Yoga Nidra

Learn Yoga Nidra in Simple Steps | Yoga for Relaxation

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Learn Yoga Nidra in 10 Simple Steps | Yoga for Relaxation: Yoga Nidra has come from the tantric texts of Yoga, and is a way to learn conscious relaxation via specific cognitive and somatic control.  It is a quiet and internal form of yogic practice where the practitioner usually lays down in corpse pose (savasana) and carries out a series of mental visualisations with regulated breathing to achieve a state of deep relaxation with the mind awake and alert, while the body relaxes completely. Best looked at as a state of “body sleeping mind awake” where complete emotional, mental and physical relaxation is achieved far beyond the value of regular sleep, Yoga Nidra could be regarded as a super charged state of relaxation that invigorates the entirety of your being in a relatively short space of time.

There have been numerous studies carried out on the benefits of Yoga Nidra, and in particular this yogic practice has been shown to:

  • Lower stress levels (salivary cortisol) effectively.
  • Increase the immune response due to lowered cortisol levels.
  • Activate alpha brain waves responsible for increased cognitive function (creative and logical).
  • Be of particular benefit to people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In a rapidly expanding world of technology, opportunities and stimulus it takes discipline to actually say “no” and to let the mind and body relax, rest and regenerate. The modern lifestyle that promotes al always “up” approach to work, personal life and even holidays is not only impossible to maintain; as with any natural system there are always ebbs and flows; it is dangerous to your health and sanity. By utilising the methods of Yoga and in particular the internal practices of Yoga Nidra (among other extremely applicable techniques), you will have the internalised knowledge of how to maintain calmness in the midst of chaos, and respond to the external environment more effectively and efficiently with salient mind, relaxed and ready to adapt to anything life throws in your direction.

This being said, the techniques need to be learned and then practised in a regular way. The positive for this is that as you go to sleep you can set aside thirty to forty minutes to practice and enhance the actual sleep you will have afterwards. You may even find that you begin waking up earlier in the morning, and with more energy, mental clarity, and motivation.

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So here are some basics for you to begin your Yoga Nidra initiation:

1) Allow 30-40mins for the practice.

2) Set yourself up in a quiet space and create an intention for your practice, be it to feel more calm, have more energy, release emotional baggage or just to de-stress. It can be as specific or as broad as you like.

3) State mentally to yourself where you feel the safe “zone” in your body, where your maximum strength and resilience lay, and use this as a reference point on your Yoga Nidra practice map, so that you may return here whenever you need to restore a feeling of strength and peace to your body and mind. If you don’t feel like you have this place, then just use your attention to follow the peaceful and slow breathing you will engage in during the practice. There is no expectation of a result in the practice, just the action or karma of the practice.

4) Lay down on either a yoga mat or a mattress so that you’re comfortable.

5) Ensure the room is dimmed and not too bright for allowing the mind to relax more easily.

6) Lay on your back, spine lengthened, palms facing upwards, chin gently tucked inwards. 7) Close your eyes and let go of the tension in your hands first. 8) Now move your attention from the hands to the arms, relaxing each muscle in a wave.

9) Let your shoulders and neck muscles go heavy and relax down towards the floor.

10) Begin to notice how each breath relaxes you even deeper, heavier and with more content.

11) Now move your attention to the muscles of the face, letting the cheeks and jaw relax.

12) Breathing slowly and moving your attention when you’re ready down, to the chest and relax.

13) Let all the muscles of your chest and abdominals go heavy and relax fully.

14) Notice with each out breath how the body relaxes and relaxes fully down.

15) Now notice your hips, letting them drop towards the earth heavily and easily.

16) Breathing long and slow, you relax more fully and easily.

17) Notice your legs dropping down towards the earth easily and relaxing fully.

18) All the way down towards your feet and toes you relate and relax easily and freely.

19) Now just continue breathing gently and deeply, enjoying this sense of deep relaxation.

20) Notice the breath fall and rise, there is a still point in this flow at both ends of the breath. Let

your mind take rest here in the stillness at the end of each breath.

21) Let yourself flow with the breath and any thoughts or cognitions that come through the body

or mind are just clouds in the open sky. The same goes for feelings and emotions, just observe them like the sun shining its rays of light through the atmosphere and down onto the earth.

22) Continue to notice the joy of just being still and wholly alive in each temporal moment.

23) Notice any and all sensations that flow through consciousness as a part of the temporal and transient movement of karma.

24) Let your body and breath become aligned as you just observe without any comment, the goings on here.

