Day 1 IYNAUS Zoom Intensive - 7th May 2020 Standing Poses
OK so I'm swapping pictures of India's crowded and colourful streets, for pictures of England's green and luscious countryside. This is a picture of the local lake where I swim and practice yoga on the bank most days, from April through to November. It's a haven for birdlife - a pair of kingfishers nest on the opposite bank and there are herons, egrets, a swan, moorhens, coots and at the moment, a brood of fluffy ducklings to endlessly gaze at. Over winter we also got a trio of cormorants who came to feed on the rich pickings as the lake has plentiful fish too.
Today was the first day of Abhi's Zoom intensive, with over 1000 participants around the globe, but mainly in the US as IYNAUS are hosting the event. Sadly it wasn't possible for us to have our cameras on as it would have placed too much strain on the internet connection, but we could see Abhi loud and clear and - as many us had already discovered, Zoom is a surprisingly effective medium for receiving a class. This was slightly diminished by not being seen and I would have liked for us to have been rotated to be 'centre stage' as Geetaji used to do for conventions, when a different group would be put in front of the platform for her to view. Notes are below:
Abhijata IYNAUS Zoom Intensive 7th May 2020
Modify the class to suit your needs - do not go for 100% activity right now 80% activity – many different stresses and strains on each of us, taking its toll on body and mind and priority is immunological system – not to allow muscular fatigue to set in.
Swastikasana Invocation – With your inhalation energise yourself
AMVirasana – Do not overly extend the arms and body forward. Fold the wrists and rest your forehead on the palms. Back body down to massage the front body, bring your chest closer to the floor, so that we are closer to the comforting force of Mother Earth and energy centres open, armpits open to the floor As a child seeks comfort in the arms of its Mother, let your sternum embrace Mother Earth”
AMSvanasana – Preferably softer support under the head – bolster / blanket and if hands slipping, palms at the wall. Raise your vertebrae up – climb up with the spine. Lift the top of the shoulder blades up to the ceiling ‘shoulder blades have to shoulder responsibility’ cut them deep in and then move onto the forehead for a few breaths.
Uttanasana – Head supported, elbows folded. Swaying a little forward and backwards to loosen the hamstrings if they are tight.
Pras Pad – Head supported. Pull up your outer thighs near the hips so the legs become firm. Spread groins away from each other and firm contact of outer edges of the feet to the floor. Can you feel some sensation in the outer calf? Now can you make the same sensation be felt on the outer thigh? 80% action 100% observation.
AMSvanasana – Top 2 inches of the thigh, just below the outer hip RAISE UP! to get a sharpness.
Lecture – Guruji ‘You know why you don’t learn the asanas properly? Because you get carried away with the actions’ We have to act on the instructions and the OBSERVE the responses in the body
AMSvanasana We get the instruction to take the thighs back and after making some effort there we believe the job is done – can we expand our potential? Raise your heels up and now that frontal ankle PUSH BACK and from the arch to the heel extend backwards and observe how much access you have to move the thighs backwards.
AMSvanasana – Raise the heels up 1) Front ankle to back ankle 2) Arch to heel extend back 3) Raise all your vertebrae UP towards the tailbone. Thighs move further back still?
Tadasana feet apart. From the inner ankle to the floor go down. Move the middle buttock forward to create lightness. Eyes steady at eye level – close your eyes if you are under the illusion you are steady and observe the fluctuations. Direct hotline between eyeballs and brain, so stabilise the eyeballs. Observe the vast expanse of the back of your thighs and take a screenshot.
Trikonasana – If you wish, use the wall. If you need psychological support face the wall, if you need physical support, back body to the wall. Go into the pose and read the back of the thighs – what happened to the vast expanse of the back of the thigh?
Uttanasana elbows folded, longer exhalations to take abdominal tissues downwards, from the back of the ears, the back of the head, roll downwards.
Demo Trikonasana Over-flooding and drought both damaging to the land as they steal nourishment from the soil. Over-doing in one part causes under-doing in another part. So for example where the legs don’t work, the back works overtime to compensate and over a period of time, this can cause the back to give way. Just above the knee on the back of the back leg, there tends to be a hollow, where the back of the leg caves in, there is a muscular weakness – it needs the support of the front ankle - the same action as in AMSvanasana, hit the frontal ankle straight back, to fill out that hollow in the back thigh. Repeat Trikonasana with this action. Now observe the responses to that action – watch the waist – what happened? Observe the rotation.
AMSvanasana – Sharpen the body, buttock bones sharp like swords. Shoulder blades ASCEND UP. The brooding mind goes away. Widen the breast, positivity comes. Uttanasana
Parsvakonasana hands on waist –We all know that as we bend the leg we have to keep the right knee back, Repeatedly going up and down, rolling the right knee back. But now observe – why is the weight going on the outer ankle? how much weight is there on the inner edge of the foot? Keep the right inner ankle down. Come up.
Repeat same side. Keep weight equal on the inner and outer edge of the heel. Left side repeat X 2
Parsvakonasana repeat. Take the brick parallel alongside the inner line of the front foot so that brick and ankle are touching and bend the leg, keeping the knee back. Is your ankle still in contact with the brick? Now bring the ankle bone in contact with the brick and pound the inner heel to the floor. If the contact is to be maintained, the action has to come from the HIP the hip has to be IN like a valley it has to go deep into the body. Then allow the groin to go down. Team work.
Ardha Chandrasana using the brick same way. Observe how the ankle dances!
Ardha Chandrasana facing the wall 2 bricks, one for the hand, one parallel to the front foot like in parsvakonasana. Brick and the foot have to interact – bend the right leg and then let the right outer leg, the right outer hip / buttock SPIN to straighten the leg – it has to circularly rotate towards the wall and find out does that foot dance stop? Now lift the back leg higher to bring the lightness.
To open up hip and groins Baddha Konasana back body to the wall and brick between the feet. If seat lower than the knees, increase the height under the seat (folded blanket / foam blocks etc). Raise the seat off the floor and widen the buttocks (don’t think about the groins and knees – take the pressure off of this area) from the buttocks spread away from each other – repeat this adjustment x 4 “Widen and sit down” Now with an inhalation thighs come up and then EXHALE and thighs down X 4
Repeat Ardha Chandrasana – Is it not better? First Ardha Chandrasana was a skeleto muscular adjustment, this second one an emotional adjustment. This freedom especially important for pregnant women. Now roll entire pelvis UP towards the ceiling.
AMSvanasana Longer stay. Sides of the spine, back ribs, take it into the body. Widen the armpits, sides of the diaphragm towards the legs. Raise the shoulders, shoulder blades. Observe the breathing as you make each adjustment – open the sternum, watch the breath – lift the thighs, watch the breath. Observe how the breathing lengthens. Surrender your head, your ego to touch the floor and the rest of the body LIFT UP AMVirasana recovery.
Janu Sirsasana head supported. Do not let the back body be higher than the back of the head. Dorsal and back of head in one plane. From your back, move forwards. Do not pull yourself forward with your hands and arms strength. Mobilise your back away from your seat. Use your exhalation to glide forwards. One chance now to hold the foot to make the corrections, then lessen the grip so that it’s not a gross muscular action. Synchronise your corrections with your exhalations, matching the timings.
Paschimottonasana head supported. Learn to read your back, study the flow of your back. Don’t go for ‘forced labour’ muscular force of the arms. Observe the lower back (seam of your shorts) Why is that not moving? Prioritise this action, so that everything else becomes a ‘prop’ for this action. Maybe you need to lift the head to bring the lower back forward? Then lift up for a moment to find that action – whole back feels lighter once you move forward from the lower back.
Parsva Virasana or Parsva Swastikasana Turning to the right side, the left half of your back move away from the spine, bend both elbows so that right side of the back also wide. Concave action in kidney and adrenals, after the convex action in the forward bends. Adrenal stimulation useful for immune system.
Parvatasana Outer upper arm, ascend up! armpits lift up! Bring strength and power to the forearms and ascend them up!
Setubandha Preferably with bolster into back of chest. No belts, no force at this time of restriction, feeling of freedom. Do not let there be any confusion between head position for DPVD (crown of head on floor) and setubandha sarvangasana (on back of head like sarvangasana and shoulders down). Chest, heart, emotional centre uplifted. Let the subconscious mind come to the surface and let the rays spread through the entire frontier of your chest and the vision gently connecting with that. Let the respiration be gentle – do not create ripples.
Savasana With gratitude to be in a position to be in a yoga class right now
survival is not at stake as it is for so many others.