Tag Archives: yoga postures

You are Now…

Last night

In our Ready for the Week class we looked at what union means in yoga practice.  We know that the purpose of yoga  is ultimately ‘unitive’ experience of our inner centre of consciousness. But on the way to that goal there are many other smaller ‘unitive’ experiences that point towards the bigger picture.

A deeper connection

Through practice we begin to feel more connected to what we do, to who we are, towards others and what they are doing and how they feel. We begin to notice a deeper connection to the world, to its nourishment,  to its livelihood as we begin to notice more and more those events, actions and attitudes that get in the way of connection. When our sense of connection develops and grows we notice other ‘unitive’ moments. We begin to feel ‘present’. We begin to notice that somehow that feeling of being present is connected to how we perceive,  how we take notice, pay attention – how we connect attention to experience.  Not seeing things as we think they should or shouldn’t be. Just as they are…

We know ourselves

When that happens it will take your breath away as our sense of being present in the now opens us up to a whole multi-verse of possibilities. The body relaxes, the breath softens, the mind hums with creative clarity and potential. We see the world as it is,  as if for the first time. We know ourselves, if only for a moment. We intuitively know that somehow the very content, purpose and form of the moment is directly linked with how we perceive and inhabit it. Once we are receptive to this unitive experience we know, as Eckert Tolle tells us  we are not just in the now. We are the Now

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New ways to invest in your yoga…

After talking to many of our regular YogaLifers we are changing the way you can purchase your YogaLife Project classes.

We will run three classes a week each with its own focus:

Starting from September 1st 2015 we will offer three ways for you to pay for your YogaLife Project classes:

 Option 1: YLP 8 Class Pass:

Any 8 classes – to be used within two months. Valid from the date of your first class.

£64.00 (works out at £8 /class)

Option 2: YLP 16 Class Pass:

Any 16 classes – to be used within 4 months. Valid from the date of your first class.

£112.00 (works out at £7/class)

Option 3: YLP Drop –In Classes:

Pay as you go. £9.00 per class. Or you can use your YLP Class Pass.

Purchase your new YogaLife Project Class Pass card here… 

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YLP Special offers:

Membership Discounts:

You can enjoy 10% reduction to the cost of any YLP workshop if you are in possession of a valid YLP Class Pass Card at the time of booking the workshop.

Introduce a friend or colleague:

The YLP is really grateful that many of you are spreading the word about the YLP and encouraging others to sign up to the Project. So from now on if you introduce a friend or colleague to the YLP and they purchase a card you can receive one free extra class to your YLP Class Pass.

YLP Good karma:

As usual free classes/cards are available to anyone who contributes their skills, creativity and time to help the YLP in marketing, workshops, events, projects etc…

Terms & Conditions.

Lovely people…

We have just completed our latest YLP Yoga Basics Course. The course is organised over eight, 1.5 hour classes and is designed to introduce basic yoga practice, science and philosophy. Over the 12 hours we learn how to complete the Solar Salutation, the 12 core postures, yogic breathing, relaxation and just be…

As with all YLP classes and workshops its all designed to be inclusive, encouraging, fun and engaging. No one gets left behind… You can find out about our Yoga Basics Course here…

In the meantime here is a picture of the lovely people who took part in our last Yoga Basics Course…

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Changing things…

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

-R. Buckminster Fuller

So many of the problems we face in life and in our world are rooted in us having a limited experience of who we really are.

If we could change our view and recognise ourselves not just as separate physical individuals, but part of a larger interconnected whole we may find ourselves leading a different life towards a more thriving, purposeful, sustainable world. Imagine what that new world would be like. Its starting to take hold in some places but there is a lot of work to do if this new model, as Bucky says, makes the current world obsolete.

The current model is clearly not working anymore. We are beginning to see that the existing paradigm – more of the same, will ultimately be self-digesting. We may need to move fast before it’s too late. Going to the odd yoga class may seem pointless, but the new model starts with you and your yoga practice- providing you with the tools to design and inhabit that world.

We now live in an age of conformity and control. Many of our institutions have succumbed to the idea that being rational, left brained, materialistic, economic, target driven survival of the fittest is the most important and that everything else is secondary. Just witness how education, health, environment, energy, transport, business, entertainment and building homes have all just been sucked dry by a market first, ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality. The world may appear to be bright, colourful, full of vitality and opportunity, but this is just maya (illusion).

None of the old paradigm is designed to help you regain or even realise an authentic, integration with your personal life and purpose. As soon you find that deeper awareness, the ‘unitive’ inner reality you will notice a softening of maya. It becomes translucent, allowing you to see and know a little more. When the world ‘everywhere’ seems a little brighter, more colourful, more purposeful, you know you have started to empower your inner architect towards designing and building the better model.  And then you start to explore that vital inner knowing of who you really are, what the cause of your ‘aliveness’ really is and how it shapes the world.

So choose the art and science of yoga to help you and others, your community, workplace and home thrive, adapt, change and grow. We all take small steps, but even these will bring profound change and expanded awareness in what you do and who you are – everyday.

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Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor. Fuller published more than 30 books, coining or popularising terms such as “Spaceship Earth”

YogaLife Project School gets go ahead…

This weekend we gained approval from the Yoga Alliance  to go ahead with the YLP Yoga Teacher School. This will be a fantastic new venture in our project to help change the world…

Scheduled to start late summer 2015 and spread over 24 one day modules the course will take students through everything required to teach yoga. Each module will tackle a core yoga theme such as  yoga science and theory,  teaching yoga nidra, posture and  everything in-between.  The course will also include 8 YLP ‘live’ classes where students will learn to design, manage and lead their own class. On successful graduation students will be able to teach in their own right and join the Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT).

Over Christmas Mick (with some help) will be writing the course manual. No mince pies or Dr Who for him then…

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Something missing?

Last night was one of those classes that seemed to finish before it began. It just flew by.

We talked a little about feeling incomplete. That knowledge that suggests there is something missing. In yoga science this knowledge is described as duhka, which expands into defining an overall basic dissatisfaction with our lives. We all have it, and as the Buddha told us, to be human is to suffer.   According to many great teachers this feeling of void, of emptiness, is pre-programmed into our DNA as a way of motivating us to search for something more lasting and profound. Whether you act on it or not, we all intuitively feel that hovering just out of sight is a deeper awareness of ourselves – a happier, more spontaneous, loving version.  We have a choice though. You can either direct your search outwards and shop or you can direct your search inwards and Be. The first route is the world of marketing and advertising and despite what they tell you, buying more stuff will not keep you happy for long. Eventually it will only serve to fuel your sense of void, which is exactly what they want. Not happy? Buy this, then this, then this, etc, etc.

An old swami teacher of mine would say that people who buy more and more stuff have increasingly larger voids to fill. Given where we are now; a divisive, increasingly unfair world of conflict, intolerance and pointless mass consumption, fuelled by 24 hour global media and a politics of limited ideas and leadership, we can only conclude that our collective feeling of duhka is deeper then ever. It’s pretty clear that we are not in the best of places at the moment. But it is also an opportunity as we say in consultancy…

So as yogis we have a responsibility to be happy. It is not difficult to do once you know that nothing outside of ourselves will bring happiness or peace of mind. All you have to do is stay present and know that is all all you need to be is free from want. Once we attach ourselves to things as way of a defining ourselves the opposite happens….we lose our experience of being alive.  The Yoga Sutras are pretty clear on this:

When we are established in non-attachment, the nature and purpose of existence is understood.  (2:39)

Remember though it’s okay to buy things. Just don’t mistake linking the things you buy with who you are.  That way you will never need to go to the Trafford Centre again.

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Falling…

This weekend we hosted our last YogaLife Project workshop for 2014. Based on the Autumn Equinox the theme was balance, inner reflection and stillness as a way of responding the changing world around us. In amongst fallen leaves we held our balance, attempted to find the still point in our breath and know what it is to be centered, moment-by-moment. Towards the end we did a nice little writing meditation (or drawing depending on your flow) in answer to four questions, before concluding with a deep –guided relaxation and pear drop scones made from the falling fruit in the YLP gardens.

Wonderful.

 

 

Everything Changes…

That’s right. Constantly.

In fact it’s the only thing we are only ever sure of. Everything around us is on the move – changing from one state to another, moment by moment. Our quantum scientists tell us that even the very atoms of our bodies are constantly moving from one place to another, from one universe to another. They are never still. Our bodies, minds and breath, blink in and out existence constantly. That’s how ephemeral our every day is. We are here….we are somewhere else. We are hardly here at all….Most of the time we just don’t notice.

Yoga is about change. But its also about moving beyond change. The very act of union, the purpose of yoga, is to enable us to fall out this constant cycle of change. To watch and enjoy but not be shaped or defined by change. Change is cyclical. Your job as a yogi is to stay still. The only still place in this constant wheel of change is at its very centre. Your centre. As the Zen masters told us, the most useful part of the wheel is the empty hole in the middle…

Tomorrow we are hosting our last workshop of the yearEverything Changes. This time of year when Manchester moves into its sunny autumn days, we are invited to just stop and reflect on the days that have been. In autumn we are balanced between outward action and inward reflection. Like the world around us we should find time to slow down, and like autumn leaves, let go and fall softly. We will be seeking that place, that moment, balanced between action and non-action, doing and non-being, inhalation and exhalation.

Its an important time for all of us. In yoga we feel the world turning its equator towards the sun so that it is finally balanced between light and dark, when the length of day and night become equal – the Autumn Equinox. It reminds us where we have been and what might be coming to us on our journey.

The autumn equinox is a milestone but its also a departure point.

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Relax, just do it…

Really interesting article by Tim Parks in this morning’s Guardian on Meditation. It’s a big thing now.

He describes how he came to meditation as a way of dealing with  chronic abdominal stress. He describes his experience of meditation as , ‘being very awake inside, with a sense of growing space’. We often try to get there with our guided relaxation and orientation into the present at the beginning of our YLP classes.

What struck a chord with me is that Tim’s experience is more than just feeling better. He explains, as  one makes  progress through meditation you will tend to start  to redesign your goals, what you do and how you do things. This is perfectly natural. What Tim is experiencing is his essential nature coming through as the notions of I, Me and Mine (your ego trio) start to lose their grip.

He has a new book out (natch) called, ‘Teach us to Sit Still’. Where he describes his earlier experiences of learning to relax. He describes sessions with Dr David Wise where Tim was taught, ‘Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Breathing in Preparation for Paradoxical Relaxation’.  I have no idea what that means but it’s something to do with breathing and heart rhythms.  You see…words, notions, labels and images. They just get in the way. I don’t need to know how this computer works in order to use it and know it. We will be starting a special YLP meditation course next weekend. We will be keeping it real and authentic because just like yoga there is a lot of information out there.  Most of it not helpful.

The key with yoga and meditation is simplicity. Don’t get taken in by pseudo scientific definitions. With the world as it is now, we often feel that we  have to label and define everything,  separate things out. Paradoxically, when you experience meditation you realise how labelling and defining is pointless and everything is connected anyway. Nothing is separate.  With meditation, as with life, the gift is in the process – not the result. It’s a cliché but very true.

See you next week for our YLP Meditation sessions.

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Everything Changes…

 A special seasonal Autumnal Workshop form the YogaLife Project, exploring the point between stillness and movement...

This workshop is designed to explore balance, both physically and mentally in your yoga practice. As we move through the Autumn Equinox and the days become shorter we see the change of light and dark. We feel life around us move and reshape itself. We are aware of a growing stillness…We feel things turning, opposites moving.

Autumn is a wonderful time to find our own sense of balance in the middle of change. To know how to feel poised between movement and stillness, action and contemplation moment by moment. Our own point of orientation where we bring together our outer and inner worlds – knowing when to hold on and let go and embrace the change.

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This workshop will feature yoga techniques to help find your balance and sense of inner reflection from which to move on. Using postures, special breathing, guided visualisations and writing meditation you will begin to reap a sense of the real meaning of your life and the direction that you wish to take with it.

 This will be our last YogaLife Project workshop for 2014.

Date: October 11th 1.30-4.30pm.

Cost: £15

Venue: Chorlton Central Church Barlowmoor Road Chorlton

Please click below to book your place…

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