If your muscles need defrosting in the cold winter weather and your hamstrings feel like steel when you do a forward bend, here are a few hints to get you started.
Have you ever noticed how your body and mind work better on some days than on others? How one day things come easy to you, but on other days those same things require much more effort? These "off" days have a variety of causes. For example, if your body is stiff or tense, or if you're constipated or suffering from indigestion, your mind will also be disturbed. On the other hand, if your mind is disturbed because you're stressed out or emotionally upset, you may also feel lousy physically.
Our eyes are one of our most valuable possessions, yet we often take them for granted, even abuse them. With winter days shorter and grayer, we spend more time indoors under artificial light. Reading or studying in this light takes more "eye energy" than in the natural light of day because artificial lighting doesn't include the full light spectrum. Reading in a dimly lit room is even worse; it can cause eyestrain. So give your eyes a break—turn on an extra light or two if you're going to be reading inside.
When you do yoga asanas, don't try to force your body into an "ideal" position; instead, do them from the inside out. Move into the postures with inner awareness, noting and accepting your body's strengths and limitations. Don't worry if you can't stretch as far as someone else—yoga is about doing the poses the best you can while maintaining proper alignment. This is the safest way to practice, too. If you practice regularly and conscientiously, gently stretching your boundaries, you will advance very quickly.
Anger can be very destructive. It can cause physical and mental problems and can even destroy our personal relationships. But you don't have to let it. You can learn to release your anger through yoga. Breathing exercises are particularly good for calming down immediately. Just take as many slow, deep breaths as you need to. Combining sound vibration with breathing is even more effective, as the sounds themselves are calming. Yoga asanas also help release tension in both body and mind. So before you blow off steam and hurt yourself or someone else, release your anger with some yoga.
If you feel tired and exhausted at the end of the day, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But yoga asanas, as well as breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques, actually relieve fatigue, stiffness, tension, and stress. So take your pick, or do some of each. If you practice regularly, you'll have more energy and you'll tire less easily. But if you do get tired, stressed, and tense, you'll have some powerful tools to help you feel better instantly.
One of the activities yogis avoid is gambling. Why? Because it counteracts the effects on the body, mind, and consciousness of our yoga practice. For example, you may do yoga to relieve stress and tension. Gambling not only increases tension and stress but creates fear and anxiety as well. These mental and emotional feelings can become deep-rooted, leading to health problems such as insomnia, headaches, ulcers, and digestive problems.
Now that the warm spring weather is here, why not practice yoga outdoors? I love to practice outside, especially by the ocean. Out in the fresh air, any of the asanas or breathing techniques quickly oxygenates your entire body.
If you've been doing yoga asanas, you've probably noticed that they can cause you to perspire a lot, especially in hot climates. But don't worry, sweating is good for your health. It cools down the body and eliminates toxins. However, if you perspire a lot without drinking enough fluids, your body can dehydrate, and this can cause both minor and major health problems.
If you're having a baby, nature has arranged the perfect food for your child—breast milk. I breastfed my three strong and healthy children, much to the dismay of my family and friends. Even my mother, who breastfed me, was influenced by the times to believe that breastfeeding was old-fashioned. But I'm glad I followed my heart. Yoga has woken me up to nature's wisdom and the many benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child, which I'd like to share with you.
First, here are some of the benefits for your baby: