Sunday, December 7, 2014

India day seven - Yoga proof!

Vrksasana with BKS
I just finished the 7th day of the Iyengar Yoga intensive.

Geeta's focus over the past 7 days has been on opening up the chest, spreading the ribs and aligning the spine. Standing poses, forward bends, inversions and twists; whatever asana sequence awaits us we know that Geeta's method is pure Iyengar. Each sequence is presented in incremental steps, carefully planned,  and finely tuned as Geeta leads each student closer to the transformation of Yoga.

Photo op with the ladies - Xuan,Me, Tammy
and Alicen 
I will say, that because of the accent it has been a little difficult at times to understand her instructions. I often find myself translating in my head what she has said and then I find that I missed the next three sentences. Still, her ability to guide you towards the essence of the pose is pure brilliance. I feel so fortunate to be here experiencing this event.

On Friday a local PhD who is also a student at the Pune Yoga institute gave a presentation on the scientific evidence that Yoga really does work. There was some great reference material but specifically the practice of Yoga:

Affects your muscles, bones and organs:
  • increases muscle length and longer muscles are stronger muscles. In turn muscles supply nutrition to the bone and keep the bone healthy.
  • Stimulates new bone by weight bearing action.
  • Arteries are made of muscles, so when we extend and contract the arteries are "exercised" and elasticity is increased.
  • Legs up the wall at break time
    The heart is a muscle. When we do back bends, the heart is massaged between the back and front ribs.
  • Creates space in the rib cage and abdomen area bringing freedom to the organs
  • Inversions bring the blood in the bottom of the lungs to mix with the oxygen in the other 2/3 of the lungs which helps to circulate the oxygen more efficiently in the body and improve stamina.
So that is just a small portion of her findings. She also had references to about 10 medical studies all supporting the evidence that Yoga works on structural and chronic health issues as well.
we called this the nuclear soup!
Other adventures have been the food. We are getting really tired of Indian food, but even when you order something that is not Indian, it still tastes like Indian! Our favorite was the restaurant where we got "green" food. Needless to say, It was not appetizing. The other night Tammy and I ate at Mc Donalds (seriously I normally do not eat at fast food) and we were ecstatic because it tasted like "home"! Even Tammy's McVeggie burger was good!
Also, they have their own sense of "time" here in India. Everything is "5 minutes only" and then it is not really 5 minutes only. More like 30 minutes or more - if they understood what you were saying.
At the institute with the ladies.
Picture of BKS in background
Fun shopping!
Traveling in this city is a nightmare. We don't realize how fortunate we are that we can jump in the car and get somewhere relatively quickly. Here in India, a 10 mile drive can take upwards of 45 minutes to 1 hour or more depending on traffic. we pick and choose our adventures wisely. A simple dinner can turn out to be a 3 hour adventure between driving, service and traffic.

Shopping has been fun! Our dollar is strong here so we have been able to purchase some beautiful things for our friends and family at home. It is weird to see things about Christmas on FB or the news because we feel so far removed from that season here in India.

 Most of you who are reading this are now just thinking about dinner or going to bed for your Sunday evening. In India it is Monday morning and I am off to day 8 of the intensive. Have a great week everyone!




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