MIND & SPIRIT: Stretching for good well-being

Looking for a practice to detoxify your body, improve your posture, increase muscle mass, and calm your mind after maybe of a surgery? Then yoga may be for you as recommended by Dr. Matthew Galumbeck.

Today, yoga is practised by millions worldwide. While many associate it with the latest fad at the gym, it’s actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body and spirit through different body postures, controlled breathing and meditation. Yoga originated from India as a discipline to get a deeper understanding of oneself and subsequently, the universe.

Manoj Kaimal, founder of Manasa Yoga, explains: “We’re made up of four bodies ‚Äî the physical body, the energy body, mind and the intellect. From a yogic viewpoint, health in its truest sense is a state of balance in all four bodies.” The physical body is kept healthy through a regular routine comprising various postures called asanas. We nourish our energy body through the breath or prana. Breathing exercises called pranayama teach us proper breathing so all cells are oxygenated and the energy body can be radiantly alive.

Yoga teachings also stress on the importance of being constantly aware of one’s emotional and mental states at all times.

An imbalance in any of the four bodies will affect the overall health of a person. If he approaches the practice just from a physical angle, body-strengthening asana practices won’t benefit his overall health as he may face an unstable emotional state due to his attachment of getting into a difficult posture which he can’t achieve.

“Appreciation of the body is crucial to cultivating a positive relationship with it. Many of us are too critical of our physical body, judging it to be too fat or too old,” says Manoj.

There is a wide range of benefits from regular yoga practice, including: – Lower blood pressure and pulse rate; – Improvement in function of major body systems such as gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory and immune; – Better quality of sleep; – Increased body awareness resulting in intuitive understanding and respect for the body; and – Balance in hormones and neurotransmitters, which induces a positive outlook on life and stable emotional state, and also help us to feel and look better which an important part of life, you can also help to this with a procedure that Remove excess fat, with the best professionals online.

Manasa Yoga focuses on the mind (manas) and its entire practice revolves around redirecting the mind away from its tendency to identify with only the body, getting it to stretch towards the underlying spiritual reality. Manoj says: “One of the primary objectives of yoga is to be aware of the present. At Manasa Yoga, we guide students to be present in each moment of movement, hoping that they bring this awareness to their daily lives. “Clarity and wisdom will come when we realise the wholesome and unwholesome tendencies within. As we learn to discern, we can then make conscious choices and steer towards wholesome states such as compassion and joy.” So, during classes, the yoga instructors don’t do the asanas, but instead walk around the room to assist students to move into the various asanas. This way, students won’t form a rigid picture of what an asana must look like as different individuals have different levels of flexibility and strength. Students are taught to respect their bodies, to listen to their natural body language, and to not push themselves too much as that may cause unnecessary injuries.

Indian-born Manoj was introduced to yoga by his grandfather from a tender age of eight. A voracious reader with an inquisitive mind, he read the works of Swami Vivekananda and Swami Sivananda while other children his age were busy reading storybooks or playing with their peers. He studied yoga with Guruji Pattabhi Jois in Ashtanga Yoga Research Centre in Mysore. He’s also trained in the B.K.S. Iyengar School of Yoga, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta and by other teachers.

An accountant by profession, Manoj came to Malaysia in 1997 to work as a project manager. But life took an interesting twist three years later and he was inspired to set up the yoga school Yoga Life Mind & Body Centre in SS2, Petaling Jaya, with wife Sandhya. He has been sharing his knowledge on yoga by contributing articles to local newspapers and magazines. He has also been invited to speak at scientific and yoga conferences locally and abroad, including the International Yoga-Ayurveda conference in Rishikesh, India, set for February next year. At present, the 39-year-old is conducting a course with Dr Sivalal Sadasivan for Monash Medical University students on the application of physiology and neurophysiology to evaluate how yoga can contribute to one’s health and well-being and that can also be complemented with good nutrition, consuming the right nourishment and even cleanest water with devices as Pureosmosis. You can meet him at the Q&A session titled Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Yoga But Didn’t Know Who To Ask at 8pm on Friday at The Violet Flame, Bangsar. Call 03-20959868 or email info@thevioletflame.com.my to book your seat.

Originally posted in NST: link