The perfect way to counteract the busy stressful life can be a few minutes peace and stillness. This is easy in principle but for a lot of people all that happens when they try to switch off, is that the internal chatter becomes louder! The feeling of frustration when you are trying to sleep and the mind won’t settle down, or when the worries, fears, planning and making of lists just won’t stop!

There is a way to still the mind, to learn to focus and settle the mind gracefully on concentration rather than mental disorder.. Not the ‘stopping of thinking’ but the focusing of thoughts.

Meditation & Relaxation

If you have ever concentrated on an activity to the exclusion of everything else, when time just passes by, then you can meditate. If you have ever had worries or feeling of panic or fear that threaten to over ride your logic, then you can meditate. We can all learn to still the mind, to focus, to concentrate; to meditate.

The benefits of meditation are numerous; physical and mental, psychological and physiological. For myself I find it simple to explain that you will be happier, inside and out! That everyday stresses will be easier to cope with, that you will find it easier to maintain your calm when storms rage around you!

In class there is the opportunity to learn skills and techniques that allow focus and stilling of the internal chatter. This may be the inspiration to further the skills and develop a personal meditation practice. However even a few minutes peace and relaxation, either in class or in day to day life, can provide many benefits.

Yoga is much more than postural alignment and breathing. 
It is a direct experience of the vast interrelatedness of all life and of all things. You will feel at peace at the end of a class because there is a natural realignment of your body that can lead to a natural realignment of your perception of life and of who you are. It is about transformation helping you to notice the beauty in the world around you. Genuine yoga will change your life, your habits, your body, your health, your mind, your breathing patterns, your attitudes and your outlook. It is about learning from direct experience. You will develop understanding of how your body works most efficiently. You will learn how your conscious and unconscious mind can either support or harm you and how to quiet the conversations we have with ourselves.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can benefit everyone, whatever their age, ability or experience. Correctly taught and practiced it is completely safe, yet as challenging as you want it to be.

Yoga can improve quality of life, sleep, mood and ability to cope with and manage stress. It may not provide a cure, but when combined with medication or treatment recommended by your doctor, it can be useful in management and improvement of many health conditions.

It is also a good way to supplement your exercise routine and is increasingly being integrated into the training programs of athletes such as footballers, martial artists, runners & rugby players!

Some benefits may be…

  • Increased flexibility- as you learn and practice, body awareness and flexibility increases and muscles and connective tissue begin to loosen. An improved range of motion means that injury from physical activities is less likely.
  • Management of chronic health conditions-relaxation and breathing techniques used in yoga can help with asthma, depression, stress, low back pain, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome and even memory. It can be useful in combination with other therapies and medication for high blood pressure, and heart disease. Advice of a doctor should however be sought prior to starting any exercise regime.
  • Weight management- yoga can help to improve lifestyle, self esteem and has been said to help reduce unhealthy habits and cravings.
  • Balance- yoga will help improve body awareness, flexibility and balance. Improved balance may lessen the likelihood of falls or injury in the elderly.
  • Other conditions- your practice can provide a space for you. Improve quality of life, sleep, mood and ability to cope with and manage stress.

Through steady practice, you will manifest less self-importance, less material attachment, more capacity for joy, less judgmental, and more tolerance toward others. If you stay with your practice long enough, you may find you change, becoming kinder and more accepting to yourself and the world around you. This flexibility and strength of mind occurs alongside the flexible strong body more commonly associated with yoga!

Tabitha often teaches in the style of Viniyoga. Viniyoga is a tradition following the teaching of Desikacher where the emphasis is linking breath and postures to open the body and quiet the mind. Viniyoga encourages students to practice each asana according to their individual needs and capabilities. Therefore, adaptations and modifications to postures allow students to facilitate the function of the posture over the form. This opens the yoga practice to all ages, and physical abilities.

Breath is the key to yoga practice

Practicing the postures without breath awareness is not yoga. By working with your breath you start to unite the body and the mind, which is the meaning of the word ‘yoga’. Unlike more strenuous exercise the controlled movements of physical practice, combined with deep breathing oxygenates the blood, generating more energy. Deep breathing calms our mind and together with the increase in energy it helps our mind become clearer, more alert and with a greater ability to focus and concentrate. One lesson we learn from our yoga practice is that we achieve more by learning to let go and unwind physically and mentally. Yoga helps us to explore our tight places and the pockets of tensions and then like a ball of wool unravel those knots so we feel healthy, aligned and well. Once we can learn to relax our bodies, stop fighting resistance and simply wait for the muscles and soft tissue to open up we can achieve more than we ever thought possible. Little by little we rediscover ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses; which hip is the most flexible, which wrist is stronger. Unfortunately it is always the areas we would rather forget about that we need to work with – the obstacles we need to overcome to take us further physically and mentally!
Practicing with a properly trained teacher will give you a feeling of energy, renewal and well being and over time the ability to feel embodied. Aware of how your body is. The postures within the physical practice are unique in that no areas of the body are omitted from being used, including fingers, toes, eyes and internal muscles. A fully rounded practice will develop long lean muscles, which have stamina, flexibility and strength, and healthy digestive and reproductive organs. Many postures use a combination of the breath and the body’s own weight and awareness to develop strength in both the body and in the mind. Flowing sequences working with the breath develop flexibility and fluidity, which help to keep the whole body healthy and improve alignment. Attention to detail and inner focus helps develop body awareness in postures and this is then taken into day-to-day life. Regular practice encourages a feeling of health, happiness and a lighter life mentally and physically

Patanjali describes Yoga as citta vritti nirodah.(Y.S 1:2). Different ways of interpreting yoga include;

  • is the settling of the mind into silence (Alistair Shearer)
  • is the ability to direct the mind exclusively towards an object and sustain focus in that direction without any distractions (TKV Desikachar)
  • is the restriction of fluctuations of consciousness (Georg Feuerstein)
  • is the cessation of movements in the consciousness (BKS Iyengar)
  • is the suspension of the fluctuations of the mind (Gregor Maehle)
  • is the neutralisation of the alternating waves in consciousness (Paramahansa Yogananda)
  • The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect is already in the cause (Henri Louis Bergson)
  • is the restraint of mental modifications (Rama Prasada)
  • is the cessation of mind (Osho)

For further information on classes, one to one yoga tuition and meditation/ relaxation/ stress reduction techniques please contact me. Allow yourself the opportunity to relax and enjoy whom you are within. Find out the benefits of yoga & mediation for yourself with Yoga in Cheshire