Bodywise Workshop Notes 15th June 2008
High mountains, forests, the sea, meadows and other beautiful and fresh places give us a sense of well-being. The air in these places possesses powerful, invigorating, energy-charging, healing properties. This energy is sometimes called cosmic, life force, chi and in Yogic terms Prana. Prana is present in every living thing, including the food we eat, water, the earth, sun and moonlight and in the air we breathe. We take it into our body as we breath, so by improving our breathing we increase our supplies of Prana. The Mind as well as the breath is the transporter of Prana, therefore total attention, inner listening and watching is vital to practice.
Prana permeates the whole universe and we are a part of it. We live, breath and exchange this subtle yet powerful force, sometimes without even being aware of it, without seeing. This non-seeing in Yogic terms is Avidya. There are people who live out an entire lifetime unaware of the pleasure, peace, health and freedom that a simple Yoga practice gives. Through practice Prana is brought into and stored in the body, giving us vitality and understanding of ourselves and therefore others. Yama and Niyama ( Ref: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) then naturally integrates into life.
The sankrit root of “Pra“ means “to fill” and “an” to breathe or to live”. Prana commonly translates as “air“ “breath” “spirit” “life” “life force” “energy” “subtle energy”. It is also described as the upward moving energy currents within the body.
Prana moves upwards and Apana moves downwards flowing mainly through the Nadis or nerve channels of the astral body. When they unite in the muladara (lower chakra) kundalini is awakened. There are 72,000 nadis (energy channels) in our body. Shushumna follows the spinal column and is the greatest nadi. By gently controlling and directing Prana up the Shushumna we move into a higher state of consciousness. It’s very powerful, please respect that. Practice without expectation and observe later. Enjoyment, ease and complete attention without interference is the seed to sow. Create an internal environment of silence and contentment, and watch how you sustain it - nothing more. Absorb your experience to the full. Enjoy positive and negative responses equally (hmm.. Now there‘s another challenge!)
Time is PreciousWhen we waste our time, it is like plucking the pearls from a dazzling necklace one
by one and throwing them away. But when we use time well, each minute add another jewel to enhance the beauty of our lives. Because time is our life, it is very precious, and we need to learn to treasure it - Tarthang Yulku
AsanaThe body is my temple
And asanas are my prayers
While practicing asanas,
Learn the art of adjustment.
When your posture is imbalanced,
The practice is physical;
Balanced asanas lead to spiritual practice.
As a goldsmith weighs gold,
You have to adjust your body so that it is
Perfectly balanced in the median plane.
As pearls are held on a thread,
All the limbs should be held
On the thread of intelligence.
If your body can do more and you do not do it,
That is unethical practice.
Ethical discipline of the asana is
When you extend correctly, evenly
And to the maximum.
The brain is the hardest part
To adjust in asanas.
If the brain is silent but attentive
While performing asanas,
Your practice is non-violent.
- B.K.S. Iyengar
Pran Mudra - Sitting
This mudra is the combination of fire earth and water elements. It improves circulation of Prana in the body creating awareness. It cures laziness and lethargy by promoting physical health and mental peace. Defects of the vision are set right and vision improves, so does concentration. This mudra ensures effective breathing and helps in developing and attitude of awareness
Adhomukha Svnasana on crossed ropes
Shoulder opening in pairs
Sukhasana & Baddha Konasana (peripheral vision) pair work- Breath Awareness
Asana (reading) - Vinyasa flow
Deep squat - Utkatasana
Vajrasana - arm variations
Janu Sirsasana 1 & 2
Pranayama Sitali NadI Shodhana Viloma Kapalabhati