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Vinyasa – Yoga That Helps You Face Life

Vinyasa – Yoga That Helps You Face Life

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Dear all

It’s been two months since we started practicing Vinyasa in the class along with “Hatha” sessions. I know, for some of you these sessions have been exhausting, challenging and even painful. I congratulate you for sticking with the practice during this new regime. There are some strong reasons that made me introduce Vinyasa in the class.

Vinyasa means flow. It is linking of different movements together with synchronized breath. In this practice “speed” is the factor that differentiates itself from the conventional “Hatha” practice which is not very fast paced. Even I resisted any kind of speed during yoga sessions till a few months back. But as my teacher says, “Speed is life, it keeps you young. Slowing down is the sign of ageing!”

Surprised? As we all know that yoga is slowing down at all levels of existence. But then yoga is also to be able to maintain calmness, being non-responsive, non-reactive under extremely difficult and challenging situations, and not running away from them.

So it makes perfect sense to expose our body to mental and physical challenges once in a while in terms of speed, advance postures and preparing ourselves to face them with calm, non-reactive response.

So we are practicing “Hatha” as well as “Vinyasa” in our class. Both work towards achieving the same goal of strengthening the body, quieting the mind and preparing it for meditation. Only the way is different.

Of course, “Hatha” practices are equally challenging as you start going deep into the practice.  In “Hatha” you are expected to hold every posture long enough so as to align your body, breath and mind with that state of consciousness. It focuses on individual postures rather than the flow between the movements as done in Vinyasa. There is no second thought that finally “Hatha”, balancing sun and moon, inertia and activity is the ultimate aim of yoga. But Vinyasa can make this journey more exciting and challenging, even for beginners!

Any journey is not without obstacles. And as Patanjali says there are 13 obstacles a yoga student has to face as he begins this journey. The body may react to Vinyasa practice with knee, back, shoulder or wrist pain in the initial days. It’s important not to get bogged down.

Taking precautions reduces the chances of injuries.

Taking care of weight-bearing joints like lower back and knees e.g., softly bending the knees while bending forward is recommended till we develop enough flexibility of hip joints or hamstrings, etc.

Acknowledging limits of your body is equally important. In the first few sessions it’s alright to relax a bit in between two Vinyasa sequences but be careful not to make it a habit!

Remember, once you enter the yoga hall, it’s a competition free zone. Don’t look around and compare with others, not even with yourself. The way you face challenges on the yoga mat is probably the way you will face challenges in real life!

Relaxation at the end of the practice is where the essence lies. If you are short of time and plan to skip this last part, I would recommend you skip the complete session. Leaving the class without undergoing proper guided relaxation can have serious effects on your body.

You will be surprised to see how your fitness level goes up with every session. You will feel energetic till the end of the day.

Let’s continue exploring this journey together!

Love,

Saee

 

Yoga has helped me improve quality of my life!

This Essay is submitted by Monica, who believes and has realized that yoga is more than a weight loss regime. It has benefited her at various aspects of life like physical, mental and spiritual levels. Read her experience in her own words…

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I have been practicing yoga for the last 2 years now. So many people I met would ask me why I joined. ”You don’t need to lose weight.” Well, I didn’t and weight was certainly not why I took up yoga. In fact, when I started with the class, my only aim was to get started with a regular exercise routine because illnesses and lack of exercise were catching up. So I started with yoga. And in just two months, I realized how I had underestimated the power and benefits of this age old exercise regime.

I started walking and sitting straight. I was very conscious of my breathing. I was relaxed. I tried to avoid stress by walking out of negative situations and by taking things lightly. At the end of the day, I didn’t feel as drained out as I would earlier. That for me was and is the biggest gain. The quality of my life has improved, significantly.
I found yoga postures tough at first because my body wasn’t all that flexible but over time, I started enjoying the challenge. Yoga has helped me improve on physical, mental and spiritual levels and I am thankful for that, and also to my wonderful yoga instructor who drives the message so well. She herself is an epitome of positivity and balance.

I believe God guides all our moves in life. I am grateful to Him for introducing me to yoga.
Since the last few months, I have been unable to attend classes regularly. I miss the routine and I miss my old class. My dream for the pending three quarters of this year is that I become an early riser and don’t miss a single class of yoga again!

Contributor: Monica S Samuel, Working Professional

Yoga practice made me think about myself!

This section contains the selected entries from the Essay writing competition held at Yogasakhi.
The subjects were :
1. How Yoga made a difference in my life…
2. My “dream” yoga class
3. My Yoga practice : Where do I see myself after 6 months

This competition encouraged the students to think, retrospect, imagine…
To have Clarity, Goal and Satisfaction in their daily yoga Sadhana!

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This essay has been submitted by Sharmila, who is a house wife taking care of 2 kids. It is a true and honest story of how Yoga has changed her life and how her fears have changed into courage .Just 6 months of practice and she has started thinking about herself.

Right from my childhood I have never been interested in outdoor sports activities or never had a chance to perform any regular exercise….instead was a bookworm and very artistic by nature. After graduation, job, marriage and finally surrendering to maternal responsibilities I called off 8 year old career. Now I am a happy housewife managing two kids… I hardly found any time for myself. My mom kept telling me about numerous yoga benefits and why it is important and then learnt about this class…So I Wanted to give it a try…
To my surprise….I realized how stiff each and every body part of mine is and was not at all flexible…i was very disappointed…i wondered when did i lose all of the flexibility….may be after second delivery…i was shattered. After the first session the body ache was appearing to be intolerable….then slowly after few classes i felt better. But for months together I battled with my internal fears of injuring myself in any way or not performing yoga in right way…i even thought what if it was not for me…..But something within me gave me courage to keep practicing yoga…Its six months now and I am really glad that I did so…I thank GOD each day for bringing Yoga into my life and pray that I should be able to practice it throughout my life.
I regret that these 36 years of my life I have been not concentrating on my physical fitness at all….I am happy with the flexibility in my body now and mental calmness yoga has given me. Managing day to day chores, kid’s tantrums, studies etc. is better now and enjoyable. I have started thinking again about myself too now…
My dream yoga class would be when I can complete the postures with more ease and wish to dare some beneficial but tough postures like sarvangasana, shirshasana etc…Now I believe that with time my body should be more flexible. Just praying that my belief in Yoga continues and I am able to live life in a much healthier way…

CONTRIBUTOR : Sharmila Prabhu, 36 yrs old, Housewife

Yoga my treasure for life!

This section contains the selected entries from the Essay writing competition held at Yogasakhi.
The subjects were :
1. How Yoga made a difference in my life…
2. My “dream” yoga class
3. My Yoga practice : Where do I see myself after 6 months

This competition encouraged the students to think, retrospect, imagine…
To have Clarity, Goal and Satisfaction in their daily yoga Sadhana!

This essay is submitted by Arti Rajgopal, A house wife and sincere practitioner of yoga since last 2 years.
Arati in spite of water phobia has started swimming. She also feels that we are the custodians of this treasure!

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Yogena chittasya padena vacham
Malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena
Yopa’karot tam pravaram muninam
Patanjalim pranjalir ananto’smi

Yoga is an ancient science. Lord Shiva is indeed believed to be the first great yogi and originator of Yoga. Sage Patanjali was believed to be the first person to present the ancient tradition of Yoga in a systematic way. We know that there are so many definitions and meanings of Yoga but the most convincing for me is the word YOGA means to join or unite. Sage Patanjali, the founder of yoga, explained in his Yoga Sutras, that when our mind is kept very calm, quiet and free from all distractions for a long time in dhyana, we become united with God and attain salvation. This salvation goal is Samadhi or kaivalya. In this path of goal realization, Patanjali warned us of hurdles & obstancles that we come across; at the same time, to enable us to cultivate the good qualities and overcome such hurdles, he laid down eight-fold path i.e., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, & Samadhi, known as Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali.

Of these eight parts, I try to follow the first parts; i.e., Yama, Niyama, Asana, & Pranayama in the best way I can do. Generally, all the parents try to inculcate the values of Yama & Niyama i.e, ahimsa, satya, asteya, aparigraha, saucha, santosa, in their children from the early childhood only. Everyone try to follow these two sutras in some or the other manner and to some extent, that’s what I do. Through Yoga asana practice for the long time, it has become easy for me to gain temperament under control as well as to channelize & transform skill, thought, & action in a useful form of energy. One of the Niyamas, Ishvara Pranidhana, is very vast and deep to discuss. But I will only say that now days my faith in God has tremendously increased. My believes and thoughts about God are remarkably changed with which I am extremely happy.

