Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Documentary - Yoga Unveiled

I thought this looked like a very interesting history of Yoga video. It provides an excellent overview of yoga fitness. Here is the description of the film:

'No longer an obscure practice just for spiritual seekers, yoga has truly become a mainstream practice. Now everyone from the athlete to the business man goes to yoga class. Everyone has heard of yoga, many people have gone to a yoga studio, but how many people know what yoga really is? This is the first documentary to explore that question. Yoga Unveiled transports us back to the historic roots of yoga in ancient India, and gives us illuminating snapshots of its evolution from an ancient tradition to its migration around the world. The film also explores yoga's astonishing medical potential. In this film we get a genuine glimpse of the evolution and essence of yoga.'

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beginning Yoga

I think this yoga video is a great way to get started. Over the last few months I've been searching for a good beginner's guide to yoga fitness that would encompass the breathing, serenity, strength and poise. Many online videos or cable tv shows don't seem to combine all of these elements.

However, this one is great. Take a look.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bikram Yoga is Hard, Very Hard!

I found this great article online from a student newpaper at Pomona College. You think that yoga fitness is difficult? Wait until you take a look at this!

"Bikram yoga is hard. How hard? If you can still feel all of your arm muscles after the first five minutes, you’re probably doing it wrong. For 90 minutes a day, Bikram devotees go through a series of 26 poses with names like “awkward,” “spine-twisting,” and “dead body.” " ...

Read the rest of this article at: Bikram Yoga Puts Twister to Shame

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yoga Video on Laughing Yoga

I can't say I've ever come across something like this before - Laughing Yoga! It seems very odd yet I'm finding quite a bit of information online about it.

Apparently, Laughing Yoga is a technique that uses a blend of playful, simple laughter exercises. With gentle breathing and stretching exercises, rhythmic clapping and chanting of Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha in unison a simulated laughter turns into real laughter. As a means to improve health, increase well-being and promote peace in the world, Laughing Yoga can deliver this through personal transformation.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ashtanga Yoga Demo

This amazing video shows Ashtanga Yoga poses and a level of yoga fitness that most of us would love to reach in our own lives! Enjoy - I love this video.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mayo Clinic Offers Free Yoga Video

Yoga offers many potential health and stress-reducing benefits. The Mayo Clinic is offering a quick introduction to five basic yoga poses that help reduce stress. It's easy to follow along and try the exercises, or just watch to get a sense of basic yoga fitness.

You can find this video at:

Video: Yoga for stress management

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bhakti Yoga – The Science Of Devotion

Bhakti means devotion to the Almighty. Bhakti yoga deals with devotion to God and achieving the union with Him. This is the easiest of all yoga types. This branch of yoga teaches the relation between the devotee and the divine. It does not involve any technical or complicated procedures. There is no need of any intellectual capacity to master this yoga. It has appealed to the common man because it gives him a feeling security and develops a kind of reliance and dependence on the object of his devotion.

Bhakti yoga assumes that there is a higher power that has created the universe and is all-powerful. This power has the capacity to confer grace and mercy on him and thus protecting him from all the harms and evils. The devotee or bhakta is expected to make himself fit for receiving this divine grace. For this, he has to practice devotion and virtue. His ultimate goal should be to unite with this divine power and rest eternally in happiness and peace. The devotee surrenders all his motives and acts to the Divine Power. He renounces all responsibilities towards the good or bad consequences of all his actions and ascribes it to the will of the Supreme.

Devotion and faith play a vital role in this branch of yoga. The devotee or bhakta is supposed to be highly religious, should adopt a friendly stance towards all the other living beings including animals, read religious texts, concentrate on the symbol of the Divine, think and wish well for others etc. The beauty of this yoga lies in its simplicity. This has made it one of the most appealing of all the yoga types. Following this yoga develops the peace of mind in an individual. A peaceful individual will always think happy and prosperous thoughts and will thus lead a happy life.

