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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

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.