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 Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises

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reggie
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reggie


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PostSubject: Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises   Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 11:42 am

The word "yoga" means "union". Yoga exercises are based on the belief that the body and breath are intimately connected with the mind. By controlling the breath and holding the body in steady poses, or "asanas", yoga creates harmony. Yoga is not, however, magic.

Yogis (masters of yoga) do not have the ability to vanish into thin air or levitate off the ground. But they have been known to perform extraordinary feats more than once, such as holding their breath for hours on end, or slowing down their heartbeat in order to imitate conditions of death.

Yoga practice consists of 5 key elements: proper breathing, exercise, relaxation, diet, positive thinking, and meditation. The yoga exercises -- or asanas -- are designed to ease tense muscles, tone up the internal organs, and improve the flexibility of the body's joints and ligaments.
proper breathing & relaxation
Breathing gives life, it's as simple as that. Without oxygen, no human cell can live for more than a few minutes. Many people use only part of their full breathing capacity, taking in about one third of the oxygen that their lungs could use. This leads to stress and fatigue.

The yogic breath discipline teaches you to breathe through the nose, accentuate exhalation rather than inhalation, and cleanse the lungs and eliminate toxins. These techniques are attributed with increasing your physical and mental health.

Most people use only a fraction of their breathing capacity. Proper breathing focuses on nasal breathing techniques to unlock energy and vitality. Breathing exercises concentrate on exhalation rather than inhalation, in order to cleanse the lungs of stale air and eliminate toxins from the body.

The release of tension through relaxation is vital to keep the body healthy. Begin and end each session of yoga asanas with relaxation, and relax between postures. This allows the released energy to flow freely.
positive thinking & meditation
Meditation is a state of consciousness. When practicing meditation, you must first learn how to calm the mind, and focus your mental energy inwards. Meditation can help relieve stress and replenish your energy. If it is practiced on a daily basis, you'll also find that it will enable you to think more clearly and positively.
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reggie
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reggie


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PostSubject: Re: Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises   Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 11:43 am

what, when & where to do it
You do not need special equipment to do yoga excercises. Although you can buy foam yoga mats, a towel on a carpeted floor will do just as well. For practicing indoors, you will need an open space, clear of furniture. The room should be comfortably heated and free of disturbances. Try to practice yoga every day. At the same time, be gentle; do not force yourself.

A yoga session should be a joy. Play some calming music while you practice the exercises. One of my favorite instruments to listen to is the Armenian duduk (the most ancient flute in recorded history). The instrumental artist, Yanni, dedicates a song to this instrument in his album, If I Could Tell You .

Set aside a time when you won't be disturbed and you won't have to rush. Morning practice helps loosen up stiff joints after sleep; evening practice releases the tensions of the day. Whenever you do yoga excercises, avoid eating for at least 2 hours beforehand.

For maximum benefit, you should set aside about 90 minutes. When you're busy, try a shorter session with fewer exercises. It is very important not to feel rushed, and to allow time for relaxation between poses. You can always perform the breathing exercises at a later stage.
getting down to basics
Lotus Position

lotus position

Unlike other yoga poses, doing this pose over and over again in repetition helps open the hips. Go from side to side. Hands can go to prayer position on the chest. Also, the Cobbler's position (see below) helps open up the hips for the pose.

-- Bring the first foot to the opposite hip, on top of the opposite leg.
-- Bring your heel toward your body, and knee down.
-- Carefully lift up the other foot and place it over the opposite knee, toward the hip.
Note: Bringing the first knee down helps you get the foot up near your hip.

The Sun Salutation

sun salutation

-- Stand up straight with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
-- Take a deep breath, and then exhale while bringing your palms together at chest level.
-- Inhale and stretch your arms up over your head.
-- Arch your back so your hips come forward, and stretch as far as is comfortable.
-- Exhale as you stretch forward and bend down into the third Sun Salutation position.
-- Bring your hands down to the floor, and place them next to your feet, palms downward.
Note: Your hips should be kept as high as possible; if necessary, bend your knees so you can touch the ground.
-- Tuck your forehead in toward your knees.
-- Inhale as you stretch your right leg back as far as possible and bend your right knee, lowering it to the floor.
-- Stretch your head and look upward. (Your hands should stay in the same position throughout the movement.)
-- Retain your breath.
-- Bring your left foot back, next to your right foot.
-- Keep your spine straight and do not let your head or hips drop. Exhale.
-- Lower your knees to the floor and your chest straight down between your hands, without rocking your body.
-- Bring your forehead to the floor (for beginners, you may need to lower the chin instead). -- Inhale as you slide your body forward and bring your hips down to the floor.
-- Arch your chest forward and tilt your head back.
-- Slightly bend your elbows into your body.
-- Exhale, tucking your toes under and raising your hips to come into the inverted V.
Note: Do not move your hands or feet as you come into the position.

The Sun Salutation is a 12-part warm-up exercise. It limbers up the body and mind in preparation for the ensuing yoga session. Each of the 12 positions brings a different vertebral movement to the spinal column and is tuned to the inhalation or exhalation of the breath, thereby instilling a feeling of balance and harmony. The positions follow one after the other, making the Salutation a graceful position to perform. Attempt doing at least 6 sequences at the start of every session.
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reggie
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PostSubject: Re: Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises   Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 11:43 am

Cobbler's Position (or Butterfly Position)

cobbler's position

-- Sit with your knees spread to the side and the soles of your feet together.
-- Grasp your feet with your hands and pull your heels up to your perineum.
Note: Knees should aim toward the floor. The action comes from aiming the thighs to the floor by opening the hip joint.
-- With your pelvis in a vertical position to the floor, extend your spine as if a string were pulling you up to the sky. Do not let your back pelvis sag, but bring it forward in the extension and elongation of the spine which takes place during inhalation.
-- Hold the extension upon exhaling as you remain rooted to the earth with your butt and feet.
-- For a variation, extend the crown of your head forward with an extended spine. Try to keep your back from rounding. Imagine bringing your navel in front of your feet.

The Bow Position
(for spine flexibility and lower back pain)

bow position

-- For this yoga excercise, lie on your stomach with your head turned to one side and your arms alongside your body, palms facing upward.
-- Turn head and place chin on the floor.
-- Exhale, bend your knees, reach back with your arms and grasp your right ankle with your right hand, and your left ankle with your left hand.
-- While inhaling, slowly raise legs by pulling your ankles up and raising your knees off the floor, while simultaneously lifting your chest off the floor.
-- Hold the "inhale" breath.
Note: The weight of your body should be resting on your abdomen.
-- Tilt your head as far back as possible. Hold this posture as long as you can, comfortably.
-- Hold the "inhale" breath.
-- Slowly exhale, bringing your knees to the floor.
-- Release ankles, slowly bring your legs and arms straight down on the floor, and turn your head to one side, assuming the prone posture you began with.

The Plow Position

plow posture

-- Lie flat on your back.
-- Inhale through your nostrils.
-- Place palms facedown on the floor.
-- Keeping your hips on the floor, bend your knees and bring them up toward your stomach while exhaling.
-- Inhale, then while exhaling, raise your legs straight up, perpendicular to the floor.
Note: You may support your hips with your hands, or leave your arms flat on the floor, whichever is most comfortable.
-- Exhale and continue to raise your legs over your head, bending at your waist and lifting your back and buttocks until your toes touch the floor directly in back of your head.
-- Keep feet together.
-- If your lower back is supported by your hands, then try returning your arms flat to the floor with palms facing down.
-- If you are unable to comfortably place your arms on the floor, then continue to support your lower back with your hands.
-- Keep knees straight.
-- Breathe slowly through your nostrils and hold the posture for several minutes.
-- If you cannot touch the floor with your toes, then hold them as close to the floor as possible and continue to exert effort to lower them.
-- Reverse the steps to return to a flat position.

The Cobra Position

cobra position

-- Lie on stomach with your head turned to one side and your arms alongside your body, palms facing upward.
-- Turn head and place your chin on the floor.
-- Inhale then exhale slowly through your nostrils, and swing your arms around until your hands are placed just below your chin, with palms down, fingertips of each hand almost touching, and elbows on the floor.
-- Inhale slowly through your nostrils, press down on your hands and lift your torso from your waist up off the floor, arching your spine backwards and straightening your arms.
-- Keep hips on the floor.
-- Tilt head as far back as possible and hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath.
-- Exhale and reverse the process to return to position #1.
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reggie
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reggie


Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 54
Registration date : 2007-07-26

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PostSubject: Re: Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises   Improve Your Life With Yoga Excercises Icon_minitimeFri Jul 27, 2007 11:44 am

celebrity yoga
Yoga has also been the latest craze with celebrities like Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Melissa Etheridge, Christy Turlington, Nicolas Cage, Sting, and many more.
health benefits of yoga
The following are some of the ailments, in general, that can either be relieved or reduced to minimum intensity and even prevented by performing yoga excercises regularly. A few of these can even be thwarted from attacking and disturbing your physical and mental health:

# Nervous weakness
# Mild psychiatric disorders
# Insomnia
# Migraines & headaches
# Exhaustion & overstrain
# Indigestion, hyperacidity & gastritis
# Constipation
# Flatulence
# Piles
# Hernias
# Stool incontinence
# Liver & gall bladder ailments
# Colds, sinusitis & throat infections
# Asthma, bronchitis & diminished lung power
# Hypertension & hypotension
# Heart attacks
# Varicose veins
# Obesity
# Diabetes
# Thyroid diseases
# Arthritis, spondylitis and sciatica
# Muscle weakness
# Sexual weakness and dysfunction
# Kidney ailments
# Urinary bladder &
prostate problems

If you'd like to learn more about yoga and its holistic powers, I recommend that you read Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health by B.K.S. Iyengar.

References:
http://www.hopes.com/reflect/yoga1.htm
http://www.personalmd.com/news/yoga1_80500.shtml
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