What's the Benefit of Yoga?
Have you ever noticed yourself sitting hunchback at the computer, completely unaware of your posture?...
Does stress lead to mindless eating in front of the TV?...
Are you the person reaching for the 5th cup of coffee by 4:00 hoping for some clarity in your foggy brain as you look at another stack of files placed at your desk?...
Can you imagine feeling limitless in your activities, or at least not feeling out of breath after vacuuming?...
Wouldn't it feel freeing to hop up onto the counter like a kid, instead of dragging out the step stool when reaching for the top shelf?...
Has it been a while since walking into the doctor's office without concern about your cholesterol levels or high blood pressure?...
Do you wish to ease yourself off anti-depressants but don't see an end?...
How would it feel to enjoy your gardening, kneeling easily in the earth without feeling pain and discomfort in your knees or back?...
Does your family's history of cancer and disease leave you feeling helpless?...
How different would your life look if you were able to soothe yourself in a stressful day without relying on food, shopping, alcohol and more addictions?...
How often does your mind race, especially when you are trying to fall asleep?...
Is going to the bathroom on a regular basis turned into a super human feat?...
Do your children have to continually repeat themselves when sharing their day?...
"From marriages that just wouldn't stick, family tragedies, plus living under a continual barrage of self-criticism, guilt and every manner of self-loathing, yoga has transformed and inspired me to rise above it all. I began my yoga practice as a single mom, running my own business and had just called off a wedding two weeks beforehand when my sister in law handed me a yoga DVD hoping it would replace my usual sleeping pills. My life was never the same. The experience of a quiet mind was unfamiliar and I immediately sought more. I found a studio and was taken under the wing of my wonderful teacher who trained me to be an instructor. Yoga shifted my addictions from too much shopping, smoking and alcohol to a life where I could finally be the love I was always looking for outside of myself. As I became the person I wanted to be around, I met the mate who instigated my next pivotal moment by asking,What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? I took a chance. I quit a 20-year career of managing my own salon and began teaching Yoga full time. Encouraged by my students enthusiasm and my husbands support we created our first Yoga DVD. Fast forward two years later to my life and the creation and production of internationally syndicated TV program Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr, teaching yoga and stress management at schools, hospitals, national workshops and conferences, travel, enjoying family and asking how may I serve around every corner. Yoga has inspired me to flow through the rough times gracefully, to breathe and connect to my higher self, the part that looks forward to life, with eagerness and the 'child like' qualities we all possess. Whether on the mat trying a challenging arm balance pose or climbing a cliff to shoot a new video, yoga has inspired me to trust the process of life and find the balance between sweet surrender and never giving up." - Sarah Starr, Host & Co-Creator of Happy Yoga
Have you ever noticed yourself sitting hunchback at the computer, completely unaware of your posture?
"Did you know the human head weighs 8 pounds?" - the cute kid from Jerry Maguire.
Does stress lead to mindless eating in front of the TV?
Yoga is an amazing way to get you in tune with your body like no other practice. The asana practice gives you better body awareness and in turn you become more mindful of what you put into it. From there you can then begin to make some changes that leave you in a better state of mind, ie…not overeating until you feel sick and bloated.
Are you the person reaching for the 5th cup of coffee by 4:00 hoping for some clarity in your foggy brain as you look at another stack of files placed at your desk?
Breathing techniques taught in yoga, drive oxygen and blood towards the brain hence making the mind a more tranquil place. Increased serenity will invigorate our mental functions and activities. Meditation and conscious breathing are a proven means to reduce stress and produce relaxation. A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital has made headlines by showing that as little as eight weeks of meditation produces changes in various areas of the brain associated, not simply with feeling calmer, but with improved sense of self, empathy, and memory.
Can you imagine feeling limitless in your activities, or at least not feeling out of breath after vacuuming?
You probably know yoga leads to flexibility and when you stick with it, that flexibility causes the reduction and possible elimination of chronic aches and pains.
Wouldn't it feel freeing to hop up onto the counter like a kid, instead of dragging out the step stool when reaching for the top shelf?
Yoga is amazing—even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. I suggest starting with two or three times a week, 20 minutes sessions. and work your way up to an hour or an hour and a half each time. If you can only do 20 minutes per session, that's fine too. Don't let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle—do what you can and don't worry about it. You will likely find that after awhile your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.
Has it been a while since walking into the doctor's office without concern about your cholesterol levels or high blood pressure?
If you've got high blood pressure, try yoga. Two studies of people with hypertension, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, compared the effects of Savasana (Corpse Pose) with simply lying on a couch. After three months, Savasana was associated with a 26-point drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 15-point drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number—and the higher the initial blood pressure, the bigger the drop. That would be viewed as excellent results from medication.*
Do you wish to ease yourself off anti-depressants but don't see an end?
One of the first things a depressed person stops doing is moving and regular exercise becomes unbearable. To create a shift in your mental state, start with just a few yoga poses a day. Yoga exercises put pressure on glands and organs, producing the soothing, healing chemical balance that helps create the feeling of well-being. Depression can also helped be relieved when you regularly get your heart rate into the aerobic range. While not all yoga is aerobic, if you do it vigorously as in a Vinyasa flow or Ashtanga class, it can boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. Studies show that the yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate, enhance endurance, and can increase your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all signs of increased aerobic conditioning. It has also been concluded that in physical activity your brain releases serotonin, the "good feeling hormone" which can also improve the symptoms of depression.**
How would it feel to enjoy your gardening, kneeling easily in the earth without feeling pain and discomfort in your knees or back?
Toned muscles not only look good, those strong lean muscles protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain. Yoga is also one of the few practices that build strength in combination with flexibility, leaving you less susceptible to injuries.
Does your family's history of cancer and disease leave you feeling helpless?
Want to stimulate your ability to fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning. Yoga does that by increasing the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells) this dramatically helps the lymphatic system, your main defense against infection, cancerous cells, and toxic waste products of cellular functioning.
How different would your life look if you were able to soothe yourself in a stressful day without relying on food, shopping, alcohol and more addictions?
Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Not impressed? One of the jobs of the adrenal glands is to secrete cortisol in response to an emergency, which temporarily boosts immune function. If it's not regulated back down they can compromise the immune system. Chronically high levels undermine memory, possibly leading to permanent changes in the brain, even though temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory. Other not so good stuff linked to excessive cortisol; major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. Scientists have found in rats, high cortisol levels lead to what they call "food-seeking behavior" (the kind that drives you to eat when you're upset, angry, or stressed). The body likes to focus those extra calories as fat in the abdomen, contributing to weight gain and the risk of diabetes and heart attack. FUN! Remember Yoga lowers cortisol.
How often does your mind race, especially when you are trying to fall asleep?
An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and remember information easier—most likely because they're not distracted by incessant thoughts, which for most of us play over and over like a broken record. Yoga helps you to slow your breath and focus on the present moment, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. This shift creates a calming and restorative effect; slowing the breathing and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and increasing blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs—comprising what Herbert Benson, M.D., calls the relaxation response.**
Is going to the bathroom on a regular basis turned into a super human feat?
Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of these can flair up with stress. Like other exercise, Yoga can help ease the symptoms of constipation—and theoretically lower the risk of colon cancer—because moving the body facilitates quicker transport of food and waste products through the bowels. Concentrating on simple abdominal twisting postures and forward bends can provide a soothing effect with a hyperactive bowel and even though not studied scientifically, may be helpful in moving waste through the system. **
Do your children have to continually repeat themselves when sharing their day?
Yoga is about being in the world, experiencing all of it. Even though you may begin practicing yoga focusing on yoga postures, breathing and meditation, the tradition also encompasses love, compassion, wisdom and presence.
I know yoga would add some major value to my life all around, I see that it's possible for me to start a simple practice, now how do I start today?
Just like I started, yoga DVD's are an easy and affordable way to start a new practice and can also be a great support to your existing studio practice.
As a mother and entrepreneur, in order to practice on a regular basis, I've found utilizing yoga DVD's to be more time efficient than traveling to a studio, although I highly recommend trying that as well, With a busy schedule Yoga DVD's provide a convenient practice available at any time of the day. It's about taking time to improve the quality of your life, even if you start out 15 minutes at first.
Another advantage of DVD's is if you feel uncomfortable trying yoga for the first time in a group setting, it's a great way to get your feet wet, without being distracted or feeling self conscious with people around you.
There are a great variety of yoga DVD's and practices available. We've flavored all of our DVD's with our favorite aspects that I love to play with and sprinkled them throughout our collection.
-- Sarah Starr, Host & Co-Creator of Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr
P.S. Yoga DVD's have been important in the development of my yoga practice, starting with my first DVD by Rodney Yee, A.M. and P.M. Yoga , and I continue to learn from my favorite teachers DVDs such as Shiva Rea: Creative Core and Upper Body, Shiva Rea: Creative Core Abs and Yoga Shakti, John Friend's Yoga Journal: John Friend's Anusara Yoga Grand Gathering (3 DVD Set), Seane Corn: Vinyasa Flow Yoga 1 | Session Two Intermediate and Kathryn Budig's live online classes are just a few of my favorites. I have infused the most helpful and beautiful aspects of my favorite yoga DVD's and put those ideas into the creation of Happy Yoga. I hope these videos can be as helpful for you as they were fun to create!
Important Caution: Please note the following important cautions before using this product. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and this or any exercise program may result in injury. Consult with your doctor before embarking on this or any other exercise program. The creators, producers, performers, participants and distributors of this product cannot guarantee that this program is safe and proper for every individual. For that reason this program is sold without warranties or guarantees of any kind. Any liability, loss or damage in connection with any use of this program, including but not limited to any liability, loss or damage resulting from the performance of the exercises demonstrated here, or the advice and information given here, is expressly disclaimed.
Consult with your doctor
before embarking on this or
any other exercise program.
Pregnant women should
not practice twists or any
abdominal tightening poses.
Consult with your doctor before embarking on this or any other exercise program. Pregnant women should not practice twists or any abdominal tightening poses.
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