WHAT IS YOGA? Yoga means to join or “yoke” together the mind, body and spirit. The aim of Yoga for Health is to bring balance into the body physically, mentally and emotionally. By connecting to ourselves through the breath, we can bring our bodies from a state of “dis-ease” to a place of health.
PROVEN BENEFITS OF YOGA The health benefits of Yoga are clearly documented in a compilation by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Based on literature searches, IAYT reports the following physiological benefits of yoga based on regular practice of traditional yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation:
BENEFITS OF YOGA Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium Pulse rate decreases Respiratory rate decreases Blood pressure decreases EEG: alpha wave increase ( theta, delta and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation
BENEFITS OF YOGA EMG activity decreases Cardiovascular efficiency increases Respiratory volume and vital capacity increases Gastrointestinal function normalizes Endocrine function normalizes Excretory functions improve Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
BENEFITS OF YOGA Posture improves Strength and resiliency increase Endurance increases Energy levels increase Weight normalizes Sleep improves Immune function normalizes Pain decreases
PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY Medical field of investigation that studies the relationship of the mind and body, as well as its effect on health and disease. Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine, taught his students to look at psychosocial factors surrounding individuals in order to understand certain diseases.
CNS AND IMMUNE SYSTEM Recent studies show a bidirectional relationship between the central nervous and immune systems. Researchers continue to explore the mysteries of how diseases affect behavior as well as the role of psychosocial interventions on preventing disease, decreasing the severity of illness and positively impacting disease outcomes.
STRESS RESPONSE: FIGHT OR FLIGHT Heart rate increases, Blood flow is shifted to skeletal muscles, Pupils dilate, Immune function altered -a decrease in the number of T-lymphocytes, reduced natural killer cell activity against tumor cells and decreased production of cytokines.
WHAT IS ALLOSTATIC LOAD?Refers to the long-term effect of chronic stress on the body, the “wear and tear”; Researchers believe that increases in the allostatic load increase vulnerability to certain diseases
Yoga is an antidote for stress and a potentially powerful complement to living a healthy, balanced life.
HISTORY OF YOGA The earliest archeological evidence of Yoga’s existence is found in stone engravings that date back to around 3000 B.C. Bothyoga and Shamanism have similar characteristics in their attempts to improve health and promote healing through spiritual mediation.
HISTORY OF YOGA The oldest known yoga teachings are found in the Vedas, the sacred scripture of Brahmanism that is the basis of modern- day Hinduism. The Vedas are said to be the oldest sacred texts still used today. Most anthropologists agree that an oral tradition existed long before a literary tradition which gradually set in from about the 2nd century BCE. Yoga was used as a tool to live in harmony, mind, body and spirit.
HISTORY OF YOGA Yoga shares some characteristics with Hinduism and Buddhism. During the sixth century B.C., Buddha started teaching the importance of meditation and the practice of physical postures. At the age of 35, Siddharta Gautama, the first Buddhist to study yoga, achieved enlightenment, described as an intellectual understanding, an intuitive knowing and a total transformation of the heart and mind.
PANTANJALI Wrote The Yoga Sutra around the second century in an attempt to define and standardize classical Yoga. It comprises 195 sutras or “threads” as well as an “Eightfold-Path.”
EIGHT LIMBS OF CLASSICAL YOGA. Yama: social restraints or ethical values; Niyama: personal observance of purity, tolerance, and study; Asana: or physical exercises; Pranayama: breath control or regulation; Pratyahara: sense withdrawal in preparation for meditation (contemplation); Dharana: concentration; Dhyana: meditation; and Samadhi: ecstasy.
SWAMI SIVANANDA Well-known teacher, and doctor in Malaysia who opened schools in America and Europe. The most famous of his works is the Five Principles of Yoga which are: Savasana: proper relaxation; Asanas: proper exercise; Pranayama: proper breathing; Proper diet; and Dhyana: positive thinking and Meditation (contemplation)
Comparison of Popular Yoga Styles Anasura Ashtanga Bikram Integral IyengarHeart-centered Poses are linked A series of 26 Integrates Hatha Emphasis onYoga practice by breath in poses and Yoga with other healing mind andwhich varies flowing breathing branches such body with poses.according to the sequences to exercises as Karma Yoga Teachescreative produce internal performed twice (selfless service) awarenessdirection of the heat and in a room heated and bhakti yoga through mindfulteacher. purifying sweat. to 105 degrees. (devotion) - movement,Anusara is Ashtanga means Promotes emphasizes anatomicalsanskit for “eight limb detoxification union with the precision and“flowing with practice.” Based and quick divine. alignment in thegrace.” on eight limbs of muscle warm-up. poses. Yoga. a.k.a. “Hot Yoga” BKS Iyengar’s book: Light on Yoga (1966) sparked Yoga practice in the westFounder: Founder: Founder: Bikram Founder: Swami Founder:John Friend Sri K. Pattibhi Choudhury Satchidananda Sri BKS Iyengar(1959) Jois (1946) (1914-2002) : (1918) (1915) gave the opening speech at Woodstock (1969)
Comparison of Popular Yoga Styles Jivamukti Kripalu Kundalini Power SivanandaBased on devotional “Moving Classes focus on A vigorous practice Incorporatesyoga practice and meditation” is how kriyas or that is an American techniques from allahimsa, non-harming. this form of yoga is sequences adaptation of yoga paths – aCombines a vigorous described. Focus including Ashtanga Yoga. spiritually basedflow practice integrating on relaxation and relaxation, Focus on holding focus.classic yoga healing. Especially reciting mantras poses and building All classes taught inphilosophy. good for people and chanting. strength. Sanskrit. Pranayama, with physical Based on moving relaxation and 12 limitations. energy up the foundational poses. spine.Founders: Sharon Founder: Swami Founder: Yoga Founder: Baron Founder: SwamiGannon (1951) and Kripalu Bhajan Baptiste VishnudevanandaDavid Life (1950) (1913-1981) (1929-2004) (1963) ( 1927-1993)
Yoga Therapy Vinyasa Viniyoga Tantra Phoenix Rising Yoga TherapyAn Freeform Focuses intensely Tantra views the A therapeuticindividualized yoga flowing on the breath, body as a approachyoga practice with the incorporating manifestation of developed by anfor those with breath based pranayama the divine and a Australian whoinjuries or on Ashtanga techniques and vehicle for self- comes from therecovering but may or chanting into asana transformation. Kripalu tradition.from a may not be as practice. Postures Most of what we Integration oftraumatic intense are gentle and know of as yoga in yoga and westernevent. depending on students flow in the West owes psychology.A personalized the teacher. and out of the much to this The Therapistplan for natural Also called poses, sometimes tradition. moves your bodyhealing. “Flow Yoga” holding them, but Uses the widest through a number “- a usually briefly. possible array of of passive yoga conscious Risk of Injury very yogic tools. poses and evolution low, making this In addition to encourages connecting style well suited for asana and discussion each moment students with pranayama, it regarding with the chronic disease. incorporates thoughts, unifying mantra, sensations and/or breath.” vitualization, and emotions. - Shiva focused Rea meditation. Also includes kriyas or cleansing practices.Founder: Sri T. Based on Founder: T.K.V. Rolf Solvik and Founder: MichaelKrishnamachar Ashtanga Desikachar, son of Rod Stryker are Leeya Yoga Krishnamacharya known for this(1888-1989) ( Yoga Therapy) technique– Himalayan Institute
LIVING MINDFULLY THROUGH THE BREATHThere is a direct link between our breathing andthe way we feel physically and emotionally.
BREATH AWARENESSWe speak of a sigh of relief, of gasping inhorror, of holding the breath inanticipation, of being breathless withexcitement.Laughing, sighing, yawning, yelling,gasping, screaming – nature provides uswith all these responses to help us fulfillthe emotional demands of the instant.Physically, the breath gives us the extraoxygen we need for all these functions.
Pranayama: Breathing in the Life ForceBy deliberately controlling the breath, we canconsciously alter many physical and emotionalfunctions of the body like the heartbeat, bloodflow, mental states and hormones.
THE ART OF YOGA BREATHING• Begin by observing the natural inhalation and exhalation of your breath without changing anything.• As you inhale, say to yourself, “I notice I am inhaling,” and as you exhale, say to yourself, “ I notice I am exhaling.”• Stay focused on the breath for five 5 breath cycles.
THREE-PART BREATHING: PART I Begin to inhale deeply through the nose while filling the belly up with your breath. Expand the belly with air like a balloon. On each exhale, expel all the air out from the belly through your nose. Draw the navel back towards your spine to make sure that the belly is empty of air. Repeat this deep belly breathing for five (5) breath cycles.
THREE-PART BREATHING: PART IIOn the next inhale, fill the belly up with air asdescribed before. Then when the belly is full,draw in a little more breath and let that airexpand into the rib cage causing the ribs towiden apart.
THREE-PART BREATHING: PART IIAs you exhale, let the air go first from the ribcage, letting the ribs slide closer together,and then from the belly, drawing the navelback towards the spine. Repeat for fivebreaths.
THREE PART BREATHING: INHALE On the next inhale, fill the belly and rib cage up with air as described before. Then draw in just a little more air and let it fill the upper chest, all the way up to the collarbone, causing the area around the heart (which is called the heart center in yoga), to expand and rise.
THREE PART BREATHING: EXHALEAs you exhale, let the breathgo first from the upper chest,allowing the chest to dropslightly, then from the ribcage, letting the ribs slidecloser together. Finally, let theair go from the belly, drawingthe navel back towards thespine.
THREE PART BREATHING:THINK OF A WATER PITCHER As you inhale, you fill the water pitcher (your body) from the bottom up; As you exhale, you empty the water pitcher (your body) from the top to the bottom.
THREE PART BREATH:PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHERYou are practicing three-part breath! Continue at your own pace, eventually coming to let the three parts of the breath happen smoothly without pausing. Continue for about 10 breaths.
We know that life begins with the first breath and ends with the last,but it is how we breathe in betweenthat greatly impacts how well we live this life! - Nancy Zi (The Art of Breathing)