Important Sanskrit definitions
- ha = sun
- tha = moon
- yoga = unity,
- asanas = postures
Postures SeriesIn this series, we focus on Hatha Yoga (and other forms of Yoga practices)—which should all combine muscle movement with breath and intention to obtain ultimate results. I say should, because there are many Yoga teachers who either ignore the importance of breath or have never learned it from their teachers. Without knowing how to breathe into and out of postures, a Yoga student is not receiving all of the benefits that could be derived from their practice. And what is the purpose of taking the time out to do Yoga if one is not receiving all the benefits that are available, for free. For this reason, I include the breath with each movement to help you achieve the results that you want. The following are included in this series:
- Postures To Open Chakras—A collection of postures for Chakras 1 through 7. The last page of each Chakra series on this site lists postures to open a specific Chakra (link above left, Chakras). This link lists all them together and also provides links to each posture series (Cobra, Bow, Fish, Locust, and many more).
- Postures from The Hatha Yoga Pradipika—These are some of the more important postures excerpted from the classic book on Hatha Yoga by Yogi Maharishi Svaatmar Rama, who lived in the 17th century. Anyone who is a serious student of Yoga should read this book. To make it easier for beginners, I have also edited and rewritten the other chapters from this book that I find appropriate for today's lifestyle without changing any of the specific instructions. The language can be hard to sift through without this editing. All of that is included in the What is Yoga? series of this site. Obviously, many of these postures are in theChakra series.
- Nakrakriyas: Crocodile Variations—These are often referred to on this site, because they are easy to do and a powerful way to heal back problems and to lose weight in the middle. There are so many other benefits. Stiff backs can be corrected through doing crocodile exercises with breath. The spine becomes flexible with the simple twisting of the spine and head in the opposite direction. Even people with herniated discs and sciatica can be helped with these exercises. There are at least 200 variations of this movement. This series covers many of them and there is a mini-poster for variations, which you can print and enlarge.
- Other Favorite Postures—Some of the postures from my DVD (available in the Products page, and in the ad on every page of this site, upper left), which I believe are very important to incorporate into one's practice are included in this section. I have also chosen some others that aren't usually taught in a Yoga class that are quite remarkable.
- Nauli-Kriya—Nauli is one of the most important methods to keep the inner organs healthy. It also gets rid of fat around the waist—like butter melting, miraculously it seems. It is not a posture, but is an extremely important Yoga practice. My teacher, Eugenia, shows how to do this step by step with great images. It's easy to feel intimidated when one sees what she can do with her stomach muscles, but practice makes perfect. Even you can learn how to do this in time!
Why Muscles Are So ImportantIt has been scientifically proven that routine stretching changes muscles and their capacity. All one has to do is watch athletes and musicians to see how they build up the muscles that they use repetitively. It is this repetition that develops more blood vessels and results in enhanced performance and increased cellular defense. When you use your muscles with intention, it is quite different than when you use them for manual labor and don't focus on the muscles. In all professions, muscles are very important. A violinist cannot continue to practice without building up muscles in the arms. It has also been documented that when actors use muscles to portray emotions—sad, angry, violent, or funny—their organs and everything inside of them also respond as if they really are whatever emotion they are trying to portray with their facial and other muscles of the body. This is because the body cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not real! Blood pressure, pulse, digestion—everything the body does to survive—is hampered by ongoing negative facial muscles. So, telling someone to smile is actually very smart advice. When the actors played a funny role and laughed a lot, they felt healthier and happier - even when they were no longer in character. Laughter is one of the greatest healers on the planet. What's the scoop on muscles? What do they do? The next page provides details. Muscles are truly amazing!