Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

 

The Matsyasana causes a stretching on the thyroid and parathyroid glands, thereby improving their function and counter balancing the effects of the Jalandhar bandha. It stretches the intestines, liver, pancreas, bladder and other abdominal organs which improves their functioning and efficiency. Reduces blood supply to the legs and redirects it to the reproductive and pelvic organs. Stagnant blood around vertebral column is drained. Improves supply to brain and face, also stretches the carotid artery. The reproductive system is improved due to the increased blood supply. Toning of abdominal, thigh and intercostal muscles. Toning of intercostals muscles help in deep breathing, so it is helpful in asthma and bronchitis. It opens up the chest and lungs. Haemorrhoids. Increases circulation to the back which helps in backache and cervical spondylitis. Boosts the immune system due to its effect on the thymus gland. Loosens the spine and prevents round shoulders. Loosens the legs and prepares them for meditation poses

Benefits Of Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Stretches and stimulates the muscles of your abdomen, neck, and throat
Strengthens the muscles of your upper back and the back of your neck
Helps relieve tension in the neck and shoulders
Helps to improve your posture and provides relief from respiratory disorders

How To Do Matsyasana

  Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended and your arms resting alongside your body, palms down.

  Press your forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest to create an arch in your upper back. Lift your shoulderblades and upper torso off the floor. Tilt your head back and bring the crown of your head to the floor.

  Keep pressing through your hands and forearms. There should be very little weight pressing through your head.

  Keep your thighs active and energized. Press outward through your heels.

 

Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

The complicated name of Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana means Forward Bend With Three Limbs Facing Forward. In this seated posture one foot is bent and placed on the outside of the buttock, while the other leg is kept straight. To not fall over the practitioner needs to actively push the buttocks on the side of the bent leg down towards the floor utilizing the abdominal muscles. Initially one may use a hand to avoid falling over to one side, but as with all props, also the natural ones, it is important to be vigilant not to rely on them longer than absolutely needed as this might hinder the development into the full posture. Persons with knee injuries might find this painful, as well as those with tight quadriceps. One way to approach the full posture is to start by keeping both legs bent with the feet at the outsides of the hips.When performed correctly Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasa works to build abdominal stregnth and to increase the range of movement in the joints of the hip and knee.

BENEFITS

  1. Tones and stimulates the abdominal organs.
  2. Assists digestion.
  3. Reduces flatulence and constipation.
  4. Creates flexibility in the knee joint.
  5. Creates flexibility in hips and hamstrings.

 

STEP BY STEP GUIDE – THREE PARTS FORWARD BEND POSE

  1. Start with forming the Dandasana (Staff Pose) on yoga mat.
  2. Bring your left foot back as for Hero Pose (Virasana).
  3. Exhale; try to take hold of the outer edge of your right foot by bending forward.
  4. Inhale; now pull the arms back.
  5. Slowly lift and open your chest.
  6. Exhale; drawn the chin towards your shin.
  7. Bend your elbows and extend the trunk forward.
  8. Hold in this position for few seconds (10 to 60 seconds).

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The final pose of any yoga class is one of deep restoration: Corpse Pose, also sometimes called Final Relaxation Pose. Its Sanskrit name, “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh), comes from two words. The first is “Sava” (meaning “corpse”), and the second is “asana” (meaning “pose”). Savasana implies a depth of release that goes beyond simple relaxation. This resting pose takes your yoga practice to a place where you can completely let go.

It looks like the easiest pose in the whole yoga practice, but when doing its one the hardest pose. But the benefits of  Savasana are more than any other asana (posture). That’s why it is recommended that you should do savasana after every 30 minutes of yoga practice, if not, than once after finishing the yoga class or practice.

At the end of every yoga class, you know those few minutes when you’re asked to lie down straight, with your legs placed apart and arms by your side. It is a moment when you oscillate between relaxation and blissful sleep by performing an ancient yoga asana known as Shavasana or Savasana (pronounced as Shuh-vaas-ana) that takes its name from two Sanskrit words ‘shava‘ which means cobra and ‘asana‘ which means post.

