Sirsasana

This asana is often referred to as the King of Asana.  Since this pose is an inversion, it is deeply restorative to the nervous system and can be really grounding.  It strengthen the vertebral, legs, arms and lungs.  It is not about holding anything too tight instead it is about coming into a place of deep relaxation, gentleness and playfulness.

There are so many benefits of headstands are :-

  • calms the mind
  • stimulate the pituitary and pineal glands which are so import.
  • Alleviates stress and depression
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • Strengthen the upper body, spine and core
  • Enhance lung capacity
  • Stimulate and strengthen abdominal organs
  • Boost digestion
  • Prevent headache

However, this asana is not for everyone.  Avoid this if you have:-

  • Neck, shoulder or back concerns
  • Osteoporosis
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart condition

Women who are pregnant or menstruating should avoid inversions since it reduces the downward flow in the body, disrupting the natural oflow of menstruation.

Starting to learn to Relax

Most of us find it very challenging to relax. We often think that being busy and completing tasks efficiently is the path that leads us simply take time to vegetate on the sofa or the TV.

Even when we are supposed to be chilling out, we are fiddling, tapping on laptops or competing for attention on social media, we fidget, smoke, drink and our minds rarely turn off and this leads to stress anxiety and often sleeping issues.

Many people are afraid that complementing or reducing these habits with Yoga will be too strenuous and too challenging especially when they see athletic goddesses perform in a class or a screen.

Keep it simple – start with the basics and build slowly. It’s not about what you look like at the beginning but its how you feel at the end. When you feel better about yourself there is far less of a challenge to relax.

Yoga and Diet

Yoga may give you a toned physique and strong core but to achieve the optimal health, what you eat plays a major part on your well being.  It’s not just eating the right kind of food, it is vital to eat the proper quantity at the right time.  Over eating leads to lethargy while under eating may not provide enough nourishment and will lead eventually to other complications.

The yogic diet recommends eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole unprocessed food because they are full of nutritions and easy to digest. These are known as Sattvic foods.

Consuming plant based whole food is foundational for nourishing all systems in our body.  Studies have supported that plant based food or vegetarian styles of eating promote a healthier gut microbiomes.   Introduce enough fibres into your regular diet will assist to regular bowel movements.

Low Glycemic Index (GI) food such as whole grains and legumes will fuel your body with energy for longer because they are nutrient dense unlike carbs like rice, potatoes and pasta.  Consuming food high in carbohydrates during the day will make us tired.

Getting the balance right will compliment your physical and mental yogic training and achieve optimal effects for the individual.

The Road Ahead

My journey to yoga has been a relatively recent affair. I have always been an active person and enjoyed sports that gave me an adrenaline rush. When I was young, I was a very active swimmer, I would get up early in the morning and dedicate myself to my sport which made me physically fit and I wasquite mentally strong. As I grew older, however, my interest’s hobbies and social interactions changed – I got married settle down and had two children.

After several years of raising children, doing slightly less exercise and eating and drinking very liberally, I was not entirely happy with my physical and mental shape. When the children were small I became a swimming instructor which meant I could focus on a sport that I loved and combine this with passing on the knowledge which I attained studying to be a swimming instructor. Even then I found that’s my usual state was one of tension both physically and mentally and I was always tired and irritable. With hindsight the most interesting thing about being in this state is that you don’t really appreciate what is going on until you hit a roadblock and create a desire to change.

The passing of my father was that roadblock and it allowed me to reflect on my relationships, my physical state as well as my mental health. It is difficult to pinpoint sometimes when you are unhappy with something. I still would not reflect on that moment and think I was depressed or particularly a little overweight but I do know that once I started to get some sort of semblance of where I was, then I knew that I could achieve a balance which would involve a change in lifestyle which was primarily driven by what I put into my body and what I did with my body.

This is not any easy balance to achieve when you reach a certain age, when you are used to a certain lifestyle and when you spend a large part of your life between homes and family around the world. However now that my children have grown up, I needed a vocation that would enable me firstly to do my physical exercise virtually anywhere I was in the world and secondly that would complement a more balanced diet. What’s this journey started slowly and was really driven by hours ofvideos on YouTube and a few Yoga classes. During the last 18 months of lockdowns, it was no substitute for professional classes with good social interaction. Now having a more balanced outlook, I decided that I would combine what I had recently come to love in yoga with the love to teach especially to children and young adults. I am looking forward to the road ahead.