sample text

sample text

Meditation

Know your asana- VRIKSHASANA

Travelling from the sages to the urban yogi, Vrikshasana (Tree pose) represents the grace and serenity of a tree. In the famous Hindu mythology "Ramayan", Ravana performs severe penances standing in Vrikshasana to win favours from the Gods. He stood in the posture for months with absolute determination and concentration which eventually lead to, Ravana being blessed with a boon by the Gods. What makes Vrikshasana so special? Many of the meditative asanas are seated postures. Vrikshasana is a balancing posture which is used by many sages and yogis to meditate. This is a mobile posture, it can be done anytime, anywhere for any duration!! The asana's beauty lies in its' simplicity. :) Chakra-wise Vrikshasana balances the Mooladhara chakra ( root chakra). This chakra regulates the most basic need of all living beings, that is, security and survival. The asana stimulates the energy near the coccyx and pelvic floor. This enables us to feel more safe, secure and stable. Besides building strength in the lower body, on an energy level, we are rooted with the stability of the earth . This ensures that we are more self-aware, courageous, and fearless. Benefits of Vrikshasana Tool for de-stressing- Even just a few breaths in Tree Pose help ground you if you are having a whirlwind week. It creates peace in your mind and in your body, and is a wonderful way to slow down when life gets overwhelming. Curbing anxiety and stress is just one of the emotional responses this posture encourages, and it naturally cools you off and balances the fight or flight response. Strengthens the lower body - Standing on one leg enhances the strength in your ankles and feet — which is very important for runners. Moreover it strengthens [...]

Mindfulness: Simple, yet not Easy

Mindfulness is the practice of training your Awareness to remain on one thing - this could be your Body, your Breathing, the Sounds that your hear, or even the Thoughts in your mind. You could become Mindful of any other aspect as well. When you train your Awareness to become one-pointed, your ability to Focus is enhanced. Mindfulness practice is extremely beneficial in managing our Stress. Origins of Mindfulness The practice of Mindfulness as a formal training finds it roots in the Buddhist traditions. These were perfected in Japan in the Zen traditions. It's interesting to note that the word ZEN was originally a mispronunciation of the word Dhyaan! As Buddhism spread to China, Dhyaan was pronounced and became 'Cha'an' and as it spread to Japan the word became Zen. Observation of Self or Swadhyaya, is a Yoga principle that that is a pillar of the Ashtanga system laid forth by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. In fact. Mindfulness is integral to most Meditation systems of the World. It is within the Yoga and Zen systems that is has been given special focus. Mindfulness in Daily Living Exercise 1 Often is our busy lives, it is difficult to take out 1 hour daily to practice Meditation. In such a scenario, one has to creatively place Mindfulness into one's daily routine. If you think about your daily life, you will find ways to become more Mindful. One of my favourite times for training Mindfulness is when I travel in a Taxi! I realised that I spend over an hour daily commuting in traffic. So I swapped driving my car and switched to using a taxi so that I could sit with my eyes closed and train the watching [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

By | July 8th, 2017|Asana, Bandhas, Knowledge Articles, Meditation, Meditative Asanas, Pranayam, Pranayam, Total Yoga|Comments Off on Know your Asana: PADMASANA

Yomaste Sikkim & Darjeeling! Yoga Travel

Embark on an Adventure in the mythical, magical, mystical...Himalayas! The Himalayas have always been a whole lot more than just another Mountain range. Breathtaking beauty aside; they have since the beginning of Time been the abode of the great Sages, Gods and Yogis. Indian mythology tells stories of epic Himalayan journeys of searching and of austerities performed here. And even today, there is a certain reverence for these mountains for any spiritual Seeker. In fact, it's safe to say that it's a dream come true for all of us modern Yogis to take our Yoga & Meditation practice to the land from where... Yoga originated! Practising Yoga in the Himalayas: On the Bucket List of every Yogi in Yoga studios over the world! Yomaste! We invite you to join us to Sikkim & Darjeeling for a 7-Day Yoga, Travel and Cultural adventure! Mark your dates; from Nov 20-26th, Total Yoga & Byond Travel hosts a Retreat that will immerse You into Yoga & Pranayam, Meditation, Detox internal-cleansing Kriyas; and also Trekking through the Fambong La Wildlife Sactuary, visiting Changu Lake, watching the Sunrise over Mt. Kanchenjunga; visiting Happy Valley Tea Estate and riding on the UNESCO world heritage site Darjeeling Toy Train!! Firstly, why should You embark on a Yomaste Retreat?! https://youtu.be/fleDZw4Irdo (This video was shot at the our Retreat “Days of Zen” in Devbagh in Novemeber, 2014) Yomaste! Rishikesh rafting May 2015 So you’ve been learning Yoga for a while now, and you would like to take your practice to the next level – where you learn to Cleanse your body internally, and immerse yourself deeply into Asana, Pranayam & Meditation. These are practices that once learned will help you throughout life. Importantly though, you don't need to be an expert at Yoga at all; even first-timers can join us! Yomaste! [...]

By | July 3rd, 2016|Meditation, Pranayam, The Fun side of Yoga!, Total Yoga, TY Events!, Yoga, Yoga Challenge, Yoga Festival, Yoga Retreat, Yogi Trek, Yomaste|Comments Off on Yomaste Sikkim & Darjeeling! Yoga Travel

The 21-Day Headstand Challenge!

SIRSASANA is the most iconic and admired Yoga Asana and for thousands of years Yogis have been identified with standing on their Heads! The Headstand conjures up ideas of Mastery over the Body, overcoming Fears in the Mind and an immersion into the Meditative arts. Why Sirsasana? 5 Benefits of the 'King of Asanas!' By inverting the Body, blood flow is re-directed to the Head; thereby stimulating the functioning of the Brain. As we grow older and the neck muscles tighten, lesser Blood flows upwards and while this may be marginal - by re-directing the blood flow upwards, we ensure that brain functions like Memory, Focus & Creativity don't diminish. Sirsasana re-stimulates the functioning of the Pineal gland. This small gland calcifies once we reach the age of about 8. However, unlike the Appendix, the Body continues to nourish the Pineal gland. For a long time, Medical researchers were searching for the function of the Pineal gland. Apart from its role in Sleep, the Pineal gland is also very active in Meditation. This was seen in Electro-Encaphalogram studies of Buddhist monks while Meditating. This corroborates the Pineal gland's importance in Yogic lore - where it relates to Bindu Visarga, one of 8 chakras in some Yogic systems. It connects Man to spiritual insight. Sirsasana is not recommended for people with High BP initially, although over time and if the practitioner can rightly do Headstand, it helps alleviate the condition. In addition, it gives the practitioner a unique Confidence in his Body's abilities. We naturally walk upright but by learning to stand on our Heads, we overcome not just Fears but also various limiting conditioning of our Minds. Finally, the Core gets toned as it engages in order to raise your [...]

By | June 30th, 2016|Asana, Inversions, Knowledge Articles, Meditation, Total Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Challenge, yoga for energy, Yoga in Daily Life|Comments Off on The 21-Day Headstand Challenge!