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Root Cause of Stress


One of the most common reasons why people join yoga classes is to learn how to deal with day-to-day stress.

Here are a few definitions of stress:

"Stress is a physiological response to any change, whether good or bad, that alerts the adaptive fight or flight response in the brain and the body."

"Feeling overwhelmed or negatively challenged by a circumstance or an event that places a demand on the body, mind and/or emotions that is perceived as beyond our ability to handle."

"The body’s response to any demand, when forced to adapt to change."

The modern fast-paced lifestyle puts a lot of demands on the mind and body. We convert these to mental stress as we find ourselves unable to deal with these rapidly changing events and situations. As you can see, the main cause of what we perceive as stress is our inability to deal with the event or situation that we are presented with at any given time.

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12-day Pranayama/Meditation Intensive, Sept 24 – Oct 5

Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next 12-day pranayama/meditation intensive.

Come and join me for this life-transforming experience where you will learn two of the most important aspects of a complete, integrated yoga practice – pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation. In this program you will be introduced to many of the breathing techniques that are mentioned in our ancient yogic texts. You will also learn the concepts and techniques of meditation.

No prior pranayama or meditation experience is required.

  • When: Wednesday, Sept 24 – Sunday, Oct 5, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Daily Routine: Light stretching (10-15 minutes), Pranayama (30 min), Relaxation (10 min), Yoga philosophy (15 min), Meditation (20 min).
  • Commitment: A firm commitment to follow this schedule and attend every day
  • Fee: $75

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My Shoulder update – recent MRI

As some of you are aware, about ten months ago in October, 2013, I had surgery on my right shoulder to repair a tear in my rotator cuff. The surgery was done at the UNC Chapel Hill hospital. After the surgery, I went through a fairly extensive physical therapy program. Despite regular PT, and my own yoga practice, I was unable to develop mobility and strength in some movements of the shoulder. For example, I still cannot finish drinking a glass of water with my right hand without a little pain and some trembling of the hand. There is almost no external rotation. Essentially, the lack of mobility and strength have seemed similar to what they were before the surgery.

Because I was seeing no improvement in the situation, I had an MRI done a couple of weeks ago, followed by a visit to my surgeon to find out the result of the MRI. As I had anticipated, the result showed that rotator cuff was re-torn almost exactly to the same extent as it was before the surgery. The surgeon didn’t know how or why this might have happened. He was obviously very apologetic about what has happened.

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Marjarasana (Cat & Cow Pose) for a Healthy Spine

Cat Pose

Back pain, especially pain in the lower back, is perhaps the most common reason why people join a yoga class. Many people notice stiffness in the back when they wake up in the morning. Most stretches in a typical yoga routine are geared toward making the spine more flexible, stronger and healthy.

Marjarasana (cat and cow stretch) is a simple stretch that, when practiced regularly, can go a long way in keeping the spine healthy and pain free. In the yoga routine that I practice and teach, I start each asana (stretching) session with Marjarasana.

The word "marjara" (मार्जार) in Sanskrit means a cat. In English, the name gets commonly translated as "cat and cow". In this stretch, the spine is moved rhythmically up and down. While breathing in the movement of the spine resembles the ‘hump’ of a cow’s back. While exhaling the spine is moved so it resembles the back of an angry cat. Hence the name "cat and cow".


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Yoga for Diabetes

(Guest post by Madhusoodanan Sunderesan)

Pashchimottanasana (Forward Bend)

After a late night party, or a sumptuous dinner with family and friends with your favorite sweets, have you felt terribly thirsty, drinking lots of w ater and going to the bathroom frequently? Perhaps you have felt tired out, dizzy and hungry after a long walk or work out in the gym. These are not uncommon. These are, however, more pronounced if you are a diabetic-when the sugar level in your blood fluctuates from a very high in the first instance to low/very low in the second instance.

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21-day Yoga Challenge, Aug 4-24

Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

I am pleased to announce the next 21-day Yoga Challenge program. The past programs have been very well received by all the participants. For most of them, it has been truly a life-transforming experience. I invite you to join me on this exciting and deeply rewarding 21-day yoga journey. Here are the particulars:

[Please download the flier here]

  • When: Monday, August 4 – Sunday, August 24, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Cost: $125
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Anantasana (Reclining Vishnu Pose)

Anantasana (Reclining Vishnu)

Anantasana (अनन्तासन), also called the Reclining Vishnu pose, is a beginner to intermediate level pose. It provides a nice stretch for the legs and also is a balancing pose in the reclining position.

Lord Vishnu

The word "ananta" which literally means endless or infinite, is one of the nicknames for Lord Vishnu. It is also the name of the 1000-hooded serpent that Vishnu is depicted resting on. Other names for the multi-hooded Ananta are Sheshanaga, Adishesha, and Ananta-shesha. In the Bhagavadgita (Chapter 10, verse 29), Sri Krishna, while describing 75 of his common manifestations, declares, "anantaś ca asmi nāgānāṁ": Of the nagas (multi-hooded serpents), I am Ananta. Sage Patanjali, the author of the famous Yoga Sutras, is also known to be an avatara (reincarnation) of the great Ananta-Shesha.

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Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – 4-part series

I invite you to join me for a discussion on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali wherein I will introduce some of the key concepts of the sutras. We will also discuss how an understanding of the sutras can profoundly impact our day-to-day life in a positive way.

An Introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

(A four-part series)

  • WHEN: First Saturday of the month
  • Next Session: Saturday, July 5, 2014 (part 3)
  • Focus: The eight limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga – aka Raja Yoga)
  • TIME: 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • LOCATION: Integral Yoga Studio, 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 104, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • FEE: by voluntary donation

Plenty of parking is available.

No previous exposure to yoga or Yoga Sutras is required.

Why study the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (YSP)?

Because, YSP is not just a manual on yoga philosophy, it is a manual on "life". A study of this manual will help us understand:

  • How to live a life full of peace, harmony and fulfillment
  • What is stress, what causes stress and how to manage stress
  • How to achieve your maximum potential in life
  • What is mind and how to understand its functioning
  • What causes suffering and how can we prevent suffering
  • How to keep the mind calm and peaceful in the face of adversity
  • What is the goal of life and how to achieve that goal
  • Does the practice of yoga only involves the practice of asana (physical postures) or is there more to this practice?
  • What is self-realization
  • … and much more …

Come join me for these introductory talks on the Yoga Sutras and see how its study can help us in all aspects of life listed above.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to register.

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

When you see pictures of ancient yogis, most of them are shown meditating in Padmasana – पद्मासन

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(Lotus Pose). This is one of the most commonly mentioned asanas as a meditative posture. Some of the other asanas that are commonly listed among meditative postures are Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Siddhasana (Adept Pose), Swastikasana and Vajrasana (Diamond Pose). These are the asanas in which you sit either for meditation or pranayama.

Goddess Lakshmi

In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP), Padmasana is one of the two meditative postures described, the other being Siddhasana.

After explaining what Padmasana is, HYP (chapter 1, sutra 47) states, "This is called Padmasana, the destroyer of all diseases. Ordinary people cannot achieve this posture, only the few wise ones on earth can". I find the statement rather intriguing as I don’t quite understand how or why wisdom has been tied to flexibility!

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12-day Pranayama/Meditation Intensive, July 7-18

Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next 12-day pranayama/meditation intensive.

Come and join me for this life-transforming experience where you will learn two of the most important aspects of a complete, integrated yoga practice – pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation. In this program I will introduce you to many of the breathing techniques that are mentioned in our ancient yogic texts. I will also introduce the concepts and techniques of meditation.

Continue reading »