Right Breathing Technique Yoga

Right Breathing TechniqueRight Breathing Technique Yoga

Today it is very important to learn the correct breathing technique to inhale and exhale.All over the world everyone wants to breathe right. Breathing correctly helps us to get rid of chronic pain, constipation, and anxiety, insomnia and skin problems. The benefits of breathing right are both physical and emotional.

Pranayama Yoga

One of the methods of breathing right is Pranayama. Prana means respiration, life,strength,energy or wind. Ayama means expansion, length or restraint. Therefore, Pranayama means expansion of breath and its control. It is the science of breath.Prana should be brought under control very slowly according to one’s capacity.

The man’s life is not measured by the number of his days but by the number of his breaths.Therefore, he should follow proper rhythmic patterns of slow deep breathing. This kind of breathing strengthens the respiratory system, relaxes the nervous system and reduce craving. As the desires go away, the mind is set free and is ready for concentration. By breathing incorrectly, the person introduces wind, asthma, cough, pains in the head, ears and eyes and nervous irritation. Breathing too fast and shallow is an epidemic today. Sometimes the learner takes a long time in unlearning the short, tight unrhythmic breathing at the start of a yoga class. The complete practice of yoga is designed to expand the breath as it’s the exhale breath that will determine the fullness of the next inhaled breath. It takes a long time to learn proper deep, steady and slow breathing. Ran in the body of the individual is part of the cosmic breath of the Universal Spirit. A trial is made to harmonise the individual breath with the cosmic breath through the practice of pranayama.

Pranayama Benefits

The correct breathing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and neutralizes the acidic effect in the body in few minutes. Your oxygen intake increases with every breathe. It energises you and put you to sleep better than any other sleeping pill. Breathing happens in the stomach and not in the nostril. Breathing exercises your diaphragm and increases your lung capacity. It increases blood flow to the brain and rejuvenates the whole well being of the human being. The deep rhythm of breathing can tell the mind to relax as the nervous system knows that it’s not reacting. It is the oneness of the breath and mind and so also of the senses and the abandonment of all conditions of existence and thought that is designated Yoga.

Benefits of practicing the right breathing technique:

1. Breathe right and expand your life

2. Experience peace and relaxation

3. Get rid of allergies

4. Increase your lung capacity

5. Feel completely energised

6. Figt asthma

7. Get better sleep

8. Get rid of acidity and constipation

9. Fights anxiety and depression

Garudasana – The Eagle Pose

Garudasana
Source: Flickr

Garudasana – The Eagle Pose

What is Garudasana?

The word ‘Garudasana’ comes from the Sanskrit term ‘Garuda’ which means ‘Eagle’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’. Therefore,it is popularly known as eagle pose. This is also known as ‘king of the birds pose’ as ‘Garud’ is also known as the king of birds in Hindu mythology.

Garuda, meaning eagle, is the king of birds. Serving as the vehicle for Lord Vishnu, the eagle is also the “devourer” and is said to be eager to help humans fight demons or our weaknesses.

The pose thus has a lot of anatomical focuses – ankles, calves, thighs, hips and shoulders – and therapeutic applications, like the pose’s consistent practice curing asthma, relieving lower back aches and sciatica. While strengthening and stretching ankles, calves, thighs, hips, shoulders, and upper back, the pose helps improve balance and concentration – each a result of the other.

Caution: those with knee injuries should not perform this pose.

Garudasana Steps

1. Stand in Tadasana position on the yoga mat. Stretch your body.

2. Now breathe in and bend your knees a little.

3. Lift up your left leg and bend it a little, and then wrap it around your right leg.

4. Try to balance your body on the right foot.

5. Now place your hands in front of your face and wrap your left hand around the right hand.

6. The hands should be wrapped in such a manner that palms of both the hands touch each other.

7. Remain steady in this position for 10-15 seconds and then release.

8. Unwind your hands and legs and come back to Tadasana position.

9. Repeat this complete activity 5-10 times everyday.

Garudasana Benefits

1. It strengthens your legs and hands.

2. It gives a good massage to your calf muscles, arms, shoulders and thighs.

3. It helps you to learn balancing.

4. This asana helps you to increase concentration.

5. It increases blood circulation and strengthen the blood carrying vessels.

6. It reduces joint pain and knee pain.

Garudasana Dos and don’ts

1. If you are suffering from knee injury or joint pain, then you should not perform this asana.

2. Also, in case of pregnancy and obesity you are suggested not to do this asana.

3. If a person is suffering from headache or blood pressure then he/she is advised not to do this asana.

If you face any further problems while doing this asana then you should consult a yoga teacher.

 

Gomukhasana – The Cow Pose

Gomukhasana – The Cow Pose

Gomukhasana – The Cow Pose

What is Gomukhasana?

The name Gomukhasana is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Go’ means ‘cow’, ‘mukh’ means ‘face’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’.

Sanskrit words Go mean cow and Mukha head. The Gomukhasana is meant to achieve lightness of the head, since the other meaning for the word Go is “light”. But the asana is none the less named the Cow Pose since the thighs and calves of the practitioner while in this pose looks like the face of a cow.

Anatomically focusing on the ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders and chest, the pose stretches these body parts along with armpits and triceps. Therapeutically it is said to be extremely beneficial for those with type-II diabetes.

Caution: Those who have neck injury or shoulder problems should not perform this pose.

Here’s a step by step guide for Gomukhasana

Gumukhasana Steps

1. Sit with legs straight on the yoga mat on the floor.

2. Bend the left leg and place it over the right thigh so that the left heel touches the outer side of the right bottom.

3. Bend the right leg and place the right heel beside the left bottom.

4. Both bottoms remain on the floor.

5. Raise the right arm and bend it behind the head so that the elbows point in upward direction.

6. Bring the left arm behind the back and clasp the fingers of both arms together.

7. The head remains straight and rests on the right forearm.

8. Look up and breathe in normally and hold the position for 30 seconds and release. Come back to the starting position.

9. Practice this exercise on the other side. Repeat this activity 10 times every day.

Gomukhasana Benefits

The benefits of Gomukhasana are several. They are as follows:

1. It brings in relaxation. It gives relaxation to the tense muscles.

2. It stretches the ankle region, hips, thighs, shoulders and your spinal cord.

3. It cures illnesses like diabetes and blood pressure. It is also very helpful in the overall health of a person too.

4. It benefits people suffering from sciatica pain.

5. This asana also helps in reducing tension from the hip and shoulder region.

Gomukhasana Dos and Don’ts

People suffering from grave neck and shoulder problems are advised not to do this asana.Also, those who have joint pain problem and knee injury are advised not to perform this asana. People suffering from elbow injuries are suggested not to perform this asana.

 

Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Downward-Facing Tree

Adho mukha VrksasanaAdho mukha Vrksasana – Downward Facing Tree

What is Adho mukha Vrksasana?

The Adho Mukha Vrkasana or downward facing tree, Vrk meaning tree in Sanskrit, is meant for highly skilled practitioners of Yoga.The word comes from the Sanskrit word ‘adho’ meaning ‘downward’ , ‘mukha’ meaning ‘face’ , ‘vrksa’ meaning ‘tree’ and ‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’.

An inverted pose, it supplies fresh, oxygen-rich blood to the brain and relieves the heart as it does not have to pump against the gravity. A great reliever of stress, this asana stretches and strengthens your arms, shoulders and wrists. It is perfect to build stamina, a sense of balance and coordination. Your spine, lungs and pituitary glands also benefit; improves immunity.

Caution: Pregnant women, those with high blood pressure and complaints of headaches should not perform this asana. There are chances of neck injury.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Place the mat parallel to the wall. Place palms about 1.5 feet away from the wall and spread as wide as your shoulders.

Bring your legs in until hips are lifted as high as possible with shoulders are directly above the hands. Steady your shoulders, keep forearms vertical, lift upper arms and straighten elbows.

One at a time, raise legs as high up as possible. Then repeat with the other leg. Keep knees steady while performing this. The movement must be smooth, not fast.

Feel the weight and steady yourself by pressing palms and fingers on the floor; keep elbows straight, support weight with shoulders while opening the collar bones. Lift your legs with the torso; straighten your spine and tighten your knees as you stand parallel to the wall.

Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds initially. As you attain mastery over it, try to hold it for up to a minute.

To come out of the pose, keep body steady and lower one leg at a time, bent. Over a period of time, try to bring both legs down together, bent or straight.

Rest in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).

Adho mukha Vrksasana Steps

1. Come into adho mukha svanasana (Downward facing dog) with the hands about a foot away from the wall.

2. Walk the feet in closer to the hands. The wall should be close to the shoulders.

3. Bend one knee and kick up with the other leg.

4. Try to practice taking the heels away from the wall and balancing.

5. Try to remain in this posture from 15-30 seconds. Try to bring one leg down one at a time and take maximum rest before trying to kick up with the opposite leg so you stay balanced.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana Benefits

1. It decompresses the spine.

2. It strengthens the wrists, arms and shoulders.

3. It is therapeutic for headaches and mild depression.

4. It improves sense of balance.

Adho Mukha Vrksasana Dos and Don’ts

Don’t do this asana if you suffer from back, shoulder or neck injury.Also,don’t perform this asana if you suffer from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or high blood pressure.Also,avoid this asana if you have glaucoma or pregnant with a child.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Pose | The Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana is a combination of words which literally translates to ‘Downward Facing Dog’ asana. Adho comes from Sanskrit word ‘adhas’, meaning downward, mukha means face and svana is Sanskrit for dog.

A beginner’s level asana, on a physical level it stretches the entire body, especially arms, shoulders, legs and spine. By strengthening the entire body, it channelizes energy and removes fatigue. Since the asana specially works on the spine and improves blood flow, it also strengthens the immune and digestive systems. The downward bend improves blood flow to the brain and sinuses, calming the mind.

Here’s a step by step guide:

Start on all fours so that your hands are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hip, both at 90° angle.

The palms should be firmly on the mat and fingers should be spread out. Now, straighten your knees, straighten your spine and lift your tailbone up as you also straighten your legs. Push the front portion of your thighs back and stretch your heels so that the ankle touches the floor and stays there. Simultaneously, let your chest sink a little towards the floor, and let your neck relax so your heart faces your thighs.

Hold the pose for 5 breaths, or anywhere between a minute and 3, and then rest in Balasana (child’s pose).

What is Patanjali Yoga

Patanjali Yoga, is a set of 196 sutra propounded by one of the foremost practitioners of Yoga in Tamil Nadu, India, by the name of Patanjali. Over the years it has become one of the most important texts on Yoga, little surprise since it is one of the foundational texts of Raja Yoga — the highest form of Yogic practice.

Patanjali’s yogic literature focusing on practices for uniting the body, mind, soul, spirit and environment. He proposes ways of settling the mind into a state of absolute stillness or silence. This state, Patanjali proposed, is a human being’s basic state, the one he ought to be in; this was his limitless consciousness and everyone is capable of achieving it through Yogic practices.

The sage suggested that to achieve this state it is essential we balance the energy we draw from our environment, which we derive from our 5 senses, with the energy we have within. He, therefore, laid down rules to draw energy from our senses, to maintain energy through food intake and practicing hygiene and finally channelizing it through meditation and exercises. This sutra, thus, is a philosophy unto itself as it shows us the path to alter our lives and help connect with the cosmos.

Yoga and History of Yoga

Yoga is the ancient meditative practice for well-being of the mind, body and soul (atman). But in the modern world, Yoga and its practice has been stripped to a set of studio exercises.

Yoga literally means yoking or union. Etymologically speaking, the term comes from the root word, ruj, which means ‘to bind’. The word’s other meanings are: “conjugation of stars”, “grammatical rule”, “magic”, “aggregate” and so on. But what is being “yoked”? In most disciplines of yoga, what is unified is the conscious subject (jiva-atman) and with the Supreme Self (paramataman) to the point of reaching the ecstatic condition called Samadhi, meaning “putting together”.

While some scholars emphasize that Yoga developed primarily as a Hindu tradition, archaeological evidence shows that the discipline blossomed much before clear religions sprang up and the practice was adopted by Hindus, Jains and Buddhist, equally.

Earliest archaeological evidence of Yoga’s existence can be found in stone seals which depict figures of Yoga poses. These seals place Yoga’s existence at around 3000 BC. Researchers, however, believe that Yoga existed long before this approximated date, some even having traced its beginnings to Stone Age Shamanism.

Shaman is a seasoned, spiritual traveller in the realm of spirits. Shamanism, thus, is the art of changing one consciousness to enter extraordinary realms of being. While yoga probably did not grow directly from shamanism, it absorbed some of its elements, like poses, transcendence, asceticism, and illumination (Feuerstein 1997).

While yogis aspire self-liberation, shamans primarily concerned themselves with other-worldly knowledge. Yoga may have thus emerged when tribal communities served by shamans developed into city states – the change marking a shift in consciousness from community to individual self awareness.

Over the ages Yoga can be broadly studied under four period: Vedic (Archaic) Yoga, Pre-Classical Yoga (1500-1000 B.C.), Classical Yoga (600-400 B.C.), Post-Classical Yoga (post Patanjali period) and Modern Yoga.