Prenatal yoga is an exercise that is designed to promote breathing exercises, posture and emotional relaxation. This approach is often sought by pregnant women who are preparing for a natural childbirth or who wish to stay physically and emotionally healthy during their pregnancy. One of the many benefits of prenatal yoga is the lack of physical exertion that is required, which makes it a safe practice for many moms-to-be.
During the pain that is associated with a natural childbirth, prenatal yoga will promote proper breathing that will help to make the process an easier one. In addition, relaxation is essential during the childbirth process and although it can be difficult, prenatal yoga can help to teach women how to relax themselves as much as possible.
For some, prenatal yoga may be sought as part of a spiritual process that helps them to connect with their unborn child and/or prepare for the new arrival. In some cases, prenatal yoga may even be beneficial after the birth as it instills techniques that are associated with relaxation. As every new mom knows, there is a definite need for relaxation after having a child.
Furthermore, prenatal yoga may help women to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly than others. For most, this is a struggle that takes a lot of patience and determination. In general, yoga is an exercise that promotes not only physical fitness and proper breathing, but also spiritual and emotional connections.
If you are searching for a prenatal yoga class or instructor, the best place to start is through your physician. During your visit, ask your doctor if prenatal yoga would be safe for you and, if so, who you could contact for instruction. Some physicians may be aware of local classes or instruction being given and will often be able to refer patients to a class that is most convenient for them. Most women prefer to have the father of their child or a friend or family member attend prenatal yoga classes for support and guidance. Having someone familiar will also make the classes more enjoyable and relaxing for the mom-to-be. Before enrolling in prenatal yoga, it’s best to make sure that the instructor is licensed, certified or highly trained and experienced in teaching this type of relaxation method.
*The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding prenatal yoga should consult their physician for further information.
Warrior 1 is a common yoga pose that is practiced in many styles of yoga and is often followed by other Warrior variations, such as Warriors 2. It is also a great posture for preparing the body for back-bends and is also seen in the traditional Sun Salutation B sequence. This pose was named after the mythic warrior Vibabhadra, it is meant to promote a feeling of strength and power.
Warrior poses are very physically demanding quite symbolic of the warrior energy. Although they require some strength; they also require the chest and heart area remain open. Strength and softness. Warrior 1 is a great posture for stretching many areas of both the lower and upper body.
Beginners usually find it hard to ground the back heel and lengthen the lower back in this pose. A solution to this could be to lift the back heel on a height like sand bag.
Use a chair or fitness ball under the hips to take some of the weight off of the front leg. Or hold onto the back of the chair (turned sideways) or a wall for support.
Warrior I Pose precautions:
Avoid this pose if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart problems. Those with shoulder problems/injuries should keep their raised arms either parallel or a little wider than parallel to each other.
Those with neck problems should keep their head in a position that is neutral and not look up at the hands.
Heartburn or acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when acid flows back into your esophagus causing irritation and a burning pain in the chest. When many people see headstands or deep backbends that so often characterize yoga poses, they would think that these poses would cause more pain, not relieve it. But in fact, certain yoga poses can help to alleviate acid reflux.
Typical treatment for acid reflux may include the use of antacids, prescription medications and lifestyle and diet adjustments; but yoga can help these changes to further counteract indigestion and bring much needed relief. Yoga cannot cure your acid reflux, but when practiced in conjunction with medical attention it may help to alleviate some of your discomfort. Here are a few yoga poses that may help to alleviate acid reflux.
**As with any alternative therapy, always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen including a yoga practice to treat symptoms of acid reflux. Certain postures are not safe for individuals with digestive problems, back pain and other health conditions.
Your yoga practice and the way you breathe are intertwined. You won’t fully experience the benefits of yoga without first learning how to breathe properly.
