Yoga Blog

Benefits Of Meditation

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When we meditate we elicit the opposite bodily reaction from the “fight or flight” response — a state of deep relaxation.

Benefits from a deep state of relaxation include:

1. Balanced breathing
2. Normalized pulse / heart rate
3. Regulated blood pressure
These are the key markers of lower stress levels and good health in the body. 

Daily practice of meditation soon leads to the following benefits.

1. Better sleep.
2. Increase of happiness.
3. Balanced emotional state.
4. Decrease of depression and anxiety.

Join us at yoga class and learn how to meditate and get inspired to start a daily practice of deep relaxation.

Let’s Take It Slow

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There are many different styles of yoga and variations of them and this causes many different ideas on how long we should hold a yoga posture. Don’t let this confuse you because it really depends on the person.

The yoga class and practice should be up to the individual, because we all have different bodies, health and ability levels. You should go to a class that challenges you to hold a little longer and allows you to go at your own pace when you need to.

 

These are the gifts I have noticed from taking my yoga a little slower and here are the reasons I believe we should hold the postures a little longer:

  • Stretching muscles

It’s obvious if you have ever have had tight muscles this is going to take a little time to undo the tightness. It took your body some time to tighten it will take a little time to undo this.

  • Building strength

Holding a yoga posture helps build strength and stamina and the muscles need to work harder.

  • Physical Alignment

It take a little time for your body to adjust to the spinal alignment. It takes time to feel it and to understand what is physical balance.

  • Releasing pain

We create holding patterns and going deeper and longer in the posture unravels these patterns and allows us to experience peace and gentleness in the body.

  • Balancing the nervous system

Your nervous system needs a little time to adjust before running on to the next posture. We need to balance and calm the nervous system.

  • Allowing the breath to be present

When we are in postures we have time to be present not only in our bodies but with our breath. We can connect our breath and body.

  • Exploring your internal world

Do you know how amazing you are? There is an entire universe inside you of health, peace, beauty and bliss.

  • Overcoming emotions

When we hold postures longer there is more time to emotions to come up and to release them. This is extremely healthy. If you are busy keeping up in class this process will not be able to work.

  • Building mental & emotional resistance and strength

We do this by practicing an attitude of overcoming obstacles. This is not just a metaphor while holding long postures… “Are we done yet” can sometimes be the thoughts that come up. Going beyond our comfort zone will allow us to succeed not only in the yoga practice but also in overcoming obstacles and accomplishing our goals beyond the mat

 

This is what participants in Thursday’s class where we take things slow have noticed in just a few weeks of practice:

“I’ve benefitted from holding yoga postures longer because it has helped me with three things: Created better body awareness, increased my stability and has helped my flexibility. I would recommend the Thursday night class to everyone, not just beginners. Everyone, no matter their fitness level, beginner or more advanced, can benefit from increased body awareness, better stability and flexibility.”  – Dr. Julie Vance, Chiropractor

“For me, it is my neck and shoulders that give me discomfort. I have benefited immediately from holding postures longer because the relief when i release is incredibly more noticeable and lasts a lot longer. I would recommend Thursday night class because Ricky guides us through postures that release tension and increase flexibility in areas that you may not have even known you needed it. And the relief in problem areas is very noticeable. I always sleep better on Thursday nights!”  – Lynn Beyer, Workforce Program Manager, NFPA

One Yoga Posture A Day Challenge – Keep Going !

Maybe you haven’t gotten started.  Maybe its hard to keep with it.  Maybe you missed a day here or there.  This is all normal.  This is life with it’s ups and downs.  I want you to know it’s ok.

You can begin now, begin again, refocus and get back on track.  You are amazing after all and have everything you need inside for an amazing yoga class.  Seriously!  All you need to do is think about one posture a day.  You know way more than one posture anyway.  So what is that one posture that would make a difference for you?  You still don’t have a posture… hmmmm ok. What about here: https://openlotusyoga.com/resources/

Now you got the posture.  Cool !

Oh the posture is not the problem.. I get it.. ok so the time, is that it?  How about when you wake up?  fall asleep? lunch? work break? or before you go to bed? You see there are so many times of the day to do only one posture.

Ahh so you don’t remember… I forget all the time too.  How about writing it into your calendar, setting an alarm on your phone, putting it on your to do list, posting a sign on your door before you go to work.  Remember you only need to do it for a minute or two.  There is totally enough time before work, during lunch, at a break or after work or before bed.

Ok so you got the posture, you got the time and you remember, you have everything you need to get started and keep going. Please send me an email and let me know how it’s going or what challenges you have to openlotusyoga@yahoo.com.  Maybe you will give me a great idea for the next blog post.

Thanks !

 

 

One Posture A Day Challenge – Let’s begin !

You are invited to join us for the one posture a day challenge.  How does it work?  All you need to do is find time in your day to do one yoga posture.  Get on your mat or get in your chair for one posture and amazing things will happen.  You might even find yourself doing more than one posture and that’s great too.

Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Choose a time that works for you to start a great habit.  Maybe its when you first wake up.  Maybe it’s in your office with the door closed during lunch, or after work when you get home and need some relaxation and energy.  Still haven’t gotten the posture of the day in?  How about right before you go to bed?

2. Limit outside distractions.  Turn off your phone.  Close the door.  Ask people around you to give you a few minutes of peace.

3. Choose a yoga posture.  There are many postures that you remember from yoga class, get a book from the library or click on the yoga postures section of this web site for inspiration.

4. Hold it for a minute or two each side to start with.

5. The most important thing to do.  Breathe full inhale and exhales.  Practice lengthening the breath as you sustain the posture.

 

You will be amazed at how you feel !

It would be great to hear your feed back.  Just email me at openlotusyoga@yahoo.com.

Something truly amazing and wonderful will happen today !

Ricky Heldt

The Power of Postures

I am speaking at a conference for Caregivers about the power that even doing one posture has to change the way we feel.  I have always felt that we don’t need to do yoga postures all day long or all of the most difficult postures to have life changing results.  Here is the evidence below for a Ted Talk I have recently watched on how just doing one power posture can change the way others see you, how you feel and cause tremendous results.  We are our postures.

Our Natural State of Harmony

None of us would doubt that tension in our bodies makes us feel bad, uncomfortable, sad, confused or even fearful.  These emotional states are often the cause of the tension our bodies feel in the first place.  Our emotions and how our bodies feel are cyclical.  Negative and dark emotions begin to affect our bodies and make us feel bad and in pain, this makes us feel more negative thoughts and emotions.  Our bodies can be self-perpetuating tension and stress machines and the only way to fuel it, is more tension.

Stress in our emotional state causes tension in our physical state.  We can interchange the words stress or tension, because they really mean the same things.  The reason tension inside our bodies is experienced as pain is that this it is our bodies warning signal to wake up.  Tension in our bodies and mental states is not in harmony with who we are meant to be.  This disharmony is why we feel it as pain.

There is another way of being.  Our natural state of harmony is one of happiness, joy, beauty and peace.  This is the harmony that we are all meant to live in and embody.  It’s not a coincidence that it makes us feel good inside to laugh, to smile, to live in awe and to be a good friend.  Being happy, joyful and at peace will allow us to not only be beautiful, but it will allow us to be free of pain and tension in our bodies.  I believe we can reverse the cyclical nature of our bodies to be one of happiness instead of tension.  Do not underestimate how joy, happiness and peace can heal your body, mind and spirit.

So today, laugh a little more, smile a little harder, give in to joy and be nice to someone that needs it.  Really, it’s not hard to be an amazing person, all we need to do is be our best selves.  After all you are already amazing!