Benefits Of Shavasana

Savasana relaxes the central nervous system, giving the cells of the body an opportunity to really permeate the fresh oxygenated blood, easing all the muscles and giving them the best treat after its hard work during playtime. Allowing your body to fully immerse in this pose will signal a sense of gratitude for being on the edge, and staying strong through those tough poses. Corpse pose also calms the brain which alleviates headaches, fatigue, stress and mild depression.

 

How To Do Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Set yourself up for success. Stretch out on your mat and be sure you’re completely comfortable. Use bolsters, pillows, blankets, and cover your eyes with an eye pillow or towel. The more comfortable you are, the more you can relax.

Take one final cleansing breath. Your teacher will likely prompt you to take one audible exhale, signaling to your body to release into the pose.

Scan for tension. Mentally run through all the parts of your body and try to make them heavier. Be on the lookout for tension hiding in the jaw, temples, shoulders, and hips

Set an intention.Before you come out of Savasana, take a mental snapshot of how you feel on every level. Ask yourself what you’d like to take with you from your practice, and what you might like to leave behind

What are the Hatha yoga poses

Hatha Yoga is a series of asanas or postures that seek to open up the channels in the body for free flow of energy, thereby creating harmony and balance between two opposing forces. The result is that the body develops a balance between strength and flexibility along with surrender and submission in each pose.

All the poses for this 60-minute sequence for a beginner Hatha Yoga class come from the books Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown.

The descriptions following the poses in this list are critical to performing the postures properly and not a detailed description of how to perform them. I recommend acquiring the above books, which are excellent texts, or searching the Yoga Journal Pose Finder for that information.

Hatha Yoga For Overall Fitness

When practiced regularly, Hatha yoga poses improve multiple aspects important to physical fitness. As revealed in a study published in a 2001 issue of Preventive Cardiology, a minimum of two yoga classes attended per week — these included 10 minutes of dynamic warm-up poses and 50 minutes of asana — for eight weeks improved oxygen uptake, muscular strength and endurance and joint mobility.

Note :

The first point to remember is that if you feel sharp pain in the joints or muscles, you must immediately stop the asana. It may be that the pose is not right for you or there is something wrong with your body alignment. If your body just feels the exertion of the exercise you can continue to push yourself to maintain your posture.

A basic Hatha yoga class consists of :

Relaxation (Savasana),

Pranayama (breathing exercises),

Sun Salutation, and

13 asanas (postures). Variations of these postures are usually included, and others added according to the standard of the students.

5 Basic Hatha Yoga Poses:

Mountain Pose

Child’s Pose

Cobra Pose

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Triangle Pose

 

How long do you stay in a yoga pose

Holding poses for a longer period of time is an extremely beneficial addition to your practice.

 Builds Strength

Holding a pose for a longer period helps build strength and stamina. For example when you hold Warrior II for a longer period, the muscles of your legs and arms have to work harder to maintain the pose.

 Time for your alignment

When you hold a pose, you have time to actually feel, to adjust and to readjust. Watch out for allowing your mind to become completely occupied with this. While it’s fine to take some time to focus on your alignment don’t allow it to become your sole focus in the pose.

Gives space for emotions

Holding a pose for longer then you are used to can often give space for emotions to arise. You go beyond the point that is comfortable (obviously you come out of the pose if it feels painful or does not feel ‘right’). Going beyond the comfort zone can bring up fear and other emotions.

Then there are prone poses such as Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) that even adepts do not hold for more than a minute. On the other hand, certain poses such as Sirshasana (Head Stand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) may comfortably be held with practice for up to ten minutes. Here again, different schools of Yoga have differing views. It actually all depends upon a variety of factors including your gender, age, physical fitness, medical health, flexibility and needs.

All of the meditative poses, however, can be held for longer periods of time, without any complications. For these types of postures, it is actually beneficial to retain the asana without needing to take a break. These poses include the Easy Pose (Sukhasana), the Corpse Pose (Shavasana), and the Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana). Asanas are meant to strengthen the mind and spirit, while toning the body, in a safe progressive manner.

