planning and neutralising

I have practised yoga without really understanding the logic behind certain poses that we do. Typically, we go through a sequence of poses during classes. While it may seem effortless to follow through a class as a student while “emptying your mind”, I find it interesting to learn in Tirisula YTT that much behind-the-scenes work is needed to properly plan out a class. For instance, in an average lesson plan, we have to prepare for the following:

– Intro (3-5min)
– Admin (1 min)
– Warmup (10min)
– Asana (30 min)
– Pranayama (3-5min)
– Relaxation (5min)
– Closing (2min)

As part of the asanas, counterposes are important in order to return the body closer to it’s natural state. This will leave less room for injury and over-extension. An energy-inducing asana cannot be left without a counterpose.

Typically, poses such as urdhva mukha svanansana (upward facing dog) will be followed by Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog). Matysasana (Fish pose) is a counter pose to many inversion poses like Sarvangasana (shoulder stand).

The counterposes help to neutralise the asanas that we practise. It may be easy to overlook the importance of counterposes as they may seem too simple for some. Yet, rest and focused breathing is necessary for our bodies to relax and prepare for the next steps. The same logic applies to music, when rests cannot be ignored in a piece. This theory can be applied to the approach of our daily lives. It is important to recognise that taking a breather is needed to maintain a good spiritual and mental balance. Brainless but neutralising activities is needed to bring things back to order and keep stress at bay.