Focussing on the Crown Chakra 29/2/2016

This time, my lovely weekly students, we are focussing on the Crown Chakra.

We will begin with a short relaxation, a reading on mindfulness and the stretches and warm-ups.

The Pranayama exercise is Kapalabhati, the skull- shining breath.

We will move into work with the Hare Pose, Shashasana. After resting in the Child Pose, Balasana, we’ll move on to pose of devotion, Dharmikasana.

Since the Downward Facing Dog is our challenge pose of this half-term, we will continue with the sequence Swan – Cat – Dog. We’ll spend some time on Dog alone.

All the way through this class, we are focussing on the Crown Chakra. Now, we will meet the Half-Headstand, and for those who are fit and eager I will offer a way of doing the Headstand, Sirsasana, safely on two chairs.

The meditation is ‘So’ on the in-breath, ‘Ham’ on the out-breath.

The relaxation practice is working with the 22 body parts, Marmanasthanam Kriya.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

A Brow Chakra class

This week, 22/2/2016, we’re focussing on the brow chakra. here is the practice for my weekly students.

After the short relaxation, the stretches and the warm-ups, we will work with Brahmari, the bee-breath. We will sit in thunderbolt, breathe in, and then hum away the out-breath all the way down to the mat. We touch the mat with the brow chakra, Ajna.

Seated, we will then work with forward bends, first of all towards individual legs, and then down the middle. We follow this with a side stretch.

Our challenge pose of this half-term is the dog, Svenasana. We will do a mini-workshop on this pose, staying mindful and focussing on the brow chakra.

We will move into the strong postures, cobra, locust and bow. Then push up and into child, Balasana. Here we will repeat the Bhramari breath routine.

After the cool-downs, we will prepare for meditation. We will use our meditation pose as a triangle. Breathing in we move the energy from the right knee to the brow chakra. Breathing out, we move the energy from the brow chakra to the left knee. Holding the breath out, we move back to the right knee.

For the long relaxation we will continue the focus on the breath. Breathing in, we move the energy from the base of the spine to the brow chakra. Breathing out, we move the energy from the brow chakra to the base of the spine.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti…

A generic class

Here is a generic yoga practice for my weekly students. This is an easy-to-follow class for any occasion.

Begin in the short relaxation. Think of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Stretches and warm-ups, then on to all fours for the cat pose. Check that the wrists are below the shoulders, the knees below the hips, the feet flat. Use cat stretch and breath. Be mindful of the spine. Focus.

Rest in swan.

Back to all fours. Count through the breath. 1/2 as you fill the abdomen, 3/4 as you fill the ribs, 5/6 as you fill the chest. Then 1/2 as you empty the abdomen, 3/4 as you empty the ribs, 5/6 as you empty the chest.

Rest in swan.

Now add a leg movement in your cat position. As you breathe out, bring your right knee into touch your nose. As you breathe in, extend your right leg behind and the head looks up. Repeat several times. Now repeat with the left leg.

Rest in swan.

Move into swan-cat-dog sequence. In breath is always in cat. Repeat several times. Use ujjayi breath, if you are familiar with it. Then come to stand through dog pose.

Standing in mountain, perform the tree of life breath. 9 times in each direction.

Now take your hands to your hips for forward bend. If possible, tuck your fingers under your toes.

Rest in mountain.

Take your hands to your lower buttocks for an assisted backward bend. Work with awareness. Repeat twice more.

Rest in mountain.

Now extend the arms and work with standing twist. On an out breath, twist to the right, bend the left elbow and place the left hand on the right shoulder. Gaze towards the right fingertips. Repeat to the left and continue many times.

Rest in mountain.

Try the tree balance. Remember to find a gaze point to keep you steady.

Rest in mountain.

Return to the mat through the squat.

Kneel for cool downs.

Prepare for meditation. With eyes closed and hands in chin mudra, imagine the sound SO as you breath in and HAM as you breathe out. Repeat.

Prepare for relaxation. Run through the 22 body part relaxation. Begin at the toes, finish at the forehead. Repeat.

Finish your relaxation by rolling onto one side.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

A throat chakra class for my weekly students

This week, 8/2/16, we are focussing on the throat chakra, VISHUDHA. We’ll begin with three resounding OMs.

Shoulderstand, SARVANGASANA, plough, HALASANA, and fish, MATSYASANA follow.

Moving through boat, NAVASANA, we sit for butterfly knees and half-lotus, ARDHA-PADMASANA.

We’ll stand for 9 rounds of Salute to the moon, CHANDRA NAMASKAR, chanting the seed sounds in between each round.

Returning to the mat through the squat, UTKATASANA, we will work with BRAHMARI, the bee-breath, and then JALANDHARA BANDHA, the throat lock.

Meditation will be chanting the GAYATRI MANTRA and in the long relaxation we will silently repeat SO on the in-breath and HAM on the out-breath.

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

Practice for my weekly students. 1/2/2016

This week we are focussing on the heart chakra, ANAHATA.

We begin with a mindfulness reading, then move to mindful breathing. This will open the heart. We will add ujjayi, the victorious breath.

PARSVOTTONASANA is a movement which opens the heart, too. It’s a standing forward bend and backward bend with the hands joined behind the back.

PADAHASTASANA takes us into a deep forward bend, and the second time it will be performed with the shoulders rotated.

Lets follow this with a supported backward bend, and standing twist.

We’ll work on the abdominal lock again. Uddiyan means to ‘fly upwards’. The prana will fly upwards to the heart.

Passing through squat, we will move on to half-came and full camel. (USTRASANA.)

We won’t forget the challenge pose for this half-term! ARDHA-PADMASANA.

Meditation will be silent repetition of the heart seed sound, YAM.

Relaxation will be about settling in the heart. (Left hand on the heart, right hand on the lower abdomen.)

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI