I was planning on leading the practice at the yoga center tonight; however my voice was still absent and my head felt like it was full of mucus so I had to find a sub. I was very disappointed because in my day of silence (see previous post) I had so many sequence ideas and theme ideas pouring into my mind. Although I didn’t end up leading the practice I thought I would share my plane:
dhyana, part of the eight fold path. Being able to concentrate on something with very focused awareness and at the very same time being able to observe everything else. We will work with the step by steps of the practice taking things one step at the time (this is observing everthing the whole of our practice, every practice that has happened overtime that has lead us to this moment) we will also focus on the bindu. The bindu is a Sanskrit word for hitting the point or the mark.
I really love leading practices because “the practice” is an opportunity to play with friends and work into some really fun challenging poses.
I wanted to focus on playing with/on our hands. We will do lots of hand/arm balances. In order to do arm balances it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of practice. You can’t just do these arm balances one day. IT takes steady practice over time. I have multiple “peak poses” in the sequence. I view a peak pose as a pose that is super challenging and requires a lot of prep poses to get into. All these peak poses have a wonderful build up to them for the body, mind, and spirit ready. Fun Fun Fun. This step by step and practice over time is the big view of dhyana it is taking multiple things into consideration. The poses we will be working with aren’t easy they take time, and practice. At the same time if we are going to be playing on our hands we need to be VERY VERY careful and diligent with alignment. When we weight bare on bones with good alignment it is very beneficial and actually strengthens the bones. However if we weight bare on bones with bad alignment it causes des-stress to the bones. And when this happens on the hands/ at the foundation it travels up the body. So if we are in alignment with our hands it strengthens the wrights, forearms, elbow, biceps, triceps, and shoulders. When we weight bare on our hands out of alignment we harm our writs, elbow, shoulders….
One point of this laser focus, of hitting the bindu is going to be on the foundation of the hands, really making sure that all four corners of the hands are planted (mound under the index finger, inner heal of the hand, mound under pink finger, outer heel of hand, and then clawing the earth with the finger tips). (I find in my own practice I struggle the most with the mound under the index finger, I need to use focused attention so that mound stays grounded). It is especially important to have good foundation of the hands when we are doing multiple, multiple, multiple, hand balances.
(I always like to take what we do on the matt and apply to life off the mat. I think that is what makes yoga so wonderful is that it is more than an activity but that it touches every aspect of our life. Normally when I teach a class I have a theme like the one I have above and a brief idea of the connection but the full connection comes live as I teach (so mind that this isn’t fully developed). I wanted to take about how our life is made up of multiple steps and of the big picture. There are steps in our life that we have to do, like shower, brush our teeth, go to school/work, be compassionate to one another…But we can at the same time within doing all these things we have to do, there is still the bindu. There is a mark that we are trying to hit, a goal, something we are working for. The ability to take in our daily life, living up to our responsibilities, yet still working toward the mark the point the bindu. That’s the idea.)
The sequence (idea):
Personal warm up (10 mins)
Tadasana (I wanted to talk about hand foundation with a cool carpel tunnel experiment to have students understand the importance of good foundation)
Surya A 7X
DD, plank (focus..Kidney loop), push up 5x (don’t forget about hand foundation)
Childs -> table->foundation of hands (wrist crease parallel, 4 corners, outer shoulder to center of wrist…)
Uttanasana-> ardha uttanasana 3X
high runner lunge, hands to knee, kidney loop, reach
AMS->wild dog (keep foundation of hands)
Ardha chandrasana->vira 2
AMS practice jumping
• Straight legs (imagine your sequencing a piece of paper, perhaps it says “your awesome”, keep squeezing feet (hugging midline) as you hop keep legs straight remember shoulder loop)
• Continue squencing feet this time hop shoulder over wrist and suck knees into your belly a few time
• Repeat step above but hover in handstand with knees pulled into belly
Move to wall
• Hand stand (AMV) at wall, hands about 2 inches away from wall
• Once up push back of head against wall (skull loop) and push bum against wall. Then open legs wide and lower feet down to about hip level and then back up. Repeat several times
• A step further is to lower the feet wide and as close to the ground as possible and then back up. You have to really work kidney loop, pulling the waist line back for this.
• Forearm balance (use wall if needed)
Hero pose. Pause. Root femur bones. Close eyes and breathe. “listen to your breath, attune to your breath. Feel that your breath is important. Feel that this practice, what you are doing on the matt is important. You came here, you showed up. THIS IS IMPORTANT)
• Head stand with forearms down hands clasped with toe touches. Legs together (imagine squeezing paper between feet keep legs straight…lower toes touch…lift)
Tree while balancing on block
Utthita pada B
Utthita pada B on block (move groins back, inner spiral)
AMS (Down Dog)
Side plank with extended leg
Low lunge with forearms on ground -> high runners lunge, shoulder under thigh, hug mid line, straighten arms
High runners lunge->arm under thigh->extend leg->high runner lunge->Parsvakonasana bound->bound ardha chandrasana ->bird of paradise
Uttanasana->titibasana prep->variation between malansana and vistvamitrasana
Wide leg standing forward fold-> optional tripod headstand with wide leg toes touches
Malasana wrist stretches
Wide leg seated forward fold, side stretch, and forward fold
I hadn’t finished formulating the sequence when I realized I was too sick to teach. However I really wanted to share. I am not one to teach a class or theme twice it loses its energy and I out so much though and was so excited by the sequence idea and theme that I didn’t want to lose it completely so I thought I would share