All this week I am subbing for others at Sangha Yoga Collective in Downtown Lowell. It’s still soon enough after Thanksgiving to do a post–holiday detox flow. So Apāna Vāyu, one of the forms of Prāṇa Vāyu, is an appropriate focus and theme.
But this vital energy is about so much more than elimination, about letting go of what does not serve.
In a subtle but vital sense, the apana vayu has much to do with our power of decisiveness and self- determination, both of which turn upon our power of choice. Choice demands not only the affirmation of one possible good, but also the elimination or exclusion of other competing goods – choosing one good over another. Clarity in defining oneself demands decisiveness in eliminating what doesn’t work for us, what is not needed, or what conflicts with our highest goals. It’s not surprising that the apana vayu is associated with the element of earth, and is the energy of the Muladhara Chakra, which is concerned with having a strong, sure and reliable foundation, especially in fundamental matters of survival. (Hatha Yoga in the Anusara Style, p. 180) [emphasis added]
If you come out to Sangha tonight or Saturday morning, this is what we’ll be working on.
I am pleased to announce that after a long recovery from rotator cuff repair, I will be returning to teaching yoga at Sangha Yoga Collective on September 18. On many levels, my injury has been my teacher. I hope to bring to you an enhanced knowledge of shoulder alignment, and an appreciation of the tools yoga may afford for dealing with life’s little surprises.
I am trying something new this fall, a one-hour noontime class I’m calling “Noontime Nourish,” for nine Thursdays beginning September 25, with a free preview on the 18th. The idea is that we’d practice some yoga at noon, and then whoever was available could hang around with a brown bag lunch to talk about yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, or conscious eating.
Personally, I always find Thursdays to be the most difficult day of the week to get through. It has all of the stress of Friday with none of the relief of looking forward to the weekend. What a great day to offer respite in the middle of the day.
This is the pose in which I landed when I slipped on snow and fell on Monday, February 3. A trip to the ER kept me from teaching class at Sangha Yoga Collective that night. I am happy to report nothing broken. I will need to rehabilitate my right shoulder some: my laptop bag had driven my right arm into the shoulder socket, causing some pain, weakness and limited range of motion. But this will not keep me from teaching my regularly scheduled classes, or the Free/By Donation Community Class on Sunday, February 16. I hope to see you then, and/or at my regularly scheduled class!
Staff Pose is a basic and simple stabilizing pose that is the foundation for all seated asanas and has several benefits:
The Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of the fall season, and is marked by equal amounts of daylight and night. In this class, we’ll explore the concept of equipoise in balance poses. Balance poses are an excellent way to explore the concept of balanced action, in this case between some of the Universal Principles of Alignment.
On the following day, Monday, September 23, in my regular 6 pm Aligned Flow class at Sangha, I’ll continue this Equinox theme by exploring the virtue of equanimity, what the yogis call upekśa.
In this last week of summer, as we face the drying, airy time of the impending autumn, we’ll be exploring the flow of water. Come join with us at Aligned Flow at Sangha Yoga Collective, tonight at 6 pm. We’ll work on channeling the awesome power of the water element in the subtle body.