Saturday, December 06, 2008

Yoga Therapy for Chronic Back Pain – The First Step Toward Relief

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When considering Yoga therapy for chronic back pain, you should have the endorsement of your physician or medical specialist. Reducing the back pain in your life can be a team effort. It is important to realize that many forms of therapy work well in harmony with medicine and each other.

In the case of Yoga therapy for back pain, one should feel a reduction in pain, but this does not mean you should discard your prescriptions, or the advice of your doctors. Most people, who constantly suffer from back pain, try medical or chiropractic solutions, prescriptions, and a variety of physical or alternative therapies.

After trying a variety of solutions, most people tend to continue with anything that helps them manage, or eliminate, pain. With that said, Yoga therapy sessions, or Yoga classes, are often part of a larger solution for pain management; and in some cases, the complete elimination of back pain.

Does this mean that every Yoga teacher has solutions for backaches and serious back pain? No, because there are a variety of Yoga styles, and many of them address mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Mental, emotional, and spiritual health are important in any healing process, but you want to be sure treatment of the physical body is included in your Yoga therapy.

A smaller, but very popular, group of Yoga styles are off shoots of Hatha Yoga (union by physical mastery). Does this mean that Hatha Yoga is purely physical in nature? No, because depending on the teacher and the sub-style, Hatha also covers mental, emotional, and spiritual health, in various degrees. The variation among Hatha Yoga’s sub-styles covers a wide spectrum of knowledge and approaches toward health.

From the Hatha style, modern Yoga therapy has sprung. Among the therapeutic Yoga systems are: Viniyoga, Iyengar Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and other forms of Yoga therapy. This short list is where a person in chronic pain should begin to seek pain management solutions.

This will also require an extensive search for the right teacher, school, or Yoga therapist. The right teacher, or therapist, is knowledgeable, competent, gentle, understanding, and has time for you. You can easily make an assessment in one consultation, private session, or over the phone.
Generally speaking, Yoga schools do not have group therapy sessions for the same ailment.

There may be a specialized workshop for back pain, but these are rare. Therefore, it would be wise to schedule a private Yoga session with the most qualified teacher or therapist you can find.

© Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos.
Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”
Yoga Classes in Attleboro, Massachusetts:
FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) - Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste, Paul

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Office Yoga - Practice Yoga in Your Office

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Office Yoga can improve health and productivity. Constant sitting is not healthy for your circulation or for the skeletal structure. Most of us know that excessive sitting can cause poor circulation in the legs and blood clotting.

Yet, many people do not realize excessive sitting can cause piriformis muscle syndrome (a leading cause of sciatica). Some common long-term problems from sitting too much are neck pain, shoulder pain, and chronic joint pain.

Most office workers feel spinal pain in the back, or neck, as a result of prolonged work at computer stations. This can result in absenteeism, as office help takes time to do anything else, but sitting.

If you look around the average office, it is not hard to find signs of over-stretched and weak back muscles from leaning forward. This also results in posture problems we refer to as dowager's hump, the upper thoracic hump, hunch back (kyphosis), and forward head (hyperkyphotic) posture.

Only a few decades ago, these spinal problems were not so commonly seen among younger office workers, because children had more active physical lives. These days, it is not uncommon for a child to come home and do his or her homework on a laptop or PC.

With nearly two decades of an inactive lifestyle, and poor posture, young adults enter the work force to continue unhealthy diet and posture, which will go unnoticed until they experience chronic pain. The solution is to develop office Yoga programs during the course of a day.

The quickest, and least expensive way, to make this change is to bring in qualified Yoga instructors, who can assess daily posture problems and make recommendations for viable solutions. The primary concern here is proper posture and physical activity.

The choices are simple: Compare the cost of higher health insurance, absenteeism, workers' compensation, and temporary disability, to the cost of an independent contractor. Whether a company is large, or small, the advice a competent Yoga teacher will deliver is cost effective solutions for long-term health.

Alternative solutions are the difference between a company's economic survival and going out of business. With rising energy costs, companies are forced to think "outside the box." How many commercial building owners knew or cared about solar shingles, just a few years ago?

The rising cost of labor is much more than an hourly wage. If companies truly see their employees as an asset, office Yoga can raise the level of morale and create a healthier work force. It is up to employers to find less expensive solutions to existing problems or suffer the consequences.

© Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA.

He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Teaching Hatha Yoga - Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, and the Fainting Game

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Recently, a conversation arose about the dangers of prolonged and forceful Pranayama (Yogic breathing techniques). A friend, and colleague, was discussing pushing the limits of Bhastrika and Kapalbhati to the point of neuron damage, within the brain.

It is true that some Yoga teachers and students are unaware of the dangers of prolonged Bhastrika and Kapalbhati. These two Pranayama techniques are classified as hyper-ventilation. If this means nothing, the short example below will open your awareness to the potential hazards.
When I was a child growing up in the United States, my family moved around the country quite a bit. It was not uncommon for children to play fainting or “passing out” games by practicing hyper-ventilation for prolonged periods of time, until they fainted, which is proven to result in neuron damage within the brain.

Children do foolish things. Luckily, we tired of those games and moved on to less dangerous games. Bhastrika and Kapalbhati are therapeutic when performed in moderation; however, there is a “dark side” of forcing these intense methods beyond the maximum limits.

The dark side is to get brain damage from overdoing something that appears harmless. So, what are the limits of Bhastrika and Kapalbhati? In the case of Bhastrika and Kapalbhati, there is a 10 minute maximum time limit, per day, and per technique, for advanced practitioners, of these two forms of Pranayama.
For healthy beginners, it is better to break up their Bhastrika and Kapalbhati practice into one or two minute segments - with the understanding that 10 minutes total is the absolute limit.
However, some Yoga teachers will tell healthy beginners to stop at five minutes; just to be sure they are not tempted to push their natural limits. If a student begins to feel light headed, he, or she, should take a rest. This is not a contest. For most beginners, we start at one minute, and no more.
Later, we gradually build up the time to 3 or 4 minute segments. It is safer to add one minute segments, with a rest in between the segments. For seniors, in good health, we start at 30 seconds and no more. Later, we gradually build up to one minute, only.
Apparently, the ancient Yogis made a few mistakes along the way, and lost a few practitioners, as a result of overdoing it. I personally love Bhastrika and Kapalbhati, but much like the ocean, these two forms of Pranayama deserve respect.

To make it crystal clear: The path of moderation, which is also known as the “Middle Way,” is the safest of all the paths. In Yoga, and in life, there should never be extremes, even when our egos are tempted to push the maximum limits.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter. FREE Yoga Videos.Free Podcasts. Bonus: Free Yoga e-Book, “Yoga in Practice.”
Yoga Classes in Attleboro, Massachusetts:
FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) - Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste, Paul

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yoga Instructor Certification - How To Become A Certified Yoga Instructor At Home

Written By Karina Sinclair

In recent times yoga instructor certification has become more important than ever. In the past registration was usually enough because the practice and teaching of yoga was not as mainstream as it is today. However nowadays not being certified puts a yoga teacher at serious risk of costly lawsuits and unable to obtain liability insurance at all.

The Major Reason For Certification

The major reason for becoming certified is for a teacher's legal protection. There has unfortunately been an increase in lawsuits against teachers as a result of student injuries that usually could have been avoided with proper training and instruction.

While one's first impression of yoga is that it is a relaxing, spiritual exercise it can actually be quite vigorous, especially for people who are just starting out or seniors.

Why Injuries Usually Occur

Unfortunately if students have not stretched adequately enough before the lesson or have done a move incorrectly inadvertent injury may occur.

How being certified will help you is that it will be a lot easier for you to obtain liability insurance. Liability insurance is not something that should ever be overlooked, no matter how experienced you think you may be or how safe and gentle you believe your class is.

Get To Know Every Student

A student questionnaire is highly recommended because it is essential as their teacher that you understand every student's overall health, medical conditions, fitness level and general history.
Teachers who have been teaching for an extended period of time may not have had any kind of certification available to them. That's why it's essential even the most seasoned trainers ensure that their are covered.

On a positive note, if you are a professional teacher you may be able to receive some sort of credit or recognition for your past experience and your training already undertaken.

The Minimum Certification Requirement

There is a minimum requirement and that's 200 hours of study. What must be included in any course you undertake is virtually every facet of running a yoga business including anatomy, physiology, safety, modifications and contraindications.

Additional Benefits

You will find it easier to obtain work if you are certified. In fact, some studios for their own protection consider it a hiring requirement.

Yoga instructor certification is now easier than ever with the range of certification home study courses. To save you time I have spent hours researching the range of instructor certification courses available and have announced my number one choice at my yoga training website.

Yoga Master With 5000 Hours Of Training Under His Belt Teaches Future Yoga Instructors How They Can Earn $150.00 Per Hour As A Professional Yoga Instructor And Be Certified Within Just 3 Months In His World Class Yoga Teacher Training Course Online.

Start your certification today at

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kapalbhati, The 10 Minute Yoga

Written By Shalini Singh

Kapalbhati is one of the best yoga techniques that have been given to us by sages of India. It is a gift to humanity. The idea is simple, breathe in normally and exhale forcibly allowing the stomach to collapse. Do it for 10 minutes and feel the difference within days.

Kapalbhati is one of my favorite pranayamas. Kapalbhati is a subcategory of Pranayama that comes in the 3rd chapter of "Pantajali Yogdarshan". Amongst the several Pranayamic exercises and techniques; Kapalbhati is noteworthy as Kapalbhati is an exercise the practice of which imparts glow to the skull; a cleansing process which brightens the forehead. Kapalbhati is a pranayama technique which invigorates the entire brain and awakens the dormant centers that are responsible for subtle perception.

Although performing kapalbhati is basically quite straight forward, it is important that it is performed correctly in order to obtain the best results. It includes breathing slowly as usual and then forcing the breath outside. A major effect of kapalbhati is to increase air pressure in short bursts in the nasal pharynx and sinuses, which stimulates the forward part of the brain.
However, if both nostrils are blocked, Kapalbhati cannot be done. The technique uses short and strong forceful exhalations while inhalation happens automatically.

Kapalbhati is theretofore a highly energizing abdominal breathing exercise as it causes the stomach to collapse as the exhalations are forced. Kapalbhati is a highly energizing abdominal breathing exercise. Kapalbhati could be done as fast as two strokes in a second. Kapalbhati is the one major yogic breathing technique capable of expelling toxins from the lungs. Though kapalbhati is usually done sitting down, it can be practiced standing up.

This pranayama technique actually invigorates the brain and cleanses the mind. I think Kapalbhati is the one that helps me most. Baba Ramdev is a great proponent of the Kapalbhati and suggests at least 10-15 minutes a day to get rewards.

S. Singh is great fan of Baba Ramdev and has been following his yoga for several years specially Kapalbhati.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Yoga Mat and Other Yoga Props

Written By Sarah Russell

If you're just beginning your yoga practice, don't be frustrated if you aren't as strong or as flexible as the more advanced students. This type of flexibility is developed over time with continued yoga practice. If you're having trouble completing some of the poses, consider using props to help you reach the correct position. Using yoga props helps support the muscles and minimize strain so that you can continue practicing without injuring yourself.

Yoga props can also help elderly people and those with medical ailments to exceed their limitations, providing support and enabling them to perform the poses they would not normal be able to do. Of course, you don't need to invest in any expensive equipment to practice yoga - you can do it naked in your living room without any fancy gear. However, if you're just getting started, these props can make your yoga practice much more enjoyable and rewarding.

Mats: The yoga mat is one of the most important yoga props. Yoga mats are also called sticky mats - and that's what they do! When used on a hard floor surface, the mat will stay in place, giving you the traction you need to perform the poses. Even when you start to get sweaty, your hands and feet won't slip. The mat also gives your knees a little cushion when you're kneeling on a hard surface.

Mats aren't expensive - you can pick up a good one for under $30 and it'll last a long time. If you're just starting at a gym, they'll probably have some that you can borrow. However, out of hygienic concerns, get your own and bring it with you. You don't know who used that mat before you!

Blankets: Some studios will provide blankets for students to use during practice. If you're having trouble performing some seated poses, you can fold them up and sit on them, changing the angle of the pose and improving alignment. They're also great for covering yourself up during the final corpse pose - you'll be so much more relaxed when you're warm and toasty under your blanket.

Straps and Blocks: Yoga straps and blocks are also handy tools to have when you're just starting out. Both can be used to modify poses to make them easier if you aren't that flexible yet. If you're taking an introductory class, ask the teacher to help you use them throughout the class. He or she will be able to recommend the best way to modify poses with these props.

Attire: You might not think of your workout clothes as props, but what you wear can have a huge impact on how well you practice. You don't need to invest in a certain brand or specific article of clothing, but you should make sure that your attire is comfortable and breathable. Women, also consider a form-fitted top for yoga practice. Sometimes your head ends up lower than your hips which can cause your top to slide down.

Want to learn more about how yoga can change your life? Check out Sarah Russell's new book - The Beginner's Guide to Yoga and Meditation - at:
Attleboro Yoga / Pilates Schedule

Ending: June 26, 2008

Holidays: May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day - There will be no class on this day.

Spring Class Schedule:

Monday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Tuesday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only
Wednesday: 6 PM - 7 PM Pilates / Body Sculpt
Thursday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Friday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Written By Sarah Russell

Hatha Yoga is descended from a 5,000 year old system of movements and meditations meant to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It's made up primarily of a series of stretching exercises known as asanas, combined with breathing techniques and methods of concentration. You're probably familiar with the classic Lotus position, which is one of the basic meditative positions in Hatha Yoga.

The main goal of Hatha Yoga is much the same as other forms of yoga practice. It attempts to blend the spirit of the individual with the greater spirit of the universe, improving the health of the spirit, mind, body and emotions. Hatha Yoga has been said to help practitioners attain inner peace and a feeling of oneness with the universe. Remember that no matter what type of yoga you choose to perform, concentration is a very important factor.

All types of yoga have some similarities. However, they differ in methods or intent in other areas. Hatha Yoga's main focus is the preparation of the body, so that the spirit will be able to perform its function in bringing the practitioner to enlightenment. A great deal of confusion can arise, as many people don't realize that it's important to have a healthy, fit body in order to successfully attain spiritual enlightenment.

Hatha Yoga practice is applied to the body in order to strengthen it and the spirit inside. Its physical techniques are often used by people who aren't interested in spiritual advancement, but who would like to receive the physical benefits of Hatha Yoga as well. This is the most commonly taught form of yoga, and is thus the type that comes to most people's minds when yoga is mentioned. Other styles of yoga, some of which are derived from Hatha Yoga, include Kundalini, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Power Yoga.

In addition to the physical benefits of Hatha Yoga, there are also mental ones. It's been said to assist in the development of greater concentration and focusing abilities, in addition to reducing stress and anxiety. For many people, this is an important benefit, and something they need in their lives. If you're being distracted and need some time to relax, Hatha Yoga might be the right solution.

For those who are looking for a spiritual benefit, Hatha Yoga allows you to find your own divine light. It can help you become stronger, more flexible, and more relaxed. Performing Hatha Yoga allows the energy of your spirit to flow more freely, since the mind, spirit, and body are more closely in harmony. If your body is weakened, this weakness also affects the mind and spirit. Skeptical? Consider how hard it is to concentrate when you have a headache.

Practicing Hatha Yoga can help you cope with stress, and can relieve some of your tension and pain. If work is leaving you exhausted, you need to find time to relax and rejuvenate yourself. Hatha Yoga is an excellent remedy, that can help you release built up worries and anxiety.

Want to learn more about how yoga can change your life? Check out Sarah Russell's new book - The Beginner's Guide to Yoga and Meditation - at:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Understanding Yoga Techniques

Written By Sarah Russell

If you're practicing yoga, understanding and applying techniques properly is very important. Yoga can be an important part of an overall campaign to improve your health, since exercise is a big part of preventing disease and staying healthy.
It's one of the most effective methods, since it puts little strain on the body, and provides many other health benefits. It's also easy to practice yoga wherever you are, since it requires no special equipment. You can do it at home or away, at whatever time you choose. Many people prefer yoga as their method for living a healthy, happy life.

Yoga can help you maintain good internal health, including good circulation, healthy organs, glands and other tissues, as well as providing strength and flexibility to muscles, connective tissue and joints. It's also been said to help relieve stress and improve concentration. Many people also use yoga as a way to attain spiritual fulfillment.

There are plenty of yoga techniques available. However, there are a few that are very effective, no matter where you are or when you'd like to practice. Here are five basic yoga techniques that form the foundation of many others. They are: relaxation, posture, meditation, joint movement, and deep breathing. Every technique performs its own function in concert with the others, to produce the desired effect.

In Sanskrit, the movement of the joints is referred to as "sandhichalana". This yoga technique, as the name implies, focuses on the joints, which undergo full movements. It's important to remember that this applies to all joints, from the hands to the neck and lower limbs.

Relaxation is composed of a number of other yoga techniques to help you improve your concentration, allowing you to focus your attention more effectively. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety. For instance, the Hong-Sau is a technique meant to help focus your latent powers of concentration, and to develop your Divine Consciousness. The familiar Aum technique uses simple repetitive sounds to expand awareness beyond the body's limitations. It can help you stay in a meditative state for longer periods, and is said to open the practitioner to experiences of the Divine.

Remember that not all yoga techniques are suitable for the beginner. If you're just starting out, you may have trouble with some advanced poses. Talk to your instructor, or try modifying them to make them easier to do. Be sure to stay aware of your body, and figure out what feels right and what makes you feel tense or in pain. Try to release tension, and allow calm relaxation to take over.

Remember that one of the main objectives of yoga is creating a satisfying feeling of relaxation. It's important to find out how to effectively release your tension, allowing you to feel better and to be healthier. The help of a good yoga instructor can help you do this more effectively, and with less trial and error. Then, once you've mastered the basic yoga techniques, you'll have no problem going on to practice on your own.

Want to learn more about how yoga can change your life? Check out Sarah Russell's new book - The Beginner's Guide to Yoga and Meditation - at:

Attleboro Yoga / Pilates Schedule

Yoga & Pilates - Spring Session (2008)

Ending: June 26, 2008

Holidays: May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day - There will be no class on this day.

Spring Class Schedule:

Monday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Tuesday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only
Wednesday: 6 PM - 7 PM Pilates / Body Sculpt
Thursday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Friday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yoga Types - Which One is Right for You?

Written By Sarah Russell

With all the different types of yoga in existence today, choosing the right one can be hard for a beginner. It's important to choose the variety of yoga that's right for you in terms of fitness level, your spiritual and physical goals, and you health. Here are a few of the most common types of yoga to help you pick the best one for you and your situation.

Iyengar Yoga: This type of yoga focuses on precise movement and the alignment of the body. It often uses straps, blocks, and other props to help less flexible beginners perform the same movements as experts. These items can also help people with injuries adapt movements to their individual bodies. This allows everyone to perform yoga poses with comfort.

This type of yoga pays a lot of attention to detail, but poses are flexible and can be modified, making it a good choice for people who suffer from neck or back pain. Adjusting the poses can also help people with other injuries. Iyengar Yoga is a good choice if you'd like to get a good basic knowledge of classic yoga poses, giving you the fundamental for other types of yoga later on.

Teachers of Iyengar yoga are likely to focus on inner awareness and alignment. Inner awareness begins with the body, but then moves to other parts of ourselves as we continue with practice on a regular basis.

Ashtanga Yoga: This type of yoga has also been referred to as "power yoga". This is because flowing, powerful movements are a big focus of this discipline. Lunges, pushups, and other stamina- and strength-focused movements that aren't usually associated with yoga may be involved. People who are looking for a more challenging practice, or are looking to build strength after overcoming injuries, particularly to the back, may wish to practice this type of yoga.

If you're already fairly athletic, but want to add more balance to your routine than running, cycling, or working at the gym can provide, Ashtanga Yoga may help you. It can help you improve your concentration, and build muscles you don't normally use.

Bikram Yoga: This yoga type is also called hot yoga. This is because its chief feature is being performed in an extremely warm room. Heat can help tissues to stretch, making this kind of yoga a good tool for increasing your flexibility. However, if you have a heart problem or other cardiovascular disease, the warmth of the room in which Bikram Yoga is performed can be dangerous, because it places extra strain on this system.

Viniyoga: This type of yoga links breathing and flowing movements into individually adapted exercises. If you have a back problem or neck injury, this variety of yoga might be a good fit, as it's easily adapted to each person.

Raja Yoga: Designed to liberate the mind through meditation, this type of yoga works well for people who are interested in engaging in intense concentration.

Bhakti Yoga: A form of devotional yoga, this practice focuses on the surrender of the self in the face of the divine.

Mantra Yoga: Known also as the "yoga of potent sound", this practice focuses on the liberation of the mind via the repetition of sounds which have power. "Om" is the most familiar, but other mantras include "ram" and "hum".

