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Moon days in yogic tradition

Yogis love the moon! However, yoga practice is not recommended during full and new moon days;

The moon exerts gravitational pull on water as we can observe by tides and since the human body consists of at least 60% of water, it must be affecting us as well.

During a full moon the sun and the moon are in opposition to each another while in the new moon cycle they are in conjunction. These positions create different energies on the earth, which correlate to the cycles of the breath.

According to the ashtanga tradition, the full moon relates to the end of the inhalation; the rising of prana (energy). This is the vital life source that rises upward, expands and increases energy both physically and mentally. As a result we feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. Conversely, the new moon relates to the end of the exhalation; the emerging apana (downward energy). This is understood to develop feelings of earthiness, calmness, but also of physical exhaustion.

Honouring these cycles is a way of aligning ourselves to the planetary forces that are always around. They also help us to live and breathe in harmony with nature.

You can make the most of this highly energetic time, by tuning yourself inwardly to the energies beyond materialism and toward the infinite possibilities of the cosmos through meditation.

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Are you ready to get exposed? If yes, you are ready for yoga!

Yoga is a way of being; a science; a philosophy;  a path to the heart; a way to experience life; a lifestyle; A holistic method that balances our body, mind and spirit; not a sport , but it still requires commitment and a certain discipline.

Therefore and its benefits are multidimensional;

Concerning the physical aspect and depending on the regularity and intensity of the practice, it strengthens the whole body, enhances coordination and balance; Excellent for a good bodily posture and full body awareness.

The physical aspect unites with the mental and spiritual through the breath and the entailing meditative techniques.

A body mind balance is critical for a greater performance in sports. In sports, additionally to increasing performance, yoga is ideal for recovery, mobility or rehabilitation.

Even people working in offices experience an increase in productivity at the workplace.

Exploring the mental pros and contrary to the popular belief, yoga is not for the flexible; It is for those that are willing to open themselves, let go of overthinking and cultivate a steady mind. You cultivate mindfulness; Being mindful means that you are calm but at the same time fully aware, alert and ready for what life brings and that is why people practicing yoga have greater reflexes than the rest. Openness in the mind will bring flexibility.

Spiritually speaking, yoga is a life changing experience; Again, it has to do with openness and exposure in order to bring about emotional stability and overcoming fears. With yoga you can fight any kind of emotional stress.

When everything in balance, only then real relaxation can occur!

Let everything be, have faith…

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Notes of a dreamer yogini on the primary series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

The primary series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a nerve-breaking, intensive detoxification and grounding process.

Please, abandon your day dreaming nature – especially if, according to Ayurveda, your predominant constitution is Vata – and come back to the earth.  Come out of your fantasy world. Concentrate on your practice and be disciplined. Focus on your posture, flexibility and strength. Most of all, focus on the present moment. No future, no expectations; no past, detach from your previous experiences. If you miss grounding, you miss stability. And once you are stable physically, you can be stable mentally.

Connect to the healing energy of the earth and channel it/use it, in order to fly and reach the sky. Stir the fire of desires in order to go beyond your comfort zone, but avoid floating your ego. Let your ego dissolve as well as unmanifested emotions,  manifested aggressiveness, insecurities;  It is a nerve breaking process but it is worth it as it stirs your soul. At least you feel, at least you are not empty!

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Ashtanga, its all yoga to me!

I returned in India, this time in Mysore, in search of inspiration and further growth and that is what I found.

Ashtanga yoga – as I experienced in its source in the Pathabhi Jois Institute in Mysore of India – is not just a system of rigorous physical practices according to the general misconception destined for a specific tribe of people.

On the contrary, it is a higher art of overcoming your body, surrendering to your breath and turning inwards to discover your higher truth.

It i12346865_10153712642518162_1186631407_sites not about a sequence of asanas depriving you of self-expression – as a hatha yogi like me would say – but about letting go of any resistance or question; It is about turning your attention inwards; It is about letting go of doubt, believing in that you can fly and rediscovering a way to open your wings. Our cultural and social conditioning has injured our wings. Our expectations create fear to heal them. Through this system, the practitioner objects himself to “tapas”, the Sanskrit word for austerities; it is not about sweating during physical exercise or keeping fit, but instead the heat generated during the practice burns away impurities of the body (physical, energy, mental, wisdom, bliss) to reach to the pure form of consciousness, to the “light” and pacifying delusions.

The yoga connects all: I felt a strong sense of belonging in my ashtanga yoga family like a never felt before. I saw myself reflecting at the people around me in the shala, I saw myself reflecting at the sky and the sun. The connection is very intense. Love is also there, maybe even your twin soul. No frontier, we are all one. During the very early morning Mysore practice, everybody is minding his own practice, everybody is moving according to this own competency and pace and trying to listen to his breath; a strictly personal practice. Do not resist it, do not force it (ahimsa; no violence), do not question it! Work towards it…but be humble! Have faith; in this moment you are happy! Happiness is to let your faith touch your soul and deliver inner peace and tranquility. In this moment, you are blessed…you are one step closer to the truth, to the ultimate remembrance.

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International Certification

So proud of my International Yoga Alliance RYT 500 certification!RYT500

As a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT®), I have agreed to a specific code of conduct and acceptable ethical and professional behavior, that includes to conduct myself in a professional and conscientious manner and ensures that I live up to any commitments I make to my students or to the public and that my practices and behavior conform to the representations I make about myself in holding myself out as a yoga practitioner who adheres to certain precepts. In addition, it includes to encourage diversity by respecting all students regardless of age, physical limitations, race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation and respect the rights, dignity and privacy of all students; to create and maintain a safe, clean and comfortable environment for the practice of yoga, avoid words and actions that constitute sexual harassment or harassment based on other legal protected characteristics and in general adhere to the traditional yoga principles as written in the yamas and niyamas.

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Thoughts of a yoga teacher on inversions

Saturday 9th of May, my 3rd day teaching yoga in this wonderful yoga and meditation resort. I started my day with a pranayama (breathing techniques) and asana quite advanced yoga class. I do not like repeating the same flow of exercises every day, I like making the class interesting and unconventional. I am an unconventional person taking risks and through yoga I can express the freedom I pursue in my life, and make my own little revolution. So, I try to make my students experience this same freedom, getting them out of stereotypes, leading them to a journey during which they can overcome their fears and see the world upside down, just like in a handstand. No matter if you fall, you will stand up stronger than before. You will know that your fear was irrational….even if you fall down and bleed, you will have learnt how it is to conquer your fear.

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Are you a true yogi? The “Savoir-vivre” and “Savoir-faire” of yoga

Yamas and niyamas are the social code of conduct in yoga, in respect of its external aspect etc the “Savoir-vivre” and “Savoir-faire” of yoga.

Yamas: According to Patanjali’s yoga sutras (2-30, 2-31), yamas are self-restraints which have to do with training, the actions, expression and thoughts in relation to external objects and people. They are the following: 1) Ahimsa – Non-violence, Abandonment of hostility, harmful intention, 2) Satya – Truthfulness or truth of speech, 3) Asteya – Honesty, non-stealing, 4) Brahmacharya – mindfulness of higher truth and as a result sexual abstinence or moderation, 5) Aparigraha – Non-possessiveness, non-acquisitiveness.

Niyamas: According to Patanjali’s yoga sutras (2-32), niyamas are fixed rules, disciplines necessary for the practice of meditation and samandhi (etc state of supreme blissfulness). They are the following: 1) Shaucha – Cleanliness or body and mind purification, 2) Santosha – Contentment, unexcelled happiness, mental comfort, joy, and satisfaction, 3) Tapas – Austerities to destruct mental impurities and train the senses, 4) Svandhyana – Self-study, inner exploration, 5) Ishvara Pranidhana, complete surrender into the spiritual source.

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Mitāhāra (Sanskrit: मिताहार): a moderate diet

Yoga guides as through as how to live a healthy, peaceful and balanced life and thus includes guidelines concerning a well-balanced diet (Mitāhāra) consisting of light, sattvic food easy to digest. Most of all, yoga suggests moderation and balance, rather than extremes like severe fasting and overeating; when the body is overloaded with food, it becomes sluggish and the mind becomes dull.

A vegeterian diet consisting of conducive food (such as wheat, rice, barley, good grains, milk, sugar, honey, fruits, butter, grey ginger, cucumber, some leafy vegetables), freshly cooked, not too much acidic, sour, bitter, pungent and salty, but with sweet or astringent taste (dominant rasa, Hathayogapradipika 1-58). A yogi should consume food that is contributing to health – sweet, lubricated, made of cow milk, nourishing to the fundamental element of the body, agreeable to one’s own mind or taste and which is conducive and fulfilling all conditions of yogic food (Hathayogapradipika, 1-63).

As to the quantity of the food to be consumed, every individual differs in his constitution and therefore instead of prescribing the exact food quantity, it is proposed the following

  • 2/4 of the stomach to be filled with solid food
  • 1/4 of the stomach to be filled with water
  • 1/4 of the stomach to be kept empty for the free movement of air

Our mental attitude while cooking, serving and eating the food is also important and should be directed towards the body nourishment for its maintenance in order to foster the process of spiritual evolution. The food we eat should be earned through fair means and should be preferable local.

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Yoga is my health insurance!

Nowadays, there is a general misconception of what health is;

According to the World Health Organization (1946), health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

A harmonious balance between the physical body, mind and spirit.

Holistic health supports the connection between the physical body, mind and spirit and understands the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s life, including food, posture, breathing, thoughts, environment, beliefs. Dating back to to 5.000 BCE, the holistic health concept accepts that in this physical body, the various organs and systems, all have their own functions to carry out, but there should be a complete coordination between them; if they are not able to coordinate with each other, it means than not one, but all the systems are imbalanced. Thus, in every illness, whether physical or mental, every system is out of coordination. According to the law of mutual rhythms, all it is needed in order to regain health of the whole system, is to confer absolute health to one part or system, then all the others will naturally follow suit. Holistic health accepts using preventive care and all modalities of care available such as surgery, western medicine, chemotherapy, nutrition, rehabilitation, bodywork, spiritual healing to name a few.

All disorders are psychosomatic and stress is the no. 1 factor causing them.

When we view psychosomatic disorders from the perspective of holistic health, we see that all the disorders can be psychosomatic, because the body reflects our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Stress is the main factor causing psychosomatic disorders. Amongst the stressors that can cause a stress reaction in the body, are chemical stressors such as food (etc nicotine, high fat diet, alcohol), drug use or environmental poisons such as air pollution and heavy metals, physical stressors such as physical inactivity or over activity, noise pollution, lack of sleep, barometric pressure changes, accidents and emotional stressors such as fear, anger, guilt, sorrow, anxiety, jealousy. Furthermore the effect of these stressors are additive, which means that accumulates with each additional small level of stress; overtime chronic stress restricts the blood flow through the body and weakens the immune system, which can eventually cause physical dysfunctions. Excess physical chemical and emotional pressure causes a stress reaction to the body.

We are ultimately responsible for our own health and our holistic health care; each one of us is so unique that no one treatment, medication or technique is going to work for us all.

Yoga therapy is powerful against psychosomatic dysfunctions, because it works according to the principles of harmony and unification, rather than diversity; moreover, yoga includes relaxation techniques and in general promotes a healthy lifestyle and general wellbeing, thus is more than a physical exercise and should be accessible to all people.

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Ταϋλανδέζικο μασάζ και αντιμετώπιση των μυϊκών πόνων

Σας ταλαιπωρούν μυϊκά πιασίματα λόγω έντονης σωματικής δραστηριότητας ή πιασίματα λόγω κακής στάσης του σώματος?

Τότε το ταϋλανδέζικο μασάζ, το οποίο βασίζεται στην αρχαία ταϋλανδέζικη μάλαξη και στην ινδική φιλοσοφία της yoga, είναι το σωστό είδος μασάζ για εσάς.

Το ταϋλανδέζικο μασάζ είναι η καλύτερη επιλογή για μυοσκελετικά προβλήματα και βοηθάει στην σωστή στάση σώματος. Δρα σε μαλακούς ιστούς – μύες, τένοντες και συνδέσμους – και σε μεγάλο βαθμό στη βελτίωση του μυϊκού τόνου. Ο συνδυασμός των πιέσεων – σε βελονιστικά ή ρεφλεξολογικά σημεία σε όλο το σώμα – και των διατάσεων, αρχικά χαλαρώνει και κατόπιν βελτιώνει την ελαστικότητα των σφιγμένων μυών (των μυών σε σύσπαση), ανακουφίζοντας τον μυϊκό πόνο, μειώνοντας τον χρόνο επούλωσης και επιτρέποντας μεγαλύτερο εύρος κινήσεως των αρθρώσεων. Όσον αφορά στην ορθοσωμία, η δράση του ταϋλανδέζικου μασάζ είναι παρόμοια με εκείνη της γιόγκα. Οι διατάσεις που περιλαμβάνει  συμβάλλουν στη σωστή ευθυγράμμιση, βελτιώνοντας τη συνολική στάση του σώματος. Επιπλέον, έχει αποδειχθεί ότι δρα θετικά σε σκελετικά προβλήματα, μπορεί ακόμη και να αντιστρέψει εκφυλιστικές καταστάσεις της σπονδυλικής στήλης, όπως η κύφωση, η σκολίωση και η λόρδωση.

Πρόκειται για ένα αρκετά διαδραστικό είδος μασάζ με την έννοια ότι ο θεραπευτής πότε-πότε δίνει παραγγέλματα στον δέκτη, του τύπου «δώσε μου το χέρι σου», «πιάσε με» ή «τέντωσε ένα άκρο», και διαφορετικό σε σύγκριση με άλλα είδη μασάζ, καθότι πραγματοποιείται με άνετο ρουχισμό σε στρώμα χωρίς λάδι. Το τελικό αποτέλεσμα είναι η ανάλαφρη και χαλαρωτική αίσθηση «ανοίγματος» όλου του σώματος και ηρεμίας.

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