Yoga Mala Yoga Studio in Singapore Tue, 18 Jul 2017 12:45:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yoga Mala 32 32 Stress reduction tips Fri, 10 Feb 2017 09:51:05 +0000 The post Stress reduction tips appeared first on Yoga Mala.


You undoubtedly work hard.. But is it stressing you out to an extent that you feel trapped! Come and learn stress reduction tips.

stress reduction tips -

In this fast changing world, nobody has time to sit and relax. We have so many things at a time that we have forgotten essence of life. Nowadays stress has nothing to do with age of a person or for that matter his or her profession. From a kid to old aged person, everyone has stress of some kind.

Yoga Mala conducts time to time various such workshops which helps to reduce stress and brings vitality, energy and happiness in one’s life. Today I am going to discuss 10 simple and easy stress reduction tips for leading stress free life.

1. Be an early riser

Rising late in the morning is nowadays common among us. It cannot go more worse by starting your day with stress: stress of being late, stress of heavy traffic en route, stress of missing scheduled appointments etc.

Make a point to get up earlier in the morning. You can add various things in your early morning schedule like jogging, meditation, yoga etc.

2. What to eat and when to eat?

You don’t have to eat less but you just have to eat right. You should never ever skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast will make you grumpy and may cause drop in blood sugar. It is very well said “Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper”.

Increase your water intake. At least have 3-4 litres of water in a day. Avoid eating late evening. It is not recommended to eat dinner after 7 pm. Late evening eating can cause you to eat more calories than you require and will lead to weight gain. On the other hand, night time eating may also cause digestion problem & sleeping disorders.

3. Do some activity

Nowadays life has become very sedentary. People perform their job within limited space around them. Most job has become desk job. Inactivity is one of the biggest cause of stress since it increases the production of stress hormones.

Do some kind of activity in the form of yoga, exercise, play, walking, jogging, cycling. It could be anything and everything related to activity. These days most of the office premises are well equipped with Gym or play area. Hit gym or play table tennis whenever you get time. Various physical activities will not only help you manage stress but will help you with mental peace.

4. Do one thing at a time

How often you have seen people around you simultaneously talking on mobile, listening music, driving & having a sip of coffee? I am sure you must have seen many. We very well know how dangerous this very act could be on road. Don’t multi task. Don’t deal with many things at a time.

Just pick one work at time, whichever you feel like, and finish it. This will give you satisfaction and motivate you to finish next task with more zeal and perfection. I know this is not that easy as it sounds but believe me it takes practice before you are professional. Keep practicing and you will get hold of it.

5. Take break in between work

It is never good to work long hours without break. Long hours make it difficult stress management. Many times you get stuck unnecessarily solving things which you could have solved quickly with fresh mind. Take short breaks in between work. It will refresh and calm you from within.

6. Try out some meditation

There is nothing like meditation when it comes stress reduction. Meditation helps to reduce your anxiety, tension and stress. Take out few minutes of your time to practice meditation.

Just like any other exercise you need to learn it first. You can get help of any experience yoga teacher or yoga studio nearby. Soon, you will discover the calming benefits of meditation on the clarity of the mind and calmness of the body.

7. Remain Focused

We remain distracted all the time to small gadgets which we carry all the time. Literally we have become slave to all these gadgets. Don’t indulge yourself too much checking mobile or email notifications. Remember! one thing at a time. Focus on your task and leave rest at bay. You will soon realise that you were able to finish things calmly and well before time.

Also very often we forget how many good things are happening around and we just ignore them for the sake of gadgets. It is better to avoid gadgets as much as you can.

8. Declutter 

Declutter is nothing but organizing things around you. How many times you have searched through your cluttered drawer to find particular stationary? Often, we get stressed out because we can’t find something we need. Sometimes we avoid getting organized because of laziness or sometimes task seems too large. But we forget that we spend more energy at times looking for something which is actually right in front of us.

You may also be interested in learning: 5 Ways to Declutter your Mind

Allocate a place for every item in your space. If required mark the space or location, so that you do not declutter in the near future. When you are done, you will find a nice & peaceful environment around you.

9. Daily routine

Having a routine life, sounds so boring! Yeah! even i felt like this a while ago. Later I realised that i was not able to perform under pressure since i had no plan from before. I used to stress out in critical situations where everybody wanted more out of me. Routine life helps to be on top of your current situation. It allows you to accommodate those critical times where you have to prove your best.

10. Family time is quality time

Spending quality time with your family is stress buster. If you follow above points, then you will soon realise that you do not have to work those extra hours in your workplace. Reach your home early and play with your kids or watch cartoon movies. Take your family to some nice cool picnic spots on weekends. You will return rejuvenated.

Do you know any other tips of stress reduction? Let me know in the comments section below!

If you find this article useful, do consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues on social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn!

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Meditation for the Festive Season Wed, 23 Nov 2016 08:09:29 +0000 The post Meditation for the Festive Season appeared first on Yoga Mala.


oil lamp blurred background

Deepavali is here, it is time to light up your house, greet guests, visit relatives, snack on delicacies and meditate. That’s right, what better time than the festival of lights to practice Trataka.

For my friends who are wondering what is Trataka, is it something you eat? It is a form of meditation where you gaze steadily at a fixed point for some time and later visualize the object clearly with your eyes closed.

To envision and focus on the image of the object even when our eyes are closed is the desired effect of Trataka.

By holding the image in your mind for an extended time period, you are bringing the energies of your senses, intellect and emotions to focus on one point. This allows you to knowingly focus on the object. Through continuous practice, you will then be able to focus your mind consciously on your intangible thoughts or ideas. This is the purpose of Trataka.

The practice of Trataka is deeply relaxing as it aids in detaching us from the various noises and distractions that vie for our attention. It is believed to be beneficial in:

1. Improving eye sight
2. Helping with depression
3. Alleviating insomnia
4. Easing anxiety
5. Improving postural problems
6. Sharpening concentration
7. Boosting Memory

While Trataka may be practiced on a range of objects, it is most often practiced on a flame. As a flame is much easier to visualize when our eyes are closed, it is considered to be the most effective way to practice Trataka.

With lights lit up all around you this Deepavali, it is the perfect time to grab your friends and family and sit to practice Trataka.
We wish you a very happy Deepavali and very happy meditating!

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5 Ways to Declutter your Mind Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:30:23 +0000 The post 5 Ways to Declutter your Mind appeared first on Yoga Mala.


Sahasrara chakra.

We always have something to decide every day. What to have for lunch? Where to go for the holidays? What do I need for the presentation? Should I take the bus or the MRT? What should I wear today?

All these thoughts run behind one another cluttering our mind and rendering us inefficient. When you walk into a room and forget why, when you go to sleep but stay awake, when you start forgetting appointments and occasions, that is a sign that you’ve exhausted your mind.

Since our minds are not dinner tables, how do we clear our mind? Below are some tips to help you in the process.

1. Organize your Work-space

A cluttered work-space reflects your cluttered mind.Red Folder in the series blue. 3D illustration
Try rooting through all those papers in your desk, to find the single sheet due today—it will drive you crazy. A cluttered space will not only mentally wear you down, it will distract your focus and you will end up spending more time finding what you need than doing what you have to do. Allocate a place for every item in your space. For example, pens and pencils go into a cup, papers due immediate to your right, papers that can wait in to your drawers, old papers filed away, work you have completed to your left and trash into the bin. See, you’ll be able to tell which item is where in your sleep.

2. Organize your Wardrobe

We all have that crisis at some point in our life, don’t we? We wake up to go to work, stand in front of our closet and wonder what toDouble file cabinet wear. After almost 15 minutes of contemplation, we decide on a shirt only to realize it doesn’t fit. So, we spend another 15 minutes only to realize we’re running late. The solution to this dilemma is simple—organization. Set aside a day to try on all your clothes, donate the clothes that you no longer wear and that no longer fit. Then, compartmentalize your work clothes, casual clothes and evening wear. This way, you only have to look at one section when picking your clothes and not the entire wardrobe.
Another tip is to choose your work wear the night before. It makes life that much simpler.

3. Organize your Mind

You’re wondering how. Let me tell you, all you need is a paper and pen. You’ve probably guessed it by now—the way to organize your mind is a list. First, write down all your thoughts and all the things you have to do on a paper. Next, strike off all the unnecessary thoughts (why didn’t they have beige cushions on sale? It’s okay, we can live without beige cushions). Then arrange your tasks in order of importance, in descending order. Every time, you finish a task, strike through it and kick the thought of it out of your mind. You’re bound to feel the weight of it lift off of you.

4. Commit to Yoga

The practice of yoga teaches you to clear your mind and focus on the one thing you’re engaged in. Continuous practice helps reduce the strain we put on our mind, leading to sharpened focus and improved concentration.c525452_m

You’re bound to be skeptical of the benefits of yoga if you’ve never tried it before. Yoga practices open love, anyone can join a class. If you’re not sure, a lot of studios offer trial classes, take them up on the offer and experience the joy of yoga. You’ll be hooked.

5. Let go

We carry our regrets, past mistakes and future worries around like a second skin. Each additional day you lug it around, it gains more weight. Let it go. Let all the should haves, would haves, what ifs go.

The past has no hold over you, you are the only one who has a hold on the past. Let it go, live for now and great things await you.

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5 Fruits You Should Be Eating Sat, 19 Nov 2016 08:10:52 +0000 The post 5 Fruits You Should Be Eating appeared first on Yoga Mala.


5 Fruits You Should Be Eating

An apple a day keeps the doctor away but so do these fruits.

1. Pomegranate

Nothing worth having comes easy. It is also the truth of pomegranate. Eating pomegranate is a hassle many of us do not wish to undertake yet did you know that a pomegranate fruit contains the highest level of antioxidants? It contains approximately three times Pomegranatemore antioxidants than oranges. Reports have shown that the high levels of anti-oxidants and bioactive polyphenols in the fruit help keep your heart healthy, may block or at least slow down cholesterol build up in the arteries, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. If you yearn to reap the benefits of pomegranate without eating through the multitude of seeds, then fresh, unsweetened pomegranate juice is just the solution for you.

2. Grapes

Ever heard of resveratrol? Not surprising as it can be found in wine, cocoa, dark chocolate and peanuts among other food. Studies have shown that resveratrol can help protect your brain, impede the spread of cancer, keep your heart healthy, and help prevent Alzheimer’s Grapesdisease. Grapes are a great source of resveratrol and they come in sizes small enough to pop into your mouth as you watch television or sit at your work proofing tomorrow’s work.

3. Blueberries

The best things come in small packages, don’t they? Lab studies have shown that intake of blueberries can help prevent object memory loss and guard against developing glaucoma. Not only that, blueberries contain antioxidant epicatechins that thwarts bacteria from Blueberrysticking to bladder walls, preventing urinary tract infections. Grab a handful of blueberries daily and you’ll never have to stand in the middle of the room and wonder what you forgot.

4. Bananas

You can find them on your table, in your kitchen, your lunchbox, and the pantry. But what good are they for you? Santa’s bag load. Banana’s high fiber content slows down digestion, keeping you full for a longer time. Its high potassium content helps regulate our bananasheartbeat and blood pressure. While carrots are widely known to improve our eyesight. Lesser known is the fact that bananas contain a small amount of Vitamin A that is essential in protecting our eyes. Next time you’re wondering what to have for lunch, pick up a banana.

5. Cherries

Known for their juicy sweet meat, famed for their appearance in various desserts, cherries in fact pack a mean punch. Cherries contain components that reduce inflammation and muscle damage. Eating cherries decreases the risk of stroke, eases high blood pressure, Red cherrybalances your cholesterol levels, helps with digestion and gets rid of unwanted toxics. Studies have also shown that cherries can help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Having trouble sleeping at night? Have a glass of tart cherry juice.

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Yoga Benefits Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:31:00 +0000 The post Yoga Benefits appeared first on Yoga Mala.


Yoga BenefitsYoga Benefits

Flexibility is the word that comes to mind when we think of the yoga benefits. Yoga practitioners executing pretzel-like poses is prove enough. So, other than flexibility and a body great enough to contend with Jennifer Anniston, what benefits does yoga have? More than you thought. We’ve highlighted six of them here. 

  1. Great Posture

Remember slouching in front of the television and your mother shouting at you “Sit up straight Jenny!” Turns out there is a reason for that.

