View Full Version : Hatha Yoga and You

Eastern Mind
01 June 2015, 10:28 AM
Vannakkam: I'm hoping to get a discussion going a bit on hatha yoga. Since Tamil New Year, I've vowed to do some for at least 20 minutes a day. I've been putting it aside for ears, but now, with incoming arthritis, and stiffening from age, I figured it was time. I don't like going to classes, but Boss does. I have figured out a routine, expanding on my Guru's basic routine of 24 poses. I try to do same number of deep breaths at each pose, and make the transitions smooth. I also try not to push it.

I think that it's helping some with the arthritis, and I know my flexibility has increased, although hardly that noticeable. I also have injuries that affect some of it, like one ankle long time injury that makes the lotus position so painful it's impossible. So that's a longer term goal- sitting in lotus comfortably like some real yogi.

Thoughts and ideas, and sharing would be welcomed.

Aum Namasivaya

01 June 2015, 12:59 PM

So I've been doing hatha yoga for a little over a year now, and I find that Pattabhi Jois' so-called Ashtanga Yoga's very good. But it's not for the faint of heart!

Really, what works best for you depends on what you're after - something that doesn't have you running with sweat, am I to assume?

If you can fit in 10 or 15 deep breaths in Shirshasana at the end of your practice, before Yoga Mudra, that'd be very good. A posture with immense rejuvenating and strengthening powers.

As for Padmasana, postures like Janu Shirshasana are good for opening up your hips. Virabhadrasana too, best to do fairly early on.

Of course, a very useful one is just to spend a lot of time in Ardha Padmasana during the day, alternating legs. Or Sukhasana, failing that.

Eastern Mind
01 June 2015, 04:10 PM
Vannakkam: I'm a real idiot here. Do you have a link to pictures of the poses you mentioned. Since I've never taken any formal lessons, the names of poses are useless to me.

Aum Namasivaya

02 June 2015, 02:14 AM

Apologies. I planned to put up some pictures earlier, but wasn't able to on my phone.

There are some asanas I've done around 1000 times that I still don't remember the names of. But here are some various pictures from Google Images.

So, in the order it's best they're done:

Firstly, I don't have whichever _in with Siva your guru wrote about hatha yoga in to hand right now. So I don't remember if he says to start with Surya Namaskara. If he doesn't mention it, then I'd recommend it. This (http://www.ashtangayoga.info/practice/surya-namaskara-a-sun-salutation/) is a decent description. Do this maybe three times to start off, shouldn't take long.

OK, so Virabhadrasana, Warrior Pose. Two kinds, that I do, I believe there's another common variant out there too.

Virabhadrasana A -


Virabhadrasana B -
Important to keep your torso facing to the side, perpendicular to the front of your mat. Or, if you don't use a mat, you get the idea.

Janu Shirshasana - three kinds, this is the first one -


You can use a strap, or something like that, like this woman is doing:


There are quite a few variants of Marichyasana. The fourth is similar to some postures your guru put in his series of 24, although to be honest I found his analogue kind of awkward.



B - same as above, but one foot in Ardha Padmasana.

[I can't post more than 5 images, so links hereonin]


In those two, eyes to the toes.



Or you can do it like this - http://yoga-pose.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/marichyasana-c.jpg

And D


D is tough. I just put it here because it's similar to one of your guru's postures.

Here is Shirshasana - don't be worried.


You can do it up against a wall for stability, and/or keep your legs bent. But important to try to keep your weight on your arms, not your head and neck, although of course some of your weight will rest there, at least at first.

Finally, Padmasana is just Lotus Pose, and Ardha Padmasana is half lotus pose. So like this -


So this is quite a few, and some are difficult. But if you do some of the easier ones, they should be helpful.

Opening up your hips, as some of these do, will give you more room to manoeuvre with Padmasana, so maybe you can take strain off your ankle. But to specifically help the recovery of your ankle, I don't know exactly. If I remember, I'll ask my yoga teacher tomorrow, to see if she knows any asana which will help your ankle.

Eastern Mind
02 June 2015, 10:05 AM
Vannakkam: Thank you. A couple of them give me more ideas. I can do half lotus for extended periods, and the headstand I find relatively easy. I learned the school method as a child most likely just to be able to show off to my classmates. But I still find it easy. Talk about pictures telling a thousand words!

Do you have most of the names memorized, and do you do some each day?

Aum Namasivaya

02 June 2015, 12:23 PM

No problem.

If Shirshasana is easy, then you should do it for at least five minutes, and both go up and come down with your legs straight. Keep balance by moving your hips. Recommended is, eventually, three hours. I don't know anybody who can do that!

Yes, my general routine is 2.5 hours, 6x a week. There's a particular series, and I do it essentially in its entirety.

But I'll be cutting down on that over summer, as I have a job coming up that'll take a lot of time, and I'd like to save time for the rest of my sadhana (japa, trataka etc).

Let me know if I can clarify some posture for you - I've learn quite a lot of detail about the postures of this particular series. That isn't to say I can DO all of it, but I've got a lot of the theory :)

Eastern Mind
05 June 2015, 09:53 AM
Vannakkam: Wow, that's a lot. It must be good preparation for meditation. I'm happy to do half an hour of half-baked practically pretend poses. But you are an excellent resource. What do you know about poses particularly for injuries? (Muscle pulls)

Aum Namasivaya

05 June 2015, 01:32 PM

I think in general, yes, it is. One of the main purposes of hatha yogasanas is to keep you in good health, with your energy flowing well. That lends itself to calmness, which you need to cultivate for meditation, really.

Practically-pretend? Careful! Asanas are for how much you need them. I'll be cutting down soon.

For muscle pulls, I don't know a huge amount. Although the entire series I do is referred to as Yoga Chikitsa, which is to say it's curative. Maybe I could suggest something for particular muscles.

08 June 2015, 06:56 PM

Hatha yoga brought me here in the first place so I wanted to chime in!

I didn't start out learning from a teacher in the Iyengar school, but about 3 years ago I did find my way to the Iyengar school. Even though we learn in classes each student can get what he or she needs. The classes are ideally just to help you develop your own practice. My teacher instructs and inspires me. Sometimes she has to spend weeks at a time away from us. When she comes back it feels like she really stirs the pot of our practices.

Certified Iyengar teachers have an incredibly thorough training. I've been a guinea-pig student for the teachers being assessed for certification and I'm really impressed with what I've seen.

So if you are willing to try classes maybe these would be very helpful.

09 June 2015, 12:02 PM

Hatha yoga brought me here in the first place so I wanted to chime in!
Good to see you back in the forum and thank you for your contribution.

But you are an excellent resource. What do you know about poses particularly for injuries? (Muscle pulls)
Please be very careful. I do ONLY the basic stuff for joints and muscles everyday. Few weeks back standing up, I bent my knees and lowered myself, as if to do a squat, and I pulled something in my knee. Needless to say, the pain kept me off any exercises/long walks for four weeks. At our age, just the basic is all we can do and all that is needed to keep the old bodies functional.


Eastern Mind
09 June 2015, 01:07 PM

Please be very careful. I do ONLY the basic stuff for joints and muscles everyday. Few weeks back standing up, I bent my knees and lowered myself, as if to do a squat, and I pulled something in my knee. Needless to say, the pain kept me off any exercises/long walks for four weeks. At our age, just the basic is all we can do and all that is needed to keep the old bodies functional.


That is very true, and I am careful. It's also why I won't go to a yoga class. My last experience with a yoga teacher did that. I explained my shoulder injury, and how I did it. He suggested a posture, which I did, and then he came and pulled on my shoulder, which was exactly the same motion as to how I'd injured it. So he re-aggravated it. Nice! (sarcasm)

But yes, you and I could have a competition as to who has the most injuries.

For Kirran: This shoulder injury is what happens when you go too far forward with an arm, (think follow through in a cricket swing... too much follow-through.) So the MRI showed a small tear, but under a bone, so not easily accessible via the knife, and also relatively minor. My exercises now involve doing the opposite, like putting the shoulders back, or clasping hands behind my back. Still, the real key, I think is not to re-aggravate.

I also have knee, elbow, and sole problems, or bruises. But hey, it's karma.

Still, since Tamil New Year and my vow to do a routine at least 30 minutes a day, I do feel better ... more flexible, better sleep too I think.

Aum Namasivaya

02 November 2019, 04:17 AM
नमस्ते, (https://perfectgalery.blogspot.com/2019/10/merry-Christmas-images-wishes-and-quotes.html)

हठ योग मुझे यहाँ पहली बार लाया था इसलिए मैं इसमें झंकार करना चाहता था!

मैंने अयंगर स्कूल में एक शिक्षक से सीखना शुरू नहीं किया, लेकिन लगभग 3 साल पहले मैंने अयंगर स्कूल में अपना रास्ता खोज लिया। भले ही हम कक्षाओं में सीखते हैं कि प्रत्येक छात्र को वह मिल सकता है जिसकी उसे आवश्यकता है। कक्षाएं आदर्श रूप से केवल आपकी स्वयं की प्रैक्टिस विकसित करने में मदद करने के लिए हैं। मेरे शिक्षक मुझे निर्देश देते हैं और प्रेरित करते हैं। कभी-कभी उसे हमसे दूर एक हफ़्ते गुज़ारने पड़ते हैं। जब वह वापस आती है तो ऐसा महसूस होता है कि वह वास्तव में हमारे व्यवहारों के बारे में बताती है।

प्रमाणित आयंगर शिक्षकों में एक अविश्वसनीय रूप से गहन प्रशिक्षण है। मैं शिक्षकों के लिए एक गिनी-पिग छात्र रहा हूं, जिसका प्रमाणन के लिए मूल्यांकन किया जा रहा है और जो मैंने देखा है उससे मैं वास्तव में प्रभावित हुआ हूं।

इसलिए यदि आप कक्षाओं को आज़माने के इच्छुक हैं तो शायद यह बहुत मददगार साबित होगा।

29 March 2020, 11:26 AM
sounds good. You also might want to engage an aryuvedic healer. Arthritis is a condition that does tend to respond well to supplements. I used to work at a health food store. A bass player for Yoko Ono came by. He had arthritis in his hands, making playing difficult. He came from behind the Iron Curtain. Horrible diet. Tons of meat, rarely any vegetables. We got him on a clean diet...and my boss, a natropath, got him on burdock root. He did really well.

So, with arthritis, in addition to the movement therapy provided by Hatha Yoga, you really might want to get a comprehensive diet plan from some natural health professional, like a Holistic MD or an oseteopath.

In combination with the movement therapy, should help some more..