SO many of us are tight in the legs and hips. Often we don't even realise how tight until we are asked to bend over and try and touch our toes. So much of what we do aims to either tighten or weaken the muscles in the legs and hips (think of all that sitting you might do at desks, in cars, on lounges) which then has a huge impact on pulling strongly on our lower back. This sequence will give you more length in your legs and greater freedom and mobility in the hips. It's really important to establish a steady, calm breath rhythm before you begin to use as a foundation for the practice - there are a number of challenging poses - use the breath to stay calm to focus on release rather than resistance. You truly will enjoy the rewards by staying still, and remaining for the duration of the pose.
Heart opening yin yoga sequence
Exploring the heart practices is all about softening before we can activate and expand. We protect into this space, protecting our vital organs of the heart and lungs and subconsciously protect our vulnerable emotional heart. As we drop tension from the chest, the rib cage, shoulders and upper back and take expanded breaths into this area, we soften, we open. Something wonderful happens when we come into an expansive heart space - we become more loving and compassionate toward ourselves and others. We realise we don't need to armour into this space, but can live from a place of openness.
This sequence focusses on releasing tension from the chest, the ribs, the shoulders and upper back. A yang style pose Camel and a mantra meditation are included to bring more energy into the heart.
See the images for the sequence with more details for each pose given below.
The weather is heating up, but you can still do yoga and cool down at the same time. This restorative sequence showcases my favourite prop - the bolster. The bolster can be used in many ways to support your body in various positions allowing for deep release of the muscles, connective tissue and joints. By sinking your weight completely into the bolster and the floor, use your breath to deepen the relaxation throughout your body and mind. If you don't have a bolster, you can use a stack of blankets.
These poses can be done in the order below or choose just a couple to finish your day to help transition into a peaceful evening and a restful sleep.
New year and new intentions
I am excited about what 2018 brings! The time spent over Christmas and New year is a wonderful time for me to reflect on the year that has been, consider any changes to be made or to redirect my energy toward that which nourishes and flows in my life. See what is stagnant and start afresh, make way for the new.
Here is the Summer newsletter which looks into the yogic practice of deep heartfelt intentions 'sankalpa'. I thought it was fitting that the first workshop of the year focusses on establishing intentions and activating the fire and energy in our body to stay motivated and disciplined. There is no point in just sowing the seed of intention if we don't get to experience the bountiful harvest.
Learning the art of efficient relaxation…exploring yoga nidra
We have very busy lives. As a result, we carry a lot of tension in our body and mind. When we do take time to relax, or even sleep, we can find it challenging - our mind not able to switch off, or aches and pains in the body distracting us. Our methods of relaxation may not even be restorative such as lazing on a lounge watching a movie, reading a book, chatting with friends. We are so overwhelmed and bombarded with constant stimulation and the nervous system disturbed by stress, that our first steps should be to drop the stress from our body and mind, and withdraw from any external distraction. Then, only then, can our nervous system recharge and our mind rest.
To celebrate summer, Living Harmony is offering 3 classes for only $30 for any Saturday class, starting in December. There are 4 Saturdays to get your classes in, start the Summer and weekend in the right frame of mind, and end the year feeling connected in body and mind.
SATURDAY 9.00-10.15am Yoga Flow
This class is a dynamic practice that includes energising sun salutations, standing sequences, balances and inversions to develop flexibility, build strength and link breath to movement. All classes finish with a guided relaxation to feel completely refreshed.
SATURDAY 10.30 - 11.30 Yin Yoga
This is a deep release class that focuses on the tissues that are dry and stiff within the body. Expect long, deep holds of poses on the floor, breathwork and mindfulness practices. Suitable for all.
Contact Rachel to book your spot, only 8 people in each class.
Spring Renewal Newsletter
Spring time is here - a time for renewal and Spring cleaning of the body and mind. Living Harmony Yoga's Spring Renewal newsletter has details about upcoming workshops, hosting a chant circle and new classes for next term, plus Spring renewal practices and recipes.
You can read the newsletter here
Are your shoulders and upper back tired from spending long hours in front of a computer? Or from driving? Perhaps you feel like you live life more in your head and less in touch with your heart?
In this workshop, we will activate into our heart space on all levels.
We will use strengthening, stretching and trigger point techniques to release your upper body. Pranayama (breath) and back bends to expand the chest and ribs. The ancient Buddhist practice of Tonglen (giving and taking) will ignite our hearts with loving kindness and compassion for ourselves and all other beings.