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Yoga – Contraindications For Inversions

As we practice yoga poses we want to do also inversions. Most common inversions are the Headstand and the Shoulderstand. But there are not only those two poses which are the inverted asanas.

Any posture in which the head is below the heart is called an inversion. Whether you stand on your head, bend forward or bend back, if your head is below your heart, you are performing an inversion.

This also means that Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Fish pose are also inversions; although those poses are mild in comparison to a Headstand. The Camel pose can also be an inversion if you bend back far enough.

Remember – inversions are not for everyone!

Your intentions should be clear when you perform any yoga posture. If the risks may outweigh the benefits there is no logical reason why you should practice any pose which can harm you.

Contraindications for practicing inversions:

If you have any of the following conditions, please omit inversions or work with a qualified and experienced teacher who will never put you at risk and tried to modify your practice.

Anyone who has high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues, neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems should never practice Headstand or Shoulderstand, and omit other mild inversions or be adjusted by the yoga teacher.

During any stage of pregnancy yoga should be practiced in a prenatal yoga classes specifically designed for that purpose or privately with a qualified pregnancy yoga teacher.

During menstruation Headstand and Shoulderstand preferably should be omitted and other milder inversions should not be hold for long, but because of the controversy about the inversions during menstruation it is your personal choice. Let your body guide you.

If you are a yoga teacher explain to your students why the inversions can be dangerous for them if they have any of the condition mentioned earlier.

Why not stand on your head when you have pain in your neck or neck injury? What first thing will come to your mind as you there? Ouch … my neck! Can my small neck carry my whole weight as I am inverted?

Most students put lots of weight on their head and neck instead of shoulders. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Intuition will never let you down.

Why omit headstand if I have high blood pressure? Because the danger is when your blood pressure increase from 100/60 mm Hg while standing on your feet to 150/110 mm Hg or even higher when you go for headstand.

13

Yoga Mats – The Best Selection You Can Get

Are you looking for a new yoga mat? Or do you want to get into yoga and want to get your first own yoga mat? EMP Industries, an Australian owned and Melbourne based company is specialized in offering yoga mats. We understand that the needs and preferences of yogis vary. Therefore we have made it our goal to offer our customers the best yoga mats in the world at great prices.

Are you looking for a yoga mat that is anti-slip and provides you with the best traction? EMP Industries certainly has the solution for you. We offer yoga mats made out of 100% natural rubber, TPE, JUTE PER or foam. The best thing is that no matter what price category you are interested in, we will have the right yoga mat for you – from budget yoga mats to Jade Yoga Mats or VB yoga mats.

Our most popular mats are:
– Jade Yoga Mat (best traction and 100% rubber) — click here to view
– VB Yoga Mat (German manufactured high premium yoga mat) — click here to view
– Budget Foam Yoga Mat (great price!) — click here to view

Yoga mats are thinner than regular exercise or pilates mats to allow optimal balance while yet giving you some cushioning to support your knees, feet, hands, etc.. In order to hold poses it is necessary that yoga mats provide you with some form of traction and anti-slip behavior. This grip enables you to hold poses even when your hands and feet get sweaty. Some yoga mats even have moisture absorbing functionalities which means that excess sweat is absorbed by the mat giving you better grip. The regular size of a yoga mat is usually around 60 to 62cm wide and 172-176cm long. EMP also offers extra wide and/or extra long yoga mats for taller yogis (click here to view).

If you are travelling a lot with your yoga mat you might want to consider a thinner yoga mat that is lighter and easier to carry than some of the high quality mats. We offer a great range of travel yoga mats that weigh less than 2kg and are smaller when rolled up (due to their thinner fabric).

EMP also offers many other Yoga Props and Yoga Accessories that you might want. For example we offer Yoga Blocks, Yoga Blankets, Stretching Straps, Yoga DVDs, and much much more. Simple check out our website: EMP Industries Website – click here

14

Meditation Pillow For Inner Peace

Every human being desire peace more than anything in this world. Many people go into meditation process to relax their mind and body in order to create for a state of calmness. During this phase, the mind is quieted and the person becomes aware of his inner power to manage anxiety and overcome fear. Even as you need a quiet place to do your sessions, certain enhancing tools can support your quest for peace by making your body comfortable and well rested. Proper posture is necessary when practicing meditations. To maintain this position, one should have the perfect support needed for an effective spiritual process. A meditation pillow is the key element that provides every practitioner with comfort and the right spine alignment when sitting erect.

Meditation pillows make up a large part in the accomplishment of your therapy. Some people may try to get into the state of relaxation without using these pillows for support. For this reason, their concentration will lead them to focus on discomforts and pain that are usually felt in certain bony parts of the body that touches directly to hard surfaces. With this indispensable cushion, the practitioner can enjoy a deeper reflection.

