Archive for ‘ceremony’

April 14, 2012

anjanaya asana …. yoga

Anjanaya asana Instructions:

1. Sit  in the vajra-asana (thunderbolt pose) comfortably.

2. Kneel up on your knees until your back, buttocks and thighs are aligned.

3. Extend your left foot foward bending your left knee at about a 90 degree angle.

4. Place the palms of your hands together at the heart in the anjali-mudra.

5. Raise your arms stright up keeping the palms together while bending the head backward and looking up.

6. Slowly bend backward stretching the arms backward and straightening out the right leg. Hold this position for as long as comfortable while breathing gently through the nostrils.

7. Come back to the vajara-asana (thunderbolt pose) then reverse the posture by alternating legs.

Anjanaya asana – The Salutation Pose

The anjaneya-asana combines several postures and mudras (gestures) in a fluid, evolving flow that combines motion, stretching and holds. It delivers great benefits for the back, arms, chest, legs and hips. Regular practice will strengthen concentration and improve balance. Perform this posture with a sense of reverence and praise. Take a moment to reside in silence and peace as your hands are held at the heart in the gesture (mudra) of salutation (anjali-mudra). Keep the intention of praise in mind as you extend your arms skyward. Feel your entire body-mind-heart extending outward in recognition of the sacredness of life.

April 13, 2012

Surya Namaskar 15 Yoga

Today, April 13th, the Sun moves into Aries where it is exalted. It will remain in this Zodiac sign until May 14 (ET). This is the sign where the Sun has its most power and strength. It is celebrated as the real New Year in cultures that are in deep connection with the rhythm of Mother Nature. This is the time when the energy of renewal, rejuvenation and hope manifest strongly in us and all around us.So it is synchronous that this Surya Namaskar blog posting that started on the Summer Solstice, continued on Spring Equinox should culminate on this very special day.
Position 12: Pranam asana.
From Hasta Padasana, the 11th position, bring your arms down, palms in anjali mudra,(prayer position) in front of your chest,in contact with the sternum. This is the last and the first position of the Sun salutation. You have come a full circle. Your body is straight, completely balanced and relaxed. Your breath is flowing evenly; your mind is focused and alert. This posture denotes steadiness on completion and readiness on commencement.The whole movement is done on an exhale.
The focus is on the anahata chakra, the heart center.
Points of reference:
There are two ways of bringing the arms down. One is by seperating the palms and describing a full circle, allowing the palms to once again meet up in front of the heart region. It is as if you are sketching the sun energetically and paying the ultimate homage of gratitude.
The other way is to bring the clasped hands straight down to the heart center. It is as if you are guiding the higher energy to descend into your anahat chakra.
There is no right and wrong way. Do whatever you feel guided to do.
As you have seen, you start with the focus on the Anahata (Position 1) and end with the focus on the same chakra,(Position 12). The Anahata is the chakra of unconditional love and compassion. The symbolism here is that it is the energy of Love that has the power to move and transform. You are ‘full unto yourself’. Therefore, all you are capable of is to give and radiate this effulgent energy! You are now guided by your Inner Sun…supreme and magnificent in your inner radiance…a source of light to all whom you encounter in this journey of Life!
The Chant: om bhaskaraya namaha: Salutations to He who bestowes lustre; who leads to enlightenment.
On this wonderful note, namaste!
More postings on the pranayama sequence, the mantras and their effectiveness will happen after a short break.
April 10, 2012

Surya Namaskar 14 Yoga

Position 11: Hasta uttanasana ( Raised arms pose)
With  your body weight evenly distributed on both your feet lift your arms, face, chest and stretch up to the skies. Allow your spine to arch back slightly. This is a deep stretch, not a back bend. Your palms can be held together as in a namaste position for more intense work on the spine, the laterals and upper shoulders or the arms can  be parrellel to each other with the palms facing up.
The movement is done on an inhale as the whole body opens up to receive prana, the life breath.
The focus is on the vishuddhi chakra, your throat center,accessing deep energy to radiate your unparalleled uniqueness.
Points of interrest:
Just remember: as you come out of uttanasana with your arms extended ahead of you, the centre of gravity shifts. Your arms become a dead weight that needs effort from the back of the legs and lower back to be lifted up.
If your lower back is weak and your hamstrings ( the back of your legs) are extremely tight or weak, allow your knees to relax a bit as you lift your torso and arms upwards. Straighten your knees when your arms reach the final position.
If all is well with your back and hamstrings then keep both your arms close to the respective ears, fully extended forward, with the elbows straight. Next, move your arms and torso smoothly into ardha uttanasana (half lift) and continue to complete the posture in one single inhale. Utilise the natural upward movement of the inhale breath to lift your upper body and arms. Allow your mind to be focused on breathing with the movement. You will experience the sheer exhilaration of effortessness happening in you. When the body, mind and breath move together in a synchronised flow,the spirit celebrates!
The chant: om hroum arkaya namaha – which means Salutations to Him who is fit to be worshipped as the very essence of vitality; who is the remover of impurities and afflictions.
April 2, 2012

Surya Namaskar 13 Yoga

Position 10 – Uttanasana (complete forward bend)
From ashwa sanchalanasana bring your head down towards the knees as you step the back foot (right or left) forward to join the other foot. Palms placed on the ground on either sides of your feet.This is uttanasana, sometimes referred to as padahastasana. The movement is done on an exhale. Though position 9 to 10 just seem as a reversal in movement from position 3 to 4, only the postures   are the same but not the process, nor the sequence of movements, nor the state of your mind. Here you are moving in from an open to closed position, the breath is from inhale to exhale and the mind is more inward oriented, deepening from the physical (asana) to the mental/emotional (pranayama) and the withdrawal of the senses towards the inner environment (pratyahara.)
As before, the focus is on the swadishtana chakra, the hara centre.
Points of interest:
If the back of the thighs, the hamstrings or the upper back is feeling stiff, allow your knees top ‘give’ a little to relax the stiffness. Hold your ankles or chin bones. Use the breath to deepen the posture. As you exhale take your abdomen in and up into a kind of a natural uddiyana bandha. Helps to strengthen the abdominals and intensify the forward stretch.But before you inhale into the next posture remember to relax your abdomen. It will be much easier for the diaphgram to allow expansion if the abdominal muscles are relaxed.
Also, when you step the foot forward to join the other foot, maintain a small distance between the two feet. This will help you to distribute your weight equally on both your feet and lend stability for you to move into the next position.
Dont bounce the body to enable you to touch the ground! Work with the breath and flow with the movement for the desired results to occur. Simply enjoy the deep stretch from your heels, calves, hamstrings, lowerback, spine and your full arms. And remember, with each repetition of the sun salutation, your body will be more relaxed and flexible.
Do not be in a hurry to reach an imagined perfect posture. You will only hurt yourself and delay your progress.

Touch the earth with reverence. Feel your connection to the feminine energy expressed in the exhale breath.

Yoga is all about unravelling the mystery of who you are! Enjoy the inward journey;linger here and there to savour the changing scenes being painted on your inner canvas. Experience the awe of your radiance.

The chant: om hraim savitre namaha- salutations to Him who is beneficent; who produces everything.

March 31, 2012

SuryaNamaskar-12 -yoga

9th Position: Ashwa Sanchalanasana ( equestrian pose)
Now, lift your head and look through your hands to focus on the spot where you want to place your left foot. Do not lift the foot to bring it between your hands. You may find yourself locked in an awkward position. On the other hand, make a forward movement, as if you are rocking on your toes and allow the foot to glide forward into ashwa sanchalanasana (equestrian pose). Or else, visualise the movement as happening in your body.Allow your muscles to record your visualisation at the cellular level; now physically let your body replicate your visualisation. You will be amazed at how well your body responds! This is the power of deep visualisation techniques.
As you inhale,lift your face and chest  Allow your spine and limbs to stretch the new found energy in an attitude of deep celebration. Focus on your ajna chakra, the third eye centre, the space of spiritual awakening,corresponding to the pituitary and pineal glands.
A few points of interest:
 Avoid using your hand to physically move the leg forward at all times, more so if you are a beginner. Its a tricky, awkward balancing moment.The whole point of yoga is to honour and respect your body and understand what it is telling you about your mental -emotional structure. Achieving the posture at all cost, any-which-way is not important. Knowing your limitation and working on it is the way to real progress. As you go deeper and deeper and work with your body and breath and learn to let go, you will find that soon you will be moving into the posture more gracefully and completly. Ahimsa, non-violence, begins with the body! Making your body do something forcibly, when it is not ready for it is the worst form of himsa which will get translated at an energetic level asintolerence and violence, to yourself and to your environment.
Some practitioners bring the same foot that they used to step back in the 4th position forward in the 9th position, i.e. if they  had moved the right foot back then the same foot is brought forward. The advantage here is that there is no confusion in the usage of which leg was used to move into the sun salutation; makes keeping track of the number of repetitions easier! More importantly,at the physical level, both sides of the body get deeply stretched on either side of the spine. Symmetry and balance is achieved with every repetition. The body experiences a total ‘work out’.
Another way of doing this is: when you take the right foot back in the 4th posture at the begining of a sun salutation, you bring the left foot forward in the 9th position. The purpose here is to work on both the masculine and feminine energy in every repetion and make things whole and complete at the energetic level. Note that any movement on the right side of the body is controlled by the left (male) hemisphere of the brain and any movement on the left side of the body is controlled by the right ( feminine) hemisphere of the brain. Therefore, when both legs are used in this manner, equal importance is given to expressing the yin-yang, shiva-shakti composition within. A sense of poornatvam, wholeness, is experienced at the energy level. It is up to the practitioners to decide whether they want to focus on the physical or energetic level and create their  practise accorgingly.
Chant: om hroom adityaya namaha…salutations to the son of Aditi, Mother Earth.
March 23, 2012


From bhujang asana,the cobra position, curl your toes in, and with palms flat on the floor lift your body,pointing your hips up into adhomukha svanasana, downward dog position or the inverted ‘v’ posture.Lower the heels to the floor. Do not force them to the ground. Nor move your body and make adjustments to somehow get heels to floor.Focus on the breath and allow the legs to relax, at their own pace. Just observe and let go of inner tightness. You will soon be able to do the complete stretch effortlessly. Feel the beautiful stretch from the tips of your fingers, all the way up your arms, shoulders, back, spine , the hamstrings, the calves and heels.
The movement is on an exhale breath.
 If you are a long time practitioner and wish to stay in this posture for a couple of breaths,( though that is not a part of the surya namaskar progression) you will find that the three bandhas, locks, can be done very naturally and easily. Check with your yoga teacher about the readiness of your body-breath-mind to do this. Bandhas can be powerful ‘movers and shakers’ of energy, so you need to handle it with awareness.
 The focus is on the vishuddhi chakra, the throat center, which aids in expressing your uniqueness, creativity and endurance.
The chant is: om hreem mareechaye namaha.
The meaning: “Prostration to Him who posesses rays”. or “Salutations to Him who is the Lord of Dawn and source of vibrations.
It is interesting to note that the 1st posture that comes immediately after the ‘awakening’  is one of supplication, gratitude and surrender and the breath is an exhale. All aspects of the expression of the feminine energy signalling the ability to be receptive .
July 18, 2011

dhoti …



The dhoti of doti in Hindi, called Uriya in Assamese. Pancha in Telegu, Vesti in Tamil is a traditional garment of men’s wear in India. It is a regular piece of Un-stitched cloth, usually around 7 yards long, wrapped around the waist and the legs, and knotted at the waist.

June 21, 2011


The postures of Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation- a deeper insight.

7. Bhujang asana: Cobra posture.

The Posture: From ashtanga namaskar, lower your belly, bring the abdomen and pelvis down to the floor, stretch the feet and point your toes out. Slowly raise your head as a cobra would its hood. Arch your spine and neck while simultaneously looking up. The legs should be kept together, with elbows slightly bent besides the body. Keep the shoulders down.

  • The Breath: Inhalation.
  • The attitude: A sense of opening up; radiating , feeling the exhilaration of a new birth!
  • The focus: Swadishtana chakra- the Spleen Center- Where your Self is established.
  • The understanding: The dawn of a new birth…actualising your innate potential energy…realising your Inner Sun, the true source of energy.
  • The chant: om (hram) hiranyagarbhaya namaha – ‘hram’ being the beeja or seed syllable that is purely vibrational in nature.
  • The mantra meaning: Salutations to the Golden Cosmic Womb/Self

Benefits at the –

  • Physical Level: Strengthens the back muscles and the spinal nerves, makes the spine flexible. Opens the chest and massages the abdominal organs.
  • Mental Level: Gives an understanding of deep inner strength,
  • Energetic Level: Releases the kundalini shakti, the untapped energy residing at the Mooladhara, the Root Center.
  • Spiritual Level: Helps realise one’s true nature…experience the ‘ Inner Awakening’.

The Surya Namaskar is so beautifully structured that till the 6th posture, the whole process is one of receiving and preparing for the surrender to happen at the deepest level. The 7th posture is the realising of the Inner Sun. From there on, the whole sequence of getting back to the starting point is an expression of radiating gratitude and celebration, which is the default experience of awakened consciousness…

Even though the rest of the postures from the 8th till the 12th are the same as the 1st till the 5th, the movements of the limbs are back to front and down to up. So too with the mantras: even though the beeja mantras are repeated once more from the 7th to the 12th postures, the salutation mantras are very different.

We will be completing the mantras, their deeper meanings and corresponding postures in more details in subsequent postings.

Till then:

On this auspicious day of the Summer Solstice, June 21st, may the inner and outer sun merge to radiate the magnificence of who you truly are…gods and goddesses in the embryo, waiting to be born

June 18, 2011


The postures of Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation- a deeper insight.

6. Ashtanga namaskar – 8 limbed salutation

The Posture: Also called sashtanga namaskar ( complete salutation). From adho mukha svanasana ( downward face dog) lower your knees,chest and  chin to the floor in that order; the sit muscles are lifted with the abdomen off the floor.As a variation, instead of the chin, touch the forehead to the floor.
The Breath: Bahya kumbhaka …moving into the posture on a hold after complete exhale.
The attitude: Total surrender
The focus: On the Manipura chakra
The understanding: When you have completely emptied yourself of emotional baggage, psychological debris and engraved memories at a cellular level, you create the space for surrender to happen;

The chant: om (hraha) pushne namaha – ‘hraha’ being the beeja or seed syllable that is purely vibrational in nature.
The mantra meaning:Salutations to the giver of strength and nourishment.

Benefits at the -

Physical Level: Works deeply on core muscles; strengthens limbs
Mental Level: Sense of unification; letting go.
Energetic Level: Integration of the energy centers; moving beyond fragmentation of Self.
Spiritual Level: Experiencing the dropping of the small ‘i’.

June 17, 2011


The postures of Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation- a deeper insight.

5. Adho mukha svanasana – downwardface dog posture

The Posture: From ashwa sanchalanasana  (equestrian pose) step the left foot back, simultaneously lifting your hip upwards, so that the sit bones are pointing up.Keep your knees as straight as possible; drop the heels towards the floor; ( do not force this extension ; allow the hamstrings to relax naturally). Lower your head between your hands. Press your palms into the floor and extend your spine.

One of the few postures that allows for the tri-bandhas or energy locks- mula, uddiyana, jalandahra bandha- to be practised simultaneously.

The Breath: Deep exhalation, tucking the abdomen in and up after the complete exhalation.
The attitude: One of turning within even as you remain deeply rooted.
The focus: Vishuddhi chakra – the Throat Center- releasing energy to express one’s uniqueness.
The understanding: Moving into the fifth element-akasha or space- refining one’s personal evolution;connecting to your center, gathering and radiating innate energy.

The chant: om (hraoum) khagaya namaha – ‘hraoum’ being the beeja or seed syllable that is purely vibrational in nature.
The mantra meaning: Salutations to the one who moves through the sky, connoting the energy of activity.

Benefits at the -

Physical Level: Very deeply stretches the spine and the hamstrings. Works on the abdominal muscles through the breath.
Mental Level: Helps to focus; the beginning of pratyahara, the inward turn that frees you from external distractions
Energetic Level: Gathers you at the center. Helps seal dissipating energy.
Spiritual Level: Increase the spiritual fire. Helps redirect, channelize energy.

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

SS 24 - random thoughts

one who is going upstream ......

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