Friday, October 31, 2014

Choosing The Right Yoga Mat - 6 Helpful Tips

Your yoga session will go a lot easier if you have a good yoga mat to exercise on. There are quite a few brands to choose from and so selection can be quite confusing. There are quite a few things to be considered when choosing a yoga mat so that you can get the most from your exercise sessions. While you do need to keep your budget in mind when making a purchase, it is important to consider the following factors as well:• Thickness of the mat: A thin mat is easy to roll up and carry around and it doesn't take up a lot of space. However, it can be quite uncomfortable to exercise on such a mat because it provides very little cushioning. A think mat is the best option if one want to exercise painlessly.• Gripping ability: Always choose a mat that has a surface with high traction that can prevent sliding. Keep in mind that you can get quite sweaty during exercise. Also, some mats have a tendency of sliding on the floor.• Size: If you are on the larger size then you definitely need a mat that is a couple of inches wider and longer than other mats so that you can exercise comfortably on it.

• Durability: Mats made of PVC tend to last for very long without tearing or disintegrating even if you use them often. Cork and natural rubber mats, while being of natural substances, tend to not last for very long.• Non-allergenic: If you are prone to allergies then you should try out a latex mat before actually purchasing it since you might be allergic to the material. On the other hand, PVC and cork mats rarely result in allergic reactions.• Sustainability: If you are very particular about using products made from natural materials then natural rubber or cork mats will be your options. However, you do have to be aware of the fact that they do not last very long and that natural rubber has a very strong smell that rarely goes away.As you can see, you have to take a combination of factors into account when choosing a yoga mat to exercise on. While some factors are personal preferences, others offer you value for money and long term usability. However, you do have to remember that you will only be able to practice yoga properly if you have the right mat to stretch out on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Yoga for Beginners - Five Ways to Ease Knee Pain

The knee is wonderful simple machine, a coming together of bone, ligaments, cartilage, and muscle that can either make physical activity a joy or turn it into pure misery. The knee is also extremely sensitive to pressure when someone new is beginning a yoga routine. It's important to make sure you are in a yoga for beginners class. The knee is made up of three bones: the end of the femur (the thighbone), the patella (or kneecap) and the end of the tibia (or shinbone). Between the tibia and the femur are two pads of cartilage that cushion the area and act as shock absorbers. The bones and cartilage are all held together and aligned by two sets of ligaments called the cruciates and the collaterals that crisscross behind the kneecap and run alongside of the knee. The large muscles of the leg help to support the ligaments and keep everything in place.One thing that leads to knee injuries is the fact that today's activities and exercises are a bit beyond the scope of what the knee is designed to handle. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that in injury recovery as well as injury and disease prevention, the muscles that support the knee should be balanced. Yoga is particularly beneficial in doing this because it engages the leg muscles evenly and requires a focus on balance. This is particularly important in regards to yoga for beginners. Yoga also contributes to flexibility, which is not only important for the muscles, but is also important to keep your cartilage spongy and cushion-y.As with all physical activity, there is a potential for injury, even with yoga, if you push too far and try to do more than what you're able to do. There are several things you can do to protect yourself against damage to your knees.1- First, you should avoid hyperextending your knees. This is sometimes easy to do in certain standing poses like the [Triangle Pose] and the [Extended Leg Forward Bend], as well as seated forward bend stretches. Try to keep a slight bend in the knee as you are executing these poses.

2- Also, don't be afraid to use props! Rolled up towels and yoga blocks can come in handy to prevent you from asking more of your knees than they are able to give. If you are in a yoga for beginners class, props should be mandatory.3-Focus on balance and engaging the muscles equally. Many knee injuries are caused by an imbalance in muscle development that throws the ligaments and knee bones out of alignment. Regular yoga practice helps prevent this by working and strengthening all muscles equally.4- Focus on proper technique. Remember that improper body alignment is the reason for many strains and injuries. Keeping your body and your knees properly aligned is key to getting the most benefits out of your yoga practice.5- Finally, listen to your body. Know when to push yourself, but also know when to pull back. Be aware that your knees don't always tell you immediately when you've overdone it. A little discomfort is expected, but you should never continue if you're experiencing pain. If it hurts, it's time to stop or pull back. If you are in a yoga for beginners class, make sure your instructor is trained and aware of your newness to yoga.Listen to your body. Know when to push yourself, but also know when to pull back. Be aware that your knees don't always tell you immediately when you've overdone it.If you are in the yoga for beginners category, take your time to develop your practice. This slow approach will accustom your knees to the added pressure of such poses as chair and warrior II.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Things You Will Learn In A Restorative Yoga Teacher Course

The goal of restorative yoga is to assist people in achieving physical, mental and emotional relaxation through the use of various props. The props that are used enable individuals to stimulate their bodies in an easy manner. This helps them to relax and maintain an overall balance in their body. The entire body can benefit greatly from certain poses. Specific parts of the body such as the heart and the lungs are targeted by certain poses. If a person is interested in becoming a restorative yoga instructor, he or she will need to complete a restorative yoga teacher course.OriginsB.K.S. Iyengar invented the restorative yoga that is currently practiced by millions of people in many countries. Of the many yoga practitioners, Iyengar is thought to be one of the most important. He was the first one to integrate props into his classes in an attempt to help students perform their poses more effectively. Iyengar Yoga is the name given to the various methods of yoga devised by him. As time went by, this form of yoga evolved by using these teachings as its foundation. One of Iyengar's students, Judith Lasater, is the person who is responsible for the popularization of this form of yoga in many different countries.BenefitsThe ability to heal both the body and mind are the most significant benefits of restorative yoga. Individuals who are trying to relieve fatigue and stress have had great success using it. People who have been suffering from illnesses and injuries have also been benefited. It has also been known to help people in their effort to deal with depression and anxiety that often result from a divorce, the loss of a job or the death of a loved one.Restorative yoga can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Automatic control of the body is enabled by this. The regular nervous system is at rest when this occurs. During this time, the person's muscles are more easily relaxed. An individual who regularly practices restorative yoga will not be as susceptible to stress-related health problems. Optimal health can be achieved by practicing this form of yoga.

PropsIn order for people to correctly perform various poses in restorative yoga, props must be used. The exact prop that will be used will depend directly on what pose the person is attempting to perform. Blankets, pillows, blocks, straps and chairs are all regularly used. The main function of these props is to provide a student's body with the support it needs while he or she is stretching or relaxing. This is why students must be certain the props being used are the correct size for their body. Lack of concentration and discomfort can be caused by a prop that is only one inch too small or big.Teaching Restorative YogaCertification is necessary for all individuals who want to eventually begin a career as a restorative yoga instructor. The following items are generally included in the majority of classes to become a restorative yoga instructor:- The central nervous system's role in the relaxation response- Restorative asanas for different environments, special populations and students with limited physical abilities- Alignment to support optimal energy flow to all of the body's systems- Meditation and visualization for healing- How to sequence restorative poses for different therapeutic effects- How to cope with emotional responses and releases during practice- The energy body and the koshas in asana- The dynamic use of props.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ensuring Yoga Student Safety

Yoga is a gentle, low-impact exercise suitable for students of all ages and skill levels. That said, there are some important things about yoga student safety that everyone-- from novice practitioners to instructors-- need to keep in mind to prevent serious injuries from happening. This is particularly the case with inverted poses like headstands or shoulderstands.To begin with, not all yoga practitioners can do every pose. Women may wish to avoid performing inversions while menstruating, as some believe that it may increase the risk of endometriosis or cause a heavier menstrual flow. There is no prevailing opinion on this matter, however. While no significant increase in the risk of endometriosis has been linked to yoga inversions, some experts still recommend that women avoid them while menstruating. Generally speaking, since menstrual discomfort and energy levels vary widely from woman to woman and cycle to cycle, the decision to do inverted poses should be left up to the woman in question.Next, some yoga poses may increase the risk of stroke. In patients with a history of stroke or other cardiovascular problems, inversions can place undue strain on the delicate vasculature in the brain. Poses that overextend the neck can also result in strokes-- either by causing tiny tears in the lining of the carotid artery, or by interrupting blood flow in one of the vertebral arteries. This can cause blood clots to form that deprive the brain of oxygen, leading to tissue death and permanent brain damage. These kinds of injuries don't just occur in the elderly, either. They have even occurred in otherwise healthy practitioners in their mid-twenties.

Inversions aren't just able to affect the brain, either. Practitioners that suffer from conditions like intracranial hypertension should avoid inversions since they can lead to increased intracranial pressure and damage to the optic nerves. Even healthy yoga students can develop retinal tears due to increased intraocular pressure. Students should attempt any pose that places the head lower than the torso very carefully, and stop as soon as any discomfort occurs.Not all yoga injuries are as catastrophic as strokes or retinal tearing, however. A big part of ensuring yoga student safety is remembering that yoga is not a competitive sport. While anyone who exercises likes to see improvement in themselves, yoga is not about pushing one's limits. It is not necessary to stretch to the point of pain or discomfort. Even basic poses can result in torn tendons or other soft tissue injuries if students neglect yoga's meditative aspects and push themselves too far, too soon.Yoga instructors and their students can prevent injuries like these by remembering that some poses are not suitable for a general yoga class, even at advanced levels. In fact, some physicians recommend against headstands and shoulderstands as a general rule. Yoga, when improperly applied, can and will do more harm than good. Yoga classes should never be "one size fits all," and yoga practitioners should not feel compelled to push themselves farther than their bodies are comfortable with.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Yoga Advice To Those Above 40

If you have been practicing yoga for many years and if you have reached the age of 40, it is high time you bear in mind a few points. Even experts corroborate with these points.Your Body Is Not As Flexible As It Used To BeThough your body is still flexible, it can not be as flexible as it used to be. Once you realize that the flexibility of your body has started coming down, you should slow down. You should accept this fact and adopt more patience while doing your yogic exercises. By doing so, you can derive immense benefits without injuring yourself.Be Watchful Of PainsIf you experience pain while doing certain yogic exercises, you must immediately stop practicing them. The fact is that yoga consists of more than one exercise to bestow good benefits on every limb or part of the body. So, you can choose only those exercises that may not cause any pain to you.Consult Your Yoga Teacher Once AgainYou might have learned yoga postures from a teacher. After you reach 40 years of age, it is time to consult the yoga expert once again. The teacher will assess your capabilities, the flexibility of your body and endurance level and design a regimen that is suitable for you.

Set Your Routine According To Your CapabilitiesYou might have been practicing yogic exercises daily but once you attain 40, you may not be able to do so daily. You can therefore modify your routine suitably so as to do the exercises thrice or four times a week.Use Your Energy JudiciouslyYour energy levels may start declining at the age of 40. You should therefore learn to conserve your energy. The point is that you must do your exercises comfortably and carry out your other chores efficiently.Be Careful With Your NutritionYou must continue to eat only nutritious foods. Likewise, you must ensure to stay hydrated and so, you must not postpone or forget drinking adequate quantities of water.Good SleepYou must ensure to have good sleep in the nights. This will rest your body and give a relaxed feeling. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time, you may not be affected by the problem of sleeplessness. Good sleep will help you have a relaxed feeling throughout the day.If you keep in mind these points, you will enjoy your exercises regimen and lead a healthy life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Guide To Teaching Chair Yoga Classes

One of the greatest things about yoga is that it can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities. Even people who have trouble standing can enjoy the benefits of yoga through the practice of yoga in chairs. Teachers who want to reach the widest percentage of yoga students can really benefit from learning how to teach yoga in chairs. Here is a guide to teaching chair yoga classes that instructors can use to expand their practices.Selecting the Right ChairsOf course, one of the most crucial components of chair yoga is the chairs themselves. Teachers need to select chairs that are quite sturdy. The chairs need to have a flat seat that has a moderate amount of padding. There should be no arms on the chairs, but they should have straight backs.If the class is going to be taught on a smooth floor, then it is best to place yoga mats underneath the chairs to keep them from sliding around. Alternatively, teachers can cut up an old yoga mat to create coasters to go underneath each leg of the chairs.Setting up for the ClassThe chair should be placed far enough apart so that each student can reach out their hands and legs without touching another student. Students will need around the same amount of space as students in traditional yoga classes.Teachers of chair yoga classes will set up in the front of the class just like a traditional yoga class. The teacher will need to be sitting in a chair as well to avoid confusing students when showing them the poses. If the teacher's chair is placed upon a riser, it will make it much easier for every student to get an unobstructed view of the instructor during classes.

Skip the MusicAlthough soothing music can be very beneficial for most traditional yoga classes, it can often be a hindrance when teaching chair yoga classes. This is because the majority of students in the classes are senior citizens. Many of these older students have hearing problems, and they often will find it difficult to hear what the instructor is saying if music is playing in the background.Shorten the ClassesMost typical yoga classes run somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes to an hour, and some of the more intense classes even run 90 minutes to two hours. This will not be possible with chair yoga participants. Most chair yoga students are older and have less stamina than typical yoga students. Therefore, instructors teaching yoga in chairs need to shorten their lessons. It is best if classes run for around 20 to 30 minutes. At most, classes should run 45 minutes.Work on BreathingOne of the most positive aspects of yoga for seniors is that it helps them with their breathing. Many older individuals have trouble breathing, which means that instructors should focus on teaching students proper breathing techniques to help give them a better quality of life.Instructors who follow these tips will find great success when they are leading chair yoga classes. Teaching yoga is a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. It can be a very rewarding way to teach yoga, and the smile on the faces of their students will reward yoga teachers many times over.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


