Saturday, August 19, 2017

Asteya: Yoga Class Plan

This week in my weekend for InBody Yoga Teacher Training we are continuing our exploration of the yamas, from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. This week we are on the third yama which is non-stealing. I show the students how I link a theme to an anecdote, universal principle of alignment, apex pose, heart quality and a therapeutically designed sequenced. It is my hope that this will open the teacher trainees minds to see how they can come up with a cohesive therapeutic class plan that let their students connect deeper with their heart while aligning their body with health biomechanical actions. I always remind the students that this way a planning a class is not the only way. Take what you want and leave the rest. Here is a video I made to prepare the class for this weekend:

Basic Elements that are in every class of mine:
Heart Quality: What do you want the students to feel?

Alignment Focus: What alignment element will you tie in through all of the poses? That plays a key role in the peak pose? That connects to the theme/ and heart quality?

Theme:  What insight or teaching do you want to weave through the class that is life affirming and can be taken off of the mat? That connects with the heart quality/ apex?

Anecdote: How will you personalize the teaching with connection to your own experience and make it relevant to your students?

Apex: What pose are you building too?

Sequence: How will you intelligently guide students through the postures?
Theme: Asteya 

“To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes.” —Yoga Sutra 2.37

Do not steal from others

Do not steal the moment from yourself (distraction), experiencing life as it is. (avoiding messy)

Do not steal others reputation by gossiping.

Do not steal health from yourself.

Do not steal from future generations/ Use only what you need. (plastic bags 10x out)
Gandhi also saw how important the practice of ‘non-stealing’ was and considered it one of his '11 Vows', in which he expanded beyond the physical act of stealing – importantly – that ‘mankind’s greed and craving for artificial needs are also stealing’.

Asteya on the yoga mat

Do you push yourself beyond healthy boundaries because:

A.You will hurt your body, stealing health from yourself.

B.You think you are not “good enough”. You intrinsically good enough no posture decides that. Remember action over form. Let how you treat yourself and others (ahimsa/ satya) give you the experience of enough.

C.Experience yourself open and accepting of exactly what is unfolding in that moment. Taking actions to keep yourself safe and present.  Do not rob yourself of experiencing life as it is

Having strong desires brings ‘dukkha’…In each moment, we have the opportunity to experience a vast array of emotions and sensations – yet we tend to cling only to those which seem pleasant and enjoyable. This aspect of clinging a little too tightly to pleasurable experiences is known as ‘raga’, and although the experience itself may be one of joy of happiness, the action of trying to hold onto it out of desire ultimately creates more suffering or ‘dukha’.
Heart Quality: Self worth/ non-stealing

‘desire or want is the cause for stealingSwami Sivananda

The root cause of Asteya = “I’m not good enough….”

The need to steal essentially arises because of a lack of faith in ourselves to be able to create what we need by ourselves

Exercise: Practice Abundance

Practicing knowing that we have enough, and we are enough, is the key to wanting and desiring less, and therefore feeling a lot more whole and happy within ourselves.

Missing the experience of life because I am distracted.
For example: being on my phone instead of being present with my kids. Being so in my head biking I miss the beauty of nature.

Missing the experience of life because I want to avoid the messy parts
For example avoiding the feelings of life that are not enjoyable like grief and loss. 
Alignment focus

Foundation of  feet:

Root down through four corners of feat evenly and toe pads while lifting inner/ outer arch of feet.

Related to theme: Getting present. How are we stealing from our self and others?

Muscle Energy

Using the muscles to draw into our self creating stability and setting up for inner and outer spiral.

Related to theme: Getting stable. How can we heal instead of steal?

Inner Spiral

Starting at the big toe mound draws an energetic EXPANDING spiral up the leg moving the inner heels, inner knees, inner thighs and pelvis IN + BACK + WIDE

Related to theme: Turning deeply in. Where and how can we take action? How can  we cultivate self worth?

Outer Spiral

Starting at the top waistline engages the power of the hips drawing an energetic CONTRATING spiral down the leg lengthening the tailbone, narrowing the sit bones, pressing the thighs forward, widening the knee and ending in the outer edge of foot.

Related to theme: Powerfully extend out. How can we act to others to up level healing vs. stealing?
(IS= Inner Spiral OS= Outer Spiral  AMS= Adho Mukha Svanasana EPRK= Eka Pada Rajakapotasana )

Mediation/ Chanting

Inhale- how can I heal myself? Exhale- how can I heal with others/ the world?

Warm up 

Surya Namaskar A 3x


Tadasana extend leg backwards notice natural tendency to outer spiral instead IS

Tadasana ""- Lunge IS- tadasana balance 3x standing pigeon manual IS 

Table IS/OS - cat/cow- neutral

Table shalabasana 

AMS leg lift 

High runners lunge IS- high runners lunge twist [block]

Virabhadrasana 2 


Hero [blanket] 


Parsvottanasana [blocks] manual IS turn foot to pinky edge- plant foot IS 

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana - natarajasana

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana - Garudasana


Active EPRK prep


Straight leg Virabhadrasana 1 prep- bend knee Virabhadrasana 1

Virabhadrasana 1

Cool down 


Janusirsasana twist 

Upavistha Konasana root femurs 

Baddha konasana 

Shavasana/ meditation

Apex: Virabhadrasana 1

Action over form!

Open hips

Asymmetrical standing poses, pigeon, Virasana

Open shoulders

Cobra, eagle, AMS

An understanding of how to use MUSCLE ENERGY to protect the knees and allow the actions of inner/ outer spiral

Standing poses

An understanding of how to use INNER SPIRAL to square up the hips

Standing tadasana leg extensions, asymmetrical standing poses, cobra

An understanding of how to use OUTER SPIRAL to protect low back, root down and drive spine up.

Asymmetrical standing poses, cobra, pigeon

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