Peace-seekers

We live in such a busy world, but yoga says, ‘Don’t forget that all the peace you ever need is found within you.’

After the short relaxation and the warm-ups, we’re going to work with Dridha Kriya to realign the spine. Then we can try some side-stretches. We’ll follow these with the Shoulderstand, Plough and Fish. Let’s have some fun moving from Plough to Seated Forward Bend! Several times…

Once seated, we’re going through our routine to take us into Tortoise. Everyone is SO improving in this pose! Well done!

Now we’re going to swivel onto our abdomens and meet Cobra, Locust and Bow. Back up into Swan, and let’s stay on the knees for Bhramari, the bee-breath.

Meditation is a lovely combination working with the breath, imagery and the word ‘peace’.

Relaxation will bring that ‘peace’ to the 22 body parts.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Discovering inner peace 25/4/2016

This week, we begin with a reading from the Mundaka Upanishad. We’re continuing to find ways to move aside the clouds, the veils, the busyness which covers our inner peace.

Lying on our backs, we will work with supine postures. Bending one knee, we will place the foot on the opposite knee-cap. With the help of the hand, we will move into a twist – the hand gently guiding the bent knee down to the mat on the opposite side. We repeat this the other way. Then, with both knees bent and the feet hip-distance apart and touching the mat, we will work with the gentle twist. Let’s follow that with a deeper twist, where the knees are drawn in to the rib-cage, (Vakrasana).

Now, we will move into the bridge postures, (Sethu-Bandhasana). We will explore all forms.

Still on the back, we’ll continue with nose to knee poses, (Apanasana).

If there is time, we’ll repeat the twists, and then sit up through the boat,(Navasana)

Now it is time to meet the challenge pose, the tortoise, (Kurmasana). We’re working with this one each week this half-term, and will cover all forms.

The Pranayama exercise is alternate nostril breathing, (Nadi Shodhana), and the Meditation will be breathing in peace and breathing out peace. For the long relaxation, we will use the breath and the magic of yoga to take us into  deep state of inner peace.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti. (Shanti means peace.).

Back to class 12/4/2016

We’re back to yoga this week for the Summer term. Our first class focusses on ‘peace’. Many people join a yoga class to find peace. The truth is that no-one else can give you peace. It is already within you. Yoga makes all conditions favourable for you to remove the clouds, the veils, the busy-ness from your mind, so that you can uncover your inner peace.

We begin with an alternative way to look at the Serenity Prayer.

Short relaxation, stretches and warm-ups, then seated poses: Dandasana, the staff pose; paschimottonasana, the forward bend (with the knees bent, ribs and thighs firmly connected, creep the feet forward until you are in a deep forward bend.); janu-sirsasana, (one knee bent, working with small but accurate movement. Spine and head are in one straight line.); seated twists, all forms, completing with Vakrasana, the easy twist. (Start twisting at the base of the spine.); We follow these with Purvottonasana, the inclined plane; now on to butterfly knees, rocking buddha, walking backwards using the hips. Our challenge posture of this half-term is Kurmasana, the tortoise. We will look at this one in depth.

Cool-downs are followed by a combination of Pranayama and meditation in the form of Sama Vritti Pranayama, the square breath. We complete our practise with the 22 body part relaxation.

Throughout the practise, we will be mindful. Always seeking to uncover the peace within.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

You must be the change

Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Never was this a more important message. Yoga teaches us to take responsibility for our own actions and for our own relationships. If we want to see peace established in the world, then we need to establish it in our everyday lives. If we want to see more sensible and reasonable dialogue in world affairs and politics, then we must introduce it into our own lives. Every interaction with others can be kind, thoughtful and peaceful.

The new year always feels like a clean start. It is an opportunity to make resolutions and to make changes. Lets light a candle in our own corner of Mother Earth. If there is enough of us engaged with this idea, we can surely change the world!

‘When a man is made perfect in yoga…’

Krishna says: ‘On earth there is no purifier as great as this knowledge, when a man is made perfect in yoga, he knows its truth within his heart. The man of faith, whose heart is devoted, whose senses are mastered: he finds Brahman. Enlightened, he passes at once to the highest, the peace beyond passion.’

Yoga is a way of life. It is so not just a once a week class. ‘Yoga Prescribed’, my little easy to read book, describes a yoga family who live with and embrace the yoga philosophies.We can all do this. Remembering the health tips and yogic tips leads us to a state of peace, health and oneness.