Do you want to feel the best you can? Physically, mentally and emotionally?.. Of course! Sometimes life seems to have control and blow us this way and that, to extremes and back again, exposing vulnerabilities and straining us to the core — physically, mentally and emotionally. And yet at other times all seems to be well in our pool… no ripples. We may even get a glimpse of feeling at one with our surroundings, with life and with ourselves.
What is it then that makes the difference? When looking on objectively, things may not be so different in each case but the way that we feel in it is so diverse.
Our ‘chi’ in Tai Chi, our ‘vital force’ in Homoeopathy, our ‘Prana’ in Yoga… call it what you will, but it’s all the same thing: our ‘internal’ energy. When flowing well, freely and unhindered in a healthy and balanced way, this energy gives a wonderful sense of well-being, from the inside out! And of course, when it’s not flowing well then everything seems to rub us up the wrong way. We may feel agitated and restless or tired and lethargic, even depressed. Physical problems and illness can manifest as a result.
So what can we do to take charge of our internal energy and well-being?
“Plenty!” is the answer, in the form of Yoga
The ancient, tried and tested Yoga postures are not just a case of making fancy shapes or challenging your body to extremes; there is a much deeper and more rewarding reason to practice Yoga.
Yoga is a wonderful tool. It’s a method by which we can develop true sensitivity. This can be explored and experienced through the familiar arena of the physical body on your Yoga mat with Yoga postures. What you discover can be taken into your life, philosophically and practically, as sensitivity becomes more finely tuned. This growing depth of awareness of Self will enhance your ability to be sensitive, in the moment, to whatever is actually happening, whether inside or out, and in body, mind, heart and soul. With honesty as your guide this can only lead to a deeper connectedness and integration of all aspects of being human.
It is not a prerequisite to understand which muscles, ligaments or organs are being massaged, energised or aligned by the moves you are making, or to blindly trust in the Yogis’ ancient system, but only to be open to the experience of practicing Yoga.
Yoga opens the body and releases tensions. It rids the body of toxins and stimulates energy flow through all the systems of the body including the most precious energy of all — Prana in our subtle body.
Prana flows through a network of channels that pass through ‘junctions’ or ‘energy centres’ called Chakras in the subtle body. Each Chakra is linked to particular areas of the physical body, to organs and glands, and also to attributes such as mental attitudes, feelings and creativity. Consequently, any imbalance or disharmony of energy flow in a Chakra will reflect in the corresponding part or characteristic, affecting some or all of the related areas.
Therefore, enhancing and balancing energy flow through the Chakras can harmonise our whole system and energise mind, body and spirit, enhancing quality of life and revitalising the experience of being human.
Yoga is for everyone
Yoga is very versatile and it can be tailor-made to suit an individual on a physical level. But it is not about competing physically, either with anyone else or with the challenge of the postures or even with yourself, but simply about becoming sensitive enough to know the true nature of the Self and allowing that to manifest fully, openly and honestly through awareness.
Paula Cunningham, the founder of Mayura Yoga, focuses specifically on developing this awareness and offers event days entitled Celebration Of Life. These encompass a whole host of experiences through such mediums as Yoga, music, chanting, meditation, Pilates and holistic therapies to get the juices of Prana flowing through your body!