Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Living Yoga

I recently came across an interview on the Yoga Journal Web site with one of my favorite yoga teachers, Aadil Palkhivala. The article contains some wonderful quotes from Aadil given durning one of his classes at the Boston Yoga Journal conference. Here they are:

Aadil says, the purpose of asana is "to help the body be a better vehicle for the spirit's command. Why do we practice? We practice for the exploration, discovery and fulfillment of dharma."

1. To learn if your practice is serving you, look at your life -- what is the state of your relationships? --That is, your relationship with family, with the earth, with food, etc.
2. To choose your teacher, don't look at the person's practice, look at the person's life.
3. Don't knit the ribs together during practice under any circumstances -- we want to expand the heart center, not contract it.
4. Never practice Uddiyana bandha while actively breathing -- it strains the heart. (During pranayama, it is done while holding the breath out.)
5. The best way to cultivate the rasa, or juice, in standing poses is by using the quadriceps. Bring the earth energy up into your legs using the quads, then into the pelvis, then knead that energy into your heart.
6. Don't send all of your prana, or lifeforce energy, out around you, tilt the pelvis up and send the prana into your heart.

Finally, some food for thought from Aadil: "It's a magnificent cosmic evolution which we are a part of, usually dragged kicking and screaming; but if we choose to participate, the suffering will end."

You can read the rest of the article here. You can visit Aadil's site and learn more about Purna Yoga and his teaching, here.


Kathy said...

Thnaks for sharing such greatinformation and letting know of Aadil Palkhivala

yoga for beginners said...

Yoga is life. I appreciate you article of living with yoga and its effects to our body. :)

Emma said...

I feel like I need more info re#4. Like, what does he mean by "actively" breathing? Thoughts?

Teal Marie Chimblo Fyrberg said...

Great question Emma! Uddiyana Bandha can only be done after an exhalation, it cannot be done while you are inhaling and exhaling (which is what I think he is referring to by saying "actively breathing". Breath retention is still part of pranayama, still part of breathing, but not part of the active inhale/exhale cycle. Does that make sense?

When doing uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha (throat lock) is usually done as well. With these bandhas or "energy dams" in place the prana can really circulate in the body. If we were to try to employ uddiyana bandha and also inhale and exhale we 1) wouldn't really be able to hold the lock properly, and 2) in the process would put strain on the heart and lungs, as Aadil was pointing out.