14

Religion And Yoga

A religious rights leader in the US recently sparked off a debate with his comments on the inappropriateness of Yoga for those of the Christian faith. Arguments have since flown fast and thick on all sides over the linking of Yoga with specific religions.

As a proponent of Yoga as the ultimate challenge for the attainment of holistic wellness, I have been extremely pained to read all things related to the matter. For one, I havent been able to fathom the reasons as to why this should even be thrown on the table.

It is true that Yoga originated in India, the same country which produced great religious systems such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Indeed, India is one of the two regions of the world which has been the cradle of religious thought, the other being the Middle East which produced Christianity, Islam, Judaism et al.

However, Yoga at its best is a philosophical system which is thought to lead to self-realization. For as long as it has existed, there have been no religious incantations associated with the practice, nor does it propagate the worship of any one supreme figure. It is infact philosophical and not iconic in any way.

The Yogic systems prevalent today are a fragment of an entire pristine system, and are mostly only corporeal; they strive to keep the body healthy through various poses and breathing techniques. The only Hindu connotation I have found evidence of, is the sounding of the syllable Om while breathing, which is also equally construable as a shortening of Amen. Interestingly, Om and Amen have similar meanings and origins as well.

I personally know scores of people of various religious beliefs following Yoga, and who have found no conflict between their religion and the practice. Yoga, which is devoid of any religious connotations is even widely practiced by atheists who would have otherwise shunned it in the name of religious circumvention.

My personal experience tells me that one neednt even go deep into research, because a quick online search will point to the fact that Yoga is linked with environmentalism, healthy food habits, exercise, fitness and mostly good health, but definitely not with any strong religious associations. Even specifically searching for a link did not yield any results to indicate the gentlemans concerns that Yoga is a symptom of postmodern spiritual confusion.

I came across an interesting and relevant blog here which I understand to be a product of a mature and analytical mind.

I would be happy to understand just how practicing Yoga is a shameful act as the US Baptist has claimed. Looking forward to your thoughts, as usual.

10

Different Ways Yoga Can Help With Your Back Pain

Certainly, back pain is among the most common complaints in America. The pain may range from moderate to severe. If you are among those suffering from this pain, you will definitely want to try anything possible to make it go away. An excellent idea you may not have thought of before is yoga retreats. Medical experts agree that certain yoga poses do ease back pain. Here are some of the top yoga poses that you will find relieving the next time you are in a yoga center:

Child’s pose – This is the most basic pose in any form of yoga, yet goes a long way in easing your back pain. To get to this pose, get into plank position then slowly go back until your chest is on top of your lap. Stay there for a few minutes. To feel even better, try the pose with the knees open but bring them together at the end. Breathe slowly as you go into these pose.

Fists forward bend – To get into this position, you need to stand on your yoga mat with your feet hip distance apart. Release the torso over your head as you bend the knees until your thighs are touching with your belly. Make two fists then place them on each elbow. Keep your head, neck and back relaxed. Take 10 breathes before releasing.

Back traction pose – For this move, you will require a yoga block. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the feet under them. Lift your hips from the ground and place your yoga block at the center of the hips. Once your hips are on the block, walk the feet wide and then knock the knees inwards for a minute.

Wall plank – This is among the easiest moves to do. Just stand near your wall and from your shoulders reach forward then plant your palms on the wall. Your fingers should be wide and the middle one should be pointing direct to the ceiling. Slowly walk the legs back until you come to an L position.

Pigeon pose – This is a little complicated but you can do it. Bring your knee behind your right twist from down. Stretch your left leg out behind you while your knee is on top of your foot facing your floor.

Downward-facing dog – If you learn to do this pose correctly, it can be a miracle to your back pain. Start in plank position then lift your arms and hips up until you can do an inverted V-shape position. Stay here for a few minutes.

To know more about Yoga Retreat Ashtanga and Siddhi Yoga Academy, please visit our website.

20

Yoga Clothes – Stylish, Functional & Comfortable

Good clothing is essential when doing yoga or pilates. Yoga is all about stretching, flexibility and holding poses in all sorts of positions (lying, standing, kneeling, etc.). In order to allow your body to move as required, you need clothing that has exactly these features: stretchable, moisture-wicking, soft on your skin and breathable. That’s why many yogis prefer special yoga clothing rather than regular workout or running apparel which you can buy in most large retail shops.

Yoga has become one of the most popular workout and relaxation practices among celebrities as well as “regular” people across the United States, Europe and Australia over the past decades. True yogis see yoga as a lifestyle and mindset rather than just an exercise. Therefore yoga clothes need to reflect this by trendy yet comfortable designs, functional materials, great colors that often represent chakras and prints that give strength or calmness.

The most popular yoga clothes come from the United States. They reflect the yoga lifestyle like no other brands. Some of the most popular brands are Hard Tail, Be Present, Beyond Yoga, Bhakti Ware, Blue Fish and Yoga Hyde. They offer fashionable yoga clothes in high quality fabrics that last a long time even when washing them regularly.

EMP Industries is an Australian based and owned company that is now run in third generation. They have made themselves a name by offering the top American yoga clothing labels in Australia. EMP Industries is also famous for offering Yoga Mats, Pilates Mats, Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Stretching Straps, Yoga Sandals, Stretch Bands, Exercise Balls, Yoga DVDs, Dance DVDs,Pilates Rings, and many many more. EMP sells its products to the end customer but also offers wholesale prices for bulk buyers (usually prices start dropping when you order more than 10 items of one product). That is the reason EMP Industries counts most large yoga and pilates studios in Australia as their customers!

15

Learn How to Meditate – 2 Benefits of Meditation That Can Change Your Life (Almost Overnight!)

Are you considering learning how to meditate? Wondering what benefits the practice of meditation can AUTHENTICALLY bring into your life? Is it safe? Is it easy? Do you simply have MORE questions right now than answers across the board? If you said YES, fret not….you are NOT alone! It always amazes me (in a good way!) how many people have an assortment of interesting questions about the process (and practice) of learning meditation. And truthfully, many people procrastinate for a lifetime on getting started, rather than simply diving in and getting moving today! Sound like you? Curious to know more? Great….continue reading as we take a closer look below!

Filed Under: The Magic of Meditation Revealed

The truth? Meditation does ONE thing for just about everyone….exceedingly well: it relaxes you. It brings PEACE into your life. It changes the frenetic “monkey mind” of ferocious, swirling thoughts into a mental state of amazing equanimity. It DOESN’T happen overnight….but it does happen for most of us, and most likely WILL happen for you as well.

Filed Under: The BIGGER (and broader) Implications of Learning Meditation

Other than bringing about an amazing improvement in peacefulness, learning how to mediate can be transformation in a whole host of amazing ways:

An Increase in Creativity

An IQ improvement (shocking but true!)

Greater spirituality and connectivity to the divine or nature

More focus at work (and at play)

More Contentment, Happiness and Bliss

And much more as well..:-) Did you know, for example, that mediation has done something that NOTHING else has ever accomplished in prison systems from one side of the world to the next? It has caused DRAMATIC (and some say previously thought to be impossible) decreases in the amount of violence in maximum security prisons for violent offenders. A 10 day Vippasanna course, for example, as part of a global outreach into helping those incarcerated, has almost ELIMINATED the occurrence of violence in the inmates who have participated in the program! (shocking, I know… but very true none the less!)

The Bottom Line?

Learning meditation can change your life. It doesn’t have to be hard…and using tools and technologies like sound, music and brain entrainment can actually make mediation EASY! (and it’s how I got started myself as well) Simply stated, if you’re like feels a bit out of control at times, and you’d like to know what “balance” really feels like, don’t waste another day….start learning mediation right away!

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13

Eight Minute Meditation

Eight Minute Meditation Can you give you peace of mind and change your life forever?

