Maximize your Yoga benefits by improving your sleep

morning-nature

If you want to excel in Yoga and in health, you need to put a bold emphasis on your sleep. A healthy life starts first by having good sleeping habits. Yoga teaches you to synch your body to your biorhythms and to your energy levels, and optimal sleep maximizes your energy levels and optimizes your biorhythms.

Here are some tips that I can assure you will improve your sleep.

  • Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Keep the room uncluttered and quiet–and at bedtime, cool and dark.
  • Find a comfortable mattress and pillow that will be conductive to sleep. Don’t work in bed or retire for the night until you’re sleepy.
  • Don’t use television to lull yourself to sleep. Because of its flickering light, TV actually works against healthy slumber.
  • Try to establish a regular sleep pattern. Resist the temptation to stay up later and sleep in on weekends and holidays.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Unwind with music, meditation, or light reading.
  • Take a warm bath an hour or two before bedtime to induce longer periods of deep slumber.
  • Write in your journal, putting down your concerns and making lists to clear your mind.
  • If you’re worried, visualize yourself mentally turning off your “worry switch.”
  • If you can’t sleep, breathe deeply and relax every inch of your body. Contract and release all your muscles from your feet up
This entry was posted on January 21, 2015, in Advice.

Metaphysics of Yoga

Ashtanga yoga gradually brings discovery on all levels of human consciousness –which are physical, psychological and spiritual. By practicing the postures, correct breathing and gazing point (Driste); one can gain complete control of the senses and awareness of oneself. If practiced daily with devotion, steadiness of the body and mind can be achieved.

symmetry means health and beauty

Ashtanga means eight limbs. They are Yama (abstinence), Niyama (observances), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (contemplation).

Yama – There are 5 abstinence factors. They are abstaining from killing, from falsehood, from theft, from incontinence and from greed.

Niyama – There are 5 observances. They are Purity, contentment, austerity, study and attentiveness to the Divine.

educating yourself in yoga metaphysicsAsana (Postures) practice must be firmly incorporated for proper practice of pranayama as it is most important to the expansion of the yamas (Abstinence) and niyamas (observances). Once these four externally oriented limbs are established, the last four internally oriented limbs will automatically develop over time. Asana can rejuvenate the body, reduce obesity, strengthen and tones muscles, make the spine and the body more supple, tone the nervous system, keep diseases at bay, prevent constipation and dyspepsia, keep the skin glowing and healthy and promote mental alertness and serenity.

Pranayama (Breath) “Prana” means “the life breath” and “ayama” means “Pause”. This is the yoga science of breath control. When breath feeds action, and action feeds posture, each movement becomes gentle, precise, and perfectly steady. This guarantees efficient circulation of blood. The result is a light, strong body.

Pratyahara (sense withdrawal) is a detaching of the mind from the sense-organs. The word means ‘gathering towards. It checks the outgoing powers of the mind and turns them inwards. One frees from the bondage of sense organs. When withdrawn from the objects and transmuted into modes of consciousness, this is called Withdrawal. One detaches oneself and controls the senses such as word, sight,etc.

Dharana (concentration)When pratyahara (Sense withdrawal) have been checked, it becomes easy to focus on one point. This is what you call Dharana. Dharana results in intuitive knowledge or revelation.

Dhyana (meditation) leads to peace of mind. Fear, grief and stress are relieved. Priceless courage is gained.

Samadhi (contemplation) Identification, Absorption and Realisation is best described to the 8th Limb. This is a feeling of very deep relaxation without sensation of body or mind. The Cortex of the brain becomes steadily less and less, stilling the activity of our mind. This is called pure consciousness.

This entry was posted on December 31, 2014, in Advice.

Health and Beauty through Yoga

This is the path of yoga that is most often identified with the term meditation in western societies. Raja yoga is the way to God through psycho-physical discipline. The human self has four layers, the body, the conscious mind, the unconscious mind, and the deep primal layer which is Being itself. The goal of Raja Yoga is to learn how to contact this fourth level, the presence of the beyond within. There are a number of steps involved:

1. The five abstentions (injury, lying, stealing, lust, and greed).

2. The five observances (cleanliness, contentment, self-control, studiousness, and contemplation of the Divine).

3. Learning to control the body so that it will not distract the mind.

4. Learning to appreciate and control the breath.

5. Sitting in contemplation, mediation.

Learning to quiet the mind, coming into a state of quiet alertness by focusing on a word or an object.

7. Quieting the mind to the point that awareness of self disappears.

8. Quieting the mind to the point that awareness of both self and object disappear and one come into contact with a pure “Being”.

Raja yoga is a commitment to a lifelong discipline of meditation and one should not expect to reach the deepest levels of stillness on the first few tries. In reality, moving beneath the layers of superficial self is a path one follows throughout one’s life.

beauty through yoga

This entry was posted on December 29, 2014, in History.

How to use shampoo in a natural healthy way inspired by Yoga

After a few days of not having a regular shampoo the scalp starts to itch and become uncomfortable. This is due mainly to sebum collecting on the surface of the scalp. When practicing yoga, the body releases sweat that is mixed with your scalp’s own natural bacteria and yeast, which accumulate on your scalp and which you need to remove with shampoo.

In this article we will be talking of the natural ingredient of witch hazel and the use of waterless shampoo. The yoga teachings show us to appreciate our surroundings and the flora of our earth. Tranquility with yoga is not just achieved through the exercises but also through becoming aware of your surroundings with your five senses. Yoga promotes a natural lifestyle and this includes personal hair care such as hair products like shampoo. We will talk about a waterless shampoo although you can also check this guide on how to use shampoo for other types of shampoos for men and women. Natural and healthy hair products for men and women have become more and more popular through the years and we highly recommend you to adopt a natural lifestyle as much as possible to be in synch with your yoga development and learning. Non natural shampoo has also been blamed for many skin ailments and scalp conditions, and scientists are only now beginning to discover the health benefits of natural ingredients in personal care.

Waterless shampoo and witch hazel as natural ingredient for hair products

Sebum is not evident on all scalps. Caucasoid skin tones are the most obvious. Black skin tones actually have to apply oil to the surface of the scalp, to protect the skin and maintain a healthy scalp. The process for dry shampoo is the same for all skin tones, but not as frequent on the black scalp, since there is an absence of oil.

Whatever the situation, there are times when a dry shampoo is necessary. I’ll cite a few:
1.) while doing yoga outdoors
2.) after cosmetic facial surgery
3.) recuperating, with a cast
4.) a bedridden patient or family member
5.) wearing braids or extensions
6.) while being outdoors or camping to surround yourself with nature

The cleansing requires simple tools:
1.) Witch Hazel
2.) Tissues, plain no lotion
3.) Roll of Paper Towel
4.) Hair Clips
5.) Natural Wooden Comb (optional)
6.) Natural Boar Bristle Brush
7.) 100% Cotton Ball or Make-Up Squares
8.) Latex gloves (if performing this service on another)

Now that we have listed possible candidates … and laid out the necessary tools, let’s begin with the most difficult scenario, someone that is bedridden. This has a degree of difficulty only because you are working around pillows etc.

wich hazel hair product shampoo

First, we want to make sure the recipient is very comfortable; your comfort is also important, it allows you to perform this service properly. Because you will be using very little Witch Hazel a plastic cape or drape will not be necessary, however some draping should be in place. The Paper Toweling will do just fine.

Next, we want to section the hair into four (4) sections. This is important to do an accurate cleansing. Gently comb the hair and then part from the center of the forehead, all the way down to the nape. And then from top of ear, to top of ear. This should give four (4) clean partings with which to work. As you section fasten (gently with a hair clip. The type used when coloring hair is best, it grips the sectioned hair holding it until you are ready to work that area.

Starting with a back section, divide into small vertical parts about a 1/4″ wide. Generously dampen the cotton with Witch Hazel and with even strokes, apply the cotton over the scalp 2 or 3 times. Divide a second part and repeat the process.

When you have completed the entire section, dampen from scalp to the end of the hair with Witch Hazel on cotton and work through gently with you fingers. Re-clip the top of your section after making a 1/4″ horizontal parting. at the bottom, the nape of the neck. Place a tissue over the teeth of the comb, letting the teeth poke through. Now gently take the lower parting and comb. Any oil or dirt on the hair shaft will be removed by the tissue, so make sure when you bring the comb down you lay it almost flat, so the tissue can pick up the Witch Hazel and the dirt and oil.

Do each section the same way, always work in small sections to guarantee a good cleansing. You will have to replace the tissue a few times per section. Remember to use plain tissues, no softeners as they contain oil and your are trying to remove that.

If the scalp is not tender, a gentle massage or brushing with the Natural Boar Bristle Brush will stimulate the scalp. However, the hair should be dry, especially the hair of a Black client as the hair is very fragile. When you are finished, the scalp feels refreshed and clean, and the hair will feel soft. This is a wonderful treatment when you simply cannot use water.

Just a note … Witch Hazel contains only 14% of alcohol and is highly recommended for this treatment. Isopropol alcohol is 99% and not recommended. You want to clean the scalp but not “over dry.”

This entry was posted on December 23, 2014, in Advice.

Mysore Style Yoga for Health and Wellness

Mysore Style is the unique method of teaching and practicing Ashtanga Yoga as it is done by the gurus in Mysore, India. Students of all levels practice and learn the sequence in a group setting according to their individual capacity and pace while receiving guidance and adjustments from the instructors. It is designed for any student of any level who is serious about learning and practicing the Ashtanga Yoga method.

In the Mysore class, Ashtanga Yoga is learned slowly, one posture at time, over many years. In order to have the most positive experience, a commitment to regular weekly practice is highly recommended. Regular practice facilitates stability in the yoga process.

New Students will receive personalized one-on-one instruction within the group setting of the Mysore class. Initially, only a small portion of the sequence is practiced (~30 min.) with subsequent postures being introduced at a pace that enables the memorization of the sequence and its correct transitions (vinyasas). This develops precision, stability, patience and contentment.

