Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga

All You Need to Know About Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga or flow yoga originated back in 200 BC when Pattabhi Jois, a renowned yogi of the time, put together the Ashtanga yoga form. Hence, it can be rightly said that the Vinyasa belongs to more or less the same yoga style as Ashtanga. Ashtanga yoga refers to moving meditation, where the movements between asana are as significant as the whole meditation process.


What Is Vinyasa?

Vinyasa yoga is also known as ‘consciousness in motion.’ In its literal sense, the word is translated as ‘arranging something in a special way,’ which refers to the arrangement of poses. In Vinyasa yoga, an alignment between movement and breath must be attained while flowing from one pose to another. Vinyasa yoga has the following types:

  • Ashtanga
  • Baptiste yoga
  • Jivamukti
  • Power yoga
  • Prana Flow

Vinyasa Yoga vs. Hatha Yoga

Amongst the various types of yoga forms, Hatha refers to a slow and gentle form of meditation. It is usually prescribed for beginners. Hatha yoga aims to deepen one’s concentration, also known as Dharana in India. It is also practiced to improve meditation and energize the body and mind by letting in Kundalini energy. With the help of this yoga form, channels of this Kundalini energy may be opened, which can be used to promote spiritual growth and understanding.

Alternatively, Vinyasa yoga is a more advanced version of meditation and is physically more challenging. Within Vinyasa, students are required to follow certain postures that impact the cardiovascular system. With each pose, a series of inhalations and exhalations are mandated in order to produce heat within the body.

Vinyasa differs from Hatha as it aims to focus more on internal cleansing than understanding. All the asanas performed in Vinyasa are used to increase the body temperature by accumulating enough heat.

vinyasa yoga flow yoga pose

Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is beneficial in multiple ways, a few of which are as follows:

  • Vinyasa provides the mind with a much-needed break with its ability to offer calmness and stillness to the mind. Each breath, movement, posture, and sequence are aimed toward relaxing the mind. When the mind is set free, its ability to concentrate goes up. This leads to enhanced focus, leaving behind stress and anxiety. With a better mental focus, one can achieve sound sleep and fight addiction.
  • The movement in Vinyasa helps burn unnecessary calories. People who are faced with weight loss issues and obesity can turn to this form of meditation to get rid of those unwanted calories. In a 60-minute session, an individual can drop as many as 445 calories. In order to maximize calorie burn, lean toward Vinyasa movements that require standing and balancing postures. Additionally, speed up your inhaling and exhaling motions to achieve optimal results.
  • Vinyasa can also be practiced to teach oneself about self-love. With the help of asanas, greater mental focus is achieved, which takes the mind to memories of the past. Asanas trigger emotions in the body, making one realize how important it is to self-heal.

For all those willing to attain these physical, mental and spiritual benefits, Vinyasa is the way to go. All it requires is a little motivation.

Continue Reading

Kundalini Yoga

Understanding Kundalini Yoga

As the human psyche meets various challenges and pressures in this era of technology, an epitome of wellness tool came to spark. Kundalini yoga is a potent viral of holistic wellness and is now trending among celebrities, affluent and everyday practitioners. This is where finite unites with infinity in an artistic, meditative way. Through regular practice, the yogic activity invokes awareness of one self as immeasurable benefits are gradually felt physically, mentally and emotionally. From a weakened body for quick energy flow to an anxious mind enabling the release of fear and guilt. Kundalini yoga clears the subconscious mind of ill thoughts and negative vibes, thus, considered  a life force that relaxes the human body to stay grounded,  in order to gain back the lost vitality and attention span.  This yoga practice reconnects the minds to a much deeper clarity perceived even way beyond the realms.


In Kundalini yoga, the name Kundalini was adapted from a Sanksrit adjective meaning “circular”, and in the 12th century was used as a noun to describe a snake as in “coiled” form.  Sooner and until present time, the name evolved in the yoga practice signifying a female serpent “shakti” that is asleep on a vase.

Tracing back 1,000 years B.C. a Vedic writing collections known as Upanishads revealed kundalini’s philosophy about spiritual energy otherwise revealed as the force of life. The ancient practice of Kundalini yoga was propagated rooting out from Hinduism’s classical literature, Kashmir Shaivism. Manifestations derived from the studies can be categorized as: para-kundalini -universal energy; prana-kundalini – body and soul energy; shakti-kundalini – (the mediator of the two) consciousness.


The yoga technique was based on “tantra” to unite humanity from divine. Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means “woven together”, a metaphoric phrase that insinuates the union of a man to a woman. Kundalini yoga is a body science itself that consists of “kriyas” which signifies action or can also be related to another term called “asanas” in the usual yogic practice. Kundalini yoga is an art in its form, tantric in various aspects evident in its acts. It was at first discreetly taught by a guru to the students wearing shrouds in a sacred surrounding, until such time they can come out in the open as a renewed spirit, spreading the goodness attributed in the long time experience. Taking into account that Kundalini Yoga is the paragon of most yogic disciplines, it propagates and sustains the Kundalini Shakti itself. The practice awakens the soul, the heart and the spirit in a gracious manner.

This traditional practice unleashes the primeval potential that nestles on the base of the human spine. It awakens our hibernating spirits that is compared to a female serpent coiled in a pot. Series of rituals arouse the sleeping snake, and these ritual-like acts are now the main core of Kundalini yoga. The growth process is when one’s human nature is unfolded to be able to accept and realize the things of the past. It enables us to explore the inner self more. Past circumstances gravely affect human’s life and these can form a blockade to cope with the present and to move on with the future. Practicing Kundalini yoga eliminates the fear created by our expanded self that is caused about by the past. Metaphorically speaking, life is compared to a coiled snake shedding old skin and leaving them behind.


As we prepare for true change rediscovering ourselves through inner evolution, Kundalini yoga serves as a catalyst that works surprisingly instant towards outer transformation and maturation. Kundalini yoga is not about mere stretching and strenuous-looking positions it is a blend of body movements coincided with discipline and vast concentration.

Each session of Kundalini yoga starts with repeated deep inhales to slowly exhaling alternately from the left nostril to the right nostril. This simple breathing technique is taught to oxygenate the inner self, thus cleansing the “nadis“, which is known to be the pathways and subtle channels to draw energy.

Warming up consists of plain stretching followed by series of “kriya” (known as spiritual path). It is a creative progression of multi-dimensional exercises that concentrate per body part starting from the navel to the spine applying pressures to body points and meridians stimulating the nervous system. Specific “Bandhas” (body lock) control the flow of energy as the exercise necessitates adding more pressures to certain areas, so that when release, causes energy to flood even more. This is executed from the lower centers of the human body to a much higher center where energy flows, thus kundalini rising. Bandhas positions consist of contraction of the perineum, pelvic floor muscles, abdomen to the rib cage and so forth. It also includes tucking the chin closer to the chest or combination of these all. The end benefit of the whole process of Kundalini yoga is to create sense of will power to block negative elements in order to set a calm mood, thus liberating one self.

The next phase of Kundalini yoga exercise is to lie on your back after the series of kriya so as to set a relaxing mood. Yoga cannot be without meditation in concert with chanting of lines inviting positive vibes and utter calm. As you get revitalized in each session you gradually feel the progress each passing day. Your outlook in life is beginning to change as you absorb the good vibes drawn from the practice. Although it takes time to master the hard positions, modification of some exercises will suit each type of person. Mastery is attained through constant practice.

Kundalini yoga transforms a better you, to be more expansive while gaining flexibility and strength. When properly adapted, becomes a mood booster even a detoxifier. It aids in relaxation and developing keen senses and greater focus. Getting involved in a yoga class is a health investment although the Fitness and Wellness industry offers an array of books and instructional video materials. Do not let your life just pass by for there’s more to it if you love yourself. Discover your true self with the help of a guru as he assists you unfolding your inner self the Kundalini yoga way. It is an enhancing life-aspiring scheme of breathing techniques and various yogic acts. It disciplines and empowers to regain motivation, to self-heal and in the course of time to transform and grow in prosperity. It is comparable to a metamorphosis completely renewing your being shining to perfection.

Continue Reading

Understanding Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yogi at Kailash

Different varieties of yoga tend to be practiced in different ways worldwide. Some well-known kinds that many have heard of or tried can include Hatha yoga and Bikram yoga or even hot pilates. One common theme, no matter the type of yoga being practiced is that they are all meant to keep human body, mind and heart fit. Hatha yoga, in particular along with the asanas, which are the postures used, have become synonymous with “yoga” and many look at as an excellent form for exercise, and mental well being.

In comparison to the others, Hatha-yoga concentrates their focus on meditation, as well as the full concentration of body and mind, sight and mental harmony. At it’s core, hatha is more than just a system of excercises that many consider “yoga” to be, but it also incorporates the ideas of ethics, diet, breathing, cleansing and meditation as well as spiritual development for the yogi. This is often a common discussion with us at YogaandBirth as we try to understand common perceptions of what yoga is, and how we can further educate others.

One of the most significant objectives will be help one in terms of mental aggravation through meditation. It really is to steer one in focusing on various topics without having any mental diversification. Another significant aim or purpose of this training is always to let a person have their particular body-mind well stimulated. There are certain asanas that may be followed to enhance emotional stamina. Boosting emotional endurance indicates getting mental youthfulness straight back.

Apart from aggravation of the mind, this practice can be known to have the purpose of correct structuring of body and posture. This type of yoga helps enhance appeal as it it well suited to help a practitioner with their physical body structure.

In comparison with ordinary warm-up exercise choices, hatha-yoga is wholly various in terms of its advantages. One of several advantageous of this kind of yoga is that it could help with breathing difficulty and problems as we age. Additionally, those faced with obesity can also benefit from exercises as they often are faced with difficulty in breathing as well as the elderly. By practicing different asanas on daily basis one could make it possible to gain relief and comfort possibly, though seeking medical advice is always advised.

Besides respiration, these activities also enable elderly individuals in attaining or retaining their physical strength; something that can be rapidly lost as we age if we don’t pay attention to it.

Besides strength and breathing benefits, this yoga also consists of such asanas that will help one to create a peaceful life style.  A healthy lifestyle is encouraged by healing the difficulties of the individual, such as anxiety, as well as other psychological drawbacks.

Lastly, hatha yoga can be beneficial for those suffering from insomnia, or other stress related dilemmas.  

The ongoing practice of hatha could be perceived to be very therapeutic for many people, and helps address many of the physical and mental troubles that each of us may face at any point.

Continue Reading

Setting Your Yoga Goals

sun salutation yoga

If you frequently feel stressed out due to needing today’s busy lifestyle, and having to juggle plenty of things, one of the better things to seek during your quiet times would be to take short break to study yoga. Within the past few years more and more people have actually considered yoga as a way to get a hold of peace and ease their mind, more so it has many positive health benefits such as lowering your stress levels, helping to shed off unwelcome pounds as well! Yoga studios and fitness centers have been appearing everywhere however for people who don’t have the means or even the short amount of time to travel to these places, they are able to simply practice yoga within the comforts of their own home.

It’s always best to practice on yourself each day when your mind is still without any work-related pressures, concerns and worries. Look for a clear location that you can correctly train, such as for instance your family room or even the back yard. One of the yoga moves that you should do at least one time each and every day to reach maximum results could be the sunlight salutation pose. This is a series of poses performed in sequence to create movement to create heat in the body and help warm you up for your routine.

It really is one of several simple yoga positions to learn and can allow you to achieve a far better balance. This doesn’t mean that you should entirely ignore advanced techniques. Rather, this can help augment your personal program. Additionally, with at least a couple of courses each month with a teacher, your form can be checked, as well as your alignment and poses.

When at the studio with others and/or a teacher, you’ll expand your knowledge and will be able to practice even more techniques that you might enhance your in-house routine. Remember though, to exercise proper respiration while you perform some positions!

So choose a nice peaceful location at your home, turn on some soothing music, roll out of the pad and attempt these poses!

  1. Stand erect with both feet on the floor. Bring your hands into prayer position at chest level while distributing your weight evenly. Exhale
  2. Raise both hands upwards and over with your palms facing upwards. Slowly stretch by reaching outwards. Inhale.
  3. Bring both hands to feet to perform a forward bend. Align your hands with your toes. If possible, keep your knees legs straight unless you have difficulty with this position. Exhale.
  4. Move your right foot outwards to the back into a lunge position. Keep both palms flat on the floor. Inhale.
  5. Now extend your left leg back while supporting your weight with your hands and toes. Your arms should be fully extended. Hold.
  6. Lower your body so that your legs, chest and chin are off the ground. Exhale.
  7. Lower your lower body to the ground and extend your arms full to slowly lift your upper body. Push your chest forward. Inhale.
  8. Bring your hips upwards while dropping your upper body. Keep both hands and feet firmly planted. Your arms and legs should straighten out. Exhale.
  9. Lung forward by bringing your right leg forward while keeping your left leg fully extended. Both hands should be firmly planted on the ground. Inhale.
  10. Straighten your body into a standing position then slowly bend your upper body towards your legs. Align your hands over your ankles. If possible, keep your knees legs straight unless you have difficulty with this position. Exhale.
Continue Reading

Staying Committed

It’s funny simply how much my point of view changed when I had my 44th birthday this past year. I viewed the milestone as the possibility for a brand new beginning and to do things I’ve dreamed of doing. Perhaps expand on the things I already enjoy. There’s also the typically things everyone looks for – health, success at work, time with friends and family….. One of the things I dreamed of was going to Italy for my first time for 2 weeks!

Time came and I found myself on the beaches of Italy! I was there with friends and was happy but deeply sad as well. Part of me was explicitly embarrassed every time I found myself on the beach, surrounded by these gorgeous women who were taller, slimmer and even seemed more confident than me.

Though I attended yoga on and off in the past, never really committed to it for the long term. Upon returning from my trip, I went back my yoga class and signed up for a 30 day challenge. That turned into the 60 day challenged. At first I was having difficulty and thought I wouldn’t even be able to complete the initial 30 day challenge, but time came and I went on towards the 60, then 100 day challenge.

It wasn’t easy all the way through. I had accumulated years of bad habits. Unhealthy eating. Not going to the gyme or classes regularly. Sleeping late. You name it.

