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Core Strength

Know your asana – Sethu bandhasana

Sethu bandhasana can be used to fire up or cool down your yoga practice. The bridge posture is great for the spine, thus the vertebrae is lengthened and strengthened. This asana can be used as a preparatory posture for Chakrasana. What is so special about Sethu bandhasana? This asana can be a restorative posture or a dynamic way to open and strengthen your body. It opens the thoracic spine (the middle and upper back) and imprints important alignment principles in the lower body. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, you can reap benefits from building a strong Bridge! Besides, it is a great warm up for the abdomen too. :) Chakra-wise Manipura chakra is associated with the natural element fire and directly linked to your sense of self. A healthy solar plexus ensures that you are comfortable with your own inherent power and become empowered. This energy center is associated with your self-esteem, sense of purpose, personal identity, individual will, digestion and metabolism. Benefits of Sethu bandhasana Opens shoulders and chest-  Rolling onto the tops of your shoulders, helps in opening the chest and strengthening the upper back. This pose is very restorative for anyone who notices that they droop in the shoulders – be it while standing or sitting. Opens the hip-  Bridge asana opens the hip flexors, creating length where there needs to be length, and tension where tension is needed. Great posture to be practiced, after sitting for a long time. De-stressing and calming effects- in the brain and nervous system. Aligns and strengthens the vertebrae.  Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands and abdominal organs- while improving digestion ,circulatory system and respiration. Backbend- Sethu bandhasana is a mild backbend and tones the whole [...]

Run to your freedom …

ONE YEAR LATER  I step back to a place where I experienced a million different emotions. Memories shared with absent faces. Eyes distant but love unchanging. I recall those monotonous hot sultry days where the tomorrows' came after so many battles. Confronting the unease within, visiting and then revisiting those times gone by. How is it that the mind can perilously bend all the rules?! Chains of Past Memories  There is a place within, I know.  Its where I find my freedom, the chains of past memories dissolving. The clarity of heart and mind feel pure . The nectar bursting through every cell as past memories fall with ease. Wounds are healed.  It is now, in this very moment I see and feel ALL. It is a strength of love without boundaries. My physical body embracing the expansion as Prana engulfs me, I consider this as my true freedom, you may know it? Do you go there? Totality of Calmness I can take you with me....So..Hum the internal breath sounds rhythmically as I softly strike my feet down onto the grassy footpath. The mouth stays closed, and the Ujjai Pranayama comes as if nature intended. My nostrils flaring and then the gentle contraction in the throat sending the mind, body and breath in a totality of calmness Explosion of Effortless Flight  I notice the abdominal muscles engaged, and then there's a trickle of sweat slowly edging its way onto my brow. An explosion of effortless flight, as the body engages sheer happiness..... Running my 7th sense, my savior, my love , passion and driver for bliss the shadows dissolve away and fears confronted with courage. This my path to true freedom. Running to your freedom...     Author - Jagdeep [...]

Know your asana- ARDHA CHANDRASANA

Ardha Chandrasana is a pinnacle pose that once understood lays the foundation for other balance postures. The asana is used more by the modern yogis as an alternate to Veerabhadrasana 3. We lovingly refer to it as the cheat pose, but Half moon pose is a great balance and stabilising asana. What makes Ardha Chandrasana so special? Ardha Chandrasana challenges the body, balance and mind. It is a great posture for hip flexibility, strong legs and an aligned spine. Besides, it stretches the whole torso which provides optimal space to all the internal organs. This ensures effective functioning of every organ. And, like they say, "Every posture affects your muscles but more importantly, it balances the functioning of the Human body." Chakra-wise Practicing Ardha Chandrasana stimulates the Mooladhara chakra. Its energy is based on the earth element. It’s associated with the feeling of safety and grounding. It’s at the base of the chakra system and lays the foundation for expansion in your life. Benefits of  Ardha Chandrasana Strengthens ankles, knees and legs - As our weight is balanced on one foot, the hamstrings and quadriceps are engaged resulting in strong legs. Hip Stability -  This asana is particularly beneficial to the external rotators and stabilizers of the hip while increasing the hip flexibility and strength. Strengthens the abdomen and spine- The asana also tones the core while improving the digestion and making the spine more mobile. Relieves stress  -  The balancing act is very powerful, as it helps in practicing mindfulness. Thereby, the deep breathing helps us concentrate and relax. Better Focus - Like every balance asana, there is more mental work to do than physical. There will be days when you can hold the posture for 30 seconds. And there [...]

