The healing power of rose quartz

Rose quartz is a rosy pink variety of quartz and is one of the most popular crystals used in healing. Wearing an item of jewellery made from rose quartz is said to bestow the properties on the wearer – that is UNIVERSAL LOVE!

Rose quartz is said to restore trust and harmony in relationships – encouraging unconditional love. It is helpful to purify and open the heart on all levels and¬† promotes love, self-love, friendship, deep inner healing and feelings of calm and peace. I wear a 108 bead rose quartz mala next to my skin during any times of discourse – for use in mantra chanting and because it comes in contact with my heart ūüôā

With Christmas coming up… there may be someone in your life who could do with a helping hand in the love and peace department. I think a piece of jewellery or mala beads are the perfect way to make use of crystal healing.

You can buy rose quartz malas and pendants from me in class – visit the online shop window here

Mantram CD by Rajesh David

We have been listening to the wonderful music and chanting of artist Rajesh David at the beginning of our sessions this term. The CD (titled ‘Mantram’) is available from his website here¬†and contains several mantras set to haunting melodies which are ideal for relaxation and meditation. All of the tunes are famous mantra chants. The one of particular interest to us has been the Gayatri which we have listened to a variety of versions this year.

The Gayatri chant is from the Rig Veda  one of the oldest known written works.  It has been sung from the very beginnings of time.  Why not join in and hum or sing along?  It has a calming and uplifting effect and once you know it you can do it anywhere. There are many benefits to chanting the Gayatri including helping you breathe more slowly, stimulating the subtle energy centres in the body and improving concentration. For 10 benefits of chanting the Gayatri see this site

There are many translations, here is one by Deva Premal:

Om bhur bhuvah svah

Tat savitur varenyam

Bhargo devasya dhimahi

Dhiyo yonah prachodayat

 MEANING:-

Through the coming, going, and the balance of life

The essential nature illuminating existence is the adorable one

May all perceive through subtle intellect

The brilliance of enlightenment

Sheffield Yoga Centre – New Workshops for 2017

Last year a new Yoga Centre¬†opened in Sheffield. Some students may be interested in the workshops and retreats they offer… The leaders are very friendly, I have been on several of their workshops and training days before.

As you’ll see below, they have some real treats in store for 2017.

The centre has a beautiful room for Yoga practice, but it is not huge and places are limited. Early booking is recommended for all these events.

Details below : 


Birth Preparation Workshop

             with Hannah Penn

Saturday 11th March
1.00 – 4.00pm
Cost : £45.00 (per couple)
Venue : Sheffield Yoga School

This is a practical workshop for pregnant women and their birth partner.

Includes breathing practices to use during labour which keep you (and your baby!) calm & centered, and which help manage discomfort. Hannah will also teach Yoga postures for each stage of labour.

We will look at the physiology of labour and why Yoga helps.

This is an opportunity for your birth partner to learn ways to support you physically and emotionally through all stages of labour.


Gentle Somatic Yoga for Legs and Hips

with Amanda Franklin & David Fleming
Saturday  25th March
10.00 – 1.00pm
£30.00

Gentle Somatic Yoga is an exploration of movement that is revolutionary in its ability to improve health, well being and quality of life.

It incorporates slow, mindful movements that raise bodily awareness to heal persistent tension-based patterns in the body.

Click here for workshop details.


Dancing the Spine

Using the Nia Technique 
with Amanda Franklin

Saturday 25th March
2.00 – 4.00pm
£15.00

The focus of this workshop is the Spinal Cord, sensing mobility and stability for spinal health. By extending, flexing and rotating we get to really feel this amazing structure within.

Through organic movement and a range of music styles, your spine will feel freer, more flexible, released and relaxed.

Suitable for all ages and abilities. Beginners welcome!


Chakra Workshop

with Sarah Wilson & Nicola Newman

Sat 30th April   10.00 Р1.00pm
Sheffield Yoga School, S6 3TA
Cost : £30.00

A beautiful & innovative workshop using chanting, yoga postures, music and colours to connect with the chakras.

This workshop provides an immersive journey through the physical and emotional aspects of the chakras using asana, seed mantras, music and colour.

Click here for more details.


Awareness Meditation Weekend

with Traditional Yoga

6th & 7th May
Sessions 9.30am – 4.30pm

Fee : £30.00, plus a donation for the teachers.

A traditional meditation that focuses our attention on the natural breath, increasing awareness and bringing calm, balance & clarity to the mind.

The course involves a sequence of meditation sessions which introduce the technique so that it can be practiced at home. Beginners are welcome.

2 bursory places are available for this course.

Click here for course info & booking.


Awakening Creativity with Yantra, Mantra & Mandala

with Helena Turner

Saturday 20th May
10.00 – 1.00pm
£30.00

Under the influence of the new moon this workshop aims to nourish you to the core!

Using Moon salutation & Mantra to connect with our natural creative energy, this workshop will then guide you step by step to creating your own Mahamrityunjaya Yantra.

Creating a Yantra is a ritual which allows time for self-reflection & healing, as well as tapping into our creative spirit.

Click here for details.


Mala Workshop

with Hannah Penn

Saturday 10th June
10.00 – 1.00pm

Cost : £40.00
(includes beads & threads to make your own 27 bead Mala bracelet)

Making a Mala is a meditation practice in itself. It can be an excellent opportunity for observing reactions, overcoming obstacles and developing patience!

You will make your own 27 bead bracelet Mala. This will give you the skills you need to make a full 108 bead Mala.
There will be handouts given so that you can make a full mala in your own time.

The session will include guidance on how to use a Mala in your meditation practice.
All materials are included in the price for the workshop.

Click here for more info in the use of Malas in Yoga.

You can’t beat a good OM

I like to chant OM 3 times at the beginning and end of all my classes.¬† I’m sure over the course of my teaching this might have put some people off coming to yoga – it is a bit weird to the Western ear. But I still like to do it even for people at their very first class. It makes me feel very calm and ready to teach the class. Everyone has the choice to chant or just listen.

It also helps students become ready for their class too. There are may theorised benefits about chanting or listening to OM¬† –

  • helps to elongate the breath – this has many benefits including fully oxygenating the tissues of the body and gentle massaging of the heart by the diaphragm.
  • The sound vibrations help to calm the nervous system.
  • The single focus helps to clear the mind of daily clutter.

How to chant a good OM

Sit comfortably with your back straight.  Lift the ribcage and elongate the spine.

Breath quietly and calmly for a few breaths.

Take a lovely, long deep inhale – expand you ribcage out to the sides of the room.

On the exhalation begin chanting OM – there are 4 distinct parts –

ah

oh

mmm

silence

Pause.

Inhale.

Chant twice more.  (3 oms a day help you work, rest and play!)

There was an article recently published in the FT about how OM chanting affected the brain waves and is very good for your mental health – you can read it here – but again, more theory!! I think as with most things in life you have to suck it and see for yourself.

Try it, you might like it!

Mantra – Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Lokah

This mantra is sometimes sung at the beginning or end of  a yoga class.  It can be on its own or as part of a longer song or collection of matra.  I think it is beautiful and often meditate on it Рwishing good things to people and recognising that our own thoughts and actions have an impact on everyone is food for thought.  It can help when we are making choices in our lives.

Chanting mantra has many health benefits, in my classes I use them to help extend the exhalation which in turn leads to a more complete in- breath Рthus training the body to breath fully.  The Sanskrit sounds, said to date back to the beginning of time, have vibrational qualities that sooth and resonate in different parts of our being Рfrom the outer body right down into the inner soul.  I like to teach the meanings of the words so that they can be thought of during the chant creating a positive mental attitude, similar to affirmations.

Once you have chanted the mantra 3 times or more, it’s important to sit, reflect and feel the silence for a few moments.¬† It is surprising how clear your thoughts are when you have practiced this simple exercise.

If you’d like to find out more about this mantra try this website which gives you information about it’s background.

How to do a good OM

Sit comfortably with your back straight.  Lift the ribcage and elongate the spine.

Breath quietly and calmly for a few breaths.

Take a lovely, long deep inhale – expand you ribcage out to the sides of the room.

On the exhalation begin chanting OM – there are 4 distinct parts –

ah

oh

mmm

silence

Pause.

Inhale and exhale.

Chant twice more.  (3 oms a day help you work, rest and play!)

Why do this???

Chanting OM helps you to elongate the breath – this has many benefits including fully oxygenating the tissues of the body and gentle massaging of the heart by the diaphragm.

The sound vibrations help to calm the nervous system.

The single focus helps to clear the mind of daily clutter.

Try it, you might like it!