Winter is a time to curl up and read a book by the fire, to take a restorative rest from the pace of life in order to restore our inner being, ready for the blooms of Spring, new growth as we shed what we no longer need and re-emerge. Did you make a New Years Resolve or Resolution? Personally I don’t make the old resolutions of losing weight or ‘doing’ more exercise anymore, but prefer to resolve to be in Presence with each moment. When life begins to ‘take over’ and my inner critic screams its drama’s, I resolve to stop and listen to Nature, to my breath, anything that engages me back into this moment, here and now, the Presence of Simply Being, but is not so simple to practice. All I can say is you are human and it will continue to draw you away, but it’s the practice of noticing and pausing that will help keep you grounded in Presence. Good luck, Om Shantih
This is a question I am often asked by students. The best way to describe it is that all Yoga which includes movement or asana is Hatha Yoga. The majority of my classes are Hatha Yoga, each class has elements of Movement, Breath, Meditation and Relaxation within it, depending upon what theme we are working with at that time. There are various schools or Methods of Yoga, the primary ones are:
Mudra of the Week - Ganesha Mudra. Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, but also places them, he gives us strength and courage. This is a practice of "getting out of your own Way". Take a moment to think about what obstacles are within you right whilst performing Ganesha Mudra: Connect your right palm under the left palm and loosely hook your fingers. As obstacles arise look upon them with Compassion and they may just dissolve away leaving you with a sense of inner strength and resilience. Affirmation you may use "May I overcome the obstacles I have placed within to reveal my own Truth" It takes practice and inner study, you can hold this Mudra for as long as you like. Further practice is to gently pull into the hands on the inhale and release on exhale.G
The humble tree can represent the 8-Fold Path as set out by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. The asana (yoga poses) and the Pranayama (breath work) help the practitioner to detach the mind from the contact of the body, this leads towards concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana).
The covering of the bark protects the energy flowing inside the tree, between the leaves and the roots. This is pratyahara (sense withdrawal) our inward journey of our senses from the skin towards the core of our being. You could imagine the Sap as the juice that carries this energy inside as Dharana (Concentration).
When we experience this unity within, when the observer and the observed are one and the same, we are healthy, our flower or inner being blossoms into Dhyana (Meditation), which is the flower of the tree of Yoga. When this flower transforms into fruit, we have reached Samadhi. When the body, mind and Spirit are United and merge with the Universal Spirit. To attain the 8 Fold path of Hatha Yoga we have to Practice Practice Practice.
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