Inner peace

This week we are continuing to find ways to uncover our Inner peace.

We’ll begin with mindful breathing in relaxation posture. After stretches and warm-ups, we will stand for the Tree of Life breath. Moving then into the asana work, we will meet Warrior 2 and the Triangle. Let’s follow this with a deep forward bend, supported back-bend and then standing twist.

The mountain Sequence is excellent for developing stamina and endurance. We will practice three times. Then we’ll see how we’re doing on balance. The Tree balance helps us find outer and inner balance. Salute to the Moon will follow, also practised three times.

Going down through the Squat, we will sit for butterfly knees, rocking buddha, then work with the challenge pose – Tortoise, Kurmasana.

For meditation, we imagine that we have a large crystal within. As you breathe in the crystal grows larger, and as you breathe out you release into sapphire blue.

Relaxation will be the beautiful Surya kriya. Imagine that you have your own personal sun, hovering three foot above you. As you breathe in, draw down the warmth and the energy of the sun into your body. As you breathe out, radiate that warmth and energy through every part of your being.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

A Brow Chakra class

This week, 22/2/2016, we’re focussing on the brow chakra. here is the practice for my weekly students.

After the short relaxation, the stretches and the warm-ups, we will work with Brahmari, the bee-breath. We will sit in thunderbolt, breathe in, and then hum away the out-breath all the way down to the mat. We touch the mat with the brow chakra, Ajna.

Seated, we will then work with forward bends, first of all towards individual legs, and then down the middle. We follow this with a side stretch.

Our challenge pose of this half-term is the dog, Svenasana. We will do a mini-workshop on this pose, staying mindful and focussing on the brow chakra.

We will move into the strong postures, cobra, locust and bow. Then push up and into child, Balasana. Here we will repeat the Bhramari breath routine.

After the cool-downs, we will prepare for meditation. We will use our meditation pose as a triangle. Breathing in we move the energy from the right knee to the brow chakra. Breathing out, we move the energy from the brow chakra to the left knee. Holding the breath out, we move back to the right knee.

For the long relaxation we will continue the focus on the breath. Breathing in, we move the energy from the base of the spine to the brow chakra. Breathing out, we move the energy from the brow chakra to the base of the spine.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti…

Practice for my weekly students. 1/2/2016

This week we are focussing on the heart chakra, ANAHATA.

We begin with a mindfulness reading, then move to mindful breathing. This will open the heart. We will add ujjayi, the victorious breath.

PARSVOTTONASANA is a movement which opens the heart, too. It’s a standing forward bend and backward bend with the hands joined behind the back.

PADAHASTASANA takes us into a deep forward bend, and the second time it will be performed with the shoulders rotated.

Lets follow this with a supported backward bend, and standing twist.

We’ll work on the abdominal lock again. Uddiyan means to ‘fly upwards’. The prana will fly upwards to the heart.

Passing through squat, we will move on to half-came and full camel. (USTRASANA.)

We won’t forget the challenge pose for this half-term! ARDHA-PADMASANA.

Meditation will be silent repetition of the heart seed sound, YAM.

Relaxation will be about settling in the heart. (Left hand on the heart, right hand on the lower abdomen.)

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI

A practice which focusses on the sacral chakra 25/1/2016

This week’s class focusses on the solar plexus chakra (Manipura). This is known as the city of gems.

We begin with a reading from the mindfulness book. After the short relaxation, the stretches and warm-ups, we will work with a pranayama technique known as Kapalabhati. This involves exaggerating the exhalation. The emphasis is on the pulling in of the abdomen, sharply, in order to exhale briskly. Kapalabhati is great for toning the abdomen, clearing away stale air from the lower part of the lungs, and cleansing the mind, brain and head. It literally means ‘skull cleansing.’.

We will follow this with three salutations to the sun (Surya Namaskar). Then move on to some work with the second of the main locks, Uddiyana Bandha. We met the root lock two weeks ago, now this is the abdominal lock. We’ll practise Agni Sara, which stimulates the digestive system making it faster and more thorough.

Warrior two follows, standing firm on the ground and feeling our power, we stretch our arms to the side. On an out-breath, we bend the right knee until we can no longer see the foot. Then we gaze back at the left hand, stretching beautifully through the shoulders. On an out-breath, we place the right hand at the top of the right thigh and take the left arm over until it touches the right ear Рa diagonal slash. On an in-breath, we straighten the right knee, take the back of the right hand to the inside on the right leg and the left hand straight up to the sky.  On each out-breath, we slide the right hand down the right leg, coming into triangle, Trikonasana.

We’ll introduce a standing twist next, followed by the Mountain Sequence (Tadasana) and the tree balance (Vrksasana). Then using the squat, Utkatasana, for sitting, we’ll work with butterfly knees, also known as cobbler’s pose, (Baddha Konasana) and go into our challenge posture of this half-term, half-lotus (Ardha-Padmasana.)

Meditation will either be the Gayatri Mantra or ‘Sun-blessed’, a visualisation, depending on the group.

During the relaxation, we’ll look at the traditional colours of the chakras, which differ from the New Age version of rainbow colours. The solar plexus is in modern terms yellow, traditionally it was blue.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Mindful practice 18/1/2016

We are continuing our readings about mindfulness and are focussing on the sacral chakra this week. January can be a time for low energy and grey weather, so lets remind ourselves to let go and have fun with our yoga!

We’ll begin with the Equestrian posture (ASHWASANCHALANASANA).

Then on to the Monkey pose (ANJANEYASANA).

Moving on to the Pigeon (KAPOTASANA) which is so helpful for anyone with sciatica.

The Gate sequence (PARIGHASANA) is a great way to tone the trunk and to release those frustrations from the sides of the body!

From a four posture sequence we hop to a three posture sequence – swan, cat, dog. A flow of movement really helps with the letting go.

Having thoroughly warmed up, we can approach the supine thunderbolt (SUPTAVAJRASANA).

Following that with the Pranayama technique BHRAMARI.

Our challenge pose of this half term is the half-lotus, so now we will do butterfly knees, rocking buddha and half-lotus (ARDHA PADMASANA.)

Our meditation will all be about the Gayatri Mantra. This is the second time we have met it this term, so we’ll be able to let go and really enjoy it!

We’ll focus on the seed sound for the sacral chakra (SWADHISTANA) for the long relaxation.

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI