The strain of modern life can lead to physical pain and illness, as we neglect our bodies in the race of material success. The stress of modern life can also lead to mental suffering, feelings of isolation and inadequacy.
Our Autonomic Nervous System consists of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) – the “rest and digest”, and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) – the “fight, flight or freeze” which is activated when we feel a sense of danger or a perceived threat.
It is no secret that the practice of yoga has been scientifically proven to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The intent behind it is to slow the body down, bring a sense of safety, peace and calmness in the body, mind, and soul of human beings.
Yoga practices help to integrate the mental, spiritual and physical plane; bringing alignment or a sense of balance between the inner and the outer. By attending to the mental and spiritual side, a yoga student becomes more like a flowing river.
Almost everyone has had glimpses of deep peacefulness when they have felt connected to themselves, to nature and to others. These moments when we feel whole and we experience a sense of translucence; where whatever we see, feel, hear, sense or touch no longer feels separate from us rather than as a part of our totality.
These moments of clarity, innocence and bliss that fill us in awe for who we truly are. Yoga is a way of remembering our true nature, which is essentially joyful and peaceful. It is a means of waking up from our spiritual amnesia, so we can remember all that we already know.
Yoga is a recognition that an individual can achieve understanding only through his/her own exploration and self-discovery. That life is a continual process of refinement which allows us to see and feel more clearly. It’s a process of deconstructing all the barriers we may have erected that prevent us from having an authentic connection with ourselves and with the world, which can prevent us from striving toward something that we already are.
Yoga is also a science that incorporates a broad range of practices and techniques that can be tailored and adapted to best suit someone’s personality or requirement. In every moment, you focus your attention by coming back into your body, your breath, and your immediate sensate reality, you will experience a deep sense of vibrant stillness. The practice itself, is the only reward.
The Art of Breathing, ‘Pranayama’ as the Yogis calls it, is the most powerful tool a man possesses. Breathing is both an unconscious process, as well as a process that can be controlled consciously. All other physical and psychological patterns build successively upon this central process.
We enter and leave this world with one breath. From the moment of conception, our bodies begin to breathe. Each cell in the body expands, condenses, and rests in an internal rhythmic pattern. The fundamental nature of breath is that it is a constant state of oscillation.
Just as the tides ebb and flow, we breathe in and out in an ongoing rhythm. If the movement of breath is, for any reason, restricted or distorted, all other patterns of movement and consciousness will also be restricted and distorted. Becoming attuned to your breath is like learning to dance. Allow your breath to guide you through every movement or the asana. Let yourself ‘be breathed’; where a thousand tiny openings, closings, shifts, and rotations are happening throughout the entire body.
I had been trained and practising meditation and creative visualization for 6 years before I started practising Yoga. Those two powerful methods have had a huge impact on me and helped me overcome many obstacles in my life. As I started practising Yoga, the Iyengar approach and restorative yoga mostly, I found real comfort, peace and stability.
Fast-flowing stream is great for some people, but for me it lacks depth and direction. By using a few simple props, students with different capabilities can gradually build up flexibility, strength, and confidence without the threat of strain or injury.
Regular practice builds up the body’s natural resistance, inner-strength, eases the pain, and tackles the root, rather than the symptoms of the problem. My classes are inspired by great teachers around the world and carefully structured for participants to follow.