Y O G A   S E E D S

reflection by Janny McKinnon
Photograph © Janny McKinnon

Each week of our Hobart yoga term a ‘Yoga Seed’ email arrives in the inbox of those who have requested it.  Sometimes they remain unopened but always they bring a gentle invitation, without demand, expectation or judgement, to take a quiet moment at the computer. A moment to centre your body, to go within and settle yourself. A moment that can make a very real difference to your day and even your whole week.

The yoga seeds started in 2007 to support a class member who was undergoing treatment for lung and brain tumours.  They quickly became a regular pattern for a wide group of yoga students, colleagues and friends, mostly in south-east Australia, but also extending to the UK, Europe, India and the US.  Sometimes we total more than 100 and many forward the seeds on to others, so they touch more than we may know. Our aim is to only share the seeds with those who have shown an interest and to pass them on with love and without judgement.

People place themselves on the yoga seeds list if they find them useful and remove themselves if the seeds start to add any sense of clutter or pressure.  I clear the list every September equinox (September 21/22), at which time people can opt to be included in the new round. The seeds are distributed in blind copy so the mailing list remains private and confidential.   

Each seed is a concise and precise package of suggestions to be read in a gentle, invitational tone.  Would you like to try one, here and now?

Yoga seeds - Going within

Much of our life is lived in the external world, so much so that we can be forgiven
for thinking that this is all there is.

Can you allow yourself a few moments right now?

Perhaps stretch out your arms and then let them settle comfortably.

Centre yourself in your chair or as you stand,

With your feet resting flat,

Lift through the top of your head.

Allow your chin to drop a little towards your chest,

Giving length to the back of your neck.

If you drop your shoulders back and down

Your chest will be open.

Watch as your breath flows, there’s no right or wrong,

Just simply notice that you have a breath.

Follow your breath ... in through your nostrils ... and ... out ...

Give in to the rhythm your breath creates.

You might like to close your eyes for a few breaths,

And allow your mind to turn inward.

At first you might notice buzzing thoughts,

Unsettled feelings or perhaps tiredness.

Simply let your breath flow and keep turning your focus within.

Notice what it is you notice, there’s no good or bad. 

Allow yourself to be cradled by the rhythm of your breath.

Even a fleeting moment will bring you closer to that point within you

Where you have all the strength and serenity you need,

Regardless of the storms you might be weathering on your surface.

Can you pause for one more breath?

Now you can return to whatever the outside world has in store for you,

With renewed vitality, clarity and serenity.

This is what some regular and long term users have to say about the yoga seeds

“I love the sense of connection that is nurtured and deepened with each yoga seed.

I value the gentle reminders to be aware and in touch with our bodies and souls.

I am mindful of how each yoga seed is an invitation to pause and practise with intention and love”.

“I love getting these seeds. Brings me back to the now from my sometimes never ending thinking”.

“... always a welcome arrival in the cluttered, demanding inbox!”