Yoga Asanas for Depression

2-5-15When you practice yoga for depression, you realize that you’re certainly bigger than your sadness, pain, and fears. The moment you realize you connect with yourself, is the moment you start connecting with everything and everyone around you. And the only way to do it, is to sit down with all your scattered emotions, painful memories or experiences with the minutest details that make you sad, see them eye-to-eye, and realize that the only way out is through. In Sanskrit, it’s called svadhyaya, which means ‘self-study’, and the same is done in yoga asanas. Living in a world of too many facades, sometimes feeling mercilessly pushed into situations and having to cope with the rut of a mixture of daily situations of work, family relations, and the constant expectations that come with it, puts you in a tough position where you try frantically hard to balance yourself emotionally. Sometimes, you lose trust in your own capacities and are afraid to venture forth and face your fears. There is sanctity in learning from facing sadness. But we are desperate to flee from the pain that it throws upon us like an overpowering burden. We start looking outside for things or people to make us happy, forgetting that the real healing that we’re so desperately seeking comes from within. Devoured by fears and the discomfort of thinking that we cannot connect any more with the world outside, leads us into dingy and confusing alleys of hollow loneliness.

Yoga asanas for depression help us get deeply in tune with our being as we learn to focus on our breathing, postures of our body, and the slow deep-moving interconnectedness of it all with our mind and spirit. A lot of anxiety we feel, usually ends up in tense muscles in the back, shoulders and the neck. This art calms breath, relaxes the nervous system, and when the nervous system is calm, your mind is too.

Here are some easy postures to get rid of depression. You just have to pick those that work for you and practice regularly, with complete focus.

Continue reading Yoga Asanas for Depression

Yoga Poses to Avoid During Pregnancy

2-5-14There has always been an ongoing debate about the yoga poses one should avoid during pregnancy, and it amazes me that most of us misunderstand the importance of these spiritual disciplines altogether. When a woman is pregnant, her physical and emotional state need the utmost care and pampering. Yoga does just that! Practicing yoga during pregnancy is very beneficial, provided you know which poses to avoid and which ones are helpful. It is first important for you to understand that yoga is not just a form of exercise. Yoga in its simplest form, is a combination of spiritual and physical disciplines that help you reach absolute tranquility in relation to your body, mind and soul. Aren’t these the very prerequisites a woman would want to possess during pregnancy?

Yoga Poses to Avoid Throughout Your Pregnancy

There are certain yoga poses that are a strict no-no throughout one’s pregnancy. Doctors advise you to avoid these poses due to different scientific reasons, all of which are mentioned below. With these yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy, it is also important for you to know the other yoga practices that you should stay away from. The following points will update you with the postures you should avoid, and why.

Continue reading Yoga Poses to Avoid During Pregnancy

How Does Yoga Help in Diabetes Prevention

2-5-13Diabetes is one of the rapidly growing diseases in the world, and nothing can beat diet and exercise for combating this disease. A healthy diet, that avoids sugar and starch is what can help you keep the sugar in control. What most of the people fail to realize that exercise is equally important for tackling any health issue. When the disease is diabetes, which has more than 280 million people across the globe suffering from it, there needs to be a lot of effort and dedication to tackle it. Most experts recommend a diabetes control diet, that helps in most cases, but exercise too is prescribed, which many will avoid. Diabetes can be simply described as the disease caused due to the lack or sufficient amount of insulin or ineffective functioning of insulin in the body. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and is important to transport the glucose that is produced after breaking down of food, into the bloodstream. In case of less insulin or ineffective insulin, the glucose will settle and stay in the body without being used for energy and this can pose serious health risks. With type 1 diabetes that is caused naturally due to less secretion of insulin in the body, there may not be much of an issue, but for type 2 diabetes that is caused by various factors, that include obesity, lifestyle, heredity, stress, etc., there needs to be serious thought on the cure. The reason we discussed diabetes and the cause is to understand the cure better.

Exercise is what is recommended by most of the health experts and nothing can beat the traditional form of exercise accepted world wide, that is yoga. It has been described as the most effective workout. It has also proved to be extremely beneficial in treating many diseases, one of which is diabetes. For curious people willing to know the exact role of yoga in diabetes, we have compiled information based on studies related to ways in which yoga helps to prevent it.

Yoga For Diabetes Prevention
Yoga is an exercise that involves movement, poses, breathing and focus. It not only helps in physical relaxation, but also helps you connect to the mind. The many benefits of yoga are listed below. We will first take a look at these, so as to understand the role of yoga in diabetes prevention.

Continue reading How Does Yoga Help in Diabetes Prevention

How to Lose Belly Fat Through Yoga

2-5-12Resentment towards your own self. Disorder? Umm, no. Way of life? Certainly. And if you’re a woman, you are never satisfied with how you look, what you wear, and how you live life. Exaggeration? I don’t think so. Tell a woman she’s looking beautiful and she’ll believe you for a second. But tell her that she lost weight and she’ll believe you all her life. Losing weight in today’s fast-paced world is no less than winning a battle. Not many people can do that. Actually, not many people do that. So, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to losing the big fat chunk that comes in between every time you attempt to see down at your toes – belly fat. Prattling about losing belly fat makes me appear as no instructor or trainer. But I can tell you, from an experience of my own, that devoting your life to this spiritual discipline could be one of the best decisions you could take in life.

To target belly fat, yoga is something millions of Americans have relied upon, and the results? Well, aren’t they obvious enough that today, you too have dropped your anchor on this page dedicated to losing belly fat through yoga, just to find out if there exists something for you too? While that unnecessary belly fat can become a reason for a number of illnesses as you age, it’s better to get rid of it through natural processes at the earliest. And what better than yoga? That said, the following poses or asanas as they’re called, can be a savior to your belly, and kick that fat off your stomach in just a few days. Days? Yes. The following asanas are that effective.

