Understanding Yoga

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4 Basic Approaches to Yoga

Since Yoga came to the West from its Indian homeland in the late 19th century, it has undergone various adaptations. Broadly, you can look at yoga in four overlapping approaches. [more…]

What You Need for Yoga Class

When 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 tips that will answer your questions about [more…]

How to Enjoy a Peaceful Yoga Practice

As you travel through yogic 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. The function, not the form, of the posture gives you its benefits. Beginners, in particular, need to adapt postures to enjoy their function and [more…]

Tips for a Successful Yoga Relaxation Practice

The Sanskrit word used in Yoga for relaxation is shaithilya, which is pronounced shy-theel-yah and means “loosening.” It refers to the loosening of physical and mental tension and effort — all the knots [more…]

How to Relax with the Yoga Corpse Posture

The simplest, yet most difficult, of all Yoga postures is the corpse posture (savasana, from shava and asana, pronounced shah-vah sah-nah). This posture is the simplest because you don’t have to use any [more…]

How to Relax with Yogic Breathing

Yogic breathing is a healthy practice for relaxation. Think about the many times you’ve heard someone say, “Now, just take a couple of deep breaths and relax.” This recommendation is so popular because [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 benefits of your [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Chair-Sitting Posture

Sitting postures are good for Yoga beginners. Cultural habits inspire most Westerners to sit in a chair when they meditate, so floor sitting is usually something folks have to work up to with practice. [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Easy Posture (Sukhasana)

According to Yoga master Patanjali, a posture must 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 safest 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)

Before its perversion in Nazi Germany, the svastikaserved as a solar symbol for good fortune. It has the same meaning in Yoga. The term is made up of the prefix [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Perfect Posture (Siddhasana)

The Sanskrit word siddha (pronounced sidd-hah) means both “perfect” and “adept.” In Yoga, an adept isn’t just a skillful practitioner, but an accomplished master who has worked to attain inner freedom. [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Mountain Posture (Tadasana)

The mountain posture is the foundation for all the standing postures in Yoga. Tadasana aligns the body, improves posture and balance, and facilitates breathing. The classic version isn’t recommended for [more…]

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

The Sanskrit word uttana (pronounced oo-tah-nah) means “extended,” and this Yoga posture certainly fits that bill. The standing forward bend stretches the entire back of the body and decompresses the neck [more…]

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

The Sanskrit word ardha (pronounced ahrd-ha) means “half.” This Yoga posture is beneficial in many ways. The half standing forward bend strengthens your legs, back, shoulders, and arms, and improves stamina [more…]

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

The asymmetrical forward bend Yoga posture stretches each side of the back and hamstrings separately. The Sanskrit word parshva (pronounced pahr-shvah) means “side” or “flank,” and this posture indeed [more…]

How to Do the Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) Posture in Yoga

In Yoga, the Sanskrit word utthita (pronounced oot-hee-tah) means “raised,” and trikona(pronounced tree-ko-nah) means “triangle.” The latter term is often mispronounced as [more…]

Tips for Finding Suitable Yoga Instruction

Okay, you’ve decided to try Yoga. What’s the next step? Safest is to set your sights on a suitable Yoga class or teacher instead of plowing forward as a strict do-it-yourselfer. Although you can explore [more…]

Yogic Breathing: Tips for Breathing through Your Nose (Most of the Time)

No matter what anybody else tells you, yogic breathing typically occurs through the nose, during both inhalation and exhalation. For traditional yogis and yoginis, the mouth is meant for eating and the [more…]

Common Yoga Breath and Movement Questions

Getting the hang of breath and movement in Yoga takes a bit of work when you tackle them separately, and combining them successfully can be even trickier. Here are some tips on handling both. [more…]

How to Infuse Sound into Yogic Breathing

Sound, which is a form of vibration, is one of the means by which Yoga harmonizes the vibration of your body and mind. In fact, the repetition of special sounds is one of the oldest and most potent techniques [more…]

Tips for Developing Your Own Yoga Warm-Up Routine

Any physical exercise requires adequate warm-up, and Yoga is no exception. Warm-up exercises increase circulation to the parts of your body you’re about to use and make you more aware of those areas of [more…]

How to Do the Yoga Partner Suspension Bridge

Partner Yoga exercises require a certain amount of touching and trust in your partner, so be sure you are comfortable with your partner. The partner suspension bridge is a Yoga partner exercise that decompresses [more…]

How to Do the Reverse Triangle Posture (Parivritta trikonasana Variation) in Yoga

The Sanskrit word parivritta (pronounced pah-ree-vree-tah) means “revolved,” which makes perfect sense with this Yoga posture. You can compare the action of twists, including the reverse triangle, on the [more…]

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