Tag: atreyoga

Let’s get limber – Yoga as flexibility training

We have all had days when we feel like each asana is a little more difficult than it was ever before. After such a yoga practice, we feel more stretched, relaxed and calm. Have you ever wondered why stretching and flexibility is critical for our proper physical and mental functioning?

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I’m sure at some point during your yoga journey, you have heard someone complain about not liking yoga because they are not flexible. It is extremely important to share with any fellow yoga practitioner or enthusiast you may know, that flexibility is not a pre-requisite for yoga but a by-product. One doesn’t begin with flexibility but over a period of continued practice, attains it. Yoga combines stretching and relaxation, which lead to flexibility.

But why do we need to be flexible, you ask?
There are many benefits of being flexible. In this blog post we will look into some of these benefits.

 

 

1. Reduces risk of injury
A flexible body is much more prepared for sudden, unexpected movements and strain during intense workouts. There is scientific evidence that the incidence of injury decreases when people include flexibility training in their routines due to the enhanced ability to move unimpeded through a wider range of motion. Spending few minutes a day on flexibility training or yoga, increase your flexibility. This leads to increased circulation to the muscles and important organs. A 2009 study in the American Journal of Physiology showed that for people age 40 and over, flexibility in the body was accompanied by flexibility in the arteries, thus reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and even death.

2. Improves everyday functions
A flexible body will always be able to perform daily functions with more ease, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks. An increased range of motion also allows you to perform daily functions with less risk of injury.

3. Improves posture, balance and reduces back pain
Stiff muscles can often lead to incorrect posture. A tight muscle in one part of your body may result in overexertion and pulling on another part, changing the way one holds their body in its relaxed state and placing strain on those joints. Increased flexibility in the large muscles in the lower body can help reduce stress on the lower back and reduce chronic back pain.

4. Reduces stress in intense workouts & enhances athletic performance
A well-stretched muscle will easily achieve its full range of motion which helps us utilize the full potential of muscles. This improves athletic performance and ability to do intense workouts with less strain on the joints. So a golf swing will be more effortless if the hips and shoulders are flexible and released. A tennis serve will be more powerful if there is greater range of motion. A runner will have better control of their form and gate if the muscles are limber and stretched out.

5. Mind-body connection
Some times when we engage in intense workouts or activities, we find ourselves losing track of the mind-body connection. We may be going too fast physically while the breath is not synced to the body and so the mind too gets distracted. With a flexible body, one can retain greater motor control and ability to respond to your environment. This helps us to improve the connection with the body as well as to the environment, leading to a much more aware and present existence.

 

As I tell all my students, it is easy to over-stretch so always remember, stretching should never be painful. There should never be a shooting or stabbing pain while stretching. The focus should be on bringing the muscle to a point of slight tension. It is essential that you continue your breathing pattern throughout the stretch. A great stretch is when the breath is unaffected and synced with the body.

 

To help you get more balanced and flexible, we have two exciting workshops this month.


18th November: The first workshop will be an Iyenger yoga based workshop with focus on twisting poses, which help release the back. Using props, we will learn about correct alignment and increased range of motion.
For details click here.

25th November: The second workshop will focus on improving the mobility of the shoulders and hips, through restorative yoga and static stretches.
For details click here.

 

This article is written by our head teacher Priyanjali Das. With focus on anatomy and mindfulness, her AtréYoga classes are welcoming and free of judgment & restrain. To know when she takes classes, click here to view the schedule.

 

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Workplace Ergonomics

The term ‘Ergonomics’ refers to the study of people’s efficiency at the workplace. Working on desktops and laptops constantly in a certain posture for hours have proven to be hazardous causing pain and discomfort to oneself.  Drooped, stiff shoulders, lower back pain, strained eyes, fatigue….sound familiar?

The video below shows our current posture while using the computer and how healthy one might feel with a little awareness of basic suggestions and safety tips.  Adopting these habits will benefit adults and children alike and prevent occupational work, school or home stress or disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, hunched shoulders, when using computer devices:

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Ten Things You Should Know About Yoga

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1.Yoga is not a religion. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj”, which mean “to yoke, to unite”. As such, Yoga is the union of body, mind and spirit: it can be practiced at a physical, mental and/or spiritual level, independently from one’s religious beliefs.

2. You don’t need to be flexible to do Yoga. You gain flexibility by doing it.

3. An adult breathes 16 – 20 times in a minute; by practicing Yoga asanas (postures) and pranayam (yogic breathing techniques) your breath rate can be slowed down – which helps slow down the ageing process, as slower breathes mean less free radicals from the oxygens.

4. If you are a serious sports person, Yoga can help you improve the quality of your performance in the sport you practice, being it an effortless swing of the golf club, or the underwater breath for a scuba diver, or the energy management for a rock climber.

5. If you are a “gym guy” your body will particularly thank you for doing Yoga along with your gym routine. Yoga improves muscle coordination. Moreover the conscious use of the breath used in Yoga prevents the creation of lactic acid and increases the overall muscle quality.

6. Yoga has therapeutic values and can integrate medical treatments; however, it suits as well people in good health who want to keep fit, decrease the level of stress and live a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.

7.Yoga can help you lose weight as it works on your endocrine system by balancing your hormones and improving the quality of your digestion. Focusing on awareness, Yoga will also introduce you to mindful eating and therefore help improve your eating habits.

8. A good Yoga Teacher is a must, especially as you approach Yoga for the first time. At the same time, encourage your own self to practice at home, making Yoga a part of your daily routine.

9. Yoga is not about competition, neither with others nor with yourself. Do what you easily can, listen to your body and understand your current limits as well as your potential to progress in the practice safely and steadily.

10. And by the way, since I have been asked this a few times: homosexuality is not a disease; it does not need to be cured, so Yoga can’t “cure” it.

By Zubin Atré

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Back pain, neck pain? Could these be trigger point issues? Let’s yoga it out!

Yoga expert Zubin Atré uses his knowledge of trigger points to alleviate pain caused by myofascial knots. As this video by Michiel Akkerman beautifully illustrates, many pains in the upper back and between the shoulder blades are a result of “trigger points”. Some of the chronic conditions caused by trigger points include frozen shoulder, muscle spasms, chronic neck stiffness and migraine. This video shows how people could treat trigger points themselves. The example given here is self-massage using a ball agains the wall. Yoga is another effective way of dealing with trigger points on your own. Certain yoga asanas performed with appropriate breathing techniques help stretch the muscles affecting trigger points. Practicing asanas regularly dissolves the knots. Please leave your comments and questions here. Or write to info@atreyogastudio.com.

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