Ladies Class with Gulnaz
This morning seemed quite leisurely with the 9:30 start time. Gulnaz taught us this morning. The energy in the room was chatty, but not like Saturday. The real difference in energy was after class. Every just seemed so happy to have had an “asana” class. It was clearly easier for people to relate to. At the same time, Gulnaz did plenty of philosophical concept integration. Mostly, she talked about dharana and Dharana as the mechanism of bridging body and mind together. Dharna is what makes what we do yog and not just physical exercise. In all, I would say she was rather unimpressed with our performance of the asanas and exhorted us to practice. Her cheerful demeanor helps keep the overall tone on the lighter side of things despite the admonitions.
Another thing she focused a lot on was how specific things like using the trifold blanket or the cross of the thumbs in sirsasana get modified for a particular reason and then that gets disseminated as “the” way to do it. For example, today she had us walk back from AMS to Utt a good bit and she made clear that we should not think or say to others that “this is the way do it.” She was after getting the heels to ground. She said, “you should explain with understanding.”
We worked a lot with the actions she taught on Sunday about bringing the legs strongly together. I realized today how much we bypass needed work in the back buttocks by always doing utt with the feet a bit a part or even wider. That accommodation is a good example of something that’s more or less become the default way to do things. She said we should “make uttanasana worthy of its name.” Utt- intense.
The sequence was something like this.
Utt legs wide
Tadasana legs together
Down to Utt
Did several times. Really working to reduce space between legs and using the arms to bring the torso in closer and closer to the legs in utt.
UPEP bringing leg only to 90
AMS eka pada
UPEP full pose
AMS eka pada
Vashistasana feet together
AMS feet together
Vashistasana Leg in Vrk
AMS feet together
Full pose (didn’t go well)
Ananatasana working legs together, leg in Vrk and full pose, did twice
Back to Vashistasana Full pose
Sirsasana eka pada Parsva eka pada. Only bringing leg to 90 and going directly to Parsva and back to eka pada keeping hips level.
Sarvangasana same work with eka pada and Parsva eka pada in eka pada line up little toe and outer hip, we were bringing the leg too much toward the mid line.
She also emphasized throughout drawing the toes of the up extended leg very strongly down. She said it is different work to extend the toe. Again, I don’t think this is “THE WAY” to work the legs, but it has been a rather consistent emphasis in the classes since I’ve been here. It does activate the arches nicely.
It was also nice to work on Vashistasana after Prashant’s discussion about our lack of familiarity with it last week. It really helped Uttasana, for example.