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Refining Our Hearts

Samskara can mean many things, in this sense it means the process by which we refine something. Move from the grossest sense to its essence. Samskara is a methodical practice, like refining a diamond from coal.

Vikalpa means the way that we see the world.

Here he has applied Vikalpa Samskara to the loops! These secondary currents/refinements that enhance the UPAs.

Back body=inner transformation
Front body=outer manifestation
Initiate from back body, but don’t forget front body!

inner edge of foot=universal
outer edge of foot= individual

from Paul Muller Ortega, description of Vikalpa Samskara

“Vikalpa Samskara reveals the sequence of liberative attainments, of penetrations into the meaning of anything whatsoever, beginning with contracted, unclear and limited states of awareness and thought, it leads progressively and systematically toward the liberative attainment of both the most clear, expanded and refined levels of thought.”

DOWNWARD DOG

kidney loop

  • puff kidneys up, top of sternum moves down toward belly
  • kidneys lift you forward to plank

thigh loop

  • tops of the thigh bones move back in space
  • firm DOWN the back of the hamstrings
  • lift forward through top of shin bones
  • quads reach up towards top of thigh bones
  • this resets the femur back, ending at the top of the thigh bones

LUNGE

pelvic loop

  • inhale back thigh up
  • tuck tailbone strong under front seat, like putting a stool under your butt
  • front belly lifts away from front thigh
  • pelvic loop has to move faster on that front leg

HANDSTAND

kidney loop

  • fingertips to wall, kick up
  • bring kidneys to wall, sternum lifts up towards ceiling

PIGEON PREP

inner spiral/pelvic loop

  • lift back knee up, inner edge of leg widens out out out, outer hip of back leg rotates around to floor
  • lower knee, tuck tailbone, belly lifts off of front thigh

VASI PREP (SIDE PLANK)

  • hips stay facing the side while heart spins up

USTRASANA

  • press toes into mat (like reverse ‘lift and spread toes’ in tadasana)
  • look down at thighs, top of the thigh bones move back, tailbone lifts up to pubis
  • puff up kidneys, sacrum flows down, head of the arm bones back, heart forward, reach back

HAPPY BABY

  • hands give active muscular energy to legs by drawing outer edges of feet down
  • organic energy reaches up through inner edges of feet, big toe mound

From Sianna’s teacher training

ANKLE LOOP

Review: Ankle loop starts in the core of the ankle, flows down the back of the heel, comes up the middle of the arch in the foot and enters at the front of the ankle/base of the shin bone. Ankle loop roots the back of the heel down, lifts the arch and takes the base of the shin back. This creates length in the back of the ankle, as compression there can be a problem for some.

Poses: Uttanasana with a Blanket Roll, Malasana

-teach utt on blanket roll as a contrast to reg utt. bring them in, then step ball mounds onto roll, add muscle and organic energy, then step off and feel the difference

-for malasana have people bring a folded blanket under their heels if their heels don’t go all the way down, also make sure that their knees are facing the same direction as the toes (people with tighter hips can bring the feet wider apart and might even turn the toes out, so knees will face out too)

SHIN LOOP

Review: Shin loop starts at the top of the shin bone, flows down the back of the calf, through the bottom of the shin bone, and then back up the front. It brings the top of the shin bone BACK and the bottom of the shin bone FRONT.

Poses: Parsvotonasana with a Blanket Roll, Trikonasana

-in parsvo, lift and spread the toes, and drag the heel back to create shin loop. Bring the hand to the back of the shin and press it forward. Then create muscle energy to keep the shin in place, release the hand.

-in trik, remind people of what it felt like to have their hand pressing their shin forward. ask them to bring that energy now to the front foot, as they drag the feet toward each other.

THIGH LOOP

Review: Thigh loop begins in the centre of the body, in between the navel and the middle of the lumbar spine. It travels out at the base of the sacrum, flows down the back of the thigh, and brings the bottom of the femur/top of the shin bone forward, then travels back up the front of the thigh and enters back in at the navel. It has the effect of rooting the femur into the hip socket, though the loop itself arises from deep inside the body, rather than starting at the top of the thigh bone, which is a common misunderstanding.

Poses: Downward Dog, Prasarita Padotannasana

-in DD, squeeze the shins in, keep them squeezing and then root the femurs back into the hamstrings

-in prasarita, root the top of the thigh bones back

PELVIC LOOP

Review: Pelvic loop begins in the same place as Thigh Loop (core of the pelvis between navel and mid-lumbar) and it travels down the back of the buttocks, comes in and forward at the pubic bone and enters at the navel. It has the effect of drawing the flesh of the buttocks down, lengthening the low back and lifting the low belly. Hmmm, i am confused about this because it seems like pelvic loop and thigh loop overlap. Need to look this up in the manual, not sure if I have it correct.

Poses: Cobra, Anjaneyasana

-in cobra, root the tailbone, lift the low belly and feel the flesh of the buttocks flow down

-in anjaneyasana, possible adjustment, stand behind and root the hips down (OE)

KIDNEY LOOP

Review: Kidney Loop has the same origin as pelvic loop, it flows back and up and enters at the bottom tips of the shoulder blades and flows down the front of the belly, entering back in at the navel. It has the effect of puffing up the kidney area, and making the front of the torso softer as the belly flows down.

Poses: Parsvakonasa, Bakasana

-a way to come into bakasana for people who are less open in the hips – start in uttanasana, place hands a bit forward, bring feet together, lift the heels, widen knees, and bring the mid shin as high up on the upper arm as possible. then lean forward. this is more accesible for people who find it hard to come into a full squat.

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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