Sirsasana

Lesson plan for 1 hour class working towards HEAD STAND–    Sirsasana
 

Warm up
Start warm up with slow movement and stretching of all body parts moving from head down to toes

  • Neck Rolls
  • Gentle neck Stretch
  • Shoulder rolls in both direction
  • Whole Arm rotation
  • Wrist rolls and stretch
  • Forward rolls against the wall to warm up spine
  • Upper back stretch
  • Hips circle both directions
  • Single leg/hip rotation in both direction-repeat on both sides
  • Quads stretch
  • Ankle stretch
  • Plantar/ Dorsi flexion

Then as body gets warmer progress to sun salutation

  • 5 Surya Namaskara  A
  • 5 Surya Namaskara  B

 
 
 
Preparation for the pose

  • Pushups 3 sets of 10
  • Plank on shoulders holding for 20 counts, repeat 3x
  • Plank moving from middle to side and back 20 each side
  • Dynamic dolphin pose- moving forward and back to open the shoulders a bit as well as gain arm strength
  • Half head stand –preparing the arm positioning and head positioning. Working on the weight transfer and walking legs as close to body as possible and holding there for 30 seconds each time-3x
  • Head stand in to a bow against a wall- You should be leg length away from the wall to start with and once on the wall. Bring yourself up and rest legs on the wall, then slowly walk your feet down towards the floor until you rest both feet down and stay in the bow position for 30 seconds before walking back up to head stand and then releasing to Halasana-repeat 3 times
  • Now attempt the full head stand and hold for 3 minutes, when finish come down to Halasana

Lesson Plan: Beginner

Section

Minutes

Details
Pre-class

5

  • Fill out forms covering previous injuries, legal disclaimer
  • Ask students whether they have done yoga before, where, how long and what style
  • Check flexibility with uttanasana and downward dog
Introduction

5

  • Welcome to first Yoga class
  • Anybody has any injuries, medical conditions that I should know about? Anybody pregnant?
  • Today we’ll go through a simplified version of the Ashtanga Yoga primary series which is fixed series designed to build strength and flexibility across the whole body
  • At any point in the class, if you need to, take a short break in child’s pose (demonstrate child pose) until you feel comfortable again
Breathing

5

  • Take a seat in a comfortable position
  • Begin with 5 deep breaths. Inhale, Exhale (x5)
  • Relax, let your abdomen rise with each inhale and allow your ribs and diaphragm to sink with each inhale
  • 5 more deep breaths (count to 4 for each inhale and exhale. Adjust students if it’s needed)
  • Remember to keep this breath constant throughout your practice
Warm up

10

  • Turn neck to your right, left, up and down. Adjust the angle of your head until you feel the stretch
  • Turn your head in half circles from left to right and right to left
  • Rotate shoulders backwards and forwards
  • Rotate arms in large circles backwards and forwards to loosen the joints
  • Hands on hips and rotate hips in both directions
  • Hold elbows and hang hand head forwards. Slowly rise up vertebra by vertebra
  • Hands straight over head, palms touching, lean backwards, do not drop neck
  • Stretch quadriceps by holding ankle and pulling against butt. Keep knees inwards
  • Stretch groin muscles by moving from side to side lunges on ankles
  • Alternate forward lunges to stretch hamstrings
  • Stretch calves by stepping 1 heel on the ground in front of the other foot
  • Rotate angles
  • Point and flex toes
  • Raise hands above heads bring them to the grounds and squat down, then stand up to tip toes (about 3 times)
Asana

20

  • Beginner version of suryanamaskar x 3 (left foot lunges back, ashtanga namaskar, cobra pose, downward dog, left foot steps fowards, samasthithi)
  • Standing poses
  1. Uttanasana
  2. Prasarita C
  3. Standing backwards bend- Counter pose (arms up in the air, palms touching)
  4. Uttita Trikonasana (simplify rest hand on shin)
  5. Uttita Parsvakonasana (simplify rest arm on thigh)
  6. Veerabadrasana 1
  7. Tree pose
  • Seated poses
  1. Dandasana (try to raise heels off ground)
  2. Janusirisasana A
  3. Paschiomottansana
  4. Lie on ground, legs up at right angle, raise head + shoulders (x3)
  5. Cobra pose (counter pose)
  6. Marichiasana C – simplify with stop sign or reach toes
Cool down

10

Supine poses

  1. Hug knees to chest one at a time
  2. Twist knee to sides (keep shoulders on the ground)
  3. Happy baby pose
  4. Pawan muktasana
Shavasana

5

  • Lie down, feet hip width apart, pointing outwards, palms facing upwards, shoulders tucked in
  • Speak through relaxation of body parts from feet to face

To find the Right Master

Buddha says, the real power is "Meekness is most powerful, for it harbours no evil thoughts and moreover 
it is restful and full of strength."
When you fight, you expend energy.  When you fight, you lose energy. 
 Don't fight for the sake of fighting, preserve energy, and you will be powerful.  
One who saves his energy becomes a reservoir of energy that his very being and presence becomes powerful.
It is just magical, unanimous, pervasive and miraculous.  
When you come close to this person, you are being transformed and the darkness, worries, anger is disappears, 
completely annihilated. A different dimension, a another plane unfolds in front. 
 We reach another altitude, just electrifying.  People ask me how to find the right leader, master.  
The one possible way is just be near, closeby, completely silent, and in harmony with the leader. 
In this harmonious state, if you feel you are climbing, ascending higher and higher, 
then this person is the right leader or master.  
This person has the make up of a lightning, sharp, resplendent and simply electrical.  
The door to the ultimate , the energy combined becomes musical and a force is created.
The intellect is not able to decide who is the master.  Your love and hate cannot decide who is the master. 
The words are not powerful enough to decide who is the master nor the definitions.  Others are also
not able to help you to decide who is the master.  
Evil thoughts means ahimsa, thoughts of destruction, killing, egocentric.  These thoughts occupy too much energy,
never will they be able to manifests.

Trianga Mukha Ekapda Paschimottanasana

Bend the right knee and place beside the right hip, right sole facing up.
Hold the right calf with right hand and roll it outwards. This helps to lower the right sit bone.
Bring the knees towards each other.
Bend forward and grab the left foot.
Apply Uddiyan Bandha to fold deeply at the hips.
Bring the navel towards the extended leg.
There is a tendency to lean/tilt towards the straight leg, elongate both sides of the chest and waist equally.
Elongate the spine by pulling forward towards the toes, head up.  Do not attempt to tuck the head in as this will curl the spine instead.
Stay for five breaths.
With every inhalation, open the chest and with every exhalation, fold forward again. (Refer to Figure 1.). Keep the straight leg straight and active; point the toes of the straight leg up towards the sky.
During the pose, some might experience the folded leg hip bone is higher, and you are leaning heavily to one side, use a folded towel/block under the hip (not thighs) of the straight leg. (Figure 1.1) This will help balance the hips.
 
In the bend leg position, if you feel discomfort/pressure on the top of your feet or ankle, place a rolled towel under the ankle for support. (Figure 1.2)

‘According to BKS Iyengar, this pose is great for dropped arches and flat feet. It is therapeutic for ankle and knee sprains or any swelling in the leg. It keeps the internal organs from being sluggish. This seated forward bend can be done for fatigue, menstruation, illness, recovery from travel, for those who cannot do inversions. A forward bending practice is nice before bed or in the middle of the night when you cannot sleep. Additional benefits are the calming of the mind, opening of hips and making the spine more flexible.’ (www.yoga.com)

Meditation and Children

How do you make a bunch of nine-year-olds improve their grades? Just make them lie on the floor… and meditate

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 11:56 AM on 12th April 2011

 

  • Council’s wellbeing consultant insists classes are ‘not just some hippy idea’ and aid concentration

