Sunday, June 24, 2012

How To Survive A Hot Yoga Class

Hot yoga is not an easy task, but absolutely great in preventing arthritis, back problems, muscle dystrophy and so on. It helps to relieve everyday stress and eliminate deadly toxins from the body.

One of the most important things is to make sure that you drink plenty of water to hydrate your body well. It is recommended to drink fluids throughout the day, not just before the class. Try not to eat anything heavy at least two hours before the class. The food can make you feel nauseous during exercises. Arrive to studio 10-15 minutes earlier and try to take the spot by the door. Most yoga instructors would open the door few times during the class and let some cool air in. That helps. Also, if you come earlier you can let your body adjust to the high temperature before the class. People sweat a lot during the hot yoga classes. Sweat is a cooling mechanism of the body. It is important not to wipe the sweat off. First of all, it will make you sweat even more and secondary, any extra moves will destruct you and people around you. Position your mat the way that you can see yourself in the mirror. This way you can see if the body alignment is correct for the posture and also making eye contact with yourself in the mirror helps to maintain the balance during the standing posture series. Give yourself a smile.

It will cheer you up and destruct from the thought of giving up. Drinking water is not recommended during the class, because it is cooling the body from inside. Concentrate on your breathing all the time. Do not hold the breath. Take deep and slow breaths, rather than frequent and shallow. It will save you a lot of energy and oxygenate the body. You must inhale and exhale through your nose all the time. When you breathe with the mouth, you get dehydrated. It is absolutely normal when you feel dizzy or even a little nauseous during the class. Slow down your pace, concentrate on the breathing and try not to sit down. Getting up may make you feel even worse. If this is your first month of hot yoga and you are not able to do all the postures, but able to stay in the 105 degree room for one and a half hour, you are doing great. Keep on trying, follow my tips and you will survive and eventually enjoy the hot yoga classes.

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Yoga Classes for Beginners

If you are looking to create more balance in your body while increasing flexibility and strength, yoga classes may intrigue your interest. Yoga will teach you to stretch in ways you never thought possible. Each of the postures and poses performed through yoga has a health benefit. Quicker movements will create a heat sensation in the body. Slower movements are known to boost stamina and improve alignment. Poses are similar for all, but the ways a teacher approaches yoga may vary. Once established in a yoga program, one will find "your own practice" is similar, but can always be done in different methods which keep the movements from becoming boring. When an instructor states you are performing "your own practice", this is your niche of yoga movement which is right for you. A great thing about yoga is that there is no competition involved. Everyone does the best they can do. The beauty of it is that you are in your own personal space doing your best according to the leader's guidance.

If yoga intrigues your interest, some research may be needed to find just the right type of class for you. There are different types of yoga practices. There are two in particular known as vinvasa and hatha which are most appropriate for beginners. These formats will review the basics of yoga. As you become accustomed to the movements and stretches, and begin to understand how the process affects your body, you can graduate to more advanced types of classes. The key factor is that all of this progression is at your own pace with no pressure to move forward quicker than you are ready.

With today's online capabilities, there can be plenty of resources when searching for yoga classes in your area. Local newspapers and magazines geared toward wellness will also provide listing for yoga. If you belong to a gym or fitness center, perhaps they may offer a yoga class. Neighborhood park districts may have yoga classes, as well. Since you are just starting out, be sure you are inquiring about a beginner's class for your chance to learn the basics. If there are absolutely no yoga classes in your area, or none offered at convenient times for your schedule, rent of purchase a beginner's instructional video and take a try at following along.

Before your first class, inquire about when you would need to get started. Most likely, you will be told to dress comfortably with clothing that is breathable. You will want to have a yoga mat. These can often be rented from the class coordinators.

As for a few suggestions, refrain from large meals before your yoga classes, but eat lightly hours before. Drink fluids before or after class, only. Do not wear socks or shoes. Let your teacher know you are just beginning. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. And, most importantly, don't wait more than a few days before you return for another class. Once you begin, you will want to keep the momentum going.

MyReviewsNow offers information regarding yoga classes. To learn more about yoga classes, visit our website at

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Your First Yoga Class - What to Expect

So you've finally made the big leap into the unknown - your first yoga class is approaching. You've picked which class to go to, found out where to park and how much the class will cost, but what should you expect when you walk through the doors?

