Purification of body is the primary step of yoga with reference to Gheranda Samhita, one of the prominent Hatha Yoga texts. Thus, before beginning the practice of asana or pranayama, one must cleanse one’s body through the Shuddhi Kriya processes of Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka, Nauli and Kapalabhatti. Once the aspirant completes the practice of purifying the body, then he/she is eligible for further practices of asana and pranayama.
Sage Patanjali believed that every individual must first follow the practice of Yama and Niyama – the code of conduct for oneself and the society, followed by the practice of Asana and thenceforth Pranayama. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras define this practice of Ashtanga Yoga which is considered to be the ideal one, thus termed as Raja Yoga. Ultimately, Hatha Yoga too believes that the aim and purpose of Yoga is to bring about oneness with the Lord – Samadhi. Hatha Yoga follows the principles of physical practice initially so that the Sadhak can gradually prepare himself/herself to reach Raja Yoga.
The practice of Pranayama can be done regularly. The aim of Pranayama is to control one’s breath with awareness so that the mind is free from distractions. It is difficult to control one’s mind; hence Pranayama enables one to control the breath first, thereafter helping to control all irrelevant thoughts going on and creating nuisance in the daily routine.
Pranayama can be introduced to children once they enter the age of 12 years old. Before that, some breathing techniques can be taught.
Patients with heart ailments or asthma must do pranayama as per their capacity. They are recommended to do Pranayama without retention of breath.
to do Pranayama:
Do a preliminary conditioning in Sukhasana (crossed legs) or any meditative posture comfortable to the practitioner.
Do not strain or constrict unduly any part of the body.
Keep the spine erect and breathe normally.
Pranayama is followed after having performed some asanas.
Pranayama should be done under the guidance of a Yoga Instructor or Yoga Teacher who can introduce the process of “inhalation” as “Puraka” and “exhalation” as “Rechaka” and “retention” of breath as “Kumbhaka”.
of the practices of Pranayama are:
mentioned in the traditional Hatha Yoga practices, following is the list of the
practices of Pranayama that can be done every day:
Getting your kids introduced to yoga is always a good idea as they can learn the techniques that allow them to have better control of their mind and body from the very beginning. Children who do yoga from an early stage in their lives learn the value of loving and respecting their bodies. This also helps them to love and respect other people around them and become noble citizens as they grow up. However, explaining the value of yoga to kids may require you to take a different approach than what you would normally do when you are looking to instruct adults about the same. Hence it is important that you learn about the various ways in which you can make yoga interesting for the kids.
Is yoga good for kids?
Nowadays, kids, are also equally stressed as much as elders. The very competitive environment where they are constantly under pressure to perform well, it is very necessary they must be encouraged to start yoga as early as possible. The proven benefits of yoga give them the strength and vigor to deal with all the stress. Not only it helps in stress management but it also has many other benefits like overcoming anger issues, improving concentration and a positive approach towards learning new things. Yoga is a life-changing journey. So, what else will be the perfect timing to start it other than in the childhood itself?
How to encourage the kids to do yoga?
It’s not an easy
task to generate an adoration for yoga in your kids. Yoga requires discipline
and needs some rules to be followed during its practice. But kids already are
burdened with to-do and not-to-do rulebook. That’s why it becomes more
challenging to instill your kid with the yoga discipline. Kids Yoga needs to be
taught with a playful approach, in a flexible manner without compromising on
its very basic approach.
We ought to never force yoga on our children. Luckily, there are numerous enjoyable approaches to acquaint them with the training without compelling it. Here are some of the things that you need to remember when you are looking to teach yoga to kids.
Keep your yoga class flexible
When you are looking to work with kids, it is vitally important that you keep your classes flexible. Unlike adults, kids are not known to be really focused when they join the yoga class. So if you start working with a well thought out yoga plan, it might not work for the kids. Therefore you should have a flexible approach to your class and still have a basic notion of what you are looking to achieve. You should have a spontaneous approach and direct the yoga class by reading the moods of the kids. This is going to get the kids really interested in yoga. Planning the whole class the night before will not help you to appeal to the kids.
Show them how to do it
Kids have the tendency to copy their elders whatever they might do. Simply practice yoga before your children. They understand it better and are motivated to do it enthusiastically if you demonstrate it yourself. Take advantage of this fact to inculcate yoga in them. Make it a fun activity by doing it together with your kids.
You can start it with a more fun and playful approach, by inviting them to crawl underneath you or jump through you while you twisting and stretching your body with different yoga poses and asanas.
Encourage them with love and stimulation
A good way to boost the focus of all the kids during the class is to get them to do something that they can really enjoy. For instance, you may want to provide them with some art and craft materials or even do a dance with them that can really boost their spirits. This will help you to get the right kind of response from them. Once you have their full attention, you can guide them into performing different types of yoga poses.
Make sure they are having fun
Kids may not immediately get the idea as to why they should stick to a specific posture and alignment while they are performing a pose. However, this should not be a source of botheration for you. Just make sure that they are safe while doing yoga and they are having fun at all times. At this stage, you need to get them interested in the activity instead of emphasizing on complete accuracy. As they grow up, they can definitely learn more about the alignment and start performing the asanas the correct way.
Be open and receptive to kids
Kids usually have a unique intuition about the world and they often tend to be very honest and wise. Therefore you should always encourage them with positive words and create an environment of happiness in the yoga class so that they are encouraged to do their best while mastering yoga poses.
Use of yoga products and toys
It is a very unique way to encourage kids for yoga. There are many market products that can generate interest in your kids in yoga. Toys designed like a doll performing yoga introduces them to the world of yoga and different asanas. Yoga mats also generate curiosity for them. Another fun activity could be by showing them various postures in yoga asanas that resembles their favorite animals. Doing yoga with various props like ball and ropes keeps their interest intact.
Yoga is admired all over the world for its great benefits. As early as the kids are encouraged for yoga the sooner and easily they will adopt it and will be able to rip the benefits fully. The caution must be taken about which asanas are appropriate according to their age. It is very important that kids must perform yoga asanas under proper guidance and observation. Some advanced asanas demanding more strength to hold the pose must only be performed only after clearing the basic level and gaining the required core strength.
A robust metabolism can help you to have all the energy you need and make sure that you have proper nutrition at all times. This is something that you can achieve through the practice of various yoga poses to boost metabolism.
Digestion comprises of the procedure that provides the required nutrients and vitality to the body. This process is controlled by the endocrine system, particularly the thyroid gland. Yoga has an amazing invigorating impact on the endocrine organs and in this manner can support the metabolic system helping it to burn more calories. Stretching and compacting the endocrine glands and stomach organs during yoga exercises, improves the blood circulation, vitalizes the organs, improves metabolism rate and ultimately boosts the immune system. Here are 10 yoga poses that can boost your metabolism as well as improve the strength and flexibility of various parts of your body.
10 yoga poses to boost metabolism and help you to reduce and get in shape :
Ustrasana is the first yoga pose to boost metabolism in our list. Ustrasana involves deep backward bending of the body that is performed while kneeling. Also known as camel pose, its role is to open up the whole front part of the body through stretching of the hips and spine. It also stimulates and activates the thyroid gland which ultimately increases metabolism.
Other health benefits of Ustrasana
Decreases thigh fats
Opens up the hips
Stretches and reinforces the shoulders and back
Improves body posture
Opens the chest, improving lung health
Makes back and spine flexible
Invigorates endocrine organs
Discharges pressure in the ovaries
Stretches the lower legs, thighs, crotch, stomach area, chest, and throat
Tones organs of the stomach area, pelvis, and neck
Supplements in general wellbeing and prosperity
Sukhasana is the cross-legged pose that works as a type of easy-seated meditation. Its goal is to strengthen the spine and open up a person’s hip region. It is important that the practitioner firmly holds on to the pose instead of slumping so that the neck and head remain perfectly aligned so that the pose ensures optimum benefits. This yoga pose to boost metabolism is very simple and easy to do, and so it can be done by the person of any age without any complications.
Other health benefits of Sukhasana
It spreads a feeling of quiet and harmony through your brain and body.
It loosens up your mind.
All weariness, stress, and tension will be relieved.
Your chest and neckline bones are widened.
Your body arrangement is improved.
Practicing this asana lengthens your spine.
This asana gives your knees and lower legs a decent stretch.
Improves the digestive system, which makes this pose useful who are suffering from constipation and gastric problems
Halsana or the plough pose is an asana that you should take time to master perfectly. It involves stretching your legs as far as you can towards the back while you lie on the floor with your back. It stimulates the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. The asana releases endorphins within the body so that it is one of the proven yoga poses to boost metabolism rate.
benefits of Halasana
Activates warms up and lightens the psychophysiological system
Muscles ligaments of thighs and calves get relaxed and stretched
Increases flexibility and provides a feeling of relaxation during leg cramps
Useful who are suffering from constipation and gastric problems
Beneficial for diabetic people as it normalizes the blood-glucose level
Stimulates the reproductive organs
Helps women during menopause
4. Salamba Sarvangasana
Salamba Sarvangasana or shoulder stand is often regarded as the extension of plough pose. It facilitates deep stretching of the neck and back that stimulates blood circulation as well as gets rid of all imbalances. Improves the function of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. All of the other endocrine glands are regulated by these main glands and so the overall function of the endocrine system is improved. As this yoga pose boost metabolism rate it is effective in reducing the belly fat also.
Other health benefits of Salamba Sarvangasana
Good for hair health
Quiets the cerebrum and calms pressure.
Stimulates the thyroid and prostate organs and stomach organs.
Stretches the shoulders and neck.
Tones the legs and hips.
It improves nutrient absorption.
Diminishes the side effects of menopause.
Diminishes weakness and lightens sleep deprivation
It makes blood flow to the head and nervous system
5. Supta Virasana
Supta Virasana, also known as reclined hero pose helps to strengthen the extensor muscles present in the legs. It offers numerous therapeutic benefits such as resolving digestive issues and diarrhea, respiratory ailments, intestinal problems, and acidity. The name comes from the Sanskrit where Supt means the reclined and asana means the seating position.
Other health benefits of Supta Virasana
It gives your thighs, knees, lower legs, midriff, and hips a stretch
It relieves tired legs
It improves posture
It soothes menstrual uneasiness
It fortifies the curves of the feet
Anjaneyasana or standing crescent lunge helps to stretch and stimulate the hip flexors so that tension from the rear part of the hips can be released. The asana also boosts your heart rate so that metabolism is enhanced. Apart from a yoga pose to boost metabolism, it can also work as a stretching exercise for the legs.
benefits of Anjaneyasana
Stimulates the thyroid gland function
Improves heart function
Makes the body more flexible
Strengthens the abdominal muscles
Helps to decrease sciatica symptoms
Dhanurasana or bow pose can stimulate your reproductive organs and work as a fatigue buster and stress reliever. The asana can also tone your leg and arm muscles. It can also enhance abdominal and spinal flexibility as well as improve their strength and shape.
benefits of Dhanurasana
Powerful in weight reduction
Assists with restoring dyspepsia (stoutness), stiffness and gastrointestinal issues
Improves blood circulation
Offers adaptability to the back
Garudasana or the eagle pose can stimulate your shoulders, hips, thighs, ankles, and calves so that you have lean and strong muscles. It can also improve digestion and enhance your physical energy.
benefits of Garudasana
Strengthens the lower legs and calves.
Stretches the thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back
Improves posture and balance
Relaxes whole body muscles
Relieves the pain from joints
Improves body balance
Pawanmuktasana or wind-relieving pose is a powerful asana that can heal gastrointestinal problems. By stimulating the movement of the bowels, it can get rid of waste materials from the body. This yoga pose boosts metabolism along with relieving constipation, indigestion, acidity, and removing belly fat.
Other health benefits
Strengthens abdominal muscles
Strengthens the spinal cord
Eases the tension in the lower back
Burns the fat in thighs, abdomen, and waist
Reduces infertility by stimulating ovaries
Salabhasana is a type of backbend asana which can open up the chest and strengthen the muscles present in your lower back and the legs. It can enhance your physical energy, elongate your spinal column and improve metabolism.
Other health benefits of Salabhasana
Vitalizes all body organs and
Enhances blood circulation
throughout the body
Decreases stress and tension
Strengthens the back muscles.
All these yoga poses have been recommended from ancient ages for their proven results and benefits to boost the metabolism rate. Yoga poses to boost metabolism may be an unknown topic to many but there is no doubt about its effectiveness. All these poses and various yogic activities are done under the proper guidance of a good expertise yoga instructor or guru can prove highly beneficial to even the chronic problem of metabolism.
Check out Dr. Shweta Varpe explaining the all these asanas-
Yoga happens to be an age-old practice to bring the mind and body together. Indeed, this ancient science from India has been gaining popularity throughout the world with even a day being dedicated to it recently. Top medical professionals around the world have endorsed the practice causing people to flock to yoga retreats in the hope of attaining physical wellbeing and ensuring their peace of mind.
However, simply mastering an asana or two will not be advantageous. You must do it the proper way by training with an expert in order to get rid of the ailments that continue to plague. People, today can definitely hope to cure a number of conditions and lifestyle-related diseases by practicing yoga regularly.
Science has revealed that yoga can become an excellent medicine for the modern civilization where the mind and body is united perfectly to become an entire human being just like the way God intended us to be. Here are a few conditions that you can get rid of by continuing to practice yoga…
1. De-stress- Yoga is an excellent stress buster with the studies revealing that it can lower the cortisol levels of the body.
2. Anxiety- Yoga is also known to relieve anxiety hugely thus keeping the individuals calm and composed without having to fall prey to elevated blood pressure.
3. Inflammation- Yoga is also believed to have a controlling effect over chronic inflammation associated with several life-threatening diseases.
4. Heart Health- Statistics have shown that people who practice yoga regularly can significantly lower the risk of heart diseases when they combine it with a healthy lifestyle by consuming a balanced diet
5. Pain management- There are millions of people who get to suffer from chronic pain for years without any respite. Exercising with the help of yoga can go a long way in alleviating the symptoms causing the quality of life to improve drastically as well.
You may have come across the term Hatha Yoga while attending a yoga studio in your vicinity. Unfortunately, it is believed to be a form of yoga with people being strangely reluctant to explain its meaningfully. No reason to be despondent though. It will help you to know just a little about this a wonderful term that can be described as modern yoga or the physical form of yoga practiced via a variety of postures or asanas. Moreover, hatha yoga generally deals with breathing techniques with the students often being asked to hold their breath or inhale plus exhale in a certain manner while trying a few challenging poses.
The fish deity of Matsyendranath is credited to have been the founder of Hath Yoga. He was taught the art by Shiva, the Hindu God who blessed the fish by transforming it into an enlightened being.
The term is a combination of the Sanskrit words of sun and moon. The sun depicts masculine energy while the moon is all about the feminine forces. In other words, a unique balancing of forces takes place via hatha yoga with the concerned person being able to harness the power of both.
You might have been excited to enroll in power yoga program but rest assured it is just another name for hatha yoga. Remember that any yoga exercises that come with breath control included are in reality hatha yoga.
You have to be sure of your goals once you decide to opt for hatha yoga classes. Remember that you cannot concentrate on building muscles or perfecting your balance with the aid of yoga. Instead, you get to de-stress, improve the flexibility of your body and build core strength along with learning to relax your mind and rejuvenate your body.
You can go on and on about hatha yoga and knowledge about is just inexhaustible. However, you would be amazed to know that you can help to increase your brainpower by indulging in hatha yoga for just about 20 minutes every day.
Meditation is an activity that people swear on today. Yet, the practice had been in vogue from ancient times and resulted in helping a lot of people during different eras.
However, it is only recently that Western civilization has begun to sit up and take notice of the age-old system of yoga. It might be justified to say that meditation is a part of yoga while the reverse is definitely not true.
So, the basic fact remains that the two terms cannot be used interchangeably ever.
In short, yoga can be rightly summed up as a physical activity of sorts that pushes the body to certain limits in order to attain a certain ability of the body. It can be quite grueling with many different postures to master as well as acquiring balance and exercising various parts of the body.
However, attuning unity of mind and body comes via the able use of breathing and relaxation techniques along with rigorous exercising.
Meditation, on the other hand, is extremely easy and all you will need is a comfortable place to sit. However, you do have to focus on your objective and direct the mind while breathing properly but not in a hurried manner. You would also have to keep your mind calm and in control. This is easily said than done, however, as it is extremely difficult to keep the mind blank no matter how much your trainer might coax you. Thankfully, you will succeed one day and reap the benefits of meditation in the process.
Now comes the crux of the matter. Yoga or meditation –which one is best for you? Well, the answer depends on your goals, of course. Opt for a yoga studio if you want to challenge your body physically in order to remain fit. Choose meditation when you seek to calm your mind and accept the realities of life. The benefits are different as is the process but both are equally helpful. So, go ahead and select wisely!
Yoga is a term that you come across often enough. However, you certainly have to know what it is all about instead of trying to mimic the experts. It suffices to know that the practice is not limited to exercising the body either. On the contrary, it can also help you to relax and improve the functioning of the body effectively so that the entire life together with the physical and the spiritual abilities get vastly enhanced over a period. You might also find that yoga incorporates 5 different principles namely.
Basic 1- Exercise
Physical supremacy is achieved by exercising the parts of the body. There are a number of yogic postures known as asanas that address various parts of the body, enabling you to perfect the functioning of muscles, joints, and ligaments along with the organs thus benefiting the body as a whole. Exercise promotes chemicals in the brain that improve your mood and make you more relaxed. Physical activity reduces anxiety and you feel excited and it enhances your self-esteem.
Basic 2 – Diet
You live because you eat. Food is definitely the fuel that drives us. You do not have to give up on eating when you do yoga though. However, you certainly have to practice restriction by limiting the intake of food as gluttony will not help you in any way. The yoga experts, therefore, recommend only eating fresh, local food that has not been tainted in any manner. The energy obtained from food is then used for repairing the body tissues and rejuvenating the spirit. In other words, you get to feel good about yourself. What could be better?
Basic 3 – Breathing
Yoga emphasizes on proper breathing techniques and recommends long inhalation of fresh air. This will enable you to have oxygen circulating throughout the body and rejuvenating the tissues.
Basic 4 – Relaxation
Stress has been recognized as a silent killer that can attack you unawares. Yoga recommends relaxation techniques that can cause you to de-stress effectively thereby getting rid of the lifestyle problems that are known to plague mankind today.
Basic 5 – Meditation
Channeling your inner self and being in control is definitely the way to better your life. Yoga also incorporates meditation wherein you begin to think positively thus improving your spiritual wellbeing.
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