By Yogi Shigri
There are many forms, styles, and schools of yoga like Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Hot Yoga, Isha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Himalayan Yoga, etc. There could be many reasons to practice yoga and tantra methods. Yet the universal intention behind any yogic practice could be summed up as the desire to remain young and healthy in the mind, body, and spirit until death.
Hatha Tantra begins with the prana energy activation and deals with the psychosomatic issues irrelevant to the shape and size of the body. So their fundamental approach is different. It's like a Spanish guitar player asking if he can learn Indian sitar. For sure, the dedication, the spirit and the discipline which helps him learn Spanish guitar will also support to learn Indian sitar. Just the way of handling sitar and the lessons are different. In a similar way, you can learn Hatha Tantra. Remember that the rejuvenation method of Hatha Tantra is universal and supportive to all styles of yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Himalayan Yoga style etc.
How Does Hatha Tantra Differ from Other Yoga Practices?
Hatha yoga begins with the male approach to have control over the mind, body and ego system. Then, later, the yogi invokes the god spirit and surrenders to him in order to experience the final liberation and union with the god’s consciousness. Hatha Tantra begins with surrendering and establishing a communion with the body. Bringing awareness into the energy system with the breath and movements, and opening to the universal consciousness for further guidance.
Kundalini yoga uses the manipulation of breath. Its various kriyas involve changing nostril activation, rapid breathing, various bandha etc. While the Hatha Tantra's kundalini awakening practices involve sound, breath, touch, and vision in a very soft and gentle way. In all these practices we never manipulate male and female energy. It is the various awareness based techniques which stops the breath and balances the male and female energy and opens the middle path of Sushumna channel.
How Does Rejuvenation Work in Hatha Tantra?
The rejuvenation series of Hatha Tantra is a practice of soft, gentle and precise movements with the breath to revitalize nervous system, soften the joints, and activate endocrine system; primarily the sexual glands and the thyroid. The long and sustained practice of Hatha Tantra helps you keep the youthfulness for longer, releases toxins, and works as an overall tonic.
So, without further ado, here are some basic tips for rejuvenation based on the wisdom of Hatha Tantra and Applied Yoga Therapy. Each tip is actually a benefit of the Hatha Yoga practice and lets you know what you can expect through sustained practice.
⦁ Spinal alignment:
One of the basic fundamental to remain young and youthful is to learn the proper techniques for holding your spine upright and well-supported. It is the vertebrae alignment, movement, and patterns which defines the final outlook. The strength and flexibility of the skeleton structure is the heart of any movement. The heart of the skeleton structure is spine and vertebrae. If one learns how to hold the spine in alignment while sitting, lying down, or in any movement then the tiredness and exhaustion process gets slow. It works as an anti-aging tool to keep one energized.
⦁ The softness of the joints:
The softness of joints is responsible for the flow of energy. A child is always bubbling up with energy and looking around to explore new things, yet it all disappears with aging. It is the stiffness of the joints that prevents your mind from supporting the drive to explore more. Hence the second thing to learn from any styles of yoga and tantra is how to make the joints soft and supple again in order to maintain youthfulness.
⦁ Breathing pattern:
René Descartes stated I think, therefore I am, to prove God in a philosophical way. But to experience God in yogic and tantric tradition the fundamental axiom is ‘I breathe therefore I am’. That is why correcting the breathing pattern to the rest of your body is one of the most fundamental learnings of yogic and tantric methods.
⦁ Classical Hatha postures:
Classical Hatha postures (asanas) are the mirrors to check the overall health, alignment and interconnectedness of body, mind and breath system. There could be millions of asanas based on the animal forms. Still, only about twelve to fifteen traditional classical Hatha asanas are considered enough to prepare the body for enlightenment. So it is important to always keep on checking one’s progress in relation to some of the classical Hatha postures.
⦁ Following the sequential progression of asana:
One should never jump through hoops for the perfection of all classical asanas, but rather accept and admire the body as it is now. Nothing stops you to keep learning with dedication and under proper guidance if you want to achieve the sequential progression in the classical poses sometime in the future. Keep your expectations realistic and be happy for even the smallest progress.
⦁ Flexibility and strength:
Performing some asana sequences is crucial for transforming weakness into strength. If someone has less flexibility but strong muscles, then, with the proper technique, he or she can learn how to use that strength to gain flexibility and how to use flexibility to bring even more strength into the muscles.
⦁ Conscious relaxation (Yoga Nidra):
An ongoing practice to relax consciously while moving in and out of an asana, as well as practicing Yoga Nidra (the yogic sleep) is the most vital key point of the classical tantric teaching.
In short, these are some of the most important ingredients of the youth-preserving lifestyle proposed by tantric Hatha Yoga. As long as you try to constantly practice as much of them as possible, you will retain and develop your energy and vitality for a much longer time.
The rejuvenation process could also be supported by other lifestyles habits, though these are most vital points of genuine yoga and tantra practices. Keep at it and don’t push yourself too hard to accomplish the more difficult postures from the start. Your journey will be long and fruitful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yogi Shri was born with a curious mind to know the mysteries of the universe, and how the lessons and karma of one life pass through another life. He started sitting into meditation since the mere age of 4, though his conscious systematic learning started at the age of 14. So far on his journey he has learned Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, Nada yoga, Laya Yoga, Kundalini yoga and Tantra yoga: sthula tantra, sukshma tantra and para tantra. He also has a wide experience in Osho style of meditation, Hamsa yoga tradition, Himalayan yoga tradition, western style of therapy etc. Yoga Shigri enjoys writing books and articles for magazines, which you can easily find all over the internet. Yogi Shri is a founder of Applied Yoga Research & Training Center in Rishikesh. He is also a contributor writer to BookYogaRetreats.com
By Edouard Soon
You might of, heard of it, this thing called yoga.
After 200 hours of teacher training, I’ve kind of, learned a bit—but hold up.
Not in the sense that I’ll write up, cursive tips, and show the,
world how I want them to sit right up, turn and twist, and hold a,
pose while reciting lines from, monsieur the whip, and most loved,
B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Light On,” words of wit, like I’ve absorbed the,
full meaning when there’s a thousand levels
to this artistic science, worshiped with, focus.
Surely I could advise some, hurting hips, with bolsters.
Rather, I began and signed up shy of, my 36th, to post up,
in the paint so yoga can assist and help me dunk
on life from, a perfect grip, while on mats like Yoda.
Now that I think of it, Suzanne’s price of, services, could’ve been bolder.
I still would’ve signed up, served some gifts, and still felt I owed her.
Prior to, my heart felt like it was tangle tied up, in tourniquets, and smoldered.
I’d constantly worry my seesawing blood pressure
would capsize once, courtesy, of father’s inherited motor.
Instead, these tearful worries dried from, repurposing, my sit bones that couldn’t lower.
Now my OM’s, serve to give, total, silence, furthering, my heart to grow young.
Living with an addiction can take a toll emotionally, physically, and mentally, and it can be extremely difficult to find your way to a path of healthy recovery when you can’t focus. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all have an effect on your mental health, which in turn affects your body, so the best way to aid your recovery is to find a way to help the mental and the physical at the same time. This means working out a wellness routine that makes you feel comfortable and happy so you’ll stick with it.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways you can achieve this. The key is to find the right exercises for your needs while working on staying relaxed and reducing stress and other potential triggers. Try out a few different things, such as walking, lifting weights, and focusing on a cardio workout. You can find some great tips on ways to find your perfect workout here.
Keep reading for more on how you can merge physical fitness and addiction recovery.
Stay social - It can be difficult to keep social ties when you go through addiction treatment, either because relationships have suffered or because of all the emotions that come with recovery. It’s important to remain social, however, as it can help reduce stress and depression and keep you looking forward even when times get tough. Exercise can help you spend time with people you enjoy, especially if you invite them to join you in a workout. Start a running group, or ask a friend to go for a swim with you once a week. Keeping those connections can really help boost your mental health while you focus on your body.
Meditate - Working out can be a form of meditation, especially if you include an exercise routine such as yoga. This can help you put stress behind you and focus on the present, a form of mindfulness that is often useful for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, and various forms of trauma. Since coping with addiction can take a toll on an individual in so many ways, it’s imperative to learn how to focus your mind so you can handle negative emotions as they come.
Sleep better - Exercising daily can help you get on a better sleep schedule; when you’re tired at the end of the day, your body welcomes rest, a wonderful thing for individuals who have battled addiction and issues with sleeping soundly. Try to stay on a routine and workout at around the same time every day so your body can get used to the activity; make it a point to relax around an hour before bedtime and turn off all electronics so you can get ready for rest. Go to bed at the same time every night, if possible.
Manage your day - Learning how to manage your day will help you stay focused and will eliminate cravings and reduce triggers. When you keep your mind and body occupied, you find that the things that were once important to you aren’t so important anymore. Keeping up with a workout routine will allow you to structure your time so you can focus on what really matters, whether that’s your family, your job, school, or your personal relationships.
Physical fitness obviously has many benefits, from keeping you healthy and helping you lose weight to getting you in shape emotionally. The key is to find a routine that works for you, because what helps one person may not help another. Focus on yourself and banish the guilt that can come with making yourself a priority, as it’s imperative for individuals who are going through recovery.
Susan Treadway is a recovering addict whose daily exercise remains the foundation of sobriety. Founder of RehabHolistics.com
Summary: Explore the article to find out how Yoga helps you outstrip adverse situations.
If someone asks you what is Yoga, in all probability, either you come up with multiple definitions or start wandering around for an authentic one. This situation, as described by many, is the beauty of Yoga. The fact is Yoga is a novel of undefined knowledge. But knowledge of what? A scholar asked. The answer is that each and everything that exists on this planet can find its place in the Yogic philosophy. Over the time, you might have realized that Yoga has a solution for every issue that originates in your life. Here we talk about one of those problems, adversity and how Yoga acts on adverse situations to take a person out into the comfort zone.
Yoga teaches us to fight
Yoga has been carrying the load of teaching people how to defeat anything that comes their way since the Vedic age. Yogic philosophy is a great supporter of combative attitude wherever needed. In fact, the advanced level of asanas are the blueprints of strength. According to a yogic philosopher, problems are temporary but Yoga is the truth which prevails even in scarcest of situations.
Yoga makes us perfect
Who doesn’t know Yoga denotes perfection? Every bit of Yoga asana is about sublimity. The practice counts each activity of ours and demands discipline in it. Any challenge can be conquered by being perfectly trained. Difficulties are like viruses which attack when the body’s immunity army is weak or is not ready for the attack. But, yogic principles have no place for negotiation when it comes to overcoming challenges.
Yoga helps you know yourself better
Most of the time, people feel dejected, for they lack the knowledge of their potentials. Yoga helps us to know our abilities in the best possible way. Traditional Yoga is like a mirror in which we watch our images (soul). The yogic mirror shows everything we have- confidence, peace, strength, intelligence, etc., and if you lack anything, the spiritual science bestows enormously. Furthermore, Yoga advocates comparison with nobody but yourself. Every Yoga session that you attend is a one-to-one encounter between you and the soul on the issue of how to face life’s inevitable challenges.
Yoga trains you to find meaning
There are valid reasons why ancient yogis were regarded as philosophers. They have a unique ability to search for meaning in everything that comes their way. The beauty of Yoga is that it has found meaning in breathing, chanting mantras, waking up, placing the body in a particular position, and so much more. These simple meanings make one better as a person.
Yoga believes that life is a bag of challenges and mishaps. It depends on the person who is facing these as to how he/she manages to deal with and stands tall. After trying a number of suggestions and tips, people started believing there is no better way to conquer adversity than the principles of Yoga. Whether you are a fan of the physical form of Yoga or a philosophical one, commence the journey of yoga with yoga teacher training india and no hurdle will be too high to conquer.
Author Bio- Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveler in India. He provides yoga teacher training in nepal and India . He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. His strong connection with Yoga and the Himalayas has made him organize yoga, meditation and Ayurveda tours, and retreats in the Himalayas.
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is simply not a good choice, but too much of a good thing is also not so good.
Throwing yourself into too much exercise, in whatever form, can take its toll on your body, as much as no exercise at all, albeit differently.
I am certainly 'all in' for keeping the body (and mind) as healthy as possible, but ultimately, it's all about balance.
Many students over the years have come to the studio because they have been advised to stop running. A conversation ensues... 'How can something so healthy be bad for you?'. Too much of a good thing! Constant flexion of the joints is not a good thing.
Many students have come to the studio to find flexibility only to find that their overworked muscles prevent mobility. Too much of a good thing. Constant flexion of the muscles is not a good thing.
Many students have come to the studio with hyper-mobility problems. Too much of a good thing. Constant stretching of the muscles is not a good thing.
Constant body building, swimming, rock-climbing - you name it - and yes, even repetition of same style yoga classes, is not a good thing.
We need to find the middle ground. We need to understand that our bodies strive balance; the harmony of lean and flexible muscles, support and stability, space and freedom. Our bodies have to tell us to stop the consistent pounding, flexing, stretching etc. through injury and illness. Which is exactly the same with inactivity.
So where is the middle ground? For this I will use the example of Yoga.
If you take a weekly flow class, you should take a weekly relaxation and/or meditation class. If you take a weekly relaxation and/or meditation class, you should take a weekly movement class. If you don't take a weekly class, well you know you should. And yes, you have the time. Balance, balance, balance. Take time to exercise, and take time to relax. We have to understand, right now, not tomorrow, that we need to bring balance into our lives, because we don't want to spend time nursing injuries or illness, and because, perhaps, we only have the one life to make as happy and healthy as possible.
'I’ve looked at nearly all the studios in Alexandria that offer Yoga Teacher training. Having taken several classes at 532 Yoga already, I’m convinced that you will find no better yoga studio to take your 200hr Yoga Alliance Certification than 532 Yoga. I’ll be taking their Yoga Teacher Training myself this November, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity and privilege to learn from such masterful teachers like Suzanne and Ginny.'
Paul Roberts, Personal Trainer, Alexandria VA
Whether you have just started with yoga or have been practicing for some time, if you love the way it makes you feel there is a natural progression towards wanting to practice more and learn more. My own experience (see ‘parachuting yoga’ blog below if interested) had me falling in love with one pose at my first ever yoga class and seeking out a training program the very next day.
The amount of YTT Programs has grown exponentially and it is wonderful that there are so many programs out there, but if you are ready to step forward on this journey, how do you choose the ‘right’ one?
Factors such as location, timing, and cost of course need to be considered. Intuition will certainly play a part in helping you make your decision, but don’t forget to ask questions! Ask lots of questions! Attend classes at different studios with different teachers so you can get a feel for where you might like to spend your time and with whom. In the average (short) 6 months of training, what is your primary goal and what is it that you want to learn? What about the School itself? How long has it been around and what is the experience of the teachers that are going to teach you?
Different schools will have a different emphasis on their training. What will that be and does it gel with what ‘you’ want? Yoga is much more than asana, and a good program should certainly introduce you to certain fundamental and foundational concepts, but it’s impossible to cover everything in 6 months of training, so what do you want to focus on, and does that school meet your requirements? This will be a commitment of your time and perhaps also the time of your family members, so does the program fit into your life?
If you have concerns as to whether you should, let me alleviate your doubt… Your practice ‘is’ good enough, you do not need to be able to stand on your head, you are not too old nor do you need to lose weight. If you have a passion to pursue this journey, then you are ready.
Most schools will hold information sessions before the start of a YTT. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered and get a feeling (or otherwise) of whether ‘this’ is the program for you. If you can’t make a session then arrange to speak with someone who can give you the information you are looking for.
