Anahata Chakra

Next week, the focus for our practice will be on healing and balancing the heart chakra – Anahata, meaning unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten – which rests in the centre of the chest. This chakra is considered to be the centre of the chakra system and the gateway between the three lower physical chakras and the three higher spiritual chakras. It is the seat of emotional consciousness and it relates to the element of air which is all around us, and in us within our breath.

The air element of Anahata feeds the flames of the manipura fire chakra, giving us the power to love unconditionally and care for everything on our planet. Its physical location is the heart, upper chest and upper back. The heart chakra directly affects the heart, lungs, chest, arms, and hands, and physical symptoms of a lack of heart chakra energy can include shallow breathing, asthma, and other lung diseases, poor circulation, low blood pressure and some heart conditions, whilst too much energy can manifest as high blood pressure or heart disease.

Healthy heart chakra energy allows us to open up to, and connect with, harmony and peace. The quality and power of love in our life is directly reflected in the health of our heart centre. When our heart chakra energy is healthy, we feel surrounded by love, compassion, and joy and we are connected to the world around us. A deficiency of energy in the heart chakra may manifest emotionally as feelings of shyness and loneliness and we may struggle with forgiveness and empathy.

Mentally, an imbalanced heart chakra can result in feelings of unworthiness or an inability to trust ourselves or others. An over-powerful heart chakra can manifest as co-dependence, manipulative behaviours, possessiveness and jealousy.

Pranayama (breath-energy) practices, help to balance this chakra. Working with the breath increases our capacity for prana and air, along with our vitality and enthusiasm. If we hold our Selves with our head forward, shoulders rounded and chest collapsed, our head is leading our heart which can lead us to become overly focused on thought, and less in touch with our emotions and our body. Anahata chakra redresses this balance. So draw the shoulders back, expand across the chest, lengthen the neck and lift the head to feel more “heart-centred” and invite in all the beautiful qualities of Anahata, whose natural, feminine quality is to release and let go. The most powerful way to open, energise and balance the heart chakra is to love ourselves and others. Let love heal.

Intentions for Anahata practice might be: To offer and receive love with ease; cultivating compassion, allowing happiness in; releasing the fear of getting hurt; letting go of old heartache; cultivating humility; becoming less possessive; to to surrender and let go.

I look forward to exploring this beautiful chakra together, throughout our practice next week.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (peace, peace, peace).

Practising Kapalabhati – Skull Shining Breath

Our shared intention for last week was to cleanse, energise and heal our Manipura (solar plexus) chakra. One of our practices was a pranayama called Kapalabhati, which is usually translated as Shining Skull Breath.

There are many benefits to practising this heating breath, which include cleansing the respiratory system, whilst strengthening and increasing the capacity of the lungs.

If you would like to know more about this pranayama practice, Michael Bijker gives a lovely demonstration and explanation of Khapalabhati, and you can watch it on the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UURgA8Rf7E 

 

Insight into the Wonders of the Human Brain

Yesterday, I finished reading a book called “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, and it completely bowled me over. Jill (a neuroanatomist who suffered a severe stroke) talks about the differences between the left and right hemispheres of our brains, and what really astounded me was how she described “living in” the right side of her brain after her stroke. Words like “utopia” and “nirvana”, and expressions like being “at one with the universe” and “being in the present moment” … does that sound familiar! Her book has inspired me to research into, and find out more about, our incredible right hemispheres and, to spend more time in them … heaven/paradise/nirvana/ utopia on earth!

This is a link to Jill talking about her experience (it is essentially a very precised version of her book).  I find her totally inspirational because she connects with the scientist in me (left brain) and the yogi that I am (right brain) and makes sense of it all.  I would love to hear your comments on this fascinating subject!

Enjoy …

Emotional Growth Through our Yoga Practice

This term, our practice appears to be evolving around the part of our human experience that we label as our emotions.  Week one saw us looking at opening and creating space through a gentle yin practice.  Week two has seen us more actively pursuing the intention of releasing and letting go through a stronger yang practice.  As we open and release, we create space for new things to come in.  Our yoga practice always encourages us to let go of the stuff that no longer serves us in order to create space for that which we need right now, for our continued development.

Our emotions stem from our energetic self.  They begin with a feeling, which is then given an emotional label by the mind.  Yoga teaches us not to become that emotion.  We talk about becoming angry, upset or excited for example, and yet we are not really that emotion, we are simply experiencing it and from that experience there may be one of several outcomes:  we may experience change, or no change, we may avoid the emotion or push it away, or we may simply experience it and then let it go.

Yoga teaches us that we are not our emotions. That they are a means with which and by which we relate to others.  They come from the mental level of being (manomaya kosha) and, as such, they are within the control of our mind.  Our mind, however operates largely on a sub-conscious level, which means that we are not always fully aware of how it is dealing with our emotions.  We may try to think our way through/around/past emotions.  We may try to subjugate them by burying them and promising ourselves that when we have more time we will re-visit them and deal with them, or we may allow them to rein out of control and become completely caught up in them.

