What if everything happens for a reason?

I could say that I had fallen into yoga accidentally when more than one year ago I was offered a trial class. And now, for almost 3 weeks I have been practicing yoga regularly in my daily life.

For me, yoga is not a physical performance, it is rather a journey towards personal well-being. I will say that I allow myself to tame my body until I will be able to control it better. Once my mind is ready then I can challenge myself but not to the point of making it an obsession.

I know I am improving, making progress every day without aiming for performance as I deeply know it will discourage me. And frankly, I have really noticed some real improvements. I can measure my own progress and self-growth through those weeks of yoga practice.

I used to struggle against myself on the mat, but now I have learned to better release the tensions in my body thanks to my breathing. And even if flexibility is not an end in itself today I’m happy to say that I am quite proud of myself.

Breathing also helped deal better with stress and anxious feelings. Yoga has become more than a physical practice, it is a real state of mind for me .

Now when I look back at my first yoga class, I truly believe that everything happens for a (good) reason and it happens when it is supposed to.

Sharing is caring

After a long day at the sports camp, my son came back home tired and very nervous. He found me practicing Surya Namaskar and he started asking me a lot of questions such as what I was doing and why I was saying those funny names while doing yoga. I thought it was an opportunity that I should take to share this moment with him.

I took my laptop and showed him the different sequences of Surya Namaskar and then I read the legend of Surya Namaskar to him. As he was even more curious and asking me questions I suggested we do a kind of yoga game together. He immediately agreed with a big smile. It will also be a good way for him to relax and release the tensions that he accumulated during the day.

I put on some relaxing music to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere, and then we started selecting postures whose evocative names amused him to organize our fun yoga session.

My son loves animals so we first focused on a fun exercise of discovering poses with animal names. Poses such as cat, cow, dolphin, turtle, crocodile, cobra, butterfly, frog, rabbit, fish, horse and so on … it was a memorable moment of laughter.

Before starting the session, I showed him how to become aware of his breathing by asking him to fill his lungs breathing in the nose and then exhaling out the mouth making a hhhhhaaa sound (so he could let all the tension out of his little body). We did it together and repeated the same exercise 3 times. Then we did a few slow calming breaths in and out the nose. He was doing the movement so naturally and he seemed to enjoy it.

Once the poses have been selected, I added a mat on the floor so that he too can have his own space. Sometimes he was following the ‘’instructions’’ and copying me, sometimes he was doing a complete different pose out of his imagination and imitating the sound of the animal. I let him be creative as the purpose of the moment was not to be aligned with the pose but to have a yoga session where he could explore, play, and we could laugh together. Such a great experience, a pure moment of love and complicity.

Yoga can bring a lot of joy especially if you don’t take yourself too seriously. How nice it is sometimes to just step on your mat and have fun and how good it fells to multiply the fun by sharing it with someone you love.

Yoga and me

The first time I went to a yoga studio, I was mainly in a search of a well-being. Quite quickly, I found out that the more I was doing yoga the more I was becoming aware of my body. Very quickly my mind followed, yoga allowed me to feel better in my body but also in my mind, it was like I was also breathing from my mind.This calm, this piece of mind yoga was giving me at that moment was exactly was I was looking for. I decided to practice yoga more regularly.

When my body was in motion, I was focusing more on the present, forgetting about my stressful life, my stressful job. My mind was completely connected to my body finding a balance as I was breathing and getting into the postures, one after the other, forgetting about the past and the future just to cease and enjoy that moment, my moment on the mat.

The more I was progressing on the mat, the less stressful I was feeling, I could really say that the level of stress I had in me dropped considerably. I was feeling so good, much more calm, more energized, yoga was helping me feel stronger in my positiveness. All the benefits that my body was getting through the physical practices were leading to some benefits on my mind and obviously yoga gave me back a better quality of life. From that moment I knew it will be a long life journey, a continuous learning and an infinite discovery and I am happy to say that I am just at the beginning of it.

Every day I am so excited to learn, to practice, to practice more, to find the beautiful strength I can have in me and to be more confident on the mat. I am not looking for perfection and I don’t want to go over my limits. I just want to take it step by step, at my pace. In my opinion, I don’t think you should force yourself, yoga can become a constraint and not to mention the risk of injury especially for those who do not have regular physical activity. The best way to do yoga for me is to always find peace and happiness when you are on your mat!

Food for thought

The nutrition is directly linked to the performance of asanas and our lifestyle in general. The yogi diet is based on Ayurvedic teachings. Some products are strictly forbidden by them, others are consumed in small quantities and in a certain period of time, and third yogis eat constantly. Three types of food in yoga According to Ayurveda, even the best and cleanest foods are not always healthy. So, there is food that should be consumed only in winter or summer. Some foods should be eaten in the morning, because they excite and give energy, others in the evening, as they calm and set you up for a long sleep. Yoga  divides all food into three types:

       Sattva, which means “purity.” This includes all fresh vegetarian food. Mostly seeds and sprouted grains, fruits, wheat, butter, milk and honey.

      Rajas is a food that excites the body. It is better not to use products from this category or to reduce their amount in the diet to a minimum. This includes citrus fruits, tea and coffee, as well as spices, fish, seafood, eggs, alcohol, soda, garlic and onions.

     Tamas is a rough and heavy meal. It is difficult to absorb by the body. It does more harm than good. Relaxes, after eating it makes you want to sleep. These are root vegetables, red meat (beef and pork), all canned foods, mushrooms, food with a heavy taste (roach, etc.). This includes frozen food and one that has been stored for some time. These are also considered dishes that are reheated, alcohol and food that has been cooked in a restaurant or store.

 Doing yoga, you will feel what products you will not need. Changes in the body will occur harmoniously and in accordance with the needs of your body. The gradual process of rebuilding the habits of the body is very important.

Many (and not only in yoga) make the same mistake: they abruptly begin to change their diet (completely abandon meat, fish, eggs, switch to the most sophisticated diets, such as raw food diet, etc.). With this development of events, in a few months you will face a series of ailments, such as colds, exacerbation of all previously existing sores, and digestive upset. And then it could be worse. Naturally, there can be no question of doing yoga.

Beware of this mistake!

  • never abruptly change your lifestyle, especially in nutrition, non-compliance with this rule leads to big trouble;
  • a complete rejection of meat food does not always bring positive results. If you abandoned the meat, you need to replace it with another animal protein: milk and dairy products, eggs, fish;
  • in your diet should always be present in large quantities vegetables and fruits;
  • food should always be fresh and harmoniously selected.

It must be remembered that the body will never tolerate abuse of itself both in the diet and in the mode of activity. And with the right approach to yoga, you become as independent as possible from environmental conditions, feeling great in any situation, with any set of food products.

 

Yoga or Pilates?

For many people , Yoga and Pilates look very similar – there are no power or cardio loads, exercises are performed slowly and consciously , with calm music. Pilates and yoga are wellness systems that include exercises to develop flexibility, endurance, and concentration. Regular exercises tidy up the body, allow you to find harmony with yourself. In this, both areas of fitness are similar.

But, having examined   these   practice closely, we  can find a lot of differences between them

    What is yoga?

     Yoga is the ancient Indian system of human self-development, which originated long before our era. This is a spiritual tradition, experience and wisdom of many generations that millions of people around the world have followed to this day.

Translated from Sanskrit, yoga means “union, communication, harmony.” Those. the unity of the physical and mental state of a person, the harmony of health and spiritual beauty. The purpose of classes is to achieve and maintain this unity.

It is impossible to imagine yoga without performing various asanas (static postures) that help improve the body. But physical practice is only part of the philosophy of yoga, one of the tools for working on consciousness. It also includes:

  • rules of personal and social behavior;
  • breathing exercises;
  • meditation
  • singing mantras;
  • body cleansing;
  • concentration of attention;
  • desire for complete control over the senses.

Therefore, yoga is a way of life aimed at achieving a balance of physical and psychological health, and not just a set of static exercises that develop flexibility and endurance.

What is pilates?

   Pilates is a system of healing the body, based on the dynamic performance of exercises that are performed in a specific technique and sequence. Their goal is to develop flexibility, improve the condition of joints and spine, posture and coordination of movements.

Pilates, unlike yoga, is a young trend in fitness. The German trainer Joseph Pilates developed gymnastic exercises for the rehabilitation of patients suffering from diseases of the musculature system at the beginning of the 20th century.

6 fundamental differences between Pilates and Yoga.

  • Yoga is the oldest system of self-development, philosophy, lifestyle. Pilates is a relatively young wellness system for the body, one of the types of fitness.
  • Pilates training is aimed at creating a healthy body, practicing yoga – at achieving harmony of the body, spirit and mind.
  • Many exercises and asanas are similar, but have a significant difference in technique. If in classical yoga you need to enter a pose and fix it for a long time (static load), then in Pilates the main thing is movement. All exercises are dynamic, repeated several times. Important consistent articulation of the spine and body muscles when entering and exiting the position.
  • Pilates breathing control helps to concentrate on doing the exercise and working muscles. Ancient practice provides breathing, as one of the steps to self-improvement (pranayama).
  • In Pilates, the muscles of the back and cortex are mainly worked out, in yoga – all muscle groups.
  • In classical hatha yoga additional equipment is not used. In Pilates classes  fitball, rings, rollers are actively used.

In my opinion, you should try both this practice and chose which is most suitable for you. However, if  you want to get a little more than just a beautiful and healthy body, then you may want choose yoga. After all, ancient practice is also aimed at working with the mind, includes methods of spiritual development and self-improvement. Practice will show what is right for you.

Meditation.Self Journey

For me yoga was always about physical practice. I have never done meditation at home and was skipping that “boring part of yoga” in yoga classes. But after some time, part of me has developed feeling that I maybe missing something. So when I signed up for Tirisula yoga teacher training course, one of my goal was to concentrate on  spiritual part of yoga. And that’s what I have learned so far.

Meditation is an integral part of yoga practice. Yoga helps to improve and develop physically. But spiritual development is no less important for a person. The goal pursued by meditation is self-knowledge of oneself, achieving clarity of mind, the ability to relax, the desire for complete inner harmony.

In medicine there is a concept such as “chronic fatigue syndrome” – a disease of modern man.By doing meditation, you can learn to concentrate and relax, control your emotions and mind. Meditation helps to strengthen health, get rid of existing diseases, prolongs life.

The best part –  you can do it yourself, in any convenient place. In yoga centers, classes are led by experienced teachers who will help you understand and master the basics of meditation.If there is no time and opportunity to visit specialized centers, you can master meditation yourself. After a hard working day, it’s good to take 15-20 minutes. relaxation in a homely atmosphere.

As in any practice, there are certain rules in meditation. Here are a few points for conducting an independent practice:

  •     Choose a place for relaxation, where nothing will distract from immersion in yourself. Although, it should be noted that neither advanced noise nor extraneous sounds interfere with advanced practices.
  •    Take a comfortable position.
  •   Try to relax as much as possible each muscle of the body, mentally observing relaxation.
  •    Concentrate on breathing. Monitor inhalation and exhalation – the exhalation should be longer.
  •    Try to turn off your mind. Throw all thoughts out of my head. This will help focus on something specific – on breathing, on relaxation.
  •   Try to withstand a certain time. 10 minutes is enough for a start.
  •     To leave meditation smoothly, without rushing, trying to feel new sensations and maintain a state of calmness.

After trying my best and practice it regularly every day for some time , I came to understanding that : Meditation is not as difficult as it may seem. But the benefits of this practice are undeniable. And very good when it becomes a habit.

Yoga and menstruation: should I or shouldn’t?

Is it possible to do yoga with menstruation?What to do if you decide to actively start learning yoga? Does every month have to lose a week of precious time? Not at all. Moreover, yoga during menstruation is not only not harmful, but also beneficial. Of course, subject to some precautions and the right choice of asanas.

There are top poses, which should be avoided while you on your ‘’special days’’

Sarvangasana. Should be  excluded from yoga during menstruation. All inverted poses are equally harmful during this period. They delay bleeding. As a result, excess fluid is not excreted from the body, and can cause the formation of fibromas, cysts, and even malignant tumors. Also prohibited: halasana, shirshasana, adho mukha vrishkasana;

Navasana. During menstruation, you should not  do any asanas engage your core muscle . And this is almost all power poses. So, first of all, exclude exercises on the abdominal muscles and balances on the hands. During such asanas, bleeding and pain may intensify. Also prohibited: bakasana, lolasana, mayurasana;

Kapotasana. Yoga during menstruation should not include strong deflections of the   back. This creates excessive tension in the abdomen. Also prohibited: ardha chakrasana, ushtrasana;

Yoga Nidrasana. During such yoga classes, you should exclude extreme twisting and squeezing the abdomen. Also prohibited: eka pada shirshasana, jathara parivritanasana;

Mula Bandha. Do not do yoga, which will include unnatural bandha and pranayama. For example, excessively intense breathing of a bhastrika or uddiyana bandha can disrupt the natural course of processes in the pelvic organs. Also forbidden: kapalabhati, maha mudra.

Top asanas that are safe during  menstruation

Baddha Konasan .This asana relieves the pain and stress that accompany the days of menstruation. Even if you do not dare to do yoga these days, you can simply practice this pose separately. You can also practice: padmasana, sukhasana;

Ardha Chandrasana. This pose helps control the discharge if it is excessive. Pain in the back is also reduced. It is also possible to practice: utthita hasta padangustahasana, vriksasana;

Dundasana. Yoga offers simple forward stretches to relax the brain and calm the discomfort in the lower abdomen. You can also practice: jana shirshasana, marichiasana;

Shoshankasana. Relaxing postures help with excessive irritability and in the event that heaviness in the chest bothers you. You can also practice: shavanasa, adho mukha sukhasana;

The breath of ujaya. Calm pranayama in a simple pose or shavasana will help to relax the body. Full yogic breathing is safe during your period too.

However, we should keep in mind that there are no two identical women.  Someone waits the onset of new cycle with horror, and someone has almost no symptoms and can continue with the usual daily routine. So as the conclusion, remember to  be sensitive, listen to your body, and it will answer all your questions.

Chakra

Chakra colors are usually divided into seven, following the order of the rainbow colors, from red to purple to white.

The colors of the seven main chakras are:

1. Red – first chakra

2. Orange – second chakra

3. Yellow – third chakra

4. Green – Fourth Chakra

5. Blue (sapphire blue or turquoise) – fifth chakra

6. Purple (deep blue) – sixth chakra

7. White (sometimes purple) – seventh chakra

each color reflects a vibration or frequency radiation through the chakra.

The meaning of the red chakra: red is the color of the bottom wheel (first chakra), which symbolizes safety, survival, foundation, and nourishment by the energy of the earth.

If this chakra develops a good friend, he will live and work in peace and contentment and have a sense of security.

If a friend who lives in the first chakra, in addition to the above talents, will only live for survival, only consider survival problems every day, no ambitious goals, no ideals, no understanding of enjoyment.

The meaning of the orange chakra: orange is the color of the reproductive wheel (second chakra); it contains emotion, creativity, sex-related meaning, and is related to water and flow.

A good friend of this chakra development will be particularly friendly and gentle, very human, with good heterosexuality, good interpersonal relationship, enjoy life and live in the present.

But if you are only a friend who lives in the second chakra, in addition to the above talents, you will only focus on emotional life, chasing love, greedy pleasure, and not enterprising.

The meaning of the yellow chakra: Yellow is the color of the navel (third chakra), which symbolizes mental activity, intelligence, personal strength and will.

A good friend of this chakra development will be especially sunny, full of strength, joy, self-confidence, tenacity, and know how to choose.

But if only the friends who live in the third chakra, in addition to the above talents, they will also pay attention to power, like control, conceit or pride, personal willpower is too strong, and they have high demands on others.

The meaning of the green chakra: Green is the color of the heart wheel (fourth chakra), which is related to care, connection, integration, compassion and so on.

This chakra developed a good friend will be particularly compassionate, full of love, gentle, soft, healing ability, able to accept and accommodate each other unconditionally.

But in addition to the above talents, only the friends who live in the fourth chakra will only consider dedication, self-denial, easy compromise, easy thinking, easy to forget.

The meaning of the purple (or deep blue) chakra: purple (or deep blue) is the color of the eyebrow (the sixth chakra); it evokes human intuition, super-perception and inner wisdom.

This chakra develops a good friend, the wisdom will be very high, the object is objectively neutral, the insight is strong, the intuition is strong, and the imagination is rich.

But if only the friends who live in the sixth chakra, in addition to the above talents, they will be too calm, no emotions, no emotional expression, no love for sports, and poor mobility.

The meaning of the white (or purple) chakra: white is the color of the top wheel (seven chakra), which is associated with the universe, spirituality, and consciousness.

This chakra develops a good friend, has a particularly high degree of understanding, is particularly interested in the universe, likes to explore mystery and unknown, has a deep interest in the origin of human beings, has high spirituality, and has a big love heart and cosmic consciousness.

However, if only friends who live in the seventh chakra, in addition to the above talents, they will easily live in spirituality, out of reality, cynical, only pursuing spirituality, not knowing life, derailing from society, and even escaping from reality.

Overcoming the Fear of Inversions

Here’s to everyone who is trying to overcome their fear of inversions.

It’s perfectly normal to fear inversions. Even seasoned practitioners still feel the fear sometimes. When i first started practicing inversions, I was afraid of the judgement around me. I was afraid of possible injuries and i was afraid that i might not be able to practice again.

So … first thing, PRACTICE SAFELY.

 

How to practice safely?
There are many ways to practice inversions safely. Below are some of the ways attempted by myself:

  • Practice together with a friend and support each other
  • Lay cushions (or similar) around you
  • Practice against a wall and away from the wall (so that you don’t create a dependency on a wall for inversions)
  • Practice the techniques of inverting in a swimming pool

 

How to conquer the fear?
Below are the secrets to conquering the fear of inversions, now read carefully and remember them… 

 

1. Take Small Steps 
It’s all about stability achieved in a step-by-step basis. Never rush for an inversion, the chances of falling over could be much higher! For headstands, start slowly with bent knees and build up the core and balance. Keep calm and balance.

 

2. Mental Preparation
Yes! Preparing yourself mentally before you proceed to practice inversions can be helpful. Kind and courageous words to yourself before engaging in any inversion practice makes the entire process a more positive one. Try saying to yourself, ‘Today, I am going to focus and focus and focus… 
Then, i am going to lift off my feet with my strong core and shoulders and stay balanced for 5 seconds. I can do this!”

 

3. Plan to Fall
Having a plan to fall keeps yourself prepared for the fall (it happens, no running away from this). Everyone falls during the learning journey… who doesn’t? Common ways for falling out of inversions are back bends or cartwheels (use arms to support). Never ever land hard on your spine! Practice falling to gain the confidence for inversions. Yes… start learning how to fall.

 

4. Review and Improve
There are always room for improvements! Try to take videos of yourself during practice, so that you can identify the areas for improvements later. Up till now, I still take videos of myself when i practice inversions. This is to look at my own alignment and to ensure that I’ve engaged the muscles that i need to engage (i.e. core, tucked in hips, keeping my back straight, etc.).  This method works effectively and it allows me to be more aware of my own movement during inversions. It gives me a visual of how i would look like, and for my mind to focus on engaging the correct muscles. Try it!

 

Lastly, be patient and keep practicing. Practice makes perfect.