Yoga this month is focused on flexibility and calming the mind. We will be practicing slow movements, Hatha postures and lots of lovely Yin for flexibility and letting go.
It took me a long time to be able to experience the benefits of this more subtle form of yoga but it was what I needed the most in my life. To slow down and give myself permission to rest. It is what most of us need, especially those with a Pitta or Vata constitution.
It is what makes yoga so special.
We practice mainly to become strong, but along the way, we learn to relax, we find peace.
We feel comfortable sitting in stillness and silence and enjoy it…..
We can step into this “feeling” when ever we need too.
It takes practice, willpower, inner strength and we learn these too…..
Cleansing & Letting Go Breath
We are now focusing on my favourite subtle energy. Apana Vayu, the exhale, to let go. As you breathe out slowly, you begin to feel tension leaving your body and mind. You relax and feel calmer.
I still remember the first time I was holding an asana for my hips and back. It was tough, I could feel the tension in my body and was waiting for the release...by putting my leg down! But as I breathed out slowly the release came in a different way a muscle in my leg relaxed and I was almost holding my big toe with no effort. It felt amazing and I am still slowly learning to do this through all of my body. I am flexible, I am strong. So are you.
If you feel you are not. Put in more effort, practice more often. Practice more Yin.
Feeding Our Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
Each of us can learn the art of nourishing happiness and love. Everything needs food to live, even love. If we don’t know how to nourish our love, it withers. When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our own happiness.
The greatest gift we can give our family and friends is our own happiness.
As you know I have a love of singing bowls. The last class of this month I thought we would practice a lovely meditation with them. If you wish to play a bowl choose one of mine or bring in your own from home and we will move around the circle. As the bowl begins to quieten the next person joins in with their bowl. You may want to sit and listen only. I practiced this with a family group and it was a beautiful meditation to end our classes before Savasana. The vibration from the bowls is thought to balance, body, mind and spirit.
One of my favourite yoga songs is Om Tare by Sacred Earth. I thought I would find out what it means and loved what I learnt. It can be heard as we move and flow in my Heart Flow and Moon Flow online classes.
OM TARE TU TARE SOHA
It is the mantra for Green Tara the most famous female Tibetan Buddha
In paintings she stretches out her right foot to step down and help any one who calls out to her or recites her Mantra.
She is seen as one of the first emancipated women.
The story goes that she was a devoted girl who prayed for hours and made many offerings to Buddha. But when her other male practitioners noticed her capacity they told her this was all useless unless she would pray for the next incarnation in a male body as this was the only way to become enlightened.
Green Tara had a deep insight that female and male were only labels and vowed to work for the benefit of all in a women’s body.
Green Tara protects humans from the eight inner fears which are pride, ignorance, anger, jealousy, wrong view, attachment, miserliness and deluded doubts.
I am not a Buddhist but I love the thought of listening, singing and sometimes practicing yoga to her mantra knowing what it means.
Imagining her will help me to become more aware of my negative emotions and thought patterns and find happiness and peace. I am not alone...if I need help I can call on my inner self or my heart in the form of Green Tara. You might prefer to call on God, Allah, The Earth or whoever you wish.
It sure feels nice to have her image and teachings in my mind.
04.03 | 08:03
Amazing news about your book Julie, am so excited to see Bird Song in print. Signed copy obviously! 🙏🏻💚
02.02 | 20:18
Thank you for your kindness in sharing. I'd love to participate in the online learning
05.12 | 19:45
Morning Julie, would you have a spot in today’s 9.30 for a casual? Josephine
18.10 | 03:57
Hi Julie 😊,
Can I please go on the waitlist for Monday 8.15am class ?