I’m certified in kundalini yoga and have been both doing this meditation myself plus giving it some psychotherapy clients to assist with inner balance. It was taught by Yogi Bhajan who brought these teachings to the US. There are many kriyas (sequences of poses, meditations and mantras) that he taught and they work quickly.
For this one, sit cross legged on the floor. If that is difficult, you can sit in a chair. The eyes are almost all the way shut. You have your hands sitting on your lap and the thumb touches the index finger tip with the hands facing up. You will be inhaling in ten short sniffs as you raise your arms up to the forehead. Yogi Bhajan instructs from the Guidelines for Daily Sadhana “With each part of the inhale, move the hands mechanically (in small jerks) one-tenth of the way towards the forehead. The palms face up and all the fingers are straight. At the tenth inhale, the palms are on the forehead with the fingers pointing up. As you exhale, join the fingertips of the two hands and let the hands down slowly. Separate the hands at the level of the navel point and return them to gyan mudra in the original position. On each inhale mentally vibrate the mantra Wahe. On the exhale vibrate Guru.” You can start with 3 minutes and move up to 11.
The mantra wahe guru is an expression of ecstasy as we move from our darkness into light. Even if you don’t feel that ecstasy now, you are not repeating the inner dialogues that often dominate the mind. Continue reading
One thing we can be sure about is that we all have regrets in our life. We might regret marriages, investments, words said to former friends , affairs etc, etc, etc…It does not matter what the regret is but the fact is that regrets weigh down your life, your spirit and your soul. Tough situations are going to be a part and parcel of life and there are going to be times when you will take the wrong decision.
But now, what is done in the past is done. Be grateful that you have a life and a future. To review things over and over again in your mind can paralyze you. It also puts you in a constant state of agitation. Remember, if you do feel you were wrong, you can try to reach out to the person by a letter or phone call. This is better than stewing. Continue reading
Keeping your cool in these difficult times is literally impossible. One minute, you’re yelling at a distributor who forgot to send in essential items, the other minute you are dealing with an irate customer who is waiting for his ordered goods. Sometimes, you feel like screaming your head off to relieve the stress. To rejuvenate yourself, you book yourself in to a day spa or you book a massage; and it works. The wonderful atmosphere, meditation and yoga, good food, no telephones, mobiles, and TV, relaxing massages and beauty treatments; push you back into a relaxed and comfortable mood. But as the day passes on, the same niggling thought comes back to your mind that you have to get back to the daily grind. The stress and tension is getting to you again and you can actually feel yourself getting tense, angry and anxious. You do have a massage session scheduled for the next week but Relaxing between massage sessions is turning out to be impossible.
Stop right there. It’s not necessary for you go back to the same state that you were in before your massage. A massage offers significant psychological and physical benefits in the form of relieving muscle soreness, improving muscle tone, increasing body and joint flexibility, relieves cramps and relaxes and rejuvenates the body completely. If you feel yourself sliding back into the same morass of tension and stress; you have to stop yourself. Continue reading
Many people wonder if yoga can be used as a method of rehabilitation after an injury or illness. The answer to that is yes it can. There can be very challenging forms of yoga such as Power Yoga classes, but there are more less strenuous forms of it that are specifically geared toward those going through rehabilitation.
The names given to these types are chair yoga, restorative yoga and gentle yoga. In restorative yoga classes may utilize chairs, straps, blocks, walls and blankets as props. What these serve to do is enable the practitioner to hold certain position without putting in too much exertion or risking any potential issues. Continue reading
Yoga is about the union of the body, mind and spirit – connecting and yoking them. Often people that do yoga practice meditation, but not all yoga classes include meditation. It helps you become aware of your posture, patterns of movement, and alignment. It can make your body and mind flexible and help you to relax even when you are in a stressful environment. There is a sense of wonder in the moment and that every circumstance is a life lesson and not something to resist.
A good teacher will help the student learn to be able to carry this peaceful state into every day life. The movements are performed usually in a group setting on a mat with the aid of an instructor. There are both stretching as well as strengthening poses and some classes use a gong to help during the relaxation period. In Pilates, there is a an emphasis on developing the core and many dancers also study it for it’s sculpting ability as well as toning effects. Continue reading
One of the most rewarding and greatest achievements a woman can have is to become a mother. Being pregnant involves a lot of overwhelming emotions and physical stress due to the constant and rapid changes happening in your body as your baby grows. There are several ways to ease the said discomforts, and one of them is yoga.
Yoga is proven safe and beneficial to mothers but certain poses are best avoided at different trimesters. Since yoga exercise involves a lot of breathing and stretching exercises, it can help to prepare the mother to face labor pains and the actual childbirth. Yoga also calms the mind, which is essential to expectant mothers, in order to go through the whole process of pregnancy with less emotional and physical stress. Continue reading
Looking for a list of top videos for beginners to yoga? When you’re new to yoga, you’re jumping into a whole new world of well-being. There are all sorts of reasons to practice yoga; dealing with stress and losing weight to name a few. When you’re first starting, you might not know what to look for in yoga videos. There are so many different techniques, where do you even begin? Well, we’ll study some yoga videos for beginners that have gotten nice feedback.
Learning the various yoga styles is a great step in the right direction for building a connection between your mind and body. First of all, if you are already inclined towards a certain school of yoga, then there should be videos in that style. For instance, I teach and love Kundalini Yoga and there are videos from beginning to advanced levels. I personally think going to a class is always very useful to get instructions, meet others and sip on yogi tea! But, videos from home also can be a great supplement and for some people it is their primary way of gaining the benefits of yoga. Remember to check out your yoga center to see when they have gentle yoga classes. Some centers may not call it beginners yoga. There are also chair yoga classes for people that have difficulty with sitting on the floor. Continue reading
Yoga helps the body increase it’s strength, flexibility and tone. However, strength increases depend on the types of movements practiced. It also depends on the amount of time spent on each movement and the number of times one practices each week. There are several reasons why the movements can improve overall physical condition and muscle strength.
Using the Body’s Resistance
Unlike weight lifting the exercise form utilizes the resistance of various muscle groups in the different poses or movements. Your own body is providing the resistance needed. A person who does the movements several times a week can greatly improve strength in a short period of time if movements are done correctly.
A person who uses yoga as a form of exercise will not build the type of muscles a body builder has but will find that strength and endurance are greatly improved. The body may also look a bit leaner and more fit. Often the poses practiced in the form of exercise are maintained for a period of time. This helps strengthen opposing muscle groups and helps them develop necessary stamina for many types of activities from dance, climbing, or mountain biking, to contact sports and endurance competitions.
Proper Muscle Balance
When targeting specific muscle groups during weight lifting or resistance training only some muscles are worked. With yoga movements even the smaller muscle groups tend to get worked. Muscles that develop are also leaner and longer than with weight lifting or resistance training. The body will be more balanced, which can help with endurance and can improve performance for those who participate in any kind of sport.
Having balanced muscle groups means you are less likely to become quickly fatigued during an endurance sport or one that involves a high level of physical activity.
Some forms of the exercise can be more beneficial for strengthening. Bikram, Kundalini and Ashtanga forms are those that can be helpful in improving overall fitness. The Bikram form includes hundreds of different poses. Many of them take time to practice and learn. The Ashtanga form focuses on developing muscle strength with power poses. There are fewer of them but many are more intense and require a great deal of concentration. All forms of yoga can bring muscle balance and improved fitness to those who are dedicated. If you want to become a yoga instructor then you should think about the population you wish to work with and figure out how to help your clients.