29 Aug, 2017

Benefits of headstand (Sirsasana)

by Jo Longhurst

Sirsasana or headstand is one of my favorite postures, and has been for many years. There was a time when I would request a headstand in every class I went to whenever the instructor asked us what we wanted to work on. To this day, I practice headstand for at least 10 minutes as often as I can. Lots of my yogi students are now practicing their headstand which gives me such joy.

This posture may seem like just a fun party trick, but it is actually so much more. The health benefits of headstand and its variations are many.

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25 Aug, 2017

Breathing: An Understanding from the Yogic Perspective

by Jo Longhurst

What is pranayama (yogic breathing)?

Your body is like the wick of a candle and the mind is like the glow all around it. ‘Prana’ is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle layers, without which the body would perish. It is the prana or life force in us that nourishes the mind and keeps the body alive. ‘Prana’ refers to the universal life force and ‘Ayama’ means to regulate or lengthen. Pranayama means working in the dimension of prana.

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29 Jun, 2017

International Yoga Day

by Jo Longhurst

Breath Easy

Keep calm and breathe. Pranayama is a term generally referred to as breath control; however it has much more spiritual depth. Prana is our vital energy or life force and Yama means control. So when taking control of our breath we are taking control of our energy and redirecting it into a more positive flow. So when we feel anxious or stressed on a flight, it is important to breathe and focus our energy to keep us calm and in control.

An easy way to do this is to concentrate on a basic yogic breath. Always breathe in and out through the nose. Start with an exhale and on the inhale focus on filling the bottom of the lungs, think about the air making your belly stick out, then fill the lungs so the ribs expand and finally fill up your chest with air, and then release it in the same order: chest, ribs, belly. Do this to a count of 6 (2 counts for each section of the torso). You should see a physical expansion and contraction in your stomach, ribs and chest. You will feel more calm and relaxed after just a couple of rounds.

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28 Apr, 2017

What is Nia?

by Jo Longhurst

dance + martial arts + yoga + healing

6pm Tuesdays Mona Vale Health Space

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29 Mar, 2017

What Is Yoga?

by Jo Longhurst

What Is Yoga?

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yujmeans to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.

The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana(concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

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