MEDITATION & MOVEMENT
Incorporating meditation and movement into our daily routine can have many positive effects on our lives, including numerous health benefits. On a retreat we help you develop a routine that you can then continue in your normal day to day life, enabling you to reap the rewards of retreat life, long into the future.
I have practised and studied Ashtanga and Hatha yoga in India, as well as in Egypt and the UK. I have also studied the teachings of Patanjali and the Yoga Sutras.
As well as being trained in pranayama, meditation and asana, I have trainings in mindfulness, massage, conscious eating, purification practices, healing, chanting, Shamanism, and other spiritually empowering practices. All are fertile ground for long lasting transformation.
I myself have attended many retreats over the years, have meditated, studied, and been drawn to Tibetan Buddhism and Sogyal Rinpoche, and I have also been a part of a Sangha and Vipassana retreats.
I hope you can share in some of this magic…
What is Yoga?
The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. Derived from the Sankrit word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate", yoga is said to be for the purpose of uniting the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge and is all about harmonising the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas), and meditation.
The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practised today.
How can this union between the body, mind and breath be achieved?
Meditation is one way, but sometimes it is necessary to prepare the body for meditation by stretching and building strength. This is the physical practice of yoga, also known as asana. Yoga is about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose.
Yoga & Happiness
Most of us are accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for fulfillment. We are living in a world that conditions us to believe that outer attainments can give us what we want. Yet again and again our experiences show us that nothing external can completely fulfill the deep longing within for "something more."
Most of the time, however, we find ourselves striving toward that which always seems to lie just beyond our reach. We are caught up in doing rather than being, in action rather than awareness. It is hard for us to picture a state of complete calmness and repose in which thoughts and feelings cease to dance in perpetual motion. Yet it is through such a state of quietude that we can touch a level of joy and understanding impossible to achieve otherwise.
Yoga, this ancient spiritual practice, offers a direct means of stilling the natural turbulence of thoughts and restlessness of the body that so often prevents us from knowing who and what we really are. Yoga can bring us complete fulfillment.
Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity
Is yoga right for you?
It is if you want to fight stress, get fit and stay healthy.
The potential health benefits of yoga include:
Stress reduction; A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Improved fitness; Practising yoga can lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you're less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavours or in your daily activities.
Management of chronic conditions; Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, as well as cancer and other diseases.
40 Ways Yoga Improves Health
1. Improves your flexibility
2. Builds muscle strength
3. Perfects your posture
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
5. Protects your spine
6. Betters your bone health
7. Increases your blood flow
8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
9. Ups your heart rate
10. Drops your blood pressure
11. Regulates your adrenal glands
12. Lowers cortisol levels.
13. Makes you happier
14. Lowers blood sugar
15. Helps you focus
16. Relaxes your system
17. Improves your balance
18. Maintains your nervous system
19. Releases tension in your limbs
20. Helps you sleep deeper
21. Boosts your immune system functionality
22. Gives your lungs room to breathe
23. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
24. Gives you peace of mind
25. Increases your self-esteem
26. Eases your pain
27. Gives you inner strength
28. Connects you with guidance
29. Helps keep you drug free
30. Builds awareness for transformation
31. Yoga connects couples
32. Benefits all your relationships
33. Uses sounds to soothe your sinuses
34. Guides your body’s healing in your mind’s eye
35. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay
36. Helps you serve others
37. Encourages self care
38. Supports your connective tissue
39. Maintains overall health
40. As you read all the ways yoga improves your health, you probably noticed a lot of overlap. That’s because they’re intensely interwoven. Change your posture and you change the way you breathe. Change your breathing and you change your nervous system.
This is one of the great lessons of yoga: Everything is connected — your hipbone to your anklebone, you to your community, your community to the world. This interconnection is vital to understanding yoga. This holistic system simultaneously taps into many mechanisms that have additive and even multiplicative effects. This synergy may be the most important way of all that yoga heals.
'10 Signs You're a West Coast Yogi - mindbodygreen.com
So what's stopping you?!...
All you really need to begin practising yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity…
Here's some inspiring music to do your yoga or meditation practice to today...
I hope you enjoy it... x
Get stuck in!!
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