Always plan for the place where you will hold your meditations before choosing the pillows you will use. You may wish to do your sessions outdoor on soft grasses, or you may want an indoor therapy on wooden floors. Others may like to have them on concrete grounds for more stability. When meditating in grassy areas, use lightweight pillows with soft nylon fills. For hard surfaces, you need a double sided pillow with solid foam base at the bottom, and soft synthetic fills on the top. This cushion allows you to easily rise from a seated position and makes you feel comfortable unlike ordinary pillows.

To achieve for a successful sitting, you have to settle comfortably on the cushion, in proper posture, without feeling any pressure or pain that can distract your focus. Sustaining this form for certain durations can be difficult without this pillow aids. There are different floor pillows to use when contemplating on what type to purchase. The most popular is the Zafu cushion which comes in either buckwheat hull or kapok fillers. This round or crescent shaped cushion gives elevated support for your upper legs. Ideally, you have to get seated at the front edge in order to position your pelvis in such a way that there is less strain on your knees. Another fine enhancer is the Zabuton cushion, rectangular in shape and less full than Zafus. It is usually complimented with bolster pillows for added support within the ankles and feet. Also a preferred choice is the horse-shoe shaped Cosmic cushion. It supports both of your thighs when seated, with your feet and ankles well rested.

Undoubtedly, meditation pillows are beneficial to practitioners who desire for inner peace and tranquillity. They make such a tremendous difference in the art of meditation.

4

Tips For Meditation Enthusiasts

Meditation has suddenly gained prominence and popularity amongst many people in the world. It is a form of spiritual heightening with regular practice and exercise. It is a great form of focus and concentration where one can attain peace of mind and inner happiness. With the hectic and chaotic life that we lead, some inner peace, satisfaction and a genuine sense of self awareness is very crucial otherwise stress and chaos will get to us which will eventually lead to a mental breakdown. Well, meditation, especially for beginners, is a rough ride because it takes time to get it correct. But do not get disheartened and preserve! Here are some guidelines on how to go about doing it:

Breathing in the correct fashion is very crucial. Properly inhaling of oxygen and exhaling out the carbon dioxide is very important. Proper breathing will make your mind more focused, pump more blood and regulate the pressure in the body! Did you know that is you breathe deeply, it helps your mind focus more and this is the center stage of meditation!

Did you know that chanting Mantras help? Chant which ever mantra you know and see the effect it has on your breathing and focusing capabilities. It slows your heart rate, mind concentration is better and breathing becomes regulated if you chant the mantra over and over again – so think about it, especially if you find it difficult to sit still and focus.

Make sure you sit alone in your room, preferably not facing a wall (it tends to block positive thoughts and energy). Few minutes, away from the chaos of the world, will do you good and will go a long way in meditation.

Persevere and persevere! There is no shortcut to good meditation practice. You need to be at it regularly and time and again try to concentrate and focus. Your mind may wander about the first couple of times, but gradually you will realize that you are getting better at it and you will be very peaceful after a few attempts!

Music during the process of meditation has its own benefits – calms down our nerves, regulates your breathing, reduces anxiety, eliminates any negative thoughts and overall restores the faith and positivity that one requires!

Do not give up – that is the key to successful meditation! You will soon realize the benefits and you will know why it is so popular across the world!

3

Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga-Follow Gurmukh to Experience It

Kundalini Yoga addresses issues, both at the corporeal and the emotional levels on the spiritual plane. As a result, one of the benefits of Kundalini Yoga, at the physical level, is weight reduction. As a matter of fact, practicing a specific set of asanas (exact movements culminating in certain precise postures) along with breathing procedures under the Kundalini Yoga realm will provide people many rewards that include continued sense of tranquility, stronger limbs, better flexibility, and reduced weight. Weight loss Kundalini Yoga is a fabulous program for people concerned with weight loss.

The particular asanas and the breathing that are part of Kundalini Yoga are meant to burn the body fat of the practitioners and increase their metabolism. Such positive changes help the body to optimize the body weight, fitness, and the state of health. Some of the details of these distinct benefits are stiffness-free joints that are more flexible, fewer arthritis flare-ups, and also reduced blood pressure as well as decreased cholesterol levels.

A highly respected teacher of Kundalini Yoga and a pioneer in the field of prenatal yoga is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. This was the spiritual name was given to Mary May Gibson of Illinois when she was baptized in to Sikhism. The term’s meaning is, “One who helps people across the world ocean.” She has ever since taken that as her responsibility and her life’s mission.

For many years she has been conducting classes in prenatal care and postnatal care, apart from, of course, meditation and Kundalini Yoga, in Los Angeles, now New York too, as well as various parts of the world. Just after the dawn of the New Millennium (2002, to be exact), she co-founded along with Gurutej Kaur, the leading yoga center named Golden Bridge in Los Angeles. She also officiates as its director. Another institution that she founded and which is very close to her heart is Khalsa Way. It is a movement that aims to create proper awareness and provide education on child birth to help mothers.

