Category Archives: Inspired Posts

Decluttering: Steps to embrace the minimalistic life.

We came across this amazing post and felt the need to share it with you. I personally feel that this is one way to obtain a healthy and happy lifestyle. – C

Introducing a guest post from Melissa of Simple Lionheart Life.  From Candice of YogabyCandice

There are many benefits to embracing minimalism. Most importantly, minimalism gives you the time, space and freedom to create an intentional life where you can focus on what matters most to you.

Decluttering the excess “stuff” from your life is the first step towards embracing minimalism. But taking on a big project like decluttering your whole home is a lot of work. It can feel overwhelming at times, or maybe you don’t even know where to begin!

The key to starting and finishing decluttering, is having a plan in place to keep you motivated and on track throughout the process. Use the following 7-step decluttering method to get you started decluttering and help you finish the process too.

1. Start with your “why”

It’s important to have a clear vision of why you are decluttering. What do you want to achieve for your home and life by embracing minimalism? Without a clear vision of why you’re decluttering, it’s easy to get sidetracked or lose momentum.

Here are some examples of reasons why you might want to declutter your home and embrace minimalism:
– More time and energy for the people and activities you love
– A more spacious, peaceful and calmer home
– More financial freedom by choosing to own and buy less
– More mental clarity and focus by removing the clutter and distractions from your home
– Less stress trying to manage everything you own
– More freedom to focus on your goals and priorities
– Less time spent cleaning, while easily maintaining a tidy, organized home
– Reducing your environmental impact by choosing to own and buy less
– More gratitude for what fills your life, both tangible and intangible
Figure out what is motivating you to declutter your home and embrace minimalism. Get clear about your vision of minimalism you want to achieve, and use it to motivate you to put in the time and effort to declutter your home.

2. Make your decluttering plan

A decluttering plan takes the guess work out of how you will do the work decluttering your home.

First, decide how you will declutter. Will you declutter room by room or by category, decluttering all like items at the same time?

Next, plan and schedule when you will declutter. You can declutter a little bit everyday, or schedule larger blocks of time to devote to decluttering. But the key is to schedule your decluttering time, then stick to those times just like you would any other appointment.

Another important part of your decluttering plan is deciding what you’ll do with the items you are getting rid of. There are 3 general options: donate, sell or trash. Choose where you’ll donate items. Then plan where you’ll try selling items. Also figure out what you’ll do with any garbage.

Knowing what you’ll do with the things you’re decluttering in advance will make it quicker and easier to get them out of your home. Following through and removing the items you’re decluttering from your home quickly is important. Don’t give yourself or other family members time to second guess your decisions. Go with your first instinct. If you put it in the decluttering pile, keep it there and get it out of the house right away!

The last piece of your decluttering plan is deciding the order you’ll declutter the spaces in your home. Rank each area of your home from highest priority to declutter to lowest priority. The highest priority spaces will be those causing you the most stress because of the amount of clutter in them.

3. Do a quick decluttering sweep through your whole house

The best way to kick-start decluttering and get you in a decluttering mindset is to grab a box or laundry basket and do a quick sweep through your whole house. Look for anything you don’t use or love, especially easy things to let go of that you have little or no attachment to.

Making a decluttering plan is an important step, but actually getting started is even more important. Doing a quick decluttering sweep through your whole house is a great way to take the plunge and start!

4. Clear key surface areas and work on keeping them clear

Pick a few key flat surface areas in your home and clear them off. Great places to start are the kitchen counters, dining table, coffee table, bathroom counters, night stands, etc.

Get rid of things you don’t use or love, then find or make places for items you’re keeping. Clearing these key surfaces will immediately reduce the visual clutter in your home and encourage you to keep decluttering.

5. Declutter somewhere easy

Before diving into your highest priority area, declutter somewhere easy. The bathroom is a great place to start. Bathrooms are usually smaller rooms and don’t hold many sentimental or emotional items.

Thoroughly decluttering an easy space helps build confidence, motivation and momentum to continue decluttering the rest of your house.

6. Declutter each area of your home, starting with your highest priority area

Start decluttering your highest priority areas from step 2 above. Tackling your highest priority areas first will free up so much of your time and energy, and allow you to immediately see the benefits of decluttering.

Work through your whole home decluttering. Make sure each item you choose to keep is either something you use regularly or something you love.

7. Assess your home after you’ve decluttered

Once you’ve finished decluttering your entire home, decide if you’ve achieved the vision for your home you imagined in step 1.

Don’t feel discouraged if you need to go back and declutter more. Not only do you get better at decluttering the more you practice it. But you also might find once you begin experiencing the benefits of decluttering, the more you are willing to let go of.

Following these 7 steps will help you declutter your home and begin experiencing the benefits of minimalism. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you as you work through the 7 steps above:

– Take before and after pictures of your spaces to track your progress and keep you motivated.
– Have an on-going donation box accessible at all times. Whenever you come across something you don’t use or love, add it to your donation box rather than putting it away.
– Try to declutter for at least 10 minutes everyday. These small decluttering sessions will add up to big results over time.
– Don’t focus on organization until after you’ve ruthlessly decluttered. Organizing items you don’t use, need or love only wastes your time, space and energy.
– Become a gatekeeper of what you allow into your home. Stop the incoming flow of “stuff” by shopping more intentionally. Then use the “one in, one (or two or three!) out” rule to prevent clutter from reaccumulating.
– Schedule regular maintenance decluttering sessions to maintain your newly decluttered home.

Visit Simple Lionheart Life to download your FREE 7-page decluttering workbook to create your decluttering plan and start decluttering your home today!


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Bio:

Melissa is a tea drinking, yoga loving mama whose favourite place to be is at home. She writes about creating a simpler, more intentional life by decluttering and embracing minimalism. Minimalism has given her so much time, space and freedom. She can’t say enough good things about the changes it’s allowed her to make in her life! If you’re looking for easy, practical ways to simplify, declutter and embrace minimalism, find her at Simple Lionheart Life! You can also follow her minimalism journey on Instagram.

