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Following the recent Body-Mind Centering Workshop with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, I am keen to share my experience and hopefully a lesson about Ahimsa - to do no harm to your body when practicing yoga.
Ahimsa "non-violence is on the top of the list of yamas, or ethical guidelines, that form the foundations of Patanjali's eight limbed system of yoga described in the classic, yoga sutras.
“Non-violence" (ahimsa) is not a garment to put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Almost all the healthcare professionals attending the Body-Mind Centering Workshop were practicing yoga or yoga teachers themselves. Through gentle breathing and yoga (asana) practice, healthcare professionals are discovering the benefits for healing their patients.
Ms Cohen explained that healing is an experiential process which can be supported through touch, breath and movement. She facilitated the experiential tuning into your body's inner cellular movement such as blood flow or lymph movement and aligning this with the external expression of movement through space. The expressive movements Bonnie talked about were often similar to yoga flow movements.
I believe that meditation at the beginning of each yoga class is so important to give you the time and space to tune in and acknowledge how you are feeling in your body, mind and spirit, before you start your asana (yoga poses). Your yoga practice becomes nurturing and healing once the meditation is there to guide you.
On Sunday, I went to an early morning advanced yoga class which I often attend. I arrived a bit late and missed the meditation practice before class. Throughout the class, I was neither tuned into my intention nor aware of how I was feeling in my body and mind, having missed the meditation.
On that day, yoga poses that I have done hundreds of times before seemed so much more challenging!
Meditation followed by warm up stretches are an essential component at the beginning of my classes at Wylies Baths. Mindful meditation and Savasana at the end of our yoga practice also have an enormous role in the healing process - that's a story for another blog..
The gentle yoga and meditation is key to nurturing & healing your body and doing no harm. The importance of meditation before you practice the asana (poses) is vital - so be on time, if not early so as not to miss it out one of the most important part of the practice - meditation.
Try this Mindful Breathing Exercise To Get You Started Here or download the Smiling Minds app. for mindful meditation for kids or adults.
Looking forward to seeing you on the mat at Wylie's Baths at our Beginners Yoga Class Tuesday 930am or our Foundation Class Friday 9am - both ideal for beginners and gentle yoga.
Join us at our upcoming yoga retreats 7-9 April at Swami's Yoga Retreat and in India for a 10 day yoga journey in October 2017. India Yoga & Wellness Tour is here. INDIA INFO NIGHT IS THIS THURSDAY.
Daniella Goldberg has a love of yoga and a passion for mindful meditation. Through her Hatha-Flow classes, she gently guides her students to grow strong, be flexible, focused and mindful, on and off the mat.