One of the biggest misconceptions with starting the practice of Yoga is that you must be flexible to begin with... This could NOT be further than the truth!... I am the perfect example... When, I went to my first class, I could barely reach down to touch my toes without trembling like a leaf... Luckily, I had taken a class where the instructor was exceptionally wise, professional, and an expert about what to do and not to. My first experience with yoga was a sheer delight. I couldn't wait to get back to class to experience my muscles become like warm rubber bands...Several of my clients after class come up to me and tell me what their vision of Yoga was, and that they thought they needed to be able to place their ankle behind their head to start the class... It always gives me a giggle, because if taught properly, we emphasize how everyone should start conservatively, no matter how simple you may think that is... Yoga allows us to hone in on what our bodies are trying to tell us. If it hurts, it's no longer yoga... If you're trembling, you're pushing too hard, if your breath becomes too labored, you should heed that signal...One of my favorite aspects of teaching and practicing Yoga is that there are multiple modifications. One posture does not fit each body. So many of us are so busy in our day to day routine, we've forgotten about the ability to listen to what our bodies need. We are in such a state of autopilot, and survival mode, that we've gotten completely out of touch with what's good and bad for ourselves. The more you practice yoga, the less you need exterior forces to make you feel comfort. You find comfort in breath, in stretching, in meditation...

Do yourself a favor, if you haven't ever tried a class, get out there and sample. I have heard so many wonderful things post- classes from my newbies about how incredible they feel. How they wished they had tried it sooner!... What do you have to lose but a cluttered mind? A tight hamstring, or an aching back!If you're really struggling to make your way to an actual class... start with an online class, or the freebies though the web... start with a class such as Yoga basics, Beginner yoga, or Yoga for flexibility... And, truly go slow, and listen to your body...Get moving!... See you on your mat!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yoga For Biking Offers Many Benefits

Yoga has become a popular exercise for many people because it provides so many benefits. The eastern discipline offers an effective full-body workout that increases strength, flexibility and respiration. Many weekend athletes have incorporated the practice into their routines for improving physical condition and mental focus. Many cyclists are recognizing the value of yoga for biking, with its ability to stretch critical muscle groups and improve overall performance.The Benefits of Yoga For AthletesSince its entry into western culture in the 1950s, athletes have discovered the many benefits that yoga practice can provide for their physical condition and performance:· Balance - Balance is incorporated into almost all yoga positions. This balance improvement can be of help when biking, helping you achieve greater stability to avoid hazards and prevent falls.· Flexibility - Yoga is one of the best exercises available for improving overall flexibility. For biking enthusiasts, it provides the quick reflexes needed for safety and increased ability to maneuver around unexpected hazards on the road.· Core Conditioning - Yoga is also beneficial for core strengthening, a critical muscle group for high-performance biking. Almost all yoga positions involve a core workout to improve abdominal muscle strength that helps to support the back for long distance workouts.· Muscle Strengthening - Biking requires strong thighs, calves and glutes, but back, shoulders and arms are also important for making it through those long workouts. Yoga allows you to work on these areas, as well as improve full-body strength.· Improved Breathing - Yoga practice helps to improve breathing and focus, which can help cyclists tackle difficult surfaces and elevations. In addition, better respiration aids in endurance and improves decision-making.

· Faster Recovery From Injury - Gentle yoga exercises can help to provide faster recovery for injured muscles. The stretching action improves circulation to the injured area. Breathing exercises that accompany the yoga positions increase oxygen to injured muscles to promote faster healing.· Endurance - Doing yoga makes athletes more mindful of their bodies and its movement, allowing better control over muscle groups for better performance.Best Yoga Positions For BikingYoga for biking can provide immediate improvement in performance and endurance. As with any exercise, you should start slowly and gradually build on your ability to hold positions.· Pyramid or Intense Side Stretch - This exercise stretches tight hamstrings and iliotibial bands that run along the outer thigh. Stand with feet slightly apart and place left foot about three feet behind you. Grasp arms behind you at elbow level and bend forward. Breathe in, lifting head upward. Slowly bend forward over the straight right leg as you exhale. Hold for 30 seconds and straighten. Then, repeat on the other side.· Dolphin Pose - This pose opens up hamstrings, chest and shoulders. Begin by getting on hands and knees on the floor, keeping knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Exhale and lift tailbone toward the ceiling, until legs are extended with knees slightly bent. Lower arms to elbows and hold for one to two minutes, while breathing deeply.· Cat/Cow Spinal Stretch - This position opens up the spinal column, releasing pressure from long rides. Get on hands and knees on the mat. Inhale and tip the head and pelvis upward. Exhale and curve the spine to the ceiling like a stretching cat. Alternate the two movements for a full minute, monitoring your inhalations and exhalations carefully.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Natural Yoga And Diet For Weight Gain

