In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.
Less and less is done
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.
-Lao Tsu Tao Te Ching #48
Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English
Regularity - "every day something is acquired" - do something small everyday for your peace and then share it with others - a little bit everyday goes a long way. It is better to have a short, regular and firmly grounded practice than to practice once a week. The full benefits of yoga are experienced through regular practice.
"A practice becomes firmly grounded when attended to for a long time, without break, and with enthusiasm." (Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.14)
Tao - "every day something is dropped" - speaks about attachments - the grasping for happiness through external sources diminishes as we realize and wake up to the truth about our Selves - we are one and the same - our soul is satcidananda - eternal, knowledge, and blissful.
Living in the Present - "letting things take their course" - not reaching for the next best thing but rather allowing the universe to bring what it will.
In the new year let us be more attentive to living in the moment so we can open our hearts to the wide open ocean of love that surrounds us. Let us be filled with gratitude and inspiration to be firmly grounded with our yoga practices. Remember, a little bit goes a long way.
Sequence: Salamba Balasana (supported child's pose) centering and breath awareness, Sukhasana (easy seat) for 3 OM's and opening discussion, Virasana (hero's pose) arm butterfly to open the shoulderblades, Urdhva Baddhanguliyasana (upward bound hands), Ardha Gomukasana arms (half cow face pose), wide Uttanasana (standing forward bend) > Malasana (squat pose) 2x,Uttanasana, Utkatasana (chair pose) > Uttanasana 2x, Tadasana (mountain pose), Garudasana (eagle pose), Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (extended hand to foot pose), Vrksasana (tree pose), Surya Namaskara (sun salutation) 3x, lunge, high lunge, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog), Virabhadrasana II (warrior II) > Trikonasana (triangle pose), Balasana (child's pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana > Virabhadrasana II > Parsvakonasana (Wide angle stretch), Parsarita Padattonasana (wide leg standing forward bend), Dandasana (staff pose), Paschimottanasana (west back stretch), Janu Sirsasana (head to knee pose), thigh massage, foot massage, lying on back hug the knees into the chest and rock side to side to release any lower back tension, Anandabalasana (happy baby pose), ankle to knee pose, Savasana (corpse pose) with guided relaxation.
Optional meditation and pranayama following the asana portion of class.
OMkaraam Bindu Samyuktam
Nityam Dhyaayanti Yoginaha
Kaamadam Mokshadam Chaiva
OMkaaraaya Namo Namaha
OM, united with source
On which the yogis ever dwell
Grants desires and liberation
Salutations to the OMKaram.
Pranayama - Deergha Swaasam - three part breath - inhale into the abdomen, the ribs and the chest, exhale from the chest down into the ribs, the abdomen. Fill the abdomen, then expand the ribs, and finally fill the chest. Repeat several times. Flowing into...
Breath Meditation - counting - inhale one exhale one, inhale two exhale two... inhale ten exhale ten, inhale nine exhale nine... inhale one exhale one. Counting slowly and silently one to ten and then returning to one. 2x lasting about ten minutes. Let go of any distracting thoughts and bring your mind to a place that is peaceful, clear, and one-pointed. If you get distracted, feel free to start over with the counting. Its ok to wander, just come back to counting the breath. The breath is the link between the body and the mind. With slow and even breathing, we have a calm and focused mind.
Ending peace chants:
Asato Maa Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
Lead us from unreal to Real
Lead us from darkness to the Light
Lead us from the fear of death
To the knowledge of Immortality.
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Lokaah Samataah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be free and happy. May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light.