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.

Asanas for the 7 Chakras

Chakras refer to the energy centers in the human body which is vertically aligned in the center of the body close to the spine. There are seven chakras, or energy centers, in our body. Each of these chakras is associated with a different part of the body along the spine from the coccyx to the crown of our head. As centers of force, chakras can be thought of as sites where we receive, absorb, and distribute life energies. A proper balance in the seven Chakras is essential for us to have good health. Through external situations and internal habits, such as long-held physical tension and limiting self-concepts, a chakra can become either deficient or excessive—and therefore imbalanced. An imbalance in the chakras can result in diseases and ill health. Yoga postures can help in aligning the chakras and making them healthy and active.

By practising yoga we can learn to focus the concentration and energy to and from the various chakras in our body.  By balancing the energy among all seven of the chakras a balance can be achieved.

Asanas for the different chakras

1.         Muladhara Chakra (mula=root, cause, source; adhara=support or vital part). This chakra is located at the base of spine (coccyx) and is associated with adrenals, kidneys, muscles and blood. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like constipation, back pain, diarrhea, piles, colitis, high blood pressure, obesity, kidney stones and impotence. Some good yoga postures for this chakra are Setu Bandhasana (Bridge), Salabhasana (Locust), Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-knee) and Upavista Konasana (Wide angle forward bend).


2.         Svadhisthana Chakra (sva=vital force, soul; adhisthana=seat or abode). This chakra is located below navel at the lower abdomen and is associated with reproductive organs and stomach. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like uterine fibroids, pre-menstrual syndrome, irregular periods, ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, testicular disease, low back pain and prostate disease. Some good yoga postures to practise for this chakra are Bhujangasana (Cobra), Garudasana (Eagle), Kapotasana (Pigeon) and Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist).


3.         Manipura Chakra (manipura=navel). This chakra is located at the navel (solar plexus) and is associated with the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, spleen, digestive system and nervous system. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like diabetes, digestive problems, liver disease and gall stones. Some good yoga postures to practise for this chakra are Bhujangasana (Cobra), Dhanurasana (Bow) and Chakrasana (Wheel).

4.         Anahata Chakra (anahata=heart). This is the heart chakra and is associated with the heart, thymus gland, lungs and circulatory system. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like heart diseases, allergies, breast cancer and problems related to the immune system. Some good yoga postures for a healthy heart chakra are Bhujangasana (Cobra), Matsyasana (Fish) and Ustrasana (Camel).

5.         Visuddha Chakra (visuddha=pure). This chakra is located at the throat and is associated with the thyroid gland, lungs and respiratory system. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like thyroid, anorexia, asthma, bronchitis, hearing problems, mouth ulcers, sore throats and tonsillitis. Some good yoga postures for this chakra are Matsyasana (Fish), Halasana (Plough) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand).


6.         Ajna Chakra (ajna=command). This chakra is located at the forehead in between the eyes and is associated with the pituitary gland, eyes, nose, ears and skeletal system. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like migraine, glaucoma, cataracts and sinus problems. Some good asanas for this chakra are Matsyasana (Fish), Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), Sirsasana (Headstand)

7.         Sahasrara Chakra (sahasrara=thousand-petalled lotus). This chakra is located at the crown of the head and is associated with the pineal gland, brain and central nervous system. An imbalance in this chakra can cause diseases and conditions like depression, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. The yoga asanas to practise for this chakra are the same as that for Ajna chakra.