Zen Caffeine https://zencaffeine.com Awakening to life, one steaming cup of zen at a time Mon, 04 Jun 2018 21:28:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 What’s Hot Now: The 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge https://zencaffeine.com/whats-hot-now-the-30-day-hot-yoga-challenge/ https://zencaffeine.com/whats-hot-now-the-30-day-hot-yoga-challenge/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:08:40 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2636 What Makes Hot Yoga So Cool?

Hot 26 Yoga, also called Bikram Yoga, is based on a sequence of yoga poses popularized by Bikram Choudhury of India and brought to the US in the early 1970s. In this invigorating yoga class, the room is heated to over 100 degrees to allow the body to move deeper into postures, with less possibility for injury. The yoga sequence is carefully chosen from among the many poses and their variations that belong to the 5000 year old yoga lineage of India.

These yoga poses are derived from traditional hatha yoga postures, known as “asanas.” What makes Hot 26 Yoga different is the sweat and even tears it has been known to evoke from practitioners…and the huge files of anecdotal evidence of healing in all directions.

The Legend of Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is both aerobic and relaxing. It works on creating both core body solidity and loose flexible muscles. It is both challenging and calming all at once.

The legendary figure of hot yoga is Bikram Choudury, a yoga Champion and award winning body builder, who accidentally dropped barbels on his legs during one competition and was told by his doctors that he would not walk again.

This yoga was actually developed for Bikram by his Guru, Bishnu Ghosh, who created the sequence and set the heat and humidity specifically to heal Bikram. Needless to say, today Bikram is not just walking – he is strutting, the picture of youth at well over 60 years old. Bikram is the flamboyant yoga Guru who is anything but shy about the miracles of this yoga.

The yoga postures use proper alignment and holding of the poses for particular time periods to create a “tourniquet” effect, a damming up of blood and bodily fluids followed by a release and rush of those fluids through particular body parts. The series works against gravity to strengthen the bones, and is actually said to work every muscle, bone, system, and cell of the body from bones to skin, in just 90 minutes,

A Faster Route To Healing Benefits

If you want to be on the fast track, consider the 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge which entails 30 consecutive days of consistent practice.

Thousands worldwide have taken on the 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge. Many talk and blog openly about the healing they personally experienced. Migraines are cured. Lupus is under control. Sciatica magically disappeared. Back pain is eased. Bum knees are healed. Eyesight is reported to be improved. Sex drive has increased (this may have something to do with the skimpy outfits, sweaty bodies, and bending in hot yoga class).

No western medical doctor will confirm hot 26 yoga as a cure, and the advice often offered before each hot yoga class is to leave your complaints, excuses and ailments at the front door and enter the yoga room with an open mind.

30 Day Challenge: A Personal Story

After practicing hot yoga myself for over 15 years, I embarked on my first 30 Day Challenge in April.

This is a day-by-day commitment you must remake daily, as the first thing that happens for most is that all the excuses to not continue start to come to mind. I am always too busy. I can always be doing something more productive. I have too much work and too little time. I am tired. And I am not sick; I don’t have any ailments to heal or broken body parts to mend. I won’t get any of those miraculous healing – so what’s the point really?

Thousands of others have done this 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge and have reported the following:

Deeper, more regular sleep

Clear complexion, softer hair and skin

Way more flexibility and mobility of joints

Weight loss

Changes in weight distribution – tighter abs and thighs, more shapely arms, smaller waistline

Healthier diet – sugar cravings gone, and healthy foods preferred – fruits, vegetables and grains,

What I learned from my 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge

Regardless of the fact that I had “nothing to heal,” my 30 Day Challenge has made an impact on my life. I discovered a great many things about myself, including:

I can tolerate discomfort: outside circumstances can change; heat and humidity may rise, but I can still remain calm, and even find inspiration to exceed all known limitations. It is always my choice.

Breathing is key: steady breathing through the nose passing breath through the throat feeds a steady mind and a high- functioning nervous system as well as an optimal physical body

Laser Beam Focus is available to me – Learning to focus intensely on the listening and doing the yoga poses without letting my mind wander in hot yoga is excellent training for mental focus outside the yoga room and into the world of work and play

Multi-tasking is counterproductive: Focusing one thing at a time gets the job done faster, and better

The more I focus, the more time expands: You don’t have to find additional time to practice the 90 minutes daily; time seems to expand the more you practice, as you are more efficient with the time you do have – and you get more done

Challenges are training for life: You can find a way beyond perceived limitations by challenging yourself physically or sitting in meditation; both get you to the same place. Commitment is mandatory.

Physical and Mental Strength are one – Hot 26 yoga combines mind and body by fully engaging both at the same time; you cannot close your eyes and practice hot yoga, you must stay in the room, and keep your mind present and focused or the poses won’t work

Physical balance equals emotional balance: Internal balance and calm can be gained by balancing the external body.

Distractions can be tuned out – The world is filled with distractions. Even in the yoga room, there are noises, movements and distractions; Focusing on your goal is the way to tune out the extraneous.

Heat Training is Great for Athletes

“Heat training” has long been considered a great way to increase aerobic capacity. For runners, as time spent in temperatures hotter than race day will benefit any athlete. Many athletes consider Hot 26 Yoga another cross-training option to elevate the heart rate and condition the neuromuscular system, and condition the mind for a focused goal.

90 Minute Exercise or 90 Minute Meditation?

In the end, I did it because I said I would. Keeping my word to myself is in itself a miracle.

Hot 26 Yoga is appropriate for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners; you do not have to be physically fit to participate and there are studios all over the world that offer this practice.

After doing the 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge, it’s easy to see why it is said that Hot Yoga is a 90 minute meditation while performing 26 postures in a heated room. There is often no ambivalence about the experience – you either love hot yoga or hate it. But even those who say they “hate it” continue to practice hot yoga, as it often makes them better athletes, more comfortable in their own bodies, and better able to become the person each wants to be.


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How To Do Yoga and Weightlifting Supersets https://zencaffeine.com/how-to-do-yoga-and-weightlifting-supersets/ https://zencaffeine.com/how-to-do-yoga-and-weightlifting-supersets/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:07:47 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2634 For some yogis, this post may offend, or at least seem like a joke of a workout.

However, I assure you that doing superset yoga and weightlifting workouts is no joke. It’s actually very effective and saves a great deal of time in the gym (or working out at home).

It’s not often you see people who lift weights stretching between sets or after a weight lifting workout. You might see the odd stretching of the chest muscle, but that’s about. During my pre-yoga weight lifting days, that’s about all I would do. I could push some serious weight, but was about as flexible as a 2 X 4 chunk of wood.

I discovered yoga by chance in the bookstore. I stumbled upon Beryl Birch’s “Power Yoga” book. I was interested because the yoga routine was extremely physical. I did Power Yoga for a number of years while weight lifting (sometimes I’d take a break from weight lifting).

Since my Power Yoga discovery, I’ve been a big believer in the power OF yoga, regardless what type of workout is your focus. Whether you’re a marathon runner, tennis player, body builder, football tight end, yoga can help improve performance. What does yoga do for me?

Yoga helps me focus and dramatically improved my flexibility. I’m far more flexible at age 37 than I was when I was 18.

The trouble with a lot of yoga routines is…

They take way too long. Pick up any yoga book and the routines call for 30 to 60 minutes straight. I don’t mind doing yoga for 30 to 60 minutes once or twice a week, but it’s not going to happen on a weight training day.

