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Sunita - February 29th 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

Dheeraj called before class this morning, to learn how to use the halasana stool I am leaving here, so Karen gave him a quick lesson before we headed off to the institute for our final session - we had a very relaxing restorative class with Sunita to finish off our month here. I didn't sleep for long last night, uncharacteristically twitchy ahead of today's departure and the long journey home (this is the exact moment when I begin to regret taking the frugal option of a 2 hour lay-over in Abu Dhabi, in the middle of the night). As we sank into a series of supine postures, I told myself that today was a day off and I wasn't even going to try and remember the class for blogging - Sunita herself said in the savasana "Do not lie here and try and go over what has been taught, let it go for now and rest!"

After class I had a number of errands to run on behalf of my colleagues and friends back in the UK, recordings to pick up and damaged disks to replace, so after a lengthy session with Kunal I finally headed home, destined for an afternoon at the Mariott to make the most of my final few hours in the sun. So here I sit - I have put the bare bones of the class together, a huge amount more was said, but hey I know you'll forgive me for letting it go today.

I hope you've enjoyed the daily report from RIMYI - the atmosphere at the institute has continued to evolve with the new input and it feels softer, happier and definitely family friendly. Not only are Raya and Abhi's children to be seen playing here, there and everywhere - but also I've seen students attending classes with their children sitting on the sidelines watching. How lovely to receive such excellent teaching, to the back drop of children's play and laughter. Thank you to all the teachers at RIMYI for your guidance this month and thanks to Dheeraj for his attentive support and Rucha & Vikram for daily sustenance. Staying in this apartment this month with these two lovelies is possibly the only time in my life where I have got to feel tall, see pic! I arrived alone and left with many new friends, till next time .....

Sunita – February 29th 2020 - Restorative and Pranayama

Cross Bolsters Setubandha – To get the correct positioning, begin by sitting on the apex of the cross before you go into the pose. Outer shoulders making contact with the floor, no blanket unless the shape of neck needs the roll and then Setubandha 2 bolsters vertically. Feet together and legs extended, thighs rolling inwards.

1) Feet together and legs extended, outer thighs rolling in. 2) Feet apart legs more relaxed

What did you observe?

Feet together and legs active promoted a lengthening. Feet wider caused the abdomen to relax and spread, which released the diaphragm and the breath flowed much more easily. Sunita pointed out that none of us were looking to the back body, only noticing what happened at the front. At the back of the body, when the legs were extended, the spine coiled deeper into the back chest and the shoulder blades lifted to offer support to the heart and lungs. Setubandha crossed bolsters generally given for menstruation but Setubandha with 2 bolsters vertically, tends to be less strain on the back for those who suffer with this.

Supta Baddha Konasana – Individual belts for each leg – know why we might do this – generally better for the ladies who struggle to lengthen the lumbar and over-curve there. Also useful in case of tight groins. Buttock flesh extending towards the heels.

What was the effect of the pose?

Relaxed, happy comfortable yes! But what else? Abdominal space, what effect on the excretory and genital organs? Colon, intestine anus. Why / how we might give for diarrhoea

Supta Virasana – First of all we had the knees as we had individually placed them, but after she asked us all to make sure we joined them (no belt).

What is the effect?

Supta Virasana quietens the apana vayu allowing the other vayus, especially the breathing to become more prominent. Abdominal cavity is lengthened, although today we did not take the arms folded over the head, but kept them in savasana position by the sides of the body. What does Light on Pranayama say about supta virasana? It gives a circumferential opening of the chest cavity.

Viparita Karani – Brick on its second width by the wall, bolster with a 3 fold blanket underneath the front edge (facing away from the wall) placed in such away to cause a tilt, where the abdomen naturally inclines down towards the brick. Groins have to descend and legs draw downward in the same manner they do in urdhva prasarita padasana.

Seated Ujayii 5 – Bringing in all the elements from the poses we have taken. Dorsal moving in & chest opening, abdominal quietness and width. Circumferential expansion of ribcage. Diaphragm broad and relaxed. Groins descending and quiet. In the supine poses taken on the bolster there is a descending order, from the head on the blanket, down to the chest, down to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. In the setubandha chest was dominant and head was below, so heart and lungs got opened, while brain got quietened.

Savasana – Keep the bolster weight on the thighs.