Reduce Your Asthma With Yoga

Yoga has been a revelation for many people. They have found that they can improve the quality of their life with the power of yoga. Yoga combines both physical and mental activities, so it engages your whole body rather than just part of it. Some of the benefits of yoga include better breathing, easier relaxation and relief from the symptoms of asthma.

The reason that yoga can help with your asthma is that by using yoga, you will get your body back to a more natural state. Both your body and your mind will be less stressed.

Relaxation and deep breathing were made for each other. Both of them help you to calm down, clear your mind and re-energize your body. By spending a few minutes taking slow, controlled breaths and paying attention to your breathing rather than taking it for granted, you will notice that your breathing automatically becomes calmer. Rather than it’s “normal”, hyper-active state. In turn, this will bring more energy into your body and calm you down.

Try out this simple breathing relaxation exercise. Read the instructions through a couple of times and then start.

1. Sit down, making sure that your posture is good and your spine is straight as possible.

Place your feet flat on the floor and check that your knees are directly over your feet. Place your hands on top of your legs.

2. Gently close your eyes.

3. Concentrate your thoughts on your ribs and your lungs. Inhale slowly and deeply. Notice your lungs filling up and your ribs expanding outwards and upwards. Then slowly exhale, again noticing your lungs slowly releasing the air you’ve just breathed in and your ribs gradually going back in and down.

4. Repeat this routine once a day for up to 3 minutes when you first start out. Over the coming days, gradually increase up to 5 and then 10 minutes throughout the day as necessary.

Yoga breathing exercises have been shown to help sufferers of mild asthma. You may still need your medication and any other health devices, although you should notice that you need them less and less as you practice these techniques.

How to borrow from Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga is often praised in the mass media as the new fitness-craze promising weight loss, and increased strength and flexibility. However, when one sees a yoga practitioner curled up in a seemingly impossible pose, the natural tendency is to think: “Well this person has been practicing for years, how can Yoga help me lose the weight now?”

Through the acclaimed Sun Salutations, that’s how.

What are they?

These exercises are a combination of Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, Sun Bathing and Prayer. They have been practiced for centuries by Yoga Practitioners in India, Martial Artists and African Wrestlers and as a system to rejuvenate the body and soul are beyond compare. It’s been said in the Drugless Healing circles that one round of the Sun Salutations is much better than a week of exercises at the gym!

They are very simple to learn and just about anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels can learn these simple exercises. In actuality, if you are familiar with “burpies” (the calisthenics exercise), they do derive their origin from the Sun Salutations.

Here are some of their benefits:

-They alleviate disorders of the skin and waist.

-Flexibility increases and breathing is corrected, moreover, they mildly exercise the legs and arms, thus increasing the circulation.

-They are the best way to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for obesity and depression.

-They are an effective way of loosening up, stretching and massaging all joints and internal organs of the body.

-They stimulate and balance all the systems of the body including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive system.

Technique:

1. Stand straight with the palms together as in a prayer position.

2. Inhale and stretch the arms above the head.

3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.

4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a big backward step and keep the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bending the head backward the left knee should be between the hands.

5. Inhale and hold the breath. Move the left leg from the body and, keeping both feet together and the knees of the floor, rest on the hands (arms straight) and keep the body in a straight line from head to foot.

6. Exhale and lower the body to the floor. In this position, only 8 portions of the body come in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest and forehead.

7. Inhale and bend back as much as possible bending the spine to the maximum.

8. Exhale and lift the body of the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.

9. Inhale and bring the right foot along the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the ground. Look up, bending the spine slightly (same position as #4)

10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head down to the knees as in the third position.

11. Raise the arms overhead and bend backward inhaling. As in Position 2.

12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.

You have now completed one round. Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally you want to aim for 6 rounds minimum and up to a maximum of 30. It only takes about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity and is best practiced with as little clothing as possible before an open air window first thing in the morning.

You could do a search in Yahoo! Images for “Sun Salutations” to see a visual representation of these powerful exercises and be rest assured that with a sensible diet and a wise combination of these exercises-with any other fitness regimen you may choose-you are well on your way to attaining natural weight loss, increased strength and overall fitness with the help of yoga.
So don’t get intimidated when you see a seasoned practitioner in a seemingly tough pose. Yoga is for everyone and can help you lose weight.

How To Choose The Best Yoga Videos

Finding the best yoga videos is not as easy to walking down to your local video store and wandering over to the exercise aisle. Not all such videos on the market are ideal for effective home practice. In order to make sure you get the best yoga videos for your home, consider a few things you should really look for.

Easy To Understand

First of all, a quality yoga video will be easy for you to follow. You should be able to understand what is being done, how the positions are achieved, how long you should hold each one, and how often you should do it. It should also be easy to follow into each subsequent move. If you cannot understand the video, then it has failed on its most basic level.

Secondly, videos should provide not only easy to follow instructions, but also easy to understand demonstrations. You should be able to, by watching, understand the basics of achieving each pose and each transition. You should also understand, from watching, the breathing patterns and focus. If you can understand the verbal instructions, but the demonstrations are unclear then your video is no better than a book on yoga.

Next, there should be easy modifications offered in the best yoga videos. Yoga can be difficult, so beginners to it may frequently need modifications to their practice so that they can understand even that which they cannot complete. No matter what your ability level may be, you want your video to be able to apply to you. Once you buy a video, it should be of use to you at every stage as you progress further into yoga. Choose a video that will grow with you.

Teaching Qualilty

In a quality video, the yoga should be taught in a student centered manner. Though that seems like it should go without saying, you will see a number of yoga videos that are just a fancy way of showing off the instructor’s ability in yoga. Such videos do little if any good and in many cases may even be counterproductive for you. The idea of having the yoga video is to help your development, not to put you in awe of someone else’s level of flexibility or fitness.

Finally, high quality yoga videos should feature prominent and well qualified instructors. They should not only be practicing instructors, but should probably have achieved great success in their yoga education. You always want to learn from someone at as high a level as possible. By simply reading the back of the box, you will often get an overview of the teacher’s qualifications so that you can make an intelligent decision as to whether or not you want this person to help you practice yoga in your home.

Finding the best yoga videos really isn’t easy. However, when armed with the tools above, you can more accurately assess a video’s value. Look for something you understand visually and orally, that you can use at any level, and that features a successful teacher while staying student centered. When you find that you will have found the best of the best yoga videos for use at home and between private sessions or classes.