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Yoga

Yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular, if not the most popular, workout regime among those who are looking to gain flexibility, strength and even lose weight. It can be done from the privacy of your home or in a classroom. It is great for reducing stress and allowing for greater relaxation. Once you begin practicing, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to workout and keep in shape. It is a philosophy, a passion and a way of life for many of those involved in it. While you may be getting into it for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that comes along with it.

The History

It originated in India during the Golden Age, nearly 26,000 years ago. The actual Sanskrit word, when broken down, means “to control”, “to yoke” or “to unite”. The word has also been translated to mean “joining”, “uniting” and “union”. The union is made between the self and the spirit. Yoga is a major part of the Hindu religion as it embodies their natural state of being and spiritual enlightenment. As a part of Hinduism, it belongs to one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy. If you dig deeper, you can read about how yoga is used in conjunction with meditation. Yoga is also a major part of Buddhism as a part of their meditation practices. It has even been linked to Islam and early Christianity.

Today has become increasingly popular, not so much for the spiritual benefits as for the physical advantages. You can take a yoga class at your local gym, a yoga studio or from the privacy of your own home through a personal instructor or yoga DVD. From popular musicians embracing Yoga to magazines filled with yoga ads, you simply cannot get away from Yoga and the influence it has had physically and mentally for a lot of people.

Benefits

It can do a lot for the human body, although it won’t cure every ailment. Yoga can be worked into virtually any lifestyle or schedule. Yoga has been proven to increase health and body awareness allowing yoga participants to better control their bodies. From flexibility increases to better body alignment, Yoga can help with a variety of ailments.

Physical Benefits

  • Increased Flexibility
  • Increased Strength
  • Improved Balance
  • Increased Stamina
  • Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)

Mental Benefits

  • Stress Reduction
  • Body Awareness
  • Better Sleep
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Relaxation

There are many more physical and mental benefits, but these are the major ones. Those who suffer from certain conditions can also benefit from it. Women who are pregnant or who are planning on becoming pregnant can benefit greatly from it as well.

Read more on it below…

 

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Ashtanga Yoga – Is it right for you?

Ashtanga Yoga is the type of yoga which was developed and founded by K. Pattabhi Jois. This type of yoga is known as the Eight Limb Yoga which has revolved in Pattanjali's enormous idea. It presented that the path of purification is made up of the eight spiritual practices. The first four limbs that represent Ashtanga Yoga are – yama, niyama, Asana and the Pranayama. These are considered cleansing practices which are externally correctable. The other set of limbs which are the – pratyahara, dhyana, dharana are the internal practies. These limbs can only be corrected by the proper application of the Ashtanga Yoga method. This type of yoga method is quite dangerous to the mind. K. Pattabhi Jois said that practicing these Eight Limbs and also its...

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The Five Traditional Branches of Yoga [Infographic]

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are. ~ Jason Crandell Since ancient times, yoga has been compared to a tree with different branches. These branches epitomize a unique aspect of life. However, these branches go beyond the physical practice of yoga postures and breathing techniques. Most people are acquainted with asanas and pranayamas and assume it is all about that. But within the realm of these branches, yoga extends beyond the obvious. Hatha, which is the branch that deals with postures and breath control, is just one of the five branches. Yoga, as a whole, goes beyond the physical practice and encompasses the spiritual growth of an individual. It helps us harmonize ourselves with universal consciousness. As we expand our being, we come...

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Yoga Poses for Everyday Life

Yoga is a useful and highly beneficial practice that can be employed in every part of our lives. Different poses promote various moods and are applicable to a different part of your day. Whether you’re working out, cooling down, or trying to unplug before bed, we’ve compiled a list of helpful and enjoyable yoga poses. Poses for: Toning and Losing Weight It can be difficult to find time to hit the gym during the regular hustle and bustle of life. If you’ve been staying late at work and feeling exhausted, you might not be feeling as motivated to take your morning run. Yoga is an alternative and an attractive one because it can be done right in the comfort of your living room. Yoga conjures up images of...

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Basic Yoga Moves to Improve Balance, Mood and Flexibility

By Dr. Mercola Yoga postures may not be something you've thought about for the purposes of improving your overall health and wellness. But research shows that even a daily, two-minute routine can strengthen core muscles throughout your body. Simple yoga moves can also improve your balance, increase your flexibility and even boost your mood. They can be tailored to every fitness level and come with advantages for your attitude and outlook, as well. Performed daily or at least three days a week, slowly but surely you'll find yourself becoming stronger, more flexible, and with a fresher outlook for your day. Special equipment is not a requirement. You need a few square feet of space and a mat, but don't let that stop you from starting now. You can...

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Top 6 Yoga Poses To Help Eliminate Back Pain

by Good News Network Fifteen years ago, I was not acting my age. Since I would recoil from any form of exercise, as well as any green foods, I was overweight, inflexible … and debilitated by back pain. The 40 extra pounds on my frame — plus tight, shortened back muscles and weak abs — left me moving like an 80-year-old version of myself. I started reading up and realized  a shocking number of people suffer with back pain, partly from hours of sitting in a way that flattens the low back curve. (BTW, a Balance Ball Chair System, the very one I’m sitting on as I write this, is a great tool to help build core strength and re-align your spine.) Then, I found yoga. Over time,...