Alignment and Balance

Excerpted from Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings, A.G. Mohan Alignment and Balance One day early in the development of my asana practice, I was practising headstand in class. Krishnamacharya insisted on long, slow breathing while I held the headstand for, say, twenty-four breaths. As I was concentrating on my breathing, he said, “Your right leg is moving to one side. Be aware.” He continued, “You are running about, doing various activities and riding a scooter. It seems you need to do more ardha-salabhasana [a modification of the prone backward bend known as the locust—lying facedown on the ground and raising the trunk, one leg, and one arm off the floor on inhalation].” He mentioned

Patanjali - Author of the Yoga Sutras

Excerpted from 'Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali', B. K. S. Iyengar First I would like to tell you something about Patañjali, who he was and what was his lineage. Historically, Patañjali may have lived some time between 500 and 200 B.C., but much of what we know of the master of yoga is drawn from legends. He is referred to as a svayambhu , an evolved soul incarnated of his own will to help humanity. He assumed human form, experienced our sorrows and joys, and learned to transcend them. In the Yoga Sutras he described the ways of overcoming the afflictions of the body and the fluctuations of the mind: the obstacles to spiritual development. Patañjali’s words are direct, original and tra

The Best way to Recover Between Poses

If you have just finished a challenging pose, take headstand for example, adopting childs pose straight after may not be the wisest thing for your body and for recovery. Just because this is the norm in yoga circles and yoga websites, doesn't mean it should be a standard practice. When we view recovery from an exercise point of view, childs pose is not the best option. After headstand, if you wish to fully recover, you need oxygen. Oxygen works to alleviate peripheral fatigue because oxygen can help your cells remove acid. Simply put, steady breathing begins to replenish the oxygen in your body, which helps to refill the myoglobin oxygen stores in your muscles. Making you ready for the next

The Importance of Balance

The Importance of Balance Whether in a yoga class, on a stability ball or walking to work, maintaining balance is the key to functional movements (functional movements are movements based on real-world situations). Balance is the foundation of all movements, regardless of whether strength, speed, flexibility or endurance dominates the movement. Maintenance of postural equilibrium (or balance) is essential for your bodies ability to generate force. This force is required not just for athletic performance, but also for everyday 'functional' jobs such as walking up an down the stairs, running after the kids, or jumping into a handstand on a monday night at 8pm 😆 Poor balance can create a patt


Equilibrium noun a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. Excerpted from B.K.S Iyengar - 'Yoga, The Path to Holistic Health' Aligning the Self Many yoga practitioners are flexible and practise asanas in a habitual manner, without involvement or reflection. Mr Iyengar teaches his students to understand that asanas are not just about the movement of the physical body; there has to be a microscopic awareness and inner penetration, so that the asana becomes an asana in the real sense. He realised that there is an instrument of awareness in everybody. The average yoga student is aware of his or her body with respect to the asana’s technique and outline. However, most do not un

The Sāmkhya Philosophy

There are six major philosophical views in India. Think of it as an object, which can be viewed in six different ways. The ancient Indians believed 'Knowledge' and 'Life' can be seen in six different perspectives. One of these, the Sāṃkhya Philosophy, translates as “Theory of Numbers or Enumeration” and speaks of the subtle principle of energies that govern the universe and all the living entities. Sāṃkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities; puruṣa (spirit, consciousness) and prakṛti (the material world, nature, matter, physical and psychological character). One way to look at the concept of puruṣa and prakṛtii is to view this as Shiva (puruṣa) and Shakti (prakṛti

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