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theme: honouring the shiva and ganesh in ourselves
heart qualities: creativity and determination
action: ME – muscle to bone, OE – focal point out
pinnacle: utthita hasta padangusthasana (standing leg = elephant leg, leg of determination. extended leg = dancer leg, leg of creativity)

Today I want to channel Shiva and Ganesh in our practice. You might have heard of them before. Shiva is one of “the big three”, he is the creator, the ground of everything, the all. He is often pictured dancing, in different poses. Ganesh is his son, he is an elephant headed god who is the remover of obstacles. Hindu deities are ways of personifying or imaging abstract qualities that exist in the world, in order to make them easier to relate to. It’s easier to relate to an image of a dancer than to the abstract quality of “creativity”. We see a dancer and experience that. It’s easier to relate to an image of an elephant than the abstract quality of “determination”. An elephant is such a strong image of that, moves forward, nothing gets in its way.

So when we invoke or honour Hindu deities in our practice what we are doing is invoking the qualities that they represent. The qualities in ourselves and others. So today we are going to call the qualities of creativity (Shiva) and determination (Ganesh) into our practice. And we can use the images of the dancer, of the elephant to make those qualities more concrete and real.

So as we practice we can think about what we might want to channel our determination and creativity towards. What would you like to happen for you in the coming months that you could use some help from Ganesh and Shiva? That you could channel your determination and creativity towards?

SEQUENCE

warmups – noodle arms/shakedown/shakti flings

SN – straight leg lunge, holy ham > starfish
-anjaney prep, full stretch > eel (arms and legs in line, lift up)
-three legged dog
-gentle twist into mod. vasi (foot on floor) > thigh stretch
-full stretch > half bow (thigh stretch lift up)

-parsvakonasana>trikonasana

turn front rows back to face back rows, be steady and determined together, help each other balance, see creativity reflected in each of us

-baby natarajasana
-tree – focus on standing leg “elephant leg”

-uttitha hasta padangusthasana (three times, in stages)

  • prep = knee bent, hold outside of foot (or use strap)
    (determination in standing leg – GANESH, creativity in top leg – SHIVA)
  • straighten leg to front
  • knee bent, widen knee to side, play with straightening

bridge
navasana crunches
happy baby
supta padang/jathara pari
SAVASANA

 

theme: seeing beauty and responding to it
heart quality: remembrance and celebration
action: ME – hug the midline OE – expand out circumferentially

pinnacle: wild thing

Hands up if you’ve heard of “double rainbow” the big youtube meme on the internet? Explain – guy making a video of seeing a rainbow, he cries and screams and wonders for seven minutes, so expressive, no holds barred. Got 8 million hits in a week, now at 24 million views! What was it that people resonated with in this video?

I think it was his ability to see beauty and respond to it with full expression. Alot of the time its hard for us to really see beauty and culturally we don’t usually know how to respond to it. I think we’re relieved when we see someone respond authentically to something truly marvelous.

We can connect this to the two core purposes for practicing yoga: remembrance & celebration. Remembrance is connecting to the world around us, the beauty in us and the beauty all around. Celebration is expressing our experience of that, making it known.

Practice of yoga helps us to connect to ourselves, and the poses become an expression of that connection. So today we are going to do what the double rainbow guy did: remember the beauty and wonders of the world and ourselves and then express that.

SEQUENCE

Warmups
-hip circles, cat/cow
-SN – lunge/gentle twist
-SN full stretch/runners stretch
SN – hip opener/twisted lunge

DD – mini demo “wax on, plug in, strong arms, soft heart”
everyone try it

utkatasana>prayer twist>full stretch>mod. side plank (foot in front)
utka> gentle twist> side plank

cobra X3
salabhasana (hands behind head)
bhekasana (thigh stretch)
bow pose

half moon (balance)
side plank *HAB
wild thing *HAB

bridge
pigeon
windshield
happy baby

SAVASANA

Personalize: talk about podcast On Being about Rumi (http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/rumi/)

Rumi- Sufi poet from the 13th century, discussing different themes in his poetry:

I think one idea or major concept that the Sufi tradition and Rumi in particular have to contribute to our current culture is value in perplexity, the fact that not knowing is a source of learning, something that propels us forward into finding out. Longing, perplexity, these are all very valuable things. We want to unravel things and get answers and be done, but as far as he’s concerned, it’s a continual process. We can’t be done, and that’s good.

Contextualize:

So much of our cultural focus is about completing and arriving at an end. Dieting until you attain the perfect weight, finishing the race, getting the degree, the job, the relationship and house…  Yoga, like the themes of Rumi’s poetry is a practice that is never complete. I’ve been practicing for over a decade and still feel that I’m in so many ways just a novice, just beginning.

Universalize: We can choose to see our incompleteness/unknowns/perplexity as lack OR we can use it as fuel for our longing to connect more and more with our deepest essence and live our best life. Our philosophy affirms the old cliché that life is about the journey, not the destination. In the heart-space can we live the truth of this cliché?

Even in our longing, we are already full. Purnatva in Sanskrit means fullness, it’s where we get the root for English perfect. Purnatva- One of the attributes of the divine- that the divine is full and lacking nothing. When hold the paradox of our inherent perfection and our longing to be even more full alongside one another, this creates magical momentum for our practice of awakening.

Context Statements:

–     the separation and the longing themselves are a kind of arrival.

–     destination is the journey itself. So there isn’t a point where you say, ‘OK, I’m here, I’ve reached, I’m done, I’m perfect.

–     New moon/Chinese new year- honor the incompleteness and even a sense of emptiness. It is inherent in that incompleteness, in the process of going forward, that you make yourself better and better. So the separation or incompleteness is the powerful force that keeps you going. If you ever felt that, ‘I have arrived, I’ve reached, this is it,’ then you wouldn’t go any further.

–     Not knowing is a necessary and even creative state

–     What is the deepest longing in your heart?

 

Open Lvl Class Plan

Focus: sbl/ shoulderblades on back (shoulder loop). Melt heart=longing

Demo: contrast “lack” posture (rounded/hard upper back) to “longing” > sbl, melt heart/SBOB

All fours- SBL/SBOB

Dog

Plank

cobra

Dolphin> plank

Lunges w/ jump switches

Inverted L

Standing poses with side planks btwn

Quad stretches

Abs

Puvottanasna

Bridge pose

Swaying bridge

Bridge> urdva danurasana> danurasana

Dog> Utt> Parsvottanasana> reclining> Savasana

 

The Song of the Reed – on Rumi’s birth anniversary

Listen to the song of the reed,

How it wails with the pain of separation:

“Ever since I was taken from my reed bed

My woeful song has caused men and women to weep.

I seek out those whose hearts are torn by separation

For only they understand the pain of this longing.

Whoever is taken away from his homeland

Yearns for the day he will return.

In every gathering, among those who are happy or sad,

I cry with the same lament.

Everyone hears according to his own understanding,

None has searched for the secrets within me.

My secret is found in my lament

But an eye or ear without light cannot know it..”

The sound of the reed comes from fire, not wind

What use is one’s life without this fire?

It is the fire of love that brings music to the reed.

It is the ferment of love that gives taste to the wine.

The song of the reed soothes the pain of lost love.

Its melody sweeps the veils from the heart.

Can there be a poison so bitter or a sugar so sweet

As the song of the reed?

To hear the song of the reed

everything you have ever known must be left behind.

— Version by Jonathan Star

“Rumi – In the Arms of the Beloved”

Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997

 

via leanna:

The top five tattvas, or principles of existence, are Shiva, Shakti, Iccha Shakti, Jnana Shakti, and Kriya Shakti.

Shiva is pure consciousness, it is like the sun, and Shakti is the creative power of that consciousness, it is like sunlight. They are the same but different aspects of the same.  In the top five tattvas there is Iccha- the will of the consciousness. It is will that comes before action- we have an idea before we can create. Jnana is the knowing of that will and Kriya is the action- a spontaneous action that has no condition or expectations- it is action for the sheer delight if it. In with all these five tattvas is a fine “trembling”. So from this pure consciousness it the trembling that causes the Iccha to wilfully pulsate from fullness to contract part of itself- it creates the screen of prismatic crystal unto which and into which all the possibilities of diversity and colour then manifest. Shiva/Shakti loses nothing of itself in the process- it stays completely unaffected in  the unmanifest.

Iccha, Jnana, Kriya, then become the aspects of the wheel- the shaktichakra.  The wheel starts with Kali- the Goddess of destruction. She is the consumer of time (kala being time and kali meaning the one who consumes time) she represents the blank state of your mind, no form or colour from which everything grows. She is the dark ground where the seed of the tree is planted. She represents Iccha. Saraswati represents Jnana, she is the deep order, the sequence that the growth follows- she is the tree that sprouts from the seed.  Finally at the apex of the wheel, at the height of the cycle before it moves downward again is Lakshimi, she is Kriya, the final action that is the fruit or flower of the tree- that which decays and falls to the ground, into the dark and back into Kali. Kali who seems to represent chaos, and darkness and destruction then is just part of the wheel- she is the ground upon which all ideas sprout. (I know Sjanie will love that….)

Via Jessica:

The top five Tattvas, or principles of nature, as outlined by the Tantrics are:

1. Shiva – the one energy, Consciousness, stable and unchanging, the vibration of potential:

Shiva is the masculine principle of stability, stillness, and that which never changes. Out of his own freedom, Shiva, often pictured dancing, chooses to take the forms of the universe just for the fun of it – to experience and revel in the goodness of existence.

In Anusara yoga we choose to see even our limitations as opportunities to experience our own divine nature. All parts of our being, including our physical body, our thoughts, our emotions, and even the aspects of ourselves that limit us, are actually this vital, divine energy revealing itself in ever-changing form, or

2. Shakti – the infinite expressions of the oneness, in all the infinite, ever-changing forms of the universe:

Shakti is the expression of that one spirit in the multiplicitous forms of the world, the feminine principle of freedom and all that changes and is in constant motion. Shiva can only be seen in some form, the forms we see all around us in the trees and the wind: always in movement.

Why does Shiva become Shakti? Why would such vast spirit take form in such limitated ways such as a tree or our breath? Because…

it wants to experience itself
it is free
it is playful

The challenge of Tantric yoga is in seeing Shiva within Shakti, and Shakti in Shiva: seeing oneness in diversity, and diversity in oneness; experiencing freedom within limitation, and limitation within freedom; playing in a serious way, and finding playfulness even in serious times.

And the next three, from which come the 3 A’s, are:

3. SadaShiva – “I am this,” or Iccha Shakti: Desire (Attitude):

The One takes on the limitations of form out of a deep longing to experience its own goodness. Our deepest intentions arise from this same desire to experience our own true nature- what is often referred to as our heart. When we start a day, a practice or a project from this deep intention, we have access to immense power.

If our fullness is hidden from us, it becomes desire for fullness (raga), bringing feelings of unworthiness (anava mala). When we open to the deepest desire that beats our heart and breathes our breath, this is Attitude.

4. Isvara – “This I am,” or Jnana Shakti: Knowledge (Alignment):

We can learn how to open to and support this current of energy within us, and give it expression in our bodies and our lives. When we believe we can’t know this, we get ignorance (avidya), where we make judgments based on difference, i.e. , “that object is separate from me” (mayiya mala). Even taking steps toward opening to the flow of universal energy within is Alignment.

5. Suddha-vidya – “I am this, this I am,” or Kriya Shakti: Action (Action):

As the great epic the Baghavada Gita advises, “Perform your obligatory duty, because action is indeed better than inaction.” Yoga is about taking action. When the power to act is hidden from us, we feel impotent (kala) and anxious (karma mala).

