Codependent Relationships

“Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and identity.” – Wikipedia

Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive

“The state of being completely carried away by unreasoning passion or love; addictive love. Infatuation usually occurs at the beginning of a relationship. It is characterized by urgency, intensity, sexual desire, and or anxiety, in which there is an extreme absorption in another”

The problem is, when we commit too fast, we don’t give the potential union enough time to develop the trust it will need to survive the meatballs people bring into relationships.

**It is a very common thing to get into relationships to avoid or forget problems. Victims of bad parenting or a history of abuse are often seen getting into such relationships as a means of escape. Many people often jump from relationship to relationship by embarking on a “rebound” before they give themselves time to heal from the hurt, pain, or loneliness from their previous relationship. Such bonds may bring passion, purpose and excitement in the short term, but fail to survive, as they are not based on love.

Al the wrong Reasons:

Post break-up blues:

Sometimes the sadness and depression which accompany virtually every relationship breakdown don’t kick in until six to nine months later and this difficult time can be made even more painful and complex if you¿re already in another relationship.

‘The emotional effects of a break-up nearly always catch up with you at some point and can have a serious effect on how you behave towards your new partner,’ says Julia. ‘He may well find your sudden unhappiness bewildering and inexplicable – after all, he thought you were contented with him – and this can place a lot of pressure on both of you.’
Pain relief:

Splitting up is painful and distressing and falling in love with someone new initially takes away the hurt,’ says relationships expert Julia Cole. ‘When you’ve had this sort of knock, it’s natural and understandable to be with someone who makes you feel better but ultimately the healing process takes longer

Boredom:

This is probably the most dangerous reason why you would want to be in a relationship. There are so many things to do in life to make it more interesting and if you decide to choose a relationship in order to pass the time you will not end up with a life full of happiness. Relationships are about the giving of yourself and the other person giving to you. It is not a hobby to relieve boredom.  Don’t go find a boyfriend just so you have someone to take road trips with and eat lunch with at the park.  Maybe you should consider meeting new friends, or getting a dog to fill your time, not a man.

Scared to be Alone:

Invariably this leads to choosing the wrong person. The majority of those who get into a relationship for the wrong reasons fall into this category. Many people tend to feel worthless or lacking something when they are single or lonely, but jumping into a relationship to “solve” this will only turn into a huge regret later.

Divorce:

For both men and women, ending a marriage can leave you an emotional mess. It is common to cycle through a range of feelings including anger, depression, anxiety, confusion and loneliness.

Divorce can be a shock to the system to go from having a spouse — even one who hasn’t really been there for you — to truly being alone. This emotionally fragile state can make for an extremely difficult adjustment, which leads many recent divorcees to (unhealthily) jump right into another relationship, commonly referred to as a rebound.

Influenced by Others:

The approval of family and friends is reflected in the way we take their advice. In order not to look like the odd one out, we may listen to their suggestions and date someone that we had no intention of dating.  Long lasting and happy relationships start with a solid foundation. The foundation should be the reason that you have decided to embark on a relationship in the first place. A solid foundation will keep you grounded when the storms break out around your relationship. If your foundation is weak, then what you invested in may fall apart. Many times men and women get into relationships because of friends. Many people tend to think ‘Everyone else have someone, why not me?’

Wants a Challenge:

Many times people try to win over others because they are unavailable and are intrigued by a challenge. Winning over a man could be considered a triumph to you and a prize you wont stop fighting for until you get it.  Unfortunately the reason that person might not have been available from the start is because they either are already in a relationship, or they just aren’t into you.  Not to say that a little bit of a challenge isn’t fun and exciting, but be sure you are fighting for an available and good guy.  You’d hate to end up with the “bad, hard to get guy” just to find out he’s just that, a bad guy!

Rebounds seem like a good idea at first:

It’s a fairly common attitude that if you want to get over someone who left you feeling hurt, you go out and find someone new to replace them. This is a simple form of distraction that numbs you from feeling the pain of losing a committed relationship, and it really makes a lot of sense — who wants to feel the full force of heartbreak?

You Have To Learn To Be Happy Being Alone

Co-Dependency:

Speaking of not depending on other people – you really need to learn to be happy being on your own. If you can’t be happy single, then you can’t be happy in a relationship. This means spending some time being totally single. You’ll learn more about yourself and what you want. And that’s important! Practicing Solitude brings so much peace and meaning to life.

 

Advertisements

30 Yoga postures to cure back pain

Do not back off your back pain and never to take it lightly as there are chances of the spine becoming vulnerable to serious disorders like a slipped disc, hernia or in rare cases, paralysis of limbs.

Research says that yoga for back might be a more effective treatment for lower back pain than traditional methods.

The spine, or backbone, is made up of a column of 33 bones and tissue extending from the skull to the pelvis. These bones, or vertebrae, enclose and protect a cylinder of nerve tissues known as the spinal cord. Between each one of the vertebra is an intervertebral disk, or band of cartilage serving as a shock absorber between the vertebrae.

Back pain is a common complaint among people of all ages.

Causes:

  1. Poor or bad posture (especially, a forward slouch)
  2. Wrong sleeping positions
  3. Stress and restless lifestyles play an important role in giving you backache.
  4. The lack of flexibility of the back which contributes to the lower back ailments increases as the body ages.
  5. Accidents & Injuries.
  6. Smoking.
  7. Lack of exercise: Weak, unused muscles in your back might lead to back pain.
  8. Improper lifting: Using your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.
  9. Psychological conditions. People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain.

How to relieve back pain through yoga:

I always like to include many variations to my Yoga students. It not only fun but to keep it exhilarating. You can comfortably and mindfully practice these 30 yoga exercise for back pain relief on the yoga mat. *(You don’t have do all these Asanas in the same session)

  1. Tadasana (Palm tree pose)Tadasana-
  2. Utthita Trikonasana or Extended Triangle PoseUtthita Trikonasana
  3. Parivrtta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose)parivrtta-trikonasana-yoga-pose-jack-cuneo
  4. Marjariasana (Cat pose)Cat-Stretch-Pose-Marjariasana-22
  5. Bitilasana (Cow Pose)Cat-Stretch-Pose-Marjariasana2.jpg
  6. Ardha-Chandrasana or Anjaneyasana or Low LungeAnjaneyasana the-low-lunge-pose-225x300
  7. Ardh mukha savanasana  or downward facing dogArdh mukha savanasana  or downward facing dog.jpg
  8. Yoga Mudra yoga-mudra
  9. Ardh matsyendrasana or Half Fish God poseardha-matysendrasana-bent-arm
  10. Ushtrasana or Camel PoseUstrasana.jpg
  11. PashchimottanasanaPashchimottanasana.jpg
  12. Purvottanasana or upward plank posePurvottanasana or upward plank pose
  13. Halasana or plough posehalasana.jpg
  14. Pavanmuktasana (wind releasing pose)

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  15. Supth Vakrasana (spinal twist)Supth Vakrasana (spinal twist)
  16. YastikasanaYastikasana
  17. Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose)Setu Bandhasana (bridge pose).jpg
  18. Bujanhgasana (cobra pose)bhu
  19. Shalabasana (locust pose)locust2.jpg
  20. Shashankasanaa (rabbit pose)rabbit_pose.jpg
  21. Supth padangushtasanaSupth padangushtasana
  22. Ear to Shoulder PoseEar to Shoulder Pose.jpg
  23. Viparita Karani (Legs Against the Wall Pose)Viparita Karani (Legs Against the Wall Pose).jpg
  24. SphinxSphinx
  25. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)Fish Pose (Matsyasana).jpg
  26. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana).jpg
  27. Cow Face ArmsCowFaceArms350
  28. Standing Forward Fold With Shoulder OpenerStanding Forward Fold With Shoulder Opener
  29. Two-Knee TwistTwo-Knee Twist
  30. Savasana (Corpse Pose)Yoga-Poses-Savasana-Corpse-pose

Daily Prevention Tips:
In addition to these Thirty  poses, try to be more mindful and aware of your daily posture.

Take the time to sit, stand, and walk, with intentionally correct posture and your body will thank you.

Move your neck through its full range of motion every day. The muscles, bones, and connective tissue in our necks want to move and remain flexible as we age. The simple act of moving our neck forward and back, side to side, and in circles gives this important part of our body the attention and love it needs.

 

Kitchen of a Yogi

“To eat is necessity but to eat INTELLIGENTLY is an art”

“And he knew that food was Brahman. From food all beings are born. By food they live and into food they return”. – Upanishad 3.2

Manu, Jesus and Buddha exhorted the people to refrain from using liquors, intoxicants and drugs as these are deleterious in their effects. No spiritual progress is possible without abandoning them.

Pythagoras seems to bewail when he says: “Beware, O mortals, of defiling your bodies with sinful food. There are cereals, there are fruits bending their branches down by their weight, and luxurious grapes on the vines. There are sweet vegetables and herbs which the fire can render palatable and mellow. Nor are you denied milk, nor honey, fragrance of the aroma of the thyme flower. The bountiful earth offers you an abundance of pure food and provides for meals obtainable without slaughter and bloodshed.”

Yoga diet principles play an important part in getting full benefits from your yoga practice. Why do sportsmen and pregnant women need special food? Our body requires food for getting energy and this energy sustains life. Food is what builds up our body, we are what we eat. Type of food and its quality affects your physical as well as mental health.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Diet is of three kinds :

Sattvic diet,

Rajasic diet

Tamasic diet.

Live a natural simple life. Take simple food that is wholly agreeable to your system. You should have your own menu to suit your constitution. You are yourself the best judge to select a Sattvic diet. In the matter of food and drink you will do well to eat and drink as a master. You should not have the least craving for any particular diet. You should not become a slave to this food or that food. Simple, natural, non-stimulating, tissue-building, energy-producing, non-alcoholic food and drink will keep the mind calm and pure and will help the student of Yoga in his practices and in the attainment of the goal of life.

Vegetarian diet has been acclaimed to be most conducive to spiritual and psychic advancement. It has been found that meat augments animal passion and decreases intellectual capacity. While it is true that meat-eating countries are physically active and strong, the same cannot be said of their spiritual attainments. Meat is not at all necessary for the keeping up of perfect health, rigour and vitality. On the contrary, it is highly deleterious to health. It brings in its train a host of ailments such as tape-worm, albuminuria and other diseases of the kidneys. Killing of animals for food is a great sin. Instead of killing the egoism and the idea of “mine-ness,” ignorant people kill innocent animals under pretext of sacrifice to goddess, but in reality it is meant to please their own tongue or palate. What inhuman horrible crimes are being committed in the name of God and Religion! Ahimsa (non-injuring) is the first virtue that a spiritual aspirant should try to possess. You should have reverence for life. Lord Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Mahavira shouted in a trumpet-like voice: “Regard every living being as thyself and harm no one.” The Law of Karma is inexorable, unrelenting, immutable. The pain you inflict upon another will surely rebound upon you and the happiness you radiate will come back to you adding to your happiness. He who knows this Law will not hurt anybody.

TABLE SHOWING SATTVIC, RAJASIC AND TAMASIC ARTICLES OF DIET

SATTVIC RAJASIC  TAMASIC 
Cow’s milk, Cream, Cheese,Butter, Curd, Ghee, Sweet fruits, Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Papaya, Pomegranates, Mangoes, Oranges, Pears, Pineapples, Guavas, Figs, Vegetables, Coconut, Brinjals, Potatoes, Cabbages, Spinach, Tomatoes. Cucumber, Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Lady’s finger, Peaches, Almonds, Pistachios, Raisins, Wheat, Red rice, Unpolished rice, Barley, Oat-meal, Dried peas, Dates, Sugar-candy, Green gram, Bengal gram, Green pulse, Groundnut, Cereals, Dried ginger, Myrobalan, Lemon, Honey, Charu. Fish, Eggs, Meat, Salt, Chillies, Chutney, Asafoetida, Pickles, Tamarind, Mustard, Sour things, Hot things, Tea, Coffee, Cocoa, Ovaltine, White sugar, Carrots, Turnips, Spices. Beef, Pork, Wine,    Onions,Garlic, Tobacco, Rotten things, Stale things, Unclean things, Twice cooked things, All intoxicants, All liquors, All drugs.

Fast Foods

Modern fast food items like hamburgers, pizzas, jams, jellies, soft drinks, ice creams etc. have gained control over our eating patterns and are the main cause of obesity we see all around. These fast foods are rich source of sugar, oils and preservatives all of which are not good for our health. People attracted by various types of fast food which are very low in nutrition. In addition, these foods tax our digestive system and body has to do extra work for digestion and elimination of such food. Everyday we are faced with the choice of selecting our food and we must prefer nutritious food rather than going for the taste.

Look Towards Nature

Yoga diet philosophy emphasises on the natural sources of nutrition. Nature has provided us several nutritious edible foods in their natural form like whole grains, seasonal fruits, vegetables, milk, honey and dry fruits.

Over Eating

More people fall sick due to overeating or wrong dietary habits as compared to people who get sick due to non availability of food. Observe moderation in quantity of food we eat. People who keep on over eating without proper understanding of the principles of eating are bound to harm themselves physically and mentally. One golden rule to avoid overeating is, not to have any type of snacks between your meals.

Balanced Diet

Balanced diet is essential requirement of good health. A balanced diet should include plenty of salads, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, milk and raw nuts. Include these items in your existing dietary choices.

Salads

All vegetables eaten raw constitute salad. Fresh cucumber, tomato, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower etc are used for preparing salad. Salad should be cut into small pieces with suitable dressing of you choice. Ideally salad should form first course of your lunch and dinner. Eat plenty of salad half an hour prior to your meals in case you want to reduce your food intake.

Quantity Of Food

As a general rule, fill only 50% of your stomach with food, 25% of your stomach for water and keep 25% of your stomach empty. If your stomach is overstuffed, it is not properly digested. You will feel uncomfortable and your body is forced to digest extra food and also work for eliminating it. By overeating, your abdominal system is strained and body becomes sluggish. Finally, it leads to gaining of extra weight. Eat only when you feel hungry and eliminate any snacks in between the meals.

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks are nutrient thieves; they steal and destroy nutrients available in your system. Alcoholic drinks weaken the individual physically and mentally, if used without restraint. For yoga practitioners, it is best to avoid alcoholic drinks.

Spices

Avoid excessive use of spices and salt. Too much of seasoning of food is also not recommended.

Water

Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water everyday. Drink water half an hour before meals. Avoid drinking water with food. Drinking of one or two glasses of water when you wake up is ideal for health.

Coffee and Tea

It is ideal if you can avoid tea and coffee completely. Otherwise limit your tea or coffee intake to 2 cups per day. Excess of tea and coffee leads to constipation, insomnia and nervousness in addition to extra calories each cup of tea or coffee pumps into our bodies.

Method of Eating

Eat slowly and chew your food properly. Eating fast does not allow the time for satiating signals to reach your brain from your abdomen resulting in overeating. By chewing the food properly, saliva can better mix with food and make it easily digestible. Body is able to make full use of food you eat and helps you to maintain better health. Principles of yoga diet are time tested and very easy to follow. To lead a healthy life one has to establish a dietary pattern that will sustain good health. Yoga and diet are essential components of good health and happiness. Eat to live and not live to eat.

Foods to Avoid or Reduce When Following a Yogic Diet
1. Meat and fish of all types, including eggs
2. Processed and/or artificial foods, junk food, artificial sweeteners, soda
3. Animal fats, margarine
4. Fried foods
5. Canned foods, except naturally canned tomatoes and fruit
6. White flour, white sugar
7. Garlic, onions, spicy foods
8. Stale or overly cooked foods
9. Microwaved foods
10. Alcohol, tobacco, stimulants
11. Foods that are genetically engineered
12.  Foods that are eaten in a rush or in a disturbed environment

Warrior Pose or Virabhadrasana

Veera vigorous, warrior, courageous; Bhadra – good, auspicious; Asana – Posture

The asana is pronounced as Vee- Ra- Bha- Dra-aasana.

This pose is named after Veerabhadra, a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The story of the warrior Veerabhadra, as all stories from Upanishads, has a moral that adds value to our life.

Virabhadra’s Pose is also known as the Warrior Pose (there are three variation of Warrior, of which this is customarily numbered I). It may seem strange to name a yoga pose after a warrior; after all, aren’t yogis known for their non-violent ways? But remember that one of the most revered of all the yoga texts, the Bhagavad-Gita, is the dialog between two famous and feared warriors, Krishna and Arjuna, set on a battlefield between two great armies spoiling for a fight.

What’s really being commemorated in this pose’s name, and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is the “spiritual warrior,” who bravely does battle with the universal enemy, self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering.

There are variety of Warrior Poses but, but the original are counted in Three.

Warrior I Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhale, step or lightly jump your feet 31/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (and parallel to each other), and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling. Firm your scapulas against your back and draw them down toward the coccyx.
  2. Turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the front edge of your mat. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.
  3. With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. More flexible students should align their right thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms. If possible, bring the palms together. Spread the palms against each other and reach a little higher through the pinky-sides of the hands.
    Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.
  5. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them extended upward for more challenge. Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same length. When you’re finished return to Tadasana.
Benefits
  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)
  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back
  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Warrior II Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
  2. Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.
  3. Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the left knee by strengthening the right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.
  4. Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the left thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis. Turn the head to the left and look out over the fingers.
  5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.
    Benefits
    • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
    • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
    • Stimulates abdominal organs
    • Increases stamina
    • Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of regnancyTherapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica

Warrior III Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), exhale and fold foward to Uttanasana. From Uttanasana, exhale and step your left foot back into a high lunge position. Your right knee should be more or less at a right angle. Lay the midline of your torso (from the pubis to the sternum) down on the midline of the right thigh (from the knee to the hip crease) and bring your hands to your right knee, right hand to the outer knee, left hand to the inner. Squeeze the knee with your hands, lift your torso slightly, and with an exhalation, turn it slightly to the right.
  2. Now from the lunge position, stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor and parallel to each other, palms facing each other. Exhale and press the head of the right thighbone back and press the heel actively into the floor. Synchronize the straightening of the front leg and the lifting of the back leg. As you lift the back leg, resist by pressing the tailbone into the pelvis.
  3. Normally students come up into Virabhadrasana III by lunging the torso forward. This tends to shift the body weight onto the ball of the front foot and unbalance the position. Don’t allow the torso to swing forward as you move into position; instead, as you straighten the front knee, think of pressing the head of the thighbone back. This centers the femur in the hip joint, grounds the heel into the floor, and stabilizes the position.
  4. The arms, torso, and raised leg should be positioned relatively parallel to the floor. For many students the pelvis tends to tilt. Release the hip [of the raised leg] toward the floor until the two hip points are even and parallel to the floor. Energize the back leg and extend it strongly toward the wall behind you; reach just as actively in the opposite direction with the arms. Bring the head up slightly and look forward, but be sure not to compress the back of your neck.
  5. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Release back to the lunge on an exhalation. Bring your hands to the floor on either side of the right foot, and on an exhalation, step your left foot forward to meet your right. Stay in this forward bend for a few breaths, then repeat for the same length of time on the other side.
Benefits
  • Strengthens the ankles and legs
  • Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
  • Tones the abdomen
  • Improves balance and posture

How to do Surya-Namaskar or Sun Salutation

Start your day with reverence for the sun, and harness its life-giving energy with Surya Namaskar

“Celebrating being alive is the essence of a spiritual experience.”

Sun Salutation – The Perfect Yoga Workout

If you are pressed for time and looking for a single mantra to stay fit, here’s the answer. A set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar. Literally translated to sun salutation, these postures are a good way to keep the body in shape and the mind calm and healthy.

Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach. Let’s begin with these simple yet effective Sun Salutation steps on our way to good health.

Each Sun Salutation round consists of two sets. These 12 yoga poses complete one set of Surya Namaskar. To complete the second half, you need to repeat the same sequence of postures, only moving the left leg instead of the right (in steps 4 and 9 given below). You might find several versions of doing Sun Salutation. However, it is best to stick to one particular sequence and practice it regularly for best results.

Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provide an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet, feeling of grace and gratitude towards the sun energy.

 

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose) –  Exhale
    tadasana
    Tadasana or Mountain pose

     

    Start by establishing equal weight on both feet and a tall, bright posture through the spine and crown of the head. Bring your palms together in front of the heart center. Pause and imagine a sun at your heart, shining brighter with each inhalation. Sense gratitude for the life-giving energy of the sun, for the prana (life force) that flows through you and all beings.

  2. Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)- Inhale
    urdhva-hastasana-posturas-de-iyengar-yoga
    Urdhva  Hastasana

    Inhale, turn your palms out, and sweep your arms up and overhead. The spine can take a gentle backbend, lifting the heart and expanding the chest. Let this movement be a gesture of opening to life. Gaze up, keeping the forehead relaxed and the face soft.

