Yoga
The Health eZine - Exercise



This Website is Best Viewed Using Firefox

An Introduction to Yoga's Basic Poses

Yoga, the Cobra Pose

By Suzanne MacNevin - November 2009.

DISCLAIMER: You cannot learn yoga from a website or a book. There is no substitute for a proper yoga teacher in a traditional yoga setting. I also discourage people from taking yoga in a gym setting, because gym instructors have different priorities than traditional yoga instructors. Start with the basics of yoga before you try anything weird like water yoga or hot yoga.

Once you learn the basics of yoga you can start doing it at home without supervision, but its important you learn proper technique and safety from an instructor. If you injure yourself its your own fault for not seeking out a yoga instructor and paying attention to them. This website is meant only as an introduction to yoga practice. No website or guidebook, no matter how comprehensive, will prevent you from injuring yourself if you fail to heed this warning.

Please also note this site is going to focus on yoga as an exercise and not on the meditation or spiritual elements of yoga.

A Bit of History / Facts & Figures

Yoga first start in India about 5,000 years ago and is closely related to Hindu philosophy of unity and balance between the body and mind. Common forms of the physical discipline are Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa.

16.5 million American adults in the United States practice yoga according to a 2005 study, up 43% from a similar study conducted in 2002. Its safe to assume yoga is becoming a more popular form of exercise.

Even public and private are starting to teach yoga as part of their physical education classes, both as a way to maintain/improve muscle strength/flexibility, but also to reduce stress. (It should be noted exercise in general reduces stress.)

Athletes are resorting to yoga to stay in shape. Even NHL hockey players in Canada are taking yoga twice a week during the off-season in order to stay in peak physical condition.

Yoga Tips for Beginners

The History and Benefits of Yoga

Yoga and Exercise Fashion

THE BASIC POSES

Note: You should avoid doing some of these poses if you are: Pregnant, have high blood pressure, difficulty breathing or suffering from neck, back or hip injuries. Consult a registered physician.

Yoga - The Bridge Pose

The Bridge Pose

STEP 1
Breathing deeply through your nose, start lying down on your back. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet to the floor, hip- distance apart and with your toes pointing directly forward.

STEP 2
Resting your arms on the mat alongside your torso, press into your heels and lift your hips. If this is challenging, stay here for between five and 10 breaths. Avoid turning your head from side to side; simply look straight up. For more intensity, clasp your hands together under your pelvis, interlace your fingers and keep your arms straight. Rocking gently to one side and then the other, bring your shoulders underneath you so that the weight rests on the tops of the arms.

Yoga - The Forward Bend Pose

STEP 3
When you're finished, roll down one vertebra at a time, with the hips coming down last. Bring your knees to your chest and rest for a few breaths.

Repeat once or twice.

The Forward Bend

STEP 1
Start in a sitting position with your legs straight out in front. Engage the muscles of your thighs and rest your palms on the mat beside your hips.

Use your arms to help you lengthen your spine, from your tailbone up to the top of your neck.

STEP 2
Keeping the length in your spine, engage the muscles of your lower belly and walk your hands forward, bending at the hips rather than at the waist.

Move forward only so far as you can keep your back long and straight

If you're feeling sensation in your hamstrings, you're doing it right.

Rest your hands on your legs, the floor or lightly grip the outer edges of your feet. Stay in this pose for between five and 10 breaths.

STEP 3
To release, gently walk your hands back to a sitting position and relax onto the floor on your back.

Yoga - The Tortoise Pose

The Tortoise Pose

STEP 1
Start in a sitting position with your knees falling open and the soles of the feet together. Place your heels about 18 inches from your hips.

STEP 2
Walk your hands underneath your lower legs and bring your hands onto the tops of your feet. If this position is not possible, rest your arms on your lower legs.

Rounding your spine, lower your forehead toward your heels. Stay for as long as feels comfortable, working up to five or 10 minutes to increase the release.

STEP 3
Gently lift the head, slide the hands out from under the legs and come to sitting. Use your hands to help you draw your knees back to centre. Relax onto your mat on your back with your knees drawn into your chest.

Yoga - The Child Pose

The Child Pose

STEP 1
Start in a kneeling position, sitting on the feet with toes gently touching and the knees about hip-width apart.

STEP 2
Walk your hands forward and lower your torso down to your thighs. Rest your forehead on the mat. Stay in the pose for 10 breaths, and feel the weight of your hips sink into the mat with gravity. Release all muscular effort and enjoy the rest.

Yoga - The Cobra Pose

The Cobra Pose

STEP 1
Begin in a prone position, face down on your mat. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, with the fingertips aligned with the tops of your shoulders, and your fingers spread wide.

STEP 2
Using only the muscles of your back, lift your head and chest up and look straight forward, bringing a bend to the upper part of the back. Press your pubic bone into the mat and lengthen the legs, pointing the toes straight behind you. To be sure youíre using the muscles of your back, lift your palms away from the mat.

STEP 3
Stay in this pose for between three and five breaths, then lower the head and chest and arms back to the starting position. Rest for a few breaths, then repeat once or twice.

Yoga - The Warrior Pose

The Warrior Pose

STEP 1
Start in standing pose. Breathing deeply through your nose, step back with your right foot, about one leg-length. With your left foot pointing straight forward and your right toes angled out about 45 degrees, align your heels.

STEP 2
Bend your left knee deeply, and make sure your knee hovers over or behind your left ankle. If itís in front of your ankle, move your foot forward so your shin is perpendicular to the floor. Square your hips forward and keep the back leg straight and strong.

STEP 3
Raise the arms up. Relax your shoulders and feel your shoulder blades sliding down your back. Feel your back arching slightly, and lift the eyes and the heart up. Hold for between five and ten breaths, then step the feet together and repeat on the other side.


Toronto Personal Trainer
Weight Loss Trainer in Toronto
Sports Trainer for Athletes in Toronto
Exercising is Fun so Get a Personal Trainer
Yoga - The Corpse Pose

The Corpse Pose

STEP 1
Lie on your back in a relaxed, symmetrical position, with your spine straight and the back of your neck long. Feel your shoulder blades resting on the floor. Place your hands alongside your torso, with your palms up and your fingers gently curling. Allow your toes to fall open.

STEP 2
Affirm that you will not fall asleep. Starting at your toes and working upward to your head and face, mentally scan your entire body, gently requesting that each body part relax and let go. Relax for between five and 30 minutes. If necessary, set an alarm. At first, you may find that you naturally fall asleep, but if you can stay alert, you will begin to experience the benefits of meditation.

STEP 3
To complete the posture, roll onto one side and come into a sitting position. Traditionally you sit for a moment to give thanks to your body and mind for allowing you to practise yoga and think positive thoughts about people you care about.


Can Yoga Help You Cure Cancer?

Scientific research has shown that yoga can be used to control physical functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, metabolism, body temperature, brain waves, and even skin resistance. This can result in an overall improved physical fitness, lower levels of stress, and increased feelings of relaxation and well-being. All of which can be useful when treating cancer.

However it should be noted that exercise in general is good for combating cancer, but it takes second place to diet. Which is why it is important to note that yoga practitioners, on average, eat more healthy food than most people, are more likely to be Vegan or Vegetarian, and have significantly reduced rates of cancer. And cancer is not the only physical disease that can be combated with exercise and diet.

Yoga is also helpful when used with conventional medical treatment to help relieve some of the symptoms linked to cancer, asthma, diabetes, drug addiction, high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraine headaches. Yoga also helps to reduce cholesterol levels when used with diet and regular exercise. Randomized clinical trials have shown that yoga helps relieve the pain of arthritis and also lowers the chances of anxiety, stress, and depression. Recent studies of cancer survivors, especially women who have had breast cancer, suggest yoga may help improve several aspects of quality of life. Yoga + healthy diet is just one of many breast cancer cures being touted by the health and exercise industry.

People with cancer and chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease should talk to their doctor before starting any type of therapy that involves movement of joints and muscles. Some yoga postures are hard to achieve, and damage can occur from overstretching joints and ligaments, so it is recommended you stick to the easier postures in the beginning.

Pregnant women may want to avoid postures that cause pressure on the uterus, such as body twists. People who are sick, dehydrated, or pregnant may be harmed by bikram yoga or hot yoga, which is a vigorous workout practiced in a very warm, humid room (usually between 95į and 105į F).

Yoga alone is NOT a cancer cure. A healthy balanced diet with lots of green veggies takes more precedence in that respect. Cancer is largely a disease caused by toxicity and acidity of the blood. Eating lots of green vegetables, which are high in alkaline, helps to put cancer into remission faster.


How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?

Well you consider that sitting and watching TV burns 60 calories per hour and sleeping burns 69 calories per hour, you have to wonder what is caloric benefit of doing yoga? Most practitioners who do yoga as their primary form of cardio opt for the higher-intensity classes and aim for making it to a class 3 times a week, often for a 60 or 90 minute session. Here are a few of the most popular forms, and the average amount of calories you may burn during a 60-minute class:

Hatha Yoga - 175 Calories

Hatha yoga is the most familiar form of yoga for Westerners, and the kind usually taught in beginner-level classes. Hatha yoga emphasizes breath control and flowing postures.

Ashtanga Yoga - 300 Calories

Ashtanga yoga is a little more intense than Hatha yoga, but still places emphasis on breath control and flowing postures. The typical class has a series of 6 poses that increase in difficulty.

Power Yoga - 300 Calories

Power yoga is a Westernized form of Ashtanga yoga, which moves quickly between poses to increase your heart rate. Because of this, most classes typically last 30 to 45 minutes, rather than 60.

Vinyasa Yoga - 445 Calories

Vinyasa yoga is usually combined with the Ashtanga form to create one dynamic class. The emphasis is placed on flowing from one pose to the next, particularly during the sun salutation.

Bikram or Hot Yoga - 630 Calories

Bikram yoga, also known as "hot yoga," is typically performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and with a humidity of 40%. This guarantees that you will sweat a lot as you perform the 26 postures in a typical class.

See Also

Yoga Weight Loss, How and Why

Mind Body Fitness Vs Zen Exercising

Sensory Training for Archery


Yoga Vs Extreme Workouts at Home

Extreme Yoga Pose

The amount of results a person gets from Yoga truly depends on how much they put into it. Yoga is truly one of those exercises where a person can put as much effort into it as they have the willpower to do so, and their results in terms of improved flexibility, strength, reduced stress, etc. will correspond to the amount of effort put into it.

Plus its an exercise you can do at home. A very frugal one which won't cost you much because it uses your own body weight.

Indeed there are a lot of exercises and exercise programs offering the same thing in terms of frugal body weight exercises. Many such programs utilize yoga positions as part of the exercise program, so its not truly that different, but they jazz it up with weights, resistance bands, bowflex gadgets, celebrity endorsements, etc.

Lets take for example "Tapout XT", which is an exercise program offering extreme workouts at home you could purchase. Its designed for people who are into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and UFC (Ultimate Fight Club), which is really more an entertainment blood sport than an actual sport. It is like the old WWF / WWE, but without the ridiculous storylines. If you watch the promo video on their website you realize its really more about the celebrity endorsements aimed at getting people to get out their credit card.

Note: If the Olympics starts allowing MMA style fights then we will know the Olympics has finally put the nail in the coffin and confirmed they're really just about entertainment value and money.