Yoga - more than just an exercise class

The mysterious first yoga class is a time of discovery. You'll discover that not every yoga practitioner is a highly committed, eco-conscious vegetarian; that designer gear will not help you into a difficult pose any sooner; and you will discover secrets about your body and your mind that even you never knew. Sound intriguing? Well that's yoga for you! It's more than just an exercise class.

Yoga teachers have got your back - there's no need to worry
Yoga people tend to be a friendly bunch. The dynamics of each yoga class and each studio differ greatly but all should be welcoming and inclusive, not judgemental. Everyone in the class is an equal in the eyes of the teacher so stop worrying about your lack of knowledge or inability to touch your toes, it simply doesn't matter.

Yoga classes are non-competitive

Don't try to keep up with other people in the class. Yoga is an individual practice and everyone is different. Even yoga teachers aren't perfect at every pose. We all have our physical limitations and part of yoga is learning to respect your body, be kind to it and don't push it further than it wants to go. Your body will open into poses when it is ready, so be patient during the early stages of your practice.

What to take to yoga classes

On a practical note, what do you take to a class? Water is a good idea, unless you are practising Ashtanga when water should not be consumed during the class. You may wish to take a small towel and, if hygiene concerns you, your own mat and an eye pillow for the relaxation at the end.

Yoga mats

Studios generally supply mats so it is not essential to buy your own; this decision comes down to personal preference. Some studios may not disinfect and update their mats as regularly as perhaps they should and practising on a stale smelling mat is not the most pleasant experience. On an environmental note, if this is your first ever experience of yoga it is probably best not to buy your own mat until you know that the practice is for you.

Studio etiquette

Stinky mats bring us on to some rather basic studio etiquette which is all too often ignored. If you use one of the studio's mats, you should clean it after the class. This only takes a moment and you will find a disinfectant spray and cloths near where the mats are stored. Please take a moment to do this; if one person cleans their mat then others tend to follow.

Yoga poses first up

The content of your class will vary depending on the style your chosen studio follows. Generally speaking though, beginners' classes focus on the asanas or poses and tend not to include any advanced breathing techniques or chanting.

If you approach your first class with an open mind, a spirit of adventure and an understanding that yoga is not a competitive sport then you will be fine. Congratulations on embarking on the first stage of your yoga journey, and enjoy!

With the Yoga Classes Directory, now you can search for local yoga classes in your area.
All yoga traditions are represented, so you can easily find a local yoga studio that offers the tradition of your choice - bikram, hatha, ashtanga or iyengar yoga classes are all listed in the Yoga Classes Directory.

Considering yoga teacher training? We've got that covered as well with yoga teacher training offers available worldwide.

What about yoga gear like yoga pants, yoga clothes and yoga mats?
You'll find a wide range of suppliers and product reviews and you can conveniently shop online.

If you're lucky enough to be having a break, you'll be able to review yoga retreats, yoga holidays and workshops as well. It's all covered in the Yoga Classes Directory.

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Beginner Yoga Class Checklist

If you're new to yoga, you might not know what to expect when you walk in the doors of a beginner's yoga class for the first time. You might not even know how to start in choosing a beginner's yoga class to attend. Here's a "how to" checklist.

1. Nail down your goals and find the right style for you.

Everyone comes to yoga for different reasons. Sometimes these differences are slight, other times they're vast.

For instance, are you interested in an intense physical workout to throbbing music, or are you on more of a spiritual path towards (quiet) enlightenment? Are you attracted to yoga because of its health benefits, and if so, is it physical or emotional health you are most interested in?

Are you interested in the philosophy and rich traditions of yoga, or are you on the other extreme and wouldn't be caught dead reciting a mantra?
Whatever your personal needs and proclivities, there's a yoga for you. If several flavors of yoga are offered in your area, do your research online or in the library to find which style would be the best fit for you.

Once you know what it is you're looking for, you can set some goals. Call the teacher of the beginner yoga class you're considering and ask if your expectations are reasonable.

2. Choose a drop-in or series beginner yoga class

A drop-in yoga class allows you to pay-as-you go. There will likely be some turnover week to week as to which students show up for class. The teacher is likely to keep this class on the mild side, because students will be at such differing ability levels.

This may be just what you're looking for if you just want a taste of yoga but don't want to buy an expensive package of classes. This may also be a good choice for you if your schedule won't allow you to attend a class every week. Keep in mind there are significant drawbacks.

One, because the class is ongoing, you will never get to start at "the beginning." You may be a little lost at first while you learn the culture of the class. Also, drop-in beginner yoga classes tend to be repetitive.
A series yoga class is different in that you buy a set number of classes and each class builds on what you learned in the previous week. A good series class is repetitive only in that there is some review each time, but then the teacher introduces new material.

You can learn much more much faster in a series class, but again there are drawbacks. First, if you miss a class it may be difficult to make up the material that you missed. Also, you will be asked to pay for the whole series up front.

Take a look at your level of commitment, your schedule and your budget and decide whether a drop-in or a series class is better for your needs.

3. Make sure the teacher has adequate training.

Yoga is now a significant contributor to sports injuries. This can be attributed to two things: students pushing themselves too hard for perfection and inadequate training of instructors.

Don't be shy in asking your potential instructor about their background. There are certifications for teaching "gym yoga" that an instructor can get in a long weekend. A three day training is just enough to make someone dangerous. That's not to say that some of the people who start with such certifications don't turn out to be excellent instructors by dedicating themselves to practice and increasing their knowledge over the course of months and years.

There are of course people who teach yoga with no formal certification whatsoever, and though it might be difficult for these teachers to get liability insurance, there's nothing illegal about it. Keep in mind that yoga is a spiritual tradition thousands of years old, and the idea of giving someone a certificate for learning a few poses and breathing techniques would have been an odd idea indeed even seventy years ago. It is one thing to wake up one morning and decide to teach yoga with little to no experience. It is quite another to teach after living for years under the tutelage of a master yogi who just doesn't believe in certificates.

As a general rule, seek out yoga teachers with at the very least 200 hours of training. In the United States there's an organization called the Yoga Alliance that offers a registry of teachers who attended training programs that meet certain standards. Someone can have the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) designation from the Yoga Alliance and still be a crummy teacher, but usually RYTs are a safe bet.

4. Look into additional costs of the yoga class.

Sometimes there are additional costs involved in taking a beginner's yoga class besides the registration fee. You may need to buy your own yoga mat, strap, or other props, for instance. In some classes you may need to buy certain books for study or even special clothing of a certain color.

It is important to know what the related costs are up front so that you and your bank account won't encounter any surprises later on.

I hope this checklist will help you find a beginner's yoga class that's right for you.

David Morgan is a Kripalu Yoga Teacher who offers Knoxville, TN yoga classes []. Find out more about yoga for beginners [] on his web site and get a free relaxation recording by subscribing to his newsletter that covers yoga in Knoxville and the East Tennessee region.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yoga Poses for Kids

Yoga is considered as one of the best detoxifying exercises to eliminate toxins, especially from the liver and the stomach. When performed on a regular basis, yoga helps strengthen the abdominal region and relieves many digestive ailments. Numerous researches have revealed that it helps revitalize the pancreas and decreases acidity in the blood. Yoga has also been proved beneficial to the health of children. Not only does it strengthen the bones of kids, but it also increases their level of flexibility and range of motion. Yoga poses also reduce the levels of cortisol in their blood, thus protecting them against the risk of childhood obesity.

Many yoga postures aim at increasing height, and improving physical strength and mental clarity in children.
Tree pose, also known as Vrksasana, is a great yoga posture that helps develop flexibility and strength in the lower limbs. This yoga pose can be performed by standing on one foot and bringing the other foot to rest on the standing leg, preferably below the knee. The arms should be extended so that they appear like tree branches. This position should be maintained for 1 minute and one should switch to other leg to repeat the process.

Flower pose is a fun pose that helps build core strength and improves balance. This pose should be performed by sitting up nice and tall. Next step is to put the soles of feet together and put hands underneath the ankles. Lift both legs up by keeping the soles of your feet together and then return back to the starting position to complete one repetition.

Warrior pose, also known as Virabhadrasana posture, helps strengthen the torso and lower limbs. This pose should be executed by standing with feet apart and arms open like you are pretending to hold a bow and an arrow. Maintain this position for a few minutes and then return back to the starting position. Perform at least 5 sets.

Children, like adults, can benefit from yoga poses. Children can easily be over-stressed and over-worked due to school work and extracurricular activities. Yoga poses help relieve stress and promote inner peace in kids. Yoga postures help children develop positive body awareness and improve concentration. Yoga also helps kids realize and experience how they are one with nature. Breathing techniques, also known as pranayama, help increase lung function by brining more oxygen into blood stream. Purifying and rejuvenating exercises can restore health and joy in children and also lengthen their life span.

There is not much difference in the poses for kids and adults. Yoga itself is designed in a way that it benefits individuals of all age groups.

