Sunday, October 24, 2010

Guest Instructor: Tanya Sowards, Devanadi Yoga Studio, Minneapolis, MN

The ever lovely Tanya was back in Duluth for another weekend intensive.  Tanya is a beautiful, dynamic soul steeped in this rich tradition.  She does an amazing job of incorporating vinyasa and philosophy to round out each session.

Friday night: Sankalpas: What is your life purpose?
In this workshop, we broke down some yogic terminology to facilitate understanding of how we can move forward out of our habits, whatever they are, big or small.  We discussed:

Sankalpa Shakti - the creative powerful life force that embodies the power and will do this one thing (one thing being discarding or changing an unhealthy habit or samskara).

Vikalpa Shakti - anything that takes you away from something you want to do, that which makes you feel fragmented.  Scattered energy.

Shradda - your faith.  You are the size of your "shradda" or faith. 

Purosharta - the four desires of the soul (artha, kama, dharma, and moksha) 

We listened, noted where we wanted to work, did a gentle moon sequence in they Himalayan Tradition followed buy a guided meditation, and then in small groups worked on identifying our Sankalpa.

 If you desire a different destiny,
you have to desire something different
than what lead you to where you currently are.  

Saturday: Rocket Series. we reconvened bright and early at 9am to breakdown and work on the Rocket Series.  Tanya introduced this sequence to us, as she learned it from Larry Shultz, of It's Yoga, San Francisco, about three years ago.  A core group of us have been plugging away at learning this sequence, ever challenged by the arm balances, twisting, and back bending involved. 

This morning we worked on:
jumping forward - use those knees and toes!

chataranga - elbows no more than 90*! Protect those shoulders!

toe flips - flipping foot at a time can create an imbalance in the SI and lower back, especially for women (Ah HA!), so either come all the way to knees and flip, or roll over on toes - if appropriate. 

Pincha Mayurasana (forearm balance) - work on one leg at a time; similar to the "rolling" up in headstand with bent legs.

Supta Virasana (reclined hero) - tuck the tailbone under as you come back. 

And while doing any arm balance, think of the heart center coming forward to extend through crown of head and tail bone. 

In the afternoon we came back for an Inner Fire sequence, where we had a half hour lecture, learned the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, did a warming sequence focusing on the abdomen through twists and breath work including agnisara, pratyoma (alternate nostril with ujjayi breath) and pranadharma (positive breath) using bhastrika following the chakras. 

Agni - Fire of the abdomen

comprised of Jathara Agni - stomach fire/fire of the digestive system/physical manifestation
and Bhuta Agni - fire of discrimination/spiritual fire, fire of samskara's and impressions.

I admit, I left worn out and tired!  It was a lot of shoulder work with emphasis on the abdomen and lower back.  I was glad I lived in town and didn't have to travel after, as is what I end up doing so often after a weekend session. 

If you are in the Twin Cities area and interested in what Tanya has to offer, please check out her studio and website here:  Devanadi Yoga Studio  in Linden Hills, Mpls, MN. 

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