The Guest House

GraceGrace's Blog

The human being is a guest house Every morning there is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor Welcome and entertain them all Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house and empty it from its furniture still, treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. Rumi

How do you hold your Asana?

GraceGrace's Blog

Asana is often referred to as posture and is the aspect of yoga practice that is often misunderstood and taken for the sum of all yoga practice, rather than one aspect of yoga. Asana literally means “seat” and is the seated position or posture where one’s body is firm but relaxed.  It is about certain ways of holding the body along with certain attitudes.  One must be in a meditative state when practicing asana and these certain movements promote concentration of the spirit and inner connectedness.  The aim of asana is to achieve an effortless alertness where one’s body is … Read More

Ujjayi breath

GraceGrace's Blog

Ujjayi breath is often known as Victorious breath.  It is most often used with the practice of vinyasa (breath-synchronised movement).  Ujjayi means “to conquer” or “to be victorious”.  Ujjayi breath is highly beneficial as it concentrates and directs the breath, giving asana practice extra power and focus.  It also helps quiet the mind and slows and smooths the flow of breath.  The breath slightly constricts the back of the throat, the glottis.  You can imagine fogging up a pair of glasses, where the breath is like a sigh – that is the type of breath Ujjayi is.  This constriction of … Read More

To Bandha or not to Bandha

GraceGrace's Blog

You have often heard me say in class, “engage your bandhas” and I most frequently refer to uddiyana and mula bandha.  In fact there are three classic bandhas: mula, uddiyana and jalandhara bandha.   These are often referred to as ‘energy locks’ and the paradox is that these energy locks, when engaged, work to unlock energy within the practitioner.   The energy lock is basically the subtle sustained contraction of a group of muscles.  Bandhas are used while holding asanas (postures) and moving in and out of asanas.   Mula bandha, known as the root lock is the subtle contraction of the muscles … Read More

Food, Fasting & Yoga

GraceGrace's Blog

Recently I did a 5 day juice fast.  Before the fast I felt like my insides were clogged up and each time I ate anything, I felt it getting worse.  Bloating, feeling heavy and full despite how little I was eating.  I decided that it was basically best to get a dustpan and broom and do a good sweep of my insides.  So I went shopping and got a range of fruit and vegetables ready to be squeezed through my juicer.  I used a special program I had passed onto me by a friend. I had 4 juices a day … Read More