Is Yoga part of your new years resolution?
If you haven’t been to a class before you may be a little bit apprehensive about what to expect. Keeping it real and appropriate to you and your unique body/mind condition is what is emphasised at Peninsula Yoga (Gnostic)
I don’t post pictures of myself in contorted and advanced poses, the reason being is that I can’t do them. Naturally enough I don’t expect you too either but you can if your capable, you will be safely guided. I wouldn’t exercise in a sauna and I don’t expect you too either. I don’t worship or chant to some false guru (maybe with the exception of The Don) so I don’t expect you too either.
What I can offer you is a very beneficial body-mind experience and some queues on how to drop the dreaded ego, allowing you to make connections between your head (mind) and heart (body). Hopefully making you feel a lot better and ultimately happier as you take what you learn in class and introduce it in to your everyday life.
Gender, religion, body type, strength, flexibility are all irrelevant. No special clothing or equipment is necessary. If you can breath and feel a class is available for you.
MOVE, BREATH, FOCUS, RELAX!
I ran into my first yoga teacher yesterday at the local shopping centre. After a brief exchange of pleasantries the conversation naturally turned to yoga. The energetics of yoga and yoga beyond physical postures to more exact, a very deep discussion to have in a shopping mall. The conversation reminded me of my introduction to yoga, I turned up to a therapy session with fractured vertebra in my lower back, arthritis in my upper back, a torn rotator cuff, 20 kilo’s over weight and a chronic insomniac. The journey wasn’t easy, painful at times, frustrating and emotionally draining. Basically I had to rebuild myself. Persistence and working with a very knowledgeable healer has helped me become functional and I now have a fairly good range of movement. I still have a programme of rehabilitation that I work on continually, like all of us I’m a work in progress.
I have empathy for your individual practice needs, I certainly acknowledge the individualism of each person who practises with me. Your practice is based on how you feel, my advise is not to get caught in perfection in movement, don’t feel that to have to keep up with anyone and don’t be intimidated by some one else in the class. Be you, work with what you have and hopefully leave the class feeling a whole lot better than when you walked in. Seek one on one coaching or a private session if you feel an individualised programme might be suitable for you.
Move, Breath, Focus, Relax!!!
Hey Peninsula Yogis, looks like we missed out on being rated as one of the Central Coasts “chic” yoga studios. Upon hearing this news I thought I’d better find out exactly what “chic” means, some of the descriptions are,- “stylish, elegant, sophisticated, dapper, debonair, attractive, stylish, fashionable, ultra-modern, trendy, snappy”.
All things that we definitely are not.
Our studio sits in a pot holed back lane, with garbage dumpsters and possibly the Central Coasts ugliest building for a view. We have a resident homeless man camped across the road. We hear all the rantings of a rather cranky local business man and a lot our classes are accompanied by the vibrations and hum of industrial washing machines. We encourage GREAT jokes, conversation and interaction.
Where definitely Not Chic. We must be doing something right though! ! Most of our classes are full, we’ve been established for over 12 years, the studio goes from strength to strength.
The success of our studio is an endorsement for traditional yoga without gimmick, yoga designed for real people offering functional, practicable and structured movement which considers the strengths and restrictions of each individual.
The philosophy of yoga states quite clearly that the body and mind are not separate. Whatever happens in the body will be reflected in the mind, whatever happens in the mind will be reflected in the body.
A person who is suffering from an emotionally traumatic experience will quite noticeably and unintentionally alter their physical posture in response to the mental trauma, the upper back will round, the shoulders rotate internally, they become stooped and very protective of the heart area. The physical reaction to emotional trauma blocks the flow of energy around the body, the blockage causes a stagnation in the body and further disease will follow or intensify.
The body and mind permeate with energy which in yogic terms is referred to as prana which translates as life force or life energy. The concept of prana appears in all the body-mind modalities, “ki” as in Reiki and “chi” as in Tai Chi.
Chakras (spinning wheels of energy) or energy centres comprise the model of the energetic and subtle body, this is where the vital life force (prana) gathers. They’re located along the spine from the pelvic floor to the crown of the head, each has a specific colour and spiritual quality and are associated with a corresponding psychological, physical and emotional states necessary for the development of the “whole” person.
The subtle energies of the body flow through the body via channels referred to as nadi’s which connect the chakras and move the energy.
It’s very important to note that the concept of prana, chakras and nadis is subtle, you can’t go to the Doctor and ask to have your chakras X-rayed or scanned, they don’t exist in a physical realm.
Hatha Yoga was developed to circulate, cultivate, control prana and channel energy around the body. It’s much more than a form of exercise, much more than being physically strong or flexible. In the western world the ideals of yoga have been distorted and focus on contortions of very flexible bodies. Asana or yogic movement aims at creating, developing and distributing subtle energy around the body. The physical attributes are a very beneficial adjunct.
The reason a yoga class is sequenced in a particular way, the time a pose is held and counter poses practised is about energy control and movement, there’s a lot more happening rather than stretching muscles, think about the subtle effects – the inner-cise. Challenge your teachers and ask questions about the class structure and how it relates to prana.
Hatha Yoga is a very complex science that draws on thousands of years of practice and philosophy which has enormous health benefits both physically and mentally.