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Sunday, April 3, 2011


Yoga Asanas - It's A Stretch

Excercise? How about a good stretch? Sometimes that will do nicely, instead of running around the neighborhood in shorts and $125 sneakers.

I'm an older guy now so require a little more care and maintenance of the chassis than when I was younger, could drink copious amounts of products from our planets' distilleries and bounce out of bed, running on little more than enthusiasm. Stretching exercises (also known as Yoga Asanas) are now as regular a part of the week as eating and sleeping.

More Than You May Need To Know:
These Asanas, or poses, are only one of a total of eight branches of Raja, or Ashtanga Yoga, including Yamas - (Diminishing unhelpful aspects of our behaviour/character); Niyamas - (Cultivating helpful aspects of our behavior/character); the actual stretching I do, Asanas - (The famous (Hatha) yoga positions/postures); Pranayama - Breath/Prana control; Pratyahara - Sense Control and returning attention inwards, undisturbed (not yet meditation as comes up soon); Dharana - The practice of concentration; Dhyana - The practice of meditation; finally, Samadhi - The result of all yoga practices: Union, superconsciousness

The practice of Yoga Exercises means focusing both your body and your mind, and is intended primarily to restore and maintain a practitioner's well-being and improve the body's flexibility and vitality. A very short time is invested, albeit regularly, and one is left feeling refreshed and limber.

At first, it takes a little willpower and perseverance to accomplish each Yoga Asana (or, Pose) and to practice it daily. I still don't feel like doing it every day and have to place myself there on the floor without thinking or I could easily talk myself out of it, some days. But the prize for your perseverance is really worth all the hard work. Asanas can improve your health, increase your resistance, and develop your mental awareness.

Physically performing the Yoga Poses requires you to execute slowly as you control your body and your mind. Each pose, like the innumerable phases of consciousness, has a distinct name. In other than English, the lyrical list is seemingly endless with serious stretches named "Surya Namaskara," "Chakrasan" or "Padangushtasan"

The Asanas come with instructions such as, "Yoga should not be practiced on bare floor but keep mat or carpet below," or "stomach should be empty while practicing, that is you should consume solid food 3.5 hours before practicing and liquid 1 hour before," and "One should have faith in Yoga and what he is doing (good idea for all you do)".

You will find all sorts of diagrams and information with a little help from yur favorite Search Engine, and you will probably feel refreshed after trying a pose or two, no need to do all of them (I do maybe ten). Don't overdo it. Under do it.

I learned from seeing it being done by a Yoga illiterate every day in my back yard when this wonderful orange and rust feline (more on him in upcoming posts) squeezes his eyes shut and stretches out the entire length of his furry body. What's good for the feral cat on my fence is good for me.

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