The silly thing is that a lot of these exercise programs looking for your credit card are basically the same thing you can find on YouTube, for free no less. And it isn't so much the brand name of the company trying to push their individual exercise program at you - its the amount of motivation you have and the amount of effort you put into your exercises that truly matters.

Which means, yes, you can get a truly ripped body by doing yoga, lifting weights at home, doing whatever sports you enjoy doing - all without spending a penny. Extreme workouts at home? You already have the power to do it. Its really just a matter of willpower.

So if you're looking to challenge yourself and consider yourself an advanced yoga practinioner, I recommend looking into some Extreme Yoga Positions you can do at home.


Yoga Vs Chiropractors

By Monique Bellamont

My mother used to visit a chiropractor back in the 1980s when she was suffering from back pain. She doesn't go there any more because she doesn't have back pain any more.

Why? Because she does yoga, takes daily walks, bicycles, exercises, gardening. She rarely gets back pain any more because her posture is so much better now.

So why do so many people go to chiropractors when they could just exercise and/or do yoga instead and improve their posture? Well there is multiple reasons.

#1. Some people are lazy and don't like exercising.

#2. People want a "quick fix" to their back problems and they don't want to put in the effort, so they mistakenly think a chiropractor can fix their problems quickly. In truth it will take MANY trips to the chiropractor to fix their back problems - and it will only be a temporary bandaid solution.

Some people slouch or hunch over when sitting in a chair. Their posture gets worse and worse and they suffer back pain as a result. Which means that even if they do get their back worked on by a chiropractor, the end result will be that have to keep going back to the chiropractor for years and years because they continue to slouch and have bad posture.

Improving Your Posture

#1. Get up and move around regularly. Staying in the same position causes your muscles to get tired and you will start slouching more as they get tired.

#2. Keep your body in alignment (straighten your spine, etc) while sitting and standing.

#3. Use ergonomic office chairs.

#4. Exercise regularly. Jogging, swimming and yoga are great ways to improve your posture through exercise.

#5. Stretches. Seriously, do a series of stretches every morning and every night.

#6. Wear supportive footwear. Avoid high heels.

#7. Be aware of your posture when walking, carrying heavy objects, doing a variety of activities.

#8. Lift with your legs, not your back.

#9. Avoid unnaturally stiff posture. You should feel relaxed and comfortable, but without having to force yourself.

#10. Avoid over exercising and when you do exercises like weightlifting, remember to use proper form so you don't hurt yourself.

Of course bad posture and back pain isn't the only reason some people go to a chiropractor. Some are also suffering from injuries due to car accidents, or they may have something wrong with their bone structure (eg. in their spine) and its causing them severe pain. Thus chiropractors can often be necessary for certain types of ailments.

Many wealthy people (eg. celebrities living in California) go to chiropractors on a regular basis just as a preventative measure or tiny amounts of back pain. This is purely because they have money to burn, because those preventative measures don't really do much if the individual doesn't exercise and continues to suffer from bad posture. So while chiropractors are raking in the dough in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and even a lowly Stockton chiropractor can make oodles of money, the end result for their customers is that they will continue to have back problems until they realize the hard truth, which is that:

If you don't exercise regularly and embrace bad posture you will suffer back pain continuously.

And when it comes to exercising and improving your posture your best option is YOGA.

Heck even chiropractors highly recommend that their patients do yoga.


What is More Effective at Suppressing Hunger? Diet Pills or Apples?

If you are into Yoga because of its stress-relief and weight loss benefits, you might also want to check out apples.

According to a 2011 study an apple per day helps shed the pounds because it does several things.

#1. Eating apples suppresses appetite, rather like diet pills do.

#2. Apples lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. In the study bad LDL cholesterol was reduced by 23% and good HDL cholesterol by 4%.

#3. Eating apples help you lose weight. The average woman in the apple study lost 3 lbs, without even trying to lose weight.

Now the thing is if apples and similar foods help suppress appetite and cause weight loss, why can't people create diet pills that accomplish the same thing?

Diet pills, whether they are hoaxes or placebos, are largely questionable. After all, if there was a magic pill that people could take to lose weight, don't you think everyone overweight would be eating them faster than M&Ms or Viagra?

Thus they probably don't work. Or if they do work, then they're really expensive in the same way Viagra is expensive.

There are plenty of diet pills on the market, including red cell press pills, which contains Benzocaine. If you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzocaine then what you find out is that "Benzocaine is a local anesthetic commonly used as a topical pain reliever or in cough drops." Further below it also says that "Benzocaine is a local anesthetic commonly used as a topical pain reliever or in cough drops"

So basically they're pills that may or may not make you feel full, but may also cause you to want to vomit.

Officially the Benzocaine is supposed to be used to dull your sense of taste, so you won't feel as hungry. Except this doesn't necessarily work. Sometimes when people can't taste things they just eat more of it to increase the taste sensation.

Which goes back to the original topic: "What is More Effective at Suppressing Hunger? Diet Pills or Apples?"

I am leaning towards the apples. When in doubt stick to the natural solution.

As a respected TMJ dentist Richmond TX office, Dr. Mac Lee has been satisfying customers and informing the public on good dental health for years. His reputation far precedes him as a practitioner and as a speaker, and he is highly regarded among professionals as well as his patients.

If you are near to Richmond, TX (or even if you are relatively close) and you are having problems with your teeth or orthodontics, then you owe it to yourself to avail yourself of the top notch services that Dr. Mac Lee has to offer. Dr. Lee is a TMJ dentist, meaning that he has the capacity to help you in many ways other than pure dentistry. If you are having mouth or neck pains, the cause may very well be your teeth. Dr. Lee will be able to diagnose you effectively and begin you on a treatment program that will help the pain.

TMJ dentistry also includes services for people who have frequent migraines or headaches because of a bad bite. Dr. Lee can also help with mouth breathing as well. If you are looking for a dentist with the experience and the knowledge to help you with a plethora of problems, then come to the offices of Dr. Lee.

There are few things related to your physical health that are more important than keeping your heart in good shape. If you enjoy exercising, then you may want to invest in a heart rate monitor that's designed to fit in with your lifestyle. At Heart Rate Monitors USA, you can find a variety of amazing heart monitors for a variety of purposes, from swimming and cycling to losing weight and maximizing performance. There are plenty of firms that produce heart rate monitors, but when it come to the health of your heart, it's important to acquire a monitor you can trust. Heart Rate Monitors USA is a small business that has been around for a little more than a decade. They have only 15 employees, so when you interact with the good people at Heart Rate Monitors USA, you're interacting with the equivalent of a close family. To make a well-informed decision regarding your next potential heart rate monitor purchase, take a look at their official website. The heart rate training tips and tools at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com are designed to help you get the most out of your exercise time and get fit in a way that's safe, fun and productive.

Considering Lap Band? Check Out the Benefits First

Losing weight through diet and exercise is the most natural way to get in shape. Many people find that they just can't commit to such a big lifestyle change though. After cutting back on sugar, caffeine, fat and other products, they find themselves gorging on foods that are bad for them. While regular exercise can also help you get in shape, you only have a certain amount of free time each week, and you'd probably rather spend that time with your friends and family. Lap band surgery essentially shrinks your stomach, which reduces the amount of food you eat. Before thinking about this surgery, make sure you know about the potential benefits.

Lose Weight Faster

Did you know that lap band surgery can help you lose more weight and lose weight faster than other types of surgeries? Other stomach surgeries make a small incision in your stomach, create a small pocket and stitch you back up again. This limits the food that you eat, but it can also lead to stomach cramps, vomiting and other symptoms. Studies found that those who go through lap band surgery lost more weight in a shorter period of time than patients who went through other surgeries did.

