Tag Archives: personal practice

Body sensing, mala, meditation

Free Course: Body Sensing

If you feel anxious and unsettled, it may be that your mind is someplace else and completely disconnected from the body. Our lives demand our thinking minds to be turned on all the time, processing information, making decisions, scheduling ahead, reading and typing on computers, navigating subways. Our minds are everywhere but here in the presence of our bodies.

Our minds are everywhere but here in the presence of our bodies.

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Meditating at sunset Marina Bay

If you have a lot of nervous energy, you probably have tried sitting meditation, focusing on the breath, and find it difficult to keep up with the exercise. As multi-taskers by default, leaping into concentration meditation on the breath is highly challenging!

FREE Body Sensing Course

3 Deepening Mindfulness Practices

1st: Deep Body Presence

2nd: Whole Body Sensing

3rd: Moving Body Sensing​

Join now for FREE

I have learned one thing from working on meditation with my clients. Beginner meditators should start with the body. One wonderful technique is body sensing, where you turn your mind to the sensations and messages from your body - throbbing, pulsing, dullness, tightness, tension, space, lightness, hollowness, fullness, and so on - without any judgments, making it into a deeply calming exercise.

Ling Acott Quote Beginner meditators should start with the body

Body sensing is a mindful technique which involves scanning the whole body and being attuned to whatever that may arise. You give yourself permission to note anything and everything that may come up for you, resting your awareness on the most palpable sensations, but also tuning into other subtler sensations.

4 KEY BENEFITS TO PRACTICING BODY SENSING


  • Become more attentive to subtle changes in the body and mental states, which may otherwise go unnoticed. Small discomforts may be noted and addressed with proper changes in habits, which can impact on overall health and wellbeing in the long run.
  • Experience a peaceful wholeness as you find your mind-body connection again and feel more embodied.
  • Start to welcome every sensation with calmness, cultivating your relaxation response over stress response.
  • Switch from cognitive processes to sensory processes, creating and strengthening richer neural pathways in the brain.
Viparita Karani legs up the wall yoga pose

Restorative Yoga is Power

Can We Do More with Restorative Yoga?

This post first appeared on the Yoga 216 blog. It is reposted here with permission.

In the previous post, we talked about why restorative yoga is a necessity for us urban folks!

While restorative yoga is about paring down to basics and getting us to slow down, take note… you can still get a lot out of restorative yoga! As we continue to explore this topic, we will focus on some ways to make the best of restorative yoga, through creative sequencing, mixing activity and stillness in your practice, and by working in sync with deep breathing.

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Continue reading Restorative Yoga is Power

Reverse Boat Crunch – Get Stronger in Your Headstand!

The headstand is notoriously challenging, and a lot of the times, the challenge for students lies in not having a strong, stable foundation. The opportunities to work the right muscles are missed when often in class we are asked to “kick up”. When you use momentum to fling yourself into a headstand, you don’t learn the principles, and your muscles don’t benefit from the work needed to get into the headstand properly.

CAUTION: do not attempt this without first having attempted the headstand and learned the technique with a teacher.

Here’s an excellent prop to play with to help lift the hips higher so that you can practise getting into the hips-over-shoulders alignment and work the core to maintain it.  There’s no need to kick up. You simply walk – and roll – the yoga wheel closer towards you and keep lifting the hips high. Keep the navel pulled in so that your abs are firm to maintain balance and steadiness through the torso, and keep grounding towards your forearm tripod position.

Check out this video on how to do what I’d like to call the “Reverse Boat Crunch” to strengthen the hip flexors and overall core. Remember to keep your foundation steady with minimal movement. There is also a fun intermediate option to challenge yourself with!

Strong abs, shoulders and psoas guaranteed!

Prop courtesy of @DharmaYogaWheel

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Study Yoga For Free

I have to tell you…  I am actually not a teacher; I am a student!
I’d tell you why I prefer to be a student. Student benefits rock, and you should not miss out on them too. Want to improve your yoga practice? I discovered how to learn yoga for free!

Learn yoga for free

The other day, a man came to practice in my class. He had shared about a tight IT band issue. I offered some variations to help him in his practice. I noticed that for some of the asanas, instead of taking up what I had offered, he started to make his own variations, which were innovative and new to me, and he looked completely comfortable while practising them. We had a chat afterwards, and I learned so much about IT bands! He had lived with it for years. He had read a lot of articles, researched strength and stretch exercises, and experimented with them on his body, and knew what worked and what didn’t. He was quite the expert on IT bands. I exchanged notes with him and we both left the conversation with more knowledge about this condition.

At the studios, they call me a yoga teacher, but I am a perpetual student! I learn a lot from my interactions with others daily. I improve my practice and my teaching, and its all grounded on evidence and real people with their unique bodies.

Want to improve your yoga practice and without any course fee? Ready to sign up?

I am going to tell you how to apply this!

….

It goes back to mindfulness.

…      …      …

Listen with curiosity and an open learning mind.

…   …   ….   ….
Try this ‘Be a Student’ challenge this month!

1. Ask someone what they enjoy doing (keep it general or specific – it can be on their yoga practice or health regimen, or anything else!).

2. Listen keenly and let the person do most of the talking. Resist temptation to comment, layer on your interpretation or examples from your own experience.

3. Really, just listen, and let the conversation and your curiosity about the topic lead you into the topic. Ask the “how”, the “why” and all relevant questions to explore the topic as if you’re preparing for an exam! If you have doubts, challenge and query further.

4. After that, immediately make notes about the one main thing that you’ve learnt from that conversation.
Being a “student” simply means bringing consciousness and an inquiring mind into everything that we do. It is about bringing yoga into our workaday lives. In the midst of a challenging project and looming deadline, take a pause, observe yourself, ask yourself what you are learning from the process.

So this month, I challenge you to treat everyone around you as study mates. Be open and present to what you might be learning from your bosses, your staff, your interns, your clients.

It’s exciting! Do tell me what you’ve learned from this month!

I would LOVE to hear all about it and have a conversation with you over your experience! Email me!

@SpiceSadhaka

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A Daily Dose of Backbends

Here’s an easy-to-follow yoga backbend sequence that will help you build strength in your spinal extensors without crunching your spine!

Do this daily and notice how it can help you to sit and walk taller and with more open shoulders and lungs.

If you found this useful, please share it with someone who needs it!

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How to Sit Tall

Don’t compromise your spinal elongation in your yoga asana practice.

Tight hip flexors and weak back muscles can cause us to constantly hunch over while we are practising many yoga seated poses, continuing a vicious cycle of poor posture created from sitting at the desk all day (the more you sit, the tighter your hip flexors, the tighter the hip flexors, the less easy it is to sit upright).

Here’s how to bring awareness to centering the pelvis and strengthening the core (front and back) muscles, in order to find a long spine, working with tight hips (which most of us live with!) Explore props and variations for four yoga asanas. ENJOY!

If you liked this, please share this page with a friend who needs it!

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