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:

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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

Yoga Sites and Other Resources

Other yoga fitness sites and resources:

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Level10s Yoga Sites - Level10s is a human edited website directory of qualified sites.


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