Backbend workshop 22 April 2007 notes
Sitting: Peripheral vision
Breathing over bolster (bean bag?)
Shoulders open in pairs
Arm variations in Tadasana & Uttenasana
Rooting - creating space in the joints, working through the Bandhas and Hara.
Upwards elongation by connecting through the breath
Tadasana - rising onto toes
Centering down, Hara, Peripheral vision (ropes)
using wall and ropes if appropriate for the group and time.
- Ekapada Rajakapotasana 1 & 2
- Urdhvamukkha Svanasana
- Dhanurasana & Parsva Dhanurasana
Arm balance in steps away from wall. Focus:
Creating space in the joints through the band has and Hara. Quiet Mind.
Uttenasana back to wall, lightening legs and quietening the mind.
- Fingers close - alignment
- Opening chest and Savasana Rotation
- Adhomukha Hanumanasana (splits in the air) down into Uttenasana
- Feet to ground, toes up wall - pada bandha
Drop-back into Urdhva Dharurasana
Adhomukkha Vrksasana into Urdhva Dhanurasana (in 3s)
After backbends practice mild bent leg twists. Backbends tighten the hamstrings and therefore straight legged twists are more challenging on the back. Twist only to 75% of your capacity and for a shorter time than your usual.
Squatting back release or Supta Padangusthasana sequence.
Creating freedom in the spine and elongation throughout the joints becomes possible once we have cultivated and established a quiet place where the mind and body can unite and relax as one. Beware of one dominating the other because this will naturally create imbalance and therefore resistance. The Hara is where this union takes place. The Hara is where energy is stored, released out of and returned to. It is the centre of the body's physical energy, balance and many say of the soul. We must be humble in this knowledge and trust this awareness itself will soften and release the appropriate (perfect) Asana posture, which is already there and just dying to come out!
Asana practice helps our bodies stay supple and healthy which helps cultivate awareness of the deeper aspects of Yoga. But remember that it is only the third limb of Yoga, perhaps about toddler age in the process of life. Being able to attain strong postures won’t deliver us to the higher aspects of Yoga. It’s rather the other way around: the real essence of Yoga will give us the freedom of expression in Asana postures. Getting 'hooked' on the physical postures is a hindrance, it involves the Ego and force which causes contraction, and then we are being aggressive to ourselves. The perfect pose is comfortable, reveals something personal every time, and is beautiful, however small or extreme the outer shell looks
Be attentive to the principles required in attaining understanding and control of the energy body, and allow the breath to connect them through the Hara.
The 8 Limbs (or 8-fod path) of Yoga are:
- Yama - respect to the universe and others
- Niyamas - Personal respect and disciplines
- Asana - Posture
- Pranayama - Breath control
- Pratyahara - control of the senses, detachment at will from the senses
- Dharana - Concentration
- Dhyana - Meditation
- Samadhi - Or kaivalya is the goal of Yoga. Contemplation. Total oneness with the energies that be.
When Ignorance vanishes, it’s absence brings serenity
(Yoga Sutra 11.25 Patanjali)
- Why must I let go of believing that I know everything in order to begin to know something?
- What in me still stands in the way of this liberation?
- What part do simplicity and humility play in opening up to this wisdom?
- How will discovering this effect my health, my personality, and my relationships?
- What is the difference between the contemplative state (chapter 1) and serenity?