When rediscovered, we remember the immense possibility of even our subtlest action to affect the world in a positive way, and delight in even the smallest action as an expression of the highest good within ourselves.

Thus, from the tattvas come the 3 A’s: Attitude, Alignment, and Action. In Anusara yoga, we:

1. Remember our connectedness,

2. Align with the bigger energy that flows within us, and

3. Express our inherent goodness.

When I began to follow these steps, my poses transformed like magic. Soon, I realized life is simply a series of poses, and I began to notice this magic everywhere.

Theme: Igniting our tejas, melting into shanti

Heart Quality: Expressiveness, Freedom

Action: Melt the Heart

Pinnacle Pose: L at the Wall

Looking at the last 2 lines of the Anusara Invocation: Nishprapanchaya Shantaya, Niralambaya Tejase. The translations are descriptions of the inner light, the wisdom of the teacher within and without, what we call Shiva, the auspicious ground of being. I want to focus on Shantaya and Tejase, the last words of the last two lines. Shantaya comes from shanti, which means peace, or freedom. And Tejase comes from tejas which means brilliance, the tip of the flame, the heat of our awareness, the burning light of the soul. Tejas shines through the eyes and it is what makes our yoga yoga – when we add our own light to the poses, when we express that light through our movement and action. And what happens when we ignite this inner light, the light of our awareness? We melt. We become liquified by heat and we melt into an experience of shanti – of peace, of freedom. So today we are going to work on the action of melting the heart. We will build the heat of our awareness, our inner light, and that will melt us into peace.

The lesson that I’ve taken away most from my yoga practice is learning how to melt myself, learning how to soften when I want to harden. I notice sometimes when I’m in a difficult situation, in a tricky relationship I can feel myself tensing up. Do you ever notice yourself doing that? So my yoga practice helps me to remember to soften, to melt myself, to bring the light of my awareness to the situation and to breathe and soften. And when I can do that, the whole interaction transforms. So we are going to practice that on our mats so that we can practice that in our lives. So we can melt ourselves again and again, to soften when we want to harden. Tejas. Shanti. Let’s do it.

Context Statements: The action of melting the heart becomes more and more important as we move into trickier and trickier poses. If we can truly melt the heart we can come easily into the trickiest poses. Similarly  in relationship, the more we can melt ourselves, the more we can soften when we want to harden, the more flexibility we have to encounter those tricky times in relationship.

SEQUENCE

Warmups

– shakedown

-rolldowns (open to breath, brighten with tejas, melt towards the floor)

-crescent moon

SN – airplane arms (meet your eyes in the mirror – tejas shines through the eyes – sense into your brightness)

-gentle twist (express your brightness through the pose – this is where yoga becomes artful expression)

(HANDLESS COBRAS)

SN – runners stretch>full stretch

-hip opener

(LOCUST – hands behind head, or hands clasped)

Action

Melt the Heart –> Opens our back, prepares us for deep backbends. Brings flexion to the mid back, where many of us are tight. The components are: the fullness of inner body bright, shoulder blades drawing onto the back, heart softening down between the shoulderblades

Demonstrate in table, have everyone try it. Bring it back to downward dog, work the action there.

Cobra –> Contrast. Have everyone push straight up from their hands. Ask: Where do you feel the backbend? In your low back, huh? Not delicious. So let’s bring the backbend evenly through the whole spine. Try cobra on fingertips, hands a bit out to the sides. Inhale draw the shoulders up towards the ears, then draw the shoulderblades together on the back, heart melts forward.

L pose at the wall

Vinyasa –

heat (tejas) building vinyasa with downward dogs and cobras in between to melt the heart into shanti

warrior 2> high lunge

warrior 2>high lunge> twisted lunge

warrior 2> high lunge> twisted lunge>triangle

warrior 2> high lunge>twisted lunge>triangle> half moon

Cooldown

Child’s pose

Pigeon Prep

Upavista Konasana

Boddhakonasana

Supta Padang

Savasana

 

 

Theme: Remembering ourselves as pure awesomeness, celebrating ourselves and each other.

HQ: Remembrance and Celebration

Action: Root to Rise (and Muscle and Organic Pulsation)

Apex: Parsvakonasana “ultimate freedom assist”

Opening: This week we are going to continue our journey into Sanskrit, looking at the second line of the invocation “Sat-chit-ananda-murtaye”. Sat means truth, chit means consciousness or remembrance, recognition, ananda means bliss or celebration or expression and murtaye means form. (A murti is a Hindu statue of a god, and it is believed that the forms hold the qualities of consciousness that are associated with that god.) So the whole line together means “This essence inside takes the form of truth, consciousness and bliss”.

Let’s focus on chit and ananda. These are the two core purposes of doing yoga. We do yoga to remember our true selves. What are we trying to remember about our true selves? Well, what if we tried on the idea that we are PURE AWESOMENESS that just decided to become a body, just for the fun of it? But when we get here, we forget. So we go inside and feel self conscious and think people won’t like us. So we do yoga to remember, oh yeah, I’m pure awesomeness!!!! So that’s chit, the remembrance. And once we remember, what do we do? Then, we celebrate, we express our awesomeness. We can do this through yoga, through our whole lives. Our lives become this celebration. And once we remember ourselves as pure awesomeness, we start to recognize others as that pure awesomeness too. And then we can just walk around celebrating everyone, all the time. Life becomes a party!

So today we are going to focus on that remembrance, remembering ourselves, our true selves as deeply awesome. 🙂 And also remembering each other. So we are going to do some fun partnering exercises, to held remind each other, and celebrate each other.

SEQUENCE

Warmups

-partner stretch – TITANIC (I like to call it Michael Jackson)

-sun breaths and folding

-SN – straight leg lunge, gentle twist

-SN – anjaney prep, full stretch

Action

-action today is root to rise, coming off of last week where we did inner spiral and outer spiral (review IS and OS briefly) now we are going to link this action of rooting down the tailbone to going all the way down through our heels, so then we can rise up through the rest of the body. we root down in remembrance of ourselves, and then we can rise up in celebration.

try in: – standing gentle backbend (hands to low back, root down, lengthen hips to armpits, shoulder blades on back, lift heart and curl back. keep rooting down to rise up)

-crescent lunge, curling back, focusing on and playing with root to rise

-partner exercise – locust pose with calf root –> sometimes we need to help each other remember our pure awesomeness. So we are going to give each other a shot of remembrance down through the calves to help our friend rise up in celebration.

Poses

-warrior 2> exalted warrior>triangle

-utkatasana>prayer twist

-demonstrate two options from going from prayer twist to prayer twist lunge (either look down and step carefully back, or untwist, put hands on floor, step back and re-twist)

-utkatasana>prayer twist>prayer twist lunge (both sides)

-parsvakonasana ULTIMATE FREEDOM ASSIST (partner places foot behind parsvakonasaner’s back foot, then gives manual inner spiral and then places hand on hip and roots down through back leg. person in the pose lifts up up and away in celebration, curling chest open!!!)

-baby dancer, reaching toward a partner and holding top hands

Cool Down

-malasana>DD>pigeon prep

-cobbler’s pose>paschimottanasana

-jathara pari>hug yourself

SAVASANA

 

theme: I listen to alot of music from the TV show GLEE and I thought it would be fun to do a yoga class with some glee music in the background. So it got me thinking about creating a theme around Glee – what heart quality would I choose? Thinking about the show, about the high school kids in this glee club who everyone makes fun of, I thought of the quality of tenacity. Tenacity means “not easily dispelled or discouraged”. Which is exactly what the glee clubbers are embodying! They get slushies in the face, they get made fun of, but they keep doing one of the most vulnerable things you can do in high school, which is to get up in front of everybody and SING. They keep moving towards what they want, they are not discouraged by the high school bullies. So, we are going to tap into that quality of resilience and determination in our class today. And rock out to some Glee music.

HQ: tenacity

Action: ME/OE pulse – drawing from periphery to core, expanding out

Apex: Warrior 3

SEQUENCE

Warmups

-shakedown, noodle arms, sun breaths

SN – airplane, knee down

SN – gentle twist, side stretch

DD – knee to chest reps, three legged dog

uttanasana shoulder opener

Action

drawing from periphery to core – suctioning the legs into the pelvis, drawing arms into sockets. try lifting leg right up into leg socket. lift arms to parallel in front of body and draw head of arm bone back into the socket, shoulderblades come together on the back. try in a lunge.

Poses

-parsvakonasana> prasarita with shoulder opener

-warrior 2>triangle

-utka>prayer twist>twisted lunge

-office chair> malasana

Wall

-standing L

-warrior 3 (hands on wall)

-half moon (hand on wall)

-warrior 3, half moon on mat, no wall!

Cool Down

-pigeon

-ardha matsey

-upavista kon

-supta padang

SAVASANA

Make the theme/quality MATTER to the students

Contextualize

This quality will enable us to _____________in our lives.

So let’s do _____(pose)____ with ________(HQ) so that we can _____(do something in our lives)___________ more powerfully.

Build experiences around the theme/heart quality, linking it to the students’ lives

Using gratitude as an example…

-what are you grateful for in your life? hug into that with strong legs

-charge your legs, grateful for the stability that your legs bring you

-draw the shoulder blades firmly onto the back, creating a strong container to hold all your gratitude

-widen the thighs back, opening to receive gratitude

-be grateful that that pose is over! 🙂

-reach your arm forward toward someone you are grateful for

-turn back in your twist, looking into your past, then carry gratitude to your past forward into your present as you untwist

-what is your relationship to gratitude? notice what attitude you carry towards it.

Link the theme/heart quality to Chit and Ananda

We cultivate _________(heart quality) so we can (chit/ananda – know ourselves, express ourselves).

When we ______(encounter theme in such a way) and can respond with _______(heart quality) then we are embodying/experiencing/creating (chit/ananda – our highest selves, our deepest essence, our true nature, our highest self expression)

Make Chit and Ananda matter to the students’ lives

When we _____(chit/ananda – tap into our deepest selves, revel in our own expression etc.) we have more power to _________(something important or relevant in their lives).

 

Add real examples to these. Real heart qualities/themes.

Theme: Acknowledging and celebrating our own strength

HQ: Resilience and Celebration

Actions: Hugging to the Midline, Extending out from the Focal Point

Pinnacle: Bakasana

Today the theme is acknowledging and celebrating our own strength and resilience. We are all incredibly resilient beings who have sprung back from any number of challenges, but often we don’t really acknowledge that strength in ourselves. We see the darkness of the challenge rather than the light of our own response to it.

In Anusara, and particularly in Tantric philosophy, our aim is to reconcile the dark and the ligth, to begin to see our darkness as light. To find in the heart of the challenge the seed of transformation, and then to accept the gift of our own strength and resilience that emerges.

Nature designed us to be resilient. Everything springs back. This is a natural thing for the trees, for animals. But what is so cool about being awake and aware humans is that we can know we are resilient and see the miracle of it. The highest purposes for Anusara Yoga are chit and ananda: these are sanskrit words for consciousness and bliss. So if we have an aware enough consciousness to really see our strength and resilience,then we get a hit of bliss that comes with being aware, and in that bliss we can celebrate that resilience. Today we are going to play with that pulsation of seeing our resilience and celebrating it, of becoming conscious and then delighting in our own consciousness. And then, who knows, we may begin to welcome challenges into our lives because we know they carry the opportunity for awareness and growth.

Centreing – drop into the body, invite yourself here.

-reflect on your journey. what challenges have you sprung back from that you could acknowledge? Sit and acknowledge the depth of that challenge. Then begin to widen out to see your own strength and resilience in response.

-As you listen to the chant, sit with a deepening sense of yourself as a great resource of strength and resilience

  • warmups – DD leg ups (5 on each side) and folding (tad –> utt)
  • SN – straight leg lunge
  • SN – crescent lunge, fire hydrant (5 liftson each side)
  • ME/OE demo   – gather around. two actions we are focusing on today are hugging to the midline and extending from the focal point out. these correspond to acknowledging our resilience and celebrating it. the midline runs down the centre of the body, and in all poses we hug the limbs toward it. (demonstrate with arms) isometrically means to move without moving, so alot of hugging to the midline is an energetic drawing in, without moving. Watch the difference in downward dog. (Demonstrate DD without any actions. Ask them to watch and see the difference when you fill it with action and intention)
  • Downward Dog with a focus on the actions, linked to HQ –> did you have a different experience of DD? AWESOME. Lets cultivate those actions in the rest of the poses.
  • utkatasana > prayer twist > prayer twist lunge > DD (come back to actions)
  • parsvakonasana > trikonasana
  • pigeon prep
  • malasana with hands in prayer (squeeze legs into upper arms) > malasana with hands outstretched
  • bakasana  – short demo – strong arms, focus on squeezing knees into midline, extending from lower belly down and up –> hug into resilience, extend in celebration and then maybe….you’ll fly.
  • bakasana – everyone try
  • thread the needle (on backs)
  • navasana crunches
  • ardha matseyandrasana
  • supta padangusthasana
  • savasana

For the next two weeks we’re going to work on actions to align a healthy spine, particularly low back. In yoga we look at our alignment from the ground on up so the alignment of the feet, knees and thighs has a lot to do with how healthy and well aligned our spine is. ASK: What do you think of as promoting health in the spine?

(…Has freedom, stability, moves with the breath, flexibility.)

I think of health coming from balance- not one extreme or the other, the balanced place in the middle. And so today we’re going to focus on finding a health in the spine through a balance of stability and freedom ( ❤ Q). This relates to our lives also, when we have a sense of security, groundedness or our mind isn’t so totally scattered and stressed we have more freedom to be creative, flexible, and expressive. If you don’t have that stability you’re just focused on having those basic needs fulfilled and you’re under a lot mental/emotional stress and thus you can’t devote energy to more creative, expansive pursuits. So our yoga practice is also about coming into a place of balance in all parts of ourselves so that we can expand into our full potential as manifestations of beautiful, divine consciousness.

SITO

–       Warm ups, include hands to shins, thighs back and apart. SN x2, side stretch…

  • Emph on stability in legs and freedom of breath. Balanced, clear mind.

–       Low back Lab: investigation- feet parallel vs turned out feeling study. + SITO w/ block and strap

–       Utkatasana w/ hands on knees

–       Lunge- hand on front outer shin > twisted lunge

–       Prayer-twisted utkatasana > twisted lunge

–       Dog pose- feet wide, knees, shins in and big inner spiral

Recreate CURVE FIRST THEN LENGTHEN

–       Prasarita (jump feet out)

–       Parsvo

–       Triko – hand down to inside edge (shin hug in and then take thighs way back)

–       Triko- hand to outside edge shins in then scoop TB, elongate spine.

–       pigeon – emph back shin

–       Upavistha with a friend (feet to inside of shins)

  • Blanket under hips if you can’t sit with legs straight and low back in

–       Janushirasana

–       Ardha Matsyendrasana

Mary Oliver Poem- Bless the fingers, for they are as darting as fire. Bless the little hairs of the body, for they are softer than grass. Bless the hips for they are cunning beyond all other machinery. Bless the mouth for it is the describer. Bless the tongue for it is the maker of words. Bless the eyes, for they are the gifts of the angels, for they tell the truth. Bless the shoulders for they are a strength and a shelter. Bless the thumb for when working it has godly grip. Bless the feet for their knuckles and their modesty. Bless the spine for it is the whole story. –Mary Oliver

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