Learn Yoga for Meditation

From ancient times meditation has been supplemented by the exercise practice of Hatha Yoga (asanas). Fortunately this need not become a competitive sport or discipline requiring years of practice before producing results - no. Practiced correctly, yoga exercise can easily be integrated into one’s meditation routine without attending extended classes, mastering every pose or changing one’s lifestyle. According to the National Institute of Health, Yoga is generally low-impact and safe for healthy people when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor. According to the NIH, Yoga is the sixth most commonly used complementary health practice among adults.

For those who would like to start a Yoga practice, we offer a complete beginners lesson. The first step, download a 17 page pdf file on Yoga. It contains illustrations and instructions on how to practice. After reading the printout you can attend our beginners lesson. Contact our center for our next yoga demonstration. We offer both group and private lessons. Most students only require one lesson.

Our center has always provided meditation instruction and yoga practice. This is the traditional way yoga and meditation is taught by the yogis. It is structured to create deep meditation and improved comfort. Simple bending and stretching relaxes both body and mind leaving it more prepared for deep, relaxing meditation. Classes are open to those already instructed in meditation.

Our center now provides meditation instruction to both yoga centers and yoga students here in South Florida. This way the mind and body get the best physical and mental exercise. It's not enough to constantly exercise the body. It must rest. And deep rest is a basic experience one gains as a result of training and practice of TSM, a simple, effortless method of meditation.

Hatha Yoga is an ancient health-promoting strategy which, if incorporated into one's daily routine, will deepen the experience in meditation and improve the sense of well-being and enjoyment of life on all levels. Yoga Asanas (Hatha Yoga postures) and Pranayama (gentle and natural breathing exercises) are two of these strategies. We offer a course in Yoga Asanas and Pranayama. This course enhances your practice of the Transcendental Stress Management program. The goal is to enable you to take the practice home.

Yoga Exercises (Asanas)

We recommend a specific set of HathaYoga Postures to be easily done before meditation, to enhance the release of stress. These postures do not require strain and keep the body supple. Read and Print the 17 Page Yoga Asana Instruction Brochure below.

Get the most out of your meditation and take the Short Course in Yoga Asanas and Pranayama when you learn to meditate with us!

Sun-Salute Postures

How to do Surya-namaskar Yoga

'Surya-namaskar' or Sun Salutation, a Vedic ritual solemnized in the early morning, combines seven different postures. Surya or Sun, the life generator is invoked by this Yogic exercise - an easy way to keep fit.

Difficulty Level: Average
Time Required: 3-5 minutes as comfortable

To see a visual illustration and step-by-step slide show, see a video presentation of a typical sun salutation.

Instructions:
  1. Stand facing the sun with both feet touching.
  2. Bring the hands together, palm-to-palm, at the heart.
  3. Inhale and raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head.
  4. Exhale slowly bending forward, touch the earth keeping the hands in line with the feet, head touching knees.
  5. Inhale and move the right leg back away from the body in a wide backward step. Keep the hands and feet firmly on the ground, with the left foot between the hands. Raise the head.
  6. While exhaling, bring the left foot together with the right. Keep arms straight, raise the hips and align the head with the arms, forming an upward arch.
  7. Inhale and slowly lower the hips to the floor, (hips should be slightly raised above the ground) and bend backward as much as possible.
  8. Exhale and lower the body to the floor until the feet, knees, hands, chest, and forehead are touching the ground.
  9. Inhale and slowly raise the head and bend backward as much as possible, bending the spine to the maximum.
  10. While exhaling slowly and keeping the arms straight, raise the hips and align the head with the arms, forming an upward arch.
  11. Slowly inhale and bend the left leg at the knee taking a wide forward step. Keeping the hands firmly rooted, place the left foot on the ground between the hands. Lift the head upwards.
  12. Exhale slowly and keeping hands firmly in place, bring both feet together to align them with the hands.
  13. Touch the head to the knees, if possible.
  14. Inhale slowly and raise the arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching the arms above the head
  15. Return to position #1.

Wear simple, loose clothing.

To receive a printed copy of the above send a stamped self-addressed envelope to our address in Deerfield Beach. No charge.

Yoga Asanas Step-by-Step with explanations and illustrations

Introduction to Pranayama and Yogic Breathing

Nadi Sodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

If you don't do anything else, this is a simple yoga breathing exercise that can be done virtually anywhere, anyplace. You will be glad you did. It is simply dynamic!

The name alternate nostril breathing is due to the fact that we alternate between the two nostrils when we do the breathing. Yogis believe that this exercise will clean and rejuvenate your vital channels of energy, thus the name nadi sodhana (purification of nadis or channels).

With this exercise, we breathe through only one nostril at a time. The logic behind this exercise is that normal breathing does alternate from one nostril to the other at various times during the day. In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours. Because most of us are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably between people and further reduces our vitality. According to the yogis, when the breath continues to flow in one nostril for more than two hours, as it does with most of us, it will have an adverse effect on our health. If the right nostril is involved, the result is mental and nervous disturbance. If the left nostril is involved, the result is chronic fatigue and reduced brain function. The longer the flow of breath in one nostril, the more serious the illness will be.

Benefits

The exercise produces optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This also creates a more balanced person, since both halves of the brain are functioning property. The yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the nervous system.

The Scientific Confirmation of Alternate Nostril Breathing

Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle, something that was known by the yogis thousands of years ago. Scientists have recently found that we don't breathe equally with both nostrils,that one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time and that this alternates about every three hours. The yogis claim that the natural period is every two hours, but we must remember these studies were done on people who do not have an optimum health level.

Scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on verbal skills.

Medical science has not quite caught up with the ancient yogis yet. The yogis went one step further. They observed that a lot of disease was due to the nasal cycle being disturbed; that is, if a person breathed for too long through one nostril. To prevent and correct this condition, they developed the alternate nostril breathing technique. This clears any blockage to air flow in the nostrils and reestablishes the natural nasal cycle.

Technique

Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do not count or strain. Just breathe normally.

Immediately close the left nostril with your right ring finger and little finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. This completes a half round.

Inhale through the right nostril without counting or straining. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale comfortably through the left nostril. This completes one full round.

Alternate nostril breathing should not be practiced if you have a cold or if your nasal passages are blocked in any way. Forced breathing through the nose may lead to complications. In pranayama it is important to follow this rule: under no circumstances should anything be forced. If you use the nostrils for breath control they must be unobstructed. If they are not, you must practice throat breathing.