When we move our bodies with concious awareness, in yoga, we are able to tap into a deep resource of presence and energy.
Yoga can give us a way of understanding ourselves, our family, our friends, our community and our planet.
Yoga can also give us peace, a little bit of sanctuary within our busy lives. When you make some sacred space for yourself, you nourish your own well being, and create the process of deep healing, and self empowerment.
Feet, foundation, earth. Pada Bandha
Connecting with the earth through posture, grounding, standing, becoming aware of our foundations and our roots. Earth
The Sanskrit word asana translates as 'seat'
The physical yoga practices of moving the body into different shapes or postures, and also moving into the experience of our bodies in the present moment. Asana can also be interpreted as 'connection'; to yourself, to the ground underneath you, and to the beings and world around you. In asana practice we move energetically into forms, a child, a dog, cat, pigeon, tree, great sages. The postures hold within them the knowledge and understanding of the ancient rishis, passed down through generations of practitioners.
Balance and Support
Awareness and mindfulness of our breathing is one of the most common techniques for concentrating the mind and dropping into the practice of meditation.
Vinyasa translates as 'to place in a special way'. In today's asana based yoga classes this translates as intelligently sequenced postures, and is often taught in a dynamic style, moving with the breath, and transitioning between postures with each breath. Most practitioners will be familiar with Surya Namaskar, or sun salutations, which come on many varieties, and are commonly taught or used as a warming up sequence. Many current popular yoga styles are built around Surya Namaskar and variations, using this sequence as the basis for moving in and out of other asana explorations.
Our breath is also intimately connected with movement. Our bodies move as we breath. The connection between the breath and the movement of the spine is an integral point of exploration in a yoga practice. Sometimes the subtle motion of our breath can lead us to our spine and also the more dynamic movements of our spine can lead us to our breath.
Yoga off the mat
Through the practice of asana we can learn to be present in the experience of our body. We can start to 'disentangle our spirits'. Our physical body will come to feel more alive, vibrant and dynamic, gaining in strength and flexibility. Through sustained practice we come to learn so much about ourselves, recognise our patterns of behavior and negative tendencies, and find new ways of opening and releasing. This is when our yoga becomes an advanced practice. These qualities seep through into our day to day lives - yoga 'off the mat'