After last months focus on the back of the body through backbends we'll now turn our attention to the front of the body by moving through forward folds, drawing our front body closer towards our legs in poses and creating lots of space around the legs and the hips.

For some people forward folds can feel particularly challenging for many of us, and working with a regular practice over time and with patience we can start to increase the flexibility in our bodies.

Forward folds have many benefits including creating length and space in the spine, improving flexibility in the legs and the back, toning and stimulating the internal organs, releasing tension form the neck, shoulders and back, soothing the nervous system and calming the mind.

April – The Niyamas

The Yamas and the Niyamas originate from the text, ‘The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’. They are part of the eight limbs of yoga, each describing a different step on the ladder to realisation and are seen as a guide on how to live in order to advance along a spiritual path. The Yamas and Niyamas are seen as moral codes or ways of right living and core values of yoga and allow us to live in this world with ease and integrity.

Niyamas are codes for noble living. They cultivate qualities that help you be even better towards yourself. They deal with self-discipline and spiritual practices in relationship to ourselves. They describe the way a yogi, should live their internal and individual life. The Niyamas offer guidance and clarity on how to take your yoga practice beyond the mat and live a yogic lifestyle.

Week 1 - Saucha - Cleanliness
Using our practices of asana (poses), pranayama breathing and meditation/relaxation to cleanse and purify the body and mind. Forward folds and twists to support the digestion system.

Week 2 - Santosha - Contentment
Practicing contentment fills us with gratitude and joy for all of life's blessings. Creating space around the hips.

Week 3 - Tapas - Self Discipline
Cultivating self-discipline and attainment of will power in our practice. Releasing hamstrings in forward folds.

Week 4 - Svadhyaya - Self Study and Self Reflection
Surrender to a Higher Power. Turning focus inwards in poses.

We need time to catch up with ourselves. We need time to chew and ponder and allow the experiences of life to integrate within us. We need time to rest and to reflect and to contemplate.

Deborah Adele – The Yamas & Niyamas Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice

This Months Music

Here's the usual selection of music that Vicky has been listening to this month.

Dean Evenson and Li XiangtingHealing Breeze
Buedi SiebertCarried By The Wind
Buedi SiebertPrana
Michael Mandrell and Benjy WertheimerSatya (Truthfulness)
SaggioJourney Within
Rajendra TeredesaiShakti Dhyana (In Graceful Repose)
Mike WallIn the Now 2 Balanced, Still, and Calm