Yoga is a system through which we gain insight into the mystery and for some mastery over the inner and outer systems. What’s closer to us than our heart! Some are thrilled by the tales of yogis who can slow or stop its beating. The heart muscle is the first organ to form in the body. Its life, a poise of strength and elasticity, epitomises Yoga; it mediates energy via the balancing of tension and relaxation throughout the organism. The Heart’s four chambers work in two pairs, contracting to transmit or relaxing to receive blood. It is surrounded by connective tissue with myofascial integrity; if the mind or emotions clench, this impedes regular flow and causes stagnation. Balancing arteries (yang) moving blood outward with veins (yin), gathering back in to centre, provides a regular pulse. This cardiac stability promotes well being and insight that we have all we need within, if only we listen to our heart. Through breathing and relaxation techniques we access voluntary and involuntary nervous systems, gaining an element of control over the chemical production in the bloodstream. The body is bio electro magnetic; tuning in to, receiving, conducting, transporting and storing currents. The heart is the body’s greatest battery, able to generate a higher electro-magnetic charge than any other ‘cell’. It produces this electrical charge within its cells and is an awareness transmitter and receiver for both physical and spiritual life. Floating between the pressures of gravity and levity, one gains insight into balancing blood pressure and nerve tension. A healthy system self regulates; free flowing blood is cleansed, supplying more oxygen and effectively discharging waste upon venous return. Blood pressure (yin) and circulation (yang) partner to facilitate maximum vitality absorption. Bodily and emotional pain is reduced as healthy hormones, painkillers and sedatives are released throughout the system. Awareness allows one to maximise diaphragmatic pressure, which keeps the traffic (blood) moving through the system. This dramatically reduces the amount the heart has to work, allowing it to function on a higher level. When the belly relaxes we gravitate to earth; diaphragms move, air flows to or from the lungs and blood moves into or out of the heart’s chambers. This rhythmic breathing relaxes the autonomic nervous system, reducing excess tension within the ‘fight of flight’ branch and stress hormones circulating through the heart. This soothes and retunes its pace and balances all other physiological processes. Applying conscious breathing with movement-stillness synthesis, yoga accesses the heart’s mind and through meditation and relaxation, the mind’s heart. Correct practice triggers the central nervous system to function optimally; electrical wires (nerves) are cleansed, glands and neural pathways tune to cosmic harmonics. Health is a balance of fullness and emptiness. Disease occurs when we try to fill our emptiness when it is inappropriate. When we learn to embrace having and not having, doing and not doing, we find true and permanent peace. Copyright Matt Gluck 2010 About Matt Gluck: Matt has just written his second book and DVD series, ‘How To Breathe’. For more information, please visit his website below. Matt Gluck embodied Pranasana Yoga as a way to enjoy and share life with others of like minded heart. Matt is a British Wheel of Yoga and Life Centre qualified teacher and mentor, helping yoga teachers in training. He has been teaching Chinese martial arts, (including Tai Chi and Qi Gong) and Hatha Yoga for twenty three years. Matt teaches in classes and privately in Hertfordshire and London and runs workshops and retreats every few months. Most of his free time is given to sharing and discovering the yogic way with friends, on a day by day and moment by moment basis. For more information, please visit his website www.pranasanayoga.com
Yoga for a Healthy Heart
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Matt Gluck started Yoga when he was five, learning the techniques of pranayama, relaxation and meditation from his mother, in order to deal with asthma and allergies. He became dedicated many years later, when life provided the insight of the role that Yoga plays in helping us be ourselves, rather than the mask that society has conditioned us to mistake ourselves for. Matt is a British Wheel of Yoga and Life Centre qualified teacher. He has been teaching Raja (Hatha) Yoga full time for fourteen years and Chinese Martial Arts, (Shaolin, Tai Ji and Qi Gong), for twenty three. He mentors yoga teachers in training and writes a monthly column for Yoga Magazine (Yoga and Illness). He teaches in class, 121's and offers workshops and retreats with his partner Dorna Djenab. "Most of our free time is given to sharing and discovering the yogic way together, helping each other on a day by day and moment by moment basis". Matt now shares a gentle, yet intense practice with a focus on present moment awareness, the innate Joy of the Self, breath and relaxation. These synergists facilitate deep insight in to the nature of being, life and our role within it. Matt works with people from all walks and stages of life, who come to Yoga for 'all different sorts of the same reasons'. He plays with the classical asanas (postures), mudras (gestures) and bandhas (locks)of Hatha Yoga, using Krama (Sequencing), to support a simple and clear mirror through which we cultivate awareness. His philosophy is largely based upon Advaita Vedanta and Taoism. He understands that despite all the apparent differences that we see around us, everything derives its beingness from one source. He allows people the space they need in order to see themselves from within. He teaches pranayama, kriyas, meditation and yoga nidra. He also works with Tai Ji and Qi Gong, chanting, dancing, laughter, massage and other means of Self Enquiry. All of these wonderful methods remind us to find our way by looking inward; to see that Space that has always existed before and beyond any story or construct of the mind. Yoga is a way rather than a practice; it is a view of and alignment with the soul. Matt incorporates 'methods' from Taoist and Buddhist practices as well as Kundalini, Bhakti and Jnana Yoga. Truly, these are all just names and forms ~ there is only one Yoga; the YOGA OF LOVE'. This is the sole/soul reason that we continue to dance this dance. Matt promotes safe and simple practice, with the effect of stilling the mind through a natural withdrawal of the senses and understanding of the ego. He is flexible in approach, technique, mind and word. The bodymind intelligence always tells the truth. Teachers and students are for inspiring each other; Shiva and Shakti dance. The truth is seeing our reflection in the appearances that surround us. We realise that yoga emanates from within and that there is nothing to learn from 'out there' that is not already present 'in here'. We all remember yoga, as it reveals itself to us from the centre. Yoga is the art of listening, letting go and undoing. All questions dissolve in the knowledge of the Self.