“The body tells its story. The mind supports and questions and encourage. The mind has to agree to be the compassionate listener without judgement or expectation. 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.”
I’ve been teaching yoga since 2004. Over the year my teaching style has changed a lot. I used to plan and then just improvise, have an idea for a series or peak poses. Sometime I thought I had just taught an amazing class but did not write it down and then would not be able to repeat it. I’ve also spend lot of time, researching, reading, preparing and know how much can go into planing the “perfect” class. I’ve decided to share with you some of the classes program, class 3, I prepared for the Yoga teacher training. There are 18 lessons plans that build on each other. The first few classes are more gentle classes, until we move toward more advanced poses and sequencing. Where ever you are on your journey its important to remind yourself that it’s more important to have awareness than to do an asana perfectly. I hope you enjoy me sharing theses with you and would appreciate your feedback to keep improving them. I’ve used 2 books to help me build theses classes, they are the Golden Present book by Sri Swami Satchidananda and the Hidden Language of Hatha Yoga by Swami Sivananda Radha.
“In Hatha Yoga we confront our fears as well as our potentials by balancing attention between the body and the mind. Because human beings are so complex, various branches of yoga must be practised in proper combination to help people become harmonious being. Asanas are a discipline of the body, but they are not without an effect on the mind, and in turn the mind affects the body. We create an intuitive space for deepening our understanding about ourselves, uncovering our obstacles and potential. We are the masters of our own destiny.”
Class 14: Dancer Pose/ Natarajasana, I am brave
Shiva, the king dancer also called Nataraja in Sanskrit, knows that everything is born must also die. He understands that destruction clears the path for rebirth. In order to dance like Shiva, we must feel free. Freedom comes from knowing there is nothing that binds us permanently. Shiva change is born out of a liberation from the fear of change. He teaches us to ride the wave of change, only paying to the rhythm of the dance. Embracing change liberates is from suffering.
Dancer pose include back bending and balancing poses together, both elicit fear because of the openness and bravery they require. We tend to store fear in our heart, and when we open the heart, we give ourselves an opportunity to let go of fear. Likewise balancing gives us an opportunity to overcome our natural fear of falling and to be brave and free. If we can backbend and balance with the same sense of liberation with which Nararaja dances, then it will be easier for us to embrace this freedom in our minds and hearts.
Start in Child pose
- Kneeling Cat/Cow, Marjaiasana/Bitilasana, then big knee circles
- Bird Dog, adding movement (connecting elbow and knee), stretch quadriceps
- Stretch quads at wall
- Dancer pose/Natarajasana
Classic Sun Salutation:
- Starting with the right leg
- Starting with the left leg
After low lunge go to half split, (inhale lengthen, exhale fold) 3X,
Instead of modified chaturanga, go for chaturanga, Upward Dog, Downward Dog
Repeat same sequence starting with other leg.
Ladder Flow from Modified Classical Sun Salutation
After half split/ Ardha Hanumanasana go to:
- Low lunge with quadriceps stretch
- Low lunge with twist
- Rise chest up, hand behind back other up
- Crescent lunge
- Back to Downward Dog, open hip
- Flip the Dog/Wild thing/ Camatkarasana
- Side Plank/Vasisthasana with quad. stretch.
- Chaturanga push up all way down to Bow
- Repeat same sequence starting with other leg
Dancer Pose with straps
This asana demands flexibility and a limber spine. But flexibility has to be balanced with strength. The tension and relaxation are necessary forces and cannot be separated from each other. The goal of yoga is to unite the opposites that are part of human nature. Symbolically the bow is masculine and feminine at the same time, unifying strength and flexibility, tension and surrender. One has to determine what the target is and then train to be able to withstand the pressure and tension that will help one to achieve the goal. We can start to look at obstacles in life as opportunities for personal growth; we try to strike that perfect balance of being fearless, taking responsibility for our life ad not giving in to difficulties, while at the same time staying detached from the results of our actions.
Same Flow as above, but after Crescent
- Warrior 2/ Virabhadrasana 2
- Reverse Triangle/ Viparita Trikonasana
- Half Moon pose/ Ardha Chandrasana, add quad stretch
- Supported Warrior 3, Warrior 3/ Virabhadrasana 3,
- Stand up Dancer pose,
- Crescent pose and keep same flow as above from here
- Repeat same sequence starting with other leg
Try Dance Pose once again
I bow to the inner Self
Don’t give room to temporary depressions. Things come and go. Nothing is permanent in this world. Even our bodies come and go. Identify with that real you; the real I, your spirit and soul. Wherever your mind goes, just enjoy it. You can heal yourself. There is a beautiful part of the mind, a powerful part of the mind, that can always get you out of any problem. Use that part brilliant part, the bright part. Don’t succumb to the other side of the mind, learn to ride the wave of change. Be brave!