by Evamarie Pilipuf
It's great when we can escape to a full hour of yoga, be it in a class or at home in front of a video, but let's face it, that's not always possible. Enter Yoga in the Office, a series of simple but effective suggested positions to help stretch the wrists, neck, shoulders, back and legs.
Always talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.
Neutral Posture: Neutral posture is probably the most important position to understand and practice, for it is the position in which the spine is most stable and properly aligned. Whether standing or sitting, it means placing the feet hip-distance apart and facing forward. Look down at your feet: do they look like this | | or this \ / ? They should look like that first shape: parallel, with no outward rotation. If you're sitting in a chair, your heels should sit right underneath your knees, so that your knees and hips are bent at right angles. Sit near the edge of your chair, and sit tall. Lift your ribcage, and roll your shoulders back to open the chest. Feel a slight arch to your low back, and keep your chin level. Draw your belly button inward lightly, but not so much that your ribcage contracts downward. Breathe smoothly; hold this position for a minimum of 1-2 minutes, all the while concentrating on relaxing your shoulders.
Abdominal Breathing: As simple as it seems, a few minutes of proper abdominal breathing can do much to interrupt your stress levels and help you relax. Sit up in neutral posture and place your hands on your abdomen. As you inhale, feel your abdomen expand like a balloon, then slowly contract your abdomen by "sucking" in your belly button as you exhale. Relax your shoulders. Keep going: inhale with an expanding abdomen, and exhale while contracting your abdominal muscles. If possible, inhale through your nostrils, and exhale through pursed lips (think of the shape of your mouth when you're about to pronounce the letter "P"). Stop the exercise immediately if you feel at all light-headed (proper abdominal breathing should not cause this). When you inhale, try not to lift your shoulders; let the breath "move" into your stomach.
With the ever-increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases like cardio-vascular and nervous system disorders, the time has come for us to address this ourselves, fair and square WITHOUT external dependence.
Did you know that reprogramming your natural breathing technique would not only help in preventing these problems but also help in the “reversal” of several such harmful conditions? Yes, it’s not only possible but proven too. In fact leading cardiac experts are advocating the benefits of “correct” breathing to their patients.
By Donna Amrita Davidge
Many folks have felt as if they needed a jumpstart all winter, as is often the case. Winter makes us feel more in need of rejuvenation. Many of us who practice yoga regularly keep up the whole year, though energy levels, muscles and bones may not make us feel as enthusiastic about our practice as on sunny warm days with flowers blooming all around us and shutters thrown wide open.
Trataka is a wonderful practice for everyone and especially for the aspirant of meditation. It is actually classified as a cleansing practice in Yoga.
What it is?
To put it briefly, Trataka - also called Yogic gazing - is a practice where the gaze is fixed on an object for some time and then that object is visualized clearly with the eyes closed, as an inner image at the eyebrow center.
Physical Pain is perhaps the toughest thing to manage. When it strikes, it seems to tear us apart completely and nothing really helps us in overcoming it.
Pain may happen due to temporary or chronic conditions; it may be short term or unfortunately, it may be long term or even permanent. Most of our fears draw their strength from perceived pain, so it goes without saying that if we can manage pain, many of our fears would be overcome.