I Am Often Asked, What Is Meditation?

I am often asked the question, "what is meditation?" Or, "what is meditation and how to do it", or "what is meditation good for?" At first glance, these may appear to be simple questions, but depending who you put the questions to, you may get a very wide variety of answers.

For instance, if you ask a Stress Therapist, "What is meditation? Or "What is meditation good for" They may tell you that meditation is a series of simple techniques that you can use, to greatly reduce the levels of stress and anxiety that you experience in your life. They would be correct, in that, by practicing using certain meditation techniques on a regular basis, you will certainly experience less stress and anxiety in your life. You could easily start practicing meditation and find out for yourself.


Or if you ask a Yoga Meditation teacher the same question, "What is meditation?" they may tell you that meditation is a series of profoundly powerful techniques that you can use to relax your mind, body and emotions. In practicing these meditation techniques, you may discover a place of peace and tranquility within you. Again, if you use certain yoga meditation techniques, you will almost certainly feel physically, mentally and emotionally better, plus you may experience greater peace and tranquility. Again, the easy thing to do is for you to start meditating, maybe for a few months, and see for yourself what benefits of meditation you may or may not experience.

The problems start when you start asking people with 'faith' or 'religious beliefs', "What is meditation?" Then you are often invited to believe that either:

A) Through the practice of certain meditation techniques, that you will one day, in this life or the next, discover Enlightenment.

B) Through meditating using specific meditation methods, you will have 'spiritual experiences'.

C) That by meditating in the manner that is recommended by them, you will make discover your deepest nature, etc.

Now, you are being invited to believe stuff which in 99% of cases, cannot be proved. You are invited to have 'faith'.

My advice to you, if you are genuinely inquiring into "What is meditation?", or "What is meditation good for?" Then I advise you to believe nothing, and ask for proof. Ask to speak to an Enlightened person. Ask that person how you will discover Enlightenment for yourself - in this lifetime. If they cannot tell you, then walk away. After all, if you cannot discover something for yourself, ie; first hand, concrete, direct experience, for yourself, then what use is it to you? You are simply being invited to join in a belief system.

Secondly, there is the problem of 'meaning'. Depending on whom you talk to, the word Enlightenment or Spiritual means many different things to different people. For guidance on deciding what these words could or should mean to you, please look around this web site.

But, in general, when a person asks me, "What is meditation?", I simply say this. Meditation is the process of discovering more and more about yourself. In general, you will experience less stress and anxiety in your life. It is a progressive experience that ultimately reveals to you, your very deepest nature. This deepest nature is called Enlightenment.

Enlightenment is not an experience; it is a permanent state of BEING. Unlike every experience you have ever had, Enlightenment has no beginning, it has no middle and it has no end. It is PERMANENT. This state of being can be discovered by you. I am not asking you to believe me, I am inviting you to find out for yourself.

Then you yourself will know for a fact, what is meditation, you will know how to do it, you will know for yourself what meditation is good for.

I Am Often Asked, What Is Meditation?

Francis Taylor has been teaching meditation all over the world. He believes that it is possible to find the light in this lifetime rather than only when you pass on.

Finding the light will allow you to live a more joyful life. Through meditation and being initiated you will expand and grow to to new heights that you never dreamed possible.

It all starts with letting go, being still and observing. You can experience Francis Taylor's enjoyable guided mediation absolutely free of charge by visiting http://www.MeditationClassAtHome.com

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Yoga Bolsters

Being new to the practice of Yoga, it is always a good idea to give your body an opportunity to adapt to unusual positions that one has to go through. Always remember not to push your body beyond what it is capable of. The art and practice of Yoga was never intended to harm the practitioner's body in any way. Without slowly adapting to the processes, one might end up pulling muscles, stretching ligaments, tendons, or even ripping them, though the latter of the four is extremely rare.

One such helpful item that some advanced practitioner's even use is that of the Yoga bolster. A bolster is a cotton-filled cushion that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is generally either round or square, round being the most common. The purpose of the bolster is diverse. However, it is mostly utilized as a cushion for the head, neck, or lower back. When considering the human posture, the head is the least likely use.


When performing Yoga, the practitioner generally does so on a hard surface, such as a hardwood floor, linoleum, or similar unyielding surface. It does not denote weakness to utilize cushions to make it less painful. The words Yoga and pain were never meant to be interrelated in any way.

When deciding upon the best type of Bolster for you, the best tactic to utilize is a simple one. Just lie down flat on whatever surface that you will be practicing Yoga on. Lie there until you start to relax. Let your body naturally sink into the floor. Now, take close note of what part of your body is not touching the bare floor once you are totally within a state of relaxation. This is your body taking its natural form. Wherever these points are that aren't in contact with the floor is where you will get the most benefit from a bolster.

As for where to get a bolster, you can do a simple internet search of the words "Yoga Bolster" and you will literally find hundreds of thousands of results. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a bolster is that you generally get what you pay for. If you purchase the cheap generic brand, you will get cheap and generic results. It is best to pay a little more for something that will last longer and be more effective.

Another thing to be wary of are Yoga bolsters that are filled with anything but real cotton. Other fillers that are often used instead will eventually begin to lose their shape and become virtually useless.

Yoga Bolsters

Yoga is a great way to strengthen your mind and body and get in shape as well as a great way to unwind after a long day. Whatever your yoga equipment needs, we have the information and resources to point you in the right direction. We have yoga music, mats, clothes, pants, videos and journals as well as information on the different types, postures and the history of yoga [http://www.universalyoga.com/historyofyoga.html]. Yoga supplies, such as a mat and yoga pants [http://www.universalyoga.com/] are a good investment for those practicing yoga. Yoga music comes in a wide variety of stylese. More info: yoga props [http://www.universalyoga.com/yogasupplies.html]

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Yoga Causes Back Pain

It is a well known fact that Yoga is good for you, that it makes your joints more supple, increases muscle strength and is ideal for back pain sufferers. Or is it?

Many people, myself included, have tried some of the many yoga DVDs and books, hoping for some relief from back pain, only to discover that far from fixing the problem, yoga exacerbates it. Why should this be? Surely something that is purported to be so good for me should not be causing pain? I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong, not following instructions properly, and that somehow it was my fault. but have now discovered that yoga can indeed worsen certain back conditions. This was not the case, however, I was not doing anything wrong, the exercises were unsuitable and should really have come with a health warning.


Many reputable yoga teachers and practitioners of course, do issue a warning that unilateral movements can stress the sacroiliac joint. Poses such as the tree pose and warrior 3 where need you to balance on one leg are not recommended. Deep standing yoga poses also stress the sacroiliac joint. This is the joint that connects the spinal column with the pelvis. It is a joint that has little movement but can be affected by arthritis. Lower back pain is often caused by strain or inflammation of this joint and many yoga poses can either cause or exacerbate these problems.

A very popular yoga method - Ashtanga yoga - is practised by many of us who are too busy for the slower, more contemplative practises. It is vigorous and athletic and has a fast pace of movements and many yoga classes and DVDs now use the Ashtanga yoga method. I would strongly advise you to approach it with great care and stop immediately if you notice any pain or strain whilst doing the asanas. This was the method that hurt my back the most, with pain both in the waist and pelvic area.

The best sort of yoga is the more traditional gentle and slow yoga movements. These do not involve quick changes and you will find it easier to judge if the movements are doing you good or causing you pain before it is too late.

If you like the idea of yoga exercises and feel that they would suit you, then the best approach would be to do a very limited number of the easiest positions for a very short space of time - 5-10 minutes is preferable - then wait 24 hours to see how you feel. It is possible that you may have some minor muscle stiffness if you do not usually practice yoga, but it should not be anything more than this. Any pain or worsening of your back pain or any new pain means you should stop immediately. If yoga does not work for you then it doesn't work - it is as simple as that. Find something else like Pilates or swimming. Do not feel that you are missing out, there is the perfect exercise regime out there somewhere for you.

Do I still practice yoga? The answer is no. I have found my own methods of back health and although friends sometimes urge me to give it another go, I always decline. I go caving and walking and riding too, but would not risk damaging my back again practicing yoga.

Yoga, in my opinion, is for people without any back problems. It can prevent injury, but it will not cure it.

Yoga Causes Back Pain

If you love yoga and want to practise it, a very good site is http://www.yogacards.com. It has sound advice for back sufferers and gives free advice for beginners.

My own site [http://www.simplebackrelief.co.uk] has free back exercises that are both gentle and effective.

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Hot Yoga For Detoxification Benefits

Hot yoga or bikram yoga is gaining popularity as the new way to detoxify and to remove toxins from your body. For this method, you just need to think of yoga as if you are in a sauna. In fact, it is thought so effective for cleansing purposes that some natural health treatment centres are including it as part of the regimen for chronic liver diseases like hepatitis C.

Your skin is one of the best waste disposal systems in nature. While it is different from your waste-extraction organs like kidneys or livers, your skin is an equally effective organ for removing waste, especially toxic wastes. It does this through sweat.


Hence, hot yoga provides the perfect channel for detoxification to happen. You would be tapping the ability of your skin to convert toxins that come from various fats into simpler and water-soluble compounds that can be easily removed. At high temperatures, you will begin to sweat. Amonia and urea is eliminated as well as sugars and salts.

When you do hot yoga, exercises are performed in a room heated to temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once inside, you go through a program of specified postures in a vigorous but very aerobic workout. The internal heat generated by the yoga exercises combines with the external heat of the room to make you break out in torrents of sweat.

On its own, yoga is already a powerful healing regime. When you do yoga exercises, you are working out every muscle in the body, making them strong, supple, and flexible. Aside from being able to help in cardiovascular problems, yoga is also excellent for people suffering from arthritis, stress reduction, and a host of other body conditions.

Every posture in the hot yoga for detoxification exercise is complemented with proper breathing techniques to assist you in reaching the maximum limit of the movement. Thus, you may notice that apart from the regular Bikram yoga exercises, you are also trained in the proper breathing techniques. Proper breathing techniques is vital in detoxification and cleansing.

By boosting circulation and metabolism through deep breathing and yoga posture, hot yoga accelerates the result of any detoxification program. Additionally, you also get to learn the techniques of meditation. You learn to relax your mind, thus addressing stress toxins. In conclusion, bikram yoga or hot yoga for detoxification is a powerful means to achieving balance between mind, body and spirit.

Hot Yoga For Detoxification Benefits

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5 Yoga Routines For Your Body

Yoga is another routine that you can adopt to keep yourself healthy and fit. With yoga routine you will not only ensure health and fitness but you will feel refreshed as well. It is common for most of us to put on weight by staying inactive or to put it simply leading a less active life. It is for this reason that exercises are there so that one can stay fit and healthy and lead an active life.

Although, most of us hate to exercise not only because we don't have much time but it leaves it sweaty and tired. If you feel this way then the best alternative is to include yoga routine in your daily life. Yoga routine will make you feel fresh and your mind at peace. You can perform a yoga routine of 15-minutes long and feel the difference.


Given below are some yoga routines that will also help you increase flexibility.

1. Janushirsasana: Start by sitting on floor with the legs in front of you and straight. Now bend your left leg such that foot's sole rests on inside thigh of the right leg. When done, bend forward with your arms raised and hold the right foot toe with both the hands. Bring your face as closer to it as you can and hold the position for a minute before returning to original position. Perform same for the other leg.

2. Shalabhasana: Start by lying flat on belly on the floor. Make sure that your arms are at the side. By balancing on the lower belly part, lift your arms, heads, legs and torso off the floor. Hold this position for one minute before gently returning to original position.

3. Dhanurasana: For this you have to lie flat on floor on belly. Now bend the knees and using your hands reach to reach back, get hold of the ankles. Now pull the legs up with the hands holding the ankles and lift the torso and head up. Stay in this position for one minute before gently returning to original position.

4. Halasana: For this lie on the floor on your back. Now try touching the tip of the floor that is above the head by lifting hips and legs and swinging them over to do so. Hold this position for one minute.

5. Shavasana: Lie on the floor on your back and close your eyes. Let your body feel weightless at the same time breathe slowly and deeply. Relax yourself by staying inthis position for one minute.

5 Yoga Routines For Your Body

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Yoga For Relaxation And Relaxation Techniques For Busy People

Do you need to relax? Most of people are having a busy life and do not have time to relax. In their busy life, people are on the run moment they get up from bed to the time they retire for the day. How can you be relax when whole day is spent in meeting the deadlines, pushing schedules, getting to office, getting back to home and not having enough time for having proper meals? In addition, there can be different types of stress due to financial problems, health problems in family, lack of emotional support or work pressures. End result is we are feeling stressed mentally and physically for most part of the day. You need relaxation urgently if you are becoming easily irritable, feeling loss of energy, not enjoying your work and have a feeling of hopelessness. Even if you are perfectly fine and healthy, proper relaxation can make a wonderful change to your life and reduce your stress levels.

A person who does not do any work need not be necessarily relaxed. Similarly, lying in your bed does not ensure relaxation if your mind is busy elsewhere.


Is this Relaxation? Following activities are not true relaxation :

  • Collapsing into a sofa and watching your favourite channels. Sex, violence and tear jerking emotions can further add to your emotional baggage.
  • Reading a newspaper or a magazine can make you feel better but it is not true relaxation.
  • Eating, drinking or partying.
  • Gossiping or spreading rumours about colleagues.
  • Use of drugs or any other intoxicant.

Is Relaxation possible? Yes, relaxation is possible for everybody but it requires positive action. You can master the master the art of relaxation with persistent efforts. Relaxation is not a one time affair, you have to practice it regularly. Make relaxation techniques a part of your life. Do a self analysis to identify any major causes of stress that can be resolved easily and try to remove them. For true relaxation, there has to be a paradigm shift in the way you think. You have to let go of things. Do not think that you are doing everything. Remember, you are not indispensable, world does not rest on your shoulders alone. Here are some tips for relaxation.

Yoga for relaxation. Yoga breathing and yoga asanas are real stress busters and improves your feel good factor. It removes negative feelings/ emotions from your mind. Yoga helps in harmonising your mind and body, provides you more energy to carry out your work.

  • About 15 minutes of yoga practice in the morning can help. Practice shava asana and rhythmic deep breathing initially.
  • Also, during the day, you can practice rhythmic breathing any time you have minimum three to five minutes of spare time. Concentrate on your breath during the day and become aware of the rhythm of breathing.
  • In general, consciously try to take deep breaths whenever you have time. After some days your breathing will automatically become deep and you can feel the difference in your spirits and resulting mental peace.
  • At least once or twice a week practice yoga nidra for complete relaxation.

Relaxation and mind control. Relaxation is an art which starts with a positive state of mind. If you resolve in your mind that you are happy and relaxed, you will feel relaxed. With continuous auto suggestions, mind can be trained over a period of time.

Concentration and meditation Spend some time in solitude in a day, preferably early morning. Choose a room with no light or any sound. Try to concentrate your mind. Observe the thoughts going through your mind as an independent observer. After some days practice,
gradually try to have a control on your thoughts. You should not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind. It is possible but requires practice. Develop an attitude of self confidence.

Actions for Relaxation. Forward your clock by 5 minutes and you can avoid most of the troubles. Be available for all your appointments well in time. For example, before going to office, get ready 5 minutes early, relax and think about days task.

  • Close your eyes and take 5 to 10 deep breaths, this gives you a momentary break to reorganise your thoughts.
  • At times, leave our place of work for few minutes and take a walk to coffee machine.
  • Take to stairs and climb to next floor.
  • A good night's sleep is essential for better relaxation and helps to avoid effects of sleep deprivation.
  • Sometimes have a change in your daily routine. For example, sometimes go on a long walk in a nearby park. Spend some time in the lap of nature.
  • Develop a hobby such as practicing yoga, meditating, cycling, swimming or gardening.

Emotions for Relaxation.

  • You do not need other people's approval for all your actions, so be relaxed and do not bother what other people say about you.
  • You can relax while doing your work, provided you like your work and work with full concentration.
  • Do not worry about past or future, take care of your present.
  • Spend some time with your family every day. Your family can provide you much needed emotional support.
  • You can also find pleasant memories within you to help you create relaxation.
  • Indeed having a happy married life and harmonious environment at home is essential for peace of mind.

Control your breathing and heart rate by using rhythmic breathing so that you stay composed and calm under all circumstances. Relaxation essentially involves identifying and prioritising your most important jobs and utterly disregard unimportant issues. Practicing these relaxation tips/ techniques will enable you to focus on relevant issues, improve your productivity at work and lead a healthy life.

Yoga For Relaxation And Relaxation Techniques For Busy People

Daljit Kaur is a yoga enthusiast, and editor of http://www.yoga-for-beginners-a-practical-guide.com a portal dedicated to provide valuable information on yoga to beginners. For more information on yoga, visit http://www.yoga-for-beginners-a-practical-guide.com Subscribe to her e-zine for free at http://www.yoga-for-beginners-a-practical-guide.com/yoga-for-health.html for more information. Copyright: You may freely reprint this article provided the whole text, the author name, all links and this notice remain intact.

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Yoga For Beginners - Basic Routines

Finding time for relaxation can be difficult. We can look forward to the weekends but sometimes even those are so busy we still can't relax. Long working hours added together with other preoccupations leave little time to relax and reflect. Yet these things are important to our health. Yoga is a practice that refreshes both the mind and body and just a few moments devoted to it every day can bring about a marked change in one's life. Yoga for weight loss is also becoming quite popular. However there are a number of things you should know before you begin your yoga exercise. These tips can actually be quite helpful for beginners.

• Be Peaceful: The primary objective is to give peace to the mind and the body. Hence it is important to keep out unwanted thoughts that jumble up our minds. Try to clear your mind before committing to any yoga exercise. This will improve your concentration and enable you to practice yoga in a better way.


• Be Silly: It is important to feel free while practicing yoga. Being too self-conscious can stifle the learning curve as it stops us from making mistakes. No wonder they may be discomforting, mistakes actually make us learn. Ever wondered why children learn so quickly? This is because they make a lot of mistakes. Moreover, realize that when you are beginning, you are bound to fall many times. Even if you are getting better, you will still fall. Fretting about this and feeling embarrassed only takes the joy out of yoga and makes us too shy to practice it in its full capacity.

• Be Consistent: Whatever routine we set for ourselves, it is important that we stick to it on a consistent basis. Even if we give it just 5 minutes of our time every day, we must be sure not to miss a routine. Inconsistency drastically slows down learning and is also a sign that we are not committed to the exercise. However try not to get too disciplined about yoga as it is more about loving ourselves then being all rigid and regimented. Moreover, the emphasis should be on working smart, rather than working hard.

• Be Real: Finally, realize that yoga is about staying in touch with reality, rather than floating on a cloud. Sure it is a relaxing exercise, but that does not mean that we get lost in it. Be sure of your objective for practicing yoga so that you can stay focused.

Yoga For Beginners - Basic Routines

As you can see, yoga for beginners is quite simple. Moreover, yoga for weight loss is also quite popular as it lets you connect your mind to your body.

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Jhana Yoga

Jhana yoga is a form of meditation that allows you to reach enlightenment, with great practice you can obtain this state of mind all the time. This is a type of knowledge and understanding for you to live by using you're energy, thought, emotions in a more effective way.

What is this enlightenment and how you find it. They say enlightenment is to follow the path of truth. People search everywhere for the true path, but they forget to start within themselves first. Not looking in your thoughts, but in your heart. When you find the truth within your heart, you'll then find it in life and as well as in the universe. We can find truth by observation, looking through the heart and letting it lead you into meditation where your mind is in a peaceful state of being.


This is a very difficult form of meditation to constantly achieve and it can only come from practicing deep self-inquiry. In doing so, you will learn to understand the true nature of our mind and go beyond what you perceive as reality. Learn to live moment by moment and all the truth in that moment alone.

Meditation originated from Asian religious practices, in India, China and Japan. There is no specific date recorded, but it is rooted back to ancient times with techniques dating from over 5000 years ago, even dated back in the Bible with Moses. Its purpose was for religious believes and the health factors that come with it.

Buddha was the first to make an icon in meditation, around 500 B.C. Then the Easter-styles of meditation expanded; Buddhist, Hinduism even Christianity. They still practice strongly to this day. It didn't become popular in the West till the 1960's and 1970's. That's when it vastly expanded into many different forms as we know of them today.

Jhana Yoga

The three popular types of yoga you may have heard of are hatha yoga, power yoga and bikram yoga. Hatha yoga is the style of yoga most practiced today. It is what you will think of when you think of yoga in general. Power yoga is a more aerobic-style yoga, with an emphasis on cardio. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room to accelerate detoxification. Universal Yoga sells everything you need to practice these and other forms of yoga, pilates and meditation including yoga bolsters [http://www.universalyoga.com/], yoga mats [http://www.universalyoga.com/yogamats.html], workout clothing, meditation cushions, uplifting apparel and yoga DVDs.

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Yoga Techniques

A pregnant mother can make use of the vast yoga techniques to get her body and mind set for the arrival of the baby. At the advanced stages of the pregnancy, she can do yoga exercises which help focus on both the baby and herself to allow healthy childbirth.

Practicing yoga will help an expectant mother have an easier time coping with or preventing constipation or morning sickness, which are both common symptoms of pregnancy.


If the mother is able to allow the cervix tension to reduce and to allow the birth canal to open up freely, the labor process will be smoother, faster and more successful.

Some yoga techniques are vital in allowing that breathing that will ease the process of childbirth. Even afterwards, there are yoga techniques that will help the body to restore its former shape. These include reducing the back tension and restoring the abdomen and uterus. The only caution is not to lie on your belly during those techniques.

One should begin taking the yoga sessions in between the first two to four months of the pregnancy. The exercises involved include a lot of leg strengthening postures and other drills that will see the mother build up lower body strength and enhanced blood circulation.

To help you reduce back pains, you should indulge in a lot of stretching. Starting from the fourth month, you can start doing some Asanas yoga practices. This period is the most crucial phase of the pregnancy and it is necessary that you reduce heavy work.

Get down to some back stretching and back twisting. The emphasis should be on allowing your back and upper chest to get used to being flexible. You should however not over stretch. Remain in an inclined position.

Weight stresses are another thing that an expectant mother should watch out for. You are at risk if you assume poses that put too much strain on the body. You should not do inversion poses because these will put weight stress on the body.

Yoga Techniques

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