Your daily ritual may involve getting up to an alarm, rushing to shower, dress and eat and then rushing to work. For a change, begin your day with the sunrise, Mother Nature’s daily expression of hope and celebration of new beginnings.
You may already getting up early enough to see the sunrise, but chances are you are busy getting ready for work. If so, try this meditation on the weekend.
Begin your day around 5:00 am. Greet the first light with prayer and meditation. Greeting the dawn is a wonderful way to begin your day – in sync with the rhythms of nature and in touch with your spirit.
Outdoor Meditation At Sunrise
Find a spot facing east and take your seat just before sunrise. Take a few deep breaths and settle into a comfortable position. Bring your attention to the sounds of the birds, the earth below you and the sky above. Feel your own energy and be conscious that you are beautiful, you are unique.
As the sky lightens in the east and the night gives way to day, let go of yesterday. Greet the morning with tenderness and feel towards yourself and others. Acknowledge your past and celebrate a new beginning.
Sit in quiet contemplation until you are ready to start the day.
One of the greatest reasons of practicing yoga is that it connects us with our mind, body and soul.
In my yoga class, I see many students with the tight hips. With the proper yoga sequence, poses and regular practice, you can release the tightness.
But the real problem is not our body, it’s our mind. We have a tendency of holding everything inside. We do not let things go that easily. Whether it’s physical things, emotions or grudges – we don’t let go. And it will eventually reflect on our body.
When you find you have tight hips, that means you hold your emotions inside and you don’t let old things go. Our body is our temple. It’s our responsibility to clean our home and the same way we have to clean our body as well as clear our mind. It is so that our soul can reside in peacefully. If you see clutter in the house and if you don’t do anything to clear that clutter, you will find dust eventually. Same way if we keep grudges inside our mind, eventually there will be clutter of so many negative thoughts and emotions which can turn into tumour.
So now the real question is how to work on this old pattern of holding emotions/grudges inside. Grab a person you see next time, tell him/her how you feel for him/her. Untie the knot without thinking of the consequences. And if the person is out of your reach, remember this person, bring him in your awareness and pray for this person to be happy, healthy and then let this person go. This is a process of letting things go from your mind from your awareness.
We should do whatever is in our hand or in our reach to be happy and healthy. Health is not only related to the body but the biggest part is our mind our emotions.
As per Sadhguru, past is your memory, tomorrow is ur imagination or expectation, present is the real so be in this moment live in this moment.
Inverted Asanas reverse the action of gravity on the body. It is refreshing and revitalizing. Inverted Asanas, improve health, reduce anxiety and stress, and increase self confidence. They also increase mental power, concentration and the capacity to sustain large workloads without strain. When we go upside down, the world appears to be inverted. The brain is flushed with nourishing blood, the mind clears, the nerves quiet down, and everything seems to become more still yet awake, offering a graceful invitation to meditation.
Improve Circulation: Inverted Asanas encourage blood to flow to the brain, nourishing the neurones and flushing out toxins. This process nourishes the cells of the whole human organism.
Improve Balance: When you find balance in inverted asanas, will help bring balance into your life off the mat as well. Holding an inversion requires patience, practice, and being present in the moment. These all qualities will bring balance in your body and eventually in your life.
Increase Core Strength: In order to stay balanced in an inversion, you must rely on upper body strength. To hold the poses, the core muscles must be engaged while the arm muscles work their very hardest.
Increase Immunity & Energy: While the body is in an inverted asana, the breath becomes slow and deep, maximizing the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen, and generally encouraging correct respiration. Also, the abdominal organs receives a powerful massage, helping them to perform their functions more efficiently. When blood rushes to the brain, it stimulating and invigorating the entire body. This rush of blood gives the body an energy boost and also increases alertness and focus.
Bring Relaxation: The parasympathetic nervous system is activated in inverted postures, which helps calm the body and mind and give you a sense of balance and peace.
Contra-indications: People with heart conditions, high bp, back conditions, arteriosclerosis, glaucoma, an active ear infection or any other disease of the brain, cervical problems, pregnancy and menstruation should not practice Inverted Asanas.
If you want to succeed in your yoga practice, you need to fuel your body with the proper nutrients. Yoga will give you overall body strength, but without protein, your muscles will not develop and you will feel weak throughout your practice and daily life.
What To Eat Before a Yoga Class
If you are attending an evening class, eat a small snack 60-90 minutes before class. Make sure you’ve eaten throughout the day, but this small snack will sustain you and give you the energy you need to push through after a long day.
If you are going to a morning class, eat half a banana or a handful of berries at least 30+ minutes prior. If you are looking for a quick and easy pre-yoga breakfast, a protein shake is a good option or drink a glass of almond milk or juice to give you some sugar and calories for energy.
Don’t eat a large meal prior to class. If your stomach is full, you will have a hard time engaging your core, poses will be harder to get into, and you risk getting an upset stomach. Make sure your last meal was at least one and half hour prior to class so your body has had a chance to digest, and choose something easy to digest.
Drink at least 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before class
Don’t drink a lot of caffeine prior to class
1. Avocados: Leads to proper functioning of muscles and cells in the human body. Besides, avocados are easy to digest and keep you full for quite some time. The healthy fat found in avocados helps reduce bad cholesterol.
2. Bananas: Available all round the year, are cheap, rich in nutrients and an ideal pre-workout snack. You can have it with salads or use it to make yummy smoothies.
3. Fruit Smoothies: Made at home can be the ideal pre-workout food, and that holds true also for yoga practitioners. Smoothies provide adequate nutrition and hydrate the body at the same time. You may use fruits like pineapple, apple, orange, melon, and kiwi, for example. Using fat-free yogurt will be a good idea to make healthy low-fat smoothies. It is better that you do not mix additional sugar while making smoothies. The natural sugar in fruits should suffice.
4. Apples: Are alkaline fruits and help counter acidity developing in the stomach. They also contain natural sugars and lots of fiber. Eating apples also keeps your body hydrated. The vitamin C in Apple gives your body an energy boost which is ideal before a workout.
5. Yogurt: Is delicious and can be eaten in a number of ways. You can have it alone or blend with fruits to make smoothies. Some people even take it with oats. Before going for a yoga session, simply take some low fat or zero fat yogurt. This will give you the energy you need!
6. Almonds: Eating raw almonds can give you just the energy boost you need before yoga classes. You can try eating soaked almonds. Do not opt for the salted variety available in the market at any cost. Organic, raw almonds are the best option for you. Almonds contain vitamin E, magnesium and healthy fats.
7. Raisins: Taste great and offer you energy in the forms of natural sugars.
8. Dried Fruit And Nut Bar: Ensure the bar does not have a calorie count exceeding 300. It will offer you enough energy for the session.
9. Berries: Are replete with vitamins and antioxidants. They are also rich in fiber. The natural sugar content in the fruits will keep you energized.
10. Oatmeal: Eating a bowl of oatmeal before you leave, is easy to digest and rich in fibers. If necessary, you can put in a spoon of yogurt in the bowl or drop a small amount of honey to add to the taste.
What to Eat After a Yoga Class
Eat a nutritious meal after class.
If it was a morning session, whip yourself up a two-egg omelet with fresh veggies like tomatoes and fresh fruit.
If it was an evening class, make sure you are getting enough protein throughout the day so your muscles can repair and grow.
Don’t eat cookies or any junk food. While sugar is actually an important thing to consume after working out (insulin aids in repairing muscles), you want to make sure you are consuming unrefined sugars, such as oatmeal. If you have a sugar craving, try a bowl of oatmeal with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, a handful of blueberries and a dash of cinnamon.
1. Water: While you will need to eat after practicing yoga, it is even more important to provide hydration to the body. You need to drink plenty of water. Plain water is the best option for this. However, for a variation, you may drink coconut water sometimes. It is also okay to add a few drops of lemon to the water for a shot of vitamin C!
2. Fresh Fruit Juice: You can enjoy a large glass of fresh fruit juice after returning from the yoga classes. It is okay to try different fruits each day for a variety. Do not use additional sugar.
3. Homemade Vegetable Soup: You have burnt a lot of calories at the yoga session and it is necessary that you offer the body with plenty of nutrients with calories like homemade vegetable soup. You can use carrots, celery, spinach or cabbages to make such soups. Pour in your favourite vegetables and add black pepper and ginger for flavour. Making soups at home is better than buying them readymade, ready to heat products sold in stores which often contain excess amounts of sodium.
