7/25 class – seated forward fold and twists

Greetings! It’s been a privilege to get back to class with all of you! Thank you for coming and bringing your beautiful presence.

This week we focused on folding forward from Dandasana, or Staff pose, and twisting. Dandasana is to seated asana what Tadasana (Mountain) is to standing – home base.

We focused on the sensations and position of our pelvises, especially relative to our low backs and also to our femurs/thighs. The pelvis is so important because when we move forward from sitting, our hamstrings (or back leg muscles) are already stretched. In order to move from our core, our pelvis must tilt forward like a bowl pouring water. This requires attention not to go beyond the point where our pelvis can tip further and to protect our lower backs (lumbar spines). That’s why we payed so much careful attention to lifting the pelvic floor and pulling the naval toward the spine. This internal support protects the back, strengthens the core, brings awareness to the root of movement and helps us lengthen from the backs of our legs without crunching the fronts of our backs.

Focus and attention on the core also helps us twist from our low bellies and get the most from the wringing action of spinal twists. Rather than leading with our shoulders, we initiate the twist from deepest muscles of our bellies and feel a more even, deep and supported spinal rotation. Depth is not the same as distance in a twist. It doesn’t matter at all how far you can turn your head or shoulders around. It matters a lot how much power you feel coming from your core and moving you into unexplored territory of your mind/body. Remember, you are twisting your abdomen and all it contains as well as your spine.

Finally, I told you I’d pass along the readings we listen to while setting our individual intentions. At the North Valley Senior Center, we read May Sarton, from Recovering, A Journal:

(she’s quoting from The Journals and Letters of the Little Locksmith, no author given:)

I think the secret of much of the unrest and dissatisfaction with one’s self
and longing for a more vivid, expressive existence is the thing planted deep
in everyone – turning toward the sun, the love of a virtue and splendor that
must be adored. One has an inward sense of harmony. I mean one recognizes,
by instinct, the celestial harmony and must try to adjust one’s natural
discord and dis-symmetry to match it. One is always trying to tune one’s
self to an unheard perfection.

At The Endorphin Power Company, I read from Theodore Roethke’s The Waking:


… Great Nature has another thing to do

To you and me; so take the lively air,

And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.

What falls away is always and is near.

I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.

I learn by going where I have to go.

Namaste.

7/25 class – part 1

7/25 class – part 2

7/25 class – part 3

7/25 class – part 4

Pratyahara

Tonight’s class we worked on movement with breath and turning the senses inward to how our body feels inside out… the only way that matters.

Bumble Bee Breath (Brahmari) is a meditative breathing practice to help us focus on sense withdrawal. Once our senses aren’t connected to outside stimulation we have a much better chance of witnessing truthfully our inner world and treating it with kindness (satya & ahimsa).

We focused on spinal mobility, opening and closing with front-opening spinal stretches. These are heart openers and help to elevate our moods as well as ease breathing.

I am honored by your presence and would also welcome your comments on what worked, what didn’t and how you felt after tonight’s class.

May your week bring you experimentation, observation and joy at whatever your findings may bring. Here’s to living “like a lion, completely free of all fear.” Namaste. cb

7.11 Endorphin Power Company Class (Part 1)