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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: lila and kula
heart quality: joy

hands up if you’ve ever heard of a flashmob! (explain what they are – people getting together and practicing singing or dancing and then surprise performing them in public places – malls, public squares, buses)

when i see flashmob videos i get chills. i think it’s because they are people doing something for the pure joy of it. and the really elaborate ones remind me of our potential as a human community – whats its possible to do together.

flashmobs remind me of two concepts in yoga: lila which is the divine play of the universe, and kula which means community. lila is the idea that we are here in these bodies for the pure joy of it, that this life is the play of the universe. and we come together in kula, to practice together, to explore and expand our potential as humans together.

today our class is going to be a little flashmob -a little spark of community and play. we are going to practice for the pure joy of it: lila. and we are going to see whats possible when we bring all of our energy together: kula.

Courage to Feel and be Vulnerable

Talk about partner yoga workshop– some couples neither partner had done yoga, but most one was regular yogi, and other partner had never done yoga. And I was thinking of how courageous it was for the non-yogi partner to be willing to try something so new with their partner… Courageous, because it can be really vulnerable to do something that your partner is the “expert” at, and you are totally new at…. Saw that courageous vulnerability as an expression of love.

TED Talk, Brene Brown- Social worker focuses on importance of vulnerability in order for us to feel human and alive, and fulfilled. In her research, she found that she could basically divide people into 2 groups:

  • There were people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it.
  • there was one variable that separated them- was the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy. She calls these people- whole-hearted people, living from this deep sense of worthiness.

And these whole-hearted people had one other thing in common: They fully embraced vulnerability. “They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they talk about it being excruciating — They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say “I love you” first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They’re willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental.”

Contextualize/universalize: I love this so much, this is one of the most important things we can gain from our yoga practice. Our tantric philosophy invites us to embrace the full spectrum of life- the courage to feel the full spectrum of physical sensations and emotion, the courage to love ourselves and others despite our imperfectness. To really experience life fully and express ourselves fully > courage&vulnerability.

Context Statements:

–       Courage- from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

–       yoga invites us to express ourselves fully, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have to be discrete about how we express ourselves, like you don’t express yourself the same way at home and at work, but in all cases, can we at least be honest with ourselves and have the courage to be imperfect?

–       We must learn to be compassion to be kind to ourselves first, because we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly

–       It takes courage to let go of who we should be in order to be who were are. But this is necessary for real connection.

–       What makes us vulnerable is also what makes us beautiful.

–       We live in a vulnerable world. And one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability> but you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the stuff I don’t’ want to feel: here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment, I don’t want to feel these.

–       When we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.

–       numb through addictions, through striving to be perfect, through trying to make our kids perfect, through believing in certainties, through blame.

-But there’s another way: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee, to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of difficulty, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

Courage to be vulnerable- Open Lvl Class

IS/OS- action of the thighs and tailbone + SL

Strong action in the legs and low back gives us the support to open our hearts with courage.

4 SN for Sarah – with twists and back bends

standing poses and quad stretches

child’s pose

Handstand- demo tailbone action

King author’s pose

Abs > bridge> abs> bridge/urdva

Camel pose

camel assist

camel

child’s pose

standing forward bends

seated twists and forward bends

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

 

HQ: Tenacity (persistence, forbearance) and patience (yielding)

 

Personalize: Start with story of something that made me slow down because it was touching/beautiful…

Last week I talked about samskara’s, Sanskrit for groove, rut, habit, or pattern. One of my samskara’s, and I think this is common of our culture, is to rush things, impatience.  Especially true if the present moment feels a bit uncomfortable or boring, or just less-than-perfect… samskara is to push ahead, to forge onwards, leave presence… without really pausing to feel.

 

Contextualize: The truth is, is that the only constant is change. We can absolutely participate in shaping how things change, but there are times and situations when theirs is something to be said for letting things come, open and unfold slowly. Yielding a bit. Today we’re going to do hip-openers and also some restoratives at that end- especially when it comes to opening hips, there is something to be said for patience. Is patience easy? No it often takes huge amount of tenacity, staying power to be with intensity of sensation. Thus tenacious patience.

 

Meditation/Universalize: Pause. Arrive. See if it’s possible to say yes unconditionally to what’s here.  If we’re always in a rush, we often miss the aliveness and joy that’s available to us in the moment. Feel aliveness of breath. Hands. Legs.  How seldom do we actually feel like we fully inhabit the body? This aliveness is cloaked and neglected by the pace of our culture. Our true nature is this pulsating consciousness, awake, alive and free.

 

Context statements:

  • This quality of patience and yielding enables us to more in the flow of life.
  • Tenacity = lower shins
  • Yielding= thighs back
  • Patience= breathe into pelvis, energy open up and muscles/fascia follow.
  • Rest patiently in a vastness of natural awareness- floating in ocean of awareness. When we’re resting in this big awareness there’s room for whatever waves come and go.
  • sense the breath as a current that’s occurring within a larger ocean of sensation. Sense this instant as a moment as a wave that’s rolling through a larger ocean of time.
  • When we take the time to slow down, feel and listen to our inner selves with patience, we have more power to then manifest what we want in our lives with integrity.
  • Enter the Dark. Close your eyes and become quiet in your unknowing. Rest patiently in the mystery of rich darkness. See clearly with your eyes closed, as you hear the truth in the silence.
  • “There is one form of hope which is never unwise and which certainly does not diminish with the increase of knowledge. In that form it changes it’s name, and we call it patience.”

 

Beannacht

(“Blessing”)

On the day when

the weight deadens

on your shoulders

and you stumble,

may the clay dance

to balance you.

 

And when your eyes

freeze behind

the grey window

and the ghost of loss

gets in to you,

may a flock of colours,

indigo, red, green,

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.

 

When the canvas frays

in the currach of thought

and a stain of ocean

blackens beneath you,

may there come across the waters

a path of yellow moonlight

to bring you safely home.

 

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

may the clarity of light be yours,

may the fluency of the ocean be yours,

may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow

wind work these words

of love around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.

~ John O’Donohue ~

 

Flow, Nov 14-17, 2010

warm-ups — cat/cow & hip circles

Dog > straight leg lunge, gentle twist lunge > cobra> dog

 

Tadasana – instruct SITO

Uttanasana – instruct SITO

SN – lunge with hand on outer shin> DD – instruct SITO

30 sec utkatasana – instruct SITO

SN – elbow lunge

 

Prasarita Padottanasana w/ arms interlaced

Parsvakonasana

Eagle

pigeon prep

Bound Parsvakonasana

Child’s pose

 

Upavistha konasana (with partner, feet to shins, hug shins in, thighs out, fold forward)

Ardha matseyendrasana

Pranayama

Supta Baddha Konasana (with blocks under knees)

Savasana

 

 

Sama Theme, Week of Nov 7

 

Personalize: I started yoga when i was 13- saw poster at the YWCA for a class and thought “I think i want to try that… it sounds really different and unique… It’s definitely something none of my friends are doing.” In our culture we’re training to see differences and emphasize our individuality.

 

Contextualize: The reasons I started in retrospect is kind of funny and ironic, because one of the most important aspects of the practice is to look for sameness, for the unity and connectedness in all things.

Same- in english comes from Sanskrit

sama (Sanskrit word meaning “same”, “equal”): harmony, equality.

Learning to see the unity takes sensitivity. Anusara yoga developed by John Friend. He is master and looking for patterns and similarities- from studying different systems of yoga and different therapeutic approaches and working with hundreds of students, he started to see patterns to the way the body can optimally align and heal. And he created that apply to everyone.

Universalize: Basic premise- nature is orderly, the body is orderly- it’s not complicated. It’s complex, elegant. And I’m trained to guide you in learning how to apply these principles to our own unique body and circumstances in order to have more freedom and ease. This approach is empowering, because over a number of months and years of steady practice anyone can learn these principles and learn how to practice yoga safely and create healing themselves.

Actions: OTG (sensitivity) and Evenly hugging muscles on all sides of bone (steadiness)

Context statements:

Sama- same, harmony (universal)

Sthitih- being completely and firmly established; steadfastness.

Tadasana = Samasthitih> Even quality of light and consciousness that shines through every part of body. Harmonious balance of sensitivity to the unity and steadfast expression of the individual.

  • Look for the similarities first- feel the bigger energy not just specifics…. look for what unites us all.
  • Then secondly we look at the individual, from the periphery we draw into our center with steadfast effort. We honour our uniqueness and our individual expression of the bigger energy of life.
  • Samana: one of the five main pranas, energy responsible for bringing nourishment and balance to all parts of the body.

 

Theme: The Wild Within – bringing some wildness into our lives can open us to unexpected possibilities, recharge our creative batteries, give us new perspective!

Heart Quality: Wildness (unconventional? perhaps.)

Action: Organic Energy – extend from the focal point out, root to rise

Pinnacle: Wild Thing! (of course)

Last week at my teacher training I was really inspired by one woman who got up to teach, and after she had received some feedback from the teacher and opened some things up in her teaching, shared that she had realized that she had gotten so serious about yoga and teaching that she forgot that it could be joyful and fun. I really identified with her because I have a tendency to get really serious and focused on things. And it’s great to be disciplined and committed, but sometimes that focus can stifle our work, suffocate it. So I started thinking about the idea of wildness, particularly in relation to Halloween coming up, and thinking about what kind of experience a little looseness, a little wildness could bring us.

If you think about a cultivated garden, you can spend so much time pruning it and making it beautiful. And that’s great! But sometimes you really just need to go out into the jungle and have a look around – and find some outrageous plant to bring back with you!

Wildness opens us to unexpected possibilities. You go into the jungle, who knows what you will find? And this can be a great boost to creativity, to anything that might feel too serious or even a little bit boring in your life. What can wildness bring us? Where can it take us?

Centring: Open to the breath. As you deepen into your seat and your breathing, focus your attention on the low belly. I think this is where our wildness lives. See if you can touch in to a small feeling of that wildness. As you hold onto that feeling, bring to mind a project or a relatoinship, something in your life that feels very serious or stagnant. See if you can breathe a little space around it. What could a little wildness bring to this area of your life?

Sequence

WARMUPS

-shakti flings

-partner stretch

-sun breaths

-SN (lunge, gentle twist)

-SN (utka, full stretch, switchbacks –> parsvakonasana to exalted warrior)

ACTION

organic energy is one of my favourite things about anusara yoga. it’s where we get to express ourselves. we’ve been working the past few weeks on muscular engagement – hugging to the midline, firming the muscles. today we are going to look at the balance to that. organic energy expands out in every direction. it roots us down into the ground so we can rise up and expand!

-instruct in Vira 1 (thumbs hooked)

-instruct in DD (demonstrate first –> foundation, claw hands, walk knees back, lift up, firm arms, squeeze midline, then from back of heart press down into hands, from back of heart stretch up to hips and down to heels)

THRILLER VINYASA (in honour of halloween! and wildness)

utka> prayer twist> lunge> prayer twist lunge>DD>cobra (both sides)

parsvakonasana

-standing L at the wall

-warrior 3 at the wall

-half moon at the wall

-cobra x 3

-thigh stretch

-side plank

-wild thing (demonstrate)

-child’s pose

COOLING

-ardha matsey

-pigeon

-jathara parivartanasana

-happy baby

SAVASANA

theme development:

-lift and spread the toes wildly!

-root your wildness down through your feet and then lift the torso up out of the waist, opening to unexpected possibilities! like thriller in a yoga class!

-tap into that wildness in your belly and bring that into your pose

-think of a person in your life who inspires you to be a little wild, a little outrageous. do this pose for them! imagine they are pulling your hands back towards the back wall as you lift up and curl back

-bring your fingers to your head, mess up your hair!

-now with complete disregard for looking cool, walk your hips up jauntily to the top of your mat. this is a rehearsal for later. (got them to walk from DD to uttanasana to the beat of thriller. priceless)

Action: shins-in(steadfastness), thighs-out/widening (humility/surrender/yield)

Personalize: walking in the woods this morning, in the natural environment the trees don’t just throw the leaves in the trash when they are no longer necessary… rather they release them gracefully when it is time, and they fall to the earth to compost and fertilize the tree and the forest. It’s a slow humble process of letting go of what’s no longer serving them and that returns to the earth to be used anew. Nothing in nature is waste.

 

Contextualize: when people notice something that’s no longer serving us- old thoughts, old patterns of speaking or acting- we tend to judge ourselves for it, use it to put ourselves down and diminish ourselves. But the invitation of awareness is to retire these old patterns and defenses humbly and honorably, without judgment for the past- in fact maybe that pattern was useful at one point in time.

 

Humility comes from the Latin root “humus”, which means earth or soil. In the Jewish faith, one way to “rekosher” a utensil is to thrust it into the earth. The earth cleanses and sanctifies. Our focus today will be on opening and rooting the pelvis in order to connect with this energy of the earth and to release what’s no longer serving us so that we have more space to truly connect to the highest in us.

 

Set thighs and lengthen tailbone. Close eyes.

 

Universalize: Cultivating humility means acknowledging our earthiness. We acknowledge that we are matter as well as spirit. We honor our tender mortality. We acknowledge our limitations, material and spiritual. Take a deep breath and exhale with a sigh releasing anything that blocks you from being here right now. We cherish the moment. We cherish the seemingly-small gifts of the universe, of embodiment: the touch of the earth. The warmth of the sun. A smile. The smell of the fall leaves composing and returning to the earth.

 

  • Root chakra governs the energy lower pelvis and the legs. Connection to our earth, to steadiness and security in our lives. Symbolized by square- stable structure- four corners of the feet.
  • letting go of what’s no longer serving us takes discipline, awareness and steady effort. Lift your toes and root through the four corners of your feet. Firm our outer shins into the midline. But this letting go also takes grace- allowing things to move in their course.
  • Shins-in- imagine that you’ve build heavy heart mounds around legs that are keeping them stable and rooted, now widen thighs back yielding the thigh bones back into their root in the pelvis.
  • Deepen the breath into the pelvis- widening and creating a flow through the energetic channels that allow you to release what is no longer serving you.
  • “Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. We have caused a lot of damage to the Earth. Now it is time for us to take good care of her. We bring our peace and calm to the surface of the Earth and share the lesson of love. We walk in that spirit.” – thich nhat han

Flow – Oct 24, 25, 27

Child’s pose- In this first pose, think of your life like a tree, with trunk and branches and leaves. Some leaves green, others turning brilliant red or orange, others brown. There are certain aspects, patterns, thoughts that are maybe turning a bit brown- Leaves that are ready to drop gracefully to the ground. Just pick one specific leaf, something that your ready to surrender with grace and humility. Hips surrender to heels. In this way we create meaning throughout our practice. Each pose is an opportunity to take part in our own growth and transformation.

Table pose- shins steady, thighs back, tail lengths down without eliminating low back curve

Dog pose

Tadasana – explain root chakra. Four corners of feet

Utkatasana

Lunges

Tadasana with block- pez dispenser

  • dog with block
  • plank with block
  • Chaturanga

low lunges- hug shin to front arm, widen thighs back

(planks in between)

hip opener dog

low lunges with hand on inner thigh

warrior 2

warrior 2> parsvo

parsvo with friend- shins-in and thigh out, then you scoop tail bone

parsvo other side on your own

Trikonasana

Pigeon (demo strong shins to keep low back clear)

Holy hamstring

Dandasana – Breathing- long exhales

Janu Sirsasana

Parivrtta Upavistha

Child’s pose

Jakarta Parivartansana

Savasana

 

Expand Oct 26

Child’s pose- In this first pose, think of your life like a tree, with trunk and branches and leaves. Some leaves green, others turning brilliant red or orange, others brown. There are certain aspects, patterns, thoughts that are maybe turning a bit brown- Leaves that are ready to drop gracefully to the ground. Just pick one specific leaf, something that your ready to surrender with grace and humility. Hips surrender to heels. In this way we create meaning throughout our practice. Doing yoga poses isn’t inherently transformation, without meaning they’re just forms, just like any other exercise regime. But in Anusara see the physical the material as inherently spiritual- each pose is an opportunity to take part in our own growth and transformation on all levels.

 

Table pose- shins steady, thighs back, tail lengths down without eliminating low back curve> Dog pose

Tadasana – explain root chakra. Four corners of feet

Utkatasana > Lunges> Plank> chat> cobra

low lunges- hug shin to front arm, widen thighs back> twist

(planks in between)

twisted dog> hip opener dog

low lunges with hand on inner thigh

 

warrior 2

warrior 2> parsvo

parsvo with friend- shins-in and thigh out, then you scoop tail bone

parsvo other side on your own

 

Pigeon (demo strong shins to keep low back clear)> quad stretch

Trikonasana > Ardha Chandrasana > chapasana

 

Supta Virasana (modification with block and elbows down)

Dog

Holy hamstring/ hanuman

 

Dandasana – Breathing- long exhales

Janu Sirsasana > Parivrtta Janu

Eka Pada Virasana> Krounchasana > Surya Yantrasana

Parsva Upavistha Konasana

Child’s pose

Jakarta Parivartansana

Savasana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class 7 (or alt class 6)

Theme: started session by talking about how yoga brings us into balance- body and mind… Worked on standing balancing poses. Now work on more subtle balance of pelvis to bring back into balance

Heart Qual: stability/freedom, steadfastness/yielding

Action: IS*/OS

Define/explain: grounding femur, pubic bone, hamstrings, psoas

Poses: parsvott, supta padang, viprita Karani,

 

Warm ups:

–       Sun breath, side stretches (review root down to rise!)

–       Knee to chest and out to side

–       Dolphin push ups

–       Dog leg lifts and step through- review cheats

–       SN- normal x 2

Poses:

–       IS/OS with block, explain psoas and lumbar curves

–       Prasarita Padottanasana w/blocks

–       Vira 2> Parsvakonasana

–       Trikonasana

–       Parsvott at wall

–       shoulder opener at wall

–       Supta padang at wall

 

Quieting:

  • Viparita karani
  • Breathing (alt nostril)
  • Savasana

 

 

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

Theme: Expanding the present moment

HQ: Steadfastness and Expansiveness

Action: OTG, SITO

Pinnacle: Bound Parsvakonasana

Today the theme is “expanding the present moment”. This is something that I have been thinking about alot, something that is hard for me. To be present, not stuck worrying about the future or re-living or running from the past. I think this is a challenging thing for everyone. There can be a real agony about being in the present moment. But I’ve come across some definitions of the present moment that have helped me think about it differently.

The first definition is called “the fleeting present” and that’s the one I think we’re most familiar with. If time is a line, the fleeting present is a dot moving along that line, so everything before and after that is separate from it. That is the kind of present moment that I often think about when I try to be in the present moment. But that feels so isolated and cramped and tiny! So the second definition has really changed my thinking about the present. The second definition is called “the eternal present” and it is an expansion that includes all time. So the dot on the line expands to include both past and future. The power of the past and the potential on the future are all included in this moment, they are all acting on us all the time. So that feels really exciting and different to me, it doesn’t feel so isolated and tiny. Suddenly being in the present moment has this fullness to it.
And the expansiveness, the moving from being a dot on the line to becoming the whole line (or even more than that) is part of this process of awakening, of awareness. That is one of the highest purposes for our practice, to awaken, to expand our understanding of ourselves to a wider view.

Meditation/Centreing: Visualization – Imagine your past and future are contained in two separate bubbles floating over your head. As you sit here, lift your awareness up and prick holes in the bubbles. Feel the past and present begin to leak into and fill this present moment. What does that feel like?

  • warmups — cat/cow & hip circles
  • SN > straight leg lunge, gentle twist lunge > open dog
  • SN > crescent lunge > full stretch
  • ACTION- since we’re already tackling DEEP THOUGHTS about time, i thought i would tackle another age old question you’ve probably been wondering about, which is “what is the governing principle for the legs in any yoga pose?” I know this has been keeping you up at night, so I will answer that for you now: Shins In, Thighs Out
  • Tadasana – instruct SITO
  • Uttanasana – instruct SITO
  • DD – instruct SITO
  • 30 sec utkatasana – instruct SITO
  • SN – lunge with hand on outer shin
  • SN – elbow lunge > parsvotanasana
  • prasarita padottanasana (jump out)
  • parsvakonasana
  • eagle
  • pigeon prep
  • silver surfer > bound parsvakonasana
  • child’s pose
  • ardha matseyendrasana
  • upavista konasana (with partner, feet to shins, hug shins in, thighs out, fold forward)
  • janu sirsasana
  • savasana

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