  3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) -Exhale
    forward
    Uttanasana or Standing forward bending

    Exhale and fold forward at the hips. Let the descent be an offering of gratitude. Keep the spine straight as long as you can, then let it softly round into a full forward bend. You can bend your knees to ease strain on your back or hips. At the end of the exhalation, draw your chin in and gaze at your legs.

  4. Anjayasana Or Low lunge – Inhale
    Yoga_LowLunge_01_300x350
    Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge

     Keep the right foot in this position, the knee bottom floor.Move the left foot until you feel a stretch in the muscles of the groin and the front of the left thigh.The front of the left foot should be facing the ground.
    Now, exhale as you lift your body and do it in a vertical position.Extend arms to the sides and top. Must be perpendicular to the ground. Try to lift the pubis toward the navel and tailbone down. Try to push your chest and back toward your spine. Raise your head now. Extend your fingers towards the ceiling. Hold this position for one minute.

  5. Plank or Dandasana Pose:
    plank
    Dandasana or Plank

    After Anjayasana bring left foot back with support of palms. Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then spread them away from the spine. Also spread your collarbones away from the sternum. Press your front thighs up toward the ceiling, but resist your tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward the heels. Lift the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping the throat and eyes soft.You can also perform this pose by itself and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  6. Astangasana or Eight limb Pose – Exhale :

    ashtanga
    Asthangasana or eight Limb pose

This in called Eight limb pose because eight parts of the body touch the mat. The knees, feet, hands, chest and chin. It is a great yoga posture to perform before the Cobra pose (Bhujangasana ). From  Dandasana or plank drop the knees, chest and then the chin or forhead to the mat. Keep the legs together and elbows tucked in. Stretch the chin forward and place it on the mat allowing the front of the neck to stretch. Allow a curve of the lumbar spine and turn the tailbone upwards. The toes apply a forward force. They are pushed away from the body slightly to create a forward energy up the back of the legs. This is balanced by the energy caused by the hands pushing down and away from the body. Use both of these forces lightly.

7. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose:
bhu
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

From Dandasana or plank pose gently drop chest, hip, thighs and feet and lying flat face downwards. From a prone position place the hands down under the shoulders, or farther away from your body depending on your spines flexibility, and raise the upper body. Push the legs together if you wish to engage the lower back and gluteuls. Leave the legs slightly open if you want a deeper stretch.

It can be quite hard on the arms when this posture is held. Try different positions with the arms. Allow a slight bend, straighten or do a combination of both.Holding Cobra can be a good way to open the smaller muscles in the spine before starting a sequence of Sun Salutations.

Healing effects
When done mildly the cobra pose can help relieve and even heal bulging discs in the lower back. However raising too high will aggravate the issue. So when performing this pose for healing remember to raise into mild discomfort and no further.

8. Downward facing Dog Pose or Adhomukha Svasana or Parvatasana – Exhale
266_hp_side12_450
Downward facing Dog

Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under. Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins. Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis. Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.

9. Ashwa Sanchalanasa or Equestrian Pose – Inhale 9surya-namaskar-equestrian-pose_625x350_71433763374
STEP09_thumb
Ashwasanchalanasa or Eqestrian Pose

While Inhaling move the right foot forward in between the hands as you align your right knee above the heel. While lowering your left knee to the ground and keeping your right knee fixed in position, move the left one backwards until you feel a good stretch in the left thigh and groins. The dorsum of the left foot should be turned to the ground.

While inhaling, let your torso be vertical and upright. Your arms should be perpendicular to the ground. Increase the length of your tailbone by extending it towards the ground. Raise your chest, leading the movement with your breastbone, or sternum, with firm shoulder blades.

Now move your head back and gaze upwards,making sure that your posterior neck doesn’t get jammed.

10. Hasta-Padasana or Hand to foot Pose – Exhale
yoga-for-the-modern-day-man-4
Pada-Hastasana or Hand to  foot Pose

From Ashwa Sanchalansa or Equestrian Pose gently breathing out and bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary. Breathing out, bend forward from the waist, keeping the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor, beside the feet.

You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Now make a gentle effort to straighten the knees.

Gently straighten the knees and if you can, try and touch your nose to the knees. Keep breathing.

It’s a good idea to keep the hands fixed in this position and not move them until you finish the sequence.

