Headstand Tip

A simple yet very enlightening tip from the master. No, not me, B.K.S Iyengar. He says to observe your Tadasana (mountain pose). "Any defects in your Tadasana (mountain pose) will show in your Sirsasana (headstand)". Next time you are in Tadasana, close your eyes and observe your body. Observe your balance. Is your right leg resting more than the left? Is your right shoulder higher than the left? Observe and then correct your alignment. As I wrote in my previous blog, use buddhi (your intelligence) to correct your posture and create an even and balanced standing position. Then take this feeling into your headstand. B.K.S Iyengar reminds us that a headstand without thought and intelligence is

Durga and the Demon Mahisha (updated)

Mysore (officially renamed as ‘Mysuru’) is the third most populous and third largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is a popular destination for Ashtanga Yoga practitioners who flock to attend the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute where he taught until his death in 2009. Students now study under the guidance of his grandson, R Sharath Jois and his daughter R Saraswati Jois. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha refers to Mahisha-asura, a mythological demon who according to Hindu mythology was killed by the Goddess Durga. The Story The demon king Mahisha would make preparations for war to expand his kingdom. Emp

The Story Behind Aṣṭāvakra (updated)

Many times you would have seen this pose Aṣṭāvakra-asana; on social media, in publications and perhaps even tried this posture in a class. You may have been told that this pose is dedicated to the Hindu sage Aṣṭāvakra which means "one having eight bends". Aṣṭāvakra was not the sage's real name but the name he was given. So what is the story behind this pose? In order to follow and understand Hindu mythology and its narratives, art and rituals, you must firstly suspend your belief. The first impression of many is that Hindu mythology is often confusing and contradictory. The reality is that there are so many hidden meanings to all the ancient stories involving the various gods, that it would

Yoga Can 'Reverse' DNA Reactions Which Cause Stress

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don't simply relax us; they can 'reverse' the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by the universities of Coventry and Radboud. The research tells us what the yogis have been saying for thousands of years. Until now it was considered eastern nonsense. “Millions of people around the world already enjoy the health benefits of mind-body interventions like yoga or meditation, but what they perhaps don’t realise is that these benefits begin at a molecular level and can change the way our genetic code goes about its business,” said lead researcher Ivana Buric. The main remedy f

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