Going gaga over yoga

Pop icon Madonna is probably one of the most popular bi-products of commercialized yoga. Since she started to come out with that toned and buffed figure, women all over the world wanted to know what kind of diet she has been doing. When she revealed that she has been on her journey of self-discovery and has found a new source of spirituality, she also revealed her secret in maintaining her almost eternal youth look—practicing yoga that is.

But, aside from staying fit through practicing of yoga there is so much more about the discipline that people should know.

THE TRUTH ABOUT YOGA

Before becoming gaga over yoga, you should familiarize yourself first about what yoga really is, its origin, the many underlying premises behind the discipline and how can you benefit from it. Let’s start first by defining the foreign word that is yoga. Basically, the word “yoga” is rooted from a language of ancient India where it is originated—the Sanskrit. “Yoga,” in Sanskrit, means “union or joining.” It can either be a union that occurs between the mind and the spirit, between the body and the spirit or a joining of the mind, body and spirit as a whole.

But, the term “yoga” can be accurately defined by another Sanskrit word “asana” – the practice of physical poses or postures. Although “asana” is only one of the eight known types of yoga, both terms are now being taken as one because since both of them are concerned with mental and spiritual well being than in purely physical activity.

Since yoga has been packaged for the Western culture, it is now best described as a general term that includes various disciplines. And now, yoga is more popularly known to people as a form of discipline that varies from one concept to another. The term yoga is now also viewed as a discipline that deals with purely physical abstraction to purely spiritual conquest and to just about everything in between. If you are thinking of practicing yoga to improve your life, you must know hoe to convert its underlying possibilities to your own satisfaction.

THE ULTIMATE YOGA BASICS

If you are really interested with yoga, you should be willing to learn almost everything about it. First of all, you should define why you need it.

Some of the many different styles of yoga that being taught and practiced today include “hatha ,” the slow-paced and gentle style; “vinyasa,” the breath-synchronized movement style; “ashtanga,” the fast-paced and intense style of yoga practice; “iyengar,” bodily alignment style, “kundalini,” the breath in conjunction with physical movement style; and “bikram” or “hot yoga” which is practiced in a 95-100 degree room allowing the loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating.

Aside from being an effective stress and anxiety reducer, practicing of yoga is also proven to increase strength, create energy, build and tone muscles, improve focus, concentration, and posture, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and relieve pain.

Another basic thing you should know about yoga is that it requires an exertion or force through different poses. Done through the performance of poses, most people might think that yoga is just about stretching, utmost concentration and weird poses. True, you see people practicing yoga doing some sort of “acrobatic” stunts, but those stretching are not just simple flexing of muscles: these are creative processes that balance the body to develop agility, flexibility and strength. Since each pose has a specific physical benefit, the poses in yoga can be done in succession to create heat in the body through movement that will build-up an increase in stamina.

Getting Healthy With Yoga

People have always believed that yoga can do more for your body than just keeping it fit and flexible. Research now shows it can help weight control, lower back pain, insomnia and even heart disease. Studies indicate yoga helps with weight loss and maintenance. In a study of 15,000 adults, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that those who did not practice yoga gained approximately 18.5 pounds more over a 10-year period than those who practiced for at least four years. There was also a study done at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. This study found people who regularly practiced yoga and meditation, exercised and watched their diet lost more weight than those who exercised, and ate a balanced diet, but did not practice yoga.

Additionally Yoga can improve your range of motion in your hips, reducing lower back pain. A study done at The American College of Sport’s Medicine, suggest that yoga increases lower back flexibility and decreases pain. It was a small study conducted on older women age 44-62. Persistent back pain however should always be professional diagnosed before embracing on any exercise program including yoga. Yoga’s backbends and forward bends may exacerbate some back conditions.

Yoga can also calm your body and your mind, which can help people who suffer from insomnia. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD., an instructor of medicine, division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School recently published a study. He found a half hour to 45 minutes of daily yoga practice with a focus on meditation and breathing, helped chronic insomniacs sleep through the night. The subjects increased their overall sleep by 12%.

Yoga breathing can help lower your heart rate and calm your nervous system. The breathing techniques can help alleviate serious anxiety and depression and reduce stress. Practicing yoga for an hour and a half three times a week can make your heart healthier in just six weeks. A recent study out of Yale University School of Medicine had 33 men and women who practiced yoga at that rate. This lowered their blood pressure and improved their blood vessels’ ability to expand and contract by 17%. Researchers believe the improvements are based on the stress-reducing benefits of yoga.

Eight Amazing Benefits of Teaching Yoga

Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

Job Satisfaction

In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that “My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.” Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.

There’s always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.
Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers
Your self esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path, is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without the headache or backache they came in with.

Your Own Health

As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

There is no Shortage of Work

When the working world is in the “9 to 5” mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical
Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don’t have a personal referral.

Continuing Education

Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It’s not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

Time

You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

Independence

Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

Success

No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year.
Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success
in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key – If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it.