More than “A Little Stretching”

Patanjala Yoga – more than “a little stretching”

Of course, practicing on the mat is the core of our practice. But our asana practice fits into a larger philosophical picture. I have a precious memory of sitting in the RIMYI library  in Pune, India with Guruji. It’s the basement of the Institute and a number of us were sitting at the long table studying, he was at the entrance at his desk. He lifted his head from his work and started complaining about how we all were calling his approach to the subject “Iyengar Yoga”.  (This was quite a while ago).  He wanted it to be known as Patanjala Yoga.  He was making a point that his life’s work, his teaching, and his practice to penetrate the subject was always based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

While we are all stuck at home these days it could be the perfect time to do some reading about Patanjali and look into the sutras if you haven’t yet. Here’s a quick link to order a paper or kindle copy of Light on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar.

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Quiet Sequence and Pratyahara, “Absolutely in a Peaceful State”, Geeta Iyengar

The sequence below is well known as the Menstruation Sequence, and it is a big boon to women during their menstruation days. But it is terrific for all practitioners, men and women alike. If you want to add Sirsasana, (head stand), put it in right before or after Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana If you want to add Sarvangasana, (shoulderstand), put that in just before or after Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.

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Immunity Booster sequence from BKS Iyengar

We hope you are finding time for your yoga practice. Here is a sequence from Guruji for boosting your Immunity. If you don’t do inversions you could repeat head supported downward facing dog in place of head stand, and longer block or bolster supported bridge pose for shoulderstand. Please refer to the pictures on the bottom to sort out all the sanskrit names.

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