Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yoga. Show all posts

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yoga to Cleanse Your Body

Yogi Bhajan said of this set when he taught it:
This set is especially recommended for women as a regular practice. It wards off menstrual problems, breast cancer, and excess emotionality. It is good for men too.

Exercise 1 gives the mind calmness and strength to judge each situation. Exercise 2 cuts down excess waistlines, improves digestion and builds your overall power of recuperation. Exercise 3 strengthens the aura, your power to communicate clearly, and removes the deposits in the shoulder area. Exercises 4-5 are for the lower back and sciatic nerves. They prevent headaches and adjust the thigh area. Exercise 6 is for the magnetic field, heart, and shoulders. Exercises 7 and 8 can correct any imbalance between the diaphragm and the sex organ. They are valuable exercises for rebalancing the navel point.
Each day I seem to be doing Spinal Flex (yoga for your back), and then once a week a more rigorous yoga set. This morning I did Exercises for Body Cleansing and Disease Prevention. It took awhile and was quite invigorating. I recall it as one of my teacher, Sat Dharam's, favourites (at least, she often taught it). Because of the difficulty in my wrist, camel pose was a challenge, as was the final exercise, and I was not able to do them as I once could, but it was still good. This yoga set works with Apana, the eliminating energy. Do it to cleanse your body.






I finished with this crazy little meditation, Meditation for Absolutely Powerful Energy. It is such fun to do! I recall, in the 90s, sometimes sitting in my car (I still had one back then), waiting for school to be finished to pick up my two children, exhausted, as often mothers, and especially single mothers are, and doing this meditation with the windows closed, trying to boost my energy.

Sure it helps, especially if you can laugh at yourself too!





because I should include this when I post yoga sets 

Note: Scans of these yoga kriyas and meditations have been uploaded to an unlisted album in Picasa and cannot be found by public search engines, but only if you have the link (which is available from this blog). I have begun this album so that I can easily access yoga sets and meditations I am working on. Also, all of the yoga sets in this album were given to me when I attended yoga classes and to everyone attending those sessions (or from freely downloadable on-line sources)  - they are not scanned from books, which hold copyright. 

If you find these sets and meditations intriguing and try them and like them, I urge you to find a Kundalini Yoga class in your area to properly learn how to do them, as well as how to tune in, the Bhandas, or body locks, the different types of breath work, and so very much more. 



brendaclews.com

Monday, August 06, 2012

Abdominal Strengthening Yoga

This morning my right knee was a little out, so I decided not to do a yoga set that required sitting in semi-lotus (though semi-lotus is my absolute favourite way to sit, hands down, anywhere, anytime).

A very nice kriya, or yoga set, that works the abdominal muscles. Sleek, simple, effective. It is a fairly rigorous set, though, so unless you are in good shape, do it half time (each exercise exactly half) - 1 minute, instead of two - and make sure to rest a minute between exercises. Also, go at your own pace. It is okay to stop a moment to give those 'unworked' abdominals a rest, and then continue for the remainder of the time.

I find either the timer or the stop watch on my iPhone is a terrific way to time the exercises. That's nowadays - watching the second hand on a clock worked real well when I first began teaching yoga.

Yogi Bhajan's yoga is very structured. It is important to do all of the exercises, and for the time specified (or all for half the time or a third, just be consistent). In all the years I have done Kundalini Yoga, I have never had a 'bad Kundalini' experience, nor have I heard about this happening from any of the other Kundalini Yoga instructors that I know. Yogi Bhajan's kriyas are balanced and will help to energize you without causing the sorts of problems we have all heard about Kundalini rising in those who are unprepared for it.

     
Abdominal Strengthening Yoga




because I should include this when I post yoga sets


Note: Scans of these yoga kriyas and meditations have been uploaded to an unlisted album in Picasa and cannot be found by public search engines, but only if you have the link (which is available from this blog). I have begun this album so that I can easily access yoga sets and meditations I am working on. Also, all of the yoga sets in this album were given to me when I attended yoga classes and to everyone attending those sessions (or from freely downloadable on-line sources)  - they are not scanned from books, which hold copyright. 

If you find these sets and meditations intriguing and try them and like them, I urge you to find a Kundalini Yoga class in your area to properly learn how to do them, as well as how to tune in, the Bhandas, or body locks, the different types of breath work, and so very much more. 


brendaclews.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

Green Energy Yoga

Since earlier this month, when I woke with a sore back, I have done a spinal flex yoga set every single morning without fail. My back is, of course, much better. It has also helped to boost my energy.

Today I felt like moving on to a more rigorous set. But I have a badly injured left wrist. This occurred last November, and it took me a long time to seek medical help. When I did, the news was not good. An untreated broken bone that didn't heal properly and pushed all the other bones out of alignment, two utterly torn tendons, multiple tears in the ligaments, an inflamed major nerve, edema in the bone marrow, and so on. If I go by the dire results of the MRI, what my family doctor says, and then what the specialist rehabilitation doctor said, my poor wrist is irreversibly damaged. My doctor actually recommended I apply for ODSP since the range of work I can now do is severely limited. Next week I have an appointment with a surgeon. I have, as you can imagine, been quite depressed by the spectre of what an injury like this can do.

I mention this not to garner sympathy but to offer some background to the 'warehouse of worry' I often lie awake with and which sometimes sends me spinning into hours of tears and deep anxiety during the day.

Yoga can't fix anything, but it can give an hour or two of respite from the stresses we all and in our own ways deal with in our lives. Perhaps that hour or so can spread out to other parts of a life and help to make it all easier. Let's not make mega claims, though. Yoga is do-able exercise that is quiet, contained and easy, and any type of exercise is good.

Spinal Flex is my favourite set, and I intend to keep doing it a few mornings a week. My second favourite Kundalini Yoga set is the Opportunity and Green Energy Set. It is a fairly advanced set, yes, but the ending of it, with the gratitude and generosity, and the green energy (yes, it so fits with my Green Fire project), wow. Think the energy of Nature, heart, healing. The Opportunity and Green Energy Set exercises your body in unique ways, and opens you to an emotional generosity. It is a prosperity set, and so I paired it with a wild little meditation I found tucked away in my numerous xeroxed binders (a whole shelf load of papers) of kriyas and meditations. It is called, Meditation For Prosperity, Fulfillment and Success.

Because I can't use my left wrist in any supportive way, I had to come up with another way to do the 2nd exercise in the kriya, the 'body drops.' I could have skipped that exercise, or tried it in a one-handed bandito style. But my small milking stool (the one I put a fan on when I do yoga) with a couch cushion on it is exactly the right height for my elbow. The Rehab doctor said carrying groceries in a bag hanging from my left elbow was fine, so, ergo, lifting myself from my elbow is also fine. My wrist rested throughout the exercise. I had a little trouble holding my left toe with my left hand in the 5th exercise, the 'Kundalini Lotus,' but managed by using the two fingers furthest from the injured area in the lightest way I could. I had to be careful during the 10th exercises, 'Cosmic Connections,' and hold my left wrist very lightly in position. I managed carefully to do the whole yoga set, and honestly, my wrist is hurting far more with the slow typing of this entry, which I have to take frequent stops from, than it did during the yoga.

The basic rule with yoga is if it hurts, stop. Never push yourself if it hurts. Listen to your body. Pain is there for a reason, and respect the limits it places on your capabilities. Tomorrow you can always push a tiny bit more and thus begin to increase what you are physically capable of.

Other than making minor adjustments to some of the exercises to ease any potential stress on my wrist, I found the set invigorating, and by the end of the workout, simply delightful - truly uplifting and joyful.

And the best? Having done this set 12 hours ago, I'm still feeling the wonderful vibes.




Opportunity and Green Energy Set



Meditation For Prosperity, Fulfillment and Success



Because I think I should always add this when I post yoga sets.

Note: Scans of these yoga kriyas and meditations have been uploaded to an unlisted album in Picasa and cannot be found by public search engines, but only if you have the link (which is available from this blog). I have begun this album so that I can easily access yoga sets and meditations I am working on.

If you find these sets and meditations intriguing and try them and like them, I urge you to find a Kundalini yoga class in your area to properly learn how to do them, as well as how to tune in, the Bhandas, or body locks, the different types of breath work, and so very much more. 


brendaclews.com

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Yoga of Fasting

In the 1990s, I used to fast one day a week, as recommended in the yoga I do (and used to teach), and, while it was hard the first couple of weeks, once it became a habit, it seemed to increase my overall energy, not just physically but emotionally.

Once a year or so I also used to go to my cottage alone and fast for 3 days, water only, no food. The days following the 3 day fast were, I recall, radiant.

When I fasted, it had nothing to do with my weight - I did not want to lose weight, it was more of a spiritual quest.

Fasting on a regular basis for a short while, a day, a 24 hour period, seems, from the article copied in below, a very healthy thing to do.

I wonder if I can manage to fast one day a week again?

Not going to try immediately, but I will mull it over and give it a go in a few weeks. If you're going to do this, and have never fasted deliberately, teach your body to fast slowly. Choose one day a week to fast. Begin with a morning only, then eat normally for the rest of the day. The next week go from waking to dinner without any food - do drink lots of fluids of course. Following that, the next week try to fast from waking to bedtime, and if you can't sleep because you're hungry, have a snack. By the fourth week, you should be able to make it through a day of abstinence from food to a great breakfast the next day.

Fasting can help protect against brain diseases, scientists say
Claim that giving up almost all food for one or two days a week can counteract impact of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Fasting can help protect against brain diseases, scientists say
A vertical slice through the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's, left, compared with a normal brain, right. Photograph: Alfred Pasieka/Science Photo Library
Fasting for regular periods could help protect the brain against degenerative illnesses, according to US scientists.

Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore said they had found evidence which shows that periods of stopping virtually all food intake for one or two days a week could protect the brain against some of the worst effects of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other ailments.

"Reducing your calorie intake could help your brain, but doing so by cutting your intake of food is not likely to be the best method of triggering this protection. It is likely to be better to go on intermittent bouts of fasting, in which you eat hardly anything at all, and then have periods when you eat as much as you want," said Professor Mark Mattson, head of the institute's laboratory of neurosciences.

"In other words, timing appears to be a crucial element to this process," Mattson told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.

Cutting daily food intake to around 500 calories – which amounts to little more than a few vegetables and some tea – for two days out of seven had clear beneficial effects in their studies, claimed Mattson, who is also professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Scientists have known for some time that a low-calorie diet is a recipe for longer life. Rats and mice reared on restricted amounts of food increase their lifespan by up to 40%. A similar effect has been noted in humans. But Mattson and his team have taken this notion further. They argue that starving yourself occasionally can stave off not just ill-health and early death but delay the onset of conditions affecting the brain, including strokes. "Our animal experiments clearly suggest this," said Mattson.

He and his colleagues have also worked out a specific mechanism by which the growth of neurones in the brain could be affected by reduced energy intakes. Amounts of two cellular messaging chemicals are boosted when calorie intake is sharply reduced, said Mattson. These chemical messengers play an important role in boosting the growth of neurones in the brain, a process that would counteract the impact of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

"The cells of the brain are put under mild stress that is analogous to the effects of exercise on muscle cells," said Mattson. "The overall effect is beneficial."

The link between reductions in energy intake and the boosting of cell growth in the brain might seem an unlikely one, but Mattson insisted that there were sound evolutionary reasons for believing it to be the case. "When resources became scarce, our ancestors would have had to scrounge for food," said Mattson. "Those whose brains responded best – who remembered where promising sources could be found or recalled how to avoid predators — would have been the ones who got the food. Thus a mechanism linking periods of starvation to neural growth would have evolved."

This model has been worked out using studies of fasting on humans and the resulting impact on their general health – even sufferers from asthma have shown benefits, said Mattson – and from experiments on the impact on the brains of animals affected by the rodent equivalent of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Now Mattson's team is preparing to study the impact of fasting on the brain by using MRI scans and other techniques.

If this final link can be established, Mattson said that a person could optimise his or her brain function by subjecting themselves to bouts of "intermittent energy restriction". In other words, they could cut their food intake to a bare minimum for two days a week, while indulging for the other five. "We have found that from a psychological point of view that works quite well. You can put up with having hardly any food for a day if you know that for the next five you can eat what you want."



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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Wall at Moving Poems

Thank you, Dave Bonta, for featuring The Wall at Moving Poems on September 7th!

Yes, I embedded his webpage in my blog post. And, not only is the videopoem playable here, but I just left a thank you note for him via this embedded page and it appeared over there simultaneously. Personally, I think it's very cool.

(If you have an email subscription or are on an RSS feed like Google Reader or whatever, you'll have to click in to the post to see this beauty.)


Moving Poems




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