Setting an intention, setting our goals, making changes in the direction we wish to move can simply start with a thought, then it could be words and then the action manifests and we start to move our bodies too…
For class this week, can we set an intention and perhaps we can have an intention in our daily life too. A sankalpa is about following our heart and setting our dharma our course of action and finding the connection between head and heart to stay on our path.
This may take practice so in class this could simply be to stay with our breaths for the duration of the class, to not let the mind wander or become absent, to not push too hard, to try and be kind to ourselves, not to be competitive, to not look around.
In life it might be: to get up 5 mins earlier each day and take a moment to set our focus for the day, to get up and see the sunrise, to get to bed early so as not to be over-tired during the day, to take 5 deep breaths each day once out of bed.
Whatever we decide to do, it’s a step towards listening and connecting to support our higher truth, a step along our journey.
First Quarter Moon
The first quarter moon phase is about seeing half the moon, 1/2 is in the light and 1/2 is dark, but it’s also a growing moon. Therefore are we in balance, are we steady on our foundations and then can we grow upon that solid base.
Is the yin and yang balanced in our energies? A beautiful balancing breathwork is Nadi Shodhana to balance our yin/yang; ida/pingala energies.
To move forward we can set our Sankalpa, but we can also move, to generate energy in the direction we wish to move. Moving our body in yoga, in dance, in the surf wherever it is, will help us move in the direction of our truth and generate energy to remove blockages and help us to take action when required for the direction we are undertaking.
This practice is about alternating the breaths up and down the nostrils.
The Practice: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Inhale: Left nostril (R nostril is closed by the thumb)
Exhale: Right nostril (L nostril is closed by the ring and little finger)
Inhale: Right nostril (L nostril remains closed by ring and little finger)
Exhale: Left nostril (Right nostril is closed by the thumb)
Please be mindful to:
- Keep your breaths in a balanced count
- Remain seated/upright for this practice, not laying down so re-adjust the body/legs with support if necessary. Or sit in a chair.
- Start with your natural breaths and when ready commence the practice, a full exhale down your left nostril then begin, always being mindful of feeling how you are in the moment.
- As you are traditionally using the right hand to close each nostril, you may need to swap hands or support the R arm if the shoulder is getting aggravated. Left hand cups the R elbow for support
- If you have cold/sinus symptoms and one side/nostril is completely/partially blocked keep the closed nostril slightly open in order to get airflow, or release the hand and continue the practice using your awareness only.
- Notice your head alignment – if you are turning your head as we sometimes do when we’re pressing the nostrils, be mindful to try and keep your chin centred to the notch of your throat, therefore aligned.
- The placement of the hand to close nostrils can be either with fingers extending up through the eyebrow centre, or closing/rolling the fingers down so they’re tucked into the palm of the hand.
- Be mindful to stop if you feel any discomfort and return to a regular breath when necessary/ feels right. You may also start and stop throughout the practice and for those who know how to count the rounds of breath on the left hand, do so 12 rounds or until you feel like finishing.
- Give yourself time to sit in stillness once finishing the practice and notice any feelings.
This is an amazing practice with amazing benefits of balancing energies yin/yang; masculine/feminine; ida/pingala; right/left, hope you enjoy the practice.
NOTE: 👃If you’re not familiar with this practice and bringing your hand up to close one side of the nostrils does not feel right to do then please let the hand drop away and slide your awareness through the nostril rather than trying to seal off.
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