Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Right now in this busy Autumn season it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget our goals and dreams. Sometimes we are so busy rushing around that we may not even know what we are working towards anymore. I recently caught myself feeling scattered, taking extra long to get things done or rushing and forgetting things. Getting stuck on a hamster wheel of existance is a pretty common occurrence and falling off to hit the ground is sometimes the only way we notice that we are on it.
When we practice physical Yoga asanas (body postures), we can also use the positioning and gaze of the eyes. A Drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests in a posture. Our eyes often speak more than words when we are communicating with others and the way we use our eyes during our practice can have powerful effect on our bodies and minds.
There are different ways to use our gaze for example when we are doing a seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) we can allow the eyes to look forward towards the toes, which may help us find length through the spine or we could choose to have an inward gaze allowing the gaze of the eyes for fall towards the bellybutton. Looking inwards can help us to allow the back of the neck to release and can direct the mind inwards to a more reflective state.
In a Warrior 2 pose we look towards the tip of the middle finger of the front hand, this drishti on a physical level keeps our head centered and helps us stay upright and balanced. The very slight gaze down to the hand allows the back of the neck to stay long. Without a drishti this pose almost feels like I'm just hanging out on the mat with my arms and legs stretched out, but a soon as I add the gazing point it evokes a strong sense of clarity and direction. Instead of feeling like a scatterbrain (which can at times be my state of mind!) I start to feel like a warrior, strong, grounded and with purpose.
If we keep our gaze steady, it can help our minds become calm and focused. We are no longer likely to be so distracted by all the things around us. Drishti can allow us to become present in this moment and in our practice. We can also relate the use of Drishti to our lives off the mat. If we keep clear goals in our minds and purpose in our hearts we can experience peace and clarity even in crazy times. Keeping us steady and unshakable even in the strongest tides.
What is your Drishti?
Would you enjoy a hearty stew on baking hot summers day? Wear a bikini in the snow? Just as we change our wardrobe and the food we eat according to the season we can also change our yoga practice to help nourish us in different seasons.
Autumn means back to school, work and reality to most of us, after the lovely long days of Summer. The dosha (meaning the quality or characteristics) is 'Vata'. Vata is cool, clear and dry. To find balance we can use the opposite qualities of Vata. For example instead of being a dried up crispy leaf that falls off the tree, try and be like tree. Sending energy down into the earth, find stability whilst gracefully letting go of things that we no longer need. Checkout our article on Aparigraha, the practice of letting go. After all we know we can let go, as after winter, spring and summer will surely arrive.
Here are some things you can do in Yoga practice to balance and support you in Autumn.
Lots of hot tea, cool breezes & love to you
Hana & Aya
Need a quick energy boost better than coffee? Or simply need to get your energy flowing and get you ready for the day ahead. Sun Salutaions also known as Suyra Namaskar are like full body workout in just a few simple moves. Traditionally done very early in the morning before the sun comes up, as a salutation to the rising sun! The sequence can vary between different schools and traditions of Yoga but the sequence usually links 12 classical postures to create an dance like flow. The body moves from gentle backbends to forward folds giving the whole front and back side of the body a great stretch. Plank and chatarunga tones the arms and shoulders and gives you amazing core workout (find some tips on plank here). Whilst down dog stretches the spine and hamstrings, bringing a sense of calm.
Here are a few tips and reasons to doing Surya Namaskar in morning...
Lots of Love, light & energy to you.
Please leave us comments, feedback, thought & love below.
Hana & Aya
Want to wind down after the day without sudating yourself a food and alcohol or turning into a TV zombie. There is healthier, simple and 100% FREE way to relax your mind and body after the daily grind.
A simple forward bend in Yoga done in restorative way brings us back to a calm, tranquil, reflective and relaxed state of being. Basically all day long our energy is directed out into the world with distractions and stress in varying amounts from commuting, work, chores, appointments, friends and family commitments etc. When we fold forward we not only get a beautiful stretch, it also draws our attention within and away from all the external stimulation of the day.
The seated forward bend also known as Paschimothanasana is well......excellent. It has so many benefits. When doing this before bed you can try it in a more restful and passive way, holding it for longer than you would in a regular Yoga sequence maybe up to 5 minutes. Avoid this pose if you have any back injuries such as disc problems(when in doubt please consult your doctor). Here are some simple tips to make the most of the the pose:
Thanks for reading. Lots of Love and restorative relaxing to you.
Hana & Aya