Yoga Mat: Why It’s So Important |

Fledgling yoga enthusiasts often make a few simple mistakes. One, they spend way too much money on instructors and classes that are way over their heads. It’s a good sentiment, but it’s easy to become discouraged when you fly too close to the sun on your first try. Two, they learn all the lingo, research all the various disciplines, and understand the history of yoga, but they never actually get around to doing it. What’s the point of making yoga a purely academic pursuit? And three, they either choose the wrong type of yoga mat, or they go without a mat at all. A good, quality yoga mat, along with dedication and diligence, is absolutely essential for any aspiring yogi if they want to succeed.

Your yoga mat separates you from the ground in a literal sense, but it also keeps you internally grounded and focused on yourself. It’s a neutral medium that allows you to ignore the sensations of the ground – sensations that might disrupt your focus – and hone in on your own inner workings. With a good yoga mat, you are able to focus solely on your body and how it moves. When doing the more difficult poses and stretches, this ability to focus is crucial. If you’re distracted by a bad mat, you won’t be able to muster the requisite focus. You still might be able to get something out of the session, but you won’t be maximizing the benefits. You won’t truly be tapping into the single minded beauty that is yoga.

When shopping for a yoga mat, look for at least 1/8 inch thickness, a sticky texture that grabs the floor, and a design that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed toting around. If you get a yoga mat with all these features, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true yogi.
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Manage Your Stress Using Yoga

Most people think yoga is all about feeling great; that you come together in mind, body and soul. This is not the case. It is an effective was to manage stress and a way to deal with yourself.
If used properly, yoga can be a good way to reduce and control stress. Many of the yoga teachers think that besides giving peace and relaxation, yoga is about the capacity to be in control and to unite with your inner being.
Asana is one of eight types of yoga where mental and spiritual health is more important than the physical. Relaxation through medition is the key to most any type of yoga, even though yoga itself includes a wide range of purely physical disciplines to purely spiritual.
You don't need to learn all about the concepts of yoga to use it for stress management. Yoga has been proven an effective way to relax since the beginning of time by using deep meditation. The only thing you need to learn is the basics.
Beginning with Yoga
People have different reasons and purposes for practicing yoga. This is because through yoga, people may explore the almost limitless possibilities of health and relaxation. Since this ancient form of exercise can help people delve into depths of the meditative practice for spiritual discipline, it can also be used to manage stress and maintain physical and emotional health.
In order to find the right yoga program, you will first need to understand what your main objective is. This is especially true if you are going to be using yoga for stress management.
Yoga practicers today all agree that yoga relieves stress. Before delving right into your yoga program, however, you will need to set some goals. The easiest way to determine your goals is to know what all the possible benefits are of yoga.
Apart from this, it can also increase of strength and flexibility, creation of balance as well as the improvement of breathing and overall posture. On the spiritual aspect, yoga can serve as an exercise that can help you soothe your nerves, calm your mind while increasing your focal and concentration skills.
After setting your goals, be sure and see your doctor and have a complete physical exam. It is important to know what your limits are since yoga involves physical endurance. Talk to your doctor about yoga. You may also want to visit an orthopedic before starting a yoga class so you won't have any injuries.
Before choosing a yoga teacher, know his qualifications. You will also need to know what your physical and mental limits are. Before you use yoga to manage stress, you will need to know what clothing to wear and what time is best. Find out what the basic poses are before advancing.

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Yoga, Pilates and Your Health

Recently, I started taking Yoga and Pilates and have really enjoyed the added benefits that it has brought to my life. Initially, I looked into yoga classes to help improve my flexibility as well as to help me manage stress better in my life (because I tend to be high-strung at times). However, upon taking the first few classes, I realized that there is so much more to these practices. While I am still unable to touch my toes, my overall flexibility has greatly improved from what it used to be. I am more aware of my posture when I am standing or sitting, and doing Yoga has brought an entirely new awareness to my breathing.

There are many practitioners of Yoga who also believe that doing Yoga helps you to lose weight because it brings an increased awareness to your body, making you more in tune to your body, which then transfers over to being more conscious about what you are feeding your body. In today's society, we are living in a world that is constantly moving, shifting and changing, and at times it seems like we can't even set aside a moment for ourselves to stop, think and breathe. As much as our employers would like to believe that we are well-oiled machines, the truth is very different from the reality. In reality, people need to relax a little ('Relax' shouldn't be mistaken for laziness here). We need to set aside time for our spiritual and mental development because after all, a more relaxed employee is an employee who puts out more quality work and who can think and react more quickly.

Pilates also has numerous health benefits. One of the major places that people gain weight is in their core (or stomach area). According to various studies, your core area of your body is the absolute worst place that you can gain weight, and while this doesn't help you lose weight, it does help you tone up problem areas. My boyfriend, who used to be a personal trainer, once told me, “Even if you're fat, underneath that fat are 6-pack abs.” and he's right. Many people think that doing yoga or pilates alone will help them lose weight. And while it is true that doing either activity will help you burn a few calories, ultimately, you'll need to couple a Pilates and/or Yoga regimen with one that involves eating healthier, smaller portions as well as some sort of cardiovascular exercise (I.e. running, walking, cycling, etc.).

It helps to tone areas of your legs, back and arms, but it mostly focuses on your core. Your core area of your body plays an extremely important role in maintaining your balance and vitality. From walking to running to cooking to cleaning to laughing, your core is involved. Could you imagine what you would feel like if you injured yourself in your stomach area? Think about how someone (maybe you) felt if they had ever been punched in the stomach. They are almost immediately and temporarily debilitated! Doing Pilates and Yoga helps to improve both your flexibility, balance and strength.

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Tap Into the Power of Yoga for Mind and Body Fitness

Yoga Basics and Variations. While Yoga originated as a spiritual endeavor tied closely to the Eastern religions of Buddhism and Hinduism, modern society has adopted many of its basic tenets as a low impact physical fitness workout. Combining breath control, balance and stretching, practicing Yoga is a great way to enhance flexibility, posture and muscle tone. There are many options available in Yoga-based workouts, from those designed for stress release to more strenuous workouts intended to supplement weight loss. Whether you are interested in exploring the spiritual side of Yoga, or just want to increase your flexibility and control, there are a wide range of Yoga programs that can be incorporated into any lifestyle.

Exercise Specific Yoga Styles

Power Yoga. One of the most prevalent forms of exercise intensive Yoga is often referred to as Power Yoga. Geared toward toning muscle groups and enhancing control, Power Yoga offers a more intense workout than most other types of Yoga. Based on the Indian Yoga technique known as Ashtanga, Power Yoga is generally comprised of a two hour workout that cycles through several series of postures. The intense aerobic nature of the workout may make this style of Yoga difficult for beginners, but it also provides the most opportunity for body sculpting and muscle toning.

Core Yoga. A relatively new form of exercise-based Yoga, Core Yoga is designed to work on toning the abdominals, thighs and bottom. Many practitioners of Core Yoga use it as an addendum to their regular workout to target problem areas where weight can collect. Like other forms of Yoga, stretching and breath control are the focus of most exercises. This form of Yoga is also thought to help alleviate back pain, and many exercises originate from the spine. By actively participating in Core Yoga classes, you can expect to lose inches around your waist, bottom and hips.

Beginners Yoga. If you are new to Yoga, or uncertain whether your current level of fitness is up to an advanced Yoga routine, there are many beginning Yoga programs available on the market. Exploring Yoga for the first time can be an enlightening experience, and most beginners go on to more advanced levels once they are comfortable with the basics. Even beginner Yoga classes will emphasize muscle extension and breath control. Opting for an introduction to Yoga program can provide a low impact workout that will supplement the rest of your fitness workout.

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Improvement within the Sense of Sight through Yoga

The human eye is actually thought-about to be the most miraculous creation of God as a result of it's not only capable of identifying and distinguishing between 10 million colors but is also in a position to understand depth and light. All human beings get older with the concept that seeing is believing and indeed what's seen through the eyes is what's believed and it is this act of seeing which contains the sense of sight.

The human eye is one of the 5 sense organs that works as long as the individual is awake and gets a respite only when the individual sleeps. Therefore, so as to enjoy a clear vision, it is imperative to apply eye exercises as these not solely tone the eye muscles however additionally reduce the tension and therefore the strain in the eye so helping it to relax. Some of the yogic asanas that entail eye exercises as a part of the schedule are listed as follows:

While performing asanas, the eye exercises are combined with inhalation and exhalation in the way that one should move ones gaze up to the ceiling whereas inhaling and down whereas exhaling.
Sambhavi mudra could be a kind of yoga in that the eyes are centered at a spot between the eyebrows and gradually moved down until the tip of the nose and then copy again. This cycle is recommended strongly to people who want to enhance their eyesight also concentration.
Another eye exercise that is commonly recommended also practiced entails keeping a clock in front and moving the eyes horizontally, vertically and diagonally between the numbers 12, 6, three and nine respectively.
Whereas practicing the sitting postures of yoga the practitioner is needed to roll the eyes in clockwise as well as anticlockwise direction alternatively.

The sense of sight in yoga is also used to see the existence of the third eye which is meant to be located in between the 2 eyebrows. This third eye is believed to be a part of the ajna chakra or the bow chakra that is symbolized by an indigo flower with two petals and is universally associated with enlightenment and precognition. As per Upanishads, that are ancient Hindu texts, the creature is like a city with 10 gates nine of that result in the world and the tenth ends up in higher consciousness and so ought to invariably stay open to enjoy healthy eyesight.

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Types of Yoga and Yoga Benefits Explained

Yoga can be more exactly described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses. Yoga is a spiritual science of self-realization. Yoga methods include the complete ground of our survival, from the physical, emotional and mental to the spiritual. Its methods contain moral disciplines, physical postures, breath control, as well as meditation. The whole system of Yoga is built on three main structures exercise, breathing, and meditation.

Proper understanding Yoga Types and benefits of yoga that can make a huge and permanent difference to your life. So here are six types of Yoga:

•HATHA YOGA: Hatha Yoga makes the spine more flexible. This in turn enhances blood flow so that more oxygen and nutrients are available to the spine. HathaYoga is helpful in slows down the aging process, safest and healthiest mode to lose weight, awakens and enhances vision, improves simplicity of feelings, focus and build up powers of attention.

•KUNDALINI YOGA: Kundalini yoga gives unique consideration to the role of the spine and the endocrine system, which is a vital part for yogic beginning. This yoga is practiced strictly under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher

•MANTRA YOGA: Mantra yoga meditation involves chanting a word or phrase awaiting the mind and emotions are transcended and the super awake is obviously exposed and practiced. The essential technique is japa, or mental repetition of the mantra to invoke that energy in our selves.

•JNANA YOGA: Jnana-Yoga is the path of Self-realization through the exercise of gnostic understanding or, to be more precise the wisdom associated with discering the Real from the unreal or illusory.

•KARMA YOGA: It is the path of selfless service. It is the source of true peace and happiness It means result of an action. There is a unknown power in Karma or action termed 'Adrishta' which brings in fruits of Karmas for the human being. Thisyoga is the key for making the worldly path a divine path, by helping genuine good people.

•BHAKTI YOGA: Bhakti Yoga is the system in which love and devotion to God are emphasized. It is a path of complete surrender You perceives everything as God and God in everything.

•RAJA YOGA: It is a practical and systematic path, Raja Yoga known as the eightfold path because it is made up of eight angas, or limbs, they are Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama Control of Prana (life force, vital energy), Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

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Learn How To End Your Stress With Yoga

Would you like a few yoga techniques to end your stress with yoga; after a long day at work? The first de-stressing technique or Asana is called the Nishpandabhava. The Sanskrit word, Nishpandabhava comes from Nishpanda meaning passive and bhava meaning stance. Put your favorite piece of relaxing music to start.

Then just let go of your hands, legs, feet; loosen all the muscles and sit reclined against the wall. This activity regulates your breathing and steadies the mind. The music will absorb all your attention, synchronizing you breathing to the beat of the music. When you are breathing deeply, focus your attention on your third eye.

Remain in this state for at least 10 minutes. This will slow down the heart rate and reduces the blood pressure. This will also reduce the stress hormones, relax your muscles and your mind will slowly go into the alpha state of meditation. Another Asana called the Shavasana - has similar effects, only the back is stretched out.

Shava means a corpse and asana means posture. This asana completely relaxes all the muscles of the body and regulates breathing. Lie, flat on your back upon a mat. Focus your attention in this order and breathe deeply; the toes, the chest, the shoulders, the neck, the chin, the jaws, the mouth, the nose tip, the third eye, the forehead and the mind.

The next vital Asana is the Yogendra Pranayam. Prana means Vayu or breath and Ayam is the expense. Therefore, pranayam is the control of the breath being inhaled, held and exhaled out of the body. This controlled breathing ensures proper oxygenation and its use by each and every cell.

Lie down and bend your knees and place both the feet flat on the floor, this helps the muscles of the back and abdomen to relax and allows the chest cavity to expand. Place one hand on your navel, this gives you a perspective and allows concentration. Inhale deeply and slowly, your abdomen will move upwards but do not bloat your stomach. Then exhale till your abdomen is back to the normal position.

Then gently pull the stomach in without moving the chest. These three motions, expand the abdomen, massages the visceral organs and promoting circulation of blood. Do these positions in cycles of 10 seconds. These Asanas helps one introspect, train the mind, organize thoughts, regulate breathing and help one cultivate passivity. Now you have an idea how much better you will feel you can begin to end your stress with Yoga.

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Women And Yoga

If a woman wants a healthy way of life devoid of any strain and stress, she should start her day with yoga.

First things first, when you roll out of your bed, sit onto a mat on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Then raise your legs in the air and stay bottoms up until your head clears. Next stand up and drop your forehead to your shins until you feel ready to tackle the toothbrush and get on with your day.

Waking up doesn't have to consist of pouring coffee down your gullet to shock yourself alive.

Many women pile up an array of small violences against themselves from the moment they wake up - caffeine, cigarettes, abrasive exercises or no exercise at all. Lots of faddish fitness programs today have this violent approach - do 50 leg raises or pound your body jogging on the pavement or jump around to a rhythm not of your own making.

Your approach to fitness and well-being and to life in general should be nonviolent one - working smoothly with concentration and determination at your own pace without competing with anyone else. Don't be ruthless with yourself and you won't be ruthless with other people.

Your routine should ideally center on 28 postures drawn from the 5,000-year-old technique whose name comes from the Sanskrit for sun, moon and join together. The exercises should range from deep breathing to pretzel-like stretches.

Yoga is strenuous, but not painful, and it gives every inch of your body a terrific workout.

Yoga proves particularly helpful in strengthening a body plagued by injury.

Yoga helps you maintain flexibility, build strength and muscle definition and even. Try spending 60 to 90 minutes on your yoga routine, before breakfast, five to six days a week.

Follow the basics mentioned here to have a healthy and balanced life:

Avoid the big seduction to only go with your strong points - like weight-lifting if you've got great muscles. It's the thing that's hardest for you that you need to work on the most

Don't space out during workouts. Use that time to have a private conversation with yourself: 'How do I feel physically, mentally.' 'How is my balance and coordination today.' 'Is there something I should pay special attention to.'

Practice yoga in the early morning or early evening at least one hour after a light meal or three to four hours after a main meal. If you are hungry before practice, try tea, milk or fruit juice.

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Considering Yoga Pilates Class

re you looking for a way to get in shape? You might want to consider a yoga pilates class. This type of class is a blend of two very efficient methods for increasing health and well being.
For those ready to get in shape fast, it couldn?t be easier. There are many health clubs that offer yoga pilates class. There are also specialized clubs that focus on yoga pilates classes. Many of these have ongoing sessions which you can pay a monthly fee for. Others consistent of one month or two month sessions. These are a great way to get started because you don?t have to jump into an unfamiliar class that is already midway through. Beginning a new session with other new students is a great way to get into yoga and pilates.
North America is a prime area for yoga pilates class. This is likely due to the fact that pilates originated there, and also because yoga is becoming much more common in North America. Both disciplines are possible for anyone to learn. No matter your body type or age, both yoga and pilates are ideal activities.
Creating the Ultimate Workout
Yoga is a very old discipline that began in India. The yoga postures used in yoga pilates class are part of a broad philosophical system. Yoga postures were developed to train the mind and strengthen the body. Through consistent practice of yoga postures, the human body becomes not only much stronger, but also very flexible. This increase in strength and flexibility leads to a longer, healthier life. Old and young alike see benefits from yoga. One great thing about yoga postures, is that no matter your particular ability, each posture can offer just the right challenge.
Pilates has a much shorter history than yoga, but it is not any less remarkable. Pilates originated in New York. It was created to provide the human body with an effective way to move and exercise. The core muscles are emphasized and correct posture is one of its goals. Indeed, through the practice of pilates it is possible to habitually move with correct posture while participating in virtually any activity. Additionally, it provides an invigorating workout that is an ideal match to yoga?s slow paced poses. If you are ready to try an effective workout, try a yoga pilates session!

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Natural Treatment for Asthma – Yoga

Asthma is one of the most discomforting respiratory ailments. Asthmatics suffer from periodic attacks of breathlessness interspersed with bouts of complete normalcy. Almost all asthma patients suffer more attacks at night, in their sleep.

Some of the common symptoms of asthma are - dry cough, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, feeling of lightness in the chest and wheezing (hissing or whistling sounds during exhalation).

Yoga for asthma natural treatment

Yoga is an excellent alternative therapy for asthma. It can improve your asthmatic condition due to the free flow of air. Asthma attacks would reduce with the increase of yoga practice. The breathing exercises are very useful to open up your lungs for fresh air.

Back bending postures are good to open up your chest to improve your heart and lung condition. Practicing upper back bends and chest opening postures helps in exhaling during asthma attacks. Forward bends and lower back bending poses help in inhaling, during the attack. Mucus can be removed by inverted postures.

Pranayama if practiced regularly can help you to have asthma free life. Dirga prananyama is a multi-purpose asana and helps in slow and deep breathing exercise. Nadi Sodhana can help you with stress and emotional turmoil.

Asthma triggered by cold can be helped by Ujjayi pranayama. Allergic trigger patterns can be avoided by Sitt Kari or Shitali pranayama. Kapalbhatti pranayama is very good to reduce the mucus congestion.

These breathing exercises are very good to strengthen and relax the muscles of lungs. During the asthma attack this proves to be very useful. It reduces the nerve activity in the airways causing fewer bottlenecks during the attack. It helps cleanse the air passage to breathe easily. It helps in stabilizing the autonomous nervous systems.

Yoga also has a stabilizing effect on the body’s immune system. It is now proven that the regular and consistent practice of yoga raises the body’s tolerance to infection as well as its local resistance to infections in the respiratory tract.

The yoga practices work best on an empty stomach, but you should continue to sip water from time to time, to help keep your airways moist. Wear light, loose-fitting clothes and practice in a comfortable, well-ventilated, airy room or outdoors, with adequate room to lie down.

Note: Remember this natural treatment can’t replace your asthma medication but can only support your treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

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Lose Weight with Yoga

Yoga has been touted to be a relaxation technique
which is able to tone the mind, body and spirit into
working harmoniously. Many yoga teachers and fitness
experts claim that yoga can lead to successful and
lasting weight loss.
Any weight loss program is comprised of a healthy diet
and regular exercise. However, you have to stick to
your program. This is difficult for most people as
their often hectic schedules make it hard to find
enough exercise time. This is where yoga can be
extremely fruitful.
Yoga is a very fast form of deep relaxation. Just the
most basic poses and breathing exercises will help you
deal with stress and clear your mind. This will affect
your state of mind not only toward yourself but your
whole life.
The more relaxed you become the better able you will
be to to control eating between meals. Deep breathing
exercises will help to improve your inner strength as
well as your concentration. This will help you stick
to your diet and exercise program.
Yoga tones your body and fortifies all of your
muscles. It helps to stimulate the glands that secrete
hormones which in turn increases your metabolism. As
you attain higher levels of yoga, you get faster at it
and find that it becomes easier to work off your
excess fat.
If you are extremely overweight, yoga is a very good
way of getting back into shape. It not only prepares
your mind but also your body for weight loss. If you
start your yoga sessions as well as the other required
steps to your weight loss program, you will soon
experience a lighter you and will begin to lead a much
better lifestyle.

