Author Archives: admin

Yoga Can Do Wonders For Your Body, Mind and Emotional Wellbeing

Published by:

Yoga Health and Meditation

A supple body, more inner balance, less stress. We already know: yoga is good. We would like to list some benefits for you!



Studies have shown that practicing yoga asanas (postures) and meditation, or a combination of both, relieves the pain of cancer patients, people with MS, people with immune disorders and high blood pressure, as well as people with back and neck complaints and other ailments. But actually, everyone benefits from it.


Yoga teaches you to breathe slower and deeper. Your lung function improves and your body relaxes. In this way you increase the amount of oxygen that is absorbed by your body.


When you start doing yoga, your ligaments, tendons and muscles will lengthen after a while, allowing your body to take more different poses. The result: a better posture, your strength increases from head to toe, stiff muscles relax and neck and muscle complaints decrease.


Yoga helps maintain your body weight, thanks to calorie burning and stress reduction. Also the exercises help you burn more calories for longer.


Because of the different postures you do, the oxygen-rich blood can reach your body cells better.


Even light yoga exercises have cardiovascular benefits. They lower your heart rhythm, increase stamina and improve oxygen uptake.


Yoga (except for some exercises) has nothing but positive effects on the hormonal system and the baby in your belly. Of course, a stressed mother has nothing to do with a baby: yoga makes you calmer during those nine months, and your breathing gets better as well. Want to bet that your pregnancy and childbirth will be smoother?

Except for the large spread, most yoga postures are basically harmless. And fortunately, because it would be a shame of course to forbid yourself certain things: that clashes with the freedom yoga stands for.


Anyone who sits at his desk all day often has neck and shoulder complaints. That’s logical, if you sit bent over all the time behind your laptop! In this article you will find some yoga exercises that can help you.


Certain exercises release the nose, calm your body and increase your resistance. So try them regularly if you want to prevent a cold.



Yoga limits the physical impact of stress on your body. The stress hormone cortisol in your body decreases, your blood pressure and heart rhythm decreases. Your digestion improves and your immunity increases. Furthermore, yoga relieves symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.


Yoga helps us focus on the present and creates a good balance between body and mind.


Thanks to the meditative aspects of yoga you place yourself in life in a more satisfying and self-conscious way. People who practice yoga for other reasons often say that rest is the main reason why yoga has become and remained an essential part of their lives.


Self-confidence has a lot to do with knowing your true self. And thanks to yoga you get more contact with it, which gives you more self-confidence. In addition, there is more physical well-being, more vitality and you have more resilience emotionally.


Losing a loved one: it is part of life, but brings with it immense sadness. The mourning process that follows can sometimes be so heavy that yoga can offer a way to make it more ‘bearable’. Ingeborg likes to tell you how:

While mourning, do you get to hear that it’s okay, and that you can stop crying now? Don’t! It’s no use piling up your grief, because mourning involves tears, and each tear restores your body.

People nowadays are often disconnected from their feelings, and because of this they don’t pick up the signals in time, with all its consequences. With yoga the emotions just come loose. Can’t you bring a class to a successful conclusion, because sadness comes to the surface? Then those feelings have priority!

You can also offer the movements that are made to the soul of the deceased person, this comes from the Eastern tradition, and gives more meaning to the yoga exercises.

Note: it is not the intention that grief continues to come to the surface. Do you notice that this is the case? Then it is best to look for help. Psychotherapy can be the remedy.


Yoga is also great fun when you involve your partner: not only will it strengthen your bond, it will also improve intimacy. According to Ingeborg, yoga is beneficial for intimacy: “Many women have at one point or another gone their separate ways, with the result that we have put our femininity in the fridge. Yoga just brings out that femininity and our soft side, and that has a positive effect on the sexual experience between a woman and her partner”.

The ‘Pranayama’ exercise is highly recommended for couples:

  • The woman breathes out from her heart, to the heart of the man.
  • The man can receive this very well through his heart and let it flow through to his pelvis.
  • Then he breathes out from his pelvis.
  • Finally the woman catches this through her pelvis.

In this way you get a circular breathing: just by breathing together you build up a loving field, without anything really (sexually) happening.

Yoga: The Secret To A Great Body…And Better Test Scores?

Published by:

What do Christy Turlington, Angelina Jolie, and Melissa Joan Hart have in common? They’re among 18 million Americans devoted to a 5,000-year-old system of breathing and stretching–yoga. For some, says Turlington, it’s about attaining a strong, toned body. But many devotees roll out their yoga mats to gain less visible rewards. “Yoga feels so good,” says Justine Grissin-Churchill, 13, at Hunter College High School in New York City. She started yoga last year to attain calm and focus before class tests. Now medical research may validate Grissin-Churchill’s goals–and yoga’s healthful benefits.

Yoga began in India as a philosophic system combining postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Some recent studies indicate yoga actually induces physiological changes to combat stress and strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight illness. For example, a pose called “downward-facing dog,” in which you stand in an upside-down V, could stimulate the body’s lymphatic system, helping ward off infections.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and nodes, or tissue clusters, which among other functions fights infection by draining and recirculating a fluid called lymph in all body tissues. Within lymph nodes located under the arms and in the groin and neck, disease-fighting white blood cells ingest foreign bacteria and other substances, and reroute purified lymph back to the bloodstream and body tissues (see diagram, below).


Many Western doctors say they need more scientific proof to confirm yoga’s beneficial effects. But studies by Dr. Herbert Benson of the Mind Body Medical Institute at Harvard University suggest that in addition to boosting lymphatic activity, yoga slows brain activity and decreases heart rate and blood pressure (the force with which the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body). Benson also discovered that by focusing on something repetitive–the traditional yoga chant of ohm, your breath, or a body movement–and attempting to let go of all other thoughts, you create a relaxation response. The response spurs the opposite effect on the body of the fight-or-flight response produced by fear (see p. 14).

Studies at hospitals around the country suggest the relaxation response reverses negative stress effects in part by lowering the body’s oxygen consumption by up to 17 percent in just three minutes (see p. 25). Today, hospitals such as the Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City are offering yoga classes to recovering heart-disease patients.

Some experts think yoga can be a boon for teens, too. “They’re often stressed out,” says Baron Baptiste, founder of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga in Boston. “They have to deal with academic and peer pressure, along with dramatic changes in their growing bodies.” Baptiste’s studios recently launched special youth workshops.

“Teens suffer from stress-related problems like trouble sleeping, migraine headaches, and panic attacks,’ says Dr. Gloria Deckro, director of research and training at the Mind Body Medical Institute. Deckro helps schools around the country develop classes like yoga to teach students the relaxation response. To illustrate her message, she places bio-dots–sensors measuring blood pressure and temperature–in students’ hands while they perform yoga exercises or meditation. Her point? To show teens they can manage stress. “We give them tools to help them realize their day isn’t ruined because they find a zit on their nose or don’t get the highest grade,” she says.

“Some kids think yoga is a bit wacky,” says New York eighth-grader Justine Grissin-Churchill. “I love it–if only I had a lot more time to practice.”

Mind Your Body: Has Yoga Lost Spirit?

Published by:

YOGA, IN ITS various forms, is an ancient tradition of physical and spiritual practices. But today in the West, it is also a billion-dollar industry that markets longevity, weight and stress reduction, tight butts and abs, amazing flexibility, and sexual endurance.

Yoga’s big attraction is that it works. Five thousand years of trial and error and passing fads have been added and subtracted to achieve a total process that effectively benefits the body and all it contains as mental and spiritual energy. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit, translated roughly “to yoke or to join;” its practice is meant to unite the body, mind, and spirit as one aligned unit. The question arises, though: Can such an ancient devotional practice as yoga save its soul in a tell-all, make-a-buck, quick-fix-and-move-on society? Will such a sacred traditional culture be copyrighted, trade-marked and licensed to the point it loses its meaning?

Yoga’s origins vanish in antiquity; over the centuries, it was maintained as an oral tradition passed from “guru” (teacher) to student. A few texts, such as the Yoga Sutras, and innovations, have been added through time. Here in the U.S., yoga began to be recognized in the 1920s, and as early as the 1970s, PBS broadcast a regular television show devoted to the practice. Today gurus pose not on holy tiger rugs, but on slip-proof sticky mats. Gone are cotton loincloths and turbans in favor of microfiber stretch workout togs that wick perspiration away from the body. Yoga has become part of the American culture, with regular infusions from India and innovators who focus on particular uses of yoga for particular benefits.

Some innovations target a certain demographic. Power Yoga[TM], for example, founded by Beryl Bender Birch as an out-growth of Ashtanga yoga, is a more athletic form found on health club schedules midway between aerobics and traditional moving meditations. Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden, in their publication The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health: A Lifelong Guide to Wellness [Shambala, 2003], bring a therapeutic usage of traditional postures and herbs to women.

“We wrote the book because yoga speaks to women in really powerful ways,” says Sparrowe, who is also the mother of a professional ballet dancer. “Because they don’t often make lime for themselves, the time on the mat is a way for women to honor and better know themselves…. There’s a reason we call it ‘practice.’ What we learn on the mat we can take out into the world. If we hold a really difficult pose for even twenty, seconds, then we know we can get through any difficult situation for that long. It’s there that we practice holding our power.”

Kevin Kortan, the developer of Evolutionary Yoga[TM] who is also a Feldenkrais[R] practitioner explains, “We should differentiate between ‘yoga’ and ‘asanas.’ The postures, asanas, are only one part. Yoga is much more, with many aspects such as breathing, meditation, and service.” Kortan, a former dancer with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, clearly understands the difference between performance and study. “I teach primarily principles, not individual postures. I don’t believe in becoming slaves to mastering or executing those forms. The postures should serve us.”

“I think it’s great that yoga’s so prevalent now,” says Kortan. [Estimates are that one in thirteen Americans practice some form of yoga.] “When it is approached in an un-yoga way–such as an overemphasis on quantity rather than quality–it ceases to be yoga. But no matter what, yoga is invincible.”

The practice of yoga in any form ultimately results in a healthier body that can cope with the stresses of any age. Yoga calms the mind so it is better able to make positive choices, and elevates the spirit above the ego. To paraphrase Indira Devi, who opened the first yoga studio in the West and authored Yoga for Americans [1959], “It doesn’t matter why you begin to practice yoga. You will derive benefits that you never anticipated on all levels.”


Editor in chief K.C. Patrick is a writer in the dance field. “Namaste” is a Sanskrit word defined as “The divine in me blesses and honors the divine in you.”

How do Seniors Benefit from Yoga

Published by:

With health conscious lifestyles, most of us are pepped up to hit the gym. Seldom, there is same thrill for working out, once the gray’s start streaking the hair. But there is one form of exercise that can benefit all ages of society, including the seniors. It is a traditional form of exercise and is also followed as a religion in some countries. Yes, it is yoga that we are talking about. Yoga has emerged to be a complete form of exercise that is suitable for all age groups. The poses along with breathing tactics and meditation, has made this a favorite and most followed exercise across the globe. Talking about yoga for the senior population in the society, it is very safe when followed and practiced under guidance. We all know that aging gets along many health problems. The body slowly starts showing off the signs of aging through, joint pains, sleeping disorders, blood pressure, diabetes, weak health and much more. In short, we can say that, with age not only does a person require exercise for physical well-being, but also for mental health and peace of mind. Yoga is one name that addresses all these issues effectively. According to a research, seniors that practiced yoga regularly, lived a much improved quality of life, in terms of physical health, emotional balance and mental health too. With so much in the news, let us check on how exactly do seniors benefit from this effective exercise.

