Namaste Dear Friends,
The following classes will be offered this week:
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) – WEEK OFF
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
A fortnight ago we examined the two types of samadhi: samprajnata (samadhi with consciousness) and asamprajnata (seedless state). This week we’ll explore samadhi in greater detail:
(Chapter 1, Sutras 20–23)
20. For humans, samadhi arises from faith, effort, memory, or the prior experience of samadhi.
21. Samadhi is closest to those who make the greatest effort for its attainment.
22. Success in a yogi’s effort for samadhi differs according to the means they adopt: mild, medium, or intense.
23. Or, samadhi comes from devotion/surrender to Ishwara.
Patanjali lists several methods by which samadhi may be realized. Strong faith alone – in Ishwara/God, guru or the higher Self – can lead to samadhi, as well as effort by way of yogic ascetic practices or memory of previous samadhis experienced in this or previous lives. It is said that samadhi generates samadhi as the lower tamasic and rajasic natures decrease and the sattvic nature increases. As with anything in life, success comes more quickly for those who make the greatest effort with the highest intensity. Finally, samadhi may be realized as a result of devotion to Ishwara.
Up to now in the Yoga Sutras, the two primary means of samadhi can be summarized as Ishwara Pranidhana (surrender to God) and Viveka (discrimination). Ishwara Pranidhana is one of the three main practices of kriya yoga and one of the five niyamas of the ashtanga yoga system. Perhaps no other principle has more importance in the Yoga Sutras than Ishwara Pranidhana as we are challenged with the loss of our deluded identity. Essentially, it is identical to Bhakti Yoga, or the Yoga of Devotion, in which the heart and its experience takes precedent over other outer or inner (mind) practices. Discrimination between the eternal and transient is vital for mastery of the fluctuations of the mind. It is the primary power that comes from practice and relates mainly to Jnana Yoga, or the Yoga of Knowledge.
Thus, both personal effort and Divine grace can result in samadhi, and they are highly correlated; indeed, grace descends most quickly on those who strive the fiercest. All other yogas are either based directly on this two-fold nature of practice and grace or they seek to develop it.
POSE OF THE WEEK
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose)
••• a backbend posture that helps to open the chest & shoulders and stretch the front body. While lying on the back, the knees are bent, feet (hip-width) are on the floor, and the arms lie along the body, palms down. The hips are then lifted toward the ceiling, the shoulders roll underneath the body, and the hands clasp together with straight arms beneath the pelvis.
Because this posture requires open shoulders, hip flexors, a relatively flexible spine, etc., several modifications are available. For instance, it can be challenging to clasp the hands under the body with tight shoulders/chest. In this case, the hands can simply push on the floor alongside the body. Additionally, blocks can be used under the sacrum to support a deeper backbend (high block) or a restorative pose (low block/blanket).
The most common alignment problems with bridge pose include splaying the knees outward and rolling onto the outside edges of the feet. To minimize the risk of neck injury, it is very strongly advised to never turn your hand while in bridge pose. Please speak with your instructors regarding other types of alignment problems with this posture and safe modifications for your body type.
Om Namah Shivaya