My solution is to superset yoga with my weight lifting routines. How do I superset yoga with my lifting workouts?

It’s simple. In between sets of weights, I do a yoga pose (or two poses). Assuming I do 15 sets of weight lifting, I’ll get about 15 minutes of yoga/stretching done over the course of my weight routine. Often that’s more than enough stretching for me. Sometimes I’ll do another 10 minutes post-weights.

Sometimes I’ll do one set of weight lifting followed by a minute of yoga. Other times I’ll do two sets of weight lifting (usually a duo superset) followed by 30 to 45 seconds of a yoga pose (or two).

Planning Out Your Yoga Supersets

The key is to fit in all the major stretches through the course of a weight lifting/yoga superset routine. The major yoga moves are:

Forward bend Backward bend Inversion Twist Balance pose Standing

There’s also core, but I reserve those moves for my abdominal workouts. Examples of my weight lifting / yoga workout supersets

Once you understand the basics and get a few yoga poses under your belt, there’s pretty much an unlimited number of combinations. The following examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Example Yoga / Weight Lifting Superset

The first example is a duo superset – one set of weights followed by a mini-yoga session. The weights session is chest and back.

Exercise 1: Bench Press. Hold each yoga pose for 1 minute.

BP set 1 /Standing forward bend BP set 2 / Downward facing dog BP set 3 / Upward facing dog

Exercise 2: Incline Press

IP set 1 / Static lunch (Warrior) – do each leg for 30 seconds each IP set 2 / Upward facing dog IP set 3 / Downward facing dog

Exercise 3: Lat Pulldowns

LP set 1 / Seated forward bend with legs in a V LP set 2 / Seated twist (each side for 30 seconds) LP set 3 / Straight-leg forward bend

Exercise 4: Seated Row

SR set 1 / Cobra SR set 2 / Shoulder stand SR set 3 / Plow

End the workout with a few more winding down yoga poses such as:

Fish Lying down twists (right leg across body to the side, then do left leg across body to the right side) Baby pose Savasana


A few notes about the above yoga/weight lifting superset routine:

If you prefer doing 9 exercises (or more) per muscle, it’s no problem. Just add more yoga poses or do some poses twice.

I find doing yoga sun salutations is a fantastic warm up routine for weight lifting sessions. Therefore, you could do 3 to 6 sun salutations to kick off the above yoga / lifting superset workout.

Where Can You Learn About Yoga Poses?

The internet is loaded with yoga websites. If you’re new to yoga, start with the basic poses. All the poses I set out above are basic yoga poses suitable for beginners.

Yoga Journal is a fantastic resource for yoga poses.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Yoga and Weight Lifting Supersets?

Speed up the time you spend working out (kill 2 birds with 1 stone). Relieve boredom – I don’t like sitting on a bench between sets. Improve flexibility which is fantastic and arguably critical for any level of fitness. It’s actually an excellent way to rest between weight sets.

What About Getting Into the Yoga Zone – Does This Happen With Yoga/weight Lifting Supersets?

Yes and no. I get into weight lifting zones. I find it exhilarating and relaxing… much like what yoga delivers. I’ve always loved weight lifting. Therefore, interrupting yoga poses with weight lifting sets doesn’t have any adverse effect on the effectiveness of yoga. Instead, I gain flexibility, rest and fast workouts.

Is Weight Lifting Bad for Yoga?

I hate it when I read that people serious about yoga shouldn’t weight lift. It’s ridiculous. I admit that it may hamper flexibility a little, but not much (I find weight lifting restricts my shoulder flexibility the most). Resistance training is excellent for you… and not just for building muscles. Resistance training is good for bones, lungs and strength. It’s not just for meatheads.

Does Supersetting Weights and Yoga Result in Mediocre Workouts of Both?

Absolutely not. I find the two complement one another beautifully. With 1 minute of stretching between sets, I can get into long and effective yoga stretches while resting my muscles.

Moreover, when you lift weights, you’re going to take rests… you might as well make good use of that time.

If you’re like me and plan on saving your stretching to after your weight routine, you won’t stretch very much. But, when I incorporate stretching into my weight routine, I get 10 to 15 excellent stretches that covers my entire body and all the main yoga moves.

Doesn’t It Look Weird Doing a Downward Dog Next to the Bench Press?

Maybe 10 or 15 years ago you might get an odd look doing a downward dog or tree pose next to the bench press. But do you really care? These days there are all kinds of new workout styles that incorporate yoga, balance moves, body-weight moves, etc. I don’t think any type of move looks weird in a gym anymore.

Which brings me to the next point… where should you do your stretches? I do mine wherever I am. The gym I go to is huge. I don’t want to waste time walking to a stretching zone.

However, if the weight lifting area is confined, you might have to go to a dedicated stretching area in between sets. Give it a try

If you’ve been meaning to establish a yoga routine or want to get more flexible, and you weight lift regularly, try doing yoga supersets with your weight lifting exercises.


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What Is Yoga? https://zencaffeine.com/what-is-yoga-2/ https://zencaffeine.com/what-is-yoga-2/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:07:12 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2632 Many people look at Yoga, show an interest in it, and then shy away when it seems to get too complicated. There seems to be so many branches, limbs, postures, devotions, spin-offs and many other different, difficult names. Confusing, isn’t it? The image that first comes to mind when you hear the word Yoga is of a group of people in skimpy clothing performing difficult or even seemingly impossible poses. This is true to a certain extent, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Yoga is an ancient body of knowledge, stemming back for more than 5000 years, and is an all-encompassing term for a discipline (physical, mental and spiritual) which originated in Ancient India. It is located in Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and is one of six orthodox schools in Hindu Philosophy and its Vedic Scriptures. Its core is founded on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is an eight-limbed path (or steps) forming a basic structure (and framework) for practicing this holistic discipline, with no hierarchical order – one is not elevated above another. The actual word ‘Yoga’ literally means ‘yoke’ in Sanskrit, the root implying ‘join, unite, integrate or attach’. Ancient Yogis believed that for humans to be in harmony with themselves, and their surrounding environment, a balanced integration of body, mind and spirit was essential. Yoga deals with this by using a combination of Meditation, Breathing Techniques and Yoga Exercises, with the aims of attaining tranquility, spiritual insight and enlightenment. A student who practices the Yoga philosophy with dedicated commitment is referred to as a Yogi.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)

Patanjali is widely recognized as the formal compiler of Yoga philosophy, utilizing his system (Patanjali’s Yoga or Raja Yoga) for controlling the mind and the never-ending thoughts flooding through it. His writings formed the foundation for Ashtanga Yoga which is also known as Eight-Limbed Yoga, and this eight-limbed concept is a prevalent core characteristic in basically every Raja Yoga variation which is practiced today. The eight limbs are as follows:

1. Yama – Universal Morality or Ethics (the five ‘abstentions’) – non-violence, no lying (truthfulness), no covetousness (or stealing), sexual restraint (celibacy) and no possessiveness (acquisitions).

2. Niyama – Personal Observances and Self-conduct (the five ‘observances’) – purity, contentment, austerity, study of scriptures and self-surrender to the Divine.

3. Asana – Literally means ‘seat’ and refers to practice of body postures and the seated position which is so prevalent in Yoga.

4. Pranayama – ‘Suspending Breath’ or Breath control, breathing exercises, and control of the life force known as Prana (breath).

5. Pratyahara – ‘Abstraction’, withdrawal, and control of the senses, from external objects.

6. Dharana – ‘Concentration’, focusing attention (on an object) and channeling inner awareness.

7. Dhyana – ‘Meditation’, intense contemplation on the nature of the object / devotion to the Divine.

8. Samadhi – ‘Liberation’, merging consciousness with the object / union with the Divine.

So those are the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Have we confused you so far? We hope not.

There are also Six Branches of Yoga which you can take a look at:

1. – Hatha Yoga (Yoga of Postures)

This branch you will probably recognize, and is the most popular Western form of Yoga. Hatha Yoga focuses on physical postures (Asana), breathing techniques (Pranayama) and meditation (Dhyana).

2. – Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of Devotion)

Bhakti Yoga is the most popular form of Yoga practiced in India, and is the path of heart and devotion, with Bhakti Yogis seeing the Divine in everything, and everyone, around them.

3. – Raja Yoga (Yoga of Self-Control)

Raja literally means ‘Royal’, and is founded on the teachings of the Eight Limbs of Yoga discussed above.

4. – Jnana Yoga (Yoga of the Mind)

This path of Yoga focuses primarily on the mind, intellect, wisdom and intelligence. There is a difference between intellect and wisdom, and the purpose of Jnana Yogis is to unite the two.

5. – Karma Yoga (Yoga of Service)

Karma Yogis believe that your current situation is based on previous actions from your past, and they practice a selfless path in order to secure a future which will be free from selfishness and negativity.

6. – Tantra Yoga (Yoga of Rituals)

This is a very misunderstood path of Yoga, with many people assuming it is focused solely on the sexual aspects. While this does form a part of Tantra Yoga, it is definitely not the whole aspect of it.

To sum up, Tantra Yogis use rituals to experience overall sacredness, and must possess qualities such as purity, cosmic love, devotion and truthfulness.

Did any of those Yoga Branches, or Limbs stand out, or appeal to you? Your individual experience with Yoga will evolve over time as you practice and go to your classes. And while Yoga may be looked upon as a Spiritual Quest, along the way you will gain much health, knowledge, tranquility and happiness.


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Yoga Philosophy https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-philosophy/ https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-philosophy/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:06:38 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2630 Yoga is an ancient art that goes way beyond the practice of asanas – postures. It is a philosophy that goes back to the times before the religions existed more than 2,000 years ago. It is a philosophy that talks about union. It talks about union between all human beings and also about union with a greater energy that itself connects us all.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient art that has the aim of bringing the practitioner back to the true self. The ancient scriptures tell us that the true self is the state of bliss. It is a state of inner happiness. The sage Patanjali who wrote the ‘Yoga Sutra’ – an ancient recorded text on yoga codifying the system to date – gave the definition of yoga as ‘Yoga chiti vriti nirodha’. This translates from the original Sanskrit into English to meaning that yoga is the stopping of the fluctuations of the psyche. Historically there have been two main paths of yoga — raja yoga and hatha yoga – and these both ultimately aim for control over the mind. Asana practice – the practice of yoga postures – was created in order to stabilise us for sitting during meditation. Yoga was created ultimately to bring us into meditation and hence deeper states of awareness.


Now the next question arises what is meditation or dhyana in Sanskrit? Meditation is the stilling of the mind by the stilling of the body.

Also pranayama – the breathing techniques of yoga – aim to still the breath and hence still the mind.

Our meditational practices in yoga help us to overcome the ego. The ego is individuality. But in reality we are all connected and with yoga we realise this connection. The definition of yoga is union. Through the practice of yoga one realises the union between the you who you think you are, that is your individual consciousness, and the you who you really are – that is you are a part of a supreme consciousness. In order to transcend between the individual consciousness and the supreme consciousness one needs to overcome the ego. And in order to overcome the ego we need what the Upanishad texts describe as Vivek Chudamani. This is the crown jewel of the power of discrimination over what is real and what is not. Hence we need to be able to see that really there is no I but that we are all connected.

We need to establish what it means to come back to the true self – or what is self realisation. Self realisation is in essence identifying yourself as peace and happiness. Once you have made this true identification you will just radiate peace and happiness.

The Chakras

One way of looking at yoga is in terms of the chakras (energy points within us). Now yoga aims for the ultimate functioning of all the chakras within us. This lifts us from individual consciousness to supreme consciousness.

The Vedas

Now the Vedas – the scriptures which talk about knowledge – say that there are three defects in the mind. These are mala which is dirt, waste, excessive thoughts and emotions. Then there is vikshep which is instability and then there is avaran which means cover. The presence of avaran means that it is very hard for us to see the truth.

The ancient philosophy of India was named Sanathana Dharma which can be translated as meaning the eternal law. It saw everything in the universe as being connected, as having a spiritual union – that is man, animals, nature, the whole universe. In Vedic times – the times in which the Vedas were written – the world was called Vasudevakudambakam which means one world family. When we consider the world as one family, we experience true spirituality. The world at that time was seen as being beyond the differences brought about by race, country or religion. Spirituality is about seeing the unity in all things.

The Paths of Yoga

Moving on from this knowledge, it is important for us to understand that there are several different paths of yoga all of which lead us back to self realisation or inner happiness.

Karma yoga is the yoga of action. It is about removing mala. There are two different types of action or karma. Sakam involves looking for the fruit of one’s actions whereas nishkam is purer. It involves not looking for the fruit’s of one’s actions but acting through a pure heart and pure mind with no thought for expectation. Living a life of nishkam karma leads to a happier, more well balanced and peaceful life.

Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. There exists conditional devotion, however unconditional devotion is what is needed to remove vikshep or instability.

Gyana yoga is the yoga of knowledge. It exists in order to remove avaran or cover. Gyana yoga talks a lot about the nature of consciousness. Now the nature of consciousness can be described as ‘sat chit anand’. ‘Sat’ is existence or truth. We are all immortal in the sense that we are all souls and the soul itself is immortal. This is our true nature. We are all in search of our true immortal selves – our souls. This is why we constantly aim to live a longer life – we are trying to connect with our true selves – our immortal souls. ‘Chit’ is wisdom – hence we are all looking for wisdom, we are looking for the wisdom that inherently is inside every one of us. ‘Anand’ is bliss. Happiness is that which we have all always looked for and in the deepest core of our beings we are all essentially happiness or bliss. On the basis of sat chit anand we are all looking for self realisation or inner happiness through knowledge.

Raja yoga is the kingly path. Just as a king brings law and order into his kingdom, the practitioner of raja yoga rules the kingdom within – the kingdom of the senses, so rather than being ruled by the senses, the yogi is in a state of peace and has his/her senses under control. The yogi brings law and order within.


After the Vedic period of Indian philosophy, the Vedantic period commenced. Vedanta means the end of the Vedas – the time where knowledge ceases and self realisation begins.

Within the Vedantic tradition of philosophy, we read that there are five layers above the consciousness which stop us from identifying with who we are. We are all actually so caught up in these 5 layers that we think we are these 5 layers. These layers are known in Vedanta as the ‘panch kosha’. The word ‘panch’ means five and the word ‘kosha’ means envelopes or coverings over our consciousness. With the practice of yoga we move towards the innermost layer.

The first layer is called the food body or the physical body. This is known as the annamaya kosha. It is our physical body composed of the nutritients we have eaten – protein, minerals and so forth. Many times we identify ourselves with the physical body and do not look beyond that. Even when we are only looking at the physical body it is important to realise that the food we eat makes up our body and our brain. Therefore by eating healthily and also by exercising we maintain a healthy and hence happy physical and mental state.

The second layer is known as the pranamaya kosha and this is the energy or etheric body. Prana can be called breath, oxygen or vital energy and relates to the chi of Chinese philosophy. Oxygen is needed for every cell of our body. Trees and plants release oxygen hence we feel alive when we are surrounded by and at one with nature.

The third layer is known as the manomaya kosha or the mental body. From this understanding we can appreciate that the mind and the body are connected. This is why we are physically more healthy when we keep a positive outlook. Laughter and happiness always create good health.

The fourth layer is the gyanamaya kosha or intuitive body. This is where we experience our sixth sense. The answers to all of our questions are found in reality in the fourth layer.

And to be in the awareness of the fifth layer is our ultimate aim as yogis — this is the bliss body -or anandmaya kosha. We experience this when we have transcended the ego completely and have become aware of who we truly are and our connection with everything. Yoga is a journey that takes us from annamaya kosha to anandmaya kosha. Once we have reached anandmaya kosha we then live in the bliss body.

It can be said that meditation is a practice that allows us to go beyond the mind and senses to the deeper levels to see who we truly are.

Within the practices of yoga, asanas work on the food body, pranayama works on the energy body and dhyana or meditation works on the mental body. Hence the three practices of yoga push us further and further towards the deepest kosha.


A ‘turiya’ is a person who has transcended the five koshas. The Turiya state is the transcendental self. It is not affected by anything – neither likes nor dislikes. It is in a balanced state. When we reach this state – when we are in the bliss body – then we are beyond both pleasure and pain. We practice yoga in order to move away from being the body, the mind and the breath and just move to being the person on the inside.

The Ashtanga

The raja yoga of Patanjali talks about controlling the mind and hence the breath and hence the body. It has eight limbs attached to it – the asthanga. The word asht means eight and the word anga means limbs. The first steps of the asthanga are yama and niyama. Yama are social rules and regulations and niyama are personal rules and regulations. Just these two limbs alone are enough to give one self realisation. The other paths of yoga also take one to self realisation. To discuss these further, yama includes ahimsa (non violence), satya (truth and honesty, asteya (non stealing), bramacharya (functioning according to the supreme consciousness – which leads to acting in balance) and aparigraha (non accumulation or a sense of non possession).

Niyama includes sauch (cleanliness including mental cleanliness), santosh (contentment), tapa (austerity or self discipline), swadhyaya (self study) and Ishwar parnidhan (belief in the Supreme or seeing the Supreme in everything).

The eight limbs of yoga, the asthanga, are as follows – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyan and samadhi.

Dharna is one pointedness where one is so focused on the object of concentration that all other thoughts disappear.

Pratyahara is withdrawal from the senses. Continuous practice of asanas and pranayama brings one to pratyahara. All the techniques of meditation are pratyahara.

Samadhi is oneness with the universe. Once one has crossed dhyan and reached Samadhi, the awareness of ‘I’ disappears. There is only oneness with the focus of your meditation, and ultimately with the universe. At Samadhi the ego disappears and there is a realisation that we are all connected.

Within Samadhi there is savikalpa samadhi where some seeds of ‘I’ are left and there is nirvikalpa samadhi where no seeds are left. In yoga the aim is to move towards nirvikalpa samadhi.


According to Patanjali the ultimate aim of yoga is towards kewalya where there is no return from samadhi. This is the state of oneness with the universe in which there is no sense of self, no sense of ‘I’, no ego and no awareness of it to return to. It is just a state where we realise how we are all connected and it is a state of bliss because it is where we have overcome all the attachments of the pleasures and pains that attachment to this material world brings. It is where we connect with the supreme self and experience our natural state of bliss. It is at this point where we have realised our true self through the practice of yoga.


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The Benefits of Yoga to Weight Loss and to You https://zencaffeine.com/the-benefits-of-yoga-to-weight-loss-and-to-you/ https://zencaffeine.com/the-benefits-of-yoga-to-weight-loss-and-to-you/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 13:00:28 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2627 Yoga is something that has been practiced faithfully for over 5,000 years. Today, there are about roughly 11 million Americans who are using it to gain access to its array of many health benefits. What are these health benefits? Some of them will be highlighted here for you to get to know personally. The benefits of yoga to weight loss and to you are endless. So, with this said, please read on to learn more about yoga and all that it has to offer on many fronts.

Yoga and Weight Loss
Yoga is something that can be used as a platform to lose weight. However, it will not work all alone. This specialized form of gentle exercise needs to be accompanied by a regimen of good diet and a healthier approach to living in general. All three together will then work hand in hand to achieve weight loss goals. Also, yoga and weight loss as a combination do work well together. This is because they can promote:

    • A gentle way to work out that is both inviting and personally adaptive


    • A safe and effective form of exercise that is non-aerobic in description


    • A regular means to gain more muscle strength as you go along exercising. Different yoga poses not only assist in toning and strengthening muscles. It also gives the body a more sculpted look too.
    • Improves digestion which will help a person to feel better health-wise. The compression and elongation of internal organs makes digestion and metabolism better.


  • Improves range of motion and flexibility in an individual. This, combined along with stronger muscles, can be the very thing to correct any existing postural problems. Having better posture does make one look thinner in appearance.

Yoga and Mind/Body Benefits
Yoga is something that has so many health rewards that it is unbelievable. Its trans-formative powers have potential on various levels. Nonetheless, these many advantages do extend past weight loss. They also attach themselves to the user of yoga regularly and to their life in addition. So, with this said, let us explore some of the many yoga and mind/body benefits that are made possible by yoga.

    • Yoga is far more than just an exercise to help one lose weight. It is also a very powerful tool in promoting the mind and body connection. The practice of breath work combined with movement is what unites the body and mind as one.


    • When the mind and body are in harmonization together. It creates a much heightened sense of self-awareness. This self-awareness can follow you in daily life and not just on the yoga mat. It will help you to be positive in everything you do. This means making positive diet and lifestyle choices, as well as, living life in a positive way.


    • Yoga allows a person to de-stress and to disconnect from the outside world. They tend to come away feeling happier about themselves and happier about everyday life.


  • Yoga promotes an overall sense of good well being. Good well being is everything and part of good well being is feeling good about you.

Yoga and You
Yoga can bring so many things to a person in its own way. However, one of the most important of all things that it will bring to you is this. Yoga and you become a team both on the yoga mat and in life. You choose it and it chooses to help you in the ways you need help the most. It is a very powerful gift that many do not know. Nonetheless, once they get to know it personally, their lives are blessed and changed for the better. Despite this fact, there are rules for yoga that all must follow and they are the following:

    • Do not attempt to learn yoga on your own. You need to have the help and guidance of someone who knows yoga as well as they does their name. So, with that said, seek out a special yoga instructor to teach you or find the right studio to attend from all the yoga studios out there.


    • Do not try to go past your limits and not stay within them. Talk things over with the yoga instructor before beginning any specific type of yoga. Find out if it is something you can do and perform comfortably without chances of injury happening. Do not try to do something that may prove to be too strenuous for you. Go only with the yoga routines that you are capable of doing and not beyond that.


  • Choose only the right yoga style that is about you and is right for you. There are some yoga styles that are suitable for beginners and others that are for those who are more advanced in doing yoga. Talk over the type of yoga style that will suit your needs the best with your yoga instructor or head of the yoga studio that you are attending to learn yoga. The yoga style that is right for you will be the yoga style that fits you and your present requirements best.


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Seven Types of Yoga https://zencaffeine.com/seven-types-of-yoga/ https://zencaffeine.com/seven-types-of-yoga/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:59:45 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2625 One of the best things about yoga is that it is easy on the body. Anyone, of any fitness level, age or gender can do it. Even those with previous injuries or physical ailments can do yoga. You have the ability to start out slowly performing some of the easier positions and then work your way up to the more difficult stances. For those who are very fit, some yoga offers a much more intensive workout, so there is definitely something for everyone.

How many types of yoga are there?

Contrary to popular belief yoga is not simply one set of poses. There is much more to it than that and a wide variety of different yoga styles that you can choose from, although in the West, the practice is normally referred to as yoga, as Western instructors normally combine a few of the methods and create their own unique styles of yoga to suit their goals.

Traditionally, there are 6 different types of yoga that are practiced around the world, but 7 if you include the new form, Bikram, which has been widely commercialized and is extremely popular.

1. Hatha
2. Raja
3. Karma
4. Bhakti
5. Jnana
6. Tantra
7. Bikram

So let’s go into more detail about each type of yoga and what it involves:

Hatha Yoga

Hatha (meaning sun) is the most commonly practiced form of yoga in the Western hemisphere with two important principles that are promoted:

• Meditation
• Improving Energy Within the Body

The meditation includes finding a position that is the most comfortable for you and as you gain strength and become more advanced you will find the one that is best for you. Most people go with the lotus position. The lotus position is done seated with your legs crossed and intertwined. The left foot is over the right thigh and the right foot is over the left thigh.

Improving energy within the body is done using various poses and focusing on the light energy that travels through your body. It is about bringing positivity and healing into your body.

Raja Yoga

Raja (royal) is slightly more difficult than Hatha, but similar, and requires more control and self discipline, as it aims to achieve awakening and enlightenment. It is also known as Classical yoga or Ashtanga yoga and focuses on the principles of meditation, concentration, and mind/body discipline. As per the eightfold path to enlightenment teachings, there are 8 limbs, or parts, to Raja yoga:

1. Moral discipline
2. Self restraint
3. Concentration
4. Meditation
5. Breath control
6. Posture
7. Sensory inhibition
8. Ecstasy

Raja yoga aims to control thought waves and calm the mind, allowing you to eventually achieve self awareness.

Karma Yoga

Karma (discipline of action) is generally referred to in the sense of doing good or bad to others will result in the same thing happening to you. In yoga terms, Karma means a selfless action and to perform this kind of yoga, you are supposed to surrender yourself and serve humanity and mankind selflessly.

Karma yoga is based in Hinduism and was founded by Bhagavad Vita. The main aim of this type of yoga is to purify the mind and heart, getting rid of negative energy and negative thinking. The important aspect of Karma yoga that you must understand is that you will learn to have no attachment to the results of your actions, as this will lead you to freedom of fear and sorrow.

Karma yoga as you can see is more spiritually based than physically and there are no specific poses that are linked to this type, but it is more about using the best postures that you are comfortable with, therefore they tend to be simpler.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti is about divine love and faith, and is a more spiritual type of yoga, where the person devotes time to all living things including humans, offering forgiveness and practicing tolerance. It is very similar to Karma yoga. The forms of love that this type of yoga focuses on are:

1. Material love
2. Human love
3. Spiritual love

Bhakti movements originate in Hindu scriptures and there are 9 principles that are followed which are:

1. Srvana (Listening)
2. Kirtana (Praising)
3. Smarana (Remembering)
4. Pada-Sevana (Rendering Service)
5. Arcana (Worshiping)
6. Vandana (Paying homage)
7. Dasya (Servitude)
8. Sakhya (Friendship)
9. Atma-Nivedana (Surrender to Self)

Bhakti yoga follows more meditation rather than physical poses.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana, also called Gyana yoga, is a Hindu philosophy all about the right of knowledge and true wisdom. It focuses on clearing the mind and releasing negative energy from the body and mind. Through this type of yoga you take the path to enlightenment

Jnana can be followed along with all other paths of yoga and starts from the experiences that everyone has, allowing you contemplate deeply in order to realize the truth.

Jnana yoga focuses on uses three main points or principles which are:

1. Viveka (the path to self realization)
2. Neti-Neti (removal of false ego and materialism)
3. Vicara (Final understanding of self realization)

These principles allow the yogi to follow the correct process to gain the real knowledge or truth about themselves and their lives. This is also more meditative than physical.

Tantra Yoga

Tantra (expansion) is the one type that most people are curious about as it focuses on erotic sensuality and sexual well being. It teaches enlightenment through transcending oneself using a system of rituals. It is about becoming aware of your body and expanding your mind so that you can gain access to all levels of consciousness. The various rituals that are practiced bring out both the female and male aspects in each person and this is said to be the only way to awaken the spirit deep within.

While sex is one of the rituals, it is not the main part of tantra yoga. Some practitioners even suggest a life of celibacy.

There are tantra yoga poses for couples to do together to enhance their sexuality and gain a special type of connectedness in their relationship, but it can also be done individually which is actually called Kundalini yoga.

Tantra poses are similar to the traditional ones like downward dog and warrior, but they require relaxation and the ability to push oneself and expand further. The pelvic tilt, the yab-yum, and Hercules are other common Tantra yoga poses.

This form of yoga is great for both physical and mental awareness.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga was not included in the traditional 6 forms that are usually talked about, as it is a relatively new form of yoga, but well worth mentioning as its popularity as soared. It is also called Hot Yoga.

It was developed by Bikram Choudhury with 26 postures and 2 forms of breathing exercises. This type of yoga is done in a very hot room where the temperature is roughly 40 degrees Celsius or 105 degrees Fahrenheit.


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The Types of Yoga https://zencaffeine.com/the-types-of-yoga/ https://zencaffeine.com/the-types-of-yoga/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:59:02 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2623 The term “yoga” is applied to an assortment of practices and methods that also include Hindu, Jain and Buddhist practices. In Hinduism these practices include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Laya Yoga and Hatha Yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga Sutras of Pantajali, which are the oldest known written compilation about yoga, include the Raja Yoga or the Ashtanga Yoga, (the eight limbs to be practiced to attain Samadhi). The ultimate aim of the yoga practice is to obtain Samadhi or unity of the individual self with the Supreme Being. Patanjali states that one can achieve this supreme union by elimination the ‘vruttis’ or the different modifications of the mind. The mind can in turn be controlled by right discipline and training of the body. The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali comprise of:

    1. Yama: Social restraints or ethical values for living. They include: Ahimsa (Non-violence), Satya (truthfulness) Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy, fidelity to one’s partner) and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).


    1. Niyama – They include the personal observances of – Sauca (clarity of mind, speech and body), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (perseverance). Svadhyaya (study of self, self-reflection, study of Vedas), and Ishvara-Pranidhana (contemplation of God/Supreme Being/True Self)


    1. Asana: Literally means “seat”, and in Patanjali’s Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.


    1. Pranayama –Prana, breath, “ayama”, to restrain or stop i.e., regulation of breath


    1. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the sense in preparation to meditation.


    1. Dharana – Concentration


    1. Dhyana – Meditation.


  1. Samadhi – Liberating one’s body to attain ecstasy.

Moreover, Patanjali has identified some basic obstacles that do not allow the mind from practicing yoga. He has divided them into 2 classes:

    1. Antarayas (intruders in the path of yoga)


  1. Viksepasahabhuvah (co-existing with mental distraction)

There are 9 Antarayas:

    1. Vyadhi (physical illness) – If a body is suffering from some disease, it needs to be cured and restored to a healthy state. Disease causes disorder of the mind and makes it difficult to practice yoga or any other form of physical discipline


    1. Styana (mental laziness) – The human desire to reap the fruits of action without any effort is not conducive to mental health. Strong will power needs to be employed to do away with this ailment.


    1. Samshaya (doubt) – Faith is the only cure to dispel all arising doubts.


    1. Pramada (heedlessness) – If one is oblivious to cultivate virtues, Yoga cannot be practiced.


    1. Alasya (physical laziness) – Involving in healthy activities helps overcome this laziness


    1. Avirati (detachment) – The mind needs to be detached from material objects to attain Yoga


    1. Bhrantidarsana (false perception) – leads to self-conceit and needs to be kept away.


    1. Alabdha- bhumikatva (non-attainment of yogic states) – Recognizing the evil traits in our personality and banishing them would help in the long run


  1. Anavasthitatva (falling away from yogic states attained)

There are 4 Viksepasahabhuvah

    1. Dukha – sorrow and suffering inflicting the human mind.


    1. Daurmanasya – disappointment due to non-fulfillment of desires and ambition.


    1. Angamejayatva – restlessness of the limbs due to mental agitation.


  1. Shvasa and prashvasa – forced inhalation and exhalation. Controlled breathing or a balance in breathing exerts a calming influence in the mind.

Patanjali states that these impediments can be removed through meditation and devotion to God; which will pave the way for self-realization.

Vashishta Yoga:

Yoga Vashishta is supposed to have been disclosed by the Vedic sage, Vashishta to his royal disciple Lord Rama, who is said to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Yoga Vashishta comprises of 32000 shlokas. In this scripture, sage Vashishta explains the teachings of Vedanta in form of stories to Lord Rama. He teaches him about the deceptive nature of the world, teaches him the best means to attain wisdom and happiness thus showing him the path leading to the supreme spirit.

Kundalini Yoga (Laya Yoga):

This form of yoga was first introduced in The Yoga- Kundalini Upanishad in the first half of 17th century. Kundalini yoga is the yoga of consciousness. Kundalini is primal energy or Shakti, which lies dormant and is coiled at the base of the spine like a serpent. It is the energy of consciousness and awareness in any human form. Kundalini yoga is supposed to awaken the sleeping Kundalini Shakti from its coiled position at the spinal base through a series of 6 chakras, and penetrate the 7th chakra, or the crown. The purpose of this form of yoga through daily practice of kriyas and meditation in sadhana is said to be a practical technology of human consciousness to achieve their ultimate creative potential. Practicing this Kundalini Yoga regularly, leads one to be liberated from one’s Karma and to realize their purpose in life (Dharma).

Nada Yoga:

The basic theory behind Nada Yoga is that the entire universe and all its inhabitants consist of sound vibrations or nadas (Sanskrit, ‘nad’ means sound). ‘Nada’ resonates to the sound of ‘Om’, which is the primitive form of energy. Nada yoga practices forms of exercise summoning the union of the self with God, through sound or music. The N?da yoga system divides sound or music into two categories: internal sound, anahata, and external sound, ahata. In Nada yoga, the person focuses his attention on the ‘anahata’ nada or the inner sound. The focus is to be primarily on the sound that is produced within the human body and not on any external vibrations. The aspirant experiences a feeling of stillness, which infuses a capacity to reconnect with the soul or the ‘atman’. Nada yoga assists in tuning ourselves to all the sounds, ultimately immersing oneself with the cosmic sound, ‘Om’. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states that, the mantra ‘Om’ is “the sound that expresses the Supreme Being, which should be repeatedly chanted while at the same time absorbing its meaning.”

Jnana yoga:

Jnana (wisdom or knowledge) is the most difficult path to achieve in Yoga and requires great strength of will and intellect. The primary goal of this form of yoga is to become liberated from the deceptive world of maya (thoughts and perceptions) and to achieve union of the inner Self (Atman) with the oneness of all life (Brahman). This is achieved by continuously practicing the mental techniques of self-questioning, contemplation and conscious illumination stated in the sadhana chatushtaya (Four Pillars of Knowledge). These Four Pillars are the steps toward achieving liberation. Continuous practice of these steps would cultivate spiritual insight, understanding and reduce suffering and dissatisfaction in life. The 4 steps are:

    1. Viveka (discernment, discrimination) – deliberate intellectual effort to differentiate between the permanent and the temporary and Self and not-Self


    1. Vairagya (detachment) – The mind needs to be detached from material objects to attain Yoga


    1. Shatsampat (six virtues) – six mental practices of calmness, restraint, renunciation, endurance, trust and focus to stabilize the mind and emotions


  1. Mumukshutva (yearning) – passionate desire for liberation from suffering.

It is equally important to practice humility and compassion on the path of self-realization.

Bhakti Yoga:

Bhakti (devotion or love) Yoga is one of the four main paths to attain enlightenment. This form of yoga endeavors to unite the bhakta (aspirant) with the Divine. Bhakti Yoga is said to be the easiest and the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body and spirit. Bhakti Yoga requires only an open, loving heart, whereas Hatha Yoga requires a strong and flexible body, Raja Yoga requires a disciplined and concentrated mind, and Jnana Yoga requires a keen intellect. Bhakti Yoga complements other paths of yoga well, and it is said that jnana (knowledge or wisdom) will emerge when you immerse yourself in the devotional practices of Bhakti Yoga.

Hatha yoga

Hatha (Ha-sun; tha- moon) yoga refers to balancing the masculine aspects-active, hot, sun-and feminine aspects-receptive, cool, moon-within all of us. It creates a path toward balance and uniting the opposite forces. It strives to attain the union of mind and body by a series of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) as described in ancient Hindu texts. These practices help activate the Kundalini energy and purify the body of negative thoughts. It is very popular form of Yoga in the Western world currently.


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Yoga – Not Just Fitness https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-not-just-fitness/ https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-not-just-fitness/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:58:08 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2621 Over the past few decades, a very common misconception has taken root in the minds of people. There is a belief that Yoga, is all about fitness and exercise. An added misconception is that Yogasanas (or Asanas) are simply body movements and poses that are complex to perform but make the body supple.

Yes, asana or postures do make the body supple. Just like stretching and other forms of body movements do. But Yoga and yogasanas are so much more than just fitness tricks.

In the West, somewhere around the 19th Century and 20th Century, Yoga was introduced by Indians to the people, so that they too may benefit from it. As expected it was a great success. But there began a commercialization of yoga, in order to make it more appealing to the public. Yoga went from being an art, to a training session.

This is something we need to understand, is extremely dangerous. Yoga isn’t something that should be performed with the wrong ideas or intentions. It has consequences of its own.

Yoga is a way of life. It is not a ritual to be performed, it is a habit that one makes a part of life. The ultimate aim of Yoga is to achieve liberation or Moksha. But yoga has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.

Five basic principles of Yoga

• Asana (postures)

• Pranayama (Breathing control)

• Shavasana (Relaxation)

• Sattvic (Right Diet)

• Dhyana (Meditation)

It is only when these 5 basic principles are followed that one can call himself a practitioner of Yoga. When a person performs yoga, he surrenders himself to the universe and becomes one with the universal energy. It is a very potent source of life and should not be treated lightly.

Let us now look at some more important facets of yoga.

