Asana Subjects

A-AB. Arm Balancings

BKS Iyengar writes ‘You must hold the balance by the intelligence of the body - by instinct or the sense of equilibrium- and not by strength. When you keep the balance by strength, it is physical action; when you keep it by the intelligence of the body, it is relaxation in action’.[

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A-BB. Backbending

BKS Iyengar writes: 'In the asana systems the most advanced postures are the backbends. The human structure is such that the idea does not strike anyone that the spinal vertebrae can be moved backwards as well as forward and sideways, without causing injury. In the field of yoga, backbends are not taught at the early stages in the practice of this art, but only when the body is trained and when it is tuned and toned to such an extent that it can accept these poses. Backbends are to be felt more than expressed'.

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A-FB. Forward Bends

‘The asanas ln sitting posture done with forward extension are called paschima pratana sthiti. Similar to standing asanas, the forward extension asanas are visible and perceivable movements for beginners. One can see the body and identify its movements. The heart faces the floor in all the forward extensions and this gives rest and helps one recover from fatigue'. Basic Guidelines for Teachers

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A-I. Inversions

‘The asanas in the inverted positions are known as Viparita Sthiti. The standing asanas and the lateral extensions prepare the musculo-skeletal structure of the body to learn the inversions, such as Salamba Sirsasana and Salamba Sarvangasana. The standing and sitting forward extensions prepare one physically and mentally so that adverse effects can be avoided, such as high blood pressure, headache, neck pain, tension in the eyes, vomiting sensation, heaviness in the head, sudden rush of blood towards the head and the psychological fear caused by faulty performance’. Geeta Iyengar

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A-R. Restoratives

BKS Iyengar writes: ‘Mental fatigue is experienced when the brain and the nerves get tired, It is caused by the excessive use of the brain, nerves and the senses of perception, mainly the eyes and ears. Over-exertion, shock or fear and mental disturbances cause fatigue. On the other hand, physical fatigue is mainly felt in the structural body. When one is physically tired, the system dries up and the limbs and the nerves fail to respond’.

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A-S. Sitting Asanas

‘The asanas in sitting posture done with forward extension are similar to standing asanas, the forward extension asanas are visible and perceivable movements for beginners-Geeta Iyengar. The material in this subject is not intended for the learning of asanas as this is the role of a teacher. The 10 week subject brings together a diverse range of material including articles and Video extracts from conventions to deliver a literature review.

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A-SP. Standing asanas

‘The beginners are introduced to the outer sheath of the body in the standing asanas and they learm the live dissection of their own body. The arms and legs, fingers and toes, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, arm sockets and leg sockets become close friends of each other and guide the practitioner to reach inward. Here, the inward journey of the practitioner begins'. Basic Guidelines for Teachers booklet:

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A-T. Twists

‘The twists are very effective in relieving backaches, headaches, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders’. The material in this subject is not intended for the learning of asanas as this is the role of a teacher. The 10 week subject brings together a diverse range of material including articles and Video extracts from conventions to deliver a literature review.

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