Blog posts

Letting go through the breath.

The breath is incredible in helping us let go, gain distance from what’s gripping us, and perhaps from there, some clarity. I don’t mentioning that I was down with COVID recently, and the breath helped me a long way everyday in overcoming the emotional and physical struggles I had during quarantine.

The breath can be used for so many things; the breath helps to soften us to let go, and the breath helps to thin the grippings we have to perhaps reach our toes.

I have listed four ways you can use the breath to help you let go.

Our breath helps to centre us, in fact. Our breath helps us to draw ourselves back to our core.

Below, I have outlined how the breath helps us, with three different types of breath practices we can use to help us let go.

Four yoga asanas to help you let go.

We can use the body (and the breath) to help us let go – ‘softening’ or ‘thinning’ the fluctuations and grippings that pervade our thought and emotional patterns. Typically, the yoga asanas that help us invite the capacity to let go are forward folds (or bends), and also yoga twists or twist and fold.

Folding or bending the body forward requires our entire back body to stretch. In yoga, the back of the body (or the West) represents consciousness, while the front body (or the East) represents manifestation. So, we are actually moving from consciousness to manifestation.

It is good to bear this in mind as you practise the poses below. It is always great to be able to manifest (whatever we are doing) skilfully and safely, rather in a haphazard, any-ole-way manner. What do we want the result of our manifestation to be?

The first three yoga postures below help you fold / bend forward towards your toes. In essence, the first three yoga poses helps to move you towards the final fourth pose.

Give all four of them a try and let me know how it goes for you.

Four myths about touching your toes.

One of the things I hear the most frequently from new clients is “I cannot touch my toes” (the other is “I’m so inflexible!”). I get this, there was a time when I could barely touch my toes, and when I did, it was incredibly unsafe for my lower back.

Forward bends or forward folds in yoga is great to help us release (or let go) of trapped emotions in our body. We open up the back body, which tends to take the burden of our posture throughout the day.

But just like letting go, folding forward is actually a far more intricate process than we may think. We don’t just bend our spine to reach downwards (forwards) to reach our toes or to pick up things. That kind of movement may cause us injury, whether in the short- or long-term.

When it comes to folding forward to reach your toes – the thing is, our toes are attached to our feet, and our feet are attached to our legs – we can always touch our toes.. The question is how safely are reaching forwards to touch our toes.

Are we doing ourselves any harm along the way when we bend to touch our toes?

Letting go through yoga.

Letting go is never easy, I’m not gonna lie to you.

In yoga, it’s one of those capacities that we can invite, but cannot force. We can work through the processes, work through the breath, but it will only happen when it happens. We cannot force it.

In addition, what we want to / need to let go of comes in so many various issues, and that’s not including our own background, triggers and issues (i.e. baggage).

Grounding and balance through aromatherapy.

The sciences of yoga and Ayurveda are closely related, and using modalities of one may enhance our practise of the other. Here, we will take a look at the concept of aromatherapy – a modality I use often – in our yoga practice to help us ground and balance in our transformation through yoga.

In Ayurveda, aromas are crucial for healing and wellness. Aromatherapy can be used to protect prana, help regulate digestion and metabolism, and boost our immune system.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Emotions & aromas.

Aromas have a powerful influence on our mind and body, In terms of our emotions, we need to understand how our brain works in relation to our emotions. Within our brain lies the limbic system – the emotional centre of our self. Every thought, emotion, all our experiences, memories and lessons are stored in the limbic system.

Balance through yoga breath work.

Pranayama or yoga breath work can help to balance us out as we move towards our midlife transformation.

Breathing is simple, gracious, soothing and always there for you.

Karenina Ana Murillo.

There are many different types of pranayama we can immerse in, but the process I have selected for balance is nadi shodhana pranayama – or alternate nostril breathing.

This form of pranayama is said to help balance the nadis – tube, channel or flow, almost like meridian channels.

Yoga practice to ground and balance.

We have been immersed in grounding practise through yoga recently. What better way to put the wisdom, movement and breath practise into one yoga movement practise?

Below, I have put together a few short snippets of yoga practise for you. Follow the practise in sequence, or just whichever works for you based on your time and convenience.

As a preamble, check you have a quiet space and about at least ten minutes free. Have a good yoga mat, have a towel handy, and also some cushions or more towels if you have knee issues. For other struggles or challenges you may have, email me and I will do my best to help.

Best yoga poses for balance.

Would you be super surprised if I told you the best yoga poses for balance are standing balance poses? I thought not!

Further to our discussion on the Earth element / prthvi previously, standing balance poses really helps us to get grounded and balance at the same time. From personal experience, when I am a little less grounded, or when I am running ahead of myself, or when I lack inertia, my standing balance is shaky or unstable, and sometimes just doesn’t happen. So let’s not even think about arm balances or inversions!

Seriously, standing balance yoga poses are good indicators of how balanced we are in life or for that day. There is no scientific proof of this, but yoga is a little beyond science, it’s also experiential. If you are already practising, try it and see (and let me know in the comments of your experiences!).

In addition, as we grow older, the more important it is to be able to balance. If you think about it, we are always in balancing when we walk or run, because we always have one foot off the ground. As we age, this becomes a greater challenge when we stumble or have less coordination.

Yoga to help you balance.

As we ground and prepare for our transformation through yoga in our midlife, it is always good to have balance. Balance is one of the most skilful capacities we hope to cultivate in yoga, and it is crucial for grounding, letting go and expansion / manifestation.

Yoga philosophy is great when it comes to finding that middle ground to between inertia and being inert when it comes to our midlife awakening through yoga.

Santosha / Contentment.

From the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we have second rung of the Eight-Limb Yoga Path – or Ashtanga Yoga, namely the niyamas. The niyamas guide us towards a more positive and skilful relationship with ourselves. Only once we form a good connection to ourselves, we may in turn form positive and enduring relationships with others.

One of the elements or capacities of the niyamas is santosha – or ‘contentment’. Being content actually is far more difficult than we may think. Even in our everyday life, we have thoughts about ‘how the day may be better if…’ and in life, ‘how we may be happier if…’ It’s bound to pop up, at least now and then – we are after all only human.