Do you want to start your new year with a clean slate?

People love to start each New Year with something new. If you are looking to kick off 2014 on a healthy, fresh, positive note, try yoga. Yoga helps you to remain in the present, moving forward, never looking back.

The right yoga routine can also help you detox your body and mind.


How detoxification works

There are three main systems of the body that play a crucial role in the elimination of wastes —

  1. Circulatory system: pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to and carrying waste products away from cells.
  2. Digestive system: processes the food we eat, separating nutrients from waste and eliminating anything the body doesn’t need.
  3. Lymphatic system: collects intracellular fluid from throughout the body and transports it to the lymph nodes where anything harmful (such as bacteria or other contaminants) can be removed before the lymphatic fluid is returned to the bloodstream.

It’s a robust system that works well on its own. But to cope with the heavy demands, thanks to the modern lifestyle (increased stress levels, poor diet, increased pollution etc.) we need something else to be part of our lifestyle. Most forms of vigorous exercise stimulate all three systems of elimination to some extent, thereby helping the body in its quest to cleanse and detox. But yoga’s inside out approach gives it an extra edge.

How yoga facilitates detoxification

  • Focus on systematically stretching and compressing every part of the body, is particularly well-suited to keeping the waste-removal departments of the body functioning well. This facilitates the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the deep tissues and extremities of the body that other forms of exercise just don’t reach.
  • Yogic breathing also plays an important role in promoting detoxification. Sitting with poor posture obstructs the lungs from inflating fully, and our chronic state of low-grade stress often leads to a clenched diaphragm. As a result, we don’t take in as much life-sustaining oxygen when we inhale, or expel as much of the potentially hazardous carbon dioxide when we exhale.
  • Yogic breathing helps clear out carbon dioxide from the lung tissue, stimulates the organs of digestion and can, over time, retrain the diaphragm to move freely. And when the diaphragm moves with its natural fluidity, the abdominal organs are massaged and the lungs are fully emptied with every breath — not just the ones you take on the yoga mat.

Clear mind, clear body

In addition to its physical benefits, yoga aids in mental detox as well.

  • Slowing Down: Reducing stress and mental over-activity is perhaps the most important element of a successful detox plan. Habitual rushing, multitasking, and dealing with information overloads are the main reasons of toxicity. And like an overtaxed liver, an overtaxed mind and nervous system can lead to a host of health issues, including adrenal fatigue, insomnia, irregular menstrual cycles, indigestion, and unwelcome weight gain.
  • Inward focus of  Yoga practice teaches us how to say “no” to the outside influences that pull your attention and energy in so many directions—and replacing them with healthier choices—you’ll begin to tune in to your body’s natural rhythms and detox more effectively.
  • Heightened awareness of a yoga practitioner helps purge toxic thoughts by teaching you to move your awareness away from the chaos of the mind and back to the present moment.

Yoga poses to detoxify the body

Specific yoga pose/practices can help expedite the detoxification process. The heating and twisting sequence designed for this plan can help move toxins from your tissues through your lymphatic and digestive systems so that they can be eliminated from the body.



Easily the best practice to cleanse your lungs off the residual carbon dioxide. This could also be your start up practices as it exercises abdomen muscles and massages inner organs.






Twisting postures : Squeeze the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion and elimination.

  • Marichiyasana 3 (Marichi’s Twist)  :

Sit up tall with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of your right foot to the floor just in front of your right sitting bone. Rest your right hand on the floor behind your back for support.

Reach your left hand up so strongly that your ribcage lifts up. Rotate your torso to the right and bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Stay for 5 deep breaths, gradually and gently using the sensation of your left elbow pressing into to your right leg to encourage your torso to twist further to the right.

Either look behind you, over your right shoulder or straight ahead, depending on what feels best to your neck. Repeat on the other side.


  • Supine Twist:

Lie on the ground, hug right knee into chest, “T” arms out to either side, and allow right knee to fall to the left.

You can stay with a neutral neck or, if it feels good, look to the right.

You can also take left hand to right thigh to allow its weight to ground right leg.

Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

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Downward Dog

Getting the heart higher than the head reverses the pull of gravity and aids in the circulation of blood and lymph. Also gently tones the abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

Start on your hands and knees with the entire surface of your palms pressing into the floor and your toes tucked under. Slowly lift the knees and straighten the legs. Press equally into the hands and feet and lift your sitting bones up as you move the thighs back. Allow the head to hang. Stay for 5–10 deep breaths.

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Legs Up the Wall

Bathes the abdomen in fresh blood and stimulates the digestive organs. Soothes the nervous system.

Sit in front of a wall with your right hip and shoulder touching the wall. Bend your knees and roll onto your left side, so your feet and seat are touching the wall. Roll onto your back and extend your legs so that they rest on the wall. Either rest your hands on your belly or let your arms lie on the floor, palms up. Stay for at least 10 deep breaths.

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Do these poses in order any time you feel like you need a cleansing. As you do these moves, use each inhale to lengthen and each exhale to wring yourself out like a sponge, getting rid of anything you no longer want or need. One must practice on an empty stomach.





What’s In a Face?


Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Appearance predicts behavior in surprising ways—some of the time. “I am a big believer in the fact that if you focus on good skin care, you really won’t need a lot of makeup” a quote by the beautiful Demi moore. It’s easy to spot a yoga practitioner. If there’s one thing seasoned yoga practitioners are known for it’s great skin.


What’s a great skin? A mirror of great health! A healthy skin is smooth, soft, evenly toned and appropriate for natural aging. It makes sense, right? And what’s most important is that these external factors symbolize that your skin is functioning properly in that it protects your body from the sometimes unkind effects of the environment, prevents harmful germs and bacteria from penetrating your body, and preserves the skin’s natural waterproof property.

Ever wonder why yoga instructors always have a natural glow to their faces, and their skin seems so relaxed? Is it the deep, restorative breaths and meditative state that keep wrinkles at bay, or is it the focused flows of movement that increase circulation or is it the yog nidra, the deep relaxation? Well, it is known that practicing yoga can reduce the signs of aging and give your skin a natural, clear and beautiful glow.


  • Yoga postures increase circulation in your body, which helps to smooth your skin.
  • Inversions are especially wonderful, as being upside down sends blood to your brain, which nourishes your face with vital nutrients at the cellular level.
  • Yoga postures also help to balance your chakras, which stimulate your hormonal systems that are responsible for slowing down the aging process.
  • Yoga in general improves the skin by reducing stress (a common catalyst to breakouts and fine lines) and removing toxins from the body.
  • Yoga practise balances your hormones and boosts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your skin. This naturally keeps your skin resilient and prevents dryness as well as excessive sagging.
  • Yoga tones the muscles of your face and neck.

Though certain practices like Surya Namaskar, forward bending postures like uttanasan or adhomukh shwanasan, or inversions and seated twisting postures are especially beneficial for the skin regular yoga practice is what it takes to get that healthy glow.


So here we go for a practice which will help flush out the entire toxin content from our internal organs.




This has been practiced by yog gurus and saints for ages and has been referred to as the sanjeevani medicine because of its multilevel benefits. It clears your body of all toxins leaving you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Kapalbhati infuses a new life into you.

Kapalbhati literally is ‘that which shines or brings a glow to the forehead – kapaal’. In Sanskrit, ‘kapaal’ means ‘skull’ or ‘forehead’, and ‘bhati’ means ‘luminous’ and ‘perception’. Kapalbhati is the practice that brings a state of luminousness, or clarity in the mind as well as the body by

–          cleansing the nasal passageway and the sinuses

–          removing carbondioxide gas which is toxic to body and mind

–          supplying the brain with fresh oxygen rich blood

It is essentially a voluntary abdominal breathing practice with focus on forceful exhalations. In normal breathing inhalation is active but exhalation is passive. In Kapalabhati, exhalation is active while inhalation is passive. It is done in quick succession with the help of the abdominal muscles, while the chest is more or less quiet and unmoved. The abdominal muscles are made to contract actively with force, so that the forceful upward movement of the diaphragm expels the air out. The diaphragm then descends easily, creating a slight reduction in the pressure in the lungs, and the atmospheric air rushes in.

Kapalbhati is a rapid diaphragmatic breathing that cleanses and energises. It is the kriya that cleanses the respiratory tract and destroy all mucous disorders. Broadly speaking, it stimulates an all-round activity in the body. It expels the stagnant air in the lower lobes of the lungs, (which remains there due to shallow breathing). It also clears out the air passage, the lungs and the nostrils.

With the practice of Kapalbhati the lungs are cleansed of carbon dioxide – the toxic end product of metabolism. Kapalbhati not only cleanses the lungs, but also rids the tissues and blood of toxic waste products, most of which ultimately get converted to carbon dioxide. This brings a sense of lightness to the body and alertness in the mind. The practice brings a glow to the crown and lightness to the brain; hence the name Kapalbhati.


–          Sit in a comfortable pose with an erect spine, and maintain its natural curve. The position must be such that the belly muscles are relaxed and able to move freely and actively, keeping the body steady and comfortable.

–          Place your palms on the thighs or knees. This helps lift the spine and pushes the shoulders back.

–          Relax the nose and soften the face with a gentle smile.

–          Begin with a chest-expanding inhalation and maintaining it, start the practice. Use your stomach muscles to perform active forceful exhalations, followed by passive soundless inhalations.  All breathing is done through the nose.

–          During exhalation propel out the air through a strong flapping movement of the abdomen in an upward direction. At the end of each exhalation allow the abdominal muscles to relax as the inhalations happen passively, recoiling from the force of exhalation. Inhalation is smooth and effortless and prepares the practitioner for the next thrust of the abdomen.

–          A correct practice of Kapalabhati produces a crisp sound as one exhales out without any facial contortions. The sound is produced by the volume of air being pushed up by the forceful action of the diaphragm and not the muscles of the chest, shoulders, neck or the face.

–          To start with do 10-20 expulsions per round, resting between the rounds. One can increase the speed gradually and the number of expulsions to about 60 per round With regular and sustained practice, one can achieve a speed of 100-120 strokes per minute. It is vital not to sacrifice the force of the abdominal contraction to achieve a greater speed.

–          Exhalations should be regular and consistent like the ticking of the clock. Jerky and erratic breaths will lead to air hunger in the form of gasping for breath intermittently. The rhythm should be slow and steady initially, allowing enough time for spontaneous inhalations to occur.

–          At the end of one round, take a short rest. Sit very still and observe the body and mind and experience the feeling of peace. There will be an automatic suspension of breathing. This is called Kewala Kumbhaka. The urge to breathe stops for a few seconds. Simultaneously the mind experiences a deep state of stillness, silence, calm and peace. Enjoy this state of deep rest and freshness.

–          Wait until the breath automatically resumes and then go on to the next round.

–          How much to practice – If you feel fatigued, dizzy or experience discomfort in the abdomen or the back during the practice, slow down or stop for a while. Stay within your capacity as it is not a competitive activity.


Its better done early in the morning with an empty stomach. Pregnant women and high blood pressure patients should not do the practice without consultation.

And so let’s usher in the festive season and the NEW YEAR with a little yoga…..what say folks????



JALNETI…nasal irrigation

Jalneti : yogic way of preventing and dealing with common cold

Colds are considered to be the immune system’s response to viral invasion. Colds are contagious and may be passed on through hand contact or inhaling airborne particles released by someone when they cough or sneeze.

Since most Cold virus survive better in low humidity, Colds is more prevalent in Cold months of winter and fall. The Cold temperature during these seasons can also make the nasal passages’ lining drier thus making it more susceptible to viral infection.

Researches also show that psychological and emotional stress, allergic disorders affect the nasal passages or the throat. The menstrual cycle also have an impact on a person’s susceptibility to Colds.

The strength of a person’s immune system plays an important part in the prevention of Colds. Yogis for centuries have claimed by treating the nose, diseases of the eyes, ears, sinus, throat, and head can be strongly and positively affected.

The nose is the “air conditioner” of the body. One of the many functions of the nose is to regulate the temperature and humidity of the incoming air. In a normally functioning nose, the air is moistened, warmed, filtered, cleansed, smelled, and analyzed as it travels smoothly and otherwise relatively unimpeded to the very back of the two nasal passageways at the posterior nasal apertures. Regular practice of Jala Neti helps to establish the correct working environment of temperature and humidity in the nose.

Jal Neti is a nasal irrigation technique in yoga used to clean out the nasal cavity and make it free of mucus and debris. The jala neti history dates back many centuries and is an important part of the Shatkarmas, that is, the practices to purify the human body. Followers claim that Jalneti can rid the body of a variety of diseases and keep them at bay.  So, it’s wise to consider shedding your apprehension and trying this wonderful practice.

The Jal Neti procedure involves pouring lukewarm salt water into one nostril and bringing it out through the other nostril. Then the nostrils are alternated. The jal neti pot is important to be able to practice nasal cleansing. It is a small pot with a spout that fits inside the nostrils. It looks like a small teapot or a small hand garden sprinkler.

There are many Jala Neti instructions to be kept in mind, if one wants to perform this procedure correctly and to avoid uneasiness. To carry out the basic procedure,

  • Add about half a teaspoon of salt to a neti pot full of sterile lukewarm water.
  • Stand with the legs apart
  • Hold the neti pot in your right hand.
  • Insert the nozzle of the Neti pot into the right nostril.
  • Keep the mouth open and breathe freely through the mouth
  • Tilt the head first slightly backward, then forward and sideways to the left so that the water from the pot enters the right nostril and comes out through the left by gravity. Allow the flow till the pot is empty.
  • Repeat the same on the left side
  • To clear the same on the left side.
  • To clear the nasal passages of the remaining water, blow out the water by active exhalation through alternate nostrils as in Kapalabhati

before starting with jal neti, the stomach should be empty. After jala neti, drying the nose is crucial. If the nasal passages remain wet, you experience cold-like symptoms for a long time and the residual dirty water in the passages can also give rise to infection.

caution :

If the water temperature is too cold, it will contribute to congestion as the tissues in the nose swell, but if it is too hot it will irritate the mucous membrane linings. Thus the best temperature is between 70-100 degrees F, the closer to body temperature the better.

In jalaneti, salt is also a key element. Only pure salt should be used to perform this cleansing technique.


Besides being used to treat full-blown sinus infections, Jal Neti is perhaps the BEST preventive measure.

  • It helps to clear nasal passages. Removes cold, hypersensitivity, headache, sinusitis, bronchitis and stimulates olfactory nerves.
  • Jal Neti helps solve the sinus infection and allergy problems without the use of drugs with immediate, immense and sustained results any without any side effects.
  • At the immediate level, Jal Neti is a great tool for any kind of respiratory disorder – sinusitis, allergy, asthma, hay fever to name a few. People invariably notice an immediate relief, which drugs fail to achieve. It helps to re-program the body’s natural mechanisms against respiratory complaints including sore throats, coughs, post-nasal drips etc.
  • Jal Neti rinses out the dirt and bacteria filled mucous lining as the warm water loosens and dissolves any internal build-ups, and takes them outwards.
  • Jal Neti has a cooling and soothing effect on the brain and is therefore beneficial for headaches, migraine, depression, mental tensions and even hysteria and temper tantrums.
  • It stimulates better powers of visualization and concentration and gives a feeling of lightness and clarity to the mind.
  • It is excellent for those trying to give up smoking. It reduces mouth breathing and re-sensitizes the nose to the indecency and discomfort of ingesting smoke, therefore de-programming the brain of the physical and psychological addiction.
  • Practicing nasal cleansing clears the sinus cavities and in turn increases the body’s capacity to fight against nasal infections. Similarly, with jal neti, allergies such as hay fever can also be kept at bay. More so, jal neti makes the practitioner breathe more freely with the nose. Therefore, problems such as asthma and bronchitis are also reduced. Sore throats, coughs, tonsillitis can also be cured by performing jal neti regularly. It is beneficial for the eyes and ears.


The duration or the reiterations of the process cannot be stated. But the amount of water to be used can be stated. For one nostril, generally half a liter of water is to be used. The water should be used at a stretch or with some rests. Since this is a shuddhikriya, one should not include it in daily lifestyle.

Whenever, the nasal path needs cleaning, the process can be used. However, till the process is learnt thoroughly, it may be practiced daily. Once learnt, it should be used as per the need.

In jal neti side effects are almost inexistent.

People living in polluted cities should try and make it part of their everyday lifestyle.

This post has been written by Sujata Nerurkar – visiting faculty at Anahata Yoga Zone



OM – The sound of silence

Omkar recitation is considered to be an important yogic practice. It is very common to start or end a yoga or meditation session with Omkar recitation. All mantras too generally begin and often also end with Om.

Why chant OM and what is the significance of this sound?

The OM mantra has been mentioned in many of the ancient texts related to yoga. In many of the Upanishads, it is revered as representing everything that is manifest and yet has its roots in the unmanifest. The Mandukya Upanishad, in particular, is fully devoted to the discussion of OM. In the Upanishads, OM is mentioned as being the same as Brahman (the supreme consciousness).


Om (or Aum) is a universal sound that represents a connectedness to all that is.

“tasya vachakah prannavah”

Patanjali in his Yoga sutra 1.27, tells us that the sound of  Pranava (OM) represents Ishvara (our Divine Source).  And in the following two sutras he tells us, repetition of this syllable reveals its meaning and from this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self.

Om represents all time: past, present, and future, and is beyond time itself. Om represents the eternal oneness of all that is, and is the ultimate goal of yoga: to become unified in body, mind and spirit.

Om reminds us that everything around us, including ourselves contains aspects of the divine. As we make the sound of Om we acknowledge the connection we have to all things.

The origin of the syllable OM is lost in the misty past. It’s not being specific to any one country or civilization is indicative of its being a universally perceptible sound for the human race. This reason for this universal perceptibility possibly lies in the fact that AAAH is the most natural sound that issues from the human larynx. This is evident when a man cries out naturally in extreme pain, anger or fear. When emotions reach an extreme pitch the articulate sounds evolved by man are not the ones that are heard, but the syllable natural to man which is AAAH.

According to ancient beliefs, all speech and thought originated from the sound of aum. It is often correlated with “The Word” of the Bible, as the Holy Spirit. The sacred word hum of the Tibetans, amin of the Moslems, and amen of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians all are believed to originate with aum.

In Arabic the first alphabet is pronounced as aliph. In Greek it is alpha, in the Roman script it is A. Thus in many languages the first letter in the alphabet has the syllable A, with which the word AUM or OM begins. In the Greek alphabet the last letter is Omega which comes very close to OM. Thus the significance of the syllable OM as the beginning and end finds a parallel in many of the scripts associated with ancient languages.

This indicates some link between the various symbols and perhaps a common origin. Even in the English language the “Om” occurs in words having a similar meaning. for instance; Omniscience means infinite knowledge, Omnipotent means having infinite powers Omnivorous means eating or reading everything. This syllable also occurs in words such as Omen which means a sign of something that is to occur in the future, Ombudsman means a person having authority to pronounce a verdict. Thus Om is also used to signify divinity and authority.

There are many interpretations of the sound; including the three sounds A-U-M represent creation, preservation, and destruction. According to B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga:

  • The letter A symbolizes the conscious or waking state
  • The letter U the dream state
  • The letter M the dreamless sleep state of the mind and spirit
  • A-U-M in its wholeness represents the “realization of man’s divinity within himself.”


How to chant Om?

There are many schools of thought on the methods of chanting.

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged seated posture with the spine upright, head, neck and spine in a vertical (if comfortable) alignment. Close the eyes and take a deep inhalation.
  • While exhaling start uttering the OM sound.
  • Begin by feeling the vibration of the “O” sound building up in the navel area and traveling upward.
  • As you continue the chant, feel the vibration moving upward toward the base of the throat.
  • When the vibration reaches the throat area, convert the sound to a deep humming sound of “M”.
  • Continue to feel the vibration moving upward until it reaches the crown of the head (called Sahasrara Chakra).
  • You may repeat this process two or more times. At the end of the final chant, continue to sit still and feel the vibration of the OM sound permeating the whole body – every single cell of the body.

By contemplating the meaning of each of these letters as we chant them, we are led through the three states of our ordinary consciousness to the mantra’s fourth part, the anusvara (after-sound):om. The vibration slowly dissolves into silence, symbolic of the transcendent state of consciousness, equated with Brahman (the Absolute). This silence is the crown of the mantra; it is described in the Maitri Upanishad as “tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrow less, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, unshaken and enduring.

“…Supreme silence… Primeval Sound…”

Some yogis believe there is no need to say the mantra aloud. Chant it to yourself, deeply and lengthily. Chant without moving your lips or tongue. Let each repetition bring you back to yourself. When you continue this for a while, you will suddenly realize that the chanting has fallen away, and the mind has become silent.


Benefits of chanting OM

The vibrations due to Omkar recitation increases the efficiency of cells and the concerned organs.

In the Omkar recitation,

  • The first pronunciation A creates the vibrations, which affect on the spinal cord to increase it’s efficiency.
  • The second pronunciation U creates the vibrations in the throat and affects the Thyroid Glands,
  • The last pronunciation M, brings the vibrations to the brain, thereby activating the brain centres, as a result of which, the efficiency of a brain increases.

Therefore the effect of Omkar chanting increases the concentration, memory, receiving power of brain and ultimately decreases the level of fatigue.

The continued recitation of OM fills one with peace, calmness, tranquility and serenity. When we recite it with the understanding that OM is nothing but a representation of Ishvara, it brings us closer to our true nature, our own pure self. As mentioned above, OM is the primordial sound and this entire creation is a manifestation of this mystic sound. It represents the cosmic prana (the vital energy) and the air we breathe. Meditating on these thoughts can bring us closer to other human beings and lift the veil of separateness.

OM is the sound of the breath vibrating in the Universe and within us.

Omkaaram Bindu-Samyuktam Nityam Dhyaayanti Yoginah |
Kaamadam Mokssadam Caiva Omkaaraaya Namo Namah ||1||

Om, which is united with the Source,
On which the Yogis ever dwell,
Which grants desires and liberation,
I salute the Omkar.

Surya Namaskar – A Holistic Practice to Learn

If you’re looking for a simple, enjoyable way to start your day that provides a diverse range of health benefits, consider practicing Surya Namaskar. Surya Namaskar is an important part of yoga and should be done in the morning. Suryanamaskar is the art of solar vitalization.

It is a complete meditative technique in itself as it includes Asanas, Pranayama, and Mantras. In simple words, Suryanamaskar is a combination of 12 different postures, followed in a particular sequence with a specific breathing pattern. It helps an individual to vitalize.

One circle of Surya Namaskar

A full round consists of performing two sets of this series. During the second set, practitioners move the opposite leg from the one involved in movement during the first set.

Posture 1: Pranamasana

Mantra: Om Hraam Mitraya Namah

Stand erect, ideally facing the morning sun. Fold together both your hands in such a way that both the thumbs begin to touch your chest. Expand your chest and pull in the belly gently. Look straight ahead. The head, the neck and the body should remain in a straight line.

Posture 2:  Ardhchankrasan (Backward bend – Inhale)

Mantra : Om Hreem Ravaye Namah

With your hands together raise your arms up in the air while you breathe in. Bend over backwards forming an arch from the hands to your feet. Inhale and expand your chest at the same time. The flexibility of the spine is ensured in this posture. Feel the stretch on entire front portion of body. Toning of muscles of abdomen, chest, forearms and upper arms is the benefit.

Posture 3: Padhastasan (forward bend – exhale)

Mantra : Om Hroom Suryaya Namah

Bring your hands down while you breathe out to touch the floor on either side of your feet. In this posture, it is imperative to keep your knees straight as you bend forward from the waist and your head as close as possible to the knee. Engage the inner corset (TA). This posture helps melt the excess fat around the stomach by aiding digestion. Increases blood supply to facial muscles, eyes and brain.

Posture 4:  Ashwa Sanchalan (Backward bend – Inhale)

Mantra: Om Hraim Bhanave Namah

While breathing in, put your hands flush with the floor and lower your hips and stretch your left leg back, allowing it to balance on your toes, and your right leg bent in a crouching stance. With your hands firmly on the ground and your arms straight as a die, raise your head upwards to face the sky. This one is for the flexibility of spine and leg muscles, and boosts immunity from diseases. Continue reading

Yoga – Harmony and Healing

There is no healing without harmony, whether that harmony is defined physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Harmony is that condition of health when all the functions of every system in our body are optimized, giving us a feeling of well being. Sickness indicates that there is a part of our being(body, mind or spirit) out of harmony. Healing is about returning to harmony.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘heal’ as ‘to make whole, or sound’; also ‘to unite, after being cut or broken’. On the physical level, healing is the drawing together of the two sides of a cut, the knitting together of the two ends of a broken bone. On the spiritual level, healing is the process of becoming whole. It is the integration of all the aspects of one’s being, the bringing of body, mind and spirit into harmonious union.

Yoga, the ancient body, mind and spirit practice, has been known mainly for the benefits of this system’s exercises. But for thousands of years, since the Ancients themselves explored and developed Yoga, it has been used as a deep healing process.

It’s important to make the distinction between curing and healing. Curing is what mainstream medicine may or may not be able to do for us when we are ill or injured. Healing comes from within us, from our inner resources.

Yoga not only helps us to stay strong and vital and keeps stress at bay but can also prevent disease and promote rapid healing which is free from side effects… Continue reading

Yoga for Weightloss? – True or False

“Yoga and weightloss” followed by a question mark! Can this no-strain, work-at-your-own-level exercise really help you lose weight?

True, yoga is not perceived as an option for weightloss.

But Hollywood and Bollywood actors like Jennifer Aniston, Liv Tyler, Halle Berry, Madonna, KareenaKapoor, Shilpa shetty, Bipasha do it. There must be something about yoga which works !

Yoga is a known stress buster, but it’s also one of the most effective workouts for fighting stubborn fat stores, especially the ones that crop up after age 40. Yes, you can use yoga for weight loss.

How Does It Work?

It is definitely more subtle than a calorie-burn-count workout like aerobics or running on a treadmill. It is a gradual process.


Yoga is not yoga if not practiced mindfully. Mindfulness helps change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating.Yoga forges a strong mind-body connection that ultimately helps make you more aware of what you eat and how it feels to be full.

It brings about “moderation” in your life-style.

Lowered Stress hormone levels:

Yoga practices help in regulating functioning of endocrine glands. Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity—a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.

Cleansing and de-toxifying effects:

Yoga for weight loss

Yoga for weight loss

It cleanses, de-toxifies body and mind making it more susceptible to change and reaching one’s optimum weight through a healthy life-style.

By doing certain yoga postures you are strengthening the vital force of the liver (the powerful detoxifier and cleanser)  in profound ways that will bring it to optimum functioning.The best postures for the liver are mainly backbends:

  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
  • Dhanurasana (bow pose)
  • Chakrasana (wheel pose)
  • Matsyendrasana (spinal twist) Continue reading

Yoga for the Corporate World

An international report by the World Health Organization reveals that depression is the most disabling illness in the corporate sector, second only to cardio-vascular diseases.  Long hours, multi-tasking, stiff competition, rigorous commute, irregular eating habits, sedentary desk jobs and bad sitting postures, all combine to create a pool of highly stressed, inefficient and thus despairing workforce.

It is a well known fact that Yoga is not just about being able to perform complicated poses and movements.  It is a holistic approach to physical and mental health, as well as a person’s well-being and personal growth. This is probably the reason yoga is catching on and becoming increasingly popular at many big corporations. Nike, HBO, Forbes, and Apple all offer on-site yoga classes for their employees and many other Fortune 500 companies consider yoga important enough to offer classes as a regular employee benefit.

More and more companies are starting to encourage employees to release stress and take part in activities like yoga. Corporate Yoga is the extended concept of working peacefully in the midst of a hectic work environment. When the employees are more relaxed and less stressed they are more focused, which ultimately means they do a better job. Yoga also helps boost morale and interpersonal communication – which for an employer means no more bickering teams or dissatisfied individuals, power struggles or dirty politics.

Well designed yoga sessions, perhaps only a couple of times a week, bring about noted changes in employee behavior by helping them manage stress better, enhance clarity and creative thinking, improve communication skills, cultivate leadership and teamwork, and increase overall effectiveness in the workplace. Continue reading

Yoga for Diabetes Management

The percentage of diabetic patients all over the world is increasing day by day. Diabetes is the third most widespread and serious disease after heart disease and cancer. According to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation) , the number of diabetics in the world stands at 365 million, representing around 8.5% of the global population.

The good news is regular practice of yoga reduces the risk of diabetes and yoga can even cure diabetes. Doctors all over the world recommend diabetes patients to practice yoga.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder.

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy.The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies.When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should.This causes sugars to build up in the blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

Diabetes is predicted by a clear set of symptoms, but still often goes undiagnosed.

The three main symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Increased apetite

Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common throughout the world.

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Bhramari Pranayama – Soothing Massage to the Brain

Massage to the brain? Does it sound weird? Not if you know about a pranayama technique called Bhramari.

Brahmari Pranayama

Brahmari Pranayama

What is Bhramari?

The word Bhramari has originated from the Sanskrit word Bhramar which means humming bee. The name refers to the humming sound to be created in this pranayam. The most conspicuous effect of this Pranayam is that it relaxes the brain. If done regularly it can have positive effect on stress, fatigue and high blood pressure.

Bhramari, a safe, easy-to-learn practice, has tremendous therapeutic potential for those who suffer from anxiety or anxious (rajasic) depression. Like other pranayamas, its power comes partly from its effects on the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation activates the calming parasympathetic branch of the ANS. The incessant buzzing sound can reduce the constant activity of the mind for at least for a few minutes, making it a useful starting point for those whose minds are too “busy” to meditate. Continue reading