Celebration and Renewal with Yoga

Celebration and Renewal with Yoga
by Jennifer Kagan

You have heard how yoga can help you live a healthier life, but how does it do that? Yoga is an ancient practice for cleansing both body and mind for higher spiritual purposes. Here in the West most of us start doing yoga asanas/postures because we want to feel better. There are numerous physiological and emotional benefits that one gets from a regular yoga practice. This is in large part due to the fact that yoga assists the body in cleansing itself, which helps you feel lighter, healthier, and more energetic.

Our bodies have three waste removal systems: the circulatory system, the digestive system and the lymphatic system. These systems are beautifully designed to get rid of wastes and toxins that can make us sick, but often they don't work optimally due to stress, poor diets, lack of exercise and exposure to environmental toxins.

A complete practice of postures/asanas extend, pull, invert, twist, compress all parts of the body to help facilitate the functioning of our bodily waste systems. Some of the benefits noted after practice over time include; more energy, mental clarity, deeper sleep, better digestion and less illness.

A well-rounded practice includes poses from all categories including standing postures, back bending postures, forward bending postures, lateral extending postures, twisting postures, inverted postures, including a supported, restorative practice to quiet the mind.

Below are just a few postures that aid in the body's digestive system. The benefits are best experienced with proper practice of the asanas and this is best learned under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Benefits listed are from BKS Iyengar's extensive practice and work with students.

Uttanasana- standing forward bend

Stand with your feet 6 inches apart. Exhale and bend forward placing the fingers on the floor. Use blocks or support so that the legs are straight and the thigh muscles are engaged. Inhale lenghten the chest forward. Exhale, place the palms on the floor and release the torso and head down. With each inhale, lift the thigh muscles and knee caps. With each exhale let the torso release more. To come out, inhale place the hands on the hips and lift the torso.

Benefits: This pose strengthens the abdominal organs, increases the flow of digestive juices. Helpful for relieving a stomach ache, constipation, indigestion. This pose soothes the brain leaving one feeling calm, cool and at peace

Parsva Sukhasana- seated twist

Sit on a blanket. Cross the legs at the shins. Inhale and extend the arms overhead. Maintain length on the sides of the trunk and turn to the right. Place the left hand outside the right thigh. Place the right hand on a block or book behind the hips. Inhale press your right fingertips down to lift the torso. Exhale push the thigh with the left hand and turn the entire spine. Turn the eyes and head last to look over the right shoulder. After a few breaths release and repeat on other side.

Benefits: Twists tone, massage, compress and rejuvenate the abdominal organs. Twists regulate the intestines aiding in digestion.

Vipariti Karani- inversion

Place a sticky mat perpendicular to the wall. Place two blankets a few inches from the wall. Take your legs up the wall. Support your head with a blanket so that your forehead is higher than your chin. Do not do this pose if you are menstruating.

Benefits: This deeply relaxing pose calms the nervous system. This pose relieves diarrhea and nausea and stimulates blood supply to the brain.

You are invited to begin your journey toward better health by participating in an upcoming weekend of yoga that includes classes designed to rejuvenate, relax and detoxify your body and mind.

Nov 22-24 Jen Kagan and Liza Keogh teach a weekend of Celebration and Renewal.
A unique opportunity to as these two teachers as they lead you through sequences to enhance your inner and outer health.

Please go to www.jenkagan.net or www.tilatreeyoga.com for information and register at centroyogasma@gmail.com. 
Classes are at 6 Potranca in Guadiana. Nov 22 class is Free. Pre-registration is required.

Jennifer Kagan teaches in San Miguel, Queretaro, Celaya, and D.F. She is certified in the Iyengar method, trained at the Iyengar Institute in NY and travels to Pune, India regularly.

Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar
Gem for Women, Geeta Iyengar

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