As well as being a lover of yoga I’m also a yoga teacher. One of my current students is pregnant so I’ve been reminding myself of all the adaptations.
Today I practiced a pregnancy version of Sun Salutations and what a wonderful discovery it was …. whilst my usual style of practice and teaching is fairly gentle, this lovely flowing, soft sequence had a beautifully meditative sense to it and gave me a wholly different experience of sun salutation. Refreshing, awakening yet also deeply calming. It’s a sequence I can take and work with to extend my own practice and will enjoy sharing with my students.
Always something else to discover in yoga …. something special and meaningful.
Just enjoyed a lovely yoga practice … chose an asana at random by opening a book and building my sequence around the asana on that page ….happened to be Utthita Parsvakonasana – extended side angle pose.
Started with quiet centering, then worked through a warm up phase based on Dru activation sequence … then a range of asanas to build up to my ‘chosen’ asana, and completed with a closing phase before a short meditation.
No matter I’ve done that asana many, many times before … there’s always something new to experience …. today I chose to focus on my breath and really feel the expansion through the extended side. Felt really good.
Always my yoga practice shows me something new …. be mindful and always something new reveals itself.
Sometimes an asana seems more challenging, sometimes it becomes easier …. sometimes your focus is taken with something unexpected ….. which might form the platform for the meditation that time.
New yoga? no, just yoga experienced from a different place …. always wonderful.
As I’ve got older I’ve found my yoga practice has depended less on the physical … I still very much enjoy asana … but also spend more time on pranayama and meditation. I’m not at the point where I find it easy to find the silence …. stilling a chattering mind is always challenging! But it is something I’m spending more time on.
Often I find focusing on the breath and then letting thoughts gradually fade away drops me into silence and stillness. Sometimes starting with a mantra or thought or image works …… sometimes things just fall into place and as soon as I sit on my yoga mat I feel the stillness … but that’s still fairly rare for me.
But when you do find the silence, it is wonderful … a real stillness, so alive yet so peaceful …. as soon as you become aware of course you’ve come back to conscious thought, but however short the ‘space away’ is it’s amazingly powerful.
Doesn’t the world feel a better place when you’ve enjoyed a yoga practice!!
Came home from work feeling washed out, tired and with achey shoulders from being at the computer for too much of the day. Now after a lovely gentle, stretchy but balanced yoga practice I feel so much better … and ready to get on with things again. Shoulders loosened, back and legs stretched, breathing smoothed etc.
A lovely sunny evening and weekend ahead …. looking forward to it already!
Just read this quote and really liked it
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” ~Wayne Dyer
How true this is ….. doing a ‘boring’ task …. treat it as an opportunity to let your thoughts wander and it’s not so bad. Facing a difficult challenge …. think about the reasons you can succeed or get through it and it’s not so bad.
I find a yoga practice always gives me a different perspective on something that’s been troubling me … has often been my salvation in difficult times. When I need calmness I find it. When I need strength I find it. When I need joy I find it. And hopefully this makes me a bit easier to get along with too!
Have just come back from a lovely yoga ‘holiday’ in Cambridge. In inverted commas as was actually a course … but I enjoyed it so much and had such a lovely time in Cambridge that it felt like a holiday!
That’s the thing about yoga … you ever stop learning … so long as you keep an open mind of course …. yoga just keeps giving you more and more. This course was all about yoga and womens health … a really useful addition to my knowledge.
And Cambridge is beautiful … the calmness of the areas around many of the colleges, the buziness of the shopping areas and the wonderful parks and open spaces … and of course the beautiful river.
Came across this quote recently …. which struck a chord with me:
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves’ Dalai Lama
Nice little article published on the Saga website about yoga … take a look
Yoga can offer so many benefits … on so many levels. Yoga includes not just postures but also breath control, concentration and meditation and it is the combination of all these that give the optimum benefit.
People often think first in terms of the physical benefits – increased flexibility muscle tone and strength. Better posture. Relief from back, neck and shoulder pain. Regular practice of yoga is likely to lead to all of these.
Relief from stress – taking time to practice yoga not only gives benefits whilst practicing, but also afterwards … and gradually seems to pervade your whole life leading to greater calmness, more patience and less feeling a need to rush.
Better self-esteem – regular practice of yoga changes the way you view yourself … you seem to have less need to compare with others and have a greater sense of your own value (in a non egotistical way).
Improved health and wellbeing - regular yoga practice improves vitality and your immune system…. you just feel better inside and out.
So what are you waiting for … find a good yoga teacher now! Look for someone who has done a proper training course – for example with the British Wheel of Yoga. Try out a class and see how good you feel afterwards!
Just come across this little quote ….. and really like it :
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings” ~Henry Ward Beecher
Isn’t it true … look for good and you find it … look for bad … and of course you find that too but just bring yourself down. Look for the good in people and situations and life feels very different. Easy to say when things are going well, but much much harder when you’re having a tough time … but of course that’s when the old glass half full pays dividends!
To my yoga colleagues … try a little meditation on finding things to be thankful for …… once you start thinking there are so many …. right now as I type this … the roses in a vase on my desk, the glass of wine on my desk, my lovely cat sitting on the desk …. and that’s just what’s no more than 12 inches away from me!
According to Wikipedia … this is who Henry Ward Beecher is:
Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887) was a prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist, and speaker in the mid to late 19th century. An 1875 adultery trial in which he was accused of having an affair with a married woman was one of the most notorious American trials of the 19th century.