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10 signs that you’re into Yoga

"Yoga is the process of uniting your body, mind and spirit so that you can be whole again." You have started doing yoga. A lot of people are practicing different genres of yoga. So how do we spot a yogi. When yoga becomes a lifestyle, a yogi can be spotted anywhere. As they practice mindfulness to their best capacity, you can hear them take deep breaths often and mostly, they are happy to close their eyes and look within! Check out the list below and see how many of these signs are true for you. 1) You Own More Than One Mat in different colours 2) You start painting the city with different asanas 3) Your holiday photos consists of Yoga poses 4) Deep breaths become a habit, especially during challenging times   5) You close your eyes to meditate, not day dream or sleep 6) It's not about six-pack, its about wellness 7) You make time for yoga practice, especially on the busy days   8) Your cupboard has more yoga pants than jeans 9) Your eating habits improve   10) Your social media contains yoga and more yoga We’re a diverse and eclectic breed. We come in all shapes and sizes. Individuality aside, you've got to agree, there are some fairly obvious signs that you are a yogi!! How many did you relate to? 0-4  Ah, well.... 5-8  It’s obvious to some people that you’re into yoga! 9-10 The ultimate yogi and people know you for your "great vibes". The light in me honors the light in you. :)  Love and Light Iti Jain  

By | October 23rd, 2017|The Fun side of Yoga!, Total Yoga, Total Yogis, Yoga, Yomaste|0 Comments

The 4 Categories of Meditation

We Humans have explored a wide variety of ideas over Millennia to craft Meditation practices. What's interesting it that right from primitive awareness techniques to highly fine-tuned methodologies, each 'Meditator' has attempted to reach a similar state. A state of Silence, Focus, and profound Clarity and Joy. Isn't that Why we Meditate? So let's explore the broad categories into which we can divide the multitudes of Meditation practices.  Of course there will be many that don't fit into these categories; but even those ones will be close to one of these four. Over the course of our lives we would have experimented with each of these 4 categories. Some of them in the form of Prayer and some as Mind training. Slowly, we come to realise that one of these suits us best, and then we work on it. Once exploration matures, then comes the hard work of daily practice, often over years to keep improving the experience. 1) Awareness of a Body Rhythm/ Function as Meditation Mindfulness practices are all the rage nowadays. And they are some of the world's oldest Meditation techniques. One of the most important techniques here would be 'Watching your Breath'. Every time you tune in to a body rhythm, you become more Meditative, Grounded and very much in the 'here and now'. It's a simple technique that has huge benefits in terms of your Health and Mental well-being. Similarly you could tune in to the rhythm of your heart beat. 2) Chanting certain Words/ Syllables Since our Mind 'thinks' in words, and is always engaged in an inner conversation - using Words as a Meditative practice becomes very effective. Chanting or 'Mantra' repetition is the most common Meditation practice used by all major Religions and Spiritual [...]

Meditation is our Birthright!

Let nobody tell you that Meditation is difficult. Let nobody tell you that it requires learning complex techniques. And let nobody tell you that it requires lifetimes of practice. Meditation is your Nature - every animal, tree and rock is naturally inclined to being Meditative. So why should it be a struggle for us! And yet it is. Worldwide, people are turning to Meditation to find Peace, Balance and an Anchor in their chaotic lives. And they are doing this in the millions. So much so that, there's now a global market for Meditation! You can shop online using any number of Mindfulness Apps. Or you can read a growing array of Self-help books. Or join your neighbourhood Chanting, Philosophy, Meditation circles. And if you're more curious, then you can join the Guru du jour to learn his/her well-branded Meditation technique. Chances are you'll soon find millions of 'fellow-meditators' ('Guru Bhai's if you have the same Guru). And you'll be a part of a support structure that nurtures your Meditative practice - which is very useful at the start. Soon enough you'll be part of a whole new eco-system with new Friends et al. But was that Why you started Meditation practice to begin with? So, what can I do to get started....right here, right now? Understanding what is Meditation and the types of Meditations will help you find your own practice. You will have to experiment a bit to see what suits you. But then it's better to spend that time and create a set of practices that work for you. This is better than spending year after year with a technique that isn't Transforming you or even Inspiring you to practice it. Of course you will need a technique to get [...]

By | October 20th, 2017|Meditation, Total Yoga, Yoga, Yomaste|1 Comment

Yoga cures for Thyroid

Thyroid is a much talked about condition. Let's spend some time to quickly understand what can help you recover from it, by using Yoga. Thyroid and Yoga This gland is located in the neck region and releases the thyroxin hormone which helps in body metabolism. Thyroid can be of 2 types - Hyper and Hypo thyroidism. We meet many people who ask us for specific asanas to heal. While you focus on those asanas more, you also need to work on your complete body. We cannot just exercise one part of our body/organ. If you are focusing on specific asanas, do it post suryanamaskars under proper guidance. Below are some Thyroid focusing asanas to start with, before you do that, do have a word with the Yoga teacher.  Yoga practices to help with Thyroid Jalandhar Bandha: In every Total Yoga class we do Bandhas as we believethey are very effective energy locks. Jalandhar bandha is also known as the chin lock and stimulates the thyroid glands. It also works on the Vishuddhi Chakra! Sarvangasana: Popularly called the Shoulder stand - Sarvangasana is an important pose to stimulate the thyroid gland and control thyroxin. In this pose there is reverse blood flow working on your skin, face, head and throat of course!  Halasana: Most often,from Sarvangasana we move slowly to Halasana. In this pose compression is on the neck and it stimulates thyroid glands. Sirshasana: Sirshasana is one of the finest Yoga poses! Also called as the head stand it acts directly on the thyroid glands, helping to balance the metabolic functions. Matsyasana: This is generally the last asana in practice. In this asana you take the form of Fish, hence matsyasana. This asana provides adequate stretch to the thyroid [...]

Mind Body Breath in Yoga

Yoga is Somatopsychic. This means yoga has a mind-body relationship. The body posture affects the emotions and the state of mind. Yoga works at both mental and physical levels. Thereby  fostering harmonious functioning of the person. Asanas and movements  Simple yoga postures gently stretch and strengthen muscles. Thereby improving mobility, flexibility, respiration, circulation, digestion and elimination. Thus promoting a general sense of health and well being. It is difficult to feel low-depressed with a straight spine and open shoulders. Similarly, when we are ill or upset, our body language reflects it. That is, our shoulders are rounded and our spine is compressed. The breathing-energy has no space for optimal movement, which eventually affects the state of mind. Pranayama (Breathing practices) Breathing is the interface between body and mind. It is constantly being influenced by our emotions and activities (unlike heart beating). Also we can consciously modify it. Breathing, smoothly and consistently, harmonises body and mind, manages stress and reduce energy blockages. Relaxation practices Learning how to relax is another central element of Yoga. Relaxation is the body’s way of recharging, and helps to ease physical and mental tension. They also help in pain management. Meditation  Meditation enables one to cope better with situations that put the body and mind under strain.  The two most-widely-used meditation practices are ‘mindfulness meditation’ and ‘emotion culturing’.  In mindfulness meditation one gets to know oneself by observing one’s thoughts and emotions without judging them.  In emotion culturing one explores the reduction of fear and other negative emotions by replacing them with positive emotions. The mind and body cannot be separated. They affect each other. Thus, good posture and movement through the day keeps you happy and healthy.  Iti Jain

Yoga Props: To use or Not to use

Timeline of Yoga props Traditionally, yoga could be done anywhere, anytime without anything. No mats, no yoga props, no music. It comprised of asanas to help people sit in meditative postures for a long time. B.K.S Iyengar added props in yoga, to help people benefit from the asanas. Practitioners across all age groups and different fitness levels were able to get similar benefits with the help of yoga bricks, belts, etc. Overtime, props gained popularity as people with stiff spine could get into Chakrasana, Halasana. Belts helped people stretch their hamstrings or calves better. And a whole range of props were added to yoga. With Vinyasa, Power Yoga becoming the new rage across the globe and fitness studios. Props were sidelined. Today, a lot of people either doubt the use of props or swear by them. Which leaves the nouveau practitioners perplexed. Yoga Props: To Use or Not to use Some yogis feel that using props is forceful and made it seem like the yoga equivalent of cheating in an exam. BUT, to use or not to use props, depends on the goal of your yoga practice.  For therapeutic purposes, props are an absolute blessing. Using a strategically placed prop can open your body, increasing range of motion, flexibility without putting you in a vulnerable position to injuries. Even in Restorative Yoga, the main aim is to relax and rejuvenate. Thus, people set up props and stay in the asana for 10-20 minutes. Therapeutic Yoga (with props) People without injuries, wanting to lose weight or get fitter, may feel that the props are more of a hindrance. In yoga styles such as Vinyasa or Total yoga, there is a flow of movements. But, setting your [...]