What exactly is meditation? Nowadays a lot of people are connected to this form of activity. By definition, the word meditation is used to describe a state of intense attention on an object or a thought of an individual. The individual tries to focus his attention inward. Meditation is a native of Vedic Hinduism. It is usually practiced in Eastern religions but nowadays, Western culture is already deeply involved in this activity .
People practice meditation so that they can focus their mind for their personal development, to achieve peace of mind and to be healthier.

Many Westerners are now practicing some form of meditation. According to Time Magazine, there is a practice of meditation that can be used by almost anyone. It can be seen as a basic primer for Westerners wanting to begin meditation without having any idea where to start.

Eight minutes of daily meditation can bring you a lot already.
Each individual starting a new activity, often with questions, doubts and hopes. There are even some people who hope that when they begin to think they will be enlightened. Or maybe you’re one of those people who think that meditation is like exercise or diet you’ve tried to do in recent months. But that’s normal, so do not be surprised if you’re one of them.
The best thing to do is to forget all these positive ideas and / or negative, and start without preconceptions. If you want to try meditation, you must learn how to approach it one minute at a time.
While many people think that meditation is a simple practice, you should think twice. You might not notice it, but your mind wanders still here and there. You can not concentrate. According to some practitioners, you must monitor your breathing. This is the first stage of meditation. You need to inhale and exhale deeply.

When you begin to meditate, if you find yourself thinking about other things, or in other words, if your mind wanders, focus on your breathing again for yoga and health.. After all, the merger is part of meditation and if you realize that you lost, you can always come slowly to this state of mind. Do not give up easily and keep practicing. There is a popular saying that “it’s practice makes perfect”, keep that in mind. If you give up easily, then you will remain a loser.

14

Yoga Mats – The Best Selection You Can Get

Are you looking for a new yoga mat? Or do you want to get into yoga and want to get your first own yoga mat? EMP Industries, an Australian owned and Melbourne based company is specialized in offering yoga mats. We understand that the needs and preferences of yogis vary. Therefore we have made it our goal to offer our customers the best yoga mats in the world at great prices.

Are you looking for a yoga mat that is anti-slip and provides you with the best traction? EMP Industries certainly has the solution for you. We offer yoga mats made out of 100% natural rubber, TPE, JUTE PER or foam. The best thing is that no matter what price category you are interested in, we will have the right yoga mat for you – from budget yoga mats to Jade Yoga Mats or VB yoga mats.

Our most popular mats are:
– Jade Yoga Mat (best traction and 100% rubber) — click here to view
– VB Yoga Mat (German manufactured high premium yoga mat) — click here to view
– Budget Foam Yoga Mat (great price!) — click here to view

Yoga mats are thinner than regular exercise or pilates mats to allow optimal balance while yet giving you some cushioning to support your knees, feet, hands, etc.. In order to hold poses it is necessary that yoga mats provide you with some form of traction and anti-slip behavior. This grip enables you to hold poses even when your hands and feet get sweaty. Some yoga mats even have moisture absorbing functionalities which means that excess sweat is absorbed by the mat giving you better grip. The regular size of a yoga mat is usually around 60 to 62cm wide and 172-176cm long. EMP also offers extra wide and/or extra long yoga mats for taller yogis (click here to view).

If you are travelling a lot with your yoga mat you might want to consider a thinner yoga mat that is lighter and easier to carry than some of the high quality mats. We offer a great range of travel yoga mats that weigh less than 2kg and are smaller when rolled up (due to their thinner fabric).

EMP also offers many other Yoga Props and Yoga Accessories that you might want. For example we offer Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Stretching Straps, Yoga DVDs, and much much more. Simple check out our website: EMP Industries Website – click here

16

The Usefulness Of Meditation

Meditation is an activity that can helps people to achieve a sense of relaxation of the body after doing it. It can heighten the state of awareness. Frequent meditation can help to lesser restless thoughts and emotions and bring a sense of well-being to people. People will then be able to temporary get away from the outside world and enjoy themselves during meditating.

It is no doubts that the mind of people can easily affect body functions and chemical balance that could ensure us good health. The energy levels of a person will become disrupted when the mind are being disturbed by saddened feelings and thoughts, like resentment, anxiety and worry. This can leads to some symptoms of illness.

Practicing meditation can bring some advantages to people. This includes regulating of blood pressure, stimulating of blood circulation, alleviating pain, lowering and reducing of muscular tension and of course, slowing down hormonal activity.

Meditation is usually associated with an ascetic and spiritual lifestyle. There is no need to renounce any own beliefs. When ones is feeling down or has any problems with themselves, it is recommended for them to practice meditating as it will bring benefits to them mentally and physically in a way or another and to relief the stress in them and at the same time, improve ones health and sustained a sense of well-being.

However, before ones start meditating, it is important to establish the good habits first. This includes learning the appropriate and right posture and control of breath. Both of these factors are equally important in aiding concentration when the thoughts of ones start to wander during meditation. This is commonly seen in the earlier stage of meditating.

When ones start to meditate, the most difficult aspect is often keeping the mind quiet (quietening of mind). In the beginning, most of the people will find lots of other stuffs that seem more important to them that need their immediate attention; hence they will put meditation aside first. This may be due to either they think that meditating is not benefiting them, they did not enjoy meditating or meditating is a waste of time to them.

In order to start the correct way of meditating, it is encouraged to begin with simple exercises to have good practice. For instance, candle gazing meditation will help to train the habit of sitting in silence and the focusing on objects. However, this method needs to be practice twice a day for six days and then, rest for a day before continuing it again.

5

Yoga Dance Therapy

Yoga dance Therapy is an art based on the application of yoga principles to dance. This method combines a dynamic sequence of asanas (postural patterns and movements) inspired from different world dance traditions like Indian classical dance, ballet and contemporary dance, and approaches them through a practical and theoretical understanding of yoga.

Dance is a wonderful tool which uses the body language to express the emotions and cultures the right brain. The perfection in movements, synchronization to the rhythm and arithmetic involved in keeping to the rhythm are useful in developing the left brain and the expressions involved in communicating the emotions through the delicacy of movements of limbs, face and eyes require the right brain.

Yoga dance Therapy (YDT) is a teaching method based on the systematic application of yoga principles in the art of dance, combining a movement-oriented sequence of asanas and purification techniques. It is inspired by three world dance traditions – Indian classical dance, ballet and contemporary dance – and is an integrative art form based in the philosophy of Ayurveda.

Emotion culture and meditation which are essential components of yoga for total health, stress reduction and professional excellence can be incorporated into the dance training program. While you concentrate and learn the limb and trunk movements for perfect synchronization, observe your own mind. Check if you are getting stressed up (anxious), tired or lazy.

Yoga dance Therapy also includes the use of different therapies and holistic healing techniques from martial arts manipulations, massages, visualizations and choreography. It aims to create body-mind awareness and an understanding of patterns for therapeutic choreography, restoring balance and health through the concept of meditation in action.

The postural patterns are combined with dance to create body-mind awareness and craft movement patterns for therapeutic choreography. Yogadance Therapy is the ultimate body-mind therapy fitness training programme designed for dancers and athletes, and is open to all. The Yogadance Therapy training is particularly interesting for dancers, actors, dance teachers in any style, athletes, physiotherapists, dance therapists, fitness trainers and spa therapists who wish to gain first-hand knowledge about yoga and dance, and body mind therapies.

This basic workshop includes an introduction to the theory on yoga/dance/body-mind therapy, a class in yoga and dance technique (ballet/contemporary) followed by YDT choreographic yogadance sequences. Each session ends with purification practices (pranayama, kapalabhati and/or meditation) and a final deep restorative relaxation.

Thus yoga practices would not only help you to be a better professional but would make you a healthier human being through harmony between the right and left brain.

