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Yoga master, T.K.V Desikachar, dies at 78

Yoga master, T.K.V Desikachar, dies at 78

“However powerful and disturbing something may appear to be, it is our reaction to it that determines its effects.”

T.K.V Desikachar

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Venkata Desikachar, a revered yoga teacher and son of the “Father of Modern Yoga”, Sri Krishnamacharya, died Monday on August 8th, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

As a boy, Desikichar, who was born in 1938 in Mysore, was not enthusiastic about following in his father’s footsteps. Legend has it that his father once chased Desikachar up a tree because he refused to do his daily practice. As a young man, he was determined to pursue a career as an engineer. However, in 1961 at the age of 23, he relented and became one of his father’s most devoted followers. 

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Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

Why this doctor practices yoga for 20 minutes every day (and how you can too)

By Bridie Walsh

Do you follow your own good advice? If you don’t, you’re not alone. General practitioner and psychotherapist, Dr Cathy Fraser, recommended yoga to her patients and yet never found a time to do it herself. Everything changed 18 years ago after a life-changing event. Now she can boast about strong bones and a calm and focused mind.

“It was a particularly stressful time,” says Dr Fraser. “I left my marriage and was living alone when I started regular yoga classes and I haven’t stopped since.”

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Asana: A seat for our minds

Asana: A seat for our minds

By Frank Jesse

 Last year, the net was abuzz with the news: sitting too much is as bad for our health as smoking. A study conducted at Queen’s University Belfast and published last year found prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an early death. 

The news went viral last year, which isn’t surprising; it’s an extraordinary idea when you think about it. 

It caught my attention because there is strong relationship between yoga and sitting. The Sanskrit word, asana, means seat, for example.  

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Celebrate International Yoga Day Sunday 21 June

Celebrate International Yoga Day Sunday 21 June

By Bridie Walsh

Roll out your mat to join thousands around the world to celebrate International Yoga Day on Sunday 21 June 2015.

Geeta Iyengar, Mr BKS Iyengar’s daughter and director of Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in India recommends a series of Asana and Pranayama sequences. She says that the special day, inaugurated by the United Nations (UN), will create awareness and improve people’s wellbeing.

The 32 recommended poses can be practiced as a single program or merged with your own.

India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi who appointed a minister of yoga also advocated for international recognition of yoga. He says, “Official recognition by the UN will further spread the benefit of yoga to the entire world”.

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Is Yoga Evil

Is Yoga Evil

A landmark court ruling in California USA is set to reignite debate among Christian communities about whether yoga is leading Christians down the path of evil, according to a report in India news site, Matters India.

The Californian appeals court ruled that yoga is secular, and can be taught in schools, much to the consternation of Christian parents of a coastal beach city of Encinitas, in San Diego County,who brought the case that their kids’ yoga classes were promoting Hinduism and Buddhism.

Wading into the debate, Iyengar yoga teacher and Catholic priest, Father Joe Pereira, says the furore is the work of a small group of extreme fundamentalists, whom he describes as “God addicts”.

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Shifting balance

Shifting balance

By Kimina Lyall

I think “work-life balance” is a strange term. For starters, it implies we are not living at work. Secondly, it suggests that balance is an ultimate goal (of what – life or work?). Thirdly, it implies that one requires an equal amount of work and life in order to get that balance. Presumably under this formula one must “work” half the time? Does that include sleep? Or is sleep outside of life, too? How much time must one spend calculating if the balance is right?

I’m being silly, I know. It’s just a term. It means different things to different people. But I do know that for me, balance is far from restful. In fact, as most of my yoga practice has taught me, balance is bloody hard work. In all its yoga forms – be it on arms, legs, or pelvis – balance is ever-elusive and often momentary.

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Practicing yoga through the blues

Practicing yoga through the blues

By Frank Jesse

It’s when the chips are down – emotionally or physically – that we can truly start to understand all that Iyengar yoga has to offer.

Practicing yoga when we feel exhilarated, relaxed and on top of life’s demands is a great feeling. It enhances all that is good in our lives.

But what about when life strikes a blow? When we get an injury or an illness, we are beset by sorrow or turbulence, or sheer exhaustion, then getting ourselves onto our mat can seem like a very big step.

It’s in these moments, however, that I have found yoga provides a bridge back to balance.

Just the act of practicing postures, even for a short time, can provide a sense of self-nurture and self-esteem.

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Free yoga for India’s civil servants

Free yoga for India’s civil servants

 

From April 1, India’s three million civil servants will be offered free daily yoga classes in an effort to transform the work culture of long lunches and arriving late to work.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office in May last year, is an avid yoga practitioner, a teetotaller and a vegetarian. He credits his strict for his ability to work long hours on just four or five hours’ sleep.

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Yoga props an Iyengar yoga inovation

Yoga props an Iyengar yoga inovation

By Frank Jesse

It’s not surprising that Iyengar yoga is known for its use of props such as blankets, block and bolsters. Using such props was one of many innovations Mr Iyengar bought to yoga practice. Using props is intrinsic to this system of yoga. However, the reasons for their use are often misunderstood.

Some students, especially those used to flowing styles of yoga, believe that props are hindrance to their practices. However Mr Iyengar developed their use to help studentsb2ap3_thumbnail_Yoga-props-blocks-chair-blankets-foam-pad-sandbags-benches-and-ropes.jpg move more carefully into the pose without undue risk.

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Recent Comments
paul_ais
I have the opportunity to use props in my practice and in my classes. What a wonderful way to be supported on the journey to self ... Read More
Thursday, 26 February 2015 05:15
paul_ais
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:47
paul_ais
Thought I better turn Ustrasana photo right way up - till I realised ! Going to the studio to practice it now
Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:47
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Why Christina McCallum takes her family on a yoga retreat

Why Christina McCallum takes her family on a yoga retreat

By Bridie Walsh

The Blackwood-tree-lined driveway of Griffins Hill is a welcome sight for published poet and avid photographer, Christina McCallum, who visits the retreat at least twice a year. “It’s a place that allows all sorts of space. Creating space is something Frank talks about a lot,” she says.

Hidden scars, new starts

The rocky outcrop on Mt Sturgeon particularly fascinates Christina. It’s the subject of a poem she is working on. 

“It has an abruptly rising escarpment,” she says. “I can see it from the bedroom I stay in. It’s like a scar.”

Some years ago, after heavy rain there was a landslide at Mt Sturgeon. “I was shocked that such a solid mountain lost a part of itself.”

The incident parallels her life. 

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Yoga minister appointed in India

Yoga minister appointed in India

India now has a yoga minister, thanks to Narendra Modi the countries’ Prime Minister.

The Hindu nationalist, vegetarian and long-time yoga practitioner, Modi has appointed the new minister to promote Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy in his portfolio. He has also asked the United Nations to consider creating an international yoga day reports ABC News.

EU President Herman Von Rompuy supports Modi’s initiative for a Yoga Day. There are 50 countries, including China, Canada and the United States, who have signed a draft resolution for Yoga Day pencilled in for June 21.

In September, during a Prime Ministerial visit to India, Modi presented Tony Abbot with a book on yoga.

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Strength and flexibility: Are Pilates and Yoga comparable

Strength and flexibility: Are Pilates and Yoga comparable

By Frank Jesse

Many people ask me about the practice of Pilates, whether it is compatible or comparable with Iyengar yoga, and does yoga build core strength, a buzz word that now seems to pervade the fitness industry.

Pilates is a physical fitness system, developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. He created it to help soldiers injured in the First World War to regain their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilising key muscles.

Pilates has a focus on ‘the core’, which the Pilates Fitness Institute describes as the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. They describe the core as the area between your shoulders and your pelvis (without your arms and legs), encompassing all the muscles within this area. Specifically, Pilates exercises focus on the transverse abdominis (front and side stomach muscles), pelvic floor (controlling bladder and bowel) and multifidus muscles (back muscles).  

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Recent Comments
paul_ais
Convinced me, Frank. The physical stuff arises out of the shutdown of mind chatter when poses arre done correctly.
Monday, 29 September 2014 07:43
paul_ais
How did you conclude Pilates is more concerned with appearance? have you ever seen the cover of any yoga magazine???
Saturday, 14 March 2015 09:01
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Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

By Flora Lisica, The Conversation

It’s no secret that yoga can aid mental wellbeing. What is more, it can help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research.

Some of the most damaging consequences of seeing combat can happen in the mind. Of the 2.3m American veterans who returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, up to 20% go on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point. In a report published by the US Department of Veterans Affairs at least 22 American veterans take their lives every day.

The effects of PTSD can include intrusive memories, heightened anxiety and personality changes. Individuals can also experience hyper-arousal, where they are easily startled, feel “jumpy” and constantly on guard. Standard current treatment for PTSD generally involves prescriptions for antidepressants and psychotherapy, with mixed results.

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paul_ais
Domestic violence, substance abuse and unemployment, suggested to some military doctors, combat commanders and researchers that co... Read More
Friday, 19 December 2014 09:40
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Wednesday night yoga class

Wednesday night yoga class

By Colin Agar

So how is everyone…..everybody well?

(haven’t started yet so pretty hard to tell)

 

Standing poses, forward bends then hand stands for tonight,

(thankfully no backbends, the abs are really tight)

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The art of relaxation (and why we have lost it)

The art of relaxation (and why we have lost it)

By Kath Walters

Somewhere along the journey to the fast-paced world we now live in, we started to associate using time wisely with just being busy.

However, researchers are starting to discover that all work and no play is worse for “Jack” than making him “a dull boy” (as the old saying goes); it makes Jack despressed, forgetful and prone to getting ill!

According to research at the University of Washington: “Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. It rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood, and is linked to learning and memory function. On the other hand, not getting enough rest can negatively affect your mood, immune system, memory, and stress level.”

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