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!

Virabhadrasana (Warrior 1)

Practice

Step your feet out to a nice, wide stance.
Turn your right foot out to the right, so that it is parallel to the outer edge of your mat.
Turn the left foot in as much as you have to, so that you feel the left hip in line with the right hip. Awareness of the position of your hipbones relative to each other is something you have to deliberately cultivate in the beginning so that eventually it becomes almost automatic. And …

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Entering the pose

Step out to the right, hands shoulder height, toes pointing straightforward. Check that the hips are totally square, in one line with the front of the body. (Like the first movement of Trikonasana.)
Turn the left foot slightly inwards. Then, with awareness, turn the right foot out parallel to the edge of the mat (ninety degrees), making sure the turning-out action is actually taking place at the acetabulum (where the top of the thigh bone fits into the …