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The Many Branches Of Yoga

The Many Branches Of Yoga

People have used yoga techniques for more than 2,000 years. Over these centuries, yoga has developed into a system of widely varied practices, much like an ancient tree with many branches.
Each branch of yoga was developed to serve specific human needs. As a general rule, though, they all serve one primary purpose: to bring into equilibrium the human mind and body.
Let’s take a closer look at 5 of those branches of yoga.
Hatha Yoga
If enhanced well being is your goal, you should consider the practice of hatha yoga. In addition to meditation, which is a common technique in4 all yoga branches, hatha yoga teaches a series of postures (known in yoga terminology as asanas) and breathing exercises (called pranayamas). Hatha yoga is considered to be one of the primary antecedents of modern physical therapy.
Karma Yoga
Another popular branch is karma yoga, which operates under the principle that everything that happens to us in our life is a direct consequence of our past actions. As a result, karma yoga encourages practitioners to eliminate negativity and selfishness from their current lives, to avoid having to deal with future consequences. Karma yoga is practiced throughout one’s day, including at work. Activities undertaken with the goal of helping other people, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, are associated with the karma yoga path.
Raja Yoga
A branch of yoga which places an even greater emphasis on meditation is raja yoga. Known also under the name of classical yoga, raja is a more advanced discipline. Practitioners usually start with hatha yoga in order to prepare the body for this advanced training. Studies have shown that people attracted by this form of yoga are generally more introspective and more drawn to profound meditation. Various religious groups devote themselves to this yoga path, which is similar to a monastic or contemplative lifestyle.
Jnana Yoga
This branch of yoga is directed mainly to scholars. It involves development of the intellect through the study of yoga tradition, scripts and texts. It is also known to be the yoga of the heart and wisdom. Although it is described as the most difficult of all yoga practices, jnana yoga is also considered 1 of the most direct and rewarding paths.
Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti yoga promotes the ideal of devotion. The principle message of this yoga path is the presence of something divine in every form of creation. Hence, it is important to tolerate, accept and respect any form of life with which we come into contact.
In Conclusion
These are only a few of the numerous yoga branches and paths. Whatever your needs, you can find a suitable yoga practice and, through it, find equilibrium and inner peace.

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Effective Golf Fitness Equipment

Effective Golf Fitness Equipment

Golf fitness equipment is designed to help a golfer build strength in certain muscles so as to improve their golf game and lower their scores.

The problem is that there are so many different golf fitness equipment in the market these days that it is difficult to identify the really effective ones and the duds or inappropriate ones.

The situation is hardly helped by the fact that clever marketing is usually put to use in promoting a vast majority of golf fitness equipment. The result is that many disappointed golfers have ended up with loads of the stuff in their garages that has hardly improved their game.

In fact you would find some who would confidently tell you that their game has gotten worse rather than better.

Golf fitness equipment that I have found to be very effective is the weighted club. This is a very golf-specific piece of equipment because one ends up going through the exact same motions you do with an ordinary club but with more weight.

This greatly helps in strengthening and conditioning all the relevant muscles used in the golf swing.

The inside approach is another great golf fitness equipmentto help improve any golf swing. This particular device is extremely useful for slicers and helps deal with this problem fairly quickly.

As golf fitness equipment,exercise tubing is very affordable and yet very effective. The strength of this device is in its’ ability to break down the golf swing into as many different phases as you would like to focus on for the sake of improvements. It offers specific resistance training for each phase.

Golf exercise balls are the sort of golf fitness equipment that any golfer with a bad back should have. There are almost countless different stretch exercises that you can with it.

And what makes this golf training aid even more attractive is the fact that you can do your exercises in the office or at home when you have a moment.

Simple dumbbells can also be very useful golf fitness equipment to have around.

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Why Most Women’s Self-Defense Programs Are Wrong

Why Most Women’s Self-Defense Programs Are Wrong

In the world of women’s self-defense training, there are two generally accepted "schools" of thought. Unfortunately, both take extreme viewpoints and are usually founded on nothing more than the so-called "expert’s" beliefs. Without real-world experience, and instructor teaching self-defense to anyone, but especially to women, is quite likely putting their students in severe danger.
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Women’s self defense issues are constantly in the news and a ‘hot’ topic for conversations. It seems that everyone from police officers to karate instructors has his or her own philosophy and theories about the how’s and why’s of self defense for women and girls.
The truth is though, that many of the same techniques and tactics taught to men for self-protection simply will not work for a woman. Why?…
… because attacks perpetrated on women have, at their foundation, certain inherent problems, issues, and conditions that are often very different for men who find themselves in defensive situations. Women have to deal with things that, quite frankly, men don’t.
Click on the link at the end of this article to get more information about real-world self defense for women designed around issues specifically related to womens self-defense.
Now, before some of you start rolling your eyes or nodding your head in agreement, this is not a women’s lib issue or anything of the sort. It’s simply the way it is.
What kind of things make self-defense for women different? I’m glad you asked.
Well, for starters, physiologically speaking, there is a 7-to-3 strength ratio between male and female bodies. That means that if you were to stand a man and a woman, having the same height, weight, and build, side-by-side, and all things considered (health, fitness, etc.)…
… the man would still be two-and-a-half times stronger than the woman!
This is not theory or one person’s belief over those of others. It’s scientific fact.
Next, women are more likely to be slapped, grabbed and pinned than punched or kicked. For men, it’s just the opposite. The fact is that, most of us have been conditioned since childhood to act, play, and, yes, fight with each gender very differently. And attackers are no different.
The good news is that more and more women are being drawn to the life-enhancing benefits of the martial arts and basic self-defense programs for increasing their level of self-confidence and overall feelings of safety and security. The not-so-good news is that…
… there is a shortage of:
* Martial arts instructors who understand scientific self-defense, ‘and’ have the necessary life experience to be able to teach from a perspective that shares that experience.
After all…
… if an instructor has never been in a real-world self defense situation themselves, it will make it nearly impossible for them to teach real self defense to anyone – let alone self defense for women. It’s kind of like going to a priest of counselor for marriage counselling who has never been married themselves. They both have information passed on by others but, neither has anyway of expressing that information based on real-word knowledge.
However, there is an over-abundance of…
…so-called self-defense experts who are of the tough-guy, fighter type or the "This is Reality – Deal With it! macho-type.
These people, by their very nature are the "slugger-types" who rely and depend on speed, strength and size to win. Since self defense situations usually involve a bigger, faster, stronger attacker victimizing a smaller, less-prepared target – and, that’sexactly what most women are up against when they’re attacked…
… these instructors, and their "strike-first-and-crush-them-where-they-stand mentalities, are far from being suited, knowledgeable, or able to deliver the necessary lessons needed by women to effectively protect themselves from an assailant intent on dominating them physically.
Other Considerations for Girls and Women’s Self-Defense
The following is a partial list of some of the other major differences between self defense for women and men. The important thing to remember is that…
… a self-defense situation is very different from a sport or competition-based contest where the individuals are willing participants. They are evenly matched to insure for a "fair fight." I have been in contests and I have been attacked and I can tell you without a moment’s doubt that…
… there is nothing "fair" or "even" about a real attack. NOTHING! And, once your personal space is invaded by another human being wanting to beat you to your core, you will know what I mean and never, ever, buy into the crap that most of these so-called experts are shovelling.
With that said, please know that I have not said that every self-defense or martial arts instructor is full of it. Just that you must know what you need and make sure that that’s what you’re getting. Remember – you’re not buying a couch that you can take back. A mistake in this area could literally cost you your life!
Here are some other differences between men’s and women’s training that a good program must address:
* Cultural Influences – girls have been taught from a very early age that fighting was not "lady-like."
Oh my god! What would people think!
* Situational Self-Defense – rape and sexual assault are two of the biggest differences between the genders when it comes to suriviving an attack.
The fact that men are usually dealing with the more obvious situations (muggings and competitive ("oh-yeah! let’s go!"-type fighting), while women, and more and more young girls, are required to deal with subtle tactics like date-rape or being ambushed by a group.
Add to this the strength differential discussed earlier, and you have a very different situation, requiring very different self-protection tactics.
* Incorrect Information – I believe that the majority of teachers and instructors mean well. They aren’t out to con you. It’s just that they have no real experience to go on so they do what everyone does when they don’t know any better…
… they make assumptions that seem logical and rational within their own frame of reference.
The problem is that we’re talking about self-protection here…
… self defense for women…
… girls self-defense. Not…
… vegetable soup. Where, if you make a mistake, you can just dump the pot and start over.
As I said earlier, a mistake in a women’s self-defense situation, in any situation requiring defense against an attack from an assailant bent on damaging you, could be very, very costly indeed.

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Should You Join an Online Weight Loss Program?

Should You Join an Online Weight Loss Program?

Have you ever heard of an online weight loss program before? If this is your first time hearing about an online weight loss program, you may be wondering whether or not you should join one. If you are, you will want to continue reading on.

Perhaps, the biggest sign that you should think about joining an online weight loss program is if you are looking to lose weight. Whether you are interesting in improving your appearance, improving your health, or doing both, weight loss can be a stressful time. Many weight loss programs assist you by having a daily food or exercise log for you to fill out. This has been known to motivate many online weight loss program members. Depending on the online weight loss program that you join, you should also get access to fun workouts and healthy recipes.

Another one of the many signs that you should think about joining an online weight loss program is if you regularly find yourself pressed on time. Whether you have a family to take care of, a demanding job, or both, you may find it difficult to eat healthy or maintain a regular exercise program. Joining an online weight loss program is a nice alternative to attending a local weight loss program, one that often requires you to meet for an hour or two a week.

Another one of the many signs that you should join an online weight loss program is if they are able to find an online weight loss program that is perfect for you. What is nice about online weight loss programs is that they come in a number of different formats. For instance, it is possible to find “generalized,” online weight loss programs, which are designed for all different individuals. On the other hand, there are themed weight loss programs, like ones that are designed for men, women, and senior citizens. Finding the perfect online weight loss program makes it well worth it for you to join one.

Speaking of finding the perfect online weight loss program, the best way to find one is to perform a standard internet search. When performing a standard internet search, you may want to search with phrases like “online weight loss programs,” or “online weight loss plans.” If you are looking for something specific, like an online weight loss program for women, you will want to incorporate that into your standard internet search. You can also ask those that you know for recommendations or find online discussions where online weight loss programs are being discussed.

When searching for an online weight loss program, you will likely come across multiple programs that may interest you. When it comes to choosing an online weight loss program to join, it is advised that you take the features that you have access to, like online message board communication and healthy recipes, as well as costs into consideration. An online weight loss program that has more features or online resources for you may be worth paying a little bit more money for.

If you fit the above mentioned criteria, you may want to look into joining an online weight loss program. In fact, you may even find an online weight loss program that gives you a free trial period. This is the perfect opportunity to determine whether or not an online weight loss program is right for you.

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Weight Loss And Cardio Go Hand In Hand

Weight Loss And Cardio Go Hand In Hand

Weight loss and cardio workout plans can help you reach your goals to shed those extra pounds. Although many people would prefer to forget exercise altogether, the most effective way to lose weight is to combine a healthy diet with regular cardiovascular activity. Keep in mind that your cardio workout should be something that you practice consistently and, if possible, that you enjoy.

So, how do you go about establishing a solid weight loss and cardio plan that suits you and your lifestyle? Take a moment to consider how much time you can dedicate to working out, how in-shape or out-of-shape you are, what kinds of activities you enjoy (or don’t mind) doing, and your final goals.

If you’re biggest obstacle in terms of exercise is squeezing in the time to do it, then your best bet might be an elliptical trainer (stationary exercise machine) that really gets your heart rate up and allows you to burn a lot of calories in a short period of time. An elliptical trainer simulates walking or running but it lessens pressure on the joints which can cause injuries. You can choose your level of intensity and most people who are just starting out will only do a couple of minutes at a time. As you continue to exercise consistently, you will be able to gradually increase how many minutes you work out each session.

If you have more time and/or if you find the machines boring, you can try an aerobics class, boxing, kick boxing, swimming or other more stimulating activities. If you prefer to be outside for your activity, you can try walking or jogging.

It’s really important that you choose something that you like for your regular activity. This is not something that you should practice only when you’re trying to lose weight but something that you should be able to maintain as part of your lifestyle, maybe in a less intensive way than when you are in a weight loss phase. You can also switch your exercise routine around a little bit every day to provide some variety. Or, if you walk or run for your exercise, go a different route every day.

If you find that you aren’t yet in good enough shape to do a cardio workout, start out with something very small and work your way up. Just make sure you are doing something. Dedicating even just five to ten minutes each day to some kind of activity is better than not doing anything at all. Remember that this is all a process that will allow you to start losing weight effectively and maintain a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and activity. Consider parking at the end of the parking lot when you go to stores or getting up walking around during commercials while watching your favorite television program. All of these small things can get you results with your weight loss and cardio plan.

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Basic Exercise And Training Variables

Basic Exercise And Training Variables

Effective exercise and training programs follow certain principles that allow it to help people keep fit. It may be known in various terms and is achieved through different means, but the basic principles behind exercise and fitness is always there. Knowing them and applying them in your own fitness regimen can help make it more effective in showing you the results that you need.

Exercise Variables How effective are the exercise routine that you follow would depend on certain factors. How you work over certain variables in exercise and fitness will help determine how fast you can lose weight, improve stamina or increase athletic performance. Here are the four exercise variables that you need to consider when trying to develop your own fitness program or regimen.

Exercise Frequency- this refers to how often you exercise. The frequency will allow you to develop an exercise regimen that you can go into for a certain period on, let us say, a weekly basis. If you plan to work out for two days in a week, you can speed up getting results by adding another day of exercise for the week.

Exercise Intensity- this refers to the level of physical activity of your exercise program. How hard you push yourself on each exercise session is also a factor in the effectiveness of an exercise and training program. For example, determining between bouts of jogging running and walking on one session would have different results. Doing more running rather than short bouts of walking or jogging would certainly have a different result from walking through each session most of the time.

Type of Exercise- this refers to the type of exercise included in your regimen. There are different types of exercises to choose from with each type being able to build up a certain part of the body better than the other. Knowledge of these types of exercises can help you develop a certain regimen that can be focused on improving target portions of the body.

Duration of Exercise- this refers to the time that is spent in doing the exercises. How long you stay in doing each exercise session will ultimately determine how fast or how slow that you get results. It may also be required to determine the duration of the exercise program along with the other exercise variables in order to either avoid injury or improve results.

These exercise and training variables can be used in developing a certain exercise program that would allow better performance as well as results. You may be able to start with using the different exercise variables in a way that you feel comfortable with. Along the way, you can then change any or all of these variables to either increase the efficiency as well as to reach the target results. The variables can also be used ideally just to make the exercise program even more interesting once they start to become too routine.

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Lose Weight – Gain Muscle It Is A 2-Step Process

Lose Weight – Gain Muscle It Is A 2-Step Process

"Lose Weight – Gain Muscle!" You’ve probably seen or heard this headline all over the place, from today’s top weight-loss, fitness, and muscle-building magazines to radio and TV ads. What you may not have seen or heard is that it’s best (and possibly easier, too!) to do the weight loss first, and muscle building after. You see, before you can build up your muscles, you have to ditch the excess body fat. So while you may see both processes touted together by your favorite exercise or body-building celebrities, losing weight and gaining muscle really is more of a two-step process.

We’ll start with losing weight (or rather, body fat), and why you should concentrate your efforts on this step first. By losing the extra body fat first (which is the "true goal" for weight loss), through healthy eating and moderate exercise, your muscles begin to build tone so that once you are ready to start the muscle-building phase your muscles are in a lot better shape for it. I read somewhere that losing weight is about creating a "calorie deficit" and I believe that’s a good way to put it. In plain English, however, what it means is to lose fat, you need to burn off more calories than you take in each day.

How do you create a "calorie deficit?" You do it by manipulating and maintaining a low calorie diet and light to moderate exercise plan. Don’t even think about trying those "fad/fast weight loss diets" either, because most of those are unhealthy and potentially harmful. Not to mention most people who use them and lose some pounds usually gain back what they lost and more. You want to create a long-term healthy eating and exercise plan so when the fat is gone, it doesn’t come back! So now you know how to take care of step one of your plan to lose weight and gain muscle: create a "calorie deficit" to burn off the fat.

Step two is all about building muscle. How does one build muscle? You do it through strength and endurance training that focuses on working specific muscle groups in each training session.

Strength training generally involves the use of weights, but you will also want to do things like sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups… and these training exercises can be done anywhere because the weight you’ll be using is your own body weight! Still, free weights are going to come in handy for those other muscle-building reps you’ll be doing, like squats, bench presses, and curls. For maximum effect and minimum possible damage, schedule your muscle-building workouts for 30 to 45 minutes a day, three days a week.

The main thing to remember when you start on your quest to lose weight and gain muscle is until excess body fat is gone, you’ll just be gaining tone. After you’ve burned off the fat, then you’ll be ready to build muscle mass, and your body will be in better condition for doing so if you concentrate on burning the fat first.

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Yoga Certification Videos

Yoga Certification Videos

The popularity of yoga has been unstoppable in so many parts of the world, and with the help of the modern-day Internet technology, as well as DVD systems, has made yoga distance learning, yoga home study programs, and yoga certification videos possible. One can conveniently learn yoga, and even be a certified yoga instructor at the comfort of their own homes and the expediency of their own time.

The importance of being a certified yoga teacher has been deemed significant nowadays as yoga has increasingly become one of the most sought after classes for people who want to balance their physical and mental health; the undeniable benefits of yoga has made it a very famous form of “healthy habit”. Certified yoga teachers usually attract most students as they become recognized as an “authority” for teaching yoga.

However, one of the challenging tasks of becoming a certified yoga teacher has been on the time away from work, family, and obligations, as well as the financial burden that traditional certification classes bring about. Again, thanks to today’s modern technology, these hindrances have been eliminated, and among the most common ways of becoming a certified yoga instructor can be done through yoga certification videos from qualified yoga organizations or groups.

Yoga certification videos are presently in the format of DVD’s that is the most accepted international video format. It is among today’s popular forms of yoga certification that diminishes the load of conventional yoga certification classes. These yoga certification videos generally contain a comprehensive learning course for yoga that meets the two-hundred hour minimum requirement for yoga certification home study programs, as well as assignments for monitoring the student’s progress.

A very important factor in yoga certification videos is the course should contain understandable step-by-step instructions, as well as being guided towards additional yoga learning resources. It is also important that if ever questions arise during the lessons, one should be able to email and get a timely reply. The whole yoga instruction contained in yoga certification videos should bring about full know-how of teaching yoga and a complete process of certification.

Yoga certification, whether through traditional yoga certification courses or through yoga certification videos, is a must these days for yoga practitioners, as it has not only become the basis for recognition of expertise but has also become a means of acquiring insurance liability which is needed in running one’s own yoga classes.

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3 Little Known Tips to Buying Fitness Equipment

3 Little Known Tips To Buying Fitness Equipment

Did you know that buying fitness equipment for your home isn’t really that difficult?
It’s true that the world of fitness equipment can seem like a maze at times and that there are literally hundreds of different types of fitness equipment pieces that might work well for your home arrangement. However, with a little guidance, the process really isn’t that hard and you will be amazed at the bargains that you can find if you just dig a little deeper than the average consumer is usually prepared to. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you out in your quest for new fitness equipment.

1. Look at used equipment. This is where some good deals can be found. Fitness equipment can obtain a weird status in a person’s home. They might have been really excited to buy it initially and dreams of a fit body and monthly gym savings might have filled their head. However, after 3 months, the equipment often sits vacant in that person’s home. Used equipment can be a really good deal due to the fact that it’s often times almost as good as new but now it’s for sale. To you. For cheap. Check out newspapers, Ebay, and other places; compare prices and get a deal.

2. Consider commercial fitness equipment. Often times, you can buy the same equipment that your local gym has. Imagine, you can have that same (gasp!) Stairmaster that has dogged you for years at the local Ballys, right in your basement. This might be appealing to some who have the capital to invest in a large piece of equipment. If you no longer have to pay a $50 monthly fee to go to a gym every month, this might be a really smart investment. Look into commercial equipment, you might be pleasantly surprised.

3. The first two points are almost worthless without considering the financing of your new fitness equipment. When looking to finance your new set of fitness equipment there are tons of important factors to keep in mind. You really don’t want to be paying too much for equipment that might be found at a cheaper price (after everything is considered) elsewhere.