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Yoga for Runners

//Yoga for Runners

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- 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 [...]

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 [...]

Unlearning through Yoga

"Education is a process of Unlearning and learning." Similarly, Yoga is a process of unlearning and learning afresh. Thanks to our lifestyle and occupational hazards, we have acute stiffness, pains and bad postures. A lot of the new practitioners are taught how to stand right, sit with the spine straight and breathe deep. But, this proves to be more difficult than learning asanas due to the ingrained habits. Part of the path of yoga is to learn to let go of the ego. The ego doesn’t like to be ordered around and it detests changes. Yoga as a lifestyle My journey had a lot of unlearning and letting go. There was too much effort in my postures and in my breathing. My breath was shallow and I was tensing up the shoulders and spine in every posture. Overtime with awareness, I learnt to relax the muscles and focus on a particular stretch or asana. There were a few instructions that I could not follow. But with time, practice and a lot of unlearning, I was gaining more composure in my yoga practice. As per Patanjali's Yoga sutras, " Sthira Sukha Asana" , every practitioner should be steady and comfortable in a posture. On a physical level, an asana should be held comfortably for an extended period. And when we look inside, the key is to pay attention and respond to how you feel moment to moment, rather than imposing a structure from the outside. Our fast-paced lives and the prevalence of stress-related illnesses, make it clear that we need to simplify and declutter our lives. So, let's begin with our body and mind. Many a times we need to unlearn, to improve the quality of our [...]

Know your Asana: DANCING NATRAJASANA

DANCING NATRAJ asana is one of the most recognisable modern yoga postures. Although it finds no mention in the traditional Yogasana repertorire; Dancing Natrajasana has become ubiquitous in Yoga studios and Instagram posts of Yogis worldwide! What makes Dancing Natraj asana so special? Mythologically, we say that Yoga originated from Adiyogi, an aspect of Shiva. Shiva is also the celestial Dancer or Natraj - the Lord of Dance. It it said that Adiyogi spent all his time either Dancing ecstatically or sitting in deep Meditation - only these two states! Hence Dancing Natrajasana pays tribute to Adiyogi and reminds us of the value that Dancing brings in terms of Catharsis, for a Meditative practice to flourish in an Individual. Chakra-wise: Being a Balance pose, Dancing Natrajasana helps us train to become more grounded. This helps psychologically with feelings of Stability and Security, which are the key aspects of Mooladhar or the base Chakra. All balance poses helps us work on our Mooladhar chakra and sets the stage for an inward Journey through the various Chakras and corresponding levels of Awareness. Benefits of Dancing Natraj asana: Balance poses in Yoga train our Awareness of our bodies, so that we have a heightened sense of the simplest of activities like standing; on one leg of course. To maintain balance; both hemispheres of our Brain need to co-ordinate. Whilst we have both Logical (left-brain) and Artistic (right-brain) faculties, we often choose to live life in one extreme. Balance poses force us to co-ordinate better between both hemispheres - thereby bringing about a more balanced personality. This is also the reason why Women are better then Men at balance poses - the Corpus Callosum, connecting both hemispheres it thicker [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|Asana, Balance Asanas, Knowledge Articles, Total Yoga, Yoga, Yoga for Runners|Comments Off on Know your Asana: DANCING NATRAJASANA

Shall I take the short cut ?

Runner in the Great Outdoors I HESITATED for awhile,  lingering in my warm bed, but my mind was focused on that run, it did not matter that it was cold, drab and misty. The sun still sleeping behind the glistening silver clouds.  I stepped out, my breath heavy and visible, fingers numb, coldness stretching through the back of my shoulders. But my mind was focused. My headphones switched on, music filtered and absorbed my body. With phone in hand, my legs  felt that rhythm; my mind was focused. My heart was pounding, the beat was in my bones, I knew this day was going to be a good day... with each passer-by a smile and a good morning, the energy  flowing and filling every cell in my body. Then, momentarily the sun glowed from behind the cloud, with phone is hand, I  wanted that click .... as I pressed to click, WTF my phone died, music left my ears - then a road I see, to double back . The choice in hand, do I take that short cut home and trash my run......my day! But my mind is in focus - I am here , I am in the now and I am present . In focus, there was no way I was going to give up on that run, I said to myself ... "I'm not going to trash my day " - and without that click and without that pumping music - I know the mind in focus will achieve come what may - lesson of the yoga mat came to me - Do I let the distraction get a hold of me, or do I get hold of it... there's [...]

By | October 25th, 2016|Uncategorized, Yoga for Runners|Comments Off on Shall I take the short cut ?