FREE meditation video

Sky Meditation – Dru Meditation DVD from Dru Team on Vimeo.

Sky Meditation – Dru Meditation DVD

The Dru Meditation DVD’s Sky meditation helps you regain your perspective on life, broaden your vision, lift your eyes from a situation in which you are bogged down, and see the larger perspective. Use it when you want to regain your enjoyment of life and all of those great things that are really important to you.

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Warm Yoga for a Cold Climate

snowy-valley-march-2013

It’s bone chillingly cold in our little Dru Yoga Studio.  The gales have blown out the central heating and no amount of resetting will persuade it to light again…

 

The water is frozen and every few minutes the wind blows open the doors and slams them shut, spraying a fine layer of snow everywhere.  I can see my breath and my feet are getting numb.

Not quite the time and place to practice yoga, right?

Cancel, cancel, cancel that thought!  Another cold snap (blizzards and temperatures down to -10 … unusual for Wales) has chilled me to the bone.  Yet, as a Dru Yoga teacher, I look for the lesson in everything.  I notice that I’m tightening my jaw and neck muscles as I walk in the wind.  My shoulders have tensed up in the blizzards.  There’s a general sense of stiffness and tension as I can feel my body fighting the unwelcome cold.

And the solution – is Dru Yoga, of course.  In my little yoga studio the heating isn’t working, but I can be creative.  I hum to myself as I move through dynamic activations (the way we always start a Dru Yoga class) – cross activation, bouncing, dancing – anything to get the circulation going and warm up the muscles.  As my heart rate increases I feel a slight warmth moving through my body.

Next, time for the Energy Block Release (EBR) – those wonderful Dru Sequences that unlock pockets of tension in my muscles, joints and energy body.   I move gently through EBR 1 – noticing my body unfolding as I twist, bend and stretch – and I can feel the tension starting to melt away.  I’m still not completely warm, so it’s time for something serious from my Dru Yoga ‘arsenal’ – the Sun Sequence.  The oldest exercise sequence known to humanity, Surya Namaskar releases a powerhouse of dynamic energy.  So, I start one sequence and my feet slip – so I take off my socks –  brr… and resistance arises.  Just keep moving, I tell myself, and I repeat the flowing Dru Yoga style sun sequence four times.  At last – I can feel the energy of the warm sun pulsating in my veins!

My mind is clearer, my mood is better, and I’ve reminded myself that when the weather is cold, it’s the perfect time to gently work with yoga, to release the tension that silently builds up in the body.

In the Northern Hemisphere, we aren’t always blessed with warm temperatures (I can’t believe that 10 days ago I was in 33 degrees C India!)  so, it’s even more reason to be kind to our body and mind, get out the yoga mat and start our yoga practice.  Hooray for Dru Yoga!

jane-claphamby Jane Clapham

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Jane Clapham is a Dru Yoga and Dru Meditation teacher trainer, who started doing Dru Yoga at the tender age of 15 and hasn’t stopped since!  She now teaches Dru yoga, meditation and sound courses in the UK, Europe, India and Australia. She runs Meditation teacher training courses in Snowdonia, Wales as well as meditation retreats worldwide.

How I discovered Dru Yoga…

dru-class-teacher-croppedI first discovered yoga in the mid-nineties. I was teaching at secondary school level at the time, and I was looking for a way of managing a stressful job and keeping flexible. I noticed my local leisure centre offered a yoga class and I joined up.

At the time I wasn’t aware of different yoga styles, but from what I recall it was a hatha style class, with the emphasis on holding various hatha poses for a period of time.  I had never tried yoga before and loved it – it offered me time out after a busy day’s teaching for myself to just be and quieten my busy mind.

Soon after starting yoga I began to re-evaluate my life and as a result left teaching. I loved the job in many ways, but the practice of yoga really brought home to me the effects that my teaching job was having on my health.  I entered into a series of jobs in heritage, moving around the country. I endeavored to keep my yoga up – using videos when I couldn’t find a class.  And attending classes where ever possible – over the years I have attended hatha, Iyengar, Yin and Kundalini classes.

I first came across Dru yoga in 2009 whilst surfing online. I remember being intrigued by its gentle graceful nature, flowing sequences and the ‘energy block releases’ unique to this style of yoga. I looked for a local teacher but unfortunately wasn’t able to find a regular local class in my area. I contacted the Dru Midlands office based in Wolverhampton and they encouraged me to try some workshops and even try the Teacher Training Taster day they had planned.  Having attended the taster and a workshop – as well as buying the DVD – I became hooked.

I completed the Dru Teacher Training course in 2012 and I loved every minute of it. Not only did the course satisfy my appetite to discover more about Dru, I learned effective techniques to apply in my everyday life. When it’s all feeling a bit hectic my favorite is to take some time out and stand in mountain pose, breathe and ground myself. Simple, yet very effective!   And the energy block releases have taught me the importance of releasing unresolved emotional energy.

Dru yoga has been a valuable addition to my life on many levels. It helps me manage the demands of daily life, keeps my energy levels up and also allows me the time and space to focus. I am now teaching Dru Yoga and I am constantly delighted to see how Dru yoga positively helps and empowers my students.

Susan Hardwick
Dru Yoga Teacher, Nottingham

Disocver more about Dru:
> www.druworldwide.com
(yoga holidays, yoga teacher training & local yoga workshops and classes)
> Online Yoga studio
> Online Meditation course
> Online Gita Course

Dru Yoga in the Workplace

Taking Yoga into the Workplace

More and more research is being published to show that yoga reduces stress in the workplace, and yoga is being seen increasingly as a solution to stress- related absenteeism. Stress and back pain are two key factors leading to sickness absence at work, costing the British economy an estimated £17 billion per year.

Ned Hartfiel, a researcher from Bangor University, was interested in the effects of Dru Yoga on workplace stress, and as part of his doctorate research, did a 8-week randomised, controlled study with employees of Conwy County Council, which has been published in the Oxford University Press’ Journal of Occupational Medicine. The study showed that the Dru Yoga programme significantly reduced perceived stress, back pain and hostility, and that participants felt more self-assured, attentive and serene after the yoga classes.

Dru Yoga was chosen for this study, as it is a particularly safe and therapeutic form of yoga that can be practised by most people. Dru Yoga is characterized by graceful movements, directed breathing and relaxation techniques that include affirmation and visualization. The Dru Yoga classes in this study were divided into four stages: activation exercises, energy block release sequences, postures and relaxation.

One participant in the study, Susan Williams, a Community Engagement Officer, tells her story of experiencing yoga in the workplace.

‘I received an internal e-mail that explained about the yoga pilot project and that it could help with stress. I had never done any yoga before in my life, but I had been fascinated with the ancient health enhancing properties of yoga, and I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain from giving it a go.

As a professional with a job that required a lot of energy and drive, I was wearing myself to the ground. My stress levels had become too high, to a level whereby I had to take time off work. I had tried to hide my stress for a number of years, however, during the last year I could no longer hold it together. Physically I felt tired. Outwardly I was enthusiastic, encouraging, assisting and motivating others; however inwardly, I was empty and giving out my reserves! I couldn’t go on any more. I was burnt out and with two children to look after. I was scared, and I needed to find a way out.

I embraced the Dru Yoga programme of exercise. I was able to complete 7 out of the 8 weeks of Yoga, and I practised at home with the DVD at least once a week, but more often twice. I found that Dru Yoga had a noticeable effect on my self-esteem and levels of confidence. I felt more in control, ready, aware, dynamic and empowered. I began to recognise the inner strength within me. It had always been there, but now I knew it! I was happier, and it was so much easier to cope with my circumstances. Although my circumstances had not changed, my outlook, attitude and behaviour began to improve remarkably.

Since starting the Dru Yoga pilot study, I have had no long term stress-related sickness absence. In fact, I have now enrolled on a course to become a Dru Yoga Instructor! I would not say I am ‘cured’, as I am still susceptible to stress and anxiety. However, I am using the tools I have learned from Dru Yoga, and it works!

Emotionally I am more calm and positive. Physically I am stronger, with greater flexibility and overall in much better shape than I was before. Although I am physically active and lift
weights, Dru took my physical capabilities to a new level, and I love a challenge! Dru uses visualisation as well, which really helps when doing the movements. It works on a deeper level and leaves me feeling grounded with a feeling of harmony, acceptance and simplicity. Namaste.’

As more research shows how yoga can help with workplace stress and back pain, it’s time for yoga teachers to take their skills off the mat and into businesses – who need the benefits of yoga more than ever.

 

Yoga for reducing perceived stress and back pain at work N. Hartfiel; C. Burton; J. Rycroft-Malone; G. Clarke; J. Havenhand; S. B. Khalsa; R. T. Edwards Occupational Medicine 2012; doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqs168 More information about Dru Yoga, visit druyoga.com

Ned Hartfiel
ned@druworldwide.com

Emotions – the manamaya kosha

We all have things we don’t like or appreciate about ourselves. Whether its the chocolate biscuit stash or the attitude to our boss there are just some things that don’t fit into our ideals of perfection. On the one hand our emotions are what make our lives rich, interesting and exciting – on the down side they can also pull us into feelings of inadequacy and weakness. So what to do?

Emotions, in yogic terms, is referred to as the Manamaya Kosha or layer of emotions. This is how we ‘feel’ about our interactions and the world around us. It is the layer that starts to put our thoughts into action by feeling and experiencing. Combined with the next layer Vijnanamaya Kosha or our thoughts and judgements, this is how we perceive our world. Our expectations, projections and judgements are all coloured by – tainted by – our previous experiences.

In our Dru Yoga classes we have the opportunity to not only work with our physical and energy layers (anamaya and pranamaya koshas) but we can also start to ‘feel’ the qualities and emotions that are enhanced or precipitate from the postures and sequences.

In order to explain this – imagine that the body is an electrical circuit. There are many invisible wires running through the system – and when connected in a particular way they light up one, two or even several light bulbs. In the same way our yoga poses and sequences help to direct energy in a particular way through the body’s energy circuit to create specific results. Sometimes we may have blockages in the system manifesting as physical symptoms, and sometimes mental and emotional resistance; in which case Energy Block Release sequences will be helpful as a major part of your practice.

What we do in a yoga session is to gently guide our emotions, our thoughts, feelings and experiences in the same direction. Exerting a small amount of control and focus is great practice for when we step off the mat! It is said that our emotions, like the mind can be compared to a weak muscle – without direction it falls back on old habits – familiar ways of doing things, even if they are the longer and more laborious simply because it doesn’t want to have to learn something new. Its a ‘lazy’ muscle. Its like doing your all the financial accounts of a multi-million pound business in ledgers, by hand, with an old fountain pen because you don’t want to put the effort in to learn how to switch on and use a computer – even when its sitting next to you on the desk!

So now we come to the crucial point… What can we do to train and engage the mind and emotions in order for them to help us and not hinder us?

This is one of the best top tips I have come across through my work over the years.

Method One: Distraction by Gratitude!
If you find yourself in a quagmire of emotion and don’t know how to get yourself out – STOP thinking about how much you are stuck in the emotion – you are simply entrenching that habit more and more deeply! The key here is to start with GRATITUDE. I know I have mentioned this quality before, but it really is one of the most important foundations to a happy life!
1. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. If you want you can light a candle, whatever you can do to take you into your own space – ideally shut the door and turn off the phone too!
2. Think of someone you deeply love – this can be a partner, a child, a friend or a member of your family. For this exercise choose someone you have a personal relationship with.
3. Really start to feel you love of that person in your heart. Feel it growing and becoming stronger – almost as if you are turning up the volume.
4. Allow that feeling of love to change subtly so that you start to appreciate everything about them, their physical appearance, their personality, and the joy you feel in their presence. Allow appreciation to become a deeper feeling still – as it turns into gratitude that that person is a part of your life. Again really feel the quality of gratitude and you focus on that person.
5. Start to turn that feeling of gratitude inwards now toward you; who YOU really are. Start to appreciate and love things about yourself, just as you did about the other person. Hold a sense of gratitude that you are here on this earth, that you are living a wonderful life, that you have a fantastic body that carries you everywhere… Recognise that, in reality, you have everything that you need. Right here and now.
6. When you are ready slowly bring yourself back into the present moment, but if you can, hold on to that feeling of deep peace and appreciation.

I hope that this short concentration technique will help you to become more focused on the amazing being that you are so that you step out with confidence and strength into your life. Know that you ARE fantastic AS YOU ARE! Once you have that under your belt THEN we can start with directing those emotions to bring you even greater joy and success in your life.

Thanks, Anouschka.

P.s. If you would like more information about how to live you life in the best way possible – you may wish to consider the ‘Power to live your dreams’ course. With some of Dru’s most senior tutors, this course is designed to help you to gain the knowledge and tools to live your life in a place of total success. For more information email us today at hello@druworldwide.com