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School Kids Benefit from Practicing Yoga with Parents During Holiday Break

Kids benefit from yoga as much as, if not more than, adults. With yoga programs for the classroom sprouting up all over the country, the opportunity for school-aged children to get in on this wildly beneficial discipline is growing.

A few days off of school, let alone three full weeks, can really wreak havoc on you and your child’s state of mind. In order to avoid the chaotic days that follow a break in the routine, you must do what you can to maintain some sort of consistency.

If your child has been participating in a regular yoga practice at school, there are a few things you can do to help them maintain their healthy habit during the holiday break. No doubt you both stand a lot to gain!

Yoga in the Morning

Every morning while your child is brushing his or her teeth, practice a few fun balance poses like tree pose, eagle pose, or mountain pose on tippy-toes. Encourage your child to focus on a spot in the mirror or on the wall and keep their attention fixed on that spot for as long as they are brushing their teeth.
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Practice Yoga Without Doing a Single Yoga Pose

When people think of yoga, the first thing that comes to mind is an image of someone doing a yoga pose on a sticky mat. But did you know that only one of the four main branches of yoga involves poses, and poses are just one fraction of that branch? This means that the yoga poses you are familiar with are a very small part of yoga.

If you study the origins of yoga, you will learn that yoga began as a way to reach enlightenment. Of the various methods, only one involved the deliberate and systematized use of the physical body. The others were centered on the path of selfless service (Karma yoga), love and devotion to God (Bhakti yoga), and the study of the intellect (Jnana yoga). In the fourth branch, Raja yoga, steps were taken to prepare the body (and the mind) for long hours of meditation for the purpose of attaining union with the divine.

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest recorded books of yoga, these steps consisted of eight parts, or limbs. The first two limbs are comprised of morals and ethics to guide the yogi toward making the proper choices that foster inner peace, purity of mind, and non-violent actions.
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3-Minute Meditation at the Office

If you don’t have the luxury of sitting for hours to contemplate the meaning of life, or the solitude to sneak in an hour or two of quiet time to realign your soul’s intention for being alive, you are not alone. In this day and age, American’s are hard pressed to chill out and enjoy the simple pleasures of being mindful.

We all know meditation offers many health benefits. If it didn’t, Medicare would not cover it under their insurance plan, nor would people like Donna Karan spearhead a movement to offer it to cancer patients in hospitals. The problem most people have is finding the time to practice.

It may not be a full-scale meditative program, but the following three-minute “time-out” can at least help you eliminate some stress and tension from your day at the office. Practice once a day to begin, and then if time permits, add another session when needed.
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Active Meditation is Healthier Than Seated Meditation for Sedentary People

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy, if not deadly. Heart disease, obesity, and depression are just a few consequences of inactivity, and in most cases, these conditions could be prevented if our bodies were a little more active.

It is hard not to wonder what kind of harmful effects sitting in meditation might be doing to our health. If stiff knees and a tight lower back weren’t painful enough, the thought of damaging your health while trying to gain inner peace seems blatantly counterproductive.

For those who have a sedentary job, or are addicted to the television set, practicing a form of active meditation instead of the classic seated meditation might be a better option.

The following suggestions will promote health by getting your body moving while still enjoying the mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of meditation.
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“Moving Mediation” is a Well-Appointed Faith-Based Book of Fitness and Yoga

Wellness is defined as the state of health that is free from disease. Many people suffer from a lack of health and wellness and as a result they experience a plethora of symptoms that can manifest physically, mentally, and emotionally. Living a well-balanced life with a central source of inspiration is key in maintaining health.

Mary Jo Ricketson, the founder of the Center for Mind-Body Training in the Boston area, believes each and every one of us are equipped with the potential to experience optimal well-being of mind and body. Referring to this state of wellness as the ‘good within,’ Ricketson has compiled a new book of yoga and exercise titled Moving Meditation, complete with quotes, fitness and yoga instruction, and intentions for living an inspired life on and off the yoga mat.

In an effort to aid in the reduction of stress through faith, the pages in Moving Meditation are graced by a God-centered approach to wellness. With the majority of quotes from the Bible, and several references to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the book carries a weighty Christian tone, however the author does include inspiration from other religions and spiritual teachers such as the Buddha, Kahlil Gibran, and Lao Tzu.
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