Archive for July, 2010

JULY 31, 2010

15 Minutes Practice While On The Road Or On A Busy Day

Posted by Dorothy under Wellness1 comment

Clients of mine usually cite lack of time as a reason for abandoning their yoga practice. I soon realized that such complaints are due to their misconception that they have to reserve an hour or half to exercise, otherwise they will not reap any benefits from it.
My advice to them and all my readers is just simple:

“Being able to take even 5 minutes off your busy schedule a day to make your body happy is better than nothing!!”

The other concern I hear from clients is when would be the best time to practice. In all honesty, follow your feelings because there is no such thing as the best time. Remember that everyone is different and have different preferences and schedule.

With that, I have listed a few of my favorite asanas with accompanying explanations and guides which will take up only 15 miutes of your time a day to make you feel energized and to keep your joints and muscles healthy ( and definitely lasts longer :) ). If you do not have 15 minutes, then choose only a few asanas and cut down the suggested holding time. The listed asanas are mostly focused on the common tight regions of our body: upper back, hip region, inner thighs and hamstrings.

A) Standing asanas

1) Uttanasana ( Standing Forward Fold )

Duration: 2 minutes
Tips and focus: Lengthen your spine and hinge from the hips, Ground feet firmly, Do not lock knees, shoulders away from the ears and relax the neck, Let upper body fall freely, Lift your sitting bones upwards
Benefits: Stretches the calves, hamstrings and spine
Modifications: Bend the knees
Pic and link:

2) Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana (Revolved Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend )

Duration: 1 minute each side ( R & L )
Tips and focus: Lengthen your spine and hinge from your hips, Even out the weight between both legs, Do not lock knees, Actively extend both arms away from the midsection of the body, Lead with the shoulder while opening and twisting the chest, Do not lean the weight of the upper body into the lower arm, Lengthen through the waist, Gaze towards the upper fingers
Benefits: Stretches the calves and hamstrings, expands the chest
Modifications: 1) If there’s strain in the neck, look to the side
2) Bend the knee – if twisting to the right, bend the right and vice versa
Pic and link:

3) Adho Mukha Svanasana ( Downward Facing Dog )

Duration: 1 minute
Tips and focus: Press the heels into the ground, Extend through the back of the knee and do not lock the knees, lift the sitting bones upwards, Lengthen through the waist, draw the shoulders away from the ears and widen them, extend through the arms, spread the fingers, even out the weight between the arms and legs, gaze towards the navel.
Benefits: Similar to why the dogs and cats do this – to stretch the entire body!!
Modifications: 1) Keep feet apart
2) Lift heels above the ground
Pic and Link:

B) Sitting Asanas

1) Upavistha Konasana ( Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend )

Duration: 2 minutes
Tips and focus:
Lengthen the spine and hinge from the hips, Roll the pelvis forward, Ground thighbones down and back, Feet flexed with toes pointing upwards, Stretch heels away from the hips to lengthen through the back of the legs, Extend the chest further forward while lowering down, Lengthen the throat and place the chin on the ground.
Benefits: A good hip opener, stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs
Modifications: 1) Sit on a folded blanket
2) Sit against a wall
3) Rest the upper body on a bolster
Pic and link:

2) Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana ( Revolved Head to Knee / Seated Side Stretch )

Duration: 1 minute each side ( R & L )
Tips and focus: Curve in deeper along the lower torso, Round the upper torso, Do not compromise the curve while reaching both hands to hold the foot, Lead with the upper shoulder while opening the chest, Extend fully from the hips to the hand.
Stretches from the hips to the arms, Stretches the back
Modifications: 1)Sit on a folded blanket
Pic and link:

C) Supine asanas

1) Halasana ( Plough )

Duration: 2 minutes
Tips and focus: Chin towards the chest, Lengthen through the back of the neck and relax, Draw the shoulders away from the ears and broaden ,Ground the arms and keep your upper arms parallel to each other, Extend the spine, Keep the feet flexed, Rest more of the weight on the shoulders instead of the neck.
Benefits: Stretches the entire body especially the neck and the shoulders – it helps relief the tightness in the shoulders for people who are hunched over theircomputers at work. Helps in the flexibility of the hamstrings.
Modifications: 1) Place blanket under shoulders
2) Bend knees to forehead
Pic and link:

1a) Counter Pose – Pawanmuktanasana ( Wind Releasing )

Duration: 30 seconds
Pic and link:

2) Chakrasana / Urdhva Dhanurasana ( Wheel / Reverse bow )

Duration: 1 minute
Tips and focus: Keep the feet grounded, Lifting through the thighs and abdomen, Lift and open the chest, Extend through the arms, Draw the shouldersaway from the ears, Even out the weight between the arms and legs, Imagine the palms and soles to be as firm and strong as the legs of a table.
Benefits: Opens the front of the body, Stretches the spine to its maximum, Strengthens the arms and lower back
Modifications: 1)Rest the crown of the head on the mat
Pic and link:

2a) Counter Pose – Pawanmuktanasana ( Wind Releasing )

Duration: 30 seconds
Pic and link:

3) Jathara Parivartanasana ( modified version ) / Supta Padangusthasana
( Reclining Twist /Reclining Hand To Big Toe )

Duration: 1 minute each side ( R & L )
Tips and focus: Twist from the pelvis and spine, The bottom leg acts as a foundation, Therefore press down the inner heel and extend through the heel of the bottom leg, Flex both feet, Widen through the shoulders ( If one side of the shoulder is not in contact with the ground, allow it as long as the shoulders are broadened and relaxed )
Increases hip flexibility, Relieves pain in lower back, Stretches hamstrings.
Modifications: Bend the knee, Place folded blanket or a bolster to support the upper leg
Pic and link:

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JULY 29, 2010

Your Job Should Express Your Heart by Rick Warren

Posted by Dorothy under Philosophy1 comment

This post is specially dedicated to those adventurous and daring souls who have denied the norms of professional blue collar jobs to venture out in pursuit of their dream jobs!! As for those who are still contemplating ( year after year ) on leaving their office jobs, this post might give you the courage to make your move. The rest of you who do not know what your dreams are, good luck and may you stumble upon it one day:) Trust me as you will stop complaining about Mondays and get excited on Fridays. Your job will no longer be a chore but a hobby in which you make a living from.Read on and be inspired.

From now on if you listen obediently to the commandments that I am commanding you today, love God, your God, and serve him with everything you have within you, he’ll take charge of sending the rain at the right time

…. Deuteronomy 11:13-14 MSG)

“Don’t waste your life in a job that doesn’t express your heart”. Repeatedly, the Bible says to “serve the Lord with all your heart”. God wants you to serve him passionately, not dutifully. People rarely excel at tasks they don’t enjoy doing or feel passionate about. God wants you to use your natural interests to serve him and others.
How do you know when you’re serving God from your heart?

The first telltale sign is enthusiasm. When you’re doing what you love to do, no one has to motivate you, or challenge you, or check up on you. You do it for the sheer enjoyment. You don’t need rewards, or applause, or to be paid, because you love serving in this way.

The opposite is also true: When you don’t have a heart for what you’re doing, you’re easily discouraged.

One characteristic of serving God from your heart is effectiveness: Whenever you do what God wired you to love to do, you get good at it.

Passion drives perfection. If you don’t care about a task, it is unlikely that you’ll excel at it. On the other hand, the highest achievers in any field are those who do it because of passion, not duty or profit. We’ve all heard people say, “I took a job I hate in order to make a lot of money, so someday I can quit and do what I love to do”. That’s a big mistake. Don’t waste your life in a job that doesn’t express your heart. If you’re dealing with inequitable treatment in the office, an employment lawyer can guide you and protect your rights.

Remember, the greatest things in life are not things. Meaning is far more important than money. The richest man in the world once said,
“A simple life in the fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches”(Proverbs 15:16 MSG).

Don’t settle for achieving “the good life,” because the good life is not good enough. Ultimately, it doesn’t satisfy. You can have a lot to live on, and still have nothing to live for. Aim instead for “the better life” – serving God in a way that expresses your heart. Figure out what you love to do – that which God gave you a heart for – and then do it for his glory!

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