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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 4 (November 24, 2009)

Focus: Arm actions for Sarvangasana. Vitarka - badhane pratipaksha - bhavanam: balance violence and non-violence, over-aggressiveness and laziness. [See Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 3 (November 17, 2009)]

Discussion: What is Spiritual Yoga Practice?

As we discussed last week, Patanjali stated that the intelligence exists solely to serve as the agent of the soul, to free the citta from spiritual ignorance [PYS II.21]. Thus, spiritual yoga practice takes its direction from the soul:

“When you do the asana correctly, the Self opens by itself; this is divine yoga. Here the Self is doing the asana, not the body or brain. Self involves each and every pore of the skin. It is when the rivers of the mind and the body get submerged in the sea of the core that the spiritual discipline commences.... When there is passivity, pensiveness, and tranquillity of body and mind.... the spiritual experience in yoga commences. No doubt, one may say reading holy books is spiritual practice. But what I teach is spiritual practice in action.... I use the body to discipline the mind and to reach the soul....”
[B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life, Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2005. p. 62]

“You must feel your intelligence, your awareness, and your consciousness in every inch of your body.... It must not be just your mind, or even your body that is doing asana. You must be in it. You must do the asana with your soul.... [or] the organ of the body that is closest to the soul — the heart. So a virtuous asana is done from the heart, not from the head. Then you are not just doing it, but you are in it.... You must feel your way into it with love and devotion. In this way, you will work from your heart, not your brain, to create harmony. The serenity of the body is the sign of spiritual tranquillity.”
[B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life, Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2005. p. 63]

Invocation in Swastikasana

1. Tadasana/Samasthiti
a. Shoulder blades down to unblock the ears.

2. Urdhva Hastasana
a. If you shrug the shoulders, it blocks the ears.

3. Tadasana (Gomukhasana arms)

4. Tadasana (Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana)

5. Tadasana (Paschima Baddha Hasta arms)

6. Utthita Trikonasana

7. Virabhadrasana II
a. Pratipaksha - bhavanam: Left outer edge of the foot at the Rope Wall, move the left inner thigh towards the left outer thigh to give space to bend the right leg or stop over-bending the knee.

8. Utthita Trikonasana
a. Left outer edge of the foot at the Rope Wall, as above.

b. Vitarka - badhane: Counteract over-aggressiveness in the spine, and weakness in the right knee. Bend the knee first, then lift from right knee pit up to the buttock bone, else the knee collapses and the spinal muscles harden.

9. Utthita Parsvakonasana

10. Virabhadrasana I
a. Left frontal thigh into the bone to keep the left knee straight. Then lift the frontal hip bones. Affords more lift on the left side in subsequent Tadasana.

b. Left inner thigh back.

11. Utkatasana

12. Parsvottanasana
a. Extended phase: support head on chair seat. Vitarka - badhane: Counteract over-aggressiveness by doing in a relaxed way even while working hard.

13. Prasarita Padottanasana
a. Extended phase: .i.Prasarita Padottanasana:Prasarita means “spread,” so spread the inner thighs towards the outer thighs. Head down on a brick.

14. Baddha Hasta Uttanasana
a. Ahimsa: If stiff, place hands on chair seat with buttocks at wall to relax the hamstrings.

15. Sarvangasana Cycle
a. Salamba Sarvangasana

b. Ekapada Sarvangasana

c. Halasana

16. Forward Extensions
a. Dandasana

b. Padangustha Dandasana

17. Savasana

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