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.