Intention and Compassion; Yoga to Open The Heart and Listen To Your Inner Self
I imagine setting an intention like seeing a forrest instead of the trees. It is something greater than yourself, a way to give back and be part of the bigger picture. It really is the BIG question.....how can me being a part of this world make it a better place? What is my purpose and how can I fulfil it?
Hello yogis! I know, its a deep way to start the week but I have just come home from a workshop about "compassion" which has got the old cogs turning and whirring in my head. Thank you my lovely fringe.yoga partner Jodie for recommending it and coming with me. I found it so interesting to discuss the science of compassion and how yoga can help to spread the word of kindness. The most interesting exercise we did for me personally was the exercise of listening. Sometimes we are so eager to show we empathise that we interject, react and try to find a common situation to compare. As a result perhaps things that the person needed to say are not said and therefore not dealt with. Perhaps, the most compassionate thing we can do, is not to fill the gaps and just let the person say all they need to say.
"Listening shows respect and empathy for other people. By listening, you are sending a message that says 'You are important to me. I respect you.’
So how can you nourish your intention when you roll out the mat? Approaching your practice with mindfulness and lasting dedication is just one way to start. I have made some personal intentions today as I came to realise through this workshop that I do not listen enough. I am quick to empathise and sometimes interrupt. I need to fully open my ears to my inner purpose and listen with all my might to my heart and to people when they talk. I think it is important to say however, that should you may slip back into habit and not honour that intention but simply acknowledge it and don't punish yourself. Just like those sneaky thoughts that slip into your mind during mediatation. There is no point being annoyed with yourself, accept who you are and let it go. After all the greatest compassion is self love and self acceptance. Once you are a being filled with love, then you have found peace and can enlighten and share that joy with all who cross your path.
My second very important intention is to slow down. This week, I have been manic and I skipped my meditation one evening only to find the following day I was out of sorts and completely scatterbrained. I even bumped my car because I was dashing around like a headless chicken and was completely ungrounded. I have now created a mantra for every time I sit in the car to go somewhere. Before I start the engine I take a breath and say "it is better to get somewhere less quickly, than not at all".
So my yoga class this week will be embodying all of the above. The need to slow down in this hectic, fast paced world we live in, slow down enough so that you can hear the true calling of your heart. Set your intention and listen, to others and to your inner self.
Starting with opening the shoulders by elongating the breath in Balasana (childs pose) and relaxing the arms overhead into prayer to allow us to focus our breath into the heart chakra and the chest cavity and also creating space in the lower back and lumbar spine.
Slowly building our flow and setting our grounding intentions in fierce pose, Utkatasana we will move through Sun Salutation B. Warming up the entire body and finding the marriage of the movement and breath within the flow.
Peaceful/Reverse Warrior a calming yet grounding posture. Opening the heart but deepening the connection with the earth is so beneficial to slow down. Using the breath work we have been focussing on in past weeks we will deepen our intention as the pose intensifies.
As the flow peaks we will reach ardha chandrasana (half moon pose) to really work on the strong core, root like legs working into the ground and that ever consistent flow of pranayama moving through the body.
Ending class in relaxing savasana with your intention set deep within yourself.
Namaste yogis and fro'gis (fringe yogis). Have a fabulous week :)
Shout outs to the lovely Paula Andreewitch who took the asana part of the workshop today. She is a lovely teacher with amazing energy and a fierce practice!
Follow her @parvatiyoga on instagram to see some seriosuly wicked poses!!
Emily Wright ran the discussion part of the yoga and science of compassion workshop. Such an interesting discussion and meditation session. She is obviously very knowledgeable in this area and it was a pleasure doing the workshop with these girls! @emilywemilyw on instagram
Check out her website for more info http://projectpax.co.uk/
Jade Ewen, a girl who's intentions have always been steady since we were 13 years old and starry eyed dreaming of fame at Sylvia Young Theatre School! Her talent is outta this world, she has already had a great career in Sugababes and as a solo artist. So much more to come with this young lady! Watch this space :)
Follow her @jadeewen on instagram!!