The springtime invites us to clean and absorb new freshness. Either in form of physical or mental purification. We want to take off our winter dress and open all the ways to put on our spring dress. The nature shows us renewal by the seasons change and its flowerage in springtime. It inspires me always again how sensible our body and also the mind react to the seasons. I do not want to suggest a diet or cleansing cure for you here, but rather open your awareness of the elements of nature in connection with a small selection of Yin Yoga exercises.
Detoxification does not always have to be sudatory, but can also take place in calm. Devoting oneself to the readiness to admit new, springlike in his life, because that is the flow of life.
The polarities of yin and yang are closely related to the five elements of nature. These are water, fire, earth, wood and metal. Each element can be projected specifically onto our body and often combines in its capacity with one or two of the other elements.
Water – calm ” in the calm lies the power of man”, emotion: fear
Fire – activity, freedom, aliveness, love, clear and alert mind, calm power, emotion: joy / pleasure
Earth – basis, grounding “to have ground under your feet”, connection of heaven and earth, emotion: melancholy
Wood – new beginning, personal, mental and spiritual development, emotion: anger / anger / willpower
Metal – for structure, retreat and focus on the essentials, power of absorption and release, emotion: sadness / grief
“Wood burns to ashes in the fire element, the ash
creates fertile soil. Earth is the mother of the metal and controls the water.
I think that sounds very interesting and we can see that
everything is connected. More detailed in the book by Karo Wagner and Tasja
Walther “Mental Yin Yoga”.
With these thoughts, I come back to earth already very
quickly when I only hear the word “nature”.
Let’s take a closer look at the element wood. Why? Because it connects with spring. Surely you have discovered during a walk on the already warmer days, something is happening in nature. The trees start to bud their buds and the willow catkins are already clearly visible. Wood is flexible, resistant, but also knotty. Wood is getting old, but keeps moving in the direction of growth, it wants to be high and is full of drive.
In order to open ourselves to renewal, we need a dose of
patience, a clear picture of how we should organize ourselves and what our
future should look like. We can go our way creatively and colorfully. We
succeed when we are in harmony with ourselves and know what we want.
Right now, during the transitional period from winter to spring, when our body is not quite as active, it invites you to go deeper into the Yin Yoga practice to give the proper impetus to the properties of the wood element in us.
Yin practice: Yin yoga positions are held for 2 to 5 minutes or longer. Relax as good as possible. Here, certain target zones are addressed. I select these target zones according to our element of the wood. These are the areas through which the liver and gallbladder meridians flow. This meridian pair acts as an organizer of the energy distribution in our body. The energy is transported exactly where functionally the body needs energy. To understand more precisely where the target zones are located, you will read the following paths of the two meridians:
Liver meridian functional circle: starts at the nail of the
big toe on the inside, leads over the insides of the lower and thigh upwards
and ends under the costal arch.
Gallbladder meridian functional circuit: begins at the outer
corner of the eye, zigzags over the temples, over the occipital region, past
the shoulder joint to the front of the body to the costal arch, continues over
the iliac crest along the outside of the leg and ends on the outer tip of the
fourth toe. The toe next to the little toe.
(Description from “Holistic healing at the right
time” by Anna Elisabeth Röcker)
Roughly described our target zones are on the outside right
and left side, on the legs on the inside and on the front of the body.
These areas are often are negelected in training, I think.
Their treatment is therefore very good 😉
Twist / crocodile lying (gallbladder)
Tools: mat, blanket,
small pillow, yoga block or 2 thick books.
You lie in the supine
position in the middle of your mat. Your feet and arms will wander into the
right corners of the mat so that you are as crooked as a banana, stretching
your left outside, and your right
outside arching inward.
You sit upright on your
mat,streak the bottom out right and left to facilitate the Beckenkippung (hip
bone to the thighs). Your feet open in a wide straddle until the inside of the
legs stretch noticeably. The body tilts forward, feel free to put your forearms
on a pillow, a book or a yoga block.
Twist / crocodile lying
You lie in the supine position and have positioned your feet hip waist down towards the buttocks. The arms are relaxed at the sides. Lift your pelvis and shift it to the right side. The knees bend to the left side, your gaze goes to the right side. Both shoulders love on the floor, maybe put a small pillow under your knees.
You’re on your mat while
kneeling and stretching your spine long. The lower abdomen moves in the
direction of the spine to give you stability. Bring your arms over them Side up
to the ceiling to stretch upwards and put it either on the lower back or on the
heels. The pelvis pushes forward and the sternum opens up to the ceiling or to
the sky when practicing outdoors 🙂
After the camel put you
in an opposite position – take a rolled up attitude on the floor, the child
(Balasana) is particularly suitable.
