SweatyYaya is a blog created to help Yoga St. Louis Intro students with building a home practice. SweatyYaya is a memorable mispronunciation of the Sanskrit word: svadhyaya. Svadhyaya is the practice of self-study and is one of the niyamas (observances) presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.


This blog is for information only and should not be considered medical advice of any kind.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thursday 6.30p Intro — Week 39 (December 17, 2009)

No new students.

Focus: Remedial shoulder work from AM Intensive, then restorative supine poses.

Invocation in Swastikasana

1. Rope 1
a. Belt upper arms as in Sarvangasana.

2. Rope 1 — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
a. Knees on bolster to open dorsal spine.

3. Virabhadrasana I
a. Palms together, pressing the wrists into the upper wall rope, ascend the biceps to suck in the ulnar elbow to reduce the elbow carrying angle. It automatically helps lift the pubis.; Then do without the wall ropes.

4. Bolster Setubandha Sarvangasana
a. Belt the femoral heads into the sockets to prevent lower back pain. Slow smooth inhalation and exhalation.

5. Supta Baddha Konasana
a. Bolster beneath knees. Slow smooth inhalation and exhalation.

Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 7 (December 15, 2009)

Focus: Don’t allow the mind to go with the motion. Practice the poses more quickly relieves mental fatigue by reducing heaviness due to tamas and increasing sattvic clarity.

Two new students making up.

Invocation in Swastikasana

1. Tadasana/Samasthiti

2. Utthita Hasta Padasana

3. Parsva Hasta Padasana
a. Don’t turn the trunk with the leg. Don’t allow the mind to go with the motion.

4. Utthita Trikonasana
a. .i.Utthita Trikonasana:Coordinate the length of the exhalation with the amount of time it takes to take the hand to the ankle. Fear of pain causes you to hold the breath, which makes you stiffer.
b. .i.Utthita Trikonasana:Extend the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head to bring sattvic clarity and prevent tamasic mental heaviness.

5. Utthita Parsvakonasana

6. Ardha Chandrasana
a. Stabilize the four corners of the right foot, and look at the front of the room so the chest doesn’t fall towards the floor, else the mind goes with the eyes.

b. Keeping the right knee bent, and the right inner foot pressed down, lift up the left leg several times per side, very quickly.

7. Adho Mukha Svanasana

8. Virabhadrasana I

9. Parsvottanasana (hands on bricks, head down)
a. Preparation for Adho Mukha Svanasana.

10. Parivrtta Trikonasana
a. From Vimanasana, turn to the right, take the left hand to the right ankle and then straighten the knee as much as possible without holding the breath.

11. Prasarita Padottanasana (head on brick)
a. Head on brick. Support head higher up and widen the knees apart to relieve outer ankle fatigue.

12. Baddha Hasta Uttanasana

13. Sarvangasana Cycle
a. Salamba Sarvangasana I

b. Ekapada Sarvangasana
Not for new students making up.

c. Halasana

14. Forward Extensions
a. Omitted for emphasis

15. Savasana on blanket support (10 min.)

Tuesday 4.30p MS — Week 7 (December 15, 2009)

No new students

Focus: Backbends to open the chest.
Thinking of Guruji Iyengar’s 91st birthday on December 14, yoga practice is not limited by either class or time (or place) [Patanjali Yoga Sutra II.31]. When handing out certificates this past July at the yoga school of his nephew, Desikachar, one student complained of difficulty doing Sirsasana because of his age and stiff neck. Guruji Iyengar responded:

"Age is your enemy. It restricts you to a certain frame of mind, but the purpose of yoga is to get out of that frame of mind and go beyond. I was practicing non-stop right up to the age of 57... [until] I fell from a scooter and hurt myself so badly that I could not even lift my hands. My students thought my life was over. But I combated it. I told myself that if I stop, I it would mean I have no faith in myself. So I fought. I combated my fear. Today I am 91, but I can do headstand for 30 minutes, and my feet don't oscillate even for 30 seconds. Sadhana (practice) cannot be stopped."

Source: Times of India, July 2009:

In this class, especially, we find ways to adapt the poses so that all students can do them.

Note new poses for this week are in bold face.

Invocation in Swastikasana

1. Salamba Purvottanasana

2. Viparita Dandasana on the backbender
a. With the apex of the curve just below the shoulder blades, support the crown of the head on a bolster, the neck with a neck roll, and the lower legs on bolsters.

3. Utthita Trikonasana
a. With the back to the wall, and holding the wall ropes to prevent fatigue or falling due to lack of balance and stamina
b. Easier to do with an open chest.

4. Viparita Karani
a. Contact of leg with support to prevent clonus.

Thursday 6.30p Intro — Week 38 (December 10, 2009)

No new students.
Focus: Baddha Konasana and balancing the head to prevent dizziness and sinus pressure.

Discussion: What is Spiritual Yoga Practice?
[See Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 6 (December 8, 2009) for details]

1. Invocation in Swastikasana
a. [See Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 5 (December 1, 2009) and Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 6 (December 8, 2009) for details]

b. Balance the head by balancing the pressure in the ears. Relax the jaw and the skin around the ears to enlarge the ear hole. Head erect with trapezius descending results in less pressure in frontal face.

2. Upavistha Konasana

3. Baddha Konasana
a. With the back to the wall, sit on several blankets folded in half lengthwise high enough that the knees are not above the hip crests and they are supported by the blankets.

b. Narrow brick between the feet to open the groins. Sit higher if necessary.

c. Medium width brick between the feet to open the groins.

4. Rope Wall Uttanasana (5 min.)
a. With the buttocks at the Rope Wall, loop a long nylon belt around the lower rope hooks and the thighs to belt the upper thighs, just below the groins, tightly to the wall.; This provides space in the groins, and, thus, the abdominal organs, and makes the thighs recede posteriorly when extending forward, increasing range of motion. Head on bricks on chair seat. Stand on bricks if 5’-6” or less so belt is across upper thigh, not hip bones or waist.

b. Crown, or even back of head supported to prevent frontal sinus pressure.

c. Lower Wall Rope Uttanasana: variation

5. Sarvangasana Cycle
a. Salamba Sarvangasana

b. Ekapada Sarvangasana

c. Halasana

6. Savasana