- Yoga Poses and Their Benefits V: The Endocrine System
- Yoga Poses and Their Benefits IV: The Respiratory System
- Yoga Poses and Their Benefits III: The Circulatory System
- Yoga Poses and Their Benefits II: The Digestive System
- Yoga poses and their benefits I: Understanding How Yoga Works
- Vipassana Meditation
- The History of Yoga II
- The History of Yoga I
- Rhythmwood Story by Craig Perkins
- The Practice of Svadhyaya
The endocrine system, together with the nervous system, regulates all the activities of the body. The endocrine glands influence the function of the body by releasing hormones into the blood stream. Hormones are chemicals that modify the activities of particular cells, and eventually affect the body's tissues and organs. They adjust metabolic operations in response to what is available and what the body needs. They also influence growth, maturation, sexual development, pregnancy and response to stress.
What is the one type of nourishment that you can't be without for more than a few minutes? Air. Every day we breathe around 20,000 times. Respiration is essential for life. Oxygen is essential for every cell in our bodies - cells use oxygen to produce energy. In the process of producing energy carbon dioxide is formed as a waste product. It is throughout the respiratory system that oxygen is brought int the body and carbon dioxide expelled out of the body. The respiratory system consists of the nose, the nasal cavities, sinuses, pharynx (connects the nose and mouth to the larynx), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), and the lungs - including the bronchi (air passages), alveoli (air sacs), and the pleura (lung sacs). There are three parts to the respiration process: Ventilation (inhalation and exhalation), delivery (exchange and transport of gasses between lungs, bloodstream and cells) and utilization (the use of oxygen in the cells to produce energy). This process nourishes and purifies the blood, and thereby the entire body!
The Circulatory System of our body is essential to our life. Through the bloodstream, nourishment, oxygen and hormones are carried out to every cell. Also through the bloodstream, wasted and toxins are moved toward the organs of elimination. The Circulatory System is aided by the Lymphatic System.
In the digestive system, food is transformed into nourishment for the cells of the body. The functional processes of the digestive system are: Ingestion - food enters the body and is mixed with secretions of the salivary glands. Digestion - the food is chemically broken down into organic components in the digestive tract. Absorption - the organic elements are moved into the fluid that feeds the cells of the body. Assimilation - the nutrients of the cells are utilized. Elimination - the indigestible wastes are eliminated from the body. When there is a problem with the digestive system we cannot absorb the maximum nutritional benefits of our food and it leads to a weakened health condition and an accumulation of toxins, which become the cause of various diseases. When our digestion is strong, our body feels light and strong. When our digestions is weak, we lack energy.
Stress is all around us and unknowingly it can give us a lot of health problems. Stress would often manifest in lower back pains, headaches, muscle pains, migraines. At its worst, stress and anxiety can trigger asthma, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure and other common health conditions. So what does this mean? This just simply tells you that you need to pause and think about how you can take care of yourself. You have to treat your body as the temple of your soul!
Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana means insight, or seeing things as they really are. It is a process of purification through observation. In Vipassana meditation, one begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of our bodily sensations and the continuous stream of thoughts in the mind. This often leads to an experience of the universal truths of parinmavada, or constant change. This realization by direct experience leads to purification. It is a universal remedy for universal problems, and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be practiced freely by everone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and it will prove equally beneficial to one and all.
Yoga comprises of 3 basic structures which makes up the whole system. The three structures are breathing, exercise, and meditation. Yoga’s breathing techniques teaches a person the proper way of inhaling and exhaling. The concept of breathing in Yoga is based primarily on the view that the air that comes in is the source of life that sustains our body. In this way, Yoga student learns how to breathe the right way thereby increasing their breath control which helps improve the body and mind’s function system as well as enhancing their overall health.
To literally translate the word Yoga, it means “to join or yoke together”. Creating a harmonious experience by bringing the body and mind to work together had been the reason for its popularity. Individuals who wanted or yearned for an amplified self-understanding, good health, and better personal freedom paved the way to a meaningful and successful search for a system of mental and physical exercise which became known all over the world.
In life, we inevitably come across situations, experiences, and interactions that cause an uncomfortable sensation in the body. Sometimes it may show as a clenching in the throat when someone is talking to us, or a churning in the stomach when we see someone else receiving praise or recognition, or a burning heat in the chest when we hear of unfortunate news. These sensations show up for us in unique ways and we each have our equally unique and different triggers. When the sensation occurs, we have two choices: