Day 1 - Yoganusasanam 2020 Zoom with Abhijata
It was wonderful to be able to join Abhi with our videos on, so that she was able to see and respond to what we were doing. The class focussed on many different poses to sensitise and intelligize the various constituent parts of parsvakonasana, so that by the end we got a taste of prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam - Perfection in an Asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached. The class was taught 'on the hoof' - it made me smile to imagine having the task of teaching 1000 + people and being comfortable enough in my own skin to not plan the class!! No matter- it was excellent and the sequence was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We began by observing a Puja for Patanjali and Guruji via video link live from Bellur. Abhi spoke of Guruji's great gratitude for the 'bhumi ' the soil from where he was born, which led to the formation of the Bellur Trust. She spoke of her own gratitude for the fresh start that the current situation has given us, so we can be in the auspicious now 'atha yoganusasnam'.
Yoganusasnam 2020 Zoom – Abhijata Day 1
· AMVirasana – Palms facing, little fingers sharp. Head up and move bottom breast area forward. Maintain the sharpness in the back to bring the head down.
· AMSvanasana – Frontal ankles backwards and learn to descend heels down.
· AMSvanasana – Unless the quadriceps are tightened, the spinal lift is not going to come. Raise the heels, lift the quadriceps, take the frontal ankles back and hit the arch towards the heels to bring the heels down (even if distance is a little less). Walk back with the hands to
· Uttanasana feet apart Suck up quadriceps and raise toes, from the pelvic girdle extend down.
· UH Padasana Plug the quadriceps into the body Trikonasana short stay Cut right buttock in, such that the right groin moves forward. Let the entire back come into contact with the frontal body. Shoulder blade suck into the body.
· Vrksasana right leg Heel to the groin, right groin to the inner knee, inner knee to outer knee and maintain the tallness from the abdominal area. Do not allow the right foot to push left hip out – counter pressure from left hip. Both sides pressing into the centre and from the centre, lift up, be tall. Sensitise the right buttock area as you move the right knee back – feel that GRIP coming. CLINCH that area. Trikonasana right leg Do not jump. That suction you had in vrksasana bring to trikonasana – vrksasana is the parent body for the other standing poses. Many people not enough distance – go wider so that buttock can lengthen. SUCK both the shoulder blades into the body and lengthen the entire anterior body from the pubis to the sternum. Vrksasana left leg A few exaggerated movements to take that knee back. Left inner knee to the outer knee. Feel that buttock, hip area and move towards the groin. Remember the counter pressure – bent leg to the straight leg, standing hip and thigh to the bent leg. Like a mountain you have to rise up, without losing that hip sharpness. Left side Trikonasana If the thigh doesn’t properly rotate, the buttock cannot go in. Buttock towards the groin. Enough distance between the legs that the lower back is not jammed. Hold head in line with the spine. Left shoulder blade DEEP into the body. Rotate completely – chest, stomach, abdomen – everything has to rotate completely.
· Baddha Konasana
· Parsvakonasana Just do your own pose.
· Baddha Konasana brick between the feet (height under the seat if knees are coming high up) The thighs have to rotate from the inside to the outside – use both hands on your thigh to get a good rotation. Thigh muscles go back and go down and let the area where the hip and the thigh meet go forward – back thigh downward, back thigh junction forward (repeatedly). From the groin to the inner knee, widen completely. As you sit tall, move your tailbone, lower back forward. One leg at a time, maintaining opposite knee down pressing the leg down – extend it away and press it down One! Two! Three! Remove brick – have thigh muscles softened?
· Parsvakonasana repeat RS close to the right groin, rotate abdomen from the right side to the left side LS Abdomen close to the left groin rotate.
· Brick setu bandha sarvangasana ‘Giving an injection to the lower back’ If you are doing for first time, keep legs bent. Those who are ready, one by one stretch the legs. Extend the back of your legs. ROLL the back of the thighs inside out, ROLL the front of the thighs outside in and extend inner legs and groins towards the inner heels. Diligently work on the right leg for a few moments and then diligently work on the left for a few moments. Let your lower back, buttock, tailbone move INTO the body.
· Parsvakonasana Don’t jump. If there is soreness in the back, do facing the wall. Better? Because your sacrum is participating, your pose is manifesting better. What is that freedom in the lower back / groin / hip?
· Parighasana (periods parivrtta upavista konasana) RS heel down, toes up. Elongate the right side of the body and descend the right side of the body down. 3 times touch the toes and come up – and don’t just think about touching with your fingers – as if the side waist is going to touch! One! Two! Three! Side waist going down. Finishing 3 attempts, 1 more attempt – touch the toes and rotate! Imagine you are doing brick setubandha – right buttock into the body and rotate the waist completely. Don’t look towards your chest – chin, eyes away from the chest. Final position, bent leg thigh tall and rotate.
· Parsvakonasana RS – Let this parsvakonasana be a child of parighasana – feel the closeness of your side rib and leg. Rotate completely. Take top arm over the head and recreate the intensity of that parighasana stretch.
· Parighasana LS In the bent leg position can you keep the buttock in and stand tall like urdhva mukha svanasana? Arthritis in the hip, stay in this position. Others goes down –don’t allow the buttock to go back. Rotate. MOOVE the dorsal into the body and let there be this direction of the anterior trunk. Stamp outer shin to keep the standing leg vertical. Give your best and then come up.
· Parsvakonasana LS Understand how the pelvic rotation has come, abdominal rotation has come.
· Parivrtta Upavista Konasana RS Upright twist, turn to the left side. With right hand, catch right foot and be tall. Move dorsal spine INto the body. Back waist either side of the spine – let those spinal muscles SHIFT away from the spine – learn to get that width. Recollect that brick setubandha, let your lower back be in. Raise the right half of your body, be tall, be tall, be tall and then let the waist go down. Top arm over and turn, turn, turn and be with that width of the right waist (don’t hold the foot with top hand)
· Parsvakonasana RS Wait! Don’t go down with the hand – let that WAIST go down and now understand how this pose is beneficial to your entire back. Now what we did in parivrtta upavista – can you give a good length to the right half of your back.
· Tadasana Does the right side of your body feel longer?
· Parivrrta Upavista Konasana LS Upright twist to the right side and be tall. Then catch inner foot with arm straight, dorsal spine in and rotate. Left half of back body, let it be LOONG, Shoot it! Shoot it! Waist lengthening down, not the head. Lengthen the left side MAXIMUM!
· Parsvakonasana LS Don’t wait, go down or somatic memory is lost. Feel the ease in this parsvakonasana. Priyatna Shatailya – the cessation of efforts.
· Baddha Konasana
· AMSvanasana Root of the thighs ascend up, shoulders ascend up, have proper distance.
· Ardha Chandrasana briefly – the ease of your parsvakonasana is lost – the stress is back!
· Repeat Ardha Chandrasana facing wall right buttock to the right groin, right groin has to go close to the wall. Left hand on the wall. Length of the right half of the back, the left side of waist rotating - all the points we have worked on – do them all together. If the head drops, the waist goes up. Waist down, head up!
· Ardha Chandrasana independently top leg lift up, toes open. Buttock to the groin and rotate well, rotate completely. Don’t think about not falling, think about what must be done.
· Uttanasana elbows folded
· Prasarita Paddottonasna head support or chair support if required.
· Paschimottonasana height under seat if required. Descend the back ribs down.
· Swastikasana twist (brief) observe sacrum area.
· Brick setubandha (option for brick on 2nd height or flat if needed) Outer his slightly up to the ceiling, it should not be a dead weight on the brink. Your frontal thighs and pubic area have to become flat, extending the back of the legs.
· Swastikasana twist – you see how the tailbone, lower back is into the body – there is an uprightness to the body. Turn and maintain the uprightness. The concavity of your sacrum is going to go a long way to attaining your twisting postures. Lower spine, let it go IN, UP. The pelvic girdle should not fall on the thighs.
· Dandasana Lower spine active (ideally we would have repeated brick setubandha) no part of the pelvic girdle should touch the thigh - as the pelvis is ascending the thighs are flying up - as if there is a weight on the thigh – lower spine in and arms up UH Dandasana Lower spine IN and UP Padangustha Dandasana this intermediate stage should not be omitted, groins down, holding the big toe, thighs down, pelvic girdle ASCEND up. The right half of the back and the left half of the back, those spinal muscles should not become sleepy / dull – lift them UP as though the anterior surface of your back ribs are ascending up. Bend legs a little – now the anterior surface of the back ribs ASCEND up – maintaining that concavity and sharpness, stretch out your knees.
· Janu Sirsasana Concave Back do not take the right legs too far back, let the entire right foot touch the left thigh. Brick setubandha action has to be there. Put both hand behind to elevate – raise the side body up, lower back elevate, pelvic girdle elevate, inner surface of the back ribs elevate UH Janu Sirsasana Exhale go forward Concave back Janu Sirsasana holding the foot, pressing the bent leg thigh down, can you RAISE the side body higher up. Come far away from the legs and lift the anterior surface of the back ribs – 1 attempt! 2 attempts! 3rd attempt UP! and then go forward Janu Sirsasana and see how forward becomes a rest.
· AMVirasana classical version knees together feet apart (if possible) sternum forward, chin forward, chest forward. Arms back, palms on feet. Shoulders, back body pulled back, anterior body extends forward.
· Halasana (periods bolster setubandha, neck pain chair sarvangasana) Shoulders adjusted well on the edge of the blanket. Lower back has to go towards the feet side (if there is choking sensation you can come down and take more height under the shoulders). Raise your shin bones your knees, your thighs upward. Work actively, bring back that alertness of your body. With the palms on the back raise the shoulder blades, raise the lumbar further up. Raise left leg up to Eka Pada Sarvangasana as far up as possible with straight leg and with your hands lift. Fall in love with that eka pada sarvangasana to lift up. Repeat right leg up. Sarvangasana 2 minutes. Lift yourself up – a good lift of your back body, head quiet, temples quiet, throat relaxed.
· Paschimottonasna to release any back pain.
· Savasana (Prone savasana if back pain) Your body will take its own time to release, in nature you can’t force – you can’t force a fruit to ripen – you can’t force savasana on your body. Let your body dissolve into the earth, let this savasana be an expression of gratitude to your bhumi - your earth, your soil.