finding strength through mindful practice ~ Kai Wai’s post 2/6

In theory class, we learnt about Kriya, Dosha and Chakra. What interests me was understanding our individual Dosha. “You are what you eat” – sounds familiar? Dosha is the three energies (namely, Vata, Pitta and Kapha) that circulate in the body and determine our body’s constitution. It changes with diet, environment and lifestyle and may change every 6 months or so. Knowing my own Dosha is fascinating as it describes how my physical and mental health pretty much accurately. Who knows that I am not suited for raw vegetables a.k.a salad and apple is considered a light and dry food! Our assignment was to make a meal plan and to research on the food to eat in order to balance our Dosha and blood type to attain pH balance. What I find as a challenge here is not about finding out the type of food and drinks we can eat but to making a conscious effort every meal time. And so I did start to change the food I am eating and drinking. First, alternate days of morning coffee – this should be a tough one and I will do it!

On physical practice, all of us got stronger every day. Everyone gave their best no matter how challenging it was. Starting with the morning Pranayama session which never fails to calm the mind and ignite the energy we needed for the 3 hours body conditioning and asanas practice. Besides Ujjayi and Kapalabhati pranayama, we were taught Bhramari which is a breathing technique through the nose and with each inhalation and exhalation, we make the bumble bee humming sound. Asanas are beyond just executing the poses. Being aware of body alignment is essential. It allows us to understand the right muscles engagement. Are the right muscles being extended and/or contracted? Is your hips squared? Did you pull your shoulders away from the ears? Is your tail bone scooped in? Most importantly, are you breathing deeply and find stillness in the asanas. As an instructor, we need to know how to cue students so that they become aware of the proper alignment and then to have them focus on finding stillness in the asanas. Like what Sri K Pattabhi Jois said, “When the mind is calm, the asana is perfect”. 🙂

As each day goes by, I look forward to getting stronger – mind, body and soul. Till then, namaste.