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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.
Autumn is a transformational time. Nature sheds its summer colour and welcomes the deep, nourishing hues that mark the start of rest or rejuvenation.
In Ayurveda, autumn is a time of lightness; of airiness; of brittleness and change.
It holds the potential for creative inspiration and productivity — if you feel grounded and well.
Do you need to catch up on what the chakras are and how they work? Head over to An Introduction to the Chakras to read the basics.
Now, we’re going to explore the qualities of Swadhisthana — the sacral chakra. It is the second chakra and the name roughly translates from Sanskrit to English as ‘dwelling place of the self’.
Sunday, April 7th, is World Health Day. The goal of this annual global campaign is to promote access to good health and healthcare for all people, all over the world.
Part of the campaign is focused on helping individuals and health care providers understand more about protective factors for good health, including nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and stress reduction.
Mooladhara, the Root Chakra, is a powerful source of strength and steadiness. It is associated with security, money, possessions and reproduction.
Although Mooladhara is the first chakra, it’s important to note that if you're just starting to incorporate chakra work into your practice, you should begin with Ajna — the sixth chakra.
This will allow you to develop your ability to witness, observe and process any intense emotions that might arise before you start creating profound shifts through intensive work with the other chakras.
Ready? Read on to demystify the qualities of the root chakra!
If you read An Introduction to the Chakras you’ll know that the chakras are seven energy centers situated at certain points in the body. These centres are like transport hubs for your energy — they receive, restore and direct energy through the 72,000 nadis (energy channels) that run through you.
Here we look in more detail at Ajna, the Third Eye Chakra. It’s actually the sixth of the seven chakras. But it’s useful to study Ajna first, because it allows you develop the transformative and regulatory ability to observe and process emotions.
This means that when you go deeper into the other chakras you will be ready to manage any deep emotional shifts that may arise.
Asana means ‘seat’ in Sanskrit, and in yoga it is used to refer to any physical yoga posture. Asana is just one of the eight limbs of yoga. But it is perhaps the most well known, as most people in developed countries think of postures when they think of yoga.
So why is yoga asana so important? Can moving your body through a series of poses really make that much difference to your health and wellbeing? To your quality of life?
Delving into the wonders of pranayama is amazing, because you come to realise not only that your breath can change your physical, emotional and mental state — but also that different breathing techniques have completely different effects.
You can use pranayama to create heat, energy, calm — and even coolness.