Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and we will be saying goodbye to 2009. Time really flies and a new year is upon us. Are you making any new year resolutions? As for myself, I am not making any as I have been making it everyday in my yoga practice...learning to let go, practice awareness, be mindful are some of my resolutions.

This year, I met many new practitioners who have since became my friends, and as we practice our yoga together with our beloved teachers at Beyoga, we have learned to share joy and our success and failure in doing some of the poses.

Through this blog, I have also found friends who share a common interest in yoga and with their encouragement, I will keep on blogging and continue to share my research into yoga and wellness.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Palming the Eyes Exercise

If you are a computer user, the following palming exercise helps to counteract the impact of glare on the eyes from the computer monitor due to prolonged use. You should do the palming exercise during short breaks from routine work.


- Relaxes tired eyes muscles and helps to prevent eyestrain.
- Reduces tension build up in face and body.
- Enhances concentration.

How to Do It
1.Sit at a desk or table where you can rest your elbows. Vigorously rub your palms together a few times to warm them.

2.Gently place your palms, with fingers together, over closed eyes. Do not put pressure on your eyeballs. Relax your jaw and breathe regularly throughout the exercise.

3.Stay in this position for about two minutes to start with, longer if you have time and are comfortable doing so. With each exhalation, relax a little more.

4. When you are ready to end the exercise, separate your fingers to gradually re-introduce light. Open your eyes.

5.Relax your arms and hands.

6.You may blink your eyes several times to lubricate them with natural moisture.

If you are going to do the palming for longer than a few minutes, place some books or pillows in front of you to support your elbows so that you will be able to keep the neck straight, and palm the eyes in this position.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Yoga Pose For The Month - Plow Pose (Halasana)

For the month of December 2009, I have choose Plow Pose or Halasana as my pose for the month. The Plow pose exerts gentle traction on the spinal column which enlarges the vertebral foramina (openings through which spinal nerves pass) and so eases pressure on these nerves. It also enhances circulation in the spinal cord and improves the functioning of internal organs supplied by these nerves.

The plow pose is a natural cure for insomnia and restless sleep. It is also a great pose to naturally relieve indigestion and constipation and with regular practice, your stomach problems will disappear.

How to do the pose

1.Lie on your back with your legs stretched out in front and your arms at your sides, palms turned down. Relax your jaw and breathe regularly.
2.Bring one knee then the other to your chest.
3.Straighten and raise one leg at a time and point your feet upwards.
4.Exhale and kick backwards with both feet at once to bring your hips off the mat. Keep your legs straight and together if you can.
5.Push your feet towards the mat behind your head. Do not let your hips move past your shoulders as this may strain your neck.
6.If your feet touch the floor, interlace your fingers behind the back and straighten the arms, bring your hands on the mat.
7.If your feet cannot touch the floor behind you, place your hands on your back to help support you in the pose.
8.When you have reached your comfortable limit, hold the pose for five seconds to begin with, increasingly longer as you become more practiced in the technique.
9.To exit from the pose, unlace your hands and place them on the floor, slowly, smoothly and carefully roll your spine back onto the mat, from top to bottom. Bend your knees and stretch out your legs one at a time. Rest for 5 breaths.

Points to note

The primary concern in this pose is to keep the weight of the body off the cervical vertebrae (the back of the neck) by distributing the weight between the shoulders and the back of the head.

Keep the chin away from the chest to maintain the curve of the cervical spine, pressing the head and shoulders into the mat. Work the shoulder blades closer together by subtly shifting the weight of the body from one shoulder to the other.

If the feet touch the mat behind the head, they may be flexed so that the heels are descending towards the mat, lengthening the back of the legs. The toes can also be pointed, increasing the stretch through the back and stretching the front of the ankles as well.


If your feet cannot touch the mat behind you, pile up some cushions behind you, on which to rest your toes. As you become more flexible, you can start removing the cushions until eventually you can dispose with them entirely.


The plow pose should not be performed if you suffer from neck pain, have a spinal disc problem, hernia or uterine prolapse or if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

It is not advisable to practice the plow pose during the first three days of your menstrual period.

See video below on How To Do The Plow Pose from Shoulder Stand

Sivananda Yoga Halasana (Plow) Pose -- powered by

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Confidence Builder - The Wheel Pose

During my blog post for My Pose For the Month of July which was Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana, I have mentioned that I was having problems doing the pose as I was not able to straighten my arms and legs to go to the full wheel pose and had dreaded doing the pose during the Ashtanga Led classes as we would normally have to do it twice.

After four months of patience and regular yoga practice that helps to strengthen my core and legs and applying the techniques of adjusting my hands (the fingers should be turned inwards so that the elbows will not splayed out) and shifting my weight more to my legs when I have lifted my hips with my head on the mat, I am finding it easier now to go into the full pose (thanks to the advice given by a reader from my previous blog post).

With Azmi instructing us to push our hips towards the front and reaching our chest towards the wall behind as we straighten our arms, I find that I am able to lift higher into the pose. For the past few classes, as I learn to relax and breathe into the pose and making small adjustments like walking my feet closer to my hands, ensuring that my feet are not turning out so that my lower back is not compressed and letting my head hang as I spread my shoulder blades across the back, I am finding it easier to go into the pose as well as being able to lift higher. At today’s Hatha 2 class, I think Azmi was pleased to see me lifting even higher in the pose as he has been watching my progress.

The Wheel pose is a very uplifting pose and rewarding pose as it has many benefits which include stretching and opening the chest and lungs, strengthening the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen and spine and is therapeutic for asthma, back pain and osteoporosis.

For me, being able to do the full Wheel pose has built my confidence and help to strengthen my belief that in time, I will be able to do those other poses that I am having difficulty doing at the moment.

“Do your practice and all is coming” - Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)