This term in my classes we have been working on the beautiful sequence known as “The Seat of Compassion”. It consists of a number of postures that we have spent time working with including, lotus chair, charity pose, crane and seat of compassion pose.
It is really important to work with each individual component of a sequence and make sure that everyone is comfortable with how they can do that to suit themselves. Then when you put the sequence together everyone can take part in a way that suits their unique way of being so they can get the most benefit from it.
I really want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone taking part in yoga to honour their unique body, emotional state of being and state of mind and keep these in mind as you go through the class, noticing the changes that take place moment by moment. Yoga is a journey into the deeper layers of your being and this will vary from day to day, week to week depending upon all sorts of life experiences you have had in that time.
It is not about blindly following your teacher and trying to copy the posture but is about feeling into the posture with complete mindfulness and having the space to feel free to do this. Allow yourself to accept that there may be times when you can stretch further and times when you can’t. Times when you feel energised and invigorated and times when you don’t even feel like coming to class!
Yoga is a lifetime journey of self inquiry and I encourage you, as you step into your next yoga class, to go in with an inquiring mind into your state of being on the physical, emotional and mental level. Give yourself permission to ease into the practices with an increased awareness of how this feels for you, not how it looks, but how you feel it and how your body can respond in a way that feels good. When we start to raise our awareness of these layers of our being, our koshas, we take our yoga practice to a whole new level.
The Seat of Compassion sequence will turn the key to open your heart, it is the gateway through which we perceive the wonder and perfection of life.
The combination of postures involved start to open the lower energy centres, gently stimulating your fire and motivation that is moved up through the heart centre and out through your hands. This allows your creative dynamism to be expressed out into the world through the heart qualities of generosity and kindness rather than through emotions such as anger, irritability or low self esteem.
Feel into the effects of this sequence when you do it next and use it to foster the qualities of your heart. Yoga is amazing at working from deep within in the most subtle beautiful way. Take time to notice how your yoga practice supports you in everyday life.