Tag Archives: Meditation

Health Benefits of Yoga

jackie4Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a Hindu spiritual discipline which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. “Yoga” means united, because you are uniting your mind, body, and breathe. Yoga is practiced to improve overall fitness and to reduce stress.

Yoga improves your overall health by relieving tension in the muscles. Your back, neck, and shoulders tend to carry the most tension throughout the day. Through yoga, you will notice improvements in your muscle flexibility. Maybe you couldn’t touch your toes in the beginning; but if you stick with yoga, you will notice a gradual loosening of the muscles.

Yoga also helps perfect your posture. Poor posture can lead to back, neck, and joint problems later in life. As you slump, your body may recompense by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back which cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.

With its series of postures and controlled-breathing exercises, yoga is a popular stress reliever. The left prefrontal cortex shows a heightened activity in meditators, which correlates with greater levels of happiness. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peacefulness of body, helping you relax and manage your stress and anxiety.

Want a Stress Free Holiday Season? Try My Quick Meditation!

In just a few minutes you will be feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world!

Let’s begin:

meditation
• Find a quiet place where you can completely relax. Allow yourself to sit or lie in a comfortable position. Tell yourself you will awaken refreshed after 10minutes. (5 minutes will work!)
• Begin by focusing your eyes upward above your line of sight. Take in a long, slow, deep breath. As you slowly exhale think “relax, relax within”. Another deep breath in and on the exhale repeat to yourself “relax, relax within”. Repeat approximately six more times. Your eyes should start to become fatigued. Close them.

• Imagine relaxation beginning in your toes. You may imagine it in the form of a color, such as a soothing aqua blue liquid. Allow that relaxation to spread upwards into your feet and ankles. Allow that feeling of relaxing to spread upward into your shins and calves, knees and hollow of your knees, your thighs and back of your thighs. Allow that relaxation, that soothing liquid to flow up into your abdomen, your chest, heart and lungs. Continue this process throughout your entire body.
• Next, imagine yourself in a special place of relaxation. We’ll call it “your place.” It might be lying on a beach on a warm summer day, or relaxing in the country by a peaceful river or stream. You might prefer being in your backyard or garden or even in your home.

• You may repeat the phrase quietly to yourself “ ”I am calm, I am relaxed, I am in control.  Stress bounces off and away from me…off and away.”
• Count yourself up with 1-10 giving suggestions for well being, energy, happiness.

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga
Today I had the opportunity to be the substitute instructor for a Cancer Survivor group’s “Gentle Yoga” class. Although I am not a certified Yoga instructor, I do incorporate some stretches and poses into my workouts. Because the class was titled “Gentle Yoga”, I pulled up a “Chair Yoga” workout on line and modified it a bit. chair yoga1
If you have difficulty standing or are just getting started with exercising, I recommend trying a chair yoga workout. Hold each pose, if possible for 3-5 breaths. The breaths should be long, slow, belly breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out through the nose.
If a pose doesn’t feel right, skip it. The workout should feel good. It should help open up your energy centers and get your blood flowing.
Following the exercises try my meditation. Sit comfortably or lie down. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Imagine relaxation moving throughout your body, beginning in your toes and traveling all the way up to your forehead. As you continue to breath and relax imagine yourself in a serene setting such as the beach, or by a lake, or lying in a hammock, etc. While you are relaxing in your special place build an image of yourself the way you would like to be in the future. Imagine merging into that image. After 5-10 minutes or whenever you feel ready you may open your eyes and stretch.

Meditate and Rejuvenate

Just a few minutes, a few deep breathes and you will be feeling refreshed!

Try my technique:

meditation
• Find a quiet place where you can completely relax. Allow yourself to sit or lie in a comfortable position. Tell yourself you will awaken refreshed after 10minutes. (5 minutes will work!)
• Begin by focusing your eyes upward above your line of sight. Take in a long, slow, deep breath. As you slowly exhale think “relax, relax within”. Another deep breath in and on the exhale repeat to yourself “relax, relax within”. Repeat approximately six more times. Your eyes should start to become fatigued. Close them.
• You may repeat the phrase quietly to yourself “ I close my eyes and I revive”
• Imagine relaxation beginning in your toes. You may imagine it in the form of a color, such as a soothing aqua blue liquid. Allow that relaxation to spread upwards into your feet and ankles. Allow that feeling of relaxing to spread upward into your shins and calves, knees and hollow of your knees, your thighs and back of your thighs. Allow that relaxation, that soothing liquid to flow up into your abdomen, your chest, heart and lungs. Continue this process throughout your entire body.
• Next, imagine yourself in a special place of relaxation. We’ll call it “your place.” It might be lying on a beach on a warm summer day, or relaxing in the country by a peaceful river or stream. You might prefer being in your backyard or garden or even in your home.
• Count yourself up with 1-10 giving suggestions for well being, energy, happiness.