Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Sadhana is the term for spiritual practice and literally means “that which takes you to your goal”. One of my goals is to experience less tension + more ease and life and therefore experience more happiness. Well I learn through Anusara Yoga that I can reach these goals through practicing alignment. Sadhana is something that I can practice every moment. So in every moment I can work on enhancing my alignment. The hope is to that the more you practice good strong alignment on the matt and off of it those muscles that hold you in good alignment will get stronger and your body will naturally start standing in better alignment with less awareness on your part. The problem is… it FEELS easier to stand with poor alignment. For example it seems easier to stand and roll the shoulders forward and let the head come into the front plan of the body (this posture is called forward carriage in physical therapy and comes with a whole host of injuries + pain + discomfort). So in the beginning it takes a lot of awareness and smart alignment action to retrain the body out of this “lazy poor posture” into a “efficient beaming with happiness posture”.
I love looking at the cycles that are created in nature. One cycle you can look at is the results of your posture:
Lazy poor posture -> leads to pain in the body “ouch my neck is tight and hurts” (not only will bad posture enhance old injuries it will cause new ones)-> which leads to pain in the mind “I have headaches all the time” -> which leads to UN-HAPPINESS -> which leads to not enjoying life because you don’t feel up to it… because your in PAIN!
Good alignment -> leads to the body HEALING ITSELF (not only are you not accumulating more discomfort but you are healing past injuries and pain patterns) -> which leads to your body feeling TERRIFIC! -> which puts you in a WONDERFUL MOOD -> which leads to HAPPINESS -> which leads to wanting to enjoy all that life has to offer because you feel so GOOD!
SO how cool is it that our spiritual practice can be watching our alinmgnet on and off our matt and working to make it as optimal as possible. Another cool thing about yoga is that lines blurr so easily. You start focusing just on your physical alignment to help cultivate more happiness in your life and then slowly with or without noticing it you begin to start noticing how your actions, thoughts, emotions line you up with happiness. Maybe you start to notice that a cigirate, or food, or shopping, or negative self talk, or gossipling or whatever it is, is not leading your to your goal of happiness. This was my experience I started praciticng yoga because my back hurt I wasn’t interested in a higher power, or my relationship with myself others or the world. But slowly the lines blurred. I got hooked and as a result my life is 100x healthier and I experience so much more happiness and ease as a result of looking at my alignment in all ways and forms.
This is a longer discussion for another blog… moving on
Principles of emphasis:
Open to Grace = Side bodies long: lengthening up through the sides of the torso and up through the sides of the throat, into the dome of the palate. Lift your chin to help create a natural lordotic curve in the neck.
Muscle Energy= With Muscle Energy, the upper arms set back into the shoulder sockets, and this creates support in the shoulders
Expanding spirals of arms = when the arms are in the over hand plan like in down dog, handstand, pincha, Urdhva hastasana… the inner deltoids and arm pits broaden to the back plane of the body expanding around the neck. When they are in the lower plan like tadasana, cobra, bridge… the inner deltoids broad to the front plan of the body and continue to wrap around and to the back plan of the body creating again space around the head neck and shoulders.
Shoulder Loop= Shoulder Loop reinforces the lordotic curve of the neck. It begins in the soft palate and curls the head back. The muscles of the back of the neck, from the base of the occiput flow down toward the bottom tips of the shoulder blades and into the heart.
Skull Loop = it initiates at the soft palate and flows back toward the occiput, then lifts the back of the skull up and over the crown of the head.
Organic Energy = there’s an extension from the active focal point first down into the earth and then up and out. From the back of the heart extend the arms out and fully straight. I have been noticing in class bent elbows so organic energy should straighten, but not hyper extend, the elbow joint.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Virasana hands on shoulders elbows bent. Have elbows touch in the middle. Inhaling up exhaling down. 10X circles in each directions then 3x in each directions. Without taking a break take arms out to a “T” make firsts with hands and turn palms up and down flossing out the shoulder socket with the head of the arm bone. Take the arm in front of the body for a outer lat and shoulder stretch and then take elbow toward sky for a triceps stretch.
Succasana: neck stretch
Puppy pose (work rotation of upper arm bones) -> DD
Tadansana -> half-moon stretch (thumb facing toward back of room bend elbows rotate inner deltoids and elbows toward back of room plug in muscularly from hands to back of heart and extend from back of heart and straighten arms as you take the side bend)
Cobra on finger tips (manual adjustment) -> normal cobra inner deltoids go toward front of room, out to the sides and toward the back of the room
PARTNER puppy pose -> dd -> cobra adjusting expanding spiral of arms
Lunge clasp hands behind back rotation of arms -> hands by sides palms facing out thumbs toward back of room -> circle arms toward sky thumbs toward back of room
L. L repeat same alignment actions as above
Cobra on finger tips -> shalabasana clasp hands
L twist -> L.L twist quad
Eka pada rajakapotasana clasp -> quad
Handstands at wall
Virasana clasp hands wrist circles -> wrist stretch (repeat in other direction and stretch other side)
Supta twisting core + shoulder work
Supta tadanasana -> zobie arms up toward ceiling praciticng loops plug shoulders in well and organically extend arms towards back of room thumbs only thing that come to floor if you can extend fully 3x
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