Monthly Archives

November 2013

Yoga

Roar Like a Lion

November 13, 2013

I just realized that a lot of people might not be aware of my YouTube channel, but might still be interested in my videos about Yoga asanas. So I’ll begin with sharing one about the Simhasana, which is a great pose to prevent wrinkles and keep your throat muscles healthy. I’ve spoken about all the benefits of the Simhasana in the video.

Happy viewing and don’t forget to subscribe and leave a comment!

Yoga

How to Get Over That Hangover – Pose 3

November 13, 2013

Janu Sirshasana (Head to Knee Pose)

How To:

  1. Sit with both legs spread out in front of you. Make sure you’re balanced on your buttocks with your feet together and your toes pointing upwards.
  2. Start with the left leg.  Bend it at the knee and bring your foot as close to the groin region as possible.  Make sure the sole of your foot is parallel to the right thigh.  Also make sure the left knee is on the floor and not floating in the air.
  3. Inhale at this position.
  4. Now exhaling start to reach out to grasp your toes.  Don’t worry if you are unable to grab your toes.  Make sure not to curve your back.  Imagine that your spine is extending upwards towards the ceiling and you need to work on making your back concave so that your chest is slightly outwards.  You want to aim at getting your abdomen on the thigh.
  5. Go as far forward as is comfortable and breathe for some time in this pose.
  6. Once you’re comfortable take your awareness to your torso.  You want to try to bring the left side of your body close to the right leg and the right side a little away from the leg.
  7. Make sure not to hunch your shoulders.  Throw your shoulders back.
  8. Inhale as you come up.
  9. Repeat on the left side.

Variations

  1. If you’re unable to grab your toes you can also use a belt.  String the belt around the balls of your feet to ensure that your toes continue to point upwards as you come down.
  2. If the knee of the folded leg doesn’t touch the floor, you can place a cushion or a folded blanket under it.
  3. Pregnant women should practice this only until the second trimester.

Benefits

  • Great stretch for your back, legs and shoulders.
  • Increases flexibility of the hip joint.
  • Massages the kidneys, spleen, pancreas and liver, thereby stimulating their functioning and helping to detoxify the system.
  • Stimulates digestion by massaging the abdominal organs and the pelvic region.
  • Relieves menstrual pain.
  • Eases the effects of stress, tension and strain on your body and relaxes the mind.
  • Helps in promoting good posture by correcting the curvature of the spine.
  • Helps in alleviating depression and anxiety because it tones and massages the adrenal glands.
  • Great to alleviate fatigue.
  • Can help in treating symptoms of high blood pressure and insomnia.

Contraindications

  • Practice with caution if you have asthma or diarrhoea.
  • Practice with caution if you have slipped disc, sciatica or hernia.

janu_sirsasana

Yoga

Why Gym Goers MUST Practice Yoga (Part 2)

November 11, 2013

In ‘Why Gym Goers MUST Practice Yoga (Part 1)’ I gave you what, to my mind, were very compelling reasons to supplement your daily workout with a few yoga sessions a week.  Here are 5 more reasons for why you have no excuse NOT to practice yoga.

6.  Lets talk about abs.  The real kinds.  Anyone who has them will tell you they need a strong back and strong sides.  Ever seen anyone with washboard abs slouching?  Or do you associate their mien with that of a proud pigeon?  Well that tall, proud profile is a result of the strong back muscles which hold up the abs.  And the strong back muscles are a byproduct of a regular yoga practice.  Ofcourse you still have to work like crazy for the abs … but every bit counts in the quest for Those Perfect Abs.

7.  Do you workout before work?  Then the guided meditation in the savasana post a yoga session can refresh you mentally and physically, so you won’t feel fatigued for the workday, Au contraire, you might experience new found energy due to the increased oxygen flow through your system.  You will get that perfect bod and that perfect appraisal.

8.  Breath control.  You can harness this natural process to increase your body’s ability to breathe better and increase your performance and well being.  Whether you’re a casual gym goer or an athlete, being able to breath better will bring about an immeasurable improvement in your performance and overall well being.  Breathing exercises form an integral part of any yoga class.

9.  Balance.  I’m not talking of the Natrajasana variety.  I’m talking about mental balance.  Your first yoga class may make you feel like you’ve been beaten into a corner.  Everyone else will seem to be effortlessly gliding into poses and smiling while doing unbelievable contortions.  And in the middle of it all, there’s you, an adrenaline driven gym rat who competes with himself/herself every single moment they’re in the gym.  So when you’re unable to do an asana, it can be more than a triffle de-motivating.  However, think of the unbelievable mental strength that you will cultivate when you take yourself back to yoga class every day and then see your body and mind becoming stronger and more supple.  This point is about the mental strength, the physical aspect is a byproduct.

10.  It’s fun!!!  Have you ever seen anyone frowning or grimacing during yoga class?  It won’t kill you to add some fun to your daily workout.  Fun is good for you!!!

Yoga

Roar Like a Lion

November 7, 2013

Simhasana/Lion’s Pose

How To

  1. Sit on your heels with the toes touching (Vajrasana).
  2. Spread your knees apart a little bit, making sure that you can still sit comfortably.
  3. Lean forward and place your hands in between your knees, with the fingers pointing towards you.  Make sure the hands are flat on the floor.
  4. Make sure that you aren’t hunched over.  Your spine should be straight and shoulders should not be hunched.
  5. Inhale deeply and as you exhale stick your tongue out as much as you can, opening your mouth as wide as you can.  Imagine trying to touch your chin with the tongue.  Simultaneously look towards the centre of your forehead (Ajna Chakra) and roar like a Lion.
  6. Make sure that you can feel the vibrations of the roar in your throat.  Also, try and get the roar to originate from your stomach.

Variations

  1. You can do this asana seated on a chair, placing your hands, fingers facing away from you, on your knees.
  2. You can also place a blanket under your knees and do this asana.
  3. You can sit in the Virasana while doing this pose.

Benefits

  1. This asana helps in preventing diseases of the throat, gums, mouth, ears and nose.
  2. It helps in eliminating bad breath.
  3. It’s great for combating asthma and bronchitis.
  4. Promotes clear speech (thereby helping with stuttering).
  5. It strengthens your voice.
  6. Gives your jaw bone and face greater definition.
  7. Removes fat around your face (double chins)
  8. The asana promotes strong knees, ankles, feet and legs.
  9. It promotes stronger lungs and diaphragm.
  10. Allows you to physically relax by promoting tension release in the face and shoulders.
  11. Helps to calm you down, reducing anger.
  12. Massages and stimulates the tonsils alleviating the discomfort brought about by this condition.
  13. Prevents wrinkles!!!!
  14. It gives vent to a lot of pent up emotion and fears and makes you feel lighter afterwards.

Contraindications

  • If you have arthritis of the knees, a knee injury or recent surgery on the knees then do this asana seated on a chair, placing your hands, fingers facing away from you, on your knees.
  • Do not practice if you have suffered a recent injury on the face, neck or tongue.

Watch the video for this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFJCDOhynD4&feature=youtu.be.

Don’t for to ‘Like’ and leave a comment!

Uncategorized

Easy Brown Rice for Lunch

November 6, 2013

Easy Brown Rice

I managed to whip up some delicious lunch using all the veggies in the fridge and some brown rice I recently bought.  Prep time is about 15 mins (excluding the time needed to steam the rice).  So here goes:

1.  Take out all the veggies in your fridge and chop them roughly.  The veggies I found were carrots, bell peppers, some spring onions and frozen corn.

2.  Heat some olive oil in a pan and add all the veggies.  Stir for some time.

3.  Sprinkle some black pepper and any other spice you fancy on top of the vegetables.  I added some table salt and some turmeric.

4.  Add the cooked rice and stir for some time.

5.  I added some olives at this point, but this is optional.

6. You can sprinkle some cheese on top.

7.  Enjoy!

Yoga

Why Gym Goers MUST Practice Yoga (Part 1)

November 4, 2013

Often people feel there is a conflict between an adrenaline powered, iron pumping lift-til-you-drop gym workout and a deep breathing, body contorting and meditate-like-you-mean-it yoga session.  Well, the news is, there is no conflict.  In fact yoga can complement your gym workout.

Here are 10 reasons why gym goers MUST practice yoga:

1.  Practicing some yoga postures before your workout reduces the risk of injury and loosens your body to start your gym workout.  NO, this is not like any other stretch that you do before your workout.  Yoga asanas have evolved after careful study of the human body and its alignment.  So when you practice a posture, you’re not only opening up tight muscles, but correcting the alignment of your body, which may have gone haywire after years and years of slouching on a chair in front of the laptop…or carrying heavy loads, or cooking in a kitchen not designed for your height, or sleeping on the wrong mattress, or watching tv from the wrong angle…you get the drift.

2.  Post a workout asanas will help you stretch your muscles.  Asanas help the protective and connective tissue around all your muscles and muscle cells (called the fascia) grow.  When the fascia grows the muscles encased in it have more room to grow.  If the muscles experience this kind of freedom, then they achieve a better shape and help you look great as well.

3.  If you’re one of those gym rats who can’t do without your daily gym workout and pump some serious iron then you’d do well with a post yoga workout to relax your nervous system and release all the tension that accumulates in the muslces during the gym training.

4.  Often gym goers have a lot of stress stored in their bodies and very few outlets for stress release.  Now I’m not talking about the kind of stress that makes you kick and punch extra hard (that’s just aggression, which can also be taken care of with yoga).  I’m talking about the kind of stress that makes a permanent home in your muscles.  The kind of stress that prevents you from truly relaxing and easing into a deep sleep.  The kind of stress that gives you tight hamstrings, tight shoulders and that painful lower back.  Ever seen a yogi try really really hard to kick up into the handstand, topple over and sit up smiling like a goofball (albeit radiantly)?  Compare that to someone trying to lift that extra 5 kgs, and grunt in frustration when they can’t?  I’m just saying….

5.  Have you experienced muscle cramps after or during weight training and heavy lifting?  A yoga session a few times a week could work to ease out muscle cramps and reduce the risk of reoccurence.  Could that help you lift more and lift better?  Think about it…

(To be continued in Why Gym Goers MUST Practice Yoga (Part 2)