This year we have been connecting to the cakras (said ‘chakras’) and using asana practice to connect with the energy centres of the body and with experiences and feelings associated with those centres. This term we are reflecting on the sacral cakra, svadhisthana (said ‘swadistahna‘) – the sacred home of the self. The element associated with svadhisthana is water, a very autumnal element, characterized by movement, flexibility, adaptation but also stubbornness and the potential for becoming blocked.
During our asana (posture) practice we have visualised the inhale meeting the exhale at this centre, and working with movement to discover our relationship to it. Last week some of you commented that your physical awareness was more pronounced at the end of the class. We have also been using anuloma ujjayi (alternate nostril breathing on the exhale) to extend the exhale. The exhale can allow us to let go, for example letting go of unhelpful patterns, emotions or relationships. Those relationships may be with other people, with food or to a place. This is a more subtle process and takes time and commitment to practice. It is a delight to hear about your relationship with your practice and I know some of you take ideas to the mat in your homes and into your lives.
This term continues until 21 October and we return on 11 November. During the break I am travelling to North Cornwall to lead the Reflection Retreat at Wooda Farm, near Crackington Haven. This is my fourth retreat at Wooda and I’m really looking forward to returning there. We are going to work with the idea of inversion and its potential for allowing us to look at life from another perspective.
This weekend is an important time for me. I will be reaching the end of nearly five years study with Sadhana Mala. It has been many things as all journeys are. I have been met and supported by a group of intelligent and loving people. As well as the yoga teachings passed to us by Dave Charlton and Ranju Roy, I am part of a group who are supportive, gently truthful, remarkably kind and ego-less. There aren’t many long-term courses where the end is as cherished as the beginning.