My yoga tutor asked us this question in one of our very first classes and out came the usual answers: A glass of wine, a good read, seeing friends, gardening, walking the dog, watching a film or trashy television, exercise… Then we began to unpick the threads of these answers; is it relaxation or is it distraction?
Grab a cuppa and have a read...
Will yoga help me sleep?
I would say, hand on heart: yoga helps *me* sleep better.
When I attend a yoga class that involves all aspects that I value: centring, postures, breath work, and a relaxation/meditation, this is always followed by good quality sleep.
In each of my classes last week I asked the same question at the start: ‘So, who’s got a New Year’s Resolution?’. I was really surprised that not one single person raised their hand in any of those classes. Really surprised! Did that mean nobody had any intentions for the year?
Pavamana Mantra – what is it?
Pavamana Mantra is a vedic prayer taken from the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.3.28), and the word ‘Pavamana’ means to be purified. It is now considered a highly important mantra for spiritual awakening and spiritual guidance, and is incorporated into many yoga and meditation practices.
You’re not holding onto an object for a practical reason, but because of something that you will have to acknowledge if you let it go. That’s where the real clutter lies. That’s what is really doing damage or holding you back, not the two thousand books you own or the seven bicycles in the shed.
Today I went to a business networking event with Exhale to talk about what I do. I had a wander around and found a business with a friendly face, ‘So, what do you do?’. The man’s eyes lit up, relieved that someone wanted to talk to him and was actually really engaging. Then it was my turn. Spotlight on me. “I teach yoga…”
My first yoga class, my first real breath and most certainly my first real exhale since birth. With it came the ability to let go…and exhale.
I studied botany as part of my Genetics degree and find flowers to be hypnotic with all their hidden signals and patterns that only insects can see. The myriad colours and patterns they form. They breathe life into a space and make you pause, creating space in your life.
I’ve always doodled, some of my best artwork has been a doodle. A lot of them have been mandalas of sorts – unwittingly. I place such care and purpose on the rotational symmetry, I didn’t realise this was meditation. Funny how you are drawn to what you need. Once you see them, you notice them everywhere… nature is full of them if you are open to seeing them.