Posts In: meditation

What is the true meaning behind yoga?
Yoga means unity or union. The ultimate goal of yoga is to establish a relationship with the self, the soul. Manifesting our highest and truest self and living as that person everyday. In the West we mostly focus on the physical side of yoga. We use it to help us lose weight or to tone up or to help improve our flexibility. But there are so many other parts to our yoga practice that we are missing out on. By practicing all aspects of yoga in our daily life and routine, we can live more fulfilling and wholesome lives.

What we can achieve through Yoga.

  1. Change the habits of the mind
  2. Learn to travel within the mind
  3. Remove evils already existing in the mind

In this modern world we are living in, mental health is no joke. Our minds have become our enemies, and we are their slaves. Whatever the mind says, goes, whether its detrimental to our wellbeing or not. Through the practice of yoga we can learn to control our thoughts and our mind, only after this can we see the true nature of everything.

The nature of the human mind

  1. The mind is unstable. It cannot stay focused in one place.
  2. Mind is invisible, we cannot see our own mind
  3. The mind is very fast
  4. The mind always runs after the things it likes, and runs away from the things it dislikes
  5. Mind cannot distinguish between whats real and whats not.

Yoga Science provides us with The Eight Limbs of Yoga to help control our fluctuating minds. Something we can live by and incorporate into our daily routines. If we practice each of the first seven limbs we hope we can reach the last limb, Samadhi and live in the ultimate state of bliss. But what does it take to get there?

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yama – Social Discipline
There are five social disciplines we should follow through the practice of yoga. These are; Non violence, reacting to any situation with non violence is our weapon. It helps in purifying the heart and mind. Truthfulness, our true nature is within truth, lies are adopted qualities that are not our own. Non stealing, stealing is witholding something that doesnt belong to you. The nature of the human mind is to desire what others have. Within the process of stealing there is a fight between divine consciousness and our mind consciousness. Sexual Continence, this means to be in control of our desires and not let our desires rule over us. And non posessiveness, this means to only keep and live with the things that add importance or value to our lives. Incorporating these ways of living into our lives even a little can help us on the way to becoming our higher self.

Niyama – Self Discipline
There are five self disciplines we should try to live by. These are purity, we often focus on purification of the outer body, but forget about the inside. We can make our mind pure through meditation. Contentment, yoga teaches us to live in society and how to live alone. Being happy with what you have now. Contentment is the control of desires. Endurance, our selfless service doing good for others without any expectation in return. Self study, this is purity of the mind and the softening of the heart. There are two types of self study, going deeper within yourself and outside learning. Complete faith in God, this doesnt mean faith or religion, this is our faith in the divine consciousness.

Asana – Physical Posture
Asana originally meant to be in a seated position which is firm but relaxed or steady and comfortable. A posture which we could work on to become used to staying seated through long periods of meditation, this was the goal. Only later did it become a more physical practice based around more dynamic moving postures and stretches. In the West this is the main part of yoga we focus on above all others.

Pranayama – Control of Breath
Pranayama is the movement of Prana or energy throughout the body. Prana is our life force, it moves in and out of our body with each inhale and exhale. Only with the breath can we learn to control the mind. We do the various asana postures so that our prana can flow with ease into all areas of our body. Breathing techniques can be added into your practice or meditation, to bring a moment of calm into your day.

Pratayahara – Control of Senses
Pratayahara is our withdrawal from the senses. You might of come across the term in your yoga class when the teacher tells you to close down your eyes. This is to take your attention from observing outside distractions and to return the focus within. Our senses are our minds best friend, as the mind is fed by the senses. Where the senses go the mind will follow. The more we try to withdraw from our senses the more we can learn to trust ourselves and our instincts.

Dharna – Concentration
These last three limbs are the foundation from which yoga science is built. Concentration means the engaging of the mind on a particular area or point. This is something we must practice to improve at. As we practice more we train the mind to become more concentrated. The concentration becomes fixed, the mind is not moving. This improves our inner and outer focus, allowing us to become more in tune. This is then meditation, which leads us into the next limb.

Dhyana – Meditation
Meditation is the continuous and unbroken flow of intense concentration of the mind. We meditate to learn how to make our mind obey us instead of us obeying our mind. Meditation is an important stage in calming and controlling the mind.

Samadhi – Realization
Samadhi is the ultimate realization, the complete concentration of the mind into bliss. Becoming the highest version of ourself through the practice of yoga.

Phones get a lot of stick these days for being a distraction. Keeping us out of the present moment, we constantly absorb information and view our lives through filters. BUT we can also use these devices to our advantage..

If we know how to use them!

They can help us to create more mindful habits. Keep us organised, find things to inspire us and help us to reach our goals. We are part of a generation who has access to the world at our finger tips. If we download the right apps and spend less time scrolling through Instagram, our phones can support us with our personal growth and help us lead more productive lives.

Do you make time to meditate?

If you havent heard of Insight Timer, this is an app we recommend you get on board with! Building a meditation practice in to your daily routine can be super beneficial to your mind and your health. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to fit it into your day, but one thing you probably have with you at all times is your phone, so when you have a moment spare time, why not fill it with an act of mindfullness.

Insight Timer has a meditation for EVERYTHING! And its FREE!
Whether you want to calm the mind, focus on breathing, let go, listen to affirmations, work on manifesting something, cultivate love and compassion, heal from trauma, or get a better nights sleep, theres a meditation for it. If your a little daunted and dont know where to start with meditation, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite meditations. You can tap the title or name into the search bar and you’ll be ready to go. We cant wait to hear your favourites!

For when you need a boost:
Uplifting law of attraction & self confidence affirmations – Christian Thomas

Did you know listening to positive affirmations daily can actually help to rewire your brain to think more positively? Remember a belief is just a thought repeated over and over. If you struggle with negative self talk and need a little help to boost that positive mentality, affirmations are an easy way to do that. Its great to listen to affirmations first thing in the morning to set you up for the day ahead. You can play them in the car on your commute to work. Or listening to them before you go to sleep at night, even if you fall asleep, they will be sinking into your subconscious mind without you even knowing. Choose one affirmation that resonates with you, that and repeat it to yourself throughout the day.

What affirmation do you need?

For when you feel lost:
Learning to surrender – Sarah Blondin

As humans we try so hard to control everything. We run ourselves down and worry about things that are beyond our control. We fight to get our own way and force things to work out in our favour, forgetting sometimes what we want isnt always what we need.

This meditation reminds us to trust in ourselves and the universe. A great one to listen to if you are struggling with direction, or if you are caught up in a situation and its outcome. This meditation reminds us to surrender. To not give up trying or lessen our effort, but to relinquish our control over the outcome. It also reminds us to accept and allow our emotions to just be as they are.

For when you want a good nights sleep:
Sleep meditation – awaken to a clean slate – Bethany Auriel-Hagen

If you find it hard to switch off at night and your minds still replaying the days activites, it could help to try this sleep meditation. Falling asleep to a meditation might sound counter productive but it actually allows the words to enter your subconscious mind, so even if you think its not having an effect on you, it is! This meditation encourages us to release and let go of anything we are still holding on to throughout the day. That we have done our best, and to help us wake up feeling rested and renewed. Sleep is a powerful tool to maintain the balance of our mood, so prioritsing a good nights sleep is important to set you up for a positive day ahead!

For when you are ready to meet the ONE:
Manifest your partner and improve your relationship – Pura Rasa

With Valentines Day just around the corner, our attention turns to our love lives. If you are looking to meet the right person but just havent found them yet, or if you want to improve a relationship you already have, this ones for you!

The law of attraction is a powerful thing, this meditation encourages us to get clear on what we want in a partner and a relationship, and by putting it out into the universe we can work on manifesting it into our lives. It helps us to realise we cant love others until we learn to first love ourselves and that should always be our main priority!

For when you need to let go:
Accepting and letting go – Andy Hobson

Letting go of past trauma or heartache can be super difficult, we often hold on to our pain because its a part of our identity and it makes us who we are. Through letting go, we can create space for new opportunities and people to enter our lives. This meditation encourages us to accept our present, let go of our past and create space for our future. At any moment in your day you find your thoughts drifting into past memories, listen to this meditation and let it bring you back into the now. Helping you to feel more peaceful and understanding with yourself and others.

You can dowload the App HERE
Or check out the Insight Timer Website HERE

Happy meditating!
Let us know some of your favourites!

LOVE at The Studio

22/01/2020

Everyone needs a little love!

When: Sunday 16th February
Where: The Studio
Time: 13:30-16:00

A day dedicated to all things L O V E (including chocolate, because everybody loves that, right?)

What to expect on the day

  • Heart opening yoga flow with Nicole (1 hr)
  • Self love lettering (30 min)
  • Yoga Nidra & Meditation with Karen (1hr)
  • Tea & treats to finish

MEET NICOLE

Nicole is one of our much loved yogi instructors here at The Studio!
She’s trained in both Dharma and Yin styles of yoga. The Sunday session will be focused on heart openers such as Bridge pose, fish pose, and dancers pose to name a few! A little reminder to open our hearts and be kind to ourselves and each other this valentines & always!

MEET KAREN

We’re super excited to welcome Karen to The Studio for the first time! Karen teaches yoga, meditation and rhythmic breathing with the focus of transforming everyday stresses through mindfulness, mantra and movement. Karens workshop will be focusing on meditative techniques of Yoga Nidra to relax & release the mind, body and soul.

Check out Karen’s website for more!

http://www.stateofmind.be/home-page

Price for the day

  • Members (Anybody with a monthly membership or class pass pack) : £35
  • Non-members: £45

To book click the link below

https://thestudio.gymmasteronline.com/portal/account/bookclass/39

Keep your eyes peeled for more information in the run up to Valentines!

Peace & love

Mindful meditation for everyone

Top 5 Best Meditation Apps

If we are sure about anything in January it’s how manic it can be after all those festive shenanigans! We are all trying hard to stick to our resolutions and be our fittest, healthiest, best self. More often than not this becomes exhausting and results in us giving up.

Sometimes all we need to take a moment to relax, take a deep breath and ground ourselves. Giving ourselves the space to breath and create a clear and focused mind to make the most of each day. Meditation is a simple exercise to intergrate into your routine with huge benefits. Studies suggest using this practice on average 5-10 minutes a day can reduce stress, improve your emotional health and enhance self-awareness. Therefore, below we have included some of The Studio favorites and the worlds best meditation apps ready to help prepare you for the new year ahead.

Apps

Calm

Price: Download for free with optional in-app purchases

Google Rating: 5*

This app is perfect for those who are new to the world of meditation, offering a seven day beginners program with simple calming exercises to help focus on your breathing techniques whilst clearing your mind. They also provide a ‘calm Kids’ section for those aged between 3-17 years old so your children can feel relaxed too. Furthermore, they include a library for ‘sleep stories’ so you can fall asleep feeling content.

Headspace

Price: 14 day free trial (optional subscription after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app creates personalized plans based on information you provide focusing on balancing your life with their mindfulness techniques for daytime use, focusing on training your mind and body to fulfil a happier lifestyle. To make full use of this app they also provide sleep music tracks and nature soundtracks to help give you a blissful night sleep

Aura

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app provides you with a personalized plan based on questions asked at the beginning of your experience. Aura presents you with a daily meditation practice based on your answers. This app is also compatible with the ‘Apple watch’ and aims to reduce stress and increase positivity.

Insight Timer

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app gives you the most hands-on experience when it comes to practicing meditation compared to all other apps. It also includes discussion groups and community features, known as “a social network for mediators”. Including ambient music and soundtracks to calm the mind.

10% Happier

Price: 7 days free trial (optional subscriptions after)

Google Rating: 5*

This app was created to motivate those who might lose sight along the way due to their busy lifestyles with weekly updates, so it never feels like a chore. Daily videos and guided meditations teach you what to do in the simplest way possible, including a range of content showing ways to manage stressors such as anxiety

For further tips & tricks check out our ‘Studio Blogs’ which covers further insight into the world of the Studio, Yoga, health, and a happier lifestyle!

The Studio Team x

We are hosting another event! After the success of our Reset Day Retreat we couldnt wait to offer you something new and different!        

If you are feeling out of balance in life and needing something to refocus and re centre yourself, this ones for you. An afternoon focusing on realigning the Chakras, and calming the mind through meditation and breathing practices, led by Kev Deaves.

Read below to find out a bit more about the different breathe works and the seven chakras.

Introducing your subtle energy system

During the workshop we will focus on using Ujjayi Pranayama breath work- (Ocean breathing-Victorious breath.)

Ujjayi is a breathing technique performed by lightly contracting the throat, specifically the glottis a small triangular slit found between the openings of the vocal cords that prevents food and liquids from entering the trachea. Restricting the throat in this manner means the the lungs and diaphragm must work harder to pull oxygen in increasing breathing capacity and strengthening the cardio vascular system especially if practiced regularly. Ujjayi pranayama is energising and relaxing as it sends cool fresh oxygen throughout the body, cleansing the subtle energy channels of the body while promoting mental clarity, focus and a boosted immune system.

What are the Chakras?

Root chakra

The first chakra is the root located at the base of the spine concerned with basic needs and physical survival. The root Chakra is red and connects us material existence. Physically the root Chakra directs the secretions of the adrenal glands that regulate metabolism and sodium levels. They also produce adrenaline responsible for the fight or flight response. Imbalances in the root chakra causes various symptoms, if it is overactive it can lead to bullying, excessive materialism and self centredness. Underactive you can become emotionally needy, have low self esteem, be fearful or engage in self destructive behaviour. When balanced you will feel grounded and healthy with high energy levels.

Sacral chakra

The second or sacral Chakra is associated with the reproductive organs that produce the hormones that determine sexual characteristics. The testes or ovaries control an individuals sexual development, maturity and emotional balance concerning sexuality is the key function of these organs. The Sacral Chakra is associated with the colour orange, nurture, receptivity and emotions. Too active can lead to you feeling emotionally unbalanced, manipulative and sexually addicted. Underactive you can become over sensitive, hard on yourself, feel guilty, frigid or impotent.
Balanced you will respect yourself and others, have personal power and be spontaneous.

Solar plexus

The third or solar plexus chakra is the seat of our willpower and associated on the physical level with the pancreas, the gland responsible for the production of substances involved with digestion. It also produces insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. An overactive solar plexus can leave you feeling angry, controlling, workaholic, judgemental and superior. Under active and you can be overly concerned with what others think, fearful of being alone, insecure and need constant reassurance. A balanced solar plexus chakra allows you to have more control over your thinking and emotional responses, set healthy boundaries and be at peace with yourself

Heart chakra

The fourth Chakra is the heart Chakra it is green and associated with the Thymus, a gland located just above the heart. The thymus plays a central role in the production of T-Lymphocytes. T-Lymphocytes are a part of the bodies white blood cell defence system. T cells defend the body from potentially deadly pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. When you have a clear, strong and harmonious heart chakra, you will firstly feel open and receptive. You will no longer struggle with isolation, fear, and grief in the same way. You will be courageous enough to open your heart to others. You’ll realize that you can only truly learn how to love others when you love yourself.

If the heart Chakra is overactive you can become possessive, love conditionally, gaslight to punish and be overly dramatic. Underactive you can fear rejection, love too much, feel unworthy of self love and self pitying. When the heart is balanced you will be compassionate, love everything. The heart chakra is like a conduit for a form of energy that is commonly associated with love, joy, peace and self acceptance.

Throat chakra

The fifth Chakra is the throat, associated with communication, self expression and creativity through sound. Developing the throat Chakra helps you articulate yourself to bring value to communication. The throat Chakra is connected with the thyroid gland in the neck which controls the bodies metabolic rate through the production of thyroxine. Behind the thyroid is the parathyroid responsible for maintenance of calcium in the blood. When the throats overactive you can become over talkative, dogmatic, self righteous and arrogant. When blocked you may hold back from self expression, be unreliable, hold inconsistent views. Balanced you will communicate well, be content and inspired artistically.

Brow chakra

The third eye chakra is the sixth chakra. Located on the forehead, between the eyebrows, it is the center of intuition and foresight. The function of the third eye chakra is driven by the principle of openness and imagination.
In yogic metaphysics, the third eye or Ajna chakra, is the center where we transcend duality – the duality of a personal “I” separate from the rest of the world, of a personality that exists independently from everything else.

The Third eye chakra is associated to the pineal gland in charge of regulating biorhythms, including sleep and wake time. It’s a gland located in the brain that is a center of attention because of its relationship with the perception and effect of light and altered or “mystical” states of consciousness. It’s positioned close to the optical nerves, and as such, sensitive to visual stimulations and changes in lighting. The third eye chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioral characteristics:

Characteristics:

Vision
Intuition
Perception of subtle dimensions and movements of energy
Access to mystical states, illumination
Connection to wisdom, insight
Motivates inspiration and creativity

Our third eye chakra is an instrument to perceive the more subtle qualities of reality. It goes beyond the more physical senses into the realm of subtle energies. Awakening your third eye  allows you to open up to an intuitive sensibility and inner perception.

Because it connects us with a different way of seeing and perceiving, the third eye chakra’s images are often hard to describe verbally. It puts us in touch with the ineffable and the intangible more closely. Third eye visions are also often more subtle than regular visions: They may appear a bit “blurry”, ghost-like, cloudy, or dream-like. Sometimes however, the inner visions might be clear like a movie playing in front of your eyes.

Crown chakra

The crown or the seventh chakra is located at the top of the head. Just as the Root or First Chakra connects us to the Mother Earth, the Crown Chakra is our connection to the Universe. In fact, the Seventh Chakra disperses the Universal energy or life force into the six other chakras located below it. The crown chakra is the seventh chakra. Located at the top of the head, it gives us access to higher states of consciousness as we open to what is beyond our personal preoccupations and visions. The function of the Crown chakra is driven by consciousness and gets us in touch with the universal.

Our Crown chakra is primarily associated to the pituitary gland, and secondarily to the pineal and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland work in pair to regulate the endocrine system.  Because of its location, the crown chakra is closely associated with the brain and the whole nervous system.
Note that energetically, the seventh chakra has a connection with the first chakra, as they both are at the extremities of the chakra system.

Interested in booking?

Contact info@thestudiocheshire.com to reserve your space

http://www.thestudiocheshire.com