Saturday, 1 March 2014

Yoga and Self Massage Techniques for Back Pain


Yoga postures, breathing techniques, yoga massage and aromatherapy can help alleviate lower back pain.  A continued practice can help to maintain the all important health of the spine.

Private yoga therapy sessions are available in Hampstead NW3.

For information on booking a restorative yoga class please contact Sejel.




Sunday, 14 April 2013

Yoga Harmony


A nourishing yoga practice is a balanced one.  Yoga is the binding of the opposites to create harmony. Yoga is a tool for observation of what is happening in the present moment. Does our practice make us feel over energized, overly relaxed, or refreshed and at peace? Patanjali's Yoga Sutras remind us of "sthiram sukham asanam", or "steady happy posture". The posture is firm but at the same time happy, or at ease and there is the perfect combination of effort and relaxation. The posture is not just the yoga posture - the posture is there all the time. 

Ask yourself the following before, during and after yoga, and then it will become second nature: 

On what is my mind's awareness? 

Is my posture comfortable? 

Is my breathing smooth and easy? 

Is there a sense of "sthiram sukham asanam"?

For Yoga Classes with Sejel see www.yogawithsejel.co.uk

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Yoga classes with Sejel


 Hatha yoga
 Pranayama
 Yoga nidra
 Meditation.
 Yoga and spiritual dance
 Gentle healing yoga/ yin yoga
 Vinyasa yoga/ dynamic yoga 
 Small groups and private lessons
 At your home or place of work
 Classes always adapted to the students level 


 Sejel is fully qualified by the British Wheel of Yoga, the governing body for yoga in the UK, and has been teaching groups and private classes for a wide range of styles and abilities since 2005. An important aspect of yoga for Sejel is its ability to strengthen the body and mind whilst restoring harmony in an enjoyable, interesting and thought provoking manner. 

Please contact sejel@yogawithsejel.co.uk for further information or to register. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Sahasrara Chakra


At the Crown Chakra rests a thousand petaled Lotus flower representing the spirit of the infinite.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Bija Mantras of the Chakras


ॐ - Om - Ajna
हं - Hang - Vishudhi  
यं - Yang - Anahata
रं - Rang - Manipura
वं - Vang - Svadisthana
लं - Lang- Muladhara

The above are the bija mantras for the chakras from muladhara to ajna. As there is no English word for the bija mantras, and many Sanskrit words, letters and syllables, when translated from Sanskrit to English, there is more than one way of spelling a word. Therefore,  the bija mantras are sometimes spelled: LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM. 

Please note that the articles on this blog are intended as an aid for students practicing with a  qualified yoga teacher who is able to tailor the practice to the student's needs.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Yoga in Hyde Park: Balancing Poses - Warrior III

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III) is a great balancing pose. It strengthens the legs, abdomen, spine, and shoulders and increases concentration and balance. This is the final posture but you might want to see my steps below!



Shift your weight onto the right foot, place your hands on your hips, and raise the left leg up. Focus your eyes on a point ahead. Stretch the left leg away from you and press the right foot into the ground.



When you feel stable, with even breathing, take the arms out to the sides to see how that feels.





It doesn't matter if you lose your balance and have to place your hands or foot back down. (You can always pretend you're picking something up like I did).... Just start again!

Finally, raise the arms out to the sides and bring them in front of you with the palms together. (See picture at top of page).

Please Note: For full instructions and guidance on yoga, and in the interest of safety it is advisable to practice with a qualified teacher.

To Book Yoga Classes in Hyde Park, Kensington please e-mail Sejel. For more information on Yoga with Sejel see www.yogawithsejel.co.uk.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Eight Limbs of Yoga



1. Universal laws of Nature (Yama) - non violence, truthfulness, integrity, divine conduct, and non attachment - “When we are established in non attachment, the nature & purpose of existence is understood."

2.
How to Live in Harmony (Niyama) - simplicity, contentment, purification, refinement,  and surrender to the Divine - "From contentment, unsurpassed happiness is gained."

3.
Postures (Asana) - "The physical postures should be steady and comfortable."

4.
Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) - "Next come the breathing exercises, which increase the life energy."

