Balasana

One of my all time favorite poses for those days when my energy is low and it all seems too much is balasana, childs pose.

As you can see by the photo, childs pose involves folding yourself into a foetal position and resting your whole body. The spine lengthens as the hips soften towards the heels, the forehead rests the weight of the head downwards and the arms release to the sides, opening the back of the shoulders. The forward bends as a family of postures are restorative and this is one of the best, 5 minutes in balasana does as much for my energy levels as an hour long nap and I feel physically better afterwards.

While two year old Rhys in the photo can do this with ease many adults find this pose less than restful. Tightness in the legs, hips, spine or shoulders and neck can mean it is not as comfortable as it should be. Fortunately there are many ways to adapt balasana and reap it’s benefits even if you can not easily fold yourself up. Taking a cushion or blanket (or two or three) between the thighs and calves creates support and space if your hips do nor readily descend all the way to the heels. Alternative positions for the hands can ease shouder, neck and head discomfort. Many of my students prefer to place the hands beneath the forehead – either palms down one above the other or in fists stacked one above the other depending on what is most comfortable. This both broadens the shoulders and supports the head a little higher. You can also experiment with other support for the head, a rolled up blanket, yoga block or whatever else in handy can help you feel the ease and comfort this pose can offer. I highly recommend taking the time to find your most comfortable balasana variation as the results are well worth it. If you need further assistance in setting yourself up with props please ask a qualified yoga teacher for guidance.

My children have all taken this pose intuitively when they are overwhelmed or over tired, especially when they were younger. It is often seen as a sulking pose in young children but I believe they are simply in touch with their needs and taking time out to withdraw when they need to.

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring and experimenting with balasana,  the internal focus and complete rest this pose offers – both physical and mental as the rest of the world is shut out and you curl up with yourself for some quiet reflection makes it well worth visiting often.

Love and light,

Belinda.

xxx

Baked with love…

Welcome,

I had my birthday over the weekend and my 10 year old  daughter announced that she would bake me a cake.

She took control of the kitchen while hubby & I worked outside on the renovations and after some time a lovely baking smell drifted out to me. Kelsea appeared with a smile a mile wide and challenged me to guess the flavour, announcing that she had carefully put away, hidden or covered up all evidence in the kitchen which might give me a clue.

I sniffed the air and played along for a few minutes, making a show of umming and aaahing about it until I could do it no more and guessed correctly that it was chocolate.

“How did you know mum?”

“Well it smells chocolatey and…there is chocolate all over your chin!”

The cake was beautiful, the first my children have made for me unaided and I am sure the love that went into it’s preparation added to it’s deliciousness.

Whenever I prepare food I try to take time to let go of anything else on my mind so I can prepare it mindfully and with love as Kelsea did for me. On the occasions that I don’t do this I usually end up burning something or it inexplicably doesn’t turn out.

By treating food preparation and other “chores” as opportunities to practice mindfullness and awareness we give ourselves the opportunity to really notice what we are doing and find beauty in the seemingly mundane, like the pattern in an apple when you slice it in half or the texture of a peaches skin. Not to mention to aroma of spices or baking bread. Yum, my mouth is watering just writing about it…think I’d better go make tonight’s dinner.

Love and light,

Belinda.

xxx

 

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Hi readers,

Today I’m writing about one of my favorite yoga poses, adho mukha svanasana or down facing dog.

This pose gives you a lovely sense of grounding while lengthening the spine and torso and opening up the muscles in the back of the legs. When I come into it I try to distribute my weight evenly through my hands and feet and keep my knees soft while I focus on length through the spine. By lifting the hips up and back you can experience a lovely sense of opening through the sides of the body. Only once I feel that opening do I start to go towards straightening the legs, all the time being aware of the spine remaining long as I do so.

The benefits of this asana are many, it is an inversion as the head is below the heart which allows the blood to flow to the brain with less effort from the circulatory system. It affects the whole body, stretching the legs, shoulders and spine and strengthening the arms and legs. It brings calm to the mind and energy to the body and it an integral part of sun salutations and many other sequences.

No matter how many times I do this pose I still approach adho mukha svanasana with a sense of exploration, never letting it become habitual. I am inspired in this by my very own down facing dog Ebony who feels her way through adho mukha svanasana every morning when she gets out of bed.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Sunshine after Rain

Welcome to Yoga Tinted Glasses,

My first exploration into the world of blogging. This is a very exciting development for me both as a yoga teacher and a writer and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed setting up and now writing it.

Today has been wet and windy in Melbourne but the sun has just come out and is now shining beautifully, it’s light reflected on the water giving everything a shimmer and brightness which is lovely to behold. Though a few people have commented to me about the terrible weather I don’t mind the rain. It brings a fresh start to everything, washes the slate clean and waters the trees and plants.

On days like today I like to meditate on allowing the rain to cleanse myself as well as the world, rainfall is a lovely sound to meditate to and I picture the water washing away any distractions and leaving me centered and focused. I sit and imagine the rain washing over my body and mind, carrying away tension, tightness, unhelpful thoughts or emotions and leaving behind it’s life giving properties. When I feel ready I emerge, sparkling and bright, renewed and refreshed, ready to face the world and whatever my day brings from a new perspective.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx