Category: Practice

We have all had to adapt to the way we practise our yoga sessions. We have learnt new skills, ways of staying connected and new ways of learning. Although we have not been able to see each other in person , hug and laugh in the same old way, we have still been able to feel the powerful energetic connection of our practise.

A steady, regular practise of your own, will keep you grounded , centred and focused; help you to keep your heart open and be with the uncertainty .
Learn to nourish yourself from the inside out, nourishment brings acceptance, acceptance brings freedom.

Let us step forward in to the light and positivity of this new year together.

SMILE, BREATHE AND GO SLOWLY. Thich Nhat Hanh.

This is a challenging phase of the year, magnified by the current situation; we can however, take a different perspective by using our yoga practise to support us in our daily activities.

We are going to use the next few weeks to explore the idea of spaciousness and what that really means to us within our practice and within our lives.
When you are doing basic tasks such as washing up or folding laundry, firstly be aware of your physical body, appreciate you have the ability to do these tasks.

Be aware of your breathing in that moment, be connected to the quality of your breathing.

Notice if your mind is on the task in hand, or is it racing ahead?

Our mind creates so much noise we are never aware of the inner silence.

Concentrate your awareness into the present moment, be fully present in your body and breath, let your mind quieten down.

Tune in to the EVER PRESENT stillness, TOUCH the silence and stillness in every moment of your day, have gratitude for this awareness.

Experience Spaciousness in every situation, as yogis, we can then have a more conscious relationship with our surroundings; this increases our quality of life.

We integrate spirituality in to every aspect of our lives.

Meditation in Movement

SATURDAY JUNE 16TH2018

2-4.30 pm AVONCROFT ARTS CENTRE

Come and join me for my annual fundraising workshop to celebrate International day of Yoga.

We are again raising money for MIND

No Need to book, ALL WELCOME.

Please bring along your usual yoga gear,

there will of course, be tea and cakes!

www.yogabromsgrove.co.uk

savitriyoga@hotmail.co.uk

Virgin money/justgiving :janebishopyoga

( suggested minimum donation£20)

M: 07976 697 853

ashram shrine
ashram shrine

I was fortunate enough to travel to India in March to study with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute.

Our practice was pure Raja yoga, the study of book one of the Yoga sutras, of which Panditji has written an enlightened commentary.

The focus of book one is sutra 1:36, ‘The Lotus of the Heart’.

How do we reach this point?

By sustained practice, ABYHASA, over a long period of time, without any attachment to the outcome,VAIRAGYA.

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring these themes in class, we can use our continual awareness, to find a restful place within, discovering the inner luminosity of the mind, which is our natural state.

We can create  a clear , calm  mind, established in it’s essential nature.

PRANAYAMA, our breathing techniques, remove the veil that hides the inner light, the more the veil is removed, the more the light will shine.

 

To be in the ‘Lotus of the Heart’, is to be free of thoughts and feelings, to melt into ISVARA, your own inner luminosity.

 

According to Patanjali, there are 8 limbs to the cycle of Yoga, a journey, to which the end results in a more enlightened state of being. We do not necessarily need to follow the limbs in order , to progress.

Limb 1 : Yamas , codes of conduct for life

Limb 2: Niyamas, personal codes of conduct

Limb 3: Asanas, physical postures (when written, this referred only to seated practice)

Limb 4: Pranayama, correct breathing, techniques to bring in more Prana, Life force to the body

Limb 5: Pratyahara, sense withdrawal, letting go of the outer distractions

Limb 6: Dharana, concentration, one pointed focus and awareness

Limb 7: Dhyana, the state of meditation, arising from, deep concentration, sense withdrawal

Limb 8: Samadhi, on reaching a state of deep meditation, Samadhi, is beyond thought, it is a state of being , resting in pure bliss.

 

Many of us begin our yoga journey with Asana, the physical postures of modern yoga, perhaps because of stress or a bad back, we begin, stretching, liking what we feel we learn to breathe more deeply, we feel more energy , we feel lighter and more peaceful. We want to continue, over time we realize that the yoga affects us on a more profound level, even when we are not aware quite what it is. This is when we begin to look deeper.

This brings us to the Yamas and Niyamas, often overlooked in favor of postures, they are the bedrock and support of our entire life and practice. To live a yogic life is to bring the YAMAS and NIYAMAS into daily life.

 

We begin by weaving them into our physical practice. It helps us to understand the concepts clearly, allowing space to transfer the effects into our daily life.

 

YAMAS : CODES OF CONDUCT FOR LIFE

AHIMSA: Compassion, non violence, self care . When we practice AHIMSA, we naturally can be more caring in our attitude towards ourselves and to others. When we do ASANA with AHIMSA, it allows us to let go of the force and the push, ( the typical A type response to exercise). It allows to slow down, to listen, to be WHERE WE ARE.  To adjust the postures accordingly , a more measured, slow approach, allows us to stay , breathe, observe and ultimately surrender into a more effective posture, which is JUST RIGHT for OUR BODIES.

SATYA: Truthfulness,  truthful existence, truthful compassion. When we practice SATYA in our ASANAS, it challenges us; can we really be truthful or are we edging towards force? Can we surrender in to a posture in a truthful way, the breath flowing freely? SATYA  allows us to practice in a more joyful way, to do what feels good, this does not mean we should shy away from more difficult postures, but approach them in a truthful manner suitable to WHERE WE ARE.

ASTEYA: Non-coveting, non-stealing, letting go of the desires of need and attachment. When we bring ASTEYA in to our ASANA practice, we also must weave in, AHIMSA, and SATYA, they support each other. Can we practice without stealing our own energy? Do we look at someone else in the class and wish our body could achieve the same? do we wish we could be more flexible like the person next to us? ASTEYA allows us to practice in a softer way, it’s okay if your hands don’t meet the floor, or your hamstrings are tight; you know you can modify accordingly, soften where you need to. Close your eyes, breathe with the flow of your movements and enjoy how it feels to bring that lightness, ease and energy to yourself.

BRAHMACHARYA: This is the practice of MODERATION, to seek balance and harmony in our Asana and in our life. It does not mean denial, but it is about not over indulging in anything, whether that is with food, work, or even yoga practice, when we find the balance of moderation , we have inexhaustible energy. Our physical practice can create both energy and balance, so we feel this natural contented state .

APARIGRAHA: Non possessiveness, Non attachment. This is a difficult part of the practice, we are all very attached to our ideas, our material possessions , the way we practice our yoga, even the space we occupy in class (!) This clinging can almost be a state of inflexibility which can transfer to our joints and muscles, we don’t want to be challenged to do something different, because that means a ‘letting go’ But when we have courage to create space in our lives, and let go of what no longer supports us, we allow new energies in; we can look back and realize that we didn’t need the thing/person/emotion to make us happy. The letting go allows us freedom.

 

THE NIYAMAS, OUR PERSONAL CODES OF CONDUCT

SAUCHA: Purtiy, of body and mind. When we begin to practice yoga, we notice the physical benefits very quickly, as it affects all of the body systems, in particular the twisting poses and inversions stimulate the functioning of the internal organs. On a deeper level, our breath is constantly cleansing and releasing, it helps us to return to the present. But if we only cleanse the body, but ignore our mind, we cannot awaken to our inner divine light. Meditation is the key to let go of the mental disturbances and restore ourselves fully.

SANTOSHA: The beautiful practise of contentment. This sounds like it should be so easy for us, but in reality, few people are content with life, which creates stress and unhappiness. The practice of SANTOSHA teaches us to be happy where we are, with what we have, knowing that we are meant to be in this exact moment and to appreciate fully. It is the thought processes in our minds that distract us and lead us away from that moment of contentment. We can use our physical ASANA to allow ourselves to be ever present, create awareness of the moment and the breath, to be absorbed and free from distractions. How often do we have this sense of deep peace at the end of a class? or the end of a great movie, walking in nature, being with loved ones? That is SANTOSHA.

TAPAS: Discipline, commitment. TAPAS can be described as ‘the fire in your belly’, the determination to succeed , to endeavor at all times to give 100%. This sounds extreme to some , but without TAPAS there is NO yoga! The practice of all yoga itself, is very much a discipline, we give ourselves this gift, but to maintain it, we must practice for optimum results. This  does not mean practising for hours on end every day, it means developing our commitment to whatever we do in life, to stir the internal fire, get rid of what we don’t need, draw in scattered energies and create proper focus in our lives. This leads us to the inner divine light.

SVADHYAYA: Self study. to seek spiritual meaning in our practice and our lives. To observe. SVADHYAYA refers not only to studying spiritual, uplifting texts, but being able to apply this self study and observation to everything that you do. A good way to begin is with your ASANA practice; be the observer of your movement and breath, watch where you flow and move more easily, watch where you are closed. Every moment is an opportunity for self study if we create the space to observe.

ISVARA PRANIDHANA: Surrender to a higher force, be that God, the Universe, Energy, light. To honor a higher consciousness in your life, something that is bigger than you! This is about taking out your ego, your small ‘I’ and replacing it with the thought that you are not the sum of your thought and emotions, they are temporary. When you learn to ‘step behind’ the thoughts, you are not distracted by them, you can rest in the seat of your own inner divine light, contented and calm. When you know that you are only a tiny part of a much bigger universe, you can be more genuine with your thoughts and deeds, bringing you closer to the divine inner light within.

 

Our YAMAS and NIYAMAS, really support our practice, the concepts may be strange at first, but gradually, as we weave them into our lives, they become an integral part of who we are, on our journey towards a more spiritual self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

attune and be aware
attune and be aware
exhale arms softly to the mat
exhale arms softly to the mat
inhale down the spine, staying long
inhale down the spine, staying long
exhale the head and neck, then continue to breathe and release down the spine
exhale the head and neck, then continue to breathe and release down the spine
sit back and rest on the heels
sit back and rest on the heels
draw the body through, pubic bone moving towards the floor, body weight supported through the hands and arms. Dont throw head back, breathe through the spinal column.
draw the body through, pubic bone moving towards the floor, body weight supported through the hands and arms. Dont throw head back, breathe through the spinal column.
exhale slowly to the floor
exhale slowly to the floor
rest forehead, adjust hands if necessary
rest forehead, adjust hands if necessary
inhale, lead with the chin, keep the neck long. start to raise the head and gently push in to the palms, elbows soft. Pelvis stays on the floor
inhale, lead with the chin, keep the neck long.
start to raise the head and gently push in to the palms, elbows soft. Pelvis stays on the floor
sit back to heels and breathe. Tuck toes under.
sit back to heels and breathe.
Tuck toes under.
Push up through the feet , let the sit bones move towards the ceiling. Move the body weight away from the hands. Breathe through the whole body.
Push up through the feet , let the sit bones move towards the ceiling. Move the body weight away from the hands. Breathe through the whole body.
sit back and rest.
sit back and rest.
Inhale arms up and wide, exhale arms to finish the sequence.
Inhale arms up and wide, exhale arms to finish the sequence.

We have been focusing on REALLY learning to listen to ourselves, through our yoga practice, which in turn creates harmony with the breath and a divine inner stillness.

We return home to ourselves.

This is the true aim of our yoga practice. So let the physical practice be a catalyst for change.

Don’t get caught up in how you think the posture should look , get in to how it feels.

Spend time allowing the breath to lead a simple stretch, see how much it allows you to slow down and observe.

LET GO OF THE NEED TO DO..ALLOW YOURSELF TO JUST BE!

Resting over the ball in between contractions, remember horizontal is not so effective DURING contractions
Resting over the ball in between contractions, remember horizontal is not so effective DURING contractions
As the contraction rises and peaks, blow out through your mouth and roll back towards heels, open and relax pelvis and pelvic floor
As the contraction rises and peaks, blow out through your mouth and roll back towards heels, open and relax pelvis and pelvic floor
To relieve pressure in the pelvis try bringing one leg out to the side, this will help the baby's head to descend
To relieve pressure in the pelvis try bringing one leg out to the side, this will help the baby’s head to descend
Staying in a more upright position over the ball will help you to feel centered and in control, REMEMBER GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND IN LABOUR!
Staying in a more upright position over the ball will help you to feel centered and in control, REMEMBER GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND IN LABOUR!
As the contraction peaks, blow out through the mouth, use the 'strong and spacious' breath to release down into the pelvic floor
As the contraction peaks, blow out through the mouth, use the ‘strong and spacious’ breath to release down into the pelvic floor
Try squatting over the ball for a few of your contractions, open the pelvis, use supports under your feet if necessary
Try squatting over the ball for a few of your contractions, open the pelvis, use supports under your feet if necessary
Bearing down in the squat position is extremely effective
Bearing down in the squat position is extremely effective
Knees hip distance apart, inhale arms up slowly
Knees hip distance apart, inhale arms up slowly
Float arms down to mat as you exhale
Float arms down to mat as you exhale
inhaling, lengthening the spine, especially lower back, dont dip
inhaling, lengthening the spine, especially lower back, dont dip
begin to exhale the head and neck forwards.Continue to breathe and release all down the back , moving towards the heels really slowly
begin to exhale the head and neck forwards.Continue to breathe and release all down the back , moving towards the heels really slowly
rest at the heels and breathe
rest at the heels and breathe
draw the body weight through the arms slowly. Pelvis is off the floor, you are supporting your body weight. Breathe deeply, be relaxed.
draw the body weight through the arms slowly. Pelvis is off the floor, you are supporting your body weight. Breathe deeply, be relaxed.
Hands stay connected,toes tucked under, roll sit bones upwards, connect to your breath and let the posture breathe and flow. keep moving body weight back towards heels
Hands stay connected,toes tucked under, roll sit bones upwards, connect to your breath and let the posture breathe and flow. keep moving body weight back towards heels
rest on to heels and breathe across lower back
rest on to heels and breathe across lower back
Inhale arms back to top
Inhale arms back
Learn Yoga At Home

This is our focus for the next few weeks of practice, when we learn to REALLY slow down, observe, and be quiet in our practice, we give ourselves the opportunity for surrender.

Taking the time to slow down enough to REALLY LISTEN.

The aim of our weekly class is to provide the support to continue this awareness throughout our daily lives.

We know how joyful this feels, when we take the time to JUST BE.

To be with our breath, our body to really look inwards and BE with ourselves.

Honoring the spaciousness within.

Practice photographs will follow, …….when Ive worked out how to do it!!!!

In the meantime, try a little breathing practice, a coming home to yourself….

Sit comfortably in your preferred meditation seat.

Allow your spine to be free.

Tune in to your regular breathing, observe where your body breathes in that moment.

Begin to REALLY observe the INHALATION, the nature of where it arises .

Observe the pause before you exhale

Begin to really observe the EXHALATION, the nature of where it releases

Observe the pause before you inhale.

Continue in this way, for as long as you have set aside, becoming completely absorbed in this circle of breath.

Everything else falls away, and you are just breathing, observing and resting in the stillness that is created in the pauses.

Feel the release and freedom that this practice brings you, use it when you need to create spaciousness in your life.

 

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