Monday, March 12, 2012

ONE YOGA 3/12/2012


Tonight we further explored fluid-ic movement. 

After standing warm-ups, involved with stretching, lengthening and connecting with the earth below and the heavens above, we progressed to slow oscillating flexions toward the floor in front of us and then rolling up to upright standing and allowing in the subsequent exhalation, an gentle backward bend (extension).  Expanding beyond this basic frame of flexion / extension, we allowed the hips to rotate to one side and the other and explored pendulum like movements.

Preceding beyond the warmups, relying upon the foundation of classic yoga stretches, we moved around, through, in and out of a few classic poses, rather than holding them as 'completed statements'.  Utilizing the water breath, (in through the nose and out through the mouth),  we moved using two primary patterns:
circles and pendulums. 
 For example, about half way through the class, we came onto our abdomens and worked around the template of the COBRA, unwinding through space, inner and outer.
1. classic cobra, with a rise and a descent;
2. continuing with cobra but adding movement away from the mid-line and towards;
3. pendulum through the cobra, inhaling on the way up, breathing through the nose, and exhaling through open mouth,  as we descended towards the floor;exploring 180 degrees of space in front of us.  
4. Progressing from pendulum into circular motions, around the fulcrum of the cobra pose.  Inhaling through the nose on the way up, activating, an impulse of your will lifting..... then exhaling, through the mouth, surrendering to the exhale, flow, wave following the wave move through the continuum of your being.

Similar explorations were experienced building on Cat tilt pose, table pose and cow pose; adding side-bending away and towards the spine and rotations around the spinal axis.  

Then, lying onto our backs on our mats, with knees bent,, arms out at shoulders height, and the addition of some background soothing music, again incorporating the water breath, we explored a more classic continuum 'dive', allowing our knees and legs to explore the space within and without and progressively incorporating more of the totality of our body into a pendulum like wave through the body; continuing until arms and shoulders were participating as well.  Allowing the breath to take us into a deeper appreciation of the inner space within us, we explored the totality of our bodies, as if the skin of our bodies is like the canvas of a tent, and we feel the total volume of our beings.  Participants were encouraged to explore areas within the total volume where they felt density or dampening and allowed the breath to diffuse freely through the totality!  

Lastly, a classic final relaxation, with optional inner inventory scan from toes to scalp.  7 minutes of interior repose!

Greetings to you all.  Love to hear your comments!

Yusuf Quddus Erskine DO 

Monday, March 5, 2012

ONE YOGA with Yusuf Quddus Erskine 3-5-2012

March 5, 2012 ONE YOGA Class Synopsis       Class 2, Series 2, 2012

Namaste!  We began with the Buddha breath, 4-7-8. sitting in a comfortable upright position.

Tonight, we really worked deeply with Forward folds!  But, to be able to go deeply into these folds, we started with opening up the hips, knees and feet with progressive stretches, softening and lubricating the main joints of the body .
Hip openers, knee openers ( have you answered the phone?) prepared us for deeper forwards folding of our bodies.. Within the forward fold, we explored rotation and sidebending of the upper body, flowing with the breath, in pendulum like motions. While stretching forward over one straighten leg and the other leg bent and that foot resting on top of the straight thigh,  we stretched forward with the straight arms, along side our ears.  Then we explore left rotation and left sidebending followed by right rotation and right sidebending.  Changing the leg positions ( mirror image) we then repeated the forward fold and oscillating rotations and sidebending opening within the forward fold!   

Balance is always in my mind!  So after this deep opening forward fold, we placed our bolsters behind us,with  the long axis of the bolster mimicking our long spines!  Then we rolled down onto the bolsters, with the short side of the bolster snugged up to our lumbar-sacral junction.  And breathed deeply, balanced breathing, and allowed our bodies to open up with extension of the lumbar spine.

After thoroughly softening into the bolsters, we began to oscillate with the breath, turning the head to one side, allowing the shoulder blades to snug into the bolster.  After a breath or two, returning to the midline, only to then explore the opposite head rotation.   Explore different places within the arcs of these rotations of the head and play with sidebending into and out of the points in the arc that you feel drawn to experience!

Then, we explored Opening the hips and the shoulders with large circular motions of one extremity at a time.

Unwound, we began to settle into a final relaxation; allowing subtle nodding of the head to occur with the breath if further movement was felt appropriate individually.  Coming into stillness, into inner and outer peace.

When it is time to come out of the final relaxation pose, tonight, we closed with the breath that we started the evening with  4-7-8, which i refer to as the Buddha breath.  (see prior blogs for more details of how to do the 4-7-8 breath) promoting Autonomic Nervous System balancing. 

Yusuf Quddus Erskine DO