Yoga has taken on so many trends, looks and labels - to simplify this is a practice of ancient wisdom - a practice one must follow on the spiritual path. It’s a beautiful way to deepen your connection with yourself, your spirit and ultimately the collective consciousness.
Our fast paced, modern practice doesn’t leave much room for contemplation so here are some ways to deepen and enhance your current time on the mat.
Begin your practice with Pranayama
Yoga is made up of three practices - breath, movement and stilling the mind - pranayama is an ancient method of breathwork or breathing techniques that work to have effects on the nervous system. Sitting with your breath at the beginning of your practice is a great way to connect the state of your nervous system with the intention of your mind.
One common breath technique is Ujiyi breath, you’ll often hear this in a yoga class to make the sound in your throat as if you’re fogging up a mirror with your lips closed, this breath is to help focus the mind but it’s original intention is to create heat in the body in order to help ‘burning up’ all of the ‘rubbish’ within - this is referring to toxicity on a physical, spiritual and emotional level.
A simple breath technique to incorporate into your practice is a Seasonal breath, simply breathe in for a count of four, suspending the breath for a count of two, exhaling for a count of four and then holding the breath for a count of two. Repeat this over a two minute cycle. This is called Seasonal breath because of the energetics of each breath - inhaling is Spring (anticipation), holding is Summer (fullness), exhaling is Autumn (slowing down) and holding the breath out is Winter (emptiness).
If you’re an avid Yogi trying a practice with the eyes closed or keeping the eyes closed as much as possible during a practice is a wonderful way to redirect attention inward. Practicing in this way will often be a more embodied and emotional experience, free of distractions or comparing your shapes to those around you.
To help ground you through balancing poses try ourI AM...Inspired scent to centre your body and help you to feel into your being in the most complete way.
Playing with the Vayus
Vedic wisdom believes that there are five Vayus or energies that effect the human experience and life on earth. Two of these in particular are an excellent accompaniment to deepen a yoga practice.
Udana Vayu is upward flowing energy, it is in its nature uplifting if you are feeling sluggish or heavy focus of reaching upward in your yoga practice. Cultivating upward flowing movement of energy that will help lift you out of stagnation.
Alternatively if you are feeling anxious, overthinking or stressed Apana Vayu is what you want to increase, this Vayu governs downward flowing energy and can be stimulated by concentrating on grounding down into your mat, as if you’re a tree growing roots. This is also naturally created in a Yin or Restorative class.
Finding Your Teacher
Traditionally as a student of Yoga you would have only one teacher, who was able to prescribe different asanas or sequences accordingly to your level and your timing on the spiritual path. Currently we have an overabundance of Yoga teachers and possibilities, if you can try staying with only one teacher and devoting your time entirely to their way of practicing, energetic shifts are more likely to occur if you’re working with the same teacher over prolonged periods of time.
Creating a Personal Practice
Once you have been to a few Yoga classes it is easy to realise what’s involved or what to expect the next step on the Yogic path is to create your own practice. This is a sequence that you create, ask your teacher to create for you or that you find online. Carving out time and practicing in your own way, at your own speed at home will deepen the embodiment that you experience on the mat.
The ultimate reason that we practice asana (Yoga poses) is to create the optimum state of mind preparing it for meditation. Try including a five minute to one hour long meditation at the end of your practice, you’ll find that the mind is calmer and you naturally find yourself in the deepest form of meditation.
The negative energy clearing effect of our Clear Quartz Generators can help you to quieten the mind and settle in a more meditative state, hold in the palm of your hand or place at the top of your mat.
Enjoy and Sat Nam x