Tag Archives: Yoga Pose

yoga anytime


Wish you had more time for yoga? Do a pose right now, right where you are! Doing just one pose can change the way you breathe and feel…for the better! So stand up…yes out of your computer chair….. reach your arms up overhead (Urdhva Hastasana) and strrrretch up towards the sky. If you like fold from your hips and move into forward bend (Uttanasana). Ahhhh…feel better?

You can also improvise and make up a pose like my daughter Lily. Here she is doing a cross between down dog and forward bend. Good job Lil! And smiling while doing yoga is even better, great for you mood!

Roxanne

The King of Yoga

I read a theory once that suggested the main reason for watching sport, be it soccer, the Olympics or surfing on Steamers Lane, was the desire to see humans go beyond what we think is physically possible. The writer argued that the best moments in sport were the days when you saw an athlete go beyond good and move into greatness.

Well, I know that yoga is not a sport and that the majority of us practice the activity for helping and healing oneself… but I read a story the other day about an Indian man who certainly seems to have made the move from good to greatness.

On June 14th 2009, Mr C Poovendran set the world record for longest yoga marathon when he performed yoga for an incredible 28 hours!

While attempting the world record, Mr Poovendran performed 1019 asanas and also sought to entertain the spectators by drinking water and taking off his t-shirt… while performing a headstand… with his eyes closed!

Now admittedly on first read this story seems a little shallow. The breaking of world records is something that tends to take up the last five minutes of local news broadcasts and this seemed no different. However, when I learned a little more about his life, I began to think about it a lot more.

Mr C Poovendran is currently a yoga teacher who works in Hong Kong. He started his yoga training with his father at just five years old. By the time he was 14 he gained his first yoga award – the yogaraj… or King of Yoga. He has also gained the Best Demonstrator Award at the 5th International Yoga festival, the Yoga Rathna award (jewel of yoga) from the Divine Life society of Chennai, India, and the Creative/Innovation Award in 2006 from Pure Yoga International.

So clearly, Mr Poovendran is not someone looking to have his five minutes of fame by breaking a world record. This is his passion. To take something you love and push it to the very limit must have been very hard. I would imagine that practicing yoga for 28 consecutive hours has a fairly negative affect on your physical and emotional state (so don’t worry, we won’t be extending our class times here at NOURISH). I think I would be afraid that the effort alone would scare me off from every wanting to do a tree pose again. But for Mr Poovendran yoga is clearly more than an activity – it is his life’s work and his commitment to it is something I cannot help but be inspired by.

Anthony

The Downward Facing Dog

I heard someone in class ask the other day, “Why’s the downward facing dog so special?”

I completely got where they were coming from. Even before I really knew anything about yoga, I had heard the name. It seems like it is one of those yoga words everyone knows. But why?

Victor explained to the curious student that it is a pose that is used regularly and is often one of the very first stretches beginners learn. It’s a transitional pose that is fairly comprehensive in its benefits to the body; having a positive effect on the shoulders, legs, spine, arms and feet. Furthermore, it’s thought to improve digestion, increase the blood flow to the sinuses, build strength throughout the body and even help your immune system.

However, Victor was also quick to point out that despite its fame, it is not considered a superior stretch. There is no technical reason why downward facing dog has become entrenched within the mass public’s notion of what yoga is all about (alongside Sting and herbal teas).

So there must be some other reason. I would be so presumptuous as to suggest it’s good branding. It has dog in the title.

You may laugh, but a large portion of the population love dogs. Sure there are other “cooler sounding” poses (Warrior pose, Cobra pose etc.) but at the end of the day we are all suckers for a cheeky-looking cocker spaniel.

Perhaps on some level we also like the idea of copying the movements of a dog. I know at various points of my life I have watched a lovable mutt go about his day and thought to myself, “a dog’s life… they’ve got it pretty sweet!”

And there’s even a case to suggest it brings us closer to lost friends. I read about one lady who enjoyed the pose because it brought back fond memories of her very first puppy and made her feel closer to him in some way.

Whether any of this hits a chord, or you think I’m barking up the wrong tree, I think it’s fair to say… for a number of reasons… the downward dog is a special pose.

Anthony