Do you ever get stressed out on your commute? Rush hour traffic, delays, packed out trains, platforms, tourist and people walking too slow! At times just getting to work can be unpleasant and doesn't exactly help us get our day off to a great start.
So what can we do? If leaving before or after rush hour isn't an option and we must navigate through the dreaded tube or subway system we can try our best not be reactive to all the stress and energy around us. One of the simplest things we can do is breath awareness and infact this simple exercise is great for all stressful situations whether we are stuck in traffic or having heated debate. Both external stressors and our emotions and state of mind affect our breath.
How to practice breath awareness on the train...
Breath awareness exercises can be refined over time. After a while you may start slipping it into your daily routine, allowing you to stay calm and centered.
Until Next time.. Happy Commuting
The other day someone in class asked about what kind of diet supports a physical Yoga practice and I replied by saying that the Yogic diet is Sattvic. A diet of whole foods, veggies and unprocessed foods keeps the body light and limber. However we are not living on a mountain top with our guru, practicing Yoga every morning and mediating for 5 hours a day. We are living in bustling cities. We have jobs, responsibilities and busy lives.
This whole conversation got me thinking about the 3 Gunas which I remember reading about many years ago from the first Yoga book I ever had. "The New Book of Yoga" - from the Sivanada Yoga Centre.
So what are the Gunas? Basically the Gunas are three different types of energy. All three of these energies are present within us and our enviroment. The book above has a beautiful explanation of how this applies to apples.
Sattvic - Purity
Rajasic - Passion
Tamasic - Inertia
“The Gunas ... successively dominate, support, activate, and interact with each other. Sattva is buoyant and shining. Rajas is stimulating and moving. Tamas is heavy and enveloping.” - Ishvarakrishna Samkhyakarika,
I really loved learning about the Gunas and using them to identify different aspects of myself such as environment, food and lifestyle choices I make . For example I know I have a lot of rajasic qualities, I'm very passionate about things, I love tea,coffee and salty food. I'm pretty hyperactive and have crazy energy sometimes almost burning myself out. So I know I need to nuture other sides of myself. Eating healthy foods and slowing down can help me be more grounded and relaxed.
Remembering that all three qualities are present in all things and anyone in excess could bring us way off balance. I don't think Tamasic is bad and Sattvic is good and Rajasic is something in between they just are what they are. To me they are useful and a simple way to look at things to help make healthy and positive choices in our lives.
In terms of food choices, I think it is pretty much common sense. Wholefoods and vegetables give us energy. Spicy, salty food might make us more 'spicy' and passionate, arousing the senses (especially the taste buds!). Heavy foods, alcohol and eating too much can make us sluggish and lazy. But as our dad says....
A little bit of everything is okay. - Tswayuki Saotome
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The sixth main chakra is know as Ajna, the third eye chakra. Anja is related to our ability to see things as they are without them being clouded by the ego. It is located in the space between the eyebrow and slightly in towards the brain. When the chakra is out of balance we may be judgmental to others, overly intellectual in our thinking and even delusional. Physical symptoms include frequent headaches and migraines. When balanced we able to express ourselves and make our dreams a reality. We feel the sense of connection with others and the world. How wonderful!
When we do our Physical Yoga practice we can use our Drishti ( gazing point). We focus on a single point e.g.: gazing in towards the navel when we are in a downward dog or up at our fingertips in triangle. This helps to still the mind by reducing distraction from external objects, people and happenings. This could be from noticing someones colourful Yoga attire to a bird flying past the window. Over time as we practice using drishti we can come into deep concentration and help balance the Third Eye Chakra. Balancing postures in Yoga such as tree and dancers pose are also add an extra layer of focus an concentration.
Here are a few more tips to help balance the Ajna Chakra.
Thanks for reading. Let us know your thoughts below.
Loads of Love
Hana & Aya
The third Chakra (energy centre) known as the Manipuri Chakra relates to our willpower, ambition and ability to take action. It is located just below the rib cage and above the navel. Manipuri is also the place of our intuition, it is our 'gut instinct'. When something is wrong we often feel the tension in our guts or when things are just right we feel warm and fusy inside. With the Manipuri Chakra out of balance we may have low energy, doubts, feel out of control of our lives, worry what others think or be overly critical towards others.
In a physical yoga practice core work, spinal twists and warrior poses help to ignite the inner fire (also known as Agni), helping us to access the energy within our Manipuri Chakra. We get a great workout and burn off impurities in the body and also in the mind. Next time you do a warrior pose, focus your on your solar plexus and see if you can feel the power within you. Doing this can simply remind us we already have the ability, strength and knowing inside us to live a life true to ourselves.
Here are some tips to get create vitality, energy, action and balance the Manpuri Chakra.
Thanks for reading.Until next time.
Lots of Love
Hana & Aya x
There are seven main energy points (Chakras) in the body which run run vertically upwards along the spine. Muladhara is the first chakra, located at the base of the spine and is also known as the root chakra. This chakra harnesses our ability to feel safe, steady and grounded. It connects us to our physical bodies, environment and the Earth. Our root chakra can be out of balance when we don't have this sense of stability in our bodies or our lives we may feel as if we are slipping and sliding all over the place, we may feel unsafe or fearful.
A physical Yoga practice helps us reconnect deeply with ourselves. When everything in life seems to be in a constant state of of flux, simply stepping onto a yoga mat, moving the body and listening to breath can give us a great sense of being grounded. Feeling the soles of the feet and sending energy down into the earth is almost like the roots of tree reaching down to allow the tree to withstand the wind, rain and elements.
Having a sense of stability is an anchor that allows us to handle change be it positive and exciting or not so fun. Here are few other ways to help balance the root chakra:
So lovelies, trust and love your beautiful bodies and feel the earth supporting you in all you do!
Om Shanti xoxox
Balancing poses have many wonderful benefits. Balancing postures require concentration which can simply and effectively reduce brain chatter almost instantly! Your to do list, what to eat for dinner, your life crisis or worries can almost vanish as you focus your mind on the posture. This concentration brings you into the present moment as you centre yourself and regain your sense of calm.
Here are some top tips to try during balancing postures.
Until next time. Happy Balancing.