Meditation & Yoga

Meditation and yoga go hand-in-hand. With meditation, you are able to reduce stress levels significantly while also reducing blood pressure and stabilizing the heart. In addition, meditation can boost your immune system!

When you meditate, you are able to free your mind of all the daily clutter. You’ll lower stress levels, release anxiety and reset your brain with deep breathing exercises.

The first step is learn how to pull yourself from a state of total consciousness to one of a meditative state designed to calm, restore and heal.

Here are a few tips to help you incorporate meditation into your yoga routine:

1: Set aside some quiet time each day in order to practice. The more often you meditate, the easier it will be to get yourself into a state of complete relaxation faster.

2: Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable position and focus on a fixed point, or you can close your eyes.

3: Concentrate on your breathing as well as the present moment. If you find your mind wandering, return to focusing on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly and evenly.

4: Hold this concentrated state for a few minutes at a time, practicing 5-10 minutes a day.

5: Gradually integrate meditation into your yoga routine but don’t rush things along! Make sure you have meditation down and are comfortable getting into this state before you begin to include it in your yoga sessions.

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Increasing Flexibility Easily

You might be wondering why you should even want to increase your flexibility. After all, it’s not something we typically think of in regards to our overall health and well-being.

However, your flexibility plays a major role in many aspects of living a healthy lifestyle, including your ability to complete exercise routines properly.

Increasing your flexibility will also help you avoid back and shoulder pain while improving the overall health of your joints and muscles.

In Yoga, it’s not always about doing the pose perfectly but rather feeling the stretch and your flexibility plays a huge part in that.

Here are a couple easy poses to help you get started:

Standing Forward Fold

This pose will stretch your hamstrings as well as your lower back. Try holding it for 30-50 seconds at a time.

Step 1: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent.

Step 2: Slowly lower your upper body so that it hangs all the way forward, dropping your arms to the floor. Try to touch the floor with either your fingertips or the palms of your hands.

Step 3: Hold for 30-50 seconds and release.

You can enhance this pose by opening your shoulders.

Here’s how to do that:

Follow steps 1-3 above, but interlace your fingers together behind your lower back and bring your arms over your head
towards the floor in front of you as far as you are comfortable with. Make sure you move your shoulders away from your ears, spreading them out and stretching those muscles. 

And yet another way to increase flexibility through yoga is with the downward dog. Chances are you’ve heard of this
pose as it’s one of the most common ones done by both beginners and seasoned yoga enthusiasts.

Here’s the right way to complete the Downward Facing Dog:

Step 1:  Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a comfortable position with your buttocks pointed out and
slightly up.  

Step 2: Next, place your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward (towards your shoulders). 

Spread the palms of your hands out on the floor and turn your toes under. 

Step 3: Lift your knees up by curling your toes under as you move. Straighten your knees, draw your thighs back and lift
your legs higher. Reach your heels down. 

Step 4:  Hold this position ensuring that your arms are straight and your thighs are pressed back, elongating your spine.
Breathe in deeply and smoothly.

Step 5: Lower your knees to the floor to release the position.

Next we’ll turn to a pose that will help you shed fat and tighten those abs. It’s one of my favorites.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga comes in many styles, forms and intensities, so depending what your overall goals are, you may benefit from specific techniques, however every pose will help to enhance your coordination and balance, strengthen your core and free your mind.

Let’s take a quick look at just some of the benefits of learning yoga.

Stress Reduction:  Many studies reveal that yoga helps reduce overall stress, depression and anxiety through poses, meditation and breathing exercises.  It can also lift your spirits, improve your food and balance emotions.

Improved Flexibility: Incorporating a few minutes of yoga into your day-to-day schedule will help stretch and tone your muscles, strength your core and increase flexibility.

Improve Fitness & Nurture Weight Loss:  Yoga is a great way to lose weight because it combines every
aspect of a great workout, including: strength training and cardio.

Yoga will help restore the hormonal balance in your body while boosting your metabolism which will help you burn more
fat! Those are just a few ways that yoga will improve your life.

Don’t forget that yoga can also help to improve your balance and overall coordination, enhance your focus and ability to
concentrate and can even help you to become more mindful and grateful for the blessing in your life!  Next, we’ll cover the Yoga essentials.


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