H - Glossary

Hanuman: The monkey king, and one of the heroes of the Ramayana. He was devoted to Lord Rama, for whom he performed many acts of magic and daring.

Hatha: Force or overcoming will.

Hatha Yoga: A branch of Yoga, perhaps the most practiced style of Yoga, emphasizing the physical aspects of the spiritual path, with postures and breath control.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika: The oldest significant manuscript devoted specifically to the exposition of Hatha Yoga, which was not established as a separate form until sometime around 700 - 1000 B.C.

Hinduism: It is both a civilization and a community of religions; it has no beginning or founder, nor a central authority, hierarchy, or organization. Every attempt to define Hinduism has proved to be unsatisfactory in one way or another. It embraces one god and many gods, it is unique, but acknowledges many paths to one truth.

Hridayam: That which is especially nourishing and healing for the heart.

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Why Ashtanga? What Does it mean?

The term "ashtanga" comes from the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, where it refers to classical yoga's eight (ashta)-limb (anga) practice. (Some yoga scholars such as Georg Feuerstein maintain that Patanjali's real contribution to yoga was kriya yoga, the "yoga of ritual action," and that the eight-limb practice was borrowed from another source.) The eight limbs are restraint, observance, posture, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditative absorption, and "enstasy." This last word, which means "standing inside of," is Mircea Eliade's translation of samadhi, which literally means to "put together" or "bring into harmony." In samadhi, we "stand inside of" our true Self in preparation for the ultimate state of classical yoga, the eternal "aloneness" (kaivalya) of that Self in the purity and joy of its being.

While Patanjali's underlying dualism between Self and nature has long been out of favor, his eight-limb method still influences many modern schools of yoga. One of those schools is the currently popular Ashtanga Yoga developed by K. Pattabhi Jois from the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya (father of T.K.V. Desikachar, brother-in-law of B.K.S. Iyengar, and mentor to both).

Since I'm not an authority on this practice, I asked Ashtanga teacher Richard Freeman to explain. He replied that the Krishnamacharya-Pattabhi Jois system is indeed modeled on the eight limbs of Patanjali; the emphasis, however, is on the correct performance of the third limb (posture) as a means of realizing all the limbs, including, of course, samadhi. Since we in the West sometimes focus exclusively on posture and overlook the other limbs, Richard believes that Pattabhi Jois calls his system "Ashtanga" in part "to encourage his students to look into the whole practice more deeply" and integrate all the limbs.

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50 Celebrities Who Use Yoga

Let me see.... oh, really? This only needs a headline :)

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G-Glossary ;)

More and more terms:

Gautama: Siddhartha Gautama abandoned a life of comfort as the son of a. local king and dedicated himself to finding a way to end human suffering. At first he was an extreme ascetic, but eventually found a "middle way" and finally, after meditating intensely under the bodhi tree, he had a vision of the entire cycle of birth and rebirth and with it a path of non-attachment that showed the way out of sorrow and suffering. With perfect enlightenment he became the Buddha.

Ganesha: An elephant-headed God, son of Shiva who takes away all obstacles and is the God of good fortune.

Ghee: Clarified butter.

Govinda: Another name for Krishna, who is also referred to as Gopala.

Granthi: Blockages of energy within the body. Literally, a "knot". In order to experience self-realization, the knots must be released.

Grihastha: A person at the second of the four stages of life, the stage of the householder.

Gunam: Inner beauty.

Gunas: The three (raja, tamas, sattva) basic qualities of nature that determine the inherent characteristics of all created things. They are: purity, light, harmony and intelligence, activity and passion, and dullness, inertia and ignorance.

A personal spiritual teacher or guide who has himself achieved spiritual insight. From at least the time of the Upanisads, India has stressed the importance of the tutorial method in religious instruction. Classically, the pupil lived at the home of his guru and served him with obedience and devotion.

Guru Gita: A sacred text consisting of mantras that describe the nature of the Guru, and the Guru-disciple relationship.

Gurukul: Traditional Hindu residential schools of learning; typically the teacher's house or a monastery.

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What Does Namaste Mean?

The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. "Nama" means bow, "as" means I, and "te" means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you."

To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word "Namaste" is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.

For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.Ideally, Namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of class.

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Glossary: Another DAy =)

A lil' bit "E" :

Eka: or Ek, meaning One, single.

Eka Pada Hastasana: The one leg posture.

Eka Pada Kakasana: The one leg crow posture.

A lil' bit "F" :

Flow Yoga: Flow Yoga is about linking the breath with the pose. One moves from pose to pose in a smooth, easy manner, like Meditation in Motion and on a deeper level, as resistance is released and tension is shed, you flow with the present moment.

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Glossary: Another Day

The D-day =)
Dahl: A small lentil.

Dakshina: An offering or gift to God or the Guru. Traditionally, when one seeks the teachings or blessings of a saint, one brings an offering; this act of giving invites grace. The practice of giving dakshina is an expression of gratitude and love for what has been received on the spiritual path.

Dalit: A person outside the class system of Hinduism who was formerly termed as Untouchable.

Dandayamana-Dhanurasana: Standing bow pulling posture, This posture frims the abdominal wall and upper thighs, and tightens upper arms, hips and buttocks.

Darshama: A visit to a great person, viewpoint or vision.

Darshana: Visionary states or insight experienced during or after meditation. Literally "vision" or "sight".

Daya: Compassion for all creatures.

Deva: Male deity; literally 'shining one'.

Devi: Female deity.

Dharma: A term of many meanings, including "law", "virtue", and "righteousness". In general, dharma means the religious discipline for the four orders of life: maintaining celibacy and studying, family life, a devout and renounced life (but living with the spouse), and total renunciation for God realization.

Dharana: Concentration. The sixth limb of the Ashtanga or Raja Yoga system.

Dharma Sastra: Law Books forming part of the scriptures of Hinduism.

Dhatu: One of seven divisions of the body, it correlates with the modern scientific concept of "tissue".

Dhi: The mind's ability to learn or acquire knowledge.

Dhriti: The mind's ability to process and store what it has learned.

Dhyana: Meditation. The seventh limb of the Ashtanga or Raja Yoga system.

Dirgha Svasam: A comprehensive breathing technique in yoga.

Doshas: Three governing principles in nature that guide the functioning of the mind and body.

Dravidians: The oldest known inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent. Archeological remains of their civilization have been found in the Indus River Valley dating back to 2700 BCE. In some areas, the Dravidians were conquered by the Aryans when they migrated from the West around 1500 BC.

Durga: One of the wives of Shiva. She is the goddess of retribution and justice. She is both beautiful and fierce, and usually appears with eight arms carrying weapons and riding upon a tiger or a lion.

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Glossary: The Beginning =)

Some "C"-terms:
Chakra: Literally, the wheel of a wagon; it is a term used to represent the energetic centers of the body. In Hindu Yoga there are seven such centers that store and release life force (prana): the base of the spine, the genitals, the naval, the heart, the middle of the forehead, and the top of the head.

Chela: A pupil, as student who studies spirituality.

Chiti: The power of universal Consciousness; the creative aspect of God.

Chaitanya: The fundamental, all-pervasive, divine Consciousness. When used in reference to a mantra, the capacity to draw one's mind spontaneously into meditative stillness.

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Glossary: The Beginning =)

Another day, another letter ;)
Baba: A term of affection and respect for a saint or holy man.

Bala: Strength or immunity.

Bandha: Binding, a muscular lock.

Bandha Padmasana:
The bound lotus posture.

Basti: An herbal enema.

Bhagavad-Gîtâ: meaning "Song of God", The epic poem Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Krishna, part of the 2000-year-old Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, is considered by many to be the most important text in the Hindu religion. The poem takes the form of a dialogue in which the god Krishna advises the human hero Prince Arjuna before a great battle. Krishna also talks about Sankhya and Yoga, two of the six orthodox Hindu schools of thought.

Bhagwan: One endowed with spiritual power, righteousness, knowledge, and renunciation. A term and title of great honor.

Bhakt: The path of devotion; an intense love of God. When a man gets it, he loves all, hates none; and becomes satisfied forever.

Bhakti Yoga: The practice of devotional disciplines. It is union through devotion.

Bhastra: Breath control. Hatha Yoga uses eight different kinds of breath control. Bhastra is one of them.

Bhranti Darshana: A delusion.

Bhuja: Arm or shoulder.

Bhujangasana: The cobra posture.

Bikram Yoga: A rigorous form of Yoga performed in a room heated to at least 95 degrees. Each posture in the sequence is designed to safely stretch and open the body, in preparation for the next posture.

Bindi: A mark (usually round and red), worn on the centre of the forehead to show that a woman is married, typically now a days it is worn as makeup.

Bodhi: Enlightenment; the pursuit of pure truth without any attachment. Prince Gautama, the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree (actually a fig tree), determined to stay there until he experienced supreme enlightenment.

Bodhisattva: A being who has developed the aspiration to attain the state of Buddhahood and devotes his life to the task of achieving it for the sake of all sentient beings.

Brahma: As part of the Hindu Trinity of Vishnu and Shiva, Brahma is the creator of the Universe.

Brahmacharya: Literally means practicing conduct that leads one to God. Mostly it is used to describe self-restraint, especially over sexual desire, the first stage in the fourfold Hindu life cycle.

The opening where kundalini enters the spine.

Brahmanda Prana: Cosmic breath.

Brahmin: A priest or scholar; a member of the most privileged of the four social classes of Hinduism.

Brihaspati: The Hindu Deity of Wisdom; the chief of all the priests.

Buddha: The Awakened One - The honorary title of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism who lived in the sixth century B.C. The name is also given to those who achieve true enlightenment and as a result, inner freedom.

Buddhi: Wisdom, the higher mind or intellect.

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Glossary: The Beginning =)

Some essential and necessary yoga terms. Let's start with "A"!

Abhyanga: A specialized oil application and massage.

Agni: Digestive and metabolic fire.

Ama: Poorly digested food material that accumulates in the body.

Ama Visha: An especially harmful, disease-promoting type of ama that contains highly reactive toxins.

Amrit kalash: literally means "container of immortality".

Ananda: Bliss or joy. In Indian philosophy of the Upanishads, Ananda was an important attribute of the supreme being, Brahman. "Bliss" was used to define Brahman and was also considered to be the highest state of the individual self.

Ananda Yoga: Ananda Yoga focuses on gentle postures designed to move the body's energy to different organs and muscles, but primarily to the brain to prepare for meditation.

Antahkarana: The mind.

Antaratma: The inner self, residing in the heart.

Ardha Chandrasana: In Hatha Yoga, the Half-Moon posture.

Ardha Padmasana: the Half-Lotus posture in Hatha Yoga.

Arjuna: The hero of the Indian epic Mahabharata, he was the friend and devotee of Lord Krishna, who revealed the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to him on the eve of the battle.

Artha: Worldly wealth, the pursuit of wealth and social status.

Artharya Veda: "Knowledge of Incantations", the fourth Veda.

Aryans: The migrant invaders of India from approximately 1500 b.c; people of spiritual values.

Asampranjata: The highest super-conscious state where the mind is completely stilled and Reality is experienced.

Asana: Originally an immobile body posture; a seat or sitting posture that was used for meditation and to help facilitate perfect concentration. Hatha yoga developed this practice into a series of asanas or postures.

Ashram: A spiritual settlement or community, a peaceful retreat. A place to meditate or study the philosophy of Yoga.

Ashramas: Nearly 2,000 years ago, the dharma texts described the four ashramas (stages of life). It taught that a man should first be a chaste student, then become a married householder who honors his ancestors by begetting sons, then devote himself to spiritual contemplation, and finally, become a homeless wandering ascetic.

Ashtanga: The eight parts or stages into which the sage Patanjali divided Yoga. He wrote a structural and functional analysis of the techniques, called the "Yoga Sutras" which to this day are still considered to be the single most definitive treatise on the subject.

Ashtanga Yoga: A Yoga regimen commonly know as "Power Yoga", Ashtanga is a flowing practice in which the postures are linked together and are always done in the exact same sequence.

Asthi: One of the seven bodily constituents, mainly bone and bone metabolism.

Asthi Soshirya: Porous or brittle bones; osteoporosis.

Atmajnana: Knowledge of the Self.

Atman: The self as Spirit which is eternal and super-conscious; our true nature or identity, or spiritual essence. Sometimes a distinction is made between the atman as the individual self and the Parame-Atman, as the transcendental self

Atmiyata: The feeling of oneness.

