breathing for well-being

breathing for well-being

It’s pretty obvious if you are breathing, you are alive. The breath animates us. most of the time! This means, that our breathing patterns can either be helpful, distraught, or rather therapeutic. For more on that subject, click HERE and you will find a post on breathing for well-being and balance.

Did you know that the breath is the link between the mind and the emotions? Anxiety is an emotional problem that pretty much hits everyone at some point. For some, it can be more intense than others, from ‘simple’ nervousness to panic attacks. Certainly, if you are anxious about real and imminent danger, this is useful, and your breathing is a powerful thermometer for this.

The advice below, “take it day by day and be grateful for every breath” is a great affirmation. However, I think the first stage is knowing who you are as a breather, undoing any unhelpful tendencies and then re-learning healthy techniques. On my Yoga Mind Cd, you will find a track that teaches, guides you into, the natural and essential breath. Once you can do that, then an affirmation is a positive tool to incorporate.

I have given workshops on the breath so if you want to bring one to your studio or have private yoga lessonscontact me :-)

breathing

yoga for everybody

yoga for everybody:

This post is inspired by two things.  The first is by this photo. The second, is I recently met someone who said “this body is not meant to do yoga”. the comment made me a little sad that this person felt excluded from the entire eight limbed system of yoga because of the shape of the body this person lives in.

yoga for everybody

The Western culture very much identifies Yoga with the body. Yes, we do have one, live in one, and use it to move around in, so let us respect it and maintain it. I like how she expresses things up above. “Not all yoga poses are upside-down and pretzelly. They can be simple like this and still work their magic”.  I have heard before, “If you are breathing, you can do yoga”. I agree, and as a yoga therapist, I would say that most of the poses can be brought to you, whether through the use of strategically placed yoga props, or modifications, and substitutions. Breathing practices can also find you, as can visualizations, relaxations, and meditation. You can focus on your breath and do a simple joint opening series, and bring mindfulness into sitting at your desk. Not everything has to be bendy and fancy in order for you to be yoga. “All bodies are yoga bodies”. It is not a one-size fits all practice, your uniqueness can be respected and appreciated.

The Om Symbol Breakdown

The OM Mantra

Using a mantra, such as the classic OM, also pronounced AUM, can be transformative;

it is not about mindless repetition though – so if you use one, the more you understand about it, the more you vibrate on its frequency.I typically start and or end a yoga class with 3 rounds chanted in unison.

Maybe knowing what it is about, you will be more inclined to embrace the chant. (I have seen it and heard it chanted with more of an “OOO” but also enunciated where the sound is more AUM) ~ Typically for a practice like that we inhale rather fully, with the exhale let the A resonate in the belly, the U resonate in the chest, and the M resonate in the top throat…

“Om is the all encompassing cosmic vibration of the universe”

The OM Symbol breakdown

Let me mention, I am not the author of this beautiful chart and I must have found it from the Internet, where I am only assuming, it is safe to borrow from. This is a great breakdown of the symbol which we see everywhere.

The Om encompasses the waking, dream and unconscious states. As we develop spiritually, we pass through the illusion that is said to veil us and prevent us from moving towards the Absolute state of consciousness

Hopefully even just reading about the symbolism transports your consciousness :-) enjoy and see if you can fit some practice in along side your pranayama

om infograpphic

Yogatherapy for the neck

Yogatherapy for the neck is one of my favourite yogatherapy subjects! I have a perfect yogatherapy workshop entitled “Pain in the Neck” so when I found this photo I quickly chose it for today’s blog.

Yogatherapy for the neck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what one new student said after a private yoga class where we focused on learning skills to improve her posture especially since she is prone to headaches:

“I feel more space in the back of my neck very cool” ~ R.G.

I think what we all need to remember is that the body eavesdrops on our thoughts, responds to our sleep positions, driving habits, and other holding patterns. Change or transformation is possible through Yoga if the right practices are used for the right person. This includes postures, modifications of postures, breathing, affirmations, insights and so on.

Today’s yogatherapy tip: just be aware how you hold your head – does it tilt, fall, is your chin lifting up? Maybe this affirmation will help you heal today, feel your head on straight with the top throat light or at least not clench up as you deal with whatever life brings your way…”It is with flexibility and ease that I see all sides of an issue…”

Yogatherapy for the neck

word of the day maitreya

word of the day maitreya – or Loving Kindness

The name Maitreya (Metteyya in Pāli) is derived from the Sanskrit word maitrī (Pāli: mettā) meaning “loving-kindness”, which is in turn derived from the noun mitra (Pāli: mitta) in the sense of “friend” ( Source )

word of the day maitreya

word of the day maitreya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know, a little goes a long way;

On your yoga mat, a well-placed prop can be kind because it encourages, rather than forces, your body to open

Off your yoga mat, try being kind as opposed to being right…

As B.K.S. Iyengar says in Light on Yoga, “To overcome the obstacles and to win unalloyed happiness, Patanjali offered several remedies. The best of these is the fourfold remedy of Maitri (friendliness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (delight), and Upeksa (disregard).  Maitri is not merely friendliness, but also a feeling of oneness with the object of friendliness (atmiyata). A mother feels intense happiness at the success of her children because of atmiyata, a feeling of oneness. Patanjali recommends maitri for sukha (happiness or virtue). the yogi cultivates maitri and atmiyata for the good and turns enemies into friends, bearing malice towards none.