Forward Folds to Strengthen and Stretch Your Pelvic Muscles
The following are some of the most common questions about Forward Folds to Strengthen and Stretch Your Pelvic Muscles:
1) What is Yoga? Yoga is a form of exercise that involves stretching or relaxing muscles through various postures.
There are many types of yoga including hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, and others. Yoga is considered one of the best forms of physical activity that helps improve flexibility, strength, balance and endurance.
2) How do I start practicing yoga? There are many ways to practice yoga.
You can choose from any type of yoga class offered at your local gym or studio. Some popular types of classes include:
Hatha Yoga – A form of yoga that emphasizes energy flow rather than strength. Hatha yoga is practiced with a variety of postures such as seated forward bends, standing forward bends, sitting twists and other variations.
Vinyasa Yoga – Vinyasa is a term used to refer to the sequence of postural movements performed during a particular pose. Vinyasas are often done slowly and gradually build up into higher levels of movement.
Restorative Yoga – This is a slow and gentle form of yoga where particular attention is given to the poses, breathing patterns and relaxation.
Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga – Commonly known as hot yoga, Bikram yoga is performed in rooms heated to a high temperature. Each class consists of a specific series of 26 postures performed in the sequence.
Ashtanga Yoga – Originating in India, it is one of the most famous styles of yoga. Each class is based on a set series of postures called the primary series or the middle series. There are six sequences in all, which are taught in an escalating order of difficulty.
3) What are the physical and mental benefits of practicing yoga? Yoga is known to give a calming effect to the mind and improves concentration and focus.
It also helps increase strength and flexibility of muscles. Practicing yoga can also strengthen the respiratory system as well as increase heart strength.
Practicing yoga on a regular basis can also help:
Improve your posture and body alignment
Improve muscle tone and physical strength
Help you lose weight and get fit
Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
Maintain a healthy digestive system
People who suffer from asthma may find relief from their symptoms by practicing yoga regularly.
Yoga is very safe for people of all ages and can help provide a healthier life.
4) What are the various types of Yoga?
Ashtanga yoga was brought to the US in the 20th century and developed into a popular style of yoga by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. It involves engaging in a series of poses performed in unison with the breath. It is a vigorous style of yoga and involves a lot of strength and flexibility.
Bikram yoga is another style of yoga that was brought to the US by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970’s. It involves performing 26 poses, 2 breathing exercises and 2 meditation exercises in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It was originally designed to be performed in a room heated to 40 degrees Celsius, or about 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hatha yoga is one of the most common forms of yoga in the West. It involves physical exercises and poses that often emulate and imitate the movements and positions of animals. Hatha has eight stages of development where the practitioner learns how to control their body, breath and mind.
Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, this style of yoga involves using straps, blocks, and other items to help aid in the alignment of poses.
This form of yoga promotes the idea that yoga should be used as a way of life and encourages social involvement and spiritual awareness. The practitioner learns to connect movement with breath and a variety of poses are used.
This style of yoga focuses on the spiritual aspects of yoga. Mantras, certain breathing techniques and meditations are included. The ultimate goal is to free the spirit by connecting to the energy at the base of the spine.
This is a slow form of Hatha that is considered to be good for beginners. It focuses on proper body alignment and relaxing exercises and is usually practiced barefoot.
This is a flow style of yoga that involves moving from one pose to another with synchronized breathing. The teacher cues the student on when to inhale and exhale.
5) What are the various poses or asanas of Yoga? In Sanskrit, “asana” means “seat” or “pose”.
These are physical postures used in yoga, including sitting and standing positions. There are hundreds of different asanas in yoga.
The purpose of the asanas is to stretch and strengthen the body, and to help open the energy channels (nadis). This helps the prana (energy) flow through the body freely. The asanas also help relieve any stress that may be in the body and promotes good health.
Some postures are designed to be therapeutic for certain diseases. For example, the Dolphin posture is said to help cure gastric problems, while the Plow is said to alleviate headaches.
Yoga classes usually begin with a series of asanas that warm up the muscles and prepare them for more difficult postures. Most yoga classes finish with a relaxation period.
6) What are the various types of Yoga breathing techniques? There are four types of Yoga breathing techniques:
1) Equal-Part Breathing – This is the most common type of breathing used in yoga.
You inhale and exhale equally through your nostrils.
2) Complete Breath – This type of breathing involves filling your lungs up from bottom to top and then expelling the air from top to bottom.
Exhale completely, and pause for a moment before inhaling again.
3) Ocean Breath (also called “Bhastrika”)- This breathing technique involves fast and forceful exhaling of the air.
It is said to cleanse the body of toxins and pranic building.
4) No Breathing – In some yoga practices, yogis are trained to withhold their breath after exhalation, and maintain respiratory cessation for a few moments.
This can be practiced in conjunction with mild abdominal contractions, to enhance the benefits.
NAME THAT MOVIE QUIZ!!!
Here are 12 movies. 10 of them are labeled with the name of a yoga pose (as seen in this lesson). Your job is to find the 2 movies that aren’t labeled with yoga poses.
Here are the answers below.
1. Downward Facing Dog
2. The Camel
3. The Plow
4. The Rabbit
5. The Bridge
6. The Tree
7. The Warrior
8. The Triangle
9. The Peacock
10. The Eagle
11. The Sunbird
12. The Staff
Answers: 1-d, 2-b, 3-a, 4-e, 5-c, 6-f, 7-g, 8-h, 9-i, 10-j, 11-k, 12-l
YOGA LESSON NOTES: In this lesson, you learned basic details about Hatha Yoga including the four main goals of yoga, the five principal organs, the seven chakras, and the eight limbs of yoga. You also learned various information about the philosophy and origins of yoga, and some types of breathing practiced in yoga.
Good job! Now you can move on to Lesson 3 where you will learn about different types of meditation used in Yoga. Or if you’d like, you may go back to Lesson 1 and learn about the history of Yoga.
And as always, please let me know if you find any errors in this lesson. Thanks!
LESSON 3 – YOGA AND MEDITATION
In this lesson, we will examine the practice of meditation in Yoga. First, we will look at some of the different types of meditation used in Hatha Yoga. Next, we will examine the history and types of yoga meditation. Finally, we will look at the process for meditation itself.
1) TYPES OF MEDITATION
In Hatha Yoga, there are three different types of meditation:
a) Concentrative Meditation
This type of meditation involves focusing on a single object of meditation. It is often used to help still the mind and bring it to a state of tranquility. There are several types of concentrative meditation used in Hatha Yoga including mantra meditation, visualization, and Pranayama.
1) Mantra Meditation – Mantra meditation involves the use of a sound, word, or group of words to quiet and focus the mind.
The mantra can be vocalized, repeated in the mind, or inside the head. The mantra is used to block out other thoughts, bringing quietness to the mind.
2) Visualization – In this type of meditation, the practitioner uses visualization to concentrate on an image or scene in their mind.
This can be a created image from the imagination, a remembered scene from real life, or something imagined from the spiritual world. In any case, the goal is to use the image to quiet and focus the mind. Many yoga masters (and those trying to become yoga masters) use this form of meditation as a way to perfect their meditative abilities.
3) Pranayama – Pranayama, or breath control, is a form of meditation that involves focusing the mind on the breath and controlling it.
By doing this, you can slow down your breathing, which has a calming effect upon the mind.
b) Universal Meditation
This type of meditation involves expanding ones thoughts and feelings to become universal. It is a close relative to mantra meditation and is generally used in combination with it.
c) Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental meditation is a form of meditation that involves allowing the mind to settle and then passively observing the thoughts that arise without attaching any importance to them. This type of meditation can be practiced for any length of time, from 5 minutes to several hours. It is generally considered to be the simplest form of meditation. It can be used by itself or in combination with other types of meditation.
d) Other Forms of Meditation
There are many other types of meditation. Common forms include Earth-Connection meditation, Void meditation (or emptiness meditation), Unity meditation, and Illumination meditation.
2) HISTORY OF MEDITATION IN YOGA
The practice of meditation has long been a part of yoga tradition. The earliest written records of meditation come from the Vedas, a collection of books covering a wide range of knowledge, including the earliest writings on Hatha Yoga. However, the practice of meditation in India can be traced back to before the recorded history of that region. It is believed that the practice of meditation first originated in India and from there spread to other parts of the world.
What is it?
What is meditation?
Sources & references used in this article:
- The effect of hamstring muscle stretching on standing posture and on lumbar and hip motions during forward bending (Y Li, PW McClure, N Pratt – Physical therapy, 1996 – academic.oup.com)
- Stretching exercises: effect on passive extensibility and stiffness in short hamstrings of healthy subjects (JPK Halbertsma, LNH Göeken – Archives of physical medicine and …, 1994 – Elsevier)
- Clinical evaluation of the BackMate lower lumbar rehabilitation system: results of a preliminary study (WB Wehrenberg, M Costello – Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical …, 1993 – jospt.org)
- The Effect of Stretching Hamstring, Gastrocnemius, Iliopsoas and Back Muscles on Pain and Functional Activities in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A … (HE Seif, A Alenazi, SM Hassan, SJ Kachanathu… – Open Journal of Therapy …, 2015 – scirp.org)
- The comparison of the effects of three physiotherapy techniques on hamstring flexibility in children: a prospective, randomized, single-blind study (D Czaprowski, J Leszczewska, A Kolwicz… – PLOS …, 2013 – journals.plos.org)
- Lengthening the hamstring muscles without stretching using “awareness through movement” (J Stephens, J Davidson, J DeRosa, M Kriz… – Physical …, 2006 – academic.oup.com)
- The syndrome of the descending perineum (AG Parks, NH Porter, JD Hardcastle – 1966 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Core muscle function during specific yoga poses (M Ni, K Mooney, K Harriell, A Balachandran… – … therapies in medicine, 2014 – Elsevier)