Let me share with you the secret to a good crow pose. It’s an impressive pose that looks really challenging but really it’s all about being playful and confident at the same time.
I always like to do a Mulasana or low squat first then from the low squat set the hands on the floor shoulder distance apart and draw the knees up high into the back of the arms, from here press firmly into the hands and move your weight slightly forward whilst drawing the toes up to balance on the arms balancing. Voila.
A great pose to do just for fun (or to look good!) along with increasing your confidence, strength and sense of balance. Contraindications are wrist or shoulder injuries. Enjoy!
It seems fitting that I share today, on Valentines Day, one of my favourite (and most effective) meditation techniques, called loving kindness meditation. It is especially helpful in building and sustaining happiness (Fredrickson, Cohn et al 2008).
Loving kindness meditation changes habituated negative thinking patterns to develop a quality of ‘loving acceptance’. It also helps develop levels of empathy, with empathy being fundamental to successful relationships (and leadership).
Loving kindness meditation starts with sending loving kindness to yourself and then systematically to four other types of people, namely a respected person, a dearly loved person, a neutral person and a hostile person.
One of the most effective ways I find to practice loving kindness meditation is to sit or lie in savasana and then visualise each step by seeing yourself or the person that you are directing loving kindness to and then smiling and sending them the loving kindness.
If you feel resistance to any step, it means there is work to be done. Don’t worry, just start by doing the parts you are comfortable with and the rest can evolve as you are ready.
Have a loving and kind Valentines Day.
This is one of the new mandala that will be on the walls at Soul Studio. They are there for practical and spiritual purposes along with just being beautiful. On a practical note, we will use the mandalas to guide our practice, for example face the green mandala or the red mandala. Much easier than left and right!
On the more spiritual side of things, mandalas generally symbolise unity and harmony but they also have unique meanings. Mandalas are used in yoga and mediation to absorb the mind and cease thoughts. This lets our more creative or spiritual mind be free whilst our analytical mind has a break.
When using a mandala for mediation, it is good to first set an intention and then use the mandala as a point of focus like you do in a candle gazing mediation. I hope you enjoy the new mandalas at the studio; they will be up by next weekend.
See you Monday for first classes, remember all classes are free for February, please enter code FREE FEB at in the promo code box at the cart.
I’m a working Mum and yogi. My three teenage boys often walk past while I’m practicing yoga and comment on my efforts. The pose they find the funniest is Savasana. They think I’m having a nap.
Savasana is the final resting pose in most yoga classes; it is the most important pose of the whole practice. It integrates the physical and mental benefits of your practice by drawing attention to the breath. By focussing on the breath, in the moment we slow down and listen to our bodies and by listening to our bodies we are much more likely to take better care of ourselves and feel more calmer and connected.
I find a morning practice finishing with a savasana makes me feel present and grateful for the day ahead.
Child's pose is a go to resting pose and also great for stretching the hips, thighs and ankles. It releases lower back, neck and shoulder tension whilst having a lovely relaxation or grounding effect. Having your head below your heart is calming for the brain.
A variation on Child's pose includes performing with knees apart to further stretch the hips and thighs and also with arms reaching forward to extend the spine and shoulders.
Contraindications are for knees injuries.
The downward dog pose, a transition move in many flow classes. Great for improving flexibility in the shoulders and upper back as well as strengthening the arms and stretching the hamstrings, achilles and calves. Another move that improves circulation to the brain and has an overall calming effect.
Really lovely pose particularly when integrated with a fun and energising flow sequence. Key things you are looking for are a nice inverted 'v' position, active inner thighs, shoulder blades drawn into the body. Always good to have your teacher look at your downward dog to help refine your practice.
Contraindications are wrist injuries and hyper mobility through shoulders and elbows.