When you practice yoga you may want to listen to relaxing and soothing music. You can either buy yoga music in a store or on the internet; or you can find free music on the internet if you do not want to spend money.
Yoga is becoming more and more popular and so is the music. In addition to music that has traditionally accompanied yoga, people are also seeking out other forms of relaxing music to use when they practice yoga. You can use classical music, Gregorian chants and even some pop music. Yoga music should help you balance your mind; which is why you practice yoga in the first place.
Nada yoga means union through sound. This is a form of yoga that uses music and sounds, or lack of sounds, in their yoga practice. While practicing yoga a person may focus on inaudible sounds, called anahata nada. You are looking for sounds that are found in the body instead of sounds that can be heard with the ear. Some use chants in the practice of nada yoga. Music can assist in the practice of nada yoga and it should be simple music. You can practice nada yoga by focusing your mind on simple music for about 15 minutes each day.
You can use meditation music or relaxation music as a background for your yoga practice. This is a very helpful practice for beginners because music relaxes the mind and can prevent you from becoming distracted. There is special yoga music that can bring about the mental and physical benefits if yoga because it can relax your mind. You can use it all day long to keep yourself relaxed and focused throughout your entire day.
While the best music to use is that music that is specifically designed for yoga because it produces the right background for yoga practice, you can use other music as well. If there is music that you enjoy and it seems like a good fit for your yoga practice, go ahead and give it a try. Find something that you enjoy, but not that you enjoy so much that you focus on the music instead of the yoga practice.
Breathing and Yoga
When you observe and experience your breathing you are practicing yoga. Exhale slowly through your nose so that you can feel your breath on your upper lip. Now inhale slowly through both nostrils, drawing the breath up through the center of you nose. Do this several times and take the time to really experience how you feel.
You may be wondering why you should do this. The reason is simple; focusing on your breathing brings you back into the moment. One of the philosophies of yoga is that we are given a certain number of breaths in our lifetime. The importance of breath can be illustrated by thinking about the fact that breathing is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we die. It is also important because western medicine has found that stress leads to disease. Breathing reduces stress and can therefore reduce the possibility of disease.
There are many reasons to practice your breathing aside from the fact that it reduces stress. Practicing breathing will strengthen you immune and respiratory system. It can also help you think and act with more clarity. You can train your brain to let go of tension with each inhalation and exhalation.
When you practice breathing in a sitting position make sure that you are in a position that you can comfortably hold for a few minutes with your spine straight. If you are in a chair you should take off your shoes and rest your feet comfortably on the floor. Make sure that your weight is distributed evenly on both sides of your body as you lift your spine away from the chair.
One breathing exercise that you can begin with is breath counting. To do this simply breath in for a five count and then breath out for a five count. If this is too difficult and causes you more stress, reduce the count to four. Over the years as you get better at this and you lungs strengthen you can work up to a twelve count. As you continue this exercise over time it will become a profound experience.
When you begin practicing yoga you go easy on yourself and be kind to your body. Listen to your body because it knows it own limitations. Your body knows when to stop.
Yoga is not competitive and you do not need to worry about looking exactly like a photograph in a book. When you push too hard yoga is not enjoyable and you probably will not stick with it. There are many poses that will help you be more relaxed and more flexible; it is just important that you practice often and you will get better.
Sukhasana is the sitting pose. It is a good place to start and focus your awareness on your breathing. This pose also helps open your hips and strengthens your lower back. You should sit with your knees crossed and hands on your knees. Keep your spine straight with your sit bones pushing gently into the floor while you focus on your breathing. Allow your knees to gently lower and if your knees rise above your hips use a cushion or block. Take five to ten slow deep breaths and then raise your arms above your head on the next inhale. Exhale and bring your arms down; repeat five times.
Tadasana or mountain pose is deceptively simple. It is all about standing correctly and breathing the right way. Done correctly it can improve self awareness and posture. This pose teaches you to stand with proper posture and hip placement. You learn to stand strong.
The forward bend or extension, also called the uttanasana II, stretches the legs and spine while relaxing the upper body. To do this pose, start in mountain pose and lift your hands above your head and then bend at your hips and bring your hands down to your toes. If you are feeling stiff you can bend your knees. To come out of this pose curl your spine upwards one vertebrae at a time leaving your head to come up last.
There are many other poses that can be learned either from the internet, by taking classes or following a yoga DVD. Poses like the triangle, or trikonasana, that stretch your spine, open your torso and improve your balance. To relax your body and mind you can finish your practice with the corpse pose.
The Iyengar style of yoga is firstly learnt through the deep study of asanas (posture) and pranayama (breath control).
My Iyengar has organised over 200 traditional yoga asanas and 14 styles of pranayamas (with differing styles to many of them) from the basic to the quite complex. These have been placed and organised so as to allow the beginner student to progress steadily and slowly from the simple postures to the most difficult as they grow in flexibility, strength and sensitivity in mind, body and spirit.
The Iyengar style of Yoga is different to the other styles of yoga by 3 main points. Technique, order of posture and timing:
Technique can be understood to mean that whilst practicing, the student learns increasingly closer adjustments in the alignment of the body whilst performing the asanas and pranayamas.
Order of Posture means the sequence in which the asana and pranayama are performed. By varying the order of the postures, different mental and emotional effects can by gained by the student and changed in a way not otherwise possible. This can then introduce changes to the entire being of the student, often including their spiritual evolution.
Timing means the amount of time the student spends in the postures or pranayama. Sometimes the asanas can be performed quickly and without understanding. To perform a posture with stability can take some learning and patience. When a student has learnt to become stable in a posture, they will stay in this posture for some time to deepen the effects of the posture and so, the benefits of it. Staying for a short time and with no awareness will keep the benefits small compared to what is indeed available.
Iyengar yoga uses all 8 disciplines of yoga. With constant practice and learning, the student can come to understand that asana (posture) is very different from mere stretching and jumping around, also that pranayama (breath control) is far from just long breathing and meditation is also far from self realised trance.
The long term practice of asana and pranayama can affect the student on a physical level and bring about changes in mental states, spirituality and all round joy!!