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Yoga Insights

Tips for Sitting in Meditation

While Yoga Sound Meditation is often practiced while walking, lying down, or sitting comfortably in a favorite chair, it’s also nice to practice it in the traditional way, sitting cross-legged with your spine erect.

But some people find it quite hard to sit like this. When they sit on the floor, their knees aim upward, their lower back rounds, and they slump forward. This is due to a lack of flexibility, mainly in the hips. A well-rounded and regular asana practice helps increase flexibility overall, which will translate into easier sitting. In the meantime, here’s an easy hint to make it comfortable.

Fold a firm blanket into a square or rectangle or use a couple of firm cushions. Sit on the front part of the blanket or cushions.  Don’t be afraid of sitting too high; the tighter your hips, the higher the lift under your buttocks should be.  The cushions or blanket should be high enough to tilt your pelvis forward. This will allow your knees to move toward the floor and will make it easier to keep your back straight.

If you’re very stiff, you can always sit in a chair or sit with your back against a wall. The most important thing is to be able to focus on the Yoga Sound. If you’re preoccupied with how uncomfortable you are sitting cross-legged, it will only disturb your meditation. So if you want to be able to sit on the floor comfortably, make sure you do a few hip openers when you practice asanas. Our pose for the week, Intense Garudasana will also help to loosen up your hips and legs to make sitting easier.

Once you’re sitting comfortably, yoga breathing can help you relax and clear your mind for meditation. Ujjayi Pranayama is a very calming technique that you can practice before beginning your meditation. The following link includes both Ujjayi Breathing and a short Yoga Sound Meditation.™

Yoga for Liver Health

Taking care of our liver is not something we think about very often, but our liver certainly takes care of us. This large organ is a key player in running the complex machine of the body—in fact, it performs over 300 functions. For example, the liver filters toxins in the blood that may come from drugs, alcohol, or other poisonous substances.  It breaks down protein into amino acids. It converts the carbs we eat into glycogen, which can later be converted back to glucose to give us energy. Bile, which is necessary for breaking down the fats we eat, is produced in the liver.

Yoga for Cardiovascular Health

Keeping the heart healthy is essential to living a long and active life. The heart works hard for us every day; its steady beat pumping blood through our arteries, bringing oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in our body. It’s common knowledge that a good diet and regular exercise are both key elements to keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. The American Heart Association recommends that we either exercise moderately for at least two and a half hours every week or exercise vigorously for 75 minutes per week. 

Yoga Poses to Prevent and Relieve Headaches

When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up—especially in the neck, shoulders, face, and jaw. We often don’t even notice that it’s happening. This unconscious buildup of tension can lead to headaches.

It can arise for many reasons: working long hours, holding the head in an uncomfortable or unnatural position for long periods of time, exercising excessively, regularly carrying a backpack or heavy load, and so on.

Meditation/Relaxation for Weight Loss

You may be surprised to hear that in addition to practicing yoga asanas, yoga relaxation and Yoga Sound Meditation can also help you lose weight.

One reason is because these techniques are so effective at reducing stress. Studies show that stress is one of the main reasons people overeat. Stress may also cause the body to hold onto fat, making it harder to lose weight. So by using these yoga techniques to reduce your stress, you’ll be well on your way to dropping a few pounds (provided you still watch what you eat, of course).

Yoga Poses and Weight Loss

The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to watch what we eat and exercise regularly. Yoga asanas are a great form of exercise that can help you lose weight, though not necessarily in the way you might think.

While yoga asanas don’t burn as many calories as, say, running or cycling, they have many deeper effects on our body and mind that can lead to permanent changes, helping us to lose weight as well as to maintain our ideal weight.

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