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Yoga: The Call of Stretch

T Nandakumar


Urdhva Dhanurasana (Bridge 2)

  • Makes for great spinal vitality and vigour
  • Promotes the pumping efficiency of the heart

Sirshasana (The Head Stand)
  • Improves circulation to the brain cells
  • Helps increase the hemoglobin content of the blood
  • Has a good influence on the spinal and pituitary glands
  • Promotes cardiac care
  • Along with other inversions, helps set prolapsed

Viparita Dandasana
Ardho Mukha Vrkshasana (The Hand Stand)

The beginner’s dilemma
That sounds very good, but how to begin, where to start? These are the questions a first timer is bound to ask; and to compound the confusion, there is a bewildering variety of yoga schools and brands. Each has given rise to a mushrooming of books, journals, DVDs. To cap it all, even surfing the net does not readily quench the debutante’s thirst.

Before embarking on yoga, the first step to be taken is mental – a determination to do something about the state of affairs. Beginners must come face to face with some vital, serious queries. Each must ask the following:

  1. Do I want to follow the yoga alternative path to achieving glowing good health?
  2. Am I prepared to follow instructions carefully and set aside an hour a day for health the yoga way?
  3. Am I prepared to look at yoga on a long term basis and not as a temporary flash in the pan, a mere fad, simply because my neighbor does it?

If the answer to all of the above is a firm, committed ‘Yes’, one can go further.
And what are the benefits?
Total health, nothing less. A body that functions like a well-oiled machine, a mind that’s crystal clear and alert always, a mind which resides in a state of natural calm, also always. A mind that is forever freed from the paralyzing grip of debilitating negative traits like doubts, fears, anxiety, gnawing worries and pessimism. To give a free translation of a verse from the Shvetasvatara Upanishad: “Lightness, comprehensive wellness, glowing complexion, clarity of speech...are the signs of progress in yoga.”

The visuals present a stunning array of inversions and backbends, positions unique to yoga. Everyone who has been doing yogasadhana for at least six months regularly, will gladly affirm, confirm, the paragraph on the beneficial impact of yoga. Are they not convincing, compelling reasons, to enter the world of Y stretch?

All the poses selected have one great feature in common, they are unmatched skin toners. Even from the first day of practice, the student feels the skin begin to glow!

T Nandakumar is a yoga consultant based in Chennai.
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