Yoga & Health

Yoga, which evolved in India at least 5 thousands years ago, has become very popular in the modern world mainly because of its health benefits. I define yoga as a holistic practice which unites the body, mind, and spirit to create a greater connection with one's pure, essential nature. Being multidimensional beings we need re-integration; to create the feeling of well-being we need to achieve wholeness. Yoga is a way of life that expands one’s consciousness, leads to self-realization and brings perfect health as a beneficial side effect of this process.

From a yogic point of view, disease is our teacher and friend. Disease indicates that we have been making an error in terms of our lifestyle or thinking and therefore have become imbalanced. It shows that we must make some changes in order to live a joyous life. Loss of awareness of who we are and how we should lead useful and happy lives allows disease to creep in. Regaining our awareness through yogic practices is the key to health. The human organism realigns and becomes harmonized with natural cycles and energies. Changes take place beneath the purely intellectual or conscious mind, within the powerful subconscious and intuitive spaces dormant in all of us. After a yoga class we feel good, even if we do not consciously understand why.

Health professionals now recognize that yoga's preventive, healing benefits can be the perfect antidote to the stresses of the modern world. Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve one’s physical and mental health. A MEDLINE® (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online) literature search on yoga reveals that there are 1074 scientific articles relating to yoga written from 1961 to March 2009. These articles claim that yoga has many benefits though not enough of them present valid scientific proof of these benefits having either too few subjects or inadequate control groups. However, I believe that the best evidence available in support of yoga comes from the millions of people around the world who have practiced yoga throughout the ages, and who continue to practice because of the benefits that they obtain.

Among the most often experienced benefits of yoga are improved muscular and cardio-respiratory fitness, musculoskeletal control and alignment (better posture), pain relief, reduced risk of injury, healthy heart and blood circulation, balanced nervous system, bone and joint health, enhanced immune function, strong digestive system, balanced endocrine system and body weight, reproductive and urinary health, emotional control and balance, improved mental function.

Yoga works holistically keeping not only the whole body but also your mind in radiant health.  Yoga gives you the tools to help you change, often acting like a powerful therapy to help heal relationships, improve your career, and boost your overall outlook to life. It’s beneficial to all, regardless of sex, fitness level, size, or age. If you can breathe you can do some form of yoga. Your yoga practice is something that you do just for yourself. It is a personal affirmation that you are a worthwhile human being, worth spending time with, and worthy of being cared for. I myself have been experiencing numerous benefits of yoga practice in a very real way, and I also personally receive daily confirmations of yoga's healing power from my students.

Basic Knowledge

  • Chanting Om Mantras originated in the Vedic tradition of India and can be defined as sounds, syllables, words, or group of words that are capable of creating transformation. The most widely known and universal mantra...
  • Yoga Nidra I was very lucky to learn yoga nidra (yogic sleep), a powerful raja (royal) yoga technique of conscious relaxation, during my first stay in India in 2004. I spent a month in a Bihar School of Yoga ashram in Bangalore where...
  • Hasta Mudras   yo   The Sanskrit word mudra can be translated as “to seal, close, or lock up” or “gesture, symbol, expression of”. Mudras in yoga are the combination of subtle physical movements which...
  • Yoga and Hatha Yoga People have different ways of understanding and describing yoga but not many see yoga as a systematic complete discipline that includes practices for the physical part as well as the subtler layers of...
  • Yoga Nidra's 6 NOs NO expectations First of all, while practicing yoga nidra, don't aim at going deep. That is the greatest mistake. Try to be spontaneous, relaxed, and very much at peace with yourself. Even if the brain...
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Asanas

  • WARRIOR II POSE (Virabhadrasana II)       Contra-indications: High blood pressure, heart disease or stroke, diarrhea How to perform: Begin standing, finding your widest comfortable stride with feet parallel to each other. Keeping the...
  • WARRIOR I POSE (Virabhadrasana I)       Contra-indications: High blood pressure, heart problems, knee injuries. How to perform: Start in Tadasana. Turn the left foot 45 degrees out and make as big step forward as possible with the right...
  • TREE POSE (Vrkshasana)       In the Tree Pose (Vrkshasana), the roots, or the standing foot, press down and connect to the earth for support while the branches, or arms, extend towards the sun. This graceful posture...
  • PLANK POSE (Chaturanga Dandasana)       Contra-indications: Recent or chronic injury to the back or shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, recent abdominal surgery. How to perform: Begin on the hands and knees with the hands beneath...
  • WIDE-LEGGED FORWARD BEND (Prasarita Padottanasana)       Contra-indications: Lower-back problems - avoid the full forward bend. How to perform: Step your feet apart as wide as possible keeping them parallel. Place your hands on your hips....
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Pranayama

  • Cooling Breath (Sheetali Pranayama )       Contraindications: Low blood pressure, chronic constipation, respiratory disorders. How to perform: Sit comfortably, keep the eyes gently closed and relax the whole body. Stick your...
  • Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana) The practice of nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breath) restores, equalizes and balances the flow of prana in the body. The word shodhana means to cleanse or purify, the word nadi refers to the network...
  • Victorious breath (Ujjayi breath) Ujjayi in Sanskrit means "victorious”,  and it comes from two words: ud  that meaning "bondage" and ji which is translated as "conquering", therefore ujjayi is the breath which gives freedom from...
  • About Pranayama We can live without eating for some weeks, without drinking for some days, but without breathing only for a few minutes. Breath is life, however most people rarely or never pay any attention...

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