Working with truth

On with our theme of Satya, truth or non-lying. We’re shining the light of truth on our entire practice and on our many layers.

Nose to knee poses begin this week’s asana work. We’ll do it first of all with the knee bent, and then with the leg straight. Then we’ll move into all the bridges, and even work with the preparation for the wheel. Lying twists will follow, realigning the spine and stimulating the chakras.

We’ll come to seated through the boat, and then sit comfortably for a visualisation on the half-camel and the full camel. This is our challenge pose for this half-term. After our shoulder-opening counterpose, we’ll complete our asana work with a wide-legged forward bend.

Meditation features the symbol and the sound of OM, while relaxation is tense and release.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Truth – the second rule of yoga

Let’s look at Satya – truth or non-lying. We’ll examine finding truth in our own yoga practice.

We’re going to begin with our three gentle movements, knee to the body and stretch the leg up, gentle bridge and gentle twist. Let’s connect with our centre and our inner truth.

Through the boat to sitting, and then we’ll explore a different way to get into the equestrian pose and the monkey pose. Now let’s shine the spotlight on our challenge pose – the camel. We’ll spend some time in the half-camel first of all. After the counterpose – so helpful for the shoulders – we’ll finish our asanas with the mermaid.

Meditation will be focusing on the words of the Dali Lama, ‘Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it; right is right even if you’re the only one doing it.

Relaxation will focus on the truth of our practice. ‘I’m relaxing my toes, are my toes really relaxed?’

Fake news is talked about all the time now. There are so many grey areas. Homework will be to sift through all that you hear and find what you believe to be the truth…

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

The Alzheimer’s Solution

I was reading about a book by Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. It explains their research into Alzheimer’s disease and they give a list of ‘Six things to do right now’in order to prevent the disease. The first on the list is GIVE UP MEAT. This absolutely echoes our theme of Ahimsa, non-violence. Most yogis are vegetarian or vegan precisely because of the first rule of yoga.

This week we’ll begin with dancing legs and then move into an inversion, the shoulderstand. On to the plough and the fish, before working with nose-to-knee postures. We’ll follow these with bridges and then spinal twist. Coming to seated through the boat, we’ll move on to butterfly knees, our rather amusing balance, Merudandasana, and then we’ll work with the classical half-lotus posture. Our challenge is cow-face posture and I’m hoping that our previous work will have opened our hips well. This will serve us here. We’ll complete the asanas with cosmic egg.

Meditation is repetition of the mantra ‘OM Mani Padme Hum’ – the jewel in the heart of the lotus.

Relaxation is repetition again – this time OM on the in-breath and OM on the out-breath.

Next week is class as usual, but the following week is half-term. So no class on October 27th.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Twist, twist and twist again

We’re continuing our focus on Karma Yoga. To serve our nervous systems, digestive systems and our spines, we’ll be working with twists.

The reading is an old Hindu rhyme: “Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a characteristic. Sow a characteristic, reap a destiny.”

Let’s begin with lying twists. We’ll explore all forms. Next, we’ll move into nose-to-knee poses. Apanasana will be our challenge pose for this half-term. We’ll repeat the twist postures before moving on to bridges. A third repetition of twists will follow the bridges.

Coming up through the boat, we’ll proceed with seated twists. We’ll explore all forms. Then we’ll move into a forward bend, before repeating the seated twists. A backward bend will allow the spine to stretch out thoroughly before we repeat the twists again. We’ll finish the practice with the mermaid pose.

At a convenient point in the practice, we’ll use Kapalabhati.

Meditation is ‘sitting in your heart’ – the place from whence unconditional love springs.

Relaxation is going to focus on the breath, breathe in peace, breathe out love.

Remember Thich Nhat Hanh tells us that the world needs your happiness, so BE HAPPY!

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

More on hatha yoga

‘Patanjali gave us the blueprint for ways to unite the body, mind and spirit. One of the most common ways, he tells us, is through asanas or postures This is the yoga called HATHA, which involves using the body to change the internal state of mind and consciousness.’

This week we’ll begin with bridges. Then move on to the nose to knee postures. Lying twists follow, and up to sitting through the boat. Smile!!

Let’s work with butterfly knees, the tortoise and our favourite balance, merudandasana. We’ll visit with the half-camel and full-camel before standing for the mountain pose, the sun breath and salute to the moon.

The meditation is sama vritti pranayama with a twist. We’ll focus on the sun with the in-breath, the moon with the out-breath, and stillness for the hold of breath.

Relaxation invites each of the 22 main body parts to ‘let go’.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti