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Day 3 Yoganusasanam 2020 Zoom with Abhijata


Day 3 of the intensive focussed on a series of forward bends, learning to coil the armpit chest. Abhi kept the sequence moving at a rapid pace so that the mind stayed fully involved throughout. She says a lot!! A fellow teacher told me that she had taught a part of yesterday's sequence and couldn't understand how Abhi had fitted it all in. She speaks very rapidly (but super-clearly so we can still follow) and doesn't hold too long. At one point she said we would stay for one minute in silence and she lasted about 6 seconds, before she couldn't resist giving us some encouragement!! I particularly enjoyed the wonderful freedom of the poses she gave after the forward bends to release any compression that may have occurred in the body - a rapid fire round of supta baddha konasana, ardha chandrasana, virabhadrasana 3, adho mukha svanasana / urdhva mukha svanasana and sirasana all rounded off with a wonderful setubandha sarvangasana.


Enjoy tomorrow those of you that will be there, I look forward to catching up with it later in the week.


*CCB means Concave Back!

Day 3 Yoganusasanam 2020 Zoom with Abhijata

Swastikasana Invocation – Feel the height from within, not to allow the body to drop anywhere. Build up your sitting position from what has been learnt in the last 2 days – make a clear impression of the work we have done so that the memory is not discarded. No part of the pelvic girdle should touch the thighs – eject that pelvic girdle away from the thighs as we did yesterday – the more you do it the clearer the somatic memory – body has its own intelligence / memory. Eyes closed, upper arms roll from the inside to the outside, have a slightly deeper inhalation to recharge your body, exhale without losing the alertness.

AMVirasana Palms facing each other, give a good length mindfully

AMSvanasana Go for that height, go for that length. Front of the thighs back. Take knees down for a short break, give some rest for your arms.

AMSvanasana LIFT the outer armpit chest and get the length of the trunk there. Look at it! Why does it drop? LIFT that! It is not just a warm up – it is to bring the sensitivity in the body.

Uttanasana first downward and then walk palms forward maximum, so that you get good length in your side trunk (height under hands as required) Do not let hips / buttocks / thighs fall forwards, but side body has to move forward.

AMSvanasana Raise the side body up.

Uttanasana Walk BACK with your hands – heels forwards, buttocks forward, but palms BACKWARD. Release the bottom breast area downwards. Side ribs, armpits DOWN.

Prasarita Paddottonasana CCB*Extend the sides of the chest forwards. Descend down and stretch the arms backwards (if not possible classical version palms between feet). Go for straightening the arms and release the lower ribs, no grip there. Open the sternum.

Parsvottonasana RS stepping the legs apart. Back leg, inner thigh to the outer thigh rotate and push it back. Pelvic girdle lift up and exhale to go down to CCB (height where required) and lower ribs move forwards, dorsal spine IN and chin forward. Shoulders wide, collar bones wide and learn to COIL the armpits. Exhale and take the trunk down (don’t just go for the head).

Parsvottonasana LS Same instructions.

Demo of armpits coiling. Showing back of the armpit to the front of the armpit NOT as a straight movement, but circularly – so from the back dropping down and moving forwards and up (semicircle / shallow cup/ shallow U shape). When we say that Iyengar Yoga is about precision, timing and sequencing – that precision also applies to use of language. Guruji said in an interview that when we come to class, we wait for instruction and then we apply the movement and experience the effect. Whereas Guruji – there was no instruction of this type from his teacher, no Light on Yoga, no Google – he had the experience and then had to find the word to convey the experience. You understand the complete reversal of learning sequence? For us words first and then experience, but for Guruji the experience came first and then the words sometimes it took him 40 years to find a certain word for a certain experience!! Each word had that value to it.

Tadasana Circularly move the armpit from the back to the front

Paschima Namaskarasana Now the armpit has to move back to the front coiling. Coil in that manner! (repeatedly). These are the energy centres / pranic centres of the body. It is our loss if we think of this as only a physical technique.

Parsvottonasana RS What you did in your paschima namaskarasana – this has to come in your parsvottonasana CCB. From the BACK, DOWN and UP! Move the armpit from the back to the front circularly. It is the experience which is needed not the words! (don’t take head down) coiling action only. LS Coil! Coil! Coil!

Janu Sirsasana RS Groin opening is important so take that right knee a little back. Right thigh roll inside out. Pressurising the bent leg down, take the arms up and hold the foot CCB and extend the right side vertically and the left side horizontally. Bend the elbows and go forwards – as you do this take the back ribs IN and sternum chest FORWARD. When you reach your capacity the mind wanders, so bring your mind to the back ribs as though there is a weight there, taking you down.

Swastikasana Demo in uttanasana to explain comment above. Once I reach capacity and cannot go further, the mind wanders and becomes casual – it is no longer involved and I can be here without any efforts. Why should the mind need to be involved?