Time: 10 Minutes

Continue reading How to Lose Belly Fat Through Yoga

8 Yoga Symbols and Their Meanings You Always Wanted to Know About

Yoga originates from the Sanskrit term yuj, meaning union or yoke. Thus, yoga helps us unify our body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga, a rich and sound lifestyle. By calling it a lifestyle, we refer to all aspects of human life. Commonly seen and practiced as a physical exercise (from the Hatha Yoga), the main purpose of Yoga in helping us achieve a balanced mind is often forgotten. It trains the mind more than the body.
Yoga is a heritage that had been passed on through generations, orally. It was around 2,200 years ago that this knowledge was first documented through Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sūtras’. The sage describes the functioning of the mind in 196 aphorisms. According to him, yoga is to be attained by means of Ashtanga Yoga; literally eight limbs, or the eight stages of yoga.
Yama: Five principles of non-violence, truth, non-stealing, abstinence, and non-possessiveness.
Niyama: Includes cleanliness of the body and mind, satisfaction, austerity, study towards awakening, and dedication or surrender to God.
Asana: Practicing disciplined physical postures that lead to meditation. This principle is the most-known form.
Pranayama: Control over breath.
Pyatyahara: Withdrawal of the senses.
Dharana: Concentration of the mind.
Dhyan: Sustained meditation (the act of meditation is different from the object of meditation).
Samadhi: Self-realization or enlightenment (oneness with the object of meditation).Ashtanga yoga thus gives a way of life. According to ancient Indian philosophy, there is a link between each object that exists; this interconnect reflects from the theory behind yoga too. To maintain the body, mind, and spirit in rhythm, is the goal of a ‘Yogi’, or the one who practices yoga.
Yoga Symbols with Meanings
Om (auṃ)
Om (auṃ)
Om is considered to be the primeval sound. The Mandukya Upanishad (part of Vedic texts revealing the truths and nature of reality) describes Om to be the supreme consciousness. Before the universe came into being, it was only ‘oṃkāra’, or this vibration that was present. It is believed that, when we chant the ‘oṃkāra’, we can feel connected to this vibration, which is said to be within and outside us. In Sanskrit, it is also known as praṇava, or ‘to shout’ sound. Many mantras in the Hindu religion begin with Om, including some that are pronounced while doing Surya Namaskar. The symbol has different meanings: it combines the three syllables of A (Brahma, or creation), U (Vishnu, or preservation), and M (Shiva, or disintegration). They also represent waking, dream, and deep sleep states.
The Seven Chakras
The Sapta Chakras are the seven nodes or energy points in our subtle body. Different from its literal meaning of a ‘wheel’, a Chakra corresponds to an energy vortex in the non-physical body. They are located at the central meeting points, or plexus of the subtle energy channels (nadi) that carry life forces (prana). It is a path of enlightenment (through awakening of the Kundalini, the primal energy), which on activation of the chakras begins from the Muladhara and goes up to the Sahasrara chakra.
Mūlādhāra Chakra
This is known as the ‘root chakra’. It is located near the end of the spine or tailbone, under the sacrum. This chakra symbolizes the Earth element, with the seed sound (or beeja mantra) of ‘lam’ (white letter in Devanagari script at the center, pronounced as lum). It has four petals, for the Sanskrit syllables of वं vaṃ, शं śaṃ, षं ṣaṃ, and सं saṃ. These are the four vrittis (modes of consciousness) of dharma, artha, kama, and moksha, which are the four aims of life according to Hinduism. Asanas like the Garudasana, Siddhasana, practicing the Mula Bandha (a yogic posture), and certain mantras can be chanted to activate this chakra.
Svādhiṣṭhāna Chakra
The second one is the sacral chakra, meaning ‘one’s own base’. The seed sound in this chakra is ‘vam’, as seen in the center. With six petals, it depicts the following Sanskrit syllables: बं baṃ, भं bhaṃ, मं maṃ, यं yaṃ, रं raṃ, and लं laṃ. The emotions or vrittis represented are affection, pitilessness, delusion, disdain, destructiveness, and suspicion. It is also located near the tailbone, but above the Muladhara chakra. It concerns water metabolism, and so is associated with the sense of taste, sexual desires, and reproduction. Potential karmas or sanskaras are said to be lying in an inactive state here, which are expressed in the Muladhara chakra.
Maṇipūra Chakra
Manipura is also called the solar plexus or the naval chakra. ‘Ram’ is the root sound in the center. The chakra forms from ten petals, corresponding to the syllables of ḍa, ḍha, ṇa, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, and pha. It symbolizes the Fire element, seen from the red triangle surrounding the syllable of ram. Thirst, jealousy, spiritual ignorance, shame, fear, disgust, etc., are the vrittis linked with this chakra. The processes of digestion and metabolism are under this vortex. Along with fire, it also is the place where the inward (prana vayu) and outward (apana vayu) flowing energies are balanced. Manipura is the center of willpower, dynamic energy, and achievement, making the activities of creation or destruction possible on meditation. Pranayama is practiced to balance this sphere of influence in the subtle body.
Anāhata Chakra
This is the heart chakra. It refers to the unstruck or unheard sound, also forming the term ‘anahata naad’, which means celestial sound. Located in the central channel of the spine, at the heart, it is all about love, compassion, sympathy, selflessness, and devotion. It is thus believed that it is easier for doctors to activate or open up their anahata chakra. The two intersecting triangles symbolize the union of the masculine and feminine energies; Purusha (the supreme being) and Prakriti (Mother Nature), or Shiva and Shakti. Anahata, or serenity, portrays the seed sound of ‘yam’ (pronounced yum). Nested within the twelve petals are the Sanskrit syllables of kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam, and tham. The vrittis include lust, fraud, hope, repentance, anxiety, longing, etc. Ajapa Japa (effortless chanting of mantra), asanas, pranayama, and bhakti (devotional) yoga help purify this chakra.
Viśuddha Chakra
This throat chakra is the fifth one located at the neck. It has sixteen petals, and represents the element of Ether, and is thus associated with the acts of hearing and speaking. The seed sound in the circle is that of हं ‘ham’ (pronounced hum). The petals are inscribed with sixteen Sanskrit vowels of अ a, आ ā, इ i, ई ī, उ u, ऊ ū, ऋ ṛ, ॠ ṝ, ऌ ḷ, ॡ ḹ , ए e, ऐ ai, ओ o, औ au, अः ḥ, and अं ṃ. The throat chakra, more so the petals, are home to the seven basic musical notes. It is understood to be the purification center, originating from ‘viśuddha’, meaning especially pure. Meditation upon this chakra is believed to confer many occult powers, like the ability to see three time periods of the past, present, and future. The singing or playing of musical instruments is said to open or clean this plexus.
Ājñā Chakra
The Ajna chakra is positioned in the brain, between the center of the forehead; also the location of the third-eye. Om, or the ‘praṇava Om’, is the seed sound of this chakra, with two petals. These two petals supposedly represent the two subtle energy channels or nadis, known as Ida and Pingala. They meet at this point, before going upwards to the Sahasrara chakra. The syllables of ‘ham’ and ‘ksham’ on the two petals symbolize Shiva and Shakti, respectively; sometimes also interpreted as surrender of the ego (ham) and forgiveness (ksham) for spiritual progress of a being. Yogic practices like the Trataka and forms of Pranayama are said to energize this chakra.
In the study of occult sciences, it is believed that there are other minor chakras placed between the Ajna and the Sahasrara chakra, the prominent ones amongst them being the ‘Manas’ and ‘Guru’ chakras.
Sahasrāra Chakra
Sahasrara is known as ‘sahasradala’, ‘sahasrakamal’, or the crown petal, which refers to the chakra being thousand-petaled. Also called the white lotus, it is situated right above the top of the head, with a thousand petals arranged in 20 layers, each consisting of fifty petals. This chakra symbolizes freedom from illusion, detachment, a divine state of pure consciousness, and the experience of oneness. After traversing the six chakras, the yogi reaches this chakra, where he/she experiences Nirvikalpa Samādhi, the highest state of samadhi or enlightenment. At this stage, a being is believed to possess the highest levels of occult powers (siddhis), enabling transformation into the divine. This is also where the ‘Parama Shiva’ or the ‘Parama Pusrusha’ (the Supreme Being) are believed to reside.
Read more at Buzzle: