From Mountain Pose to Yin Yoga: Journey to Harmony and Strength
If you’re looking for yoga classes to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health, then you may be interested in reading this article. As a yoga teacher, I have prepared several lesson plans for yoga teacher training that I am willing to share with you. The following lesson plans are designed to build on each other, from gentle classes to more advanced poses and sequencing.
Before we dive into the lesson plans, let me share with you the philosophy behind yoga. In Hatha Yoga, we seek to balance attention between the body and mind, confronting our fears and potentials. Asanas discipline the body but affect the mind, and in turn, the mind affects the body. Through the practice of yoga, we create an intuitive space for deepening our understanding of ourselves, uncovering our obstacles and potential, and becoming harmonious beings. As Sri Swami Satchidananda says in his book “The Golden Present,” “We want to find a deeper meaning in the asanas, to take us to a higher level of consciousness, expect depth, reflection, clarity and support for the Light within.”
In lesson one, we will focus on the Yin/Yang sequence
We will explore deep belly breath, and the “I am breathing” mantra. Yoga seeks to join all opposites and dissolve any illusion of separateness to allow all our energy to be unified. The goal is to achieve true balance within the body and mind, resting in the center of our heart to feel more within and think less. We will start by practicing deep belly breath lying on our backs in constructive rest pose, incomplete rabbit and child pose. We will also perform the Hand in prayer pose, also called Anjali Mudra, which symbolizes the belief that whatever one is praying for will soon arrive. This gesture is a strong pulsation of faith, which is required to make great leaps and receive great blessings.
We will then perform Tadasana/Mountain pose, steady and still like a mountain. The mountain is a symbol of the aspiration to transcend oneself, returning to inner stillness that gives one the power to climb beyond the ego. After that, we will do the Classical Sun Salutations with lunge and Plank pose/Kumbhakasana, which will help us cultivate a strong, steady, and equanimous mind. The journey to strength is cultivated through every day of our life.
In Yin poses, we will perform
- Low Squat/Malasana,
- Bridge pose/Setu Bandhasana,
- Reclining Figure 4 pose/Supta eka pada galavasana (glutes stretch lying down),
- and Lying spinal twist/Supta Matsyendrasana.
We will then explore the meaning of Om, the sound of the Cosmic Vibration. Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” The very foundations of our Universe, of matter and thought, appear to lie in sound vibration. The entire cosmos vibrates, and every cell vibrates. In fact, the whole universe is nothing but sound vibrations. Om is considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, the sound of the Cosmic Vibration. Mantra repetition is a direct way to tune ourselves to that cosmic vibration.
Finally, we will end with Namaste, which means “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of love, of truth, of peace, and of light. And when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.” We will also chant the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” by Alexia Chellun.