from Master Yoga Foundation
home of Svaroopa(R) yoga.
Bliss Bit – Jalandhara Bandha (Chin Lock)
Without you even realising it, your head is probably pushed forward so that the back of your neck and your brainstem are comprssed. Use this to align your neck and head on top of your spine.
Moving in: Sit in a comfortable, seated postion (on the floor or in a chair). Soften your shoulders back as you tip your head forward to slowly lower your chin toward your chest, which lengthens the back of your neck. You may be able to tip your chin in toward the notch at the base of your thoroat. Let the inside of your throat soften. Allow your neck to soften so your head hangs forward and the back of your neck lengthens all the way up into the base of your scalp and skull. Stay for 3-8 slow easy breaths.
Moving out: Slowly roll your neck up from the base, one vertebra at a time, stacking all 7 neck vertebrae up slowly, and balance your head on top.
Benefit: Relieves neck, throat and jaw tension; improves digestion; releases tensions in your skull; provides temporary relief for neck pain; clears the mind; helps you find the position where your head is supposed to live.
Bliss Bit – Ujjayi Pranayama
Give yourself a simple and powerful gift everyday with Ujjayi Pranayama – the essential breathing practice of Svaroopa(R) yoga. You’ve experienced it while lying in Shavasana – yoga’s relaxation pose. You may have continued this breathing practice since your yoga weekend or retreat, or in your weekly Svaroopa(R) classes. Now we invite you to dive more deeply into Ujjayi Pranayama. Did you know that Ujjayi can open your whole spine and that it can completely calm your mind and nervous system – all at the same time?
Begin in Shavasana – lie on your back with a few rolled blankets or pillows under your knees, and allow your body to soften into the support beneath you. Take a few easy, natural breaths, and then narrow the inside of your throat passageway. This gentle narrowing makes your breathing sound like the ocean waves. Allow your breath to continue at its own easy pace while you listen to the sweet sound. Use only a few throat muscles to establish a smooth sound that is just loud enough for you to hear it on the inside. Notice what unfolds in your body and mind.
If you already do a daily Ujjayi pracice, add an extra five minutes to each day and see what you get. Otherwise, start with five minutes on the first day and incrase it by five minutes every day until you are doing 20 minutes a day.
We’d love to hear what happens – send us an email or share your experience with your local Svaroopa® yoga teacher or classmates.