Arquivo do mês: agosto 2013




By Donald Moyer

Our guide will help you keep it straight plan your classes with intelligence and skill.

Skip to the Sequences:

Perhaps you have taken a series of introductory yoga classes and want to make yoga a bigger part of your life. Or perhaps you want to refine your asanas. Practicing at home for even a few minutes each day will help you move more deeply into poses than one long practice each week. A home yoga practice can also be an enhancement to your life, a time you spend with yourself to nourish and revitalize. However, if you expect too much of yourself, your yoga practice may turn into another burden or chore. Before embarking on a home practice, consider carefully how much time you have available each day. Account for your working hours, household tasks, and family responsibilities, and see how you can reasonably fit a yoga practice into your life before you begin.

Start simple, practicing a few minutes each day, choosing two or three of your favorite poses. When you are able to practice three times a week, for at least half an hour each time, try the basic sequences included in this article. I encourage long-term students to build their home practice to five days each week, for at least 30 minutes on three days, and at least an hour on two other days. This leaves one day a week for attending class and one day to rest the body completely.

My first yoga teacher, Penny Nield-Smith, used to say, “You’re only as old as your spine!” According to yoga tradition, the vital energy of the body is housed in and protected by the spine. The sequences presented here include the most important poses for a beginner or a continuing beginner to practice and will help you develop strength and flexibility of the spine by gradually increasing your range of movement in three different ways: forward bending, backbending, and twisting. By alternating these sequences during the week, you will have a full and balanced practice.

You will notice that these basic sequences share a common structure. They begin with standing poses to warm the body, move into the focus poses (forward bends, backbends, or twists), and conclude with releasing and relaxation poses. The most basic standing poses are repeated in each sequence: Adho Mukha Svanasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Uttanasana, Utthita Parsvakonasana, Prasarita Padottanasana. These poses develop the strength of the legs and the flexibility of the hip joints. Notice that within the sequence an active standing pose like Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) is followed by a more restful standing pose like Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). In this way, you can maintain and conserve rather than dissipate your energy.

Each sequence also includes a more challenging standing pose, marked with an asterisk (*). If you are an absolute beginner, omit these poses from the sequence until you feel comfortable with the more basic standing poses. Use props to modify poses when necessary.

Observe how the standing poses for each sequence relate to the focus poses. In Sequence I, Parsvottanasana (Intense Intense Side Stretch Pose) and Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) help to lengthen the hamstrings for sitting forward bends. In Sequence II, Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose) strengthens the legs, opens the chest, and gives the spine a mild preparatory backbend. In Sequence III, standing twists prepare the spine for sitting twists. In a well-planned sequence, each pose makes the next pose easier and more accessible, because it creates the opening necessary to move deeply into that pose.

Beginners who are unfamiliar with the names of poses and how to do them can consult B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (Shocken, 1995) or Yoga: The Iyengar Way by Silva Mehta, Mira Mehta, & Shyam Mehta (Knopf, 1990) for more guidance.

Before You Begin

Prepare Your Space. Choose a clean, uncluttered area for your practice space, preferably with a bare floor and an accessible wall. When you practice, turn off your telephone or switch on your answering machine. Let your friends and family know this is your quiet time and you are not to be disturbed.

Props. When you set up your practice space, gather whatever props you need. These may include: a nonskid mat (if your floor is carpeted or slippery); a foam or wooden block; a 6-foot strap or belt; a folding or straight-backed chair; a blanket; and a bolster (or two blankets folded in the oblong shape of a bolster).

What to Eat. Try not to eat for at least two hours before practicing. If this is not possible, eat something light, such as fruit, at least an hour before doing yoga.

What to Wear. Wear loose clothing that does not restrict the movement of your legs and pelvis. Shorts and a T-shirt, a leotard and tights, and sweat suits are fine. Practice barefoot to enhance your balance and sensitize your feet.

Sequence I: Forward Bends
To prepare for seated forward bends, begin with standing poses that give a gentle stretch to the hamstrings, inner thighs, and outer hips. Deepen the work of the legs with a supine leg stretch like Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose). Use a strap around the foot of the raised leg if your hamstrings are tight.

Virasana (Hero Pose) helps to prepare the knee joints for seated forward bends. If your pelvis doesn’t reach the floor in Virasana or if you experience discomfort in the knees, place a folded blanket or block under your sitting bones (but not under the feet). Practice the arm position from Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) to open the shoulder joints and create mobility in the upper spine. Tightness in the upper back can restrict your seated forward bends. If your hands don’t meet in Gomukhasana, hold a strap between the hands.

In all sitting poses, place a folded blanket under the sitting bones to raise the pelvis and help you sit comfortably. If you feel any discomfort at your inner knee while practicing Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend), bring your legs closer together. If you feel discomfort in the knee in Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) or Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose), place a folded facecloth behind the bent knee to create more space in the joint.

Janu Sirsasana and Paschimottanasana are the heart of this practice sequence, and are the most accessible forward bends for beginners. If your hamstrings are tight or if you have discomfort in your lower back, practice these seated forward bends with your hands on the seat of a chair or on upturned blocks, so that your hands are the same height from the ground as your shoulders. This will help you to elongate your spine.

Once you are in the pose, bring your awareness to the breath. Let the spine gently lengthen on the inhalation and release more deeply into the pose on the exhalation.

After seated forward bends, practice a counterpose to release your lower back, either Balasana (Child’s Pose) or the supine twist recommended in the backbend sequence. If you experience any lower back discomfort or weakness during this sequence, place a rolled blanket under your knees for Savasana (Corpse Pose), allowing the lower back to release to the floor.

Sequence II: Backbends
Backbending poses require not only a flexible spine, but openness in the hip and shoulder joints and the length of the front body. The standing poses in this sequence create movement and flexibility in the hips and shoulders. Virabhadrasana I approaches a backbend position and brings length to the front thighs and lower abdomen.

The backbending segment begins with Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog), which gently arches and extends the spine. If you feel any discomfort in the lower or middle back while practicing Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, try placing your hands on blocks or a chair. If you feel any strain on the knees in Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), use a strap around the ankles and take hold of the strap a few inches from the ankles.

If you have neck problems, do not let your head drop back in Ustrasana (Camel Pose), but keep your chin tucked into your chest. If Ustrasana is difficult for you, try practicing with your hands on upturned blocks or the seat of a chair.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) (Bridge Pose) is a useful counterpose after Ustrasana because it lengthens the back of the neck. If you feel strain on the knees in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, walk your feet further out until they are directly under your knees. Hold a strap around the ankles to give you more leverage. To stay longer in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, place an upturned block under the tailbone.

Practiced as a resting pose in this way, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana functions as a transition from the active backbends to the winding-down poses. Practice a supine twist after backbends to release your lower back and neutralize the spine.

Backbends open the chest and are an ideal preparation for any variation of Shoulderstand, including Viparita Karani. In Viparita Karani, make sure the bolster supports your lower waist and sacrum, so that your pelvis is parallel to the floor. Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) with your feet on a bolster releases the lower back and the hip joints. If you have lower back problems, lie on your back with your legs up the wall instead of doing Viparita Karani and place a roll under your knees in Savasana.

Sequence III: Twists 
Twisting poses are often used as transition poses to neutralize the spine after forward bends and backbends. In this sequence, we focus on twisting poses themselves to help deepen the lateral rotation of the spine. To twist the spine effectively, you must first be able to stabilize the pelvis and lengthen the spine, which is accomplished here with the basic standing poses. Parsvottanasana then takes us halfway to Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), by establishing the position of the feet and legs. If Parivrtta Trikonasana feels too difficult for you, try Utthita Marichyasana (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi) with one knee bent and your foot on a chair or window ledge, turning towards the bent leg. If balance is a problem, practice Parivrtta Trikonasana with the support of a wall. After the standing poses, Uttanasana with arms extended onto a chair acts not only as a resting pose, but allows you to lengthen the spine once again.

Bharadvajasana II (Bharadvaja’s Twist II) is a mild twist for the spine and a great shoulder opener. This pose is also a good preparation for Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana). However, if you have knee problems, or the knees are not in contact with the floor, place the foot at the inner thigh rather than on the thigh of the opposite leg. Use a strap around the ankle, if you cannot take hold of the foot.

Marichyasana III is the quintessential twist, but the final position with the arms entwined behind the back is difficult to achieve. Here are some alternate ways of practicing the pose: If you are turning towards your right, first practice by hugging your bent leg with your left forearm. As you gain flexibility in the pose, bring your upper left arm over the bent leg, but keep your elbow bent. Eventually, when the side rib cage touches the thigh of the bent leg, you are ready to clasp the hands behind the back. In all twisting poses, work with the rhythm of the breath. Lengthen the front of the spine on the inhalation, and deepen the twist on the exhalation.

