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Total Yogis

//Total Yogis

Know your asana- USHTRASANA

Ushtrasana or the camel pose is a backbend which also opens the heart centre.  Ushtrasana is like a camel travelling through the Sahara, requiring stamina, endurance, and a commitment to inner awareness. What is so special about Ushtrasana? This asana improves the blood circulation in the abdominal region. Thus, improves the digestion. Also, the pose strengthens the lower back while opening the heart center. Therefore, Ushtrasana helps us physically and emotionally!! Chakra-wise The camel pose stimulates the Manipura Chakra which allows us to have control over our thoughts and emotional responses, set healthy boundaries, and be at peace with ourselves. Its physical association is with digestive function. Benefits of Ushtrasana Strong and flexible spine - Backbends help in restoring the natural flexibility of the spine. With consistent practice, the back becomes strong and agile. Opens the chest and shoulders - As the digital era requires us sitting in front of computers. Ushtrasana opens the shoulders and relieves stress from them. Tones us the abdomen - As the abdomen is pushed outwards, the obliques are stretched. Thereby, this helps in toning the muscles around the stomach. Improved digestion - As the blood circulation improves in the abdomen, the organs function optimally leading to better digestion. Stress relief -  Our minds often follow our bodies, so by increasing the flexibility in your spine.We relieve the tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. This helps in relaxing the body and mind! :) Emotional balance - As the chest is opened, the energy in the heart center is stimulated. This helps in balancing the emotions and feelings. Thus, we feel more peaceful and centered. Extroversion in personality - As the heart center opens, it is easier for a person to express oneself and [...]

6 Yoga Myths Busted!!

Yoga Myths When people start thinking about yoga there are lots of thoughts/preconceived notions running in the mind. I’m sure it does for everybody, before they start. Some folks have asked me if Yoga is only for flexible people? yoga can de-stress you, but lose weight…??? Busting the common yoga myths Yoga is sneakily religious Yoga did originate from India and we have a rich background for close to 5000 years. But this does not means, it is a part of Hinduism or Buddhism. Yoga is as secular as it is. It is a life science and majority of studios and teachers default it to a practice that is focused on wellbeing. Yoga is for flexible people When I saw Neetu (yoga teacher) in the 1st class, I wondered, how on earth would I even do all the suryanamaskars………leave alone asanas. It seemed like an unsurmountable task for me. But now we all know and understand that Yoga helps one get more flexible. But, more importantly yoga helps, one find more flexibility in the mind. This makes us more loving, tolerant and flexible towards life situations. Yoga and weight-loss? The goal of yoga is not weight loss. But you’d anyway lose weight due to the asana and surya namaskars. The first Patanjali sutra explains this beautifully – "Yogaś chitta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ" Yoga is the union, balance, harmonious state of mind; bridging the different aspects of life. Yogis are vegetarians No! Some yogis try to practice ahimsa of the yamas from eight-limbed path of Patanjali Yoga. But not all practitioners are vegetarians.  Yoga is for relaxation only Normally people ask me how I lost weight/maintain my weight. When I tell them it is Yoga . They are surprised as their idea of yoga [...]

Know your asana- DHANURASANA

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Know your asana- Tolasana

Tolasana or scale pose is a seated lifted arm balance, which is also known as Lifted Lotus pose. Besides, getting the benefits of Padmasana, Tolasana helps in building arms and core strength too!! What is so special about Tolasana? Moola bandha and uddiyana bandha will be exercised when practicing tolasana. Because the whole abdomen is engaged and raised. Thus, this helps in balancing the adrenalin and testosterone-estrogen in the body. The scale posture is a dynamic posture which benefits the body inside out! Chakra-wise Practising Tolasana stimulates the Ajna chakra. This center is frequently depicted as the third eye in artwork and is used in various meditations. As the energy is activated, a person becomes more intuitive and intelligent. Because it connects us with a different way of seeing and perceiving, the third eye chakra’s images are often hard to describe verbally. It puts us in touch with the ineffable and the intangible more closely.   Benefits of Tolasana Strengthener: Your entire body needs to be strong, core and lower back as well as chest and shoulders in order to sit straight. And the arm strength is built over time. Tones the abdomen: as the whole abdomen is engaged and raised. Increases the hip flexibility and stretches the hamstrings. Homeostasis: As the bandhas are exercised, it creates a favourable hormonal environment in our body. Pro-tip Change the leg that's on the top, every time you sit. You can use a yoga block, if you feel raising the body seems too difficult. Contra-indications Avoid the pose in case of severe knee pain. Like most of yoga, this asana requires thoughtfulness and patience. Some people’s bodies easily fold into lotus, while others’ cannot. Some individuals have naturally long arms which [...]

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 [...]

5 Yoga bloopers we need to avoid

The most common yoga bloopers/mistakes we make, have nothing to do with our physical alignment. It is more about our attitude and lack of awareness that dissolves the bliss of yoga practice. Eating before Yoga When doing Yoga, we want our energy to be optimised. On the other hand, if we eat anything before the practice (2-3 hours), all the energy is focused on digesting the food. And, the nausea when doing inversions or surya namaskars hampers our practice. So eat a light, easily digestible snack or fruit/nuts before the yoga session. Wearing tight fitted pants Wearing jeggings or tight yoga pants is an absolutely, NO-NO. You want your skin to breath and the blood to circulate, besides being comfortable for that one hour. Opt for clothes that allows your body to destress and breath. Listening to loud - distracting music It's motivating to have good music. But, while doing yoga we want to be mindful and  relaxed. So why put on loud-distracting music? We want to look within ourselves, practice awareness and learn to sync our body and breath. Thus, leave the music for later. Sharing yoga mats This is a matter of personal hygiene. We sweat on those mats. As a thumb rule, we wash our mats once in two weeks to maintain sanitation. We don't wear our own sweaty pants twice, so think twice about using a sweaty mat forever. And, using a stranger mat is a stranger matter. Making it too serious A lot of people think, you need to be serious while doing yoga. And, there couldn't be a bigger myth. Yoga is about letting go and relax. Smile all you want to, as long as you do not spook [...]