Sunday, 26 February 2017

Chair Yoga & Benefits

The history of yoga goes back centuries - Read more about Hatha Yoga in my blog 

The sages and gurus of old wanted to understand the meaning to a long life. Why would shrews have a short lived life of three to five years but the tortoise live a 100 years and beyond? Once studied, it became clear that freedom from stress, slow deep breathing, exercises for purification, fresh air and nourishing food were secrets to eternal life.

Chair Yoga is something that is relatively new, created around the 1980's by a lady called Erika Hammersrom. The idea behind doing yoga on a chair is to make it accessible for those who have lack of mobility; they can't sit on a mat, or can't get up and down from the floor.   

Ultimately Chair Yoga can be done by anyone, old, young, pregnant or not. It just opens up the beautiful gifts that yoga has to offer to everyone. Why should one not be able to do yoga because they can not get on to a mat and lie down? It should and is accessible to all in many forms and ways. It can be done for the very first time on a chair, you don't need to have yoga experience before trying it on a chair.  Heres are some amazing benefits that can be received from taking a Chair Yoga session.

10 benefits 
  1. Circulation
  2. Enhances Mobility
  3. Increased brain function
  4. Concentration
  5. Reduces Stress
  6. Better breathing
  7. Weight Control
  8. Increases strength
  9. Releases Tension
  10. Keeps spine supple

Its still important to seek a health care specialist approval before attending a session. Its vital you are given the all clear to do the session. Listening to your own body during the sessions is important as you are there for yourself to increase health and wellbeing not in any way hinder it. Being observant of your breath, your body at all times and knowing when to just give something a miss that is being practiced. The beautiful thing of yoga is "You are on a journey of the self, through the self, to the self" - Bhagavad Gita

"Remember the emphasis on the heart. The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. When you trust, suddenly you become centered." ~ Osho

Sessions at Lotus Flower Yoga Studio, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 1BY will begin Friday 3rd march, 11am-12pm.  


Monday, 13 February 2017

About Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga  -  This style is a beautiful style for both beginners and advanced practitioners. Read my blog on 'What is an advanced yogi' for real insight into what an experienced yoga student is.

Yoga began at the very beginning of human creation when there was an awareness of spiritual potential, this is when techniques were created. It was created and developed over centuries beginning over 10 thousand years ago. 

"Some traditions believe that yoga was a divine gift revealed to ancient sages so that mankind could have the opportunity to realise its divine nature.{...} Techniques were kept secret. They were passed on from teacher or guru to disciple by word of mouth. In this way there was a clear understanding of their meaning and aim. Through personal experience, realised yogis and sages were able to guide sincere aspirants along the correct path, removing confusion, misunderstanding and excessive intellectual contemplation." 

It was in the 4th - 6th centuries A.D that Matsyendranth, Gorakhnatha and other yogis created two practices 'Raja Yoga' and 'Hatha Yoga'. It was believed that before taking meditation the body should be cleaned and purified and this is Hatha Yoga! 

By performing Hatha Yoga we begin to purify the whole body - the stomach nervous system the bodily organs and other systems through out the body. With the practice of Hatha Yoga we create absolute balance of the body, mind and energy. With this balance we can then awaken our fullest potential which is responsible for the evolution of human consciousness. If this is not the aim of the practice the true objective of your whole yoga practice is lost!

Hatha Yoga uses six different ways to clean the body, first comes the Shatkarma's which include, neti, dhauti, kapalbhati and so forth. You will find that in a Hatha Yoga classes you attend most of these will be missed (very difficult to do in a class environment). Following the above will be asanas, these are what you will be mostly familiar with in class, followed then with Pranayama possibly if you get time. 

The asanas are postures either standing or lying that have the aim towards cleaning the inner body. In Hatha Yoga postures tend to be held and experienced. Then you would move onto the next posture. Postures tend to have many modifications which is excessable for all body types. Listening to your body from movement to movement is important as you want it to benefit the cleansing process of your inner body not hinder it. 

It is advised NOT TO eat 2-3 hours before the practice for obvious reasons! Do you really want to be doing a twist with a full stomach of food? Not only will you gain no benefit but it can also incur injury.  

Pranayama (breath work) is to follow the asanas, BUT again this in no way should be forced and great care should be given due to different illnesses and diseases one may have! 

The practice of Hatha Yoga which involves the use of your body creates self-control and self-discipline!

I hope that you can take something from this blog even if it is just an understanding of what is to come when attending a Hatha Yoga class. Remember all teachers have different ways of teaching and different levels of knowledge on subjects; so be open minded to listening and taking what resinates and leaving what doesn't. We are all on a personal journey, all trying our best, in what ever way is our knowing best! 

Be gentle, be greatful and have gratitude for living in such a well developed world with so much information to tap into.  

Namaste beautiful earthlings :)