11500905496_1be259ac2c_z Photo by Dennis Yang


Yoga-on-the-go is the sequence that Andre Van Lysbeth outlines in the wonderful book – Yoga Self-Taught. This book is a must have for anyone keen on learning yoga. The author break down each of the nice asanas into many steps and discusses each step in detail. The sequence is for those who are pretty fit and flexible and has been practicing yoga for some time if one was to follow it as the author details. If you are beginner in yoga, you definitely want to start with gentle hatha yoga classes developing strength and flexibility. I started learning yoga from this book about 34 years back when I was young and lean and flexible. My determination at that age saw me getting adept at all the asanas in a few months. If one is aged or inflexible or has any physical limitations, I would strongly suggest that you look at a beginner class as I mentioned earlier. But for those of you who can, you can fit your practice into a 30 minute routine – easy enough so that the determined can practice even daily. In fact the book was written with the Westerner in mind who had no idea what yoga was about 40+ years back. There is a full chapter just on the mechanics of breathing which is just outstanding education.

The sequence goes like this.

Surya Namaskar
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Halasana (Plough)
Matsyasana (Fish)
Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend)
Bhujangasana (Cobra)
Shalabasana (Locust)
Dhanurasana (Bow)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated twist)
Sirsasana (Head stand)

Followed by Uddiyana Bandha (the abdominal lock) and Jalandhara Bandha (Throat lock). This is then followed by Shavasan.

If you have some experience with the practice, then you can seek the guidance of an experienced teacher and with variations start to learn the sequence and finally master it.

Regular yoga practice has a lot of advantages as opposed to just strength training

– strengthens the body muscles and bones. Many weight-bearing asanas have the same effect on bone strengthening as weight lifting exercises; advantage – you don’t have to go to the gym to practice an asana

– regulates hormone generation. Meditation is known to soothe nerves and controlled breathing increase the quality of sleep.

– instills a sense of balance by regulating stress combating particles (cortisol)

– In a study, researchers found that the incidence of breast-cancer in women who practiced yoga was far less than those who didn’t.

– Overall, yoga develops a higher sense of awareness of one’s own body and mind.

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