Many times during class, I found it difficult to complete the 60 minutes. I needed breaks often. To my surprised I did meet the 30 day challenge for my class and I couldn’t be happier. I am going regularly and I’m currently at my 127th day challenge!!!

I’ve lost a lot of weight, about 39 pounds. Dropped several dress sizes and feel just as beautiful and confident as those women I envied on my trip. Actually I even feel more powerful and mentally aware.

I’m planning on continuing my classes and making sure not to fall back into bad habits or destructive behavior. There are days that are more difficult than others, especially now that I am dating again and in the process of moving but I have to tell myself that these are just excuses and I have to remain committed to my goals.

Continue Reading

Mad Joe

I was married for 18 years to my beautiful wife. Due to the nature of her work, she was working overseas for almost a year in Japan and rarely saw her. This was a difficult time as I was laid off during this year, and had a close family member pass away unexpectedly as well.

While in Japan, the started taking yoga classes on weekends when she couldn’t fly back home. It started as a company retreat, then turned into almost a weekly event for her as it helped her with stress and the difficulty of being away. Meanwhile, things at home weren’t so great. I became depressed from life, and felt the relationship I had with my wife becoming distant.

About 10 months into this, she flew back home and was going to the local yoga studio for a class when she dragged me along. At first I was a bit reluctant to go. I always thought of it as something women just did on their off time, like pilates or any other workout. I really didn’t know too much and wasn’t expecting much.

At this point in my life I was drinking and smoking a lot every day. I was at the pub each night and found motivation to do anything very difficult.

When I went to the class, I was at first surprised that there were other men in there. Not just any guy, but older, out of shape guys I would see at the pub. That first class didn’t go too well for me as I was out of shape and even had a hard time with stretching – the most stretching I did before this was reaching for my beer!

Well many months later, my wife is now reassigned back home. We still attend yoga together and it has brought us together and I would like to think that we are both generally happy. I’ve lost weight, look better and feel good.

During the year she away, we used to argue nonstop about every little thing, but even that has seemed to stop. Although I don’t do yoga as much as my wife, I find myself calmer and try to find happiness within myself.

Yoga may not be for everyone, but I think it teaches us to look at things in a different way and how. I was able to detach myself from my drinking and smoking. Was generally happier overall and my closeness with my wife has improved greatly.

Whether it was pure luck, coincidence or whatever, yoga came at a perfect time for me.

Share your stories with us and to the other readers of YogaandBirth.


Continue Reading

Yoga for Personal Growth


Yoga has tremendous meditative “asanas” (posture in which a practitioner sits. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines “asana” as “to be seated in a position that is firm, but relaxed); that can help you in many ways. Recently, with the growth and interest in yoga, individuals have look at the practice to help boost self confidence, self-esteem, lower stress, health and to even help meditate. There are even poses practice to help focus on certain goals, and areas.

For example, the confidence and skills learned in yoga can help an individual exceed in their professional life in presentations, client / professional communications and public type appearances. Self confidence gained from yoga reflects outwardly in these individuals and not only do the feel better, they are better mentally prepared to face situations where self confidence and self esteem comes into play. It is fundamentally better to develop these practices earlier and have in engrained in yourself, rather than used as a remedy where lessons are quickly forgotten.

Though self-confidence can come up not only in your professional life, but social and personal life as well, yoga has many benefits for your body and mind. When dealing with self confidence, you are actually confronting your own personal anxiety and depression, so yoga can have a significantly mental benefit for many.

Breathing exercises which benefits wellness and mental peace to asanas. Specifically the pacing and rhythms learned from practicing helps an individual ease their nerves, and helps encourage a more relaxed state which translates into a calmer and more confident feeling. Practitioners who learn to control even their breathing are more effective at communications, stress and potential nervous situations.

The Child’s Pose, which typically occurs at the beginning of a class and the Pigeon Pose, usually later in the class are both “safe” poses and are protected positions. In the quietness during either pose, the individual has an opportunity to allow the mind to relax and calm itself. Practitioners will utilize their knowledge in everyday life in stressful situations when they are able to calm themselves, restore their breathing and bring their self confidence back.

Yoga also slowly restores your self-esteem. Many of us have had days where nothing fits on properly; we don’t feel good or other irritation that challenges ourselves. In yoga, everyone learns to embrace who they are and to be comfortable in your own mind and body. It may not be exactly what we want or hoped for, but it is good enough and that in itself is enough as well.

When anyone starts practicing yoga every day, they will slowly start to feel the overall difference in their physical and mental health. Yoga gurus often state that yoga instills the kind of confidence that never withers away with time. This newly instilled confidence becomes a part of you and impacts your life in surprising and spectacular ways. We, at YogaandBirth, would love to know which asana has helped you transform you daily routine and share your story with others!


Continue Reading