YogaVita Training

Lima, Peru

God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference
Namaste to everybody interested in an Yoga training course in Peru! My name is Yovita, and I am a certified yoga instructor in Hatha ( ) and Ashtanga ( )Yoga, with over eight years of experience studying and teaching this unique philosophy and a form of living . I began practicing yoga while living in Cyprus back in 1998, and have since then continued a serious and dedicating practice in various schools in Europe, Asia and the Americas learning from some of the most important contemporary yoga masters (Swami NiranjanandaSaraswati, Santhanam, Elisa Cardoso, B.J. Galvan, Chantanya Das and others). After practicing Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Bikram, Acroyoga and Shivananda Yoga styles, I had the urge to find the roots of Yogic wisdom and I traveled to India where I had the unique opportunity to learn Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation, Kriya Yoga and Patanjali’s Yoga sutras from some great Indian gurus and swamis. Studying the ancient traditions deepened my understanding of yoga, allowing me to appreciate fully the basic principles underlying the forms of yoga I’d been practicing for years. As a result, I have come to understand that the different varieties of yoga are essentially components of a single system, each with its specific effects and benefits. I have found balance, peace and purity with Yoga, and this is what I strive to share with my students. Today, I practice and teach a form of Integral Yoga, combining all these techniques in order to address to the unique needs of my students while emphasizing unity and balance in intellect, body, and spirit. The following course represents an intense 30 hours Yoga Training Program and it is designed for people who want to deepen their knowledge of this disciple as a part of their personal spiritual journey or as a preparation for the Yoga Teacher Training. I teach my students that Yoga is all about gaining a full awareness of body, breath and mind. The awareness will bring control and the control will bring grace, peace and balance in your everyday life. I called this web site YogaVita in a dedication to Yoga as an art of living and also as an indispensable part of my life style. NAMASTE!


Yoga Syllabus


I. What is Yoga? 1. Student and teacher presentation, class curriculum and syllabus; Discuss yoga becoming mainstream, personal attitude and intentions. “New American Yoga”. Begin the path of yoga practice as a service ca. 30 min 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation ca. 20 min 3. Kryas ca. 10min 4. Sun Salutation ca. 10min 5. Yoga asanas ca. 1hour Featured Asanas: Surya Namaskar and Shavasana 6. Preparation for Pranayama: Deep Breathing ca. 20 min 7. Final Relaxation ca. 30 min II. The Roots of Yoga 1. Explore the ancient science of yoga, it’s beginnings and origins. Study the oldest system of personal development; the nature of the mind and the spirit. Introduce the different types and schools of Yoga. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 1-5 from the YogaVita asanas 6. Preparation for Pranayama: Alternative Nostril breathing 7. Final relaxation III. Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga 1. Discover how anatomy, alignment, and philosophy are an integral part of Yoga asanas. Learn how to recognize body types and tendencies, and learn observation skills. Discuss the benefits of yoga. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas, Featured asanas: 5-10 6. Preparation for Pranayama: wave breathing 7. Final relaxation IV. Deepening Your Practice and Teaching Methodology Understanding the yoga philosophy (discuss the Patanjali Yoga Sutras). Explore conscious, skillful living. Introduce the 8 limbs of Yoga. Explain and discuss the sound of OM. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 10-15 6. Pranayama : Aloma Viloma 7. Final relaxation V. The Metaphysical Body and Relaxation Science Cultivating mindfulness. Learn the principles of pranayama and investigate the subtle link between the body and the mind. Explore Bhandas, Kriyas and Mudras.


2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 15-20 6. Pranayama: udjjai 7. Final relaxation VI. Yoga as a Therapy Introduce Ayurveda. Yogic dietary regime. Discuss the nadis (ida, pingala shushumna) and the chakras. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas. Featured asanas: 20-25 6. Pranayama: bhramari 7. meditation on the chakras VII. Ashtanga Yoga Learn the Ashtanga teaching, the principle of correct sequencing. Vinyasa Flow. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 25-30 6. Pranayama: Udjjaii 7. Yoga Nidra - short VIII. Iyengar Yoga Learn the essentials of teaching of Iyengar yoga, preparation, structure, and main principles. Discuss the science of props. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 30-35 6. Pranayama 7. Yoga Nidra IX. Anusara & Partner Yoga Learn the essentials of teaching of Anusara yoga, preparation, structure, and the 5 universal principles of alignment. Partner yoga! 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas 4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 35-40 6. Pranayama 7. Antar Mouna (The Meditation of Inner Silence) X. Namaste Class. Inquiry and Practice Gather the strands of the mind, gather the community. Review course. 2. Chanting (Om o Mantra) and Meditation 3. Kryas


4. Sun Salutation 5. Yoga asanas Featured asanas: 40-to end 6. Pranayama 7. Vipassana Meditation



1. Begin in mountain pose, pressing evenly down through the feet, extending up through the crown of the head. 2. Inhale, sweep the arms up overhead gaze forward or up 3. Exhale, swan dive to a forward fold, lunge the right leg back, drop the knee 4. Inhale, the arms overhead 5. Exhale the hands to the floor, step to plank 6. Inhale, drop the knees to the floor 7. Exhale, lower the heart between the thumbs, hips higher like an inchworm 8. Inhale to cobra 9. Exhale to downward facing dog 10. Inhale, step the right foot between the hands 11. Exhale, drop the left knee 12. Inhale, reach the arms overhead 13. Exhale, hands to the floor, step forward and fold. 14. Inhale, reach the arms to the side rising to stand, arms overhead 15. Exhale, lower the hands to prayer. Repeat and lunge the left leg back & forward.


1. Mountain Pose

[taahd-AAH-suh-nuh] This posture is generally placed at the beginning of a class to help students focus on the breath and the body. Encourage students to feel grounded to the earth, starting at the feet. Benefits • Teaches importance of body alignment and posture • Strengthens spinal and abdominal musculature • Draws the focus inward Verbal Cues • Lift the tees and ground down through the four corners of the feet (ball of big toe, baby toe, inner and outer heels). Spread the toes and place them evenly on the floor. Feel firmly rooted into the earth. • Engage the muscles of the quads (or front of the thighs), lifting the kneecaps up. • Firm the core by drawing the navel back toward the spine and keeping the pelvis in a neutral position (you could use hands to help find a neutral position). • Keep your spine lifted, roll the shoulders forward, up, back and then drop them down. Feel the chest expanding, drop the shoulders from your ears. • Draw the shoulder blades together, let the arms rest to the outside of your legs. • Bring your chin parallel to the floor. Feel yourself lengthening through the crown of your head, while continuing to ground down through the feet. • Breathe deeply. Breathe evenly through the nostrils. Adjustments • Use your fingertips to lift the chin parallel to the floor. • Encourage the shoulders to relax by placing your hands on the shoulders. • Use your hands to guide the student’s hips to a neutral position. Variations • Feet can be together or a few inches apart. People with tight hamstrings will want the feet apart, so will people that have difficulty balancing. • Upstretched mountain (arms reaching upward) • Extended mountain (arch the spinal for spinal extension) • Arms can be placed by the sides or hands in prayer (or namaste). Modifications 8

• Use the back of a chair or the wall for support as needed 2. Utkatasana Chair or Powerful Pose

[OOT-kuht-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Strengthens the scapular, ankles, calves, thighs and glutes • Opens the chest and shoulders • Heats the body and creates endurance Verbal Cues • Bend your knees as much as you can while keeping your heels down on the floor. • Keep your pelvis in a neutral position, or tuck the tailbone and lengthen from the low back. • Draw your shoulders down and keep opening through the chest. • Straighten your arms and try to keep them by your ears. • Keep your gaze slightly down and forward. • Notice that gravity is pulling the hips down, but with each inhalation feel yourself lifting up towards the sky. Adjustments • Use your hands to guide the students hips to neutral position • If the hips and knees are too far forward align them by standing behind the student and guide the hips back. Be mindful that this can throw their balance off so move slowly and carefully. • Encourage student to open through the chest by moving the shoulders back, rotating the elbows in, and/or gently lifting the arms up. Variations • Feet can be together or hip width apart. • Hands can be together or shoulder width apart. • Arms can be at a variety of heights. • Squat lower (tummy on thighs) and bring the arms forward. • Bring hands to prayer, lower the torso and twist to each side. Modifications • Do not have students squat as far if they have a knee injury or feel pain. • If student has difficulty balancing, have them practice at a wall. • Have students squeeze a block with hands overhead to strengthen and align shoulders. • Squeeze a block between the thighs to roll the thighs inward.


3. Virabhadrasana I Virabhadrasana I Warrior I

[veer-uhb-huh-DRAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Builds strength and endurance • Strengthens and tones the lower body, especially the thighs as well as the arms and shoulders • Stabilizes hip and knee joints • Helps build flexibility in the spine Verbal Cues • From a lunge position, lower your back heel, so the entire foot is flat with the toes turned in slightly. • Inhale, lift the torso up and place the crown of your head over your hips. • Extend the arms all the way up, with the palms face each other. • Work to bring the front thigh parallel with the floor. • Feel the back hip moving forward while the front hip moves back. Work to square the hips forward. • Stretch the tailbone toward the floor and lengthen from the low back. • Both feet press into the earth. Keep pressing the outer edge of the back foot down into the earth. (This helps to stretch the hip flexors and allow the pelvis to rotate more freely.) • Gaze straight ahead. Adjustments • Using your foot, press the outer edge of their back foot down. • Move the back hip forward and encourage the front hip to move back. Do the same with the ribcage and shoulders. • If the front knee is moving inward, gently press is out, aligning the knee over the ankle. • Move your hand up the low back to encourage lengthening. Remind students to move the tailbone towards the floor. • Place your hands on the top of the shoulders and remind them to relax the shoulders down. • Encourage students to stretch the arms all the way up by gently pressing and lifting the arms up (but not at the expense of moving shoulders to ears). Variations • Palms together or shoulder distance wide. • A few different stances for the back foot. Back foot and same hip should be pointing the same direction. 10

• Arms in cow face or eagle arms. Or hands behind the back with fingers interlaced. • Humble Warrior – fingers interlaced behind the back and fold forward. • Crescent Pose Modifications • Use a wall to press the heel into for more balance, stability, and grounding. • Use a chair or fitness ball under the hips to reduce body weight. • If a student has knee pain, don’t bend the front knee as much. • Practice with the back knee down 4. Virabhadrasana II Warrior II

[veer-uhb-huh-DRAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Builds strength and endurance. • Strengthens and tones the lower body, especially the thighs as well as arms. • Stabilizes hip and knee joints. • Helps build flexibility in the spine. • Stretches the chest, shoulders, groin, and hips. Verbal Cues • Place the crown of your head directly over the hips. Or, the torso stays stacked above the pelvis. • Draw the shoulder blades down the back. The arms are parallel to the floor. • Create a straight line from the back hand all the way forward out the front fingertips. • Work to bring the front thigh parallel to the floor. • Press through the back foot to keep the back leg long and strong. • Align the front knee over the ankle, in line with the middle toes. • Extend through the crown of your head while you stretch the tailbone down towards the floor. Lift through the low back. • Bring the gaze forward towards the right fingertips. Adjustments • Direct student to align front foot with outer edge of mat. • Move the front thigh and knee open to align over the ankle. • Place your hands on the shoulders and gently press down to move the shoulders down away from the ears.


• Align the arms so they are parallel to the floor. • Open and align chest by taking your hand under the shoulder (fingertips point up) and gently opening. • If the spine is moving forward over the bent leg, guide the torso back by placing your hand at waist and gently pulling the back arm. • Bring the hips/pelvis to a neutral position. Variations • Eagle arms • Reverse warrior – back arm drops to back let and front arm lifts up and back with the palm facing down. Modifications • Use a chair to rest the front thigh for more support and stability. • Use a wall and have student place their body very close to the wall. This will help them to see where they hold their body in space. • Bend front knee less that 90 degrees if someone feel knee pain. • Shorten the lunge. 5. Utthita Trikonasana Extended Triangle

[oot-T-HEE-tuh tree-kohn-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Stretches the groin and hamstrings • Tones abdominals • Opens the shoulders and chest • Strengthens the ankles • Strengthens the neck • Stabilizes and opens the hips Verbal Cues • Place your right hand on your shin, a block, ankle, or floor. Reach the left arm up towards the ceiling. • Align the right side of your torso over the right leg. Or, imagine that you are pressing your back against a wall. • Extend the crown of your head away from your tailbone. • Lengthen your neck and lift your gaze up towards the left hand. • Apply equal pressure to both feet, and to the inner and outer edge of the foot.


Adjustments • Stand behind the student and use your thigh to support the student. Place your right hand on the right hip and your use your left hand to cup around the shoulder. Pull the right hip gently towards you and roll open the left shoulder. • To assist students moving into the pose: Stand in front of the student. Place your foot into the crease of their upper thigh. Use your hand to take hold of their wrist. Find you balance then gently pull and lengthen the student over their right leg. When they are at the fullest stretch, remove your foot and place the hand down. Variations • Wrap the top arm around the back and hold upper thigh. • Reach the top arm straight over head (in line with the ear). • Bound Triangle – thread the right arm through the right leg, wrap the left arm around the back for a bind. Modification • Use a block or chair underneath bottom hand. • Use the wall and have the student move into position with their back placed against the wall. • If student hyper extends the knees, put a small bend in the front leg. • Turn the head (gaze) down if the neck feels strained. • Place top hand on the hip if the student experiences shoulder pain. 6. Parivrtta Trikonasana Revolved Triangle [par-ee-VRT-tuh tree-kohn-AAH-suh-nuh]

Benefits • Stretches the hips and spine • Strengthens the legs and core • Massages the organs • Promotes balance Verbal Cues • From triangle pose with the right leg 13

forward…. • Place the left hand down on the floor or a block to the inside or outside of the right foot. • Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward t square the hips. • Place the right hand at the right waist. • Inhale, reach the heart forward lengthening the spine • Exhale, revolve the chest and twist to the right. Extend the arm towards the sky. • Gaze upward toward the thumb, forward, or towards the floor. • Keep pressing the feet down, strengthening the legs and breathing deeply. Variations • You can step into revolved half moon from here. Modifications • Use a block under the hand to the inside of the front foot • Keep the hand at the waist and twist • If the back heel lifts practice with a wedge under heel. • Practice with a narrower stance. 7. Utthita Parshvakonasana Extended Side Angle [oot-T-Hee-tuh


Benefits • Opens the chest and shoulders • Stabilizes the hip and knee joint • Stretches the hip and groin areas • Tones the abdominal muscles • Builds strength and endurance Verbal Cues • Place the right forearm on the right thigh, or right hand on the floor in front of the right foot. • Roll the chest and shoulders up towards the sky. 14

• Extend the left arm up over the head in line with the ear. Palm faces down. • Turn the gaze towards the left palm or the ceiling. • Please make sure the bent knee doesn’t roll inward. • Feel one line of energy from the back heel all the way through the fingertips. • Press firmly through both feet and rotate the navel towards the sky. • Roll your thighs away from one another. • Feel the pelvis opening up with each breath. Adjustments • Use your body to support the student from behind. Use your right hand to support the hip. Use your left hand to cup the upper left shoulder. Gently draw their body towards you. • Move the top arm over in line with the ear. Variations • Arm can be directly overhead, or in line with the ear. • Arm can be on the thigh, hand on a block on the floor. • Top arm can reach around the back, bottom arm through the leg to take a bind. Modifications • Place the forearm on the thigh or use a block to rest the bottom hand. • Use a wall to support the back body. • Turn the head (gaze) down if the neck feels strained. • Use a chair for support. 8. Parivrtta Parshvakonasana Revolved Side Angle [par-ee-VRT-tuh paarsh-vuh-kohn-

AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Builds strength and endurance • Improves digestion • Opens shoulders and hips • Massage internal organs Verbal Cues 15

• Square your hips toward the floor. Lift the back heel if needed. • Bring the hands in prayer. • Lengthen your spine and twist to the right. • Place your left elbow to the outside of the right knee. • To go further, place the left hand to the floor. Keep the arm to the outside of the right leg. • Roll the chest and shoulders open towards the sky. • Extend the right arm straight overhead, or over in line with the ear. • To go further, wrap the right arm around your back and wrap your left arm underneath the right leg to take a bind. Breathe. • Lift your gaze towards the sky. Adjustments • Straddle the students back leg. Bend your legs and squeeze their legs to help support. Place your left hand on their lower shoulder blade. Place your right hand on their top rib cage. At the same time and with even pressure, twist their torso towards the sky. Variations • Variety of places for the hands – prayer, hand on the floor, straight up, in line with the ear, taking a bind. • Back heel grounded, or lifted (crescent). Modifications • Drop the back knee • Use a block if hand doesn’t reach the floor. 9. Vrksasana Tree Pose

[vrick-SHAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Strengthens the spine, legs, and ankles • Stretches the groins and inner thighs • Enhances sense of balance Verbal Cues • Root the left foot down into the earth • Take the right hand to take hold of the right ankle, placing the foot above or above the knee. • Keep both hip points moving forward • Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position. Lengthen the tailbone towards the earth. 16

• Bring the hands together into prayer position. • Gaze straight ahead. Breathe deeply. Adjustments • Stand in a grounded position behind your student. Place one hand on the front of their shoulder and the other hand on the inner knee of the bent. Gently draw the shoulder and knee backwards to open the chest and hip. • Stand behind the student and place your hands on their hips. Carefully align the hips straight forward. Variations • Arms reach overhead, hands together or apart. • Move into tree blowing in the wind by dropping the right hand to the right knee and adding a side bend to the right. • Close the eyes. Modifications • Keep the right toes on the floor • Use a wall or chair for support. 10. Garudasana Eagle Pose

[gah-rue-DAHS-anna] Benefits • Strengthens the thighs, calves and ankles • Stretches the upper back and shoulders • Enhances balance • Improves concentration Verbal Cues • Root down through the left foot. • Lift the right leg and cross it over the left thigh. • Point the right toes and try to hook the top of the right foot around to the left calf. • Sink into the balancing leg. • Keep the left hip moving forward so the hips stay squared. • Stretch your arms straight forward, parallel to the floor. • Make a big X with the arms, crossing the left arm over top the right. Lift the palms and bring them back towards your face. The palms face one another. • Squeeze your arms together. Adjustments


• You take a chair like stance and allow student to “rest” on your thighs. • Help to align the pelvis forward. Variations • Lean the torso more forward, pressing the forearms into the thigh of the top leg. • Practice a deeper chair like position with the balancing leg. Modifications • Cross the top leg, but instead of hooking to the left calf, leave the big toe on the floor to the outside of the left ankle. • Use a wall or chair for support. • If the student is unable to wrap the arms have them bring their hands to prayer and press the forearms together. 11. Virabhadrasana III

[veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna] Benefits • Strengthens the back, shoulders, legs and ankles • Tones the abdomen • Stretches the hamstring • Builds stamina and endurance Verbal Cues • From Tadasana (Mountain) bring the hands to prayer. • Ground down through the left foot. • Bring the right knee towards your chest • Hinge forward at your hips and extend your right leg straight back behind you. • Extend your arms straight forward and turn your gaze down. • The arms, torso and back leg work towards becoming parallel to the floor. Adjustments • Standing in front of your student, take hold of their wrists and guide them into place. Have them press their palms into yours as they find their balance. • Stand at the balancing leg and align/support the pelvis. Variations • The arms can be placed in a variety of places,…prayer, to the sides, straight ahead, back by the sides, or fingers interlaced behind the back. Modifications • Use a wall to press the back foot into or make contact with the fingertips. • Use a chair to rest the hands on. • Use blocks under the shoulders to support the hands. 18

12. Ardha Chandrasana Half Moon

[AR-duh chuhn-DRAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Strengthens the balancing leg • Opens the shoulders, chest, and hips • Enhances balance • Builds concentration Verbal Cues • Bend the left knee and extend your upper body over the left leg. • Place the left hand of the floor in front of your left foot. Keep the left knee aligned with left toes. Straighten the left leg. • Bring your right hand to your hip and roll the right hip open. Flex the right foot. • Roll the stomach, chest and shoulders up towards the sky. • Extend the right arm straight up to the sky. • Steady the breath. Steady the balance. • Lift your gaze up to the right hand. Adjustments • Stand behind the student, using your body to support theirs. Use your right hand to roll their right hip open and your left hand to open their chest up. You could also raise or lower the top leg so it’s parallel to the floor. Variations • Lifting the top leg higher than hip height • Bending the top leg back towards the bum and binding with the top arm. Modifications • Use a block under the bottom hand • Use a wall for support • Leave the hand on the floor or hip • Keep the balancing leg bent


13. Uttanasana Standing Forward Bend

[oot-taahn-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the hamstrings and back • Calms the mind • Stimulates the digestive system Verbal Cues: • From Tadasana – Hands in prayer • Inhale and lengthen through the spine • Exhale and fold forward from the hips • Place the hands on the shins, ankles, blocks, or the floor. • Keep pressing down trough the feet and lengthening through the spine. • Engage the front of the thighs (quads). • Imagine reaching your chin towards your shins. Breathe deeply. • Inhale and rise to standing. Adjustments: • Using your hands, guide the student’s hips so they are aligned over the ankles. • Gently lift the shoulders away from the ears. • Place one hand on the low back and the other halfway down the back. Gently press into the mid back.


Variations: • Arms behind the back with fingers interlaced. • Feet can be together or hip distance wide. Modifications: • Use a chair, blocks for an assist. • Bend the knees. • People with low back pain need to be mindful here, as with most forward folds. Have them explore different places for the hands to see where they feel most comfortable. • Recline hand to big toe pose 14. Parsvottanasana Intense Side Chest Stretch

[paarsh-voht-taahn-AHH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the hamstring. • Opens the chest. • Promotes balance and stability • Strengthens the back Verbal Cues: • From Tadasana • Step the left foot back about three feet. Rotate the back foot around as much as you need to square the hips forward. • Inhale and reach the arms overhead. • Exhale the hands behind the back to reverse prayer, or take hold of wrists or opposite elbows. • Inhale, roll the shoulders back, and lift the gaze. • Exhale and fold forward over the right leg. • Keep pressing the feet evenly into the floor and breathing deeply. • Try to keep the hips even and the ribcage squared to the floor. • Lengthen the crown of the head towards the floor. • Keep drawing the shoulders back and down. • Press down firmly through the feet, inhale and rise back to standing. Adjustments: • Use your hands and guide the hips to square up. Typically the hip of the front leg will be more forward, so lengthen the right hip back. • Assist in aligning the neck to neutral. • Gently draw the shoulders down the back.


Variations: • A variety of places for the hands; behind the back in prayer, on the floor, moving back towards the feet, fingers interlaced behind the back. Modifications: • Many people can’t do reverse prayer safely so give alternatives with the placement of hands. • Have a small bend in the front leg for tight hamstrings. • You could use a chair for tight hamstrings or pain in the low back. • Practice the pose with the torso parallel to the floor. 15. Balasana Child’s Pose

[bah-LAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Calms the mind • Gently stretches the hips, knees and ankles • Restores energy Verbal Cues: • From Downward Facing Dog • Exhale and drop to the knees. • Inhale, bring the knees and feet together and sit back on the feet. • Exhale and fold forward releasing the torso over top the legs. Rest the forehead and arms on the floor. • Breathe deeply and relax. Adjustments: • Gently pressing the sacrum down. • Gently pressing down along the back (on the sides of the spine). Variations: • Knees can be together or apart. • Hands can be forward or back by the hips. Modifications: • If someone has knee pain have place blankets under their bum and over the ankles or have them on lie on their back with the knees pulled into the chest. • Use blankets and blocks to elevate the torso higher. • Place a blanket or block under the forehead if 22

16. Dandasana Staff Pose

[duhnd-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Strengthens the back, abdominals, and thighs. • Helps build postural awareness. • Promotes hamstring flexibility. Verbal Cues: • Sitting of the floor, stretch your legs straight out in front of you. If you need to, reach back and roll the flesh away so your sitting bones are rooted and level on the floor. • Place your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders with the fingers pointing towards the toes. • Sit tall and imagine that you are sitting back against a wall. The ears are aligned over the shoulders and the shoulders over the hips. • Keep the legs active and the knees and toes pointing up towards the ceiling. • Drop the chin down towards the chest and breathe deeply. Adjustments: • Gently brush the student’s feet to remind them to keep the feet flexed. • If the student’s back is rounding…stand behind the student with the side of your leg pressing gently into their back. Take your hands and hold the front of their shoulders. At the same time, gently press into their back and roll their shoulders back encouraging more length through the spine. Variations: • Have the student actually sit back against a wall. Modifications: • Sitting on a blanket for more comfort • Putting a small bend in the knees if the hamstrings are tight. • Legs up the wall. 17. Paschimottanasana Seated Forward Fold


[pahsh-chee-moht-tuhn-AAH-suh-nuh] This pose can be taught in an active way (with a lengthened back) or passive way (with a rounded back). Benefits: • Calms and soothes the mind • Stimulates the circulation of the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus • Improves digestions Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana • Inhale and reach the arms overhead lengthening the spine • Exhale, hinge forward from the hips and fold forward. • Inhale and lengthen the spine, maintain this length and fold forward with an exhale. Breathe deeply. • Inhale and walk the hands back, releasing the pose. Adjustments: • If the back and shoulders are rounding, kneel behind the student and use your hands to roll the shoulders open. Variations: • Reach the hands in front of the feet, take one hand and grip the other wrist. • Place a block in front of the feet instructing the student to hold the outside of the block. Modifications: • Use blanket(s), block(s) or a bolster to elevate the pelvis. • Wrap a strap around the feet for tight hamstrings. • Sit at the edge of a chair and practice with a strap. • Legs up the wall. 18. Head to Knee Janu Sirsasana [JAAH-noo sheer-SHAAHsuh-


nuh]. Benefits: • Stretches the hamstring of the straight leg • Strengthens and stretches the spine • Calms and soothes the mind Verbal Cues: • From Staff Pose • Bend the right leg back pressing the foot into the inner left thigh. • Keep the left leg active by pressing the leg into the floor. The knee points up and the toes are flexed. • Inhale and stretch your arms overhead, lengthening the spine. Align the torso over the left leg. • Exhale and fold over top the left leg. • Inhale and lengthen the spine as much as possible. • Exhale and fold forward once more. Place your hands on the floor or your feet. • Go only as far as you can without rounding the spine. Adjustments: • Kneel behind the student and align the ribcage over the extended leg. • Kneel behind the student, using your hands gently press the low back forward and up creating more length in the spine. Variations: • If the student has enough flexibility they can reach forward for a block or one hand to hold the opposite wrist. • Revolved head to knee pose. Modifications: • Some students may need to sit on a blanket or block. • If the student feels strain under the bent leg, support it with a blanket or block. • Use a strap for tight hamstrings, wrapping the strap around the outstretched foot. • Use a chair to stay more upright and rest the arms on. 19. Upavishta Konasana Seated Straddle [oo-puh-VISH-tuh-kohn-AAH-suh-nuh]


Benefits: • Opens the hips • Stretches the groins and hamstrings • Strengthens the back Verbal Cues: From Dandasana • Take your legs as far apart as you can. The knees and toes point up towards the ceiling. • Take your hands behind you. Press your fingertips into the floor allowing the pelvis to roll forward. • Inhale and reach your arms overhead, lengthening the spine. • Exhale and fold forward. • Reach out through the heels and press through the balls of the feet. • Use your inhalations to lengthen the spine and the exhalations to fold forward more deeply. • Inhale and release the posture. Adjustments: • If the toes are rolling inward, kneel behind the student, take your hands and roll the student’s thighs back. Variations: • Hold the big toes with the peace fingers and thumbs. • Add a twist and forward fold over each leg (walking the hands and torso over the right leg and folding forward). • Revolved seated straddle Modifications: • Sit on a blanket to elevate the pelvis. • Practice with legs up the wall. • Practice reclined (sputa) or happy baby. 20. Marichyasana 1 The Sage Marichi Pose


[mar-EE-chee-YAHH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Massages the internal organs • Stretches the shoulders • Strengthens the hip and shoulder joints. Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana • Bend the right leg back towards your chest placing the sole of the foot on the floor. Bring the right heel close to the bottom Inhale and bring the right arm inside the right leg. • Exhale and bend the right arm around the leg. The right shoulder is reaching beyond the right shin. • Bring your left arm behind your back with the palm rotated out; reach for your right hand or right wrist. • Inhale and lengthen the spine. • Exhale and fold forward over the left leg. Breathe deeply • Inhale back up right, exhale and release your hands. Adjustments: • If the extended leg is rolling out, gently brush the student leg or foot reminding them to keep the knees and toes pointing up. • If the student’s hands are almost touching take hold the wrists and gently bring them towards each other on an exhalation. Be very mindful of people’s shoulders here. Variations: • From a forward fold, keep the bind…inhale back upright and gently lean back lifting the right foot away from the floor. Modifications: • Use a strap if the student cannot bind the hands. • If the hip of the bent leg lifts, use a blanket underneath the opposite hip. 21. Marichyasana III Marichi’s Pose


[mar-EE-chee-YAHH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Massages abdominal organs • Aligns the spine • Strengthens and stretches the spine • Can relieve mild backache Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana…. • Bend the right knee and place the foot on the floor, placing the heel close to the right sitting bone. • Inhale and stretch the left arm overhead • Exhale and twist to the right, placing the left elbow to the outside of the right leg. • Place your right fingertips just behind you for support. • Turn your gaze in the direction of the right shoulder. • Use your inhalations to lengthen the spine, and exhalations to twist. • Keep your straight leg active and the foot flexed. • Continue to focus on your breath. Adjustments: • Use your left hand to press into the middle spine (lengthen the spine up) and place your right hand along the deltoid and assist them with twisting. Coordinate with the breath and twist with the exhalation. Variations: • Take a bind with the hands by reaching the left arm to the inside of the right leg (hooking the right shin in the crook of the left elbow) and the right arm around the back. Modifications: • Hook the left elbow around the right knee (instead of moving it beyond the right knee). • If people have tight hips or hamstrings a blanket under the hips can help them align themselves more easily. • Practice a twist in a chair. • Practice a supine twist. 22. Ardha Matsyendrasana Half Lord of the Fishes


[are-dah-maht-see-en-drah-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Massages the internal organs • Stretches the shoulders, back and hips • Energizes the spine Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana • Bend your knees and place the feet on the floor. Slide the left foot under the right leg to the outside of the hip, placing the left leg on the left foot under the right leg to the outside of the hip, placing the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and place it to the outside of the left hip. • Inhale and reach the left arm overhead, exhale and twist to the right. Press the left elbow into the outside of the right leg. • Place your right fingertips behind you for support. • Turn your gaze in the direction of your twist. • Try to resist concentrating your twist in your low back, focusing more on the mid to upper back. • Use the inhalations to lift trough the spine and sternum and the exhalations to twist a bit more. • Breathe evenly and deeply. Adjustments: • Use your left hand to press into the middle spine (lengthen the spine up) and place your right hand along the deltoid and assist them with twisting. Coordinate with the breath and twist with the exhalation. Variations: • Someone with really flexible shoulders and back could take the hands to bind. The left arm would wrap around the outer right leg and the right arm reaches around the back. Modifications: • If people have tight hips or hamstrings a blanket under the hips can help them align themselves more easily. • Some people may not be able to bend both legs and twist so you could work the right foot to the outer left leg and twist from here. • Modify how far you cross the top foot over. 29

• Practice a twist in a chair. • Practice a supine twist. 23. Jathara Parivartanasana Supine Twist [juht-HAR-uh


Benefits: • Gently stretches the spine • Cools and relaxes the body • Open the chest and shoulders • Used lots at the end of class before Savasana Verbal Cues: • From lying on your back… • Inhale and bring the knees to your chest • Take your arms straight out to the side at shoulder height. • Exhale and drop the knees and feet to the right. • Turn your gaze to the left. • Breathe deeply and evenly. Adjustments: • Gently press the outside left knee Variations: • Straighten the legs. • Cross the top leg over the bottom leg • The closer the knees are to the shoulders the deeper the stretch will be. Modifications: • Use blankets (or blocks) underneath the knees if the don’t touch the floor, or have them extend the knees further down. 24. Malasana Yogic Squat


[maahl-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the hips and opens the pelvis • Stretches the muscles of the back • Builds strength in the feet and ankles • Builds focus and concentration • Massages intenrnal organs Good to transition from standing to seated in vinyasa practice Verbal Cues: • From Tadasana bring hands to prayer • Step your feet hip width apart. The toes can be rotated slightly out. • Inhale and feel the crown of your head lengthening toward the ceiling • Exhale, sink into your knees and lower your hips straight down towards the floor • Lower to a place where you are comfortably challenged and breathe deeply • Press your arms into your knees and press your knees into your arms with equal traction. • To exit come to standing or lower your bum slowly to the floor. Adjustments: • If a student had a hard time balancing here you can stand in front of them and in a squat like position and support their arms. Variations: • Have feet closer together and balance on your tiptoes. • Extend the arms forward and drop the head towards the floor. Modifications: • Place a blanket underneath the heels if they lift off the floor. This may be due to tight calf muscles or compression. • People with knee pain should only come into a partial squat. • Practice against a wall 25. Baddha Konasana Bound Angle Pose


[baah-dhu kohn-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the hips and inner thighs • Can relieve discomfort from menstruating • Can relieve pain from sciatica Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana Bend the legs and bring the soles of the feet together, releasing the knees toward the floor. • Take the hands to hold the ankles or feet. • Inhale and lengthen through the torso • Exhale and fold forward. Can be taught active or passive. If you’re teaching it actively have them inhale and reach the head beyond the feet to lengthen the spine. Maintaining the length exhale and fold forward. If you’re teaching it passively have them drop the head and round the shoulders. • Breathe deeply Adjustments: • Kneel behind the student; use your hands to press into the thighs to gently rotate the legs externally. • Kneel behind the student; use your knees to assist the pelvis to roll forward. Variations: • Instead of holding the feet you could move the arms and hands forward to the floor. Modifications: • Use blocks underneath the knees for support. Not having the knees supported could be painful for those with knee or hip injuries. • Sit on a blanket if the low back rounds. • Supine (supported) bound angle. • Use a strap to wrap around the back and feet. 26. Eka Pada Kapotasana One Legged Pigeon


[ekah pah-duh kuh-poht-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Opens the hips and chest • Full variation strengthens the back and abdominal muscles • Stabilizes the hips • Good for digestion and elimination Verbal Cues: • From Downward Facing Dog • Bring your right leg forward and place the knee to the outside of the right wrist. Lower the outside of the leg to the floor, allowing the hips to release towards the floor. • Fully extend the left leg straight back and square the hips forward. • Inhale and lengthen from the low back, exhale and walk the hands forward to come into a resting pigeon. • Rest on the elbows or extend the arms fully forward. • Breathe deeply. Try to keep your weight balanced on both sides of the legs. • Inhale and walk the hands back, curl the left toes under and exhale back to downward facing dog. Adjustments: • If the hips aren’t level, use your hands to guide them to a level place. Usually people will roll over to the side of the front leg. If their hips are tight, this will add more strain to the knee. Variations: • Work towards the full posture by lifting the back leg and taking one or two hands to the back foot. In either place open through the chest and shoulders. • Add a twist to the right (or the front leg) by placing the hands in prayer to the outside of the front knee. Or walk the left hand over to the right, reach the right arm around the back to bind with the right big toe. Modifications: • If the hip of the bent leg doesn’t rest on the floor then place a blanket under the hip to relieve pressure through the hip and knee. • Practice ankle to knee seated, prone, or in a chair.


27. Gomukhasana Cow Face Pose

[go-mook-AHH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the hips and shoulders • Opens the chest • Can relieve pain from sciatica Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana • Bend the legs and place the soles of the feet on the floor • Slide the left leg under the right and release the knee and leg to the floor. The left foot will be outside of the right hip. • Cross the right leg over the left and release the right foot to the outside of the left hip. • Work to stack the knees. Inhale and extend the left arm overhead. Exhale and take the left hand to the back of the neck. • Inhale and reach the right arm out to the side. Exhale, bend at the elbow reach the arm behind you and walk it up the back towards the left hand. • Inhale, lift your chest and open through the shoulders. • Exhale and drop the shoulders from your ears. Breathe deeply. Adjustments: • If the back is rounding, kneel behind them and gently press the ribcage forward and up. • If the elbows are wider than shoulder distance, gently press the arms closer to the students head. Variations: • The pose can be separated for a shoulder or a hip stretch and/or combined with other positions. • You can add a forward fold. Modifications: • Use a strap if they can’t reach hands or just have the hands on the back without binding. • If the hips aren’t level you could place a blanket under the side of the lower hip (the side that’s on the floor). • Practice the legs and the shoulders separately.


28. Padmasana Lotus Pose

[puhd-MAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Opens the hips, knees and ankles • Build concentration and focus • Promotes stillness and relaxation • Boosts energy • Good for meditation Verbal Cues: • This is an advanced pose and there are many different phases, or places for students to be in the pose. We’ll discuss these. • From Sukhasana • Cradle the right lower leg with the right hand under the calf and the left hand under the foot with the palm of the hand cradling the foot. Draw the leg into the groin and place the foot in front of the groin. Repeat the process with the other leg. This is the most supportive way for the knee in moving into the pose. . • To exit the pose gently lean into the leg that is on top, lift and cradle in a similar fashion to slide it to the floor. • Alternate which leg you use on top to keep the hips balanced. Adjustments: • Remind your students of how challenging this pose is and to sit in a place that’s most comfortable. Not every day is a day for full or even half lotus. Variations: Modifications: • Sit in sukhasana, or half lotus • Sitting on a blanket can help for tight hips or if the low back in rounding. • Use blocks underneath the knee(s) if they are feeling pain/strain in the knee joint. • Practice half lotus seated in a chair. • Happy baby 29. Bhujangasana Cobra


[bhoo-juhn-GAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Strengthens and stretches the spine • Opens the chest and shoulders • Stretches the abdomen in deeper versions • Elevates mood • Promotes scapular stability and strength Verbal Cues: • From prone position • Bring your hands under the shoulders and press your arms into your sides. • Rest the tops of your feet on the floor and lengthen through the legs. • Inhale to lift the chest and head away from the floor, exhale and draw your shoulders down your back. • To lengthen the spine, press the tailbone towards your feet. • If you want to go deeper, inhale and lift your chest and head higher away from the floor using the muscles of the arms. • Feel the shoulder blades moving down the back and pressing towards one another as the chest moves forward. • Keep your hips grounded and continue to breathe deeply. Adjustments: • Squat behind the student, place your hands on the front of their shoulders and gently pull back encouraging the chest to open and torso to slightly lift. • If the elbows are splaying out gently press them in with your hands. Variations: • You can teach as a baby cobra, or regular cobra. In baby cobra they are using the back muscles to support themselves. In regular cobra they can use the arms to support themselves in lifting higher. In both variations the hips stay grounded. Modifications: • Sphinx pose • Supine heart opener with blankets 36

30. Ustrasana Camel

Oosh-TRAA-sh-nuh] Benefits: • Opens the front body, especially the shoulders and chest • Strengthens the back • Lengthens the hip flexors • Increases energy Verbal Cues: • From a kneeling position • Place your hands on your sacrum and curl the toes to lift the heels (nice option for newbies). • Inhale and extend your spine and chest up towards the ceiling. • Exhale and take your hands back one at a time to the heels. • Relax your neck and allow your head to release back • Continue to press the pelvis forward and lift the chest up towards the ceiling. • Breathe deeply. • To exit, place the hands back on the sacrum, stabilize through the core, lift the chest and slowly bring the head back up. Adjustments: • If the hips are falling back towards the feet instead of being aligned over the knees use a strap and place it around the lower ribs. Stand in a lunge like position and gently pull the student forward. • Support the students head when they drop it back with your hands. Variations: • Deepen the pose by pressing the feet, calves, and knees together Modifications: • Instead of taking the hands back to the feet, keep the hands on the sacrum. • Place blocks back by the heels on their highest side and take the hands there. • Practice with the thighs pressing against a wall. • Practice with a blanket under the knees. 32. Dhanurasana Bow 37

[dhuh-noor-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the front body • Strengthens the back body • Opens the chest, shoulders, and throat • Elevates mood • Internal organ massage Verbal Cues: • From prone position • Bend the legs and reach the feet towards the bum. • Reach the arms back and take hold of the outside of the feet or ankles. Press your knees and legs towards one another. • Inhale and lift the chest and head off the floor • Exhale, lift the thighs and press the feet towards the ceiling. • Inhale and lengthen the crown of your head towards the ceiling • Exhale, drop the shoulders and press the chest forward. • Breathe deeply. • Exhale and release back to the floor Adjustments: • If the knees are more than hip width apart, gently press the knees and legs together. • If a student has a difficult time lifting the shoulders, stand behind them (straddle) and place your hands on their shoulders and gently lift while rolling the shoulders back. Modifications: • Have students practice half bow by lifting one leg at a time. • If a student can’t reach the feet, have them use a strap and wrap it around the front of the ankles. They’ll hold the strap and lift up. • Legs can be bent to 90 degree angle and hands can be pressing into the floor by the hips. 33. Setu Bandhasana Bridge


[se-TOO buhn-DHAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Opens and expands the chest and shoulders • Stretches the torso • Strengthens the back • Gateway to shoulderstand • Stretches the hip flexors • Elevates mood Verbal Cues: • From supine Bend the knees and place the soles of the feet on the floor. Heels are in line with the sits bones and feet are hip distance wide. • Place your arms along the sides with the palms pressing down. • Inhale and lift the hips away from the floor. Continue to lift the hips and abdomen towards the sky. • Exhale, walk the shoulders under the back and interlace the fingers under your back, • Inhale to continue lifting the hips, navel and chest. • Exhale and press through the feet and arms. • Breathe deeply. • Release the fingers, exhale and slowly roll down. Adjustments: • If the knees are rolling out gently press them in. • Straddle the person’s knees in a standing squat position. Place your hands under the sacrum area. Lean back and pull their hips up and back. Variations: • Lift one leg at a time. • Use the arms to support the low back • Reach hands for the ankles Modifications: • Use a block under the sacrum for people too weak to support themselves or to practice as a restorative. • Place a blanket under the shoulders. • Use a strap around the upper knees. 39

34. Urdhva Dhanurasana Wheel

[oohr-dhuh-vuh duh-noor-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Strengthens the shoulders, arms, wrists, legs and spine • Opens the whole front body, especially the abdomen, chest and shoulders • Increases energy Verbal Cues: • From supine • Bend the knees and place the soles of the feet on the floor, hip distance wide. Bend the arms and place the palms of your hands on the floor by your shoulders with the fingers pointing towards the toes. • Inhale, lifting the hips as if you are moving into bridge and place the crown of your head on the floor. • Exhale, press your hands and feet down… lift your head and torso off the floor. • Breathe deeply • Inhale and feel the heart opening and expanding. Keep the shoulder blades stabilized on the back. • Exhale, press the hands down and straighten the arms. • To release, slowly bring the chin towards the chest and release the back to the floor. Adjustments: • If a student has a hard time lifting up, stand behind them and allow them to take hold of your ankles. Support them around the shoulder blades and assist them in lifting up. • You can also use a strap around the sacrum to gently lift the hips up. Stand in a lunge like position with one leg in between theirs. Holding the strap, gently lean back as you lift the hips up • Gently press the knees towards one another. Variations: • Lift one leg at a time Modifications: • Use a block under the hands to experience more of a backbend (this can help someone with problems with their wrist, or tightness around armpits). • Use a exercise ball and have your student lay over the ball to feel more supported but still get many of the benefits of the pose. 40

