How to perform Ukatasana variation
Stand up on your toes and let the weight of your body fall into your toes.
Now slowly while exhaling, sit down onto the heels.
Hold the position for at least 8-10 seconds.
Keeping your spine straight, place your hands on your knees and stare ahead to help your balance.
As you get more familiar with this exercise, you can gradually increase the length of time you spend when sitting down onto your heels.
At times I suffer with pain in my lower back, but my yoga practice definitely helps. Can you recommend any poses that I can practise at home?
It's good to hear that yoga is helping to relieve your back pain, but if you're regularly suffering with pain I'd advise that you see your GP as there may be an underlying cause such as a trapped nerve. In the meantime, there are countless poses that you can practise at home. Some of the poses provide different benefits, for example Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing dog) will not only strengthen the lower back, it will also improve your posture which helps support all your back muscles, while Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) energises and stimulates the spine. Alongside these two poses. I recommend performing Janu Shirasana (One leg extended pose), Dhanurasana (Bow). Ustrasana(Camel), Shalabhasana (Locust), Utkatasana (Chair) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended side angle pose).
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I've just turned 30 and I am practising celibacy out of my own choice. Are they any exercises I can practise to improve my ojas?
Your celibacy may not be a lifetime venture, but it is an excellent method to detox the mind, body and spirit and strengthen your own inner energy. In ancient traditions it's mentioned that vital sexual energy can be transformed into spiritual energy or juice known as ojas – a Sanskrit word that literally means ‘ vigour' According to Ayurvedic principles, when the ojas is sufficient the body is healthy and immune to illness, but when ojas is lacking it results in fatigue, weakness and disease. During celibacy, the sexual energy is not wasted, it can be used instead to feed and activate the higher intellectual plane. I would recommend the following postures: Gomukasana (Cow face pose), Padangusthasana (Big toe pose). Sheershasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand). Pranayama exercises and healthy eating can also help strengthen ojas.