Muscle Ache

Muscle Ache is common for everyone especially for those who have not been exercising regularly after a session of yoga practice or workout.
It happens to everyone including the regulars and fitness athletes as well. So there is no excuse that you should stop your practice or exercising if you are aching.
The common causes are:  1> Injury or trauma, (extreme case) and most commonly 2> overuse of the muscle (using a muscle too much especially on muscle group that are not use regularly).
So how do we relieve the ache? Here are some ways for me relieving ache:
1>   Stretch
It’s important to stretch before exercise and equally important to stretch after exercise as it helps to the muscle to recover faster. Gently stretch on the sore muscle and you will feel the relive.
2>   Turmeric
Turmeric helps to reduce the inflammation at the muscle thus you won’t feel the sensation as much. Simply add some turmeric powder in your drinking water and gulp it down. Or as a nightcap, warm some milk and add in turmeric and cinnamon for a nice comforting drink.
3>   Tennis Ball
Rather than paying $$$ for a massage, we can simply massage ourself using a tennis ball. Place the tennis ball over the area and rub it over. If it’s your back or leg area, place the tennis ball and roll over it while you are watching TV. If you have a roller at home, that is even easier as you control the roller better than the tennis ball.
4>   Parnayama 
Sit cross-legged with your body up-right and with your eyes closed. Concentrate in your breathing (use Ujjayi Breath for beginner). Focus on the area that is aching and think that every inhalation your take, you are bringing nutrients to the muscle for it to recover. Every exhalation, you are bringing the ache and pain away for it and out of your body.
Try it and you will feel better instantly and even better tomorrow.
By AstonC

How do Yoga help to improve your performance at the IPPT?

Every Singaporean male has to go through National Service and passing the IPPT is a must for us and it is an annual ‘affair’ till we are 40 years old or older for some. (please don’t ask me why)


Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) is a standard physical fitness test to gauge the basic physical fitness of a NS man and the 5 test stations are:



Test Station 

Fitness Components


Sit Up

Endurance of  abdominal muscles


Standing Board Jump

Power of lower limbs extensor muscles


Chin Up

Muscular strength and endurance of upper limbs


4 x 10m Shuttle Run

General speed, agility and co-ordination


2.4KM Run

Cardio-respiratory endurance and lower limb muscular endurance


So here the million dollar question: how do Asthanga Yoga series help to improve your performance at the IPPT test?


Sit Up – We are constantly engaging our abdominal muscle in all the asanas. Think about all the twisting asana that we need to suck in our mula banda or in chaturanga position which we have to suck in the abdominal muscles to ensure our body is in a straight plank.  


Standing Board Jump (SBJ)– how many jump back and jump forward in the Asthanga Vinyasa? At least 20 jumps by doing the Sun Salutation A & B, that’s a good training for SBJ.


Chin Up: If you think that yoga works mostly on you lower limbs. Think about the chaturanga, down-ward dog and up-ward dog and all inversion poses. I’m sure all the muscle around the scapula, triceps and biceps are all working hard.


Shuttle Run: Agility and coordination, isn’t that what we are doing in all the asana. Increase in our flexibility and balancing while coordinating our body to achieve the asana and some do look impossible.  


2.4km Run: We are constantly training our cardio and respiratory systems during our yoga practice. Many people do not believe that our cardio system are worked out during our practice as the asana do not resemblance any of the cardio exercise that they are familiar with such as running and swimming. 


Of course, before the actual IPPT, you need to prepare yourself to get familiarize with the test stations once again. For the 2.4 km run, you have to start training yourself by timing yourself running the actual distance and you will be amazed by your own improvement. Good Luck on your next IPPT. 


By AstonC