This week, a yogi and I stood at the front door after a Home Studio class and admired the moon – a Waxing Gibbous! (Put that in a sentence today!) On March 12th, in two days, we will have a Full Moon and you may find yoga teachers cancelling classes or teaching only Yin and Restorative classes. Does this leave you perplexed? Some people feel that their energy is reduced, sleep patterns disturbed (there have been Western studies on this) or they are prone to snapping during a full moon period. Over in the East many people prepare for a temple day by dressing in white, perhaps buying flowers and incense and cooking special foods to take as offerings. (Over in Sri Lanka I remember seeing a sea of people dressed in white and flowing towards the temples, carrying white flowers.) All kinds of tradition attend the day. (I remember that we even prepared special rice for the temple crows!) A day off has been marked out by ‘shastras’ (commentary on Buddhist or Hindu scripture) and so, of course, they carry folklore and ancient ways of thinking. Shlokas (poetry/chants) have carried these beliefs through time. If you’re interested, the attachment from my favourite book of the moment gives a sense of those who unquestioning believe in this tradition.
It’s been a lovely week in my Home Studio, so I’m adding another class! From this Tuesday (14th) I’ll be adding a new regular 6.00-7.00 Beginner’s Ashtanga class. I have added it to the website for booking in the normal way. We will take time over postures, the sequences, learning the names of poses and learning Sanskrit numbers. In yesterday’s ‘Ashtanga-based’ class we worked our way up to Astavakrasana – the eight-pointed posture named after a sage with a body that was bent in eight places. If there is a posture you want to work towards, let me know.
Yoga in the News
Time Magazine, the very one that made Donald Trump their Person of the Year, now helpfully tells us that Yoga Helps Depression. Guess what... it’s the breathing that does it! The New York Times offered a long article last year on the Benefits of Deep Breathing with the very helpful quote: ‘It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate’!
I enjoyed this episode from Jason Crandell which addresses some pretty detailed questions about asana: Do you jump back to straight-armed plank or bent-armed chaturanga?; The ideal look of the yoga pose verses what shape the body can make?; Alignment and hip position in Triangle? Jason Crandell says that Triangle pose has been ‘taught wrong’. He does his best to tell us why. This might be a podcast more suitable to teachers, or it might give you a break from normal radio fare.