Different types of yoga practice call for different types of breathing, so it is important to note from the beginning that there is no one right way to breathe in yoga. If, in your yoga practice, your goal is total relaxation then your breathing should reflect that. This means long deep breaths meant to slow your heart rate and allow you to fully relax into the yoga pose. Here are 6 tips for breathing properly in yoga:
* Your diaphragm is where the breath originates in yoga and in everyday life. When you breathe in, your stomach puffs slightly because your diaphragm is filling with air. When you breathe out, your stomach flattens as your diaphragm empties itself of air. When you breathe, be sure that your stomach is moving, that you aren’t restricting this movement in any way.
* It’s important to relax every muscle in your chest, your face, your neck, your shoulders – even your jaw – in order to benefit from a relaxing breath in yoga. One way to do this is to breathe in deeply then release the breath completely. You may not even realize that your muscles are locked until you try to contract them.
* Keep your breaths smooth and easy during your yoga practice. Everyone breathes at their own natural rate, but becoming conscious of your breath does not mean controlling it in any way. Notice your breath and relax into your own natural rhythm.
* Breathing faster, in and out, is a natural reaction to stress or excitement. It stands to reason then, that relaxing breath in yoga should accentuate the exhalation. Breathe in naturally and make sure that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation and fully empty your diaphragm and lungs of air.
* Pausing between breaths will allow you to relax even further in yoga. No need to rush through your relaxation.
* When you breathe, feel the oxygen in the lungs and visualize it reaching every extremity, every toe and finger. Let your whole body enjoy the relaxing breath in your yoga practice.
When you learn how to breathe, you will find that it comes naturally in your yoga practice and in time, will continue in your everyday life.
Yoga is an ancient science that aims to create a balance between the body, mind and spirit, thereby curing physical mental and spiritual disorders that are caused by this imbalance. In common language, yoga means union; it’s a union of the individual consciousness with the super-consciousness. To be exact, yoga aims at reminding the individual of this union that already exists and has merely been forgotten. To put it simply, yoga is experiencing and knowing what already exists, not inventing anything new.
At the physical level, yoga can create a balance and harmony among the various organs and systems of the body, allowing the healing powers inherent in the body to work and cure physical ailments. At the mental level, yoga is the harmony between mind, heart and hands or between thought, speech and action. At the spiritual level, yoga aims to destroy the individual ego that stands between the individual and the cosmos, thus attaining to the ultimate truth.
Yoga is a set of systematically devised physical exercises that lay emphasis on balance and posture. Combined with breathing exercises they have the capacity to cure almost any ailment of the body and mind. The underlying concept of yoga is to create the situation in which the human body can function at its optimum capacity.
Yoga Asanas or poses are simple and effective body movements that massage the muscles lubricate the joints and tone the whole body. Yoga poses help to keep the body healthy and the mind peaceful. Asanas exercise the nerves, glands, ligaments, and muscles. These exercises increase flexibility and balance in the body.
Yoga poses refer to the sequence of exercises which is extremely important to get the best results. They are scientifically graded to move from the simple to the complex, to cure the body first and then move on to mental and spiritual goals.
Though it is best to begin yoga practice under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher, you can now learn to do these exercises at home with the help of books, videos and online yoga classes. Once you have learned the basic exercises you can make it a part of your daily routine. It’s best to have a time and place for practicing yoga so that you can be regular and reap rich benefits from it. After some time you will see a change in yourself. Your body will become more flexible, stronger and healthy; you will have a positive attitude and your worldview on life will become beautiful. You will feel blessed!
Most of us who study Yoga have been taught that an abundance of Prana (vital air or vital energy), can be found at the ocean, lakes, large open fields, and in the mountains. Although the air is different, this same energy can be found where people assemble for a positive reason. For example: when people assemble to meditate or pray.
You can feel it in your home, at a church, mosque, temple, shrine, ashram, seminar, martial arts hall, etc. This is when people bond in a mass for the common good. The energy can be used to help humanity and our little planet for the best.
You can project this energy outward by acts of kindness every moment of your life. This is not to say, you allow yourself to be abused. You can be kind to everyone who comes into your life, without becoming a “doormat.”
