108 Postural Practice Pointers – 35 – The Pratikriyāsana needs to be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted

How do we know that a student is ready to attempt
a more progressive Āsana such as Sarvāṅgāsana?

From following a core principle in the teachings of Vinyāsa Krama.
In that, the Pratikriyāsana for a particular Āsana needs
to be mastered before that particular Āsana is attempted.

For example, if we want to teach Sarvāṅgāsana,
because it will have a specific potential for the particular student,
then we teach the Pratikriyāsana Bhujaṅgāsana first.

So the student first works around Bhujaṅgāsana
within their personal practice and the information that arises
guides the teacher as to their readiness for, in this case, Sarvāṅgāsana.

The information arising from observing how
the student practices Bhujaṅgāsana guides
the teacher as to the appropriateness of Sarvāṅgāsana.
The information that feeds back may be on the level
of Annamaya, Prāṇamaya, Manomaya or beyond.
Obviously, this implies that we are observing the student’s practice directly.

Once the student shows an adequate performance of Bhujaṅgāsana
and it can be integrated into their existing personal practice,
then we can be more secure that the student is ready to approach
integrating Sarvāṅgāsana into their regular practice.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana & Mudrā Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 34 – Pratikriyāsana have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles

PKA_2015

Pratikriyāsana have counterpostural, compensational and transitional roles
and are applied at specific points in the practice in order to
maintain a sound physiological and psychological base.

This principle has an important role in how
we link the different aspects of the Āsana practice,
how we close the practice or how we integrate the Āsana
element of the practice into other aspects of our Yoga practice.

There are specific guidelines around how
they can be integrated into the practice,
the first of which is that the counter posture needs to
be mastered before a particular Āsana is attempted.

This principle is especially important when
attempting to integrate more complex Āsana such as
Sarvāṅgāsana and Bhujaṅgāsana into our practice.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana & Mudrā Practice Techniques Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 33 – When considering the Viniyoga of Pratikriyāsana…

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When considering the Viniyoga of Pratikriyāsana
within a student’s personal practice,
it may help to look at the integration of
their intended role from three perspectives.

Firstly their intended role as a counterposture,
thus more from a physiological perspective.
Secondly their intended role as a compensation,
thus more from a psychological perspective.
Thirdly their intended role as a transition,
thus more from a sequential perspective.

Appropriate integration of these three
principles constitute an essential component in
the Vinyāsa Krama utilised within practice planning.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 32 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the chest and the legs

Postural Pointer – 32 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the chest and the legs

In Bhujaṅgāsana the Bhāvana is in the chest
and on keeping the legs down.
In Śalabhāsana the Bhāvana is in the legs
and on keeping the legs up.
In Dhanurāsana the Bhāvana is in the legs
and on keeping the chest down.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 31 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the pelvis and the spine

Postural Practice Pointers – 31 – Bhāvana on the relationship between the pelvis and the spine

The mortar must be a strong base,
for the pestle to be worked strongly.
In other words,
the pelvic area must be a strong base,
for the spine to be worked strongly.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 30 – Bhāvana on the transition from Standing Āsana to Lying Āsana

Postural Practice Pointer 30 – Bhāvana on the transition from Standing Āsana to Lying Āsana

In terms of the transition within
a Vinyāsa Krama from standing
Āsana to lying Āsana and beyond.
Choose not to lie down for  Śavāsana
until you feel you don’t need to lie down.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 29 – Bhāvana on the rear leg when moving in and out of Parśva Uttānāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 29 – Bhāvana on the rear leg when moving in and out of Parśva Uttānāsana

In keeping with the Bhāvana in Parśva Uttānāsana
around the intelligent leg being the rear leg.
Consider when entering and leaving the pose dynamically
paying attention to the rear leg remaining a working leg;
within the tendency for the front leg to increasingly
become the supporting leg as the body lowers and
the bracing leg as the trunk is raised upwards.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 28 – Bhāvana when staying in Ardha Matsyendrāsana

matsyendrasana

Postural Practice Pointer 28 – Bhāvana when staying in Ardha Matsyendrāsana

In terms of weight bearing pressure on the front foot and rear hand.
Keep all the toes on the front foot as if nailed to the ground, and the
ground contact weight in the rear fingers, as if as light as a feather.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 27 – Bhāvana when working with Vīrabhadrāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 27 – Bhāvana when working with Vīrabhadrāsana

Feet –
Front Leg Focus on Toes Down
Rear Leg Focus on Heel Down

Knees –
Front Knee Bent Forwards
Rear Knee Straightened Backwards

Hips –
Front Leg Hip Lifted Backwards
Rear Leg Hip Lifted Forwards

Shoulders –
Front Leg Shoulder Drawn Back
Rear leg Shoulder Drawn Forward

Spine –
Upper Back and Chest Arching Forwards
Resisting the Lower Back from Bending Backwards

(View Post or Download PDF Expanding these suggestions)

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 26 – Bhāvana when moving or staying in Dvipāda Pīṭham

Postural Practice Pointer 26 – Bhāvana when moving or staying in Dvipāda Pīṭham

When lifting or staying within the Pūraka focus on
drawing upwards, as if raising from the chest,
rather than just raising as if from the hips.
When lowering or staying within the Recaka focus on
not collapsing down, but drawing in from the abdomen,
rather than the body just dropping as if from the hips.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 25 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Arms

Postural Practice Pointer 25 – Forward Bending and the Role of the Arms

When moving out of Paścimatāna Āsana such as Uttānāsana.
Focus on the arms bringing the back up.
Rather than the back bringing the arms up.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 24 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the arms……

Postural Practice Pointer 24 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the arms.

With regard to Dvi Pāda Pīṭham, a key Bhāvana is on how we use the arms.
In the beginning try exploring leaving out raising the arms as you come up,
as shoulder movement means that people can start to move about on the mat.
Here we need to focus on lifting the body upwards as many people slide backwards.
Also many people will push up too much from the buttocks and distend the belly,
which in turn will increase the abdominal pressure and disturb the Apāna Sthāna.
So initially when learning this posture the Bhāvana of lifting from the feet is enough.
Then adding the engagement of a Bhāvana on the arms, by making the arms active.
Thus whilst lifting engage pushing the full length of the arms down firmly on the floor.
Once the legs are active and the arms are active, the neck can lengthen more naturally.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 23 – Bhāvana for the Hips in Parśva Uttānāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 23 – Bhāvana for the Hips in Parśva Uttānāsana

When moving into Parśva Uttānāsana.
Lift the forward leg hip up and
draw the rear leg hip forward.
When coming up from Parśva Uttānāsana.
Keep the forward leg hip lifted and
the rear leg hip drawn forward.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 22 – The slower the breath the longer the movement…..

Postural Practice Pointer 22 – The Slower the Breath

The slower the breath,
the longer the movement.
The longer the movement,
the stronger the effect.
The stronger the breath,
the slower the movement.
The slower the movement,
the longer the effect.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 21 – Backbends disturb the length and quality of the exhale……

Postural Practice Pointer 21 – Backbends disturb the exhale

Backbends disturb the length and quality of the exhale,
in that they impact the Apāna and push the Mūla downwards.
Thus we need to consider an appropriate Pratikriyā Āsana
to compensate for this disturbance to the Apāna Sthāna.
Hence Pratikriyā such as Apānāsana to restore the Apāna.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Postural Practice Pointer 20 – Bhāvana for moving within Forward Bends

Keep the arms up as you go down
Thus moving down from
Apāna Sthāna to Prāṇa Sthāna.
Lift the arms first as you come up.
Thus moving up from
Prāṇa Sthāna to Apāna Sthāna.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet……

Postural Practice Pointer 19 – In Dvipāda Pīṭham a key Bhāvana is on the feet.

With regard to Dvi Pāda Pīṭham, a key Bhāvana is on the feet.
A common approach is people not working from their feet.
Instead they are primarily using their buttocks to push up.
Desikachar taught that we both lift and lower from the feet
Thus Two Foot Support is controlled by using both feet.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

Postural Practice Pointer 18 – Always weight on the feet not on the hands.

With regard to Āsana where the hands are placed on the ground,
the weight should not be on them.
So always weight on the feet not on the hands.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 17 – Bhāvana for moving into Sālambana Bhujaṅgāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 17 – Bhāvana for moving into Sālambana Bhujaṅgāsana

1. Keeping the chin in Jālandhara Bandha till the effect is felt
in the lower back will support extending the upper back.
2. Keeping the abdomen firm as you inhale will help to concentrate
the breath into the Prāṇa Sthāna, as well as minimising the
effect of the downward pressure on the Apāna Sthāna.

(See also Postural Practice Pointer 9)
Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 16 – A little movement in a lot of places……

Postural Practice Pointers 16 – A little movement in a lot of places

One principle taught to me by Desikachar,
related to our relationship with our spine from a Yoga perspective,
whether on a physical, energetic or psychic level.
It is the notion that we are looking for a little movement in a lot of places,
rather than a lot of movement in a few places.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 15 – Forward Bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 15 – Forward bending and Prāṇa to Apāna Breathing

When moving away from the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if arching from the arms and upper back,
before ultimately arching from the lower back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on inhaling from Prāṇa Sthāna towards Apāna Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the upper chest towards the lower abdomen.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 14 – Forward Bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

Postural Practice Pointer 14 – Forward bending and Apāna to Prāṇa Breathing

When bending towards the lower limbs during forward bend Āsana,
move firstly by as if rounding from the lower back,
before ultimately rounding from the upper back.
In terms of a Bhāvana during the movement,
the focus is on exhaling from Apāna Sthāna towards Prāṇa Sthāna.
Thus breathing as if from the lower abdomen towards the upper chest.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 13 – The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 13 – The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana

The Lakṣana of Parśva Trikoṇāsana, or side triangle pose,
is as a movement OF the spine to the side over one leg,
rather than as a bending or arcing IN the spine towards the side.
Thus the aim is for the spine to stay straight relative to the leg,
with the intention of extending it from crown to coccyx.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 12 – The Viniyoga of Daṇḍāsana

Postural Practice Pointer 12 – The Viniyoga of Daṇḍāsana

“The starting point determines the journey.”

  • Legs are together unless some anatomical reason why this is not possible
  • The sides of the feet are maintained together, stretch the back of the heels
  • A key point here is having active hips, releasing the knees can activate the hips
  • Someone who is stiff in spine and legs will certainly need to release the knees
  • Release the knees as much as is required to extend the spine towards vertical
  • Someone who is flexible may also need to release the knees so as to activate hips
  • Shoulder blades are back, feel the channel between the shoulder blades
  • Back of the neck drawn up to help lift chest up
  • Hands or fingers on the ground back by hips but not weight bearing

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 11 – Vinyāsa for Jaṭhara Parivṛtti

Postural Practice Pointer 11 – Vinyāsa for Jaṭhara Parivṛtti

This is a suggestion for a Vinyāsa for approaching and leaving Jaṭhara Parivṛtti.
When lowering from the upward raised legs position use one long exhale,
but through two distinct stages of movement.
The first part of the exhale is to lower the knees over the chest.
The second part of the exhale is used to rotate the trunk into the twist.
The exit is the exact counterpart with one inhale and two stages of movement.
The first part of the inhale brings the knees over the chest.
The second part of the inhale extends the legs upwards.
A suggestion for Bhāvana is to gradually increase the stay.
For example stay one breath each side the first time
and then increase the stay next time to two breaths each side
and finally stay three breaths each side.
As to breathing a suggested ratio of 1.0.1.0. during both movement and stay.

Link to Series: 108 Postural Practice Pointers