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  1. Hi Everyone, I was surfing the net looking for a new yoga mat and came across a new kind of yoga mat based on computer technology. What do you guys think about the Smart Mat? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2776490/Never-downward-dog-wrong-250-Smart-YOGA-MAT-tells-wrong-position.html Namaste
  2. If you're looking for something like a complete body workout. You can learn to do the Sun Salutations. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation comprises a sequence of 12 yoga posture. When I was training hard for mountain climbing expeditions, I would do a minimum of 12 sets of Sun Salutations usually as a warmup and sometimes to wind down a difficult day of training. Doing the Sun Salutation 12 times would work out to 288 yoga poses. Once I was able to learn it and do it with good form, it would take about 12 to 15 minutes. Nowadays on busy days when I would like to still get in some yoga, I would do Sun Salutations. Also I have a choice of doing it super fast, so it gives me a good cardiovascular workout or I would do it very very slowly, so as to get a very meditative workout which helps me to tone my muscles. Just make sure you do this in good form and break apart each posture and find out how to do it correctly. Namaste
  3. When I was doing some rehab on my wrist and forearms, my physical therapist gave me this routine to strengthen my wrist and forearms: 1. Extend your arms out about shoulder length with your palm facing down and rapidly make a fist and open your fist. When you open your fist, stretch your fingers as wide apart as you get them. Start with 30 sec and work your way up to several minutes. You can do this several times a day. 2. Then do the above exercise with your palms facing down. 3. Sit on a chair and with your back straight, place your forearms on your thighs with your thumb pointed upward. Using a light weight with your palms face up, curl the weight up and down slowly for three sets of 20 reps. Start with a light weight and you can work your way up to 20 lb. 4. You can also do the above exercise with your palms facing down. 5. You can also put your palms on a table and stretch all your fingers and push down as you would do in yoga pose. Try to get your hands, fingers and palms as flat as you can. Start with 30 sec and work your way up to several minutes. You can do this against a wall also. Try to just used your hands, wrists and palms. 6. You can also get a towel and put some weights on the end of the towel on a table and place your palms flat with fingers stretched at the other end of the towel. Then use your fingers and palms to pull the weight towards your palm. 7. For this last one, you will need a stick from a broom or a mop. Buy some weights which have a hole in the middle. Get some 4ft-6ft twine, tie a knot to the weight and tie a knot to the middle of the stick. You can use any object, like a bag of sand. You can do this standing or sitting. Hold the stick with your palms facing down and twist the weight as the twine wraps around the stick. When the object reaches the top, twist your wrist the other way to make the object go down. Do as many as these as you can. This will build up your wrist and forearms. Doing the above helped me a lot in building strength and dexterity in my hands and fingers. Hopefully this will help. Namaste.
  4. Candace has this on her blog: http://yogabycandace.com/blog/flip-grip-dancers-pose-strap This is on the Yoga Journals site: http://www.yogajournal.com/uncategorized/flip-grip-tips-master-tricky-yoga-pose/ Namaste.
  5. Here are some links relating to emotions and yoga: http://www.yogapoint.com/articles/asanas_emotions.htm http://www.yogitimes.com/article/yoga-practice-asanas-balance-emotions-healthy-mind http://newconnexion.net/articles/index.cfm/2009/01/Emotional_Benefits_of_Yoga_Asana.html http://www.gaiamtv.com/article/4-yoga-postures-cleanse-emotional-body https://oneyogalife.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/how-yoga-affect-our-emotions/ http://yoga.lovetoknow.com/asanas-emotional-healing http://www.divinecaroline.com/beauty/how-yoga-unlocks-emotions-camel-pose-then-crying http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/emotions-in-motion/ http://www.raeindigoyoga.com/yoga-asana-emotions-internal-organs/ http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/yoga-meditation/demystifying-yoga/an-asana-can-change-your-life/ http://www.kripalu.org/article/274/ http://www.yogastudio.nl/library/downloads/yoga-for-emotional-stability.pdf http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10109/what-your-chakras-have-to-do-with-emotions-in-yoga.html http://www.melindalippert.com/my-energy-therapy-techniques/yoga-for-emotional-healing-2/ http://blog.yogaglo.com/2012/10/why-are-students-overcome-with-emotions-after-yoga-class/ Here are a few books about yoga and emotions: This link is by Nancy Gerstein, who is commented on an excerpt from her book: Guiding Yoga's Light: Lessons for Yoga Teachers http://www.omplace.com/articles/Yoga_Emotion.html http://www.amazon.com/Capturing-Bliss-Ayurveda-Yoga-Emotions/dp/0972123334/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428133569&sr=1-1&keywords=%22yoga+and+emotions%22 http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Lifestyle-Improving-healthier-appreciate-ebook/dp/B00KSPDPH2/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428133569&sr=1-2&keywords=%22yoga+and+emotions%22 http://www.amazon.ca/Emotional-Yoga-Body-Heal-Mind/dp/0684862778 You might also want to look into some yoga practices that emphasizes the emotional side of yoga, such as Kundalini Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. All these use different ways of creating an environment to help open and elicit the emotional or spiritual response in us. Hope this helps. Namaste
  6. Here is an interesting article about why some people cry after a great experience on their yoga mat: http://blog.yogaglo.com/2012/10/why-are-students-overcome-with-emotions-after-yoga-class/ Here is a more relevant link to your question about emotions and yoga poses: http://www.melindalippert.com/my-energy-therapy-techniques/yoga-for-emotional-healing-2/
  7. About a month ago, one of friend's daughter asked me to provide a group of her friends some tips on how to start a yoga practice. So I decided to turn back time to see what advices that I would have like to have had when I started my yoga practice. So I thought I would share this with the group. Start by building a foundation. Consider either a sequence from Hatha, Yin or Restorative Yoga. Easiest would be to find a 15-20 min. sequence on YouTube for beginners. Don't start doing Vinyasa or Flow Yoga until you have spent some time familiarising yourself with some yoga postures. iyengar Yoga is another good choice as it is rigorous for perfect alignment in each pose. Learning how to breathe in Yoga is very important if not the most important. Let your breath guide you in every posture. Your breath will tell you how you doing in a posture. Some people will forget to breath when they come across a difficult posture. When you become aware that you are not breathing, take it back a notch until your breathing becomes normal and then try to move a little deeper into the posture. A long and even inhale and exhale is best. Later, consider learning the basic of Pranayama. Learn to engage your whole body in every posture. Learn to draw strength from every part of your body for each pose. Learn how each part of your body is helping to support your pose. Every part of your body is doing something in each pose. Find out what that purpose is so you completely understand the pose. Start a pose journal. Start at Yoga Journal website as there are several descriptions of the same poses by different instructors. Makes a list of the do's and don'ts of each pose. Do a Goggle on basic and fundamental poses. You will eventually find out that it's these basic poses that become building blocks for the more difficult poses. Learn to be completely balance in every pose. Whenever you are unbalanced mentally, physically or spiritually, you will do be able to do a psoe correctly. Learn some basic anatomy. You need to know the parts of your anatomy as well as how each relates to each other. There are many anatomy books for yoga. Learn how to use props correctly. They will offer support and let you know how a pose is suppose to feel like when you can do the complete pose. Sometimes they are used for restorative days. Try to do your chosen yoga sequence every day for one month. It usually takes about 20 some odd days to create a habit. Be patient as there is never a need to go full out at this stage. This can only lead to pain or injury. Don't compare yourself with other. Your practice will always be your practice. You are only competition is yourself. Hopefully this will help you or someone else who is a beginner. I'm sure that there are a lot of things that I have missed. Please help me by filling in the holes. I wished I had these advices when I started yoga. Namaste.