This Week: Placing the Mind with the help of the Breath
In the morning dailies we have been exploring the breath to cultivate awareness of the inhale creating length in the body and space in the spine with the exhale supporting this experience. With this growing awareness we can begin to notice how the breath will guide the body into asana (postures). We are continuing this work by using arms to increase the length and challenge the edge between trust and protection. Often we assume that we will not be able to access a posture because of chronic conditions and learned responses. Whilst accepting we all have our limitations, we should not assume that those limitations cannot change. Even a micro-shift in our movement (physical or mental) reveals a new experience to be explored.
In our month of yoga our practice will focus on the different ways we can rotate our body. The emphasis will be on the breath and slowing our movement down. I want to appreciate the range of our individual flexibility and notice how important the relationship is between flexibility and strength. Our lives often focus on being forward and holding that shape in various positions. The addition of rotational movement guided by breath can be liberating for the head and the body.
We have completed four weeks of evening and daytime meditation where we explored different approaches to meditation. The acceptance that some methods work better than others depending on your individual preference is hugely helpful. Sitting with awareness that your mind is busy is better than not sitting at all. There are five evening and five morning meetings in July. I will be working with the empty bowl meditation for the month; we will use the breath to encourage a mindful meditative practice. With the focus on one approach we will see what develops for you individually. You can come to meditation once or twice a week or dip in and out as the month rumbles along.
Another meditative space during the week is the reiki share. Not everyone who comes is a reiki practitioner although everyone has experience of meditative practice. During the hour I guide a meditation for personal connection and then we connect to each other with a moment of awareness and holding for each individual. We finish with a healing circle for friends, family and community. If this is a new way of working, you might like to consider having an individual healing session to ask questions and experience reiki
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