Yoga Classes, Week of March 15-21, 2014: A Transition Focused, Front Line Opening, Twisty Balance Class
We have a general plan each week, an idea really, behind every class in the week. I riff off these plans and sometimes, when bodies and experiences warrant, chuck it completely. But this is where you can check in and see some of the poses you probably experienced in class and maybe find some inspiration for your home practice.
This week we focused on transitions. Transitions may be the most important part of our practice, because without sustaining concentration, mindfulness and the breath through these "in between" parts, we can loose the mojo of a whole practice. To carry each pose through to the next, attending to alignment, foot placement, whole body integration, breath and drshti (or focus of the gaze) creates the most meditative container for practice.
I didn't draw transitions out, but they're implied in the transition from standing to balance poses dynamically. Generally we take a transition series like this three times on each side. So the first couplet is Utkatasana, or Fierce Pose, to Vrksasana Preparation, or Tree Prep. Modify as you require, for instance beginners will want to consider coming to Tadasana, or Mountain, in between. Same with the next couplet from Vrkasana Preparation to Virabhadrasana, or Warrior, I variation with the heel up and back.
There are strong heart and hip opening features of these poses, though I prefer to think of the fascial lines, and the predominant focus of this series is the Superficial Front Line, though the Deep Front, Superficial Back, Lateral and Spiral are all impacted - as they are in nearly every yoga pose. Yoga works profoundly at the level of fascia, so I find it useful to think of these lines preferentially to the joints or specific muscles in isolation.
Let me know if you try this class or the series and ideas in it, I'd love to know your experience!
Tune in on Saturdays for class plans and discussions. Thank you for your practice. _/l\_