Thursday, 10. July 2008
Nighttime Yoga

This is a very calming relaxing yoga routine one could use at night before going to bed. Enjoy the 15 min yoga routine by Deborah York:




More Yoga Sequences at AskTheYogaExpert.

Category: Yoga & Fitness |




Wednesday, 18. June 2008
Partner Yoga

The familiar postures of Hatha Yoga have renewed power and effectiveness when partners work together.

So, grab a yoga mat and your partner and follow along the instructions. They're pretty understandable.

Category: Movies & TV | Yoga & Fitness |




Sunday, 01. June 2008
Hatha Yoga for Endocrine Flow

Today's Yoga lesson is a gentle, restorative yoga class that addresses the health and balance in your endocrine system. The endocrine system is a ductless glandular system featuring the thyroid, thymus, hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, as well as the pancreas and testes/ovaries.

Unlike the digestive system, which secretes enzymes through ducts into the digestive organs, the endocrine glands secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. In Yoga for Endocrine Health, Leela guides you through a series of postures that help to balance your mood, appetite, sleep functions and sexual hormones by creating glandular locks throughout the body to refresh and stimulate the endocrine system to improve your overall sense of well-being and health.

Enjoy Hatha Yoga for Endocrine Flow - 54 minutes

Category: Movies & TV | Yoga & Fitness |


Wednesday, 07. May 2008
Iron Yoga

It was only a matter of time before someone tried to cross-pollinate hand weights with yoga poses. After all, people love the stretched artistry of yoga, but they want to be toned, too. The result is not yoga in the deep spiritual tradition, but it is a great way to exercise: slow, gentle, and challenging.

A nationally ranked triathlete, Anthony Carillo was drawn to yoga's calming and centering benefits to complement his grueling ironman regimen.
[see also this interview: In His Own Words]

He found a natural synergy between yoga and weights. "I was standing in Warrior II and could feel my legs burning as I got deeper into the lunge," he says. "I wondered how I could get a workout for my arms and shoulders at the same time." The answer: small hand weights. "Combining the two can completely integrate your mind, body, and breath," he says. "Yoga helps you reduce stress, increase flexibility, and improve range of motion, while strength training fires up your metabolism, increases lean muscle mass, and builds strong bones." Carillo created the following routine from his book, "Iron Yoga."

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Iron-Yoga Tips
  • Use Light Weights
    A pair of 2- to 5-pound dumbbells is fine.
  • Practice Yogic Breathing
    Breathe through your nose, inhaling slowly for four to five counts, allowing your belly and chest to expand. Exhale for five counts. "The goal is to coordinate your breath with each movement. The deeper you breathe, the more you are able to engage and stabilize your core" says Bonnie Herbert, Iron Yoga instructor and model for this story.
  • Challenge Yourself
    On the last repetition of each move, hold the position for a complete inhalation and exhalation while squeezing and contracting the muscles you're using. This "static contraction" helps tone and firm your muscles faster.
  • Listen to Your Joints
    Although it's normal to feel the burn of muscles working hard, you should never feel pain or discomfort in your joints. If you do, stop.
  • Ask Your Doctor
    Always talk with your health-care practitioner before beginning this or any new exercise regimen.

Learn some Iron Yoga poses: Read more ...
Category: Yoga & Fitness |


Sunday, 27. April 2008
Yogis of Tibet

A yogi, according to this film, is "an individual who has spent years in isolated retreat practicing 'secret,' self-transforming physical and mental exercises. And through these techniques [they] have developed extraordinary control over both mind and body."

The yogis are Tibet's most revered holy men and women, who have developed very specific methods of meditation as a means to enlightenment, yet they are finding themselves pushed into the public sphere in an unprecedented manner.

Yogis are a product of Tibet's unique history. The film does a good job of presenting Tibet's history over the last two millennia very succinctly, and yet with a level of great detail. Its interesting to both those who do and those who do not know about Buddhism.

Very interesting segments are the interviews with the yogis themselves, who illustrate their world-view with eloquent serenity. They emphasize the mind's control over the body.

In one fascinating clip (around 40 min. after start), a younger yogi demonstrates important yoga positions that you will not find in your average health center yoga class. (Never filmed before, which is alone worth all the movie!)

The film includes impressive archived film footage, and interviews with H.E. Choje Togden Rinpoche, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Ven Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, H.E. Chetsang Rinpoche, and H.H. the Dalai Lama.

During the Chinese takeover, one million Tibetans were killed; many of them were yogis. Had Tibetans not been forced into exile, the story of the yogis might never have come to light.
Perhaps this profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners.

Enjoy this wonderful documentary, directed by Phil and Jo Borack.


'The Yogis of Tibet: A Film for Posterity'
JEHM Films, 2002
Duration: 77 minutes



See also:
Yogis of Tibet Official Website
Filming The Yogis of Tibet by Jo Borack (Executive Producer)
Category: Monks & Ascets | Movies & TV | Religion & Early Cultures | Yoga & Fitness |


Wednesday, 23. April 2008
Watch Live Online TV Channel: Yoga in Daily Life

Swamiji.tv is a source of information for learning about the purpose and effects of karma and dharma; about love and compassion; good initiatives and good news.

Yoga in Daily Life is broadcasting live daily webcasts with His Holiness Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda at the times given in the Webcast Schedule.


Please be patient. The station take a few seconds to load ...



To turn on the sound press the speaker button in the bottom right corner of the player, use the volume control to adjust the sound level.

To switch into full-screen double-click inside the media player. Double-click agian will bring you back.
Category: Movies & TV | Yoga & Fitness |


Tuesday, 22. April 2008
Qi-Yo Yoga

The The Qi-Yo method is not only an attempt to amalgamate traditional Indian Yoga with Chinese Qi-Gong and Tai Chi. It goes even further and combines Taoist Yoga with Reiki, Indonesian based Moksha Instant Enlightenment technique with Zen practices, Latihan liberation method with Vipassana walking meditation, the Whirling dervish trance dance with Embryonic breathing, Esoteric Healing with Body-mind Centering, and Theosophy with Psychodrama and Theatrical Therapy.


Qi Yo Invocation:
Qi-Yo Thanksgiving Prayer is a dynamically kinetic verbal prayer designed for the practitioner to express their gratitude to mother Earth, embracing the whole world and using our energy and the magical powers of nature for planetary healing.




Qi Yo Visualization:
Vibration Therapy utilizing the natural elements. The "Qi-Yo" mindful concentration on an object helps the practitioner to obtain inner focus and discover how to tap into his own body's healing resources.



"Qi-Yo" Yoga is a kaleidoscope, where you can see different fragments being assembled together to create myriad of images, from which new forms arise. We have attempted to transcend the confines of a purely traditional Yoga approach with its eight-limb doctrine, and have ventured to create a new hybrid-blend combining different practices into a multi-Yoga system called "Qi-Yo" or the "Sevenfold Path to Satvic Arousal."

For more information about Qi-Yo visit YogaGlobe and have a look there at the Qi-Yo Yoga Gallery.
Category: Yoga & Fitness |


Sunday, 06. April 2008
Tibetan Energy Yoga

What if you could get the body-energizing benefits of yoga and the supreme calm of meditation training - all in one daily practice? With Tibetan Energy Yoga, you can. For centuries, the spiritual masters of Tibet have used these exercises to sustain and invigorate themselves in the arduous Himalayan mountains.

Lama Surya Das demonstrates eight of the most effective energy yoga practices from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, including bum-chen, soaring garuda, 3-fold skybreath, bep-chung, and lion's roar. These exercises work by balancing the "lunar and solar energies" -- the two vital currents of the body that regulate all aspects of wellbeing. Surya Das explains that we all have solar (male) and lunar (female) energies within ourselves that can be directed toward cleansing and grounding our spiritual being.

Each of the eight exercises has three phases: the first stage is called filing up (or inhaling deeply), the second is holding (or meditating), and the third is grounding (or releasing).

Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He leads viewers on a quick and exhilarating 30-minute workout to boost the body's vital energies, fine-tune the mind, and elevate the spirits.

"Tibetan Energy Yoga" by Lama Surya Das, 2001
Duration: 41 minutes




You may also like:
Dzogchen Foundation by Lama Surya Das, Spiritual Director.
Lama Surya Das' Personal Website.
Columns and articles by Lama Surya Das on Beliefnet.
Video: The Colbert Report - Lama Surya Das.
Category: Movies & TV | Religion & Early Cultures | Yoga & Fitness |


Wednesday, 02. April 2008
Finger Meditations: Mudras

Hindu healing practitioners already discovered long ago that too much or too little of an element (earth, water, air, fire, and ether) causes the body to become imbalanced or even seriously ill. We can restore the harmony within us through the corresponding images. Just as every element can have a positive influence on us, it can also destroy us. The individual elements naturally influence each other.

Every element has special needs that can be easily satisfied in a balanced and calm dynamic state. But how often are we stressed, rest and exercise too little, eat too much, or let ourselves be plagued by worries? All of this throws us off balance. When the body is no longer capable of attaining harmony, we are out of balance and we become susceptible to disease.

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Dhyāna Mudrā - Amitābha statue at Kōtoku-in in Kamakura, Japan
Click the picture for a larger view


The following meditations can be done during the sleepless hours of a long night or an illness. It demands nothing more of the body than lovingly embracing one finger with the fingers of the other hand.

Meditation 1: Thumb Energy

The fire element, the lung meridian, and Mars (the planet and/or ancient god of war) are associated with the thumb. The fire of the thumb nourishes the energy of the other fingers and absorbs excess energy. It thereby restores equilibrium. When we think about the incineration of garbage, we sense that destruction through fire can also have a power that creates order. Even in nature, when during the course of the decades a monoculture of the strongest has been created, the forest fire once again creates the preconditions for a larger variety of new plants. The overheating within our bodies, the fever, kills entire cultures of bacteria. Fire is dependent upon air since it dies without oxygen; the same also applies to our cell respiration. The metabolism in the individual cells can only properly function with adequate oxygen. We can actually strengthen every part of the body or every organ by visualizing and/or breathing light and warmth into it.

Exercise

Either sit or lie down. Now encircle your right thumb with the four fingers of your left hand and place your left thumb along the inner edge of your right hand. Close your eyes.

Focus on a part of the body that is weak or ill. Now imagine that a light is burning in the lower center of your body (at the height of the navel). Every time you exhale, direct the rays of light toward the respective part of the body. First let large, dark clouds of smoke (things that make you ill, pain, etc.) escape from the illuminated body part. Then concentrate solely on the light that slowly fills, illuminates, and heals this part of the body.

Calmly keep holding onto your thumb for a while and feel the flowing warmth. Then encircle your left thumb and also hold this for a while.



For the next meditations: Read more ...
Category: Articles & Essays | Meditation & Mind | Yoga & Fitness |


Monday, 31. March 2008
Yoga Today: Internet TV Yoga Courses

If you want to try yoga but don't want to buy a video or join a class, Yoga Today's videos could be just what you're looking for.

“Yoga Today’s mission is to bring free yoga to the world,” said Kim Whitman, President and Executive Producer of Yoga Today.

“It is really yoga for everyone, anywhere they are, providing the perfect balance of hands-on instruction with fresh, new courses in an inspiring setting directly to consumers via their laptops, PCs or televisions.

Yoga-on-the-go is a convenience we are offering people with busy schedules, and with the I’M delivery platform, we’re able to make on-demand fitness available to our customers.”

Each Yoga Today episode will feature an expert instructor and two students. The students will have different skill levels and instructors will interact with them to improve their poses.

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This down-to-earth approach to yoga training makes the class more authentic and accessible to viewers, allowing them to improve their practice from the comfort of their own homes, hotel rooms or anywhere they see fit. Courses will be filmed outdoors in spectacular Teton settings or, when weather does not permit, indoors in a state-of-the-art yoga studio.

Yoga Today: Internet TV Yoga Courses
Experience Yoga in a great new way! 7 days a week, 365 days per year, keeping your workouts fresh and energizing. Unfortuantely there is no archive for older videos. Therefore I encourage you to visit this site regularly.
Category: Movies & TV | Yoga & Fitness |


Tuesday, 18. March 2008
Bandha Yoga

Patanjali, the patron saint of yoga, said that mastery combines a balance of science and art. Knowledge of science is like the colors on an artist’s pallet – the greater the knowledge, the more colors available. The body is the canvas and the asanas are the art we create.

Human anatomy and physiology is a vast subject, as is the art of hatha yoga. Nevertheless, combining knowledge from both fields is extremely beneficial to the yoga practitioner. Athletes can improve their performance and experience fewer injuries through a basic understanding of their musculoskeletal system. Similarly, yoga practitioners can benefit from the application of Western science to their practice development.

It is not necessary to memorize hundreds of muscles and bones to experience the benefits of applying science to yoga. What is necessary is the functional understanding of a manageable number of key anatomic structures in their settings as they relate to hatha yoga. Knowledge of these structures can be applied immediately to optimize your practice, break through blockages and avoid injuries.


Bandha Yoga - Combine modern western science with the ancient art of Hatha Yoga. (English)

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Check out the sample chapter in pdf format.
Category: Books & Magazines | Yoga & Fitness |


Saturday, 08. March 2008
Ashtanga Yoga As Taught

Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900's by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

How To Use This Manual:
The basics of ashtanga yoga cannot be learned enough. Because yoga practice is progressive it is important to go through this manual in the order it is presented. However, if you are having difficulty with any of the postures go back to the beginning. Keep in mind that the true source of understanding is in the basic principals underlying the asanas. Take your time and learn the fundamentals of the practice. Go slowly. Never force or push yourself into a posture, be patient, and all will come in time. What’s the rush?

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Most of all, have fun! Enjoy the process of building your yoga practice and bringing peace into your life and those around you.

Ashtanga Yoga As Taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois by Larry Schultz.
Nauli Press, 2000 | 84 pages | PDF | 5.2 MB

To learn more about the method of Ashtanga yoga visit Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Website
Category: Books & Magazines | Yoga & Fitness |


Saturday, 01. March 2008
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga

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If you love yoga then you'll love this book!

It begins with insightful questions to help you find the real "you" and then progresses to explain the different types of yoga practices. But the real value in the book is the section discussing the Seven Spirtual Laws.

You will understand the importance of not forcing the body to obey moves but it is in allowing the inner Self to assist in all of the movements. There is a wonderful section on yoga positions with excellent photos and descriptions of how to attain the pose.

Chopra also discusses meditation, how to practice it and methods for success.



The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit by Deepak Chopra and David Simon.
Wiley, 2005 | PDF | 224pages | 2.5 MB
Category: Books & Magazines | Yoga & Fitness |


Tuesday, 26. February 2008
Abs Yoga

Here is a way to use powerful yoga poses designed to give you a flat and tight stomach. Your video guide is yoga teacher, Rodney Yee.

Abs Yoga for Beginners:

Category: Yoga & Fitness |


Tuesday, 22. January 2008
Stretches for RSI

Transcript of this video:

Today we are going to spend five minutes going through a variety of stretches designed to counteract the common postural misalignments and stiffness that all too often accompany long hours at the computer and on the phone.

Our routine today starts at the head and neck, and we will gradually work our way down to the wrists and hands.

Stretches for RSI - 04:40



Let's begin by working into neck rotations. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and feel the muscles of your abdomen working to support the lengthening of your spine.

Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Inhale, retract your skull slightly, and bring your chin towards your throat. If you like, you can interlace your fingers and place your hands at the back of the crown for an extra stretch. Hold this position for 5 deep breaths and slowly come back up, keeping a little pressure with the hands on the head.

Now inhale, protracting your chin. With the jaw closed, exhale and slowly tilt your jaw line up to the ceiling until you feel a stretch in the front of the neck. Don't let gravity pull your head down; rather feel you are controlling the movement. Hold this for a further 5 breaths. Inhale to release your head without straining your neck.

Now, let's inhale again. As you exhale, drop your left ear down to your left shoulder. You can bring your left hand to the right temple for a stronger stretch. Deliberately press your right shoulder away from the ear and lengthen the right side of the neck and shoulders. Hold for 5 breaths. Release carefully and repeat on the other side. If one side feels tighter, consider holding that stretch for longer.

Okay. Let's open up through the chest and shoulders. Interlace your fingers and inhale as you reach the arms up to the ceiling. Keep the shoulders grounding down into their sockets. Keep your chin in slightly to lengthen the base of the skull. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, slowly stretching the arms as far back as you can.

Don't hold your breath, but rather feel as though you are releasing more with each exhalation. This will open up the wrists and hands as well. Inhale to bend the elbows and exhale to release the arms. Change the pinky grip over and let's repeat that on the other side. Inhale, lift the arms, exhale - shoulders down and chin in.

Now to the spine. Use the tummy muscles to help you sit up tall. Inhale and then slowly turn to your left as you exhale. Turn from your waist. You can use the arm or back of the chair for extra leverage. Keep turning your head as far to the left as you can so that you include your neck in the stretch. Hold for 5 deep breaths, keeping the spine long. Release and repeat to the right.

This last one is my favourite. Bring the forearms and hands together, with the elbows just above the chest. Bring your left arm over the top of the right with the elbows touching. Inhale, using the abdomen to lengthen the spine and exhale to slowly draw the elbows down towards the floor. Incline the head forwards. Hold for 10 breaths. Don't slump the abdomen. Release slowly and repeat with the opposite arm on top.

Good. Now shrug your shoulders a few times and feel the space you have created in your upper body. Try to do this short sequence every couple of hours and you can help to keep stiffness and injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI, at bay.


See also:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Strain Injury, and Yoga by Ellen Serber.
Category: Body & Health | Yoga & Fitness |


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