It’s been very hot in Wales for the last week or so – gratefully received after the wettest April/May for 100 years. I have been looking a ways to vary my yoga classes to take account of the humidity and perhaps invite some new students to try yoga who have been put off by the idea that we either a) spend all day in a trance chanting, or b) that we do it with a foot tucked behind each ear…… (If you can do these things I send you my blessings – I can’t ….. yet).
I have decided to do two classes that focus on breathing and mindfulness as an introduction to concentration and meditation. My tiny house has been recarpeted with a sea of yoga books, notepads and scrunched up, rejected balls of paper ….. However, always a good place to start is:l
‘The Breathing Book – Good Health and Vitality through Essential Breathwork’ by Donna Farhi (St Martins Press 1996). Always inspiring and always helpful.
Waking Up the Breath – Tapping and Percussion – seems a good way to start and very reminiscent of the Energy Medicine sequence we did at Lam Rim. Make soft fists and then tap your chest below the collar bones and on the sternum – not so hard that it hurts, but enough that you feel it. Donna Farhi says to take five mindful breaths while you do this and on the fifth exhalation do the lion – i.e. HA the breath out through the mouth, stick your tongue out and widen the eyes.
Taking five mindful breaths whilst pounding your chest isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’ve been working on it and I think the best way it to find pounding rhythm that suits your breath. Mine is 6/8 time – that enables me to pound and count at the same time!
More follows …..