11. Hastauttanasana or Raised arm Pose – Inhale
11
Raised arm or Upward bending Pose

Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.

How to deepen this yoga stretch?

Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretching backwards.

12.Tadasana – Exhale
Dutch-Smiling-Yogi-in-Tadasana
Tadasana

As you exhale, first straighten the body, then bring the arms down. Relax in this position, observe the sensations in your body.

 

 

 

 

The tea selling woman in Varanasi

It was the tea-selling woman!

If people call Varanasi a “Holy city” or “Lord Shiva’s city” she is no indifferent to me.

prostitute-bombay
The Tea-selling woman from Varanasi

Returning back from the ceremony of cremation from Manikarnika Ghat, an everyday ritual taken place famously known as “Burning ghat” of Varanasi. I saw along the edges of the river people are having a fun evening , Sadhus smoking weeds, crowds were  watching multiple religious ceremonies, and street vendors selling food and crafts who were almost dispersed when on my return back the lodge. A frightful feeling and cold sweat in the numbing month of December, realised it was just foolish of me to stayed that long in Ghats all alone.

After crossing three to four ghats I was confused about the  right staircase towards my room. I heard one female voice coming from one deep dark staircase, thought to take steps up. A great sigh of relief! I knew, I could locate the lane where my Lodge was. The voice got louder and rough when I reached upto middle of the staircase. I saw shadow of three men and one woman, as if they were trying to force her for something and some filthy words to made my blod freeze. Sound of slaping and whaking her took sudden silence, when I was passing by them close..I could hear her suppressed weeping. I was reasoning that is it really possible in Holy city of “Lord Shiva” ?

Waking up next morning as usual I walked down to the Ghats to have my morning tea. It’s heavy fog to see any clear picture whether the lady had opened her tea stall yet or not and disappointed seeing her closed store. “May be it’s too cold and and foggy to start her stall”, I thought. I walked down toward Manikarnika Ghat to looking for another tea stall. I know the famous silent “Chai-Baba” (tea-monk) stall was there. Yes, he was precisely the same as described by many tourist in their travel memoir.

Three days went on,  and her store was still closed. I have only two days to leave Varanasi and may be I will never going to see her again. That day my friend accompanied me for the whole day as his research on Vedic astrology was hold out for the day. I told him about my curiosity to meet the lady before I leave. I asked him, “have you ever noticed her”?  She always greets people who come to her store. Doesn’t she look mysterious?  I don’t understand despite she makes fine tea with ginger why very less people show up. She spotted me very first time when I went to her for tea. She had no ungracefulness when I told her about my solo visit in Varanasi. Instead she said that she wished to be as liberated as me and belong to this class of society. I smiled at her and said, “It’s not about class of our society, It’s my spirit and zeal”

It was my last day in Varanasi so my friend from Canada(the research guy) and another Yogi form Germany decided to have lunch together. One of a local guy who works in the restaurant where we usually go for the lunch and dinner and been very sincere to my Canadian friend for many years, sat next to us. He always comes up with some local news to tell about. I was thinking, “What’s today!” and he stared at me first as if I have done something bad to him. He straight away told me, “If you visit Varanasi next time, never walk alone in the dark passages, specially the staircase which you came up few days ago. There is a disputes their every evening after she closes her tea stall”. And I took a sip of water before which I was about take a bite of my Chapati. “She was once a prostitute after her father died” he said looking  at my friend. “Her father was a poor priest but managed to look after his family by serving ritual prayers for the tourist.  At the age of  thirteen only she was forced to be a prostitute by her mother. Many times she has been bitten up, abused and faced ferocity.  But, she became a learned and skillful prostitute by the age of seventeen. After sometime she got married and started selling tea near one of the ghats. Everyone thought that her past life was buried behind after marriage, but nothing happened like that. Her husband became her flesh dealer very soon. Every evening there are some deals in that dark staircase and she was forced to overwork by her husband”. I soon realised It was the tea selling lady that evening.

I asked him, “Do you know where she is? I haven’t seen her for last five days.”

He told looking at three of us, “She has been sent to one of a brothel of infamous district in Shivdaspur.”

Her face is still vivid in my mind. She will always be the tea selling lady on the bank of river Ganges. If people call Varanasi a”Holy city” or “Lord Shiva’s city” she is no indifferent to me. I will always keep wondering…. what will happened to her!