“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 3: Ujjaya breath, I am calm
Ujjaya breath/ victorious breath/ diagrammatic breathing improves concentration and endurance while increasing the ability to flow gracefully. Improves concentration because it keeps the breath smooth and even. As we slow down the rhythm of each breath, it has soothing effect on our nervous system. This in turn releases the tensions in our body, helping us to feel more relaxed. This slow and deep style of breathing strengthens our lungs and diaphragm, while allowing a deeper intake of oxygen and full expulsion of carbon dioxide, thus enriching the blood. You need to slow down the passage through which the air travels in order to take longer breaths. The narrower the tunnel, the longer you will take to fill up completely with air. To breath softly and calmly requires more control than being loud.
Focus Intention: What seed are you tending? What roots are you nourishing? Bring your attention back to the earth. Start with a strong foundation from the ground up. Go inside, inhale nourishment. On your exhale; let the tension go and dissolve into the earth, let go everything you are ready to let go.
- Inhale, cow exhale, Downward Dog 3 X
- Wide leg Downward Dog/ adho mukha shvanasana, 5 breaths
- Inhale, Downward Dog on tip toes (lift heel), Exhale heel to floor
- Inhale flat back, exhale round spine into forward fold 5X
- Inhale Standing tall, reach arms up, exhale, chair pose/ Utkatasana
- Inhale, chair pose, reach arms up, exhale reach arms back palms up 3 X
- Chair pose/ Utkatasana, hold 3 breaths, then fold down
Mountain pose/ Tadasana: Meditate on the feet; your connection with the earth. Strong and stable foundation, allowing spaciousness in the spine. Visualize the exchange of nourishment from the ground and feel calm.
Classic Sun Salutation
- Low lunge/Anjaneyasana, inhale reach arms up, exhale hand in prayer pose 3X
- Half split/ Ardha Hanumanasana, inhale cow to exhale cat 3-5 X
- Crescent lunge/ Anjaneyasana: cactus arms 3X
- Inhale reach arms up exhale lean forward thumbs up back 3X
- Humble Warrior, also know as devotional warrior pose, bound warrior pose, or silver surfer pose/ Baddha Virabhadrasana 3-5 breath
- Pyramid pose/ Parsvottanasana cat & cow 3-5 X, hold Pyramid 3-5 breaths
- Low lunge, opposite hand to the floor, reach other arm up, hold 3-5 breaths
- Plank lower to your belly, waterfall Cobra/ Bhujangasana
Repeat flow other side
- 1 leg Dog, Warrior 2 inhale extend arms out, exhale hand in prayer pose
Goddess pose/ Utkata Konasana (“Utkata” — meaning “powerful” or “fierce” “Kona” — meaning “angle”) inhale reach arms out, exhale hand in prayer
- Wide leg forward fold/ Prasarita Padottanasana with hands interlace behind back
Repeat flow other side
- Low Squat/ Malasana
- Butterfly/ Baddha Konasana
- Head to knee forward bend/Janu Sirsasana (1 leg forward fold)
- Half Lord of the Fishes /Ardha Matsyendrasana
Seated Spinal Twist/ArdhaMarsyendrasana
A flexible mind and an inflexible spine can rarely be found together. If the body is tied in a knot, so are the mind and emotions. However, with sufficient depth of insight it can be recognized that what had been twisted can also be untwisted. To unwind not only affects the spine but also clears the vision. If you shift your foundation and compensate, then you are twisting to create an impression. How can I be straight? You want the body to be flexible and supple. Don’t you also want your mind to be flexible and supple? The twisting postures lead to introspection. Ask yourself: “What immobilizes me, prevents me from adapting?”
Shavasana symbolizes the death of the ego and the promise of awakening to an enlightened state of consciousness. Death gives us a sense of purpose that can inspire us to make good use of the time we have on earth. With continued practice, the senses are gradually withdrawn and become still. The best sign of a good Shavasana is a feeling of deep peace and pure bliss; from relaxation to surrender. Surrender is an essential action for anyone who wishes to lead a spiritual life. In that state of peace and quiet and inner harmony, one can perceive a vision of the Light that is present within.
Your whole mind should be on it
When you do a thing, your whole mind should be on it. Success depends on your application of the mind. Without that concentration, it’s a half-hearted job. You cannot achieve success in anything that way. That is one reason for practicing meditation: to train the mind to stay focused on one thing at a time. Nothing is impossible for the mind. When the mind is calm and clean it can get all the ideas. You are what you think. As you think, so you become. Thoughts are very important. Live life as a creator, knowing that you have the power within you to create whatever it is you most want to see in the world.
Mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum/ Veet Vichara & Premanjali
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 1: Yin/Yang sequence, deep belly breath, I am breathing mantra
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 2: Tree pose, 3-part breath
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 3: Ujjaya breath, I am calm
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 4: Strength intelligence, I am focus
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 5: Sun salutation A, Dancing Warrior, I am strong
- Vinyasa Yoga Class, lesson plan Class 6: Sun Salutation A, move like a snake, I am healthy