twist poses

If done properly and regularly, yoga twist poses can relieve back pain, constipation, and improve digestion. There are plenty of twist yoga asanas to try, but some of them are more effective than others. The following ones made our list because they are fun to do and beneficial for your overall health and state of mind.

The Best Yoga Twist Poses to Consider

1. Noose Pose

This pose is also called the Pasasana. It is a challenging twister that helps you overcome your body limits. It requires a lot of stability and balance. The Noose pose stretches your upper body. Make sure you have enough experience with yoga because this is an advanced pose. Begin from a Tadasana position by keeping your legs stable on the mat. Your soles should be well-grounded and active at the same time. Come into a squat position by slowly bending your knees. To do this pose properly, you must bring your buttocks back towards the heels. Move both knees a little bit to the right. Exhale deeply and twist your upper body to the left. To achieve a greater support and balance, put your torso on the left thigh. Bring both hands to the back. The left hand should hold the right one. Keep your shoulders back and open your chest. Maintain this pose for about four breaths. 

2. Revolved Side Angle Pose

Start this twist pose from the Mountain pose which means you should be in a standing position. Keep your feet at a hip-width distance and rest your arms by your side. Twist your torso to the left and increase the distance between your feet even more. The right foot should form a 90-degree angle. This means that your toes should point to the front part of the mat.
Twist the left sole inward to create a 45-degree angle. Now, it is time to align your body: The front heel should be aligned with your back-foot’s arch; your torso and pelvis must face towards the same direction as your right toes.
Make sure your right shin stays perpendicular to the mat. You can do this by bending your right knee until it reaches over your right ankle. Put your palms together like in a prayer by keeping them as close to your chest as possible.
While exhaling, twist your torso to your right side. Press against your thigh with your left arms for more support. The next step is to extend both arms: pointing your right arm upwards to the ceiling while your left palm is placed on the floor, yoga mat or yoga block. Make sure to keep your spine straight and your entire body tight. Hold this twist pose for about one minute.

3. Half Lord of the Fishes Asana

You should start this pose from a seated position on your yoga mat by keeping both legs extended in front. Place your arms by your sides in a resting position. Now, bend your knees and place your soles on the floor. Drop the left knee on the mat and place your left foot under the opposite foot. It should come alongside the right buttock.
Inhale slowly while raising the left arm over your head. Then, exhale deeply. Close your abs and twist your torso to the right while pressing it against your right thigh. The elbow of your left hand must come on the outside part of your right knee.
Try to extend your right hand backwards by reaching behind your torso and placing your palm on the floor. Twist your upper body around your backbone and turn your face over the right shoulder. Hold this pose for about one minute. 

Final Thoughts

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All the above twist yoga poses will align your back as well as your muscles and bone structure. They are beneficial for your entire body by relieving lower back pain and constipation. If you’re trying these asanas for the first time, it is best to have an experienced yogi for support and guidance. 

How to Build a Relaxing Weekend

It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? When we think of a relaxing weekend, we think of time spent away from work and all other commitments, sitting on a beach somewhere, and drinking cocktails. But the reality is always a little different. For most people, when they get to the weekend they are full of vague plans and excited about their free time. Then they get to the end of the two days and find that they’ve spent it watching television or just sitting around wasting time. This is why you need to plan, not the whole weekend, but parts of it, so that your days away from work are truly relaxing and fulfilling.

Plan Ahead

There’s no point waking up on Saturday morning and wondering what to do with the rest of your days off. If you really want to have a good weekend, you need to have a clear idea of what you need to do and what you want to get done in the time you have. This doesn’t mean that you plan every minute of your weekend, but a few plans scattered throughout the two days will help to direct your time and ensure you don’t spend it sitting on the couch.

Enjoy the Anticipation

One of the wonderful things about Christmas and birthdays as a kid is looking forward to the event for weeks to come. Apply this idea to your weekends as well. When you plan early, you can build the anticipation in the days before it, making the momentary experience last even longer.

Do Something Different, But Physical

During the week, most people have a regular exercise program. This should not be a part of your weekend. Weekends are the time to try new things, new adventures, incorporating exercise and fun at the same time. Try a new sport, go hiking somewhere beautiful, or spend an afternoon at the beach. That way you will improve your fitness and have an enjoyable time all at once.

Make a List

This is something you should do before the weekend as well. Make and keep a list of little things you’d like to do or try. This is not the place to write about your dreams of going to Paris, this is for the little things that you never get around to doing. If you have children or a partner, you can ask for suggestions. The main thing is that you build the list and plan to do one of them each weekend.

Plan Something Good for Sunday Night

Sunday night can be the worst. It means the weekend is over and it’s time to go back to work. This is why it’s important to plan something fun for Sunday night. It will get you out and give you something to remember on Monday morning.

Weekends can seem like the highlight of the week when you are anticipating them but end up as a boring stretch of time in which nothing important or interesting is done. By taking advantage of these tips, and coming up with some of your own, you can make your weekend match your expectations.

Yoga for Fertility

Fertility yoga has begun to gain popularity due to the rising rates of infertility. Fertility treatments can be extremely expensive and are not always full proof. This is why fertility yoga has become a free alternative to try and conceive by more natural means before taking the next step with a more medical approach. Yoga is not only natural, but it is scientifically backed. The poses used during fertility yoga are specifically chosen for their health benefits to the body.

There are countless factors that can cause infertility. The most common factor is stress. Stress can come from all aspects of life from work to home life. This causes many couples to have difficulties conceiving. Fertility yoga does not only focus on keeping the body physically healthy, but it also focuses on mental health in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Being physically and mentally fit is ideal for reproducing.

There are countless styles of yoga and poses that can be performed to aid in fertility. Fertility yoga poses focus on nurturing and strengthening the endocrine and reproductive system. The endocrine system is crucial for proper hormone balance. They help to increase energy flow throughout the body which helps to improve the function of both the endocrine and reproductive system. It’s just as important to focus on the endocrine system while trying to get pregnant as it is to focus on the reproductive system. Hormonal balance is a key piece to fertility.

Slow moving yoga such as Hatha yoga is considered ideal for boosting fertility. The deep breathing and slow movements help to calm the mind and allows for focus and concentration. The various poses help to circulate the blood throughout the body to bring energy and clarity.
Some of the best fertility boosting poses are:

  • Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • Janu Shirasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), which you can watch below:

Forward bends are the best poses to increase fertility because they stretch out the back, increase blood supply to the pelvic region, and reduce stress from the abdomen.

It only makes sense that yoga that focuses on fertility would also focus on increasing sex drive as well. Fertility yoga does not only incorporate poses that aid the reproductive system, but it also includes poses that increase sexual arousal. Taoist and Tantric energy practices focus on bringing energy and oxygen-rich blood into the pelvic bowl. The organs in the pelvic bowl include the colon, bladder, rectum, and reproductive organs.

The increase in circulation to the pelvic region of the body not only heals and strengthens those organs, the rushing blood also encourages sexual arousal.
A few poses that help to increase libido are:

Check out this useful video:

Any pose that focuses on opening up the hips and pelvic region is great for bringing sexual energy into the body.

Struggling to become pregnant can be stressful and heartbreaking. Fertility yoga helps to ease the mind during this stressful time by providing a calm and healthy environment. A happy, healthy body is a fertile body!

Is Yoga A Specific Religion?

Yoga is quite amazing, and in the recent past, it has gained a whole lot of popularity. This is apparent in the sheer number of new yoga apparel brands that have been popping up. While yoga started off as an Indian practice, it has now spread beyond those boundaries. Yoga is a great relaxation technique but it also has a spiritual component. There are some people who practice yoga as a religious practice. However, in the other parts of the world, yoga is viewed differently, with most people considering it to be a philosophical practice and not religious. People in the United States are much less likely to think of it as a religious activity.

What Aspects Does Yoga Entail?

As you may already know, yoga is traced back to Hinduism, and most of the practices revolve around their teachings. However, in the developed countries, they are more inclined towards the philosophical aspect of Yoga and do not want to think about it as a religious ritual. For instance, in the United States , there are so many things that have changed from yoga’s origins as it has now become a great sensation to many.

In a particular court case in California, 2013, a judge ruled that yoga mats have religious roots, but they do not violate the religious freedoms of the individuals practicing yoga. This was in a case where the parents wanted yoga to be removed from the curriculum due to the religious connotations that it carried. At the end of it all, the US was able to confine yoga to fit into the society and serve their needs without bringing the spiritual aspect into it.

What Changed the Original Yoga?

Everyone in the United States is now comfortable with Yoga as long as it does not come as a religious activity. Yoga had been homogenized in US so as to suit the needs of the society and live up to the standards of freethinking, which has been promoted through the years. Today, any yoga teacher in the US will not indulge in the religious aspects of yoga.

Once in a while there were some chants of the Om and wearing of attire that signifies the authentic yoga, but this is kept in check at all times. However, yoga practitioners in the US have really transformed yoga and conform it to its standards and way of thinking.

Is this True Yoga?

In the US, you may find some yoga teachers trying to recite a few verses while teaching yoga, but that is as far as it goes. The true meaning of yoga has been lost, and all marketing efforts have been put in place so as to make it a natural thing that ties into the American culture. At the end of it all, it has lost the true meaning of yoga and the authenticity that it has.

Most of the things that remain are symbolic and do have the value that they had in the past. For instance, at the end of each yoga class, people say, “Namaste”, which a good number of them do not even know what it means. This means, “I bow to the God within you.” Yoga traces back to Hinduism but has really been diluted through the years, making it lose its original authenticity.

Yoga: The Indian Art Of Meditation Taking The World By Storm

The average person sees yoga as an exercise technique stars and celebrities around the world practice to stay in shape and show off on social media, but it is much more than that. Yoga is a mindset originating in ancient India that can be linked to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

  1. Schools Of Thought

Yoga, as aforementioned, finds roots in religious institutions throughout the history of ancient India. In Hinduism, it is considered a philosophical school of thought. Meanwhile, it encompasses meditation techniques aimed at the enhancement of tranquility, insight, and mindfulness in Buddhism. As for Jainism, it embodies practices of spirituality, the goal of which is complete freeing of the practitioner’s soul and attaining salvation.

  1. Modern History

In the 19th century, yoga reached the western world, mainly considered as a meditation technique and a work of philosophy. By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it was seen as a scientific matter needed to be studied starting with N. C. Paul and Major D. Basu.

By the end of the first half of the 20th century, and specifically in the U.S., yoga was introduced as the exercise form most of us know it as today. Met with criticism at first, it gained prominence at three different periods in time.

  • Starting in the 1960’s, many neo-Hindu schools opened their doors to a wide western public, which included tantric and fitness elements in their teachings.
  • A second period of prosperity was the 1980’s, which saw yoga get detached from any religious forms, and become a purely physical form of exercise benefiting heart health and containing asanas (or poses) strongly resembling western fitness traditions of the 19th
  • Since the turn of the century, yoga has known its third and most important “boom”, seeing as the number of practitioners quintupled during the first decade of the third millennium.
  1. Uses And Benefits

Yoga is now integrated into many exercise, fitness, and school P.E. programs, and is advised by doctors worldwide to help with physical injuries and for overall mental well-being:

  • As A Physical Exercise:

Yoga has been prescribed to help with healing physical injuries on numerous occasions. Since hot temperatures and slow movements were shown to benefit the healing process, Yoga comes in handy, but not without peril: yoga has been known to cause some physical injuries of its own, which is the reason why it is highly recommended that it only be practiced in the presence of a qualified professional, as extensive and comprehensive training is needed, seeing as knowing the “raison d’être” of yoga and good knowledge of its techniques as a physical exercise is crucial in attaining the adequate mastery needed to practice said exercises and avoiding injuries.

  • Mental Benefits:

Research has shown over the years the benefits yoga has on mental health. It is thus used in the treatment of many mental issues, e.g. schizophrenia, mood disturbances, and everyday problems, such as anxiety, stress, insomnia… thus making yoga one of the best techniques of meditation to practice today.