Avadhuta: An enlightened being who lives in a state beyond body-consciousness.

Avatar: A divine incarnation of God, usually incarnations of Vishnu and his wife Laksmi. Krishna and Rama are the two principal ones, while Buddha is considered the ninth avatar of Vishnu.

Ayurveda: A division of the Vedic literature that deals with health, literally "knowledge of the totality of life". Originated in India approximately 3,000 years ago. It is still a favored form of health care in India. Ayurvedic medicine is both preventive and curative. The preventive part emphasizes the need for a strict code of personal and social hygiene. The curative aspect of Ayurvedic medicine involves the use of herbal medicines, Yoga, and diet.

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What Is Yoga?

As for me, it's a silly question, however, it's also a frequently asked one.
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj", i.e. "to yoke" (to the spirit) meaning "union of the Individual Soul (Atman) with the Universal Soul (Brahman). 'Atman' and 'Brahma' are Hindu idealogical terms, and are used as a reference for the mind, whereas there truly is only Oneness.

Yoga embraces a wide range of disciplines whose ultimate goal is the joining of body,mind and spirit, a conscious unification into Oneness.

Yoga is one of six classic systems of Hindu philosophy whose roots date back 5,000 years. There are four classic Yogas, and they are progressive in nature; i.e., Karma Yoga (right acts and actions), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Raja Yoga (meditation) and Jnana Yoga (inner wisdom or enlightenment). The classic four yogas have expanded into several other forms of Yoga. Hatha Yoga (worshipful poses), for example, is part of Raja Yoga training. Some of the other forms of Yoga are Nada Yoga (music), Mantra and Japa Yoga (chanting and on beads), and Kundalini Yoga (study of the psychic centers or chakras).

In the Western world, the most popular form is Hatha Yoga, (Sanskrit for "Union of Force"), a form of Yoga that stresses mastery of the physical body as a gateway to attaining spiritual perfection. Hatha Yoga traces its origins to Gorakhnath, the legendary 12th-century founder of the Kanphata Yogis. That's all, folks =)... for today

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9 Things You Should Know About Yoga for Children

Here are some guidelines and realistic expectations for parents, who are considering Yoga for their children:

1. Make sure your child starts with easy postures, and be patient with your child's progress. Some children can often be more flexible than advanced adult Yoga practitioners, but they don't know their own limitations.

2. Look for a qualified Yoga instructor, who has experience in teaching children. Make sure the child's Yoga instructor has adequate experience.

3. Discover your child's real passions. All children are different, and what is good for one of your children, may not agree with another. However, when your child wants to go to Yoga class, it is much better than what you want for your child. This is not to say that you should avoid guidance. However, it is not advisable to push a child into a Yoga class, if your child doesn't enjoy it - no matter how popular Yoga may be.

4. Encourage your child to see the deeper benefits of Yoga: learning to live within the moment, and appreciating the present situation, instead of focusing on desires, these are built-in mental assets of Yoga practice. Enhanced concentration skills are another benefit that will result in improved academic performance.

5. Watch your child practice, with his or her, Yoga teacher, and make sure you are comfortable with the environment, policies, and safety guidelines. Rules and discipline policies are usually in place so that each child can learn Yoga and get the most out of their experience.

6. For your child's safety at home: Parents who are not familiar with Yoga, should not let their "beginner Yoga children" practice anything beyond beginner techniques, without a competent Yoga instructor's approval. Once your child's Yoga instructor gives approval of home practice, you are fine.

7. A smaller kid's Yoga class is actually better than a larger one. This insures that your child's Yoga instructor can pay close attention to each student during practice session.

8. Price should not be the top factor in choosing your child's Yoga teacher. Would you choose the cheapest dentist, clothes, or car? Very often, "you get what you pay for."

9. In conclusion, with steady practice, you should expect to see your child gradually gain self-esteem, stress management tools, self discipline, enhanced academic performance, and improved athletic skills.

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News for ADDers ;)

As you know, one of the reasons why people begin practicing yoga is to improve their health and well-being.Exercise is a powerful tool for ADD management. Medical professionals recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (such as running or biking) 3-5 times per week to improve their general health. For ADDers, this type of exercise is particularly beneficial, because it may balance production of neurotransmitters and reduce stress levels. Another form of exercise that ADDers are finding valuable is yoga. When practiced regularly, yoga offers numerous health benefits, such as increased strength and flexibility, and decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, the greater benefits of yoga are arguably the psychological ones. Yoga combines physical activity with self-awareness, which promotes a mind-body connection that many ADDers lack.

When ADDers report challenges with impulsivity and hyperactivity, they often describe feeling like they don't have control over their own bodies. They find themselves speaking before thinking their thoughts through, and often regret their words. They constantly fidget, unaware that their bubbling energy can be disruptive to others in work and social situations. And they feel as if they simply cannot stop the whirlwind of thoughts spinning in their heads.

Yoga can help ADDers learn how to forge a mind-body connection that promotes self-awareness and self-control. Yoga practitioners are taught deep breathing and relaxation techniques that help center the mind in the present moment. Practitioners are also guided into holding different postures, called asanas. Each asana is held for an extended period of time, as the practitioner focuses on holding the best posture that they can, while breathing calmly and deeply. The asanas promote stretching, strengthening, and balancing, as the deep breathing promotes relaxation and mental awareness.

It is important to remember that yoga is not meant to be stressful or taxing on the body. People should be encouraged to concentrate only on themselves and not the others in the class, and to do only what feels comfortable. A practitioner should never feel pressured to perform. If an ADDer finds him/herself at a yoga class that moves too quickly, or focuses heavily on strength training, they will not reap the intended benefits, and may find themselves overwhelmed. The best place to find yoga instruction is at a yoga center, where the instructors practice yoga as a way of life, and teach both the physical and psychological components.

Yoga can help ADDers feel calm, centered, in control, and in touch with their bodies. Practiced regularly, ADDers will find that yoga is a powerful mental and physical refresher that they can retreat to when feeling out of control or overwhelmed.

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Asanas- Specific Benefits of Each Type

As you can see, the benefit of yoga has far reaching effects in every area of your life. However, I often wondered what the value of each type of yoga asana is, so I did some research to find out. All yoga positions help to develop strength and flexibility or improve your balance. Yet the type of yoga position that you do also offers some very specific benefits. Here they are:

Standing Poses
They are included in many poses and they help to align your feet and body. This type of yoga position is especially useful in improving your posture. Standing poses strengthen your legs while simultaneously increasing flexibility in your legs and hips. They add to the mobility of your neck and shoulders and they increase the flexibility in your pelvis and lower back. One of the most basic standing poses is Mountain Pose.

Seated Poses
These poses help increase flexibility in your hips and lower back, while also strengthening your back. They add suppleness to your spine and elasticity to your hips, knees, ankle and groin. They also encourage deeper breathing, which contributes to you feeling calm and peaceful.

Although balance poses can be challenging, I find them to be some of the most fun poses to do. They help you develop muscle tone and coordination and also strength and agility. They help improve your posture because you really need to elongate your spine in order to keep yourself from falling over. This type of yoga position helps train your mind to focus your attention; if your attention if not focused, you will not be able to do the pose.

I love to do twists, everyone loves it. Twists release tension in your spine and increase shoulder and hip mobility. They also help relieve backaches by stretching and opening up your back muscles. I often experience tightness in my upper back and twists help me loosen up this area. It is important to always do twists on both sides of your body in order to ensure alignment and balance.

Forward Bends
This type of yoga position helps stretch your lower back and hamstrings. Forward bends also release tension in your back, neck, shoulders, and increase the flexibility in your spine. They often promote a sense of calmness. I find forward bends particularly challenging since I have a considerable amount of stiffness in my neck due to an old gymnastics injury. This is the type of yoga position where I often use a prop such as a strap or block.

Back Bends
They open your chest, rib cage, and hips. They strengthen your arms and shoulders, while simultaneously increasing flexibility in your shoulders. They help relieve tension from the front of your body and hips and they also increase spinal stability. You should always do back bends as a complement to forward bends in order to maintain balance in your body.

