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Welcome to The Yoga Teacher Training Forum Archive - A Collection of Various Yoga Topics
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April 27, 2015
I am a 51 year old male from the rural mid-west. I ended up in Sacramento CA. this winter working after various miss starts in other places. By the time I ended up in Sacramento my wife told me over the phone that my attitude stunk and I should really do something about it.
She is usually not to far off the mark and this time was no exception to that rule. I had just read recently that yoga was very restorative of mind and body so thought I would give it a try. My wife nearly freaked when I told her. Here her husband was 1900 miles from home and she thought she was losing him to the San Francisco crowd.
Man, I got hooked! I was in Sacramento for only 4 months and went regularly to two different studio's. One was a Kundalini Studio; the other was a vinyassa Power Yoga class. I loved each for different reasons and they seemed to compliment each other in a strange sort of way.
Long story short, I returned home and went into immediate culture shock! No yoga class nor studio within 125 miles that I know of.
This was in June and since this time I've studied and practiced on my own. When my birthday came around my wife asked what I wanted for my birthday and I told her I wanted a subscription to a yoga magazine. She shuddered and said only if it comes to the house in my name. " title="Embarassed" /> I agreed. I guess men in the rural mid-west are not supposed to do yoga.
Anyway, I love yoga and have pretty much given up my martial art for it. My attitude did change. My wife says she can't believe how much I've changed. I am now thinking of becoming an instructor
April 27, 2015
Yoga - An Alternative Exercise
By Sarah Labdar
Yoga was first experimented with in the US in the 1960's and has steadily grown in popularity since. Approximately 30 million Americans practice Hatha yoga. Like many of the other alternative medicines, yoga promotes a whole-body approach to health and exercise. Unlike traditional medical practices yoga is a physical and mental discipline that uses posture-related techniques that involve gentle stretching, breath control and meditation. As patients delve more and more into the alternative medicine fields to cure their health problems the followers of acupuncture, chiropractic, meditation and yoga are growing at a rapid speed.
Yoga originated in India around 3300 BC. Much like many other practices in India, yoga is associated with philosophies of Hinduis, Buddhism and Jainism. Yoga has several meanings which are derived from Sanskrit, all of which can be correlated to traditional or modern day yoga, "to control", "to unite", "contemplation", and "absorption". The major branches of yoga include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. Traditionally yoga was a ritual discipline of concentration with a goal of improving health to achieve Moksha, which is a release from worldly suffering.
Hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced type of yoga in US. Hatha yoga is what typical Americans refer to as yoga is used for mental and physical health. Americans consider yoga an alternative to exercise. Yoga is mental and spiritual well being brought about through physical postures and poses. It involves a connection between the mind and body through breathing. Yoga strengthens the muscles and stretches the body in order to calm the mind. Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility and decrease physical discomfort in the body.
Due to high stress levels in people's lives, many turn to yoga to reduce this stress. Yoga is known for reducing stress and increased relaxation of both mind and body. However it has many other health benefits as well. Yoga has been known to help with people who suffer from lower back pain. Due to specific poses, yoga strengthens and stretches muscles, which can be effected by injuries. In addition people who suffer from high anxiety have seen improved results from yoga based on it's calming of the mind and spirit.
Now a days you can find classes for all different types of yoga and for people of all different ages. Most people who turn to yoga are either looking for a gentler way to exercise or a more holistic and spiritual way to reduce stress and relax. Try a beginners yoga class to see if this alternative exercise is right for you.
Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field since. My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health interest me.
April 27, 2015
Yoga Is Life Energy
By Isabella Dove
Reiki is healing energy in movement. Tai Chi is moving energy. So many good energy movements come your way in modern life to help you start observing how you do things and just simply correct them. The body has directional energy flows upward and downward. Lines of energy otherwise known as meridians in traditional chinese medicine, are vibratory currents. Yoga is a practice that works together with the lines of the energy and intentionally create energy flows along channels or directions.
In practicing yoga you can actually direct the energy flow within the channels and harmonise your well-being. Within reiki the hands on positions actually create a similar effect of balancing the energy flow this time without directing it to specific places of the body, unless there is a specific need in one place of the body. Des this mean that you can intentionally diminish and even make fever disappear just with yoga? The answer is probably positive although you may have to repeat some exercises quite a few times and also consider the presence or not of an infection. WIth yoga you will learn to direct the nergy in one or the other direction but also to withdraw energy from some locations. Most practices often tend on creating and extending energy into parts of the body. Learning to withdraw energy is the other important practice and yoga also has several asanas aiming just at relaxing through withdrawing energy.
Doing a pose passively is withdrawing energy and hence relaxing or stretching. For instance a forward bend rather that energizing the leg muscles make the same movement passively which will withdraw energy and automatically stretch the muscles by using the leverage from the arms and weight of the body. The corpse pose where the body is completely at rest is the ultimate energy withdrawal pose. With yoga you can learn and develop the ability to intentionally withdraw energy from the body. This ability actually develops a sense of intuitively become aware of the withdrawal of consciousness from parts of the body. the regular practice of this will give you a powerful way to actually know how and when to recharge and renew your energy consciously at any given time for your energetic and physical bodies alike.
Reiki and yoga are similar in a way that there is an intentional attitude towards influencing the energy flows within the body, and the mind. However in a reiki treatment, the energy will actually reach the places requiring attention and the intention will only serve as a trigger. We love them both and recommend you try them out.
April 27, 2015
My yoga experience started with the local park district about 10 years ago. The class was called, "Practical Yoga". I made the investment in a basic yoga mat and strap as well as two foam blocks at our local Target store.
It felt wonderful and was affordable. I was so excited to learn different poses and find that each practice was massaging all of my inner organs. I slept so well after my evening yoga class. My flexibility improved greatly. I repeatedly signed up for more.
Then as life would have it, I experienced some serious health issues that required surgery. My yoga practice derailed! I went from doing shoulder stands and plows to becoming increasingly sedentary and depressed. Thoughts of being too old and being out of shape bubbled up into my thoughts. I spun myself into a very negative tail spin.
I realized I have to control my own life. I've made many healthy life style changes. I no longer drink coffee and avoid all caffeine. Yogi tea is a real treat to enjoy. I focused on the tags on Yogi tea bag to read wonderfully uplifting messages. I read the side of the box and learned yet another new pose with meaning.
Alas, it took a few years but my yoga connection was reestablished. This time it is in a gentle yoga environment. It seems like no pose is off limits. I believed my stronger poses to be a thing of the past. There is some truth to this, but with aids, I'm getting better all the time.
I've learned to use my breath properly with movement. It's been recommended to use a 5/7 method. Inhale deeply for 5 counts and exhale for 7 counts. Stale air trapped inside doesn't help at all.
My yoga instructors have taken the time to show me modifications and allowed the use of chairs when needed. The bridge pose is one of my favorites. I'm told it can help with depression. It's working for me. I've learned that while lying down, my head should be higher than my heart. I've learned that placing my feet up the wall with elevated legs is a very restorative pose.
One yoga instructor shared that any amount of time with the feet up the wall allows the blood to fill the trunk of the body and provide extra blood to the organs. If time permits 15 minutes of elevating my legs against the wall it is equivalent to 2 hours of restful sleep to the body! Bring me to the nearest wall!
I've learned to use the yoga blocks made to lean on, placed under my hips for support, placed under my sacrum, and even squeezed between my thighs for proper distance and sensation awareness. Sometimes I rest my forehead on a block when my back is tight while in child pose.
I've recently had a Master Yoga teacher put pressure on my elevated feet pushing the head of the femur (thigh bone) into the hip socket. I was told that would help my body create more bone density. I just ordered two sand bags from a yoga website to fill and use for that purpose. I might as well put pressure on the top of my feet when they rest against the wall.
Balance is a key factor. Always do both sides of your body with poses. Your body may feel differently from side to side and on different days. I know mine does! I've seen the tree pose with strong yoga practitioners when the foot is to the side and pressed up the inner thigh. I've learned that there are different heights to achieve and beneath the knee is an acceptable modification. Actually, moving my foot perpendicular above my inner ankle is my most common tree pose and it's just as effective! It's essential to line up over the joint with the knee and ankle.
I'm learning that no matter how crazy my mornings begin, I can usually fit in a couple of sun salutations and downward facing dogs before brushing my teeth. Even my pets do that pose stretch upon rising. Now I know where the name "downward dog" came from! Sometimes, just a couple "cat/cow" flexes when on all fours helps my spine stretch and realign. I guess we can learn from some poses used in the animal kingdom.
I still am not able to pronounce many of the Yoga Sanskrit names for poses, but continue to learn the English versions. I've been so lucky to rediscover the wonderful world of yoga and blessed to have patient teachers. I won't become disconnected from yoga ever again.
The blissful night's sleep has returned. My body loves it! Yoga brings me both peace and ignites my inner warrior! Acceptance is so important, especially of one's self. Yoga allows for that.
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