Sadly, a priest in Southampton has banned a yoga class from using his church’s hall because of a perceived threat to the church’s beliefs. Rather, it would have been a great example of inclusiveness in society. See for the whole story.
How does the yoga community address these occurrences? A colleague and I have experienced similar – perhaps you have too? Yoga does have beliefs on the purpose of the universe, practices and a moral code, but what it does not have, and this is what separated from Religion, is set rituals and gods. Where those occur, they have been brought in by people of that religion and become part of a hodge-podge.
We’re off camping tomorrow (it promises to be sunny and warm – crossed fingers) so some yoga on the beach/cliffs/quiet spot could be part of my day, if I can creep away! And then there’s staying in the moment while organising everyone for the day and smoothing things along in a party with an age range from 5 to 17…..the psychological side of yoga may come in handy!
It may be raining in parts of Britain, but we all get a break in the clouds at some point. When the sun shines take yourself into the garden or the park to practise. You can take your mat, or leave it. You’ll get the fresh air (and prana – life energy) and sunshine (plus vitmin D) as well as the usual physical and mental benefits from working inside. You’ll glow from top to toe!
PS Your toes will love sinking into the cool grass too.
Don’t just collapse while you watch the games and let your muscles get as soggy as your sofa…use the time to build up your own muscles and core strength.
Sit on the edge of the sofa (if you’re not already!) lifting your pelvic floor, gently pulling your navel back towards your spine and up. Or pile cushions on the floor and cross your legs for joint flexibility and lift up and out of your pelvis. Also try keeping one of your legs extended for lengthening the hamstring. Be sure to swop leg positions.
Be creative too – take your feet wide for an inner thigh stretch or have a sitting balance such as navasana, bringing ankles and knees together and raising shins to parallel with floor. Raise arms in line with shins and engage abdominals again.
Enjoy the spectator sport of yoga infront of the TV and show up the couch potatoes!
Whether experienced or first-timers, everyone enjoyed the sunny morning in the lovely Llandogo Hall. We practised yoga techniques for upright sitting, strong standing and developing strategies for easing acute back pain. We then practised postures to develop back strength such as bridges and warriors. And finished with a thoroughly relaxing Yoga Nidra. The chocolate brownies for refreshments were described as “delicious” and the practices to help back health as “really helpful and useful” and “my back feels really eased out and I feel better all over!” Thanks to everyone for coming and making it such an enjoyable session – that we all learned from!
Is yoga a pathway to improving our society?
What can a system for development, that is, perhaps, 5000 years old, have to teach us in the 21st century?
As the author, Amelia Meister, says: “As a society, we are out of touch. We’re out of touch with our bodies, our families, our communities and our Earth. This is one of the reasons such horrible crises perpetuate in our society”.
Through yoga, she noticed how she and others became much more aware of various issues in society and motivated to do something positive about them. Through a raising of awareness, firstly through the body and breath, an ability rose to see the bigger picture more clearly; the inter-connectedness of everything and the true value of the things in life that matter.
She mentions Michael Stone’s Yoga for a World out of Balance, which outlines the ethics of yoga.
She sums up the value of yoga, “In a society that values consumption, constant doing, competition and disconnection, yoga can offer many gifts. The practice of slowing down, accepting our bodies where they are at in any moment and connecting to our breath gives us the space to expand our awareness beyond the small thoughts in our heads about what we need to buy or what we look like”.
For the full article see:
Many US airports are introducing walking paths, healthy food vendors and yoga studios for travellers. Airports are recognising they can be stressful places with uncomfortable seating, delays and dry air. To counteract the negative aspects of travelling, let’s hope this trend spreads to the UK (leave a suggestion next time you’re there!) and soon we can all take our yoga trousers on our journeys.
If you’ve been on your feet all day at work, shopped till you dropped or just need a pick-me-up, try viparita karani.
Can’t say it? You can do it!
Simply lie on your back and put your feet up a wall or over a chair seat. It’s so simple but so effective. The ultimate relaxing, restorative yoga pose that everyone can do. You’ll feel better in seconds. Especially your legs.
Build a Better Body
Yoga workshop for a pain free back & strong posture
Do you have constant backache? Have you lost days at work or out on your bike?
Through safe, specific yoga exercises learn how to stand tall without tensions, free stiffness and strengthen vital muscles for a strong, healthy back.
Saturday 28th July 10am – 1.30pm
Llandogo Hall (between Tintern & Monmouth)
After a break, deep stretches and a relaxation, to de-stress, will leave you rested and refreshed, with tips for keeping your back and body in top condition, so there’s no missing out on cliffs, canoes or bikes this summer!
Cost: £20 – SPECIAL OFFER – Bring a friend and pay just £17!
Contact Sian at
0787 2571 934
Places are limited, so book early!
Location: NP25 4SQ Map: http://g.co/maps/3qhua
Laughter Yoga has taken off in China… Expert Dr Kataria made such an impact he was persuaded to do a session at the new devotee’s workplace. He says a sense of humour is not required, and that just 10-20 minutes has a profound benefit on the human body. Maybe it’s something to put in the diary in GB or Greece!