Yoga For Your Mind, Body and Soul

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Is stress tearing you down? Are your muscles tense or tight? Is your posture suffering? Then yoga may be the perfect way to realign your body and reset your mind. The word “yoga” comes from the word “yug” which means to unite. Yoga unites the body, mind, and soul in a powerful way that can help you to achieve an active lifestyle and a peaceful existence or general well being. And people of all ages and physical abilities can practice! It has been a popular practice for more than 5000 years, and today, an estimated 12 million Americans practice yoga for addiction, fatigue, weight management, and stress relief.

Daily stress contributes to physical stresses such as muscle tension and difficulty breathing, and can lead to severe emotional stress. Studies have shown that yoga, like many other forms of physical activity, actually help us to relieve stress by encouraging deep and rhythmic breathing, and lengthening muscles, stretching joints, and limbering ligaments. This increases blood and oxygen flow to every part of the body, and can reverse arthritis, stiff joints, and relieve our general aches and pains. It can also reduce risk of heart disease, improve our immune systems ability to fight diseases, and reduce the impacts of stress on our circulatory system. Even some hospitals are now using yoga and meditation as a way of improving the lives of cancer patients.

Yoga for Beginners:
1. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
2. Start with simple standing and sitting poses.
3. As a beginner, it’s best to choose a gentle slow form of yoga and begin with simple standing and sitting poses.

7 Types of Yoga:
1. Hatha
This is ideal for beginners. Hatha is referred to as the Yoga of Postures, because it includes various breathing techniques and meditation. This is seen as the best yoga for health.
2. Bhakti
This form of yoga is for those who are seeking a path to God. It is also referred to as the Yoga of Devotion, since it is most commonly practiced by yogis in India. The goal of this form of yoga is spiritual and not fitness related.
3. Jnana
This is the yoga of the mind, centered on our intelligence. This is also not much of a fitness related yoga, as it lends its importance to learning and wisdom.
4. Karma
The word “Karma” means service, and Karma yogis work toward betterment by doing good acts. This form of yoga is meant to teach selflesness throughout our lifetime.
5. Iyengar
This form of yoga centers around holding various standing postures for long periods of time. This can be good for balance, posture, and focus.
6. Svaroopa
Svaroopa promotes healing, and focuses on holding comfortable chair poses that benefit the spine.
7. Integral
This form of yoga focuses on integrating the yoga teachings into our every day lives, work, and our relationships.

Sun Salutations and Kapal Bhati pranayama are excellent ways to lose weight with yoga. With regular practice, you will also find yourself more conscious and aware of the food you consume, since your body will tend to ask for healthier things. But the greatest and most important part of practicing yoga is stress relief. Just a few minutes of yoga in the morning or in the evening can relieve the stress that accumulates on a daily basis. And the benefits to our soul are numbered, too:

1. Deepened Intuition
Yoga and meditation have been shown to improve intuitive abilities. People often experience an effortless sense of what needs to be done, when, and how.
2. Heightened Awareness
Our minds are constantly involved in activity. This tendency can be very stressful. Being more aware will help you to focus on the present moment, which will relax your mind and prevent you from getting worked up.
3. Being Centered
Peace comes from deep within. Regular yoga practice can mimic a vacation to a peaceful, serene and beautiful place and will calm a disturbed mind.

Peace+ Namaste!
Sima

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