surya-namaskar-A

Ahhh, the amazing opening sensation of Sun Salutation B, aka Surya Namaskar B, makes me feel like I’m 10 feet tall. With this summer heat loosening our muscles and joints, it’s a great time to see if you can go a bit deeper and get a bit longer in your poses. We will be exploring this idea in my 4:30pm Saturday class @lucentyoga. Get ready to feel expansive!

Truly Open

I blacked out on my mat last Thursday.
I’d bought a bouquet of freedom’s flurry:
a hefty bag of green
and a pungent silver fungus
that spoke when tickled or bribed

I’d told no one.
It was meant to be a day for me alone,
a dig of sorts, an archaeology of my unconscious
I aimed to tourniquet the sun’s white blindness
so I could somersault through stardust
and flow through Surya Namaskar
like a comet, cool and speedy,
slashing the jelly of the sky
my tail tracing the Braille of the sensations
as I forward folded
as I twisted and inverted
reality

Like I said, no one was around
but I felt a kinship with the nothing
a pulse, a wave from out the virgin space
my comet was passing over Ursa’s cub
when in my hand appeared a key
made of solid love

When I returned from the other dimensions
the key remained in my hand.
I have no use for it, so here, a gift, a prize
for being my friend through all the heavy

Will you open your heart?
Will you open your mind?
Oh? You’ll find the third door?
With your third eye?
I’m glad you realize
You shouldn’t have to choose.

Benefits of Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)

  1. It improves digestion.
  2. It stretches and tones the muscles of the abdomen.
  3. It expands the chest and the rib cage resulting in full intake of oxygen. The lung capacity is fully utilised.

Benefits of Standing Forward Bend Pose:

  • Stretches the hips, hamstrings, thighs, knees and calves
  • Keeps your spine strong and flexible
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
So you wanna start yoga?

I can speak for most yogis who are asked regularly on where to begin with their yoga journey. You may have received different answers: some may point you to YouTube while others may suggest taking a class. I know the thought of watching some slim girl bend into some unholy position is a bit intimidating for the first time around and entering a class where others are seemingly more advanced steers people away from heading into a local studio. Let me begin with this statement though “YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE TO BEGIN YOGA”, if anyone has told you this you’re given permission by me to pinch them. Okay so pinching isn’t very nice but it’s so frustrating to think that people choose not to practice yoga because there’s an assumption that you need to put your leg behind your head. Another thing, you don’t need anything to do yoga, not a mat or fancy leggings; think about how ancient the practice of yoga is and you’ll understand why I say that you don’t need anything. Of course as you make the practice a regular part of your life, a mat is great along with blocks/straps as you move forward with advanced postures. But do you need to spend over $100 to begin? Hell to the naw. You can begin comfortably in your home without these things; a towel can act as a mat and strap to relieve any discomfort on your feet if you live in a home with tile or wood floors. Or if you’re in Fort Lauderdale you can take classes with me (plug).

So now that you’re aware of these facts where do you actually begin? I always suggest familiarizing yourself with Sun Salutations, once you actually muster up the courage to take a class or decide to keep it at home with a YouTube practitioner as a guide they’ll more than likely take you through the sequence. Sun Sals or Surya Namaskar consists of 12 or more foundational poses in a series which will provide you with the strength and range of motion necessary to move forward in your practice. For the purpose of keeping it beginner friendly, I’m going to go through Sun Salutations A which is seven poses dedicated to energizing the body as well as giving honor to the Earth and the breath as we flow through the sequence. Understand that this is a physical sequence that will most certainly challenge your strength and endurance, allow the breath to lead the movement. The heart of yoga isn’t focused in execution of the posture but instead centered around following the breath, your breath is solely the most vital component of your practice.

I begin every yoga practice with about 5-6 rounds of Sun Salutations, it doesn’t matter if I’ll be following with hip openers or inversions; I choose to wake my body up with Sun Salutations. Take it at your own pace, there’s no rushing in yoga as it your practice. I often like to find a playlist which will play for the duration of about an hour when doing Sun Salutations so there’s no rush through the sequence and I can take breaks when necessary, if at any time you need to catch your breath find child’s pose (Balasana).

As you begin in Mountain pose bring your hands to prayer at your heart center and set an intention for yourself. What do you want to attain from this practice? It may be to become strong in mind and body or flexible in both mind and body. Keep your intent with you as you flow through the sequence.


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HOW SUN AFFECTS HUMAN BEHAVIOR

Reading Time:  a little more than a minute

Author: Himanshu Kapoor

Sun is the source of our existence. Human behavior, emotions and longevity are governed by energy obtained from the Sun. In 1922, a young Belarusian scientist, Alexander Chizhevsky established correlation between the eleven year solar cycle and human behavior. The geomagnetic storms on the surface of sun during the period of appearance of maximum sunspots affect excitability in humans. The ionization of earth atmosphere due to these storms strongly affects human behavior. He proposed that 75% of important historical events including wars, revolutions, mass extinctions, riots and political turmoil occurred during the period of solar maximum. Chizhevsky examined records of unrest and upheaval and compared them with sunspot activity of last two thousand years in seventy one countries. Chizhevsky spent most part of his life in exile under communist regime of Stalin in erstwhile Soviet Union. Chizhevsky refused to retract on his findings which were in opposition to communist philosophy.

The Russian Revolution, the rise of Ayatollah in Iran, the Arab Spring and many such revolutions bear dates that coincide with release of solar flares from the surface of the Sun

The following points can help you decipher the effect of Sun in your life and the things you can do to benefit from energy obtained from the Sun

  1. You can observe your own life and spot instances of personal unrest with eleven year cycle of sunspot activity. This can help you tread cautiously in years to come. I personally evaluated this and found instances of mental unrest and periods of adversity during the years of solar maximum. I found revealing instances of change in health, relationships and other affairs in my life in the year 1998 and 2013. These years coincided with breach of earth’s magnetic field by solar storms.

  2. You can spend your time in calming activities like meditation, gardening creative art, music, relaxation and pilgrimage during years of solar maximum.

  3. Apart from taking special care in the year of solar maximum, you can benefit from the energy of the Sun by synchronizing your biorhythms with sunrise and sunset.

  4. The old adage of early to bed and early to rise still holds true. Waking up early and exposing yourself to morning sun helps in absorption of radiation necessary for processing of Vitamin D.

  5. Rising early and sleeping early corrects your metabolism and protects you from metabolic disorders.

  6. Exposure to sunlight uplifts the mood and induces positivity in behavior.

  7. Spending prolonged time playing, running and walking in open sunlit spaces enhances your perspective of life. It is a remedy for the depression induced by living in closed spaces, being glued to devices and consuming toxic news from various mediums.

  8. Yogic sequences like Sun Salutation were formulated to keep physical and mental health in shape. Sun Salutations keep lymphatic system in good health. This helps in regulating human behavior.

  9. Observe absolute fast during Solar Eclipse. The radiation that reaches the earth during Solar Eclipse is harmful. It is advised to garbage any cooked food that is lying in your refrigerator during the Solar Eclipse. The expecting couples should lie on bed in relaxed pose and ensure that they are not wearing any clothes tightened by zippers and strings during total solar eclipse. This is necessary for safety of fetus. I have seen several cases where activity by parents have caused grievous impact on health of unborn child during the total Solar Eclipse. In one instance, the ear of the new born child was deformed as her mother was cleaning her ears with earbuds during Solar Eclipse. It also applies to expecting fathers. So be careful even if you do not believe in what I have mentioned. Every child born during an instance of Solar Eclipse has a small or large birth mark. This clearly illustrates the power of solar radiation during the Solar Eclipse.  It is also advised to abstain from sex or any laborious activity during Solar Eclipse. Finally, never watch Sun with naked eyes during a Solar Eclipse. It will cause permanent damage to the retina.   

Learn more about Alexander Chizhevsky at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Chizhevsky 

My Typical Meditation Session:

  1. Clear my meditation space of clutter.
  2. Cleanse hands, face and feet.
  3. Light candle.
  4. Light incense coal and sandalwood powder.
  5. Strike singing bowl for a long energy cleansing tone.
  6. Perform the salute to the sun (surya namaskar) postures.
  7. Perform “cobra” (bhujangasana) to stretch back muscles.
  8. Sit in half lotus (ardha padmasana) with prayer beads (mala).
  9. Strike singing bowl for long mindfulness tone..
  10. Do Pranayama exercises starting with “breath of fire” (agni prasanna) for clarity, “alternate nose breathing” (anuloma viloma) for calmness.
  11. Strike singing bowl to begin concentration practice using the mantra of compassion “Om Mani Padme Hum” counting on the mala for 108 repetitions or more depending on time. Holding the mala in one hand and the mudra of compassion with the other and practicing three part yogic breathing.
  12. Strike singing bowl for short tone and begin contemplation practice. Using my focused mind I focus on an idea or question. Sometimes I use an object like a tarot card, a flower, a crystal or a stone and focus on it in mindful contemplation.
  13. Meditate on gratitude for my many blessings. Bless and thank my ancestors by saying their names.
  14. Strike singing bowl again to conclude session. Chant the “Om” 27 times.
  15. Perform “cobra” (bhujangasana) to stretch back muscles.
  16. Lay in “corpse” (savasana) position to relax and cool down.

Finished!  Total time: 30 to 45 minutes.

Happy Monday: 7.26.15

Did almost an hour of yoga practice this morning, my body felt very stiff and tired so I warmed up for about 15 minutes. I started with some Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) and worked into ashtanga yoga to end it with a more intense practice. Feeling very grounded after this practice, good way to head to work. 

Im about to hit 16 months on T and top surgery is 22 days away. I will be detoxing fully for the next 3 weeks. I wanted to gain some weight for surgery because I’ve lost some weight in the past couple weeks so I am changing my diet to be more healthy, more raw. Yoga & meditation practice will be 2-4 times a day, Ive been really connecting to the practices and feel this will help me grow. 

My Typical Meditation Session:
  1. Clear my meditation space of clutter.
  2. Cleanse hands, face and feet.
  3. Light candle.
  4. Light incense coal and sandalwood powder.
  5. Strike singing bowl for a long energy cleansing tone.
  6. Perform the salute to the sun (surya namaskar) postures.
  7. Perform “cobra” (bhujangasana) to stretch back muscles.
  8. Sit in half lotus (ardha padmasana) with prayer beads (mala).
  9. Strike singing bowl for long mindfulness tone..
  10. Do Pranayama exercises starting with “breath of fire” (agni prasanna) for clarity, “alternate nose breathing” (anuloma viloma) for calmness.
  11. Strike singing bowl to begin concentration practice using the mantra of compassion “Om Mani Padme Hum” counting on the mala for 108 repetitions or more depending on time. Holding the mala in one hand and the mudra of compassion with the other and practicing three part yogic breathing.
  12. Strike singing bowl for short tone and begin contemplation practice. Using my focused mind I focus on an idea or question. Sometimes I use an object like a tarot card, a flower, a crystal or a stone and focus on it in mindful contemplation.
  13. Meditate on gratitude for my many blessings. Bless and thank my ancestors by saying their names.
  14. Strike singing bowl again to conclude session. Chant the “Om” 27 times.
  15. Perform “cobra” (bhujangasana) to stretch back muscles.
  16. Lay in “corpse” (savasana) position to relax and cool down.

Finished!  Total time: 30 to 45 minutes.

This is a typical Raja Yoga meditation session. You will note that this session is active and paced. At no time is the mind left unattended to wander and be bored.  There is always a point of focus. As you become familiar and grounded in your routine the routine itself is a comfort and prepares you mentally for mindful meditation.

☯ Samsaran ☯

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15-Minute Invigorating Yoga Sequence

Yoga By Biola writes:

Morning friends!

I have an invigorating yoga sequence for you this week. Sun Salutations A and B (aka Surya Namaskar A and B) are a phenomenal way to welcome the day, they’re also a great sequence to warm up the body and seamlessly unite breath with postures. Another bonus, Sun Salutations are great for advanced and beginning yogis alike, in addition to athletes!

Remember, try to follow my breath cues, modify where you need to and enjoy this beautiful, devotional flow.

The dynamic asana sequence Sun Salutation (also known as Surya Namaskar) is one way ancient yogi’s honored the sun. Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart. This placement is no accident; only the heart can know the truth.
—  yogajournal