NOTE: The Mysore Style class is not intended for a one-time only drop-in. The 5pm Ashtanga classes (Tues., Thur. & Fri.) are available for those who are interested in simply trying this method of yoga.

at goa

This entry was posted on December 22, 2014, in History.

Ashtanga Yoga teachings

Ashtanga Yoga is the traditional method of yoga that is currently taught by yoga gurus of Goa, India. It is a specific sequence of postures that are linked together, with each transition and movement being precisely synchronized with exhalation and inhalation. The practice begins with sun salutations, progresses through the sequence and then finishes with restorative postures.

The heart of the practice is smooth, even breathing, internal locks and steady gazing, which creates an experience of continuity and stability throughout the sequence. When properly done, this method purifies and strengthens the body while “establishing the mind in the Self” (Jois, Yoga Mala p. 16, 1999). It has also been developed into different yoga competitions and established a big following in countries such as Argentina in itself.

ashtanga

This entry was posted on December 22, 2014, in History.

History of our sport

The International Yoga Sport Federation was founded in 1989 in Montevideo, Uruguay. From 1989 to 1994 the headquarters was in Bangalore, India, and from 1995, change to Buenos Aires in Argentina. The Yoga Sport have two way of competitions. Artistic Yoga Sport: Routine of postures with music, and Olympic Yoga Sport, where only play different postures.

First World Yoga Sport Cup
First International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship
January 1989 in Pondicherry, India
India, La Reunion (France), Italy, Nepal, USA, Sri Lanka, New Zealand
India was the Champion

Second World Yoga Sport Cup
(First International Artistic Yoga Sport Championship)
(Second International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship)

November 1989 in Montevideo, Uruguay (Theatr Vaz Ferreira-National Library)
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Italy, India, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay
Argentina was Artistic Yoga Champion in Singles
Uruguay was the Artistic Yoga Champion in Couples
India was the Olympic Yoga Champion

Third World Yoga Sport Cup
(Third International Olympic Yoga Championship)
January 1998, in Pondicherry, India (Pondicherry Football Stadium)
India, was de Olympic Yoga Champion, second La Reunion Island from France and third Argentina.

Fourth World Yoga Sport Cup
Second International Artistic Yoga Sport Championship
Fourth International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship

October 2004 in Buenos Aires City, Argentina (CENARD, Presidency of Argentina)
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion and Olympic Yoga Sport
Champion in National Teams
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in single both ladies and men
Argentina was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single ladies
USA was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single men

Fifth World Yoga Sport Cup
(Third International Artistic Yoga Sport Championship)
(Fifth International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship)

October 2009 in Porto Alegre City in Brazil (WYCA)
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in National Teams and Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in National Teams
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in single both ladies and men
Argentina was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single ladies
USA was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single men.

6th. World Yoga Sport Cup
4th
International Artistic Yoga Sport Championship
6th International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship
October 11, 2013 Genoa, Italy
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in National Teams and Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in National Teams
Argentina was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in single ladies Brazil was the Artistic Yoga Sport Champion in single men
Argentina was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single ladies
India was the Olympic Yoga Sport Champion in single men.

7th World Yoga Sport Cup
5th
International Artistic Yoga Sport Championship
7th International Olympic Yoga Sport Championship

November 14 and 15 of 2015
Buenos Aires City, Argentina
Presidence of Republic-Sports Secretary
Polidpeortivo Stadium of CENARD
National Sports Center for High Performance

This entry was posted on December 19, 2014, in History.

News on Healthy Yoga competitions

24th. World Yoga Sport Cup & I World Artistic Contortion Sport Cup

Buenos Aires City November 14 and 15 of 2015

Argentina 2015

26th World Olympic Yoga Sport Championship

19th World Artistic Yoga Sport Championship

I World Artistic Contortion Sport Championship

I World Artistic Double Contortion Sport Championship

International Yoga Sport Federation & International Artistic Contortion Sports Association

This entry was posted on December 19, 2014, in News.

A healthy introduction to Ashtanga Yoga

yosh

Ashtanga Yoga means ‘eight-limb yoga,’ which refers to a wholistic description of yoga that comes most notably – but not exclusively – from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The eight limbs as described by Patanjali are as follows (II:29 – III:3):

yamah is ethical behavior: i.e. non-harming; truthfulness; non-stealing; continence; and non-hoarding

niyamah is attitudes of aspiration: i.e. purity; contentment; austerity; self-study (jaapah); and devotion to God

asanam is pleasant stabilization of the body; (a.k.a. yoga postures)

pranaayamah is restraint of the external breath while extending the internal breath; (a.k.a. breathing exercises)

pratyaharah is turning the senses inward toward the Soul/God (aatman)

dharana is holding the psyche within certain boundaries of attention

dhyanam is when from dharana, thoughts are reduced to only the object of concentration

samadhih is when from dhyana, only the object shines forth in the mind, and there is no longer any sense of self

This entry was posted on December 10, 2014, in Advice.