4. Toast With Banana And Almond Butter: This is ideal when you need a good dose of nutrition without taking extra calories. Use whole grain toast and bake them lightly in the toaster or microwave. Spread a liberal amount of almond butter on the toast and top with banana slices. You get protein, healthy fats and fiber in this snack.
5. Whole-Grain Toast With Scrambled Egg Whites: If you practice yoga in the daytime, this can be a great post workout snack. Egg whites contain protein and no cholesterol. The whole-grain breads contain complex carbohydrates and that will ensure you stay energized for a long time.
6. Fresh Vegetable Salad: You can have a bowl of salad of fresh vegetables after returning from yoga classes. You can use dark leafy vegetables and using organic vegetables is the best option. Use pepper powder or cilantro, chopped on top or pour a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to add to the taste.
Yoga4U is pleased to announce that we are starting Prenatal Yoga Classes from May 1, 2019. Classes will be specifically designed and led by a Certified Prenatal Yoga Instructor to ensure you feel safe and guided.
Prenatal yoga benefits :
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase the strength, flexibility
Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
Classes are dedicated to strengthening your body and pelvic area. Yoga is also a great mediation and stress reliever.
The Lower back pain is a very common problem for many people among us. There are many reasons for lower back pain, a weak core and wrong posture when sitting all day. There are many Yoga poses can help you to ease your lower back pain by practicing them regularly.
Child’s Pose | 5 breaths
Start with a tabletop position.
Bring your feet together and widen your knees towards the edges of your mat.
Sit your hips back onto your heels and then walk your hands towards top of your mat, lowering your chest towards the floor. Let your forehead rest on the mat.
Hold for 5 breaths.
2. Cat-Cow | 5 breaths
Start with a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and both legs your hips apart.
On an inhale, Gaze forward, drop your belly and tilt your tailbone towards the sky and come to Cow pose. Feel a stretch through your abdomen.
Exhale and roll your shoulder, Chin to chest to come into cat pose. Draw your navel towards your spine. Press the ground away and feel a stretch through your mid and upper back.
Continue flowing between your cow and cat pose for 5 rounds of breath.
3. Downward Facing Dog | 5 breath
From Child’s Pose, extend your hands slightly forward , lift yourself up when you inhale, come to downward facing dog.
Make sure you do not lock your knees and elbows, tailbone to the sky and gaze between your legs.
Spread your fingers wide. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground.
Hold for at least 5 breath.
4. Standing forward bend | 5 Breath
From Downward Facing Dog, come towards top of your mat. Stand with straight spine, your feet, hips width apart.
Inhale centre, exhale bend forward. Place your hands on the floor.
Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine.
Hold for one to three minutes.
5. Reclined Pigeon Pose | 5 Breath each side
Lie down on your back.
Bend your both knees. place your left foot on your right knee.
Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there for 5 breaths.
Switch sides and repeat.
6. Supine Twist | 5 breaths per side
Lie down on your back and hug your right knee towards your chest.
Place your right arm out side with your palm facing down.
Place your left hand on your right knee and bring your right leg towards left across your body to come into your supine twist. Make sure you do not lift your right shoulder. Gaze towards right.
Yoga students often look up to their teachers as Gurus, spiritual leaders or even masters. This is very true; however, people often forget that it isn’t the teacher that is holy but the yogic lifestyle the teacher emerged from that is sacred and life altering. Yoga helped me find my purpose in life. I have been practicing yoga ever since I was introduced to it, as a child, by my father. Yoga always provided me with comfort and a sense of grounding, as it connected me to my Indian roots. Yoga gave me stability and a very solid sense of presence.
At the time that I began my yoga teacher training, I was still working in the corporate field. I was living two lives. One, which showed me the true capacity of my mind and body, was guiding me to become a stronger, calmer and positive woman. And another, which made me feel negative energy and drained me, leaving me void. Yoga is a whole different world where you feel inner peace and calmness, whereas there is so much competition and stress in the corporate world. It was at that point of realization that I decided to leave the corporate world and discover myself through the yogic lifestyle. I became a yoga teacher and Reiki master in early 2018.
After leaving my corporate life for good, I completely immersed in my yoga teacher training (YTT 200-hours). I embarked on the path that my father had shown me as a little girl. I truly believe that yoga is my purpose on this earth. Yoga is like the ocean, you can learn as much as you want but never be satisfied. Yoga has shown me my purpose, and now I will continue on its path for the remainder of my life, as the lifestyle guides me towards an infinite number of possibilities for me to better my life and others’ lives as well. Yoga is the beginning of my new life, my real life.
You can grow your own knowledge by spreading knowledge to other people. In April 2018, I started my own studio in Brampton called Yoga4U and become a full-time yoga and Reiki teacher.
Yoga teaches us to live in each moment. We aren’t aware of our breathing. We never breathe deeply and calmly because we are always in a rush. Life goes by so fast, we all need to take a pause. A pause to breathe, a pause to think or even a pause to feel. Everyone lives their lives holding onto so much stress and burden that we are unable to recognize and give importance to our wellbeing. By practicing yoga every single day, I now realize I myself have wasted 44 years of my life. By doing pranayama and other yogic breathing exercises every day, I am now able to breathe deeply and completely. Our each and every breath is vital for our survival and is our main source of life. If we continue to avoid breathing to our full capacity, we are not completely alive.
The average person in this world notices the negative over the positive. I was once one of these people. I allowed my stress to get the better of me and lived my daily life picking apart the negativity in my surroundings. However, once I began yoga, it completely transformed my train of thought and the way I perceived life. It changed me mentally, physically and brought out far more spirituality in me than I could have ever have imagined.
Spirituality can sometimes scare people; however, there is a misconception with the term. Spiritualty doesn’t have to be concerned with the divine, but it does have to do with our inner self. It is all about perspective. Yoga benefits a person’s inner spirituality by cleansing the soul of negativity and blossoming a positive mindset that reflects in one’s lifestyle. It makes you realize that not everything is black or white, but that there is a whole spectrum of beautiful colours which make up our lives. Yoga teaches us to let go of the negative train of thought and grasp each moment positively, with a smile.
Everyone has fears and multiple stressors that arise during their daily lives, such as financial stress, social fears, insecurities etc. However, yoga teaches those real life lessons, which bring disciple, confidence and an element of fearlessness, that allow us to realize we can conquer anything we set our minds to.
I was always a very quiet and timid person who never spoke out in crowds. During this beautiful, life altering journey, I have learned to stand up for myself and have become much more confident. Confident about my beliefs, my appearance and my mind. I feel tall from inside, like nothing can tear me down. Many people don’t accept themselves for who they are, whether it is their appearance, family, culture or nature. Yoga teaches a huge life lesson which is acceptance. Accepting yourself for who you are and accepting situations which cannot be altered. Yoga is all about moving forward and seeing beyond the expectations. Instead of occupying ourselves and draining our energy, the yogic lifestyle teaches us to transform our minds to become invincible warriors.
Yoga is inherited from the Holy book, The Bhagavad Gita. Each and every asana teaches us something that can be directly linked to a situation or element from our daily lives. During my yoga practice and the yoga classes I teach, I feel the pose mentally, physically and spiritually. For example, Warrior poses teach us that life itself is a battleground and we all are warriors. The Tree pose teaches us to stay grounded, even if there is a storm in our lives, and to never lose focus. I have started seeing life through the yogic vision.
Yoga is my purpose in life. It transformed me into a confident, outspoken and positive person and refreshed my lifestyle to become more healing and steady. I have dedicated my life to helping others who, like me, are being drained by the fast paced lifestyle and to helping them along the yogic path to develop control over their mind and bodies.
Yoga benefits everyone to transition to a stress-free life and to become far more aware of each moment. It helps you appreciate yourself and your surroundings and welcome the world with open arms. It is the holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Yoga brings you one step closer to fulfillment and harmony. Yoga is not just an exercise but a lifestyle in its entirety. Through its journey, it brings our minds down to our hearts and eventually to our souls. Yoga is a gift that everyone should accept as it embodies the unity of the mind, body and soul.
My new life as a yogi has just begun. I hope more of you join me on this beautiful journey.