How do we practise yoga with integrity?

Last week the vinyasa yoga classes that I teach in Southampton were focused on integrity and how we build and sustain it through clarity, strength and flexibility.

Through clarity of our intention comes integrity in our action. How many times do we do something and not know why or sometimes not even know that we did it? One of the main aims of yoga is for us to learn live in the present moment with truthfulness (satya) and honesty. To do this we need to learn how to be present in all our actions to be clear and honest with ourselves and others about the intentions behind our actions.

Integrity has its Latin root in the word whole. This is not dissimilar to many translations of the word yoga meaning union to bring everything together as a whole. In yoga we have the word avidya which is like a net curtain that comes down and blocks our vision as we are unable to see the whole picture but through practise and awareness we can notice our blind spots and shine a light on them. When we aim to look at a situation in its wholeness we can choose how we react in the present moment, how we respond to the hand we are dealed.

To live with integrity both on and off the mat there are three simple things that we can try focusing on. Firstly clarity of intention, be honest about why you are doing something, if you don’t know the intention behind your action, don’t act. The second two comes as a pair, the need to be balance that of strength and flexibility. Strength of courage to speak up, to be present in every moment and speak what is in your heart and flexibility to see different perspectives and to truly try to understand another person’s point of view with an openness to change your own. All three of these can be first practised on the yoga mat and then filtered into daily living. There isn’t a yoga pose I can think of that isn’t a balance between strength and flexibility. Naturally most students start unbalanced in these two areas either strong with limited flexibility or flexible with limited strength. To have integrity in your yoga practise, to protect the body and find sustainability these two need to balance out and it is only through having a clear understanding about your intention in each pose can you work through refining the balance between strength and flexibility.

Experiment with finding integrity in your practise, be focusing on your intention and the balance between strength and flexibility.


Saturday 17th Sept – Chakra Vinyasa Yoga Workshop

Fancy a fun, challenging and inspiring morning with lots of Yoga?? Join me for a 3 hour Chakra Vinyasa Yoga Workshop at Tauntons College, Southampton on Saturday 17th Sept from 9:45 to 12:45. This will be a creative morning filled with movement and music as we explore the practise of yoga through different eyes.

To energise the body and spark curiosity we will begin with a short creative yoga flow. This will be followed by an introduction to the 7 chakras / core energy centres in the body and the specific elements they relate to. After this it is time to experience, to let go and trust the body to be your teacher as we take a full 90 minute yoga practise experiencing the flow up the chakras and the journey through the contrasting elements of earth, water, fire and space. To conclude the morning we will ease into the deep relaxation of Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and a simple, yet effective Chakra meditation.

Places are limited so booking and payment in advance is essential. The 3 hour yoga workshop is 20 pounds, which includes an introduction to the chakras handout, a chakra meditation to take home and a cup of yoga tea. To book please contact me via email or phone.

See you on the mat.

Laura x
07866 459208