Lying down in a circle may seem like a rather unusual way to run a lesson, but teachers say meditation and yoga has helped hundreds of primary school pupils to improve their grades.
The nine to 11-year-olds are taught to ‘channel their energy’ once a week in a class that focuses on relaxation and breathing techniques

Meditation: A teacher takes school pupils in Essex through some relaxation techniques, which are said to improve concentration levelsMeditation: A teacher takes school pupils in Essex through some relaxation techniques, which are said to improve concentration levels
Standing tall: Teachers say yoga has taught the youngsters body awarenessStanding tall: Teachers say yoga has taught the youngsters body awareness

During the one hour sessions pupils from across Essex are also taught a series of beginner yoga positions designed to improve their mental health and well-being.
Teachers involved in the trial scheme have reported significant improvements in the concentration and grades of their pupils as a result of the classes.
Dave Read, 52, a former history teacher who now travels Britain teaching the session to children, believes yoga and meditation aid education.
 

 
He said: ‘The workshops are about emotional literacy and getting pupils to make contact with their feelings.
‘The response from the children has been phenomenal. They say they have never felt so relaxed and they want more sessions.
‘I teach the children visualisation and breathing techniques. And I train the teachers so they can continue the work – even if it is just for a few minutes each day.
‘This is not airy-fairy it is ultimately about improving concentration and grades. Children are under increasing pressures and this gives them support.’

Teachers involved in the trial scheme have reported significant improvements in the grades of their pupilsTeachers involved in the trial scheme have reported significant improvements in the grades of their pupils

Tess Boyes, Health and Wellbeing consultant at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, which is leading the project, believes relaxed children achieve more.
She said: ‘This is not just some hippy idea. The schools that have taken part have really benefited. This is a completely different approach to education.
‘The programme aims to develop resilience, emotional wellbeing and good mental health through innovative interventions.
‘These techniques are well-documented as effective ways of supporting the emotional well-being of young people in reducing stress and anxiety, and avoiding associated health risks.
“As this is a pilot project, we are monitoring it very closely, but early indications show very positive results and it is proving very popular with headteachers and young people alike.”  The Targeted Mental Health in Schools project was first introduced by the Labour Government in 2008 to boost the mental health of schoolchildren.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council applied for £20,000 of the Government money to teach yoga and meditation to pupils at ten primary schools across Essex.

A younger class tackles a simpler yoga poseYounger students tackle a simpler yoga pose. The classes have been introduced in a number of schools in Essex

Teachers involved in the project believe the one hour sessions, which are taught once a week, help to calm down boisterous classes and improve learning.
Groups of around ten children learn a variety of beginner yoga positions whilst also being taught to control their breathing using meditation techniques.
The scheme, which is run by the company Yoga Bugs and could be rolled out across the country, is designed to improve the emotional health and well-being of pupils.
Helen Reeder, deputy headteacher at Thorpedene Infant School in Southend, Essex, revealed that the new classes have made a “difference”.
She said: ‘It is supposed to be calming for them and we have seen a difference in the classroom.
‘Thirty of our children take part in sessions each week and really enjoy it. The boys enjoy it as much as the girls.’
Angela Hutchinson, headteacher at Bournemouth Park Primary School in Southchurch, Essex, added: ‘It has really made a difference.
‘We have done some work with Year 5 and Year 6 on channelling their energy through their thought processes – getting them to be aware of themselves and how they are learning.
‘We do some yoga with the younger children which teaches them how to find their own space. The children think it is fantastic.’
Another part of the programme involves a ‘coolfire’ session where children are taught how to control their breathing in a bid to calm boisterous classes.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1376003/Meditation-yoga-classes-primary-school-pupils-improves-grades.html#ixzz1JJKML6Gl
 

