|Dru Yoga With Richard Brook
"In essence yoga is the harmonious connection of body, mind and spirit. It translates literally as 'union', I remind my yoga students of this during class, not to push or over-extend, as when we do so we fall out of union or harmony. Harmonious yoga on a mat is the metaphor and practice for harmonious movement in life, of living in tune with all aspects of our being" Richard Brook
Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. It works on body, mind and spirit:
Yoga is a perfect compliment alongside acupuncture to maintain health, vitality and longevity! Similar in some respects to Acupuncture in that it alleviates stagnation and imbalance from organs within the body it is also tremendous for health maintenance and general wellbeing (and it's fun!).
- improves strength and flexibility
- creates core stability
- builds heightened feelings of positivity
- deeply relaxing
- rejuvenates your whole being
I highly recommend practicing Yoga regularly - I treat a lot of patients with musculoskeletal and stress conditions which I think would be helped, and in some cases have gone someway towards preventing if they did regular yoga.
I teach yoga one to ones, and classes. The practice are gentle, relaxing and focus on creating an energy which facilitates the body to release, no need to push or force. Using unique energy block release sequences, sessions work to subtly release energy constrictions which get held in our body, and particularly in our spine. There is also a particular focus on the Anahata (Heart) centre (known as a Chakra) which creates a heartwarming sense of wellbeing which lends itself to the body unwinding and releasing.
Sessions include a gentle activation / warm up, flowing sequences, individual postures and end with a relaxation. Due to its gentle nature it’s suitable for all.
Dru Yoga with Richard
Tuesdays 7.30 - 9pm (near Regents Park) More info here
Energising and Activating sequence particularly good to do in the mornings or if you work at a desk for a large part of the day! Great to do in a morning or afternoon break.
I began practicing yoga in 1996, and over the years have practised many styles, but the style which has been at the Heart of my practice over the years is Dru.
I’ve found that the gentleness of this practice is key as it enables the body to ‘release’, rather than ‘stretch’ and have found the effects on my relaxation and overall wellbeing have been profound.
I’m a firm believer that relaxation is a key aspect of facilitating any healing or rebalancing within the body. Renowned Medical Intuitive Caroline Myss said something along the lines of 'enabling the body to heal isn’t that difficult, but getting it to relax enough for it to happen is!' I find Dru Yoga to be an essential complement that nourishes our inner world and brings that sense of peace and relaxation in a culture which often draws us out and over stimulates us.
The following is taken from one of my recent newsletters where i more fully discuss the benefits of Dru Yoga alongside acupuncture;
Interview with a Yogi...
Richard speaks about Dru Yoga! (View as PDF here)
I’ve started off this article with with something I wrote regarding the power of Heart energy. It’s particularly relevant to this newsletter as the focus is on Dru Yoga & 5 Elements Acupuncture, both practices paying special attention to the balance and promotion of healthy and balanced Heart energy. Healthy Heart energy on a subtle level, with it’s connection to joy and enjoyment has a huge effect on our overall wellbeing and can be something which in our western culture can be particularly challenging to maintain.
‘The connection with our Heart is our connection with Spirit, it’s home, our home, look into the eyes of another and all shall truly be revealed, the lights shall come on and the spirit shall occupy ones body, the truth will be seen and magic will be the norm, faith will become reality and the crash and burn of life and Love will sparkle an effervescent glory unto the Heart and Soul of the dance of existence itself. I am alive, I shall not be denied...' (R.Brook)
Over the Years I’ve personally found both 5 Elements Acupuncture and Dru Yoga to be practices which can be immensely helpful to balancing Heart energy, where the Heart can relax and a smile return to the face.
For those of you who haven’t experienced Dru Yoga or 5 Elements Acupuncture before they are both fantastic for our wellbeing across all levels; physically, mentally and emotionally. In our over driven western culture we need to engage with activities which bring us back to our centre and enables us to balance. Natural life has the intelligence of what we need to do to create balance in built within, only as humans we tend to flout the edges and ‘push’ ourselves.
I often say to my patients in my acupuncturists role that true achievement is in balancing ALL elements of your life, not just our perception of achieving at work which is a common pattern. It’s the place where we can look across all aspects of our life, social, work, personal, professional, home and our state of health and wellbeing and think yes, all is well, I am achieving as a well rounded human being! Acupuncture can help to rebalance the organs and aspects of us which get strained when we fall out of balance.
The biggest place I see people falling down is in how much time they allow themselves, and their energy to go ‘inwards’. Just as night follows day, giving natural life a chance to rest and replenish, so we also need to engage with exercise which takes us ‘inside’, away from outward activity, and facilitates us to relax and replenish. In this sense Dru Yoga is an essential complement to the more driven, outwardly exertive exercise we often do in the Western World, as it facilitates that ‘inward’ motion of your energy so is an essential balance to the activity and stresses of modern living.
The more we can allow our bodies to relax, the more rejuvenated and energised we feel afterwards. This is because when we are constantly on ‘alert’ as we often are with modern over adrenalized lifestyles, it over activates our nervous system and the ‘Yang’ organs responsible for our outward activity, and also erodes the maintenance time and replenishment of our ‘Yin’ organs responsible for storage and processing of our energy at the deeper levels of our being. Yoga as well as acupuncture can help with rebalancing.
An often quoted phrase is that 20 minutes of deep relaxation at the end of a yoga session is equivalent to 2 hours of deep sleep, such is the profound effect of yoga on allowing the body to rest easily. However, I do also personally believe that the deep relaxation that occurs at the end of a yoga session effects and rejuvenates us in a way that not even deep sleep can regularly compare with. This is because the whole process of Yoga corrects our energy flow and allows it to rebalance between our outer activity and inner nourishment, and it’s when we relax at the end of a session that a lot of the body’s deep healing occurs. Even when we sleep on an average night the body can still hold a great deal of tension, but having worked through the class to relieve tension from muscle groups the body is capable of a much deeper degree of rest.
I’ve practiced many styles of yoga over the years, but Dru has always been at the Heart of my practice since the very first class I attended, a solid part of my weekly schedule. I’ve always found it a particularly sustainable yoga, suitable to engage with across a very wide spectrum of a person’s initial state of health and wellbeing, whereas some yoga styles can seem a million miles away from what your body feels capable of achieving or coping with on a sustained basis, so we can drop out or lose interest, or indeed it can actually be stressful to the body. I find that is less likely to happen with Dru.
Specific postures and sequences within Dru are aimed at the Anahata (Heart) Chakra. This also helps with feeling engaged and present within the practice, as Heart Energy is intimately linked with feeling present in the moment, as it feels and witnesses without judgement, so when it’s significantly engaged we tend to have a greater sense of presence. Also of course it promotes a sense of fun, uplifts us and aids our sense of wellbeing. When we aren’t particularly enjoying something, on a subtle level you’ll often notice that some part of you often ‘checks out’ and isn’t really present, and to me that isn’t yoga, as it means we are disconnected, and the essence of yoga is ‘union’.
Yoga is where you are present, working within the confines of your own body, with what you feel comfortable with and feeling connected in body, mind and spirit. Yoga teaches us how to move and Acupuncture helps to rebalance us. When we push we fall out of harmony and Dru encourages us to stay integrated. Similarly in Chinese Medicine, the Heart is seen as the supreme controller with all other organs in the body acting on its behalf, and again when we are pushing, that is generally not coming from the Heart, so placing primacy on the Heart encourages harmonious movement.
I’m not sometimes as interested in how someone looks in a pose as how they are feeling in it, I’m here to encourage people to enjoy being in their body and have a healthy relationship to it. What might feel a comfortable distance for one person to move can be completely different for someone else, what’s important is that the energy is flowing.I’ve also extensively practised dance and movement forms for a number of years, so I also appreciate that each person’s body moves in a unique way. I often say to people that I feel that we actually do Yoga to enable us to ‘dance’ not just on club or class dance floors, but it keeps us supple and flexible to move with the rhythms and challenges the bigger dance floor of daily life and relationships throw at us.
The Heart Math Institute in the U.S have recently found that the electromagnetic field of the Heart is actually 5000 times greater than that of the brain, so next time you are feeling a bit off colour just remember the importance of the wellbeing and feel good factor of a happy and vibrant Heart.
Indeed with its electromagnetic field being so great and extending out from the body for several feet, it’s energy literally permeates all the other cells within your body, so the rest of your body begins to tick to the rhythm and energy of your Heart, so best to get on with finding uplifting activities in your life as this literally ‘opens your Heart’ – just observe how your chest expands and opens when you are doing something you enjoy, and contracts when we seek to close from our environment. And definitely useful to remember that joy is the emotion and laughter the sound associated with the healthy expression of Heart energy!
This dynamic of your Heart energy expanding and contracting in relation to your enjoyment of what you are doing and how it affects your wellbeing is at the crux of my practice in regards to looking at life 'purpose'. Learning to listen to your Heart (and body generally) provides you with essential information about what is in your Heart, your soul. Whether we like it or not, we are not all the same and one prescription of life activities and occupations for one person is not the same for another! Some things we are just individually passionate about. Your Heart tells you. What is in your Heart?
It’s also worth considering that asides from the Heart–mind relationship, a great deal of the rest of what we experience within our mind also comes from the energy patterns of other organs within the body, and also the imprints contained within the structure of the body from experiences we’ve been involved in. In this regard, asides from balancing the functioning of those organs, (and the corresponding regulating effects on hormones, so we feel more balanced) Acupuncture also helps to clear from our system the imprints of experiences which get locked within our soft tissue and structure. To understand this further please view my e-book on the body-mind connection from the link on my website.
Next time you are feeling a bit off colour just remember the importance of the wellbeing and feel good factor of a happy and vibrant Heart.
Thrive, don’t just survive! Thanks, Richard
So come and find your Yogic self! I will be teaching in London in 2012, check the website for updates!
Dru Yoga Heart Opening and Awakening Sequence