The practice of Yoga has many facets. From the classical static forms of practice, usually known as Hatha Yoga, to the more dynamic forms associated with Astanga yoga. Both ways of practice are valid and appeal to the different needs and aims of the practitioner. yogAsana is not a new form or style of practice . It is a traditional method to still the thought process and open up energy pathways thereby achieving a peaceful and happy state of mind. It is a way of clearing the clouds of the mind so that we can once again bathe in the radiance of our own sunlike mind..
In order to move towards this ideal, we first begin our practice with Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation. This sequence consisting of 12 postures, works to open our Heart to the source of wealth within our own selves. Just as the sun radiates warmth and vitality on the physical plain, so our Hearts radiate love and compassion as is its true nature. The spine is flexed backwards and forwards alternatively as one progresses through the sequence of asanas. The sequence is repeated 3, 6, 12 rounds or more according to ability. To complete 6 rounds takes only 8 minutes. Over the weeks and months we try to aim for a regular daily practice of 6 or 12 rounds. These movements will warm up our bodies, help to correct spinal misalignments and prepare us for further yoga practice.
These are then followed by the inverted group of asanas or postures. The first is Sirsasana or Headstand. This is held progressively from 2 – 5 minutes. As the duration of these asanas increases, the Sahasrara chakra at the Crown of the head is benefited. Pranic energy is made to flow through the Nadis or energy pathways, and waken the other energy centers which make up the Chakra system of the subtle energy body. One experiences emotional well-being and more self confidence. This is then followed by Shoulderstand or Savangasana, Plough or Halasana, and Fish or Matsyasana. These asanas complement each other and are to be practiced as a sequence. From this point the practice can go into differing directions according to what is to be worked on by the practitioner. Sessions conclude with a period of relaxation in Corpse pose or Savasana in order to allow the mind and body to absorb the benefits of the practice.
As the sessions progress then meditation will be introduced. This will be from the practice of Mindfulness of Breathing. The purpose is to bring the mind to a place of calm so that one can begin to recognize and cultivate the innate nature of the Mind. We learn to live with this mind in our daily lives and to develop skillful ways of protecting our Happy Mind.