Monthly Archives: July 2015

How to eliminate toxins from our homes?

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The Yogasakhi participants had an eye-opening session on ‘Toxins in our home’ by  Anubha kothari. She conducts workshops and events in Bangalore on behalf of SHARAN ( www.sharan-india.org). Here is a summary:
Toxins envelope our life. Unfortunately, many of them are present in our homes. Ironically, our effort to over zealously clean our bodies and surroundings can flood our bodies with toxins more dangerous than the germs we are trying to avoid.
Eliminating every harmful substance from our daily routine can be nearly impossible, but knowledge and awareness is a good place to start. The kitchen and bathroom are home to many plastic products. Storing food, packing and heating food in plastic containers is highly avoidable. Steel is a better option. Microwaving food is a major source of radiation and is a strict no-no. In fact, needless and repeated heating of food changes the molecular structure, rendering it less nutritious and more toxic. It is common knowledge that teflon-coated and aluminium utensils release harmful substances into our food while cooking. Steel vessels and iron griddles are a healthier substitute.
Toothpaste, soap and shampoo contain various chemicals that can cause disease in the long run. Try replacing these with natural products, for instance ‘besan’ paste as an exfoliating scrub and salt and lime to clean your teeth . If that sounds too extreme, opt for organic products with the least amount of harmful chemicals.
Cleaning liquids and detergents as you can imagine are highly toxic and can be either eliminated or used sparingly. ’Ritha’ powder can substitute dishwashing liquid. Use detergent judiciously.
Creams, deodorants, and cosmetics contain many ingredients that can be potentially dangerous. The kitchen contains time-tested treasures that can nourish and beautify. If you must use cosmetics, do so only for really special occasions! A toxin free diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit is a better approach to look and smell great. Mosquito repellents are too toxic to apply regularly. If you must, citronella oil is recommended.
Highly processed food like canned food, sauces and frozen food are known to be hazardous. One should steer clear of ‘health food’ which claims to be fibre-enriched as more chemicals and stabilizers are used to produce them. Unsuspecting health freaks and well- meaning mothers, do watch out!
As toxins cling to oil and fat, it is wise to switch to a low fat diet, not just for vanity but for protection. Simple home-cooked food with minimum preservatives and lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruit is the best investment and prevention against disease.
Finally, our generation’s addiction to electronic devices is a source of lethal radiation. Apart from being a menace to optimal social and family interaction, it can cause grave health consequences.
Yoga is synonymous with awareness and stresses on willpower. Yoga is also about balance. Incorporating improvements in our lifestyle can be challenging. We can start with awareness, try hard to stick to our resolutions and also maintain a balance between the ideal and the practical.
This post is contributed by Nivedita Master. She is a counselor by profession and a regular yoga practitioner. 

Yin yoga helps us to surrender to a deeper force!

YIN YOGA

mrinaliYin yoga is the combination of taoist yoga and western medicine. When we lie down in shavasana at the end of a yoga class , in a state of relaxed awareness, we sometimes experience a tingling sensation in our spine , back of the head , hands , fingertips , feet maybe even throughout the body , a floating sensation or a feeling like there is something is flowing inside us , this sensation is believed to be energy flowing within us.Yogis call this energy as  ‘Prana’ , in China the Taoists believe this energy to be ‘Qi’ .This energy is said to flow in specific pathways along the body , called ‘meridians’. Combining Taoism , asana practise and the understanding of human anatomy , yin yoga was developed , the intention being to be able to sit comfortably and for longer hours in meditation and to gain flexibility especially around the joints.
Yin and yang are opposing forces , yin is anything stable , hidden , cold , dark , dense and constant. Yin can be described as the passive female principle of the universe. Yang is the opposite anything with has rhythm, which flows, dynamic, light , masculine. Yin yoga differs in its approach, as the name suggests it is a practice of exploring the body through stillness, of becoming tuned in to the breath and the mind . Just like in a meditation practice where we
cultivate a deeper sense of awareness , by focusing on sensations , by focusing on the patterns of breathing, similarly in yin yoga , we hold the postures for a period of time , long enough for the body to stop resisting , for the nervous system to stop firing impulses and finally for the muscles to stop reacting , by doing this not only are we relaxing the body , we are also freeing the energetic pathways ‘meridians’ . Yin yoga gives space for deep introspection through simple asanas practiced mindfully.

Most often people carry tension and stress in their bodies in the form of tightness or stiffness in the joints . If nothing is done to release the stiffness , it may lead to bigger problems , like loss of flexibility , improper circulation of blood and energy , chronic pain , immobilization of a particular joint etc.
Yin yoga is specifically designed to target the connective tissues and articulations of the body, and apply a very moderate amount of stress on them for a constant period of time, anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes . But keeping the approach very relaxed and gentle.In yin yoga you are never moving too fast or too quickly, thus we have enough time to explore the body . Yin yoga is not just a practice of the body , we are using the breath as well to further relax the
muscles .When the breath moves the mind moves , and when the breath is controlled the mind is also controlled . Keeping the breath in a steady and constant rhythm is also an important thing to remember as we hold a posture.
Yin yoga helps us experience how the body , breath and mind move in coordination and harmony , leaving us with a feeling of being open and free .It is here in the 60 or 90 minute class that we get to become completely free , disconnected from the outside world , where there is no pressure and no expectation , its a practice where we surrender to a deeper force.

Author : Mrinali Madhukar , Internationally trained RYT 200, RYT 500 yoga teacher

Mrinali will be conducting a Yin yoga session @ Yogasakhi, on the occasion of yogasakhi’s third anniversary.

Date : 19th July  Time: 8 am to 9 am