Over the years, she has authored a series of books and DVDs on Kundalini Yoga. The DVDs include, ‘Kundalini Yoga: Healthy Body Fearless Spirit,’ ‘Kundalini Yoga – Unlock Your Spiritual Energy,’ and, ‘Pre Natal Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for Mothers to be.’ All these are available at the web site www.yogatech.com at Yoga Technology.

Irrespective of whether you are looking specifically for weight loss or other benefits of Kundalini Yoga you may bring home her books & DVDs and start learning Kundalini Yoga right in the comfort of your own home!

About Author :-

Maya Fiennes is an avid yoga enthusiast and a yoga practitioner. She follows weight loss kundalini yoga, which brings the spirit and body together as one and she has been researching on it for many years. Gurmukh assist practitioners in maintaining good body condition and help them practice yoga in proper way.

1

Benefits Of Using A Zafu For Meditation

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.

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Yoga Training Certification, Online Yoga Teacher Certification Programs

Tips for Choosing the Best Online Yoga Certification Course for You
If you are overweight or have poor health, then join a Yoga Certification class to learn these ancient yoga techniques. Now days, performing yoga postures is easy, but if you dont know how to perform the postures perfectly the way it should be then you are surely in a need of a Yoga certification course. Yoga is a perfect blend of breathing exercises and meditation and has been followed since many years. With the super hectic work schedules and daily routine life the level of stress is on its peak and so the need for Yoga has also risen. But how to learn yoga postures perfectly?
This is where we are in a need of online yoga certification courses. With the increasing popularity of online yoga courses, the demand for online yoga teacher has also risen. But in order to be a good yoga teacher, one should be well-aware of all yoga postures.
This certification course will help you learn the technicalities of yoga and enhances your know-how about yoga postures. Additionally, online yoga certification course raises the chances of becoming a good online yoga teacher and other opportunities related to this field. Following are some of the best tips which can help you find the suitable online yoga certification courses as per your budget and needs:
vFirstly, you need to do a thorough research and collect relevant information about the budget of these online yoga certification courses from different sources. Thereafter decide which one is the appropriate certification course for you.

vSecondly, try to take a demo online yoga class so that you can understand and pick the style of the yoga teacher.

vAlso be cautious about the online yoga certification program you opting for are authentic and taught by certified online yoga teachers.

vAvail the special discounts or scholarships and save your money.
After considering all these relevant facts, one can easily decide which certification program is appropriate for them. Some of the admired yoga certified programs are Vinyasana Yoga, Local Yoga Kripalu Yoga, Anusara Yoga etc. Collect all the relevant information about these online certification courses and then enroll for the program. One can find this relevant information about online yoga program. If you are looking for getting enrolled to an online yoga program then there are many sources available online who can provide you all the essential details.
In addition to all the above mentioned sources, there are different institutes that offer regular online yoga classes, so that you can acquire ample knowledge from them and adopt online yoga teacher programs as their profession. Yoga as profession and as a practice to stay fit is the growing trend in now days and online yoga teacher training has become imperative. Besides escalating the professional opportunities for individuals these online certification programs, have also boosted their know-how of the yoga postures.

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Eight Minute Meditation

Eight Minute Meditation Can you give you peace of mind and change your life forever?

What exactly is meditation? Nowadays a lot of people are connected to this form of activity. By definition, the word meditation is used to describe a state of intense attention on an object or a thought of an individual. The individual tries to focus his attention inward. Meditation is a native of Vedic Hinduism. It is usually practiced in Eastern religions but nowadays, Western culture is already deeply involved in this activity .
People practice meditation so that they can focus their mind for their personal development, to achieve peace of mind and to be healthier.

Many Westerners are now practicing some form of meditation. According to Time Magazine, there is a practice of meditation that can be used by almost anyone. It can be seen as a basic primer for Westerners wanting to begin meditation without having any idea where to start.

Eight minutes of daily meditation can bring you a lot already.
Each individual starting a new activity, often with questions, doubts and hopes. There are even some people who hope that when they begin to think they will be enlightened. Or maybe you’re one of those people who think that meditation is like exercise or diet you’ve tried to do in recent months. But that’s normal, so do not be surprised if you’re one of them.
The best thing to do is to forget all these positive ideas and / or negative, and start without preconceptions. If you want to try meditation, you must learn how to approach it one minute at a time.
While many people think that meditation is a simple practice, you should think twice. You might not notice it, but your mind wanders still here and there. You can not concentrate. According to some practitioners, you must monitor your breathing. This is the first stage of meditation. You need to inhale and exhale deeply.

