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Yoga for Fun and Profit
Stress levels around the world are on the rise. In order to deal with this, relaxation and stress reduction therapies have sprung up from everywhere. Yoga instruction is no longer just a fringe population idea. It is now a mainstream fitness methodology. Yoga certifications are now available from many places in North America. As a result of this, yoga instructors are now available everywhere. Each gym now offers yoga classes from certified yoga instructors. It's time we understood what this is all about and where we are going with respect to the fitness industry.
The word yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning joining or union. What are we joining? The human being consists of several entities commonly referred to as body-mind-spirit. An integrated human being is the goal of yoga. We are joining the different pieces of the human being to make an integrated, holistic being that is attuned to one goal. The body, mind and spirit are all integrated with a common attitude and viewpoint. This is different from the state of being where the body wants to satisfy one need and the mind another and the spirit yet a third. This is the state during which mental storms occur and the body responds in turn with a manifestation of that mental vortex.
Yoga seeks to align the human being using its own tool of breathing. When we breathe rhythmically, our body is more in tune with itself. We function better as an integrated being in a holistic way. Yoga was invented in India, about 5000 years ago, precisely to achieve the goal of integration. When our being is aligned our interaction with the world will be more efficient. We perform better at work and in our home life. Rela-tionships become easier. This is what yoga achieves.
In India, yoga is taught and researched as a science at a place in Bangalore called the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusamdhana Samsthan (SVYASA). This means Yoga Research Institute. One can obtain intensive instruction in yoga and therapy techniques using yoga. Recently, I completed a month long certificate course for yoga instructors at this institute. The yoga that is taught here is not just about the physical poses. The idea of yoga from the original meaning is to really integrate the whole human being. This involves all of our activities in life. We must be aligned and integrated during all of our tasks during the day. All of our activies can be divided into several broad categories. All actions like going to work, eating breakfast are classified as Karma yoga. All philosophical discussions are classified under Jnana yoga. Any devotional activities such as the singing of hymns or prayers are considered part of Bhakti yoga. The physical poses of Western ideas of yoga are a part of Raja yoga, which includes other methods for gaining mastery over the physical body. This is the original concept of yoga from India and is taught in that form at the SVYASA Institute.
The institute is named after Swami Vivekananda who was a monk and scholar of Indian philosophy. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda was invited to speak at the Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago, on the topic of Hinduism. His speech became famous for explaining the unity of religions as many paths to God, and that Hinduism in its original sense encompassed that view. Swami Vivekananda wanted the Western world to understand Indian spirituality in the correct view, as a synthesis of the four types of yoga, which ultimately leads to the goal of spiritual evolution. SVYASA is dedicated to the education and research of yoga in this context. The school retains strict attention to the original sources of yoga from Sanskrit scripture.
The teaching styles of the school and environmental factors do not cater to the Western lifestyle. Those who come from abroad must acclimatize themselves to the pure Indian way. Meals are served on the floor and must be eaten using the hands. Vegetarian Indian food is served. No cutlery is provided. Footwear must be left outside of all classes. Be prepared to literally be on your feet for long amounts of time. While the majority of the students are comfortably able to sit on the floor during the long lecture sessions, chairs are available for those who will not be able to survive in that position. The philosophy of discipline is everywhere, starting from the boot camp like nature of the roll call before each session. Students who miss a portion of the attendance will not receive their certificate. Attendance is considered a very important factor of the study. In addition, a strict code of uniforms is enforced. Women must wear the Indian dress of salwaar kameez, which is a tunic, and pant set made of 100% cotton. This dress could be modified to be more forgiving for yoga poses. Men must wear loose fitting track pants and t-shirt. This is more conducive to rigorous physical activity. It must be noted that everywhere the students of the yoga instructors course can be identified by their uniform.
As attendance is strict, so is the keeping of students on the grounds. While exceptions can be made for justifiable reasons, students cannot usually leave the campus for any reason after the start of the course. The campus is 32 km north of the major city of Bangalore. Fortunately, Bangalore boasts many amenities including an international airport. The city of Bangalore itself is very multicultural. One can find the modern world mixed with the original flavour of India everywhere. The SVYASA institute has a city office in Bangalore from where a bus is arranged to take travellers to its campus outside the city in a place called Geddallahalli. The name of the campus is Prashanti Kutiram, which means abode of peace. While the name is very amenable to yoga studies, I found that one needs to practice yoga in sincerity to find the true peace, which is only inside the human being.
For further questions on yoga or SVYASA Institute, please email Shanti Consulting at email@example.com.
A variety of personal interests and professional paths have led the author to her current role as a personal trainer and lifestyle consultant with over 20 years experience. Siva is an author, lecturer and Can-Fit-Pro certified personal trainer who specializes in body-mind-spirit consulting and training women. Currently she is writing a book entitled Body, Mind, and Spirit Fitness, which discusses her particular style of training the complete being, rather than just the physical body.
Siva is a yoga instructor, an expert on East Indian Philosophy and teacher of Sanskrit. She holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Toronto and has balanced her time between personal training and engineering for over 20 years. In February 2005, Siva spent an intensive month studying a course for Yoga Instructors, at the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Institute in Bangalore, India to further her interest in yoga as a science of holistic living and not merely as yoga postures.
Secrets of Teaching Yoga
What you are about to read applies to teaching, in general. In fact, we are all teachers, to some degree. You teach your friends, co-workers, strangers and family members on a daily basis.
Yoga Accessories? Getting What You Really Need
Unlike some other sports, you don't need a lot of yoga accessories when you practice. With yoga, your body is really the most important 'equipment' that you need. There are some items that are basic and which can help you be more comfortable and safer in your practice.
Yoga for PMS
Most women experience PMS symptoms at different points of their lives. PMS (premenstrual symptom) is usually characterized by anxiety, irritability, depression, craving sugary foods and feeling bloated. There are many homeopathic and nutritional solutions for relieving the PMS, but a regular yoga asana practice can be tremendously beneficial as well.
Which Type of Yoga is the Right Choice for You?
You finally made the decision to practice yoga, but which style of yoga is the best one for you? There are many types of yoga, and while they usually have common elements, their focus is often quite different. If you have not been physically active in a long time, then one of the more gentle, slower moving styles may be right for you. If you are an athlete or are very physically fit, you might want to check out some of the more strenuous forms.
Can a Yoga Prop Help Prop Up Your Practice?
Some people may wonder if using a yoga prop can help them get more out of their practice. My personal opinion is yes.
Will Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
I suppose it was only a matter of time before the mass marketing about diet and fitness and weight loss caught up with Yoga.
Yoga is Self Improvement
After five thousand years of written documentation, Yoga may well be the oldest self-improvement system that ever existed. We don't know what Yoga knowledge may have been lost before man started to record it. In the time period beyond 5,000 years a fair amount of knowledge would have been passed on by word of mouth, and as a result, some of it would be missing.
Yoga: A Beneficial Exercising Regimen
Yoga is an ancient proven tradition that exists for thousands of years and also one of the most ancient cultural heritages in India. The word yoga means, "to unite". But it does not only mean contemplation but also communion and yoking all powers of the body, mind and soul to God. It is a very ancient and efficient system of disciplines and controls designed to produce the integration of the body, mind and spirit. It also achieves higher states of awareness and self-realization by methodical efforts to attain perfection. Even at the workplace, yoga has become extremely popular in many companies, worldwide. Working eight hours a day, five to seven days a week is really stressing. And yoga can just be the answer to this. Yoga reduces stress. It improves flexibility and muscle tone, increases circulation, relieves chronic pain and alleviates anxiety-related disorders. Best of all, it cultivates physical awareness, refreshes your energy, and offers a little vacation from the everyday grind.
The History of Pilates
In order to understand the basics of Pilates and why it can work for you, you first need to understand where Pilates came from. Pilates was originally formed in Germany by a man of the same name.
Yoga in the Office
Spending eight or more hours a day in an office chair, staring at the computer screen can cause backaches, hunched shoulders and painful neck. Try these yogic stretches a few times throughout the day to feel better in the office.
The Fountain of Youth & Your Hormones
Everyone has heard of the mythical "Fountain of Youth", but very few realize that it actually does exist. And even fewer realize that it exists inside every one of us. Yes, it's there right within you, just waiting to be activated !!
Mind and Thoughts
Yoga is controlling of thoughts arising in the mind. When thoughts are controlled or prevented through practice, the seer or practitioner(yogi) rests in his true self or soul(atman). Either you remain in true self or control thoughts, the other will result automatically. In true self one shall not see or hear anything. Bcause there is none other than the self. When there is anything other than the self, one shall see or hear something. When everything has merged in the pure consciousness of the true self, when there is none other than the self, what is to see or hear?
The Benefit of Yoga
The benefit of yoga practice goes far beyond the actual time you spend in the poses. One of the most common reasons why people begin practicing yoga is to improve their health and well-being. Yoga means union. It is a union of the mind, body and breath, so all aspects of your life are impacted by your practice.
Yoga, Do Not Knock It Until You Try It
Are you one of those folks who have never tried yoga? How about one of those grown up teenagers who likes cow tipping and thought you might knock over your sister when she was doing yoga? Yes, I know that is fun isn't it? I have done this on many occasion and watched the silly looking humans fall right over indeed. Not bad, it is easy too; a little push and see ya, over they go. But really we should be very serious yoga is quite good for the soul, relaxation and de-stressing too. So, do not knock yoga until you try it. Now I have tried it so it is okay for me to make jokes, but if you have not tried it, you are barred from laughing or tipping over your friends who you think are looking quite silly while they do their "Yoga Thing."
Using Yoga to Manage ADD
Exercise is a powerful tool for ADD management. Medical professionals recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (such as running or biking) 3-5 times per week to improve their general health. For ADDers, this type of exercise is particularly beneficial, because it may balance production of neurotransmitters and reduce stress levels. Another form of exercise that ADDers are finding valuable is yoga. When practiced regularly, yoga offers numerous health benefits, such as increased strength and flexibility, and decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, the greater benefits of yoga are arguably the psychological ones. Yoga combines physical activity with self-awareness, which promotes a mind-body connection that many ADDers lack.
Ayurveda and Yoga, Ancient Sister Sciences
Ayurveda and yoga are sister sciences that have been united for thousands of years for the sake of healing body, mind, and consciousness. Generally speaking, Ayurveda deals more with the health of the body, while yoga deals with purifying the mind and consciousness, but in reality they complement and embrace each other.
Yoga for Relaxation
Discover the true meaning of yoga?
Muscle Fitness ? Can Yoga Make You Stronger?
Many people wonder if yoga can improve their muscle fitness. They recognize that yoga can help reduce stress and increase flexibility, but when it comes to increasing muscle fitness, they think it might be a little too 'weak' to do the job. The fact is that yoga can definitely make you stronger.
What is Self Mastery? - Part 1
Self Mastery, alone, sounds like a selfish term; but if you cannot help yourself, you will have limited ability to help others. Self mastery is the ability to make the most out of your physical, mental, and spiritual health. In other words, to be the best you can be.
Om Yoga Meditation: Why Yoga?
The following is an excerpt from the book "Om Yoga: Its Theory and Practice."
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