For one they are extremely conscious of their skinny image. Since clothes do not fit proportionately, they might often suffer from body image issues and turn more introverted. They also suffer from under nutrition, which can lead to a host of different problems. Getting tired too easily, skin ailments and joint pains are some of the main markers that your body is not getting enough nutrition to sustain it. In this kind of scenario, introducing a holistic diet plan and a customized yoga routine can give you tremendously positive results.Natural diet according to your calorie requirementsAllow your body's natural pattern to tell you what you need and how much quantity is sufficient.It is important to start the process with empirical information. Visit a nutritionist to find out exactly how many calories per day your body needs to achieve your target weight. Keep a tight meal schedule so your body gets accustomed to the increased intake of calories and adjusts accordingly within a few days. Your body needs sustainable calories so structure a high calorific diet. This should include high fibre cereals, potatoes, banana, fruit juices, and grains. You should also include dairy products to help restore your body's calcium levels to increase bone density and help muscles adhere properly to your body.Your priorities when making up a meal planMany people fall in to an incorrect routine when they equate high calorific diet to eating whatever they want whenever they want. This is a very wrong notion.

It is important to keep miles away from junk food. Junk food offer empty calories. Chances are you will start suffering from listlessness, gastroenteritis, and bloated feeling. Always have a set time for you meals. Most importantly, start your day with the heaviest meal and end it with the lightest meal. Take extra care of the last meal of the day. Soups, light cereals or porridge are excellent choices.Yoga for weight gainExercises are important for weight gain. Using core exercises will help your body digest the food better and the calories will adhere better to your body.Sarvangasana is a great asana especially for people looking to gain some weight. However, make sure to have a professional guide you through the poses. Surya Namaskar is another wonderful way to start your day with yoga and accelerate your weight gain plans. The warrior pose and the tree pose helps increase your balance and also centre your core to allow your body digest food better and gain more mass.Your priorities when opting for a yoga routine for weight gainYoga works by increasing your digestive fires and your appetite, which ultimately helps you gain weight. Apart from starting a natural diet and yoga routine for your makeover, you should also take care of your health with sensible financial choices such as EHIC subscription or renewal depending on your current situation. You should also consult a dietician and a yoga professional before attempting any changes in your current lifestyle.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What Is Super Yoga?

There are a variety of formats now making headlines for Yoga lovers everywhere. Most are versions created by Yogis from 5,000 years ago. The difference is with specialized sequences that are used for building energy, balancing the body and weight loss. The different sequences and techniques allow individuals to have a focus on building their aerobic exercises while participating in a growing fad.Super Yoga is one of the alternatives that is currently being used. It is based on not only physical exercise for the individual, but has created an updated version to Yoga for the mind - body relationship. Different sequences are used specifically with the ability to synch up the physical interactions with the mind and the emotions while allowing one a different platform for exercise designed to give energy, focus and peak performance. A format, known as Synchromastery, has been created to help the body and mind function simultaneously. The Synchromastery exercises use specific Yoga sequences to help the chemistry and neurology of the brain to function at higher levels.Super Yoga utilises a combination of Yogic practices for the main structure. It is based on a format similar to anaerobic exercises. This allows one to use short, 10 - 15 minute sequences and moves to gain a certain balance with the mind - body relationship. For instance, if one is stressed, than a specific sequence can be used to release the stress, balance out the neurochemistry of the mind and to gain physical energy. The re - balancing effect takes one out of the negative spiral of stress and into one based on focus and peak performance.

The combination of sequences with Super Yoga is followed by gaining balance in other ways. A diet consisting of Super Foods is used for this format. The foods consist of ways to balance out your body when combined with the yogic sequences. For instance, if one needs energy, than a specialized diet is created consisting of energetic types of food and herbs that are able to stimulate the nerve centers, energy field and the approach one has throughout the day. This is combined with lifestyle changes that are approached for altering the energetic levels.Super Yoga has been developed specifically to assist in creating different opportunities for the individual in need of balance. The mind - body relationship, when working with Yoga, is able to develop a stronger and integrated approach. The techniques that are used, specifically which combine exercise and diet, then help with a healthier and happier lifestyle.