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Day 8 - Forward Bends Advanced class with Sunita

I loved today's class! Sunita taught a thorough and comprehensive forward bend class, once again getting straight to the point so that there was time to repeat and explore a great range of the poses. This is something that I will endeavour to take back to my teaching - less preparation and more just getting the heck on with it. Her tone was authoratative and commanding, but in no way intimidating or unkind and for me this is an excellent combination to bring out the best in my practice. Lots of strong verbal encouragement throughout to increase the effort and improve the pose. In my summary below I could have added Go! Go! Go! to almost every pose. Go further, descend further, go! go! go! so please mentally add these encouragements as you read.

After our first attempt at Parivrrta Janu Sirsasana, she had us look at the picture of Guruji in the pose up on the wall. She asked us what we observed and various features were picked out – the openness of the chest and armpits etc. What she wanted us to observe was that the rotation of his trunk was such that it is not his side body that rests on the leg its his POSTERIOR spine that rests on the leg. It is the centre of the body that faces the ceiling, not the side trunk. We repeated the pose with this beautiful image in our minds. I wanted to share this image with you for the blog, but realised when I came to writing up that the picture in Light on Yoga is not the same one that is up on the wall, so please excuse the blurry image below, which doesn't show quite as well the rotation (perhaps I'll get a snap of this to add in tomorrow).

When we came to Marichyasana 1 as a forward bend with the clasp, she got us to come up after she observed someone making a half-hearted effort to clasp. She gave a lecture on how effortful practice has to be there to begin with in order to ‘get’ the pose. First there has to be effortful effort then only the effect of the pose can be experienced. Then she gave instruction on how to progess in the pose with this whole-hearted effort. We folded the right leg to marichyasana and bent the left leg into a loose baddha kona