Read & Know how people are Becoming a Yoga Instructor? Read more about Yoga Workshops U.S.A and Yoga Certification U.S.A

5

Practice Meditation for Getting Relief from Pain

As per common norms, only those who wish to alleviate psychological problems such as depression, stress, anxiety and similar problems practice meditation. However, the truth says an altogether different story as now meditation-based therapies are being used increasingly in medical centres and clinics to manage pain and cure physical illnesses. >

It is an age-old practice that helps people gain mental, physical and emotional balance thus helping to keep pain at bay. Researches have proved that regular practitioners of meditation experience lower pain sensitivity as compared to non-meditators. This happens because Meditation lowers stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline and increases good chemicals such as endorphins that help maintain the overall health and wellness thus assuaging pain, anxiety and depression. Meditation works to focus the mind on other places and feelings other than what you are feeling at the current moment and this helps to alleviate pain. The feelings of pain are more than physical; they are both emotional and mental feelings. Meditation for pain relief works by taking the mind and focusing it on something other than the feelings of pain within the body. This helps to diminish the feeling of pain.

When pain occurs, one has to deal with elevated blood pressure and anxiety. Meditation in reality helps to brings down the blood pressure and reduces the level of anxiety. This can prevent intensifying the pain while helping people deal with the pain in a better way.

Meditation for pain relief is worth giving a try because besides providing relief from pain it can also improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being in many other constructive ways as well. Though, you may not get immediate relief from your pain, but practicing meditation over a period of time can allow you to control the pain and feel its intensity diminishing gradually as meditation helps in improving flexibility and breathing, thereby reducing pain and stress and in maintaining overall health.

While meditating a person’s brain is too busy to experience the pain. In fact, meditation changes the structure of the brain considerably to reduce pain and thus helps to yoke the control of the mind. You do not have to spend endless hours meditating in order to manage your pain. A few minutes each day can prove to be blessing in disguise for you.

Since, pain brings with it stress and depression, it is important that you first control your mind, so that you can divert your attention from pain to something else, which can be possible only through meditation.

Chamunda Swamiji, the spiritual instructor has defined about meditation practice in daily routine. Meditation is the basic need of healthy body & mind, it gives human body energy & positivity. It is very helpful to increase your self-confident. Get the deep knowledge about proper meditation by Chamunda Swamiji from

15

Meditation And Meditation Music

First, I’m seriously wired by nature and am not someone who can stop thinking. I have learned to meditate very effectively once I learned some facts about real meditation.

Problem one is thinking that you can’t meditate, or it’s not real meditation if you have thoughts going through your head. You do NOT have to stop thinking, or empty your mind of thoughts…that will happen ON ITS OWN if you meditate correctly.

If you’re closed-minded, your ability to reach deep states of meditation, or spiritual connectedness, is restricted. This is the way we are designed…scientifically. Meditation at its core, is meant to slow down brain waves, whether you know it or not. It’s just like you may know how to drive a car, but have no clue what’s going on mechanically. People will meditate for relaxation, healing, spiritual connection, communication, access to the infinite field of consciousness…whatever your reason, it is all only attainable directly as a result of slowing your brain waves to a certain frequency range.

The four major brainwave states/frequencies are: Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta in that order. More info is available on the specific states via the link in my bio. Meditation is mainly attempting to bring the brain to the Theta and Delta states. This is where everything happens: the connection, communication, healing, access to the quantum field of consciousness. So the point is to slow your brain waves.

You do need time, especially if you don’t use tools to help you. It’s just like trying to relax, except much deeper. You need time to relax…and you can also use music or other tools to help you. Meditation music was what I found to be the most helpful for me. Real meditation music…like with binaural beats. The music is specially made to influence your brain to slow down…to chill out.

Watch on things that raise the rate of your brain waves, like certain colors. Red, for example is a very high rate of vibration. Deep blue is among the slowest. I recommend keeping your eyes shut the whole time.

Most of the meditation music that I bought, was effective, but very long. I decided to make my own music which is made to bring the brain waves from Beta to low Alpha in less than 6 minutes, and then another music track that goes from low Alpha to low Theta in less than 6 minutes again.

The Beta to low Alpha meditation music track is available for free. The Theta music track is available to buy. There is a music link in my bio.

Dennis Andrew
NNOS Studios Brainwave and Meditation Music