Emotional energy

Emotions are energy in motion and, as such, are very relevant to our study this term.
We’ll begin our practice with Kapalabhati. It’s a great technique to both cleanse and energise the system.
Then we’ll stand for Salutation to the Sun. Let’s start slowly and build up. On to the balance sequence. It’s interesting to see if we can remain alive to the flow of energy as we focus on staying balanced.
Now for Salute to the Moon. These two principle sequences, the sun and the moon, exercise every muscle in the body. During the sun sequence we’ll meet the challenge pose for this half-term, downward-facing dog.
Coming back to the mat through the squat we’ll move to the half-camel pose and then the full camel. These glorious postures open the heart and the heart chakra, Anahata.
The counterpose after the camel is really useful for relieving blocked energy in the shoulders, and then we’ll move to the half-headstand, the pose of devotion, the child and finally the mermaid.
The meditation features the seed sounds and the relaxation will use the hand movement from Kaya Kriya.
This class should give us a fresh understanding of how emotional energy can be released to ensure our health and well-being.
Next week is the last class of this term.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Kundalini

Yoga is the science of the self, and kundalini is the awakening of the self.
We’ve been focusing on sushumna, ida and pingala. Now we take a look at kundalini. ‘Kundal’ means ‘the lock of hair from the beloved’ and the word is sanskrit. The lock of hair is said to reside at the base of the spine, the root chakra. Yoga practice enables us to raise that energy up through the other wheels of energy and to the crown.
We begin this week’s class seated. We’ll work with forward bends in the form of paschimottonasana and janu-sirsasana. Then we’ll meet a wide-legged forward bend.
Let’s progress to butterfly knees, rocking buddha, and the balance known as merudandasana. Now on to the tortoise – kurmasana.
Seated twists will keep us focused on the spine, and awakening the kundalini energy. Now for the mermaid. I love this one!
Let’s stand for our last attempt on this half-term’s challenge pose – the deep forward bend. And then down through the squat, which we’ll use as a balance.
We’ll work with the seed sounds in meditation – lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om, soham.
For relaxation we’re going to use part of the relaxation technique known as Alu Loma Viloma Kriya. Taking the awareness to the base of the spine, as we breathe in we draw the energy up to a point in the centre of the skull. As we breathe out, we take the energy from that point in the centre of the skull back down to the base of the spine.
Half-term next week.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Christmas class

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This week’s class will be very gentle and nourishing. Many folk feel fragile and vulnerable at this time of the year, so our yoga will come in behind us and support.

We’ll begin with gentle bridging using A – U – M to guide the breath. Let’s rest in the jellyfish pose, which is great for absorbing some bliss! We’ll repeat these two poses.

Coming to seated, we’ll work with A – U – M in a forward bend. Then rest and take a blissful moment. Repeat.

Coming to standing, we’ll use our A – U – M in a forward bend. Rest in mountain. Then repeat.

Tree of life breath with ujjayi breathing will keep us calm and steady.

Meditation will feature the sound of ‘OM’ on the in-breath and ‘OM’ on the out-breath.

In relaxation, we’ll touch base with the seed sounds to completely balance the chakras and the pranamaya kosha.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

We return to class on January 13th 2017 for the Friday classes, and January 19th for the Thursday class. Have a restful and light-filled break. Carole xxx

Bliss!

Anandamaya Kosha is the blissful sheath and belongs to the Causal Body. It is the fifth of the layers that we are exploring and is the cosmic body, spirit, cosmic consciousness, Atman.

All yoga paths lead to bliss!

‘Yoga is alchemy; this ancient teaching is a finely tuned medicine form which leads to a more joyful way of living.’ Wenche Beard.

This is the week of the super-moon, so we’ll begin our practice with salute to the moon. Each round will be followed by the recitation of the seed sounds for the chakras. We’ll do three rounds.

Now let’s work with a forward bend, backward bend and twist. These will prepare us for the mountain sequence. Our balance will be the half-moon, always a challenge but another celebration of our special moon!

Moving back to the mat through the squat, we’ll work with seated forward bend, then wide-legged forward bend, ( this is our challenge pose for this half-term.) Let’s have a big backward stretch after that in the form of Purvottonasana. And we’ll complete the asana practice with cosmic egg balance.

For meditation we’ll silently repeat ‘OM’ on the in-breath and ‘OM’ on the out-breath. This will help us find and dwell in our bliss sheath.

More silent repetition for the relaxation as we say ‘I am bliss’ on the in-breath, and ‘Bliss I am’ on the out-breath.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

A dogged look at downward-dog!

The special treat for the last class of the term is to have Savasana as our challenge pose! But then we’re going to spend some time with the faithful dog. Just like having a real dog who needs two good walks a day, the downward-dog pose encourages us to stretch our legs. It’s a pose that is, like dogs, beloved of some and disliked by others. I LOVE it!

Let’s start with cat stretch and breath. Then take a good long look at the dog. We’ll stretch out the hind legs and also practise ‘shake-a-leg’, looking just like a dog who has come in from the rain. Back to all fours and we’ll count the breath, checking that we’re using all three parts of the body evenly. (Mahat Pranayama.)

Now on to the ‘dog and lamp-post pose’!

Let’s spend some more time talking to our dog. We’ll be gentle and caring, working with the breath to encourage obedience from the hamstrings.

Using the dog as a transition pose, we’ll stand and call out the seed sounds: LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM, SO-HAM. With the chakras well-balanced, we’ll work gently with swan – cat – dog sequence.

Let’s chant OM MANI PADME HUM for meditation. It means the jewel in the heart of the lotus, and we”ll set it to the jolly tune of ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’!

Relaxation will feature the top part of Kaya Kriya, where we gently move the head with the breath.

This is our last class this term and the last class of the yoga year. I look forward to seeing some of you at the annual retreat on July 22nd. It is also, very sadly, my last class on a Monday in Cosham. It is very hard to say goodbye to my Cosham family after 31 years, but night-driving has become too big an issue for my poorly left eye. I will always miss you all, but I know that I’m leaving you in Andy’s capable and loving hands.

Love, light and blessings,

Carole xxx

OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI