More on hatha yoga

‘Patanjali gave us the blueprint for ways to unite the body, mind and spirit. One of the most common ways, he tells us, is through asanas or postures This is the yoga called HATHA, which involves using the body to change the internal state of mind and consciousness.’

This week we’ll begin with bridges. Then move on to the nose to knee postures. Lying twists follow, and up to sitting through the boat. Smile!!

Let’s work with butterfly knees, the tortoise and our favourite balance, merudandasana. We’ll visit with the half-camel and full-camel before standing for the mountain pose, the sun breath and salute to the moon.

The meditation is sama vritti pranayama with a twist. We’ll focus on the sun with the in-breath, the moon with the out-breath, and stillness for the hold of breath.

Relaxation invites each of the 22 main body parts to ‘let go’.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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More on hatha yoga

We’re continuing to look at the classical paths of yoga. Hatha is the physical side of yoga and focuses on balancing the solar energy, HA, with the lunar energy, THA.

We’re working, in depth, on the Mountain Pose, Tadasana. From Mountain we’ll go into Malla Kriya, the whooshing breath. Let’s ‘whoosh away’ 2016! Then we’ll proceed with the more spiritual Tree of Life Breath. We’re going to explore a forward bend, using the breath to take us further, then the same with a backward bend. A twist will help to balance the two sides of the body, then we’ll be ready for the Tree balance.

Moving back to the mat through the squat, we’ll come on to all fours. In the cat stretch and breath we can add Ujjayi breathing. This will firmly focus the mind. And let’s continue with Swan – Cat – Dog, still using Ujjayi, the victorious breath.

After some different cool-downs, meditation will build on last week’s. HA on the in-breath, and THA on the out-breath. Relaxation will continue the focus on the breath. Anu Loma Viloma Kriya ensures that we are strongly aware of the two sides.

An important part of Hatha Yoga practice is cleansing the nadis or channels. PINGALA starts in the right nostril and represents solar energy – HA. IDA starts in the left nostril and represents lunar energy – THA.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

HATHA YOGA

This term we will be looking at the various different classical yoga paths. We’ll begin with Hatha Yoga. HA means sun, and THA means moon. The physical aspect of yoga (i.e. working with the asanas, the breathing and ways of cleansing) is a discipline which prepares us for union with the divine. Hatha Yoga is said to be the ‘stairway to raja yoga.’

You’ll like the challenge pose this half-term! It’s the mountain pose, tadasana. This one looks easy, but does have many layers…From mountain we”ll go into tree of life breath. Then work with forward bends, backward bend and twists. We’ll be considering how yoga practice brings us into balance – the left and the right sides, the back and the front, the upper and the lower, the masculine and the feminine, and the mind and the body.

Let’s try the mountain sequence with the arms shoulder width apart. Then work with the tree balance.

Moving down through the squat, we’ll sit for forward bend, backward bend and a series of twists.

The meditation will feature ‘HA’ on the in breath and ‘THA’ on the out breath. Relaxation will be Anu Loma Viloma Kriya, a great practice for observing and balancing the solar and lunar energies within us.

That’s the way to start the New Year! Coming into perfect balance!

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti