Showing posts with label Yogasana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yogasana. Show all posts

Bhoo Namana Vajrasana

This is one of the variations of Vajrasana. This is to be performed in the direction opposite to that of Supta Vajrasana. Some consider this asana to be one kind of Yoga-Mudra.

Technique: Attain Vajrasana. Slowly and cautiously bend the trunk forward. Take the arms to the back. Hold the right forearm with the left hand and the left forearm with the right hand. Fill the air in the lungs. Slowly exhale and stretch the neck downward so that the nose touches the ground. Gradually,increase the time to the limit of ten seconds.


1. This asana eliminates the weakness of the intestines the stomach. It also removes disorders of the liver and laxity of the pancreas.

2. It increases the elasticity of the spine and also strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and the chest.

3. It cures constipation.

4. It cures diseases such as diabetes,abdominal disorders, cold, gas-trouble, loss of appetite, nocturnal discharge, insomnia, asthma, dysentery and indigestion.

5. It stimulates gastric fire.

Hatha Yoga Features It Can Be Beneficial For Your Health

How to get a physically healthy body?

This is the question which comes in all most all of our minds.

The best option is yoga.

It is one of the most popular alternative medical treatments which are growing rapidly around the world.

Yoga is most commonly known as a simple physical therapy treatment.

Hatha yoga is the only one yoga that exists in the today’s world. Originally yoga is considered as a spiritual treatment for your mind and soul.

To prepare your body for its spiritual journey, hatha yoga is very helpful. This can be achieved by doing physical and breathing exercises along with asceticism. Hatha yoga requires more physical exercise than any other types of yoga.

Main factors for hatha yoga:

Concentration on your breathing and your posture is the main factor of hatha yoga. This type of concentration can be more difficult than that you think. Observe what this type of concentration will do after trying this by yourself. Definitely you will want to continue with this type of yoga.

The main reason of practicing a great posture is to practice great meditation. You have to find a position in which you can sit for longer periods of time. You won’t succeed until you will be comfortable in your meditation and yoga postures. The more you practice to acquire postures and positions, the better meditative state you can achieve. You can easily learn hatha yoga if you are open minded and want to learn.

Anyone can practice hatha yoga. It begins with the basics of yoga and teaches you the inner workings of meditation and how you should begin. Once you acquire your own position and posture of meditation comfort, now its time to practice breathing patterns.

If you are able to master your own breathing patterns, then mastering your mind is not difficult for you to reach. It requires many steps to reach different levels of yoga and meditation. Anyone can easily do it with good practice and concentration.

If you are starting yoga for the first time, it is better to begin with hatha yoga. For the successful completion of your career you must begin with proper steps and then learn in the right order. If you only practice superficial methods of yoga, you won’t get the desired results from this technique of holistic meditation.

Benefits of hatha yoga:

Hatha yoga is mainly used for physical exercise. If you do it properly it can heal you in the most holistic way possible. It promotes mind and soul healing.

Hatha yoga helps to cure the problems such as constipation, asthma, back pain, hyper tension, anemia, headache, accumulation of fat, nervousness, diabetes, memory loss, arthritis, and gastric problems.

The only way you can get benefit is, when you practice the other side of yoga and meditation. When you are practicing hatha yoga you should be aware of everything going on within you. By paying attention you will instantly observe all the changes that are going on within you.


In this asana, the body remain in half standing position with the support of the heel of one leg and the knee of the second leg. The body assumes the pose worshipping God.

Technique : Stand erect. Hold the left leg and place the heel on the thigh or at the root of the genitals. Let the left knee slowly touch the ground. Keep the position of the arms as shown in the figure (positions 1). Then as in Garudasana entwine the hands and assume ‘Namaskara-Mudra’ as shown in the figure (positions 2 and 3). Look straight. In hale slowly. Take the position in which the knee of the bent leg touches the right heel. Then slowly come to standing position and repeat the exercise with the second leg.

Advantages :
(1) This asana strengthens the legs. It removes the pain in the ankles and the knee-joints.
(2) This asana can be practiced for praying to God.

Top 13 Yoga Exercises To Avoid Backaches

The old east originated meditative art- yoga is making a good impact in the present scenario.

It is adored all around the world and is supposed to be very effective in keeping body flexible and kept in good shape [Power yoga].

It has a wonderful therapeutic impact as well. Yoga is comprised of many postures and sets of breathing exercises (Pranayamas).

These breathing exercises work on the muscles of the upper back to prevent it from pain or reduce the pain.

Yoga postures too have the potential to decrease tension and stress, which sponsors back pain. Yoga teachers have tailored a set of postures and pranayamas, which are especially recommended to avoid or reduce back pain. A check on these breathing exercises and yogic poses listed below will surely help you.

1. Pelvic Tilt Posture

This is recommended to offer a support to the lower back. It also supports abdominals, sacroiliac joints and adjacent structures of the body.It is supposed to be wonderful in cases of problems related to the lower back.

Sometimes, poor posture and muscle atrophy cause severe jerks in the lower part of back, which are very painful. The pelvic tilt posture offers a spinal stabilization in such case.

2. Triangle Pose

Triangle poses are effective on the hips, which have a brawny influence on the spine.The spine is directly associated with back pain.

Hence, a triangle pose is very effective in the reduction of back pain. Nevertheless, it is a bit bizarre type of pose but is very powerful in controlling back pain.

3. Side-Angle Postures

This posture is supposed to be great in alleviating back pains. Side-angle poses of yoga assist with postural conditions, which are very effective in back pain such as those that result from scoliosis and kyphosis. They are also effective in stretching the core muscles of the body, which includes the oblique abdominals too.

4. Standing Forward Bend Positions

This yogic posture is supposed to be a challenge for the performer’s sense of alignment. ‘Uttanasana’ is the most famous posture of forward bending. It works wonders with regard to problems of backaches.

It is considered to be a great posture to remove skeletal disk related ailments. However, you must be careful while performing yoga poses such as ‘Uttanasana.’ A wrong posture can increase the pain instead of diminishing it.

5. Mountain Pose or Tadasana

The elevating yoga position is supposed to be very useful in alleviating back pain. This posture needs the utmost level of your attention because it offers the best results; that is if you know what you are doing.

It develops an ideal spinal alignment and offers an instant relief for back pains. It is also a must for patients with back pain.
6. Corpse pose

To get this yogic posture, lie flat on your back in a relaxed manner and raise your arms at your sides. Have your arms alongside your trunk but slightly away and have your palms facing upwards.

Spread your legs in a natural way. While performing this, you should turn your knees out slightly but if it hurts, perform the yoga in the best possible way of comfort. Release the tension and take deep breaths.

You must be feeling relaxed when you do this because this yoga posture is supposed to be a great exercise in getting a relief from backaches and other ailments as well.

7. Cat Stretch

It involves your back, knees and hands. You start with the hands and knees with a flat back, which brings your shoulders and hands in an alignment. This yogic posture is known for its gradual impact to help relieve backaches.

8. Supported Bridge Pose for Back Pain

This yoga posture is very famous among people suffering from backaches. This is considered as a good exercise posture, as it makes a connection among different parts of body to provide support. This exercise is usually included in the must-to-do list of yoga postures.

9. Stretched Out Big Toe Pose

Also known as ‘Supta Padangusthana,’ this yogic asana needs a gentle stretch of hamstrings and calves. A stretching of these body parts brings an awesome improvement in the condition of the person, who is suffering from backaches [chiropractic therapy].

10. Supine Spinal Twist to get relief from back pain

This trunk rotation movement deals with the twisting of the spines. Nevertheless, it is not an easy deal for everyone but its results are truly worth the effort.

Note: People with degenerative disk ailments must be cautious while performing this yoga.

11. Cat-Cow Pose – Yoga for Back Pain – A Yogic Pose for Spinal Alignment

This pose offers a tremendous effect in dealing with backaches. It comprises functioning of Pilates, yoga and core strengthening asana. The cat-cow position is famed for its therapeutic results and it is widely performed nowadays.

12. Yoga for Back Pain – Cobra Pose

Cobra pose is also known as ‘Bhujangasana.’

The movement of this posture asks one to lie-down on the floor on his or her stomach.

This is then followed by making an arch with the help of the performer’s forelimbs (hands). This is a brilliant stretch exercise that has the capacity to provide a great relief to all who is suffering from backaches.

13. Pranayama (Breathing yogic exercises to get relief from back pain)

As you know, Yoga is a complete package of different physical postures and breathing exercises. Its poses are great in terms of providing a relief for backaches but breathing exercises are also important.

They work as a stimulant for main poses and help you in thwarting irritating backaches.

‘Anulom vilom’ and ‘Nadi sodhan’ are the two most famous breathing exercises.These exercises work wonders in avoidance of a multitude of fatal ailments.

Incorporating functions of inhale and exhale, they let the body grasp more oxygen which is very helpful in blood purification. These asanas also decrease anxiety levels and make the mind calm.

A regular practice of these two exercises releases all the tension, which reduces the possibilities of severe backaches.

Though, there are various methods suggested by yoga experts to hasten an easier healing of the body, coupling it with a healthy diet is equally important. A person must take care of his or her dieting habits to put a control on the occurrence of ailments [Natural healing].

A hygienic food intake and good sitting posture will never lead you the pathetic condition of backaches. Moreover, because it is evident that many people are suffering from problems of continuous aches in the back it is widely recommended to get a good deal of vitamin D and calcium supplementation.

Lastly, one should not perform breathing exercises and yoga postures in a wrong manner for they only breed in health hazards instead of benefits.

Life Is Ruff, De-stress With Doga (video)

Dogs may be naturals at yoga, launching into the Downward Dog any time they feel like stretching, and going right into a flat-on-their-back Savasana when hoping for a belly rub. But formal yoga classes involving dogs? I know people who do this, but this video of a Doga class in Seattle is the first time I’ve witnessed one of these classes in action.

Ommmmmmmmm my!

These are some really relaxed dogs! Is it the Doga that does it, or did these dogs meet for a hound happy hour before class? If my dog Jake had been there, this video would have had a little more action, which is not necessarily a good thing. From what I’ve been reading, dogs who go to these classes get used to the relaxed vibe and become more mellow in class over time.

If you’re interested in pursuing dog yoga with your dog, just type “doga” or “dog yoga” into your favorite search engine and you’ll come up with page after page of how-to’s, videos, and guides to local classes.

A big thank-you to Dogster team member John Williams for cluing me in to the world of Doga. Namaste!

How To Achieve A Better Health And Fitness With Yoga Therapy!

How to acquire a healthy body naturally? This is the question which comes in almost all of our minds.

Then practice yoga therapy for your better health and fitness. Strictly speaking yoga therapy is not an alternative medicine.

Its daily practice is often seen as a way of gaining control over your health.

Most of the practices of yoga therapy are used as complementary practices to conventional medicine.

Some of these practices are exercise, meditation and massage.

The main intent and goal of yoga therapy is the enlightenment of the spirit, but its aim includes physical health and well-being.

Yoga therapy is a westernized form of yoga that was developed specifically to assimilate yoga and conventional medicine in the treatment of the diseases and for the recreation of optimal health.

According to the practitioners of yoga therapy it is safer and more effective for the treatment of common medical conditions. It takes only individual health and physical limitations into account.

The main aim of yoga therapy is the mind/body integration, which strike into the normal healing properties of the body and helps to restore functions of your body and health.

Yoga therapy consists of three basic parts of your body which work together.

Physical posture:

It helps to stretch and strengthen your muscles. It also improves your mobility, flexibility and balance. The proper posture enhances your body’s natural functions of circulation, elimination, respiration, and digestion.

Breathing technique:

It mainly focuses on awareness of breath and helps promote calm, focus the mind and relieve stress and fatigue.

Relaxation technique:
It mainly helps you to recharge and ease tension.

Benefits of yoga therapy:

  1. Yoga therapy shows positive results in treating depression.
  2. Deep breathing associated with yoga is beneficial in controlling premature ventricular complexes.
  3. Yoga therapy is beneficial in post-treating strategy, breast cancer and other survivors.
  4. Yoga therapy shows significant benefits that includes emotional functions, fitness variations and psychological benefits. It also shows variations in tension, mood disturbances, cognitive function and gastrointestinal disturbances.
  5. Practice of regular yoga exercise increases your body’s ability in using antioxidants. This is beneficial in the prevention of cancer.
  6. If you are a diabetic patient then yoga therapy improves nerve function and lower blood sugar.
  7. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, the practice of yoga increases your hand grip strength.
  8. Yoga helps in treating some problems like asthma, respiration problems, back pain, etc. it help in weight reduction.
Criticisms of yoga therapy:

  1. The practice of yoga therapy is impossible if you have limited mobility and flexibility.
  2. While attempting some of the postures of yoga without any pre-exercise preparation then there is a possibility of getting injured.
Before going to start a new treatment program, you must inform to your health care provider about any other fitness or alternative treatment programs that you have taken. Yoga therapy show promise in treating a number of conditions.

Tips For Yoga Beginners

Besides being effective in improving physical and emotional health, yoga is great for building body strength and flexibility.

However, if you are doing it for the first time, it can be an overwhelming experience for you.

The moves or poses involved in yoga are slow-paced with hands-on instruction and lots of positive support for your health.

So, if you are planning to start a yoga regimen, here are few useful tips for you to turn it into a successful exercise routine.

Choose a good quality yoga mat

Most of the yoga postures are done either sitting, kneeling or lying. It may be hard to perform on a solid surface.

Many yoga mats which protect your body from injuries are available in the market. So, choose a yoga mat that fits your size.

Wear proper clothing

Don’t wear tight gym outfits. To performing yoga comfortably, loose clothes are the best choice. Scout around for loose apparel that looks good.

Focus on your poses

Yoga is not about competitiveness. Try to perform yoga poses as instructed by your yoga instructor or at your own pace.

Always remember, pain at a particular place in your body during yoga poses is an indication from your body that you need to work more. At the same time, you need to be more cautious if you experience extreme pain.


In practicing this asana, the spine is twisted in such a way that the body forms a semicircular shape, hence this asana is called ‘Chakrasana’. It resembles a rainbow.

Technique :
Lie flat on the back. Draw the legs in till the heels are close to the hips and the soles touch the ground. The gap between the legs should be of four to six inches. Bend the arms at the elbows and place them on the ground on either side of the head.

Raise the body from the waist to the hind part of the head as shown in the figures 2 and 3 breathe in the normal way. Tilt the head backwards as far as possible. Keep the hands straight. Keep the body steady. Do not shift either the arms or the legs from their positions. Raise the back as far as it allows it to do. (See figure 4). Remain in this position for about a minute. Then inhale and lower the body to the ground and bring it to the original position. Then breathe normally.


(1) Through this asana, an aspirant can make his spine quite elastic. Elasticity of the spine preserves youth for a very long time.

(2) This asana is an adjunct to Sarvangasana. When a long turn of Sarvangasana gives one a cramped neck or pain in the shoulders, a turn of Chakrasana helps to remove it. The reason is that the twist is on the backside.

(3)This asana has all the benefits of Dhanurasana, Shalabhasana and bhujangasana.

Sex and Yoga

Everybody's interested in sex. Whether it's to get pregnant, who's doing it and with whom, or how often is normal? We wonder what we should wear, or how much hair to remove to get more of it, or even how to market it? It's in our face in some way, often subliminally, and frequently in a distorted way every day. Men and women obviously have differing sexual needs, (not necessarily sex drives guys!), and this often leads to conflict. Conflict is the antithesis of yoga, yet within conflict there is always opportunity for unity. This is where yoga comes into play.

Sex and yoga is about harmony, about bringing balance into the equation so both sexes feel healthy, nourished and appreciated, free from all the usual repercussions or associated pressures. In my opinion the essence of sex is as a pathway to spiritual transformation and lasting physical well being. Basically yoga makes you feel good. It gets the blood pumping. It gets the hormones flushing through the body. It gives your skin a healthy youthful glow. It generates heat and stimulation from the inside out. It gives you energy, and that's sexy.

Sex and yoga are more intimately connected than we think. Sex feels good. Good sex with someone we love opens our hearts, makes us smile and relieves tension. Sex is about relationship, connection, intimacy, love and creative expression. At their best sex and yoga are about union, truth and love. To reveal those things in your life, your yoga practice, and your sex life takes a genuine commitment to creating a deeper sense of intimacy and overall wellbeing. In my journey as a yoga teacher I encourage all those things and created a yoga system as a way of putting it into a concise practice.

I use a unique system of corrective Japanese yoga postures, wholefood medicine and breath work, which has the potential to heal and enliven, stimulate and support both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When this happens, optimal function of our hormonal, lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems is restored. This makes us feel more vital, connected and present. We begin to engage more fully with life on all levels - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and sexually.

To keep it simple: each section of our spine is governed by a particular meridian, and our very foundation, the sacrum, our base chakra into Mother Earth, dictates how secure, confident and trusting we feel within ourselves. Our sexual essence, that is, our base chakra or kundalini energy, is the connection between our Spirit and Universal Consciousness, or Love.

The flow of sexual hormones is governed primarily by our kidney energy and is intricately connected to our emotional health and how fluidly we move through life, and whether we speak our truth from our hearts and souls without fear. A strong aligned spine is the foundation channel for this universal energy so we can move through life, embrace challenges and grow into the full expression of ourselves.

Sex and yoga are therefore intricately entwined!

Our sexual and emotional confidence is governed by the quality of our Base chakra (perineum), Solar plexus chakra (navel) and Heart chakra. Yoga works to connect the potential in these chakras and energize the entire chakra system from the pelvic floor to our biggest sex organ, the brain. My female students have noticed marked improvement in their energy levels, regulation of, and reduced discomfort throughout their menstrual cycles, healthier hair and skin and a general sense of heightened vitality, libido and sexual responsiveness - all good things!

For women, the sequence will help correct gynaecological disorders, enhance fertility, counter osteoporosis, reduce varicose veins, rebuild pelvic floor integrity after childbirth (imperative on so many levels!), balance hormonal function and generally improve emotional and sexual confidence. My male students are honoured and nourished equally so they can start to access both their male and female energies (yin and yang) in an appropriate way to experience balance, intuition and emotional expression, rather than traditional repression.

They comment that they have become more empathetic with their partners and other men. They unravel learnt behaviours and stereotypes that stop them from feeling and being true to themselves, without losing their sense of masculinity. You can still be a bloke and sensitive. For men, the important issues of prostate health, virility/fertility, hair loss, libido, body confidence and stamina are addressed to help counter the effects of aging, modern day stresses and work and relationship pressures often placed upon them.

This ripples out into the greater community as energy of understanding, compassion, tolerance, self responsibility and positive response rather than reaction, and ultimately, respect for the opposite sex. These introductory postures take just 20 - 30 minutes a day and if possible should be done at least 3 times a week.

1: Gall Bladder Dips
Interlace hands behind head, R foot against L knee. Exhale and drop elbow to rear foot to open up opposite waist, draw elbows wide. Inhale to centre, repeat briskly x 8. Releases tight sides and brings softness to the shoulders & hips. Also releases the lines that govern the metabolism so we can maintain healthy weight and body image, plus tones the waist/hip line where we often store unresolved issues.

2: Spleen Bridge - Setu Bandha
Exhale and lift hips high, pressing through inside edge of feet. Inhale and lower one vertebra at a time to the mat. Repeat smoothly x 8, drawing knees in slightly to feel inner thigh line. Rest on back after and breathe - feel Spleen blood quality/pulsing up legs into belly. Upper body will soften and thoughts will relax as well as hormone flow improves. When we feel warm and nurtured from within this expresses as compassion and sensitivity towards ourselves and others. Spleen energy helps us make supportive choices & develops personal integrity so we don't repeat negative/destructive patterns in relation to ourselves or others.

