Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Partner Yoga Classes at Be Yoga

Did you go and watch Azmi and Ninie's performance at Berjaya Times Square? Both of them were awesome!

If you have the urge to try some of their poses, Be Yoga is having partner yoga classes every Saturday at 4 pm. Partner Yoga at Be Yoga is a fun yoga class practiced with a life-mate, a friend or a newly-found friend at Be Yoga to do the same posture simultaneously, mirroring each other spiced with Thai massage and some basic acrobatic yoga movements.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Partner Yoga Performance by BE Yoga

There will be a Partner Yoga Performance by BE Yoga founders Azmi Samdjaga and Ninie Ahmad at Berjaya Time Square as follows:

DATE: Sunday, 26 July 2009

1st slot: 2.30 - 2.45pm
2nd slot: 5.00 -5.15pm

LOCATION: Entrance (in between Starbucks and Krispy Kreme), Berjaya Times Square

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Pose for the Month – Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)

For the month of July, I have chosen the Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana to be my pose for the month. As I have a tight back, I don’t like doing this pose. During the Ashtanga Led classes, Azmi would ask us to do this pose twice and I would be groaning as I have trouble even going up once. After I lift my hips to push myself off the floor and rest my head on the ground, I am not able to straighten my arms and legs to go to the full wheel pose. When I try to straighten my arms, I would feel pressure on my back and knees and would have to come down. I found out that this is because I am not opening the front thighs and deep hip flexors properly and I may end up crunching my lower back seriously.

This pose is an advanced pose and it is best practiced with the guidance of a teacher.

1.Lie on your back, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet parallel on the mat close to the buttocks.
2.Bend the elbows and bring the palms of your hands underneath your shoulders with the fingertips pointing towards your feet.
3.Inhale and press down into the palms as you lift the hips up off the floor.
4.Bring the crown of your head to the mat. Pause here for a moment as you make sure that the elbows are staying parallel and not splaying out to the sides.
5.Straighten the arms as you lift the head off the floor. Make sure to keep the legs parallel.
6.Reach the chest towards to wall behind you. Begin to straighten the legs.
7.Once you're fully in the pose, try to walk your hands and feet a little closer together.
8.To come down, tuck the chin into the chest and lower down slowly.
9.Rest and hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back. Then roll up to a sitting position and do a Seated Forward Bend as a counter pose.

Some points to note:

1.The knees and feet tend to splay as you lift into this pose, which compresses the lower back. Your toes will also want to turn out which is a vulnerable position for the knees. To keep the feet from turning out, place a yoga block between the thighs down towards the knees. Squeezing the block with the thighs help the legs stay parallel all the way down to the floor.

2. Hip openers like Lunge, Crescent Lunge, and the Warrior poses can help get you open for this huge backbend. Practicing Utkatasana (Chair Pose) can help bring mindfulness to the internal rotation of the thighs necessary to keep the feet parallel.

Benefits of the Wheel Pose

The wheel pose has an overall tonic effect for the entire body.
It tones the spine by stretching it fully.
It strengthens the spine, upper back, arms, shoulders, wrists, buttocks, thighs and abdomen.
It stretches the chest and the lungs.
It stimulates the cardiovascular system, thyroid and pituitary glands.
It gives a boosts of energy, great vitality and feeling of lightness.
It counteracts depression.
By practicing this yoga pose the glandular, digestive, respiratory and nervous systems are enhanced.

The Wheel pose is not recommended for those having any illness, weak wrists, back injury and during pregnancy.

This video demonstrates how to do the Wheel Pose.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clean Face and Feet for Yoga

It has always been a routine for me to wash my face and feet before going into a yoga class even when I am rushing to go into the class. For me having a clean face, free of make-up is important as I do not like my face feeling sticky with sweat and make-up when I am doing the poses. Washing my face also helps me to refresh after a full day at the office before the class.

I remember hearing a story from one of the yoga practitioners about a practitioner coming to class with her face fully made-up with mascara and all. Half-way thru the class, some of the practitioners couldn’t help laughing when they looked at her as she was having panda bear’s eyes. So if you want to wear mascara to class, remember to wear the water-proof type.

Washing my feet before going into the class is equally important for me because the feet really smell as they have been enclosed in shoes all day. You will feel really glad that you have washed your feet when you are doing the Baddha Konasana poses where you need to lower your head to your feet. You will also be doing your fellow yogis and teacher a favour as they will not have smell your dirty feet if you wash your feet before going into the class.

"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame." - B.K.S. Iyengar

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Not To Wear To A Yoga Class

The other day while waiting for our class to start, another practitioner and I were sitting at the sofa outside one of the studios where a class had started. The door of the studio was opened and we were just looking into class when both of us saw something that had us feeling disgusted and uttering OMG!

It was from one of the practitioners who was in the easy sitting pose and her back was facing us as she was sitting directly in front of the door. What we saw was half of her exposed butt as her pants had slide down halfway.

The above incident has prompted me to write this post as I would like to let other practitioners know how they can unconsciously exposed themselves when they wear the wrong type of clothing to a yoga class.

So what are the clothes you should not wear to a yoga class?

1.Don’t wear low hipster pants as they will tend to slide down when you are in some of the poses and thus, exposing your butt.
2.Don’t wear baggy T-shirts. In inversion poses, the shirt will fall over your face, revealing your mid-section or more.
3.Don’t wear loose bra tops if you are heavy on top. Your breasts might just spill out in some of the poses.
4.Don’t wear loose workout shorts (this is especially for the men), for obvious reasons.
5.Don’t wear skin-tight leggings, they tend to ride up or down to awkward locations especially when you are in some of the lying poses. Certain body parts also get highlighted by the stretchy and clinging material.

And, please wear underwear under your outfit, especially if you have on tight-fitting clothes.

Those yoga practitioners who are inadvertently exposing their privates are not only embarrassing themselves, but they are also showing disregard to the yoga instructor and their fellow practitioners.

There are many yoga apparels available for sale in the market. You do not have to buy branded yoga clothing as they can be quite expensive. Just get something that will make you feel comfortable while keeping you decent at the same time. You can read the article Yoga Clothes – What Not To Wear for some tips on choosing the right type of yoga apparel for yourself.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chakrasana in Ashtanga Led

I have been going to Ashtanga Led classes at Beyoga with Azmi and we have been doing most of the poses in the Primary series and some of the poses from the Intermediate series. One of the poses that I am still having difficulty doing is Chakrasana. This pose is a backward roll which is a transition pose from lying on your back to going to Chaturanga Dandasana.

I always get stuck halfway and Azmi has to help me to roll over. I been trying to roll over on my own and because I doing it very slowly, Azmi said that I am using a lot strength from mula bandha to help me to roll over. Instead, I should be using momentum to help me lift off for the rollover. I tend to tense up and sometimes end up rolling to one side instead of straight over. I also noticed that my legs are bend when I am over instead of straight which is not good as I may end up hurting my knees.

How to do the Pose

1. Lie on your back.

2. Hands under shoulders just like in wheel pose.

3. Roll your feet over your head and touch the ground with your flexed toes.

(note: if you can’t touch your feet, you’re not ready for this transition posture)

4. On the 3rd trial roll, rock a little faster, push hard into your hands, and go all the way over.

I have been surfing the net and found this nice video on how to do the Chakrasana.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No response means yes or no?

When I wrote my last post about Stop Blogging, I was wondering if I would be receiving any feedback on whether I should stop posting articles from other websites that I thought would be of interest to readers of my blog. Well, as of this post, I did not receive any response, so I am thinking whether I should continue to do so.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stop Blogging

For the past few weeks, I have been quite busy and does not have much time to write articles for my blog. I have just been posting articles which I found to be interesting to share here (credit is always given to the author and website). I have been wondering, is this what my readers want? Would my readers feel short-changed cos’ I am only taking articles from other website and putting them in my blog? Should I stop blogging?.......

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wake Up Ayurvedically

The morning is the start to our day, and when we get a good start, it's likely that we're going to have a great day! Yet waking up can be a challenge for some. Here are tips for how to wake up the Ayurvedic way:

-Wake up before sunrise. This is Vata time, and because Vata deals with movement, it helps to get your body going. Once the sun comes up, it's Kapha time, time to exercise! If you're already up, this is much easier to do. Start with some breathing exercises, and easy yoga, or begin your morning meditation.

-Drink a glass of warm water with some fresh lemon or lime. The warm water stimulates the GI tract, and the citrus helps to loosen up the ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.

-Splash your face with cool water. This helps to disperse leftover Pitta and prepare the skin for the day ahead. Morning hydration is very important. Rinse your mouth with cool water to get rid of the trapped heat that has dried out the mouth during the night.

-Brush your teeth. Massage your gums. And use a tongue scraper to get rid of built up ama on the tongue. Ayurveda also recommends rinsing your mouth with warm olive or sesame oil - spit it out, don't swallow it. The oil strengthens the teeth, gums and jaw and also helps to protect the voice.

-Massage the circumference of the ears, starting at the top of the ear, with the thumb and index finger. Rub a few drops of olive or sesame oil just inside the nostril to help moisturize and clean the sinuses.

-Exercise the eyes. Roll the eyes up and down, side to side, and also diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise. Squeeze shut, then release. Repeat several times. Splashing open eyes with cool water helps to balance the doshas. If your eyes are puffy, cover them with slices of cucumber.

-Aromatherapy. For Vatas, ginger, cardamom, or orange are most balancing. For Pittas, choose sandalwood or lavender. Kaphas are most balanced by the scent of eucalyptus, rosemary or sage. Massage a little bit of aromatic oil onto the third eye point in a circular motion. Breath slowly and deeply. Lightly massage the temples with the four fingers.

-Eat breakfast. The morning meal is important for getting your metabolism started, so never skip. But don't overindulge, either!

The above is taken from What's Your Dosha newsletter.

Take the quiz and find out what's your dosha? to bring better balance to your life.