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Strengthen the back with Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)

Locust – desert

Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) – शलभासन

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is a beginner level back-bending pose, which is normally practiced along with a couple of other back-bending poses like the Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). Even though the basic version of the pose is relatively easy to practice, it still offers excellent benefits for the health of the spine.

The word "shalabha" in Sanskrit means a locust. In the final position the pose roughly resembles a locust (grasshopper) – hence the name.


I hope you will enjoy practicing with the video demonstration.

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Excellent stretch for hamstrings – Parshvottanasana (Intense side stretch)

Parshvottanasana (पार्श्वोत्तानासन) (standing side stretch) is a beginning to intermediate level pose which is great for the health of the legs as well as the spine. It provides an excellent stretch for the entire back side of the legs, hamstrings in particular.


I am pleased to present a video demonstration of Parshvottanasana. Hope you’ll enjoy it.

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Bring balance to your life with Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama

Also known by the names "Naadi Shodhanam" or "Anuloma-Viloma", Naadi Shuddhi (नाडी शुद्धि) is one of the most commonly practiced pranayama techniques in yoga. The word "naadi" means "nerves". In fact, in yoga the term naadi is applied to psychic channels associated with the flow of prana (vital life force). According to some ancient texts, there are 72,000 such naadis in a human system. The words "shuddhi" or "shodhanam" both mean "cleansing" or "purification". So the term "naadi shuddhi" literally means cleansing of the subtle nervous system. A clean naadi system allows free flow of prana which helps bring more vitality and energy to the system.

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21-day Yoga Immersion, July 20 – August 9

Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

I am pleased to announce the next 21-day Yoga Immersion 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]

  • What: 21-day yoga immersion
  • When: Monday, July 20- Sunday, August 9, 2015
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Cost: $125
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Ujjayi Breathing and Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Breathing

The word "ujjayi" is derived from the Sanskrit root "ji" (जि) with the prefix "ud" (उद्) added to it. So the combined root is "ujji" (उज्जि) which means "to be victorious". Ujjayi (उज्जायी), thus means "one who is victorious" and "ujjayi breath" would mean "the victorious breath".

Because of the various benefits it provides (listed below), Ujjayi is highly recommended as the breathing technique to be used during any of the yoga practices (asana or pranayama) that involve deeper than your natural breaths. For example, while practicing Sun Salutation, it is recommended that each movement be made slowly and synchronized with the appropriate deep inhalation or exhalation. In this case, since the breathing is slow and deep, Ujjayi is recommended for each breath. Similarly, while practicing the pranayama technique called the "alternate nostril breathing" or "Naadi Shuddhi", the ujjayi breath is recommended.

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Bend it like a bow – Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana – धनुरासन -(Bow Pose) is one of the most commonly practiced back-bending poses. The Sanskrit word ‘dhanu’ means a bow. In the final position, the asana resembles a bow ready to shoot an arrow. It provides some of the same benefits as Shalabhasana (locust) and Bhujangasana (cobra) but also has some benefits unique to the pose.


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Jala Neti (Nasal Irrigation) with video demonstration

jala neti

In the ancient text on the practice of Yoga, "Hatha Yoga Pradeepika", six cleansing techniques have been prescribed: Neti: nasal cleansing, Dhauti: cleansing of the digestive tract, Nauli: abdominal massage, Basti: colon cleansing, Kapalabhati: purification and vitalization of the frontal lobes, and Trataka: focused gazing.

In this post, we will be focusing on one of the nasal cleansing techniques called "jala neti" (saline nasal irrigation). Jala Neti is a simple technique which involves using a special "neti pot" filled with warm, slightly salted water. The nose cone is inserted into one nostril and the position of the head and pot is adjusted to allow the water to flow out of the other nostril. Whilst the water is flowing through the nasal passages one breathes through the mouth. After half a pot has flowed in one direction, the water flow is reversed. When the water in the pot is finished, the nose must be properly dried.

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14-day Pranayama/Meditation intensive, June 15-28

Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next 14-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: Monday, Monday, June 15- Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • 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: $90

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Twisting Head-to-knee pose and Pashchimottanasana

Janu-shirshasana (जानु-शीर्षासन) –

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is a composite of two Sanskrit words – Janu means the knee and Shirsha means the head or the forehead. So the literal translation of the pose is head-to-knee pose.

Twisting Janu-shirshasana is a variation on the traditional head-to-knee pose. In this pose, in addition to the forward bending stretch, we also add the element of spinal twist which brings about great relief to any stiffness or mild pain that you might have in your back.


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Stress-free “Full Catastrophe” living – a summary

[Guest post by Madhu Sheth]

I read the"Full Catastrophe Living" book by Jon Kabat-Zinn (600+ pages) and found out what is the essence of wisdom of body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. So I came to a simple conclusion – It is all about positive attitude in life. Look and observe inward to find direction and purpose in life.

Various research studies indicate some of the human characteristics that help heal and promote better health and living. So below is a summary from the book for you to read and if interested in more details, you may read the book. There is lot more in the book than the summary presented here- The practice of Mindfulness and Meditation, A new way of thinking about health and illness, Stress, Taking on the Full Catastrophe, The way of awareness.

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