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Posts tagged ‘yoga’

Great Kundalini Yoga Class Video….

I did this 30 minute Kundalini Yoga video this morning and feel revitalised and refreshed. It’s excellent for beginners and anyone can take part….

Excerpt from Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic about the Ego…….

I would like to share this with you – I found this really interesting. I highly recommend reading this book. I learned loads.

“the ego can be very clever at making us think we need all sorts of things that we don’t, and these things do nothing but distract us from our innate sense of peace and contentment. It is this on which so much of our economy is built. Although we are told we live in a capitalistic society, we really live under commercialism. In capitalism, people produce buy and sell products based on supply and demand. The demand part of the equation is supposed to be about need.

Under commercialism, the same equation is used, but consumers are made to think they need things that they really don’t. This causes them to work harder, spend more and earn less. This dynamic not only serves large corporations, but it also serves the egos.

The ego loves to keep us looking for peace in places where we will not find it. As long as you believe you can find peace in a faster car or a better stereo system, you will continue to look for peace but never find it. When you do this, you are damning yourself to a life of wondering in the dark, feeling around for something that is not there.”

Taken from:

Wonderful Quote….

I AM NOT MY BODY

I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS

I AM NOT MY EMOTIONS

I AM THE WITNESS AND OBSERVER

Taken from Yoga and the path of the urban mystic by Darren John Main – fabulous book I am reading at the moment.

Releasing Endorphins…………..

Our wonderful bodies have a great way of naturally making us happy – chemicals released in the back of our heads called endorphins.  

This is why when many people over the world pray, bowing their heads is included at some point. I am a Sikh and when we go to the Temple to worship, the first thing we do is bow our heads down to God. It is done in Islam and Hinduism too. I would be interested to learn of any other religions who also do this.

Yoga is also great because you bow many times and can release lots in one go. I had this realisation because I did some Sun Solutes this morning and felt exceptionally great today. I wondered what was different today. Then the penny dropped!

Try it. Get on your knees and bow down and get up about 10 times a day. See how you feel.

Something I like to to as often as I can…..

This is something I have picked up from my Indian upbringing, mainly from my Mum. My Mum is a person who has been through lots of bad times in her life but she has never forgotten her faith and it is her faith that has pulled her through over the years. She does this on a daily basis.

And that is to once a day, thank the Universe. So my Mum will thank the various elements by joining her hands and bowing her head – for example to the Sun whilst saying thank you Sun for coming out today. Thank you for the rays you are providing us. Thank you to the natural flows of water that nourish out environment and give us water to drink. Thank you to the trees for giving us oxygen and being so beautiful to look at.

Whilst we are on the subject of trees, I have never met anyone who loves plants and trees as much as my Mum. At times there have been more plants in our house than furniture. She see’s God’s beauty in every plant and tree. The more vivacious they are, the more she loves them. She can talk for England about it. She comments on how God created Evergreens so that we have colour in the Winter too. Then she will say how thoughtful and wonderful can God be if He provided us with such beauty in nature. I admire her way of thinking.

So when I am driving to or from work, I do the same. It brings me much joy to do this. I think it is as simple as just putting some positive energy out there and it makes me peaceful and grateful to be alive. I personally love the Moon and Stars. I am lucky where I live because you have a beautiful and huge sky at night. I try to do this as often as I can because it is one thing that makes me happy.

For those of you who do Yoga, you will know that this is common practice. you have postures as the Sun Salute, Moon Salute etc. This is the same concept and is spiritually nourishing. It pulls you out of your closed zone and makes you feel part of something big and wonderful – that we are all a part of.

Very reasonable Yoga Weekends for Beginners and Intermediates in London……

I have been looking at the Sivananda website today. there is lots of great information on there. I love the words they have on the site – Serve, Love, Give, Meditate, Realise.

Anyway, they have some really good facilities including meditation and yoga courses. They have charges but Auranics approves these. They are reasonable for what you are getting. Here is just one of many….

Weekend Intensives…

www.sivananda.org

Beginners’ Weekend
July 11 – 12
A very popular alternative to the 4 or 6 week Yoga 1, this weekend intensive gives a complete experience of the yogic lifestyle while providing a sound basis for your home practice. Delicious vegetarian meals, nature walks and workshops on yoga and meditation make this a “mini” retreat in the heart of London.

Intermediate Weekends
August 15 – 16
Similar in structure to the Beginners’ Weekend, this follow-up weekend focuses on deepening the Yoga experience through the practice of variations, introduction to the headstand and a deeper understanding of the Yoga philosophy.

cost: Members £57 / Non-members £75 / Concessions available

The daily programme is as follows:
Saturday | 10.30am – 5.30pm
10.30am Yoga Class
12.00 Lunch
1pm Walk
2.15pm Talk: Introduction to Yoga
4pm Yoga Class
Sunday | 10.30am – 5.30pm
10.30am Yoga Class
12.00 Lunch
1pm Video presentation
2.15pm Talk: Introduction to Meditation
4pm Yoga Class

Just one of many courses available.

8 Human Talents…….

8 human Talents

Whilst we are on the subject of Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, I thought I would write a post about her book – 8 Human Talents. Now I don’t say this lightly but this book is one of those that gives you the tools to achieve pure physical, mental and spiritual stability – if you put what she says into practice and continue to do so. The 8 human talents are a deep explanation and analysis of each of our 8 chakras. Each Chakra is summerised as the following descriptive word – Acceptance, Creativity, Commitment, Compassion, Truth, Intuition, Boundlessness and finally Radiance.

Her methods include Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Meditation. She defines these perfectly on her website where the extracts below have been taken from:

“What is Yoga?

Yoga is a tradition and a science with roots in ancient India that has evolved over centuries to embrace the wisdom of many places and times. Although it means something different to each person, it is rooted in oneness or returning to the Source.  Throughout history, it has been split into various “schools” focusing on different aspects of yoga.  Each branch is of the same tree, the tree of the Self.  Yoga means union.

What is the difference between Kundalini and Hatha yoga? 

Hatha yoga is the physical branch of the yoga tradition and focuses on the structure of the body to help relieve stress and to provide strength in one’s mind and body.  In learning the asanas (yogic postures) of Hatha yoga, a sense of health and vitality is created to help prepare for meditation.  Hatha yoga can decrease stress, regulate metabolism, and heal many physical ailments.  Practitioners leave class with a deeper connection to their bodies, muscular flexibility, strength, relaxation, concentration, and overall well-being and health.

Kundalini yoga uses breath, yogic postures and meditation to help maintain a healthy spine helping to strengthen the nervous and glandular systems.  Each class can help one become aware of much more than just the strength of the body.  It helps to facilitate a change physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.  Kundalini yoga is yoga for the mind, body, and spirit.”

I picked it up and read it about 7 years ago but really need to read it again. I’m staying with my Mum at the moment as she isn’t very well but as soon as I get home, I will pick this up again. I was looking at her site yesterday and felt a compelling desire to learn what Gurmukh has to teach.  

Yoga For All Of You Beautifully Pregnant Woman Out There….

www.goldenbridgeyoga.com

Gurmukh K Khalsa is a fantastic Kundalini Yoga Teacher based in the US where she owns and runs The Golden Bridge – A Spiritual Village. She had an awful experience with her pregnancy years ago so has dedicated lots of energy and time on pregnant women (as well as the health in general – I am just speaking about this particular part but she covers lots in general wellbeing.)

Her message is to be empowered and be in control during and after your pregnancy.

I have personally always thought that women should give birth on all fours like many animals do in the animal kingdom as that is where your strength is. When you are lying down on your back, you have no strength. I don’t have any children yet so I guess I can’t really comment.

Take a look at Gurmukh’s website. There are pregnancy books and DVD’s available. If you are lucky enough to be near on of her centres, go and take up some classes.

She also does a weekly message on her site which is great and always full of positive messages and information.

Stomach or digestion problems?

For those of you who suffer from acid reflux, indigestion, discomfort etc, there are many great alternatives than to reach for the chalky pink substance advertised on TV.

There are many reasons why these conditions occur – too much food, too much oil or fat, too many spices etc.

Solutions:

Watch your food portions. Are you eating too much and then feeling uncomfortable afterwards? If so, look at the amount you eat. You feel like this because your digestive system cannot handle the amount of food intake and has to work hard to break everything down. Your blood and bile are working hard to digest your food so you feel uncomfortable and lethargic.Eat with the size of your stomach in mind and not your eyes. This is something that took me ages to grasp. I didn’t realise how little food I needed.

Watch your cooking processes. Reduce fats and use variable methods like steaming, boiling etc. Or even better, keep a section of your plate for raw foods like salads and vegetables. Things like mushrooms, spinach, green beans, onions, garlic (if you can handle it) tomatoes, cucumber, radish, salad leaves, herbs etc are beautiful when eaten raw. After some practice, I have got used to the taste of raw garlic. I finely chop a clove and sprinkle it on the raw food on my plate and have no problems eating it. In fact I actually now enjoy the flavour – something I never thought I would. It also makes my teeth feel cleaner afterwards. I can’t quite explain this one! 

-Try not to have too much water/liquid with your meal. Your body secretes fluids to aid your digestion process and flooding them with liquids interferes with this process. So either drink 30 minutes before your meal or after your meal. Give bile and the other digestive juices a chance to go in and breakdown your food.

Ajawain or also known as Bishop’s Weed – is a great herb by many people in the East. You chew on about half a teaspoon of it after a meal. Within 10 minutes or so, I feel my food going down further and the discomfort lessens.

www.yogaguider.com/vajrasana.phpYoga Posture – Vajrasana. My friend Rucha told me about this one. It is very simple to do. After a meal, sit on the floor in the position pictured. 

In the process of Vajrasana, one should keep the heels together and should possibly keep his spine erected. The shoulder and neck joints should be relaxed. The breathing pattern should be slow, deep, rhythmic and relaxed.

The advantages are that:

  • This Asana helps digestion and eliminates gas trouble.
  • This is the only asana, which, if practiced immediately after meals, stimulated digestion.  

(Taken from the book – Yoga, Yogasana and Pranayama for Health by Dr P D Sharma.)

-Essential oils from herbs such as peppermint, fennel, anise, cinnamon and ginger are a natural way to ease digestive symptoms from indigestion to constipation.

Read more: “Essential Oils Aid Digestion: Treat Heartburn, Acid, Stomach Ache, Diarrhea, Food Poisoning | Suite101.com” – http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/essential_oils_aid_digestion#ixzz0GqXxjWS1&A

So don’t just put up with it. Read up, get aware and get through it.

Yoga for the eyes……….

Swami Ram DevI first heard about yogic eye movements through watching Swami Ram Dev. For those of you who have not heard of him, he is an excellent Yoga Teacher in India who is working towards creating a disease free society in a medicine free world. He is huge in India and literally worshipped by his audiences for his clear guidance on wellbeing and yoga teachings. For every pranayama and yogasana, he will tell you exactly how to do it and what the benefits are.

Swami Ram DevI was watching him in action one day where a member of his audience came up to the mike and explained how he has short sightedness and after practicing the pranayams I am about to go through, he strengthened his eyes and no longer needs to wear glasses. It took him 4 years of constant practice though. (I love this about many native Indians that I have come across – when they put their minds to something, they really follow it through. They don’t let anything else get in the way. They seem to have real discipline which is greatly admirable.)

Anyway back to the eyes, there are certain moves you can do very easily to strengthen your eyes and the muscles around them. A note of caution though, do not do any of these pranayamas if your eyes are damaged in anyway other than a visionary problem. Consult your Opthalmologist if you are unsure.

Eye Pressing– benefitial for the sight of the eyes. Use your muscles around your eyes to press shut your eyes tightly. Maintain this pressure for a few seconds and then release and relax the eyes as much as possible. Do this in sequences of 10.

Near and Distant Objects – stand near a window and hold your index finger out from the right hand an inch or two away from the nose. Look at your finger for 3 seconds and then shift your gaze to a predetermined very distant object for three seconds. Repeat this 30 times.

Movement from left to right and right to left – move the eyes all the way to the right and then all the way to the left and reverse. Don’t move your head, just your eyes. Do it at a comfortable pace – not too fast and not too slow. Repeat this 10 times.

Movement upwards and downwards– The same as above but just all the way up and all the way down. Try to keep evyerthing else still and just move your eyes. Repeat this 10 times.

Upwards and left  and right – move the eyes to the corner of the left side and then to the corner of the right side. Repeat this 10 times.

Move the eyes in a circular motion– first clockwise and then anticlockwise. Don’t work too hard, you can strain yourself. Be gentle with this and all of the others mentioned. Continue each circular motion 10 times.

How often? Well you can do around three sets of sequences a day for a really good result. Or as much as time allows you. Regular practice will give you better results as always.

Yoga BookAll of these moves have been taken from the bookYoga – Yogasana and Pranayama For Health by Dr P D Sharma. I would recommend this book – it is great. It is quite complicated in some areas so not ideal if you are a beginner at yoga. Plus it has the real terms for every yogic move which are very long words that are difficult to remember. Great for those of you who already have some knowledge though.

After writing the bit above, I put eye yoga into a search engine and found all of the above explained by Paul McCartney!!!! So here is Paul’s version of the above:

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