Friday, November 14, 2008
Doing yoga & Staying young
Raquel and I have been chatting about students perception towards yoga and the meaning of it. A lot of the issues have been raised since the latest news released about yoga as a religion. Some people think Sun Salutations has gestures in it that seems similar to other forms of religion. The gestures in yoga are called mudras, meaning 'seal' in old indian sanskrit language. The mudras are similar to reflexology which helps to stimulate organs in certain parts of the body.
Anjali Mudra is the most commonly used gesture in yoga (As above with the hands). The gesture seals the energy in the body, inducing a sense of awareness in yourself.
The Sun Salutation Pose, also known as Salute to the Sun and Surya Namaskar, is a flowing series of 12 poses which help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column. This pose also warms up the body and tones the abdominal muscles. Virtually, all parts of the body, especially the thoracic and abdominal organs are exercised and rejuvenated with vitality. Traditionally, dawn and dusk are considered the most auspicious times of day to practise yoga, as the rising and setting of the sun both charge the atmosphere with energy. However, if these times are impossible for you, just practise when you can.
If you are interested in what sun salutations look like, then view http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/sunsalutation.asp
Yogic practices stresses on regulation of breathing which helps the yogi to gain control over the life force within the body as well as outside. Synchronisation of the breathing is an important constituent of the practice of Hatha yoga. In Surya Namaskar, the different postures when correctly practised, appear rhythmical, one naturally leading to the other.
There are always going to be ongoing comments about yoga and it's affiliation to religion. The way I look at it is everything is connected to religion. It's as if you would stop doing Tai Chi or Kung Fu just because it was initially practised by the buddhists. Be mindful and be fully aware of what you are practising. If you don't feel comfortable, then fine, stop.
Hatha and Ashtanga yoga are regular performances of combined postures and practices that has been clinically observed by the medical practitioners throughout the world to enhance overall health and both prevent and reverse disease. Yoga is often referred to as "the fountain of youth" because there is clinical evidence that it slows the aging process and promotes long life. Symptoms of aging, such as wrinkles and a poor complexion, are caused by poor circulation of the blood, allowing metabolic waste products or toxins to build up in the system. Through the practice of the yoga asanas, blood circulation is restored and the metabolic waste products are washed out, resulting in a more youthful look and feeling.
Here's a favourite pose of Christy Turlington, 32 year old celeb, looking great, doing Kukutasana.