Centenary Yoga Balance through standing postures

Celebrations and Salutations to to our beloved Yoga community, November is a perfect time to delve into the profound benefits of standing postures – sometimes overlooked or overdone in Yoga practice.Standing postures strengthen our physical bodies – legs, core, spine – and are protective postures. They also create a harmonious balance of breath, mind, and emotions.

We feel the wobbles, we notice when our mind wanders away from the practice, we notice when we feel grounded and the balance is simple, and we notice when nothing! will balance. And we practice acceptance. And we PRACTICE.

All standing postures require balance, not only the one-legged varieties! Try placing your right heel in front of your left toes, like you were on a tightrope. Feel the challenge to your balance. Then close your eyes.
Thanks, Di M, you taught me this years ago.
Balancing on TWO feet. It’s a thing!
What to notice when you’re balancing on two feet (any orientation, even standing in a queue!) Inquiry questions: Is most weight on balls or heels? Left or right foot? And bring back to balance with your awareness. I’m standing as I’m typing this, and way more weight is on balls and left foot! Bringing it back.

Are my knees soft? Is there a gentle natural curve in my lower back? Is my belly firm yet soft?Is my crown reaching for the sky and feet reaching to centre of the earth? Is my breathing relaxed and balanced inhale & exhales?
Some balancing standing postures to practise, 5 min each. Tadasana:

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Simply Standing.

The simplicity of Tadasana is deceptive, as it forms the foundation for many standing poses. By grounding the feet and lengthening the spine, this pose promotes a sense of stability and calm. Tadasana engages the entire body, from the toes to the crown of the head, aligning the energy centers and creating a harmonious flow of vitality.
Arms can be by your sides or above your head.
Through the stillness of Mountain Pose, you practise centring yourself, creating a balance that resonates both physically and mentally. Extra challenge – close your eyes and work through the steps above.
Tree pose, traditional Balance

2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose):

Vrikshasana embodies the essence of balance, requiring practitioners to stand on one leg while maintaining a steady gaze. This posture not only strengthens your legs, and core & spine, but also cultivates concentration and focus.As the body sways, like a tree in the woods, the mind learns to explore equilibrium, teaching us to adapt, breath and stay grounded in the face of life’s challenges. The Tree Pose brings balance physically, instilling a deep sense of emotional and mental stability. Extra challenges – change foot position, raise arms.
Reverse triangle!

3. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose):

Last week we explored Utthita Trikonasana, extended Triangle Pose. This week, we’ll explore the revolved version (standing, balancing extended twist).This posture is a dynamic standing posture that engages the entire body. It stretches the legs, opens the chest, and extends the spine, relieving back pain as we twist. Legs are straight and you’ll need to take a smaller gap between your feet. Use blocks for support and keep moving your shoulders to right angles to your hips.

Extra challenges – stretch the mat with your feet then contract and feel the difference, strength and balance. Your revolved triangle encourages a delicate dance between strength and flexibility, exploring balance physically, mentally and emotionally. As the body twists and reaches in opposite directions, you may experience a profound release of tension, and a calm balanced state of being.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, standing postures serve as anchors, allowingus to find stability amidst the chaos and wonders of daily life. Keep Standing!

Winter Balance

Winter Balance!

Last month we considered how choosing discomfort can assist our quest for Balance. Winter can be uncomfortable!
Finding Balance in Winter: Nurturing Mind and Body
Brisbane Winter has arrived in force and, it’s essential to pay attention to our well-being and keep seeking balance and re-balance in our lives.  The colder temperatures and shorter days can affect our bodies in unique ways, requiring us to adapt and find harmony within ourselves. Let’s explore how our bodies respond to the cooler weather and shorter days, and intentionally build practises for nurturing our well-being during the winter season.
The Body’s Response to Cooler Weather
During winter, our bodies respond to the drop in temperature in several ways. Firstly, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and maintain core body temperature. This can lead to decreased blood circulation, making us feel colder. Additionally, our metabolic rate may increase slightly as our bodies work harder to generate warmth. And, of course, cooler weather can cause muscles to tighten, leading to stiffness and reduced flexibility To counter these effects, it is crucial to engage in activities that promote warmth and flexibility, such as Yoga!  
“In winter’s embrace, our bodies seek warmth and harmony. Embrace the season with practices that nurture your soul and body.” 
Shorter Days
The reduced daylight hours during winter can affect our mood and energy levels. Many people experience a dip in serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, due to limited exposure to natural sunlight. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, low motivation, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Sound familiar? To counteract these effects, it is essential to prioritize self-care activities that uplift the spirit and boost overall well-being. Yoga, the overdue massage (in a warm room!) connecting with friends and getting into Nature.  “Winter is the perfect time to turn inward, explore the depths of your being, and reconnect with your inner sanctuary.” 
Get into Yoga
Practicing Yoga during winter can be an excellent way to maintain physical and mental well-being. The flowing movements and focussed breathing during Yoga practises help increase blood circulation, warm the body, and enhance flexibility. Additionally, the camerderie, mindfulness and relaxation techniques incorporated at Centenary Yoga can reduce stress and uplift the spirit.  
Prioritize Self-Care Rituals
Engaging in self-care rituals is vital during the winter season and these may be quite different to your Summer self care. Taking warm baths infused with essential oils (Cleopatra’s bath: add 1/4 cup milk to diffuse the oils and treat your skin), practicing meditation, if only for 5 quiet minutes per day, and enjoying an extra cup of warming herbal tea can provide a sense of comfort and relaxation.  Listen to your body’s needs and make time for activities that nourish your soul.  
Connect with Nature
Outdoors? in Winter? Please do, it’s crucial to spend time in nature whenever possible. Bundle up warmly and take a brisk walk at Rocks Riverside park or Toohey Forest. The fresh air and natural surroundings can uplift your mood, boost circulation. Your connection to the natural world is omnipresent, get out an experience it!  
Finding balance in winter is a journey of self-care and mindfulness. By understanding how our bodies respond to cooler weather and shorter days, we can make conscious choices to support our well-being. Embracing indoor yoga, prioritizing self-care rituals, and connecting with nature are all ways to nurture our bodies and minds during the winter season. As we navigate through the colder months, let us remember to embrace the beauty of winter and find inner harmony amidst its challenges. Discomforts are simply reminders from our bodies to  choose actions which bring us to Rebalance.    
Finding Balance in our Yoga practice and life is a continuous journey and part of our human condition. Yes, it requires us to keep an open mind, a willingness to expand our comfort zones, and a commitment to self-care. At Centenary Yoga, we know that navigating Winter is an essential part of this rebalancing process. Let us embrace the discomfort, prioritize self-care, and consciously create a  Balanced and fulfilling life. Each and every moment. Thanks for reading! Namaste 🙂
Balance Yoga You!

Online Yoga and Meditation Participation Etiquette

Online Yoga Etiquette

                                  Yoga Classes and Meditation

Book your Class:

Book your class using the Classes and Passes page on our website or use this link: https://centenaryyoga.com.au/product/online-yoga-class/

  • You can also use a class from your 10 class pass; text or email teacher to use this option. We will be adding a 10 Class Online pass ($160) to the website soon.
  • Booking essential.

Check your Tech:

  • Download the Zoom app on any device (available on Google Play or the App Store)
  • Tech: Wifi/4G – good internet connection
  • · Computer/laptop (ideal), iPad or other device (phones may be difficult due to small screen size)
  • The Zoom app (download Zoom for laptop/computer,  download Zoom for Apple, download Zoom for Android

3. Ace your Space:

  • IF you can, choose a quiet comfortable space free of distraction. Set up near your modem for good connection.
  • Set up your mat and have 2 cushions or a bolster, 2 thin blankets and 2-3 blocks (or you can use books). Tell any family you’re available only if it’s an emergency! Explain gently to pets and close the door unless you have a pup or kitty relaxed around your yoga.
  • play play: If you’re new to Online Yoga, Set up your device and click on the link plenty of time before class. You will see yourself only (as the teacher won’t have logged in yet) so you so make any adjustments to lighting and position. You will also see how to mute and un-mute yourself. The mute button can be found to the bottom left of the screen. You can also turn on and off your video. Play around with the settings, then end the meeting with yourself. You will use the same link to join the class later. First time is the hardest!

10 Minutes Before Class Begins

  • Ensure you are wearing something comfortable.  
  • Check your email for the link and click on it.
  • As the ‘Meeting’ starts, ensure your camera and microphone are allowed access. You may be the first person in the meeting. Stay there… others will be there soon.
  • Once we have said our hellos, please ‘mute’ your microphone when time to start class. You can always unmute if you have a question.

Troubleshooting

  • 502 Network Error: This is often to do with your internet connection. Close and start again. If you have an alternative Web Browers (Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) try an alternative one of these.
  • We can’t hear you when speaking: Ensure your microphone is not muted. This button can be found on the bottom Left hand of the screen.
  • You can’t hear me: ensure your speaker is turned up (speaker symbol bottom right of screen)
  • All participants are the same size and you want to see your teacher: top right change from gallery view to speaker view

Privacy and Confidentiality

  • There is to be no videoing or recording of the virtual classroom. Permission is not granted for private or public reproduction of content.

Code of Conduct

  • Students should be mindful that a Zoom Meeting Room has students and staff connecting from various locations. For the comfort of everyone, please be mindful of:
  • Language and Noise – At times, students will be required to un-mute their microphones. Please ensure that whatever is heard by the group is free of profanities and free from extra background noise (no television or private conversations).
  • ·Environment – Please ensure that your home environment that is in view of the class is appropriate for all participants.

·Respect – As per classes in our Yoga studio, it’s expected that all students, staff and anyone present is respectful, encouraging and kind.

Reporting an Issue

If at any time you have an issue please contact Sarah on 0468334636 or sarah @centenaryyoga.com.au

Sources and acknowlegement:

Lainie Jenkins; OnefamilyYogaandFitness