Solitary

Following last weeks post on companionship today I am writing about being alone. Time alone can be wonderful for getting to know the most important person in your life – yourself. Reflecting, relaxing and enjoying your own company without feeling obliged to be anything to anyone else is very precious indeed. I highly recommend it for everyone, those who have very little time to themselves and those who have plenty.

Time alone is something I never really appreciated until after I had children, babies take up all of your time in the early months and years. My chosen style of parenting meant I was not alone much at all so by the time my youngest went to kinder I was so very aware of the gift of time to myself that I reserved those mornings purely for me. One morning a week I would practice yoga, walk the dog, have a long luxurious soak in the bath, read a book or whatever took my fancy without even thinking of housework or the other jobs needing to be done.

Since then I have more time to myself most weeks but have gotten out of the habit of setting some aside just for me. I m hoping to put it back in place. Often as the busyness of life increases the first thing we let go of is those things which keep us energised and able to deal with that busyness

So next time you find yourself with a moment to yourself, before you fill it up with thoughts or activities, enjoy it. Stop, breathe, explore how you are feeling and let your true self shine through by smiling. A smile just for you.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Companionship

Yoga is often seen as something you do alone, even in a class it is an internal practice in many ways. We close our eyes or move our bodies, exploring our own feelings, sensations, thoughts and awareness. This is all important and valid work and helps us each to become aware of and deal with whatever it is we are carrying at each particular moment in time.

There is however, definitely something to be gained from companionship, talking and sharing our joys and sorrows or even just being with another person or living creature can help us feel less alone on our journey and at peace. I was inspired to write this post by the lovely Ada, my cat, who saw me sitting down at the keyboard and leapt into my lap where she proceeded to purr loudly. It is nice just to hear her purring, feel the warmth and weight of her petite little body in my lap and experience the pleasure of her company. (With cats that is always a privilege!)

Before yoga classes commence we often have a little conversation while the students come in, sharing the events of the day and sometimes I need to chime the singing bowl to remind everyone why we are there. Then there is partner work – a wonderful way to share the joys of yoga with someone else, supporting each other, breathing together and experiencing yoga in a whole new way.

Whoever your companions are take a little time to appreciate them and what they offer you, bask in each others company and enjoy being together. Perhaps for a lifetime or a day or even just a minute.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Balance breathing, balanced life.

I taught balanced breathing last night in one of my classes and enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share it with you as well.

This is one of the easiest breath practices and has many benefits being calming, safe, balancing, useful anywhere and anytime and so very centering.

To practice you simply become aware of your breathing and then add a count to each part of the breath. Breath in and count the length of the inhalation then breathe out and count the length of the exhalation. Once you have both counts notice which part of the breath is longer and slowly over a few breaths lengthen the shorter part to match the longer. Make the change gradual, extending  just one count every two or three breaths until the inhalation and exhalation are the same length.

Once you have balanced breathing keep practicing this and counting for a few minutes or longer if you have time. You might find that your breath naturally slows so you can add an extra count to each part or just count more slowly.

I like to visualise a beach with this breath, waves coming in, waves going out in time with the breath coming in and going out.

When you are ready release the breath practice and spend a few moments noticing how you feel. It is a great practice for when you are feeling unbalanced or unstable in any aspect of your life.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

 

Renovation update.

Now that we have explored the chakras I feel I need to post something a little different. Put on my yoga tinted glasses to let you know whats happening in the rest of my life…

Our renovations are proceeding, slowly but surely moving forwards. The slowly can be frustrating at times, most jobs we take on seem manageable enough and we plan them over a certain amount of days or weeks but inevitably something comes up or goes wrong and we end up running over time. This is I think very normal for renovations and we have learned a few things so far.

1. Plan for more time that you expect it to take.

2. Expect the unexpected, delays, problems, weather to happen.

3. Go with whatever happens and try not to let yourself get frustrated when things do go wrong.

4. Celebrate each stepping stone towards the finished job, no matter how minor it may seem.

5. Enjoy the journey and don’t loose sight of your destination.

The recent hot weather in Melbourne is a good example of what can go wrong, it has meant we got less done as we needed to take more frequent breaks when working out in +30 degree temperatures. All we can do is go with it – do our best and work around the delays.

When I look back over the list above most of these lessons are covered in the yamas and niyamas, it goes to show yoga can be related and helpful in every aspect of life.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx

Sahasrara, the crown chakra

Our journey through the chakras ends with the crown chakra, Sahasrara (pronounced sa-hus-ra) located at the topmost point of your head. Sahasrara’s colour is the last in the rainbow spectrum – violet.

This chakra is our connection with the universe, your chosen god or whatever higher consciousness you believe in. For those who don’t believe in higher consciousness consider it as a connection to your own higher awareness.

Sahasrara is beyond duality, beyond the elements, expansive and infinite. Our work with the previous six chakras is towards clearing the nadis, energy channels through which prana flows, so that the prana can travel from Mooladhara right up to Sahasrara. This process has been called enlightenment, kundalini rising, samadhi and many other names all of which refer to connecting with that infinite consciousness.

We sometimes get a glimpse of this connection at those moments when we feel complete, as one, connected to something bigger than us. Perhaps watching a beautiful sunset that takes your breath away, a moment of complete peace and contentment in your day, a feeling or expensive joy for no apparent reason.

A lovely practice for Sahasrara is to lie in savasana or an alternate comfortable relaxation posture and visualise looking down on your body, then take your awareness even higher and picture looking down on the roof of the building you are in, slowly withdraw even further looking down on the town, then country, then planet. Gradually taking your awareness into space. Become aware of the depth of space surrounding you, the quiet, peaceful energy where you have no problems, no aches or pains. Notice how infinite your surroundings are, how much space there is between the stars and planets. When you feel ready bring your awareness back through the same path it took to get out into the expansiveness of space. Begin by looking down on our planet, slowly zooming in on your country, state, town, the roof of the building then looking down once more on your relaxed and peaceful body. Sink your awareness back into your body and slowly and gently feel your way back into it.

Happy travelling.

Love and light,

Belinda

xxx