“Calming the mind is yoga. Not just standing on the head.” ― Swami Satchidananda
Every body is a yoga body!
Being led through a yoga practice with a yoga video is wonderful. In my own time, I create space in my day to put on a video and allow myself to let go and be led. Each word, breath and posture leads me from a busy mind and wound up body, to a place where I embody calmness and peace. It makes it easy to meditate. I feel I've come back to myself. I've united body and mind, mind and heart, the outer me and the inner me. It is wonderful.
Mantra: I am brave
By using mantra’s when we practice yoga postures, breathwork or when we meditate, we create space to allow the affirmation to take root. Affirmations aren’t self-praise. They are a statement of an energy or mindset that we would like to move towards. Affirmations are about self-belief.
Breath: Alternate nostril breathing
1. Eagle pose
This pose stretches and broadens the area between the shoulder blades, releasing upper-back tension and opening the back of the heart. It also stretches your shoulders, ankles, hips, and wrists. And it broadens the sacrum, an area where many people typically hold a lot of tension, and softens the groins, which allows a free flow of energy in the lower body. This pose opens up space mentally. To sustain the posture, you must give it your full attention and commitment, drawing your mind to one singular point of focus.
2. Squat pose
This is a sitting pose that affects your ankles, digestive system, lower back, hips, and improvises the reproductive part. This pose taps into our downward-flowing energy known as apana vayu. Malasana not only helps calm the mind and ground our souls, but also reinforces the body’s lower body and helps with digestion. The downward flow of apana vayu, when experienced through this exercise has long been believed to help the mind and body digest whatever may be holding them down or back, physically and emotionally.
3. Downward-facing dog pose
This pose helps to calm the brain and to relieve stress. It energises the body. It stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands. It strengthens the arms and legs. Downward-facing dog is a pose that you grow into. You can’t force your body into submission. It’s about gently guiding and practicing the pose. Over time, you experience greater benefits from it.
4. Cat-cow pose
Cat-Cow is a gentle flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also open the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep. The spinal movement of the two poses stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands. Coordinating this movement with your breathing relieves stress and calms the mind.
5. Hero pose
Hero Pose is a classical seated yoga posture that stretches the thighs and ankles while improving posture. It is one of the most ancient and traditional postures used for meditation and breathing exercises. This pose can be difficult for those with tight knees, thighs, or groins. But when practiced correctly, it will actually help the mobility and health of your knees! It can take months or even years to reach the full expression of the pose, so remember there's no need to rush! Hero Pose stretches and increases flexibility in the knees, ankles, and thighs. It helps to reduce tightness in the legs. The pose strengthens the arches of the feet. When Hero Pose is practiced in correct alignment, it can lead to a greater awareness of the entire body, and of how the breath moves through the torso. This awareness creates calm focus, which is the true essence of yoga.
Yoga Safety Tips
1. Take your time, it’s not a competition
2. Your body is the expert. Listen to it where it is now, rather than forcing it to where you’d like it to be.
3. Find the sweet spot of challenging yourself rather than pushing and straining yourself
4. Don’t buy into “no pain, no gain”. Yoga is about connecting body and mind for calmness and stillness. Pain is a sign to take it easy.
5. Allow your yoga practice to unfold over time and allow your body time to adjust
6. If pregnant, seek advice from a qualified yoga teacher
7. If injured, seek advice from a qualified yoga teacher
8. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise
9. Participation in yoga videos online are at your own risk.
There are many benefits to a gentle yoga practice. They include:
Work at your own pace and comfort level.
Allow your practice to build.
Your body changes day-to-day and some poses feel easier one day than the next, and that's ok.
Do not force postures.
Participation in the class is at your own risk.
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