How can yoga help with menopause?

Symptoms of menopause vary significantly in duration and severity from one woman to the other. They are generally linked to declining levels of estrogen and other hormones. It takes time for the body to adjust to those changes. And during this transition, symptoms can be quite debilitating both physically and emotionally. They commonly include hot flashes and night sweats, irritability and mood swings, insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, bloating, palpitations, reduced libido and vaginal dryness, joint aches and pains (joint, back, neck), problems with memory and concentration, reduced muscle mass and increased risk of osteoporosis.

Hormone replacement therapy is now widely used. But it has been linked to an increased risk for certain health conditions (cardiovascular risks, breast/lung/colon cancer, urinary incontinence…) and comes with side effects. Therefore, health practitioners and patients alike have been looking for healthier and natural alternatives to support this transition. Those include lifestyle changes, diet, exercise… and of course yoga! Research has shown that specific regular yoga practice is bringing significant relief to several menopausal symptoms.

 

How can yoga relief menopausal symptoms?

  • Yoga helps building mental resilience

Regular yoga practice helps to quiet the mind and body. It has been associated with an increased tolerance for pain over time and may help reduce the discomfort. Yoga, and specifically pranayama, have also been shown to relieve stress and quiet the mind. Hence, insomnia can be improved, overall mood is more balanced leading to less irritability and mental calm can help going through menopausal aches and pains. Finally, mental focus required for yoga practice and meditation exercises can improve memory and concentration issues.

  • Yoga supports a strong physical body and the flow of energy

Yoga has been associated with good joint health and joint pain relief. It helps strengthening joints and increasing flexibility. Yoga practice is also energizing and can help with menopausal fatigue. Finally, it will help counteract reduced muscle mass commonly observed with menopause.

  • Yoga helps regulating body functions

Blood pressure may increase after menopause and a consistent yoga practice has been linked with reduced blood pressure and better blood circulation and oxygenation. Yoga is also linked with better weight management which can assist in menopausal weight changes due to hormonal imbalance. Similarly, it can help with hot flashes.

 

Which specific yoga practices are recommended for menopause?

Regular practice of specific asanas, pranayama and dyana have been shown to be all beneficial to relief menopausal symptoms.

Specific Asanas

While asanas may not directly influence estrogen production, specific postures can help control unpleasant symptoms. Restorative postures, in particular, can help relax the nervous system and may improve the functioning of the endocrine system.

Hot Flashes

This is the most common symptom of menopause which is characterized by sudden increase in body temperature and pulse rate. And stress or any tension in the body can make it worse. Hence, recommended poses should be cooling and restorative poses. Supported reclining poses are interesting such as Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle), Supta Virasana (reclining hero) and Supta Padmasana (reclined lotus) which will soften and release any tightness in the chest and belly. Ardha Halasana (half plow) with supported legs and Janu Sirsasana (head-to-knee) with the head supported, can also help to calm nerves.

We should use props, blocks, or any other support that will help to relax. Supported postures can help relief from anxiety and irritability, without heating or stressing the body. It is important to note that unsupported inversions, strenuous poses, and backbends can sometimes make hot flashes worse.

Anxiety, Irritability, and Insomnia

Hormonal imbalance imposes continual stress to the sympathetic autonomous nervous system and the adrenal glands which exhaust themselves. Forward bends, such as Uttanasana (standing forward bend) Padangusthasana / Pada Hastasana and Prasarita Padottanasana (wide-legged standing forward bend) are helpful to relax those by calming the mind. For insomnia specifically, inversions then followed by restorative postures can help such as Salamba Sirsasana (supported headstand), Salamba Sarvangasana (supported shoulderstand).

Fatigue

Also, a very common symptom, it is likely due to low levels of progesterone and/or exhausted adrenal glands. Gentle supported backbends can help to reenergize: Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle), again, is recommended. Standing poses like Virabhadrasana I and II (warrior I and II) help feeling strong and combat the fatigue.

Depression and Mood Swings

Regular yoga practice is associated with better regulation and control of your thoughts and attitude. It helps to feel strong, healthy and grounded. Backbends, especially if supported, are recommended bringing a sense of lightness into the body and opening heart and lungs such as Ustrasana (camel) and Chakrasana (wheel). Furthermore, chest opening poses energize the body by improving breathing and circulation such as also Dhanurasana (bow), Bhujangasana (cobra). The same inversions as above, can also help to improve mood. All those positively affects the mind.

Memory and concentration

The same postures that counter depression, such as backbends, chest openers, and inversions, can help increasing cognitive abilities. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) and Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (dolphin) can also improve mental alertness. And Savasana soothes the nerves and can help with better concentration after.

Pranayama

Regular practice of pranayama has also been shown to be beneficial in treating a wide range of stress disorders. It develops a steady mind and strong willpower. It slows down mental chatter and infuses positive thinking. Practice can help, in particular, with menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, depression and mood swings.

Some cooling pranayama such as sitali and sitkari pranayama can be very interesting in menopause. Both are activating the parasympathetic autonomous nervous system, relaxing the body whilst also cooling it down. It is important to note that in the case of hot flashes, other more regular pranayama such as Ujjayi or Kapala Bhati are not recommended as they are also heating up the body.

Dhyana

Meditation or dhyana is known to help still the mind and regulate the nervous system. It will similarly help for all stress related and mental imbalance of menopause, with no contraindication. It has been also found to be associated with increased melatonin level leading to improved sleep quality, particularly if done in the evening before sleep.

As a conclusion, we need to highlight that every woman is different and will experience different symptoms. Those will also evolve over time and may not be the same from one day to the other. So, it comes down to each of us to experience and adapt practice accordingly to smoothly ride through this life transition!

Universal Law of Attraction with Kundalini Awakening

Like Karma, what goes around comes around.

The Law of Attraction works on our mental ability. It uses the power of our minds to manifest things and translate whatever we are focusing on to materialize them into reality. It could be anything such as money, job, love, health or relationship.

With the Law of Attraction, positive thoughts attract positive energy/results. And negative thoughts attract negative energy/results.

Everything we as human being have created in this world was essentially first created in our minds. All that we see are the human works in this world. First, expression was made in the mind, and then it gets manifested in the outside world. Hence, things that have done in the world be it good or horrible, all come from the human minds.

It is extremely important that we learn to create the right things in our mind in order to create what we want in our life. 

Simply put, the Law of Attraction says that you will attract into your life whatever you focus on. Whatever you give your energy and attention to will come back to you.

So, if you stay focused on the good and positive things in your life, you will automatically attract more good and positive things into your life. If you are focused upon lack and negativity, then that is what will be attracted into your life.

The entire universe is in our head. The entire energetic make-up of the human being is a self-contained experience giving apparatus with the mind as its engine. There is nothing outside of us, really. It is all a projection of the mind, which is called Maya– illusion. So this karma, these past actions are all carried with us inside our mind, like hidden files on a computer. The entire energy is shaped and coded by the karma when one show up here to have this life experience. We’re each given a distinct coding and placed in this matrix that is our own life. Your subconscious mind holds much of this programming and like a security camera it catches everything you do in this lifetime. As you can imagine, especially in our hectic modern world, the subconscious mind gets pretty filled up. It is this weight of the subconscious mind that puts resistance into your projection as you march forward toward your destiny.

I first heard of Kundalini Yoga during one of my YTT classes. It really caught my thought as how this practice enhances a person’s persona and the power to attract people. Even if the person may be an average Joe or plain Jane, he/she can have the ability to attract people to him/her. I decided to find out more. The more I read, the more it intrigues me on how it can help to make one more aware with consciousness. Most importantly, it is more than just visualization meditation.


What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul. It harnesses the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, with the transformation and expansion of consciousness, the awakening and raising of Kundalini Energy up the spine through energy centers called Chakras. The activation and balancing of the chakras is accomplished by the mixing and uniting of Prana (cosmic energy) with Apana (eliminating energy) which generates pressure to force Kundalini to rise, by means of Pranayama (breathing exercises), Bhandas (body locks), in Kriyas (exercise sets), using Asanas (postures), Mudras (gestures), and Mantras (sacred sounds). It is therefore belives that Kundalini Yoga brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.


Using Kundalini Yoga to enhance the Universal Law of Attraction

Kundalini Yoga sets also use the manifestation of thoughts through Visualization, Projection and Focused Attention to attain specific effects.

Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga, an individual can unite his/her consciousness with cosmic Consciousness on a regular basis by carefully performing the exercises and meditations in specific sequence and combination. He/She soon becomes adept at perceiving the movement of energy within and outside of his/her body, and consciously begins to direct its flow to stimulate and awaken the chakras, for healing himself/herself and others, and becomes a co-creator with universal energies. (taken from Transitions to a Heart Centered World – Guru Rattana, Ph.D.)

As it was stated, Kundalini is an incredibly powerful storehouse of psychic energy, sometimes called Shakti, symbolized as a coiled, sleeping snake, resting at the base of the spine (Kundal means curl). Once awakened it uncoils and ascends through the central channel in the spinal column to the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) at the top of the head, triggering an awakening of consciousness and a transcendent spiritual state.


Effect from practicing Kundalini Yoga

It is often described as ‘meeting you where you you’re at and taking you where you want to go’.  If you can breathe and lean in the right direction, you will benefit. It balances the glandular system and strengthens the nervous system so you feel more vibrant and alive.  It is practical and powerful. It works quickly to give you grace, balance, and most of all, the ability to remain calm, centered, and clear through life’s challenges. As you practice Kundalini Yoga you will grow. You will gain new perspectives and capacities, as well as habits that support a healthy lifestyle.

It is believed that all of us are born with the ability to make proper use of the Universal Law of Attraction. It’s one of the things humans are designed to do. A child can do it, an idiot can do it, a really bad person can do it. There’s no discrimination there.

However, using the Law of Attraction after a kundalini awakening is a bit different:

  • It allows you to utilize this Law more fully and more deliberately due to expanded consciousness
  • It gives greater speed and impact to ALL your intentions, good and bad, so the results of your choices can boomerang on you much more quickly

In summary, our bodies have seven energy centres or chakras beginning with the base of our spine and ending at the top of our head. There is latent energy coiled at the base of the spine and by practicing kundalini this energy will move upwards through each successive chakra to the crown.  Kundalini is subtle as it energizes from within to boost your inner strength and capacity.

Physical benefits may include an improvement in your vitality and overall wellbeing, stronger joints, muscles and spine and it can detoxify the entire body thereby improving the workings of your glands, organs, blood circulation, immune and nervous systems.  Other effects include an increase in your productivity and focus.  Meditation techniques enhance mental concentration, sharpen awareness as well as creating a peaceful outlook so you are better able to deal with setbacks in a more productive and neutral manner.

Enjoy the journey through Yoga which offers many ways for us to rediscover our true self, live with complete confidence and be aware of what we want to achieve when we connect deeply with our mind, body and soul.

Namaste! Have a good day ahead.

A Chakra Sequence

How can we balance the Chakras…

 

As I believe I need to balance my chakras as I guess there’s no harm in doing so.

What would be the easiest way to do so?  There is of course meditation but as I am a very restless soul I find it very hard to sit still and try to focus.

Another option could be to do a yoga sequence based on poses that can help to open up the different chakras while focusing on their location and colour.

 

Muladhara Chakra – Tree Pose – Vrksasana 

Visualize your Root Chakra as a bright red light shining out from the end of your tailbone

This chakra gives us a feeling of being grounded and it is responsible for your sense of security and survival. If this is blocked we may suffer from anxiety disorders, fears and nightmares.

Location: Base of the spine

Colour: Red

Element: Earth

Sound: Lam

Yoga poses for balancing: Grounding poses such as Tree Pose, Warrior I and II

 

Swadhisthana Chakra – Goddess Pose – Deviasana 

Visualise your Sacral Chakra as an orange glowing light and be aware of your reproductive organs

This chakra is responsible for our sexual and creative energies. Honour your body and express yourself creatively to keep this wheel turning. If it’s blocked you will feel uninspired or feel emotionally unstable.

Location: Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Sound: Vam

Yoga poses: Pigeon Pose, Warrior II, Goddess Pose

 

Manipura Chakra – Boat Pose – Navasana 

Visualize your Solar Plexus Chakra as a shining yellow light and focus on engaging your core 

When you feel butterflies in your stomach, that is the Manipura chakra working. If it’s blocked you might doubt yourself.

Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Sound: Ram

Yoga poses: Boat Pose, Warrior III, Twisting poses like Revolved Triangle Pose

 

Anahata  Chakra – Camel Pose – Ustrasana 

Visualize your Heart Chakra radiating green light filled with love, compassion, and kindness

The heart chakra influences your ability to give and receive love from others and ourselves.

Location: Center of chest, just above the heart

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Sound: Yam

Yoga Poses: Back-bends, Reverse plank, Upside Dog, Camel Pose

 

Vishuddha Chakra – Supported Shoulderstand – Salamba Sarvangasana

Visualize your Throat Chakra in a shining blue light near your throat as it removes any doubt you may have regarding your truth

Relates to communication and your ability to understand and speak your inner truth “purely”, when out of balance you find difficulty in expressing yourself and your needs, desires and opinions.

Location: Throat

Colour: Light blue / Turquoise

Element: Sound

Sound: Ham

Yoga Poses: Fish Pose, Plough Pose, Supported Shoulderstand

 

Ajna Chakra – Easy Pose – Sukasana 

Visualize your Third Eye Chakra in a shining Indigo light 

When this chakra is functioning we can feel our intuitions and sometimes have hits of visions.

Location: Forehead between the eyes

Colour: Indigo

Element: Light

Sound: Om

Yoga Poses: Child Pose, Dolphin Pose, Eagle Pose, Easy Pose

 

Sahasrara – Corpse Pose – Savasana

Visualize your Crown Chakra in a shining white light rising out from the top of you head and showering you with golden white light around you

If this chakra is open we are fully connected to our spirituality and consciousness.

Location: The very top of the head

Colour: Violet / White

Element: Divine Consciousness

Sound: Om

Yoga Poses: Headstand, Treepose, Savasana

 

Nathalie

Anatomy and asana – Vriksasana (Tree pose)

The tree pose is one of the first pose that drawn me into yoga.
Although it is not part of the Asthanga serie, it is an emblematic pose worth noting and exploring.
I appreciate the contrast of strength and balance which is needed to hold the pose and the gracefulness that can be expressed with the arms and the upper part of the body. With enough focus, one can really feel the tree analogy, the energy connection with the earth when properly rooted and the lightness of the arms micro balancing like branches slowly moved by the wind.
How to get into the pose?
Start in Tadasana (mountain pose), lift the right knee 90′, using the wall for support if needed, place the sole of the feet against the inner left tight, or below the left knee if need be – make sure the pressure is NOT on the knee.

Make sure both sides of the trink are equally stretched. Breathe slowly and steadily.

Keep the hands on the hips or folded together in prayer position in front of the chest. Control your hips and pelvic region and ensure they are in neutral position and balanced, tuck the tailbone in if need be.
On an inhale, lift the arms up, alongside the ears, with the palms still pressing on one another. Steady the gaze. Smile. Stay in the pose for several deep breaths. Enjoy, and feel free to open the arms and stretch them. Do you feel the wind?
Exit the pose by releasing the hands and the knee with control, back into Tadasana. Switch legs.
Watch out areas:
– Standing knee, make sure it doesn’t hyperextend and that the folded leg doesn’t put any direct pressure on the joint.
– Control the flexion of the folded knee, and rest the sole of the feet below the knee of the standing leg if flexion is too strong.
– If any lower back pain or injury, control the balance and stability of the hips and pelvic region, control the level of flexion of the folded knee.
– Shoulders: if lifting the hands and arms straight over the head is not possible or painful, keep the hands in prayer position at chest level.

Breathe!

After a few days on the mat, things are supposed to get better, but is it really the case?
The body is feeling sore, and during Asanas each diificulty gives the mind an opportunity to jump in and challenge the situation.
‘I can’t do this’…,
– just breathe and move with the flow without thinking about what comes next.
‘What am I doing here?’…,
-just breathing, nothing else to think or do.
‘I feel so tired’… ,
– but I can still breathe!, this is what matters for now and it is just enough to make it to the next move.
‘Maybe I’ll injure myself if I go so deep in this pose’…,
– just breathe, stay centered, steady, focus on your bandhas, feel lighter, trust the teachers, the process and yourself…
‘How many more Vinyasa ane Chaturanga can I endure?’… – who cares, just this one matters, breathe, feel your body pulsating, feel just how good this inhalation is.
Don’t pay attention to whatever comes through the mind, just focus, just breathe, discover the joy of this single, simple breath and ride on it like on a wave, and the next one…, and the following one…

