your pelvis in such a way that there is less strain on your knees. Another fine enhancer is the Zabuton cushion, rectangular in shape and less full than Zafus. It is usually complimented with bolster pillows for added support within the ankles and feet. Also a preferred choice is the horse-shoe shaped Cosmic cushion. It supports both of your thighs when seated, with your feet and ankles well rested.

Undoubtedly, meditation pillows are beneficial to practitioners who desire for inner peace and tranquillity. They make such a tremendous difference in the art of meditation.

Yoga Clothes – Stylish, Functional & Comfortable

Good clothing is essential when doing yoga or pilates. Yoga is all about stretching, flexibility and holding poses in all sorts of positions (lying, standing, kneeling, etc.). In order to allow your body to move as required, you need clothing that has exactly these features: stretchable, moisture-wicking, soft on your skin and breathable. That’s why many yogis prefer special yoga clothing rather than regular workout or running apparel which you can buy in most large retail shops.

Yoga has become one of the most popular workout and relaxation practices among celebrities as well as “regular” people across the United States, Europe and Australia over the past decades. True yogis see yoga as a lifestyle and mindset rather than just an exercise. Therefore yoga clothes need to reflect this by trendy yet comfortable designs, functional materials, great colors that often represent chakras and prints that give strength or calmness.

The most popular yoga clothes come from the United States. They reflect the yoga lifestyle like no other brands. Some of the most popular brands are Hard Tail, Be Present, Beyond Yoga, Bhakti Ware, Blue Fish and Yoga Hyde. They offer fashionable yoga clothes in high quality fabrics that last a long time even when washing them regularly.

EMP Industries is an Australian based and owned company that is now run in third generation. They have made themselves a name by offering the top American yoga clothing labels in Australia. EMP Industries is also famous for offering Yoga Mats, Pilates Mats, Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Stretching Straps, Yoga Sandals, Stretch Bands, Exercise Balls, Yoga DVDs, Dance DVDs,Pilates Rings, and many many more. EMP sells its products to the end customer but also offers wholesale prices for bulk buyers (usually prices start dropping when you order more than 10 items of one product). That is the reason EMP Industries counts most large yoga and pilates studios in Australia as their customers!

Yoga Can Improve Your State Of Mind & Body

More and more people are turning to Yoga as one of the best ways to keep themselves looking and feeling great. In Manhattan, yoga studios are available in every neighborhood from the Upper West Side to the Lower East Side. No matter where you are in New York City, yoga is just right around the corner. You can find personalized and attentive service, group classes, and even one on one sessions if you prefer. In some cases a Manhattan yoga instructors can even come to your home for a private session. People participate in yoga for several reasons. While it is hard to sum up the myriad of benefits one can gain from doing yoga, here are the more commonly derived benefits Manhattan residents mention when asked why they love to do yoga!

Special breathing techniques are used in yoga to teach people to time their breaths to flow smoothly. This improves endurance and leads to intense relaxation. Over time and continuous practice of yoga breathing techniques, you will become more relaxed, leading to the release of stress and an overall sense of calmness. This alone may be the single most important reason for Manhattan residents to practice yoga!

Make no mistake, yoga is challenging. At the same time, it is very rewarding and a great way to exercise without adding stress on your joints. Performing yoga for an extended period of time will improve your posture, help you tone up, and help with overall calorie burn. This can be accomplished in a few minutes of devotion each day. Losing weight naturally means you have a better chance of maintaining this new healthy weight once youRve reached your goal. Flexibility is also greatly increased through yoga, while decreasing the risk of injury. Yoga postures require using all parts of the body and stretching them, offering this great flexibility.

You’ve probably heard other yogis mention that yoga Manhattan is good for your health. Past studies have shown that yoga Manhattan offers a great deal of health benefits. Some of the most commonly mentioned are lower back pain relief, lower blood pressure, regulating asthma, and even a great way to maintain a healthy weight. Those who practice yoga are also shown to have an increase in energy throughout the day.

As touched on before, yoga can have a positive affect for oneRs state of mind. Yoga has many spiritual benefits. Practicing yoga can offer mental clarity and stability. It helps you to think clearer so you can make better decisions. Yoga has also shown to improve serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a decrease in depression, helping one make better decisions while having a more postive outlook and image of themselves.

Essential Information Related To The Benefits Of Prenatal Yoga

Getting help with childbirth during your pregnancy is vital and this is why prenatal yoga is growing so rapidly as a great form of pregnancy exercise. I bet even your Doctor will agree that this is a great way to exercise. As such, it is not surprising why many physicians nowadays may recommend yoga to their pregnant patients. Prenatal Yoga is just great for you. Getting you through the pregnancy stage is one thing, but it will also add amazing benefits during labour too. Whilst your pregnant, yoga will help you to stretch your muscles as well as the internal tissues. Stretching is great for a stimulating effect of pushing the oxygen and blood around your body.

Let’s face it you are going to have a few problems when your pregnant, nothing serious but maybe a little swelling and inflamation around your joints. This is one of the many benefits of prenatal yoga, as it is designed to alleviate these problems.

You might also get some backache and a little cervical discomfort. As you grow you might also suffer from some fatigue. Don’t start to stress though, this is very common for most women. The good thing is, yoga will help you with all these different types of problems. Pregnancy is a sensitive time but there are lots of asana’s which are specifically designed to help you at each stage.

Indigestion can also be another item you might come across during your pregnancy. This normally happens due to the fact that as the baby grows it can affect the normal placement of your intestinal organs. Yoga does help to alleviate this though by promoting normal digestive flow.

When it comes time to deliver is when the most uncomfortable moments will raise their heads. The delivery really can cause some discomfort and pain. Taking up yoga prior to this stage is therefore essential if you want to reap the rewards before delivery. One particular asana will help you tone your muscles in the pelvic region, which will ultimately provide you with more strength during the delivery. This will also help you when it comes time to push your little one out.

Yoga has also been known to provide a soothing effect during your labour period. The added benefit of yoga is that you will learn to breathe in a more natural and relaxing way. It will also show you how to move your body in a more harmonic way with your breathing. This will help you to learn to manage any pain associated with your labour. So to sum up everything, prenatal yoga will help you heighten your physical and emotional well being during pregnancy.