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Understanding Yoga

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5 Basic Approaches to Yoga

Since Yoga came to the Western hemisphere from its Indian homeland in the late 19th century, it has undergone various adaptations. Today, Yoga can be practiced in five major ways: [more…]

What You Need for Yoga Class

After you choose a Yoga class you think can work for you, you may be nervous about actually taking the plunge and heading to your first session. Here are some guidelines to answer your questions about [more…]

How to Enjoy a Peaceful Yoga Practice

As you travel through Yoga postures, you begin to build awareness of the communications taking place between your body and mind. Do you feel peacefully removed from the raging storm of life around you? [more…]

How to Perform Forgiving Limbs for Yoga Beginners

In Yoga, as in life, function is more important than form. It’s the function of the posture that gives you its benefits. Beginners, in particular need to adapt postures to enjoy their function and benefits [more…]

Tips for a Successful Yoga Relaxation Practice

A successful relaxation practice is at the core of successful Yoga. The Sanskrit word for relaxation is shaithilya, which is pronounced shy-theel-yah and means “loosening.” It refers to the loosening of [more…]

How to Relax with the Yoga Corpse Posture

The simplest and yet the most difficult of all Yoga postures is the corpse posture (shavasana, from shava and asana, pronounced shah-vah sah-nah), also widely known as the dead posture [more…]

How to Relax with Yogic Breathing

Yogic breathing can help you relax. Pain clinics across the country use breathing exercises for pain control. Childbirth preparation courses teach Yoga-related breathing techniques to both parents to aid [more…]

How to Combine Yoga Breathing and Postural Movement

In Hatha Yoga, breathing is just as important as the postures. How you breathe when you’re moving into, holding, or moving out of any given posture can greatly increase the efficiency and the benefits [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Chair-Sitting Posture

Because cultural habits inspire most Westerners to sit in a chair when they perform Yoga meditations, floor sitting is usually something folks have to work up to with practice. Over time, your [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Easy Posture (Sukhasana)

According to Yoga master Patanjali, posture should be “steady” (sthira) and “easeful” (sukha). The basic Yoga sitting position is called, appropriately, the easy/easeful posture [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Thunderbolt Posture (Vajrasana)

The thunderbolt posture is one of the safer sitting postures for Yoga students with back problems. Vajrasana increases the flexibility of your ankles, knees, and thighs, improves circulation to the abdomen [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Auspicious Posture (Svastikasana)

The Yoga posture svastikasana, or auspicious posture, improves the flexibility of the hips, knees, and ankles and strengthens the back. Before its perversion in Nazi Germany, the [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Perfect Posture (Siddhasana)

The siddhasana improves the flexibility of your hips, knees, and ankles, and strengthens the back. The posture is considered the perfect Yoga meditation posture for those practicing celibacy. [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Mountain Posture (Tadasana)

The mountain posture is the foundation for all the standing Yoga postures. Master this before moving on to the more involved postures. Tadasana aligns the body, improves posture and balance, and facilitates [more…]

How to Do the Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) in Yoga

The standing forward bend in Yoga stretches the entire back of the body and decompresses the neck (makes space between the vertebrae). The Sanskrit word [more…]

How to Do the Half Standing Forward Bend (Ardha uttanasana) in Yoga

The Sanskrit word ardha (pronounced ahrd-ha) means “half.” The Yoga standing posture, half standing forward bend strengthens your legs, back, shoulders, and arms and improves stamina. Here’s how you do [more…]

How to Do the Asymmetrical Forward Bend (Parshva Uttanasana) in Yoga

The Yoga standing posture asymmetrical forward bend stretches each side of the back and hamstrings separately. The Sanskrit word parshva (pronounced pahr-shvah [more…]

How to Do the Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) and Reverse (Parivritta Trikonasana) Postures in Yoga

The triangle postures are very useful if you plan to practice Yoga. The Sanskrit word utthita (pronounced oot-hee-tah) for triangle posture means “raised” and [more…]

How to Do Downward-Facing Dog Posture (Adhomukha Shvanasana) in Yoga

The Sanskrit word adhomukha (pronounced ahd-ho-mook-hah) means “downward facing,” and shvan (pronounced shvahn) means “dog.” Yoga masters were great observers of the world around them. They particularly [more…]

How to Do Warrior I (Vira Bhadrasana I) and Warrior II (Vira Bhadrasana II) Postures in Yoga

Warrior I and Warrior II are very important postures in Yoga. The Sanskrit word vira (pronounced vee-rah) is often translated as “hero” and bhadra (pronounced [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Half Chair Posture (Ardha Utkatasana)

The half chair posture strengthens the back, legs, shoulders, and arms and builds overall stamina for Yoga. The Sanskrit word ardha (pronounced ahrd-ha [more…]

How to Do the Standing Spread-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Pada Uttanasana) in Yoga

This Yoga posture, also called the wide-legged standing forward bend, stretches your hamstrings and your adductors (on insides of the thighs) and opens your hips. The hanging forward bend increases circulation [more…]

How to Perform Yoga Balancing Postures

Contemporary life is highly demanding and stressful; if you’re not properly grounded through Yoga’s balancing postures, you face a constant risk of being pushed out of balance. [more…]

How to Do the Cobra I, II and III Yoga Postures

Daily life entails lots of forward bending: putting on a pair of pants; tying shoelaces; playing sports, and so on. The cobra and other Yoga back bends, which stretch the front of the torso [more…]

How to Do the Locust I, II, and III Yoga Postures

We put our bodies through a rigorous amount of forward bending: getting the mail; working at the computer; gardening, and so on. The Yoga locust postures counteract this by allowing your body to do some [more…]

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