Welcome to the light of the full moon and all the clarity it shines on to your life in spirit, mind and body related terms. Welcome to the winds of Vayu that carry this life-force within you and change your direction and you continue to live on.
What have you felt upon rising today?
I woke feeling more tired, even having gone to bed early. I felt slightly agitated and very restless, seeking something and wanting to impulsively act to create change. I watched my pattern for managing this arise, as well as the thoughts that it repeatedly brings. I had a desire to increase my heart rate and speed through the day, I watched my thoughts go to thinking of coffee & cacao, people, places, memories and ambitions, I could hear the self criticism and the little man on my shoulder giving me a thumbs up, all at once, changing states arising... and then I thought hold up!
And... I jumped on my mat!
I decided to get out of the mind and in to the body to get in touch with my actual needs, as opposed to the desires and acting from a place of tiredness and then I felt how everything changed. (Yoga is such a gift we have to enable this truth to appear).
I began with the breath and here I noticed it moving all over the place, in every direction, but with no focus. By lengthening the breath and directing it through Pranayama I began to make a connection with my body, focus my mind and by doing so, I was able to then feel in to what my real or true needs were. I exited any feelings of doubt or guilt (the two that arise in me the most) and I entered a place of calm, of clear direction and with motivation and knowing energy at the source. My body felt like it could go back to bed at first, but through perseverance and devotion with my practice, I began to breathe deeper, move in a way that felt both nourishing and tricky at times, getting in to all those areas of tension and slowly but surely, Yoga gave me more energy and sent me back to an awakened state where I felt energised and ready for the day.
Why and how does Yoga give us more life-force?
In Yoga we have our subtle body. This isn't the body you see with your eyes, but it's the body that is Prana. Prana is life-force and this life force is made up of the Vayus or the 'winds', for which there are 5. It is the energy that determines Life or Death and that travels like the wind in various directions within your body. Moving in all directions, these 5 vayus relate directly to different areas of the body and control and change the vital force that goes there, as well as the outcome of the way you become in both body and mind for good and for not so good in relation to health on a physical and mental level.
This week in class, we will be working with the first, Prana Vaya. This pranic air current refers to a specific current centralised in the thoracic region, from the throat to the diaphragm, responsible for processes of inspiration and absorption, it governs the propulsion and forward momentum. The others are known as Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana. I have mentioned many of these to you in previous blogs. But in each day, week, month, in every yoga practice we can use these changing winds and focused directions for the benefit of our lives.
I love to read the 'Hatha Yoga Pradipika' text continuously and its words never fail to bring a smile to my face, as it can be very extreme in describing the transformational qualities that arise from practice. However, it is a vital text for any Yogic practitioner, as it holds some of Yoga's most ancient practices and outlines their importance. A wonderful friend has just arrived from India (watch this space for news of collaborations) and yet he and I were discussing the move away from Yoga being taught in its classic form and in to various trends. It's great it is evolving, but in your practice, are you ensuring you've moved your body, but also breathed consciously?! Found meditation?! Shifted your energy by working with technique of Mudras and Bandhas? And, have you begun to understand the philosophies in Yoga that take your yoga off the mat?
In Hatha yoga, we become more attentive to prana and through enhancing and directing its flow we can invigorate the body and mind, create a expanded inner awareness and a higher state of consciousness. It isn't just flexibility or strength we cultivate but prana enables the body to move and the mind to think. It is the intelligence that coordinates our senses and the manifestation of the self that is higher than the one we tend to identify with.
We live in a world that is known as Planet Earth and this moon above our heads, has the power to move the tides. It is transforming our energy in each and every movement by shining its light upon us and are you connecting with what is both deeper inside yourselves and outside of this body of yours?
If Vayu is the 'wind'... can you sense a change in the air occurring now?
Air is all around you, its also within.
The area of the sky that this full moon is in this week, in Vedic astrology terms, is Swati. Vayu is also a vedic God of the wind, animator of life energy he keeps hearts beating and lungs breathing and is related to Swati.
When I related my state this morning, back to being aware of the Full Moon, I had that A Ha moment and could see the connection!
This moon with these winds that conjure up feelings of uncertainty and doubt are hear to blow them away as you recognise habits you form and create, when those wind like feelings of agitation and restlessness arise.
This is where the light of the moon brings forth inspiration and invites you to begin to brainstorm ideas and recognise habits and begin to imagine new beginnings. They say what you imagine, you create. Working with Prana Vayu will support you within current nature, by igniting inspiration and the momentum to move forward, bowing down the ego and shedding doubt.
Observing your breath as you bring more awareness to new and old ways, can have a profound effect on the mind, body and soul on this full moon. Yogic breathing exercises (pranayama) or simply connecting with the heart chakra through your breath is very beneficial now.
In class, as we explore Prana Vayu and practices that create more life-force in the thoractic and heart space, we will honour the Full Moon and move like the wind, as we let change blossom.
See you in class this week.
Mon PM 15:45-17:00 Yogasara, BS6 (Cover of Jez, available to drop in or move gb)
Tues PM 19:30-21:00 Matter Wholefoods, BS5
Wed AM 10:00-11:30 Yogasara, BS6