The Power of Fire

Candle and lotus

As the weeks pass, we move on to the element of fire for the theme of our classes for the next couple of weeks.

Fire – energising, warming and transformational as you burn the old to make room for the new. The sun is a huge ball of fire, unconditionally shining it’s light down on to the earth. So we’ll be practicing some postures and sequences to ignite our inner flame, bringing us strength and confidence.

The warrior postures (Virabhadrasana) help to activate the solar centre behind the navel, giving us courage and motivation. Chair of the heart (Utkatasana); another strong posture that strengthens the core muscles and opens the heart centre where we can visualise a golden flame, glowing brighter with each breath.

With the evenings becoming longer, it encourages us to light candles, bringing the light and warmth of the flame into our homes. Focusing your gaze on the flame helps to calm the mind and stimulates the pineal gland.

Some of the founders of Dru yoga were instrumental in bringing the World Peace Flame into being, drawing together numerous flames from around the world into one. As you gaze at your candle flame imagine it filling you with peace as you breathe in, and as you exhale, spread that peace out into your home, your street, your town and beyond.

“‘Fire is divine water’ they said, ‘flowing back to its source on high’. I remember looking at the huge flames and thinking that they were indeed like a huge waterfall flowing upwards. This, again, is an indication to us that fire is always reaching up to connect with the very highest forces of life.”

From ‘The Secret Power of Light’ by Mansukh Patel

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Yoga for the winter solstice

Sunrise over a snowy field

In the stillness of the solstice we pause and become aware of our visions and the seeds of our future growth waiting for birth. A time of reflection and celebration of the return of the sun as the days begin to lengthen.  (from Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred)

A lovely way to spend the winter solstice, preparing for the workshop I’m running tomorrow.

Although the darkest time of year, for me it marks the return of the sun as the days begin to lengthen once more. Doing Surya Namaskara, the sun sequence is a wonderful way to express our gratitude for the sun and to visualise it’s warmth and light, filling us with energy and vitality.

I also associate solstice with candles and the light of flames, as the sun is one huge mass of fire and light. We’ll be practicing a sequence based on a Dru dance called Becoming the Flame, which inspires you to strengthen your own inner flame.

And this darkness at the turning point of the year gives us time for reflection, for turning inwards. Looking back and looking towards the year ahead thinking about what seeds you’d like to sow in your life in order to grow into who you really are.

 

Relax, relax

Words for relaxation

At this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and all the preparations for Christmas. Yoga gives us that breathing space to relax and recharge the batteries. In the classes before Christmas we’re focussing on de-stressing and relaxation, but at the same time enjoying a good stretch to release tension from the body. We’re also thinking about light – candle-flames, moonlight and stars. Visualising yourself warm and filled with light is a very nurturing and powerful thing to do, particularly when the days are so short.