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Yoga

The Art and Science Known as Yoga

The great sage Agusteya Muni who introduced yoga and the art of living known as Sanatana Dharma to India

A system or a methodology for maintaining the health and fitness of the body and the mind. The practice of yoga is about initially connecting and understanding relationship between oneself as a human being and the body which is the vehicle for being human.

For many the process of yoga begins with training the body to keep it healthy and strong, but also to understand it as a vehicle for life. In training the body the mind is also trained because where the body goes, the mind must go and with practice the

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Ustrasana

Camel pose or extending backwards

Ustrasana is a beginner level back extension which is not to be confused with simply bending backwards as the name often implies. The whole idea is to extend and lengthen one’s spine upwards so that it can freely flex without creating any compression or discomfort in the spine.

The ease of performing this asana comes with the softening or lengthening of one’s front thigh muscles. As you go into the posture, avoid pushing the pelvis forwards. Before attempting this exercise, please read the page on bending backwards.

Instruction

Place the feet and knees hip width apart with toes under as in the right image Place the hands on the hips and

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Utkatasana

Not for feint hearts

Caution, anyone who has heart problems risks over-straining the heart in this pose and should avoid it.

This asana is often referred to as the chair pose because it resembles the action of sitting. However utkatasana as well as working the legs, also works all the internal structures of the torso and pushes the heart to work more strongly. There are several levels to this exercise, the first is with the feet apart and parallel to each other, the knees bend and the hips drop back but unlike many descriptions, the idea is to hold the arms and torso as upright as possible.

As one sinks into the pose, one’s weight will ideally remain consistent as

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Partner Yoga

Moving from Doing together to Being together

Partner yoga has been termed AcroYoga. There are many aspects and methodologies of which the most common is supporting and being supported in the performance of yoga asana. Yet it can also involve meditation and non-contact activities. But all aspects of acroyoga involve body to body and mind to mind communication at a subtle level beyond everyday consciousness.

By practising asana together as for instance in this right image, one develops trust and confidence in one’s partner which in turn fosters a better relationship. Where partners are of similar stature and flexibility, the practice is generally more balanced but when one is more supple, more stronger or of a different stature, some of

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Yoga and Health

The technology of being human

The word Yoga means ‘the perfected state of universal oneness or spiritual completion’ but it’s also used to describe the activities, the exercises leading to that state.

Beginning with the physical, the first aspect of yoga is asana comprising all the physical exercises. These exercises condition the body creating freedom of movement, improved muscle tone and overall balance within one’s physical structure.

Yoga asana are designed to exercise every muscle in the body so that the muscles are contracted, twisted, squeezed and relaxed to push out toxins and then the muscles are relaxed. By twisting the torso, the internal organs are also gently affected so that the circulation of energy and fluids throughout the body

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Virabhadrasana 1

Yoga Asana Series

Developing structural foundation

Virabhadra 1 is the first of a set of three of asana’s referred to as warrior poses. These foundational poses help to develop strength, tenacity, balance, alignment and balance core energy.

In simple terms this pose is a powerful lunge which strengthens the shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and the muscles of the back; expands the chest, lungs and shoulders; tones the hip flexors, abdomen, and ankles; develops stamina and endurance in thighs and core muscles; stimulates abdominal organs and digestion; improves balance and concentration.

This image right is a good representation of the pose performed by a novice and in practise, it is regarded as an intermediate asana and not performed until one

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Asana and Movement

Activating connections for safety and dynamic freedom of movement

t.krishnamacharya in Tadasana

The earth is the basis of our body and therefore all our movements must begin in relationship with the earth. We can begin to understand this connection through our feet when standing in tadasana.

In this pose, when we stand tall and open, the toes are soft and sensing. The sensations felt in the toes communicate with the brain as to the nature of the bodies balance and position in space. The weight balance in general is that about 80% will be on the heel and the other 20% will extend into the ball the foot while the toes remain soft.

As

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Bikram Yoga

A misappropriation of yoga

Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the Yoga College of India and he ascribes a yoga exercise routine based on 26 postures performed in high temperatures making him the founder of ‘hot yoga’. He patented his name and always prosecutes people though today he has been disgraced.

Franchisees disillusioned with Bikram’s corporation have dropped out but retained elements like the heated room, but changed the Bikram name so as not to breech copyright. In 2006, he had 1,650 yoga studios around the world (up from 1,200 from the previous year)

The asanas in Bikram’s schools are the traditionally the same as in any school and he pushed the idea of exercising is a room heated to

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Practical Yoga

A simple guide to practising yoga

The literal meaning of the word yoga is ‘unity’ however the general meaning of yoga is broad covering all positive and life sustaining activities. The practice of Yoga can be best described as the conscious action to create balance, peace and harmony.

Unfortunately modern life is not peaceful, and yoga is more commonly used as a tool for relaxation, stress release, improving fitness and health, while being gentle and enjoyable for people of all ages and states of health.

Yoga at a personal level may be It is our want and desire for unity can be described as a type of yoga and is found in all our lives and is an integral part

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Balance in Yoga

Defining Balance and how to find it?

The Buddha famously spoke of the middle way, of avoiding extremes and in simple terms physical balance is a state of equipoise whereby one can remain upright without rigidity. In yoga we typically think about balance in terms of the physical, but there are also states of mental and spiritual balance that comes about through right practice and mindfulness which of itself is another practice.

We could say that life itself is an exercise in finding balance in every area of life. However within yoga it is acknowledged that balance in all aspects of life enhances self-awareness, self knowing and ease of existence. So strive to balance inside and out – masculine

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Paramahansa Yogananda

A modern mystic and spiritual teacher

(5 January 1893 – 7 March 1952)

One of the first great teachers to leave India for a Western country, the organisation that has grown from Yogananda’s teachings (the self realisation fellowship) to almost every country in the world. He teaches more by sharing his story rather than telling you what to do.

“You are walking on the earth as in a dream. Our world is a dream within a dream; you must realize that to find God is the only goal, the only purpose, for which you are here. For Him alone you exist. Him you must find.” – from the book The Divine Romance.

Yogananda was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh,

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