Wisdom: Asana in Focus

Awareness Intentions for the year, inspired by the Upanishads

Namaste to all! Wish you all a happy and fruitful 2012. Now, right at the commencement of the year, let us affirm our firm standing with awareness and svadhyaya. The following is based on 12 svadhyaya instructions given in Taittiriya Upanishad.

1.Ritam cha svadhyaya pravachanecha Ritam means clarity of teachings. So, let us intend to have clarity about the teachings which are taught, especially in the light of what is skilful and wholesome and what is not. Let us practice awareness …

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The Ashtanga Roll

Midway through the Ashtanga Week at Manasa, Manoj reminds students to concentrate on vinyasa (breath linked movements) and drishti (steady gaze) while in practice. He also shares some points on the right (and safe) way of attempting backrolls!


Feet hip-width, and pointing straight forward.
Clasp the elbows, stretch up and exhaling, fold down from the hips, with the knees slightly bent.
Look at the feet; spread the toes open. Be aware of the four corners of each foot; evenly grounded on earth.

THINK – When you bend over, what is happening? We are all born of earth but we seldom bow down to it in respect and humility. In this action of bending down and focusing on grounding points, we are …

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Ground evenly through the four corners of each foot.
Now draw the inner legs upward strongly towards the groins while simultaneously lengthening down through the outer legs.
Keep the shoulder blades firmly drawn into the back ribs.
Keeping your hands by the hips, look down to see the line of the navel and pubic symphisis. It must be pointing straight at the mid point on the floor between the two feet.
Now start to slowly shift weight …