Sadhana – using a mother’s skill, duty, and love.

Our yoga practice, called Sadhana, develops our character as much, if not more than, our physical strength and health.  Our practice is here to nurture us – mind, body, and soul.  Geeta Iyengar was so devoted to her students, her genius and commitment were inspiring. She was a yoga mother to us all. Below is a You-Tube clip of dear Geeta speaking about Sadhana.

Nice to hear from Geeta on Mother’s Day

When we think of what has influenced and nurtured us the most in life we eventually land on memories of our mothers, or women in our lives that influenced us. Now we turn to our practice to help us enact the mothering we still require.  We all still need discipline, encouragement, laughter, and love to continue in all our endeavors.

As a special treat, AASY student and local musician extraordinaire, Bethanni Grecynski has gifted us a free download of her song to her mother.  We missed having the annual AASY Anniversary Party this April.  Last year Bethanni brought her band mates to entertain us and get us all up and dancing.  I hope you all have music in your lives. This song titled Annie, written for her mother would be a nice addition to whatever you listen to while cleaning, cooking, or walking the dog.  Below is the mp3 download, and the lyrics. Thanks, Bethanni!

Annie by our pal Bethanni, in honor of her mother.

This post has Sarvangasana, Shoulder-stand, as a destination.  Sarvangasana is a huge benefit to every system in the body.  Emotionally it develops patience stability. It helps all problems in the chest area. It stimulates the endocrine, digestive, excretory, and nervous systems.  It is considered the best recuperative treatment after a long illness.

This one’s for you Mom.

11 Replies to “Sadhana – using a mother’s skill, duty, and love.”

  1. Really loved this post and practice! Such a lovely collaboration from two of my favorite people!

    I’ve never combined different variations of Salamba Sarvangasana in one practice – super interesting. It really highlighted some of my imbalances hidden in my solo Salamba Sarvangasana. The wall version helped me explore my hips and tailbone. There’s a slight twist in my hips and shoulders that I’ve been feeling lately. The chair version helped me explore my chest, dorsal spine, and shoulders too. I actually had to do my first Salamba Sarvangasana again, after the chair version (for a short hold), to see if I could uncover some of those tendencies and correct them. I feel like I’m always learning from Sarvangasana, and my relationship with it has definitely changed over the years. It’s the perfect Mother’s Day pose!

  2. Mother’s day is bittersweet for me, a time when grief from her death (many many years ago) returns very strongly.

    Bethanni’s song touched me very much. Some of my favorite memories are of when my mother read to me.

    Geetaji’s explanation of Sadhana the practice to get to the aim, and Sadhan, the instrument that you use to do the practice, is haunting and mysterious, especially as our yogic Sadhana takes all those “parts of who we are” to get there (the very mysterious “there”) if I understand correctly. Very interesting to hear her refer to our bodies and minds themselves as props!

    I very much liked the three Sarvangasanas, which presented a picture of themselves in my mind like an ancient wooden screen with three long saintly figures carved into it.

    I enjoyed the entry into the first one — I always go up and down passing through some sort of Halasana, so this was new. Maybe this approach can be part of my meandering road to a non-wall entry to Sirsasana as well?

    The second one made me laugh — I remember this entry into the pose from when I first learned Sarvangasana, how I had to learn to stop shoving myself off the blanket! Well, I can stay put on the blanket now, but will have to work to make a smooth entry (instead of leg-flinging) into the balance itself!

    Chair Sarvangasana at the end was kind and calm and nourishing.

    I practiced this on the day, but was tongue-tied and dumbstruck til today.

    Thank you Bethanni for the lovely song, and thank you Laurie, for *all* that you do to keep us together and learning during this time,


  3. Thank you Laurie! I agree with all the comments. This post represented a true team effort-with gifts inside gifts. Grateful!

  4. Most Welcome Bethanni, and thanks again for adding to the special Mother’s Day post. You made all the right choices modifying the sequence.

  5. Beautiful – all of it! Thank you all! And Bethannie, what a beautiful song. <3

  6. I loved centering myself listening to Geeta’s breakdown of Sadhana. Encouraged me to stay on the path. Also, what an honor to have Annie featured as part of this special day’s sequence! I will share this page with her too and she will be so happy to know her song may bring joy to others. @the sequence – I was menstruating so I took some things out….I was sort of unsure what exactly is not recommended – but I took out Marichyasana III, Ardha Matsyendrasana, and Chatushpadasana. I subbed backbender for headstand and did bridge instead of shoulder stand. I left in the other twists and backbends, because I think they were ok to do… They were “open” twists I believe and fairly gentle backbends. Loved the sequence! Was very touched. About half way through, again felt very tender and connected and happy as I had similar to practicing the sun salutations sequence from Becca. This was a beautiful gift and reminder to give thanks for my mom, mother earth, and all mothering family, friends, and energy. Thank you Laurie!!

  7. Thank you Laurie for al the inspiring practices. They are so helpful!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you to.
    And thank you Becca for your demonstrations!

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