At the Centre

When surrounded by tides that change with the weather, find a soft yet stable place at the centre to move from. Inside every being there is this place of inner stability that Yoga philosophy teaches us we all have access to. It is from this stable centre that you can learn to move through constant cycles of change. Nature moves at her own pace and everyone is invited to join the dance. As you follow the flow between postures, the breath initiates the movement and the mind is invited to find joy in the body’s movement. No matter what is going on in your life, no matter how many distractions exist, you can gently guide the focus back to your practice. Yoga is this practice of gently guiding yourself home to your own centre even when life’s challenges might pull you in different directions.

One way to bring you closer to that place of calm at the centre is to adapt your Yoga routine. This could mean practicing without a mat in nature, for example on the sand. Holding postures on a sandy beach uses certain muscles that may be less engaged on a flat floor, because the body has to make little adjustments to hold each posture on a more unstable surface. Changing the way that you practice on a regular basis can help to build resilience and protect from injury. Varying the way that you move through a sequence develops strength in more places. Not only does this achieve an overall sense of stability for the body but it also trains the mind to be adaptable. Adapting routines can provide the brain with new stimulus and ultimately, can bring you closer to that place of calm at the centre.

You might like to take this moment to think about where in your practice, or your life, you can change your routine a little to invite in a new way of doing things. The one thing in life that is certain is that everything is in a constant moving process of change. Just as the tides in the ocean change, and just as the clouds in the sky change, so do different parts of our own inner landscape. Through making space to explore your own free movement in nature, you can bring yourself home to your centre. Here are some asanas to practice with the intention of connecting to your centre and coming home to your own body: Following on from warming up with sun salutations, here are some asanas to cultivate awareness and invite in the energising qualities of the sun:

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Malasana (Squat)

Malasana stretches the ankles, lower hamstrings, back and calves whilst toning your abs and strengthening the lower back. Lifting one arm into the air can help to steer the chest open whilst the other hand roots down into the ground beneath, promoting a sense of being both grounded and connected.

Skandasana (Side Lunge)

This posture stretches the legs and hips. Lifting one arm into the air can help to steer the chest open whilst the other hand roots down into the ground beneath, promoting a sense of being both grounded and connected.

Natarajasana (Dancer or Lord-Of-The-Dance)

Physical benefits of this posture include developing full body strength, flexibility and co-ordination. It helps to open the chest and hips, as well as stretching the thighs and abs.

Standing Balance

There are a number of variations of standing balances that you can do to find your centre and inner stability. Standing balances are a great way to improve balance, build strength and add an element of play to your practice.

Camatkarasana (Wild Thing)

This is a playful way to find balance, strength and stability. It builds strength in the shoulders and upper back and can be an expression of joyful appreciation of how the body can move.

Anjali Mudra (Prayer Position)

Stand with the palms together and the eyes closed to take a moment to really feel the surface beneath your feet and the breath entering then leaving your body through the nose. This is a really good way at any point in the day to take a moment to pause and reconnect