25) Continue to observe the breath, the stillness, the movement of mind and emotions, notice everything like you were just the sun shining down on yourself and all these temporal moments, with open loving awareness.

26) Continue for as long as you like or are able to contuse the observational practice.

27) When you are ready, very slowly, begin to wriggle your fingers and then your toes. Then move slowly to the hands and feet, clenching and spreading the joints, muscles and tendons, feeling the movements with full awareness. 28) Move the feet and hands slowly in circles, first in one direction, then the other, and enjoy observing how awake your body and mind are becoming as one unified relaxed whole.

29) Bring your awareness to the hips and abdomen and slowly rock and roll your pelvis and lower back in circles or figure eights on the floor. Feeling and observing and enjoying each subtle motion.

30) When you are feeling ready slowly raise your hands together and rub them to create some

warmth, then place them over the eyes and enjoy the sensations of warmth there, while continuing to observe the breath slowly coming in and going out.

31) As you feel more and more awake and energized, gently roll to one side by bending the knees and rocking towards your preferred side. Support your head on a pillow, blanket or your arm folded beneath.

32) Now smile and keeping your awareness on the original intention for this practice just observe how your body feels. Thank your body and mind for engaging so thoroughly in this practice, and thank your highest self, the universal and limitless consciousness for the opportunity to enjoy this deep tantric practice of relaxation.

There are many online sources for videos and audios that are excellent for assisting the progression into Yoga Nidra, as a state it is the wakeful and aware sleep of uniting all of yourself with the higher and all-encompassing part of yourself. You only need to engage a slight effort in the practice, not too much as a militant, and not too little as a sloth that may fall from its tree and get eaten by the jaguar. The balance of attention and relaxation is what we are seeking in the practice, and ultimately it is better to err on the side of relaxation than adding more stress to yourself.

Enjoy the practice and Om Mani Padme Hum – May all beings be free and happy!

Namaste !!

By Thomas Clayden Eckersley B.H.Sc

ESSENCE OF YOGA

ESSENCE OF YOGA – THE 8 LIMBS

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The history of Yoga dates back to time immemorial , and includes a huge body of scriptures that navigate the human experience and how we may train the mind through the body, thereby achieving the union of “Yog” with the all that is. To witness the self as a direct expression of all that is without attaching to experiences, remaining free from conceptions and ideas, whilst being spontaneously joyous, spring forth with universal knowledge both verbally and non-verbally as a direct outer of the eternal wisdom of the universal. This can become quite esoteric and difficult to comprehend, but may also be simplified when taken in the pathways of everyday practical Yoga routines available to us in real and tangible teachings. The simplest of these is arguable the Astanga 8 limbs of Yoga, which teaches us how we may walk the path the renunciates (Yogis) do, while we are still living in the material and commercial world of modernity and stressors.

In fact, when we take the written teachings and apply them where we are it is the immediate experience that is providing the learning environment and stimulus for changing our world view and view of ourselves in it, and thereby reaching a greater knowledge of self and other, the inner and outer world.

The Astanga teachings include a simplification and elucidation of the core yogic path. This was created to simplify and find an accord between the varying schools of Yoga, which can sometimes cause much confusion to the beginning practitioner or potential student. To summarise those principles here are the core 8 limbs as recorded in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

1) Yama (ethical restraints) 2) Niyama (personal observances) 3) Asana (physical postures) 4) Pranayama (breath control) 5) Pratyahara (sense withdrawal) 6) Dharana (concentration) 7) Dhyana (meditation) 8) Samadhi (a state of unity)

The first two limbs consist of ethical and personal restraints and observances that lead us into more and more peace, thereby ensuring our practice may proceed with minimal obstructions. To go to the third step with no regard for the initial two is only going to create more challenges to your practice yielding the fruits your practice would otherwise provide. So it is best to adhere to the path of the ancient teachings in the acknowledgement that you will proceed more easily, and effectively through the path towards self realisation and moksha, liberation and freedom from suffering for want of a better translation from Sanskrit.

The following are the breakdown of steps that make up the Yamas and Niyamas:

YAMAS (ethical restraints)

1) Nonviolence (Ahimsa) – doing no harm to oneself or to any living being or “From harming

ourselves and others to kindness and compassion for self and others”. 2) Truthfulness (Satya) – honesty and forthrightness without doing harm or “From lies and

half-truths to expressing our uniqueness and authenticity”. 3) Non-stealing (Asteya) – removing the tendency to look outwards for satisfaction or

“From theft to cultivating new skills and abilities”. 4) Non-excess (Brahmacharya) – being present to the divinity in life and not seeking more

or “From greed to appreciation and pleasure without excess”. 5) Non-possessiveness (Aparigraha) – freedom from desire to “own” or “keep” people,

status and material possessions or “From attachment to intimacy without possession”.

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NIYAMAS (personal observances)

1) Purity (Saucha) – continual clarification of our intent, thoughts, emotions and actions or

“Cleansing our bodies, our speech, our thoughts”. 2) Contentment (Santosha) – being at peace with the present state of awareness, internal

and external conditions or “Falling in love with our own life”. 3) Self-discipline (Tapas) – maintaining the drive and motivation to embrace eternal

change and create balance of “soft” and “hard” in ourself and practices or “Consciously choosing discipline and growth”. 4) Self-study (Svadhyaya) – to study the universal and small self, to also examine the

mind, its thoughts emotions and feelings arising in reaction to the external world, and learning the essence of our conditioned self to release this, so we may rest fully and completely in the expansive universal self and consciousness, or “Knowing the Self”. 5) Surrender (Ishvara Pranidhana) – to release control and embrace the progression

along the path as being like that of a river you have entered, carrying you downstream towards the ocean of enlightenment you release the need to struggle against perceived obstacles. This is essential for regaining faith in ourselves, and the outside world, embracing change and opening the heart and mind or “Paying attention to what life is asking of us”.

I trust that this brief explanation of the core principles in Yogic practice makes clear what was not before, and hides you along the path to union with truth, bliss, peace and consciousness.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

By Thomas Clayden Eckersley B.H.Sc

downward facing dog

Yoga Poses for Degenerative Disc Disease

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Yoga Poses for Degenerative Disc Disease: An estimated 80 percent of the population will suffer from back pain at one point in their lives but Yoga can magnificently help you to don’t stay in this border line.   There are many different conservative and alternative degenerative disc disease treatment options that can help manage the symptoms of this condition. Yoga, for example, can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the spine to potentially reduce symptoms. Some of the more popular yoga poses that can accomplish this goal include:

CHILD’S POSE

Begin on all fours with your arms extended straight in front of you. Then, sit back on your heels while keeping your arms straight out. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

A good lower backstretch, this pose is accomplished by starting on your hands and knees with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Raise your knees off the floor and lift your tailbone toward the ceiling to stretch the large muscles in your lower back.

CAT AND COW POSE

Start on all fours on the ground then slowly arch your back to move into the cat pose. After a few seconds, press your shoulder blades back and lift your head to create the cow pose. Repeat as needed.
But Let’s go more specifically now….

HERNIATED DISC… What to do?

One of the most common disease of the spine is Herniated Disc and it can be a very painful condition.
It identifies damage to the intervertebral disc. The disc undergoes a movement that can cause irritation of the neighboring nerves, with the consequent appearance of back pain and sciatica.
The herniated disc can be lumbar, cervical or dorsal.
Generally in the case of pain in the treatment of herniated disc inflammation, drugs such as cortisone, painkillers and anti-inflammatories are used. If there is strong inflammation, rest is recommended, but as soon as you feel better, Yoga can be a wonderful healing tool.

YOGA POSES for the disc herniation

Yoga in particular hatayoga, through the static and dynamic Asanas, helps the spine to be flexible and to find the right posture, as well as strengthening the muscles, tendons and connected nerves.

Here are the best Asanas for disc herniation:

ADVASANA  (Reverse Corpse Pose)

This Asana is recommended for those with herniated disc problems, stiff neck and curved profile. Those suffering from these disorders can also sleep in this position to find benefits.

Lie on the floor mat
Stretch your arms over your head with the palms of your hands on the ground
It relaxes the whole body like in Shavasana.
If you feel uncomfortable or have difficulty breathing in position, put a pillow under your chest
Breathe normally

Hold the position for as long as possible

– JYESTIKASANA (Superior Pose) 

This position is useful for all disorders of the spine

So called as it is the best pose for relaxing spine.

Lie on the tummy with the legs a bit apart. Turn the toes in towards each other and let heels fall out to sides.
Interlock the fingers at the back of the head, either at the back of neck, or the back of the skull.
Turn the face to one side if that is more comfortable. Half way through rest turn the head to the other side.
Elbows and arms are completely relaxed.
Let the body sink into complete softness and allow the effects of the practices to settle in the body.

Stay as long as you need and  confortable!

But now coming the Highlight of this Topic….

1 MINUTE AND A HALF OF YOGA AND STRAIGHTEN YOUR BACK.

To reduce spinal problems in adults and adolescents, only 90 seconds of yoga would be enough, every day, for a few months

Back or spine problems, such as scoliosis, can be reduced with only one and a half minutes per day of yoga.
The beneficial effect, practically immediate, was observed following a study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine and conducted by a team of researchers, including Dr. Loren Fishman of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York.
In this study, Fishman and colleagues evaluated
the effects of a yoga posture called
“VASISTHASANA” (Side Plank Pose) in 25 patients with idiopathic or degenerative scoliosis.
Based on the analysis, it was established that patients had a primary curve of 6 to 120 degrees.

After recruitment and selection, researchers taught patients how to take posture and maintain it for 10-20 seconds a day during the first week. After that, the participants were asked to maintain the position for as long as possible, once a day. The posture, moreover, had to be maintained only on the convex side, that is the weaker side of their vertebral column.

The final results showed that with an average of only 1.5 minutes per day, six days a week from two to twenty-two months, the yoga posture taken in the study reduces the curves of idiopathic scoliosis from 32% to 49.2% in both adolescents and adults.

The originality of the study lies in having adopted a posture that acts asymmetrically – as is the condition of scoliosis.
The dott. Fishman notes that the National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF) recommends as many as 25 yoga postures to treat scoliosis, but does not provide asymmetric exercise.

The adoption of complicated, tiring and long-lasting exercises puts a strain on patients’ patience and constancy, emphasizes the expert, so it may be that many leave the treatments, with the risk that scoliosis progresses. According to Fishman, untreated scoliosis can progress by 7% per year and cause disability and dangerous health risks.

“Since scoliosis is an asymmetric condition, I treated it asymmetrically – explains Fishman in the press release – asking patients to take the pose only on the weaker side.
This reinforces the specific spinal muscles on the convex side that are necessary to help in reducing the curvature of the vertebral column”.
Apan Mudra

Yoga Mudras for High Blood Pressure

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MUDRAS…..The power is in our hands: Mudras are yoga movements that are performed with the arms and hands. They are extremely simple, but so powerful that they will transform your life. How? Simply releasing the blocked energy inside your body in the energy channels called nadis and in the energy centers called chakras. By arranging and directing this energy through the mudras, you can achieve your goals and have the ability to solve the problems of daily life.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common clinical presentation worldwide. High blood pressure control is important to reduce many disease complications such as kidney failure, heart diseases and stroke. Apart from medications, yoga Hand Mudra ia an effective supplement to medical healing clinical conditions like blood pressure, asthma, stress,obesity and heart diseases.

Apan Mudra

This mudra is known as the mudra of energy. It helps the body eliminate toxins and treats bladder problems.
With both hands: join the yolks of the thumb, the ring finger and the middle finger, while the other fingers remain extended.
Practice as needed, from 5 to 45 minutes, or as a cure 3 times a day for 15 minutes.
The Apan Mudra exerts a balancing effect on the state of mind, which depends on a liver that works well. It grants patience, serenity, confidence, inner balance and harmony. In the mental sphere, it generates the ability to develop visions. All this is necessary when looking to the future, when we have to face new challenges and when we want our wishes to be fulfilled.

Benefits:

It reduces heart problems and regularizes palpitations.

It is used as first aid for a heart attack, when it is done in the first couple of minutes.

It keeps blood pressure under control.

It reduces gastric problems and brings under the control of acidity

It regulates intestinal transit and eliminates constipation.

It keeps the body temperature under control. Increase self-confidence

Reduces menstrual problems

Mudra di Garuda activates the circulation and the flow of blood. It also helps to relieve fatigue.
First place your hands, right to left, engarzadas from the thumbs on the belly. About 10 respiratory movements remain. Then place on your stomach and still remains … Finally place your left hand on the breastbone, turn your hands over your fingers on the shoulders and opens.
You can go as you need it or 3 times a day for 4 minutes.
Garuda, the king of the birds, the air, the enemy of snakes and mount of Vishnu is an animal full of strength and power. Generally, birds have a very acute sight, a great sense of direction and a huge survival instinct. And the largest, thanks to its enormous size and strength in the wings, can be carried away from the air.

. This mudra activates irrigation and blood circulation, revitalizes the body and rebalances the energies of the two halves of the body. If in the pelvis or chest area, it revitalizes and stimulates. It relaxes and softens the pain and disorders of the menstrual cycle, discomfort in stomach difficulties and breathing. If you suffer from hypertension seen with care. It also helps with exhaustion and mood fluctuations.

 

– Surya Mudra or Mudra of the Sun:

the tip of the ring finger touches the base of the thumb, which exerts a slight pressure on the ring finger. Benefits: increases the production of body heat, is useful in overweight, helps digestion, reduces cholesterol. Precautions: Weak people should not perform this mudra when it is hot.