After a series of twists, practice a symmetrical pose such as Upavistha Konasana to extend the legs and realign the two sides of the body. In seated twists, there is a tendency to compress the hip joints, tense the diaphragm, and constrict the rib cage. Practice Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) with a bolster under the rib cage to open the chest and help release the hip joints. Leave the bolster under the rib cage when you extend your legs for Savasana or lie flat, whichever feels more comfortable.

In 30 minutes (without disruptions), you can practice any one of these series, holding the poses for the times recommended. Adjust your practice as you see fit, holding the poses longer or repeating some of the more difficult ones for a longer practice, or eliminating the more difficult poses for a shorter session.

Words of Caution

Menstrual Cycle. Do not practice inverted poses or strenuous backbends during menstruation. Focus on forward bends and restorative poses: Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) with bolster (10 minutes); Supta Virasana (Supine Hero Pose) with bolster (5 minutes); Balasana (Child’s Pose) with a bolster (5 minutes); and Savasana with support under knees (10 minutes).

Pregnancy. During the first trimester, all beginning poses can be practiced safely if you are in good health and have no history of miscarriages. During the second and third trimesters, backbends and forward bends should be modified to avoid either overstretching or compressing the abdomen. Concentrate on Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) and standing poses to maintain strength, and Upavistha Konasana and Baddha Konasana to encourage an easy delivery. Practice Savasana lying on your side. Consider joining a prenatal yoga class with an experienced instructor who can address your questions and concerns.

Illness and Injury. When recovering from illness or injury, consult an experienced yoga teacher and/or your health-care professional before embarking on a regular yoga practice.

Pain and Discomfort. If you experience pain or discomfort when practicing any of the poses recommended in this article, consult an experienced yoga teacher if possible. Otherwise, modify the pose by trying one of the variations or alternatives indicated. If the pain persists, eliminate the pose from your practice until you can get reliable advice.

Donald Moyer, director of The Yoga Room in Berkeley, California, has been teachingIyengar Yoga since 1974. He is writing a book on developing a home yoga practice.

Sequence I (Forward Bends)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 1 minute
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) 2 x 30 seconds
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 30 seconds
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) 30 seconds
Vrksasana (Tree Pose) 1-2 minutes
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) 1 minute
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) 1-2 minutes
Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) 1-2 minutes
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Sirsasana (Headstand) 3-5 minutes
Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) 5-10 minutes
Eka Pada Sarvangasana (One-Legged Shouderstand) 1 minute
Parsvaika Pada Sarvangasana (One Leg to Side Shoulderstand) 1 minute
Halasana (Plow Pose) 1-2 minutes
Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) 2 minutes
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) 1 minute
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose) 2 minutes
Ardha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half-Lotus Seated Forward Bend) 2 minutes
Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana (Three-Limbed Forward Bend) 2 minutes
Marichyasana I (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi, I) 2 minutes
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) 2 minutes
Jathara Parivartanasana (Supine Twist or Revolved Abdomen Pose) 1 minute
Savasana (Corpse Pose) 3-5 minutes


Sequence II (Backbends)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 1 minute
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) 30 seconds
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) 1 minute
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I) 1-2 minutes
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Pose III) 1 minute
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 1 minute
Virasana Gomukhasana (Hero Pose with Cow Face Pose Arms) 1 minute
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose) 2-3 minutes
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 30 seconds
Sirsasana (Headstand) 3-5 minutes
Salabhasana (Locust Pose) 2 x 30 seconds
Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose) 3 minutes
Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvaja’s Twist, I) 30 seconds
Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) 2 x 30 seconds
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose) 2 x 30 seconds
Jathara Parivartanasana (Supine Twist or Revolved Abdomen Pose) 1 minute
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) 3-10 minutes
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) (Bridge Pose) 3-5 minutes
Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) (Supine Bound Angle Pose) 30 seconds
Balasana (Child’s Pose) 1-2 minutes
Savasana (Corpse Pose) 3-5 minutes


Sequence III (Twists)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 1 minute
Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance) 2 x 30 seconds
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) 30 seconds
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend) 1 minute
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) 1-2 minutes
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) 1 minute
Bharadvajasana II (Bharadvaja’s Twist II) 2 x 1 minute
Virasana with arms in Gomukhasana (Hero Pose with Cow Face Pose Arms) 1 minute
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) 30 seconds
Sirsasana (Headstand) 3-5 minutes
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) (Bridge Pose) 1-2 minutes
Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) 3-10 minutes
Halasana (Plow Pose) 1-3 minutes
Supta Padangusthasana (leg up) (Supine Hand-to-Foot Pose) 1 minute
Supta Padangusthasana (leg to side) (Supine Hand-to-Foot Pose) 1 minute
Marichyasana III (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi, III) 2 x 1 minute
Ardha Matsyendrasana I (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) 2 x 1 minute
Pasasana (Noose Pose) 2 x 1 minute
Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend) 1 minute
Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle Pose) 3 minutes
(Balasana (Child’s Pose)) 1 minute
Savasana (Corpse Pose) 3-5 minutes

Pune Blog No 13

Pune Blog No 13

July 23, 2013 07:23 AM

Made it back to Pune from the hard core Ayurvedic retreat and re entered the noise and chaos of the city. We hoping that the rain would be lighter here but it isn’t really!

We opened the door to our apartment to find that all of the electrics had blown again! I tried to put the switches back into position on the fuse box only to be met with big flashes of flame coming it of the box! We went for help.
The main casualty this time is the Wi Fi! I now have to wade down the road through the rain and mud to have a nice chai tea as I blog and catch up with emails. Hey ho!
The kettle went straight on when we got back last night and all the good work of our Ayurvedic couple of days was undone with tea and toast! So delicious in every way!  We then went out for an Italian meal and even had some wine! Tut tut tut! Indian Rose and I knew about that this morning and also the pizza which my stomach really did not enjoy after all of the light healthy food of the last few days!
I think that there was some rebellion against Ayurveda going on last night!
Last night was a very special occasion. Guru Purnima is the annual occasion when students of a Guru gather together to give their thanks and pay their respects to their teacher. To be honest,Jacque and I didn’t really feel like going. We knew that it would be very crowded and likely to be a very long drawn out chaotic affair.
I’m so glad that we made the effort to go. We arrived rather late just as Mr Iyengar was walking the short distance from his house into the yoga hall! We went upstairs and got virtually the last spaces that it was possible to sit down in. Then Mr Iyengar came and sat down a few feet away from us! We couldn’t believe it. I got some great sneaky pictures but this one is the best I think.

Mr Iyengar is 94 years old and I never really expected to see so much of him during my time here. It really was very special to be so close to him.
The evening consisted of various students talking of their experiences of a Iyengar yoga and of their Guruji. Interesting but did go on for rather a long time and it was hard to concentrate as some of e subject matter was very complex.
Mr Iyengar then went to the stage and gave us a talk after introducing various new book publications.
It became by clear that he had heard and taken in every single word of the previous speaker who had delivered and extremely lengthy and complex talk on yoga philosophy. He really does have an amazingly sharp mind  and an unbelievably sharp mind for someone of his age! He spoke for around 30 minutes.
He said many things but his really sticks in my mind.
“The body is the prop of the self. If there is no body, it is just the spirit”
He also said that we all need to understand Sutra 34 Chapter 2 in order to understand the meaning of yoga. Go and look it up guys!
We were then invited to form an orderly queue so at we could pay our respects and receive a blessing from Guruji. Kissing feet isn’t really something that I have much experience with and I really wasn’t sure if this was something that I wanted to do. I decided that it had to be done. This man has inspired me greatly with his wonderful books and his teaching of yoga and I’m very grateful for the way that yoga has impacted on my life.
An orderly queue in India was clearly not going to happen so we scrummaged our way using elbows towards Gurji.
He looked me straight in the eye with his big brown eyes before I bowed down and again as came up.He seemed friendly and kind.It was a very humbling moment and I’m so glad that I took myself out of my comfort zone to do it.

We’ve had a very lazy day today. Last class with Geeta in the morning and then the taxi will come and pick us up to take us to the airport. We’re very ready for home now. I think that we’ve extracted everything that we can from the city of Pune. We’ve shopped until we dropped,well I have! Jacque has watched! We’ve had some great yoga experiences and some not so great yoga experiences. We’ve had delicious food and nearly been electrocuted on more than one occasion!
Time to head home.

YSP Study Group – Sutra 2.32

YSP Study Group – Sutra 2.32


शौचसंतोषतपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि नियमाः॥३२॥

Patanjali infantil


shouchasaMtoShatapaHsvaadhyaayeshvarapraNidhaanani niyamaaH

shoucha = cleanliness; saMtoSha = contentment; tapaH = austerity; svaadhyaaya = study [of the scriptures]; IshvarapraNidhaanani = devotion to God, the Lord; niyamaaH = observances

Sw. Satchidananda

“Niyama consists of purity, contentment, accepting but not causing pain, study of spiritual books and worship of God [self-surrender]”.

The five yamas and the five niyamas remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism.


“The observances are cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study of scriptures, and devotion to God”

Whereas yamas are concerned with how the yogi interacts with others by desisting from certain activities, niyamas focus on personal discipline and practice by engaging in certain activities.


Shaucha (cleanliness): Vyasa mentions both internal and external cleanliness. External cleanliness consists in cleaning with clay and water (soap and water for us!) etc. and taking pure food which does not include meat and intoxicants. Alcohol, for example, creates disturbance in the mind which inhibits concentration and meditation. Internal cleanliness consists of purifying the mind of contaminations like anger, hatred, jealousy, pride, vanity, attachments etc. An attitude of friendliness toward all will help internal cleanliness.

Santosha (contentment): Santosha represents disinterest in accumulating more than one’s immediate needs of life. The Bhagavad Gita makes a strong statement against desires that can never be satisfied. To avoid injury to the foot from thorns, one only needs to wear a pair of shoes – there should be no need to cover the entire earth with leather!

Tapas (austerirty): Tapas is the ability to withstand hunger and thirst as well as the dualities of life like hot and cold etc., to avoid useless talk, and to perform fasts etc. Yoga involves enduring hardships and remain undisturbed by the lack of material comforts. Tapas does not mean inflicting undue hardship on the body.

Svadhyay (Study): Svadhyay refers to study of sacred scriptures and repetition of OM and other devotional mantras. By the practice of Svadhyay, desire for worldly objects diminishes and taste for spirituality increases.

Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to God): Ishvara Pranidhana  is offering one’s activities to Ishvara, the original teacher, without desire for the fruit of actions. In Bhagavad Gita, it forms a central theme for the concept of Bhakti Yoga. Vyasa notes that through devotion to Ishvara all obstacles are removed and one is able to realize the innermost consciousness. Many consider devotion to Ishvara to be the most important of all yamas and niyamas. It is important to note that although Ishvara Pranidhana  was optional in the first chapter (Ishvara Pranidhanat va – sutra 1.23), it is not so in the context of the niyamas or the Kriya Yoga mentioned in sutra 2.1.


It is interesting to note that the three components of Kriya Yoga (sutra 2.1), namely, tapas, swadhyaya, and Ishvara Pranidhana have been repeated as the last three Niyamas by Patanjali. According to some commentators:

  • Tapas expresses the essence of Karma Yoga
  • Swadhyaya expresses the essence of Jnaha Yoga
  • Ishvara Pranidhana expresses the essence of Bhakti Yoga


For external cleansing many commentators recommend the practice of the Shatkarma (six cleansing routines) mentioned in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika:

  1. Dhauti (internal cleansing)
  2. Basti (yogic enema)
  3. Neti (nasal cleansing)
  4. Trataka (concentrated gazing)
  5. Nauli (abdominal churning)
  6. Kapalabhati (skull shining)

Internal cleansing is recommended through the attitude of friendliness etc. – sutra 1.33. Six “mental impurities” are commonly mentioned – kama (lust/craving), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada  (arrogance), and matsarya (jealousy). The ultimate internal cleansing involves removing all the five kleshas by the attainment of “viveka khyati” (discriminative discernment).


When the mind is happy because of the light of sattva guna, that is contentment. Total lethargy, lack of interest due to dominance of tamas guna is NOT contentment. Sankhya Karika (#50) lists the following as “tushti” (you may call it “false contentment”):

  • Giving up the practice of the eight limbs of yoga hoping that Prakriti is working by itself toward bhoga and apavarga (sutra 2.18)
  • Believing that by adopting the life of a sanyasi, no effort is required and that samadhi will come by itself
  • Since everything is predetermined based on samskaras, there is not need for effort
  • If it is in my fate, I’ll get samadhi any way


The word tapa literally means heat. Just like gold is purified by putting it through intense heat, the same way our body and mind are purified by practicing tapas. What constitutes the practice of tapas? In my understanding, making a determination to give up your normal comforts for a certain amount of time is a part of tapas. For example, if you enjoy a certain food, you may give that up for, say, six months. You may apply this to watching TV, reading something, giving up smoking, drinking etc. Setting  a certain time of day for your yoga practice (asana, pranayama, meditation) and following through with the program is tapas.

Many commentators mention fasting as a form of tapas. One fast that is mentioned is Chandrayana. In this fast, on the full moon day, you take your regular meal. For the next fifteen days, keep reducing the quantity of food consumed by one fifteenth. On the day of ‘amavasya’ (dark night), observe a total fast for 24 hours. Then continue to increase the amount of food by one fifteenth each day until the full moon day when you eat the regular meal. A more common approach to fasting is to fast once a week.

Other type of tapas mentioned is to keep ‘mauna’ (silence) for a certain period of time. During this time, dedicating most of the time to the study of spiritual literature and spending time in meditation is recommended.

Bhagavad Gita categorizes tapas into sattvic, rajasic and tamasik tapas (Shlokas 17.17-19). It also mentions the tapas of the body, speech and mind.


In addition to the study of scriptures like the Gita, Upanishads, Yoga Sutra etc., Vyasa mentions chanting of mantra as a form of Swadhyay. In the Indian culture, one of the most commonly recited mantras is the Gayatri Mantra:

Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ

bhárgo devásya dhīmahi dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

“We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.” – Translation by Sw. Vivekananda

This is considered to be a very powerful mantra as it is used to pray for an intellect that will lead us in the right direction in life.

Ishvara Pranidhana

As is commonly believed, Patanjali used the basic tenets of the Sankhya philosophy in formulating the philosophy that he presented in the Yoga Sutras. Sankhya does not include the discussion of Ishvara (God). It only talks about the two independent entities – Purusha and Prakriti. In the Yoga Sutras, in addition to the philosophy, Patanjali has also provided the methodology to achieve the objectives of yoga. He has introduced the concept of Ishvara and has presented Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God) as one of the means of achieving the goal of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras the concept of Ishvara is presented in sutras 1.23-29. In chapter 1, Ishvara Pranidhana has been given as an optional means to attain calmness of the mind. However, in chapter 2, it is mentioned both as part of Kriya Yoga (sutra 2.1) and also as one of the niyamas.

Vyasa defines Ishvara Pranidhana as – dedicating and surrendering all practices and acts to the supreme Guru, as well as renouncing the results and fruits thereof. It is worth noting that this definition is different from what was presented in chapter 1. There Ishvara Pranidhana was used more as a mental attitude to calm the mind. As a part of the niyamas, it is more like a practice as part of the eight limbs of yoga. As such, it can be considered a combination of Karma and Bhakti yoga. An often-quoted verse of Bhagavad Gita emphasizes Ishvara Pranidhana thus:

“Whatever you do, eat, offer as sacrifice, or give, whatever asceticism you perform, surrender that unto Me” (verse 9.27)



009 (2)


What is the vision of yoga?

Sutras 1.3, 1.2: Asana has infinite potential to transform us
Concentration, absorption
Reflection, observation


Buttock skin down, tailbone in

length in side body

Hands to sides and back, pelvis forward

Prasarita padotanasana
Space between each toe, lengthen forward, pelvis forward like in uttanasana

Tadasana vs samastiti
Samastiti is a state

Urdhva hastasana
Extend from root of fingernail to tip
Attention vs awareness
Extending from center of armpit
What is shape of mind?
Urdhva baddha guliasana
Press from webbing of hands, focus on shoulder blades, abdomen, sternum
hands hold belt under soles of feet
Then cross belt behind legs
Effect on shoulder blades
Arms extend to sides
Prasarita padotanasana
Lift chin and chest, exhale and bring head down
Observe direction of spine (up towards ceiling)
Then take arms to side, hold ankles when you take head to floor
Start w/feet hip width apart, raise chin, take palms to sides of feet
Then hold ankles
Start w/hands in uh, u baddha guliasana
Then w/hands interlaced behind buttocks to move thoracic spine in
Then full pose, head to shin
Paschima namaskar
Orgin of action behind sternum
Then start w/fingers interlaced, palms down in prep for paschima namaskar
Prasarita padotanasana
Hands in paschima namaskar
Full pose
Feet together
Urdhva prasarita eka padasana
Hands to side of feet, let leg fly up, then bring hip down
Need more concentration in straightening up leg
Extend from sit bone to heel
(“Bangle-izing” of up arm in trikonasana)
Expand skin and flesh of up leg
Uttanasana lift heels, then lift toes in prep
Then keep hips even in UPEP
Inversions @wall
UH – Place palms up wall, toes up wall
Keep legs straight, UPEP action in leg going up, leg on floor is slow to come up
Keep mind spacious, but focused
Pincha Mayurasana
Same approach, ardha turn deltoids and lift thru spine, come up w/grace
Lift thru inner legs
Then w/palms facing one another
Start w/palms facing like in pincha mayurasana, then interlace fingers, cross thumbs but leave room for head
Keep space in thoracic, lift one leg at a time and keep head in position as legs go up
Take legs apart and relax quads, buttocks and don’t lift tailbone – relaxes pelvis, then take tailbone up (not in) feel effect
Purvottanasana (in prep for sarvangasana)
for upper body, opening of chest/shoulders
Start w/hands holding belt looped below soles of feet, outer shoulders down, height in armpits, upper arms turn out, chest lifts, then hold w/belt crossed behind legs
Virasana in sarvangasana to
Setubanda sarvangasana 3x
Chantoosh padasana
Lift back ribs, raise toes take shins back, walk shoulders towards feet
Then take hands to back ribs, slowly walk feet out to setubanda until you loose height in ribs

Citação | Verso do Yoga Sūtras de Patañjali

yoga em casa | para conhecer e começar a praticar onde estiver

Citação | Verso do Yoga Sūtra“Pensamentos danosos podem ser executados, cultivados de maneira a serem executados ou permitidos de serem executados; são precedidos por cobiça, raiva e confusão mental; e podem ser pequenos, médios e intensos. Seus resultados são sofrimento e ignorância infindáveis. O que pode ser feito é trazer [à mente] pensamentos contrários a eles.”

vitarkā himsādayaḥ kṛtakāritānumoditā lobhakrodhamohapūrvakā mṛdumadhyādhimātrā duḥkhājñanānantaphalā iti pratipakṣabhāvanam|

verso 34 do sādhana pādaḥ

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Bobby Clennell

Many stories are told in the Mahabharata of Bhishma, the son of a great king and also a yogi, a learned man and a great warrior. This particular story tells how Bhishma, unparalleled in the noble the art of archery was himself shot through by arrows as he fought in battle. As he fell, his whole body was held above ground by the shafts of these arrows, which protruded from his back and through his arms and legs. Bhishma was suspended this way for 40 days.

B.K.S. Iyengar tells us that Bhishma was kept alive for so long most likely because of the strategic positioning — similar to acupuncture points; behind the heart, at the coccyx — of the arrows.

Bishma meditated as he transitioned in a timely and dignified manner from the manifest world to the un-manifest, eternal world. Seeing Bhishma laid out on such a bed of arrows humbled…

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Oito ou oitenta

cora rónai | internETC.

E lá ia eu pela Velha Delhi, assuntando, olhando as lojas e os passantes. A Velha Delhi não é para os fracos. É suja, barulhenta, cheia de ruazinhas que desembocam em outras ruazinhas e ainda em outras, num emaranhado onde até indianos se perdem. É a prova viva de que há uma explosão demográfica no planeta, e dependendo do dia e da hora, pode ser um tanto ameaçadora. Eu amo a Velha Delhi com fervor.

Hoje é feia, embora aqui e ali se vislumbrem os restos de um passado de esplendor: foi fundada pelo imperador Shahjahan em 1639 e, até a Partição, era cheia de havelis, as harmoniosas mansões indianas. Naquele fatídico ano de 1947, boa parte de seus antigos e sofisticados habitantes, que criavam pombos, cultivavam jardins e falavam urdu foram para o recém-criado Paquistão; suas casas abandonadas foram ocupadas por levas de retirantes empobrecidos que vinham da direção…

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