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Boby - Breath - Mind

Assorted

International Yoga Day Protocol

Posted on - Thu Jun 2017       Assorted / IndeaYoga

Yoga Baratha
While addressing the 69   session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga.
 
"Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifestyle  and  creating  consciousness, it  can  help us  to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," Shri Modi said.
 
On December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries a resolution to establish 21  June as "International Day of Yoga". In its resolution, the UNGA recognised that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifestyle-related disorders. This booklet intends to give a brief overview about Yoga and Yogic practices to orient one towards comprehensive health for an individual and the community.
 
What is Yoga?
 
Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle
science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body.
It is an art and science for healthy living. The word "Yoga" is derived
from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning "to join", "to yoke" or "to unite". According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness. According to modern scientists, everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of existence is said to be "in Yoga" and is termed as a yogi who has attained a state of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvana, kaivalya or moksha.
 
"Yoga" also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realisation. The aim of Yoga practice (sadhana) is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holistic health, happiness and harmony.
 
Brief history and development of Yoga
 
The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before
the first religion or belief systems were born. According to Yogic lore, Shiva has seen as the first yogi or adiyogi and the first guru or adiguru. Several thousand years ago, on the banks of lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary saptarishis or "seven sages". These sages carried this powerful Yogic science to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the Yogic system found its fullest expression. Agastya, the saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core Yogic way of life.
 
Yoga is widely considered as an "immortal cultural outcome" of the
Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation – dating back to 2700 BC – and has
proven  itself  to     cater  to  both  material  and  spiritual  uplift  of
humanity. A number of seals and fossil remains of Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation with Yogic motifs and figures performing Yoga sadhana suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India. The seals and idols of mother Goddess are suggestive of Tantra Yoga. The presence of Yoga is also available in folk traditions, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharata including Bhagawadgita and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Tantric traditions. Though Yoga was being practiced in the pre-Vedic period, the great sage Maharishi Patanjali systematised and codified the then existing Yogic practices, its meaning and its related knowledge through Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
 
After Patanjali, many sages and Yoga masters contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through well- documented practices and literature. Yoga has spread all over the world by the teachings of eminent Yoga masters from ancient times to the present date. Today, everybody has conviction about Yoga practices towards the prevention of disease, maintenance and promotion of health. Millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga and the practice of Yoga is blossoming and growing more vibrant with each passing day.
 
The Fundamentals of Yoga
 
Yoga works on the level of one's body, mind, emotion and energy. This
has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: Karma Yoga where we utilise the body; Jnana Yoga where we utilise the mind; Bhakti Yoga where we utilise the emotion and Kriya Yoga where we utilise the energy. Each system of Yoga we practice falls within the gamut of one or more of these categories.
 
Every individual is a unique combination of these four factors. Only a
guru (teacher) can advocate the appropriate combination of the four fundamental  paths  as  is  necessary  for  each  seeker.  "All  ancient
commentaries on Yoga have stressed that it is essential to work under the direction of a guru."
 
Traditional schools of Yoga
 
The different philosophies, traditions, li neages and guru-shishya paramparas of Yoga led to the emergence of different traditional schools. These include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Patanjala Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Ha?ha Yoga, Dhyana Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jain Yoga, Bouddha Yoga etc. Each school has its own approach and practices that lead to the ultimate aim and objectives of Yoga.
 
Yogic practices for health and wellness
 
The widely practiced Yoga sadhanas are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, Bandhas and Mudras, Shatkarmas, Yuktahara, Mantra-japa, Yukta-karma etc.
 
Yamas are restraints and Niyamas are observances. These are considered to be pre-requisites for further Yogic practices. Asanas, capable of bringing about stability of body and mind, "kuryat-tad- asanam-sthairyam", involve adopting various psycho-physical body patterns and giving one an ability to maintain a body position (a stable awareness of one's structural existence) for a considerable length of time.
 
Pranayama consists of developing awareness of one's breathing followed by willful regulation of respiration as the functional or vital basis of one's existence. It helps in developing awareness of one's mind and helps to establish control over the mind. In the initial stages, this is done by developing awareness of the "flow of in-breath and out-breath" (svasa-prasvasa) through nostrils, mouth and other body openings, its internal and external pathways and destinations. Later, this phenomenon is modified, through regulated, controlled and monitored inhalation (svasa) leading to the awareness of the body space getting filled (puraka), the space(s) remaining in a filled state (kumbhaka) and it getting emptied (rechaka) during regulated, controlled and monitored exhalation (prasvasa).
 
Prat yahara   indicates   dissociation   of   one's   consciousness (withdrawal) from the sense organs which connect with the external objects. Dharana indicates broad based field of attention (inside the body and mind) which is usually understood as concentration. Dhyana (meditation) is contemplation (focussed attention inside the body and mind) and Samadhi (integration).
 
Bandhas and Mudras are practices associated with Pranayama. They are viewed as the higher yogic practices that mainly adopt certain physical gestures along with control over respiration. This further facilitates control over mind and paves way for higher Yogic attainment. However, practice of dhyana, which moves one towards self-realisation and leads one to transcendence, is considered the essence of Yoga Sadhana.
 
Sa?karmas are detoxification procedures that are clinical in nature and help to remove the toxins accumulated in the body. Yuktahara advocates appropriate food and food habits for healthy living.

 

General Guidelines for Yoga Practice

A Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given
below while performing Yogic practices:
 
BEFORE THE PRACTICE
 
·Sauca means cleanliness - an important prerequisite for Yogic practice. It includes cleanliness of surroundings, body and mind.
·Yogic practice should be performed in a calm and quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind.
·Yogic practice should be done on an empty stomach or light stomach. Consume small amount of honey in lukewarm water if you feel weak.
·Bladder and bowels should be empty before starting Yogic practices.
·A  mattress, Yoga mat, durrie or folded blanket should be used for the practice.
·Light and comfortable cotton clothes are preferred to facilitate easy movement of the body.
·Yoga should not be performed in state of exhaustion, illness, in a hurry or in acute stress conditions.
·In case of chronic disease/ pain/ cardiac problems, a physician or a Yoga therapist should be consulted prior to performing Yogic practices.
·Yoga experts should be consulted before doing Yogic practices during pregnancy and menstruation.

DURING THE PRACTICE

·Practice sessions should start with a prayer or invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind.
 
·Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath.
 
·Do not hold the breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice.
 
·Breathing  should  be  always through the nostrils unless instructed otherwise.
 
·Do not hold body tightly, or jerk the body at any point of time.
 
·Perform the practices according to your own capacity.
 
·It takes some time to get good results, so persistent and regular practice is very essential.
 
·There are contra-indications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind.
 
·Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence /
Shanti pa?ha.
 
AFTER PRACTICE
 
·Bath may be taken only after 20-30 minutes of practice.
 
·Food  may  be  consumed  only  after  20-30  minutes  of practice.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
 
A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended, and for a person over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity or labour.
 
HOW YOGA CAN HELP
 
Yoga is essentially a path to liberation from all bondage. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that:
·Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health.
·It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle- related disorders.
·Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress.
·Yoga regulates menopausal symptoms.
 
·In essence, Yoga is a process of creating a body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life.

1     PRAYER 
 
Prayer
Yogic Practice shall start with a prayer or prayerful mood to   
enhance the benefits of practice.  
 
san gacchadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manamsi janatam
/ deva bhagam yatha purve sanjanana upasate//
May you move in harmony; may you speak in unison; let our mind be equanimous like in the beginning; let the divinity manifest in your sacred endeavours.
 
 
2     SADILAJA / CALANA KRIYAS / LOOSENING PRACTICES
 

The   C alana   Kriyas/loosening   practices/Yogic   Suksma Vyayamas help to increase microcirculation. These practices can be done while standing and sitting.

I.     NECK BENDING
Sthiti: Samasthiti (Alert Posture)
Samasthiti (Alert Posture)
 
 
Technique
Stage - i : (Forward and Backward Bending)
 
 
 
 
neck front bending  back neck bending
 
o Stand with the feet comfortably apart.
o Keep the hands straight beside the body.
o This is Samasthiti. This is also called Tadasana.
o Keep your arms on the waist.
o While exhaling, move the head forward slowly and try to touch the chin to the chest.
o While inhaling, move the head as far back as is comfortable.
o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds.

Stage - ii : (Right and Left bending)
 
neck bendingneck bending
 
 
o While exhaling, bend the head slowly to the right; bring the ear as close as possible to the shoulder w i t h o u t   r a i s i n g   t h e shoulder.
o While inhaling, bring the head to normal position.
o Similarly, while exhaling, bend the head to the left side.
o Inhale and bring the head up to normal position.
o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds.
 
Stage - iii : (Right and Left Twisting)
 
 
right neck movementleft neck movemnt
 
o Keep the head upri
o W h i l e   e x h a l i n g ,
g e n t ly   t u r n   t h e head to the right so that the chin is in l i n e   w i t h   t h e shoulder.
o While inhaling, bring the head to the normal position.
o Similarly, while exhaling, turn the head to the left. o Inhale and bring the head to the normal position. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds.

Stage - iv : Neck Rotation
 
neck rotionneck rotion
o Exhale; bend the head forward trying to touch the chin to the chest.
o Inhale; slowly rotate the
h e a d   c l o c k w i s e   i n   a circular motion, exhale while coming down
o Do a full rotation.
o Then rotate the head in anti-clockwise direction.
o Inhale; go back and exhale, come down. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds.
 
Note:
o Move the head as far as possible. Do not over strain.
o Keep the shoulders relaxed and steady.
o Feel the stretch around the neck and loosening up of the joints and muscles of the neck.
o Can be practiced sitting in a chair.
o People with neck pain can do the practice gently especially when taking the head back to the extent it is comfortable.
o Elderly people and persons with cervical spondylitis, high blood pressure may avoid these practices.
 
II. TRUNK MOVEMENT
 
trunk movement trunk movement
Trunk Twisting (Katishakti Vikasak)
 
Sthiti: Samasthiti (Alert Posture) Technique

o Keep the legs about 2-3 feet apart.
o Rise both the arms up to chest level with palms facing each other and keep them parallel.
o While exhaling twist the body towards the left side so that
the right palm touches the left shoulder, come back with inhalation.
o While exhaling twist the body towards the right side so that the left palm touches the right shoulder, come back with inhalation.
o This is one round: repeat two more times.
o Relax in Samasthiti.

Note:
o Do slowly with breathing.
o Cardiac patients shall do with care.
o Avoid this practice in case of severe back pain, vertebral and disc disorders, after abdominal surgery and during menstruation.
 
III. KNEE MOVEMENT
 
knee movement
Sthiti: Sama Sthiti (Alert Posture)

Technique
o Inhale, lift your arms up at the shoulder level, palms facing downwards.
o Exhale, bend the knees and bring down your body to the squatting position.
o In the final position both the arms and thighs should be parallel to the ground.
o Inhale, and straighten the body.
o Exhale while bringing down the hands.
o Repeat two more times.

Note:
o Strengthen knees' and hips' joint.
o Avoid this asana in case of acute conditions of arthritics

3    YOGASANAS
 
A.   STANDING POSTURES
 
standing poster
TADASANA (Palm Tree Posture)
Tada means palm tree or mountain. This asana teaches one to attain stability and firmness and forms the base for all the standing asana. Technique
o Stand with feet 2 inches apart.
o Interlock  the  fingers,  and  turn  the  wrist outwards. Now inhale, raise the arms up and bring them in line with the shoulders.
o Raise the heels off the floor and balance on the toes. Stay in this position for 10 -15 seconds.
o Exhale, bring the heels down.
o Release the interlock of the fingers and bring the arms down parallel to the trunk, and come back to standing posture.

Benefits
o This asana brings stability in the body, helps to clear up congestion of the spinal nerves, corrects faulty posture.
o Helps to increase height up to a certain age.

A word of caution
o Avoid lifting the toes in case of acute cardiac problems varicose veins and vertigo.
 
VRKSASANA (The Tree Posture)
 
Vrksa means tree. The final position of this asana resembles the shape of a tree, hence the name.

Technique
o Stand with feet 2 inches apart.
o Focus on a point in front.
o Exhale, bend the right leg and place the foot o the inside of the left thigh. The heel should b touching the perineum.
o Inhale and extend the arms up and join t palms.
o Stay in the position for 10 to 30 seconds and breathe normally.
o Exhale and bring the arms and right foot dow o Relax and repeat the asana by bending the left
 
Benefits
o I m p rove s   n e u ro - m u s c u l a r   c o o rd i n a t i o n ,   b a l a n c e , endurance and alertness.
o It tones up the leg muscles and rejuvenates the ligaments also.

A word of caution
o Please avoid this practice in case of arthritis, vertigo and obesity.
 
PADA-HASTASANA (The Hands to Feet Posture)
 
pada hastanapadahastasana
Pada means feet, hasta means hands. Therefore, Pada Hastasana means taking the palms down towards the feet. This is also referred as Uttanasana.

Technique
o Stand straight with feet 2 inches apart.
o Inhale slowly and raise the arms up.
o Stretch up the body from the waist.
o Exhale and bend forward until the trunk is parallel to the ground.
o Exhale, and bend forward until the entire
palm rests on the ground.
o Maintain   this   final   posture   for   10-30 seconds.
o Those who are having stiff back should bend according to their capacity.
o Now inhale, come up slowly to the vertical position and stretch the arms above the head.
o Exhale and slowly return to the starting position in reverse order.
o Relax in Tadasana.

Benefits
o Makes   the   spine   flexible,   improves   digestions,   and prevents constipation and menstrual problems.

A word of caution
o Please  avoid  this  practice  in  case  of  cardiac  or  back problems, abdominal inflammation, hernia and ulcers, high myopia, vertigo and during pregnancy.
o Those with vertebral and disc disorders should also avoid this practice.
 
ARDHA CAKRASANA (The Half Wheel Posture)
 
ardhachkrasana
 Ardha means half. Cakra means wheel. In this posture, as the body takes the shape of a half wheel, hence it is called Ardha Cakrasasna.

Technique
o Support the back at the waist with all the fingers together pointing forward or downward.
o Drop the head backwards and stretching the neck muscles.
As you inhale, bend backwards from the lumbar region;
exhale and relax.
o Stay here for 10-30 seconds with normal breathing.
o Inhale and slowly come up.

Benefits
o Ardha Cakrasana makes the spine flexible and strengthens the spinal nerves.
o Strengthens the neck muscles, and improves breathing capacity.
o Helps in cervical spondylitis.

A word of caution
o Avoid  this  posture  in  case  of  vertigo  or  a  tendency  to giddiness.
o Hypertensive patients shall bend with care.
 
TRIKONASANA (The Triangle Posture)
 
Trikonsana
Trikona means triangle. Tri means three and kona is an angle. As the asana resembles three arms triangles made by the trunk and the limbs, it has been named Trikonasana.

Technique
o Stand with your feet comfortably apart.
o Slowly   raise   both   the   arms sideways till they are horizontal.
o Exhale, slowly bend to the right side and place the right hand just behind the right foot.
o The left arm is straight up, in line with the right arm.
o Turn the left palm forward.
o Turn your head and gaze at the tip of the left middle finger.
o Remain  in  the  posture  for  10-30  seconds  with  normal breathing.
o As you inhale slowly come up.
o Repeat for the left side.

Benefits
o Prevents flat foot.
o Strengthens calf, thigh and waist muscles.
o Makes the spine flexible, improves lungs capacity.

A word of caution
o Avoid this posture in case of slipped disc, sciatica, and after undergoing abdominal surgery.
o Do not do beyond limits and overdo the lateral stretch.
o If one cannot touch the feet, one can reach for the knees instead.
 
B.   SITTING POSTURES
dandasa

 
BHADRASANA (The Firm/ Auspicious Posture)
 
bhadhakonasana
 
Bhadhra means firm or auspicious.
Sthiti: Long sitting posture (Vi?ramasana)
 
Technique
o Sit erect with the legs stretched out s in the front.
o Keep  the  hands  beside  the  hips.

Dandasana.
o Now put the soles of your feet together.
o Exhale and clasp your hands together over your toes. Pull your heels as close as possible up to perineum region.
o If your thighs are not touching or are not close to the floor, place a soft cushion underneath the knees for support. This is the final position.
o Stay here for some time

Benefits
o Keeps the body firm and stabilize the mind.
o Keeps the knees and hip joints healthy.
o Helps to relieve knee pain.
o Acts on the abdominal organs and releases any tension in the abdomen.
o Benefits   women   by   relieving   abdominal   pain   often experienced during menstruation.

A word of caution
Avoid this practice in case of severe arthritis and sciatica.
 
ARDHA USTRASANA (The Half Camel Posture)
 
vajrasana
Sthiti: Long sitting posture (Vi?ramasana)
Ustra means camel. The final version of this asana resembles the hump of a camel. In this version, only the first stage (half) of the asana is being practiced.

Technique
o Sit in Visramasana. Come to Dandasana.                                                            ushrasana
o Fold your legs and sit on your heels.o Keep the thighs close andbig toes touching.                 
o Place the hands on the knees.
o The head and back should be straight.
o This is Vajrasana.
o Stand on your knees.
o Place the hands on the waist with fingers pointing downward.
o Keep the elbows and shoulders parallel.
o Bend the head back and stretch the n
muscles; inhale and bend the tru backwards as much as possible. As y exhale, relax.
o Keep the thighs perpendicular to the g
o Remain in the posture for 10-30 seco with normal breathing.
o Return with inhalation; sit in Vajrasana.
o Relax in Visramasana.

Note
o If you can reach the heels, you can place your hands on them and bend backwards. This is called Ustrasana.

Benefits
o Relieves constipation and back pain.
o Increases blood circulation to the head and cardiac region.

A word of caution
o In case of hernia and abdominal injuries, arthritis, vertigo and pregnancy, please avoid doing this asana.
 
SASANKASANA (The Hare Posture)
 
sasankasana
Sasanka means hare.
 
Sthiti: Vajrasana Technique
o Sit in Vajrasana.
o Spread  both  the  knees  wide  apart,  keep  the  big  toes touching.
o Keep the palms between the knees.
o Exhale and slowly stre
o Bend forward and pl on the ground.
o Keep the arms parallel.
o Look in front and maintain the posture.
o Inhale and come up.
o Exhale and come back to Vajrasan.
o Stretch your legs back to Visramasan

Benefits
o It helps to reduce stress, anger etc
o It  tones  up  reproductive  organs,  relieves  constipation, improves digestion and relieves back pain.

A word of caution
o Please avoid this posture in case of acute backache.
o Patients with osteoarthritis of the knees should exercise with caution or avoid Vajrasana.
 
VAKRASANA (The Spinal Twist Posture)
 
Vakrasans
 
 
Vakra means twisted. In this asana, the spine is twisted which has a rejuvenating effect on its functioning.

Sthiti: Dandasana

Technique
o Bend the right leg, and place the right foot beside the left knee.
o As you exhale, twist the body to the right.
o Bring the left arm around clasp the right big toe or p beside right foot.
o Take the right arm back a palm on the ground with straight.
o Remain in the posture for 10-30 seconds with normal breathing and relax.
o Take out your hands with exhalation and relax
o Repeat the same on the other side.

Benefits
o Increases flexibility of the spine.
o Helps to overcome constipation, dyspepsia.
o Stimulates  pancreas  and  helps  in  the  management  of diabetes.

A word of caution
o Please  avoid  this  posture  in  case  of  severe  back  pain, vertebral and disc disorders, after abdominal surgery and during menstruation.
 
C.   PRONE POSTURES BHUJANGASANA (The Cobra Posture)
 
bhujangasana


Bhujanga means snake or cobra. In this asana, the body is raised like hood of a snake.

Stithi: Prone posture or Makarasana

Technique
o Lie down on your stomach, rest you head on your hands and re the body.bhujangasans
o Now join your legs and stretch your arms.
o Keep the forehead on the ground.
 
 
Sarala Bhujangasana
o Now place your hands just beside the body; keep palms and elbows on the ground.
o As you inhale slowly, lift the chin and chest come up to navel region.
o Stay there comfortably.
o This is called
 
Sarala Bhujangasana
o Now come back and place your
forehead on the ground.
o Keep your palms besides the chest where your elbows were and raise the elbows.
o Inhale; slowly lift the chin and chest up to navel region.

This is Bhujangasana.
Bhujangasana
o Exhale, rest your forehead on the ground and place your palms and rest your head on the palms and spread your legs and relax.

Note:
o Keep the legs firm so that no load or strain is felt on the lumbar spine.

Benefits
o This asana is best for stress management.
o It reduces abdominal fat and alleviates constipation.
o It also helps to remove backache and bronchial problems.

A word of caution
o Those  who  have  undergone  abdominal  surgery  should avoid this asana for 2-3 months.
o Those who suffer from hernia, ulcers should not practice this asana.
 
SALABHASANA (The Locust Posture)
 
salabhasana

Salaba means a locust.
Sthiti: Prone posture; Makarasana

Technique
o Lie down on your stomach in Makarasana.
o Rest the chin on the floor; keep both hands beside the body;
palms facing upwards
o Inhale, raise the legs off
the floor as much as you can without bending the knees.
o Extend the arms and legs well to ease the lift of the body off the floor.
o Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds breathing normally.
o Exhale, bring the legs down towards the floor.
o Rest for a few seconds in Makarasana.

Note:
o Pull up the knee caps and squeeze the buttocks to improve the posture. This asana is more beneficial when performed after Bhujangasana.

Benefits
o Helps in sciatica and lower backache.
o Tones the hip muscles and those in the kidney region.
o Reduces fat on the thighs and buttocks; good in weight management
o Helps the abdominal organs aiding digestion

A word of caution
o Cardiac patients should avoid this posture. Please proceed cautiously in case of sever lower back pain.
o People with high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and hernia should also avoid this posture.
 
MAKARASANA (The Crocodile Posture)
 
makarasana
 

In Sanskrit, Makara means crocodile. In this asana, the body resembles a crocodile.

Sthiti: Prone relaxation posture
 
Technique
o Lie down on your stomach w the feet wide apart, feet pointing outward.
o Bend both the arms and place the right hand on the l
o Place the forehead on your hands.
o Keep the eyes closed. This is Makarasana.
o This asana is practiced for relaxation in all prone postures.

Benefits
o Promotes relaxation of the lower back.
o Helps in recovery of back problems.
o Indicated for all orthopedic ailments.
o Indicated to counter stress and anxiety.

A word of caution
o Avoid this practice in case of low blood pressure, severe cardiac problems and pregnancy.

D.   SUPINE POSTURES
SETUBANDHASANA (The Bridge Posture)
 
setubhadasana


Setubandha means formation of bridge. In this posture, the body is positioned like a bridge, hence the name. This is also called as Catuspadasana.

Sthiti: Supine lying; Savasana.

Technique
o Bend both the legs at the knees and bring the heels near the buttocks.
o Hold both the ankles firmly; keep the knees and feet in one straight line.
o Inhale; slowly raise your buttocks and trunk up as much as
you can to form bridge.
o Remain in this position for 10-30 seconds, with normal breathing.
o Exhale, slowly return to the original position and relax in
Savasana.

Note
o In the final position, the shoulders and head remain in contact with the floor.
o If required, in the final position, you can support your body at the waist with your hands.

Benefits
o Relieves depression and anxiety. Strengthens lower back muscles.
o Stretches abdominal organs, improves digestion and helps to relieve constipation.

A word of caution
o People suffering from ulcers and hernia, and women in advanced  stages  of  pregnancy  should not  practice  this asana.

PAVANAMUKTASANA (The Wind Releasing Posture)
 
pavanamukthasana

Pavan means wind and mukta means to release or to make free. As the name suggests, this asana is useful in removing wind or flatulence from the stomach and intestines.

Sthiti: Savasana

Technique
o Lie down flat on the back.
o Bend both the knees and bring the thighs to the chest.
o Interlock the fingers and clasp the shin below knees.
o Exhale; rise the head till your chin touches the knees and
relax.
o This is Pavanamuktasana.
o Bring the head back to the ground.
o While exhaling, lower the legs to the floor.
o Rest in Savasana

Note
o Synchronise your breathing with the leg movement.
o While touching the knee with the nose/ forehead, you should be able to feel the lumbar region stretch; keep the eyes closed and focus your attention on the lumbar region.

Benefits
o Removes   constipation;   gives   relief   from   flatulence, decreases the bloating sensation in the abdomen and aids digestion.
o Offers deep internal pressure, massage and stretching of the highly complicated network of muscles, ligaments and tendons in the pelvis and waist region.
o It tones up the back muscles and spinal nerves.
A word of caution
o Please avoid this practice in case of abdominal injuries, hernia, sciatica or severe back pain and during pregnancy.
 
SAVASANA (The Dead Body Posture)
savasana

Sava  means  dead  body.  The  final  position  in  this  asana
resembles a dead body.
Sthiti: Supine Relaxation Posture

Technique
o Lie down on your back with arms and legs comfortably apart.
o Palms facing upward; eyes clos
o Relax the whole body consciou
o Become aware of natural brea and allow it to become rhythmic and slow.
o Remain in the position till you feel refresh and relax.

Benefits
o Helps to relieve all kinds of tensions and gives rest to both body and mind.
o Relaxes the whole psycho-physiological system.
o The mind, which is constantly attracted to the outer world, takes a U-turn and moves inwards, thus gradually getting absorbed; as the mind turns quiet and absorbed, the practitioner remains undisturbed by the external environment.
o It is found very beneficial in the management of stress and its consequences.
 
 

4    KAPALABHATI
 
KapalbhatiSthiti:  Any  meditative  posture  eg  Sukasana/Padmasana/ Vajrasana

Technique
o Sit in any meditative posture.
o Close the eyes and relax the body.
o Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expand the chest.
o Expel the breath with forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles and relax.
o Do not strain.
o Continue active/forceful exhalation and passive inhalation.
o Complete 30 rapid breaths, then take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
o This is one round of Kapalabhati.
o Each round shall be followed by deep breathing.
o Repeat 2 more rounds.

Breathing: Forceful exhalation by contracting the abdominal muscles, without any undue movements in the chest and shoulder region. Inhalation should be passive throughout the practice.

Number of rounds: Beginners can practice up to 3 rounds of
20  breaths  each.  The  count  and  rounds  can  be  increased gradually over a period of time.

Benefits
o Kapalabhati  purifies  the  frontal  air  sinuses;  helps  to overcome cough disorders.
o It is useful in treating cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma and bronchial infections.
o It rejuvenates whole body, and keeps the face young and vibrant.
o It balances and strengthens the nervous system and tones up the digestive system.

A word of caution
o Please avoid this practice in case of cardiac conditions and giddiness, high blood pressure, vertigo, chronic bleeding in the nose, epilepsy, migraine, stroke, hernia and gastric ulcers.
 
 
 
5    PRANAYAMA
 
Pranayama
NADISODHANA   or   ANULOMA   VILOMA   PRANAYAMA (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

The main characteristic feature of this pranayama is alternate breathing through the left and right nostrils without or with retention of breath (kumbhaka).

Sthiti: Any meditative posture.

Technique
o Sit in any meditative posture.
o Keep the spine and head straight with eyes  closed.
o Relax the body with few deep breaths.
o Keep the left palm on the left knee in Jnana mudra.
The right hand should be in Nasagra mudra.
o Place the ring and small fingers on the left nostril; fold the middle and index finger. Place the right thumb on the right nostril;
o Breathe in from the left nostril; then close the left nostril with the small and ring fingers and release the thumb from the right nostril; exhale through the right nostril.
o Next, inhale through the right nostril.
o At the end of inhalation, close the right nostril, open the left nostril and exhale through it.
o This complete process is one round of the Nadisodhana  or
Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
o Repeat 5 rounds.

Ratio and timing
o For beginners, the duration of inhalation and exhalation should be equal.
o Gradually make 1:2; inhalation: exhalation

Breathing
o Breath should be slow, steady and controlled. It should not be forced or restricted in any way.

Benefits
o The  main  purpose  of  this  pranayama  is  to  purify  the principle channels of carrying energy called naid's; hence nourishes the whole body.
o Induces tranquility and helps to improve concentration
o Increases vitality and lowers the level of stress and anxiety
o It elevates cough disorders.
 

BHRAMARI PRANAYAMA (BHRAMARI RECAKA)
 

Dhyana

Bhramari is derived from bhramara which means a black bee. During the practice of this pranayama, the sound produced resembles the buzzing of a black bee.

Sthiti: Any meditative posture.

Techniques: Type - Io Sit in any meditative posture with eyes closed.o Inhale deeply through the nose.
o Exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep, steady humming
sound such as that of black bee. This is one round of
Bhramari.
o Repeat 5 rounds.

Type - II
o Sit in any meditative posture with eyes
o Inhale deeply through the nose.
o Close the eyes with index fingers, mout with ring and small fingers and ears fro respective thumbs as shown in the fig This is also called Sanmukhi Mudra.
o Exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep,
steady humming sound such as that of black bee. This is one round of Bhramari.
o Repeat 5 rounds.

Benefits
o The  practice  of  Bhramari  relives  stress  and  helps  in alleviating anxiety, anger and hyperactivity.
o The resonance effect of humming sound creates a soothing effect on the mind and nervous system.
o It is a great tranquiliser; found good in the management of stress related disorders.
o It is a useful preparatory pranayama for concentration and meditation.

A word of caution
o Please avoid this practice in case of nose and ear infections.

 
6    DHYANA IN SAMBHAVI MUDRA
 
 
Dhyana or meditation is an act of continuous contemplation.Bhramari pranayamaSthiti: Any meditative posture.
Technique
o Sit in any meditative posture.
o Keep your spine comfortably erect.o Hold Jnana mudra as follows:
§Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger, forming a circle.
§The other three fingers are straight and relaxed.
§All three fingers are side-by-side and touching.
§Keep your palms facing upwardsupon the thighs.
§Arms and shoulders should be loose and relaxed.
o Close your eyes and sit with a slightly
upturned face.o You need not concentrate. Just maintain
a mild focus between the eyebrows and be conscious of your breath.
o Dissolve your thoughts and attain single and pure thought.
o Meditate.

Note
o For  beginners,  soothing  music  may  be  played  in  the background during meditation.
o Stay as long as you can.

Benefits
o Meditation  is  the  most  important  component  of  Yoga practice.
o It helps the practitioner to eliminate negative emotions like fear, anger, depression, anxiety and to develop positive emotions
o Keeps the mind calm and quiet.
o Increases concentration, memory, clarity of thought and will power.
o Rejuvenates the whole body and mind giving them proper rest.
o Meditation leads to self-realisation.
 
7    SANKALPA
 
Hame hamare man ko hamesha santulit rakhana hai, Isi main hi hamara atma vikas samaya hua hai.


SANKALPA : (End the Yoga Practice Session with a Sankalpa)
 
I commit, to make myself into a healthy, peaceful, joyful and loving human being. Through every action of mine, I will strive to create a peaceful and loving atmosphere around me. I strive to break the limitations of who I am right now and include the entire world as my own. I recognize the kinship of my own life with every other life. I recognize the unity of all there is.
 
8    Santih Patha
 
¬Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu,
Maa Kascit Duhkha Bhagbhavet
¬Shantih Shantih Shantih
 
May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness. May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.


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