Year of Yoga: Week 45

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Here is week 4 of our final consolidation phase of the year. An additional set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations) has been added. If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these sequences are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, do only the quite practice, or rest completely.

If you find any given pose beyond you, start to think about ways to break the pose down into manageable variations. Perhaps practice the arms and legs separately. Use a simpler modification or use a prop to give you a taste of the pose. However you decide to approach a pose, NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. ALWAYS BE SAFE. When doing pranayama NEVER PUSH THE BREATH. If the breath becomes forced at any point, release and return to normal breathing. Pranayama is a subtle and powerful practice that should be approached with respect. Do not attempt pranayamas or poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor.

Tuesday, November 4


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over a bolster (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Utthita Hasta Padangusthasasana 1 (Extended Hand to Foot Pose 1)
• Utthita Hasta Padangusthasasana 2 (Extended Hand to Foot Pose 2)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 1)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, November 5


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Triang Mukhaikada Pashchimottanasana (Three Limbs Facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Krounchasana (Heron Pose)
• Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1)
• Marichyasana 5 or E (Marichi’s Pose 5 or E)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, November 6


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Marichyasana 6 or F (Marichi’s Pose 6)
• Ardha Matsyedrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
• Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)
• Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 1)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, November 7


Quiet Practice:

• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (90 sec each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, November 8


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Malasana (Garland Pose)
• Bakasana (Crow Pose)
• Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Single Hand and Arm Pose)
• Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
• Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 2)
• Ashtavakrasana (Ashtavakra’s Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Sunday, November 9


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over chair
• Vrschikasana 1 (Scorpion Pose 1) feet on chair
• Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Wheel Pose)
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)
• Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana (Single Leg Inverted Staff Pose)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over bolster
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, November 10


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster (3-5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (Alternate Nostil Breathing 1b) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

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Year of Yoga: Week 44

yoyintbanner

Here is week 3 of our final consolidation phase of the year. An additional set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations) has been added. If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these sequences are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, do only the quite practice, or rest completely.

If you find any given pose beyond you, start to think about ways to break the pose down into manageable variations. Perhaps practice the arms and legs separately. Use a simpler modification or use a prop to give you a taste of the pose. However you decide to approach a pose, NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. ALWAYS BE SAFE. When doing pranayama NEVER PUSH THE BREATH. If the breath becomes forced at any point, release and return to normal breathing. Pranayama is a subtle and powerful practice that should be approached with respect. Do not attempt pranayamas or poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor.

Tuesday, October 28


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over a bolster (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior Pose 1)
• Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose 3)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Prasarita Padottanasana 2 (Wide Spread Feet Pose 2)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 1)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, October 29


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose) (2-3 minutes)
• Triang Mukhaikada Pashchimottanasana (Thre Limbs Facing Single Leg Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Marichyasana 1 (Marichi’s Pose 1) (1.5 min each side)
• Janu Shirshasana (Head of the Knee Pose)
• Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, October 30


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Marichyasana 6 or F (Marichi’s Pose 6)
• Ardha Matsyedrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
• Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)
• Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1 (Single Leg Koundinya’s Pose 1)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, October 31


Quiet Practice:

• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (90 sec each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, November 1


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Pincha Mayurasana (Peacock Feather Pose)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)

Sunday, November 2


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)
• Ardha Bhekasana (Half Frog Pose)
• Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
• Jatara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, November 3


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster (3-5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (Alternate Nostil Breathing 1b) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

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Year of Yoga: Week 43

yoyintbanner

Here is week 2 of our final consolidation phase of the year. This time round it will be 4 weeks long. An additional set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations) has been added. If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these sequences are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, do only the quite practice, or rest completely.

If you find any given pose beyond you, start to think about ways to break the pose down into manageable variations. Perhaps practice the arms and legs separately. Use a simpler modification or use a prop to give you a taste of the pose. However you decide to approach a pose, NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. ALWAYS BE SAFE. When doing pranayama NEVER PUSH THE BREATH. If the breath becomes forced at any point, release and return to normal breathing. Pranayama is a subtle and powerful practice that should be approached with respect. Do not attempt pranayamas or poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor.

Tuesday, October 21


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over a bolster (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utkatasana (Furious Pose)
• Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)
• Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose) forward bend only, without arms
• Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
• Upavishtha Konasana (Seated Angle Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, October 22


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)
• Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, October 23


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• Parivrtta Parshvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Ardha Matsyedrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
• Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• Eka Hasta Bhujasana (Single Hand and Arm Pose)
• Parshva Bakasana (Side Crow Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, October 24


Quiet Practice:

• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (90 sec each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, October 25


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toes Pose)
• Urdhva Mukha Pashchimottanasana 1 (Upward Facing Intense West Stretch pose 1)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, October 26


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (5 min)
• Kapotasana on chair (Pigeon Pose)
• Urdhva Dhanurasana with feet on chair (Upward Bow Pose)
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana with feet on chair (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)
• Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose)
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose)
• Jatara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, October 27


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster (3-5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (Alternate Nostil Breathing 1b) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

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Nothing Maker

Pasted Graphic
Chrissie Hynde has a new Pretenders album out, “Break Up The Concrete”, with a great song called “The Nothing Maker.” It’s very yogic in its way:

He doesn’t make shoes
Or design any shirt
Or take photographs
But no-one gets hurt

And he doesn’t look trendy
Like guys in magazines
You won’t see him at parties
He’s not the face behind the scenes

He makes nothing
He’s the nothing maker
He’s the maker of nothing
He’s the nothing maker

And he doesn’t paint pictures
Or write poetry
Or work on the stage
For others to see

And he don’t expect much
As Santa Claus knows
‘Cause he doesn’t make lists
Of toys and new clothes

He makes nothing
He’s the nothing maker
He’s the maker of nothing
He’s the nothing maker

Everyone’s chasing
A reason to live
Mostly they take more than they give
The succeeder justifies
Why he needs more than the rest
Believes his own lies
And thinks he’s the best

My guy doesn’t make movies
To suit an audience’s whim
He lives by a code
Known only to him

He doesn’t make money
To buy watches and cars
‘Cause there’s no time and no place to go
For a man who has nothing to show

He makes nothing
He’s the nothing maker
He’s the maker of nothing
He’s the nothing maker



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RELATED POSTS:
Yoga in Action
Contentment
Non-Hoarding
Non-Coveting

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Year of Yoga: Week 42

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Here is week 1 of our final consolidation phase of the year. This time round it will be 4 weeks lonf once again. An additional set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations) has been added. If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these sequences are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, do only the quite practice, or rest completely.

If you find any given pose beyond you, start to think about ways to break the pose down into manageable variations. Perhaps practice the arms and legs separately. Use a simpler modification or use a prop to give you a taste of the pose. However you decide to approach a pose, NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. ALWAYS BE SAFE. When doing pranayama NEVER PUSH THE BREATH. If the breath becomes forced at any point, release and return to normal breathing. Pranayama is a subtle and powerful practice that should be approached with respect. Do not attempt pranayamas or poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor.

Tuesday, October 14


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over a bolster (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Vrkshasana (Tree Pose)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior Pose 2)
• Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 1)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, October 15


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
• Prasarita Padottanasana 1 (Wide Spread Feet Pose) 1)
• Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, October 16


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, October 17


Quiet Practice:

• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (90 sec each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, October 18


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 1)
• Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Reclined Big Toe Pose 2)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, October 19


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) (1 challenging set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (5 min)
• Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog Pose)
• Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
• Parshva Dhanurasana (Side Bow Pose)
• Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, October 20


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster (3-5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (Alternate Nostil Breathing 1b) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

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Sacrifice or Offering?

Pasted Graphic
I was raised by my Polish mother and Irish father to be a Roman Catholic. In the early part of my life we were only nominally religious. We existed in that nether realm of folk religion that borders on superstition: rarely going to church, but saying prayers to saints in the hope of good things coming to us; making the sign of the cross when passing a church or a funeral procession; lighting a candle for the really big requests such as health and good fortune. It wasn’t until, in the middle of my childhood, that we re-embraced the religion formally. When I was about seven or eight years old we moved to Brazil, settling eventually in SŃo Paolo. The fusions of Catholicism and African faiths, known as Macumba and CandomblÚ amongst others, were strong enough to overwhelm even the combined Irish/Polish Catholic blend of our family. The African/Brazilion religions are rich and vital, and very much part of the everyday functioning of life. Offerings and sacrifices are openly made to bring success in love and relationships, even in business. One would constantly see leftover offerings on street corners, often a bottle with a flower in it, or plates of food. At one point, one of my parents’ employees, whose father was a pŃe-de-santo--”father-of-saint” or a priest of the religion--told us that someone was doing a work against us, so we underwent ritual cleansings and burning of candles to counter the work. I think it eventually became too overwhelming for my parents, so we went to confession, took communion and began going to Mass every Sunday. It brought us back to familiar ground. It seemed like the rules of what you could and could not ask for were much simpler in the more austere and Europeanized Catholicism than in the abundant dance of the Brazilian faith.

Pasted Graphic 1
My parents took Catholicism seriously enough to send me to a Catholic boarding school in the United Kingdom run by Benedictine monks. As Catholic upbringings go it was only moderately strict, with none of the standard cliches of emotional and physical abuse. But it was very, very serious. The idea of sacrifice features prominently in Catholicism. Jesus Christ’s self-sacrifice on the cross was held up to us as the pinnacle of worthy behavior. Self-denial and ascetism in surrender to god’s will were highly prized. We were to abjure the pleasures of the flesh and doggedly say our Rosary, eat fish on Fridays and abstain from mundane luxuries during Lent. We were to revel in the exquisite pain of devotion to god.

Pasted Graphic 2
It was very easy to be religious under those conditions. The ritual of Mass--including the setting, the chanting, the incense and the music--entice the senses. The drama of the liturgy, played out over and over again, shapes your emotional responses, helping you to identify with Jesus’ surrender and martyrdom, with the resurrection at the end of the tale providing a satisfying sense of completion. My first introduction to a group yoga class was at Jivamukti Yoga in their old space on Second Avenue in New York. The Jivamukti class as it was back then (I haven’t taken class there in some years) had its own ritual power with all the same elements, and its own liturgical drama. The intense physicality fit in perfectly with my Catholic notions of mortification of the flesh. All of that regimentation of the breath, intense exertion, incense and chanting produced the same buzz as High Mass on Sundays in the abbey. But that ecstatic connection always came, I found, with a price: after Mass, the return to mundane existence; after class, aches, pains, and exhaustion.

For four or five years I practiced this way: the grand gesture of surrender and sacrifice leading to the ecstatic high of immersion in the divine. And then real life got in the way and my inner drama was replaced by the real thing. First came the loss of my father to cancer, followed by my struggle to find work and stay in the country. The big emotions of yoga became an escape from the darker things that were happening to me. One turbulence was replaced by the other, constantly flipping back and forth. It was exhausting.

Pasted Graphic 3
After a bad knee injury in a Mysore-style Ashtanga practice being put into Marichyasana 2, I found myself unable to take class for several moths. At the inspiration of a friend, I decided to try the courses in the back of Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar, starting at the beginning and struggling through as best I could with my lack of experience and injured knee. It took me about a year of dedicated practice to get through the first course. This steady perseverance changed my relationship to yoga completely. Small, consistent effort produced steady, consistent results.

When I look back over that time, I realize this was when my thought processes first began to shift from being more Western in outlook to taking on a truly Eastern flavor. The Judaeo-Christian frame of mind can be very mechanical in its way: agony now in the hope of luxury later. Sacrifice is something you take away from yourself. The Eastern way, or certainly that aspect of it I have learnt though yoga, is more of an offering. Effort is made with enthusiasm and dedication, building joy and freedom in the present. I see my practice now as an offering, building awareness and balance action by action, thought by thought, moment by moment with the certainty of immediate and concrete results.

So I throw this back to you, dear reader: is your practice a sacrifice or an offering?

[My thanks to Donald Moyer and his “Heritage of Yoga” course for the inspiration for this post.]

Related Posts:
Yoga in Action
The Great Vow of Yoga


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Year of Yoga: Week 41

yoyintbanner

Here is week 4 of the 4-week preparatory phase in our final cycle of the year. One set of Surya Namasakar (Sun Salutations) has been added. If for any reason you find this increase does not work for you, go back to a simple Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) and Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) to warm the body up.

Remember that these sequences are just suggestions, so adapt them according to the time you have available. The Friday and Monday practices are restorative. If for any reason you feel unable to do the active practice on a given day, substitute one of these two, do only the quite practice, or rest completely.

If you find any given pose beyond you, start to think about ways to break the pose down into manageable variations. Perhaps practice the arms and legs separately. Use a simpler modification or use a prop to give you a taste of the pose. However you decide to approach a pose, NEVER PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. ALWAYS BE SAFE. When doing pranayama NEVER PUSH THE BREATH. If the breath becomes forced at any point, release and return to normal breathing. Pranayama is a subtle and powerful practice that should be approached with respect. Do not attempt pranayamas or poses that you have not been taught in class by a competent instructor.

Tuesday, October 7


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over a bolster (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
• Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3-5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3-5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3-5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Wednesday, October 8


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3-5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3-5 min)
• Adho Mukha Ardha Padmasana (Downward Facing Half Lotus Pose)
• Ardha Baddha Padma Pashchimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense West Stretch Pose)
• Adho Mukha Padmasana (Downward Facing Lotus Pose)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (1-3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Thursday, October 9


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster with breath awareness (5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3-5 min)
• Marichyasana 3 (Marichi’s Pose 3)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose 1)
• Pashasana (Noose Pose)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3-5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3-5 min)
• Pashchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (1-3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Friday, October 10


Quiet Practice:

• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) over a bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) (2 min)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose) (90 sec each side)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (90 sec each side)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) in chair (5 min)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (3 min)
• Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose) (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Saturday, October 11


Quiet Practice:

• Viparita Karani (Upside Down Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Upward Extended Feet Pose)
• Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
• Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Turning Pose)
• Bharadwajasana 2 (Bharadawja’s Pose 2)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) on chair (3 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3-5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3-5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Sunday, October 12


Quiet Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Child’s Pose over bolster with breath awareness (5 min)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Active Practice:

• Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutatation) (1 simple set, 3-5 rounds)
• Bharadwajasana 1 (Bharadwaja's Pose)
• Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
• Adho Mukha Vrkshasana (Hand Stand)
• Salamba Shirshasana 1 (Head Stand) (5-10 min)
• Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) over chair (3 min)
• Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose) over chair
• Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose) feet on chair
• Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (Two Leg Inverted Staff Pose) feet on chair
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (3-5 min)
• Salamba Sarvangasana 1 (Shoulder Stand) (5-10 min)
• Halasana (Plough Pose) (3-5 min)
• Paschchimottanasana (Intense West Stretch Pose) (1-3 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

Monday, October 13


Quiet Practice:

• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja’s Pose) over a bolster (3-5 min each side)
• Meditation Practice (15-30 min)

Restorative Practice:

• Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) (5 min)
• Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) (5 min)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) on chair (5 min)
• Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) over bolster (3 min each side)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) with breath awareness (5 min)
• Ujjayi 4 (Victorious Breath 4) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Viloma 1 (Interrupted Breath 1) in Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (5 min)
• Ujjayi 8 (Victorious Breath 8) in seated position (5 min)
• Viloma 4 (Interrupted Breath 4) in seated position (5 min)
• Nadhi Shodhana 1b (Alternate Nostil Breathing 1b) in seated position (5 min)
• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) (10 min)

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Web Round-Up

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favicon Nursingdegree.net has a couple of interesting posts in its blog:

“77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga” By Alisa Miller

“The Ultimate Guide to Yoga: 100 Blogs, Tutorials, and Resources” By Christina Laun (Sadly, Y:A+S didn’t make the cut.)

favicon Anti-Gravity Yoga: Crunch now offers specialized yoga classes practicing poses suspended from the ceiling. Available at locations in NY (in Fort Greene), LA and Miami, with Chicago coming soon. Check it out at antigravityyoga.com. Looks like fun. (examiner.com)

favicon Yoga Doc: In the documentary “Enlighten Up!” the filmmakers take a complete newbie to yoga and immerse him in it for a month, even going to India to meet the living masters such as Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar. The movie has started to play in limited engagements here and there. (I’m seeing it at the San Francisco IndieFest Documentary Film Festival in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait!) Here’s some coverage from it Boulder, CO run:

Om the road: Boulder skeptic immerses himself in yoga for film (coloradodaily.com)

Colorado Matters Download Page: Yoga Documentary “Enlighten Up!” (kcfr.org)

favicon Egg Block: Diane Cesa at The Everything Yoga Blog has a review of a new egg-shaped foam yoga block.

favicon Famous People Do Yoga Better: The Huffington Post has a piece on the media and business commodification of yoga. (Do Yoga, Get Rich?: High Rollers Are Hitting The Mat)

favicon Choosing the Best Style for You: WebMD offers an overview of the different styles of yoga. As usual, Iyengar comes off as only being suitable for the aged and infirm. (A pet peeve of mine.)

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Building Your Yoga Library, Part 1

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I was talking to someone about personal yoga libraries and it got me thinking about what books a relative newcomer might get to build their own reference library. I thought it might be helpful to divide the list up into different categories to make the reading more well-rounded:

1. Background: Books about either the history of yoga in specific and Hinduism or the Indian sub-continent in general.
2. Philosophy: The important philosophical texts that shaped the modern practice of yoga.
3. Asana: Key instructional books about the physical practice of yoga.
4. Breath: Key instructional books about breath work and pranayama.
5. Meditation: Key instructional books about meditation practice.

So here are a selection of introductory books, with a few options here and there, that the beginning yoga student might consider buying.

(If you decide to buy any of these books and want to support the site, use the links to Amazon.com from this article. Thanks!)

Background


Two options here, one that is readily available and one that is, sadly, no longer in print, though easily obtainable through Amazon’s network of used book sellers.

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The “Very Short Introduction” series from Oxford University Press has entries from any number of fascinating subjects, both spiritual and secular. “Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction” by Sue Hamilton is pocket-sized, affordable and an excellent read, covering all the important points without getting overly involved and technical.

“India has a long, rich, and diverse tradition of philosophical thought, spanning some two and a half millennia and encompassing several major religious traditions. In this intriguing introduction to Indian philosophy, the diversity of Indian thought is emphasized. It is structured around six schools of thought that have received classic status. Sue Hamilton explores how the traditions have attempted to understand the nature of reality in terms of inner or spiritual quest and introduces distinctively Indian concepts, such as karma and rebirth. She also explains how Indian thinkers have understood issues of reality and knowledge--issues that are also an important part of the Western philosophical tradition.”

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”First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance” by Elizabeth Kadetsky is a memoir of a spiritual quest, an anecdotal history of yoga and an astute overview of the present-day Iyengar Yoga movement.

“While ostensibly a memoir about Kadetsky's growing self-acceptance, which slowly evolves through her yoga practice, this book is actually more a chronicle of the mythic history of yoga and the contradictions of its most worshipped living teacher, the 80-year-old B. K. S. Iyengar. Kadetsky received a Fulbright grant to study creative writing, and her prose can be mesmerizing when she describes the fetid conditions she endures traveling to India to study with Iyengar and his family, or her frustrations trying to perfectly execute yoga asanas, or poses. It's another story, however, when she wades through 14 generations of yogic history: it's challenging to keep Kuvalayananda straight from Krishnamacharya, especially since Indians themselves argue over which stories are legends and which are facts. Iyengar himself is portrayed as a tyrant who berates other teachers for defiling yoga's purity, even though he has done more to break its traditions and promote its Westernization than his rival instructors. Yoga aficionados will likely be fascinated by Kadetsky's spiritual renewal-which helped her overcome both an eating disorder and depression-and how that renewal was achieved through months of brutal practice in India. But other readers may be more surprised by her exposÚ of what she depicts as the cruelty and hypocrisy pervading the Iyengar empire.”

Philosophy


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”The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras” by Sri Swami Satchidananda is perhaps the most accessible translation and commentary on this essential text. The commentary is straightforward and playful in tone.

“This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new deluxe printing of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life.”

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"Practicing Freedom: The Yoga Sutra of Pata˝jali" is my own attempt at a rendering of the classic in an easy-to-read format.

“For almost 2000 years, the Yoga Sutra of Pata˝jali has been the definitive guide to the practice of yoga. Deep in his exposition of yogic philosophy, Pata˝jali is also clear and forthright in his outline of what it will take to free ourselves completely from the ongoing suffering and loss that we experience on a daily basis. As valid today as it was when first written, this ancient classic outlines nothing less than a complete approach to life itself. This new edition provides a readily accessible English rendition presented side-by-side with the Sanskrit original. Lucid commentary and a study guide clearly outlining the key terms and concepts for easy reference make this an ideal volume for both the student and the general reader. Articulate and insightful, this work is a valuable resource for anyone interested in acheiving a deeper experience of tranformative states of mind through meditation and contemplation.”

Asana


Once again, two options, one in print, one out of print but still around.

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”30 Essential Yoga Poses: For Beginning Students and Their Teachers” by Judith Hanson Lassater is abundantly illustrated in color with ample instruction for each of the poses. INcluded also a several simple and easy to follow practice sequences.

“In 30 Essential Yoga Poses, Judith Lasater draws on her wealth of yoga practice and teaching experience, as well as her training as a physical therapist, to present this comprehensive guide for beginning students and their teachers. The author discusses yoga's ancient eightfold path and its relevance in today's world, and goes to the heart of yoga—the all-important student-teacher relationship. Thirty essential yoga poses (asana), their variations, and breathing practices (pranayama) are also provided, with guidance for the student practicing at home, and points for the classroom teacher. Sequences are presented with photographic charts for easy visual reference, and a ‘Mantra for Daily Practice’ and glossary of anatomical terms and resources for further study are also included.”

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For some reason, most of Mira Mehta’s books are out of print at the moment, which is a great shame. Her book, “How to Use Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Iyengar Method of Yoga, for Relaxation, Health and Well-Being” shows how to use props, has great illustrations and a number of sequences, including ones for certain ailments.

“How to Use Yoga has been written by senior teacher Mira Mehta, one of today's leading exponents of yoga in the style of B. K. S. Iyengar. She presents a practical philosophy that unites body, mind, and spirit for health and fulfillment. With over 450 color photographs, this book acts as a guide in achieving a fit and flexible body through the practice of yoga postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama). These practices work on all body systems, stimulating circulation, toning muscles, and improving overall health. Best of all, the author makes this powerful antidote to the stresses of modern life accessible to those who want to practice at home—safely and effectively.”

Breath


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”The Breathing Book: Vitality & Good Health Through Essential Breath Work” by Donna Farhi approaches the breath more from a general perspective rather than specifically as pranayama.

“A groundbreaking approach to improving the quality of your life through the most readily accessible resource: your breath. These safe and easy-to-learn techniques can also be used to treat asthma and ease stress, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions.”

Meditation


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Formerly titled simply “Meditation,” “Passage Meditation: Bringing the Deep Wisdom of the Heart into Daily Life” by Eknath Easwaran is the book that first got me to sit, even before I began to practice asana. Easwaran’s writings are simple, practical and non-dogmatic, seamlessly relating a formal seated practice to the way we conduct our everyday life.

“Pioneered by spiritual master Eknath Easwaran, passage meditation consists of memorizing an inspirational spiritual passage and then sending it deep into consciousness through slow, sustained attention. It keeps meditation fresh and varied because readers can select the passages — from one tradition or many — that embody their chosen ideals. Many readers also enjoy the passages for their poetic and intellectual appeal. This form of meditation offers all the richness and depth of traditional wisdom, together with a practical method for bringing that wisdom into daily life. The book situates passage meditation as part of Easwaran’s eight-point program that, based on traditional spiritual practices but adjusted for modern lifestyles, shows readers how to stay calm and focused at work and home. This edition includes a new preface of previously unpublished material by Easwaran and an epilogue that explains the story behind the book and invites new readers to join the author on this adventure in the ‘world within.’”


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