Bhujapeedasana

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Bhujapeedasana aka “shoulder press pose” is an balancing posture in which you stand on both hands with your legs wrapped around your shoulders and feet crossed in front of you.  It is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series arm balancing postures.

How to get into the position

Standing with your feet waist width apart, bend forward and take your arms inside your legs placing the shoulder inside and locking it against the back of your thighs.  Sit on your arms without placing the weight on them and without collapsing the position.  Ensure that your elbows are turned out and lift your knees up towards your ears to reduce the weight of your legs on your arms.  Hold this position for five full breaths.

With every inhalation, lift your waist high.  With every exhalation, press the palms of your hands against the floor to lift your knees.  Do not sit your weight on your arms; lift your knees.

At first, you will fall over when you attempt the full position!  In time however, you will build up the necessary strength.  Until then, don’t give up (!) and try coming up on your tip toes and work up towards taking all the weight into the palms and lifting your feet off the floor.

Benefits

Bhujapeedasana:

  • works the muscles along the anterior line of the body and the psoas, wrists, shoulders, and arms;
  • stimulates the thyroid gland regulating metabolism and balancing the nervous system; and
  • improves circulation.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any shoulder, wrist, elbow, or lower back issues.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

 

 

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Pindasana

 

Pindasna aka “ear pressure pose” is an inverted posture in which both the ears are pressed by the bent legs and is one of the Prana Vashya Primary Series finishing postures.

How to get into the position

From Padma Sarvangasana (i.e. shoulderstand with your legs folded in lotus) and on the inhalation, bend your knees down to your chest bringing them by your ears so that they rest on the floor.  Then as you exhale, bind your hands and move your thighs closer to your abdomen so that they remain together.  Hold this position for five full breaths.

With every inhalation, lift your waist high.  With every exhalation, try to bend your knees more towards your chest and bind your hands further.  Ensure you keep the weight on your shoulders.

Benefits

Pindasana:

  • helps release tension from the hips
  • purifies the liver and spleen
  • strengthens the uterus and/or rectum

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any ankle, knee or hip issues.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

 

Newly refurbished Prana Vashya Yoga Studio (Queens Rd., Leicester) NOW OPEN!

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Class times include:

The early bird –                 6.30 am to 8.00 am

Evening –                              6.30 pm to 8.00 pm

Why Prana Vashya Yoga?

Prana Vashya employs a unique approach to the breath during your yoga practice to make you physically and psychologically stronger in a natural way. It is through the nervous system that emotions and mental activities change breathing.  If you learn to control your breathing, you can conquer the life force which is deeply connected with the mind.  This unique approach towards the breath serves as additional support for you to accomplish postures without stressing any internal or external parts of the body.  The pattern of breath you maintain during each session also causes you to develop the capacity to maintain consistent calmness of mind during your journey of yoga.

Prana Vashya is also designed to increase stamina in your key muscle groups by working them independently.  Working your muscles this way increases the muscle tone of individual muscle groups.  This, then, reduces the negative influence over the stabilising muscles which bear the strain most of the time.   Therefore you can quickly see improvement with regular practice.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

Win a pair of weekend passes to the OM Yoga Show (Manchester)

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We are giving away 5 pairs of weekend passes to the OM Yoga Show Manchester, giving you the chance to come and bring a friend to the show for the whole weekend.  The event is being held at EventCity, Manchester on the 20th – 22nd April.

Register with the Prana Vashya Yoga Studio (Leicester) by 15th April for your chance to win.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

 

 

Is Lotus pose bad for your knees?

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Is Lotus pose bad for your knees? I get asked this question by students.  In short, Lotus pose or Padmasana is not bad for your knees, provided you do not force anything.   That being said, Lotus pose is an advanced yoga position and is not for beginners.   It is one of the finishing postures in the Prana Vashya Yoga Primary Series as it releases tension from the neck, shoulders and chest.

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The important thing about doing Lotus pose is not to force it.  Lotus pose is an “asana” (as opposed to a “yoga asana”) so it literally means ‘pose held in a position of comfort’ and is not meant to be an exercise; don’t force it!  On the one hand, if your hips are open enough, your heal will face your face when you cross your legs onto your thighs, and holding lotus is perfectly safe.  In fact, you can walk around on your knees in lotus (as pictured).  If, on the other hand, you are struggling to get your leg on your thigh in the first place, then this is a sure sign that you are NOT ready for lotus.  If you do force it, you run a real risk of permanently injuring your meniscus.

The meniscus

The knee joint is predominantly a hinge joint so if you look at it from the side you will notice that it flexes and extends.  Towards the side of the knee (at the top of the tibia) is your meniscus; it is like a shock absorber in the knee; without which you would not be able to withstand the impact of things like running.

Your meniscus is made from non-regenerative tissue; any damage to the same is therefore permanent and to be avoided at all costs!  Which just goes to show that there is no room for sayings like: “no pain; no gain” in yoga.  In fact, if your body hurts in any way when practicing yoga then STOP!  Something is not right.

How to get into the position

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you; spine straight and arms by your sides. Then bend your right knee and take it towards your right side to open the hip before bringing your heal towards your chest and folding the foot on your left thigh in the crease of your left hip (so your heal faces your own face).

Then, bend your left knee. Cross your left ankle over the top of your right shin (again, so your heal faces your own face) and the top of your foot and ankle rests on your hip crease.

As a variation to the full posture, try sitting cross-legged a.k.a.: “Easy Pose” and work your way up to Half Lotus, that is just one leg folded on the thigh, to reduce pressure in the knee.  When you can comfortably bring your heal to the center – so it faces your own face – then, and only then, will you be ready for full posture.

Benefits

Ancient sages of India claim this position awakens Kundalini, the divine cosmic energy that can awaken the inner-Self.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any ankle or knee injury.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

Eka Pada Ushtrasana

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Eka Pada Ushtasana aka “one-legged camel pose” is a back-bending position (and counter posture to the preceding forward bends in the Prana Vashya Primary Series).   This is a challenging position which should only be practiced with an appropriate yoga teacher.  Get it wrong and you will force your neck or lower back to take the load of the backbend, causing injury.

How to get into the position

Begin with the right side; fold your right leg back and come up on the knee- arms forward / extended out in front of you.  Inhale and reach your left arm back and grasp your heal, then exhale and move your right arm back.  Rise your chest high and keep looking forward.  Then turn the waist in on the forward leg to square your hips, placing weight on the front foot.  Finally, open your free shoulder back and drop your head back, to complete the posture.

To ensure your hips are square, try an inward rotation of the opposing hip to level the posture and do not place the weight too far forward.

As you continue to hold the position for five full breaths: on each inhalation try to breath into the mid-back / thoracic cavity; on every exhalation try to increase the backbend by opening the free shoulder back.

Repeat on the left-hand side.

As a variation to the full posture, try keeping your head forward / looking forward with your palm on your thigh instead.

Benefits

  • Opens the chest and shoulders;
  • Helps dissolve fat on the thighs;
  • Stimulates the thyroid and the nervous system;
  • Increases circulation, improves digestion and increases blood flow to your face to help improve complexion; and
  • Helps combat stress and anxiety.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any chronic lower back or neck injuries or if you have any series blood pressure issues or if you are suffering from insomnia or migraines.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

Uttitha Parshvakonasana

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Uttitha Parsvakonasana aka “extended side angle pose” is the second position in the Prana Vashya Primary Series.   Standing postures, such as extended side angle pose, improve muscle tone in all the independent muscle groups that support the pelvis; giving you a strong foundation in life.

How to get into the position

Step to the right (feet 3.5 to 4 feet apart) and turn your feet to the right.  Then, as you inhale, open your arms parallel to the floor and level with your shoulders and then bend your right knee (keeping the thigh at a right angle to the floor).

Then, as you exhale, place your right palm on your right foot and extend your left arm by your left ear; stretching all the way from your backward (left) heel through your (left) middle fingertip and lengthening the entire (left) side of your body. Your vision point should be looking up at the sky or celling from underneath your armpit.

As you continue to hold the position for five full breaths: on each inhalation try to extend the arm (pushing from your backward foot); on every exhalation try to rotate your torso more towards the sky / celling using the support of your lower hand.

Do not turn your knee inside; the ankle should not be in front of the knee.

Repeat on the left-hand side.

As a variation to this posture and if you are struggling to reach your palm to your foot; try taking your elbow to thigh instead.

Benefits

  • opens the hips and strengthens and stretches the legs and spine
  • opens the heart chakra
  • helps combat infertility
  • aligns the lower spine;
  • helps with PMT and sciatica.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any series blood pressure issues or if you are suffering from insomnia or chronic headaches.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

 

Parsva Bakasana

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Parsva Bakasana aka “side crow pose” is a challenging position which demands both strength and correct technique.

How to get into the position

Begin by bending your knees to a half-squat (thighs parallel to the floor). Then inhale and take your right elbow to the outside of your left thigh. Exhaling, twist your torso to the left (taking right lower ribs towards your left armpit) and take the weight of your body into the left thigh/ right elbow as you find the balancing point to bring your legs off the floor.  The middle of your abdomen should be above and between your hands.

Once you feel confident in the pose, try extending your legs and scissoring them apart and holding the position for five full breaths.

The secrete to Parsva Bakasana is locking the outer edge of one upper arm far around the outside of the opposite thigh and keeping your elbows shoulder-width apart and drawn in.  Do not let your elbows come out or your will be in danger of planting your face into the floor!  This is an advanced arm balancing posture, so it will take time and persistence to master.

Benefits

  • Increases muscle tone to the side body, especially the abdominal obliques.
  • improves balance;
  • aligns the lower spine;
  • massages the abdominal organs.

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this posture if you have any wrist or lower back issues.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

Yoga Mudrasana

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Yoga Mudrasana is the symbol of yoga aka “Union Pose”.  The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “union” or “to unite”.  This refers, of course, to the union between the body and the mind which is the essence of yoga.  Yoga Mudrasana is a deep forward bend that’s been credited with benefits such as anti-aging and preventing disease and it is one the finishing postures in the Prana Vashya Primary Series.

How to get into the position

Yoga Mudrasana is classified as a yoga asana or ‘position’, despite the name suggesting that it is a mudra (which is a type of hand posture).   To get into the position you must start in Padmasna or “lotus pose” and reach your arm around your back (grasping hold of the lower foot first).  Then reach your other hand around your back and grasp hold of the upper foot to complete the bind.  To complete the position: inhale and straighten your spine before you exhale and bend forward; chin to floor (keeping your buttocks firmly on the ground).

Variations to the full posture

Yoga Mudrasana is normally difficult for beginners.  With this is mind there are few variations to the pose that you can do to build up to the full position.  The most basic variation is sitting cross-legged and folding your forehead to the floor by your right knee and hold for five full breaths; extending the spine on each inhalation and trying to move the chin the floor by the knee on each exhalation.  This should then be repeated on the other (left hand) side for a full five breaths.  Once you can do this with ease, try the same again but with your legs folded in half lotus.  This way you can build yourself up to full lotus.

If you are able to cross your legs in (full) lotus pose but you are struggling to bind your arms from behind your back, then, as a modification to the full posture, try holding your elbows from behind.  In time, your shoulders will open and you will be able to achieve the full position.  Do not force anything; forget about the end result and be patient.

Benefits

Yoga Mudrasana tones the spine, lower back and the abdomen and improves flexibility to the back and the hips.  This asana was practiced by the ancient sages in India and has the power to awaken the inner Self.

Contraindications

Do not attempt this position if you have any type of serious abdominal ailment.  In addition, proceed cautiously if you have any problem with your knees or hips.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

Parsvottanasana

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Parsvottanasana aka “intense side stretch” or “pyramid pose” – is part of the Prana Vashya standing series.  With the combined benefits of forward bending, backward bending, and balancing, it requires relaxed concentration to maintain the correct alignment.

How to get into Parsvottanasana

Standing with your feet about 3½ feet apart and turn to the right and square your chest – rotating your torso to the right – above the forward (right) thigh. Then fold your hands behind your back in ‘reverse prayer’ position; see above picture (or, alternatively, you can hold your elbows from behind).

Exhale as you fold forward over the right leg bringing the torso over the thigh and pressing the backward foot to ground the back heel and hold the position for five full breaths. Then come up with an inhalation by pressing actively through the back heel and repeat on the left side.

Do not turn bend your knees; keep them extended to maximize the stretch on the hamstrings. Keep your hips square with the front edge of your mat to protect your lower back.

Benefits

Calms the mind, improves lung mobility and digestion.  Parsvottanasa also stretches the hamstrings, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists.

Contraindications

Avoid this posture if you have a back injury or high blood pressure.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/