Tips For Meditation Enthusiasts

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Meditation has suddenly gained prominence and popularity amongst many people in the world. It is a form of spiritual heightening with regular practice and exercise. It is a great form of focus and concentration where one can attain peace of mind and inner happiness. With the hectic and chaotic life that we lead, some inner peace, satisfaction and a genuine sense of self awareness is very crucial otherwise stress and chaos will get to us which will eventually lead to a mental breakdown. Well, meditation, especially for beginners, is a rough ride because it takes time to get it correct. But do not get disheartened and preserve! Here are some guidelines on how to go about doing it:

Breathing in the correct fashion is very crucial. Properly inhaling of oxygen and exhaling out the carbon dioxide is very important. Proper breathing will make your mind more focused, pump more blood and regulate the pressure in the body! Did you know that is you breathe deeply, it helps your mind focus more and this is the center stage of meditation!

Did you know that chanting Mantras help? Chant which ever mantra you know and see the effect it has on your breathing and focusing capabilities. It slows your heart rate, mind concentration is better and breathing becomes regulated if you chant the mantra over and over again – so think about it, especially if you find it difficult to sit still and focus.

Make sure you sit alone in your room, preferably not facing a wall (it tends to block positive thoughts and energy). Few minutes, away from the chaos of the world, will do you good and will go a long way in meditation.

Persevere and persevere! There is no shortcut to good meditation practice. You need to be at it regularly and time and again try to concentrate and focus. Your mind may wander about the first couple of times, but gradually you will realize that you are getting better at it and you will be very peaceful after a few attempts!

Music during the process of meditation has its own benefits – calms down our nerves, regulates your breathing, reduces anxiety, eliminates any negative thoughts and overall restores the faith and positivity that one requires!

Do not give up – that is the key to successful meditation! You will soon realize the benefits and you will know why it is so popular across the world!

Benefits Of Using A Zafu For Meditation

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Zafus – Creating Proper Posture Daily
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern cultures as a means of finding truth and enlightenment. Today it has been picked up by many westerners as a means of relieving stress and strain in their daily lives. However, many westerners find the traditional lotus sitting position on the bare ground a bit too strenuous on their bottom and legs; therefore, the use of a zafu is recommended to provide greater comfort. A zafu is the name given to a special cushion you can sit on for meditating. They help you maintain the correct posture as well as provide comfort for your bottom during your session.

Filling Meditation Cushions
Zafus are manufactured out of cotton fabrics with natural fiber kapok filling. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs to suit personal taste and preference. They also come with removable covers, facilitating the laundering when the exterior becomes soiled. The traditional zafu is round; however, other shapes are coming out on the market to offer variation and levels of comfort. These cushions also vary in size and thickness to adjust to a person’s body and weight level for individualized comfort.

Thickness of the Zafu
There are advantages to using a meditation cushion as opposed to any other type cushion for your sessions. These cushions are especially designed for meditation; the kapok filling provides a firm, yet pliable surface to sit on for comfort and back posture, and the natural fibers are both hygienic and hypoallergenic, making them a perfect selection for those who are prone to allergies. In addition, the diversity in thickness and size can complement the size and weight of your body, customizing your cushion to your exact specifications. Each cushion comes with its own cover (or you can purchase separately) that can be easily removed for washing when the need arises.

Different-Shaped Zafus
New zafu styles include the crescent shape cushion designed to provide additional space for your bottom. Thickness of the cushion can be self adjusted by adding or removing kapok to the desired depth, providing extra padding for heavier set people or less for those who are thinner and smaller boned. For those who desire more height, support cushions are available to place under the zafu, raising your body to a higher level.

Meditation Chairs – The Throne of Meditation
As an alternative to these cushions, some people prefer to use a meditation chair during their sessions. You should feel free to use whatever is most comfortable for you and helps you focus on meditating itself so you can fully benefit from the experience. Meditating offers a number of wonderful mental and physical benefits to the body which can help improve your mental and physical health, regardless of the seating arrangement used.

Useful Tips Before Joining Yoga Classes

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Everyone has been raving about yoga and its benefits and many people have in fact started joining the Yoga Classes. Most of them expect instant result but this is not possible. Whenever you start any health program then you need to accept the fact that the result vary from person to person and may not appear instantly. Similarly, when you start yoga classes, your health would improve gradually.

If you are a beginner to yoga and are joining yoga classes soon, then you need to keep certain things in mind. Here are some useful tips that can help you to start a new yoga program efficiently.

It is best to opt for a yoga program that is held early morning, before your breakfast.
The yoga class that you select for yourself should have a certified trainer
Make sure that you are regular with the program or else you may not benefit much from it.
Clean your nose, throat and bowels before you go for your class.
Since you would be required to do various asana, you must make sure that the clothes you wear are comfortable and loose. Tight fitting clothes can restrict your movements and therefore you must choose the clothes with care.
If you any problems like spondylitis then you must inform your yoga instructor about the same. This way he can guide you which exercise you need to avoid during the class. He would also be able to tell you which yoga asana can help you get relief from the same.
Yoga asana should be performed on an empty stomach. So make sure that you havent eaten anything 2 hours before your class.
When you start any exercise, you may not be able to perform it to perfection as your body is not used to it. Dont exert yourself and give time to yourself. When you strain your body then it can cause injuries and therefore it is best to practice the asana regularly. Eventually your body would allow you to do the stretching and other asanas perfectly.

These are some of the main things that you need to keep in mind before joining any yoga classes. If you need information about the classes that are held around your residence then you can check sites like healthandyoga.com, which maintains this information. You can also contact them to learn about yoga teachers or about personal yoga trainers.

Yoga License And Certification

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If you adore yoga and can’t imagine your life without it, you may want to look into getting your yoga license and certification. Your dedication and passion will make you a great instructor.
There are many ways to get your yoga license and certification. All come through the Yoga Alliance, but you can choose any location that’s accredited for your studies. Every state has yoga license and certification courses. So you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that’s a good fit for you.
Choose between a retreat-type training where you go away for an intensive program and then receive your license. Or choose a program that’s spread out over the course of several months or a year if you have other commitments. Your love of yoga and your daily practice is your entry into a great new career.
What can you do with your yoga certificate? You can open your own yoga studio, of course. If you have a head for business as well as a love of the art form, you may want to consider this route. But if you’re more interested in teaching than running a business, you may want to look into joining the staff of an established yoga studio.
There are many different types of yoga practice and there are also many target markets in which to teach. You can opt for prenatal yoga where you teach pregnant women yoga, kid’s yoga, yoga for couples, yoga for stress reduction, corporate yoga classes, yoga for seniors, private yoga lessons or yoga for therapy. Any and all of these are great career paths. You should choose who you want to teach based on your passion. Each has its own rewards.
Yoga teachers are much in demand due to a new generation of yoga lovers entering the scene. Grandmothers, teens, moms and dads and kids are all discovering the benefits of yoga. It helps keep you physically fit, grounds you spiritually and helps you with stress reduction. What could be better?
Locate a certification program through the Yoga Alliance. They have listings of the accredited yoga teacher programs around the country. You are bound to find one close to you that is within your price range.
Go for your dream of becoming a yoga teacher. Your life will be more fulfilled when you are doing something that makes you happy and helps others. If you are practicing yoga regularly, there’s no reason you can’t succeed at this exciting new career.

Religion And Yoga

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A religious rights leader in the US recently sparked off a debate with his comments on the inappropriateness of Yoga for those of the Christian faith. Arguments have since flown fast and thick on all sides over the linking of Yoga with specific religions.

As a proponent of Yoga as the ultimate challenge for the attainment of holistic wellness, I have been extremely pained to read all things related to the matter. For one, I havent been able to fathom the reasons as to why this should even be thrown on the table.

It is true that Yoga originated in India, the same country which produced great religious systems such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Indeed, India is one of the two regions of the world which has been the cradle of religious thought, the other being the Middle East which produced Christianity, Islam, Judaism et al.

However, Yoga at its best is a philosophical system which is thought to lead to self-realization. For as long as it has existed, there have been no religious incantations associated with the practice, nor does it propagate the worship of any one supreme figure. It is infact philosophical and not iconic in any way.

The Yogic systems prevalent today are a fragment of an entire pristine system, and are mostly only corporeal; they strive to keep the body healthy through various poses and breathing techniques. The only Hindu connotation I have found evidence of, is the sounding of the syllable Om while breathing, which is also equally construable as a shortening of Amen. Interestingly, Om and Amen have similar meanings and origins as well.

I personally know scores of people of various religious beliefs following Yoga, and who have found no conflict between their religion and the practice. Yoga, which is devoid of any religious connotations is even widely practiced by atheists who would have otherwise shunned it in the name of religious circumvention.

My personal experience tells me that one neednt even go deep into research, because a quick online search will point to the fact that Yoga is linked with environmentalism, healthy food habits, exercise, fitness and mostly good health, but definitely not with any strong religious associations. Even specifically searching for a link did not yield any results to indicate the gentlemans concerns that Yoga is a symptom of postmodern spiritual confusion.

I came across an interesting and relevant blog here which I understand to be a product of a mature and analytical mind.

I would be happy to understand just how practicing Yoga is a shameful act as the US Baptist has claimed. Looking forward to your thoughts, as usual.

Yoga Dvd – A Cheap Mode Of Learning Yoga

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Do you want to practice yoga but can not afford to join a yoga class? If so then you may opt for yoga videos or yoga DVD and see them to practice this discipline. Buying the Yoga DVD is cheaper and can allow you to learn yoga at home. You can follow the videos and practice the asana yourself. This way you would not have to worry about paying a lot for the classes and can easily enjoy the benefits of yoga.

Buying yoga DVDs is very easy as they are now available everywhere. Before choosing the DVD you need to first understand which form of yoga is best for you. If someone is new to yoga then he should buy a DVD that is meant for the beginners and can explain him how he can practice the asana. Similarly there are DVDs that have advanced yoga programs for the experts. If someone is pregnant then rather than buying the basic yoga CDs, it is best to buy the ones that are meant for pregnancy. The yoga asana shown their can help you to learn which asana are good for you and your baby.

If you want to buy a DVD and practice yoga through then you need to also make sure that the DVD is a reliable one. The instructor in the Yoga video should be an expert so that you can watch him and follow him. Since the instructor would not be there to check on you, it is best to buy yoga DVD which has been made by an expert. In other words, the yoga instructor should have good credentials.

Apart from buying the Yoga DVD, you can also look for yoga videos that are available at the yoga sites. Some of the yoga sites have animated videos for the asana that can also help you to understand how you can practice the different asana. It is cheaper than enrolling for a class and is good for people who can not go to a regular class.

In the present time, some people may find it difficult to take out a particular time for yoga class. They can also use the yoga videos to follow the asana. Since you have the ease to watch the video anytime, you dont have to take out a specific time and can practice yoga anytime during the day. You dont have to go anywhere and are thus able to save some time as well.

Yoga – Contraindications For Inversions

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As we practice yoga poses we want to do also inversions. Most common inversions are the Headstand and the Shoulderstand. But there are not only those two poses which are the inverted asanas.

Any posture in which the head is below the heart is called an inversion. Whether you stand on your head, bend forward or bend back, if your head is below your heart, you are performing an inversion.

This also means that Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Fish pose are also inversions; although those poses are mild in comparison to a Headstand. The Camel pose can also be an inversion if you bend back far enough.

Remember – inversions are not for everyone!

Your intentions should be clear when you perform any yoga posture. If the risks may outweigh the benefits there is no logical reason why you should practice any pose which can harm you.

Contraindications for practicing inversions:

If you have any of the following conditions, please omit inversions or work with a qualified and experienced teacher who will never put you at risk and tried to modify your practice.

Anyone who has high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues, neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems should never practice Headstand or Shoulderstand, and omit other mild inversions or be adjusted by the yoga teacher.

During any stage of pregnancy yoga should be practiced in a prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for that purpose or privately with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher.

During menstruation Headstand and Shoulderstand preferably should be omitted and other milder inversions should not be hold for long, but because of the controversy about the inversions during menstruation it is your personal choice. Let your body guide you.

If you are a yoga teacher explain to your students why the inversions can be dangerous for them if they have any of the condition mentioned earlier.

Why not stand on your head when you have pain in your neck or neck injury? What first thing will come to your mind as you there? Ouch … my neck! Can my small neck carry my whole weight as I am inverted?

Most students put lots of weight on their head and neck instead of shoulders. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Intuition will never let you down.

Why omit headstand if I have high blood pressure? Because the danger is when your blood pressure increase from 100/60 mm Hg while standing on your feet to 150/110 mm Hg or even higher when you go for headstand.

Eight Minute Meditation

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Eight Minute Meditation Can you give you peace of mind and change your life forever?

What exactly is meditation? Nowadays a lot of people are connected to this form of activity. By definition, the word meditation is used to describe a state of intense attention on an object or a thought of an individual. The individual tries to focus his attention inward. Meditation is a native of Vedic Hinduism. It is usually practiced in Eastern religions but nowadays, Western culture is already deeply involved in this activity .
People practice meditation so that they can focus their mind for their personal development, to achieve peace of mind and to be healthier.

Many Westerners are now practicing some form of meditation. According to Time Magazine, there is a practice of meditation that can be used by almost anyone. It can be seen as a basic primer for Westerners wanting to begin meditation without having any idea where to start.

Eight minutes of daily meditation can bring you a lot already.
Each individual starting a new activity, often with questions, doubts and hopes. There are even some people who hope that when they begin to think they will be enlightened. Or maybe you’re one of those people who think that meditation is like exercise or diet you’ve tried to do in recent months. But that’s normal, so do not be surprised if you’re one of them.
The best thing to do is to forget all these positive ideas and / or negative, and start without preconceptions. If you want to try meditation, you must learn how to approach it one minute at a time.
While many people think that meditation is a simple practice, you should think twice. You might not notice it, but your mind wanders still here and there. You can not concentrate. According to some practitioners, you must monitor your breathing. This is the first stage of meditation. You need to inhale and exhale deeply.

