In the yogic scriptures it is said that there were originally 8,400,000 asanas, which represent the 8,400,000 incarnations every individual must pass through before attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Down through the ages the great rishis and yogis have modified and reduced the number of asanas to the few hundred that are known today.
We’ve been dwelling on the third of the Eight Limbs of Yoga – asana. Along the way we’ve learnt some of the Sanskrit names. We’ll begin our class with a nice easy name to remember – dandasana the staff pose. Then we’ll move to the forward bend – paschimottonasana, and on to the backward bend – purvottonasana. We have a beautiful figurine in the centre of the yoga room this week demonstrating purvottonasana, the backward stretch.
Still seated, we’ll work with all the twists, finishing on the easy twist – vakrasana. Now let’s try a wide-legged forward bend to open the hips before attempting the half-lotus posture – ardha padmasana – and the full lotus pose – padmasana.
I love the half-camel and full camel poses! Ardha (meaning half) ustrasana and ustrasana itself. Then resting in swan. Do you remember the Sanskrit name for the swan pose?! Let’s continue to the mermaid which is a variation of bharadvajasana.
We’ll finish our asana work with cosmic egg, moving into the boat. Do you remember the Sanskrit name for the boat pose?!
Meditation is sama vritti pranayama – the square breath. Asanas open the energy channels, and we’re now quite ready to employ prana, life-force, life-giving energy.
Relaxation features the 22 body part relaxation whilst lying in savasana.
Next week is half-term. So, no class on May 31st. Have a great week!
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti