Pranayama

The Focus 12 with John Scott

A really nice way to start your physical yoga practice is with something to ground you and draw you inward. Here John Scott explains something he calls The Focus 12 which he teaches on his workshops around the world.

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Free the Breath

Sari Fried Feel the breath

This past summer I was invited to attend an event series called ‘Resistance is Futile! Mental Wellness and Sensuousness.’ It was a communal exploration of these topics, with a focus on the epidemic of millennial anxiety and given the nature of the subject matter, the hostess asked me to open the evening with a meditation and movement exercise with the intention of helping people to ground, release nerves and arrive in their bodies. I prepared talking points to inspire discussion.

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John Scott Interview 2015

John Scott Interview 2015

It was such a pleasure to be able to practice with John Scott recently and to do this interview at Purple Valley in Goa. John’s energy and enthusiasm radiates from him and inspires all those lucky enough to be in the shala. I took this opportunity to delve into some of the things that are at the core of John’s teachings, such as the vinyasa count, and the embodiment of the posture’s essence (my words not his).

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Hyperventilation

Lung and diaphragm

Recently, when I was in California I spent an evening practicing holotropic breathwork. I didn’t know much about this beforehand, and you might not either, so I’ll just set the scene. There were about 20 or so of us in a circle, along with a facilitator (whose instructions generally only increased my mystification). After a rambling introduction, he switched on some music, and we divided into pairs.

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The Diaphragm is Key! Don’t Forget It. Observe It.

Diaphragm 3

The diaphragm is the main muscle involved in breathing; when you get an experiential feeling of its actions, that knowledge helps you breathe better and thus helps you develop your yoga practice. You can learn to sense the diaphragms anatomical location within the torso and to follow its contraction (inhalation) and relaxation (exhalation) phases.

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