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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

What is there beyond knowing that keeps

calling to me?  I can’t

turn in any direction

but it’s there.  I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s

silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,

of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind

playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward,

or standing still

in the same — what shall I say —


What I know

I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it

on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!

While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable.  How wonderful it is

to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.

I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,

in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out.  Life so far doesn’t have any other name

but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.

I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass

and the weeds.

~ Mary Oliver

Theme: Solstice – Darkness and light

Heart qual: Honor/ awe/ wonder, connected to First Principles, IBB

Personalize: Winter solstice coming this week, darkest part of the year. The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still)- in the stillness and darkness we have time to turn inwards and be reflective. Through the contrast of darkness and cold in winter, we come to appreciate the warm and light of summer.

Universalize: In the philosophy of yoga, light cloaks or conceals itself as darkness just for the joy of revelation, for the beauty of contrast. It’s like this cosmic game of peek-a-boo- like a baby who pulls a blanket over its head for the joy and surprise of pulling it off again.

Chit/Ananda: The highest purpose of this practice is to live more fully- to honor, to be in awe, of the full spectrum of life, both light and darkness.

The light in the heart is like the sun behind a curtain, you may think that the world is in darkness, but really its just the room you’re in at the time, when you open the curtain and you’ll find that the sun has always been shining.

No matter the darkness or difficulties life brings, there is always a light burning in our hearts, let that light carry you through the dimness.

As you… open your heart to the full spectrum of life.

… with reverence, and awe at the capacity of your body to move and stretch. Honor the way that the practice is unfolding for you.

….honoring challenges and times of darkness in your life that have brought revelation and growth in your life.

Exhale and soften more, take a repose in the exhale and soften and feel the stillness inside.

OTG- Make you’re inner body bright and side bodies long with the intention to shine your light.

OTG- Let your inner body brighten, like the brightness of a baby’s face playing peek-a-boo.

IBB- let the whole inner body glow, soften, get into the back body and remember that you’re connected to something bigger.

ME- Draw in power to nurture yourself, to connect with a bigger source of energy. With every inhale charge the body so it gets brighter

ME- every time you hug in you choose to embrace yourself as an embodiment of spirit. You find the light inside and lovingly hug all of your cells.

One day the sun admitted,

I am just a shadow.

I wish I could show you the Infinite Incandescence

That has cast my brilliant image!

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness,

The astonishing Light of your own being.