The World of Yoga

The word yoga means union. It is a union of the body, mind and spirit. It is also a practice of meditation and stretching. Modern yoga is based on what was written by Patajali.

The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. It is a derivation of the word yuj, which means yoking, as in a team of oxen. In contemporary practice, this is often interpreted as meaning union. Yoga is said to be for the purpose of uniting the mind, body, and spirit.

Meditation is one way, but sometimes it is necessary to prepare the body for meditation by stretching and building strength. This is the physical practice of yoga, also know as asana.

Most modern yoga practices rely heavily on the Yoga Sutras of Patajali, a series of aphorisms written c. 250 CE, as the basis for their philosophies. Patanjali classifies asana as one of the eight “limbs” of yoga, the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being than physical activity.

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There are different yoga poses. For one to have a succeful yoga session they must do these poses. It is important to work with an instructor so as to get the poses right and enjoy the benefits of doing so.



This move seems simple, but doing it right helps with posture and balance. Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (or wider if that’s more comfortable), arms by your sides. Imagine lifting through your inner feet and ankles. Pull your shoulder blades down, and widen your collarbones. Keep your head in line with your shoulders (not pulled back or forward), your chin parallel to the floor. Your pelvis and lower back should be neutral, not tucked or arched. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Downward Facing Dog

This pose works the upper body and stretches your arms, chest, legs, and back muscles. Get on all fours, toes turned under, knees below hips, and hands a bit in front of your shoulders. Exhale and start to straighten your legs, letting your heels pop up from the floor. Lift your sitting bones to the sky, and push your heels toward the floor. Lightly press your palms into your mat and slowly straighten your arms as you draw your shoulder blades down. Relax your head, and try to keep it between your upper arms. Hold 1-3 minutes.

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Yoga is not only for meditation but it also works wonders for a fat belly. This is one of the easiest exercises for those who have fat in their middle section.

A number of yoga poses focus on the belly and core. Poses such as Bridge lengthen the abdominal muscles. The Boat, Plank and Upward Abdominal Lock strengthen and tone abs. Even your oblique muscles will benefit from poses such as Extended Side Angle, Triangle and Side Plank. Performing these and other ab poses as part of any regular yoga practice should successfully tone your abdominal muscles, but won’t shed the top layer of belly fat. Only calorie-burning, stress reduction and dietary changes will help you lose the fat.