Viewing entries posted in March 2013

Meditate the City Way - Part 2

21 March
2013

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Dear Yogis, 

The sun is shining and the weather is sweet.. so make the most of it an get outside!!

We spend so much time in the city indoors and so why not spend time with nature again. I find nature to be the most fitting environment in which to meditate, think, and relax. I know personally I am most at one with myself when I'm in a place of true natural wonder. We are often so cut off form our natural habitat in a web of technology and modern luxuries that we sometimes forget that our beings need this connection in order to feel grounded, calm and nurtured. 

Our bodies need the sun to survive, it needs fresh air and the earth under our feet. I invite you to take your yoga practice and meditation outside.. anywhere at all. It may be to a local park, maybe  river or sea, depending on where you live. If you usually play music during your yoga practice or meditation, then try to resist and let the natural orchestra of life be your soundtrack. Begin to notice the sounds, smells, feelings all around you and let them be your guide. 

If a yoga practice or meditation isn't possible, then perhaps it is making the choice of taking the bus home instead of the tube so you can feel the sun on your face and watch the parks go by. Take your lunch outdoors and sit on a local bench or make the choice to walk a few stops on your way home, maybe stopping for a moment when you find a spot that looks pretty and peaceful to reflect.

Keep your eyes open for this meditation and let them absorb all the colours of nature, all the vibrant colours and textured around you. Let your attention take in all the sounds and the air on your skin. Start to become aware of the natural pulsation of life -the grass, the tress, the waves of the ocean, the insects, birds, animals -all moving to a rhythm that we are also alighned to but tend to switch off from. As you do this notice how you too are within this pulsation- your breath alone is working in beautiful unison with all of these things. The breath moving just like the waves of the ocean. 

With each inhalation think of taking in all of the beauty you see, the fresh air and sea breeze, or the smell of grass, taking it all into your body to create vibrance and colour within. With each exhalation let go of any stagnant energy that is no longer serving you - LET IT ALL GO! Think of each exhalation as a cleansing of your lungs and body, detoxing from the urban air and replacing it with fresh light air into the lungs and rejuvination your body and mind, refreshing your soul. 


Enjoy the beatiful gift of the outdoors :-)

Namaste, 

Tash xx 

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Let the music play on...

21 March
2013

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Lovely Yogis, 

As a yogi and musician, with equal passion and experience in both areas, I can't help but get such a buzz from music in my yoga practice and have decided to share with you a few thoughts on this topic as well as a few of my favourite tracks for playlists. 

I understand that there are two mindsets in terms of playing music during a yoga pratice. On one hand, the music can help pace the class, get into peoples heart strings and offer an extra element for transformation. On the other hand, some people argue that this takes away form the yoga practice itself and may act as a distraction? I find myself a bit biased here.. fusing music and yoga for me is the ultimate bliss.. I just cant help but put on a track that inspires me and finding my body flowing in a new way on the mat.

I have however found many benefits form a silent practice. At times turning off all noise and allowing yourself time in silence is important. It is also an interesting exercise to let your body flow to it's own natural rhythm.. finding the pace that feels natural to that spirit in that moment rather than moving to the beat of the music, which may not be fitting with your true rhythm at that time. 

Personally, I enjoy a lovely mix of th two, choosing music or no music depending on my mood and honoring what would be ost benefitial for my practice in that moment. Sometimes a silent practice can be very medatitve and soothing, however I can't help but enjoy turning up my favourite tracks and rocking on my mat! 

I have recently had many people ask me about my playlists and comment on how much they enjoyed it during their practice... thank you so much for all your comments.. and for those of you who have asked.. I have decided to post a few snippets of playlists to get you going, and hopefully inspire you the next time you get on your mat. 

So here is the first one.. Enjoy!

Mini Playlist For..

Shakin' Up Shakti 

Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap

Sunday Shining - Finley Quaye

Porcelain - Moby

Shiva - MC Yogi

Save Me - Gotye

Free Fallin' (Live) - John Mayer

Skinny Love - Birdy

 

With love, light and music.. Namaste

Tash xx 

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Meditate the City Way - Part 1

12 March
2013

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Dear Yogis, 

Recently people have been asking me how I got into yoga and if I meditate.. the truth is I started meditating long before I started practcing yoga. I was naturally drawn to it from a very young age and would practcie meditation whenever I had the opportunity, often sitting quietly in my room or in the garden and finding my own ways to meditate. The more I practiced the more I fell in love and felt lost without this regular time to sit, reflect and swicth off.

I am a firm believer that you can't 'teach' someone to meditate, you can merely offer guidance and then it is up to the indicidual to practice and find their own way. It is a presonal practice and in my opinion there isn't necessarily one exercise or way to go about it that will suit everyone, it is improtant to find what works for YOU!

With this practice being very close to my heart I would love to offer a few tips and snippets, through a series online, that I find helps me along the way, this being the first one :-) I believe that anyone and everyone can benefit form these practices, you don't have to sit for hours on end or be a super yogi to enjoy it. I hope to offer you small chunks and accessible tools that you can use in your daily life so that you can intergrate these practices into YOUR life easily and successfully.

As I said.. these are only a few of the things that help me practice meditation, so please try it out and play around with it to see what works and what perhaps isn't as effective for you. 

Below is a very basic starting point, aimed mainly at those who struggle to sit quietly, swicth off and start a meditation or maybe like the idea of it but have never tried or don't know where to start...

 

  1. Find a time of the day that feels appropriate to sit quietly - usually first thing in the morning or just before bed works well. 
  2. Switch OFF! Turn everything off, phone on silent, tv off, anything that might ring, beep, buzz tonotify you that you have something to do.. it can all wait :-) 
  3. Find a comforatble seat. This doesn't have to be corssed legger in the 'meditation' pose, it can be sitting on a chair, against a wall or even laying down, as long as you are comfortable. 
  4. If you struggle to sit in silence then playing soft instrumental music can help. Sometimes sitting in complete silnece and not doing anything when we aren't used to it can atually feel a little uncomforatble, so i highly reccomend investing in some relaxing classical music (Ludovicio Einaudi is a personal favourite) 
  5. Sit comfortaby either with your eyes closed or soft on a spot on the floor on front of you. If you would rather not close the eyes, let your gaze be soft and eye lids heavy.
  6. Relax the whole body, if this is difficult then tense each part of the bodt at a time and on an exhalation let it go and completely relax
  7. Relax your face and jaw, notice your expression and can you let it soften?
  8. Become aware of your breath - notice the movement of breath flowing in and out of the body
  9. Without trying to change or force anything, simply observe the breath and become aware of the subtle movements of the body, the belly and chest moving as your breathe. 
  10. Allow all your attention and focus be on your breath 
  11. As it settles start to think about lenghtening your inhlataions and exhalations, each round becoming a little fuller and slower. 
  12. Stay with this steady breath, letting the mind settle on the rhythmn of the breath for as long as possible
Spend as long as you can with these first few simple steps, practcing it as often as possible and each time maybe sitting with it for a little longer. This will offer time for you to get more used to sitting quitely and even just a few moments of this exercice will start to calm the nervous system, settle the mind and offer clarity and a fresh perspective to your day. 
This can of course be done anywhere, anytime, so if you find this useful then please do introduce it into your day, at work, ont he tube, whereevr possible, just a few moments like this can make all the difference :-)
I hope you enjoy these first few steps. The next phase will be posted in a few weeks to allow time for you to work on this part first :-)
Please let me know if you have any questions.. I am so happy to hear your voices and help you find that calmness you are looking for, so get in touch! 
With much love, 
Tash x 

 

 

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