Hooray it's spring! :0) And it’s having an amazing effect on you lovely students who are experiencing a real spring in your practice! I am so impressed by how much you are progressing in your postures & breathing control through stretching & strengthening your bodies. It might not happen overnight, but your progress is testament to the fact that with hard work & determination in the hot room, you will get there.
Since my last post we have had every mummy’s favourite day of the year - "Mother’s Day". It was my pleasure to offer all students the opportunity to bring their mums for free and share the Bikram Yoga High! The partnership between students and their mums is one of my most favourite relationships to play witness to and I feel very grateful for already being able to share yoga with my son Michael (4) & daughter Jasmine (3). We are all born yogis and it’s sadly the perils of modern day lifestyles that take our natural yogic movement away, that is why it is so important to get in the Bikram yoga hot room & stretch it out :0)
We also hosted an open day this month which was created to break down the barrier of nerves that some people feel before their first Bikram Yoga experience and instead build on the excitement of the challenge of 26 postures & 2 breathing exercises. The open day was in partnership with our very dear friends at OMG, Mattas and the Body Works. OMG has been a major juice detox programme sweeping the city & the rest of the UK. I know lots of our students signed up to get their OMG fix as soon as possible. I love OMG juices & it was a privilege to have a sneak peak at their new wellness products including homemade herbal teas & fuel boxes.
During my blogs I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk more deeply about our Chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means wheel. Each chakra is basically a wheel in spinning motion with a vacuum in the centre that draws in & absorbs anything it comes into contact with. Essentially our chakras connect with our environment through vibrations, which can radiate positivity or be affected by negative vibrations. Chakras are very sensitive to another person’s vibrations (their aura), which is why it is important to be mindful about our aura and it’s radiating vibrations. I think we can all be encouraged to overcome negativity with positivity which will flood our auras with light :0). Positivity really is infectious.
Chakras are the centre of our ‘Prana’; life force and vital energy. They are amazing systems in our bodies that link to our vital organs & glands via nerve plexus, veins & arteries.
Chakras enable us to feel the yoga on a new level. Think about how you feel during savasana, the freedom in your body is created by your wheels of spiralling energy - your Chakras.
Within our bodies there are hundreds of chakras which are grouped into 7 main chakra centers (see below). They are connected to our being on four different levels: physical, emotional, mental & spiritual.
Through our Bikram practice, it is our intention to unite the four different levels and align the 7 main chakra centers .
As the picture highlights, our 7 main chakras are aligned along the spinal column. If there are any disturbances on any level, this will show in the chakras vitality level and inhibit the chakras potential. For example, a blocked heart chakra can cause feelings of jealousy thus preventing a person from connecting with others. There are various reasons the heart chakra may have come out of balance, such as heartbreak, despair, anger & rejection, all of which we can probably relate to at one time or more in our lives. An imbalance in a chakra is also believed to cause a physical effect and can manifest as immune system disorders or heart problems.
The good news is that we can take control of our chakras just by having a deeper understanding of our bodies. Because of our modern day lifestyles, we often neglect ourselves & our wellness as a whole and prioritise how we look on the outside to how we feel on the inside. In order to fulfil our full potential our chakras must be in balance and we are going to select one chakra over the next 7 weeks to focus on in relation to your Bikram yoga practise.
The emphasize of my chakra blogs is to educate on the chakras & their relationship to your practise so you can take control & be the best possible person you can be.....releasing & realising your potential :0)
The first chakra I have chosen to focus on, not least because I feel this is the chakra that I have the biggest connection with, but also as it fits in well with our chosen posture of the month Triangle. During Triangle, when you bring the upper body back, you are expanding your chest and opening up the heart chakra.
The Anhata Chakra (heart) is balanced we radiate love & feel a connection with others. The heart chakra is in the middle of the 7 chakras & supports their interdependence by connecting the bottom three chakras (basic needs) with the top three (spiritual nature).
Back bends, such as Triangle, are particularly effective ways to open up the heart chakra & let compassion and divine love flow. Triangle like many of the Bikram postures has a hidden back-bend which is achieved when the body is in perfect alignment – much like Standing Bow.
Because the high volume of beautiful back bends in Bikram, it gives us the power for to have unconditional love for ourselves & others by allowing our Anhata chakra to open - just like a flower petal in bloom…
Ustrasana is the biggest backbend of the series and the biggest opportunity to open up your heart chakra by lifting your chest to the sky and allowing your heart chakra to both radiate love & receive it.
Practise mindfulness during Ustrasana along with all the backbends in order to connect with your heart chakra. Through your breath visualise the light radiating from your chakra & absorb the energy around you. It really is like magic. I am excited to feel the love in the hot room.
Bikram Yoga Love Fest :0)