Yoga in Preparation For Meditation

www.hushyoga.com Through continued yoga practice our bodies become healthier, stronger and lighter vehicles for our souls. Our minds quieten as we tune to our breath. We become present as we combine breath and movement. These are all tools to prepare us for Meditation, the essence of yoga.  While I mainly teach Asana yoga, I always begin and end the class with mediation to encourage yoga students to be aware of meditation.  Try to sit and be still even for a few moments a day. Tune into your breath and allow whatever happens to happen. Little by little we quieten the “Chitta Vriti” (the chatter of the mind).  Little by little we strengthening the stillness of the mind.  In time one will find inner peace, contentment and tranquility.

“In practicing meditation, we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal – quite the opposite.  We’re just being with our experience, whatever it is.”
– Pema Chodron.

I came across this New York Times article.  Scientists now have evidence that meditation can improve memory, sense of self, empathy, stress and more. Enjoy the read:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/how-meditation-may-change-the-brain/?src=me&ref=homepage

Peace,

Sinead.

My Yoga Breakfast.

The Benefits of Eating Hearty Porridge. Hush Yoga, My Yoga Breakfast.

Last week I gave you the the delicious recipe for one of my favourite  breakfasts.  Porridge a great reward after an early yoga/meditation practice.  Being a comfort  food it’s especially good at this time of year, warming the body up before facing the cold day ahead.

Below is a list of benefits of  porridge.  Come back next week for another yoga breakfast.

Peace,

Sinead

Benenfits of Porridge:

  • Soluble Fibre Reduces LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol) without lowering HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
  • Soluble Fiber balances sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of starch.
  • Slow releasing complex carbohydrates stabilize sugar levels hence sustaining energy
  • Phytcochemicals found in oats are cancer –fighting.
  • Reduces symptoms of IBS
  • Can reduce the risk of heart disease as the oats latch on to saturated fat drawing fats out of the body.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Selenium, copper, magnesium and zinc.

Enjoy your Breakfast Yoga.  Enjoy your Yoga Breakfast.  Move your Body & Free Your Mind.

Be Kind To Your Yoga Body, Warm Up!

Sinead, Hush YogaMost of my regular yoga students may well be familiar with the style of warm up I lead in a yoga class.  My own practice usually includes the same postures, and depending on the nature of the class, I have learned to vary how the warm up sequence can be delivered, with some new additions, and others only used on occasion. Sometimes I encourage students to move in ways that I learned from my dance experience, incorporating soft, gentle, easy positions I have taken from different styles of movement.

The main postures I use for my warm up are:

Childs Pose  (Balasana): stretching the spine and becoming in tune with breath;

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): stretching whole body backside; deepens bhanda awareness;

Plank Pose (Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana): strengthen legs, core centre and arms;

Baby Cobra Pose  & Cobra (Bhungasana): warms up spine, opens chest, strengthens core centre.

My warm up is the most important part of the practice for me.  It brings me in tune with my breath and body.  It’s like the appetizer before the entrée.  It’s the lead into the bigger – if not always necessarily better – serving. It’s the most precious time on my yoga mat, setting the mood lighting for what is to come.

I like to be kind to my hamstrings, my back and my breath, allowing them space to enjoy their starter before throwing them into dynamic shapes. All too often, one of my dislikes of going to other yoga classes is being thrown into Uttanasana (standing forward bend) as the first move, and shortly thereafter feeling like my hamstrings are about to rip in two.

I may get away with folding into this standing forward bend in the warmer, summer months; however, with the hint of winter and the cold weather now setting in, I would not even consider forcing my body into that pose at the start of my practice; at most, I’d fold down with knees bent, and keeping them that way for quite a while.

When I do get the opportunity to participate in other yoga classes and workshops, I arrive a few minutes earlier, giving myself enough time to warm up in the way that my body prefers, just in case the class begins in a way that is counterproductive.

Om Peace, peace, peace,

Sinead.