History Of Hatha Yoga
In Sanskrit, Hatha means force. Hatha yoga breathing techniques can be traced back to the 1st Century in both Buddhist and Hindu texts, but it was another 1,000 years before the use of yoga postures, or asanas, and breath control was recorded as a way to enhance vital energy.
Classical Hatha yoga was developed in the 15th century and included guidance for the proper setting of yoga, asanas, pranayama or breathing exercises, mudras or hand gestures, and meditation for personal spiritual growth.
Hatha yoga was brought to America by Swami Vivekananda in 1893 as a spiritual practice. In the 1920s, yogis combined asanas with other popular exercises of the day to create a flowing style of yoga that was more physical than spiritual.
A few years later, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the spiritual advisor to The Beatles, brought a new dimension of yoga to the mainstream with a combination of transcendental meditation and yoga and its popularity soared. Today, hatha yoga is well-known for both as a physical and spiritual practice for mind-body health.
The Best Free Yoga Classes Online
As yoga has skyrocketed in popularity, teachers typically paid a pittance for group classes have realized that putting their routines online can be lucrative. There are now plenty of options for all levels, but most are secured behind a paywall. You really have to search to find great, free options, but theyre out there, particularly now that many studios are offering free options for those practicing social distancing. Weve tracked down the five best free sites for both newbies and experienced practitioners.
Do Yoga With Me is a massive site that offers everything from full classes to tutorials to meditation practices. Theres an incredible variety of instructors and yoga styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini, and Ashtanga as well as power and prenatal classes.
Best for: Intermediate-level yogis who are interested in broadening their horizons with new breathing techniques, meditations, and yoga styles.
Corepower Yogas full collection of 250+ videos comes at the cost of a monthly subscription fee, but theyre now offering a new collection of typically hour-long videos for free every week, along with a handful of guided meditations.
Best for: Those who want clear instruction, and weekly variety.
Best for: The person that doesnt take yoga too seriously; beginners.
Best for: Those who want powerful, fast-moving, sweat-inducing sequences.
Best for: People who miss going to yoga class.
The 4 Best Toe Separators To Wear In Shoes
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Toe separators, aka toe spacers, are usually made from silicone, gel, or a comfortable rubber material. They conform to your feet and toes, separating them so that they dont overlap and helping to strengthen them for better foot health. If your toes get stiff after a long day âÂ or if bunions, hammertoes, or plantar fasciitis are a regular part of your life âÂ implementing the best toe separators to wear in shoes can change your life for the better.
While thereâs no substitute for proper medical treatment particularly if youâre suffering from chronic conditions, toe separators can provide short-term relief for a number of foot problems. But, as great as some pairs are, they are tricky to wear outside of your home, making it hard to reap the benefits of them. Luckily, all the separators listed below are thin enough to fit comfortably inside your favorite shoes without issue.
Whether youre looking for a single unit toe separator, individual spacers, or even a great pair of toe separator socks, youll find it here. Feeling pumped to change your footwear game? Give your toes a break, and keep reading to find the best toe separators for hammertoes and so much more.
How To Improve After Starting
Patience, commitment, repetition, and consistency are the keys to developing and progressing in the practice of yoga. After youve found a style, teacher, and yoga studio that works for you, try these tips:
- Commit to a regular schedule of yoga classes or home practice
- Increase the length of your practice and the number of days per week that you practice
- Attend yoga workshops that focus on specific aspects of yoga in more detail
How Long Should Yoga Sessions Be
Practicing yoga is similar to most forms of exercise in that both shorter and longer sessions can still be beneficial. Whether intertwining yoga and meditation time for a short 20-minute session, or going for an extended workout- longer than an hour, both can do wonders for flexibility, muscle strength and result in numerous other health benefits. Here are some helpful tidbits to show the specific benefits of short and long duration yoga sessions.
How To Get Started With Hot Yoga
If youd like to take a hot yoga class, there are a few steps that will help you be as prepared as possible. First, on the day of your class, you should make sure to drink plenty of water. Since youll be sweating a lot, arriving hydrated will ensure you dont dehydrate quickly. Next, eat a light meal before class, not a heavy one; a stomach full of food wont feel good during any exercises that use your abs. Youll want to bring a yoga mat, a bottle of water, and a towel for wiping off your sweat. If you havent filled out the paperwork online and youre going to a new studio, arrive early, so you have time to do so. Lastly, come prepared to bundle up well after class. Your muscles will be loose, and exposing them immediately to cold may make them contract too quickly.
Im Not Flexiblecan I Do Yoga
Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but thats a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.
This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
How Often Should I Do Yoga
If you can practice yoga 3 or more times per week, you will see significant improvements in your flexibility, range of motion, strength, balance, inner peace, and overall well being. Ideally, we recommend shorter and more frequent sessions, 20-45 minutes long, and for a total of 3-4 hours spread over several days. Practicing yoga less than this amount will still be beneficial, but you will see smaller improvements over a longer period of time. Like most things, the more time you can dedicate towards it, the more benefits you will receive.
How Long Is A Yoga Session
There’s very few regulations when it comes to yoga, and that includes the amount of time you spend practicing each session. A standard class is usually 60 minutes, with some practices lasting 90 minutes or longer. However, express classes of 30 or 45 minutes are often offered by studios and in workplaces that offer wellness classes to their employees.
If you have just 20, 10 or even 5 minutes, you can squeeze in a yoga session. Online practices of these lengths are readily available, or perhaps you practice on your own with just a few Sun Salutations, the classic energizing warmup of many yoga routines.
Some Yoga Teachers And Makers Of Toe
Yogas mountain pose includes spreading the toes apart.
The Ache: We often dont think about our feet muchuntil they start hurting. Painful conditions such as hammertoe, bunions and plantar fasciitis are common later in life.
The Claim: A simple exercise of stretching your toes sideways, done in yoga classes or with toe-spreading devices such as YogaToes, can improve the health of your feet and prevent or ease foot pain, say some yoga teachers and companies that sell the devices.
The Verdict: Physicians say toe-stretching appears to help with a wide variety of foot pain, but add that it will be most effective when used along with strengthening exercises. Scientific evidence is scant, but a small study presented at a scientific meeting in 2012 found that toe-stretching with YogaToes, from FenF LLC, Dexter, Mich., eased painful muscle contractions in the foot in patients with Parkinsons disease.
Stretching your toes laterally elongates the muscles and keeps them relaxed, says Dr. Grace Torres-Hodges, a podiatric surgeon in Pensacola, Fla., and a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association. It isnt a cure for conditions such as hammertoes or bunions, but in some patients may ease pain and possibly even slow the progression, she says.
How Is Yoga Different From Stretching Or Other Kinds Of Fitness
Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Patanjalis eight-fold path illustrates how the physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.
Times For Kids Yoga Classes
Build a Pyramid: One Yoga Activity for a Long ClassAruna Teaching a School-age Class
The times for yoga classes is one of the most common questions I get asked about kids yoga. Recently asked by Anna, another yogini in Singapore:
After completing my yoga therapy course I stayed in Bangalore for a couple of days and I went to teach kids yoga at my friends daughters kindergarten. 4-5 year olds, we did a yoga safari letting the kids imagine what animals we ran into. It was really fantastic, they loved it! The total time was around 30 minutes.
What is the ultimate time frame for small kids verses older kids? 4-5 year olds 30min? 7 year olds 1 hr? The relaxation part was the most difficult, I tried doing simple Yoga Nidra but it was not very successful.
Anna Bervander, Singapore
Higher Prices And Membership Changes
Yoga studios may need to increase prices when they reopen.
The pandemic has delivered a one-two punch to yoga studios bottom lines. Not only were most yoga studios forced to shutter during shutdowns, theyre also facing increased costs and reduced opportunities for revenue as they move toward reopening. Students may be forced to pay more for membership at studios in order for the businesses to stay viable.
Our pricing and membership structures will change, for sure. Existing members will not be affected. New members may pay more, said Maguire. We may eliminate the option to purchase a single class or pack of classes and move toward a membership-only model. With capacity being reduced, we want our loyal members to have the opportunity to secure their spot in class.
Maiorca echoed Maguires sentiments, adding that her studio will temporarily stop offering drop-in classes in the initial reopening phase.
There will be significant training involved for both our staff and clients in adapting to the new safety protocols during this period, so we feel it’s appropriate to ask clients to commit to more than just one in-person class, she said. Additionally, because we’ll have limited spaces available for our reduced schedule of classes due to social distancing requirements, we’d like to prioritize attendance for our dedicated members who have stayed with us and supported us during this challenging time.
Laya Yoga And Kundalini Yoga
Laya and Kundalini yoga are closely associated with Hatha yoga but are often presented as being independent approaches.
According to Georg Feuerstein, Laya yoga “makes meditative absorption its focus. The laya-yogin seeks to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, in the transcendental Self-Consciousness.” There are various forms and techniques of Laya yoga, including listening to the “inner sound” , practicing various mudras like Khechari mudra and Shambhavi mudra as well as techniques meant to awaken a spiritual energy in the body .
The practice of awakening the coiled energy in the body is sometimes specifically called Kundalini yoga. It is based on Indian theories of the subtle body and uses various pranayamas and mudras to awaken the energy known as kundalini or shakti. In various Shaiva and Shakta traditions of yoga and tantra, yogic techniques or yuktis are used to unite kundalini-shakti, the divine conscious force or energy, with Shiva, universal consciousness. A common way of teaching this method is to awaken the kundalini residing at the lowest chakra and to guide it through the central channel to unite with the absolute consciousness at the highest chakra .
Yoga Benefits Off The Mat
The physical postures of yoga, called asanas, are only one aspect of yoga. Combined with other elements such as breathwork, meditation and living a yogic lifestyle, yoga is an all-encompassing discipline. The way that lifestyle unfolds is individual.
Whereas for one yoga practitioner it might mean being a vegetarian, for another it might mean volunteering at a soup kitchen. There isn’t a “right” way to practice yoga and incorporate it into your life. The key is finding the right balance of mental, physical and spiritual practices that works for you.
In yoga, what works for some will not work for all. Find the combination of mental, physical and spiritual practices that works for you.
How Long A Class Do You Want To Teach
What I find now, is the only thing holding me back from doing more long classes is my own desire. I dont want to do too many of these because they take a lot of energy, your voice gets used a lot, and its often loud. After doing long classes, I plan time to sit quietly for a few minutes and re-energize.
Anna, I hope this helps you as you start teaching kids. It sounds like Singapore has a very vibrant yoga community.
Ill answer the question about Kids relaxation next post.
What Do People Wear To Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga in which the room is heated, typically to a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, to encourage sweating. Clothing is an important consideration when preparing for a Bikram class, as uncomfortable or bulky clothing can distract you from focusing on your breathing, alignment and posture.
Does Yoga Count Towards My 150 Minutes Of Activity
Most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines on exercise.
However, yoga does count as a strengthening exercise, and at least 2 sessions a week will help you meet the guidelines on muscle-strengthening activities.
You Can Do Yoga Even If You’re Pregnant
While it can feel challenging at times, exercise is good for a healthy pregnancy, and yoga is considered a safe and low-impact option for parents-to-be, as long as you practice safely.
“Yes, you should do yoga during pregnancy, but with caution,” says Simone Tucker, MS, a 200-hour RYT and Exercise and Sport Science Instructor at UMHB. “During pregnancy, and to a lesser extent during menstruation, the body produces the hormone relaxin. Relaxin’s function is to prepare the body for the upcoming delivery by relaxing, or making your muscles, connective tissue, and joints more flexible. While this leads to a greater range of motion, it also makes it easier for expecting to overreach during yoga practice, possibly leading to injury.”
Tucker emphasizes that more experienced yogis should listen closely to their bodies and stay within their pre-pregnancy limits during each practice. New yogis should take a more proactive approach to safety, as they may not know their limits. Tucker says they should work with a qualified yoga instructor and attend specific prenatal yoga classes.
Is It Better To Do Several Short Sessions Of Exercise Or One Long One
There are lots of studies from the field of sports science to show that splitting your workouts into multiple short sessions can be as good, if not better, than one long session for a range of measures including heart health, weight loss, aerobic fitness.
More frequent sessions of physical activity can also have a positive effect on our mental health. One study found that on days people were active their negative emotions in response to stress were significantly lower than on non-active days. This was the case with just a minimum of 10 minutes of activity. Exercise appeared to bolster their capacity to psychologically manage the stressful events in a more effective way.
However much of the research on very brief exercise sessions is based on high intensity interval training, and while some yoga classes bring in elements from strength and fitness training were clearly not comparing like for like!
The Experience Confidence Desire Of The Teacher
The second factor in determining the ultimate time frame for a kids yoga class is your own confidence as a teacher. When I first started teaching, I held shorter classes because I didnt have the experience to teach a longer class. I was still learning different games, themes, ideas for kids yoga. I planned every class on paper and thought of what activities I would do, timing and planning it out.
Experience Helps in a Longer Class
When youve been teaching yoga for a number of years you become a bit of a walking encyclopedia of kids yoga. Youve got the experience that you can plan a class quickly, often in your head. Pick a theme for the class and go, because youve probably taught the class 100 times already. Plus you have yoga tools, music, and props in your collection. If something isnt working you know a whole bunch of other ideas, songs, or games instantly.
Confidence Grows with Experience
Experience gives you more confidence to teach longer classes. For example, this summer at a daycare I teach three classes that are an hour long each. The first group is an hour long class with pre-schoolers aged 2 -3 years old! The second two groups are a mix of JK and SK kids, 4 5 year olds, also one hour long each.
I would have never attempted these times when I first started out! But now, the time goes by with lots of yoga, meditation, and activities. When were coming to the end of 60 minutes I usually have to end a game and promise we will finish it the next week.
How Long Should I Hold Yin Yoga Poses
Yin yoga is a restorative practice consisting of various seated and supine poses that target the hips, pelvis, and lower spine. The practice is characterized by extended holds of postures to allow the connective tissue to be stressed appropriately. Props such as bolsters, blocks, or blankets are often used in the practice to aid the practitioner in staying more comfortable for the longer duration of a pose and to keep the muscles relaxed. This introduction will help you get to know all the ins and outs of how long to hold yin yoga poses.
While most yin yoga classes involve 2-5 minute holds, learning to listen to your body will help you find the appropriate length of time for you. As a baseline, beginners may benefit from starting with 1-3 minutes, while advanced practitioners may aim for 5 minutes or more even up to 10, 20, or 25 minutes! However, the 3-minute mark will give you most of the primary benefits of yin yoga.
Marrying Breath And Movement
From your resting posture, get into all fours and breath through several rounds of Cow and Cat to awaken your spine. You might add side bends, Spine Balance and neck rotations to get more kinks out.
Alternative ways to wake up your body are with modest twists in Easy pose. Inhale while you sit and lengthen your spine; exhale as you twist. Repeat several times to create a rhythm and begin to build warmth.
Eventually, you’ll move to a standing position. You could visit Downward-Facing Dog on the way, or simply come to an gentle Forward Fold at the front of your mat and roll up slowly until you’re standing in Mountain pose. As this is the first Forward Fold of your practice, bend your knees generously to keep your hamstrings from overstretching.
You’ll be 10 to 15 minutes into practice by time you arrive at the front of your mat, ready for more dynamic poses.
Read More: List of Poses for One Hour of Hatha Yoga
Who Is It Good For
Many of us live fast-paced, active lives, whether were going for a run, powering through an Ashtanga yoga class, or sweating it out on a spin bike. Yin yoga is the perfect balance to those intense exercises, providing a slower, more meditative counterpart to help you round out your workouts.
Yin yoga is also for anyone who is dealing with injuries or a chronic condition like arthritis or osteoporosis as this style in particular is a more restorative practice than other forms of exercise. Yin can also be a great starting point for anyone interested in meditation as it has such an internal focus.
Bring Your Own Mat And Props
Yoga studios will require students to bring their own mats.
If you dont have your own mat, nows the time to invest in one. Many studios will no longer lend or rent mats to students once they reopen, nor will they have yoga props available to borrow.
When we do reopen, we are going to require that all students bring their own mats and props. To truly sanitize a yoga blanket, it has to be washed in extra hot water and dried on high heat, said Dennis, adding that mats, blocks and straps would require similar cleaning protocols that just arent practical for many studios.
A true disinfecting process takes substantial time. Until the coast is completely clear, everyone should and will be required to bring their own gear, he explained.
Dont want to lug all your yoga gear to the studio? Heres some good news: Some yoga teachers will also be creating classes that dont require blocks, straps and blankets.
We’ll allow students to bring their own props from home as desired, but our teachers will continue to teach classes in such a way that props are optional, so that the greatest number of students have access to classes in a satisfying way, said Maiorca.
Beginner Yoga Sequence For Teachers
Just because you enjoy complicated yoga sequences in your personal practice doesnt mean you should attempt to teach this way. Most students enjoy and benefit from more straight forward sequences where they can focus on the present moment instead of trying to keep up.
A beginners yoga class sequence might include fewer postures repeated more frequently. Build the sequence in a way that lets your student intuitively move from one position to the next.
If youre looking for ideas, most bigger yoga studios have beginner yoga sequences that rarely change. Take a few beginner classes around town for inspiration.
Pro tip: a yoga sequence for beginners allows the teacher to focus more on the space their holding, giving dharma, and adjusting students.