Angel Yoga Class notes from January 6, 2020
Namaste Angel Yogis of St. Ds!
Here are my notes from last week’s class. Last night, Barbara and I did compassion meditation and a stretchy floor flow. Beyond the B.K.S. Iyengar Light on Life notes is the savasana reading from The Heartbeat of God: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything by former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Tadasana, mountain pose. There’s a lot in this pose.
The body is nature, made up of 5 elements –earth, water, fire, air, and space. Our bodies are nature and therefore constantly changing and so we are a “little piece of continual change looking at an infinite quantity of continual change.”
“Soul is unchanging, eternal, and constant; it always remains as witness, rooted in divine origin and oneness. The whole practice of yoga is concerned with exploring the relationship between Nature and Soul.”
This is intention setting I borrowed (with permission) from one of my mentor teachers, Leigh Anne Neal, owner of Nirvana Yoga in Atlanta where I did my 200-hour teacher training and often practice. It comes from the book “Light on Life,” by B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the Indian teachers who popularized yoga.
I selected this ultimately for a New Year class because it seems like habits that are repetitive, easy to remember, and useful in terms of mental/emotional well-being so perhaps likely to translate to overall well-being. For instance, I seem to make healthier choices the more grounded I am in my practice but the choices seem to make themselves without any effort on my part.
Iyengar writes: “Through yoga we are able to lessen the six emotional disturbances that cause us so much anguish: lust, pride and obsession, anger, hatred, and greed.”
Based on a loose interpretation of Pantanjali, the Indian sage credited with writing the Yoga Sutras–1,700-year-old classical yoga text, Iyengar writes that the antidotes to these disturbances (i.e. lust, pride and obsession, anger, hatred, and greed) are basically friendliness, compassion, joy, and non-judgment.
- Cultivation of friendliness toward those who are happy.
- Cultivation of compassion toward those who are in sorrow.
- Cultivation of joy toward those who are virtuous.
- Cultivation of indifference or neutrality (nonjudgement, equanimity) toward those who are full of vices.
I offer these four intentions for the class—please select the intention that speaks to you and feel free to change intentions as we move through class.