Yoga Daily

open up your heart

🙂

I’ve realized recently from my yoga practices how differently i do my sun salutation after years of practice. I do not have time *cough* to record a video and show you my sun salutations but basically, sun sals is the best way to warm up your body for any yoga practices. When done right, it will open up your shoulders, your mind and most importantly, your heart.

I believe having the right mind and thoughts when doing yoga is very important in advancing to any poses instead of just focus and strong core muscles. i know for sure i have week arms and thanks to a recent leg injury, basically i am just weaker now.

but recently i’ve attended a class from a different instructor and i quote her

“The most basic poses are the best and most challenging to strengthen your core muscles”

and yes, true enough, the most basic poses when done right, gives you more challenge than any advance postures itself.

and so, here i would like to dedicate a pose to chaturanga dandasana which is the pose that i have mastered throughout my years of practice in yoga and i can proudly say, sun salutations are basically one of the best yoga movements to cleanse your mind body and soul. the best place to practice sun sals in somewhere peaceful, calm, with little to no distractions.

i particularly like ashtanga sun salutations for its balance between inner breathe, posture and flow.

This is the best video that i can find that shows the BEST way to do a sun salutation.

1. Start with arms on your chest. Breathe and slowly bring your arms to the top of your head and then arch your back.

2. Slowly move down towards forward bend, palms on the mat.

3. Raise your body slightly up and fingers on the mat.

4. Forward bend again.

5. Lift your heels off the mat and slowly balance your body on your palms, feet floating on the mat.

6. Slowly swing your leg back, when reaching the mat it should produce no sound at all.

8. Chaturanga Dandasana, your body should be lifted off from the mat and only feet and palms on the mat. Elbow should be parallel with your body and body should be in a straight line.

7. Tuck in your feet, raise your body up to Upward Dog, thighs not resting on the mat.

8. Slowly raise your body up to Downward dog, body should be in a straight downward “v” shape. Rest here for at least 5 long breathes.

9. Now slowly raise your heels up, lift your body up and jump towards your hands, slowly balancing it first before placing your feet down on the mat.

8. Forward bend.

9. Lift your head up, Breathe up hands raise towards the back and arch your back.

10. Palms down to the chest.

Note :: Watch the video. You will notice that the guy is doing a proper Ujjayi breathing and have a locked banda in most of his postures. That is the right way to practice sun salutations. You will realize once you have locked your bandha, air flows easily through your nose and your breathing becomes very very natural.

I must say this is the most important poses in yoga and if you want to move towards more advance poses, you have to master the sun salutations first. I noticed in a lot of yoga classes a lot of people have even the downward dog position wrong. Just keep practising if you can’t achieve any postures but basically, sun salutations can really open up your muscles, joint, thoughts, mind, and your heart in accepting yoga itself.

Try it out! 🙂

For advance students, here’s the second level of sun salutation which will be interesting enough to spice up your practice.

I am still learning to go from a balanced forward bend to handstand.. so yeah, this will be my new challenge!

namaste and if time allows, i will try and record a video of myself doing a level1 sun salutation. 🙂

-J

the art of breathing


the art or breathing … is synonym to living.

in life or in yoga… what encourages us to continue challenging ourselves during any postures/activity is our breath.

with a stable, smooth and prolonged breathing, it shows that our mind is calm enough to tell our body that it is confident to perform a posture gracefully.

with the same theory, we can apply it to our normal daily routines.

if our mind is clear and focused enough to achieve a certain goal… for sure, the goal is easily within reach.
But if our mind, thoughts and words are clouded by uncertainty, doubt, fear, rejection, and negativity, nothing can be obtained or achieved successfully.

i always believe that yoga is not something we can apply just on our yoga practices, but it is something we can apply on our everyday lives.

always try to remove unwanted thoughts from our mind… and anything, is possible when our mind is clear.

i have always hear of sayings, that our mind is so powerful that sometimes it can defy gravity.
BUT, what i truly believe, is the logic that when our mind is in peace, paired with the awareness of a goal that we set to achieve at one time, the result will be beyond our own expectations. that, is the true power of our self instead of our mind.

this is why, yoga is also defined as union with our body, mind and soul while our emotion, intelligence and action is in balance.  By understanding this, you will not only have a physical understanding on yoga, but you will also understand it spiritually and lead a meaningful life where your body is in harmony with your mind and soul.

i hope my words are not too confusing for anyone to understand, but if you can just try this very easy exercise, you may understand what i mean.

1. sit comfortably, relax and close your eyes.

2. breathe normally. try to empty your mind and remove all thoughts and conversations from your mind. if you can’t empty your mind, try to focus on the tip of your nose.

3. once you are relaxed and calmed, imagine a strong bright light, coming into your body from the top of your head, travelling slowly into your mind, your eyes, nose, mouth, neck, shoulder and slowly to your heart.

4. imagine the light shining brighter once it reaches your heart… and continues to shine even brighter. and brighter.

5. once it reaches a point where you feel your heart is warm… move the light slowly to your arms, hands, waist, hips, legs, and slowly.. your whole body is covered with light.

6. slowly feel how warm your body become.. and how the light shines from your body , brightening your surrounding .

7. once you’re comfortable, imagine the light slowly fading away.

this small practice, is very good to destress ourself after a tiring day at work or any stressful situation you are experiencing.

the point is to understand that we can be anything we want ourselves to be, if we focus on it hard enough.

the first time i tried this exercise… it made me understand how powerful yoga is, and how it affects my believe in my own self.

i would say, yoga is me right now, as it has taught me how to value and experience my life in a different level. if i can, i will try my best to share my experience with as many people as i can because i truly believe that values in yoga is beneficial to everyone.

i hope you will find my post useful.

🙂

ahimsa,
Jen

mukta hasta shirsasana

or unsupported headstand.


For all of you dare devils out there, who ARE familiar with how to do a headstand safely, try a mukta hasta sirsasana!


When done correctly, this pose is actually a very relaxing pose with no stress and tension at all in your body.

the point, is to view the world, upside down. and widen your perspective and also TRUST and FOCUS on your own strength and body.

If you’ve been looking front all this while, it never hurts to turn things upside down and think in a different shoe/view.

Organizing the Pose

  • Come into the pose from any of the other Head Stand variations. If balance is an issue, set yourself up against the wall. If you are using the wall, it is important to be close to it so that you are not pushing your hips out into the middle of the room and sitting in the lower back when you bring your heels to the wall.
  • Reach the arms out in front of you with the backs of the hands on the floor at shoulder width.
  • Stay here for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Either return to your previous Head Stand variation, or come down out of the pose.
  • Rest in Child’s Pose for several moments before coming up.

Practice Points

  • Ground the weight down evenly through the backs of the hands.
  • Reach the shoulder blades and triceps into the elbows as you draw the biceps back into the armpits and lift the outer collarbones.
  • Broaden the collarbones and balance the weight evenly between them.
  • Widen the neck, throat and upper back.
  • Stretch up strongly through the sides of the waist and legs.
  • Soften and widen the buttocks.
  • Soften and widen the chest, neck and throat.

TRY IT OUT! and remember, safety first. Do not force any yoga movement, and more importantly, don’t push yourself if you cant do it. 🙂

Namaste.

in love, peace and harmony,
Jen

the happy map

Just to share with you something i found and also what i truly believe in. 🙂

the HAPPY MAP

  • Deep Nature Appreciation is the best fuel.
  • Harmonize your Life with the ways of Nature.
  • Life has stages, live in harmony with them.
  • Listen before acting.
  • Relax and Enjoy Life often.
  • Being busy is not always a virtue.
  • Time spent Alone or with Friends and Family in Beautiful Places is real Richness.
  • Community is a powerful womb to abide in. Nourish all levels of it.
  • All actions are motivated by love of some kind.
  • Love for yourself, your family, friends, nation or even people who share your beliefs is great, but keep going…
  • Let your circle of Love grow so wide it reaches the farthest corner of the universe.
  • Every Culture has currents that will pull you into a life of uninspired mediocrity. Follow your Bliss.
  • Remember that the word ‘Should’ starts with “Shhhh…”
  • Never cease to let Love amaze you
  • Let Awe flow through you. Don’t let even the smallest things be taken for granted or grow stale.
  • Every action has consequences. Balance Selfishness and Altruism with every action.
  • Justice is based in this balance make sure it does, in fact, prevail.
  • Aim for the stars, but stay grounded in Simplicity.
  • Creativity is pure magic.
  • It’s True. Laughter is Good Medicine.
  • Never let the intellect become unbridled from the heart or vice versa.
  • Not everything is good, but when viewed from the right perspective it can be all good.
  • The secret to Happiness is to not get stuck on oneself but to see the process of countless forms of life ceaselessly coming, interacting and going.
  • To be a part of this Dance even for a moment is an unfathomably huge gift.
  • To leave a legacy that allows others to dance to the same divine rhythm is an even bigger gift.
  • Resist the tendency to drift through life like a cork, chart your course. Why bob around when you can surf?
  • Plant beneficial seeds, do your best and let go.
  • Do things because they come from deep in your heart and not for just for personal gain.
  • Cultivate a “What’s in it for us?” mentality.
  • Lead by example.
  • Increase your life force.
  • Beware of Greed and the Kleshas. They will quickly lure you towards happiness that will not last.
  • Don’t Dwell, Just Gel
  • Everything that doesn’t go right, goes wrong for all the right reasons (although it may take time to see this)
  • Know the nature of Grief and Pain. They can shut you down or open you up to the Deepest Source of Love.
  • To only be attracted to sweet forms of happiness is a trap.
  • Be willing to accept the bitter with the sweet.
  • Beware of extremes.
  • When people tell you that ‘it’s all about balance,’ they are right. Become intimate with the forces that life requires us to balance.
  • True Gratitude quickly opens doors to the heart.
  • Too much Ego is a self-created prison.
  • Anger is not to be stifled. Increase your Love Force and give Anger space to dissipate in it.
  • Things are as they are.
  • It’s never to late to keep growing.
  • You are about to become all you are thinking.
  • Listen to the intelligence of the body.
  • Close your eyes often and Feel the vibrations of life.
  • Feedback from your body will tell you whether you are being present or not.
  • Celebrate the Animal and the Angel in you.
  • Love is the Ultimate Renewable Resource.

FROM HERE

-J

tangan berdiri

Doing the handstand is the most challenging yoga posture for me so far;- to balance your whole body on your hand and stay put while balancing your body on air  from the strengths of your hands/arms. basically my arms is still very weak, and i have to use the wall to achieve this pose. My problem is that i’m afraid i will fall off, sideways or not, from the balancing. falling is always painful.. and that fear from falling is the hindrance. it’s hard to shake that feeling off and perhaps, that’s the reason why i cant achieve it yet. But i guess i just need more practice. and to shake off that fear ..

the handstand is imho, a few level above headstands and scorpion pose. if i can master the handstand.. a lot of other postures will be easy peasy.

strong arms is key!


kick up with wall support


variation 1


variation 2

all the best to me!

😉

-J