Engage your abdominal muscles babe!
I am terrible at this pose but I am about to change things around! The next time, you will be hearing. “I love this Asana!”
I have been working on my abs. Sitting in a V-shape with my sit bones grounded to the floor and holding up one leg at a time. Then holding both legs up above the ground, ENGAGE your CORE!!! I hear myself saying to myself again and again. Then I will let go of both my arms and “PLOP!” my legs fall THUD onto the ground. So.. bring it up again!!!
This helps: Rotate your thighs inward and SQUEEZE… Lengthen your spine and lift your sternum..
Dristi point: Toes
Chakra: Muladhara and Swadhishthana
- Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and spine
- Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
- Heart problems
- Low blood pressure
Neck injury: Sit with back against the wall to perform this pose. As you tilt your head back, rest the back of your head on the wall.
Prop for help!
Often its difficult to straighten the raised legs. Bend your knees and loop a strap around the soles of your feet, gripping firmly in your hands. Inhale, lean the torso back, then exhale and lift and straighten your legs, adjusting the strap to keep it taut. Push the feet firmly against the strap.
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing towards the feet and strengthen the arms. Lift through the sternum and lean back slightly. Make sure your back is straight; continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and the top sternum. Sit on the ‘tripod’ of your sit bones and tailbone.
Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel. Straighten your knees, raising the tips of toes slightly above eye level.
Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers.
Try to keep the lower abdomen flat. Press heads of the thigh bones toward the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily. Tip the chin slightly toward the sternum so the base of the skull lifts lightly away from the back of the neck.
Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.
Diabetes means that the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Many studies have reported the beneficial effect of the practice of yoga on diabetes. Type 2 Diabetics made up 90 to 95 percent of Diabetics.It is a scary thought that we could so much harm to our body.Reason for type 2 Diabetics is a metabolic disorder in which the body does not respond to the effects of the hormone insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. In addition, some people with type 2 diabetes also may not produce sufficient amounts of insulin in the pancreas.
The pancreas contains enzyme producing cells that secrete two hormones. The two hormones are insulin and glucagon. Insulin and glucagon are secreted directly into the bloodstream, and together, they regulate the level of glucose in the blood.The cause of abnormal pancreatic function in diabetics is insulin resistance, it happens when cells stops responding to insulin means it does allow glucose to enter it. which in return will increase glucose in blood and it gets higher and higher. As long as there is too much glucose in blood and too little in cells, the Pancreas will continue to produce insulin to pull glucose level down. It is a vicious cycle.This is how Diabetics occurs.
Long term damages:
kidney failure, diabetic retinopathy and blindness, peripheral neuropathy, serious skin infections, cardiovasculars disease, stroke, disability, osteoporosis, Alzheimers disease, hearing damage and death.
Studies have confirm that the practice yoga asanas can rejuvenate the insulin producing cells in the pancreas of diabetics of BOTH types, and that doing the postures in a relaxed manner, without exertion, meditation and pranayama help most patients to control the causes of diabetes.
Here are some asanas which will benefit Diabetics
Marichyasana ABCD, Dhanurasana (Bow pose,) Paschimottanasana(Sitting crane), Padangusthasana (Standing crane), Sarvangasana(Shoulder stand), Spinal twist, halasana (Plough pose)
These postures will help to massage abdominal organs like intestine, stimulate peristalsis, tones and massage the liver and pancreas. And also do wonders by stretching the kidneys.
There are seven locations of the principle chakras from lower end of spinal column to the crown of the head: Muladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata,Vishuddha, Ajan and Sahasrara. As the place to store subtle and vital energy forces, each chakra represents a state of consciousness with particular characters and corresponds to the seven lokas, astral or mental planes. The philosophy of chakras is very helpful when practising Yoga. I will focus on the following two chakras.
Muladhara locates at the lower end of the spinal column and represents the Earth principle, which bestows breath and mind control, and knowledge of past, present and future. Surya Bhedana Pranayma and Uddiyana Bandha can be the good examples to hold breath and lock Muladhara chakra to heat the body.
Swadhisthana locates at the genital organs and represents Water element, which confers psychic powers, intuitional knowledge and knowledge of astral entities. To practise Bhujangasana and Vamadevasana can strengthen the genital organs, as well as Swadhisthana chakra.
