Silence Is The Sound Of Sahasrara

Sahasrara, a funny sounding word to a Sanskrit-foreigner. difficult to remember, fun to attempt to pronounce, and satisfying to let the syllables roll off your tongue. the concept is similar. “funny sounding” to a non-believer (of “divine consciousness”), “fun” to attempt to experience to experience from within, to the higher consciousness, and PROBABLY satisfying if you could attain balance of the Sahasrara – i mean, i am guessing but being connected to the everything and nothing, being conscious and “unconscious” (detached) to all – sounds like the ultimate peace, like you have beat the final boss in a video game (called life?).

what is silence to me?

channel 1: phasing out all senses (esp. of audio, visual, and smell) around and in me into a messy harmony (or destruction) of sounds and sights

how? by recognizing the existence of that presence, and then simply acknowledging it.

moods that would let me channel such silence:

  • when i am feeling neutral and driven and am able to concentrate at my center – nothing matters more than my current being
  • when i am feeling relaxed and at peace, that everything is ok
  • when i am feeling outta outta sorts due to lack of mental/ physical energy, or overdrive of mental energy (i.e. super pissed/ upset!), and cannot concentrate on a single instance of something

channel 2: filtering out all senses around me

how? by forcefully shutting everyone and everything out.

moods that would let me channel such silence:

  • when i am feeling defensive, angry, and close-minded
  • when i wallow in self-pity, feeling depressed and low, like nothing will ever be ok
  • when i feel defeated and hopeless, like everything is pointless
the parallels in everything we do, including asana practice/ ashtanga sutra, is mad.

 

next is a very lame series of text i would love to called poem –

Title: understand, experience, be

in control vs state of controlling (effort vs effortlessness)

acknowledging vs shutting out (phasing vs filtering (of senses))

attachment vs detachment (of everything-ness and nothingness)

them growing pains; one day we shall

reach without trying to reach

 ’nuff said.

 

Inspired and thankful

What is a good yoga lesson? To some, it is a good workout or physical challenge. To others, a good stretch or rest for the mind. Whichever the case may be, a good lesson is often seamless. It flows through the pranayamas, warm-ups, asanas to the peak pose (optional) without your realization. A good teacher guides you from asanas to asanas, section to section, breath to breath with smooth and continuous instructions. Alignment variations and physical adjustments are inserted in between with little disruptions.

I have always thought that being an experienced student would equate to being a good instructor. Of cos, I have done it hundreds of time, I can just draw from memory and repeat the instructions if i wanted to! I have severely underestimated the work put into each lesson plan.

When writing our own lesson plans, my classmates and I churned out scripts. Yes, scripts of instructions! Detailing breath intake, alignment, and adjustment ques, muscle benefits, much like a screenplay complete with “exit stage left or stage right”. The plan must also be balanced in terms of working the muscles equally and also within the required duration. Then, you have to memorize the script and deliver that in a class of live students, whilst demonstrating the asanas to the best of your abilities. I have not gone into mirror movements yet!

Now I am thankful. Thankful for all the teachers that piqued my interest in yoga with their amazing lesson plans. Thankful for the effort and time that you have devoted to the plans, and in turn your students. I hope my lesson plans will do the same too.

 

It’s a dog eat dog corporate world out there. With Covid-19, job security is at stake and stress is at an all-time high. This post will teach you to shine in front of your boss and also release some muscle stress at work.

First volunteer for your boss’s latest useless side project. What better way to catch his attention than to extend your arms up like the star employee you are.

Additional benefits – eccentrically contracting your latissimus dorsi, teres minor/ major, and releasing them from the hunched posture you probably have.

Next, abduct your arms to the side facing your work buddy to saboh them to volunteer with you. Avoid their murderous eye contact by gazing at your elbow. Remember to abduct both left and right arms to arrow enough people to form a team.

More benefits – same as above and also additional release for the obliques with the gentle twist.

Realize that your colleagues are all going on leave! Silently cry into your flexed knees as now, you not only have to do the boss’s project but also cover their work.

Feel better as you eccentrically contract your gluteus muscles, bicep femoris and rectus spinae.

Finally, surrender and steal a nap by drawing your belly to your thighs. Sink deeper with each exhalation and relax. Tomorrow is a better day.

Namaste 

Yoga is nourishment, not consumes it.

Yoga is nourishment, not consumes it.
In the past, when the word exercise was mentioned, people would instinctively fear and refuse, afraid of sweating and sports injury, refusing to exercise after the feeling of exhaustion.
Yoga is different, yoga is a sport, but higher than exercise
From the yoga class form can easily see, other sports are just the exercise itself, like if you want to run, you just stretch and run, like swimming, change your swimsuit and get in the water.
Yoga is different. A 60-minute yoga class includes:
-10 minutes of meditation
-10 minutes of warm-up
-30 minutes of asana
-10 minutes of relaxation
This is also in line with the Yoga Sutra in the introduction of the 8 lotus, the spirit of yoga contains:
-Observing precepts;
-Intensive
-Postures
-Regulating Breath
-System and Feeling
-Concentration
-Meditation
-Mental State
Not just asana or meditation or any other.
This process is both a process of exercise and a process of inner practice, so compared to other sports that only consume physical energy, yoga is to restore physical fitness.
Yoga brings us physical recovery.
After practice, we feel relaxed. Other sports require physical exertion and exhaustion.

The importance of Thoracic Spine for back bending asanas

For the first practical lesson of my YTT journey, while I was doing the first round of Surya Namaskar A, Master Pram commented that my lumbar spine is very flexible which there are good and bad advantages for it. And then I found out that I have been engaging the wrong spine/back muscles for the asanas and especially in back bending asanas even though I have been practicing yoga on and off for a couple of years.

During Back bending asanas, I will be engaging my lumbar spine the most and not my thoracic spine. Sure, it always looks nice and flexible to have the arch but then again, I have never liked back bending due to the amount of pressure I have on my lower back. And after coming out of the pose, my lower back will be feeling extremely aching. And even if I were to do the asanas that will help to relieve the aching, I will still be feeling a little aching. So little did I know I am actually weakening my lumbar spine every time I am compressing it and jamming it.
So below are some of the basic and easy asanas/exercises that will help you to stretch, open up and activate your thoracic spine before we get into the back bending asanas.
Baby Cobra
1. Lay down on your belly and feet flat on the ground
2. Inhale, place your palms (fingers facing forward) beside the side of your chest and elbows internally rotate towards your midline
3. Exhale, draw your shoulder blades, engage your core and rhomboids
4. Inhale, keep your shoulders away from your ears, extend your chest and head up while using light pressure push on your hands.
5. Stay here for a couple of breaths
6. Last inhale to extend up higher
6. Exhale, gently lower down and rest your chin or forehead back on the floor or mat
7. Repeat the same for a couple of rounds with the option of lifting the hands away from the floor as well
Sphinx Pose
1. Lay down on your belly and feet flat on the ground
2. Inhale, place your elbows and internally rotate towards your midline. Hands and fingers will automatically be facing forward.
3. Exhale, draw your shoulder blades, engage your core and rhomboids
4. Inhale, keep your shoulders away from your ears, extend your chest and head up while using light pressure push on your elbows.
5. Stay here for a couple of breaths
6. Last inhale to extend up higher
6. Exhale, gently lower down and rest your chin or forehead back on the floor or mat
7. Repeat the same for a couple of rounds with the option of lifting the hands away from the floor as well
Kneeling Thoracic Spine Twist
1. In a table top position, ensure that your wrists are in-line with your shoulders and knees are in-line with your hips
2. Inhale, Abduct your right hand out and laterally rotate your rotator calf up while engaging your rhomboids
3. Exhale, medially rotate your rotator calf down and adduct your right hand back to the center
4. Do this for a couple of times and repeat the same on the other side
Wall Slides
1. Lean your back against the wall with your feet a few inches away from wall
2. Slightly flex your knee and press your whole back against the wall. Make sure there is no arch or hole on the lower back and head is still relaxed
3. Inhale, flex your elbows and lean against the wall right, in-line with your shoulders
4. Exhale, slide your elbows down towards your midline
5. Inhale, slide your elbows halfway up but not into a straight hands
6. Ensure that you are always engaging your core and rhomboids
Cat Cow against the wall
1. Standing facing a wall, about one foot away and placed your palms on the wall around the same height as your chest
2. Exhale, walk backward, flex your hips and fold into a L shape. You may adjust the placement of your palms in order to be in-line with your shoulders and pelvis is in a neutral position
3. Inhale, extend your spine
4. Exhale, flex your spine
5. Do this for a couple of times

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.

Stiff young man

Stiff young man

Recently found that many young people, although white meat tender and healthy, but the body is very stiff, there is no muscle strength.

The reason is simple
We can’t control our mouth and lack of training
While the body is stiff at the same time
It can also affect peoples moods and brains
Causes people to react more slowly
The body is slowly being old

Physical stiffness is actually a disease, look at its 6 great dangers

1, the body is prone to pain
As we all know, if long time sitting, look at mobile phones, incorrect posture, very easy to lead to head tilt, round shoulder hunchback, cervical vertebral disease, lumbar muscle strain, lumbar disc protrusion and other diseases, and these problems lead to chronic pain will seriously affect our quality of life.

2, slow blood circulation, low immunity
The body stiffens, the blood circulation in this area will naturally slow down, the body will become cold, and the blood circulation will be slow, the body immunity will slowly be affected, become worse.

3, more likely to be afraid of cold
As we all know, the body calories come not only from food, but also from the body muscles. If the muscles become stiff, blood flow slows down, the heat will naturally become less, the body stiff people will be more afraid of cold in winter.

4, more emotional
As we all know, emotions and stress can also be backlogged in the body, such as physical stiffness and stress, people often have shoulder and neck pain. If these emotional stresses are not excreted in an appropriate way, they can lead to mood swings, and emotional characteristics are more pronounced if chronic pain problems occur at the same time.

5, more prone to injury
People who are physically stiff and inflexible are more likely to be injured when faced with unexpected situations in exercise or daily life.

6, easy to fatigue
If the body is stiff, the muscles are not elastic, and there is no strength, then it is inevitable that it will not be able to maintain the normal operation of the body for a long time, prone to fatigue.

If  you don’t want to stay old and get stiffer and worse, start practicing yoga, stretch your body, and build muscle. We can’t resist aging, but we can get older, be comfortable and stay away from pain. YOGA can help you.

Six anti-insomnia yoga poses

Six anti-insomnia yoga poses, let you sleep until dawn.

Studies have shown that insomniacs are prone to anxiety, diabetes, depression and congestive heart failure. Also accompanied by other symptoms, such as: listlessness, easy fatigue, can not concentrate, emotional fluctuations, serious impact on work and study. In addition, if you don’t sleep well for a long time, the aging rate will be accelerated; Because the body cells can only repair and remove toxins when they sleep. Normal sleep requirements are six to eight hours of sleep a day. If you cant get enough sleep because of insomnia, practice yoga.

Why do you recommend yoga instead of other forms of exercise? its because when you practice yoga, Our body and mind, breath and every part of the body are all connected together. You can feel the tension in the body area when you are fixed in a pose, Yoga stretching has a very good calming effect, which helps us to get rid of insomnia or bad sleep habits, in addition to reducing stress, help to relax.

Asana 1: Forward Bend
This pose requires the upper body to bend forward, giving the back muscles a good stretch. Helps stimulate the nervous system and increases blood supply. To soften the spine, promote blood circulation, and stretch all parts of the body, forward flexion is very helpful in fighting insomnia.

Asana 2: Cat Arched Back
This is another spinal bending asana practice. Often called Cat Arched Back Pose, regulate digestion, massage abdominal organs, improve blood circulation and relax the brain. As a result, it helps to improve sleep conditions and ultimately get rid of insomnia.

Asana 3: Butterfly Pose
This pose stretches the knees, groins and inner thighs well, Its great for relaxing your body, helping you to get rid of tiredness caused by walking or standing for a long time, allowing you to really relax and sleep better at night.

Asana 4: Falling Arrow Against the Wall
This pose is a great way to eliminate fatigue in the hips and back, and deliver fresh blood and nutrients to the brain. Calms the mind, relieves headaches and helps to get to sleep faster and better.

Asana 5: Baby Pose
This is one of the best yoga poses for insomnia. The posture is like the posture of an unborn baby in the womb, hence the name, to fully stretch the back, relax the muscles, help soothe the nervous system and improve sleep quality.

Asana 6: Savasana
This pose is a must practice at the end of each yoga class. It relaxes all systems of the body. If you want to get rid of insomnia, you can also try yoga nidra, the effect is good. You can also add Pranayama to this pose to relieve tension, relax muscles and body and mind.

No matter how hard you try to hypnotize yourself during the night, you cant sleep, its crazy, and the more you struggle with it, the more you cant sleep. So relax, don’t be anxious, try to develop the habit of letting your brain and body fall asleep at a specific time. Let yoga help you get back on track, help you relax, reduce stress, and get rid of insomnia symptoms.

Yoga to Relieve Menstrual Cramp

It’s that time of the month that all females dread. The mood swings, hormonal acnes, and worst of all, cramps. I’m sure many of you females out there will empathise as we all been through this, one time or another, some maybe have it worse than others. But regardless, we can all agree that it is a rather inconvenient and painful week we have to go through every month.

I was inspired to write this post really because I was having one of the worst cramps that it woke me up at night. I never really like taking medications and have refused to take any pain relief medications despite days/nights like these. Instead, I usually turn to using Yoga and home remedies, (i.e. rubbing a few drops of lavender essential oil on my lower abdomen) and eating chocolates and bananas to help relieve the cramp.

One of the many reasons I love Yoga is because of how it uses our body to heal itself just through simple asana. Here are some asana that I personally used that help me get through these dreaded days!

  1. Baddha Konasana

When you are on your period, diarrhoea and constipation comes hand in hand. This asana is particularly helpful as it helps to soothes menstrual discomfort and the digestive system.

  1. Supta Baddha Konasana

Similar to the previous posture, except you are now lying on your back. And who does not love a good excuse to lie down, especially when you are having cramps. Leaning back in this pose relaxes the abdominal muscles which helps ease the cramping sensation.

  1. Balasana

Simple yet restorative posture; child’s pose flexes our reproductive organs, as well as releasing the tension in our back, shoulders, and neck. Super calming and relaxing on the body, and on your mind too.

  1. Bharadvaja

One of my favourites as I am always having accompanying back pain during my period, reclining supine twist stretches the back and hips, relieving the backaches. The twisting motion also stimulates the digestive organs giving it a good stretch.

  1. Chakravakasana (Cat cow)

Another one that’s great for anyone with period backpain woes like me, cat-cow pose targets the back and abdominal muscles, giving them a good stretch and tone. It also warms up the body, helping to relieve menstrual cramps in the process.

I hope these asana can help you through your painful period cramps. And if all else fails, a cup of hot chocolate always helps warms the body and soul!

References:

https://www.lunette.com/blogs/news/7-yoga-poses-to-help-ease-menstrual-pain

https://www.doyou.com/6-yoga-poses-to-relieve-menstrual-cramps-37359/