There are plenty of different types of yoga to pick from. Before you join a class, talk to your teacher and find out his or her philosophy of yoga and beliefs on the subject. This will help you decide if the type of yoga is a good fit for you.

Want to learn more about how yoga can change your life? Check out Sarah Russell's new book - The Beginner's Guide to Yoga and Meditation - at:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yoga Mat - All You Should Know About A Yoga Mat

Written By Bertil Hjert

When practicing yoga, you need to make certain investments. These investments would do a lot for your flawless performance, benefits that you obtain from performing various asanas and overall health.

One of the most important investments you require to make even before you start off with your program of doing yoga is purchasing a yoga mat. This is one of the most crucial investments you need to make.

A) The mat is beneficial to you in the following aspects:

a) It prevents you from falling and provides you good amount of grip.

b) It provides you safety and it lets you perform all the asanas without any difficulty.

c) It allows you to stay away from sweat and the distraction caused by sweat while performing yoga.

d) A yoga mat provides good support for your back when you lie down.

e) The yoga mat lets you perform all your asanas just the way you should.

B) There are several things you need to consider prior to purchasing a yoga mat. This will make sure that you have made the best possible deal:

a) Learn

Try to gain sound knowledge on different types of yoga mats available. You need to know what material these are made of, what each mat specializes in and how they differ from each other.

b) Research

In order to get the best deal, you need to do a little bit of homework on your side. Try to make a good research on various shops selling yoga mats, the quality they deal in and prices each dealer offers you. Compare and then make a choice.

c) Comfort level

When choosing yoga mat you must see your comfort level. Check out whether your height and width fit well into the mat you are planning to purchase. The yoga mat should be able to provide proper grip and lay flat on the ground. Don't buy if it sticks to your feet when you lie down.

d) Allergies

Latex yoga mats are very popular and most commonly used. However, if you are allergic to latex products, simply stay away from it.

e) Don't fall for cheap options

Don't purchase a yoga mat just because it offers you good amount of discounts. Purchase a yoga mat only if it fulfills all your needs and specific yogic requirements.

f) Ask your instructor

If you are learning yoga from an instructor, ask him to provide superb tips for purchasing a yoga mat. He would be the best person to provide you great suggestions.

g) Look for these basic points

Make sure that you look for the basic points when purchasing a yoga mat.

1. Health and environment safe

2. Durability and comfortability

3. Accepted by your teacher

4. Non-slippery and light and easy to roll up

h) Tests

Here are some tests that would prove useful for you when purchasing a yoga mat.

a) The Quarter test

The edge of a quarter will tell you a lot about its durability. The more the strokes, the longer will be the life of yoga mat.

b) The wet friction test

Just wet your hands and bear down laterally on the mat surface. This will let you compare wet traction.

c) The pinch test

Just pinch the mat between thumb and forefinger and you will come o know about compression resistance.

For more Articles, News, Information, Advice, and Resources about YOGA and MEDITATION please visit YOGA TIPS and MEDITATIONBUZZ


Attleboro Yoga / Pilates Schedule

Yoga & Pilates - Spring Session (2008)
(37 Available Classes)
Beginning: April 2, 2008
Ending: June 26, 2008
Holidays: May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day - There will be no class on this day.
The Spring Yoga / Pilates Session starts on April 2, 2008.
Spring Class Schedule:
Monday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Tuesday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only
Wednesday: 6 PM - 7 PM Pilates / Body Sculpt
Thursday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Friday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only
30 Classes = $240
20 Classes = $180
10 Classes = $ 97
Walk-in Rate: $15

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On-Site Yoga Teacher Training - Attleboro, MA

The Aura Yoga Teacher Training is currently in progress at our Attleboro, MA facility, located at 21 Park Street, Suite 202, in downtown Attleboro.
Experienced Yoga teachers, Yoga teacher interns, and serious students, may attend any Yoga teacher workshops (see schedule).
Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

Our next Yoga teacher training camp begins on September 5, 2008. Candidates should have, at least, two years of steady training in Aura's Restorative Hatha Yoga Style or comparable training within a similar style. Restorative Yoga is a gentle style that fits the needs of everyone.

Client safety is our number one concern.

We meet the 200 hour Yoga Teacher requirements, and contact hour guidelines, set by Yoga Alliance. The teacher trainer is Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500.

