What is Yoga

What is Yoga? – Meaning of Yoga, Meditation Or Exercise

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Every day in the morning, women in traditional India use rice flour to create patterns known as kolam or rangoli on the floor just outside their house. Dots are joined with lines, reminding us how connecting stars to create constellations helps us understand the sky. Likewise, connecting data creates the whole, and joining the limited helps us explore the limitless. This household ritual is a metaphor for yoga.
The simplest meaning of yoga is alignment. This alignment could be between two body parts, two objects or two concepts.
In Indian astrology or Jyotish-Shastra, for example, when stars and planets are aligned in a particular way to create a beneficial pattern, the word “yoga” is used to describe it. The same word is used in social contexts for the coming together of seemingly unaligned things to bring about success.
Depending on the context, yoga has come to have different meanings; alignment of the mind with the body, or simply between different body parts. It could be harmony between the front and the back, the left and the right sides, or the upper and lower parts of the body.
Some might say it is the connection of an individual with society; others, the connection between two human beings, whether husband and wife, parent and child, teacher and student, or friends.
In a religious context, one can say it is the connection between the devotee and the deity.
Various adjectives are now used to describe how this connection is achieved. For example, “karma yoga” deals with connecting through action, where our individual activity is aligned to a larger social goal; “bhakti yoga” deals with connecting through emotions, with a person or a personal deity; “Gyan yoga” is more intellectual; “hatha yoga” more physical; “tantra yoga” favors rituals and symbols.
Yoga is not only about the Asana practice; in fact “Asanas” comes third in the eight-limbed path of Yoga as described by Patanjali after “Yamas” or abstinence and “Niyamas” or observances.
We will explore the second limb of yoga; Niyama.
Niyama is the Sanskrit term for duty or observance recommended by yogic philosophy and teaching as part of the path of yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he outlines five niyamas as part of the second limb of yoga.
These niyamas are all practices that can be considered inner observances. They are a way of applying the ethical codes of yoga to the student’s own mind, body and spirit, helping to create a positive environment internally.
Practicing the niyamas is said to give the yogi the inner strength, clarity, and discipline that he/she needs in order to progress on his/her spiritual journey.

The five niyamas are listed as follows:

  1. Saucha: purification, cleanliness, and clarity of mind, communication, and physical body. This recognizes that the yogi’s external environment affects his/her inner purity. Practices such as meditation can help to cultivate the cleanliness of the mind specified by saucha.
  2. Santosha: contentment and acceptance of the world, oneself and circumstances exactly as they are. This means letting go of cravings for what one doesn’t have. Doing this is said to end one’s suffering.
  3. Tapas: asceticism or intense self-discipline and willpower, even through discomfort. This recognizes the need to sometimes do what is difficult or unpleasant in order to have a positive effect on one’s life and existence.
  4. Svadhyaha: study of the self, and the practice of self-reflection. This may include using the scriptures or sacred texts as a tool for introspection. It means seeing who one is in the moment as well as exploring one’s connection with the Divine.
  1. Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender to and contemplation of the Divine or Supreme Being. This includes dedicating and devoting one’s work to a higher power and dissolving ego-focused desires.
Vrischikasana

Vrischikasana: Vrischikasana benefits

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Once upon a time, there was a sage who was bathing in a river. When he stepped on the river bank, he found a scorpion trapped between two rocks, desperately struggling to escape. The sage freed the scorpion by moving the rocks. As soon as it was free, the scorpion stung the sage with its poisonous tail before scampering away. An onlooker laughed and told the sage that it served him tight to save a scorpion. To which the sage replied, “ I behave as per my nature and it behaved as per its own.”
We must each live our lives as per our nature, without being influenced by other people. The story draws on a very important yogic philosophy – swabhav or our inner personality. Do we live our lives true to our nature or do we constantly adapt or pretend to adapt to the environment around us that knots our minds, knots that can only be removed through yogic practices?
The scorpion, in Hindu methodology, is associated with the goddess Chamunda, who is also known as the scorpion-bellied goddess. She is depicted as a gaunt, emaciated goddess with many arms, who is associated with crematoriums and battlefields. She is surrounded by corpses and ghosts and feeds on the entrails of the dead. Her concave stomach displays a scorpion which adds to her ferocity. She is a frightening goddess.
This image, in non-Hindu mythology, gods and goddesses take various forms, some romantic, some lovable, some delightful and some frightening, so that all human emotions are expressed through them.
Thus, for Hindus, this is the form of the goddess. Even the crematorium, ghosts and goblins are part of the divine scheme of things.
In tantric traditions, by meditating on this inauspicious, frightening and undesirable things that we can see the true nature of the world and attain wisdom.
This posture resembles the curled tail of a scorpion ready to strike its prey and incorporates the challenge of a backbend into an already tricky inverted position. A common problem that students face while practicing this asana is the floor, in the sense that their face touched the floor when they get up into the inversion. This is caused by an initial fear response which compels the practitioner to bring their shoulders as far forward as possible when, in fact, the ideal position for the shoulders is directly above the elbows.
This orientation offers the most ground clearance for the head, and by stacking the upper arms bones vertically, the balance is then reliant on bone support instead of pure muscular exertion.
Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

4 Ways Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

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Do we all not know people who are suffering from mental health problems like depression? With changing lifestyles and food habits, mental health concerns are escalating globally, with stress, anxiety, and depression becoming common diseases.

A healthy mind is a state of well being where the mind is able to cope with the normal stresses of life and it can work productively even when placed under pressure.

Researches show that Yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly. Along with physical, it increases our mental flexibility.

As Patanjali describes in the Yoga Sutras, the purpose of Yoga is to still the turbulence of the mind. Apart from its numerous health benefits like removing constipation and improving bone health, Yoga can treat neurological disorders and improve mental health. When you shift focus from your body to your breath, anxiety is released and physical tension eased.

How Yoga Benefits Mental Health:

1. Clams Your Nervous System: Yoga helps us move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system or from fight-to-flight state to rest-and-digest.
Our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) helps us to relax and when we activate our PNS through Yoga, we reside in the PNS state for a longer duration. That is because breathing deeply relaxes our senses, muscles and lowers our blood pressure.

2. Improves Self Worth and Confidence:
 Breathing practices (Pranayama) in Yoga increase the supply of oxygen in our brain thus helping us to focus better, improving our concentration and memory.
As we become more and more aware and confident in our abilities, we build a healthy ego as we do not need to prove anything to anyone. Thus, Yoga helps boost the positive energy of individuals suffering from depression. Practicing asanas daily teaches us to focus better. Yoga also increases our awareness of our bodies. When we are focused on our efficiency level increase, our confidence is boosted.

3. Makes You Happy: The brain releases happy hormones like Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Serotonin after a yoga session. These hormones are responsible for reducing stress and increasing energy levels and creativity.

4. Yoga Leads to Better and Deep Sleep: Restorative Yoga poses before sleeping act as an excellent tool to induce sleep. Certain yogic breathing practices relax the mind and aid in sound sleep.

Practicing yoga daily not only helps people who are suffering from mental health disorders, but prevent them in the first place. Psychotherapists globally are gradually accepting yogic asanas and breathing as one of the effective and natural ways to heal patients with mental health issues.

Yoga teacher training in india

Benefits of Attending 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India

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Whether you want to become a yoga teacher or you want to strengthen your personal practice, deciding on a Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) can be a difficult task. With new schools opening up all across the world, choosing where to enroll has never been more confusing. The birthplace of yoga – India – has been a popular destination for TTCs. But, is it right for you?

Tradition

Across the Western world, yoga has become popular because it is a valuable form of physical exercise. However, in Indian traditions, the foundation of yoga is the human spirit. Discovered in ancient Sanskrit philosophical texts, yoga has been revered as a holistic approach to life for thousands of years. As a result, these traditions are entrenched in the fabric of Indian culture. Students who choose a TTC in India get to experience this cultural authenticity first hand.

Yoga Capital of the World

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, Rishikesh is widely considered the yoga capital of the world. Brought to the attention of Westerners by a visit from The Beatles in the late 1960s, Rishikesh has served as a center for learning and practicing yoga long before the iconic rock band studied Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In fact, Indians seeking yogic education, solace, and even spiritual enlightenment have journeyed to Rishikesh for ages. Located on the banks of the Ganga River, it is home to the most reputable ashrams and schools in the world.

Affordability

Yoga TTC’s and retreats can be expensive. It is not uncommon for students to pay upwards of $5000USD to complete a month-long program. Since foreign currencies – in particular, the Euro and Dollar – have a favorable exchange rate, courses in India quite often provide a considerable financial advantage. Additionally, Tourist Visa’s are reasonably priced and relatively easy to secure when the purpose of your travel is to learn and practice yoga.

The Deciding Factor

When it comes time to make your final decision the most important factor is: You. You have to be honest with yourself and what you want to gain from your TTC experience. On one hand, a culturally immersive program in India is intense and requires commitment. On the other hand, the opportunity to study and practice in the land where yoga originated is definitely worthy of your consideration. While you research your options remember one thing, no matter where you choose to study, your journey into yoga will be well worth your efforts.
yoga teacher training in rishikesh

Yoga Forever | Yoga is for everyone, at any age or stage in Life

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Yoga pants, yoga mats, yoga this, that. These days yoga is fashionably popular and the market value of the global industry is in the $Billions (USD). As the presence of yoga spreads internationally it makes you wonder: is this ever-increasing interest just another trend that will pass with time or is there something drawing people to yoga that lies beyond targeted advertisement and healthy consumerism?

The Age of Social Media

Truth be told, yoga has been popular for quite some time. However, over the last decade visibility and accessibility to yoga have increased dramatically due to social media and the instantaneous flow of information it has created. Across all platforms, in all regions of the world, enter the term “yoga” in a search engine and you will yield unending results. But, is an Instagram selfie of your favorite celeb with their private yoga instructor really enough to keep you going back to yoga class?

What is Yoga?

In popular culture yoga is depicted as a form of exercise that is used to strengthen and relax the body but there is far more to it.
Based on the Sanskrit term yuj (to unite or integrate), yoga is an ancient wealth of knowledge that systemically creates harmony in the mind, body, and spirit through practical philosophy, breathing techniques (Pranayama), physical postures (Asanas), and meditation practices. Is it possible then that thousands of years ago this discipline was intentionally designed to keep you coming back for more?

Benefits of Yoga

Scientists and medical researchers have concluded that regular yoga practitioners experience improved brain function, enhanced immune systems, better sleeping habits, reduced anxiety, and an increased ability to tolerate stress. With all of these proven benefits, it seems living a healthier, happier life is what actually brings people back to their mats. After all, health is wealth.

Here to Stay

Taking all that has been said under consideration, it is fair to say that yoga isn’t going anywhere. Unlike most contemporary crazes, yoga is built on a foundation of wisdom and truth that date back well before the common era. So this so-called fad is no fad at all. Keep calm and practice yoga.
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.

Check: 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

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.

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