Friday, June 30, 2006

Components of a Basic Yoga Class

Components of a Basic Yoga Class

Yoga Postures - Asanas: are postures that stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body , they can include forward bending postures, backward bending postures, sideways bending postures, twisting postures, inverted, balancing and meditational postures.

A good example of Asanas can be seen in the practice of Surya Namaskara (Salute to the sun). It only involves forward and backward bending but the practice can also include additional elements such as breath synchronisation, mantra repetition, Chakra concentration.

Position 1 - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Involved muscles: postural, from soles of feet to crown of the head.
Health benefits: establishes balance, concentration, calmness.
Spiritual meaning: raising consciousness to higher levels of awareness.
Breath: exhale.



Position 2 - Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
Involved muscles: back, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen.
Health benefits: opening emotionally, corrects poor posture.
Spiritual meaning: Invoking the grace and power of higher forces.
Breath: inhale.

Position 3 - Padahastasana (Hand to Feet Pose)

Involved muscles: hamstrings, buttocks, back, neck, shoulders.
Health benefits: improves digestion, circulation & respiration.
Spiritual meaning: surrender to the powerful forces of gravity.
Breath: exhale - inhale.

Position 4 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 5 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.


Position 6 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog )

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.

Position 7 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose - Step with right leg)
Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck.
Health benefits sense of balance, centre of gravity.
Spiritual meaning: removes darkness from delusions.
Breath: inhale.


Position 8 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 9 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.

Position 10 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.
Position 11 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose - Step with left leg)
Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck.
Health benefits sense of balance, centre of gravity.
Spiritual meaning: removes darkness from delusions.
Breath: inhale.

Position 12 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 13 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.

Position 14 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.

Position 15 - Padahastasana (Hand to Feet Pose)
Involved muscles: hamstrings, buttocks, back, neck, shoulders.
Health benefits: improves digestion, circulation & respiration.
Spiritual meaning: surrender to the powerful forces of gravity.
Breath: inhale - exhale.

Position 16 - Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
Involved muscles: back, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen.
Health benefits: opening emotionally, corrects poor posture.
Spiritual meaning: Invoking the grace and power of higher forces.
Breath: inhale.

Position 17 - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Involved muscles: postural, from soles of feet to crown of the head.
Health benefits: establishes balance, concentration, calmness.
Spiritual meaning: raising consciousness to higher levels of awareness.
Breath: exhale.


These poses complete Surya Namaskara B, as option you can bend your knees in positions 2 and 16.
For Surya Namaskara A exclude steps 7 - 14.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sun Salutations

In the beginning I stated that this blog was related to two major topics. Yoga and healthy cooking.
Many of you have noticed that lately there was not that much said about yoga as most of posts were about food. Lot's of photos, many daily reports and so on.
Thanks for pointing my attention :-)

So here is it.
Last Thursday I gave my first yoga class
to the group of three people :-)

This was fun. I gave them Sun Salutation A and B sequences in full, with options for less stretchy people and with more advanced options for those who wanted it.

Everybody seemed to like it :-)
That day it was cloudy and quite windy during the day but for the time of our practice there was the Sun shining in the sky!!!
They started making jokes about this, but I was really happy.

In one of the coming posts I shall describe Sun Salutations in detal, so my students can read the theory and prepare themselves better.

Thanks for reading,
I'll keep posting for you :-)

Amavasya, 25 June, 2006

I shifted yesterdays Amavasya one day forvard, so it's today.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Daily report

- 12:30 French fries, vegetable soup.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Daily report

- 10:00 One apple.
- 12:30 Egg sandwich, cucumber salad,

- 19:30 Boiled peas, carrots and couliflower seasoned with olive oil, wine winegar and pepper.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ekadashi, June 7

Today is long awaited Ekadashi. Congratulations everybody.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Daily report

- 12:30 Zucchini- cucumber soup. Salad.
- 20:00 Red beet salad with hoarse radish and sour cream- mango sauce. Big cup of mandarine yogurt.

Never forget, tomorrow is Ekadashi!!! Which means I won't have to worry about food :-)
If you have not been convinced but would like to try - tomorrow is the best opportunity. Fasting will be easy and will give you feeling of lightness and purity.
My best will be - no food and no drinks during the day untill lunch the day after. Try your best and tell me what was it :-)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Daily report

- 11:30 Two sandwiches with cheese. Few srtawberries.
- 18:00 Oven backed zucchini with mushrooms and parmesan cheese.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Daily report

- 11:00 Two croissants with soya pate and coffee.
Don't take me wrong. I do not fancy the idea that vegetarian food should ressemble the look of non-veg food.
I ridicule the concept of making soya balls alike meat balls, as to making people eating them suffer less :-)
But today I have an excuse, today I'm gonna prepare Madrid-style oven backed champignons with escargot-flavoured topping for dinner. And for that reason i had to buy some soya-meat. And of course, since I already had been to the veg-store I also bought this pate :-)

- 14:00 Brunch. Never forget, my mom lives in Italy and I love Italian cuisine, so today I prepared the classics. Mozzarella with tomatoes and basil. This was delicious not only by itself but also nicely accompanied by a glass of Sicilian wine.


- 17:40 Maskarpone - raspberry dessert with mint and lime juice.







- 21:30 Mushrooms ala Madrid.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Daily report

- 12:00 Chocolate fondue with peaches and strawberries. Glass of champagne. It's becoming a habbit :-)
- 19:30 Rice with curry sauce and some tzatziki.
- 20:00 Yogurt ice cream and a cup of coffee.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Daily report

- 09:30 One delicious banana with cup of capuccino. His twin brother sits in my backpack waiting to be enjoyed later :-)
- 12:30 Tomato soup. Pasta with olives and rucola.