35. Matsyasana Fish [muht-see-YAHH-suh-nuh]

Benefits: • Opens the ribcage and chest • Strengthens the neck • Strengthens the back Verbal Cues: • From supine position down. • Inhale and lift your chest and shoulders off the floor, supporting yourself with your arms. • Exhale, arch the head back and release the crown of your head on the floor. • Keep the legs active and the toes pointed. • Continue to lift and expand through the chest. • There is minimal weight on the head and much of the spinal muscles are doing the work. • Inhale, lift your head up bringing the chin towards the chest. • Exhale and release down to the floor. Adjustments: Variations: • Instead of having the hands under the bum, just rest them alongside the body (the arms are still bent though). After lifting up and dropping the head back you can bring the hands to 41

prayer or for more of a challenge lift the legs and the arms. Modifications: • The version I teach is pretty much a modification for the full pose. • You can use blankets or a bolster underneath the shoulders to relieve the back and use less effort. 36. Chaturanga Dandasana Four Limbed Staff Pose [chuh-tour-RUHN-guh duhn-DAAH-suh-nuh]

Benefits: • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and wrists • Promotes scapular stabilization • Strengthens the abdominal muscles • Builds confidence and energy Verbal Cues: From Plank (utthita chaturanga dandasana – Shoulders aligned over the elbows) • Exhale, bend at your elbows and create a 90 degree angle with the arms, the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hover a few inches above the floor with your body straight as a plank of wood. Drop to your knees if you need to modify • Squeeze your elbows into your ribs and draw your shoulders away from your ears. • Either roll over your toes to Up Dog, or release down and press into Cobra. Adjustments:


• Align the student’s hips in relation to shoulders and knees. • Gently press the elbows in towards the ribs. • Draw the shoulders away from the ears. Variations: • In plank, lift the legs (one at a time) hip height • Drop the head and bring knee towards the nose. • Release to the elbows and practice forearm plank Modifications: • Drop to the knees and lower • Practice at a wall • Place a block under the pelvis and practice lowering to this parallel position. 37. Bakasana Crow or Crane [buhk-AAH-suh-nuh]

Benefits: • Strengthens the arms and wrists • Strengthens the abdominal muscles • Builds focus and concentration • Stretches the low back • Builds confidence and energy Verbal Cues:


• From Malasana (squat) • Place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart and bend your elbows • Make yourself compact and press your knees into the top inner arms Fix your gaze in front of your hands • Lean forward and lift the right foot off the floor. Breathe deeply. • Place the right foot down and lift the left foot. Slowly lower it back down. • If you’re feeling comfortable lift both feet. Breathe. • Work to bring the big toes together and lift your gaze. • Keep your core (uddiyana bandha) engaged. • Exhale and slowly release your feet back to the floor. Adjustments: • Squat in front of the student and support their shoulders with your hands. This will be helpful if they fear falling forward. Variations: • Side Crow (parsva bakasana) Modifications: • Place a block(s) under the feet or forward under the forehead • Place a blanket in front of the mat (for people fearful of falling forward) 38. Virasana Hero [veer-AAH-suh-nuh]


Benefits: • Stretches the ankles, knees and thighs • Good spinal support for meditation Verbal Cues: • From kneeling on knees • Separate the feet a little more than pelvis distance wide • Reach back and roll your calves out (this gives knees a little more space to relax) • Sink your bum to the floor. • Place your hands on your knees or folded in your lap • Keep the spine lifted and the chest open. • Pay close attention to the sensations you are feeling. If you are feeling pain in or around your knees, lift your bum and place a blanket or block underneath for support. • Breathe nice and deep. • To exit, press your hands into the floor and lift the hips to tabletop. Adjustments: • If the student is rounding through the spine, kneel behind them and press the knees into the back and roll the shoulders back. • Provide any extra support that may be needed Variations: 45

• Walk the hands back and rest in supta virasana. • Use arms for shoulder stretches (cow face, eagle arms, interlace fingers and stretch the arms up, etc) Modifications: • Place a blanket under the ankles for tight ankles or foot pain • Place a blanket or block under the bum for knee problems/pain. • Pose can be modified for most by elevating the sitting surface with blankets and blocks. 39. Navasana Boat

[naah-VAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Strengthens the abdominal muscles, hips, and thighs • Builds focus and concentration Verbal Cues: • From Dandasana (staff pose) • Bend the legs and place the soles of the feet on the floor • Use your hands to hold the backs of the leg above the knees. • Walk the feet back while you recline the torso back to balance on the sits bones. • Lift the feet off the floor, creating a straight line from the knees to the ankles. • To move further, continue to stretch the legs up to about eye level. • Keep the low back lifted and the chest open. The spine stays in neutral. • If you are feeling comfortable here, stretch your arms forward so they are parallel Adjustments: • Kneel behind the student and use your knees to support their low back. Use your hands to roll the shoulders back. • Kneels to the side and use one arm to support the legs and the other arm to support the mid back. Variations: • Take hold of the big toes and extend legs up • Place the hands in prayer and add a twist • Take the arms back, bend at the elbows and place hands on the back of the head (like a crunch like position). Modifications: • Keep the legs bent and use the hands to support the legs • Only lift the feet a couple inches from the floor • Practice core strengthening lying on the back. Bend the legs 90 degrees, engage core, keep neutral spine and lower the feet forward one at a time. 46

40. Salamba Sarvanghasana Shoulder Stand

[sah-LOM-bah sar-van-GAH-suh-nuh] Benefits • Stimulates the thyroid • Stretches the shoulders and neck • Can relieve stress and mild depression • Reduces fatigue • Improves digestion • Tones the abdominal and leg muscles Verbal Cues: • From supine • Bend your legs and place your heels close to the sits bones. • Press your arms into the floor and lift your hips, drawing the knees towards the chest. • Continue to lift the hips and back away from the floor. • Lay the backs of your upper arms on your mat and place your hands on your back, • Walk your elbows in so they are shoulder distance wide. • Continue to lift the hips up, working to bring your pelvis over your shoulders. • Inhale and slowly lift your legs up towards the ceiling. • When the legs are fully extended, press through the balls of the big toes. • Breathe deeply. Try to not collapse through the chest. • To exit, exhale and slowly bend the legs bringing the knees back towards the chest and slowly roll the spine back to the floor. Variations: • Reach your arms away from the back to the sides of your body. Modifications: • Use a wall to support the legs for half shoulder stand. • You can also place the body in a banana shape position, if there is strain on the neck. • Practice with a block under the sacrum for support • Bridge pose 41. Halasana Plow


[huhl-AAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Stretches the back and shoulders • Stimulates the thyroid gland, abdominal organs, and digestion Verbal Cues: • From Shoulder Stand • Exhale and take the legs slowly towards the floor behind you. Flex your feet and release your toes to the floor • Your feet may or may not touch the floor. • Try to keep the torso straight, hips above the shoulders and your legs fully extended. • With your arms on the floor, interlace your finger and walk the shoulders under to open through the chest. • Breathe deeply and try to lift the thighs away from the floor. • To exit, release your hands to the floor, bend your legs and slowly roll your spine down the floor. Release your legs all the way to the floor. Adjustments: • Stand in a squatting position behind the person’s back. Place your fingers in the crease made by their bent legs. Lift the hips up and allow them to walk their shoulders under. 46. Shirshasana Headstand

[sheer-SHAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Improves circulation • Increases energy


• Builds strength in the shoulders, neck, abdominals, and upper back. Verbal Cues: • From table top • Place your forearms on the floor in front of your knees. Elbows are shoulder width apart. • Interlace your fingers, and separate the heels of the hands. Place the hands on the floor in front of your knees. • Bend forward and place the crown of your head on the floor. • Draw your shoulders away from your ears, inviting the neck to lengthen. • Curl your toes and lift your hips as you would in down dog. Pause here and take a couple deep breaths. Continue to lengthen al the way through the spine. • Begin to walk your feet towards your face, feeling the hips aligning over your shoulders. • When your hips are aligned over your shoulders, bend one leg and bring the knee towards your chest. Find your balance and breathe. • If you are comfortable bring the other knee towards your chest. • Re-establish your balance and take several deep breaths. • (After consistent practice) Slowly begin to straighten both legs. • Imagine aligning your body in an upside down Tadasana. • Press firmly through your elbows. • To exit, slowly bring your legs to the floor and rest in child’s pose. Adjustments: • Make a fist and place it between the student’s knees. Cue them to squeeze your fist. This will help them to lengthen and be more active in the pose. Variations: • Lower the legs halfway (to a “L” shape) • Open the legs to “V” • Place legs in lotus Modifications: • Practice with a wall • Practice dolphin 42. Adho Mukha Vrksasana Hand Stand

[uhd-HOE moo-KUH vrick-SHAAH-suh-nuh] Benefits: • Strengthens the shoulders, arms, shoulders, and wrists • Promotes scapular stabilization • Opens the chest and ribcage 49

• Builds overall strength, balance, energy and confidence. Verbal Cues: • Come into Down Dog with your fingers about 4-6 inches away from the wall. • Your hands are shoulder width apart and your arms are straight and strong. • Draw your shoulders down your back and keep the shoulders broad. • If you’re uneasy, you’re not alone. Just breathe. J • Bend the left leg and bring the foot in a step closer. This leg will be bent and the other will be straight. • Take a few practice hops. Sweep the right leg up towards the wall and then lift the lift leg up. Each time you hop, exhale deeply. • Keep the core muscles, arms and shoulders strong. • Hopping up and down may be it for today. This is a great place to be. It builds the required strength and stamina necessary for handstand. • If you kick your legs to the wall. Imagine finding the alignment of Tadasana. Reach your tailbone towards your heels, lengthen through your back, and bring your gaze to the center of the room. • To exit, take the legs down one at a time. Adjustments: • Place fist between students thighs and have them squeeze. Variations: • L Hand Stand Modifications: • Practice “donkey kicks” against the wall. • Practice basics of pose in mountain with arms lifted.


Yoga Lectures

1 1.1

The Science of Yoga What is Yoga?  A fashion? An art of living? What is Yoga for you? -Yoga is a life style, a 51

    

 1.2

complete method for self-realization What are the aims of Yoga? - it is a limited aim of gaining just heath benefits and eliminating diseases, because there is definitely an enormous fiscal benefit performing asanas but more important and more useful are the mental and the spiritual benefits. The Final Aim of Yoga: to be aware, to be present, self-conscience and to overcome the limitations of the body. Yoga teaches that the goal of every individual is to take an inner journey, to the soul. Yoga offers both the goal and the means to reach it. Only by a perfect harmony between body and soul we can reach enlightment. Mystical and spiritual experience but not an esoteric one: there should be an inner desire and will, a conscious decision and right intentions. The commercialization of Yoga in the western societies - the examination of yoga from your one prism Now Yoga is open to every one. Before you had to be from a Brahman cast and male to be allowed to study yoga Why to practice yoga? To reach, align myself with the divinity, with the supreme will. Yoga reflects your personality. It doesn’t cause spiritual and religious conflicts and allows you just to be. Balance in yoga -balance in real life. It is proven that it produces endorphin-the hormone of happiness. The teacher is the mirror of the student and vice versa. The word Yoga

Yoga is “to join”, connection 1. Tool available to obtain this goal: o o o Body: perfectly healthy Mind: totally purified, is now contaminated with thoughts Intellect that is properly trained

 Yoga practise helps in this evolution; it is a journey of evolution 2. Yoga practices can be used: o o o 3. To correct the disorders in the body To purify the mind To train the intellect

Yoga is a science of Personality development: o o o o Physical condition Mental control Emotional balance Intellectual development

1.3. Featured asanas Surya Namaskar 52

Saludo al sol. It is a ritual, a veneration of the divinity, like the prostrations, it should be done 108 times. It is not part of the Yoga practice. It is like 3 in 1. It is a prayer (Om ram namaha, ect.); it’s a pranayama and incluyes 12 asanas. Normally it should be performed by itself. Even of you don’t have time for yoga, do just suryanamaskar. 12 postures, a perfect sequence. A very slow and controlled movement. There are 12 separate asanas but performed with the flow. The duration should be 7 min. Surya Namaskar Prayer: Om Mitraaya Namah Om Ravaye Namah Om Sooryaya Namah Om Bhaanave Namah Om Khagaaya Namah Om Pooshne Namah Om Hiranya Garbhaaya Namah Om Mareechaye Namah Om Aadityaaya Namah Om Savitre Namah Om Arkaaya Namah Om Bhaaskaraya Namah Shavasana Every asana involves some or the other action. But the asana where you don’t do any action is called as Shavasana. There are three important components of Human existence; these are body organs, energy supply and mental activity. In Shavasana, one has to stop or reduce the activity on all these three levels. He has to stop or reduce his physical activity, reduce the energy requirement by reducing the strain and also reduce the mental activities. Stopping the physical activity is somewhat easier but stopping the mental activity is extremely difficult. Benefits of Shavasana Shavasana is the Asana:  Which gives you the maximum rest.  Which gives rest to Respiratory & Circulatory system.  As the activities of the muscles are reduced, the supply of blood and oxygen to them eventually reduces.  In short, because of the less fresh blood requirement, the participation of respiration system also reduces comparatively.  Naturally the activities of the respiratory system and blood circulation system are very slow and thus they get rest.  Which gives rest to Heart: Pumping of the heart also reduces and heart gets rest. In general the activities of body are reduced.  Which gives rest to nervous system & Brain: The activities of nervous system are also reduced. Hence the brain gets rest when the body relaxes and the breathing is slower.  Which makes mind Stable: In turn the mind becomes stable and steady with slow breathing. So this Asana gives rest to the body as well as the mind.


1.4. Pranayama - Deep Breathing Since we want to control the breathing after studying the process or system of respiration, it is better to try deep breathing as the first state in that direction. For this, two things are to be considered chiefly: First, the movements concerned with inhaling and exhaling are to be controlled in order to further slow down the breathing, at the same time the need of oxygen for the body is to be lessened, so that the speed of breathing can further, slowdown. it is necessary to keep the body in the stable and relaxed position. And this is possible in any sitting position of meditation. However, Padmasana is the best Asana position. The other preferable Asanas in sitting position are Vajrasana and Swastikasana. But once the Asana is taken up, it should be blissfully stabilized until the study of breathing is over. Any strain anywhere will cause distraction in breathing. Therefore the Asana position should be stable and pleasant, while 54

doing meditation. The hands should be in Dhyana Mudra. The straight upright position of the neck, the spine and closed eyes help in attaining concentration without making any movements. Relax the muscles and concentrate fully on breathing. This is free from any control. No movement is seen on the chest. It is confined to the movement of the muscles of the abdomen and the lungs. Initially one should practice prolonged inhaling and prolonged exhaling. The constant practice enables the person in having repetition of such prolonged inhaling and exhaling. Initially equal time should be allotted for inhaling and exhaling. That is, the time given to inhaling, the same amount of time is given to exhaling. For instance, if inhaling takes four counts, the same period should be taken for exhaling. The study of deep breathing with equal time and speed should continue for 10 to 15 minutes without pause. 1.5. Matra to learn The Ganesh mantra: Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha (mantra to remove obstacles) 2 The Roots of Yoga Yoga is a very ancient practice, which originated in India. The word Yoga means Union in Sanskrit. The description of Yoga in Bhagatvagita is: (6BC) Yoga is equilibrium in success and failure Yoga is skillful living among activities Yoga is the supreme secret of life Yoga is the producer of greatest happiness Yoga is affected by self-control Yoga is non-attachment Yoga is the destroyer of pain Yoga is serenity The earliest evidence of yoga is archeological. 3000BC sculptures, gods in yogic poses. Long ago the arrival of the Arian tribes in India. God shiva mostly. Yoga teaching: in the books of Vedas. Upanishads,: When the five senses and the mind are still, and reason itself rests in silence, then begins the path supreme. This calm steadiness of the senses is called yoga”. Upanishads means literally, sitting next to: from teacher to students. Yogic philosophy: karma, Samadhi, the wheel of life, reincarnation. Yoga is described as a technique for achieving a higher state of awareness. In the 6 BC: the greatest text on yoga was written. (Part of Mahabharata)-Krishna Anjuna. Yoga is not a religion, it is a selfdevelopment technique. From the beginning of Christianity to Middle Age, Yoga was seen as a sect. Patanjali-2000 years ago, the yoga sutras, Yogananda, Shivananda, Vivekananda, Krishnamarichya. 2.1 Yoga schools

Ashtanga. The practice of Ashtanga that's getting mainstream attention today is a fast-paced series of sequential postures practiced by yoga master K. Pattabhi Jois, who lives in Mysore, India. Today, yogis continue to spread Jois's teachings worldwide, making it one of the most popular schools of yoga around. The system is based on six series of asanas which increase in difficulty, allowing students to work at their own pace. In class, you'll be led nonstop through one or more of the series.


Iyengar. From his home in Pune, India, B.K.S. Iyengar reigns as one of the most influential yogis of his time. At 80 years old, he continues to teach thousands of students from all over the world, encouraging them to penetrate deeper into the experience of each pose. This is the trademark of Iyengar Yoga an intense focus on the subtleties of each posture. In an Iyengar class, poses (especially standing postures) are typically held much longer than in other schools of yoga, so that practitioners can pay close attention to the precise muscular and skeletal alignment this system demands. Also specific to Iyengar, which is probably the most popular type of yoga practiced in the United States, is the use of props, including belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets, to help accommodate any special needs such as injuries or structural imbalances. Sivananda. This yoga practice is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India, who taught disciples to "serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize." In order to achieve this goal, Sivananda advocated a path that would recognize and synthesize each level of the human experience including the intellect, heart, body, and mind. In 1957, his disciple Swami Vishnu-devananda introduced these teachings to an American audience. A few years later, Vishnu-devananda founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, summarizing Sivananda's system into five main principles: proper exercise (asanas); proper breathing (pranayama); proper relaxation (Savasana); proper diet (vegetarian); and positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (dhyana). Anusara. Anusara means "to step into the current of divine will." Anusara Yoga is an integrated approach to hatha yoga in which the human spirit blends with the precise science of biomechanics. It is a new system of hatha yoga that can be both spiritually inspiring and yet grounded in a deep knowledge of outer and inner body alignment. It can be therapeutically effective and physically transformative. Anusara Yoga differentiates itself from other hatha yoga systems with three key areas of practice: Attitude. The practitioner balances an opening to grace with an aspiration for awakening to his or her true nature. Alignment. Each pose is performed with an integrated awareness of all the different parts of the body. Action. Each pose is performed as an artistic expression of the heart in which muscular stability is balanced with an expansive inner freedom. 2.2 Types of Yoga

Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga means the union of the pranic and mental forces. Hatha yoga is part of Tantra = the tradition of lord Shiva. Hatha yoga starts with asanas while Ashtanga yoga starts with the Yamas and Niyamas. HA Pingala (right) Sun Body Represents Prana THA Ida (left) Moon Mind Represents the mind, the mental energy

Bhakti Yoga. Bhakti is atheYoga of devotion or complete faith. This faith is generally in the God or supreme consciousness in any of the forms. It may be Lord Rama, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, Buddha etc. It may be a Guru for his disciples. Important thing is the person interested in following this path should have very strong emotional bond with the object of faith. The flow of emotional energy is directed to this object. Mostly people suppress their emotions and that often reflects in the form of physical and mental disorders. This Bhakti 56

Yoga releases those suppressed emotions and brings the purification of inner self. Karma Yoga. Yoga of action. The law of karma that every action brings more action; and it is impossible to avoid action. It is not to act, it is the act itself; Acting detaching from the results. Not expecting a reward. Action is performing as an offering for the love of God. Jnana Yoga. Yoga of knowledge and wisdom. It is practice through meditation, reflection and renunciation. The jnana yogi is a scholar and an asked. It is an intellectual understanding of the Truth (Divinity). 2.3. Pranayama-Nadi Sodhana


Matra to learn: Om Purna Purna means in Sanskrit full, whole, complete and perfect. Everything in our visible and invisible world is purna. Even if something gets destroyed or removed is still purna The mantra of the perfect Wholeness: Om purnam Adah purnam Idam Purnat Purnam Udachyate Purnasya Purnam Adaya Purnam Evavashishyate 3. Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga 3.1. Lecture (See Human Anatomy and Physiology Presentation) 3.2. Pranayama: wave breathing 3.3. Mantra to learn: The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is regarded as a healing mantra and moksha mantra. It is addressed to Shiva and considered as one of the most potent Sanskrit Mantras. Om. Tryambhakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam, Urvarukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat 4. Deepening your practice and teaching methodology 4.1. Ashtanga Yoga: the 8 fold Path  Yamas  Nymas  Asanes 57

 Pranayama  Pratyahara  Dharana  Dhyana  Samadhi 4.1.1. Yama: Rules for social discipline • These are universal laws respected everywhere (laws of Nature) • These are natural instincts and easy to follow There are 5 Yamas: 1. Ahimsa: non-violence 2. Satya: truthfulness 3. Asteya: non-stealing 4. Brahmacharya: sexual control 5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness “CHITTA VRITTI NIRODHANA” = the control of mental activities 4.1.2. Niyamas: self discipline • This is the second component of Ashtanga Yoga • There are 5 Niyamas: 1. Shaucha: purity 2. Santosha: contentment 3. Tapa: endurance 4. Swadhyaya: self study 5. Ishwara Pranidhana: total surrender to God 4.2. The sound of OM According to the ancient Indian philosophical text i.e. BHAGAWAD GITA it is said that the AUM is the representation of the "Brahma" which is the origin and the energy source of the whole universe. In other words AUM represents God. AUM is a root of all mantras. "Mantras" is a typical combination of words which affects the surrounding and human being through the vibrations. These mantras are to be chanted for enormous number of times to get the results. The results are miraculous. AUM is a mantra with only one syllable but is the basic mantra. Each and every mantra starts with AUM and mostly ends with AUM. OM In Yoga Patanjali had designed and caste the Science Of Yoga about 2400 years ago (i.e. 400 year BC) in the form of Yoga Sutras, he had explained AUM in Sanskrit verses (sutras). Patanjali had explained the definition of God and he explains in the sutra that "AUM represents God”. He further explains that you can go nearer to God by repeatedly chanting it. The relation between the name and the form is a subject of research and is the subject of great discussions in philosophy and all its branches including spiritual, philosophical. Advantages and effects of Omkar AUM : Cleansing the mind. 58

AUM: Controlling the emotions. AUM: Improves the concentration. AUM: Improves the understanding capacity AUM: Improves the memory. AUM: Relaxes Physically, Mentally, Emotionally. AUM: Improves physically mentally and emotionally. AUM: Charge the surrounding atmosphere. Systematic Method of Chanting OM The OM is to be chanted in a most comfortable posture. The OM is to be chanted during exhalation after deep inhalation. The OM is composed of two vowels A, U & one alphabet M. The total timing of 10 seconds for chanting of one AUM is divided as follows: A - 2 seconds U - 3 seconds M - 5 seconds A - is to be pronounced for 2 seconds with open lips (about 6 mm). U - is to be pronounced for 3 seconds while partially closing the lips. M - is to be pronounced for 5 seconds while lips completely closed. Complete 1 repetition of AUM is as follows. 1. Deep inhalation in 5 seconds. 2. Exhaling pronounce A for 2 seconds 4.3. Pranayama: Aloma-Viloma This is one of the fundamental types of Pranayam. 4.4. Mantra to learn: Omkar Omkar bindu sanyuktam niyam dhyantiyoginah, kamadam mokshadam chiva, omkaraya namo namaha 5. Metaphysical Body and Relaxation Science 5.1. Pranayama Sadhana What is Pranayama? PRANA & AYANA Prana = energy source, vital force behind life activities Ayana = control Life = movements (physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, spiritual) The study of Pranayama is the control over these movements with lips open.


Prana stimulates the cells to get the oxygen and glucoses from the blood = energy source behind all the activity of the body The mind controls the physical body and the physical and emotional activities: needs energy for this = Prana is the energy source for emotions as well Control of Prana = control of life activities = Pranayama Control of Prana is through control of breath Breathing is a continuous process from birth to death (= indication of life) Breathing is automatically controlled by our autonomous nervous system Breathing can be controlled at our will We can get control over our autonomous nervous system through Pranaymic Practices 5.2. Bandhas There are three classic bandhas; mula, uddiyana, and jalandhara bandha. When practiced together they are called tri-bandha. They are practiced together or individually at specific times during kriya, asana, pranayama, mudra, visualization, dharana (concentration), and meditation (dhyana) practice. They also occur spontaneously especially in children, but also in yogis who allow themselves to be moved by the evolutionary transformational intelligent force, the kundalini. Mula Bandha: relates mainly to the muscles of the anus, penis and the muscles located nearby. The muladhar chakra is supposed to be located near penis. Hence this bandh relates to muladhar chakra and is termed as mulbandh. Also it relates to the base of the spine, this may be the other reason for naming it as such because 'mul' means root or base. Uddiyana Bandha Jalandhara Bandha

5.3. Kriyas 1. Dhauti This is the first and most difficult kriya. It involves swallowing and re-gurgitation a fine


piece of muslin cloth. I have not tried this practice. My teacher told me that it is prescribed only in case of serious ailments of the stomach like cancer. This is aimed at cleaning the mouth, throat and stomach. 2. Neti This practice involves cleaning up the nasal passages as well as the throat. It can be done with water (jala-neti), where water is poured into one nostril and it automatically comes out through the other. A variation is Sutra-neti, where a fine thread is taken inside one nostril and then pulled out of the mouth through the throat. Other netis are done with milk (dugdha-neti) or ghee (ghritha-neti). Neti is a pre-requisite for cleaning up the respiratory passages for the proper practice of pranayam. 3. Nauli The rectus-abdominii (abdominal column) is churned left and right in this kriya. 4. Agnisar same as Nauli but contracting the muscles 5. Kapalbhati. This is a cleanser for the respiratory system, especially the lungs. It involves forceful breathing in and out repeatedly. The lungs work like the bellows of a blacksmith. The body is kept in different positions for different effects. 5.4. 5.5. Pranayama: Kapalbhati-The Breath of Fire Mantra to learn: Om Namah Shivaya Om Namah Shivaya Gurave Satchidananda Murtaye Nishprapanchaya Shantaya Niralambaya Tejase 6. Yoga as a Therapy 6.1. Ayurveda in Nutshell Each and every person in this Universe should be disease free. No one should remain sick and ill. Every person's life should be health. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science is originated from one of the four divisions of "Vedas" i.e. 'Atharva Veda`. Ayurveda has honorable, holistic background of Indian culture. Ayurveda, the science of life. Ayurveda, the science of medical truths from ancient India based on science, religion and philosophy. The basic aim of ayurveda is to maintain health of the healthy. And to free every person of the world disease free. Ayurveda is "Sanskrit Word " "Ayu" means life span. Ayu means composition of body, soul and mind. Physio - Chemical basis (five elements of nature which are present in body) is 'Ayu'. Ayu means your living body. The 'Veda' means science, which describes about 'Ayu '. Time / Period of Origin: This is most ancient and rich science in the history of human being. Period of Veda - certainly 4000 B.C. to 6000 B.C.Golden period - Gautam Buddha (483 B.C.)School of thoughts1. Atreya - 1000 B.C.2. Agnivesha - 1000 B.C.The treatise written by Agnivesha on Ayurvedic medicine is cretisized by charaka so it is called as "Treatise of Charaka ". Sushrut, Charaka, Bharadvaj, Kashyap, the pillers of Ayurveda carried out the good work on earlier. There are 3 types of personalities or three doshas: Kapha, Vata, Pitta


6.2. The nadis Nadi = de physic passage of the Pranic energy, a wire of energy Prana is the life force There are 7200 nadis in our body, the three most important ones are Pingala (right), Ida (left) and Sushumna The kundalini prana rises through Sushumna nadi Left side of spinal cord Ida Lunar Moon, female Shakti (energy) Mental activities Parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) Connection to right hemisphere of the brain Cold Auspicious, smooth & virtuous Bright fortnight Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday Zodiac signs during Lunar flow: Tauras, Cancer, Virgio, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces Right side of spinal cord Pingala Solar Sun, male Shiva (consciousness) Pranic activities (physical) Sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) Connection to left hemisphere of the brain Hot Rough, non virtuous Dominance during dark fortnight Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday Zodiac signs during solar flow: Aries, Aquarius, Libra, Gemini, Sagittarius, Leo


6.3. The chakras Muladhara (Sanskrit: Mūlādhāra) Base or Root Chakra (ovaries/prostate) Swadhisthana (Sanskrit: Svādhiṣṭhāna) Sacral Chakra (last bone in spinal cord *coccyx*) Manipura (Sanskrit: Maṇipūra) Solar Plexus Chakra (navel area) Anahata (Sanskrit: Anāhata) Heart Chakra (heart area) Vishuddha (Sanskrit:, Viśuddha) Throat Chakra (throat and neck area) Ajna (Sanskrit: Ājñā) Brow or Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye) Sahasrara (Sanskrit: Sahasrāra) Crown Chakra (Top of the head; 'Soft spot' of a newborn) Kundalini is a sleeping energy atthe base of the spine. It does not exist on a physical level

Chakras are whirlpools of Kundalini energy, energy locations, evolution of level of mind. 6.4. Pranayama: Brahmari = humming bee breath Inhalation sounds like the male honey bee Exhalation sounds like the female honey bee This Pranayama practise had a soothing effect on the mind 6.5. Mantra to learn: Durge Smrita-To eliminate poverty and all kinds of sorrows. DURGE SMRITA HARASI BHITIM ASHESHA JANTOH SWASTHAIH SMRITAA MATI MATEEVA SHUBHAM DADAASI DAARIDRAYA DUKH BHAYA HAARINI KA TWADANYAA SARV UPAKAAR KARANAAYA SADAARDA CHITTAA 63

6.7. Meditation on the chakras



















Selected Articles

Here Comes the Sun That most familiar of asana sequences, Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is as rich in symbolic and mythic overtones as it is in physical benefits. 82

By Richard Rosen In many cultures, light has long been a symbol of consciousness and self-illumination. "The world begins with the coming of light," wrote Jungian analyst Erich Neumann in The Origins and History of Consciousness (Princeton University Press, 1995). "Opposition between light and darkness has informed the spiritual world of all peoples and molded it into shape." Our primary source of light is, of course, the sun. When we look at our closest star, we may see nothing more than a big yellow ball. But for thousands of years, the Hindus have revered the sun, which they call Surya, as both the physical and spiritual heart of our world and the creator of all life itself. That's why one of Surya's many other appellations is Savitri (the Vivifier), who, according to the Rig Veda, "begets and feeds mankind in various manners" (III.55.19). Moreover, since everything that exists originates from the sun, as Alain DaniŽlou wrote in The Myths and Gods of India (Inner Traditions, 1991), it "must contain the potentiality of all that is to be known." For the Hindus, the sun is the "eye of the world" (loka chakshus), seeing and uniting all selves in itself, an image of and a pathway to the divine. One of the means of honoring the sun is through the dynamic asana sequence Surya Namaskar (better known as Sun Salutation). The Sanskrit word namaskar stems from namas, which means "to bow to" or "to adore." (The familiar phrase we use to close our yoga classes, namaste—te means "you"—also comes from this root.) Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart. This placement is no accident; only the heart can know the truth. The ancient yogis taught that each of us replicates the world at large, embodying "rivers, seas, mountains, fields...stars and planets...the sun and moon" (Shiva Samhita, II.1-3). The outer sun, they asserted, is in reality a token of our own "inner sun," which corresponds to our subtle, or spiritual, heart. Here is the seat of consciousness and higher wisdom (jnana) and, in some traditions, the domicile of the embodied self (jivatman). It might seem strange to us that the yogis place the seat of wisdom in the heart, which we typically associate with our emotions, and not the brain. But in yoga, the brain is actually symbolized by the moon, which reflects the sun's light but generates none of its own. This kind of knowledge is worthwhile for dealing with mundane affairs, and is even necessary to a certain extent for the lower stages of spiritual practice. But in the end, the brain is inherently limited in what it can know and is prone to what Patanjali calls misconception (viparyaya) or false knowledge of the self. History and PracticeThere's some disagreement among authorities over the origins of Sun Salutation. Traditionalists contend that the sequence is at least 2,500 years old (perhaps even several hundred years older), that it originated during Vedic times as a ritual prostration to the dawn, replete with mantras, offerings of flowers and rice, and libations of water. Skeptics of this dating maintain that Sun Salutation was invented by the raja of Aundh (a former state in India, now part of Maharashtra state) in the early 20th century, then disseminated to the West in the 1920s or 1930s. However old Sun Salutation is, and whatever it may originally have looked like, many variations have evolved over the years. Janita Stenhouse, in Sun Yoga: The Book of Surya 83

Namaskar (Innerspace Map Studio, 2001), illustrates two dozen or so adaptations (though several are quite similar). Our sequence here consists of 12 "stations" composed of eight different postures, the last four being the same as the first four but performed in reverse order. In this sequence, we'll start and end in Tadasana. (Station 12, not pictured, is the same as station 1 on p. 91). The eight basic postures, in order of performance, are Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Lunge, Plank Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (UpwardFacing Dog Pose), and Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). The transition from posture to posture is facilitated by either an inhalation or an exhalation. As you move through the sequence, watch your breath closely. Slow your pace or stop and rest entirely if your breathing becomes labored or shuts down altogether. Always breathe through your nose, not your mouth: Nasal breathing filters and warms incoming air and slows your breathing down, thereby lending the sequence a meditative quality and reducing the risk of hyperventilation. To perform the sequence, start in Tadasana, with your hands together at your heart. Inhale and lift your arms overhead to Urdhva Hastasana, then exhale while lowering the arms down and fold your torso into Uttanasana. Then inhale, arch your torso into a slight backbend with the fingertips or palms pressed to the floor or blocks, and exhale while bringing your left foot back into a lunge. Inhale forward to Plank, then exhale and lower yourself into Chaturanga Dandasana. On an inhalation, arch your torso up as you straighten your arms into Upward Dog. Exhale back to Downward Dog; step the left foot forward on an inhalation into Lunge. Swing the right leg forward to Uttanasana on an exhalation, then lift your torso and reach your arms overhead on an inhalation to Urdhva Hastasana. Finally, lower your arms on an exhalation and return to your starting point, Tadasana. Remember, this is only a half-round; you'll need to repeat the sequence, switching left to right and right to left to complete a full round. If you're just starting out, it might help to work on the poses individually before you put them together. (Visit for more how-to information.) Many of the variations of Sun Salutation begin in Tadasana with the sacred hand gesture mentioned earlier. Most students know it as Anjali Mudra (Reverence Seal), but—in honor of the ancient yogis—I like to call it by one of its other names, Hridaya Mudra (Heart Seal). Touch your palms and fingers together in front of your chest and rest your thumbs lightly on your sternum, with the sides of the thumbs pressing lightly on the bone about two-thirds of the way down. Be sure to broaden your palms and press them against each other evenly, so your dominant hand doesn't overpower its nondominant mate. The pressing and spreading of the palms helps to firm the scapulas against, and spread them across, your back torso. Since the sequence is, in essence, a humble adoration of the light and insight of the self, it's essential to practice Sun Salutation in a spirit of devotion and with your awareness turned always inward toward the heart. Make each movement as mindful and precise as possible, especially as you near the end of your rounds, when fatigue can lead to sloppiness. Deepening the PracticeThe sequence itself is fairly straightforward, but beginning students often stumble in two parts of it. The first of these is Chaturanga Dandasana: Lowering from Plank, students who lack sufficient strength in the arms, legs, and lower belly commonly 84

wind up in a heap on the floor. The short-term solution is simply to bend the knees to the floor just after Plank, then lower the torso down so that the chest and chin (but not the belly) lightly rest on the floor. The second sticky part is in stepping the foot forward from Downward-Facing Dog back into Lunge. Many beginners are unable to take the full step smoothly and lightly; typically, they thump their foot heavily on the floor about halfway to the hands, then struggle to wriggle it the rest of the way forward. This is a consequence both of tight groins and a weak belly. The short-term solution is to bend the knees to the floor right after Downward Dog, step the foot forward between the hands, then straighten the back knee into Lunge. Success with Sun Salutation, as with all aspects of yoga practice, depends on commitment and regularity. An everyday practice would be best, but you might at first aim for four times a week. If possible, don't skip more than a couple of days in a row, or you might end up back at square one. Traditionally, Sun Salutation is best performed outdoors, facing east-the location of the rising sun, a symbol of the dawn of consciousness and jnana. This might be a perfect wakeup routine in India, where it's usually warm outside, but it's probably not feasible in Michigan in late December. Nowadays, Sun Salutation is used mostly as a preliminary warm-up for an asana session. I do 10 to 12 rounds at the start of every practice—or after a few hip and groin openers—and a few more on each equinox and solstice to acknowledge the change in the light. On days when only a quickie practice is possible, an intense 10minute Sun Salutation and five minutes spent in Savasana (Corpse Pose) will do you just fine. Launch your practice slowly with three to five rounds, gradually building up to 10 or 15. If this seems like a lot, remember that the traditional number of rounds is 108, which may take you more than a few weeks to work up to. You can pace the sequence briskly to generate heat and cleanse the body-mind, or more moderately to create a moving meditation. If you're looking for a more vigorous Sun Salutation, consider the approach of the vinyasa traditions such as K. Pattabhi Jois-style Ashtanga Yoga, which uses a jumping version of Sun Salutation to link the individual poses in their fixed series. Variations of Sun Salutation are legion, and because of the sequence's malleability, it's easy enough to cook up a few of your own. For instance, you can make things more challenging by adding one or more poses: Insert Utkatasana (Chair Pose) after Urdhva Hastasana, or from Lunge, keeping your hands on the floor, straighten the forward leg to a modified Parsvottanasana (Side Stretch Pose). Let your imagination run wild and have fun. Richard Rosen, a YOGA JOURNAL contributing editor. Find Serenity in Savasana Reward yourself every day by taking a 15-minute break for real relaxation. By Judith Hansen Lasater I was slumped on the floor of a dressing room in a large department store at 7:40 p.m. watching my teenage daughter try on what seemed like the 5,000th pair of jeans. It was 85

taking "for ev-vah," as she would say, and I was really tired. But more than that, I felt confused, like the protagonist in some bad dream, endlessly running from task to task. What was I doing here? Why wasn't I home resting after a full day of teaching, writing, cooking, and driving kids around? For that matter, why do so many of us avoid taking a nice, delicious break every day? The answer is complex, both in my life and, I'm guessing, in yours too. First, our days are full of tasks, appointments, and errands. Second, statistics show that we are working longer hours and bringing more work home with us than ever before. Technology has given us certain freedoms, but it has also enabled us to work all the time. It's now easy to check a bank balance online at 1 a.m. or make that little business call from the car. My favorite sign of overload is when I'm rushing around and I call from my cell phone to my home answering machine to leave myself a message about something that I absolutely must do that day—very efficient. I believe I'm not alone in this behavior; it seems we are all on overload much of the time. What's the result of this constant busyness? We're tired and stressed out. I recently asked my yoga students to raise their hands if they had been stressed-out during the previous week. I got a near-universal show of hands and some incredulous looks. Why wouldn't they be stressed-out? We now expect to be. It should be noted that stress isn't always a bad thing. In fact, it's a necessary physiological response when we perceive a threat. Take the example of a stranger following you down a dark alleyway—when you sense danger, your body responds by activating the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the fight-or-flight response, and bringing you to a hyperalert state, ready to respond. (For a more detailed description of these physiological effects, see "This Is Your Body on Stress".) But when the body habitually and unnecessarily goes into this state day after day, our health suffers. Chronic stress can interfere with digestion, sleep, libido, fertility, and more. What strategies can we adopt—aside from chucking everything and moving to a hidden paradise—to ease this sense of impatience and exhaustion? How can we quell the feeling that there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them? Resting in Personal Paradise I propose a formal relaxation period of 15 to 30 minutes per day, every day, in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Not only is Savasana (pronounced sha-VAH-suh-nuh) central to all traditions of hatha yoga, but it can be done with very little fuss. You can choose a simple version with very few props or a luxurious, fully propped, "Calgon, take me away" version. Savasana used to be part of every yoga class. Sadly, I now hear from students that teachers skip it and recommend "doing it later." Or I hear that some teachers do Savasana for five minutes. They may not know that it takes at least 15 minutes to relax deeply. In some countries, there is a siesta every day. I vote for a daily siesta in the form of Savasana. There are many excuses for not practicing Savasana, and I've heard them all. Do it anyway! But first, you might need to reconsider how you think about time. The one thing most people say about time is that there is not enough. Here's a radical thought: Everyone who is alive in the world has exactly the same amount of time each day. Some have more education, some have more wealth, some are in better health, but everyone has the same amount of time. It is how you use that time, and how you perceive the amount of time you have, that can increase or decrease stress. The fact is, you might have to give up that TV sitcom or resist talking on the phone 86

rehashing the same old thing, but if you assess the different time slots in your day, you'll find room for at least 15 minutes of do-nothing rejuvenation. Savasana Strategies Some people like to practice Savasana first thing in the morning as part of a regular yoga practice. Others use it as a midafternoon break instead of drinking a cup of coffee. Still others like to rest briefly when they get home from work, before the evening's activities begin. Find a time that works best for you and practice at the same time every day. Also, consider using a timer. I find that a timer allows me to fully relax without worrying that I'll end up lying in Savasana for hours, unable to get up and finish my day. Think of practicing Savasana each day as a gift to yourself, your family, and the world. Taking a restorative break every day will not only make you feel better, it will likely make you more enjoyable to be around. When you're relaxed, you're less likely to overreact in the face of difficulty. A well-rested, balanced person is more likely to make choices that will affect the world in a positive way. A Simple Setup Here's more good news: Everything you need for Savasana can be found lying around the house. The basic form of Savasana requires only a quiet space, a comfortable surface to lie on, and a couple of props. (On days when you have the time, treat yourself to a more elaborate setup of Savasana, like the one on page 56, which is especially restorative for the lower back.) For the basic pose, you'll need a support for your head, such as a small pillow or folded blanket, and a rolled blanket or large pillow to support the backs of your knees. For extra relaxation, I recommend a soft cover for your eyes and another blanket to keep you warm; you can also wear socks. Lie down on your back. Place the small pillow or folded blanket underneath your head so the neck is well supported and the chin drops below the level of the forehead. Take a moment to relax the legs and let them fall open. With the palms facing up, spread the arms away from your body so the upper arms do not touch the sides of your rib cage. You should have an expansive feeling, as if you are taking up as much space in the room as possible. Set your timer for 15 or 20 minutes (you can work up to 30), cover your eyes, and lie back. Take up to 20 steady, even breaths, gradually increasing the inhalations and exhalations. Then completely let go; release any controlled breathing, allow your body to drop into the floor, and observe your thoughts without reacting to them, as if they were clouds drifting past you in the sky. When you hear the timer, exhale and bend your knees to your chest. Roll to one side, letting the eye cover fall off by itself, and use your arms to sit up slowly. Savasana as Stress Management If you stay in Savasana long enough, you will eventually experience three different stages of the pose. The first is what I call physiological relaxation; it takes most people about 15 minutes. At first, you might feel like the mind is still revved up and attached to thoughts, feelings, and muscular movement. But gradually, the brain waves and the breath slow down, and the blood pressure drops. As the mind and body unwind, the real Savasana can begin. During this second stage,


awareness of the outside world begins to dim. You might hear sounds, but they won't disturb you. Instead, everything will start to drift farther and farther away. In my opinion, the second stage is the most healing for the body and comforting to the mind. A high school student once described Savasana to me as, "Your body sleeps and your mind watches." I like this description, because the mind never completely quiets down, but as you loosen your identification with the physical body, you can disconnect from the constant whirl of thoughts. Then you can simply witness them, just as you would notice the rising and falling of your chest with the breath. As this happens, you'll feel more at ease and willing to be where you are. The final state of Savasana occurs when the mind completely lets go. It is thought that the brain waves slow down to their lowest frequency. You will feel disconnected from the outside world until the timer rings or your teacher's voice brings you back to the present. Give yourself time to drop into at least the second stage every day. Some days you will receive the third state as a gift, but don't worry if you don't. Just keep practicing and it will evolve. I sometimes ask my yoga students if they think the world might be a better place if everyone practiced Savasana every day. The unanimous answer is always yes. So let Savasana begin with you, today. Instead of thinking of it as an unimportant finishing pose that isn't really necessary, think of your active yoga practice as a preparation for the real, deep yoga of Savasana. Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., is a physical therapist who has taught yoga since 1971. Discover Your Dosha. Analyzing everything from teeth and nails to temperament and sleep habits can help you identify your Ayurvedic constitution. Select the trait under each category that most applies to you. (A) responses correspond to vata, (b) to pitta, and (c) to kapha. When you are finished, calculate your results to discover your dominant constitution. 1. 2. 3. • • • a. b. c. a. b. c. Height Tall or very short Medium Usually short, but can be tall and large Frame Thin, bony, good muscles Moderate, developed Large, well-built Weight Low; hard to hold weight Moderate Heavy; hard to lose weight Skin Luster Dull or dusky Ruddy, lustrous White or pale Skin Texture


a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b.

Dry, rough, thin Warm, oily Cold, damp, thick Eyes Small, nervous Piercing, easily inflamed Large, white Hair Dry, thin Thin, oily Thick, oily, wavy, lustrous Teeth Crooked, poorly formed Moderate, bleeding gums Large, well-formed Nails Rough, brittle Soft, pink Soft, white Joints Stiff, crack easily Loose Firm, large Circulation Poor, variable Good Moderate Appetite Variable, nervous High, excessive Moderate but constant Thirst Low, scanty High Moderate Sweating Scanty Profuse but not enduring Low to start but profuse Stool Hard or dry Soft, loose Normal Urination Scanty Profuse, yellow Moderate, clear Sensitivities Cold, dryness, wind Heat, sunlight, fire


c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c. a. b. c.

Cold, damp Immune Function Low, variable Moderate, sensitive to heat High Disease Tendency Pain, inflammation Fever, edema Congestion Disease Type Nervous Blood, liver Mucous, lungs Activity High, restless Moderate Low, moves slowly Endurance Poor, easily exhausted Moderate but focused High Sleep Poor, disturbed Variable Excessive Dreams Frequent, colorful Moderate, romantic Infrequent, disturbed Memory Quick but absent-minded Sharp, clear Slow but steady Speech Fast, frequent Sharp, cutting Slow, melodious Temperament Nervous, changeable Motivated Content, conservative Positive Emotions Adaptability Courage Love Negative Emotions Fear Anger Attachment Faith


a. b. c. a. b. c.

Variable, erratic Strong, determined Steady but slow to change Totals ____ ____ ____ When you are finished, calculate your results to discover your dominant constitution. (A) responses correspond to vata, (b) to pitta, and (c) to kapha. Yoga for Your Dosha Does your yoga class not feel quite right? It could be because it's not a good match with your Ayurvedic dosha. By Stacie Stukin I am doing my umpteenth Chaturanga Dandasana at the Dancing Shiva Studio in Los Angeles and I am sweating—a lot. The room has beautiful, dark beechwood floors, the natural light is seductive, and soothing chants play in the background. However, I don't like any of it. The aggravation of saltwater running down my face is precisely why I never follow my friends, who enthusiastically tout spinning to nowhere on a stationary bike. This is also why I generally don't take vinyasa yoga classes. They leave me feeling agitated and surly. I used to think my aversion to heat-inducing exercise was a personal failure. But right now, the thermostat is turned up and as I continue to swelter this August afternoon, the clichéd lightbulb turns on in my head. I realize that not only am I susceptible to vata imbalances but that I'm also having a very pitta day. This means I am completely ruined because I'm in a kapha-stimulating yoga class. If the words "vata, pitta, and kapha" mean absolutely nothing to you, then I completely understand where you are coming from. As I, too, was once ignorant that these Ayurvedic terms—which describe archetypal body characteristics as well as their tendency toward specific strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances—had direct links to my yoga practice. Certainly, thanks to Deepak Chopra and my interest in complementary medicine, I was somewhat familiar with the basic tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, but I never knew it had deep ties to yoga. In fact, most Ayurvedic scholars agree that you really cannot practice one without the other. "They have been sister sciences since the beginning in ancient India," explains David Frawley, Ayurvedic expert and an author of several books on the subject, who directs the New Mexico-based American Institute for Vedic Studies as well. "They comprise a whole system of human development where yoga is the more spiritually-oriented practice and Ayurveda deals with therapy and treatment for the physical body as well as the mind." In his latest book, Yoga for Your Body Type: An Ayurvedic Approach to Your Asana Practice (Lotus Press, 2001), Frawley and his coauthor, Sandra Summerfield Kozak, take this point further: "The interface between self-healing and self-realization is the union between yoga and Ayurveda." Understanding DoshasAyurveda means "the wisdom of life" in Sanskrit, and the science links the rhythms of the universal elements—earth, fire, air, water, and space—to individual constitutions called doshas. The three dosha types are vata, pitta, and kapha, and while people all have some of each, generally, a person tends to have an abundance of one or a 91

predominant combination of two. Vata types are connected to the air and space, so they are similar to the wind—dry, cool, and capable of fast, unpredictable movement and thought. Pittas are aligned with fire, influenced by air, and act with intense determination. Finally, kaphas are a combination of earth and water, move slowly and gracefully, and tend to be both stable and loyal. These doshic constitutions, known as prakruti, are determined at the moment of conception, according to Ayurveda. But doshas are like anything in life; they are fluid and affected by circumstance, emotion, or even the seasons. So on that August afternoon when Mas Vidal, the director of Dancing Shiva Studio, led his class through what he calls a "Veda Yoga" class, designed to reduce kapha, I was essentially doing the exact opposite of what I actually needed at that moment. Let me explain: Since I am primarily a vata person with a dash of pitta, I'm best served by a slow, grounding practice that cools my heat and brings me out of the air and back to the earth. Then there's also a unique external circumstance that further aggravated my vata. The previous day, I had left New York City at 7 a.m. on a flight home to Los Angeles. Already being someone who tends to be a bit flighty, I had literally just been in the air travelling at mind-boggling speeds, and in addition, the heat of the day had aggravated my pitta, which fueled my tendency to push myself too hard. As Vidal encouraged the kapha folks to keep moving to produce the heat that would give them momentum to counterbalance their predisposition toward inertia, I was soaring in the ether like a whirling dervish propelled by a ball of fire. No wonder I was upset. I felt like the Tasmanian Devil. During Savasana (Corpse Pose), I began cursing Vidal, who is actually charming, kind, and compassionate. But in the moment I could not see that. In fact, after the class, as I drove to meet friends for dinner, I began to experience the stomach cramping that occasionally plagues me. Guess what happens when your vata gets out of balance? There's a tendency toward gas and stomach pain. And when your pitta flares? It will spawn anger and irritability.When the kapha folks get out of whack, inertia rules and lethargy and lack of motivation keep them from moving forward. It's precisely these connections among the doshas, physiology, and psychology, that inspire teachers like Mas Vidal to be mindful of how asana affects the individual and vice versa. The classes at Dancing Shiva are specifically designed to accommodate doshic tendencies. "The key to Ayurveda is that it teaches us how to approach our practice in a specific way," Vidal says. "It's different for each individual, so they will reach their doshic balance in different ways." Vidal assists his students by continually educating them and helping them to incorporate other techniques into their yoga practice, such as utilizing aromatherapy for each dosha. At the end of his kapha class, as everyone is resting in final relaxation, he circulates through the room with a spray bottle and sprinkles a mist of eucalyptus-scented water on his students because, he explains, "Eucalyptus energizes and opens the lungs. Kapha types often tend to suffer from asthma and extra mucus." For fiery pittas, a spritz of calming and cooling lavender does the trick, while vatas benefit from jasmine and rose. The Yoga-Ayurveda ConnectionAcross the states in New York, Sarah Tomlinson and Gandharva Sauls are also exploring the link between Ayurveda and yoga. They founded the Ayurveda-Yoga Institute (, and they base their teaching on the work of Sauls's mentor, Edward Tarabilda, who wrote the book Ayurveda 92

Revolutionized: Integrating Ancient and Modern Ayurveda (Lotus Press, 1997). Tarabilda, who passed away in 1999, developed an Ayurvedic system called the Astrology of the Eight Fields of Living, which classifies doshas and determines the planets that rule different areas in your life, such as career, health, spiritual path, creativity, and relationships, and discovers how a body type is out of balance. As in traditional astrology, Sauls creates a life blueprint using a person's date, time, and place of birth and presents his findings during a private consultation. Then the yogic counseling begins with Tomlinson. A member of the first group of Jivamukti-trained teachers, Tomlinson slowly phased out her Ashtanga practice after a consultation with Sauls. She was 20 pounds heavier, and even in spite of her aggressive practice, she could not shed the extra weight. When Sauls told her that she had a tendency for vata imbalances, she cut back on the vigorous, athletic style yoga, began adhering to some of the dietary tenets of Ayurveda, and incorporated more forward bends and relaxing postures into her yoga practice. The pounds then came off without much effort. Tomlinson applies what she has learned from her own personal experience to both her private and her public teaching. After looking through the papers and manuscripts that Tarabilda left behind, she found a series of 21 poses he recommended that are not only linked to the doshas but also linked to the planets and the gunas. The three gunas in Ayurveda are the same as the gunas of yoga. They are another level of archetypes that define basic human psychological states: sattva (balance), rajas (aggression), and also tamas (inertia). Of course, everyone strives for sattva, but in life, as in yoga practice, we need to incorporate the other two to be whole. So from here she creates a yogic prescription that incorporates pranayama, asana, and the occasional chanting. Ultimately, for Tomlinson, the key to achieving doshic balance is the approach you take to your practice. Adapting the Poses When Tomlinson and I begin discussing the way that I should be incorporating Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose) into my practice, she advises that I should do it several times but only hold it for a few breaths. "Keeping the movement compact and doing it in fluid repetition is relaxing for vata," she advises. "For the kapha person I recommend holding the pose for up to 20 breaths, then it becomes much more energizing. If someone with more vata imbalance did that, he or she would become dizzy and disoriented." I then reveal to her how much I happen to enjoy doing balancing poses. "That makes perfect sense," she says. "Balancing is very integrating, and this is especially true for vatas. These particular poses make them become aware of the top of their head all the way down to the bottom of their feet. It helps them become more grounded." People with different doshic constitutions take class together all of the time, but according to Frawley, students with Ayurvedic knowledge can adapt a class to their personal needs through attitude and intention. "If everyone did their asana the exact same way, it would be like everyone taking the same medicine," he explains. "Vatas should practice slowly and deliberately. Kaphas need to challenge themselves more, and pittas need to relax and to avoid overheating," he also explains. "What you do in your yoga practice is basically just a preparation for the work that you do on your life force. According to Ayurvedic principle, the connection between our state of mind and our physical posture is the ultimate expression of our psychological energy."


Teaching AidThis raises an intriguing challenge for yoga teachers. As more teachers become well versed in Ayurveda's ties to yoga, they are beginning to look at their students in a different way. Patricia Hansen has been teaching yoga for some 35 years and studying Ayurveda with Vasant Lad since 1983. Alhough she doesn't teach dosha-specific classes like Vidal, she does incorporate this knowledge into her teaching style. "It is just an extra awareness I have developed," Hansen comments. "I look at the way the students hold their bodies as well as the way they approach asana." And just as teachers might make seasonal adjustments by not teaching the same way in summer as they do in winter, classes take on doshic personalities and require different treatment. "Sometimes I will walk into the room and find that everyone is very animated; they're climbing the walls," she explains. "That could be vata or pitta agitation. So right off the bat, I might try chanting and some mudra work." Many yoga teachers will agree a well-rounded practice is tridoshic by nature and can accommodate any constitution or imbalance. "If you incorporate forward bends and backbends, twisting and standing poses, pranayama, chanting, as well as inversion, that's the key," says Hansen. "However the real high point of the class should be Savasana. That's where the real doshic integration takes place. Also, the essence of any practice is the attitude of the student." With all this in mind, I've come back to Dancing Shiva—this time for a vata-balancing class. As I lie on my mat in a long, deep Savasana, I feel quite divine. But don't get me wrong: There are times when I crave a really sweaty, intense flow class. Those are generally days when my kapha flares. So the time, like my dosha, has to be right. But at this moment Vidal has just sprayed me with rose water, and the worries of the day evaporate like the aromatic mist that surrounds me. Stacie Stukin is a contributing editor for Yoga Journal. She works at balancing her doshas from her home in Los Angeles, California.


Yoga Glossary


TERMS Abhyasa Acharya Adwaita Agni Agnisar kriya Aham Ahimsa Ajapa japa Ajna chakra Akasha Anahata chakra Ananda Antar Antar dhauti Antar kumbhaka Antar mouna Anubhava Ardha Ardha dhanurasana Ardha matsyendrasana Ardha padmasana Asana Ashrama Ashtanga yoga Ashwini mudra Atman Aum Avidya Bahir Bahir kumbhaka Bahiranga trataka practice - the act of practicing teacher


a philosophy according to which there is no duality - only a singular state of consciousness fire one of the shatkarmas (cleansing practices) -intestinal cleansing ego non-violence, non-injury - one of the yamas of ashtanga yoga spontaneous repetition of 'soham' mantra energy center located behind the forehead, also called psychic centre - one of the seven energy centers ether, space energy center located in the heart region; also called pranic centre - fourth of the seven energy centers. bliss, ecstasy inner, internal internal yoga cleansing (shatkarma) techniques internal breath retention. The stage of pranayama where breath is retained after inhalation. internal silence - a meditation practice. experience, realization half half bow yoga pose half spinal twist yoga position half lotus pose yoga position or yoga pose, also called yogasana. A balanced position for smooth energy flow in specific areas of the body and mind. residential place of people living together in yogic tradition. the eight fold path of yoga as outlined by Patanjali: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi practice of contracting the anal sphincter. soul. see Om ignorance outside, external external breath retention. The stage of pranayama where breath is retained after exhalation. concentrating the attention (gaze) upon an external object such as a candle flame.


Bandha Basti Bhagvad Gita

a posture in which organs and muscles are contracted to create energy lock in a specific area. a colon cleansing technique (shakarma), yogic enema a part of the famous Hindu epic 'Mahabharata'. Teachings of Lord Krishna to his disciple Arjuna at the commencement of the battle of Kurukshetra, with explanations on sannyasa yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga. devotion the yoga of devotion. 'bellows' breathing technique in which the breath is forcibly drawn in and out through the nose in equal proportions, like the pumping action of the bellows. breathing practice in which a soft "humming-bee" sound is produced during exhalation to stimulate the Ajna Chakra cobra' pose. supreme consciousness, absolute reality. literally meaning circle or wheel, in yoga this refers to the energy centers lying along the confluence of the nadis (energy channels) moon ida nadi psychic space in front of the closed eyes, just behind the forehead. hand gesture in which the first finger is kept at the root of the thumb, the last three fingers are unfolded. stick one of the cleansing techniques (shatkarmas), used to clean the oesophagus with a stick. teeth cleansing technique bow' pose; backward bending yoga pose practice of concentration; sixth of the eight fold path in ashtanga yoga duty, righteous path second of the shatkarmas; cleansing technique of the eyes, ears, tongue, forehead, oesophagus, stomach, rectum and anus meditation; single-pointed focus of mind on either a form, thought or sound. initiation given by the guru. three humours of the body; see kapha, pitta, vata nasal irrigation or cleansing technique using milk neti (nasal cleansing technique) performed with ghee cow's face' posture Yogi Gorakhnath's' pose quality of nature viz. tamas, rajas, sattwa the 'secret' pose spiritually enlightened soul, who can dispel darkness, ignorance and illusion from the mind and enlighten the consciousness of a devotee/disciple science of yoga which purifies the whole physical body by means of shatkarma, asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha and concentration

Bhakti Bhakti yoga Bhastrika pranayama Bhramari pranayama Bhujangasana Brahman Chakra Chandra Chandra nadi Chidakasha Chin mudra Danda Danda dhauti Danta dhauti Dhanurasana Dharana Dharma Dhauti Dhyana Diksha Dosha Dugdha neti Ghrita neti Gomukhasana Gorakshasana Guna Guptasana Guru Hatha yoga


Hridaya akasha Ida nadi Jala Jala basti Jala neti Jalandhara bandha Japa Jihva dhauti Jnana Jnana mudra Jnana yoga Kapal Kapalbhati pranayama Karma Karma yoga Karna dhauti Kati chakrasana Kevala kumbhaka Klesha Koormasana Kosha Kriya Kriya yoga Kukkutasana Kumbhaka Kundalini Kundalini shakti

psychic space of the heart centre one of the main energy channels running on the left side of the spine from the mooladhara (base) chakra to the ajna chakra in the head. water the yoga technique of enema using water - one of the yoga shatkarma a shatkarma technique - cleansing of the nasal passages with water by alternating the flow of water in the nostrils, preferably using a neti pot. throat lock' to restrict the flow of bereath through the throat - done by resting the chin on the upper sternum (chest). continuous chanting i.e repetition of a mantra one of the shatkarma techniques for cleansing the tongue. knowledge, understanding, wisdom the gesture of knowledge - in this the index finger is bent so that its tip is joined with the tip of the thumb, the other three fingers are spread out. the yoga of knowledge - attained through spontaneous self-analysis and investigation of abstract and speculative ideas. skull or cerebrum a breathing technique aimed at cleaning the frontal part of the brain; also called skull polishing - done through rapid breaths with more force on exhalation. action; the act of doing the yoga of action - aims at supreme consciousness through action; discussed in Bhagavad Gita one of the shatkarma which involves cleansing the ears. waist rotating' pose. spontaneous cessation of breath without any conscious effort. afflictions or tensions - according to yoga there are 5 such afflictions present in humans from birth tortoise' pose - an advanced posture. sheath or body; realm of experience and existence. activity, dynamic yogic practice the practice of kundalini yoga cockerel' pose breath retention man's retained energy or potential energy and consciousness refers to the human's potential energy lying dormant in mooladhara (base) chakra like a coiled serpent. When awakened it rises up through the sushumna nadi. philosophy expounding the awakening of potential energy and inherent consciousness within the human body and mind. a shatkarma (cleansing) technique that involves the cleansing of the stomach by drinking in water and then expelling it by inducing vomiting. a shatkarma technique - also referred as the short intestinal wash. Involves the drinking of several glasses of water and the expelling it through stool after a series of exercises (asanas); in the process a thorough cleansing of the colon

Kundalini yoga Kunjal kriya Laghoo shankhaprakshalana


takes place. Laya yoga Maha Maha bandha Maha mudra Maha nadi Makara Makarasana Manas chakra Manipura chakra Mantra Mantra shakti Matsyendrasana Mayur Mayurasana Moksha Moola Moola bandha Mooladhara chakra Moorchha pranayama Mouna Mudra Nadi Nadi shodhana pranayama Nasagra/nasikagra mudra Nauli Neti kriya Nidra Niyama union with the supreme consciousness through pranayama or devotion. Literally, union by absorption great the great lock - combines the three locks in yoga - the moola bandha, jalandhara bandha and uddiyana bandha - together with breath retention. the great gesture - combines the practice of moola bandha, shambhavi and khechari mudras simultaneously. literally means 'great nadi', which is the 'sushumna' in yoga crocodile crocodile' pose the energy center above the ajna chakra - is depicted with six petals the energy centre in the spinal column located behind the navel - corresponding to the solar plexus. subtle sound vibration, which through repetition aims at expanding one's awareness or consciousness. the power of mantra a spine twisting pose peacock peacock' pose - advanced pose aims at strengthening the arms and stimulating the manipura chakra. liberation from the cycle of birth and death. root energy lock created by the contraction of the perineum in the male and the cervix in the female. lowest energy centre in the human body where the kundalini shakti (serpent power) resides - situated in the perineal floor in men and the cervix in women. fainting or swooning breath' in which the breath is inhaled slowly and retained for an extended period. silence - the practice of silence literally means 'gesture' - mudra expresses and channelizes cosmic energy within the mind and body. energy channels in the body, similar to the meridians in acupuncture breathing technique - is the 'alternate nostril breathing' or 'balanced breathing' balances the energy flow in the channels and purifies the energy channels (nadi) by balancing the flow of breath through the right and left nostrils. hand gesture adopted during pranayama to alternate the flow of breath through the nostrils. abdominal massage' - a cleansing technique (shatkarma) involving the contraction of the rectus abdominal muscles. another shatkarma (cleansing technique) - involves cleaning of the nasal passages or sinus irrigation; jala neti forms a part of the various neti kriyas. sleep rule; there are 5 rules described in the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali.


Om Pada Padmasana Pancha makara Pancha tattwa Param Paramatma Parichaya avastha Paschimottanasana Patanjali Payaswini nadi Pingala nadi

the universal mantra; cosmic vibration of the universe; represents the four states of consciousness foot; section of a literary work lotus pose - a seated meditative posture the five tantric practices : mansa(meat), madhya(wine), matsya(fish), mudra(grain), and maithuna(sexual intercourse) the five elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether highest, supreme, God the supreme atma; God stage of perception of nada back stretching pose author of the Yoga Sutras and preacher of the eight-fold (ashtanga) yoga energy channel terminating at the right big toe, between poosha and pingala channels one of the main energy channels running on the right side of the spine from the mooladhara (base) chakra to the ajna chakra in the head by intersecting various chakras on the way. breathing technique which involves gulping air and swallowing it into the stomach and retaining it full moon night fulfillment of desire inner light nature proof vital energy force sustaining life and creation technique of breathing and breath control which regulates energy flow and aims at maintaining energy balance an offering usually food to and from the guru or higher power sense withdrawal; first stage of concentrating on the mind during meditation nature of the mind the earth element eighteen ancient books consisting of legends and mythological narrations dealing with creation, recreation and the genealogies of sages and rulers man; pure consciousness purpose of the consciousness, of man's existence- the four basic needs or desires, arth, kaama, dharma, moksha yoga in which union is achieved through concentration of mind red bindu, same as beeja(seed) bindu, shakti bindu; the potentially creative bindu from which creation springs; often refers to the ovum. exhalation Lord Shiva ; Rudra is said to have sprung from Brahma's forehead and is one of the holy trinity highest energy centre located at the crown of the head

Plavini pranayama Poornima Prakamya Prakasha Prakriti Pramana Prana Pranayama Prasad Pratyahara Pravritti Prithvi tattwa Purana Purusha Purushartha Raja yoga Rakta bindu Rechaka Rudra Sahasrara chakra


Sakshi Samadhi Samskara Sankalpa Sannyasi Santosha Saraswati Sarvangasana Sat Satguru Sattwa guna Satya Seetkari pranayama Shabda Brahman Shakti Shambhavi mudra Shashankasana Shatkarma Sheetali pranayama Shishya Siddha yoni asana Siddhasana

witness the final stage of ashtanga yoga in which concentration becomes one with the object of concentration; supreme union. impressions stored in the mind that form the basis of our beliefs, attitudes and personality. spiritual resolve. one who has renounced the world in seek of self-realization. contentment Goddess who bestows knowledge of fine arts and power of speech shoulderstand - an inverted posture truth guru who has attained self-realization quality unwavering purity truth-one of the yamas Breathing technique which involves hissing leading to a cooling effect upon the whole body. cosmic causal state. vital force; energy a yoga gesture in which one focusses at the mid-eyebrow centre moon pose the six yogic techniques of purification of the body, viz. neti, dhauti, nauli, basti, trataka, kapalbhati cooling breath' - a pranayama technique that lowers the body temperature by inhaling through the mouth while letting the breath flow in over the tongue. disciple; student the female counterpart of the siddhasana meditative posture, in which the left heel presses the entrance to the vagina a meditative seating posture in which the left heel presses the perineum (stimulating the mooladhara chakra); also called as the adept's pose or the 'pose of perfection'. inverted pose - the 'headstand' in which the body is inverted and balanced on the crown of the head represents a mantra in meditation; literally means, 'I am That'. Represents the Psychic sound with the sound 'so' during inhalation and 'ham' during exhalation. sixteen petalled chakra situated above ajna and manas chakras a comfortable meditative pose; also called the 'easy pose' or simply the crosslegged pose. breathing technique in which inhalation is done through the right nostril ; increases vitality see 'pingala nadi' main energy channel in yoga, in the centre of the spinal cord through which kundalini shakti flows. yogic technique to cleanse the nasal passage using a special thread second chakra in the spinal column, above the mooladhara.

Sirshasana Soham Soma chakra Sukhasana Surya bheda pranayama Surya nadi Sushumna nadi Sutra neti Swadhisthana


chakra Swastikasana Tadasana Tamas Tiryaka bhujangasana Tiryaka tadasana Trataka Uddiyana bandha Ujjayi pranayama Utkatasana Uttankoormasana Vajrasana Vama swara Vaman dhauti Varisara dhauti auspicious pose -meditative posture similar to siddhasana palm tree pose- standing posture the quality of inertia, laziness, procrastination. twisting cobra pose swaying palm tree pose one of the cleansing techniques (shatkarma) in which the gaze is focussed upon an object such as a candle flame. abdominal retraction lock'; drawing in of the abdomen towards the backbone after exhaling a kind of breathing technique which produces a light sonorous sound. squatting position Tortoise pose the 'thunderbolt' pose; a kneeling posture with buttocks resting upon the heels. flow of breath in the left nostril yogic technique to cleanse the stomach by voluntary vomiting. There are two types: kunjal kriya (regurgitating of water) and vyaghra (regurgitating of food) yogic cleansing technique in which a large quantity of water is drunk in conjunction with asanas to cleanse the entire digestive tract; also known as shankhaprakshalana. ability to control all objects, living and non-living yogic detoxification technique in which a specially prepared cloth is swallowed and removed after ten minutes, in order to remove mucus from the stomach a cleansing technique in which the air swallowed into the stomach is belched out. air element four ancient texts- Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva, which are further divided into Samhita, Brahmana, Aranayaka and Upanishads. They were revealed to the sages and saints of India which explain and regulate every aspect of life from supreme reality to worldly affairs. The oldest books in the library of mankind. hero,s pose - for concentration and discrminative thinking. one of the energy centres located in the spine behind the throat and connected with the cervical plexus, tonsils and thyroid gland. emanating from Yamnotri in the Himalayas and joining Ganga near Allahabd, North India;refers to pingala nadi in the pranic body. state of union between two opposites - body and mind; individual and universal consciousness; a process of uniting the opposing forces in the body and mind in order to achieve supreme awareness and enlightenment. practice of yoga. a deep relaxation technique also called 'yogic sleep' in which mind and body is at complete rest but with complete awareness.

Vashitva Vastra dhauti Vatsara dhauti Vayu tattwa Vedas

Veerasana Vishuddhi chakra Yamuna river Yoga

Yoga abhyasa Yoga nidra


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