Posture is our body’s position when we’re sitting, standing and lying down. Bad posture such as slouching negatively affects our body’s internal functions like breathing and digestion. It exhausts your neck and shoulder muscles, rendering you inefficient in your task.

Good posture ensures your organs are where they need to be and functioning at full capability. Yoga improves your posture and continuous practice allows you to maintain it, keeping you at the top of your game. 

  1. Boosts Immunity

If you catch a cold on Monday, continuously sneeze on Tuesday, have a fever on Wednesday, suffer a sore throat on Thursday of every other week, then you have an impaired immune system. Not a good news.

Yoga Benefits improves immunity

Our immune system works to fight off virus, germs and cancer. Impaired immune system will make your body vulnerable and cause serious problems to your health. Yoga practice feature asanas that stimulates the circulatory, digestive, nervous and endocrine systems, which in turn boosts our immune system.

  1. Improves Metabolism

Have you ever looked at someone lean and thought, ‘Wow, they must have a great metabolism ? I am sure you did.

Metabolism converts the food we eat into energy that our body requires to function. Great metabolism aids in the weight loss process. Thus, the observation. Whereas, slow metabolism may result in high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The way to boost your metabolism rate is by being active and yoga is one of the best ways to be active. 

  1. Releases Tension

Did you know that habitually scrunching your face, mesmerized by the television or computer will lead to fatigue and pain in your shoulder and neck muscles which causes stress which causes low efficiency? That’s right.Yoga helps in releasing tension

Worry not for yoga is there for you.

Continuous yoga practice enables you to tune in to the way you hold your body and release the tension you hold within. It may take years of practice with bigger muscles but Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

  1. Sharpens Focus

More often than not our minds are constantly at work—we’re thinking and thinking in a never-ending loop and some of them are not even that important. Does it really matter if your table cloth does not match your curtain?

These multitude of thoughts only serve to decrease your productivity at school, work and home and clutter your mind.

By practicing yoga, you will learn to clear your mind of thoughts and focus on one action. This will reduce the strain on your mind which will result in a healthy mind, leading to improved concentration.

  1. Sleep SoundlyYoga will help you in having sound sleep

Lack of sleep is often times attributed to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. What causes stress, anxiety and fatigue? Mostly tension and
thoughts that clutter your mind. So, how do you release tension and declutter your mind? Through yoga of course.

Practice yoga and shed your worries, troubles and tensions away. Sleep soundly and awake rejuvenated.





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How to Drink Water? Mon, 29 Aug 2016 18:01:41 +0000 The post How to Drink Water? appeared first on Yoga Mala.


Drinking water at the end of a meal is akin to drinking poison. It kills the Jathaaragni (that aspect of prana or energy which enables the body to digest food) thereby making the food rot inside the system instead of getting digested. This in turn leads to excess acid and gas being produced in the system and a very vicious cycle starts. Mharishi Vagbhat has identified 103 ailments that occur as a result of drinking water after having eaten food.Drinking water

The minimum gap between food and water should be between 1.5 to 2.5 hrs. This also varies based on geographic and other conditions and the duration is higher in the mountains and lower in plains and hot areas. This is because the body’s ability to digest food varies with the ambient conditions.

Water to be drunk before food should be drunk at least 45 minutes before having food.

To clean the mouth and throat after food only one or two sips of warm/luke warm water can be had.

If really thirsty, one can have fresh juice of seasonal fruits after morning meal and Buttermilk/Chhaas after lunch. Milk can be had after dinner. Though these also contain mostly water, the properties are completely different and they actually help digestion and the body instead of hurting it.

Always drink water sip by sip like one drinks hot tea.

The first thing to be done in the morning is to drink water. It is to be had warm at body temp and should be sipped like hot tea so that maximum saliva goes into the stomach. The person should drink water while sitting in Kagasana(Crow-Pose).

Only if you are drinking water kept in a copper pot it need not be warmed up as it already has same quality as warm water. Mud pot water is also to be warmed up.

Never drink cold water. It should always be Warm/Luke Warm or at body temp.

Water should always be drunk warm/Luke warm. i.e. at the same temperature as the body.

In case you are regularly taking in water kept in copper pot then you should stop for a couple of weeks after 3 months of continuous usage.

Drinking cold water leads to decrease in blood supply to various organs. Over a period of time this leads to the weakening and hence failure of various organs and causes probs like heart attack, kidney failure, brain hemorrhage etc.

Drinking chilled water leads to severe constipation, Large intestine shrinks causing various other complications. This is applicable to other cold foods as Below 18 and above 60 should drink only 1.5 to 2 glasses while others should drink upto 1.25 ltrs. i.e. minimum 3 glasses. This is the only water one should drink without feeling thirsty. Sip should be smallest. Try this for 6 months and see the changes in health. You will experience fresher, lighter, sleep will improve, improve digestion etc.

The container in which drinking water is stored plays a very significant role to get more benefits . Glass/Tumbler is the most commonly used vessel. But in shape it is uniliniar which is not good. Lota is much better. Water takes the properties of its holding object and solutes. Lota is a sphere hence its surface tension is less. This is better for body. Well water is much better. Sadhus don’t drink water if its not from a well. Main property of water is cleansing. This is possible if the water you drink is of low surface tension. Example of milk used for cleaning skin. Same happens with intestines.

By drinking water early in the morning, the stool gets cleared completely. The constipation vanishes and the heat generated in the night, gets cooled off. The health experts say that every individual must drink 10 to 15 glasses of water in a day in all seasons. The water washes our stomach and the blood reaches to the digesting organs. This increases the immunity of the body to fight diseases. Water plays an important role in stabilizing the temperature of the body. Water reaches in the form of blood to all parts of body and stabilizes the temperature. Water increases the working capacity of Kidney, lungs, skin and digesting system. By consuming enough water, the sweat, urine, stool and other waste materials come out from the body regularly. As per the Ayurveda, ushapan is as good as Amritpan.

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Sunstroke Cure and Prevention Sun, 08 May 2016 19:24:46 +0000 The post Sunstroke Cure and Prevention appeared first on Yoga Mala.


Sunstroke is known by many names as ‘thermic fever’, ‘heatstroke’ or ‘siriasis’. All the synonyms indicate one common thing, i.e. ‘Serious medical emergency.’ Sweltering summer days not only make the environment uncomfortable but they also tend to raise our body temperature. Heatstroke is basically characterised by fits and state of unconsciousness. SometimSunstrokees, it can even be life-threatening and must, therefore, be taken seriously.

One of the most common ways to catching a heatstroke is with staying outdoors for too long. Heat exhaustion is a temporary phase where your body is overloaded with heat, but a heat stroke is a much more serious condition that can lead to death if left untreated.

Heatstroke, instead of heat exhaustion, occurs when there is prolonged exposure to high temperatures, loss of bodily fluids and lack of supplementary fluids that results in overheating of the body. Its temperature is raised to more than the normal body temperature of 37 degree Celsius and when the body’s temperature rises above 40 degree Celsius, serious damage to the vital organs can also occur. So how can you identify, prevent and treat heatstroke?

First, look for these symptoms for a person experiencing heat stroke:

  1. Headache
  2. Rapid breathing
  3. High degree Fever
  4. Increased heart rate
  5. Flushed skin or redness or dry skin
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. Excessive sweating and dizziness
  8. Pain in muscles, organs etc.

A heat stroke may hit you as a result of low fluid levels in your body or severe dehydration. If you are not drinking enough water to replenish fluids lost through sweating, you tend to expose yourself to the risk. Your body needs to be hydrated to be able to respond to the heat.  Moreover, alcohol and caffeinated drinks may make the situation worse as they affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.

Home Remedies to Cure Heatstroke

Nature has unfolded many things in its lap. It is the ‘Best Cure’ for every disease or problem. Likewise, for heatstroke, it has many solutions or curing tools. They are:

  1. Onion: Onion is the best weapon to fight against sunstroke. It has a wonderful heat absorbing tendency. Make a thick paste of onion and apply it on the patient’s forehead. Sunstroke-onionApplying onion juice behind the ears and on your chest can also help bring down your body’s temperature. For therapeutic purposes, onion juice is more desirable, however,  you can also roast some raw onions with cumin and honey and have it. Raw onions in chutneys or salads can also cool your system. You can also keep a white onion in your pouch while going out in the heat.
  1. Dried Fenugreek leaves (Methi): Dried leaves of Fenugreek have the Magical touch to cure sunstroke. Take some leaves of fenugreek and soak them in water.Sunstroke-Driy Fenugreek leaves After some time, crush the leaves, add a little honey to the crush and filter. Give this blend to the patient once in every two hours. It will show a healing effect very soon.
  2. Buttermilk & Coconut Water: Take two to three glasses of buttermilk to avoid sunstroke. It works effectively. Yoghurt along with water can also be taken as an alternative. Sunstroke-Buttermilk & Coconut WaterIt plays a vital role in keeping the body temperature under control. Similarly, coconut water rehydrates your body by naturally balancing the electrolytes in your body.
  3. Unripe green Mangoes: Green mangoes are best in treating sunstroke. Boil some mangoes and filter it. Then, add sugar, black salt, roasted cumin and pepper to it. Sunstroke-AampannaHave a glass of this shake (Aampanna). It has a soothing effect.
  4. Twist of Tamarind: Tamarind is rich in vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Soak some tamarind in boiling water. Sunstroke-TamarindStrain it and drink it with a pinch of sugar. This decoction lowers your body temperature. Tamarind juice also acts as a mild laxative and helps in treating stomach disorders.
  5. Juice of Coriander & Mint: Extracting the juice of coriander or mint leaves and drinking it with a pinch of sugar is an easy home remedy to bring down the body heat. Sunstroke-Coriander & Mint JuiceAccording to Ayurveda, these herbs have a cooling effect on the body. Due to its cooling properties, coriander water is also considered as a great remedy for reducing menopausal heat and flushes. In fact, coriander juice can also be applied to sooth hot and itchy skin.
  6. Tulsi Seeds and Fennel Seeds: A concoction of tulsi seeds mixed in some rose water is known to cool your system instantly. Fennel seeds are also known as a cooling spice. Sunstroke-Tulsi Seeds and Fennel SeedsSoak a handful of them overnight in water, strain and drink the water in the morning. This will keep your body cool and guard you against the heat.
  7. Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera is high in vitamins and minerals. Besides this, it is known as an adaptogen it boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to the external changes and stimulates the defensive mechanisms of the body.Sunstroke-Aloe Vera Juice Adaptogens are known to stabilise the various systems of the body. Herbalists also suggest one to use aloe vera gel to cure prickly heat.

Prevention Guidelines
In sunstroke, as the temperature goes down, water from the whole body starts evaporating in the form of sweat. Finally, the cells start drying up rapidly. It can be prevented by:

Wood apple juice (Bael): The juice of Bael fibres and sugar in summer acts as a good heat absorbing agent. Sunstroke-Wood apple juice If you have the opportunity to enjoy this seasonal fruit be sure to try having Bael during summers.

Plenty of Water: Drink plenty of fresh water. It prevents the body from sudden dehydration and maintains body homoeostasis.

Sunstroke can be avoided by adding green vegetables and fresh juicy fruits in your diet, during summers. Eat mango, watermelon, orange, cucumber etc.


Lastly, consider following some of the instructions below.

  • Wear light coloured clothes that reflect more heat.
  • Try to avoid outdoor activities during daytime or during the peak of the day in hot summers.
  • Avoid dehydrating beverages like strong teas, coffee and alcohols.
  • Bring a bottle of water with you during the day time.
  • Carry a foldable umbrella in your bag.

It is great to be outdoors in summer and getting some important vitamin D but remember to exercise precaution so that you can enjoy your time in the sun fully.

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Lower Back Pain Cause and Cure Sun, 24 Apr 2016 15:23:03 +0000 The post Lower Back Pain Cause and Cure appeared first on Yoga Mala.


In our modern sedentary lifestyles, lower back pains are currently one of the most common problems reported by office workers and students alike.

The lower back is made up of the vertebrae of the spine, as well as ligaments and muscles. Intervertebral discs are found along the spine, similar to ‘cushions’ made up of cartilage. It fits perfectly between two vertebrae. Any kind of injury or disease of these discs in the lower back, muscles and/or ligaments can cause back ache. The risk of lower back injury is even higher in people who are obese, as they are prone to a poor posture due to weak back and abdominal muscles. However, almost everyone will experience lower back pain at least once in their lifetime.

Due to a poor diet, the lack of physical activity or bad daily habits, this risk can increase day by day. Yoga is the best and most effective option to preventing and improving this problem.

Lower Back Pain

Causes of Lower Back Pain

There are various causes for lower back pain. The health of your lumbar spine (specifically the L1-L5 vertebrae and discs) is directly affected by the action of the hip flexors and hamstrings.  When there is an imbalance present in any number of these muscles, the lower back can easily be subject to strain and injury resulting in pain. Virtually all cases of chronic lower back pain are accompanied by tight hamstrings. Tight hamstrings prevent proper hip mobility and force your lumbar spine to bend forward more than is necessary during demanding activities. It is your hips that should move more and not your spine.  Short/tight hamstrings are a very common problem to have.  We all should understand the value of stretching our hamstrings. However, muscle or ligament strain is seen as the most common cause. If you experience back pain suddenly it is a sign of a muscle tear, disc problem or sprained ligament. Many other conditions, like fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis can cause back pain. Pregnancy can also lead to back pain (due to extra body weight, muscle and ligament firmness, and compression of spinal nerves). Overweight people are most prone to back pain, because of poor posture and extra strain of the body weight on discs and muscle.

Medical problems, like stomach problems (appendicitis, ulcers) and gall bladder disease can lead to back pain. Back pain can also be caused without any kind of injury. These conditions include pneumonia, kidney infections, infection of the spine and tumours. The pain which is worse in the morning and seems to reduce by movement and physical stretching is a result of muscle injury. Lower back pain which is worse at night and not relieved by exercise can be a “referred pain” that spreads to the back from other organs. This condition can also be a result of a bone problem. The pain that can be felt all the way down to the back of one or both of your legs is a sign of sciatica. When the sciatic or other spinal nerve is compressed, it will result in increased pain while sneezing, coughing or straining.

Relieving back pain is now much easier with yoga poses. These lower back asana will help you strengthen your back. They do not just relieve your lower back from pain, but they also help to prevent back pain in future. Whether you are trying to relieve or prevent your lower back from pain, try some great lower back yoga stretches.

While yoga isn’t a good idea if you have severe pain, those with occasional soreness or chronic aches may greatly benefit from certain postures that can help lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and return your back to its proper alignment.

It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen, especially if you’re prone to pain.

Once you get the green light, try these soothing poses for back pain. Gradually increase the intensity by holding them for longer amounts of time.

For lower back pain relief please do the following poses daily or at least after your workout. Breathe deeply in and out of the nose while doing these poses.

1. Tiriyak Tadasana (Swinging Palm Tree Pose)

The entire spine is stretched and loosened, helping to clear up congestion of the spinal nerves at the point where they emerge from the spinal column.

Do it: Stand with your feet together or a little more than hip-width apart. Fix your gaze at a point directly in front. Interlock your fingers turn the palms outwards. Inhale, and raise the arms up, over the head.

Lower Back Pain - Tiriyak Tadasana

Extending the palms towards the ceiling and lifting the chest.

Exhale and bend to the right from the waist (do not lean forward or backwards or twist the trunk, Imagine you are between two panes of glass.) Feel the stretch up the left side of the body. Hold the position for a few seconds breathing normally, Inhale, slowly return back to the upright position. Exhale repeat on the other side.

2. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

Triangle pose is great for strengthening the back and legs and can help lengthen your muscles along the sides of your torso while stretching the muscle fibres along your outer hip.

Lower Back Pain - Triangle Pose

Do it: Start standing straight with your feet together. Next, lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your right arm toward the ground and the left arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. You may not be able to touch the ground with your right arm at first. It is best not to over-stretch which may cause strain or injury — only bend as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.

3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

This classic yoga pose is a great total body stretch that targets back extensors, or the large muscles that help form your lower back, support your spine, and help you stand and lift objects.

Lower Back Pain - Downward-FacingDog

Do it: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.

 4. Shishuasana (Child’s Pose)

It may look like you’re resting, but child’s pose is an active stretch that helps elongate the back. It’s also a great de-stressor before bed at the end of a long, exhausting day.

Lower Back Pain - Child'sPose

Do it: Start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you, then sit back so your glutes (butt muscles) come to rest just above — but not touching — your heels. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat as many times as needed for a good, soothing stretch

5. Eka Pada Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)

Pigeon pose, which can be a little challenging for yoga newbies, stretches hip rotators and flexors. It might not seem like the most obvious position to treat a back pain, but tight hips can contribute to lower back pain.

Do it: Start in downward-facing dog with your feet together. Draw your left knee forward and turn it out to the left so your left leg is bent and near-perpendicular to your right one; lower both legs to the ground. You can simply keep your back right leg extended straight behind you, or for an added hamstring stretch — experienced pigeon posers, only! — carefully pull your back foot off the ground and in toward your back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.

Lower Back Pain - Pigeon Pose Lower Back Pain - Pigeon Pose6. Marjariasana (Cat & Cow Pose)

The perfect poses for an achy, sore back, cow and cat stretch loosen back muscles, whether as part of a yoga routine or as a warm-up for another workout.

Lower Back Pain - Cat & CowPose

Do it: Starting in an all-fours position, move into cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up, arching your back. Hold for a few seconds and then move to cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head. Moving back and forth from cat to cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

Repeat 10 times, flowing smoothly from cat into cow, and cow back into cat.

7. Wall Plank

You need to stand in front of the wall. Reach the wall with your hands and straighten them. Flatten your palms on the wall. Bend forward with your head facing downward. Lengthen your spine by stretching back as much as possible. You will come into an L shape. You may feel pain near the lower back if you do bend your knees. Try to maintain the spinal stretch for at least 2 minutes. Breath deeply as you stretch your back.

Lower Back Pain - Wall Plank Pose


8. Padahastasana (Upward Forward Bend)

Sometimes called a forward fold, the upward forward bend stretches the hamstrings and back muscles while providing a release for tight, tense shoulders.

Do it: Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees loose, not locked. While you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching toward the floor. Don’t worry if you can’t

Lower Back Pain - Padahastasana

reach all the way to the floor at first; just stop wherever your hamstrings feel a comfortable stretch. Repeat the pose five to seven times. On the last bend hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths.

9. Bhujangasana (Upward Facing Dog)

This pose works to open up your chest, stretch your abdominal muscles, engage your back and soothes sciatica.

Lower Back Pain - Bhujangasana

Do it: Start lying flat on the floor. Stretch your legs back, tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders.

Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.

On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.

Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation

10. Supta Padangusthasana (Supine Hamstring Stretch)

Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest and place a strap or rolled-up towel around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Press out through both heels. If the lower back feels strained, bend the left knee and place the foot on the ground. Hold for 3-5 minutes and then switch to the left leg for 3-5 minutes.

Lower Back Pain - Supta Padangusthasana

Lastly, keep in mind that moderation is key and to listen to your body before, during and even after any form of exercise. Allow your body to gradually become stronger for safer and longer lasting health and practise.

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The Scientific Power of Meditation Tue, 26 Jan 2016 20:40:29 +0000 The post The Scientific Power of Meditation appeared first on Yoga Mala.


To meditate, or not to meditate?

This 3-minute video lays out ALL the science proving the incredible, mind-blowing benefits of getting your Om on regularly, in a quick, simple way that’s both eye-opening and entertaining.

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Never Too Old To Learn Tue, 26 Jan 2016 20:27:15 +0000 The post Never Too Old To Learn appeared first on Yoga Mala.


Age is just a number. It is never too late to learn.

These days, such sayings and words of encouragement are commonplace and becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for lifelong learning. Indeed, we are never too old to learn, and it seems that with age, comes a richer learning experience and insight that we might not have encountered earlier in life. This article, “I’m in a Yoga Teacher Training – at age 62!”, written by a lady who took up her first Yoga Teacher Training course in her 60s, serves as a reminder that anyone can begin anytime when they have the will for it.

We hope that this article inspires you to take a teacher training not only because you want to teach, but especially because you want to grow in yoga. and looking for the right teachers will help you get onto the right path.

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