Category Archives: Asana

about specific asanas

Hello my dear MIND…

I afforded myself a session (half a day) of this weekend’s seminar with A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan.  They are students of Shri Krishnamacharya who is said to be the father of modern yoga (he was teacher to Sri K. Patthabi Jois and B.S.K. Iyengar).

1.  Yoga is a means to make our mind steady. One certainty in life is change.  Change can be brought about by external events, which we cannot control . Change can be brought about internally, through our minds…this we can have control over.

2.  What are the three most important things in life? Mr. Mohan asked Krisnamacharya this question. His answer: HEALTH which can be achieved through the practice of asanas; LONGEVITY which can achieved through pranayama; and TRANQUILITY, attained through meditation.

3.  The mind is our inner television.   I need to “watch” what I think.  Thinking is more powerful than action. If we think things through, then our actions (including speech) will be more meaningful and/or less hurtful.

4.  Happiness is simply letting go. Letting go of thought processes that causes anxiety, fear and worry.  Freedom is in our own hands.  If we do things that will make us happy, we become free; if we don’t do them, we become bound.

According to Mr. Mohan, happiness is within our reach and can be a constant in our lives.  We can do this by having a focused mind; being aware of our thoughts and subsequent actions and consciously free ourselves from those that make us “unhappy”.

These are just a few lessons of that half-day and introductory evening that I attended.  There are practical applications that I had started using in my practice this morning.  Mr. Mohan was funny with his “stories” and is very sincere and humble in spreading happiness through the teachings of Sri. T. Krishnamacharya.

Grateful for this experience…

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Ticking off my yoga bucketlist

Check mark! To travel just for yoga.
Check mark! To learn from my teachers’ teachers!

In the three years I have been practicing ashtanga yoga I have met friends who would be gone days at a time to take up yoga classes or workshops in another country. I have always been curious and would look up websites in an attempt to satisfy my curiosity. And as I became more involved in the practice, my desire to “yoga travel” increased.

So finally tomorrow I will venture off to my first “yoga travel”! I will be going to Samahita Retreat Yoga Thailand. This is where most of my yoga teachers acquired their teacher training.

I am kinda excited. I will be with friends/teachers. I am eager to meet and learn from both Paul and Tiwari. Aside from asana practice we will be learning pranayama and philosophy.

I’m soooo excited!

My yoga journey continues…om.

Count down…

Five days.

Five days to go until I get to practice and learn from him,

Paul Dallaghan, my teachers’ teacher

Five days before pursuing and discovering more about my favorite yoga practice of Pranayama with O.P. Tiwari.

Five days to go and am feeling anxious…to leave them for a while,

Fluffy

and the hubby…

Five days…tick, tock, tick, tock…

Om.

Sirsasana and death

It is not my intent to sound morbid and give a foreboding sense of doom but I honestly do think that when one dies, it would feel like a perfect sirsasana.

Floating…resting comfortably on the hands…lightness…no feelings of fear or insecurity…a relaxed smile on the face…contentment…peace…

But since I haven’t had this feeling when doing sirsasana… it makes me look forward to dying.

Om.

Pasasana

(image from clases-de-yoga.com)

Just to officially document it, my teacher taught me pasasana last night.  The first asana for the second series.  It has been quite some time since I have been taught a new asana; I can’t believe the feeling is back; excitement, fear, frustration and hope.

The journey continues…

Work on Urdhva Dhanurasana

A follower of this blog (my hubby who I obligated to read my blog…) expressed that I haven’t blogged for quite some time…this is peak time for my duties at the College; preparing for enrollment, classrooms, new faculty, new courses! What keeps me adrift? The practice of yoga of course! I have been diligently doing my pranayama and a regular asana practice despite this busy sched.

This summer, I have been focusing on improving my backbends and learning how to do drop backs.  After setu bandhasana I embark on this “workout” by doing a lot of preparations to strengthen my psoas and quadriceps muscles, stretch my shoulder joint; strengthen my back muscles.

Then I slowly work on by backbends by

1. Doing half backbends 3x

(images from http://www.yoga journal.com)

2. Backbends with the wall as my assist 3x

(images from http://www.yoga journal.com)

3. Backbends without the wall 3x

4. Standing drop backs using the wall 3x

(Photo from: http://www.ehow.com/how_4423817_do-urdhva-dhanurasana-drop-back.html)

5. And finally drop backs with the teacher 3x (if there is a teacher or a teacher friend practicing with me)

Whew! As with other hard asanas, I initially dreaded working on the pose. I dread the feeling of pain on my back and feeling of panic when I get down and back up again.  But in recent practices (a week or two ago…) I have been looking forward to working on it. I could feel the right muscles working, meaning my psoas and my quadriceps. My back would ache but it is much less, maybe because I am using a different set of muscles.

In rare occasions when I am by myself, I would let myself drop once but not get up anymore. But today!…with my friends and teacher as my cheering squad and witnesses; I was able to dropback 3x! I needed help to get up but I got up using my leg muscles which really felt right.

I’m attending a class again tomorrow, I don’t know if I can do it again. Each day is different. But I am looking forward to it!

Sirsasana

Fear of failing + Fear of achieving = Frustration/Despair

Salamba Sirsana…(sigh…)