Yoga Practice Types
||Type A, competitive with yourself, high energy, can't sit still, strict, rigid, likes order, likes knowing the right and wrong way to do things, needs to move in order to de-stress
||Scientific, interested in body alignment and how your body moves internally, introspective, creative, likes to use props, in touch with your emotions
If those two don't seem to fit your personality, read more.
||Type A, extreme, over the top, needs discipline, loves heat, loves to sweat, craves order and strictness
||Strict, rigid, interested in body alignment, likes to be told the right and wrong way to do things, likes to use props
||Easy-going, slow-moving, meditative, spiritual, introspective
||Meditative, slow-moving, spiritual, likes to be physically and mentally challenged, likes to focus on breath and chant, interested in the chakras and awakening the energy (kundalini) that resides in the base of the spine
||Spiritual, meditative, creative, likes to move, needs to de-stress, likes to be physically and mentally challenged, likes to chant
||Creative, spontaneous, up for a challenge, likes to move quickly, likes to sweat
Find a Yoga Class, Center or Teacher near you
What is Yoga: A brief description of Yoga Yoga:
The word yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.
What is commonly referred to as "yoga" can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana, which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses.
Asana is only one of the eight "limbs" of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being than physical activity. In the West, however, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably.
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Below are some of the poses practiced in Yoga class and centers.
The four paths to Yoga
1. Bhakti Yoga - path of devotion
2. Jnana Yoga – path of rational inquiry
3. Raja Yoga – path of mental concentration
4. Karma Yoga – path of right action
It is believed that all yoga paths lead to spiritual and body enlightenment.
Around the second century, Patanjali sought to structure and creat practical yoga. By outlining the principles of Raja yoga, and are now known as Patanjali’s Eightfold Path of Yoga or the Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga.
The first two limbs are concerned with the do’s and don’ts of everyday life—basically morality and proper living.
First Limb: Restraints (The 5 Yamas)
These are the things you are to refrain from doing—“the don’ts.”
- Do Not Be Violent (Ashama) Treat yourself and all other creatures with respect and kindness. Learn to love yourself.
- Do not be Untruthful (Satya) Live a truthful life, but if the truth can harm others, keep silent.
- Do Not Steal (Asteya) Do not take anything that is not yours
including the ideas of others. Do not abuse your power or confidences.
- Do Not Lust (Bramacharya) Gain control of the senses and practice moderation in all things, especially sexuality.
- Do Not Be Possessive—Do Not Covet (Aparigraha) Don’t be greedy or exploitive.
Second Limb: How to Treat Yourself (5 Niyamas)
These are the observances—”the do’s.”
- Be Pure (Sauca) Internal and external cleanliness is achieved by cleansing and detoxifying the body, yoga breathing, yoga exercises, and meditation. Your surroundings, your mind, and your body should all be clean and uncluttered.
- Be Content (Santosha) Practice humility. Be content with who you are and what you have.
- Be Disciplined (Tapas) Practice discipline of the body and the mind.
- Study (Svadhyaya) Study the sacred texts and one’s self. The more you know yourself, the deeper your connection with the higher power.
- Live with an Awareness of the Divine. (Ishwara Pranidhana) Let go and connect to the Divine or surrender to God’s will.
The third and forth limbs combine to form Hatha Yoga, the practice of breathing and exercises that comes to mind when most of us hear the word yoga.
hird Limb: Physical Poses or Postures (Asanas)
These are the exercises most of us think of when we hear the word yoga. These exercises are designed to give us strength, balance, and control of our bodies; to improve circulation, oxygenation, and flexibility; and to relax and rejuvenate us. Postures are to be
done gently, with focus and concentration to bring our mind and body into harmonious union.
Fourth Limb: Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)
Through proper breathing the body receives more oxygen and wastes are eliminated. In fact 60% of toxins released from the body are
exhausted through the lungs. In traditional martial arts and meditation, breathing is taught before anything else. Breathing is emphasized and considered to be one of the most important skills you can learn. Through yoga breathing exercises, the body and mind are strengthened and you become calmer and more focused.
Breathe through your nose and fill the lowepart of your lungs. Instead of your of your chest. expanding as it does with a shallow breath, your abdomen expands. Watch a baby breathe. This is a natural breath.
Practice breathing every day, all day. In time, proper breathing will become second nature. You will have greater reserves when you exert yourself. Your stress will be reduced. Every cell in your body will benefit from higher oxygen levels and increased elimination of wastes and toxins.
The fifth, sixth, and seventh limbs are dedicated to an escalating mastery of meditation. Each is dependent on mastery of the limb preceding it.
Fifth Limb: Withdrawal of the Senses (Pratyahara)
This may occur through breathing, meditation, or exercises, but it refers to the ability to withdraw your senses to the point they no longer distract you.
Sixth Limb: Concentration (Dharana)
Concentration is honed to focus on one object, one point, one image, at a time.
Seventh Limb: Meditation (Dhyana)
This is uninterrupted meditation when objects are no longer needed to focus the mind.
Eighth Limb: Enlightenment (Samadhi)
The eighth limb is achieved through mastery of the other seven. The eighth limb is the ultimate goal.
All of the other 8 limbs
work and nothing blocks you from oneness with the Divine. This is the definitive level or awareness and peace.
It is estimated that eighty-five percent of westerners who practice yoga limit their involvement to Hatha yoga, the combination of breathing techniques and postures or exercises. You don’t have to stand on your head or twist like a pretzel to practice Hatha yoga. You can find books, Internet sites, and teachers to aid you regardless of your age, weight, disability or physical condition. Check out your local library. Chances are you’ll find at least a dozen books on yoga. Look for those that target your needs.
Dress comfortably in loose clothing and take off your shoes and socks. Give yourself plenty of room and a quiet atmosphere. Start with a few simple exercises, but follow directions carefully. Even the simplest exercises gently stretch your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, increase blood flow
to all parts of the body, including your organs, and increase your flexibility and range of motion.
All postures involve three equally important actions:
- Gently stretch into the posture
- Hold the posture
- Ease out of the posture
Focus your concentration on your form and on correct breathing. Never force or push. Do not bounce. Maintain slow, easy, fluid motion. Empty your mind of everything except your breath and your form.
Every yoga exercise, or every set of exercises, includes equal and opposing
movement. For instance, neck rolls to the left are followed by neck rolls to the right. Forward stretches are followed by stretching back, either as a part of the same exercise or as the following exercise. This is an important element to remember if you are practicing without a teacher. Watch for this pattern in your instructions.
Through regular practice you will achieve both physical and mental benefits.
The Seven Chakras
Yoga tells us seven major chakras run in a line from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Each is a spinning vortex or wheel
of energy first connected to the major organs and glands and then to other parts of the body that resonate at the same vibration. Each chakra is associated with a color, and in addition to the physical connection, each is connected to us on an emotional, mental, and spiritual level.
The goal is to have all of our chakras clear and unblocked. If a chakra is underactive, other chakras may compensate by becoming overactive, so balance between the chakras is also important.
Chakras are said to take in the energy of our environment—all kinds of energy—including sound waves and light waves, and they emit energy as well.
Chakras are affected by our environment, our diet, and the people who surround us. Meditation and Hatha yoga help to clear and balance chakras. But there are also specific means to target the chakras and release bound up or blocked energy such as chanting and/or utilizing sacred hand positions (mudras) while meditating.
Kundalini yoga is a discipline that focuses on spiritual growth through awakening the life force lying dormant in the chakras. This yoga practice is said to be so powerful it is not to be undertaken without a teacher.
Yoga for the Hands (Mudras)
Throughout the ages, mankind has used hand gestures to communicate and to record history. We find some of these gestures to be universal, such as clapping our hands in approval or holding our palms together in prayer.
In Eastern cultures many hand gestures are used in traditional dance as well as during the practice of yoga. Mudras are believed to have restorative or healing properties when used in conjunction with meditation, focused concentration, and proper breathing.
Mudras redirect or activate energy flowing through the body and stimulate targeted body systems, organs, emotions, etc. Mundras are also used in conjunction with meditation and chanting to open the chakras. Source
Practical Ayurveda for Self-Healing
Understanding your Ayurvedic constitution and how to work with it can help you feel your best on every level. You can have stronger, more consistent energy and health… more calmness and mental clarity… more happiness and well-being.
Ayurveda, which literally means “The Science of Life,” is the healing science from India, thousands of years old. It has been practiced by millions of people to bring the body back to a state of optimal health. Today, we find it coming into greater popularity all around the world.
Your instructor for this course, Nayaswami Mangala, is a clinical Ayurvedic specialist, an Ananda Yoga teacher, and has a Master’s degree in Nursing. She is a person of great insight and wisdom, with a deep and instinctive understanding of how to apply Ayurvedic wisdom for greater well-being. She will help each person learn:
The fundamentals of Ayurveda for a balanced, healthy, happy life.
How to determine your own individual constitution and current state of balance or imbalance
The influences of your body type, the seasons, time of day, and other environmental factors
How the doshas (body types) “speak” to you when you're out of balance or balanced
How to balance the doshas through diet, with yoga postures and pranayama, and through increasing the “sattwic,” or elevating parts of your life
You will learn how your constitution influences your preferences in life, how you behave, how you think, and more. You’ll learn how to most effectively work with your constitution for all-round health and happiness. Article source
You’ll learn such specifics as:
How to have more harmony in your relationships with others by understanding who they are at the level of their constitution
How to stay healthy when the seasons change or when you travel
Which yoga postures are best for balancing your individual constitution
By Ann Pizer, About.com Guide Updated September 23, 2004
Definition: Root lock. The first of three interior body “locks” used in asana and pranayama practice to control the flow of energy. To activate mula bandha, exhale and engage the pelvic floor, drawing it upwards towards your navel. If you don’t know how to access the pelvic floor, think of it as the space between the pubic bone and the tailbone. Initially you may need to contract and hold the muscles around the anus and genitals, but really what you want is to isolate and draw up the perineum, which is between the anus and genitals. Do not hold your breath. Engaging mula bandha while doing yoga poses can give the postures an extra lift. This is especially useful when jumping.
Pronunciation: Moola Baun-da