Archive for June, 2010

Workshop – Being a Woman

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Being a Woman                                                                                                      

Facilitated by Megan Ward




What are you doing in your life that is currently preventing you accessing your inner wisdom and knowledge?


A workshop for all women- to discover your uniqueness, your beauty your strength, yourself. This workshop is about woman coming into their power, through knowledge and understanding of their selves, of the opportunity each month through a woman’s cycle to find her truth and alignment ultimately leading to her spiritual awakening through the magnificent and empowering process of menopause. It is about revealing your truth, your voice, your courage. It is about discovering that your intimate relationships must be with the Self first, to honour yourself, to love yourself, to discover your life’s path. This workshop is for you, for the beauty of your womanhood. You have only one life now is the time to reveal your truth and inner guidance.


Through the Workshop you will be in a safe and supportive space:
Yoga asanas for woman’s health and relaxation

Breathing techniques to center the Self

Understanding and recognizing your belief systems and conditionings

Discourses to reveal your own innate wisdom and knowledge

Diet and nutrition to nourish and sustain the Self

Date: Sunday 20th June 2010

Time: 10am-3pm



What to bring:


Water Yoga mat (optional)
Paper, pen Small Blanket
Your own lunch Warm loose clothing

In addition: Chai, herbal teas and afternoon tea will be provided.



Megan – Om Shanti

© Copyright 2010 Megan Ward

Full Yogic Breath

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Full Yogic Breath

By Megan  Ward

Breathing is natural; it is not an intellectual activity. Breathing affects all the bodily systems physical, physiological psychological, it affects your sleep, memory, energy level and concentration. Breathing affects everything that we do and everything that we are.

When we breathe well, we create the optimum conditions for health and well being. When we don’t we lay the foundation for illness and loss of vitality.

Recovering the natural breath is a process of undoing, unfolding and yielding. It should never be forced or strained.

We begin this process by discovering where the breath moves in our body, a geographical mapping of the home we live in, our bodies.

Begin by practicing the Full Yoga Breath in Shavasana (lying on your back, knees and head supported if necessary)

Step 1: Lower Lobe Breathing

  • Observe your natural breath.
  • Bring your attention to the area beneath your navel.
  • Gently place your hand on this region.
  • Watch your breath as a quiet observer for a few moments.
  • Now begin to deepen, lengthen and extend this movement with the intent of allowing your breath to flood into the lower lobes of the lungs.
  • While inhaling, let the lower belly rise to its limit and at exhalation let it fall completely.
  • Keep the chest and abdomen still during this entire process – only move the lower belly.
  • Repeat gently without strain up to 20 breaths.
  • Return to ‘normal’ breathing, hands to your side.

Step 2: Abdominal breathing

  • Observe your natural breath.
  • Bring your attention to the abdomen region.
  • Place your hand lightly on your abdomen.
  • Notice as you inhale the abdomen rises and then falls with exhalation.
  • Watch your breath as a quiet observer for a few moments.
  • Now begin to deepen, lengthen and extend this movement with the intent of drawing your breath into the abdomen.
  • While inhaling, let the abdomen rise to its limit and at exhalation let it fall completely.
  • Begin to notice the more you release ‘holding’ the abdomen the more the lower back arches away from the floor.
  • Keep the chest and lower belly still during this entire process – only move the abdomen.
  • Repeat gently without strain up to 20 breaths.
  • Return to normal breathing hands to your side.

Step 3: Thoracic (chest) breathing

  • Observe your normal breath, this time focusing your attention on the chest.
  • Place your hand lightly on the chest.
  • You will notice the chest moving slightly up on inhalation and down with exhalation.
  • Again observe this pattern for a few moments.
  • Now, begin to deepen, lengthen and extend that movement.
  • This time, on inhalation expand and lift the rib cage, filling the lungs completely.
  • Then on exhalation, let the lungs collapse fully, sinking to the limits.
  • In this step, keep the lower belly and abdomen still, moving only the chest.
  • Repeat gently without strain up to 20 breaths.

Step 4: Full Yogic breathing

  • This combines the above 3 steps in the following way.
  • First inhale by allowing the lower belly to fill, then the abdomen and then continue inhaling as you expand and fill the chest.
  • Then exhale first from the chest as it empties and falls and then continue exhaling from the abdomen as it draws inwards completely continuing the final release with the lower belly.
  • This is one round of the full yogic breath.
  • Repeat up to 20 rounds.
  • Remember the pattern –Inhaling - the lower belly – abdomen – chest   Exhaling – the chest- abdomen – lower belly.

Visualise your breath as a constant wave of energy running along your spine. Expansive and empowering. With no beginning and no end.

Do not attempt to force the breath in any way, there should be no strain. The natural tendency is to heave with effort. The right way is to make it smooth and effortless.

Initially you may experience unevenness or bumps in this breathing process – as though there were separation through the lungs.  This is natural considering the years you may have spent breathing improperly.

Instead, try to picture this breath as a continuous wave like pattern –the breath moves up from the lower belly to the throat with every inhalation and then, down from the throat to the lower belly with each exhalation. Over time, this natural way of breathing will come to you.

The full yogic breath is the basic building block of the powerful yoga breathing techniques, also called ‘Pranayama’

Breathing well is the most readily available resource you have for creating and sustaining your health and vital energy.



Megan – Om Shanti

© Copyright 2010 Megan Ward

Bringing Life to Your Spine

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010


Current statistics indicate that back pain will affect 80% of us at some time in our lives.

Poor posture, unbalanced lifestyle, pain, injury all lead to compression of the spine. Often we perceive the lumbar region (waist area) as a place of weakness in the spine yet this same region is what allows us to elongate the spine and in this elongation its elasticity and youth are reestablished.

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal and regenerate. The following asanas practiced regularly will allow you to experience a pain free and supple spine, regenerating your nervous system and bringing a new found vitality and energy into your lives. We learn to elongate and extend not pull and push. The result is a powerful wave of extension giving life to the spine.

We begin with Tadasana.

There are no beginners or advanced students in yoga – the first step is the last step.

Take your time with this asana. This is the most important pose. With this you have the ability to re establish balance. The lumbar area (waist area) suffers the most when standing incorrectly. The lumbar vertebrae become misaligned and crushed together by tension. When performed correctly and regularly Tadasana subtlety realigns your entire spine, creating space for your diaphragm to breathe fully and regenerating your spine, there is no end to progress.

1. Tadasana

Stand with your feet as close together as comfortable. Observe, is your weight evenly on both feet? Where is the placement of your weight in your feet? Can you lift your toes and maintain your balance? Enjoy the subtle shifts you feel in the body. You are experiencing the wonderful ability of the body to find its own equilibrium. Standing on the back of the heels your weight will slowly sink down. Contract your pelvic floor (buttocks will automatically contract), and draw your knee caps upwards. Feel your chest expanding as the diaphragm is given life and expression. Let the weight of the fingers gently unfold and gravitate downwards to the earth. Slightly tilt the chin in as you lengthen the delicate cervical vertebrae. If you stand long enough, while the lower part of the body, from the waist to the heels, gravitates, you will discover that the upper part of the body becomes light, free and straight.

2. Tadasana with arm extension Illustration of flexion of spine with elongation

Maintain Tadasana, lower body (from waist downwards) anchored to the earth, contracted and firm. Gently open your palms outwards allowing your upper body to open as if the heart was a lotus flower unfolding its petals to the sun. Continue the journey of the arms upwards extending the palms of your hands strongly as you activate and lengthen between the intercostals (this helps to keep the lower body grounded and active). Draw your arms in line with your ears, your gaze looking upwards, facial muscles calm and relaxed. Chest is fully open; you are experiencing full body breathing. Notice the elongation of your spine; by the lifting of the head you are already experiencing a back bend. By anchoring through your feet you naturally draw the lower three lumbar vertebrae forward enabling you to safely and beautifully elongate the spine, nourishing and regenerating this area.

3. Standing Forward Bend

Back bends require a counter posture of a forward bend.Bend your knees keeping the knees firmly together as you pivot through the hips drawing your buttocks backwards. This brings the lower back into its counter posture of a forward bend. Come to a comfortable stance and then draw your arms down to rest your palms lightly on your legs just above the knees, fingers facing inwards. You may step your feet out hip width apart if this is more comfortable for you. Relax your shoulders downwards away from your ears, broaden your sternum. Draw your navel gently in towards the back of your spine, breathe, keeping your spine beautifully lengthening in a smooth line from the base of your spine to the neck. Let your gaze be soft.

4. Pelvic Spinal Release

Lie in the supine position with your legs bent, feet and knees hip distance apart.

Observe the places where your body makes contact with the earth. Gently seal your lips. As you inhale bring your awareness to your lower back region feeling the spine gently arching away from the floor on the inhalation, a moments silence, then as you exhale feel the spine gently release back into the support of the floor. Bring your attention to the waist area (5th lumbar vertebrae) and notice the natural arch through this part of your spine.

On each inhalation the spine gently lifts away from the floor and on each exhalation the spine gently returns, creating a natural flowing wave of movement through the entire spine. This powerful wave of extension arises not from any forced movement but from the natural rise and fall of the breath.

This is a gentle movement that cannot be forced; it arises from the freedom of the breath, of letting go any tension you may be holding. Just release into this asana, it is highly restorative and calming.

Detail of spine gently
arching away from floor
on inhalation.

5. Shavasana

Rest for 10 minutes in Shavasana following the breathing meditation

Om Shanti

© Copyright 2010 Megan Ward