Life is so full, always something new, we get distracted with what really matters as we compete and strive to keep up.
Centering is a late summer theme involving focusing on the here and now, balancing our daily life with periods of quiet yet strong intention. We like to practise around the seasons, Ayurveda teachings help us align with the rhythms of nature. The word ‘season’ in Sanskrit is ‘rtu’, derived from ‘rtam, meaning changeable cosmic rhythm, that we are influenced by. There is evidence that a sort of ‘pulsing’occurs within nature, independent of human impact, in which weather patterns become more chaotic for a time and then regular. Getting up at dawn encourages us to align with the season! So too, eating quality seasonal food, practising activities and yoga poses which liase with the seasons help us to know our selves better and practise better health.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we can be aware of our whole being late summer – a time of harvest/ Earth element, a point of stillness in the cycle of the seasons, transitioning from Yang summer (outward ) to Yin autumn (inward). Earth meridians are the yin Spleen and yang Stomach. Centering poses involve a connection to the Earth, strong, quiet and meditative from a strong foundation with awareness at our core, working from the centre out, finding balance along our centre line, a deep inner strength through observing and settling into our own body, connecting to the core of our being, our diaphragm and our breath, giving a cooling refreshing effect during late summer, a clarity of focus. We learn to accept ourselves as we find balance in off balance poses, comfort in uncomfortable poses, a longer exhale to release toxins and thoughts.
A Centering yoga practice involves:
Arrival – adopting a posture of one’s own choice, conducive to turning attention inside, allowing time and space at the beginning to arrive mentally and physically into one’s own body and space, to let go, to settle with the breath.
Inquiry – assessing our energy, physical state and emotions, scanning the body for fatigue, tension, tightness – how we feel today, not judging, just informing ourselves on our yoga mat.
Pranayama – attention to the breath, a point of focus on the present moment, noting the natural breath, adding conscious depth and length to the breath, enhancing our vagal tone, learning to allow the breath to give us a still centre, an anchor throughout our yoga practice.
Intention and focus – like the breath, intention will follow us through our yoga practice.
Body – mind conscious embodiment of our cells, tissues, body systems and developmental patterns. Each pose expresses our present state of being, static to dynamic patterns of movement, centred, distracted.
Some poses for Centering
‘Sense your calm centre, giving you a place of inner light and shelter, whatever the flow of life may bring.’