WEEK 5: BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE EXPAND YOUR FORCE
Week 5: Resilience
ASANA: BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE
This week we are working with some timed poses that ask us to hold for longer than we may be used to staying in the posture for. I ask you to become aware of when the stress response is trying to kick in and instead use your breath to calm the nervous system and increase your ability to withstand and even maintain a sense of calm even under stressful circumstances!
KRIYA: AGNI SARA
This practice is said to be so powerful that the regular practitioner of Agni Sara can ingest poison and live to tell the tale! Whilst I don’t recommend that you put that theory to the test it makes sense that this practice does strengthen the entire digestive system and therefor the bodymind system as a whole (considering the deep connection between the GIT and the brain).
“There is a rule in Yoga that each muscle should move at least once a day. This brings our energy back into flow and releases blockages. Energy is like water. Water that stands still becomes impure and putrid. On the other hand, flowing water always remains pure. This is the reason we should always move the muscles of our abdomen and intestines daily.”
MEDITATION: HEART LOTUS MEDITATION
This meditation practice is a beautiful one that will help you practice the art of remaining open so as you are free to let the experiences of the moment pass through and stay connected with the moment (as opposed to shutting down, pushing away or grasping in anyway). I recommend doing the meditation as a seated practice but become aware of when you feel the heart lotus shutting down throughout your day and see if you can open it up ‘out there in the real world’.
This is also a really beautiful meditation to do sat face to face with a dear friend or partner, especially during tough times.
Meditation: Open the Lotus of the Heart
DAILY RITUALS WITH AYURVEDA
Simple ways you can ground, nourish, balance & enliven with Ayurveda
Our beautiful tips and tricks for daily rituals have been provided by local Ayurvedic practitioner Prue Keenan. Prue runs health consultations and Ayurvedic treatments out of Alchemy Health in Port Kembla and can be contacted on 0424 955 348 for more information and bookings.
LIFESTYLE PRACTICE: TONQUE SCRAPING
As mentioned last week, having a daily routine is one of the most important tenants of Ayurveda. As the body becomes accustomed to the predictability of doing the same things at roughly the same time every day, the nervous system begins to relax. A typical Ayurvedic morning routine would include meditation, tongue scraping, bowel elimination, exercise, self-massage and a morning tonic. Adding the use of a tongue scraper to your daily routine assists the body in eliminating toxins that have accumulated in the mouth overnight, massages and awakens the internal organs (different parts of the tongue correspond to various organs and body parts), stimulates the digestive capacity and ensures that you start your day feeling as fresh and clean as possible.
Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper:
- Clears toxins & bacteria from the tongue that can compromise oral health and be reabsorbed into the body
- Helps remove coating on the tongue that leads to bad breath
- Enhances the sense of taste
- Promotes digestive health
- Gently stimulates the internal organs
- Increases your awareness of your state of health looking at the degree of tongue coating
How to scrape your tongue
In the morning, right after you wake up, scrape your tongue. Make it the first thing you do. With a relaxed tongue, using your U-shaped tongue scraper, gently reach to the back of the tongue and scrape. Rinse the tongue scraper and repeat 3-7 times. Scrape both sides of the tongue too. It is possible to be overly aggressive with a tongue scraper and to temporarily damage the taste buds. Gentle strokes will remove the coating on the tongue without harming the underlying tissue.
Always use a metal tongue scraper. A copper tongue scraper is hard to beat. Copper has been used for centuries as a bacteria-resistant metal, and new studies are confirming these ancient practices.
Follow tongue scraping with brushing your teeth.
Copper tongue scrapers available for $12 from Ayu Ayurveda.
DIET & NUTRITION: WARM SMOOTHIE FOR BUILDING ‘OJAS’
Ojas is our “inner sap”, our vitality and immunity – it keeps us healthy. Ojas is essential for our mental, physical and spiritual growth, and endurance. It protects us against high levels of stress and provides mental stability. There are foods that build Ojas. At the top of the list they are organic milk, ghee, almonds (skins removed), dates, saffron and basmati rice. Also, whole grains, fruit and vegetables produce happy Ojas. Foods that deplete Ojas are caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and refined sugars.
So smoothie lovers, it’s time to think about swapping that raw, cold smoothie that challenges some digestive systems, for one that grounds you and nourishes mind, body and spirit!
WARM OJAS SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup unhomogenised, full cream milk
- 1 tsp. ghee (it’s ok if you don’t have any but adds extra vitamins and aids digestion)
- 4 fresh mejool dates, pitted. Or soak 6-8 dried dates in 1 cup water overnight
- 1 cup water, or water from the soaked dates
- 8-10 almonds, soaked and peeled
- ¼ or ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ or ½ tsp. cardamom (you may like to add ¼ tsp. of ginger powder too)
- 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
If using dried dates, soak overnight and keep the water.
Soak almonds overnight and slip off skins. Tip water over a plant.
- Warm the milk until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and add spices and ghee. Let cook for a few minutes.
- Pour into a blender and add the soaked dates, date water (if soaked) and peeled almonds. Blend thoroughly. Pour into a cup and if needing extra energy or sweetness, stir in raw honey.
- Drink consciously, enjoying each sip in your mouth. Finish it up with a smile and the knowing that all is well. The smoothie helps 😉
Side notes: This nurturing spiced concoction gives an awesome Ojas boost for nursing mothers – a delicious gift to self or another mama during post-natal trimester too.
This shake is also a hit with children. During the cooler months, pack a small thermos filled with Ojas in their lunchbox or for a snack.
RECENT AUDIO CLASSES
Amidst the turbulence of the ever evolving Coronavirus situation the call went out for people all over the world to join in a global mass meditation on Sunday 5th April 2020 (Australian Time). Yoga Vidya answered the call and led 39 participants through this meditation. Here is the recording.
One Hour Basics class exploring the Anusara principles of Muscle Energy and Organic Energy through standing poses, balance and backbends.
This practice explores the idea that there is only so much we can DO within the scope of our yoga practice. There is a wisdom, a sense of awakening and revelation that we are seeking yet (and this is what we call yoga) but we cannot make this happy. So in this sense we cannot DO yoga – we can only create the conditions under which it naturally arises.
This 90 minute practice invites a contemplation of the Tantrik world view that God is divine, loving, playful and creative awareness and energetic potential.... and you are God. No more or no less than your neighbour or a blade of grass. Practice casting off your...
This 90 minute open hatha flow practice both starts and finishes with Viloma Pranayama and asks you to use the breath the brighten and expand the inner body. Expect to strengthen the back and work through standing poses, Vasthistasana and variations of Hero’s pose.