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

As we know yoga is the key to mental and physical health for all age groups, it gives you great muscles, a toned body, and a stress free living. This ancient lifestyle also surprises us with benefits of yoga, which can address most of their issues.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Yoga is an exercise that involves poses and stretching of the body to the extremes. This enables good blood flow in all the parts of the body. The breathing techniques that are practiced along with the poses, helps in good flow of oxygen and relaxes the body and mind. This is very good for balancing blood pressure, and as seniors have blood pressure issues, it can help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Relieves Pain

Old age usually gets wrapped slowly with joint and muscle pain. The different poses in yoga, are known to give more flexible joints. The stretching of the muscles too helps in relieving joint and muscle pain. According to a survey conducted on seniors suffering from joint pain, regular practice helped in relieving most of the symptoms of joint pain and other similar diseases.

Combats Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders too are very common amongst seniors. Yoga with its many relaxing techniques and different poses, helps in effective sleep. For seniors specially, yoga when combined with herbal therapy, showed amazing results, on seniors who had difficulty sleeping. The techniques like controlled breathing, focusing and relaxing were mainly to trigger good sleeping habits, that in turn gives better energy in the day.

Improves Social Life

As you age, the energy and enthusiasm is on the slope. Also this is the time when most of the seniors retire and there needs to be a strong mind and energy that keeps up the mood and happy feeling in seniors. It helps in relieving blood pressure which also helps in relieving stress and tension. The many different poses and breathing techniques also help in more supply of oxygen to all the parts of the body. This also helps in elevating the feel-good vibes in seniors. It was observed that seniors who practiced yoga along with proper breathing techniques, were reported to be happier and content, with a fresh look for life and higher sense of well-being.

Treats Breathing Difficulties

Certain breathing exercises, mainly ‘pranayama’ have excellent effects of seniors who had breathing difficulties, and diseases like bronchitis, asthma, etc. Certain poses that stretched the muscles, proved to be very useful for breathing issues. Yoga also reduces stress and anxiety, which calms the body and diminishes any symptoms of difficult breathing.

These were some of the facts on ways seniors benefit from yoga. And this is not the end of the list that gives benefits of yoga. Regular practice helps in increased flexibility and good posture, it enhances immunity and also helps to tackle many diseases. So for all the seniors looking for a good workout, start practicing yoga for total health care. For those who are suffering from certain diseases of the joints and similar, it is strictly advised to consult a doctor first, and practice yoga only under trained supervision.

20 Reasons To Start Yoga Classes

Published by:

Why take yoga classes

Why Oh Why Should I Do Yoga?

You may have heard that yoga was good for you. It really could be a life changing experience! If you are a newbie to yoga or are concerned about your fitness levels, then it is recommended to start with easy poses as your body will become attuned to the poses and daily practice as you progress. We don’t suggest you eat too much before a yoga session – preferably a light meal around 2 hours before a class. Make sure you are well hydrated.

Improves Flexibility

Aches and pains start to disappear – Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to the improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments can cause poor posture.

Strengthens Muscles

Strong muscles look good and protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain.

Corrects Poor Posture

Your head is like a bowling ball – big, round and heavy. When it is balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes less work for the neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, and you start to strain those muscles. Poor posture can cause back, neck and other muscle and joint problems.

Joint Mobility

Yoga helps prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by squeezing and soaking areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge, it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up.

Spine Mobility

Spinal Disks – the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves – crave movement. A well –balanced yoga class with plenty of back-bends, twists and forward bends will help keep your disks supple.

Strengthens The Bones

Weight bearing exercises strengthens the bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Yoga practice increases bone density in the vertebrae and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, that helps keeps calcium in the bones.

Improves Blood Circulation

Yoga allows more oxygen to get to your cells, which function better as a result. Twists wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once released. Inversions (upside down poses) allow the flow of fresh blood to move to the heart, helping with swelling in the legs from heart and kidney problems. The boost in red blood cells, decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Drains Lymphatic System

Helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Lowers Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands in response to a crisis, which temporarily boosts the immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high, they can compromise your immune system linked to anxiety, major depression, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. It also drives one to eat when angry, upset or stressed, contributing to weight gain.

Increases Serotonin Levels

Backbends, lotus, meditation heightens the serotonin levels in the body correlating with greater levels of happiness and better immune function.

Lowers Blood Sugar and LDL Cholesterol

By lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, this encourages weight loss and gets your blood sugar levels down.

Become Mindful

Regular yoga practice improves coordination, memory and even IQ scores. Problem solving and mental focus improves.

Relieves Stress

Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath and focus on the present, shifting balance from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic nervous system which is calming and restorative.

Relieves Chronic Tension

Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or steering wheel with a tight grip? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck and face, increasing stress and worsen the mood. Yoga brings awareness to the areas in the body where tension is held and trains you to relax those areas.

Removes Insomnia

Restorative yoga (Yin class’s), meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) provides downtime for the nervous system, leading to better sleep which means you’ll be less tired and stressed and each night you will have a good night’s rest.

Relieves Ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Constipation

Yoga eases constipation, ulcers, IBS and lowers the risk of colon cancer by moving your body to facilitate removing waste through the bowl through twists and inversions (upside down poses)

Peace of Mind

Yoga calms the mind, slowing down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear and desire that lead to stress, migraines, insomnia to lupus, MS, eczema, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Quiet your mind and you will live longer.

Improves Self Esteem

Through self-examination and betterment, you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy and forgiveness for yourself and others as well as a sense that your part of something bigger.

Relieve Pain

Yoga and meditation reduce pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome and other chronic conditions.

There are so many reasons to practice yoga! For health, for fitness, for relaxation, for pain relief, self-awareness, the list goes on. Whatever your reason, Yoga is for every “body”, aged 4 years to 104 years. See you on the mat.

Although yoga has its roots in Hinduism, it is seen as a tool for body, mind and breath awareness. It can be practiced by anyone, anywhere and does not conflict with any other religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs.

Top 10 Poses To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

Published by:

All of us suffer from some form of stress in life. After delving into yoga and the link on how the postures, breathing and meditation can diminish anxiety and all the symptoms that can distort ones life, here are a few tips and poses to rid yourself from what can be a debilitating dis-ease.

Firstly one needs to identify the triggers in life that bring about anxiety. It could be the food you are eating, that you are dehydrated, lacking certain essential vitamins such as Vitamin C that influences our moods and metabolism. The triggers may even be unconscious and will eventually reveal themselves to you when you go into deep self discovery through meditation. Once the triggers are identified, scrap out those ones you can control and let yoga work on the deeper triggers to set you free.

10 Yoga Poses for Stress and Anxiety:

1.Vrksasana- Tree Pose: Promotes concentration, focus and awareness, taking your mind away from common anxiety triggers and brings self awareness.
2. Virabhadrasana III- Warrior III: Strengthens and works into the core and helps improve digestion. There is a link between a healthy gut and fighting anxiety.
3.Uttanasana- Standing Forward Bend: The spine moves into the primary curve, known as the natural shape from when you were in the womb, subconsciously making you feel safe and comforted.
4. Lunge Twist Quad Stretch: Lunges energizes the body and with a twist working into the quads gives you that feeling of openness.
5.Paschimottanasana- Two legged seated forward bend: As your face moves towards your body, you will feel deep inner closeness within yourself.
6. Cat/Cow pose: Works into and massages the abdominal organs, and increasing circulation to these areas giving you a feeling of lightness.
7. Sirsasana – Head Stand: Reverses the blood flow, bringing more oxygen to the brain. It detoxifies the adrenals which contributes to fighting depression.
8. Dhanurasana- Bow Pose: Gives you a boost of energy and to see life from another perspective. You will also learn that limits are self imposed.
9. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose: Keeps the back flexible and healthy, opening up the frontal heart, where flexibility in the body mirrors flexibility in the mind.
10. Simhasana – Lion Pose: Releases emotions and feelings that have been stored in the body. By increasing the exhalation, more impurities are diminished.
Practice these poses daily, holding each pose for a minute.
namaste and I’ll see you on the mat 🙂