Yoga

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Yoga has not been proven to treat the chemical imbalance that causes clinical depression, but a gentle yoga practice can introduce depressed individuals to simple physical activities, which benefits overall mood and physical health. Serious clinical depression, (as opposed to just a passing depressed mood) can lead to a decrease in an individual's physical activity, so introducing a short and easy yoga practice helps disrupt sedentary habits caused by depression.

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  • What are the chakras?

    Q: What are the chakras?

    A: The word "chakra" is Sanskrit for "spinning wheel," and in the context of certain spiritual beliefs, this word refers to a series of energy points that fall on specific parts of the human body. There are seven total chakras, and these areas serve as convergence points for energy. So-called blockages of these energy points are said to cause a cascade of different effects, including bad mood, physical discomfort or mental confusion.
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  • How does yoga prevent injuries?

    Q: How does yoga prevent injuries?

    A: Yoga poses and routines tend to increase flexibility, balance and agility, so it often helps athletes prevent and recover from injuries. The slow, mostly mellow pace of yoga can help high-intensity athletes exercise or stretch without straining joints, muscles and tendons. For example, sequences such as the sun salutation provide a dynamic warm-up for runners and endurance athletes.
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  • How old is yoga?

    Q: How old is yoga?

    A: Most researchers believe yoga is 5,000 years old, although evidence suggests the practice could go back 10,000 years. Historians divide the evolution of yoga into four periods: pre-classical, classical, post-classical and modern.
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  • Are there yoga competitions?

    Q: Are there yoga competitions?

    A: Yoga competitions focus on the execution of challenging yoga poses that require superior strength and flexibility. These poses, known as yoga asana, see competitors demonstrating physical endurance in addition to yoga skill and ability in what is seen as a sport by its practitioners, who would like to see the practice of competitive yoga asana incorporated into the Olympic Games.
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  • What does yoga do for you?

    Q: What does yoga do for you?

    A: According to Yoga Journal, regular yoga practice improves flexibility, increases muscle strength, improves joint flexibility and encourages healthy blood flow. Yoga stretches and poses also encourage healthy lymph drainage, which helps to boost immunity. Because yoga improves cardiovascular health, continued yoga practice can help to lower the risk of heart attack.
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  • What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

    Q: What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

    A: According to the Huffington Post, prenatal yoga not only lowers stress levels but contributes to an overall healthier pregnancy. Prenatal yoga relies on gentle exercises that focus on building strength, stamina and flexibility in preparation for childbirth. Many exercises also help to relieve tension, in the lower back, that builds up due to the growing weight of the infant.
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  • How do you do laughter yoga?

    Q: How do you do laughter yoga?

    A: Laughter yoga is the practice of using forced laughter to produce the same psychological and physiological benefits real, spontaneous laughter is believed to give. The laughter yoga technique begins with warm-up exercises, followed by the laughter exercise. It ends with 15 minutes of laughter meditation.
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  • What is a yoga bolster?

    Q: What is a yoga bolster?

    A: A yoga bolster is a yoga accessory used to support the body while doing poses, intensify practice sessions or facilitate stretching. It is usually made of cotton and looks like a cushion with a removable cover. Yoga bolsters take strain off the body when easing from one pose to another.
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  • What are the main sects of yoga?

    Q: What are the main sects of yoga?

    A: Generally, most informed sources will agree that there are six different branches of yoga practice, and these branches include hatha, bhakti, raja, jnana, karma and tantra yoga. Each branch is characterized by a different kind of practice, and not all of these are the typical physical exercise form of yoga that most people think of when they think of yoga practice. For example, hatha yoga focuses on the physical practice of yoga poses, while karma yoga is philosophical in nature, and raja yoga takes more of a meditative practice.
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  • How do you clean a yoga mat?

    Q: How do you clean a yoga mat?

    A: Yoga mats get covered with sweat, so they should be cleaned frequently. While some mats can be cleaned in the washing machine, while others need to be cleaned by hand; be sure to check the label on your mat to know which kind you have. For hand-cleaning mats, you can make your own cleaning solution to spray and clean your mat.
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  • Who introduced yoga to the West?

    Q: Who introduced yoga to the West?

    A: An Indian man named Vivekananda may be the earliest and most prominent pioneer to introduce Westerners to yoga, but his version of the practice is quite different from most modern yoga practices in the United States. Vivekananda tended to speak more about meditation and other topics relating to Eastern philosophy, but his widespread popularity throughout the United States, which began in the late 1800s, helped pave the way for future yogis to introduce the physical side of yoga to a Western audience.
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  • Can yoga help with depression?

    Q: Can yoga help with depression?

    A: Yoga has not been proven to treat the chemical imbalance that causes clinical depression, but a gentle yoga practice can introduce depressed individuals to simple physical activities, which benefits overall mood and physical health. Serious clinical depression, (as opposed to just a passing depressed mood) can lead to a decrease in an individual's physical activity, so introducing a short and easy yoga practice helps disrupt sedentary habits caused by depression.
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  • Are the four paths of yoga related to other philosophical traditions?

    Q: Are the four paths of yoga related to other philosophical traditions?

    A: The four paths of yoga, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma and Raja, are connected to many other disciplines and philosophies of yoga, according to SwamiJ.com. These paths are natural extensions of the whole that is the practice of yoga, and they relate to all other philosophies connected to yoga.
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  • What does "Om" mean in yoga?

    Q: What does "Om" mean in yoga?

    A: In the context of yoga practice, "om" is more of a sound than a word that has meaning. However, this doesn't mean that the om chant, which typically occurs at the beginning and/or end of a yoga session, is meaningless. Rather, this sound is a meditative chant.
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  • Q: How do you execute the yoga fish pose?

    A: The yoga fish position is performed on a flat surface, usually on a yoga mat. The yoga fish pose gets its name because, if the pose is done in water, it resembles a floating fish.
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  • Q: How does yoga work?

    A: Yoga is a full-body workout that increases flexibility, endurance, strength, balance and mental clarity through the use of postures, breathing techniques and concentration. It combines muscle strengthening and toning with flexibility and stretching exercises as well as breathing and meditation to attain maximum results. It is an exercise and meditation regimen that some people even consider to be a lifestyle.
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  • Q: What are some simple daily breathing exercises?

    A: Some simple daily breathing exercises include the Bellows Breath technique and relaxing breath exercise. Another breathing exercise is breath counting, which is very simple to do.
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  • Q: How do mantras calm your mind?

    A: Scientists believe that mantras help clear the mind by reducing activity or deactivating the area of the brain associated with introspection and self-appraisal. This function of the brain is known as the default mode network system and is responsible for the thoughts and judgments when one is left alone.
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  • Q: Can you use yoga to ease constipation?

    A: According to the experts at WebMD, any exercise is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle that assures regular bowel movements. In addition to aerobic exercises that help to keep a digestive tract healthy, certain yoga positions may also help alleviate constipation.
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  • Q: What are the ortho, para and meta positions?

    A: Ortho, para and meta positions refer to substituent positions on an aromatic ring in organic chemistry. When aromatic rings undergo reactions, substituents can be added to the ring in ortho, para or meta positions. Some compounds and molecules even direct new substituents to add to a certain position.
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  • Q: Who is Peggy Cappy?

    A: Peggy Cappy is a yoga instructor and founder of Gentle Stretch Yoga, a type of yoga she designed for seniors or people with limited mobility who require a modified yoga approach. She is also the creator of the PBS series of DVDs entitled "Yoga for the Rest of Us."
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