Take each exercise in a
way that allows you to stay relaxed for a longer period of time.
Stay in every position
for at least 2-3 minutes, preferably longer, if you like. The musculature
releases after about 1.5 – 2 minutes on its own, relaxes and the exercise can
flow its effect into the deeper tissue layers.
I wish you a lot of
relaxed fun in your practice 🙂
Can you also feel that? I love it: The days are getting longer and we get more active with each passing day. Some people react very early to the signs of nature, others give themselves time. We begin to regain consciousness, to feel clearer and to respond with more energy. And now we come to the important topic “energy”. Let´s boost our life energy with our yoga practice, right now with the beginning of spring.
We need energy through the supply of healthy food, fresh air and a positive attitude towards the things of life. It is useful to look at our body like the engine of a car. What happens if the car gets no or even the wrong fuel …. the answer is clear to us all. This is not different for us humans.
If we do not take care of ourselves bodypower can get a problem, digestion and metabolic processes falter, our minds are tight and overall we feel weak. If we get what we need, everything can work, we feel mentally as our body feels, powerful, clear and somehow happier, right? Our body transforms what we supply from the outside into the body’s own energy. And in yoga this energy is called cosmic life energy “prana”.
The prana circulates in our body in a finely structured network, the channels (nadis) and the chakras (energy centers). The main focus is on 7 energy centers that run along the spine from the pelvis to the apex of the head. Each one stands in firm connection to our physical body. It connects to our organs, muscles, bones and glandular systems.
Chakra – mental meaning
Root chakra (Mulhadara chakra) – grounding, rooting
Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana Chakra) – freedom of life, enjoyment, relationships, creativity
Navel Chakra (Manipura Chakra) – Digestion, will to decide, activity, peace
Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra) – Love, openness, compassion
Chakra (Vishuddha Chakra) – expressiveness, communication, listening
Forehead Chakra (Ajna Chakra) -Intuition, Inspiration, Visualization, Knowledge, Memory
Crown chakra (Sahasrara Chakra) -the perfect feeling of oneness, connectedness
You will certainly recognize a numbering of the energy centers, which differs in the yoga styles. Number 1, the root chakra begins at the lower end of the spine and number 7 the crown chakra begins in the middle of the head. In Vinyasa Yoga we work in chakra teaching from the pelvis to the head. In Sivananda Yoga you find the opposite direction.
In their form, the energy centers in the books are described differently. So they each take the shape of a wheel and show up with a diameter of 10 cm and are constantly in motion. They circulate the energy in our body, absorb it and distribute it.
There are many books on chakras, I like to recommend the book by Cindy Dale “The Energy Body of Human” and by Kalashatra Govinda “Chakra Practice Book”. Because there is so much to tell about chakras that it would go beyond the scope here. Last year in the yoga blog “The color of Yoga”, I wrote about the colors of the chakras. Chakras can be stimulated by herbs, colors, gems, body exercises, breath control …… The topic is very exciting. I would like to refer here to the first chakra, to the root chakra.
Yoga presents us with exercises that influence the respective chakra. Chakras are very sensitive and therefore that we influence them by our behavior and also through our psyche. Under negative impacts the energy can no longer flow in our body and the body will eventually react and we can get sick. Therefore take care of an environment in which you can live well and safely. Pay attention to healthy food and exercise in the fresh air.
The following saying is for sure known. “I have lost the ground under my feet.” We all probably have already once felt this feeling of not standing firmly in life. This feeling is linked to the root chakra, the first chakra. The root chakra lies between the anus and the genitals and is connected to the coccyx. Its well-functioning effect is evident throughout the pelvis and in the colon. Healthy, stable bones, strong teeth and nails are closely related to a powerful root chakra. Furthermore, it stands for physical security, strength and presents our basic needs in terms of ownership, money, career, being cared for.
Let us practice yoga in order to dissolve any existing blockages in our energetic system or even better to prevent it from arising.
It is possible to strengthen our well-grounding by forms of exercise that strengthen our balance, the body’s own balance and such that give us strength in expression. All standing positions and balance postures are perfect.
Perhaps you will laugh, I do not even notice it, because it has become a habit. When brushing my teeth I’m always standing in the tree (Vrksasana) position 😉 caught! As a result, the leg strength and hip flexibility has improved a lot 🙂 a small exercise, but regularly made this asana has a big impact.
Do your Practice and all is coming – Sri K. Patthabi Jois
Tree Vrksasana You see in the photos, the foot is set on the inner thigh, the variant is to lower the foot further down the calf or put the tip of the toe on the floor. Vrksasana helps you concentrate on your core and stabilizes muscles and joints. Dedication and lightness are the qualities of tree position. The advanced variant is Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (the bound half lotus in the forward bend).
Yes indeed, yoga is cool, for me it is definitely like that! I have just come from a seminar where my task was to introduce yoga to young aspiring fitness professionals and to enable them to give their first own lessons. Let me tell you from this nice experience.
My first words I brought to the flipchart were “Yoga is cool”! I wrote them in small letters. Around them I wrote in big letters the name of the course. Since not all participants were present yet and there was still time, I left the room for a moment. When I returned, the room was almost full and many people smiled and one person said “Great, I love to read your words, Yoga is cool.”
really a nice experience. What do I mean by that, I assume you know it. Many of
us nowadays mainly see the big things around them. Everything that is big is
immediately noticeable, what takes direct access to us, we immediately realize.
However everything that looks small, inconspicuous on us, but could lighten our
heart, remains often undiscovered.
This fact can be found in many situations in our life and the way, how we respond to them.
Often people are blinded from what the external environment shows them apparently, and yes, there are people who even build their life mostly afterwards.
Each day we
are flooded with all sorts of big topics on the radio or in newspapers.
However tight to the outside world and its visible “big” things, there is the danger that we forget who we are in our inner being and what heart’s desire fulfills our existance. We often give up to much of our life for news and the big things in the outside.
people often cannot recognize what is happening to them, because they think and
feel that this lifestyle is normal.
believe it is increasingly important, that we discover the little things between
the big things. The reaction, which the young person showed in my seminar was
wonderful, so open, spontaneous and also full of mindfulness.
I love this
mindfulness. When we begin to lose it consciously or unconsciously, the inner
child in us begins to suffer and we lose energy faster than ever before. Our inner
child then often becomes ill.
We live in
a fast-moving world and it is important for us consistently to find the
balance, to create a break, to spend some time with ourselves or with loved
ones. A few thoughts that I would like to share with you:
🙂 The best and simplest kind to redscover the small between the big and practice mindfulness is a form of meditation on the senses, I call her coffee meditation (you can call her tea meditation, if you like).
I wish you that you also at least once a day have the time to enjoy your favorite drink, to open all your senses … to feel the hot cup in your hands, to smell the scent of coffee and to taste the wonderful.
This is meditation in its depth, it means to clarify and clean the mind.
Give yourself regularly a rendezvous with yourself and your inner child and do something very special. 🙂 Shape your year in advance with appointments on which you are particularly happy.
Start a hobby, dare something new and get to know you again.
into the here and now and feel the happinez out of it.
Yoga is really cool to realize awareness and mindfulness! And if yoga fascinates you, you can always rediscover yourself here and you can do yoga everywhere.
I would like to give you a quick impression on what yoga has given me as well:
I certainly take tasks important but what I see as less important for a long time is to think about having to do them, what may lead to inner resistance. I’ll just accept and follow my tasks and obligations full of mindfulness and enjoy the moment of doing. When practicing this addiction everything is more easy and I got this attitude by practicing yoga. 🙂 Yoga made me cooler and happy 🙂
I am grateful
enjoy yoga evweywhere, especially at nice places. I see us right now on the
beach greeting the day with a wonderful sun salutation.
I wish you a good start into the new week, have fun with everything you do and discover the small and lovely lovely between the big things.
Yoga asanas & Ayurveda self-massage video for your wellbeing.
Both Yoga & Ayurveda believe that blues and stress stem from the MIND. By their nature, if there is attachment, craving, and desire – as impulses that can’t be satisfied, they can create negative psychological disposition in the mind leading to stress and a counter-reaction to it.
Ayurveda asks us to consider what we can handle, so it is imperative to get to know what we need or not to stay balanced. Regardless of the root of the problem, how we respond to it varies according to our individual mind-body constitution AKA the Dohas: Vata – Pitta – Kapha.
For these asanas make your surrounding quiet. Disconnect your phone, turn off noises; open the windows to allow fresh air in the room, but stay warm; turn the lights down, put some candles on and take 20-30 minutes for the following asana sequences:
Balasana (Child` s pose)
This is a healing and relaxing pose, feel free to do it anytime you need a little bit of break in your yoga practice orjust whenever you would like tosimply relax.
There are two ways to do it:
a) Sit down on your heels as much as possible,separate your knees hip width apart. Slowly fold forward, your chest between your knees and let your forehead touch the earth. You can stretch your arms forward, palms facing down, OR your arms alongside yourbody, palms facing up.
b) Sit down on your heels and slowly fold forward, let your chest touch your tightsand place your forehead on the earth. You can stretch your arms forward, palms facing down, OR your arms alongside yourbody, palms facing up.
