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April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
I think the hardest form of yogic practice depends on how much effort the student is applying. We forget handicapped students who put out maximum effort, while some of us may not consider how hard these students are trying.
The mind, body and soul are all connected and each one is as powerful as the next. When using all three to their full capacity one can accomplish whatever they desire and reap the benefits of yoga despite any handicap. Yoga for those who are handicapped can play an essential role in increasing their quality of life. In many cases, the effects of yoga training on the mind have in turn healed the body. Regardless the correct methods are definitely beneficial.
First, correct breathing methods should be taught for stress reduction. Pranayama practice teaches students to use their lungs fully. The steps are simple for beginners, simply keep the belly relaxed and breathe in through the nose for a count of four. Next hold the breath for four counts, and last let it out slowly through the nose for a count of eight.
Of course the type of asana practiced will depend on the exact handicap of the individual, and they should always get the okay from a doctor before any physical activity. Poses will be primarily sitting and lying down. Also, instructors can modify them if necessary. The Snake pose is perfect for those who have use of their arms and upper body. Begin by lying on the floor on the stomach, arms along the side and slowly rise up to a comfortable height using the arms. The Spinal Twist is another great asana. Begin by lying on the floor, arms straight out to the side at shoulder height. Bring the knees to the chest and slowly drop them to the right, back to the middle, then to the left and back to the middle.
Overall, the main benefit of yoga training for those with disabilities is that it helps them find a calming place in their minds and relieves the stress that goes along with being physically challenged. With a strong mind they can take advantage of yoga's proven benefits to the digestive, lymphatic, cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, and cardiopulmonary systems of the body. It is amazing what the body can accomplish when given the right tools.
April 27, 2015
The Most Challenging Physical Yoga Styles
Many people begin to practice yoga as a way to improve their fitness and overall health. Some styles of yoga are more challenging than others due to their focus on asanas and proper form. For those who are seeking out an intense physical challenge, here are a few styles of yoga that they may find satisfactory.
Ashtanga yoga is physically rigorous and involves the performance of exercises in a set order. The movement from one asana to another helps the student focus on posture and developing different muscle groups. The act of bandha, or muscle locking, helps to support the core muscles. In addition, Ashtanga yoga's focus on dynamic or ujjayi breathing supports the student in proper performance of the asanas. This form of yoga is intense at every level due to its focus on the awareness of muscles and breathing, and so it provides an extremely challenging workout.
This type of yoga is well known among regular practitioners and ordinary people alike as the "hot" form of the practice. Participants perform their exercises in a room that is heated to at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This supposedly helps loosen the muscles so that students can stretch to the best of their ability. Bikram yoga is also known for its cyclical nature, as students will repeat 26 different poses throughout their time in the classroom.
Iyengar yoga uses props in order to encourage flexibility and better posture. In addition to this, asanas are held for a longer period of time so that the student can focus on proper form. This naturally leads to increased muscle tone over time, though beginners can often feel quite sore at first! Iyengar yoga classes have a slower pace than other types of yoga, but this can be a rewarding and challenging form of yoga for those who need more assistance from an instructor.
This style of yoga tends to borrow heavily from Ashtanga yoga and emphasizes the physical benefits that yoga can provide. It is popular in the West, where yoga classes are becoming more prominent in mainstream gyms. "Power yoga" is sometimes used interchangeably with "fitness yoga". The asanas can be incredibly strenuous and intense, as the goal of power yoga is increased fitness, not introspection.
All of these styles of yoga have their benefits. With a good instructor at the helm, each type of yoga would suit any student who is looking to challenge him or herself and improve their physical fitness.
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