Yoga for Health, Relaxation and Well-Being
By Dr. Rita Khanna
Small Changes In Attitude Can Go A Long Way To Make Life Better…
A car needs an engine, a driver and a fuel to run. If any of these isn’t working well, the car won’t run smoothly. It might even break down completely. In the same way your Mind, Body and Soul must be in Harmony, otherwise like the car you won’t run smoothly and you may even breakdown. Yoga helps to keep you in good working order. It is Science Meditation, Postures and Breathing for your Mind, Body and Soul. It also includes Healthy Eating, Cleansing and Healing for that extra advantage, so that you can live life to its fullest
Relevance of Yoga today
Environment and tensions have crushed us physically, psychologically and mentally. Yoga is a hope to overcome all this. Even a little yogic exercise practiced scientifically, systematically and regularly can bring immense positive results. Short term and long term benefits depend on efforts put in.
Various aims can be achieved such as:
- More focused, confident and relaxed
- Increase physical fitness
- Cure health disorders
- Calm and stress free mind
- Increased awareness of the inter-relationship between body, mind and spirit.
Who can do Yoga
- Anyone, regardless of age, sex or physical disability.
- However, if having medical history, must get checked with your Doctor before taking up Asanas.
- Before You Begin there are certain precautions to follow:
- Always breathe through the nose unless specific instructions are given to the contrary.
- Do not eat before a Yoga session. Wait at least 4-5 hours after a heavy meal & 2-3 hours after a snack. One should take a breakfast or meals at least half an hour after Yoga exercises.
- Wear light loose comfortable clothes that do not restrict your movements. Keep your feet bare. One should not continue wearing spectacles, contact lenses, wrist watch or ornaments during the performance of Asanas.
- Always practice with full concentration and awareness. Do the asanas slowly and smoothly, paying attention to accuracy and alignment. Make sure you do not strain or force the body further than it naturally goes. Over a period of time and with regular practice you will become more flexible.
- Adapt your practice to take account of how you are feeling. For example, if you are tired and lethargic after a long day at work, incorporate more restful forward bends.
- Always end your session, however short, with five to ten minutes relaxation in savasana (corpse pose). This practice will allow any strain suffered by any part of body to get relaxed and the body will feel light.
- DON’T bring cell phones to class or switch them off. Leave socializing and business outside the studio.
- Regularity is the most important factor if you want to derive full benefits of the Yogasanas quickly.
Ten Practical Suggestions Regarding Food:
- Always be mindful of the wholesomeness (or otherwise) of food combinations.
- If you are not hungry, don’t eat.
- Do not eat when you are under physical or mental tension.
- Do not eat or drink anything that is too hot or too cold.
- Chew your food well.
- Do not drink water with meals.
- Do not stuff the belly with food.
- Eat at least one raw salad everyday.
- Eat only one meal once in a week and take only fruit at least one day in a week.
- Form a habit of laughing freely and loudly.
- Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water (normal temperature).
- Avoid fried, fatty, spicy, starchy and sugar containing food.
- Tea, coffee cocoa, tinned fruit, white flour, refined cereals and alcoholic drinks should also be avoided.
For today only: Anger not, worry not;
Be grateful and humble;
Do your work with appreciation;
Be kind to all.
Remember, that ultimately, you are the only person who can de stress yourself.
Make time for yourself and do things that you enjoy.
Interact with a child, play with a pet, sit and
Watch a sunset, smell the flowers along the way,
and remember that when all is said and done,
You have the right stuff in place!
For more information contact:
Dr. Rita Khanna
2nd floor, plot#22, Suman Housing colony, West Marredpally,
Dr. Rita Khanna’s YogaShaastra Studio
A Yoga & Naturopathy Centre
Over 20 years of Teaching Yoga
The Studio is open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Yoga in Practice – Putting Revenge Aside
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
When you leave your Yoga class, you go out into the real world. Maybe someone says something rude, you get cut off on the highway, or you feel someone is taking advantage of your good nature. It is only human to feel a need for retribution, if an injustice has been done to you; but at what cost to you?
The cost of carrying a grudge causes you stress, anxiety, and wears on your health. A person, who carries the need for revenge, over a long period of time, is also carrying a huge burden. Revenge is a “slow burning” form of anger and hatred, which becomes our personal baggage. The pain of carrying a grudge can ruin mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
So, how can Yoga help you in this situation? Yoga has many ways to purge tension, stress, and anxiety, from the body and mind. One method might be to practice a small sequence of physically-challenging Asanas and focus on Ujjayi Pranayama.
As you inhale, draw forgiveness into your being. As you exhale, release your anger, tension, and frustration. You should practice this for a minimum of twenty minutes. A standing series, Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar), or any sequence of postures, which you find challenging, is good enough.
Some people claim that forgiving another person is very difficult, but to hold a grudge, and wait for revenge, is even more difficult. It takes so much energy, and is such a strain on your health, to maintain angry thoughts, over a long period of time. It only makes sense to let go of resentment for your own health.
We are in control of the entire situation. Forgiveness is a virtue, and you can easily grant pardon for a fault. We forgive our pets, children, friends, and family members, for their imperfections. After all, none of us is perfect.
Forgiveness is as abundant as air, and eventually, it should come from the heart. Even though logic tells you to quit bearing a grudge, your heart might desire a little revenge. Usually, the heart is accurate, but in matters of anger and revenge, let logical thoughts dictate your actions.
Within Yogic philosophy, are many solid principles and virtues, which create happiness and well-being. Forgiving, acts of loving kindness, tolerance, and mercy, are universal principles, which improve the lives of everyone who practices them.
Taking positive action is much more powerful than talking about it. We do not need to wish for the ability to forgive, perform acts of loving kindness, become tolerant, or show mercy. All we have to do is practice these principles – daily.
© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Yoga Off the Mat – A Lesson From the Ocean
By Leena Patel, E-RYT
Teachings are everywhere- we only have to be open enough to see them as such.
I recently led a yoga and meditation retreat at San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara. One of the many rich and beautiful moments was when I was sitting with my student by the ocean. It was not a ‘scheduled’ session time but in a single moment I looked out at the ocean and he turned to me with a quizzical ‘what are you thinking?’ expression on his face and right there the teaching, the yoga, emerged. Sitting by the ocean’s edge gazing into infinity with the soft ocean breeze brushing against my skin and my sun-kissed arms absorbing the nourishment of this bearer of light, I watched the tide moving in and out unfailingly dancing to its own rhythm. I observed how a single wave was its own entity and yet part of the entire ocean. It was impossible I observed to feel any kind of separation when we see ourselves in the same way. We are the wave and the ocean. The Self and Atman. Everything was contained in that one moment just like it is contained in this moment. We are re-creating ourselves each moment anew. Just as we cannot bathe in the same ocean water twice so we are not the same as we were last year, or last month or yesterday.
The lesson here is that yoga does not just happen on the mat. The asanas (yoga postures) are a vehicle to understanding more about who we are and what we are capable but it never stop there. The asana is the question not the answer. It is the place from which we start, not the end that we aspire to.
My vision of yoga these days is about aligning with my most authentic self and supporting others in doing the same. And whether I learn it balancing in Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand), chanting a mantra, sitting by the ocean’s edge watching the wave relaxing into the ocean or sitting in traffic and giving the person who aggressively cuts in front of me a silent blessing instead of a curse… it is all yoga. It is not enough in this day and age to do yoga- the question is are we doing it well? Are we embodying Yoga? Are we living the teachings? Are we in the Flow?
Be the wave… continuously re-creating yourself in the Now. And enjoy your ocean-ness… infinite possibilities exist in all dimensions and are only limited by your imagination.
Leena Patel has written numerous articles on health, yoga and spirituality and leads yoga retreats and workshops nationwide. She is currently based in Las Vegas where she teaches yoga and meditation to Celine Dion and A New Day.
She can be reached at www.leenapatel.net