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What I know about Yoga

What I know about Yoga

04 November 2017

What I know about Yoga

Back in 1995 I made a friend in college. She was 10 years older, confident and fun and she told me all about Yoga. She did it at home, every morning. I really looked up to her and we were good friends for many years to come.

So, back then, I was wondering around town one day and walked into a bookshop, where I saw an Ashtanga Yoga book on the main display, by Beryl-Bender Birch. The book was actually called ‘Power Yoga’, it was a trendy name for it at the time, popularised by Madonna. I bought the book and have been doing Yoga on and off since then, always at home. I have never been to a class. I keep meaning to go but never really actually mean it. Since then I have bought a few videos and books too.

I posted this on Facebook back in 2009

Yoga DVD recommendations
A few friends have asked for recommendations regarding Yoga DVDs, and here they are:

Yoga Journal: Yoga for Morning Noon & Night [DVD] [2008] is perfect for beginners, it has three 20 minute sessions, for morning, afternoon and evening – it’s all very gentle and good for people with back injuries/pain (as Jason himself suffered a back injury)

Power Yoga Total Body and Intermediate Yoga by Rodney Yee. It’s sweaty for the first 30 mins, and then it mellows out and it’s very relaxing! The Intermediate one isn’t as intense as the Power Yoga one, but there’s a 15 min session on headstands.

Rodney Yee has a few vids on YouTube

Next, is Astanga Yoga 1st Series with David Swenson DVD, the session is 90 minutes long – this is the Yoga I got started with and the one I practice regularly: Ashtanga Yoga. It has a good intro explaining/teaching the heat-generating breathing technique used in Ashtanga Yoga, the locks and then it goes through the Primary Series.

David Swenson has been doing yoga since he was 13 and is one of the most respected yogis in the West:

To accompany this I also bought the book written by David Swenson, which I really recommend – it has shorter sessions at the back (15, 30 and 45 minutes). The Primary and Intermediate series are here. The best thing about the book is that you don’t need a DVD player to practice the poses and you can read about each position and modifiers in detail.

Ashtanga Yoga – The Practice Manual [Illustrated] by David Swenson (Author) [2007]

Finally, here’s my very first Yoga book – this is where I learned the breathing, sun saluations, Standing and Primary series: Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout by Beryl Bender Birch [1995]

I’ve been back to doing Ashtanga Yoga regularly since May 2017 as a therapeutic/restorative activity, to balance out Capoeira, T25, jogging (which I had to stop in July due to ankle injury I’m still not recovered from). I also found this video and alternate between it and David Swenson’s. I also started trying do learn the sequence off by heart again, along with the names. I’m struggling a bit but I’ve only just got serious about learning the names recently.

This is what I’ve worked on learning so far:

Samasthiti – Standing still
Surya Namaskara (A & B) – Sun salutation, 5 each

Padangushtasana – Big toe posture
Pada hastasana – Foot to hand posture
Utthita Trikonasana – Extended triangle posture
Parivritta Trikonasana – Revolved triangle posture
Utthita Parshvakonasana – Extended side angle posture
Parivritta Parshvakonasana – Revolved extended side way angle posture
Prasarita Padottanasana (A, B, C & D) – Expanded feet intense stretch posture
Parshvottanasana – Intense side stretch posture
Utthita Hasta Padangushtasana – Extended hand to big toe posture
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half bound lotus intense stretch posture
Utkatanasana – Fierce posture
Virabhadrasana (A & B) – Warrior posture


Urdva Dhanurasana – Upward bow posture
Paschimottanasana A – Western intense stretch posture
Salamba Sarvangasana – Whole body supported posture
Halasana – Plow posture
Karnapidasana – Ear pressure posture
Urdhva Padmasana – Upward Lotus posture
Pindasana – Embryo posture
Matsyasana – Fish posture
Uttana Padasana – Extended leg posture
Sirsasana A & B – Head standing posture
Baddha Padmasana – Bound Lotus posture
Padmasana – Lotus posture
Tolasana – Scale posture
Savasana – Corpse posture

Anga – limb/body
Asana – posture
Arda – half
Baddha – bound
Dhanura – bow
Hala – plow
Hasta – hand
Karna – ear
Kona – angle
Matsya – fish
Pada – foot
Padma – lotus
Padangustha – big toe
Pariviritta – revolved
Parsva – side
Paschima – western
Pida – pressure
Pinda – embryo
Prasarita – expanded
Salamba – supported
Sarva – whole/all
Sirsa – head
Tola – scale
Urdva – upward
Uttana – intense stretch
Utthita – extended

There are many types of yoga, here are 14 types explained

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