Yoga Practices

Nadi Sodhana with Karin Svitak SJA (May 2020)

Sit down on a quiet place with straight trunk and back.

In this Pranayama technique or breathing exercise, you will use the fingers of the right hand to close your nostrils. Usually, the thumb is used for closing the right nostril and the ringfinger for the left one.

Watch your breath. Wait until it becomes calm and deep. It should flow evenly like a big river.

There should be no breaks between inhalation and exhalation.

When you can feel which nostril is more active (you can feel the flow of the air or the energy more intensively), breath in through both nostrils and then close the passive nostril, exhale through the more active one. Inhale through the passive one, for 3 cycles, then exhale through the passive and inhale through the active one, for another 3 cycles. The next 3 cycles you breath through both nostril.

In the next round, start exhaling through the passive nostril. Repeat for 3 cycles, then change for another 3 cycles and close the round by 3 cycles through both nostrils.

The last, third round is the same as the first one.

When it is time to finish, become aware of your body again.

Rub your palms against each other, cover your closed eyelids and wait until your eyes get energized. Then slowly open them into your palms.

Slowly remove your palms.

According to the Tradition, you should practice this three times a day, in the morning, at noon and in the evening.

Nadi sodhana helps to balance the masculine and feminine energies in you.

Aparigraha with Joana Oliveira FPY (May 2020)

We lie down in savasana, trying to loosen the whole body on the mat.

We offer our body to the mat. We offer ourselves to the earth.

Tasting the stability of the posture, we bring attention to calm and deep breathing.

We are gradually allowing the body to release any tension … some confused emotion to dissipate … the mind to quiet down.

Then we move away from savasana as a posture and allow ourselves to experience aparigraha.

We make ourselves appart from our body, our emotions, our concerns, our expectations … With each exhalation, we release a little more … we liberate … we create space …

And we just witness. We observe, without judgment and without expectations. We receive sensations without react. We simply observe. We witness.

At this time, we do not own. We do not possess. We are.

And little by little, we feel the breath again. Deep, calm breath.

We observe how each inspiration renews us, fills us with new energy. We feel revitalized.

We welcome each new breath with gratitude. We feel grateful, satisfied, complete.

And we feel the body in the savasana posture again, relaxed. Relaxed body, relaxed mind, grateful heart.

And gently we started to move our toes … our fingers … our legs … our arms … our head … And we stretched, waking up in gratitude and serenity.

Aparigraha with Karin Svitak SJA (May 2020)

Originally, this recommendation was meant for yogis not to accept any gifts. Yogis were not allowed to possess anything but the minimum they needed to survive. Any more objects in their possession would had created bounds and obstacles to the yogi´s spiritual growth.

Nowadays, we are no “professional” Indian yogis but Westerners, citizens of modern societies who have to work and follow a dresscode in our jobs, have social contacts and hobbies, go for vacations. Our households are well equipped with modern appliances, electronics, our wardrobes are overflowing with cloths and shoes. We tend to have more books, CDs, pens, you name it, than we need, even more food than we are able to consume.

Aparigraha teaches us to get rid of the surplus items we have in a way that we donate them to someone in need, find ways to reuse or upcycle them. We need less than we think face to face to an advertisement and we are happier if our apartment is not cluttered with useless stuff.

This is a real challenge in today´s world based on consumerism. Nevertheless, we should give it a try. The young generation promotes already new ways of living. Car-sharing is a new trend and maybe we could share even more things. No need to possess them. It is sufficient, if we can use them whenever we need them.

In order to reduce our possessions, let´s try to give away 2 items (or at least one) whenever we buy a new one. Buy rather one expensive well-designed and long lasting item instead of many cheap ones. It is also a question of sustainability. Our planet has finite resources and we would like to see future generations to live in a healthier environment.

Ajapa Japa with Karin Svitak SJA (20 May 2020)

Sit down on a quiet place with straight trunk and back.

Watch your breath.

Wait until it becomes calm and deep. It should flow evenly like a big river.

Listen to the sound your breath makes. You are able to hear a silent noise created by the air flowing through your body from the nostrils to the lungs, from the lungs to the nostrils.

Now imagine that this quiet rustling is a voice in you repeating the mantra SO – HAM.

When you inhale, it creates the sound SO and while you exhale, it is the sound HAM.

This mantra means I am It (the Supreme Consciousness)

Let your mind repeat SO – HAM with every cycle of inhalation and exhalation.

You can continue a couple of minutes or one hour, depending on your time.

When it is time to finish, become aware of your body.

Rub your palms against each other, cover your closed eyelids and wait until your eyes get energized. Then slowly open them into your palms.

Slowly remove your palms.

Breath Focussed Concentration with Gabi Gillessen

15 April 2020. This breath focused concentration brings us inward, away from thought back to the here and now. Enjoy and make time for the breath during the day!

Breath Focussed Concentration with Gabi Gillessen

Gentle Twists sequence with Gabi Gillessen

8 April 2020. Short twisting posture sequence. Twists balance our energy and mood. Enjoy and any feedback most welcome.

Gentle Twists sequence with Gabi Gillessen

Connect and move with the breath with Gabi Gillessen

1 April 2020. In this short practice we connect and move with the breath.

Connect and move with the breath with Gabi Gillessen

Shoulder and neck sequence with Gabi Gillessen

29 March 2020. Join me in a short shoulder and neck sequence. Enjoy and thank you!

Shoulder and neck sequence with Gabi Gillessen