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Home : Psychological Exercises
Psychological Exercises


In yoga,just like any other exercise, the success depends on the attention paid to the exercise or asana. The reasons are not difficult to seek. We all have heard of situations where a weak little woman under the control of a hypnotist has overcome the concentrated efforts of four strong men to move her from her place; she has been able to lift weights which could not be lifted by even two or three men.

While such phenomena are not meant to extol the practice of hypnotism, they give us a marvelous demonstration of the power of concentrated will over the physical organism.

The theory of "mind over matter" has been proved in numerous other cases. In one example, this has been proved in a physical training class where students performed feats in weight lifting. The students were instructed to use all the physical energy at their disposal. The results as to the amount of weight lifted, length of time required etc. were recorded. Then the class was given some brief explanation of the power of mind over matter and over physical constituents of the body and asked to exert power of their will to the uttermost while repeating the same feats. It was found that the lifting power of the members of the class, thus reinforced by intellectual effort and the power of the will had increased from one third to one half.

The cells and organs making up the body should be under the control of the will. In technical terms, it implies that the cells should be physiologically and psychologically negative to the positive mind. In most cases, this polarity is reversed. The minds are negative and subject to the control of the body. The slightest pain fills the mind with fear and anxiety.

The aim of the psychological exercises is to correct this polarity where the dominance of the mind is established over the body.

Importance of Psychological Exercise

Extremely beneficial in strengthening mental control over physical activity.
Helps in the treatment of physical disease by helping to normalize and energies the functions of the body and helping surmount pain.

Helps in treatment of mental disorders by helping in the correction of weakening of reason.

Preparation for Psychological Exercises

Tensing of muscles should be done in such a way so as not to strain the muscles. Straining and exhaustion will be decidedly harmful.

At first continue the exercises until slight fatigue is felt.

On an average 15-20 minutes will be enough for each movement.

The exercises may be modified or added according to individual needs.

Conscious tensing and relaxing exercises must be accompanied always by deep, rhythmic breathing.

Exercises Plan

Stand erect, hands on chest, extend arms forward with a jerk, horizontally from the shoulders, tensing all muscles at the end of the movement. This should be done at the rate of about one movement per second.

Same as no.1, except that the arms are extended downwards at the sides full length.

Strike out from the shoulder alternately with each arm, aiming at some imaginary point in front  of you. 

Clinch the fist tightly and strike a vigorous blow from the left hip toward the right ear and across the shoulders. Alternate with the right. As before, end the movement by tensing all muscles.

Stand erect bring up the knees alternately as high as possible, stopping the movements by tensing all the muscles.

Stand erect, make vigorous kick towards the front, first with the left and then with he right. Bring a leg to a sudden stop by tensing all the muscles.

Extend the toes as far as possible when making the kick. The value of this exercise depends upon the energy put into it. Do the same by kicking toward the rear. 

Stand erect. Clinch the right fist, contract the arm, and bring the hand up under the right shoulder, raising the shoulder in the meantime as afar as possible and tensing all the muscles at the end of the stroke. Do this alternately with the left hand. while tensing one arm, relax the other. 

Take an ordinary bath towel, grasp one end in the right handover the right shoulder, pass the lefty hand around below the waist and grasp the other end. Now raise the right arm to an extended position, resisting with the left arm. Change to the left arm over the shoulder and the right arm down to the hips. The resistance must be continuous from the starting of the movement to the return to the first position.

Stand erect, with both arms extended downward, tense the muscles of the upper forearm, hand extended and raise the right hand to the shoulder, resisting the biceps muscles in the upper arm by the triceps muscles. Return to the original position, still tensing above muscles, at the same time raising the left arm to the shoulder.

Extend the arms out to the sides horizontal position, tense all the muscles and the arms and shoulder and bring the arms down close to the body. Repeat.

Raise the hands straight above the head, inhaling a full breath, gradually assume a squatting position as close to the floor as you can get, with the arms down between the knees the head bent over, and the diaphragm muscles contracted. This is for the purpose of expelling all the air from the lungs.

Stand erect , with arms high over the shoulders. Bend over and touch the floor in front of the feet with the hands, the feet remaining flat on the floor, and the knees stiff. On returning to upright position tense the muscles in small of the back.

Stand erect , place the hands on the hips, the feet firmly on the floor. Twist the body to the right and then slowly to the left. Do not move the feet. Tense muscles of he back and abdomen at the extreme of each movement, and turn the head as far as possible in the direction of each movement.

Lie flat upon the floor, arms extended above the head. Raise the arms and the head and the shoulders as far as possible from the floor contracting the muscles of the abdomen. Relax, and lie again on the floor. Raise the hollow of the back from the floor, drawing the hips up towards the shoulders contracting or tensing the muscles of the back.

Stand erect. Have the head well poised, bend it forward as far as possible till the chin touches the chest and then backward without moving the body. Second. Have the head to the right and then to the left.

Stand erect. Heels close together raise the body on the toes as high as possible. Resume normal position, lift the feet, the heel remaining on the floor. Repeat this with feet 10 inches apart and then later with 18 inches apart.

For cold feet sit upon a bench or chair high enough so that the feet swing clear of he floor, work the ankle joints vigorously, rising the ball of the foot as far as possible. Do this for about 1 minute to begin with and gradually increase to 2-5 minutes.

Hands on chest. Raise elbows up as high as possible and down again. Inhale while raising. Exhale while lowering. Then reverse.

Stand erect, with arms high over the shoulders. Bend over and touch the floor in front of the feet with the hands, the feet remaining flat on the floor, and the knees stiff. On returning to upright position tense the muscles in small of the back.

Stand erect, place the hands on the hips, the feet firmly on the floor. Twist the body to the right and then slowly to the left. Do not move the feet. Tense muscles of he back and abdomen at the extreme of each movement, and turn the head as far as possible in the direction of each movement.

Lie flat upon the floor, arms extended above the head. Raise the arms and the head and the shoulders as far as possible from the floor contracting the muscles of the abdomen. Relax, and lie again on the floor. Raise the hollow of the back from the floor, drawing the hips up towards the shoulders contracting or tensing the muscles of the back.


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