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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

 

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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

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)

Theme: Creating a steadfast relationship with our bodies

Heart Quality: Steadfastness

Action: Muscular Energy (Muscle to Bone, Midline)

Pinnacle: Bakasana

Today we are going to work on becoming really steadfast in our poses. As the session progresses we’re going to play more with balancing poses, so before we move in that direction I want to give you the actions that will keep your poses steady and stable.

Muscular Energy is the action that keeps us steady and stable in our poses, and we are going to be looking at this in our practice today. And I want to link it to this idea of developing a steadfast relationship with our bodies. As creators, our relationship with our bodies is so important. It is our instrument, it is how we access and interact with the world. Muscular Energy allows us to create strength and stability so that we can learn to trust ourselves to balance.

WARMUPS

-partner stretch (grab wrists and sit back in invisible chair, opposite hands and step opp foot back)

-shaking out

-sun breaths

-folding

-SN x2 – gentle twist, full stretch (DD to plank “pushups” – normal and then with one leg lifted)

ACTION

-explain MTB, HTM

-do these in every pose, keeps joints and ligaments safe, keeps us from falling out of poses

-example: prayer twist lunge (everyone try)

STANDING

-DD – explain ME in arms in this pose

-extended side angle

-warrior 2> triangle

-tree

-office chair>finger tips to floor

-malasana x 3

-bakasana

COOL DOWN

-bridge

-ardha matsey

-baddha kon

-supta padang

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

Yoga For Performers Class 1

Heart Quality: Receptivity

Action: STF, OTG

Theme: Returning to the breath, opening to inspiration

I want to begin by comparing the practice of yoga to the process of rehearsing for a performance, either as a dancer, actor or musician. At the beginning we learn the outer form, and through the rehearsal period we add layers of precision and articulation as our skills and awareness builds. Today we will learn the outer forms of the poses, like learning the initial form of a song, lines or blocking. Throughout the session we will add pieces each week that will allow us to become more precise and articulate. We will layer these on top of the outer form. So today is about learning our lines, learning the song.

But in order to connect this to creativity and the artistic process, to move away from just stretching or just working out, we are going to be very clear on our attitude, or intention. Wherever we are in the stage of learning something, we can always be clear in our intention. So I want to take a moment here for you to contemplate your intention for coming to this class. What are you hoping for?

So we’ll take a moment here to centre, to close our eyes and drop into your intention for coming here. Maybe you don’t know what that is yet. Maybe it’s really clear for you. What are you hoping for? Why are you taking this class? And even wider for that, What is your intention as an artist?

As you hold your individual intention for coming, I want to set a group intention for today, of the quality of receptivity. How can we cultivate this quality in our practice today, in order to move towards fulfilling our own intentions?

Warmups

7:10 -cat/cow>knee to chest>opp arm and leg>hip circles

-sun breaths (connect to breath/intention)

-forward folding (tad>utt)

-dolphin>dolphin pushups

-DD

-utt>straight leg lunge>DD>step forward (both sides)

-utt>gentle twist>DD>step forward (both sides)

Teach action

7:25 -moving with breath, let breath initiate movement (sun breaths)

-filling front back and sides of torso with breath (breathing in tadasana)

-in yoga we learn to pay attention to the breath, important because it is the gateway to creativity. The breath brings us into the present, opens us up. As you watch your breathing, notice your skin softening, your awareness clearing.

-Inspire: to breathe in God or spirit (IN-SPIRE). We are looking for inspiration – the first place we can turn to is the breath.

Standing poses

7:30 -Crescent moon, dancing moon

-crescent lunge (both sides)

-wide legged forward fold>extended side angle>triangle

-runners stretch>quad stretch>DD>side plank>DD>step up

-pigeon prep

-lying down thigh stretch (ardha bhek)

-X pose three ways

Cooling

7:50 -seated twist (ardha matsey)

-bridge (setu bandha)

-windshield wipers (jathara pari)

-thread the needle

-supta padang

8:03            -SAVASANA

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