When you begin to meditate, if you find yourself thinking about other things, or in other words, if your mind wanders, focus on your breathing again for yoga and health.. After all, the merger is part of meditation and if you realize that you lost, you can always come slowly to this state of mind. Do not give up easily and keep practicing. There is a popular saying that “it’s practice makes perfect”, keep that in mind. If you give up easily, then you will remain a loser.

Bright Career Prospects With Yoga Teacher Training

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Yoga Certification programs conducted in European countries have gained a momentum in the last decade. As increasing number of people are now heading to Yoga for numerous health benefits the demands of certified Yoga instructors is growing tremendously.

Yoga is a traditional form of exercise that includes certain postures and movements. Two most important advantages of practicing Yoga are prevention of disorders and ailments and maintenance of health and fitness in daily life. Other methods of exercises like gymnastics, athletics, aerobics, games, and various other forms are not as good as Yoga when it comes to the results. Due to all these reasons more and more people are referring to Yoga for treating ailments and living a healthier life. Especially in the western countries, an increasing number of people are joining Yoga classes for achieving healthier mind and body.

The Yoga Teacher Certification programs conducted at numerous camps are in huge demand across the country. Owing to the increasing demand of certified Yoga teachers and the bright career prospects, Yoga Instructor Certification programs are attended by numerous individuals wanting to learn and teach Yoga. Those who have completed Yoga Teacher Training program can setup a successful career by teaching Yoga to the people. Another advantage of working as a certified Yoga instruction is that while teaching Yoga to the students, one also practices all the postures and stretches himself/herself. Thus you can maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself while sharing the benefits of Yoga with others and earning money in the process.

After attending a certified Yoga Teacher Training program you can start your career as a Yoga teacher. All you need to do is rent a studio, inform people about your yoga classes by advertising, and start taking classes. If you cant find a place to rent, you can approach the high profile clients, who prefer to take classes at their own place. This way you can also save the investment that is required to rent a studio and continue teaching Yoga without actually investing a penny from your pockets. There are several such high-end clients who would love to learn Yoga from someone with Yoga Instructor Certification. You can approach your friends and family to refer you name to their colleagues and friends and kick-start you career.

If this article has inspired you and you have decided to join a Yoga Certification program from a reliable and genuine source then you can refer to healthandyoga.com. The website is a complete Yoga information Bank that also conducts Yoga Teacher Certification programs. Besides this, it also offers holiday packages in Yoga retreats, and provides Yoga products like neti pot, mala beads and enema equipment, etc.

Stop Sliding In Yoga With A Non-slip Yoga Mat

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If you’re still using a regular yoga mat, your hands and feet may slide out from under you once you start to sweat.

There are many mats on the market now that can help keep you from slipping and sliding.

These non-slip yoga mats are more expensive, but can make your yoga experience much more enjoyable.

Your investment in a more expensive mat will pay off over time, especially if yoga is an everyday part of your life and not a passing fancy.

These upscale yoga mats rely on superior materials and textures that grip to prevent sliding, slipping, and skidding.

Here are the leading non-slip yoga mats currently available:

The Manduka BlackMatPRO has been the most popular premium yoga mat for years, and one reason is because you don’t slide on the mat even when it’s wet with sweat. It is also one of the most expensive mats on the market, but fans say the extra cost is worth it. Though heavy, the dense materials used in contruction of the mat are very supportive, even in standing balancing yoga poses. This Manduka mat stays in place on hard or soft surfaces, like carpet.

Hugger Mugger Tapas Performance Yoga Mat: Once called the Mandara, this top rated yoga mat shares many of the qualities of the Manduka Black Mat Pro. This mat is much cheaper in cost, however.

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat: This mat is much like the bigger and heavier Black Mat PRO, only it comes in more colors and is the same size as a regular sticky mat. It is a great mat for vinyasa, Bikram Yoga, and hot yoga because it is lighter yet prevents skidding, sliding, and slipping. And it is very affordable.

Jade Fusion Yoga Mat: This thick mat is made of open-cell natural rubber, so it’s very eco-friendly. Having open cells gives the mat a texture that has a lot of grab, which prevents sliding. The thick natural rubber is very cushioning and supportive, and dense enough to support you in standing and balancing poses. This is also a great mat to prevent soreness in the wrists and knees from floor poses.

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat: Also an eco-friendly natural rubber mat, it is 3/16-inch thick. This is one of the most popular yoga mats ever made, and one of the major selling points is that it is non-slip. It is lighter than the Jade Fusion, which makes it easier to carry. Just be aware that some people don’t care for open cell mats because they pick up dirt and can absorb sweat and odor.

I hope this non-slip yoga mats review will help you find the right yoga mat to buy so you can stop sliding in your yoga classes.