Yoga and social media.

I pick this topic because now a days the world is moving so fast. Social media is one of the most popular and trendy places to be, even though is just an fake space inside a phone, people use it for different reasons like:

  • Help their ego to decrease their insecurity on society.
  • Share their life.
  • Show of the places they were.

I do believe social media can be useful if you want to share believes, information and life experiences with others. It just depends on the reasons and purposes you use it for.

 

In the other side, Yoga is been jeopardized by this generation because of the way they have been teaching and modifying the technique of it. How trendy and famous yoga is? Well, you can see it everywhere gym, fitness center, conventions, courses, master classes, weekend activities, etc. and that’s how trendy is right now. The faster it grows the more modify yoga gets.

 

But, when I said I do believe in social media means (for me) that everyone who has a user account in any app is able to have its own judgment and profit. If you really take time to search for good accounts that provide quality information, then social media turns into a good source and motivational activity.

 

If guide my social media activity with some yoga believes, I am truthful to myself even though I can be connected to the world. For example, if I apply one or two limbs of THE EIGHT LIMBS OF ASHTANGA/RAJA YOGA, I will use:

 

  1. – disappearance of all suppressions.
    1. Ahimsa: non violence, which transforms to love of all. I won´t use my account to attack any person, believe or behavior.
    2. Satya: I´ll share myself the way I am and I live life.
    3. Asteya: freeing oneself of jealous instincts. Don´t watch anyone who make us feel jealous or angry.
    4. Brahmacharya: gain vitality and energy. Share our energy the way it is.
    5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness. No attachment to the amount of followers, likes, shares and friends we have.
  2. -
MIND FIT FOR CONCENTRATION.

The mind becomes capable, ready and fit to express all it carries inside. Your mind becomes able to create things within a short time. The science and ability to project anything you want is Dharana. Is a methodology through which your mind is fixed on an object, subject or an idea such that your consciousness is raised to a higher frequency or state. Your mind becomes capable for concentration in every topic or subject to need to share or read. You project anything you want, you find your own way to be in this world without anyone that disturbs you, you are completely conscious.

 

I try to apply how in this complicated social media world yoga helps us to be entire aware of what are we doing. There is nothing wrong with this world, we make good and wrong decisions through actions that are based on our level of conscience. Use social media to change the world, to return some of the joy God gives you.

 

 

Yoga and the Media

In today’s modern word, it’s hard to avoid the impact of the media, especially the ‘social’ kind. Many industries have boomed with the rise of social media attention and yoga doesn’t seem to have escaped this growing trend. But, with such an ancient practice, how has modern day media ‘shaped’ the art of yoga and is it detrimental to the fundamentals of what it means to be a yogi?

It seems inevitable in a capitalist society, that nothing is exempt from commercialisation, including yoga. Falling under the ‘fitness’ banner in many western countries, yoga has become big business and with the rise of social media platforms, such as Instagram, yoga has been steadily growing in popularity. You don’t have to search for long to find vast numbers of yogi profiles from around the globe, proudly posting photos of pincha mayurasana against a pristine-white-beach backdrop, or another demoing a dynamic flow, wearing the latest stylish gear. The thriving yoga industry has led to the rise of the ‘celebrity yogi’ – a diverse group of accomplished practitioners, with a strong Instagram following. Many of these high profile yogis will openly share their own views about how social media has led us away from what it means to practice yoga, yet the irony is that the platform from which they post these views, isn’t able to truly capture all that yoga stands for.

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Yoga for a Happier Digestive System

Since six years old (or maybe even further back), I’ve suffered from constipation. It’s been common for me to empty my bowels once to twice every week. My family and friends who know about my constipation, used to say it may be because I don’t drink enough water or eat enough fibre, but that’s wrong. I drink at least 2 litres of water per day and eat a well balanced meal with enough fibre.

To ease my constipation I’ve tried incorporating yoghurt in my diet (which helped a bit) but stopped due to frequent skin break outs and a stomach bloat. As well as taking probiotic supplements, which didn’t seem to make a difference.

As time passed, I’ve ignored my digestive problems, telling myself that maybe my body takes a longer time to move the waste out of my bowels. But then as I commenced the 4 week yoga teacher training course, I’ve been going to the toilet to empty my bowels every single day. EVERY SINGLE DAY! AND SOMETIMES EVEN TWICE A DAY! It’s been an amazing feeling, where my stomach feels empty and at ease.

I haven’t changed my life style, diet, sleeping patterns, etc. The only new thing that was incorporated into my lifestyle this past week has been yoga practice (asanas and pranayama).  Five days of yoga in a row, practicing the asanas along with pranayama for minimum two (2) hours in the morning before lunch.

One might suggest it’s because I’ve been “exercising”, but the answer is no. I’m a freelance spinning instructor, teaching minimum of five 45 minutes classes a week. I “exercise” enough, thank you very much. Sure you can get an “exercise” out of yoga, but I’d say I’ve been moving my body a lot more in different angles and planes, twisting my body along with proper conscious breathing which probably massaged my colon internally, thus stimulating elimination.

Yoga really does purify your body, especially your colons. I look forward to continuing this regular practice (partly) for a happier digestive system. You know what they say, happy tummy equals happy me.

 

— Miso

Bhujangasana

We had our final exams today, it was a very intense and sweaty practice but fun at the same time.  You can see everybody at their best alignment, drishti and pranayama.  Everybody looked so graceful and beautiful with all the asanas.  At some point, there were cards layed on the floor for us to teach with a time limit.  Tadah!!! I picked a card and got Bhunjangasana – Cobra Pose.Read More

Beating Stress with Yoga

Stress is everywhere. Stress is part and parcel of our daily life. But what is stress?
Webster define stress as mental or physical tension or strain. Pressure, urgency causing one to feel exhausted, depressed, tense or disappointed.

Everyone knows stress in the negative aspect, however, there are 2 type of stress. The good and the bad. Eustress and Distress. Eustress is beneficial stress or “good stress”, a positive form with a positive effect on us in terms of strength, growth, motivation and emotional well-being. Distress on the other hand has a negative effect on us involving overload, weakness and vulnerability. And the commonly talked about one on a daily basis.

Stress isn’t something we can avoid. Prolonged stress can take its toll on our physical body; emotionally straining and mentally disturbed. To beat stress Awareness is 90% of the solution.

Yoga has been gaining popularity over the years. To some people, Yoga is just a physical practice. Following the latest trend to keep fit. But this is not the truth.

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines asana (yoga)poses, pranayama (controlled breathing), and meditation or relaxation. It’s not just about sweating out to lose weight or exercising to keep fit. Yoga has shown to have a calming effect. It works to relieve tension and reduce stress both physically and mentally.

Asana such as Trikonsana (extended triangle pose), Balasana (child’s pose) and Savasana (corpse pose) are some yoga poses for stress relief. These poses helps to calm the mind and eases stress. Extended triangle pose is an excellent stress relieving pose and it stretches the full body and improve digestive system. Restorative and Yin yoga are also great styles for practicing the art of letting go of your stress.

Pranayama (Breathing) deeply and more effectively are another way to relieve stress. Pranayama techniques, particularly Brahmari (humming bee breath) and Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril) are simple technique and instant option to de-stress. And it can be practised anywhere – at home or at work. The Brahmari resembles the typical humming sound of the bee. The humming sound vibration calms and soothes the nerves around the brain and forehead, thus having a natural calming effect. Nadi Shodhana in sankrit means channel or flow purification. This technique primarily aimed at purifying the mind and body. It calms and rejuvenate the nervous system, reduces stress, anxiety and fosters mental clarity.

Meditation is an incredible tool for relaxing and slowing down our mind. It helps to maintain the balance and connect our mind and body creating a greater sense of harmony and peace.

With proper and disciplined practice of Yoga, we can all manage our stress. By acknowledging stress and being aware of it is the first step to take before stress starts creeping into your life.

 

Patsy Kaye Ang, YTT200 Weekend Warrior – March 2018

Alcohol Use Disorder & Yoga

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is not just a disorder but many consider it as a societal problem, both in terms of its behaviourally impairing effects on the drinker and the serious health problems that occur due to long term excessive use. The varied behavioural and cognitive functions that are impaired due to excessive alcohol usage can lead to immediate adverse consequences such as risky sexual and aggressive behaviour, driving under influence of alcohol and the physical after effect (Marczinski, Grant, & Grant, 2009).

In Singapore, alcohol abuse emerged as second out of the top three most common disorders affecting one in every 32 individuals (Institute Of Mental Health, 2011). Men were found to abuse alcohol more than women with a ratio of 4:1 (Institute Of Mental Health, 2011).

Yoga therapies as complementary therapies have been gaining traction and popularity in the treatment of addiction. The philosophy of yoga focuses on the ways in which yogic breathing, postures, meditation and concentration can decrease the vulnerability to addiction (Khanna & Greeson, 2013).

A pilot study conducted in Sweden (Hallgren, Romberg , Bakshi, & Andréasson , 2014) has found that yoga is a practical and well accepted add on treatment for alcohol dependence. Alcohol consumption was reduced from 6.32 to 3.36 drinks per day in the yoga group. Participants indicated that with yoga therapy, their urge to drink has reduced and some described having improvement in sleep.

Yoga therapy has been proven in many studies to be beneficial not only to alcohol use disorder but many other addictions and mental illness such as anxiety and depression. With regular yoga practice and meditation, yoga helps to improve your daily life and mental state of mind.

Patsy Kaye Ang, YTT200 Weekend Warrior – March 2018

 

Reference:

Marczinski, C., Grant, E., & Grant, V. (2009). Binge Drinking in Adolescents and College Students. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science.

Institute Of Mental Health. (2011, November 18). Singapore Mental Health Survey Press Release. Latest study sheds light on the state of mental health in Singapore. Retrieved from Institute Of Mental Health Web Site: https://www.imh.com.sg/uploadedFiles/Newsroom/News_Releases/SMHS%20news%20release.pdf

Khanna, S., & Greeson, J. (2013, Jun). A Narrative Review of Yoga and Mindfulness as Complementary Therapies for Addiction. Complement Ther Med., 21(3):244-52. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2013.01.008

Hallgren, M., Romberg , K., Bakshi, A., & Andréasson , S. (2014, Jun). Yoga as an adjunct treatment for alcohol dependence: A pilot study. Complement Ther Med, 22(3):441-5. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2014.03.003

My Love Hate Relationship with Yoga

I chanced upon yoga a few years back when a new yoga studio opened just 5 minutes from where I stayed. I went for their open house during their grand opening and signed up for a one-year package. Took my first hot yoga and fell in love with it. That hotness in the studio makes you perspire like hell, but you feel so good after. That same night I slept like a baby.

I continued various different classes with different teachers. Hatha, flow, hot, yin and Ashtanga. That’s where I discovered the style (Ashtanga) that I love the most. I started attending Ashtanga classes more frequently on a weekly basis with the same teacher without fail. However, it started my love hate relationship.

Ashtanga has a fixed sequence that your body will remember after consistent practice. You just flow through the variation poses like water flowing with the tide. However, I find certain poses intimidating and challenging especially the inversion and backbending poses.

I guess quite a lot of beginners like me finds those poses a huge hurdle. Without proper guidance or explanation, there is no way you can learn to stand on your head or bend it gracefully like a gymnast. Pun intended…  

Even though I continued my weekly classes without fail, I have yet to conquer that hate. After one year, I quit from the studio and yoga practice. And went on a hiatus. Until early last year, where my sister suggested to try out a studio (Tirisula) that she has been attending yoga classes regularly. I attended the first class with her and fell in love again. Angelika, the yoga teacher for that day was amazing. Her dedication to all the students of all levels was undivided. She pays attention to every student individual different needs and adjusted our posture for every class that I have attended. I must say, the teacher, teaching the classes plays an important role. She motivated me to overcome my hate. And from there I fall in love all over again and has never look back since.

Patsy Kaye Ang, YTT200 Weekend Warrior – March 2018

 

Importance Of OM & Namaste in Yoga is Spiritual Not Religious:

 Trying to focus & clear the thinking that Yoga is not a religion. It proposes no gods or saviors; it moves forward on the grounds of experiential confirmation rather than religious faith. Yoga is based from India but Its completely Physical, Mental & Spiritual journey of person.

OM:

The physiological benefit of saying “OM” together is it helps to calm the body, can lower the heart rate and the blood pressure, and prepare the body for Asana with healing energy .

The three elements of OM (A-U-M) symbolize the waves of creation: iccha (desire), jnana (preparation), kriya (inspired action). Waves are the nature of the universe.Om symbolizes the vibration and pulsation of the Universe.

Chanting Om together in a group class reminds us of our unity, as well as our diversity. Many voices come together as one. OM enhances our AJNA chakra point,which is situated in our seat of mind also known as 3rd Eye,which is useful for Spiritual well being.

NAMASTE:

In Sanskrit, Namaste can be understood as “the light within me bows to (or honours) the light within you.”

It’s a greeting or sign-off that recognizes that each of us has an individual soul, and we are grateful and respectful towards each other’s unique soul.

 In the meantime, when we say Om and Namaste during class, this is the general energy behind them, from a place of honour and respect towards the lineage of yoga, and to each other for showing up to try to feel better.

Sunita,

200Hr YTTC,August 2017

Love Yourself

Love Yourself

Yoga and Lifestyle

 

Dragging along a yoga mat along throughout the day while commuting around using public transport that is packed with people like canned food. Rushing off from work during lunch time or after work to the studio for yoga classes. Spending time on the weekends after a hard week at work, on the mat in the studio or at home. Excitedly talking about yoga with family, friends or colleagues during meals.

The above scenarios describe the surface view of the life of someone who has discovered yoga, enjoys it and looks forward to getting back on the mat. This might even be you.

If this is you, it looks like you have found something you love, something that you are passionate about. You see the physical benefits, you enjoy the sensation of loosening your muscles, de-stressing and getting away from work. You might even enjoy it for the community. You made friends, or you enjoy going to classes with friends and the post-class meals or drinks.

However, ultimately, on the mat whether you are alone at home or in class, what you are really doing is that you are spending well-deserved time on yourself. Through yoga, you’ve found a reason to spend time for yourself, on yourself. Even though in a class you might be surrounded with people, during your yoga practice you are focusing on your body, on your own mind.

Psychologists, neurologists and social scientists have long advocated the needs and benefits of spending time for yourself. Doing so helps you to reflect and think deeply. If you can spend time alone in solitude, it allows you to unwind, and rejuvenate your mind just like how sleeping helps your body recover from fatigue. The list of benefits goes on and you can find tons of reasons and resources as to why it’s so important with a simple internet search.

However, living in the modern era, in a modern city that is bustling with activity and where people seem endlessly occupied with work, where people just seem forever busy; it’s hard to really set time aside and dedicate it just for yourself. It’s easy to know what you should be doing but actually doing it is hard.

Discovering yoga helps an individual get a taste of how liberating it feels to be able to spend time on yourself. Once you get that taste, it will help you find reasons (doesn’t have to be physical asana practice) to spend those well-deserved minutes or hours on yourself throughout the day as part of your lifestyle. You understand yourself better, you have time to let your thoughts wander and let your creativity flourish. You learn you treat yourself, take care of yourself and love yourself.

So if you aren’t already spending time for yourself, now it’s the time to start loving yourself. 😊

 

Namaste

Justin Chew

ANATOMY- ILIOCOSTALIS

Class batch: RYT200hrs, P/T, Apr – Jun 2017

Project title: Anatomy

Project theme: Iliocostalis

Project by: Andre Neo Tai Chin

I’ve practiced Wall Rope Yoga all along. I was told to ‘Drop down and let go my body’ at the side as one of the poses in Wall Rope Yoga. Everything went smooth until the next day when I was practicing Ashtanga Yoga especially in Paschimattanasana I could feel a sharp pain at my side back muscle and when in all Marichyasana poses the twist made the pain even worse. Subsequently for the next one week, I could not sleep soundly and in pain. On the second week, I decided to find out where was the exact cause of pain at my side back muscle’s pull. 

  With the help of ‘The Key Muscles of Yoga’ reference book, back muscles area is ‘Erector-Spinae’ which has three muscles running parallel to the Vertebral column where one of the muscle is called iliocostalis. Forward bend and supine twist asanas target on Iliocostalis. iliocostalis was the answer to my finding. Now that I’d known the caused of my injury. It would be easier for me to recover using the right method (chinese medicine) to target the pain area. It’ll be a slow process to heal, but no pain, no gain.

I’ve to be careful in the future when it comes to ‘Drop down and let go my body’ pose where my body can take to its maximum in ‘Half way drop down and half way body let go’ kinda pose- literally as a saying…