This blog began as a way of sharing my experiences throughout my yoga teacher training. Since that training has been completed, and I am currently a seminary student. I will continue to chronicle my experiences and share them with you on my yogic journey. Further down the rabbit hole we go.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Strike A Pose!
Okay for the first time today since having new teachers, yoga school was excellent! Oddly enough I believe it's because we are getting back to our roots. We had morning practice and, we had the most amazing workshop on one asana: Bhujangasana (Cobra). Insert JI Joe reference! Today our poses seemed to be so....dynamic, nothing was static. One teacher even taught tadasana in a way that made us all sweat! F'ing amazing! If I may use such language to describe today's yoga teaching and practice. Back to cobra. A few weeks ago we had most of our asanas taught by gifted a teacher named Dawn Priebe. I remember that when she had us in cobra, she said that one of her students described it as "like making love to the floor!" It sounds a little strange for a yoga posture, but every adult in the room got what she meant by it. Press the pelvis firmly into the mat. In Bhujangasana your pelvis should be cemented to the floor. The hands are just beside the shoulders, the arms and elbows are tightly knitted to your side body and of course the shoulders are down away from the ears and the scapula are reaching down the back and close together. The tops of the feet are pressed into the mat and you are recking your pedicure. The thighs are engaged, so your knees and shins are lifted off the mat, with the tops of the feet and thighs remaining firmly pressed into the mat. The pelvis continues to be pressed firmly into the mat and you squeeze the gluteal muscles together like you're trying to hold a walnut between them. Your abs are engaged as you inhale and lift the torso off the mat. Look forward. Shoulders remain down and away from the ears. Breathe. The lower back is working here, but not to a point of pain. The muscles here are actively engaged but not straining. If it feels uncomfortable on the low back, make sure that all of the muscles described earlier here are engaged. You should be able to lift the hands off the mat for 15-30 seconds with the torso still off the mat. Keep the breath strong and steady, deep and even. The shoulders are not in play here. Though you may use the hands firmly planted into the floor to propel you upward, that is all they do or you may extend the arms out behind you. This way the pose is dynamic. The muscles of the lower extremities are fully engaged and your are bringing much needed strength into the lower back. As you lift up and look forward open the chest. Allow the heart to melt forward. Breathe. Feel the extension in the spine as the cobra lifts to strike.