The early Yogis saw the human body as a microcosm of the cosmos. When trying to understand themselves and the human experience, they looked to the stars and to nature. They were perceptive enough to see that as we are part of nature, then the same forces and qualities that exist within nature, must also exist within us. We too have cycles just like the seasons. We are also directed and driven by the seasons. Sometimes we have an vast amount of energy like the summer and sometimes we need to rest and recharge like the winter.
Wood is also associated with Spring because it is a time of growth, expansion and reminds us of an ability to float and ride the tide. Ujjayi Pranayama (Breath of victory or sometimes named the Ocean breath), would help connect you beautifully to this imagery and feeling during your class. By Yoga tradition the wood element is linked to renewal, awakening and rebirth. Like the seed that has been lying dormant in the earth during winter, in springtime it bursts into action with new intent to bring life to our planet. Bhastrika Pranayama (fire breath), would be a recommendation to help you burst into life this May.
Last month we looked at yoga postures to increase our energy & improve our digestion. Revolved postures & twists such as Revolved Chair can give the body a spring clean, while creating a steadiness and presence to remind us to turn inward, reflect, and consciously prepare to renew. This month we continue the theme of twists with an addition of more stimulating and challenging postures. Remember to always move in a mindful way,
Wellbeing Tips for May
This common kitchen herb is effective for drying mucus and soothing irritation associated with allergies. Have a look online at some of the amazing studies that have been conducted regarding the health benefits of this wonder spice.
Drinking ginger tea with lemon juice and raw honey before meals keeps the digestive fire healthy.
Checkout Yogi Tea (brand of herbal teas) for some fantastic herbal tea combinations that would be perfect to try this May.
In recent years, numerous studies have suggested that intermittent fasting can be good for us, making it one of the most popular health trends worldwide.
Dr. Michael Mosley, author of The Fast Diet books, has been involved in many TV programs that you can find on youtube and BBC iplayer where he investigates the benefits of fasting. From his research, he states this eating plan cannot only help people lose weight, but it offers an array of other health benefits for the mind and body.
Studies of intermittent fasting show that not only do people see improvements in blood pressure and their cholesterol levels, but also in their inulin sensitivity and therefore reduce the risk of diabetes and help control weight gain.
How does it work?
Since the body is unable to get its energy from food during fasting, it dips into glucose (energy) that is stored in the liver and muscles. This begins around 8 hours after the last meal is consumed.
When the stored glucose has been used up, the body then begins to burn fat as a source of energy, which can result in weight loss.
A detoxification process also occurs, because any toxins stored in the body’s fat are dissolved and removed from the body. Regular fasting has been linked to increasing levels of endorphins “feel-good” hormones that are produced in the blood, which can have a positive impact on mental well-being.
On a spiritual level, it reminds us of how fortunate we are to never suffer from real hunger and how our privileged position on the planet, isn’t shared by everyone. Fasting isn’t easy but it’s a worthwhile exercise.
Recommended Yoga Postures in May
Lookout for video tutorials on our app later this month.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
Parivrtta Sukhasana (Seated Twist)
Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (Lower Lunge Twist)
Parivrtta Chandrasana (Higher lunge twist)
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Twisting Triangle)
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved/Twist Half Moon)
Eka Pada Koundinyasana I (arm balance variation)
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