The Yoga Sutras outline a plan for living that flows from action
to knowledge to liberation. Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison
The Yoga Sutras are spiritual aphorisms threaded together as guides for yogis committed to practising the experiential science and philosophy of yoga. Yoga, as a methodical and holistic practice, begins with action. In our physical body, we build capacity (strength, flexibility and balance) and release limiting habits (gripping and numbness). Both asana (poses) and pranayama (regulated breathing) serve to open our tissues and energy pathways improving all the operating systems of the body (digestion, respiration, elimination, reproduction, etc.).
As these physical and energetic actions become our “new normal”, our growing capacity allows us to access more and more healing and transformational knowledge. Thus, in our mental-emotional body, we gain new understanding that alters our past perspectives and present experiences. The release of fear and negative thinking is replaced by loving-kindness directed toward ourselves and others. In addition, a shifting recognition that life provides for and protects us replaces an old belief that life is dangerous and difficult. Practising the yamas and niyamas (10 behaviours) further expands our understanding of self and life.
As we heal from our past wounds and purify our thoughts, words and deeds, our connection to ourselves and spirit grows stronger. We are liberated from the past’s negative hold on us. We come to know who we are at essence and, in this deep knowing, also know our source. Intimacy or in-to-me-see reveals truth (wisdom). And, truth sets us free.
Freedom is a heroic journey calling on the warrior energy within each of us. Ease yourself into your version of Warrior II by practising the following yoga sequence and its accompanying yoga actions. First, sit for a few minutes in Sukhasana or Virasana as you focus on your breath and then shift your awareness to engaging these two yoga actions.
1. From the inner trochanters (top of inner legs), move your inner groins away from each other, down your inner legs into inner heels and big toe mounds — GROUNDING.
2. From the area between the top of your legs and your pubic bone, broaden your inner groins up and feel them expand into your outer hips — EXPANDING.
Continue to work with the above yoga actions in each of the following poses.
SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA (Supine Bound Angle Pose) 5 minutes
– lie on vertical bolster with legs belted
– use head support if chin does not release to chest
UPAVISTHA KONASANA (Wide-angle Seated Pose)
1) remain upright, weight legs with sandbags 3 m
2) fold forward 2 m
ASHTA CHANDRASANA (High Lunge) 10 Breaths each leg
– extend out heel of straight leg
SUPINE VIRABHADRASANA II (Warrior II)
SALAMBA VIRABHADRASANA II (Supported Warrior II)
– seated on a chair, back heel and hand into wall
SALAMBA VIRABHADRASANA II 10 Bs ea
– maintain back heel and hand into wall
SAVASANA (Corpse) 5 – 10 m
– bolster across thighs
May your jewel of consciousness be joined with your heart’s lotus. Namaste.
Om mani padme hum