Complementary Therapy, Fitness, health, Health & Wellness

The colours of Kundalini Yoga

My Tuesday morning was no ordinary Tuesday. It consisted of red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. Oh, and gold! It was a rainbow kind of Tuesday and very beautiful it was too.

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I’ve been promising myself for ages that I would go and check out Kundalini Yoga, so I jumped out of bed, squeezed into my sweaty betty leggings, downed a pint of water and darted out the door. Note to self “I must slow down”! I’ve heard little snippets about Kundalini Yoga and how it’s extremely uplifting, both spiritually and physically and thought, hey why not! I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to myself that I’m becoming more and more spiritual, so I certainly had to try this as part of my holistic journey. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, I’m sure it’s pretty apparent that I’m obsessed with yoga, so Kundalini Yoga sounded like music to my ears.

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Well, an experience it certainly was! It’s not your typical Yoga. I should probably mention that if you are one of those people that giggles at everything, it might not be your bag. There’s lots of chanting and a little singing, as well as poses I was unfamiliar with. So, what I’m saying is, you have to be openminded. I think I say this in every blog I write now!

I love the fact that you’re told to close your eyes throughout the practice, to ensure it’s an internal journey. The aim of Kundalini Yoga is to look within. You’re also told to focus on your third eye whilst remembering to keep your eyes closed and breathe at the same time. For a first timer that’s a lot to take in right!?  Anyway, whilst trying to remember those three things and remain relaxed at the same time (shoulders down), I soon got into the swing of things. The feeling of energy surging through my body was surreal and the vibrant colours I could see throughout the class (eyes closed) were simply breathtaking.

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The practice consisted of breathing techniques totally new to me, meditation, the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity” and poses I was unaware of such as the Frog Pose. To give you an idea the Frog Pose is a vigorous pose and it was surprising how energised I felt after it. Visually it looks quite simple but once you start the movement it was much harder than it looks! I like to call myself fit but this was something else………

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The frog activates the first, second, and third chakras and moves the energy up to the higher centres. To give you an idea, you can either practice this now or visualize.  Stand up and place your heels together with your toes turned out. Then squat down, raising the heels (keeping them together), aligning the knees over the toes, and placing your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Like a frog! Inhale, raising your hips and straightening your legs. Exhale and return to the squatting position. Continue 26 times. Yes, that’s right, 26 times! That was the hard bit. I was goosed and struggled to hit 26 at a speedy pace, but got there either way. I’m sure I looked ridiculous but the fact that everyone has their eyes closed, it really doesn’t matter, and if I’m honest I’m glad as it kind of takes the pressure off a newbie.

Once we had worked through the different poses we finished the practice with meditation, I was left feeling completely zen and smilingeyes closed.

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The power of Kundalini yoga comes from the kundalini, which is also known as Sanskrit (coiled serpent). It is said that there is a huge amount of untapped potential within us, located around the sacrum at the base of our spine. By practising Kundalini yoga, you slowly awaken this gentle serpent and safely open its amazing powers to work up the 7 chakras. In a nutshell, Kundalini Yoga clears blocks in your energy field by using mantras, sound, energy healing, exercises and meditations. It releases any trauma from the energetic body (which surrounds the physical body), the aura and it’s the aura that holds wounds. When our wounds are healed, our radiance can occur and this frequency is what draws in beauty, love, and light. Attracting abundance starts in our energetic body, not our minds.

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People who practice Kundalini Yoga see a huge transformation in their day to day lives, they feel more at peace, are much happier and feel much healthier. So, if you want to feel more aware and responsive to your surroundings, Kundalini Yoga is definitely worth a try. I mean who doesn’t want to improve their health and well-being whilst jumping up and down like a frog eyes closed! On a serious note after just one class, I felt extremely relaxed and more at ease with myself than I have in a long time and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sore. I am sure I used muscles I didn’t even know existed. Imagine how you’d feel attending one class a week!

If you haven’t tried Kundalini Yoga and you like other styles of yoga, I’d definitely give it ago. My experience was unbelievable, I was literally blown away. My most luxurious relaxing holistic package, the “Mind Body Soul” is the essence of Kundalini yoga, in the sense that I felt physically, emotionally and spiritually uplifted, which is how my clients describe my signature package. Sat Nam!

 

 

 

 

Complementary Therapy, Fitness, Goals, health, Health & Wellness, Life Goals, Motivation, Stress & Anxiety

Why Choose Yoga?

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I love Sunday mornings when you step outside, the birds are singing and there’s not a soul in sight. It’s such a tranquil feeling.

On route to the gym I plug in earphones and listen to meditation music, it’s so calming at the start of the day. I’m loving “Music for Mindfulness” classical album. Track 19 The Earth Prelude takes me into a whole different headspace.

It makes me smile when I realize that I’ve ditched Saturday nights out for early Sunday morning Yoga Flow sessions. I think it’s safe to say, I’m finally growing up! The class has a real sense of calm which I’ve come to realize is my preferred choice of yoga.

I thought I’d start with a definition of Yoga, so thank you Google for always being there:

yoga

ˈjəʊɡə/

noun

  1. a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

“yoga classes”

I wrote a short blog on Yoga a few months ago but decided it warrants more attention. There are so many reasons you should check out a local class, but before you do, it’s worth knowing that there are so many different types of Yoga and it may take a while to figure out which you prefer. There’s Astanga, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Restorative to name but a few. I think it’s important to read up on the different styles of Yoga and their benefits before throwing yourself into the deep end like I did. I started with Astanga, a fast-paced class that was way too challenging for me as a beginner.

Yoga Flow is at the top of my list, it has a number of benefits to the physical body but also helps to calm the mind and ease stress. It’s all about finding a connection between the body and the mind to help bring more balance into your life. It’s unreal how you feel after a class, I feel so light and my mind is clear.

Since practising Yoga, I have undergone such a transformation with my strength, flexibility and body shape. I’ve always been lucky enough to have a flat stomach but after attending regular yoga classes for just over a year, I have much more muscle definition, particularly in my stomach area. I’m also embarrassed to say that I was never able to touch my toes, so as you can imagine, when this day finally came, it was a huge milestone for me. I remember the frustration in my heptathlon days, I’d look around at my teammates stretching and touching their toes with ease, I couldn’t even get close.

That said, one thing I will say about Yoga is that it’s important to know that everyone has their own pace and limits and nobody gives a hoot whether you can touch your toes or not. A difficult concept for me to grasp at first, given my competitive nature.

So, what I’d say about Yoga is that it’s not a competition, everyone’s journey is different, which is why the experience is so unique. You have your own individual goals which could be anything from getting through a whole class without moving into a child pose or something as simple as taking an hour out off your day to switch off from daily pressures. Another thing I’d like to point out is that Yoga is suitable for everyone. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, whether you’re male or female, it’s just a bunch of people in the same room committed to achieving a common goal of improving their health and wellbeing. And also, to any guys reading this blog, the classes I go to are full of men, I’d say it’s a 50/50, male and female. I’m not sure where the myth came from, that it’s all women.

So, I thought I’d finish off with some of the benefits of Yoga’s in a bid to try and persuade you to give it a go (and please don’t forget to do your research on the different styles of Yoga). It’s a long list so here goes! It’s great for building muscle strength, improving flexibility and posture. It increases your blood flow, ups your heart rate, improves balance, makes you happy and improves your sleeping pattern. It also eases pain, releases tension and boosts your immune system. Not to mention the improved muscle definition I mentioned earlier, we all like a bit of toning right? So I think that’s enough for now, otherwise, we’ll be here all day, the list of benefits is extensive.

I hope you can see that there as so many reasons you should try Yoga at least once. Okay, maybe a few times to get you in the zone or should I say zen. I guess that depends what style of yoga you are looking for!?

Thanks for reading, I hope this blog leads you to downward-facing dog:).