Yoga is the practice of moving the body into different shapes to create physical, mental and emotional shifts.
Correct posture isn’t all about how it looks; it’s about how much it serves it’s purpose in terms of stimulating particular muscles, nerves, glands and energy channels within the body to shift you from one state to another. It’s also about how it shapes and shifts the mind.
Not only is it ideal to have a regular practice to keep on track, it’s also a tool to be used, as needed. Once you have a toolkit to dip into, you can pick and choose to suit the situation.
FOR YOUR PERSONAL TOOLKIT: 3 x 3 minute shape-shifters to transform from one state to another; applicable depending on what you want to shift.
Depressed and low energy? MEDITATION TO TOTALLY RECHARGE YOU
Technique: Extend your arms straight out in front, parallel to the ground. Close the right hand into a fist. Wrap the left fingers around the right fist. The base of the palms touch, thumbs are extended up and touch along the sides.
Eyes: Focus on the thumbs.
Breathe through the nose. Inhale for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Suspend the breath out for 15 seconds. Continue on like this.
Time: 3 minutes or longer.
This meditation totally recharges you. It is uplifting and good for depression. The arm and hand position combined with the breath and mental focus builds the system and aligns you with the pranic body (the breath).
Upset at work or in a personal relationship? MEDITATION FOR A CALM HEART
Position: Sitting down.
Technique: Left hand: Place the left hand at the centre of the chest, fingers pointing to the right. Right hand: bend the elbow so the palm faces forward (like taking at oath). Bring the index finger and thumb together on the right hand, the fingers point up.
Concentrate on the breath. Inhale long deeply then suspend the breath for as long as is comfortable, without strain or panic. Exhale smoothly and slowly and suspend the breath out for as long as is comfortable, without strain.
Time: 3-11 minutes, or even longer if you like.
To finish: Strongly inhale and exhale 3 times.
This meditation creates a sense of calm and is particularly good to use if you feel upset. Do it before deciding how to act. Physically it strengthens the heart and lungs.
Scattered and ungrounded? UJJAYI BREATH
Position: Sitting down or standing.
Breathe through the nose.
Technique: Bring your attention to the throat and feel how the breath moves up and down through the windpipe. Slightly contract the muscles of the throat so the sound of the breath becomes like the sound of the ocean. Breathe with a long deep breath listening in to the sound of the breath.
Time: 3 minutes, or longer.
This breath meditation has a deeply soothing, centring effect. The sound of ujjayi acts like a mantra soothing and detaching the mind from its preoccupation with external stimulus. The slight constriction of the throat serves to channel breath in and out and has a heating effect. Do it to centre yourself and become present and focused.