“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 15: Inversion, I trust myself, I am stronger than I think
The forearm balance/pincha mayurasana/peacock pose is a difficult asana for many people. One must overcome pride, bodily fear, fear of not completing the pose, fear of not being able to do the right thing, fear of showing weakness.
- Start lying on your back hamstring stretch (hand to big toe)
- Spinal roll
- Boat/ Naukasana to Half boat/ Ardha Navasanat
- Squeeze block in between forearm, squeeze elbows toward each other
- Warm up wrist
- On all 4s, Cat/Cow
- Dolphin pose/ Ardha Pincha Mayurasana to forearm Plank/ Phalakasana
- Modified Upward to Downward Dog in forearm Plank 3 X
- Side Plank on forearm/ Vasisthasana
Sun Salutation A
- Dolphin, press to Downward Dog
- 1 leg Dog, open hip & practice squaring the hips
- Crescent Lunge/ Anjaneyasana
- Standing hand to big toe/ Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
- Standing split: open hip & practice squaring the hips
- Bring knee to chest, extend leg
At the wall:
- Handstand/ Adho Mukha Vrksasana hop from 1 leg Dog
- Cannon ball; hop 2 legs at the same time
- Try forearm balance/ Pincha Mayurasana
Because the peacock stays on the ground rather than flying, it represents the Earth with all its colourful temptations. The peacock can symbolize personal vanity but also the beauty and glory of Heaven. This asana requires strength in the arms and willingness to carry one’s weight in new way. Ask yourself: “Where will you find perfection? Does pride blind my ugly side? Or does it make me oversensitive to my imperfections? What is beauty to me? What power does beauty have? How does it affect me?”
With a partner:
- L-shaped handstand,
- walk up the wall with belly toward the wall
- Butt on heel/ Thunderbolt/Vajrasana with Neck stretch
- Cow face/ Gomukhasana arms with straps
- Lying down shoulder stretch/ Eka Bhuja Swastikasana I
In the headstand, that which has been rooted in the Earth becomes rooted in Heaven. The nourishment that came from eh Earth is now supplied by greater forces from above. You might start thinking: “What would happen if my life were turned upside down?” Standing on the head brings clarity of mind, not only in regard to emotions but also speech. As you learn balance and courage in the practice of this posture, realize that the pressure you feel in the asana is your own body and that the burdens in life are your own. It is not your task to carry the weights of, or the responsibility for, anyone else. What are your burdens? What is the psychological implication of looking at them from a different perspective?
Because of the inverted posture, the blood rushed to the head, nourishing the brain, supplying extra oxygen. Having your head on the ground, well rooted, means having an intellect that is well developed and practical. Your feet are rooted in Heaven instead of Earth, inspiration will stand the test of practical application and increased intuitive perception will help you to meet new complex situations. To place the head, the seat of the intellect, on the ground, is symbolic for humility. Raising the feet in the air is surrendering the security of the Earth. Removing oneself from one’s firm foundation, that it demands full attention to maintain.
Shima Shima by Deva Premal
Shima shima shima shima
Shima shima shimaya
(The word Shima, translated from the language of the Hopi tribe of North America means “love”.)
This mantra is about loving everyone in this world.
On this special day, make a resolution
You all want to fly high. You want independence, liberty, happiness, but you don’t want to do anything to get it. At least on a day like this you should reaffirm your interest in your practice and know that nobody has ever archived anything without practice. Selfless service is all right. But even to do the service correctly with the proper attitude, with proper physical energy, you have to tune up your body and mind. If the battery is weak, your quartz clock won’t work. You have to charge your battery. That’s where the personal practice comes in. Snatch a little bit of time somehow to wind your clock and charge your battery. Let your flag fly high through proper practice. Keep the post straight with yoga postures. Pull the strings with proper breathing. Raise the flag of consciousness. Then you won’t have to do anything else. The result will be there. On this beautiful day my sincere wish and prayer is that all of you will really put your effort into experiencing this joy of liberty