Yoga Positions

For all of the following Asanas you may be only able to execute two, three or four but this is not of great importance. Yoga is not a system of mere body culture, and since you are not in competition with yourself, you need not be disturbed or discouraged at any point simply because you cannot do at once what you are trying to do while practising. Of course, with patience you may be able to improve steadily and limber up as time goes on, and be the better for it, but this after all is not your main purpose. Always keep in mind that what really counts in the daily routine you establish for yourself is the fusing of mental, spiritual and physical experience. You want to learn to live at full capacity and not to drive yourself beyond that capacity.

That is not to say that if the description of a certain asanas sounds exactly like what the doctor ordered, but seems at first all but infeasible, you should try to incorporate it into your schedule even though it requires effort. Work at it by all means, but approach your task with plenty of patience and perseverance. It does not matter if at first if you cannot do it properly, for like any other routine it will become easier and easier with repetition. Stiff muscles and joints will gradually limber up. Only be sure not to dissipate your energies, it is better to practice a single asanas morning and night for a while, perfecting it before you go on to another one, than to go through a dozen exercises sloppily and without due thought.

Almost all europeans, except athletes and the very young or very limber, find their joints protesting painfully when they begin Yoga practice. In addition, sitting for even a few minutes in a fixed position will make your limbs ache. This is only natural, and when this happens, simply stretch briefly, gently massage the aching spot, then resume the position. At the end of the week you find the whole procedure a good deal easier.

All asanas should be done in conjunction with deep rhythmic breathing and with complete concentration. Remember to rest briefly after each asanas. It is always best to plan to alternate the more invigorating ones with the completely restful. You must try to concentrate deeply on what you are doing, only in this manner will your mind be exerting to the maximum influence on every single muscle and tendon, every nerve and blood cell, while at the same time your rhythmic breathing will be filling your body with quality oxygen, so essential to health, healing and long life.

The first step towards re-orienting and improving the functioning of your mind and body is learning to utilise and I mean really utilise the air you breath. Yogis were the first to discover the importance of this and so actually devised and exact science of breathing. They called it Pranayama, from the Sanskrit word prana , meaning breath and yama, its cessation. They also explored pranayama from every point of view, the practical and physiological and also the mystical, for them breathing was much more than just one of the necessary body processes.

Let us consider the purely physical side of breathing, air is nourishment to our bodies just as food and drink. Air gives our blood stream the supply of oxygen it must have in order to feed itself so that it may, in turn feed the tissues, nerves, glands and vital organs. Without it our skin, bones, teeth and hair could not remain in condition. Our digestion fails at once without a proper supply of oxygen to the blood. Even our thinking processes are slowed down without intake and exhalation of fresh air, which is the reason mental sluggishness overtakes us in an ill-ventilated room. To function properly the brain needs three times more oxygen than the rest of our organs and unless this is provided it will try to appropriate its supply by drawing on the overall allotment.

In a single day we breathe about 23,000 times and if you average the volume of air is about 20 cubic inches so you can see the importance of breathing correctly. So to breath properly the mouth must be closed so that the air is inhaled through the nasal passages, the oxygen travels down the pharynx (rear of the throat roughly in the region of the adams apple) and the trachea or windpipe until it reaches the bronchial tubes. By then most of the dust and bacteria have been filtered out by the mucous membranes , or the moist lining of the nose. Mucous, by the way, in addition to acting as a filter substance, has also germicidal properties, another reason why it is so important to cultivate the habit of breathing through the nose, never through the mouth. A third reason is that the air has travelled further and has had time to warm up to body temperature which means extra insurance against catching colds.

Always take a few minutes before you start practising your asanas with a period of deep relaxation followed by some deep breathing exercising. Just relax and breath in gently as above counting 1, 2, 3 up to 10 hold for 5 seconds and then exhale while counting back down to 1. You may find that you become a little light headed but this is quite normal and by doing this little exercise 6 times will stand you in good stead and you will feel the benefit immediately. When you rise first thing in the morning after you have nipped to the loo and refreshed yourself this is an ideal time particularly in front of an open window as long as its not blowing a gale or particularly cold.

You are now ready to start your first asanas, we will go through with them together and start you off on the right foot so good luck, Your on the road to Feeling Good on the inside and Looking Great on the outside.

Basic Asanas Postures and excercise

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