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Day 3 - IYA UK Convention with Abhijata

Another wonderful day of learning at the convention. Abhi's mental agility was on full display as she ran several side classes concurrently with the main class, for menstruation, menopause and neck pain. On top of which, throughout the class, she took as many questions as she could squeeze in, including one on why we use Sanskrit names, when English names would be clearer. She made us all smile (and in my home anyway - a silent cheer for her frank and unapologetic answer) "Because that’s the name! My name is Abhijata – it means ‘Born in a noble family’ it means ‘A Flawless Gem’ so how will you address me? “Excuse me Mrs Flawless Gem, excuse me Mrs Born in a Noble family’ will you say that!? A name is a name! Why do we use Sanskrit names? Because those are the proper names! "

Abhijata - Born into a noble family, a flawless gem - she was aptly named.

In transcribing the class, I have given the questions and answers at the time they occurred, because at times, they were an integral part of the class as she gave us poses to do to get a tangible experience of what she was explaining.

Those of you that are following the blog will have noticed that it has taken me a very long time to get this third day published. Sadly, now that I am working full-time, it is nigh on impossible to find the time to do the write-ups. They take a long time and unlike when I am in Pune, I have all my work and home duties to attend to too - so no promises on Day 4 as first I have to get my company accounts completed and filed. Sigh.

Day 3 IYA UK Convention with Abhijata

Swastikasana invocation - Change the order of crossing your legs, so that side you are not comfortable with, you get used to, because when you only sit in one way, that shin, that ankle, develops differently. Sit straight, sit tall, widen yourself, lengthen yourself. From inside your bottom sternum ascend upwards, thoracic spine into the body. Shoulder blades, trapezius strongly descending down. Quickly gather yourself in this sitting posture

She began with sitting in Virasana 10 minutes of answering questions received from attendees.

Q) Why no twisting with fibroids and twists? They don’t appear to cause any problem

A) There are many factors that are going to influence this situation. Your age, your menstrual condition – as a general rule these twistings are avoided because they are closed abdomen – the abdomen is made hard and squeezed which is not a comfortable condition. Open twisting can be done, the abdomen is free, it is not pressing - postures like virasana, baddha konsasna, upavista konasana, bharadvajasana – the abdomen is not squeezed against the thigh, the abdomen is not caught and thus can also be done in menstruation. Ardha Matsyendrasana 2 can also be done – the abdomen is still free. For women with gynaecological problems, fertility issues, sometimes this asana is given as a treatment – learning to lift the spine, lengthen the abdominal walls, lift up the chest and turn so that the anterior lift of the spine is attained. You can stay in touch with the twisting category of asanas with these open twists.

Q) How to work with Osteopenia & Osteoporosis

A) With age the bones tend to become weak, the calcium loss is there. The clue for osteopenia is the muscles which are surrounding that affected area must be strengthened. For instance, if the shoulder joint is affected – which are the surrounding areas? I have to work on the collar bones – Abhi demonstrates arching back in swastikasana, opening up the anterior chest, you have to widen the collar bone, the clavicular area, you have to move the shoulder blades into the body, you have to lift the intercostal muscles on the front, the ribs on the front body ASCEND them up and widen the shoulder corners.

This way you have work on the surrounding areas to strengthen them so that the load does not fall entirely on that affected bone.

For osteoporosis where the bone is becoming weak, it does not get fixed into the s