Happy Diwali!

Wishing you all light, love and blessings on Diwali.

Our theme of this half-term has been Ahimsa, non-violence. How the world craves this abstinence. We’re going to begin our practice with some standing breathing exercises. Let’s open the chest and draw in the good prana! We’ll then progress to all forms of forward bend, followed by all forms of backward bend. On to the twist to increase the suppleness off the spine and to massage the digestive system.

It will be good to meet Mountain sequence here. Such a good way to tone the trunk and strengthen the arms. Have we gained stability balance from the mountain? Let’s see as we go into two balance poses, the tree and the dancer.

Now we’ll experience moving meditation in the Salute to the Moon – Chandra Namaskar. Lovely…

Back to the mat through the squat and here we prepare for cow-face pose. Last time as our challenge, Yogis!

Meditation, after the cool-downs, is the square breath, Sama Vritti Pranayama. Relaxation will be all about the breath. Breathe in golden yellow – breathe out sky blue.

Half-term next week.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Wishing All Creatures Well

We’re focusing on Ahimsa, non-violence, this half-term. Our reading explains the Buddhist practice of wishing all beings well before you interact with them.

Kapalabhati is a wonderful kriya and pranayama technique. We begin our practice with this exercise. Then we’ll lie down on the abdomen and re-acquaint ourselves with the creeping crocodile. On to cobra, locust, bow and then we’ll repeat from the creeping crocodile.

Pushing back into the swan posture, we’ll attempt the variation where the chest and chin rest on the ground. This is great for opening the shoulders!

Now let’s move on to the gate sequence – good old parighasana! Such a good sequence to open up the sides of the body and to release long-hidden frustrations.

Our challenge pose is cow-face posture, so we’ll explore and see how this feels today. And then let’s finish with a delightful little balance pose – the cosmic egg.

Meditation will be to work with the seed sound for the heart chakra – YAM. After all, Ahimsa comes from the heart-centre. Relaxation will focus on repetition and patience using the 22 body parts.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Respect for Life

We’re continuing our focus on ahimsa, non-violence. Let’s begin with some comprehensive arm stretches, then continue with the stretches and warm-ups. Our asanas will start with lying side-stretches where we’ll meet Vishnu’s couch. In between, whilst lying on our abdomens, we’ll explore the crocodile creep. This is great for opening up the hips.

On to the boat! Then we’ll progress to seated forward bends, a backward bend done in two different ways, and then all the seated twists.

Up on to the knees now for half-camel and full camel, and then into the mermaid twist.

Let’s come back on to the abdomen, this time facing the front of the mat. We’ll practise that crocodile creep again and then work with cobra, locust and bow. Then pushing back into the swan and the variation of the swan before moving into cool-downs.

Meditation is the wonderful ‘May you be happy, may you be healthy’ series. This mantra epitomises the meaning of ahimsa.

Relaxation will feature the 22 body parts.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Back to class, back to basics

How lovely to be back for the autumn term! We’re going to work with Ahimsa, the first rule of yoga. It means non-violence.

Let’s start with some good arm stretches, then on to bridges done with attention and mindfulness. Ahimsa is just as important as a guideline for ourselves as it is towards others. We’ll bear this in mind as we work gently with our bodies. Gentle twists follow the bridges, and then we’ll come safely to sitting. Let’s try assisted Paschimottonmasana, the seated forward bend, coupled with Purvottonasana, the backward stretch. Wide-legged forward bends will be next, approached with awareness. It will feel lovely to work with some gentle twists in the seated position, too.

On to all fours where we’ll meet cat stretch and breath, then the rest position of swan. Then we’ll attempt cow-face posture, Gomukhasana, and proceed to butterfly knees and the tortoise, Kurmasana.

Meditation will be all about working with kindness. This is Ahimsa in positive mode. Then relaxation will focus on the breath.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga are a life-time’s study. Here we go back to the basics. The Yamas are the first of the Eight Limbs and they involve ethics relating to others, but also to ourselves. The first of the Yamas is Ahimsa.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’

My latest book is now available on Amazon! It’s a novel way to navigate the ageing process, and uses story to spread the teachings of yoga.

Buy your copy of ‘Home from OM – the last yoga retreat’ now! They’re selling fast…

Click on the cover to purchase.

mumyoga

‘Home from OM’ employs the ancient yoga technique of story-telling to put across spiritual teachings, the infinite wisdom. Following the progress of ten occupants of a residential home, we engage with their lives and their pasts. Can living in a yoga community bring grace and fulfillment to their last years? Could this be a way for the elderly to progress instead of diminish? Or will new challenges emerge from the experiment? Carole Kerton has been teaching yoga for forty-one years. She believes in using humour and anecdotes to facilitate learning. Whilst yoga supports all age groups, the elderly in Carole’s classes thrive on their practice.

Twenty-five years

Yogis split their lives into four sections. They believe that the first twenty-five years are for education; the second twenty-five years are for being a house-holder and for raising a family; the third twenty-five years are for teaching; then the last twenty-five years are when you become a hermit. This last period of time is for your own spiritual development.

Yoga is often described as a journey of Self discovery. You see this journey explained and illuminated when you study Patanjali’s Eight Limbs. (Please refer to previous posts.)

Brighten your day

Bite-sized chunks of yoga theory

Brighten your day, when the world looks weary.

Upanishads, Eight Limbs and the Gita,

Quotes to make your temper sweeter.

Foods that help improve your health,

And lessons about the Inner Self.

Come and check out ‘yoga prescribed’,

Truths enlighten when well imbibed.

And if you feel by blog is worth a look,

You might also enjoy my little book!

‘YOGA PRESCRIBED’ by Carole Kerton. (£6).