Periodicals

The following periodicals are either devoted to the practice of yoga or frequently contain articles of interest related to the subject of yoga Body & Soul Magazine is a bimonthly publication that features articles on subjects that help nourish body and soul, including yoga and related topics. For further information contact Yoga International is published bimonthly by the Himalayan Institute, a nonprofit organization. The mission of this periodical is to promote world peace through...

Position Namaskar Hands at Center Breast

Exhale as you gently place your hands, palms touching, in front of your chest, in a position known as namaskar. The placement of the hands with the palms touching is sometimes popularly referred to as namaste, or Prayer Position. It is named this because it calls to mind the position of the hands during prayer in many cultures and traditions, but it has absolutely nothing to do with religion in the context of yoga practice. You are placing your hands here in this way in order to center yourself...

Easwaran Om Asatoma

Yoga Psychology A Practical Guide to Meditation. Honesdale, Pa. Himalayan Institute Press, 1976. Anderson, Bob. Stretching for Everyday Fitness and for Running, Tennis, Racquetball, Cycling, Swimming, Golf, and Other Sports. Bolinas, Calif. Shelter Publications, 1980. Anderson, Sandra, and Rolf Sovik, Psy.D. Yoga Mastering the Basics. Honesdale, Pa. Himalayan Institute Press, 2000. Arya, Pandit Usharbudh, D.Litt. Superconscious Meditation. Honesdale, Pa. Himalayan Institute...

Piece Pick From the Various Different Styles of Yoga

The various styles of yoga can be grouped into a few broad, general categories. Understanding your needs and fitness level, you can focus your yoga search on one or more of the following general approaches to yoga practice. Having taken into account your yoga goals and your level of fitness, perhaps you've decided you would like to try a yoga practice that's physically demanding. You may be looking for a strenuous approach to the physical postures of yoga that strengthens your muscles, while...

Meditation Letting Go of Fear Opening the Heart

Sexual union is about much more than the physical orgasm It is about being completely open to giving and receiving. Many men have closed off their hearts without even realizing it because of the accumulated unconscious fears that they are holding onto. The following meditation will help you to see and release your fears. It will help you to open up to give and receive love fully. And then you will be able to participate joyously, completely, and with perfect presence in union not only with your...

Anusara Yoga The Heart Centered Yoga of Flowing Grace

Anusara (flowing with grace in Sanskrit) Yoga is an approach to yoga developed in 1997 by American yogi John Friend, based on his many years of yoga practice. This style of yoga draws heavily on Friend's hatha yoga training in Iyengar Yoga (see Chapter 4) and his spiritual studies with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (see Siddha Yoga Meditation, page 105). Anusara Yoga reflects Friend's eclectic background, integrating a physically strenuous practice of hatha yoga with the spiritual focus of opening...

Yoga for Boys and Teens

If you'd like to help a child or teen understand that yoga can be fun and cool, these are helpful starting points Laurent de Brunhoff, Babar's Yoga for Elephants (Harry W Abram, 2002). This book was created by the extraordinarily talented and prolific originator of the Babar series of children's books, Laurent de Brunhoff, who maintains a daily yoga practice himself. In this whimsically engaging book, Babar shares 15 yoga asanas and stretches sure to appeal to the child in your life, or to the...

Yogic Breathing Exercises

Yoga Breathing Exercise 1 Three-PartYogic Breathing Most men breathe shallowly from the chest. In three-part yogic breathing, air is inhaled into the lungs and sequentially fills the entire torso, beginning with the lower belly and rising up through the upper abdomen to chest, upper chest, and even to the shoulder area. In preparation for doing three-part yogic breathing, it can be helpful for you to get a feeling for how you routinely breathe. To do this, lie on your back, preferably on the...

Mens Health Resources on the Internet

The Internet is host to an incredibly large and ever-expanding amount of valuable information regarding men's health. In Chapter 17, you'll find information regarding some of the best sites on the Internet for finding out more about men's health, yoga, and other resources helpful to today's man, including some Websites with specific resources regarding prostate health. Edward S. Goldberg, M.D., on yoga for men's health Yoga has health benefits, especially as it involves circulation and stress...

What Is the Himalayan Institutes Approach to Yoga

The Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy (Himalayan Institute) teaches a holistic yoga that aims to provide a bridge between body and mind. The Himalayan Institute, founded in 1971 by Sri Swami Rama (1925-1996), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people grow physically, mentally, and spiritually by combining the best of the knowledge from both East and West. The Institute's international headquarters is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. It offers programs in yoga...

Yoga Accessories and Props

When practicing yoga, it can be helpful to incorporate the use of an assortment of accessories designed to enhance your practice and make it as rewarding as possible. Such accessories, or props, include sticky mats, yoga belts, wood and foam blocks, and a variety of devices specially designed to support you in performing a variety of postures. The following companies stock a wide selection of yoga accessories as well as books, videos, and audio recordings to enhance your yoga practice....

The Theory Underlying Sivananda Yoga

The ultimate goal of Sivananda Yoga is to enable us to maintain control over the mind. According to the adherents of this approach to yoga, only when the mind is stable can we be calm, centered, and at peace. In common with other approaches to yoga, the teachings of Sivananda Yoga maintain that much of our discontent and illness stems from imbalance and lack of control. We become attached to external objects and lose our true sense of self and focus. The ultimate goal of Sivananda Yoga is to...

General Yoga Websites

American Institute of Vedic Studies www.vedanet.com Founded by Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), the American Institute of Vedic Studies is an educational and research center devoted to the greater system of Vedic and yogic knowledge, including ayurveda, vedic astrology, yoga, tantra, and vedanta. Capeller's Sanskrit-English Dictionary cap_search.html Capeller's Sanskrit-English Dictionary is part of the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionary project. If you are interested in exploring...

For Further Information

Pattabhi Jois founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India, which is the center for the teaching of his Ashtanga Yoga method. The Institute's Website contains detailed photographs of the postures that form the various series of Ashtanga Yoga. For further information on the Institute and Jois's method, classes, workshops, and worldwide teaching schedule, visit www.ayri.org. Beryl Bender Birch is one of the most prominent spokespeople for Ashtanga Yoga in the United States....

The Theory Underlying Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga embraces the principle that we are more than just our physical bodies. In addition to the physical body, we have a number of other bodies layers and sheaths that are normally imperceptible to the human eye. These subtle bodies overlay and interpenetrate one another. Sometimes referred to as etheric bodies, they are related to such areas as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of ourselves. The yoga tradition maintains that contained within these bodies is also the...

L

Laya yoga, 38 Le Page, Joseph, 103 Legs-up-the-Wall Pose, 163-164 Life, David, 104 Locust Pose, 167-168 Lunge Pose, 116, 118 Lustrous Breath, 214-216 origins of, 49-50 style of yoga, 51 underlying theory of, 50-51 Integrative Yoga Therapy, 103 Internet resources, 234-237 ISHTA Yoga, 103-104 Iyengar Yoga, 33, 55-60 background and training of teachers, influences on Anusara Yoga, 100 origins of, 55-57 style of yoga, 57-58 underlying theory of, 57 Iyengar, B.K.S., 25, 55-60, 144 janu sirsasana,...

How Yoga Can Help You Make the Most of Your Fitness Activities

Many men come to the practice of yoga through the back door Avid athletes who injure themselves turn to yoga as a last resort alternative to mend and restore their bodies. While yoga can help you to recover from a sports injury, you don't have to do yourself bodily injury before you can benefit from it. In fact, yoga is one of the best fitness activities to help prevent injury from occurring in the first place. Yoga practices can help you enhance your performance in nearly any physical activity...

Bhujangasana Cobra Pose

Jessica Schwarz

Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, introduces the first of two backward bending yoga postures. Many men today tend to have hunched shoulders that round forward. Sitting for long hours at desks, in front of computers, or at the steering wheel of a car working hard at the gym to develop strong pectoral, or chest, muscles genetic predisposition and the effect of aging on the musculoskeletal system are all Fig.YPS.8 Cobra Pose factors that contribute to creating and aggravating this situation. Backward...

Yoga and Your Abs and Butt

Many men yearn for strong abdominal muscles because of the attractive, masculine appearance well-toned abdominal muscles help create and project. But having strong abdominal muscles has benefits much deeper than appearance. In Asian thought, the abdomen is a man's storehouse of power and energy. Having firm, yet flexible, abdominal muscles helps us maintain our sense of centeredness and power in the world. And as previously stated, strong abs can also help protect a man's back from injury and...

The Origins of Ashtanga Yoga

The origins of Ashtanga Yoga are the stuff of which myths and legends are made. This particular system of yoga is believed to have originated thousands of years ago, yet its modern-day rediscovery occurred only about 75 years ago. The individuals who are most responsible for having brought it into contemporary usage are East Indian yoga masters Sri Tirumlai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) and Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois (1915-). Krishnamacharya was one of the foremost yoga teachers of the 20th...

Poses for Increasing Abdominal Awareness and Strengthening the Buttocks

Many men desire to have not only strong, attractive abs, but a well-toned butt as well Doing an exercise that involves a pelvic lift is an excellent way for a man to increase awareness of the abdominal area while also strengthening and toning the buttocks. One of the best abdominal lifts in yoga is Bridge Pose. This asana combines a powerful pelvic lift with a back bending movement. Bridge Pose is presented in A Complete Yoga Practice Session for Men, where it is illustrated in Fig. YPS.11...

Kundalini Yoga The Style

Kundalini yoga draws on time-honored practices to prepare and encourage the kundalini energy to rise. It is believed that heat contributes to the arousal of the kundalini. Some of the techniques that are used in kundalini yoga are aimed specifically to increase the heat in the body. Thus, relatively active physical movements can be used. These can include traditional asanas that are performed with more vigor and motion than typical hatha yoga practices. For instance, the Sun Salutation series...

Background and Training of Teachers

Upon successful completion of the first-level course of teacher training and examination, teachers of Sivananda Yoga receive a diploma from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams, which is a copy of the original diploma Swami Sivananda used to issue to his disciples at the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy of Rishikesh, India. This first level of training is comprised of an intensive, four-week residential program in the theory and practice of all aspects of yoga. The program is offered...

Yoga and Your Back

One of the most common health problems afflicting men is a bad back. You may have already had the experience of back pain. And chances are that if you haven't, you will It is estimated that 80 percent of adult Americans suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.2 Back pain is the most frequent cause of employee lost work time more than any other occupational disorder.3 And the chief complaint among men who suffer from back pain is pain in the lower back. While some back pain is...

Double Down Dog Partnered Downward Facing

In Double Down Dog, both you and your partner perform Downward-Facing Dog at the same time. Fig. 15.5 Partner Yoga Double Down Dog In preparation for practicing Double Down Dog, one partner assumes Downward-Facing Dog Position see Fig. 15.1j, page 118 . The partner's feet are spread hip-width apart and the heels pressed firmly to the ground. The hands are placed shoulder-width apart. The buttocks are raised toward the ceiling so that the body forms an inverted V relative to the ground. The...

Meditating on a Visual Object

Another way of focusing the awareness in meditation is to concentrate attention on a visual object. A yantra device or machine is a sacred geometric representation that can be used as a device to focus visual awareness. A mandala is a special picture or image that can also help to concentrate awareness during meditation. The word mandala is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning circle. Many Eastern traditions use sacred symbols as concentration devices in the practice of meditation. Mandalas...

Acknowledgments

Completing a book that covers as many practices and issues as Yoga for Men is a daunting task, which could not have been accomplished without the help of many people, most of them sincere practitioners of yoga who volunteered their time and talent to help make this book as reliable, photogenic, and helpful as possible. In addition to the venerated sages of the yoga tradition whose writings and teachings provided the foundational information contained in this book, I would like to acknowledge my...

Viniyoga Yoga Tailored to the Individual

Viniyoga is an approach to yoga popularized by American yogi Gary Kraftsow. It is not so much the name of a yoga as an approach to developing a personal practice of yoga. Kraftsow began his studies of yoga with the highly respected East Indian teacher, T.K.V. Desikachar, son of Sri Krishnamacharya, one of the 20th century's greatest yoga masters. With Desikachar's blessing, Kraftsow established the American Viniyoga Institute AVI , where he and his wife, Mirka, make the teachings of Viniyoga...

Navasana Boat Pose

Navasana literally Boat Pose in Sanskrit is a very powerful pose for gaining abdominal strength, as well as for developing balance and poise. The following are directions for practicing Boat Pose in two variations Full Boat Pose and Modified Boat Pose. Try to do Full Boat Pose. If this pose is too challenging for you, then try Modified Boat Pose. As you develop strength and stamina, continue on to Full Boat Pose. To perform Full Boat Pose paripurna navasana paripurna means full , begin by...

Kneesto Chest Pose

Knees Chest Pose Vatayanasana

As a counterpose to the Locust Pose or any other backward bending exercise , you can do some knee hugs. Lie comfortably on your back on the floor. Lift your legs off the floor as you bend your knees and hug them into your chest by clasping the area of the upper shins just below the kneecaps with your hands. This Knees-to-Chest Pose is known alternatively as pavanamuktasana, apanasana, or vatayanasana Wind-Relieving Pose . Hold yourself in this position for several complete breaths. If you would...

Dhanurasana Bow Pose

Assisted Dhanurasana

YPS.9, page 129 , is a powerful backward bend. You can help your partner open the back and shoulder area even wider and further than your partner could do on his or her own. Have your partner lie down on his or her belly on a firm, padded surface. Your partner bends the legs, raising the lower legs off the ground, and lifting the feet toward the buttocks. Your partner grasps the ankles with his or her hands. As your partner inhales, he or she raises the knees and...

Paschimottanasana Seated Forward Bend

Assist Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Bend Fig. YPS.6, page 125 , is one of the best overall stretches for the back and the hamstrings the long, often tense, muscles that run along the entire length of the back of the upper leg. In this posture, you will assume the position for Seated Forward Bend and execute the posture while your partner assists you in deepening your stretch. Sit on the floor with your trunk, neck, and head erect with your legs straight out in front of you, touching. Place the...

Yoga Courses Workshops and Retreats

One excellent way to explore yoga is to enroll in a short course or workshop in yoga. This way, you can begin or strengthen your yoga practice by working in an extended fashion under competent supervision. Many of the institutes representing major styles of yoga, such as the Himalayan Institute, Integral Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga offer series of courses in yoga, graded to different levels of practitioners for instance, Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced practitioners . Many yoga...

Jivamukti Yoga Eclectic Urban Yoga

Jivamukti from jivanmuktih, living liberated in Sanskrit, implying one who is liberated, or enlightened, while still alive is an eclectic synthesis of yoga practices developed by Sharon Gannon and David Life, who studied both Sivananda Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga in India. See Chapter 5 and Chapter 6. This style of yoga is taught and practiced at two Jivamukti Yoga Centers in New York City one in Munich, Germany and at other locations throughout the world by teachers who have been trained and...

Suggested Further Resources

In this chapter, you've seen how you can incorporate yoga into your fitness program and devise a blueprint for a custom-tailored yoga program. Each particular sport and fitness activity can have its own unique yoga plan. If you'd like more information on specific postures and stretches that you can explore for your specific fitness activities and goals, the following resources are highly recommended to supplement the information presented in this chapter. Aladar Kogler, Ph.D., is the foremost...

Tailoring a Yoga Program to Your Specific Fitness and Sports Needs

You can easily custom-tailor a yoga program to meet your specific needs. As an overall recommendation, be sure to include stretching before and after your physical activity. Try to include stretches that address the entire body. You can choose from among the yoga exercises provided in A Complete Yoga Practice Session for Men. For instance, performing a round of Sun Salutations will provide a stretch for the entire body. You could also choose a complete stretching program by choosing to perform...

Final Relaxation Exercise

Lie down on the floor, preferably on a carpet or other padded surface, with your back resting on the Fig. YPS. 15 Final Relaxation floor in Corpse Pose. The backs of the legs should be resting firmly on the floor, your two legs spread slightly apart hip-width or perhaps a little wider. The backs of your arms should be resting securely on the ground, with your arms spread slightly apart from your body, your palms facing up. You are now ready to do a nice, long relaxation. This relaxation will...

Five Tibetan Yoga A Dynamic Yoga Flow

When we think of yoga, we often think of India. But the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, which first originated in India and on which traditional yoga practices are based, spread to Tibet thousands of years ago. They have influenced Tibetan thought and yoga practice for millennia. The spiritual and physical practices of Tibetan Yoga, like much knowledge about Tibet in general, remained relatively secret until recent years. Now, the secrets of Tibetan Yoga are becoming increasingly more...

Bikrams Yoga Yoga to the Rich and Famous

Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class Bikram's Yoga is an approach to yoga popularized by Bikram Choudhury, a teacher of yoga who was born in India. He first gained prominence in the 1970s when he began to offer yoga classes in Los Angeles, California. A handsome and charismatic young man who, at the age of 11, was the youngest champion in the National India Yoga Competition, Bikram quickly gained prominence in the United States as the yogi to the rich and powerful. Indeed, his roster of students...

Salabhasana Locust Pose

Salabhasana, or the Locust Pose, is often performed in two variations one following the other. The first is a single-leg Locust Pose, commonly referred to as the Half Locust Pose ardha-salabhasana ardha means half , followed by a full Locust Pose salabhasana . This asana gives a particularly powerful stretch to the entire back of the body, including both the back and the legs. It also helps to tone the buttocks and abdominal organs. To perform Half Locust Pose, lie flat on your belly on your...

The Four Major Branches of Yoga

As most commonly presented, the four major branches of yoga are bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, and raja yoga. Understanding the nature of each can help you incorporate yoga into your life in the most meaningful way. Bhakti literally means devotion in Sanskrit. Bhakti yoga is known as the yoga of devotion. Following the path of bhakti yoga requires one to surrender oneself completely to a force or power greater than oneself. That power might be a deity, saint, revered teacher, or a...

Yogilates Yoga Joins Pilates

Yogilates represents a marriage of yoga with a system of wellness and fitness known as the Pilates Method. The Pilates Method is a series of movement exercises developed by German-born Joseph Pilates 1880-1967 in the 1920s. These exercises are designed to make people more aware of their bodies while stretching and strengthening muscles, opening joints, and releasing tension. Interest in the Pilates Method has grown enormously in recent years. The exercises that form part of this method are a...

Complete Yoga Practice Session for

The best way to begin the practice of yoga is to learn under the guidance of a good, experienced teacher. Nothing can compare with the individualized, hands-on training such a teacher can provide. With the growing popularity of yoga, chances are that you can find a yoga studio, center, class, or teacher located close to you. By understanding the various approaches to yoga presented in Yoga for Men, you'll be able to make an informed, intelligent selection of one that's just right for you....

Position Bhujangasana Cobra Pose

Inhale as you gradually slide your chin, neck, and head forward up and off the floor as you maintain your hand placement securely on the floor. Allow your belly and lower torso to sink onto the floor as your upper back arches up from the floor. Point your toes so that the top surface of each foot rests in contact with the floor. Your arms straighten as you lift up into what Fig. YPS.li Cobra Pose is known as bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose. This posture provides a strong backward bend, so lift your...

Viparita Karani Legsupthe Wall Pose

Viparita karani, or Legs-up-the-Wall Pose viparita means inverted and karani means doing is a powerfully restorative posture. It is a variation of the Shoulderstand. In fact, this pose can be an alternative inverted posture for those men who find the Shoulderstand too challenging. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose helps to relieve backache while providing the stimulating benefits of an inverted posture, helping to promote good circulation, particularly in the legs and feet. In addition to being practiced...

Vrkasana Tree Pose

Yoga helps to promote poise, grace, and balance. A group of postures known as balancing poses are especially helpful in achieving these goals. In addition to helping provide balance, these postures also help to promote concentration and clarity of thought because you must focus the mind with great awareness in order to balance the physical body. One of the best balancing postures is vrkasana, or Tree Pose. In this posture, you balance yourself on one leg at a time while striving to achieve the...

Position Ahstang Pranam Knees Chest and Chin to the Floor

Exhale as you slowly, and with control, lower yourself down so that your knees, chest, and chin touch the floor. Your pelvis and the mid-section of your torso remain lifted off the floor. Your feet are flexed and touching the floor, toes curled under. Your hands are placed with palms flat on the floor next to your shoulders. Your elbows are raised and your upper arms are aligned to be as straight, close, and parallel to your torso as possible. This position is known as ashtang pranam...

Bidalasana Cat Pose

Fig. 13.2a Cat Pose Back Arched Down Fig. 13.2a Cat Pose Back Arched Down Fig. 13.2b Cat Pose Back Arched Up Bidalasana bidala means cat in Sanskrit is most popularly referred to as Cat Pose or Cat Stretch, and alternatively by some practitioners as Cat-Cow Stretch. This stretch uses deceptively simple yoga movements that can help you strengthen and stretch the spine simultaneously. To prepare for Cat Pose, assume a kneeling position on the floor. Try to practice this exercise on a carpeted...

Standing Abdominal Lift

Standing Abdominal Lift is an abdominal squeezing exercise that you can perform while standing. It helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles while giving a powerful massage to the internal organs. Stand in Mountain Pose Fig. YPS.1a, page 115 with your feet firmly planted on the ground about hip-width apart, and your arms and hands by your sides. Lower the buttocks Fig. 13.4b Seated Cat Stretch Rounded Back Fig. 13.4b Seated Cat Stretch Rounded Back to come into a modified squat position. Place...

Garudasana Eagle Pose

Garudasana, or Eagle Pose, is a traditional yoga pose that you can use to help increase your sexual energy. To prepare for Eagle Pose, assume an erect standing position as in Mountain Pose see Fig. YPS.1a, page 115 . Your feet are parallel to one another and about hip-width apart. Shift your weight to your left leg for support as you lift up your right leg. Lift and wrap the right thigh over the left thigh and hook the right foot or toes behind the left calf. If necessary, use your hands to...

Supta Baddha Konasana Reclining Cobbler Pose

Cobbler Pose

Supta baddha konasana, or Reclining Cobbler Pose supta means sleeping or reclining is a variation of the seated Cobbler Pose. This pose can be even more relaxing than the seated Cobbler Pose. In fact, one yoga teacher I know playfully refers to this pose as Goddess Pose because of the luxurious sense of relaxation and ease it can give. If you have difficulty sitting on the floor with your back erect, or if you'd like to practice Cobbler Pose in a different way, try Reclining Cobbler Pose. To...

Paschimottanasana Seated Forward Bend Pose

Many men suffer from back pain in particular, pain in the lower back. Paschimottanasana, commonly referred to as Seated Forward Bend Pose, is one of the best asanas that you can perform to help relieve back pain, especially lower back pain. Back pain is often caused by tight hamstring muscles, an important muscle group that runs along the entire length of the backs of the thighs. For many men, the hamstrings are among the tightest that is, most contracted muscles in the body. Seated Forward...

Chapter The Yoga Lifestyle

Quoted on the www.whitelotus.org home page. 2. Swami Rama, Choosing a Path, 192. 3. For further information on yogic reasons for being a vegetarian, see Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center's Yoga Mind amp Body New York DK Publishing, 1996 , 126-127. 7. Swami Rama, Choosing a Path, 17. 8. Swami Sivananda, Sadhana Tehri-Garhwal, India Divine Life Society Publications, 1998 , 458-461. Edited and abridged, with parenthetical translations added to aid understanding.

Mula Bandha Pelvic Floor Root Lock

In Sanskrit, the word bandha means lock. In yoga, bandhas are special positions that lock or seal in energy. Yoga practitioners believe that a vital life force energy called prana air, breath, or life force energy in Sanskrit runs through the body and sustains us with its life-giving energy. By sealing off certain parts of the body, a man can lock, or trap, the energy inside his body to intensify its vitalizing effects. For this reason, various bandhas are often applied during the exercise of...