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Know your Asana: PADMASANA

PADMASANA is a classic Yoga Asana and is immediately identified with images of the Buddha, Agiyogi and other legendary Yogis throughout history! It's also perhaps the first asana that comes to mind when one tries to imagine a Yogi. What makes Padmasana so special? Actually, more than the form of the pose; it is what Padmasana stands for that has defined it's iconic status - the complete mastery over Body & Mind which Yogis are renowned for, and a certain Composure that we all aspire to! There are thousands of other asanas that we see all over Instagram, but nothing comes to close to Padmasana if we were to attempt to encapsulate all of Yoga in a single posture. KNOW YOUR ASANA! Padmasana or Lotus pose is one of 4 classic meditation asanas. A Meditation pose needs to fulfil one main criterion - that your back should be kept straight! And Padmasana accomplishes this. Also, meditation poses (Siddhasana, Vajrasana & Sukhasana being the other classic poses) generally lock the legs so that there is less loss of Energy (Prana) through your feet, whilst your hands are held in a Mudra to conserve Prana inside the body for the purpose of Meditation. Significance of the Lotus in Eastern Philosophy The 'Lotus' symbolises Transcendence, growing deep from the dirt and mud, yet rising out of it to full bloom and beauty beyond the water. It is symbolic of our Seeking to transcend our basal nature in our Journey of Life. Hence the Lotus finds repeated allegorical reference in ancient Indian and far Eastern philosophical writings. Benefits of Padmasana: Pranayam: Padmasana is the best posture for practising Pranayam. Also, it the the right pose for Om chanting. Chakras: In terms of form, Padmasana is special because it aligns all the [...]

Bandhas in Yoga

One of the prime benefits for people who have made Yoga as part of their lifestyle, in this chaotic modern world, is finding that calmness within. The medium by which those few minutes of blissful calmness can be achieved is meditation. A few factors come into play if you want to be able to sit in Meditation, without being distracted. Firstly, physical fitness is essential, i.e a strong back to be able to sit still and straight. Secondly a healthy well being, i.e a calm and stable mind. The body needs to achieve Homoeostasis. Homoeostasis is defined as the property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant. If we apply this definition to ourselves, we need to achieve internal stability within the body, by regulating the variables that affect us, the concious and subconscious reactions of the mind, hormonal changes, blood pressure, sugar levels and so on. So how do we go about regulating these conditions. As a start hormones play a vital role and have a big impact on our bodies. Hormones affect almost all physiological and behavioural activities in our body. It affects digestion, metabolism, sleep, growth, reproduction and much more! By the use of Bandhas (hormonal locks) in Yoga, one can try and regulate hormones quite easily. Bandha means to close off or lock, but it is important to point out that Bandhas are not physical locks but energy locks that block energy within a particular part of the body. Bandhas are used in the areas where the Endocrine glands reside. Endocrine glands are glands of the endocrine system that secrete their products, hormones, directly into the blood rather than through a [...]

By | October 19th, 2015|Bandhas, Meditation|1 Comment

ROLE OF YOGA IN WEIGHT LOSS by Total Yogi Kuldeep Singh Bist

  Weight Gain and Obesity is the most common problem and is also the most frustrating and difficult to manage. We gain weight when we eat more calories (energy in the food) than we burn or burn fewer calories than we eat. Our body has a constant demand of energy and uses calories from the food to keep functioning. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the types of nutrients that contain calories and the main energy source of our body. Regardless of where they come from, the calories we eat are either converted to physical energy or stored within our body as fat. These stored calories will remain in our body as fat in adipose tissue unless we use them up either by reducing calorie intake so that our body draw on reserves for energy or by increasing physical activity so that we burn more calories or both. At rest we need energy for breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormones levels and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories our body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as basal metabolic rate or we might call metabolism. In addition to basic metabolic rate two other factors food processing and physical activities determine how many calories our body burns each day. We don’t have control over our basal metabolic rate but we can control how many calories we burn through the physical activity. The more active we are, the more calories we burn. The amount of calories average adult male needs depends on his size and activity level and various from 2000 to 3000 calories per day. Unfortunately weight loss is complicated. It’s likely a combination of genetic makeup, hormonal controls, metabolic efficiency, diet composition, [...]

By | January 5th, 2015|Asana, Asanas Directory, Bandhas, Core Strength, Meditation, Meditative Asanas, Pranayam, Pranayam, Surya Namaskar, The Fun side of Yoga!, Total Yoga, Total Yogis, Total Yogis on the Road, Weight Loss, Yoga, Yoga News|Comments Off on ROLE OF YOGA IN WEIGHT LOSS by Total Yogi Kuldeep Singh Bist

FAQs about Yoga!

    How yoga helps in treating backpain? Yoga is perhaps the most important methodology to treat Back Pain. Most Back Pain is caused because of the sedentary nature of our modern Lifestyle; and hence due to weakened Back and Core muscles. Add mental Stress to this, which causes stiffening of muscles and we find that Back Pain has become a global epidemic! Yoga exercises or Asanas were designed to keep the Back supple yet strong as a straight back was pivotal for sitting long hours in Meditation. Asanas are often used in Physiotherapy exercises in the therapeutic alleviation of Back Pains. Also, Yoga’s Breathing exercises or Pranayama helps us de-stress; so then our Body can relax and heal itself.   Is yoga a good workout? Take a peek in to any gym in the world and you will see a Yoga class on the schedule. Yes, Yoga has universally been accepted as an effective work-out! Yoga helps us get Fit, lose Weight, tone our muscles, improve posture, alleviate back pains and strengthen the back. It helps us make our bodies more supple and Flexible while also Strengthening to create a lean, toned look. Worldwide sportsmen and athletes are swearing by yoga! It is an exercise that caters to people of all age groups. Yoga is arguably the most complete workout in the world as it benefits all aspects of Fitness - flexibility, strength, cardio, balance and mental wellbeing!   Is yoga good for respiratory system? Yoga lays a high emphasis on Breathing. In fact an entire range of practices called Pranayama are dedicated to Breathing completely. This makes the Body stronger and eliminates toxins. The right balance of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide is vital [...]

The TOTAL YOGI Work-out!

A lot of people have asked me for a Yoga routine that they can follow. I've always resisted. Ideally there should be NO routine in your YOGA practice - it's not about mastering 15-20 poses; but about having overall Flexibility, Strength and being Sensitive to what your Body requires at that particular MOMENT. And only then you have a chance to be fresh every single time you do Yoga. Only then can you keep the wonder and interest alive - and then Meditation can begin to happen to you. No Auto-Pilot routines of Asanas! Ideally. However, till you develop the interest and time to figure it out yourself - here's what I'd recommend - the TOTAL YOGI workout! How often should you practice Yoga?  I'd say, a minimum of 7 days a week!  Yes, like you eat or bathe everyday; so too should yoga be practiced daily. How long should you practice? At least 40 mins. I don't expect you to sustain focus for longer and you'll end up wasting a lot of time in between especially if you're practicing by yourself. So keep it tight! Any less than 40 mins is tough - simply because we are doing Asanas, Pranayam & Meditation! When? Preferably early morning - after your toilet & shower - before eating. Else, evening. What constitutes the Total Yogi Work-out? It should include Flexibility, Cardio, Balance and Strength training apart from Relaxation & Meditation. Each major Body-Part should have an exercise. Asana trains muscle endurance - so each pose should be held  for 1 min. Your target is to hold this 1 min with only 12 breaths; or lower! For further Fitness - Isometric exercises (push-ups, squats, crunches) will follow the Asana. For all the [...]