When you begin to meditate, if you find yourself thinking about other things, or in other words, if your mind wanders, focus on your breathing again for yoga and health.. After all, the merger is part of meditation and if you realize that you lost, you can always come slowly to this state of mind. Do not give up easily and keep practicing. There is a popular saying that “it’s practice makes perfect”, keep that in mind. If you give up easily, then you will remain a loser.

17

Practice Meditation for Getting Relief from Pain

As per common norms, only those who wish to alleviate psychological problems such as depression, stress, anxiety and similar problems practice meditation. However, the truth says an altogether different story as now meditation-based therapies are being used increasingly in medical centres and clinics to manage pain and cure physical illnesses. >

It is an age-old practice that helps people gain mental, physical and emotional balance thus helping to keep pain at bay. Researches have proved that regular practitioners of meditation experience lower pain sensitivity as compared to non-meditators. This happens because Meditation lowers stress chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline and increases good chemicals such as endorphins that help maintain the overall health and wellness thus assuaging pain, anxiety and depression. Meditation works to focus the mind on other places and feelings other than what you are feeling at the current moment and this helps to alleviate pain. The feelings of pain are more than physical; they are both emotional and mental feelings. Meditation for pain relief works by taking the mind and focusing it on something other than the feelings of pain within the body. This helps to diminish the feeling of pain.

When pain occurs, one has to deal with elevated blood pressure and anxiety. Meditation in reality helps to brings down the blood pressure and reduces the level of anxiety. This can prevent intensifying the pain while helping people deal with the pain in a better way.

Meditation for pain relief is worth giving a try because besides providing relief from pain it can also improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being in many other constructive ways as well. Though, you may not get immediate relief from your pain, but practicing meditation over a period of time can allow you to control the pain and feel its intensity diminishing gradually as meditation helps in improving flexibility and breathing, thereby reducing pain and stress and in maintaining overall health.

While meditating a person’s brain is too busy to experience the pain. In fact, meditation changes the structure of the brain considerably to reduce pain and thus helps to yoke the control of the mind. You do not have to spend endless hours meditating in order to manage your pain. A few minutes each day can prove to be blessing in disguise for you.

Since, pain brings with it stress and depression, it is important that you first control your mind, so that you can divert your attention from pain to something else, which can be possible only through meditation.

Chamunda Swamiji, the spiritual instructor has defined about meditation practice in daily routine. Meditation is the basic need of healthy body & mind, it gives human body energy & positivity. It is very helpful to increase your self-confident. Get the deep knowledge about proper meditation by Chamunda Swamiji from

5

Meditation Retreat In An Ancient Chinese Buddhist Temple

Meditation Retreats are increasing in popularity throughout the world offering participants the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life to a quiet and restful location where one can take an inward journey of self-discovery. At Guang Jue Buddhist Temple in China people come from across the globe for temple stay and meditation retreat.

Guang Jue Monastery is situated near the small town of Zaoxi, West of Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province in China. It is surrounded by scenic bamboo forested mountains and immersed in pure silence apart from the sound of birds during the day and the small bell-like sounds of crickets at night. This is the ideal place for a meditation retreat and temple stay.

It is very early in the morning at 4:30am. A dense fog has descended upon the valley and the deep silence is broken by the sound of the huge temple bell. Within the main cultivation hall the Abbot of the temple pounds the bell with chanting a ceremony that has continued for hundreds of years. Next the large drum has sounded reminding participants of the call of the dharma at the beginning of each day. The morning crisp air is perfumed with the scent of incense. The morning chanting liturgy begins. It is in these special morning hours that the meditation retreat participants start their day in this Chinese temple stay. At the end of the liturgy the lights are dimmed and there is deep silence again during meditation before breakfast.

As the day continues the Retreat Master, Malcolm Hunt, takes participants of the temple stay through a meditation experience which starts with simple mindfulness of breathing. Gradually the meditation retreat takes participants through Pure Land Buddhist meditation and chanting, Tonglen and finally to diminish the hold of the ego, Naikan meditation.

A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way.

Guang Jue Temple is situated only ten kilometres from the world heritage listed Tianmushan national park which boasts of breathtaking mountain scenery, rushing mountain streams and the oldest Ginko Bilbao trees in the world. Many of the meditation retreat participants take the opportunity to visit this part of China and immerse themselves in nature and history.

A temple stay in an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple is more than a meditation retreat and learning experience. It may also be life changing.

Key Words: meditation retreat, Chinese temple stay, China, temple stay

Brief: A temple stay in a Qing Dynasty temple in China gives the participant the opportunity to discover themselves and to refresh the spirit and to come away changed even in some small way. A meditation retreat in a Chinese Buddhist temple can have a powerful effect on the spirit.