The 532Yoga teacher training program is now in its 18th year, and has a 5-Star rating with Yoga Alliance. We are committed to guiding you through a training that will open doors of opportunity for personal transformation and growth. This is a program that will transform your practice, and it will give you the professional knowledge, confidence and skill, to become an exceptional yoga instructor. This is an incredible journey which combines coursework and a teacher training curriculum led by a deeply experienced faculty of expert instructors! You’ll be supported by teachers with decades of experience in teaching, leading, helping, and healing. Our programs are designed to be very user-friendly; fitting easily into your work and family life. We offer you practical teaching skills; hands on teaching right from the start, which will build your confidence and ability to conduct a well-informed and well-sequenced class using Sanskrit and English. You will have the knowledge of alignment for key poses which will enable you to understand how to address the ‘building blocks’ of each pose without causing undue stress to the joints, and you will be able to assist those that need your help in order to work their own body optimally in a pose.
200-hour Professional Yoga Teacher Training since 2000. Next Program: 23 Sept. 2018
Introducing 100-hour Personal Practice and Development Program in September 2018
Introducing 300-hour Advanced Level Teacher Training in November 2018
our breath is our life force or Prana. Without it, we wouldn’t be alive. So it is essential to our lives but it’s also something you can use to make your life better. There are a variety of different breaths which were created along with the inception of yoga so many centuries ago. Some techniques will help you reduce anxiety, some will help you stretch your muscles out further. There are ways you can breathe that aid in helping you run faster and further. You can even utilize it to help you pump heavier weights. The benefits of your breath may surprise you.
Breathing Can Improve Your Workout
If you use yoga to support your workout, you will probably notice some major benefits. For one, you have greater strength through better posture. What you will probably notice too is that you don’t get exhausted so quickly. You can run further and faster, cross train like a rock star, and lift weights more fluently and with less effort. When doing yoga, you learn that the body follows the rhythm of the breath. You can take this into your workout, using the breath effectively so you don’t run out of steam.
When you learn to breathe properly, you improve your fitness regime because you optimize the oxygen in your body. You will have more energy after your workout and breathing helps you to metabolize fat. When you learn to use your focus of breath, you will find that your workouts become much more enhanced and enjoyable.
Yogic Breathing and Stress
Thoughts or feelings can conjure up stressful moments for you. When this happens, the sympathetic nervous system is triggered to use your body’s fight/flight response. This gives you a burst of energy of course. Breathing is shallowed and adrenaline is searing through your body. When you don’t run or need to protect yourself, this causes cortisol levels to stay in the body. This is where stress becomes damaging. Blood pressure rises as well as the pulse rate. Some people live in this kind of state of panic a lot and don’t breathe optimally for their health on top of it all.
When you breathe deeply, you can reverse all the symptoms that occur at the moment of major stress. Just by taking a deep breath into the belly, maybe even holding it there briefly and slowly releasing the breath, you combat an anxious feeling. You activate the parasympathetic nervous system, reversing all the stress that could have wreaked havoc on your body. The heart rate will slow down to a normal rate which will reduce blood pressure. You’ll notice the calm right away if you practice this through an anxious moment.
Reducing Strain on the Muscles of Your Neck and Upper Chest
When you breathe deeply into the belly, you engage your stomach muscles and diaphragm. Otherwise, it’s your upper chest and neck muscles that become engaged. When you condition yourself to breathe deeply, you improve how efficiently oxygen is exchanged. More air exchange occurs in the lower lungs. You essentially get more oxygen being fed into your tissues and cells.
Here are some breaths that are useful for the above:
Ujjayi Breath (Ocean’s Breath)
As a cooling breath, it helps if you feel angry, stressed out or frustrated. It soothes your state of mind and quickly relaxes you.
This is a great breath before your workout. It will give you a noticeable surge of energy and your mind will be clearer.
Take a few full breaths into your belly to start.
Author’s Bio: Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali)
Website: https://www.siddhiyoga.com/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/siddhiyogaacademy
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According to a study published in 2013 by the Mayo Clinic, back pain is the third most common cause of doctor visits in the United States. And according to American Family Physician, only 25 to 30% of people seek treatment for their back pain. So if you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone.
Many back pain sufferers struggle with what’s causing their back pain, not realizing the 8 or more hours they spend sitting could be the main culprit.
The most common cause of lower back pain is postural stress. For this reason, lower back pain is frequently brought on by sitting too long, prolonged bending, heavy lifting, or even standing or laying down, all for a long time in a poor, rounded back position. According to Cornell University Department of Ergonomics, up to 90% more pressure is put on your back when you sit vs. when you stand. There are several reasons why, the first being that if you’re like most Americans, you habitually sit in ways that cause tension and imbalance in your back and neck. This applies to sitting at work, in the car, and at home.
Common Posture Mistakes That Lead to Back Problems
1. You’re looking down at your screen, phone, or desk, and your head tips forward. As your head weighs on average 10 lbs, any slight angle forward puts a strain on the muscles of your neck and upper back. The further forward that you lean your head forward, as well as how long you keep that straining posture, determines how much extra work your neck and upper back need to do.
2. Your shoulders are rolled forward. Some of the most common causes are a lack of lumbar support from a chair that’s too soft or one that doesn’t encourage good posture, a muscular imbalance where your pectoral muscles (chest) are stronger than your back muscles (common in men who like to work out their beach muscles more than their back), or habit. If you’re wondering if you’re guilty of this, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and let your arms hang down at your sides. If your thumb points forward, you’re probably balanced. If your palms are pointing behind you, you probably have an imbalance.
3. You’re leaning forward from your lower back. This posture puts even more pressure on the vertebrae of your lower spine (lumbar area), as it compresses your disks.
4. Your elbows are too far away from your body. The rule in lifting anything is that the more the object weighs, and the further your elbows are away from your torso, the more strain you put on your shoulders and upper back. Reaching your arms forward to type or write might not seem like much, but doing it 8 hours or more per day will take it’s toll.
5. You hold your phone to your ear. Many people multitask and talk on the phone while their hands are doing other things. Doing this for a few seconds isn’t going to cause an imbalance in your body, but anything more that that will cause tension on one side of your neck and upper back.
6. You sit for too long. Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of the Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, explains“We weren’t designed to sit. The body is a perpetual motion machine.” When you’re sedentary, your muscles get less oxygen and nutrients from your blood.
The rule of thumb is to frequent changing of postural positions and take movement micro-breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting throughout the work day. A helpful strategy is to drink lots of water: it keep you hydrated, which is healthy, and it forces you to get up and move in order to use the bathroom!
Reproduced with permission from Start Standing. Read more here..
One thing that yoga teaches us is that 'change' is inevitable. Some amazing things have happened over the last few days and it reminds me....We should welcome change with open arms and an open heart. Whatever crosses our path, we should view it with equanimity. That does not mean Indifference, nor does it promote a fatalistic attitude, but it does, I believe, help us understand through experience 'santosha'. Santosha is the observance of contentment; one of the 'niyamas' which are part of the eightfold path of yoga. Contentment is the secret of life - enjoying the passing of time - enjoying the change that comes not only from year to year but from moment to moment.
Most of the time we want 'it' to be different right!? Most of the time, given the opportunity, we would rewind that sentence, that day, that week and 'do more' or 'do it better' or make that perfect comment or comeback. Oh for a 'groundhog day' sometimes (the thought of Bill Murray always makes me smile!).
But here's the beauty of santosha - that whatever it is and however it is, we 'can' choose to be content.
Happiness comes only from within.
How beautiful is that!
De-Stress, stimulate your Brain and slow down the Aging Process with Meditation - Suzanne Leitner-Wise
Stress is the modern day silent killer! A regular meditation reverses the fight-or-flight (stress) reaction, helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduces the heart rate and the oxygen requirement of the body by 10-20% in the first 3 minutes!! (this is the effect produced by medication to lower high blood pressure without the side effects!!). Stress affects each of our body systems (Nervous, Digestive, Reproductive, etc.) and the connection between the mind and body, via the field of science known as Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). The body eventually suffers serious illness after relentless exposure to stress.