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How to get the Kiddies in on Yoga Practice

By Ruby Andrew

Brief introduction and benefits of Yoga:

It is an art of performing physiological, psychological and philosophical practices with a view to tone the body system for the attainment of permanent peace of soul and mind.

Physiological benefits:

It includes like improvement of energy levels, immune system becoming stronger, endurance increases, improvement in the respiratory system, muscular strength increases, and reaction time increases and so on.

Psychological benefits:

It includes like concentration improvement, social skills increases, anxiety decreases, memory improvement, cognitive functions improves and many more.

Philosophical benefits:

It includes like one feels the inner peace of mind, the practitioner becomes more proactive then reactive, feels excited and enthusiastic, behavioral modifications, etc.

Some feel that Yoga is the direct way to unite our soul with the god and for the attainment of peace and prosperity in day to day life. Getting your child practicing yoga at such a tender age benefits the overall health of your loved ones.

Here are the 5 Ways to get your children Practicing Yoga with You:

    • Disclose in front of children’s:

Children’s are inquisitive to their parent’s actions. If you practice yoga in front of your children, they are more likely to ask you questions about it. Try out some balancing or stretching yoga postures so that they can easily perform and make them feel exciting and interesting. At the end the positive and refreshing experience definitely makes them to love yoga.

    • Involvement of fun:

It’s all about spending quality time with your children. Always remember to have fun and let them win. On the contrary, most parents want their children to get perfect in the manner they are. In that expectation they start building pressure on their children to improve his posture, again and again correcting their faults that sometimes even discourage them. They start feeling it to be monotonous or irritating. So, make sure to try in their own style as long as they don’t endanger themselves.

    • Try to make it simple:

If you want to encourage your children about yoga never ever perform difficult poses at the initiation. Always choose easy and attractive poses that your children will be able to do without much exertion. Make them to try out some poses that sounds better like Bridge pose, Dancer pose, Sandwich pose, happy pose, etc. so that they get interested to perform yoga.

    • Make them express themselves:

To foster your children about yoga allow them to produce an own space for practice, buy them yoga accessories like mat, warmer, and track pant or other things. Make sure that allow them to utilize anything that can advace them towards yoga. Including certain poses that your children love and giving them priority can really alter to love yoga by your child.

    • Teach Some Breathing Exercises:

If your children finding difficulty in practicing yoga poses. Teach them some basic breathing exercises. Focusing on the breath is an important exercise and it can improve discipline and concentration and most important thing is it’s simple to practice. Do not expect your child to practice for a long period. A few minutes of breathing practice can have a calming effect. To make it more interesting and exciting, make your children to sit on your back while doing pushups or in your lap.

Practicing yoga together can benefit you and your child. The most important thing to remember is to teach your child yoga in a fun manner so that your child will be excited and practice yoga daily.

 

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11 Ways to Make Meditation a Daily Habit

In light of our Focus Meditation week last week, we’ve found a suited blog post to get you started on your meditation journey, If you’re interested that is ;).

To go straight through to his blog, click on his name below:

11 Ways to Make Meditation a Daily Habit

While not quite “mainstream”, over the past 30 years in the West, meditationhas quickly begun to shift from being perceived as some “woowoo” practice for hippies by most to a useful tool which holds valuable benefits towards cultivating greater well-being.

Nowadays, people of all different backgrounds meditate from executives to employees, doctors to patients, teachers to students, parents to children, and people of all walks of life in between.

It’s no secret that the benefits of meditation aren’t permanent. Meditation is a practice, something which needs to be practiced regularly, if not daily, to gain consistent or continuous benefits from the practice.

And yet I’ve found that, in both my research and personal practice and teaching experience, very few meditators are able to stick to a consistent meditation practice. In fact, most drop off altogether because of their challenge with sticking to a consistent practice.

For years, I struggled to stick to a consistent meditation practice. I had experienced the beauty and benefit of the practice early on and knew what it did for me, and yet, I just couldn’t bring myself to stick to this thing which I knew was good for me (forget “good”, let me speak truthfully: life changing). Something always got in the way, but rarely could I pinpoint it.

It took years before I was able to really deconstruct the central challenges that stood in the way of us and sticking to a consistent meditation practice and create a daily practice of my own.

However, I can now happily say that I’ve meditated consistently for years and enjoy the fruits of that practice, from greater peace and balance in my daily life to improved patience with my family (among other things).

 

11 Ways to Make Meditation a Daily Habit

1. Keep It Short and Sweet

It’s a common misconception that you have to meditate for some great length of time, such as 20 or 30 minutes. The truth is, even 5 minutes of meditation is highly effective and all you need to begin establishing meditation as a consistent practice.

The reality is, when trying to adopt a new habit or make some sort of positive change, we need give ourselves every advantage possible. A whole host of things will attempt to keep us from making that activity or behavior a regular part of our lives and we’ll give ourselves every excuse as to why we can’t do it, so you need to make the activity as simple, easy, and convenient as humanly possible.

By meditating for, say, 5 minutes for the first few weeks of your practice, you’ll have established a strong foundation with which to build from. You can then begin to increase your sessions from there to 10, 15, 20 minutes and longer (whatever you choose).

2. Set a Regular Meditation Time

This is a simple and, for the most part, easy point (the setting of it is easy, sticking to it often isn’t), but I’ve found that it’s something most people don’t consider when attempting to make meditation a daily habit.

Virtually all of the most important activities in your life are scheduled. Think about it: meal time, work, time with family, important meetings and errands, time out with friends, kids activities, and just about everything else is scheduled.

In order to make something a part of your life long-term, you need to make it a part of your schedule.

3. Be Mindful in Daily Life (Don’t Restrict Your Practice to the Cushion)

It’s easy at first to get the idea that you can only meditate while sitting in a specific way, with your eyes closed, on a cushion. However, you can practice mindfulness anywhere, while doing anything, and at any time.

You can be mindful:

– In a waiting room – In your car (driving and stopped) – While cleaning – In the restroom (yep) – At your office desk – During breakfast, lunch, and dinner – While taking out the trash – While walking to your car – While grocery shopping

Also, it’s important to note that you don’t need some specific environment or set up to practice mindfulness. Sure, these things can help, but they’re not necessary.

First, you don’t have to do something more slowly to do it mindfully. In the beginning, this may be beneficial or even necessary to learn the practice, but once you get the hang of it you can walk at your normal pace mindfully.

Secondly, you can practice mindfulness in a crowded area. The only caveat to that is the voices need to be indiscernible. By that I mean if you can clearly make out a conversation nearby you’ll be likely to lose your concentration. If you can’t make out the words, the jumbled sound creates a consistent backdrop, which is easy to concentrate amid.

4. Meditate for (at least) 11 Days Straight

We all know (or at least believe) it’s best to do something consistently for a long stretch of time, because then you’re more likely to make it a habit or a more “automatic” behavior. However, exactly how that affects meditation practice hasn’t always been so clear.

Coach.me, the goal-tracking app, reviewed data from users who participated in a meditation course and found that meditators who practiced for just 11 days were over 90% more likely to continue in their practice from the 12th day and on.

So, create a streak of at least 11 days straight and you’ll give yourself a strong advantage to making meditation a regular part of your life.

5. Do What You Can

The reality is, if you want to stick to a consistent meditation practice, you need to be flexible.

Somedays, things will come up and block you from either meditating during your regular scheduled session, or, from meditating as long as you usually do.

When this happens, just adapt and roll with it. If you’re short on time (actually short on time, not just convincing yourself you are), meditate for 5-10 minutes instead of your usual 20 minute session.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is that you get yourself on the cushion, even if for only a few minutes. That’s a huge part of creating a consistent meditation practice.

6. Make Friends with Your Critical Mind

Something interesting happens when we start meditating: we come face-to-face with the mind. However, for most of us, it’s not a joyous occasion (at least at first). That’s because, for most of us, all we find is utter chaos.

And as a result of coming face-to-face with the chaos of our mind, we learn that we’re naturally very, very critical of ourselves.

In failing to consistently hold concentration on the breath- because our mind is a crazy unrelenting monkey- we think, “Im not cut out for meditation”, “I can’t meditate”, and “I’m not doing it right”. However, what we don’t know when we’re by ourselves meditating on our cushion is:

  1. Everyone goes through this and you’re not adverse to meditation.
  2. This is perfectly natural. Being with the mind as it is, without judgment, is what the practice is all about (whether that’s chaos or calm) and it’s how the practice is supposed to be.

More than being at peace, mindfulness meditation is about being with the mind in whatever state that might be. One day you might feel relative peace, another day might be sheer chaos.

However, your approach to both meditation sessions is the same: be with the mind mindfully and nonjudgmentally, fully accepting of whatever thoughts, feelings, and sensations arise.

This is how, with time, you learn to make friends with your critical mind.

7. Remember Why You Practice

When it comes down to it, motivation is mostly just a measure of how aware we are of our reasons for taking a particular action (and the emotional intensity of those reasons).

Make no mistake, motivation is a critical part of sticking to a daily meditation practice. By identifying clearly what drew you to meditation as well as what meditation practice has done (or is doing) for you, you’ll be far more motivated to continue sitting in meditation.

Get clear on why you meditate and make sure those reasons are emotionally compelling. Once you’ve done this, keep these reasons top-of-mind to begin to draw that mental connection between your practice and these compelling reasons.

This is absolutely one of the most powerful things you can do to stick to a more consistent meditation practice.

8. Let Go of Expectations (Just Sit)

Most of us go into meditation practice with certain expectations. We want to levitate by one year, achieve nirvana and self-combust, or become enlightened and live off the dew of a single ginko leaf and the energy of the universe (yes, that’s a Kung Fu Panda reference- they’re my kid’s favorite movies).

Jokes aside, often these expectations are attached to our reasons for practicing. However, they don’t have to be and aren’t the same thing. One can be utilized positively while the other is generally a hindrance to practice.

Expectations are dangerous because it causes us to judge our meditation sessions and gauge whether or not we’re “progressing” at the speed, or in the way, we believe we should be progressing at.

This is the worst approach to take with meditation practice because it amplifies the already difficult to handle critical mind and makes it seemingly insurmountable, at least until you let go of those expectations. And really, it’s against the practice of “accepting the moment for what it is” entirely.

You may have come to meditation practice for a reason, but it doesn’t mean you need to expect anything in particular, in a particular amount, or in a particular amount of time in connection with that reason.

It may take practice, but you can cultivate a “no expectations” state of mind when sitting in meditation (and outside your meditation practice) by allowing yourself to relax and sit with whatever comes to you, openly accepting the meditation session as it is, and letting go of the desire for anything more than what is now in this moment.

9. Make It a Way of Life

Meditation isn’t a prescription you pick up and use to cure some condition, henceforth being freed from said condition and no longer in need of meditation.

Meditation helps us cultivate important qualities such as peace, balance, and a sense of space and work through many big challenges, which gives the practice a real sense of progression. However, the journey never really ends because you need to continue to meditate to maintain those various qualities and benefits.

Instead of looking at meditation as some new positive habit you want to adopt to help cure something such as stress or anxiety, to make meditation a consistent daily practice and maintain these benefits you need throw out the idea of an “end point” and just decide to make meditation a part of your life long-term.

By the way, doing so really helps remove expectations. This is because, by shifting your mindset for the long-term, you stop thinking so much about “when am I going to get to X point?” and can simply enjoy your practice more.

Meditation is a beautiful practice, one which comes with numerous significant and potentially life-changing benefits, so make it part of your life and simply sit enjoying this beautiful practice.

10. Be Accountable

Accountability is key to creating any new habit and meditation is no different.

Accountability comes in two forms:

  1. Accountability to yourself
  2. Accountability to others (single person, group, or both)

In the case of meditation, accountability to yourself can be done via a simple session tracking sheet in Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, or some similar program or even a simple sheet of paper.

Accountability to others can be a simple line of communication between two or more people over email or in person that each person reports to daily to confirm whether they meditated or not.

Why is accountability such an effective tool for sticking to new habits?

Accountability works off of the basic set of pain and pleasure motivators which control many of our actions in our daily life already. By either being accountable to yourself or (especially) accountable to others, a pleasurable feeling develops in connection with the idea of completing the task and a painful feeling in connection with the idea of not completing the task.

This alone can sometimes be all that’s needed to help someone develop a new habit because the potential for pain is such a strong emotional motivator.

11. Don’t Forget- Have Fun

This might seem like a simple or rather obvious tip, however, it seems like a lot of people eventually forget that you should enjoy your practice.

This is an important part of the Buddha’s advice for walking the path of awakening (whatever you personally consider that to be). That is, walking the journey in an easeful and joy-filled way.

If at any point you feel your practice has become a chore, you can be sure you’ll drop off soon afterward. It’s just the way that it works.

You should enjoy your practice, for the most part. If you get to a point where you do feel like your practice has become difficult or cumbersome, and not because you’re sitting through an internal challenge but rather because you’ve just gotten bored or tired of it in some way, switch it up and try something unique like mindful walkingmindful driving, or mindful cleaning (assuming your core practice is sitting in meditation) or an entirely different meditation technique like loving-kindness meditation.

If you’re feeling brave or up to the challenge, this boredom or frustration is also something beneficial to sit with. When you feel it arise, sit down and notice the feeling, and whatever arises along with it, a few times before getting up. Doing so will help you bring clarity to what’s going on.

Conclusion

The challenges that face us in sticking to a daily meditation practice consistently are numerous and varied. However, we also have numerous tools which we can utilize to work through these challenges.

With the proper motivation and the right tools in hand, you can make meditation a daily habit.

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Yoga and Discipline


Whether you can’t get round to going to your first yoga class or struggling to figure out how to practice yoga daily, the psychological technique called “implementation intention” will help you get closer to your goals.

We all know people who seem disciplined by nature. They achieve whatever goals they set for themselves, they seem to complete every item on their to-do list, and they are hardly ever late.  For others, procrastination seems to be second nature. Even important goals like going to a doctor can be put off again and again. If this is your case, you can do with some useful psychological techniques. One of them is called implementation intention.

So what exactly is implementation intention?

The implementation intention is a method that helps you achieve your goals more successfully by rephrasing your goals as if-then statements or by specifying when, where, and how you are going to do the desired activity or take the steps leading to your goal.

When we are forming if-then statements, “if” is followed by the situation, and “then” is followed by the desired behavior.
For example, let’s say you want to start going to bed earlier, you can form a statement like. “If it’s 10 p.m. I’ll close my laptop, put away my phone, dim the lights in the room and get myself ready for going to bed”.

Specifying when, where, and how you are going to achieve your goals turns vague goals into specific ones.

Example: “I want to do yoga every day” is a vague goal. “I will do 6 rounds of Sun Salutations right after waking up starting tomorrow” is a specific goal.

Numerous experiments proved that “implementation intention” really works. For example, two groups of women wanted to perform breast self-examination by the end of the month. All women in the group who were also asked to decide exactly when and where they will perform the self-examination actually did it against 53% in the group who were not induced to make the implementation intention.

The effectiveness of the implementation intention has been proved in many experiments that among others included people wanting to lose weight or students who needed to write an essay. Normally, people who are asked to formulate an implementation intention are 2 or even 3 times more successful in acting on their goals than those who don’t.

See, maybe not so many of New Year’s resolutions would fail, if we specified when (at least in which month) and how we will be acting on them!

Bonus technique for self-discipline

If you are looking for more psychological techniques to improve your self-discipline, here is a good one. It’s called “commitment device”. It’s a method of getting yourself into a situation where you are forced to perform activities that you otherwise wouldn’t feel like doing but that will bring the desired result in the long term.

You are very likely to have used this technique. For example, deleting games from your smartphone may help you spend less time playing games. Or not buying chocolates and cookies and not keeping them at home helps cut down on sugar.

Buying a monthly membership to a yoga studio can be a good commitment device technique if you want to do yoga more regularly.

Now whenever a really great idea comes to your mind, instead of dreaming about it, schedule implementing it and create an atmosphere where giving up is not an option. Use this to become disciplined in yoga and in other spheres of your life!

Read more at https://yoga.com/article/yoga-and-self-discipline

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Common Yoga Terms Explained


You see these words when reading articles and books about yoga. You hear these words when talking to your yogi friends. If you are not sure what some of them mean, here is a chance to quickly get acquainted with some common yoga terms and concepts from the Yoga language!

8 limbs of yoga: 8 aspects of yoga, 8 principles on how to live in harmony with the world and with yourself described in Yoga Sutras by Patanjali (more on that under Yoga Sutras definition). The eight limbs are Yama (attitude to the world), Niyama (attitude to yourself, self-discipline), Asana (physical pose), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (enlightenment).

200 RYT / 500 RYT: these terms have nothing to do with yoga philosophy, but it might be you’ve seen these abbreviations in yoga instructor portfolios and wondered what they stand for. So, there is an organization Yoga Alliance that has worked out standards and curriculum requirements for yoga teacher training. A yoga teacher who meets the requirements of Yoga Alliance can use the credential RYT (registered yoga teacher). 200 RYT means that a teacher has completed a 200-hour course registered with Yoga Alliance. (Yoga schools around the world can apply to be able to provide this training). 500 RYT means that a teacher has completed a 500-hour course (or a 200-hour course and then a 300-hour course) and has taught yoga for at least 100 hours since completing the course. There are also E-RYT (experienced yoga teacher) credentials for teachers with more teaching experience.

This is an internationally recognized credential. But it doesn’t mean that every experienced yoga teacher must have this credential. However, now when you see 500 RYT you’ll have an idea of what kind of training the teacher has completed. Some yoga practitioners who don’t plan to become yoga teachers still complete yoga teacher training in order to deepen their practice.

Asana translates as “seat”. Initially, it was used to define a comfortable pose for meditation. Later the word asana started to refer to a yoga pose or yoga posture. That is why yoga poses have -asana in their Sanskrit names (for example, Padmasana, Balasana, Tadasana). As you already know, asana is only one of the many aspects of yoga. Asanas help strengthen the body and better prepare it for meditation. It’s often this physical aspect of yoga that motivates people to start practicing. But very often they continue to explore breathing exercises, meditation, yoga philosophy and other aspects of yoga. Several classic texts on yoga including Hatha Yoga Pradipika mention 84 classic asanas. One asana can have many variations.

Ashtanga yoga: the word “ashtanga” translates as “having 8 components”. “Ashta” in Sanskrit means eight. Nowadays, this yoga term is frequently used to refer to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga style. During Ashtanga yoga practice, you do a sequence of asanas connected with vinyasas and synchronized with the breath. This is a fast-paced and dynamic style that requires strength and may be challenging for beginners.

Chakras: these are energy centers in our body. There are 7 chakras that are located along the spine, from its base to the top of the head. Some symptoms like particular negative emotions may reveal which of your chakras are blocked. You can use particular yoga poses and lifestyle changes to unblock them. Read more here.

Hatha yoga is a system of breathing techniques and postures. Hatha yoga is, in fact, a category that includes most yoga styles. For example, Iyengar yoga and Ashtanga vinyasa yoga are forms of Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga classes may vary between different yoga studios and different teachers. But usually, these are slow-paced classes suitable for beginners.

 

Kundalini defines the coil of energy located at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga style also known as Laya Yoga is focused on awakening this energy. It is also called “yoga of awareness”. In addition to doing asanas and pranayamas, Kundalini yoga practitioners sing mantras during the practice. It is recommended to wear white clothes to Kundalini yoga classes.

Lotus pose or Padmasana is a yoga pose considered to be the best pose for meditation. This is an advanced pose. To get into Lotus pose sit on the mat with your legs crossed. Put the right foot on the left thigh. The outer part of the right foot should face the left thigh. Put the left foot on the right thigh. Place your relaxed hands on your thighs or push the palms against the floor.

Namaste: this is a word that translates as ‘the light within me bows to the light within you’ or ‘I bow to the divine in you’. It is normally said at the end of the practice.This is also a common greeting in countries like Nepal and India. You say it with your hands pressed together, fingers pointing upwards, and thumbs pointing towards the chest.
Pranayama: the art of breath regulation, breath control. You’ll practice different kinds of breathing techniques throughout your yoga practice. Pranayama exercises are normally done in a comfortable sitting pose or even sitting on a chair. It’s essential that you feel comfortable and your back is straight.
Savasana (Corpse Pose): one of those yoga poses that even people who haven’t been to a single yoga class have heard of (along with Lotus pose and Tree pose, probably) This pose normally ends the practice. You need to lie on your back with your arms and legs straightened, the feet pointing outwards, the palms up, eyes closed. Savasana helps to relax the mind and the body and lets the effects of a yoga practice sink in.
Sun Salutations: Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a dynamic asana sequence. Normally performed in the morning or at the beginning of a yoga practice as a warm-up, Sun Salutation includes 12 poses with the four first poses and four last poses being the same but done in reverse order: Mountain Pose, Upward Salute, Standing Forward fold, Low Lunge, Plank Pose, Four-Limbed Stuff Pose, Upward-facing Dog, Downward-facing Dog, then again Low Lunge, Standing Forward fold, Upward Salute, Tadasana. This would be a half-round of Sun Salutation, you then need to complete another half on the other side. Doing 6—12 rounds of Sun Salutations in the morning may be a good and simple way to form an everyday yoga habit.
Vinyasa: a flow of poses. For example, San Salutation or Cat-Cow are examples of Vinyasa. Different yoga styles focused on flowing sequences of poses such as Ashtanga yoga fall under the category of Vinyasa yoga.
Yoga is literally translated as union, it’s a spiritual and ascetic discipline that includes many aspects. Some of them are Hatha yoga (yoga of proper breath and poses), jnana yoga (the yoga of wisdom and knowledge), and raja yoga (yoga of mind and emotions).
Yoga Nidra: yogic sleep. During Yoga Nidra, you achieve the state of “sleep with awareness” lying in Savasana pose with your eyes closed listening to verbal instructions of your teacher. Yoga Nidra has many benefits including the lowered anxiety and better sleep. Yoga Nidra normally lasts 45—60 minutes.  Some yogis say an hour of Yoga Nidra feels like 4 hours of regular sleep.
Yoga props: blocks, bolsters, folded blankets, straps used to deepen the poses or to perform easier variations of poses. Don’t be afraid to use yoga props. They are great companions in your yoga journey. You’ll use props a lot during Iyengar yoga classes.
Yoga Sutras:  a set of aphorisms written by Patanjali which is considered to be the foundation of Yoga philosophy. This ancient document didn’t contain the poses. It is not known exactly when the document was created. But it’s definitely more than 1700 years old.

If you’ve got some insights about the yoga terms here or would like to provide more information on any of them feel free to add a comment!

Read more at https://yoga.com/article/common-yoga-terms-explained

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Yoga Poses to help you recharge while hiking


Who doesn’t love hiking? Exploring new places, soaking up the fresh air and beautiful scenery, experiencing the life at its fullest. As you walk for miles and miles you may start feeling a little tired. This exhaustion is pleasant in a way yet you feel like you could do with some exercise.

And here is when yoga comes to the rescue. Forward folds and stretches that require just a few minutes and no mat to practice will make you feel like a whole new person!

Intense side stretch pose (Parsvottanasana)

Stand up, step your left foot back. Stretch your arms and put them together above your head: your fingers clasped and your index fingers pointing up. Move your chin to your chest and start folding to your right leg, your back round. Try to reach the floor (or rather the earth) with your hands and to touch your leg with your forehead. This pose perfectly stretches thighs and back and calms down your mind.

 

Extended side angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

 

Put your feet a leg’s length apart, your right foot turned 90 degrees to the right, and your left foot just slightly turned to the left. Bend your right leg until it forms a 90-degree angle. Start bending your torso to the right and put your right hand on the floor. Stretch your left arm up until it forms one line with your left leg. This pose doesn’t only stretch your body but also improves your stamina when performed regularly.

Revolved side angle pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

Feet a leg’s length apart, right foot turned 90 degrees to the right. Rotate your torso and pelvis to the right, bend your right knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Start bending your torso forward rotating it more to the right until you can put your left shoulder in front of your right knee. You can either put your left hand on the floor and your right hand up or join your hands in Namaste.Make sure to repeat the above poses on both sides

Wide-legged forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

 

Put your legs a leg’s length apart, place your hands on your lower back and start bending forward. Put the palms on your feet and move your head to the floor. Keep your thighs engaged and your pelvis stretching up. Beginners may practice the pose variation with their hands on hips.

You may use Tadasana or Utthita Hasta Padasana poses as a transition between poses.

These poses will relieve the back pain, stretch the muscles and improve blood circulation. You are ready to hike on!

Read more at https://yoga.com/article/yoga-poses-for-hiking

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How to change your daily routine and become a morning person


What can be more natural than waking up with the sun and going to bed when the whole nature is falling asleep? Nothing, really. And yet, at some point with all the nightlife activities, hard-to-put-aside gadgets, flexible working hours and jam-packed schedules, it all got out of control.

These tips from Yoga and Ayurveda will persuade you to switch to a new morning routine and make the shift easier.

 

Watch the sunrise. Every day

Ayurveda and Yoga Theory have an explanation for why it makes sense to wake up before sunrise. Apparently, about an hour and a half period before the sunrise called Brahma Muhurta is the time when nature is in its stillest phase. And so is your mind. It is the most appropriate time for yoga, meditation and welcoming a new day in a calm and harmonious way. Wake up during this quiet and secluded time before the sun is up, and you’ll feel balanced and happy for the rest of the day.

Go to bed at reasonable hours

And by reasonable Ayurveda means between 10 and 11 p.m. Why is that? The thing is everything around us is influenced by doshas: Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. These doshas are combinations of energies and each dosha has particular qualities. The day is divided into 6 four-hour intervals during which a particular dosha dominates influencing our mood and energy levels.  At 10 p.m. the sluggish Kapha is changed by fiery and intense Pitta which will be dominant until 2 a.m. Pitta will make you feel more energetic but at the same time, it will make it hard for you to fall asleep and to have a quality rest. You can read more on how doshas influence our energy during the day in one of our previous articles. Going to bed before midnight means you’ll get a more restorative sleep and feel refreshed even if you wake up very early the next morning.

Wake up on the proper side of the bed

Of all the recommendations this is the easiest one to adopt!

In some languages, the expression “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” literally translates as “getting up on the wrong foot”. According to Ayurveda, this totally makes sense. So, we all have a dominant nostril. As a rule, this may change during the day. And when you wake up you need to check which nostril is breathing better and get out of bed by first putting the corresponding leg on the floor. This way you’ll feel less sluggish during your morning and the whole day.

Create a morning ritual

It’s important to think of a morning ritual that will allow you to wake up gently and motivate you to get out of bed. You may come up with your own morning routine or borrow some ideas from Dinacharya — a daily routine suggested by Ayurveda and followed by Indian yogis for hundreds of years.

This daily routine sure requires a lot of discipline to adopt. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t manage to go to bed before midnight tonight or don’t see every sunrise during the week. Believe in yourself and try again and again!

Yes, you may have been a night owl most of your life. But have you ever given a waking up before sunrise routine a really good chance? Who knows, maybe it will become your second nature.
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40 Kid-Friendly Chair Yoga Poses


Below is a list of basic chair yoga poses, which are ancient yoga poses that have been adapted to practice using a chair. These chair yoga poses could be used in your classroom, homeschool, or in a small space for transitions, movement breaks, or for introducing a new topic. The postures serve as an inspiration guide, but please encourage the children’s creativity.

Yoga poses for kids often mimic our natural surroundings and may be interpreted in different ways that will integrate into your curriculum to build meaningful learning connections for your students. Practice the yoga poses to stretch their bodies after sitting for a long time or to energize their minds and bodies for learning. Some things to consider when you are practicing chair yoga with your children:

  • Feel free to adapt or change the chair yoga poses to suit your needs.
  • Focus on having fun with movement, not on practicing perfectly aligned poses.
  • Engage the children. Follow their passions and interests.
  • Create authentic, meaningful experiences.
  • Cater to their energy levels and different learning styles.
  • Be creative and enjoy yourselves, but please be safe.
  • Ensure that the chairs are firm and steady so that the poses are safe to practice.
  • Gently introduce the idea of linking breath to movement.
  • Add breathing techniques that suit your needs.
  • Finish each chair yoga session in a resting pose to allow time for peace and quiet.

Our Kids Yoga Stories characters, Sophia, Luke, Elizabeth, Baraka, Pablo, Mai, and Anamika, demonstrate the chair yoga poses in the list below, followed by the yoga pose name and descriptions.

A List of 40 Chair Yoga Poses for Kids:

Boat Pose for Kids Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Boat Pose:

Balance on your buttocks with your arms and legs straight out in front of you in a V shape, grasping the sides of the chair for balance. Keep a straight spine and open chest.

Camel Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Camel Pose:

Come to a sitting position, with your feet flat on the ground and your legs together. Lift your head, open your chest, squeeze your shoulders, and place your hands on your back of the chair. Gently press your hips forward while shifting your shoulders back, slowly arching your back. Look up, keeping your spine neutral.

Cat Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Cat Pose:

From a sitting position with your feet flat on the ground, round your back and tuck your chin into your chest, stretching your back.

Chair Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Chair Pose:

In front of your seat, stand tall in Mountain Pose with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and keep a straight spine. Take your straight arms up in front of you, look up, and try sinking a little deeper into your knees as if you’re about to sit back down in the chair.

Child's Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Child’s Pose:

Sit back on your chair, slowly bend your upper body to rest on your thighs, rest your arms down towards the floor, and take a few deep breaths.

Cobbler's Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Cobbler’s Pose:

Come to sit in your seat. Bring your legs up on the front of the chair, with the soles of your feet together. Keep a tall spine.

Cobra Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Cobra Pose:

Come to sit at the front of your chair. Open your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together, look up, and bring your hands to the back of the chair. Arch into a baby back bend.

Cow Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Cow Pose:

Sit at the front of your chair, with your feet flat on the ground. Place your palms on your knees and take a deep breath to neutralize your spine. Then look up slightly, arch your back, and open your chest.

Crescent Moon Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Crescent Moon Pose:

Sit comfortably on your chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Reach your arms up high over your head, bringing your palms together. Tilt your upper body to one side. Come back to center. Tilt your body to the other side.

Dancer's Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Dancer’s Pose:

Stand tall in Mountain Pose behind your chair. Then grab the back of your chair with your right hand, stand on your right leg, reach your left leg out behind you, and place the outside of your left foot into your left hand. Bend your torso forward, with your right hand on the chair for balance, and arch your leg up behind you. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Downward-Facing Dog Pose:

Come to standing just in front of your chair, facing the chair. Place your hands flat on the front of the chair and slowly step back so that your arms are stretched out straight in front of you. Straighten your spine, ensure your legs are hip-width distance apart, and look down between your legs.

Eagle Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Eagle Pose:

Come to sitting up tall on your chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Wrap your left leg around your right. Bring your bent arms out in front of you, wrap your right arm around your left arm, and bend your knees slightly. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Easy Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Easy Pose:

Sit cross-legged on your chair and rest your palms on your knees. Close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing so.

Extended Mountain Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Extended Mountain Pose:

Sit comfortably on your chair with your feet flat on the ground, look up, take your arms straight up to the sky, and touch your palms together.

Extended Side Angle Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Extended Side Angle Pose:

Sit towards the front of your chair with your feet flat on the ground with your legs and feet together. Tilt your upper body forward, then twist to the right, rest your left elbow on your right knee, lengthening your left hand towards the ground. Look up and reach your right arm straight up to the sky. Repeat on the other side.

Flower Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Flower Pose:

Come to sit on your buttocks with a tall spine on the chair. Lift your bent legs, balance on your sitting bones, and weave your arms under your legs with your palms facing up.

Forward Bend Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Forward Bend:

Perch at the front of your chair with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your feet hip-width apart, and flex your feet to rest your heels on the ground. Slowly bend your upper body (ensuring that your chair is stable and reach for your toes. Keep a straight spine and look down at your toes.

Happy Baby Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Happy Baby Pose:

Sit at the back of your seat and shift to balancing on your buttocks. Lift your legs up, hug your knees into your chest, and then grab the outer parts of each foot—right foot in right hand and left foot in left hand.

Hero Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Hero Pose:

Come to rest upright on your seat with your palms resting on your knees. Close your eyes (if that’s comfortable). Breathe deeply.

Knees to Chest Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Knee to Chest Pose:

Sit tall on your seat with your feet flat on the ground. Bend your right knee and hug it close to your chest. Then place it down again. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Legs Up the Chair Pose | Kids Yoga Stories

Legs Up the Chair Pose:

Lie flat on your back in front of your chair. Then slowly lift your legs and place them on your seat. Keeping your legs together, flex your feet. Spread your arms out to either side and keep your neck in a neutral position. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Lotus Pose in a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Lotus Pose:

Sit with a tall spine at the back of your chair. Then, cross your legs, weave your feet to rest on top of opposite knees, and rest the palms of your hands on your knees. Relax and breathe.

Lunge Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Lunge Pose:

Stand in front of your chair, then bend over and grab the front of the chair with both hands. Step your right foot back into a lunge position. Keep a flat back and open your chest. Hold for a few breaths, then bring your right foot back up to meet the left foot. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Mountain Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stores

Mountain Pose:

Sit tall with your legs hip-width apart and feet facing forward. Take your arms straight alongside your body and imagine being a steady, tall mountain.

Pigeon Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Pigeon Pose:

Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Bend your right leg and place your right ankle on your left knee. Place your left hand on your right foot and your right hand on your right knee. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Plank Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Plank Pose:

From Downward-Facing Dog Pose in a chair, come forward to balance on your palms and on your bent toes in a plank position. Keep your arms straight and your back long and flat.

Resting Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Resting Pose:

Sit comfortably in your chair. Rest your forehead on your folded arms on your desk. Rest and breathe.

Reverse Plank Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Reverse Plank Pose:

Sit at the front of your chair, look up, open your chest, and place your hands at the back of your chair. Ensuring that the chair is steady, slowly lift your buttocks to a reverse plank position with your legs and spine straight and feet flat on the ground.

Reverse Table Top Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Reverse Table Top Pose:

Sit at the front of your chair, look up, open your chest, and place your hands at the back of your chair. Ensuring that the chair is steady, slowly lift your buttocks to a reverse table top position with bent legs.

Seated Twist in a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Seated Twist:

Sit upright in your chair. Check that your spine is straight and your feet are flat on the ground. Twist your upper body to the right. Take your left hand to your right knee and your right hand back behind the chair. Repeat on the other side.

Side Bend Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Side Bend:

Sit tall on your chair with your feet flat on the ground and your palms on your knees. Then take your left arm straight up to the sky. Tilt your upper body to the right and place your right hand on the chair. Open your chest, look up, and feel the gentle stretch on your left side body. Come back to center. Switch sides and repeat the sides.

Squat Pose next to a chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Squat Pose:

Come down to a squat in front of your chair with your knees apart and your arms between your knees.

Tree Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Tree Pose:

Come to standing next to your chair. Holding on to the chair with one hand, shift your weight and balance on one leg. Bend the knee of the leg you are not standing on, place the sole of your foot on the opposite inner thigh or calf, and balance. Sway like a tree in the breeze. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Triangle Forward Bend Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Triangle Forward Bend:

Stand tall with legs hip-width apart in front of your chair, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Take your right foot back, keeping your ankle bent at a thirty-degree angle. Place your hands on the front of the chair, ensuring that your back is flat and that you are looking straight ahead. Then slowly bend forward as if your hips are a hinge, keeping a flat back and a long neck. Check that your spine is straight. Repeat on the other side.

Triangle Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Triangle Pose:

From a standing position in front of your chair, step one foot back, placing the foot facing slightly outwards. Take your arms up parallel to the ground, bend at your waist, and tilt your upper body to the side. Reach your front hand to gently rest on your chair behind you and reach your other arm straight up. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Upward-Facing Dog Pose:

Stand in front of your chair. Bend down and grab the sides of your chair with your hands. Step your feet back so that your body is a long plank and you’re resting on your toes. Then straighten your arms and expand your chest. Look up, keeping your neck neutral, and feel a gentle back bend.

Warrior 1 Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Warrior 1 Pose:

Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Step one foot back, angling it slightly outward. Bend your front knee, bring your arms straight up toward the sky, and look up. Use the chair for support under your front leg if necessary. Repeat on the other side.

Warrior 1 Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Warrior 2 Pose:

From standing position in front of your chair, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outward. Take your arms up parallel to the ground, bend your front knee, and look forward. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Warrior 1 Pose Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Warrior 3 Pose:

Stand on one leg with your arms straight out in front of you, holding the back of the chair. Extend the other leg behind you, flexing your foot. Bend your torso forward. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend Using a Chair | Kids Yoga Stories

Wide-Legged Forward Bend:

Stand tall with legs hip-width apart in front of your chair, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Then, step your feet out wide, bend your upper body, and take your hands to the back of the chair. Bend your arms and rest your forehead on the front of your chair. Feel the gentle stretch in your legs.

Read more at: https://www.kidsyogastories.com/chair-yoga-poses/

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Yoga for lazy people: seven moves to make you happy


You don’t even have to get off the sofa

 

diamond pose (exercise 3), roaring lion pose (5), corpse pose (7)
 Clockwise from top left: diamond pose (exercise 3), roaring lion pose (5), corpse pose (7). Illustration: Son of Alan

1 Surya Bheda (single-nostril breath)

1 Sit up straight in a comfortable, relaxed posture.

2 Close the eyes. Rest your left hand on your knee, with thumb and forefinger together. On the right hand, bend the index and middle fingers, and gently apply pressure to your right nostril with your thumb or fourth finger.

3 Inhale through the left nostril, retain the breath for a moment, remove your hand from your right nostril, cover your left nostril and exhale through the right.

4 Repeat, inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right. Do this for two minutes.

2 Dolasana (pendulum pose)

1 Stand up straight with feet hip-width apart and the arms on either side of the body.

2 Inhale, raising the arms, clasping them just above the head.

3 Exhale and bend over at the waist, keeping hands together.

4 Retain the breath as you swing from side to side, with the forehead tapping first one knee and then the other.

5 Exhale and return to a standing position. Repeat a few more times.

3 Vajrasana (diamond pose)

1 Rest in a seated position with the legs tucked under the body (so your bottom is on your feet).

2 The spine should be straight and the knees close to each other. Sit for one minute.

4 Padmasana (lotus pose)

1 My favourite asana: sit up straight in a comfortable, relaxed posture, with legs extended in front of you.

2 Bend the right knee, placing the right foot on the left thigh. The sole of the foot should be turned upwards and the heel close to the abdomen.

3 If you are able, repeat on the left side.

4 With legs crossed, bring thumbs and index fingers together.

5 Close the eyes and breathe mindfully, remaining here for a few minutes.

5 Simha Garjana (roaring lion pose)

1 Kneel in a seated position with legs under the body.

2 The spine should be straight and the knees slightly apart.

3 Place palms on knees, keeping arms relaxed.

4 Open the mouth and relax the jaw, allowing the tongue to hang loosely.

5 Breathe through the nose and mouth.

6 Engaging the core and contracting the abdominal muscles, retain the breath for a few seconds.

7 Exhale and relax.

8 Repeat for two minutes.

6 Sarpasana (snake pose)

1 Lie on your stomach with legs straight and feet together.

2 Interlace the fingers behind the back and place chin on the ground.

3 Inhale and raise the chest, keeping the gaze straight ahead.

4 Imagine the hands are being pulled from behind.

5 Stay here and breathe. Hold this for as long as you are comfortable, even if just a few seconds.

6 Come down, take a few breaths and come up again.

7 Shavasana (corpse pose)

1 This is a lazy person’s favourite asana. Lie flat on your back with arms relaxed on either side of the body, palms facing up.

2 The legs should be sprawled outward with the feet apart; the head and neck should be aligned.

3 Inhale and exhale, and relax the entire body.

4 To deepen the relaxation further, contract and relax different parts of the body: feet, calves and thighs, pelvic muscles, buttocks. Clench the fists, contract the arms and relax. Contract the back, the neck, the shoulders, and relax. Lift the head off the ground and relax. Contract the entire body. Contract, contract, contract, and relax. Recite this mentally.

5 Inhale and exhale deeply, counting backwards from 10 gradually down to one.

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What are the benefits of yoga?


Lacey Rae Trebaol, Student and Teacher (Vinyasa Flow)
Originally Answered: What are the benefits of yoga?

I’ve seen, experienced, and read about benefits ranging from, “I can do the splits and put my legs behind my head!” to “it helped me cope with a death/divorce/trauma”.  Below you’ll find a short list focused on the physical benefits you can expect to see*:

1. Healthy Joints. Yoga helps circulate the synovial fluid in your joints – this fluid lies in a capsule that surrounds synovial joints.  This system (capsule and fluid components) helps to cushion the ends of the bones, allowing them to glide over each other, lessening the friction.

2. Decrease in blood pressure. The movements decrease blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation.

3. Increased flexibility

4. Increased strength and endurance (muscular and cardiovascular).  Yoga uses the weight of your own body to build overall strength.  Core strength is especially important for good posture and balance.  Having a strong core and knowing how to use it will help prevent other injuries both on and off your yoga mat.

5. Body Awareness. Practicing yoga sharpens your awareness of your physical body.  In practice students begin to consciously make subtle adjustments in order to achieve proper alignment in a pose.

6. Mind-Body Connection. Regular practice reinforces the mind body connection.  Many yoga practitioners are so in tune with their body that they are aware at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly. This allows for quicker response to head off disease and other ailments.

For more information on the benefits (especially the emotional or psychological benefits) I suggest checking out Yoga Journal’s website.  They have some great articles on this topic.

*Note: These benefits assume a regular practice.  Depending on the consistency, level, and style of your practice, as well as your current health, your experience may differ. Namaste 🙂

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