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Yummy And Playful Acro Yoga

Let’s admit the truth; many of us don’t know what Acro Yoga is. Meet Richard Baimbridge who has mastered the art of Acro Yoga, which is an amalgamation of yoga, massage and acrobatics. Richard Baimbridge has been almost all over the world and collected years of experience from India’s eastern philosophies, New York’s Jiva Mukti, and the monasteries of China. He got trained at the Shanghai School of Acrobatics, which was a big honor because he was the first foreigner to join. He opened a school for yoga and martial arts in China. It still runs today, but is headed by Zhang Lou Mei. Richard Baimbridge, who has made a name for himself all over the world, is back in his hometown Mexico. He is teaching at Davannayoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:15 pm and Saturday mornings at 10 am. He is also leading AcroYoga classes at Arbol de Yoga on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 pm. He speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin, thus language cannot be a barrier in this learning experience. Take a chance, and try out new yoga therapy which Richard claims to be “yummy in its playfulness” and assures that you and your partner will love the experience of partner yoga and massage.

Are you aware of the consequences when government restricts people from bearing children? The answer is black market. In china you will find thousands of cases of missing children, and the number keeps increasing each year because there is still a demand for boys in some rural areas. The strict family planning policies in China have given birth to a serious issue; a flourishing business of selling children. Such strict laws are only adding to the crime rate and forcing even ordinary families to become insensitive because of their desires.

Join Spanish Classes at Bucerias Bilingual Community center. Classes are starting from April 20th, Monday to Friday from 9 to 10:30 am. You can go for an individual assessment and interview on Friday April 17th. BBCC needs English teachers for the local kids, so if you have the skills apply here. The classes will be small, and everyone will work and learn in teams and groups. This will add to the learning experience. Jorge (Spanish teacher) will ask students questions and make them answer in Spanish. This way, pupils will learn to form sentences, meanwhile grammar and pronunciation will also be corrected.

The International Fireworks Arts Symposium is right around the corner. If you’re a tourist or a vacationer, then you’re lucky because this festival is visiting Puerto Vallarta after a year. You might want to take your cameras to the festival and experiment taking pictures from every angle. Not only will this festival offers a beautiful sight to delight in, it can also be a good opportunity to photograph and preserve the beauty. Whether you have the photographic skills or not; doesn’t matter. You might just discover your hidden talent.

Get more information on rental properties in Puerto Vallarta, also abbreviated as PV or contact at the following numbers. Their Mexican office number is 322.222.0638. In case you are calling from the USA or Canada, call on their local Vonage number 206.388.3703. For more details visit which has been successfully servicing the tourists & local community for the past four years. They have an experienced staff that may help you with rental properties in Puerto Vallarta.

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Yoga for Relaxation, Relax with Yoga Techniques

Do you need to relax? Most of people are having a busy life and do not have time to relax. In their busy life, people are on the run moment they get up from bed to the time they retire for the day. How can you be relax when whole day is spent in meeting the deadlines, pushing schedules, getting to office, getting back to home and not having enough time for having proper meals? In addition, there can be different types of stress due to financial problems, health problems in family, lack of emotional support or work pressures.

Though the development of yoga cannot be pinned to an exact year, the discovery of the Indus seals, which show figures in the classic yoga asana (posture) of lotus pose, trace yoga back to at least 3000 BCE. At this time the Vedas were being written, which today’s yoga postures are derived from. These gave birth to Vedic yoga, which accommodated the ancient Indians fixation on ritual and sacrifice. We see evidence of the importance of sacrifice in the yogic corpse posture. Lying as though we were placed in a coffin, this represents the ultimate sacrifice-that of death

Relaxation is actually a necessary part of every yoga routine. The body needs to relax after practicing the exercises, especially the more demanding ones. Certain asanas require an unusual positioning of the body, which can result in discomfort if the relaxation stage is omitted.

As humans, we are programmed to withstand a certain level of pressure. Pressure is part of all work. Many people, me included, are motivated by the desire to meet goals and achieve more and, respond well to a certain amount of pressure. However too “much pressure” at work has the opposite effect. This state leads you to experience distress and in some cases severe physical pain and emotional burnout

Have you ever experienced moments when you are totally at peace, calm and content with your life? Many of the students I teach yoga say that practicing yoga has given them “inner strength”, a “sense of balance and inner peace” which helps to enhance the quality of their personal relationships, stay focused at work and learn how to cope with stressful situations in a calm and more positive way.

Before listing some of my own personal benefits, those that have been clear to me through experience, let us just consider meditation itself. Meditation is a powerful spiritual practice, and the regular act of meditation can help a great deal in one’s spiritual development. Through the practice of meditation, the person meditating is able to focus on each part of his or her body, something I learnt in my first yoga lesson. Simply by doing this, a great level of relaxation can be achieved, which has the potential in providing many health benefits.

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Learn The Art of Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is an energetic and dynamic kind of yoga and is based on synchronising the breath through a progressive series of postures.

Yoga subscribes to the idea that by using breathing and relaxation techniques, the detrimental effects of tension on the body can be eliminated, or at the very least very much reduced and means oneness, as a result it is to see the wholeness of all things instead of the falsely perceived separateness of the character.

Ashtanga yoga is for persons who want to build up strength, stamina and a number of body flexibility and takes its name from the eight limbs of yoga which include moral, physical and spiritual practices, which are taught in a lot of classes, as a rule more as a result in yoga studios.

Ashtanga Yoga is done as part of a series quickly moving from one posture to another and once the standing poses are completed, you'll be sufficiently warmed up to commence the sequences that are unique to each series.

The practice of Ashtanga is with a predefined set of postures always in the same order combined with explicit breathing exercises and the postures are carried out rhythmically in an athletic approach with the emphasis being on flow.

Used throughout the Ashtanga series, it keeps the breath steady and controlled and draws the minds attention inward, facilitating meditation in motion and as a complete mind and body workout, Ashtanga Yoga helps to turn up concentration, reduce anxiety and loosen muscles.

It consists in discovering a marvellous truth roughly ourselves: We are not merely a particular body, mind, or personality, however the very foundation of all bodies, minds, and personalities-in fact, of all animate and inanimate things in the universe and searching deep into our mind and heart, we learn to go above our everyday limitations and determine that we are immensely vast, surpassing even Nature itself.

