STEP BY STEP AND SPECIAL DEDICATIONS
FEBRUARY 15, 2010: Today's class is dedicated to three of my friends and longtime TBY students Ashley, Jennifer and John all celebrating birthday's today and yesterday! Our birthday's serve as a positive reminder that we didn't just arrive to today out of the blue. We had to take many steps in our personal journey's to be where we find ourselves in this moment.
Other people's birthday's remind us too to take stock of where we have come from, take responsibility for it (gosh that part is hard), stop trying to rewrite the past but simply acknowledge what steps have been walked and then make a conscious choice of the direction we want this next year to go.
The very first Yoga Sutra Chapter 1, Verse 1 states "Now begins the study of yoga" or put in real person yoga terms..."Once upon a time." The story begins where we are but for any and all of us the book of our lives has fallen open to the book of our life already in process. Now it could be chapter 10 or 29 or 39 but wherever it is the story has much more to be written. That's where the yoga really comes into play. And I mean play. If you believe that our true nature (which yoga suggests wholeheartedly) is to be happy the the world is our playground. Where do you want to see yourself playing your life story out next?
This philosophy of starting where you are and building from there STEP BY STEP is one definition of Vinyasa Krama as a life philosophy and a sequencing technique. Take downward dog for instance. This one pose is an important step in preparing us for a million or more than a million other yoga poses. For instance, handstand! But don't freak out...this doesn't mean that the same day we learn downward dog we race to learn handstand within 30 minutes. This is a step by step process and it takes time. Yoga is not a quick fix.
So this week please join me Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday where during each of my classes we will take the foundational steps through the embracing and practicing of downward facing dog to prepare us for taking the step of Handstand maybe in this lifetime or in the next one. This allows us to work at our own pace and my teaching methods and techniques will be customized to class level, time of day, and what everyone's energy feels like too. So don't stop taking steps because you read handstand and get scared.
Whatever challenge, hurt, difficulty you are facing in your life please use this practice on the mat to come with you to help you take one step at a time in moving your life forward in the most positive way! Love to you all, Silvia
(And I want to say a special thank you to my brother Fred for his continued grounding and my best friend for their undying support and love. What I learned from you both even just today I offer with an open heart to all my students)
MONDAY FEB 15TH DOG POSE TO HANDSTAND CLASS PLAN
Step by step - Downdog prepares us for handstand class 2/15/10: Here is my class plan for what we practiced on Monday. enjoy! And keep rocking out your handstands 5 minutes every day my friends. Love!! Silvia
WAVE 1 Student Demonstration of Down Dog and Basic Vinyasa (3 different stages)
WAVE 2 Table Puppy/cat Puppy cat hold lift knees Puppy/dog
K1 Modified Plank with low cobra
K2 Plank with high cobra
K3 Plank to chatarunga with Up Dog
WAVE 3 High lunge twist circle arm 3 x's Side angle twist circle arm 3 x's (prepares us to open to W2) Warrior 2 Side angle Reverse straight leg Basic Vinyasa 1 leg or regular from 1 leg dog (or wait in Downdog)
WAVE 4 FF wrist stretch Urdva hastasana Chair Half chair 3 x's proggresive lunge back High lunge, tap knee lunge push up, arms up and fly back 3 x's Basic Vinyasa 1 leg or regular from 1 leg dog (or wait in Downdog) K2 - chair crane w3 high lunge tap knee, high lunge, w2 side angle reverse vinyasa with core plank to handstand jump
WAVE 5 Child Bharavajrasana left Ardha Matsy right Standing splits Handstand prep or hops Crow Basic Vinyasa DownDog Side 2
WAVE 6 - AT WALL Supine cobbler Plow or Apanasana to Malasana Jumps Cobbler dog jumps at wall Handstand both feet Handstand 1 legged Supine cobbler Savasana
BENEFITS OF DOWNWARD FACING DOG
JANUARY 8TH, 2010: Great times had on teaching a mini-workshop on the practice of Downward Facing Dog. And we then took apart the Basic Vinyasa (Downward Dog, Plank, Chatarunga, Upward Facing Dog, Downward Dog). It was an extravaganza of practice, props, partnering together leading to an amazing experience! Love to you all who braved the snow, Silvia
Benefits of Downward Facing Dog
The role of downward facing dog is vast. Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include:
- Stronger hands, wrists, low-back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon
- Decrease in back pain by strengthening the entire back and shoulder girdle
- Elongated shoulders and shoulder blade area
- Decrease in tension and headaches by elongating the cervical spine and neck and relaxing the head
- Deepened respiration
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased full-body circulation
For the regular person or yogi, downward facing dog elongates and lengthens the back. Think about how critical this is for someone who works in an office who is hunched over at a desk all day. As a matter of fact, most people--from office workers to drivers, teachers and moms--are in a constant forward bend all day and would benefit immensely by stretching and lengthening the back shoulders and front body. Additionally, downward facing dog is a mild inversion since the head is lower than the hips, and inversions are great for increasing blood flow to the brain and eyes. And because it stimulates the nervous system, it also helps with memory and concentration.
For the athlete, this pose is essential for assessing postural needs and imbalances. It is an important habit for athletes to check themselves frequently for problems. This pose is a gentle way for athletes to open the hamstrings for quickness and speed, stretch shoulders, and keep wrists strong and supple--for grip strength in baseball and for pushing on the offensive line. Keeping the lower back open and strong, complimenting a strong core is important for agility on fields from soccer and football to tennis and golf, this is especially important for Cyclists too. Finally, the pose helps to stretch toes, calves and arches, and feet--and having flexible feet translates directly to speed in any sport that involves running.