Nava Yoga Newsletter: Oct 17–23

Namaste Dear Friends,

We hope this finds everyone well and happy. Thank you to everyone who signed up for the meditation course offered by Sarah Thompson. The course is now full and will begin on Monday Oct 24th at 7:00PM. Another session will likely be offered sometime next year for those who missed out.

Next Monday, Oct. 24th also marks the start of Greg’s weekly devotional music program, called Bhakti Beats, on CHMA 106.9 from 8AM to 9AM. Feel free to send us any of your favourite devotional music—of any spiritual or religious background—so that he can get your requests on air.

All of this week’s classes include:

~~~~~~~~

Monday:

Yoga for Men w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:30PM

Tuesday:

Vinyasa Flow w/ Leanne @ 5:30–6:30PM

Gentle Yoga w/ Leanne @ 7:00–8:15PM

Wednesday:

Hatha Yoga w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:45PM

Intro to Yoga w/ Greg @ 7:00–8:00PM

Saturday:

Morning Flow w/ Greg @ 10:00–11:15AM

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POSE OF THE WEEK:

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

••• a seated twisting posture. The left foot, for example, is placed near the right buttock while the right foot is placed on the outside of the left knee. Several variations for the arms exist depending on one’s flexibility, including simply drawing the right knee toward the chest with both hands or bringing the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. The right hand can then either support the frame by being placed on the floor or the right arm can bind around the back while the hand grabs the upper left leg. The posture is repeated for the other side.

Regardless of one’s arm/hand positions, emphasis should be placed on lengthening through the spine with a strong foundation through both sit bones prior to twisting. Practitioners must be mindful to rotate along the central axis of the spine rather than bend the spine forwards/backwards/sideways for a “deeper twist”.

Please speak with your instructors this week regarding safe modifications for your body type as they introduce you to other aspects of Ardha Matsyendrasana and how it relates to all twisting postures.

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YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

Last week we introduced the three qualities of nature or gunas (i.e., sattwa, rajas, and tamas) and how our attraction/aversion to them creates pain. The notion that the gunas exist solely for one’s experience and liberation is developed further in this week’s sutras.

(Chapter 2, Sutras 23–27)

23. The purpose of the union of Purusha and Prakriti is that the former gains awareness of its true nature and realizes its latent powers and those in Prakriti.

24. The cause of this union is avidya.

25. With the elimination of avidya comes the disappearance of the association of Purusha and Prakriti, and the Seer is liberated.

26. The means of destroying avidya is unbroken discrimination.

27. Enlightenment is reached through seven steps.

Purusha and Prakriti are the unmanifest and manifest, the Seer or True, Absolute Self and the seen, also called Shiva and Shakti in certain circles. It is said that without Shakti, Shiva has no expression, and without Shiva, Shakti has no existence. A helpful analogy in this regard is to view Purusha as the movie screen and Prakriti all the drama that unfolds on it.

Broadly, Prakriti is comprised of the three gunas to varying extents. Sutra 23 states that the purpose of the Purusha/Prakriti union is to gain awareness of latent power. Ignorance or avidya (i.e., forgetting our divinity) causes the interplay between Purusha and Prakriti, and when avidya is replaced by illumination there no longer is the need for the individual soul to exist in the material world and the Seer/Self is liberated. Patanjali states that the means of destroying ignorance is unbroken discrimination, and Sutra 27 states that this may be achieved in just 7 steps!

We’ll explore these steps more fully in the next few weeks.

Om Namah Shivaya

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