Tag: shahpurJat

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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Pulling Strings

Orignally published in TIMEOUT DELHI by Arunima Mazumdar

Turn up, tune in, drop out with a session of sitar yoga It’s a quiet Sunday morning at Shahpur Jat. The shops are shut and the dogs are curled up beside the roadside tea-stalls. A handful of us have assembled at Atré Yoga Studio, watching the sun rays silently forcing its way through the partly-open balcony doors, creating abstract art on the colourful yoga mats laid out on the floor. A sitar leans on a wall in one corner of the room. “Yoga allows one to handle situations effortlessly, and music is the language of emotions,” said Zubin Atré, founder of AtréYoga, explaining the concept behind his “sitar yoga” sessions. “When yoga is practised with music, it nourishes the experience and takes it beyond just performing an asana.”

sitar

Started in 2009, AtréYoga is an initiative that celebrates the ancient art of yoga in new ways. Atré, who was introduced to yoga by his father at the age of three, has been trying to combine it with other distinct forms. It was at a yoga jam session at Atré Yoga Studio four years ago that Atré met sitar player Galen Passen. “We spoke about combining these two graceful practices together and the idea clicked,” Atré said. “We met again and practiced it together, and it took us less than ten minutes to realise that we were on the same frequency and what we were doing was making a lot of sense.”

Atré begins every sitar yoga session with the padmasana (lotus pose) and Passen settles beside him with his sitar. Atré, with his eyes closed, focuses on the lingering pulse of the sitar, which is gradually roused to life by Passen. Atré begins the warm-up stretches, before slowly moving on to the sitting asanas. Unlike other yoga classes, there are no vocal instructions. The idea is to enjoy the flow of yoga and sitar together. Thus, the mats are arranged in a way that every individual is able to see either Atré or the person in front of them. The sitar melody created by Passen miraculously appears to be in sync with the flow of body movements. The asanas rise and fall like a chain reaction in slow motion. Sometimes, the sitar catches up with the pace of the class and sometimes, it is the other way round.

The 90-minute sitar yoga session is more about wellness than fitness and Atré’s target audience is universal. “Anyone who aims to experience yoga beyond the basic asana is welcome,” he said. “We have people of all ages and from all backgrounds coming in. I would recommend the sessions for people with hectic lifestyles and urge them to take some time out to feel the wakefulness and awareness of the mind, and the relaxation of the body, at the same time.”

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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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