Truth can be seen as a resonant field…

We’ve been dwelling on the yogic rule of Satya, truth. This week we’re going to focus on the spine, which is our support system. When the body is well, strong and supple, and we’re feeling in perfect balance, we can stand up for our truth.

Lets’s begin on all fours for the cat stretch and breath. We’ll count each part of the breath to ensure that we’re fully using the abdominal region, the thoracic region and the clavicular region. Then we’ll move into the swan-cat-dog sequence, which will form a link in our practice this week. Back to cat to add a leg movement which will help to strengthen the back and increase the flexibility of the spine. After a pause in the swan, we’ll repeat swan-cat-dog sequence. Now let’s come back to cat for the wagging of the tail. This is a great movement to release blockages from the lower back and hip region. When we feel the need to inhibit our inner truth, for fear of punishment or ridicule, we hold blocked emotions within the body. The lower back, indeed the entire back, expresses lack of support. Movement allows us to release the blockages. The word ’emotion’ is made up of E-motion. Movement releases feelings. And then we’re back to our swan-cat-dog.

Let’s use the dog pose to take us to standing and we’ll take ourselves into a moving meditation – Salute to the Moon. Feeling now in perfect balance, we’ll use the squat to return to the mat and visualise our way into the half-camel and the full camel posture. Then we’ll settle into the glorious counterpose, before continuing with the cool-downs, the meditation and the relaxation. Meditation focuses on the breath – imagine a crystal deep within your centre, as you breathe in imagine that crystal growing larger and brighter, as you breathe out imagine you’re letting-go into deep sapphire blue. The crystal represents the light of your truth – the sapphire blue is all about healing. As you breathe out, you let-go of all the tension that has been caused by having to repress your truth.

Relaxation will continue this good work as we move into ‘tense and release’.

Next week is the Christmas class. Such fun! Do wear your red and green…So that’s December 8th, the last class of this term. We return on January 5th for and eleven week term.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Essence versus ego

Our focus continues on Satya, truth. We’re beginning this week with the Tree of Life breath and then we’re going to work with all three Warrior poses. On to an exploration of Triangle, Reverse Triangle and the Half-moon balance. Now from strong postures to a supple one, the wide-legged forward bend. Then we’ll open up our hearts with a supported backward bend, and progress into standing twists.

Let’s meet our good friend Salutation to the Moon before using the squat as a balance pose. We’ll visualise our way into half-camel and full camel and then work with these two challenging postures. Let’s complete our asana work with the counterpose which is so excellent at opening the shoulders.

In meditation we’ll work with Sama Vritti Pranayama, the square breath, and then follow that with a glorious long relaxation. Tense and release the fists three times, sigh three times on the out-breath, then LET GO.

Two more weeks in this term. Our last class is December 8th.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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

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

Nadis

This term we’ll be looking at the nadis, the energy pathways. We’re beginning with a very gentle class. Let’s be aware, as we lie to relax, of the movement of air through the nostrils.
After our stretches, we’ll work with some gentle leg movements. Then on to the most gentle of twists. Now, let’s explore the bridge movement, combining it with the breath. Remain aware of the energy moving through the vital body.
Coming gently to standing, we’ll meet the integral yoga breathing exercises. The last one features a balance.
Still focusing on the energies, let’s try the swaying palm.
Then,like a rag-doll, we’ll hang from the waist. Always gentle, we’ll take ourselves through some forward bends and meet this term’s challenge pose. Then proceed into Salute to the Moon. This sequence is a wonderful study of the energy pathways.
Alternate nostril breathing will take us into meditation, and we’ll finish with a deep relaxation which concentrates on the breath.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga is the yoga of knowledge. Krishnamurti was a Jnana yogi. this week, let’s question our practice. Why do we do this? Why do we do this in this way?

We’ll begin with a reading from Krishnamurti, then go into our warm-ups. Nose-to-knee will be our first posture. It’s our challenge for this half-term. We’ll continue into yogic sit-ups, then Kapalabhati. Moving on to cat pose. We’ll work with bringing the knee to the nose here too.

Let’s stand and reacquaint ourselves with Mula Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. Then we’ll work with Agni Sara – a great movement to assist the digestive process and to tone the abdomen. After a rest in mountain, we’ll try standing twists and a balance posture.

Salutation to the moon is a beautiful moving meditation. Let’s see if it helps us to clear the everyday chatter from the mind. Then we can seek real knowledge by listening with attention.

The squat will take us back to the mat where we’ll rest in cosmic egg. After the shoulder rotations, where we’re seeking ‘space’ by incorporating different movements, we’ll meditate on the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’.

Relaxation will employ the mind to move around the body and to bring rest to each part.

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