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Yoga to Navigate the Season of Change

With the natural urge to sleep a little longer, the cooler mornings and shorter days our practice can transition to one that works with and helps to align us with these seasonal shifts. This time of the year is marked with less time outdoors in the elements, allergies tend to spike and coughs and colds peak.

Here are some of my favourite practices for navigating this season of change with ease whilst tapping into the inherent shedding that nature is moving through. Practices that are included in all of the regular classes and workshops to help keep your energy levels bouyant and those winter bugs at bay.

Neti - Nasal Cleansing

A must for removing excess mucus and keeping the nasal passages clean and clear. Done regularly this practice can alleviate symptoms of allergies and common colds such as headaches, brain fog, lethargy and mouth-breathing. Easy to learn and do. Its important to dry the nostrils thoroughly and have the water temperature just right.

Surya Namaskara - Sun Salutation sequence.

A dynamic sequence of 12 asanas performed twice to make up twenty four movements. These reflect each phase of the journey of the sun through a day. The psycho-dynamics of this sequence are fascinating linking archetypal forces with each pose helping to deepen body/mind connections. A daily capsule could be made up of 5 - 10 rounds altering the pace to either generate energy or build more strength (holding each posture for 3 - 5 breaths). Increasing the length of each breath to five in, five out count will add dimensions of challenge, rhythmicity and poise.

Breath work and pranayama are essential practices. Even if its just 10 mins of conscious breathing daily this is going to deliver benefits to your nervous system, strengthen lung function and condition the respiratory system which may be under more stress at this time 🌬️

Heating pranayama like; Bhastrika (Bellows breath), Kapalbhati (frontal brain cleansing) & bandhas like Agnisar Kriya fire up the vital force of prana by clearing blockages in the energy channels. These are taught in the progressive Hatha and monthly Hatha masterclasses.

Santolasana or plank pose is a favourite held posture, drawing the energy into the centre of my being where it can be concentrated. This builds upper body strength in the chest, arms and shoulders and engages the deeper abdominal muscles close to the spine while lowering the body slowly to the floor.

Maha Bandha - The great lock.

This energy lock is a combination of the perineum lock, abdominal lock and throat locks and generates heat and energy that helps to detoxify the body and strengthen the nervous system.

Yoga Nidra - A deeply restorative practice that supports the bodies immune system and builds our 'reserve force' (vyana prana). It augments healing and cellular & organ rejuvenation providing a space for the body and mind to fully rest in the quieter months.

This is a time to nurture seeds planted in the depths of our mind, projects to be sown with clear intent and fertilised with care over the coming months. We can use our yoga practice to strengthen our inner resources and to heal and align more clearly with our deepest intentions.

The season of autumn is a reminder of the continuous flux and flow of life. Everything goes through a cycle of newness, maturity, decay and death – we are constantly somewhere in this continuum of life.

Yoga helps us to embrace those shifts meaningfully and attune us to the subtle forces that are often in the background of our awareness. Through regular practice we can connect more deeply with those forces and in that connection find a true sense of harmony and balance from the inside out.

Pure Yoga teaches the Surya namaskara with the intent to build depth & inspire longevity in regular practice. Time is taken to explore the subtle layers of this sequence and how to incorporate the surya mantras and subtle body (chakra system) connections. The monthly two hour Hatha masterclass spends time on exploring these deeper layers and tapping its exquisite flow as a complete sadhana.

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