Yoga Poses

Yoga poses
ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING

BOW POSE

BRIDGE POSE

COBRA POSE

CORPSE POSE

CROW POSE

EASY POSE

EYE EXERCISES

FISH POSE

FORWARD BEND

HALF SPINAL TWIST

HANDS TO FEET POSE

HEAD STAND

LEG RAISES

LOCUST POSE

PLOW POSE

PRANAYAMA OR YOGA BREATHING

SHOULDER LIFTS

SHOULDER STAND

SUN SALUTATION

UJJAYI THE LOUD BREATHING TECHNIQUE

BENEFITS OF YOGA

FITNESS AFTER 40

Introduction to Yoga Poses

Yoga is an easy to learn activity which increases muscular strength, physical coordination, and flexibility. It reduces tension and stress and increases confidence. It has a low potential for injury, and, despite its many health benefits, it doesn't even look like exercise.

Which brings us to the question: Why don't more people practice yoga?

Most people tend to think of yoga as being both passive and mystical at the same time. They view it as an otherworldly activity that doesn't relate to their lives...one that is practiced only by those with some sort of "alternative lifestyle".

However, people today are experiencing a sense of emptiness because of all the outward directed activity of our culture, and they are wanting to go back to the experience of self and to relearn what life really "feels" like.

Although the discipline of yoga has been practiced by many civilizations, and in many forms, for more than 5,000 years, in America there are relatively few followers. Statistics tell us that nearly half the adult American population swims and close to a quarter runs or jogs, yet only 2 percent of that same situation practices yoga.

The Sanskrit word "yoga" apparently was derived from the root "yuj", meaning to "yoke" or "connect". Through yoga's various techniques, mainly movements, breathing, and postures, or poses known as "asanas", one is said to potentially be able to arrive at mental and physical equilibrium, better health, and an inner peace. Some have described it as providing, in effect, a "work-in" rather than a workout.

There are presently at least eight main branches of yoga and several offshoots of each, but essentially there are only two especially concerned with exercise: hatha yoga and kundalini yoga.

Hatha is the most popular type of yoga in the Western world and the one most practiced in America. It is a slow-paced and simultaneously relaxing and invigorating discipline that emphasizes controlled breathing and the assumption of various physical poses (asanas). It is said to aid the nervous system, the glands and the vital organs through breath, movement, holding of positions, and massage of the various portions of the body...both internal and external.

Kundalini, which was introduced to this country in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan, is a more active form. It combines various modes of breathing, movement and meditation. It's premise is the idea that body energy that lies coiled below the base of the spine can be tapped so that it travels upward through different energy centers, called "chakras" until it reaches the head. At this point the student has arrived at his or her highest potential.

In classical yoga forms, there are "only" 84 basic yoga asanas, which are performed in coordination with special breathing techniques. These asanas range from simple bends and twists to pretzel-like contortions which should be left to the most advanced practitioners. The various poses stretch and strengthen the muscles, usually through isometric exercises, and build flexibility. When the movements are done with the proper breathing, they help rid the body of tension while static holds isolate and strengthen particular muscles.

The better known, and more popular, asanas have evolved over the centuries so as to provide exercise for every muscle, nerve and gland in the body during a yoga session. Properly done, they can provide the practitioner a fine physique, which is strong and elastic without being muscle-bound, and they can help keep the body free from disease. They reduce fatigue and soothe the nerves, but, for many, their real importance lies in the way they train and discipline the mind.

MEDITATION AND YOGA CERTIFICATION

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Yoga Poses
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Page Updated 3:01 PM Friday 5/27/2016