VINYASA BLISS - Part-12:
31 DAYS of Physical Fitness, Mental Health, & Emotional Wellness
DAY 30 of #31dayyogachallenge — JANUARY 30th, 2020
✨ Boat Pose ✨ (Navasana)
What is Yoga?
Krishnamacharya championed physical health as a vital part of personal development. He also identified the practice of yoga as an essential part of living in the modern world. Ashtanga students learn the physical aspect of yoga is only one part of a curriculum for health.
Ashtanga means the “eight-fold path” or the “Eight Limbs.”
The Eight Limbs are moral guidelines designed to instruct individuals on how to live meaningful and purposeful lives. They function as directions for social behavior and self-discipline.
The eight limbs direct your awareness toward personal health and help you recognize the spiritual characteristics of yoga.
The eight limbs are listed as follows:
1. The Yamas - The Yamas outline ethical standards, personal behavior, and how we conduct ourselves in life.
2. The Niyamas - The Niyamas focus on self-discipline and spiritual observance. Regularly attending church service, saying “grace” before meals, and developing a personal meditation practice are examples of the niyamas.
3. Asana - The Asanas are the physical postures of yoga. You develop discipline and the ability to concentrate through the asanas. Discipline and concentration are necessary for meditation.
4. Pranayama - Pranayama is breath control. This fourth stage consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process. It also recognizes the connection between the breath, the mind, and emotions.
5. Pratyahara - Pratyahara means sensory withdrawal or sensory transcendence.
6. Dharana - Pratyahara creates the setting for Dharana - or concentration.
7. Dhyana - Dhyana is meditation or contemplation - the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Although concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana) may appear to be the same, a line of distinction exists between the two stages. Dharana practices one-pointed attention. But Dhyana is a state of being aware without a focus on one thing.
8. Samadhi - Samadhi is the eighth and final stage of ashtanga. It involves a focus on transcending the “self” or the ego.
Pattabhi Jois’ ashtanga yoga curriculum is a vigorous physical program. It provides you with an opportunity to increase flexibility while gaining muscular strength.
If taking an ashtanga yoga class is hindered by physical challenges, look for beginner level classes. They are better for individuals who struggle with flexibility and mobility.
The most effective ashtanga yoga instructors use the breath (pranayama) and guide students into challenging poses. They will start their classes by warming up the large muscle groups of the body. Then the teacher will move toward relaxing and opening the corresponding joints that need the most attention.
The difficulty of the class lessens by combining intense asanas with easy counterposes. Easing into poses will allow your mind to adjust to what is happening to the body.
Over time, you will transition to an advanced level of practice with ease and grace.
What is possible for us to achieve in our lives can be limited by genetic heritage, money, the social environment, culture, and the level of practical knowledge that we command.
Ashtanga Yoga will help you break those binds and reach your full potential as a human being.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
Navasana is a quintessential ashtanga yoga pose. It is done near the end of an ashtanga session when your muscles are warm and the joints lubricated.
In this pose, the blood drains out of the legs and pools in the abdomen, bathing the internal organs.
*Come to a seat on the floor with the legs straight.
*Inhale. Bend the legs and rock back on the sitting bones.
*Exhale. Lift the legs and arms off the floor.
*Reach through the legs and arms.
*Lift and open the chest.
*Hold this position for several breaths.
*Return to a seated position.