Guest Blogger Marjorie Richardson writes about waking our consciousness through gentle yoga.
Want to calm your nerves, quiet your mind, decrease anxiety and heighten immunity? How about having more comfort and ease in your body? Developing a feeling of fluidity in your body? Accessing your creativity? All these things can and do take place through slow and gentle movement accompanied by focused rhythmic breathing. Gentle yoga enhances our ability to hear ourselves, to listen to the inner cues we are constantly being given. In deeply concentrated states of mind, restlessness calms down. Synchronizing breath and movement train the mind to sense the subtle layers of well-being below all the surface chatter.
Hatha Yoga is a tool discovered thousands of years ago to be used to awaken consciousness and unite with all the levels of our being. When attention is directed inward, your body receives messages that you are safe and secure; your self is being looked after. Muscles relax, blood pressure drops, the nerves calm, the mind quiets, anxiety decreases and immunity heightens.. Our fast-paced busy lives tend to stimulate a high level of stress that runs our immune systems down as they try to cope. A Yoga practice is a counter pose to that life style.
The gift of yoga is multifaceted. Through our yoga practice we break through and loosen old patterns of feeling and being. We develop a new relationship with ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga deepens our understanding of who we are and how we choose to be in the world. Yoga expands us, opens us to new territory, releases stuck places that were previously unavailable. Through our yoga practice we attune to our alignment at the core of our being. We increase physical strength, flexibility and balance. We develop non-judging acceptance and open heartedness. And through all of this we experience a calmer and more peaceful state of mind. We cultivate an ability to listen to our body, to hear what it really needs for well-being. We begin to move away from the push and the struggle and breathe into the little releases and insights that are revealed to us through our body as we learn to listen with curiosity and trust. In this way, yoga can enhance our writing.
The body, mind and spirit responds to and loves the oxygenating benefits of deep rhythmic breathing and the balancing of all the body systems through the gentle stretching and relaxing into the poses. The true work of our yoga practice is cultivating self acceptance, kindness and patience, developing and integrating body mind and spirit. Our physical need is health, our psychological need is knowledge and our spiritual need is inner peace. Cultivating all three produces harmony and who the heck doesn’t want that?
Marjorie Richardson is a certified Integrative Yoga Instructor & Massage Therapist who has been teaching yoga in Petaluma, California since 1997. Her gentle style supports the process of letting go of tensions, worries and habits by using breath and movement synchronized together.
Note from Marlene: I just love serendipity. I’ve had this post ready for awhile, waiting for an “open spot” on the guest blogger calendar. Today is The Day. There is a good article about “Yin yoga: A fascia-nating practice,” by Hana Medina in the July 2014 issue of The Costco Connection. Don’t you just love it when serendipity happens?