Natural Healing – The Gifts of Nature

Today we are so busy in our lives that we fail to fathom the beauty of nature around us. God has given us numerous natural things that can be used to treat illnesses, even severe ones, through natural ingredients that can be found in abundance. 

Some of the natural things that can be used as medicinal treatments are:

Rosemary– This aromatic herb is used to treat coughing. It helps in loosening up the congestion and the development of phlegm in the chest. It also helps in reducing inflammation due to its inflammatory properties. It calms down a sore throat. 

Peppermint– This is very commonly found and used in salads or in making up concoctions. It has soothing properties and can help in easing discomfort in the stomach. The menthol decreases intestinal cramps and relieves the pain.

Oregano– One in every eight women undergo severe pain and discomfort during periods. The herb helps the uterus contract less painfully and comforts the muscles of the uterus’ walls. 

Curry Powder– The curry powder helps in reducing joint pains. The chemical found in the curry powder helps to reduce the inflammation in the joints and relieve the pain. Curry powder also helps in reducing muscle ache.

Cayenne Pepper– The pepper has been found to possess the quality that helps in reducing the inflammation and preventing sinus infections.

Basil– This herb helps in reducing the gloomy mood of any person. The herb helps in uplifting the spirit and cheering up the person. The rosmarinic acid present in the basil gives it the ability to comfort a person.

Ginger- Ginger helps in eliminating the nauseous feeling that a person can develop. Ginger is said to reduce motion sickness better than the drugs available today. 

Cilantro– This is a magical herb; it binds itself with the heavy metals and toxic substances in the body and takes it out. Making the body feel fresher and un-intoxicated. When the body is free of toxins, the body is relaxed and free of fatigue.

Garlic- Garlic has numerous medicinal properties. It can help reverse diabetes, reduce blood pressure, combat any inflammation, give a boost to the immune system, and prevent cardiovascular diseases; it can also heal fungal and viral infections and decrease hair loss.

Turmeric- Turmeric can help in reducing inflammation, as it has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.

Aloe Vera- It has great medicinal and healing properties. It can treat all kinds of skin conditions. It is also used for treating constipation, fungal diseases, worm infestations, and colic. Nowadays, it is being used as a weight-loss detox drink. In the west, it is also being employed in cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, and food industries.

Last but not least, yoga is a natural way to heal the body and connect with the spiritual self to bring peace and calmness in life. It also helps strengthen the muscles and the organs. 

The Upward-Facing Dog Pose

The upward-facing dog pose is also popularly known as urdhva mukha savasana. This pose challenges an individual to lift up against gravity and open up the chest to quite an extent. With each passing yoga session, perfection is attained.

How to Perform the Pose


Step 1 – Lie upside down on the yoga mat. Stretch back the legs having your feet’s top on the ground. Have your elbows bent while spreading the palms on the ground right by the side of your waist such that the forearms perpendicularly lie on the ground.

Step 2 – While inhaling, press the inner arms into the ground slightly towards the back. Now, keep your hands straight and simultaneously raise the torso upwards along with the legs while inhaling. While maintaining the thighs firmly, turn slightly inside, and with firm arms, turn out such that the crease of the elbow faces towards the front.

Step 3 – Gently press your tailbone in the direction of your pubis and raise it towards the belly. Try getting the hip points narrow. Keep it firm and do not harden your buttocks.

Step 4 – Get the blades of the shoulder firm against your back and get the side ribs puffed forward. Raise the sternum top but do not let the front rib push forward. This will make your lower back hard. Look forward or bend your head a little but make sure not to have your neck’s back compressed.

Step 5 – You can start with practicing the pose by holding it for around 15 to 30 seconds with simultaneous breathing. Later, release your back to the ground or raise to adho mukha svanasana with simultaneous exhalation.

Benefits

  • Enhances posture.
  • Makes your spine, arms and wrists strengthened.
  • It makes your buttocks firm.
  • It stretches your abdomen, shoulders, lungs as well as chest.
  • It works as a therapy for asthma patients.
  • It stimulates the abdominal glands.
  • It helps to relieve fatigue, sciatica as well as mild depression.

Mistakes and Contradictions

If you are a sufferer of ailments such as back injury, headache or carpal tunnel syndrome, then avoid practicing the pose. Additionally, even women who are in their pregnancy period are recommended to avoid practicing the pose.

How to Perform the Pose Perfectly

  1. Put your hand on your shoulders while trying out this pose which leads to lifting them upwards to the ears.
  2. Now actively draw your shoulders far away from your ears by lengthening to the bottom along your armpit by pulling down the blades of your shoulder in the direction of the tailbone.
  3. Now, puff your corner ribs forward.

Wear comfortable yoga capri pants with a t-shirt to perform the pose properly. If you require help while performing the same, then lift each arm on a block. However, you can take the guidance of an expert or a professional in order to avoid mistakes.

The Extended Puppy Yoga Pose

As you may see from the title, the topic of today’s article refers to one specific yoga pose (asana), and that is – the extended puppy pose.

So, think of this article as of a tutorial. I would like to explain it to you as thoroughly as possible. Your job, however, is only to focus on what’s written and try to do it back at home, or anywhere you like! Yoga is something you don’t need some extra space for. One of yoga’s advantages is that you can practice yoga wherever and whenever you want.

How Can You Learn the Extended Puppy Yoga Pose?

In essence, the extended puppy pose is somewhere in between the Child’s pose and the Downward-facing dog pose. If you already mastered these two poses this one should not represent a challenge.

To be honest, even if you haven’t learned those two previously mentioned poses, you will be able to learn this one with ease. Here is what you need to know in order to successfully learn the extended puppy yoga pose.

Point number 1

  1. The first thing that you should do is get down to “all fours”.
  2. You should place your knees under your hips.
  3. Also, make sure that your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
  4. After that, place your hands a little bit forward from your body and curl your toes.

That would be all that you need to know for the beginning phase of this pose. Keep in mind that every single detail is important in its own way.

Point number 2

  1. The next thing you should do is slowly move your butt towards your knees.
  2. They shouldn’t touch; place your buttocks halfway there.
  3. Also, your arms must do the “hard work” as they must push the ground keeping your elbows from falling and touching it.

Point number 3

Now, everything is a piece of cake. All that you need to do now is place your forehead to the ground in order for your neck to relax.

Keep in mind that you always have a slight curve in your back while doing this.

Point number 4

And the last part of this exercise (pose), but not the least and definitely not unimportant:

Take a long, relaxing breath and feel your spine activating and extending.

You should hold that ending position from 30 seconds to a minute, and then release and allow your buttocks to touch your heels.

The Final Verdict

See, I have told you that this pose is nothing to be feared of. It is quite simple and interesting to do. You can use this pose to relax your entire body and provide a necessary stretch for your lower and upper back. Remember not to overdo this pose or any other pose.

And that’s it for today! I hope that you can now successfully pull out this pose on your own and master it in a matter of hours!

Understanding the first limb of yoga – the Yama

Yoga is said to have eight limbs or eight paths. They act as building blocks toward the final path samadhi, which some consider being “enlightenment.” To get there or reach the later limbs like the practice of meditation, we must start at the bottom with the Yamas.

The Yamas are five restraints that all yogis must observe. There are things that we should strive to do. There are vows a yogi may take to uphold in their journey. You may find that these concepts mirror many significant religions of the world!

1. Ahimsa 

In Sanskrit, ahimsa means violence. Ahimsa is, therefore, the practice of nonviolence. It is the first Yama and arguably the most important. Nonviolence means practicing within every aspect of your life. It means that no pain, no injury, or suffering will take place at your will. People do not consider themselves within ahimsa, which is an error. Nonviolence starts with your relationship with yourself. It translates to your thoughts and actions towards yourself and others. It also translates to the foods you eat as ahimsa applies to all living beings. Yogis should not eat meat and should be aware of how they may contribute to industries that have violent practices. Whether with animals or poor treatment with children and other workers.

2. Satyam

Satyam means truthfulness. This and ahimsa are considered the highest principles of righteousness. It is believed that the greater force of God or source is the truth, and to deny truth is to deny that source. It is important to remember that speaking falsehoods can appear in many forms. If you are feeling a certain way and do not speak your truth, this is breaking Satyam. It can get tricky when we may have thoughts that could create pain if acted upon. In this case, ahimsa should be upheld as a priority.

3. Brahmacharya

This vow means to restrain yourself from temptations and urges explicitly sexual urges. It has been interpreted as to have control over sexual urges. It is believed to look different at different stages. Premaritally it is thought that sexual urges should be controlled and transformed spiritually. During a marriage, it should be moderated. This Yama can be generalized not only to master controlling sexual impulsivity but is also interpreted as practicing it. This vow should be undertaken by someone who wants to follow the path of yoga to transcend into a higher state of meditation.

4. Aparigraha

This vow refers to not coveting anything from another person. It means not desiring anything that belongs to you. It also means simplicity. Living with no more than what is genuinely needed. This vow believes that the more you want, the more these wants just multiply. To be happy with very little is the aim of this Yama.

5. Asteya

The last of the Yamas means restraining from theft. Not stealing from others. It is a fairly self-explanatory one, as we cannot take anything that does not belong to us. It goes well with the previous Yama. If we do not first covet something that is not ours, then the desire to steal it should not arise. 

The building blocks of yoga come way before getting on the mat. It is believed we cannot achieve meditation or proper asana practice without adhering to the first two limbs of yoga – the Yamas and Niyamas.

All you need to know about Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga in Sanskrit means eight limbs. It refers to the 8 limbs of yoga written about Patanjali (one of the great fathers of yoga). They are 8 steps that help us achieve pure bliss. The lineage has been passed down orally since ancient times. In the modern world Ashtanga is a popular type of yoga. It was made famous by a man called Pattabhi Jois. He taught classes in a place called Mysore in India. He was first recognized in Europe when his photo appeared in a book about Pranayama, and many Europeans went to visit him in Mysore during the 1970s. Over the next twenty years, knowledge of Ashtanga yoga was to be spread across the globe. He died in 2009.

Ashtanga yoga has 6 series to it, and each series has a set of asanas that are usually performed as a vinyasa (using breath with movement). Ashtanga focuses on both flexibility and strength. Traditionally students must master all the asanas in order, before moving onto the next series. All students will start on the first asana of the primary series. It is usual for Ashtanga classes to last around three hours with students able to come and go as they please. The student will have their own space to work on whichever asana they are on at that moment. The teacher will individually attend to the students’ needs and make hands-on adjustments where needed. When the teacher feels as though the student is ready, they will give them the next asana to work on. There are also teacher lead classes that you can attend, these are usually of the primary or secondary series and may only last an hour. 

Ashtanga yoga is often described as being a very strict type of yoga. Students must pay enormous amounts of attention to the use of vinyasa, their Drishti, Bandha’s, and Mudras. The bandha’s are particularly important to engage in this practice as they will help with the many jumps through asanas that form part of the Ashtanga series. Keeping your Drishti during practice also helps to keep your attention on the present and stops the mind from wandering. People are known to have been injured during hands-on adjusting by the teacher trying to get their bodies into perfect asanas. In Ashtanga yoga, students are encouraged to practice six days a week except on a full moon. Pattabhi Jois believed that on a full moon, there was a higher risk of injury; therefore, students should take that day to relax and rest. Not many students reach the next series, and thus, a lot of secrecy surrounds these series. Teachers of Ashtanga yoga are required to study in Mysore with the descendants of Pattabhi Jois for many years before teaching other students. They must be at least two series ahead of their best student. It ensures that the lineage of Ashtanga yoga is passed down through the ages as the great fathers of yoga intended it.

Are Yoga Capris for Women the Right Choice for You?

 

When it comes to workout clothing, women want to make sure that they are wearing what is comfortable and appealing and what allows them to have the best possible workout. Shopping for new gear and clothing is overwhelming when you flip through rack after rack of brightly colored apparel. More manufacturers are beginning to create a few of the same common pieces of workout clothing for every upcoming season.

Yoga Capris are one of the most famous fashion items for women when it comes to workout clothing. Will these cropped yoga leggings be the right choice for you to help you go deeper in your practice during your time on the mat?

First, there should be a clear distinction between yoga Capris and Capri leggings. General Capris are similar to yoga pants, meaning that they are made of some blend that typically involves jersey cotton. Throughout an afternoon, this fabric tends to stretch out instead of retaining its shape. Many versions of this pair of pants also feature a wide leg, possibly with a flare at the bottom. This shape can make moving through the poses more difficult with the extra fabric.

Capri leggings are a little different because they are usually constructed with a spandex material. They hold tighter to your figure and can maintain their commitment to flattering your body shape throughout the day regardless of your activity level. The bottom of the Capri leggings is typically tight to your calf, anywhere from just below the knee to around the mid-calf area.

Yoga Capris could be right for you if your height is more on the short side. Because full-length yoga pants and leggings for women sometimes feature longer lengths, they have the potential to extend over the bottom of your heel. It makes for a dangerous situation when practicing standing poses that involve a wide-legged stance, such as the warrior II or even a high lunge.

Opting for yoga Capris could be a great solution because the shorter lengths ensure that they won’t put you in a precarious position as you move through the postures.

Not only that, but yoga Capris are also great for those who enjoy a warmer practice. If your yoga flow is based on building heat through a series of postures such as Ashtanga or Bikram yoga, then Capris can give you more flexibility to keep from becoming overheated. The shorter length offers coverage for your skin while allowing you to remain slightly cooler than you would be in more restrictive clothing choices.

For yogis who like to switch up their fashion through the seasons, yoga capris are a great choice because they lend themselves well to trends across most climates. You can layer them as the winter months approach or pare them down during the long, hot days of summer. No matter what the season is, you have plenty of room to play with your own sense of style through the year.

Yoga Capris have the benefit of being safe, cool, and versatile, making them an ideal choice for many women who want to enjoy their time on and off the mat comfortably.

How Yoga & Meditation Work Together

Every religion on earth has some form of mindfulness and meditation. In the Hindu tradition, this practice is sometimes accompanied with yoga.

Yoga and Meditation work together because yoga helps the yogi to prepare for meditation. In meditation traditions, the restless mind is often called the monkey mind because the brain tends to jump from thought to thought like a monkey jumping from tree to tree. Our minds are constantly busy, worrying, making lists, looking forwards and backwards, rarely in the moment. Meditation seeks to bring the mind into the moment by focusing on the breath. Yoga’s original purpose was to prepare the practitioner for meditation. By doing the asanas, not only is the body stretched and limbered so it holds the meditation position, the breathwork of yoga prepares the mind to be calm and ready to focus.

Many people give up on meditation before they even have a chance to see its benefits. Yoga practice can help you to settle into meditation, preparing you by helping you to become quiet and relaxed so you can sit and be still.

 

How Meditation Changes Your Brain

Meditation is not an easy discipline to take up, but it is one with so many benefits, it is worth the effort. Studies are revealing how this ancient practice changes the brain, increasing gray matter and creating new neural pathways.

Studies have shown that there is an increase of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex responsible for planning, problem solving and emotional regulation. The hippocampus has also been shown to increase in gray matter. This area of the brain, which is where memory and learning takes place, is very susceptible to stress and anxiety. The amygdala, which is the location of the fight or flight response we experience during stressful events has been shown to shrink in size with regular mediations. What is more, the connectedness between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex is decreased, allowing for a greater ability to be less reactive and allows for greater connection in the brain with higher functioning areas.

Meditation should not be done with the idea that it is a task that needs to be accomplished. Rather it is a practice that is practiced. With every 30-minute session of meditation, you are retraining and rewiring your brain, gaining deeper peace and stability along with more ability to handle stressful situations.

Using yoga as a warm up to meditation makes it more effective. Allow yoga and meditation to work together. By moving from yoga to mediation, you make your yoga practice settle deeper and you are able to use yoga to move you into a more meditative state more efficiently. So, don’t just hop up from your yoga practice and be on your way. Take time to be still, be present, and observe your breath. Allow your mind to be quiet and enjoy the benefits meditation can bring to your life.

 

My Go To Yoga Outfit

We all know the basic yoga style. Yoga pants, leggings, tight tanks, etc. But finding a comfortable yet cute yoga outfit can be quite the challenge. Yoga involves a lot of movement. And with a lot of movement comes pants slipping town, shirts rising up, and sweating. All things that are not the most comfortable to be dealing with throughout our practice. Besides the sweating, because we all know a good sweat feels amazing.

So, what is my go-to yoga outfit? I have some staples that you can always find me wearing throughout a yoga class. I like to switch it up here and there, but once I find some nice fitting clothes, I don’t want to stop wearing them! One thing I love? High waist leggings. These are perfect for me because the band around your waist doesn’t slip down. And if it does, they’re high wasted so you got plenty of room to not feel like your undies might show in the class.

Another staple for me is comfortable sports bras. If I’m in hot yoga, I typically don’t wear a shirt and just wear a sports bra because it gets so warm in there. Wearing high waist leggings and a sports bra makes it seem like I’m not showing a ton of skin either, and I don’t feel so hot as if I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt or a tank. I love cute sports bras with details on the back or front.

If I do wear a tank to yoga, I like fitting ones. I don’t like wearing loose tanks or t-shirts to yoga as they fly up during downward dog or inversions. Some of my favorite fitting tanks for yoga as of now are from Athleta. I like these ones as they are fitting but not uncomfortably tight. You won’t find me wearing shorts a lot to yoga. I do from time-to-time, but leggings are usually my go-to. If I do wear shorts, I opt for a pair of spandex or my favorite running shorts from Athleta. These are nice as they allow full movement while going through each pose.

Each person’s yoga outfit varies. We all have different styles, different favorite stores to shop at, and we all think some things are comfortable and some things aren’t. Find what style you feel the most confident in and the clothes you feel the most comfortable in. I always feel more sure of myself in my yoga practice when I’m wearing clothes I love and feel good in. Try out some new stores to find clothing you may not have tried on before. Look up the comfiest yoga clothes online to give yourself a better idea of what might be best for you. There are tons of different legging and yoga pants companies out there, so don’t get discouraged if you feel like you can’t find the pair for you. Embrace your own style, get clothes that you feel confident in, and go rock your yoga practice. Check out these amazing yoga clothes shopping tips for more info!

Yoga Poses for a Flat Stomach

Can yoga help you burn stubborn belly fat and achieve a flatter and stronger stomach? Yes, yoga increases your metabolism and tones your core muscles. The beauty of yoga is that you are constantly manipulating and holding your own weight. How do you do this? You hold your body in position by using your abdominal muscles. Yoga also requires you to bend and twist your torso, which helps de-bloat your stomach and detoxify your body.

Combine yoga with healthy eating choices and a mindful lifestyle to lose weight efficiently. Lack of daily movement and overconsumption of food leads to several types of stomach fat like visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Try these poses below in your yoga practice to activate yoga’s core secrets.

Boat Pose Navasana


Boat pose requires engagement of the abs and slims your waist fat. This pose also tones your thighs and builds super human concentration!

Begin with Sun Salutations to Warm-up.

1.Sit down and bring your knees into your chest, feet on the floor.

2. Hold your knees and lift up feet to bring shins to a 90-degree angle.

3. Release and straighten arms. Lean back as you stretch your legs out straight.

Pick a point to look at in order to keep your balance and to torso from falling down.

Hold for 10-30 seconds up to a minute. Take breaks by rocking forward into bound angle pose. Let hands rest on the ground as you relax and take a couple breaths.

Bring one foot back up to boat pose at a time. You can also bend your knees in this pose instead of straightening them. Also, you can hold the back of the knees instead of putting the hands out to the side. If your tailbone hurts in this pose you can add a blanket or towel underneath.

Repeat boat pose followed by bound angle pose 3 to four times.

While in boat pose lengthen your spine and relax your chin.

Downward Dog, Knee-to-Nose Pose

This is a Downward Dog Pose variation that helps amp up the strength level of the pose, and works your core hard to burn belly fat and stimulate your metabolism!

As a bonus, besides your core, you can tone your shoulders, legs, and back, build stability.

1.Start in the traditional Downward Dog Pose. Breathe five deep breaths, keeping your gaze on your navel or a point between your knees.

2. Inhale, lift your right leg straight up behind you.

3.On the next exhale, engage your core and begin going into plank position. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders.

4. Bend one knee and bring the knee towards your nose as you round your back. Pull your navel to your spine and press the floor away with your hands. Your knee doesn’t have to touch the spine just reach as far as you can in that direction. Take 3 deep breaths and then return to downward dog.

5. Repeat on other side. Complete as many sets as you like to increase the intensity.

This pose works great in a yoga flow style sequence and when you want a faster, more intense yoga session!