Sirsasana (Headstand)

Sirsasana* or the head stand pose is the most important among inverted asanas. In Sanskrit the word ‘sirsha’ means ‘head’ and ‘asana’ means pose. Like all inverted asanas, Sirsasana reverses the pressure of gravity on the organs helping with many health conditions. It also increases the blood flow to the brain, head and neck region. This asana should be learned under the guidance of a qualified instructor. To achieve the balance required to keep the body inverted and vertical, do it under the supervision of an instructor or a partner. Some practitioners try this using the support of a wall or other props. In any case, Sirsasana should be learned slowly prevent injury to neck and shoulders by

Meditation & Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita is the most treasured and famous of India’s spiritual texts. Composed of 700 verses, the Bhagavad Gita was written in the third or fourth century BCE as part of the epic text the Mahabharata. The Gita, as it’s commonly called, is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Sri Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, friend and council. The Bhagavad Gita is a unique scripture in that it is considered both Shruti (divine revelation) and Smriti (ancient stories). The Gita serves as both an ancient story of Krishna leading Arjuna into battle and a spiritual text on the inner struggle for self-mastery and the attainment of happiness through yoga. One of the main reasons the Bhagavad Gita is so c

Living the Ayurveda Lifestyle

Life is full of stress that it has become a way of life. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, stress can lead to anxiety, fatigue, eating disorders, depression, headaches, difficulty concentrating, anger and relationship issues. Stress has serious consequences if it is not addressed. With stress how can one enjoy the work, money, luxuries, and relationships? According to Ayurveda, mind has three states or "gunas". They are "sattva" (knowledge, purity), "rajas" (action, passion) and "tamas" (inertia, ignorance). Mental disorders or imbalances are caused when "sattva" decreases and "rajas" and "tamas" increase. As "sattva" decreases, mental strength,

Meaning of Ahimsa

- a-hiṃsā - अहिंसा Ahimsa means non-harmfulness (harmlessness), to not wish harm to any living creature — not even to lifeless object. Sometimes this can be inevitable, such as when someone accidentally steps on bugs. Ahimsa is about the intent, rather than the action itself. It is an attitude of universal benevolence. The Hindu mystic Patanjali wrote a scripture called the Yoga Sutras, where he outlines yamas (restraints, or what one should not do) and niyamas (observances, or what one should do). Ahimsa is the first of the yamas. Patanjali says that once ahimsa is mastered, even wild animals and ferocious criminals will become tame and harmless in our presence. Traditionally ahimsa is ta

The Origins of The Kama Sutra

As far as original publication date goes, scholars speculate that this book was written as early as 400 BCE to as recent as 200 CE. The one things most modern scholars can agree on is that this book was compiled in pretty much its present form around 200 CE. Overall Philosophy: A life of Virtue A true understanding of this book is within the general hierarchy of Hindu virtues. According to this spiritual tradition, there are 4 key areas of life: Dharma or virtuous living, Artha or the need for material gain and prosperity, Kama or the desire for pleasure, and Moksha-spiritual release from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. The virtuous life should be one’s highest goal followed by mater

Lord Krishna and Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita presents, as its main content, a dialogue between Krishna and the Pandava hero Prince Arjuna on the meaning of life. This dialogue takes place before the great Mahabharata battle on the holy field of Kurukshetra. Krishna explains the nature of the immortal Self - the Atman - and the proper way to reach the Brahman. Krishna maintains that people must shed the burden of karma, or residual blameworthiness, for wrongs committed in their present and former lives. Krishna assures Prince Arujna that the Self, (Atman) cannot kill or be killed, once a human body expires the Self previously contained therein becomes available for reincarnation according to its merits or demerits i

Coping with anxiety and depression

Pandemics can be stressful*, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Yoga and Meditation One way to cope with anxiety and depression during COVID-19 is through practicing yoga. Most people know Yoga to improve flexibility, bal

Shiva

Shiva (or Siva) is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Vishnu, is considered a member of the holy trinity (trimurti) of Hinduism. A complex character, he may represent goodness, benevolence and serve as the Protector but he also has a darker side as the leader of evil spirits, ghosts and vampires and as the master of thieves, villains and beggars. He is also associated with Time, and particularly as the destroyer of all things. Nevertheless, Shiva is also associated with creation. In Hinduism, the universe is thought to regenerate in cycles (every 2,160,000,000 years). Shiva destroys the universe at the end of each cycle which then allows for a ne

Ayurveda Explained

Yoga's sister science of Ayurveda is a system of healing that integrates basic physiology, emotional disposition, and spiritual outlook, then presents all three in the context of the universe itself. Dating back 5,000 years to the ancient Sanskrit texts the Vedas, Ayurvedic theory takes nearly every conceivable stress influence into consideration—from seasonal and planetary changes that affect our well-being to subtle bodily impurities that can precipitate disease. It also sheds light on the thought patterns and physical tendencies that make stress either a constant stumbling block or a nonissue, depending on how well we understand ourselves. Comprehending such an exhaustive system may seem

Chaturanga Dandasana

chaturanga = four limbs · danda = staff · asana = pose Four-Limbed Staff Pose Benefit: A foundational pose that teaches you how to find your center and activate your legs in arm balances Instruction 1. From Plank Pose, align your shoulders slightly ahead of the wrists and come onto the balls of your feet, pressing the soles of your feet back, as if into a wall behind you. 2. Simultaneously push back through the heels to engage the quadriceps and bring the lower body to life, and reach your sternum forward, creating a straight, taut line of energy from the crown of your head through your feet. 3. On an inhalation, draw the heads of the shoulders and the tops of the thighs up and away from t

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