HAPPY NEW YEAR ! Wishing you health and prosperity in 2017
I am always learning and have started a Yin Yoga Teacher Training Course.
My first lesson I chose a restorative class on a hot afternoon and lazed around in the lounge room surrounded by cushions in calming, cooling yoga postures and being told that I was perfect, just as I was - bliss. I have been bringing Yin and Restorative Yoga into our classes and already feel how important this form of yoga is in our busy Yang lifestyles and I wanted to learn more about the meridians and this form of yoga.
Hatha Yoga which we mainly practice is the traditional strengthening, engaging muscles, working hard, heating and holding postures for 1 to 5 breaths. It is designed to build , strength and stamina in the body and mind and is balanced with seated or laying down postures, breath awareness and Savasana which work to cool and relax the body. Yin Yoga takes this further and postures are held from 3 - 5 minutes. This begins to work into the joints and ligaments of the body and the focus is cooling, calming, relaxing, opening the joints and tendons of the body and a form of meditation. In my practice at home I have been using Yin and Restorative Yoga ( Restorative Yoga is more gentle than Yin and can be held for up to 20 minutes which has many healing benefits.)
Most of you already love your Yin or Restorative Yoga. When you arrive early to class put your legs up the wall, relax, sometimes sigh ! Yin Yoga is more airy fairy and feminine. It is not about alignment, correct positioning , anatomy and physiology. We live in a Yang Masculine World. But balance is essential and Yin is more intuitive, listening to how your body feels, adjusting to what feels right for you, slow, cooling, calming, feeling prana, positive affirmations. In Ayurveda Yin Yoga is Kapha in Energy. In summer and hot weather we need to practice more calming, cooling postures. We need to avoid feeling hot and bothered or anger and irritability increase. We need to avoid overheating which leads to skin conditions, ulcers and other heat related illness. We need to practice more Yin Yoga !
Workshop at my place.
Abhyanga -Learn face and neck self massage followed by a Vegetarian Lunch
Saturday January 28th 11 - 1 pm. Only 7 places . Cost $45
My summer garden is a bit wild this time of year. Find a shady spot by the pool or veranda to sit and chat and try some Herbal Teas. Or join me in the kitchen and learn how to make a simple and delicious Indian Panacea known as Kitcheri which is a highly nutritious, soothing, cooling, vegetarian meal. At round 11.30 am I will teach you Abhyanga using sesame oil while our Kitcheri is simmering gently (fingers crossed!) followed by a simple lunch.
Free Yoga Nidra Meditation the last Monday of the month. January 30th 7 - 7.30 pm.
Falling asleep in Yoga Nidra
I think it is amazing that someone can come into their first yoga class looking a little nervous and then fall asleep in the relaxation at the end. Laying on a hard floor, in a new environment and a room full of strangers but it happens quite often in my class. Yoga must help you feel safe, relaxed and comfortable allowing you to let go and relax and if you are exhausted or need to ….you will sleep. This sleep or doze is so good for you and eventually as you become stronger in body and mind you will be able to stay focused on more and more of the practice.
When I first started teaching meditation and Yoga Nidra I would say “no sleeping, keep your mind alert and aware” and I am sorry for that. It makes you feel like you have failed if you have accidently dozed off and although I had been taught to say this I felt it was wrong and would add if you do fall asleep it is because you need too. Don’t be afraid to come along in case you fall asleep. We are all practicing together, we are supporting each other and connected to each other. If someone does sleep in my class, I think I have done well as a teacher because I have helped that person feel relaxed and safe and so have the other students in the class.
Abhyanga - An ancient form of self massage
Self massage is important and good for your health.
I think the first and most important thing about self massage is it is a practice of self love. We must look after ourselves and our bodies. When we massage our face, neck, hands , feet we are nurturing and caring for ourselves.
It is also practicing Dharana single pointed focus or concentration which is the 6th Limb of Yoga. At first we have to learn the process but after a short while we can turn our focus to the feel of your face for example as it is massaged and it feels better than going to a massage therapist and is free! You can work on areas that feel like they need a firmer touch or be more gentle. You are focusing on your body on how it feels and it will feel good. Time just seems to stand still and if you can sit cross legged, it will help you sit comfortably for longer periods of time. It is a meditation, relaxing, nourishing, revitalising.
It is a powerful anti-aging practice. It balances the body and mind and brings harmony.. It relieves fatigue. It promotes stamina. It enhances sleep. It removes toxins from the skin and thus cleanses the system. The 2 recommended oils are organic virgin coconut oil which is particular good for pitta and cooling in nature. I have shown you how to make your own lovely Ayurvedic Mix with coconut and essential oils in a previous workshop. The simplest and most nourishing oil is organic sesame.
A Vegetarian Diet
It is not easy to change your diet and many of you will not want to give up on meat and animal products. I have been eating mainly vegetarian food for 30 years but do eat fish or chicken once a week. It is your choice and I hold no judgement. Eating less meat has been proven to be much better for your health and I have lots of family tested recipes that even my meat loving 18 year old enjoys. If enough of you are interested you are invited to my place once a month to share a meal, help in the kitchen if you wish or wander the garden or sit and chat on the veranda.