Practice of Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga practice – Ashtanga Vinyasa

Submitted by Marcia on Sat, 22/09/2007 – 12:49pm

I have just done my first Yoga class after having my first baby. I find it harder now as I am heavier, but I hope to get back into shape soon, although I can not diet yet as I am breastfeeding… but at least Yoga will help me to get fit.

Well, after been doing Pranayoga for at least two years, I found a yoga class in Great Baddow Millennium Centre that does Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. I found it very challenging as it encourages me to develop my Yoga practice further as the instructor leaves you free to practice the movements of each group of postures. I started by learning the 10 movements of the sun salutation (Suryanamaskarand) I am now practicing it five times every morning, as I gain more strength I will increase it to ten.

I found the sun salutation (Suryanamaskar) very hard to do, as it requires lots of strength in the arms, but I’ll persist until it come natural to me. As a result my arms, tummy and shoulders are aching a bit. As this posture is very demanding on the arms, shoulders, back and stomachs it is a very good way of toning the abdomen and strength the arms and back.

I like Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as it is very dynamic and energising. It involves a progressive series of postures synchronised with breathing.

I recommend it as a way of getting fit and at the same time calm and relaxed.

Submitted by Marcia on Fri, 28/09/2007 – 12:57pm

I have been practicing the sun salutation for a week now. I still find it hard to hold and lift my body weight, as I do not have much strength on my arms, in order to improve that I started doing a series of exercises to strengthen my upper body.

These exercises involve practicing the cobra position for five breaths and relax, repeating for five times. It also includes five sessions of plank, holding the body up with the hands breathing freely for five times and then resting, repeating for five times to start with and then increasing it gradually.

It is important to keep the breath flowing while holding the postures in order to avoid the build up of lactic acid, which causes more pain, due to the lack of oxygen supply into the muscles.

In yoga there is more than one type of the sun salutation, the first consists of ten movements, I have also learnt a more complete version of the sun salutation, which has 17 movements. This second version includes the standing cat posture, the plank, the cobra, the dog and the warrior posture. As it is more demanding than the first one, I am doing it in stages rather than the whole sequence together.

Submitted by Marcia on Sat, 20/10/2007 – 9:14pm

At the last yoga class, I practiced the combinations of few poses together. We started with the basic sun salutation, and then we performed a more advanced form of the sun salutation, which includes a warrior posture. All the postures flow one after the other, making the yoga exercises flow with a rhythm of energy, which is very revitalising.

Then we performed the hand-toe touching posture, where the index and ring fingers wrap the big toe with the thumb, followed by a further expansion with the palm of the hands under the feet, bending the knees if needed, with breathing and movement synchronised. We finalised with two other variations of the warrior position.

A yoga posture should cause no strain to the body. So it is important to perform the position with maximum stretch, but without exceed ones limit, so it is important to listen to your body and respect its limit.

We also performed the shoulder stand position, which is very invigorating. Once we get to the shoulder standing position, there is no need to pull the back right up too much, as it wastes energy. As long as the back is held with the hands on the top of the buttocks the posture is complete and it does not hurt the neck and throat, making the position more enjoyable.

The session finished with mantra and relaxation, at the end I was feeling really energised.

I found the last session hard work and had to push myself to keep up with the rhythm and follow the sequences of postures. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga requires lots of energy and effort, as it is a type of cardiovascular exercise due to the intensity and flow of postures.

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