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

Tuesday 6.30p Intro — Week 6 (December 8, 2009)

Focus: Add Ardha Chandrasana to the November 24 sequence.

Discussion: What is Spiritual Yoga Practice?
“Yoga practice guides the mind towards its source, the core of being, or the soul (atman)” In the West, we tend to perceive the body and mind as completely separate, but Indians hold a different point of view: “For me, the body is but the gross form of the mind,“ observes Guruji Iyengar. If they are separate, “Where does the body end and the mind begin, or where does the mind end and the Self begin?” he challenges.
[B.K.S. Iyengar, “The Yogic Mind,” 7-7-09 Guru Purnima address, Pune]
[B.K.S. Iyengar, Iyengar, His Life and Work, Timeless Books, Porthill, Idaho, 1987]

Just as in “all roads lead to Rome,” although the methods differ and the words may vary, all paths lead towards the soul. This is the great universal concept that all Indians accept implicitly.

Patanjali Yoga Sutras state that we exist both to experience worldly pleasure and to liberate ourselves from our spiritual ignorance. [PYS II.18, II.21] Along with wealth and pleasure, this inborn inclination towards liberation and dharma, or duty, comprise the four aims of life. For an Indian, following his spiritual dharma, which also means “support”, will automatically support his temporal endeavors.

Patanjali’s yoga is an internal practice. For example, the ancient Vedic agni fire ceremony became internalized in the form of early morning pranayama practice. When ghee was fed to the fire, the flame would shoot up, symbolizing a blessing from Agni, the god of fire. The fire was a metaphor for burning the impulses and desires that bind the soul. For Patanjali, this scorching comes primarily from abhyasa and vairagya, practice and detachment, which burn the “seeds” of suffering.
[Mircea Eliade, Yoga — Immortality and Freedom, Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press, 1969]

1. Invocation in Swastikasana
a. Sit straight, back erect. Lift your spine upward, sides of the navel lifting up. Lift the sternum chest upward. Shoulders roll back. Trapezius down. Descend the triceps to keep the shoulders descending. Keep the head straight, eyes deeper in. Look within. Ear drums going deeper inside. The tongue resting on the lower palate. Remain silent.

b. Quieten the brain cells. Ascend the trunk without disturbing the brain. From the head, pull the whole body upward. Relax the jaw. Relax the tongue. Keep both eyelids receding. Both the inner corners of the eyes going deeper back.

c. From the base, legs and thighs receding. Lift the base of the pubic bone upward. Raise the sides of your navel. Ascend from the base of the spine and do not allow the skull or rib cage to fall onto the abdomen. As if there is a thread pulling on the top of your skull, lift the whole body.

d. Slow soft inhalation and a slow soft exhalation, both sides of the trunk receiving equal energy to lift. As the body gets lifted, lift from the anterior face of the sacrum and spine. Ascend the organic anterior body upward. Maintain that lift.

e. Brain quiet and body firm. The flow of quietness must penetrate from the brain to the body, without the body losing its lift. Remain silent for a while.

2. Tadasana/Samasthiti

3. Urdhva Hastasana

4. Tadasana (Gomukhasana arms)

5. Tadasana (Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana)

6. Tadasana (Paschima Baddha Hasta arms)

7. Utthita Trikonasana
a. Left outer leg and thigh in as preparation for Ardha Chandrasana.
b. The dharma of the legs in the standing poses is to support the pelvis so that the spine may elongate.

8. Virabhadrasana II
a. Left outer leg and thigh in as preparation for Ardha Chandrasana.

9. Utthita Parsvakonasana
a. Left outer leg and thigh in as preparation for Ardha Chandrasana.

10. Ardha Chandrasana

11. Virabhadrasana I

12. Utkatasana

13. Parsvottanasana

14. Prasarita Padottanasana
a. From Parsvottanasana

15. Baddha Hasta Uttanasana

16. Sarvangasana Cycle
a. Salamba Sarvangasana

b. Ekapada Sarvangasana

c. Halasana

17. Forward Extensions
a. Dandasana

b. Padangustha Dandasana
Omitted for time and emphasis.

18. Savasana

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