_Prana Mudra or Mudra of Life: 

the tip of the thumb, ring finger and little finger touch each other, while the other fingers are stretched. Benefits: awakens the power of prana, is useful in diseases of the eye and improves the sight, increases the body’s resistance to diseases, removes tiredness. During fasting it reduces hunger pangs. In case of insomnia, together with Gyan Mudra, it helps to get to sleep.

– Apan Vayu Mudra or Mudra del Cuore

: it is a combination of Apan Mudra and Vayu Mudra. The tip of the thumb, of the middle and of the ring finger touch each other, while the index finger touches the base of the thumb with slight pressure. The little finger is tense. Benefits: gives the benefits of Vayu and Apan Mudra. In particular it is useful in heart disease and those who have had a heart attack should do it every day. If it is done 5 minutes before climbing stairs, it helps in the effort.

Regular exercise is the best ways to lower blood pressure; Fast walking, jogging, swimming, and athletics are good options.
But, most important, don’t forget that Laughter is the best solution.
It relieves the stress and anxiety that is the primary cause of high blood pressure in today’s  lifetime… being worried is so useless…. keep smiling!
By: Dheva Ji
Difference Between Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga

What is the Difference Between Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga ?

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What is the Difference Between Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga ?: When we talk about Yoga, the term goes beyond only physical exercise as it is known in western countries. There are different branches that support and rich the whole discipline to eventually become a lifestyle when one deepens into it.

Ashtanga and Vinyasa are two styles of yoga asana which have specific characteristics according to their purpose and philosophy.

What’s the meaning of “Ashtanga”?

The word Ashtanga itself means “the eight limbs (branches) of yoga which according to the ancient knowledge are: Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Asana, Pratyahara, Dharana and Samadhi. Pattabhi Jois and T. Krishnamacharya established Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore (South India) in the 20th century. These branches are meant to expand the whole discipline into other fields to learn different techniques to control your breathing and vital energy, to improve your concentration and knowledge, to have a better control of your senses, to learn different methods of inner and outer purification and of course to balance the mind within the physical body: yoga asana.

Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic, flowing style that connects the movement of the body with a specific technique of breath called “uyai ”. The importance of this yoga asana practice relies on the daily practice of a sequence series of postures. According to the progress of the yoga practitioner, there are six series of Ashtanga yoga sequences where the level of the asanas as well as the level of concentration in the mind increase.

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Ashtanga yoga classes are often taught in the “Mysore style” where the students have to memorize each asana sequence, develop it individually, but setting the energy together and get adjustments from the teacher supporting the class. They should master each posture in the sequence they are working before they move on to the next.

Ashtanga yoga is considered a vigorous, orderly practice and, as such, is more suited to students who want a dynamic and rigorous yoga practice.

What is Vinyasa yoga flow?

The term Vinyasa refers to connects the breathing system with every movement in the series.

Vinyasa is also the term used to describe a specific sequence of poses (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog )  commonly used throughout a vinyasa class.

In a Vinyasa practice, the student is led by the teacher who will create a different class every time to develop the certain number of asanas and go with dynamic flow and increase the level of the postures with the support of some elements such as props, music, some variations according to the student, etcétera.

Some Difference Between Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga styles are:

  • The sequencing: Ashtanga Yoga consists of a series of postures: primary, secondary, and advanced. On the other side, Vinyasa class sequences vary, the practitioner might change a sequence each time.
  • Each Ashtanga series includes a category of asanas: the primary series centers on forwarding bend, the second series focuses on backbends, and the advanced series emphasizes arm-support and arm-balancing poses. Vinyasa Yoga sequences, on the other hand, often feature a peak pose, chosen by the Teacher according to the level of the student class.
  • The main development of the Ashtanga practice is up to the student with the Mysore style class mentioned above, while in the Vinyasa class, the teacher always leads the class through the asanas.
  • Practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga do not use props, posture modifications, or music. In Vinyasa classes, some teachers make props available to adapt and adjust to some asanas if it is needed.

It would be a good idea to do some research and also to try a couple of classes to feel yourself and decide which one is the more suitable for you according to your lifestyle, personality, energy, and physical constitution.

Warm up for Advanced Yoga Poses

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Warm up for Advanced Yoga Poses: Yoga tradition in India is an ancient discipline that focuses into the balance between body and mind developing also the emotional and spiritual subtle bodies. Yoga shows us how to connect with our physical body and to make ourselves aware about the different functions it realize to transform the energy inside, such as respirate, digest, assimilate and excrete substances. In the same way, it takes a very important part within the nervous, glandular, reproductive systems in our body.

In yoga philosophy, it is applied the term ahimsa that refers to the ‘non violence’ towards us and also to our context; therefor in the moment of the warm up, this understanding leads us to take care of our body, to feel and listen to it and to take it slowly to the movement and eventually to perform the final pose. In second place, the importance of the warm up relies in the prevention of injuries, because if we take care of the body, it will react in a more positive way for the rest of our yoga practice.

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Types of Warm up for Advanced Yoga Poses

There are several ways to take our body to warm it up. Professionals within the the physical body establish these options to make some order in the moment of irrigating blood towards the muscles:

1. Warm up from head to feet
2. Warm up from feet to head

Joints Warm up for Advanced Yoga Poses

The movement starts from the joints in order to lubricate them: ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, toes, neck. Afterwards it is recommended to speed up the heart bit with some deeper exercises to increase the body temperature. Finally it is appropriated to do some stretching exercises all over the body, mainly in the biggest muscles in order to prepare it for a practice that is demanding a longer duration, movement, resistance, strength.

Warm up for intense poses

If within your yoga practice there are included some asanas that requires a higher level of strength, balance or to be held for a longer period of time, there are few recommendations: Sun salutation is a very complete series of asanas, since it warms up every muscle in our body from feet to head, it also goes gentle with the body so they awake gradually, and at the same time it becomes intense so it activates biggest muscle groups such as the abdomen, buttocks, ties to give a strong support for the rest of the body.

In Hatha Yoga there is the Pawanmuktasana group, which is a series of asanas with a deep effect so body and mind get prepared to develop the practice from the essence to the most advanced asanas:

anti- rheumatic Asana group
Abdominal and digestive Asana group

A good Warm up for Advanced Yoga Poses besides preparing the body to do a nice yoga practice, one can avoid overcharging and harming the body. It is essential to give the gap and time to prepare the body with a good warm up so we can elongate his well functioning through a healthy way.

Yoga for Shoulder Pain

How to Use Yoga for Shoulder Pain, Stretches for shoulder pain

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How to Use Yoga for Shoulder Pain, Stretches for shoulder pain: Yoga is an ancient practice whose objective is to take the human body to a state of balance. Within the human body there are also other subtle energies such as the mental body, the emotional and the spiritual body. In our daily life, in our every day activities. we focus mainly into the physical body only. Yoga makes special emphasis to connect with our five senses and develop the capacity of becoming more sensitive about them in order to touch these subtle energies that are flowing within us.

Connection mind- body- emotions

It is known that every part of the physical body is related with some emotional memories from the past, and that our subconscious body is wiser than our intellectual body and thus it is reflecting through the physical body some sore, pain, or even some decease in order to alert us that something in our emotional or mental level is unbalanced.

Within the psyche science, shoulders in our body represent the capacity of holding an emotional weight, either happiness, sadness, fear or anger whether it is under our control or not. We might feel unbalanced whenever we have the sensation that we still have too many of goals to accomplish and it might be too intense to complete them , or even to feel non satisfied about it.

Also when we are experiencing certain insecurities either emotional or material, shoulders might tend to tense. In the moment of tension, they are also contracting and therefor closing up. This connotation of closing implies also blockage to communication with ourselves and with the environment. As a consequence , shoulders might block the openness with the heart because it rests between both shoulders and, and this tension would be blocking as well the natural flow with the rest of our body.

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Yoga for Shoulder Pain

Asanas in Yoga promote the openness of the distance between the shoulders and the ears, they are improving the functions of the respiration system. All this will generate a release of this tension and also a decrease of the pain on this area as well as in the neck and in the upper back.

  1. Garudasana (eagle pose). This asana will stretch the dorsal area and the arm muscles.

  1. Ardha Uttanasana (half standing forward bend pose). This posture benefits the stretching of the frontal torso as well as the strengthening of the back muscles, creating distance between the shoulder and the ears.

  1. Gomukasana (cow pose). It helps to expand the chest improving the heart functions, it also optimizes the openness of the shoulders and the elongation of the upper part of the back.

  1. Adomukhasvanasana (downward facing dog). The appropriated performance of this pose benefits the openness of the shoulders, armpits, and chest as well as the elongation of the spine.

