Welcome To Yoga
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Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
“The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.
While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (sometimes called asana or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
Physical Benefits of Yoga Include:
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy, and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury.
- Stabilize your spine
- Improve your posture
- Reduce or avoid back pain.
Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. “Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate,” says Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.”
Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention, and sharpens concentration,” says Dr. Nevins. Body- and self-awareness are particularly beneficial, she adds, “because they can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for early preventive action.”
“The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome,” explains Dr. Nevins. “Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia.
There are so many aspects of yoga, I would love to share with you. The nature of this practice incorporates so many aspects of life, that it would be impossible for me to cover them all. The benefits are endless.
On a personal note:
I suffer from severe back pain, depression, and anxiety, and until I started taking baby steps in getting involved in Yoga, I was not living. The meditation, to reduce my anxiety and depression, and the yoga exercises to improve my flexibility improve my back pain have compelled me to share the benefits of this wonderful practice. The side effects of the medications I was taking, to say the least, were extremely nasty. I do encourage you to give it a chance, even if you do not have any ailments. Yoga is also preventative medicine
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Step your right foot forward next to your right hand, coming into a low lunge. You may want to drop your back knee down to the floor at first for a nice stretch in both hips. Keep the back leg straight if you want to begin to work into your hamstrings, which run along the backside of your thighs. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Move directly into the straight-leg lunge
Continue warming up the back with 5 to 10 cat-cow stretches. If the movement feels familiar, it’s because the pelvis is moving in essentially the same way as in the pelvic tilt. The cat-to-cow stretch extends that movement along the entire spine, helping to awaken and invigorate your whole body.
Be sure to pay attention to your breath as you move between these poses. Inhale when you arch the back and exhale when you round the spine. Initiate each movement from your tailbone and let it ripple up the spine, moving your head last of all. Continue the movements for 5 rounds.
Unfortunately, that is all I can show you for now. If are just getting into yoga it is a good start.
Stabilization abdominal exercises are something that not many people know about, however, they are very important, since they target the core to work more muscles, which as a result burn more calories.
First, lay on your left side. Then direct your elbow below your shoulder. Your forearm should be placed perpendicular to your body.
Place your feet one in front of the other.
Contract your abs and lift your hips off the floor until your body makes a diagonal line from your shoulder to your feet.
Try to hold this position for at least 30 to 45 seconds.
Now simply repeat by switching the sides.
Get into a seated position with your knees bent. Knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle (feet flat)
Reach your both arms forward while palms facing each other.
Exhale one time while pulling your belly button toward your spine.
Get into the position on your tailbone into an A, or C shape.
When you are done, you can inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat this ab exercise, 15-20 reps.
Plank Crawl Out:
Start with a ‘standing tall with your feet’ position. Make sure your core is engaged.
Try to touch the floor while your hips are bent. When floors are reached, walk your hands out until you reach a push-up position.
Go back to the starting position while pinching your hands backward and piking your hip up to the ceiling.
When your feet are flat on the floor, bend at the hips again and lift yourself back up to the standing position.
Sit upright, bend your knees, and put your feet flat on the floor.
Lift your legs while leaning back.
Form a V shape by extending your arms out straight, palms up.
Hold this position for 30-40 seconds. Then repeat.
Please before you do any exercises make sure you feel physically comfortable. These are mild exercises incorporating yoga to get you feeling fit. Yoga has been around for centuries. It covers the mind and body and it uses all your muscles. I will be covering other yoga exercises covering muscle groups. Stay tuned and feel good about yourself.
Always consult your doctor first!
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