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Yoga For Performers Class 2

Heart Quality: Fullness and Expressiveness

Action: IBB (side body long, head of the arm bone back)

Pinnacle: Ardha Chandrasana

Theme: Adding brightness to our creative work – Being aware of the importance of our attitude and intention

focus:  – review Setting the Foundation, Moving with the Breath

vocab: -head of AB, review IFM, SB, BTM, COH, kidneys

Attitude changes everything – not just a trite slogan but a testable truth! Today we are going to be focusing on attitude, looking at the way our energetic attitude can transform our practice of yoga and our creative work. In Anusara Yoga, attitude or intention is the most important aspect of the practice – it’s what gives the movement meaning. It gives us a reason to keep doing it, aside from just fitness. We learn the poses and then through our attitude and intention we learn about ourselves.

The action we are going to work on today is called Inner Body Bright, which I love, and it it is an attitudinal shift as well as having physical characteristics. It’s the first thing we do in a pose, we brighten from the inside and we remember our intention. And we carry that through the whole pose. And as we learn what that feels like in our yoga poses, we can begin to bring that brightness, that sensitivity and awareness into our everyday lives, into our creative work.

So today I want you to connect to a specific area of your life that you want to add an attitudinal brightness to. Maybe it’s a specific creative project you’re working on. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s an area of your life, like your relationship to your body, your job, maybe it’s a challenge – you could be feeling a lack of creativity or inspiration. Whatever it is, choose something specific, and really connect to it. And through the class, we are going to focus on adding brightness to your poses and to that specific area of your life. We’re not trying to figure anything out with our intention, or fix anything, we’re just trying to be more aware and approach those areas with a softer, lighter attitude.

Centreing: Soften your skin and feel yourself release down into your seat. Take a few moments to connect with your breath – the gateway to the present moment. Remember your intention from last week – what are you hoping for from the session? Softening into that, connect to a specific area of your life that you want to add some brightness, some luminosity to. It could be part of your creative work or another part of your life. When you have the area clear in your mind, rest around it. Return your focus to the breath and start to breath into it. We are not trying to fix anything, we are just changing our approach.

Sequence:

Warmups            7:10

  • sun breaths and folding (tadasana to uttanasana)
  • utt shoulder stretch>DD>dolphin
  • DD – fire hydrant
  • SN – straight leg lunge, full stretch
  • SN – crescent lunge>runners stretch, gentle twist

Teaching Action            7:25

  • IBB demo

Gather around. Today the action is IBB, physical components of that are lengthening from waist to armpits, the heart lifts and the head of the armbones pin back. It’s also an attitudinal shift – we energetically soften and open, we make more space in our body to approach the pose.

Biomechanical as well as attitudinal – keeps us safe in every pose.

Try in tadasana – contrast.

  • See the contrast in plank (Demonstrate – sagging, crunching in back vs. inner body lifting, integrity)  Now everyone try that standing, pretend you are in plank, let body sag, now, (instruct actions of IBB) feel the difference.

Standing Poses            7:30

  • Vira 1 with thumbs hooked, really get experience of IBB
  • Utkatasana > prayer twist
  • SN – prayer twist lunge>DD>side plank>prayer twist lunge
  • Parsvakonasana>Trikonasana
  • Trikonasana with partner (one hand on hip rooting, one hand on top of head, extending out – really focus on action of lengthening out of waist, fullness of torso, extending through head)
  • Tree
  • Pigeon Prep
  • Trikonasana > Ardha Chandrasana

Cooling            7:50

  • Upavista Konasana
  • Ardha Matseyendrasana
  • Setu Bandha
  • Thread the Needle
  • Upavista Konasana

Savasana            8:05

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Theme: Adding more beauty to the world

HQ: Fullness and Expressiveness

Actions: IBB (SBL, HABB)

Pinnacle: X pose (twisted lunge thigh stretch)

The theme for today’s class is “adding more beauty to the world”. I chose this theme after seeing a few plays this week that got me thinking about art and artistic expression. The plays were dark and political, one of them was kind of disturbing. They were important plays, but difficult to watch. They got me thinking about the way that I choose to express myself, what is important to me in art and what I think will be effective. What I came to in thinking about this was that the way that I choose to express myself in art directly aligns with one of the highest purposes of Anusara Yoga, which is celebrating the Supreme by adding more beauty to the world. It becomes a service to add beauty, to the world, that becomes our worship.

I think this is because beauty inspires me. When I see or create beauty, it builds my appetite, I want to see and create more beauty! So beauty builds on beauty. And this doesn’t just apply to art, it also applies to the way we live our lives. We can live in a way that adds beauty to the world, just in the way we hold our relationships, do our work, cook our food. Our yoga practice can be a way of adding more beauty to the world also- in Anusara, part of the practice is making the pose a full expression of yourself, leaving an energetic imprint on the world.

So today we are going to play with that, making the poses a full expression of ourselves, and adding more beauty to the world.

Meditation: set an intention, where in your life do you want to add more beauty? seal this into your heart.

  • warmups – sun breaths and folding (tadasana to uttanasana)
  • SN – straight leg lunge, full stretch
  • dancing crescent moon (one foot behind)
  • SN – crescent lunge, gentle twist
  • IBB demo     -everyone come into plank, let bum sag down, how does that feel?  Gather around. Today the action is IBB, physical components of that are lengthening from waist to armpits, the heart lifts and the head of the armbones pin back. See the contrast in plank (Demonstrate – sagging, crunching in back vs. inner body lifting, integrity)  Now everyone try that standing, pretend you are in plank, let body sag, now, (instruct actions of IBB) feel the difference.
  • Vira 1 with thumbs hooked, really get experience of IBB
  • Utkatasana > prayer twist > prayer twist lunge
  • Parsvakonasana>Trikonasana
  • Trikonasana with partner (one hand on hip rooting, one hand on top of head, extending out – really focus on action of lengthening out of waist, fullness of torso, extending through head)
  • Natarajasana > Standing Split > Lunge > Side Plank
  • Cobra > Salabhasana > Ardha Bhekasana
  • Anjaneyasana Prep > with thigh stretch
  • X pose (pinnacle)
  • Pigeon Prep
  • Setu Bandha
  • Ardha Matseyendrasana
  • Happy Baby
  • Savasana

Steadfastness on our path

–       HQ: Steadiness and freedom   Actions: ME/OE (HABB and SBOB)

Continuing my yoga training- some obstacles to getting into a training that I really want to be part of. First felt disappointment, uhh I should just do something else, but then I remembered how much I care about studying yoga and how I want to stay dedicated and true this path that I love.

In yogic philosophy the Ganesh, the elephant god, represents that aspect of consciousness that helps us to move through obstacles and blocks in our life. It’s significant that this aspect of consciousness is embodied as an elephant. If you think of the qualities of an elephant they are earthy, huge, live for a long, long time… qualities remind me steadfastness. And this quality is crucial in moving through obstacles, both in terms of life circumstances, but also obstacles in our inner relationship with our selves, with out spirit. So in our practice today we’re going do embody that quality steadfastness of Ganesh in order to move more deeply into our poses and subsequently also experience more freedom and expansiveness in the practice.

Meditation: Even breaths.

–       Warm ups: lunges and jump switching

–       Cactus arms (retract arms in, SBOB then expand)

–       Utkatasana with arms retract and then extended

–       Lunge twist

–       Utka> Prayer twist > step back > twisted lunge> holy hamstring stretch

–   Chatturanga push ups with blocks under shoulders (don’t touch block, keep HABB/SBOB)

–       Parsvo

–       Trikonasana- 1st- remember IBB lengthen, HOTBB (ME), extend (OE))

–       TRIK partner: hand on friends pelvis (root down) and crown of head (extend)

–       Shoulder opener

–       Pigeon prep

–       Setu bandha

–       Twist

–       Savasana

–       Chanting to ganesha

Pinnacle Pose (PP)- ardha chandrasana chapasana

Heart quality: joy

Theme (pulsation)- Joyfully accepting where you are and eagerly looking forward to what’s next on your path. “you don’t ever arrive- always growing and learning and changing. Love yourself where you are, in all  your imperfections. Equally love where you are as where you’re going.

Actions: ME and OE

Table- wave cat and dog tail (last mvmt is head)

–       kneed to forehead- opens and strengthens students for stepping into lunges

–       pointer- toe on floor first, then first and kneed together

child

dog alignment- on straight leg back from table.

–       One leg up- focus on lifting from belly of hamstring. Preps for kicking up to handstand. Learn to level and square hips- its not about swinging the leg high, but staying aligned!

–       Partner- hand on belly of hamstring- sweep up from there. Lead from where the pressure is. 2nd, hands on ASIS to keep them level (only with comfortable group- adv)

SN- lunges, high lunges, humble warrior

–       Shine your joyful heart forward

Inversion – optional

Abs

–       Tadasana on the floor, take arms over head and set head of armbone

–       Set pelvis- inner thighs down, lengthen lumber curve

–       Both legs down, then one lifts to 90 x4

–       Both legs up, then lower one, 4x

–       Both legs up, cross in the middle, the lower the cross is harder

Q: flat back in when working on abs?

–       NO, strengthen while lengthening psoas when we keep the lumbar curve.

–       When flat back just abs and thigh bones push out of sockets.

–       Having thighs pushed forwards relates to anxiety in nervous system (ie backbends push thighs forward, excite nervous system. After 911 in NYC everyone had tights pushed forwards).

–       Psoas- runs from inner thigh up diagonally to the front of the lumbar vertebra. Very emotionally responsive muscle. Need to keep natural curve and stabilize pelvis to put it in correct position.

–       Key to UPAs strengthen as we lengthen muscles.

–       Therapeutics- do more ME- when muscle injured it pulls away from bone. ME first, then lengthen

–       If you don’t the muscle heals away from the bone in shortened position. Must get muscle to engage on bone first

Tree- hug in, dristi 6ft

Parsva- press back thigh back, front buttock under. Quick IS instruction- inner thighs back. OS- tone glutes

Trikonasana

–       turn back foot in for beginners, around 1-2 start teaching with foot straight. Mixed level go to individuals and have them switch it

–       if student can’t straighten leg- widen legs creates more organic> increases stretch

–       if shorten stance and put on block less stretch in ham.

–       More inner spiral, start with hand on side take hips back to line up hams then scoop

–       If you’re on 2+ blocks put student in parsvo till they open more

(Level 1- three standing poses is good)

Shoulder opener with partner- get a rest

Gomukasana standing

–       head of arm bone back, elbow forward

–       internal rotation of top arm, triceps to nose

–       kidney loop- fill into back of waist

–       if you’re over stretch the armpit puffs- look for wrinkle in armpit  * stabilize the hyper mobile!

Reverse namaste

Parsvo with arms on back, work balance work

Table- take outer form of  chapasana- first cross, then same side. Option belt

Ardha chandrasana

–       beginners, draw in after step forward and keep leg bent till you’re stable

–       look down, turn head slowly after looking- eyes and head separate

–       equal extension of top and bottom leg- balanced energy

Ardha Chandrachapasana

–       if its hard to grab knee take knee in first

Savasana- let your awareness move into the spaciousness of your heart

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