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Sunday, June 19, 2011

What does OM mean?

6.19.11  OM~~~
Starseed Yoga and Wellness of Montclair, NJ

What does OM mean?  It is a representation of everything!  In Sanskrit, AUM=OM, the letters A+U=O.  It is our connection to the Divine.  In my tradition, each class begins with an opening chant, which is or begins with OM.  Right off the bat, whether we know it or not, the mantra is effecting us on a very deep spiritual level.  Yoga means to join, yoke, unify.  Chanting the mantra OM envokes the connection of the individual consciousness to the Supreme Consciousness.  "A" is the first sound and represents creation, the "U" sound is created by rollling the sound forward over the tongue and represents evolution, and "M" is created by the hum of your lips and represents dissolution. 

Class began with Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) for the opening breath awareness.  Smooth and even out the cycle of breath.  Inhale for four counts, exhale for four counts.  Let go of any tension or distracting thoughts and just breathe.  Sit up in a crossed legged position for 3 OM's and opening discussion of OM.  Introductions.  

Tabletop and discussion of foundation.  The foundation of any pose is any part of the body making contact with the ground.  Just as in construction, the foundation of a house is the base.  In yoga, we work from the base up, the foundation up.  I will refer to the foundation of the poses throughout the class.  Chakravakasana (cat/cow), table balance, Balasana (child's pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog), lunge, Adho Mukha Svanasana at the wall with a block to rest the forehead on - using all three heights of the block slowly increasing the stretch.  Uttanasana (standing forward bend).  Surya Namaskara 2x, Virabhadrasana II > Parvrtti Virabhadrasana (reverse warrior) > Parsvakonasana (side angle pose) 3x.  Virabhadrasana I (warrior I) > Parsvottanasana (sideways extension pose) 3x, Malasana (squat pose) > Uttanasana 3x.  Bhujangasana (cobra pose) 3x.  Setubhanda Sarvangasana (bridge pose) with a block under the sacrum at all three heights.  Apanasana (yoga hug or knees into chest).  Leg lifts, Apanasana, rock and roll, Navasana (boat pose), Apanasana, Sucirandhrasana (ankle to knee pose), Savasana (corpse pose) with guided relaxation.  Played the throat chakra and the root chakra crystal singing bowls to come out of Savasana. 

"Peace is your nature.  Do not disturb it."  - Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carrera

Class ended with students in a seated crossed legged position.  Close your eyes, sit quietly and observe the benefits of today's yoga.  One final OM and the closing peace chants:

Asaato 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 Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu
May the entire universe be filled with Peace and Joy, Love and Light.

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