Yoga is an activity that is appropriate for all ages. This article discusses a few benefits of yoga, makes some recommendations for how you might practice and offers tips to get the most out of your time.
There are numerous benefits of yoga. Here are just a few.....
In the root of your jaw, a tight aching sensation throbs subtly … or not so subtly. Tender to the touch, the sensation moves into your temples or perhaps your ear or into your face. You may or may not feel a clicking or locking in the joint of the jaw. Does any of this sound familiar for you? You may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMJD). Good news: This is generally temporary and can be self-
Our incredible human minds can see without eyes. We have the power of vision whether our lids are open or shut, measured at 20/20 or legally blind. With yoga practice, we can create a vivid vision nonexistent outside our minds but quite tangible to the mind that has created it. A mountain vista, passing clouds and geometric patterns sketched on the surface of our neural pathways can be part of a practice involving pratyahara. Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs that comprise a yogic approach to living.
Yoga has gained a lot of traction in the Western world in recent years. Though it is an ancient practice, it is new to our culture and there are many misconceptions about it. If you ask five different self-
While it may be uncomfortable to confront the topic of pelvic floor health, it is an important subject of concern for women in particular. The pelvic floor is comprised of layers of musculature at the base of your pelvis that serve many functions, including organ support, bladder and bowel control, childbirth, sexual pleasure and intra-
The holiday season inevitably brings joy, stress, and many things in between. This article offers suggestions for using yogic practices to enhance your season and everyday life in just a few moments. Four of the eight limbs of yoga are asana (body exercises), pranayama (breathing exercises), pratyahara (restraint of senses), and dharana (direction of mind). For a rough translation, we will refer to the last two as mindfulness in this article.
Do you want to live a long, healthy life, reduce your risk for disease, keep your mind sharp and prevent injury? Great! The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion wants this too. They created the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, providing recommendations for these five areas: aerobic activity, muscular strength, bone strength, balance and flexibility. These guidelines are online, so be sure to check them out if you are in pursuit of a long and healthy life.
While yogis have understood the immense benefits of yoga since its inception, the evidence is in and continues to be reinforced study after study: Yoga is good for you. Health benefits for lower back pain, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and more are now clear. If you are seeking to quench your curiosity about the research-
Pain is not exclusively rooted in our physical bodies. Perception of pain and the ability to cope with that experience is rooted in the mind as well. Just as when we are sick we may feel moody or how stress often leads to sickness, the mind and the body are not separate entities. Whether pain is chronic or acute, long term or short term, an appropriate yoga practice may provide relief. Much of the research surfacing in recent years hones in on yoga for relief of chronic pain.
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2. Niyama = our attitudes toward our environment, including:
3. Asana = the practice of body exercises
4. Pranayama = the practice of breathing exercises
5. Pratyahara = the restraint of our senses
6. Dharana = the ability to direct our mind
7. Dhyana = the ability to develop interactions with what we seek to understand
8. Samadhi = complete integration with the object to be understood
Pratyahara is a Sanskrit word often understood as “restraint of our senses,” shared above. According to an article from Yoga International, this word comes from two parts, prati (against/away) and ahara (what we take in from the outside). Pratyahara then may translate as “control of ahara.” Just a few examples of things we take in (ahara) include food, misunderstanding and our sensory perceptions. By controlling what we eat, we may build physical strength or regulate blood sugar. By controlling misunderstanding, we may relieve anxiety and recognize falsehoods. By controlling our sensory perceptions, we enable the mind to turn inward.
Yoga nidra is a powerful and frequently untapped tool for practicing yoga that may involve visualizations to explore the inner workings of the mind from a restorative state. To try yoga nidra, seek a yoga class with a qualified instructor who teaches nidra to guide your experience. This is what you can expect:
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Lauren Weaver is a Yogi, Yoga Instructor, and Assistant Instructor with the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She can be reached via email at Lauren.mw32@ gmail.com.
Our incredible human minds can see without eyes. We have the power of vision whether our lids are open or shut, measured at 20/20 or legally blind.
With yoga practice, we can create a vivid vision nonexistent outside our minds but quite tangible to the mind that has created it. A mountain vista, passing clouds and geometric patterns sketched on the surface of our neural pathways can be part of a practice involving pratyahara. Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs that comprise a yogic approach to living.
Yoga is not a religion but rather an accepting approach compatible with religious beliefs. The eight limbs of yoga, as translated from yoga sutra 2.29 and presented in “The Heart of Yoga,” are not akin to levels that you work up to but are rather co-
1. Yama = our attitudes toward our environment, including: