Practice

Prenatal Yoga: Promoting a healthy and joyful nine months

Prenatal Yoga has become a sought-after, niche area. Trained prenatal yoga teachers find that their classes are overflowing with eager expectant mothers looking to enhance their pregnancy with yoga. In this article, Ana Davis explores some of the countless benefits of prenatal yoga.

Before a baby is even born, his/her senses are developing and being stimulated as he moves and stretches in his watery home, attached to the mother by his life-supporting umbilical cord. He can hear her heartbeat and external sounds – responding to the tone of his mother’s and father’s voices. A baby in utero can feel the warm amniotic fluid on his skin and sense his mother rubbing her belly. He can distinguish tastes, and even sense changes in light through his closed eyelids.

There have even studies been done to show that a mother’s thoughts and emotions have an impact on the future personality of the baby! In so many ways the connection between mother and child is inextricably formed as their subtle body rhythms are naturally synchronised over the nine months. A healthier mother equals a healthier baby, and this is why doctors and midwives regularly recommend yoga to their pregnant patients.

 
 

How to survive the silly season and still keep sane

– By Liz Dene

 

Well it is almost upon us, the biggest time of the year. The time when we put our usual routine on hold and focus on the never-ending parties, social catch ups and basically eat and drink a whole lot more the usual.

Let’s face some facts, it’s December already the year has flown by. You and everyone else is feeling somewhat exhausted. The festive season (as much fun as it is) can take its toll on your mind and body. If you don’t pace yourself and try to find some balance is this silly season you’ll end up feeling like you need to go to rehab for the month of January.

If you are like me, I sometimes find it hard to know when to stop and can feel the effects for days after the event. It’s like we try and cram as much into the month as we do for the whole year. Everyone wants to catch up for Christmas. With all that endless food and little exercise it can really take it’s toll on the body. In this issue, I have put together some ideas to help you survive the silly season without waking up feeling a decade older. If however you do over-indulge I have some ideas to get you up and back feeling fabulous sooner.

Here are some tips to help you through the season, plus have you looking and feeling great.

 
 

Qui Gung – a brief outline

Written by Stacey Clarke, Maitri Yoga

Known by many different name variations, including: Qui Gung, Chi Kung and Qigong, it is the Oriental art of working with and restoring your life energy, through movement, proper breathing and concentration.  Phonetically, it is most often pronounced ‘chee’  ‘gong’.  ‘Qui’ means several things in Chinese, ‘air’ being the most common, but in this case it’s ‘the life energy inside a person’.  ‘Gung’ means ‘a method of exercise that takes a long time to do well’ (Lam & Kaye, 2006).

Qui Gung is all about harnessing your life force to “free yourself from your negative emotions and incessant chatter of your monkey mind” (Frantzis, 2008).  Once the mind has calmed and relaxed, with the focus concentrated on the exercise, you’re said to be in a ‘Qui Gung state’ or ‘ru jing’, from which your health and wellbeing can then be optimized (Brown & knoferl, 2001).

 
 

Kundalini rising

Written by Brook McCarthy

kundalini-chakras-nadis.jpgHindu mysticism believes that the body has a system of energy channels called nadis, through which prana, or life force, flows. The many practices of yoga help cultivate prana to flow freely throughout all nadis – one of the most effective is nadi sodhana pranayama.

 

 
 

How to engage the key bandhas

jalandhara-bandha2.jpgWritten by Kara Goodsell

'Engage Mula Bandha’ is an oft-quoted instruction in class. But just how do you do that? Byron Yoga Centre teacher trainer Kara Goodsell explores some simple techniques and tips for isolating and engaging your three main bandhas to help take your asana and meditation practice to the next level.

 

 
 

Unlocking the mysteries of the bandhas

locked-mystery.jpgWritten by Kara Goodsell

The concept of bandhas is one of the more subtle and esoteric aspects of yoga and if you have ever been left feeling somewhat perplexed as to the correct bandha action in your practice, you are not alone.

 

 
 

Navel gazing: learn to meditate

how-to-meditate.jpgWritten by Brook McCarthy

Sitting with eyes closed and mind focused seems a simple thing. Yet for anyone who’s ever sat and tried to meditate while battling with thoughts that jump from judgements to menial distractions, it can be excruciating. Simplifying your approach may be the key to get beyond these, explains Byron Yoga centre meditation teacher Stephan Kahlert.

 
 

The importance of home practice

yoga-at-the-sink.jpg

Written by Brook McCarthy

Yoga teachers enthuse that, ‘yoga is nothing without a home practice’. Home practice gives self-insight into how you respond to difficulty and ease, heightens self-awareness of the body, and cultivates your ability to care for yourself. But starting – or resuming – your home practice can be intimidating, hard to manage, or just plain dull. Discover these tips for starting and maintaining your home practice.

 
 

クンダリーニの上昇

Written by Brook McCarthy

kundalini-chakras-nadis.jpgヒンズー教の神秘思想によると、体内にはナディと呼ばれる生命力や気の流れる管が張りめぐらされていると考えられています。
ヨガを実践する事でこのナディの中を通る気の流れを良くしてくれると言われていて、1番効果的なのはナディー・ショダーナ プラナヤーマです。

プラーナ(気)のエネルギーは私達に生命を吹き込み、エネルギーを与えてくれます。健康状態がいい時はプラーナがとても活発に流れている時で…肉体的、感情的、精神的にストレスを受けていたり、病気の時はいくつかのナディがしっかりと開いておらず、プラーナの流れを制限してしまい…これが体の特定の場所に影響してくるとも言えるでしょう。

 

 
 
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