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Candle Meditation: The Benefits of Integrating Candlelight Into Your Yoga Practice

Dedicated yogis are fond of bringing new elements into their practice because they are aware of the opportunity for deepening their understanding of yoga and self. With an open mind and an open heart, integrating different features into a yoga session can assist in a person’s individual growth and awareness of the world around him/her. Put in simpler terms, trying new approaches to yoga keeps things interesting. The more interested and engaged we are, the sharper our senses become, allowing us to embrace our surroundings and our very own existence in the world.

Candle meditation can be one way to liven up your yoga practice by the introduction of a new element. Continue reading to discover the ways that a little candlelight can have a big impact on your yoga development.

Impermanence

A candle does not burn forever. As it burns, the wax begins to melt, the flame changes shape and the wick shortens until it stops burning. Just as a candle is forever changing, we too are always changing and transforming into something new. Becoming aware of the candle’s impermanence can help yogis appreciate their own constant transformation. This also becomes an opportunity to meditate on the importance of embracing the present moment, one of the fundamental goals of yoga. Impermanence is not a bad thing that should cause sadness—instead, accepting and embracing impermanence can help us to live more fully by embracing every moment as it comes.

Detox

A burning candle can be used as a very practical detox within one’s practice. One meditation strategy is to stare into the flame of a burning candle for as long as you can without blinking. Resisting the urge to blink soon gives way to letting go of this need. Having a strongly defined focal point in the flame can allow you to better focus on your breathing, too. As moments pass, you will notice that the tear ducts in your eyes have been stimulated, and your eyes will begin to water. This is a fantastic strategy for flushing out the staleness of tear ducts that have not produced tears in some time. With this meditation strategy, yogis will also be stimulating and cleansing some of the most integral pathways—the eyes.

Namaste

As most yogis are aware, the salutation “Namaste,” roughly translates to, “The divine light in me recognizes and honors the divine light in you.” This powerful phrase that we so commonly associate with yoga deserves a much deeper consideration. Having a candle burning throughout your practice can help in reminding you of the significance of this phrase, remembering that we have a divine light within ourselves, just as everyone else. Do we treat each other as if we are carrying a divine light? Do we treat ourselves as if we are? Let the light of the candle remind you of the power that Namaste holds.

Light a candle during your next practice for deeper unification of mind, body, and spirit.


This is One Way Fat People Are Becoming Yoga Masters

Many people (particularly women) have expressed anxiety about attending yoga classes as a fat person. The stereotypical yoga class attendee is white, thin, beautiful, and wealthy, as we all know from the pictures on all of the yoga articles. Though this stereotype doesn’t keep everyone away, including increasing numbers of men, it can be a big barrier for all but the most confident of people. Heavier yogis who successfully conquer their fears and attend yoga classes have described instances of feeling singled out by instructors and other classmates, as if their size suggests they have less ability than others in the class.

Mainstream Yoga Classes Can Cause More Stress Than They Relieve

We live in a society where fat is reviled. Even saying the word fat makes people uncomfortable, so they substitute “curvy” wherever possible. People in yoga classes, uncomfortable with fat, overcompensate and try to make the fat person feel welcome or sympathize with them over some simulated shared experience. This only makes them feel singled out. They realize the reason people are noticing them at all is because they are fat.

Do we want to have a yoga studio designed only for fat people? Maybe it’s not ideal, but maybe it’s something we need. Sometimes people just want to go to an exercise class and not have to think about the fact that they are fat. Maybe they just want to go to yoga and not worry about how they are making the other people in the class feel about themselves. That seems reasonable to me.

“Fat Yoga” Studios are Specially Trained

The benefit of the Fat Yoga studios, in addition to being a sort of neutral zone for fat judgment, is that instructors are used to dealing with heavier bodies and the issues that come with them. There are yoga modifications that can and should be made to accommodate heavier body weights to prevent injury. These are not necessary because fat people are less athletic or less capable than other people, but because their bodies are different and different poses add strain on different joints and body parts. Instructors who aren’t used to dealing with larger bodies are not as likely to know how to do this for the few heavier yoga participants they get in their classes.

Fat Yoga Fills a Clear Need and Should Be Embraced

Rather than being an example of some of the over-specialization of yoga that has happened in recent years, Fat Yoga fulfills a true mission and purpose. American society as a whole pays lip service to promoting healthier ideals of body image, but this has not yet translated into a feeling of true comfort and neutrality with people’s body sizes. Yoga classes are still attended primarily by people who look a certain way. Until that changes, its key to provide a space where people who need this type of exercise can feel comfortable getting it.


Yoga: Powerful Tool Against Insomnia

Insomnia can lead to various problems; it can affect our immune system, compromise our digestive system and prevent us from focusing and thinking clearly. Most of the people who are experiencing a degree of difficulty when sleeping tend to have more chaotic minds and muscle tension. In the event that your mind and muscle is always in active mode, you will find it hard to sleep. Practicing yoga on a regular basis will help you treat different illness including insomnia. You will be able to get rid of your muscle tension and release your stress to get a good night sleep.

Yoga Poses That Will Treat Insomnia

When you are practicing yoga, you will focus on your breathing, and you will be more aware on your body. Yoga has a calming and soothing effect that will help you deal with your problems. Here are some of the Yoga poses that will help give you a sound sleep.

Uttanasana

Uttanasana is a pose that is also known as Padahasthasana. It is just as simple as standing and bending forward. This practice will give the muscles at your back that needed stretch. Your spine will become more flexible. This extended stretch and the enhancement on our circulation will help us in our battle against insomnia.

Marjariasana

Just like Uttanasana, Marjariasana is a yoga pose that stretches our spine. Some yogis will call this ‘Cat Pose’ since it has a striking resemblance on the movement of the cat when they stretch their back. Some yogis also apply it with Bitilasana. These two poses are the perfect combination in improving the function of our digestive system. It will calm our nerves, enhance the circulation of blood and work the organs around our abdominal area. This will give you a chance to have a quality sleep.

Baddha Konasana

This yoga pose is also known as butterfly pose or Cobbler pose. This will give that inner thigh, groin, and knee an extended and relaxing stretch. This asana will relax your whole body completely. People who stand or walk for an extensive period of time can eliminate their fatigue by practicing this for a few minutes every day. This will not only relax you but will also give you the opportunity to have better sleep.

Viparita Karani

Also known as ‘Legs up the wall’, this pose may seem to be challenging that only the advance yoga practitioner can do; however, it is also one of the most relaxing poses. This will eliminate the fatigue and stress on our feet and hips and will encourage the flow of oxygenated blood to our brain. This will help in relieving the headache that affects our sleeping pattern and give us a calmer mind. Having a relaxed mind will also help us to sleep better.

Having insomnia is a persistent and frustrating problem. The first step towards a quality sleep is to eliminate worrying and achieving peace of mind. Find a yoga routine that will help your body and mind become accustomed to sleeping. It will help you relax your mind and get back on your track in no time.