Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yoga Posture: The Locust (Salabhasana)

Salabha means a locust. The pose resembles that of a locust resting on the ground, hence the name.

As the Cobra tones the lower part of the body, the Locust is meant for the proper exercise of the upper half. When the Full Locust is performed correctly, it looks exactly opposite to the Shoulderstand.

The Locust gives a wonderful backward bend to the spine, serving as a counterpose to the Shoulderstand, the Plough, and the Forward Bend.

The pose aids digestion and relieves gastric troubles and flatulence. Since the spine is stretched back it becomes elastic and the pose relieves pain in the sacral and lumbar regions. Persons suffering from slipped discs have benefited by regular practice of this asana without recourse to enforced rest or surgical treatment. The bladder and the prostate gland also benefit from the exercise and remain healthy. A variation of the pose may also be tried to relieve aches in the lower part of the back.

Physical Benefits
  • Brings a rich blood supply to the spine.
  • An increased blood supply is brought to the neck and throat region.
  • Tones the nerves and muscles, particularly in the neck and shoulders.
  • Increases abdominal pressure, regulating intestinal function and strengthening the abdominal walls.
  • Improves sluggish digestion.
  • All the internal organs are massaged especially the pancreas, liver and kidneys.
  • Expands the chest, benefiting sufferers from asthma and other respiratory problems.
  • Strengthens shoulder, arm, and back muscles.
  • Regular practice of the Locust relieves back pains and sciatica.
  • Flexibility of the cervical region is promoted.
  • The abdominal and lumbar muscles are strengthened.

Mental Benefits
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance.

Pranic Benefits
  • Stimulates pranic flow in the lung, stomach, spleen, heart, liver, small intestine, pericardium, and bladder meridians.
  • "Increases the digestive fire" - an ancient Yogic way of saying that the energy flow maximizes the use of all nutrients.
  • Produces bodily heat.

Common Faults
  • Jumping, or trying to throw, the legs up into the position.
  • The nose or forehead, rather than the chin, is resting on the ground.
  • The chin is lifted off the ground.
  • Hips are twisted.
  • Knees are bent.
  • One leg is higher than the other.
  • Hands are twisted into different positions.
  • Hands are apart instead of being held together.
  • Breath is being held while in the position.
  • Caution: The Locust should not be attempted while pregnant, as it puts pressure on the abdomen.

Note: Please perform the yoga posture under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
                       The Sivananda Yoga Training Mannual

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Calcium and Vitamin D enhance heart health benefits of weight loss

Weight loss and reduced waist circumference are related to an improvement in heart health and factors related to metabolic syndrome. According to a new study, supplementing with calcium and vitamin D during weight loss enhances heart health benefits in women with typically low calcium intake.

Recent research has shown that overweight individuals with low calcium and dairy consumption are at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The findings suggest that adequate calcium intake could create a healthier metabolic profile similar to a balanced diet and regular exercise.

In a new study, researchers investigated this issue by testing cardiovascular benefits of long-term calcium supplementation in women with usual low calcium intake. Healthy, overweight or obese women with a daily calcium intake of less than 800 mg/day were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the group consuming 2 tablets/day of a calcium + vitamin D supplement (600 mg elemental calcium and 200 IU vitamin D/tablet) or the group consuming placebo. Both groups completed a 15-week reduced calorie weight-loss program.

Significant decreases in LDL cholesterol levels, as well as the ratios of Total to LDL and LDL to HDL were seen the calcium +D group. These changes were independent of the changes due to fat loss and reduced waist circumference. A tendency for more beneficial changes in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol was also observed in the calcium +D group.

This was the first study to show that consumption of calcium +D during weight- loss enhances the beneficial effect of body weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight women with typically low calcium intake.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 1, 54-59, January 2007

Low Vitamin D levels are related to poor physical performance in the elderly

In a recent study, researchers examined the association between vitamin D status and physical performance. Among subjects with low vitamin D levels, physical performance and grip strength were significantly lower than that of participants who did not have reduced levels.

In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D is thought to play a role in musculoskeletal function. In a recent study, researchers examined the association between vitamin D status and physical performance in a sample of 976 persons over the age of 65. The physical performance of the subjects was analyzed using a short physical performance battery (SPPB) and handgrip strength. The SPPB tests included walking speed, ability to stand from a seated position, and ability to maintain balance in progressively more challenging positions.

Over 28% of the women and 13% of the men had vitamin D levels low enough to be considered a deficiency. Nearly three-fourths of the women and over half of the men had vitamin D levels that were considered insufficient. Among subjects with low vitamin D levels, physical performance and grip strength were significantly lower than that of participants who did not have reduced levels. The finding remained valid after taking into consideration other factors such as season of the year and physical activity levels.

Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older populations, additional studies examining the association between vitamin D status and physical function are needed. Current vitamin D recommendations are based on its role in bone health, although emerging research indicates vitamin D may also play important roles in preservation of muscle strength and physical function as well as other conditions such as cancer prevention.

The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 62:440-446 (2007)

Calcium, Vitamin D and Cancer Risk

A new study published in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown a reduction in cancer rates among postmenopausal women taking vitamin D combined with calcium. This four-year, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled study involved over 1,100 postmenopausal women who were divided into three treatment groups. The first group received a supplement containing calcium and vitamin D, the second group received just calcium, and the third group received a placebo.

The researchers found that the women taking the calcium and vitamin D supplement had a 60 percent lower incidence of all cancers than women not taking the supplement. This new study takes an important step in extending several decades of research involving the role of vitamin D in health and disease. The results further strengthen the case made by many specialists that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventive and that it is commonly found lacking in the general population, particularly the elderly.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 June;85(6):1586-91.

Why USANA Active Calcium?

Every dietary supplement produced by USANA carries a potency guarantee, which ensures that what is stated on the label is actually contained in the product. They have been exhaustively tested by NSF International and have been found to contain all ingredients at the labeled amounts. NSF is an independent, not-for-profit organization that helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has not finalized Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for dietary supplements, as they are required to do under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Rather, Congress has initially stated that dietary supplement GMP should be modeled after foods. Because of this statement, many supplement manufacturers have chosen to follow GMP for foods. USANA, however, voluntarily follows GMP for pharmaceuticals as the basis for its quality assurance program in the manufacturing of all of its products, meaning USANA treats nutritional supplements with the same care that goes into the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.

  • Comprehensive support for bone health contains sufficient calcium, magnesium, silicon, and vitamin D, to meet nutritional needs in only 4 tablets per day

  • Clinically-tested formula

Supplementation with calcium is one of the keys to strong and healthy bones and to an enhanced quality of life. ACTIVE CALCIUM™ is carefully formulated with highly bioavailable forms of calcium, plus other important factors for lifelong bone health.

ACTIVE CALCIUM contains high amounts of calcium citrate and carbonate, magnesium, and vitamin D to optimize bone mineralisation and to ensure proper calcium use.

More information click here

You may find out more detail about USANA at the following website.

May everybody have a very good health! Take care of yourself!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yogic Pranayama: Ujjayi

Ujjayi in Sanskrit means "victorious". It comes from two words that mean "conquer" and "bondage", so it is the pranayama that gives freedom from the bondage of the mind.

Ujjayi is a tranquillizing pranayama, and it also has a heating effect on the body. It soothes the nervous system and calms the mind. It can help to relieve insomnia, so it is good to practise before sleep.

In the Ujjayi breathing exercise, there is a tendency to contort the face muscles. Relax the face as much as possible, and do not contract the throat strongly. The contraction is slight.

Hearing the breath
  1. Let's try the Ujjayi breath. Sit straight with your legs crossed, or on a chair with your back straight.
  2. Close your eyes. Make your breath calm and rhythmic. Now begin to focus on your throat. Imagine there is a valve in your throat that you close slightly in order to control your breath. The measure for this control is your sound, which becomes very gentle and ultimately should not require any effort or create any tension.
  3. As your breathing becomes slower and deeper, gently contract your glottis (the opening at the upper end of your windpipe, between the vocal cords) so that a soft snoring sound like the breathing of a sleeping baby is produced in your throat. If this is practised correctly, there will be a simultaneous gentle contraction of your abdomen. This will happen without any effort being made.
  4. The sound you make is not loud. It should just be audible to you and no one else, unless they are sitting very close by. Think of a cat purring and create a similar sound.
  5. After this technique is mastered, the sound is present during both inhalation and exhalation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Guacamole Salad or Dip

If you like avocados, you will enjoy this slightly spicy traditional Mexican dish.

  • 1 large avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Peel, stone, and roughly chop the avocado. Place in a food processor with the lemon juice, and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add the yoghurt, spices, and sea salt, and pulse the processor a few times to mix. Transfer the guacamole to a bowl, and carefully stir in half of the chopped green pepper, if using, reserving the remainder to sprinkle on top of the mixture as decoration. Guacamole can be served as a salad on a bed of tortilla chips, or as a dip for crudites such as celery and carrots. Makes 300ml (1/2 pint).

Source from Yoga Mind & Body - Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

Salad : Waldorf Salad

As a complement to main courses, or as meals in their own right, salads of raw fruit and vegetables should form a major part of any diet, whether vegetarian or other. They are an important source of vitamins, minerals, bulk, and fibre, and they add variety, texture, and taste to any meal. Garnishing with sprouting seeds (such as alfalfa, mung beans, or lentils), nuts, wheatgerm, seeds (including sesame, sunflower, and caraway), or even nutritional yeast, can produce unlimited variations.

Waldorf Salad

This slight variation on the recipe created at New York's Waldorf Astoria has a wonderfully crisp texture.

  • 4 apples, cored and diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g (2oz) walnuts, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely grated
  • 75g (3oz) raisins
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 225ml (8fl oz) yoghurt, sour cream, or eggless mayonnaise
  • 5 or 6 large lettuce leaves
Combine all the ingredients, except the lettuce, stirring with a fork. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, to allow it to set. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves laid in a bowl or on individual plates. Serves 4.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body - Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yoga Posture: The Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Bhujanga in Sanskrit means Cobra.  When this pose is exhibited, the raised head and trunk resemble the raised hood of a cobra.  Hence it is called Bhujangasana.

The Gerunda Samhita notes that this asana, which resembles a cobra with its hood raised, "increases the bodily heat, destroys diseases, and by the practice of this posture the Serpent-Goddess (Kundalini) awakens".

Bhujangasana is a powerful tonic, particularly useful for women. It gives a backward bend to the spine (posterior curvature). The thoracic region is stretched and the rib cage expanded. The Cobra is therefore effective in combating asthma and other respiratory problems. The deep and superficial muscles of the back are massaged, toned and stretched. The spine receives a powerful backward stretch. Every vertebra is pulled back and given a rich blood supply. The nerves and muscles of the spine are rejuvenated. The spine is kept flexible. Curvature of the spine is relieved. Bhujangasana relieves hunchback, back pain, lumbago and myalgia of the back.

The abdomen should be kept on the ground. This increases inter-abdominal pressure. All the abdominal viscera are toned. In women the ovaries and uterus are toned. It is a powerful tonic which helps to relieve many utero-ovarine troubles, menstrual problems, etc. Bhujangasana increases bodily heat and destroys a host of ailments.

This pose increases flexibility and rejuvenates the spinal nerves. Combined with deep breathing, it massages and expands the rib cage. Cobra is particularly helpful in relieving tension in the ovaries and uterus, often the cause of menstrual problems. Cobra stimulates the flow of pranic energy in the body and awakens the higher chakras.

Physical Benefits
  • The arching of the spine increases flexibility, rejuvenates spinal nerves, and brings a rich blood supply.
  • Works, massages, and tones the back muscles.
  • Stretches the thoracic region and expands the rib cage, bringing relief from asthma.
  • Gentle pressure on the abdomen massages all organs.
  • Helps to relieve many utero-ovarine and menstrual problems.

Mental Benefits
  • Demands considerable concentration, and thus strengthens this faculty.

Pranic Benefits
  • Stimulates pranic flow to the lung, stomach, kidney, urinary bladder, and spleen meridians.
  • Awakens the Kundalini (potential spiritual energy), thus assisting the realization of one's full potential.
  • Bhujangasana produces bodily heat.

Common Faults
  • Using the arms to push the body up into the Cobra, rather than rolling the body up into the position.
  • Elbows are straightened and the shoulders are tensed and hunched.
  • One arm is pushing harder than the other, causing the body to twist.
  • Abdomen is lifted off the ground.
  • Head is dropping forwards.
  • Caution: Do not practise the Cobra while pregnant, although this asana is an excellent way to prepare the body for pregnancy.

Note: Please perform the yoga under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.

Source from Yoga Mind & Body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
                      Yoga for Women by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
                      The Sivananda Yoga Training Manual

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yoga Related Products

Yoga Mat (68" X 24" X 4 MM-thick)

Colour : Blue / Purple

Retail Price : S$ 30

Bulk Order from min. 10 pcs & above receive 10% - 20% discount. Email me for quotation.

Yoga Mat (68" X 24" X 6 MM-thick)

Colour : Blue / Purple

Retail Price : S$ 40

Bulk Order from min. 10 pcs & above receive 10% - 20% discount. Email me for quotation.

Yoga Brick (EVA)

Retail Price : S$12

Bulk Order from min. 35 pcs & above receive 10% - 20% discount. Email me for quotation.

Yoga Mat Towel (173cm X 61cm)

Top layer for yoga mat. For dry stable practice. Made with sweat absorbent quick drying material. 20% polyemdie 80% polyester. Slip-resistant rubber nubs. For personal hygience barrier. Washable. Custom fits yoga mat.

Colour : Dark Purple / Pink / Light Purple / Blue

Retail Price : S$ 19.90

Yoga Strap (Cotton)

Colour : Brown / Black / Blue / Purple
Retail Price : S$12

Bulk Order from min. 35 pcs & above receive 5% - 10% discount. Email me for quotation.

Elastic Strap (Natural Latex)

Retail Price : S$10

Bulk Order from min. 35 pcs & above receive 10% - 20% discount. Email me for quotation.

For more update range of our yoga related products, please visit Website.