Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Module 2 and 3 in review (weeks 2-4+)

Concluding Module 2: Anatomy and Asana...

During the Anatomy and Asana sections we reviewed major muscle groups using our textbook, coloring books, reviews, and Clayton's assistance. Previously Clayton had major leg muscles, hip flexors and adductors, and spine stabilizers of the hip. Here we've added the tensor fasciae latae/IT band, shoulder girdle, lattissimus dorsi, trapezius  deltoid, and the biceps.

We reviewed asana alignment relating to spine, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands before transitioning into...

Module 3: Philosophy and Hatha Practices

Prior to our discussion of early philosophy we briefly discussed the concerns of Edward Said's Orientalism and its relation to Indian cultures. We also examined the principles of discursive analysis within a historical context. Lastly we discussed how challenging it can be for a post-modern Western audience to understand the significance of smriti and shruti, as we tend to privilege written tradition over oral tradition. After discussing the biases and prejudices that can be present for each of us, we continued on...

We talked about the major texts of early Brahmanism and some of the Astika and Nastika, "orthodox" and "heterodox" schools, including Samkhya, Vedanta, Buddhism and Jainism and their relations to Yoga. We read passages in translation from the Rg Veda, a few Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Dhammapada. We also discussed some recent essays on the difficulties of dating texts including later Upanishads and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, particularly in light of the work of Lal Mani Joshi and other scholars suggesting political and religious motives for dating Upanishads and Sutras prior to the advent of Buddhism. We also discussed recent redating of the life of Buddha and the significance of this in relation to Samkhya, Vedanta, and the Sutras, and influence of yoga philosophy more generally. We also discussed shifting meanings, definitions, and ideas about Brahma, Atman, Jiva (jivatman), Ishvara, and relations to Purusha and Prakriti.

Following this we discussed cooling pranayama techniques. We divided the concepts into Pranayama exercises of physical technique, versus exercises of duration and restraint, and learned how to combine these variations. We also discussed how to teach these types to a variety of levels of classes and briefly the energetics and nadis associated. 

Lastly we reviewed Bandhas and Chakras. While we discussed these ideas briefly during "Module 1: Introductions and Foundations," particularly in relation to physiology, this time we discussed specifics of practice. 

We discussed differing opinions and gender variations on the location of Mula Bandha, and what to keep in mind in order to practice Uddiyana Bandha safely. Lastly we reviewed Jalandhara Bandha and how to combine these Bandhas for energetic effects in certain pranayama and asana exercises. We also talked about how different traditions and styles of yoga view and prioritize these ideas, including our textbooks, traditions we have practiced, information on Kundalini from the website http://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga, and Richard Rosen's research into early Hatha Yoga texts included in his book Original Yoga.

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