A moving meditation to connect you to your body and breath, join Clara for a slower-paced class with prana flow-style movement and lots of pranayamas. This meditative flow class provides the space to ground through deep breathing and fluid movement from Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow, a rhythmic style of yoga that links the body to the breath to directly influence Prana (life-energy) through the body. Stimulate the organs and nervous system through Bhastrika breath, jalandhara bandha, and a variation of Kapalabhati with alternate nostril breathing.
Focus: Pranayama, moving meditation, seated meditation
Location: Lila Familia Production Studio, Vancouver, BC
The purpose of this class is to enjoy your breath and fluid movements. Use this short and sweet moving meditation as an opportunity to dance in the breath and the body. Gentle movement standing and seated opens the side body and shoulders, releasing tension in the lower back and hips. Opening the body with pranayama cleanses the body’s central energy line, the spinal column, otherwise known as Sushumna.
The body’s health relies on the vitality of the spine. Slow and straightforward movements help to cleanse the spine of stagnation, opening and lengthening the muscles attached to the spinal column, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, serratus, trapezius, and erectors. Deep and intentional pranayama purges the body of stagnant energy; imagine the breath flossing the central channel, Sushumna. Imagine that the breath is flossing Sushumna and each of the seven chakras that travel along the spinal column whenever you inhale and exhale. The pranayamas offered in this class offer simple and effective ways to excite the body and calm the mind and create balance and clarity.
The question to consider as you move, can my breath echo the movement? Can my movement echo the breath?
Standing Poses and Pranayama
Come to stand with your feet wide and your hands at the lower abdomen.
Breathe deep into the lower abdomen. Inhaling, gently push the belly away from the spine. Exhaling, draw the belly button into the spine. Allow the mind to settle, each time you exhale release something from your day- ridding yourself of any thoughts that do not serve. Simply enjoy the sensation of being in your body and breath. Root the soles of your feet into the ground and grow taller from the connection you have to the earth.
- Draw circles with the arms and the torso to stretch the side waist, legs, and front of the pelvis. Keep the motion in-tune with the breath, going a speed that serves. This motion is from Prana Flow Yoga by Shiva Rea.
- Wide-legged forward fold, gently swaying side to side and bending alternate knees. This releases the hamstrings. Wave your hands back and forth as if creating a current in a river with your palms.
- Hands to a T-shape and torso parallel to the ground: bend alternate legs and sway your torso side to side. This strengthens the muscles of the legs and builds heat. For more fire, take your hands forward with biceps aligned with the ears.
- Wide-legged forward fold, take opposite hands to elbows to release the upper back.
- Prana Flow Yoga: roll up to stand as you inhale and bow into a wide-legged forward fold. This releases and rinses the spine as you roll and wave with the breath.
- Malasana, yogic squat.
Seated Poses and Pranayama
- Sufi grinds draw circles with the torso and use the torso’s weight to open the hips and the pelvis; draw larger circles as you press the hands to the inner knees or the thighs.
- Spinal undulations with seated cat/cow to open the front of the chest and the back body; close your eyes as you wave forward and back. Connect to breath and rhythm.
- Bhastrika breath: inhale through the nose and lift the chest, sharp exhale through the mouth as you round the back. Bhastrika is good for brain oxygenation and benefits the nervous and motor system. This pranayam energizes the body and mind and is excellent for those with anxiety or depression.
- Jalandhara bandha: the bandha (lock) at the throat that prevents energy from moving upwards by drawing the chin to the chest; hug the belly in and up, and press the legs away from you with your hands, lengthening the arms. Jalandhara enhances blood circulation and assists in improving the health of the spinal column.
- Kapalabhati: a variation with alternate nostril breathing plugging each nostril. To do this pranayama, take active, sharp exhales through the nose, passive inhales through the nose. With each exhale, change the nostril that you’re plugging and exhaling. This is a wonderful way to clear the nasal passages—Kapalabhati aids in digestion and removal of acidity and gastric issues. Kapalabhati helps invigorate the mind and body and is an excellent method to clear any static energy.
Closing Poses and Savasana
Make your way onto your back, hug knees into the chest, and roll along the tailbone to release the spine and low back.
- Supine twist, washing the knees back and forth to either side of the mat. This pose massages the back muscles, glutes, hips, spine, and internal organs. It releases the low back and pelvis.
- A final pose of choice, or open your arms and legs wide on your mat for final rest in savasana.