Opening the Heart

I read a good article last night that inspired me to share this practice intention with my students today because I think opening the heart is one of the most efficient way to parlay spirituality into yoga asanas. Most people (including myself up until about 8 months ago prior to my RYT training) tend to think yoga is all about the working out and asanas (postures). They were not able to see the link between yogasanas with spirituality, so I thought by creating the effect of offering the heart through this sequence, I can minimize my preaching and yet allow my students to feel the effects of the poses. Have a good weekend! Namaste!

Sun Salutation B sequence modified from YogaJournal’s article “Home Practice with James Higgins” by Andrea Ferretti. 

  1. Supine Bound Angle
  2. Child’s Pose
  3. Cat/Cow Tilts
  4. Seated Twists
  5. Sun Salutation A
    • Mountain
    • Standing Forward Bend
    • Plank
    • Chatturanga /  Knee-chest-chin
    • Updog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
    • Downdog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
    • Forward Bend
    • Mountain
  6. Sun Salutation B
    • Chair Pose / Utkatasana
    • Standing Forward Fold / Uttanasana
    • High Lunge (L) / Anjaneyasana (but with elbows bound behind back or in reverse prayer)
    • Downward Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
    • High Lunge (R) / Anjaneyasana (but with elbows bound behind back or in reverse prayer)
    • Downward Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana
    • Plank
    • Chaturanga
    • Locust Pose / Salabhasana
    • Child’s Pose / Balasana
  7. Bow Pose
  8. Extended Puppy
  9. Happy Baby
  10. Savasana

Therapeutic Asanas

I had a lesson planned for today’s lunch yoga at work, but one of the girls were suffering from insomnia for unknown reasons. As a teacher, I believe in giving what my students need, and being that we had a rough start today with a snow advisory that began at 7am, we were all feeling down and cranky. Thus, I’ve did a quick research on yoga journal’s website and put together some light and refreshing asana sequence that would fit in 1 hour. I hope this sequence will be useful to you as well.

  1. Bound angle pose 
  2. Child’s pose 
  3. Cat/Cow poses 
  4. Seated twists (L & R) 
  5. Camel 
  6. Wide-legged forward fold
    • heel-toe feet to center
    • come down to the knees 
  7. Extended Puppy pose
    •  come to all fours
    • move buttocks halfway between the distance of the heels and knees
    • arms active, elbows not touching the mat
    • lower forehead to the mat/blanket
    • feel stretch on the spine, 1 min
    • pull hips to heels
    • release buttocks to heels, modified Child’s pose  
  8. Gateway pose (L & R)
    • place left hand on the mat on the side
    • extend right leg
    •  lift right hand
    • lower right knees to center, repeat on RIGHT side 
  9. Downward facing dog 
  10. Sphinx pose 
  11. Lie on the back, hug knees to chest, make circles with the sacrum 
  12. Happy Baby pose
    • lie on the back
    • bring knees close to armpits
    • hold the inside of the feet
    • shins should be vertical to the floor/ceiling
    • saturate into the pose 
  13. Savasana

Asana Sequence Feb 15, 08

I realized that I hadn’t been able to blog as much as I want to lately. I always think of soemthing to write during my practice but as soon as I get home, I’m overwhelmed with other commitmets (a.k.a. never-ending housechores).

Since I’ve begun teaching beginners for the past 1 month plus, I’ve came up with a few sequences. I thought it would be great to share that with those who frequent my blog, as well as using this blog to document the sequences for my own reference also.

I hope you find these sequences useful to you.

Focus: Stira Stuka – Strong / Steady & Calm 

1.       OM X 3

2.       Wide-legged bound forward fold (extend & fold)

3.       (Sun Salutation A): X 3

a.       Mountain

b.      Standing Forward Bend

c.       Plank

d.      Chatturanga /  Knee-chest-chin

e.      Updog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

f.        Downdog / Adho Mukha Svanasana

g.       Forward Bend

h.      Mountain

4.       (Sun Salutation A): X 3

a.       Mountain

b.      Chair pose

c.       Standing Forward Bend

d.      Plank

e.      Lunge

f.        Crescent pose

g.       Chatturanga /  Knee-chest-chin

h.      Updog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

i.        Downdog / Adho Mukha Svanasana

j.        Forward Bend

k.       Chair pose

5.       Downdog

6.       Plank

7.       Side-plank > Gate Pose / Parighasana (L & R)

8.       Child’s pose / Balasana (hands behind)

9.       Standing Star

10.   Revolved Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend / Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana  (L & R)

11.   Skandasana? (L & R): one leg extended squat, hands in prayer position

12.   Table

13.   Frog

14.   Sphinx pose

15.   Seated cross-legged twist

16.   Reclining Bound Angle Pose / Supta Baddha Konasana

17.   Savasana

Saying of the day….

“Half the spiritual life consists in remembering what we are up against and where we are going.”

-Ayya Khema, “When the Iron Eagle Flies”

When to begin yoga practice?

I’ve completed the in-class portion of my certification, and am taking time to complete the practical portion. Meanwhile, I’ve heard many people who told me that they aren’t ready for yoga. It really frustrates me to hear that and just today, I read a great article that summarized my thoughts and gave me a good idea of how to advice people who think that they aren’t good enough for yoga.

The author wrote:

“The point is that yoga helps us find balance in all areas of our lives; we’re not supposed to arrive in yoga class as a fait accompli. We’re supposed to show up ready to take a journey of transformation, whatever that may be. Everyone comes to the mat with a different imbalance, but everyone is working on something, and it is the act of getting on the mat that points us in the right direction.

A dear friend of mine began practicing yoga at the age of 37. She had always avoided it because she thought she was too stiff and that she didn’t have a “yoga body.” After several months of classes, she made a remark that I have never forgotten. She said that on the days she does yoga, she consistently makes better food choices, and these choices come naturally because she is calmer, more centered, and more fully in the present moment.

To me, this observation is the essence of the impact that yoga can have in all areas of our lives. I encourage you to disregard your friends’ advice and find a class that lets you begin to experience yoga’s extraordinary potential. You may need to experiment a bit to find the class that is just right for you, but I am sure it will be worth it.” 

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