Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

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Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) (boo-jang-GAHS-anna): Probably one of my favorite poses in my yoga sequence. It’s one of the best poses to straighten out and stretch your back. Your back is such a sensitive part of your body. If you hurt it, you’ll notice just how much you use it constantly. Oh, the pain you’ll be in when you’re doing just the most basic everyday things. It’s very important to keep your back strengthened because it plays a huge role in your life.

Benefits:

  1. Strengthens your muscles in your shoulders, chest and core
  2. Opens your chest to help clear the passages of your heart and lungs
  3. Improves digestion
  4. Strengthens your spine

Listed above are a few of the major benefits I’ve noticed while practicing cobra pose in my sequence. It’s a very common pose in the Vinyasa Flow for beginners. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend finding a video on YouTube to start off with the basic poses. In the videos you will learn the cobra pose and I’m sure fall in love with it like I have!

Benefits of Yoga

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We all know yoga increases our flexibility when we practice often. But there’s a lot of people who don’t know the other benefits, which are much more important than just being flexible. These other benefits not only are physical, but also mental. I found an article on yoga from the American Psychological Association that talks about practicing yoga. Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD, a neuroscientist, commented about the practice:

“I believe if everyone practiced the techniques of yoga, we would have a preventive aid to a lot of our problems,” Khalsa says. “There would likely be less obesity and Type-II diabetes, and people would be less aggressive, more content and more integrated.”Image

We all have our own reasons for practicing yoga. Flexibility, strength, lower stress, find your calm, etc. When we commit ourselves to practicing on a regular basis, we’ll start to see us reach our goals, plus more. It’s incredible to see what yoga can do for us if we commit. It becomes such a big part of our lives because it leaves us feeling almost invincible. Below I’ve listed just a few of the benefits for both physical and mental. There are many, many more benefits!

Physical benefits:

  1. Improved flexibility
  2. Stronger muscles
  3. Helps prevent arthritis
  4. Helps prevent osteoporosis
  5. Improves energy
  6. Improves athletic performance

Mental benefits:

  1. Handle stress better
  2. Quiet the mind
  3. Focus on breathing
  4. Encourages positive thoughts
  5. Encourages self-acceptance
  6. Builds awareness of your body, feelings, and others around you

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/yoga.aspx

Why Meditation is Beneficial

As there are many people who do meditate regularly, there are quite a few people who don’t. To those of you who don’t, you may not be sure of all the benefits associated with meditating. There are many physical and psychological benefits that will help you live a healthy life (and maybe an even longer one!). Everyone just assumes meditation is to help you concentrate and be calm. While those are true benefits, there are many more that are just as important. I’ve posted the link to the article on the bottom of this post, but I will go over both physical and psychological benefits.

Physical benefits:

  • Oxygen consumption lessens
  • Respiratory rates decrease
  • Heart rate slows down
  • Level of exercise tolerance in heart patients increases
  • High blood pressure decreases
  • Muscle tension and headaches decrease
  • Chance of allergies and arthritis decreases
  • For women, PMS can be reduced (thankfully!)
  • Serotonin levels (mood and behavior) increase
    • Lower levels of serotonin have been associated with depression, obesity, insomnia and headaches

Psychological benefits:

  • Creativity increases
  • Anxiety and depression decreases
  • Irritability and moodiness decreases
  • Improved learning abilities and increase in memory retention
  • Increased sense of happiness and emotional stability

If these benefits don’t change your mind to start meditating, then I don’t know what will! These are great benefits that will most likely change your everyday mood and outlook on life. It doesn’t change it overnight, but since I’ve been meditating, I’ve noticed a change in my outlook on life.

So try meditating each day and you’ll soon start to see the benefits and your life turning around.

The article that I summarized can be found here for more information.

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