Yoga Teacher Training classes meet on Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You should make a commitment to be at all of the teacher training classes and go through an internship. Level I Yoga teacher training is based on 200 hours of intensive study within the many aspects of Hatha Yoga.

Some flexibility can be built into your Yoga Teacher internship, based upon hours with your mentor and teaching Yoga classes. We will cover this on orientation night or you can call ahead.

Telephone 508-222-0092.

This Yoga certification program includes hands-on development with Paul Jerard, the director of Yoga teacher training, independent research, and the home-study of teacher texts. We adhere to the International standards for Yoga teacher training hours.

All Yoga teacher training sessions are held with Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500.

Technical Training, Features, and Course Benefits

Eighteen (18) intensive sessions
Eighteen (18) more hands-on classes to develop your teaching skills
Guidance during your internship
Practical Exam
Written Exam
Modifications for Asanas
Yoga philosophy & Yoga Teaching Methodology
Assisting with Asana alignment
Working with special populations
Chair Yoga & Office Yoga
Yoga for Seniors & Yoga as Therapy
Using Yoga Props
The Pilates Connection to Yoga
Yoga Teaching Tips
Yoga Business Development
Yoga Teacher Marketing
Networking with Yoga Teachers
Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga
Communication with Yoga Students
Yamas, Niyamas, and Yoga Sutras
Pranayama Methods
Meditation Methods
Relaxation Techniques
Yoga teacher Ethics
Benefits of Teacher's Training
Continued Technical Support
AURA Teachers Training Materials worth $497.00
Three Foundational Yoga Teacher Training Texts
Free Liability Insurance for classes you teach at AURA
Job placement, as it becomes available
Many more Free Yoga Teacher Handouts
Business & Marketing Materials

In 2007: This training was sold out by July.

Total Cost (Due at Time of Registration):

Early Bird Pre-registration by June 1, 2008 for only: $2000
Pre-register by July 1, 2008 for only: $2100
Pre-register by August 1, 2008 for only: $2200
If any space is available, at the door: $2300.

Installment plan will be scheduled as follows:

$600 down payment
$600 due October 7, 2008
$600 due November 7, 2008
$600 due December 7, 2008

To receive an application, to attend your Teacher Training Course, please Email us.
This is the most reasonably priced, and comprehensive Yoga Teacher Training Program, in the Southeastern New England area.
Space is limited to 12 candidates.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Can I Lose Weight with Yoga?

Written By Angela Blake

Yoga has many benefits. A regular program of yoga can help keep your spine supple, your core strong, and help you maintain balance and poise. It also tones your muscles, helps strengthen your immune system, and boosts your metabolism. However, yoga alone cannot help you lose large amounts of weight. It is, however, a good idea to add it to any healthy living plan.

Yoga will help you feel better about yourself and is a great confidence booster. Many find yoga is an island of calm in an otherwise hectic world. While not all yoga is aerobic, there are some types of yoga that can substitute for aerobic activity. Using yoga to lose weight all depends on the type you do and how frequently you do it. You should opt to engage in 90 minutes of aerobic style yoga three or more times per week, and if you add in another style of yoga the remaining days per week you can gain all the benefits of most other types of physical activity such as weight or strength training and flexibility.

In order to lose weight and keep it off you need to effect lasting changes in your lifestyle permanently. Doing this requires incorporating 5 key elements into your lifestyle. These are adequate rest, drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet, proper types of exercise, and caring for yourself emotionally. Yoga can help with the exercise and emotional elements. So what is yoga?

Hatha Yoga: Exercise for the Mind & Spirit

Yoga is based on eight principles as a study of all religions. It is not of itself a religion. One of the eight studies deals with physical training and keeping the body in good working order. When people in the west think about yoga, it is the branch of Hatha Yoga they have in mind.

Hatha Yoga itself has many branches or types of physical training systems developed over many years that are all based on the same physical postures or poses. Here are just a few:

• Hatha: while this is the yoga branch that deals with physical yoga, here in the west a class that is called Hatha generally means it will be slow and gentle and thus provide a good introduction for beginners to learn the yoga poses.

• Vinyasa: this may also be called sun salutations or breath-synchronized movement. It is just slightly more vigorous than Hatha. Some places use this as a warm up before other more vigorous types of yoga begin.

• Ashtanga & Power Yoga: Ashtanga means eight limbs and is based on the whole philosophy of yoga. It is a very fast paced type of yoga that is always performed in the same order. It flows and moved without pauses. Power yoga is usually based on Ashtanga, but not always, though it usually is the inspiration for power yoga.

• Iyengar: this is based on the teachings of Yogi B.K.S. Iyengar which is based on an emphasis of body alignment. Precise alignment is effective to maximize benefits and avoid injury. In this type of exercise you usually hold each pose over long periods of time rather than moving quickly form one to the next. You usually will use props such as blankets, blocks, and straps.

• Kundalini: this emphasizes breath in conjunction with movement. Combining movement with controlled breath is meant to move and free energy within the chakras or body systems. This type of yoga can be very helpful to encourage regulation with the digestion and adrenal systems.

• Bikram or Hot Yoga: be prepared to spend time in a hot room that is usually around 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of yoga is useful for detoxing though profuse sweating and loosening tight muscles. The original Bikram was based on 26 poses. But not all classes follow this.

• Anusara: this relatively new style of yoga founded in 1977 by a man named John Friend combines physical alignment with positive energy derived from tantra. The philosophy here is the goodness of all beings. Props are also often used in this class which is generally open to people of all levels of fitness and abilities.

• Jivanukti: David life and Sharon Gannon founded this style in New York at one of the most elite Yoga Studios. It is inspired by Ashtanga and strongly emphasizes chanting, meditation, and spirituality. Most teachers of yoga in the United States have been trained by them.

• Forrest: Originated by Anna Forrest in California and is based on vigorous Asana poses. It is designed to strengthen, purify, release, and heal the body and promote healing form within both physically and emotionally. You can expect intense aerobic exercise that helps develop your core and expand your breathing ability.

• Integral: based on the teachings of Yogi Sri Swami Sachinananda who came to the US in the 1960's. He founded many Institutes that use gentle Hatha practice along with chanting and mediation. You can find books also based on this such as Richard Hittlemans 28 day exercise plan which help newbie's and beginners to receive maximum benefits and results through daily practice in their first month.

Yoga is generally based on 5 general principles Proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, and positive thinking. By incorporating aerobic Yoga or other aerobic exercise for 90 minutes per session 3 or more times per week along with yoga on most other days per week in to your exercise plan you can expect to see results n your first 4 to 6 weeks.

The trick is to stick with it and make a real effort for consistency. Yoga along with rest, water, sleep, and other lifestyle changes can help you lose weight and keep it off. Just remember to perform it daily and follow along with a book, video, or audio material if you opt to do it at home, especially if you are a beginner.

Yoga works by stimulating the adrenal systems and helping to clear out your lymph and immune system of toxins. The release of pent up energy, the effects of the calmness yoga emphasizes, and by performing both aerobic and stretching, Hatha type yoga, you can get you strength, flexibility, and aerobic exercise all jut by practicing the different types of yoga styles.

You will firm and tone muscles, burn calories, and boost your immune system and metabolism. Other effects are long lasting, such as calmness, poise, and balance. Most yogis know that regular yoga produces a glow and vibrant energy that tends to draw like minded people to you. (Anyone who practices yoga regularly is considered a yogi.)

If you have ever wanted to lose weight you may have found the wide array of methods and ideologies confusing. You may have wondered if you could lose it by dieting, pills, exercise, or other drastic measure alone. The answer is no! Losing weight takes a determined effort, willingness and patience, and the process of trying and combining methods to achieve what works best for you personally. In addition to lifestyle habits, dietary changes, and following the 5 key principles of a good lifestyle, yoga can help you achieve your goals.

Angela Blake is owner of and is a mother of two who is on a mission to lose weight in a healthy way while educating others along the way.


Attleboro Yoga / Pilates Schedule

Yoga & Pilates - Spring Session (2008)

(37 Available Classes)

Beginning: April 2, 2008
Ending: June 26, 2008

Holidays: May 26, 2008 - Memorial Day - There will be no class on this day.
The Spring Yoga / Pilates Session starts on April 2, 2008.

Spring Class Schedule:

Monday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Tuesday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only
Wednesday: 6 PM - 7 PM Pilates / Body Sculpt
Thursday: 6 PM - 7:15 PM Beginner / Gentle Yoga
Friday: Private Sessions by Appointment Only

30 Classes = $240
20 Classes = $180
10 Classes = $ 97
Walk-in Rate: $15