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, 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:
Agni, the body's fire
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 hours and 10 minutes (including a 10 minute break)
80 minutes of guided asana practice
10 minute break
40 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.