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Yoga means union. The practice of Yoga asanas allows the mind, body and breath to merge in the present moment, drawing us back to a feeling of one unified, seamless whole. Yoga asanas are a celebration of feeling at home and relaxed in our own body. We learn to appreciate our body as beautiful gift to us from the Divine.

Each morning gets off to the right when you stretch with simple postures called yoga asanas.

More than mere physical exercises, asanas have a profound benefit for the mind, emotions, body and our total sense of well-being.

Asanas are a gift of wisdom from ancient Masters who observed the natural postures of children at play. By twisting and turning in various ways that feel good, a child honours the body's desire to become flexible, toned and healthy.

So much tension accumulates in the body. When the body is stressed or unfit, the mind is also affected, causing laziness and lethargy. On the other hand, a fit body is the basis for a sound mind, allowing us to experience the world through a more joyful and refined instrument.

Through yoga asanas we develop a keen attention to the sensation within the body- the debris of tension, pains, stiffness, and our unconscious "holding on". Through slow meditative stretching combined with co-ordinated breathing, yoga postures facilitate the release of these long accumulated tensions and strains.

With yoga asana practice, we gained increased flexibility and maximum range of movement. The muscles become relaxed and toned. The spine, joints and ligaments are gently massaged, making the body supple. Each posture also and stimulates specify internal organs, improving the blood circulation, strengthening the digestion and aiding the body in the cleansing of toxins.

Yoga Asanas leave us enlivened, refreshed, and comfortable with our body, with a compassionate awareness of our body's needs and messages.

Basic asanas are leaned on Art of living Basic and Advance Courses and often cover a variety of new yoga postures each morning. Through gentle guidance you are taught how to correctly perform each asana-how to stretch the body in beneficial ways without strain. Asanas are always performed in a non-competitive environment with the emphasis on nurturing your inner experience, as opposed to goal - oriented postures.

Once learned, yoga asanas may be enjoyed at home as part of your daily routine.

Yoga at work

One of the most wonderful aspects of yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere - whether in a studio, a gym, on the beach, on a mountain top, or even in our office or workplace.

Many people develop poor posture when sitting at a desk all day, resulting in neck and back pain.  Further, with insufficient or no exercise, circulation slows down and very little blood flows through to the muscles. With oxygen flow inhibited, the muscles begin to contract to conserve oxygen.  Tension builds in the neck, the shoulders and the back.

There are some simple and gentle yoga stretches and techniques that may be performed even when sitting at a desk or computer.  Stretching oxygenates the blood, improves blood flow to the muscles and relieves tension.  It also increases blood flow to the brain, which improves concentration and clarity of thought. It helps to alleviate the number one work - related problem, stress.

These stretches may be done periodically throughout the day, and may be complemented with a quick brisk walk around the office.  Those who sit at a computer all day may use these yoga techniques to relieve the resultant cramps and aches of the chest, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.

Taking just a few minutes a day can make us more productive and benefit our overall physical and mental health.

Wrist and elbow Rotation

Sit with your back straight in your chair and rotate both wrists, slowly, ten times in the clockwise and ten times in the anti-clockwise direction.  Rotate your arm at the elbow, ten times in each direction.  This yoga exercise may be repeated two or three times in a day.

Relaxing the Neck and Shoulders

Start by lowering your head forward towards your chest.  Close your eyes and hold this position for a few moments, while concentrating on relaxing the muscles in the back of your neck.  After a few moments, slowly roll your head from side to side.  Be careful to go only to the sided and not roll your head to the back, as you want to relax your muscles, not overextend your neck.

Next, concentrate on your shoulders.  Let your head relax in an upright but natural position. Begin by rolling your shoulders forward. Hold this position, allowing time for the muscles along the upper part of your back to relax.  Then slowly roll your shoulders forward and back, up and down, increasing circulation to the neck and upper back area.

Relaxing your Chest

Clasp your hands in front of you, palms facing outwards.  Round the back and stretch forward, allowing the upper and mid back to stretch.  Again, hold for a few moments.  You may close your eyes if you wish and breath slowly and deeply.  Then, keeping your hands clasped, stretch your arms up over head and gently stretch back, opening the chest.  Again, breathe deeply and just take a moment to relax.

Seated Katti Chakrasana

Keeping your back straight, lift both arms in front, palms still facing each other, slowly twist your body at the waist, first to the right, and then to the left.

Ankle rotation

Rotate your ankles, one at a time, ten times in the clockwise and ten times in anti clockwise direction.

Pushing the wall

Stand with your legs two to three feet apart, with the right foot facing out and the left leg turned inward slightly.  Lift arms to shoulder level, lean towards the right at the waist, and with the base of your right palm, push an imaginary wall. Push as hard as you can, do not exert.  Feel the stretch along your right arm, and hold this position for a few moments.  Smile, relax and enjoy the stretch. Repeat on the other side, with the left foot facing out and the right leg turned inward slightly.


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