What is the meaning of hatha in yoga

Hatha is a Sanskirt word of two parts: ‘Ha’ for sun and ‘tha’ meaning moon. Characteristics related with the sun are passion, masculinity and strength, while moon qualities are freshness, femininity and surrender. Together (sun, moon, male and female) contain physical qualities of hot and cold, firm and fluid. It is in our physical bodies that we strive to cultivate a balance of strength and flexibility, learning to balance our effort and surrender in each pose through breath and mind control. The knowledge Hatha expresses is that both sun and moon energy exists within us all. Hatha is a unification of 2 opposites to illuminate all existence into totality and create balanced harmony from within.

Today, hatha is most often used to describe gentle, basic yoga classes with no flow between poses. Expect a slower-paced stretching-focused class with some basic pranayama breathing exercises and perhaps a seated meditation at the end. Hatha classes are a good place to work on your alignment, learn relaxation techniques, and become comfortable with doing yoga while building strength and flexibility.

A hatha yoga routine consists of a series of physical postures and breathing techniques. Routines can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the needs and ability of the practitioner. Yoga should always be adapted to one’s state of health; that is, a shorter and easier routine should be used when a person is fatigued. Yoga is ideally practiced at the same time every day, to encourage the discipline of the practice. It can be done at any time of day; some prefer it in the morning as a wake-up routine, while others like to wind down and de-stress with yoga at the end of the day.

Today, the term hatha is used in such a broad way that it is difficult to know what a particular hatha class will be like. In most cases, however, it will be relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they hold poses longer. It can vary a lot, so it is a good idea to call the studio before attending the class.

Popular hatha classes include:

Yoga for Hips, Hamstrings and Back.
Hatha Yoga For Beginners: Better Balanace.
Seated Hatha Yoga.
Hatha Yoga to Release the Lower Back.

 

 

What Is The Meaning Of OM In Yoga

When I first started practicing yoga I took a class.  We opened with sound of om and then again sealed in our practice with the sound of om.  I remember thinking to myself, “what is om and why are we doing this and more importantly how can these people hold this for so long?!”.  Years later I still practice yoga, and still open and close my practice with om.

Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. Coming from Hinduism and Yoga, the mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power but despite this, it is a mantra that can be recited by anyone. It’s both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth and when pronounced correctly it is actually AUM.

Why do we chant it?

Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is really standing still! The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature.

As such AUM is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe.

“The syllable OM, which is the imperishable Brahman, is the universe.  Whatsoever has existed, whatsoever exists, and whatsoever shall exist hereafter, is OM.  And whatsoever transcends past, present, and future, that also is OM.”

Yoganand says that chanting om also creates a link with those who have practiced before us. “It’s a sound that validates oneness and harmony,” he says. “We chant it because yogis have for thousands of years. And when we chant it, we’re connecting with those yogis in a ritual way, and drawing upon the support of the practices they’ve been doing for a long, long time.”

How do you breathe when doing yoga?

One of the most fundamental types of breathing we use is long, deep breathing. This is a breath in which you pull the air from your belly and try to slow your breathing down to one to four cycles per minute.  Below are some of the many benefits of this simple breath.

Breathing is vital for our survival as it is the only way we can send oxygen inside our body and into our organs. We can live for months without consuming food and days without water, however we can only survive a few minutes without breathing. When you learn the breathing techniques it will positively affect your actions and thoughts. Every thought we have changes the rhythm of our breath. When we are happy breathing is rhythmic and when we are stressed breathing is irregular and interrupted. Mastering the art of breathing is a crucial step towards self-healing and survival.

Biologically

When focusing on the breath during our asana practice, the control of the breath shifts from the brain stem (medulla oblongata) to the cerebral cortex (evolved part of brain) due to us being aware of the breath. It’s in that moment, when we are aware, when the magic starts to happens. The mind will become more quiet and a calm awareness arises.

The variations of breathing patterns and styles can often be daunting and overwhelming to new participants to Yoga. However, often the more simple of breathing forms can provide the greatest rewards and benefits. As one of the simplest forms of breathing, basic nostril breathing yields a wealth of benefits.

8 effective  benefits of alternate nostril breathing:

 

Revitalizes you:

Cleanses your lungs:

Improves brain function:

Calms an agitated mind

Merges the left “thinking” brain and right “feeling brain:

Encourage a calmer emotional state

Great preparation for meditation:.

Regulates  the cooling and warming cycles of the body: