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Let’s talk about Vishuddhi: the throat chakra. If you struggle to communicate openly with those around you — or feel unable to speak truthfully from the heart — then working with this chakra could be particularly useful for you.
But first, have a quick read of this blog post: An Introduction to the Chakras. It’ll give you a good grounding in the basics so that you understand what the chakras are and how they influence you.
One of the most important skills you develop through yoga and meditation practice is witnessing. By learning how to be aware in every moment, you also learn how to observe.
Most of us place judgements on everything, all the time. We judge other people. We judge our circumstances. We judge external events; and perhaps most importantly, we are constantly judging ourselves.
Translated from Sanskrit, Pratyahara means ‘withdrawal of the senses’. It’s the fifth limb of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga which make up the path to holistic wellbeing and connecting with your true self.
Pratyahara is, according to yogic tradition, the first step in concentration — with the later steps taking you deeper and deeper into a state of meditation.
What does it mean to ‘withdraw the senses’?
When you practice withdrawing the senses, you give yourself more freedom to become aware of what’s happening within you. The senses, when not being used purposefully, can distract you in meditation. You are pulled away from your focused awareness by sounds, scents and sights.
The fourth chakra is Anahata: the heart chakra. Let’s look at the qualities and functions of this love-laced energy centre.
Anahata Chakra and the Body
Anahata is located in the spinal area, in the region of the heart and the cardiac plexus. It is behind the sternum and level with the heart centre. Its colour is sky blue, with 12 petals.
Associated with the air element and with deep love and compassion, Anahata governs the sense of touch and the skin.
…if you can breathe, you can practice yoga!”
And that’s what Global Yoga Therapy Day is all about. The message? That yoga can have a positive impact on anyone’s life — it excludes nobody.
Yoga has been proven (quite an impressive number of times, in fact!) to be an incredibly power preventative medicine for a huge variety of illnesses, ailments and conditions — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Studies show that yoga can…
Winter can be a calming time if you work with the season, rather than against it. It can be a time to settle into yourself and rediscover the steadiness within; to take stock, reorder, and care for your energy with kindness.
In An Introduction to the Chakras we touched on the basics of each of the seven chakras.
Here we delve into more detail on Manipura — the naval chakra.
Manipura Chakra and the Body
Manipura is located in the spine, behind the naval. Its colour is yellow and it has 10 petals. Its element is fire — and in particular, agni, the digestive fire. So it governs our metabolism and digestion.
The 21st of June marks the fifth International Day of Yoga. This annual celebration was established by the United Nations to celebrate the universal benefits of our powerful practice.
So, to mark the day in YFTSR style, I’d like to make a bold statement:
Yoga is for everyone.
Let me clarify. I’m not saying that everyone should do yoga. I truly believe that yoga and meditation would be good for any human being — but I don’t believe in telling people they should do something when it just doesn’t feel right to them. There are other ways to find peace and stability in mind and body, and different things work for different people.
In the previous blog post, we looked at what mindfulness is and why it’s so good for you. It’s useful to remember that practising mindfulness does not have to mean sitting in meditation for hours.
In fact, you can practice mindfulness by adding a bit of extra awareness to activities you already do every day!
So, here are five simple mindfulness practices you can do to enhance your well being and feel calm, steady, and fabulous.
This May at Yoga for the Soul Retreats, we’re focusing on mindfulness. Have you heard this term before? I’m guessing so! More and more, mindfulness is used in all kinds of settings to support mental health, learning, and personal development — from offices and schools, to therapeutic settings and even prisons.