Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 24: Ommmm....

I would like to discuss Om.

Unlike what most people assume, "Om" or "Aum" is not a word, at least not to me. It's a vibrational sound that has come to mean peace, balance, harmony, etc., because chanting Om has that effect on the nervous system. It's a really beautiful practice, to sit and repeat Om. It clears my head (+ helps to relieve headaches) and I always feel amazing afterward.

Anita, my ayurvedic teacher asked me to teach sun salutations to my classmates at the ayurvedic school this morning. I was honored and as it is my 24th day of 108, we did 24 lovely sun salutations (the rest of my 108, I did on my own after school). The group is a mix of yoga teachers and yoga beginners, which can be a challenge to lead, but I think they enjoyed the practice and Anita asked me to teach again soon.

We have been talking a lot about the chakras (energy centres in the body) and the different mantras that help heal the body. Om/Aum is the mantra corresponding to the highest chakra, the crown chakra, located at the top of the head. This energy centre, known in Sanskrit as Sahasara, relates to the integration of spirit and universal wisdom with personality. It is also responsible for the nervous system and our sense of feeling connected.

Our sun salutation for today is a basic Surya Namaskar A with Om-ing.

Surya Namaskar Recipe: Day 24 - The Om Salute

1- Start in Mountain.
2- INHALE, raise arms.
3- EXHALE, fold forward.
4- INHALE, come up half way, long spine.
5- EXHALE, step back into plank and lower, from knees or toes, into chaturanga.
6- INHALE, cobra or updog.
7- EXHALE, downward dog.
8- Holding downward dog, repeat Om/Aum three to five times.
*Start with a deep inhale, and then exhale the AUM slowly. The sound Om/Aum is three parts in one: A - U - M. Each part should be held for equal amounts of time.
9- INHALE, step, walk or jump forwards to the top of your mat. Lengthen the spine.
10- EXHALE, fold.
Press down through your legs, INHALE, and rise up to standing, extending the arms above your head.
12- EXHALE, hands come down in front of your heart.

* You can also Om all the way through the sun salutation (ie every time you exhale).

This is Anita, my teacher. She is so passionate about what she does and she is truly inspiring. She has two ayurvedic clinics, one in the West Island and one in NDG.
This is her website: http://www.ayurvedamtl.com

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