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Showing posts from August, 2009

Quote of the day...

Death has such great importance in this society that it affects everything. I learned from my guru that death is not the enemy, I see it as another moment. Yet it’s the end of an incarnation and means going on to other incarnations.
Ram Dass

Pose of the day

Paddangusthasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Paddangusthasana pose.

Video Friday: dynamic flow yoga

This Vinyassa flow sequence taught by Claire Missingham is a great example of how dynamic flow yoga does not have to be rushed. I have practised in london with Claire a couple of times and have enjoyed the way she teaches what could be deemed difficult poses with a soft approach.

Pose of the day

Matsyasana (Fish pose), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Fish pose, sometimes called Matsyasana

Anti-ageing benefits of yoga

Regardless of what may happen, we are all going to age. However, it is how we age both mentally and physically that will affect our quality of life. According to yoga philosophy it is the flexibility of the spine that determines the age. You only have to look at yoga gurus - both past and present - to see that a regular yoga practice has a huge effect on the ageing process.

The body is supple and mobile and the brain remains active well into old age. Many yoga teachers look more youthful than their birth age and remain “young at heart”, living active lives well into their 90's. The current trend for a quick fix under the surgeons scalpel is just that; a “quick fix” to make one look youthful on the outside, while the rest of the body is degenerating in the usual way. Yoga and a yogic lifestyle allows the body to slow the ageing process down.

How?

Stress is a major factor in ageing. By learning to control and use your breath (pranayama) to help control stressful situations, you are abl…

Pose of the day

Cobra pose (Bhujangasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Cobra pose, otherwise known as the Bhujangasana.

Pose of the day

Eagle pose (Garudasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Eagle pose, sometimes referred to as the Garudasana.

Quote of the day...

The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.
Ram Dass

Pose of the day

Half moon pose (Ardhachandrasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Half moon pose, sometimes called the Ardhachandrasana.

Quote of the day...

You did so in the full understanding that the American dream is a dream that all the world's people deserve; that a new world is in the making in which humanity should be united in its diversity of race, gender, language and religion.
Nelson Mandela

Video Friday: advanced yoga demo

I have found this fantastic video on Youtube. It is an amazing demonstration of advanced flow yoga, definitely not for the faint-hearted. He must have many years experience under his belt... As they say on the TV, do not try this at home!

Pose of the day

Gate pose (Parighasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Gate pose, sometimes referred to as Parighasana.

Pose of the day

Cow face pose variation (Gomukhasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is a variation of the Cow face pose, which is frequently called the Gomukhasana.

Pose of the day

Twisting triangle pose (Parivritta Trikonasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Twisting triangle pose, which is often called the Parivritta Trikonasana.

Pose of the day

Upside Down Lotus (Urdhva Padmasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Upside Down Lotus pose, also known as the Urdhva Padmasana.

Pose of the day

Heron pose (Krounchasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Heron pose, sometimes called the Krounchasana.

Pose of the day

Upward plank pose (Purvottanasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Upward plank pose, sometimes referred to as the Purvottanasana.

Pose of the day

Anjaneyasana (Crescent Moon), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Crescent Moon pose, otherwise called the Anjaneyasana.

Video Friday

Seeing as though it is Friday, I thought I would post something different; a video featuring live music from Ravi Shankar, one of India's best known musicians, that I have come across on Youtube. The clip was recorded live at The Concert For Bangladesh in August 1971 to an audience of some 400,000 people in Madison Square Garden in New York. The event was organised by ex-Beatle, George Harrison, and Ravi Shankar in order to raise money for newly independent Bangladesh, which had been struck by war and natural disasters.

In the clip, you can hear the Indian music part of the show, with Ravi Shankar playing the sitar, accompanied by other well known Indian musicians. I do not profess to being an expert on Indian music, but the performance is quite amazing and, of course, is great for practising yoga to. In my humble opinion, it is well worth watching.




Pose of the day

Seated twist (Bharadvajasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the seated twist, otherwise called the Bharadvajasana.

Pose of the day

One-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana), originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the One-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose, often referred to as the Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Pose of the day

Upavishta konasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend pose, sometimes called the Upavishta konasana.

Pose of the day

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the extended hand to foot pose, which is sometimes referred to as the Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana.

Yoga pose of the day

yoga photos aug09 170, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is a variation of the camel pose, otherwise known as the ustrasana.

Pose of the day

Tittibhasana insect posture, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This is the Firefly pose, also known as Tittibhasana.

Ashtanga yoga video

Here is another ashtanga yoga video I have come across on Youtube. The poses demonstrated in the video are superb, the music is very relaxing and the locations (it was shot in India) are quite breathtaking. Highly recommendable!

Quote of the day...

The practice of yoga induces a primary sense of measure and proportion. Reduced to our own body, our first instrument, we learn to play it, drawing from it maximum resonance and harmony.
(Yehudi Menuhin)

Bikram yoga

My introduction to Bikram yoga was at the Funky Door Studio in San Fransico. I arrived with my friend and was warmly welcomed by the teacher, who called me by my first name - via a microphone headset - from the front of the class throughout the practice. The class was full of young scantily-clad yoga students, who all appeared to know the 26 poses in the Bikram series.

Before the yoga session starts a towel is placed on your yoga mat. The reason why becomes apparent very soon as the room is heated to sauna temperature and the sequence is commenced with a breathing practice (prananyama). In that first class my friend and I must have hit the floor at least five times to escape the heat. I found it amazing that anyone could stay on their feet for the duration of the class; the heat was so intense that I started to feel quite dizzy. As I looked around the classroom from my new position on the floor, I could see people standing in pools of sweat (hence the towels on the mat). It is, therefo…

Recommended yoga reading: Moola Bandha

For those of you who would like to further your knowledge of yoga, I would like to recommend the following book: Moola Bandha (The Master Key) by Swami Buddhananda, published by the Bihar School of Yoga.

The book is suitable for any yoga student who would like to understand more about the effects of the bandhas in a yoga practice. It is a fascintating read, describing how to use the bandhas in order to activate the arousal of Kundalini, the primal energy within.

The three bandhas are the Jalandhara or throat lock, Uddiyana or abdomen lock and the Moola, perineum or root lock. There is a fourth bandha, which is a combination of the three, called maha bandha.

Very little has been written about the ancient practice of bandhas. This book has a theoretic and practical approach to the use of bandhas, as well as covering pranic and psychotherapeutic aspects of using these locks. Practical advice is given in order to help you to find and use them effectively.

Laughing yoga

Here is an amusing video I have found on Youtube titled Laughing Yoga. It is not to be taken at all seriously, but the laughter (especially the anti-stress yoga) is rather contagious. Sorry about the poor quality sound, by the way... but enjoy!

Yoga pose of the day

Reverse Warrior II Variation, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This pose is a Reverse Warrior II Variation.

Yoga pose of the day

Chin Mudra, originally uploaded by yogamama.co.uk. This pose is known as the Chin Mudra.