Mind Body and Spirit resource

This is my Yoga journey blog and resource with tips and hints relating to the mind, body and spirit. Collaborators, contributors are welcome to add their own journey and tips too.

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by Kimm Fearnley
Bournemouth, Bournemouth, United Kingdom,
Created on 1 Jan 2017

This project is for those interested in learning more about yoga, meditation and other aspects of spirituality. It is a place to share tips and experiences, views and information with others.

Tanya Ring is a yoga and pilates teacher and Kimm Fearnley founded the Happiness Centre - a yoga and meditation centre in Yorkshire where she taught meditation and gave away the profits to good causes. Kimm, who handed over the reins of the centre a few years ago now has a social media page called The Backroom Buddha. The two friends are passionate about yoga, meditation and healthy lifestyles and intend to offer a range of articles and videos to encourage the practice of gentle exercise and meditation. 

In the first article Kimm reveals how yoga helps her to face daily challenges and Tanya talks about how emotional release can be found in yoga postures.

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Sun, 01/01/2017
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Yoga: Finding the space within

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During my recent practice I have been reflecting on the importance of space - not just the physical space to practice and space in terms of time alone to practice or attend class but also the space we create in our bodies during our practice. The space we create in our bodies as we stretch and move and the space we create with our breath.

Breathing deeply, fully and directing our breath is a very powerful and essential part of yoga.

It’s interesting to note that the most important thing we have to do each day in order to stay alive is to breathe and yet it is the one thing that we give the least attention to. We take breathing for granted because it happens automatically. We breathe in our sleep and when we exert ourselves our body automatically draws the breath it requires to handle the extra demand our activities place upon it.

The invisible breath.

We can not see it or touch it, or hold it in our hands but we know it is there - all around us.

There is no new breath being poured into our earth just the one breath that we all breath together. - that our ancestors have breathed in too.

We breath in the wind, the breeze - all of which is oxygen- and then we breath out carbon dioxide which is collected by trees and plants and effectively cleaned and returned to us to breath again.

Mind-blowing stuff when you stop to think about it for a minute.

We can see things move as the air touches it, we see the leaves dance in the breeze as they yield to it’s touch, we see buildings and trees fall as the invisible wind rages through towns and countryside. We can only see what yields, like we can see our chest rise and fall as the breath comes and goes, we can feel the sensation of a warm summer breeze on our skin but we can not see the breath, the air itself.

We take our first breath as we are physically born and our last breath as we die.

This magnificent life force of ours deserves a little more attention and by harnessing it fully we can create some wonderful space in our minds, in our bodies and in our lives.

Creating space is important and it is the space between the breaths where the magic occurs.

Think about comedy timing. It is a pause, a place for the joke to drop, for the audience to understand. Think about music the pauses the spaces are vital, creating mood and melody. There are only 12 notes in a scale but it is the quavers, the semi, demi-quavers the dotted notes and the many other symbols that denote space between the notes that create musical masterpieces. 

We need the same pauses in our own lives to just breath and be with our emotions, be with ourselves to reflect and let the understanding - the meaning of the joke to fall into place - instead of rushing around stressing ourselves.

Space.

Breath.

Yoga is not just about postures as I have stated before but when I first attended a class I remember the teacher guiding us through breathing and finding myself irritated and silently urging her to get on the main event! I wanted to learn about yoga not bloody breathing!

But I have learned that yoga is breathing, yoga is life - it means to yoke, to tether, to connect. 

To find space to simply be connected to ourselves.

We hear people saying “I need space” when relationships are under strain or a job has come to an end or we are suffering challenging times but the truth is we need space everyday. 

Taking a few moments to just sit quietly and breathe deeply and slowly and to notice the pause is a valuable, simple practice. It is also yoga.

Perhaps try this.

 

  1. Turn off your phone, find a quiet place and lay down on your back - legs relaxed and slightly wider than hip distance, arms at your side with palms turned up. (If your back is sore then bend your knees to take the weight off)
  2. Close your eyes gently.
  3. Breath out all the breath you have and then breath deeply into the belly and lungs.
  4. Hold it for 7 full seconds (counting one hundred, two hundred etc . .)
  5. Then exhale slowly and fully, pulling in the belly and squeezing out very last drop of air.
  6. Then hold again for 7 seconds.
  7. Repeat this for at least 14 cycles or more if you wish then stop and return to normal breathing
  8. Notice the space between the breath.

You can do this standing up or in a comfortable seated posture or on your knees, crosslegged or simply sitting with your back against the wall.

Or this:

You will need an ordinary drinking straw,

  1. Put the straw to one side for a moment. 
  2. Breathing normally time how many breaths you take in 60 seconds. 
  3. Take a normal breath in through the nose, pinch the nose gently closed with your fingers and breath out fully through the mouth through the straw.
  4. Repeat for two minutes making sure you breathe in only through the the nose and out through the straw.
  5. Then breathing normally repeat number 2 i.e relaxed normal breathing counting how many full breaths you do in 60 seconds.

You will be amazed how fewer breaths you take the second time around!

It is also an impressive party trick!

Breathing and movement create space in the body, stillness  in the mind. and empowers us. As I progress with my blog I will introduce some other wonderful, simple yogic breathing practices.

Namaste.

From The Radiance Sutras by Lori Roche - an interpretation of the sacred texts known as Vijnana Bhairava Tantra

Number 20

The radiance of space permeates the body

And all directions simultaneously.

Space is always here,

Already here before noticing of it.

What we call space is a presence,

Permission to exist,

And worlds within which to express.

Without thinking about it,

Without forming mental images,

Rest in this vast expanse,

Friends with infinity.

 

 

 

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