Inner energy and the classical path

It’s launch day for my latest book! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS is now available from Amazon and I’m delivering the pre-ordered books to my classes today and tomorrow.
This week’s class is continuing the theme of working with the inner energies. We’ll begin with the complete yoga breath, mahat pranayama. Then, after stretches and warm-ups, we’ll work with the classical poses: shoulderstand, plough, fish, nose-to-knee and twist. Coming up through the boat, we’ll meet forward bend, backward bend, twist, before coming on to all fours for the cat and the dog. The dog has been our challenge pose for this half-term.
Meditation is about sitting in the heart and experiencing being embraced by the energy of love. Relaxation is the foot movement from Kaya Kriya.
Our classes recommence on September 15th for a 12 week term. I do hope you enjoy your summer reading! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS explores all the queries you may have had but in novel form. It’s a follow-on to HOME FROM OM, but stands happily alone. Enjoy some healthy reading!
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Emotional energy

Emotions are energy in motion and, as such, are very relevant to our study this term.
We’ll begin our practice with Kapalabhati. It’s a great technique to both cleanse and energise the system.
Then we’ll stand for Salutation to the Sun. Let’s start slowly and build up. On to the balance sequence. It’s interesting to see if we can remain alive to the flow of energy as we focus on staying balanced.
Now for Salute to the Moon. These two principle sequences, the sun and the moon, exercise every muscle in the body. During the sun sequence we’ll meet the challenge pose for this half-term, downward-facing dog.
Coming back to the mat through the squat we’ll move to the half-camel pose and then the full camel. These glorious postures open the heart and the heart chakra, Anahata.
The counterpose after the camel is really useful for relieving blocked energy in the shoulders, and then we’ll move to the half-headstand, the pose of devotion, the child and finally the mermaid.
The meditation features the seed sounds and the relaxation will use the hand movement from Kaya Kriya.
This class should give us a fresh understanding of how emotional energy can be released to ensure our health and well-being.
Next week is the last class of this term.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

The human energy field

Let’s begin our practice standing for Malla Kriya. This is the whooshing breath which is so effective at ridding the body of excess carbon dioxide. Then we’ll move into a deep forward bend, padahastasana. Let’s try a wide-legged forward bend next, with all the variations. it’s always good to balance the forward bends with a backward bend. Let’s open the heart and the heart chakra.
Feeling the energy flow down into one foot, we’ll try a balance pose. Flowing energy has been a feature of this term’s classes. And then onto the mountain sequence with the arms shoulder-width distance apart.
Focusing on the movement of energy, we’ll move into the Salute to the Earth. We’re going to begin small and move more deeply as we progress. We’re almost just ‘marking it’ in the beginning.
It would be good to feel some twists with the body before we go down into the dog. It’s a novelty to approach our challenge pose from above!
Meditation will feature Sama Vritti Pranayama – the square breath and relaxation is a repeat of last’s week’s successful Kaya Kriya.
The last Thursday class of this term is July 13th. The last Friday class is July 14th. My up-an-coming book will be available on the last week of term!! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS hits the bookshelves! Look out for it…It’s the third and last in the ‘Yoga Prescribed’ trilogy, but stands quite happily on it’s own. All those yoga queries you’ve ever had, asked and answered, in a yoga novel format…
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Crossing the rainbow bridge

We’re going to continue our focus on the energies and we’ll begin with our three gentle movements – nose to knee, bridges, and gentle twist.
Coming to seated through the boat, we’ll proceed with swan-cat-dog. Now let’s focus solely on downward-facing dog, waling into it and out of it. We’ll use the dog to stand.
Let’s find our centre in mountain pose and tune into our energies. We’ll practise the tree balance and then continue into Salute to the Moon. This sequence is a wonderful way of balancing the energies and finding inner balance.
Let’s use the dog pose again to take us back to the mat where we’ll work with cool-downs.
Meditation is all about counting mantra. This is a new one to many: OM NAMO, GURU DEV NAMO. It calls upon the divine teacher within and without.
For the relaxation we’ll use the head movement from Kaya Kriya.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Understanding energy

We’ve been studying the three main energy channels and the flow of kundalini. The mantra used by those who practise kundalinin yoga is, ‘OM Namo, Guru Dev Namo’. It can be translated as, ‘I call on the infinite creative consciousness.I call on the divine teacher within and without.’
We’ll begin this week with kapalabhati. This is a kriya and a pranayama technique. It’s known as the ‘skull-shining breath’.
From seated we’ll go into a deep forward bend, and then we’ll work with all the seated twists. Let’s return to the deep forward bend. And now we meet a balance in the form of the cosmic egg.
Our challenge pose at the minute is downward-facing dog. Let’s start in cat and then use the energy to move up into dog. While there we’ll play a little. We’ll bend one knee while stretching the back of the other leg, we’ll shake each leg in turn, we’ll stretch one leg out as long as possible. Resting in the counterpose gives us time for pause, and then we’ll resume a solid dog pose. From there we’ll stand.
Let’s try a deep forward bend in standing position, and follow that with a backward bend and twists.
Coming back to the mat through squat, we’ll move into cool-downs. Our meditation this week is a visualisation. Relaxation will feature the sound of ‘So’ on the in-breath and ‘Ham’ on the out-breath.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Hidden energy

We’ve been exploring the three main energy channels and discussing kundalini. Yoga teaches us that there is more to the human being than meets the eye!Let’s harness our inner store of energy…
We’ll begin on all fours in the cat pose. First of all, we’ll focus on the movement of the spine with the breath. Then we’ll focus on the complete yoga breath, Mahat Pranayama, counting into all three areas of the body that are concerned with the breath.
Let’s add a leg movement. This will tone the abdomen, increase the suppleness of the spine, and get the hidden energies moving.
After resting, we’ll ‘wag the tail’! This neat little movement frees up blocked energy and stiffness from the base of the spine and the lower back.
On to a balance – we’ll lift alternate limbs from the mat.
Now we’ll take an in-depth look at the downward-facing dog pose which will be our challenge posture for this half-term. There is more to this asana than meets the eye, too!
Working with swan – cat – dog will give us an opportunity to use the breath and energy flow to improve the dog posture.
We need a twist about now. We’ll meet an old favourite, the mermaid.
If there’s time left in our hatha yoga section, we’ll try the half-camel and full camel, and complete with the counterpose.
Meditation is using the mantra ‘I AM’. On the in-breath, I AM means I EXIST. On the out-breath, I AM means I AM MORE THAN I REALISE.
The weather’s unsettled. I feel that it’s reflecting the general feeling of being unsettled in the country and indeed the world. Let’s create our own sunshine, our own summer, with surya kriya.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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