A Space to Be, Being in the Cycles

Lammas / Pratyahara

Today is the first day of August and it is on or around this day that the festival of Lammas is celebrated. We are now half way between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. The days have been shortening since the end of June and an 'exhalation' into the darker half the year is… Continue reading Lammas / Pratyahara

A Space to Be, Being in the Cycles

Summer Solstice / Pranayama

Continuing our journey through the seasons and the eight limbs of yoga here we arrive at the Summer Solstice and our fourth gateway - the traditional yogic practice of prāṇāyāma. The word prāņayāma consists of two parts: prāņa and ayāma. “Ayāma” means “stretch” or “extend” and prāņa refers to our life force or energy. So, literally what is meant by prāņayāma is to stretch or extend our energy (I like the phrase 'conserving our energy').

A Space to Be, Being in the Cycles

Beltane / Asana

Most of us begin our yoga practice with an interest in āsana (pronounced ah-sana) - otherwise known as postures. Practicing āsana allows us to develop a better relationship with our body, to really feel our body and learn how to use it and move it wisely. For many of us this deepening relationship with our body begins an enquiry into other aspects of ourselves, like our breath, our thoughts, our feelings and our spirituality. Whether or not that's what we intended, we find ourselves on the path of yoga and we might start to seek for a map of the territory.

A Space to Be

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Patanjali's Yoga Sūtra clearly presents yoga as a path of meditation. While contemporary yoga practice is often represented by postures (they are easy to photograph), these eight limbs remind us that yoga is a holistic practice, affecting every aspect of our lives, from the social to the spiritual via the body, breath and mind.