All about events of Total Yoga!
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 [...]
As the crescendo of International Yoga Day builds up; it's worth spending awhile contemplating what Yoga really is? In it's modern-day avatar, Yoga has become a Panacea for all manner of ills. It's a Fitness regime, Stress-buster, a Holistic lifestyle, Spiritual discipline and much more. So how can a single stream of study cater to so many different human needs? At the outset, it's interesting to consider that Yoga is perhaps the most comprehensive study of a Human Being ever conducted. Both in terms of Breadth of Subject matter (body, mind, consciousness) studied and Duration of the research (5,000 years!) Yoga is an Experiment with one's Body, Mind & Spirit in the quest of Liberation and Transcendence. That's what Yoga essentially is. Since ancient times, when a Man/Woman began questioning Life and their place in the vastness of the Universe; they turned towards Introspection and Meditation to seek Answers. That process is what we call Yoga. As incredulous as it may seem, this 5000 year-old discipline has never gotten outdated! In spite of several Millennia worth of transformation; Man's essential Questions have remained the same. And hence Yoga still is relevant. In fact not only is it still relevant, Yoga is thriving like never before. From a spiritual pursuit undertaken by a few under their Guru's watch; Yoga has metamorphosed into something of a Pop-Culture phenomenon! Yoga is one of 6 traditional 'Darshans' (literally 'to see') of Indian philosophy: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa - Uttara & Purva (also called Vedanta), Samkhya and Yoga. Yoga is the most practical of all philosophical systems in the world and has gained popularity being a holistic regime that is beneficial for body, mind and spirit. Traditionally there are 4 forms of Yoga, and based on [...]
We recently completed our successful #YomasteLadakh Yoga retreat, taking 43 brave-hearts on an epic Yoga journey through the stunning locales of Ladakh, culminating in a full-moon night Meditation on Buddha Purnima itself! Each of the 8 days we spent exploring Ladakh was a memory of a lifetime; and taught us important life lessons as well. The sights were stunning beyond words - Ladakh is surely where the IncredibleIndia moniker must have been conceived! Here's 5 things I learnt about doing Yoga in Ladakh. High Altitude = Shortness of Breath. Ladakh is not a hill-station, it's a Himalayan mountain post. And as soon as you land at the Airport, all you hear is that you should take rest for the first 24-36 hours to acclimatise to the high altitude. If you follow these instructions, you'll be fine. Even so however, you'll be surprised how walking up a couple of flights of stairs while talking simultaneously makes you experience shortness of breath. That's where our Pranayam training is so beneficial in adapting to the high altitude of Ladakh. Yogis have been living in high altitude for thousands of years, and Yoga was conceived as a holistic Lifestyle regimen for this yogis living at these sorts of altitudes. Even Running and other cardio training cannot prepare you the way Pranayam does. Fitness Challenge indeed! Ladakh represents an amazing Fitness challenge for anyone visiting and even more so for people Trekking, Mountaineering, Rafting or attempting the other adventure activities in Ladakh. The key to doing well in Ladakh is to remain Relaxed and not compete against the Elements. That's where Mindfulness and Meditation training helps you stay centred and relaxed. However Fit you may be in your home, Ladakh demands Respect. Many a Fitness fanatic [...]
The popularity of yoga (瑜伽) in Shanghai, China has taken a great leap forward over the past five years. An initial internet search easily brings up over forty yoga studios in the Shanghai area, many with several branches, and this number is not inclusive of fitness clubs with yoga offerings on their class rosters. The rising wealth of the city and a growing focus on quality of life have opened up a huge market space for the health and wellness industry, easily visible in trends like the boom in farm-to-table restaurants and health food eateries like Hunter Gatherer and Sproutworks, wellness centers and educational collectives like Sprout Lifestyle and Octave. The yoga scene, arguably already well-established before the peak of this wellness trend, has benefitted tremendously. Even while maintaining a prohibitively high price point, the last five years have seen yoga broaden its membership from an expat niche market to a primarily well-heeled local Shanghainese base. This blog aims to provide a flavor of yoga studios in Shanghai across the broad range of offerings available here. I tried out both the large, high-end yoga chains such as Y+ and the smaller bespoke studios such as Red Door. Having moved to Shanghai after several years of living and practicing yoga in India, I admit that I initially experienced yoga culture shock. Shanghai definitely has a unique yoga culture often highly influenced by U.S. fitness focus and, perhaps more interestingly, mixed with Taoist energy practices and philosophy. Here’s my experience with four studios in Shanghai. The Big Players Y+ Y+ Yoga Studio Chain One of the most established high-end yoga chains in the city, Y+ was the first studio I tried upon arriving in Shanghai. [...]
India's HRD Ministry today announced that the Government is looking to pass a Law regarding 33% Reservation for Men in all Yoga ashrams and centers across India. The Indian Government has been closely associated with Yoga ever since the PM had called for the United Nations to adopt June 21st as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. In fact, at the International Yoga Day last year, the PM was part of 35,000 people who did Yoga together at Rajpath in Delhi. This was organised by the AYUSH Ministry creating the Guinness World Record for the largest Yoga class! Indian PM Narednra Modi performs Yoga The HRD Minister said that, 'Yoga is a part of India's spiritual and cultural heritage, and traditionally most Yogis were Men. In fact, even the Gods do Yoga!' The statement went on to say that the trend of Women being a majority in modern, studio Yoga classes was a Western Yoga influence where Yoga is treated mainly as an exercise form. In fact, the latest Yoga Journal & Yoga Alliance statistics in the U.S. show that 81% of Yogis in studio classes are women. India's Yoga Gurus throw their weight behind the proposed law This announcement from the HRD Ministry has been hailed by India's pre-eminent troika of Yoga Gurus. Incidentally, Baba, Sri Sri and Sadguru had supported the PM's call for International Day of Yoga and had conducted mass events last June 21st. In fact, Sri Sri had conducted a Yoga session at the UN General Assembly in New York. International Yoga Brands to wait and watch before launching in India Lululemon, Gaiam and Manduka - the best-known international Yoga merchandise brands have been waiting to enter into the booming Indian Yoga market. [...]