Q & A With Ravi Singh & Ana Brett

3 Questions & Answers From You I have recently become pregnant. Kundalini yoga is my main source of physical exercise and I practice it several times a week. I have read that yoga is excellent exercise for pregnant women. How can I continue my practice safely? Which of your DVD’s do you recommend?

Thanks for writing and congratulations! So much of Kundalini Yoga is beneficial in preparing for childbirth: The breath techniques we use are similar to those used in the Lamaze method and will help to soothe stress and increase breathe awareness – very important for a smooth delivery! Root Lock (similar to Kegals) is very beneficial for pregnant women, as are squatting poses, butterfly, sitting cross-legged, cat/cow etc… There are many, many exercises in Kundalini Yoga that will help to keep you toned and fit and in great condition for a perfect childbirth. Through the 4th month you have some latitude and can do almost anything. After 4 months you must exercise caution. Avoid doing anything on your stomach or any kind of stomach pumping. Also, do a lighter Breath of Fire and lie on your side instead of your back when you relax. Many of our students have practiced and in some cases, taught, Kundalini Yoga up until the last day of their pregnancy and have had healthy happy deliveries and babies. Always monitor your own body carefully. Use common sense and if anything feels uncomfortable either modify or avoid it altogether. The DVD’s we recommend during pregnancy are: Yoga Cleanse (set 2 on Yoga Cleanse is very good for morning sickness and, in fact, would be a good set to do throughout your pregnancy. Kundalini Yoga for Beginners and Beyond – The first set should be able to be done the entire time with slight modifications. Dance the Chakras Yoga Workout and Fat Free Yoga are both great for toning, tuning and their light cardio effect. Meditation is also valuable at this time and there are excellent meditations at the end of these DVD’s. According to yoga, when a woman meditates in the first 4 months of pregnancy, she attracts an “exalted” soul. Please note that we are currently planning a pre/post natal workout due out in 2007 How does the Fat Free Yoga DVD work? How fast will I get results? Thanks for writing. As evidenced by people who have been on a diet merry-go-round their whole lives, weight loss is more then a one dimensional proposition. The Fat Free Yoga DVD works on all the important elements of weight loss. These include glandular balance, improving energy flows in the body and allowing energy into areas where it had been previously blocked. A very important aspect of Fat Free Yoga is its focus on the emotional level. People often hold extra weight to armor themselves against feelings they would rather not confront. In Kundalini Yoga, we call breathing practices, especially Long Deep Breathing, emotional psychotherapy, because they help us access deep places in the musculature, nervous system and psyche to help free up trapped energy. If you practice the Fat Free DVD on a regular basis you will see some results within a month. If you combine it with some extra (mild) cardio like brisk walking, and eat sensibly, you will see results more quickly. I love your workouts but I am Catholic and feel uncomfortable chanting mantras in some other religion’s language I don’t even understand. My friend said I should probably not be doing the yoga. What is your take on this? We like to tell people that yoga is not a religion, but hopefully something they will do religiously. The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to be a technology to help people be the best they can be in every aspect of their lives. Our hope is that this work will deepen and enhance your religious life.

The mantras, etc. in Kundalini Yoga are known as “Primal” sounds and are considered to be Universal.

If the mantras still make you uncomfortable, you can substitute words that have meaning for you. For instance, “Sat Nam” could be “Lord Jesus,” “Wah Hay Guru” could be “Hallelujah.” etc…

We hope you will be inspired to continue your yoga practice!

Breath Meditation to Work thru Fears Sit comfortably, with your spine straight. The arms are rounded out to the sides and at a 60 degree, hands cupped. The hands will be about 8 inches apart (above the head). Your eyes are 1/10th open gazing down and in towards the tip of the nose. Inhale in 8 equal sniffs through the nose, as you think Sa-Ta-Na-Ma twice.

Exhale in 8 equal sniffs through the nose as you think Sa-Ta-Na-Ma twice.

Hold the breath out for 16 counts as you think Sa-Ta-Na-Ma 4 times. Continue for up to 11 min. As you hold the breath out relax the diaphragm. If you have the impulse to inhale you can actually exhale some more, by pulling your navel in towards the spine. To end, inhale deeply and hold the breath for up to 15 seconds. Exhale, lower the arms, and relax. Feel fearless! When we hold the breath out we are, in effect, simulating a life threatening experience to the psyche and our fears kick in. This exercise can help us gracefully confront our fears and move beyond them. In life, when fears gains ascendancy over our thoughts and emotions, our breath becomes rapid and shallow, or is unnaturally held. This breath meditation establishes a new breath rhythm which will vanquish fear. Sa-Ta-Na-Ma (Existence, Life, Death, and Rebirth) is the cycle of Creation. The position of the arms in this one represents a Divine Shield. Fear is a defense mechanism which manifests, when we are confronted by the unknown. We perceive a lack of control, resources, sustenance, or love. Ultimately all fears are extensions of the fear of death, which is the ultimate unknown. Many people live offthe energy others, or rely on artificial means to get energy, i.e., coffee, alcohol, and sugar. Reliance on anything creates a constant state of fear. When we forge a relationship with the breath we have the means to live off our own energy, and to constantly regenerate. Consider stories of people who’ve committed suicide when facing financial ruin. Yoga states that when we unite with the source of all energy, which is deathless, we have a direct link to infinite abundance. Where there is energy, there can be no fear. Also on our website: Tocos Superfood We are happy to introduce a new raw food supplement which is for sale now on our website. It’s called Tocos. It’s a super antioxidant powder. It is a great, healthy (and tasty!) thickener for smoothies. Even eaten straight from the jar with a spoon – it’s delicious!!! (follow with a swig of water- it is a great way to remind you to drink more water!!) Tocotrienols are a much more potent form of vitamin E than the more standard form. Tocos improves circulation, prolongs life of red blood cells, and strengthens capillary walls. It contributes to healthy skin and hair. It’s a powerful antioxidant and diminishes the effects of harmful free radicals. Tocos is a proven aid in the prevention of cardio vascular disease and has been helpful in helping people prevent cancers of the lung, stomach, colon, breast, and cervix. Tocos promotes fertility in men and women. It also helps with vitamin A absorption.

For healthy live food recipes check out Ana’s Live Food Page. Go to: http://raviana.com/live_foodhttp 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.