International Day of Yoga Singapore June 26, 2016

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International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga celebrates Yoga, a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice having its origin in India, which aims to transform both body and mind.
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Benefits of Yoga

  • All-round fitness. Yoga helps with postures, pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation and is a holistic fitness package.
  • Weight loss. Sun Salutations and Kapal Bhati pranayama are some ways to help lose weight with yoga. Moreover, regular practice of yoga, help keep a check on weight. 
  • Stress relief. A few minutes of yoga during the day can be a great way to get rid of stress that accumulates daily - in both the body and mind.
  • Inner peace. Yoga is also one of the best ways to calm a disturbed mind.
  • Improved immunity. Yoga poses massage organs and strengthen muscles; breathing techniques and meditation release stress and improve immunity.
  • Living with greater awareness. Yoga and pranayama help create that awareness and bring the mind back to the present moment, where it can stay happy and focused.
  • Happy Mind. Yoga and meditation work on keeping the mind happy and peaceful.
  • Increased energy. A few minutes of yoga everyday provides the secret to feeling fresh and energetic even after a long day.
  • Better flexibility & posture. Regular yoga practice stretches and tones the body muscles and also makes them strong. It also helps improve your body posture when you stand, sit, sleep or walk.
  • Better intuition. Yoga and meditation have the power to improve your intuitive ability so that you effortlessly realize what needs to be done, when and how, to yield positive results.

Posture

Ardhacakrasana (Half Wheel Posture)

In Sanskrit language, Ardha means half and 'Cakra' means wheel. In this posture, the shape of the body takes the shape of half wheel, therefore it is called Ardha-cakrasana.

Technique

  • Stand erect on the ground with feet together.
  • Keep your hands by the side.
  • Bend the elbows and support lower back with the palms.
  • Now, slowly exhale and bend backward as much as possible.
  • Try to maintain the posture with normal breathing and without losing the balance.
  • Inhale and slowly come up to the original position.

Benefits

  • This asana gives relaxation to the neck and back muscles, especially of lower back.
  • It improves flexibility of the spine.
  • It helps to remove fat from the sides of the body.
  • It also removes stiffness from hip joints.
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Padmasana (Lotus Posture)

In Sanskrit language ‘Padma' means lotus. This asana is a traditional posture. In this asana, physical movements are reduced to the minimum.

Technique

  • Sit on the ground,
  • Fold the right leg and place the right foot above left thigh closer to the hip. Right heel should press lower left part of the abdomen.
  • Fold left leg and place it above right thigh. Left heel should press lower
  • Right part of the abdomen.
  • Place hands on the knees in Jhanamudra.
  • Keep the spine straight. Breathe normally.

Benefits

  • Padmasana induces mental calmness and tranquility.
  • It tones up the nerves of coccyx and sacral region by supplying them
  • with extra blood.
  • It improves digestive process and helps to relieve constipation.
  • It improves concentration and memory.
  • It is helpful for people suffering from shortness of breath.
  • It is helpful to treat problems of feet concerning excessive sweat, bad odour and cold/hot sensation.
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Siddhasana (Accomplished Posture)

Siddhasana has been accepted by almost all the Hathayogic texts for Sadhana. In Sanskrit, Siddha means the realized, accomplished,attained,acquired. It is said that Siddhasana leads to realisation of the liberation which is the ultimate goal of Hathasadhana,hence the name.

Technique

  • Sit on the ground; place the heel of the left foot against the anus and the heel of right foot under the testicles along the Sivaninadi or Citrakhyanadi.
  • The toes of both feet should be kept between the thighs and calves.
  • Place the hands on respective knees in Jnanamudra.
  • The vertebral column and the whole body should be absolutely erect
  • while sitting in this posture.
  • Fix the gaze at/on anyone of the following five points/ways - Bhrumadhya (between the eyebrows), Samadrsti (Straight ahead), Nasikagra (the tip of the nose), Ardhonmesa (eyelids half opened), Netrabandha (eyelids completely closed).

Benefits

  • The practice of this asana helps to check sensuality and attainbrahmacharya (celibacy).
  • This asana provides mental discipline; ensures the passage of the prana in the Susumnanadi and helps in awakening the Kundalini.
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Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Posture)

This can be considered as a meditative posture. While practising it for meditative purposes, one should close his/her eyes at the final stage.

Technique

  • Sit with legs extended together, hands by the side of the body, palm resting on the ground, fingers pointing forward.
  • Fold the right leg at the knee and place the foot under the right buttock.
  • Similarly folding the left leg, place left foot under the left buttock.
  • Place both the heels so that the big toes overlap each other.
  • Position the buttocks in the space between the heels.
  • Keep hands on respective knees.
  • Keep the spine erect, gaze in front or close the eyes.
  • While returning to the original position, bend a little towards right side, take out your left leg and extend it.
  • Similarly extend your right leg and return to the original position.

Benefits

  • This asana strengthens thigh muscles and calf muscles.
  • This asana is good for digestion.
  • It provides firm base to the spine and keeps the spine erect.

Precaution

  • Persons suffering from piles should not practise this asana.
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Simhasana (Lion Posture)

This posture is known as Simhasana because the face with protruded tongue resembles the fierce look of a roaring lion. In Sanskrit `Simha’ means 'lion', hence the name.

Technique

  • Place both the heels under the scrotum contra-direction (i.e., left heel on the right side and right heel on the left side of it) and turn upwards.
  • Place the front part of the head of tibia on the ground and hands on the ground. Keep your mouth open. Adopt Jalandhar bandha and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose.
  • This is the Simhasana.

Benefits

  • This asana stretches all muscles in general and muscles of the neck and face in particular.
  • It gives good exercise to the eyes and throat.
  • It gives good exercise to the abdominal muscles.
  • It improves blood circulation.
  • It is useful in speech related disorders.

Precaution

  • Persons suffering from arthritis of knee or hip, severe backache and balance disorders should not practise this asana.
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Mandukasana (Frog Posture)

Manduka' means frog. The body adopts the shape of a frog in this final posture; hence the name.

Technique

  • Sit in Vajrasana.
  • Make the fists with the thumbs inside. Put the fists close to the navel and press them.
  • Slowly exhaling, bend forward from the waist; bring the chest down so as it rests on the thighs.
  • Keep head and the neck raised; eyes looking in front.
  • Maintain the position for as long as comfortable.
  • Slowly come back to the Vajra-sana and relax.

Benefits

  • This 5sana is beneficial for abdominal ailments and protuberant bellies.
  • It helps to overcome indigestion and constipation.
  • It eliminates poisonous gases of the abdomen and cures flatulence.

Precaution

  • People suffering from backache should avoid practising this asana.
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