Yoga teaches us to simply witness our emotions.  When we can witness an emotion, we can be fully present in that emotion, without the mind taking over and making up stories around that emotion.  When we witness, we are observing through our being, rather than through our mind. Through witnessing or observing we can see it for what it is: an experience, that is separate from our Self and not a part of our Self.  We can be aware of the emotion without judging it or labelling it ‘good’ or ‘bad’, which allows us to experience it without the filter of our past experiences, thoughts and beliefs. If we are able to remain non-attached in this way, we have a mechanism to feel without being controlled by that feeling, to experience without the feeling becoming the whole experience.

This article was inspired by an article from yogi Matthew Sweeney.  To read the article go to: https://www.yogatemple.com/subtle-body

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Peace, Peace, Peace)

 

 

All Classes are Cancelled for Week Commencing 24th April 2017

This message is for all of my students who are currently practising with me:

On Sunday I injured my foot and cannot put weight on it, or drive, so unfortunately all classes this week are cancelled. I am really hopeful that I should be back to teaching by next week, and will update everybody nearer the time via facebook, my website and email.

I am sorry that you have to miss your class(es).

The good news about damaging a foot is that it is still possible to practice most seated and lying postures, meditation, relaxation and restorative postures!

What Happens During a Yoga Therapy Session?

Yoga therapy is about treating a person holistically.  In other words, regardless of why the person has come to see me, all aspects of the individual, and all of our levels of being are taken into account.

Restorative poses are prescribed for their ability to relax and heal on a deep therapeutic level.

Restorative poses are prescribed for their ability to relax and heal on a deeply therapeutic level.

Sessions are structured so that we can explore the best treatment methods, using yogic techniques that encourage the Self to heal and flourish and move towards optimum wellbeing.

Yogic techniques might include pranayama (breath-work), asana (posture-work), relaxation, mindfulness or meditation, restorative yoga (placing the body in supported postures to promote rest and healing), nidra (deep relaxation) and sankalpa (purpose).

The experience of yoga therapy creates a partnership between client and therapist which allows the therapist to deepen her/his understanding of the client and devise a home practice for the client to take away and use.  This empowers yoga therapy clients to take responsibility for their own wellbeing, and gives them the necessary insight to develop their own intrinsic ability to self-heal.

If you would like more information about yoga therapy, or to make an appointment, you can email me at: freetothinkmail@aol.com, or text/telephone me on: 07817623330.

Stay well!

October Saturday Yoga Workshop with Sarah and Nikki

Hi Fellow Yogis.
On our next Saturday morning workshop, Nikki and I will be guiding students through an exploration of Yin and Restorative Yoga. This will be a intensely relaxing and rejuvenating practice and students will enjoy the healing benefits of these two calming types of yoga.
The practice will help you to replenish your energy stores and heal on a deeper level any physical, emotional or psychological issues, as we work on a subtle energy level with the panca maya koshas, the seven primary chakras and the prana vayus.
Where: The Umbrella Centre, Spalding.IMG_20160412_191027191
Date:    15th October.
Time:    9:30am-12:30pm.
Cost:    £20.00.
If you wish to attend please let either myself or Nikki know as soon as possible as spaces are limited.
With love and light,

The Science Behind Yoga

Yoga is often described as both an art and a science and I would agree. The link below goes some way to explaining what is meant by that statement.  If you are a yogi, or thinking about becoming one then you this will be of interest to you.

Yoga is a transformative practice and this film will tell you how and why that is: http://upliftconnect.com/watch-science-behind-yoga/

Enjoy!

 

Yoga Workshop – Yoga for Health

With Sarah and Nikki

On Saturday, 21st May 2016, From 9:30am-12:30pm sunburst

At the Umbrella Centre, Westlode Street, Spalding

The aim of this experiential workshop is to explore ways in which yoga can improve overall wellbeing in both the mind and body and throughout the workshop we will use a variety of practices:

  • Asana (posture-work)
  • Pranayama (breath-work)
  • Pratyahara (mindfulness)
  • Svadhyaya (self-reflection)
  • Relaxation

The cost of the workshop is £20.00.

For more information, or to book your place, telephone or text Sarah on 07817623330, email: freetothinkmail@aol.com, or see me in class!

 

Seasonal Saturday Workshops with Sarah and Nikki – Yin Yoga

A morning of Yin Yoga with Sarah and Nikki on Saturday, 28th November 2015 at the Umbrella Centre, Westlode Street, Spalding.  From 9:30am – 12.30pm.

The aim of this experiential workshop is to deepen your understanding and experience of the calming and healing practice that is yin yoga.

Throughout the workshop we will employ a variety of practices:

  •  Asana (posture-work)
  •  Pranayama (breath-work)Seated Forward Bend
  •  Pratyahara (mindfulness)
  •  Svadhyaya (self-reflection)
  •  Relaxation

The cost of the workshop is £20.00.

For more information, or to book your place: Telephone or text Sarah on 07817623330, email: freetothinkmail@aol.comcontact me, or see me in class!