All posts tagged: Essentials

Kundalini Yoga for Physical Vitality

An uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices, Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity.” The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. Yoga Journal Kundalini yoga is a blend of Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga and Shakti yoga. Each of these yoga techniques involves chanting, mediation/mental and physical control, and expression of power and energy. The term Kundalini means “a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine,” which is usually conceptualized as a coiled-up serpent. These days Kundalini yoga is a synthesis of many traditions, and the kriyas and meditations in Kundalini Yoga are designed to raise complete body awareness to prepare the body, nervous system, and mind to handle the energy of Kundalini rising. Many of the physical postures are designed to activate the navel, spine, and focal points of pressurization on meridians (energy points). Through breath work (pranayama) and the application of yogic locks of energy (bandhas), the release, direction, and control of the flow of Kundalini energy …

How To Do The Crow (Crane) Pose

Bakasana/Kakasana… …was the first arm-balancing pose that I learned in yoga. It was the toughest and absolutely the most rewarding. I faced my fear of face planting onto the floor. But as I leaned forward and rested my weight on my hands, I instantly forgot about the fear and trusted that my mind and body will work interdependently to catch me if I fall. It was a moment of mind-body connection while flying in the air, and it felt accomplishing and rewarding as I continue to challenge my balance. Crow Pose stimulates inner focus and concentration of the moment. It strengthens Sacral Chakra, which enhances our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences. (Aileena Cavali) If you have not tried this pose and want to learn how to, see the tutorial below by Kassandra. Her tutorial will help you to overcome the fear of falling and learn to trust your mind and body.   The Benefits The process of getting into Crow Pose and balancing on your hands is a full-body workout itself. It engages …

4 Benefits of Downward-Facing Dog

When I think of yoga the first thing that comes in mind is a downward-facing dog pose, or Adho Mukha Svanasana. Any form of yoga would have this pose incorporated, which benefits your entire mind and body. It aids in fending off certain ailments and gives you an emotional boost when practiced daily. … so grab a high quality yoga mat  and give it a try! See how Downward-Facing Dog Pose can benefit you below. Strengthens the Spine You are using gravity to challenge your core and back as you round your spine back and fourth in a gentle flow between Downward-Facing Dog and Upward-Facing Dog. This also helps to re-align your spine in a natural way. Strengthens the Arms This flow between Downward-Facing Dog and Upward-Facing Dog requires highly controlled movements and breathing, thus strengthening the the shoulder and arms. If you can bring your attention to really pressing your hands into your mat, and rolling your biceps away from your ears, you will get awesome muscular engagement throughout your whole arm, which in turn …

Yoga for Better Sleep

A new study indicates that yoga can help to improve sleep among people suffering from chronic insomnia. Researchers at Harvard Medical School investigated how a daily yoga practice might affect sleep for people with insomnia and found broad improvements to measurements of sleep quality and quantity… … Twenty people completed the eight-week evaluation, and researchers analyzed the information in their sleep diaries to evaluate the influence of yoga on the disrupted sleep of chronic insomnia. They found improvements to several aspects of sleep, including: Sleep efficiency Total sleep time Total wake time Sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep) Wake time after sleep onset psychologytoday.com Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder with 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population suffering from the illness. It is associated with high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders. Research also indicates that lack of sleep can have negative effects on cognition and brain functions. Whether or not you are affected by insomnia or a mild sleep disorder, we recommend adding the following yoga …

Yin Yoga For Flexibility

A well-stretched muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance — imagine an easier, less restricted golf swing or tennis serve — and functional abilities, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks. Stretching can also be a great way to get you moving in the morning or a way to relax after a long day. Activities such as yoga combine stretching and relaxation and also improve balance, a wonderful combination. Harvard Health Publishing No matter what age-group you are in, being flexible is great for preventing injuries, back pain, and balance problems. Try the following 25-minute Yin Yoga Fusion by BohoBeautiful once in the morning and once in the evening to maintain a flexible spine and stay strong! This Yin Yoga Flow class is going to give you that relaxing deep stretch your body has been craving for. Focusing on fusing Vinyasa based flow (Yang) with slow and tension releasing postures (Yin), this class is great to do in morning as well as anytime during the day as we …

“Happiness is an inside job”

Happiness is a skill and practice. Happier people do not have easier lives, with less hard work, grief, divorce, or financial strain than the rest of us. They’re simply more grateful for what they have and choose to be conscious of their contentment more often. Santosha, a Yoga Philosophy Rebecca Pacheco, Health.com To be honest, I was inspired to start doing yoga because of how impressive, graceful, and fun the poses look. But I got more than what I expected from the classes that I attended over the years. I was mentally and physically challenged to step out of my comfort zone. To get into a headstand, a crow, or a challenging arm balancing pose, I learned to adopt a positive attitude in order to break the mental barrier that was built by fear and self-doubt. The learning process, attention level, and attitude of the pose had a positive compounding effect on other aspects of my life. I learned to be optimistic and positive regardless of what goes on externally, and I found happiness and …

Yoga Poses for Office Worker

When you sit, you use less energy than you do when you stand or move. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Mayo Clinic Many great companies offer ergonomic working environment for their employees. However, that might not be enough as it is up to you to ensure that you are not sitting for too long absorbed in your work. Sitting at a desk for hours puts strain on the lumbar spine – causing neck, shoulder, and low back pain. Do the following stretches at your desk or on your chair at least once every 1 – 2 hours to stretch out your wrists, sides of your body, legs, back, and to speed up …