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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

“Everything that has ever happened to us—our birth, the fall from a tree at the age of six, our thoughts, feelings, what we eat, the climate we live in—is inscribed upon our body, creating a living archaeological record. When we develop an awareness of the interior movement that permeates the body, we gain access to the movement of our minds. Yoga is a means of revealing our connection to this natural wisdom.” (83).

84- objectification of the body. State of dissociation. “Physical fitness” – focuses on superficial appearance of body- armouring of the body “causes a numbing of the subtler sensations and feeling and, not coincidentally, dampens any possibly awareness we might cultivate of deeper body systems.” (85)

 

85-6 “Instead of directing the body as a separate entity, we relocate our minds within our body and begin to listen to the nonverbal, nonmental information contained within the soma. As we give our full attention to every breath, movement, and the subtlest of sensations, the body becomes mindful, the mind becomes embodied. In so doing, we directly experience the body as an opaque form of consciousness, and we start to see the intimate relationship between the contents of what we think, feel, and imagine and our physical reality. In this reconciliation between body and mind we begin to experience a unitive rather than divisive state. This is what distinguishes the authentic practice of hatha Yoga from mere stretching.”

–       imitations of the outer world  in asanas- creativity, discovery of origins of movement and original meaning of gesture (87).

88-

“when we first enter a posture we are met by our ability of inability to take on this new form. We feel all the palces where we hold tension. These areas of accumulated tension represent the repetition of our ideation process, that is, our thoughts, fears, tensions, and anxieties conalescing into distinct patterns of tension and form our unique individual posture or attitude of life.

… Our idea of how pleasant it will be to take a Yoga class often meets reality the very first time we bend forward and feel the excruciating pull of our hamstring muscles. If this were all that happened, there would be a high attrition rate indeed, but fortunately we have the opportunity to go a step further by entering into a dialogue with this tension.” 88. Learn to breath into tension…

“As we become adept at uniting our breath, body, and mind into one action, we become intimate with the natural rhythm of life as it arises out of stillness, manifests into form, and then dissolves back into stillness. We start to become comfortable with the fact that everything is changing and in flux and that we can ride this fluctuation skillfully. We also begin to understand that as sensations, thoughts, and feelings pass through us, they need not solidify. They need not bunch up inside us as knots of tension. We can be a person who occasionally feels tension rather than a tense person. That is, all of these passing sensations need not concretize and fuse our identity. As we become more accomplished, the body consciousness becomes more malleable, able to adapt and assume whatever expression most skillfully serves the moment.”

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