A Long Hiatus

I have to blame my recent bloglessness on Bikram and his addictive series.  As it turns out, there is tremendous opportunity to insert asanas into his collection of poses, and these variations can lead to really interesting sessions.  I’ve been enjoying his suggested series as a foundation and a guide.  There are so many ways to approach balance in yoga that the potential adaptations are almost endless, and while I realize that this may leave purists aghast, the lure of inserting a balasana or two into a routine over the course of six a.m. sadhana is sometimes overwhelming.  As David Farmar points out, in his inimitable way, if you were never to do another (insert asana here), neither your practice nor your life would end.  And so, I embrace a little modification here and there (and most mornings).
I’ve cleared a space for post-tea, early-morning yoga, and I’ve realized that the best way to embrace the benefits of routine is to break it purposefully.  While we can certainly be respectful of tradition, small changes in how we apply it can yield surprising results.  My once-nocturnal sadhana is giving slow way to the quiet of earlier practice, and Bikram’s patience with my tinkering has given new vitality to my day.  
Namaste.
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A Little Love from the Mississauga News

A Little Love from the Mississauga News

Lots of gratitude to Metroland Digital, which asked me to be part of its “In the Neighbourhood/Ask the Expert” section for yoga in the Mississauga area.  Click the above link to head over to their article.

Very pleased to have a chance to reach out to others – it’s a beautiful, beautiful feeling to find a supportive community, and I’m looking forward to introducing yoga to those in Mississauga and in Maple.

Namaste.

Children and Yoga

A friend whom I met by way of magazine editorials, and who maintains an incredibly informative and interesting blog over at http://ananthablahblah.wordpress.com/, sent me the link to a great article just this afternoon:

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/catch-them-young/article5032172.ece

It’s a concise overview of the benefits of starting yoga at a young age, and confirms the usefulness of yoga as a method of preventative health-care.  I particularly like the quotation, “[t]oday, young and older adults take to yoga to solve inherent or lifestyle-induced ailments. Those health problems might never have set in, had they been practising yoga from childhood” (K. Geetha, yoga teacher, therapist, and director of the Y Way Yoga Margam). 

Please take a look at the article – it’s simple confirmation of the efficacy of an early start and consistent effort.  Nothing complicated about a straightforward approach!

Namaste.

Putting your Money where your Mouth is…

As it happens, my computer recently died – and at the most inconvenient moment possible.  I suppose that I haven’t been at my sadhana long enough to have calmed my inner “A-Type” monster, because my first impulse was to hurl the thing from the balcony ledge and leap after it just to ensure that it was well and truly sorry.

I’m happy to have observed, though, that my very next reaction was to take a deep breath.  We’re often told to do just that when we’re really distressed; as irritating as the advice sometimes sounds, you’ll hear “just breathe” when it’s obvious to those around you that you’re on the brink of losing your last marble.  There’s solid reason behind suggestions like these, though.  One of the most powerful statements that I’ve ever heard in a yoga class came from my own teacher, and it had nothing to do with alignment or asanas at all.  It had to do with basic human physiology.  As it turns out, when we are breathing very deeply, using our diaphragms as they’re meant to be used in relaxed breath, a certain pressure is exerted on the solar plexus, which acts as a switch in the nervous system.  This interplay between the diaphragm and the solar plexus makes it a near physiological impossibility to be anxious or panicked.

While I’m not a doctor, and I must still study in order to perfect my understanding of the human body, I have made use of this advice many times over the years.  If nothing else, it saved my laptop this past week from a terrible fate.  It may also have preserved my wallet, as it’s much easier to repair equipment that happens still to be in once piece!

Breathwork is an important component of yoga, and one to be treated with great respect. Taking a deep breath is an easy, portable way of pausing long enough to put everything into (reparable) perspective. Just a thought for today.

Namaste.