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ON STEADFASTNESS:

Ms. Keshavarz: [Translating] When pain arrives side by side with your love, I promise not to flee. When you ask me for my life, I promise not to fight. I’m holding a cup in my hand, but God, if you do not come till the end of time, I promise not to pour out the wine nor to drink a sip. Your bright face is my day. Your dark curls bring the night. If you do not let me near you, I promise not to go to sleep nor rise. Your magnificence has made me a wonder. Your charm has taught me the way of love. I am the progeny of Abraham. I’ll find my way through fire.

Ms. Tippett: What do you hear in that? What do you reflect on in that?

Ms. Keshavarz: It’s about steadfastness, about staying centered and keeping your eye on the goal, but at the same time, very much being in love and allowing the ecstasy of love take over. You see, he is very aware of the fact that, as human beings, we are limited. We have our limits. We just are not able to do everything that we desire to do. Our rationality is there; it’s very helpful. It does its job in questioning things and showing the way, but that has its limits too. What opens the way beyond that is love. What enables us to feel the pain and still go forth in the face of all of that is experiencing that love. And if you look at our lives, you know, people who produce great works of art, who are creative, who do something that goes beyond day-to-day activities, have that kind of steadfastness, that kind of devotion that lets them go through. What I see in that poem is that I promise to have that, but that comes from you. It’s your magnificence, your love that gives me that energy, that power to stay, and I promise to hold onto it.

Ms. Tippett: And “you” is the beloved, is God, is Allah.

Ms. Keshavarz: Yes, and that’s where the ambiguity comes in, of course, because you should be able to relate to it as a human being in love with another human being. That would be your entry into the poem.

Ms. Tippett: It’s also probably important to note that Rumi had a great turning point with a friendship, with Shams, a Sufi master. I think it is actually helpful that the love relationship, out of which Rumi drew so many of his analogies, you know, is not a romantic love relationship. And what you’re saying to me is that love is the core, but to think about the many forms that love takes in our lives. I mean, there’s also the passionate love that we have for our children.

Ms. Keshavarz: Yes, and so they are a blessing and they all have their own place. And in the end, we don’t replace them with the divine. It’s like warming up, in a way. It’s like getting you ready for a major exercise, a physical activity. You warm up gradually. You get yourself to a state where you can do it, test your abilities, see your problems and issues, ask your questions, quarrel with yourself, and get ready for it. And I think all these forms of experience of attachment with other human beings are various ways of experiencing that.

 

http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/rumi/transcript.shtml

Action: shins-in(steadfastness), thighs-out/widening (humility/surrender/yield)

Personalize: walking in the woods this morning, in the natural environment the trees don’t just throw the leaves in the trash when they are no longer necessary… rather they release them gracefully when it is time, and they fall to the earth to compost and fertilize the tree and the forest. It’s a slow humble process of letting go of what’s no longer serving them and that returns to the earth to be used anew. Nothing in nature is waste.

 

Contextualize: when people notice something that’s no longer serving us- old thoughts, old patterns of speaking or acting- we tend to judge ourselves for it, use it to put ourselves down and diminish ourselves. But the invitation of awareness is to retire these old patterns and defenses humbly and honorably, without judgment for the past- in fact maybe that pattern was useful at one point in time.

 

Humility comes from the Latin root “humus”, which means earth or soil. In the Jewish faith, one way to “rekosher” a utensil is to thrust it into the earth. The earth cleanses and sanctifies. Our focus today will be on opening and rooting the pelvis in order to connect with this energy of the earth and to release what’s no longer serving us so that we have more space to truly connect to the highest in us.

 

Set thighs and lengthen tailbone. Close eyes.

 

Universalize: Cultivating humility means acknowledging our earthiness. We acknowledge that we are matter as well as spirit. We honor our tender mortality. We acknowledge our limitations, material and spiritual. Take a deep breath and exhale with a sigh releasing anything that blocks you from being here right now. We cherish the moment. We cherish the seemingly-small gifts of the universe, of embodiment: the touch of the earth. The warmth of the sun. A smile. The smell of the fall leaves composing and returning to the earth.

 

  • Root chakra governs the energy lower pelvis and the legs. Connection to our earth, to steadiness and security in our lives. Symbolized by square- stable structure- four corners of the feet.
  • letting go of what’s no longer serving us takes discipline, awareness and steady effort. Lift your toes and root through the four corners of your feet. Firm our outer shins into the midline. But this letting go also takes grace- allowing things to move in their course.
  • Shins-in- imagine that you’ve build heavy heart mounds around legs that are keeping them stable and rooted, now widen thighs back yielding the thigh bones back into their root in the pelvis.
  • Deepen the breath into the pelvis- widening and creating a flow through the energetic channels that allow you to release what is no longer serving you.
  • “Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. We have caused a lot of damage to the Earth. Now it is time for us to take good care of her. We bring our peace and calm to the surface of the Earth and share the lesson of love. We walk in that spirit.” – thich nhat han

Flow – Oct 24, 25, 27

Child’s pose- In this first pose, think of your life like a tree, with trunk and branches and leaves. Some leaves green, others turning brilliant red or orange, others brown. There are certain aspects, patterns, thoughts that are maybe turning a bit brown- Leaves that are ready to drop gracefully to the ground. Just pick one specific leaf, something that your ready to surrender with grace and humility. Hips surrender to heels. In this way we create meaning throughout our practice. Each pose is an opportunity to take part in our own growth and transformation.

Table pose- shins steady, thighs back, tail lengths down without eliminating low back curve

Dog pose

Tadasana – explain root chakra. Four corners of feet

Utkatasana

Lunges

Tadasana with block- pez dispenser

  • dog with block
  • plank with block
  • Chaturanga

low lunges- hug shin to front arm, widen thighs back

(planks in between)

hip opener dog

low lunges with hand on inner thigh

warrior 2

warrior 2> parsvo

parsvo with friend- shins-in and thigh out, then you scoop tail bone

parsvo other side on your own

Trikonasana

Pigeon (demo strong shins to keep low back clear)

Holy hamstring

Dandasana – Breathing- long exhales

Janu Sirsasana

Parivrtta Upavistha

Child’s pose

Jakarta Parivartansana

Savasana

 

Expand Oct 26

Child’s pose- In this first pose, think of your life like a tree, with trunk and branches and leaves. Some leaves green, others turning brilliant red or orange, others brown. There are certain aspects, patterns, thoughts that are maybe turning a bit brown- Leaves that are ready to drop gracefully to the ground. Just pick one specific leaf, something that your ready to surrender with grace and humility. Hips surrender to heels. In this way we create meaning throughout our practice. Doing yoga poses isn’t inherently transformation, without meaning they’re just forms, just like any other exercise regime. But in Anusara see the physical the material as inherently spiritual- each pose is an opportunity to take part in our own growth and transformation on all levels.

 

Table pose- shins steady, thighs back, tail lengths down without eliminating low back curve> Dog pose

Tadasana – explain root chakra. Four corners of feet

Utkatasana > Lunges> Plank> chat> cobra

low lunges- hug shin to front arm, widen thighs back> twist

(planks in between)

twisted dog> hip opener dog

low lunges with hand on inner thigh

 

warrior 2

warrior 2> parsvo

parsvo with friend- shins-in and thigh out, then you scoop tail bone

parsvo other side on your own

 

Pigeon (demo strong shins to keep low back clear)> quad stretch

Trikonasana > Ardha Chandrasana > chapasana

 

Supta Virasana (modification with block and elbows down)

Dog

Holy hamstring/ hanuman

 