3: Kidney/Spleen Lift
Lie on belly with L foot pressed into R inner knee, squeeze elbows into ribs. Exhale and lift hands and straight leg, pressing foot to knee and feeling the kidney area. Inhale and lower, repeat lifting x 6, then hold up and inhale. Exhale and squeeze around to L, lift chest and straight leg to draw awareness into weak points in lower back and increase blood flow and motivation into the kidneys. Inhale to centre, exhale and squeeze round to R. Swing L to R briskly x 10 then rest on belly with head to one side and breathe deeply.Stimulates endorphins and increases sexual vigor, builds libido and stamina.

4: Bow - Dhanurasana
Lie on belly and bend knees to hold ankles, forehead to mat. Exhale and lift into Bow, press belly into mat and resist feet with hands to open shoulders. Inhale and lower, rest briefly then repeat and hold up for 3-6 breaths. Relax and feel the lungs, heart and belly energies connecting. Excellent for reproductive organs, circulation and developing emotional sensitivity.

5: Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
Come onto all fours in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), hands shoulder width, feet hip width, bend knees if need too. Hold for 5 - 8 breaths, releasing the jaw and neck, lengthening the spine up to the tailbone and rolling the shoulders away from the ears. Downward Dog stretches the spine and nervous system channels to bring mental clarity, nourish the spine and nerves and counterpose to Dhanurasana. Downward Dog builds mental endurance, leg and arm strength and nourishes the endocrine system, strengthens the heart and builds overall health and organ function.

6: Triangle Pose - Trikonasana
Take legs one leg length apart, R foot heel dissects L arch, L toes turned in 30 degrees. Arms out to sides at shoulder height, spine long and legs engaged. Exhale and lean over R leg extending and lifting R arm to open R ribcage. Keep back foot grounded and belly drawn to spine. Lower R hand to shin and L fingers to ceiling in line with shoulder, look to floor or up along L fingertips. Hold and breathe 5 - 8 breaths, focusing on lengthening the spine, rotating the chest, extending the energy from the heart out into the fingertips and anchoring down into the legs. Come up to standing on an inhalation and switch feet to do the other side. Lay down on your back after for a few breaths to absorb the cleansing effect of the pose.

Trikonasana strengthens the legs, tones the abdominal organs, particularly the Liver, flushes the hormones and lymphatics and creates a sense of expansion, acceptance and patience. Clear Liver energy helps connect us with our inner wisdom and ability to see opportunities and make appropriate choices that support our direction and purpose in life.

7: Crocodile - Chaturanga
Lie on your belly, hands beside chest, toes tucked under and knees lifted off the mat so legs are elevated and parallel to the floor. Exhale and contract entire body to lift off the mat and squeeze from the belly out into the limbs. Keep elbows close to ribs, chest in line with elbows and elbows over the wrists. Hold up for 3 breaths then rest with head to one side.

Crocodile governs the lungs and helps develop breath capacity, mental stamina and a sense of empowerment. Strong lungs give us a sense of trust and positivity as we draw in nourishment and breathe out stagnancy. Healthy lungs fuel the blood with oxygen and regulate the nervous system which in turn makes us feel good and radiate vibrant, attractive energy.

8: Hara Bicycle
Lie on your back with legs long and hands interlaced behind the head. Exhale and draw R knee to chest, L elbow up and across to meet it. Feel the belly engage. Inhale to centre, exhale and swap sides. Briskly cycle to build your belly strength and tone your abdominal organs and harness inner strength. Hara bicycle connects the kidney and lung energies to circulate oxygen, adrenalin and promote production of fresh hormones. Hara (or belly centre) strength and integrity is essential to maintain optimal digestion and hormone balance. When we are disconnected from or congested in our bellies, we lose awareness of what is appropriate and inappropriate, on all levels.

9: Seated Butterfly - Baddhakonasana
Sit with soles together, knees wide and hands interlaced around edges of toes. Use hands against feet as traction to lift the chest and lengthen the spine. Close the eyes and focus on your breath at the end of your practice now, observing the shifts in your body and mind and getting a sense of the energies moving within. Baddhakonasana is an excellent hip opener that helps circulate fresh blood around the pelvis to nourish the reproductive organs. Sit quietly for 5 - 10 minutes, breathing in and out through the nose to calm the adrenals, drawing the breath down into the belly and sit bones so you feel grounded, nourished and calm. As always with any posture always move within a sharp-pain-free range of movement. If you feel uncomfortable with a posture just bring it back a little. Do remember though, you need to be fit for good sex so keep your practice going and enjoy Sex and Yoga.

Benefits Of Yoga Balancing

Most of us suffer from problems of asymmetry and imbalance. The irregularity and imbalance create a lot of stress and strain in our body. At times, it also leads to injury, pain, or just simple discomfort. If you are also one amongst the sufferers, do not worry. Just turn to Yoga. Yoga creates symmetry throughout your body, making you stronger, flexible and balanced. It also draws a balance between the mental urge to push, control and be assertive, with the impulse to yield, submit and be passive. Practicing the various asans, concentrating and meditation improves the overall being of an individual.

Benefits Of Yoga:

Improvement in balance is one of the major benefits of Yoga. Improved balance is referred not only to the sharp physical coordination, but also to the balance between the left and right, front and back and high and low aspects of one's body. As far as balance of the body is concerned, hardly few of us have proper balance. We may be stronger on one side, but definitely fall short of strength when it comes to the other side. The same is also seen, while turning or twisting the head. Whilst we can easily twist or turn on one side, the other is always a problem. Also, though most of can bend forward with ease, bending backwards is a big problem.

Yoga helps us attain hormonal balance, by producing a nice positive charge. This is important from the female point of view, especially for pre-menopausal and menopausal women, who want to find ways to balance their hormones naturally. To attain good balance, you need not be physically strong, but also have the mental agility to focus on your posture. There are a number of asanas that aim at achieving balance in the body. One of them is 'Tadasana' or mountain pose, which requires you to stand straight with your legs slightly apart and eyes closed. It would help you realize, which side of your body is more powerful and where do you tend to concentrate your weight on.

After performing 'Tadasana', you can perform the one-legged stand. This is generally done to achieve center balance. The longer the duration of the pose, the better are the chances of improving balance. Another effective asan is the 'Vrksasana' or tree pose. It strengthens the leg and calf muscles, making it easier to balance the body. 'Matsyasana' or fish pose asan is also beneficial for postural alignment. In this particular asan, you lie down on your back forming an arching. This helps in the curvature of your spine, making it more flexible and longer.

However, before performing any of the asan mentioned above, you should learn the proper techniques from a trained instructor. Remember, proper Yoga practice ensures not only physical balance, but also emotional and spiritual balance.

Help Cure or Prevent Backaches with Yoga

For many centuries, people have used yoga for a number of different reasons. Whilst in the beginning yoga was mainly used for spiritual reasons, in more recent years, it has started to be used for therapeutic purposes. For instance, people with back troubles will generally search for some form of exercise that will assist them with their condition. Yoga tends to be a beneficial exercise for relief of many forms of pain for a number of reasons. Can yoga help to relieve your back pain? Potentially yes, and here are a few reasons as to why it could help you.

One of the main benefits of yoga is that it allows your body to become more supple. There are several different stretching exercises that are involved in yoga and these exercises are able to help your back in an astounding way. Naturally, you need to be careful that you don’t over do things, especially dependant upon the type of back injury/pain that you are experiencing. For the majority of people, however, a small amount of yoga can really assist you with being more comfortable and perhaps even help to overcome the back pain that you are experiencing altogether. As well as helping to relieve back pain, yoga can also aid you with a number of other benefits, from performing these types of stretching exercises.

One such way that yoga can help, is by reaching the core of the problem. One of the reasons that many people suffer from backache, is because the core of their body is either out of shape or out of alignment. This could be due to either a lack of exercise or perhaps from being slightly overweight.

It might also be a combination of issues that can be resonating from the core of the body. Yoga exercises are designed to help strengthen the core, which can really benefit the back. You may have heard it said that in order for you to strengthen your back, you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles.This is basically the same principle.

One final way that yoga may assist you with backaches is by helping to prevent the pain from reoccurring again. This is achieved through both the stretching exercises and by strengthening the core muscles. By continuing and practising these stretching exercises, you will soon discover that you are able to do things that you were unable to do before. You will find that it’s a great relief to be able to go about your day to day life without having to worry as much about throwing your back out.


If 'Pashchimottanasana' is attained in a standing posture, it becomes a different Yogic exercise known as 'Padahastasana'. This asana is also called 'Sthita Pashchi mottanasana'. Some people call it 'Hastapada Mangasana'.

Technique :

Stand erect. Keep the arms by the sides. Keep the heels close together. Keep some gap between the feet. Raise both the arms. Slowly bend forward at the waist. Keep the knees stiff and firm. The legs should not bend at the knees. Also do not let the arms bend at the elbows. Keep the palms under the feet as shown in the figure. Slowly exhale while bending low and contract the stomach. Now put your forehead between the knees. If it is difficult to bend low because of fat around the abdomen, try to bend the body slowly; do not bend the knees. Hold this position for two to ten seconds.

Advantages :

(1) This asana removes the superfluous fat from the body making the body light.

(2) It has all the benefits of Pashchimottanasana.

(3) It directs the 'apanvayu' downwards and out at the anus.

(4)It rectifies any unevenness in length in the leg owing to the fracture of any bones either in the leg or the thigh.


When the final position is struck in this Yogic exercise, the body of the performer resembles a triangle, hence the name Trikonasana. The figures of its four positions have been given below to explain the right technique of this asana.

Technique :

Stand erect keeping a distance of about 75 cms between the feet. Stretch the arms sideways. Then raise them to the level of the shoulders. Let the palms face the ground. Stand erect.

(See figure 1).

Then bend the trunk to the left side and touch the left toes with the left hand. Stretch the right arm  upwards and straighten it. Keep the eyes fixed on the right arm. Bring the left hand near the left toe.
(See figure 2).

Keep the left hand in the same position and rotate the right arm from over the waist and bring it to the head level. Look downward.

(See figure 3).

Then touch the right toes with the right hand. This is the final position of Trikonasana.

(See figure 4).
Rest for five to ten seconds and repeat this exercise with the right arm upside and the left arm upside. Hold each position for two seconds. Practice this asana four or five times a day.

Advantages :

(1) This asana relieves the stiffness of the neck.

(2) It relieves the pain in the joints of the neck and the shoulders. It also exercises the spinal cord, the hips, the thighs, the arms and the fingers.

(3) It makes the spine flexible and develops the mental power. This asana is also beneficial to the eyes.

Hatha Yoga Practice Lessens Fear Of Falling In Older Adults, Study Suggests

Indiana University researchers found promising results in an exploratory study involving yoga practice by older adults who expressed a fear of falling. After a 12-week, twice weekly hatha yoga class, taught by a professional yoga therapist, study participants reported a reduced fear of falling, increased lower body flexibility and a reduction in their leisure constraints.

Fear of falling is an important public health concern because it can cause older adults -- even those who have not fallen -- to limit their social and physical activity. This effort to avoid falls can create a harmful cycle that can diminish health and quality of life.

"Our study found that yoga was a feasible intervention with older adults and that they perceived great benefit from it," said Marieke Van Puymbroeck, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Van Puymbroeck discussed some of her findings this month at the International Association of Yoga Therapists' Symposium for Yoga Therapy and Research in Los Angeles and will discuss her findings further at conferences hosted by the American Geriatrics Society and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. More about the study:

The study involved 14 men and women with an average age of 78. Five participants had fallen previously.

1. Van Puymbroeck said the 90 percent weekly attendance rate was notable, as was the 6 percent dropout rate, which she said was much lower than most physical activity and yoga studies. The participants took a class in hatha yoga, which is a gentle form of yoga that easily can be adapted for individual needs and can be performed from a seated position. The twice weekly classes each lasted 60 minutes.

2. After the 12-week class, participants reported a 6 percent reduction in their fear of falling, a 34 percent increase in lower body flexibility, and a statistically significant reduction in leisure constraints.

3. Van Puymbroeck said participants reported "tremendous benefits," with emerging themes that included the ability to generalize principals of posture to other situations, increased range of motion, increased flexibility and improved balance.

Co-investigators include David Koceja, Department of Kinesiology in IU Bloomington's School of HPER; and Arlene Schmid, Department of Occupational Therapy and Department of Veterans Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Kapalbhati Pranayama (Cleansing Breathing Exercise) Step by Step and Shining Face

Kapal in Sanskrit means FOREHEAD, and Bhati in Sanskrit means SHINING. Practicing Kapalbhati on regular basis leads to shining face with inner radiance. Kapalbhati is highly energizing abdominal breathing exercise.

What we do in Kapalbhati Pranayama

In Kapalabhati we do quick exhalation and natural inhalation. Normally exhalation takes one fourth of the time of inhalation. Quick exhalation and natural inhalation follow each other.

How to do Kapalbhati Pranayama

Step 1) Sit in comfortable crossed leg position with Back straight. Hands resting on knees in either chin or gyana mudra. Face to be relaxed.

Step 2) Inhale deeply through both nostril, expanding abdomen and exhale with the forceful contraction of abdominal muscles. (Pull the abdomen in by quickly contracting the abdominal muscles and exhale through the nose). The air is pushed out of lungs by contraction of the diaphragm.

Step 3) After exhalation again inhalation but inhalation should not involve any effort. To inhale just relax and the lungs will automatically expand and filled with air.

One can begin with 15 respiration. After completing 15 quick exhalation and natural inhalation , inhale and exhale deeply. This is one round.One can start the practice of Kapalbhati pranayama with 3 such rounds for practice.

Benefits of Kapalabhati

1) Kapalabhati cleanses the lungs and entire respiratory system.
2) The blood is purified and body gets an increased supply of oxygen to all cells.
3) Digestion is improved.
4) Abdominal muscles are strengthened.
5) Prepare the mind for meditation.
6) Energise the mind for mental work.


Kapalbhati should not be practice by those

a) Suffering from heart disease
b) High blood pressure
c) Hernia
d) Should never be practiced when an asthmatic attack is in progress.
e) If pain or dizziness is experienced ,it is preferable to stop the practice till the sensation has passed. Practiced can be restarted with less force.
f) Quick exhalation should be comfortable to oneself. i.e. quick exhalation should not be too forceful.

Common Mistake:
1) Abdomen is contracted while inhaling.
2) Shoulders are contracted to push the air out when exhaling.
3) Back and shoulders move during exercise.

Point to Note:
a) Exercise should not be done if you are feeling uncomfortable at any time during the exercise.
b) Rapid breathing used in this technique should be from the abdomen and not from the chest.
c) Kapalbhati should be practice on an empty stomach only.
d) Kapalbhati should be practiced after the asanas and Relaxation (atleast 10 minutes) and before meditation e) Chest should not move very much.
f) It is always good and advisable that this exercise should be learned under supervision of yoga teacher after discussion with him about your health

Yoga Breathing Techniques - 5 Ujjayi Pranayama Steps For Curing Insomnia

If there's one medical condition which can seemingly strike anyone at anytime, that is none other than insomnia. This common sleep disorder can have psychological, physiological, environmental and medical reasons. Now, if you are one of the millions of people who are suffering from this condition, did you know that there is a type of yoga which can help cure it?

The key is to learn about the breathing techniques involved in the Ujjayi Pranayama - a style of yoga which is also called ocean breath, hissing breath and victorious breath. Ujjayi literally means rising victoriously. When you practice this style, you can use the techniques to cure any sleeping disorders that you may have.

5 Steps to Develop a Breathing Technique

To help you out, here are the five steps that you need to follow if you want to develop a technique based from Ujjayi Pranayama yoga - which should help cure you of insomnia:

1) Begin the yogic breathing technique by taking five long, deep and slow breaths. This should help in the relaxation phase.

2) If you are using the Ujjayi Pranayama steps to specifically cure insomnia, close your eyes during the exercise.

3) Next, try to constrict your throat muscles. At this point, it would help if you will visualize that you are breathing through a hold in your throat. This type of yogic exercise is also known as 'ocean breath' because of the sound that will be made by the air passing through your throat. The point of this step in the exercise is to breathe through your throat instead of through your nose.

4) Find a nice, slow and relaxing rhythm as you continue with this style. Imagine that you are in a peaceful, calm beach with only the sound of the surf as your companion.

5) Continue with this exercise until you relax completely and fall asleep eventually.

As you can see, the steps involved in this breathing exercise are quite easy. The good thing about using the Ujjayi Pranayama techniques is that it will produce health benefits like lowering your blood pressure and ultimately relaxing you once you go to bed and try to sleep. As your body regains its equilibrium, your mind will also calm down and you can emerge successful in the fight against the sleeping disorder which is insomnia.

Yoga And Sex: A Guide To A Better Life

The Yogis have learned how to transmute sex energy into psychic channels. Thus it is never either actually suppressed or dissipated but rather transmuted. Sometimes it is drawn to the solar plexus for utilizing in healthful physical exercise.

Sometimes it is sent to the brain and toward the spirit. To the advanced Yogi, yoga and sex then brings poise, harmony, freedom from desire, lasting serenity, and finally a merging with the Universal Consciousness. To us average individuals, control over this basic inner force may well mean a happier personal life.

The man and woman doesn't exist whose personal life is not closely related to his sex life, be this good, indifferent or bad. The well-adjusted, well-functioning and sexually potent individual dreams of perpetuating this state of affairs indefinitely. The ineffectual man, the frigid woman, even if they may not realize it themselves, wish helplessly for a solution to their special problems, a solution that would bring them liberation.

Yoga offers many such solutions. In the first place, a number of the yoga exercises help sublimate a restless sex urge while others awaken a sluggish body. Restlessness becomes positive, creative energy which may then be properly utilized instead of merely bringing trouble.

Conversely, lack of interest in one's mate - and sometimes the free-floating hostility arising out of such feelings - slowly gives way to a warmer, more giving attitude.

Sex, as we all know, is not all there is to a good marriage but it is one of its cornerstones. A warmhearted partner mated with a cold, unresponsive one may be willing out of loyalty to put up with a physical starvation diet, but is bound to be adversely affected and sometimes even emotionally destroyed. Or else, the marriage itself is destroyed when once the rejected partner, having had enough of indifference, turns elsewhere for affection.

Contrary to what many Westerners have been brought up to believe, primness, excessive reserve, overemphasis on decorum (the so-called virtues of the "good" woman) often are not virtue at all but a mask for deep insensibility, for an inability to love and be loved, to give and to share, or even for a need to destroy the mate, castrate him physically, so to speak, as an expression of hostility to the opposite sex.

The sexless male - not as rare as many imagine - is the same kind of emotionally impoverished individual.

Yoga and sex frees the student of the straight-jacket of prudishness and of hostility. But long before such emotional growth has been achieved certain obvious changes may be brought about through the daily performance of the proper asanas and mudras.

There can be no underestimating of the interplay of the physical and the spiritual in the human makeup. Therefore putting your physical house in order will do wonders for you in other ways too.

Sluggish sex urges are often traceable to inadequately functioning endocrine glands and a resulting hormone deficiency. The gonads, or sex glands, would be the offenders here. But the gonads, like the other endocrines, are themselves controlled by the pituitary gland which is known to secrete about a dozen hormones.

It may very well be, therefore, that the sexually indifferent person's basic trouble lies in some malfunctioning of the pituitary, a condition which Western medicine would treat by means of expensive hormone injections or equally expensive pills. The yoga method, of course, is through exercise.

It is not necessary to practice a great number of yoga exercises. You would probably not have time for them even if you have the agility. Besides, in working out a schedule for yourself you must not neglect other aspects of your life. Since any one of the exercises, done accurately and regularly, will accomplish the desired results, start with whichever is easiest for you and suits you best. Yoga will do wonders for your sex life. Yoga and sex are certainly a compatible duo.

The Yogic Aspect of the Sun Salutation

The Surya Namaskar or the salutation to Sun is considered to be that one single routine that encompasses important features of Hatha yoga, Mantra yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Yoga is a technique which allows Man to elevate and emancipate himself from animal man to divine man. In order to achieve this divine state, the ancient seers of yoga believed that the body must clean and healthy for, cleanliness is next to godliness. Hatha Yoga is the ancient text of yoga that is completely devoted to the physical culture of yoga.

The physical culture of yoga includes

-Asana- the physical culture of yogic postures
-Pranayama-the science of breath
-Bandhas- the science of postural locks
-Kriyas- cleansing techniques to purify the body and remove sloth
-Mudras- the technique of emotional culture
-The Surya Namaskar and Asana

Each of the 12 steps of the Surya Namaskar is a yogasana by itself.

The Salutation to the Sun commences with Dakshasana. ‘Daksha’ means to stand in attention. This meditative posture increases self confidence and improves concentration.

The salutation is initiated with yet another asana called Pranamasana. This posture has a therapeutic effect on the throat, it improves the voice and relaxes the mind.

The Second step of the Suryanamaskar is Hasta Uttanasana. This asana improves the functioning of the alimentary canal, eyesight and flexion of the shoulder muscles.

The third step-Padahastasana, is the hands to feet posture. This asana cures abdominal ailments, strengthens the chest, hands and body. In the fourth step- Ashwasanchalasana, particularly benefits the liver and intestines.

Bhoo naman Vajrasana is the fifth step which allows normal breathing and resumption of the breath to its normal pace. This is not only a rest state of the salute but also a respectful and grateful acknowledgement to Mother Earth for providing the seer a ground to salute and pay respect to the Sun. The physical benefits of this asana are similar to Vajrasana or the Thunderbolt posture. It increases the elasticity of the spine, cures constipation, strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and chest.

Ashtangapranipat, the sixth step, marks the culmination of the Surya Namaskar. This full body prostration along the ground is an obeisance to the Sun God which tames the ego and strengthens the arms.

The seventh step, Bhujangasana or the Cobra posture maintained for a few a few breaths stimulates blood circulation, improves the functioning of the urino-genital system and strengthens the muscles of the neck.

Parvatasana or the mountain posture, the eighth step of the salute, strengthens, knees, legs, reduces fat around waist and reduces abdominal disorders. Bandha or postural lock included in the Salutation - The Jalandhar Bandha is performed in the 8th step of the salutation. In the Jalandhar bandha air is trapped purposefully in the in the internal cavity between the throat and the anus. The purpose of the lock is to direct energy from the lower chakras towards the upper parts of the body without dissipation through the organs of excretion.

Kriyas- The Sun Salutation includes the trataka shuddhi kriya which is why the early morning routine is recommended. The practitioner of the Surya Namaskar can perform Sun gazing or Surya trataka until the point that the eyes just begin to well up with tears for improving vision.

Pranayama- Ashtangapranipat the 6th step of the Surya Namaskar requires Bahya Kumbhaka or the external retention of breath – a form of pranayam or breath control. Each of the steps of the Sun salute is rhythmically coordinated with Anuloma –Viloma Pranayama ( Inhale-Exhale).

The chanting of the 12 names of Lord Surya along with the bija mantras and gayatri mantra come under the realm of mantra yoga.

Mudra yog- The Namaskar mudra is performed in step one, six and twelve of the salute. In the namaskar mudra the two palms are placed together. It signifies the emotions of extending friendship, love and devotion in a humble way. It is a salutation or an act of worship. The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed to the Divinity in the Sun God. With this significance, the greeting is not just a superficial gesture but is a way for a deeper communion in an atmosphere of love and respect.

This has direct connection to the teachings of Bhakti Yoga or the Yoga of Devotion, Love and Surrender. According to the principles of Bhakti Yoga, in the Surya Namaskar complete surrender is made to the Cosmic Sun of our Universe invoking him to lend his qualities of friendship, brilliance, unfailing warmth and sustenance, strength, and benevolence.

In accordance with Mantra yoga the bija mantras Hram, Hrim, Hroom, Hraim, Hroum, Hrah have an esoteric and exoteric effect on the gross physical body. An esoteric dimension of the mantra refers to the changes the mantra can induce on the mind, intellect and emotions. While an esoteric dimension gently massages and relaxes the physical body with vibrations.

The right intonation, pronunciation and the resonance of each of these bija mantras create waves that permeate through the entire body. These wave motions produce special effects on the mind, body, emotions and intellect as a whole.

Regular practice of the Surya namaskar initiates opening f the seven psychic energy centers in the body-the chakras. Re balancing of the distorted body energy endows health and balanced state of mind. Repeated asanas that bend the spine forwards and backwards at the waist keeps the spine healthy and pulverizes the food ingested thus expediting digestion. Regular anuloma viloma pranayam increases the lung capacity. This 12 step routine must be practiced in a clean open space, at sunrise or sun down, in odd number of repetitions with regularity to reap full benefits. Initial practice of the namaskar leads to dislodging toxins from the body and hence plenty of fluids should be consumed once the practice is begun.

Amongst some of the rich cultural legacies endowed by Ancient India, Surya Namaskar has a special place as the most scientific and complete religious and physical yogic routine.

The Religious Aspect of the Sun Salutation

We often hear of the practice of the Sun Salute or the Surya Namaskar in yoga and power yoga. This powerful physical routine is often confused to have a strong religious bearing to Hinduism. Ignorance can often lead to confusion and so this article attempts to throw more light on the religious bearing of the Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation.

The Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar is a common feature of all yogasana classes and a regular feature of power yoga. This physical ritual has been a traditional routine of Ancient India. Very few recognize the religious bearing of the Surya Namaskar and when introduced only in its physical form it creates unrest as it is thought to be ritual for reverence to the Hindu Sun God. In order to dispel the duality of the uninformed and ignoramus minds, explaining the religious aspect of the Surya Namaskar was felt necessary.

‘Surya Namaskar’ is the salutation made to the Sun for its quality of unbiased support of life and nourishment to Earth. Its practice dates as far back as the Vedas and reference of this salutation is also found in the Puranas and Ramayana. This ancient practice of obeisance was an Aryan tradition that was initiated in early childhood both as a physical exercise as well as a form of grateful reverence to the Sun God. It is a prayerful physical routine consisting of twelve steps or ten steps (depending onthe School of yoga) paying homage to the Sun deity marking the start of every morning for every Aryan, adult or child.

The Sun is saluted not once a year or month but every day recognizing its regular dispassionate brilliance and the power of its illumination to sustain life and dispel ignorance. The Sun is the primal source of warmth due to which this entire Universe subsists. The Surya Namaskar not only includes reverence to the Sun but also includes gratitude to Mother Earth in the physical routine. The salutation to the Sun is practiced usually at Sunrise or Sundown when the Sun can be visibly observed by the naked eye. The Salutation has two aspects - A religious and a yogic aspect.

Presently, only the religious feature of the Sun Salutation is discussed. A prayer is chanted prior to beginning the physical routine. The prayer invokes guidance from the Sun God to protect, guide and lead our paths towards progress. This prayer is the Gayatri Mantra. The Sun of the Universe is revered to guide us and illuminate our intellect with its effulgent brilliance.

Gayatri means 'that which saves, when repeated'! It is the torch of spiritual wisdom. The Gayatri mantra is the prayer addressed to the Sun.

The Gayatri mantra relates to the three aspects of time - past, present, and future: Bhur Bhuva Svaha .

Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dheeyo yo nah Prachodayaath - that light dispels darkness --without light, darkness will not leave.

Bhargo devasya, signifies that the Sun is the dispeller of darkness.

Thus , the ancients believed that there was a supreme power - The Sun, whom they looked upon as Godwho has the power to remove ignorance with its shining effulgent light.

Each of the twelve steps of the salutation is accompanied by chanting the twelve names of the Sun God.

1. Om Hram Mitraya Namaha
Salutations to the friend of All
2. Om Hrim Ravaye Namaha
Salutations to the Shining one
3. Om Hroom Suryaya Namaha
Salutations to the one who engages in activity of the universe
4. Om Hraim Bhanave Namaha
Salutations to the one who illuminates
5. Om Hroum Khagaya Namaha
Salutations to the one who moves swiftly across the sky.
6 Om Hrah Pushney Namaha
Salutations to the giver of Strength
7. Om Hram Hiranyagarbhaya Namaha
Salutations to the Cosmic Golden Self
8 Om Hrim Marichaye Namaha
Salutations to the Lord of the Dawn
9 Om Hroom Adityaya Namaha
Salutations to the son of Aditi
10 Om Hraim Savitre Namaha
Salutations to the benevolent mother
11 Om Hroum Arkaya Namaha
Salutations to the one worthy of praise
12 Om Hrah Bhaskaraya Namaha
Salutations to the one who leads us to enlightenment.

Hram, Hrim, Hroum, Hraim, Hroum, Hrah are bija mantras or seed mantras. Right pronunciation and resonance of the ‘bija’ mantra produce waves that permeate through the entire being. These waves in the presence of sunlight produce positive effects on the mind, body, emotions and intellect as a whole. Every chant has two dimensions, the esoteric and the exoteric dimension.

The exoteric dimension is the external gross dimension which massages, relaxes or stimulates the physical body, strengthens the vocal chords and cultures the voice with regular chanting. The esoteric dimension transforms from the gross level to the subtle level. The correct practice, chanting with the right intonation and regularity in practice initiates the opening of the seven psychic energy centers or chakras of the body. The working and energy is rebalanced thus eliminating ill-health.

Every sun salutation when accompanied by the chanting of the universal prayer-the gayatri mantra bears a religious significance, which every Aryan culture and civilization of the past has always revered to the Sun as God. The Surya namaskar encompasses all the four aspects of yoga viz-asana, mudra, kriya and pranayam. This discussion along with the yogic benefits of the salutation will be discussed separately.

In conclusion, a Surya namaskar without the Gayatri mantra or the chanting of the twelve names of the Sun God has no religious bearing- it is then just a physical routine.

Sun Salutation – Complete Workout for Your Mind and Body in Just Ten Minutes

Sun Salutation is the complete workout for your mind and body. Sun Salutation was perfected and filtered in thousands of years of humankind experience. Ten minutes in the morning will give you a low impact still efficient exercise that will benefit both your mind and body.

Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is part of Hatha Yoga (the "physical" part of Yoga). Sun Salutation has multiple mental and physical benefits. In only ten minutes you can achieve a low impact workout that combines both Resistance Training (e.g. weight lifting) and Cardiovascular ("Cardio") Training.

The fitness community accepts the fact that cardiovascular exercise has reduced benefits (e.g. fat burning ends once the cardio exercise stops). It also has disadvantages like tear and wear of joints.

Resistance Training on the other hand, has multiple benefits: increases muscle mass hence more fat burning capability, increases bone density to mention just a few. The drawback: it is painful (I know I don't like the feeling of burning in my muscles, even though I know it is good for me). Resistance training is also time consuming and it may increase blood pressure momentarily if not done properly.

A good compromise is Interval Training that consists of hard alternated with light pace cardio exercise. And this is exactly where Sun Salutation comes in. It is similar with Interval Training by combining a low impact resistance training (push-ups, squats) with cardio exercise. Even better, the benefits of Sun Salutation don’t stop at the physical level: your mind benefits as well.

Regular practice of Sun Salutation benefits your body with:
  • Increased blood oxygenation by copious lung ventilation and this is great news for your heart.
  • Stretches and tones your muscles keeping them supple and flexible.
  • Clears your elimination channels helping your body rid itself of toxins. This is especially good in the morning after many hours of lack of movement during sleep (the lymphatic system eliminates toxins through movement).
  • Stimulates and tones your Endocrine system (especially the Thyroid, the master gland that controls all the other glands).
  • Tones up the internal abdominal organs by alternate stretching, compression cycles that results in better digestion and bowel movement.
  • Increases spine and waist flexibility.
The mental benefits of Sun Salutation are similar with meditation. You can look at Sun Salutation as meditation in movement. It is not random that Tai-Chi (Chinese) or Kata in Karate, have a similar focussed mind on movement approach at the core of their practice. Sun Salutation helps to:
  • Increase your mental focus and concentration.
  • Reduce depression, anxiety and stress by reducing key markers like Cortisol.
  • Increase the quantity of "good mood" neurotransmitters like Serotonin.
  • Increase mind to body coordination which is very good especially for older persons.
If done properly, twelve repetitions of Sun Salutation (six pairs of Sun Salutation starting with one leg and then the other), go a long way. It takes roughly 30-40 seconds for one complete cycle (twelve postures flowing from one to the other). Add two minutes of relaxation at the end, to allow your body implement the "reset" you just performed, and you are ready for the new day. Ten minutes all together in the morning will help you look at the unwinding life from a different perspective.

Among many Sun Salutation techniques, Sivananda Sun Salutation stands out as an graceful flow of twelve postures developed by Swami Sivananda, a practicing medical doctor (MD) before taking up monasticism, therefore developed by a person with knowledge of the human body.

Constantine George is an accomplished practitioner of meditation and yoga. Know the specific details about Sun Salutation and Better Mind.