Pattabhi Jois account of ashtanga yoga emphasizes a energetic method to the asana (posture) and pranayama (breath control) components of classical ashtanga and according to Pattabhi Jois, defects in the external practices are correctable.

Vinyasa Yoga is a system that uses postures in a graceful manner, involving each posture with a breath and has since been thought of as a physically problematical practice, which can be successful at channelling the hyperactivity of young minds.

Hatha Yoga is a wide-ranging term that describes yoga classes that chiefly consist of yoga postures and Hatha yoga itself can be broken down into several diverse subcategories, or types of yoga classes that you may find when you are new to yoga practice.

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Yoga Teachers Training Classes, Retreat and Work Shop

The Teachers Training Course or TTC is conducted thrice every year and has carved individuals from all walks of life into true yoga experts. The ‘Yoga Acharyas’ as they are called after being certified from YogaLife, disperse globally to spread the yogic wisdom. YogaLife empowers its teachers to imbibe the new-age yoga, drawing its inspiration from the ancient yogic methods and philosophy, and pass on the gained wisdom to their students. YogaLife teachers are taught to explore health beyond the physical existence reaching out to the mind and soul. They assist the students and the participants to break the myth of physical health and transcend them to the next level of fitness, the fitness of mind, soul and consciousness.
Of late YogaLife Teachers Training Course (TTC) has certified over 100 participants from as many as 28 countries across the world. YogaLife Foundation is recognized as an RYS200 Yoga School by Yoga Alliance, USA. The YogaLife Foundation is actively functioning on a worldwide scale in Switzerland, Belgium and New Delhi. The certified teachers of YogaLife conduct yoga classes and sessions for six kriyas, pranayamas, asanas, and meditation. The teachers also lead special workshops such as kids yoga and couples yoga. Innovative programs like sports yogis, stress management, corporate yoga, and team building are also conducted by the teachers. The teachers ensure to teach yoga, which is a blend of traditional and modern techniques so as to meet the requirements of the participants.
The three attractive locations for YogaLife Teachers Training Course (TTC) in India are: The pristine beaches of Goa (January 31 – February 27, 2010), the grand Himalayan foothills of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh (May 30 – June 26, 2010) and in Delhi for part-time learners. The YogaLife certified teachers help individuals in realizing their hidden potential through yoga.

YogaLife has designed a customized corporate training program that has been implemented at the United Nations and private enterprises. Some of the features of these programs include:

1.Management trainings
3.Energy Management (stress management program)
4.Loop (Personal Life Planning)
5.Emotional intelligence and yoga

Over the years, YogaLife has provided a fulfilling experience to thousands of participants from all over the world through its trainings, workshops and retreats. Today, YogaLife has over thousands of clients subscribed to its mailing list and also has been and being covered in various kinds of broadcast media for its innovation and expertise in the field of yoga.


YogaLife’s motto is to spread the art and science of yoga all around the world. There is more to yoga than curing diseases. YogaLife develops new trainers and helps existing trainers improve their teaching methods. We are setting up world class Yoga studios in Delhi and around India to help more people. We are also encouraging other organizations to create new programs in partnership with our existing products and services.

YogaLife (RYS 200), offers Yoga Alliance registered Teacher Trainings Course (TTC) in India, in 3 attractive locations: the beaches of Goa in February, the Himalayan foothill of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh in June and October and Delhi for part-time seekers. All 3 choices are an enticing place to study Yoga.
This course has several unique aspects that you will not find in other programs.
We believe that you have the potential and knowledge to reach where you want. Our role is to help you unfold your potential. We do not teach "our" style of Yoga: we help you discover your style through a coaching approach. The program aims at transforming experienced Yoga practitioners into Yoga Teachers through learning, teaching and self-realization of your true potential.

Exclusive points
1. Select group: 20-25 participants on the course.
2. Course located next to the residence and temple of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
3. An 'intense' training requiring 100% attendance of full and honest participation.
4. Review all the basics of Yoga and a chance to develop a style of your own.
5. A unique opportunity for self-inquiry through progressively increasing practice and Teaching. For more details about the structure of the program, click here.
6. For motivated and determined student, opportunities are offered at the end of the program.
7. A specifically design 150+ page-training manual.
Established in 1999, YogaLife ( was founded by Sanjeev Kumar Bhanot with the objective of spreading fitness and health benefits through yoga. Since its inception, YogaLife has emerged as a reputable yoga institute with due recognition from RYS (Registered Yoga School); the well known international authority on yoga.
Over the last 10 years YogaLife has surfaced as a leader of yoga training in Europe, US, and India. YogaLife has also joined hands with leading yoga maestros such as Deepak Chopra; the MD Chairman and Co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, USA. Yogalife Foundation aids the development of yogic wisdom through energizing pranayama, yoga asana, meditation and various other ground-breaking mind-body workshops. The institute has magically touched and healed the lives of many of its participants.
YogaLife also conducts training courses for the aspiring yoga teachers. YogaLife stands for the new-age yoga, which also retains the ancient methodology and philosophy of the original form. The yoga classes are held in a vivacious and affable space where relaxation, fun, and yogic wisdom go hand-in-hand. YogaLife believes that health is not just restricted to the physical existence, but also pertains to the soul, mind and consciousness of an individual. It assists the participants to discover their hidden potential by expanding their inner-self.
The vibrant yoga sessions include asanas, meditation, six kriyas, pranayamas, specialized programs and workshops, like yoga classes, yoga workshops for couples and kids, and weekend workshops. YogaLife has also introduced pioneering programs such as stress management, corporate yoga, and teambuilding for the strained out professionals. Another notable innovation of YogaLife is ‘sports yogis’; an exclusive program for the athletes and sports persons as per their specific requisites.
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Yoga Has It All and Does It All

Yoga’s benefits are becoming more and more known in the western world. A lot of people think of yoga as acrobatic poses. There’s that pose that you’re not sure if you’re going to come out okay from. Or there’s the one that just doesn’t look humanly possible. How about the one that involves doing a push up which is hard enough just to do never mind hold.

Fortunately there’s good news. Those poses are for when you become more flexible and stable and there’s easier poses that you can begin with that anyone can do.

Yoga is not just for toning up and becoming more flexible though. Yoga is good for you physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s a tri-factor of health.

Increased energy and vitality, a calmer outlook on life, and a connection to the real you can all be expected from practicing yoga. It’s really something you can’t afford to not do if you are looking to be healthier and happier.

Yoga for the body

Yoga helps in many areas of physical fitness including flexibility, strength, muscle toning, and better breathing which means it creates a toned, flexible, and strong body. This obviously will help you to get up that extra flight of stairs or push yourself a little harder on the treadmill.

It improves respiration by learning how to breathe properly while doing the poses. Not a lot of people know how important breathing is but it can affect how you feel and look, your resistance to disease and even your life span.

There are poses that help your thyroid. That’s right, there are several yoga postures that "massage" your thyroid and when you do these yoga postures the thyroid gland will feel relaxed, cleansed and cared-for. Your thyroid makes hormones that regulate your metabolism. So if your thyroid is not healthy, then your metabolism is not healthy. And since your metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories, when your metabolism is "off" you won't have the energy you need for a happy life and it will be almost impossible to lose weight.

You’ll feel and look stronger and eventually be able to do those poses you thought were out of reach.

Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who suffer from back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car. That can cause tightness and spinal compression, which you can begin to help with youryoga. It also will help with your alignment which will prevent many other types of pain.

Yoga for the mind

Yoga is excellent for stress relief. If you’ve ever done meditation then you know that concentrating on something whether it is listening to a sound or staring at an object focuses your mind and helps you let go of all the worries and problems that can plague it. So concentrating on your pose and most importantly your breath is an excellent form of calming yourself.

Yoga also gives you a heightened awareness of your body. Not the awareness of how much fat is hanging over your shorts but the movements your body makes or the muscles used to make those movements. The reason for this is the slow transition between poses. Knowing and appreciating what your body can do leads to greater self confidence and self esteem.

Yoga for the spirit

Just as the concentration of focusing on your breathing and pose helps with calming you down, it can also help get you to another level of spirituality or connection to that area of your life.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word. It means union with God. This union is a conscious union. We are all united with God but we are not aware of it. When we practiceYoga, we become conscious of our union with God through our stillness and awareness.

Once you feel that oneness, once you connect with yourself you will begin to understand your beliefs and what feels right to you. You’ll recognize truth for what it is and I can attest that there’s nothing better than that.

For an excellent book on the many ways yoga can help you go to gnani yoga and start feeling the benefits today.

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Can Yoga For Kids Be A Cure For Diseases?

Yoga for kids has been developed to build up stamina in the young children and to give them a better quality of life. However, children cannot do every type of yoga. Since they are growing and so are their muscles and organs, it will not be wise for them to do all the strenuous kinds of poses. It might take a toll on their physical and mental well-being. So specific poses in yoga can be given to the kids for improving their health and also concentration powers. Yoga can be used as a treatment for specific diseases. However, be careful that you don’t make kids with physical deformities do yoga. It will be very difficult for them to practice the various asanas.

How Yoga Benefits Kids

There are many ways in which yoga benefits kids. Besides endowing the children with perfect health, it also acts as a cure for many diseases.
• Overall health – Yoga for kids builds up the overall health. It makes him strong and fighting fit. Children can practice the easy and delicate poses and still get a lot of benefits. It improves the stability and brings about a general balance in him. It straightens the spine and lends good posture to the body. Yoga also strengthens the muscles and aids in digestion. A good workout will cause the perspiration to flow, releasing the toxins and the waste products of the body.
• Down Syndrome – One in every 700 kids has the Down syndrome. Most of the activities that a kid does during its growing stages are delayed or retarded. Learning to walk, motor skills, communicating with others and learning a language are all delayed. The eyes are very obviously defective. Yoga for kids helps children with Down syndrome in a significant manner. It perks up the body muscles and makes all the organs of the body perform their functions normally. It strengthens the body and the endocrine glands are systematized. It prevents the kids from putting on extra weight, which would have been unavoidable if the kids would not have been practicing yoga. The breathing exercises further stimulate the nervous system and improve the mental powers and concentration of the kids.
• Cerebral Palsy – This defect occurs when the motor areas of the brain are damaged thereby affecting the capability to make movements and also the posture of a kid. Some difficult periods during pregnancy or child birth result in this defect. Meningitis or traumatic brain injury can also lead to this dreadful condition. Yoga for kids is very helpful in such cases as it boosts muscle coordination and also the motor skills. It releases the pent-up stress in the muscles and joints. The stretching will lead to realignment of the spine. The child will be able to move his hands and legs in an independent way.

Yoga can be made a pleasure activity for kids. By introducing several interactive methods to interpret the poses, it will add a new dimension for the kids. Children will be delighted to indulge in poses which pique their curiosity. Thus yoga for kids can be made very interesting by an intelligent teacher and the kids will look forward to learning the various poses with pleasure.
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Yoga: Use Your Breath to Calm Your Mind

Yoga is a 6000-year-old form of exercise which not only disciplines the body but conditions the mind as well.

The practice of yoga is largely thought of as just the asanas (postures and exercises), but breath is really at the heart of yoga. Some have said "if you can breathe, then you can do yoga". The use of breathing techniques to quiet your mind is one of the primary objectives of yoga.

By regularly taking the time for yoga, you will become very conscious of your breathing. You will train yourself to control your breath, which will help you become calm and relaxed. As well, the form of your asanas will improve the more you focus on your breathing.

Our minds tend to wander; thinking of the future and the past constantly. With yoga, you'll train yourself to consider the present - where we are, where our bodies exist. The practice of yoga through breathing techniques helps you to draw your thoughts inward and release all of your worries and tensions.

One of the energizing aspects of yoga is that it teaches you the ability to be deeply aware of the present moment, at the same times as you are letting go of the worries and concerns that can cause stress and illness in your body.

Yoga teaches the practice of conscious breathing while doing poses - this fosters consciousness of your technique and greater mental alertness. By drawing your mind into the moment and forgetting all else, you will garner the benefits which yoga has to offer.

While there are a number of breathing exercises associated with yoga which will teach you how to release tension and balance your mind, as a start, try the following exercise.

* Lie or sit comfortably and become aware of your normal state of breathing.

* Still aware of your breath, inhale and exhale 4 counts each several times.

* Next, increase your inhalation and exhalations to 5 counts each.

* Then increase the count to 6 for each inhalation and exhalation. Become aware of your body - make sure that it is relaxed.

* Continue this way until your inhalations and exhalations reach 9 counts. If this is causing you any discomfort, drop the count back down to more comfortable number for you.

* Keep bringing your mind back to your body to check to see if there is any tension anywhere. If there is, try to relax that part of your body.

* Whatever your final number of breaths is, continue breathing with long breaths for several rounds, then drop the counting and breathe naturally for 10 rounds.

What you can gain from this exercise - as you can from a number of other yogic breathing exercises, is the capacity to still your mind and relax your body through mastery over your breath. With some practice, you will become an expert at this technique, able to achieve a state of relaxation any time you are under stress and feeling tense.

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Learning About Hatha Yoga

Yoga has become one of the most popular types of alternative medical treatments and its popularity is growing rapidly every year.

Hatha yoga is only one of many "types" of yoga that exists today.

Yoga was originally meant to be a spiritual treatment of the mind and the soul.

It has, in today’s world, become more of a physical treatment than anything else.

Hatha yoga is the type of yoga that prepares your body for its spiritual journey. This is mainly done with physical and breathing exercises as well as asceticism. This type of yoga requires the most physical exercise than any of the other types of yoga.

A few of the main factors for Hatha yoga are concentration on your breathing and your posture. This type of concentration can be more difficult than you think. Once you try this for yourself and see what this type of concentration can do, you will want to continue with this type of yoga. The purpose of practicing a great posture is to practice great meditation. You need to find a position that you can sit in for a long period of time. If you cannot be comfortable in your meditation and yoga positions, then you will be unsuccessful. The more postures and positions that you can acquire, a better meditative state will result.

Hatha is the form of yoga that anyone should begin with. Hatha begins with the basics of yoga and teaches you the inner workings of meditation and how you should begin. Once you master your own postures and positions of meditation comfort, it is time to master your breathing patterns. If you can master your own breathing patterns, than mastering your mind is not far out of reach for you. It takes many steps to reach these different levels of meditation and yoga. With practice and concentration anyone can do it.

If you are beginning your new adventure with yoga, Hatha is the form of yoga that you should begin with. If you want your yoga career to be successful you must begin with the proper steps and then learn in the right order. If you only learn the superficial methods of yoga, then you will not experience the desired results from this amazing technique of holistic meditation.

In today’s world, Hatha yoga mostly used for its physical exercise. We do not take advantage of the other benefits that Hatha yoga can give to us. It is a form of yoga that if done properly, can heal you in the most holistic way possible. Hatha yoga does evolve from its physical exercises. It is these exercises that begin and promote the mind and soul healing. No matter why you are participating in yoga, you can receive all of these benefits. The only way you can recognize them or use them to your benefit is to practice the other side of yoga, meditation. If you are unaware that these features, they will be of no use to you. When practicing yoga, you need to be aware of everything going on within you. Pay attention to yourself and you will instantly be able to see the changes that are going on within you.

Hatha yoga can be easy to learn if you are open minded and want to learn. It is a technique that can be mastered if you put all your energy and concentration into it. By learning the techniques of Hatha yoga, you are well on your way to an alternative way of healing in the most holistic way possible.

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Costa Rica Yoga Vacation

A vacation is a time to rest, refocus, and enjoy, there is no better way to do all three than on a Costa Rica yoga vacation. A Costa Rica yoga holiday is more than just a trip away from home, it is a way to experience the practice of yoga in the peaceful, serene natural beauty of the rainforest. Take your yoga skills to the next level as you breathe the ocean air deeply and enjoy the sounds of the rainforest. While you're at it, meet some of the inhabitants of the rainforest, your Costa Rica Yoga vacation will be an opportunity to reach within and embrace your true self while at the same time reaching out to embrace the iguana that’s sauntering by.

When you’ve achieved a peaceful state of enlightenment, trade your mat for a board and hit the waves because with more than eight hundred miles of shoreline, your Costa Rica yoga experience is just getting started! After some serious surf time use what you've learned during your Costa Rica yoga training to conquer your fears and head out to enjoy one of the many adventure activities. Kick your journey of self-discovery into high gear with the white water rafting, snorkeling, horseback riding, canopy tours, zip-lining, mountain biking, and even bungee jumping that makes Costa Rica synonymous with adventure travel. If your Costa Rica yoga journey requires quieter pursuits, the jungle offers amazing opportunities for bird watching and hiking as you search for monkeys, toucans, parrots, and the reclusive rainforest sloth. A great yoga session will prepare your mind to concentrate on your swing as Costa Rica boasts world class golf courses and day spas. Of course the best way to cap off a perfect day of yoga is to take a dip in one of Cost Rica's famed natural waterfalls. End your day of yoga and adventure by strolling on the beach at sunset, you're at peace, you're enlightened, you're on a Costa Rica yoga holiday!!

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The Top 5 Yoga Accessories

Once you have selected a high-quality yoga mat, you may be wondering which accessories or yoga props will help you improve and deepen your yoga practice. We cover the five most important yoga accessories: blocks, bolsters, straps, mat bags, and mat cleaners.

Yoga blocks are props to help improve your alignment and make you more comfortable during practice. They can be made of a variety of materials, such as eco-friendly cork and bamboo, or more conventional foam. Blocks are often used during standing poses in which one hand is on the floor, and can be great transitional aids while you develop your flexibility. Some poses also make use of sitting on a yoga block. Yoga blocks are often sold individually, but we recommend buying two for the most versatility.

Yoga bolsters provide extra support in difficult poses. They are basically stuffed cushions or rolls, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. A single bolster may be used in a variety of ways, supporting the head and neck in one pose, supporting the back in another, and stretching the abdomen yet another pose. Bolsters are commonly used in the "restorative" varieties of yoga, such as Kripalu. Many bolster options are available, including rectangular and round shapes, cotton, organic cotton, or hemp covers, and foam or organic cotton filling.

Yoga straps, also called yoga belts, are useful for developing flexibility. They can help beginners to transition into certain poses that would not otherwise be possible. One common use is a hamstring stretch, in which the yoga strap is hooked around the foot while the leg is held straight. They can also assist in bound poses such as cow face, or Gomukhasana, if your hands are not able to naturally clasp each other. Yoga straps are commonly available in materials such as nylon and hemp, and often have buckles on the end to aid in storage and transportation.

Mat bags are useful for convenience and helping to protect your mat and yoga accessories. Depending on how much you carry back and forth to class, you may want a small mat bag that is sized slightly larger than your mat, or a larger, duffel-style mat bag that can carry extra supplies: yoga blocks, towels, water bottles, extra clothing, etc. Some people choose to make their own yoga mat bag out of silk or other materials - there are many great resources online that give instructions on how to do so. Ready-to-buy yoga mat bags are made out of materials such as nylon, cotton, organic cotton, or hemp.

Yoga mat cleaners are also very important. After regular practice, a yoga mat can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, mold, and mildew. According to the New York Times, some dermatologists and podiatrists say that in the past two years or so, they have noticed a rise in the number of skin infections in their patients who practice yoga and use public mats. You do not need to use harmful chemicals to clean and sterilize your mat, however. There are some great natural choices available, using natural oils and plant extracts that thoroughly clean your mat. You can use a mat cleaning solution that you put in your washing machine, yoga mat cleaning wipes, or cleaning sprays that can be wiped down with a towel.

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The Similarities And Differences Of Pilates And Yoga

You can barely turn on the TV nowadays without hearing about Pilates or Yoga. When you take up a magazine, you are bound to find articles about these two exercise methods and it seems like everyone is doing either one or the other. What is all of the excitement about? Why are these techniques so special? What are the differences and similarities between Pilates and Yoga?
Yoga aims to unite the body, mind, and spirit. The person who aspires to do Yoga views that the body and mind are one. They believe that if the body is given the right tools and is taken to the proper environment then the body can find harmony and will be able to heal itself. Yoga is considered to be therapeutic. You will have a heightened awareness of your body's alignment, posture, and patterns of movement. Yoga tends to make your body more flexible and it will help you to relax even if you are in the middle of a stress stricken environment. Therefore, one of the most important reasons as to why people start practicing Yoga is that they want to feel more energetic, be more happy, feel more fit and be at peace.
One performs Yoga mainly in a group setting on a special Yoga mat with the help of a Yoga instructor. You use your body's own weight for resistance. You must also focus a great deal of your attention to the flow from one posture into that of another. Yoga styles are varied and there is not one style that is considered to be better than another. These styles also vary in their emphasis, and the style you choose is a matter of personal preference.
Pilates also seeks to reach many of the same goals as does Yoga by way of a series of movements that are very controlled. The major difference between Pilates and Yoga is that while doing Pilates exercises not only makes use of a mat, but it also incorporates work on different Pilates machines. The main thrust of the Pilates exercises is to improve posture, strengthen the abdominal muscles, improve balance, lengthen and stabilize the spine and improve overall strength. Pilates will tend to give you a leaner, longer, dancer-like line.
A Whole Body Workout
Unlike a variety of other training programs, Pilates makes an effort to work the whole body and places its emphasis on precision, control, and concentration in both the body as well as the mind. There is no attempt made at doing many repetitions at a time in a rapid, haphazard fashion. Instead, the focus is placed on quality and not the amount of reps you do. The "powerhouse" that consists of the lower back, abdominal muscles and the buttocks are at the center of all movement and this allows the rest of your body to move fluidly and freely. When one focuses on core stabilization, it makes the student stronger from the inside out. This is critical for the advancement of the Pilates student. Pilates is low impact by nature and, therefore, it is ideal for the prevention of injury and for rehabilitation. Pilates has six guiding principles - concentration, centering, flow, control, breathing and precision. These principles train the body to move more efficiently while placing minimal impact on the body. With Pilates, there is a definite balance between flexibility and strength that creates a vigorous, symmetrical and health workout for all of the different muscle groups, which will result in a more balanced, leaner, and stronger body.

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Yoga and Pilates for Better Health

It is estimated that as many as 20 million Americans participate in some form of Yoga as a part of their workout routines. Many people consider Yoga a highly beneficial and proven path to mental health and physical well-being. The practice has its roots in ancient India beginning nearly 5000 years ago. In the past two decades, it has become a global Phenomenon. There are several types of Yoga, including Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga.

Although Pilates has been around since World War I, it has become fairly popular in the last decade. It is named after Joseph Pilates who, as a child living in Germany, was afflicted with various disorders, including rickets, asthma and pneumatic fever. These illnesses motivated him to focus his life on the development of the physical body. Before long, Pilates had developed a reputation in the sports of diving, skiing and weight-lifting. He went on to become a physical therapist and further developed his system to patients who were confined to exercising to recover their muscle strength.

The most popular form of Yoga that is practiced in the West is called Hatha Yoga. It is composed of three components: asanas, meditation and pranayama. Each element is believed to have specific health benefits. For example asanas, which are different poses, help align the spine, improve blood circulation and educe a state of relaxation. Meditation has been shown to bring on a relaxed condition in the nervous system as well as assist in the enhancement of the body's immune system. The third element Pranayama is a Sanskrit word, which refers to the control of breath. "Prana" means life force. In Yoga, interference with prana from stress, toxins or improper nutrition creates blockages that have a detrimental effect on the body's mental emotional and physical well-being.

Pranayama, which typically concentrates on deep abdominal breathing techniques, dissipates these obstructions. There have been many studies published about the positive benefits the practice have had in health. Generally, a Yoga session begins with a mediation exercise. The participant then performs a series of asanas, in conjunction with breathing exercises. The workout may be designed to work on a specific facet, such as flexibility, balance or strength. Sometimes, it is intended to address a combination of the three elements.

One of the early studies on the association between Yoga-related activity and health benefits was 1968 documented by Harvard Medical School cardiologists Robert Keith Wallace and Herbert Benson. They reported that participants in their research, who were students of Transcendental Meditation, had a decrease in their metabolic, heart and respiratory rate while engaging in mantra meditation. This involves repeating the same sound over and over again.

Research published in one of the foremost medical journals in the world, The Lancer (1990), cites that patients participating in Yoga breathing techniques lessen the incidence of asthma attacks. Researchers at the Menninger Foundation reports that Yoga meditation influences the heart and helps improve blood circulation. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (April 2005), reported that practicing yoga could help make small improvements in risk factors that are associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, including glucose levels and total cholesterol.

In 1965, at age 86, Joseph Pilates made the following statement: "I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."

The great thing about Pilates is the freedom to design workout routines that are customized according to an individual's fitness and health condition. Many people have claimed an expanded range of motion and improved flexibility, circulation, form and abdominal muscles. They also reported a decrease in neck, back and joint pain. Like Yoga, Pilates has three key elements that generate health benefits: body awareness, body core and body control.

Pilates workouts may last as long as 90 minutes. A session can take the form of a mat-based exercises, or equipment-based routines. The workout may include several drills that involve maneuvering your body into unstable or awkward positions. The next step is to test and challenge your body by moving the limbs. The routines are usually conducted a specific number of repetitions and in sets of five to ten.

The objective behind Pilates is to become more aware of your body and to strengthen it by targeting the spine and abdominal section. The techniques are very pliable and can be adjusted for different fitness and health phases. Much like Yoga, Pilates involves the coordination of the mind body and breath. Siri Dharma Galliano is one of the leading Pilates trainers in the West. She is also certified in Kundalini Yoga.

Galliano states that Pilates" is an education in body awareness" and that it "teaches you how to train your mind and build symmetry and coordination in the body." Many Pilates trainers emphasize the health benefits of Pilates, especially for developing a strong and healthy back. A muscular back, in turn, leads to the development stronger abdominal muscles. A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise concluded that "Pilates has a long list of benefits including improved body mechanics, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility." The same research cites limited cardiovascular benefits.

In recent years, many fitness professionals have started incorporating the different attributes of Yoga and Pilates into a comprehensive routine for improving all aspects of mental and physical health. A new term has been coined to describe this workout; it is called "yogilaties." The basic objective remains the same, which is to promote further body awareness and to develop a more balance approach to strengthening the physical body.

Whether practiced alone, or in combination, Yoga and Pilates are being used by millions of devotees to train their minds and bodies for higher performance. Many people claim to experience a more relax state of mind and better over all health. Many preliminary studies as well as anecdotal evidence seem to back up their assertions.
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