Boost Your Body’s Response by Winter Yoga
By Yoga Guru Suneel Singh
Winter is upon us, but does that give you the excuse to stay at home for the next two months? Certainly not; especially if you want to stay in good health and maintain your shape.
Winter ushers in physical discomforts like cold, fever, sometimes even depression. In winter, your body increases its fat reserves as a protection against the cold.
In winter, for a beginner or an intermediate practitioner, they should practice dynamic Yoga; meaning, instead of holding a pose for few seconds, one should practice each Shuksham vayama and Asana 2 to 5 times continuously. While practicing Yoga training in winter, it advisable to practice indoor Yoga and properly warm up. To have good heath, lots of energy, and a calm mind, we should honor our body by working within the rhythm of nature.
A warm-up is essential before practicing Yoga in winter.
- Chest Breathing: Sit in padamasana, or sukh asanas, hand on your knee, in (Ghyan mudra). Inhale deeply, expending your chest, hold your breath as long as you are comfortable – then exhale slowly to relax the whole body. Repeat for a minimum of 15 times.
- Spine exercise: Stand with both legs apart, and place both your hands on your hips – thumbs pointing forward. Bend backward from the waist, while inhaling, and then bend forward while exhaling. Repeat a minimum of 10 times. Precautions: People with lower back problems should not do this forward bending exercise.
- Shiatsu therapy: Sit in meditation pose now; with the help of your right hand thumb – squeeze the flashy web between the left thumb and forefinger near where the Web V comes together at the hand for 5 to 10 seconds. This will relieve sore throats, common cold, flu, dizziness, and headache.
- Drink plenty of water: If you suffer from Bronchitis, or other respiratory illness, be sure to drink 10 to 12 glass of water or other fluids daily. This fluid will thin the mucus in your inflamed upper bronchial passages.
- Blow up a balloon: For relief from a persistent Breathing problem, try blowing up balloons. Balloon blowing will help increase your lung capacity.
- Sore throat: Take 1000 to 3000 mg of vitamin C daily to help fight the cold or other viral infection causing it. You may also wish to eat three raw cloves of garlic a day. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic.
- Surya mudra: Sit in meditative posture with your back and neck straight. Then join the tip of your ring finger, with the root of the thumb, in both the hands, and press with the thumbs. Keep the other finger straight. Then place your hand on your knees, with the palm facing upward. Put a little pressure on your palm, while resting the hand in a relaxed position. Practice this for 10 to 15 minutes every day. Benefits: Cures ailments like common cold, flu, headache; beneficial for obesity, and body gets more energy.
- Lingam mudras: Close your hands so that the fingers are interlocked. Keep the left thumb up straight. Then touch the index finger and thumb of the right hand, so they are circling the left thumb. Do this mudra for 2 to 3 minutes. This mudra is very good for respiratory ailments, asthma, coughs, cold, and congestion.
- Surya bhedi prayamama: Sit in a comfortable mediation pose – head and spine straight – eyes closed – hand in Jhayan mudra. Now, close the nostril with the ring finger, inhale slowly and deeply, through the right nostril. Then close both the nostrils after a few seconds; exhale slowly through the right nostril, by keeping the left nostril closed with the right finger.
This is one round. Do it for a minimum of 5 rounds per day. Benefits: This pranayama creates heat in the body and counteracts imbalances of the wind elements. It makes your mind more alert, is good for low blood pressure, and warms. Precaution: People suffering from heart disease, H.B.P., and epilepsy, should not practice this pranayama.
For information, please contact Yoga Guru Suneel Singh at:
Om yoga and Meditation Centre
Paharganj Delhi 55
By Dr. Paul Jerard E-RYT 500
How can Yogis and Yoginis help the movement for world peace? Should world peace ever be discussed in an Ashram? What can Yoga practitioners do about conflict on a larger scale?
Most of us feel helpless when we turn on the news. Crime, warfare, disease, and starvation rule the media, but what can any of us do about it? Let’s look at the source: The reason the media shows us negative images of life is because it sells. If we tell the media different, it will cause change.
The media feels they would go out of business if they displayed a balanced view of humanity. “Feel good” stories are not front page news. Look at the number of people who waste their time watching nonsensical television programs. Who is to blame for this?
We have to share the blame together, without pointing fingers; then take action to get balanced entertainment, innocence back in childhood, religion back into the family, and learn to get along with our neighbors. In other words, you do not have to picket outside the White House to make progress. Just by taking small actions together – we can make a big difference.
Discussing politics in a Yoga class is not in popular demand; most students want to leave the world outside the ashram, but meditating on world peace is acceptable. If Yoga students think of world peace, they might also envision complete freedom from ignorance. Interestingly, this is what many of us think heaven will be like.
Yoga teachers may not be able to create heaven on earth, but we can make small improvements. Therefore, world peace must start on the small scale within our homes, at work, in the ashram, and everywhere we go. Always help others and support groups that seek peaceful resolutions to violent conflict.
Yoga practitioners from all over the world can be found on Internet forums. This is the beginning of many fruitful cultural exchanges that take place on a daily basis. People tend to fear what they do not know, or understand, so the Internet is a useful way to understand other people from different cultures.
Traditionally, non-violence has been a path full of sacrifice, marches, and protests. This is still true in some instances, but it is also true that showing courtesy, teaching courtesy, acts of loving kindness, giving, listening, praying, meditating, and mindfulness make a difference when encouraging peaceful resolutions to conflict. Interestingly, all of the above approaches and methods for non-violence are from Yogic principles.
Teaching Yoga Classes
By Dr. Paul Jerard E-RYT 500
When most people consider the idea of teaching Yoga, they usually perceive the superficial physical requirements of a Hatha Yoga instructor. There are many styles of Yoga, and Hatha Yoga is just one of them. In fact, within the sub-styles of Hatha Yoga, there are a number of “gentle” styles. So, being really flexible, young, and having the body of a super model, are not required in order to become a Yoga instructor.
The above attributes can be used to your advantage, if you have them, but let’s go over a prime ingredient within all Yoga teachers. “In a nut shell,” it is the passion to help others. This is the common denominator among Yoga instructors, regardless of which style of Yoga is taught. Teaching others the benefits of Yoga, becomes a “calling” for students who aspire to take Yoga teacher training course.
A Yogic lifestyle will improve any person’s life. Interestingly, a quality life is founded upon positive thought. Therefore, Yoga instructor training has “all the bases covered,” when it comes down to helping people.
When you look at your own life – reflect on the following questions. How do you want to be remembered? Do you feel complete satisfaction in your accomplishments, so far? What do you stand for?
How we are remembered is through our actions. This relates to Karma Yoga: Union by selfless service. When we help people, that action helps people who we never meet because a single action creates a chain reaction. Just look at all the coincidences that add up to you reading these words, at this moment.
What we accomplish in life is, for the most part, based upon our own actions. There are exceptions to this such as: poverty, illness, and bad luck. However, the person who never gives up will realize achievement, success, and goal realization. When we stop trying in life or Yoga; we “short circuit” our potential.
Satisfaction with your life depends upon finding your purpose (dharma). When you have found your purpose in life, you are living a fulfilled life. Whatever you do in life, helping friends, family, and associates will give you the greatest satisfaction.
If you are feeling incomplete, at this time, write down your passions, reflect on them, and notice that one will stir an overriding desire within you. This is most likely your dharma. When we leave this life, it is gratifying to know that we helped people along the way, as this also gives us a deeper sense of purpose.
Getting back to teaching Yoga – there are many excuses to avoid becoming a Yoga teacher, but when you feel the calling, all you have to do is share the gift of Yoga with others to find out if that is your purpose in life.