Connecting our energies with nature

We continue our study of Brahmacharya – non-misuse of energy. How can we help the Planet? How can we help all beings? How can we use our energies as a force for good?

We’ll begin with Kapalabhati, and then work on improving our challenge pose – half-lotus. Then standing for Malla Kriya and the Tree of Life breath.

Moving to forward bends, we’ll bow in gratitude to nature. And now let’s fully celebrate the moon with the Salutation to the Moon sequence.

Balance becomes a greater challenge as we get older and this is more reason to practise! Let’s meet the Tree Pose.

Back down through the squat for cosmic egg. This is a reminder of how the earth embraces and protects plants beneath its surface, until they’re ready to burst forth.

Meditation is silent repetition of the mantra, ‘OM Mani Padme Hum’. Let’s connect with all flowers everywhere as we focus on the lotus.

For relaxation we’ll place the left hand on the heart and the right hand on the lower abdomen. This is the position of self-nourishment. When we nourish ourselves, and build up our energies, we have more to give to the Planet and all beings.

Last class is next week – that’s March 23rd. We return on April 20th.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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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

Ahimsa and Compassion

Ahimsa, non-violence is the first rule of yoga – the first of the Yamas as set down by Patanjali. Gandhi lived his whole life dedicated to ahimsa.

This week we’ll begin our practice with Malla Kriya. Let’s rid ourselves of excess carbon dioxide. Then we’ll move into the very lovely Tree of Life breath. Feeling centred, we’ll continue with a forward bend, backward bend and twist. On to a warrior pose and through to the triangle. Strong postures to bring strength to the body, mind and inner spirit. Let’s attempt the tree balance – working with adaptations where necessary. And then it’s back to the mat through the squat.

We met cow-face posture last week, and this is quite a challenge. It will be our challenge posture for this half-term. Always really good fun to see how we progress within a pose.

Meditation will be working with, ‘May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you be free from suffering, May you be at peace.’ This wonderful mantra instils a deep sense of compassion – towards ourselves, towards others, and towards all beings.

Relaxation is focusing on the breath. In many languages it is the same word for breath and for life.

My latest book, ‘Yoga Poses Questions’, will be available in class this week.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

HATHA YOGA

This term we will be looking at the various different classical yoga paths. We’ll begin with Hatha Yoga. HA means sun, and THA means moon. The physical aspect of yoga (i.e. working with the asanas, the breathing and ways of cleansing) is a discipline which prepares us for union with the divine. Hatha Yoga is said to be the ‘stairway to raja yoga.’

You’ll like the challenge pose this half-term! It’s the mountain pose, tadasana. This one looks easy, but does have many layers…From mountain we”ll go into tree of life breath. Then work with forward bends, backward bend and twists. We’ll be considering how yoga practice brings us into balance – the left and the right sides, the back and the front, the upper and the lower, the masculine and the feminine, and the mind and the body.

Let’s try the mountain sequence with the arms shoulder width apart. Then work with the tree balance.

Moving down through the squat, we’ll sit for forward bend, backward bend and a series of twists.

The meditation will feature ‘HA’ on the in breath and ‘THA’ on the out breath. Relaxation will be Anu Loma Viloma Kriya, a great practice for observing and balancing the solar and lunar energies within us.

That’s the way to start the New Year! Coming into perfect balance!

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