Religion And Yoga

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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.

Yoga Dance Therapy

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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.

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Yoga techniques by divyayogashop

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Yogis contemplate that we’re all looking for happiness and that this is everybody’s major goal. It’s simply that most people settle for the brief, watered-down model of momentary pleasures.

The yogis state that for the duration of our spiritual evolution over many lives we are going to become dissatisfied with brief, short-term pleasures and begin our quest for eternal bliss. Methods to realize this were developed and perfected by the yogis hundreds of years ago. They contemplate that nature’s laws are so designed that we must evolve. The primary mechanism nature makes use of in the early stages is pain. When we discover that relationships, cash or alcohol, for example, don’t produce happiness or a sense of objective, we’ll begin trying more deeply into life. Yoga waits patiently for you to reach this stage.

In the later stages of spiritual evolution, ache is not wanted to spur us on. Each stage of progress produces such peace and happiness that this entices us to go to a better stage of happiness. Thus, instead of ache, reward turns into the prime mover.

The above is a very transient indication of yoga philosophy, which is so complete that it offers with each aspect of life and delves into the very nature of reality. It’s clearly past the scope of this book.

In apply, yoga is an utilized science of the mind and body. It comes from the Hindu vedas (scriptures). Observe and examine of it assist to deliver a couple of natural stability of body and mind in which the state of health can manifest itself. Yoga itself doesn’t create health; fairly, it creates an inside setting that allows the person to return to his personal state of dynamic balance, or health. Mainly, yoga teaches that a healthy individual is a harmoniously built-in unit of physique, thoughts and spirit. Therefore, good health requires a simple, natural food regimen, train in contemporary air, a serene and untroubled thoughts and the awareness that essential’s deepest and highest self is equivalent with the spirit of God. In consequence, to many devotees, yoga turns into a philosophy that gives instruction and insight into every side of life: the spiritual, the mental and the physical. Of course, because it’s all-encompassing, individuals who want to choose and choose from its smorgasbord can accomplish that without being disappointed. Yoga is equally satisfying as a physical remedy alone.

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Does Meditation Work The AMAZING Discovery in Human Consciousness That Will SHOCK You

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Does meditation work… or is it all just a scam, fraud and foolish way to tap into your inner “Zen”? Are you searching for a way to be more grounded, centered, philosophically “freer” or simply more connected to yourself and those around you? If you have… there is no question you’ve at least contemplated the art and science of meditation.

As without… so within.

I know, I know. Sounds silly to quote some sort of estoric cliche after such a a powerful promise in the article title. But I did it anyway. Want to know why? Because when the Buddha said this so many centuries ago, it was as true then, as it is today. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner. Your actions are driven by your thoughts. The serenity you seek is NOT “out there”…..it’s actually “in here”..:-) And once you find it, the bubbling, bursting and brimming external world becomes as soothing, and silent as the world within.

That is the amazing discovery in human consciousness….and it’s available to ANYONE who chooses to look for it. (because it’s NOT far..:-) As a matter of fact, some would argue that peace, serenity and PERFECTION are your natural condition. Mine too. That stress and anger and anxiety are manufactured emotions that are truly not necessary, or important….or even, depending on what you believe, even really “there” at all.

Meditation, is the perfect state that brings EVERYTHING back into balance. It’s the staring into the void of emptiness that becomes bountiful (and beautiful) rather than lonely and alone. Once you learn to quiet your mind, and to CONCENTRATE on everything and nothing at all, the world sings an entirely different song. And to me, that’s an idea worth spreading!

(and there is NOTHING that will give you the freedom of thought, mind and spirit than learning there is FAR more to your life than meets the eye!)

Simply START by opening your mind, spirit [] & enhanced AWARENESS and ride the supernatural surfboard into the wild, wacky and wonderful world of the unknown..:-) It WILL rock Your WORLD…I promise..;-)

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How Meditation Can Lead You To Spiritual Enlightenment

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Have you ever found yourself struggling in meditation? You sit to meditate expecting bliss or enlightenment but instead all you really experience is frustration?

That’s because the very attempt to get something out of meditation, blocks you from actually meditating.

Meditation is a bit like gardening.

You plant some carrot seeds and then every day you water it, you pull the weeds, you nourish the carrot plant in every way you can.

You don’t expect a carrot instantly. But out of love for gardening you do the work without expecting anything in return.

And then one day to your surprise,there is the carrot, beautiful, orange and delicious.

Same with meditation.

If you commit yourself to meditation without expecting anything in return; If you give yourself to this moment out of the love of giving.

Because some days meditation will be challenging.

Some days meditation will be blissful and some days meditation will be a challenging surrender to the intensity that is here.

But simply by meditating and by nourishing your awareness in every way you can,one day, without even focusing on it, you could be reading a book or walking in the woods and suddenly there is an opening. Suddenly, bliss is radiating freely from your heart.

Enlightenment will happen without you thinking about it. Without you do anything on your part.

It arises on its own, at its own time, yet it arises also because you planted the seed and helped it grow.

And the best way to help your meditation grow into enlightenment is by sitting in the presence of an enlightened teacher, one who has mastered high states of meditation. Such a teacher naturally radiates a bliss(known as shaktipat) that can be felt by others. And so simply by sitting with them, you easily enter deep states of meditation.

But you can experience this same bliss by listening to a very unique Enlightenment CD.

Simply by listening to beautiful meditation music, you effortlessly attain deep states of meditation and bliss. You can listen to free samples of the music and experience it for yourself by checking out the “Enlightened Spirituality CD” link below.

Yoga Dvd – A Cheap Mode Of Learning Yoga

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Do you want to practice yoga but can not afford to join a yoga class? If so then you may opt for yoga videos or yoga DVD and see them to practice this discipline. Buying the Yoga DVD is cheaper and can allow you to learn yoga at home. You can follow the videos and practice the asana yourself. This way you would not have to worry about paying a lot for the classes and can easily enjoy the benefits of yoga.

Buying yoga DVDs is very easy as they are now available everywhere. Before choosing the DVD you need to first understand which form of yoga is best for you. If someone is new to yoga then he should buy a DVD that is meant for the beginners and can explain him how he can practice the asana. Similarly there are DVDs that have advanced yoga programs for the experts. If someone is pregnant then rather than buying the basic yoga CDs, it is best to buy the ones that are meant for pregnancy. The yoga asana shown their can help you to learn which asana are good for you and your baby.

If you want to buy a DVD and practice yoga through then you need to also make sure that the DVD is a reliable one. The instructor in the Yoga video should be an expert so that you can watch him and follow him. Since the instructor would not be there to check on you, it is best to buy yoga DVD which has been made by an expert. In other words, the yoga instructor should have good credentials.

Apart from buying the Yoga DVD, you can also look for yoga videos that are available at the yoga sites. Some of the yoga sites have animated videos for the asana that can also help you to understand how you can practice the different asana. It is cheaper than enrolling for a class and is good for people who can not go to a regular class.

In the present time, some people may find it difficult to take out a particular time for yoga class. They can also use the yoga videos to follow the asana. Since you have the ease to watch the video anytime, you dont have to take out a specific time and can practice yoga anytime during the day. You dont have to go anywhere and are thus able to save some time as well.

Basic Chakra Meditation Grounding & Centering

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Whether you are new to meditation or well experienced with yoga or tai chi, anyone can learn basic chakra meditation. Each has its own rewards and benefits. Unlike yoga or tai chi, anyone can practice chakra meditation since there is not the same physical aspect to it. Also, chakra meditation can be practiced almost anywhere. All you need is a quiet place where you will be undisturbed and about 15-20 minutes. Wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothing is recommended but not required.

Before beginning, it is important to ground yourself in order to get the full effect from the chakra meditation. Some people do this by walking through a lawn barefoot, reconnecting with nature. This can also be done by sitting cross-legged on the floor or sitting with your legs folded under you and concentrating on your breathing.

To help clear your mind in preparation for chakra meditation, first choose a focal point. If you are more comfortable with your eyes open, focus on a point on the floor 5-10 feet in front of you, but instead of looking directly at it, look through it. If closing your eyes is more comfortable, mentally focus on the spot between your anus and genitals. This spot is the location of the root chakra, the foundation of the chakra system. Allow your mind to clear. If you notice your mind starting to wander, gently guide it back to your focal point.

Breathe in and out slowly, making each breath deliberate. As you do this, you should feel your body and mind start to relax and center. Once completely relaxed, you will be ready to begin the chakra meditation. As a rule of thumb, it is not recommended to skip this step when practicing chakra meditation because a quiet mind and body is more open to the benefits and healing it provides.

If you only have a short amount of time in which to practice chakra meditation, it is recommended to set an alarm rather than trying to keep an eye on the time yourself. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the meditation without distractions. 20-30 minutes a day is the recommended time for meditation.

Proper grounding and centering before chakra meditation is so important it deserves its own article. A follow-up article will go into detail on various techniques and chants often used in general chakra meditation as well as how to open the different chakras.

Different Ways Yoga Can Help With Your Back Pain

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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.

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Meditation As A Tool Of Success

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Much has been said and written about the benefits of meditation especially in the religions of the East. Vishwas Mahale begins his chapter on meditation in his book, The Success with a quote from the Buddha. In todays fast paced materialistic world where we push ourselves to extreme limits in order to succeed, it is very important that we preserve all that we hold dear. In todays cut throat competitive world, we must not lose those values which form the very basis of humanity. One cannot be successful by compromising on ones health or peace of mind, nor can it be achieved by neglecting ones responsibility towards ones family. It is even more important that we keep alive the love amongst our near and dear ones in this materialistic world.

One cannot think properly if ones mind is burdened with stress induced anxiety, nor can one exercise proper self discipline if the mind is under constant strain. In order to succeed in life and live with zest, ones mind should be free from all kinds of anxiety and depression. How does one minimize and gradually erase tension from ones life? Vishwas offers the best solution to beat stress- meditation. Though the act of meditation is primarily related to religious practices, it should be by no means confined within such boundaries. Meditation helps to clear ones mind of all kinds of stress which results in a creative outburst; it also has a positive effect on ones health.

There are a lot of benefits that arise from the act of meditation apart from the ones mentioned above, it brings about a change in ones life that help improve ones lifestyle. The benefits do not end here, ones near and dear ones are also touched by the positive holistic change that is brought about as a result of meditation. In the field of work, meditation helps one to ameliorate ones leadership skills. All great leaders of the past from Attila the Hun to Martin Luther King jr., used to meditate and Vishwas cites the example of these eminent personalities from the past.

One of the best things about this book is that unlike other books where authors are happy to just preach about the benefits of meditation, Vishwas elucidates the proper technique of practicing meditation. One of the most crucial aspects of meditation is that it would not be of any benefit to an individual if it is not practiced with the proper technique.

Benefits Of Using A Zafu For Meditation

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Zafus – Creating Proper Posture Daily
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern cultures as a means of finding truth and enlightenment. Today it has been picked up by many westerners as a means of relieving stress and strain in their daily lives. However, many westerners find the traditional lotus sitting position on the bare ground a bit too strenuous on their bottom and legs; therefore, the use of a zafu is recommended to provide greater comfort. A zafu is the name given to a special cushion you can sit on for meditating. They help you maintain the correct posture as well as provide comfort for your bottom during your session.

Filling Meditation Cushions
Zafus are manufactured out of cotton fabrics with natural fiber kapok filling. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs to suit personal taste and preference. They also come with removable covers, facilitating the laundering when the exterior becomes soiled. The traditional zafu is round; however, other shapes are coming out on the market to offer variation and levels of comfort. These cushions also vary in size and thickness to adjust to a person’s body and weight level for individualized comfort.

Thickness of the Zafu
There are advantages to using a meditation cushion as opposed to any other type cushion for your sessions. These cushions are especially designed for meditation; the kapok filling provides a firm, yet pliable surface to sit on for comfort and back posture, and the natural fibers are both hygienic and hypoallergenic, making them a perfect selection for those who are prone to allergies. In addition, the diversity in thickness and size can complement the size and weight of your body, customizing your cushion to your exact specifications. Each cushion comes with its own cover (or you can purchase separately) that can be easily removed for washing when the need arises.

Different-Shaped Zafus
New zafu styles include the crescent shape cushion designed to provide additional space for your bottom. Thickness of the cushion can be self adjusted by adding or removing kapok to the desired depth, providing extra padding for heavier set people or less for those who are thinner and smaller boned. For those who desire more height, support cushions are available to place under the zafu, raising your body to a higher level.

Meditation Chairs – The Throne of Meditation
As an alternative to these cushions, some people prefer to use a meditation chair during their sessions. You should feel free to use whatever is most comfortable for you and helps you focus on meditating itself so you can fully benefit from the experience. Meditating offers a number of wonderful mental and physical benefits to the body which can help improve your mental and physical health, regardless of the seating arrangement used.