Yoga for Skeletal Health

The ancient practice of yoga, which dates back more than 5,000 years, improves skeletal health through skillful selection and consistent application of a variety of exercises. Yoga poses for skeletal health are chosen for their ability to improve posture, increase flexibility and relieve skeletal system tensions. Yoga assists in maintaining bone density. It also helps minerals that are stored in the bones, as well as the blood cells produced in bone marrow, to be released to the bloodstream for the body’s use as needed.

The Importance of a Healthy Skeletal System

Human skeletons contain 206 bones. Joints connect the ends of some bones. Encapsulated synovial fluid provides lubrication to the adjoining bone ends to reduce friction. Ligaments and muscles attach to bones by making use of either attachment points or insertion points on the bones. A healthy skeletal system is the foundation for a healthy body. Yoga postures optimize the conditions necessary to improve or maintain skeletal health.

Treating Osteoporosis with Yoga

Loren M. Fishman, a medical doctor affiliated with the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, led a pilot study to research the effectiveness of yoga in treating or preventing osteoporosis. The findings of this study were published in “Topics for Geriatric Rehabilitation” in 2009 and can be viewed here. Although the number of participants who completed the study were small, results were significant. Those in the study who faithfully performed the prescribed yoga routines showed noticeable improvement in the bone density of both spine and hip.

Yoga Helps Joints and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Because yoga increases the circulation of synovial fluid, it helps joints move more freely and reduces joint pain. In addition, yoga positions that require the use of a person’s muscles to push and pull on the skeleton stimulate local bone growth. Yoga also has proved useful in treating musculoskeletal disorders of the hand and wrist. Marian Garfinkel, with the Medical College of Pennsylvania, led studies in 1994 and 1998 that confirmed the effectiveness of yoga in lessening the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome and improving grip.

Align the Body and Improve Balance with Yoga and Props

Yoga poses align the body and improve balance. Because yoga allows the use of props, people with disabilities or physical ailments can perform poses that otherwise would be impossible. Yoga instructors familiar with the proper use of props are able to individualize the various routines to fit each person’s age and condition. Such individualization maximizes the benefits of yoga for the skeletal health of every participant.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Health Benefits of Yoga: Simply Fantastic

Some people avoid Yoga because they think it is only for people who are athletic, strong, young and flexible. This could not be further from the truth. There is no doubt that Yoga is a unique type of exercise, however people who regularly practice Yoga enjoy many health and fitness benefits. If you are avoiding Yoga, you are actually missing out on benefiting your body, your spirit and your mind. Read this article to learn about how Yoga can be beneficial to your life.

Practicing Yoga Can Help Strengthen Your Lungs

Yoga involves deep purposeful breathing and studies have shown that such exercises can strengthen the functioning of the lungs. This can benefit you in several different ways.

You will be able to run or walk longer distances without getting too tired. Also you will not lose your breadth so easily when you climb a flight of stairs. If you participate in sports, you will find your performance improving as your lung capacity increases. So start practicing Yoga today and watch your performance levels soar.

Yoga Will Make You Stronger and Fitter

You might be wondering how Yoga can make you stronger since it does not involve lifting heavy weights. Yoga is actually a body weight bearing workout. When you do Yoga, you lift your body weight against gravity and this will help to build your muscles.

Perhaps, you do not care about body building or developing big muscles. What you should understand is that a bigger muscle mass burns more calories in a day. Also, you continue to burn calories even when you are not exercising. Therefore, your body will be burning fat while you are watching television or sleeping. And as you age, you lose muscle mass, especially if you do not work them. Therefore you should make Yoga a part of your everyday routine so as to preserve your muscles.

Yoga Can Give You a Better Posture

This might be difficult to believe because Yoga involves twisting and bending your body into unconventional positions. However, it is a fact that Yoga can improve your posture. This is because Yoga makes your body stronger so that your muscles can better support a good posture.

In addition, you will become more flexible by practicing Yoga regularly. It will help to remove the stiffness and tension in your body, so you can comfortably walk and sit with your back and shoulders straight, and your stomach tucked in. You may think that posture is not important, but it has been shown that poor posture can damage the spine as well as its associated ligaments and muscles. Also, poor posture can cause gastrointestinal disorder, jaw pain and headaches. Yoga can help you avoid these problems.

Yoga is Beneficial for Heart Health

If you have high blood pressure, Yoga just might help you. Several studies have shown that people who practice Yoga regularly have lower blood cholesterol levels and lower risks of developing heart disease. Because it is extremely effective, some doctors now use Yoga breathing techniques and exercises to reverse symptoms of heart ailment plus other stress induced diseases. Therefore, by adding Yoga to your daily routine, you can reduce the risk of a stroke and heart attack.

Yoga Helps Alleviate Depression Symptoms

If you feel depressed, and have tried everything to deal with it, then Yoga may be the answer. People who practice Yoga regularly say that Yoga helps improve their mood, energy and focus.

Some healthcare professionals believe that the deep breathing is what actually helps. When your brain receives more oxygen, you will have more energy, feel better and have a more positive attitude. Other experts believe that it has to do with Yoga’s stress relieving effects. When you engage in an activity that causes your body to feel more relaxed, your mind will also feel good.

Also, some other experts say the improvement in mood is the result of Yoga’s ability to balance the endocrine and nervous systems of the body, both of which influence your emotions. All these will give you a feeling of calmness and wellbeing. In view of the numerous health and fitness benefits of Yoga, you should seriously consider including it in your daily routine.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

About The Health Benefits Of Yoga Training

You hear a lot of talk about the health benefits of yoga. As teachers, we see our students change on a daily basis; but the buzz about what we do and what we see can quickly be put in its place by a Doubting Thomas who says, “Prove it.” There is a reason why every yoga teacher needs to know about the proven health benefits in studies, research, trials, and exactly where to find the facts. We can put the next Doubting Thomas back in a closet, and all of this research is good for expanding our minds.

Proven Yoga Health Benefits

Yoga is a system of health maintenance that attempts to combine the body, mind, and spirit into an integrated unit to promote health and increase longevity. The yoga positions, called asanas, are combined with breathing exercises and mental concentration, to encourage a state of physical calm and mental clarity. Yogic practice is thought to go back before Vedic times, but today, scientists are learning about its true value as an aid to health.

Reducing Depression

The practice of yoga can have measurable effects on well-being and mood. A 2012 University of Michigan study showed that yoga can help pregnant women, who were considered at high risk for postpartum depression, benefited from a 10-week period of yoga exercises. Because pregnancy hormones have been linked to the incidence of depression after the birth of the child, the study investigated whether a pre-emptive approach to stress relief, through yoga, would reduce the incidence of women with this condition. Results showed that women were able to manage stress symptoms more easily and were more accepting of non-pharmaceutical methods for controlling depressive symptoms, leading to both healthier mothers and healthier babies. The reduced stress also allowed for better bonding between mother and child.

Decreasing Inflammation

A study done at Ohio State University, in 2010, found that subjects, who did yoga on a regular basis, had lower levels of a chemical called IL-6, cytokine interleukin, in their bloodstreams. This chemical is implicated in higher incidences of inflammation in the body and is linked to heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke and other age-related diseases. The results suggest that yoga exercise can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and improve health as people age.

Lower Back Pain

Yoga has also been found to significantly improve pain and disability from chronic low back pain. A 2009 study from the Department of Community Medicine, at West Virginia University, found that subjects, who practiced yoga over a 24-week period, had reduced pain symptoms, greater function, fewer symptoms of depression and a trend toward using less medication than the control group. These results suggest that people, who suffer from chronic lower back conditions, should consider yoga classes as a valuable therapeutic alternative.

Emotional Benefits of Yoga Training

In addition to the many ways yoga helps your body, it also has many emotional benefits. People, who practice yoga, usually find that they are more relaxed and centered after a session. Over time, this can carry over into everyday life. Let’s look at some of the emotional and psychological advantages to yoga training.

Stress is one of the biggest problems of modern life. It has been associated with many medical conditions, including obesity and high blood pressure. Yoga is one of the best methods to reduce stress, for several reasons.

Exercise, in general, can be effective for relieving stress, but yoga is especially good for accomplishing this. Yoga postures force the practitioner to focus on the details of each movement. This not only works out the body, but gives the mind a useful task upon which to concentrate.

Another reason yoga is so beneficial in this regard is that it promotes deep breathing. Stress is associated with shallow and fast breathing. When you are stressed out, you also tend to breathe higher up, through the chest or lungs, and not the abdomen. Yoga teaches you to slow down your breathing and to breathe through your diaphragm. This can very quickly help you feel more centered and relaxed.

More Research

Yoga can also make you feel more positive and confident. A 2010 study, conducted at the Boston School of Medicine, found that yoga is more effective than walking – when it comes to reducing anxiety and putting people in a better mood. This suggests that yoga might be effective for helping people with depression and other mood disorders, though more research has to be done before this can be stated conclusively.

One indirect way yoga can be emotionally beneficial is in its ability to help you get a better night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can cause quite a bit of stress and other emotional difficulties. Yoga training can be useful for giving the body a workout that’s stimulating, yet not so stimulating that it interferes with sleep. Unlike many other types of exercise, you can practice many yoga postures close to bedtime.

There are many emotional, as well as physical benefits, to practicing yoga. Many people find that certain postures, or styles of yoga, are particularly helpful for certain purposes, such as relaxing or winding down after a day at work. There is little doubt that practicing yoga can help a person feel better in many ways.

Yoga Calms the Mind

The breathing techniques of yoga are designed to calm the mind, body, and soul. By concentrating on the in and out rhythm of your breathing, you are forced to be in the present moment, as opposed to worrying about the past or future. It helps clear the mind of all the unnecessary worry and preoccupation with everything that is going on in life and what needs to get done. It cleanses the palette of the mind, if you will, and prepares for a new day. That way you can start afresh after your cleansing, instead of continuing to allow those thoughts to compound and clutter the mind.

Yoga Increases Body Awareness

Yoga teaches how to become in tune with your body and to be able to recognize when it is being held in a state of tension or anxiety, both which are dangerous health risks and contribute to the onset of stroke, heart attack, panic attacks and extreme anxiety. Yoga teaches you to recognize when your body is in this state of stress and tension. By knowing what physical warning signs to look for, and how the body reacts physically, you can then use the yoga breathing techniques to calm the body back to its normal state, where you are at peace and feel in control, calm, and balanced. Concentrating on breath and body, through these yoga practices, eases tension and relaxes the mind and body. Some of the physical warning signs that the body is under stress include:

• Clenched fists

• Gritting teeth

• Labored breathing

• Tightened or clinched muscles

• Excessive fidgeting

• Restlessness

Yoga Enhances Overall Well-being

We all know that exercise relieves stress and tension. There are, however, many who cannot do strenuous exercises due to one medical reason or another. For these people, yoga is a welcomed alternative to vigorous exercise routines. Yoga focuses largely on stretching the body and deep breathing. While not a high impact or strenuous workout, yoga is very powerful and has beneficial effects on the body, mind, and soul. The stretching elongates the muscles and limbers them up – making it easier to get around and accomplish everyday tasks in your daily routine. It increases blood circulation, pumping more blood to the heart and brain, which gives you a boost of energy and flexibility. The heavy breathing increases oxygen to the blood and heart, which increases alertness and relaxes the body, while ridding it of negative or toxic thoughts, through visualization. By envisioning the inhaling as taking in positive energy and the exhaling as releasing the negative, yoga invokes a feeling of overall well being and peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Yoga and Health Benefits

Most people who actually benefit from Yoga are those who practice, and continue to practice. Often times beginners try Yoga once and never again. They do not see how doing stretches or putting their body in uncomfortable poses helps their life. Here are 5 reasons why us Yoga lovers love the practice:

1. Yoga Relaxes:

When you practice yoga, your full attention is required. The practice allows you to detach from your long, hard day and turn in. For an hour or so, your practice requires you to be in the present moment. Most of the day, we are busy working, or making plans, or thinking about where we need to go, what we need to do… During this hour or so, your mind must focus and detach from all those things that you did or have to do because in order to do any pose, or listen to the instructor’s direction, you need to pay attention. By leaving your work load behind or skipping through your thoughts about your “must do’s,” for that hour, you are clearing your mind. When your mind is clear, you can better reflect on the past, plan your future, and enjoy your present moment.

2. Yoga Strengthens the Body:

Yoga is workout – Of The Mind! There is no doubt that Yoga postures and poses strengthen your muscles and help you lose weight and manage cellulite. It also depends on how often you practice (on and off your mat). Practicing on a regular basis will strengthen those more than others. Yoga allows you to learn about your own body. Which poses can you do? Which poses do you like or dislike? It teaches you your physical limitations, physical capabilities, and physical preferences. How can you strengthen your body without first learning about your very own first? By practicing, you are able to find out if you are a back-bender, arm balancer, or both! I can tell you, I never considered myself flexible before I began to practice Yoga. Over time, I discovered that I am much more flexible than I thought (in my body and my mind)! Being flexible and open in the mind, allows you to be flexible and open in your body. Try it, you have everything to gain.

3. Yoga Strengthens the Mind:

Simple- “Healthy Body = Healthy Mind.” Yoga offers us the tools that help us think clearly. You say, “How can going upside down help me clear my mind?” Well, actually, going upside down reverses your blood flow to your brain which washes out the old and pumps the new and fresh. Besides that, the practice of Yoga (asana) has everything to take with you off your mat. For example, as you practice, one goal is to keep your body engaged, yet soft. We call this Sthira-Sukha. (Sthira – Firm and Alert) and (Sukha- Ease and without Tension). Sound like a piece of cake? Think again. Our practice helps us to find this balance because by finding this balance, we can advance our practice. Otherwise, poses simply remain poses. Think about how this could benefit life outside your mat. In your workplace, employers favor those who have the ability to lead, be strong and firm, speak up, be quick (qualities that Sthira brings) BUT- they also need those who remain calm during crisis, have problem-solving abilities, are polite, communicate well with others (qualities that Sukha brings). Wouldn’t having both benefit you in your work place? Absolutely.

4. Yoga Teaches you to Prevent:

Not only does Yoga help you reflect and sort out all of your issues (even the ones you did not realize you had), but it also helps you to prevent future problems in your life. Yoga enhances your thinking skills. Sometimes, we like to do things over and over again and hope or expect a different result each time (definition of insanity). I know that I am guilty of it as well! Yoga practice is that little light bulb that pops in your head and tells you, “hey, maybe I should try something different since this clearly is not working.” So, you may ask, “how can doing a yoga pose possibly help me with this!?” Here is why: Since the poses teach you about your body, they also teach you how far you can go or if perhaps you have gone too far. If your body does not feel good in a pose or causes you pain, you are asked to COME OUT and try a different or modified pose that is better for your body. See the connection? A lot of times these concepts are not even noticed. We begin to say, “Yoga feels good, puts me in a better mood, changed my life.. etc” It is because as we begin to practice, we begin to recognize the things that are getting in our way and we recognize them more quickly than before, then by having a clear mind, we take action. Over time, this becomes a prevention tool.

5. Yoga Changes Old Habits:

You know those bad habits you have and find a very hard time stepping away from them? Well, here is where Yoga can help you in that area of your life. Yoga practice makes you recognize all sorts of things about yourself that you did not know. Simply because, as mentioned before, it requires your full attention. Once you learn about yourself, you recognize your habits (the good and bad ones). As you may know, the first step in changing anything is recognizing the problem. In this case, recognizing your bad habits. Sometimes we are not fully aware of our habits. So how can we change them if we do not even know we have them? By practicing Yoga, we learn about our body, preferences, and our health. Naturally, paying close attention to ourselves is like studying our own self and seeing ourself through the eyes of the world outside of us. This is not so easy to do, especially if we are so caught up in our stressful and busy lives. As we practice over time, we become extremely sensitive to notice everything about ourselves and that is when we clearly recognize our habits. To go into more depth, we begin to recognize how we could possibly make our habits better or shift things in other areas to help balance out the things that we cannot change. For example, excessive smokers or drinkers who wish they could stop their habits may find it almost impossible to let go. Working with your body, over time teaches the concept of “letting go of that which does not serve me.” Over time, with practice and most importantly commitment, change will come and it will come naturally.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Some of the Important Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga teacher training plays an important role in maintaining the health of an individual. According to particular research, 12 weeks of yoga were recommended against therapeutic exercises. It was discovered that the yoga class showed greater improvement while the experienced benefits lasted for 14 weeks longer.

However, caution was issued against extreme movements that have the ability of causing back pain. Nevertheless, many of the poses are helpful. The medical benefits of yoga include:

· Relieving of stress

To help combat stress, the majority of people are turning to meditation and other stress reduction tolls. Stress normally creates physical responses within the body; therefore, it can be managed with exercise – and in particular, yoga. In a state of stress, the muscles usually tense up, breathing patterns change and heart beats faster.

If the causes for stress are not discontinued, the body normally secretes hormones that increase the levels of blood sugar and raise the blood pressure. Yoga is advanced as a stress-relief tool because it offers positive effects to the system of the body.

· Treats asthma and other breathing problems

Asthma is a common lung condition that involves chronic inflammation of bronchi (airways). During an asthma attack, the muscles in the bronchi constrict, while the airways become swollen and inflamed and the breathing becomes difficult. Yoga is recommended for the treatment of bronchial asthma. Yoga breathing exercises administered with the standard pharmacological treatment helps to improve bronchial asthma.

· Treatment of obesity

The obesity rates have reached an epidemic proportion. Some activities such as vinyasa, vigorous power or the ashtanga yoga classes performed for 90 minutes, 3 to 5 times every week can help produce weight loss. Yoga helps to keep people to be in tune with proper health of their bodies. People become aware of the bad habits, like eating because one is depressed, bored or stressed.

Yoga instructor training is recommended for anyone looking for the best results with yoga. There are different varieties of yoga. Each of the variety offers a slightly different slant. One of the popular forms is hatha yoga. It is normally taught in classes that cater for beginners all the way to advanced practitioners.

It is important to inform your teacher if you have had a recent surgery, illness, high blood pressure, osteoporosis or heart problems. Furthermore, it is important to inform the teacher if you are pregnant. During the practice, you are advised against talking because this is likely to disturb your quiet focus as well as that of others.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Yoga and Diet For Prostate Health – A Comprehensive Guide to a Healthier Prostate

A comprehensive guide to a healthier prostate.

The Prostate Gland is a bloke thing. It is one of the organs in the urinary and reproductive system of the body. It is a male sex gland made up of a cluster of smaller glands which surround the urethra and a portion of the bladder. It’s to be taken seriously fellas.

This mysterious gland is small, doughnut shaped, and situated at the base of the bladder. It causes more grief to men than just about any other part of their bodies, and prostate cancer will soon be the major killer of men in Australia. Although approximately 50% of Australian men may experience some type of prostate problem at some stage of their lives, until it plays up, men rarely give their prostate a second thought – not a good idea.

Its main function is during the sexual act – when ejaculation occurs, it secretes an alkaline fluid that forms part of the semen. This fluid nourishes and provides volume to the semen, along with other seminal fluids.

Walnut sized in young men, enlargement of the prostate is common in men over 50 and approximately 4 in 10 men over the age of 60 have it. Enlargement occurs when the glands and connective tissues surrounding the urethra thicken and block urine flow.

Prostate Enlargement Causes -

1. Ageing. As the body ages, harmless nodules develop in the tissues of the prostate, which accumulate and gradually enlarge the gland. Eventually the gland becomes large enough to ‘press’ or ‘strangle’ the urethra and obstruct urination.

2. Low levels of zinc. The tissues of the prostate gland normally have high levels of zinc. Zinc levels gradually decrease as you grow older.

3. Over 50 testosterone levels start decreasing. This causes an increase in the quantity of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which over-produces prostate cells.

4. Postural faults and obesity could also affect prostate health. A heavy body and lengthy periods of sitting put more pressure on the pelvic region and perineum, resulting in congestion in and around the prostate.

5. Constipation can also be a cause. Hardened faeces and an overloaded rectum cause excessive pressure on the prostate gland.

Prostate problem symptoms -

1. The obvious one is difficulty in passing urine. This is due to compression of the urethra by the prostate blocking the flow. You may strain or have to wait a while before being able to go.

2. A weak flow of urine starts, and then stops. The stream is narrower and less powerful.

3. Involuntary leakage – there may be a tendency to dribble urine, much like incontinence.

4. One may find it difficult to stop urination once it has started.

5. You visit the bathroom more often. There may be a frequent need or urge to urinate 2 or 3 times nightly, as well as during the day.

6. Even after passing urine, you’re still left with the feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.

7. Due to prolonged obstruction, the small veins in the bladder and urethra stretch. When you strain to urinate, the veins may burst, causing blood to enter the urine. Due to this, painful urination, called Dysuria, may occur.

8. There could be a mild pain in the lower back, hips and legs and occasional impotency.

Basically, symptoms are very similar to those experienced by women who have weak pelvic floor muscles. Both reflect a weakness in the muscles around the genitals, bladder and reproductive organs as well as a weakness around the perineum or Root Chakra/Mulabhanda.

Diet & vitamins support -

The importance of the trace mineral zinc in maintaining prostate health is paramount. Zinc is essential for prostate gland and male hormone function. It is known as the ‘male mineral’ and is required to produce sperm and seminal fluid. A deficiency may cause impotency and infertility.

It has now been well established that there is a link between prostate health and the zinc content in prostate tissue.

Diet guide -

o Maintain a low-fat diet and watch your cholesterol levels.

o Include Omega-6 and Omega-3′s that help regulate nervous system function.

o Bake, steam, stir-fry or make salads instead of deep-frying.

o Choose low-fat over full-cream milk and make it organic if possible.

o Avoid fat-filled salad dressings and rich sauces that agitate the liver and heart.

o Drink eight glasses of water daily – Green Tea is also beneficial for the prostate.

o Increase your daily intake of fibrous foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, particularly red and red-orange ones, and increase your Vitamin C, A, B6, E, cod liver oil and flaxseed oils.

o Check whether your intake of Vitamin D is adequate – this includes down-time to rest in the sun and allow your mind to unravel with meditation, music or power-naps to help reduce your stress levels. Stress is a major contributor to imbalances on all levels of being (body, mind, emotional and spiritual).

o Avoid spicy (in Yogic Ayurvedic terms these are called ‘rajasic’) foods that can increase body heat, digestive fire and agitate emotions.

o Watermelon seeds have natural diuretic properties which help prevent excess build-up of urine.

o Avoid or minimize alcohol intake. Try not drinking for a few days and then reintroduce it. After just a day you should notice whether it makes the urine symptoms better or worse. This is because alcohol constricts the bladder neck, and hampers urination that can lead to a restless mind and body.

o Avoid decongestants and antihistamines that alter the body’s natural elimination process.

o Avoid smoking and smoky environments. There is some evidence that (as well as all the other negative health results!); cigarette smoking indirectly affects the size of the enlarging prostate. This could be because constricted blood vessels throughout the body affect how much oxygen and nutrient rich blood flows to the organs and extremities.

o Avoid coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate. Some men find that prostate problems are made worse with caffeine because the neck of the bladder is constricted by increased caffeine levels. Again, try the elimination approach.

o Include zinc in your diet: zinc has been shown to improve urinary symptoms and reduce the size of the prostate, and can therefore be effective in preventing and reversing prostate enlargement. Vegetables high in zinc include dried beans, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, lentils, peas, beets, cabbage and whole grains. Additionally, pumpkin seeds, oats, whole wheat and rye.

