The line of contentment

Other people’s energies are constantly affecting ours. Returning to the line of contentment, in a purposeful way, allows us to be centred and aware. When we notice that our mood, our energies, are being disturbed, we have a yoga tool to bring us back to Santosha, (contentment). A simple mantra can help, ‘I return to the line of contentment’. Eventually just the realisation is enough for the return to take place.

We’ll begin this week with a poem by Robert Frost, ‘The Road Not Taken’. Then we’ll stand for the Tree of Life breath. Standing forward bends beckon, followed by some backward bends and twists.

Let’s move from Warrior 2 into Triangle, pausing afterwards to check that we’re firmly on the line of contentment.

Now for an easy balance, before exploring the Mountain sequence.

Moving back to the mat through the squat, we move on to our challenge pose – the half/camel and full camel. The conterpose will take us neatly into the Child, Balasana.

Meditation features the breath. This is a Pranayama exercise known as Sama Vritti Pranayama, or square breath. And we continue the focus on the breath in the relaxation.

At the end of the class we’ll remember the mantra, ‘I return to the line of contentment’. Let’s take that into the week ahead, and use it as frequently as possible. Noticing also who disturbs our energies and when…

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Asteya (non-stealing) the third of the Yamas or Don’ts

Happy New Year to everyone! You see what a positive wish that is. I wish for everyone to have a happy new year – now can I live in such a way that I make that possible for those around me? Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ If you think the world needs more love, then it’s down to you to manifest more love. Holding back, begrudging, criticising, these are all forms of subtle stealing from others.

We’re going to begin the new year with a run through the joints – Pawanmuktasana 1 is the anti-rheumatic group of movements. We begin at the toes and work methodically through all the joints of the body until we reach the neck. As we work we release stiffness and toxins from each joint.

Let’s move on to Pawanmuktasana 2. This is the anti-gastric group of movements. We work methodically through the digestive system releasing blockages and toxins.

And now to finish off with Pawanmuktasana 3. Here we release blocked energy from key areas of the body. This work is with the energy system of the being.

Meditation will take us right into our connection with the breath as we practise Sama Vritti Pranayama, the square breath. Ooh, isn’t it great to be back to class?!

Then relaxation will ensure that we finish our session with both sides of the body in total harmony – Anu Loma Viloma Kriya.

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

The human energy field

Let’s begin our practice standing for Malla Kriya. This is the whooshing breath which is so effective at ridding the body of excess carbon dioxide. Then we’ll move into a deep forward bend, padahastasana. Let’s try a wide-legged forward bend next, with all the variations. it’s always good to balance the forward bends with a backward bend. Let’s open the heart and the heart chakra.
Feeling the energy flow down into one foot, we’ll try a balance pose. Flowing energy has been a feature of this term’s classes. And then onto the mountain sequence with the arms shoulder-width distance apart.
Focusing on the movement of energy, we’ll move into the Salute to the Earth. We’re going to begin small and move more deeply as we progress. We’re almost just ‘marking it’ in the beginning.
It would be good to feel some twists with the body before we go down into the dog. It’s a novelty to approach our challenge pose from above!
Meditation will feature Sama Vritti Pranayama – the square breath and relaxation is a repeat of last’s week’s successful Kaya Kriya.
The last Thursday class of this term is July 13th. The last Friday class is July 14th. My up-an-coming book will be available on the last week of term!! YOGA POSES QUESTIONS hits the bookshelves! Look out for it…It’s the third and last in the ‘Yoga Prescribed’ trilogy, but stands quite happily on it’s own. All those yoga queries you’ve ever had, asked and answered, in a yoga novel format…
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Enquire, enquire, enquire

We’re continuing our work with Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge.

This week we’re going to work with Pawanmuktasana 1, the anti-rheumatic group, Pawanmuktasana 2, the anti-gastric group, and Pawanmuktasana 3, the energy release group. These methodical exercises keep the joints, digestive system and energy body healthy. I like to work with these systems once every term so that you can learn them thoroughly and use them at home.

The meditation will be Sama Vritti Pranayama – the square breath, and the relaxation will use the head movement from Kaya Kriya.

Jnana Yoga teaches us to enquire, to strip away the layers until we find our truth. Krishnamurti said that ‘truth is a pathless land’…Jnana Sakti means the power of knowledge.

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

My Latest Book

My latest book will be available at the end of this month!

This week our theme will be on Impermanence.

We’re going to begin with the Tree of Life breath. Then we’ll take ourselves into the first part of Salute to the Sun. Once down in slant-board, we’ll meet our challenge posture for this half-term. By swivelling the feet we can balance on one arm, raising the other one to the sky. This is a great strengthener for the upper arms! After resting on the abdomen, we’ll proceed into the cobra and complete the Salute to the Sun sequence.

Now we’re going to practise forward bends, all forms, backward bends and twists.

Let’s see how the balance skills are progressing! We’ll look at Tree, Eagle and Dancer before going down through the squat.

The meditation will feature the Square Breath, Sama Vritti Pranayama, and we”ll round off our class with Surya Kriya – such a delightful relaxation.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti