Heidi Yoga Brighton
Urdhva Dhanurasana is a heart opening pose to stoke your inner fire – tapas

Believe it or not Yoga is much more than a big stretch. A regular practise will help you ride the ups and downs of life. For example, if you’re emotionally shut-off and down-hearted, the exhilarating Urdhva Dhanurasana will stoke your fire by opening the front of the body to the heavens. When you need to get back to basics, Supta Virasana reconnects you to the earth.

Supta Virasana brings you blissfully back to earth
Blissfully back to earth in Supta Virasana

When things get humdrum and boring, it’s time for the sheer foolishness of balancing poses such as Astavakrasana and Bakasana. When you’re ready to huff and puff, test yourself with a dozen or so evil Chataranga Dandasana.  There are plenty of mental and emotional challenges too. The yogic principle of self reflection – svadyhaha – means we observe ourselves from moment to moment.  Standing poses give us this opportunity for minute attention to detail – we check the spread of our toes, the alignment of the hips, knees, the tone across the abdomen, the sensations in the jaw and the face.

Self reflection - moment by moment attention to detail
Self reflection – svadhyaha–  moment by moment attention to detail from tip toes up

Nonviolence – ahimsa – puts us under a duty to be compassionate with ourselves. The idea of surrender to a bigger reality – ishvarapranidhana – helps you to relax your grip on life. Last but not least is the principle of contentment – santosha – so please don’t forget to have a nice time.

According to the Sutras of Patanjali , yoga can take us beyond space and time, fear and heartbreak.

Beyond space and time - or I have lost my head?
Beyond space and time – or losing my head?

While this may seem an extravagant claim, there is no doubt that yoga fortifies by bringing us fascination, fun, joy and peace – and this helps us to bob a little more merrily along life’s turbulent currents.

When life needs more spice go for the funky arm balances
When life needs more spice go for the funky arm balances such as Astavakrasana