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Yoga for Runners

//Yoga for Runners

Too many muscles spoil the stretch

"Too many cooks spoil the broth Similarly, Too many muscles spoil the stretch" When we are in Veerabhadra asana, the instructor often tells us to balance on both the legs and feel the stretch in the calves and quads. But, more often than not, we are busy adjusting the thighs and engaging the core. Thus, isolation is lost and when too many muscles are used, the effectiveness of the stretch is reduced. The asanas work the best, when.... Be mindful about the set of muscles being stretched and keep the other muscles relaxed. Focus on one set of muscles at a time. Dont hold your breath during a stretch, as this will tense your muscles. Instead, you need to relax by exhaling longer than inhaling. Hold each asana for 30 seconds. Let the muscle lengthen slowly—don’t force it. Do repetitions of the asana everyday as this strengthens and lengthens the muscles. Did you know, injuries occur more often when you are coming out of an asana. Thus, avoid bouncing back after staying in an asana. Learn to relax the set of muscles that are not being used. Asanas are most effective when the mind, body and breath work in unison. "Sthira Sukha Asana," in every asana, it is important to be comfortable and stable and let the magic begin. :) Long term improvements of the body include a happier spirit, toned muscles, better digestion, and a deeper love for your body. Yoga is an ideal practice for that looking to better their bodies and lives, and no one is happier to teach you the techniques than your local yoga instructor or fellow yogi. Iti Jain

Know your asana: Chakrasana

In the esoteric tradition of hatha yoga, Chakrasana creates a bridge between six chakras. Besides, helping the mind, body and breath, the wheel posture stimulates the energy flow in the entire body. Also, this posture is popular because of its' benefits and its' aesthetic appeal. What is so special about Chakrasana? It is an intense backward bend which creates necessary space in the spine to keep young and healthy. Just like a wheel sets the momentum for the car, this asana sets the momentum for the circulatory system, nervous system and endocrine system. Chakra-wise Chakrasana introduces our conscious awareness to the energy flowing through the chakras. While the torso is reflexed, the Manipura chakra is affected.  And as the seat of digestive fire, this Chakra regulates the function of the Pancreas and digestive organs. The solar plexus contains many precious jewels such as the qualities of clarity, self-confidence, bliss, self-assurance, knowledge, wisdom and the ability to make correct decisions. Benefits of Chakrasana Spine flexibilty and strength-  Wheel pose strengthens and lengthens the vertebrae, which increases elasticity and flexibility of the spine. As we age, our spines compress, but this asana helps us stand tall in the later years too! Tones the abdominal region- Regular practice ensure that the obliques and the abdominal fat is reduced. Opens up the chest- while increasing the lung capacity. Thereby it helps in more oxygen being circulated in the body. Stimulates nervous system and endocrine system- Due to stimulation of the thyroid and pituitary glands, when engaged in the posture, happy hormones/chemicals are secreted. It energises and de-stresses you. Stretches the hip while increasing hip flexibility. Heart opener- As the chest is pushed out, the cardiovascular health improves, the energy is activated. This helps in emotional [...]

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 [...]

By | September 8th, 2017|Core Strength, Pranayam, Yoga for Runners, Yogis-on-the-Run!|Comments Off on Run to your freedom …

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 [...]