The word Yoga means union of body, mind and spirit and offers a truly holistic approach to life. We place great emphasis on assisting the person to strengthen their spiritual connection by aligning body and mind. Yoga practiced in this manner builds greater levels of conscious awareness and presence which transforms all aspects of our daily lives, leading to a state of inner peace.
We teach Hatha Yoga which is based on the ancient Ayurvedic Indian tradition that is over 5000 years old.
A typical Yoga session consists of:
breathing exercises - gentle stretches - Yoga postures - relaxation/guided meditation
We are flexible in our approach and sessions can be tailored to suit particular individual needs.
Within Yoga there are many different breathing techniques which can be used to train the mind to focus, to build up concentration, to relax, to increase awareness and to release stress. Controlled, focused breathing can be used to boost health and vitality and to increase energy levels. Indeed, learning to work with the breath is an extremely valuable tool on its own.
Yoga postures work on many different levels: they strengthen the physical body by working on the spine and the bony framework, the muscles and connective tissue and the internal organs.
Combining breathing techniques with the postures further increases their effectiveness.
We teach a form of focused, gentle stretching to build up flexibility within the body and to further prepare body and mind for the Yoga postures.
Relaxation & Guided Meditation
To maximize the benefits of the session the teacher typically concludes with a relaxing guided meditation the content of which can be structured around the particular needs of the individual.
When executed in a focused, flowing manner, yoga postures clear and strengthen the mind and assist in bringing about a state of inner harmony.
By clearing and balancing the Chakras (energy centres), yoga postures can help the person align with their inner essence.
The postures taught can be adapted to suit all levels of proficiency, from beginners upwards. The emphasis is on helping the individual to access a relaxed, focused "flow" of movement and to work with their body, rather than insisting on perfect execution of the particular posture.
We offer local Yoga classes and individual tuition.
INNER HARMONY - CYPRUS
telephone enquiries: +357 99 139 722 e-mail: email@example.com
Copyright © 2010 Sylvia Braun - Inner Harmony - Cyprus All rights reserved
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Yoga and breathing
One of the first lessons to learn in the practice of yoga is proper use of the breath.
For most people breathing is an unconscious activity which they only become aware of when there is a problem with the breath or when they get very excited and the breathing speeds up.
When we are born, our breath is full and flowing as you can clearly see when watching babies breath. The belly rises and falls with each breath, almost as if they are breathing with their whole body in an uninhibited way. As we get older, however, and become stressed mentally and emotionally, we start to learn different breathing habits that restrict this natural flow. When we feel threatened or upset our whole body tightens and we enter a state referred to as the fight/flight response. This is a basic survival instinct which restricts diaphramatic breathing as the abdominal muscles tighten and quick, shallow upper chest breathing results. Many people get locked into long term activation of this stress response and the subsequent over exposure to the accompanying stress hormones is extremely damaging to the health.
Working with breathing techniques to consciously shift the breath from the upper chest down into body and engage the diaphragm is an effective way of switching off fight/flight and activating a calmer, more relaxed mode of functioning.
There are different techniques which may be practiced as part of a yoga session such as :
Full Yogic Breathing which uses all three areas of the torso, lower-belly, mid-chest and upper-chest, to allow the fullest possible natural breath.
Ujjayi Breathing which in essence is the toning of the epiglottis to intentionally create a sound at the back of the throat while breathing in and out through the nose.
Alternate Nostril Breathing which regulates the air flow through one nostril at a time.
Quite apart from this type of formal practice, breathing techniques can be used literally anytime, anywhere to help with inner state management and to control the stress response. They are the perfect solution to rapidly calm nerves , focus the mind and help you to think more clearly. They can be done sitting or standing, with eyes open or eyes closed as appropriate to the situation.
Conscious Breathing is the simplest of techniques and very powerful.
1. Become aware of yourself in your body in your body as you are sitting or standing. Notice yourself looking out through your eyes and hearing through your ears.
2. Notice your breath as it enters and leaves your body, following it all the way in and out.
3.Slowly inhale through your nose and gently exhale through pursed lips.
4.Let the breath become a little deeper and slower and relax your tummy so that it goes down into your body more.
5.Feel your tummy as well as your chest rising and falling.
6.Keep your focus on the breath and relax your facial muscles.
Repeat this technique often to help control worry, stress, tension, anxiety and panic.
Another variation is with the use of numbers.
1. Repeat the steps for Conscious Breathing .
2. Close your eyes if appropriate.
3. On each in breath say the number 1
4. On each out breath say the number 2
5. If it helps, visualize the numbers as you are repeating them silently.Maybe giving them a colour and an interesting shape.
Repeat for al least 6 breaths and use frequently.
Yet another variation is coupling focused breathing with an affirmation.
1. Use Conscious Breathing, moving the breath into the tummy and relaxing the facial muscles.
2.Pick a suitable statement such as 'I am in control' or 'I am breathing in peace'. Use as you inhale.
3.Pick a suitable statement to use as you exhale such as 'I release tension'
4. Repeat for at least 6 breaths.
In my work a holistic therapist I see many clients suffering from conditions such as back pain, neck and shoulder problems, muscular tension, stress and anxiety, fatigue, accidents and sports injuries, insomnia, digestive disorders, hyper tension, substance abuse, everyday disorders which are, unfortunately, all too common in our modern world. In addition to applying a body therapy such as Ki Massage or The Bowen technique to help alleviate the particular problem, I always include some yoga instruction as an integral part of a holistic approach to healing. I believe yoga forms the basis of a comprehensive self care programme and is invaluable both in the short and in the long term rehabilitation of the person.
Yoga breathing exercises practiced regularly are an excellent antidote to the ongoing effects of stress, allowing body and mind to rejuvenate and regenerate. The resulting extra oxygen in the system has enormous benefits, literally revitalising every single cell in every organ and gland bringing about improved digestive functioning , increased energy levels, enhanced focus and concentration, more awareness and a sharpening of the senses to name but a few. Proper breathing alone can make a huge difference and help tip the balance towards healthier functioning.
Yoga stretches and postures performed with mindfulness have many applications and benefits and can easily be adapted as a progressive form of remedial exercise.
Picture the body as a bony framework housing delicate internal organs, connected by moveable joints and supported by muscles and connective tissue. A healthy body is one which is well balanced, fluid and flexible with muscles that are strong and toned and able to maintain the bony skeleton in proper alignment both at rest and in motion. Such an arrangement permits the free flow of life force energy, blood and lymphatic circulation and the unrestricted transmission of nerve impulses throughout the entire system.
Muscles consist of tiny fibers which in healthy tissue lie in an orderly fashion, very much like freshly combed hair. However, when subjected to prolonged stress and tension these fibers become tangled and shortened, lose their elasticity and knots develop easily, literally trapping blood vessels and nerves and pulling bony structures out of alignment. Often muscle tension is more pronounced on one side of the body and severe imbalances can develop. The spine is made up of individual vertebrae, separated by discs which have a cushioning effect. When muscles and connective tissue in the back shorten and lose elasticity the spine can become compressed putting great pressure on the discs and squeezing nerves and other structures. This gives rise to a host of widespread problems as blood flow to the brain and other organs begins to be affected. Indeed many of the conditions mentioned earlier have their origins here and can be the source of great pain and suffering. Yoga can provide much needed relief in a safe and gentle manner.
In conjunction with the breathing exercised mentioned earlier, a few well chosen stretches and postures practiced regularly and with mental focus can compliment other therapeutic approaches helping to:
·Calm the mind, relax the body and release the effects of stress and tension thus creating an inner environment conducive to healing.
·Stretch, tone and strengthen muscles, build flexibility, restore balance and allow the bony framework to realign
·Create more flow and fluidity throughout the body as blood vessels and nerves become disentangled when tense, knotted muscles relax.
·Build overall health and well being as the functioning of the glands and organs improves with increased blood and nerve supply.
·Enhance awareness opening the way to a deeper spiritual connection enabling the person to see life from a broader perspective and bring about positive change.
Regular meditation added to the mix brings about a deepening of the healing experience and research clearly shows how important it is in the maintenance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
We offer local Yoga classes and individual tuition.
telephone enquiries: +357 99 139 722