Monday, November 19, 2012

Osho – The Zen Manifesto – Freedom from Oneself

One of the last series of talks given by Osho before his demise, this book is a gold nugget. Osho unravels the mysteries of Zen by approaching it with a totally detached view of religion. It applies to any human who can read and understand or is willing to look at the fact that there could be a key to getting out of the daily routine of days, routine of the life-death cycle, routine of re-incarnation.

The talks made in this book are like a final message with no holds barred on the truths. It has an affinity to the Advaita Vendanta (non-duality) which offers a structured methodology of scriptures and renouncing oneself under the guidance of a Master. However, the major difference is that while Zen too can be practised under a Master, it is more about bypassing or going over the mind completely.

Our identity, our individuality, our saneness are all due to the mind. We call ourselves by an assigned name in this birth because it was given to us. It is important too as we need to survive the lifetime. But after a stage, the search for the Supreme, God, Higher Self, the Nothing or Oneself or whatever one may call it begins to happen only when we question our own actions and decisions.

The Western Zen authors such as Alan Watts and Thomas Merton have also approached Zen but through the intellect which is exactly what Zen is not about. It is about having no mind at all. The mind is the bridge between the soul and appeared sanity. Zen shows that you never had a name or individuality. You were just living in a cage built by others to safeguard your identity. Zen shows you how to open that cage and melt into the vastness and disappear; or what we know as anatta which means ‘‘the freedom from oneself’’.

The complete book can be found here. The Zen Manifesto- Freedom From Oneself - Osho

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The White Rose


There is something in a white rose that forces rapt attention. It comes in just one colour – white.

Ask any man what he thinks of when he sees a white rose and most probably the order of priority would be his special woman, purity, trust, the untouched.

Ask any woman what she thinks of when she sees a white rose and she may choose purity, innocence, trust, understanding, commitment

The white rose also signifies peace, calm, spirituality, serenity, respect and virtue in love.

Notice that no two roses are the same just like us.

They are never symmetrical just like us.

The petals go in layer after layer till there is nothing within just like us.

Their attraction is in their unseen fragrance just like our unseen vibes.

Perhaps that is why we have never really understood what draws us so much to this ubiquitous, colourless and yet a truly enigmatic creation of nature.

So take some time off and go gift a rose. Its uplifting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Many Lives, Many Masters–Dr. Brian Weiss



Dr. Brian had great guts to write this book. He went against his career rules of scientific learnings and wrote about what he found when regressing into his patients’ past lives. This book is a strong reminder that all that we see is not all that is.

It also gives us a glimpse of the soul and how we operate in other dimensions. Being metaphysical, it will be hard to digest as nothing is proven. But just because it isn’t does not make it untrue.

The book also shows us how caught up we are in the circle of routine and life. There were some lovely lessons that I picked up. If only I could apply them now.

Most of all, this book was recommended to me by someone who saw in me what I could not myself. I thank this gentleman for seeing me as someone worth spending precious time with. But then, I guess that is how the world goes around. Not by routine, but by what energies we share with one another to ensure a common uplifting of all life.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012



How many times have we said “I understand” and bobbed our heads in seeming agreement when someone has shared a tale of sorrow or despair? The question is do we really understand or is it like saying “Hi, How are you” everyday without really giving further notice to the answer “Fine”. Are we really fine?


What is “understanding”?, a knowing, a perception, a feeling, an agreeing, an experiencing…..Such a commonly used phrase “I understand“ never fails to surprise. Because let’s face it. We can really understand only when we have faced the exact set of circumstances which led to the experience. Makes me ponder over the fact that what is it that we understand of a situation whenever we utter those words. Is it that we understand how good or bad the situation is? Or is it that we understand the feelings or emotions involved? Or is it that we understand the intensity and depth of the circumstance? Or is it that we just agree with the situation as it being true?

It is entirely one’s own perception as to how we look at a particular situation which actually leads to various “understanding’s by different people… So when we say ‘I understand’ is absolutely a different perspective when compared to the person with whom I’m saying these words., Certain situations, especially when dear ones are involved, saying it is more like saying “I’ve been through the same feelings and so I know how you feel” or it could mean “I know and totally agree with you and so I understand” But the question is do we really understand? If so , what is it that we understand?

An addiction, a desperate wish to do something, these are cases where the mind just takes over. And as curiosity can never be killed, one has to go through the motions of this experience to really feel the end to that desperation. In this case, Experiencing is Understanding, in fact, a true Understanding…but yet another perception.

A child falls and gets hurt, runs to the parent’s arms in tears, an immediate gesture from the parent is “ I know, I understand, it hurts” Knowing is Understanding….,A person expressing his emotions about a dear one to a friend, a supporting phrase from the friend, “ true, I understand”…. In this case, Agreeing is Understanding..

Understanding is more like a combination of knowing something since it was felt before and agreeing to it and also the other way round.. Another perception. Understanding is not truly ‘understanding’ but just a perception of how it might be, how it could have been.. But the intensity is not felt to the same extent as the one who is experiencing. It is just a percentage of the feelings felt due to our past experiences similar to those which are being discussed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fire On Ice–How to photograph


FireOnIce1 copy

Achieving this photo was a tiny wish of mine. A theme composed on two opposing natural elements makes for a nice challenge to shoot. Following are the equipment and method used:

Pentax K100D Super. (Any good digital camera will do. Ideally a DSLR.)

Vivitar manual 50mm f1.7 Prime (A Lens with a minimum of f2 or below would be useful since the shoot demands a low light situation)

Ice Cube. Clearer the better. (My freezer makes only opaque ones)

Zippo Lighter Fluid (for smokeless fire)


Granite or black glass base (Any dark colored base to help with the reflection in the darkness)

The camera was set to Manual with an F-stop of f2 and shutter speed 1/10 and ISO 200 (for less grain) and hung around the neck. An easier and guaranteed way would be to set it on a tripod if you have one for the perfect shot. The lens was focused to the required focal length from the target.

Lighter fluid is a petroleum distillate and floats above the water or ice but burns bright and quick without any smoke. The attempt was made to shoot the initial spread of fire with the blue hue along with the yellow combustion.

The lights were switched off at night for complete darkness. The ice cube was taken out of the freezer quickly and placed on the target area. The match was the lit and held in one hand and the zippo fluid was poured on the ice with the other hand and lit immediately.

The match was thrown aside, the zippo can was kept away and the camera was used to shoot in quick succession by keeping the shutter speed constant and varying the aperture between each shot from 1.7 to 2.8.

Next the process was repeated to light up the cube and three more photos were shot in quick succession keeping the aperture at f2.0 and varying the shutter speed to 1/8, 1/10 and 1/15.

FireOnIce2 copy  FireOnIce3 copy

Six photos and the best of what I could do have been posted here.

I would welcome any suggestions or tips to improve this theme. The difficult part is working with very low ambient light.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hsin Hsin Ming – The Book of Nothing


Rarely has a book moved me into just shutting up. Books instill anything from breezy natured laughs to deep crusted messages languishing within us for a few days or months depending on the passion of the author pouring out years of experience transformed into words. But this book has been something of an anoetic paradox. It is a mirror without the silver coating that shows us the simplicity of our existence.

Hsin Hsin Ming is the best known words of the laconic third Zen patriarch, Sosan (Sengstan). The concept of Zen was born sometime when the Buddhism of India met the Tao of China.

Sosan was a Master of very few words. His statements had dimensions of depth in them which was difficult to interpret by the common man. Hsin Hsin Ming has been regarded as such a great set of principles by Osho that he translated it for the benefit of others.

The words in this book are the result of a wonderfully distilled set for you have the best coming out of Sosan, Buddha and Osho merely interpreting our daily predicaments as we search for our true roles in our lives. Existing and living are two completely different things. We desire fame, recognition, individuality while water, earth and air move naturally towards the depths.

I can do no justice any further in describing the book. Below are three humorous excerpts which answer many simple questions. For those confused between the head and the heart, this book offers solace, a path and a figurative slap on the face. A must have.


Truth1 Truth2 Beggar1Beggar2 Philosopher1 Philosopher2

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cycling at high speeds


A few weeks back, a group of us went cycling on a 50 km route at Madhapur. On the road beside HiTech city, the downhill helped me achieve a top speed of 56.5 km/hr. The experience of moving so fast through the air with nothing in front was least to say exhilarating. It was a long time since I felt such an adrenaline rush. There were many other bikers faster than me achieving speeds in excess of 60 km/hr. But coming close to such speeds in a state of complete alertness made me see why so many bikers cycle so fast. It is addictive.

A reminder here is that precautions are to be taken when cycling fast as the dynamics change. Every parameter needs to be respected and adhered to. When attempting high speeds, a few points to note are:

Tyre pressure: Higher the tyre pressure, lower the friction as the contact area between the rubber and the road and reduced. Rolling friction reduces and the wheels spin quicker. Keep higher pressures for speed and lower pressures for grip.

Brakes: At the end of the road when the speed has to be reduced, only the brakes can save your life. Make sure they are in top condition. Braking to slow down has to be done with first the rear brakes and then the front brakes. Using the front brakes first might cause the wheel to lock and then throw you over the handlebars at the same high speed. No guesses for what may happen when head meets road, even with a helmet.

Balance: The cycle will love to obey gravity and keep going faster. Trust your gut and keep your body posed low but still offering gentle resistance so that you are pushed back by the wind gently. This is to prevent your centre of gravity from shifting to the front that causes you to go faster than the cycle and get flung over the bars

Stay Low: Adopt a crouching position and get down low to prevent your body from being the barrier to the wind. Move your arms and legs inwards so that they don’t flail about. A key thing to remember here is to keep the limbs relaxed. Let the wind move around your limbs but keep them in place. Do not hold too tightly though you may do it out of anxiety.

Maintain a platform: The legs should be in the 9 and 3 o clock position. This keeps your body centred and helps you shift your weight to the front, back or sides with ease.

Scan a line: High speeds give you little time to react at the last moment. Make sure you can scan ahead and mentally map the line you plan to stay on. Watch for lanes from where anyone or anything can appear suddenly and be prepared.

A good hint – To keep the mind active, scan ahead about 20 meters and look at your front wheel. Again scan ahead and move your eyes to the front tire. Doing this up and down action keeps your alert for newer obstacles.

Exercise speed control: This is very very important. Just hitting the downhill not knowing how to control the speed or brake later can be dangerous. I’m not saying ride slowly. But know that when you ride fast, you have less than a second for the situation to change. Understand that, keep your cool and enjoy the breeze.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Superstition of Gold

The air was so thick with smoke. Autos spewing white fumes burnt my eyes. The helmet didn’t help. My brain was getting cooked in it on this hot summer evening. The traffic wouldn’t move for the last 5 minutes. Surrounding me on the road were some of the most expensive cars money could buy. Jaguars, BMWs, dime a dozen Mercs, even a Range Rover. The traffic police were salivating as they fined every car and bike owner for having parked in the No-Parking zones outside the gold shops at Panjagutta. This was the Akshaya Tritiya pandemonium which happens every year to reveal the heights of superstition by humanity pinning hopes of prosperity on that elusive Auric element.

Every gold shop was full. People were jostling about to purchase even a gram of gold. Because buying gold on this day would supposedly herald the next year of richness and prosperity. As if the man made system of days and years was going to control our actions and somehow forgive our sins to give us only wealth. The earth keeps revolving around the sun. That didn’t change. The hot summer was upon us. That didn’t change either. People were born, living and dying. Even that didn’t change. So for the life of me, I cannot fathom why people go berserk on this day and throw all their faith on the atomic soft yellow element hoping it will magically turn their lives into alchemy.

Superstition has plagued us for ages and always will. It is the basis for satisfying our hurt egos when something goes wrong. Because humans have always found it difficult to accept themselves as the root cause for anything. A few examples:

1. As per vaastu, south facing houses are a strict no. So these houses are never built as far as possible. Yet, in this same country of Indians, south facing houses are considered the most auspicious in Tamil Nadu. I wonder whether they were made upside down or whether the rest of the country was. Either ways, everyone’s alive and kicking.

2. Do not sleep with your head towards the north. Because Lord Ganesha lost his head when defending his mother Parvathi against his father Shiva. So Shiva plonked the first available animal’s head found in the north (no guesses for which animal) on the boy’s decapitated body and created Lord Ganesha. Therefore the belief is we should not sleep towards the north either. But a human’s internal magnetic system is aligned with the earth’s magnetic field. It is a healing process and this means we should sleep with our heads towards the north. But who wins this argument? And what about the Christians, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists etc.? Who’s going to tell them not to sleep with their heads towards the north?

3. Sneezing before starting an activity is bad. But 2 sneezes in a row is ok. Or if only one sneeze happened, then wait for some time before beginning the activity. How much time? No one knows. Some say 5 minutes all the way upto half an hour.

Superstition happened when humans had more time on their hands and tried explaining all that happened to go one up on the other. Over the ages, so many have come about that they are now an integral part of our lives. It has become a belief system which gives us much relief when things go our way and a way to throw the blame on the divine when things don’t.

Animals have no such beliefs. They just follow the laws of nature. Even domesticated dogs and cats know when an earthquake is about to happen. Their sixth sense tells them so and they begin running for no apparent reason known to us. Same for other animals. Their sixth sense helps them move to areas of safety when the earth is about to shift. We have blocked our sixth senses with so much clutter of the mind and instead resort to buying a metal like gold on a man made day of the year because our actions will somehow be tuned to attracting more wealth. Such a Pavlovian method of thought.

The earth still revolves around the sun. The traffic cops along with the hot summer breeze must have laughed yesterday to see everyone doing frog leaps to barter a natural element paid for with artificially valued paper.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Suryanamaskar–The all rounder


Possibly one of the best all round yoga program that looks after health, energy boost and body toning, the Suryanamaskar set of asanas can be done in just 10 minutes each morning to provide enough energy for the rest of the day.

Surya Namaskar is practised every morning in front of the rising or the warm sun. But since most of us may not have the luxury, it can be practised at home on a mat. This is NOT meant to be done on a hard floor. A well ventilated room will do.

The set of movements are to be done consecutively, in a smooth and graceful manner, with the correct breathing. A complete cycle or round comprises of all the twelve movements.

The program exercises all the major muscles of the body and keeps it flexible and supple. Most lifestyle diseases are kept at bay. Common colds occur with rarity. The immune system and the endocrine system are balanced well to keep viruses at bay. There is plenty of information online.

Suryanamaskar has become a mainstay with even athletes who use it to loosen up stiff muscles. Celebrities practice it for an overall uplift.

4-6 rounds a day can be practised and increased if necessary. An interesting statement made by a doctor from a corporate hospital was “12 rounds of Suryanamaskar is equal to half an hour of jogging”. While I may not agree with the statement as jogging is a cardio, I would be inclined to agree on the stamina boost since Suryanamaskar is a mild cardio when done properly without wobbling.




Pranamasana DSC04143


Ardhachandrasana DSC04144 Inhale
Padahastasana DSC04145 Exhale
Ekpadprasarnasana DSC04146 Inhale

Chaturanga Dandasan

DSC04147 Exhale
Ardhakurmasana DSC04148 Inhale and Exhale
Ashtanga Namaskara DSC04149 Inhale and Exhale
Bhujangasana DSC04150 Inhale
Adho Mukha Svanasana DSC04151 Exhale
Ardhakurmasana DSC04148 Inhale and Exhale
Ekpadprasarnasana DSC04152 Inhale
Padahastasana DSC04145 Exhale
Ardhaclhandrasana DSC04144 Inhale
Pranamasana DSC04143 Exhale

Friday, January 27, 2012

Basic Asanas for body toning - Yoga


I’ll keep this simple. Asanas are not a cardio exercise. They are a very mild form of exercise. They address a different need; that of toning the body, the glands, the organs and all associated metabolic functions. Asanas focus on the effective circulation of blood all over the body. Asanas strengthen the immune system. Even more importantly, they regulate and maintain the extremely fragile balance between all the hormones in the body. Hormones are secreted in miniscule quantities but the potency is so strong that they define the way we behave or act. Asanas help maintain this balance and prepare the body for exercise and the day ahead.

Asanas play a corrective role. They also prevent accelerate the cure of many diseases. They can be practiced in conjunction with one’s daily regular exercise regimen to give wholesome health.

The below asanas have been picked as they are relatively easy to practice and address the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Most service oriented employees today suffer from back pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and spondulitis. These asanas help address most of the conditions. Just 20-30 seconds for the easy asanas will go a long way in staying healthy.


Do not start doing the asanas if you have been totally out of practice with any form of activity. It would be advisable to have yourself checked or assessed physically once before beginning.

Avoid the asanas immediately after or less than half an hour before a meal. Do not bathe immediately after a meal. Wait for about 20 minutes. If you intend to exercise after asanas, wait about 20-30 minutes for the body to settle down. Also, do not exercise if your pulse rate is high after doing the asanas.

For most of the asanas, only the final positions have been shown. Initial poses have been shown where necessary. Try to come to the final pose in each asana and remain relaxed.

NEVER APPLY FORCE TO YOUR BODY. This is very important as excessive force to get into a position could cause short or long term damage.

Try to do the asanas as accurately as possible, even if you can maintain the pose for only a few seconds. Start with the timings with which you feel comfortable, then slowly increase the time to reach the maximum given in the text.

Always concentrate fully on the area where you feel the maximum resistance in each asana.

Don’t hold your breath. Always breathe normally.

Relax in the Shavasana position for about 15 seconds between 2 asanas.

A very crisp and quick routine would be the following asanas, each for about 20 seconds. It will be sufficient to keep your body in tune.

1.   Sarvangasana
2.   Matsyasana
3.   Pashchimottanasana
4.   Nauasana
5.   Halasana
6.   Salabhasana
7.   Pavanamuktasana
8.   Ardhamatsyendrasana
9.   Shashakasana
10. Shavasana



Stand erect, feet together. Raise arms sideways to overhead, rise on toes, stretch fully, knees straight, abdomen pulled in.


Benefits. Stretches the muscles and joints, and prepares the body for the various asanas. Also improves the general balance of the body.



Stand erect, feet slightly apart, toes slightly turned out. Bend from the knees (as in sitting on a chair), knees slightly out and vertically over toes, back straight, arms stretched forward (horizontal and parallel), palms down, head up.


Benefits. Strengthens the leg muscles, lightens the body and brings it under control. A special feature - its practice both strengthens the knee joints and ensures a secretion there from which the cartilages receive nutrition to keep them mobile.

Sharanagata Mudra

Sit in the Padmasana Position. Exhale, and inhaling raise the hands upward from the sides and join the palms. Exhaling, bend in the waist and touch the forehead on the floor keeping the hands straight. After taking the final position, continue smooth breathing.




Benefits: Reduces mental tension


Lie on your back, arms alongside. Raise both legs together - taking support of hands on the hips and elbows on the ground. Straighten the body - feet, knees, hips and back to form one vertical column from the base of the neck to the tip of the toes, feet stretched, toes pointed, chin pressed against the chest. Normal breathing.



Benefits. Promotes healthy secretion of the thyroid leading to healthy functioning of the circulatory, respiratory, alimentary and genito-urinary systems. Keeps the spine flexible preventing the bones from early ossification. Supplies large quantities of blood to the spinal roots of the nerves, giving them sufficient nourishment.


Sit with legs as in Padmasana - knees bent, feet on opposite thighs, heels towards the abdomen. Lie on your back. Placing hands near the head for support lift your back above the ground, keep the top of your head on the ground over a padded surface. Keep your hand on your feet and breathe normally.




Benefits: Makes the neck flexible and strong, increases the size of the rib cage, widens the windpipe and helps deep breathing. Relieves the neck after Sarvangasana. Also reduces a double-chin.


Lie on your back, legs straight, arms overhead, hands together, palms facing up. Sit up, take hands overhead, back straight, then bend forward to hold the big toes, head between arms and touching the knees.



Benefits. Reduces abdominal fat. Removes wind from the intestines and increases appetite.


Lie on your stomach, legs straight, toes pointed, arms stretched overhead, hands together, palms on the ground. Raise legs (knees straight), arms (hands together), chest and head to form a boatlike arch. Breathe normally.


Benefits. Improves appetite. Tones up the chest muscles and reduces abdominal fat.



Lie on your back, arms alongside. Raise legs as in Sarvangasana, then lower them overhead, knees straight, ankles stretched, toes pointed and touching the ground. Arms stay on ground as in beginning, palms on the ground. The posture resembles the shape of a plough.



Benefits: Makes the spine flexible, and increases the supply of blood to the muscles of the back. Aids in the stimulation of the thyroid and thymus glands helping one to look younger.


Lie on your stomach, hands under thighs, palms up, forehead on the wound, feet together, toes pointed. Raise legs as high as you can, knees straight. Do not take support of your hands.


Benefits: Helps remove muscular pains in the lower region of the back. Makes the lumbar vertebrae flexible.



Sit with legs stretched out in front, back straight. Place right foot against left thigh, heel as close to groin as possible. Raise arms overhead, hands together, thumbs locked. Bend down to hold left foot or toes from both sides, head as close to left knee as possible. Left knee should be straight, right knee on the ground.

Repeat asana with opposite leg positions.



Benefits: Increases digestive power and helps cure urinary problems.



Lie on your stomach. Bend knees, hold the ankles. Pull with your hands and push with your legs, knees together, till the trunk forms an arch with as far as possible only the stomach on the ground. After releasing the posture lie for a while in Shavasana.


Benefits: First reduces abdominal fat. The compression of the spinal column, pressing the nerves with the scapulae (the winged bones at the back attached to the arms) minimises
blood circulation while in the asana. But when the pose is released a greater supply of blood is circulated to those very regions increasing spinal flexibility


Sit with legs as in Padmasana knees bent, feet on opposite thighs, heels towards the abdomen, back straight. Hold your hands behind the back and on the ground, shoulders squared, head up. Slowly bend forward to touch the ground with the forehead in front of the shins. Don't raise hips.




Benefits: The purification of the blood is greatly enhanced by this asana.


Lie on your back. Bend knees, place feet apart to just outside the hips and close to hips, place hands over and beside the head, palms beside ears and shoulders. Without moving the hands and feet, push and raise trunk as high as possible to curve the back into an arch, look on the ground between the hands.




Benefits: Builds up a flexible back and stimulates the spinal nerves. This is one of the more powerful back-bending postures.


Lie on your back, arms alongside. Raise legs to 45 degrees, knees together, toes pointed. Keep lower back pressed to the ground. Breathe normally.


Benefits. Strengthens the abdominal muscles and the legs. Helps cure indigestion


Lie on your back. Bend one knee, hold it close to the chest, other leg straight, head on the ground. Repeat with the other knee. Repeat with both knees.

Sit with legs stretched in front. Bring one foot close to hips, hug the knee to chest, other leg stretched on the ground, back straight, head normal. Repeat with the other knee. Repeat with both knees.





Benefits: Removes gas from the abdomen and reduces abdominal fat. Increases the flexibility of the knees and hips.


Sit holding feet together, heels as close to groin as possible, knees should be as close to ground as possible. Keep the back erect possible, head up, chin down. Breathe normally.


Benefits: Specially recommended for those suffering from urinary disorders. The pelvis, the abdomen and the back get stimulated through a plentiful supply of blood. Keeps the kidneys, the prostate and the bladder healthy.


Variation A:- Stretched legs out in front. Bend right knee, place right foot on left
side of left knee, left leg straight. Hold left leg with left hand – keep right knee on the left of left arm. Turn trunk to right, look back over the right shoulder, right hand on ground for support or behind the back as close to left thigh as possible. Repeat with left knee bent and trunk turning to left.

Variation B:- Bend left knee, place left foot under right hip. Bend right knee, place right foot on left side of left knee. Hold left knee or right foot with the left hand - keep right knee on the left of left arm. Turn trunk to right, look back over right shoulder, right hand on ground or on waist as close to left thigh as possible. Repeat with left knee bent and trunk turning to left.

Another variation is that you may also hold hands through the gap below the raised knee.






Variation B






Benefits. Increases the elasticity of the spine, and massages the abdomen and internal organs.


Sit with right knee on left, back and head erect, feet on either side of the hips. Hold hands behind the back, right elbow pointing upward and left elbow pointing downward. Repeat with left knee on right, left elbow pointing upward. Remember that whichever knee is above, the same elbow points upwards



Benefits: Helps proper functioning of the gonad glands. Sitting in this asana for about 5-10 minutes helps handle insomnia

Ushtrasana / Ardhakurmasana combination

Kneel. Hold your ankles, push with your hands, arms straight, to raise your chest and form an arch, look up, head relaxed behind. Note: Start Ardhakurmasana IMMEDIATELY after this asana.



Benefits. Makes the spine supple. Increases blood flow to the brain. Good for back problems.



From Japanese sit (hips on or between the heels, knees together) bend down, arms stretched forward, forehead and palms on ground. Body completely relaxed. Normal breathing.

Benefits: Removes fat in the abdomen and buttocks. Helps to improve digestion.


Sit in Japanese style. Place top of the head on the ground as close to knees as possible, hold your heels and raise the hips until the arms are straight. Normal breathing.





Benefits: Increases digestive power. Helps the functioning of the liver and spleen. Makes the spine flexible.


Japanese sit. Hands on knees, abdomen drawn in, chest up, back straight, shoulders squared, head erect. Normal breathing.


Benefits: Aids digestion and helps cure sciatica (back pain)

Ashwini Mudra

Lie on your back, arms by the side. Raise both legs together with the support of the hands on the hips and elbows on the ground. Straighten the body - feet, knees, hips and back to form one vertical straight line from the base of the neck to the tip of the toes, feet stretched, toes pointed, chin pressed against the chest. Breath normally.




Benefits. Promotes a healthy thyroid leading to healthy functioning of the circulatory, respiratory, alimentary and genito-urinary systems. Also keeps the spine flexible preventing the bones from early ossification. Supplies large quantities of blood to the spinal roots of the nerves, giving them sufficient nourishment.


Sit down on your hands and knees. Keep arms and legs perpendicular to the floor. Knees should be as wide apart as the hip and the hands should be shoulder width apart. Inhale and curve the lower back down towards the floor, open the chest and shoulders and look ahead.




Exhale and curve the back up towards the ceiling, starting from the lower back followed by the upper back. Bring the crown of the head towards the floor and relax the neck down. Try to touch the chin to the chest

This asana helps release lower back pain and massage the back. Also very helpful during early pregnancy


In this asana, the upper body is balanced on the arms, by pressing the legs against the arms, and the feet lifted off the floor. From a sitting position, bring the feet in, close to the body, and come onto the toes with the support of the hands. Place the hands about 1 to 1.5 ft apart on the ground in front of the knees, with the fingers spread out. Bend the arms slightly and touch the inner side of the knees to the outer sides of the respective upper arms. The shins should also be touching the back of the respective upper arms.
Squeezing the knees against the arms and the arms pushing out against the knees, slowly lean the body forward, lifting the buttocks in the air, gradually transferring the body weight onto the hands. Then lift the feet off the floor, balancing the body on only the arms. The gaze should be on the ground about 3 ft forward.



Benefits: Balances the nervous system. Strengthens the arms and wrists. Develops physical balance.


From a sitting position, bring feet in, close to the body, and come onto the toes. Lift the left foot up and place it on the right thigh. Make sure that the right thigh is parallel to the ground. Adjust the right heel so that it presses against the perineum. The entire body weight is now borne by the toes and ball of the right foot.
Once balance is achieved, bring the hands to the front of the chest in namaskar.


Benefits: Strengthens the legs, especially the ankles and toes. Regulates the reproductive system. Prevents spermatorrhea. Stimulates the nervous system.

The next post will be on the Suryanamaskar program, a complete workout early in the morning.