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Some golden rules to guide us!

On our path to keep our mind stable and as serene as possible, we encounter multiple obstacles. The biggest one being probably that we don’t leave alone in a cave! We daily have to interact with people, a lover, children, family, colleagues, friends and more. How does relationships influence our ability to remain stable and find serenity? And most importantly, is there anything we can do about it?

Patañjali’s advice

The good news is YES! Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra I.33 gives us pieces of advice and directions to reflect upon.

maitrī karuṇā muditā upekṣāṇām sukha duhkḥa puṇya apuṇya visayāṇām bhāvanātah citta prasādanam

Patañjali Yoga Sūtra I.33

This advice pre-empts the yama-s and niyama-s of second chapter. Through a mental attitude producing clarity and peace in the mind, we can be on (back) track.

4 attitudes for 4 scenarios

Patañjali highlights four important “directions” or “attitudes” to cultivate in order to live a happier and more fulfilling life, and in order to keep our mind as stable as possible:

a) Maitrī: friendship. To encourage and share in the happiness of those who are content, instead of feeling jealous or envious.

b) Karunā: benevolence and compassion, a keen interest for people who are distressed or experiencing difficulties.

c) Muditā: joy, gratitude and enthousiasm for those whose actions are good and respectful of moral values.

d) Upeksa: distance, disinterest: we do not allow ourselves to be dragged into anything bad, toxic, incorrect or immoral.

Simple and efficient as usual! Thank you Mr Patañjali -))

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali & you in 2021?

Throughout the 1st semester 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

Vous avez aimé cet article? Lisez aussi: 

Cultivate detachment with Patañjali

Bibliography

Dear friends & yogis,

At the moment and until further announcement (fingers’ crossed), I will continue with classes on zoom (Lisbon Time): To book click here
Monday 20h-21h I Yoga & Mindfulness
Tuesday 9h-10h I Yoga Hatha Flow
Thursday 11h-12h I Prenatal Yoga
Thursday 12h15-13h15 I Yoga Hatha Flow

with Much Love, Céline

Week of March 8-13 I Let’s tap into our feminine energy

8th March 2021 🌜Happy Women’s day Yeeeah!

In Sanskrit, the word Ha-Tha translates to Sun-Moon, meaning the Yoga or union of the solar and lunar energies that represent the duality within us all—masculine/feminine, yin/yang and beyond. Through the practice of yoga, we strive to explore this equilibrium and to live in our most connected state of being.
This week’s practices will be dedicated to celebrating our duality. We will tap into our feminine energy and explore what makes us creative, compassionate, intuitive and strongly grounded. Get ready!

Week of March 15-21 I Relationships & mind stability: some golden rules to guide us!

On our path to keep our mind stable and as serene as possible, we encounter multiple obstacles. The biggest one being probably that we don’t leave alone in a cave! We daily have to interact with people, a lover, children, family, colleagues, friends and more. How does relationships influence our ability to remain stable and find serenity? And most importantly, is there anything we can do about it?

Well the good news is YES! Patañjali’s Yoga Sutra I.33 gives us pieces of advice and direction to reflect upon. We will reflect on this and the practices will be inspired by this sutra.

Week of March 21-28 I Taming our senses

We are often slave of our senses, we are overloaded by the stimulation they provide and the emotions associated. Our ability to stabilise our emotions is closely linked to our ability to control our senses.

Yoga & meditation offers options. One of them is indeed the observation of our sense organs, their mode of operation, their function etc. to promote stability and firm control over the mind. This is one of the first solution suggested by Patañjali (yoga-sutra I.35): channeling all our sense organs to restore calm in the mind. Let’s practice this together!

Week of March 29 – April 5 I Holiday – Term Break

I will be taking a week off and won’t give classes on that week.

Please check Josephine’s schedule.

Our western cultures have accepted the idea of ​​psychosomatics (the impact of the mind on the body). On the other hand, we more rarely talk about the opposite phenomenon: It is possible and even strongly recommended to work with the body and the breath to reduce suffering.

duhkha-daurmanasya-aṅgamejayatva-śvāsa-praśvāsa-viksepa-saha-bhuvah

Patañjali yoga-sūtra I.20

Recognising the accompanying symptoms of a mental or emotional disturbance to be able to act upon them

Yesterday I felt a tight feeling in my chest. My breath was shorter than usual. I was more irritable too. This feeling had been rising in me for 2-3 days without being able to really understand the cause, because otherwise everything was fine. Then late yesterday morning as I was looking at the schedule for the week I saw the date. the 21st of February. The anniversary of my mom’s death. There you go, I said to myself! She’s been gone for quite some time now and I admit that this year I didn’t pay much attention to that date. And yet… unconsciously I did. My body remembered this pain of grief.

This is what Patañjali explains in the I.31 sutra. It evokes in the form of a list, as often in Indian culture, the accompanying symptoms of a mental and / or emotional disturbance: What are these symptoms?
#1 duhkha: literally a feeling of oppression, restriction, suffering, tightening, unease.
#2 daurmanasya: negative, troubled, even bad thoughts. They darken the mood.
#3 angamejayatva: these are the physical manifestations of the disorder (agitation, tremors, palpitations).
#4 śvāsa-praśvāsa: the respiratory function is disturbed (shortness of breath).

Yoga and transformation

Nothing new then. Human beings have suffered since they have existed, and when they suffer these symptoms appear. “Each sign can affect others and find expression in them. These symptoms should attract our attention and prompt us to take appropriate actions ”(Extract of Frans Moors’ commentary on this sutra).

The good news is that the reverse is also true. Our western cultures have accepted the idea of ​​psychosomatics (the impact of the mind on the body). On the other hand, we more rarely talk about the opposite phenomenon: It is possible and even strongly recommended to work with the body, the breath and the mind (via meditation) to reduce suffering. It is even the “job” of yoga to bring us:

  • from duhkha to sukha (peace, appeasement, relaxation)
  • from daumanasya to a positive mind
  • and from śvāsa-praśvāsa to directed suksma (smooth and regular breathing).

So I got on my mat. I breathe and meditate a little more than usual these few days. And little by little I see my chest more at ease. 

Postures & breath work to enlighten the mind

This week with my students I will put a special attention on postures and techniques that help to feel immediately more at ease.

Prānāyāma focusing on long exhalations, sun and moon salutations with gentle and positive associations with light, peaceful mantras, inversions.

Professor Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)

He was one of the most influential yoga masters of modern time. Over the course of his long life he shared his knowledge of Yoga as a holistic healing discipline with thousands in his own country and with many others who came to study with him from Europe and America. The yoga-sūtra of Patanjali constitutes one of the pillars of his teachings. Read More.

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali & you in 2021?

For that reason I am thrilled to pass it on to my students. Throughout the 1st quarter 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

Vous avez aimé cet article? Lisez aussi: 

Cultivate detachment with Patañjali

Bibliography

śraddhā virya smrti samādhi prajña pūrvaka itaresām

Patañjali yoga-sūtra I.20

From Patanjali’s standpoint, śraddha is the building block, the cornerstone for everything else

śraddha, confidence, faith, fidelity in one’s commitment. Self Confidence, and also confidence in life, in the world around us, in nature, the confidence to be on your path.

From Patanjali’s point of view, śraddha is really the cornerstone for everything else to be. All the other principles, concepts that Patanjali evokes in the yoga-sutras (to ultimately raise consciousness), are based on śraddha as the founding principle. We cannot evolve on a virtuous path, we cannot elevate ourselves, we cannot rise our consciousness if śraddha is not in place, is not well established. śraddha is the pillar, the structure, the necessary foundations.

The Taittiriya Upanisat thus speaks of five layers of the human self: the pañcamaya.

Anna Maya – the level of the body, we consider diet and exercise. This level is said to be the easiest to change!

Prana Maya – the level of the breath, or our energy/life force.

Mano Maya – the level of the mind

Vijnana Maya – the personality

Ananda Maya – the spirit

It gives another reading of the human body and mind. In this model or approach, the human body and mind is represented by a bird and śraddha is the head of that bird, the one that gives direction / drive.

From the point of view of the chakras, śraddha will be associated with the 1st chakra, mūlādhāra chakra: the anchor, the roots, the sources. And from the point of view of Ayurveda, śraddha can be related to the earth element, to “Kapha” dosha. There again, the nourishing earth, the pillar, the structure which allows everything else to grow, to develop harmoniously.

Yoga and transformation

Yoga offers us a whole panoply of tools to cultivate grounding and inner strength (śraddha): postures of course, but also prānāyāmas, the use of specific mantras and visualisations.

For some of us, “the gifted”, śraddha is well in place. For others, cultivating śraddha will be a daily and lifelong job. We are not equal as Patañjali expresses clearly in the yoga-sutras. Indeed he explains that the life path of the “gifted” students endowed with innate śraddha will quickly be oriented towards the practice of meditation and may aspire to samadhi. For the “normal” Yoga practitioner, the path will be different and will be to first install or nurture śraddha, while practicing with commitment and detachment. Read more.

Professor Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)

He was one of the most influential yoga masters of modern time. Over the course of his long life he shared his knowledge of Yoga as a holistic healing discipline with thousands in his own country and with many others who came to study with him from Europe and America. The yoga-sūtra of Patanjali constitutes one of the pillars of his teachings. Read More.

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali & you in 2021?

For that reason I am thrilled to pass it on to my students. Throughout the 1st quarter 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

Vous avez aimé cet article? Lisez aussi: 

Cultivate detachment with Patañjali

Bibliography

abhyāsa-vairāgya bhyām tan nirodhaḥ

Patañjali yoga-sūtra I.12

To rise to a brighter path, you have to accept that you cannot control everything.

Commitment or detachment? Both Captain! It’s even the key! 

In this sutra, Patañjali presents us his first proposal, solution or “technique” to guide us towards a virtuous path of life. He proposes that we act in 2 steps:

Part 1 of the proposition: action, practice, abhyāsa. Practice, do what you have to do with commitment, with will, with regularity, assiduity, with faith, with all your heart.
And the 2nd part, which is often more difficult for most of us, is to practice, to “do” with detachment, vairāgya.

Last two weeks, we have been working on this 2nd part of the proposition, which is often more complicated to achieve than it seems. We are talking about a sincere, deep detachment, which takes place not at the level of the intellect but at the level of the heart (hṛdaye), of the body, of the cells, of the genes, at the deepest level of being.

Yoga and transformation

To work on vairāgya, letting go, detachment, yoga offers us a panel of tools. If you participated, you may have used postures and prānāyāma that promote the expiration and lengthening of it. We have associated visualizations and sankalpa (intentions) with it. We also practiced with mantras. So many fascinating tools that allow us to move towards a profound transformation. But be careful not to get caught up in your expectations. It is necessary to practice for this purpose of course but also to accept not to control the results 100% -))
Commitment or detachment? Both Captain! This is the key!

Krishnamacharya* said he measured the “level” of a yogi not in his capacity to perform postures but in his level of detachment, in his capacity of letting go. Interesting, isn’t it?

Professor Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)

He was one of the most influential yoga masters of modern time. Over the course of his long life he shared his knowledge of Yoga as a holistic healing discipline with thousands in his own country and with many others who came to study with him from Europe and America. The yoga-sūtra of Patanjali constitutes one of the pillars of his teachings. Read More.

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali & you in 2021?

For that reason I am thrilled to pass it on to my students. Throughout the 1st quarter 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

Vous avez aimé cet article? Lisez aussi: 

Cultivate detachment with Patañjali

Bibliography

dṛsta-ānuśravika-visaya-vitṛsņasya vaśikāra-saṃjñã-vairāgyam

Patañjali yoga-sūtra I.15

To rise to a state of pure consciousness, one must first cultivate detachment.

This week, following on from last week’s sutra (yoga-sutra I.12), we will dwell a little more on the fundamental concept of vairāgya: detachment or letting go. Patanjali is telling us here in essence: To rise to a state of pure consciousness as well as deep happiness, one must first cultivate detachment.

“Mastery in this detachment is achieved when, in full awareness, the desire for sensory objects and for subtler enjoyments that we have heard of but never experienced, has disappeared.” (Commentaire de Frans Moors du sūtra I.15 – Translated by Valérie Faneco)

Krishnamacharya* said he measured the “level” of a yogi not in his capacity to perform postures but in his level of detachment, in his capacity of letting go. Interesting, isn’t it?

Professor Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)

He was one of the most influential yoga masters of modern time. Over the course of his long life he shared his knowledge of Yoga as a holistic healing discipline with thousands in his own country and with many others who came to study with him from Europe and America. The yoga-sūtra of Patanjali constitutes one of the pillars of his teachings. Read More.

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali & you in 2021?

For that reason I am thrilled to pass it on to my students. Throughout the 1st quarter 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

You enjoyed this article? Please read: 

5 key tips for cultivating balance, good health & happiness

Bibliography

*Article en Français – Clickez ici*

Human vision performs very well compared to other species. Humans can see both near and far, day and night, 2D & 3D and are sensitive to colors and contrasts. Our vision is generalist and efficient. However, in the modern world (city life, use of screens, pollution, etc.), our eyes are both misused (we mainly use them for near vision, especially on a screen) and overused since they are often used instead of the other senses. They therefore suffer from eye fatigue and various disorders. Human vision is becoming more and more “specialist” and less and less efficient. This is how Yoga for the eyes has become a need of the modern world.

YOGA FOR THE EYES

It is the research of Doctor Bates, famous American ophthalmologist of the beginning of the XXth century which establishes for the first time in the world of Western medicine a very clear and very strong link between the good health of the body in general and the good health of the eyes. . Today it is an established fact that certain diseases such as diabetes for example or diseases of the liver and gallbladder have a direct impact on the quality of vision. Likewise, high blood pressure will often cause eye problems. It therefore seems obvious that vision disorders cannot be treated without taking into account the health of the person as a whole.

In the Indian culture with Ayurveda and in traditional Chinese medicine, this has always been established fact, Indeed, an holistic approach the human beings is fundamental for both of these traditional and ancestral health systems.

Thanks to a set of practices and lifestyle habits, yoga, and more specifically yoga of the eyes, offers concrete and varied solutions to improve vision.

PROMOTE THE CIRCULATION OF ENERGY IN THE BODY

Regular practice of yoga and prānayama improves the circulation of energy flows in the body and eliminates or reduces certain blockages. Yoga for the eyes features mainly postures that aim to smoothen and promote mobility in the cervical spine such as for example bhujangāsana or cakravākasana (often in modified forms) or simple movements of the arms (standing or lying down) for example.

The technique of nadi-śodana or alternating nostril breathing is also often beneficial (except of course if you have a stuffy nose). It is balancing and stimulating at the same time.

CULTIVATE GROUNDING AND BALANCE

By cultivating grounding and balance. To see properly, you need a stable base where the energy flows well. In a way, our eyes are the lens of the camera and the body is the foot. For the image to be good, the optics must be in good working order and the foot must be stable!

REDUCE STRESS

Stress is often responsible for the degradation of our energy level. It is known that a strong emotion that involves a significant rise in stress, such as bereavement, moving house or even “professional burnout”, frequently causes a sudden drop in vision. Channeling your stress and emotions therefore greatly contributes to improving your vision. Here again, Yoga and Meditation are powerful allies.

REDUCE TOXINS IN YOUR BODY

It starts of course with a healthy lifestyle and a good diet. The less toxins there are in the body, the easier it is to eliminate them. But there are times when there is no choice. I am thinking in particular of heavy medical treatments where the patient is forced to ingest and digest and eliminate a large amount of toxic substances. Yoga offers a wide range of detoxification techniques both through postures, breathing exercises, but also mantras or visualization (meditative practices) that help the body and mind to eliminate more effectively.

More specifically, Ayurveda offers eye massages in the form of a “Ghee bath” which aim to promote detoxification.

DO BOTH: MOBILIZE AND RELAX THE EYES

At last, yoga for the eyes offers a whole range of eye mobility and relaxation exercises, very playful and very varied, which allow the different eye muscles to work.

  • Work eye focus:
    In the modern context, the eye is used to seeing up close (screen, screen and… screen). We are losing our ability to see far and above all to adapt quickly. The first exercise that I propose to you is to fix a point in the distance. Ideally a tree or something far from you outside. When it is in focus, stare at an object near you. When it is in focus, return to the object in the distance. And so on as quickly as possible. Ideally, do this every 30 minutes if you are working on a computer. Ball and ball games are also great for this!
  • Engage your eyes muscles!

Laterally. Look to the right and then to the left quickly several times Eyes open then eyes closed. Same thing from top to bottom then diagonally. Warning! It is important to take a break between each exercise. The best is to practice the technique of palming between each exercise (see below).

  • Coordination & strengthening of your eyes muscles:

Arms outstretched in front of you, eyes open. Move the left thumb / arm to the side and follow with your gaze. Same thing when coming back. Then close your eyes. Move your thumb in the same way and “follow with your gaze” the darkened eyes. At the end, open your eyes. Do the same on the way back and then the same on the other side. It is an interesting exercise that promotes both the mechanical and the cognitive aspect.

yoga des yeux exercice 1
Arms outstretched, eyes opened.
Move the left thumb / arm to the side and follow with your gaze.
  • Meditation on a candle flame
    Sit in your meditation posture (on the floor or with supports) with your back straight and a firm seat. Stare at the candle for at least 5 minutes (more if possible, there is no limit). Let yourself come into osmosis with this source of light. The flame of the candle is a light that does not burn the eyes. This practice allows you to relax the eyes and go beyond just working on the vision.
  • Palming
    This is one of the most famous eye yoga exercises and was already prescribed by Dr Bates. It consists of putting the two hands in the shape of a shell on the closed eyes, making sure that the light does not pass.
yoga des yeux – palming exercice
yoga des yeux - palming exercice

In conclusion, I would say through the yoga of the eyes it is also the development of a certain inner gaze that is established. The workshops that I offer give you a good introduction to this surprisingly vast subject, and avenues of understanding and proposals to improve your vision. However, it is up to each one to continue or not his research towards an interior look. You can obviously contact me for individual yoga therapy sessions in Lisbon, Paris or through my colleagues in Singapore. I am also available via Zoom for online sessions.

Céline Chambat

Yoga Teacher & Therapist

*Article en Français ici*

Yoga as a powerful personal development tool

Yoga is now widely accepted in every corner of the world and yet its philosophical merit is often undermined.

At the start of 2021, my new year proposition is to revisit the fundamentals. The teachings of Patañjali will serve as a support and a common thread throughout the first quarter.

The teachings of Patañjali yoga sūtra

Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) to be the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. Describing and analysing in depth the human mind/psyche, it offers to reflect on the human condition and the options we have on hands to reduce suffering. There is no doubt the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has withstood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was a millennia ago. 

Patañjali, the fundamentals of yoga

Studying the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali (YS) has been a life changing discovery to me and clearly the highlight of my Yoga teacher training. I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to study this text with Valerie Faneco (Eka Yoga Institute, Singapore) and then with Anne Poirier (Institut Français du Yoga) over the past 10 years. 

Jehanne & I with our teacher Valérie Faneco

yoga in the news

I chose to illustrate my point by quoting Emmanuel Carrère poignant, deep and sincere book, Yoga, which is currently making headlines in France. So let’s take advantage of it! Indeed “yes!” the yoga-sutra of Patanjali has its place in the modern world. Its study is invaluable in guiding us towards more peace and serenity.

My apology if the translation to English is not 100% accurate (the book was written in French and the translation is mine).

There is a canonical text on yoga, dating from three centuries AD […] attributed to Patanjali […]. In the perspective of a book on yoga and meditation that I was about to write […] I went every morning during winter 2015 to read Patanjali at the café de l’Eglise […], comparing several translations & commentaries [ …].

Patanjali, like all Indian school of thoughts since the time of the Upanishads, […], is only interested in one question: is there a way out of this mess that we call the world, the human condition , […]? Is ‘de-conditioning’ possible? […] “Apart from that, say Patanjali and Hervé, nothing deserves to be known”. The good news is, […] the answer is yes. There is an exit. ‘De-conditioning’ is possible. Not easy, it’s the work of a lifetime, or several lifetimes, but possible, and yoga aims at that.

It is a technique of going beyond consciousness by observing consciousness. Patanjali is an outstanding observer, he knows the unconscious at least as well as Freud and he exposes his discoveries in the Indian way, that is to say by drawing up lists: the six darshanas (these are the categories of Brahmanic thought: yoga is one of them), the three gunas (the modes of being of consciousness), the five yamas (the necessary abstinences), the five niyamas (the disciplines no less necessary), the five matrices of citta vritti (all that carries the river of the mind), the eight branches of ashtanga (which is the tree of yoga) […]. The lists and classifications of psychic and spiritual phenomena that Patanjali draws up […] deserve to be studied in detail.

Extrait du Livre Yoga d’ Emmanuel Carrère 
Chapitre: Patanjali au café de l’Eglise (p74-76)

Patañjali & you in 2021?

For that reason I am thrilled to pass it on to my students. Throughout the 1st semester 2021, I will be highlighting a selection of key sūtras in my yoga & Meditation classes, mingling physical and breath practice to Yoga Philosophy (classes schedules click HERE) Classes available at Lisbon Studio Urbanbliss Lisboa or online.

Celine Chambat

Yoga & Meditation teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

You enjoyed this article? Please read: 

5 KEY TIPS FOR CULTIVATING BALANCE, GOOD HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

Bibliography

5 CONSEILS POUR CULTIVER L’ÉQUILIBRE ET LE BONHEUR
VOIR L’ARTICLE EN FRANÇAIS CLICKER ICI

  1. Work on yourself and cultivate personal enquiry when all is well! Take advantage of these good times and good health to set up routines conducive to well-being, cultivate positive relationships, to start meaningful actions or projects and to advance on your journey. When all is well, the bad patterns or habits we all have within us are usually dormant, “under the radar”, present but weak, invisible. It is then much easier to model them towards more virtuous healthy patterns (Ref. Patanjali Yoga Sutra II.4 & 10).
  1. Understand your basic constitution and potentiel imbalances to improve your quality of life and your health. What are you made off? I had a chance to discover Ayurveda and its fundamental principles for the first time while doing a yoga retreat in Bali through several workshops. Thank you Audrey @yoga_school_bretagne. It has been a true revelation to me. It gave me the keys to better understand myself. To understand my excess of anger, my addictions, my “illnesses” also or physical weaknesses. At the time, I often suffered from allergies and redness on the skin. I also had a lot of pain in my lower back. Everything made sense and finally found a logical explanation: an excess of fire. I was finally able to understand the sources of most of my “discomforts / illnesses”. Most importantly, Yoga and Ayurveda were offering me concrete solutions to deal with them. Subsequently I continued to study Ayurveda while continuing to train myself in Yoga, health through Yoga and Yoga therapy, which has greatly helped my health and my family’s in general! It also allows me today to offer courses and workshops on these themes. 
  1. Practice daily. It is wiser to do 15 minutes of conscious breathing every day than a class once a month or an annual retreat! My teacher (Valérie Faneco, @eka_yoga_institute) once gave me this beautiful image from an Indian story: when you walk every day on the grass at the same place, a path is formed and becomes more and more marked . If you only go there every now and then, there won’t be any.
  1. Eka pada: choose your path and stick to it. And thereby choose one or more mentors to guide you and accompany you on this path. It sounds simple and yet it is without a doubt the most difficult essential principle of personal development to maintain today. Especially for people with a vatta tendency. We are constantly bombarded with information, with proposals. It is easy today and very tempting to peck right to left, to try without ever digging, without too much personal involvement, without commitment, against a background of intellectual curiosity. In the past (not so distant yet), we engaged in a “personal development activity” (sports, cultural, associative, creative, etc.) for the year and often much more. We had a lot less options and that could be negative at times of course, but also in a way helped stability, persistence and balance. This is why it seems essential to me to recall this key principle mentioned in sutra I.32 of the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali.

  1. Cultivate “detachment”, “letting go”.
    Learning to “do” with conviction while accepting not to have 100% control over the results of our actions. It is also a principle dear to Patanjali. I choose to mention it here because the education received in our Western cultures goes against this fundamental principle of happiness.
    In short, to be happier, and to stay in good health, Yoga invites us to “do to do and welcome what comes as a gift” versus “do to obtain a result”. To meditate on a daily basis!

To go further, you can join us for a private yoga therapy session or group class in Lisbon or Singapore

Read also in the same vein:

YOGA & HEALTH: CULTIVATE BALANCE TO STAY HEALTHY!

Bibliographie (Français)

Bibliography (English)

Yoga & Ayurveda Workshop information page

What exactly does “being sick” mean? From the point of view of Yoga and Ayurveda, maintaining the balance of one’s energies and elements is the keystone of good health. On the opposite, an imbalance (too much or not enough energy, too much or not enough fire, air, water etc. in us) inevitably leads to a “manifestation” also called “disease or illness”. Reading “diseases” or “manifestations” from this standpoint allows us to seek their source for a complete and definitive cure.

yoga santé équilibre

The Yoga & Health teachings have literally changed my life. Why not yours?

I am currently working on the theme of “balance” with my students. Balancing your energies, connecting with the elements within us (doshas), understanding our dominant and weaker elements, and doing your best to keep them in balance. From their feedback on the practices and the questions asked, I realised to what extent the teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda on the notion of balance are still unknown. Yet they are so rich. This is why I wanted to write this article which I hope will make you want to know more and take action to stay or come back in balance and therefore healthy!

Yoga and Health: Balancing Prāna and the Elements in us is a pillar of good health

Balance is a fundamental theme in Yogic and Ayurvedic teachings. Indeed, under their prism, health simply goes hand in hand with Balance (with a capital E!). Be patient and read to the end. I cannot avoid a passage that is a little more theoretical.

The balance of our vital energy (prāna) to begin with.

We must have enough prāna in us, but not too much either. It must be well distributed in the 7 energy centers of our body (chakras). Vital energy manifests itself in 5 forms (the 5 vāyus) which correspond to different regions and functions of the body. If there is an energy imbalance, it is a function of the body that will be affected. We will not go into detail today, however, the study of vāyus (udāna, prāna, samāna, apāna and vyāna) and their experimentation through certain practices are fascinating!

The balance of the elements within us (the balance of the doshas).

Ayurvéda 5 Elements

We are made, just like the universe in which we evolve of 5 elements: the ether which creates the space for the other elements to exist, the air which is associated with the movement, the water with the fluids, the fire with transformation and earth to the concept of density and grounding. We are all a unique combination of these elements. They exist in us in proportions that vary with each other and also evolve over time. They define us physically and are also found in our character. For example a person who has a lot of fire in himself (dominant Pitta Dosha) will often be very willful and will also tend to get angry more easily while a person with a strongly present Air element (dominant Vata Dosha) will often show up. funny and “easy going”, gifted in creative and interpersonal skills, but will also tend to be unreliable and less loyal than a person with Earth dominance for example (dominant Kapha Dosha). This is a vast subject again and the idea here is not to be exhaustive but to give you the angle from the point of view of Yoga and Ayurveda:

The more you adjust your lifestyle to your basic constitution, the more you will be able to live in harmony (and therefore in health) and to avoid imbalances as much as possible.

What “disease or illness” means through the lens of Yoga and Ayurveda?

Too much, not enough, in short an imbalance (of prāna or of the elements in us) inevitably leads to a “manifestation” also called “illness”. This manifestation can be mild or more serious but it always indicates an imbalance. It is also good to know, and this is important, that the “manifestations” are generally going crescendo. The body sends us a first signal. If we don’t pick up he sends a stronger one etc.

For example, 1st sign, you are short of breath, feeling oppressed / restricted into the chest. This is a first sign of imbalance because the breath is a reflection of our physical and / or mental state. Fluid, long and powerful, it indicates good health. Jerky, irregular, short, it sends us signals. You do nothing. Second sign, sleep is light, does not allow you to recharge your batteries. You wake up tired. You still don’t do anything. Then it might be a more serious injury. Something that forces you to consult, to take care of yourself, or that put you to bed. And sometimes it’s even more serious. I’m sure you all see what I’m talking about. You may also have once found yourself in a similar situation saying to yourself “I should have seen and listened to the signs before”!

Good news! In the language of “Yoga & Ayurveda”, if imbalance = illness, balance = good health. In other words, it is up to us to take charge of ourselves and act on our daily life, our diet, our relationships etc. to stay in balance and therefore in good health. And Yoga and Ayurveda provide us with a wide range of proposals adapted to the specific needs of each. To your carpets!

Celine Chambat

Yoga Teacher in Lisbon & Therapist

January 2021 Workshop: Yoga & Ayurveda

Read more:

5 Key Tips for Cultivating Balance, Good Health and Happiness

Bibliographie (Français)

Bibliographie (English)

  • Yoga & Ayurveda – Self-Healing and Self-Realization from David Frawley
  • The Yogasūtra of Patañjali I Liberating Isolation from Frans Moor 
  • The heart of Yoga from TKV Desikachar