Thursday, January 14, 2010
Yoga Snack: Humility
The beauty of yoga is not only is it not a competition with anyone else in the room, it also not a competition with yourself. You must know humility to practise yoga (Humility: The characteristic of being humble; humbleness in spirit and deportment). We have to accept in ourselves that every day dawns a new experience on our yoga mats and that if yesterday you were able to balance in tree pose with your leg high on the thigh, your arms embracing the sky and your head laid out, that today might be a day to back off and keep your leg low, secure your balance and have your hands at heart center. Or the analogy I used for the kids was "If yesterday you could jump as high as the school, today you may only be able to frog hop, and that is OK. Be happy and focused inside yourself and find peace with your practise)
Today's Yoga Snack:
3 Bumble Bee Breaths (hands over ears) buzz, hummmmm, ripple lips and a final Balloon Breath with a satisfying "ahhhhhhhh" at the end.
To warm up our spines, we started with Bumpy Camel (riding through the desert). We flipped onto our stomachs and did 3 cobra's hissing in the sand, ending with a King Cobra, feet to head. Back up onto our feet, and we did a series of Camel's. After slipping our feet out from under us, 3 Bridges and then we rode our "air" bikes, forwards and backwards.
Then as a series of asanas: Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)-Tree (Vrksasana)-Eagle on a Mountain (Sitting on heels , arms by sides, full arm flaps like an eagle)-Jog in place (We'll be running up the mountain, when we come; we'll be running up the mountain when we come; faster...we'll be running up the mountain; faster...we'll be running up the mountain; faster...we'll be running up the mountain when we come...ahhhhhh huge balloon breath and bring breathing back to normal-strecth up , hands clasped and fall forward and up, swing your trunk for Elephant-full stretch in upward Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
We then sat and put our thumb and pointer finger together for Chin Mudra* and in total silence, stillness and focus, we meditated for one whole minute! It was incredible!
Of course we ended with Happy Jio!
This gesture symbolises the connected nature of human consciousness. The circle formed by the index finger and thumb represents the true goal of yoga – the merging of the individual soul with the universal soul. It is a gesture of receiving. When the finger touches the thumb a circuit is produced which allows the energy that would normally dissipate into the environment to travel back into the body, and up to the brain. When the fingers and hands are placed on the knees the knees are sensitised creating another pranic circuit that maintains and redirects prana within the body. In addition placing the hands on the knees stimulates a nadi, which runs from the knees up the inside of the thighs and into the perinium. Sensitising this channel helps stimulate the energies at the muladhara chakra. When the palms face upwards in the chin mudra the chest and heart area are opened up.