Self Study in Yoga
Updated: May 18, 2022
On a warm October Sunday I hosted a morning gentle yoga practice at Rhythm & Soul in Vero Beach. The class incorporated items from several of the eight limbs of yoga and are described below.
Philosophy Focus: Svādhyāya
When you first hear this word at the top of class you may have asked yourself, what is Svādhyāya? Well, Svādhyāya is a Sanskrit term which translated to self-study. It is perhaps my most-used of the yogic philosophies on the yamas and niyamas. This self-study can traditionally mean the study of traditional texts as a means to gain a deeper understanding of the self. During class we talked very specifically about noticing our physical and emotional responses to our breath and movement and pausing to reflect why we might feel that way to journey further into our ourselves.
You can learn more about this topic on the Yoga International site.
Physical Focus Peak Pose: Garudasana
The central pose we worked toward as a class today was Garudasana, Eagle Pose. This is a balancing pose which activates the legs, core, chest and arms. To enter into this pose we utilized a block under the toe of the wrapping leg in order to gain stability and allow us to focus more on the release across the shoulders and the engagement of the core. We explored several arm variations here so that we could benefit from the opening across the shoulders and back body without having to fully wrap the forearms.
Breath Focus Pranayama: Sama Vritti
Today we worked with a four-part breath, or square breath called Sama Vritti. This breathing technique can be used to slow the heart rate and the mind and is helpful for allowing us pause as we work to notice what is going on throughout the body.
Listen to the Pandora Playlist for this class