ARDHA ADHO MUKHA VRKSASANA - PART I - PREPARATION

Todays yoga feeds are full of amazing pictures of different variations of handstand poses and it's hard not to get caught in the wind of wanting to "strike that pose"

Before practicing any advanced poses we should be honest with ourselves and our capacity to avoid injuries and remember that less is more. With conscious practice all will come!

Dandasana (Staff Pose) 

Dandasana (Staff Pose) 

Preparation for Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Half Handstand at the Wall): 

- Practice Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward-Facing Hero Pose) to gently create space in the spine and to lengthen the sides of the body. In this pose begin to activate the hands, arms and shoulders to prepare for Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog).  

- Move into Adho Mukha Svanasana to further prepare the mind and nervous system for the inversion. This pose will help you to engage the arms and shoulders and teach you to lift your hips up. 

- Come out Adho Mukha Svanasana and sit against the wall in Dandasana (Staff Pose) to stretch the shoulder, the chest and to activate the legs. 

- Place your hands where you had your feet and make sure that your arms are in line with your shoulders. Spread the fingers and activate the fingertips on the floor and feel how you press up from the ground. Exhale and come back into Adho Mukha Virasana or Balasana (Child Pose). 

- In Part II we'll continue into the pose...stay tuned to follow us! 

Caution: If the preparation results demanding for your wrists and shoulders then it's not recommended to practice the handstand (PART II) until you have worked up strong, open shoulders and core muscles. Instead continue with your practice until you feel strong and confident to move into the next step. 

 

VIRASANA (HERO POSE)

In this weeks teaching we present Virasana which is a seated pose that can help you to build strength. At sight this pose might look "easy" but it's important to approach this pose in a humble way to avoid any injury and to be able to enjoy the benefits. Be a humble hero! 

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Virasana (Hero Pose)

Pose: 

Come to the floor and start by kneeling on all four. Bring your knees together and separate your feet sightly more then hip width apart. Grab the calves of each leg and roll them out and away from the knees. Sit down on the floor between your knees (or on top of a support if needed) and make sure that your sitting bones are evenly in contact with the floor or the support. Activate the top of the feet to the floor and from your pelvis root down at the same time as you elongate trough the spine. 

To come out of the pose press your hands to the floor and lift yourself slowly to stretch the legs in front of you. 

Benefits: Eases stiffness in the hip joint, knees and groin. Improves the circulation in the feet. 

Cautions: If you suffer from a knee injury. 

Variation: The pose can be practiced using props like blankets, blocks or bolsters. By using supports you can make the pose easier if you suffer from stiffness in the hip, knee or joints. 

Only stay in the pose for as long as you are comfortable. In the beginning start with a shorter time and remember to always practice with safety and respect to your body.

Happy practice! 

LET'S TWIST AND BALANCE!

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) 

This is a quite challenging standing pose for many as it requires both balance and twisting. If you have difficulties to find stability in the pose you can start by practicing the pose with the help of props like blocks or a wall. That way you can experience the pose and practice the actions of the body. 

Here are some tips which may help you when you practice Parivrtta Trikonasana: 

- Take a shorter step between the feet in the beginning if the pose is difficult.

- Use a block, a chair or a wall for stability if you feel shaky. 

- Don't lose focus on you legs or feet, sometimes we're more focused on the actual twist of the upper body that we forget the base of the pose.

- Be careful not to tense your neck. 

Here are some benefits from practicing the pose: 

- Increased balance. 

- Stretches the spinal muscles. 

- Strengthens the quadriceps, knees and ankles. 

- Stimulates the abdominal organs. 

- Improves digestion. 

Always be respectful to your body when you practice the asanas but in this pose you should be extra careful if you suffer from neck pain or lower back pain. 

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) with support of a wall  

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) with support of a wall  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ILLUMINATED BY THE SUN

The Full Moon is here and just as the tides get affected by the forces of the Sun and Moon - so does we. Even people who are normally balanced and calm can feel agitated and sensitive during this time. 

Full Moon means that the Sun is completely illuminating the whole side of the Moon that is visible to the earth and that the Sun and Moon are located opposite of each other.  

Take this time to set an intention and release what you don’t need to keep in your life. Maybe it’s time that you let go of something or that you make changes to create balance in your life? 

Go out and observe this beautify sight and allow the Full Moon energy to bring awareness within yourself. Maybe practice a gentle Full Moon yoga under the open sky and connect with the forces. Remember that you are the Universe and that the Sun illuminates you as well! 

Happy Full Moon! 

FALL & RISE

Practicing balancing poses can sometimes be frustrating and especially in the beginning as it can be difficult to focus and to keep the attention in the pose. But when we take the time to practice them we realize that finding balance is not only about standing on one foot. It's also about finding balance in everything that surounds us in life. When we are able to remain calm, focused and centered we can approach life and deal with situations in a different way, both on and off the mat. 

If practicing balancing poses in yoga frustrates you, don't avoid them. Instead find out why you get frustrated. Practicing yoga is about learning about yourself. Find your centre and find your balance. And remember, if you fall simply rise again! 

Tips for your practice: 

- Start by finding the base, allow your foot to find the ground and to root down. 

- Slowly and consciously move into the pose, take your time and don't rush. 

- Keep your eyes on a steady point. 

- If needed use the support of a block, wall or chair to find stability. 

- Don´t forget to breath in the pose, allowing the energy to flow and if you fall don't let it disturb your mind, adopt a playful mind and try again!

Happy practice! 

 


BRAHMAMUHURTA

Do you get up early to discover the moment light begins? 

Brahmamuhurta is the time of the day when the early hours begins, it's the magical and empowering hours which are the best time for meditation as you are fresh, open and receptive. According to the Ayurvedic terms this moment are thought to be sattvic, meaning it's balanced and harmonious

So even if it can be really hard to get up before the sunrise…it's well worth a try! Who knows, maybe it becomes a wonderful experience and a new habit where you can cultivate new good things for yourself. 

When you open up your consciousness, great things begins to happen

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF MUDRAS

The list of mudras, hand gestures, is endless and there are many different variations to them as well. Here we introduce you some of the most common ones, which you might have practiced in a yoga or meditation class.

ANJALI / NAMASKARA MUDRA

Anjali mudra is the hand gesture that evokes greeting another being with the utmost respect and adoration for the Divine in all. This mudra can be expressed with palms at the heart level or at the forehead, as a prayer coming from one's heart or the third eye. Only with the heart or with a deeper spiritual insight (third eye) can one truly see that we are all expressions of the same light. Fingers can be together or separated.

CHIN / GYAN MUDRA

Chin mudra is the gesture of knowledge and human consciousness. Practicing this mudra is believed to help instill wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. It is one of the most commonly used gestures with those who meditate or practice yoga regularly.

DHYANA / SAMADHI MUDRA

Dhyana is the hand gesture that promotes the energy of meditation, deep contemplation and unity with higher energy. The circling of energy created by the triangle formed by hands also promotes a cleansing of any impurities on an etheric level. Just by looking at this Buddha hand gesture one can connect to the energy of deep peace and serenity. 

KALESVARA MUDRA

Kalesvara Mudra is dedicated to the lord of time. Kalesvara Mudra helps us by clearing conflicting thoughts and making us calmer. It helps us in contemplating and observing our character, addictions and behavior over time, opening the door for change. Kalesvara Mudra can be practiced by anyone desiring change.

UTTARABODHI MUDRA

Uttarabodhi mudra helps you to cultivate oneness as opposed to feeling separate from everything else in your world. Practice this mudra to remind yourself that strength is gained from becoming one with others.

YONI MUDRA

The Yoni mudra can be described as a gesture that allows a person to get detached from the chaos of the outer existing world. Yoni means uterus or womb and this gesture is named the Yoni Mudra, because the person who practices it regularly has no external contact with the world, pretty much like a baby in the uterus. This mudra helps to relieve stress and to attain spiritual calmness and mental development. (In the picture the triangle points upwards, but in the practice the peak points downwards)

 

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SECOND CHAKRA - SVADISTHANA (SACRAL)

Color: Orange (death of the old)

Sound: Vam

Element: Water (apas tattva)

This chakra is associated with relationships, procreation, pleasure and desire. It is the dwelling place of deep-rooted instincts and of all samskaras – mental and emotional impressions of the past, so this chakra is crucial for us.

It governs people’s sense of self-worth, their confidence in their own creativity and their ability to relate to others in an open and friendly way. The second chakra also rules the feminine component of sexuality, telling us how we feel about sex and having children. (Compare with the first chakra, which rules the masculine component of sexuality, such as enjoyment and power). All watery things about us have to do with this chakra: circulation, urination, menstruation, orgasm and tears. Water flows, moves, and changes, and a healthy second chakra allowes us to do the same.

Having this chakra in balance means the ability to flow with emotions freely and to feel and reach out to others sexually or not. We are free from compulsive behavior and unhealthy habitual patterns of the past. If this chakra is blocked a person may feel emotionally explosive, manipulative, obsessed with thoughts of sex, fear of pleasure or may lack energy. Physical problems may include, kidney weakness, stiff lower back, constipation and muscle spasms. 

Yoga poses to balance the svadhisthana chakra: Gomukhasana, forward bending with the legs in the first stage of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana , Baddha Konasana, Upavistha Konasana.

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THE 4 PATHS THAT LEAD TO YOGA

There are 4 main paths in yoga that all lead to the same goal - to union - Yoga.

Although the goal is the same the people trying to reach it all have different conditions and the paths provides the possibility for all to seek and find what they are looking for.

KARMA YOGA - THE YOGA OF ACTION

The path of action and the law of cause and effect. The key is to practice selfishness and to open ones heart to all beings.

BHAKTI YOGA - THE PATH OF DEVOTION OR DIVINE LOVE

The path of love and devotion, for God and for all creations - animals, humans and nature.

RAJA YOGA - THE SCIENCE OFPHYSICAL AND MENTAL CONTROL

The path of self-discipline practiced with the help of techniques as Asansa, Pranayama, Meditation and Kriyas.

JNANA YOGA - THE YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE OR WISDOM

The path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation. The goal for the jnani is the absolute Truth.

The integration of these 4 paths is as important as understanding that these paths were never separated and that they all work together.

Seek and you will find!

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