About The Author

Sharon Hopkins is the webmaster of Yogawiz ( that provides loads of information on basics of yoga, the need to do yoga and health benefits. Bhakti yoga is a devotional branch of yoga which teaches a person to ascribe all the events in his life to Divine Will.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Ease Into Ashtanga - Introduction to the Lessons

As I continue to find information regarding types of Yoga I stumbled on to this video on Ashtanga Yoga. This is a very good introduction to Ashtanga and would be a great way to begin your workouts. Ashtanga Yoga is a yoga system created by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India. This method of Yoga involves synchronizing the breath with progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Kriya Yoga Lesson 1 of 3: Yogic Physics - Yogiraj Siddhanath

I've recently become interested in Kriya Yoga. Not having really heard of it before I will be posting more information over the next few months. It seems to cover all aspects of both bodily yoga fitness as well as breathing and meditation.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Understanding the Different Types of Yoga

Yoga is becoming a more and more popular activity in the Western world today. The number of places holding Yoga classes is on the increase and there is a plethora of different types of Yoga. With a choice of Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and many more it can be easy to get confused

The article will help you to understand the difference between the most popular types of Yoga so you can choose which type is right for you.

Hatha Yoga - in Sanskrit (an ancient classical language of India) “Ha” means “sun” and “tha” means “moon”. This type of Yoga is relatively slow paced, gentle type of Yoga and is a good place to start if you are completely new to Yoga and don't know any of the asanas (poses). Like all types of Yoga, Hatha Yoga aims to unite the mind, body and spirit.

Ashtanga Yoga - this is the type of Yoga that I practice on a regular basis and means “eight limbs” in Sanskrit. It's a fast moving, intense style of Yoga practice and is based on a progressive set sequence of asanas, synchronized with the breath. Ashtanga Yoga can be quite physically demanding as you constantly move from one asana in the sequence to the next, so you'll find that it will improve your stamina as well as your flexibility and strength..

Power Yoga - this is a western interpretation of Yoga and is based on Ashtanga Yoga. A Power Yoga class may not necessarily stick to the exact sequence of poses like Ashtanga Yoga does, but it does involve practicing a series of poses without stopping and starting.

Iyengar Yoga - This type of Yoga is based on teachings by B.K.S Igengar and concentrates on the correct alignment and form of the body. Unlike Ashtanga Yoga, there is an emphasis on holding each pose for a long period of time rather than moving constantly from one pose to the next. Iyengar Yoga uses props such as blocks and straps to help align the body into the different poses.

Vinyasa Yoga - Vinyasa means breath synchronized movement and is another fast paced type of Yoga, with an emphasis on breathing. A practice typically starts with sun salutations and moves on to more intense stretching. Throughout the practice each pose is balanced with a counter pose.

Bikram Yoga - otherwise known as “Hot Yoga”, is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees, with a humidity of around 40%. Generally a sequence of 26 different poses is practiced during a Bikram Yoga class and the hot temperature helps to loosen muscles. Due to the high temperature most people sweat a lot during the class and this helps to cleanse the body of toxins.

If you're just starting out or have never done any Yoga before, I recommend trying a few different types of yoga to find out what you like best.

Remember, there's no rule that says you have to stick to one type of Yoga. I like Ashtanga Yoga best, but I also go to occasional Iyengar and Hatha Yoga classes for a bit of variety.

To find out more about the different types of Yoga visit the Free online Yoga Guide

Article Source:

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back Bends for Enhanced Well-Being

I found this at the Yoga Today video archive. The backbending positions are excellent and feel great!

Note that the videos are very high quality - but, they are very large. So, if you don't have a high bandwidth connection I wouldn't try them.

Yoga Today's 392nd episode is an all-levels Ashtanga sequence. Adi will open our hearts and enhance well being through backbends. Back bending is a great way to improve circulation, respiration, your overall attitude toward life and yoga fitness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yoga, Meditation and Reincarnation

Recently I have been wondering about how yoga and meditation might tap into reincarnation. Being a spiritual person but not overly religious I've always had a very faint sense of a couple of my past lives. One was as a soldier in WWII and another as a young boy somewhere in the Arabian peninsula - Yemen, I think. I was never really sure if these memories, visions, dreams are really just a fantasy or part of some real threads of past memories.

I first became interested in yoga when my sister gave me a copy of Jess Stern's Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation. As an introduction to Hatha Yoga it really turned me on to the possibility of better health as well as greater mental and spiritual insight. As I started practicing some of the beginning and intermediate exercises I started to notice the physical changes. The benefits of yoga fitness were becoming very visible - however, I wanted to focus on meditation as well.

Now I am reading Many Lives, Many Masters and feeling a sense that using a combination of yoga, meditation and past life research might lead to a highly accelerated state of consciousness and inner peace. Time will tell but I am intrigued.

If any readers have experienced a combination of past life memories and yoga I would love to publish the comments here.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Meditation and Yoga ancient origins - Yogiraj Siddhanath

Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath is an illumined living master, seer, and helps sincere practitioners of yogic meditation awaken to higher levels of consciousness through chakra awakening/activation and esoteric practices of Himalayan yoga.

Yogiraj was born on May 10, 1944 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India. He has been meditating since the age of 3, and spent his early years in the Himalayas amongst the HamsaNath yogis, in whose presence he was transformed. The divine transformation deepened after his deep and personal experiences in 1961 and 1967 with the yogi-christ Mahavatar Shiv-Goraksha-Babaji, the same spiritual master described in Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi.

He has a wife of over 30 years, Gurumata Shivangani, with whom he built by hand the Hamsa Yoga Sangh Ashram (Spiritual Retreat) outside the city of Pune, near Bombay, India. They have two sons, and two grandchildren. Yogiraj teaches yogic meditation for the evolution of human consciousness.

These practices of yoga meditation and yoga fitness are the most ancient closely guarded sacred practices of the Himalayan yogis and masters from time immemorial. They help the practitioner gradually transform him/herself into the likeness of his/her own divinity. This ancient art and science has been a way of life for rare yogis and ascetics of India and abroad who have sacrificed everything in the search for their own inner Truth, their inner Godessence.

Today, Yogiraj demonstrates in his own life and livingness, that powerful spiritual practice can be integrated with family life and a career. By the blessings of Babaji, Yogiraj teaches these techniques, which he calls "The Alchemy of Total Transformation" to sincere seekers throughout the world, who wish to integrate these practices into their daily life, without the necessity of giving up worldly pursuits.

These techniques are called:
1. Mahavatar Babaji's Kriya Yoga (N.B., the exact same kundalini kriya originally given to Lahiri Mahasaya in the 19th century)
2. Siddhanath Surya Yoga - A dynamic osmosis of solar healing. Pranic healing with solar power.
3. Siddhanath Hamsa Yoga - The Way of the White Swan.

Hamsa Yoga Sangh

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Free Online Yoga

As you've probably guessed by now I'm always interested when I find a site devoted to free online yoga exercises and yoga fitness programs.

I just happened to stumbled across a site today that promotes animated Hatha Yoga lessons. It has 40 animated yoga postures, 10 animated yoga breathing techniques and 20 animated stress postures.

Take a look at Hatha Yoga Lesson when you have some time. I like this format for some quick tips and easy lessons.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What Makes Ashtanga Yoga Different?

Ashtanga Yoga is the type of yoga which was created and established by a master named K. Pattabhi Jois. Due to it's theory containing eight different limbs, or components, it is also known as "Eight-Limb Yoga". It doesn't imply that the practitioner has a double set of limbs, but master Pattabhi Jois showed that the optimum path of purification is made up of the eight spiritual practices.

The basic idea is that these limbs only can be kept in balance by the appropriate application of the Ashtanga Yoga method.

The first four limbs that symbolize Ashtanga Yoga, and are considered externally correctable are (original names within double quotes):
- Moral codes or "yama"
- Self-purification or "niyama"
- Posture or "asana"
- Breath control or "pranayama"

Then there is the other set of limbs which are the internal practices:
- Sense control or "pratyahara"
- Meditation or "dhyana"
- Concentration or "dharana"
- Contemplation or "samadhi"

K. Pattabhi Jois declared that practicing these Eight Limbs as well as its sub-limbs of the external practices which contain the niyama and yama is impossible. In doing so, the body should be strong so that it can technically perform the methods well enough. If the body is weak, and the sense organs are not functioning well, practicing will never be productive at all.

This is a primary philosophy that K. Pattabhi Jois has applied, it is of prime importance for the Asthanga practitioner to learn and understand this way of thinking. This will make you confident in that the body will significantly improve and become stronger and healthier.

Vinsaya and Tristhana are performed in Ashtanga Yoga.

The Vinsaya is a style that makes Ashtanga and its fundamental principles different from the others. Vinsaya basically means the movement and breathing which is used effectively together in order to cleanse the body. Each movement done is accompanied by only one breath. Sweat is the most important product of Vinsaya. When you produce sweat, it only indicates that you are successfully applying the method. When you perform the Asanas, or postures, the body produces heat which causes your blood to "boil" and excrete the toxins outside of your body. The contaminations are found in your sweat. So the more sweat you produce, the more toxins are released. This is the natural way for the body to get rid of unwanted substances.

The poses are used to fully develop the physical strength and health of the body. It is the sequence of practices that make this possible. There are three postures used in Ashtaga Yoga.

The three are grouped on different levels:

- The first is the Primary Series which aims on aligning the body and also detoxifying it.

- The second is the Intermediate Series opening and cleansing the energy channels which comes to the process of purifying the Nervous System.

- The last series would be the Advanced Series from A to D. In this set, the grace and strength are assessed.

The Tristhana is another yoga principle which symbolizes the close union of the three places of action and attention. First is the posture, second is the breathing technique ad last is the Dristhi of the Looking Place. All these three should work altogether to perform a function.

The breathing is always controlled and synchronized with the movements, in such a way that each movement is accompanied by breath. Ujjayi Breathing is the Yoga Breathing Technique used in the implementation of Ashtanga Yoga. Applying this ancient technique is something that you should work on gradually in your daily practise. What you need to master is holding your pose longer at the same time hold your breath. This is an amazing breathing exercise that will intensify your internal fire and will toughen the Nervous System.

Both Ashtanga and Tristhana deal with the series of Dristhi. The Dristhi is defined as the point on which you acquire your focus or concentration while doing the Asana. This allows your mind to be purified and stabilized clearly.

Clearing your mind (that is sometimes compared to an over active monkey) and cleansing it is the ultimate goal in the Eight-Limb Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga.

About The Author:

Michael Hawkins writes books and articles about Yoga, fitness and health. A beginners guide to Yoga ,that explores this exciting world of exercise and meditation, is available at his website


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Understanding Yoga Fitness

If you are brand new to practicing yoga you will probably find that understanding its historical background will give you a good context around yoga fitness and why you are doing it. By understanding that yoga is not just physical activity but also a full lifestyle approach you'll come to appreciate its complete health benefits.

No one really knows who first developed yoga except for the fact that it seemed to have originated somewhere in the Indus Valley regions of Northern India. References to yoga first appeared in both archaeological and written references about 3000 to 5000 years ago. The first compilation of yoga practices seems to have appeared about 2200 years ago with the publication of a book called the 'Yoga Sutras' by the author Patanjali.

The Yoga Sutras are a compilation of 196 yoga principles and philosophy that are meant to be memorized and incorporated into one's lifestyle. These principles have become to be known as the foundation of Raja Yoga with a primary focus on the mind taming the body and enhancing the spirit.

The Raja Yoga discipline as described in the sutras is divided into eight steps - otherwise known as the eight 'limbs'. Each step focuses on aspects around lifestyle, purity, body, breathing and meditation. Here is a high level description of each:

1. Yama - abstentions for living virtuously such as truth, non-violence and continence
2. Niyama - observances and disciplines for mind and body
3. Asana - bodily postures for meditation
4. Pranayama - regulated breath and control of the life force
5. Pratyahara - sensory withdrawal of the mind from the physical world
6. Dharana - meditative concentration on an object - knowing you are meditating
7. Dhyana - meditation with no consciousness of the act of meditation
8. Samadhi - enlightenment

As you probably noticed modern yoga, as it is typically practiced today, is heavily influenced by steps three and four - the Asana and Pranayama limbs. Most modern yoga fitness programs are related to the practices of Raja Yoga in the form of Hatha Yoga which is a system focused on physical purification to assist the later meditative effects of steps five through nine. Hatha Yoga is comprised of a large number of bodily postures designed to develop balance, poise and strength.