Know your asana- VEERABHADRASANA 3

One of the most celebrated asanas in Yoga is the Veerabhadrasana. Today we will learn more about the balance posture, Veerabhadrasana 3 or Warrior 3. The common characters of a warrior is their ferocity and anger. But this asana concentrates on their strength and calmness.  Veerabhadrasana 3 is about learning how to respond rather than react. Fight, Flight or Freeze are the common reactions, but we train to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. What makes  Veerabhadrasana 3 so special? This is a dynamic posture!! It works on your lower body, core and more importantly it teaches us patience and perseverance. Every posture in yoga works on our internal organs, muscles, breathing pattern and our personality. Warrior 3 is an epitome of all this. Besides, it's a journey from playing hopscotch in the first class to the time when we can hold it for 30 seconds. :) Chakra-wise Having your intentions in the right place during your practice allows for a deeper focus. Being a balance posture,  Mooladhara chakra ( root chakra) is stimulated. Our need for security, survival and stability is balanced. Thereby, we are more self-aware, courageous and fearless. :) Benefits of Veerabhadrasana 3 Strengthens the ankles and legs- Did you know that the foot and ankle complex have more than 33 joints and over 100 muscles and connective tissues? This pose helps in strengthening and aligning these muscles and bones. Besides, the legs are toned and strengthened. Improves core endurance and hip stability- To hold the posture, the core is engaged. Thereby the abdominal muscles are toned and strengthened . Simultaneously, the gluteus maximus becomes strong and hip flexors are opened.  Aligns your spine and sharpens your focus. Teaches patience, perseverance and focus- Getting this posture right may take weeks [...]

Know your asana: NAUKASANA

Naukasana is one of the most challenging postures on day 1 or year 10 of your practice. Naukasana or the boat posture along with its variations has made it's way into Pilates and the Gym. Moreover, want to check your fitness level, hold the posture for 60 seconds and you'll know where you stand. :) What makes Naukasana so special? The boat posture utilizes all of your muscles in one stationary pose. This asana is an abdominal strengthener and also strengthens the deep hip flexors that attach the inner thigh bones to the front of the spine. Naukasana is lovingly nicknamed "The core killer". :) Chakra-wise The asana works on your core which activates the abdominal organs and activates the Manipura Chakra. On the physical level, the function of this Chakra is similar to that of a fireplace. When the energy of our food is not properly absorbed, utilised and distributed in the Manipura Chakra we feel tired, weak and ill, but with an active Manipura Chakra the body is provided with sufficient energy. Benefits of Naukasana Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors and spine as we balance on our tail bone and push the core towards the spine. Since we engage our core, the abdominal organs are stimulated. It regulates and ensures better functioning of the kidneys, thyroid - prostate glands and intestines. The core killer helps in toning the fat around the stomach. Thereby, regular practice will keep your abdomen taut and toned. Helps to increases the circulation of blood in all the abdominal organs and maintain the sugar level. Therefore, it helps in improving digestion. While balancing in the posture, keep your legs and knees straight, thereby strengthening and toning the legs. Contra-indications Avoid in [...]

Know your asana: ARDH KAPOTASANA

A classic Yoga Asana, which is camera friendly and multipurpose. In Sanskrit, Ardha means “half” and kapota means “pigeon”.  Ardh kapotasana is named after a great master, Kapota. His yogic accomplishments are documented in scriptures such as the Mahabharata and the Kalika Purana. What makes Ardh Kapotasana so special? The posture is widely practiced by athletes, sports people, gymnasts and dancers. Yoga handles stiff hips in a variety of ways. But mostly through a family of poses, popularly called the “hip openers." Ardh kapotasana is a great backbend that strengthens the lower back. It’s fascinating to see the variations of this asana, which has been tailored for people with stiffness in different areas. Chakra-wise The posture stretches the abdominal-pelvic muscles and affects the Manipura chakra (Solar-plexus).  As the seat of digestive fire, this Chakra regulates the function of the Pancreas and digestive organs. Therefore, an active Manipura Chakra supports good health and assists in overcoming many illnesses. Benefits of Ardh kapotasana As we balance in the centre and bend backwards, the abdominal area is engaged. It is a great posture to tone up the abdomen and  the abdominal organs are stimulated.  This pose is perfect for tight hips because it stretches the hip rotators (the buttocks area) and the hip flexors. This asana increases the lower body's flexibility.  It is a great post-run stretch to relax the muscles around the thigh and groin area. This stance is useful for conditioning your thighs. It strengthens the back, while being a great stretch for the spine. It improves the posture thereby giving dancers a better stance. Prepares the body for seated postures such as Padmasana(Lotus Pose). Thereby ensuring more composure in meditative postures. Contradictions Avoid in case of knee [...]