21 Days of Yoga: The asana, pranayama and meditation that will help you through the lockdown – Cond Nast Traveller India

Posted: June 9, 2020 at 10:45 pm

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A woman practises yoga. Photo: Axel Schmies/Alamy Stock Photo

Chandan Padhan, yoga instructor at SwaSwara by CGH Earth, shares an asana and pranayama to help during the lockdown, for the fourth day of our series, #21DaysOfYoga. Ahead of International Yoga Day on 21 June, as many of us continue to stay indoors to help curb the pandemic, this series shares wisdom from the experts to help build a better yoga practice for all. SwaSwara, a 26-acre retreat in Gokarna, Karnataka comes with serene views of Om Beach and a blend of yoga, ayurvedic massages and activities from trekking to pottery to foster healing. Asanas, pranayama and meditation are all core yogic practices. Padhan shares an asana and pranayama below, followed by a dhyana yoga meditation led by Dr Cijith Sreedhar, Chief Medical Officer at Prakriti Shakti, Clinic of Natural Medicine by CGH Earth in Kerala.

While you are sheltering in place, practising yoga can be key to enhancing your health and well-being, as it increases vitality and appreciation of lifes wonders. Ardha Kati Chakrasana makes you supple and brings balance to the bodys energies.

Remember to breathe in, breathe out, and begin with a smile on your face.

The name Ardha Kati Chakrasana is derived from the Sanskrit words ardha meaning half; kati or waist, and chakra or wheel. We bend and form a half-wheel or half-moon posture with our arm and waist stretched fully towards the side. The arc formed in this asana relaxes both sides of the body, eases the flow of breath, removes stiffness in the thighs, hips and waist and improves flexibility. It also relieves pain in the lower back and tones your abdominal muscles, besides trimming excess fat from the waist.

Please do take some time out to engage in self-care amid the chaos and uncertainty. Daily practice helps you realise the benefits of yoga and ayurveda, which we can really use during these trying times. Follow the step-by-step guide to the half-moon pose in the video below, guided by Chandan Padhan, yoga instructor at SwaSwara, Karnataka.

In times of uncertainty, its hard to keep the mind calm. Pranayama has been practised in India for thousands of years. It uses breath to calm the mind and body, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing vitality.

Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama, or alternate nostril breathing, has been proven to have numerous benefits ranging from improved concentration to reduced negative thoughts. It helps strengthen the lungs, improve blood circulation and maintain normal blood pressure. It also reduces the formation of free radicals and cellular injury in the body. Join SwaSwaras Chandan Padhan in the guided practice below.

When we look at traditional yoga texts, there is a clear difference between concentration and meditation, says Dr Cijith Sreedhar, Chief Medical Officer at Prakriti Shakti. The sage Patanjalis text Yoga Sutras explains the eight steps of yoga as yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). What is the difference between dharana and dhyana? Concentration is a single flow of thought. It is not a thoughtless state of mind; your conscious mind is active. It is helpful to reduce the mental processes from which stress arises, but it is not equal to the state of meditation, which is thoughtless. Dhyana yoga is an active process; you govern your prana and help your mind reach a thoughtless state. In this modern world, our stress is often a physiological response to our thoughts about a problem and its imagined dangers. We need to reverse that physiological arousal and calm your body, which can be attained only by avoiding unnecessary thoughts. Remember that the body can heal itself only when you are relaxed. We developed this method of meditation by understanding the real concept as per traditional yoga. Once you learn the technique, you can practise it regularly and gradually improve the feeling of thoughtlessness everyday.

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21 Days of Yoga: The asana, pranayama and meditation that will help you through the lockdown - Cond Nast Traveller India

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June 9th, 2020 at 10:45 pm

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