Namaste Dear Friends,
We hope you’ve had an excellent weekend and Mother’s day. This week’s classes include:
Hatha Yoga w/ Greg @ 1:30–2:45PM
Yoga for Men w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:30PM
Yin Yoga w/ Julie 6:45–8:00PM
Gentle Yoga w/ Julie @ 4:30–5:30PM
Vinyasa Flow w/ Julie @ 6:00–7:00PM
PWYC Express Flow w/ Julie @ 12–12:45PM
Hatha Yoga w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:45PM
Meditation (Pre-registration required) w/ Sarah @ 7:00–8:00PM Slow&Steady w/ Julie @ 8:30–9:45PM
Intro to Yin w/ Julie @ 4:30–5:30PM
Vinyasa Flow w/ Julie 5:45–7:00PM
Stretch&Unwind w/ Greg @ 12:00–1:00PM
Morning Flow w/ Greg @ 11:15–12:30PM
YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI
This week we will introduce the two types of superconscious states, or samadhi.
(Chapter 1, Sutras 17–18)
17. Vitarka-vicaranandasmitanugamat samprajnatah
18. Virama-pratyayabhyasa-purvah samskara-seso ‘nyah
17. Samprajnata samadhi (samadhi with consciousness) is accompanied by reasoning, discrimination, bliss and an awareness of individuality.
18. Asamprajnata samadhi (seedless state) is reached when al mental activity ceases and only unmanifested impressions remain in the mind.
Samprajnata samadhi involves full concentration with the experience of bliss, but duality still exists. In this case, awareness of the object of meditation remains as separate from the individual. Although we will not explicitly cover the four types of samprajnata samadhi, it is useful to highlight that they progress from the gross (in time and space) to the subtle (as the mind identifies with the Self).
Experience of samprajnata samadhi can be a very challenging time for the spiritual seeker as the more subtle elements of the embodied soul become purified and more apparent. The ego is ever ready to assert itself and show what “it” can do. Experiences of psychic abilities, astral projection and healing of self or others are common along the path, and Patanjali warns us over and over again not to be led astray by these abilities. Indeed, samprajnata samadhi is not an end in itself but is a state along the path.
The second type, asamprajnata samadhi, is the said to be “seedless”. It is the highest state of consciousness, in which there is no duality and the meditator is completely merged with the Absolute, which is beyond knowledge. Any objective experience is knowledge. If one sees Jesus, Krishna, Goddess, etc., it is objective knowledge. However, if one “knows” (for lack of a better word) with full embodiment that they are Jesus, Krishna, Goddess, etc., then this experience is beyond knowledge. No seeds are left to manifest in the form of desires or tendencies. This state of samadhi is relatively rare.
POSE OF THE WEEK
Upavishtha Konasana A (aka: seated angle posture)
••• a wide-legged seated posture in which the hands grasp the outside of the feet as the torso hinges forward from the hip. The full version has the torso and chin resting on the floor.
There are numerous modifications to this posture as it’s full version requires very open hips, hamstrings and lower back. Initially, the practitioner may wish to simply support the back with their hands beside the hips (or use a wall) and work towards a tall spine and straight legs. Hinging forward from the hips comes gradually and should never be rushed. Additionally, this is an excellent pose for resistance partner yoga, with each person facing each other with wide legs and grasping each other’s wrists.
The most common alignment problem with upavishtha konasana A is to prematurely round the back and collapse the lower spine in an effort bring the chest closer to the floor. Sitting on the edge of a firm blanket or pillow can assist in rotating the pelvis forward when tightness in the lower back and hamstrings is present. Moreover, using a prop can help to alleviate over-straining the sacroiliac ligaments and sciatic nerve by facilitating a forward tilt of the pelvis. Please speak with your instructors regarding other types of alignment problems with this posture and safe modifications for your body type.
Om Namah Shivaya