"everyday 20 minutes yoga is good?"

Yes! This question comes up almost every day in the searches that lead here. And that’s the whole reason for this blog: to say, “Yes, yes, yes! Yoga Every Day!”

And 20 minutes is brilliant. Maybe you pick three poses to work on today, or this week. Or five. It doesn’t matter. Make sure you have Savasana before you leave your mat so you can distill the essence of what you find there and carry it forward into the rest of your day and night. Maybe one day you do all pranayam, another is all mantra and yet another is all Sun Salutations. Beautiful! Answer the call of your embodied bliss – Sat, Chit, Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Bliss), Sanskrit: सच्चिदानंद.

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counterpose to camel

Our Noon class had as its pinnacle Ustrasana, or Camel pose. It’s such a vulnerable position, baring our underbelly and heart, making an offering of ourselves. We led up to it through Sun Salutations and the Warrior series, a very traditional class.

Our counterpose throughout was Balasana – Child’s pose. Sometimes very active – elbows and armpits raised, pressing down through the thumb side of the hand, the hips descending toward the heels – sometimes quite passive, surrendering and releasing.

Counterposes neutralize the effects of the preceeding pose, usually the effects on the spine. Thus, counterpose to backbends – forward folds. To twists, the other side. And, of course :), visa versa.

Given the courage required to bare your center in Ustrasana, Balasana is a natural returning to center, curling in, effecting singularity, a seedlike position, ready to spring forth, trekking on a journey of the soul.

counterpose and camel pose

I love seeing what searches bring you here! Two of the searches yesterday really made me think:

“counter pose to warrior III” &

“why does camel pose in yoga store emotion”.

I have been looking for what others think about camel pose – or ustrasana – and emotion for a while (see my blog on “camel terror”). I haven’t found a lot of guidance, but here’s what I’ve decided: Ustrasana doesn’t store emotion, rather it releases emotion, particularly emotions we’re storing in our bellies and hearts. The third and fourth, and even the fifth chakras’ physical seats are opened and activated in ustrasana, as well as the front channel, or meridian, of the body. Anything we’ve squirrelled away there is stirred up when we lean back and expose those areas of our bodies the way we do in camel pose.

For me, I feel my third chakra, the solar plexis, most riled up by leaning back into this pose. I physically feel emotion at that location and then it spreads up and to a lesser extent down. I think that, like camels who store water, we store emotion along the body parts stretched in camel, and this position is a really juicy way to let go of what we don’t need.

The counter pose question is really good. A counter pose is a pose that’s meant to balance the effects of a preceeding pose, like fish for shoulderstand, or back for forward bends (or visa versa). Now, Vira III – or Warrior III – is a one sided balance pose, so by one way of looking at it, the opposite side is the counter pose.  Counter poses are usually used to neutralize effects on the spinal column, and in Vira III the Spine is long and neutrally aligned, so there is no need to neutralize.  I was unable to find any listed counterposes in the sources I consulted.

So, that’s all for this session of “ask the yoga instructor” 🙂 I love looking through the searches, but also feel free to email me with your questions or yoga concerns:

yogaguides (at) gmail (dot) com 

Yoga ON!!!

from the searches…. "the reason of hand and leg bending"

“the reason of hand and leg bending”

For one,

the reason of hand and leg bending is muscles.

Nerve impulses sent to muscles

to contract and release,

ions releasing and traversing

allowing Z plates to rachet together,

release one another, to come together again.

But why the impulse? why the message?

Isn’t this always the question?

Perhaps it was a flower, or a baby,

perhaps a shock leading to collapse in tears,

legs bending, hand to face, shoulders sob.

or maybe it was longing, deep and elemental,

the one meditation and observation

hasn’t yet uprooted,

the one underlying some of the stickier joy in life.

Or maybe it was the jitterbug.

for dancing, hands and legs bend.

Or maybe it was for the pure, clear joy

of hand and leg bending just so they can release,

And bend again.