An engineer, management professional with over 30 years experience in senior positions. I come from a family that has 3 generations of Yoga Masters and Therapists. My manual on Situational Awareness for Stress Management is in final stages of design and scheduled for release shortly. Feedback on this blog would greatly assist me in delivering a better book.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Nauli kriya (Rectus Isolation)

Technique: (Should be learned under supervision)
Ø  Perform Uddiyana.
Ø  Contract the rectus muscles and project them forward in a thrusting movement. To make it happen, use the hands to push the hip back and a forward movement with the back.
Ø  The centre of the abdomen will come out. To isolate the right or left rectus, bend a little to the isolating side. Relax the other hand and depress the rectus on that side and allow it to be pressed in. Contract the isolating side and exert pressure with that hand. Each rectus can be completely isolate with the other completely depressed.
Ø  People with hernia, renal disease should avoid this exercise. Those with stomach ailments should increase pressure slowly.
Ø  There are 4 variations: Madhyama Nauli (isolation of rectus abdominis) – this is the standard nauli; Dakshina Nauli (isolation of right rectus) – this is the ability to move the right rectus muscle into the abdomen while keeping the left constant, Vama Nauli (isolation of left rectus) – here this is the ability to move the left rectus muscle into the abdomen while keeping the right constant, Nauli Kriya (rotation of rectus abdominis) – this is the ability to rapidly alternate between vama and dakshina nauli, i.e. alternate rapidly between the right rectus muscle and left rectus muscles.
Ø  This exercise is very good for removal of digestive ailments.
Ø  Also brings voluntary control to all abdominal muscles.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Uddiyana bandha (Abdominal Suction)

Technique: (Should be learned under supervision)
Ø  Stand erect with legs slightly apart and hands to the side.
Ø  Bend forward and place hands on the thigh some 6 inches from the hip joint.
Ø  Breathe out and empty the stomach of all air.
Ø  Relax the abdominal and rectal muscles.
Ø  When you feel the lungs completely empty, suck the stomach vigorously inwards towards the spine as far as possible.
Ø  Hold for as long as is convenient.
Ø  Breathe in slowly and release the stomach back to normal.
Ø  Stand erect and bring hands to the sides.
Ø  Repeat 3 to 6 times.
Ø  People with hernia, renal disease should avoid this exercise. Those with stomach ailments should increase pressure slowly.
Ø  When the stomach is sucked inwards, the ascending, descending and transverse colon and intestines are pulled upwards towards the spine. The rectal muscles are also pulled inwards. The small intestines and other organs such as the spleen, pancreas and stomach get pushed towards the spine. This results in the faecal matter getting completely evacuated from the body. All diseases related to acidity, piles and constipation get removed by practice of this exercise.
Ø  The inward suction of the organs strengthens the muscles holding the abdominal viscera to the spine and the intra-abdominal muscles.
Ø  The action of completely emptying the lungs and push of the diaphragm inwards increases the stroke of the diaphragm and helps increasing lung capacity and efficiency.
Ø  This exercise rejuvenates all major organs such as pancreas, liver, kidneys etc.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Padahastasana (Feet touching pose)

Ø  Stand erect with feet together and hands to the sides.
Ø  Breathe in and lift hands above head.
Ø  Breathing out, bend forward to touch the toes. If possible pull the torso forward so that face touches knee.
Ø  Breathing in come back erect with hands above head.
Ø  Breathe out and drop hands to the sides.
Ø  People with cardiac ailments should do this exercise slowly because of the aerobic nature of the asana.
Ø  The action of bending forward brings suppleness to the lower back and restores strength to the cartilages and muscles on the lower back.
Ø  The action of bending forward stretches and tones the hamstrings.

Ø  This exercise is a very good aerobic exercise.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

Ø  Stand erect with lets spread to the width of the shoulders. Keep hands to the side.
Ø  Breathe in and raise hands to shoulder height.
Ø  Breathing out, bend to the side so that fingers touch feet. Try to bend only at the waist and keep shoulder, kneesandelbows straight so that the bending action is maximized.
Ø  While bending, keep face straight but move eyes sideways to gaze at the fingertips of the hands that are in the air.
Ø  Breathing in, come back to straight position.
Ø  Breathe in and bring hands back to side.
Ø  People with cardiac ailments should do this exercise slowly because of the aerobic nature of the asana.
Ø  Instead of touching the hands to the feet on the same side (right hand touching right feet and left hand touching left feet), cross over and touch the opposite feet (right hand touching left feet and left hand touching right feet)
Ø  The action of bending results in the side muscles being alternately compressed and stretched. This strengthens the muscles and removes fat from the sides.
Ø  The bending action increases flexibility of the spine. All muscles of the spine get toned up.
Ø  The movement of the eyes increases peripheral vision and strengthens the eye muscles.
Some noteworthy points:

Ø  The spacing of the legs is important. Too narrow, and the strain on the side abdominal muscles (oblique miscles) can lead to cramps. Too wide, and the strain on the inside thighs can be very high.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

YogaMudra (Yogic Icon Pose)

Technique: (Should be learned under supervision)
Ø  Sit in Padmasana. Experience the balance.
Ø  Place hands on the heels with hands pointing inwards. Breathe in.
Ø  Breathing out, bend forward till the face touches the ground. In case you are doing this for the first time, bend forward only till you reach the limits of comfort. Hold for 10 counts.
Ø  Bring the body back to original position in Padmasana.
Ø  Bring the legs to original position.
Ø  Once is enough. Increase the duration slowly.
Ø  The action of bending forward against the resistance of the heel stretches the lower back. This tones up the back and relieves any stress in the lower back. This stretching also energises the cartilages along the complete spine and tones it up.
Ø  The forward action pushes in the viscera and induces peristalsis. This exercise is good for curing constipation. The action of pushing also invigorates all the organs in the stomach such as pancreas, liver, and intestines and normalises their functioning.
Ø  This exercise to a minor extent removes excess adipose tissues and reduces fat.
Some noteworthy points:
Ø  People with cardiac ailments and obesity should avoid this exercise.

Ø  Those with lower back problems should not go to the complete position. Instead, it is advisable that they go forward till there is discomfort in the lower back and stop. Do sethubandasana after this.

Friday, 28 October 2016

ArdhaMatsyandarasana (Half fish twist pose)
Technique: (Should be learned under supervision)
Ø  Sit on the left heel touching the perineum below the genitals, men should carefully lift the scrotum away from harm. Ensuring that the heel is securely anchored on the perineum and not shifting.
Ø  Lift the right leg over the left thigh and plant the sole of the right foot as close as possible to the left hip joint.
Ø  Using the right hand pull the folded knee close to the body and anchor it under the left armpit.
Ø  Twist around and try to catch the right ankle with the right hand. Turn the face in the direction of the twist.
Ø  Breathe shallow. Maintain for 10 counts. Repeat in the other direction in the same manner but changing the directions. Repeat 3 to 6 times in both directions.
Ø  The exercise is excellent for retaining spinal curvature. Continuous exercise will prevent backache and hip ailments. It stabilises the position of the shoulder blades and energises the back muscles. It helps increasing flexibility of the body. This exercise also tones up the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
Ø  The action of twisting the torso rejuvenates all the organs associated with digestion; the stomach, pancreas, liver and intestines. It optimises production of enzymes and absorption of nutrition. It also forces toxins out, thereby cleaning up the digestive system. This exercise is good for indigestion, diabetes, and other stomach ailments.
Some noteworthy points:
Ø  People with any form of spondylitis should do this asana under supervision.
Ø The spine consists of 3 major areas; the cervical region or neck, Thoracic/dorsal or upper back and lumbar/lower back put together by a total of 24 bones, called vertebrae. Discs of cartilage separate these bones absorbing shock and allowing the spine to bend. The spine carries the spinal chord, a critical component of the central nervous system. In order to stay healthy, the spine need to be exercised in the forward, backward, sideways directions and twisted as shown above.

Ø  The extreme twisting of torso also results in the stretching and pushing of the stomach and intestines. So after performing this asana, don’t be surprised if there is a bout of flatulence and burping. This is just the release of air which is trapped in the alimentary canal which is forced out by the asana.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Shirasasana (Head Stand)

Technique: (Should be learned under supervision)
Ø  Spread a thick cloth pad against a wall. Kneeling in front of the pad, bend forward and place hands on the spread to form a “V” at an angle of approximately 60 degrees. The palms should be turned facing the body with fingers interlaced.

Ø  Place the top of the head firmly on the pad in the cradle of the interlaced hands so that the palms support the back of the head.
Ø  Slowly lift the knees and move legs up so that the torso rises till it is vertical with the head. Leveraging with elbows, shoulder and lower back muscles, lift off the ground smoothly.

Ø  As the torso rises, keep knees together. Get into an upside down position.
Ø  Stabilise position and straighten the legs. After sufficient practice one could begin doing this exercise away from a wall. In this case after lifting the legs off the ground, fold them at the knees square to the body for balance.
Ø  The body should be held straight in the final position. Maintain normal breathing. Focus on the movement of breath at the throat.
Ø  Start with 10 secs. initially. Normal cycle is 3 to 20 minutes. Descend in reverse order, slowly.
Ø  This exercise infuses oxygen pregnant blood into the central nervous system. As a result, brain cells are invigorated, waste cleaned and removed. The oxygen stabilises the brain’s metabolic activity. Therefore, this exercise is good for behavioural and psychological development.
Ø  The eyes, eye muscles, retinal nerves are flushed with oxygen impregnated blood. Hence, very good for health of the eye.
Ø  This asana energises the pituitary glands, hypothalamus and thalamus which controls the functioning of testes in men and all the endocrine organs such as the thyroid and adrenaline glands.
Ø  The downward force of blood also helps in infusing blood to the ears, eyes, mucous tissues and salivary glands. The throat breathing balances ear pressure.
Ø  Good for maintaining body fat balance since pituitary also regulates the balance between water and salt in body fluids through the kidneys.
Ø  Also, the downward pressure of the colon contents increases peristalsis and cures constipation. The cartilage gets strengthened because of reverse pressure on the spine.
Some noteworthy points:
Ø  Do not do this exercise if one has high BP, cervical spondylitis, hernia or renal disease etc.
Ø  Do not relax the abdomen. It can cause the walls to collapse and tearing of the inguinal hernia.
Ø  Needless to say, this asana will also benefit the thyroid. Indeed, this asana is indispensible for bringing balance to the endocrine system.