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Yoga helps build strength and flexibility, help relieve stress, improve overall mental and physical wellness. Unlike other type of exercises which may require expensive equipment and gym memberships, yoga requires minimal gear to get started. While many of us simply look for a yoga mat that’s on sale or a yoga mat that we find comfortable, there are some more important factors that you should consider selecting a yoga mat. When you are looking for a yoga mat, choosing among various materials, sizes, and thickness can be an overwhelming experience. This blog will cover each of these aspects and should make the decision process a bit simpler.

Material:

mat

Most standard yoga mats are made of PVC. This material offers stickiness and comfort. PVC is considered toxic, has received criticism for not being environmentally friendly. More environmentally friendly options include natural cotton, jute and natural rubber. The cotton yoga mats sometimes called “traditional yoga mats” are thin and eco-friendly. Cotton yoga mats absorbs sweat well and increases grip when wet. They are most commonly used on top of a sticky thin yoga mat especially on slippery floors. Another popular eco-friendly yoga mat is natural rubber yoga mat.  It provides good grip, traction and support.  It is recommended that people with latex allergies do not use natural rubber products. Jute yoga mats are eco-friendly and sustainable like cotton yoga mats. Jute is naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew. The traditional jute yoga mats (with no rubber backing) are commonly used on top of a sticky yoga mat on slippery floors.

Size:

Natural jute yoga mat picture for home page slide rotated

A standard yoga mat is 24” * 68”. Length can vary from 72, 74 to as long as 84”. The width of the mat is almost always 24. A too short or too narrow yoga mat results in inability to perform full length poses properly. An ideal yoga mat is 74 inches or longer and wide enough that you can put your hands shoulder width apart comfortably. It should also provide enough room for you to transition from one pose to another without having to step off the mat.

Thickness:

ES Cotton yoga rug 7 priority 4

A standard yoga mat is about 1/8 inch thick, thickest is about ¼ inch. Travel yoga mats are a mere 1/16 inch thick. Thicker yoga mats provide extra cushioning to enable full relaxation and are best for restorative or therapeutic practices. Thicker yoga mats makes it harder to maintain connection with the floor and feel unstable while doing balancing poses. Too much cushion will make balancing poses difficult. If your yoga mat is too thin, disadvantage is you are going to be uncomfortable holding any pose in which your hands, feet, knees touch the ground. But you are going to look at the portability of your mat in case you travel a lot. A decent amount of cushion helps maintain better balance, so you can move from one pose to another comfortably. Many other factors such as where you practice yoga (hardwood floor, carpet) and what kind of practice you do (hatha, hot yoga, and restorative) can help you choose the right yoga mat thickness for your specific needs.

Hope this information will help you choose the right yoga mat for you. Here is the link to view our eco- friendly selection of yoga mats.

http://www.ecosamsara.com/products/yoga-rugs/traditional-cotton-yoga-rug-detail

http://www.ecosamsara.com/products/yoga-mats/natural-jute-mat-detail

 

 

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Take control of your health in 2016 by unleashing the power of body’s seven energy centers or chakras. In this blog we explore, these chakras and the yoga asanas which should be performed to master these chakras.

Chakras

Ancient scriptures on Yoga have detailed descriptions about chakras in human body, wherein the word chakra means “spinning wheel” in Sanskrit. Yogis believed that every human body has seven chakras which form the life-force energy center within a human body. These chakras are located along the spinal cord of a human being, and each chakra signifies certain characteristics. Yoga and meditation helps one to focus on these chakras, and master them to achieve self-awareness. It has also been said about these chakras that they serve as the gateways of energy, allowing flow of energy into our physical body.

Yoga helps rejuvenate the body, soul and mind.  Let us explore these chakras and respective yoga asanas in detail:

Chakra 1 : Muladhara or Root Chakra

virabhadrasana

 

This Root chakra, as the name also suggests, is located in the pelvis region, at the base of a human body’s spine. One should perform Virbhadrasana I or Warrior I to master this Chakra. Virbhadrasana I strengthen foundation and help release stress from the pelvis hips and lower back area.

Chakra 2 : Svadisthana or Sacral Chakra

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The Sacral Chakra is home to human body’s reproductive organs, and is located close to the Muladhara chakra. To master this chakra, one should perform Baddha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose in which one has to sit with hips held open and stretching the groin area. Other asana postures which help master this chakra include, forward bends, deep lunges, and squats.

Chakra 3: Manipura or Solar plexus Chakra

navasana

The Solar Plexus Chakra is located at the navel or center of the human body. Mastering this asana helps you focus on the body’s energy powerhouse and heal stomach, pancreas, bladder, and liver.  One should perform Navasana or Boat pose to master this chakra.

Chakra  4: Anahata or Heart Chakra

ustrasana

As the name signifies, the Heart Chakra helps build focus on the chest region. On emotional level, this chakra helps one to master or experience feelings of love and compassion. One should perform, Ustrasana or Camel Pose to master this chakra.

Chakra 5: Vishudha or Throat Chakra

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The Throat Chakra is located in the throat region, and helps one focus on mastering speaking as well as energizes the endocrine glands required for metabolism activity in a human being. One should perform Matsyasana or Fish Pose to stretch the throat region and focus energies on this chakra.

Chakra 6: Ajna or Third Eye Chakra

ChildsPose

 

As we know from the scriptures, an individual’s third eye is located at the center of the forehead slightly above the eyes. This is also the converging point of ida and pingala nadis where the mind and body converge. Mastering this chakra helps in internal as well as physical growth as this chakra energizes the pituitary gland. In addition to the physical growth, this chakra is very important in emotional and intuitive growth of a human being. One should perform Child’s pose to master this chakra.

Chakra 7: Sahasrara or Crown Chakra

sirsasana

The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head, and thereby also represents the highest level of inner enlightenment. This chakra represents convergence of mind, soul and body. It is also said to integrate all the above mentioned chakras and uniquely represent their individual characteristics. One who masters this chakra achieves the highest level of self-awareness and consciousness. One should perform Sirsasana or Headstand to master this chakra.

In this New Year 2016, pledge yourself to perform asanas focused on body’s seven chakras and unblock the tremendous energy locked inside your body and mind.

 

 

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Today’s blog focuses on how meditation can help you increase concentration and keep the mind, body & soul calm. In specific, this blog explores a meditation technique known as Trataka!

Concentration in simple terms is to focus on one specific task without allowing the mind to get distracted. Every individual has different levels of concentration. Concentration is said to be the by-product of meditation. Meditation helps one increase alertness and focus, hence the concentration.

Now let us explore one of the most popular techniques for performing Meditation, Trataka.

In Sanskrit, Trataka means to look or to gaze, because of which the practice of gazing/staring at an object evolved into a meditation technique, Trataka. This meditation technique is considered as a cleansing practice in Yoga, which helps develop concentration, strengthen eyes, and stimulate the body chakras.

Trataka helps an individual to disconnect from the external world by focussing on a single object. It initially helps in strengthening of the eyes and gradually builds the power to avoid distraction from the surroundings by focusing concentration on one object.

The gazing objects

In the Trataka technique, an individual can gaze at a candle flame, or a black dot, or a symbol to perform this meditation technique. Ideally the symbol or object should be such that it activates the inner soul of the individual and calms the body, soul and mind. Candle flame is one of the most popular objects used for this meditation technique.

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How is Trataka performed?

As mentioned above, Trataka can be performed on different objects but candle flame is the most popular object used for this technique. To perform Trataka follow these steps:

Step 1. Sit comfortably in the meditative position. You can place a bolster to ensure your posture is correct as well as comfortable since you need to sit in this pose for a long duration.

Step 2. Place a candle on a small table/stool/stand in front of you, such that the line of sight of candle flame is in horizontal view of your eyes.

Step 3. Once settled, light the candle and focus on the top end of the wick.

Step 4. Avoid blinking and try to concentrate on the candle flame.

Step 5. It may happen that with constant gazing, your eyes may start watering. Now close your eyes and relax.

Step 6. Visualize the candle flame image with your eyes closed. Try to form the image as clear as possible and focus on the same with your eyes closed.

You will be able to visualize the candle flame with practice. It is possible that initially you may not visualize anything, but do not lose hope, keep practicing and you will be able to succeed.

 Advantages of Trataka

This meditation technique helps to

  • Purify eyes

  • Enhance concentration level

  • Stimulate one’s nervous system

  • Enhance memory power

This Trataka meditation technique has ample benefits, especially in today’s stressful life. Explore this meditation technique in the New Year 2015. With this last blog for the year 2014, EcoSamsara wishes you good health & prosperity in the New Year 2015!

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The year of 2014 is coming to an end. It is the time to look back on the resolutions you made at the start of this year and come up with a list of resolutions for the New Year 2015!

If Yoga was not part of your resolution earlier, make sure it is now! Yoga brings out the best in you, it helps improve flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. Start practicing yoga for a calmer mind and strengthened body.

In this blog, read about some of the most effective and popular forms of yoga asana.

ASHTANGA YOGA

hatha ashtanga

Ashtanga Yoga is a physically demanding form of yoga practice originally taught by Pattabhi Jois in the 1940s. The system is based on six series of asanas which increase in difficulty, allowing you to work at your own pace. The students follow a set sequence of postures each time, gradually progressing through the series. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga emphasizes the linking of movement and breath (vinyasa), Ujjayi breathing and bandhas (energy locks). Surya Namaskar forms one of the important asana sequences in Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga yoga helps you strengthen the body with enhanced blood circulation, experience lighter body, and calms down the mind. 

Ashtanga Yoga has its roots in the Vedic Philosophy wherein it has been described as eight (Sanskrit: ashta) limb (Sanskrit: anga) path in Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali.

ANUSARA YOGA

hatha anusara-yoga

Anusara means “flowing with grace”, “going with the flow”, “following the heart”. 

Anusara yoga is designed for students of any level or ability. There are over 250 poses included in Anusara Yoga but there are no set postural routines.

The Anusara style is a new system of hatha yoga that teaches a set of yoga postures with alignment, while encouraging flowing with grace and following your heart. Founded by John Friend, the practice of Anusara is broadly categorized into three parts, knowas the Three A’s. They include attitude, alignment and action.

VINYASA YOGA

hatha vinyasa-flow-pic

Vinyasa means “movement linked with breath”.Vinyasa classes are often quite dynamic, which requires the mind to stay focused in the present.The pace can vary and there is no one particular sequence that a class follow,. Modern Vinyasa yoga is best described as freestyle Ashtanga as it doesn’t adhere to the rigid structure of Ashtanga Yoga.

The key aspect in Vinyāsa is body movement with observed breath movement. It is also said to be a flowing or dynamic form of yoga because of the breath movement during transition from one asana to another asana. 

YIN YOGA

hatha yinyoga

The Yin Yoga is a slow paced style of yoga and has its roots in China. It is based on the Taoist concept of yin & yang, wherein yin depicts stability and yang depicts constantly changing. Yin portrays the connective tissues such as joints, ligaments, bones which are stiff while yang portrays the more mobile parts of the body i.e. muscles, blood. 

This form of yoga may seem passive as the asanas are held for 5 minutes or more but these are enduring poses and require a lot of stamina as well as will power to perform correctly.

The purpose is to apply moderate stress to the connective tissue – the tendons, fascia and ligaments – with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility.

 HOT YOGA

hatha hot-yoga

Hot yoga is a vigorous form of yoga performed in a studio that is heated to 105 F (40 C) and has a humidity of 40 percent. It is one of the most popular styles of yoga asana practiced in the west.

Some forms of hot yoga include:

Bikram Yoga, Power Yoga, Moksha Yoga.

HATHA YOGA

hatha yoga1

Hatha yoga is the form of yoga with “Ha” depicting the sun and “tha” depicting the moon, thereby meaning that this form of yoga brings together and unites the masculine and feminine aspects of an individual’s body.

Yogis consider Hatha Yoga as an important form of yoga which focuses on self-transformation by enhancing the focus on uniting the deeper aspects of a physical body. Hatha is a general category that includes most yoga styles. It includes the practice of yoga asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama(yoga breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body.

Hatha yoga is relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style.

Abreast yourself with these popular, classic forms of Yoga and prepare yourself for another enduring year! 

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Mountain pose/ Tadasana:

Tadasana is formed of two Sanskrit words, tāda which means mountain and āsana which means posture thereby giving the name; The Mountain Pose! As the name suggests, you are strong and standing tall during the pose.

This fundamental yoga posture teaches you to align your spine, and balance your weight evenly from front to back and side to side. While the pose can be performed by itself, it is most commonly used as a resting or transition pose.

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Performing Tadasana:

Let us look at step by step procedure to perform and acquire the Tadasana.

  1. Start by setting up a stable mountain pose by placing your feet with a few inches space between them. Ensure the heels are not too close, if the ankles are touching, move out your heels to create comfortable standing pose. Make sure your body weight is evenly distributed between both feet.

  2. Stand straight with toes, knees and hips all face forward.

  3. Engage your abdominal.

  4. Keep your chest broad as you relax your shoulders.

  5. Relax your arms to both sides with palms open facing outwards, resting along with your hip area. You can also do a namaste position where palms of your hands are pressed together in front of the chest and fingers pointing upward.

  6. Lengthen your neck and set your gaze forward.

  7. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to one minute with slow even breaths.

You can challenge your balance by practicing this pose with your eyes closed. Also raise your arms overhead, and lift your heels. Notice how such a small movement in space can have such a large change on your balance. Return your heels to the ground and relax your arms by your sides.

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Benefits of Tadasana

Yoga asanas are beneficial in many forms, apart from providing relaxation and rejuvenation for the whole body, each asana plays a specific role for a body part. The benefits of Tadasana are spread across the whole body from top to bottom. No doubt, this is also a reason why Tadasana is the base of many asanas in yoga. It is the seat, base, the foundation for all standing poses.

Some benefits of Tadasana are listed below:

  • Strengthens core body muscles such as abdomen, hips, thighs, and legs

  • Enhances strength of foot muscles, helps in reduction of flat feet

  • Improves posture and spine alignment

  • Improves balance

  • Helps in reducing health problems such as headache, insomnia, blood pressure (low)

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pranayama blog1 pic  pranayama blog7

Pranayama (prāṇāyāma) is a Sanskrit word, formed up of two words, prāṇa or breath and āyāma or extend to draw out, providing a meaning of “extension of breath” to the word Pranayama. It is known as the fourth limb of Yoga and signifies conscious control of breath. After perfecting the body and clearing the channels or nadis of the body, the breath is the vehicle which carries our life-force into the various tissues of the body. Therefore, Pranayama is also signified as the “extension of life force”. 

It has been proven scientifically that pranayama techniques are beneficial in curing stress related diseases, and chronic diseases such as asthma. It is believed that pranayama helps one build strong will power, control their mind, and ensure the right balance in life.

How should one start?

The ideal way to start pranayama is to observe one’s natural breath. This can be performed while sitting down or lying down in a comfort position. Close the eyes and observe the breath moving in and out of the nostrils. Observe the air entering into your body through the nostrils and moving into the lungs; building a sensation in each organ of your body. Observe, the air gushing out of your lungs and exiting the body through nostrils. Feel the sensation of fresh air coming in and consumed air moving out, leaving your body organs in a moment of calmness.

breathing

These moments, the holding of the breath inside the body or holding before taking a whiff of fresh air, are exceptional moments of insight about your own body. Once the body has relaxed during the observation cycle, one can start performing the pranayama techniques. It is critical for performing the pranayama techniques successfully that the observation of breath is performed well.

There are more than fifty pranayama techniques; here we have mentioned how to perform basic sectional breathing. In sectional breathing, it came with three different parts and the forth one was the combination of the three of them. Here, we sat up in cross-legged position, with head, neck and  spine straight, both eyes closed, placed both hands on the thighs, and relaxed.

Along with the steps and images on how to perform each technique, we have mentioned the key observation of that technique. Pranayama lays critical importance on this art of observation of breath in every technique.

CAUTION: Please proceed slowly and carefully making sure that you are not feeling any advert affects such as light-headedness, agitation or shortness of breath. If any of these symptoms occur,  go back to your normal breathing pattern and try again another day.

ADHAMA SVASA  (Soft Abdominal Breathing or belly breathing)

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Adhama- lower

Adhama Svasa is using your diaphragm for breathing. Stomach bulges out for inhale and goes in for exhale. Chest and upper part of the body remain still in this breathing. This svasa fills the air in lower parts of the lungs.

Rest hands on abdomen and feel movement of abdomen.

Key Observation in this technique: Observe fullness in the belly when one inhales and the relaxation in the belly when one exhales.

MADHYAMA SVASA (Side Ribs Breath also called thoracic breathing)

pranayama pic on thorasic breathing

Madhyama- middle

Madhyama Svasa is expanding chest outwards and upwards for inhale and bringing back to resting position for exhale. This Svasa fills air middle parts of lungs.

Rest hands on side ribs.

Key Observation in this technique:  Observe lateral expansion of the lower rib cage when one inhales and relaxation toward the center when one exhales.

ADYA SVASA (Upper Chest Breath also called Clavicular breathing)

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Aadi- upper

Adya Svasa is raising collar bones and shoulders upwards and backwards for inhale and bring back to resting position for exhale.

Rest hands on chest below the collar bones.

Key Observation in this technique:  Observe movement of the breath in upper chest. Observe rise of the chest towards the chin when one inhales and fall towards the heart when one exhales.

PURNA SVASA (3-Part Breath, Full Yogic Breath) or full yogic breathing.

pranayama purna yoga

pic courtesy: yoga sudha

Combined inhalation of all the three sections (below, middle and upper) slowly and fully.

Inhale 1/3 volume into lower belly, 1/3 volume into middle ribs, 1/3 volume into upper chest.

Exhale in the opposite order emptying chest, ribs and belly.

Repeat for 1-3 minutes.

Key Observation in this technique: Observe the movement of belly, ribs and chest area while inhaling and exhaling.

Eco Samsara brings to you convenient and environment friendly Yoga accessories which help you perform the pranayama techniques in an efficient manner. Use Zafus, to perform the pranayama techniques listed above. This also assures that you get full benefits from the techniques. Stay tuned for more articles on different Yoga asanas and Pranayama techniques.

pranayama blog on zafus

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This is third blog in the series which focuses on an innovative and very unique product, the Jute Yoga Mat. In our earlier blogs, we discussed about the most popular asana in yoga, Surya Namaskar and yoga Bolsters which help perform the restorative yoga poses.

You must be wondering what could be so innovative and unique in a jute mat that we are focusing a complete blog article on it! Read on and you will understand why this Jute yoga mat is so special. One of the specialties about this jute yoga mat is that it is designed and manufactured exclusively for Eco Samsara.

A yoga mat is a basic piece of practice gear. There are growing concerns that the increasing popularity of yoga is putting people and the environment at risk because the conventional yoga mats made of PVC may not be safe. PVC is inexpensive, is non-skid and its widely available. In order to make PVC soft and “sticky”, as is required for yoga mats, many chemicals are added which are toxic to humans and to the environment. Prolonged contact with PVC contents can have various effects on the health of the user. Natural yoga mat is therefore good for the body since it does not cause any negative side effects.

Eco Samsara Jute mat is made from natural jute fiber which will eventually breakdown and be recyclable. Jute allows for a stronger, more breathable, longer lasting texture to help secure the most difficult of yoga poses. The mat is covered with a cotton tote bag which can be easily home-washed after every usage. This mat can be spread over your sticky mat hence avoiding sweaty contact with PVC-rubber material while also providing a clean and fresh mat experience every day.

Yoga mat is your sanctuary and domain, and you need to feel balanced and at peace when you practice. In other words, it would not be wrong if we say, Yoga is worship and indeed you would like to perform this worship in most sacred manner. Eco Samsara’s jute yoga mat helps you do just that, providing you a neat, clean and eco friendly way to perform yoga asanas. This is not all; the list of ways in which this simple yet innovative jute yoga mat can be used is long.

This Jute yoga mat can be used as a regular yoga mat and in addition it can be used in following ways when performing yoga.

  • folded and used as a meditation cushion.
  • -used while performing seating postures – If you are tighter in the hamstrings, hips and back and you can’t sit comfortably on your sit bones, or you find your back rounding, sit up on the yoga mat folded in your seated postures to reduce the risk of injury and enhance the stretch in the intended muscle groups.

  • placed under head for head stands.

This jute yoga mat can be folded into 3 ways and thereby is also popular as the 3 fold jute yoga mat. I believe this yoga mat is a must have yoga accessory if you are an ardent follower of Yoga. Some of the pictures of this yoga mat in different positions is shown here:

Jute mat folded, half folded and laid flat.

jute mat foldedJute mat half foldedJute mat laid flat

Benefits of using Jute Yoga Mat:

  • It is durable, sustainable, and good for your skin.

  • It is lightweight and easy to carry.

  • It is manufactured from natural material.

  • It is ideal for restorative yoga poses, relaxing, and meditating.

This is a multi-purpose yoga mat, manufactured using a natural fiber “Jute” and covered with a pre-washed high quality cotton. Some of the other ways this Jute yoga mat can be helpful in addition to its usage in yoga:

  • Planning a campsite or outdoor with kids: Take along this easy to carry and cushioned yoga mat which can very conveniently transform into your sleeping mat. Carry along this light and foldable mat which can be conveniently used to lie down and relax while your kids play around.

place an order for this innovative yoga product. Eco Samsara provides access to unique yoga products manufactured and sourced right from the land of Yoga, “India” and exclusively designed for Eco Samsara. Leverage the benefits of our online store and home delivery services and enjoy yoga from the convenience of your home.

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We all understand yoga offers unique benefits for our body. This blog is second in its series where we will be exploring various yoga postures and products such as bolsters which help perform those poses better. Our first blog on Surya Namaskar dived deeper into the benefits of one of the most popular workout of Yoga, Surya Namaskar. In this blog, we highlight the uses and benefits of a simple and convenient product like Bolster.

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Bolsters are essentially cushions that are usually either cylindrical or rectangular in shape, and they are often stuffed with thick cotton batting. Yoga bolsters are for every level of Yoga – from the beginner to the professional. It gives you support during your Yoga sessions, help you improve your form, flexibility, and strength – particularly in your core and back.

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Many of the common yoga accessories like the yoga bolster really weren’t used with great regularity until the 1960s. This is when some practitioners of yoga, like B.K.S. Iyengar noted that many students had trouble maintaining proper posture in certain poses because of things like injury or lack of flexibility. In order to encourage more accurate positioning, Iyengar and others developed equipment that would help people perform poses with greater comfort and better form. The yoga bolster comes out of this tradition of finding ways to compensate for imperfect form or physical limitations, and it may be used in a variety of poses to help extend stretch.

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Uses of Bolster in Yoga

Bolster can play a prominent role in many Yoga asanas, some of them are highlighted here:

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined bound angle pose) – Sit cross-legged on floor while bolster is placed directly behind the hips. Position a strap loosely around your waist, inside of the thighs and wrap it around the feet/angles. Tighten the strap until you feel comfortable supported. Recline until your back and head rest on the bolster. Rest the back of your hands alongside your torso on the floor. To gain 100% benefits from this pose, one should breathe deeply, feel the weight of your spine sinking in the bolster, and stay in this pose for atleast five minutes. Bolster plays a crucial role in this asana, by providing the support yet allowing you to gain benefits from the pose. The key benefit of this asana is to open the chest, create more room for lungs, and deepen the breathing, thereby strengthening your breathing system and functioning of lungs.

reclined bound angle pose 2

 

Salamba Balasana or Supported Child pose – The supported child pose calms the mind and massages the whole body. It also helps in increasing the blood circulation. This pose helps you to relax your neck, shoulder and spine while it gently stretches the lower body, thighs, knees and ankles. Sit on your shins, knees spread wide around the bolster in front of you. Lay forward in child’s pose resting the body over the bolster. Make sure to have enough support under the belly.

balasana1

 

Viparita Karani or Legs up the wall pose- This pose is one of the most popular restorative poses in yoga and is done by raising one’s legs up the wall. This pose rejuvenates the feet, legs, spine and nervous system. While performing this asana, support your lower back with a firm round bolster. You will need to rest your legs vertically (or nearly so) on a wall. If your hamstrings or lower back are tight, bolsters are helpful to elevate the leg up the wall.

legs up the wall pose 2

 

Shavasana or Corpse Pose- The shavasana is one of the most important yoga asana which helps the body and mind to relax. Lie on your back, while the arms and legs are spread at 45 degrees. Take deep breaths, and close your eyes to take maximum benefits from the asana. A bolster is great for placing under your knees during shavasana, especially if you have pain in the lower back. Just bend your knees slightly and slide the bolster underneath before lying down on your back. Having the knees lifted allows the lower back to release.

shavasana3

 

Benefits of using bolster in Yoga

Above uses of bolster in some of the popular yoga asanas illustrate the crucial part bolster plays in your daily yoga workout. Bolster fits well for reclined and seated poses, mostly the restorative poses in yoga.

Some of the benefits of bolster are:

1. A bolster provides support to the body and bolsters can help counteract bad posture, softly open up your chest, ribs and belly, improve blood flow to your key organs, encourage calmer breathing or reduce fatigue and stress in the body. Bottom line, your body will feel deeply supported when resting on a bolster, which in turn allows you to release, relax and rejuvenate.

2. It helps you perform asana without exerting any extra effort thereby allowing your body and mind to be relaxed.

Ultimate goal of yoga is to rejuvenate your body and mind thereby providing relaxation. Maximum benefits of yoga are gained while the body and mind are at peace and in relaxed positions. Bolster helps with just enough of relaxation to elevate the body from exertion and feel the eternal bliss both in mind as well as physically. 

How does Eco Samsara help?

Eco Samsara is an online store of unique products for yoga enthusiasts. It has been established by a Yoga expert understanding the need of such products to reap full benefits of yoga. We at Eco Samsara understand the value of a product like bolster. We sell the product online and also deliver at your doorstep. So now you need not hunt for the right bolster, but rather take it from the experts and enjoy the benefits of yoga at convenience of your home.

Buy now!

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Yoga or Yogic Science originates from the pre-vedic times in Indian scriptures. Ancient Munis (Saints) and Yogis (Saints) performed meditation using Yoga to stay fit and connect with the eternal spirit.

Modern Yogis brought this science to the United States and since then Yoga in different forms is being practiced across the country.

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Eco Samsara brings to you a series of articles on different forms of Yoga practiced across the country, including some of them which are not so popular!! Watch out for this space to learn the most popular art of healing and meditating, the Yoga. We are beginning this series with the simplest yet effective asana, Surya Namaskar.

yoga-pic

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is the most basic and an inherent part of Yoga. Today in this article we will understand the simplest form of Surya Namaskar, also known more popularly as Ashtanga Surya Namaskar A.

Steps of “Ashtanga Surya Namaskar A”

  1. Tadasana, the standing prayer pose

  2. Urdhva Hastasana, the raised hands pose

  3. Uttanasana, the hand to foot pose

  4. Flat Back

  5. Chaturanga Dandasana, the push up pose

  6. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, the upward facing dog pose

  7. Adho Mukha Svanasana, the downward facing dog pose

  8. Flat Back

  9. Uttanasana, the hand to foot pose

  10. Urdhva Hastasana, the raised hands pose

  11. Tadasana, the standing prayer pose

surya-namaskara-a

Benefits of “Ashtanga Surya Namaskar A”

Surya Namaskar is an effective workout often compared with other high calorie burning workouts. It is said that, 12 Surya Namaskar performed in fast pace during morning is equivalent to 30 minutes of running/bicycling! And when this asana is performed in a slower pace, it provides a full body relaxation and rejuvenates the body! 

Most convenient aspect is, you can start doing Surya Namaskar from the moment you decide to remain fit and active. It can be done in the comforts of your home, though performing this in a group does add more value.

Do you still need reasons or motivation to start Surya Namaskar? Get started today itself and start reaping the benefits of a leaner and fitter body!

How does Eco Samsara fit in?

Eco Samsara is an eco-friendly shop for Yoga accessories and products which facilitate performing yoga asana correctly. We have variety of products available with ease of ordering online and home delivered; providing convenience in the comforts of your home. We source our products right from the land where Yoga originated, India; providing you a cost effective and authentic product.

One of our products worth mentioning in reference to the Surya Namaskar discussed in this article includes, Bolsters!

In step number 6, mentioned above, also known as the Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or the upward dog pose, one needs to lower their pelvis to ground and raise their head. Before getting to this pose, position our bolster on the floor at the level of your lower abdomen and hips. Such that when your pelvis comes down during the step 6, your hips and lower abdomen rest on the bolster conveniently. 

Order a pranyama bolster  from our website and reap the benefits of Surya Namaskar from the comforts of your home. While you are on the website, also check our yoga specialized clothing designed to leverage the benefits of Yoga completely!!

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Purvottanasana (Intense Eastside Front body Stretch)

1. Sit in Dandasana (sit upright, extend your legs forward, hip distance apart and parallel.

2. Place your hands about 10-12 inches behind your hips, arms straight, fingers facing forward.

3. Point your toes inward, slightly bend your knees if you want to.

4. Inhale, lean back on your hands, press down your palms,  press down the soles of your feet,  lift the hips up high straightening your elbows.

5. Keep your shoulders down and back, lift your chest up, arms in line with your shoulders.

6. Allow your head to relax backward, chin upwards, your neck extended.

7. Inhale and lengthen, engage the bandhas, 5 ujjayi breaths.

7. Exhale, bend your elbows, gently drop the hips to the floor.

8. Come back to Dandasana (step 1).

Benefits: Strengthens the core, arms, wrists and shoulders. Stretches the whole front of the body.

Disclaimer: Practice yoga under the guidance and supervision of a certified yoga teacher.

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