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Surya Namaskara: Salutations to the Sun

You might have heard the story of Hanuman and Surya who initially didn’t start off on a good foot with each other. When Hanuman was very young he confused the sun (Surya) with a big mango and had nearly eaten him if it wasn’t for Lord Indra’s intervention. Long story short, in the end Surya accepted Hanuman as a student, taught him about the ancient Vedas and released his student without demanding a fee. In return, Hanuman could only offer his gratitude and namaskars (respectful greetings). And so the Surya Namaskar series was born as Hanuman’s guru dakshina to Surya.

Historically and in many other cultures, humans have been worshipping the sun, the ultimate teacher, the one who illuminates the sky and shines light into our heart and soul.

The Benefits of Surya Namaskara
Surya namaskara is one of the most complete practices of hatha yoga. The primary intention of this series of poses is to awaken the energy of the sun that normally lies dormant at the navel centre. Surya namaskara allows us to reach deep into our solar plexus and awaken and circulate the sun’s healing power to restore a radiant body and cultivate a clear, calm, and tranquil mind. With a couple of cycles of the sun salutation (traditionally 12 rounds), regularly applied, you can reap many of its benefits for body and mind:

  • Stimulate agni or your digestive fire and may aid in weight loss
  • Energize the nervous system for more clarity and focus
  • Balance the endocrine system and improves moods and emotional stability
  • Harmonize the energy flow throughout the body connecting the lower and upper extremities

 

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Like other classic yoga asanas, the surya namaskara is a way to enter the subtle body, allowing us to tap into our innate healing powers, increase vitality, and accelerate the process of rejuvenation. To derive all these benefits, however, we must take the practice beyond stretching. The spiritual dimension of surya namaskara is much more profound and fulfilling than the physical level of practice alone. When both the physical and spiritual aspects are strung together, the practice becomes Sutra Yoga – the kind of practice intended by masters like Patanjali, the compiler of the Yoga Sutra. A Sutra Yoga style of the sun salutation strings together (sutra) body, breath, mind, and soul with the healing and nurturing forces of the sun, and infuses life with serenity and inner awakening. In this way, the sun salutation becomes a complete practice of yoga, meditation, and spirituality.

This article is written by our in-house teacher Gwendolyn Wregar who has been practicing different styles of yoga on and off the mat for the last 10 years.
With her background in natural health and massage therapy she finds that yoga is a wonderful way of looking after one’s health and well-being. One of Gwen’s goals is to encourage others to find more balance in their lives, to feel more fulfilled and connected to themselves and the world around.

Join Gwen for an invigorating morning class and indulge in the glorious benefits of the Sun Salutations.

Weekdays:
Wednesdays & Friday morning: 7 – 8 am & 8 – 9 am
Thursday evening: 6-7 pm & 7-8 pm

Weekends: 8:30 – 10 am

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It takes two to yoga – first book by Zubin Atré!

Book Launch “It takes two to yoga”

It was launched at the charming Devang house cafe at Ashok hotel in Delhi this August, followed by a lively discussion on how the idea of writing a book fully dedicated to Partner yoga appeared and evolved, and what are the main aspects of practicing yoga with a partner. As a quintessence of the evening, the guests enjoyed a breathtaking performance by Sonu and Shikha from India Got Talent, demonstrating the beauty and the challenges of a partner yoga. (See photos of the event below)

“We have been offering partner yoga classes quite regularly at the AtréYoga Studio in Delhi. It started almost for fun with the students who regularly come to class, then the demand for partner yoga increased and we conceived specialised workshops entirely dedicated to partner yoga sessions. However, the idea of writing the book did not exactly evolved over time; it rather surfaced up suddenly when my editor Dharini Bhaskar, raised the idea to condense my experience with partner yoga into a manual that could allow a wider public to benefit from this amazing practice” – explains Zubin Atré.

When two people meld, the impact and the experience of their practice deepens on account of touch.

It Takes Two to Yoga moves beyond individual yogic practice and embraces the essence of yoga a term that, in fact, means a ‘union’ or a ‘yoking together’. It considers asanas that two people can practice as one whether they are colleagues, couples, parents or friends to deepen the impact of postures.

After hand-holding readers through a series of preparatory poses, this book goes on to guide partners and couples through the minutiae of more than forty two-person postures among them, ‘butterfly arch’, where two bodies curve like the wings of a moth; ‘London bridge’, where two pairs of hands knot to form an overpass and ‘flying bow’, where one of two partners seems to levitate! Besides photographs, each posture comes with detailed practice instructions; The vision guiding the pose and how best to build awareness.

What makes It Takes Two to Yoga particularly special is its emphasis on touch. By focusing on this form of non-verbal communication, the book uses yoga as a tool to establish a connection that goes beyond the purely physical, rather, couples and partners, by practicing as one, come to embrace laughter, trust, compassion, forgiveness and an acceptance of each other’s limitations.

“It takes two to yoga” is now available in the bookstores across India, as well as on Amazon and Kindle (goo.gl/Xxl2El)

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Movember is here. Is your Moustache ready ?

 

movember_logo_2-What is ‘Movember’?

A linguistic blend of “Moustache” and “November”, it refers to the campaign launched in 2004 in Australia inviting men from all over the world to grow facial hair (preferably their moustache) during the month of November to raise awareness about men health and the prevention of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and depression.

Movember is now a global movement, running campaigns in Canada, USA, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Finland and Spain.

Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

How does it work?

It is very simple: you start with a clean-shaven face on November 1 and you no longer shave until the end of the month. The idea is to generate awareness and educate the masses in a new and fun, avatar while working towards a cause.

This year, its more about the cause, what it represents and there are various ways through which the awareness can further be spread and gain more support, for instance, practicing yoga offers a host of benefits to lead a healthy lifestyle and have a peaceful mind. It is available to one and all anytime, anywhere! So gentlemen, support the cause for men’s health, invest in a yoga practice and stay happy.

385878_2638736283148_1560637511_nZubin Atré, has been an avid supporter of the movement for years now and this time he would be hosting a session of 90 minutes at AtréYoga Studio this November. Yoga Dudes, come and sport your moustache, start a conversation and help generate awareness about Men’s health. Ladies, you too are welcomed to come along with your better halves and participate in this cause.

Movember_nailartWomen too can participate in the project by pushing their men to grow out moustaches and getting them to be active as part of Movember’s new “Move” initiative and or getting some cute nailart done and donate to the cause.

To know more about the movement, read here.

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