Today, the mainstream instruction of yoga includes many body positions and breathing exercises that have been found to be extremely beneficial to personal well being, fitness and health. Practiced over time yoga can become a path to improving anyone's lifestyle. By combining this practice with the additional Raja 'limbs', yoga can lead you an enlightened life change.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yoga and Agelessness

If you've ever seen anyone in their 60's, 70's or 80's who are avid practitioners of yoga you understand the amazing youthful benefits it can provide.

Susan Barclay, a hypnotherapist and exercise instructor, is the producer of "Light Moves" - an exercise video, released in 2005, that uses stretching, balancing and strengthening exercises to strengthen your mind, body, and spirit. She has been involved with the practice and teaching of yoga fitness for years, and says that the concept of agelessness comes from some of the principles of yoga.

The goal of "Light Moves" is to improve flexibility in the mind, body and spirit.
"The secret of Light Moves' power lies in the combination of carefully choreographed moves, specially designed music, and positive statements (called Reflections) that use the transformative energy of your own inner resources."

Barclay says that learning agelessness is learning to stay healthy in body, mind and spirit to live life as fully as possible each moment. Agelessness involves listening to the inner self and being only as old as a person feels, not letting society determine how a person is supposed to act or feel based on a number.

"The Instructional Segments lead you through yoga- and Pilates-style stretches,
balance moves and strengthening exercises. As in Tai-Chi, the moves flow
into one another like a sensuous dance. And once you can do the moves
comfortably, the Performance Segment alone will guide your workout. There,
you'll hear the Reflections voiced softly but clearly in the background.
Since your conscious mind is focused on movement, the Reflections are
mostly heard at an unconscious level. This increases your power to use the
positive statements to bring about the changes you want to see and feel in

You can check out Light Moves here!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yoga Postures - The Warrior

I just happened to be browsing - Life Videopedia today and came across Orly Burstein's videos on some basic yoga positions. She is a yoga instructor from Florida with seven years of experience. Her online yoga fitness videos seem very practical and useful.

I had never seen before - which seems like a very interesting idea. Here is a quote from their site:

"The idea behind 5min is very simple: any solution can be visually explained in no more than 5 minutes. Our goal is to create the first communal Life Videopedia allowing users from all over the globe to contribute their knowledge by sharing visual guides in areas such as arts, business, fashion, sports, health, tech, food, and much more."

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yoga Meditation Visualized - Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

I found this interesting yoga video overview of the inner goal of Yoga on Google videos. As you can see, yoga fitness is not just physical but includes the mind.

The goal of Yoga is Yoga itself, union itself, of the little self and the True Self, a process of awakening to the preexisting union that ... all » is called Yoga. Yoga has to do with the realization through direct experience of the center of consciousness, the preexisting union between Atman and Brahman, Jivatman and Paramatman, and Shiva and Shakti, or the realization of Purusha standing alone as separate from Prakriti.

Yoga, Sankhya, Vedanta, and Tantra view the human as manifesting outward step-by-step, whereby the subtler consciousness projects evermore outward, and then gradually forgets those subtler levels. Genesis also explains this outward movement when seen through the eye of the Yogi or mystic.

Yoga is complete unto itself. In Yoga, each level of our being is trained independently, while also being trained to flow together. The systematic processes deal one-by-one with our actions in the world, senses, body, breath, and both the conscious and unconscious aspects of mind.

Yoga or "Union" is attained by first training, balancing, and purifying each of the aspects of our being individually, and then systematically receding attention inward through those levels, expanding so as to experience the state of Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya.

Whether you call it Grace, God, Guru, Shaktipat, or some other name, the greatest help of all finally comes from within to remove the final barrier of ignorance (Avidya). This final stage is a process that has been called piercing the pearl of wisdom (Bindu). A Yogi does not debate whether the Realization is called Yoga, Self, Atman, Soul, or God, etc., but rather, lives "in" the world while not being "of" the world.

The Realized Yogi lives like a lotus flower. The lotus is both "in" the world, yet not "of" the world. It grows in the soil and water of the world, yet rises above it at the same time. It goes outward (Adhyasa), but is not blinded by Ignorance (Avidya) of its true nature.

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

Sunday, April 29, 2007

VideoJug's Free Online Yoga Videos

I recently stumbled across this site that provides a wealth of free online videos about numerous topics. Most of the ones I watched were actually pretty well done and had some deep, expert instruction. At first I didn't think of it that they might have an instructional yoga video series. But, the surprise was is that they do - not bad either and seems to be a good yoga fitness series.

Take a look yourself:

VideoJug: Yoga: Standing Postures - Part 1

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yoga Videos on the Go!

If you are taking yoga classes while trying to juggle your lifestyle tasks throughout the day you probably are interested in this. Yoga Today is now offering free one-hour online yoga videos filmed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With new yoga fitness shows every day you are not bound to a static schedule and can view sessions taught by premiere instructors, Neesha Zollinger, Sarah Kline and Adi Amar.

Have a laptop and a wireless connection? Just place on the floor next to your mat and you are set with a free master class every day. That's truly an amazing value considering the time and cost needed to get to and from yoga classes. It's not for everyone especially if you like being close to others having one-on-one access to an instructor. But, even as a supplement you can't go wrong with these yoga videos.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beginning Yoga Breathing - All You Need To Know

Author: Mike Singh

In yoga, breathing is everything. Breathing is more than just an intake of oxygen. It is also a way of cleansing the body and restoring equilibrium. But, in order to gain high quality results from the breathing that you do, you must do them correctly. There is no quick way to learn the right technique, but here are a few pointers to bear in mind while starting out with yoga breathing.

Kapalabhati- basic yoga breathing. In this method, you learn to breathe in order to purify the body. It is one of the six different Kriyas practices. Your breath is short, strong and fast. The lung acts as a pump that expels the waste from it. Here, you are deliberately breathing faster while breathing through your stomach and not your chest.

Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique- This is another basic yet fundamentally important type of breathing technique. Here, you will breathe through one nostril, hold your breath and then exhale through the opposite nostril. The ratio of inhale:hold:exhale is 2:8:4.

Brahmari- This type of less used yoga breathing is done by partially closing the glottis and then inhaling through both of your nostrils. Your lips are closed and the palate will vibrate due to the nasal airflow.

Sithali, Sitkari- This is a rarely used type of yoga breathing. It works in a different manner. Here you stick your tongue out a little and then softly curl the sides of the tongue up. Now, start inhaling through your mouth.

Yoga exercises are fundamental to the breathing work that you do. In any type of session, you will be taught the fundamentals of breathing. This is due to the simple fact that it is the source of life. It is essential to cleansing the body. It is one of the central focuses of successful, effective yoga.

Source: Submit Articles at
About the Author:Mike Singh is the publisher of On his website he provides free yoga exercises and more information about the different types of yoga .

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Free Yoga DVD

Many know that once you begin your journey into yoga the amazing benefits for mind and body keep you coming back for more. However, sometimes it takes a little motivation to get started. 'Yoga Online - Mind & Body' is now offering a Free Beginners Yoga DVDs - Yoga Videos to download online and propel you into a comprehensive approach to health and fitness.

This amazing free Yoga DVD is a high quality, visual instruction for yoga fitness beginners providing 20 yoga postures, repeatable routines, and enjoyable workouts for any age. Yoga Online spent around 600-700 hours to create with the intent to have a guide they wished they had when first starting out.
Here's part of a sample testimonial from the site:

"I just wanted to thank you guys for making the free beginners video available. I'm 48 yrs old. I've been very active my entire life. Currently my principal sport is long distance cycling though I also continue to weight train and run.

Prolonged periods on the bike (and I getting older I suppose) made it really clear that I was getting far out balance. Various aches and pains, running injuries, etc led me to look at Yoga just a few weeks ago. After watching the first video it was clear that Yoga will be included in my daily life. It fills a large void and nicely compliments the strength and endurance training.

I rented at least 5 different top beginner Yoga videos. Not a single one resonates with me the way that yours does. So many of the videos are sold to show a super flexible instructor who, while wonderful to watch, flows from position to position in ways that no beginner ever could....

Thank you again ! Your efforts half way across the world have had a very positive impact in my life. -Robert"

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Hatha Yoga for Beginners: Tools for Happiness

By Paul Jerard

After spending time in a class with your Yoga teacher, for an hour or two, the commute home is more tranquil. You left anxiety back at the entrance of your Yoga class and have discovered inner peace again.

How do you keep that feeling of tranquility? Would you like to order “Yoga to go” or package some “piece of mind?” If only it were that easy, but here are some tools that will help you re-discover that “Yogic high,” until your next Yoga class.

Listening to music that soothes your inner being is a start. It does not matter which style you choose. Only you can determine which form of music brings out the best in you.

Music has the ability to make negative distractions fade away. This will enable you to focus on your daily tasks. Be aware that some people may find the music you listen to irritating. A good set of headphones, or playing your music at a low volume, is a considerate gesture to others, but remember that playing music requires the right time and place.

There are many Yoga and meditation books available. There are also many useful CD’s and DVD’s, which can teach you new things about Yoga. It is advisable to take notes on the Yoga techniques demonstrated, before jumping into an at-home Yoga or meditation practice.

Before you ever learn to meditate, you must first learn to relax. Many Yoga students want to get straight to meditation, and are upset, with themselves, for relaxing. There is no need to make Yoga meditation into a goal, a problem, or a stressful situation.

Even if you fall asleep – who cares? No one is counting score. Self-study with Yoga books, CD’s, music, DVD’s, or Yoga teacher certification is at your own pace. Too many of us are in a rush without having a purpose. Enjoy the journey and smell the flowers as you go.

Another tool for happiness and focusing is a warm bath. This is simplistic, but it is a wonderful relaxation method before Yoga practice, meditation, or bedtime. Beside the fact that bathing makes us feel clean, we are focusing on the pleasure of bathing and living life in the moment.

Self-affirmations create a positive mind-set and build self-confidence. When you have self-confidence, positive thought becomes reality, and happiness is your companion.

Pranayama is a powerful method for expelling stress, anxiety, and daily pressure from your system. Sometimes, Pranayama can have an instant and positive effect on your mind and body. You can practice Pranayama anywhere, therefore, you are not limited by time or space.

Lastly, prayer is a powerful tool for happiness. It does not matter which religion you practice. Prayer has therapeutic value for everyone of any religion.

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: "Yoga in Practice," and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:

Article Source:

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Beginning Yoga Guidelines

By William Sonia

Among practitioners of Hinduism and Buddhism, yoga is practiced as a means on enlightenment; while in the West, yoga is now practiced as both an effective physical and spiritual routine.

However, contrary to popular belief, yoga is not considered a form of exercise because unlike the the speedy motion required in an workout, yoga involves very slow and steady movements. But still, regular practice of yoga provides great health benefits, as it tones the muscles as well as relieves stress, strengthens concentration, and reduces the aging process. There are prerequisites to yoga that you should follow to attain its maximum benefits. Please follow our guide to attain maximum benefits.

Practice yoga everyday – Make yoga a habit for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

Know your body limits – Try not to overextend your stretches. If you push too hard, you could hurt yourself in the process.

Consult your physician first – People with certain medical conditions should practice yoga minimally to avoid worsening of their ailments.

Yoga is best practiced during early mornings – If you have to do yoga in an afternoon or evening, remember to have an empty stomach. Consume solid foods 3 ½ hours before yoga, while liquids should be drank one hour before practicing.

Choose the right yoga space – Practice yoga on a spacious, clean, airy, and bright area, away from much disturbances. And don't forget your yoga mat or other comfortable mat that you can use during postures that require lying down.

Wear comfortable clothing – Make sure your garments are loose and clean. Undergarments are necessary.

Pregnant or menstruating women should avoid practicing yoga – This routine involves several body bends and pressures on the back, which could affect pregnancy and menstruation.

If you can, follow a vegetarian diet – Most practitioners of yoga are also vegetarians since yoga slows down the metabolism. If you have difficulty venturing to vegetarianism, try consuming lesser foods.

Begin by breathing deeply – The yoga poses (or asanas) usually start in breathing slowly and deeply as you concentrate your mind and make yourself centered. Remember that your body movements and breathing must be coordinated until such time that they are united. Your breathing also serves as your guide on when to start or stop the yoga position.

Move gracefully – In yoga, movement flows like air. Come into a pose slowly yet gracefully, hold that pose for several minutes, and come out of it with the same graceful and continuous movement.

Visit for more information about yoga, diets and weight loss by Sonia William

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Friday, March 2, 2007

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