Saucha by Phill

We now begin to study the Niyamas, the internal restraings….
Shaucha is way to achieve purity is through practice of the five yamas(restraints) of non-violence Ahimsa, truthfulness Satya, non-stealing Asteya, Brahmacharya control of the sensual drive, and Aparigraha non-greed. Practicing these yamas is a cleansing process  to achieve a “pure” state of being, a physical and mental state of being.
Saucha is cleanliness of body, heart, mind and environment. It’s making choices about what you take in for your body, your mind , heart and environment.
Do you let any thoughts come in your mind at random, or anything to go into your mouth, or listen to anything that may even be disturbing to your being?   Purity of body, cleanliness, good health habits, a clear and orderly environment.
In my experience: just the food choice can make all the difference that you can not imagine.I start to become vegetarian since last year when my wife decided to practice yoga. So i jumped in with her and after one month i saw the result . It changed not only my body but also my mind, my way of thinking, I was less tired, my mind was clear, and less moody.

Anatomical description of Utthita Trikonasana

The following is a description of the asana Utthita Trikonasana in anatomical language:
 
From the neutral position in the sagittal plane, step the right leg back 90 degrees in the frontal plane (feet around 3 feet apart). Square the hips to the sagittal plane, and externally rotate the right thigh. Retract the scapula and abduct the arms parallel to the floor.
 
Exhale and laterally flex the torso over the right leg in the frontal plane reach down and hold the ankle, big toe or place the palm on the floor outside your right foot (without rotating the hips). Extend the left had towards the ceiling, gaze at the left thumb. Hold for five breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
 
Precautions: engage the kneecaps and quads, be careful not to hyperextend the knees.
 
The benefits of this pose are that it:
Stretches and lengthens the thighs, knees and ankles
Stretches the hips, groin, hamstrings, and calves, shoulders, chest and spine
Stimulates the abdominal organs
Helps to relieve stress
Improves digestion
Helps to relieve the symptoms of menopause
Relieves backache (especially through the second trimester of pregnancy)
Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis and sciatica
 

The benefits of regularly practicing Pranayama

The word ‘Prana’ means breath life force and the word ‘yama’, means control or discipline. The word ayam means ‘expansion’. The goal of Pranayama is to increase the quantum of this life force (prana) so that it can reach out to ‘hidden’ recesses of the brain. This helps in expanding the human faculties and slowing degeneration. General practice refers to a set of breathing techniques used for relaxation, concentration and meditation.
I was dubious about the effects of holding the breath, particularly after exercise, with the body needing oxygen more then ever and was interested to see what the benefits of such a practice are. The evidence suggests benefits of regularly practicing the various breathing techniques include:
Reduced breathing rate: with certain Pranayama you can train yourself to breathe more slowly and more deeply. It is possible to reduce the breathing rate from around 15 breathes per minute to 5-6 breaths per minute. This contributes to:

  • Slowing down the heart rate as more oxygen can be pumped even with less breaths
  • Reduced wear and tear of internal organs
  • Lowering of blood pressure, relaxation of body tensions and quieter nerves

Regularly practicing Pranayama increases life, as longevity is directly linked to breathing rate.
Blood circulation improves as a result of deep breathing via the oxygen absorbed during inhalation and holding. Therefore more oxygen and prana reaches all parts of your body
Gives us a healthy heart, more oxygen in the blood means more oxygen to the muscles of the heart
Enables organs to function more effectively:

  • Better functioning of the autonomic system, improves the working of lungs, heart, diaphram, abdomen, intestines, kidneys and pancreas
  • Digestive system improves
  • Lifts the mood
  • All of the bodies organs get more oxygen during Pranayama, toxins are removed from the body and the immune system is strengthened

Better mental health: Pranayama helps to focus the mind and clear negative emotions such as anger, depression, greed, arrogance etc.
Pranayama also helps to control the fluctuations of the mind , regular practice will create a feeling of lightness and inner peace, better sleep as well as improved memory and concentration. It also helps to improve our connection with spirituality
Pranayama also helps to improve the quality of life in old age by clearing uric acid from the body, which can contribute to joint pains and discomfort. Regular practice can help to improve conditions such as backaches, headaches, rheumatism, stiffening muscles and joints.
After practicing breathing techniques regularly over the past couple of months I can feel the benefits for myself and my lung capacity has clearly increased. In addition the various techniques are very useful when I can sleep at night or I am particularly anxious. I felt prior to my practice my breathing was very fast and shallow and since I have started to become more conscious of each breath which will only serve to benefit me in the future.

The 4 paths of Yoga

Over the centuries 4 different paths within Yoga have developed. As we all have different personalities we also prefer different ways to practisise. But to get most out of yoga it should be a mix of the four different paths, a synthesis of the four main paths. Keep one preferred path but a combination of the four paths helps us to develop in harmony.
Karma Yoga – the active path. This is the path of selfless actions performed without thinking of success or rewards. This path suits people who has an active and outgoing temperament. It purifies the mind and this yogi works hard and often serves humanity and seeks to eliminate the ego.
Jnana Yoga – The Philosophical path. The path of wisdom and knowledge through studying the philosophy of Vedanta. This path requires a sharp mind and an unclouded intellect. It is considered to be the most difficult path of the four paths and the ego can be a danger to yogis focusing on this path.
Bhakti Yoga – the devotional path. Through chanting, prayer and repetition of mantras these yogis search the sublimation, turning anger and hatred into a positive direction. Anything done with a pure heart will be right for the Bhakti practitioner. The path appeals on people with an emotional nature and they can sometimes become extreme in their devotion.
Raja and Hatha Yoga – the Scientific path. The yogic path where body and mind is in control through asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercise) through a step-by-step practice. The ancient sage Patanjali has coded this path in stages in the search for enlightenment. These stages are called Ashtanga, (in Sanskrit Ash=eight and Anga=division or limb), the eight limbs. This path teaches the stages to control the body and mind, and there are two sub-paths, the Hatha yoga and the Kundalini yoga. The mind comes under control automatically after the prana has been mastered and after the dormant kundalini energy is awakened. The most common path in the west world is this path and it is now developed in to many different sub-branches.
A mix of all the four paths is the best way to grow. The whole person – heart, intellect and hand should be developed simultaneously -the synthesis of yoga.

Awareness of the 3 Yogi diets

As Yoga means union it also includes a union with what you eat and digest, we are unified with the environment and with each other. Your whole body system and mind should strive to reach a balanced and harmonic state. Yoga develops our pure inner nature and the diet plays an important roll. The food produces the energy that drives our body, but it also shapes our emotions and affects our minds. The Yogic scripture divides food into three types: the Sattvic – the pure, the Rajasic – stimulating and the Tamasic – the impure and rotten food.
The Rajas group of food contains for example onions, garlic, coffee, tea, fast food, snacks and spicy and salted foods and it also includes sugar and soft drinks and chocolate. The Bhagavad Gita, 17-9 states “The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent dry, and burning are liked by the rajasic and are productive of pain, grief and disease.” The behaviour is affected by a Rajasic diet and persons become overstimulated and hyperactive in both body and mind and the adrenalin gets high. Characteristics for people eating Rajas diet are aggressive, passionate and anger.
The Tamasic diet contains meat, fish, eggs, drugs, alcohol and overcooked, fried barbecued and reheated food and food containing conservatives. Tamasic means dark or evil. The food in this diet is mainly tasteless, putrid, frired or rotten like mushrooms (they grow in darkness), aubergine, dried sauages, fast food etc. Persons keeping to this diet are often dull, boring, evil or lazy. The Tamasic diet may be a less expensive alternative and may be more represented in areas less fortunate.
The Yogic number one diet is the Sattvic group.Purity, truth, light and love – the higher qualities that allows inner growth.  In this group you find the pure food that brings most energy out of us and that calms our mind and sharpens our intellect. Pure fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, cereals and whole grain products, pure diary products etc. The Sattvic diet is easily digested and supplies maximum energy and gives endurance. “The foods which increase life, purity, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are savory and oleaginous, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the sattvic people.” Bhagavad Gita, 17-8. This diet brings purity and calmness to the mind and promotes happiness, serenity and a mental equilibrium.