The Subtler Dimensions of Asana Practice

There is a misconception about the purpose of Yoga Asanas. Many think that asanas work at the level of the muscles to get more flexibility and strength. No wonder, you hear of yoga poses meant for getting chiseled abs, tight butts and toned arms. None of the ancient yogic texts talk about these muscular aspects. The yogic texts talk about the benefits of asanas at the level of the Prana to heal various conditions of the body and the mind. In this 4 class series, held during the weekends (dates, time TBD), we will study the following aspects of asanas as outlined in the classical yogic texts like the Gheranda Samhita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

  • Prana

  • Agni, the body's fire

  • Bandhas

  • The Ujjayi breath

  • Mudras, pressing against various parts of the body to channel energies and evoke certain mental states

  • Mind states. Hlada -Refined pleasure not of the senses

We will practice some simple asanas from the half-primary series of Ashtanga yoga as well as others contained in the classical yogic texts. You can adjust the asanas to suit your body needs. Emphasis will be placed on breath, bandhas and the body sensations that arise and not on the final form. The first rule of yoga - Ahimsa- will always be emphazied.

Format: Total time 2.5 hours (including a 15 minute break)

90 minutes of guided asana practice

15 minute break

45 minutes of slide presentation and questions to study the concepts mentioned above from the ancient yogic texts

Focus and purpose of the asanas in this class :

The intent of the asanas in this class is to tune in to the body and discover what is there to be discovered and not to achieve picture perfect poses. The asanas will not be complex and modifications will be used.

Cost: $15 per class. (If you cannot afford this or wish to pay a different fee, please contact me. )

Paypal, Venmo (Please use the friends and family option to avoid a fee)

Register here (Registration closed for Dec. 10, Open for Dec. 17 and Jan 14)

Slides

Location, dates and time: 9:00 am-11:30 am PST.

Dec. 10 (registration closed) , Dec. 17, Jan. 14 and TBD date.

Online and In-person at my home in Sunnyvale, CA (contact me for address).

References:

1) Prowess in Poses: The secrets that they do not tell you

2) The subtle aspects of Hatha Yoga: workshop slides

3) Mindfulness (Smriti): Tapping into the body's memory in asana practice

4) The difference between Hot Yoga and Hatha Yoga

5) Mudra-The seldom taught aspect of asana practice (or) Achieving higher states of mind in asana practice

6) Breath, Bandha and Agni(Fire) : The core of asanas in Hatha Yoga

7) "Finding Moola bandha" workshop and slides

8) "Dont lose the thread!" in asana practice

9) Bandhas Demystified