Yoga Time!

With Jelila

Yoga means unity and regular practice of this holistic movement form brings harmony of body, mind and spirit, taking you to a relaxing, peaceful state which is excellent for health and wellbeing.

Yoga connects you with your higher self, and hence, your higher wisdom, enhancing your awareness of choices and toning your body, seemingly without too much effort – which is a blessing. All you need do is a little, regularly. Even 10 minutes is a benefit. So close the door, find a towel or rug and off we go.

The chakras are wheels or energy centers spaced along the spine from the base to the crown of the head. They are the gates through which our energy flows and converges, and each one represents different qualities of living (security, connection, action, love, expression, insight, and divinity). The chakras need to harmonize so that your natural life-force energy (or prana) may flow without blockages, for perfect health and balance.

Rather than talk about the chakras, we will experience each one in turn during the next seven editions of The Bali Times, which you may cut out and keep. After that, we will explore some more overall harmonizing kriyas (or yoga sets) to help you discover more about balancing and harmony, with some other practical sets with outcomes for physical and emotional wellbeing to help you in different areas of your life.


Sit on a hard surface with yoga mat – a doubled towel or rug will do. Sit cross-legged, straighten the spine as if you are being pulled by a string from the top of your head, tuck the jaw slightly, yet relax the shoulders, relax the whole body. Pinch thumb and first finger together in gyan mudra (mudra simply means hand position) and rest the backs of the hands on your knees. Now you really look like a yogi or yogini.

Take a deep breath in, through the nose (keep mouth closed throughout) and exhale through the nose. Repeat. Close your eyes and focus at the third eye – a point 2.5 centimeters above the bridge of the nose, as if looking out through your forehead. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, give thanks for everything that has brought you to this moment, then exhale, let it go. If you wish, inhale, and as you exhale, intone “aum” (Sanskrit for “all that is”); it is a deeply relaxing and positive sound to make.

Now you are ready to begin your yoga practice warm-up.


Remaining cross-legged with spine straight, place your palms flat on your knees, and begin rotating your upper body, grinding your buttocks into the ground. As you do so, imagine a red root growing from your base chakra (your bottom) deep into the ground. Continue grinding for two minutes, then come back to centre, inhale centre (always through the nose), then reverse the rotation and continue for a further two minutes. This one helps you feel centered and present, and is one you can quickly do, even in the office, to ground and de-stress yourself.


Still sitting cross-legged, grasp your ankles with your hands.  Inhale, pull your shoulders back, curving the lower spine forward, exhale as you hunch shoulders forwards and down, rounding the spine the other way. Continue, and you will see why it is called camel pose – the effect is rather like riding a camel; in fact, it helps to think of that while doing it. This one releases stuck energy from the lower spine, which is helpful for flow in relationships and cash and is also very good for strengthening the lower back to avoid back problems.


Still cross-legged, reach with your right hand over your right shoulder and grasp your left hand behind your back. Grab your fingers if you can – if not, merely reach for them as far as you can. In Kundalini yoga, we say “keep up!” which means “do as much as is comfortable for you without pushing it.” Don’t worry – I promise a slim, toned body is unavoidable with regular practice, even if you go at your own sweet pace. Inhale deeply through the nose, stretch up, pull on the hands, hold for 1-2 minutes. Focus at the third eye, eyes closed. Exhale through the nose, release. Reverse the hands, inhale, stretch up, pull, hold for 1-2 minutes, focusing at the third eye with eyes closed, exhale. This one is good for releasing shoulder and neck tension and you may even do it at a desk, or at the beach.

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