I am excited to announce that I will be running a new six week course, Yoga for Emotional Intelligence, throughout March and April at Wake House in Bourne, on Tuesday afternoons, from 12:00-1:30pm, starting on Tuesday, 3rd March.
According to a Dictionary of Pyschology: “Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognise their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings, and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).” ~ Colman, Andrew (2008). A Dictionary of Psychology (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199534067.
Yoga for Emotional Intelligence will focus on some of the emotions that we tend to regard as negative. Even though they are rarely comfortable, these emotions are a part of human life. They all contain lessons that, if recognised, enable us to grow and flourish. We shall examine why trying to escape these emotions only encourages them. Participants will have the opportunity to discover how yoga can us manage our emotional Self. Some of the emotions and conditions that we shall focus on will be anger, anxiety, guilt, shame and sadness/grief.
The course will weave together many aspects and practices of yogic wisdom. Through yang, yin and restorative asana (posture work), meditations, visualisations, pranayamas (breath practices), mudras (hand and body energy gestures), bandhas (energy locks and seals), relaxations and nidras we will discover the many benefits of yoga. There will also be a blending of Western Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Intelligence with Eastern yoga wisdom, as we explore what works for us as individuals.
There will opportunities for discussion and reflection, and journaling will also be encouraged. Each week, participants will be given a Home Practice relating to a particular emotion. This can be practiced throughout the intervening week(s), stored in your Emotional Intelligence toolbox, and brought out as required whenever you hit a bump in the road of life.
You do not need any prior knowledge or experience of yoga to attend and benefit from this course, just a natural curiosity and desire to grow and evolve emotionally.
The cost of the course is £60.00, which is payable at the time of booking. The course cost includes all six 90 minute practice sessions, and a weekly Home Practice to take away with you. There will only be ten places available, and they will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
If you choose to attend this course, I shall look forward to sharing your journey of emotional discovery with you.
You can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone/text me on: 07817623330 to book your place.
As we move towards the winter months our practice will be reflecting our natural desire to move our attention inwards so that we might nourish and nurture. To this end, next week’s practice will be a Yin practice, so don’t forget your bolsters (or a couple of firm pillows/cushions) so that you might give your body a little bit of comforting support as we practice the art of being.
This is just a reminder to everybody that this week’s practice will be a yin practice, so bring along extra blankets and/or cushions and be prepared for a relaxing, meditative practice that will encourage space within the body and peace within the mind.
You may be interested to know that two spaces have become available on the above ten week course
This course will be held at Wake House in Bourne and starts on Wednesday, 23rd May. If you, or somebody that you know, might be interested, please let me know asap. You can text or telephone me on: 07817623330 or email me at: email@example.com or Contact Sarah
Week two of our journey into the Prana Vayus has seen us working with Apana Vayu. This is the downward moving, grounding energy that is associated with the lower regions of our physical body and all forms of elimination. Physically we eliminate waste from the body and mentally, apana vayu encourages us to cleanse our minds by eliminating stale emotions, habits, behaviours, thoughts and ideas, opinions, and everything else that stems from the mind. This energy allows us to release and let go of emotions and behaviours that no longer serve us, cleansing us of old experiences and creating space for new ones.
If this energy is unbalanced, there is a lack of integrity between the mind and the body and our immune system is weakened. We become vulnerable to illness, fear, doubt, confusion, insecurity, and loss of purpose. A strong and balanced apana vayu is grounding, it helps to banish feelings of spaciness, anxiety and stress, and encourages a stable outlook towards life.
Because this is a downward flowing energy, when we work with apana vayu, our intention is to conserve this energy and keep it in the body through practices such as mula bandha, and the mobilisation of prana within the pelvis in postures such as dynamic baddha konasana.
Throughout our practice this week, we worked with Yoni Mudra, a powerful mudra, which draws energy down into the lower pelvis, legs and feet, where it assists in elimination and a healthy flow of apana vayu:
Bring each thumb tip together and each index finger tip together to form a diamond shape. Spread the fingers and place the hands, palms facing down, far down on the lower abdomen so that the thumbs are pointing upwards, just below the navel and the fingers are pointing downwards toward the groin. Relax the shoulders.
Allow the inhalation to be natural, and place your focus on the exhalation. As the breath slows down, begin to extend the exhalation to your maximum comfortable length. Maintain your focus on the exhalation, picturing or sensing or feeling the breath flowing downwards into the region of the pelvis. Imagine or sense the whole of the pelvic basin filling with cleansing energy. Practice for 5 minutes or more.
Practice yoni mudra whenever you feel a need to let go of anything from any part of you, physical, mental or physiological, and encourage apana vayu to cleanse you and release you of anything that no longer serves you.
This term we are exploring the Prana Vayus. These are the “energy winds” in the subtle energy body, known as the Pranamaya Kosha (the “body that feeds on prana or universal energy”).
We began our journey with a practice designed to balance the energy of Prana Vayu. This is the fundamental, inward-moving, propulsive, vital energy, that gives us vitality, speed and motivation. It is our receptive energy which enables us to receive everything from air (through inhalation) and food, to impressions and ideas. This energy governs respiration, and is most active in the region of the lungs and heart.
On a more subtle level, this is the energy that heightens our sensitivity to our external senses and our inner awareness. It allows us to see the external world and all its opportunities more clearly, and at the same time, this energy lets us rest our inner attention in contentment. An imbalance of this energy can lead to adopting bad habits and suffering from cravings, a restless and scattered mind and emotional conditions such as anxiety, depression, grief, bereavement and isolation.
Physically, a lack of prana vayu can lead to low energy and fatigue, breathing difficulties (inability to catch breath, asthma, COPD), or a lack of chest expansion (forwards and outwards, especially the middle ribs), heart and lung problems, any chronic illness, a weak immune system, upper back stiffness or pain, shoulder or arm weakness or problems, such as frozen shoulder.
The mudra that we used to encourage a balanced prana vayu was Madhyrama Sharira mudra:
Place the index fingers around the upper chest and the thumbs towards the back of the body. Keep the other fingers together so that the middle fingers are pressed towards the index fingers, palms facing downwards. Relax the shoulders and close the eyes.
Bring the awareness down in to the upper chest area, to where your fingers and thumbs are touching your body. Begin to focus on the inhalation and extend the inhalation to it’s maximum, comfortable length. Focus on the breath entering the body and filling the upper chest area. Let the exhalation be natural, whilst you maintain your focus on the inhalation. Practice for 5 minutes or more, whenever you feel there is a need to redress any of the imbalances described above.