Supine and Prone Poses
Supine poses are done on your back. They help stretch your abdominal muscles, they open your hips, and increase your spinal mobility. They release tension and strengthen your back, arms and legs.
Prone poses are done facing the floor. They strengthen your arms and back and open up your hips and groin. They relieve tension and increase flexibility in your spine. One of my favorite prone poses is Extended Seal because I find it very relaxing and it helps stretch out my shoulders and upper back.

This type of yoga position develops strength and stamina, particularly in your upper body. It also increases circulation because since your legs are higher than your heart, it reverses the normal flow of blood. Inversions help pull fluid out of your feet and legs, so they are great to do after you have been standing up for a long time. Advanced inversion poses require a great deal of strength and alignment and should only be learned under the guidance of a certified teacher. People with glaucoma, pregnant women and those who are menstruating should avoid inversion poses.

Relaxation Poses
Relaxation poses are usually done at the end of a yoga practice. They calm your mind and body and encourage a deep feeling of relaxation. This type of yoga position is often one of the most challenging poses to do, particularly for Westerners who often have a difficult time letting go. One of the most well-known relaxation poses is Corpse Pose or Shavasana.

There are hundreds of poses in yoga and they all provide wonderful benefits for your mind and body. By understanding each type of yoga position, you can choose a well rounded practice with asanas from each type or do those that meet your body's needs at any given time.

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What Does Asana mean?

For newcomers, - I forgot to mention what's this - asana?
As you know (I hope you know it), the benefit of yoga practice goes far beyond the actual time you spend in the poses. And don't forget that the main goal of Yoga practice is to fuse and blend the human spirit with the spirit of the Universe. In so doing the person practicing Yoga increases their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health along the way. It is the practice of living as one with the surrounding environment and the world as a whole, bla, bla,bla... So, to prepare your body so that your spirit can accomplish its mission you should combine a series of stretching exercises referred to as asanas! ;)

The word 'asana' literally means comfortable or stable position. There are multiple asanas and they are practiced with two objectives in mind. One is to condition the body to enable it to hold a particular asana for an extended period of time. When the body is in this resting form the mind is able to move into a meditative state allowing the spirit to also move along its path. The second reason that asanas are used is to bring about increased physical well being, mental alertness and spiritual health. The asanas open the body up to receive, release or otherwise balance the energy inside with that of the outside Universe. Therefore, you get physical benefit, as well as mental. And don't forget that each type of asana that you do also offers some very specific benefits! I'll try to describe them later.

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Yoga For Children

Recently I've decided to become a yoga instructor for children. You may ask why... Actually, I've got a proposition from my own teacher - she opens new class.
Of course I know that using fun imaginary animal poses, actions, sequences and balances you can help to increase a child's self awareness, build self esteem and strengthen their bodies. And that the practice of yoga offers an opportunity for children to gain a sense of peace and self confidence. BUT, how about my experience in teaching children? Yoga is much more than a kid's fitness class! I suppose I'm qualified enough - will see ;)
Just like adults - kids need time to learn to deal with life's daily pressures, too.
And as well as others, who begin practicing yoga to improve their health and well-being, children are impacted by their practice. With steady practice I expect your child gradually gain self-esteem, stress management tools, self discipline, enhanced academic performance, and improved athletic skills. But each asana requires guidance. Actually, some beginner children can often be more flexible than advanced adult Yoga practitioners, but they don't know their own limitations. And there is also a whole bandle of guidelines I should take into account... Will speak later ;)

9 Things You Should Know About Yoga for Children

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8 Simple Benefits of Yoga - Or Why Should You Start as a Teacher?

Someone says that Yoga is "the mother of all health maintenance systems". I hope it's
enough to make this post at least worth reading ;) There are several things you need to know to realize the real necessity of yoga in your life, and not only yours.

First of all, every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

1 - Job Satisfaction

In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that "My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment." Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation. There's always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.

2 - Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers

Your self esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path, is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without the headache or backache they came in with.

3 - Your Own Health

As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

4 - There is no Shortage of Work

When the working world is in the "9 to 5" mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don't have a personal referral.

5 - Continuing Education

Yes, learning new things keeps
keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It's not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

6 - Time

You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

7 - Independence

Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

8 - Success

No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year. Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key - If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it. Maintain a regular yoga practice, and you will see for yourself, how yoga can benefit you too.

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