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Focusing with intent in an asana is what assists the healing of chakras. You can do so many poses over and over again but when there is focus, a sense of peace and strength can evolve from within.
Upward facing Dog – Urdhava Mukha Svanasana opens the heart center and allows the respiratory and circulatory system to flow in balance. In this pose some of us tend to focus on catching the breath instead of feeling the breath of life flowing into the body, so instead of feeling the calm presence of universal energy we end up feeling like our heart is pumping like crazy and you want the pose to be over and done with. What we should be focusing on is breathing through the nose, into the head and all the way to the tips of your toes – ‘ahhh bliss.’ Learn to engage in asana mindfully and activate all levels of union with the mind and body. You will enjoy this more than partial engagement, you will also sweat more – creating inner heat/ fire. Physically feel the chakra spinning and unblock a load of locked up emotions, as well as activating the whole nervous system. Trust me it works, it may take you several attempts but you will get there in the end.
Wide legged forward bend – Prasarita Padottanassana strengthens the root and foundations of the body. Do it without activating your body starting from the legs and the asana will benefit only partially. Engage the legs, lock the knees and hinge forward from your hips and you will feel strong, allow the foundations or should I say skeletal structure of the body to feel strong from inside and the prana will flow deeply inside your osteons. The reward is always different when you fully engage your mind and body. So you will be opening the root, heart, third eye and crown chakra, as opposed to root and third eye only, which in turn would really mean your mind is engage but the physical body is not.
Try it with all your favourite asanas and feel the difference, when you approach yoga with mindfulness and open out a connection to the entire universe, you ground yourself and engage yourself into the true meaning of mindfulness and yoga. I guarantee you will love it and it will leave you feeling grateful from within.
Let there be love and light in your practice, feel ‘your lightness of being.’
Love and light,
There seems to be this expectation floating around that if you're a yoga teacher or a practising Yogi/Yogini then you 'must' be really calm or you 'must' be really flexible. My question is, why? Why should I be really calm and why must you expect that I'm really flexible?
I, just like you are on a constantly evolving journey of the Self and the world. So I will have days when I'm flustered or frustrated and everything in the world seems to be pushing against me. I may have days where I struggle in a balance pose or just can't get my nose to meet my knee and I know I can do this!
I try to avoid or limit the expectations I have of others in life, but I definitely have expectations of myself. I sometimes need to remind myself to let go of these and without defaulting to complacency just accept the present moment. Let is be as it is right now. Maybe my energy is low, or maybe it's my hormones, maybe my body is telling me to take it easy. It's easy to let the outside world force you to be a particular way ALL THE TIME due to their expectation of you as a yoga teacher or an active Yogi/Yogini. These are the times when you need to remember that it's your journey. That you're human with vices and flaws and are constantly evolving. As long as you are mindful and practice non-harming to others and therefore yourself it's quite frankly, none of their business if you can't do the crow pose or the splits or if you're have a rant day.
It's okay if we we're still working on the life plan, the career plan, the family plan. It's okay to set free the expectation we have of ourselves and have a day off constantly striving to live a balanced life. Try and tip the balance and give yourself a 'you' day. Lounge around or get dressed and meet friends for cocktails or have an extravagant meal (that yes may not be that healthy!). It's okay. Be compassionate... we're only human.
Here at Yogarei we understand we all have good and bad days, emotional and energetic blocks. There's signal failure on your tube line or you may have missed the bus on your way to work, rushing in all flustered, ranting and raving... and that's okay. Take a deep breath, pay attention to yourself and let it go.
Can we really always be cool, calm and collected? Or should we just try and be ourselves or the best version of ourselves that is possible at the time? Be as flexible as is available to you in your practice and be a calm or ranty as you want. Be mindful, accepting and compassionate to yourself and others when they are going through this and try to avoid judging yourself because you 'should' be like this or that. Just be.