Mandeep Kaur from Sage Hills Healing took the yoga set this morning, it was a fantastic class. She explained about Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It reminded me of my Kundalini Yoga Immersion course at Espanola NM.
Mandeep began her journey as a teacher in 2000. She was led to practice Yoga due to a chronic, painful low back compression combined with an intense early onset of Menopause. After just one yoga class she was amazed at how much better she felt, balanced and stronger.
Her Dharmic path as a teacher has been remarkable and vastly rewarding in many aspects and layers of being a Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Sister and Daughter. Her Soul’s purpose in this life has been clearly shown to her and her teaching’s convey this life lesson of “Awakening to your Soul’s Purpose”.
The issue with the car keys locked in the trunk were resolved by Taya, she called AAA, who came out and unlocked the car. Thank you so much Taya!
Afterwards the class was split into two, you could either stay with Jai Dev Singh or attend the class by Dr. Sham Rang Khalsa. This is a shame as I am sure Jai Dev Singh’s class was also good.
Whilst walking to the class of Dr Sham Rang Singh I could smell pizza, I thought it was the mind playing tricks. Nope, for lunch with had pizza!! Boy! My Kundalini was rising!!!
Whilst having lunch we had a lady called Melissa from San Diego giving Sangeet and I a cacao drink…I told her that if I want chocolate I have the real thing not this fake stuff!! She later came over and forced me to drink some other ‘super food’ I commented that she was trying to kill me! Melissa is setting up a yoga studio and juice bar in San Diego….beware guys!! Just kidding!
In the afternoon the class was again split in two, Dr Sham Rang and Simrit Kaur, again the choice was difficult, as my singing is super fine (I do a fantastic rendition of Purple Rain by Prince, well I think I do!) we decided to go to Dr Sham Rang’s class.
The evening programme was a concert by Simrit Kaur.
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Better get to sleep as we have a 3:30am start tomorrow. My stomach issues seems to have eased today, perhaps I need more yoga, especially as I am determined not to have surgery…Jai Dev Singh has been saying that if there is one Kriya you should do for digestion it is the stretch pose.
Although it can be challenging, when done correctly it has a tremendous effect on the entire body. Stretch Pose activates the navel centre. By working on the navel point, stretch pose resets the entire nervous system and strengthens the abdominal area. In conjunction with Breath of Fire, it is calming, rejuvenating, and it purifies the blood. By working on the navel, it boosts resolve and self-esteem.
Lie on your back.
Raise your head and heels 6 inches off the ground.
Focus the eyes on the toes and stretch the toes so they point away from you.
Place your arms either above your thighs with the palms facing down but not touching the legs, or along side your legs with the palms facing your body but not touching.
Begin Breath of Fire.
In many sets, this posture is held for 1-3 minutes. Most people can muscle through the first 30 seconds or so, then the body may start to shake and the face may go into contortions, and then—collapse. Beginners are not expected to hold up for the full time.
Here are some techniques to master the posture without too much effort. First, understand that even though this posture takes some physical strength, it isn’t physical strength that keeps you up. It’s the navel center and the breath that gets you through. If you engage proper technique it takes less, not more, effort to go the distance.
The Lower Back and Legs
To create better stability in the posture, press your lower back into the floor as you raise the legs and apply a slight root lock. This action draws the navel center in and keeps the lower back in constant contact with the floor. It also brings the focus of the exercise to the navel center and provides the necessary base for the posture. Keep your toes pointed and feel the stretch from the navel center all the way down to your feet.
The Chest and Head
To raise your chest and head, first lengthen the back of your neck and bring the chest and head off the ground at the same time, then pull the chin into the throat into neck lock. This brings the heart center off the floor and creates a counter stretch from the navel center to the top of the head. If your head comes up too far, you put pressure on the heart and make it harder to keep your lower back on the floor. Mindfully lengthening your neck will help counter this tendency. Your upper body is stretching toward the top of your head and your lower body is stretching toward your feet. The navel center becomes the balance point or fulcrum of your body.
Your breath doesn’t need to be overly rapid; it should remain at a steady pace throughout the exercise. You may have noticed that breathing faster doesn’t make the time go by faster. Maintain a rate of 2 to 3 breaths per second and mentally chant the mantra Sat Nam. If you can focus on the breath and the mantra, and relax the muscles that aren’t needed, the time will fly by!
As you get more proficient in the posture, investigate different areas of your body and discover the muscles you don’t need to use to maintain the posture and relax them. For example, the muscles in your face are not holding up your legs, so try relaxing them; try a little smile. The energy released from the face can be used by the muscles that are actually needed to maintain the pose. As in all postures, you should be relaxed yet focused.
Stretch Pose Tips
For beginners, 3 minutes of Stretch Pose is close to impossible. Here are some simple techniques to gain confidence:
Place your hands underneath your buttocks, this gives support to the low back and makes it easier to keep the legs up.
Raise one leg at a time, and then switch after a minute or so. Or try bending your knees slightly.
You may want to start with alternating 10 seconds in Stretch Pose and 10 seconds resting. Build up your time slowly and rest for 1-3 minutes when you finish. As you feel yourself getting stronger, increase the hold time and decrease the rest time.
Allow your body to work into the posture, experimenting with these suggestions until you have built up the necessary strength of body and mind. Before too long, you will breeze your way through 3 minutes of Stretch Pose.
Benefits of Stretch Pose
Adjusts and strengthens the navel point, your power center
Tunes-up your nervous and digestive systems
Strengthens the reproduction organs and glands
Contraindications for Women
Do not practice Stretch Pose in the following circumstances because it puts extra pressure on the female reproductive organs:
After the first 120 days of pregnancy
If there are any pregnancy complications
During the first few days of a woman’s moon cycle