5.
Mastery of the Senses (Pratyahara) - "Once senses naturally withdraw inwards, mastery follows."

6.
Concentration (Dharana) - "Dharana is when the attention is held focused on an object."

7.
Meditation (Dhyana) - "Dhyana is when awareness flows evenly toward the point of attention." See more on the mind.

8.
Enlightenment (Samadhi) - "Here, unbounded awareness flows toward the object, & the light of supreme knowledge dawns."

These eight stages described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are referred to as "limbs" rather than steps, as although we can see them as naturally progressing in the above order, they must be combined for the yoga practice to be a complete experience.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Yoga Sutra of The Moment

A Yoga Sutra on posture, or asana:

"The yoga posture is mastered when all effort is relaxed and the mind is absorbed on the Infinite."

(Book 2, sutra 47, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translation by A Shearer).

For Yoga classes with Sejel in Maida Vale, Kensington and throughout Central London, please see www.yogawithsejel.co.uk.

Yoga in the garden in Maida Vale, and in Hyde Park can also be arranged.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Meaning of "Hatha" Yoga













Hatha yoga refers to the physical practice of yoga, or "union" of the body, mind and Self and of the individual consciousness with that of the Universal, the source of Creation.  Hatha yoga consists of asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. In the yogic text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said that Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation are inextricably linked. One cannot have one without the other. Hatha Yoga is there to cleanse the body and improve the health , fitness and clarity of mind of the yoga practitioner so that meditation can occur spontaneously as a path to spiritual development. The Hatha Yoga postures are also practiced in a meditative state. So, rather than being  two separate steps in a process, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga are practiced together from the beginning, with a deepening sense of union as the practice develops.
The Meaning of the Word "Hatha"
Very briefly put, the component, "Ha", means sun in Sanskrit. It represents the "positive" part of the whole, and consists of many qualities, such as the energy of the sun, light, passion, activity, and creativity. The component "Tha" means moon in Sanskrit. It represents the "negative" part of the whole, and consists of many qualities, such as lunar energy, coolness, passivity and receptivity.

The Nadis - Channels of Energy in the Body
Hatha Yoga's practices aim to cleanse the body and mind, and to purify the spirit.  The nadis are the essential energy channels or pathways that run through the body, carrying prana, the life force, which is electrically charged.  In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, there are said to be 72,000 nadis in the body. The three main ones are named as follows, in Sanskrit

Pingala Nadi: associated with the right side of the body, (through crossing through both sides), this nadi corresponds to the left hemisphere of the brain. Working with this channel in yoga we can stimulate our left brain activity. The right side of the body is positively charged electrically.
 
Ida Nadi: associated with the left side of the body, (through crossing through both sides), this nadi corresponds to the right hemisphere of the brain. Working with this channel in yoga we can stimulate our right brain activity. The left side of the body is negatively charged electrically.

Sushumna Nadi: the central energy channel running in line with the spine, this is where prana, the life energy flows when the nadis are cleansed and the body's energy is balanced through dedicated practice.  This is what is referred the raising of the Kundalini Shakti, or energy which leads the yogi to Samadhi, or enlightenment, the eighth limb of yoga. See Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga. 

The attainment of Samadhi is a highly spiritual endeavor .It 's pursuit can be seen as a reminder that the practice is not about the goal but about the journey. It is the yoga that we practice with dedication that is the real experience. This enriching experience which can and has taken many dedicated yogis to a point where health, healing, vitality, longevity and the realization of, as well as the fulfillment of one's life purpose are not too high an aim. Or at least some benefits may have been noted from the practice. But the practice of yoga is a continuous journey. The aim is not to do yoga, and then stop. Yoga is a philosophy - a way of life. Certainly, at some points in life we may be more compelled to practice than others, and the nature of our personal practice may change, but once experienced, yoga is a valuable tool for life.
Om Shanti
Sejel 


All articles by Sejel K Bodereau 
Yoga Teacher, London 
www.yogawithsejel.co.uk

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Tree Of Eternity

"When the five senses are stilled, when the mind is stilled
When the intellect is stilled,
That is called the highest state by the wise.
They say yoga is this complete stillness


In which one enters the unitive state,
Never to become separate again.
If one is not established in this state,
The sense of unity will come and go."

The Katha Upanishad