Simplify your life through Yoga

The overload of yoga information, some accurate and some completely inaccurate is becoming overwhelming. Actually it’s very confusing, my FB news feed is saturated with yoga classes, teacher training, retreats, yoga as a business, yoga active wear, the list is exhaustive.

If you’re attending classes and benefitting why over complicate it, there’s no need, the whole idea is to simplify life through yoga not over complicate it.

To simplify your yoga practice allow your mind to be led, don’t anticipate the teachers words, that’s just your ego wanting to take charge. Practice with a zen mind, allow your consciousness to separate from the endless stream of thought that drifts across your mind scape.

Mindfulness is created by developing drishti and focusing on the bio feedback from your body while in motion. Assessing where you need to strengthen your body, relax your body, direct your breath and modifying your position for comfort.

The body-mind connection is created by turning inward and feeling your body in movement. It’s what I refer to as meditation in motion or relaxation in action. Take your body into a pose as deeply as you can based on how you feel in the “present”. Your level of energy, physical, mental and emotional attributes or restraints determine your level of practice. Don’t start your class with a set goal or preconceived idea of want you want to achieve, this leads to
an ego driven practice which will have diminishing wellness benefits.

The formula is fairly simple, move your body mind fully through asana to create a flow of subtle energy (prana) and potentially develop higher states of focus. Your breath is all important, it’s the prime mover, it’s used to develop strength, relaxation, softness. Breath brings your body and mind together and holds the connection when mindfulness is established.

Move the body, focus the mind, honour the breath, be present.

Pip & Silvie showing great form in Padottanasana

This wide legged standing forward bend and its many modified versions is great for strengthening and stretching the back, the inner and back of the legs. Tones abdominal organs, relieves back tension and has a calming affect on the mind.

Pip and Silvie are both long has time practitioners of yoga and collectively have decades of experience.  Pip has been practicing with me for over 10 years and Silvie for 2 years. These ladies are inspirational and the investment they’ve made to their own wellness is to be commended. At 75 years (plus) they’re in great physical and mental shape. Age is no barrier to yoga!

Yoga and the Art of the Peaceful Warrior (sthira and sukha)

By Kelly Glendinning.

The Sanskrit meaning of stira and sukka is strength and stability versus softness and ease. In our asanas, we are aiming for the perfect mixture of these two qualities. I often think of the warrior postures with these two terms and they are also a fantastic metaphor for life. The warrior postures are strong, they are there to ground you and help you develop strength in the arms and legs. They help you develop focus i.e. your eye gaze or drishti is fixed. Warrior postures cultivate the qualities of endurance and determination. This is the stira – the active masculine. It is the part of our being that stands tall and proud, ready for a challenge and meeting it head on. The warrior. Let’s face it life is challenging, many of us must take charge and be that warrior in life standing tall to meet those challenges and placing armour on if necessary. Life requires strength from us.

Sukka. After we have embraced the strength of our asana and the posture is at its full extension and embodiment (which will be different for everyone in each new moment) one may begin to soften the muscles, let tension melt, sink deeper and feel lighter all at the same time as maintaining strength. The peaceful warrior. This is surrender, this is acceptance, equanimity, letting go, withdrawing within and seeing what is beyond the surface. This is grace. The feminine.

There is a beautiful phrase in the serenity prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (grace), the courage to change the things I can (strength) and the wisdom to know the difference (higher consciousness.)

In stira it is all about our will in sukka we are learning to embrace divine will. We let go, we let god. We begin through our higher consciousness to hand over all that we have been unable to manage. It is the subtle meeting point when the two qualities of stira and sukka meet that allow us to come to a place of divine union (Yoga.)

Mums and Bubs yoga classes with Amanda Reynolds

Mums and Bubs return for 2017 at 10 am on Tuesday the 14th of February!!!

Classes are baby friendly and designed for new mums and their bubs, 6 weeks old to 12 months. This class focuses on yoga postures to help your body regain strength and tone safely in the post natal months, with the aim to reduce fatigue and increase relaxation.

Yoga postures are aimed to help release tension in the shoulders, neck and arms. Improve circulation, posture and strengthen the pelvic floor, abdomen, legs and back.