Using Yoga DVDs and Videos to Round Out Your Practice
Feb 18th, 2012 by Aldouspi

Using Yoga DVDs and Videos to Round Out Your Practice

Yoga blueray

by Synergy by Jasmine under CC BY-ND  with wpseopix.com
Yoga DVD

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I absolutely love using yoga DVDs, yoga bluerays and yoga videos during my practices. As a matter of fact, I use one of them almost every time I do yoga. Why do I love using them so much?

They Provide Variety
I don't know about you, but I get bored pretty easily. Doing exactly the same practice over and over again would drive me crazy. Instead of enjoying the relaxation that comes from yoga, I would probably be irritated by having to do the same program every time I practiced. To deal with my need for diversity, I have an assortment of yoga DVDs and I usually pick a different one each time I practice. I choose one that fits my mood and thus enjoy my yoga practice thoroughly.

Enjoy Favorite Classes
Even though I like variety, I also have some favorite programs. With yoga videos, I get to enjoy my preferred 'classes' as often as I like. It's like visiting with an old friend - you know what to expect and it's very comfortable.

They Are Time Efficient
Like you, I never seem to have enough time. Going to a yoga class adds up to two hours to my practice time when you consider driving to the center, finding a parking spot, registering, and getting my space in the class. Sometimes, I can't fit in the extra time into my schedule, so I use a video instead.

They Are Convenient
Yoga bluerays are very convenient because they are always ready when you are. You might want to practice at a certain time, but there isn't a class available. I know this is the case with me. Very often, yoga classes in my area are offered at times that don't fit my schedule. So instead of not practicing at all, I use one of my yoga tapes and I'm all set to go.

You Get to Practice With Renowned Teachers
There are many gifted teachers in yoga and it is a thrill to practice with them. One of my favorite power yoga instructors is Bryan Kest. The only problem is that his studio is in California and I live elsehwere. It's pretty hard to practice with an instructor who lives 3,000 miles away from you. By using one of Bryan's yoga DVDs, it is like he is right there with me in the room.

You Choose a Practice Based on What You Need
A particular Yoga DVD allows you to focus on what you need at a specific time. You can choose one that focuses on stress reduction, one that helps you build your upper body, one that helps build your core. You can also pick one that suits your specific physical situation such as pregnancy yoga or yoga for seniors. You decide what you want and you choose the video that meets that need.

It's Easy to Modify Postures
Lately, I have been dealing with an injured foot that occurred while I was running. As a result, I can't put any pressure on the front of my foot. That means I have to modify a number of poses such as Plank Pose -- I need to put my knees down so I don't bear my entire body weight on my forefoot. Sometimes it takes a lot of extra movements to get into a posture because of this injury. I would find it very uncomfortable to have to do all of these modifications in a regular class with other people around. By using one of my yoga DVDs, I can easily modify the posture to meet my physical needs and I can do it in the privacy of my own home.

Now you can see why I think yoga DVDs and videos are so great. They are easy, convenient, and they can add breadth to your practice. Try some and see for yourself. You might grow to love them too.

Of course, practicing with a Yoga instructor is still important - a good teacher helps you to make sure your postures and positions are correct and it is good to socialize sometimes, as well...


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Yoga DVD - Yoga and the Art of Aging

www.yoga.org.nz Presents the Complete Yoga DVD "Yoga & The Art Of Aging " Free on You Tube in High Definition. Part 1 of 6 . Sarsha takes Al & Alena through a yoga series to aid the aging process. Week one is focused on the core and spine stability. ...



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Ayurveda and Yogic Practices
Jan 15th, 2012 by Aldouspi

Ayurveda and Yogic Practices

Enhance your Yogic Practices with Ayurveda
Ayurveda and Yoga

by Hari Prasad Nadig under CC BY-SA  with wpseopix.com
Ayurveda and Yoga

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Both Ayurveda and yoga have the common goal to heal the body, mind, and consciousness. While both sciences can be studies seperately, combined they have a synergistic effect on reaching reaching greater longevity and physical and spiritual health.

Here are a some specific ways that Ayurveda connects with Yoga in the areas of the Asanas, Meditation, Breathing and diet.

The Ayurvedic approach to asana practice.

The use of asana, pranayama, and meditation for healing is known as Yoga Chikitsa, or Yoga Therapy. This has been used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic and yogic adepts.

In Yoga Chikitsa, a group of yogic exercises are chosen that will best support the individual and are practiced daily. This regime is done over an extended period of time in conjunction with an Ayurvedic regime and herbal and dietary therapies. Yoga Chikitsa also plays an integral role in the Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation process known as panchakarma.

For a well balanced personal yoga practice, it is important to take into consideration the individual's body structure, prakruti (original constitution), and vikruti (present constitutional imbalance). The following are general recommendations according to the predominant dosha:

  • Vata predominant individuals should remember to focus on calming, grounding, stillness, strengthening, and balancing while doing their practice.

    Precautions for vata:  Vinyasa or flow styles of yoga tend to move too quickly from one pose to the next and can aggravate the hyper-mobile quality of vata over time. Flow sequences should be made to be more vata pacifying. If a pose is not excessively long, the length of time poses are held is extended, and transitions are done more slowly and consciously.

    SPECIAL NOTES: Those with lower back problems may find that bending their knees in standing forward bends can prevent discomfort. AND back bends should be done slowly, carefully and within one's own limits.

  • Pitta individuals should maintain a calm, cool, and relaxed intention while doing asanas Pitta types may benefit from trying to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness, and of surrendering or offering the fruits of their practice to the divine or to those in need of positive healing energy.

    Because asana practice tends to generate heat in the body, it is best to do them at cooling times of the day, such as dawn or dusk. Also, it is useful to place some emphasis on poses that help to release excess heat from the body, such as poses that compress the solar plexus and poses that open the chest like.

  • Kapha types tend to be sedentary and often dislike vigorous exercise. For this reason, their practice should be energetic, warming, lightening, and stimulating, provided they are physically capable. Vinyasa or flow style yoga is good for kapha because it is dynamic. It moves quickly from one pose to the next. It induces sweating and gets the heart pumping.

Yoga poses that address specific doshic problems can be easily added to an Ayurvedic regime and integrated into an existing yoga routine. They can be organized as a small session with the help of an Ayurvedic clinician who knows each individual case well. The goal is to set up a well balanced program according to the needs of each client.

Ayurveda also offers Yoga Chikitsa, or Yoga Therapy, for specific doshic disorders. It is advised to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for an individualized regime.

Ayurvedic Approach to Pranayama (breathing techniques).

The ultimate goal of pranayama is to calm the mind and prepare it for meditation. There are therapeutic effects on the physical body as well. It is not essential to do a pranayama practice according to one's dosha, but knowing its effects on the body is a valuable tool for management of the doshas. Below is a general list of pranayama and bandha exercises according to dosha.

  • Vata:  Nadi Shodhana, Kapala Bhati, Agnisara Dhauti, Ujjayi, Tri Bandha, Maha Mudra.

  • Pitta:  Sheetali or Sitkari, Nadi shodhana.

  • Kapha:  Bastrika, Agnisara Dhauti, Kapala Bhati, Ashvini Mudra (contracting and releasing Mula Bandha), Ashvini Mudra, Ujjayi, Tri Bandha, Maha Mudra.

Meditation According to Dosha.

These spiritual paths and their meditation techniques can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their prakruti. This list is only intended to give an idea on how dosha can support or influence one's spiritual practice. Many traditions of yoga blend various aspects of the paths listed here.

  • Vata: Kriya Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga and other structured techniques help to keep vata stabilized and focused.

  • Pitta: Jnana Yoga and Vedanta are good for pitta types because they often have sharp intellects and have a keen interest in self-study (Atma-vichara).

  • Kapha: Bhakti yoga is natural for kapha types because they are often loving and devotional by nature.

Ayurvedic and Yogic Diet.

Ayurveda is more concerned with food being constitutionally balanced, while Yoga promotes a diet that is sattwic (light and pure). A combination of both aspects is the best choice for a yogi or anyone wanting to make real progress on a spiritual path.

Ayurvedic diet: 

  • Meals are made According to dosha.

  • Primarily vegetarian - meat is used as medicine, mainly for extreme deficiencies.
  • Food is primarily cooked - raw food is eaten in moderation, especially for vata types.
  • Daily meals Contain six tastes.

Yogic diet:

  • Sattwic vegetarian diet.
  • Easy to digest.
  • Simple meals (to limit desire).
  • Both cooked and raw.
  • Foods recommended in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika consist of rejuvenating substances such as:  Wheat, whole grain, white basmati, corn, raw milk, raw sugar, butter, ghee, honey, dried ginger, mung beans, pure water, vegetables.
  • Fruits, roots and nuts.
  • Avoid excessive hot, sour, salty, fermented, and fried foods.
  • Avoid tamasic or dulling foods like meat, onions, garlic and mushrooms as a regular part of your daily diet.

Cleansing in Yoga and Ayurveda.

Ayurveda and Yoga both emphasize cleansing of the body for health and support of spiritual practices. Their methods are similar and work by expelling excess dosha and ama, or toxins, using the body's natural routes of elimination.

The yogic method is known in the Ashtanga tradition as Shat Karma, or six cleansing measures.

These are:

    1. Neti (nasal cleansing) - Jala neti (salt water flushing of the sinuses). And Sutra neti (nasal cleaning with string).

    2. Dhauti (washing the GI tract).

    • Teeth, tongue, eyes, ears and forehead.

    • Agnisara Dhauti.

    • Vamana Dhauti (vomiting salt water).

    • Vastra Dhauti (washing with a cloth).

    • Varisara Dhauti (washing with water for purgation).

    3. Basti (enema).

    4. Trataka (forehead wash, gazing into a candle flame).

    5. Nauli (intestinal washing, abdominal rolling).

    6. Kapala Bhati (skull shining).

The Ayurvedic method for cleansing and rejuvenation is known as panchakarma (pancha karma), or five cleansing actions. This program is usually done for a week or two, but can also be done for longer periods depending on the case. The five actions of this method are:

    1. Basti (Enema).

    2. Nasya (Nasal application of herbs and herbal oils).

    3. Vamana (Therapeutic vomiting).

    4. Virechana (Purgation).

    5. Rakta Moksha (Blood letting).

It is obvious that Ayurveda and yoga not only complement each other. Both sciences actually embrace each other as they share similarities and fundamental principles on many levels. Ayurveda and yoga should go hand in hand if we want to achieve optimal health, peace, and longevity.

About the author:   Vishnu Dass, NTS, LMT, CAyu, is an Ayurvedic practitioner and educator and the Director of the Blue Lotus Ayurveda Center - Ayurvedic Clinic and School, in Asheville, NC, where he offers health consultations, panchakarma, rejuvenating therapies, diet and lifestyle counseling, yoga and yoga therapy, therapeutic massage, educational programs and workshops, and more. For more information, visit: www.bluelotusayurveda.com


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Practicing Yoga Helps Your Mind and Body Throughout the Day
Jan 3rd, 2012 by Aldouspi

Practicing Yoga Helps Your Mind and Body Throughout the Day

practicing yoga

The benefits of yoga practice goes far beyond the actual time you spend in the poses. It is yoga's effect on your whole life that brings one back to the poses over and over again.

One of the most common reasons why people begin practicing yoga is to improve their health and well-being. Yoga means union. It is a union of the mind, body and breath, so all aspects of your life are impacted by your practice.

A major benefit of yoga is physical.

  • Yoga improves your flexibility - The stretching that you engage in during every practice helps lengthen and stretch muscles, which helps reduce the risk of injuries.

  • Yoga improves your balance - The majority of yoga practices include some type of balancing in the poses. A significant number of people, especially as they began to get older, start to have problems with balance, which can lead to major injuries due to falls. Maintaining a greater sense of balance, keeps you able to move both more easily and safely.

  • Yoga can help reduce pain - Tense muscles often contribute to pain. Relaxing muscles helps to minimize muscle tension and the pain that is associated with it. Also, breathing deeply into muscles helps lessen pain by altering your perception of it.

  • It tones your muscles - Yoga works all the muscles in your body. It helps strengthen and tone them while at the same tyime also builds endurance and stamina.

  • It helps to increase your level of energy - Carrying tension in your body takes an enormous toll on your energy reserves. By learning how to relax through your yoga practice, you benefit by enjoying higher levels of energy so you can more thoroughly enjoy your daily activities.

    Yoga helps promote a sense of relaxation - Most people breathe high in their chests. This not only does not allow them to get sufficient oxygen, it also triggers the stress response, which contributes to feelings of anxiety. Breathing deeply as practiced in yoga, helps relax your muscles and also brings much needed oxygen to your cells. The deep sense of relaxation also leads to better quality sleep.

    Each yoga practice ends with some type of relaxation. Since your body and mind are one, by relaxing your body you also relax your mind-worries dissipate. Many yoga experts believe that a relaxation pose is the most beneficial pose in any yoga practice.

    Another benefit of yoga is mental

  • Yoga clears your mind and helps you focus your attention - During your practice, you are focusing your attention on your breath and turning inward. This concentration allows you to withdraw from the distractions in your environment. A significant benefit of yoga practice is that you can take this ability to focus your attention into every aspect of your life. You can be fully present with whatever you are doing instead of worrying about tomorrow or regretting yesterday. Not only will your actions be more productive, you can also enjoy them in a greater way.

  • Yoga helps reduce stress - Deep breathing helps lower the hormones that are released when you are feeling overwhelmed, overloaded, and frazzled. The internal focus that accompanies the poses helps create a relaxation response in your body.

  • Yoga can help release stuck emotions - Often, stuck emotions find their way into our bodies. Remember, your mind and body are one. If you are suppressing any painful emotions, you will often experience that as pain in some part of your body. A benefit of yoga is that by breathing deeply into places in your body that hold tension, you can help release the emotions that may be buried there. You can then examine these emotions and let go of those that do not serve you.

    Also, as you take your body past the limits of where it has been, you start to feel that you can move past other limitations in your life as well.

  • You gain a sense of peace and tranquility - Most yoga practices include some time for meditation. Regular meditation helps your mind reach a state of inner calm. It helps you gain control over your thinking instead of being at the mercy of wayward thoughts.

    As you can see, the benefit of yoga has far reaching effects in every area of your life. Maintain a regular yoga practice, and you will see for yourself, how yoga can benefit you, too.

    About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Protect Your Pets From Fleas, and Didgeridoos For Sale.


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