Autumn and Winter
How Yoga can help!
During the autumn and winter months our energies can feel depleted and we can feel colder and more often, tired.
How can yoga help? Yoga helps to balance the bodies energies through raising prana, our living energy, when moving through asana, taking conscious breaths (pranayama), being conscious of our state of being and taking the time for relaxing and restoring when we need to.
How can we take yoga off the mat into daily busy lives to maintain balance? Through practising awareness. Awareness of our body and how it feels in each moment, awareness of the breath and when it may become restricted, shallow or fast. When we are aware of the body feeling out of balance, we can take a few conscious, slower, deeper breaths to help calm the mind as, in the words of the sage Patanjali, “wherever the mind goes the breath follows”. As best we can, remember we are always doing our best with what we have got from where we are in any given moment, so, as best we can, being aware of thoughts and the breath then using the breath in longer more expansive exhales to help center and calm the mind. This can be practised for 20 seconds or for many minutes by closing eyes in the middle of whatever we are doing, being aware of the body, the breath and the mind, taking at least 5 conscious breaths then being aware once again of body, breath and mind. Jon Kabat Zinn refers to this as the ‘breathing space’, a space where we give ourselves just enough time to recenter and reconnect. In as little as 20 seconds we can change our possible reactions into calmer responses which makes a big difference to our own being and in relation to our connections to others and daily life waves!
A simple practice - the petal/flower breath (a recording is provided at the end of the newsletter)
Sitting or standing or even lying down, be aware of your body and how it feels. Does it feel light, heavy, tired, energised?
Where is your mind? Is it planning, worrying, daydreaming? Whatever it is doing is fine, just be aware.
Now come to the breath in the body, how is your breath in this moment?
Take several slower, deeper breaths, imagining the breath exhaling down from the top of your head all the way down to your feet.
Feel the in breath, expanding, opening.
As you exhale, slowly open both hands, softly, gently, like the petals of your favourite flower.
Don’t overstretch or strain, just opening the fingers gently.
As you inhale, slowly close your hands, gently, softly, like the petals of your favourite flower.
Don’t make a fist, just let fingers and thumb connect.
Repeat this as many times as you would like with your breath.
When you feel ready, release the hands, stay with eyes closed for a few moments and notice: how does the body feel? How is the breath itself in this moment? How is the mind in this moment?
Spend a few moments with the natural breath before continuing with your day.
You can use the petal breath anywhere and at any time to help rebalance and centre the whole of your being.
And remember, eat season foods that are warming to the system, drink plenty of fluids and try as best you can to get the right amount of sleep for your being at the right time!
Mondays 11.15a.m. at Greasby Centre
Total Fitness Gym Prenton (members only)
Day Retreat at Merebrook House
The November Day retreat at Merebrook House is fully booked but I am hoping to run another at Merebrook early in the New Year. Watch this space.
Yoga Holiday 2023 Turkey
There are places left for this holiday so do let me know asap if you are interested in going.
Weekend Retreat at High Trenhouse, Yorkshire
There will be another weekend retreat at High Trenhouse in June 2023. Friday 9th to Sunday 11th June.
High Trenhouse is a Retreat Centre set in beautiful secluded grounds in the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park in Malham Moor, Settle.
Places are already booked for this weekend so do let me know asap if you want to attend. There is a limit on numbers from the venue.
The cost is £360 for an ensuite single room. £345 for sharing ensuite room.
Deposit is £100 non refundable.
In closing, stay warm, stay balanced and breathe!
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.” ― B.K.S Iyengar
Recording of the Petal flower breath: (ps you may hear one of my cats meow half way through!)
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