Yoga

Geca does yoga ep9

Woah there! I can’t believe I’m consistently posting here. Good job self. Today I want to talk about healthy lifestyle.

I was so amazed at how yogis having the tendency to become vegetarian or vegan through time with their practice. As somebody who loves food, I can’t grasp the idea of not taking in meat. I have nothing against it, it’s just a personal preference. I am amazed at how they are very strict with their diet and how they can maintain it. 

I fully understood this weeks after I started yoga, with understanding your own body and the hard work you put into it, preserving and being careful with what you eat is not a hard thing to do.

Through understanding your body, you feel what’s good to you and what’s bad for you and you’ll do what it takes to feel better.

Personally, I haven’t craved for soft drinks more than usual (everybody who knows me knows how much I love soft drinks) and starting yoga I do not want to put my hard work to waste and stopped drinking it. At the moment, although I still give in once in a while, I can get a week or so without it and not crave for it. That’s a huge step for me! I’m working my way to healthy living.

Today’s pose:

Warrior pose I (virabhadrasana)


Since this is a relatively “famous” pose I would just be telling my experience regarding this pose.

This is one of the most done poses during my practice and here are some of what I learned from my individual practice and practicing in a class.

  • Feet shouldbe firmly planted on the ground. Both feet, even the one that is not facing front.
  • Pelvis should be at the center and not hinging forward. This for me makes the pose feel right and better although harder
  • Fingers together and activate arm muscles to help in strengthening.
  • Knee should be parallel to the ankle, make sure you can still see the top of your feet.

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)
  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back
  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Continue feeling better, friends.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep8

This isn’t much of my experience since I attended absolute yoga today which mainly follows the same sequence each time. 

Update on the meditation balms:

I asked my teacher about it and she said it helps in meditation. I took a photo of the balm. Luckily this one is available in the Philippines!


Now for today’s pose:

Fish pose/ matsyasana


In this pose you extend your legs outward, flex your toes, raise your chest up and try to reach the crown of your head on the mat.

Benefits:

  • Constipation
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Mild backache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual pain
  • A traditional text that Matsyasana is the “destroyer of all diseases.”
  • Stretches the deep hip flexors (psoas) and the muscles (intercostals) between the ribs
  • Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly and front of the neck
  • Stretches and stimulates the organs of the belly and throat
  • Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck
  • Improves posture

Precautions:

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Serious lower-back or neck injury

Here’s a useful link as always

Continue to feel better friends!!

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep7

On today’s yoga practice, our teacher put balms on our head during the savasana. 

What are yoga balms or meditation balms?

Yoga & Meditation Balm is an ancient blend of ingredients to calm, centre & balance your Inner Badger. Stimulating ginger and vetivert promote balance while grounding cedarwood and sandalwood centre the senses.

From Bath and unwind

Our teacher placed it on my temples and on the middle of my forehead. It felt menthol-y and it had a super mild grape-leaf menthol scent which actually helped me to relax more and focus on my savasana.

For today’s pose of the day, we’ll be talking about savasana

Savasana or corpse pose


Photo from google images

How to do it?

Lie on your mat, and spread out your limbs like a starfish. This can be done with opened eyes or closed eyes. Based on experience, savasana allows you to relax but take full attention to your body as well. This allows you to feel more of your body and pay more attention to it. This helps you cool down from your yoga practice as well.

As from what I read, although this looks pretty easy relaxing and not moving for a few minutes can be really challenging. And I agree, I still move little movements from time to time during the savasana.

Here’s a helpful link from yoga journal

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep6

So today is a monumental day. The day I did my first headstand.


My teacher spotted me but here are some points that were important for me to go up, stay there and properly go down.

  • When going up (for a beginner), make sure you clasp your fingers together, thumbs supporting your head (like giving a thumbs up). 
  • Make sure you can hug your elbows. Another tip: if your kneeling, your elbows should be the width of hugging your knees (I don’t know if that makes sense but it’s like that).
  • With your thumbs supporting your head lift one leg, whatever you prefer and kick the other one right after
  • Engage your core, what they say is “pasok ang tyan” (stomach in).
  • To go down put one leg down followed by the other.


That’s me and teacher odie spotting for me. 

Now for the pose of the day,

CHILD’S POSE

 Step 1

Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

Step 2

Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.

Step 3

Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.

From Yogajournal


Benefits of Childs Pose:

  • Stretches the legs: ankles, thighs, hips, knees
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Calming
  • Releases back tension
  • Releases neck tension

From active.com

Be strong, friends.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep5

I have decided that each episode will feature a pose. Today, we’re going to talk about the crow pose, the one they asked us to practice last session. It looks like this: 


For me, since I’m a beginner, modifications were made for me to prepare for the pose. i was asked to rest my heels on a yoga block with my toes still touching the mat. Palms on the mat, knees outside the elbows and try to lift your feet up alternately at first and when you’re comfortable try to lift both feet.

Try to remove the yoga block once you get more comfortable with balancing on your toes. 

Now let’s start with the topic (which I will most probably copy paste from yoga journal hahaha)

Yin and yang poses:

 The traditional yoga practiced in North America is typically Yang Yoga. It usually targets the muscles with aggressive stretching postures and breathing exercises. Yin Yoga is the counterbalance to the practice of Yang Yoga, and is sometimes referred to as yoga for the joints.

What does that mean? This yoga form begins with relaxed muscles and targets the ligaments and joints that asana styles don’t normally exercise. Sometimes it is also referred to as soft yoga even though it can be more challenging than some yang poses. It involves postures that are held for longer periods of time than yang yoga. Some poses are held for up to 20 minutes. This stretches and strengthens connective tissues that are much deeper than superficial or muscular tissues.
Yin and Yang tissues are affected much differently with each style.

Yang is considered more dynamic, because it stretches and strengthens muscular tissues with an emphasis on internal heating. Yin focuses on the connections in the pelvis, hips, and even the lower spine.

Most yang postures involve standing while most yin postures involve sitting or laying down. Many yoga masters feel the combination of yin and yang poses balance each other out and give the body the full exercise it truly needs. It is even suggested that practicing only the Yang side of yoga is only half of the asana practice.
So generally: yang yoga is for stretching and yin is more strengthing (if I remember this and understood it correctly).

from here

Continue feeling better, friends

Disclaimer: these are how I understand this and please to not quote me on this. Check the links for better information.

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep4

For today’s story, I’d like to talk about things about yoga which they always say/do but is not known to the public.

We all know the downward facing dog (which I described at an earlier episode. You can read it here) and the child’s pose. I also talked about vinyasa which is a series if poses done in succession during the yoga practice. Now let’s talk about these two.

Fold – Uttanasana

What is it?

Uttanasana, Intense Forward-Bending Pose, Intense Stretch Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Standing Forward Fold Pose, or Standing Head to Knees Pose is an asana. (From wikipedia)

And it looks something like this:



(Images from google)

Here’s a link to yogajournal on how to actually do it.

I found a helpful video here.

Apparently I was doing it wrong and I can now maximize my capabilities after this reasearch.

Chaturanga

What is it?

Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff Pose, also known as Low Plank, is a Yoga asana, in which a straight body parallel to the ground is supported by the toes and palms, with elbows at a right angle. (From wikipedia)

And it looks like this:


How to do it? It’s basically a plank. So doing the vinyasa will mean that it’s a push down? (Opposite of push up? Haha) for you to continue the rest of the vinyasa.

But here’s a link to yogajournal that could actually help you.

Bonus

The vinyasa sequence:

Chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog




(Images from google)

This is usually what my teachers ask us to do after sequences of pose to be “relaxed” if you can say that. 

Continue to feel better, friends! 

Yoga

Geca does yoga ep3

2 yoga blogs in one day?! Yes because I had a yoga blog backlog. Hahaha

I went to my 3rd yoga class yesterday after work for my bi-weekly workout (I skipped workout last sunday) and that class was an ashtanga yoga class.

What is ashtanga yoga?

According to the yoga journal

This dynamic, physically demanding practice synchronizes breath and movement to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body. Ashtanga yoga, with its many vinyasas, is great for building core strength and toning the body. Prepare to sweat as you briskly move through a set sequence. Ashtanga Yoga was founded by K. Pattabhi Jois.

I felt that this is lacking a little more detail so I searched some more.

According to ashtanga.com

Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

True to what the article says (and as our teacher said) ashtanga yoga is a series of poses starting from easy ones to more dynamic ones. Options are given and monitoring your own pace is important. Key to ashtanga yoga is breathing so you really have to be mindful of how many breaths you take and the quality of the inhales and exhales.

It was more challenging than my previous vinyasa classes as this type of yoga holds poses for a longer time and it really requires endurance. This felt like I’m working more on my strength especially in the core region.

The highlight for me was my first step towards the inversion practice as they call it.

What is the inversion practice?

Strengthens. Inversions like Shoulderstand, Headstand, Handstand and Forearm Balance strengthen the arms, legs, back and core abdominal muscles.

From ekhartyoga.com

So one of the most popular is the headstand which is what the teacher told me to start with. The key I learned is that the arms are the ones bearing the weight and not the head nor the neck. Stop the inversion once there’s pressure on the neck. Stay low for a few breaths after going down to avoid being dizzy.

I won’t go into details on how you start with it but one thing’s for sure, my arm kinda hurts right now.