Vinyasa Yoga

There are a variety of different types of yoga. Hatha is the most popular in the West and emphasizes the poses or asanas of yoga as a physical fitness routine over a more spiritualized traditional yoga. Vinyasa yoga is a derivative of hatha yoga. It is different in that it emphasizes moving with the breath as you move from one pose to the next.

Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa moves at a quicker, even pace, breathing in on upward movement and breathing out on downward movements. This creates an aerobic effect that can strengthen your heart and lungs and get the blood pumping. It can help increase muscle strength, flexibility and endurance. Stress levels can also be reduced as you focus on the inhalation and exhalation which triggers a relaxation response. As with other aerobic exercise, you will get the added benefit of a release of endorphins in your brain which will give you a positive feeling.

In a class setting, you will be moving with other students and you will also be breathing in unison with other students. In this communal activity, you can find that place where moving meditation begins. As with all meditation, you will benefit from the positive things that are happening in your brain when you are in this state. As you move with your class, there is a rhythm or flow that allows you to just move and not have to think and figure things out, disengaging the critical left brain for a while and allowing the right brain to play and experience.

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These flowing yoga routines will combine several poses together, flowing from one into the next, breathing fully and consciously as you move from one pose to the another After a few movements, you return to the first pose to go through the set again, repeating the movements, challenging you to build endurance, and cardiovascular strength.

Cautions for Vinyasa Practice

Because of the continuous movement involved with Vinyasa yoga, there is less emphasis on proper form in the postures. As you move without pausing, it is difficult for the instructor or yourself for that matter, to be perfectly aware of your form. This can lead to injury if you hyperextend or go too deeply into a stretch or simply do a pose with bad form. Be sure to be aware of the placement of your hands and feet and joints. If you need to, slow down or pause. This may seem difficult in a class setting, but an understanding instructor will not push students beyond what their bodies will allow. Yoga is not a sport so even though you may that aerobic benefit, proceed with caution so that you can continue to enjoy your Vinyasa practice.

You may find it helpful to study the poses or take a separate class that emphasize the proper way to make the poses. Also, if taking a vinyasa yoga class, look for an instructor who will suite you and your needs. Consider what you want in a class. Do you want it to move quickly or fast? Do you want the instructor to give thorough instructions? Are you new to this or have more experience? All these things will help you chose the class that is best for you.

Healthy Habits for Living a Yoga Lifestyle

A yoga lifestyle is much more involved than people may realize. It is more than just attending an exercise class or reading a yoga book. To achieve the ideal yoga lifestyle, one must combine various aspects of yoga. One of the key areas that you should consider improving is your health habits.

Achieving a healthy life as a yogi has to be practiced like a habit. They say it takes 21 days to learn a new habit. In the same way, it takes the consistency of practicing healthy habits to achieve a yoga lifestyle. What are the healthy habits that you should pursue?

Practice Daily Meditation

Yoga without meditation is empty. Meditation is the basis upon which all yoga is built. When practiced properly, meditation has numerous benefits including connection of the mind and body, relaxation of the brain, improving concentration, and improving breathing. It is for this reason that almost all forms of yoga integrate meditation sessions in their routines.

Stay Active

Other than the exercises that you engage in during a yoga class, staying generally active during the day is very beneficial. Movement helps the body stay young and nourished by rejuvenating body tissue. A combination of activities, like jogging with normal yoga poses, can offer countless benefits to the human body. Therefore, ensure that you stay active.

Eat Well

While this may sound obvious, the benefits of doing this cannot be overstated. Eating well entails eating the right types of food and avoiding those with negative effects. Ensure that you eat foods that carry life force. These include nuts, fruits, whole grains, and plants. Avoid any food that will intoxicate your body or affect your health. Examples of these include processed or fried foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and alcohol.

Seek to Gain Knowledge

Yes, gaining knowledge is healthy. Whatever you soak into your mind in the form of knowledge will eventually transform you. To feed the proper passion in you, ensure that you watch beneficial programs, read enriching spiritual texts, and listen to inspirational music. Eventually, you will become a better person in life.

Practice Oil Pulling

This is a practice that most yogis engage in to live a toxin free life. It entails taking 2 to 3 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth and swishing it for about 15 minutes. Other than removing toxins in the mouth, it helps in smoothing the mouth and staying refreshed.

Develop Healthy Optimism

There are many people suffering heart attacks in our day due to all manner of negative factors. However, developing a healthy and positive outlook in life can keep your heart healthier for longer. One’s perception in life largely defines the health of the body. Staying happy on purpose may seem simplistic, but it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Keep Good Company

A good exercise session may easily become wasted if the company you keep is toxic. Surround yourself with people whose goals are in line with yours. These are people who will encourage you to become a better person in life.

Overall, seek to live a positive life, even in the face of adversity. This way, your yoga will transform your whole lifestyle.

Build Upper Body Strength And Flexibility With 8 Angle Pose

 

Astavrakasana or Eight-Angle Pose is a twisting pose while balancing on your arms in chaturanga as a foundation. Sounds frustrating already, right? But don’t be discouraged!

The pose was known as a devotion to Astavakra whose father was infuriated while he was still in his mother’s womb. Astavakra was cursed by his father to be born contorted in eight angles. Though Eight-Angle Pose seems impossible to be reached, keep in mind a golden thought from Astavakra:

“If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one is bound.”

The sky’s the limit. All boundaries are set in the mind. And when breached properly, will be shuttered for good. Let go of the false beliefs you have and allow the practice to open the sacred space of freedom.

Make sure that your body is warmed up. Eight-Angle Pose strengthens the shoulders, abdominal muscles, wrists and improves balance. Be careful when practicing if you have any injuries in shoulders and wrists. This posture requires deep hip opening and a decent range of motion within the hip joint. One issue that can make this posture hard to approach is if one has tight hips. A good prerequisite would be mastering chaturanga with proper form to make balancing on your arms more easy and stable. It is a must to awaken your core. Gently open your hips and make sure your wrists are properly warmed up to safely get into the posture.

Compass Pose. This pose will externally rotate your leg while opening your inner thigh. This is a good preparatory pose to directly warm the joints and stretch the muscles that you will need.

How: Start on a seated position. Bend your right knee. Take your left leg up behind your left arm like you’re wearing a backpack. Adjust your left arm to help you stabilize as your right arm reaches out for your left leg. Slowly stretch the left leg using your right arm. Listen to your body and don’t force anything that hurts. If this pose seems hard, go for Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend. Open your legs straight while seated and gently reaching for the ground while keeping your back upright. Hold the pose for a couple of breaths.

Crooked way to self-awareness.

This posture teaches patience and instills composure. Builds the strength of the shoulders, wrists, the upper body and core. Slowly and safely progress. Do not bring your ego onto the mat. It’ll cause injuries and will make your journey a lot harder.

How to properly approach the posture? Start in a seated position. Bend your right knee and tuck it to your chest and your left leg behind your left arm. Let it rest on your left triceps; do not tense the muscles on your leg. Interlock your feet, left feet on top of right. Lift yourself up as you take deep inhalation and exhale as you bring your weight forward positioning your upper body in chaturanga while your feet are locked. Take deep breaths while holding the pose and release.

The journey of Yoga is a physical practice with a spiritual intention. Though Eight-Angle Pose may seem a little intimidating, it will take patience and effort just like all other things in life. Set a good intention and an open mind and allow the practice to mold strengthen your body and mind.