Do we need more backbends in Asana Classes today to address the Bad posture many have today?

Do we need more backbends in Asana Classes today to address the Bad posture many have today?

Yes. It is true that in today’s world people have developed a very bad posture because of the sedentary lifestyle, the work that we do in front of a computer or an electronic device, even when we are looking at the telephone we are bending forward and looking at it. So the back does take a lot of stress much more than in the past. This is also combined with the fact that we are not really moving a lot. We are mostly seated in today’s times, either in front of our computer or in front of our clients, we are sitting in a car, we are sitting in a table when eating at home.

There is also another problem which is that the pelvic and the sacrum region we are not getting enough movement. So the stress on the lower back is quite intense. It is very simplistic to say that if we do some back arches, the slouching positions will be corrected. It is not so simple. When we are slouching, it is not only the upper back that is getting tensed along the neck and the shoulder but also the lower back which has to carry the lower of the body so that the weight is transferred through the earth. When our posture is erect the weight of the body goes right along through the spine, through the feet and to the earth and there is not too much stress for the lower back. Whereas, when the posture is bit slouched the lower back take lot of tension and this is another reason why we cannot be simplistic in our approach that only back arches will have.

We also have to do certain asanas to extend our lower back as well. That is why certain times, the forward bending asanas are also helpful, squats are also helpful as well as some twists because sometime we are tend to shift the weight of the body more on one side than the other.

Another important thing that we can also reflect about is breathing. Many people think that the breathing is only concerning the respiratory system and not the muscular system. But if you look at it very carefully breath has a very strong influence on the muscular system of the body. The muscles relax when we are extending the exhale. Sometime in some lying positions when we are extending the exhale the lower back is also getting quite a bit of relief as well.

What is important is to look at every individual and see how their lifestyle has caused stress in their backs and to find a solution that is relevant to them and offer it to them in timely and safe manner. This is the approach of the Yoga Therapy to deal with the back posture very common in modern day society.

Namaste!

Dr.Kausthub Desikachar, Viniyoga Teacher

WHO IS ISVARA?

A natural question that comes from all Yoga School is whether Yoga is actually a religious school. Yoga is a spiritual school that is not necessarily imposing a religious belief or religious faith.

However, Yoga is acknowledging that those who are of religious faith may have faith in connecting with something called “Isvara” Yoga defines as the Universal Consciousness.

“Purusha” is the individual consciousness and that must have a source. That must be somewhere where it came from and that is what Yoga calls as “Isvara” saying for those who are believing Isvara represents that source from which the consciousness comes. We can call that as collective consciousness or universal consciousness. Yoga presents it in a non-dogmatic way. Yoga is presenting it as a Teacher who is showing us Light and direction in our path of spiritual exploration and spiritual evolution.

Yoga is saying that this Light is no further away than our own hearts and that is what Yoga is saying to us that if you want to find Isvara don’t find it from outside you. Find it from within your heart. In that way Yoga is telling us not necessarily to go a religious belief system like to a temple, a mosque, a church or other system, but rather connect with Isvara with which we are all gifted which is right there in our own hearts. This is, I think, the most beautiful teaching that Patanjali offers where he says just because there is the presence of Isvara in all our hearts we become not material / biological beings but also spiritual being.

That is why we have to respect each other as we do have a presence of a divine consciousness in our own hearts. When we embrace this teaching we will look at each other as friends not as enemies. We will transcend gender, we will transcend boundaries, we will embrace a collective consciousness and a collective unconsciousness and we will feel this power with such a great potency. I hope that is what we will all do in the field of Yoga by following the direction given by our great Teacher Patanjali.

Dr.Kausthub Desikachar, Viniyoga® Teacher