I am so grateful to the Integrative Yoga Therapy school for its wonderful teachings in Yoga Therapy and this little mindful breathing gem comes from Lillian LePage. It can be used whenever you feel the need to reconnect with the life giving energy that each breath offers.
Say mentally "I accept"
Create Avhana Mudra with the hands and draw them towards your body
PAUSE AFTER INHALE
Say mentally "I am grateful"
Create Samputa Mudra with the hands and hold in front of your abdomen
Say mentaly "I give"
Create Pushpaputa Mudra with the hands and push away from body
PAUSE AFTER EXHALE
Say mentally "I trust"
Create Vajrapradama Mudra with the hands and hold in front of the heart
The first chakra (or wheel) is also known as the root chakra and is located in the center of the perineum at the base of the torso and is responsible for our connection to both our bodies and the earth. Any issues that stem from moving, changing jobs, divorce, or the death of a parent may literally shake your foundation and cause this chakra to become unbalanced. Below you will find more information on the symbolism of this chakra and some practices to create balance.
Body Systems: Elimination
Parts Affected: Feet, shins, calves, ankles, knees, thighs
When Excessive: Sedentary, stuck, greedy
When Blocked: Flighty, ungrounded, disconnected from body
When Balanced: Grounded, stable, embodied
Mudra: Adhi Mudra, Bhu Mudra, Apana Mudra (see Grounding Mudras)
Bija Mantra: Lam
Make a soft fist with the thumb tucked inside. Turn palms down and rest on knees.
Benefits: Calms nervous system, facilitates breath in
Practice Tips: Use when feeling anxious or insecure
Contraindications: Low blood pressure
Take a long inhale through the nose followed by three short exhales through the nose.
Repeat for up to 10 rounds at a time, monitoring the effects.
Benefits: May be helpful for stabilizing emotional upset and directing awareness inward
Grounding Cord Meditation
Sit in simple cross-leg position. Imagine a red cord descending from floor of pelvis into earth. Inhale draw positive quality up the cord into the body (stability, belonging, safety). Exhale negative quality down cord into the earth (fear, greed, instability, loneliness).
Download Asana for Muladhara Chakra
Spring is in the air as is a lot of pollen as the trees and flowers of Oakland are in full bloom much earlier than normal. The inaugural home practice consists of a mudra to help combat nasal congestion, a breath to wake up agni in the body and asana to support the removal of stagnant energy. Enjoy!
Curl ring finger into palm; bring together tips of thumb, index & middle fingers; extend the little finger. Rest hands with palms up.
Benefits: Draws energy down from head, draws awareness inward
Practice Tips: Use when you have head congestion or over-active thoughts
Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Begin by watching your natural breath pattern for a few moments. Then begin to forcefully push breath out the nose quickly and inhale quickly through the nose.
Benefits: This breath activates agni, the digestive fire. It also assists with clearing nasal congestion
Begin standing with feet slightly wider than hips distance apart. Keeping the knees soft, begin to swing arms around the body like two elephant trunks, lightly tap the body with the hands wherever they land as you twist right and left. Go faster or slower depending on how it feels to you for about 1 minute. Then slow down the swinging until you are again standing still.
Benefits: Increases circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body, awakens the energy and detoxifies the abdominal organs.
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.