July 2013 – the child

child-for-blog

Pindasana, or the Child Pose, is a calm, quiet posture which helps to free tension in the area between the shoulder blades and along the whole length of the spine.

On a mental / emotional level you may experience a feeling of security and inner peace, as well as feelings of humility and child-like innocence.

Energetically, this posture allows for a resting phase on the earth, creating a wonderful circle of energy flowing over the top of the head and neck, shoulders, arms and hands to the feet, legs and over the back.

Who shouldn’t do this posture?
Although there are no recognised contra-indications to this posture, heavily pregnant women should take care, work with their own bodies and adopt one of the modifications below.

How to do this posture:
Get yourself a couple of blankets ready and some blocks (or books) to support the head.

From Vajrasana (kneeling, with the weight back towards the heels), bend forward and bring the forehead to the floor close to your knees. If the forehead does not reach the floor or you place the top of the head on the floor, then use a block. This is not a type of headstand – it is a relaxing posture! You can place a block under the forehead or alternatively bring your hands into fists and rest the forehead on your stacked fists.

In this posture, the buttocks should ideally rest on the heels, if they don’t, fold up the blankets and place them on the heels and the backs of the calves. Play around with the folds of the blankets to get them just right to correspond with the forehead on the floor.  If it’s more comfortable you can also take the knees apart slightly to allow your abdomen to rest between the thighs – this is especially useful in pregnancy.

Once you have sorted out the blankets and blocks allow the arms to relax by the sides of the body. Breathing in focus at the base of the spine and then feel the breath moving along the spine towards the neck. As you breathe out relax the whole area of the shoulders, neck, arms and hands. Rest in this posture for several minutes, and slowly raise up when you are ready.

Top Tip: 
It is worth taking the time to get yourself sorted for this posture, playing around with the height of any blocks you need, checking whether the hips touch the buttocks, in this way you can experience the amazing relaxation this posture brings.

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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