Hidden energy

We’ve been exploring the three main energy channels and discussing kundalini. Yoga teaches us that there is more to the human being than meets the eye!Let’s harness our inner store of energy…
We’ll begin on all fours in the cat pose. First of all, we’ll focus on the movement of the spine with the breath. Then we’ll focus on the complete yoga breath, Mahat Pranayama, counting into all three areas of the body that are concerned with the breath.
Let’s add a leg movement. This will tone the abdomen, increase the suppleness of the spine, and get the hidden energies moving.
After resting, we’ll ‘wag the tail’! This neat little movement frees up blocked energy and stiffness from the base of the spine and the lower back.
On to a balance – we’ll lift alternate limbs from the mat.
Now we’ll take an in-depth look at the downward-facing dog pose which will be our challenge posture for this half-term. There is more to this asana than meets the eye, too!
Working with swan – cat – dog will give us an opportunity to use the breath and energy flow to improve the dog posture.
We need a twist about now. We’ll meet an old favourite, the mermaid.
If there’s time left in our hatha yoga section, we’ll try the half-camel and full camel, and complete with the counterpose.
Meditation is using the mantra ‘I AM’. On the in-breath, I AM means I EXIST. On the out-breath, I AM means I AM MORE THAN I REALISE.
The weather’s unsettled. I feel that it’s reflecting the general feeling of being unsettled in the country and indeed the world. Let’s create our own sunshine, our own summer, with surya kriya.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Raja Yoga

As we continue our journey through the classical paths of yoga, this week we’ll be looking at Raja Yoga. Raja means royal or king, and this is the yoga of meditation. Our previous subject, Hatha Yoga, has led us here through self-awareness and a growing knowledge of our inner being.

Let’s begin by looking at the world from a different angle. We’ll practise shoulderstand, plough, fish and the bridges. After a gentle twist movement, we’ll work with supine side-stretches. Coming up through the boat, we’ll move on to the camel. Those with knee problems will be given an alternative.

All standing for the mountain pose! This is the posture that we’re repeating each week this half-term. We’ll continue into the mountain sequence, with the arms shoulder width apart

Now let’s attempt the tree balance. Can we open the arms wide like branches?

Back to the mat through the squat and, after the cool-downs, we’ll meditate on SO-HAM. We ‘think’ the sound ‘So’ on the in-breath, and the sound ‘Ham’ on the out-breath. These two sounds mean ‘I am that I am’. Raja yoga leads us to a deep understanding of ourselves.

Oh, do let’s have some sunshine for our relaxation! We’ll work with Surya Kriya and recharge our batteries.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

Overview of the Koshas

This week’s class looks back at the five koshas or sheaths – the physical sheath, the energy sheath, the everyday mind, the intellect or intuitive sheath and the bliss sheath. We’ll explore the idea of splitting each day into five sections!

Standing, we’ll work with some tapping to remove energy blockages. Then try malla kriya, which is great for expelling excess carbon dioxide. Fresh and ready, we’ll perform three salutations to the sun.And we’ll follow this with a balance.

Moving back down through the squat, we’ll prepare for a series of forward bends, Paschimottonasana, Janu-Sirsasana and our wide-legged challenge. It will feel good to stretch backwards after that into Purvottonasana. Let’s complete our asanas with a twist and the neat little cosmic egg.

Pranayama will be alternate nostril breathing, Nadi Shodhana. And meditation will feature silent repetition of the well-beloved mantra ‘OM MANI PADME HUM’. Relaxation will be all about warming the core as we practise Surya Kriya.

Next week is the last class of our term. It’s the Christmas class, so we’ll all be decked out in red and green! We return after the Christmas break on Thursday January 19th and Friday January 13th 2017.

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

Inner peace

This week we are continuing to find ways to uncover our Inner peace.

We’ll begin with mindful breathing in relaxation posture. After stretches and warm-ups, we will stand for the Tree of Life breath. Moving then into the asana work, we will meet Warrior 2 and the Triangle. Let’s follow this with a deep forward bend, supported back-bend and then standing twist.

The mountain Sequence is excellent for developing stamina and endurance. We will practice three times. Then we’ll see how we’re doing on balance. The Tree balance helps us find outer and inner balance. Salute to the Moon will follow, also practised three times.

Going down through the Squat, we will sit for butterfly knees, rocking buddha, then work with the challenge pose – Tortoise, Kurmasana.

For meditation, we imagine that we have a large crystal within. As you breathe in the crystal grows larger, and as you breathe out you release into sapphire blue.

Relaxation will be the beautiful Surya kriya. Imagine that you have your own personal sun, hovering three foot above you. As you breathe in, draw down the warmth and the energy of the sun into your body. As you breathe out, radiate that warmth and energy through every part of your being.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti