Archive for May, 2010

Can Yoga Training Increase Your Height?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

By Jenny Park

When an intern is immersed in a Yoga instructor training course, he or she begins to put pieces of knowledge together. Concepts like skeletal compression and how to decompress one’s back begin to seem obvious. Paul was giving us the particulars of spinal compression and decompression last week. Let’s look at the shoulder stand for example: the lower back decompresses, but the upper spine compresses. This is obvious to someone with medical knowledge, but not so obvious to most people who have no understanding of body mechanics. This knowledge should also be part of any Yoga certification course, which practices physical posturing exercises.

Yoga is more than just a lifestyle choice. It is also a highly regarded form of exercise that has numerous benefits. It can relieve stress, promote healthier sleep, and there’s little doubt that it can increase flexibility. Aside from all that, can Yoga training increase your height? That’s a question that many people have asked. While it’s true that genetics obviously play a huge role regarding height and many other physical attributes, it seems that physical conditioning with Hatha Yoga can also help. The benefits of stretching and how it can improve daily posture are well known. Improving one’s posture can often lead to an increase in height just because we are standing taller and our spines are strengthened.

Don’t Accept Pain When You Can Change It

Many people mistakenly believe that back, neck, and shoulder pain are just a natural part of life. This pain often causes us to contort and move in strange ways, many times without us being fully aware of what we are doing. However, incorporating certain types of stretching exercises that are regularly used in Yoga can break the cycle. Yogic exercises can help to reduce pain as well as strengthen the spine, back and abdomen. Strengthening those areas lead to a stronger core, which can help the body in a number of ways.

Subtle Benefits

Often, there are times when we start a new form of exercise and we quickly become aware of the benefits that we can get from it. Many people know that cardiovascular exercises can help trim fat and build muscle. Obviously, lifting weights can help to build muscle and increase lean muscle mass. Yet, in Yogic exercise there are often subtle benefits, which are not as easy to see. Yoga is a holistic form of exercise that has physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

Where’s the Respect?

Sometimes people think that if an exercise regimen isn’t a form of high impact aerobics that it isn’t necessarily worth their time. That simply isn’t true. There are many different types of Yoga teachers, concepts, and physical exercises that include gentle stretching all the way through intense postures (asanas). All forms of physical Yoga can be beneficial in many different regards, depending on a person’s goals. It can especially good for people who are looking to strengthen their core muscles in order to stand a bit straighter and maybe, just maybe, stand a bit taller.


Although I’ve rambled on about the not so obvious benefits of asana practice, the act of stretching creates space in your joints. Therefore, your ankles, knees, hips and spine are temporarily decompressed. It would be conservative to say: this could add up to less than an inch if one practiced postures and stretched over the course of a few months.  Some of you have data out there and I’m just throwing estimates around, but it makes sense. Yogic exercise is a form of non-surgical spinal decompression and when you decompress the spine, you should be a bit taller.  Therefore, I ask you academics to present your opinion and any possible research you have. Namaste!

© Copyright 2010 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our complete selection of Yoga teacher training courses, please feel free to visit the following link.

Free report, newsletter, videos, podcasts, and e-Book: “Yoga in Practice.”

If you are a Yoga Teacher, studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!


Yoga Props Today

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

By Faye Martins

 The reasons why yoga props will always have a place in every studio and class, no matter what the skill level or flexibility of the practitioners, is because they elevate the integrity of many poses and allow those who would not otherwise be able to get into said poses, due to flexibility limitations, to access them properly.

 Even the yoga mat can be considered a potent prop beyond just providing a consistent, padded, absorbent surface to practice on. The shape of the mat beneath one’s feet provides a grounding focus for the eyes, while training in balancing moves. It provides a consistent means of spacing the feet out against its edges in lunges, warriors, and triangles. The edges of the mat encourage a goal point for putting weight on the outside edges of the feet and heels.

Blocks serve a great purpose for both advanced yoga practitioners and beginners. Wide-legged postures for both naturally flexible individuals, and for those who have gotten there with great effort, is pertinent to maintaining the health of the hip girdle. Regular stretching of the hips keeps the hamstrings, IT bands and calves loose to maintain the integrity of the walking stride as well as the running stride. Hard (bamboo or wooden) yoga blocks make excellent steps from which to continue calf stretching.

Yoga straps are necessary for building back flexibility, especially since doing bridges will not help create space between vertebrate. Bridges may be useful for those who have the flexibility and shoulder strength to maintain them from the get go, but yoga straps are especially necessary for those who are not to the point of doing strong bridges that maintain wrist integrity. Equal back flexibility throughout the vertebral column is important for sustaining lengthened and open pectoral, intercostal, and psoas muscles. Keeping all of these areas limber will help prevent back, shoulder and neck pain, that results from a modern technological lifestyle and sitting for long hours. A great way to start building flexibility with a yoga strap is to begin in pigeon pose with the yoga strap wrapped around the ankle of the straight leg. A yoga block under the higher hip of the bent leg will be helpful for maintaining balance. Bend the back knee, while pulling on the strap overhead, feeling stretch in your shoulders. Bend the back leg. Your back will follow.

Props Today and Tomorrow

The world of yoga is always changing. Although the basic moves and philosophy remain the same, there are great innovations when it comes to props. Many instructors and yoga enthusiasts now include props as an integral component of their yoga sessions to get the most out of their routine. When props accompany yoga exercises, participants are able to adapt their movements. This is especially helpful for individuals who are pregnant, have had injuries, or deal with chronic pain. Props can allow individuals to extend their movements as well. Many of the popular props can be seen at a glance below.

Stretch Straps

Stretch straps are always an excellent accessory for an intense yoga session. While there is nothing new about the concept of a strap or resistance band, many stretch straps have been improved with the addition of numerous handholds. As participants work their way through a stretch or move, they can continue to progress through the handholds until their flexibility improves.

Socks and Gloves with Grips

While they are not necessarily a prop, socks and gloves with grips are an excellent addition to get the most out of a yoga workout. From having more stability on the floor, to a better hold on the soles of the feet, this simple piece of footwear can prevent injury and help a person to get to the next level.

Yoga Bench Accompanied with Stretch Bands

A variety of yoga benches have been created that have versatile functions. From using it as a prop for enhanced strength and flexibility, to having a mount for a handstand, it can propel one’s yoga performance to new heights. Add stretch bands to combine resistance training with traditional yoga poses.

Yoga Bolster

Yoga bolsters act as a cushion and provide comfort while performing stretches. These supportive props are available in a range of sizes. Some are inflatable, allowing users to adjust the amount of air, in order to improve each yoga pose. They are a positive addition to any routine, as they assist in creating safe conditions during exercising.

Ergonomic Seat Accessories

For a yoga teacher, the principles of using props in classes, for posture alignment, create a form of exercise that can improve skeletal health and become a way of life for students. Therefore, it is only natural that yoga props should also carry over into everyday life. Ergonomic seats have been designed to encourage good posture for this very reason. The fact is: As yoga props develop, so will every day furniture in the average office and home. Hatha yoga is good for skeletal health and props will continue to evolve, due to the number of people who are taking preventative action to reduce or eliminate pain.

© Copyright 2010 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about teaching yoga classes and our selection of online yoga instructor certification courses.

If you are a teacher, yoga school manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is. Namaste!

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Yoga and Dance Expression For Children

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

By Mata Jaya

Yoga and dance expression classes for children are a fun and creative way to develop psychomotor, cognitive and social affective skills in children.

Through yoga, children learn to be aware of their own body and natural breathing. By way of the yoga postures, called asanas, presented trough imitating animals, objects and forms, they practice concentration and physical discipline in a fun way. They also learn mudras, mantras and pranayama, which are great tools for mental concentration and relaxation.

Using dance expression as an extension of the yoga class increases the possibilities for play, imagination, (self) expression and creativity. The practice of dance expression provides us some additional topics such as body awareness in relation to dimensional and spatial awareness, choreography, rhythm and music.

Part of the classes are dedicated to game assignments in group dynamics, stimulating the ability to participate and collaborate for a joint project. Encouraging respect, understanding and interaction with others.

As children are practicing for some time, they can increase their capacity to concentrate, anxiety and nervous disorders are being removed and aggression is being reduced. It can also increase strength and elasticity of the muscles. The practice of yoga and dance expression helps to relax physically and mentally, and helps to get rid of excessive energy. Creativity is encouraged, as well as self-confidence and self esteem, which adds to a balanced growth process.

Through the practice, children can learn how to cope with stress, conflict situations and everyday problems, which are frequent in today’s society. Yoga and dance expression can be a wonderful support for children in their long road to physical and mental mastery, helping them to develop themselves as a positive and balanced, self-conscious person.


Enhance Your Yoga Experience With These Tips

Monday, May 24th, 2010

By Ntathu Allen

Are you interested in yoga? Has your partner recently started yoga lessons? Maybe your doctor has suggested you take up yoga as a form of stress management.

Yoga, is a holistic health care system. It consists of a series of yoga stretches, known as asanas or poses, meditation techniques, breathing exercises and relaxation. Together, these techniques give your body a complete overhaul and calms and clears your mind. At the end of a yoga lesson you are blissed out, chilled and relaxed.

Yoga clients love the post yogic glow. Because of this I am often asked for tips and advise to improve their yoga experience.

Here are seven key things you can do, which will help to deepen your yoga experience.

Enhance Your Yoga Experience With These Tips

1. Relax. Take two-five cycles of deep breathing between poses. This allows your body to fully absorb the benefits of each pose and prepares you for the next pose.

2. Practice. Practice makes perfect. When you get home, make a note of any tips or techniques you learned in your lesson. Maybe your yoga teacher reminded you to lengthen up through your spine before twisting in the Spinal Twist. Little pointers like this help you to get the maximum benefit from your lesson.

3. Conscious Breathing. Stay focused on your breathing as your body moves and stretches into the poses. Deep breathing helps to keep you focused during your lessons; relieves tension in your body, and brings calmness to your mind.

4. Wear clean light colored clothes. If possible, set aside a few light colored outfits to wear when you practice or attend lessons. Everything in life is energy. The clothes you wear for practice will, over time, become energized and attuned to your body ‘s subtle energetic qualities. When you put on your “yoga clothes” your mind becomes attuned and prepared for practice.

5. Give Thanks. The art of appreciation and gratitude underpins all yoga practices. During your yoga lesson spend a few minutes in silence to give thanks for the teachings, your body, your health and well being. This opens and deepens your connection to spirit.

6. Listen to your Body. During your practice take time to listen to the sensations and movements you can feel in your body. Yoga encourages body awareness and alignment. During the course of your day you may not be aware of your posture, aches and pains. When you become more aware of what is going on inside your body, it is easier for you to adapt and adjust to the poses.

7. Look back and remember how far you have come. Yoga is a journey. Each time you practice, your body and mind becomes stronger and more flexible. Take time every now and then to reflect and look back on how far you have come. Do you remember how stiff or inflexible your hips and shoulders were when you first started, or how you struggled to get into the Tree pose? It is easy to forget just how well you are doing and how far you have come.

Learning yoga is a lifetime journey. Whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned yogi, the seven tips above – relax, breathe, practice, wear light colored clothing, give thanks, listen to your body and remember to acknowledge how far you have come, are useful strategies to adopt to help you enhance and deepen your yoga experience.

And now I’d like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to “Wake-Up With A Smile – Simple Yoga Stretches To Do In Bed To Get You Fit And Ready For The Day” when you visit

From Ntathu Allen, The Yoga For Stress Management Consultant


Yoga – Eccentric Mechanism For Replacing Drugs

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

By Charu Mehta

How about beginning a day with the blessings of ancestors? One biggest gift and blessing to the new generation is the art of living with Yoga. This ancestral and traditional way of exercising is not only making the body free from various diseases, but is also making it possible for the people to avoid drugs and other medicines. The universally accepted benefits of this art form is making it popular and is also being recommended by the medical professionals for minimizing the use of medications in curing diseases.

Yoga! It is not just a way to exercise, but it helps to improve immune system too. This fact is known since ages. The exercising techniques and the various postures used to perform this kind of art are externally easy and can be done anywhere anytime. Some efforts to learn such exercises can actually pay in the long run. It helps to maintain body weight, body shape, decreases the probability of heart diseases like stroke and blood pressure and also helps in curing diabetes and asthma.

Health Benefits of Yoga

Among so many disorders affecting people worldwide, blood pressure, increased cholesterol and heart attack are very common problems. It has been found that people suffer from such troubles due to multiple factors like unhealthy eating habits, environmental factors or may be due to stress. Performing some basic exercises of this art can reduce cholesterol and prevent blood pressure and heart attacks.

It has been medically proven that Kapalabhati Prayanam helps to strengthen the diaphragm and due to its extensive breathing techniques, it purifies blood and increases blood circulation all over the body. It works like a magic for asthmatic and blood pressure patients.


Obesity! It surely scares everyone globally now. Yoga mountain pose is a complete set of postures from standing to sitting and involves all muscles of the body. It tightens the thigh muscles, stiffens up the knee caps and calf muscles of the body. This can facilitate people in keeping their body toned up and free from extra fat.

Poor Concentration

People who often complain about poor concentration, lack of interest and stress can now benefit from these yogic exercising principles. The art of deep inhalation and exhalation in numerous postures helps to meditate and keeps away all those negative symptoms and distractions.

Personality Development

A hump back and lean body often reflects a non-confident and inferior structure. People who lack tone and confidence in their work often feel depressed which enhances a great inferiority complex in them. Practicing such art form can help them in building confidence and making their body immune against various diseases. This can even assist them in handling extreme work pressures, thereby performing better in the professional fronts.


Diabetes is another ailment that is affecting every second person, even the children. Yoga acts as miracle for the patients of diabetes. It helps to regulate the release and production of many hormones like insulin and thus regulates the blood sugar levels. So, when a simple art form has so much to offer, then why not introduce this effective technique in the daily schedules from today.

Charu Mehta is a free lance content writer from past two years and has written almost 3900 live articles for different clients. Her experience in this industry has helped her to sharpen the skills and expertise in this field. She has the potential to write on any subject or theme and endow clients with all what they want.

Personal URL:


How Yoga Can Help You Get in Shape

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

By Ntathu Allen

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and felt good, real good about yourself? When you looked did you take time to smile and admire your figure, your womanly curves and lustrous lips? Or did you tug the spare tire round your waist and suck in your cheeks in the vain hope of looking “thinner”?

How about your thighs? Or your ankles? Are you happy with the shape of your legs? Do you wear clothes which flatter and enhance your figure? Or do you think you are too fat, too unfit, too old or even too ugly to wear stylish, colorful clothes?

Like most of you, I am aware of the effect stereotypical images of women have on our minds and bodies. Every where you look there are images of women, who look young, youthful and dazzling. Success is equated with being young, slim and beautiful. If you don’t shape up then you are considered out of the race.

How does that make you feel? How can you possible feel good about yourself if you think you do not match up to the “typical view of women-hood?” How can you stand tall, be proud and happy if your body shape, race or religion is not represented in mainstream society – do you feel ashamed and embarrassed or are you able to hold your own and be happy with the way you look?

Sometimes life sucks and no matter how much you diet, change your hairstyle or even stay at home and hide yourself away, there comes a time in your life when you want to shine, feel happy and glad to be recognized for who you are.

How Yoga Can Help You Get In Shape

Yoga is coming to be considered as a modern day remedy for many of society’s ailments.

It is my belief that the practice of yoga offers you a set of tools – yoga asanas, meditation techniques, breathing exercises and a healthy attitude to eating – which enables you to get in shape from the inside out.

Learning to love and accept yourself – as you are- not as you think you should look like – is one of the most important life lessons you can learn. It is good to “look good” on the outside. For some people, ‘looking good and in good shape’ means looking radiant and healthy, for others, this means being a size 8 and wearing designer clothes.

Yoga is about balance – to feel good and look good on the inside and outside. To be in shape, means to be happy and contented with yourself on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. As a holistic health care system, yoga equips you with all the tools and mindset needed to achieve this state of being.

Yoga Inspires You To See Your Inner Beauty

Meditation helps you to see through the illusion portrayed by the media and amplified through your mind to the ideal view of women. Regular practice of meditation supports your desire to accept your present body shape whilst working to improve your health and well- being.

Yoga exercises give your body an internal stretch, helps to realign and rebalance your energy. Yoga postures improve your sense of body awareness. So you feel lighter, your posture is enhanced, you become more flexible and more in tune with what your body needs in the present moment. All necessary life skills to support you feel good and in love with who you are.

Yoga breathing exercises helps to calm and focus your mind. A few rounds of deep yogic breathing shifts your focus and puts you back in the zone, your higher creative way of being. This technique is particular useful if you are having a “bad hair day” or “feel fat and ugly”.

Yogis traditional eat wholesome, natural and animal-free diets. A healthy yogic diet, one that is rich in seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables and easy digestible foods all help to keep your body nourished and your brain hydrated and healthy.

When you eat well, meditate and exercise regularly, you shine. Your skin glows, people are attracted to you. You radiate positive vibes. You are in good shape and feel good from the inside out.

So rather than trying to conform to societys’ worn-out view of what it is “to be in shape” – practice yoga. The mixture of yoga poses, deep breathing exercises, meditation techniques and emphasis on wholesome healthy eating all help to make you healthier, happier and best of all love the shape you are.

And now I’d like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to “Wake-Up With A Smile – Simple Yoga Stretches To Do In Bed To Get You Fit And Ready For The Day” when you visit .

From Ntathu Allen, The Yoga For Stress Management Consultant


Yoga For Busy Moms

Friday, May 14th, 2010

yoga certificationBy Jenny Park

There could be no better workout regimen than yoga training for a busy mom. Whether you are a busy mom, or know a busy mom, you are aware that there is one constant – stress. From running kids to school, activities, the homes of friends; from doing homework, rushing to the store for school and lunch supplies, the activity is nonstop. As enjoyable and rewarding as it is, moms tend to lose themselves while putting everyone else first. Unfortunately, this can lead to depression, anxiety, and even sickness.

Once mom has taken the first step, to learn a yoga practice and make time for herself; there is still the problem of finding that time. Most believe the best time for yoga is early morning or just before bed for at least a half an hour. It could be before the kids wake up, or after they go to sleep. This is the perfect time to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul to face the day, or wind down after. At least thirty minutes is suggested, but any time is better than none at all. She can also focus on restorative poses like Child’s Pose, or simply meditate.

Although it’s important for mom to attend at least one studio class a week, for instructional purposes, there are many resources for at-home practice including DVD’s, books, phone apps, video games, and on demand cable shows. If all that is impossible still in her mind, then there is no reason why she cannot include the kids. There are mommy and me or family yoga classes that she can do together with her children. What better way to avoid the guilt of leaving them, and instill the good habit of yoga training at an early age?

Yoga is completely safe for children as long as they are doing it correctly, and that is where a certified yoga instructor can help. Both mom and her kids should be encouraged to execute poses at their own pace, with gentle instruction that makes practice fun. Of course, depending on the age of the child their attention span may determine the effectiveness. Nevertheless it is a good place to start. Once the benefits of regular practice are realized, it is hard to stop! Most practitioners confess that their whole life has been improved by taking up practice. All it takes is the initial commitment and time, and anyone can do it.

© Copyright 2010 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our complete selection of Yoga instructor training courses, please feel free to visit the following link.

Free report, newsletter, videos, podcasts, and e-Book: “Yoga in Practice.”

If you are a Yoga Teacher, studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!


Yoga Exercise For Healthy Joints

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

By Bernard H Y

Joints are the connections between bones. Primarily consisting of fibrous tissues and cartilage, joints help you move your fingers, bend your knees and elbows, and stretch your back among many other functions that make you an active and mobile human being. Exercising your joints is important to having a healthy and pain free body. Yoga offers several exercises that help you to keep your joints healthy. The various asanas help your joints to stretch which releases a lubricant known as synovial fluid. This fluid keeps the joint of your bones healthy and lubricated and also helps prevent arthritis. Here are some yoga exercises you can follow:

Basic Movements – These simple yoga workouts are for beginners as well as the sick or elderly. The neck exercises are called the Kanthasnachalana and help to increase stamina and flexibility of neck muscles. The shoulder asanas are called the Skandhasanchalana which help the shoulder and back muscles. The hand workouts are called Hastasanchalana and help in maintaining healthy joints in your arms and shoulders. Lastly the leg movements, called the Padasanchalana help build strength and flexibility of hips and arms. These basic movements can be performed by anybody without supervision of any experts.

Back asanas: There are several back exercises in yoga which help you relax your spine and helps it make supple, strong and healthy. These exercises are called Tadagasan, Swastikasan and Januhastanasa. These are not basic exercises and you would need an expert to help you perform these.

Asanas Involving legs: The leg drills in yoga help you stretch your leg and hips muscles and joints, thereby helping you prevent joint pains and keeping them healthy in the long run. These exercises are called Pavanamuktasana and Ekpad Sahajasta Bhujangasana.

The yogic exercises stated above are some of the many which help you to keep your joints healthy and prevents any degeneration and other problems till old age. However, Yoga like any other form of exercise, when done incorrectly can hurt you. Therefore it is very important that you consult a physician and a reliable Yoga instructor before you start.



Yoga Business Marketing 101

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

By David E Morgan

Many yoga teachers do not like to do any form of marketing for fear of seeming pushy.

That is all well and good, but here are a few things to consider:

Expecting classes to fill with no outreach is arrogant, even if you polish your attitude with a spiritual veneer…

Guilt over charging money for yoga means you may not value what you do, so why should anyone else…

And not letting the community know about the many ways you can improve their lives is simply irresponsible!

Consider your marketing efforts as a form of service work

If teaching yoga is your career, then you are in the solutions business – you have answers for stress relief, weight loss, fibromyalgia, you name it!

But can the people who need you even find you?

As yoga teachers, it is our job to make yoga available. It is our responsibility to share our knowledge and skills to help others. And, with a little marketing, you can do just that! Reach the people who need you. And let the money be their way of thanking you. There has to be an exchange of some kind, or you will burn out from playing the martyr.

After all, even the most selfless swamis in India are supported by their communities — they may not be paid by check or credit card, but all their needs are provided for. Your job now is to build a community to nurture with your skills — and be nurtured in return.

Traditional advertising no longer works for the yoga business

Very few people use the phone book to look for yoga. Same goes for print ads. They simply are not cost effective. Most people will look for the services you offer on the Internet. The trick is to help them find you!

I know I have wasted a lot of money on yellow pages ads, advertising in local alternative health magazines, newspapers and so on. The ad representatives who call on you promise results. But results are usually nil, and you get stuck with a huge advertising bill.

Sometimes you might think that if you had a bigger advertising budget, you wouldd get more students. But the simple fact is, traditional advertising does not work.

Well here is good news for you. There are cheaper, easier, and much more effective ways to attract new yoga students than using print advertising. Some are completely free, and work like gangbusters.

Your best advertising is word of mouth, and your location — both your actual address where you have a street sign (if you have a studio), and your location in Google searches.

Even if you do not own a website, there are still ways for your offerings to be found on the Internet.

Here are five free ways to attract more yoga clients from the web

Write press releases for your events and services and distribute them on press release distribution sites.

Create a Facebook Page for your yoga business. Invite friends to join your page, then post your yoga classes and workshops. This is a great way to get word out about your events.

Post your classes, events, and therapeutic sessions on Craigslist.

Write yoga articles and distribute them through article directories like EzineArticles.

Create a YouTube account and post videos about your yoga expertise.

Get started with these free online marketing tools, and you are certain to attract new clients to your business, make more money, and enjoy a great yoga career.

David Morgan is a yoga webmaster and experienced teacher. 


Elementary Yoga Practices

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

By Sally Janssen

There are some simple practices that will be found common to all yogic teaching of Hatha Yoga.

Preparation before exercising includes having an empty stomach, and suitable clothing before…..


All physical practices in Yoga require some preliminary limbering movements to prepare for the Asanas and in order to prevent muscular strain and injury to tendons. There is no specific breath control required with these as total attention is upon awareness of the muscles.

– Preparation for Lotus and x legged positions – involving limbering exercises to ankles, knees and groin

– Lunge exercises to stretch achilles tendons, groin and thighs

– Limbering forward to stretch hamstrings through exercises involving legs and feet

– Gentle limbering of the spine to prepare for further spinal movement


The importance of these basic positions requires constant work until they can be achieved with comfort.

– Good Standing Posture – Tadasana for every-day application

– Seated Posture – upright cross legged Asana or upright in chair for breath control and meditation

– Comfortable Prone Posture – lying in Savasana for Relaxation or Yoga Nidra (“the yogi’s sleep”)

– Inverted Posture – Sarvangasana or modified to increase circulation of blood to the brain

– Beginners are carefully tutored before assuming inverted positions because of possible medical conditions. Children are to hold for short time only. In good physical fitness regular practise of this Asana is encouraged.


These are included in all general practice and classwork exercises to help maintain youth.

– Forward bending -for example, Paschimottanasana

– Side Bending Posture -for example, Nitambasana

– Twisting Posture -for example, Matsyendrasana

– Back bending – for example, Cobra, or Camel – Bhujangasana or Ustrasana


Special attention to respiration used in exercising and in Asanas is designed to replace energy expended and ensure total refreshment of mind and body. Specific exercises in Pranayama are routinely included in preparation for relaxation and meditation to calm the nervous system.


Initially some simple concentration exercise to assist in focus of the mind is required. A theme may be given as a general class discipline or students encouraged to formulate their own choice of image, prayer or affirmation. e.g focus upon a word ‘peace’ takes a little mental effort – when after a while it is easily held in the mind, we are ready for beginning to recognize the relaxed state of meditation when we no longer try to think of ‘peace’ – we are feeling peaceful.

It is anticipated that each teacher uses knowledge of traditional techniques that have been applied and tested through personal experience. The teacher is responsible for modifying techniques and guiding students appropriately, in relaxation and meditation as well as physical disciplines. It is important that the spiritual aim is seen as integral to all the yogic disciplines.

Sally Janssen is a writer, and Yoga teacher well known both in Australia and abroad for her skill in demonstration of the Hatha Yoga practices and her wisdom in applying the principles of Raja Yoga -the study of the mind and consciousness. More details at

Her book “Mental Fitness: A Complete Self-help Guide” explains the principles of mental fitness that can be applied by us all. The book may be found here: