YOGA ARTICLES

in Pure Health Magazine by Jessie Chapman

MAY ISSUE 2001

YOGA IN THE PARK

may cover

The Australian Association of Yoga in Daily Life is a group that holds free events such as Yoga in the Park, where people of all ages join in outdoor yoga and meditation. The group has over 1000 centres worldwide and is currently raising funds for the Indian and Tibetan child education schemes. March's Yoga in the Park was such a success, it's becoming a regular event. The next one will be held on May 27 in Sydney's Centennial Park. The group also sends teachers into the workplace. So if you have a nice boss, or you're looking for something more from your yoga, call (02) 9518 7788, or visit http://www.swamiji.com.au

STRETCHING: THE NEXT GENERATION

first column pagesecond column page

Yoga for kids is a growth industry, literally. Challenging and inspiring the planet's future caretakers is a positive and fun investment into our future. Haydie Osborne, a Melbourne based yoga teacher, has the King David School children stretching their young minds and bodies with yoga postures and breathing. The half-hour classes begin with limbering and breathing exercises then progressing to dynamic yoga and what she calls 'brain gym' where the children imitate animal walks developing concentration, focus, coordination, and balance. "Parents, teachers and pupils and pupils all benefit and the kids love it! They are inspired and stretched beyond their limits," Haydie says.

Check yoga schools in your area for classes, or practice at home with the Kids Do Yoga Too video available from http://www.wildrealesing.com.au

APRIL ISSUE 2001

DO IT YOURSELF

april coverfirst column page

Get inspired with help from these innovative yoga experts offering their experience on wall postures, CD and instructional video.

Wall Posters

Hang these attractive and inspirational posters on your wall for a step-by-step guide through the Ashtanga yoga sequence:

Yoga: As It Is - Primary Series Ashtanga Yoga Poster.
RRP: $25.
For stockists ph (07) 5477 1326
or email: yogatemple@hotmail.com

Astanga Yoga Primary Series.
RRP: $12.95.
Available from:
Ariel Bookshop Paddington, NSW
ph: (02) 9332 4237
or Pure, Byron Bay, NSW
ph (02) 9130 6622
email: vicki@purebyron.com.au

Yoga CD

Judy's Yoga Practice 1
RRP: $29.95. This wonderful CD offers a gentle practice with a focus on breathing and releasing stress.
For stockists ph: (02) 9130 6622
email: judy_yoga@hotmail.com

Yoga Videos

1. Yoga: Beginners' Class
2. Yoga: General Class

These two instructional videos lead you through a private yoga class at home. Enjoy practicing with a friend or on your own.
RRP: $39.95 each.
Ph: (02) 6685 5204
email micheal@lightsource.com.au

LOUNGING AROUND

second column pagethird column page

Take advantage of those times when you are sitting around. Use them to stretch your body! Sitting on chairs and soggy couches tightens the leg and hip muscles, which can lead to back problems and sciatica. So, the next time you find yourself flopped in a chair. hit the floor to gently open the hips and stretch out the legs. This simple change in sitting positions will strengthen your spine, soften the hips and promote good air and blood flow to keep your body energised and your mind sharp.

ASHTANGA IN THE GOLDEN WEST

If you're a yogini based in Perth, WA, you can now reach your highest potential with Monica Gauci of 8 Limbs Ashtanga Yoga in Leederville, and also at 8 Limbs in Fremantle.

Although Ashtanga yoga is dynamic, it's not just fro the athletic. With students aged between 12 and 60, Monica says the beginners' sequence - Yogachikitsa meaning " yoga therapy" - is good for those with remedial problems, although some modifications may be necessary. Ashtanga is a deeply cleansing, strengthening and opening practice which helps people overcome physical, mental or emotional weaknesses and tap into their potential.

Monica is one of only ten people in Australia approved by the Indian founder, Sri K Pattabhi Jois, to teach Ashtanga yoga.

"I discovered Ashtanga in 1993, after 15 years of exploring other styles and instantly knew that this was it" she says " I gave up what I was teaching and concentrated purely on Ashtanga practice".

Monica and her husband, Gregor Mahle, offer daily classes at 8 Limbs Ashtanga Yoga, 220 Carr Place Leederville, and also at Level 2, 3 Mouat Street, Fremantle. Contact both studios on (08) 9385 4743, email: info@8limbs.com.au or log on to www.8limbs.com

MARCH ISSUE 2001

MANTRA MUNCHIES

February coverfirst column page

Yoga classifies food into three categories: rajasik (mutative), tamasik (static) or sattvic (sentient).

Rajasic foods are highly processed, fried or baked. They include sugar and alcohol, and leave you feeling restless and uneasy.

Tamasik foods are richly seasoned and can make you feel fatigued and agitated.

Foods prepared the sattvik way are simple and natural, often eaten raw or lightly cooked using fresh ingredients or "live" food (think yogurt). They have a calming effect on the digestive system and the emotions. Oats, brown rice, millet, green leafy vegetables, cleansing fresh fruits and salads are all sattvic foods.

You know what you need to do don't you? Try complementing your yoga practice with a sattvic diet for increased inner balance and emotional calm.

SOOTHING SOUNDS

The uplifting, healing qualities of music have a special place in the yoga room.

While standing tall and straight with your shoulders rolled back and buttocks tucked under, deepen the inhalation and exhalation of your breath as you raise your arms in rhythm with the music.

Enjoying music can keep us on the mat for longer, with greater ease and grace. If you want a more dynamic session, you can spin an uplifting blend of classical Indian ragas, didgeridoo and techno. In the evening, try winding down to the gentle chimes of Tibetan singing bowls or soft songs of nature.

Stay Tuned. Music is said to have a healing effect on people's emotions and moods. It can also be an excellent source of inspiration. So don't underestimate the power of relaxation with a good tune - it may even help to inspire feelings of happiness, joy and inner peace.

STARTING OVER

You could spend a whole lifetime in India learning yoga from some of the greatest gurus in the world, but where on earth would you start?

Here are my top three choices: BKS Iyengar: the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He's so popular he has a 12-month waiting list.

Pattabhi Jois: the Ashtanga Yoga guru. You must write to him first, though, to secure a spot.

Bihar School of Yoga: offers many courses such as yoga therapy to relieve asthma.

Between classes, you could learn to chant, or cover the basics of Ayurvedic medicine. For more details, check out
http://www.bksiyengar.com
http://www.ashtanga.com
http://www.yogavision.net

POSTURE PERFECT

second column pagethird column page

Whether your yoga posture requires you to stand, sit, bend or twist, you'll find that each posture has its own benefits...

BACKWARD BENDING
Designed to refresh the mind, these moves stimulate the nervous system, promote good posture and act as a counterbalance to the forward bends. Practice backward bends to help prevent the spine from compacting and hunching with age.

STANDING
Postures based on standing build strength, endurance and willpower, as well as helping us to develop a stronger foundation in our lives.

SITTING
This develops flexibility in specific areas of the body by opening the chest and shoulders, elongating the spine, stretching out the legs and opening the hips.

TWISTING
You may cleanse all the bodies systems through twisting postures, releasing tension in the muscles and joints, and relieving stress, anxiety and emotions such as anger and frustration.

INVERTED POSTURES
These stances promote good circulation and assist the body's many cleansing mechanisms. The brain is stimulated by its increased oxygen supply and, in turn, helps the body to relive lethargy and depression.

BALANCING
Develop coordination, focus and mental clarity with balancing postures. Being balanced physically can help us to be balanced mentally and emotionally.

RELAXATION
This is vital for good health and especially effective for stressed out, anxious and overworked people. Postures that relax the body and mind also help prevent the onset of serious illness and disease.

PUT IN A GOOD WORD

Do you know someone who is ill or suffering? Would you like to help heal the world? The Satyananda yogis in Gosford, NSW, chant a healing mantra every Saturday at 6pm for the earth and those in need.

Email a message to yogagos@ozemail.com.au with the name of the person you wish to be remembered.

FEBRUARY ISSUE 2001

A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH

February cover first column page

Hatha yoga involves some excellent postures, or asanas, to cleanse and strengthen the body. Hatha, or force, is derived from the Sanskrit word ha, meaning "sun", and tha, meaning "moon". Put together they mean "union of force". It is a form of kriya yoga, the yoga of force and technique.

The purpose of Hatha yoga is to balance our sun and moon energies. This might sound strange at first, but the "energies" simply refer to the opposites within us: light and dark, right and wrong, negative and positive.

The theory is that by balancing and aligning ourselves, we become more centred and whole.

Other yoga paths include Jnana, the yoga of knowledge; Bhakti, the yoga of devotion; Karma, the yoga of service; and Raja, a combination of all these forms of yoga including meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques).

HAPPY MONDAYS

second column pagethird column page

The symptoms are unmistakable: heavy head, heavy heart and a desperate need to languish in bed. Yep, it's Monday-it is again.

But don't hide under the covers - the good news is that companies are now bringing yoga instructors into the workplace to keep staff limber in both mind and body.

Cate Peterson, director of Yoga Solutions in Sydney, who has traveled as far afield as Dubai and Bali to promote yoga at work, believes corporate culture is now geared more to keeping staff motivated.

"The mental, physical and spiritual gains apply to both individual and organisation", she says, "particularly when it come to work-related illnesses and the costs they incur".

One of the companies embracing yoga's benefits is Telstra, which recently organised a four-day mind-body health retreat for staff. Afterwards, many reported feeling happier with renewed energy.

5 WAYS YOGA CAN MAKE YOU FEEL MORE EFFICIENT AT WORK:

1. It focuses the mind and helps make you sharp

2. It's calming and helps you deal with stress

3. It gives you more energy to get you though the day

4. It helps you to avoid that bloated feeling of indigestion after a big business lunch

5. It inspires you and enables you to think more creatively

DECEMBER / JANUARY ISSUE 2001

BUT IS IT PROPER EXERCISE?

January cover column page one

Yes it is! Yoga keeps you fit and helps boost your metabolism by freeing up blocked nerve passages leading to your glands and organs.

Moves where the chin is tucked in are great for perking up a sluggish metabolism. While twisting postures help cleanse the body by stimulating the liver.

Shape-up-wake-up calls:

For an even happier yogini body, try these a.m. tips:

Drink a glass of fresh lemon juice in warm water 3 times a week, first thing in the morning, to help cleanse your liver (brush your teeth afterwards to avoid stripping away the enamel on your teeth)

On waking, massage your abdomen in a clockwise direction with the palms of your hands. This massages the internal organs and stimulates the digestive system.

AHHH AYURVEDA

Ayurveda meaning 'knowledge of life', is an ancient system of natural medicine. According to its principles, health is determined by the balances between the mind, the body and the environment.

Ayurveda yoga massage therapy, using oils and traditional ayurveda powder - made from the dried root of the calamus plant - is designed to even out the body's circulation.

There's a bit more work involved for the recipient than in a traditional massage - you'll be asked by the therapist to do simple yoga stretches while the oils and powder are applied - but it's definitely worth it.

This combination of massage and movement aims to remove energy blocks and direct your life force, or "prana", round your body. Practitioners believe that in order to be strong and healthy, prana, which is taken in when we breathe, must flow smoothly. When prana is low, stagnant or blocked, the body is open to illness. When prana is strong, the body is vibrant and active. Both the powder and the stretches are used to encourage the flow of prana.

Specifically, the powder helps to rejuvenate the body, while the stretches help detoxify.

NEW YEAR HONOR LIST

column page twocolumn page three

Here are 10 healthy reasons why to yoga your way to 2001. Yoga practice puts you in touch with yourself, allowing you to focus on your personal needs.

Yoga gently guides you and encourages you to achieve your maximum potential

Yoga practice keeps your body flexible, your mind open and helps to set your spirit free.

Yoga helps to prevent the untimely degeneration of your body and state of mind.

Yoga pampers your peepers! Even your eyes have a tip-top workout when you strike a pose.

Yoga allows you to breathe correctly and be "inspired". Inspire literally means "to breathe in".

Yoga assists in increasing your metabolism, and creating and maintaining a vibrant, healthy, well-toned body.

Yoga helps to cleanse the body to leave you feeling refreshed and energised.

Yoga enables you to connect with others, and open yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Yoga means "union". With more unity, the kinder and more caring our world will become.

"WHY I PRACTICE YOGA"

Each month, I interview someone about their relationship with yoga. Rachel Hull, 33, Yoga Teacher, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

When did you first discover yoga?
I was pregnant with my now 13-year-old son, and flicking through a magazine when I came across a feature with photos of people practicing yoga, and a list of contact details. I thought, hmm I wouldn't mind doing that! - and went along and did it.

What style do you practice and why?
I started with Iyengar, then Ashtanga and later some Satyananda. Now I practice a blend.

What is your favorite posture and why?
Ardha Chandrasana, because it makes me feel like I'm flying.

What is your least favorite posture and why?
Virabhadrasana 111, because I don't feel like I'm flying - yet!

How does yoga benefit you?
Apart from keeping me fit and healthy, yoga helps me to stay centred and focussed. I find that the discipline and dedication needed to practice yoga thoroughly is good for my soul, too.

What are you passionate about?
Yoga and turning people on to yoga. I'm also into health, healing, travel, and inspiring people and other cultures. Oh, and food!