While you may have heard of yoga, or even tried some yoga stretching poses, you likely still know only a little about this physical and spiritual exercise. The history of yoga meditation is rich and long, and it’s something that you may want to research before you go to your next class. For example, the American Yoga Association states that while no one knows exactly when yoga began, it is believed to predate written history.
The AYA explains that there have been stone carvings in archeological sites in the Indus Valley that date back 5,000 years or even more. RandomHistory.com explains that yoga was likely born in India, and then was adopted by Hinduism as well as Buddhism and Jainism. While there are many different branches of yoga, there is usually a common theme – which is to focus on your consciousness.
One thing is certain – yoga has been widely embraced by Westerners, and it is now quite common to find people practicing yoga not only studios, but in parks and other public outdoor spaces. Now that you know a little more about this practice, you should consider trying it out yourself if you haven’t already.
Some people may think that yoga stretching poses are for people who don't participate in vigorous exercise, and they would be wrong. If you enjoy participating in contact sports or are training for a marathon, you should consider looking into yoga stretching for runners. Practicing yoga can help you excel at other sports, which is why, no matter what forms of exercise you usually do, you should give yoga a try.
CNN published an article explaining that runners often end up with injuries, especially as they get older. The news source suggested that one way that people may be able to combat injuries to their hamstrings or other parts of their body is to learn to stretch better, and yoga is the perfect avenue to do that.
Furthermore, Runner's World magazine recommends that people who enjoy running practice yoga regularly to increase their flexibility, which may help them have a better range of motion in their joints that will help keep them from getting injured.
For all of these reasons, if you love running, it may be time to sign up for a yoga class.
If you're feeling stressed out, you should consider practicing yoga stretching poses that have been shown to help relieve anxiety. Yoga combines exercise and meditation techniques to help relax both your body and mind, which is why you should consider looking into yoga stretching if you're overwhelmed. Recently, The Huffington Post explained a little more about which yoga stretching poses are best if you're feeling anxious.
"Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into the breath. Simply the focus on one thing – which is the very definition of meditation – allows us to decompress," Terri Kennedy, Ph.D., registered yoga teacher, told The Huffington Post. "The actual asanas [poses] release tension in different ways, and help certain parts of the body."
Kennedy recommended trying the calming child's pose, which involves kneeling and stretching the body as though you're bowing. This position can quiet the mind and ease stress.
Yahoo! states that if you're really a beginner, you may want to start with the corpse pose, which involves simply being spread out on the ground. According to the news source, this pose relaxes the entire body.
New stories about yoga meditation techniques appear in the headlines every day, thanks in part to the holistic system's many positive effects for the body and mind. Yoga can do everything from relieving muscular tension to helping the body maintain an even temperature – but that doesn't mean you need to strip down to your skin to get the full effect.
Yet, that's exactly what one studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn, encourages its enthusiasts to do. According to the Huffington Post, the center in question teaches nude yoga stretching poses for men. Just men, apparently.
So why do yoga in your birthday suit? On its website, the studio explains that it "reveals a wealth of information about the alignment of both teacher and student, which is otherwise hidden from view. The naked practice also fosters commonality and community, which can lead to a deeply supportive experience for everyone involved."
That's fine if it's your thing, but generally speaking, it's unnecessary to be nude in order to bond with a yoga community.
And as for improving your alignment and regulating your body heat, wearing a loose-fitted, organic-weave, long-sleeved shirt and pants is all you need. So get excited about yoga, sure, but keep your pants on!
The students at Boston University's School of Medicine are under some serious strain. Between test prep, lecture classes, labs, clinical practice, studying and…well, more studying, the med students at this storied university could certainly use some yoga stretching benefits.
And according to NPR's affiliate in Boston, WBUR, many of them are doing just that. In a story cheekily titled "Downward-Facing Docs," the news radio station described how the students are now taking a weekly half-hour yoga course.
Lest you think that only the holistically-minded are trying out yoga stretching poses at BU, it may help to know that these classes are mandatory. They are part of the school's effort to teach med students about de-stressing through deep breathing, meditation and the "relaxation response."
The classes couldn't have come at a better time:
- A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that, due to depression and stress, as many as 11 percent of med students contemplate suicide in a given year.
- In the same report, 50 percent of respondents described having experienced academic burnout.
- And another study, this one appearing in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that the average med student receives just under 2.5 hours of sleep education during their entire academic trajectory.
Somebody get these kids into a yoga class, stat!
What is the best way to choose yoga stretching poses that will be a good fit for you? Recently, experts told the Vancouver Sun that it all hinges on your physical health, your job, your hobbies and your commitment to yoga.
"It depends on what you need in your life," yoga teacher Christina Niven told the newspaper. She explained that yoga regimens are so plentiful in part because people spend their time doing so many different things, which leaves them in need of various forms of holistic healing at the end of the day.
For example, office workers may prefer yoga meditation techniques that get their blood pumping a bit, since the sedentary nature of their job can leave them lacking the cardiovascular stimulation that their body craves.
On the other hand, folks who get plenty of exercise already, or who have physical limitations that prevent rigorous bending or stretching, might benefit from a more soothing program, especially one that focuses on mind-body healing the way that Dahn Yoga does.
Niven noted that it may help to visit your local yoga community center to see if its regimen is a good fit.
When looking for quick weight loss tips and exercise suggestions, it is tempting to try getting a gym membership. While these purchases usually involve a free trial period, they can ultimately be quite costly – both for your wallet and your mind.
It turns out that gym jargon can be confusing, sometimes to the point that members are unsure what benefits they are getting from their membership.
An article published by Reuters explained that confusing anatomical lingo and exercise-related buzzwords can obscure what is most important about exercising – namely, the improvements it can bestow upon the body and mind.
"[Gym] terms are important if a client wants to know them," trainer Josh Stolz told the news source. "[But] understanding how the body moves, which muscles move you in which direction and the exercises associated with them, is really the key."
Unlike gyms, which often obfuscate by using a dizzying amount of physiological terminology, Dahn Yoga centers strive to simplify the pursuit of mental and physical excellence. For that reason, our yoga stretching poses, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation techniques have basic, transparent names.
Becoming more limber is one the goals of most exercise regimens, which is one reason why yoga stretching poses are so integral to holistic health. A brand new blog post at the Huffington Post noted that it is especially important to address the flexibility of one's hamstrings, since these muscles can cause serious pain if injured.
Health writer Eva Norlyk Smith stated that the "number one yoga mistake" is to go beyond what your muscles can handle, resulting in sprained or torn hamstrings, or chronic lower back pain. One of the most commonly injured muscle groups are the hamstrings, which are found at the back of the upper leg.
Among beginners, these muscles are often quite tight. Stretching too hard too fast can result in leg and back pain.
Unsure whether your hamstrings are tight? Try this quick test. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Reach out toward your toes. Now slowly bend forward, trying to touch your fingertips to your toes or the soles of your feet. Only stretch as far as you are comfortable.
Did you have difficulty touching your toes? Did you feel strong discomfort in your legs and back? If so, you probably have tight hamstrings, something that yoga stretching for beginners can gradually improve.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that people who use this muscle group often – like yoga practitioners – maintain a year-round stretching routine designed to keep the legs flexible.
Smith added that yoga experts often have the opposite problem – namely, that their hammies are too loose, which allows them to stretch their inner thighs too far, occasionally leading to pelvic or lower back pain. She recommended that extra-flexible students take it easy on their hamstrings.
Numerous studies have connected increased flexibility to improvements in balance, mobility and quality of life.
Your first day at a new job can be an exciting and nerve-racking experience, much like the first day in a new school or the first time trying different yoga stretching poses or new yoga meditation techniques. The transition can be difficult, and it may take some time to feel completely comfortable.
Career coach Adele Scheele, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, explains that you can speed up the acclimation process by sticking to a few rules.
On your first day, it's important to blend in by not drawing too much attention to yourself. Instead, try to absorb the business culture around you. Don't be too quick to re-arrange schedules or change staff, otherwise your first day will resemble the aftermath of a steamroller or wrecking ball.
Remember to cut yourself some slack on your first day. No matter how prepared you are, you're going to make a mistake. Smile, laugh and forgive yourself. No one is expecting you to be perfect on your first day. In relation to your job duties, everyone learns a position best by doing, so jump right in. When you do make a mistake, apologize and learn from it.
According to the Army Times, it's wise to clear your personal calendar for your first few days on the job. This freedom will allow you to stay late if the need arises, and you can focus your entire day on your work.
To avoid annoying your new colleagues and bosses, keep your questions to a minimum. Remember that the people around you want to help you out, but they also have their own jobs to do. Fight the urge to bother someone with a question the instant it pops into your head. Instead, carry a notepad with you at all times, jot down your questions as they arise and wait for the appropriate moment to ask them.
Many people have enjoyed the guidance and support provided by a mentor, a professional with more experience who provides critical advice and career enhancing challenges. But recently, this difficult job market has bred a new support role – the sponsor.
According to career coach Colette Martin in an advice column for Forbes, a sponsor is a trusted professional that gives you advice and clarity – similar to a mentor – but this person is connected within an organization where you work or are hoping to work. The sponsor is like your personal public relations machine, advocating on your behalf for a new job or promotion within the company.
Typically, a sponsor is someone in a leadership position. This person will have the clout to lobby for you when a number of names are being circulated for a new opportunity. An advocate like this can be essential to moving up the ladder, as each open position attracts the interest of many qualified candidates. A sponsor won't have much pull in getting you a job that you are not qualified for, but this professional can surely help bring your name to the top of the list if you are qualified.
Finding a sponsor can require some hard work. While some companies offer formal mentoring and sponsorship programs, most cases require you to network to nurture this type of professional relationship.
Working Mother suggests that you network with senior executives whenever possible. At each meeting or work event, make yourself engage with two people who can help your career. Whenever possible, take part in work-sponsored social events or volunteer opportunities. It's likely that you'll meet some high-ranking professionals, and you'll do so in a fun, non-threatening environment.
When choosing a potential sponsor, look to someone who seems to be well-liked, well-connected and who is an ace at networking. Ideally, a sponsor would also be someone that you share some similar interests with. If you love yoga meditation, for example, and you find a sponsor who also enjoys yoga stretching poses, you may foster a deeper professional connection.