Before we start let’s look at what yoga is. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union or joining. We can then say that this is the union of Body, mind and spirit.
Yoga is not really an exercise – it is a practice. Yoga is much more than just practicing asanas (positions). Yoga, in its true form, is a way of bringing balance to your body, spirit and mind. It becomes part of your life because you will see that you derive great benefits from it. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is the reduction of the stress levels and tension.
When yoga became popular in Western countries some of the spiritual benefits have been lost. This was in the early 1960s when The Beatles went to India. Yoga quickly spread around the world but some of the pure forms were lost. Originally there were only five types of yoga. The five original forms are Hatha, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Raja. Hatha yoga is still widely practiced today.
Some people believe that yoga is a stretching exercise that allows you to become more flexible and develop body and core strength. It is possible to develop better flexibility through practicing yoga.
Each asana or position is designed to give your body different physical benefits. It depends on the type of yoga you practice, whether the positions are done quickly or you hold the position for some time thereby increasing your body and core strength.
If you practice yoga on a regular basis, you will notice that your flexibility will also increase. Everyone here will be different. It depends on the level of flexibility that you start with and how devoted you are to practicing. If you are really interested in losing weight and gaining more flexibility, you should practice every day for at least thirty minutes.
Yoga has to be practiced with intention. When you are stretching, you stretch as if you want to extend your limbs as far as you can.
The strength of all of the bones in our body is governed by a few simple factors. We want to make sure that our bones are strong and we can even improve our bone strength.
Exercise is essential to maintain good health and increase our bone density. There are two cells that alter the form and strength of our bones. These are the osteoclasts which thicken our bones and then we have the osteoblasts which have the reverse effect and will break the bones down. When we exercise, we can alter the activity of these cells. When you exercise, you are putting force on your bones and this in turn creates an electric current that moves along the bones. During exercise the osteoclasts are stimulated and the result is that this stimulation builds up the bones which are being stressed. When this is happening, the osteoblasts will absorb small amount of bone that is not required.
This action will help increase the strength of the bones.
Your bones come from a crystal formation called apatite. Large amounts of calcium and a small amount of phosphorus is needed by apatite. We have always been told we need calcium in our diet. Vitamin D (also known as the “sunshine” vitamin) helps the body absorb and use calcium. These days they now add a form of vitamin to some milk products.
Dairy products such as cheese and milk are a great source of calcium. If you tend not to use diary products, there are other ways of getting calcium. Calcium is found in many varieties of nuts, green leafy vegetables, legumes and grains. The nutrient found in milk and other dairy products stick to the calcium and you can lose it. Calcium in dairy products is harder to digest and absorb. That is why you should also get your calcium from the other sources we have already named.
So now you can see why you should maintain a good healthy diet and exercise on a regular basis. Your exercise regime should include both aerobic and flexibility components.
There are people out there who have been victims of some degenerative diseases such as AIDS, MS and chronic fatigue syndrome and do we still wonder where these health problems started.
Is it possible to remain healthy and avoid a lot of illness and disease? What do you do to maintain a healthy mind and body? There a great number of people now seeking alternative cures. There are a greater number of people taking medicine and health additives that they can purchase from their health store.
These people are also more likely to try alternative therapies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine – from herbs, traditional massage or acupuncture.
We all know that many unhealthy conditions are caused through the wrong diet. These conditions can be reversed if we change the diet. These can include heart disease, weight problems, arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. They may also need some medication in the beginning but it is possible to regain your health and you might be able to cease your medication with the agreement of your doctor.
Even our western doctors are advising patients to use alternative therapies. Natural therapies that are found in alternative medicine are much older than any of the western treatments.
While we can all agree that drugs have saved lives and modern medicine has extended lives, there are still super bugs out there that are now drug resistant.
It is important to know what is available to us in keeping healthy. I do not believe that just diet alone will keep our body healthy. There has to be some form of exercise that will help maintain our bodies. It could be as easy as walking or attending a yoga or tai chi class. Exercise is a vital component of staying healthy.
So why not allow yourself to try some of these therapies that are available. Some doctors are now realizing that just as in the eastern Medicine – you have to treat the body as a whole – that is body, mind and spirit. They are searching for answers why some of their patients are not improving with the drugs they have prescribed.
The world is once again embracing the natural way to healing.
Meditation is a way of training your brain so that you achieve an inner peace and there are great benefits to your health. While meditating you are reducing your stress levels and focusing internally.
Most people prefer to practice meditation by themselves but there are groups and classes where you can learn.
Another method that is to listen to CDs and these CDs are designed to train your brain. You can reach a state of total relaxation while focusing on a specific point. It is a practice that improves the more that you do it. True practitioners of meditation find that it helps them in their every day lives. They are able to achieve so much more after they learnt how to meditate than before.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries and there are several types of meditation. The monks practice for several hours each day but for the normal person should start each day with a minimum of ten minutes.
There are now scientific studies of people who meditate to see what improvements they are getting regarding their health. These studies have shown that people who meditate are much less stressed than those who don’t; they have been able to change their metabolism, improve blood pressure and improve many other health related problems. Meditation has been used in clinical studies to also help reduce pain.
Some of the benefits of meditation:
Improved health benefits
Improvement of your own personal life
Way of relaxing and reducing stress levels
Reaching a point of emotional balance in your life
Find that you become more spiritual
Great improvement to your entire way of life
So if you are thinking of meditation and want to learn how this product maybe what you are looking for.
Yoga is not an exercise it is a practice. Yoga is intended to redirect your entire body to make it all come together. Yoga works the mind combined with the body to make it fall into place, which helps one to improve personal overall life.Everyone needs a little help at one time or another to get their health and thinking on track. Practicing yoga brings the perfect out of all of us, teaching us to meditate and at the same time, helps relieve that awful stress. Along with helping to relieve stress, yoga strengthens our limbs, mind, refreshes us and even helps us lose weight. Our energy level will increase because we feel better.
When starting to practice Yoga – take it slow and easy. Don’t force your body into the different postures all at once. If you do more than your body says it can do, you could hurt yourself. Like any exercise program, you need to go slowly and stick with it. You might not notice a difference right away but hang in there and it will come in time.
Don’t go out and buy all new exercising cloths just to practice yoga. All you need is sweats and a comfortable loose fitting top. Maybe after awhile you might want to buy a yoga mat but most gyms will furnish them. Wherever you are you can practice using a towel for the floor mat they work just as good.
If you’re a person who can’t stand and if you are not flexible, some postures can be adapted to siting in a chair. So, stand or sit. A good teacher will show you how to modify the positions while still getting the benefits to your body and health. You can become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Make those muscles stronger and get that mind into shape along with feeling better and you’ll get to your goal.
Do you have allergies; the nose runs and your eyes water, you are congested, and just don’t feel good especially in the cold weather? Practicing Yoga can help strengthen and balance the immune system with its slow breathing and posture. The nervous system will relax and it calms down the virus.
Is it hard for you to fall to asleep or stay asleep? Try laying on the bed or floor before crawling into bed. This is a good time to practice meditating to relax. Lay on your back with the palms up. Start with the head and relax it then the neck and on down slowly until you reach your feet. Another great method is to concentrate and count the breath as you breathe and the same count as you breathe out. Practice as often as possible and this exercise will help you sleep once you’ve relaxed the whole body.
You can practice Yoga at the office sitting at your desk, in the park anywhere you can meditate. When sitting in a chair twist from side to side, rotate your head side to side and bend your head forward and backward, put you arms above your head and stretch. While doing these movements in your chair as you relax shut your eyes and let all thoughts come in and go out.
Stressed and need to learn how to breath slow and then sleep will come, Yoga can be useful for all ages from children to Grandma and Grandpa. The children can practice to strengthen the mind and body by standing beside you and Grandma and Grandpa can sit in the chair. Strengthening and relaxing along with the meditating is good for everyone. It all gets easier as you continue to practice.
Yoga can also be good for your heart. The heart will become stronger, someone who suffers from epilepsy can benefit from practicing Yoga because it stimulates the brain; some people in a study that was taken – says it decreased the amount of seizure’s they were experiencing. Yoga is known to help the mentally handicapped by relaxing their minds, letting them think well.
I’ve given you a few ideas on why a person might want to try practicing Yoga so go for it and enjoy.
This is the type of yoga that I practice, Shiatsu Yoga – in fact this is my teacher.
This week I am going to explore some more therapies.
Having a session with a Rolfer will change the way you stand and your posture. Rolfing is a series of 10 treatments to obtain maximum results. After the course of treatment, people are much more relaxed and will stand more upright.
The secret to rolfing is treating the fascia and connective tissue which encases our muscles and then forms tendons and ligaments. It appears to be a deep tissue massage.
This system was devised by Dr Ida Rolf. What Dr Rolf discovered is that the fascia would adapt to support posture and patterns of movement. So this means if you stand with all of your weight on one foot then the fascia will bunch and become shorter to accommodate for this. If you hunch your shoulders the fascia will knot up to enable the body to hold that position. So if we put our bodies into the wrong positions, the fascia will change so that we maintain that position.
If we change the fascia this way, we can basically change it back to the way it should be. This is done by stretching and manipulating the fascia back to its original position. Dr. Rolf discovered that by realigning the fascia she was reprogramming the neurological pathways and returning the person to better health and better posture.
What can be achieved using Rolfing?
These are some of the problems that can be fixed through your rolfing sessions.
Postural problems can be rectified. The body can be aligned correctly.
Long term chronic aches and pains can be alleviated and even disappear.
People with very bad headaches find that they can also disappear.
Neck and back pains respond well to rolfing and when pain is released from the body you will find that you have more energy.
These are a few simple exercises that may help you align your body. We often develop tension, mainly in the shoulders and upper back, by staying in the same position for long periods of time. Try to change your pattern. If, for example, you are sitting at your computer hour after hour, give yourself a 5 minute break every hour and stretch your arms. Stretch them out to at shoulder level – to the side and then in front of you. Anyone who carries a bag over the shoulder, try carrying it on the opposite shoulder. Whatever hand you use to do everything, try using the other hand – so if you always use you right hand, use you left hand sometimes.
Squatting is another great exercise. Hold on to something solid – like a bench and just squat down. This is great for the lower back. If you are having difficulties standing again, make sure you push into the ground with your weight distributed evenly over both feet. This will avoid straining your back.
Yoga is a great way to stretch and if you can get to a yoga class, I would suggest you do. You can strengthen so much of your body while gaining flexibility.
If you are feeling that the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you are suffering from depression or illness, hypnotherapy may be the treatment you need.
Hypnotherapy is a process where the therapist will bypass the conscious mind and access the subconscious. The subconscious mind is where we store repressed feelings and emotions. It differs from hypnosis in that there is an interaction between the client and the therapist. Hypnotherapy allows the client to find out more about their emotional background that may be causing them problems at the present time.
The body and the mind work in harmony and if we put our body under stress the mind will also suffer. We have all at one time or another suffered stress. If you are told a love one has died you body can react in many different ways. We can go into a state of shock and even start trembling and crying. Medical science is showing that a lot of serious illness and diseases are stress related. The mind also has the power to make us better. This is where hypnotherapy can help with a physical or emotional problem that we may be suffering.
When we are hypnotized, we can be told we are singers and suddenly we believe that we can sing but in our normal state of consciousness we would not even attempt it. Through research it has been shown that while under hypnosis in a hypnotic state, our body chemistry changes.
On your first visit to a hypnotherapist, you will be asked a lot of questions. The reason for this is they are trying to ascertain any psychology or emotional factors and in the process working out how to treat them.
During a hypnotherapy session, you can either sit in a comfortable chair or lie on a couch. The therapist will put you into a hypnotic state where you are neither awake nor asleep. At this point, the therapist will tell you to take deep long slow breaths and exhalation should take the same time as the inhalation. The therapist is working on your subconscious level and extracting information. He/she is looking for the cause of your present problems and it may be necessary to take you back to your earliest childhood memories. The therapist will then make suggestions to your subconscious which he knows are related to your problem.
At the end of the session, you will be brought out of your trace like state, feeling totally relaxed.
We know that during a session, your subconscious will only accept suggestions that are not in conflict of our sense of right and wrong. If you are going to use a hypnotherapist, you have to feel very comfortable and have trust in them.
If you are a person who suffers from headaches you will know how debilitating and how inconvenient they are. They can affect you anywhere and anytime, even when you are on holidays. Some people take medication to alleviate the pain but some of these pain relievers can come with side effects.
What is the cause of these headaches? Some of the most common causes of headaches are from muscle tension, dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head. Another reason could be attributed to hormonal fluctuations in the body or you may be sensitive to a particular food. If you do suffer from headaches, it is always wise to discuss this with your health care professional. So now that your health care professional has ruled out any serious problem you may want to try some natural methods to see if you can get rid of the pain.
The first one is Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus)
Viburnum opulus is one of the species of viburnum that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a herb that helps relieve muscle tension and cramps. There is another herb of the same family (viburnum prunifolium) that is used to relieve uterine cramping. Viburnum opulus has been used to prevent and treat tension headaches. It can be taken as a capsule or the bark can be made into a herbal tea.
The second way is Massage
Massage is used to release the muscle tension and also increase the circulation. Both of these will help reduce the symptoms of the headache. One important factor after a massage is to drink copious amounts of water to flush the toxins out of the body. You can learn some techniques that you can do at home by yourself or you can go to a professional therapist and have a massage.
The third way is Chiropractic.
It stands to reason if your bones and joints are misaligned, you could be suffering from severe pain. If you get an adjustment from your chiropractor you may notice that your headache will vanish. You may need more than one treatment to get a permanent result.
The fourth way is Feverfew.
This herb is considered by some herbalists to be a very effective remedy for migraines. Some people take it in capsule or tablet form but it will take from 4-6 weeks to really prevent migraine attacks.
The fifth way is Willow
White willow is used as a pain relief; but there are various willow (Salix) species can help relieve pain. This is the precursor to aspirin; the inner bark of the white willow can provide pain relief for headaches. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. White willow (and other willow bark) is usually taken in capsules.
The sixth way is by managing stress.
It is accepted that stress and headaches are connected. There are several ways to reduce stress and prevent such headaches. Yoga, Pilates and meditation are great for reducing stress levels and aligning the body, soul and mind. You may do one or more of these to achieve results but which one you choose – it must be done at on a regular basis to achieve permanent relief.