Q&A on ‘Stability Through Asanas’

The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 6th April, 2014 was ‘Stability Through Asanas.’

Following is the transcript of the Q & A between the audience and Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra.

Smt. Hansaji and Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra

Listen to the audio:

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Q. Which Asanas and Pranayamas help to overcome anxiety and fear?
Dr. J: You see, just merely saying ‘this Asana and that Asana’ is not correct. There should be attitude.
Smt. H: It doesn’t work like that. What works is the attitude. So when the person is under depression and with some anxiety, the person should be doing some activities in life. And in activities, one part is simple Asanas. Walking is important, playing with children is important, doing even some simple work successfully is important. So we have to organize our whole life and all these problems will be taken care of.

Q. If the body is not flexible in the early morning, why are all the yoga sessions advised to be done in early morning?
Dr. J: That is not a must. People are generally free in the morning, they are little more relaxed, so some such reasons must be there.
Smt. H: I have asked many people, they say that they do Asanas in the morning so later the whole day they are free, otherwise they can’t do it. They don’t find time. But my point is very clear because you have to be extra careful because many people end up hurting themselves. Do some Asanas in your bed itself, some stretching and simple things and while taking bath, etc. That itself will benefit a lot. Even in young age I have seen people hurting themselves, so become aware and do everything.

Q. Many times doing Asanas over a period of time, it becomes mechanical. How to improve on this?
Dr. J: If you can get into a proper state of mind, even while doing one Asana, it can help.
Smt. H: You can reduce the number of Asanas, and do more of static variations and do the Asana for a longer time, so the person will have to improve in his concentration and so on. So if it becomes mechanical, you can make subtle changes.

Q. Can one relax in Shavasana before going to sleep?
Dr. J: Then the question is whether you want to sleep or do Shavasana? Generally in that position one wants to seep and so Shavasana is left.
Smt. H: Shavasana is a very powerful technique when you are consciously relaxing yourself. I would rather tell people to do Shavasana after they have got up from their sleep or when they are fresh and fine. Then they would learn this technique of how to relax every part of the body. Once you have learnt that, you can do it any time, that’s no problem. But then be clear whether you want to do Shavasana or you want to sleep. If you want to sleep, then maybe take up some position where you cross your legs or lie down in Bhadrasana and just make your mind quiet or think pleasant thoughts and then sleep. You have to work more with your mind than the body. Sleep is a natural phenomenon.

Q. Is there any Asana which is good for varicose veins?
Dr. J: The usual suggestion that a physiotherapist gives is to lie down with the feet raised by at least 20 inches. That can help.
Smt. H: So as Dr. Jayadeva mentioned, raise your legs and rest. And do some toe exercises, put your legs on the wall, more raised and rest. Avoid standing for long, rather you should be walking or sitting. Hanging your legs down from the chair should be avoided. But mainly see, that if the body is obese, if excess weight is there on the body, then that has to be corrected first and going up on toes and coming down would help a lot in strengthening varicose veins. Yashtikasana and Utkatasana are some of the postures which should be done regularly 2-3 times a day.

Q. What can be specifically done to reduce spasm in the cervical region, C5, C6 and C7?
Dr. J: It is a question of relaxation. The techniques that would help in relaxing will help.
Smt. H: If the spasm is there, the person should learn to relax. So take a pillow up to the shoulder and lie down so that your body is straight from up and then down. And when you turn to the side, your head is resting on the pillow and the shoulder is out of the pillow so that the muscle doesn’t get compressed. So this is how these areas would be relaxed. Use of hot water bag would work wonders. Once the spasm goes away, then to strengthen the muscles, something like moving your neck back and forth, side to side, turning, etc. to strengthen the muscle would be required. Hand stretching, rotation, etc. also but not when the person has the spasm.

Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
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