The holiday season can be a mixed bag. While you're probably looking forward to celebrating days like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve, the stress of shopping, decorating, cooking and planning in advance can really begin to wear you down. This is why you might want to consider practicing yoga meditation and yoga stretching, as these can help you make it to January without driving yourself crazy. Here are a few of the advantages that yoga provides.
Deep breathing exercises, a personal mantra and meditation are all great ways yoga can help you relax. Not only will you be improving your self-control and focus, but you'll also push distracting and stressful thoughts from your mind, allowing you to enjoy a clear head.
Weight loss goals
Have you been trying to lose some weight and fear that holiday meals can undo all your good work? Physical activity such as yoga can provide you with a fun and beneficial way to burn calories and keep your gut in check. Exercise also boosts your metabolism, so that's another added benefit to practicing yoga.
There's no doubt that planning a variety of events for family and friends can really begin to wear you down. Luckily, the stress relief you'll enjoy from yoga stretching and meditation can help you feel more alert and energized. That's not to mention that working out helps you sleep better, which can give you an added pick-me-up when you need it.
Many people who are trying to get started with weight loss have likely tried and failed to diet before. If you're determined to meet your fitness goals this time around, you might need a little extra help with limiting your intake of food. Here are some dietary weight loss tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Nuts are your friend
A big problem for people just starting to diet is the feeling that they're never full or satisfied after a meal, which can lead to unhealthy snacking. Because of this, you might want to consider carrying around a container of peanuts, almonds, cashews or pistachio nuts to munch on throughout the day, as these are beneficial foods that will also help your stomach feel more full.
Water will hold you over
Much like eating a package of nuts will help you make it until dinner time without over snacking, the same can be said for drinking a good amount of water. Not only will you feel more satisfied, but increasing your consumption of water can also boost the effectiveness of your metabolism and digestive system.
Eat more often, not less
While you should certainly control your portions to lose weight, you might be surprised to learn that eating more regularly can kick your metabolism into higher gear. By eating five smaller meals throughout the day, you'll help your body continue to burn off calories more quickly than if you paused for greater periods in between breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With the holiday season approaching, you might be worried about packing on a few pounds due to delicious Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Eve meals with family and friends. Resolving to start a weight loss plan is a great way to stay healthy and fit, but you should make sure your goals and methods are realistic in order to be successful. Here are some weight loss tips to keep in mind as you get started.
Starvation is not the answer
When it comes to dieting, you might think that skipping breakfast or lunch (or both!) will help you keep the pounds off. However, this isn't the way your body's metabolism operates. In fact, not eating regularly will actually send your digestive system into starvation mode, forcing it to hold onto extra fat and calories in order to help you survive.
Your ideal weight may not be realistic
While many people would like their bodies to look like supermodels' or fitness gurus' figures, it's important to remember that different people have unique body types. Your ideal weight may not be a realistic goal if your body is naturally a little larger or broader. However, that doesn't mean you won't look great striving toward a healthy weight.
Your body needs to rest
Don't fall under the impression that working out for three hours a day seven days a week is the answer to your weight loss goal – your body needs time to rest and relax in order for exercise to be most effective. If you still want to stay active on a rest day, consider meditating or practicing light yoga.
Whether you work in a corporate office or out in the field, the demands of a career can really begin to take a toll on your body and mind as the years go by. If you've been feeling the pressure build lately and are looking for a release, you might want to consider practicing meditation exercises at work. Here are a few of the advantages that meditation techniques for stress can offer you on the job.
The will to get things done
Everyone has been in that situation where there are mountains of work on their desks, but they just don't have the will or energy to get working. In these moments, you need a little extra something to kick your brain into gear, and meditation can provide that jumpstart. By regularly practicing yoga and meditation, you'll quickly find that you have more energy and enthusiasm to complete your tasks.
The ability to cope
Even when you are able to focus, you often have to deal with people at work who make your life more difficult. Whether it's a boss breathing down your neck or a client that just won't communicate with you, the peace and tranquility that meditation affords can help you cope with even the most frustrating of situations.
The state of mind to do it all again tomorrow
After a long day of work, many people just can't stop thinking about their professional tasks and responsibilities, even when they get home. However, pushing aside worries and concerns about work is important for you to be able to rest and enjoy your private life. Meditation exercises can help you forget about your job for a minute, so you have the state of mind to go in fresh the next day.
Whether you're a high school student or studying for your first freshman college exam, the rigors of academic success can certainly weigh you down and cause high levels of stress. If you're looking for a way to boost your study habits while minimizing your anxiety, you might want to think about meditation techniques for stress. Here are a few of the benefits meditation can offer your school work.
A much-needed break
Sometimes, when you've been staring at the same textbook for three straight hours, all you really need is a mental break. Luckily, practicing deep breathing exercises and repeating a personal mantra while meditating can help you recharge your batteries and come back to your studies feeling refreshed.
If you've felt your mind wandering and it's only been a short time since you began preparing for your upcoming paper or exam, you might need some help learning how to focus. The mental aspect of meditation can be a great way to push distracting thoughts from your head and realize how to direct your mind's focus where you need it to go.
Not only can meditation benefit your study habits, but the feeling of relaxation that accompanies it can also help you get a good night's sleep before your exam. And as any college student who has ever pulled an all-nighter can attest, sleep makes a world of difference in the classroom.
Weight loss is something that many people strive for on a regular basis, especially when midnight on New Year's Eve rolls around. But while some people are just thinking about how good they'll look in a swimsuit, weight loss plans have a number of other advantages that can impact your health. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin dieting and exercising.
The truth is, people who are significantly overweight often deal with pain in the back, legs and feet. This is because their bodies are not strong enough to support those extra pounds comfortably. By relieving some of the pressure through weight loss, pain in your muscles and bones may also decrease.
It should come as no surprise that being overweight can also take quite a toll on your cardiovascular health. Your heart needs to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, and your blood vessels may be constrained by the buildup of plaque as the result of a poor diet. Regular exercise can significantly improve your heart's health.
A big part of losing weight is adjusting your diet to stop eating so many greasy snacks and fatty foods. Not only will this help you shed a few pounds, but by replacing this junk with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you'll also be giving your body the nutritional boost it needs to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you're the type of person who likes pumping iron in the gym, you may have overlooked yoga stretching in the past. However, yoga is becoming an increasingly popular way to stay fit and limber these days, and you might want to think about signing up for a class. Here are three yoga stretching benefits to keep in mind if you're still on the fence.
Cardio exercise is important for weight management, but it also can have a significant impact on your heart as well. Yoga stretches are a great way to boost blood circulation, reduce high blood pressure and lessen the chance of heart disease and heart attacks.
All those hours in the gym can really take a toll on your muscles. If you've been feeling particularly achy lately, you'll be happy to know what yoga exercises can target and relieve pain in specific muscle groups like the neck, back and shoulders.
If you like participating in organized sports leagues for football, baseball or hockey, yoga is the perfect way to stay loose and limber before a game. Increased flexibility can boost your speed and agility as well as strengthen muscles that your usual workout plan may have overlooked.
So, you've decided to sign up for a regular yoga class, and now you're wondering what your instructor has in store for you on day one. While it's easier to wrap your mind around practicing yoga stretches and poses, you might be a little confused about getting into yoga meditation exercises. Here are three things that frequent yoga meditation poses can help you achieve in your everyday life.
Eight hours of sleep
It can seem like there are never enough hours in the day to get things done, which makes getting a good night's sleep even more important. If you've been struggling to snooze for a solid eight hours each night, you'll be happy to know that meditation can assist in better sleep habits. This is because regular meditation can help you reduce stress levels and deal with distressing thoughts in a constructive way, giving you peace of mind to rest at night.
As mentioned above, meditation is great for working past feelings of stress and anxiety that may accompany work, school or your domestic life. By adopting a personal mantra and practicing deep breathing exercises, you may find that you're more relaxed and ready to take on the day after even a 10-minute meditation session.
Sometimes you just need to get away from the world for a brief time, and yoga meditation is the perfect way to do this. Once you have the basic principles down to meditate successfully, you can take the occasional break to meditate in your workplace or even head to a peaceful outdoor location where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings.
If you're trying yoga for the first time, you may be attempting to wrap your head around the practice of meditation. Along with stretching and breathing, yoga meditation is one of the core pillars of this ancient art form – however, it is also one of the most misunderstood. Here are a few yoga meditation techniques myths debunked.
Meditation involves intense concentration
While better concentration is often the goal of meditation, ArtofLiving.com notes that this practice actually involves letting go of conscious thought. By relaxing your body through breathing exercises, meditation allows your mind to rest and recharge without becoming distracted.
Yoga is like any other sport
According to FoxBusiness.com, many people are under the impression that yoga is a sport like cycling, boxing or weightlifting. However, this ancient practice is actually more like a way of life – involving spiritual growth, bodily transformation and mental adaptability. The physical side of yoga is almost secondary to the power of meditation and controlled breathing exercises.
Yoga is an eastern religion
If you're concerned about practicing yoga for religious reasons, fear not. According to the Huffington Post, the meditation practiced in yoga is not necessarily a religious aspect but more important to spiritual and personal growth. In fact, this practice is not so different to rituals found in Christianity, Judaism or Islam – meaning it is a common thread that runs through many of the world's cultures and communities.
If you're interested in getting involved with a yoga class, you're probably aware of the various poses and stretches involved. However, did you know that a large part of this exercise is centered around yoga meditation? Here are a few beginners tips to familiarize yourself with this practice.
Out of the many yoga meditation poses, the lotus pose is perhaps the most recognizable and traditional. According to ABC News, this is a great place to start your breathing and mind-clearing exercises. Simply cross your legs in a comfortable position, sit with your back straight and relax.
Point of focus
In order to clear your mind of disruptive thoughts, HelpGuide.org recommends giving yourself a point of focus. This can be a central idea, image, feeling or word that helps you stay calm and relaxed. Simply focus on this thought and repeat it throughout your meditation session.
Listen to your breathing
In addition to a point of focus, practicing deep, controlled breathing exercises is another important component of yoga meditation. According to MindBodyGreen.com, listen to the sound of your breathing and concentrate on the rising and falling motion of your chest to get yourself into a rhythm.