Arosa, Switzerland is a stunning Alpine resort town in the heart of the Schanfigg Valley in the canton of Graubünden (2.5 hour train ride from Zurich). Known for its lakes, hiking trails and mountain-biking in the “off season” (Arosa-Lenzerheide is one of Switzerland’s best ski resorts) this was the ideal refuge from the heat-wave that hit Europe last summer. In fact, we loved it so much, we are going back again in Summer 2019!
The Practice for the three part series (Preamble, Practice and Meditation) on creating Love and Kindness within your practice.
Zeph continues on the subject of cultivating the Love and Kindness for ourselves with this series entitled Pray it Away which includes the Meditation, Practice and here, the Preamble. The series, used together, urges the Yogi to see ones practice as a garden of sorts in which you can plant, cultivate and nurture a bit of loving kindness and connect with the desire to be happy and to decrease the suffering. By cultivating Love and Kindness for ourselves but at the same time acknowledging the suffering and embracing it as a teacher, it can release you from the downward spiral of suffering and dis-ease. As a teacher it creates choices that can draw you closer to spirit or, push you farther away. That is where Yoga and Meditation become really powerful. At that point, having the courage to Pray it Away (the suffering) and breathe these mantras in (cultivating the Love and Kindness) and choosing the path back to balance and relief from the dis-ease, wherever it may have come from.
Embracing the suffering, understanding its roots, recognising the choice and finally finding the positive Love and Kindness to cultivate and meditate upon is the goal of the Love and Kindness series.
Granthis are “knots” binding the physical body and the psycho-emotional subtle body together. There are three Granthis covering 6 out of our 7 Chakras. These “knots” inhibit a healthy pranic flow of intelligence and function in these centres. Each of these Granthis are said to be the embodiment of 3 Hindu God-Heads, Brahma: The Creator, Vishnu: The Sustainer, and Rudra: The Roarer/Destroyer.
Using storytelling of these archetypes we will unravel the complexity of why we get knotted up in certain areas and how to use the Yogic technology to assist in our unfolding and creating a free-flowing current towards seeking contentment, serenity and stillness.
Expect a lecture, breath-centric asana, pranayama, kriya, mudra, mantra and meditation.
Itha108is a Greek island retreat set in a place of outstanding natural beauty, providing a space specifically for peace, relaxation and practice.
Ithaca, home of Itha108, is one of the smallest in the Ionian islands that is radiating with Grecian authenticity. It’s shores play host to a long Homeric and mythical history whose many mysteries are sensed amongst animated panorama and secretive coves. Itha108 overlooks the sea and the eastern coastline of neighbouring Kefalonia from an elevated wilderness of olive trees and exposed rocks that provide the elements around which it is built, allowing its natural beauty to speak for itself. An emphasis on indoor-outdoor living ensures full use of the land and its treasures that extend to sweeping and hidden beaches below.
Ready for a transformative Mantra? Need some Inspiration? Some focus? Some healing? Need something Powerful to take with you on your journey today? How about a bit of Mantra in your life.
Locked Mantras and unlocked Mantras, who knew the search for enlightenment could be so elusive? In reality, Mantras are simply chants that give us Yogis focus and intention during our practice. As I like to say, it is a good way to pepper ones practice with a bit of meaning and intention, thus giving some conscious intention to your physical practice, muscles, breath and all. If one can “think good thoughts” whilst engaged in a physical activity, it might just create “good” energy to your whole being.
A connection to the physical realm, the subtle realm and the higher consciousness of realms (earth, aether and cosmos) with a focus on harnessing the Prana and experiencing Moksha; That is what the Gayatri Mantra promotes. To be fair, all of this should be your motivation and intention during your morning coffee, however, some of us need a bit of a template or a cheat sheet. That is what Mantra really is. They are words in the language of Sanskrit but beautiful sounds and utterances to those that don’t speak it. Mantra is a way of channeling your thoughts and intentions whilst you stoke the fire through movement (all the while, preparing for a meditative state).
This Preamble is a great reminder of why we need to bring a bit of intention to our practice. Use it along with the practice that follows (coming soon) or even as just a way of setting an intention and creating a space and environment for your own practice.
Zephyr creates a bit of heat in this practice to show you how a different approach and the use of a belt to create resistance can have a different effect on the whole practice itself. Creating balance and vitality the abduction practice is a great way to introduce the Yogi to Pranic Alchemy. Creating space by working against the restriction of a belt and then later on in the practice letting the belt go and observing the new perspective of being free from the resistance. Strength and vitality are gained and through a focus on your intention this is a practice you will want to do over and over to stoke that Pranic Alchemy.
This one might burn a bit, but just remember to breathe and use your “happy dog tail” and it will become one of your favourite practices from here on out.
Changing the way we view things and striving for more positive experiences in our lives sometimes requires a different physical perspective. Some yogis use headstands, some simply smile as they practice, a different physical perspective and approach can take many forms. In this brief story and introduction to the concept of Abduction, Zephyr talks about how just seeing the world through a more playful and curious lens can bring a very new point of view and can bring those positive experiences. The practice will focus on forward and back bends and through Abduction Zephyr will help give you a solid and safe foundation and posture to find that new physical perspective.
This Preamble is an in-depth look at the bio-mechanics of Yoga and how to ensure your body works safely and with strength. With Abduction you will be able to see how different postures can work different muscles and create a posture drawing away from the midline thus creating energy, heat and strong support for the spine. That support and ascension of the spine is essential to creating a “strong vessel” so we can experience the Pranic Alchemy leading towards the current of consciousness beyond our conditioned consciousness and toward meditative states.