360 Articles on Yoga
Welcome to a few articles on Yoga. Enjoy reading some inspiration -- great for you and your family, friends or students just beginning yoga. The yogini on the little cover here is me, demonstrating two hatha yoga poses (asanas). You're invited to browse around this 360 sacred circle to transformation that I created to assist good people like you on your journey to wholeness. May you be inspired. Thanks for visiting in this present moment. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti ~ Namasté.
About the author, Rev Nancy Ash, E-RYT, DD, PhD
1) 360 Articles Site-Map
2) More articles on Yoga (Savasana, Relaxation Pose)
3) What is "360 Yoga?" (360 Hatha Yoga Poses)
4) Beginning Yoga: "Hatha Yoga: An Overview"
360 Articles on Yoga - Beginning Yoga
Okay...so I do like to write articles on yoga, meditation, etc. but I really love to do challenging hatha yoga poses like this one, Bhujangasana, Cobra Pose in an advanced variation. Actually it is considered by Master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar to be Kapotasana, Pigeon Pose, as he poses for it beautifully in his classic text, Light on Yoga, page 300, (plate 552).
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©Copyright, Articles on Yoga, Reprinted from Off the Wall, The Sporting Club Quarterly, 1984, page 15
YOGA — Stretch for Fitness
By Nancy Ash
These days most everyone is talking about stress reduction. People want a method that will help them cope with the stress of everyday life that typifies today's high-tech, high anxiety society.
TCSC members have found Yoga to be an excellent tool for holistically adapting to stress. Yoga (a Sanskrit word meaning to yoke) implies an integration, or "yoking" of the mind and the body. Originating in India thousands of years ago, this unique discipline of physical and mental training, and relaxation has stood the test of time. The most popular type of Yoga practiced in the West, and at TCSC, is Hatha Yoga, comprised of two principles: physical exercise and mental concentration.
Started by TCSC instructor Nancy Ash back in fall of 1980 when the club opened, the Yoga program has grown considerably. The reason for its expansion: Mrs. Ash replies, "Our members really need this class and they know it. They work very hard during the day and look forward to releasing their tensions and anxieties in class. I am now seeing more men coming into the program who are very serious about Yoga which they find extremely helpful in coping with stress.”
TCSC members receive expert instruction in the Yoga program, and it serves as a wonderful complement to any exercise regimen. For example, if you are a runner, Hatha Yoga classes will help you keep leg muscles strong and flexible.
Each class begins with a few minutes of "emptying" the mental garbage in the mind by relaxing the entire body in savasana, the pose of relaxation, paired with deep breathing exercises and guided imagery. The remainder of the class includes numerous stretches (hatha yoga poses) that develop muscular strength and body flexibility. These poses also purify the blood and organs, and balance the body's glandular system. The class ends with a wonderful 15-minute deep relaxation that often succeeds in sending a few participants into slumberland.
Nancy Ash has been an instructor for eight years, and recalls, “I began taking Yoga classes because I wasn’t very active and needed some exercise. I discovered that Yoga was not easy. There were people thirty years older than I that were incredibly more flexible than me—and I was a teenager! It was a challenge then and continues to be. I love teaching Yoga more than anything else that I do.”
The benefits from beginning Yoga are many; it simply depends on your needs. Whether you want to embark on a good stretching routine, or perhaps learn the art of deep relaxation—it’s all there. All we need is you.
More Articles on Yoga (Inspirational)
©Copyright (Articles on Yoga) Reprinted from Happenings, Dec., 1991
By Nancy Ash
As we approach a new year, often times we reflect upon our past: where we have been and where we are going. So, with holiday spirit, I would like to share with you a little bit about my past—and particularly—how I became a yoga and meditation enthusiast.
Almost nineteen years ago, a friend invited me to attend a yoga class. I had no idea what to expect, however, with an open heart and mind I agreed to go. Well, let me tell you I was incredibly stiff, so much so that I wasn't able to bend down and touch any where near my toes! We practiced many unusual postures but they really felt good. I didn't know I had muscles that could stretch so much. By the way, many of you think that I was always flexible—not true. I worked very hard to reach a good level of flexibility and now my muscles require just a little maintenance to stay that way.
At the time of relaxation (the end of class) I was ready to let go of all my stress and tension. I really knew that I was in the right place when we finished. I never felt so relaxed in my life—there was something to this yoga—and I wanted to know more. Within three years, at the ripe old age of nineteen, my teacher moved away and asked me to take over her classes. I have been teaching this ancient discipline ever since. And so, here I am sharing the benefits of a yoga program with you.
During the holidays one can use all of the help one can get to reduce stress levels. I have realized through teaching thousands of classes that yoga and meditation techniques are powerful antidotes to our highly stressful lifestyles. Perhaps you may like to try my Meditation, Relaxercise, or Level 1 Yoga classes offered here at the Clubhouse. Stop by and pick up a schedule at the Staff Office Counter.
For me personally, these practices were a life saver. During the time of my mother's illness and subsequent (transition) death, those yoga classes really gave me the comfort and stress reduction that I so desperately needed. Under so much stress at that time, my doctor said that if it were not for my regular yoga program I would probably be in the hospital, too.
When I entered my teacher's classroom and heard the peaceful and beautiful relaxation music, lied down on my mat, and began to breathe deeply, I knew I was releasing all of my tensions. I felt that I was coming home to myself.
Since that time I have continued to study with various living masters and other proponents of this system. Because yoga helped me so much at an early age, I have been fortunate. But anyone can begin at any age. I am happy to joyfully share with you the secrets of what I have learned for living a life of optimal wellness.
Happy New Year to you and your family. May all be splendid for you. Best wishes always, Nancy
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Articles on Yoga. I trust you enjoyed reading today from my collection of articles on yoga. Check back again for new material to read. Or go to the links above. Until we meet again...
More Articles on Yoga (Beginning Yoga Stretching Techniques)
©Copyright (Articles on Yoga) Reprinted from Happenings, Nov., 1991
7 STRETCHING TECHNIQUES FOR BEGINNING YOGA
by Nancy Ash
1) Stretching and relaxation should go hand in hand. Never hurry your stretches. Breathe slowly and deeply (diaphragmatic breathing)—don’t hold your breath. Close your eyes to bring more attention within the body.
2) Hold the stretches for 15 to 20 seconds...then observe your first 'plateau.' Stretch only to the “Point of Stretch” or to the feeling of mild tension. After you feel the muscles relax slightly at this stage, you can attempt a slow, steady increase in a stretch to the next point of tension. Then hold the stretch for another 15 to 20 seconds or more depending on your proficency in the pose.
3) Stretching should never be painful or injuries may develop at the area of muscle insertion. Overstretching can produce a “rebound tightness” which can be counter-productive to building strength and flexibility. Harsh bouncing will produce the “Stretch Reflex” which creates a tighter muscle contraction. So, avoid heavy bouncing...remember, we are trying to stretch not tighten the musculature.
4) Get to know your own body and its limitations through a consistent stretching program like beginning yoga. Soon you'll discover which muscles are ‘colder’ and require more attention. Body alignment habits such as sleeping postures will make one side of the body tighter than the other. So stretching every day (hatha yoga poses) will uncover these areas, and loosen them equally.
5) Since major muscle groups work in pairs, be sure to give adequate stretching time to antagonist muscle groups. For example, shin splints can occur when strong calf muscles overcome weak tibial muscles in the front and the side of the shin. As the calf muscle becomes stronger it has a tendency to become tighter and shorter, producing an over stretched weakness in the front of the leg. Stretching the calf muscle will help you to avoid this problem.
6) Your flexibility will vary from day to day. If your muscles feel too cold and stiff to begin some hatha yoga poses, remember to “warm-up” so that the joints are lubricated and the coronary arteries are dilated. Use the roll outs on the floor for two or three minutes, and a few rounds of the yoga 'Sun Salutation' to speed up circulation and increase the blood supply to the major muscle groups.
7) Complete the stretching hatha yoga poses with a gentle, slow finish. Avoid “springing” out of a posture ...or “jerky” quick motions. Move with Mindfulness!
Articles on Yoga. I trust you enjoyed reading a bit today from my collection of articles on yoga. Written material is uploaded regularly so check back again. Or go to the links for more. Until we meet again...Namasté, Rev Nancy
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