The Inner Teacher
By tuning in we have to awaken a clear and true understanding of who we are in our deepest innermost being. We have to tune in to our inner teacher.
Our sequences reflect the following principles.
Components of A balanced Yoga Program
It consists of various activities that promote the following:
- Cardiovascular conditioning
- Muscle Strengthening activities
- Instruction in proper body mechanics of lifting
- Flexibility of connective tissues to create all range of joint movements.
- Balance: Static and Dynamic
- Kinesthetic awareness – resulting in an ability to maintain neutral alignment and proper form in various postures.
We also have yoga sessions to include program for pelvis and scapular stability. E.g we teach pelvic tilt in standing pose to keep the spine neutral. Improving kinesthetic awareness of neutrality of upper body is first step. Strengthening the posterior shoulder girdle scapular muscles is the second step. Recognizing and reinforcing proper alignment of shoulder girdle, head and neck is the third step.
DURING CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING AVOID STRAIN ON:
- Spine by doing pelvis tilt.
- Knees, hip back by varying the impact.
- neck and shoulder by limiting fast arm movements through full flexion and abduction.: avoid abduction with the internal rotation of the shoulder joint, avoiding prolonged segments with the arms held above horizontal, and avoiding ballistic movements of the head, neck and shoulder.
Fundamental Movements (from Anatomical Position)
1A. Plane : Sagittal
Definition: Decreasing angle between 2 bones
Definition: Increasing the angle between 2 bones.
Definition: Increasing the angle between 2 bones beyond anatomical position 9 continuing extension past neutral)
Definition: Moving the top of the foot towards the shin (ankle only)
Definition: Moving the sole of the foot downward .(ankle only).
2A Plane: Frontal
Definition: Move away from the midline of the body or part
Definition: Motion towards the middle part of the body or part.
Definition: Moving to a superior position (scapula)
Definition: Moving to an inferior position (scapula)
Definition: Lifting the medial border of the foot (subtalar joint only)
Definition: Lifting the lateral border of the foot (subtalar joint only).
3A. Plane: Transverse
Definition: Medial (inward) or lateral (outward) turning about the vertical axis of bone.
Definition: Rotating the hand and wrist medially from the elbow.
Definition: Rotating the hand and wrist laterally from the elbow.
3d. Horizontal Flexion (horizontal Adduction)
Definition: From a 90 degree abducted arm position, the humers is flexed in towards the midline of the body in the transverse plane.
3e. Horizontal Extension (horizontal Abduction)
Definition: The return of the humerus from horizontal flexion ( adduction) to 90 degree abduction.
4A. Plane: Multiplanar
4a. Circumduction: Motion that describes a “Cone”, combines flexion, abduction, extension and adduction in sequential order.
Definition: Thumb movement unique to primates and humans that follow a semicircle towards the little finger.
POSTURE AND MUSCLE BALANCE
A neutral spine position is best as it minimizes stress on lower back. It means you have slight inward curve at the neck and low back, and a slight outward curve of the thoracic spine connected to the ribs.
THE MAJOR 124 ASANAS FORM PART OF VARIOUS SEQUENCES AND VARIATIONS TO ASANAS HAVE BEEN INCLUDED.
- SIDDHASANA/ SIDDHAYONIASANA
- DHYAN VEERASANA
- SHASHANK BHUJANGASANA
- NAMAN PRANAMASANA
- ASHWA SANCHALANASNA
- AKARNA DHANURASANA
- TIRYAKA TADASANA
- MERU PRISHTASANA
- DRUTTA UTKATASANA
- UTTHITA LOLASANA
- HASTA UUTANASANA
- ASTNGA NAMSKAR
- ARDHA CHANDRASANA
- GUPTA PADMASANA
- BADDHA PADMASANA
- TIRYAKA BHUJANGASANA
- ARDHA SHALBHASANA
- UTTHAN PRISTHASANA
- SETU ASANA
- PADA PRASAR PASCHIMOTTANASANA
- JANU SHIRSHASANA
- ADHA PADMA PASCHIMOTTANASANA
- HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA
- MERU AKARSHANASANA
- SIRSA ANGUSTHA YOGASANA
- UTTHITA JANUSIRSHASANA
- MERU WAKRASANA
- ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA
- PARIVRITTI JANU SIRSHASANA
- BHUMI PADA MASTAKASANA
- VIPAREETA KARNI ASANA
- PADMA SARVANGASANA
- DRUTA HALASANA
- ARDHA PADMA HALASANA
- SALAMBA SIRSHASANA
- NIRALAMBA SIRSHASANA
- OORDHWA PADMASANA
- KAPALI ASANA
- EKPADA PRANAMASANA
- EKA PADASANA
- UTTHITHA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA
- NIRLAMBA PASCHIMOTTANASANA
- ARDHA PADM PADTTANASANA
- PADA ANGUSTHASANA
- BAKA DHYANASANA
- EKPADA BAKA DHYANASANA
- DWI HASTA BHUJASANA
- EKHASTA BHUJASANA
- POORNA BHUJANGASANA
- POORNA SHALABHASANA
- POORNA DHANURASANA
- SIRSHAPADA BHUMI SPARSHASANA
- POORNA MATSYENDRASAN
- PADMA MAYURASANA
- EKPADA SIRSASANA
- UTTHAN EKPADA SIRSASANA
- DWI PADA SIRSHASANA
- DWI PADA KNDHARASANA
- PADMA PARVATASANA
We follow Ethics in Teaching & Touching
Student teacher relationship is magnified by touch. Everyone comes to their experience of hands on adjustment in their own ways. What is welcoming for one student could be invasive for other. We always ask our student the permission to touch.
The yamas of Patanjali provide a guideline. Respecting ahimsa means not hurting and satya means truthfulness; we have to be truthful in what we know and what we don’t know and our intention in touching.
Giving appropriate cues requires knowledge of functional anatomy, kiniselogy, risk issues and contraindications and body reading of our student.
ASANAS can be categorized into :
- Standing: The weight of the body is on ne foot or both feet.
- Core Awakening: This lightens up the muscles in our abdominal region.
- Arm Support: Weight of full body on one or both hands or forearms.
- Backbends: Spine is extended beyond anatomical position.
- Twists: Rotation of spine, mostly seated.
- Forward Bends: Anterior Rotation of the Pelvis and stretching back of the body, mostly seated.
- Hip Openers: Stretching Of Muscles attached to Pelvis, mostly non standing.
- Inversions: Body is inverted.
- Surya Namaskar: has a series of Asanas.
- Savasana (Corpse Pose): Separate Asana
You practice Standing Asanas in various sequences and specially the Beginners and Hip Openers Sequences.
- STANDING ASANA
They are grounding and the physical foundation. Padabandha is experienced. They are of 2 types:
- Externally Rotated Femur and for inner groin and thighs
(External Rotator + Abductor).
- Neutral or Internal Rotated Femur: This strengthens the Adductors & External Rotator + Adbductor. In neutral the effort is very light.
- Standing Asanas strengthen legs and pelvic girdle and show how feet are connected to legs, pelvis, spine, heart center, head and arms, breath and spirit and explore ur fear of falling. Standing Asnas are a good warm up and create energy.
- Foundation Asana is: TADASANA & PADHASTASANA. Emphasize padaBandha. We can use Tadasana, Adhomukh Svanasana, Prasaritta Padottanasna (Spread leg forward fold)) as Beginning Asanas.
- We at Gems Of Yoga Separately sequence Externally Rotated Femur Standing Asanas like Utthitha Trikonasana( extended Triangle) ,Virbhadrasna II ( Warrior II), Parsvokonasana ( Extended Side Angle).
- And Seprately sequence Internal rotated asanas like Parsvottanasana (Intense extended side Stretch), Parivritta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle), Virbhadrasana I and III (Warrior I and III).
- We at Gems Of Yoga Place externally rotated asanas before internally rotated and neutral rotated. Exception is Tadasana which is taught first.
- We try not to move back and forth between internally and externally rotted asanas except in set sequences like Ashtanga Vinyasa.
- We always align the knee to the floor to the center of the foot and behind the heel. Student with tight hip will splay the front knee inward damaging knee ligaments or outward splaying of the front hip putting excess pressure on ligaments and bursae of hip joint.
- In beginners classes after the pawanmukta asanas joint freedom series we start with standing poses.
You practice Core Awakening Asanas in various sequences and specially the Weight Loss Sequences.
Yoga is about creating space. Abdominus recti is a source of compressed tension as well as spinal and breathing problems. Use pada Bandha and mula bandha for energetic awareness.
- Core warms up the body bringing slight heat to spine, pelvis, belly and back.
- Core gives balanced awakening to all major abdominal core muscles rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transversus abdominis and the iliopsoas.
- Core awakening should be done before arm balances, creating levity in asans like bakasana and handstand.
- Focus more on awakening the rectus abdominis and iliopsoas in preparation for bakasana and urdhva kukkutasana, flying crow and other armbalances where pelvis is higher than shoulder.
- Focus more on awakening the transverse abdominis and oblique muscles for Parsva bakasana (Side Crane), Ashtavakrasana ( 8 angle pose) and other arm balances in which the torso is being twisted.
- After working with iliosoas like in full boat pose then do adho mukh vrksasana to minimize the anterior rotation of the pelvis.
- Never sequence deep back bends after deep core but first neutralize it.
- Core provides support to lumber spine.
- In sustained core sequence do core sequence, leg lifts, pelvic tilts, tolasana, lolasana to bring core awareness.
You practice Arm Support Asanas in various sequences.
ARM SUPPORT ASANAS
Here you balance the fear of falling with with the ego and desire to appear normal. It is like going into Dharana. Here wrists are at greatest risk, so should do wrist therapy. First also do the healthy shoulder sequence and hold adhomukhsvanasana for 2 minutes before doing hand balances. Limited shoulder flexion gives banana shape to the adhomukhsvnasana and pinch mayurasana. We also require core strength. Finding the balance between engagement and spreading through the core is one of the key element in arm balances.
You practice Backbends Asanas in various sequences.
With deep stretching across the entie front of body, especially through heart center, belly, pelvis, groin, back bends stimulate a passionate response from the student. Backbends open the full energy of the breath and energy in front of the body. Backbends should bring equanimity not attainement. Backbends can be classified into contraction, traction and leverage.
- Contraction back bends- here muscles contract to overcome gravity like lifting up into Shalabhasana A.
- Traction Back bends – muscles in front of the body eccentrically contract to overcome gravity like lowering back into ustrasana
- Leverage Back bends- the arms and legs press against a stable object (like wall, another part of the body) like in dhanurasana, urdhvadhanurasana.
In all of these 3 the humerus can be in flexion or extension.
Humerus is in extension in asanas like Shalabhasana A, Ustrasana, Setubandh Sarvangasana (bridge pose).
Humerus is in flexion in asanas like Shalabhasana C, Kapotasana, Viparita Dandasana (Inverted staff pose).
The different arm positions require different degrees of shoulder girdle release.
Shoulder extension back bends-Extension of the arms require scapula to be stabilized by rhomboids, lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles while the pectoralis majors and minors must release.
Shoulder flexion back bends– Flexion requires the rhomboids, lattismmi dorsi, pectoralis majors and triceps to release.
You practice Twisting Asanas in various sequences.
They penetrate deep into body stimulating kidneys, liver, spine freedom, chest opening, shoulder and neck opening. Active supine twists like jatharaparivartitasana (revolving twist pose), strengthen the abdominal obliques (required for reparation of Parsvakonasana, ashtavakrsana). Regular twisting helps to maintain normal lengthand resilience of spine soft tissue and health of vertebral disc and facet joints of the spine, restoring spines natural range of motion. Twists can be warming or cooling.
You practice Forward Bends in various sequences.
It stimulates lower chakras and our pelvis and abdominal organ. The release in forward bend starts from plantar fascia of feet, achille tendons, gastrocnemii and solei in lower legs, hamstring and adductors on the backs and inside of the thigh, glutus maximi, piriformis and quadratus lumborum muscles around the back of the pelvis and into the lower back, and then the muscles across the entire back, mainly the spinal erectors, multifidi, and latissimi dorsi. Wit force injury can occur to hamstrings or lower back . Student with disc injuries can explore asns like Dandasana, suptapadangusthasana.
You practice Hip Openers in various sequences.
All standing asanas and forward bends stretch the pelvis muscles, but it is seated, supne and prone position which give hip opening. Tight hips give back pain and restrict back bends and forward bends and give knee pain. Open hips help us to do padmasana. Free hips will create mobility for us in standing, back bending,and forward bending asanas.
You practice Inversions in various sequences.
Upside down means opposite relation to gravity. It reverses the effect of gravity on the body.It calms the nervous system, clears the brain and takes us towards meditation. With practice salamba sishasana becomes like tadasana. Student develop better muscle coordination and other poses become easy. The closest to this is Vipareetkarani.
It is the ultimate for reintegration after asana or pranayama. We suggest to our yogi student to lie on your back and put rolled cotton mat under the knee if they have back pain. Lift the chest and then lie back bringing more space in the chest. We give you inhale exhale and then minimal instruction to let the tension flow. We Allow the yogi student to become a witness and a sense of letting go a sense of detachment in the body.
If any of you (our student) want to leave early we suggest you to do Savasana before leaving. With deep inhalation stretch the arms overhead and roll to the left side and get up and meditate.
PRECAUTIONS FOR OUR YOGI STUDENT IN YOUR GUIDED YOGA CLASS
- Do not grasp for something that is out of reach. Practise Aparigraha yama.
- Do not be ignorant of what you are doing. Work on Avidya i.e ignorance.
- Do not get adjusted by a teacher with his or her Aparigraha or Avidya challenges.
- Be guided by the principle of Ahimsa (Non Hurting) and Satya (truth).
- Practise dedication, perseverance, patience and a healthy dose of non attachment.