Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

March 31, 2013

Yoga is a great exercise for people who want to increase flexibility, reduce stress, get fit, and lead a more healthy life. Almost anyone can do yoga because it is very gentle which makes it well suited as an exercise program all throughout life. Many people consider taking yoga but also have questions on how to get started.

Many people are concerned that they are not flexible enough to do yoga and will never be able to get into the contortionist poses many people associate with yoga. The truth is that yoga is about building flexibility, among other things, and you do not need to be super limber to begin yoga. Yoga is not just about being flexible either; it is also about relaxation and properly holding positions to the best of your ability. It takes time to build flexibility and yoga will help you to become more limber.

Many people think that yoga is just for women, but men can also participate in and benefit from yoga as well. Men benefit form yoga in the same ways that women do with increased flexibility, strength, stress reduction and overall well being. Yoga has become more and more popular with men as they to have discovered the many health benefits of this ancient exercise.

Yoga is well known to have many health benefits, but some people wonder if it will help them loose weight as this is one of their main fitness goals. While yoga is not the fastest way to loose weight, it can help you to loose those extra pounds. Because yoga combines physical exercise with positive lifestyle changes, you will be able to better manage stress and eliminate the negative influences in your life that contribute to weight problems.

Many exercise programs have strict rules as to how often you should perform them. While it is important to give your body time to rest after strenuous activity, the gentle nature of yoga makes it one type of exercise that you can practice as often as you like. You can start with classes a few times a week and gradually add more or you can practice everyday at home. If your schedule allows structured exercise less frequently, you can practice yoga whenever possible and still reap the health benefits.

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Looking at Guided Meditation as a Tool for Daily Living

March 3, 2013

The simplest definition of guided meditation is that it is meditation done with a guide. Usually, this guide comes as a more experienced practitioner. Today however, assistance can be obtained not only through another person, but also through CDs and tapes. Technology has indeed done a lot to make the practice of this type of meditation more easily achievable by people from all lifestyles.

Like all meditation techniques, this meditation this seeks to allow a person to go into a state of full relaxation and inner peace. Proper breathing, relaxation, and focus are achieved in the process thereby making it possible for a person to center his or her mental energies on a specific purpose. This meditation also uses visualization to achieve what cannot be realized on an ordinary plane by stimulating areas of the mind that would otherwise remain inactive.

Guided meditation can come in different designs. Some sessions aim to help achieve harmony between mind, body, spirit, and a person’s breath. Some sessions seek to bring about relaxation. Still some are meant to allow the inner voice to make itself heard.

The Benefits of Being Guided During Meditation

Most people who practice meditation do so in order to bring about changes in themselves and their state of mind. A good number want to be able to think more calmly, clearly and creatively. Some want to conquer their fears, control pain and anger, recover from some trauma or come out of a depression. Some want to find inner peace while others just want to relax. People who explore meditation as an option for whatever reasons they may have need to look at this meditation technique at the onset of their search because it is the simplest.

Guided meditation enables a person to listen to his or her inner voice, which is so easily drowned out in the noise of daily living. This inner voice can be the source of inspiration and direction. A person who meditates is in a better frame of mind to value the good things in his or her life. In addition, the mental, physical, and spiritual relaxation arrived at often means lower stress levels and undesirable conditions such as anxiety or depression. Because of the positive effects of this meditation technique or other forms of meditation, a person is more predisposed to be productive and efficient. It is also said that health and immune systems are given a boost.

Trying Out Guided Meditation

If you want to try this type of meditation, there are many tapes and CDs in the market to help you. There are even free guides available from the internet so finding material is not a problem. These CDs will contain instructions to take you through sessions and usually, they will have background music as well.

The first step in this meditation session is to find a place where you can have twenty minutes of full privacy and silence. Then, sit comfortably or lie down if your guide asks you to. Once you are settled in a comfortable position, your guide will lead you through a series of visualizations designed to relax you and enable you to become still. At some point, you can expect your feelings of stress to diminish. Your mind will also become capable of clarity and focus. When this happens, your guide will be able to assist you in achieving some specific purpose for your meditation. This purpose may be healing or personal empowerment or spiritual development or even the solution to a problem.

After five, ten, or fifteen minutes, your guide will gently bring you to the end of your session. You will find yourself relaxed and energized as you go back to your normal state of consciousness. More importantly, you will be looking forward to repeating this exercise to open up mind to the possibilities of doing more than you ever thought possible.