Posts Tagged ‘practice of yoga asanas’

Yoga for Stress Relief: Flowing Sun Salutations

Friday, July 6th, 2012

500 hour hatha yoga teacher training intensive trainingBy Virginia Iversen

A regular practice of Yoga asanas and breathing exercises can greatly ameliorate chronic stress and tension. When we live in a state of anxiety and stress, our bodies and minds eventually become uneasy and depleted. This state of depletion can even result in cardiovascular disease, adrenal fatigue and depression. Practicing Yoga regularly, including pranayama exercises will greatly help to calm your mind as the poses release deeply held muscular stress and tension.

The Sun Salutation is a series of twelve postures that is foundational to many Yoga practices. The movements of the Sun Salutation warm up the entire body. Traditionally, the Sun Salutation is practiced at sunrise in honor of the warmth and majesty of our sun. The upward and downward action of the body, as we practice the movements of the Sun Salutation, also reminds us of our link to the heavens and the earth. For complete instructions on how to practice both the A and B series of the Sun Salutation, please refer to a reliable website, manual or visit a professional Yoga studio.

If you practice the Sun Salutation in a flowing or linked manner with the breath, the capacity of this practice for relieving stress and tension is profound. Many Yoga practitioners link the poses of the Sun Salutation together through the transitional movements of Downward Facing Dog and Upward Facing Dog. Additionally, jumping or briskly stepping your feet together after each pose will help to keep your body strong, limber and warm. The physically challenging nature of practicing a series of flowing Sun Salutations will allow your muscles and ligaments to relax any unnecessary gripping.

By linking your breath to the movements of the Sun Salutation, the beneficial effects of your Yoga practice are multiplied. The Sun Salutation is usually practiced with Ujjayi breathing. This breath is also known as the “ocean sounding breath” because it resembles the sound of the ocean in a conch shell. In order to practice this breath, partially close the back of your throat so that there is some resistance to your breath and an audible sound as you inhale and exhale. By maintaining this breath all through your Yoga practice, you will increase the heat in the body, which will help to detoxify your muscles, joints and internal organs. The sound of the breath will also provide a focal point for your mind during your Yoga practice. This will help to ease anxious thinking and allow your mind to rest, promoting a sense of abiding calm.

© Copyright 2012 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Yoga Practice and Positive Psychology: Self-Knowledge

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Embedding the essential components of positive psychology principles, into your Yoga practice, will greatly enhance the beneficial aspects of both disciplines. One of the primary components of positive psychology is self-knowledge. Knowing one’s self sounds easy on the surface, but how many people invest their time in looking within? Self-knowledge is a major component in Jnana Yoga.

Self-Knowledge is one of the beginning points for identifying the core life values of an individual. As you engage in this process, you may want to ask yourself, what do I truly hold dear to my heart and why? What is my natural code of ethics? Given the opportunity, what would I like to contribute to my family, friends, and community?

These are some of the questions you may ask yourself, as you begin a process of self-inquiry, in order to gain self-knowledge about your own unique talents and skills. You may also want to consider what really makes your heart sing. What makes you truly happy and fulfilled? You may love to write, draw, dance, or teach Yoga. You may also love to spend time in nature, or you may be the happiest, when you are volunteering to help those who are less fortunate.

One of the keys to uplifting your heart and mind, through the practice of positive psychology, is to focus on your strengths and not on your weaknesses. In other words, instead of mentally dwelling on the fact that you may love to draw beautiful pictures, but you really do not want to volunteer at the local food bank, focus on the gift of your artistic ability, and how you can offer to donate some drawings to a local school or community center.

In the context of the physical practice of Yoga asanas, continue to build on your current level of strength and flexibility, in a compassionate and patient manner. While practicing Yoga, also witness your thoughts. When you find that you are engaging in negative and anxious thinking, stop and refocus your attention on the rich blessings that surround you. Remember to honor your successes, and your successes will continue to grow and blossom.

Conclusion

A Yogic lifestyle and positive psychology is a powerful combination, which enables a practitioner to channel energy in a positive way. Many people prevent their own happiness by investing too much time in states of self-criticism for past mistakes.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our testimonials to find out what our graduates have to say about our selection of affordable yoga instructor certification intensives.

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, including the resource box above. Namaste!