Dandasana – Breathing- long exhales

Janu Sirsasana > Parivrtta Janu

Eka Pada Virasana> Krounchasana > Surya Yantrasana

Parsva Upavistha Konasana

Child’s pose

Jakarta Parivartansana

Savasana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class 7 (or alt class 6)

Theme: started session by talking about how yoga brings us into balance- body and mind… Worked on standing balancing poses. Now work on more subtle balance of pelvis to bring back into balance

Heart Qual: stability/freedom, steadfastness/yielding

Action: IS*/OS

Define/explain: grounding femur, pubic bone, hamstrings, psoas

Poses: parsvott, supta padang, viprita Karani,

 

Warm ups:

–       Sun breath, side stretches (review root down to rise!)

–       Knee to chest and out to side

–       Dolphin push ups

–       Dog leg lifts and step through- review cheats

–       SN- normal x 2

Poses:

–       IS/OS with block, explain psoas and lumbar curves

–       Prasarita Padottanasana w/blocks

–       Vira 2> Parsvakonasana

–       Trikonasana

–       Parsvott at wall

–       shoulder opener at wall

–       Supta padang at wall

 

Quieting:

  • Viparita karani
  • Breathing (alt nostril)
  • Savasana

 

 

Steadfastness on our path

–       HQ: Steadiness and freedom   Actions: ME/OE (HABB and SBOB)

Continuing my yoga training- some obstacles to getting into a training that I really want to be part of. First felt disappointment, uhh I should just do something else, but then I remembered how much I care about studying yoga and how I want to stay dedicated and true this path that I love.

In yogic philosophy the Ganesh, the elephant god, represents that aspect of consciousness that helps us to move through obstacles and blocks in our life. It’s significant that this aspect of consciousness is embodied as an elephant. If you think of the qualities of an elephant they are earthy, huge, live for a long, long time… qualities remind me steadfastness. And this quality is crucial in moving through obstacles, both in terms of life circumstances, but also obstacles in our inner relationship with our selves, with out spirit. So in our practice today we’re going do embody that quality steadfastness of Ganesh in order to move more deeply into our poses and subsequently also experience more freedom and expansiveness in the practice.

Meditation: Even breaths.

–       Warm ups: lunges and jump switching

–       Cactus arms (retract arms in, SBOB then expand)

–       Utkatasana with arms retract and then extended

–       Lunge twist

–       Utka> Prayer twist > step back > twisted lunge> holy hamstring stretch

–   Chatturanga push ups with blocks under shoulders (don’t touch block, keep HABB/SBOB)

–       Parsvo

–       Trikonasana- 1st- remember IBB lengthen, HOTBB (ME), extend (OE))

–       TRIK partner: hand on friends pelvis (root down) and crown of head (extend)

–       Shoulder opener

–       Pigeon prep

–       Setu bandha

–       Twist

–       Savasana

–       Chanting to ganesha

Contextual statements for ME heart virtues. Context statements are simple logical statements, that, when said with meaningfulness will help to open your students hearts. Matrika must be adjusted to be appropriate to class/context of class- meet student where she is. Everyone can relate to laughter. Don’t make your treatment of the theme too lofty, context statements ground the theme and make it accessible.

Willpower

–       is the capacity to hold your center even when you wobble.

–       Line up your will to connect with all that is life affirming.

–       When your will is connected to the divine will you are limitless, you’re in the flow of grace.

–       The real power of the will is revealed when your individual will is lined up with the universal will

– Willpower is the capacity to hold your center even when you wobble. – TN

–       It takes willpower to stay consistent with what you aspire to.  With willpower you can aspire to the highest.

Steadiness

–       requirement for growth

–       unwavering devotion to your practice

–       steadiness is to follow your heart at all odds

Steadfastness

–       the ability to stay focused at all odds

–       to stay true to yourself and your path even when the whole world is falling apart

–       when you lack steadfastness you lack integrity and lose focus.  Steadfastness is the fuel that will take you through challenges and lead to true growth.

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