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Monday, September 12, 2016

Meditation for a Relaxed Lifestyle

meditation for a relaxed lifestyle
By Sangeetha Saran, CYT 500

Busy schedules and work and family responsibilities often leave a person stressed out and exhausted. But it doesn't have to be that way if you know how to handle stress with meditation. This ancient practice has been used for many years to calm the mind and body. If it is used on a daily basis, it allows a person to process all that they are going through in a healthy and positive way.

Learning This Ancient Skill

Each person meditates a little differently, but there are some basic principles for practicing this art. First, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Then, close your eyes and begin focusing on your breathing instead of your thoughts. If any intrusive thoughts come through, gently push them aside, and return to focusing on your breathing. Some people find it helps to count their breaths as they do this. Or a mantra can be created in the mind, such as a word or phrase that feels peaceful. Repeat the mantra vocally as you exhale each time. Some people simply say the words "inner peace." Just be sure to keep the phrase as positive as possible.



How This Art Affects One's Life

Overtime, meditation changes the way that a person thinks. It allows them to train their mind to let go of negative thinking and intrusive thoughts that once kept them awake at night. In other words, it teaches them how to practice mindfulness and when one knows how to constantly monitor their thought processes to allow only positive thoughts in, this keeps them calm, relaxed, and focused. Tasks that once seemed overwhelming can be done with ease. Depression and anxiety are also reduced.

One More Item on the List

At first, people who are already busy might feel like meditation is just another thing that they have to do because initially it will take more concentration to focus on breathing and calming the mind. But if a person sticks with it, and does it every day at the same time, the time that it takes to go into a meditative state will speed up.



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Resources

Volume 28, Issue 4pp 369–384

Volume 33, Issue 1pp 11–21

Evidence-based adjunctive treatments

Author:William T O'DonohueNicholas A Cummings
Publisher:London ; Boston : Academic Press, 2008.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Teaching Yoga: Thinking Like a Beginner

By Sangeetha Saran

Any teacher comes to a place in our practice where we sometimes forget what it was to be a beginner. The fear, excitement, and anticipation - It was all new, and maybe we weren't sure it was even going to stick. Maybe we experimented for a while, and came back later. The truth is, it doesn't really matter how it happened. We didn't know that we were about to embark on a journey that would forever change us to our cores. We know now that yoga is not simply a physical practice. It's physical, emotional, and spiritual; Yoga is holistic and it can touch so many areas of one's life. Yoga is a lifestyle choice.



Unless we take the time to actively reflect on how that felt, how it felt to be clueless, it can become frustrating to instruct new yoga students who are still figuring it out. I'm sure everyone has had that one student, but really, whom has everything figured out? Don't forget where you started, be gentle, and use your passionate peacefulness to inspire others. Don't forget about why you began this practice, and no, I'm not talking about when your best friend dragged you in to her yoga class. Why did you stay? Why did you come back? What motivated you to make a change?

Change is hard. Change is scary. Changing your whole lifestyle is harder and scarier. Be gentle with new students who are just beginning. They may need a "first" yoga class six times over. You never know how hard it was for someone to begin his or her first session. It may have taken much more courage than you can see. Gentle inspiration will always go farther than irritated intimidation.



Get in the practice of beginning every session in that mindset. Others can always feel your mood and energy in the room. Do you emanate peace, serenity, and inspiration? Or can the others around you sense that you've forgotten why you're here?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." ~ By Wendy Mass 

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Friday, January 22, 2016

How Video Changed Yoga Teacher Education

about educating yoga teachers
By Kimaya Singh

Just two decades ago, the only option to become a certified yoga teacher was to spend thousands of dollars in an ashram to study with your guru. You may have traveled thousands of miles for this privilege and have to live in another country for years during this process.

In truth, you would live with fellow students and other yoga lovers for years. There was a full curriculum packed with the art's history, lessons on the body's physiology, etc. The countless hours spent receiving critiques from a guru with years of experience were priceless. Watching them walk through the room and not just seeing and hearing, but feeling how they interacted with all of the students was a great eperience. That was the learning aspect of yoga before the Internet - feeling your way through the movements and the interactions with others. As a student getting that in-the-moment feedback from your teacher was important because we did not have the information highway to exchange ideas, photos, videos, and Email, by broadband.



As with all things, change comes. In a world full of information and solutions, yoga teacher education could never remain in the 20th century. We have moved beyond the telegraph and exchange ideas in real time with streaming video, diagrams, and rich conversations. Your job and family obligations may not allow for working side by side with your guru for five years. Now, crucial information is just a video away. With the click of a link online or by popping a DVD in, anyone can learn how to work around contraindications or help a student with high blood pressure.

Yoga, like all things has changed because of a vast information exchange. Many yoga instructors have confirmed that in order to stay relevant in the field, they must learn and participate in continuing education and video training has now become a much less expensive alternative for teachers who need to keep their studios open, while they remain current in their training.

This is not traditional, but maybe teacher education should be looked at from a different position. Video training is the perfect solution to some common challenges in the field. Practical exams, essays, and written exams are not always a part of traditional training. In some cases, a fly on the wall could receive a diploma just by paying thousands of dollars on an exotic vacation.

My point being: You cannot play around with online education. Examinations are an accurate measurement of the learning process. On the other hand, you can sleep right through an exotic vacation, hang out with teachers and students by the beach, and go home with a diploma that states you were awake, paying attention, and actually learned something.

To this point, videos can offer major benefits to experienced and future yoga teachers alike. Watching a video allows students to learn when and where it is most convenient to them. It also offers the chance to revisit lessons as many or as few times as needed to perfect, allowing for a more solid foundation and consistency. Seasoned teachers would probably have to agree that continuing their education is always a priority and with a tool like videos, continuing education get a lot simpler.

Either way, online and video learning are here to stay and are exactly what today’s teachers ordered.

© Copyright 2016 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division



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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring into Action with Yoga: Core Strengtheners

yoga for core training
By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

For many Yoga students and teachers, spring is the time to reinvigorate your life on many levels. This may include cleaning out your closet, detailing your car and doing a deep spring-cleaning of your apartment or house. This impetus to clean out that which is no longer serving you and spruce up your living space is a natural response to the new life, which is generated during this time of the year. Many Yoga practitioners also respond to the pulsation of new life around them by revamping their exercise regime, including their Yoga practice.

If you find that your Yoga practice has become somewhat routine and uninspired over the long winter months, the springtime is a wonderfully inspiring time to breath new life into your practice. One way of doing this is to include more core strengthening exercises into your practice. A balanced practice of traditional Yoga postures that includes standing, balancing, twisting, and seated poses, offers a practitioner many ways to incorporate core-strengthening exercises into the “regular” flow of the practice. 

For instance, simply keeping one leg raised while you flow from Downward Facing Dog into Plank Pose and Upward Facing Dog is tremendously strengthening. In the same way, weaving some core abdominal work into your Yoga practice as you flow in and out of the postures will strengthen your side oblique and abdominal muscles, without you even noticing! If you incorporate these abdominal strengthening movements into your Yoga practice several times a week, in a fairly short amount of time you will notice a substantial improvement in your core strength. 

Two of my favorite cores strengthening Yoga poses are Reclining Goddess Pulses and Dolphin Plank Pose. Reclining Goddess Pulses are a gentle way to improve your core strength if you are recovering from an injury or surgical procedure, which makes it difficult to engage in a more vigorous core strengthening exercise. Dolphin Plank Pose is a very strengthening core Yoga posture that can easily and efficiently be woven into a vinyasa-based practice. Both of these poses will effectively strengthen your core abdominal muscles and release tension throughout your shoulders and the neck.



* Reclining Goddess Pulses

Reclining Goddess Pulses are small abdominal movements that are done while in Reclining Goddess Pose. Reclining Goddess Pose is generally practiced towards the end of a Yoga class and prior to Shavasana. When you are ready to practice Reclining Goddess Pulses, lie down on your Yoga mat and place your legs in a diamond position, with the soles of your feet lightly touching. If your knees or hips are tight, you may wish to place two rolled blankets, pillows or bolsters underneath your knees for support. This movement should pre practiced slowly to avoid ballistic stretching. If you are recovering from abdominal surgery or an injury, remember to move very slowly and with compassion and respect for your body. 

Reclining Goddess Pose helps to increase the blood flow throughout the pelvic area, as it stretches out the groin and hip muscles. By incorporating a series of small pulses with your hands in between your knees, you will gently strengthen your core abdominal muscles and release tension in your shoulders and neck. To practice Reclining Goddesses Pulses, extend your arms between your legs and press the palms of your hands together with your fingers facing the front of the Yoga studio. Extend you arms fully, and begin to gently contract your abdominal muscles with each exhale. 

As you contract or pulse your abdominal muscles with each exhalation, extend your hands an inch or two further towards the front of the room or Yoga studio. This extension will help to elongate the muscles along the sides of your neck and release any tension in your shoulders. Pulse for a set of ten counts, and then lie back and rest for a moment in Reclining Goddess Pose before doing two more set of ten pulses. When you have completed a series of three rounds of Reclining Goddess Pulses, lie back on your mat and rest in Goddess Pose before proceeding with the rest of your Yoga practice


Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York; where she specializes in writing customized, search engine-optimized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting Yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: enchantress108@gmail.com

© Copyright 2015 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Please feel free to share our posts with your friends, colleagues, and favorite social media networks.