Hatha yoga is an ancient hindu system of working with the human nervous system. Because it releases tension and endows one with renewed energy, far too many 20th century people, yoga teachers included, have come to look upon the venerable Indian physical science as solely an exercise for health and vitality of mind and body.
It is that, but it is also much more. Hatha yoga practices are more spiritual than physical, more subtle than gross, more a means of understanding than an exotic way to relieve stress or limber up the body.The sages who developed hatha yoga designed it as a way to gain conscious control of our life energies, a way to go within, to harmonize the external so the innermost Self could be encountered. To them, it was about states of consciousness, about living a divine life, and it was a preparation for meditation.
As you perform the asanas, concentrate on feeling the energies within the nerve currents. Sensitize yourself to knowing when the body has been in each position long enough to tune the nerve currents involved. Then shift smoothly into the next asana. It’s like a dance, a deliberate, fluid dance. During all postures, inhale using the diaphragm, not the chest muscles. Do not stretch unduly or force the body. Relax into the poses. Don’t worry if you can’t perform them all perfectly. In time, you will find the body becoming more flexible and supple. Free the mind of thoughts and tensions. You will be more aware, more alive, more serene.
While there are many more complex hatha yoga routines, these twenty-four asanas provide a balanced system for daily use. For the simple purpose of quieting the mind in preparation for meditation, this is all you will ever need. For best results, hatha yoga should be taught personally by a qualified teacher. These instructions and drawings are meant only as a rudimentary aid. For more elaborate regimens, inquire at a recognized school specializing in hatha yoga.
The scene of hatha yoga has a spiritual purpose – to balance physical and physic energies in preparation for meditation. It is not only meant to make us young, beautiful or creative, but to aid us in quieting the mind, body and emotions that we may awaken enlightened consciousness & know the Self within.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
For controlling your hypertension, there are two effective yoga exercises that helps lower the blood pressure:
Inverted yoga reverses the action of gravity on the body. The most profound changes brought about by Inverted Yoga is in circulation. In inverted poses, legs and abdomen are placed higher than the heart.
Lengthening up through the legs and keep them very active so your spine opens and the entire body actively involved in the pose.
One of the reasons for this is simply because the force of gravity is reversed and venous return becomes significantly greater.
Normally, the muscles of the calf and other skeletal muscles in the lower extremities must contract in order to pump unoxygenated blood and waste back to the heart through the veins.
In inverted poses, gravity causes the blood to flow easily back through the veins and this brings the blood pressure in the feet to a minimum. This in effect gives skeletal muscles a chance to rest.
In Inverted poses, drainage of blood and waste from the lower body back to the heart is increased and disorders such as varicose veins and swollen ankles are relieved.
It’s time to learn about breathing, because inhaling and exhaling has the power to nourish the body and calm the mind.
Not just any old breathing will do. If you’re like most people, you take shallow breaths, pull in your stomach when you inhale and never empty your lungs of carbon dioxide when you exhale.
Here’s the physiological explanation: Long, slow breaths are more efficient than short, fast ones.
To take in a good breath, your lungs must first be basically empty. Thus the key to efficient breathing lies in exhaling completely. A full exhalation begins with the upper chest, proceeds to the middle chest and finishes with tightening the abdominal muscles.
Only after a good exhalation can you draw in a good lungful of the oxygen-rich air your blood needs for nourishing cells.
Prevention of Heart Attacks
Strict changes in diet and lifestyle can not only prevent heart attacks, but can reverse the clogging of the arteries, according to a small but pioneering study.
The study showed that a vegetarian diet, moderate exercise and an hour a day of yoga and meditation could produce a reversal of atherosclerosis, a blockage of the arteries that can lead to a heart attack, in men and women who were strict in following the daily regimen.
Experts say this is the first study to report that such blockage can be reversed without using cholesterol-lowering drugs or surgery.
The study, which was conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish, director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., was presented at the meeting of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.
This is a tremendously important study in the control of heart disease. It’s the very first study indicating regression of coronary heart disease without pharmaceutical intervention. The results also suggest that the current medical guidelines for changes in the habits of people with severe heart disease do not go far enough.
Previous studies have shown that exercise and diet changes can slow the progression of heart disease, but not reverse it.
While the study did not determine what percentage of improvement could be attributed to the lifestyle changes alone, the researchers noted that stress-control methods have been shown to ease recovery from a variety of disorders, including hypertension.
But some experts are skeptical of the need for stress-management methods, which are not currently among standard recommendations for those with severe heart disease.
Some experts on cardiac rehabilitation question whether most people with heart disease could follow such strict changes in their habits.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying, or the inability to carry pregnancies to a live birth. It affects one out of six couples of childbearing age in the United States today – at least ten million people. And in a career-oriented area like Washington, where many couples postpone decisions about childbearing until professional goals have been met, the ration of one in six is probably on the conservative side. Yet it is rarely discussed, and understood even less.
For almost all couples the condition comes as a surprise. And no wonder. It seems as if the whole is on its guard against producing unwanted children. Every day 19.9 million women in this country wake up and remind themselves to take the Pill. In China, a woman with more than three children is considered an enemy of the state. In India, population experts fear the country may end up at century’s close with four times as many people as it started with – up from 250 million in 1900 to one billion. The huge nation has resorted to quickie vasectomies and cash rewards at commuter train stations. Two will do posters are everywhere.
Although infertility may affect people of all social classes, the childless poor usually have neither the time nor the money to undergo a lengthy series of tests – commonly called an infertility work-up – to determine the cause of the problem.
There may also be class differences in a person’s willingness to endure many sacrifices so that a long-range goal can be realized. For these reasons, the inability to conceive and bear children seems to be a middle and upper middle-class problem.The anguish of infertility will strike increasing numbers of couples in the next few years, however, as the children of the baby boom reach their late twenties and early thirties. Many who till now have postponed marriage and childbearing for their careers will turn to both to round out their lives – and find child-bearing not possible.
The men, after years of enjoying what they consider a healthy sex drive, will be shocked to learn that their sperm are too few in number or perhaps not active enough to effect a conception. The women may be given a finding of endometriosis, a condition in which parts of the uterine lining seed themselves in various places along the reproductive tract. Unknown in cultures where women marry young, it is a common finding in American women past 30. Or the women may be part of the 10.9 million who took the Pill every day whether or not previous gynecological abnormalities should have warned the physician against a prescription.
A generation ago, before the current explosion in medical technology, many couples who could not produce children were told there was nothing wrong with them: either it was all in their heads or God’s will. There was also smirking ignorance on the public, the insinuation they weren’t performing correctly in bed.In fact, male impotence is the source of less than five per cent of the cases of male infertility, and the sources of impotence are extremely varied, from diabetes to perineal nerve injury to psychogenic causes.
Sleep is an essential part of good health. A good night’s sleep can help you feel good, look healthy, work effectively and think clearly.
But sleep is not always so easy to come by. If you sometimes have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you’re not alone. A 1991 Gallup study found that more than one-third of all Americans suffer occasional or chronic insomnia.
People often are surprised to learn that daytime drowsiness is not an inevitable, harmless byproduct of modern life, but rather a key sign of a sleep problem that could be disastrous if not treated.
Recent figures show that nearly a quarter of the population regularly cannot go to, or remain asleep, and every year doctors write out more than 14 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets.
The causes of sleeplessness are many and varied. ‘It can be due to a medical condition, such as chronic pain from rheumatism or arthritis,’ says Professor Jim Horne, who runs the Sleep Research Laboratory at Loughborough University. ‘Or it can be chemical, as a result of drinking tea, coffee or alcohol. Chronic or long-term insomnia is often associated with depression or anxiety, and environmental factors certainly contribute.’
And sleepless nights, staring wild-eyed into the darkness, are worse than bad dreams,For too many people–an estimated 9percent of the American population–a good night’s sleep is an elusive goal. The consequences of fatigue from chronic sleeplessness include accidents in the car and at work, a dramatically increased risk of major depression, and worsening physical illness.
Immediate relief is available, in the form of hypnotic agents, for persons who have difficulty in falling or remaining asleep or who cannot obtain restful, restorative slumber. However, long-term improvement usually involves behavioral therapy. These therapeutic approaches must be integrated if the patient’s short- and long-term needs are to be addressed.
Writing down your fitness activity and your nutrition is a great way to keep yourself accountable to your goals. It helps you stay honest with yourself about whether you’re sticking to a fitness or diet plan, and allows you to keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t.
To get the most out of your journaling, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Try to record every day. Even if that means you journal about why you didn’t work out, stick to it!
Set a reminder to record for 5-10 minutes- before bed is a great time to do it!
Start your fitness journey off on the right foot, keep track of your progress with a fitness journal! CHECK OUT THE JOURNALS BELOW