Asana

Namaste to you lovely people! I’m feeling very grateful today, so I’d like to thank each and every one of you for following my blog. I DO appreciate you!

We’re moving from the Niyamas to the third limb of yoga, ASANA. Postures, poses, the shapes we make, are designed to strengthen and increase the suppleness of the body. But, of course, the benefits are far greater than this. The asanas also work on all the internal processes, and, most importantly, prepare us for meditation.

We’re going to begin this week with the bridge posture – Sethu-Bandhasana. Then we’ll move on to the nose-to-knee poses – Apanasana. We’ll do a gentle twist before using the boat – Navasana – to take us to sitting.

Let’s loosen the legs with some butterfly knees before moving into tortoise posture – Kurmasana. We’ll probably be tempted to throw in the seated balance – Merudandasana! Then move on to a deep forward bend – Paschimottonasana, and then the backward bend – Purvottonasana.

Now, standing, we meet our challenge for this half-term. It’s a sequence which uses 12 postures – Surya Namaskar, the salutation to the sun. By the end of this half-term we’ll be able to perform this sequence gracefully, effortlessly, smoothly! For sure!

Meditation is about appreciating and thanking our bodies. We’ll begin by thanking our spine, our hips, our shoulders, our limbs, our neck; then we’ll thank our internal organs; then we’ll thank all our systems…

Relaxation will be the 22 body parts. Working with asanas allows the body to release, than we’re ready to let go and truly relax.

My laptop was playing up this morning, so I’m very grateful that it decided to finally co-operate!. Thank you, computer, for allowing me to post this week’s class!

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti.

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Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. It connects with what we’ve been studying this half-term. Ishwara Pranidhana is the last of the Niyamas and means awareness of forces greater than ourselves. We’ll begin this week with three resounding ‘OM’s. OM is the hymn of the universe. We’ll then relax. The reading this time is an ancient Chinese proverb: ‘When there’s righteousness in the heart, there’s beauty in the character…’

Standing for Malla Kriya, then on to the Sun Breath. Pausing in Tadasana the mountain, we’ll work with the Root Lock, Mulabhanda. Using the strength gained from this lock, we’ll move from warrior into triangle.

Let’s try a balance – the Tree. We’ll focus on being rooted yet stretching our branches up to the sky. Now more work with the Root Lock.

Now we meet the Abdominal Lock, Uddiyana bandha. , before returning to the mat through the squat.

Placing ourselves on all fours, we’ll practise the cat stretch and breath. Once we’ve established the rhythm, we’ll add all three of the locks or bandhas. This time we engage Chin Lock, Jalandhara bandha. All three locks are engaged after the out-breath.

Now to dog with corrections, and then finishing in the variation of the swan.

Meditation will feature a Mexican wave of OM’S! We’ll ‘OM’ until the sound naturally comes to an end, then lie down for relaxation. Here we’ll think ‘OM’ on the in-breath, and ‘OM’ on the out.

This is our last class of the Spring Term. We return on April 26th for a 12 week term. The fees for the term are now the same for everyone – 12x£6=£72. Drop-in fees are also the same for everyone – £8 per week.

Have a great Easter holiday!

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti