December 8, 2015
– Adho Mukha Virasana
– Adho Mukha Svanasana
– Utthita Trikonasana
– Ardha Chandrasana x 3
– Virabhadrasana 1 to 3 x 3
– Upa Vista Konasana
– Malasana – feet apart
– Malasana – feet together
– Janu Sirsasana
– Triang Mukha Pada Pashimottanasana
– Chatush Padasana
– Salamba Sarvangasana
– Salamba Sarvangasana – dropping back into Setu Bandha several times
The poses in the class were beautifully linked together.
In terms of standing poses there was an emphasis on the balancing ones working the legs firmly; in Ardha Chandrasana we had to work the back leg strongly so from that steadiness we could open the chest.
The second variation involved turning the foot of the standing leg slightly out to create more space in the groin and then doing the classical version again.
In Virabhadrasana 3 we moved into the pose from Virabhadrasana 1 with the arms extending forwards. It is not easy to maintain the space in the chest so she asked us to spread our arms to the side as we went from 1 to 3. It was a nice feeling in the chest. We tried to reproduce the feeling by doing the classical version again. There was a rhythm to the way she taught the one legged poses – stabilizing the standing leg first, then stabilizing the uplifted leg and opening the chest from there.
A lot of time was spent in Sirsasana, particularly Ardha Sirsasana. She explained the foundation of the pose by instructing to cut the forearms sharply into the floor and to maintain the space between the forearms and the shoulders – she referred to this space as ‘Windows’ and the importance of keeping them open to protect the neck. Several times we walked the feet in resisting with the thoracic region and observing the length in the side body trying to keep both sides even.
Then we lifted one leg at a time trying to avoid the collapse on the opposite side and making the lifted leg strong. Finally went up into Sirsasana itself which was quite a relief. Ardha Sirsasana is twice as difficult as Sirsasana!!!
After doing Salamba Sarvangasana we dropped into Setu Bhanda several times with a lot of emphasis on chest opening.
We had a short break and then did Pranayama with chest support. We did Brahmari in both the lying and seated variations.
The afternoon session was entitled ‘Revisiting Guruji’s Teaching’. This was a video of the workshop that he taught to celebrate his 75th Birthday. It took place in Panchgani. It was really enjoyable to watch and he covered some of the poses taught earlier by Geetaji with similar points presented. We had a chance to ask questions about Guruji’s teaching for clarification. I’m not sure if the video of that teaching is available, but I would highly recommend it based on what we saw today.