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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: 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

Introduce Niyamas– actions and attitudes we can cultivate to help us realize more connectedness. Saucha- Rigidly interpreted as “purity”- it can become a strict code of things to avoid, the concept of purity implies a dichotomy- that world is a profane place. A more liberal interpretation of saucha could be to interpret it as clarity rather than purity. In Anusara we embrace a tantric philosophy that emphasizes the intrinsic goodness in each of us- at our heart each of us is already pure. So then what does this niyama mean for us? In tantra, individuals still have agency, and we can interact with the world in more or less skilful ways- Embracing saucha- clarity in thought, word and deed, can interact with the world in a more skilful way.

The first thing we need to get clear with in our practice of yoga and life is our intention- what do we want to manifest? What’s our bigger purpose for this practice? The word yoga means union in sanskrit. For me yoga, it is a practice that helps us unite our individual selves with something bigger, but not separate from ourselves. This can be simple as recognizing the goodness that lies within each of us. My broader intention each time a practice is to remember and celebrate that connectedness. Maybe that’s not something that feels true for you right now, so take some time to get clear with yourself- in one clear phrase, sum up what your bigger intention is. Let yourself brighten with intention.

Tadasana – be really clear about the foundation in the poses. Ask: Why does it matter how we place our hands and feet? Physical reasons, and then also the bigger picture. In lining up our physical body, we show our dedication to aligning with a bigger purpose and broader vision for our lives.

Niyamas– actions and attitudes we can cultivate to help us realize more connectedness. Saucha- Rigidly interpreted as “purity”- it can become a strict code of things to avoid, the concept of purity implies a dichotomy- that world is a profane place. A more liberal interpretation of saucha could be to interpret it as clarity rather than purity. In Anusara we embrace a tantric philosophy that emphasizes the intrinsic goodness in each of us- at our heart each of us is already pure. So then what does this niyama mean for us? In tantra, individuals still have agency, and we can interact with the world in more or less skilful ways- Embracing saucha- clarity in thought, word and deed, can interact with the world in a more skilful way.

The first thing we need to get clear with in our practice of yoga and life is our intention- what do we want to manifest? What’s our bigger purpose for this practice? The word yoga means union in sanskrit. For me yoga, it is a practice that helps us unite our individual selves with something bigger, but not separate from ourselves. This can be simple as recognizing the goodness that lies within each of us. My broader intention each time a practice is to remember and celebrate that connectedness. Maybe that’s not something that feels true for you right now, so take some time to get clear with yourself- in one clear phrase, sum up what your bigger intention is. Let yourself brighten with intention.

In Tadasana – be really clear about the foundation in the poses. Ask: Why does it matter how we place our hands and feet? Physical reasons, and then also the bigger picture. In lining up our physical body, we show our dedication to aligning with a bigger purpose and broader vision for our lives.

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