You have influence over a limited number of people who you see in a day. Why not make every contact a harmonious and positive experience?
Some examples would be:
Stop making foul gestures, becoming angry, and swearing when another driver on the road has irritated you.
Don't take advantage of respect with anyone.
Treat everyone as special – no matter what their economic status.
What is the mystery behind attracting positive energy?
To be honest, there isn't one, but I will give you the formula.
First, you have to realize that you have infinite potential, and it comes from within. You also have unlimited potential from the outside, when you engage in prayer, and meditation, on a daily basis. Prayer and meditation will positively charge you, and you will contribute to the benefit of others as a result of it.
In turn, all of this helping of others will result in finding people around you who are more than willing to give you a helping hand.
The following ideas will cultivate positive energy around you.
Make it a point to wake up in the morning with excitement and say hello to everyone you come into contact with. This goes for the security guard, janitor, your coffee barista, garage attendant, cashier at the store, and anyone else you may overlook in the course of your day.
Stop criticizing your family members, co-workers, friends, and associates.
Be diplomatic first, before giving any advice.
Let your family know that you love them every day.
Be sincere and treat everyone as important.
Take time to give to people. This doesn't have to be expensive. You could give a smile, a compliment, a card, a letter, or flowers.
Become a trustworthy partner with family, friends, co-workers and associates.
Set goals - whether they are tangible or not. It is a healthy practice to have goals at any age. The final results will be that your positive energy will attract positively charged personalities and successful people will seek you out. If this is a major change for you, it will not happen overnight.
There is a Zulu saying: “Patience is an egg that hatches great birds.”
Why should you become an eternal optimist?
Every one of us has a choice. When you fall down, you must pick yourself up. You can't blame life's hurdles or obstacles – you have to find solutions to get over, around, under, or through them.
Focus on your past achievements and learn to be happy with yourself. Everyone has failed, at some point, but we must constructively learn from our past experience.
Your individual approach, to life's daily obstacles, is the gateway to success or failure. Therefore, success is a matter of choice.
Building Positive Energy
In relation to what most of us see as possible - success is unlimited. When primal man first discovered fire, could he imagine the concept of a forge? When modern man discovered the forge, could he imagine sky scrapers? To build positive energy for pursuit of common goals and success, you need a support group. Find and seek out like-minded people.
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) is a standing pose that stretches the obliques and strengthens the legs and the core. When you think of stretching and flexibility, most people picture sitting on the floor and reaching for your feet or contorting your body in different and challenging ways. Poses like Extended Side Angle are very effective in opening the hips and stretching the torso. Using your body weight against gravity is an excellent way to open tight muscles and release connective tissue. In the traditional Extended Side Angle pose you reach your hand all the way to the floor. This is an excellent stretch, however not possible for everyone due to an inflexible spine or tight hips. Resting your elbow on your knee (as pictured) eases up some on the stretch and allows you to rest as much or as little weight on your knee as you wish. Once you are able to complete this stretch with elbow on knee you can begin to reach your hand to the ground for a deeper stretch.
How to: Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Step your feet apart, about 3-4 feet. Lift your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor. Focus on reaching out through your fingers, palms down. Turn your left foot in slightly and turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Anchor the outside of your left foot into the mat and bend your right knee. Bring your left arm up toward the ceiling and turn your palm toward your head. Look to your left. Exhale and bend to your right, trying to put the right side of your torso on your right thigh. Place your right fingertips or hand on the floor or a block just outside of your right foot. If that stretch is too deep, place your right elbow on your right knee with the palm up. Hold the pose for 5 long breaths, then release and repeat on the other side.
Caution: Do not practice this pose if you are currently experiencing headaches, insomnia, or high or low blood pressure. If you have a neck injury or current neck pain, do not turn your head upward in the pose. Instead, keep your gaze straight ahead with both sides of your neck evenly extended. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
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