Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A lesson on Plate tectonics: how our physical reacts to yoga asana

This afternoon at practice something shifted for me. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was able to let go of an end result and just practice to see where I was led. I will list the sequence below as some is part of the amazing sequence from Abhi on Monday.

On Monday, Abhi taught a class to bring stability to the feet, legs, and hips. She used a brick to emphasize the work our inner feet need to do in order to maintain the grip of the outer hips in poses such as parsvottanasana and the standing parivritta's.  I wasn't entirely sure how much I could take at that moment, but as always, just trust the teacher (especially if they are fortunate enough to have the last name Iyengar) and go with it.  I did and I was rewarded.  Rewarded with a spine that felt incredibly relaxed,  abdominals that for once did not feel gripped, hips, legs, and feet that felt like they could support me.

The title of this blog was made up while I was working on matsyasana preparation this afternoon in the practice hall.  While in India, my plan was to work on this pose in particular and tailbone/hamstring actions in backbends.  Who knew they were all so closely related! I know anyone reading this who is my senior is thinking, "You are just now getting this..?"  Yep, I am just now getting this.  It takes coming to this hectic place to apparently slow me down enough to focus.

Tectonic shifting refers to the "...large scale motion of Earth's lithosphere........the lithosphere which is the rigid outermost shell of a planet, is broken up into techtonic plates......Plate movement is thought to be driven by a combination of the motion of the seafloor away from the spreading ridge...." -Wikipedia- (where else!)

After combining Abhis work, adding in a few other preparations, and the cue from my new friend here, I actually felt my outer hips grip in padmasana!  This grip enabled me to extend my frontal groins and keep my tailbone extended. No back pain, no hip pain, no pesky endo pain.  It was enlightening to say the least. So much was moving and shifting! I felt serene, happy, and felt expansion in parts I have never felt before. 

Below is the sequence.  Things go much faster dilly dallying. 

Adho Mukha Virasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Eka Pada Svanasana-at wall
Uttanasana-legs hip width
Paschima Namaskarasana
Parsvottanasana-brick in line with inner foot to teach the inner ankle to move to bring pressure to inner foot, this in turn goes into the outer hip muscles(this goes for all the standing poses)
Ardha Chandrasana
Prasarita Padottanasana
Parivrtta Trikonasana
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
Utthita Hasta Padasana at wall
Parsva Utthita Hasta Padasana at wall
Utthita Hasta Padasana-full pose
Baddhakonasana-brick in between feet
Upavistha Konasana
Parivritta Janusirsasana
Upavistha Konasana
Ardha Baddha Paschimottanasana
Upavistha Konasana
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasna
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Padmansana going forward
Matsyasana prep-on back bolster for knees to rest on-doing multiple times, holding sticky mat to fix tailbone, then lowering knees to bolster
Chatush Padasana

Doing laundry by hand and hang drying is no easy thing. Wringing out bath towels will make your hands very strong!


  1. सफलतायै अभिनन्दनम्
    saphalatAyai abhinandanam
    Hearty congratulations on your success

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