BITS AND PIECES
Mark is going to Japan to teach a workshop and meet his Zen master's master. .He will be away just over 2 weeks. We say “gumbatte!!” (good luck, good success in Japanese). It's tempting to skip a few classes when a favourite teacher is away, but remember the key to practise is consistency, steadiness. Your sub teachers will be some of our other wonderful instructors, and sometimes, hearing the same old thing rephrased in a new way or in a different voice can really awaken a practice. This is a great opportunity to open up and refresh your practice. Enjoy!
PRACTICE TIP: PREGNANCY AND MENSTRUATION
There is a lot of differing views about practice for pregnancy and menstruation. The bottom line is working in harmony with the body's natural ebbs and flows.
Menstruation is a time of cleansing and letting go. It is vigourous work in itself, so there is no need for a vigourous practice, in fact it can tire you out and deplete you. The natural flow of the menses is downwards, so simply there is an attempt to avoid any practice or activity that sends the flow backwards (retrograde flow) as it can lead to congestion, stagnancy and more severe medical problems such as endometriosis. We want the cleanse to be free flowing, so poses that block the flow such as twists and abdominals are also out, and we don't want to be too forceful so strong backbends are not practised. For the first few days go with the natural energy of internalising and directing all the body resources to this monthly cleanse, practicing supported forwards and modified supine postures. Do not practice legs up the wall. Some people suggest no dog, but as the pose is rarely held for an extended time, this is not necessary. So to recap – no inversions, no strong twists, backbends or abdominals. Restorative practice for the first few days and then begin to introduce basic standings and forwards until the cycle is complete. Keep your eye on the board for the next Kali time workshop when we go through a supportive and beneficial practice.
Pregnancy is a time of creation and new life. Like a seedling the embryo can sometimes be vulnerable in the first few months so you do not want to cause great disturbance. Practice with awareness of any discomfort or pressure in the belly region. Reduce or leave out poses where energy is expelled outwards, especially strong backbends. If you are being careful, even up-dog can be left out. Inversions can actually be extremely beneficial, as long as you are comfortable practicing them and maintain the practice. Problems arise if you stop practice for a few months, then when bigger you go to kick up and find you are clumsy/jerky. This can be uncomfortable and there is greater potential for injury. As your pregnancy develops you might not want to lie on your back, or on the right side, and you may need to create more space in forward bends. Ask your teacher if you are not sure how to modify. Ultimately the expert is you, the mother to be, never ignore your intuition if something feels uncomfortable, and follow it if it does!!!
CDS – We have some great cd's for sale at the centre, we don't play all of them in class, they are more for playing in the car and around the home to really give you a lift and keep your spirits high all of the time, even when off the mat! If you are curious, you can listen to some before or after class (if able) or here is a quick guide:
If you like cruisy, surf style music like Jack Johnson – you will love David Newman
Light trance dance – Wah!
Cool hip hop/rap – MC yogi
Timeless classics like James Taylor/Cat Stevens – Wade Imre Morissette
A good rollicking kirtan – Krishna Das
Angelic voice and melodies – Deva Premal
Traditional Indian ragas – Dr Harre Harren
Enchanting sitar – Rodri
Local blues roots/folk with meaning – Loren
Zen style flute – AO Murlidhar
and more!!! ask Suz or one of the teachers for more info and enrich your life with uplifting music.
DID YOU KNOW?
Yoga Nourishes Intevertebral Disks
Like joint cartilege, the cartilage that makes up the spinal disks lacks an independent blood supply and requires movement to deliver nutrients from nearby blood vessels. A well-balanced asana practice that includes backbends, forward bends and twists, as well as gentle elongation of the spine, helps prevent the drying out and degeneration of these disks, helping them do their job as shock absorbers between the vertebrae. Cushioning the vertebrae protectss the nerves exiting the spinal column from compression and impingement.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
“Yoga succeeds by these six: enthusiasm, openness, courage, knowledge of the truth, determination, and solitude” - the Hatha Yoga Pradipika