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May 2015

INNERGY INSIGHT

 

 

5 Terms from your Corporate Yoga Explained - Innergy Corporate Yoga Inc.

Loving your Corporate Yoga class these days?

Awesome! However, you may have heard your teacher mention a few terms that you didn’t understand or that weren’t explained properly. You may have even left the class feeling confused or worse yet, thinking “Oh no, my straight forward yoga class has become one of those kinds of classes.”

Well, we’re here to help. Here are 5 terms that your Corporate Yoga teacher (or any yoga teacher, really) may be dropping during your class that have you left you baffled or bewildered:

(1) Pranayama – Pranayama simply means “breathing exercises” or “the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises”. There are many different types of pranayama but one of the most common ones taught to beginners is “Alternate Nostril Breathing” or  “Nadi Shodhan pranayama”, where students hold one nostril shut while they breathe through the other one, then switch. The purpose of doing these breathing exercises is to slow your breathing down, which in turn slows your mind, reducing stress and bringing you into the present moment. Yoga teachers will often teach some pranayama for 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end of class, but it can show up anywhere in a yoga class. (If pregnant, pranayama can still be practiced but it is advised not to hold the breath.)


(2) Bandhas – Bandha means “lock”, “seal” or “bind”. There are 3 bandhas in the body (chin, abdominals and pelvic floor) and they are often tightened or contracted at different times during a yoga class in order to help the student breathe, retain energy and give the body a sense of lightness. When your yoga teacher tells you to “contract your mula bandha (pelvic floor lock), you’ll want to engage the muscles you would normally use to stop the flow of urine. This term may produce some giggles at first in a yoga class but over time, as it makes more sense to participants, it is actually looked forward to and is quite empowering.


(3) Mudras – Mudras are positions of the body, most commonly the hands and fingers, that are held in certain positions in order to positively influence your body or mind. For example, while seated in meditation, if your thumb and fore finger are lightly touching, this creates a circle in order for energy to flow more smoothly through the body. Bringing the hands together into Anjali mudra, a prayer-like position in front of the heart, indicates gratitude.


(4) Prana – Very simply, prana means “chi” or “life force”. Things like the leaves, trees and oceans contain this vital energy, and so do people. When you do yoga, you increase your prana, or very simply, you make more energy. The ancient texts say that people with more prana live longer.


(5) Om - Om is the sacred sound of the universe and has a detailed history of how it originated and what it means.  You’ll often hear this chanted at the end of a yoga class, although it’s not often chanted in our Corporate Yoga classes, as not everyone is comfortable with it, especially if co-workers are right outside the room being used for class. If you do hear it being used, don’t be afraid to use your voice and give it a try. Chanting OM will ground and center you, calm you down and make you feel like all is right with the world. You can literally feel the vibration that this sound creates echoing through your entire body.






May's Healthy Workplace Video
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose - Innergy Corporate Yoga Inc.

BENEFITS

Improves balance, memory and concentration.  Strengthens legs, ankles, buttocks, back and abdominal muscles.  Realigns the body.  Open the hips.  Improves focus and mental clarity and relaxes the mind.


INSTRUCTIONS


Step 1:
Take both shoes off and stand evenly into both feet.  Feel all four corners of each foot. 

Step 2:  Gaze at a spot on the wall ahead of you.  (This is a called a "drishti" in yoga class.)  Shift the weight into your right foot.  Lift your left leg off the ground and place your left foot at your right ankle, knee or inner thigh.  If your left foot is above your right knee, open your left knee out to the side by pressing your left foot into your right thigh.

Step 3: As you inhale, place your heads into prayer position and bring them to your heart.  If you find it difficult to balance this way, open your arms out to the sides. 

Step 4: Pull in your abdominal muscles, tuck your tailbone under, lift up through your chest and relax your shoulders.  Keep breathing.

Step 5: To go a step further, as you inhale, open your arms out to the sides and place palms together above your head.  To go even further, shift your focal point up to the ceiling by gazing upwards with your eyes.  Move slowly.

Step 6: To come out, bring your hands back to your chest, gaze comes forward.  Inhale, lift through your chest one last time, and as you exhale, release your hands, lower your arms and release your left leg to the floor.  Shake out your legs and repeat on the other side. 

Don't take balancing poses so seriously.  Have fun with this one!




Workplace Recipe of the Month
Coconut Avocado Grasshopper Bars

Coconut Avocado Grasshopper Bars - Innergy Corporate Yoga Inc.


Perfect to make on the weekend and then pack in your lunch bag for work during the week!



Mint Layer Ingredients

  • 1 Hass avocado
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 6 T. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/8 t. mint extract, or a drop or two of food-grade peppermint essential oil
  • dash of salt
Chocolate Layer Ingredients
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t. vanilla extract (I like to make my own)
  • dash of salt
Mint Layer Instructions

Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with foil. Place all ingredients in high powered blender (such as a Blendtec or Vitamix) or a food processor. Blend until smooth. (You can puree it if you want, but I like mine to have little flecks of coconut still.) Smooth mixture into prepared dish and stick in the freezer.

Chocolate Layer Instructions


In small saucepan, melt coconut oil and honey over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over chilled bottom layer and return to the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the chocolate layer is hardened. Remove from foil and cut into bars. Store covered in the freezer.



Source: Raias Recipes



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For more information on how to bring the many benefits of Corporate Yoga to your Canadian workplace, contact us today.


 

 

 
 
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