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Day 2 IYA UK Convention with Abhijata

Today we worked intensively on parivrttas in every conceivable format - standing, sitting, prone, supine, inverted and balancing - that is a lot of parivrrtas! Abhi reminded me of a time in the past when I was working hard in parivrtta trikonasana on the trestle with Guruji and he admonished me for the amount I was sweating - "Why are you sweating in your head? Why don't you sweat with your waist?!" It is always my tendency (most especially when I am under pressure) to try too hard and work with a tension in the head. It seems that I still have yet to master this lesson....

Abhi Day 2 IYA UK Convention

Swastikasana palms folded in namaskarasana. Lower spine going IN to the body. Have a few deeper inhalations to energise yourselves. Have a few deeper inhalations to set right your posture. Some actions go hand in hand with the inhalation, some actions go hand in hand with exhalation – for instance if you have to quieten the face and brain you can do that easily with the exhalation. If you have to lift the chest this goes easily with the inhalation. As you inhale ascend the sides of the trunk, as you exhale, maintain that. As you inhale, widen the collar bones, as you exhale, maintain that. As you inhale, from the lower spine ascend up, as you exhale, maintain that. With the exhalation, bring the upper eyelids down. Eyes, ears, tongue, cheeks – descend the shoulder blades, trapezius as you exhale.

Adho Mukha Virasana – some of your body muscles may be sore from what we did yesterday, so with your AMVirasana, learn to create space in the body. Slightly raise your head up and look at your palms and find how when you look at them you can take them further forward. Take bricks or bolsters under the palms, so that your back ribs will be going downwards. Head up once in a while, cut your back ribs, shoulder blades into the body. I want you to become sharp in your upper back, middle back.

Parsva Upavista Konasana sitting upright Back is thin, sharp – you would call it a ‘nice back’. Now go forwards into parsva upavista konasana extending along the leg – now the back is not going towards the chest, but the chest is going towards the back. So, the back has become a little rounded – a thicker back, a convex back. I am taking this asasna to make you sensitive to that thickness in the back. The outer back ribs are now projecting out of the back. We should learn to take them also into the body – so now you have a experiential selfie of that segment of the back which is thick, which is not obeying your command to turn and move in.

AMSvanasana hands up on bricks – root of the thighs higher up and let the back ascend up. The moment the palms are kept higher, the arms respond better, the full length of the arms is possible. In parsva upavista konasana, which part of the back did not listen to you? Can you move that part UP and IN to the body?

Baddha Konasana When it comes to our own behaviours, we don’t spot our limitations. We have a blind spot. The mistakes of others we can easily spot, but our own mistakes fall into the blind spot where we don’t catch it. Yoga is a ‘Darsana Shastra’ – a vision, its like a mirror – when we look in a mirror you see clearly. Yoga is that philosophy which helps you to see yourself clearly. With respect to asana – the parts of the body which move, we look at them, the parts of the body which do not move, we turn a blind eye.

For instance, sit or stand for urdhva hastasana – the arms are going up, you are happy – but can you watch here (see pic) near the outer armpit. Why is the skin here, not extending up? Can I move that also up? you see the arm went higher up? What about the skin here, just above the inner elbow? That is not raising up? can I stretch that skin higher up? See again the arms went higher.

AMSvanasana thoracic spine deeper into the body, but the dorsal lumbar does not go up and we turn a blind eye to that. Mobilise that thoracic lumbar area, lift it higher up (repeatedly) that has to become concave now, UP and INTO the body, bring that thinness in that area.

Parsva Swastikasana seated on thin end of bolster, so that you can use the bolster for the back hand palm to press. Left side back body, pin your location there to that area that did not go in in your parsva upavista konasana , take your mind there - can you make that area mobile? That back rib take it INTO the body and the correspondingly anterior body, ascend up, slightly take the chin up and turn further – that pinned location on your back body, take it IN, TURN – IN, TURN! Use the back hand against the bolster and TURN.

AMSvanasana the left side body is now longer, so it is responding.

Parsva Swastikasana left side from the pubic area raise up. Go to that pinned location – move it INTO the body – IN and Up, IN and UP, IN and Turn, UP, TALL.



Padangusthasana – holding with your fingers, thighs back, buttocks back, pelvic area forward. Even the sacrum, lower back, let it come forward (repeatedly).

Many factors influence one event. Look at the microcosm of the body. Open up Light on Yoga and see what poses are given for tight hamstrings – we expect to see supta p