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May Theme - 8 Limbs of Yoga

I hope you are all enjoying a little bit of freedom and the chance to sit outside and eat and have a delightfully cold pint at the pub. Oh the simple things in life. I am patiently awaiting May 17th so I can get back in the studio and share this practice in real life again. It has been around 6 months since I taught in a studio setting and I think it will be really special to see faces and feel the energy of you all in the room. I will be continuing with my online classes, and just keeping my eyes on the numbers and maybe a reduced schedule might be implemented at some stage. Let’s just see where the next few months take us. Fingers crossed it actually gets warm soon and I can see your faces at Park Flow without freezing our socks off!

This month we are deep diving into the 8 limbs of yoga. So you guessed it, Yoga isn’t just a physical practice. There is a lot more than meets the eye in a class. The benefits of the physical practice are obvious, and every time we arrive on the mat we do our physical practice - asana - but there is much much more to the practice of Yoga. We go very beyond the physical in many of our classes.

I may not dive too deep spiritually in my classes but I do weave in the other 7 limbs maybe without you even realising. Expect a nice mixture of the physical practice this month with a focus on the other 7 limbs.

These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one's health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

The 8 limbs are as follows:

  1. Yamas, 5 Social Ethics

Ahimsa - Kindness

Satya - Thruthfulness

Asteya - Non Stealing

Brahmacharya- Moderation

Aparigraha- Generosity

  1. Niyamas, 5 Personal Practices

Saucha- purity

Santosha- contentment

Tapas- austerity

Svadyah- self study

Iswara pranidhana- surrender

  1. Asana - all the postures, every single class!

  2. Pranayama - Mindful Breathing (we do this in most classes - but will explore more techniques this month).

  3. Prathyahara - Turning Inward (YIN DAAAAHLINS)

  4. Dharana- Concentration

  5. Dhyana- De-concentration, Letting go

  6. Samadhi - PURE BLISS

So I think we can safely agree we all feel like PURE BLISS every time we lie in Savasana at the end of an invigorating class? All of our problems, pains and worries just completely disappear… oh wait.. no Yoga isn’t THAT special.. I am obviously kidding, it definitely isn’t that simple. However sometimes at the end of a practice and I have to say I have experienced this feeling more so in my IRL practices I feel my whole body tingling and its almost as though I am looking at myself from outside my body. Ever had that feeling? How does Yoga make you feel? Each time we come to the mat we have the opportunity for release and freedom in many ways.

I won’t bore you too much with nitty gritty details in this blog but I really hope you decide to join me online this month to learn and grow your yoga practice outside just the asana. Here is a sneaky little secret… Adho Mukkha Svanasana… Urdha Mukkha Svanasana …. All the poses I say in class in Sanskrit have the word ‘asana’ in them, because they are quite simply saying ‘this posture’. Hope to see your lovely faces soon.

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