Yoga for inner calm; a 25 minute practice
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Yoga for inner calm; a 25 minute practice

Practice with me as I guide you through a short calming sequence including creative movement, breath work and visualisation which help to restore balance and connect you deeply towards your inner self.

 

Firstly, thank you for your support!

 

We have all lived through a life-changing moment time. First we were ground to a halt as the World went into lockdown. Now we are thrust forward into the so called ‘new-normal’ way of living, which for many of us has been further met with deep tensions and confusion.

 

For me, lockdown wasn’t so bad. We were lucky in that we could keep ourselves occupied with family life, un-homeschooling and trying to make the best of our time together. Nature has inspired me to document this time and I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors soaking up the changes in seasons surrounded by growth and birdsong. I also took the pause as an opportunity to slow down and reassess what was important to me, re-evaluating in which direction I am moving both within my creative work and as a yoga teacher. The switch to online teaching was fairly seamless thanks to the support of my amazing husband. And, for those of you who have been able to join me it has been so uplifting for us all. Being able to continue our practice and keeping our spirits lifted during times of such drama and confusion has been one way to keep a supportive community connected.

 

Fast forward to July and pace is really starting to pick up. I am often having to remind myself that “I am okay”, that “we are okay” and what we have “is enough” with a sense of acceptance that events will unfold as and when they can. The move to online teaching was quick, and this has taken its toll on me somewhat. I am feeling tired, and I guess so are you? I have, however enjoyed this new platform of inquiry and look forward to enveloping further online sessions within a time-table.

 

I’ve decided to take a month off from teaching and during this time I’ll be carefully considering a new time-table to include both in-person and online classes. I hope to share this with you soon.

A practice for inner calm – why it is more important than ever for us tune in to our truth

 

Life still feels unstable, or uncertain. There is a lot of confusion over which path we should take as the government throw many options and scenarios towards us as to how we can now live. We find ourselves questioning what is the right thing for us to do, sometimes from one moment to the next. No-one else can make these decisions for us and it can feel quite over-whelming.

 

What is important for us to remember is to connect with our truth, for us to tune in and notice what triggers confusion or anxiety. Taking a well-balanced yoga practice will help to bring us back to a state of equilibrium whereby we feel grounded and connected.

 

A practice for the heart from the heart

 

When I am planning practices I take into account what are the most common themes that people will respond positively towards, and I try to make them as accessible as possible. A practice for inner calm isn’t going to be fast paced or designed to build physical strength. Instead it is designed to be take slowly, in full connection with the breath and the postures included are to be taken gently and with a deep-sense of care.

 

If you can start to take care of yourself during your yoga practice, the more likely this positive attitude will flow into other avenues of your daily living. We are building instead an inner resilience of emotional and mental wellbeing.

 

Before you begin you may want to re-familiarise yourself with the following practice on breath awareness and Ujjayi breathing.

Connecting deeply within

 

Deepen your practice on an experiential level by adopting the following Bhāvana or special quality through which to focus your awareness. Bhāvana is the sanskrit term for feeling, cultivation of something or a means to bringing something into being. Often a bhāvana is used in order to cultivate a special quality through the use of visualisation and embodiment (ie placing this feeling somewhere in your body). It is like adding a special ingredient into your dish, which adds great flavour or brings it to life!

 

“Bhāvana – images that play through your mind as you practice…how you place your thoughts is as important as where your place your limbs. Indeed bhāvana does not only happen sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed, but can infuse every aspect of your waking life.” Ranju Roy and Dave Chorlton; Embodying the Yoga Sutra. 

 

The bhāvana that I am offering to you to deepen your practice is one of placing the feeling of inner calm and peace at your heart space.

 

As you take this practice for inner calm place your awareness with your heart space and imagine a light so clear that nothing can penetrate it. Remain connected to the idea that you already have a place that is completely serene, peaceful and joyful within you. It is simply about setting some time aside to explore your connection or relationship towards it, finding space to be with it for a while. Maintaining a positive affirmation in this way acts as a reminder for you to orientate your thoughts towards it whenever the mind wanders and especially when it wants to take you towards worry or concern. In doing so your practice will evoke a sense of peacefulness and calm as you connect more deeply within.

 

The ancients believed that the heart dimension is the deepest of all the dimensions of our entire being “because the ultimate aim of our lives is to develop a conscious connection with our source and to realize the joy that results.” Gary Krafstow – The Multidimensional self; Yoga for Transformation

 

The ultimate goal of yoga is to bring about a steady mind, unaffected, peaceful and serene. So, as you take this practice invite a sense of calmness and peace around your heart. When you move into and out of shapes and forms and whenever you are still. Then… over time this deeper feeling of calm and peace will resonate and vibrate throughout your entire being…revealing your inner joy. Notice then, in your day to day life whenever you are feeling uncertain or confused, remind yourself of this quality within you and take a few moments to connect towards it as you breathe slowly and mindfully. Then, notice how you feel.

 

Please use support where you need to and as always only move within a range that is useful to you and that doesn’t compromise your balance of effort and ease. Over time I hope to add modifications for this practice and break down further ways for us to access similar energising qualities. These sequences are suitable for beginners through to experienced practitioners. Allow yourself at least 25 minutes to move, rest and to reflect.

 

I hope you enjoy taking this practice with me, I’d love to know your thoughts. If you’ve enjoyed taking this practice with me and would like to receive further insights via my newsletter as well as further information about future classes online or in-person, sign up to my mailing list, I’d love to stay connected.

 

Helen x

“Content with an ordinary life, you can show all people

the way back to their own true nature.”

 

Lao-tzu