Yoga news

The Upanishads described Five Kośas (layers) of our existence which range from the densest part of our being (physical body), to the most vast and subtle (inner joy/peace). Annamaya-kosha consists of our physical-material body, Āsana (physical posture) and a healthy diet helps to keep this physical layer in good working order so we can experience life through our bodies with ease. Pranamaya-kosha which surrounds and penetrates the physical body is influenced and fuelled by prāṇa (life force) absorbed through the breath and food. The practice of prāṇāyāma (breathing) helps to keep energy flowing freely, which in turn affects and influences the health of the physical body. The Manomaya-kosha consists of the thinking mind and emotions. The thoughts and emotions we experience affect the energy flow in and around us, which in turn affect our energetic and physical health. By becoming aware of our thoughts, judgements, and emotions as they arise, abide and dissolve through the practice of sense-withdrawal (pratyahara) and one-pointed concentration can help us to make space to all of our thoughts and emotions without pushing them away enhancing the overall state of our wellbeing.

Vijnanamaya-kosha is our inner knowing and wisdom.  Through the process of āsana, prāṇāyāma, dhārana and meditation, the mind starts to still and in this moment is free from the influence of thoughts, emotions and experience.

Beyond this and yet comprising them all is Anandamaya-kosha (bliss sheath). This is the aspect of our being which we recognise as a deep inner peace, free from our thoughts, emotions, energy and body, and yet at the same time embracing them all. 

Like Dorothy in Oz, Lucy in Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and Boo in Monster Inc…. a door is sometimes more than what it first seems! Every doorway offers a potential passage to a new experience, perspective and is just waiting to be discovered! In yoga, physical postures (asana) is what many people come for and in this respect could be seen as the ‘doorway’ and the start of a deeper passage and journey into self discovery offering a new perspective on the self and the world around you.

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Yoga news

At the end of this January I will be venturing to Northern India moving from west to east and to the Bay of Bengal, Kolkata/Calcutta.

Calcutta, is the Anglicized version of the Bengali name Kalikata. In 2001 the government of West Bengal decided to officially change its capital city’s name to Kolkata to reflect its original Bengali pronunciation. 

According to some, Kalikata is derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning “Ground of (the goddess) Kali.” Others say the city’s name derives from the location of its original settlement on the bank of a canal (khal).

The Indian goddess Kali is said to embody the power of creation and destruction in one entity, Kali is Mother Nature, nurturing, creating, and devouring all at once. 

This is all to say there will be no yoga from Thursday 26th January 2023. We will be back in action from Wednesday 21st February @ Stratton Village Hall and Thursday 22nd February @ Daglinworth Village Hall.

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General

It was a beautiful autumn evening, supporting a group of veterinarians to enjoy the benefits of Yoga Nidra at the magical Cotswold Barn. A truly magical evening was had as we allowed ourselves to ‘fall’ back and down into spacious awareness, letting go of stories that no longer serve us and breathing in new energy and new intentions.

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General

 Tonight’s practice took the form of Yoga Nidra a form of guided meditation also known as “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation”. We focused our attention on the  Autumn season and “letting go” of the things that no longer serve us

The practice draws our attention inwards, and we learn to surf between the states of wakefulness and sleep, where our body finds its natural state of equilibrium, the breath balances and becomes quiet, unconscious and conscious aspects of the mind reveal themselves, and we fall into an innate state of deep, blissful awareness.

This practice of Yoga Nidra takes us effortlessly into a state of harmonious, restful being. From here, we can be healed, restored and awakened to our deepest, all-knowing, all-welcoming self.

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All the fun of the fair.

It’s that time of year when the fair comes to town. Like clockwork it comes every year at the start of October, it’s an assault on the senses and the mind.

There is a time and place for speeding up (and feeling the buzz from high octane activity) and for slowing down. Autumn is that time, a period of transition, its a time for self-nourishment and reflection.

The season of autumn invites us to explore an inward and introspective energy both on and off our yoga mats. This is a time of year where we slow down, contemplate, and experience gratitude, abundance, and letting go. Just as we might surrender to seasonal shifts, eat according to the season and find the best teas to warm you we may also try to surrender just a little more in our practice by slowing down our Asana, and perhaps we take a few extra deliberate slow breaths. Yoga happens when we take the time to be present with the practices and with our life.
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Tonight we explored the challenges and embraced the wobbles of Half Moon Pose.

Ganesh the elephant-headed god is generous, clever and enjoys everything sweet. Despite his love of sugary foods, he is also a master of yoga, taking after his Father Shiva. Ganesh knows how to balance indulgences and austerities.

On one of Ganesh’s exploits he consumed so many sweet cakes that his belly was full to bursting. He headed home on a tiny mouse. Practicing extraordinary balance. Suddenly a cobra slithered onto their path and frightened the mouse. Ganesh fell, when he hit the ground, his overstuffed belly exploded and sweet cakes rained everywhere.

The moon, Chandra, who was watching the burst into laughter. Ganesh was very upset to be the object of Chandra’s laughter and in a fit of anger broke off his right tusk and hurled it at the moon. Chandra’s light went out. With no night, no dawn and no dusk, love was lost to the world. There was unhappiness.

Ganesh, later convinced by the people, allowed the moon to shine once more, but it would be required to wax and to wane, shining its full potential only once every four weeks. This would be a permanent lesson for the moon.

The moral of which is learning to find the joy in the shade and lunar parts of our life as well as the joy in the brighter parts of our existence.
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Hello and welcome to Yoga Classes with me Sam Cooper.
Here I will keep you updated with news on my new classes and plans for the future, so check back to found out what we are up to.
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New yoga classes
Coming soon – Yoga class in Stratton, Cirencester starting September 6th 2023.

I will soon be starting mixed ability yoga class in Stratton, Cirencester every Wednesday 7:45pm till 9:00 pm at Stratton Village Hall – Thessaly Rd, Stratton, Cirencester GL7 2NG

This style of yoga is methodical, thoughtful, with many opportunities to try new challenges.

Investment is £10 for a drop in or £35 for a block of 4 to be used consecutively.

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