Pashimottanasana (seated forward bend)
Sit in dandasana; Upright with the legs stretched out forward.Press actively through your heels. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale gently reach outof the hips and lean as far forward as you can to allow the belly to rest on your thighs and your hands to grab your feet . Try to bend right from the pelvic region ofallow your back to lengthen from the tailbone. Try to keep your back as long as possible. Take a few deep inhales and on the exhales focus on getting deeper and deeper into the pose. Maybe not for the first time, but with time you can rest your chin on your knees and just relax. Try to stay here from 1 to 5 minutes and breath constantly and calmly.
The mind is rested in this position, because this pose massages the heart, the spine column and the abdominal organs and we will feel refreshed and rested.
Sit down on the floor and bring your soles of your feet to touch. (like a book) Keeping your back long and your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can . For a more restorative variation, have your feet further away from your midline, forming a larger angle in between your upper and lower legs. Grab a hold of your feet or when it is more comfortable place your hands on the floor in front of you.It is also popularly known as the Butterfly Pose because of the movement of the legs during the posture, giving the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings.
Then after the flapping, simplyrelax, take a deep breaths and lean forward. Allow for your head to fall naturally towards your feet and eventually the forehead will rest on your feet. To aid in the release of any potential pressure on the knees and hip joints, place blocks or blankets underneath the knees. You can keep this pose for 3 to 5 minutes . It Stimulates the heart and improves circulation.
Sit in dandasana (upright) with both legs open to an angle of about 90 degrees. (the full expression split is 180 degrees so if you have the flexibility, go for it!) To warm up into the pose:
Using the breath to move: fold over to the right leg and then to the left. It will increase spinal and hamstring flexibility. Try to bend right from the pelvic region of your backThen walking your hands forward, reach out as far as your can between your legs. Do not force and go as far as it feels good and eventually you will rest your face on both your hands. Increase the forward bend on each exhalation until you feel a comfortable stretch both in your hamstrings and adductors – inner thighs. Persistence is required. Be careful and patient with yourself. This posture calms the mind complitely. Keep the pose for about 5 minutes.
Shavasana ( Dead pose)
Time to relax, time to rest body and mind. Make yourself comfortable, use blankets as needed.Allow your feet to roll in any direction , as it is more comfortable. Separate the legs further than hip-width apart. Rock slightly from side to side and broaden the back ribs and the shoulder blades away from the spine. Let your arms lie beside you, palms facing up. Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor.
Pay attention to the energies flowing in your body and then relax completely, connect to the sensation of release in your entire body, all body parts melting into the earth; feel them becoming heavy, warm and soft. Simply concentrate on your breath which by this point is quite shallow, calm and relax. Take your time from 5 up to 30 minutes.
Breathing – Pranayama & Meditation:
Surya Pranayama (solar-right nostril breathing), Ujjayi (victorious breath) & Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) and meditation at the heart center.
Self-massage regularly with warm oil (sesame is the best), add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, also massage feet and top of head with warm oil before bed time.
Bouts of anger, outbursts, criticism, migraines, ulcers, inflamed skin, and burning hands and feet.
Foods to FAVOR:
(Sweet, bitter & astringent tastes) Cooling foods like cucumbers, melons, dates, juices, raw foods, water should be taken cool; avoid spicy and astringent foods, like chili peppers, radishes, tomatoes, cranberries, and grapefruits.
It is told to be an “all members pose”, because all part of the body are at work in this pose. Lie down on the floor. Bend the kneesand gently move them towards the stomach. With the help of your hands, slowly peel hips from the floor and rest your hand on your hips by bending the arms at the elbows. With care, breath and awareness raise your pelvis over the shoulders, so that the torso is relatively perpendicular to the floor. Slowly, lift your bent knees toward the ceiling. In this Asana the whole weight of the body is position on top of the shoulders. You truly stand on the shoulders with the help and support of the elbows.Only the back of the head, neck, shoulders and the backs of the upper arms rest on the floor. Adjust your hands and legs to suit your needs.
Stay in this position for minimum of 5 minutes with constant normal breathing. This should immediately be followed by Matsyasana (fish posture). This will relieve pains in the back part of the neck and intensify the usefulness of Sarvangasana. It supplies a large quantity of blood to the spinal roots of nerves. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Matsyasana (Fish pose)
Lie on the floor with your knees bent or with the legs straight pressed against the floor. Put your hands, palms down, below your buttocks. Then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands and lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Then CAREFULLY release your head back onto the floor. Having arched your spine, put your head so that your crown rests on the ground (Depending on how high you can arch your back and lift your chest, either the back of your head or its crown will rest on the floor.) Press your elbows down on the floor, inhale, and arch your chest upward as far as you can and breath normally. Matsyasana is told to be the “destroyer of all diseases.” It releases pressure on your nerves. Hold it at about 2,5 minutes.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Start in a kneeling position, then lift torso up and bring your knees hip width apart (adjust accordingly), place your hands on your lower back. Take a deep breath in and relax, on the next inhale start to move your hips as far forward as you can as you lift your heart towards the sky and lean your head back, all with masses of awareness and control.
Carefully place your hands on your ankle joints for support.
Other variation is to start sitting on the heels place your hands behind you on the floor. Lift your hips forward and arch your back. Reach until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor, supporting yourself with your hands on your lower back or hand on the ankle joints.Continuing to raise heart to heavens and your hips up and forward as much as you possibly can.
Breathing easy always.
This position should be held just about half or one minute. if you are feeling low and tired, the Camel Pose can help you de-stress and relax the mind, while it improves blood circulation to brain.
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle)
Stand in Warrior II position and lower your right arm so that your forearm rests on your right thigh, you can rest here or if more advanced: bring your hand to grab ankle or the ground inside your front heel, with the other arm, reach it up and over to reach your ear as you spiral through the vertebrae in opposite directions. Bring your left shoulder, torso and legs all in one diagonal line.Your gaze could be forward, up or towards your open hand. Keep the muscles in your face relaxed.Repeat on the other side.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Semi Spinal Seated Twist)
Start in Dandasana, (sitting with both legs straight out in front of you) Using your hands and arms to keep your torso upright and core to maintain pelvis on the floor, bring your right foot outside of the left knee. Keep left leg engaged and foot flexed. Bring your left hand behind you in front of your lower back and your right hand to the outside of your left thigh. Take a deep inhale to lengthen the spine tall and use the exhale to start to twist from the axis of rotation of the tail bone. Pose at the end of the exhales, and use every inhale to get taller and each exhale to get deeper into the core and twist further. With awareness and love.
Supta varjasana (Sleeping Thunderbolt )
Sit in Vajra -asana (Diamond Pose). This means sitting on your knees, keeping your knees together . Then spread your knees and sit between the feet. With care and breath control, start to lean back and slowly put your elbows to the floor . Either stay here or if you can lie down and rest on the floor, bring your arms over your head clasping the elbows, resting here.
Arch your back and bend backward. Support yourself on the arms and elbows or if you can lean back totally. The headshould touch the ground with the back arched. RESTORATIVE OPTION: place a pillow under your back. Try to keep this position for one minute and then return to vajarsana first and then straightening the legs. This posture will help you calm down your min
Breathing – Pranayama & Meditation:
Chandra pranayama (lunar-left nostril breathing), Sitali (tongue is rolled like a tube, inhale through tongue, exhale trough mouth) Ujjayi (victorious breath) & Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing), meditation: Mantra repetition is most favorable.
Take daily walks, preferably in nature, practice cooling pranamaya and meditate visualizing yourself in a cooling environment such as a mountain top.
Stubborn, lethargic, possessive, depressed, prone to overeating, and resistant to change.
Foods to FAVOR:
(Pungent, bitter & astringent tastes) Artichokes, eggplant, broccoli, cherries, cranberries, and pears. Occasional fasting is recommended, avoid: eating too early in the AM an late at night, ice-cream and fatty foods, sweets and nuts; carefully monitor quantity of food.
(repetition key & jump between transitions and during vinyasas): SURYA Namaskar, Sirsasana (headstand), any handstands postures, Dhanurasana (bow), Bhujangasana (cobra), ustrasana (camel), shalambasana (locust), halasana (plow).
Lie down on your back. Arms along side your body palms facing down. Engaging the core, using breath and awareness, press the palms down and star to raise both legs upwards keeping your legs straight, once legs are vertical, engaging abdominals, start to peel vertebrae by vertebrae off the floor to bring legs parallel and you can touch the ground behind – if you can. You can also support the pelvis with the hands or if more advanced, reach your feet with your hands. This posture relaxes the heart, while it brings more blood flow to the head, drains and lungs. It helps to reduce stress.
Kneel on the floor. Bring your forearms down to your mat, lace all your fingers together, make sure that the elbows are shoulder are width-apart.Set the crown of your head on the floor. Lift your knees off the floor and engage the legs. Carefully walk your feet closer to your elbows,until your hips are over your shouldersFirm the shoulder blades against your back and lift them toward the tailbone so the front torso stays as long as possible.Carefully try to lift one leg up at a time OR both if you are more advanced, even if it means bending your knees. As the legs rise perpendicular to the floor, firm the tailbone against the back of the pelvis. Turn the upper thighs in slightly, and actively press the heels toward the heavens (straightening the knees if you bent them to come up).
This posture allows healthy, pure blood flow to brain cells and stimulates the nervous system. In this way calms and smoothes the mind.
The Warrior Pose brings a lot of power and energy within the body. Hence it is considered as a pose of a warrior. It cultivates presence, benefits muscles and activates the eye-, heart-, solar plexus-, sacral- and root-chakra. Last week I was on travel in Turkey and practiced yoga at different nice opportunities and places, of course also this pose.
Virabhadrasana III – Warrior III
This asana looks super easy, but is a real physically challenge for many of us. However challenges are great, aren´t they? If a new situation shows itself to you, it will spark your enthusiasm, creativity and a further development of yourself. Let off steam in the playing field of life and see what’s possible … that’s fun. Open the wings and go for it.
Virabhadrasana III lets us play – balance – opening – force – putting focus.
Your yoga mat is rolled out or you are standing somewhere, at your workplace, at the cash register in the supermarket or wherever you are.
Keep you feet hip-width apart. Open your feet waist down, imagine a third foot between the other two. Your left foot makes a small lunge back and you bring the balance on your right leg.
Your pelvis straightens up and the head crown rises to the sky. You spread both arms at shoulder level and release your left foot from the floor. With the leverage of the leg, your body orientates forward until the upper body is aligned parallel to the ground.
Intensify this exercise by moving consciously the lower abdomen to the spine, the left leg lifts in extension of the upper body. Are you standing safe, you can pull your left arm stretched back towards the left stretched leg. Stretch both arms apart and stretch the spine, staying strong in your abdomen. (Uddiyana Bandha fixed).
You can bring your hands forward at the end for the full Warrior III
I wish all readers a healthy, happy 2019 and wide wings for your wishes !
For many people, the period between Christmas and New Year is a time of contemplation. It is quiet, many of us are at home or relax on vacation. Finally, time for the things that were set back a little more or less throughout the year. We reflect, think about what we achieved, what was good and what was less good. An annual review takes place in the mind. Then we calmly come back into the here and now and collect energy for the new year.
How I positively changed myself.
At the beginning of 2018, the word “freedom” danced around in my head, manifesting itself throughout the year so much that my life circumstances created afterwards. Because I always looked at this word and imagined how I would do with it … I already felt “freedom”. Now I can say “Wow”. From a professional perspective, there has been a new change that has brought me freedom to be self-creative. For next year, there is another word for me, I accept what happens and just keep going as before, in one or the other direction give a little more gas, because to see what can develop is very exciting for me.
Do you also have a word that changes yourself? Or do you rather say “I let myself surprise what the new year will bring”? We are free in thinking. And especially right now, since we have got some time. Do you have to work between the holidays, I wish you that at least everything runs a bit quieter than usual and you can go down from the gas pedal.
For this short blog, I’ve brought you an exercise that will help you stimulate your body and organs to get your metabolism and digestion going. It settles the energy balance of the right and left side of the body and helps you to open your heart and focus on the things you just experience. Come back into the here and now. There are easier and more difficult ways to do this exercise. I have described an easier version. Do it slowly and at the speed that is most comfortable for you:
Starting position: Twisted seat.
You sit cross-legged on your mat and stretch out your right leg. The left leg remains bent. Depending on how it is possible, place your left foot to the right inner thigh or place the heel to the right thigh near the hipbone (as in the ½ lotus). The left hand sits on the right tibia, the right one sits behind the pelvis on the floor. Breathe in and set up your spine, with the exhale you turn out to the right side.
Repeat the exercise on the other side. As you can see in the following pictures, you can also rotate from the cross-legged sitting position to the side. Use a chair when cross-legged is uncomfortable.
There are plenty of reasons why you can choose the path of yoga. Yoga helped me to become strong, break out of an environment that was not mine. I needed a lot of courage and without yoga I certainly would not have made it. Why do you love yoga and what good things has it brought into your life?
Everyone writes the own story, sometimes with really nice and sometimes with less nice moments. Every experience sets a milestone in our life and makes us grow. I see yoga as one of the most natural methods of self-help we can find. It offers a variety of ideas and possibilities to strengthen one’s own innermost being.
Philosophy, meditation, satsang, and any form other than the body movement on the mat, was strange to me at first. It took me a long time to get that to myself, which I really needed.
My very first yoga class was in a public class that actually pleased me, but that statement from a student after one hour shocked me: “With yoga you have to be careful. If you are not careful you will fall into a huge dark hole. You are poor if you have no one to get you out of there.”
How would you feel with such sentence? Unfortunately that guy couldn´t give understandable reasons for his opinion. At that time I thought in dismay, no, I really didn´t need that. I therefore desisted from yoga.
Yoga came back to me a year later and happily I decided to practice again, Chaturanga Dandasanas, Dogs looking down, Hand-foot balances …. so much body work, so much sweat and then relax, I found out 🙂 that was mine and still is today. I am an absolute Vinyasa Ashtanga fan.
In retrospect, I find that the philosophy of yoga has become an important piece of my life. We are allowed to be as we are, we can experience and make mistakes, because we learn from them, we can differ from others, and we can cheer and scream for joy, even if no one understands us.
As a child, I prayed every night and sent positive thoughts to every creature. The universe has noticed and not forgotten me. Everything you give from you comes back one day to you – I was allowed to experience that not only once. The philosophical explanation of yoga contains a truth that captivates me.
I was very inspired by the 8 steps of the Patanjali Yogasutra. The story contains so much worth knowing. The ancient wise Rishis were clever and knew how to harmonize the vibrations of the environment and nature. What they gave us is a great gift.
The eight stages of Patanjali contain an ethically morally constructed structure that is beneficial for personality development. It’s about the behaviour with the outside world, developing self-discipline in body practice, learning to detoxify by breathing techniques and learning to observe the outside world as part of life, with the possibility to retreat. It’s about concentration training, about focusing on what you’re doing, meditation that’s nothing but mental education, and the education of the eighth-grade Samadhi: a happy state that’s hard to describe. Being in union with the environment and be completely satisfied.
If you are more interested I can really recommend to read: TKV Desikachar Yoga Tradition and Experience “The Practice of Yoga after the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.”
Sorrow – pain – healing – happiness and peace …… We live in a massive dualistic system. In this system we can learn to recognize the duality in its positivity. Could we feel the heat without ever having experienced cold? You can choose the word warmth instead of heart warmth. Every experience, every step of our life is so important, it shapes us.
I’ve been teaching yoga for over 12 years and I’m happy to see my students develop during the training. Most of them found the courage to take the step to share their talent with the world. And that is the greatest gift for us all!
I love yoga because ….. Yoga is simply cool.
I wish you a nice pre-Christmas week and would like to give you a little exercise:
Allow yourself to pause, feel your feet on the floor and tell to yourself, here I am and that is wonderful!
Give a smile to you- because what you are doing is something very special.
The cosiest and quietest time of the year has begun, we treat ourselves to every rest we need and take into account the needs of our body ….. of course we do that, don´t we? 😉 Hardly stressed, we buy the most beautiful Christmas gifts for our loved ones and gladly accept the additional tasks of ourwork, because there are still many things to do at the end of the year. Now, who of us is able to do this actually?
The weeks before Christmas can have something magic, but we need to keep balance to be able to enjoy them. We give a fasting go to do all for having a beautiful time with our dearest at the end of the year. We often forget however that we consume much more energy during this time. The lighting conditions have changed, the days have become shorter and our need for relaxation is now much bigger. Treat yourself to a break with Yin Yoga. Draw strength and energy. Charge your battery. 🙂
What is Yin? The Yin belongs to the Yang and comes from the Taoist / Daoist tradition. This nature-related system originated around the 4th century BC. This tradition is described as a tradition of wisdom and has established itself over the millennia as a philosophy of life. The polarities yin and yang are considered. The Yang describes the male, stimulating and logical side. Yin is the feminine, static and calming energy. Two forms of energy that describe the nature of things in our world and their constant transformation.
The symbol represents the wholeness of all things. The white side in the symbol stands for the Yang energy and the black for Yin.
The yang can not do without the yin and the yin without the yang. Both forms of energy form a unity and find each other in the other.
In Yang Yoga you will find all muscle active yoga styles like Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga…..
In Yin Yoga classes you find a training in more passive muscle activity and the positions are held for a longer period of time.
We are allowed to let ourselves down and just enjoy the individual exercises. Why do we do that? The answer of this is, we want to loosen up underlying fascia structures / connective tissue structures, make them supple and allow our meridian system a better flow of energy. Moreover Yin Yoga gives us room to come in a very pleasant mental retire, switch off and watch oureselves heedfully.
In the following I have described a small exercise sequence 🙂
It should bring you serenity in the current magic of the time before Christmas and give you a sense of letting go. Give yourself a few minutes, completely for you ….. 15 minutes … or less, how you like.
2. Lying heart opener
3. Lying twist
Find a cozy and warm place, take out a blanket or your yoga mat, light a candle, if that’s your taste. You can practice without music but also with music that has a nice, pleasant effect and invites you to relax.
Material: 2 small pillows and one or two blankets.
1. You sit down on your mat for the first exercise, stretch both legs forward, the soles of your feet touch and your knees are slightly open to the side, and a pillow under each of your knees. Now relax and lean over your legs, just as far as you come. The most important is to be relaxed. The body does it all by itself.
You breathe in through the nose and direct your breath into the abdomen, over your back you let the breath out. Imagine figuratively that you exactly breath this way.
Stay for 3-5 minutes and also longer, if you like.
2. For the next exercise, roll your blanket to a long sausage, take a second blanket and roll them together. You put the blanket lengthwise on your underlay and sit down in front of it, hold yourself a little up and calm down on the blanket roll. Your sternum should be able to open well and your shoulders sink low and relaxed. The legs are stretched. You can put the pillow under your knee.
Stay for 5-8 minutes, then lay on the leftside, pull your knees to the chest. Put the ceiling sausage aside and get inthe supine position.
Shavasana with heart opener
3. In supine position you put both feet on, the fingers are stilted an press your hands in the ground, as well as your shoulders. Now roll your back slowly up from the mat vertebra by vertebra and let your hipbones shine like two lamps to the ceiling. Lay your back slowly on the mat again. Roll up a second time but not that high like before and shift your pelvis slightly to the left side, droop your knees to the right side. You open the arms at shoulder level. Lie relaxed and inhale into your left flank side.
Stay for 3-5 minutes and then shift the pelvis to the right side to repeat the exercise on the left. Finally, cover yourself and stay in a supine position for a few minutes …. enjoy and relax ….
After each exercise, you feel into yourself and give your body what it needs, sometimes it likes to stretch to compensate ……..
Stay relaxed – because stress can anyone 🙂
I wish you yin and yang harmony and a nice advent season.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments to this exercise.
Do you also have a Buddha, which beautifies your home or workplace? What happens in you when you look at a Buddha? He expresses peace, freedom, silence, endlessness, unity and a strong surrender of love … Can you feel that? Buddha means “the awakened.” Hatred, desire and ignorance fell away from him. Read in the following text, what this means and how we transfer his teachings in our Yoga practice.
Who is really behind Buddha?
His bourgeois name is Siddhartha Gautama. Siddharta saw the light of the day about 563 B.C. in Lumbini, near the city Kapilavastu, in today´s Nepal.
His mother died 7 days after his birth. He grew up with his father and foster mother in very rich conditions.
At 16, Siddharta was married to Princess Yasodhara. Both lived in very prosperous circumstances and got a son together.
Siddharta was not satisfied despite the very good quality of life and felt unfulfilled. He left the sheltered home at the age of 29 and moved out into the surrounding area. His previous carefree life was wonderful and the suffering he encountered outside was completely alien to him.
He met people who showed him aging, illness, death and pain. Siddhartha was very touched by the whole and decided to find a way out of this suffering. He began to lead the life of an ascetic (asket = a abstemious person). He dealt with the study of varios religions.
The outside world, however, gave him no answer and so he began to seek the solution in his inner. He learned the yoga practice and to meditate. One reads that he awoke under a poplar fig on a full moon night during an inwardly self-absorption. The tree of wisdom, that´s what the poplar fig is called, maybe you´ve heard of it before.
All the qualities, which produce suffering of man fell away from him. He realized that ultimately the human being is responsible for his own suffering. Suffering results from one´s own destructive thought and behavioral patterns. If we learn to accept the things we experience as they are, no suffering can arise.
Buddha died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, in today’s state of Uttar Pradesh. According to tradition, he died due to eating a rotten mushroom soup.
The teachings, Buddhas show a way of reorientation of each individual and thus is beneficial to their own personality development.
I am very happy about the parallels that show up here to yoga and we can thus say very well that Buddhism and Hinduism and the philosophical teachings of Yoga, the 8 levels of Patanjali are very close.
The teachings are the most natural way to help ourself. We get offered a very powerful tool that helps us to make our lives happy and free.
We are free to define our own principles. However it´s advisable to study the mentioned teachings because the are very helpful. They teach us to look at our life differently and to appreciate all matters and experiences for our development.
Love life, look more closely and recognize things behind things, you will see that what the many doctrines of religions refer to as paradise lies within you…..be happy!
You smile – and the world is changing. Buddha
We are what we think. Everything that we are comes from our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world – Buddha