This is all about my mental state of mind. Simultaneously by practicing asanas, my fitness, flexibility, strength, suppleness, stamina, has also improved drastically. I have tried many branches of exercise regimen; but the peace and satisfaction I get from Yoga asanas, I don’t get anywhere. I learn and feel something new in the same asana each and every time I practice. I try to reach to the perfection in a posture gradually with efforts in every attempt. These qualities of putting great effort even after failure and learning through practice have been developed in me to a great extent after Yoga asana practice.

With Pranayma, I have learnt movement as well as control of breath. I have water phobia and I find swimming very difficult. Having learnt this breath control, I have started swimming at a beginner level that was not only hard but almost impossible for me.

Like Ashtanga Yoga, there is also one other branch of yoga, that is, Hatha Yoga. I have also started practicing Kriyas as mentioned in Hatha Yoga. Kriyas are cleansing techniques meant to cleanse the internal organs of the human body. The cleansing technique, like jala neti, laghushanka has also helped me.
For my yoga practice, I wish my Yoga class to be amidst nature. I love to practice Yoga asanas in an area surrounded by tress, flowers, listening to birds’ chirps, feeling cool breeze, watching water falls. That’s impossible in city life. Even though I wish my Yoga class at least to be in a garden surrounded by greenery as I have seen in Hyderabad people doing asanas in KBR garden with peacocks passing nearby.

This Yoga practice for the last almost more than a year has changed my life. In future, I wish myself performing all the difficult asanas very easily, regularly and sincerely, to get rid of all ailments, help others in taking the maximum advantage of yoga, and to impart knowledge of Yoga to our next generation.

Last, but not the least, I would say that we are the custodians of is this treasure of Yoga. We should share and spread this treasure to the whole world to get the best fruits. Yoga is the perfect essentials of this arena for perfect physical health and mental well-being.

CONTRIBUTOR: ARTI RAJGOPAL, HOUSE WIFE.

Yoga helped me to connect with my roots…

This section contains the selected entries from the Essay writing competition held at Yogasakhi.
The subjects were :
1. How Yoga made a difference in my life…
2. My “dream” yoga class
3. My Yoga practice : Where do I see myself after 6 months

This competition encouraged the students to think, retrospect, imagine…
To have Clarity, Goal and Satisfaction in their daily yoga Sadhana!

This essay is submitted by Rehana, yoga student. She has written about how Yoga has become way of life for her. She has rightly questioned the basic religious practices and found the answers.

blog 3I started yoga in November 2012. Initially the motivation was just to get engaged in some physical and meditational activity. But with time what i have discovered is something more than that.

Regular yoga practice corrects my body postures, sitting postures and improves my breathing patterns. As i used to do fast exercises like Aerobics, Cycling but with Yoga i started practicing Rotation of Hands in slow pace, Single/Both Legs Raising in 10 counts, Sun Salutation, which improves my stamina and strengthens my core muscles.

Being in a IT Company, sitting on the chair for long hours I was finding it difficult to sit straight without any back support from some time.  But regular practice of sitting and Twisting Asanas  have strengthened my back and corrected my spine.  Now,  i can sit for hours without any pain and support.  Whenever i feel very exhausted or stressed out, i practice Breathing Exercises or if i have some heavy dinner at night, i sit in Vajrasana for few minutes and feel very relaxed and light. So regular yoga practice has benefited myself  in many aspects of my life.

Being a Muslim I practiced many Salat postures similar to Yoga Asanas like Vajrasana, Ardha Uttanasana, Sasankasana, Tadasana and Pranayama when offering Salat for 5 times a day. In our childhood our religious scholars taught us to perform all the Salat postures properly, as a kid our body is also more flexible and i used to do all that properly, that time they seemed very easy too.

I still do Salat but now question that comes to my mind is, if I am already doing all these Asanas why it is making difference only during Yoga?

The answer to this question is “Loss of Reasoning behind religious practices”.  It has nothing to do specific to my religion, we all belong to different religions and each religion has some basic practices. These practices are not merely rituals they have some reasons to be included as basic practice. With time and across generations either we have lost that reasoning or some basic practices are buried under more superficial practices.

Without reasoning, religious practice becomes just a ritual and we do it just as our duty. Now with a yearlong practice of yoga i am able to connect Salat procedure with its health benefit and discover the reasoning which was lost. So as name suggests Yoga means “to add”, “to attach”, “to connect”, “to join” to the roots, Yoga connects me back to the basic roots of the Salat.

Contributor: Rehana Khan, IT professional