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yoga with pragya

Yoga

Assembling a Chair – A Yoga Blog

June 15, 2021

A Gift is Always Welcome

It’s always great to receive presents. My husband gave me a desk a couple of months ago to put at this beautiful window we have in our bedroom. As I type this out I can hear the birds chirping. At least one of the birds is a nightingale! Outside the window are trees of various kinds.

What I was missing though was a comfortable chair to go along with the desk. For months I’ve been using an Iyengar Chair, so when my friend Medha said she wanted to give me a chair I gladly accepted.

Yoga & Chair Assembly

The chair is an Astrix gaming chair and super comfortable. While my husband assembled the chair I couldn’t help but notice that humans have an unconscious tendency to sit in postures resembling yogasasanas. I was inspired now just like I was with my Freddy Mercury blog and promptly started taking photos.

This is how the chair came to us. We took an inventory of the screws and other bits that

He started with assembling the wheels:

Reminds me a bit of Baddhakonasana.

Carefully reading the manual to make sure we don’t make any mistakes:

Sort of like Janu Sirsasana.

The backrest is comfortable and sturdy.

Marichyasana.

Making sure we don’t miss a screw.

Bhardwajasana.

Putting the armrests together.

Ardhauttanasana.

Ensuring the wheels fit.

Malasana.

Always happy about building things. ūüôā

Sukhasana.

What do you think? Do you also find yourself seeing what you love everywhere?

Beyond Asanas: The Asanas Lifestyle Yoga

Tight Hips & Deep-Seated Insecurities: A Connection

December 14, 2019

The Anjaneyasana helps in releasing deep-seated fears, insecurities and trauma. Which is the reason it can be an uncomfortable posture for many practitioners.

 

Most of my students have super tight hips.  This often lead to back pain (another thing just about everyone has) and knee/ankle pain.  Common causes for tight hips are a sedentary lifestyle, seated jobs, bad posture, wrong shoes etc.

The Anjaneyasana is one of the most effective asanas to combat these problems.  In gym/fitness class parlance it is also called the low lunge pose.  When done correctly this posture helps to loosen up tight glutes and hamstrings.  It also provides a gentle stretch to the psoas and the hip joint.  You can also use props such as bolsters, blocks and chairs to enhance the benefits of the posture.

If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that in the past few years my interest has gradually turned towards the internal benefits of a regular asana practice. The fact that yoga helps is no longer debatable.¬† Now we are trying to study the impact yogasanas have on your mental makeup.

The Connection to Deep-Seated Emotions

The Anjaneyasana brings deep-seated fears, traumas and insecurities to the fore, making the practitioner uncomfortable.  This is because when we are in the low-lunge we are actively stimulating the muladhaara chakra which is located at the base of the spine.  This chakra is connected to our sense of survival, security and independence.  When this is threatened, the resulting emotional upheaval is stored in the hip area.

For detailed step-by-step instructions for this asana, refer to my book Beyond Asanas.  It is available for Kindle too!  The book has beautiful photographs done by Joel Koechlin and an insightful foreword by Kalki Koechlin.

 

Lift the torso so that the spine is perpendicular to the floor.

 

Finally lift the arms up and explore your limits through deep inhalations and sinking further into the pelvis.

For more effective yogasanas for back pain check out this blog from my archives.¬† I’ve illustrated several asanas with detailed descriptions too.

Books Lifestyle

The Reading Life (#readingwithmuffy)

December 12, 2019

I wish this bookshelf was mine, but alas! It sits at the Penguin office in Delhi. Every time I visit, I get to pick books from it for my personal reading.  My own kid in a candy store moment.

 

I’m always behind on my reading.¬† At any given point in time I’m reading (at least) three books.¬† I read on my Kindle, on my Kindle app on the phone and on the Juggernaut app.¬† Along with these I have random pdfs on my laptop.¬† Also – my bookshelves are overflowing with books ‘I will read next’.¬† Always so much to read and so little time.

A few weeks ago in a moment I was feeling particularly ambitious, I announced to a close friend that I wouldn’t buy any books in 2020.¬† Instead I’m going dive deep into my bookshelves.¬† I’ll make it a point to read books that I own and haven’t gotten around to reading yet.¬† One book a month.¬† Once I’ve read it, I’ll decide whether to keep it or donate it to Blossoms.¬† This should lighten my TBR pile, and ensure that I actually read and don’t just hoard books.¬† I’m also going to look at this as being a way to sift and sort through the thousands of books I’ve accumulated over the years.

I also love a good reading challenge.¬† I feel it adds more depth and variety to my reading.¬† While I love gravitas of something like ‘A Small Town Sea‘, I also relish the light and airy world of Regency Romances replete with the dukes and their unwilling mistresses!¬† So when a fellow blogger (Shalini of Kohl Eyed Me) floated the #readingwithmuffy challenge in a group we’re both a part of, I thought it would be a great way to expand my reading horizons.¬† Plus there’s a prize at the end of it!¬† Which bookworm doesn’t want a prize to read?¬† Below is the challenge.¬† If you can recommend any books for the various categories – please do!¬† I’m always on the lookout for interesting recommendations.

 

Beyond Asanas: The Asanas Yoga

Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward Dog

December 11, 2019

I was talking about pets the other day with some of my friends.  One of them has recently adopted a dog and the other one is also planning on getting one.  All of us know a dog lover or two.  All of us know a downward dog lover or two too (#yogahumor)!

In ‘Beyond Asanas‘ the first chapter is about the downward dog pose.¬† When researching this¬† posture I looked at dog-lore from different cultures.¬† My goal was also to unearth dog-related stories in our mythology.¬† And sure enough – I found a few stories – two of which have made it into this chapter.¬† In one story a dog helps Lord Indra and in another story a dog is granted admission into heaven after the battle of Kurukshetra.

The Downward Dog is a challenging posture.  The most common challenge I see with students is the inability to lengthen the spine.  Many beginners are in a hurry to place the heels on the floor, and this compromises the form of the lower back.

How To:

  1. Place your hands and knees on the floor, shoulder and hip width apart.
  2. Spread your fingers wide on the mat and press the hands down firmly.
  3. Start to straighten your legs.
  4. Lift and extend your tailbone up and out.
  5. Extend the torso by extending the spine.
  6. Lengthen the back of the legs as you push the heels into the floor.
  7. Relax the neck, face and shoulders.

It’s a good idea to start in Vajrasana because your legs are together – which is how you want them to be in the final posture too.

 

In this position position you need to make sure that your wrists are right under should shoulders. And here you can also separate your legs about hip width distance, making sure that the ankles and knees are in one line.

 

Notice the length in the spine. Things you must watch out for: allowing the shoulders to sag down close to the ears, a curve in the thoracic and lumbar spine, and bent knees. Watch this video to learn how to correct these alignment issues.

You can use props such as a wall, blocks and a rope to help you in aligning the posture.¬† I’ve written a few helpful hits about how to improve this posture in ‘Beyond Asanas: The Myths and Legends Behind Yogic Postures’.¬† Those of you who follow me on YouTube may remember this video I made in 2016.¬† It’s a great video for beginners, because of the detailed explanation of how to get into the posture.¬† Do check it out –¬† it will surely help.

I’ve listed out at least 10 benefits of this asana in the book.¬† However, there are contraindications as well, and those have also been described in ‘Beyond Asanas’.¬† Pick up your copy today.

I’ve never had a dog, but I’m not impervious to their charms.¬† If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve met Aston. He makes my time in Pune a little more fun, a little less lonely.

[Credits
Makeup: @makeupbyhennaanbaree
Photos: @khan.clicks deavalin_david_dsouza]

 

Books Lifestyle Yoga

The Last Month of the Decade…

December 9, 2019

After a long and dusty ride, I’m finally back in Bangalore.

It was a wonderful 8 days at SVYASA.  Yesterday I graduated to taking the vital statistics of a few patients and gave them health advice.  I also corrected postures during the asana classes.  During my free time I managed to study for the upcoming semester exams.  So all in all I had a good time.

December is always an interesting month for me.¬† Possibilities are in the air, there’s bonhomie, everyone wants to do something ‘before the year ends.’¬† For me it’s a time for lovely morning runs through the fog around the lake, cozy practice sessions in my living room, and meeting up with friends in warm cafes.¬† I actually take out warm socks (yes even in Bangalore!) and spend hours catching up on reading.¬† I make a point of reading ‘A Christmas Carol’ and watching it too!¬† Many Decembers ago I read Nora Robert’s ‘In the Garden‘ Trilogy and my December felt divine.

More to come in the following days about how I’m ending the year.¬† Bear with me, and do check-in every once in a while.¬† Meanwhile, I leave you with a clip of a little bird that was trying to get into my hostel room at SVYASA.¬† A friend told me it’s a barbet.¬† Another told me it is attracted to it’s reflection on the mirror – it’s mating season and it wants to mate!

 

Trying to flirt with it’s own reflection! #birdbrain

 

 

#angrybird

Blog Poetry

If I Could Give One Gift

December 7, 2019

If I could give one gift…

It would be keys

to a girl.

For her to drive

her own destiny.

Because ladki hai, yeh lakdiyon ke kaam nahin hain                                             

aakhir hai to ladki

even as she pays for your so(i)ns

with smothered thoughts and burnt limbs

and your boys who will always be (your) boys

and so shall inherit your entire earth

and now

our girls are coming home no more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[WORDS DO MATTER! This post is written for the 3rd edition of #WordsMatter linkup hosted by Corinne, Parul and Shalini. The prompt for this edition of #WordsMatter linkup is ‚ÄėIf I Could Give/Receive One Gift‚Äô]

I received this tag from Nikita Dudani from Aakruti Tarot and Reiki Center. It‚Äôs my pleasure to pass on this tag to Anjana at Myriad Musings. There are 25 of us on this Blog Hop and it is spread over 3 days ‚Äď 6, 7, 8 December 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop, you‚Äôll love our musings!