Finding softness in a pose

The Yoga principles (described by Patanjali) include distractions. When we balance in the tree we have input from all around us, if we can quieten those our balance improves.

Similarly when we hold static postures we start getting input from the body. Some poses allow us to let go and find ease, others may find tension. The more tension,  the more distracted we become and the less we are in the posture.

So when preparing for a pose like warrior 2 we limber. Preparation allows the muscles, ligaments and bones to move freely. In hold the shoulders or hips and thighs may start to distract us. So a little movement or adjustment can release tension and thereby remove distraction.

Next time you are in Warrier 2 raise the arms slightly above horizontal and then relax the shoulders. This allows the weight of the arms to be supported by the bones and ligaments and not just through muscular effort. If there is tension then opening the chest moves the shoulder blades, a deep wide breath will allow that expansion and the exhalation allows release. Short breaths add tension so allow your breath to expand and breathe away tension. If it isn’t working then move out of the posture and then return with lightness.

We are all different so while our posture may look different from those around us it can bring us to a feeling of effortless effort. We just need to find that position!

Hatha Yoga

As I mentioned in the introduction page, Hatha Yoga is described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. This book describes the various practices that form the basis of the yoga we have here in the UK.

here are a few you may have come across:

Ashtanga – a very strong practise following several series of postures. In my opinion something for the developing yogi rather than the beginner.

Scaravelli – A practise based upon the teaching of Vanda Scaravelli.  Main principle here is that yoga was created in India and as we are not we should respect the fact that we cannot sit on the floor for long times as was the practise when yoga was founded. This is a softer respectful practise.

Iyengar – a very traditional style based upon the practise of BKS Iyengar. Very much focused upon alignment aided by the use of props.

Yin / Yang – Yin is where props such as bolsters are used to allow the body to relax into postures. Working upon the facia rather than muscles it uses gravity to move into posture. Yang is more active posture work to create movement.

Pregnancy – Whilst pregnancy does not discount any of the other practises, yoga is often recommended to pregnant women. A class for like minded ladies allows for a very inclusive class where postures are modified to suit the expectant mother as she enters each trimester.

Flow – as the name implies it is yoga based on a moving flow from one posture to another.

DRU – this is generally considered as a gentle practise with sequences for moving the energy within the body. It has lots of flows to create flexibility.

Hot – Hot and sometimes called Bikram yoga is practised in heat. This is strong and is not advised for the beginner or those with breathing or heart conditions.

I have practised many of these and believe that they all have a part to play in promoting yoga. I can only recommend that beginners try the different styles to find those that work for them.

Sukha Yoga

After the relaxation of lockdown rules the Sukha Yoga club have now moved to the Vyne community school. RG21 5PB.

On What 3 words we are at voices.union.echo .

Our new room is in the dance studio, we have good ventilation, a wooden floor (and mirrors although I’m not sure how we feel about that!). It is unfortunately on the second floor  so a little exercise to start.

The class is now 7:00 pm on a tuesday evening.

Duration 60 minutes, although will be returning to 90 minutes shortly.

The cost is £7.50 for the first night, and then £7.50 a night for the rest of the term with 1 free class for new members.

A small committee run the club, organising the studio, membership, term dates and other matters concerning running the club.

We have a WhatsApp group to notify members if there are problems with the hall although we fortunately have very few of them.

The entrance is through the front, a turn to the right then left and up the stairs.

Introduction to 7oga

Welcome to the new website for 7oga. I’m Mark Robinson and I have had the pleasure of teaching Yoga in basingstoke for over 15 years.

I teach for the Sukha yoga club, a club that has been practising for over 40 years. While most of the faces have changed there are still a few that have many years of membership.

We practise Hatha Yoga. This form of Yoga is considered the root of many types of yoga as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (a classic textbook) describes the practise.

So what can you expect in a class? this is one of the many questions that I am asked by those new to yoga. The answer is:

  1. a preparation of the mind
  2. a preparation of the body (Limbering)
  3. posture or Asana
  4. breath control or Pranayama
  5. meditation or relaxation

Each of these stages lead to the next, although they may sometimes be combined.

The last step, meditation is considered to difficult to be attempted without the former. Sometimes called Raja yoga or royal road meditation allows us to be still, calm and at peace. At one with our thoughts and the universe.

So why do we need the other steps? well if you have ever tried to stop the thoughts in the mind for any length of time well that is why. Our nature is to be thinking about what we need to do, where we are going. Life demands it. What we miss in our constant search for stimulation, personal growth is acceptance of who we are and respect for our own bodies.