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No matter what you’re doing, it helps to set a definite goal, not just a fuzzy idea. Ensure your goal is SMART. Use the acronym to check your goal is smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Specific – what exactly do you want to achieve? Is it to run 10km, fit into a size 8, … Continue reading Goal Setting: stay on track and get results
Following on from Sun Salute A, Sun Salute B (Surya Namaskara B) continues to warm the body and incorporates Warrior I and Seated Chair (utkatasana). One breath to one movement creates a powerful flow and brings focus to the breath. Repeat 3-5 times following Sun Salute A.
A great way to start your day by focussing on your breath, gently awakening and warming the body. Keep each inhale and exhale long and deep, matching the movement so your pace is steady and not rushed.
Pranayama relates to the extension and expansion breath or more literally ‘life force’. Other translations mention ‘spirit energy’, ‘vital air’ and ‘extension of the breath’. We tend to think of it as ‘breath control’ which allows us to sink more deeply into our practise and assist in concentration.
Patanjali wrote about the 8 Limbs of Yoga roughly 1,700 years ago as a path and way of living to follow towards enlightenment. They were composed of other ancient texts and were later almost forgotten until the revival of yoga hundreds of years later. The 8 Limbs teach us about mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Note that the physical practise (asana) is just one element!
When you first start out with yoga you may not appreciate how important the simple act of breathing is. When your breath is out of whack, your whole practise suffers and you feel out of step. Poses that should be easy seem hard, your body feels slow and off balance. Steady, deep and rhythmic breath makes your body move effortlessly, assists in deepening poses, balancing blood pressure, providing a soundtrack to your time on the mat and far beyond. If you can master and appreciate breath during that hour, then implementing it into daily life is the next step. There are many different breathing techniques, but a warm, steady and audible Ujjai breath (victorious breath) is a great place to start!