Archive for October 2011
Asana is a Sanskrit word which also refers to posture. Literally, it means “seat”. At first, Asana provided the secure postures that help an individual in attaining a lengthy meditation. As one of classical Yoga’s eight limbs, it is said to be that postures should be in a state of relaxed, comfortable, steady and yet firm.
Some people think that Asana is just about stretching the muscles but more than that it opens the chakras (energy channels) of the body. The body is strengthened and purified while the mind is controlled and focused as one performs the Asana. This is why it is important that one breathes deeply and slowly in holding Asana to enable a good stretch without being strained or in pain.
Yoga poses or Asana consists of basic postures which includes Seated, Twisted, Inversions, Balancing, Forward/Backward/Side Bending, Core strengthening, Hip Opening, Prone, Standing and Supine. From these basic Yoga postures, there have other sub-categories. Let us take a look at the different Yoga postures and the other poses under each basic posture.
Seated Yoga Poses –These poses are more suited for beginners as it can be adjusted to any flexibility and level of strength. It also focuses more on an individual’s flexibility more than the strength and it is energetically grounding compared to other basic type of yoga poses.
|Basic Level||Beginner’s Level|
|Accomplished (Siddhasana)Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana)Cat Tilt (Marjarjasana)Child (Blasana)Dog Tilt (Syanasana)
Extended Dognose (Uthita Syanasana)
Half Prayer Twist (Ardha Namaskar Parsvakonasana)
High Lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
Low Warrior (Ardha Yirabhadrasana I)
One Leg Boat (Eka Pada Nayasana)
Belly Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
Knee Down Twist (Sunta Matsyendrasana)
Threading the Needle (Sucirandhrasana)
|Balancing Bound Angle (Dandayamna baddha konasana)Balancing Table (Paripurna Navasana)Boat (Catuspadapitham)Crab (Ardha Pincha)Dolphin (Mayurasana)
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)
Downward Facing Frog (Adho Mukha Mandukasana)
Extended Legsquat (Parighasana)
Half Camel (Ardha Ustrasana)
Half Circle (Ardha Mandalasana)
Halflord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Half Pyramid (Ardha Parsvottanasana)
Half Upright Seated Angle (Ardha Urdhva Upavishta Konasana)
One Handed Tiger (Eka Hasta Vyaghrasana)
Tiptoe Pose (Prapadasana)
|Intermediate Level||Advanced Level|
|Camel (Ustrasana)Cow face (Gomukhasana)Crane (Bakasana)Firelog (Agnistambhasana)Flowering Lotus
Halflord of the fishes (Ardha matsyendrasana)
Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana)
Headstand Prep (Ardha Shirshasana)
Inclined Plane (Purvottanasana)
Low Plank (Ardha Phalakasana)
One Leg Downward Facing Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Revolved Side Angle (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
|Full Lotus (Padmasana)|
Inversions Yoga Poses
|Beginner Level||Intermediate Level|
|Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)Half Shoulder Stand (Ardha Sarvangasana)||Headstand Prep (Ardha Shirshasana)Plow (Halasana)|
Balancing Yoga Poses - These poses focuses more on the individual’s ability to balance by also enhancing the mind control and focus.
|Basic Level||Beginner Level|
|Tree (Vrikshasana)||Balancing Bound Angle (Dandayamna Baddha Konasana)Half Upright Seated Angle (Ardha Urdhva Upavishta Konasana )Shiva Twist (Parivrtta Natarajasana)tiptoe pose prapadasana|
|Intermediate Level||Advance Level|
|Crane (Bakasana)Dancer (Natarajasana)Eagle (Garudasana)Extended Hand to Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
Revolved Half Moon (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana)
Upright Seated Angle (Urdhva Upavishta Konasana)
Warrior III (virabhadrasana III)
Strengthening Yoga Poses
|Basis Level||Beginner Level|
|Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)One Leg Boat (Eka Pada navasana)||Balancing TableBoat (Paripurna navasana)Plank (Phalakasana)|
|Intermediate Level||Advance Level|
|Crane (Bakasana)inclined plane (purvottanasana)low plank (ardha Phalakasana)|
Back Bending Yoga
|Basic Level||Beginner Level|
|Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)Dog tilt (Svanasana)
Extended Dog (Utthita Svanasana)
|Chair (Utkatasana)Cobra (Bhujangasana)
|Intermediate Level||Advance Level|
|Bow (Dhanurasana)Camel (Ustrasana)|
Forward Bending Poses
|Cat Tilt (Marjariasana)Child (Balasana)
Seated Yoga Seal (Upavistha Yoga Mudra)
|Half Pyramid (Ardha Parsvottanasana)Pyramid (Parsvottanasana)|
|Half-bound Lotus Forward Fold (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana)|
Yoga beginners and enthusiasts alike, one would often hear Sanskrit words, or phrases that sometimes seem like out of this world. Many people are still not familiar with Sanskrit and they do not understand what it is, and its relevance to Yoga.
What is Sanskrit?
Sanskrit is considered to be the very origin and the oldest language recognized by man. It is said to be where all languages have evolved or arisen. In fact, Sanskrit was the language used in the earliest accepted scriptures of the human race or the “Vedas”. The Indians firmly believed that during the Vedic period (about 6,000 to 8,000 years ago) the Devas or the God’s language is Sanskrit and so it was also recognized as the Divine speech or as the “Daivi Vak”.
The language became more apparent in the 7th century BC. It is during this time when Panini, the great grammarian, systematized this language with his grammar and from then on it was referred to as “Samskritam”. Popular and important numerous classic literatures on philosophical, spiritual, cultural and scientific texts (including physical sciences, astronomy, architecture, astrology, and medicine) used the Sanskrit language as their means of expressing, sharing and recording their views, thoughts and ideas.
The Significance of the Sanskrit language
Quantum physics explained to us that any object or phenomena consists of vibration that has its own composite or unique patterns. As such, it is assumed that the Universe’s vibration is where the Sanskrit language originated from. Each Sanskrit word has its own inherent sound. If an individual’s mind is free from anything and is utterly pure then it can replicate the exact figure or object’s image when they hear the Sanskrit word. The same thing happens when the Sanskrit word is pronounced perfectly, the occurrence has the power or influence to manifest the particular image or object in one’s mind. It is for this reason that the Sanskrit language was referred to as the perfect language.
This is why you would often hear a chanting of the mantra and during the Vedic era it was regularly practiced because it is the core of the Sanskrit language. However today there are only a handful of people who are not aware of the essence of perfectly enunciating the Sanskrit words. Moreover there is lesser number of individuals who keep a pure mind. At this rate, most people are experiencing a hard time creating the images in their mind.
Yoga and Sanskrit
Yoga is all about joining and creating a harmonious relationship between the body and mind together for a healthy and balanced state of being. Yoga has become a philosophy and spiritual approach to anyone who wants and needs self-contentment and pure blissfulness. As Yoga became to be popular in the modern Western world, the Sanskrit language became less and less visible or known. People who are in Yoga today are not even aware of the Sanskrit language’s underlying power which has led to lack of understanding. So to re-educate everyone, it would be important to at least know the basic Sanskrit Yoga words:
Asanas – This word refers to a series of poses or postures designed to groom the mind and body for meditation
Chakra – This refers to a person’s sacred energy-centers. There are seven energy-centers in an individual’s body where vital energy is stored and released
Namaste – This is an Indian traditional greeting which and expresses respect and honor the divine presence in the individual they are greeting
Pranayama – Refers to the breath control and exercises fundamental to Yoga
Yogi – Signifies a person who is proficient, mastered the practices, and teaches Yoga
If it is a good thing to be rich, then we should make others rich, but we can only do that if we give others a portion of ourselves. The master Baba Sawan Singh started out by giving 1/10th, eventually started giving everything to his master, named Baba Jaimal Singh. Baba Jaimal Singh would always return something for the family to live off. Baba Sawan Sighn just simply laid everything at the feet of his master, and in return, the master made sure that he had enough to take care of his family. Our master Baba Sawan Singh always said that it was a good thing to give that 1/10th of what you have. In order to do this, you must keep careful accounting of your expenses, and you will find that things always work out. The return is well worth it, because the more that you give, the more that you will receive.
Christ himself said, “If ye want to enter the Kingdom of God, and then sell everything that you have.” This is the ultimate example of giving up everything to your master. Man should learn to earn honest livelihoods, and then share that with others. You should not stagnate, because stagnation will cause you to feel horrible inside. If you want to have self-service in a spiritual way, then you must earn an honest living and share it with others. Start out simply, with whatever you can afford to give, until you can work up to giving everything for God. This has been what has happened since the beginning of time, ever since Abraham, who gave 1/10th of his valuables.
There are two ways to provide self-service. The first way is through selfless service. If someone is sick, go and serve them. The thought of the Masters has always been to take the help the poor and the needy and raise them up to the level of any other man. If we do that, then everyone would begin to do it, and then there would no longer be poor and hungry in the world. Why are there poor and needy in the world? Because we don’t share. When we share with others, our self expands. When you give, you feel joy inside. That is the reward for sharing. However, don’t give with the hope or expectation that there will be a return. Give purely for the sake of sharing with others. Be selfless. Sometimes, the reward that we get for sharing is to get into heaven. Right now, we feed our children richly, while the children of our neighbors die of starvation. This is not the right way.
From the book, “Morning Talks,” by Sant Kirpal Singh
Every year, Lululemon Athetlica, organizes a program called “Salutation Nation.” As part of this program, thousand of communities of yogis worldwide come together to practice as one. The Tuscaloosa yoga community joined them for the first time. Over 30 people splayed out on their mats, in complete silence in savasana, – corpse pose- at the UA recreation Center at 9:54 p.m. on Saturday Sept 12.
The purpose of the event was to observe National Yoga Month, created by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. September is the Month for National Yoga.
During the event, Jess Smith – senior year in communicative disorders, – Lead the University’s Salutation nation proceedings. “We are doing karmic yoga, which is all about sending out good intentions.” She also said the main purpose of the event ws to promote positive feelings and sense of unity. Smith instructed the group to slow down and breathe 4 times during the practice, as she reminded them to envisage their gratitude within as well as globally.
Another participant also felt the good vibe:
“It was neat to know that we were doing yoga at the same time as people all over the world,” said Diana Jones, a yoga instructor at the Recreation Center.
Lynn Andrews, a resident at Tuscaloosa, was a bit worried of the event being turned into an advertisement gimmick from Lululemon but at the end felt satisfied to see a balance between the amount of marketing and yoga.
Another resident from Tuscaloosa, Cathy Elliot said. “It was a different feel to doing yoga outside.”
Smith said, “Most people start yoga for the physical aspect,” she said, “but they usually find that they can’t help but take it off the mat and apply the benefits to the rest of their life. They keep coming back for the mental and emotional benefits that yoga promotes.”
To end the Tuscaloosa first session of Salutation Nation by encouraging everyone to take “gratitude off the mat and into the rest of the day.” She is one of the yoga instructors with 200-hour yoga teacher training. Like her, you too could be a yoga trainer! Join us at Yandara for your trainning and a beautiful retreat.
Physical life is a series of breaths. Natural humans breathe correctly. Civilized humans have become programmed with improper methods and attitudes of sitting, standing, and walking, which have robbed them of their birthright of natural and correct breathing. This lack of complete breathing has always been a contributing factor in disease. Air contains more than oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen; it also carries what we can refer to as the Life Force. The Life Force is linked closely to and has electric, magnetic, and gravitic properties. Correct application of this is said to treat disease, fear, worry, and the baser emotions.
We are oxygen-based life forms. We thrive in oxygen. You, me, them, it, and all the bodies, animals, and plants have spent Eons evolving while surrounded by, and swimming in, a sea of oxygen which is itself swimming in a sea of magnetic/gravitic particles of sunlight energy. Oxygen stores the sun’s energy so that all life can feed off of it. Even anaerobes (life forms that do not use oxygen) require oxygen using life forms to live in or around, because oxygen carries the energy of life itself. Prana, Chi, Ki, and Bions are all names for the Life Force stored in Oxygen. ‘Pneuma’ as in air, is ancient text for ‘Soul.’ Ozone, from the Greek, is a form of oxygen so important that the translation means, ‘The Breath of God.’
Oxygen from the air comes in contact with the impure blood in our lungs. Here a form of combustion takes place where the blood takes up oxygen and releases carbonic acid gas generated from the waste products and poisonous matter gathered up by the blood flowing through all parts of the system. The blood is then purified and oxygenated, carried back to the heart, and again becomes rich, bright red, and loaded with life giving qualities and properties.
Anoxia literally means: ‘A lack of oxygen.’ Society has created a world full of anoxia, and that is the problem we are facing on an international scale. Through industrialization and pollution based on ego and greed, we have destroyed the natural balance of Nature. We’ve lowered the amount of fresh oxygen normally found in our environment. We need this oxygen back to help us flourish and maintain good health.
The simplest solution can be found in conscious complete breathing. Nostril breathing is far superior to mouth breathing. Our nostrils are an important filtering and staining system, purifying the air that reaches our delicate organs. Breathing can be classified four ways.
1. High in the lungs (collarbone), requiring the most expenditure of energy and the least benefit; it is practiced unconsciously by most of us.
2. Mid-lung (ribs).
3. Low in the lungs (deep).
4. Complete breath, effortlessly pulling down the diaphragm and filling the body with oxygen from bottom to top.
The complete breath contains all the best of the other three, with their shortcomings eliminated. It must be performed with total relaxation. You can learn this easiest while lying down, and after practicing it can be done when sitting, standing, and then all the time. Usually when we take a deep breath we fill the upper part of our lungs, then the middle, then try and force more air in deeper. The complete breath is performed in the opposite order-from the bottom up-and without force, and breathing only through the nose.
The consciousness explorers expand upon this exercise to induce a state where they imagine themselves as part of giving and receiving love to and from everything. But for beginners it is enough to use this to increase our cellular oxygenation. The average person has a lung capacity of 250cc, but with a few weeks of daily practice it is possible to double this. The yogis sate that when the capacity reaches 750cc the intuitional powers develop more fully.
We are truly wondrous creations.
In September 2, Reuters Health published and articles that talk about yoga classes being helpful to those patients with type 2 diabetes. According Diabetes Care journal, yoga keeps the sugar levels where it is safe and helps with weight loss.
The study was conducted in 123 senior citizens and middle age patients. The result of the study showed that those patients who added yoga to their ongoing workout, were able to loose a few pounds and their sugar levels were steady over three months. On the other hand, those who didn’t join any yoga classes had their sugar levels going up.
The result didn’t in any way suggest that yoga should be a replacement to any other form of exercise since diabetes type 2 is often associated with obesity and high impact workouts work better, says Shareelaxmi V. Hedge from Srinivas Institute of Medical Science nd Research Center in Mangalore, India.
From 123 participants, 60 took yoga classes throughout the week. The average BMI — a measure of weight in relation to height — declined from 25.9 to 25.4. A BMI between 25 and 30 is considered overweight. Another positive aspect of yoga practices is that the oxidative stress declined in the yoga group.
Oxidative stress is a definition used for levels of free radicals or oxygen species that damage byproducts of energy use in cells. Long-term oxidative stress is believed to contribute to a host of chronic diseases.
During the study, the participants’ blood levels of certain chemicals showed oxidative stress. Hegde’s team found that, on average, the yoga group is dipped by 20%.
According to Hedge, if the decline in oxidative stress were kept through time, diabetes complications would be less. It means less damage to the blood vessels of the eyes, and less kidney and heart disease. Still, more long-term studies will be needed to verify whether this theory holds true or not.
With this in mind, many couples interested in regaining their spark by having quality time together, have turned to Tantric yoga. Many tend to think that the main purpose of this type of yoga is sex. However that’s not the only reason, like any other type of yoga it helps with flexibility and mental health, while helping with your relationship.
While practicing tantric yoga, the bodies and minds of the lovers weave together while the couple focuses on each one of the postures by becoming one with one another. Tantra means to weave or to interlock; “Tantra” is a term often used to make reference to sex.
In the case of “tantric yoga” it means to become one, the goal is to unify with your lover. Both bodies are celebrated as well the sexuality of the couple but without focusing on sex.
As a couple you will learn to stretch together, become more flexible over time and you will bond as a couple at a deeper level. Soon, without much effort, action in the bedroom is also spiced up! This is yet another result from feeling better withing yourselves and to listen to each other’s bodies.
… Just remember though, Tantra is not about sex. Is about the journey and not the destination…
There’s more hotel chains ready to deliver any type of workout and meditation equipment – one of them yoga videos.- as a way to make their guests feel at home, while distressing for that business conference they may be attending to.
“Probably fitness equipment is the biggest request we get from guests,” said Vivian A. Deuschl of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “It’s the biggest preoccupation of business travelers besides getting their work done, so we try to make fitness available on any basis they ask for.”
In-room fitness options aren’t limited to Pilates DVDs and yoga mats, although both are in high demand at most of the company’s 78 hotels worldwide, according to Deuschl. “We do folding treadmills and folding recumbent bikes,” she explained. “The only things we can’t bring to the rooms are heavy weights.”
As their guests are making more requests for fitness and meditation equipment, more hotels are joining the initiative of Ritz-Carlton Hotel. While it is great marketing idea for hotels across country to make themselves more flexible to their guests’ request, this is of great benefit to that stressed out business man, or that that casual guest that feels the best way to relax after visiting a new town is to do a session of yoga, or Pilates.
Now you know you can call the hotel you will be staying at and ask if they have yoga mat ready for you! In some hotels, there are even personal trainers, which we think may also be a good and new industry to belong to. Be a yoga teacher for a hotel maybe the call for you. Imagine being able to share such a wonderful practice that promotes great health management principles, while having the pleasure of meeting people from different places of the world, if you are ready to become a yoga teacher: visit us!
At Yandara Yoga Institute we instruct those interested in becoming yoga teachers to be versatile and open minded to the many misconceptions existent around yoga. Come and learn with us! how to be a yoga teacher, whether you are interested in teaching men only, or a group of men and women. We are sure you will enjoy our retreat right by the sea.
Yoga offers the same benefits to children that it offers to adults: the gain of flexibility, self-confidence and, the channeling of emotions. Children, have the ability of picking difficult poses faster than the average adult practicing yoga.
Children often do not know how to express what they are feeling; yoga helps with the stress experience by the young people in such as fast world we live in. Busy parents, various extracurricular activities, communication tools they are exposed to like the Internet, emails, and social networks. Constantly rushing a child through life can have a negative effect on the child.
Yoga creates a state of consciousness of the body, calmness while increasing the flexibility and relaxation. Children play and exercise, connecting deeply with their inner self and developing an intimate relationship with the natural world around them.
“Those who practice yoga faithfully experience new found strength, flexibility and peace of body, mind and soul. It is our sincere intention to see you achieve similar results and we are here to help you in any way that we can.”
- Eight Stones Yoga
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogrolls, yoga means to join – to obtain the union with the divine, universal intelligence, God – whichever concept you are more comfortable with-. Whether you believe in the existence of a “God” or not, -for the purpose of this blog- lets allow the possibility of “god” or a “higher power” to exist in you. Once you begin to practice yoga devotedly, the goal can be achieve by anyone.
At the time yoga was developed, yogis lived very close to nature and used animas as well as plants as part of their inspiration and we can see it in some of the poses: the grace of a swan, the sting of the Scorpio…
While teaching children, the instructor needs to remain open minded to the idea that some adjustments may have to be done to his/her routine. If you are looking into becoming a yoga teacher, visit us at Yandara Yoga Institute.