Bhramari (Bee Humming Breath)
This calming and grounding breath opens and cleanses the throat chakra by vibrating the vocal cords. It also helps to soothe the nerves by resonating with the frequency of the mind. It refreshes the energy of the ears allowing your listening skills to become honed and precise. Practice before Savasana and enjoy a smooth and easy transition into deeper states of meditation.
Method: Inhale thru nostrils and draw the breath deep into the belly. Exhale a long smooth humming sound with lips closed and jaw relaxed while holding the ears closed. Repeat for one minute. Try to keep the space of the mouth open to increase the openness of the sound.
This practice focuses on creating elongation in the spine so that a twist can move from the lower belly, up through the chest, and through the neck and throat. As the body moves into each twist, keep the shoulders broad so that the neck and head are well supported. When this pathway remains clear, the mind and body can come together in the act of communication.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
Sit with left leg bent, heel beside right hip
Either step down on right foot with heel in front of left ankle, or cross right foot over left leg. Inhale and wrap left arm around front of right knee. Exhale and twist into right leg, compressing the belly. Twist from belly, through ribs, chest, and then head. Hold for up to 1 minute, then release and change sides.
Therapeutics: Compresses the belly to increase digestion, wrings out muscles along spine
Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja's Twist)
Sit on edge of folded blanket. Draw feet to left side of pelvis, knees stay in front of torso. Try to press left hip towards floor as you raise left arm overhead. Exhale and twist belly, ribs, chest and head to right. Release left arm to outside of right thigh, right arm can support behind the back. Hold for up to 2 minutes, then release and change sides.
Therapeutics: Opens hips, stretches muscles along spine & neck
Parvrita Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
Stand with right foot forward, left foot back and turned out 60 degrees. Place hands on hips and lengthen through spine. Exhale and bend forward from hips bringing left hand onto chair or block. Either place right hand on hip or reach out from shoulder. Hold for 10 breaths, then release and switch sides.
Therapeutics: Balance, focus, stretches legs, helps with awareness of hip alignment
Chanting the vowel sounds creates resonance and heightened awareness in
different regions of the body. We start at the heart and spiral outward to the throat, abdomen, head, base of the body and crown, moving from the energetic center outwards.
Find a comfortable seated position and begin to take the breath into the belly. Inhale down into the belly and exhale relaxing the belly. On your next breath begin sounding the following sounds at your speaking pitch so that the chanting is comfortable and creates the best resonance for you.
Ahhh at the Heart
AAA at the Throat
OOO at the Belly (lips very round)
EEE in the Head (smile wide with the mouth)
UUU at the Tailbone
MMM at the Crown
Repeat this vowel spiral at least three times through
ending with Ahh at the Heart. Notice how it resonates within your body and creates greater awareness of these chakra regions. You may feel that some of the places resonate greatly and others are a bit more sleepy. Continue with your practice until you can feel all of the regions equally.
This post comes couretsy of Ann Dyer who graciously leads the Vak Choir. Find out more at www.songofbecoming.org
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.