Header

The third limb of the Yoga Tree is the asana also known as Yoga postures. Even though the asana are much more than just physical postures.

Pantanjali’s yoga tree is bulid up by 8 limbs. Each limb leads to the next one. The first two limbs Yamas and Niyamas leads to the third limb Asana.

Read about Yamas and Niymas here:  https://nouw.com/themindofmathilde/yamas-niyamas-29790370

The first two limbs of the Yoga tree are incorporated into the practice of the asana. For example Ahimsa – Non violence not being violent towards your body and mind while you are practicing the asana (yoga postures) and Santosa - Satisfaction being satisfied with where you are in the practice.

Your flexibility, balance and strength can vary from day to day. Yoga is not about perfection but it is about creating a union between the mind, body and spirit and to be present.

The asana can also help you to achieve certain effects on your mind.

Generally the seated positions helps you to ground drown and to be calm, and the standing postures helps you to be confident and to be open to the world and life.

Your personal yoga practice can therefore be build up for special purposes. When you start in sukhasana, (a seated position) - it will help you to ground down and to connect to the breath. A standing position where you are drawing the sun with your arms, will help you to be more open and confident.

It would be a shame, only to describe the asana as something physical, because it is bigger than that. It is not only something physical but also a part of a mental practice.

Sukhasana

Standning positiosn - Drawing the sun

Design your blog - select from dozens of ready-made templates or make your own; simply “point & click” - click here!

Likes

Comments

Something I love to do is to take a footbath, whether I feel good or not.

It helps me to be aware of the foundation that is carrying me around each day, and to ground down through the soles of my feet.

The warm water helps me to be attentive of my feet. It helps med to ground down.

Days when I feel good, the footbath is simply a treat to myself, a relaxation.

Days when I am not feeling good it helps me to connect to myself and be with what is troubling me.


It helps me to be present in the moment.


Likes

Comments

When I was at Roskilde Festival I had been carrying either a heavy backpack or a rucksack for a week, and I got a terrible pain in my back, shoulders and neck, and I found that these two Yoga postures really helped to ease up the pain.

Uttasana Shoulder stretch

Stand in an upright position.

Place your hands on your lower back and intertwine your fingers.

Bend forward and let your hands fall down toward your head.

Standning Neck Strech 

Stand in and upright position

Intertwine your fingers and place them on the back of your head

Let your chin drop down towards your chest.

Likes

Comments

Yoga for beginners

As usually I try out Yoga classes, when I am travelling. This time I travelled to Roskilde Festival.

My first experience with a Yoga class at Roskilde Festival was a Yoga class for beginners.

We did not start out connecting to the breath. We just started out standing. The postures where easy, and there was no connection to the breath - Not my cup of tea, but at least we finished with a relaxation and the sun came up.

My personal Yoga practice does not only consists of different types of Yoga postures. The breath are always having the utmost importance in my practice and mediation is also a part of it. I always frame my physical yoga practice with meditation, it can be just two minutes, but it is always there - and then my physical Yoga practice becomes a union of the mind, body and spirit.

Acro Yoga

I had a wonderful experience with Acro Yoga. We started out with closed eyes connecting to the breath and noticed the surroundings - the people around us, the sounds, the wind and the sun.

We sat in a circle, and we put a hand on each others back and leaned back. So everybody helped to hold each other. It gave a nice feeling of us all being united.

At first the exercise was simple, we started out standing in the middle of 5 other people and with closed eyes we let us fall back as someone catched us, and gently pushed us over to another person. It helped to evolve trust to one another, and was useful when the postures got more advanced.

Slowly the practice increased and got more advanced. My understanding was that everybody had a nice experience and felt secure in the different head and arm balances.

Acro Yoga is really a form of Yoga there helps to evolve trust to yourself and to other people, and it helps you to rest in your own skin.

In the end of class we relaxed while laying down with closed eyes, and another person held the feet and moved the legs back and fourth.

So nice that the Acro Yoga was framed by small kinds of meditations.

Acro Yoga is defiantly something I would recommend. It is very good on a lot of different levels.

Likes

Comments

There are times in life, where we experience higher levels of stress. It can be in different situations and on different levels. To me, both exam preparations and exams are things that make me feel extreme stress.

I have just had my final exam of this school year, I was under a lot of pressure, and this is how I managed to cope with it.


Making the best out of it – tread yourself nicely

The first thing I did was, to begin appreciating all of the things that was working out great for me. I decided to appreciate all the things that was good, instead of spending my time worrying about the exam. I decided that the exam period, should be a time to enjoy all the great things in life.

I then began to visualize the exam; I would visualize it as a good experience with a great result, instead of imagining, the worst that could happen.

As I was studying, I listened to ambient music, which has effects on the limbic center in the brain that deals with emotions. I surrounded myself with nice smells, I used essential lavender oils that has a calming effect, it helped me to maintain a deep breath, and I would feel more relaxed.

I told myself repeatedly.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.


Yoga - Asanas

As always, I practiced a lot of yoga. I find that Hatha and Ying Yoga are functioning very well for me when I need a calm mind, because of the slower pass in the yoga practice. It has helped me to settle the mind, and has given me a break so either I could manage to get more work done that day, or it had helped me to let go, so I was able to relax in the evening.

Meditation

As well as my asana practice, my meditation practice has also been good for me, especially when it comes to exam preparation.

It has been a good way to start the day with a mediation, either in a seated mediation or in a meditation as I have been walking to do errands. You can check out different types of meditations here: http://themindofmathilde.com/category/meditation

Meditations have helped me to remember to be right where I currently am.

Ten nice things

When it got really bad and the tensions got too much. I found that it really helped me to ask either my boyfriend, or a dear friend to tell me ten great things they liked about me. It helped me tremendously to get relaxed and let go of the tensions that were building up in my body.

The day of the Exam

I had to be there half an hour before the exam would begin, so I brought my Yoga mat, essential lavender oils and my singing bowl. All to make me stay calm. I both meditated, did Yoga and listened to the calming sound of the singing bowl. Lucky me I had a dear friend that would tell me ten nice things right before I had my examination.

I think that the things I have done in situations that was extremely stressful to me, can be used in other situations as well. Hopefully to your benefit.

Likes

Comments

Some days, it can be hard managing to keep the focus on my breath while I meditate. It can be difficult to come back to the breath every time a thought shows up.

And on these days, I find that this is a great meditation that also gives me a calm mind and soul.


Let your mind flow in a seated meditation.

Come into a comfortable seated position.

Notice the way you are feeling and let everything be just as it is in the moment.

Notice your breath and let it be just as it is.

Thoughts will show up eventually. They will come and go. Just notice your thoughts, without getting attached to them. Just let them pass on and acknowledge they are there. Let the thoughts flow let the mind flow.

It is up to you for how long you will do the meditation.

Likes

Comments

A meditation you can do almost anywhere.

Essentially it is to walk while you are being aware of every step you take – to be aware of your body and your breath. It is great for grounding down and to be present with your surroundings.

As you begin your mindful walking practice, you can start out with noticing your steps and the sensations in your legs as you walk and feel your breath.

Later you can start to expand your practice and feel everything surrounding you depending on where you are. If you are walking outside you can be aware of the wind, the smells and the temperature etc.

I find that it is a great and easy way to appreciate life right where you are in the moment. And a great way to reduce stress, because you improve your ability to let go of your to do list and other things on your mind.

Likes

Comments

When I travel, I always go to a new yoga class. Most of all for the experience, but also for inspiration.

I found a great Yoga studio in Paris, where I went to a Ying Yoga class. The class was taught in French, so it was very nice that you had to stay in the asanas (yoga poses) for a long time, because of less verbal guiding, which was optimal for me because I do not fully understand French.

The Ying class, had a lot of deep hip opening postures and great shoulder stretches, that I will share with you.

Likes

Comments

Spring has arrived, and it is just wonderful. Now I can also do my yoga practice outside in the sun.

The energy I get from the spring is just amazing. There are so many new ways my senses are getting stimulated, and it makes my yoga practice so much better.

First of all there are the flowers that are blooming, new plants coming up, the sound of the birds and the smell of spring. What is not to like.

When I ground down in a seated position (sukhasana) before I begin my physical yoga practice I notice all of the sensations around me.

The sun is kissing my chin, the wind is touching my body and the warmth it brings. I just close my eyes and let it all in.

After a while I come back to my body. Imagine myself floating above my body, looking down. And I put my mind towards my breath. I feel the prana (energy) for each inhalation and the apana (leaving of energy) for each exhalation.

After I have grounded down mentally with the Spring. I begin with the physical part of the Yoga practice - The Asanas

I always like to begin my Yoga practice with sun salutations and finish with some deeper stretches.

Likes

Comments

Yoga means union and is the connections between the body, mind and spirit.

Yoga is a lot more than just asanas (yoga poses)

To me it is a lifestyle and a way of living my life.

This is my interpretation of the first two limbs of the Yoga three.


Yamas

Yamas are ethical standards and sense of integrity. They are guidelines for how to be towards others and yourself. There are five different Yamas

Ahimsa – Nonviolence

Not being violent towards yourself and others both in a physical and mental understanding.

Satya - Truthfulness

Being honest to yourself and others

Asteya - Nonstealing

Not stealing physical things as well as not making yourself out to be something you are not, but staying true to whom you are.

Brahmacharya - Moderation

Uniting with the energy around you and making the natural moderations with the energy. For example not to eat more than you need, and to listen to your mind when it tells you, you had enough in other terms too.

Aparigraha – Non possessiveness

Basically it is about not having or wanting to have more than you need, and not to get attached to material things, but instead being grateful for what you have.


Niyamas

Niyamas are positive duties and habits that help you to maintain a positive and healthy environment and spiritual existence.

Sauca – Purity

Once again both physically and mentally. - staying in a clean environment, and mentally clean the mind to improve the attitude toward yourself and others.

Santosa – satisfaction

Being satisfied with what you have in life , and to appreciate what you are and have.

Tapas – Self discipline

To have self-discipline with work relations as well as with your hobbies, and to have self-control over impulses with for example material things.

Svadyaya - Study of self

Being self reflective of your mind and actions and having a deep basic awareness of your self.

Ishvara Pranidhana - Spirituality

Feeling the connection between your mind, body and the spirituality. Being combinded with everyone and everything around you, and to be resting in yourself.

Likes

Comments