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yoga asanas

Surprise Yourself

One way to get better at yoga asanas is to imagine it. While I’m not advocating pushing too hard, sometimes just imagining you can go further into a pose will get you there. It gives you the will to try just a little harder. For example, if you’re doing Bow, visualize the beauty of the pose: the graceful arc formed by the arch of the back, the legs lifted high, feet moving back to open the chest. Then make your body into that shape—not violently or suddenly, but using your intelligence, your breath, and gradual movements from the inside to achieve the best pose possible.

So next time you’re doing a pose you find difficult, instead of doing it halfheartedly, thinking, “I can’t do this pose,” try this little trick of mine. Say to yourself, “I can do it.” Use your mind’s eye to see yourself a little deeper in the pose and then go there.

By the way, this will also help you hold a pose longer. Summon up your will power, take deep, even breaths, and see yourself holding it longer, a second at a time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see just how well you can do!

Relieve Your Headache with Yoga

For many people, a headache is almost an everyday occurrence.  It can range from minor discomfort to debilitating, agonizing pain. Some people experience headaches everyday all day long, while others don’t get them at all.  (I’m sure they’re a minority!)

There are so many causes of a headache and the solutions for it are just as many.  Sometimes the solution can be as simple as drinking a glass of water.  If you live in a hot place, for example, chances are your headache is caused by mild dehydration.  So get out of the heat, chug down some water and head for a long cooling shower.  You’ll feel much better afterwards.

Some headaches, however, are caused by a serious health problem.  So seek medical attention as needed.  Depending on the cause, yoga asanas and yoga meditation can actually prevent and alleviate a headache, especially if it is triggered by stress.

Stress is one of the most common causes of a headache.  This is where yoga can help you.  By combining asanas, pranayam and meditation, you can have a powerful tool in combating a tension headache.

Yoga asanas can help by relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles.  When you are stressed, you tense up these muscles and the ultimate result is a headache.  So instead of reaching out for a dose of painkiller, take out your yoga mat for some gentle neck and shoulder stretches.  End each session with yoga nidra and proceed to Yoga Sound Meditation.

If you regularly practice Yoga Sound Meditation, you will come to a point where you will see the troubles and problems that give you headaches simply as a temporary, passing show.  Problems will come and go.  There is no need to immerse in it.

Even if the cause of your headache is an irritating person, Yoga Sound Meditation can still help you.  Sounds hard to believe?  Here’s why.  Through repeated practice of sound meditation, you will be more tolerant of others.  The obnoxious person won’t disappear, rather you will be more patient and will not be bothered as much.

So make time everyday to practice your asanas, pranayam and Yoga Sound Meditation and prevent your headache from getting worse.  If you already have a regimen to follow to manage your tension headaches, you can still incorporate these techniques I have just shared with you.  In fact, yoga will complement your current regimen and you’ll notice that nagging headache will nag you no more.

Breathing & Yoga

The way you breathe can either help or hinder your asana practice. When you breathe smoothly and evenly, you’ll notice that your breath helps you relax into a pose, gives you more stamina, and eases tension. In fact, it’s because of the relaxing effect of the breath that we’re often told to “take a few deep breaths” when we get angry or upset. It’s also true that full, deep breathing clears the head and improves concentration. Actually, breathing right helps improve the functions of all the systems in the body.

On the other hand, taking short, shallow breaths can be detrimental to our health, decreasing our vitality. When you practice asanas, if your breathing is uneven, too shallow, or if you’re holding your breath when you don’t need to, your body will be tense and probably uncomfortable, you’ll be more likely to strain, and you won’t get the full benefits of the poses.

Asanas are meant to remove blockages and increase the flow of the subtle energy, or prana, in the body—which improves our overall health. Because your breath can really enhance the flow of this energy, become aware of your breathing as you practice asanas. If your breath tends to be shallow, uneven, and fast, try to slow it down a bit and make it a little smoother and deeper. With practice, it will improve quite quickly because you’ll notice how much better it feels!

But don’t get so caught up in your asana or breathing practices that you forget to do your yoga meditation. After all, the purpose of asanas and pranayama is to prepare you for meditation. And it is in meditation that you’ll reap the greatest rewards of yoga—inner peace and true happiness.

Say Goodnight to Insomnia Through Wai Lana Yoga

A good night’s sleep is valuable for our overall health.  Did you ever notice that when you are sick, you’d rather sleep and sleep?  This is the body’s natural way of healing and repairing.  Indeed, the role of sleep in maintaining the healthy functions of the body cannot be overemphasized.  Some people are lucky and fall asleep as soon as they close their eyes.  Some are less fortunate and toss and turn on their beds all night waiting for sleep to come.

Whatever kind of sleep difficulty you may be experiencing – yoga asanas and yoga meditation is very beneficial in achieving a restful slumber.  Yoga asanas relieve muscle tension from stress and can also lessen common health problems that may interfere with your sleep, such as indigestion and any kind of body pain.  Try to avoid intense poses that involve twisting and bending backward too close to your bedtime.  These poses are invigorating rather than relaxing.  Gentle forward bends will make you relax.   As with any of your asana practice, proper breathing is of utmost importance.  So breathe right during your asana practice and end your session with yoga nidra to fully experience the good effects of yoga asanas and pranayam to your sleep.

You can find many articles and studies on how to improve and sustain one’s sleep – from drinking warm milk and taking warm showers to taking an array of different drugs, whether natural sleeping pills or heavy sedatives.  All these may help you sleep.  However, most do not address the problem of a restless mind.  A restless mind is one of the most common causes of insomnia.  Unless we control and restrain our minds, it will jump from one thing to another, just like a monkey.  A restless mind is very troublesome and will never give us rest.  Just like our bodies need rest, our minds also need rest and we can do this through Yoga Sound Meditation.

By the regular practice of Yoga Sound Meditation, you can greatly reduce tension and stress and overcome anxiety, worry, and other disturbances of the mind.

So instead of letting your mind trouble you until the wee hours in the morning, I encourage you to do Yoga Sound Meditation.  Once your mind is focused on the yoga sound, you’ll notice that you are able to finally fall asleep because your mind is no longer troubling you.  You will feel at peace.

So say goodbye to sleepless nights and those sleeping pills by doing yoga.

 

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