Glucagon

What is glucagon?

  • Glucagon is a type of peptide hormone, produced by alpha cells of the pancreas.
  • Crucial function: to maintain stable blood sugar (glucose) level.
  • Glycogenolysis: stimulate the conversion of glycogen stored in the liver to glucose, in order to be released into the bloodstream.
  • Gluconeogenesis: promote the production of glucose from amino acid molecules.
  • It reduces glucose consumption by the liver so that as much glucose as possible can be secreted into the bloodstream to maintain blood glucose levels.

How it works?

  • A process called Glycogenolysis. After 4 – 6 hours of food intake, body’s blood sugar started to decrease, and it stimulates the pancreas to secrete glucagon. Glucagon enables the stored glycogen in muscle and liver convert to glucose, thus releasing to bloodstream as energy.

Why is it important?

  • Glucagon and insulin must linked together whenever either of them is mentioned, it is because both hormones work in balance to regulate blood sugar levels. If the level of one hormone is higher or lower than the ideal range, blood sugar levels may spike or drop.

    Insulin and glucagon help maintain a state called homeostasis in which conditions inside the body remain steady. When blood sugar is too high, the pancreas secretes more insulin. When blood sugar levels drop, the pancreas releases glucagon to raise them.

    This balance helps provide sufficient energy to the cells while preventing the nerve damage that can result from consistently high levels of blood sugar.

There are poses to help balancing the glucagon level in our body:

  1. Sirsasana (Headstand pose)

Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) - Yoga Journal

2. Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) - Yoga Journal3. Bhujangasana( Cobra pose)

Cobra Pose | Ekhart Yoga4. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) - Yoga Journal5. Mayurasana(Peacock asana)

How to do Peacock Pose: Techniques, Benefits, Variations

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is the union of body, mind, soul, and spirit. According to Yoga, people suffer due to the illusion of separation between our individual consciousness from Universal Consciousness or Brahman. The Yoga Sutras are a practical to guide your spiritual journey of remembering that union.

The Yoga Sutras contain a set of observances and practices to guide your spiritual journey. These are known as the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

The 8 Limbs Of Yoga Explained - Yoga Lingo at YOGATEKET

1. Yama: Correct behavior toward others.

  • Nonviolence
  • Truthfulness
  • Not stealing
  • Not wasting energy
  • Abstaining from greed

2. Niyama: The principles by which you should live your own life

  • Purity
  • Contentment
  • Spiritual observances
  • Study
  • Devotion

3. Asana: The seat of consciousness; the yogi’s seat and postures to prepare the body.

4. Pranayama: Expanding the life force through breathing exercises.

5. Pratyahara: Turning the senses inward to explore the inner universe.

6. Dharana: Effortless focused attention; training the mind to meditate.

7. Dhyana: A continuous flow, meditation perfected.

8. Samadhi: Lost or found in the Divine; unity.

The first four yamas prepare the body for the next three, which take you to the doorway of the eighth.

DharanaDhyana, and Samadhi practiced together is known as Sanyama. Settling the mind, having a subtle intention, and releasing it into the field of Infinite Organizing Power gives you knowledge of the laws of nature of an object and Yogic Powers (Siddhis).

The Practice of Samadhi

The practice of Samadhi is only possible when meditation is perfected. Samadhi has several levels:

Savikalpa Samadhi

  • You gain knowledge of physical objects.
  • You have an understanding the abstract nature of things.
  • You move beyond objects until you are only aware of bliss.
  • Only the I-ness remains.

Nirvikalpa Samadhi

  • You become one with the Soul—no mind—only infinite peace and bliss.
  • The heart feels bigger than the universe.

Sahaja Samadhi

  • The constant experience of Nirvikalpa along with daily activity.

Dharma Megha Samadhi

  • The highest Samadhi, the state of Unclouded Truth (Cloud of Virtue)—“All beautiful qualities are there.”
  • All desires, even the desire to know God, have dissolved.
  • All that affects the mind, the causes of suffering, and the bondage of action disappear.

We will all eventually reach the state where Pure Unbounded Consciousness remains forever established in its own Absolute nature.

Chakra System

What is Chakra System?

The Chakra System is a complex network of energy channels connecting these wheels and is mapped throughout the whole body, much like a spiritual nervous system.

When the chakras are activated and in balance, the prana (life force) flows freely and the physical, mental and emotional bodies are in harmony. However, when one or more yoga chakras are out of balance, this can also create disharmony within. Asana practice is an effective way to create equilibrium between all parts of the self and live with clarity, purpose and be aligned with all parts of the self.

There are 7 main and biggest Chakras:

1. Root Chakra (Muladhara)

Introduction: at the base or root, the perineum, this chakra represents grounding, and survival needs like shelter and security, often a good one to focus on if you travel a lot and don’t always have a fixed home or sense of security. Associated with the color red and the spinal column, the kidneys, legs and colon.

Poses: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Garland  Pose (Malasana), Head to Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana), Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

2. Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana)

Introduction: Located by the Sacrum, a large piece of bone at the base of the spine, but above the              coccyx. This chakra represents pleasure, emotional balance and sexuality. Associated with the color orange and the reproductive organs, prostate and bladder.

Poses: Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana), Wide Legged Forward Bend C (Prasarita Padottanasana C), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

3. Navel Chakra (Manipura)

Introduction:Located by the belly button, this chakra represents our willpower and assertion, it is yellow in colour and associated with the pancreas, liver and stomach.

Poses: Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana), Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana), Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana I), Warrior 1 and 2 (Virabhadrasana I and Virabhadrasana II)

4. Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Introduction: Located centrally near the heart, this chakra represents of course, love, unconditional love, acceptance, compassion and intuitiveness. The color is green and the associated organs are the heart, the circulatory system, the arms and hands.

Poses: Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge), High Lunge (with thumbs hooked overhead),Natarajasana (Dancers Pose)

5. Throat Chakra (Vishudha)

Introduction: Located at the throat, this chakra is all about communication, creativity, truth and reliability. The color is blue and the organs associated are the thyroid, hypothalamus, throat and mouth.

Poses: Plow Pose (Halasana), Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), King Pigeon (Kapotasana)

6. Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)

Introduction: Located in the center of the brain, at a cross section found between the eyes and just            above the ears. This chakra represents wisdom, imagination, intuition and an ability to analyse and perceive truth in the world. The color is a deep purple and the associated organs are the pituitary gland, the nose, the ears and the pineal gland.

Poses: Candle Gazing (Trataka), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana), Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing), AUM (Ajna Bija Mantra)

7. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

Introduction: The only chakra to be found outside of the physical body, this is located just above the          crown of the head in what is considered our “spiritual body”. There are less words about this chakra as it is the chakra associated with higher consciousness, pure unconditional live and a state of pure being (beyond words!). There are no physical organs associated, but it is associated with vitalizing the upper brain, and the color is a light purple or indigo, or white.

Poses: Headstand (Sirsasana), Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Intentional Silence (Mauna), Selfless Service (Seva)

This is a very brief overview of what is an extremely complex subject, but we can start to see from our own lives, ailments, habits and potential blockages where we may need some work to balance out those chakras and bring more clarity to our lives. All yoga practices, including the physical postures, breathing techniques as well as chanting, and of course, meditation are methods of cleaning and balancing the Chakra System.

Is Yoga a Religion?

When I first started my 200 hours Yoga Instructor course, someone told me there’s a saying from her religion that meditation could create a space for demon to invade us cause we are in an empty mind during meditation. I was confused and dissapointed that why people always create arguments whenever there is something becoming popular? I love to be free on my mind as well as my physical body, putting religion into everything is just too restricting.

Sadhguru did answered “Is Yoga a Religion?” in his speech, I’d like to share it here:

What religion you belong to has nothing to do with your ability to make use of the yogic systems, because yoga  is a technology. Technology does not make any distinction as to what you believe in and what you do not believe in. What you may believe in or not is purely a psychological process – it has got nothing to do with making use of a technology.

Yoga is Hindu just the way gravity is Christian. Just because the law of gravity was propounded by Isaac Newton, who lived in a Christian culture, does it make gravity Christian? Yoga is a technology. Anybody who is willing to make use of it can make use of it. It is ridiculous to even think that there could be a religious tinge to yoga.

The spiritual process and the technology of yoga predates all religion. Before human beings started thinking of forming religious groups to fracture humanity in a way that you can’t fix them, the idea that a human being can evolve himself came from Shiva, the Adiyogi.

I started practising because of enjoying it, it brings me peace of mind and physical improvement. With guidance of technique from Trisula Yoga I could see significant of improvement, that’s why I’m becoming more dedicated to it.

The reason of making this as one of my blogposts is simply because I hope to clarify the nature of Yoga. If your body and mind becoming more healthy after practising Yoga, just go for it; Conversely, just stop it.