* Add Selenium, Evening Primrose Oil and the Amino Acids daily – glutamine, alanine and lysine in particular – to maintain healthy cardiovascular and nervous system function.

How Yoga can help -

Yoga connects all systems and energies throughout the body and enhances blood quality, respiratory function, regulates hormone production and flow, digestion and elimination, as well as helping balance and calm the mind and emotions. Yoga can strengthen, release and balance simultaneously, and give men the mental challenges they need depending on the sequences, agility and focus needed. Poor circulation can exacerbate prostate issues. Regular yoga practice can increase blood flow, deepen the breath and release neuro-muscular knots to tone and nourish all cells, organs, joints and tissues. Any congestion or blocked prana/chi/energy will then disperse to restore wellbeing so we feel more aligned, more as nature intended.

Yoga also helps give men a sense of exertion with calmness rather than agitating their systems. This is particularly good because it allows men to connect with their softer side and explore aspects of their emotions that they may not necessarily do in a power aerobic or boxing class – without having to sacrifice or subdue their masculinity! Men can learn to acknowledge and appreciate their inner voice by being on the mat, and after time, may even begin to explore and express what is inside more often, and with more confidence.

Yoga is about creating unity between your mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual selves – the physical benefits are just a bonus. Asana (postures) is what we do in order to sit and meditate comfortably with a still, undistracted mind. It’s not about being a flexible pretzel or proving how much longer you can hold a pose than the person beside you – something men especially tend to forget when the voices of competition and ego bark loudly in their ears!

By bringing particular awareness to the perineum or Root Lock/Base Chakra that governs instincts, behavior, confidence and blood quality, prostate symptoms, and the sense of feeling unsupported, may be relieved. Once awareness is established, you then work into strengthening and governing energy through the Base Chakra which will restore power through the spine and help men assert their masculinity in a confident yet calm way.

Here are 6 great Yoga postures (safe for beginners) that will improve prostate health -

1. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) – increases blood supply to the pelvis, kidneys, prostate and bladder, and brings awareness and energy into Mulabhanda/Root Lock.

* Sit upright on a blanket with soles of feet together, knees wide. Interlace fingers around outer edge of toes, focus on lengthening the spine and lifting the chest on each inhalation, and relaxing shoulders and tailbone downwards on each exhalation. Do against a wall for support if difficult. Draw energy up through your perineum (small point between anus and genitals) as you breathe to contact Mulabhanda. Engage abdominals slightly and lift through the spine to stimulate and cleanse digestive and reproductive organs.

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) – strengthens the arms & legs, lengthens the spine, opens the chest and lungs and strengthens the heart. An excellent all-rounder pose!

* Start on all fours, hands under shoulders with fingers spread, knees under hips, toes tucked under. Exhale and lift buttocks up as you move your chest back towards your thighs as the legs straighten. Neck is relaxed, ears in line with upper arms, keep knees bent if hamstrings and lower back tight. Hold and breathe as you press down firmly into all knuckles of the hands and lift kneecaps into thighs whilst drawing heels to the floor. No tension in the face. Keep abdominals active and broaden across the chest, moving the armpits towards each other. Rest in child’s’ pose, head to mat, arms down by your side and buttocks on heels for a few breaths after.

3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose Variation) – knees bent with feet pointing up to ceiling – this variation contacts the kidneys more deeply and helps with hormonal flow. Also helps to stimulate production of all male hormonal fluids by directly stimulating the bladder, kidneys and sex glands.

* Lay on your belly, hands beside chest with fingers spread, forehead down. Legs hip width apart, start to press pubic bone and tops of legs and feet into the mat and draw shoulders down from ears and elbows in towards each other. Inhale and slowly lift chest off mat, keeping arms close to ribs with elbows bent and shoulders down. Hold where comfortable for a few breaths and press pubic bone, navel and legs firmly into mat. Don’t come up so high that your back jams or your arms straighten. Look to floor so neck stays long and expand chest and lungs as you lengthen your spine from pubic bone to crown. Rest with head to one side after, arms by side and legs relaxed.

4. Supta Padangusthasana – (Reclining Big Toe Pose) – relieves backache, stretches hips and hamstrings and opens the lower back so energy can flow along the kidneys and through bladder meridians.

* Lie on your back, bend one knee to chest and other leg stays long, feet flexed. Place strap around ball of bent leg foot and straighten upwards. Keep shoulders relaxed and arms straight, chin drawn to throat gently. Hold and breathe, feeling the hamstring/achilles and belly connection. When you exhale press the waist to the mat and lengthen further through both legs. Raised leg does not need to be vertical but it does need to be straight. Hold for a few breaths then release and swap sides.

5. Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose) – tones the kidneys, abdominals and strengthens the lower back. Keep feet on floor or hug knees to chest as you balance to switch belly on.

* Sit on your buttocks and hug knees to chest. Start to balance on your sitting bones and lift your toes off the floor, feeling your belly engage. Gradually begin to lift your feet with shins parallel to the floor, feet flexed, leaning back 30-40 degrees and lift the chest, arms reaching out to the feet and parallel to the floor as well. Keep breathing, working the Mulabhanda and drawing all your strength into your centre. Hug knees to chest after a few breaths.

6. Virasana (Seated Hero Pose) – Meditate in this position to finish your practice. Excellent for calming and centering the mind and digestive fire. Focus on drawing up Mulabhanda. Alternative is Savasana (Corpse Pose) for mediation.

* Lay on your back, legs long, arms by your side and head supported with a blanket if need to. Rolled blanket under your knees and an eyebag or cover over the eyes. Relax completely and focus on your breath, releasing all joints, muscles, organs and then the skin, to the earth in surrender and peace. Stay for at least 5 minutes and then roll to your side and curl up in a ball before coming up and finishing.

Practice daily, 20 minutes should suffice, gradually build up to longer by holding poses for more breaths, and pay attention to your breathing, how you feed yourself and what you choose to hold onto in life. Only stretch within a range of motion that is free of sharp pain.

The best time to meditate is after your asanas, on an empty stomach, and preferably at sunrise or sunset.

In summary it’s no surprise that in the West we experience some of the highest statistics for prostate (and breast) cancers. Why? For me, perhaps we place too much emphasis on the body and associated material paraphernalia, when instead we could be focusing on connecting and honoring, not only our own spirit and potential, but each other’s as well. Maybe if we reversed our thoughts and began living from a positive space more often, stopped to feel and appreciate the earth beneath our feet, an earth that gives us what we need, we could reduce those statistics and replace them with high self-esteem, vitality and chronic happiness! Are we brave enough to imagine, let alone create, such a world?

It all starts with us as individuals and that is why yoga is such an effective therapy. On our mats we are all equal, we all have the same bodies, we feel the same sensations and we recognize our failings and triumphs in the person practicing beside us. Yoga makes us feel, breathe and embrace. It makes us laugh at ourselves (something I think we don’t do enough of) and ignites our compassionate, human nature. And with that kind of power burning inside of you, dis-ease will have a hard time staying alight.

Conventional treatment -

If you think you have prostate problems, don’t assume you do, it’s very important to have it checked out by your GP. A digital rectal exam (DRE) and, or urine and blood tests, will confirm whether or not you have Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) or other prostate problems, and an ultra-sound test can be done to check for prostate cancer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Yoga and Healing Gemstones – The Adornment of Health and Well Being

Boost up Your Yoga Practice With the Help of Healing Stones and Crystals

For ages, gemstones have been used for healing purposes and over the centuries people have researched a lot about the healing gemstones and their effects on the health of the people. Even science has proven that the magnetic powers found in these sparkling stones and crystals have therapeutic properties. The practice of treating ailments with gems is known as Gem therapy.

During yoga practice, the electromagnetic rays that are generated by these stones surrounds the body and gives an ability to grasp the energy from the gemstone and heal the body.

I have read a lot about semi precious stones and their effects to boost up the effects of yoga practice for good health. These stones can be especially worn during yoga, meditation exercises, and are said to have illuminating effects during yoga practice.

I have gone through various ailments in my entire thirty years of life, and have always felt that yoga has acted as a protective shield combating various health issues that came my way throughout these years.

The breathing techniques used during yogasana sessions are awesome and my love and confidence in these techniques have grown over time.

It is is a great way to offer health and happiness to mind and soul. Yoga is a practice that offers healthy body and a stress free mind.

Yoga is a good recipe to combat stress and worries. It is one of the traditional healing methods that have maintained its identity even in this “new era of technology”. The growing fad for yoga is noteworthy, and it is never too late to start practicing it.

The benefits of yoga are immense and people are seeking more for it. I read somewhere that holistic healers have always treated it as a fabulous practice to attain a healthy body and mind, but they have also stressed on the powers of healing crystals and gemstones, that can directly influence the seven chakras in the human body and offer the human body an ability to self heal.

Some interesting facts about these stones are

Mala meditation is one of the popular ways to boost up yoga powers – A mala made up of 108 beads, made either with crystals or sandalwood is used to chant mantras for 108 times to attain self realization.

Healing gems can be converted into a trendy yoga accessory to highlight one’s spiritual self- The accessories made up of these beads looks fashionable, creative and colorful and to the most brings out the spirituality from within. It looks ethnic and energizes the yoga exercise in a more positive form.

Attainment of peace and spirituality through the usage of gems and stones interests yoga practitioners – People who practice yoga feels themselves attracted towards gems and semi precious stones because of the serenity these stones have to offer the human mind.

There are many physical and mental benefits associated with yoga and gemstones – Yoga offers good health, but the association of the gemstones connects the human mind with spirituality and a divine peace to carry on the meditative yoga practices.

Yoga is a medium to form a connection between emotional, physical, mental and spiritual growth of the human being and offer physical as well as mental fitness. The practice of several asanas boost inner peace with the influence of healing gems during the practice session.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Health Benefits Of Yoga That Have Challenged The Medical Science

If you are a dedicated yoga practitioner, you must have noticed how the yoga works for our body. Like good sleeping habits, mild chances of getting cold, a better state of relaxation and many more. It is a great practice that has contributed a lot in improving the health of a person, whether it is pains and aches, or a consistent sickness. If you are aware of these health benefits of yoga, then surely you will feel disposed to sit on your mat with high concentration and dedication. People from all walks of life are taking the advantages of this amazing art. Looking fit and living fit is the right of every person and to make it happen, this divine practice plays a crucial role.

Let’s explore its health benefits and see how this practice has altered the lives of people in an impactful manner.

Improved sleeping habits

Do you know that a proper sleep plays a pivotal role in enhancing your health? Yes, bad sleep offers ill-effects on the body and therefore, yoga can be a true help. Practicing this art few hours a day will improve the sleeping habits. It’s true!

Better circulation of body fluids

You can have better and improved blood circulation through this ancient practice. By transmitting oxygen and other essential nutrients throughout your body, yogic practices redefine the health of skin, organs and brain.

Respiratory benefits

Just like the circulatory system, respiratory system too is worked out by yoga. It decreases the respiratory rate and therefore, indicating that your overall health is fine. Talk to your doctor in case you are experiencing any issues.

Immune system

Immunity is responsible for fighting against any disease. A stronger immune system promotes better health and a sound body. An uninterrupted practice of this healing art will keep your immunity strong throughout your life.

Pain tolerance ability

It is a proven thing that people who are used to meditation and other allied practices have higher pain tolerance ability in comparison to others. Further, the practice also relieves the person from issues like chronic pain, back pain, etc.

Metabolism

A balanced metabolism is responsible for a healthy body weight and controlled hunger. A regular practice will foster efficient metabolism.

Pulse rate

Pulse rate decides the flow of blood to your heart. A slow pulse rate is ideal for good flow of blood and this is also achieved by yogic practice.

So, these were some of the health benefits of yoga which are highly facilitating and beneficial for individuals. The mentioned benefits are for your inner body, many benefits are lined up that are responsible for your overall fitness. Some of the aspects like strength, posture, aging, energy, and weight can be worked out effectively through regular practice. So, if you have not started with this healing art, get going and start improving your health the moment itself.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Health Benefits Of Yoga And Meditation

Both yoga and meditation have been around for thousands of years. To understand their connection, it helps to understand what each one is individually.

Yoga is a spiritual Hindu practice that incorporates breath, a simple form of meditation and physical incorporation of the body to bring the mind and body together, creating harmony. First introduced to the west in the early 1900′s, by mid century, yoga has grown exponentially in popularity and has continued to grow over the last few decades.

Meditation is best described as a training of the mind to reach different levels of consciousness and awareness. These levels of consciousness can include access to parts of the brain that control imagination, creativity, memory and more. Through meditation, these characteristics can be explored and possibly enhanced through practice.

The health benefits of yoga and meditation seem to go hand in hand, but let’s break the two down, anyway.

Health benefits of meditation

Blood pressure- Studies have shown the ability of meditation to lower blood pressure and in some cases, reverse the effects of heart disease.

Pain management- Meditation has been used to treat chronic and substance abuse withdrawal pains effectively. The results have been impressive; patients report feeling less discomfort when meditation has been introduced.

Stress and anxiety- If anyone has ever gotten overwhelmed with stress, took a moment, stopped and took a deep breath to recollect has witnessed the ability of meditation to reduce stress. Meditations number one benefit is the ability to relax, fighting off stress and anxiety.

Sleep- Meditation continues to be explored and implemented for its effectiveness for insomnia. Many times insomnia is caused by our inability to slow the mind down, whereas meditations greatest gift is the ability to do so.

Health benefits of yoga

Not only can yoga help with high blood pressure, pain management, stress, anxiety and sleep, but can also benefit the body more directly:

Core strength- Yoga can develop and nurture a strong core strength through its poses and stamina required to maintain those poses.

Posture- The simple act of lifting your chin when walking can have profound effects on posture. The poses present in yoga are embedded with improvements for posture, while developing the core strength can help maintain good posture out of the classroom.

Balance- The very nature of yoga and its form of exercise helps develop and maintain physical balance, but also fosters an emotional balance for the mind.

The benefits of meditation almost seem inherent to that of yoga, considering meditation is an integral part of the yoga practice. Some benefits are exclusive to yoga because of the physical qualities involved, but both are highly effective in bettering our health.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off