Schools of Yoga

In Hinduism, there are the following types of Yoga, which are to be practiced. Please note, here Yoga doesn’t talk about postures. Yoga is in fact a practice. As I mentioned earlier, it is a way of life. These schools of yoga were thus, part of life.

1. Jnana Yoga

Jnana means ‘knowledge’ in Sanskrit. In the ancient times, when there was a system of ‘Gurukul’ (students stayed with teachers and gained knowledge), this was the initiation of the student into education and the realm of knowledge. The teachings included information about everything under the sun. This Jnana yoga became the foundation for yogic understanding and knowledge.

2. Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti or devotion, is an essential aspect of yoga. Through this form of yoga, one expressed love and devotion towards God. Here God is the Supreme Being. It does not refer to any symbolic God, simply universal energy. The idea was to move the yogi, towards spiritual awakening.

3. Karma Yoga

Karma means Duty in Sanskrit. In the Hindu religion, the importance of performing ones duty or Karma, was of the highest importance. Disciplined actions and all duties had to be performed with great reverence. It is said to be the most effective way to progress in spiritual life.

4. Laya Yoga or Kundalini Yoga

It is the form of yoga performed by way of regular practice of meditation, pranayama, chanting mantra and yoga asana. It is called the yoga of awakening. One becomes aware of oneself and more conscious of the surrounding. It focuses on compassion to others and healing of the body, mind and soul.

5. Hatha Yoga

It is a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga. There is a belief that Lord Shiva himself was the creator of Hatha Yoga.

This school of yoga is what deals with physical exercise and asana or postures. Hatha yoga is more known as a physical exercise in the world.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has physical benefits, is something which is common knowledge. But the real power of yoga is seen through its benefits on the mental and other aspects of human life.

Following are some of the major benefits of yoga.

• Perfects your posture

Yoga helps make you stand up straighter and walk taller. The whole slumped shoulder problem goes away. Also, it makes you look far more graceful and toned.

• Control of emotions

Yoga helps the body relax, which in turn helps you control your emotions. Very often, an excess of anger or any negative emotion, gets directed towards the wrong person. This happens when we can’t really control our thoughts and emotions. Yoga helps to control our mind and also makes us patient.

• Makes you happier

Practising yoga, even simple breathing exercises or pranayama, helps to pump more endorphins and dopamine into the system. These are some hormones that make you feel happier. The more yoga you practice, the higher your chances of feeling happy and uplifted.

• Helps you focus

Whenever you find yourself incapable of focusing, try practicing yoga and meditation. Meditation makes you concentrate and brings to you an increased observation power.

• Improves Balance

What yogasanas do mainly, is that they direct your body’s energy in a particular direction. Practicing yoga and doing the correct postures, helps direct more energy into various directions. This helps improve your balance.

• Relaxes muscles

If you are someone prone to muscle tension or pulling of muscles (hamstring, shoulder, etc.) then yoga can help make your body supple. Your flexibility naturally improves and you can do more activities with ease.

There are many more medical benefits too. However, there are few tested proofs that can be stated. For example, people suffering from asthma and bronchitis, are told to practice pranayama as it helps to control their breathing, which improves lung capacity. These are tested facts.

But there is no evidence to suggest that Yoga can cure terminal diseases or act as a pain reliever. So we must get the facts before following any practice.

Another essential point to bear in mind is that Yoga, should only be performed, after attaining some initial training from a yoga guru or instructor. This is because we may try to do some postures and end up causing serious injuries, if they aren’t done appropriately.

Lastly, it is always best to read books and other resources that can clearly define what Yoga really is, before going and enrolling for a class. If you have some knowledge to begin with, you will feel a lot more connected to the activity itself.


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Yoga Videos – Find the Best Yoga Videos For You https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-videos-find-the-best-yoga-videos-for-you/ https://zencaffeine.com/yoga-videos-find-the-best-yoga-videos-for-you/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:47:03 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2619 Yoga videos are a great thing for anyone who wants to study and learn yoga in the comfort of their own home. In addition, many yoga videos are great for parents and children to do together. If you have thought about trying yoga, but you have not made the leap yet, then it’s time to give yoga a try with yoga videos. If you are not completely sure, you can always check out a few yoga videos from your library; to find out if this is something that you would like to do. There are also kid’s yoga videos, if you want to get your children involved – this would be an excellent option. Please keep in mind to ask your physician before starting any type of exercise plan (such as yoga).

Online Yoga Videos

There are also online yoga videos available, if you know where to look – but the problem with these are you really don’t want to work on your yoga poses in your office. Yoga video libraries feature many of the important aspects of yoga such as 1.) breathing, 2.) exercises (asanas or poses), and 3.) meditation/relaxation. Many yoga videos include powerful yoga breathing exercises which can be used to balance out many aspects of your life. They also feature guided meditation, which will give you an excellent opportunity to find true relaxation and stress relief.

Hands-On Instruction

Many yoga videos offer hands-on instruction with internationally known yoga instructors right in your own home. Many yoga videos combine techniques from several forms of yoga. Don’t worry if you have trouble finding a yoga video on a specific form – you may do best to purchase based on the instructor and if you think her/his technique and methods are in synch with your own. For example, I started practicing yoga many years ago, but I was learning from someone who was much more interested in the quality of the pose, than in

getting to as many poses as possible in a set period of time. When I went joined a class that was led by a different instructor, it was a disaster, and I gave up.


Whether you classify DVDs as yoga, yoga-inspired or as fitness videos, they all generally have a genuine intention to impart good health in the end. Rodney Yee’s videos usually feature spectacular views (from Hawaii or similar locations) and his voice is very soothing, you may find you enjoy him as an instructor, or perhaps you prefer a woman instructor. I agree with you that nothing beats attending a yoga class, especially as it being an excellent learning place for beginners, however if you are just starting out, you may find that yoga videos are the best way to get started with yoga and to begin a practice that can change your life. If you travel, you may find that accessing yoga videos online frees you up to practice


There are a great number of videos available, so how do you choose the best yoga video for you. Take your time and make sure that the video is in sync with your own style of yoga, and is not too grueling, or too light. It may take a while to find the perfect balance.

Yoga DVDs

One DVD such as Yoga Burn features poses that ignite the body’s internal furnace with fast, aerobic-paced yoga moves that are designed to help you burn calories and to melt fat. Another DVD: Yoga Legs is geared more toward sculpting leaner, longer legs with dynamic poses that will challenge your balance, your flexibility and your strength.

Yoga Abs

Yoga Abs is another popular title. This video focuses on strengthening and shrinking your midsection using core-focused yoga moves to define a trim, tight tummy. Then there are videos like Yoga Relax, in which you concentrate on quieting your mind, and body with a series of gentle yoga stretches that rejuvenate and refresh your body. There is probably something for everyone interested in yoga in this DVD. Created and led by Rodney Yee the innovative Yoga Burn workout DVD is more physical than most. It combines transitions

between essential yoga moves/poses (asans) with resistance reps to help you gain strength and convert fat into leaner muscle.

Yoga for Pregnant Moms

For the pregnant Mom’s out there, the full length Baby Ready Yoga DVD will guide you through a unique and soothing and strengthening workout with modifications for each trimester. There are also numerous other pregnancy fit yoga workouts; I recently saw one that is included with the Green Baby video and would classify it as excellent.

Children’s Yoga DVDs, Yoga for Back Injuries and other Specialty DVDs

This addition of children’s yoga DVDs to your collection is an excellent alternative to competitive sports. A single DVD focusing on overall basics of traditional yoga is an excellent start. If you want a routine that has overall benefit of well being, think about including a series of exercises that target blood-flow and muscles in and to the head. As many men may not normally be attracted to Yoga, a new program has been developed on DVD by a Southern California Yoga Instructor, who has also suffered traumatic back injury in a car accident.

Yoga Programs – Seated Yoga

There are many different types of yoga programs. For example, there is a gentle exercise program that even teaches you to practice yoga while you are seated! Seated Yoga can make a big difference in helping you to manage your fatigue and that can improve your emotional view of life. There is truly something for everyone in yoga videos. You are certain to find one that fits you perfectly, and you may become so attached to it that you use it every day, giving you an excellent workout in the process.


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Which Type of Yoga is Right For Me? https://zencaffeine.com/which-type-of-yoga-is-right-for-me/ https://zencaffeine.com/which-type-of-yoga-is-right-for-me/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 12:46:15 +0000 https://zencaffeine.com/?p=2617 With the popularity of yoga rising throughout the western world, you have probably heard about it’s healing powers by now. However, you still aren’t sure exactly what kind of yoga may be right for your lifestyle. Chances are, you have probably asked everyone you know who practices yoga. While they may have a few suggestions, they may be bias in their decision making when it comes to which type of yoga you should choose.

Iit is fairly simple to find the right kind of yoga for you. Especially if you have all of the information there is to know about yoga. First and foremost you should try to consider why you are planning on entering the yoga lifestyle. Whether it was suggested to you from your doctor for medical treatment, or if it is a means for you to reconnect with a healthy lifestyle.

Just remember that you aren’t alone. Many people struggle with trying to find the right yoga class for them. Some can spent years jumping from class to class, type to type, or different yoga teachers before finding the right match. You may find yourself drawn to the names of each yoga class, often times witty and inspiring. However, I would suggest making your decision on more than just the location or name of your yoga class. Instead taking the time to sit down with each of the teachers, and getting a feel for their technique of teaching.

It may be helpful if you can find a teacher that will allow you to sit in on each type of class. This will give you a first-hand view of what would be expected of you during your yoga class. While some may promote the use of props, and focus on slow and controlled movements. Others may focus on spirituality, or exercise. All of which are beneficial to many different people in their walks of life. However, power-yoga may not be the best choice if you suffer from chronic back pain. For this reason, you should take care in choosing the right type of yoga.

Before we look into the different types of classes and what you can expect you should first remember that as with any exercise program; you should first consult with your doctor. This is especially true if you have any diagnosed health problems that reduce your range of motion.

Once you have begun to visit the many different yoga classes available in your area, you will find that there is a common denominator among them all. That of which is that they are focused on bringing oneness to one’s life. A unity between body, mind, and soul. Regardless of the fact that this oneness is all something we hold inside of ourselves on a daily basis. However, most people will find that it can be difficult to reach this place in our own selves without a little help.

Unfortunately there is no real way to answer the question of “what type of yoga is right for me?”. It is more or less an moment of inspiration that you will find enter your mind once you have found the right class. As with so many things in life, yoga is specialized. However there are many different options to choose from. No one yoga class is going to be right for everyone who practices yoga. Just like no one yoga prop or work out wear will be right for one person. Think of it as a “fitting” for your lifestyle. Try your yoga class on for size, if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, your schedule, or your medical needs; then you should probably try to find something different.

While it is a common misconception among newcomers to yoga. You don’t need to have a particular religion or belief to practice yoga. Just as you don’t need to be of any one shape, or size to practice yoga. Everyone can and will benefit from the healing nature of yoga. It is even common for families to practice yoga together. If this is your plan, then finding a low-impact yoga will be imperative for younger children. Which will allow all of you to relax while getting healthy together. This of course is one of the many reasons that yoga has become so popular in the western world. As we all fight to keep our lifestyles healthy in a stressful and fast-pace lifestyle. We find that there just isn’t enough time to run from one yoga class to another. Instead finding one class that will fit as a whole with your group of yoga friends, or family will help to keep your schedule relatively un-scathed.

The different types of yoga can be fairly difficult to differentiate. However, there are a few key differences that can help you choose which yoga is right for you. Whether you are looking for a high-impact yoga to help you drop pounds quickly; or simply trying to find relief from arthritis, or other chronic pain. There is a yoga that will be the perfect fit for you!

Hatha yoga (of which means union) is a term for yoga that employs both physical, and breathing exercise to calm the mind. This is only one of eight branches of traditional yoga, which has been passed down for generations in ancient Indian philosophy. It is thought that this style of yoga can help to attain enlightenment. Among these types of yoga that have stemmed from Hatha, you will find Raga, Mantra, and Tantra. All of which are considered to be philosophical styles of yoga, which are focused on elevating a person’s mental state. It is common for Hatha yoga classes to ask their practitioners to follow a certain dietary conservation as well as ethical codes of living.

There are several different disciplines that you will find practiced in Hatha yoga. However due to it’s popularity, some classes may even teach a fusion of several different styles of yoga. Including Hatha yoga. Most of these hybrid yoga classes (especially those that include Hatha yoga) are often times the best for beginner yoga practitioners. Simply because they will offer a wider range of poses, breathing, and physical elements. All of which are needed to practice yoga safely and get the most out of your workout.

While Hatha yoga has increased in popularity within the western world. There are many other kinds that can be found here in the United states alone. Ashtanga Viniyasa is one of the most increasingly popular forms of yoga in the last few years. It is a physical and mentally challenging form of yoga. Of which focuses on the unity between movement and breathing. However, this form of yoga can be fairly taxing and shouldn’t be utilized for anyone with severe medical conditions. If you are a beginner, it is imperative to join a beginners Ashtanga class, so that you are able to learn at your own speed without posing an injury risk to yourself.

Along with Hatha and Ashtanga Viniyasa yoga’s you will find a few other choices to choose from. One of which being Sivananda yoga. Which is based around as little as twelve postures. One such posture sequence includes the sun salutation. Of which focuses on breathing and meditation. This is one of the most well-rounded yoga classes that can be found today. It is especially suitable for all levels of expertise, ages, and physical abilities. Making it one of the most family friendly forms of yoga available.

Another popular form of yoga is Viniyoga. Of which is known for it’s personalized touch. Each session of Viniyoga is tailored specially for the individual practitioner and their needs. These classes can vary from as short as fifteen minutes to two to three hours. However it is one of the best one-on-one yoga training that you can find. This is especially wonderful for anyone who might find it difficult to follow an instructor within a large class. This class is particularly well suited for children and those with medical conditions. Simply because it is so personal, and allows the trainer to keep your body, health, and physical limitations in mind when creating your routine.

The last form of yoga that is commonly practiced in the western world is Iyengar. Which is a slower and more precise means of practicing yoga. It is by far the most practiced yoga throughout the world (spanning not only in the western world). It plays in important role in one’s bodily alignment and posture. This is particularly well suited for those with back-pain or any other severe or chronic pain. This form of yoga is also particularly suitable for seniors, as they practice with many different props to aid in their posture progression.

Remember, as with any new workout regiment that you should always know your own body’s limitation. This will help you to choose the right style of yoga class for you. There is no right or wrong answer, simply knowing what you can and cannot handle is key. Regardless of the class, you should become prepared once you have chosen the right type of yoga for you. Your yoga instructor will be able to give you a list of the items you will need, whether it be yoga mats, blocks, blankets, or any other prop. It is best to come prepared!


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