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wanna talk all things yoga with me??!!!

(42 Posts)
masuki Wed 01-Feb-12 21:15:16

namaste
i am wondering if there are any fellow yogis or yoginis out there in mumsnet world? i am totally loving my yoga journey right now, from asana to pranayama to meditation to study and would love to share any of that with some of you....

for anyone reading this new to the world of yoga, it is just the most wonderful empowering healing healthy expansive philosophy, the most beautiful practice out there (yes i am slightly biased xxx)

please roll out your mat, bring your hands together in namaste and bow as we practice and chant together

om shanti shanti shanti
om peace peace peace

philbee Sun 05-Feb-12 09:18:17

Hi there. I also do yoga, mostly asanas in the morning and meditation in the evening (although that habit's a bit less established). I'm trying to establish mindfulness during the day more as well.

I've found the Erich Schiffman book good for building a home practice, and am interested to find more stuff like that, down to earth explanations or interpretations of yoga philosophy and how to incorporate it into daily life. I like Donna Farhi's 'Bringing Yoga to Life' as well. If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them. I've tried to read Patanjali but it's just too riddly for me.

I'm also interested in how people'spractice changes over time. I had a very physical practice until I got pg, and it's become a lot more gentle and mentally focused since I had her and also since my miscarriage last year, when I decided I needed the meditation and mindfulness more. How about you?

FlamingoBingo Sun 05-Feb-12 17:42:14

Namaste

I practice yoga and meditation nearly every morning, and also have a group session once a week and meet one to one with my yoga teacher once every four to six weeks.

I too practice a very slow, meditative yoga and find it hugely relaxing and spiritually fulfilling.

Philbee - I too started out with very physical yoga, kind of dismissing the more meditative, spiritual aspect of it. Things have changed dramatically for me in recent years, though, and in the last few weeks more than ever. My current practice includes a forward bend to each of the four directions, and a warrior variation that includes four different affirmations.

philbee Sun 05-Feb-12 20:12:13

Hi! I like the idea of your forward bends - I end up always facing the same way. How did you find your teacher, and what do you think you get from that relationship? I go to a class once a week and like the atmosphere there, but I do sometimes feel that I'd like to be challenged a bit more. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for though, and whether that's just ego talking.

FlamingoBingo Tue 07-Feb-12 17:43:14

I just was lucky when I found my teacher, Philbee. She teaches in the tradition of Krishnamarcharya (sp?) and his son, and it's very therapeutic and meditative. We get on very well, and the opportunity to really deepen my practice and take it further is lovely smile

If you like your current teacher, ask him/her if he does one-to-ones? Whereabouts in the country are you? See if you can find a teacher who subscribes to the whole spirituality of yoga maybe?

philbee Tue 07-Feb-12 21:22:24

Maybe I'll do that. She's only just qualified as a teacher and I think still feeling her way on some things, but I feel like she's very strong on yoga as acceptance of your body, your state at that point in time, which is very important to me. I've not felt that satisfied that other teachers I've had feel that's much of a priority. I worry that a one to one might just be embarrassing I think - too much attention! I'm in London, and still interested to try other classes and teachers if you have any to recommend.

FlamingoBingo Thu 09-Feb-12 21:52:42

I don't know about London, Philbee, but if you like more spiritual stuff, look for teachers who practice with the tradition of Krishnamarchaya. Try here: Association for Yoga Studies to find teachers who practice like that.

imisssleepandwine Thu 09-Feb-12 21:55:25

HI OP

lovely idea for a tread I fell in love with yoga about 5 years ago. It's a wonderful journey. I love the glowing feeling after a great practice and the bounce in my step as i make my way home. i love the philosophy and teachings that find a way into your everyday life. yoga has helped me heal physical and mental problems and has been a crutch through some really though times.

I feel blessed that i get to practice.

philbee - not in london so can't recommend anyone but i do use www.yogaglo.com for my home practice and find it excellent. try the yin classes for a slow, deep spiritual practice.

A book i love is "meditations from the mat"

Namaste

Wolfiefan Thu 09-Feb-12 22:02:29

Hi! Recently restarted yoga after a break. Feeling stronger, less pain (don't ask!) and less creaky. Sleeping better and more rested. How can a session leave you energised and rested? Yoga should be on the nhs!
How about finding a class through the British Wheel of Yoga?
What's your chosen style everyone? I have tried hatha, ashtanga, kundalini and iyengar! (depended what teacher I could find!)

FlamingoBingo Thu 09-Feb-12 22:13:15

Hi Wolfie. I do what is often referred to as 'viniyoga' but that's not strictly the right usage of the word, as I understand it. Having tried a load, it's definitely the one for me - very slow, meditative, and personalised too.

I saw my yoga teacher for my one-to-one session today, and she gave me a lovely routine to do when I am menstruating to add to my other 'red tent' rituals I've started to introduce. I am now looking forward to my period next week so I can try it out!

And she swapped a posture I don't like very much for a twist I like a lot in my usual daily routine, so looking forward to doing that tomorrow morning smile. It's the end of her 'term' of classes, though, so no group session next week sad. I expect I will notice it!

masuki Tue 21-Feb-12 13:40:43

namaste yoginis

thankyou all for sharing your beautiful and inspiring yoga stories and experiences... so appreciated...

there are so many wonderfully different yoga styles available isn't it just great to be able to try them out and find the one that fits our body/mind/soul right now.... always remembering that every moment is an invitation to change and try out something new...

my heart seems rooted in the sivananda lineage, i so love the classic sivananda sequence of twelve postures plus pranayamas and the spiritual teachings of swami sivananda and swami vishnu devananda.....

i also love doing an occasional ashtanga workout, a scaravelli class and also a desikachar-inpsired flow.. never quite connected with an iyengar class but i do love reading about mr iyengar himself!

philbee yes eric schiffman's book is totally wonderful and inspiring, a real treat.... it is great to touch base with the teachings of patanjali - i have a nice translation and commentary by swami satchidanda... he also does a very accessible commentary on the bhagaved gita...i also did a lovely weekend retreat focused on patanjali's text which helped bring it to life somehow... have you looked at vanda scaravelli's book 'awakening the spine?' some wonderful photographs and comments about yoga integrated into life....

tk desikachars book the heart of yoga is also wonderfully nourishing....

flamingobingo i would love to hear more about your warrior sequence with four affirmations if you are happy to share....

sleepand wine - i will look out your recommendation 'med on the mat'...

as my children get a little older and there is more space again in my moment, i am finding such happiness in uncurling my mat and climbing aboard... for stretching, breathing, meditating and praying,,,,, yoga really is such a complete practice...

om shanti

FlamingoBingo Sat 25-Feb-12 11:32:38

I'm going to train as a yoga teacher!!! I'm so filled up with it right now. My first introductory weekend is in July, and I'll be following the tradition of Desikachar and his father, Krishnamarcharya. Should be starting to teach as a student in 2014 and finish the course in 2016.

Masuki. I do warrior with arms upright saying 'I am strong', exhale and move my arms out in front of me, hands cupped and palms facing the sky saying 'I am well', inhale and bring my arms out to my sides saying 'I am open and positive' and then exhale and come out of warrior, bringing my arms back down to my sides saying 'I am relaxed'.

puddleofpiddle Wed 07-Mar-12 15:49:23

I'm a bit late to this thread but glad to have found it! I was actually looking for yoga dvd recommendations as I can't go to classes at the mo as they clash with dh's football and ds1's trampolining classes!
I don't really follow a particular style, I'm more of a dabbler... I usually use yogatoday.com's classes but sometimes have trouble with internet connection etc so if anyone has any recommendations for a back up dvd I'd be very grateful! smile

masuki Thu 08-Mar-12 12:55:40

namaste

thankyou flamingobingo for sharing your warrior sequence - that sounds beautiful... and so glad you are doing some yoga teacher training.... i have done some work with a student of Desikichar, totally beautiful, i am sure your course will be wonderful... i also am doing teacher training right now, it is so nourishing and helping to keep me on the yoga straight and narrow...

p-of-p (!), namaste... come roll out your mat! i cannot personally recommend a yoga dvd, as i have never used one, but people have spoken very highly of david svenson's ashtanga short-form dvd(with sequences lasting 15, 30 and 45 minutes) - not on amazon, but is for sale on yogamad.com... i use his manual for the shortforms, and they are wonderful...
i have also wondered about getting a real old video, ali mcgraw with eric schiffman, just because i love his teachings so much.... but i think only available on vhs!

also using a tape works - the sivananda sequence on cassette is lovely..

om namah sivaye

OrmIrian Thu 08-Mar-12 13:00:58

I am starting yoga classes again soon. I did them for a few years before my youngest was born and I loved it. I was a real convert. But there aren't many groups around here and I found it really hard to make time for myself to practise at home. I know this sounds daft but I am nearly 6' tall and finding anywhere with enough space is hard.

So come 20th April I will be starting again (all being well) and I can't wait!

masuki Thu 08-Mar-12 14:17:54

namaste ormirian mmm i can imagine it must be very frustrating not being able to do a full stretch in surya namaskar - so many classes are held in lofts or studios with crazy angles.... maybe surrender to not being able to do a full up-stretch and you may be pleasently surprised come april 20th...yes it is so hard making time for practise at home, children change everything, but it is so precious when we manage to carve out even the tiniest moment to nurture our body and heart... when we nurture ourselves we nurture everything everyone everywhere....

om om om

hisgirlfriday Thu 08-Mar-12 21:52:53

Hi all,
I wonder if you could tell me a bit more about the spiritual side of yoga as I don't really 'get' it. Do you start off just by doing the physical stretches and it makes you feel emotionally different? Or would this only happen if the teacher did chanting and breathing in the class? Sorry, I'm not knowing how to ask this very well. I guess what I'm trying to fathom is why for some people yoga is just a physical exercise to make you more flexible but others find it meditative or religious. Is the difference in the person and their mindset, or is it because they are doing different types of yoga. Do the physical movements make an emotional change, or are they just a conduit to focus your mind in the same way as, for example, rosary beads during prayer. I'm interested because Ive dabbled with yoga in the past but always dismissed the meditative element (just my personality is quite mathematical/sceptic about anything hippy dippy) but somehow I do feel drawn back to yoga. I had a really odd experience where I did a taster session class at a gym, very big, very impersonal, when I suddenly found myself lying there with tears pouring down my cheeks and I absolutely have no idea why. I haven't ever been able to recreate that as our house is quite cramped and I never get very far copying from a book with the kids jumping on me! Would be interested in your thoughts.

DonkeyTeapot Thu 08-Mar-12 22:25:01

Hello people,

I am really jealous of all you people who have managed to "find" the spritual side of yoga. I did go to classes for about two years but stopped about 18 months ago, when my teacher moved away. I really did it purely for the physical effects, I would have liked to explore the spritual side more, but our classes never really covered anything like that.I always felt that if and when the physical side ever got any easier, I might be able to explore the spiritual aspect, but it never happened.

I suppose I felt a bit defeated, because even after practising for two years, I still found it so, so hard. I saw a slight improvement in my upper body during that time, but my hips, legs and hamstrings remained incredibly tight, I just found myself getting increasingly frustrated at not being able to do it as well as I'd like. Never being able to reach this point, or straighten that limb.

I have heard about a class locally which I am going to phone up about, but I hope I can glean some encouragement and motivation here.

Minimammoth Thu 08-Mar-12 22:38:45

Namaste, the body is just the material part of your being. One model is to consider pancha maya or kosha. That we are made up of 5 sheaths, physical body, energy body, lower mind, wisdom and bliss. A holistic practice will support all of these and you gradually become more aware.

FlamingoBingo Fri 09-Mar-12 21:20:58

My teacher, although she is clearly a spiritual person, does not actively 'teach' the spiritual side of yoga, but she offers a prayer of gratitude at the end of every session, and invites the class to join her.

I think I only began to find it spiritual when I became more spiritual myself. Now I feel that it is nurturing my body, which is, essentially, the home for my spirit and, therefore, should be cared for.

Yoga also helps you move deeper into a meditative state, connecting your body, mind and spirit, so that when you come to meditate at the end, you may find it easier to connect with the universal spirit and feel alive with it.

That's how it is for me, anyway. I think it's all about how you view it. I see my morning practices as my time with the spirit that surrounds and fills me, my time to feel a connection to everyone else in the world, and with light and goodness and wonder. I burn incense, and try, at the end, to meditate on a spiritual idea or thought. I usually pray afterwards, as I know that prayer (not to God, because I don't believe in God as a higher power, but to the universe - sending intention) is more powerful after meditation, when our minds are in that deeply relaxed state, hence why so many religions practise some form of meditation, although they may not call it that.

When I do yoga and meditation in the morning, it is not only myself who feels more relaxed and at peace, but the energy of the whole house is light and positive. When I don't do it, the energy is low and everyone in the house is irritable. I am constantly astounded at how powerful yoga is as a spiritual 'tool'.

hisgirlfriday Sat 10-Mar-12 07:22:40

Thanks flamingo for your answer. So in some respects then, yoga is like going to church. Anyone can turn up and say the right prayers and follow the motions but only if you feel a prayer in your heart do you get any spiritual benefit from it. Do you think the movements affect your mood? So for example, does one pose make you feel energised, another calm etc?

FlamingoBingo Sat 10-Mar-12 17:44:55

Yes, absolutely, hisgirlfriday. I find it's quite important that I do the right postures before bed, for example, because if I do very energising ones, I find it difficult to sleep. I don't do an evening routine at the moment, though, so it's not an issue, really!

I think your analogy is good, except that there are undoubtedly many physical benefits of doing yoga even if you go without feeling any spirituality about it, unlike church...except I guess you get the social aspect and it's fun singing hymns wink

Yoga is very relaxing, which is very good for our bodies, and our minds, and the postures are very toning and make you more flexible, so it's worth doing even if you have no interest in the spiritual side. For me, though, and I know for others, really, really going deep into yoga, and making it a part of your lifestyle, rather than just another class, like aerobics, you kind of need the spiritual side. It's not specific to any particular religion, though, so it's perfectly OK to do it if you're Christian, then you can tap into your connection with God (although I think many Christians have the wrong end of the stick about yoga and think it's blasphemous to do it - I know my Grandma thought that!).

hisgirlfriday Sat 10-Mar-12 22:14:44

Can I also ask, if certain poses make you feel different emotions, does that work for all people. So, for example if a particular pose makes you feel energized, could it make someone else relaxed, or would it be energising for everyone? or is it the influence of the teacher, that you are told this is the energising pose so you perceive it to be energising?

I've never really understood the fuss around the church vs yoga debate but as neither a committed churchgoer or a regular yoga-er (?) that's not surprising. I find that objectionable people tend to find something to object about!

FlamingoBingo Sun 11-Mar-12 09:22:16

You're right about objectionable people grin

No one's told me which postures do what in any detail, but I know which ones wake me up and which relax me. I assume it's the same for everyone but I don't know and I don't know about the 'self fulfilling prophecy' aspect either, I'm afraid, although it's an interesting question!

masuki Sun 11-Mar-12 17:25:10

namaste

many yoga classes do focus more on the physical side, but the spiritual practices are right there, in tandem, often slightly hidden.... maybe asking the teacher of their personal practices, yoga journey or beliefs etc may open up the door to learning more of this precious side.....

you might like to try a sivananda retreat at gaunts house, i think they run them in spring and summer.... afew days of asana, meditation, spiritual practices, nature walks, and lovely nourishing foods...

in my experience, it seems the sivananda school presents yoga in a lovely accessible way, weaving together physical postures (asana), breath work (pranayama), meditation, chanting, and study of the scripture....

check out www.sivananda.org/london

i am loving this thread, and all of the beautiful sharings here... thankyou so much beautiful yogi mumsnetters....

om shanti

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