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Chakrasana at Lodhi Garden, New Delhi (July 2011)

Chakrasana at Lodhi Garden, New Delhi (July 2011)

Photoset

Beautiful winter morning. Pictures taken by my adorable wife Astha.

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The Spine health – Part 3
Maintaining the curve of Cervical Vertebrae (neck region)
There are 7 vertebrae in the cervical region (neck). The curvature of the neck region is backwards; however, most modern day tasks involve extensive stooping or bending in the forward direction. Sitting in front of desktop PC, operating your mobile device, working in the kitchen, writing some thesis, reading a book etc. makes you bend your neck forward . This creates degenerative diseases like cervical pain and Spondylitis (inflammation of the vertebra). Both are highly painful conditions and result in loss of balance and sudden black out of the vision. Constant heaviness in head and mild pain are initial symptoms of these diseases.
Yoga comes to rescue with all the back bending postures and twisting postures. The simplest exercise that you can do in the morning is to stand straight. Just bend your head and shoulders backwards and keep staring at the sky for 2-3 minutes. Asanas like Bhujangasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Matsyasana (in the picture) keeps cervical region healthy and maintains the natural curvature of this region. Tadasana helps in elongation of complete spine.
All you need to do is to be regular in your practice. Your suggestions and inputs are welcome.

The Spine health – Part 3

Maintaining the curve of Cervical Vertebrae (neck region)

There are 7 vertebrae in the cervical region (neck). The curvature of the neck region is backwards; however, most modern day tasks involve extensive stooping or bending in the forward direction. Sitting in front of desktop PC, operating your mobile device, working in the kitchen, writing some thesis, reading a book etc. makes you bend your neck forward . This creates degenerative diseases like cervical pain and Spondylitis (inflammation of the vertebra). Both are highly painful conditions and result in loss of balance and sudden black out of the vision. Constant heaviness in head and mild pain are initial symptoms of these diseases.

Yoga comes to rescue with all the back bending postures and twisting postures. The simplest exercise that you can do in the morning is to stand straight. Just bend your head and shoulders backwards and keep staring at the sky for 2-3 minutes. Asanas like Bhujangasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Matsyasana (in the picture) keeps cervical region healthy and maintains the natural curvature of this region. Tadasana helps in elongation of complete spine.

All you need to do is to be regular in your practice. Your suggestions and inputs are welcome.

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The Spine Health - Part 2
Taking care of lumber (abdominal / lower back) region
The Spine at lumber region acts as a fastener for abdominal organs. Stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys are suspended like a bag hanging on to a stick (the stick of course is the spine). The lumber region is very delicate and numerous back related diseases occur in the lumber region.  This could be anything from low back ache, sciatica, slipped disc and menstrual troubles to organ displacement.
The problems in lumber region are due to unequal distribution of body weight. This unequal distribution is due to one of the listed reasons. Obesity, poor posture, excessive flab on abdomen, wearied out footwear, standing / sitting for long hours.   
In Yoga, we suggest asanas for building balance (Tadasana, Vrksasana (in the picture), Ardha Chandrasana) and the asanas that reduce abdominal fat (Cycle crunches, Paschimottanasana, forward bends etc). The first step for good lumber heath is wearing the balanced footwear. Your body weight should be equally distributed on your feet. People usually stand with body weight on the heels which eventually protrudes the abdomen and creates high level of stress on lower back. The next thing is to check the ergonomics of your office chair, car seat and sofa at your home. Finally, adequate rest is required to maintain the health of lumber region. 

The Spine Health - Part 2

Taking care of lumber (abdominal / lower back) region

The Spine at lumber region acts as a fastener for abdominal organs. Stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys are suspended like a bag hanging on to a stick (the stick of course is the spine). The lumber region is very delicate and numerous back related diseases occur in the lumber region.  This could be anything from low back ache, sciatica, slipped disc and menstrual troubles to organ displacement.

The problems in lumber region are due to unequal distribution of body weight. This unequal distribution is due to one of the listed reasons. Obesity, poor posture, excessive flab on abdomen, wearied out footwear, standing / sitting for long hours.   

In Yoga, we suggest asanas for building balance (Tadasana, Vrksasana (in the picture), Ardha Chandrasana) and the asanas that reduce abdominal fat (Cycle crunches, Paschimottanasana, forward bends etc). The first step for good lumber heath is wearing the balanced footwear. Your body weight should be equally distributed on your feet. People usually stand with body weight on the heels which eventually protrudes the abdomen and creates high level of stress on lower back. The next thing is to check the ergonomics of your office chair, car seat and sofa at your home. Finally, adequate rest is required to maintain the health of lumber region. 

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The Spine Health - Part 1 
Opening the Thoracic (Chest) region
The spine at thoracic region supports the rib cage, which is composed of bones (ribs), muscles and cartilage. The rib cage protects the lungs and the heart, which are next in importance to the brain. The lungs purify the blood, while the heart circulates it to the entire body, enriching the cells and tissues with oxygen and nutrients, and taking away waste products.
The spine is bent forward in thoracic region. If it is bent in extreme, the result is congestion of the thoracic nerves and crowding of the rib cage. This reduces the space in which the lungs can expand thus reducing the respiratory efficiency. Stooped shoulders and hunched back occur in asthma and chronic bronchitis. These deformations can be removed by the practice of Chakrasana (in the picture), Dhanurasana, Ushtrasana, Bhujangasana and Matsyasana. By regular practice, the efficiency of the respiratory system increases and the symptoms of respiratory disease diminish. These asanas improves confidence, strengthens the posture and helps in holding the spine erect while sitting and walking.
Reader suggestions are welcome. Preparing the text on lumber (abdominal) region for the next part of “The Spine Health” series. 

The Spine Health - Part 1

Opening the Thoracic (Chest) region

The spine at thoracic region supports the rib cage, which is composed of bones (ribs), muscles and cartilage. The rib cage protects the lungs and the heart, which are next in importance to the brain. The lungs purify the blood, while the heart circulates it to the entire body, enriching the cells and tissues with oxygen and nutrients, and taking away waste products.

The spine is bent forward in thoracic region. If it is bent in extreme, the result is congestion of the thoracic nerves and crowding of the rib cage. This reduces the space in which the lungs can expand thus reducing the respiratory efficiency. Stooped shoulders and hunched back occur in asthma and chronic bronchitis. These deformations can be removed by the practice of Chakrasana (in the picture), Dhanurasana, Ushtrasana, Bhujangasana and Matsyasana. By regular practice, the efficiency of the respiratory system increases and the symptoms of respiratory disease diminish. These asanas improves confidence, strengthens the posture and helps in holding the spine erect while sitting and walking.

Reader suggestions are welcome. Preparing the text on lumber (abdominal) region for the next part of “The Spine Health” series. 

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Get hardy and stress free with Vajrasana  
Vajrasana is anytime anywhere asana. Vajra or thunderbolt has its roots in Hindu mythology. Indra is the leader of the gods and Lord of heaven in Hindu mythology. He is the God of war, the god of thunderstorms. His weapon is the bolt (Vajra).
Vajrasana makes your body hardy like a bolt. Vajrasana affects Vajra nadi (the sciatic nerve in physical form). Vajra nadi controls genital urinary functions controlling the flow of energy in this region. This is the best pose for relaxing the muscles, including those related to the spine. Vajranasa stimulates circulation in the nerves and muscles of the thighs. It removes indigestion and constipation, and is beneficial for stomach ailments like peptic ulcers. It concentrates the mind on its spiritual pursuit, and is commonly used as a meditation pose by Japanese Buddhists. It is a sitting pose while doing Namaz (prayer ritual of Muslims). 

Get hardy and stress free with Vajrasana  

Vajrasana is anytime anywhere asana. Vajra or thunderbolt has its roots in Hindu mythology. Indra is the leader of the gods and Lord of heaven in Hindu mythology. He is the God of war, the god of thunderstorms. His weapon is the bolt (Vajra).

Vajrasana makes your body hardy like a bolt. Vajrasana affects Vajra nadi (the sciatic nerve in physical form). Vajra nadi controls genital urinary functions controlling the flow of energy in this region. This is the best pose for relaxing the muscles, including those related to the spine. Vajranasa stimulates circulation in the nerves and muscles of the thighs. It removes indigestion and constipation, and is beneficial for stomach ailments like peptic ulcers. It concentrates the mind on its spiritual pursuit, and is commonly used as a meditation pose by Japanese Buddhists. It is a sitting pose while doing Namaz (prayer ritual of Muslims). 

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Padmasana

Padmasana

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Tolasana - Scale Pose

Tolasana - Scale Pose

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Like a Serpent
Bhujangasana is one of the most lovable asana of all aspirants. The feeling of energy moving down the vertebral column affecting chakra after chakra is immense. The head bent backward and focus between the eyebrows the energy travels down throat chakra, opening the heart chakra and then stabilizing at navel, the Manipura Chakra.
The attributes of Manipura chakra are represented by the snake’s capacity to swallow and digest large quantity of food, in all shapes and sizes. As the pose develops, the Swadhisthana get activated, opening the mysteries of patterns of human existence. As you prolong the pose, the contraction reaches the Mooladhara. The source of coiled up serpent energy. Upon release, the energy jumps back to the higher centers in the spine.  This is the realization of the tradition stated in the Gheranda Samhita: "By the practice of Bhujangasana, Kundalini is awakened."
Photo – Me doing variation of Bhujangasana.
Location – Pool Side, Samode Haveli, Jaipur, India

Like a Serpent

Bhujangasana is one of the most lovable asana of all aspirants. The feeling of energy moving down the vertebral column affecting chakra after chakra is immense. The head bent backward and focus between the eyebrows the energy travels down throat chakra, opening the heart chakra and then stabilizing at navel, the Manipura Chakra.

The attributes of Manipura chakra are represented by the snake’s capacity to swallow and digest large quantity of food, in all shapes and sizes. As the pose develops, the Swadhisthana get activated, opening the mysteries of patterns of human existence. As you prolong the pose, the contraction reaches the Mooladhara. The source of coiled up serpent energy. Upon release, the energy jumps back to the higher centers in the spine.  This is the realization of the tradition stated in the Gheranda Samhita: "By the practice of Bhujangasana, Kundalini is awakened."

Photo – Me doing variation of Bhujangasana.

Location – Pool Side, Samode Haveli, Jaipur, India