Indo American Association (IAA)
Practice Yoga at BNL
For information on Yoga classes please contact Marc
Montemagno x8281 or Penka Novakova
Ila Campbell - Yoga at BNL
Yoga Tips (courtesy Ila Campbell)
- Yoga can be practiced by any age group. If any medical condition exists it
is advisable to check with a doctor. (Most of the exercises in this session
are not advisable during pregnancy). Yoga is generally done on an empty
stomach (minimum 2 hours). Good to wear loose cotton clothing.
- The aim of
yoga is to improve suppleness and strength. Each posture is performed slowly
in fluid movement.
- A normal healthy muscle is stretched in a beneficial way
to the point of discomfort but making sure not to stretch where pain is
felt. If you haven't felt the discomfort you haven't stretched enough. If
you feel pain you are over stretching, which can cause injury to the muscle.
- If you feel a cramp while stretching ease off and take a deep breath.
health cannot be taken for granted but must be striven for. Focus on your
postures to perfect them, even the most simplest ones. Regular practice with
diligence and accuracy will help advance and master them.
- It is very
important to maintain a balance in the strength of the muscles between the
right and the left side of the body. It is equally important to maintain a
good balance between the complementary muscles.
- While holding a posture,
specific muscles are stretched forcing the heart to pump more oxygenated
blood with nutrients (absorbed during metabolism) into that area, at the
same time removing toxins, resulting gradually into building healthier muscles and flexible joints.
- In yoga one has to move with grace and
precision, which is with controlled movements. No movement should be violent
- Mind uses a lot of energy in its thought process (on an average 10
thoughts per second). Tension and tightness restrict blood flow decreasing
energy level. Relaxation and calmness restore energy.
- Yoga involves a
thoughtful process. Do fewer exercises but with understanding of what
muscles are being stretched. In the beginning it is essential to get the
posture movements right.
- With daily practice and repetitions yoga will
strengthen the muscles, tone up the internal organs, improve circulation and
respiration, and increase the flexibility of the joints and the spine. Yoga
helps balance and rejuvenate the system.
- Many of our daily habits tend to
emphasize the use of one side of the body. To achieve a healthy and
harmonious balance, it is important to keep all parts of the body equally
strong and flexible. Yoga exercises make each group of muscles work equally
on the left and right side of the body to maintain equilibrium.
- Never force
the body into a posture or try to go beyond your limit. Ease yourself gently
into the postures. Progress may be slow, but with time the body will become
flexible and will get easier to practice those poses. Remember, yoga is not
a competitive sport.
- Try to practice yoga everyday. A yoga session should be
a joy. Set aside a time when you will not be disturbed and you will not have
to rush. Morning practice helps loosen up stiff joints after sleep. Evening
practice releases the tensions of the day. Whenever you practice yoga, avoid
eating for at least two hours beforehand.
- Yoga is done on an empty stomach (2
hours) and at your own pace.
- Yoga is not done during pregnancy or if any
physical condition exists (unless your doctor gives permission).
Level of Total Body Stretch
This prepares the body and the mind to relax, which helps to stretch better.
Tense muscles are much more susceptible to strain, and spasm. A tense back
can go out in an instant, just like a rigid tree in a strong wind will snap.
This exercise purifies the lungs. It eliminates large quantities of carbon
dioxide, and increases the intake of oxygen. The movement of the diaphragm
massages the stomach, liver and the pancreas increasing blood supply to
Neck rolls help remove tension in the neck, shoulders and the upper back
area. They improve the flexibility in that area.
This helps to rejuvenate the muscles of the face, jaw, and the neck. It
improves the circulation in the hands and the fingers.
Sun salutation is a series of gentle flowing movements synchronized with the
breath. Once the positions are learned they are then tuned to a rhythmic
This is an inverted posture stretching the entire body. The main stretch is
felt in the shoulders, neck, and the spine, at the same time stimulating the
thyroid and the parathyroid glands that regulate the metabolism process.
This is a counter-pose, stretching the complementary muscles to the
shoulder-stand. It opens up the disc spaces in the spine. It helps relieve
tension in the thoracic and the lumbar regions. It strengthens the entire
back, specially the seat muscles.
This is a counter-pose to the shoulder-stand. It gives a backward stretch to
the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. It expands the chest and
increases the blood supply in the lungs tissue.
Cobra is a backward bending stretch. It increases the flexibility of the
spine and brings rich blood supply to the back muscles. It opens up the disc
spaces in the spine. It also stretches and strengthens the abdominal
It strengthens the spine and the abdominal muscles and expands the chest.
It is a full backward-bend and is a complementary to the forward-bend on the
spine. It hyper-contracts the spine and strengthens the muscles. It also
strengthens the abdominal muscles and expands the chest.
Forward Bend I:
It hyper-extends the spine and stretches the entire posterior part of the
body. Eases stiffness in the hips and legs. Tones the abdominal organs.
Forward Bend II:
Tones the internal organs like the kidneys, bladder and the pancreas and
massages the heart muscles, giving a full stretch to the entire posterior
part of the body.
Massages the internal organs, increasing blood supply. Tones the roots of
the spinal nerves. It helps the spine by retaining side to side mobility. It
gives a lateral stretch to the spine. Also relieves tension in the lower
Stretches the muscles of the inner thighs and the hips. It reduces sciatica.
It helps increase blood supply to the kidneys, prostrate glands / the
ovaries. Is good for the varicose veins.
This is a balancing pose which requires concentration. Improves alignment of
the spine. Gives a sense of strength, stillness and firmness.
Provides the entire body with a lateral stretch. Helps reduce the pain in
the lower back and promotes general flexibility.
Helps reduce the lower back pain, specially in the tailbone. Increases
flexibility in the knees and the hip joints. Reduces stiffness in the neck
and the shoulders.
Helps relax the nervous system and calms the mind.
Last Modified: October 20, 2014
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