Nadi Shodana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breath – How To

This how-to video shows the hand position and basic rotation of breath for this highly therapeutic pranayama practice.  Also known as cleansing breath.  There are many different methods of Nadi Shodona ranging from the beginner to more advanced practices including breath retention and locks.

Preparation: The left hands rests in chin mudra, first finger & thumb connected, palm faced down, on the knee or thigh, and Vishnu mudra (index & middle finger folded into palm, thumb and last two fingers lifted) is taken with the right hand, using the thumb & ring fingers to block off the nostrils.

Basic Technique: Inhale Right, Exhale Left, no breath retention

Beginner Technique: Inhale Right, hold briefly, Exhale Left, Inhale Left, hold briefly, Exhale Right (i.e. switching on the exhale) – this is 1 complete round.

Nadi Shodana Pranayama helps to alleviate headaches and insomnia while balancing both hemispheres of the brain.  This technique is also great for relieving stress and may help head off any sinus issues as a result of a cold or seasonal sniffles.

Namaste.  Sat Nam.

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Beetroot Juice for Root Chakra

Beetroot Juice for Root Chakra

In a juicer, juice all ingredients below:

3 carrots – peeled

1 beetroot – peeled

1 lemon – peeled

1 cucumber – peeled

1 celery stick

a few sprigs of parsley

(optional: garlic to taste)

Rich in iron, this juice helps replenish the blood with vital nutrients and also aids in cleansing the kidneys, elimination and a gentle appetite suppressant.

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Office Yoga Tips

Which asanas and techniques would work best in an office, when space is an issue for office Yoga classes? Pranayama is most important, but let’s look at solutions for Yoga posturing, and getting better blood circulation in the legs, within a finite amount of space.

If you are limited to the confines of your cubicle for space, you can still take care of your back, release muscle tension, and get some circulation into your legs with office Yoga. There are many office Yoga postures (asanas), and Yogic exercises, to perform, but here are a four that will help you during the work day.

Leg Circles – You can perform leg circles in a variety of ways. You can cycle a single leg forward and backward – as you would a bicycle. You can also do the same movement with two legs at once. This cycling movement is most commonly seen in shoulder stand, but we are sitting in an office chair for this one. By using two legs at once, the abdominal muscles, and arms, will work a bit harder.

Leg circles can also be performed, similar to the Pilates leg circle. This movement engages inner and outer thigh muscles. Yet, the most important benefit for office workers is getting circulation in the legs, to prevent swelling, due to the pooling of fluid in lower legs, and to prevent blood clotting.

Camel (Ustrasana) in a chair – This is a back bending movement. Office workers should do this four to eight times, or more, per day, to counter pose all the natural slouching from staring at the computer monitor.

However, this back bend should originate from the center of the back. Care should be taken to avoid jamming the low back and to avoid hyper-extending the neck. People with back and neck problems should consult their physician before practicing Camel posture.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) in a chair – You may want to move your sit bones half way forward in your chair for this Yoga posture. This forward bending movement is a good “counter pose” to Camel posture. You should not force your body into a deep Seated Forward Bend posture. Your breath should be your guide for the amount of depth you find comfortable. The spine should be kept as straight as possible.

Seated Spinal Twist – There are many variations of Seated Spinal Twist, but the spine should be straight while holding this posture. Some variations focus on the lower, middle, or upper back. You can also cross your legs or leave your feet flat on the ground. Therefore, you may want to mix it up for best results.

The breath should not be held, while performing a Seated Spinal Twist, even though it may feel natural to do so. Seated Spinal Twist lubricates the spine, aids in digestion, increases the elasticity of connective tissue to the spine, prevents backaches, and massages the internal organs.

Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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Yoga for Bone Density

By Faye Martins

Studies show that Yoga helps to fight one of the most common diseases affecting older Americans. Osteoporosis, a disorder that results in the loss of bone density and the thinning of bone tissue, affects 20 percent of American women over the age of 50. Bone loss is gradual and for some adults it may start before the age of 40.

When we are young, our bodies use calcium and phosphate to produce strong, healthy bones. With age, production of these minerals declines, making bones brittle and vulnerable to fractures. Although bone loss is more common in women, it also affects men.

Areas like the spine, wrists, and hips are especially prone to breaking. Yoga helps to build bone density, improve posture, and prevent hunched backs. Depending on the health and age of the practitioner, exercises can be adapted to fit individual needs. For beginners with osteoporosis, chair Yoga may be a good choice. However, a specialist chair Yoga instructor is essential for a safe class.

Ten Poses that Increase Bone Density

• Chair Pose

• Cobra Pose

• Mountain Pose

• Forward Bends

• Backward Bends

• Warrior Pose

• Bridge Pose

• Triangle Pose

• Upward Facing Dog

• Downward Facing Dog

Although Yoga is a weight-bearing exercise, it is much less likely to overwork the joints or damage cartilage than exercises like walking or jogging. Instead, asanas lengthen muscles and pull on bones, stressing and strengthening them in the process.

In a small study done in 2009, older adults with bone disease practiced a series of ten asanas. Two years later, bones scans showed that 85% of the participants had increased bone growth in the hips and spine. An unpublished study completed at California State University also showed that participants who practiced Yoga increased the density of bones in their vertebrae.

Another weapon in the war against osteoporosis is Yoga’s ability to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone produced during “flight or fight” response. Not only does cortisol suppress the immune system and raise the blood pressure, but it also depletes the supply of calcium in the bones and inhibits its absorption in the intestines.

Although an early start helps to prevent problems that come with aging, it’s never too late to begin a Yoga practice. Especially for people already suffering from bone loss or other health problems, it’s always a good idea to speak with a doctor before starting a new program.

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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Watermelon Juice

Ingredients: Watermelon chunks, Lemon Juice, Ginger Slices, Raw Honey (to taste)


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