Discovering inner peace 25/4/2016

This week, we begin with a reading from the Mundaka Upanishad. We’re continuing to find ways to move aside the clouds, the veils, the busyness which covers our inner peace.

Lying on our backs, we will work with supine postures. Bending one knee, we will place the foot on the opposite knee-cap. With the help of the hand, we will move into a twist – the hand gently guiding the bent knee down to the mat on the opposite side. We repeat this the other way. Then, with both knees bent and the feet hip-distance apart and touching the mat, we will work with the gentle twist. Let’s follow that with a deeper twist, where the knees are drawn in to the rib-cage, (Vakrasana).

Now, we will move into the bridge postures, (Sethu-Bandhasana). We will explore all forms.

Still on the back, we’ll continue with nose to knee poses, (Apanasana).

If there is time, we’ll repeat the twists, and then sit up through the boat,(Navasana)

Now it is time to meet the challenge pose, the tortoise, (Kurmasana). We’re working with this one each week this half-term, and will cover all forms.

The Pranayama exercise is alternate nostril breathing, (Nadi Shodhana), and the Meditation will be breathing in peace and breathing out peace. For the long relaxation, we will use the breath and the magic of yoga to take us into  deep state of inner peace.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti. (Shanti means peace.).

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Inner peace

This week we are continuing to find ways to uncover our Inner peace.

We’ll begin with mindful breathing in relaxation posture. After stretches and warm-ups, we will stand for the Tree of Life breath. Moving then into the asana work, we will meet Warrior 2 and the Triangle. Let’s follow this with a deep forward bend, supported back-bend and then standing twist.

The mountain Sequence is excellent for developing stamina and endurance. We will practice three times. Then we’ll see how we’re doing on balance. The Tree balance helps us find outer and inner balance. Salute to the Moon will follow, also practised three times.

Going down through the Squat, we will sit for butterfly knees, rocking buddha, then work with the challenge pose – Tortoise, Kurmasana.

For meditation, we imagine that we have a large crystal within. As you breathe in the crystal grows larger, and as you breathe out you release into sapphire blue.

Relaxation will be the beautiful Surya kriya. Imagine that you have your own personal sun, hovering three foot above you. As you breathe in, draw down the warmth and the energy of the sun into your body. As you breathe out, radiate that warmth and energy through every part of your being.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Back to class 12/4/2016

We’re back to yoga this week for the Summer term. Our first class focusses on ‘peace’. Many people join a yoga class to find peace. The truth is that no-one else can give you peace. It is already within you. Yoga makes all conditions favourable for you to remove the clouds, the veils, the busy-ness from your mind, so that you can uncover your inner peace.

We begin with an alternative way to look at the Serenity Prayer.

Short relaxation, stretches and warm-ups, then seated poses: Dandasana, the staff pose; paschimottonasana, the forward bend (with the knees bent, ribs and thighs firmly connected, creep the feet forward until you are in a deep forward bend.); janu-sirsasana, (one knee bent, working with small but accurate movement. Spine and head are in one straight line.); seated twists, all forms, completing with Vakrasana, the easy twist. (Start twisting at the base of the spine.); We follow these with Purvottonasana, the inclined plane; now on to butterfly knees, rocking buddha, walking backwards using the hips. Our challenge posture of this half-term is Kurmasana, the tortoise. We will look at this one in depth.

Cool-downs are followed by a combination of Pranayama and meditation in the form of Sama Vritti Pranayama, the square breath. We complete our practise with the 22 body part relaxation.

Throughout the practise, we will be mindful. Always seeking to uncover the peace within.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti