We begin the new year in our Saturday classes with an exploration of Ashaya yoga. Many of you had the wonderful opportunity last weekend to take one or more workshops with Todd Norian on The Art of Masterful Living through Yoga.
Ashaya yoga is a style of yoga founded by Todd Norian and combines biomechanical alignment techniques with the cultivation of heart virtues.
Ashaya Yoga has 4 “Essentials”. The “Essentials” help integrate body, mind and soul into each pose so your yoga practice is more than just physical exercise. It is a delightful exploration of your entire being and helps shape who you are both on and off the mat.
The 1st Essential is “Open to the Universal”.
For me, Open to the Universal is how to move beyond the physical expression of your poses by inviting in the reflective aspects of your mind and heart. To open is to accept that providence plays a role in your life and that your independent will power can only take you so far. It is the willingness to surrender the outcome of your poses for the quality of the journey. “Open” is related to the sky element and helps cultivate spaciousness within your practice.
There are several key aspects of opening:
1. Soften: let go, become sensitive, become aware, feel.
2. Breathe: inflate your prana body, fill your prana body from your pelvis up to the neck, invite the light of the Universe to fill you, drape your muscles over the fullness of your prana body, lengthen your torso and become as big as the sky. (*see below for a brief explanation of the prana body).
3. Place the foundation of your pose with intention to become a better person by cultivating qualities such as steadiness, compassion, gratitude, patience and joy.
Your prana body is one of the five Koshas. Koshas might be thought of as layers or sheaths that encase your soul.
1. Annamaya Kosha– is the physical body, more often translated as the food body
2. Pranamaya Kosha– is part of the subtle body. It is the energy body. Prana is the life force.
and enters your physical body via your breath.
3. Manomaya Kosha– mental body, relates to the thought processes
4. Vijnanamaya Kosha – wisdom body, intellectual body, intuition, judgement, discernment
5. Ananadamaya Kosha – is the bliss body.
Our physical practice today focused on headstand with an invitation and education on how to practice headstand at home.
May your week be filled with a remembrance of the Universal and a willingness to open to a bigger energy.