One of the oldest known forms of exercise, yoga has been gaining popularity over the last few years with yoga studios and yoga classes popping up all over the place. When I was a young girl yoga was something that was practised in a few community halls by older ladies who wanted a gentler kind of exercise that would keep them a bit more flexible in their old age. How things have changed! Yoga used to be yoga, simple and straight forward, nowadays there is so much choice, Hatha, Forrest, Jivamukti, Restorative and Ashtanga to name but a few, each with their own distinctive style and pace, each with levels from beginner to advanced, there truly is something for everyone!
I came to yoga last year through a very good friend of mine, Kari-ann, who is a Forest yoga teacher after a serious injury to my foot which left me seriously debilitated for well over a year (that’s another story for another day). Initially I took up Restorative yoga, a very gentle practice which encourages being, over doing. As my foot improved I progressed to Hatha and with the support of the wonderful teachers at Equilibrium yoga studios I was able to progress was able to attempt Jivamukti. Now I’m no yoga expert, and I still struggle with many of the poses, and my husband thinks I make up half the pose names, in fact he really drew the line at whippet belly, but as my physical practice developed I found I was able to reach so much more than my toes!
Yoga is a spiritual practice, many of the classes involve chanting, meditation and the use of sound to raise vibration, it is as a spiritual as it gets. My practice helps me to connect to source by guiding me to just be, instead of being in a state of doing constantly. It’s a valuable time to step off the conveyor belt of life and be present, to dump the ego and just observe what I can do. When we are present we are able to create a sacred space where we can connect with or inner light and truly feel life pulsating through our hearts, bodies, minds and spirits.
I have come to practice at home outside of the studio, at night I have a series of poses or asanas which I complete to help me sleep but the ones I really want to talk about is my morning practice, a series of 9 asanas which help me to open up, align and balance my chakra system before I start my day. This in turn feeds into my spiritual practice and helps me to listen to my intuitive voice and my guides and become a better tarot reader and intuitive healer, it lends authenticity to all of my practices and helps to centre my being and serves to remind me that I am but a spirit inhabiting a physical body in this time and this place.
My practice is as follows:
I begin in Mountain pose, this helps to ground me and connect with my Earth Star chakra.
Base/Root chakra - Warrior 2, colour red, chant Lam, affirmation I am safe.
Sacral chakra - Sun Salutation, colour orange, chant Vam, affirmation I am creative.
Solar plexus chakra - Seated spinal twist, colour yellow, chant Ram, affirmation I am powerful.
Heart chakra - Banarasana or lunge back toes curled under, colour green or pink, chant yam, affirmation I am loved.
Throat chakra – Warrior one with brain cradle, colour blue, chant Ham, affirmation I speak clearly.
Third eye chakra – Child’s pose, colour indigo, chant Aum, affirmation I see clearly.
Crown chakra - Resting pose, colour violet or clear, chant Om, affirmation I am connected.
I finish the practice in prayer and connect with chakras 8-12 though daily affirmations and prayers.
Kari-ann has been wonderful and demonstrated the poses so if you want to see how they work together click play on the video at the end of this post.
Ireally want to thank my teachers, Kari-ann, Helen and Janet for all of their help and support over the last 18 months and for opening a whole new world where the physical reaches the spiritual and for introducing me to a practice that’s as much about the inside as the out.
The light and love in me salutes and honours the light and love in each of you - Namaste
If you are interested in working with me to balance and align your chakra system with energy work, pendulum and meditation please do get in touch and we can talk through your needs, it’s a sure thing that as we come more into alignment with ourselves we improve our health and well-being not just of ourselves but of those around us too!
E: email@example.com T: 07753 160316
Kari-ann teaches Forrest yoga at Equilibrium yoga studios in Peterborough.
Soul Happy Wellbeing centre offers yoga courses in its centre in Cowgate.