It’s fascinating to me how connected we are these days via electricity - whether phone, internet, computers - all are impacted with a single crack of lightning from Mother Nature.
I am writing my update this week, while the internet access is down, due to a lightning strike at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas. Luckily no one was seriously injured, and the beautiful clear blue skies right now show how quickly weather changes.
An incredible Crack! was heard, and my phone conference call went dead. I had another call scheduled to follow the one that suddenly ended. The sound was like a jolt to my heart, it was so loud!
We were instructed to unplug all electrical devices, and thus alerting anyone about why the phone went dead or why I was not available for the other scheduled call was not possible.
After helping to make sure that everyone knew to stay indoors and to unplug all their devices, I returned to the office and realized how awesome it was to have some ‘free time’ to write or read. I chose to write my update and am enjoying being ‘unplugged’.
I actually feel more connected in a different way to my thoughts and feelings and sharing with each of you. I have nowhere else to be and nothing else to do, and it feels great!
This week I am sharing poses 6-9 of the 12 basic Sivananda yoga asanas.
The Cobra is a great chest opener and the first of the backward bending series that is done here everyday. The Cobra helps to relieve back tension that may have been caused by overwork; abdominal muscles are strengthened; and every vertebra and its ligaments are pulled back, getting a rich blood supply, increasing bodily heat and destroying a host of ailments.
My biggest challenge is pulling my shoulders back. In time they will go back more.
After the Cobra is the Locust, and this is the most difficult pose for me, of all of the poses. For the first three months, I couldn’t raise my legs from than a few inches from the ground. No matter how hard I tried, the pose seemed to hurt and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I dreaded the pose and knew I was going to be miserable trying to do it.
About 3 weeks ago, when I was taking a course, during the yoga class, the instructor lifted my legs in the back quite high, while I had my arms in the Locust position under my body. It was such a surprise to me that it didn’t hurt at all with the legs up, and my arms weren’t really under any strain. Even my chest didn’t hurt, which always seemed to be an issue before.
From that day on, my mindset about the pose was a little different. I thought that maybe I could actually do it.
While I am far from doing the pose completely or holding it steady for long, I am doing the pose now:) And I do not dread that part of class any longer. I’m actually looking forward to seeing just how steady and high I can get my legs over time.
The Bow is another great chest opener, shoulder opener and wonderful massage of the internal organs when it is done rocking forward and back. This pose also reduces fat, energizes digestion and is good for constipation and gastrointestinal disorders.
The Spinal Twist is a favorite of mine. It’s not that I have the flexibility to do it as well as the yogis who have practiced for many years, but it feels fantastic!
According to the yogis, the flexibility of the spine is an indicator in the aging process.
In yoga, they say that the body is as old as the spine is flexible.
It’s great for all of us to do careful, twisting movements to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the back along the spine.
The guidance of a good teacher is critical, so that each of our movements and poses are done with proper alignment, good breathing and are healing for us.
Incorrect posture positioning can be harmful and do damage to the body over time.
I’m finding the Sivananda style yoga practices to be strengthening, as well as increasing my flexibility and balance. The classes are energizing, relaxing and calming. Each pose is done with a focus on deep yogic breathing, and for each pose, there are counter poses.
The overall effect is to energize the body while maintaining a sense of calm. I love the asana practices and cannot wait to take my teacher training course in November!
I daily continue to follow my Ayurvedic prescriptive of herbs to supplement my vegetarian diet in Paradise, with the guidance of expert herbalist and Ayurveda specialist, KP Khalsa.
For those of you interested in learning more about Ayurvedic products, check out the Banyan Botanicals website. Their herbs are of the highest quality, and online ordering is quick and easy.
Sending You Love from the Bahamas,🌞
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Thank you for taking this journey along with me!