Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breath)
Inhale through right nostril, exhale through left nostril, inhale through left nostril, exhale through right nostril, repeat for 10 rounds at a time, monitoring the effects.
Digital Method: With right hand touch index and middle fingers to forehead, close right nostril with thumb and left nostril with ring finger in the sequence above. Do not turn head toward hand but bring hand in front of face. This method has a stronger affect and is best done in a seated position.
Psychic Method: Breathe in and out through alternate nostrils using your imagination. This method has a subtler affect but is easier to do lying down.
Benefits: Balances the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), increases communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
The Third-Eye chakra can be seen as a meta-physical eye that is opened by seeing beyond the illiusory nature of perception. Below are exercises that help to strengthen and cleanse the physial eyes bringing more energy and focus on the third eye.
Begin by sitting comfortably and keeping the head still while you move the eyes.
Up/Down: Look up and down with the eyes 10 times
Right/Left: Look right and left with the eyes 10 times
Circles: Move the eyes in circles clockwise and counter clockwise 5 times
Tratak (Candle Gazing)
We can practice this simply by sitting in a darkened room with a candle burning safely in a holder. Sit comfortably and look into the flame of the candle. Do not allow your awareness to waver from the candle’s flame, even if the eyes begin to water. Every time a thought or emotion comes to the mind, return your attention to the candle flame without judging the ease or difficulty of this exercise.
The third-eye chakra enables us to see the bigger picture of our current situation. and surrender the ego. We can encourage this surrender in the body and mind by practicng forward bends.
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Kneel on shins with big toes together, knees apart. Lower hips towards heels and belly on thighs. Rest forehead on floor. Place hands beside heels, with backs of hands on floor
Therapeutics: Stretches back body and increases breath awareness there, allows for going inwards, all-purpose resting pose
Janu Sirsasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
Sit on floor with right foot on inside of left thigh, left leg straight. Press left leg into floor and extend through ball of left foot. Inhale and sit up tall through front of chest. Exhale and release forward from hips, keeping heart forward and shoulders relaxed. Hold up to 1 minute each side, then release.
Therapeutics: Stretches back of legs, hips and lower back
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
Stand with feet wide apart. Bend forward from hips placing hands between feet. Release spine forward with crown of head facing floor.
Therapeutics: Intense hamstring stretch, opens back of body
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.