Meditation is a way of focusing your mind and stimulating body cells, as well as an agent to help us to reach chakras. As a particular posture, Padnasana is well known for its effectiveness to concentrate our attention on breathing, mind cleansing and soul pursuing.
There are various forms of meditation, Padnasasa is not necessary if you are not comfortable with the posture, you can sit anywhere with any posture and start to meditate by closing your eyes, controlling your breath and focusing on something. You can meditate by your own or with a group of people.
For better effect, do not meditate after meal. After shower will be an ideal time to relax and meditate.
There are two ways of nose cleansing: Jala Neti and Sutra Neti. The previous one is comparatively easy by pouring salt water into one nostril, then raises the head and blows the excess water out of the nostril; or, raises the head and allows salt water to flow down into the throat and out of the month. The latter one sounds difficult: insert the catheter into the nostril, and then draw it out through mouth slowly and carefully by using the index finger and thumb. I tried both and found they are very useful to treat my sinus.
“Vrscika” is a scorpion. This pose in its advanced stage resembles a scorpion with its tail arched back over its head for attacking. It requires strength on the shoulder and upper back, although when in the position, little strength is needed as you find your balance and relaxation into this posture.
As a comparatively difficult posture, for beginner I suggest you to do it against the wall for safely purpose. Place your forearms and hands on the ground of shoulder-width, walk your feet towards your body then one leg at a time, place your feet or heels against the wall push your hips slightly forward and tighten your buttock for support, your eyes look down to your hands. So, please do not force yourself to lift up if you have weak spine or spine problems. To recover, reverse your path slowly and carefully then move into the child’s pose so that your head and neck are supported in line with the rest of your spine.
People who can practise this posture usually with a very stable mind and strong will. Of course you can also enhance your balancing, improve lung function, stimulate inner muscles and train a stronger spine.
‘Sarvanga’ refers to ‘whole’ or ‘everything’, as well as the benefits yielded by this posture to all parts of the body. Which, is also known as Salamba Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand, specially works on the throat energy centre (Visuddha chakra), increases blood supply and nourishes the brain. As Salamba Sarvangasana, this is a basic posture to all beginners.
For Beginner , i suggest you to partice this posture against the wall to prevent your neck injuire. First, lie on your side with your knees drawn up, placing your shoulder and hip along the edge of your matwith your buttocks touching the wall, roll over on to your back and levelling your buttocks against the wall, keep your spine straight and step your feet up the wall with your knees bent so press your elbows down into the floor and place your palms on your back.To follow by Halasana (the plough) and Matsyasana (fish posture) will enhance the effect and provides a complete counter-stretch to Sarvangasana, so I strongly require all practitioners to finish these three postures as a set.
It is the queen of all posture due to its good effect at balancing Hormones, maintain of circulatory and endocrine systems, ensuring the regeneration of cells, bones and bodily engergy. This posture is good for those people with asthma or cough badly. However, people with high blood pressure have to pay extra attention when practising this posture, I suggest to start with Halasana and hold for 3 minutes, then you can try Sarvangasana.
‘Sirsa’ refers to the head and ‘Salamba’ means ‘supported’. This is a basic posture with vertical stand; which means, all Yoga practitioners have to experience the pose by holding their legs together throughout and balance on their heads and forearms. It, at the first beginning, may look very difficult; but once you overcome the fear psychologically and balance well physically, I am sure everybody can do it with confidence.
Warm up is a must for this posture. I suggest to start with six sets of Surya Namaskar . According to my experience and Yoga rules, it will be better if you can finish 12 sets of Surya Namaskar before practising Salamba Sirsasana.
First, kneel down with your knees together and bring you hips back over your heels, place your elbows aligned under yours shoulders. Deeply interlace your fingers and creating a semicircle throught the palms. Place the crown of your head on the ground up close against yours hands, lengthen through the back of your neck and extend the back of your head into your palms, curl your toes under and straighten your legs then walk your feet towards your body until your torso and hips are raised vertically upwards. Hold your abdominal muscles contracted as you pull back in your hips, bend your knees and rasie your legs so that your thighs rest over your abdomen as you bring your torso into a vertical position. If you still building your confidence with the head balance, you may wish to spring your feet up softly one at a time, gradually working towards springing them up together until your abdominal strenght and confidence develop enough for you to float your legs up and straighten them together. Remember to keep on your breathing soft and deeper. For beginners , hold 3-5 minutes; for practitioners, keep it for 15 minutes or above if you can keep yourself very stable. To recover, reverse your path slowly and carefully then move into the child’s pose so that your head and neck are supported in line with the rest of your spine.
There are two very important things you have to pay extra attention: 1. Have to keep balance; 2. Beware of your cervical vertebrae (C1-C7) especially those who had injured their spine before. Taking myself as an example, I had my C4 injured and almost lost my confidence to practice this posture until I can practise Salamba Sarvangasana well. So, keep balance and play safe are my advice to all Yoga beginners when trying out this posture.
Salamba Sirsasana is an indispensable part of a Yoga practice. It influence the functioning of the body in numerous ways; benefits are experienced on a physiological, metal and spiritual level, and this postures revitalize the entire system. It can help alleviate fatigue, insomnia, headaches, varicose vine, digestive problems and excess tension and anxiety. So that this posture is often referred to as the king of all postures.
This beautiful pose makes wonders for its deep release of hips and shoulders simultaneously. It releases hidden tensions in joints , nerves and muscles. Staying in the pose may stimulate digestive fire hence to improve elimination.Overtime , this pose produce serenity, the natural state of a cow at pasture. (Go means cow/light) Eventually , that serenity unfolds into a radiant spiritual light.
begin by sitting in hero Pose
exhale sitting to the left side of your feet
inhale as you erect
exhale folding your right leg over the top of your left, bringing your feet to the sides of your hips , with your knees nearly on top of each other .
inhale stretching your left arm over your head , folding it so that your palm can reach down your spine.
exhale reaching your right hand across the back of your waist as far as possible . then flex your elbow so that your hand reaches down your left hand. if possible , grip fingers together .Keep the back of your hand towards your spine.
inhale expanding your chest as you firm the grip of your hands. Breathe steadily for 6 to 12 rhythmic breaths
exhale releasing your arms
inhale stretching your legs out to stick pose. Then reverse the pose.
Avoid sitting on your feet, rather keep them to the sides of your feet. It is more important to maintain an erect posture , its alright if you do not manage to to even touch your hands. If you DO NOT touch your hands , connect it with a towel . After a few breaths, you can slowly move your hands closer together to deepen the opening of your shoulders. AVOID stressing your lower shoulder , as it is in a vulnerable position that could stretch ligaments rather than muscles.
Do not belittle this pose. For me personally I find this pose most rewarding. Here is a small little text we can understand more about it.
In this deep relaxation posture, you lie motionless, appearing outwardly as still as a corpse. this is where the name of this posture is given. This classical pose of relaxing mind and body is to fully absorb the benefits of yoga practices. The deep relaxation promotes helps, to restore and rejuvenate the student. With this pose after yoga asanas we can become exploreres which we travel deeper into ourselves through layers of consciousness . ( most of us will also think that it is a time to fall asleep)
The relaxation deepens into meditation upon the constancy of duality, the nature of activity within stillness can be directly perceived.
By staying conscious during relaxation , one improve the strength of your mind. At first, relaxation training may put you to sleep or bring about an unconscious emptiness. These reactions are normal and are indicative of neurological reprogramming to your parasympathetic nervous system. These are the anatomical structures of your relaxation reflex. Should anytime you go unconscious, relax and make the transition from stillness slowly, gradually, moving with deliberate anticipated motions.
“Then my angel said, “Here’s a pair of scissors. Why don’t you cut all those rubber bands and free yourself?”
We ‘reorder’ our lives when we choose spirit over the illusions of physical circumstances. With each choice we make, we either become more involved in the illusory physical world, or we invest energy into the power of spirit.
(excerpts from Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, PH.D)
The energy of the Personal Power Chakra. Fire heated in the right degree depending on how you manifest it.
The third chakra is the core to our strength and illnesses. You choose which way you want to lead your life with. It is activated by issues related to self-responsibility, self esteem, fear of rejection and an oversensitive to criticism.
This is when you can look at yourself and say, there is a lot to learn from every right and wrong from the doings of others and yourself. Who is to judge what is right and wrong? Hence, what is there to be happy, angry and sad about. I reckon it is how one sees the situation. I can see someone running into a lamp post and laugh while another can look at me and frown at such a reaction. When I laughed, it did not mean I had no empathy, when I laughed it is because of past imageries that have formed in my mind that made me recall the silliness of it all. You fall, you get up. Not only do you get up, you get up and smile. Why dwell in the unhappiness when you can turn it around and make things light for yourself and others. Every situation is an experience, hence it’s there.
Have you ever seen a child who fell and will get up on her own BUT when she looks around and sees the sad faces of her parents, she cries and will wait for her parents to rush over to ‘hold’ her. It was that same child who fell and got up on her own when she realise she is on her own and there is nothing to cry about.
Every time we fall is it, our self esteem, our ego that has been crushed hence we react the way we do? And we suddenly do not response according to what we are capable of? It is easy to blame others for something that has happened or in this case, it is our ego that has been shamed.
It is not easy I must say, I have been through it all, the laughter and the tears and the anger (mother of all evil). And which ones are the ones we could have looked at it and thought. Was it necessary? Did it help? It sure did but how long did it take? Was it worth our energy?
Did you know when you get angry, your cells contracts and invariably leads to weakness in the body as your cells are now useless and become waste matter? The contraction of cells interferes with a normal healthy body.
How do we feel about ourselves? We need to understand this to understand why others are doing the things, reacting the way, they do.
The spiritual goal is to have a relationship with yourself before you can have a ‘relationship’ with others. If one can understand to why it is not a literal ‘relationship’ as mentioned, it is because you have the comprehension that the spiritual quality inherent in the third chakra compels us to create an identity apart from our tribal self.
All 3 different depths of living some of us swear by.
I know for sure, I have lived my 20 years by “Carpe Diem”. I want to believe where I am today and the person I have become are all experiences from believing and living by the phrase. I was introduced to this at an early age, loving the movie, Dead Poets Society.
Now, living past quarter of my life, I have confronted my self and learnt that Carpe Diem has been good to me and now, to live life to its fullest, I can take it up a notch and “Be Present”. Just Sieze the Now WITH various conditions. Firstly, would be to inculcate the daily practices of Yamas and Niyamas.
Be Present: Existing or happening now; current
Carpe Diem: Sieze the day. The phrase “And if not now, when?” (Pirkei Avoth 1:14)
Existential: maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.
Simply, I have took these 3 ways of living as a comparison. As much as I would like to believe, I am not an existentialist. May I say, I care too much to be such as describe as someone who only has “I” in her dictionary.
Definitely, a careless and carefree person who seizes every moment and lives her life. That is me. The risks, physically and mentally are always seen as an excitement for me rather than a challenge. “What is there to lose?” One question I am always asking myself before delving into matters or choices I make in taking care of myself, enjoying the fruits of labour, getting into trouble for I believe “You only live once!” who cares what people think, just as long as I think I am doing something that will not hurt others, I am good to go. Will I make that extra effort, spend that extra hour to make it work the way I will be happy with? Yes, I definitely will. IF not, why do it? It is also an All or Nothing attitude. This confidence did not just come by the snap of one’s fingers, it is the people around me that I have to Thank. They have built the confidence in me to be able to say. “Let’s just do it! I know I can more than just cope!” And if you really think about it, people like me who plunges into doings just by the ‘feel’ of it, often gets hurt. We get burnt playing with fire. There is always the Pain to know the Joy. Having said this, every ounce of the dead cells while getting burnt is worth it because I have learnt. What I am learning to do is to Get burnt once and move on and not get burnt once and continue with playing with that same matchstick. You burn and you end up in ashes, nothing is left for you to fuel up your energy. That would be the ultimate dumb.
You need that understanding and the right guidance to bring you out of the rut and make your ‘practice’ a perfect one. I have found my answer in the 8 limbs in my path to Be Present. I would like to believe if one has Self- Respect, a lot of the practice leading to Being Present will fall in place.
Now that I have the Carpe Diem Zest, I will take that and walk the path of a True Yogi.