Kundalini

Yoga is the science of the self, and kundalini is the awakening of the self.
We’ve been focusing on sushumna, ida and pingala. Now we take a look at kundalini. ‘Kundal’ means ‘the lock of hair from the beloved’ and the word is sanskrit. The lock of hair is said to reside at the base of the spine, the root chakra. Yoga practice enables us to raise that energy up through the other wheels of energy and to the crown.
We begin this week’s class seated. We’ll work with forward bends in the form of paschimottonasana and janu-sirsasana. Then we’ll meet a wide-legged forward bend.
Let’s progress to butterfly knees, rocking buddha, and the balance known as merudandasana. Now on to the tortoise – kurmasana.
Seated twists will keep us focused on the spine, and awakening the kundalini energy. Now for the mermaid. I love this one!
Let’s stand for our last attempt on this half-term’s challenge pose – the deep forward bend. And then down through the squat, which we’ll use as a balance.
We’ll work with the seed sounds in meditation – lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om, soham.
For relaxation we’re going to use part of the relaxation technique known as Alu Loma Viloma Kriya. Taking the awareness to the base of the spine, as we breathe in we draw the energy up to a point in the centre of the skull. As we breathe out, we take the energy from that point in the centre of the skull back down to the base of the spine.
Half-term next week.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Let’s focus on Sushumna

The Sushumna originates from the root chakra and terminates at the crown of the head. It carries vital energy which nourishes the whole nervous system and stimulates the pineal gland.
We’ll begin this week with our three gentle movements to raise our awareness of the inner energies. We’ll then move on to the shoulderstand, plough and fish poses. Now let’s try moving from plough to seated forward bend.
Coming onto all fours, we’ll work with cat stretch and breath, then progress into the sequence swan – cat – dog. Using the dog pose to stand, we’ll greet again our challenge pose of this half-term, the deep forward bend. Is your crown resting on the mat yet?!
Then, still standing, we’ll invite the balance of the solar and lunar energies by an arm-opening breathing exercise. Let’s add ujjayi.
Coming back to the mat through the squat we’ll do cool-downs then sit to meditate. We’re going to use a gentle hand movement, representing the opening of the lotus flower. Then relaxation will feature the eternal mantra of OM.
Next week is class as usual, then the following week is half-term. (June 1st and June 2nd.)
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

All about Ida

Ida, pronounced EEda,is the left nerve channel residing in the spine, which carries the cooling, lunar, receptive energy.
We’ll begin our practice with the Tree of Life breath, but we’ll alternate our focus – first on the left nostril and then on the right. We’ll move into Mountain Sequence, being very aware of the half-moon stretch. Let’s move on to ardha-chandrasana, the half-moon balance. This one’s tricky!
From one challenge to another as we bend from the hips and meet the deep forward bend. This time, we’ll use the out-breath through the left nostril to take us lower.
Now to a standing twist. we’ll pause, dwell, on the left side.
Squatting we’ll return to the mat and work with Bhramari, the bee-breath. Let’s chant for meditation – ‘the river it is flowing’ has a second verse which is all about the moon.
Relaxation is Anu Loma Viloma Kriya, where we work with the in-breath on the right side, and the out-breath on the left.
This practice is all about Ida, the channel which carries the lunar energy.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Pingala – positive, solar energy

Pingala is the nerve channel or nadi which carries positive, solar energy. This week we’ll be exploring Pingala and the effect it has on us.
We’ll begin by paying attention to the breath at the point of the nostrils. After a while, we’ll focus on just the right nostril.
After the stretches, we’ll use some gentle movements to get in touch with our energies. Coming to sitting through the boat, we’ll proceed into the sitting twists. This week, we’ll repeat the twists to the right side.
Standing, we’ll move into a deep forward bend, and then continue on to the wide-legged forward bend. Here we meet the challenge pose for this half-term.
Now let’s explore a standing twist movement, but we’ll pause as we twist to the right. We’ll finish with one slow Salute to the Sun.
Squatting will bring us back down for cool-downs and meditation. We’ll begin with alternate nostril breathing and then move into a deeper awareness of the right nostril.
Relaxation focuses on the breath, too. We’ll breathe in strength and breathe out weakness.
If you have any big decisions to make this week, or if you have some practical tasks which needs strength, attack them this weekend! This class will serve you!
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti