Hatha Yoga Asanas

Hatha Yoga Asanas - Is Yoga About Physical Postures?
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – The Obstacles on the Yoga Path

Most of the people start doing yoga with a physical practice which is called asana (posture). In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, a book 2500 years old, all that was related to yoga is compiled in 196 sutras. What a quiet unbalanced fact that nowadays 99% of the yoga practice is only physical and only 1% of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are talking about Asanas!

The main practice is actually at the mental level!!! Controlling the movement of the body and the breath is one step but the control of the mind, Citta, is a step forward. In the second sutra of the First Chapter, Patanjali talks about “Yoga Citta Vrtti Nirodha”. Citta Vrttis are the disturbances of the Mind/Consciousness and Nirodha means the eradication of it.

What are the disturbances and how to eradicate it? The answer is a step on the path of liberation.

When you go inside, you start to understand very clearly what starts to make all the disturbances. Disturbances create suffering and come from a fivefold source: Avidya, Asmita, Raaga, Dvesa and Abhinivesa.

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Knowing the Menopausal Phase

There are many hormonal issues related to women entering their late 40’s. Many symptoms which have been associated with the hormonal imbalance are hot flushes, mood swings, lack of sound sleep, constant fatigue, depression, low sex drive, forgetfulness, weight gain, frequent urine infections and erratic eating pattern. Menopause is one of a fearsome issue for lots of women, as it’s a phase when women’s system stop ovulating. This doesn’t mean that female body stop producing hormones at all. Like adrenal glands continue producing androgens, though, it’s rate drops down. Hormonal fluctuation effects the brain chemistry. The two major and most potent chemical signals among the women’s hormones are estrogen and progesterone. They have certain influence on the neuro transmitters, which also effect the mood.  Menopause can also emerge as a premature menopause below the age of 40. This type of menopause mostly occurs in females who smoke heavily, are chronic drug dependent or live at high altitudes. Another type of menopause is the surgical one - where the ovaries are removed surgically. However, in Ayurveda, menopause is not considered as a disease but as a transitional imbalance. It is a fairly natural process, from the pitta stage of life to the vata stage of life. So, it can be dealt happily looking behind at the colourful and more developed phases of life; from puberty to reproductive phase to a relieved, ovarian stress free phase; where there is no more shedding of the uterus during mentruation and we step onto a new path ahead and become more self-aware, exploring ways to attain spiritual contentment and discovering the inner peace. See your life at large! In Ayurveda, the menopausal symptoms are mostly seen vata (air) dominant in nature. Vata dominance is linked with aging as well. However, all the three doshas gets imbalanced during menopause. Hence, pitta (fire) associated symptoms and kapha (water) associated symptoms may also be experienced.

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The Art of Practice

Sadhana Padah / The Chapter on Practice – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Patanjali, the great yogi, covered all the subject of Yoga in only 196 sentences divided into 4 chapters.
The second chapter is called Sadhana Padah. Sadhana is the practice and the one doing it, the practitioner is a sadhak.
How the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali help the sadhak? Patanjali gives us the path, the direction where the practice should lead to. When you practice, you need to know how you are going to feel. Being guided, you won’t get stuck in some mind set which you think is a very high state of consciousness.

In another chapter, he describes what are the powers that may come on your path and finally what is the goal. He is also warning you not to fall in pit holes, being attached to any kind of power. If for example you get the power of attracting money, without strong will and a good guidance, you can overuse it and get lost on the path to realization.

What are the powers, what is the final goal are not what matters for us as yet. The way to practice is what is really important to understand. He talks about the one pointedness of the mind. Keeping our mind thus our practice is focused in one direction. This is the only way to progress and achieve any result.

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The Art of Differentiation

Addressing Yoga Student’s Needs: The Art of Differentiation
Yoga Teachers Training Program at the HIYC

You may have had the experience of being a teacher of twenty-five or more students. Possibly you have this experience daily. If so, you have likely encountered the difficulty of meeting all the students’ individual needs. No matter the subject matter taught, the needs of students differ. Students of all ages have varying attention spans, differences in how quickly they grasp certain content or in the method through which they learn best (visually, audibly, experientially, etc.). Students also have different personalities depending on their genes and life experiences or upbringing. All these factors influence how successful they will be in learning and how successful the teacher will be in teaching the students effectively.

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Women and Iyengar Yoga

What’s That Noise in Inversions? Air in Vagina in Inversions…

There is something that happens to many women during Yoga inversions, it can be really embarrassing and it doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. It’s a noise of air, like suction or breaking wind, and it comes from the vagina. It usually happens when we enter or exit the pose, or during the pose as we relax into it, or move around – as in Shoulder Stand and variations when we adjust the pose by shifting our bodies.

If you haven’t experienced it directly, it’s likely that you’ve heard it in your yoga class during hanging Sirsasana or after Shoulder Stand or Halasana, and you may be mystified as to what’s happening. Now is the time to break the silence and shed some light on the matter.

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Top Blogs

Sharat Arora
03 August 2016
16.10.14 When we do a practice like we do in our Iyengar Yoga centres, we gain understanding, so we increase our awareness about ourselves and about the world. We go inside and the mind slowly stops i...