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April 4 Restore

5 Uplifting Affirmations to Inspire Your Yoga Practice

YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS TOO10 Mantras To Inspire Happiness
I’ve got great news, yogi friends! You know how you feel amazing after practicing yoga? Well, you can actually direct all that awesome energy you cultivate on the mat towards a specific area of your life you want to improve. How, you ask? By working with a positive affirmation during your practice.

Setting your intention

Take a few moments at the start of your practice to close your eyes and plant the seed of intention in your mind. As you move and breathe, you can then direct your efforts towards that internal goal.
To really reinforce that positive message, take a minute or two to meditate on your intention at the end of your practice. Once the seed’s been planted, you can water it with your words and actions off the mat, which can in turn uplift and inspire other people too.
Here are five of my favourite affirmations that I have used to inspire my yoga practice and improve my life over the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

1. “I feel connected.”

I know how easy it is to take too much on and find yourself running around in circles like a headless chook. During these times, your mind can start to go along a different path than the one your body is on. This often leads you to feeling scattered, and it’s not unusual to make poor choices from that space.
When that happens to me, I use this intention to reclaim that beautiful sense of mind-body connection which always leaves me feeling calm, quiet, and content.

2. “My mind is relaxed and clear.”

It’s fair to say I wasn’t blessed with a peaceful interior in this life. So those times where my mind starts racing like it’s on an IndyCar circuit, I recruit one of my old faithfuls.
I’ll work with this intention every day until my mind does actually start to resemble something relaxed and clear.

3. “Inhale joy, exhale love.”

Ah, I love using the breath to facilitate a more uplifted state of being! You can replace mine with any positive words that resonate with you, but for me, joy and love are two emotions that elevate my vibration to a magical place.
I will often reinforce this affirmation whilst I’m practicing, particularly when I’m holding a challenging pose for a little longer than I may want to.

4. “I am love.”

Kinda self-explanatory, this short, sweet, and simple affirmation can be really comforting if you’re having one of those weeks… It’s like giving yourself a big hug on the inside.
And honestly, when you repeat these three simple words often, you start to feel so much love for others. What a way to make sure your love tap never runneth dry!

5. “Everything I need is already within me.”

This is such a powerful message to send to the deeper mind. It’s human nature to look outside of ourselves for happiness and contentment. But the truth is, happiness and contentment come from the way we see things, not from the things themselves.
Once we start to realize this, we start to realize happiness and contentment, instead of trying to receive them from something or someone.

Realizing your affirmation

Even though you can use these positive affirmations off the mat, I find that when I’m practicing, my mind and body are so much more open to these messages – which obviously makes them way more effective.

So, do any of these resonate with you? If you have any others that have worked wonders in your world, I’d love to know about them. Go on, share the love.

( - Anna Coventry)

The Poses

Resting Star Pose
Props: bolster, 2 or more blankets, neck rolls, eye pillow
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, gentle chest opener,  releases the pelvis

Lay a blanket on  your mat for extra comfort and warmth, blankets for the arms as well.  Place the bolster lengthwise on your mat where your head will be and an extra blanket for your head. Make two rolls with the other blankets for your knees to rest on as you extend your legs out wider than hip distance. Arms about 10-12 inches from your body, palms up. Add your eye pillow, and blanket on top.  

Reclined Bound Angle

(Supta Baddhakonasana)
Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems. 
Props: bolster, 4 blocks (or firm cushions, pillows or rolled-up blankets), 4 blankets and one extra blanket for warmth, strap and eye pillow

Place a block lengthwise under one end of a bolster to prop it up on an incline, add another block under bolster for stability. We used the wall in this week's class placing the bolster at a higher elevation. Place a double-fold blanket on floor next to low end of bolster and a long rolled blanket on top next to bolster (for sacral support). Sit with your back to the short, low end of the bolster. Place two blocks where your knees will rest (can top with a soft blanket or use other props as necessary for propping knees)  Bring your legs into Bound Angle Pose with the soles of your feet together. Wrap a blanket around your feet to create a feeling of containment.  Lie back on the bolster. Place supports under your arms so that they are not dangling and there is no feeling of stretch in the chest. Stay in the pose for 10  minutes.

Nesting Pose
Props: blankets, bolster
Benefits; Nurturing, sense of security, well-supported pose to regulate the nervous system, good for when you are feeling anxious, keeps body in alignment, supportive for the spine, hips, shoulders, head.  Allows for optimal healing and sleeping position. nurturing, sense of security, optimal for sleeping

Create a big enough folded blanket to place between the knees to align the legs in Tadasana. Add a folded blanket to rest your top arm on. Recline on a side that is comfortable, resting your head on a blanket. A neck roll can go under the ankles for support.  Bolster can rest along spine for further support and grounding. Finally, cover yourself with a blanket from head to toes.  Sink down with each long exhalation.  Mantra to accompany pose "I am safe, I am supported".

Legs up (Savasana)
Props: bolster, block, blankets, neck roll
Benefits: relaxation pose, releases pressure in the back, gentle stretching to backs of legs, spine. Supports alignment for circulation.

In the version that we practiced in class, we used a bolster and a blanket for the knee support. Photo uses two bolsters.  For the class pose, place your bolster horizontally on your mat where your knees will go. Put a rolled up blanket where your knees will rest on the bolster. As the feet may be dangling off the other side, use your blankets to create a foot rest or wrap to keep them warm.  Layer another blanket on top of you with eye and neck pillow to complete the pose. Relax here with soft quiet breathing, letting the weight of the body drop more and more into the floor.


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