Tiramisu- love diet


Similar to all asanas, there are different recipes on bakings to cater for beginners.
Below is a very simple tiramisu recipe which I learnt while staying in Italy for a year & it tastes fabulously.Two different recipes are featured below and they are so simple that even young kids can join in to bake together.Before we start,(especially  for beginners) , below is a brief explanation of what is Tiramisu:

Tiramisu ([tiɾamiˈsu], Italian spelling: Tiramisù; lit. “pick me up”) is an Italian cake and dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (Italian: Savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone cheese, and flavored with liquor and cocoa.[1] The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of puddings, cakes and other desserts

 
Recipe 1:( 1st time beginner)
Ingredients:
EGG YOLKS, 3
EGG WHITES, 1 or 2
SUGAR, superfine (castor)
3 tablespoons ESPRESSO COFFEE, strong, 1/4 cup
MASCARPONE CHEESE, 250g
SAVOIARDI (LADY FINGERS), 4 ounces
 
Instructions:
Soft cream:

  • Make a cream mixing eggs yolk, sugar and mascarpone.Add white egg  & mixed , beat until it is fluffy.

 
Tiramisu:

  1. Prepare thick coffee and let it cool
  2. Dip the lady fingers into the coffee and put it into a plate.
  3. Cover the lady fingers with the soft cream cream
  4. Repeat action 2 and 3 for another 1/2 layers.
  5. Sprinkle some grounded chocolate over the cream as a finishing touch
  6. Refrigerate for several hours before serving with a cup of coffee

 

Recipe 2: ( 2nd time beginner)
Ingredients:
EGG YOLKS, 3
EGG WHITES, 1 or 2
SUGAR, superfine (castor),
3 tablespoons VIN SANTO, or MARSALA, or BRANDY,
1-1/3 cups ESPRESSO COFFEE, strong, 1/4 cup
MASCARPONE CHEESE, 8 ounces CREAM, 1/2 cup
SAVOIARDI (LADY FINGERS), 4 ounces Directions
 
Instructions

  • Make a zabaglione by beating the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler until ivory colored.
  • Add 1/3 cup liquor and whisk over gently simmering water until the mixture begins to thicken. Let it cool.
  • Stir the coffee into the Mascarpone.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks.
  • Beat the egg white(s) until stiff. Fold the egg white(s) into the zabaglione.
  • Dip the lady fingers into the remaining liquor and line the bottom of a 9-inch bowl or individual containers (wine glasses work well).
  • Cover them with half the Mascarpone, then half the zabaglione, then half the whipped cream.
  • Repeat the layers, finishing with the cream.
  • Refrigerate for several hours before serving

Beginners class #1

By Elaine Ee
Beginners Yoga: Lesson Plan #1
Intro: My name is Elaine, I’m going to be your yoga guide for the next 60 minutes. This is a beginners’ yoga class and today we are going to learn some basic yoga poses and movements, focusing on alignment, breath and working a little bit on strength and flexibility.
Mantra: 3 Oms
Breathing: Start with deep breathing, 6 counts inhale, 6 counts exhale.
Introduce Ujayi breathing (breathing using the throat, nose is only a passageway)
5min
Warm up: Head to toe: neck rolls, shoulder rolls, arm rotations (forwards, backwards, both directions), stretch deltoids (hold for 5 secs), pelvic rotations, hip rotations, ankle rotations
– x 5 times per side/direction
5 min
Surya Namaska A
– step back version x 5 times (knees, hips, chin on the ground; hold downward dog for 5 deep breaths)
(harder option: jump back)
10 min
Asanas
Standing:
Ukatasana with arms overhead, parallel
(easier option: arms in front; harder option: arms overhead, palm touching)
Transition from Ukatasana into easy chaturanga, upward dog and downward dog
Step into Virabradrasana A, left and right side; then Virabradranasa B, left and right. Hold each warrior pose for 5 deep breaths.
Transition back into Ukatasana.
Step back sideways into Trikonasana; left and right, hold for 5 deep breaths each.
Back to samasthiti
Padahastasana, holding heels. Pull on heels, face flat on shins, weight forwards. 5 breaths.
Step back sideways into Prasarita Padottasanana A. Go down with a flat back, knees locked to protect hamstrings, tummy tucked in to push sit bones up. 5 breaths
Samasthiti
Sitting:
Sit in Dadasana
Push up to Purvattanasana, counter pose. 5 breaths x 2
Sit back in Dadasana
Pachimottasana A. Walk sit bones back first, use peace sign fingers to grip big toes, emphasize flat back. 5 breaths x 2
Dadasana
Janu Sirasana A, 5 breaths each side. (harder option: Janu Sirasana B)
Dadasana
Triang Mukha Ekapada Pach, 5 breaths each side.
Supine:
Supta Vajrasana (fixed firm), to be counter pose to forward bends and to transition into supine positions. 5 breaths x 2; child’s pose in between
Ushtrasana (camel), 5 breaths x 2; child’s pose in between
Sasangasana (rabbit), 10 breaths x 1
Finish:
Twist: right leg cross over left, flex right knee, place right foot by left knee; right hand on floor at the back for support. Raise left hand, twist and place left hand by right knee. 5 breaths each side
(harder version: bend left knee)
Pranayama
Uyaji breathing, 25 breaths
Mantra
3 Oms
Savasana

Lesson Plan – Building Up to Trikonasana

Introduction (3 min)
The following lesson plan focuses on building flexibility and strength in the core to hold and position the body properly in Trikonasana, open up the hips so that the toes and kneecaps can be pointed in the correct directions, as well as increase flexibility in the back of legs and strengthen the quads so that back leg can be used actively to support weight distribution.
Ohm and Pranayama (12 min)

  • Ohm x10
  • Ujjayi – 5 min
  • Bhramari – 5 min

Warm-up (5 min)
Asana (30 min)
Suryanamaskara A x5
Suryanamaskara B x5
Navasana (Boat Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Santolasana (Plank)

Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

 
Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

 
Tiryaka Tadasana (Side Bending Pose)

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Bend)

Parsvotanasana (Intense Stretch to the Side Pose)

Ukatasana (Chair Pose)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Parvaritta Utthita Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

Closing sequence
Closing (10 Min)

  • Kapala Bathi
  • Savasana
Thanks to the Fat Girl for doing the poses.

When Garbha Pindasana Cannot Be Said or Done Without a Slur (or Hiccup)

It was a reunion of sorts. A Saturday girls’ night out in Club Street with my girlfriends after I’d spent a week away working in Hong Kong. After my self-proclaimed, “booze celibacy” (AKA the 200 hour training course), we were also celebrating the first night I could go out on a proper pisser since late June.
I was flattered that they had taken such a curious interest in my progression in the course. Week after week I’d entertain them with reports of what I’d learned that week, what poses I could accomplish, and a tally of how long I’d gone without booze. 
After a great dinner (which consisted of meat; I’d also taken a reprieve from flesh eating during the course), we headed to the neighborhood rooftop bar and continued our binge. Although earlier in the night they’d insisted I demonstrate the poses I’d learned, I’d sloughed it off.  Little did I know that they would not only remember this request, but would require proof that I was indeed in training for the past month and not just blowing off their invitations to meet them for drinks.
Not very yogic, I know.
With a confidence only gained at my fourth Glenlivet, I ceded their request.
“GarrrrbHaa Pindasssssshaannnaah”.
“What?”
“GarrrrbbHaa Pindasssssshaannnaah. You know, it’s like an embryo in the womb. It’s meant to CALMMM the MINNNND and bring EMOOOOSHUNNAL stability” (I was shouting at this point because I became unaware that my own volume might not have been louder than that produced by the speakers above our heads).
“In GarrrrbbHaa Pindasssssshaannnaaah, you also massage your abs and benefits digestion…”  I even went so far to begin explaining as I began demonstrating, removing my 3 inch red heels.
Step one: Sit in Lotus.
Step two: Slide your arms, one by one,  between the gaps found in your thigh and calf.
Step three: Fold up your elbows and bring your hands up, resting your chin in your palms.
At this point, I was getting applause from the table, though I knew I was not properly in the asana. After all, Garbha Pindasana is performed in the second half of the primary Ashtanga series, and I hadn’t warmed up properly for this.
“Bhutt WHHHHait, I’m not finnnnnishhedd.”
I began to attempt the nine rolls back and forth, however my arms, legs and everything flew akimbo as I was desperately flailing for balance. I’m thankful there were no cameras to capture this mess.
I’ve learned my lesson. Having respect for the practice is necessary for achieving the benefits. I clearly did not respect Garbha Pindasana, and I was not met with the rewards that this pose intends to provide.
Stay bendy, everyone.