  1. Pendant pose. The benefits of this asana are: to release tension on the lateral muscles of the neck.

Change Attitudes Towards Teaching Yoga

3 ways to Change Attitudes Towards Teaching Yoga

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When people come to the yoga teacher training course , they are inspired by the desire to share what they love with others. Difficulties arise when a beginner yoga instructor becomes a teacher and organizer of his own activity.It happens that the environment of yoga studios, which forces to sell more and more, discourages the conduct of classes. At such times it is useful to reconsider your beliefs and see new horizons on the chosen path.

We offer 3 ways to Change Attitudes Towards Teaching Yoga on the other hand:

  1. Feel the inner strength.

The leader paves the way not for others to follow him, but to inspire everyone to follow his own path. Try to improve the quality of your services. Let people get the best that you can give. Remember the joy and strength of activity when you give yourself completely to the process. Spend yoga , giving the maximum of what you can do.

You are not a person. Ideas about yourself can only be knowledge of past experience. Do not rush to evaluate your teaching practice. Look at each lesson as a new achievement. Feel yourself immobile inside, like the ocean, and the emotional waves on the surface will not be able to subdue you.

Questions for introspection:  Can you give a reassessment of your past actions and with dignity talk about yourself in the present? How can you change your personality to feel confident in your actions?

  1. Create inspiration, not business.

When we act according to our principles and defend our convictions, we feel strong. Our inner strength is gaining a firm footing, and we can do more and more for this world. Create a movement that inspires people to stand by your side, joining your mission and sharing your values.

The world needs health, healing and hope. You can sit back and watch others become part of positive change or go to your dream, be someone who inspires and motivates others to reveal their potential.

Look at your values ​​from a different angle. Successful and sincere entrepreneurship is not marketing and increasing sales, but the inspiration of others and helping them to get answers to their questions.

Questions for introspection:  What led you to a yoga mat? How did you come to teaching? What were the most memorable ideas, books, insights that influenced you? If you could offer the world one gift, what would it be?

  1. Do not discount your activities.

Faith is a great value, which is why it is so difficult to change one’s beliefs. You’ve probably heard that money is just energy, and they become what they believe in. If you think money is evil, then they will become it. If you think that it is bad to get money to help others in healing and understanding themselves, then for you it will become true.

If the receipt of money is contrary to your ideas of sincerity and spirituality, then you will face self-condemnation, receiving money for doing yoga . You have the right to keep faith in it, but you need to give up limiting beliefs, if you want to become a master of your craft. To a loving person appeared in your life, you need to learn how to truly love yourself. The same principle applies to value: feel the value of your actions so that others treat your work with dignity. Think about this the next time you feel ashamed of the desire to receive a reward for your work.

Questions for introspection:   What kind of payment do you charge for your services? This question scares you? Answer clearly with a sense of self-worth and a sense that you are a representative of the tradition and experience of your teachers.

Yoga Teacher Training

Why choose India for Yoga Teacher Training?

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Whether it is your first teacher training or your 27th, India always has more yogic wisdom to offer.

Here are 10 amazing reasons to take your yoga teacher training in India:

1. Lineage: Going to the Source

The Upanishads, a series of Hindu sacred treatises, literally mean “sitting near,” as in to sit as close as possible to the master.

Like the classic game of telephone, things get lost in translation; therefore, traveling to India is the logical course to learn from the source of sacred yogic wisdom.

2. Diverse Terrain: It Has Mountains and Beaches

Ranging from the Himalayan mountains to the Indian Ocean coastline, India is a beautiful country with diverse terrain.

Rishikesh has access to Mother Ganga and is considered the yoga capital of the world. Mysore is considered the place for Ashtanga practitioners to study. Dharamshala is tucked away in the Himalayan peaks and a great place to study if the mountains call to you. Furthermore, Goa has breathtaking beach views.

Yogi Tip: Be mindful of timing and temperature in various areas. For example, in the summer, the southern regions of India can be extremely hot and humid.

3. Affordability: Lower Cost for Teacher Training

Two months in India at Akshi Yogashala complete with six weeks of 200-hour teacher training in Rishikesh, round trip flight, lodging, food, and travel after training cost the same for me as studying at any of my local studios. Additional food and drinks are low-cost.

4. Full Immersion: No PAUSE Button

If you are travelling to India for teacher training, it is likely not your home base. Therefore, there is no time to push pause and go back to your usual routine.

Being fully immersed in your training and surrounded by like minded individuals helps integrate your teachings into your life.

5. Culture Shock: Sometimes Coming Home is Harder Than Leaving

Without having travelled prior to living in Rishikesh (Birth Place of Yoga) for six weeks, I was expecting a similar experience throughout the country. However, in Delhi, You may experience culture shock when beer and chicken were available at dinner. I was accustomed to Rishikesh (Birth Place of Yoga), a holy city, where a vegetarian diet is the law and there is no consumption of alcohol.

Travelling within India provided an opportunity to reflect on my own personal practice and philosophy after the teacher training ended.

6. Letting Go: Bye-Bye Ego

There is something about the stark reality of living beside immense poverty that strips away the ego. Training in India not only teaches you the yamas and niyamas, it helps you live the yogic philosophy.

Considering aparigraha, non-greed or non-possessiveness — in India, it is easier to strip away the ego that calls for expensive yoga clothes and competition for the perfect asana practice.

7. Ayurveda: Subscribe to the Good Life

Developed over 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurveda is a system of preventative medicine and health care. Ayurveda identifies a person’s ideal state of balance and offers interventions to reestablish balance.

While in India, learning more about Ayurveda from the source is a perfect complement to learning yoga.

8. Mind Over Matter: The Power of Patience

Continuous yoga and meditation practice invites inner peace.

Additionally, riding in a car in India helps increase your ability to stay calm and patient while dodging carts left in the middle of a bustling intersection and hearing honks from at least ten different drivers at the same time.

9. Connection: Gather Energy From Around the World

Not only will there be amazing teachers from India who can help you bring something new back home, you will likely have a cohort from all over the world who will help your practice flourish.

One will train with people from six different continents. One will learn all sorts of new asanas, flows, and how studios from across the world format classes and build community.

10. Fresh Chai Lattes: Repeat Daily

Lastly, if no other reason on the list draws your energy to train in India, let this one help you decide: fresh chai lattes.

For a few rupees, you can lounge outside and sip the most refreshing chai latte in the world. If the idea of exploring stunning Hindu temples and palaces or swimming in the Ganga or connecting to the magnetic and powerful energy in India does not tempt you, go for the chai lattes; they are unforgettable.

Yagya Fire Ceremony

Yagya – The Importance of Fire Ceremony

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Yagya – The Importance of Fire Ceremony: Our ancient texts are full of legends wherein ancient sages performed Yagyas and the demons (asuras) tried to destroy them. The demons then had to pay a hefty price as the godly, valiant prince used to guard the Holy fire and eliminate the nuisance. Whether these are just folklore, myths, legends or history is a debate for some other day, but there is no denying the fact that Yagya was related to slaying negativity since the Vedic times. Let’s explore how and why…

How it works

There are two basic energy systems in the physical world: heat and sound. In performing Yagya, these two energies, namely, the heat from Yagya’s fire and the sound of the chanting of the Gayatri and other Vedic Mantras, are blended together to achieve the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.

The aroma of Yagya

The surroundings and the smell of a Yagya can be smelt even at a huge distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in plentiful quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer adequate surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as a medium for circulation of aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind.

The science behind using fatty substances (Ghee)

Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. This may be the reason why it has been recommended that Yagya should be performed in the presence of strong sunlight.

The shape of the Agni Kunda

The word ‘pyramid’ means the fire in the middle’. This ancient-word meaning for pyramid is closely connected with the enigmatic energies springing from its central shape. The pyramid shape is generally thought to generate and store a special energy field, which possess bacteriostatic properties. The inverted pyramid shape allows controlled generation and multidirectional dissipation of energy. It acts as an initiator of unusual energy fields and spreads them in its surrounding atmosphere.

Chanting of Sanskrit

The power of sound vibrations is long since acknowledged in the field of science. These vibrations can penetrate the energy spheres at the subtle and cosmic levels. All the alphabets of the Sanskrit language are endowed with special vibrational powers, which set out harmonious wave patterns when pronounced. It is interesting to note that an American Scientist has established that recitation of Gayatri Mantra produces 110,000 sound waves per second.

Purification of environment

Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya is regularly performed.

Spiritual significance of Yagya

The heat endowed in yagya is a source of immense energy. As this fire inflames, melts or sublimates all the gross substances inside, we too should burn out all our vices, ill-tendencies, lethargy, dullness and despair and energize our personality with the warmth of new zeal, alacrity, awareness and hope. The heat and energy of the yagya should be reflected in the active flow of our blood, our industriousness and our nimble and vigilant courage to fight against all evils.

It represents…

The ash produced by fire reminds us of the ephemeral and transient nature of life. We tend to forget this eternal fact and continue on the path of cravings and attachments…adding to our mistakes, infirmities and sins too. While putting the Yagya – bhasm on our head after the Yagya, we should ponder over the end of our present life and realize the importance of the time and breaths available to us now.

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