Spend Less Time Recovering

You are a busy person with a lot on your mind. When you first research stomach surgeries, you might find that some of those operations will knock you off your feet for two weeks or longer. With lap band, you will spend less time in the hospital and less time recovering. The less time you spend in the hospital, the more time you have for your family.

Other Benefits

Immediately after the surgery, you might find yourself losing five or more pounds every week, but eventually this will decrease to the point where you only lose two pounds or less each week. This is the same amount of weight that you could lose if you drastically reduced the amount of calories you consumed every day. Patients who go through lap band surgery have a reduced risk of developing some of the symptoms and illnesses that are common with other stomach procedures. You may find that you experience less pain and less blood loss than other patients due when undergoing other procedures. Learn more about lap band procedures from Bay Bariatric Surgery and other medical centers in your area. Get answers to all your questions before going through the surgery.

Discerning Fracture Symptoms

People are very different in the ways that they treat their bodies. Yet whether one chooses to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen or to pass the days eating cheese puffs on the couch, everyone shares a common physiological link: the bodyís susceptibility to injury.

The human body is truly remarkable in its capacity to both endure and overcome damage. Mankind has yet to create anything that can approach it. Sickness, soreness, and structural damage have yet to prove to be too much for the body to handle. Yet that doesnít stop people from constantly testing its limits. Pushing those limits too far will often prove to be too much for the bodyís skeletal structure to bear. Itís estimated that the average person will experience a minimum of two bone fractures during his or her lifetime. Many wonít give a second thought to such statistics thanks to their bodiesí ability to heal from fractures. However, when it comes to fractures, thereís no guarantee of the healing process happening without a hitch.

The Consequences of Complications

If bones are not allowed to heal properly following a fracture, people can experience serious complications to their health. Such complications may include:

  • Blood vessel damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection in the surrounding tissues or in the bone itself (osteomyelitis)

    The effects of such complications can lead to chronic conditions that severely impact oneís quality of life. Fortunately, such suffering can be avoided with the proper medical treatment. However, as everyone knows, the key to successful treatment is for the patient to be an active participant in his or her own recovery. Such participation is only possible if one understands the nature of the fracture he or she suffered.

    Different Fracture Types

    Understanding what type of fracture one has doesnít require an understanding of medical terms such as displaced or non-displaced, or a comminuted or pathologic fracture. Rather, one only needs to understand the different physical symptoms of a fracture.

  • Open: The easiest to discern, an open fracture is when a portion of the fractured bone actually pierces the skin. These fractures are almost always displaced, meaning the fractured ends of the bone are out of alignment. In some severe cases, the displaced bone may actually protrude from the skin. This is called a compound fracture.
  • Closed: When there is no puncture of the skin, the fracture is referred to as closed. There are number of different types of closed fractures, and accurately determining which one is suffering from will typically require that one undergoes a diagnostic test of some kind, such as an x-ray or physical examination. Yet the symptoms of a closed fracture are the same:
    1. Localized pain, swelling, or bruising
    2. Obvious deformities beneath the skin
    3. Paralysis of the fractured area
    4. A grinding sensation while moving

    If one is experiencing any of these symptoms, he or she should seek immediate medical attention.

    Understanding the different types of fractures that bones are susceptible to not only helps one to potentially avoid injury, but also how to properly deal with his or her own recovery. Itís vital that bones are allowed to recover unhindered in order to avoid experiencing further bone damage and the pain that accompanies it. Another important thing to consider is that occasionally breaks donít happen in large places and arenít as easy to identify. Places like the foot or the hand have many bones that can be broken and are often dismissed as regular muscle soreness. Yet with the right amount of knowledge and, if necessary, the assistance of professionals, one can easily return to his or her same quality of life following a fracture.

  • About Us - Blog - Art History - Automotives - Canada - Entertainment - Environmental - Fashion - Feminism - Gothic - Health - Politics - Religion - Technology

    Website Design by Charles Moffat