Tao Porchon-Lynch, the world's oldest yoga teacher

The secrets of the world’s oldest yoga teacher

 

“I don’t want to know what I can’t do. I’m only interested in what I can do.”

Meet Tao Porchon-Lynchthe 96-year-old Guinness World Records-certified oldest yoga teacher in the world who still teaches regular classes in Westchester County, New York. She is truly an inspiration for young and old.

Read the full story about Tao Pochon-Lynch here. 

 

Source: Yoga Journal

Metta meditation

Loving kindness

Metta is a basic Tibetan practice of cultivating loving kindness (sending wishes of well-being) towards oneself and others. 

Focus your awareness on breathing into the heart for a few moments….

Bring into your heart a picture or image of someone that you care for, a loved one. And holding this person in your heart, start to direct toward them care for their well-being.

Bringing each breath up into the centre of the chest silently say, “May you be healthy and happy” and with each out breath, “May you be at peace”. Silently repeat these words of caring and kindness that allow healing to take place……

Then focus on the contact you have with that loved one, how you hold them in your mind, in your heart, and just for a few moments direct this same caring toward yourself – as if you were your only child. With each in breath, “May I too, be healthy and happy” and each out breath, “May I experience peace”………

Micro Cosmic Orbit meditation

Microcosmic orbit breathing meditation

Begin by using ujjayi pranayam – breathing in such a way that you can hear the breath as it passes through the throat, constricting the glottis at the back of the throat (or you could make sound haaaaa with your mouth closed), making a very subtle rasping sound with the breath…

Imagine that you have a ball at the tail bone. As you breathe in,  imagine the ball rising from the tail bone to the top of the head, and then breathe out and imagine the ball rolling down the front of the body. You could either visualize the ball rising from the tail bone up the spine to the top of the head and rolling down the front of the body back to the tail bone; or  you maybe you get just a general sense of breathing in up the back and breathing out down the front of the body. Breathing in such a way that the breath is orbiting your body – going up the back and then down the front.

Hum Sa breathing meditation

Hum Sa

There are all sorts of yogic exercises to connect mind and body together, to bring them into union. So, close your eyes and tune into your breath. As you breathe in, think a long “in” and as you breathe out think a long “out”……..

In India the yogis say that the natural sound for the in breath is “Hum” and “Sa” for the out breath. So use that now –  thinking or mentally repeating “hum” on the in breath  and “sa” on the out breath, making “hum” last for the whole of the in breath  and “sa” last for the whole of the out breath. “Hum… sa”…………………. “Hum… sa”………………………… And you will find that your mind will wander away, and that is natural and normal, so just notice that and simply bring it back to breathing in “hum”, breathing out “sa”.

circling knees

Yoga for lumbar lordosis

Lordosis, also known as sway back, is an exaggerated curvature of the lumbar spine. This causes a shift in the position of the pelvis, pushing the abdomen forwards and buttocks backwards. Lordosis can lead to excessive pressure on the spine, causing pain. Poor posture, as well as tight hamstrings, are often the causes of lordosis. 

The following are simple movements that help flatten the excessive curve in the lumbar spine, thus reducing the pressure on the spine and relieving lower back discomfort. For best results, it is recommended to practise this on a daily basis.

Engaging lower back from semi supine

Knees pointing up

Rest on your back. Draw your knees into a semi supine position, with your feet flat on the floor and shoulder width apart. As you breathe out, press your lower back into the floor. Relax as you breathe in. You can do this either by tightening the abdominals or by gently pressing into the floor with the feet. Do this 10-15 times.

Circling the knees

Rest on your back. Draw your knees above your chest and hold onto your knee caps – one hand on each knee cap. Start to circle the knees, moving both knees together as one unit – first in one direction, then the opposite direction. Breathe as you do that. As you circle your knees, focus your mind on the circles your hips are drawing on the floor. You can experiment and make larger circles, if that feels easy. If you feel any discomfort, make smaller circles. If you would like to go further, as your knees move away from you, tuck your chin in (only if your neck is fine), lift the head and shoulders off the floor, allowing your arms to straighten. Rest the head down, as you draw the knees towards you. Feel how the circles you are drawing on the floor become more like an egg shape.

circling knees Benefits:

  • Releases the lower back.
  • Flattens excessive curve in the lower back (lordosis).
  • Realigns the sacral vertebrae.
  • Tones abdominal muscles.

See also Lower Back Quick Fix and Basic Sciatic Release.