APRIL 22, 2015
 
The Eagle Pose - Garuda-asana

Garuda Asana - Eagle Posture

Posture: Garuda-asana - The Eagle Pose
Translation: The Sanskrit word garuda means eagle. In Hindu mythology Garuda is known as the king of birds. He transports the God Vishnu and is said to be eager to help humanity fight against deamons.
Pronunciation: ga-roo-dah-sa-na
Difficulty: (3)

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The Eagle Pose (Garuda-asana) Instruction:

1
Stand with the feet together and the arms by your sides (see the tad-asana or mountain pose).
2
Draw the left foot upward bending the knee and wrap the left foot around your right leg as you rest the back of your left thigh on the right thigh.
3
Cross your arms at the elbows, left over right.
4
Join the palms of your hands together keeping the fingers pointed upward.
5
Inhale and hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath.
6
Exhale and return to the tada-asana. Repeat the posture on the opposite side, wrapping the right leg over the left and the right arm over left.


MAR 25, 2015

Shava-asana - The Corpse Pose


The Corpse Pose - Shava-asana Shava-asana - The Corpse Pose Posture: Shava-asana The Corpse Pose Translation: The Sanskrit word shava means corpse hence this is the Corpse. The shava-asana is also known as the mrta-asana. Pronunciation: sha-vah-sa-na Difficulty: (1) Printer-friendly Version The Corpse Posture (Shava-asana) Instruction: 1 Lie flat on your back with your legs together but not touching, and your arms close to the body with the palms facing up. 2 Keep your eyes gently closed with the facial muscles relaxed and breath deeply and slowly through the nostrils. 3 Starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the feet, bring your attention to each part of your body, consciously relaxing it before proceeding on to the next. 4 Remain in the shava-asana for between 3 and 5 minutes or longer. If you become sleepy while in the shava-asana begin to breath a bit faster and deeper. Comments: While many consider this a simple posture at first, its simplicity eventually proves to be deceiving. The goal of the shava-asana is for the body and mind to be perfectly still and relaxed. Not only should the body be motionless and at ease, but the mind as well should be quiet, like the surface of a still lake. The result will be a deep and stable relaxation that will extend into your meditation or be felt through the activities of your daily circumstances. It goes without saying that the shava-asana will take some time to perfect. You will find the simple exercise of focusing your attention on each part of your body and consciously directing the breath there to be a great help with this posture. There are two common obstacles that can prevent you from fully benefitting from this posture: sleepiness and a restless mind. If find yourself getting drowsey while in the shava-asana increase the rate and depth of your breathing. If your mind is restless or wondering focus your attention on all of the bodily senations you're experiencing. Bring your mind to the sensation of the floor beneath you or on the rhythm of your breath. While practing your Yoga-asana routine you should always begin and end each session with the shava-asana. Durations/Repetitions: We recommend that you begin your period of yoga-asana practice with at least 3-5 minutes of shava-asana. Return to it periodically throught your posture session to relax and rejuvinate the body/mind and then conclude your session with at least 3-5 minutes more


MAR 25, 2015

The Cow-Face Pose - Gomukha-asana

Gomukha-asana - The Cow Face Pose

Posture: Gomukha
The Cow-face Pose
Translation: Gomukha literally means "cow face" in Sanskit.
Pronunciation: go-moo-khah-sa-na
Difficulty: (2)
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"Placing the right ankle on the left side and the left ankle on the right side, makes Gomukha-asana, having the appearance of a cow."
Hatha-yoga-pradipika I.22

Place both feet on the ground with heels crossed under the buttocks. Sit straight and still, the mouth raised. This is called Gomukha-asana, resembling the mouth of a cow.
Gherunda-samhita II.16
The Cow-face Pose (gomukha-asana) Instruction:
1
Sit in a crossed-leg position, right leg over left.
2
Spread the legs as far apart as possible without bending the knees.
3
Bend the left knee and place the bottom of the left foot against the inner left thigh. Bring the left heel as close to the perineum as possible. Keep the left knee on the floor.
4
Grasp the right foot with the left hand and keeping the foot on the floor place the heel of the right foot against the front-left portion of the left buttock. The right knee should be directly on top of the left knee.
5
Inhale slowly through the nostrils and raise the right hand over the head and bend the right elbow. Reach behind the back with the left hand and clasp the fingers of both hands (forming an "s" shaped lock).
6
SHold the posture as long as you can comfortably hold the inhale breath. Exhale slowly and then repeat the posture reversing the arms and legs.


Comments:
This posture stretches the arms, upper back, chest and the sides of the chest and abdomen. As the shoulder blades are stretched backward the lungs are expanded and as the abdominal muscles are lifted the stomach is toned. It helps to relieve neck strain, backache and tight shoulders. The hands, fingers and wrists are strengthened.


Durations/Repetitions:
You can either hold the posture while the breath is held or you can try holding the posture while breathing gently through the nostrils. If you choose to breath, then hold the posture for thirty seconds to a minute. Repeat the gomukha-asana two to three times on each side.


Variations:
If you are unable to lock the fingers behind the back you may grasp one end of a small piece of cloth in the right hand and the other end of the cloth in the left hand.




MAR 20, 2015

http://www.santosha.com/asanas/images/akarna-vj-o.gif Akarna-dhanura-asana - The Shooting Bow Pose


Posture: Akarna-dhanura-asana
The Shooting-bow Pose

Translation: The Sanskrit word karna means ear and the prefix "a" means near to or towards. Dhanur means bow-shaped, curved or bent. The "bow" here referred to is a bow as in "bow and arrow." Literally we could translate this as the near-the-ear bow posture but because of the obvious appearance of the posture we'll call it the shooting bow posture.

Pronunciation: ah-car-nah da-noor ah-sa-na

Difficulty: (6) Requires flexibility of hips and legs.


Instructions:

1.Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on top of the thighs then inhale deeply.

2.Exhale and reach down and loop the forefinger of the right hand around the big toe of the right foot and grasp the left foot with the left hand.

3.Inhale and pull the right foot back placing the big toe next to the right ear. Straighten the back as much s possible and hold the posture for the duration of the inhale breath.

4.Exhale and return to the seated position of step #1 then repeat the posture on the opposite side.





"Having caught the toes of the feet with both hands and carried them to the ears by drawing the body like a bow, it becomes Dhanura-asana."
The Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika I.27.

Comments:
While practicing this posture imagine yourself as an archer with the gaze focused on the target and the arrow firmly yet gracefully being pulled back in the bow. Hold the posture steady as an archer would hold the arrow aimed at its target. Return the foot to the floor gently. This simple technique will help cultivate a focused and unwavering attention.

Variations:
Reverse the hands and feet so that that the right hand pulls the left foot to the left ear and vice versa. The foot gets pulled under the outstretched arm.




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