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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Live in the Moment - Pure and Simple

Pure and Simple

Water is vital for life , and the only substance that is commonly found in three different states - ice , water , and vapor. At the symbolic level, water stands for unconscious energy, the formless powers of spirit , and pure nature following its own way without interference ( the Tao ). Pile ice cubes into a glass and meditate on them till they melt to a pool. This horizontal state of pure being is all the soul is and all the soul needs.

The most holiest Ganga River flows through this beautiful yoga ,spiritual-driven place. Rishikesh.it is about 4 hours plus by bus / taxi from the capital city of India - New Dehi there are many sacred shrines , hindu temples and Yogi Ashrams can be seen along the riverbank. and also many eastern and western yoga enthusiast & spiritual seeker alike come here in search of spiritual growth. The picture was taken in 2000 and i revisited in 2007 , everything seemed unchanged!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Live in the Moment - Sleep Well

Sleep Well

If you are a restless sleeper , try establishing a regular bedtime routine. Follow the same quiet , relaxing pattern in the same order every night before you climb into bed, even if it is as simple as switching off the lights, washing your face , then brushing your teeth. Notice if your sleep improves.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Live in the Moment - Wide Horizon

Wide Horizon

American psychologist and philosopher William James wrote :" A great people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices, " To keep your perspectives fresh and free of bias, make a deliberate effort to encounter a wide range of ideas on contentious issues. Read a book you know you will disagree with: there's no better way to sharpen your thinking.

Live in the Moment - spring of awareness

Spring of Awareness

Silence is the nurturing ground of the soul. If you can achieve a quality of true silence in your life, awareness will bubble up like spring water from the earth.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Free The Neck & Shoulders

The sequence begins in prone position , you can relax and breathe on your tummy in Makrasana ( the Crocodile pose ) for few minutes before you begin the sequence. Once you are ready and start the following sequence from ( 1 ) to (16) to target in releasing the tension in the neck and the shoulder regions. The entire sequence is a combination of twist , side stretch , forward bend and inversion , practicing in the most relaxing Asana position - prone and kneeling position as well as with a handy chair . you might include the modified version ( using the props , folded mat ) of two inversion poses - the chair version Plough and the Shoulderstand , skip these two if the neck & the shoulder are in pain or injured.

lie down flat on the tummy , and keep the front of the body on the floor mat - the palm , the forehead , the tummy , the pelvis , the front thighs and the top of the feet. you should feel the stretch from hand to toe. or you can put your hands behind the back of the head with the fingers interlace. this helps to strengthen the neck muscles as well.

Move on to the flat twist as picture ( 2 ). from the lying position , open the arms and the legs , start to bring the right arm and twist the torso over to the left hand. do not move the legs. come back to the starting position and repeat this on the other side ( 2 ). do twice each side and complete with the reverse full body extension as picture ( 1 ). lower down the top arm to any suitable height if you find it is too intense stretch in the upper chest.

or put the hands on the seat of the chair in front. this version works deeper the stretch in the side of the torso and the shoulders. Make sure you keep the front leg of the chair in the top of the mat so that it will not move. Avoid this version if your shoulders or neck are injured.

Release from ( 3) and move into the Child pose as picture ( 5). remember to cushion your knees with folded mat or use your towel if you find the knees are hurt in all the following kneeling poses. Take the all fours pose from the child pose and move into the kneeling Twist , cross one hand over and you can put the other hand on the seat of the chair. release and go back to the starting position and change over on the other side. Avoid this version if you have serious shoulders problem.
Relax and counter stretch in the child pose as ( 5 ) after completing the twist as ( 4 ) and prepare for the next pose - Puppy Pose as picture ( 6 ) , stretching both arms fully forward to the finger tips. Avoid this pose if you have a serious lower back problem , do the all fours pose instead.

Take the all fours pose from the child pose ( 5 ) , and walk your hand one at a time forward til the arm and the upper spine is fully stretched, actively pressing the palms down to the mat and rest the forehead down as well but the forearm & the elbow should not touch the mat. do lift and push backward of the shoulder blade. Bring one hand back and push the floor to prop yourself up , then follow by bringing another hand back to the starting position in the all Fours Pose. this is how to get out of the pose. counter stretch with the Cat pose as picture (8)
From all fours Pose ,come into the shoulder opener, the steps are to put the tricep and the elbow on the edge of the chair ,either hold a block or keep the fingers interlaced together. once the arms are stable on the chair , only then walk your knees to the back till it forms a right angle. Do life and push backward of the shoulder blade to release and keep the muscles around the upper back stable. hold 3o seconds to a minutes and then release , go back to the all fours and counter stretch in Cat pose ( 8 )

Do the cat pose as picture ( 8) after releasing from the shoulder opener ( 7). hold in the cat pose for 30 seconds and release into the All Fours Pose and repeat a few more rounds til you feel the tension is releasing in the upper back.
Take the chair downward facing dog. From the edge of the chair , walk the legs to the back till the hand and the hips get a right angle or move 5 steps backward. and you can add the chair version upward facing dog ,to flex the spine.

(10 )
Trikonasana (Triangle pose ) from the chair version Downward facing dog as ( 9) ,bring one leg forward , the front foot faces forward whereas the back foot is turned faces to the side, rest the bottom hand on the seat of the chair, and stretch the top arm to the ceiling . stay for a few breaths and go back to the Downward Facing Dog as ( 9) and repeat this on the other legs.

Complete few rounds of Trikonasana ( The Triangle Pose ) as ( 10) & downward Facing Dog as
( 9) and rest by seating on the edge of the chair. Prepare for the chair version Parivita Ukatasana ( chair twist ) as ( 11 ), keep the legs open and the feet are aligned with the floor mat ,lean the torso forward from the hips and hold the left hand on the outer ankle of the opposite leg and the other hand is put on the waist or on the backrest of the chair. Deepen the twist by pressing the feet down actively ,hold the hand firmly on the ankle and bring the chest or torso over the opposite side. the twist works well on all ligaments along the spine & the surrounding muscles.

Release the twisting and come back to the starting position. before changing over the other side , do this counter stretch pose , uttanasan ( the chair forward bend pose ) as ( 12 ). start with your hand or on the finger tips on the floor mat between your feet , work on keeping the spine long and chest forward and weigh down in the buttock and the feet , breathe out and bend forward , and then swift and hold the hand the front leg of the chair firmly. reverse all steps and back to the starting position. repeat Parivitta Ukatasana ( the chair twist ) as (11) on the other side and this chair forward bend pose ). The entire ligaments along the spine are fully stretched from the bottom to the top of the neck.

Release from the chair forward bend , do the setup for the chair shoulderstand. fold a few mats or blanket for supporting the shoulders. ( the thickness of the props is depend on the individual flexion of the neck ).

Standby another chair behind from ( 13 )and support the back with your hands , and then bring one leg at a time to the chair behind you. Swift and hold the hands on the front leg of the chair once the legs are stable and comfortable resting on the chair.
Release from the Halasana ( the chair plough pose ) as ( 14) and clear all the props. slide your legs under the chair and hold the hand on the back leg of the chair, keep your forehead resting on the edge of the chair ,integrate the body and the mind from the previous two inversion poses. this alos counter stretches the neck and the spine.

Finally , rest in this chair version Shavasana. put folded mat or blanket under the hips and the legs are resting on the seat of the chair. slide the shoulder away and rest the back of the head evenly on the floor mat.