Breaking Myths about Yoga

Nov 29, 2019 by

Yoga originated in India but has managed to spread around the world like bush fire. It has become very popular in the western world to the extent that it is a cool thing to do. However, not everybody practices yoga. On the one hand, there are lifetime practitioners, and on the other hand, the ones who do not practice because of the myths and misconceptions surrounding yoga practice. We will focus on the myths and misconceptions that surround this practice among those who do not believe in it. The following are myths about yoga:

Yoga is meant for the young and physically fit

Yoga has no boundaries when it comes to age. Anybody can do yoga since it is meant to focus on the overall well-being of an individual. You do not have to be physically fit to practice yoga and there is no limit on the age for those who want to take up yoga. Moreover, yoga practice is also beneficial to the elderly as it can help solve issues that come with old age, including blood pressure and arthritis.

Yoga requires people who are flexible

The poses associated with yoga can be very scary to those who would want to take up yoga sessions for the first time. Advanced yoga enthusiasts have managed to reach those levels of complexities by practicing daily. You need not worry about difficult yoga poses from the very beginning, but instead, you should only do what your body is comfortable with. After all, you do not need to be flexible to practice yoga, instead, yoga is meant to make you flexible.

Yoga can cure your ailments

Yoga can be very useful especially in maintaining good health and keeping the central nervous system healthy. However, you cannot expect that all the diseases will simply go away in just a day. You will need a certain level of consistency in yoga practice in order to start noticing any changes. Therefore, the medication should go hand in hand with yoga.

Yoga is meant for women

This is a misconception. Yoga is meant for everybody and not necessarily women. In fact, the practice of yoga cuts across the gender barrier, men not only practicing yoga but also becoming renowned instructors. Yoga practice for men will help to strengthen the muscles, keep the body in good posture, improve flexibility, and help to relieve stress. Hence, yoga is as important to men as it is to women.

Yoga is better during the morning hours

In as much as there are benefits of doing yoga in the morning, it does not necessarily mean that you are restricted to this time of the day. If you have a busy morning schedule, then you should find some free time during the day for practice. There is no specific time to practice yoga.

Yoga is about asana and pranayama

Asana, which deals with postures together with pranayama, which deals with breathing, is not the only principle of yoga. There are other principles like Dhyaan, Yama, Niyama, Dharana, Pratyahara, and Samadhi. All these principles work together to ensure the overall well-being of an individual. Therefore, many people say that yoga is much more important than fitness.

Yoga practice is boring

There is fun in yoga sessions as you get to interact with your fellow members, trying together to achieve different stretches and body poses. Yoga is not about being serious all the time; there may be moments of laughter and humor during class since not everybody will manage to do the body poses in the right way. Thus, yoga sessions will become more enjoyable.

Yoga means spiritualism

Yoga does not define religion. Anybody who needs peace with himself can practice yoga without any discrimination.
In conclusion, there are lots of myths associated with yoga practice but they should not prevent you from trying it out. It will change your life for good.

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Life is a Spa

Sep 9, 2019 by

 

Being tangled in a web of insecurities is not fun. Trust me. Just because my hair is done, I have a smile on and my outfit is put together doesn’t mean I’m strong. If you can’t see it, it must not be there.

My life might not be an open book either, but keeping it all together as a working woman, a partner and a mom is not all rainbows and flowers all the time. That’s why I created a place for me to escape daily. There are a couple of ways to do it.

I like to disconnect myself from technology each day a couple of hours before bed. Dim the lights, possibly light some candles and read a book. If my toddler is still awake, I would create a tipi type of a house for us to sit in and read out loud together. I feel that any activity that does not require strong lighting and loud music works well for calming and de-stressing. I call this setting a spa, with no technology in sight where the time is always now.

 

 

We are obviously different, and other practices might work better for you. So, another way of bringing your awareness to the present moment is by stopping and handwriting things down. In this fast-paced world, we can easily find ourselves with difficulties to convey something thoughtfully. The world revolves at a pace that is difficult for us to keep up with. So, we start meshing things together for better optimization of our time. But, we might be digging ourselves a hole in the long run. I think writing is a wonderful practice of mindfulness. Don’t just make lists. Write in full sentences and start forming paragraphs, and later full articles. If you’re comfortable with it, even find an outlet where you can share them.

Maybe stopping and meditating seems too time-consuming to you. You seem to be more accomplished by leading an always on the go lifestyle. But, think of it again from a distant point of view. Slowing down will bring your heartbeat and blood pressure down, and it will balance your overall well-being. It will make you perform better in the short run, and in the long run it will make you go after health resources less frequently. I say try it in the company of a good friend. So, instead of meditation (or a different calming exercise), you can call it a hangout or a casual business meeting. Stopping and mindfully observing yourself will actually make you think of endless new ideas that might come handy at your next big meeting. I say try it.

Life is a spa. It should feel like it, too.

Here’s a calming yoga sequence that works for me in a place of meditation, I would normally do it before going to bed at night for inspiring better sleep:

– Sit cross-legged on the floor, then bring hands in prayer in front of the heart and cross one leg on top of the other, so that the knee is facing up for Sukhasana. Repeat on the other side.

– Now from that same pose, bring both hands behind your back, one from the bottom of your side, and the other from the top. Now try to interlace the fingers on your back, or bring them as close together as you can, lengthening your spine with each inhales. This is called the Gomukhasana pose.

 

– From here on, bring the hands in front. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. With an inhale lengthen the spine, and with an exhale rotate towards one knee—placing the opposite hand on the knee— before repeating the move on the other side for the Parivrtta Sukhasana pose.

– From the same comfortable seated position, bend your torso over to the front with a straight back. Continue breathing deeply and slowly. The position is called Buddha Konasana.

– Extend one leg at the time and position yourself into tabletop pose for performing cat-cow poses or Marjatysana and Bitilasana.

– Before concluding the sequence, position in a Child’s pose with arms extended in front and finally arms by your side.

Namaste.

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Best Yoga Props

Jul 13, 2019 by

Yoga is something you can do with very little equipment. You generally just need a mat and some yoga leggings. In some cases, you may not even need the mat. It just adds extra comfort and stability to whatever surface you are on. There are other props you can use to help enhance or improve your yoga practice. None of these are required, but if you want assistance improving a posture or trying to go deeper into a pose, there are some options.

  • The first prop you might find useful is a yoga towel. If you find yourself participating primarily in hot yoga classes or vinyasa classes where you’re building heat in your body and sweating, a towel will help so your mat doesn’t become too slippery. A class that is intended to energize you, can quickly become a slippery disaster if you don’t have a towel to go over a yoga mat. If you don’t want to purchase a full towel, it is helpful to have a smaller hand-size towel to wipe off your hands and feet with.
  • If you’re reading this article, then you probably already have a yoga mat or at least know that you need one. You may find that carrying the mat around can be frustrating as it might often come unraveled. The easiest way to remedy this is with a yoga mat bag. They are shaped so the mat can fit in, while rolled up, and most come with a strap so you can put it over your shoulder for easy carrying.
  • A yoga block is a fantastic prop for helping you get deeper into poses or support you in more challenging poses. Yoga blocks are inexpensive and can be found at any major retailer
  • Another prop that is great for adding comfort is a blanket. Use it to place underneath your knees during poses like camel poses or any time you feel pressure on your knees. It will help provide comfort during these poses.
  • Lastly, if you’re working on your meditation, you may want to invest in a meditation cushion. Trying to maintain proper posture on what can sometimes be a hard floor, and trying to keep your mind clear of any negative or stressful thoughts is challenging. The cushion will provide you with added comfort and help make sure your posture stays correct while meditating, allowing you to let go and clear your mind.

If you purchase one of these props and aren’t sure how to use them, there are plenty of resources out there telling you different ways to use them to help with your yoga practice. They aren’t necessary. They are merely tools to use if you wish to enhance your practice. Yoga is all about doing your best at the moment and continually growing and improving in each posture. Some days you might see a lot of progress, and other days you might feel as if you’ve taken a step back. The point is to keep coming to your mat, and these props can help you with your growth. 

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Ganesha

Apr 21, 2019 by

Hinduism

Hinduism is a religion commonly practiced in Southern Asia. It is one of the major religions in the world. 15-16% of the world’s population practices Hinduism. The majority of them live in India which is no surprise considering it originated in Northern India. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion that has many deities. It is often believed that deities are individuals. In fact, they are all representations of one god, Brahman. Brahman is the Supreme Being or the Ultimate Reality. Hindu gods and goddesses embody different attributes and traits that reflect Brahman. They are means for the individual to direct their devotion to a specific aspect of Brahman by way of visual representation. 

It is found that the Hindu deities may have specific features unique to their origin. Some features people may have seen are: 

  • Flowers
  • Flutes
  • Multiple arms
  • And posture

There are nuances within the deities and each representation. The deities are multidimensional, so they possess many qualities which may be evident in the visual portrayal. They may be categorized in a family that is associated with a specific heritage. 

Ganesha In Images

A popular deity in Hinduism is Ganesha or Ganesh. There are many tales of how he was given the elephant head. Some say he was born with an elephant head while others claim that it came later in life. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. The story says that he was ordered by his mother, Parvati, to prohibit anyone from entering the house. When Shiva arrived home, he did not permit him to enter. As a result, Shiva cut off the head of Ganesh. When Parvati discovered this, she ordered Shiva to bring him back to life. Shiva returned with an elephant head and brought him back. 

Ganesh has an elephant head and a plump human body with yellow skin pigmentation. His posture looks as if he is sitting with one leg folded and the other on the ground. In his hands, he is usually holding a few objects such as a rope, an axe, water lily, and a bowl of sweetmeats. 

Representation Of Ganesha 

Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and difficulties. He grants good fortune to those who pray to him. He is worshiped at the beginning of a new journey such as moving into a new home, employment, or marriage. The elephant head represents gaining knowledge by listening with the ears. One of the tusks is broken while the other is perfectly fine to demonstrate the two realms of the world both good and bad. The protruding symbolizes the ability to absorb life as it may come. A pot belly usually means that someone has the resources to eat well and provide a comfortable living. His four arms represent the four different Hindu texts. His posture shows an equilibrium between the spiritual and the experiential world. 

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Easing Out Acid Reflux Through Yoga

Feb 6, 2019 by

Have you ever suffered from heartburn? Have you ever felt the nauseous feeling of your stomach acid crawling back to your esophagus with an acidic after-taste? If you have, then you know how horrible and annoying the acid reflux could be, especially if you do not have any antacid within reach.

Why Does It Burn?

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be caused by fatty foods, citric fruits and juices, alcohol, chocolate and of course, stress, the major cause of all diseases. The condition occurs when the valve which separates the esophagus from the stomach malfunctions. The discomfort of a burning sensation can even cause a lack of focus and sleepless nights for some, affecting their daily routines and overall health.

Natural Remedy

Though over-the-counter antacids can easily fix acid reflux, finding a natural solution doesn’t only assure that you won’t experience any side effects but also allows you to access relief anytime and anywhere. Yoga poses help to strengthen the immune system and stimulate the organs of the body to function properly. Practicing it also ensures that the oxygen flowing through your system are well oxygenated and prepared to absorb nutrients properly. Not only that, but it is also infamous for the relaxation it causes to the body and the mind. Try the following poses to ease out your acid reflux naturally.

Cat Pose: This pose decompresses the spine while stimulating internal organs, helping improve your digestive system’s performance. 

  • To Do The Pose: Begin with your knees and hands planted on the ground. Your hands must be parallel to your shoulders and your knees in alignment with your hips. Curve your spine up, pulling your shoulder blades away from each other and tucking your tailbone in. Keep your gaze in your navel. Deeply breathe 3-4 times in this pose.

Downward Facing Dog: This is an easy inversion. It stretches the hamstrings and lower back while allowing better blood circulation, especially within the abdominal area. It sends back freshly oxygenated blood to the organs, helping ease out acid reflux.

  • To Do The Pose: From a cat pose, plant your toes on the ground and straighten your legs up. Push through your shoulders and feet while sending your hips up to the sky. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths.

Warrior II: This pose improves leg strength and mobility. It also aids in developing a strong core, helping boost the digestive organs to function normally.

  • To Do The Pose: Start in a plank pose. Then, bring your right foot between your hands and turn your left foot out. Rise with your knees locked on a right angle and your gluteus supporting your weight. Extend your right arm forward and left arm back. Take 3-5 breaths while holding the pose. Do the same process on the other leg.

Lifestyle plays a significant role when it comes to your health. If any symptoms persist, consult your physician. Flow along with body awareness and never force your body of any movements that hurt. Practice with patience and have fun while flowing!

Stylishly Flow

Fighting acid reflux doesn’t have to be all serious, though has to be mindful. When it comes to yoga practice, keeping a positive and light attitude contribute s a lot towards faster healing. Check these amazing leggings to add up fun to your flow.

Terez Black and White Glitter Performance Leggings: These workout leggings are spiced up with playful and stylish graphic designs that’ll surely lift up your mood. Made with 20% elastane and 80% polyester, the prints of these yoga pants for women were texturized which gives it an edgy yet cozy and durable advantage. 

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Goat Yoga

Sep 3, 2018 by

Looking for a fun way to kick your Yoga practice to another level?  Do you have a love for animals? Here’s something that will surely excite your soul!

Meh here! Meh there! Goats everywhere!
In Albany, Oregon, a class of 1,200 people were in line for a one of a kind experience. A very exciting class that both the yoga and goat-loving society has never thought of: Goat Yoga! This fun experience is currently hitting the limelight.

Lainey Morse owns a farm in western Oregon known as No Regrets. Morse quit her corporate job in Phoenix, Arizona and never returned. Owning goats has been her way of coping with depression. She suffers from an immune system disorder called Sjogren’s Syndrome. The goats have helped her feel lighter and cope with negative emotions.

Goat Yoga classes are also loved by people who suffer from different diseases, such as cancer, due to the emotions and happiness they attain. It may not cure their disease, but it serves as a coping mechanism to feel positivity amidst it all.

Goat Yogi

Discovering how Yoga and goats can flow together happened by accident when Lainey hosted an auction event for a charity where a yoga instructor approached her. Heather Davis, a yoga teacher, suggested complimenting yoga with goats would be a lovely practice.

It didn’t take long for the whole concept to be polished. An average 30-minute class is accompanied by 8 goats that aged from a few weeks old to a couple of years. Morse assured that there’s nothing to worry about when doing yoga with the goats. These goats automatically find attraction towards humans. They will approach strangers by the door and nuzzle to pet them.

Mind Empowerment

In yoga, breathing and movement come hand-in-hand. Awareness of our movement and breathing patterns is awareness of our mind’s complexity. Our breathing can directly affect the parasympathetic system in our brain, which is responsible for our fight or flight reflex. Breathing deeply triggers the body to relax, allowing the mind to fully calm down. A mind clear of the fog of worries is a mind aware of its thoughts and power. Adding cute little goats jumping around to this practice is surely a great stress buster!

Ahimsa!

Goat Yoga is a clear example of Ahimsa which is the universal morality of non-violence. This limb of Yoga shows how compassion, love, and consideration for everything that possesses life can help elevate the soul towards its true form. The lack of violence is our responsibility as part of humanity in order to keep peace and harmony. This attitude must be observed and understood beyond the physical practice.

The next time you want to have fun and kill stress levels while practicing compassion, give Goat Yoga a try! Wear a comfortable tank so you can enjoy your exercise in nature fully. This new trend can surely benefit the mind and body. What’s more exciting than doing some flows in a beautiful scenery with goats adding fun and flavor to the practice? Flow with love and rejuvenate your spirit through Goat Yoga!

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The Benefits of Yoga to Althletes

Feb 1, 2018 by

Some people are attracted to yoga because of the physical benefits of strengthening muscles and relieving pain, while others pursue the mental benefits of relaxation and stress relief. No matter which reason originally motivated your interest, you will reap benefits from practicing yoga. Everyone has the capacity to enhance the quality of their life through yoga, but the physical and mental benefits can have particular advantages for competitive athletes. Read on to discover the unique benefits to sport-minded individuals.

Firstly, yoga can be added to the repertoire of an athlete’s regimen as another means of cross-training. Because of its comprehensive nature, yoga can reach muscles that often go overlooked in any particular sport training. Also, yoga assists in lengthening muscles and keeping them agile, which can help in the prevention of joint injury and strains often encountered in athletics.

Secondly, stretching the body’s muscles can assist in releasing lactic acid. This is particularly beneficial for athletes because lactic acid tends to build up as you work out. When left in the system without release, lactic acid can cause your body to feel tired. Lengthening the muscles through stretching releases that build-up of acid and keeps them from getting tight, which means a quicker recovery time for your body after a difficult workout.

Another fantastic advantage of yoga is the development of balance. Poses that focus on balance, such as tree pose, eagle pose, cosmic dancer, and warrior three, fine tune the body’s ability to maintain stability. Increased balance can have a significant effect on an athlete’s performance as well as lower their risk of injury.

In addition to improving overall balance, yoga can assist in balancing an athlete’s musculoskeletal structure. In many sports, such as tennis, baseball, golf, and fencing, the body engages in repetitive motions that are asymmetrical, resulting in the development of uneven muscle groups. For example, it is common for tennis players to have larger muscle mass in their dominant arm that holds the racket. Sometimes, this difference is visibly noticeable! Yoga helps to realign the skeleton and balance muscle groups by working them evenly.

Athletes can reap more than just physical benefits from practicing yoga; there are a number of mental advantages, too. For example, yoga can sharpen an individual’s mental focus. Coaches of most sports would agree that a significant part of an athlete’s game is their mental determination and mindset. Meditation can boost an athlete’s positive thinking and ability to visualize. Furthermore, yoga places a focus on breathing, which can assist athletes in strenuous situations. Mindfulness and control of the breath can bring greater stamina and perseverance to an athlete’s game.

Finally, practicing yoga can help ease some of the fiery energy that is sometimes natural in competitive athletes. While an inherently competitive spirit is advantageous in a sporting match, it can sometimes cause tension outside of the game. Practicing yoga allows an athlete to foster a greater acceptance of self and bring a sense of calm to extra competitive energy that they hold off the field.

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