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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, when I was in college, a friend told me about Yoga. She practised it at home, every morning at 6am and she said it had made her stronger and happier.

I was wondering around town one day and walked into a bookshop, where I saw Yoga book on the main display, by Beryl-Bender Birch. The book was actually called ‘Power Yoga’, it was a trend at the time, popularised by Madonna. I bought the book and have been doing Yoga on and off since then, always at home. Since then I have gone through a few videos and read a few Yoga books.

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 highly 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, Primary series and closing sequence: Power Yoga: The Total Strength and Flexibility Workout by Beryl Bender Birch [1995]

I’ve been back to practising Ashtanga Yoga (Primary Series) once a week since May 2017 as a therapeutic/restorative activity, to balance out Capoeira, HIIT and jogging.

Here’s a brief overview of Bandhas, very important!

I also found Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series with Jessica Kass and Fightmaster Yoga which I alternated with David Swenson’s until I made my own video moulded to my practice (for example, I added extra time for handstands after Navasana and also some poses from advanced series such as Shalabhasana A, Dhanurasana, Ushtrasana and Laghuvajrasana to the end of the Primary series – and removed a couple of poses). Note: I’m not a Yoga instructor, nor am I claiming to be. But I think anyone who knows their body, studies the subject and follows videos can practice Yoga at home, FOR FREE!

Here are the poses I practice my weekly session:

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

Floating/jumping/jogging or walking Vinyasa between poses
Dandasana – Staff or Stick posture
Paschimottanasana (A & B) – Western intense stretch posture
Purvottanasana – Eastern intense stretch posture
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana – Half bound lotus western intense stretch posture
Janu Sirsasana A – Head to knee posture
Marichyasana A – Dedicated to Marichi (son of Brahma)
Eka Pada Sirsasana C – One foot to the head posture (one hand shoulder)
Marichyasana C
Navasana – Boat posture (5x with handstand in between + 10 breaths on handstand at the end)
Bhujapidasana – Shoulder pressure posture
Kurmasana – Tortoise posture
Garbha Pindasana – Womb embryo posture (hold the roll on it 6-10 times)
Baddha Konasana – Bound angle posture
Upavishta Konasana – Seated angle posture
Supta Konasana – Sleeping angle posture
Ubhaya Padangushtasana – Both feet big toe posture
roll backwards then up into
Urdhva Mukha Paschimotanasana – Upward facing western intense stretch posture
Shalabhasana A – Locust posture
Dhanurasana – Bow posture
Ushtrasana – Camel posture
Laghuvajrasana – Little thunderbolt posture

Urdva Dhanurasana – Upward bow posture x3 then macaco training 6x
Paschimottanasana C – 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

Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series Poses

Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series

Anga – limb/body
Angustha – big toe
Asana – posture
Ardha – half
Baddha – bound
Bhuja – arm or shoulder
Chakra – circle or wheel
Danda – stick or staff
Dhanura – bow
Eka – one
Garbha – womb
Hala – plow
Hasta – hand
Janu – knee
Karna – ear
Kona – angle
Kurma – tortoise
Laghu – little or small
Matsya – fish
Mukha – face
Nava – boat
Pada – foot
Padma – lotus
Pariviritta – revolved
Parsva – side
Paschima – western
Pida – pressure
Pinda – embryo
Prasarita – expanded
Purva – eastern
Salamba – supported
Sarva – whole/all
Shalabha – locust
Sirsa – head
Supta – sleeping
Tri – Tree
Tola – scale
Ubhaya – both
Upavishta – seated
Urdhva – upward
Ushtra – camel
Uttana – intense stretch
Utthita – extended
Vajra – thunderbolt

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


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