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Yoga Poses For Beginners

Yoga is very popular and people are still discovering the many benefits of doing yoga on a regular basis, when you are first starting doing your yoga poses it is imperative to take things slow. Yoga often builds upon the moves you learn from the beginning and it is important to master beginning moves before you think about moving forward.

Even though yoga is often slow and there is not a lot of high impact movement, there is still the risk of injury if you are not completing a move properly.
Knowing how to properly complete your yoga poses will help you to get the most out of your yoga experience.

The Accomplished Pose is a beginner pose and is fairly easy to complete. You simply sit on the floor or yoga mat and cross your legs, your palms will be facing the ceiling and you will be relaxed and practicing proper breathing techniques.

You want a long line between your head and bottom. You can press your bottom into the floor, while stretching your head up, this can provide the spine with an amazing stretch.

The Bound Angle Yoga Pose is something you also perform while in a sitting position, you move the soles of the feet together while transitioning from the Accomplished Pose, you are still stretching the spine in this pose and it is recommended that you place your tongue to the roof of the mouth, you should close your eyes and while they are closed you should focus on the third eye area of the forehead with your eyes.

The Boat is a pose where you will make a "V" with your body. While in a sitting position you will raise your feet and legs, you will reach out while like you are walking in your sleep and hold this position, you will lower your feet and then you can try again if you are strong enough, as you get stronger you will be able to hold this position for much longer and this can help you to build your strength and endurance.

As you learn beginner yoga poses you will be ready to move on to intermediate yoga routines and before you know it you will be completing advanced poses.

Yoga is something that many people find very addictive and this is one addiction that you will be pleased to nurture,as your body begins to change you will feel more balanced and stronger and this is often what motivates someone to stick with yoga.

Summary: Yoga is very popular and people are still discovering the many benefits of doing yoga on a regular basis,

When you are first starting your yoga poses it is imperative to take things slow. Yoga often builds upon the moves you learn from the beginning and it is important to master beginning moves before you think about moving forward.

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Peacock Pose Yoga

Yoga is probably one of the most commonly practiced exercises all around the globe. Numerous poses of yoga help increase flexibility and range of motion, and relieve the pains and the aches of the body. Not only do they help lower your resting heart rate, but they also lower blood pressure and improve lung function. Moreover, they improve your cardiovascular efficiency, stamina and endurance. Another benefit of yoga poses is that they help reduce the effects of stress on your body and keep your mind fit and healthy.

There are around 90 yoga poses. If you are a beginner, then it is important that you choose poses (asanas) you feel easy to attempt and then switch to difficult ones gradually. Peacock pose, also known as Mayurasana, is an advanced pose that should be performed in the supervision of a qualified yoga trainer. This pose confers strong, detoxifying effects on the health of digestive system, thus promoting a healthy gastrointestinal tract and protecting against the risk of colon cancer. It helps relieve the symptoms of edema and stomach ulcer, and alleviates diseases like enlargement of the glands and eczema. A recent research has shown that Peacock pose helps eliminate toxins from liver and spleen.

Peacock pose also confers many benefits on the health of women as it helps relieve painful menstruation and menstrual disorders. It helps increase blood circulation throughout the abdominal region and stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. When performed on a regular basis, this pose decreases acidity in the blood and strengthens shoulders, elbows and wrists.

You should begin this pose by kneeling on the yoga mat and bringing your forearms together. Be sure to place your hands in the direction of your feet with little finger side of the hands towards each other. Next step is to squeeze your elbows in towards each other, place your upper abdomen on arms, and straighten your legs behind you. Make sure that you hold them above the ground for 10-15 breaths at a time.

If you have medical issues such as arthritis or osteoporosis, then avoid performing Peacock yoga pose as it puts tremendous pressure on your elbows and wrists. People who have other medical conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, nose infections, hernia, or ulcer should avoid practicing this pose as well.

Peacock pose is a deeply detoxifying asanas in yoga that helps release toxins from your internal system and relieves many digestive ailments. It helps tone your body and makes you feel and look healthier. Incorporate this incredible yoga pose into your workout routine on a regular basis to improve strength, flexibility and balance.

Peacock pose is an advanced pose. Beginners can try this pose but should ensure not to sprain any muscles.

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Yoga Poses - Hints and Tips for Beginners

The popularity of yoga has been growing in recent years and more and more people every day are taking it up for many different reasons. Yoga poses for beginners is something that more and more people are wanting to find out about.

Some people want to start yoga to help them try and lose weight, while others have heard about yoga's ability to relieve certain pains and ailments, such as back pain.

Pregnant ladies often want to take up yoga when they hear about the relief they can get from some of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy through the practice of yoga, and they also help to prepare themselves for the actual birth of their child by practicing the breathing techniques that are practiced in yoga.
Sports men and women are starting to incorporate yoga practices into their training regimes in an effort to increase their sporting abilities.

Someone just starting out with yoga could be forgiven for thinking that all they need is themselves and some space, which is essentially true. But there are one or two considerations to give when deciding if you need any equipment.

For example, will you practice outside on the grass, on a sandy beach, or will you need a yoga mat? If you do need a mat, have you got one or do you need to buy one?
What about a drink? Do you have a bottle you can take with you to use during your session?
And then of course there is your clothes. It is very important that you feel totally comfortable in whatever you decide to wear. Although many people are fashion conscious, it is no good thinking about your top or pants, or the person in front of you, when you are trying to perform a yoga pose or position. Your mind needs to be totally free of thoughts like that so that you can give full concentration to the exercise that you are doing.

A complete beginner might be content with seeing a picture of a pose and then trying to copy it in their bedroom or at home somewhere. This is good for getting a feel of what yoga is and making up your mind if it is something you want to do, and get into.

However, someone who is serious about using yoga to improve their life in some way should really be thinking about starting with a local yoga class or finding an instructor.

Anybody with a health condition that might be affected by yoga, positively or negatively, should really consult with a doctor before getting started. Just because yoga is known for improving back pain in some people does not mean that it is ok for all people with back pain to take up yoga., for pretty obvious reasons.
Likewise, as yoga has been known to improve the circulatory systems of some people does not mean that yoga should be practiced by all people with circulatory problems.

Always stay on the safe side and consult with a qualified doctor who knows about your existing conditions.
If you're a sports person who wants to incorporate some yoga into their current training plan, you should consult with your team doctor and trainers before embarking on any yoga exercises. Even better, consult a yoga sports scientist who will be able to tell you specifically what yoga exercises to do in order to target specific parts of your body.

As with all forms of exercise, it is better to start off gently and build up over time to more advanced positions or poses and longer sessions.

If you take yoga seriously and give it some respect, it will not be long before you start to reap the benefits and be happier and healthier for it.

Read more of Elizabeth Pennington's work at Yoga poses for beginners and more yoga related subjects at Yoga Body and Mind

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Yoga For Beginners: Doing The Cobra Pose

The cobra pose provides great relief for those who suffer from back troubles due to siting in front of a computer for hours at a time. Many people who work at their computers all day do not realize that they are hunched over for much of the time rather than sitting with good posture. When doing the cobra pose in yoga, you can strengthen your back muscles, which helps to ease any back pain that you might have.

If you have never done yoga before, you'll need to practice the cobra pose until you master its form. Much like learning to play soccer or learning to swim, with yoga, you will not just jump right in and immediately become an expert at doing poses on your first try. Have patience when learning the cobra pose and all other yoga poses - your persistence will pay off.

Start the cobra pose by lying on your stomach. Take a deep breath, and keep your elbows tucked under your shoulders and your arms on the floor. Let your breath out, and prepare to put your body into the back bend position. Be sure to keep your thighs together, and extend your legs so that your toes extend outward as well.

From your position on your stomach, place the palms of your hands onto the floor against your chest. Your fingertips should be lined up with the front of the shoulders. Bring your elbows as close to your sides as you can. Then press the palms of your hands firmly onto the floor as you slowly start to elevate your chest and assume a back bend pose. You may be able to feel your spinal muscles activate as they support you.

Now, bring your shoulders toward your upper back. Take a deep breath, and be sure to position your head so that you are looking straight ahead. As you exhale, lower your body back down toward the floor. To position yourself into a full cobra pose, put your hands flat on the floor, and line your fingertips up with the middle section of your chest. Extend your legs and your feet so that your toes point outward. Carefully lift your body by putting pressure on your hands and squeezing your shoulder blades towards your upper back.

Remember that the size of the back bend doesn't really matter when you're performing a cobra pose, because you will be placing a greater emphasis on how to correctly position your legs, stomach, chest, pelvis, and arms.

The art of yoga for beginners takes some time to perfect, but with practice, the cobra pose and other poses will become easier to form. Whether you're doing yoga for weight loss or for health reasons, you'll see great benefits over time.

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