June Questions And Answers With Ravi & Ana

YOGA BLISS HIPS – HOW DOES IT WORK I own all of your dvd’s, most of them I purchased used or swapped other dvd’s to obtain them. I frequent several online exercise forums and in reviewing your dvd, Yoga Bliss Hips, many people say that they feel that the dvd doesn’t contain enough hip openers. This is actually one of my most used Kundalini dvd’s. The first time I used it I felt that addressed the hips on more than one level. I’m currently in school for medical massage therapy and I’ve learned that you can often more effectively open an area if you also address the surrounding areas that may be contributing to the tightness. You also mention that the hips are related to moving forward in life so perhaps more is required than simply trying to force the hips to physically open. Perhaps there is much more to be gained in our lives when we work our hips than simply obtaining a perfect lotus position. I can even see where the laughter section, which relaxes the diaphragm can decrease pressure in the lower abdominal area and in that way facilitate release in the hips – at least that’s what I was thinking. At any rate after speaking positively of this dvd multiple times I thought I’d email and ask you about it directly. Thank you very much for putting out your excellent dvd’s. I’m very much looking forward to the next two due out in July. L Thanks for writing. You are absolutely correct that there is more to the hips than the hips. As you know, Kundalini Yoga views us humans multi-dimensionally. We feel that hip opening is important. We have seen that many people are locked in this area because of unresolved emotional issues manifesting as an inability to move forward towards fulfillment. On the physical level the pelvic area is the framework for the psoas muscle which is essentially our core. When the solar plexus is tight from stress and emotional duress, the psoas muscle is forced to compensate and the hips become tighter. On the metaphysical level the hip area relates to the second chakra, our water element, creativity and uniqueness. When people graduate from a first to a second center orientation, a ‘same old same old’ world view becomes one filled with new and exciting possibilities. We did, in fact, design Yoga Bliss Hips with the concept of less is more. When someone works the hips but doesn’t address the underlying issues (with regard to why the hips were tight in the first place) then they will tend to further the imbalance. In other words, overworking an area often yields the opposite of what was intended. The subtitle for Yoga Bliss Hips is Kundalini Yoga for Hip Opening and Mood Mastery. We used hip work as an inroad to the emotional level and emotional work to facilitate hip opening. The meditation at the end, So Darshan Chakra Kriya is the most powerful technique we know of to help people address the core issues of their lives. Thanks again for writing and for your insights. It is rewarding to hear from people who are benefiting from their Kundalini Yoga practice and gaining insight into its workings! Suddenly Stiff Hello! I am 49 years old, and the last year or so, when I sit cross legged, my muscles are very stiff! I noticed at first with my thighs, they do not want to flatten, it’s very strange. Then I noticed that actually, all my muscle are sort of sore. It’s really hard for me to even do the breathing exercises with the beginners dvd! Jeez, that’s weird, can’t even sit crossed legged! I was never like this before. Have you heard of it? Is it some kind of mineral deficiency? I have been trying to look it up in books or Google it, and all I see so far is fibromyalgia. I don’t think I have that! I am not excessively tired or anything, just so stiff, as if I overworked at the gym! Maybe I am old? Oh dear. I don’t like this at all. Thanks for writing. Stiff muscles can occur from a variety of causes. For example, when we’re sick the fascia (connective tissue) contracts. Stress, tension, and time also cause the fascia to contract. It is not actually age that makes us stiff (check out a gym class of average 17 year olds!) but what we do or don’t do as we age that affects our flexibility. When we don’t spend some time stretching, our bodies quickly become used to a more limited range of motion–especially if we spend a lot of time sitting in chairs or driving. This causes our core muscle to contract, and since flexibility starts at the core, it affects us all over. Flexibility means free range of motion in the joints and healthy fascia. When we stretch we increase the moisture level in our tissues which keeps our muscles supple and young. The best thing to do to bring back our flexibility is to focus on the breath and on relaxing. Work on releasing your diaphragm muscle which is intimately connected to the psoas (core muscle). This will help your body release. We recommend any of the DVD’s but especially Ultimate Stretch Workout, Yoga Bliss Hips, and Dance the Chakras Yoga Workout. Diet: Be sure you are drinking plenty of low mineral water. Silica is a great supplement for flexibility as well as MSM and tocopherals. A more alkaline diet will help increase suppleness. Try adding more vegetables and salads. We wish you the best of luck with your yoga practice! YOGA RUG I have limited physical space which does not lend itself to a long rectangular yoga mat. After watching your videos I have tried to locate a similar round mat with no results. I know there are many round rugs to be purchased anywhere, but will very much appreciate any information you can provide which describes … in detail … the size, material, thickness, etc. which you use in your Kundalini Yoga DVD’s. I was hoping you offered some on your website for sale, but please help if you can. Best regards, T.B. Thanks for writing. The round mat is a shag type rug made of a mix of cotton and synthetic materials and was purchased by our set designer at a Bed Bath & Beyond in NYC. (and T.B. wrote back….) Many thanks for taking time to share this information. I did some serious looking and stumbled on an almost perfect solution at T.J. Max. I think it is a shame that a product exactly like this is not offered for all Kundalini Yoga practitioners as a very convenient alternative to larger, bulkier foam mats. After seeing your DVD’s using such a mat, I am sold!! Here is the label description: HOME TRADITIONS Style: HTBB-406 Color: White Size: 26 Round Fiber Contents: 100% Cotton Made in India RN 115320 Price was originally ~$18. but the key thing for me is that it is double sided and this double thickness makes it as comfortable as a foam mat without being bulky or too ‘cushy’. I am 6’2″, 195#, and 69 years. This is a terrific mat in size, price and comfort. Just some thoughts to feed back since you were so kind to respond to my inquiry. Peppermint PlantThe Peppermint Tea Challenge We first learned of the Peppermint Tea Challenge in Brooklyn, NY from our incredible music talent – Tom Carden. He and his roommates decided to keep a pitcher of Peppermint Tea chilling in the refrigerator from which they fill mugs to sip all day long. This is an excellent alternative to less healthy beverages (like say … beer) to stay hydrated through the summer months. The only side effects they have experienced is a relaxation response (from the peppermint) as well as an incredible energy buzz (we guess from staying hydrated and maybe the peppermint as well)! “The challenge” is to simply keep the pitcher filled the entire summer and never run out!!!!! We recommend the loose leaf organic type of teas. Simply bring water almost to a boil, toss in the tea leaves, let them steep for at least a few minutes, and then pour the tea through a strainer into a pitcher. You can sweeten this with honey or agave syrup. If you do not care for Peppermint Tea then substitute your favorite! PS: Many of you have been asking about the music on our DVD’s. We will be compiling all the “greatest hits” to be published later this year. We wish you all an amazing, productive, happy June! All Best to You, Ravi Singh & Ana Brett

www.raviana.com / 212.982.5518

by Ravi Singh & Ana Brett
Ravi and Ana been featured presenters at the Midwest Yoga Conference, The Toronto Yoga Show, and the Six Days on Freedom Retreat. Their clients have included Olympic Athletes and celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Lou Reed, Carrie-Anne Moss, Donna Karan, and The Red Hot Chile Peppers. They’ve taught in many diverse contexts: from Iceland to Maui, Canada to Costa Rica, from boardrooms and Park Avenue Penthouses, to scientists at Bell Labs, from Opera Singers at the Aspen Music Festival and street kids in Los Angeles to backstage at Broadway plays. They are Authors of the Fat Free Yoga DVD series and the forthcoming book Fat Free Yoga.